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					                            2105

                   Copyright © Shana Rae
               This novella was written in 2009

This novella is purely the work of Shana Rae who is to be
identified as the author.

This novella is the work of fiction. All character, names and
events are fictitious. Resemblance to any persons living or
dead is coincidental. Incidents or named places in this novella
are used fictitiously.

All rights reserved. No part of this novella may be reproduced
by any mechanical, photographic or electronic process, or in
the form of phonographic recording; nor may it be stored in a
retrieval system, transmitted or otherwise be copied for public
or private use, other than for 'fair use' as brief quotations
embodied in articles and reviews, without prior written
permission of the Author.
                                                           2105



Demetra screamed, but the sound never escaped the padded
walls of the cell. They were watching her, recording her
reactions. She clawed at the cell walls, snarling and screaming,
louder and louder. The Watchers took note. Then silence.
Demetra turned and ran at the window behind which the
Watchers stood. She bared her teeth.
   “Enjoying the show?”
   She dragged her long nails down the glass and the
screaming began again. Demetra threw herself at the wall,
then turned round facing the window and slid to the floor
exhausted.
   The Watchers looked at each other, Baraydo spoke first.
   “She will be calm enough now if you’re ready to
interrogate her”
   As Falnar turned to leave the room, Baraydo stepped in
front of him.
   “Make no eye contact”
   “Understood”
   Falnar slowly opened the cell door, Demetra was still on
the floor, rocking backwards and forwards.
   “Demetra, stand up”
   As she turned to look at Falnar, he averted his eyes.
Demetra crawled across the floor on all fours and stopped in
front of him, she clawed at his legs with her nails. Falnar took
a step back.
   “Ha the Watcher is frightened of me…come to me let me
show you what terror really is”


                               3
                                                          2105



   As Demetra started screaming again, Falnar left the cell
and returned to the other Watchers.
   “You obviously underestimated her abilities Baraydo, now
we do it my way. Prepare a sedative”
   “I object, we have no idea what the sedative will do to her”
   Falnar swung round to face Kesinnan.
   “You have no right to object, you and Baraydo assured me
she would be calm enough to interrogate by now, does she
look calm to you?”
   “Her mind is screwed up enough as it is, I’m not
guaranteeing there won’t be side effects”
   “Are you telling me I could lose the data in her head?”
   Kesinnan shrugged.
   “You and Baraydo get in there now and strap her to the
chair, I assume you won’t object to that?”
   Kesinnan glanced at Baraydo, he nodded his approval and
followed Kesinnan out of the room. Falnar watched through
the window as they struggled to get Demetra in the chair.
Once he was sure that they had secured her, he went through
to the cell.
   Falnar waited until Kesinnan and Baraydo had left then
stood in front of Demetra.
   “Shall we start with a simple question…where are you
from?”
   Demetra remained silent.
   “You know we have ways of getting the answers out of
your mind, without asking questions…”


                              4
                                                         2105



   Demetra looked up at Falnar and snarled.
   “I’d like to see you try, you can’t even keep me under
control…you Watchers are pathetic”
   “We’ve started dismantling your craft, we’ll get the
answers we want, one way or another”
   Demetra threw back her head and laughed scornfully.
   “I know that is a lie, if you had started dismantling my
craft, you wouldn’t be standing here now…in fact…most of
the planet would no longer exist”
   Falnar glanced across at the window with concern. Inside
the room, Baraydo quickly sent a message to immediately
stop investigative work on Demetra’s craft.
   “Well if you won’t tell me where you are from, then tell me
why you are here”
   “But for me to answer that, you’d have to know where I
come from first”
   Falnar grabbed hold of Demetra’s face.
   “I presume you feel pain like we do”
   He applied pressure to her jaw. Demetra didn’t even flinch.
The door flew open, Baraydo ran into the cell and grabbed
hold of Falnar’s arm.
   “That was not part of the agreement, Demetra shall suffer
no physical harm”
   Falnar was furious, he turned to face Baraydo.
   “How dare you interrupt an interrogation”
   “You never know when to stop, I shall now be carrying out
the interrogation”


