Noah Zarc: Mammoth Trouble (Noah Zarc, #1)
around the corridors of the ship.
    Sam let out a sigh of relief. “How long until we make the first jump?”
    Hamilton overlaid the main screens with the same ‘string of Earths’ image. Over the first globe was a timer counting down.
    “Three minutes and fourteen-seconds. Powering the warp manifold now.”
    I continued to monitor the pods. Peeking in on several species told me none suffered much from the acceleration. Most lay down as if they were sleeping. But gradually, when the rate of acceleration decreased and apparent gravity returned to the level they were used to, the animals started to move about again.
    “How long will the jumps last?” I said.
    “Moses estimated two hours, thirty-seven minutes,” Hamilton said. “Preparing for the first jump.”
    I watched the timer tick down from thirty-seconds. The stars shimmered through a purple haze that bent the light.
    Twenty seconds.
    Stars rippled, while blue-green electrical energy crackled around the ship.
    Ten seconds.
    A loud hum filled the room. Stars melted and blurred together in a fiery conflagration of energy. One moment we rocketed toward space, the next moment the screens were filled with a view of Earth.
    The ARC skimmed over the continent of Africa toward the darkness of space. Within minutes, the earth disappeared behind us. The next image of Earth in line on the display now had a countdown of fourteen minutes, seven-seconds until jump.
    Hamilton had tried to explain, several times, how the whole time travel thing worked, but I still couldn’t get it. Somehow, while the ARC traveled through space, it created a dense field around itself, which warped the fabric of space and time. Hamilton said all we needed to do to travel back in time was aim toward a point in space where the earth used to be, or any other landmark, then warp present space so it touched past space. Then we could slide through a hole between them.
    At one point when I was feeling totally lost, Hamilton took an old handkerchief and a needle and thread and tried to explain it again.
    “This handkerchief represents spacetime.” He drew a dot near one edge. “This is the present location of Earth.” He drew a dot on the other edge. “This is a past location. In order for us to travel back to the past, we need to bring these two edges closer together.” He folded the handkerchief so the two dots touched.
    “Now, the difficulty is the energy needed increases exponentially for the amount of spacetime warped. So we usually hop through time in shorter jumps.” He drew several dots between the two. Then he took the needle and thread and pushed it through each dot.
    “Once we know when we want to go to and where a specific point in space will be, such as the earth at any given time, we can jump from Earth to Earth to Earth all the way back, as far as we want.” He pulled the thread tight and brought all the dots together.
    “Make sense?”
    “Yeah, I think so,” I said. “Earth’s a big booger in the handkerchief of time.”
    “I give up!” He’d stormed out of the room.
    I looked over at my brother, who sat poring over his monitor. Maybe I’ll have to quit giving him such a hard time. I laughed out loud, saw the way he and Sam looked up at me, and reconsidered.
    Purple and green pulses enveloped the ARC , and we jumped again. Once more Earth appeared below us. At first I couldn’t quite put my finger on what was different but I knew the planet would keep changing the further back in time we went. It would become wilder, less developed—and that’s what was different. Earth this time was greener.
    We jumped like this for over two hours, until our final jump. For several minutes after it, the ship fired reverse thrusters and slowed, while Hamilton pored over some charts on his screen.
    “What’s wrong?” I said.
    “Earth isn’t where it’s supposed to be.”
    “What?” Sam unbuckled and moved to the window. “Where is it?”
    “That’s what I’m trying to figure

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