OoC: Intro: You can skip this if you read it in her profile.
They came without warning. Anna found the apartment ransacked the day he was taken. She'd just returned from the shooting range where she'd been enjoying the afternoon with her uncle, and was devastated to find her father gone. The kitchen table was thrown aside, everything from every cupboard now lay in pieces on the floor among scattered glass from picture frames and mirrors. Her father's desk was in shambles, papers covered the floor, the computer had been taken and left the desktop bare. The locked drawer had been forced open and its contents dumped onto the kitchen counter. The watch was still there, they hadn't known to look for it.
Quickly, Anna scooped up her green bag, which hadn't been seen under a bucket in the broom closet, and strapped on the watch. She knew that it was what those men had come for, but her father had never shown her how to use it, fearing that it might be information that could get her killed. She ran for the staircase and made it down two flights before running into two men in suits and wires. They were sent there to retrieve Anna, apparently her father needed incentive to talk.
Anna spun and ran back up the stairs, with the goons at her heels. Back on the fourth floor, she spun back and kicked the first square in the jaw, who then tumbled back down on his partner, giving her time to reach the roof. Being the lack-of-plan kind of girl she was, she stood frozen at the edge of the roof, not sure where to go. The two men emerged behind her. “C'mon, kitten,” one of them said. “No one's gotta get hurt here.”
“Except your pops if you don't play nice,” said the second, smirking. Despite their talk, they both pointed their 45s in her direction.
Anna turned to face them, her hands behind her back.
“No funny business, hands in the air, cupcake.”
She did as she was told, pulling out a small card, her SkyTran pass, from her back pocket and holding it high for them to see.
“What's that? Drop it!” one of the goons ordered.
“Please,” Anna begged, “don't shoot. This is what you want, isn't it? My father's experiment? All his files are on this card.” She watched for them to understand, and then she turned and tossed it over the side of the building. “But you'll never find it!”
The two men ran for the edge of the roof while Anna jumped to the side, out of the way, and began furiously pressing buttons on the watch as they searched for the card on the street below. The shorter of the two turned to her, full red in the face, yelling, “You'll pay for that, you little B--” he fired his gun, and the bullet flew through the air and hit the wall of the neighboring building. Anna was gone.
Anna floated in a dark space for what seemed like years while she gathered her senses. There were doors all around her, in a wide open circle. There didn't seem to be a floor. But she could move. When she tried walking, her feet made the motion of riding a bicycle and felt no pressure, no resistance, but continued in her desired direction anyway. She soon began opening door after door, all of them white, with no mark or differences. Each held a different scene beyond the door. One was a wild jungle, the next an office, another was, impossibly, underwater, a fourth gave an incredible view of the stars from a small planet with purple sand and trees. She found that even by opening and then reopening a door, it was not the same place as before. As her mind explored the possibilities that lay before her, she could not distract her heart from grieving, nor her mind from the thought of her father and his unknown fate.
Fear soon was won over by curiosity... and a desire for gravity. Anna studied the doors, trying to determine if she could recognize anything they showed her. Finally, one looked normal enough. It showed the crest of a hill. Grassy, but matted and showing patches of dirt. The sky was a pale orange; the sun wasn't in view, it was probably setting. It looked open and calm. More importantly, it looked secluded and solid, two things Anna desperately craved. She pushed her foot through the portal exit and felt gravity immediately take over. Her knees buckled when her feet touched the ground and caught herself with her hands. Her bag fell from her shoulders to the ground next to her. The grass and dirt felt cold to the touch, almost like it had just rained.
“Maybe it's autumn here,” she mused, still not completely trusting her senses.
After several long minutes of deep breathing, she managed to get to her feet. She looked around at the wide landscape before her. Most of it was covered in the almost green grass, flat in some places, hilly in others. From either side, she could not determine a cardinal direction, two colors massed over the grass. On her left a sea of red and silver, on her right a mountain of pale blue and black. It took a bit longer than it should have, but finally it dawned on her that what she was gazing out at were two opposing armies. Both of which stretched out to either side of her small hill. There was a general muffling and a clanking of metal.
One voice rang out from her right, “They've broken rank!” She could see the figure of a man, pointing in her direction. It occurred to her that he mistook her red jacket as the uniform of the opposing army.
This caused a series of other cries, passing the message along to the rest of the army. Soon the muffled chatter turned into a storm of shouts and pounding and clanking and it wasn't a moment later that they all charged. Both sides seemed to move like a river; like oil swimming across the bottom of a tilted frying pan.
Anna knew she should move and find a better, more secluded spot, one without angry men going to battle, yet she was frozen to her spot by fear, exhaustion, and shock. She pushed out of herself and forced herself to run. She was halfway down the hill when she remembered her bag. She doubled back and scooped it up. The armies were close now. Not more than a football field in length on either side of her. Now eighty feet. Now sixty. She saw nothing near by that would provide shelter. The land just seemed to go on for miles in every direction.
