A Book of the Journal of a Future Dark Age
“Sharon, the Time Ship is en route.”
Sharon remained crouched in front of the tomato plant. She pinched a misshapen bud, wiped her brow with the back of her gloved hand, and looked up. Harrison Flannery. She groaned. She did not appreciate the interruption. Not now. This was her hour of peace. Despite her resilient physique—a perpetual twenty-something body—she had deeply-ingrained habits, and this was one she cherished.
“Time ship?” she asked, regretting the question immediately. She did not really want to know.
Harrison stood at the end of the garden row. His ridiculously large-brimmed hat shaded him completely from the sharp noon sun. He waited—and she knew that look. Harrison believed she should know the answer to her own question. She sighed. Her solitary serenity was gone. The tomato plants would have to wait.
“Just tell me,” she snapped impatiently, and stood.
“The near-light transport,” he said, urging her to make a connection. “The one that brought us here eight hundred years ago.”
“Yes,” she said, stalling. She did know something about this. She concentrated. “It’s a space vessel . . .” she said. But there was more.
“You know the pilot,” said Harrison.
“Oh.” Her eyebrows lifted. Now she remembered. At least, she remembered what she had read. Over the centuries, Sharon had grown weary of refreshing her memory. But she did remember Harrison’s projections—he thought there would be no contact with any other Earth vessel for at least a millennium. Luis disagreed. Luis didn’t think it would ever happen. Apparently he was wrong.
She removed her gloves and stepped out from the rows of her garden. “It’s early, right?”
“Yes,” said Harrison, nodding. “But within reason.”
“And why is this . . . my problem, Harrison?”
“Well, a number of reasons,” said Harrison, walking with her now back to the home—the large, comfortable estate that blended with its environment like a living organism. “You are fluent in ancient Earth English.”
Sharon nodded. She had kept up with that; but more for fun than anything else. “Lots of people are fluent in Earth English,” she said.
“You are an important member of the Science Counsel,” Harrison went on.
“So?” Sharon slid the back door open, and deposited her gloves and apron in a clay bucket next to the door. They stepped inside.
“You are a former Prime Minister of the world.”
“So I’ve been told,” she responded. “But really, Harrison—none of that explains why I have to deal with it.”
“And . . . according to all accounts, including my own, which I read this morning . . . you, and the pilot . . . were close.”
“Close?” Sharon raised an eyebrow.
Copyright (c) 2008, J. C. Conway