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765Continuum Sections 1-3

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  • Shane Stephenson
    Feb 22, 2005
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      Before 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.


      Era 1:
      Cretaceous Era

      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,
      Noone 1.

      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
      hadrosaur foot.

      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
      are tomorrow."

      "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.
      Martin disappeared...

      And Jon...

      And Rachel...

      And Kyle...

      And Noone...

      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
      my time."

      "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...

      Era 2:
      Cenozoic Era

      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
      ancient Rome.

      "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.