Disclaimer: I do not own the television series 'Continuum' nor any characters and ideas therein, this work is intended purely as a form of recreation and not for any commercial use.
Note: This story takes place in an alternate universe; there will be changes in the history and personality of primary characters. Please be aware that there will be inconsistencies when compared with real world laws, people and events.
-- 15 minutes until the execution
-- Vancouver District Prison: execution chamber
Right on, schedule a holographic display overlayed itself over the half-meter thick reinforced steal sheets that covered the visitor booth giving a clear image of the already seated occupants.
'No doubt put in place to taunt the Liber8 members; reminding them that they failed in their mission' Keira thought as she scanned the room's occupants, which consisted of the remaining members of the corporate congress, their senior staff and selected members of the press if the portable cameras they wielded were any indication.
She almost shook her head in dismay, silently cursing the imbecile who thought it was a good idea to place the remainder of Liber8's most desired targets all in the same building together.
'They better hope that Liber8 couldn't find enough military grade explosives in time to level this place since if the corporate congress building was any indication they have no regard for collateral damage' her mind shifted briefly to the eight prisoners, 'or martyrdom'
Her gaze lingered over her husband worry starting to seep in before her training quashed it leaving only cool objectiveness behind.
Detecting movement Kiera's eyes snapped to the chamber entrance, quickly followed by the rest of her squad as their objectives started to file into the centre of the room; trained eyes followed their every move.
'Disengage safeties' came Kiera's silent command. She was taking no chances tonight, Liber8 was able to successfully infiltrate, bomb and collapse the counties' most secure installation just 6 months ago and tonight's occupants were no less tempting.
The prison's P.A. system signified the start of the execution as it started to recite the names of the convicted, their crimes and sentence, while guards walked towards the prisoners in order to remove their bindings.
Kiera frowned as the guards crossed her team's line of sight while they were removing the restrains, choosing to circle around the back of their target to unbind the opposing hand rather walking in front, as they were instructed.
The warden informed her team about the need to remove the prisoner's bindings but the way the guards went about doing so made her suspicious, activating her RCD, she performed an active scan only to grow even more suspicious at the almost intentional effort made by the prison guards to obscure the prisoner's hands.
Performing another scan the moment the guards left, she couldn't detect any explosive residue, EM emission nor any known reactive biological compound on any of the prisoner's hands or clothing but she couldn't shake the feeling that something bad was about to happen. Her gut told her something wasn't right but tech doesn't lie there was no detectable trace of anything that could potentially be an explosive device.
Not fully, trusting her equipment went against everything, they taught her as a Protector but if her time in the military has taught her anything, not expecting the unthinkable will kill you.
"What the Hell?"
A visible column of charged plasma formed out the centre pylon forcing her visor to attenuate the almost blinding light while she was still actively scanning the prisoners, as the lack of reaction from both them and the prison guards kicked her suspicions into overdrive.
She activated her RCD's reflex package, increasing her perspective of the world by a factor of fifteen slowing her perceived time to a crawl, something reflective caught her eye as she observed the prisoners as one, started to draw their hand back as if to perform and underhand throw reveal a dark crescent moon shaped object. Spectroscopic analysis couldn't identify the alloy but that doesn't mean it couldn't be a bomb.
"He's got something!" Kiera shouted, hoping to alert as many people as possible to the potential danger, as she sprinted towards Ingram hoping to intercept him before he could use the device.
She was half way before the rest of the squad started running.
She rammed into Ingram at full sprint just as the object left his hand, it accelerated, gaining some sort of electromagnetic attraction towards the column of plasma, slipping out of her reach and combining with seven other similar pieces, glowing briefly before it expelled a powerful pulse of energy.
Kiera felt a painful tingling sensation as the wave passed, her visor and eyes completely polarising in order to save her vision before a second shockwave rendered her unconscious.
Kiera awoke, to the deluge of diagnostic reports flooding her mind, detailing blood pressure, armour, implants and weapon's integrity; focusing on her physical condition and that of her primary implants she started to read all the reports.
