Synopsis: Marlena Mosby has always been adventurous. In one of her expeditions, she comes across an hourglass with blue sand in it and cuneform heiroglyphics. She has no idea what era it is from but upon reading its inscription, she is transported back to ancient Babylonia—with no seeming method to trasport back to the present.
Chapter 1—Dig in Turkey
Marlena Mosby wiped her forehead in the torrential Turkish summer heat.
Although she had done everything to cool herself, sweat continued to run from her forehead down her neck, and it was only noon. She exhaled harshly, stretching to take a break from the dig she and her fellow archeologists had been part of for over 3 ½ years now. They had found some intrieguing artifacts, but something seemed to catch her eye. It wasn't anything she was expecting, especially not in Turkey. The object glinted, twinkling in the sultry sun, beckoning her to come closer.
"Dr. Mosby ! Where are you heading ?", a fellow archeologist and anthropoligist, Doctor Gupta questioned.
"I see something glinting in the light not far from here, Hadji. I think the winds might've upturned it.", she said, enthusiastically. She felt her eagerness grow as she came closer to it.
She could imagine her family's reaction to treasure and how euphoric they would be upon appraising it, splitting the bounty, and using the money earned for college funds and charity. Her hopes were transformed when she discovered the ''treasure" was nothing more than an hourglass.
Chapter 2—Cuneform Markings
At first Marlena was slightly disappointed, but upon examining the hourglass with futher scrutiny, she found it was quite the rarity indeed. It was a white hourglass, carved out of ivory, with hand-blown glass containing, of all things, blue sand.
"Blue sand ! How unusual !", she mused to herself. She wanted to show her partner, Hadji, but when she looked at the hourglass a second time, she could make out tiny cuneform markings. Quickly, out of her khaki burlap backpack, she pulled out her magnifying glass and began to read the markings silently to herself. Why something this ancient would have Babylonian heiroglyphs all over it was far beyond her understanding, but as soon as she had read off the symbols, the hourglass began to glow aquamarine in color.
"That certainly cannot be a good sign.", she thought to herself. Before she could call anyone for help, she was enveloped in light. She saw everything to the happenings of the present day; finding the hourglass, uttering the Bablonian words to events that occurred long, long before she or her family ever existed.
It went by so quickly that she was overcome, and eventually, she passed out from the intense trip backward into time.
Chapter 3—Privy to the Court of King Nebuccenezzer
When she awoke, she was being hoisted away by camel by a traveling caravan. At first she felt alarmed, but somehow, she could understand the language these Bedoan nomads were speaking. She felt relieved she had studied ancient Babylonia languages and other 'dead' Arabic languages.
She couldn't speak them as well as the natives did, but it didn't matter.
It seemed that she had befriended them and they were taking her to a massive castle that wasn't too far away.
As the caravan swayed back and forth, she saw the Tower of Babel being built, and she recalled her Biblical History.
"So it is actually accurate and true.", she confirmed within herself. Knowing this made her all the more excited, but part of her wanted to return home with the hourglass still in toe. Fortunately, it had become an amulet around her neck, and she had been vestiged with the local garments of the land.
She smelled of jasmine, orchids, light musk and sandalwood. It was a rather appealing fragrance. Yet, she wondered what all of this was about and where she was headed to.
Once inside the massive courtoom of the castle, Marlena had been escorted into the room where all the concubines were being kept. She knew she had to find a way to get home, but upon reading the cuniforms, absolutely nothing happened. Marlena wasn't the type to become too terribly concerned with anything, especially since she had recovered from a dig in Greece once and suffered slight heatstroke. She had been thrown from a camel in Egypt and had to be hospitalized with a fractured leg, which subsuquently repaired and in no time, she was back digging in ancient lands where she felt more at home. Yet, she never felt so threatened as she did now, being amongst all these gorgeous women from all around the world, unable to speak any of their languages. She decided to see whether she could figure out a way to cause the hour glass to activate again. She had to return home, or else, remain stuck in the Babylonian era forever.
Marlena knew what the role of a concubine was, but fortunately, she hadn't been called in to see the king until tonight. He wasn't in the mood for lovemaking, but simply wanted someone to listen to his story. Marlena's mouth nearly dropped to the ground when she met the keeper of the immense castle.
It was none other than Nebuccunezzer himself. If anything, she wished she had carried her tape recorder with her to have her encounters with him recorded for posterity, but instead of risking piercing the thread of space time itself, she had a notepad and paper back in her quarters where the concubines were taken care of by servants and eunichs.
King Nebuccunezzer went into great detail about a dream that had been keeping him awake at night. It was the infamous collosal statue made out of different elements that had been depicted in the Old Testament book of Daniel, which many Biblical scholars had determined discussed the end of days. Marlena dared say nothing to change these events, and listened to the king, hoping that maybe she could hear Daniel actually explain the dream to the king. She began thinking that perhaps her trip backward in time wasn't so terrible. However, she did miss her family, friends and her coworkers. Somehow, someway, she'd get the hourglass to reignite and return her to the present. Only problem is, she didn't even know how it had transported her to the past.
