I know a lot of people are waiting for the next installment of the Like... series and I am working on it, really. But I did take a few weeks out to revise this story, because:
Several weeks ago we went to a small convention for sculptor and model makers, at that convention was Claudia Christian.
I had seen her at conventions before, the most memorable one being 2001 Dragoncon. At that gathering Claudia and Alex Tydings, who you may remember as Aphrodite from Xena, were talking about a new television show they wanted to do called Hourglass. It was to be about a pair of friends traveling through time. The main point of their travels was supposed to be so that they could travel to the future and learn ways of saving the environment.
On the eight hour drive home from that convention my sleep addled brain came up with an adventure for the time travelers to deal with. I typed it all out, well most of it, when we arrived home. But, at that time my daughter was 12 weeks old, so there wasn't a whole lot of time to be fine tuning the story.
Last December, Claudia made a very generous gesture and said that since this year had been so tough, anyone who requested an autograph would get one... which meant if you had a Sci-Fi geek in your life...and who doesn't? You would have a great gift for them, for free. I thought that was really great and it gave me the motivation I needed to go back to the Hourglass story I'd written... and finish it. I had posted it here and according to the stats on my page at least a thousand people looked at it, if not read it. Only one or two comments though, so that was disappointing.
Anyway, back to the several weeks ago convention. Claudia was there and was quite generous with her time. We spoke about quite a few things and I mentioned Hourglass, and in passing mentioned that I had done a fanfic story for it. I have to say my heart nearly stopped when she said "Send it to me."
So when I got home I looked over what I had posted and realized WHY no one had commented on it.... oh it was awful!... LOL... someone should have told me that... so I could have pulled it from the Journal a long time ago! LOL So I took it down and retooled it somewhat.
Since the whole concept was presented to me just under nine years ago it was hard to remember details. I did have the character bio's from the original, now defunct, Hourglass site.. and I came to understand the method of their time travel had to do with geologically charged sites and magnetic rocks... which is more mystical than technical... but I went with it... I did however make up all the background for the girls, the world they came from their motivations, etc.... because that's what I do... I make stuff up. :) I also didn't send them to the future. I made it a sort of Quantum Leap kind of thing with them being 'lost' in the past...
Okay... so here's the thing. I ABSOLUTELY HATE asking for comments. But, if you read this story, I would really like to know what you think about the concept for a television show/series. All comments regarding the viability of a TV show based on this idea and characters will be forwarded to Claudia Christian. It really is VERY easy to leave a comment on LiveJournal. Or if you don't want to make a comment publicly you can send me a Private message through LiveJournal, or you can send it directly to me via my email at firstname.lastname@example.org
If you send a message and don't hear anything back from me, I didn't get it. I Always answer my emails.
Okay... now that we've taken care of all that explanation... a few more things.
1. These characters ARE, kinda, mine. I started with the base of the character bio's from the website, and the physical descriptions of the women in question then added some of my own stuff... so.. kinda, mine. But if anyone wants to use any part of them for a television show they are more than welcome.
2. This story IS mine. I made it up all by myself... with a few suggestions from my beta readers and friends.
3. Hmmm... no, there isn't really a three... that's about it. Oh, except for the femslashy part... that would most likely be cut out of a television show and relegated to subtext much like Xena was, for a while. LOL
Okay... all that settled? Here we go.....
Oh! One more thing. The original tagline for the show Hourglass was "It's about time...." But this story really isn't so much about time.....
It's About Family.... pt 1
an Hourglass story
Kris Michaels muttered to herself as she made her way through the thick foliage. She cursed slightly louder as her thick dark hair caught on a branch she was moving past. Reaching into one of the various pockets in her cargo jacket, she found a length of fabric and tied the unruly mass on her head into a pony tail, pulling the errant hair tightly in her frustration. A light hand on her shoulder actually helped drain some of Kris' agitation away.
“Easy, Babe.” Emma Blackthorne slid her thin arm around Kris, pressing her lithe body against the woman's back, “I happen to like that hair you're about to pull out.”
