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By Matthew Dentith

Space-Time Continuum

Nearly finished. Just a routine check. Vector analysis -0.05. Hmm, slightly off. I'll readjust by 0.05. Last check, temporal shields. Nil. Ah, that's good to fin... What? Nil? It can't be. Where is the override? Ah, here. Readings stabilizing... No! Shields nil, power falling! I'm going to have to land. I'm close to Earth. Time scale 439 AD. Not very advanced but it'll do. I must regain power. Come on. Ten seconds till landing. No! They can't! The doors can't open while the shields are on! Come on. Come on! Noooooooooooooo...

439 AD: Earth, South Wales

‘Isn't he beautiful.’

‘Yes, he is.’

The object of admiration was a small baby, barely two days old. The boy was wrapped in coarse linen. His round face smiled up at the two women peering down at him. His red hair gave him a look of confidence and his blue eyes twinkled like two stars on a mid-summers' night.

‘Where did you say you found him?’

‘Well, you know that fire in the woods last night?’

‘Yes. It frightened the pigs away, it did.’

‘Well I was a-walking down to the wood to make sure all was right when I found him.’

‘Found him?’

‘Aye, found him.’


‘I was wandering along near the lake...’


‘And I saw this blue box. It was as big as a man. Very ornate in design. And below, I saw this here baby. He was bundled up in the strangest of clothing you could ever imagine. Well. I thought immediately that he must've been left there by the gypsies in the wood. When they fled the fire last night they must have dropped him there. And that's where I found him.’

‘What will you call him?’

‘He shall be known as Merlinius.’

‘The hawk?’

‘Aye, that's the one.’

‘He'll be great, that one. History will remember your Merlin. Won't they, little one?’

All Merlin could do was smile.

This item appeared in TSV 36 (November 1993).

Index nodes: Fiction