Author's Note: If I've learned one thing as a creative person, it's this. Inspiration can come when you least expect it. I started putting the pieces of this story together about a week ago after I watched Seventeen's "Call Call Call" music video for the first time (which, funnily enough, premiered on this very day, at least over here), and after giving it some thought, settled on this.
But this is NOT a fanfic.
The characters in this story are completely original and have nothing to do with the members. I had to go on random name generator websites to get the names for the people in this story. The characters also live in countries where English is a major language because I myself only speak English.
With that being said, here's the first chapter.
~*January 6th, 2785*~
"I need your thumb for this one too."
Not even bothering to turn her head, Audrey sighed in frustration and pressed her thumb into the clear pad. With a faint hum she knew she was signing something that would probably cost her more money than she actually had.
She hated it.
"I thought I told you not to bother me for at least-"
She looked down at her wristwatch which showed 5:11 pm in digital green neon numbers.
"Another hour. What does my aunt want with these anyway?"
Her assistant Valerie chuckled lightly.
"She has a new project planned. This one will be bigger than all of our previous projects."
Audrey rolled her eyes and laughed dryly.
"She always says that."
She tapped her fingers on the desk briefly and turned to look up at Valerie.
"How many ways can one time travel before it gets boring, Val?"
"That was rhetorical, don't answer that."
Valerie looked away sheepishly and started to leave when she stopped.
Audrey noticed her sudden stop and decided to be curious.
"Anything else that I need to sign?"
Valerie turned around and bit her lip, as if contemplating whether or not she should say anything.
Audrey straightened up in her chair.
She snapped her fingers in front of her.
"Val. What is it?"
Valerie blinked several times.
"Do you... Do you wanna know what she's planning?" She managed to squeak out.
Audrey looked at her skeptically.
This girl is a lot smarter than she lets on.
Oh, what the hell.
Gathering her courage, Valerie leaned down and whispered in her ear.
Audrey's eyes opened wide in astonishment.
"I take it back. That doesn't sound so boring after all."
"But you can't tell your Aunt that I told you. If she knew-"
"Relax, Valerie. Your secret's safe with me."
Valerie smiled gratefully at Audrey.
But the awkward silence was too much.
"Why are you still here?!" Audrey snapped at her.
"Oh! Right, sorry."
Valerie bowed her head and made her way for the automatic sliding doors on the other side of the room.
As she passed through the doors, the name Jikanime Motori Inc glowed in blue neon letters across the transparent door frames.
~*July 21st, 1969*~
The sunshine in the garage was particularly bothersome today, but the car wasn't going to fix itself.
"...and folks are still talking about NASA's moon landing yesterday. With all the excitement it's hard to believe that there's still a war in Vietnam. Speaking of which, your son is over there right Sam-"
Drew switched off the radio.
"Hey, I was listening to that," a disappointed voice said from beneath the parked car.
"You'll get over it."
Drew, a young man with a white complexion, big brown eyes, and dark hair, settled down into the chair that was next to the car.
"Drew..." the voice started off sternly.
Drew didn't respond to it.
Frustrated, the person beneath the car rolled himself on the mechanic seat and got out.
He was an older man of about fifty, with some lines around his eyes, and a kind face.
"Okay, kid. We need to have a talk."
He got up from the floor and dried his hands on a nearby towel.
"I'm not a kid anymore."
"Coulda fooled me."
He reached for a nearby chair and placed it next to Drew.
He sat down with his hands in his lap and looked at him with concern.
"Look, I know you've been...going through a lot since your brother-"
"Can you get to the point Fred?"
"It's not good for you to keep your emotions inside like this."
"Ha. Emotions are for babies. Do I look like a baby to you?"
"If the shoe fits…"
"I'm a real man now, Fred. I don't have time to deal with childish things."
"If your dad were here he would tell you that you need to pull your head out of your ass and stop acting like a dumb dumb."
"What, you think just because you've known each other since you were five, you can tell me what he would say?"
"I like to think so."
"Well, you can't."
