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And so it is about to happen again.....
Many people stop and wonder exactly what it is I mean by that. Just as well, many people don't remember the hell that happened the last time the occurred. Mainly for the fact that it was written out of history. Which hopefully will be the end product of this one as well.
Ok, ok. I'll stop being so vague. We are about to face a temporal gateway in but a few months. "What exactly is a temporal gateway?" you might ask. Without getting into the physics of it all, it is supposed to be something impossible. But it turned out that it wasn't. There are moments in time when time itself connects to other points of itself. I know that sounds confusing. It's not the easiest thing to explain. I don't even fully understand it. The easiest way to put it is a temporal gate is when our present meets the future. Or the future meets now. It's not fun.
To top it off, the last few times this has happened, there have been hostile forces that have come through to try to destroy our future. In the process of doing so, rewrite their history. Not exactly the best thing in the world a person could do. But they never seemed to care. Hopefully, this time, everything will be a bit quieter.
December 28, 2012
Here comes another chance for salvation.
Here I am, trapped on this battle scarred world. I may be one of the lucky 5% that has survived to the age of 21, but I really don't feel all that lucky. I feel more like I have been damned to live on this world. But that is going to change. I can feel it. Something is going to happen. I heard about something the other day. Something called a temporal gateway. A second chance, that's what I call it. A second chance to save my family from disaster. Only one thing stands in my way. Those damn robots. I'll find a way past them though. Teach them who is who. If for some strange reason my wife is reading this, I love you my dear. I just pray I make it back to you.
December 28, 2612
Chapter 1 : Here we go again
January 3, 2013
I honestly thought I'd never have to keep one of these journals again. Silly me. Let's see...may as well put my new introduction at the beginning here eh? Hi, I'm Adam. I've been assigned the task of chronicling everything that happens to one of my friends. It's a really long story. You see, my friend Peter is a hero. Well, most people just don't know it yet. Peter is a hero in the future. Though from what I've seen, he's done a rather damn good job even now. Let me put it this way. You ever seen the movie "Terminator"? Big huge robots come to kill someone because they were a war hero in the future. Well something no one ever thought of when they made that movie was that it could possibly happen. It did. I just wish I wasn't involved. But as it so happens, I was. There are benefits though. All the guns I want. My own bodyguard...kinda. Pete is as good a bodyguard anyone could want...except he is typically the main target. And I get to travel through time. Yes, I get to time travel.
Ok....better explain this one too. There was something designed in the future. Something called a T.T.S. That stands for Temporal Travel System. It is basically a rather unique machine that is linked to a particular point in their past. That point shifts one second for every second that passes there. Translation into English. It can send someone exactly 300 years back in time. Don't ask me how this works. I've asked. All I ever got was some garble about this and that. None of it ever sounded like an answer, so I just figured no one there even really knows, they just guessed and got lucky. Now, the neater thing is that they have created smaller versions of this T.T.S. called T.T.D.'s. The 'D' stands for device. Are they technical in the future or what? It basically can send someone either direction in time, depending where they are. If they are in the time when the T.T.S. is present, my future, then you can only go backward in time. If you are in the time when people are still trying to figure out if time travel is possible at all, my present, you can only go forward. So basically, you are stuck between those two time periods. Not that I'm complaining. I'm one of the few people in the world that can say I've been to the future. Nice place to visit, but as they say, I DEFINATELY wouldn't want to live there.
Something that’s really strange is that here I am writing these books now, and I go into the future, and they are labeled as History. What's even more strange is the fact that each book isn't in the files in the future until after I finish writing it. When I asked about it, they said that history isn't written until it is actually written. Weird.
Not that that ever really bothered me much. I find it rather interesting being one of the few people that has ever time traveled. There were at one time quite a large group of us. But, because of some problems and a few deaths...well, a lot of deaths actually, the group has really been limited.
