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Alex Smith and the Curse of the Titanic

By Alex Hunter All Rights Reserved ©

Action / Thriller

Blurb

The stranger asked again “Well, do you want to fix history?”, Alex looked shocked but then replied “Of course I want to fix history but the only way to fix history would be able to travel back in time to the period in question to right the course of history as we know it”. The stranger took all this in impassively but then realized something about the young man who stood before him, this young man would be the perfect candidate for travelling back in time to fix the break in the timeline that the Time Alterer had created. Making up his mind on the spot, the stranger approached Alex and Seamus and offered his hand to the both, Alex shook the hand the stranger offered him with a firm grip, likewise his friend Seamus shook the same hand with the same firm grip demonstrated by both Alex and the stranger who had yet to introduce himself and explain his purpose for being at Seamus’ house. “I do believe introductions are in order” the stranger said, Alex replied with a crisp “Quite right, good sir. My name is Alex Smith and this gentleman next to me is Seamus O’Brien. Both of us go to Notre Dame High School here in Red Deer, and the both of us have the unquenchable thirst for knowledge.

Chapter 1: The Timeline Fractures

Alex Smith was walking home from another ordinary day at Notre Dame High School, which would soon turn into an extraordinary day due to events which Alex had yet to hear about. In a distant city, far away from the bustling streets of Red Deer, the Time Alterer was standing in his darkened apartment waiting for the first ray of precious sunrise which would be crucial for his plan to succeed in its task of altering the timeline in which reality was altered. When the Time Alterer noticed the faint pink hues of the sunrise, he got ready to put his devious plan into action by opening the curtains that had shrouded his apartment in darkness and by making sure the machine he had created and constructed would be ready to fulfill its ultimate purpose of altering the timeline. The first ray of sunlight hit the machine which goaded the machine into action, while the Time Alterer looked on with a gleeful look etched upon his face while he added events to the machine that he wanted to be changed in the past that would affect the future.

Alex had finally reached the destination he had been intent on reaching since he started on the walk home from school, the Red Deer Public Library with its troves of priceless information which to Alex’s mind was just a great puzzle waiting to be solved. He waved a hello to the librarian on duty, who waved back at him, as Alex was a well-known regular patron of the library. Alex hummed merrily as he walked the aisles of his favorite section, the section in question being ‘Shipwrecks’, when he noticed several new books on a ship he had done extensive research on for school and correspondence projects, the ship being the ‘Titanic’. Alex was sure that when he had last checked resource books on the Titanic the books had each stated that the Titanic was a permanent fixture at the Merseyside Maritime Museum in Liverpool, England but nothing in those books had mentioned that the Titanic had struck an iceberg with the loss of 1,500 innocent lives. Alex thought to himself as he closed a book about Robert Ballard finding the wreck of the Titanic in 1985, “Either I am going slightly senile and did not know that the Titanic was met with disaster on her maiden voyage or someone has messed with the past to alienate the present time I am living in”.

Alex flushed with new knowledge of an event that did not occur, decided to pay a visit to his good friend Seamus O’Brien who like Alex himself had nothing to fear from gaining new knowledge and had collaborated with Alex on some of his Titanic projects in the past. Alex knocked on Seamus’ front door and waited until he heard the tell-tale barking of Seamus’ Irish Setter aptly named White Star because of his owner’s love for researching anything White Star Line related and because White Star had a patch of white fur on his chest shaped like a star. Seamus opened the door whilst fending off his clearly excited dog and as he saw who it was his face broke into an uncontested smile and stated cheerfully, “Alex, where have you been these past few hours, I tried to get a hold of you via text and Facebook but you didn’t answer, what’s up?”. Alex replied to his friend’s question by saying, “Look, I was at the library reading to increase my knowledge when something caught my eye in the ‘Shipwrecks’ section. The something that caught my eye was that, there were books on the shipwreck of the Titanic added into the ‘Shipwrecks’ section. So, I sat down and read a couple of those books and figured something of a theory out about how those books on the wreck of the Titanic were in the ‘Shipwrecks’ section. My theory is that someone who has the technology to alter the past which directly affects the present in which we live by altering events in the past to affect the present time we are living in and to affect the future as well”. Seamus was already nodding his head in agreement before Alex had finished his explanation of why he wasn’t responding to any texts or messages on Facebook and replied whilst stroking his goatee, “That actually makes quite a lot of sense, Alex because if I know you like I think I do no wonder you weren’t responding to texts or messages on Facebook, you were probably cross-referencing and re-reading those books to shed light on the situation that we are faced with”. Suddenly Alex and Seamus heard the crunch of tires of a car as a non-descript Honda Civic pulled up at the curb and as the driver got out of the car, he asked “Well do you want to fix history?”.