“Mmm...” Kris nearly growled, “You like it so much, you can chop it off and have it for always.” She knew she sounded gruff, but she also leaned back into the embrace, taking comfort in the warmth.
“You know I'm not going to cut it.” Emma found the spot just below and behind Kris' ear. She kissed it lightly then whispered, “But I will braid it for you after we make camp tonight.”
Moving into the touch, Kris smiled, “Thanks.” She sighed, “If we can find a decent spot to stop.”
“You worry too much.” Emma took advantage of their positions and continued laying soft kisses on the slightly taller woman's neck. “At least we know where we are now.”
“We still don't know when!” Kris ground her teeth together, partly in frustration to their situation, and partly because there was no way they were going to be able to take Emma's actions to their logical and normal conclusion. “Stop!”
With a sigh, Emma halted her assault and dropped her forehead to the brunette's shoulder, “Sorry, Doc.”
Threading her long fingers through Emma's silky blonde hair, Kris looked directly into her partner's totally mischievous blue eyes, “Me too.” Giving in to the moment, Kris purged a bit of lingering frustration by pressing her lips to Emma's. The kiss deepened for a moment until they both broke away for air. Kris filled her lungs twice with great heaving breaths, then managed to speak, “We need to get going.”
Nodding, Emma licked her lips, “Right.” She took a step back and gestured to the non-trail in front of them, “I'm right behind you, Doc.”
Kris exhaled slowly, the nickname, 'Doc' was a subtle dig at her many and varied Phd degrees. Emma used it quite a bit with varying tones; this was the normal casual usage and Kris smiled at her friend, turning back toward the direction they had been headed. She knew she could hear water, a river, and if they followed it, there was sure to be a town eventually. Emma had been right though, about knowing where they were now. They had walked for two days after their arrival before they'd seen a soul. The small village they found wasn't much, but there was a pub and they'd figured out that they had 'landed' in Northern England. That was a stroke of luck as far as they were concerned because their method of time travel required a geologically charged site and England was full of those. Finally the underbrush subsided and they were standing at the edge of a shallow, but moving, river.
“Upstream or down, Doc?” Emma looked at the water, wondering if she would dare drink from this spot. It seemed a little muddy for drinking purposes. Maybe when they found a deeper section they'd give it a try. Currently they both carried containers of water they'd acquired at the village, crude leather things, but they were lined with what Emma believed to be some sort of animal stomach. She had rebelled against the very thought of them at first, but each container held enough water to last two or three days. And the animal had already been killed, she reasoned, it may as well be put to good use.
“Downstream I think.” Kris looked at the water, “if this is Northern England, this might be the Tyne river... it will empty into the North Sea... there will surely be a port city there if not along it.” If not, if Newcastle isn't there, she thought, we are farther back in time than I think we are.
“Okay, Doc.” Emma smiled, “Off we go then.”
The river was low enough that they could walk along the edge and keep their boots dry, until suddenly their marginal sandbank shrunk to nothing. They decided it was worth getting their boots wet instead of trying to climb the riverbank and fighting the foliage again, so they waded for a while until the water widened and deepened. Both women were glad to find a sizeable sandbar as the river was getting deeper now and it had become difficult to maintain their balance against the current in the waist high water. It was a good place to rest and the waterline assured them they would be able to camp there for the night, there was even a small cove that had been etched out of the bank. Emma gathered some driftwood and Kris scouted the area.
It turned out that the sandbar was in fact a tiny island. A small tributary flowing into the main river cut a path around the land and isolated it quite nicely. It gave them a margin of safety they hadn't had in their previous camps. There was also some game, but it was mostly pheasant, which Kris did not relish plucking the feathers from, so she ignored them. Instead, she found some sturdy looking branches in the stand of trees at the middle of the island and cut two of them. Both women had a fishing kit tucked away in one of their many pockets, so they should eat well tonight, if the fish were biting.