"You watch your tone. Don't forget that your aunt and I raised you and your brother for the last ten years of your lives."
"Lives? Ha. That makes one of us. Dennis is not coming back from Vietnam."
Drew twirled his brother's dog tags between his fingers absentmindedly.
"I know. And I know his death is still fresh for you after three months, but you need to start doing something more around here. Heck, some days I wish you would just scream to get all this junk out of your brain."
"It's not gonna change anything."
"But it might make you feel better. Especially since I know how guilty you feel for not volunteering to help the war effort unlike your brother who offered his services-"
Drew abruptly got up from his seat, his nerves on edge.
"I'm taking your motorcycle for a drive."
"I just waxed that."
"Then it'll look good on the road."
Old man. What does he know about anything?
Drew scoffed silently at himself.
He liked driving cars, but he loved being on a motorcycle. It gave him a sense of freedom. Something he desperately needed since the death of his brother in the spring.
He stopped at a red light at the corner of his favorite diner.
As he waited for the light to turn green, he looked over to his right and saw some people gathered in front of an electronics store reading a newspaper that had a blurry image of Neil Armstrong's first Moon steps on the cover. They all seemed to be engaged by what they were reading.
Dennis would have loved that...
The horn from the car behind startled him.
He shook himself off and resumed driving.
He struggled to get his pants back on, which was only met with laughter from the person in the open bathroom who was putting a robe on while watching him.
"And then he said, you know what he said?"
He finally managed to get the pants back on.
"What did he say?"
"He told me that I needed to scream in order to make myself better. As if that's gonna change anything."
He put his shirt over his head.
"Hey, maybe he's right."
He straightened out his shirt.
"He's old. He's out of touch. And I'm pretty sure he was a passenger on the Titanic too."
Lisa always used that tone when she was about to lecture him. Normally he hated being lectured, but with her, it was okay.
She was also his gorgeous girlfriend, but that was beside the point.
She turned off the light switch in the bathroom and walked over to him with her arms crossed.
"He just wants what's best for you."
"He's got a funny way of showing it."
Wanting to change the subject, he put both of his hands on Lisa's shoulders and leaned over slightly to look her in the eyes.
"So... How's the new job?"
"Exhausting. But nothing I can't handle," she replied confidently.
He also knew that she had gone somewhere else today.
"And what did the doctor say?"
He dreaded the answer. He was only twenty-two, but he felt like even more of a kid since he dropped out of university last year. He wasn't ready for this. He didn't know what he was gonna do if-
He bowed his head and sighed.
"How far along?"
"About two months."
He lifted his head and looked into Lisa's eyes, which were shining with fear. He stroked the left-hand side of her face with his right thumb gently.
"Between your job as a secretary and my job at my uncle's repair shop, it's not gonna be enough to give this baby a comfortable life."
He removed his hand.
"And with the way things are going right now, he'll probably have to enlist in this damn war when he's eighteen."
"Not if he stays in Canada-"
"What a load of bullshit. With the way things are going it's only a matter of time before Canada stops being neutral and it all goes to hell."
Lisa didn't know how to respond to that.
Drew picked up on the uncomfortable silence and gently pulled her into a hug.
"I'm sorry. That was harsh. I'm just..."
He sighed and pulled away, but kept his arms around her waist. Looking at her expression, he could see that she was scared for him.
"I can't explain it, and I don't know why, but I just..."
He sighed in despair, unable to finish the sentence.
"Maybe you'll find a way to express yourself without holding back someday," she said calmly.
That was definitely never going to happen.
Drew laughed disbelievingly.
"Yeah right. And maybe I'll turn into Elvis."
All of these job interviews were torture, but they would've been worth it if he had gotten at least one call back.
Drew cut his hand on the broken glass that was part of the car window.
"Hold on, I'll get the bandages."
He winced in pain as Fred left the room to get his first aid kit.
"That doesn't look so good."
"Gee, ya think Cliff?"
Cliff was a tall guy (taller than his 5'9 frame anyway) with paler skin than Drew's, light brown wavy hair, green hooded eyes, and a mischievous smile to match.
