Light filters through the cascading waves of shadows running down the high canyon walls. Shining fingers reaching down from the heavens to highlight the beauty of the world, you notice the warm spots of rock and water where the light touches and you smile. The constant hum and crash of the river at your feet adds the symphony accompaniment to the play being acted out for your enjoyment. Time slows and races with the rise and fall of the orchestra, and your heart follows along.
Stepping to the edge, you set your balance and brace your feet, then let the fly taste the air as you whip it once, twice, three times over your head. The line pulls against your finger as you release it and for a moment your world is reduced to the flight of the fly and the whine of the reel. As it splashes down, and you are pleased with its placement, the roar of the river rises back up to a near deafening volume, and you begin to coax the fish out of hiding with a delicate dance of pressure and movement.
A flash of silver deep within the rolling blue and white, as a trout breaks cover beneath the rocky bottom, and there is a small tug on the taught line…
The fish puts up a greater fight then any other today.
“You’re a willful little thing, aren’t you?” You mumble under your breath.
After several exhausting minutes the trout is finally too exhausted to fight anymore. Feeling no small sense of accomplishment you reel that sucker in. Adding it to the pile you cast one last time. After another thirty minutes you have enough fish for dinner. Packing everything up you head back to camp. You resign yourself to complete the rest of your task. As much as you love fishing, you hate gutting. However everyone on the trip has a roll and this is yours. Could be worse.
As you clean the fish you find the one that had given you such trouble. Seems silly now, but you are small enough to find pleasure at cleaning that fish in particular. After it’s been descaled you feel something odd. A hardness within the fish. Taking your knife you carefully cut open the specimen. You can hardly believe your eyes. It’s a ring. You search your memory for a word, you’ve seen something similar before, but where? In history class. decades ago people use to exchange them as tokens. Wedding bands they were called. Not sure why you reach out and pick it up. You know you shouldn’t. Emotional artifacts are suppose to be reported on site. However you stay silent and examine the trinket.
You close it in your hand as you hear a twig snap. Seemingly out of no where a young women has materialized. She reaches up to tuck her flax hair behind her ear, as she does this you notice she has no id bracelet. Curious. She scans the forest, brows knit together. Finally she spots you, she steels herself and approaches.
Her voice is both strong and weary, “Where am I?”
Confused you answer, “The Ordovician Mountains.”
“Ordovician ?” You also ask. Then remembering what you are holding you add, “Formerly the Appalachian mountains, in what was Tennessee.”
“No, no, no, not again. When am I?”
“When am I? What is the year?”
“Alpha Apple 0074.”
She gazes at you, accessing. Her gaze flicks to various things. Your wrist, your ears, your eyes for a long minute but also two the scenery. After a few minutes she has paled.
Meekly she asks, “Who are you?”
Unsure why you feel oblidged to answer you do so none the less, “Markus Tilio.”
Her eyes grow wide and she becomes even whiter.
“And you are?”
“A-A-Amelia. Amelia Rosenstein. I think I’m hear to help.”
This isn’t the first time I’ve written about Amelia, her story starts here.