765Continuum Sections 1-3
- Feb 22, 2005Before I continue with my other story, I liked Rob's crit so much
that I decided to post this story as well. Let me just say first
that it's a longer chunk, but still not a complete story. It's
really only the first three chapters, and I doubt if I would call
them that. The first two sections are too short to be chapters, and
the third is incomplete. I really like the work I've done with this,
but I do have a problems with some parts. Just let me know what you
think. Oh, and it's told chronologically, not linearly. You'll see
what I mean.
New Mexico, March 1st, 75,345,645 B.C., 4:32 A.M.
The Dinosaur Stampede: Martin 2, Rachel 1, Kyle 1, Lex 1, Jon 2,
A massive herd of hadrosaurs were sleeping by the shores of the
Inland Sea. A pack of velociraptors was stalking them, but at the
moment they were sleeping as well. At the head of the herd, an old
hadrosaur was already awake. It was getting harder and harder for
her to stay asleep. Later that day, the raptors would make their
move, and she would be their meal. But that would be hours from now,
after the chaos had died down.
She didn't see it first. There was a cagey old male velociraptor who
was awake for different reasons. He, like the rest of his pack, was
hiding behind the vegetation. He was the first to see the strange
blue vortex. He looked at it with a curiosity that comes naturally
to all predators. It made him feel uneasy. It was neither prey nor
predator, and it was obviously not a plant. It was beyond his range
of comprehension, so he decided it was best not to act until he
understood it better.
The old hadrosaur saw it a split second after the raptor did. Her
eyesight wasn't what it used to be, otherwise she'd have seen it
first; she was closer. She decided right off it was a threat. She
loosed the first warning cry.
Suddenly the whole herd was awake, the warning cry repeating. Most
thought that the raptors had attacked (the leader, a middle-aged
male, had noticed them and rumors--insofar as dinosaurs could rumor--
had spread throughout the herd) and so they began running forward.
The rest of the herd was swept along with them, and eventually it was
a stampede. The rest of the raptors sprang awake. They saw the
stampede and a few of the young ones started rashly attacking, only
to be trampled. Most of the rest ran alongside the stampede, trying
to stay hidden. But the cagey old male, he just looked at the
vortex. He stayed back, and waited.
Martin Granger shot out of the vortex. He was propelled safely to
the left of the stampede. He rolled when he hit the ground, and
athletically tumbled up to a standing position. Not a second too
soon; he was six feet from falling down a steep slope to the water
below. He dusted off his shirt, and then stopped. Everything was
rumbling. He turned around to see the stampeding dinosaurs. He
jumped back in shock, stumbled on his feet, and landed on his
backside. It was not something the handsome football player was
normally known to do.
A black girl flew out from the other side a few seconds later. She
hit a tree and landed on the ground unconscious. Martin knew her.
She was his tutor's girlfriend, Rachel Freed. As if to think was to
summon, his tutor, Kyle Thompson, emerged from the vortex. He flew
forward along the herd, hit a dinosaur's back, and was flung onto
Martin's side. He landed unconscious, too, but the miracle was that
his glasses didn't come off until he landed. From the opposite end
as Kyle came Kyle's cousin, Alexandria Knight. Martin knew her
better than Kyle or Rachel; she was a cheerleader. A hadrosaur
knocked her unto Rachel's side, but she stayed conscious, and Martin
could see her starting to cry moments after she landed.
"Lex!" he cried, but at that moment a crisis began. Falling
unceremoniously out of the bottom of the vortex was John Vargas,
Martin's best friend. He tried to roll out of the way of the
hadrosaurs, but one nearly trampled him before Martin could pull him
Finally, a middle-aged man in a tweed suit shot out of the top of the
vortex. It disappeared from beneath him. He got about twenty feet
above the herd and dropped something into the stampede. He seemed to
recover unnaturally quickly, and he pushed a foot off a hadrosaur's
head and went into a triple flip landing on Lex and Rachel's side.
He turned and saw Martin and Jon.
"The box!" he said. "You must get it, before they trample it!"
