Dr. Samuel Marks & friends arrive in 1513 & form the Society in the Shadow of Civilization
Blinding light enveloped us completely. There was no sound; a sensation of air rushing, simultaneously ripping me apart and holding me together. It went on forever, and was over in an instant.
From the bright, white vacuum, we landed in the thick blanket of a starless night. I hit the ground harder than I expected, under a willow tree. The air was thick with mist, and the damp chill took but moments to reach my bones.
Momentarily deprived of sight, I stood still, trying to regain my senses. I clicked my tongue for Artemis. But, something larger and far less stealthy than she was moving through the grass behind me. “Who goes there?”
“Shh, Sam. It’s just me,” I knew Pose’s voice before I could make out his face.
Then, Eleanor’s voice came from my right. “I’m here as well.” She stepped into view. “Now, where are the others?”
We turned, our vision slowly returning, to see we’d landed not five meters from the edge of a body of water. Fog rolled slowly across it, the breeze sending tendrils out toward us. No Traveler before us ever left word they’d been separated from their companions. None had ever traveled with a group as large as ours either.
Eleanor gasped and looked up at me. “You don’t suppose something went wrong, do you? You don’t think they might have- ?”
I shook my head. “No, they’re here. I’m sure they’re somewhere close.” They have to be. I couldn’t fathom the thought of being responsible for the deaths of my friends. Then, I remembered why we took the risk. “Where’s the tree?”
“Safe, with me,” Tollack whispered. He managed to sneak in behind me. “But, it’s getting heavy, so,” he placed the potted Flamella tree at my feet, “there you go, buddy.”
Relief washed over me when I saw Voorhia, Vega and Marcus were right behind him. “Is anyone injured?”
Voorhia said, “No, Sam. We made it. Just landed a few feet away, and didn’t want to draw any attention by calling out.”
The cat was right here…” Vega turned to look around behind them. “I don’t know where…”
Artemis jumped out of the grass and dropped something at my feet, before sitting down and swishing her tail. “What on Earth have you got up to cat?” I stooped to pick up what she’d dropped, and then realized I had a dead rodent by the tail. “Yuck!” I exclaimed, and flung it back into the night.
"So, now we're all here? No missing body parts?" Olev asked.
Tollack looked down the front of his trousers. "The important ones made it."
Pos chuckled. Ellie rolled her eyes and turned to me. "Samuel, have you any clue where we are?"
Remembering the envelope the mysterious woman gave me just before we departed 2169, I withdrew it from my coat to examine its contents once more.