“Are you sure you want to do this?”
Era tied her black hair in a braid and stepped into the large glass cylinder. “Yes. I want to see how people think about me in the future.”
Era Rodriguez smoothed out her black jumpsuit and slid on a pair of black combat gloves. The lab was empty except for her and her best friend, Mason, who was working on a time travel project.
Mason ruffled his short brown hair. “Era, I could get in trouble for this.”
Era waved a hand dismissively and grinned. “Mason, it’ll be fine. I’ll be there and back in ten minutes. Bada bing, bada boom.” she slapped her hands together. “Don’t be such a wimp. We’re in our twenties! Let’s live!”
“I don’t want to lose my job!” Mason replied hotly, but he strolled over to a large panel of buttons. “Ready?”
Era nodded and grinned. “Born ready!”
There was a flash of light, and she was gone.
Era slammed into the ground on her chest and groaned. Ouch.
She stood up and dusted herself off, then gazed in awe at her surroundings.
She was on a busy sidewalk, and people fully dressed in either white or black hurried past her. The streets were busy, full of navy blue cars that hummed quietly. Huge white and silver buildings cast shadows on the streets, blocking out the bright sun.
Era climbed to her feet quickly as people hurried past her, giving her looks. Then she noticed- everyone had brown or blonde hair. Her black hair stood out like a flamingo in a sea of geese.
Era grinned a little and kept her head down, searching for a place where she could find the date. If Mason’s calculations were correct, she was in the year 2067. She traveled from 2060.
She stopped outside a large bank, and there was a small calendar on the corner of the front window. June 13th, 2067.
Era whooped. She broke into a run down the road, sprinting for Mongolia Avenue- Mason’s street.
Era yelled happily as she ran, cutting into an alley shortcut, but stopped suddenly, her smile melting away. A group of guys wearing loose black clothes were huddled around something. Era pressed her ear to the conversation, her heart pounding.
“Didja see this?” one guy growled.
“That bozo’s time travel had to have worked. Says she was killed this year.” another muttered.
“We should track him down.” a third suggested.
“We’re going to, and he’s going to give us what we want,” the second voice said gruffly. Era heard a gun click, and the men laughed. Could they be talking about… her?
“Excuse me?” Era called, stepping out from behind a building. “Who are you talking about?”
The guys all whipped around and stared at her. One pulled out a gun and pointed it right at her, and Era quickly raised her sweaty palms into the air. “I’m just wondering. Who died?”
“She got black hair, Mick,” one of the guys said gruffly around his big brown beard. “No one got black hair anymore ‘cept her.”
“Are you Era Rodriguez?” the gunman demanded, waving the pistol a little.
“Yes, I am,” Era replied quickly, keeping her hands up.
“Well well. You know Mason Koro?” the gunman asked, smirking.
Era nodded, suspicious, but keeping up a frightened demeanor.
“Well, well, well. You die tomorrow, princess.” the gunman laughed, then straightened the pistol, lining the hole up between her eyebrows. “We can speed up that process if you don’t help us out.”
“What do you want?” Era pleaded, her hands shaking. “I don’t have any money!”
She took three years of drama class. The men totally bought her frightened act.
“We want you to bring us to this Mason Koro so he can take us back to 2060. We have some unfinished business there,” Mr. Gunboy said coolly. “Take us there or die now. Your choice.”
Era nodded numbly and slowly lowered her hands. The men all followed up behind her, like some sort of pack. She led the way at a quick walk toward Mason’s house.
Mason had clearly done well- his house was big and grey sided, with a large oak door. Era led the way up and pounded on it.
Mason swung the door open. He had longish hair now, and round glasses. He peered at them for a second. “Who are you people?”
“Mason, it’s me! Era!” Era exclaimed quickly, happiness fluttering through her chest. “It worked! See!”
She gestured to her black hair.
Mason smiled sadly. “I knew it would work.”
Era drew her eyebrows together, confused, and touched his shoulder. “What’s wrong?”
“Well… when I sent you forward, I got caught. I lost my job.” Mason sighed. “Plus, did you know what happens tomorrow?”
The guy holding a gun stepped forward and thrust the paper at Era. It read in a big headline on top-
GANG SHOOTS DOWN PEDESTRIAN
Era gasped at the photo below- a color picture of two men with their backs to the camera and a dark-haired woman laying on the ground, lifeless.
The victim was identified later as Era Rodriguez, and the assassins are still pending investigation.
Era turned around slowly, eyes still fixed on the paper. Then she glared at the man holding the gun. “You shot me?”
“Yes ma’am,” the gunman growled. “Name’s Mick. We caught your friend here on the street yesterday and he sent us forward, then back. Know why we shot you?”
“Why?” Era demanded hotly.
“Because you’re a cop, missy. You put my men in prison for three years.”
Era stared at the paper. So this is how I’m remembered. Great. For putting someone in prison then being shot dead for it.
“Wait. If I’m a cop, then I can arrest you!” Era exclaimed. She kicked the gunman in the gut and swiped his weapon, then pointed it at him, then turned and without thinking, sprinted into the streets.
“Nate!” Mick roared, and one of his guys pulled out a gun and chased her with Mick following close behind. The others stayed and pushed Mason back into his house.
Nate started firing shots at Era’s back, and she shot back over her shoulder blindly. Mick growled and grabbed the gun from Nate, who ducked immediately as he shot off a round of bullets, sending other pedestrians running and screaming.
Suddenly, Era stopped dead in her tracks. She gasped and dropped her gun, and it hit the ground with a clatter the second before she did.
Within minutes police, ambulances, and newspaper reporters were on the scene.
The next day
Mason Kolo stepped onto his front step as the morning paper was tossed onto the stairs. His face broke into a frown, and then he tossed the paper into the bushes. It landed faceup as he slammed the door closed behind him.
GANG SHOOTS DOWN PEDESTRIAN