Frank Parker stood in the equipment room of the N.N.L base as he finished suiting up. He was preparing to Backstep to prevent a train wreck, which had, in this timeline, killed a visiting diplomat and caused an international incident.
Just then Olga appeared in the doorway.
"Mr. Parker," she said, "Hurry we must get this Backstep underway."
"Don't get your knickers in a twist," he said, "I'm ready."
"My knickers are none of you business Mr. Parker." She retorted walking out the door. Frank smiled, lately she had been responding to his comments at little more playfully than she had in the past. Frank grabbed his helmet and started toward the sphere. Frank Climbed into the sphere and strapped in as the door was being sealed. Olga began the countdown from the control room.
Reactor at 80...
Meanwhile, in the same, timeline at the Hoover Dam...
When no one was looking a tool-chest on rollers that had been placed in front of one of the main control consoles for the generators rolled slightly and bumped a lever causing the water pressure on the turbines to be increased almost a hundred fold! With in seconds some one was there bringing the generators back to normal. But the damage had already been done and a massive power surge was headed straight for N.N. L. and project Backstep!
"Reactor at 100 percent engage!" said Olga. Frank hit the Launch button and the precise moment that the power surge hit N.N. L. The electrical system exploded around the people in the control room and there was a flash of brilliant white light as the sphere vanished into the time stream.
Frank held on to the Joystick for dear life as he went through the most intense Backstep of his life, suddenly the sphere slammed into something hard and began to roll light a giant boulder finally in came to rest lodged between something. Frank sat there for a minute as he tried to shake off his dizziness. He was on his side in the sphere when he looked up he was relieved to see the hatch above him.
At least he wasn't trapped. Shaking off the remaining dizziness he pushed open the hatch and climbed out. He looked around to see that he had rolled half way down a hill before lodging between two giant oak trees. Shedding his orange flight suit and helmet. He donned his civilian clothes and proceeded to pile branches and brush on top of and all around the sphere to hide it as best he could. Then he set off his search of a phone.
When Frank topped the next hill what he saw made his mouth drop open. There in the valley below him was a medieval Russian village. Frank turned around and raced back to the sphere and climbed inside. The console gages said May 5, 1000 A.D!!
"I've gone over a thousand years into the past!" said Frank sinking down on to the sideways pilot's seat. After sitting there a few minutes trying to digest what had happened he climbed out of the sphere camouflaged it and start down the road away from the village figuring that it would be best if he avoided people for the time being. He wasn't sure how long he walked he just knew that the sun was going down and it was getting dark. He gathered some wood and struck a match to it fortunately the wood was dry so he soon had a roaring fire. He lay there dozing when suddenly he heard voices he couldn't tell what they were saying but he was curious so he moved in the direction that they had come from. When he got closer from his place among the trees he saw two men on horseback that looked like mercenaries of some sort. They dismounted and one of them started a fire. And they sat there talking. Although he wasn't sure Frank suspected by the way that they both kept looking down the road every so often that they were waiting for someone. Finally after about half an hour had passed. Frank, who had been sitting in his hidden spot carving the walking stick he had picked up into a spear with his pocket knife just in case, saw a wagon coming up they road toward the two men. They stood up and walked over to meet it. Frank guessed that this was the man they had been waiting for.
Hidden in the shadows Frank edged closer and listened. He knew a little Russian at was able to pick out something about, it getting them some good money at market but that there was no reason they couldn't have a little fun first. They grinned and laughed wickedly then one of then reached into the wagon and pulled out a woman, throwing her roughly on the ground. Franks breath caught in his throat the woman on the ground was a dead ringer for Olga an exact double. She was clothed in the tattered remains of what had once been a pink dress, her hands were tied and there was a makeshift splint on her left leg. The man that had been driving the wagon said something about her trying to escape so he broke one of her legs so she couldn't get away. She spat something at them in Russian that obviously was anything but a compliment.
One of the men reached for her skirt and that's when Frank realized what they intended to do. Jumping up he Charged out of the trees brandishing the homemade spear and yelling like a madman.
The three men whirled around and drew their swords. The one closest to Frank raised his sword to strike but Frank, using his spear like a quarter blocked the blow and dealt the man a crashing blow across the top of his head. He grabbed man's sword out of his hand as he was falling and spun around just in time to slash the second man right across the abdomen. As the second man slumped to the ground the third man raised his sword over his head to strike. But Frank moving at lightning speed thrust his blade forward impaling the charging man. When the fight was over Frank turned to the woman on the ground. When he held out his hand to her she tried frantically to crawl away but with the pain in her leg she didn't get far before blacking out.
A few minutes later the Woman was awakened by the smell of roasting rabbit meat. And she realized that her hands were free and that she was near a fire and wrapped in a strange coat.
Frank smiled when she looked up at him. He was squatting near the fire and slowly turning a stick on which was several pieces of meat. He saw the woman lick her lips at the meat. Smiling again he check the meat to make sure that it was done. The he pulled a piece off of the stick and held it out to her. She took it and began to eat greedily.
"My word," he said softly, "when was the last time you ate." She looked up at him when he spoke. Frank could swear the look said,
"I like the sound of your voice." He walked around the fire and placed a second piece of meat in her hands. This time he pointed to Himself and said,
"Frank." Then he pointed to her. She said
"My name Annika."
"You speak English?" said Frank.
"Yes," she replied in accented English, "I learn from western explorers who visit my country."
"Then why did you let me do all that pointing?" said Frank feeling a little duped,
"It's cute," she replied with a smile. Frank flopped down next to the fire on one of the blankets that he had taken from her captors and put his hands behind his head.
"Well," he said, "This cute guy is going to get some sleep." He closed his eyes and was almost asleep when he felt her move up and lay down beside him. She spread the blanket that she had been sitting on over both of them as best she could.
"The night will get colder," she said, "Will keep each other warm." And for the first time he could remember Frank B. Parker was nervous.
TBC PLEASE READ AND REVIEW.