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|"...to God I commend my soul." She says, her voice holding up much more steadily than she thought herself capable. With one last look at the people...once her people...she knelt down before the executioner's block.
With one glance over her right shoulder, she caught a glimpse of the man who was to end her life. She smiled meekly, knowing, that somehow, despite the black mask over his head, that he returned the gesture.
Her maids around her were sobbing. She too, wished she could sob as they, but her pride was too strong, even in the face of death.
She closed her eyes, hands relaxing at her sides, as she was not bound, and began to whisper
"To Jesus Christ I comment my soul. Lord Jesus receive my soul..."
The moment seemed to last forever, until suddenly she felt searing pain throughout her entire body. She held her breath as the pain jolted throughout her until she felt as though she would be torn from limb to limb.
This must be what it is to die... she thought desperately to herself.
Until finally...it was over.
She felt herself hit the ground hard, knocking the wind right out of her. Still, she dared not open her eyes.
She listened. Silence.
She waited. The pain was subsiding.
Slowly, she opened her eyes, only to find herself sprawled out on the ground. Her dark gray dress tattered, showing much more of her red petticoat than before. She quickly placed a hand to her head, feeling first for her white bonnet, tying her long, dark hair about her head...then, slowly realizing what she had felt.
However, her uncertainty of being grateful or horrified was short lived as she spotted the world around her. Her people, gone. The executioner, gone. The block....the sword...the crying ladies...everything...all of it...gone.
In it's place was debris of a world far beyond her recognition.
And with that, Anne Boleyn let out a gut wrenching scream.
|"Fight? Did I hear fight?"
A glint of steel could be seen as a man dressed in the uniform of a British World War II soldier. A World War II soldier with a longbow and bagpipe slung over his back, and a gleaming broadsword in his hand.
"If there's going to be fighting, you can sure as hell count me in. Name's Jack," he extends his hand out to no one in particular, "Lieutenant-Colonel Jack Churchill to be exact, though most call me Fightin' Jack."
|The Accidental Protege
|Joan eyed the strange, white-clad man curiously; he certainly was a strange breed. Very odd clothing, he and his companion, Tesla, had.
"Most certainly. I would be honored to fight alongside you. However, a question; you strangers know much of me, but I know nothing of you. How have you come to hear of me, and why do you revere me s-"
The shadow of a large man emerged from the entrance of the building, dwarfing Joan. With a deep, gruff, Icelandic tone, he interjected.
"Hvem er disse folk?" *Who are these people?*
Joan sighed, and turned about, irritation with her friend accumulating.
"Erik, Disse folk bevart oss. NÃ¥, introdusere du selv," *Erik, these people saved us. Now, introduce yourself.* Joan responded in Norwegian. The hulking man stepped forward into the light, his muscular form an awesome sight. A leather helm, adorned with horns was strapped firmly to his head, dirty, red hair flowing behind it, matching his long, scraggy beard. The fangs and claws on his leather armor clattered with each step he took.
"Meg navnet er Erik det RÃ¸d," *My name is Erik the Red.* he stated, matter-of-factly, casting a strong look at the two men in front of him.
|Mark Twain gasped, his furrowed eyebrows parting.
"Joan of Arc? It is an honor to meet you, my lady. My name is Mark Tw-Samuel Clemens. I am a writer. I've read much about you. I never believed you were guilty of witchcraft. In fact, I've been rather set on writing a book about you. It is...a providence to meet you here."
Tesla laughed as he slid his pistol back into his coat.
"Do not mind my friend, my lady. My name is Nikola Tesla. I am a man of science. Simple acquaintances aside, does this mean you wish to assist us?"
|The Accidental Protege
|A small figure emerged from the darkness of the building, and as the light outside began to engulf her form, it glinted off her armor, and elegant platemail outfit, lightweight, yet sturdy. With no helmet to shield her head, her long, auburn hair flowed behind her. In one hand, she held a fearsome looking sword, yet elegant in its creation: a rapier. In the other a small bulwark.
