Authors: Matthew J. Kirby
Tags: #Science Fiction, #Childrens - Middle Grade
Welcome to Infinity Ring, a daring adventure through time!
It all starts here in the books, where you’ll discover a world in which history is broken . . . and meet the three young people who must risk their lives to set things right.
At the end of this book, you’ll find your very own Hystorian’s Guide. The Guide has been created to help time travelers avoid the dangers that await them in the past.
And you’re going to need all of the Guide’s tips, hints, and codes when you experience history for yourself in the action-packed Infinity Ring game. Prepare to journey deep into the wilderness in the next episode of the game. There, you’ll need to save two brave explorers from the SQ!
Fix the past. Save the future.
To all those who teach and study history, I thank you
Have you seen in all the length and breadth of the earth
A city such as Baghdad?
— Umara ibn Aqil, ninth-century poet
wind whipped around them, stirring up sand. Dak shielded his eyes and used his shirt to cover his mouth to keep from breathing in the grit. Sera and Riq did the same. They were standing in the middle of a dusty road, the three of them having just warped from the Great Wall in Ming-dynasty China. For Dak, the prickling, sickening disorientation of having his body squeezed through time and space like a basketball through a keyhole hadn’t faded yet . . . and neither had his excitement.
“Where are we?” he asked.
This was their twelfth warp together. You’d think by now, Dak would be used to it, but that question still thrilled him.
Where are we?
What would they see and do? Who would they meet? So far, Christopher Columbus, Vikings, King Louis with his wonderful gooey cheese, Harriet Tubman, the ancient Maya. People and cultures Dak had only read about in books before now.
Sera checked the Infinity Ring before tucking it away in her satchel. “Coordinates are right. We should be near the city of Baghdad on January 27, the year 1258.”
“Good.” Dak reached to pull out the SQuare. “Let’s figure out the Break we’re supposed to fix here.”
“Hold on.” Riq coughed. “Let’s get out of this wind. All this sand won’t be good for the SQuare.”
“Oh. Right.” Dak looked around, and then realized he had just agreed with one of Riq’s suggestions without arguing or mocking it. Sera would be so proud. He turned to her. “Bet you’re glad I’ve got the SQuare in my pants, now, huh?”
Sera rolled her eyes at him. “Which way should we go?”
Riq pointed. “I think I see something that way.”
The three of them peered down the road, straining to see anything through the windblown sand. Dak was trying to decide how best to make fun of Riq in this moment, when a horrible grunting sounded right behind them.
The three of them spun around to find themselves face-to-face with the protruding nose, huge teeth, and flapping lips of a camel.
The man riding the camel shook his fist at them, shouting in a language Dak didn’t recognize.
He wore long robes, and a turban coiled around his head.
“Arabic,” Riq whispered.
Dak and Sera cocked their heads at the same time as their translation devices kicked in.
The man threw his arms up. “Are you deaf? I said, get out of the road!”
The camel blared at them again. Spit flew out of its open mouth. Its breath smelled bad, and not in the good way a nice cheese smells bad. In the
bad way. Sera plugged her nose while Riq pulled her and Dak off to the side. The rider passed them, and behind him came others. Many others. Most of the camels bore huge bundles slung over their humps.
It was a caravan. An actual camel caravan! At the sight of them, facts bubbled up in Dak’s mind. That’s how it felt. Like bubbles in a soda, or a burp. They just rose up, and he couldn’t keep them in, even though he knew it annoyed most people. “Those bundles are probably filled with spices and silks and frankincense and stuff like that. Baghdad was on the Silk Road trade route, and —”
“Dak!” Sera and Riq both said.
He winced inside. Same as always.
“Sorry.” He shrugged. “At least we know which way the city is. I bet this caravan is going there now.”
Sera and Riq nodded their agreement with him. So they set off down the road with the caravan, walking through the sandy wind alongside the smelly camels.
Neither Sera nor Riq said much along the way. Dak was used to Riq not talking much with him. They’d become better friends than they were in the beginning, after fixing the first few Breaks together. But the dude still got on Dak’s nerves. A lot. So he didn’t mind that he was being so quiet right now.
Sera’s silence worried him. Normally, he could practically read her thoughts, like she could his. But lately, she felt very far away, and he had no idea what was going on inside her head. There was something she wasn’t telling him. He knew it. But he didn’t know what that was, and that really bothered him.