Summary: The future is uncharted and unknown to the eye of the Professor. He still has much to learn of not only the culture of the Eloi, but of the great beyond that rests atop the wall of the canyon and down the west end of the river. What lies beneath the shadows of the forests, the mountains, the great waters? What new stories, mysteries and adventures will unfold in this new world? And what of the galaxy above them? Are there eyes watching them from the stars? If so, is it good or evil? And have they really seen the last of the Morlocks? The movie may have ended, but there are still stories yet to be told in this new chronicle that awaits the reader's eyes.
Based on the 2002 film The Time Machine with possible snippets from H.G. Wells' novel.
Disclaimer: Nothing's mine except the plot and a few Ocs that will be introduced later.
802,701... Presumably August.
The account of Dr. Alexander Hartdegen:
I arrived here on July 16th of 802,701. Mara and Kalen, the Eloi who took me in, discovered me somewhere near their Monument Grounds atop the canyon. I remained unconscious for a day and ill for seven in the comfort of their dwelling before realizing where I was. Due to my rib fracture and the fever I had developed, I was bedridden for a while.
I think that, for the first moment in my life, I've lost track of time. Though, on the other hand, the Eloi Calender is quite different from the one I once knew. They call this month Croma' or The Coming Of Fall.
This is a far warmer land than it was in my own time. Even in the months of summer I do not recall this amount of heat.
The sounds of the trolley rolling through the streets, the horses trotting amongst the paved roads, the bustling sidewalks of people saying "hello" or "get out of my way"; it is only an echo that lingers in the distance of my mind. Now all I hear is the singing of birds, the sound of children galloping on the bridges, and the song of the Eloi - an enchanting sound they are - and I must say that this new quietness is, rather comforting to my ears. The Eloi are so much more peaceful than the motor-mouthed New Yorkers; or at least they are once you can avoid being thrown into the river.
The automobile; I have longed to own one, or at least take a ride, despite that one final memory, that nightmare on Bleeker Street. The taste of a coca cola from the Pharmacy… Alas, I should have drank more of them whilst I had the time. It seemed to be one of the few comforts I had allowed myself after Emma's death. The ticking of my pocket watch can be heard no more either. I think that, besides myself, young Kalen is rather disappointed of that. The boy had taken a liking to the trinket.
Mrs. Watchit knocking on the door of my laboratory. She was indeed a dear woman. What a hard time I use to give her. Oh how caught up I use to be in the walls of my laboratory, caught inside of my theories, my ideals, my time machine…and the hope of bringing Emma back. Oh my dear Emma, how I miss you still.
And as for you, Philby; you were right about a lot of things. If only I had…no, if I were to appreciate the life I had then a little more, I may not be here now with Mara and Kalen; and what a loss that would be of it's own.
As I look around, taking this all in, recalling the past few days; I realize that it was clearly fate that brought me to this place, brought me to be so determined to finish the machine and go forward looking for an answer…and I've finally found the answer to my question.
I'll always miss the life I once shared with my beloved, the future we almost had together; but I have, I believe, finally found my peace…Somewhere I belong. Like my father always said when I was growing up; God has a plan for all of us. Maybe this was his plan for me. I just hope he's not disappointed.
~ The Time Machine Chronicles ~
CHAPTER I: Before The Hunt
They were quick to their beds in the days of the Morlocks, but they were slowly learning to embrace more hours of the night.
As for their canoes; they had come to the point of not even troubling themselves as much over pulling them up.
The heat of summer was coming to a slow but steady end, and the Eloi were preparing for the welcoming of fall; though, in this time, cool air and golden foliage was unlikely.
Alexander had noticed the change immediately once it had begun. There were more smiles around him, more laughter, and even a little more Stone Language than before.
He himself on the other hand had been learning a bit of Eloi, slowly but surely.
Mara had been quite busy in the last few days, so busy in fact, that the household chores had been left up to Alex and Kalen. Neither of them found it amusing at all, but they didn't complain. She had been basket weaving with the other women folk, and this new hobby reminded the Professor of a pioneer quilting bee.