Martin saw the box and started thinking about how he could try to get
it, but it was too late. As he looked, he saw it get crushed under a
The last of the herd ran past and the group met in the middle. The
middle-aged man, Mr. Noone, their history teacher, was carrying
Rachel. Kyle had woken up and walked with a slight limp to the
center. His glasses were a bit scratched, but otherwise fine. Noone
handed Rachel to Martin and knelt down. The box had split cleanly
into six equally sized pieces. That struck Kyle as weird, but not as
weird as everything else that had happened in the past hour.
"It's not hopeless," said Noone. "I can fix it."
"Umm..." said Kyle, "excuse me, but did what I think happened just
"You mean that you traveled back in time some 70 million years right
into the middle of a dinosaur stampede?" asked Noone. "Yeah, that's
about what happened."
"Oh, my head," said Rachel, as she woke up. Martin helped her to her
"Good, you're awake," said Noone. "Now I can explain things a bit.
The first thing you have to know is that I'm not what you think I am."
"Well, that's obvious," said Jon. "Your average history teacher
doesn't have a spaceship and a time machine in his basement."
Rachel, Kyle, and Lex looked at Jon with shock, but Martin didn't
seem surprised by the revelation.
"You two should not have been in my basement," said Noone. "I should
have you both arrested for breaking and entering. That is, if the
police existed yet."
"Look, we're sorry," said Martin, "but it's not like we were planning
on this to happen."
"What is going on?" asked Lex. "Where are we? When are we? How do
you have this thing?" She pointed at the pieces of the box as if it
were something disgusting.
"My name is not Noone. It's Harit. I'm...an alien. I'm an ensign
in the Galactic Federation Fleet, in service to the ship Jerith."
"Oh, great," said Jon. "We're stuck in the past with a nut."
"I'm not a nut," said Noone. "We were transporting the continuum
device--the time machine, if you will--and we were attacked. I
managed to escape to your planet with the device. But I was unable
to contact the Fleet. I had no choice but to assimilate to your
"You know, this makes sense," said Kyle. "Only an alien would think
the moon landing was a minor step."
"It is," said Noone. "Believe me. Now, I can put this device
together, but it's advanced technology even for my people. It will
take me at least six months."
"Six months?" said Martin. "You've got to be kidding me. Regionals
"Actually, regionals are about 70 million years from now," said
Noone. He picked up a piece and it started glowing. He looked at
the other pieces. They were glowing, too.
"Oh, no," said Noone.
"What now?" asked Lex.
"The device is still active," said Noone. "Each piece is capable of
operating independently, but they have to be put back together in
order for me to program them to a specific space/time. Separately,
they'll just keep jumping from time to time forever."
"That's bad," said Kyle.
"Not that bad," said Noone. "There are fail-safes. They'll never go
to the same time twice, they'll never go off this planet, they'll
never materialize in a place where there is something else already,
and they'll never stay in any place longer than a year. Also, this
was an extraordinary leap. Most will be within 2000 years of our
start time. Most likely it will be behind our start date." Suddenly
he stopped. "We're being hunted." He nodded subtly to his left.
Kyle glanced out of the corner of his eye and saw three velociraptors.
"Oh, god," said Lex.
"Everyone, take a piece," said Noone. "They'll go off in about
thirty seconds, but not at the same time. Try to outrun them that
long. Hopefully at some point we'll wind up in the same time and
place long enough to put the pieces together."
Everyone took a piece.
"Now, run," said Noone. They ran. The velociraptors broke cover.
And only Lex was left.
The old male raptor watched the odd creatures recover and talk. He
found them fascinating, but no real threat. They had only small,
ineffective claws and teeth, and no natural defense that he could
see. Still, he thought it better to wait for two others of his pack
before attacking. They ran out of the vegetation and as they chased
them, they disappeared one by one. Not to be beat by things he
didn't understand, the old male found an extra burst of speed. He
leaped at the last one left, attacked, and...
California, May 23, 64,234,433 B.C., 6:13 A.M.
Armageddon: Jon 15, Wellington 1
...they emerged, these two enemies, these two mortal foes, into the
ruin of a dying world. Wellington let go of the glowing piece in his
shock. Jon quickly pocketed it.
