“Are you Cross?”
My eyes adjusted slowly to the unnatural light. “What? Who’s there?” I clasped the hilt of the sword hanging off my belt, preparing for the surprise attack.
“I am Alfred, sir.
The voice did not sound threatening. “I know of no one named Alfred.”
The shadow of a human form began to a appear in my clouded eyes. “He sent me.”
The face began to come into focus and showed the short man claiming to be Alfred had a white mullet and matching full beard. He wore a black vest and tie over a crisply pressed white shirt. “You know who.”
My shoulders slouched with a clang of me releasing the sword. Pulling at my black tunic, I began to get a sense if the tiny room is stood in. “Yes, I do. I was just hoping I was wrong.”
The room had white walls that appeared to be padded. Light came from as small glass globe in the ceiling. Two small slit windows near the ceiling gave a glimpse if the padding moon.
“Where am I.. ” I looked him up and down before addressing him, “Alfred?”
“I believe you would know the area as Denver.”
I shook my head. “Where?”
“Still no idea a where that is.”
“The United States.”
He raised his chin in a poor attempt to look down on me. “Sir, when were you born?”
“The Year of Our Lord, one thousand two hundred and three.”
“Twelve oh three?”
His glare had me less certain. “My Lord?”
“I don’t think so.”
My eyes fell to the ground. “Alfred, why am I here?”
“Love the accent, first off. Something about that Celtic lilt you have…cannot quite place it.” Standing for just a moment, his eyes searched for an answer. “Never mind. Apparently you are here as your reward for being a good sport.” He pulled a small box out and tapped a few fingers on it.
“Exactly. You are now the richest man on the planet.” Turning the box to me, it held a very large number…perhaps larger than I had ever imagined.
A cough overtook me as I had no response to this.
He put his arm around me as he spun to face the same direction. “I was thinking, we could build a hidden cave under the eat wetting if the mansion where we could hide all your gadgets and cringe detecting equipment.”
“I have a mansion?”
“No, but was a fun idea.” He began to pull me ahead.
In the middle if the white padded wall, a previously unseen door lifted open.
He pulled me to the door. “Yes, Cross?”
“What year is this?”
My voice squeaked. “Really?”
He laughed as we stepped to the door. “No, not really.”
I laughed, too. “Oh, good.”
“It is thirty-three seventeen.”
This time I had no voice…only a wheezing gasp. I made a poor attempt to count on my fingers.
“About two thousand years. Things will have changed, slightly.” He led me from the room into a dark chamber with a large window. On the window were markings, and two arms pointing.
“What is that?”
“Your clock,” Alfred said tapping more on his box.
“My clock. My clock? What are you tapping on?”
“Ziggy tells me we need to be somewhere.”
Alfred smiled. “Never mind, all will come to you in good time.” He held his arm out, towards another door. “Please, if you will follow me.”
“Where are we going?”
His eyebrows raised just slightly and a sly grin formed. “To your future, of course.”
I followed. “Do I really have an accent?”
“Definitely. The chicks will be knocking on your door once they hear that.”
“The homogenized will flock to someone like you, sir. Someone with a unique voice and personality.”
I halted and thought for a moment. “Make it so.”
Alfred laughed. “See, I told you it would all start to come to you.” He led me to the door.
“So what do we do first?”
Another laugh. “First, Sir Cross, we get you something to wear that does not include armor.”