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In 2055 scientist conducting a private experiment in wormholes, manage to create and stabalise a miniature wormhole.Sending a camera probe through it,they discover the wormhole travels back to a point in time in the past. Further investigations and improvements in technology,largely funded by the wealthy Russian billionaire Igor Abromaviche,lead to the scientist able to fix the wormhole on a select point in time. In 2071,the first manned team passes through the wormholes,known as gates,to witness the 12th century crusades at first hand. Unfortunately one of the team is accidently killed,almost leading in a collapse of the wormhole project.New guidelines are set up and stealth or 'cloaking' technology is set up to shield the Timeline Expeditionary Teams from further exposure or threatened pollution of the timeline. In 2080 further advances in the Wormhole Project lead to the new wormholes being able to be fixed on parallel Earths in alternate realities,and the Parallax Expeditionary Teams are formed much on the same principles as the T.E.T.
For the past 17 years,both Timeline and Parallax Expeditions have progressed well..In 2097 a trip through the gate of one of the Parallax wormholes is affected by a solar flare that hinders the Parallax Expeditionary team lead by Commander Joseph Wilson, in gathering much information of the 'Other-world'. Yet with their link claimed to be secure to Expedition Base,the team consisting of Commander Wilson,Security Agent Hiram Jonessy,Professor Jerome Albrecht,a reknowned Historian..and the novice 21 year old Team Archiver and Technician Matthais Kieron,..set off on their expedition,unawares of what awaits for them on the other side of the gate....
The Parallax gate opened within a woodland of high and majestic Oak and Maple trees indespersed with stands of Hawthorn and Holly. Wilson led the expedition party through the undergrowth of bracken and bramble,each of them silent and enjoying the tranquility of birdsong high in the tree canopy and the soft dapelled sunlight casting through the foliage.
They continued on up a slight incline towards a point where the forest seemed to be thinning and allowing more bright sunlight to cascade through. A wild boar shuffled past them almost ignorant to their presence. Kiaron could not resist taking a holo-cam image of the beast as it snorted and swaggered non chalantly through the leaf litter searching for food.Something like this,no matter how it seemed insignificant,always took the the un-nerving edge off of expeditions like these,enlightening the mood between the five companions.
Wilson reached the top of the incline and began to notice bare patches in amongst the leaf litter.Patches that did not seem to show dirt,but smooth grey stone and then a rough terracota surface just as the tree line broke away into a broad clearing that was at least 30 foot wide until it sank back into the forest again in front of Wilson. Wilson looked up and to his left, seeing the clearing stretched far on the left side like a woodland rideway for horse journeys. It was what loomed up on his right that suddenly seemed to knock the air from his lungs in awe.
Wilson stood motionless as the other expedition members came up behind him.
"Hey Wils, whats up?"..Jonessy had noticed the wide eyed expression on his buddies face and followed his stare towards whatever had drawn his attention.
"Whoa..holy shit!" .
Cutting a magnificent swathe right across the clearing,loomed a huge grey stone archway that stretched across from what Wilson could now see broken amongst patches of shrub and rough brown tufted grass,was what once had been a teracotta coloured roadway,..and on either side of the grand arch were smaller archways seemingly for pedestrian access.
Albrecht and Kiaron had joined alongside them and stood in awe at the grand architecture before them.Though this architecture showed signs that it lay forgotten from civilisation. Parts of it were ruined and crumbled and cracked and thick curtains of vines and ivy strangled much of the rough ornately carved stonework,sheilding from view much of what was hidden beyond the arches.
"What is it..?" queried Jonessy.
Wilson and the old archaeologist Albrecht had that dreaded sense of what this building was and where they now knew they were.Both of them gave each other knowing glances and realisation of their expedition. Neither replied to Jonessy's question but set off towards the high old arches,but both Jonessy and Kiaron could tell that this place had suddenly unsettled the two other men. Kieron,taking up the rear of the group,gazed up in awe at the high archway as the expedition moved under.He could just make out some inscription etched into the stonework,much eroded and weathered by the passage of time.He aimed his holo-cam up and took an image of the inscription,only able to read certain parts that looked to be in latin. EDWARD REGIS....VICTORIA..ANNO....and a selection of Roman Numerals that he knew little of to read, and part of a word in english..
ADM..ALT.. RCHES, taking that must have read 'ADMIRALTY ARCHES'
Wilson pulled out his antique obsidian handled machete and cut through the gangly overhanging ivy and vines as the expedition pressed on through one of the smaller archways.
When Wilson passed through the other side,his fears were confirmed at the sight spread out in front of him.