Chapter 4—Daniel's Explination
Marlena didn't mind being pampered, but in this century, having lack of air conditioning was almost too much for her to handle. There were servants and eunichs at every beck and call, however, and this helped keep her cool and hydrated in the 'secret room' where all the concubines gossiped to pass the time especially on sultry days such as this. She no longer had her wallet, so she could no longer look at photographs of her family or pets and her heart ached. That was until Nebuccunnezer had decided to call in someone of renown that had been the talk of the area for quite some time. Where his sorcerers, wisemen, seers and own magicians had failed, Daniel was said to be a mighty prophet. Perhaps he would be able to make sense of the Collusus of different elements and the large rock demolishing it. The odd dream had been taunting him for months, after all.
King Nebuccunezzer wished to have a few of his concubines as an entourage as he invited the prophet Daniel into his court. Marlena was chosen as one of them, and she felt highly humbled. Being an avid reader and touched deeply spiritually, this had a large effect on her, and she did her utmost to retain her dignity and not become unglued.
Nebuccunezzer looked positively enervated. Unlike the time he had spoken to Marlena, he had actually gotten a good night of sleep, but this time, such wasn't the case, and the King had begun to feel quite cranky. The entertainment until Daniel's arrival kept him diverted for a time until he grew impatient and demanded to see Daniel as soon as possible. Of course, the servants made certain that the prophet was brought in to him without any further delay.
Daniel was probably about twelve, still a boy, very much like Marlena's eldest child, Franklin. It amazed her how much Daniel resembled Franklin, particularly in the curly red hair they both bore and those deep, chocolate eyes; the type that you can't help but become mesmerized in. Nebuccunezzer began speaking about his dream to the young prophet, and the prophet listened intently.
No sooner had Nebuccenezzer spoken of the dream that Marlena noticed the hourglass beginning to turn aquamarine and the cuniforms glowing once more.
Nebuccennezer was too drawn by Daniel's interpretation and his words of wisdom that he hadn't noticed that Marlena was beginning to travel forward in time.
The singularity had opened, she stepped through it without asking why the singularity had appeared when it did. However, the unthinkable happened after she had returned to the present. The hourglass, which had been a providencial find became too hot to rest against the nape of her neck, so much that she had to take it off and watch it fade into non-existance. The only proof that she had been in ancient Babylon were the notes she had taken while staying in Nebucunnezer's palace. She would never be able to travel to the past again, but the experience was enough, she thought , to prove that time travel was entirely possible.
Chapter 5—Familiar Surroundings
When Marlena awoke, she heard the uplifting, catchy, upbeat dance music of Tarkan, Turkey's equivalent to Enrique Iglesias. She couldn't dance right away, and from where she was located, it was much cooler than it would be had she landed in the middle of the dessert somewhere. She was in a tent that was cooled by water-spritzing fans and the hydration was graciously received by her.
Her old friend and dig partner, Hadji, had been watching her.
"What happened, Marly ? We had been looking for you for days ! We were beginning to think that you had gotten lost during sirocco, or worse.", Hadji said, unable to stop hugging her. She began explaining her miraculous, unbelievable journey into Babylon; hearing and seeing the Bible come to life. It was nothing but outrageous, bombastic talk until she revealed the notes she had taken while she had fraternized with her concubine confidantes.
"I'm sorry that the hourglass was lost while you were returning to us. Rather it explode in the process than you, though.", Hadji said, with a hint of humor and a encompassing smile, as well as another friendly hug.
Although Marlena felt as though she had failed in the archeological realm, the theoretical physicists wished to hear more of her experience in the past.
"You didn't do anything to alter history, did you ?", one of them asked her in a press conference.
"No. I was simply observing. I am sorry I was unable to retain the hourglass. Perhaps you could've studied it to pinpoint what energy was causing it to have the power it did. I couldn't figure it out myself. It was totally beyond my understanding.", Marlena said. Marlena didn't care for all the attention she was receiving but realized that with this information, sparce as it was, the physicists could begin perfecting their time travel technology already in development.
Marlena couldn't wait to return home once all the sensationalism died down. Her journals had recently become the top seller on the New York Times list, which was a rather high honor. She had been the guest on many TV talk shows but now she had finally gotten a chance to rest. She was at last, heading home to be reunited with her husband and kids. She had a few souveniers to give to them, but someday, she hoped she could give them the true experience of an actual dig, wherever that dig was to be held. It was rumored that she would be heading to Egypt in the future, but for now, she was overjoyed to be home with Franklin, Bailey, and her beloved husband, Jason.
Though it was some time before Marlena ventured on another archeological dig, her research proved to be invaluable to the physicists who had interviewed her years before. CERN was doing experiments on the energy they believed that held the key to time travel. Little by little, they were unravelling the mystery that the hourglass had posed to them 5 years ago. As for the Mosby family, they were thrilling at the ancient sites in Egypt, discovering more links to extra terrerestrials than they ever thought possible. This information would alter the face of history as they knew it, and might even be considered by some to be contraversial. Yet, Marlena knew that in time, revelations would be made and the face of conventional science would be reshaped and revamped. The 'old ways' and 'archaic understandings' would give way to the newer perspective of science and soul, uniting as one. In all reality, the two had never been seperate until dogma and so called 'rules' came into play. Marlena knew she was living in an exciting, groundbreaking time. Her children would be going forward in a world she would probably never see for herself, but at least she was pleased, in a humble way, that she had been the catalyst to start something great.