Author's Note: I got an invite to put this on Archive of Our Own (AO3). O.o' I was not expecting that.
I'm making chapters faster. They won't be as high quality, but I have so much work to do. I don't have time to make them perfect, but I do have time to make them good. ^_^
At the end of the story, I'll put the polished version of this story on AO3 and give the link.
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Year: 2037, Robinson Household Grand Entrance, April 22nd
In the gentle boy's hands was a shimmering decahedron. The edges were tinted green, blue, and red while the internal cube was a shiny, immaculate silver. In the reflection of the convoluted device was Wilbur's dumbstruck face.
"I refer to it as the time drive. And, well, it is an essential component to the time machine. I figured it out back when I was fixing it. While I was under the time machine, I'd figure we'd need to escape, and I quickly took it out."
"You're such a genius! Come here, you!" Wilbur was overcome by affection and started giving him a noogie.
"Wilbur, stop!" Lewis tried to keep his usual, serious face but couldn't help but crack a smile and laugh at his future son's antics.
The boys continued to wrestle into the room with Lewis unsuccessfully trying to break from Wilbur's headlock.
Lewis could feel the static electricity build in his hair from the teenager's rubbing. Satisfied, Wilbur suddenly let go and the inventor's sooted hair stood up on end.
"Wilbur Robinson has accomplished the impossible." The mischievous boy rubbed the dirt off he gained from the inventor's hair and inspected his fingers for cleanliness.
"I made your hair spikier."
Wilbur succumbed to a fit of laughter as the other boy anxiously looked at his reflection in a nearby bust. Lewis has vexed by the spectacle that was now his hair and was so shocked he almost knocked the bust from its pillared perch. The blond carefully steadied the bust's abode and then turned to the other boy with a soured look on his face.
"You are so grounded!"
Dodging the inventor's grasp, Wilbur ran and the other chased. They found themselves running away from the entrance hall and into the expansive Robinson living room up the stairs. Like boys do, both played rough. Neither could deny they were laughing with delight at their sudden game of cat-and-mouse.
If a passing elder knew all they went through this morning, one would ask where they got the energy. They were lost in this game. Perhaps there was adrenaline still in their system? Perhaps it was the resilience this two young men had was greater than the average person.
All the two knew was that in these few, temporal moments, they could be themselves and act their age. To relax, they needed to forget the grim world outside these walls. The Robinson home seemed to immerse them in its protective embrace.
This game of tag and wrestle carried on the stars. Lewis almost caught Wilbur, but he easily wiggled himself from his captor. The playing stopped when finally Wilbur paused long enough for Lewis to catch him. Lewis was astounded. He actually caught up to the teenager? He should have known it wouldn't be that easy.
Wilbur's gaze was transfixed on something up ahead. Naturally, Lewis followed Wilbur's eyes.
The house looked fairly plain in the entrance of the household and the beginning portion of the expansive living room. Yet, once they entered further into the living room, the house had clearly changed for the worse. The grim world was not just outside. It was inside too.
It was Machiavelli.
A massive portrait of a man sat dominantly as the centerpiece of the room. The first thought that struck Wilbur was the man's pulchritude. Although an older and more refined taste, he rivaled Wilbur in his natural beauty. A sharp angular face with a sturdy looking body. He looked down at those below with a fiery gaze of wild, hazel eyes. He wore a conniving, sharp smile that served only to intimidate onlookers to a complete, mesmerizing submission. Like a fine wine, the man's appearance was one that seemed to better and distinguish with age as earlier portraits shown.
No longer were there any portraits of the family and their antics that ordained the walls. It was something else. Wilbur noticed something eerie and disturbing about all of them. All the pictures were of the family, not as a group or together, but each individually posed with Machiavelli.
The décor of the Robinson household only further venerated Machiavelli and his conquests.
Nothing could mitigate the presence of this man from the household. Why did he have to be absolutely everywhere?
"Where are you going?" Lewis saw that Wilbur suddenly seemed to be a man on a mission.
"We're getting some grub."
Wilbur knew that dinner was going to ready soon, but he was a teenager. He had nothing to eat all day, and he was famished from events earlier in the day. Besides, he needed to escape from the presence of Machiavelli. Wilbur assumed the kitchen wouldn't be nearly as bad.
"Aren't we going to wait until dinner is ready?"
The raven haired boy paid no heed to the wiser. His answer was continuing onward deeper into the Machiavellian infested household. Lewis signed, rolled his eyes, but tagged along.
Frankly, the bespectacled boy was thankful the answer was no. He was famished himself, and he wasn't about to argue if that meant he could have something in his stomach.
Wilbur noticed the architecture and layout of the house remained the same in this timeline. This meant that Machiavelli must have entered the equation only after the Robinson Mansion was built.
The hallways were filled with busts of Machiavelli. All were in different poses and different facial expressions. Compared to the living room, it was tolerable.
Lewis noticed the eyes of the busts sparkled.