Emma had set up their camp by the time Kris returned. There was a cozy fire crackling inside a ring of fairly large stones, and Emma had laid out her emergency blanket, weighting down each corner of the silvery material with a good sized rock as well. They would use the blanket in Kris' pocket to cover themselves. They didn't really need a fire, with the warm nights they'd had since their arrival, their body heat was plenty to keep them comfortable. It was obviously summer here, but they still didn't know summer of what year. That was what they hoped to discover once they reached a larger city.
Kris set up the fishing poles and sat on the shore of the cove to watch them, her forearms resting on her bent knees. She smiled as Emma moved to sit between her legs. Sliding her arms around thin blonde's waist, Kris rested her chin on Emma's shoulder, “Em....“
“Don't say it, Kris.” Emma leaned back against Kris' warm, solid form and sighed, “Just don't.” They went through this every time. Kris would apologize for getting them 'lost' in time and Emma would assure her that it was fine and everything would work out. It was beginning to get tiresome though. “We're here, we're together, that's all I need.” She turned her head to see Kris' profile, “So just don't say it.”
Unable to resist the opportunity, Kris kissed Emma's lips lightly and smiled, “Okay.” Squeezing the woman in her arms a little tighter, Kris settled into the peacefulness of the moment, the fire crackling behind them, the water lapping gently at their feet, the sun beginning to set.
Kris felt a slight shudder move through Emma and squeezed the woman a bit tighter. The hunter knew what her friend was thinking, neither of them could help it. Thinking about the world they grew up in and how different it was from this moment was only natural. Their world was over-polluted and over-populated to the point the only space that you even had to sit down was your own cubicle apartment, or if you applied to visit the local park for the ten minutes a month you were allowed. The universities still stood as well. Classrooms had not changed in decades and neither had class sizes, even though the population had risen exponentially. She and Kris were both lucky and had managed to gain places in the institutions they had graduated from. They both recalled the oppressive atmosphere in their world and hoped they could manage to change it for the better but right here, right now, it was just them. They may as well have been the only two people in the world.
Neither of them wanted to think about the years it had taken them, poring over every nature book they could find, viewing every nature survival show they could get their hands on, over and over to prepare for this journey. They were lucky that Kris' father was a general in the military, so access to materials like that came a bit easier for them than it would for most. The General didn't believe his daughter when she told him that she was going to save the world, but he indulged her ramblings and continued teaching them both to shoot, and handle, weapons of all kinds along with other quite useful survival skills. He had begun training his daughter since she was old enough to walk and had hoped a stint in the military would have her following in his footsteps. The General had been amazed at Kris' prowess with a bow but also with Emma's aptitude for hand to hand fighting. And even with all their training, the first few times they'd traveled in time, they had a serious learning curve to overcome. Now, they were practically woodland creatures themselves.
Kris sighed as she watched the sun slowly moving behind the horizon and thought that the only way this moment could get better would be... she smiled, as right on cue with her thoughts, the cork bobbers attached to the fishing lines began to jerk. She shifted to grab one of the makeshift poles as Emma picked up the other. They both waited for the fish to take the round red cork under before pulling in their catch.
“Yum!” Emma licked her lips at the sight of the large fish and identified it, “Salmon.”
“Yep, good sized too.” Kris estimated each fish was around two kilograms each.
“When did they go extinct?” Emma's mouth was almost watering at the sight of the fleshy fish, but she was ever aware of the environment too.
Kris chuckled and shook her head, “It was commercial fishing that took down this particular species, so unless you are hungrier than I think you are, us eating two at this point in time isn't going to change much.” She grinned at her friend, “Don't worry you can still practice your pescetarian ways with a clear conscience.” Emma's preference for fruits and vegetables was a constant source of amusement for Kris, who loved red meat in all forms. The blonde did eat fish though, as well as many dairy products.
Fish was one of the last 'fresh' foods you could get in their time, when you could get it, most everything else was dehydrated, pre-processed rations distributed by the government. No one liked the disgusting 'food', but everyone ate it because no one liked to starve either.
