True freedom happens only when you choose to be free.
Eleven-year-old Drake Bailey is an analytical thinker and the genius of the Timekeeper crew. However, no logic or mathematical acumen can change the color of his skin, or prepare him for this third Timekeeper mission in antebellum Georgia. To survive, Drake must learn to play the role of a plantation slave and when confronted with the brutality, hatred, and racism of the deep south, he’ll have to strategically keep one move ahead of his sadistic captors to ensure his lineage continues.
In a dark world of Voodoo, zombies, and ritualistic sacrifice, the Timekeepers must ensure a royal bloodline survives. Can Drake remove both literal and figurative chains to save both himself and a devout slave girl from a terrible fate? If he can’t summon the necessary courage, humanity could stand to lose one of its greatest leaders.
Drake read over their Timekeeper mission again. Blood. Deep south. Race. Broken. Soul. Red flags waved through his mind like a category five hurricane. He’d seen one too many movies and documentaries to know 1855 was not a great time in history for people with his skin color. Drake shut the Timekeepers’ log, and shook his head vehemently. “There’s no way in hell I’m gonna go on this mission, Lilith!”
Lilith wrinkled her long, narrow nose. “I understand why you have these fearful feelings, Drake, but I do not choose where you go into the past. Belial is the one who holds that power, and seeks to disrupt history whenever he sees a chance.”
“May I see the Timekeepers’ log, Drake?” the Prof asked.
“Sure, Prof, but I’m still not going,” Drake replied, passing the log over.
“Can he do that?” Ravi asked, glancing at Treena.
“I don’t think so. It’s like signing a contract for a movie. You’re committed to finishing the film or you face the studio lawyers. Case closed, gavel down.”
“Lilith isn’t a judge.” Ravi looked at Lilith. “Right?”
“No, Ravi, I am not your judge, but what Treena said rings true. You were all chosen as Timekeepers for a reason, and are bound by this covenant,” Lilith replied, unclasping her hands. “That is all I can offer you.”
“Fine. I’ll just remove my Babel necklace,” Drake said, digging under his shirt. “Problem solved.”
“Drake, why are you freaking out like this?” Jordan asked, helping Amanda to her feet. “It can’t be as bad as fighting the Nazis in our second mission.”
“Yeah, or being interrogated in the Gestapo Headquarters by Belial’s creepy crony Marcus Crowley,” Ravi added.
“Why don’t you ask Amanda why she puked? It wasn’t because she had warm and fuzzy feelings about this mission,” Drake argued.
Melody wiped Amanda’s chin. “Do you feel well enough to speak?”
“I…I think so.”
Professor Lucas whistled. “Now I see why Amanda was sick to her stomach. Using the words deep south and the date as a clue, this mission puts us in the antebellum era, six years before the American Civil War began. This period was filled with so much hate, racism, turmoil, and political upheaval, I’m willing to bet these emotions went right through her.”
“If Uncle John is right, why would Belial want to change anything back then?” Jordan asked, frowning. “That slithering douche-bag lives for human suffering during those dark times in history.”
“Exactly.” Drake removed his Babel necklace. “So why tempt fate?”
“N-no, Drake, you have to come.” Amanda reached for his hand, and squeezed it. “Trust me, you’re an important part of this mission.”
“It’s hard to explain. I just know you have to be there.”
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