Monday, December 19, 2005

Alternating History - Part Two

Bethlehem, Day 1 AD

Agent Connell materialized in a filthy back alley in the poor section of Bethlehem. It was night, and she clung to the shadows to avoid being seen. She had disguised herself as a woman of the time, but would be hard-pressed to explain what she was doing out at night alone. She scratched her neck and scowled. Damned clothes. After months running naked through the wilderness, the trappings of civilization were going to take some getting used to. Though she had to admit, the shower felt nice.

That's when she saw him walk by, dressed in the uniform of one of the king's soldiers. He was headed to a dilapidated manger at the far end of the street. Keeping cloaked in darkness, she followed at a distance.

He entered the manger and stood over the cradle that held a sleeping babe. A man and woman slept soundly nearby. He began to lean down, hands outstretched.

"Ooooh," a mocking voice came from behind him. "Strangling the baby Jesus in his crib. Aren't you just such the badass."

He turned to face her. "Hello, Erin," he said. "So, they sent you to stop me, did they?"

"Not at all," she said. "I'm here to help you. The Board thinks tearing space-time to shreds is a far better use of our abilities than historical research. So tell me, what do you--"

She caught his arm before the back of his hand could strike her face.

"Please, Judson," she said, twisting his arm. "I'm an Enforcer, you're simply a Researcher. Do you honestly think you have a chance against me in a fist-fight?"

"No," he grunted. "That's why I brought this."

He jammed the taser into her stomach and pressed the button. Electricity arced through her and she screamed as she fell to the ground. While she twitched and spasmed, he returned to the crib. The baby had woken and begun to cry, and his mother roused herself to tend him. Judson shocked her with the taser as well, and she fell back down unconscious.

Erin struggled to pull herself into a crouch, then launched herself at the crib. She sprawled across it, preventing him from touching the baby. He shocked her again. Pain lanced through every nerve, and the world began to blacken around the edges of her vision. She struggled in vain to stay conscious, knowing what would happen if she didn't.

Then she felt a tiny finger touch her forehead. The pain receded, and her vision cleared. She sensed Judson's approach, and lashed out with her foot, kicking the taser from his grip. It hit a stone embedded in the packed earthen floor and broke open.

Judson growled. "Fine. But this was only my first target. I have others." He fled from the manger shouting, "You'll never stop me in time!"

She sighed, looking down at the baby in his crib with a smile. "Even he doesn't get it, does he?" she cooed to the little savior. "I have all the time in the world." She tucked the blankets around the infant messiah and stroked his cheek with her finger. "Thanks for the save, kid," she whispered.

The baby smiled, burped and went back to sleep.

Agent Erin Connell left the manger and vanished, leaping into the timestream after her prey.

6 comments:

Kat said...

Awesome. Are you planning to keep this one going for a while?

Lulu said...

I like this. I visualize it as a comic book...very interesting.

Raynwomaan said...

Oooh nice, nice! The story of Jesus (with alternative interpretations) is one of my favorite subjects in fiction.

I can't to see which when is next.

purplesimon said...

Loving this story. Also can't wait to see where it might go next.

Always had a theory about time travel and changing history - I won't talk about it here, in case it goes against your theme!

Will be checking back regularly to see where this is going.

purplesimon out...

karma lennon said...

Love it, love it, love it! Please continue...

Tanya said...

Love this. I enjoy your style and dying to know what happens next. Have you tried getting your work into The Third Alternative? Check them out: www.ttapress.com.