Rolling her eyes at the familiar tease, Emma took her fish off the hook and flung it toward Kris, speaking in what she called her 'hillbilly' accent, “Then start cleanin' these and git 'em cooking. I'ma gonna look fer some other vittles.”
Smirking at the blonde, Kris pitched her voice high and nasally, as a much put upon spouse, “Yes, dear.” She drew her knife from the sheath at her side and began the messy task.
Emma walked around the little island much the same way Kris had, only she was looking for different things. In a very short time, Emma had gathered some watercress, found some chervil, and best of all had discovered a small cluster of blackberry bushes. It was still slightly early in the season, but she'd found several plump ripe berries on the vines; so many that she'd had to weave a quick basket out of the tall grass growing all over the island in order to carry them back to camp.
Kris was glad to see Emma returning. “Find anything good?”
“Oh yeah,” Emma settled next to the fire to show off her bounty. She knew Kris would like the berries best, would wrinkle her nose at the watercress, and complain about the chervil, even though she would eat a stalk or two just for the variety of it. She began peeling the chervil stalks and asked, “Any trouble?”
'Nope,” Kris poked the fire under the flat piece of slate she'd found to cook the fish on.
“What are you burning?” There were a few bits of the driftwood she'd collected in the pit, but it didn't smell like a wood fire to her.
“It's coal,” Kris gestured, “There's a lot of it all along the banks.” Testing the slate's readiness, Kris flicked a few drops of water onto the surface and watched as it sizzled away. With a smile she placed the four large filets on the flat surface and listened to them sizzle as well.
“How'd you season the slate... so it wouldn't crack?” Emma chewed absently on a chervil stalk, enjoying the licorice type flavor as she watched the fish cook.
“I just used the fish oil. It's not like cracking will make a difference though, we aren't going to be carrying it with us when we move.” Kris watched the color of the fish flesh change slowly, radiating up from the heated surface. They could have eaten it sashimi style, but it was a bit chilly with the evening wind coming off the water, and their still damp clothing from walking in the river. It put Kris in the mood for a hot meal. When the fish had cooked nearly to the center, she carefully turned the filets with her knife and waited for them to finish. In the meantime, she gathered two smaller pieces of the thin rock she'd found and handed one to Emma,
“Thanks, Doc.” Emma took the makeshift plate from her friend. “So, how far downstream do you think we'll have to go?”
“Maybe quite a ways.” Kris sighed, “with this much coal I'm fairly certain this is the Tyne... so Newcastle will be along here somewhere.” At least she hoped it was, if not they were farther back in time than she thought. If it was there, she wouldn't need to wait for a cloudless night, she could determine when they were by the town's configuration. Kris was drawn out of her thoughts by a rustling in the bushes behind them.
Kris picked up her bow and an arrow, while Emma crouched defensively against the unknown threat. Both women were amazed when they saw what was making the racket. Out of the bushes, without a care in the world, they watched a naked baby crawling toward them. Emma straightened up, “Um... Kris.. Do you see...?”
“Yeah, it's a baby.” Kris continued to watch the foliage for any other signs of movement. She knew that where there was a baby, there was usually a Momma too.
Emma dropped her guard somewhat and moved forward to meet the child as he crawled toward their camp. “Hey, Little One.” She reached down and scooped up the child. “What'cha doin' out here all by yourself?”
He just grinned, rattled off some sounds that were obviously intended to explain himself and grabbed her nose.
“Hey!” Emma laughed and reached up to pry the little hand off her face, “I need to that to breathe!”
The baby grabbed her hand and brought it to his mouth, chewing on her fingers vigorously.
“Whoa,” Emma laughed at the baby, glad he didn't have too many teeth yet, “You hungry, Little One?” She carried the baby back to the fire, resuming her seat with him on her lap, “You like fish?” She held a small portion of the salmon to his lips. He moved forward to almost snap it out of her fingers. “Wow... you are hungry.” She reached for another bit of the pink fish and looked over her shoulder, “C'mon, Kris. Have a seat.”
“His Mom will be looking for him.” Kris warned, “I don't know if she'll be happy about him being in our possession.”
