Foggy Town © Olgierd Rudak/Flickr
“Remember, stay in the compartment under the truck’s bed until you’re past the last checkpoint and Franciszek gives you the signal. If the truck is stopped, do not make a sound or the soldiers will shoot you both.”
Dominik Zheutlin was peering up at the member of the Fighting Solidarity movement. Normally, they didn’t take these kinds of risks, but getting him out of Poland was a vital.
“Dzieki*. You don’t know what this means to me.”
” I know in the West you’ll find a way to free the world, Dr. Zheutlin. Good luck.”
The final board was placed over the defector. A nod to Franciszek told him it was time to depart for the German border. The resistance movement was counting on Zheutlin developing something that would finally defeat the Communists by changing history. Zheutlin was the only man in the world who could build a time machine.
I’m writing this for the What Pegman Saw writing challenge. Today, Pegman takes us to Wroclaw, Poland. The idea is to use Google maps images of the location as the inspiration for crafting a piece of flash fiction no more than 150 words long. My word count is exactly 149.
I’m leveraging some information from a story series I’m writing as an homage to the works of science fiction writer Andre Norton (Actually her name was Alice Mary Norton). One of my characters is a historian and linguist named Aiyana Zheutlin. In 2017, she’s in her early 30s and works for Project Retrograde, an American time travel operation attempting to find and correct the historical causes of climate change (the most recent story as of this writing is Nereid).
Her father was Polish and her mother was English. In her original timeline, the Soviet Union still existed in 2017 and her father defected from Poland a few years before 1985. He didn’t invent time travel in my actual storyline, that was another defector, but I had fun merging those two histories.
When I looked up Wroclaw, I found out an anti-Communist movement called “Fighting Solidarity” was founded there in 1982. They primarily fought the communists through disseminating information, but in this case, I gave them the opportunity to occasionally help defectors escape from behind the Iron Curtain.
To read more stories based on the prompt, go to InLinkz.com.
Image: BBC News
“So you want to know why I saved your life in the Ice Age, Murdock? It started out so simply. My men were engaged with the invading Forerunners. Months ago, one of our technicians accidentally activated some sort of transmission device on the spaceship. Apparently it emitted a signal that can travel faster than light, assuming the Forerunners who arrived came from outside our solar system.
“The invasion force hit without warning, repelling down through the opening above the spaceship’s chamber. I was the only one to get out in time. I planned to use you as a bargaining chip. I knew that our scientists had developed the time gate by studying portions of the alien technology we had recovered years ago from the first site in Siberia. I knew the Forerunners might follow us into the Bronze Age.
“I planned to defect. I was going to use you to negotiate with your people, secure safe passage on your submarine back to your base, and then return with you back to the present. I know where other spaceships are in the past, Murdock. I know of at least one in the Americas. I would have helped you find it, even before the Forerunners linked us telepathically.
“Why did you hit me and run? We could have escaped together. Didn’t you sense my thoughts, understand my intent? You understood the alien. Why didn’t you understand me? Why didn’t you save me like I tried to save you?”
An enhanced color view from NASA’s Galileo spacecraft shows an intricate pattern of linear fractures on the icy surface of Jupiter’s moon Europa.
The four time travelers who had become reluctant astronauts aboard an alien spacecraft now sat at their stations in that ship awaiting takeoff.
Ross Murdock activated the manual control panel in front of him and opened the large hatch that had been covering the landing bay exposing the ship to space. The tube connecting their Forerunner ship to the interior of the Ceres Forerunner base had been retracted and, as a flight director at NASA might put it, “all systems were go” for their launch and mission to Europa.
Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLA/MPS/DLR/IDA
Travis Fox stood with a security team as he witnessed the wonderful and horrible miracle of the Forerunner spaceship launching from the surface of the Earth.
While Ashe and Murdock were in the past supervising the preparations for the ship’s time jump, Travis reluctantly agreed to remain in the present. He couldn’t stay away from home too long without his wife Cassie, his uncle Wendell, and even his three small children wondering what he was really up to.
The project managed to find an alternate source of water to keep Wendell from having the ranch hands at the Double A drive the herd to the Canyon of the Moon and discovering Folsom Base. Travis had even gone home for a week to show everyone he was fine and to reinforce his cover story that he was helping an old teacher of his with an archaeological dig.
Fox managed to convince his family that he needed to return to the dig, but in fact, for the past two days, he was at this end of the large time gate waiting for the culmination of the mission; bringing an alien spacecraft forward in time 10,000 years.
When the ship materialized in the field, he almost expected Major Kelgarries and his troops to break out champagne but they were all business. There were cheers when the ship appeared and the temporal field was extinguished, but they were short-lived.
A Mixed Bag 2009
The tall man with white hair wearing a conservative business suit opened the door of the amusement park ride and stepped into what looked like a spaceship. The park was deserted which is exactly what he expected. Under the seat was a tape recorder and an envelope. He opened the envelope and turned on the tape.