                              5
                                                         2105



   “On whose authority?”
   “Zagen’s”
   Demetra started to laugh.
   “The Watchers are being watched, you are so pathetic!”
   Falnar stormed out of the cell and slammed the door shut
behind him.
   Once he’d left, Baraydo undid the restraints.
   “We mean you no harm Demetra, we’re just trying to
understand who you are”
   She remained seated in the chair and looked up at Baraydo.
   “But you still want the same questions answered don’t
you?”
   “When you’re ready, yes”
   “Be prepared for a long wait”
   “Are you fearful of telling us where you come from
because there will be reprisals?”
   “I am not fearful for myself Watcher, I am fearful for you”
   “Me personally?”
   “No, your reality”
   “If you can help me to understand why…”
   “Even the briefest explanation would put your reality in
danger, I am trying to save you from yourself Watcher.
Knowledge is a dangerous thing”
   “Are you saying that your people have such advanced
technology that if we were to become aware of it, they would
have no choice but to destroy us?”
   “It is your technology Watcher”


                              6
                                                         2105



   The truth slowly started to dawn on Baraydo.
   “Your craft, you…you are not alien are you?”
   Demetra put her hand on Baraydo’s face.
   “Do I feel alien to you?”
   She grabbed hold of his hand and pressed it to her chest.
   “Can’t you feel my heart beating?”
   Demetra leaned forward and whispered in Baraydo’s ear.
   “Feel me Watcher, I am as Human as you”
   She moved his hand over her breast, Baraydo pulled away.
   “Now who is fearful?”
   Baraydo slowly walked over to the window as if listening
to something. Then he abruptly turned to face Demetra.
   “It has been decided to tell you the truth, how you react
will determine your future. Are you ready to listen?”
   “A change of tactic Watcher? I still won’t divulge any
information”
   “All I ask is that you listen”
   “Go ahead”
   “Demetra, we realise you are a time traveller and that you
believe you have gone back in time to a point in Earth’s past.
However, something went wrong when you crossed the time
line. This is Earth, but we are not Human. You have actually
travelled forward in time, the Human race was extinct before
we arrived…”
   Demetra started to laugh.
   “Nice try Watcher, but you are sadly wrong, I’m no time
traveller”


                              7
                                                           2105



   Baraydo glanced across at the window, he knew Falnar and
Kesinnan were watching.
   “Then how did you arrive in our time?”
   “You’re Human, you tell me, I’m no scientist, I’m a test
pilot”
   “I am not Human”
   “All right, you prove you’re not Human and I’ll tell you
my story, agreed?”
   Baraydo nodded, he took Demetra’s hand and placed it on
his chest.
   “Do you feel my heart beat?”
   Demetra pressed her hand against his chest, then grabbed
his wrist to find a pulse.
   “Before you tell me what you are and where you’re from,
this is my story. I’m a test pilot for the UEF, the United Earth
Federation. You probably know enough about Earth history
without me having to explain their origins. My craft was
designed to make travel between Earth and Mars quicker. I
don’t understand the science, but the engine was a result of
experiments done at CERN.
   “The craft was due to undergo several test flights, the first
was around the moon. Everything was going fine, then when I
hit the dark side, I started to experience strange vibrations.
Not so much in the craft, but in me, it’s hard to explain. I
expected that as I came around the dark side, communications
would resume, but I just got static. So I set a course back to
Earth. Then I woke up here, in this cell…I went a bit crazy


                               8
                                                            2105



didn’t I?”
   “Yes, we had to put you in here for your own safety. We
detected your craft on our scanners and brought you into
land, your craft is safe”
   “So who are you?”
   “My name is Baraydo, our race is called the Aedarnis. We
planned on arriving on Earth before the extinction in the hope
we could save the Human race. Sadly events escalated faster
than we anticipated. But by then we had assumed Human
form, this body is artificially created, we do not need the
normal requirements for a carbon based form to survive”
   “In that case, why did you stay on Earth?”
   “Not all of us did, some returned home. But many chose to
stay here and repair the damage done to the planet. Humans
had such a beautiful home, it is hard for us to understand why
they would cause such wanton destruction”
   “And how will my reaction to what you have told me
determine my future?”
   “Even before I told you the truth, you knew about us, and
no doubt your craft would have recorded arriving at this time.
Our concern is that if you return to your own time, it may
change the future…and this time line will cease to exist”
   “Well you know I’m not a time traveller, and unless you
can figure out how I crossed in to your time line, I’m not likely
to be going back to my own time am I?”
   “Does that worry you?”
   “No…it scares the hell out of me. I suddenly find myself


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                                                               2105



the only Human on Earth and you ask if that worries me?”
   “Well we can analyse the data from your craft and see if we
can find the cause for the time shift, but if we do find a way to
reverse it and send you back, we’ll have to wipe your mind”
   Demetra thought for a moment.
   “Would I permitted to see Earth and what you have done
here?”
   “Of course, if you’re feeling stable enough to go up to the
surface”
   “You live underground?”
   “No, this is an old Human military base, it was the only
suitable place we could bring you to”
   Demetra slowly got to her feet, Baraydo held out his arm
for support and led Demetra out of the cell. They stepped into
the elevator, as they headed up to the surface, Demetra started
to feel dizzy.
   “Are you all right?”
   “Yes, I’ll be fine, I think it’s just the motion of the elevator”
   Demetra held on to Baraydo’s arm as he guided her out of
the elevator and into the fresh air. The sun was just rising,
Demetra gasped, then collapsed to the ground.

