Interlude

An Army of the Cross story

(c) 2015 Thomas F. Brown, All Rights Reserved.

This material may not be reproduced in any form without the expressed written consent of the author.

In the post-apocalyptic aftermath of The Light Years War, humanity is struggling to rebuild a civilization smashed by an alien adversary. But now it faces a new and unexpected challenge: an army of religious fanatics hell-bent on completing the job the aliens started. Only one person stands in their way: an old woman with a mysterious past and an agenda of her own.

From the Journal of Nancy Madison
September 18, 2217

A famous baseball player once said “it’s deja vu all over again”. Or something like that. I was never good at remembering quotations. Anyway, that’s how I feel right now.
The last time I made an entry in this journal was when I still called myself Nancy Madison, more than two hundred years ago. Don’t know why I’m bothering to do it now. After all, it’s not like anyone’s ever going to read it. Not even myself, if you want to know the truth.
So why do it?
I don’t really have an answer.
I just wish this could all be over. Between time travel and suspended animation, I’ve lived too long, and seen too much. I’ve been forced to make too many hard choices, and I’m afraid I’ve mucked up each and every one of them.
I’ve seen the future. I’ve been there and know what’s going to happen to the human race. But much as I’d like to change everything I’ve seen, I don’t dare. Thanks to that woman from the future, Mah-Ree, past and future are now inextricably linked, and if I prevent that awful future from happening, the past will start to unravel. And if that should happen …
September eleventh, two thousand and twenty-one!
That’s the date a faceless terrorist detonates a nuclear warhead in downtown Tel-Aviv, precipitating global thermonuclear war. Everyone dies. Everyone.
Except … it didn’t happen. I stopped it, you see. I betrayed everything I believe in to make sure that bomb never went off.
But if I tamper with the future, I risk unraveling the past, and September eleventh, two thousand and twenty-one will happen all over again!
I need to ignore that future, just close my eyes and let events happen as they’re meant to.
But how in God’s name can I just stand by while those damned Monks and their alien overlords hurt little children, decapitate innocent men and women, and wipe out thousands of years of learning and culture? Tell me how to do that, please. Because I don’t think I can. It’s like trying to flip a coin and make it land heads and tails simultaneously. Impossible!
God help me, what do I do? What can I do? And at what cost? I’ve already lost my humanity on this endless quest. I’ve got nothing left to give.
Help me, someone. Please. I beg you!

To be continued …

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