“She can't fault us for giving him something to eat,” Emma reasoned as she fed the child another bit of fish. “Wonder what happened to separate them?”
The boy wasn't wet, so he hadn't fallen into the river. “No clue.” Kris absently looked up as a cloud drifted across the bright shining moon, calculating when they could make another time jump. She could tell they had just missed an opportunity and would have to wait nearly a whole month before they could try again. “We might want to stay here for a while though, to see if she shows up.”
Emma nodded, “Okay.” She knew that Kris' willingness to stay here meant they had quite a while to wait before they could jump again. She smiled at the baby in her arms and thought, As far as places go, this one isn't too bad. Plentiful fish, berries and veggies... fuel for the fire readily available... and, Emma looked out at the river, maybe even a swim tomorrow. She knew it was not a good idea to swim in a river with as strong a current as this, at night, no matter how bright the moon was. “You really think she will?”
Kris tilted her head and grinned, “Oh, I'm pretty sure she will.” Bright blue eyes twinkled in the moonlight and turned toward the bushes where the boy had first appeared. She reached for her bow, just in case, but the fast moving sounds in the brush, along with a woman's almost frantic cries of “Morgan!” could only be one thing.
Emma looked into the child's big brown eyes and grinned, “I think your mama's here, Little One.”
Morgan peeked over Emma's shoulder to see the woman emerge from the green growth and giggled. He made a sound that sounded like the beginnings of “Mmmaaa...” then laughed again.
“Morgan!” The woman stopped and blinked, realizing she was about to step into someone else's campsite. Frustrated and angry at Morgan's disappearance, the woman demanded, “What are you doing with my child?!” Her hands balled into fists. She felt the restrictions of this 'dress' she was wearing around her shoulders and the long skirts hindered her legs as well. No wonder the women around here were so docile, their clothing was designed to restrain them!
Emma stayed calm, “Feeding him.” She indicated the fire, “You're welcome to join us, there's plenty.” She reasoned that if the baby was hungry, the mom probably was too. She didn't know any mother who would be as concerned about her child's welfare as this woman sounded, that wouldn't feed him before herself. “Kris, do you think you might try to catch another fish or two?”
“Sure,” Kris picked up the fishing poles, along with her bow and arrows, and headed over to the cove less than thirty meters away. She knew Emma could take care of herself and thought if the woman was going to attack them she would have done it at the very beginning. She thought it would be best to let Em talk to the boy's Mama. Plus, she wasn't going to be too far and had her bow if she needed it.
Realizing now that these were two women, the woman felt much more comfortable with the situation. “Thank you, for taking care of him.” She reached for the child, only to find a small flat rock with a portion of fish on it being thrust in her hands.
“He's no problem,” Emma smiled as she fed the baby another pinch of salmon. She watched as the woman kept her wary dark eyes on her child's caretaker but began to eat the portion of fish she'd been handed. Emma was curious. “What happened to separate you?”
“I had stopped to wash his clothes out,” She indicated the boy's' nekkidity, “He had been playing with the rocks near where I was, but then suddenly he was gone.” Now that her initial panic was over, she looked at her son with a bit of tolerant amusement. “As I was tracking him, I noticed several pheasant, he had probably chased one of those into the brush. He's forever seeing the game before I do.” She sighed, “It makes hunting difficult when he sees the targets first and scares them away.” She chuckled to herself, “Maybe when he learns to walk he can actually do the hunting himself.”
Emma laughed as she withheld a small bite of fish from the boy and he reached out pulling her hand to his mouth. “Maybe so, he's quick and strong already.” Emma held the boy up to her eye level. “What about it, Morgan? Are you going to grow up and be a great hunter like your... Mom?” She'd almost said 'Dad'. She heard Kris' chuckle as the brunette walked back into the firelit area.
