The Future's Dark Past Series
Prequel: The Recombinant Theory (completed)
Prequel two: Earth Dismantled
First book: Book One (completed)
Second book: Book Two (under construction)
Third book: Book Three
The Arrival: May 14, 2355
Hope Bannister watched through the viewport as a shuttle made its final approach to the Time Forward Space Platform. After what seemed like an eternity, the clamping locks grabbed the craft, securing it to the docking station with a resounding metallic clunk. Finally, she thought. If we’re going to change the past, we’ve got to do it soon. Only two agent candidates had survived the genetic recombination. Not enough.
Bannister wondered how this next recruit would handle the final phase of training. She reached up with a sigh and pulled her curly auburn hair back, twisting it into a knot. As the airlock hissed open, she took a clumsy step away from the interior hatch. The lone passenger from Genesis Station strode effortlessly through the opening, her magnetic boots clicking on and off the grated metal floor.
Kristen Winters radiated a rare confidence. She’d come a far cry from the beaten down girl who was so desperate to escape Earth. The nanocarbon vest she wore revealed newly defined muscles. Her thick braid of long black hair floated behind her like a serpent ready to strike.
“There you are,” Bannister said. She squared her shoulders and allowed herself a glimmer of optimism. Kristen just might be the one to impact the timeline enough to make a difference. She possessed more potential than they’d seen in a long time. Since Richard Kants, in fact, and he’d set the bar very high as the original time warrior. Knowing his cantankerous disposition, Bannister contemplated how he would handle having her as competition. Maybe it would generate a new motivation in him.
Kristen flashed an uncharacteristic smile and stepped forward to exchange a perfunctory hug. Bannister cringed at the break in standard protocol but said nothing, as no disrespect had been intended. Her spontaneity would drive Kants crazy, but he’d have to get over it.
“You’ve come a long way since we first met,” Bannister remarked.
“Have I, now? Amazing what three squares a day will do for you.”
“Indeed.” Bannister tamped back her bemusement, thinking, I like her. “Just the same, thank you for sticking with it.”
“Yeah, sure,” Kristen placed her hands on the sides of her hips, elbows out, and gazed around. She looked ready to take on the universe. Within seconds, though, she cringed. “I feel kind of weird.”
“Yes, that’s normal. You’re feeling The Worm’s geodetic effect. Pretty soon, you won’t even notice it.” Bannister turned and signaled with her head. “Follow me, please.” She trudged down the airlock corridor to the main passageway and pointed to a plate-sized oval ring on the wall. “Grab that travel lift, and I’ll get the other one.” Their mag-boots released from the floor the instant they gripped the rings.
“Whoa,” Kristen muttered, righting herself as she floated.
“Command center,” Bannister ordered, and the handles started to pull them along. The pace accelerated, and she watched her recruit hook an elbow through the ring. Kristen grinned from ear to ear as they whizzed down the hallway, clearly delighted with the mode of travel.
When they rounded a corner, Kristen observed, “This place is huge compared to Genesis Station. Is it a Dyson Sphere?”
“Technically, no. The Time Forward Space Platform is not a world unto itself.”
“Feels like it,” Kristen said. “So, you did all of this?”
“With a lot of help,” Bannister replied. It had taken over two decades of hard work to develop the space station in the outer limit of the solar system.
“It’s definitely impressive. Speaking of which . . .what about The Worm? When do I get to see this bad boy?”
They stopped at another airlock door, and their mag-boots reengaged with a click. Bannister placed her hand on a square sensor, anxious to see Kristen’s reaction. The door slid open and cold air escaped with a quiet whoosh.
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