The stranger asked again “Well, do you want to fix history?”, Alex looked shocked but then replied “Of course I want to fix history but the only way to fix history would be able to travel back in time to the period in question to right the course of history as we know it”. The stranger took all this in impassively but then realized something about the young man who stood before him, this young man would be the perfect candidate for travelling back in time to fix the break in the timeline that the Time Alterer had created. Making up his mind on the spot, the stranger approached Alex and Seamus and offered his hand to the both, Alex shook the hand the stranger offered him with a firm grip, likewise his friend Seamus shook the same hand with the same firm grip demonstrated by both Alex and the stranger who had yet to introduce himself and explain his purpose for being at Seamus’ house. “I do believe introductions are in order” the stranger said, Alex replied with a crisp “Quite right, good sir. My name is Alex Smith and this gentleman next to me is Seamus O’Brien. Both of us go to Notre Dame High School here in Red Deer, and the both of us have the unquenchable thirst for knowledge, so we spend much of the time we spend together reading books but the both of us find our passion in reading about shipwrecks. And for yourself good sir, who are you, may I ask?”. The stranger chuckled gently and replied “You may not have heard of me but I am sure, that both of you have heard of my much more famous brother”.

Alex asked “You, mean?”, the stranger said “Yes I am the younger brother of the famous Dr. Xavier who founded the US Navy SEALS. Dr. Francis Xavier at your service and I have a proposition for you and your friend”. Alex looked at Seamus who nodded his head, Alex then stated “Okay, Dr. Xavier what is your proposition for me and Seamus?” Dr. Xavier said, “That is classified information that I will only divulge in a secure place but I promise this to you I will discuss the information and the proposition if you come with me to team headquarters”.

Alex looked at Seamus again waiting for his confirmation, once Seamus nodded his head Alex said “Let’s go to your team headquarters, Dr. Xavier”. Dr. Xavier brightened at this and said cheerfully “Let’s get in the car, gentlemen!”. The drive to team headquarters took a little over 3 ½ hours nevertheless Alex could recognize the place Dr. Xavier had driven them to, Alex said “Your team headquarters are in Banff are they, Dr. Xavier?”. Dr. Xavier kept his eyes on the road but nonetheless he answered Alex’s question “Yes, you are correct, my dear Alex. My team headquarters are in Banff”.

The car fell silent as Dr. Xavier continued to drive towards the team headquarters in Banff. As the car entered Banff, Dr. Xavier began following the streets to a very familiar landmark, the landmark being the Banff Springs Hotel. As Dr. Xavier drove the car up to the entrance, Dr. Xavier pushed a button on the car’s central console which opened a secret garage door only known to Dr. Xavier and a couple of trustworthy aides. Dr. Xavier then drove the car into the garage and then stepped out of the car, after which he closed his door. Alex and Seamus also stepped out of the car then closed their respective doors as well. Alex questioned Dr. Xavier “Are you going to take us to your office to discuss the classified information with us?”, Dr. Xavier shook his head in the negative and replied, “I think it would be counter-productive if I did not introduce the both of you to the rest of my team”. Dr. Xavier then started to lead the 2 young adults down a hallway which led to a burnished maple door which upon opening lead into a high-tech conference room with people gathered around a central mahogany table looking at what appeared to be reports of some kind. Dr. Xavier announced their presence by grabbing a gavel that was on a table near the door then rapping it smartly on the table then said “Attention, everyone. We have 2 new members that will be joining our society today”. That announcement got everyone’s attention who then turned and stared at the pair of young men that were standing on either side of Dr. Xavier.

Dr. Xavier then stepped forward and started to make introductions of the people in the conference room, “That’s Alex Moore, Head of Gadgets and Weaponry, Rhonda Lyon, Head of Overseas Operations seeing as we have multiple offices in other nations around the world, Sam Shields, Head of Investigations & Espionage seeing as we as an organization are always on the lookout for events that have been disrupted in the Timeline and myself Dr. Xavier, I head up the entire organization. Also, you will meet your agents once we assess your mental, physical and intelligence capabilities by running both of you, through a series of tests designed to test each of 3 capabilities I have mentioned already and you go through the tests individually. The 1st test is known as the “Gauntlet” which is designed to test how much of a physical beating your body can take by putting your body through vigorous physical exercise. The 2nd test is known as the “Dreamscape” which is designed to test your mental capabilities through injecting a drug which makes you live through your worst memories and nightmares again, the test itself has 2 purposes, one of which is to see how will you handle stress under pressure and the other which sees how much mental torture your mind can put up with. The 3rd and last test is just a basic I.Q. test which help us determine your intelligence capability”.

