Author: Julian Miles, Staff Writer

Don gives Ted a grin, then turns back to the dishevelled man standing in front of them.
“Tell me again.”
Ted snickers quietly.
“I liked the bit where she rode in on a dinosaur.”
The man sighs.
“Short version: we’ve been messing with time travel for too long. We’ve broken it.”
Ted looks at Don.
“Broken what? Time travel?”
The man shakes his head.
“Time itself. Well, maybe not broken, more like exceeded a threshold.”
Ted tilts his head in annoyance.
“Then why didn’t you say that? What are you on?”
“Because you two were reaching for your tasers when I tried to give you the long version.”
Don gives an embarrassed shrug.
“Thought you were a lunatic.”
Ted mutters.
“Still think you are.”
Don slaps him lightly on the shoulder.
“Excuse my partner. Let’s start again. You’re Professor who?”
“Not quite. I’m Vad. Used to be Professor Clarkson’s bodyguard.”
Ted’s eyes widen.
“The Professor Clarkson?”
Vad nods.
“The famed debunker of anything he was paid to turn his immense following against.”
Ted looks heartbroken. Don grins, then frowns.
“Was? He’s dead?”
Vad shrugs.
“Don’t know. He fired me when I sided with Elza.”
Ted grins.
“And we’re back to the babe on the dinosaur.”
“Ankylosaur, to be more precise. It’s safe: grazing in the park.”
The three of them look to one side. A woman in a strange uniform smiles at them, then points to their left.
“This place is about to be levelled. We need to evacuate.”
Ted grabs for his taser.
“She’s a terrorist!”
Don bats his hand away, raising the other hand in query.
“Going to need a reason, madam.”
She sighs.
“The time expeditions of 2050 through 2080 sent many vessels back to the Cretaceous. Recoil from the causality backlash will drop most of them here.”
All three of them stare at her. Vad speaks first.
“How does that work?”
“The temporal defence field prevents anything going further uptime. The government of 2124 decided to defend itself from time-tossed artifacts. As causality fixes the future and spins off new timelines to defend it if the interference event has too big an impact, they don’t care about the devastation that’ll be caused. A few of us objected and chose to come back to help.”
Ted shakes his head.
“Still not seeing how something from 2052 will end up here.”
“Rebound. The causality backlash tries to send them to their origin points. They bounce of the temporal defence field. Tonight is when the first time travel event occurred somewhere in the world, so this is where they’ll end up. Don’t ask me for the science behind it. I just know what’s coming.”
Vad nods.
“Makes sort of sense. I’m with you.”
Don agrees.
“Crazy as it sounds, likewise.”
Ted shakes his head.
“You’re mad. I’m going to call it in.”
He turns back towards their patrol car. Elza and Vad rush the other way. Don watches Ted until he reaches the vehicle, then runs to catch up with the other two. Just as he reaches them, a colossal grey disk appears, hurtles over his head, and crashes down, obliterating patrol car, Ted, and Hope Plaza.
Elza turns and pats him consolingly.
“Sorry about your friend.”
Don looks about.
“How much more to come? Just how much time travel did the future get up to?”
Vad grins.
“I’m guessing lots. Ripping resources from the past to prop up a society struggling to survive on a ruined planet.”
Elza points at him.
“Spot on, and it’s all getting returned tonight.”
Don sighs.
“Everything at once? Bloody typical.”