The sky was dark, the ground covered in ash. The sea was turbulent,
and the plants around them dead. Skeletons of great beasts lay on
the ground, and as they watched, a creature Jon recognized as a
tyrannosaurus rex looked at them with confused eyes as it fell.
Jon was a different person now then the boy who had stood beside the
Inland Sea over 11 million years earlier. He had experienced 10
years and had had a long, hard time of it. He wore now armor, as did
his foe, the red-haired Duke of Wellington. They both had swords
drawn and pointed at each other, but their quarrel was forgotten.
"I call a truce, Wellington," said Jon. "You can forfeit to me, and
I'll take you out of here and leave you in whatever time we land in,
where you must try to fit in and not change history, or I can leave
you here where you will starve."
"I can still win that magic device from you," said Wellington. "I'm
still the superior swordsman."
"I will admit to you, Wellington," said Jon, "that this device has
the power to transport us through time and space, and it has indeed
done so. But it cannot be controlled until all six pieces are put
together, and only one man in all of history can do that."
"Then take me with you!" said Wellington. "If you have a hope of
someday reuniting the pieces, take me with you. You can return me to
"Your treachery and deception know no bounds," said Jon. "What you
have done to me I can never forgive, and I can never trust you."
"All the more reason," said Wellington, "not to leave me somewhere
where I might damage history."
Jon thought this over, and nodded.
"Against my better judgment, I agree," said Jon. "You will come with
The piece began glowing.
"Thank god," said Jon, sheathing his sword. "My quickest jump yet.
Touch the piece."
Wellington sheathed his sword and touched the piece. The pair
disappeared, and the world went back to dying...
Montana, August 15, 30,020 B.C.
The Three Hunters: Lex 12, Noone 4, Martin 7
...they emerged in a vast plain. As they looked, they saw a herd of
mammoths graze. They also saw several other various animals, some
extinct, others not.
"Wow," said Lex. "It's beautiful."
"Yes, fascinating," said Noone. He took off his glasses and quickly
cleaned them. Martin looked at him. All three of them were dressed
in turn-of-the-century British clothes. Martin thought Noone looked
a bit like Sherlock Holmes. He was jealous. Noone had had a pretty
easy series of jumps, compared to him and Lex. They were especially
easy compared to Lex. In fact, so far, he'd picked up one of them in
each jump he'd done. He'd rationalized it by saying that he must
have picked up the central piece, and that it must draw the others to
it. It still made Martin jealous, especially after that disaster in
"About when do you think we are?" asked Martin.
"Well, I'm no archaeologist," said Noone, "but if I had to guess I'd
say sometime in the Paleolithic Era. There are humans in this time.
We must be in a warm period between ice ages."
"Not here," said Lex. "Look at this plain. It must be miles wide.
I don't see any sign of human involvement."
Martin looked at the scar on the side her face. He had wondered
about it ever since they were reunited. She hadn't explained, and he
hadn't pressed, but he thought he knew what it was.
"I'd venture to guess North America," said Noone. "Before the first
humans crossed the land bridge, or maybe just before they reached
this particular area."
"How long are we here?" asked Lex.
That was another thing that annoyed Martin. Noone could just look at
a piece that seemed unremarkable to Martin and guess how much time
they had until the next jump. He had explained that it involved his
ability to see beyond the human visual spectrum.
"Oh, my," said Noone. "It seems we're here for about 3 weeks."
"That means we'll have to hunt for food," said Martin. "God knows we
don't have enough among us to last that long."
"Right," said Noone. "We'll have to fashion spears. We'll need
rocks, and long pieces of wood, about--"
"I could just use this," said Lex. Noone and Martin looked over and
saw her draw a Japanese sword from its sheath. They knew about it,
but had forgotten about it.
"Oh, yeah!" said Martin. He drew a pistol. "I forgot I had this."
"No!" said Noone. "Our presence must be as antiseptic as possible.
Imagine if some archaeologist in the future were to discover our
kill, with evidence of a gunshot wound. No, I'm afraid we'll have to
do it the caveman way, or bust."
Martin and Lex looked at each other. So far, they hadn't been very
"OK," said Martin. "You're running this rodeo, so we'll do it your
way." He holstered his gun, and Lex sheathed her sword.