The new dawn of this era was at times uncertain and unpredictable; if you looked at it from a scientist's point of view. It felt at times as if they were living on the edge of the world with only the river below them that flowed gracefully into the Atlantic ocean; though you would have to row down some many miles to see that ocean and God knows what else. Who knew what great creatures had been spawned in the changing of time, what new predators could be lurking out there, swimming in that dark ocean or living in the jungles around them.
At times he wondered if they were alone now, if they were the only humans in existence; but if this Colony had survived these eons and these drastic geographical changes, then wouldn't it only be sensible for there to be others? Despite their abundance, the thought of them being the last race often made him feel empty somehow, though he didn't know why. Perhaps the dreaded feeling of how he would feel if in 1903, New York was the only human civilization; and perhaps he feared that now, it was.
He was beginning to grow fond of the secret desire he had of embarking on a great exploration in this land and seeing once and for all if there was any other human life out there.
"Mara, tell me," he had asked her two days back.
"Do you know if there are any other Eloi out there? Other villages?"
She shook her head in bewilderment, wondering why he would ask such a question. Though the reason was plain and simple, considering it had not accured to either of them since they were, with other things, preoccupied...The Uber-Morlock.
"No one has ever ventured beyond this land, not past the caverns. And the few that have in stories of old never returned to tell the tale." But Mara was lying. To be truthful, the Eloi had ventured out to the mountains, every year in fact, yet she kept the secret away from him because it brought upon her great dread.
Her reply was discouraging indeed, but it wasn't enough to stop him from thinking.
Thinking…he was always thinking.
"If I were to embark on such a journey, should I explore the jungles, or perhaps the sea? Ah, the sea…the longest I've ever spent amongst the waters was on a steamboat tour to see Liberty. Perhaps the jungle and the mountains would be the best of choices."
It was true that he was no sailor, but with an ingenious mind like his there were few ideals that imposed as impossible.
"But the Eloi take to the water more than anything else; rowing to their Monument Grounds, the Stone Gallery and fishing in the river…I wonder what the rest of the world is like now. I wonder if Europe still reigns in existence as far as there being life there."
At times he felt like Christopher Columbus when he discovered America, or Louis and Clark when they explored the west. Though unlike those explorers, this man had come unprepared.
Being here in 802,701 however, was living history.
Sitting alone on the balcony in the fog of noon, he absentmindedly placed his fingers beneath his chin. The touch of the stubble that seemed to be growing longer by the day, ceased him from his curious thoughts, reminding him that he had not only abandoned shaving, but he hadn't had a good bath in two days.
"No wonder Mara has stayed busy with her basket weaving." he scoffed. "I hope I haven't given the wrong idea that New Yorkers are typically unsanitary."
He lifted his left arm slightly, getting a whiff of the strong odor of sweat that had dried to his skin and shirt. The smell made him wince in utter disgust with himself.
Being in the wilderness gave him no right to abandon his hygiene, something he had practiced well his entire life, and now at thirty four he had just recently neglected his own grooming. It shocked him.
How the Eloi men groomed themselves remained on the long list of things yet to learn of them. It appeared that baldness and beardless faces were a part of their culture. Right now Alexander's best hope for cleanliness would more than likely be a bath in the river. So he eased down to the water, thinking that he would be alone.
He removed his shirt, his socks, slacks, suspenders and shoes of course; but the bottom part of his long johns remained. He had no intention of allowing countless Eloi see him completely naked. The fact that they had all cast their eyes upon him wading in the water was awkward enough for a man of his stature; and the faint sound of young women giggling in the seats of their boats made him want to crawl under a rock. Apparently privacy and being alone was a common ritual lost long ago.
He tried to ignore their presence as he swam leisurely through the smooth, almost still water; but he wondered if the giggling of the women and the scowling stares of the men folk were due to the possible fact that bathing in front of others was not proper for them after all.
