In our not-too-distant future, over hunting had caused some of the last great animals to go extinct, including the mink whale and the African elephant. Some people were so tormented by this, it became known as the last great mass extinction.
It caused such a backlash that hunting was outlawed entirely. Eventually a manuscript from the dark ages was found that showed everyone how to prevent this from happening in the first place.
The time machine required a person of the same geneology of that time. There was only one viable candidate for time travel. His name was Eric Samuel Olson. At the time, he was helping goanas in Australia, trying to protect them from poachers. He was brought in beaten and bruised.
Some officials briefed him on his mission. Back during the dark age, there was a select group of people who hated animals who led a conspiracy to wipe out every creature on earth. All they needed was the single genocide of one creature. And that would be officially part of man's nature.
The officials told Eric that his family was a group of nobles who stood against this conspiracy. But one of the conspirators was the chancellor of that kingdom. The chancellor was able to sway the king and queen without telling them his ultimate plan to take away the Olson's nobility.
"So I'm to expose the chancellor's conspiracy and get my family back?" Eric asked.
"Yes," said one official. "You're our only hope."
"Well, what are we waiting for," Eric said.
Eric got into the time machine and given clothes from the Middle Ages to help blend in.
The next thing Eric knew, he was in a barn with hay in it.
"It figures I would land in a farm," Eric said to himself. He looked around. There were cows in the pasture outside. But then he noticed a pile of gold next to the hay. He examined the gold wondering why it was there. But then he noticed something sleeping on it.
It was a baby dragon. "Impossible!!" he whispered to himself. "They do exist after all."
"Of course they exist," said a voice behind him.
Eric turned around and saw his great-great grandmother for the first time.
"Who are you?" she asked. "Where do you come from?"
"I was sent here from the future by a wizard," he said. "He told me to help you get your nobility back."
"Then why couldn't the wizard come back?" she asked.
"He fell very ill and sent me in his place," Eric said.
"Sorry to hear that," she said. "Well, you're not just going to sit in the hay all day. Get up out of there."
Eric got up and started looking for something to do that was part of his mission.
"How about you go to town to get my son," she suggested. "I sent him earlier but he hasn't returned."
"Sure, why not," said Eric. Then he started walking to town. When he got there he saw his ancestor who was a little boy at the time. He was about 11 or 12 years old. The boy was hanging around by a merchant selling animals for pets or companions.
Eric saw off in the distance, the king and queen riding in through town. Eric also saw someone who looked like one of the poachers in Australia, but he was dressed in noble clothing.
Eric saw this as an opportunity. He went to the ancestor and said, "Young man. Your mom sent me to find you."
The child then replied, "I wish I had enough money to get Belshazzar a playmate."
"Belshazzar?" said Eric. "Is that your pet dragon?"
The child nodded in response.
The chancellor got off his horse and decided to walk. The horse was thirsty and walked to get a drink. The chancellor muttered to himself, "Stupid beast."
The chancellor then went into the tavern.
Eric began telling the child stories of the extinctions the chancellor caused after taking away the Olson nobility. The chancellor overheard the tales while drinking his whiskey. After finishing, he continued to listen in.
Eric realized he was there but didn't do anything about it. He wanted the chancellor to hear of his own treachery. Eric continued the story and eventually got to the part about how the chancellor's descendant became of evil poacher.
Eric told how he was almost killed by the chancellor's descendant but a cobra saved him by biting the chancellor's descendant. The snake bit him and then slithered off leaving Eric untouched.
The chancellor began to get scared and angry at the same time. Eric turned his eyes to him and said, "What's the matter man? Story too overbearing for you?"
The chancellor fell back out of his chair and staggered to the exit. Eric then pulled a novelty snake-in-a-can out of his pocket and released the fake snake at the chancellor to startle him. The chancellor screamed in horror and ran out stumbling. He fell right at the pet merchant's feet surrounded by animals.
The chancellor said, "I hate animals!" He shouted out where everyone could hear how he hated all animals and would devote his life to ensuring that they would all be exterminated off the face of the earth.
The king and queen heard him. Eric's ancestors who came into town heard him. Eric and the little boy heard him. The king ordered the chancellor arrested and thrown in jail. The king had always had suspicions about the chancellor, and his conspiracy but lacked evidence. Now he essentially had a confession. Case closed.
Eric disappeared realizing his job was done.
The Olsons got their nobility back and the bounty on slain dragons was repealed.
Eric woke up back in his own bed and in his own time. But some things were different. He had a gold wedding ring on his finger. He saw a beautiful woman in bed with him. She looked like the princess in the manuscripts. In this new future, his family had been nobles for centuries and were friends of the king and queen for many generations.
Eric's mom called up to him. "Son! Belshazzar needs feeding!"
Eric got up and went to feed his 600 year old dragon, the same one he saw as a baby after time traveling. Now he was all grown up and had a much bigger pile of gold and a much bigger appetite.