"So you still haven't heard back from anyone?"
"Ah." Drew bent his fingers to deal with the sharp pain.
"No, I haven't. It's been two weeks and still nothing."
Cliff took a sip of his beer.
"Can't believe your girl got a job faster than you. Guess you're not much of a people person, eh Drewy?"
Drew glared at him.
"I'm gonna punch you in the nose if you don't stop."
Cliff walked right into his space so their faces were only inches away from each other.
He was bluffing, but it was fun to get in each other's faces like this.
They couldn't help cracking up.
Cliff moved away, still laughing as he took another drink.
"Hey man, don't worry about it."
"I'm sure you'll find a good paying job sooner than you think."
"I don't know about that. Maybe I'm better off staying here. I mean, it's still a job right?"
Cliff shrugged nonchalantly.
"If you say so."
Fred strolled into the room with a roll of bandages in his right hand, and the white box first aid kit in the other.
"Okay, everyone calm down. Medical help is here."
Drew let him grab his left hand and apply ointment to it.
"Sorry, but pain is necessary."
Cliff tried his best to hide his laughter by taking another gulp of beer.
"So, Cliff. How are the rest of the boys doing?" Fred asked him as he cleaned up the cut with another paper towel.
"Pretty good. Jack, Liam, and Keegan are all moving back here with me for a year until they can get back on their feet again. University was no good to them."
Jack Keaton, Liam Bateson, and Keegan McConnell.
They had all been friends with Cliff back in high school before he and Drew became friends at university.
Cliff bullied Drew when they were in grade nine together so them becoming close friends was nothing short of a miracle.
"So they're looking for employment? I could use some extra hands in this place."
"Really?" Cliff's eyes lit up.
"Yeah! I mean they know their way around cars right?"
"If they don't, they can learn."
"That's the answer I like to hear."
He finished wrapping the bandage around Drew's hand.
"That should heal in about a week."
"It'll leave a nasty scar though," Cliff interrupted.
But Drew knew exactly what to say to make him stop.
"Try touching the broken glass, Clifford. Let's see what happens."
That shut him up.
He carefully gathered the mail in his hands.
Some letters, and a flyer for a missing dog that someone had stuffed into the mailbox.
The neighbors across the street must've put that in there.
There was no greater hell than getting a paper cut from a thin piece of paper, and he was not about to get another cut after what happened last week.
He carefully folded up the flyer and put it behind the first letter.
Then he went over the remaining letters until he came across one that looked...strange, to see the least.
It was an all-black envelope with white print.
What the hell is this?
It was addressed to him, so it was obviously his, but there was something strange about an all-black envelope.
He stuffed the envelope in his jacket pocket and went back inside the house.
"Anything for me, kid?" Fred asked as Drew closed the door behind him.
He handed the mail over to him.
"Oh, poor Sandy lost her dog again. I don't know how many times I have to tell that woman to lock up her fence or else that poor mutt will end up..."
Fred's words seemed to fade away.
Who would send me a black envelope and why? Did Dennis make any enemies over in Vietnam?
Did someone hire a hit man?
He must've spaced out because his uncle was looking at him worriedly.
To be honest, he wasn't even sure.
"I...I think I need to lay down for a bit."
He was surprised when his voice came out higher than usual.
"Okay. Don't stay too long, dinner'll be ready in about an hour."
Drew nodded and quickly went up the stairs to his room.
There was nothing really menacing about the letter other than the solid black color.
The name on the envelope was JMI Employment with an address somewhere in the country.
But he had never heard of any company with the name JMI, and he was pretty sure he never interviewed with them over the last few weeks either.
The suspense was going to drive him crazy if he didn't open it.
He flipped the envelope over and ripped the top part of the envelope open.
The letter inside was on a white page with black ink.
Going in reverse now, I see.
The letter read:
Dear Mr. Gladwyn,
We've heard so much about you, and we think you'd be a perfect fit for our company.
You'll receive only the best benefits, and never have to want for anything ever again.
Trust us on this.