We survivors are still trying to save our future and the futures past from total destruction. Well, most of us are. I just tend to write things that are happening as they happen. It's my job.
First their is James K. James is our science major. Damn good at Physics that man is. He has studied so many different sciences it's a wonder that mans head doesn't explode from the amount of information that goes in there. He's even studied some that I never knew existed.
Next, is Mike L. Mike is our advisor. That man is just way too insightful. Mike seems to know just how to get out of a situation twenty minutes before we even get into it. I don't know how he does it...but I'd like to.
Then, we have Will S. It's kind of hard to explain Will. He's more humor than anything else. Not to say he's useless. That man can fire a laser rifle with the best of them. We sometimes wonder if the stress of time travel had sent him over the edge. But in truth, he was nuts before he ever traveled through time.
Next there's me. I'm just the record keeper. That's about it. I write what happens. That doesn't mean that I don't fight. I just have a severe aversion to risking my life. That's why I have Pete.
Peter R. is that man that future history supposedly says is the savior of the human race. How they know this, considering that history isn't written until it is written, it's beyond me. But hell, the man has survived for years now and seems to be fit to be a hero. But then of course, who knows. We all have to meet an end someday.
That's all of us. The whole troupe. There were a few more of us. But most of them died a short while back. It’s kind of sad, but it’s a part of the job. Just to list a few, there was Kevin M. A good man. Really tall, and really knew what he was doing. He was caught unaware one evening by a damn robot. Kev was to busy watching basketball. Damn that sport. Also, there was Danielle C. Dani was my wife. We were fighting in the present to make our future better together. She died while on duty during a war in the future. I though about leaving her a message so she wouldn’t get killed when she was there, but I figure that it would have happened one way or the other. Damn it. There were others but none anywhere near as important as Dani in my opinion.
So, that for the most part brings us up to the present. Well, my present at the very least. Man does it figure that I would have to be keeping one of these journals again. That basically comes down to the fact that this means I’m going to have lasers shot at me again in the near future. That’s not exactly my idea of a party. But hell, it’s a living. Even though maybe a forced one.
So, now all we basically do is sit back and wait. I received a letter through the Time Stream yesterday. It told me to start recording everything down again. It’s time for the present to get exciting again. That’s never actually a good thing. Why couldn’t they send me a letter some day just asking something nice, like how’s the weather back now or something? Not like they don’t already know what the weather is like right now. But at least it would be nicer than only getting letters when all hell is about to break loose.
So, now I just sit and wait.
January 5, 2013
Well, I’ve got good news and bad news. Which to give first. Ah hell. The good news first so you can walk away pissed off later. The entire team is all prepared for whatever is coming. Each one of us got a letter telling us to get ready. And here I thought I was the only special one. Ah well, we all can’t be saviors of the world now can we. Wait a sec...well, maybe we can be. Anyway. On to the bad news.
Not a single one of us were told what we can expect. That’s highly unusual. Nine times out of ten, someone, Pete at the very least, gets a message explaining what’s about to happen. So, considering that someone must have screwed up, Pete brought out the T.T.D.’s. We’re going to be taking a little trip tomorrow.
I kind of miss time travel now that I think about it. It is one hell of a rush. Let me explain. When you begin traveling through time by activating the device, your whole world goes black. You seem as if you are standing in empty space. Nothing around you. Not even light. You have the feeling of motion, but you can’t tell if you are moving anywhere or not. As well, you experience the feeling of falling at he same time as moving forward. It’s a rather eerie feeling. Then, as if that wasn’t enough, just to top it off, just before you finish your time travel and emerge into your destination, you have this feeling as if someone has taken exceptionally long needles, put them in fire until they were red hot, and then shoved them completely through your body. This feeling happens all over your body. Like I said, it’s a rush.
Man, tomorrow is going to suck.