    When she woke up, she was lying on a bed with Baraydo
sitting in a chair by her side.
    “What happened?”
    “You passed out, I realised that you haven’t had anything
to eat or drink, something we as non-Humans overlooked.


                                10
                                                              2105



Can you sit up?”
   Demetra struggled, Baraydo helped her and shifted the
pillows for support. Then he picked up a glass of water off the
table and held it to her lips, she took a few sips.
   “We obviously have no food supplies, but I managed to
find some berries, with your help we can replicate more
suitable food…”
   He handed Demetra a bowl of a fresh berries, she took a
large handful.
   “Steady, I’ve no idea how long it is since you’ve eaten”
   Demetra slowed down and ate a few of the berries.
   “Thank you Baraydo, I think my last meal was in 2105…
what year is it now?”
   “2655”
   “Only 550 years…when did the last of the Humans die,
what happened?”
   “Data was very scarce, not only had the Human race been
obliterated, so had much of the history. But from what you
have told us we have been able to piece together what
happened. Although there is no record of the disappearance
of your craft, it is our belief that they tried to improve the next
model. Quite foolish considering they didn’t know what went
wrong with the first one.
   “It appears that the next prototype was more powerful that
the one you flew, too powerful. It exploded on its test flight
with disastrous consequences. The blast created a shock wave
which caused enough devastation by itself. But then came the


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                                                          2105



radiation fall out. The Human race managed to survive until
2610, or thereabouts…”
   Baraydo stopped, Demetra looked up at him.
   “So with your help I could try and find a way to return to
2105 and stop the disaster, it wouldn’t necessarily mean your
time line would end. You would still come to Earth, except
this time you would work with Humans to save the planet”
   “That wouldn’t work Demetra, to return you to 2105 we’d
have to wipe your mind of what you have learnt about us. In
doing so, you would also forget about the disaster. If we left
that knowledge intact, in isolation without any background
information, do you think you would be believed?”
   Demetra shook her head.
   “No, because I don’t have a scientific background, they’d
ask me for proof and I wouldn’t be able to give them any. So it
looks like I will be living the end of my life here…the last
Human…”
   “There might be a solution, would you allow me to carry
you outside, we can discuss it there”
   “Of course”
   Baraydo carefully picked Demetra up, she put her arms
around his neck as he carried her outside and over to a bench
under a large tree. Demetra took a good look around as
Baraydo sat down next to her.
   “It doesn’t look that different to the Earth I knew”
   “Maybe not here, but nature has reclaimed what was left of
the cities, with a bit of assistance from us. This is how we


                              12
                                                          2105



prefer to live, in small communities, basic accommodation.
But I suppose it is easier for us as we have no necessity for
food and no materialistic desires”
    “Why are you staying on Earth, it appears your work here
is done, why not return to your home world?”
    “We still have work to do here Demetra, everything isn’t
yet fully balanced. But now we may have another reason for
staying, but that will depend on you. As I said earlier, we
have the technology to replicate food to give you sustenance,
though it will be a poor substitute for the real thing. So the
obvious solution would be to start growing your own…”
    Demetra held her hand up.
    “Baraydo, I am not a farmer, I wouldn’t have a clue where
to start, and for just one Human I think that is a bit extreme”
    “Demetra, we can also use our technology to create a new
Human race…we never considered it before you arrived. But
maybe it wasn’t an accident that you ended up in our time
line after all”
    “This is all too much for me to comprehend Baraydo,
please give me a moment to think…”
    Demetra sat in silence for some considerable time, then she
looked up at Baraydo.
    “How will you create a new Human race…I am the only
woman on the planet…”
    “We shall utilise the technology used to create our own
forms, and splice it with samples of your DNA”
    “So the beings you create will not be pure Human?”


