The Fall of Terra #44: Close to the Beginning and End


 

Who was this man?

Why was he so important?

What was his name?

What did the other Timewalker call him?  Caine?

She focussed on the image of the barbarian-like Terran.  He didn’t look like much, but there was definitely an aura of strength about him.  Was he the Strand?  How could someone of his race be it?  How could this man be a pivotal being in the cosmos?

She kept focussing, looking into him, into his past.

She plucked the name out of the space-time continuum, a name whispered with fear from the lips of billions to come.

Adam Caine.

 

*           *           *

 

The time currents took her backwards, rushing through events she barely had time to comprehend.

The first she stopped at was a train, the subject Caine was sat on a subterranean train.  It was rattling and noisy as she stepped through the carriage, watching him intently.  The train stopped, prompting grumbles from the passengers.

A figure in a large coat with a deep dark hood stood in the middle of the carriage and pressed something on a device in its clawed hands.  Shock ran through her, her temporal senses informing her she was seeing events nearly two thousand years in the past.  What creature was this?

She could taste the temporal energies swirling from the device.

A time-traveller?

The energies were strong, but brutal, something to rip through the fabric of reality rather than slide through as she and the other Timewalkers did.

The energy encompassed the carriage and was gone in a flashing light, leaving Silver stood on the edge of a perfectly spherical hole.

 

*           *           *

 

It shifted to a snowy landscape.

Explosions and detonations were thumping in the far distance.

What was this place?

She plucked the name from the currents.

Bosnia?

A column of bedraggled refugees shuffled slowly past her in a dejected manner.  Most wore ripped clothing, or stained and dirty.  They all needed a wash.  Silver could see children, and the old and infirm among them.

What was important about this?

She found her answer.

In camouflage military uniform, carrying a large pack on his back, and cradling a solid rifle, he walked to the side of the column.  He scanned the refugees, and the white barren countryside around them.  Every now and then, he would turn and walk backwards, checking the rear.

Was he escorting these people to safety?

Alone?

The currents swept her up again.

 

*           *           *

 

Despite her control over the temporal energies around her, she still found herself disoriented by the experience.

She nearly tipped over in a jungle.

There was a burning vehicle slumped on a small beach, half in the water, several uniformed bodies sprawled lifelessly around it.  She spotted movement in the trees, lights flashing this way and that.

But on the beach, further along, were two figures, one half-carrying the other.

It was Caine again.

“His life.  His achievements,” she murmured.  “But why?  Why is he so important?”

She followed them along the beach, hearing their jovial conversation, despite the obvious proximity of apparent enemies.

 

*           *           *

 

It switched to a medical ward, primitive and bright, but there was a woman struggling to give birth.  Her husband stood by her, holding her hand, mopping her brow.  The nurses told her to push one final time.

She screamed, and there was a baby’s squeal.

The baby, a boy, was cleaned and wrapped in a fluffy towel.

Silver stepped around the table to get a better look.

It had been millennia since any of her race had reproduced; they were non-corporeal, and such biology was beyond their ability.  As disgusting as the whole concept was, it still fascinated her every time she witnessed this miracle.

“What name have you given him?” asked one of the midwives.

The woman in question, who Silver recognised with complete and utter horror, smiled at the little boy in her arms.

“Adam,” she said.  “Adam Logan Caine.”

The others all fussed over her and the baby, clearing and cleaning the birthing suite.  The father looked down with love and devotion at the pair of them, pride on his face.  The woman looked up, and looked directly at Silver.  There was no way that should be possibly; Timewalkers were phased creatures when viewing through time, unable to touch anything, and no person or creature able to see them.

“You,” she whispered, a cold shiver running through her for the first time in eons.

“Hello Silver,” smiled Cassandra Caine.

 

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