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The First Time Traveller

By Robert Lynch

“It is known that the gods come down to Earth and play in the deep hollow at Samhain.” Old Gran’s voice whispered in Domhnall’s ears. “Many a curious young lad has been taken as the playthings of the gods. You steer clear of the deep hollow.”

I’ll leave them alone, Gran. Domhnall thought. Just as soon as I see them with my own eyes.

As Domhnall peered over the crest and into the deep hollow, he felt the hairs on his arms rise. He wasn’t cold, it must be magic, he thought. He edged closer.

Flashes of light and thunderclaps emerged from the hollow. Could it be Lugh? The crafty god at work on a forge?

Domhnall got closer until he emerged from behind a tree to see a sphere of blue light with lightning striking the ground and trees around it. A bolt struck a tree and the tree disappeared completely, not burned or destroyed – gone. Could this be a portal to the Otherworld? Domhnall thought. Perhaps I could journey to the land of the Tuatha Dé Danann?

As he had the thought, a bolt of lightning reached out and struck Domhnall in the chest, throwing him backwards and knocking him out.

Franklin was sitting at his computer running tests. The time portal’s stability needed to be refined. He opened a portal and let it run in the chamber for 2 minutes, watching the outputs; they were wild. This technology would change everything if only he could get it to work. The project had come so far, he had been able to send things back to previous times and track them with radiometric dating, but he lost more than 50% of test materials. A time portal that killed 50% of passengers wasn’t going to be the triumph he was hoping for.

Test 73. The portal chamber exploded as an oak tree materialised, tearing the chamber apart. Franklin hit the emergency system. Never had material come back from the past; this could be a breakthrough. He ran down to the chamber to investigate. Random fires burned as workers moved through the chamber extinguishing them with handheld fire extinguishers. Franklin stood in the mist and smoke of the room and looked at the burned, twisted oak tree.

“We’ve got a body.” One of the workers yelled.


Franklin turned and headed over to the worker. No one should have been near the test site.

A young man, red hair, slightly shorter than average wearing homespun clothing lay unconscious at the centre of the test chamber. Franklin’s jaw fell open. A person had come through. If travel in both directions was possible… Franklin knelt down and looked at the man. He checked over the boy’s vitals. Considering the time period, the boy was from he was in remarkable health. Franklin couldn’t see any of the malnourishment or infection markers that would have been typical.

“Infection…” Franklin said out loud as his mind worked through the repercussions of grabbing a pre-medieval human out of time and bringing him into the present. “We have to quarantine this area right now!” he yelled and started to whip the technicians into action.

The boy was kept in ICU. He had no injuries from the journey through time, but he also had no antibodies to defend against modern infections. Even with immunoglobulin therapy, his body was not able to combat more than 1500 years of bacterial evolution.


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