New York – November 15th, 2050, Midday
Marcus sat in the embassy as ‘ordered’. It irritated him that just a few short years ago; he was Shimmer, the hero of the rebellion. He, who won at least dozens of skirmishes against the enemy, He laughed slightly, they never even knew who they were fighting really. They could have been gang kids in power armour. All anyone knew was the fact that they landed and started annihilating everyone and everything in their path, so by necessity he was a warrior, he killed people, and he killed sympathizers. The part of it that kept him awake at night was the actuality that not all sympathizers were soldiers, he killed women and children, he was fighting for peace, what other choice did he have?
He was captured after that dummy raid was ordered and put through a machine that exiled him to a stasis ship meandering through space; he was drifting for about five years in stasis perfectly aware of what was going on when they crashed on Earth. It had been something of culture shock for most of the ‘Settlers’. Arriving as ‘aliens’ to the one place that most of them had been fighting for all those years: Earth. Granted it was roughly 2000 years previously but home is home regardless of the time that has passed.
And now Mac was ordering him around. The one person he never understood was Mac. Marcus knew dummy credentials when he spotted them but for some reason, he hired the man anyway. First impressions aside, he had a gut instinct that Mac could do a better job protecting him than a whole marine unit. Marcus knew Mac wasn’t human or at least wasn’t completely human, but Mac would open up in time.
Marcus felt the irritation in his voice again.
“Julio, for the last time. My name is Marcus, NOT Shimmer. Is that so hard for you to understand?”
Julio looked rather sheepish.
Marcus sighed and rubbed his temples.
“No, Julio I should be the one who should be apologizing. Just the fact I nearly got killed, this morning, left me kinda rattled. So, what can I do for you?”
“A whole lot of us are getting worried.”
Marcus screwed up his face.
“What has he done? Got someone’s daughter into bother?”
“No, well…not really. Have you read our history lately?”
“Julio, I haven’t reads much of anything lately, all I know is what we got taught in the trenches. I was career military; you were the scholar as far as I remember. What has Mac got to do with our history anyway?”
“In American Myth a person arose in times of conflict to sow chaos among the participants. His intentions were good but he generally caused a lot of destruction and at the end up no one knew who to blame, it was just in hindsight that we know his name.”
Marcus started to walk away.
“Julio I can’t believe you, Mac is a lot of things, but a conniving trickster and force of destruction is not two things I would attest to him.”
“I am not saying he is but the possibility is there and it is making a lot of us antsy.”
“Julio, the possibility exists that we could all spontaneously combust. Now I am not a mathematician, but possibilities are said to exist at all times in all places so theoretically we cause divergent realities whenever we influence these possibilities. So maybe in one of these alternate realities Mac is this person but right here, right now, Mac is my friend and bodyguard. You tell anyone who has a problem with that to come and see me. Are we understood?”
Julio left the Marcus’s chamber and Marcus sat down and started to scan an electronic copy of the New York Times
He glanced at the front page.
‘Settlers Bodyguard questioned for murder.’
Marcus put a hand to his head to quell the growing headache that was starting.
Mesopotamia: The Past
Konran crept slowly through the jungle, Leird was at his side. It had been 2 years since Konran had confronted Barrakas in the Kings Throne Room and after being ordered to get along, it wasn’t as if he could disobey. He had tried; he had read all the religious texts Barrakas had passed his way, in return Barrakas had come along with Konran on several campaigns. There was something else though, when the king had given the order he had looked almost relieved to get Barrakas out of his sight.
“I hate this, Leird. Practice. Why? Trained Soldiers against Barrakas’ zealots. We can’t lose.”
Leird shrugged next to him.
“You would think so sir, but remember…”
“Yes, I know Leird, Barrakas is a dangerous man.”
Crouching low in the bushes, Konran saw Barrakas standing on a platform overseeing his troops. Drawing his wooden sword, Konran readied himself to charge, when he felt a clubbing blow to the back of his head. Darkness ensued.