January 6, 2013
Well, we all met today at the Steak and Shake. Man I can’t believe that place has been around for so long. I guess people will keep around fast food, even if it is rather disgusting tasting. But anyway, it was good to see everyone again. It was also kind of weird, because after we had our meal, we all drove to a more secluded area. Then we got prepared. Pete opened the trunk of his car. I swear to God this man keeps enough laser guns on him to supply a third world countries army. So anyway, Pete starts passing these guns out to everyone, each person getting at least two rather nice looking pistols, except for me. I get stuck with this one little gun. Only one! According to Pete, he says there really shouldn’t be a need for me to carry a larger weapon. I’m just supposed to do the writing. So I reminded him of the time that I had to save his butt. He handed me a bigger gun then.
So, after everyone got suited up for the apocalypse, Pete handed out the T.T.D.’s. They are really nice little hand held devices that are really no larger than a Present day pager. Well, my Present day at least. Ok fine, they are friggen small all right? There, now that that’s settled. Pete handed one to each of us and made sure we still knew how they worked...like we were going to forget something so damn important. Then Will spoke up and asked what the green light was for. Figures.
After Pete went through and explained everything to Will, we moved out into the middle of a corn field. Not like the field was going to do anything to hide us in the middle of winter, but we were less likely to be noticed there then in the middle of the restaurant.
We all made sure we had the right destination location, then activated our T.T.D.’s. Some day’s I love this job.
January 6, 2313
Ah yes, the future. Lord what a place. Not to say that it’s a bad place or anything, but I’m getting to know it far to well for someone from my time. We arrived in this chamber that seemed to be made of a metal that we don’t have in my normal Present. From my own studies, it’s called Tritanium. I guess whoever designed it didn’t have a big imagination when it came to names.
The chamber was the usual place that we aimed for when we came to the future. It put us in the safest place on the known world for humans, directly in the rebels main fortress. In fact, this chamber was made specifically for us. This way we didn’t ever have to worry about accidentally sending someone back in time because they were standing at the spot where we were coming in.
Upon our arrival, Mike made his way over straight to the computer. Jim and Pete said they’d be back, they were going to go get someone that could explain what was going on. Will just stood around and stared at everything. I went over by Mike.
Mike was searching databases for dates in history when major temporal displacements happened. It only took him a short while to come up with a few things. And by the time that he finally started to voice such, Pete arrived with Jim and some guy.
This guy was wearing a lab coat and looked like a total geek. Those are usually the people that tend to know what’s going on.
“Found somebody that knows at least a little about what’s up.” chimed in Pete.
“Who’s the dork?” then asked Will.
The geeky guy smiled a slight bit at this, “M’names David. Temporal Physicist.”
“Yup. He’s a dork.” then said Will.
Pete shot him a glance that could almost kill. Jim just chuckled.
David then started in on what was going on as far as he knew.
To make a VERY long story short, there’s supposedly going to be some temporal gateway or something or other. I guess this is a common occurrence...though I never heard of it. Pretty common eh? Anyway, it would seem that the folk of the future...my future...are afraid that the robots are going to take advantage of this gateway and yet once again attempt to annihilate the past, my present. Man, you’d think they would come up with something original by now.
This seemed to settle just fine with most of the bunch. Mike and Pete took it all in stride. Will still looked like he didn’t ever really know what was going on...but that’s normal. Jim on the other hand didn’t seem to like the idea of this at all.
“But I thought a free standing gateway was impossible.” asked Jim.
“Oh Lord....dork speak....great.” Will quipped.
This actually drew a chuckle from Pete.
“It’s actually possible within a certain set of conditions.” David told Jim.
“All right. And what conditions have to be met?”
“In simplicity, the time stream has to actually collapse upon itself at the same moment as a flux runs through it.”
They lost me right at that point.
“Flux??” I had to ask.
Both David and Jim looked at me as if I was an idiot.
“A moment in time when it has to ripple to maintain consistency.” Jim explained. “The old catch phrase a Wrinkle in Time.”