She breathed a sigh of relief, as she looked hard at even more strange people: the two mustachioed men who made the beasts disperse.
"It seems as though our luck has not run out just yet. Erik; do you feel like getting up, or has your slothfulness caused you to become ingrained in the structure permanently?" Her accent was distinctly French as she beckoned someone from within. No response yet, save for an irritable grunt.
"Thank you, strangers. I owe you much. My name is Joan. Joan of Arc. Pray tell, who are you?"
| In the charred ruins of New Paris, the zombies were on the march. Their victims were strewn about the cracked streets, little more than meal for the velociraptors. The security drones, unsure of what were security breaches and what were not, had made slow progress of cleaning up the wasteland that, just a week before, had been the closest thing Earth had to a utopia in the year 2251.
How had this world collapsed? To those still alive, it was a mystery. All they knew was that a strange storm had rolled in and brought with it an apocalypse. Great explosions tore through the air, opening up strange holes. From these strange holes, life began to pour. First grass and trees, then animals, and eventually, humans.
Since then, the holes had closed, but the dark clouds had remained. The towering flames kept the city alight through day and night, making the passage of time indistinguishable. It was a hell, forged and frozen in time. It was a time crash.
Deep in the city, on the second floor of a small shop, two men begin their mad scavenge for food. The first man, adorned in a dirty white suit, was making quick work of the shelves. His graying hair, topped with a thick mustache, was wildly disheveled. In this new world, he had no time for appearances.
The second man was much slower in his approach. Still well-dressed in a black suit, he slowly picked through the supplies, examining it closely. His combed brown hair and mustache, much thinner than his companion's, gave him an air of quiet sophistication.
"Not much to eat," the white-suited man said.
"My friend," the black-suited man replied, "there is little of anything in this world."
The white suited man began chewing on potato chips. "So, I'm at a loss. How do propose we break out of Hell, Nikola?"
"This is no Hell. This is, from what I can tell, a singularity of time. It appears somewhere in this city, humanity attempted to harness time."
"Strange. It appears Edison's methodology wins out. I'd be disappointed, but frankly, that suggests I had hope," Mark Twain noted. "I wonder if the machine still exists."
Tesla stopped his search and moved towards the window. He stared out, his great mind turning wild theories.
"If it is," Tesla said, "for the good of mankind, we must find it. There may still be hope for the world."
"Wishful thinking, friend. There are demons infesting the alleys of this damn wasteland. I sail boats. I don't know how the two of us alone can find the machine."
Tesla listened, intently watching the building down the street. The velociraptors were eying it strangely.
"Correct, old friend. That is why we will go to that building and enlist the help of those inside."
Twain nodded. "Sounds like a good plan."
Tesla reached into his suit pocket and pulled out a German pistol. "For peace."
Moments later, an explosion ripped through the side of the two story shop. The velociraptors, previously intent on the building with people inside, manically turned to face the sound. As the dust of the explosion cleared, Tesla and Twain made their way out into the street. Tesla extended his arm and fired twice. With great accuracy, the bullets slammed into the head of a bewildered dinosaur, killing it instantly. The others, aware of the danger, charged forward.
Mark Twain stepped forward, slowly unsheathing a gleaming katana. He swung with a great force, the sword cutting the air with a slow poetry. Between the two great minds, the dinosaur horde had been quickly scattered. They approached the building.
"Attention, fellow humans," Tesla called out loudly, "my name is Nikola Tesla. My companion and I have cleared the danger in the street. It is safe to exit."
The sealed doors of the building cracked open, and the men could see a great horde of frightened people inside.
"If there are any men or women who are able enough to fight, we are in need of your help."
And so, Nikola Tesla and Mark Twain waited for brave souls from across the span of humanity to step forward. The fate of time itself hung in the balance.