“Geez, Em... give the kid a break, he's not even one yet.” Kris dropped two more small salmon filets on the hot slate and settled down next to Emma. Reaching out to take the baby's hand, Kris too questioned the boy. “You just want to be a baby right now, don't ya?” She smiled as he pulled her knuckle to his mouth and began to suck. “Uh oh, looks like you're gonna have to give him back, Em. Salmon is good, but no substitute for mother's milk.”
With a sigh, the thin blonde handed Morgan over to his mother. She watched almost enviously as their guest lowered her top from one shoulder and began to breastfeed the boy. The sensation of Kris' strong hand on her belly forced Emma's eyes closed but the hunter's low voice whispering in her ear made her smile.
“We'll have to get you one someday.”
Emma sighed and dropped her head to Kris' shoulder, “Promise?” She felt the woman's lips on the top of her head and smiled again at Kris' soft response.
Soft voices woke Emma from a fairly sound sleep. She raised up on her elbow and questioned Kris, “Is it time for me to take over the watch?”
“No,” Kris threaded her long fingers through Emma's soft hair, “Not yet... go back to sleep.”
Emma looked at the fire, nearly burned down to coals, and the position of the moon then snorted, “Liar.” She turned her head to kiss the wrist so near her lips. “You should have woken me at least an hour ago.”
Kris shook her head, “You were sleeping so well, I didn't have the heart to wake you.” The hunter smiled, “I'm fine, go back to sleep.”
“No way,” Emma sat up, then stood and stretched. Looking down at her friend, Em smiled, “I'm up now. It's your turn to get some sleep.”
“No,” She hated when Kris did this, tried to take all the responsibility on herself, “You aren't going to stay up all night then walk all day tomorrow. You'll exhaust yourself and you need to be rested. I need you rested, in case there's trouble.”
“Alright,” Kris reluctantly laid down on the silver mylar blanket, “but I'm not going to sleep...”
“Uh huh...” Emma licked her lips, “That's fine,” she ran her fingers through Kris' long brown hair, massaging the woman's scalp gently, “just rest... no worries though, I'll be here watching over you,” she continued the gentle scratching and spoke soothingly, “that's it, just close your eyes... and rest...” Emma smiled softly as Kris' breath evened out and she knew her partner was asleep. Their guest chuckled and Emma looked across what was left of the fire at the amused woman.
“You have her well trained.” Deep brown eyes studied the pair of travelers. She knew that is what they were, travelers, because neither spoke with the accent of this region. She couldn't actually place the accent the strange women spoke with, but the one called Kris seemed very familiar for some reason. The one who was awake now, Emma, had been taking care of Morgan when she'd finally caught up with her wayward son. It was a leap of faith, but if Morgan liked them, she may as well introduce herself. They hadn't asked her name, they hadn't offered theirs either, but had called each other by name in their conversations with each other. “My name is Adi.”
“That's a lovely name,” Emma smiled, “I'm Emma.” She poked her thumb at the sleeper, “That's Kris.”
Adi nodded, “You two seem to be very....close.”
Emma shrugged, “We're best friends. We grew up together.” She watched their guest for her reaction, “Like sisters.”
Sisters.... Adi swallowed hard. “I see.” She had tried to put thoughts of her former 'sisters' out of her head. This journey had been difficult and more than once she'd wished she had at least one of her 'sisters' with her. But then it was their attitude and rules that had forced her to take this journey to begin with. “Where are you from?”
“We're travelers.” Emma deviated from their standard answer slightly, elaborating, “From across the Western Sea.” She tilted her head in question, even though she thought she knew the answer already, “And you?”
“East,” Adi smiled a bit sadly, “Far to the East is my homeland.”
That is what Emma thought, Russia probably, and grinned because she knew Kris would like that. Doc has always been proud to have some Russian in her genes... She changed the subject, not wanting to get too personal. She indicated the baby, “He sleeps well.”
Adi agreed, “Yes, he always has.” She chuckled softly so as not to wake Kris, “He has almost limitless energy during the day, but at night, once he's asleep he stays asleep for many hours.” She cleared her throat and smiled at the woman, “Thank you, for finding him and taking care of him until I got here.”