“An excellent piece of old literature I must say.” added in David.
“Time does this once in a while for the hell of it.” popped in Mike.
I basically ignored the rest of the conversation from then on.
We were told that our usual chambers would be set up for us to stay the evening. We were quite glad about that. They’re great rooms.
January 7, 2313
You know, the only thing I would change about the future is that I would have women swarming around us. You know, like the classic cheesy horror film where you have to go and save the beautiful blonde with huge bumpers from the ravenous monster? Why can’t reality ever be like that? Not that my mind is on anyone other than my dearly departed Dani.
You know, while I’m dreaming...I’d like a pony.
We rested quite well. The beds here are quite nice...rather fluffy. I didn’t really want to wake up, but when I finally did, the only person in the room other than me was Will. Snoring loudly like usual. I woke him up and got the usual blank stare from him that told me the lights were on, but no one was home. How typical.
“Will, where’d everyone go?” I asked him.
“Huh?” was all I got out of him before the door opened and Pete walked in, fully suited up in some rather nifty gear. All cybertronic and stuff.
“Man I miss this.” Said Pete as he came in and sat down on the bed. “I miss the feeling of being a walking death machine.”
“Would you kindly use another term instead of machine?” Mike remarked as he was coming in behind Pete, James in tow behind him.
“Yeah,” Will piped in now starting to finally wake up, “How about more like a robot trained to kill?”
Mike and James glared at him for that one.
“What? What I say?”
Pete just chuckled. “Well it sounds like this one is going to be no big deal. At least not like they made it sound when we first got here. Some rift is going to open in the time stream, and we just make sure nothing goes into it or comes out of it until it closes.”
“Yeah,” James said solemnly, “No big deal. Just like when the T.T.D.’s malfunctioned and we got blown all across the time stream.”
Then Mike added, “Or when we had to find Dani and bring her back from the future and it ended up being her that had to come and save our butts.”
Then Will had to add his bright comment, “Or when you ordered pizza for all of us and then remembered that you were out of money so we all had to pay for it.”
We all just looked at Will and broke into laughter.
“What I say?”
It’s not that Will is a stupid guy, because he’s rather bright. It’s just he has his moments. Mornings are definitely one of those moments.
After our good laugh that we all needed, we headed out to the briefing room. Supposedly Pete had been given many of the details as to what was going on while I was still asleep. Figures I never get told anything. I’m just supposed to write everything that I see down. Ah well, no one ever sad a writers life was easy.
In there, we were told basically exactly what Pete had said to us. Guard this portal. I was just curious as to why we were put on guard duty in stead of something serious. But do I open my mouth? Hell no...so I told Will to ask.
After about a twenty minute conversation that was mainly directed at Will as to why we were so important in this task, we finally got suited up.
Pete already had his High Range Narrow Beamed Super Charged Laser Rifle, his Ultra Light Super Thin Mega Protectant Suit, and his Long Range Infrared Optic Contacts. He looked really cool.
Mike, James and Will were handed a set of the same items to put on and loaded up.
I, on the other hand, was handed a mini laser pistol and a small flak jacket that looked like it would barely fit a child. How typical. Protect the guy that’s supposed to save the world. To hell with the journalist.
We were told that the first signs of this ripple would be noticed in the past and that we were to head there as soon as possible. We were also given the location of where this rift was guestimated to appear. Right in the middle of the Louis Joliet Mall. This is so not going to be fun anymore....
January 7, 2013
Ah yes, how I do so love the feeling of freezing and burning flesh. The red hot pokers are the best part of the whole thing too.
We returned to the present, my present, back in the same field we left from. It’s a wonder that the farmer never notices the patch of ground that never has any snow on it or that crops just always up and vanish from.
“So when is this thing supposed to start?” asked Will.
“Twenty-four hours at the most.” James said.
“And has anyone thought about how we are going to be in the mall past closing time?” Will then asked.
