Mark and Maddy and the Terra Nova Chronicles

Chapter 2

In the uneasy peace that came with destruction of the time portal from the Year 2149 to Terra Nova by Chief of Police Jim Shannon - Maddy's father - three years before, some things were a bit more relaxed at the colony. Having civilian student and scientist-in-training Maddy accompany now-Sergeant Mark Reynolds on his patrols was one of them.

Jim and Terra Nova Commander Nathaniel Taylor both had scowled and objected, but Maddy manipulated her father as she always did - even easier than her mom always had - to convince him armed, escorted forays into the forest for scientific samples was logical. In fact it was. It made the best use of the soldiers and scientists in the new isolated world of Terra Nova. More and more they had to become self sufficient and to develop technology from the local vegetation and animals as their high tech stocks ran out, perhaps permanently.

Attacks from the Terra Nova rebels called the "Sixers" were non-existent, with all of them having fled to the Badlands with the Phoenix Group mercenaries. Many colonists thought they went to establish their own claim to this world, now that they were cut off from 2149 – technically now the Year 2152. Taylor and Jim remained skeptical, but there wasn't a compelling reason to investigate the Badlands and provoke more fighting.

There was still the ever-present worry of 2149 breaking through the time barrier again, by building a new time travel machine to replace the one Jim had destroyed, and then bringing a terrible revenge on Terra Nova. To defend against that ever present threat, a new defense was being built.

It had all been the brainchild of Terra Nova Chief Science Officer Dr. Malcolm Wallace, aided by Chief Medical Officer Dr. Elisabeth Shannon, and by Maddy Shannon – who discovered she was truly gifted in temporal physics and mathematics.

Together with the rest of the scientific team, they developed a "Time Jammer" – as Commander Taylor described it - a device that would produce a temporal distortion energy field around Terra Nova.

Theoretically, the Time Jammer would disrupt any time transport from the future, preventing another surprise attack on Terra Nova from Year 2149 within that temporal energy shield. To the great relief of Taylor and Jim, the protective effect would extend over 100 kilometers in all directions from Terra Nova. Should Taylor's traitorous son Lucas and his evil cohorts from the Year 2149 attempt another surprise invasion like they did three years ago, they would materialize more than two days travel away from Terra Nova, which was ample time for Terra Nova forces to prepare to defend the colony. In the last attack, the Phoenix Group had materialized only 3 kilometers away, and overwhelmed the colony quickly.

It was nearly operational. It was an odd looking device, sprouting antennae everywhere.

Dr. Wallace asked Elisabeth one more time, "You're sure this time distortion device won't affect our health?"

"I am certain. All the medical tests show that it works fine."

Commander Taylor and Jim stood nearby as Dr. Wallace and Elisabeth made the final preparations. Taking a deep breath, Dr. Wallace turned it on.

A visibly shimmering wave emanated from the device, and radiated outward swiftly. As it passed through Elisabeth, she became instantly dizzy. So did everyone else. The feeling passed quickly, though.

"I wasn't expecting that. Is everyone OK?" asked Elisabeth.

A litany of "I'm fine" answers echoed back.

"It must have been a time propagation effect similar when we went through the portal to come here originally. After all, it is a variation of the same effect – we all got nauseous coming through the portal," explained Malcolm.

They quickly went outside of the laboratory, watching the distortion wave cover the colony and surrounding land around Terra Nova.

Commander Taylor had a slight scowl as he watch the time distortion effect spread. Elisabeth saw that and asked, "So what do you think?"

Taylor gruffly stated, "I am praying it will work and not kill us all as it takes effect."

The Time Jammer had a side benefit of detecting and pinpointing any time travel action anywhere on the planet – an early warning system. Taylor was particularly happy with that feature.

The other side benefit of the time distortion field - which extended vertically as well as outwardly - was that anything short of an orbital bombardment of the colony would be thwarted. No attack aircraft or bombs could materialize directly overhead of the colony.

Being further prepared, Taylor and his military team had salvaged and built up the colony's defenses from the Phoenix Group's armored fighting vehicles and cannons that the Terra Novans had damaged or sabotaged during the days of the Phoenix Group's invasion and occupation of Terra Nova.

They almost felt safe again, and now were much better prepared to defend against any assault force from 2149. A three year lull was even more reassuring.

Aside from many reports across the colony of the initial disorientation from the wave of temporal energy that passed through them all, there were no lingering effects. Everyone could celebrate.

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