When Jeremy Solters and his sister Amanda are not going to Canoga Park High School (class of 2092 or so), they join their parents in trading in an alternate reality where the Roman Empire has endured into the late twenty-first century. They can do this because their reality has developed technology which allows travel between alternate realities so cheaply that apples from "alternates" are for sale at the local Safeway. Since traders in the Roman reality often travel as families, Jeremy's family stays together in a Roman city in present-day Romania as they peddle such items as pocket watches, straight razors, and mirrors--simple items, yet advanced beyond what the locals have--in exchange for grain to be transported home.
But things don't go as smoothly as planned. Jeremy's mom falls ill, and his father accompanies her home, leaving the kids on their own--and then, suddenly, entirely on their own as contact with their home universe breaks off. If that is not bad enough, they face an invading army, and pressure from local authorities to reveal the source of their wares.
This report prepared by Samantha S.