“Well...ummmm...” James didn’t seem to have the answer.
“We will hide?” I attempted to contribute to the conversation.
“How about we just go in and I flash the security badges I was given...” Pete then said with a smile.
“When did you get those?” James asked in surprise.
“Oh....I just did a bit of sweet talking as we were heading to the transport site.”
Pete always gets the cool stuff. Damn it.
We made our way over to the mall and hung out for a while. Our weapons tucked nicely under trench coats. The larger weapons are collapsible for easier transport. We sat around, played at the arcade, went got food. Basically just a simple day at the mall.
Finally closing time came around. We were sitting in the Food Court when the security came around and told us we had to leave. Pete showed them our badges and explained to them that we were here on a special assignment. Rent-A-Cops aren’t paid to be intelligent I guess, for the left us alone after that.
We decided to crash out there in the food court. I had third watch.
January 8, 2013
All right, this is not the way I wanted to wake up.
I woke up to Will shouting incoherently. In other words, common Will speak for there’s something happening.
Over in the distance, there is a strange blue shimmering light. It’s really rather odd looking. It’s a cross between light reflecting off of water, and some ephemeral spirit screwing with our minds.
Everyone else was awake just as quick as I was, and Pete had his gun out faster than lightning.
“What do we do now?” James asked Pete.
Well, THERE’S profound words for you...
So that’s exactly what we did. We sat and waited. And waited. And waited even more.
All right, it’s been 10 damn minutes and nothing is...Oh wow...something just came through the portal.
Well, it’s not exactly through it. The portal is more assembling him. It’s like that old movie TRON. There’s a grid pattern that looks like it’s human. It’s filling in a line at a time. Heh...they need a faster processor. Pete leveled his gun and prepared to fire.
What ever it is, it is definitely human...or human looking. When it finally filled in completely, the human looking thing dropped to the floor, limp.
“Shoot the damn thing!” yelled Will.
“No, wait. I have an odd feeling about this.” said Pete.
The thing on the floor took in a huge breath as if it were breathing for the first time.
“When am I?” It asked.
Being fully used to this kind of question, Pete just responded, “The Year 2013.”
“I made it.” was all it said before collapsing in unconsciousness.
We all looked at each other as if silently asking, “What the hell?”
It was then that another grid pattern formed. Then three more next to it. And then, in a split second, the entire Food Court was filled with grid patterns.
“Oh shit.” was all Pete could say.
Pete tried shooting at the grid patterns. I will admit that the sheer amount of damage the laser blast made in the building was really cool, but it didn’t accomplish what it was intended for. The laser past through the pattern as if it didn’t even exist there. Even when Pete shot at the parts that were already formed, it passed right through.
“Bloody hell.” Pete took a moments pause to quip.
A quick scan of the surrounding area showed around two hundred of these grids forming. And that was just in the food court. From the looks of it, there were more forming in the mall proper. Hmmm...two hundred plus against five. We’ve faced worse odds.
It took about three minutes for these things to form completely. They were definitely metal. More robots from the future. Everyone opened fire as soon as they formed completely. So did they. I myself decided to just sit here behind a fake plastic tree and pray not to get hit in the cross fire.
I must say, I’ve never seen the mall so well lit up before. Lasers fired from guns come out in so many different colors. I swear the people that designed these things wanted to look good while killing things.
I lost sight of most of the group as soon as I ducked behind this tree, so I don’t know exactly what’s going on, but from the sounds of it, it’s World War IV all over again.
I could hear the shouts of Pete yelling something about left and such, but I have no clue what he meant by it.
That, mixed with the varied shouts of Woohoo coming out of Wills mouth, and the sounds of lasers firing, made for quite a lot of noise. Then I heard something that made me worry. I heard the sound of Mike saying Damn it. That’s never good.
I dared to take a peek out around the tree to see what bloody carnage was taking place.