Dr. Xavier then led the two from the conference room and began leading them to the Training Center which was located 4 floors below the conference room in which the two had their impromptu meeting with the rest of Dr. Xavier’s team. As the three of them entered the Training Center, Dr. Xavier instructed Seamus to get prepared for his tests whilst he beckoned towards a door labelled ‘Viewing Area’ so Alex and Dr. Xavier went through the door and found themselves in a plush comfortable room in which to view Seamus’ tests. Both watched as Seamus struggled through the ‘Gauntlet’, had issues with the ‘Dreamscape’ with Dr. Xavier making notes on his iPhone. But on the I.Q. test, Seamus did extremely well, which caused Dr. Xavier to say Seamus would make a good mission coordinator. Very soon Seamus had replaced Alex in the ‘Viewing Area’ room and with Dr. Xavier watched as Alex took his shot at the tests. Alex passed with flying colors on both the ‘Gauntlet’ and the ‘Dreamscape’ and did well above the norm on the I.Q. test.

Dr. Xavier waited until the two were substantially recovered from being run through the tests before being ushered out of the viewing area and after being lead down a series of long and winding hallways, the trio finally reached Dr. Xavier’s office and upon opening the door Dr. Xavier gestured to 2 seats in front of his desk and then settled himself in the chair behind his desk. Alex and Seamus looked expectantly at Dr. Xavier who rubbed his eyes tiredly and then laced his fingers together. Looking over his fingers, Dr. Xavier looked at the two young men seated before him and spoke to them, “Do you know who is responsible for altering the timeline?’, both teens looked at him and shook their heads in the negative and looked expectantly at Dr. Xavier to explain himself. Dr. Xavier looked at Alex and Seamus before continuing with his tale “About 20 to 25 years ago, I started to look for a successor to my role as the leader of our society and I thought I had found my successor in a little border town on the Montana-Canada border. My successor’s name was Trevor Peterson and I assumed he would be a well-mannered and courteous young man but from his arrival here through to the completion of his training he was anything but what I had originally thought of him, he was pompous-mannered, egotistical and just a plain unpleasant person to be around and to work with. I gave him plenty of warnings that he and his attitude would have to change if he were to remain a member of our society but even after multiple talks about his behavior and attitude, said attitude and behavior still hadn’t changed, I was left without any other option but to kick him out of the society, but not before Trevor left with a parting shot, “You will regret the day that you kicked me out of your society. I swear that one day I will get even with you and your society and you will know my name under a different persona”.

Alex and Seamus nodded slowly comprehending the information that Dr. Xavier had just given them, Alex then had a question for Dr. Xavier about the identity of the person that was altering events in the past “Dr. Xavier, what is the name of the person that is altering events in the past?” Dr. Xavier looked as though he had expected the question from Alex but nonetheless he pondered his answer before answering Alex’s question “He goes by the name of the Time Alterer but no one really knows what his appearance is like because the Time Alterer, he likes to operate from the shadows”. Outside the windows, the sky had darkened to a deep blackish-purple which within a few minutes had turned into full out night with stars poking their brightness through the gloom. Dr. Xavier looked through the windows and noticed that in the time it had taken him and Alex along with Seamus to have their meeting, the sky had darkened considerably so Dr. Xavier hemmed and hawed thinking whether should he tell Alex and Seamus the details of their training but decided against it due to the late hour. Dr. Xavier said “How about we meet in my office after breakfast tomorrow morning to discuss the details of your training?” Seamus nodded his head in agreement but Alex had another question for Dr. Xavier “Where will we be staying during our training?”, Dr. Xavier answered “Each of you will have an individual room that has a bed, bookcase, desk and T.V. with cable. You can also decorate your room in any way you want but please tell us when you are doing so, so that we can help you. But now I think it is time to show you two to your rooms”. With that Dr. Xavier stood up from his desk and likewise Alex and Seamus stood from their chairs and were lead to the door by Dr. Xavier and shown out of his office. Dr. Xavier then followed them through the door and locked it behind him. Dr. Xavier started to led the two down an intricate maze of hallways full of twists and turns which then lead to a wider hallway with doors on either side of the hallway. Dr. Xavier continued to lead Alex and Seamus down the hallway until they reached the far end of the hallway and Dr. Xavier stopped in front of doors on the same side of the hallway, Dr. Xavier pointed to one of the doors and said “Seamus, this is your room”. He then pointed to the door next to Seamus’ door and said to Alex “Alex, behind this door is your room”. Dr. Xavier then gazed at Alex and Seamus and bade them goodnight, Alex and Seamus said likewise to Dr. Xavier. Alex and Seamus then retired to their rooms for the night.

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