--Physical Diagnostic Status---
-- Critical Neural Injuries: N/A
-- Critical Soft Tissue Injuries: N/A
-- Critical Skeletal Injuries: N/A
-- Performance Dampening Injuries:
-Deep tissue bruising around the 3, 4, 5 left costal
-- Superficial Soft Tissue Injuries:
-Heavy bruising around upper thoracic
-- Superficial Skeletal Injuries: N/A
-- Blood Pressure: 137/86
-- Reflex Combat Display Status ---
OFFLINE: Initiating reboot
- Optic Relay: …100%
- Target System: …100%
- Vision System: …100%
- Biometrics: …100%
- Reflex System: …100%
- Cellular Memory Review: …100%
- Material Analysis: …100%
- Utility Synchronisation System: …100%
-- All Primary Systems Activated: Status Optimal ---
-- Secondary System allocated to background boot
--- WARNING: CPS-Uplink not responding ---
'That's strange' she thought, finding herself flat on her back in an unfamiliar location after restoring her primary senses and depolarising her visor she took note of the unfamiliar rubble surrounding her.
Switching to her CPS emergency frequency, "CPS this is Cameron please respond… CPS?" growing immediately concerned at the lack of response, as this channel is globally available and always monitored.
On her feet, she retrieved her weapon and tried to identify her location. GPS positioning was unavailable, either due to the electrical discharge from that sphere or something far more serious she didn't know, but celestial positioning of the few visible stars confirmed her location to be within 17 Km of the Vancouver Bay area but judging by the lack of recognisable landmarks that should be impossible.
A red jumpsuit caught her attention as she navigated the rubble, causing her to crouch instantly; carefully she approached the immobile figure, which on closer inspection reviled to have multiple pieces of ribbed steel bars penetrating through his torso.
Lucas Ingram was identified and declared deceased by her RCD, 'one down, seven more to go' Kiera thought to herself, searching for any sign of the other prisoners. The sound of falling rubble shifted her attention to the other side of what appeared to be a severely damaged concrete bridge spotting two fleeing figures in red jump suits.
"CPS, Maintain your position!" she demanded, while simultaneously raising her weapon at the two fleeing escapees.
-- CR-184M: Targeting system – Offline --
- Manual targeting request received
-- Activating Redundancy Systems --
Kiera took aim and shot out one of the fleeing suspect's knees before he could completely escape around a corner following the other one's lead hoping to slow them down.
She pursued them around the corner, alert for possible ambushes before exiting to what appeared to be one of the abandoned districts; that theory disappeared instantly when what appeared to be an antique vehicle drove past soon followed by three others.
'Something is defiantly wrong here' she thought, quickly retreating into the alley activating her adaptive camouflage as she went.
Kiera started to scan all emission traffic and what she found terrified her. She identified thousands of unsecured illegal transmissions, operating from the low gigahertz bands and below, which should not be possible as all transmission had to be registered and policed for the last 14 years but that was only a minor concern right now.
There were no identified transmissions operating beyond 75 Gigahertz, where there should be CPS communication, News Broadcasts, Tel-Net communications, Secured Congress and Military frequency ranges and over 800 other registered transmission channels she could only detect terrestrial noise.
"I've only been unconscious for 3 minutes," Kiera said to herself trying to rationalise, attempting to stave of panic "how could all the corporate and military infrastructure disappear in such a short timeframe… it is just not possible the world would have to be a wasteland before that could happen."
She needed answers, something her limited law enforcement implants simply cannot give her.
'Desperate times calls for desperate measures.'
--- Initiating Chaos Protocol ---
-- Verify Emergency User Activation of Chaos Protocol: … Verified
-- Awaiting counterman orders from Military HI-Com
-- Counterman Response: Not Received
--- Protocol Activating ---
Kiera became momentarily lightheaded as all her Military implants started to go online. The Chaos protocol was an emergency failsafe allowing all retired soldiers to reactivate their restricted military implants in the unlikely event of the complete destruction of all established military command posts. The fact that a countermand order wasn't immediately transmitted only made the situation all the more dire.
Activating her cyber-warfare packages Kiera immediately started analysing all detectable emission traffic in her area, in the hopes of finding more information about her situation.
'Music?...' Kiera paused, contained between the 300 kHz and 300 MHz range were hundreds of characteristically distinct audio and visual feeds, crudely imbedded in carrier waves using what appears to be an archaic system of amplitude and frequency modulations. Assigning their categorisation to a background process, she focused on what she detected as a large network on the 2.4 and 5 GHz bands.
Kiera recognised this architecture; though widely discontinued for almost 40 years due to the high infrastructure cost and security concerns, it was still in use by a few of the poorer countries and their militaries during the war. This version however doesn't seem to utilise any of the security systems she encountered, as a matter of fact there doesn't appear to be any security system of worth at all. Using her cyber-warfare package to scout out the network, which she noticed could easily contain over 3 billion individual devices; even she would take a few days to catalogue such a network and she could not afford to invest such a large amount of time when stranded in an unknown situation with seven highly dangerous terrorists on the loose.