I couldn’t believe my eyes. Pete was wrestling with one of the robots. Wrestling! James wasn’t anywhere to be seen. Will was firing away at more robots. It seems that they cleared out the food court rather well, but more were flooding in from the mall proper itself.
Then I saw Mike. Ye Gods what a sight to see. Mike was firing his laser with one hand, while the other...well...there wasn’t another hand to be seen. Nor an elbow, or arm for that matter. But Mike continued on firing away as if he never had an arm there to begin with.
Then James came into view. He came leaping down from the ceiling of the food court to land atop the robot Pete was wrestling with. It was like watching WWF up close and in person. Pete looked at James.
“I coulda taken him.”
“Yeah....sure.” was all James said before turning to fire at more robots as they came flooding in to the Food Court.
It was shortly after that when the robots stopped coming in from the mall itself. We could still hear them out there, but no more were coming into the food court. Then we heard the heavy footfalls of a large robot coming around the corner.
This thing barely fit in the mall itself. It must have been about twelve feet tall. The sheer amount of metal that this thing was made out of must have weighed a couple of tons.
Pete didn’t even wait until it came into full view before opening fire. But two shots later, he noticed the odd pink bubble that came into view just as a laser hit it. Damn thing has some form of shield.
“God, this is turning out to be one bitch of a day.” Pete then said.
“HUMAN.” came a rather robotlike voice.
“Holy crap,” said Will, “The bastard talks.”
“I AM THE ALTERNATE EXTERNAL NETWORK EXECUTIVE INTELLIGENCE DIRECTOR. OR AENEID FOR SHORT.” It said.
“Heh..and it even has a name. How cute.” said James.
“CEASE RESISTANCE. WE SHALL MAKE YOUR DEATHS SWIFT.”
“Well, isn’t that comforting to know.” said Pete. “Kill it.”
So once again, the laser fire started up. The damn things shields kept holding though. Nothing would get past it. Pete even tried some kind of grenade. But that didn’t really seem to do it either.
“BEGINING DESTRUCTION SEQUENCE SEVEN. SIX TARGETS SIGHTED. ACTIVATE LASER SPRAY.”
Next thing I know, I’m being launched across the Food Court by some blast that came from this thing. I ended up landing right next to the unconscious man...or man thing.
Within moments, Pete and crew ended up next to me, everyone having smoke rise off their body but seeming no worse for the wear.
“Hell, in over four hundred battles, I’ve never seen anything like this.” Pete said. “Time to retreat and regroup.”
I’ve never heard those words come out of Pete’s mouth before. I was shocked. Pete pulled out his TTD and a spare one that he placed on the man next to me. He pressed the button for the man and the man vanished into the time stream. Temportal. I like that word. That’s what I’m going to call it from now on. Temportal. Heh...history in the making.
“Time to go.” Pete said. We then bailed out into the Temportal, headed to our future and see what the hell we can do to stop this thing.
Chapter 2 : Future Problems
January 8, 2313
All right, this is so not cool. We get here to the future and it’s not what it used to be. Nothing is right at all. The chamber that we normally appear in was completely destroyed. It looked like an atomic bomb went off down here.
We explored further into the Rebel complex. The entire place was trashed. Pete had the other person-thing slung across his shoulders as we walked.
“What the hell happened here?” asked Pete.
“I think I may have an idea.” chimed in Mike. “We left the year 2013 in a state that the robots were still around in. This is the first time we have ever done such. Maybe the idea that they are still around then is enough to alter the future until we return to fix the problem.”
“Yeah,” added in James, “Either that, or we fail in saving the future.”
Everyone stopped walking and looked at James. He just shrugged.
“Is someone in there?” Came a voice from down the rubble strewn hall.
Pete whipped his gun up so quickly that he dropped the person on his shoulders to the ground.
Pete looked down for a second, “Oops.”
“Hello? Someone down there?” Came the voice again, a bit closer then last time.
Pete motioned us back a bit. We gladly obliged him.