“Good morning Mr. Phelps. What you see is a schematic for the craft you are sitting in. Although it’s disguised as a carnaval ride, it is really of alien origin. If you accept this mission we want you to determine who built it and what it’s purpose is.
As always if you or any of your team are caught or killed, the Secretary will disavow your actions. This tape will self-destruct in ten seconds. Good luck, Jim.
Jim Phelps set the tape recorder on the floor, and as the tape smoked and burned, his brilliant mind began to create a plan.
I wrote this for the Sunday Photo Fiction – July 23rd 2017 (which by the way is my birthday). The idea is to use the photo prompt above as inspiration for a piece of flash fiction no more than 200 words long. My word count is 157.
For some reason, just seeing the image reminded me of those odd location where Jim Phelps would have to go to get his next Mission: Impossible assignment. Because the image looks both like an amusement park ride and a spaceship, I thought I’d have a little fun.
To read other stories based on the prompt, go to InLinkz.com.
Credit: Detlev van Ravenswaay/Science Photo
The quintet descended slowly into the small valley containing the second alien spacecraft. There was more vegetation here than in the previous depression and it partially obscured the vessel.
“Only two stories tall. Maybe a scout craft. Similar construction to the two others but there seems to be some coloring and maybe ornamental differences.”
“Hard to say, Gordon. I don’t know if the shapes and colors on the hull are functional or not. After all, we put markings on the outside of our aircraft and spaceships to indicate the type of vessel and its nationality.”
“Are you saying there are different alien nations or even extraterrestrials from different planets visiting Earth?”
Found at the Orogold Store Locator website
Travis Fox rode his horse down the arroyo at the edge of his Father’s land, except he was dead so it was his land now. Try convincing his Uncle Wendell of that, though. He thought he was running the ranch. Travis tried not to fight with Wendell. He wanted peace in the household for the sake of Cassie and the children.
He’d never thought of himself as a rancher. Always fought his father’s ways until it was too late. Cancer took him, his father, strong, brave, Apache. In the end, he was just a wasted, tired old man. Not like his grandfather Chano. Chano remembered the old ways. Yes, he was born in the 20th century, but Chano’s grandfather told him the stories of the blue coats, of the treaties that were always broken, of being herded like animals into reservations.
Fox’s two sons and one daughter were children of the 21st century, but Travis longed to preserve the heritage of Chano and his ancestors. Chano died strong, fearless, still seeing past what had been done to him and his people, still disdaining those among them who had surrendered to alcohol and despair.
J. Raloff/Science News for Students
The Tenth Story in the Time Travel Adventures of Ross Murdock
“Welcome to the Ice Age. What shall I call you?”
Murdock was startled out of his shock and awe by the voice coming from around the enclosure he had just exited. He had assumed the room was inside a main wall of the cavern, but as he turned around, he saw it was a stand alone structure.
“Come, come. I know you are not actually a Beakerman named ‘Rossa’.”
Ross didn’t recognize the man in the Soviet Major’s uniform but the voice was familiar.
“That’s right. I was the one speaking to your group on that beach in Britain, the one where you were hiding before your Marines came to retrieve you. I lost two good men in that little skirmish but then, those are the fortunes of war.”
From the 1980 film “The Fog”
The Eighth Story in the Time Travel Adventures of Ross Murdock
All four men on the team from the future reflexively reached for weapons as the quartet of raging Axmen charged. Suddenly Ai pushed past Assa and Rossa, held forth the rune covered amulet she wore around her neck, and then loudly cried out in a language the rest of her party could barely understand.
Three of the Axmen abruptly stopped and cringed as if confronted by their worst horror-filled nightmare. The leader of their band stopped too and half-bowed but as he looked up to peer at the woman opposite him, rage and hate still filled his eyes.
“Daughter of Gaea. Think not the Axmen of the North are so easily swayed by your powers. We flee something much worse.”
Found at fotosidan.se
The Seventh Story in the Time Travel Adventures of Ross Murdock
“The reason I’ve invited you to this briefing is that you both already have some idea of what we’re looking for and the stakes involved, although if the higher-ups had their way, you’d both be put in Guantanamo.”
Major John Kelgarries, military commander of Operation Retrograde stood at the front of his audience in the conference room specifically addressing Gordon Ashe and Ross Murdock.
It had been several months since they returned from their mission in Bronze Age Britain and discovered the Soviets had destroyed their covert base disguised as a Beaker trading post. Ashe, Murdock, and the outpost’s only survivor McNeil had just barely escaped an armed Soviet detachment who had attempted to capture them before they could be extracted by submarine. McNeil had cracked under the physical and emotional pressure and was now off team. However, in the aftermath of their mission, the roles of Ashe and Murdock had shifted.