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Chapter One

Time Pieces

Max could feel his toes dragging on the rough concrete floor as he moved along the darkened corridor. Some of the overhead lights were broken and flickering. His arms were being supported across the shoulders of two other people. He felt distinctly drowsy but still noticed that the men on either side of him were wearing what appeared to be drab coloured military uniforms. They were speaking a language that Max couldn’t understand. Through half-closed eyes he saw a number of signs on the walls written in a strange alphabet. One of the men released Max as they reached a door. The man took a collection of keys from his pocket and unlocked the door. As soon as it was open, the man led Max inside the dimly lit room and shoved him onto a filthy mattress that lay on the floor against the wall beneath a high, barred window. The man left, the door clanging shut behind him. As the key turned in the lock, Max struggled to his feet and staggered over to the battered and stained sink in the corner of the room. When he looked up and gazed into the cracked mirror he saw a girl’s face staring back at him.

Max sat up in bed, struggling to catch his breath. He looked around in panic before he realized that he was in his own room. It had just been a dream, although Max had no idea what it had been about. Once he’d recovered his composure he remembered that he’d been thinking about a whole range of issues before he’d fallen asleep. He’d been talking to his dad and grandmother the previous evening about his mother. Max’s thoughts had also drifted to the events of a few months earlier at the start of summer vacation. He’d accepted Simon Rose 2 that his strange experience in the role of David Dexter was probably always going to remain somewhere deep in his subconscious. Although the timeline had been changed as a result of Max’s actions in the past, he still recalled everything that had happened. The psychic Deanna Hastings hadn’t been able to explain it and had said that Max might simply forget everything as time progressed or he might not. Max hadn’t been in contact with Deanna since they’d parted ways after saving the adult David from Kane at the Dexter family home but Deanna still often crossed Max’s mind.

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