Waving off that gratitude, Emma chuckled, “It was more like he found us, and taking care of him was not a problem.” She smiled, “It was just a little fish.”
“He found you....” Adi smiled, “Then you are good people. Morgan always knows who means us harm and who doesn't. But, no matter who found who,” Adi put her hand on her chest, “Thank you.” She looked down at the sleeping infant, “I don't know what I'd do if anything happened to him.”
Nodding, Emma added some more coal and wood to the fir and stirred it a little until the flames caught the new fuel. “You are welcome.” She indicated the sleeping baby and grinned at their guest, “You should try to sleep too, while you can.”
Adi chuckled and agreed as she lay down next to the child. “Yes, I'm hopeful that our journey will be at an end soon. I think our destination is quite close now. If so, tomorrow will be a big day. For both of us.” Adi draped her arm protectively over the sleeping boy and closed her eyes.
Emma watched them sleep for a long time, wondering what it would be like to have someone be that dependent on you. Kris had promised her a child and Emma knew that the brunette had meant after they got back home, after they'd finished their work here and changed the world for the better. Because no matter how much she wanted a child, there was no way Emma could bring herself to have one with their world the way it was when they left. To have a child there, would be adding to the problem, and dooming her offspring to a life she wouldn't wish on her worst enemy, much less her own flesh and blood.
Staring at the fire, Emma thought about the actual ramifications of what they were doing. They had wanted to make the world a better place, Kris maintained that if they were to travel to the future, they could discover how to counteract what had happened, how to change their world to make it better. It was a good idea, but a bit idealistic as far as Emma was concerned. She didn't have all the PhD's and wasn't quite a brilliant as Kris was at some things, but Emma knew the best way to make their world a better place was to not let it get like that to begin with. That meant that here, in the past, their past, was the best chance they had to meet their goal. She knew it would mean a lot of things would change, a lot of people who had been born, wouldn't be and probably a lot of inventions would go unrealized. She knew it was presumptuous of them to think that they knew what was best for an entire planet of people. But, in fact, they did know. Kris' General father gave them access to the tools necessary to train for this journey, but they also stumbled across chilling reports of food shortages, mass deaths, and the projections for the whole of humanity. They'd never gotten off the planet as a species, so the sum total of the human race was currently huddled on Earth, and according to the General's reports, slated for extinction within the next fifty years. Which was another reason to her mind that going to the future wasn't an option. There was only one problem Emma could see with mucking about in the past. It was an ominous word and it floated through her head quite often, Paradox.
They had to change things just enough to make the world better, but not so much that they negated their own existence. Because if they weren't born, weren't friends, didn't come up with this idea, didn't travel back in time to make the changes... then things would be right back where they were before... but then they would be alive, and friends, and come up with the idea to travel in time.... over and over again. Emma shook her head to clear it of the loop that would give her a headache if she thought about it too long. Instead she concentrated on the here and now. They knew they were in England, which was good, it was always nice to know where you were. They didn't know when they were, which was bad, because that is one piece of information they needed to travel away, once the moon's alignment was correct, again. It wasn't as easy as it sounded, finding out when you were, you can't really just go up to someone and ask, what's today's date? Kris will be able to tell the date as soon as we get a night that isn't cloudy.
Emma prodded the fire again, noticing that it had burned nearly all the wood she'd placed there earlier. Blinking she looked to the East and watched as the sky turned to pink and the sun slowly rose over the trees. She had never watched sunrise when they were home, but since they'd left, she loved to watch the miracle and promise of a new day creep over the horizon and did so every chance she got. The blonde smiled as Kris' warm body pressed against her, the hunter's long legs slid down either side of her own and lanky arms circled her waist. Warm breath in her ear forced Emma's eyes closed for a moment.
“Beautiful isn't it?”
“Mmmm....” Emma hugged the arms around her and leaned back to rest her head on Kris' shoulder. “It is.”
“You want to try and catch some more fish for breakfast?” Kris chuckled. Last night they had both eaten far more than normal, but the salmon had been delicious. They also knew that their adventures required energy and like sleep, they took what they could, when they could.