As Kiera continued to delve deeper into the data, a hard knot started to settle in her throat when she started to analyse the timestamps of all the data she had been viewing, nothing was time-stamped beyond 05-06-2012. She even did a search for historical events in the hope, they used a different calendar system but the facts were clearly visible and no amount of denial was going change the fact that somehow, that sphere transported her and at least 3 of the Liber8 members 65 years into the past.
Kiera's in completely unfamiliar territory now, even with potentially seven highly dangerous fugitives on the loose, her first concern must be survival, which means shelter, supplies, currency and most likely clothing as she couldn't risk leaving her armour just anywhere and it would be very unlikely for it to pass for regular daywear.
A quick search informed her that the standard currency in her area consists of physical notes of specific value and an early form of electronic transfer based on the possession of a card supplied by a bank. Kiera walked softly out of the alley, still utilising her reactive camouflage and being careful not to give away her presence as she followed the directions to the nearest Automated Teller Machine, which she found was the primary means of withdrawing physical currency.
Having made her way to the LMB branch office, using her Protector uniform to freeze the images on the two-onlooking cameras she went to work, interfacing with the ATM, bypassing its request for a bankcard and pin, and forcing the withdrawal of $2,500, which was the maximum hard coded amount the machine will allow. Comfortable in the knowledge that all the bank's currency is insured and she did not affect an individual's account.
With sufficient local currency assured she needed to find some clothing, food and shelter would need to wait until she is in more inconspicuous attire. Synchronising her internal clock reviled it to be just shy of 19:00, which according to the online shopping brochure leaves her with two hours before the shops in the Mall close.
Shopping turned out to be a rather involved affair, as Kiera could not just walk into a shop in her combat harness nor would she simply steal an item using her reactive camouflage since she did have the currency to make the purchase.
In the end, she had to resort to grab stealthily a large purchase bag, making sure to stay out of sight, freeze any cameras might spot her since the bag did not have the advantage of her camouflage, and a bag floating in air would definitely catch someone's attention regardless of era. After carefully entering a changing room, the rest became rather simple. Removing her armour, weapons and placing them securely in her shopping bag, Kiera made sure to collapse her helmet forming a band that could easily pass for a collar of her uniform, she did not know when she might need to use her camouflage again, not wanting to be a disembodied head.
Having research the typical fashion employed by the women in this time, Kiera concluded that her protector uniform would not look too out of place once she changed the pants section to black but that buying at least a coat, some daywear and basic toiletries were essential; the rest could be left until she had found a more permanent residence.
Kiera breathed a small sigh of relief as she fell onto the bed, leaving her purchases to be sorted tomorrow; finding a hotel room had been rather simple if you didn't count almost spending twenty minutes trying to figuring out how to just turn the lights on.
Kiera learnt to dread the silence, with all essential tasks tended to it gave her time to think, to absorb the situation she found herself in… to think about her family.
'It's Sam's birthday in two weeks… No!' she interrupted herself, 'I can't think about them, I will find a way back home…'
'That sphere!... it couldn't be an accident, they planned to go escape into the past, but why 65 years what do they hope to accomplish by travelling this far back in time… unless they didn't plan too.' She realised, 'There were only meant to be eight of them going back before I interrupted them… Ingram! He would be the only one with any significant technical expertise within Liber8… but he's dead!'
Hitting the bed out of frustration, she needed to clear her mind, oh what she wouldn't give to have a sonic shower right about now… or her family.
'Wait!… all SADTECH scientists use a cognitive recorder to preserve the knowledge of their work should they leave the company or die.' Her mind set, she will need to find Ingram's body first thing tomorrow morning, fatigue was setting in and she could not afford to make any mistakes.
Crawling under the covers, Kiera set her CMR into playback, partitioning all the time she spent with her family, placing them into permanent storage. Their faces, voices; how they smelt… their touch… she will not ever forget them, regardless of what happens, pausing on the image of her son.
"Don't worry baby… Mommy is coming home"
I hope you enjoyed this chapter and would appreciate any constructive criticism or suggestions you are willing to provide as I am constantly striving to improve my english.
(It isn't my first language in case you were wondering)
I should have more for you, next week.