He swam down along the bank of the river, and at a point the just floated, allowing himself to close his eyes and clear his mind. It felt good, and for the first time in four years he felt relaxed; but then a sharp voice whipped past his ears and his head bumped up against a canoe's side.
"Toko clor de nei!"
"Wh- what?" He reared himself up in the water, seeing that he had floated right into Toren's fishing boat.
The tone of Toren's voice and the sneering expression in his face told the professor that he was either being scolded or cursed.
"You're Toren, the one who helped me out of the caverns," he raised a finger, pointing it at the man before him. "And the one who insisted on me being tossed into the river." he thought.
"Watch where you swim!" Toren growled, before sitting back down and paddling the canoe further down river.
It was apparent that Toren was thankful for Alexander's good efforts; but there was still that little hostility between them. Albeit minor perhaps, but it was there no doubt.
The hope for a quieter, more private bathing spot had been fulfilled, or so he thought; but with so many playful children finding the courage to run about all over the place now as well as leap into the river from the dangling ropes, it was not long before a group of seven had crashed into the water with him, splashing and giggling and enticing him to join in the game.
"Toe' blear!" They said.
"Toe'…blear?" he furrowed a brow, stressed by them all the while, though too kind to deny their welcome.
"Toe' blear!" they repeated.
"I'm afraid it's something I do not yet understand." he said.
"Let's play! It is what they are saying." said a small girl. She was one of the many children who spent almost all of her time now with Vox; and the professor was grateful to that fact.
"Play…" he smiled partially, receiving another splash of water from a small boy. "I'm afraid I…well, why not?"
So he joined them, finding it rather pleasing that he still had a enough of that inner child left to enjoy himself.
Walking back alone on a small rocky bank, he noticed that he was overly exposed by his damp long johns; and he wondered why he had been so stupid in removing his pants. With some of the Eloi around and about, he would surely be noticed, and how humiliating that would be. He had remained in the water for more time than needed as it was, just waiting for the children to leave him.
He stood on a boulder in the river, and his best bet would be swimming back, getting wetter and climbing one of the dangling ladders and finding his clothes folded on the bridge; but to his unknowing knowledge, Mara had found his clothes, suspecting he had gone for a swim; and because they reeked so sourly, she could not resist the chance to scrub them clean. It was an opportunity she had been waiting for, and the reason she had not insisted on it before was because of her uncertainty of the polite way to tell him how desperately the clothes needed washing.
She hung them to dry over the balcony of their dwelling, and in the back of her subconscious mind she worried for his absence. The last thing she wanted for him to do was get hurt. He was still new here.
Kalen had not yet returned from the Stone Gallery, and there was still the hope that Alexander would be able to catch a ride home with him, depending on how far down river he was and in which direction he had chose to swim…hopefully east.
But to her dismay, Kalen returned home later that day with no professor at all; and when Mara questioned him, he was lame for an answer.
The discussion carried on for two more minutes in their native tongue, and it was soon decided that the two of them would go searching for the missing Alex.
About fifty good rows east, they passed Toren by and it was Mara who asked him about Alexander.
The reply was in Eloi as was the question, and it was said that he had not seen Alexander since he had bumped into his boat earlier.
Being busy with taking his daily catch home, Toren did not join the two Eloi in the search. So Mara and Kalen carried on without him.
"How could he swim so far?" Mara asked out loud.
"He might have found a boat. Or stayed in the shallows." Kalen replied, wanting to relieve his sister of her troubled mind.
Mara sighed. If anything happened to him, it would break their hearts. He was family now, the only family they had.
They came to the monument grounds where they hoped to find him wandering.
"Alexander? Alexander?" Their voices echoed continuously.
"…Over here." it came at last, the voice of their Alex.
"Where are you?" Kalen asked.
"Over here." he replied, a little more impatiently this time.
"Over where?" Mara demanded.
"In the bushes." he said, shaking a bush violently for them to see.
He poked his head out, and the two Eloi wandered closer in slow, almost suspicious steps, not sure of what to make of his strange behavior. They reminded him of two young deer who had discovered a lost friend in a trap.