In three days we'll be sending you a couple gifts so you can start your journey with us.
A. Fields, CEO of JMI
That was it.
A little disappointing for something so dramatic.
He tossed the letter onto his bed.
"Wait, you all got the letters too?"
Drew was dumbfounded after what Jack had told him.
They were all seated together on the outside patio of the diner enjoying some delicious cheeseburgers and fries to celebrate the return of the newly appointed graduates. They had all come back the day before Drew got his letter.
Jack was a pale, scruffy looking guy with auburn hair, freckles on his nose and cheeks, and prominent brown eyes.
Taking a bite of his cheeseburger with "absolutely no pickles" he continued.
"I think it's a conspiracy." He said in between bites.
"Maybe those American punks are playing some kind of prank on us."
"Hell, some folks say that that moon landing from a few weeks ago wasn't even real," Liam said while lighting his cigarette. He shook the freshly used match to draw the smoke away and set it down on his napkin.
Drew coughed. The smell of smoke was no friend to him.
And apparently it wasn't a friend to Liam either, because despite his white appearance, close set blue eyes and wavy black hair, he somehow managed to look older than all five of them combined. Which was ironic, because he was the youngest with a birthday in December.
"It just doesn't make any sense," Drew continued, trying to ignore the smell of smoke.
"How could this JMI company know that we're all looking for jobs right now?"
Keegan bowed his head and quickly stuffed a french fry into his mouth.
"Got anything to say Keeg?" Cliff asked him.
Keegan lifted his head and looked around at the group, unsure of what to say.
He's a bit of a weird one, that Keeg. But a damn good friend. At least according to Cliff.
With these thoughts, Drew decided to help move things along.
"Come on, Keeg. We know you wanna say something," he said teasingly.
Keegan sighed and put down the fry he was obviously going to use to keep himself from speaking.
The pale mouse (everyone thought he resembled one) with rosy cheeks tucked his dark brown hair behind his ear, pushed his round glasses a little higher with one finger and opened his mouth, his lip twitching.
His voice came out higher than expected.
He cleared his throat.
"I don't know what it means. But-"
He took off his glasses and rubbed his beady brown eyes.
He had allergy problems.
"Maybe there's a chance that these people want to help us," he said with his eyes tightly closed.
"I think taking your glasses off is making you stupid, Four Eyes."
Despite saying this, Jack put his glasses back on for him anyway.
"If we all got the letters then that means that Drew is right. Someone is trying to target us," Jack said with furrowed brows, his tone serious.
"What exactly did you fellows get up to over there?" Cliff asked the other two suspiciously.
"Nothing. Nothing worth mentioning anyway," Liam answered coyly.
Jack nearly choked on his soda.
He cleared his throat.
"But it's true. University was just boring classes, partying, girls, and more partying. None of us even got into any real trouble. Even Liam behaved himself for once!"
Liam calmly put the cigarette to his mouth and blew another puff of smoke.
"Well, boys. I guess there's only one thing left to do now," he said with a sparkle in his eye.
"What's that?" Drew asked him trying not to cough from the smoke.
"We wait for our gifts tomorrow."
"Sign here, please."
Drew recognized this delivery guy. It was the same one who delivered some car parts to Fred last year.
He took the pen from him, and hurriedly signed his name on the notepad.
"Thank you very much," the man said smoothly as he took the pen back and put it behind his ear.
He reached down and lifted up a brown box that was no bigger than a radio set.
Drew took it from his hands and set it down on the dining room table.
God, I hope that's not a bomb.
"Hey, you also got something else. Some kinda motorcycle."
Drew raised his eyebrows in surprise.
"Yeah. Is the garage open?"
"Then we'll leave it in there for ya."
"Sure, no problem. I'll tell my buddy to bring the truck around back so we can put it in there."
He tucked the notepad under his arm.
"Hey, Larry!" The man yelled over his shoulder.
He looked back over at Drew.
"Excuse me one moment."
He opened the front door that was slightly ajar, and ran outside to the other delivery guy who was sitting in the driver's side of the parked delivery truck.
