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Captain
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 1,085
# 4
02-06-2013, 04:51 PM
Tales of Alyosha Strannik
"One More Candle"


Personal Log of Captain Alexei Ivanovich Strannik, Encrypted.

It's easy to talk about the Temporal Prime Directive. About the moments in history where the most wildly-diverging timelines converge and then break apart--the temporal loci that send out shock waves forwards and backwards in time by the sheer gravity of what happened there. And how those compression waves have a way of drawing people caught in temporal anomalies into or around the most chaotic time frames--places of impending tragedy where the worst...and also the very best in people will soon be displayed for all to see.

It's also easy to speculate about why we wound up on Earth from all the way in the Tau Dewa block--perhaps it had something to do with the fact that I exist partially in another phase, or perhaps it had something to do with the fact that elsewhere in the United States during that time frame, I 'slept' underground in stasis, still waiting for the geologists to come and awaken me.

But all of that is reduced to academics' talk when it actually happens, and you find yourself suddenly swept from shouting a warning to a shuttle crew to raise shields and flee the temporal anomaly scanners had just revealed--and that you can sense all over you, and then you're swept back in time and place.

And then you look up...and up...a bit to the right...and up even further, and you realize exactly what the enormous shadow is that blocks the sun from your view: a place so majestic and yet so few, in the scheme of time, ever had the chance to witness in full glory as I now have.

That this is the world that adopted me...not the world of my birthright...doesn't matter in a time and a place like this. One that engenders such reverence and such mourning all at once. We can look at monuments and reflect upon tragedies past, parse them at a safe distance--but the awful, helpless foreknowing of actually standing in that shadow simply cannot be adequately expressed.

Commander th'Valek shielded us quickly enough with his illusions; to those passing by, we were nothing more than another set of average tourists or perhaps commuters on foot. And that meant we saw at close proximity the vitality in this place. Utterly vibrant. Utterly fragile.

This I will never forget: I saw them exit and walk by, just heading home from a day's work.

We had to return to our time, those of us of Earth in one way or the other with aching hearts as we walked among the heroes of ordinary life.

The temporal compression waves were growing exponentially stronger--and with the right tuning of our equipment it was clear that we would very soon be swept away, back home, well before morning, and all we could do was wait in silent vigil.

One change I did make, as we waited in the place history told me would be safe even if our calculations were wrong. There in St. Paul's Chapel, one more votive candle burned, soon to stand against the dark.
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Last edited by gulberat; 02-06-2013 at 04:59 PM.