"Why do you hide?" Mara asked, looking more puzzled than ever.
"I'm wet and I have no decent clothing."
"Hem'ara." he replied, remembering the translation.
"Oh…" she smiled. "I washed them and hung them to dry. Why did you remove them if you were shamed?"
"Because I stunk and I just wanted a nice, quiet bath…not that I had one." he expressed with annoyance. He was more angry with himself than he was with them.
Kalen laughed. He seemed to find this story amusing and it wasn't long before Mara joined in. The mere thought of this was the funniest thing they had ever witnessed.
"Alright, alright…you've both made your points."
"I am sorry." Mara gasped between giggling. "It is just funny to think you've been wet and hiding."
"If you wanted to bathe, we could have taken you to a better place." Kalen added.
"If I thought about it, I would've waited for the two of you to come home then. It seems I can't lift a finger for myself anymore here lately without having someone to guide me along." Alexander might have kicked his own ass because right now, he really felt like one.
"Here," Kalen slipped out of his aqua robe, handing it to the professor. "Wrap it round' your waist."
"Oh," Alex reluctantly took him up on the offer. "Thank you, Kalen."
After wrapping himself in the robe, they brought him home in the canoe.
He followed them up the ladder in the dark of night, trying to hang on the steps and the robe about him all at once. It wasn't an easy task, but somehow he managed.
The good thing, despite the dark, was that it was quiet and everyone was in their dwellings. Hopefully his clothes, as well as his long johns, would be dry before long.
"Are you hungry?" Mara asked him before he could retire upstairs.
"Are you going to make anything?" he asked her in response.
"Some clem'atri." she shrugged, pulling some of her hair behind one of her ears.
"Sounds good, but…could you bring mine up?"
Clem'atri was a word for soup made with kelp-like leaves. It had a pot liquor taste.
She brought him his soup in a wooden bowl, but she refused to let him eat alone beneath the sheet of his bed. And it was no surprise that Kalen was soon to join them as well.
Alexander sat up in bed, sipping the warm soup as Mara and Kalen devoured their's while sitting on the floor.
Between engulfments they laughed and shared stories of the things that had happened to them in that day. Mara with her basket weaving, Kalen with his lessons at the stone Gallery and the unforgettable incident with Alexander.
"Mara," he had a question that he desperately wanted answered. "What is this basket making that you've been doing for? The Eloi making all of these other crafts and delivering them in canoes? When I was at the Monument Grounds I saw tents and tables where a few Eloi were setting something up. What's this all about?"
She smiled. What she was about to share with him was something that she had been looking forward to all year; and this time it would be better, without the Morlocks, and the Eloi had plans for staying out longer this time right up into the hours of night.
"Kalen," she glanced at her brother beside her. "Yup' ene' tor de lorn lex?"
Kalen nodded and glanced at Alexander.
"In the stone language, they would call it fall festival…that's what Vox told me." The boy said.
"Ah, I see. A fall festival. Sounds exciting."
"Did you have them? In New York?" There went Kalen's fond questioning of Alexander's New York.
"Of course. We had spring festivals too…all kinds of them."
Mara cut in.
"This celebration is not just for the change of season." she said before confessing something she had hoped to hold secret. "It is to see who has been chosen to join the hunting party and to see them off."
"Really?" Now the Professor was even more intrigued.
"Yes." she replied. "But I am worried that Kalen may be going."
"Kalen? Why him?"
"He is at age when boys go on their first hunting…a long hunting."
"But I want to go, Mara." Kalen confessed. "Father would be proud."
"I know." she sighed.
"Mara," Alex cut in, "I thought you said a few days ago that the Eloi never ventured beyond the caverns."
Mara swallowed nervously and glanced him with weary eyes.
"I was not telling you all there is to tell of our people." she said at length.
"Hunting party…" Alex pondered.
A hunting party? The Eloi had only fished in the river and harvested vegetation near their grounds. How would these gentle people manage as a hunting party? It seemed there was more to these people than the professor had thought.
TO BE CONTINUED…