The first line of men collided some distance behind her, and it wasn't long before the rest caught up.
C.A.N. stood in the trees, about 500 yard out, almost directly on the center line of the battlefield. These two opposing armies were the result of the meddling of another time traveler, who was already dealt with. C.A.N. flicked his eyes back and forth between the two armies, who were at a stalemate, waiting for the other to show themselves on the hilltop. (Which was odd to him, as he knew that it was harder to fight uphill then down.)
In this seperate timeline than the regular, the technology was around that of 650 A.D. Gunpowder had already been invented, but so far the best use they had found for it was fireworks. So it was still sword to sword combat. But the reason this war had happened was because the time traveler, thinking he would help his own country from the future win the war, had worked day and night for 6 months on a time machine. That was far in the future. This war he had caused was something that would probably fracture this time stream so greatly, that it would come farther away from the base timeline, and probably end the entire world. (Of that timestream.)
There was nothing C.A.N. could do about it. He had no idea where the traveler came from, or where he had started to meddle, without fully comprehending what would happen when he did. Now that it was done, it could not be undone before this timeline collapsed on itself. Another visit would definitely be the end, if it was not already. C.A.N. was staying for the aftermath. He just had to he there to see if he could do anything at all, save the timestream, maybe. But he knew it would be a futile effort.
His gaze flickered to the top of the hill as a figure collapsed on the ground. From this distance, with magnifying eyes, he could tell it was a woman. Late teens, early twenties. A light skinned redheaded in a blue shirt, from what he could see that was not covered by her brown leather jacket. C.A.N. groaned inwardly at the thought of another time traveler in this area. But, as he continued looking, he noticed that the girl had yet to move, and looked utterly exhausted. Was she new to this? The effects of transporting yourself, as a human, through time and space were very bad for you, but the afteraffects, froma what he observed, lessened considerably after a few trips. This was SO not good.
An untrained time traveler would wreak havoc anywhere they went, present situation included. But, before C.A.N. could act, the two armies surged forward, and the battle begun.
Subsystem after subsystem kicked in inside C.A.N., and his protection protocol went into affect. He took off at a sprint,faster than most humans could ever do, and had almost reached the girl before the front lines collided. He picked his way through the fighting men, to the woman, and scooped her up, carrying her bridal style back towards the trees he had been looking from.
His brown, shortsleeved trench coat hid the modern garb that was his skin, was fluttering behind him as he resumed his previous pace, and then, when they reached the wood, he set the struggling girl down, and put a finger to his lips, telling her to be quiet. When he was certain that no one was coming after them, C.A.N. looked at the woman. "What in the hell were you thinking?" He said, faking a pant that sounded genuine, as he had just run a thousand yards.
Still a little disoriented, Anna brushed his hand away from her lips and said, “I was thinkin' it looked calm there.” She rubbed her at her aching shoulder where someone... several someones... had bumped into her with their heavy metal armor. “I didn't see anyone until I arrived. Honest. I didn't mean to get in the way...”
And then she took in her rescuer's full form. He wasn't dressed like the rest of the men, who were fighting and dying several hundred yards from the edge of the trees—the line of which she had missed in her scan of the surrounding area—but he was more dressed like her: a casual shirt, jeans, and a trench coat. “You aren't from here either, are you?” She paused and watched him as he considered his answer. Still only three feet from him, she could see the color of his eyes. They were a startling green with patches of red. She wondered at the impossibility and the beauty of such eyes. Her cheeks flushed when she realized she was staring too long. He was still considering his answer, or refusing to respond, so she stuck her hand out and filled the silence, unsuccessfully and awkwardly, with, “Um, I'm Anna.”
Refusing to answer her previous question,he reached out his own hand. "I'm Elias." He said, taking her hand, shaking it and pulling her up. "If toy are what I think you are, we need to get you out of here. That little portal trick of yours has screwdriver up this time period even more, shaking the stability of the stream. Come on, I'll take you to a hidden place away from here. We need to talk." He said, walking in the opposite direction of the fighting armies, pausing to make sure she was following.
"I can't leave you here. The situation is too unstable. If you don't know what I am talking about, we need to do something about it before any more trouble is caused."
Anna got up, still a bit shaky, and looked back to the battle that raged behind them. It was a mess. She hoped that she hadn't hurt anything by being there. She noticed Elias pause to wait for her, so quickly she scooped up her bag and followed him.
He spoke over his shoulder at her, "I can't leave you here. The situation is too unstable. If you don't know what I am talking about, we need to do something about it before any more trouble is caused."
“What situation?” she hurried to catch up and walk by his side.
