Working title: The Tale of Connor the guy.
& cross-posted to AO3 here.
Summary: Connor fled from death in the Cretaceous, saved his friend, and found himself the hero of the world. But, much as he is admired there, does he want to stay there?
Note: I used the classic The Tale of Sinuhe the Sailor and moulded it to fit Connor. Rather hard to do, and keep it gen.
Hearty Thank yous to everyone who helped with bits and pieces of this. Especially to Reggietate, who fixed the genus name of Sarah’s reptiles.
Characters: Connor Temple, Sarah Page, Tom Ryan, Becker, Nick Cutter,; mention of Stephen Hart, Helen Cutter,
Recipient: Sahara Rose.
REQUEST: Egyptian myth
Characters: Connor Temple, Sarah Page; briefly Nick and Ryan and Becker; mentions of Stephen, Helen, Lester, Abby.
Genres: Angst with a happy or hopeful ending
Top rating: Mature
Pairing: Not Applicable.
Warnings: None. (unless you think a humble Nick is worth being warned of) J
Disclaimer: I own none of the characters.
“…And once that has been done, the Prince wishes to request your presence at lunch with His Eminence. Do or don’t, at 1pm your presence has been requested at Kew Gardens; then if you wish, to open a small library.”
Connor blinked. So much to do. It was still all a bit much.
His secretary continued. “Also, a saget has been sighted.”
“A what?” Connor asked. “I mean I heard you say saget , but what are they?”
“Good fortune, sir,” she said. “If you mean their appearance, a saget walks on four feet, has the beak of an eagle, the claws of a lioin, and a flower tips the tail.”
Therizinosaur, Connor identified. Probably.
SOME TIME EARLIER -
Specifically, the Cretaceous -
Connor was walking down to the river, spear in hand, hoping to catch tonight’s dinner. He had long since given up trying to understand why Abby wasn’t hoping to get back home. At riverside, Connor looked around to be sure there were no pterosaurs or raptors.
Two things happened in the next minute.
First, he saw an anomaly open.
Second, before he could ask himself if he should let Abby know, a Spinosaurus roared at him. Looking at it, Connor saw that he now stood directly between the carnivore and the anomaly. Which meant he had a perfect way home, if he -
The Spinosaur began to run at him. Connor didn’t even think: he ran away from it.
Right into the anomaly.
Right out into a basking mob of crocodilians. Pristichampus, Connor realized as he saw one of them rising to all fours and heading for him.
He ducked under a flat boulder and listened to the sounds of Spinosaur fighting Pristichampus . And saw stomach and intestine flop to the ground, freed of an encasing body.
And the stomach moved!
Connor couldn’t move if he wanted to. And with everything he knew about zombies and tell-tale hearts, he definitely wanted to.
Before his eyes, the stomach ripped apart. And set to the backdrop of the other Pristichampuses tearing the Spinosaur to death, Sarah Page stood warily up from the stomach which had held her, and then collapsed onto the riverbank.
Setting it all aside, Connor bolted out from his hidey-hole to help Sarah. “Hey,” he said as he helped her back to her feet, ignored by the Pristichampuses all.
“Connor?” Sarah asked. “How - ? Am I still - ?”
That was when Connor saw when and where they were. His boulder was in truth an abandoned stone block for one of the nearby temples. “We’re on the Nile,” he said. In Ancient Egypt.
A day later, they had found an anomaly to the Present Day.
well, a little under an hour later, but still in the now:
That had been several months ago. Now…
“Sir? Sir? Please, sir,” Becker asked Connor as they and Sarah and Stephen cautiously approached the saget.
“We should be careful?” Connor asked Sarah.
She nodded. “They’re probably not sure which to not shoot first - us or the saget.” That was understandable, given the high regards the Government held the two of them - from the idea of building an ARC and what to put in it, to a lucky run of suggestions to Lester and the Prince who is Prime Minister.
“But this is good, right? This is one Creature that doesn’t need to be hidden away.” Connor could see schoolchildren and businessmen being kept at a safe distance by a row of officers, but still in view of the feathered dinosaur.