"Wilbur." Lewis said uncertainly and went closer to him. He had a bad feeling about this. Were they watching them right now? Probably.
"Whoa, calm down, I'm hungry too."
Lewis gave Wilbur an angry look at his sarcastic response but his eyes lit up when they came to a door.
"Welcome to the Cook Brook."
The kitchen they stumbled into was small and humble. It had a theme of a wildlife creek. Underneath their feet, the floor itself, was a glass tank filled with life found in creeks and ponds. The crayfish were genetically altered as they appeared in every color one could possibly imagine. Lewis recognized that this wasn't a main kitchen of the household but rather a side kitchen. It looked more like the kitchen of a break room than anything.
"Have you had the famous Robinson meatloaf yet?" Wilbur asked him.
"No." The young Cornelius's curiosity was aroused.
"Come on, let's make some."
"What do we need?"
"I'll worry about the ingredients, Lew. You just concentrate on getting the stove and oven ready."
Wilbur felt his stomach's acid start to bubble up in an adolescent fury. He began going into the cabinet for some vital ingredients when he noticed the stuffing mix had an odd seal upon it. He took it out of the shelf and analyzed it.
Apparently Machiavelli Industries also controlled all the produce and food creation. Their logo was on everything.
"This is getting beyond ridiculous." Lewis pulled out a stirring spoon whose handle was a face of the recently risen dictator.
"Okay," Wilbur clearly looked disturbed now but regained his composure, "but let's not let that um, dissuade us." He cleared his throat, "Trust me, Lew. You'll love it."
"Even with all the differences from the old home to this home, we can still make the best of it." He went to open the fridge to get the other ingredients, "We just to keep moving forward. It is your motto after all, dad."
That's easy for you to say.
Lewis was confused by the futuristic stove; in particular, what to set the temperature as and how.
"Hey, so what's with the-"
Wilbur gasped, shrunk back, and Lewis followed. Out of the fridge Wilbur had just opened was a man with red hair, goggles, and a ray of some sort that clearly was loaded with an assortment of colors. On top of his head was half hat and half helicopter which allowed for the man to fly. It was Laszlo. He loomed ominously over the boys with the most peculiar expression on his face.
"I couldn't help but hear you two say," he whispered seriously, "you've noticed the future has changed?"
"Yes?" Lewis squeaked uncertainly at the aggressively poised question.
The artist let out a nasally laugh and in an equally nasally voice said. "Me too! So, I'm not crazy after all! Or rather, I'm not crazier than I am already."
"You didn't forget either." Wilbur was relieved there was at least one person in the family who was with them. Even if he just came out of a fridge.
"No, I didn't for some reason. I made an educated guess that it is this nifty thing-a-ma-jog." The talented yet eccentric artist pointed at a shiny object that was strapped around his waist.
"The time lock belt," Wilbur considered it, "not only does it prevent people from disappearing but it also lets the wearer keep their memories from their original timeline."
"Righty-o, Cherie-o. Although, it seems that regardless of the belt, you'd still exist in this particular timeline. Lucky you."
"So I have to be stuck wearing this ugly thing?"
Laszlo directed his attention to Lewis and smiled a warm, zany smile. Even though Laszlo's eyes were hidden behind thick, fashionable goggles, there was enough expression elsewhere for Lewis to tell the young artist was very excited to see him.
"Hey, I recognize you! It is really good to see you, kid Cornelius." He landed and vigorously shook the inventor's hand. "It has been a week and you haven't been home even one, measly time."
"I haven't been able to get around to snooping for the reason why."
"Cornelius is known as Lew now." Wilbur said. "Thought you should know."
"I'll keep it in mind." He then began to fly away. "I wish I could spent more time talking with you, Lew, but I-"
Laszlo stopped mid flight when he noticed the dejected face that little Cornelius put on seeing him go. The inventor tried to hide it, but Cornelius was an open book that way. He wasn't any different as a child in this regard.
How did Cornelius get here? Where was Carl? Didn't Wilbur learn from last time? The questions swirled in his mind like the colors of a surreal painting. No, Laszlo suspected something more sinister was happening. Both parties has so many questions for each other.
The artist really should be working on the newest portrait of Machiavelli. He already was late from his five minute lunch break. Yet he just couldn't leave the young version of Cornelius here. He had just been reunited with them; the flying man had been so lonely for the past week. There were no other people who seemed to remember the good times like himself. He thought he'd gone loony. That is, even more loony than usual for a Robinson.
He made his decision.
Machiavelli had enough portraits of himself to go around and then some.
The Robinson family was always there for each other in times of need. And, to Laszlo, it seemed the boys needed a guide. Someone to help get them situated to adapt to the darker world they had stumbled into.
"Lew, how about we take you to see Bud and Lucille?"
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Hello, everyone. I decided to study for the GRE (Graduate Record Examination) by incorporating some of the common words found in the GRE into this story.
These words will be underlined. You can use these words to study for the SAT too for those who are thinking of applying to college soon.