Threshold

storm

© WeatherStudios

True to his word, Major Vasnev Romanovich of the Russian Ground Forces did not get drunk until well after the debriefing of the Atlantis mission at Project Retrograde’s Arctic base. When Romanovich had been assigned to Retrograde, it had been called an “Operation” and he had been a Major of the Soviet Armed Forces. However, when reality was changed after an unfortunate Time Storm, initiated when Time Gate Technician Louis Aramazd and his team activated the gate in close proximity to a live Forerunner power source, the world he returned to was not the same as the one he left.

U.S. Army Lieutenant Walter Byrd was in operational command of the Folsom time base in Arizona when the Time Storm hit, and all of his people were instantly transported back over 14,000 years in time. Ashe and his team, of which Vasnev was now a member, rescued them, but in returning the survivors and their children to the present after ten years in exile, they created a new timeline, one in which the Soviet Union fell in the late 1980s.

Either way, Romanovich was the Russian liaison to the Retrograde Project and worked as an equal member of Dr. Gordon Ashe’s team of time agents attempting to minimize or eliminate the results of the Time Storm and most importantly, to prevent or reverse the effects of climate change that will likely cause human extinction in a mere half century.

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Prologue: Key Out of Time

comet impact

Found at The Verge

From space, the Earth looked very different from what modern humans would expect today. For one thing, the Panama isthmus did not connect North and South America, allowing direct low-latitude circulation between the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. There was no Drake Passage separating South America from Antarctica and the Arctic was also more restricted.

It came from space. The object, impacting on or near the coast of what is now called New Jersey. There was an abrupt release of carbon into the atmosphere causing global climate warming at an accelerated rate. It took decades or centuries, not thousands or tens of thousands of years for the planetary temperature to rise 5 to 9 degrees Centigrade or about 9 to 16 degrees Fahrenheit.

Numerous single-celled ocean bottom organisms became extinct while other surface species moved to the poles in order to survive.

Overall, the climate became wetter, Arctic freshwater concentrations increased, and although there was a general lack of global ice, sea levels still rose due to thermal expansion.

“Dr. Barnes, you’re not saying that this impact over 55 million years ago caused modern climate change. That’s not what you explained to me before.”

“Of course not, Colonel. However it is necessary to…”

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Atlantis Descending

atlantis sinking

Found at ssqq.com

“That’s right. This isn’t the first time Atlantis has been rocked by quakes, there have been three other events in the past two months, but the innkeeper says this series is the most severe.”

Gordon Ashe was reporting to both Captain Owen Redfeld and Lynn Huỳnh aboard the nuclear submarine Nereid and to the extraction team, now on the top of the cliffs near the city of Meropis, Travis Fox and Vasnev Romanovich. It had been four days since Ross Murdock went missing inside the city’s central tower, but intermittent contact with his implanted communicator indicated continued life signs.

Owen here, Gordon. We’ve been seeing heavy shipping traffic here, all outgoing. Every available sailing ship and galley has been packed to overflowing with people leaving the island.”

“Airborne drones report similar activity on the other three islands as well, Gordon.”

“Thanks, Lynn.”

“Gordon, I don’t see why you won’t let Travis and me enter the city, find Murdock, and get you all out of there.”

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Nereid

atlantis

Atlantis: The last sunrise by batkya

Now in this island of Atlantis, there was a great and wonderful empire which had rule over the whole island and several others, and over parts of the continent, and furthermore, the men of Atlantis had subjected the parts of Libya within the columns of Heracles as far as Egypt, and of Europe as far as Tyrrhenia…But afterwards there occurred violent earthquakes and floods; and in a single day and night of misfortune all your warlike men in a body sank into the earth, and the island of Atlantis in like manner disappeared in the depths of the sea. For which reason the sea in those parts is impassable and impenetrable, because there is a shoal of mud in the way; and this was caused by the substance of the island.