Drew looked back at the box on the table, wondering if he should give it back to the guy.
But if it really is a bomb...
He looked at the package, excepting it to blow up at any second. His heart began to beat faster and faster the more he stared at it. Time stood still, his surroundings started to fade away as he began to imagine what would happen if-
Suddenly, a rapid knocking could be heard.
"Hey, buddy! You still in there?" He heard the delivery man yell behind the door.
"Uh, yeah!" Drew yelled back hoarsely.
He walked over to the other side of the house, and opened the back door to join them.
That's when he saw it.
There in the middle of the garage was a seemingly ordinary black and silver motorcycle.
Only this one had a blue ribbon neatly tied around the left handle bar.
Why would JMI send me this?
"A thing of beauty isn't she?" The driver asked him cheerfully while giving him a nudge with his arm.
"Yeah, I guess..."
He blinked and snapped out his trance.
"Uh, thanks guys."
Drew took out his hand for the main delivery guy to shake who shook it back firmly.
"Hey, no problem. Come on Larry."
The other man waved at him as he left, and in a blur, the two men settled into their truck and drove away.
He removed the remaining tape from the box and opened up the top flap.
His jaw dropped.
"What the hell? This isn't a bomb it's..."
He looked at the device tucked inside the Styrofoam.
A rotary dial candlestick phone to be exact.
He carefully lifted the old fashioned phone from the box and set it down on the table.
Looking back in the box, he noticed a black card inside with a small black box underneath it that looked no bigger than his palm.
The card had some white ink writing on it.
Hello, Mr. Gladwyn!
We hope these gifts have found you just in time.
On the back of this card are some very important instructions.
You must follow them exactly.
Remember. Your journey starts today.
- A. Fields, CEO of JMI
Drew turned the card over which was now white with black ink.
The black box must be no more than twenty five feet away from the vehicle. Once they are in proximity to each other, press your thumb to the blue circle in the middle of the black box, and wait. The black box will tell you the rest.
Upon closer inspection he saw that the blue ribbon had a white card next to it with his name and address, along with JMI Employment listed as the sender.
Feeling a sudden chill, he carefully removed the blue ribbon and card from the left handle bar and placed it on top of Fred's toolbox nearby. He didn't know why, but seeing that thing on the motorcycle made him feel uneasy and he had to get rid of it.
Thank God Fred decided to join his friends for bowling all day.
He backed ten feet away.
There in the dim garage light, the motorcycle silently stared back at him, almost like it was taunting him.
He pulled the tiny black box out of his jacket pocket with his left hand and let it sit inside his palm.
"Here goes nothing."
He pressed his right hand thumb to the blue circle and waited.
Something had stung his thumb.
He quickly took his hand away from the box, but to his surprise, the blue circle disappeared and blue glowing words appeared on the surface.
Thank you for joining JMI today.
- Press anywhere to continue.
He pushed the middle of the box warily.
- Is this you?
(please press the correct answer)
He pressed the "yes" option.
There was a static-y flicker before the next words showed up.
I think this is some sort of strange TV.
Welcome Mr. Gladwyn!
[press the star to activate JM Mode for your company vehicle]
He pressed the star, instantly regretting it the minute he did so.
Oh, shit. What if it really is a bomb?
He braced himself for impact, but to his surprise nothing happened.
Not immediately anyway.
But then it started.
The entire motorcycle started transforming before his eyes.
Black and blue paint slowly crawled over the vehicle, the tires changed from black to silver, and a strange number pad had magically assembled itself on the front underneath the handle bars.
It was no longer the silver motorcycle that he had gotten earlier that day.
It was something else.
Author's Note: I actually started writing this chapter on May 11th, so that's why the time was 5:11 pm in the beginning. I put it in there so I would remember, lol. Also, sorry I'm not much of a descriptive writer, but I'm trying my best. Practice make perfect. Anyway, stay tuned for the next chapter! Waiting time should be three to seven days depending on how inspired I feel.
~*Song to go with this chapter - "Spaceman" by Nick Jonas.*~