Author : Julian Miles, Staff Writer
“Previously thought to be. Think what this does to current thinking!”
“We’re going to be famous!”
The two figures sat side by side on a ledge, far up on the side of the Rock of Gibraltar. At their backs was the entrance to the cave system they had scrambled from a few minutes before, desperate for air, sun and a chance to discuss their findings with less hysteria.
Duncan smiled as he racked up the list on his fingers as he spoke: “Correct me if I am wrong: what we have found and verified by scanning is the fossilised remains of a mammoth. In the Rock. Not only is it thousands of miles from where it could conceivably be found; evidence of extreme freezing damage is traceable throughout its visible area. A Siberian flash freeze casualty on Gibraltar.”
Susan nodded: “That would cover it. Something that rewrites ice-age extent and possibly mammoth distribution theories.”
They regarded each other with the excitement of shared passion and allowed themselves the luxury of a lingering kiss. Which is why the blow that hurled them both off their perch to plunge, screaming, hundreds of feet to their deaths caught them unawares.
The figure in worn hiking gear settled into the cave entrance and activated the lozenge-shaped device loop-affixed to his left ear.
“This is Purson. Have located and erased traces of Specimen NF24953. This completes the retrieval activities for Thurutar’s Bay Eight.”
“Acknowledged, Nero. Query: we see a two sentient demise increase on the temporal telemetry?”
“Two clever types out to erroneously rewrite history. Simple climbing accident; I have erased the data on their equipment.”
“Acknowledged. Will you be paragliding to rendezvous with the Nastar?”
“Negative. Two bodies plunging from on-high followed by an unauthorised jump-glider? That would attract attention.”
“Accepted. Fixing you position now. Passing 5D to the Nastar. Standby.”
Nero Purson held his breath as the spinning grey void closed about him. With a soft exhalation, he appeared on the Nastar’s deck.
“Welcome aboard, Ser Purs’n.” The tailless Alsatian analogue was a Nikoro time chief.
“Dark the clock, Ch’if.”
The faux-canine with the IQ of 200 shook itself: “Less dark thanks to you and yours. Where are we taking you?”
“Louisiana, 1851. Seems one of the megacrocs survived.”
“Who could have predicted that the Thurutar would explode across four dimensions?”
Nero looked up into the blazing Mediterranean sunlight: “Someone should have. If a vessel can travel along an axis, it would follow, to me anyway, that wreckage of same can hurtle along it too.”
It shook its head sadly: “Oversight accusations are no doubt occurring uptime. Let us enjoy the luxury of only having to flit and kill across a few millennia to clear up the mess.”
Nero grinned: “And enjoy the weather. I’m due a couple of days. Can the Nastar remain on station with me, Ch’if?”
The Nikoro’s face split vertically into a stained, sawtooth smile before it slumped sideways to lie on a sunny part of the deck: “I was hoping you’d ask for that. Get me a drink on your way back from the shower, Purs’n.”