High school student Michael Harlan (John Stockwell) has been ignoring the fact that his science project needs to be done. As his due day looms, he decides to get something together and starts by searching a disused military dump for inspiration. There he finds a weird machine with a crystal orb and naively turns it on. It is a powerful device that belonged to aliens and is capable of warping time and even ending civilisation. Once switched on Michael and the other students in his year are sent back in time .