A figure came into view in the dim lighting of the hall. It was a man, maybe 30 years old from the looks of it.
Pete fired a warning shot near him.
“Holy shit!” The man shouted, then he hit the ground. “Don’t kill me! I’ll go back to the slave camp! Please don’t kill me!”
“Quiet.” Pete said rather calmly.
The man quieted down instantly.
“Who are you?” Pete then asked.
“Dan. Dan is my name. Human breed 16. Serial number 8-6S52-9E. Slave camp 712. Shift...”
“Jesus Christ, enough already.”
“So you’re human.”
The rest of us just stayed silent.
“What the fuck happened around here?”
Dan just looked up a bit, “Huh?”
Pete looked at him, “Here. What Happened. Destruction. Understand?”
It was Will who then spoke up, “Uh, hey Mike? Have you been missing an arm for very long or am I just the last to notice?”
This managed to even distract Pete from Dan for a moment.
Mike just looked at us all and then broke into a half grin, half grimace.
“Well, to tell you the truth, my arm wasn’t really there anyway. It was a synthetic limb created in a lab.”
“You mean it was a fake arm?” asked Will.
“Yes Will. Synthetic means fake.” Pete responded, “But what I want to know, was how did it look and move like a normal one.”
“That’s a long story. One for a time when we didn’t have someone else around and a paradox of time to deal with.”
Pete thought about this for a few short seconds, nodded his head and turned back to Mr. 8-6S52-9E. “So Dan…you mentioned slave camps.”
Dan nodded at this.
“And who would run these slave camps?”
Dan suddenly looked extremely uneasy, as if he could actually look any more uneasy than he already had. “Them.”
“Oh now THERE’S a fine answer.” Piped in James. “Them. That’s it? Them?”
Dan just nodded his head slightly.
“Do you know how cliché that sounds? Like right out of a bad movie. A really bad one.”
We all just looked at James at that moment. Will was the one that broke the silence.
“And a bunch of robots, hell bent on the destruction of the world, trying to enslave the entire human race, while a group of people race through time trying to stop them isn’t?”
“Ok. I’ll shut up now.” Was all James could say.
Pete turned back to Dan then, “So, the camps are run by Them. Ok. Who are these…Them?”
Dan just shook his head a slight bit, “No one is really sure. Only one person has ever seen Them. And they carry the scars that show how very horrible things could be if we did not obey Them.”
“And whom is this person that actually gets to see them?” James asked.
“She’s back at camp number 6.”
Pete thought for a moment. He then looked over everyone, then nodded to himself as if having some internal conversation that we weren’t allowed to know about.
“Alright then.” He said, “Take us there.”
* * *
It was a bit of a walk. Enough of one that I figured I figured I’d leave off writing for a bit. What can I say, my hand gets tired too. But I should at least mention the conversation that we had with Mike while wandering this desolate area of ruined buildings.
We made Dan walk a bit ahead of us. Surprisingly, he didn’t complain. Then, of course, he probably thought we were there to try to save him. But I knew Pete. We were going there to find out what the hell happened to the world we knew. If we save Dan and such in the process, well, I guess that would just be a bonus.
But here I’m straying from what I wanted to mention. Mike.
Man, how to say it. Well, I guess right as it was told would be the best way to do this.
After we started walking for a bit in silence, Pete finally spoke up and asked Mike what he meant about his arm. Mike went through a rather large story. I’ll recap what my memory will allow.
“My first memory occurred October 13th in the year 1988. It was of seeing my mother and father. But the memory doesn’t fit with what I know now. The memory had always seemed to me like something was missing. I mean aside from the fact that a large portion of my life’s memories were missing.
For some strange reason, I never really cared that my life seemed to start so late. It always felt to me that this was how things worked. That this was right for me. This was my place in the world. I never really understood, but I was blissfully ignorant.