What had once been a large public square, lay stretched out before him, thick stands of Silver Birch and Alder trees and messy bundles of osier and buddleia were breaking though the square and its surrounding desolate roadways and reclaiming ground long abandoned. A statue of a large black Lion,nearly enshrouded by ivy and white flowered bindweed,still showed an element of long forgotten granduer,yet looking out forlornly onto the unmistakeable leaning wreck of a red double deck bus,itself almost hidden from view from its carpet of strangling ivy and bindwee and sharp thorned bramble,hogweed and balsam
Wilsons eyes followed skyward along the imposing column that stood in the centre of the square strangled by yet more incessantly growing vines and plants. Right atop the column,perched a statue of a man Wilson at once knew from his own childhood school history lessons.A man that was a hero to his nation,...a hero to Wilsons nation, who had died centuries ago in a great naval battle to preserve his nation from invasion in a distant war and in whose memorium and battle that this square and monument was commemorated.
Now the hero's eternal statue was gazing out on a city abandoned and forgotten in time to just rot away and be reclaimed by nature. Ruins that could now be seen frighteningly more clear,jutting up like jagged skeletons through the encroaching temperate jungle.
This was a sobering sight for Wilson. Even though he had been on nearly a dozen Parallax Expeditions before,and would have thought he could become adjusted to whatever otherworld scenarios he would encounter,it was still unsettling seeing his home city that he had so become accustomed seeing teeming with bustling life,of heavy traffic thronging the streets and many of the populous cluttering the wide pavements like a colony of ants marching for food,and the cacophony of urban sounds carrying across the city horizons. Now he had to adjust himself to the scene lain before him. An old city almost eerily silent,save for the melodic singing of birds and the sounds of bubbling water deep within the wild clumps of bush and low trees. The only water source around here was the two 'once grand' fountains in the square, and Wilson had spent many a sunny summers day years ago,sitting beside the fountains on his world!,..enjoying a snack whenever his former place of work allowed him some semblance of break.
Kieron broke the uneasy silence with a less than desirable remark..
"Jeez..this is just like that old 20th century cine-film i saw at the Archives of Image...what was it called again?" Kieron rattled his brains attempting to remember the cine-film,which suddenly rattled his memory.
"Ah thats it...i think it was called Logans Run..The two characters within it were escaping from a domed city out into the forgotten world and encountered a long deserted and ruined Washington DC..."
"Thats enough Kier. All of a sudden this expedition has left a bitter taste in my mouth.."
"These are ruins none the less.." said Albrecht softly, an ever so slight smile upon his old wizened face,his hand cast up and pointing to the remnants of a tall stately building set at the back of the square,some of its large corinthian columns had broken and fallen down onto the wide stone steps in front of the grand entrance below and a few still stood like monoliths,holding up half of an ornately carved portico.
"That was once the National Gallery and now it has fallen to ruin and echoes the remnants of Romes greatest temples" Albrecht spoke with the rightful air of someone steeped in archaeological knowledge and aged wisdom. This was why Wilson had chosen him as the historical tutor and advisor on the Parallax Expeditions. Professor Albrecht was also his much respected mentor...and someone he held in high esteem.
Jonessy had moved ahead towards the wrecked bus and the others followed.
"These are'nt exactly contemporary ruins." he made a gesture to the stooped rust hulk of the bus.
"I've seen vehicles like that in the Museum of World Transport back home when i was a child in Los Angeles.Its crazy why people just the early end of this century,drove around in antique contraptions that spewed out noxious gases that harmed the earths environment like that bus,and thought very little of it."
"Its a sign of the times.We're a little more eco-conscious nowadays and can't expect every world we gate to,to be like ours" replied Albrecht.
Jonessy pushed further,chopping away with his shear blade at the tangled undergrowth obstructing his path, and swearing loudly when he got stung on the hand by a patch of high stinging nettles.
Kieron slid up beside Jonessy and pulled up a few broad leaves off of a low growing plant nearby and handed them to Jonessy. Jonessy gave him a baffled look.
"Its alright.They're Dock leaves,good for soothing nettle stings..I used to use 'em all the time during my schooldays playing out in the woods near my parents house."
Jonessy stopped beside the barrier of a black fence,entangled with thorned blackberry creepers and fragrant climbing honeysuckle,rubbing and crushing the dock leaves onto his reddening hand and the white welts forming on the back of his hand.
He saw the edge of a white sign fixed onto the side of the fence and with a little more care,he pushed aside the weeds and grime and uncovered a road sign.
Then his face suddenly lit up and it soon dawned on him where the expedition were.
"Holy shit...this is Trafalgar Square..! We're in London..!"
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Leaning in the shadows of the thick stone columns of the National Gallery,the near naked youth watched the four men enter through the Old Arches and into the Ground of the High Man.Four men who he was not meant to be able to see,given their advanced off-world technology protecting interference with others on their expeditions.
Yet he could see them clearly,..and his mighty young cock stiffened under his torn black loincloth as he became aroused by lustful animalistic desires,his huge obscenely developed muscles heaving and flexing as he fondled himself in the darkness of the shadows,watching especially the handsome youngest man in the group.
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