Plato from Timaeus 25

“You’ve done what?” Aiyana Zheutlin knew their next mission would be particularly dangerous and it would be difficult to travel back in time to an island that does not exist in the present, but what Colonel John Kelgarries was telling her sounded insane.

“Given the extraordinary situation we’re presented with, I think it’s the most reasonable solution and the Temporal Research Group, including Dr. Barnes, agrees with me.”

Ashe’s team was meeting with Kelgarries for the pre-mission briefing, however in addition to Antoine Barnes there were two other people seated around the conference table who were not normally present. The first was Thomas Lucius, now the top time gate technician at the Project and sometimes called “the Control Voice”. The second was a Naval Officer who introduced himself as Captain Owen Redfeld.

“Dr. Zheutlin, I would not have authorized this if I didn’t believe it was perfectly safe. True, it is an unorthodox application of our temporal technology, but I don’t see any reason why it wouldn’t work.”

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Ashurbanipal’s Library

london being nuked

Image: Getty-US ENERGY

Aiyana Kaleya Zheutlin had been reading strange languages for the past three weeks, ever since returning to the present and the arctic base of Operation or rather Project Retrograde and discovering how much of the present they’d changed. Something Kelgarries and the fastidious and annoying Dr. Antoine Barnes had mentioned in their briefing when the six time agents got back caught her interest.

She was pouring over photographs and reports on The British Museum’s collection of clay tablets originally discovered in the ruins of the ancient city of Nineveh by Austen Henry Layard in 1849. The Library of Nineveh’s King Ashurbanipal was a monumentally historic find. It contained important works, all on baked clay tablets, such as the Epic of Gilgamesh and the Law Code of Hammurabi, the former included a non-Biblical account of a great flood like the one in the Book of Genesis.

The Museum’s collections database counted 30,943 tablets in the entire Nineveh library collection. Most were written in cuneiform and a few in other near east languages. However, Aiyana was looking for clues of the use of a previously unknown language in these records.

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My World is Blue

europa

RON MILLER/STOCKTREK IMAGES VIA GETTY IMAGES

“Travis. Darling, wake up.”

Travis Fox opened his eyes and saw his wife Cassie. “Good morning, beautiful. How…?”

Then he realized he was in the wrong bed. Why was his wife leaning over him instead of lying beside him? He wasn’t at home. He never made it home last night. Wait. How long had he been away from home?

The time gate. He’d gone through with Byrd and the others to help get Holden’s group back home from the past. The Folsom men. The attack. They’d tried to kill him.

“Where am I?”

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The Encounter

time tunnel

Photo used under Creative Commons from light_arted

The temporal field in the alien time gate sparked and cracked for several seconds before anything came through.  Then it appeared, a single Forerunner, an Orange.

“Watch out!” Murdock sounded almost panicked. “It’s a Forerunner weapon.”

It looked like the same race as the Blues. Skin color was a little darker, but everything else was identical. No hair on the exposed head and hands, human enough eyes, flattened nose, more or less a slit for a mouth, lumpy skin texture that looked like an orange peel. It was holding an object Ross recognized as the telepathic weapon the Blue used on him back at the Soviet base in the Ice Age.

Murdock, Ashe, and Zheutlin all reflexively reached for weapons they didn’t possess. Lynn Huỳnh never took agent training, so her response was to freeze.

The tip of the alien object glowed yellow which Murdock knew meant it was activated. He rushed forward to stop the Forerunner before it could paralyze them all.

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The Second Ship

nebula

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.”

“Ornamental, Ross?”

“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?”

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Epilogue: The Time Traders

desert planet

Wallpaper found at wallpapersafari.com.

The Epilogue to the Time Travel Adventures of Ross Murdock

Ross Murdock and Major Vasnev Danya Romanovich were facing each other standing on snow and ice. The ghosts of trees surrounded them, barely visible through the fog. The sky was overcast and it was threatening to once again snow. Romanovich was pointing his Soviet Army issued Makarov pistol at Murdock’s chest.

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Invasion

ice age

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.”

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