                              13
                                                                2105



    “Not entirely, the purity will come with successive
breeding. We shall stay on Earth until that point is reached”
    “Well it sounds like an ideal plan, but surely you’re just
starting a new cycle of inevitable destruction of the planet,
you know what Human nature is like”
    “Do you have an alternative suggestion?”
    “What is your lifespan?”
    “Immortal, in fact we have no need of a physical form at
all. As I explained before, we took Human form because we
planned to assist Humans and thought they would accept us
easier”
    “Why do you call yourselves Watchers?”
    “Because that is our role, that is what we have evolved to
become. Earth was our first mission…”
    “And not a successful one, so what happens to you now?”
    “Once our work here is complete, we shall return to our
home world and learn from our failure here. We shall be
better prepared next time”
    “So you’re universal trouble shooters?”
    “In a manner of speaking, yes”
    “So if you don’t create a new Human race, what happens to
Earth after you’ve left?”
    “It waits to be occupied by a new race. You have to realise
Demetra that there are many galaxies out there. And there are
many reasons why a race would be interested in moving to a
new home world”
    “Then I think it is best if Earth is left alone, it doesn’t need a


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                                                          2105



new Human race, I’m sure other races will be more
respectful”
   “You are assured of that Demetra, we know of many
galaxies, yet we have still to find a race as destructive as
Humans. But what do you plan to do, you have to realise that
we will be leaving in a few years time…you will be left
alone…”
   “So be it, I have a few years to learn how to grow food for
myself”
   “If that is you choice Demetra, then we shall offer whatever
assistance we can, you are assured of that”
   “Thank you Baraydo. Then you can return to your home
world with at least one small success…knowing that you
managed to teach a former test pilot how to farm”
   Demetra smiled at him, Baraydo didn’t suspect a thing.

   In 2658, Zagen determined that their work on Earth was
finished, it was time to return to their home world. Every
trace of the Aedarnis had been loaded on to giant cargo craft
ready to leave.
   Demetra had watched the preparations, over the last year
she had slowly distanced herself from them, she had
preparations of her own to make. She was sitting outside her
small cabin when Baraydo appeared.
   “We are leaving now Demetra”
   She stood up and embraced him.
   “It is not too late for me to ask Zagen if I can stay with


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                                                           2105



you…”
   “No Baraydo, return to your home world, I am at peace
with myself and with the Earth. I have no regrets about my
decision. Now go”
   Baraydo reluctantly turned and walked away. Demetra sat
down again and watched as the Aedarnis spacecraft launched
into orbit.

   Demetra waited for a while to make sure they wouldn’t
return, then she headed for the military hangar where her
craft had been stored. As she walked over to it, she took a
small key card out of her pocket. Running it through the
security lock, the door opened and she went aboard.
   Since she had warned Baraydo about the dangers of
tampering with the craft, it had been left alone. Demetra
swung herself into the pilots chair and activated the main
control panel. She ran a full system diagnostic, all checked out
clear and there was enough fuel.
   Demetra ran one last check, then slowly powered up the
sub engines, the craft moved forward, she held her breath.
Once clear of the hangar, she steered the craft out onto the old
runway. It was going to be dangerous taking off like a
standard plane, but she had to take the chance.
   Firing up the main engines, she increased the power to
maximum and released the throttle. The craft shook violently
as it headed down the runway, but Demetra held it steady.
Then as she neared the end of the runway, she pulled the nose


                              16
                                                           2105



of the craft up sharply and headed into orbit.
   On a small control panel, Demetra entered the year 2105,
just as she was about to hit the button to set the date,
everything went black.

    When Demetra opened her eyes, she was in the padded
cell, strapped to the chair. Baraydo was standing in front of
her.
    “So you would betray us Demetra and you are a time
traveller”
    “But you left Earth, I watched you go”
    “All one big illusion Demetra, you’ve been here in this cell
all the time. You appear to have seriously underestimated the
capabilities of our technology”
    “So everything you told me about you is a lie?”
    “No, that was the truth, everything you told us was a lie.
And now we know that you plan to return to 2105 and stop
the disaster that created our time line, we have no choice but
to terminate you”
    Baraydo took a small device out of his pocket and placed it
on Demetra’s arm. The effect was instant, Demetra’s head
slumped forward on to her chest. Baraydo undid the straps as
behind him the door opened and Falnar and Kesinnan entered
the cell.
    “You know what to do Falnar, take her to her craft”
    Falnar nodded, picked Demetra up and carried her out of
the cell.


                              17
                                                           2105



   When he got to the hangar, he strapped Demetra into the
craft, then leaned over and set the date on the control panel to
2105. Falnar took a small device out of his pocket and locked it
down onto the main control panel.
   As he walked away from the craft, Baraydo and Kesinnan
were waiting.
   “The auto control device is attached, she’s ready to fly
Baraydo”
   “Good, then once we receive the signal that the craft is back
in 2105, we activate auto destruct. Demetra will never know
that it was her own accident that bought about the extinction
of the Human race”




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