Here are the previous chapters to the best time travelling science fiction story since (assuming time is linear) Back to the Future, Doctor Who and Looper:
Chapter 1 Chapter 2 Chapter 3 Chapter 4 Chapter 5 Chapter 6 Chapter 7 Chapter 8
The next morning, just as the first rays of sunshine peaked through the stone cut window, Jude stormed through door holding up a tattered piece of parchment.
He woke Irene up and handed her the parchment.
She groaned and looked at it with half open eyes. “It is from Maria. She says she has organised a meeting for us with Yēšûă. We are to meet her at the local carpenter's workshop near the well after his arrival through town.”
Jude smiled. “Excellent. We could be returning home before the day is over.”
Irene pressed her eyelids together and shook her head.
“That means I'll have to say goodbye to this dream and go back to looking at rocks,” she croaked. “I have such a headache from the alcohol last night. I can hardly remember anything from when we started drinking.”
“I'm sorry about you having to leave...” started Jude.
“About the kiss? No, I'm sorry,” Irene blurted, suddenly waking up and cutting him off. “That was completely inappropriate. I do stupid things when I am drunk, you should know.” She paused. “Yesterday was so crazy, in so many ways, I guess the stress of it all and the alcohol just caught me off guard. I don't hold it well. Actually, I had already forgotten about it. So don't apologise.”
"You were very drunk... I thought nothing of the kiss." Jude gave her a half smile. “Anyway, we have just the morning together to explore this place, before we do what we came here to do, and get the hell out of here and go back to the 21st Century. So, my question is, where would a researcher of the ancient world like to go in 31 A.D.?”
Irene let herself breath and smile once more. “The temple? After all, the Abrahamic religions did become the backbone for much of the world's culture and development. Even though technically they may in fact be an offset themselves from an ancient Egyptian religion. But that's up to debate. And doesn't take away from the exceedingly amazing spectacle we will witness.”
“I was hoping you'd say the tavern for a drink, but sure, the temple sounds okay,” said Jude.
Irene and Jude wandered around the temple looking in at the bearded men chanting inside and the pidgins squawking on the stone steps leading to the entry.
As they passed one of the temple columns, someone grabbed them with an iron grip.
“Keeping a low profile, are you?” came a husky voice. It was Spider.
“I'm assuming there is a fantastic reason you have broken protocol and met us before the designated time,” spat Jude.
Spider led Jude and Irene away from the temple.
“That's a bit rich, Jude,” hissed Spider. “Considering your record of cowboy tactics and inability to follow orders.”
“It would be wise for you to recognise the chain of command right now,” Jude replied, breaking Spider's grip of his bicep.
Jude and Irene turned around to face Spider. They were now far away from the crowds and the temple.
“I hear from Coyote and Richards that you got into a bit of a scuffle last night. The few that could still stand in the morning looked as if they were reporting you to the Roman soldiers. But as you know, we can't speak gibberish like the doctor.” Spider lifted his chin and starred down at Jude. “I think the extra attention warrants a little dress down from the second-in-command. And a warning against any more stunts like that.”
Jude glared up at Spider. The two men towered over Irene, but at over seven foot, Spider could look down at almost anyone he came across.
“It was necessary to get information out of the thugs,” Jude growled. “What progress has the team made?”
Spider chuckled. “Zhang discovered a secret passage in the temple. We believe the rebels have a network of tunnels under this village that they use to ambush and hide from Roman soldiers. They will no doubt be keeping Joshua under guard there.”
“What I don't understand is why a Roman archer couldn't just take out Yēšûă when he comes into villages, and when he makes his speeches?” Jude admitted.
“According to the documents compiled by the research team, the villages he visits, and the times he talks, remain under wraps until the last minute. That is why we were only given one time to complete this task, and the details were a bit hazy. He probably has followers who move ahead and reveal each meeting point.” Spider shrugged his shoulders. “And perhaps they have the same worries as we do about turning him into a martyr. Perhaps they're also looking to kill him in private and dispose of his body so he 'just goes away'.”
Jude nodded. “I think we may have met one of his followers last night actually. A woman by the name of Maria. She invited us to meet at a certain location, from which we'll then be taken to meet the target.”
“This sounds a little too easy,” Spider said, his eyes darting about the marketplace. “How can she trust you?”
“I don't know, mate. All I know, is that she does. Get your team down the rabbit hole Zhang uncovered, and you can locate my whereabouts via tracking my signal.” Jude handed a tracking device to Spider. “If things get messy, you can come to finish the job.”
Spider sniggered and pat Jude on the back. “You are the type of nutter who'd willingly walk into something like that. Have you even got a plan?”
“To get out alive,” said Jude with a wink. “Thing is they want me to bring Irene. Might put her in unnecessary danger.”
“Sometimes sacrifices have to be made, mate, I believe it was you that taught me that,” Spider chuckled under his breath. He nodded at Irene who was watching the villagers walk past. "How is the doctor?"
“Doctor Hadar is fine. Like we discussed earlier, getting intel with her as a translator was much more easy. She's actually a good asset, in the end.”
“You've changed your bark. Not starting to like her, are you?” he smirked. “Fiesty women are usually alright in the sack. Nice rack, too. But whiney at breakfast if you stuck about.”
“You know I don't like the woman,” he answered. “I don't not like her, but I don't 'do' relationships with anyone. We can't be who we are and have connections.”
“Who said anything about a relationship?” Spider smirked, before moving off and being swallowed in the sea of people.
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P.S. If you are enjoying this story, my blog, or have any comments, you are welcome to email me at danielgrantnewton at gmail dot com.