Then, on the evening of March 5th 1994, something in my head just snapped. I’d love to be able to say what it is that changed, but even I don’t know. Finally I had decided that things weren’t right, that something was missing. I had to know.
I started researching my past. I tried looking into my birth records. There were none. I snuck around my parents’ room looking for paperwork. Looking for anything at all that would give me a clue. The only thing I had found was a small business card with a phone number and a date on it. October 13th 1988.
So I committed the number to memory, snuck out and called from a pay phone. It was disconnected. Yet another wall I had run into. So I decided to be a bit more aggressive about this. I went onto the internet and tried to find out if there was any information about this old disconnected number, but there was nothing readily available. It was then that I learned how to hack into computers.
I figured if anyone would have a record of this number, it would be the phone company. It didn’t take much for me to learn how to break through their security. I have always been able to understand computers.
The number ended up being owned by a company names Orion’s Star. This was my next problem. Orion’s Star had no registry anywhere at all. I couldn’t find a single thing about them anywhere. It took me a good year to finally discover one single mention of this business, and that came when I decided to see if I could hack into a few secure government servers.
I came across a few archived e-mails and documents that were talking about the Orion’s Star Project. Obviously, this intrigued me. I started digging through the e-mails to see what I could find about it. In them, I found references to my parents. As well, the e-mails mentioned something about a cyborg. A creation of half man, half machine, that thought and acted like a human.
Of course it wasn’t to hard to discover whom this cyborg was. I was the first real artificial intelligence that could walk, talk, and think on it’s own. The difference between me and those machines we’re fighting is that I was given morals. They, on the other hand, weren’t.”
Needless to say, this was a whole ton of information to have to take in about a guy that I have known for quite a few years now. James seemed to take it all in stride Pete wasn’t so accepting though, but he let it go…for now. After that, the proverbial shit hit the fan, so I never got to hear anything further.
We had almost made it to the slave camp, or so Dan was saying, as the sound of some rather large chain gun exploded in our ears. We had no time to react what-so-ever. If the situation weren’t so serious, I would have thought the look on James’ face would have been rather funny, considering he just got covered in Dan’s blood.
Dan had a fair number of holes in his body with blood streaming out of them. Somehow, he still managed to stand…and talk.
“Well that sucked.”
He then dropped to the ground dead.
Pete slowly stepped forward, gun in hand, to attempt to figure out where the gunfire came from. He scanned the area, peering into every dark area of the rubble around us. His gaze finally settled upon Dan, lying there on the ground.
“Well?” Asked Will.
Pete stood there for a few moments, “Trip wire..”
“You mean to tell me that I have to clean all this damn blood off me because this idiot couldn’t pay attention to where he was walking?!” James then said, a look of intense frustration on his face.
You see, death is something we have come to accept lately. It was a natural order of things, especially in this war torn period of time. Granted, Dan was going to help us, but shit happens you know?
“So now what?” Will asked.
Mike was the one that answered this time, “We do something that could be extremely dangerous.”
“We go back and finish the fight that we were losing.”
This had me a bit perplexed.
“Are you suggesting we head back to our present? That we go back and fight that AENEID thing?”
Mike looked at me, “We don’t know where we are. We don’t know what happened. But, before we do that, I suggest we head back to the base and check up on our stranger. They may have some answers.”
What a good record keeper I am…I completely forgot about the unconscious man.
We headed back to the base in silence this time, no one saying a word as we passed through the same place that we had traveled not twenty minutes ago.
Arriving back at Base, we discovered the man that we left there had regained consciousness.
He looked up at us as we came in, “So the rumors are true.”
“And what rumor would that be?” asked Pete.
“You and your team really did exist. You weren’t just a story told to children to give them hope for their future.”
“What the hell are you talking about?”
“Why don’t I start like this, my name is Christopher. I’m from the year 2613. I’m here to try to set things right. Then, of course, I didn’t know that you guys were real, and figured no one was trying.”