“Because they’re expecting to see it?” Sarah asked.
Like how we expected Becker and Lester and the Cutters to recognize us, Connor thought sadly. Everyone they had met thus far, had all been unfailingly polite and deferential; but there had been no glimmer of hey, I know you in anyone’s eyes but their own.
“I suppose,” Sarah said.
“I don’t know. Sorry, Connor, I’m not all here today.” She smiled. “A few years make all the difference. A few years ago, I would have been thrilled to see a saget. Then I was nearly eaten by Ammutt, and a few months after that, I am eaten. Eaten, and I rise again. Thanks for that, Connor.”
“Welcome,” Connor said. He knew that Sarah knew the only deliberate part of the rescue had been pulling her to safety and doing his best to fix her up before they could get to a hospital. “It is nice,” Connor said, looking at the saget.
And at how nobody was screaming or running. At how everything was calm, under control, and peaceful.
“Very,” Sarah said.
The long fluffy tail terminated in overlapping feathers each very much in the shape of a lotus petal. So calm was its surroundings that the saget had lowered itself down to rest on the long broad backs of its hands as the beak nipped regally away at the shrubberies.
By all appearances, people loved the Saget. People had always loved the Saget. People always would love the Saget. That’s our future? Connor wondered. To be admired, fawned over, and protected.
He turned around, looking away from the public park, and toward where Becker had parked, on the edge of a massive residential complex.
“Wow,” Connor said, looking up and up at the highrise’s side.
“Yeah,” Sarah said, unable to take her eyes off the side of the apartment highrise. That’s a smiting motif. Queen Elizabeth II in full 20th century clothes, smiting Britain’s enemies. Given the cloaked garb of the guy being smited, Sarah couldn’t tell if he was Al-Qaeda, PIRA, or part of a group particular to this reality.
“Believe in me, and I will protect you,” Sarah said, reciting the agreement found in all smoting motifs throughout the world and across history. “I will destroy your enemies.”
“Good deal all around,” Ryan said.
“Nice of you to join us,” Becker said to him.
“New orders,” Ryan said. “Mr. Temple’s to come with me.”
“Really?” Connor asked.
“At your leisure, of course, sir,” Ryan said, now talking to Connor.
Sarah smiled at Connor, who just looked helplessly at her, mouthing something appropriate.
Ryan took Connor into the depths of the ARC. Specifically into a machine-filled room being run and operated by Nick Cutter by himself.
After hearing more than five minutes of techno babble from the man, Ryan said, “If that’s all, Professor?”
“Yes, you’re right - sorry,” Nick said to Ryan. “You can go. We’ll be fine.”
Ryan nodded, but left.
Connor waved as Ryan left, then turned back to Cutter. “You’re a genius,” Connor said.
“While I appreciate the compliment, none of this would have been possible had you not come,” Nick said.
“Everything I told Lester and Stephen… and Helen,” Connor said. “It was all your work, Professor.”
“No. I know my limits. And no matter how big the universe is, I can’t imagine there’s a me out there, who could have done all that. What I can do, though, is what I’ve done.”
“You’ve found a way to cross timelines,” Connor said.
“Aye. If you like, you can go home.”
“What, now?” It was the suddenness, more than anything else, that startled Connor. Though the at-last-returned prospect of being able to return to the land of his birth and dates, came a close second. Surprise and relief danced happily on Connor’s face.
“Now would be best, if you’re going,” Nick said. “Peak usage for video games is coming soon,” looking at his watch. Once we reach that point, there won’t be enough power.
“What about Sarah?” Connor asked.
“I’ll ask her if she wants to go tonight. The system doesn’t handle multiple people simultaneously at all well. That’s why I had to get you here alone.”
“Oh.” Connor considered it. On one hand, all his friends were alive here, and they were still friends. He had once even caught Nick and Helen and Stephen stealing a kiss in the ARC corridor. Even Tom was doing great.
On the other hand… This place isn’t home.
Connor stepped through the anomaly to home.