Fate of Our Future Past

Author : Michael “Freeman” Herbaugh

“This skull has been carbon dated at being 3 million years old. Yet, clearly it is the skull of a 20th century homo-sapiens. You’ve been trained for the last five years because of the discovery of THIS skull.”

Cartwright listened to the director of The Program as he spoke solemnly. The skull had indeed been found five years later at an archeological site in Brazil. It took quite a bit of doing but the US government had managed to keep it relatively quiet. Because of the skull, they learned that time travel was indeed possible, at least into the past. Someone had done it, though it cost his or her life. The US was determined to be the ones to discover the secret and launched “The Program”.

Assembled here was Cartwright’s team, being let in for the first time on the biggest secret known to man. They had known they were being trained for a trip that was far from ordinary but had no idea until today just how far they would have to go. The three women and two men would be the first to use the monstrous time machine that had been assembled to send them back three million years.

As the director finished explaining the discovery and motivation of the US government to the team, Cartwright could see the shock and realization come over their faces. By the time the briefing was done, he would swear Summer’s face had an expression of pure joy on it, juxtaposed with Leon’s look of solemn fear.

“That’s all, people,” finished the director. “You launch in 48 hours. Cartwright, as team leader I need you to stay behind for a final briefing. The rest of you dismissed. Enjoy your day of leave, then back here.”

As Cartwright settled into a chair opposite the director’s desk, the director’s tone changed, becoming soft. “There is one last objective for this mission, which is why a soldier like you was chosen to lead it,” he said. “This is not easy to say nor will it be easy for you to carry out. The scientists studying the skull have finally matched dental records as of last year. The team’s botanist, Gloria Hartigan–this skull is hers.”

The director took a pistol from his desk. “Make sure she doesn’t come back.”

The Unequivocal

Author : S.Clough

You’ve heard of the Unequivocal, right?

Okay, then. I’ll assume you’ve been living under a rock since before you were born. The Unequivocal was the very first flagship of the Earth fleet. One of the early-pattern destroyers: It was lost in its fourth year of service, holding off a half-dozen Beamer ships by itself, buying time for a freighter convoy to get through from Deimos to Earth.

Now when I say ‘lost’, I don’t mean destroyed. I mean lost. There’s no real evidence as to what happened to it, but everybody thought that it was destroyed.

The Beamers signed the treaty, and everyone forgot about the Unequivocal. When Free Celestia declared their tax war, and Earth was forced to defend itself again… the Unequivocal showed up. A freight-courier was blasting the run from Eros, and an entire Celestia wolfpack was right there waiting. Now, freight-couriers are hardly defenceless, but even an ECS variant armed to the teeth would have issues with such a wolfpack; a merchant navy variant had no chance.

They’d lost shields, and most of their weapons when the Unequivocal blindsided the wolfpack. It was a real laser show – big weapons: old thermonukes, hard beams, Wraitii caps, and some other stuff even Earth Central can’t identify. The Celestians were wiped out, and the Freight-Courier limped home. Its sensor arrays had been badly damaged, but it had recorded the battle in high enough quality to confirm that the only known ship which matched that hull configuration was the Unequivocal. Of course, it could just be an old destroyer, modified over time to resemble the old flagship. But spacers, being spacers, would prefer for their saviour to be a revenant from the past rather than a modern-day phenomenon.

Now, the rumour goes that in that fight near Deimos, the Unequivocal was hit by a Beamer secret weapon, and something odd happened – isolated spacetime bubbles and transference are the popular theories. To be honest, I don’t care. I don’t know if it is that same ship that disappeared all those years ago, but I know pilots and captains which owe their lives to it. It never communicates anything, never stops, and has no known base. It just appears, fights, (most often against overwhelming odds), and leaves. Untraceable.

Every Earther who strays beyond their homeworld’s ecliptic has hope now. If everything turns against them, the Unequivocal might show. They’re not scared to face up to those who would deny them the system.

And that, my friend, is why I believe the stories.