C.A.N. looked over at the girl, looking a little depressed. "You really don't know what you may have caused...." He said with a sigh. "This timestream is collapsing. It means that this world will end without the future inhabitants being able to see it. The start was not your fault, but I had hoped to give them as much time as possible to enjoy themselves before their lives ended. With you appearing, I don't know how much time they have left."
C.A.N. continued walking, his body language making it known that he was saddened by the inevitable loss of a planet. He the stopped on a seperate hilltop, and said, "We're here."
C.A.N. crouched and removed a patch of grass to reveal a metal hatch. He lifted it with ease, the doer that weighed at least 80 pounds by the looks of it.
OoC: The inside is going to be a futuristic bunker, with a lot of metal and stuff.
Anna dropped down into the hidden bunker by means of a narrow metal ladder. Behind her, she heard the trap door swing shut, and then Elias was beside her. She gazed at all the machinery. It was not 2058 technology. Far advanced. And yet the sight of it brought forth the image of her dad's own lab. She touched the incredible watch on her wrist and felt miserable. She got lost in her thoughts for a moment, replaying the events of the past hour, and then shook herself out when she realized Elias was speaking to her.
"Hm? Sorry. Right... world ending. That's.. bad."
"Well, yeah! Millions of people are going to lose their lives! How the hell did you get your hands on a time travel device anyway?" Elias/C.A.N. was now feeling the human emotion of anger, looking at Anna with a stare that looked like it could shoot lasers.
OoC: Sorry! I kept looking for a notification, but I never got one! Just noticed that you'd posted!
Anna reeled back, she wasn't prepared for his outburst. "It isn't mine! I panicked and I put it on. I didn't know what it would do! I'm sorry!" She fought at the watch, which clung to her wrist like alligator's jaws on a small calf. "Stupid thing won't come off, now. My dad must have put in some secret code to..." she trailed off, mumbling as she fiddled with the machine. There were very few buttons on the actual device. One of them suddenly triggered a holographic blue square, flat and slightly transparent. She had been too busy staring down the barrel of a gun to notice what had come out of the watch last time. She couldn't even recognize what combination of codes had brought her to the room of doors.
"You see??" she held it up, unsure if the next key she pressed would collapse the screen or take her away. "Please, help me. I don't know what I'm doing..." She thought for a moment more, if this world had somehow been thrown into turmoil by her intrusion, she had to find a way to reverse the effect. "How do I fix this?"
C.A.N. sighed, calming down. He had to realize that she was merely a child, as to he had 'lived' hundreds of years.
"It isn't your fault." C.A.N. said at last. "If there were a way to fix it, I wouldn't have been there to save you. In fact, you wouldn't have needed to be saved at all if I had succeeded. Your appearence has made a stressful time even more so." He pressed a button on the wall, and two comfortable chairs popped up into the middle of the room. "Sit, we will figure out what to do later."
Once they had both settled, C.A.N. looked at Anna. "I apoligize for my outburst earlier. I have been looking for any way to fix this problem, and I cannot find one. Your inexperience as to what is happening made my temper flare, because millions are going to lose there lives and an infinite number more will never get to live them."
"You have experienced something that does not happen to many. I hope you will put it to good use. You have time-traveled, or as some would say, dimension hopped. You have traveled back and, in essence, have started a new time stream. One that won't live much longer." He let his words sink in for a moment, and then continued.
"The problem was caused by another inexperienced time traveler. I will not go into details. You do not want me to. He thought he was helping, when in fact he was destroying. Your arrival has sped up the process of destruction."
After a minute or two, C.A.N. asked, "May I see the watch?"
C.A.N. gently took her wrist and examined the watch while explaining.
"He traveled back in time to try and help his own country-the people you saw in red uniforms- win the war that caused them to live peacefully together for thousands of years. That caused a seperate timeline to be created, an unstable one. If he had let the first action he did, planting an idea in a politician somewhere in the past, then maybe it would have been safe. But he continued on after that, and the timeline became more and more unstable. I jumped in to try and save them, but it was to late."
Finished looking at the watch, C.A.N. released her wrist and looked thoughtful for a few moments. "I have never seen something like that before."
She listened to Elias' story and wondered if the man was still here in this time zone, and then his question stirred a new question in her mind. She responded, "My father made it. It was supposed to help the space program. I don't think he ever planned on this, though."
She glanced around the bunker. It was so far beyond anything she'd seen in her own time, and this was, according to Elias, the past. "Speaking of unprecedented technology... did you build all this?" She hesitated, but asked the question that was hovering in her mind, "Where are you from?"
Even after all of my research, I still don't know all of the methods of time travel.... Elias then looked up at Anna. "Most of it was here already. This used to be the man's base, the one I was telling you about. And where I'm from, welll, time traveling is tricky. I am from the year 2102, but that doesn't mean it's YOUR 2102. Rime traveling is also considered dimension hopping, and there are millions upon millions of dimensions where I could be from, all with their own timeline."