“No,” The blonde reached for the small basket she'd woven, it was still almost full of berries, “These will do for breakfast.”
“Okay.” Kris accepted the plump fruit Emma placed in her mouth and chewed thoughtfully, “so are we going to stay with our guests or go our separate ways?”
“Her name is Adi.” Emma ate another berry, thinking about the question. “I think we should stick with her.”
“Mmm... Me too.” Kris looked over at the sleepers, “There's something about her...”
Emma asked, “Vibes?”
Kris sighed, she knew what Emma was referring to and wasn't sure she liked the woman's reliance on the vague sense of 'knowing' that Kris sometimes got. “No, not really... just a weird sense that I know her from somewhere.”
Smirking, Emma passed on the information she'd gathered, “She's from Russia.” She nearly laughed as she felt, Kris' chest swell slightly.
Emma nodded, “Yeah, she said she was from far East... but I suspected that anyway, because look at her bone structure.” Looking at their sleeping guest's face, Emma's eyes traced the contours of the woman's cheekbones and gasped. “Oh... wow...”
“What?” Kris didn't see anything except a lovely woman sleeping with her child.
“She's...” Emma couldn't believe she hadn't seen it before. “Kris, I think she's related to you.”
“What!?” Kris fought the urge to panic, to get up and run. This was something they were most afraid of... meddling with their own past was not on the agenda. With a deep breath, Kris calmed herself and forced herself to think logically, “You can't be sure though, right... you just think?”
“No, I can't be sure.” Emma licked her lips as she thought of another connection, “But, um... your Mom...”
“What about her?” Kris hadn't ever really known her mother, she had video clips of family gatherings both before and after her birth that showed a nice enough woman, pleasant, happy. They looked somewhat alike, she supposed. In some of the clips, Kris was a baby cradled in her mother's arms while the woman sang softly to her.
“Her name, Kris...” Emma reminded her friend, “Your mom's name, was Morgana.”
Kris' eyes went to the sleeping baby and she whispered the boy's name with new comprehension, “Morgan.”
Emma knew that Kris needed some time to think about this twist and suggested, “Maybe a fish for breakfast would be nice after all.” The arms around her tightened and Emma felt Kris' forehead drop to her shoulder.
“Yeah,” Kris swallowed hard, wondering aloud, “How do you always know exactly what I need?”
Emma chuckled, “It's a gift.” Turning her head, she winked at her partner and gestured toward the fishing pool, “G'wan.”
Kris took a deep breath and released the thin woman, moving away and standing slowly. She barely brushed the back of Emma's neck and shoulders with her fingertips as she gathered the fishing gear, “Back when I can.” When I've thought about the whole situation sufficiently. She looked at the sleeping mother and child, Damn, what are the odds of running into my own ancestors? She settled on the bank and began the fishing process, still thinking about the astronomical coincidence. It has to mean something...
Concerned blue eyes watched the woman go, then Emma turned toward their guests again. She managed not to jump as she saw Adi's deep brown eyes staring at her. “Oh,” She smiled, “Good morning.” Reaching up, Emma ran her fingers through her hair and gathered it behind her head in a bunch before simply tying it in a knot, letting the excess spill down the middle of her back in what could be considered an elegant pony tail. “Did you sleep well?”
“Yes, thank you.” Adi nodded and indicated the sleeping child, stirring, “We don't have long before he wakes.” She hesitated, then asked, “Would you watch him for a moment while I go clean up a little?”
Emma's smile rivaled the sunrise, “Of course, but don't go to the pool,” she indicated the small inlet where Kris was currently fishing, “You'll need to use the river for washing.”
“Of course,” Adi stood slowly, moving away from the child without waking him. She gathered her supplies and made her way to the river knowing not to get too far away from the water's edge; even a few feet off the sandbar the bottom dropped away suddenly making the water almost waist deep with a strong current. The last thing she wanted to do was get carried away from Morgan, even if he was in good hands at the moment.
TBC in Part 2