It's a long drive up to Canada to see Jackson's family, but Brian likes driving and Jackson doesn't like airport security (he doesn't have all the official stamps of approval he needs to avoid extra scrutiny for being a psion). They've recently crossed the border into Montana.
Daria and Mariam are walking in the park, arguing amiably about their latest job. There's some kind of shimmer in the air in front of them, but it's easily dismissed as just the setting sun playing tricks on them.
There's nothing to indicate the transition: one minute it's dusk in Central Park, the next midday by the side of a road somewhere.
"How did we...? where even is this? - someone's noticed us, maybe they know something?" She doesn't sound too confident of that, but waves at the slowing car.
"We were in New York? We are... obviously not in New York anymore."
Maybe they call necromancers that in Montana? "Both of us, but there's no way we could've done that, we're decades away from even the theoretical basis for anything that might've been. What's the date?"
"...sometimes I really hate being right. A minute ago for us it was October. The fifth, I think. Also not the middle of the day, it wouldn't have been this early in Montana even if you account for time zones."
"I don't know what you think we did but we didn't do it, it's impossible, I can't think where you'd even -"
"Daria," Mariam warns, in a tone that means priorities. "- what year is it?"
"Two thousand and fourteen," says Mariam slowly.
"Obama's President," she says, barely paying attention to the words. "Mariam, what if we try a call, I've got remains from people who aren't dead yet; that might tell us something. And then presumably contact - I don't even know who, we have information from eight years into the future - on second thought maybe do that first."
"Do you mind giving us a lift? We don't need to do a diagram or anything, we can do the call in the car, wait until we get somewhere with service." She turns to Daria, "do you remember what phone number you had eight years ago? Or mine?"
"Thanks," says Mariam, smiling automatically as she opens the door.
Daira reads a number out to Mariam, adding, "that was you before you got the new one, I'm almost certain that was before 2006."
After she's seated, she starts looking for something in the bottom of her bag. "Aren't you glad now that I 'always take my work with me'?" she teases.
"Yeah, yeah, you can be smug when it's actually helped, for all you know it just won't go through."