"Dimension hopping?" she wondered aloud, more to herself. "Is that what all those doors meant?" Then louder, and to Elias, "You said you were too late, why is it too late? Can't we just go back and stop him? I mean, before he tried to fix things the first time."
"That was my original plan, though I have no idea how far back he started, and it is impossible to fix this time stream now. It is far too damaged from the multiple jumps to and from. The last jump I will make in this timeline will be to escape.... although...." Elias paused, so he could consider his next words.
"Since I have no idea exactly what stream you came from, you will have to jump around if you want to find your way home. I cannot let you do that without being taught about everything that you will need to learn to try to not disrupt another stream. So, I am going to make you a proposal." C.A.N. stood, and looked at Anna.
"I would be willing to teach you, take you on as an..... apprentice, let's say, until you find your own stream. I cannot let you wander alone in good conscious. "Consider carefully before you make a decision. If you have any questions you need to ask, please do so.
There were mixed feelings. She felt strange just leaving without trying to undo the hurt she'd supposedly inflicted. On the other hand, there seemed to be nothing she could do. She might even make it worse by trying to help.
The more Anna thought about her options, the more she realized that the only one that didn't leave her alone and confused would be to train with Elias. Anna didn't have to think twice. She wanted to jump up and hug him, to thank him for not leaving her alone, in the state she was in. The thought crossed her mind that if she could learn to control her movements in time, she could somehow help her father. Restraining herself, she said, "Cool, where do we start?"
Distantly, almost indistinctly, she felt a tremor below her feet. It lasted a few seconds, but then quieted. "Um," she added, "Do you think we should start... somewhere else?"
C.A.N.'s lips twitched into a smirk on one side as he watched the emotions traveling acrossed Anna's face. At first she was confused, then, slowly, her expression turned to one of overwhelming joy, and he saw her body twitch in a way that stated that she was holding herself back from jumping up, which he could only assume was to hug him.
"Cool, where do we start?" She asked, keeping her voice level. C.A.N. was about to respond when his sensors in his feet registered a small tremor underground.
"Do you think we should start... somewhere else?" Anna asked, in a worried tone this time.
"No, this world is the perfect place to begin training you. First, you need to figure out how to use the device you travel with, ap you can control it. Most methods of dual time travel require contact if two people are to travel to the same place. So, if you will permit it, I will gently hold your wrist, the one without the watch, and I want you to try and repeat what you did to activate it when you came here, and do so, of able.
Careful not to move too quickly, she let him hold her right arm as she used that hand to work the watch. She pressed a few buttons, twisted the little silver knob on one side (a stylistic choice, not something that could actually wind the watch), but the holographic screen didn't pop up. Instead, it made a small "beep-wahmp!" Embarrassed, she tried again. This time the screen opened, a bright blue square that came out of the watch as a single beam of light and the seemed to stretch into a rectangle of its own accord. She paused to make a mental note that it was the brassy button on the top right. She looked at the screen. She hadn't been able to do that earlier; no time for it. The screen was about four inches by six inches, blue lines stretched out like a grid, and there seemed to be a few options here, too. There were three bars which acted like touch screen buttons. The top said "Start New Search", the second said "Door Room", and the third said, "Retrace Steps". A few small circles surrounded the bars, three in a vertical row on either side. Above each was the phrase "Search By:". On the left, they were labeled "Time", "Place", "Person". On the right, "Species", "Planet", "Solar System".
"Door Room," Anna said aloud. "That's where I went last time... It's how I got here. The door to this place made it look so peaceful." She let him view the options on the watch. "Do you want to see it?"
OoC: I added this info to the character's profile.
"No, that's fine. Just make sure you remember how to get there. We may need to leave in a hurry, and my method is a little less than comfortable for passengers. Now, we move onto the rules. Every step you take, you create a new timeline. They are not very stable. Most likely, they will disappear before you even realize that they are there. Conversations, on the other hand, could have a large effect, and create a more stable timestream that can have its own changes. Think of it as a large tree."
"The trunk of the tree it the main timestream, and it can branch off on its own. That is the ideal stream. Untouched, it will go on forever. Time travelers, on the other hand, are like an axe, the wind, and the sun. Every jump in and out of the stream is like taking an axe to that part. Sometimes one can cause a stream to collapse, and sometimes it takes several. The wind and sun are what the traveler does while in the stream."
"The wind happens when the traveler makes a bad decision. It can cause several different, smaller timelines, to collapse. The sun happens when the traveler makes an overall good decision. It can nurture all of the timelines, and create new ones. Your job is to always try to make good decisions."
"You have to think about the entire world, because it's fate really rests on your shoulders. Do you have any questions?"