From my current viewpoint I will be born several hundred thousand years in the future, in the year 2266. My germ plasm and those others that posses it were about to be hunted down. We were told that it was for our own protection but those responsible for 'protecting' us were also the ones that whipped public opion to a frenzy, preaching public safety. We were four prolific families strong when we decided to pack our tents and sneak off into the night, so to speak. I suppose that we were a security risk to them. But they didn't have to put us down like coyotes on a sheep ranch, did they? A government sniper killed my mother from over a mile away. I was with her when it happened. I extracted swift and certain vengance. You see, we're teleports. I spotted a flash off his optics and jumped to his side. I took him by the wrist and jumped straight up fourteen miles. I released him and returned to my last position. I gathered up all his kit and jumped for home. I dropped everything, returned to mom's side, picked her up and jumped once again for home. By the time I had her laid out on the table the sniper had just about hit the ground, dashed into meat paste.
We're jumpers. Teleports. We can't move more than we can carry but we can move anywhere on Earth and deep into history. Or rather, a history. We'd expermented, changing things like land features in the past then moving back to the present No changes ever carried forward. However, wherever and whenever we went it so closely resembled our Earth in an earlier time that we couldn't tell the difference. We couldn't do it without the help of a telepath. One of us figured out how to back jump. Our telepathic friend, Henry, taught the rest of us. He never wanted for anything again.
We're long-lived too. Whatever genetic switch made us jumpers also roughly doubled our lifespans. We could each rationally hope to see two hundred years.
I called the rest of the clan for an emergency meeting through our encrypted phones. People quickly started popping in. Several seemed ready to strip my hide as I was only twenty and didn't have the right to call a full clan meeting. When they spotted mom's bleeding body on the table they shut the hell up. Soon it seemed as if everyone was there that was going to make it. I held up the rifle, careful not to touch the grip as it was coded for its assigned user. I didn't want to explosively lose a hand. "They're hunting us now. I suggest we all step back as we'd planned and finalize the details. They have the home court advantage in the here/now. It's time to change that."
We all popped back to Christmas eve ten years before. We'd all made plans, partly in jest. Well, it just got real. We'd spotted a well-positioned coastal cave some two hundred and fifty thousand years in the past, a bit north-east of what would be CapeTown, South Africa. Up-time it was named the Blombos cave. It was far enough back from the shore and elevated enough to be safe from storm wrack and flooding, unless the sea levels did something unprecedented. It needed a lot of improvement before we could or would want to occupy it.
We had to adjust our bodies to a stone-age disease profile before we went anywhere. We performed serological adaptations to all of us so that we'd not infect others and we'd not become infected in exchange. We maintained our immunities for both time periods otherwise our scavenging operations back-time would kill us.
My dad handed out scavenging lists indexed by load weight and our personal carrying capacities. (We were limited as to what we could 'port by weight--what we could pick up free of the ground.) We fanned out to collect what we needed. First, a portable generator, fuel, a sonic cutter and a tracked RPV carrier for it, along with its control console. (Humans couldn't be anywhere near the thing when it was working. The air would conduct enough energy to pulverize your eyes, teeth, flesh and bones. It was mounted on a specialized tracked carrier and controlled from several hundred yards away.
Next we needed a computer controlled sonic/radar geological mapping system. We needed to find out where to drill for water, waste flues and chimneys. All of this equipment was specifically chosen so that it could be broken down into one hundred kilo units that we could carry with the aid of canvas slings. Our greatest benefit was that we could 'take our time' working in back-time. We got the place mapped then a geologist and a professional architect among us marked it up. Afterwards the construction teams went back with the digger and went to work.
The cave was greatly extended for our use, both horizontally and back into the cliffs. The entrance got levelled, a clear path was made up the hill to where we would till our fields, the doorway was squared, the floor was leveled, the ceiling was reformed into load bearing arches and domes while the walls and floors were trued. Various shelves were dug out of the rock walls, an elevated water reservoir like a small swimming pool was dug into the floor and an exit trench for the overflow water was dug leading out the doorway. A four-inch rock waterpipe was drilled into an aquifer deep in the cliffside and several chimney holes were drilled through the wall above and near the cave's door.
The drill was securely shut down then men went in with wheelbarrows to clear the rock that had been cut free. A team brought back heavy nickel-bronze forgings ready to bolt together to make a sluice out of the new waterfall emptying into the water reservoir. After the sections were bolted together and secured a modular generator and blade assembly was slid into place.
A thick epoxy binder was sprayed over the inside of the cave and an accellerant applied after that. We didn't want anything coming down on us unexpectedly.
Another team used dabs of epoxy to fasten low-voltage wires around the cave and fasten long-life LED light pucks to the ends. Everything terminated in switch boxes. We had been working under a one-ten volt quartz work light. Now we had permanent distributed light for the entire cavern.
A team then showed up with recycled plastic timbers that were bolted to the rock walls at the entrance after beads of construction adhesive were laid. The great doors were constructed and hung on titanium hinges. Once the reinforcing was finished a cave bear couldn't push its way in. A 'landing bullseye' was painted on the floor and people started coming in waves, bringing furniture, bedding, Franklin stoves, stove pipe, cooking gear and camp kitchens. Some of our biggest men appeared, bent over by the weight of the sleeping benches that they carried. They were set up against the walls but could be dragged to circle the stoves in the winter. Much lumber was brought in along with tools, chests, mattresses, tables and chairs. There were over one hundred and ten of us but there was plenty of room. The season was late winter/early spring.
We were told to evacuate for a bit so we went outside while two toilet shafts were dug and the rock powdered so that it would fall through into the water below. Upon returning we found a few things broken by the sound pressure but nothing irreplaceable. The digging team took their equipment outside where they proceeded to dig another cavern next to ours for bulk supplies, stock and fodder. We wanted to bring back horses, cattle, goats, sheep and chickens that we'd recognize. Reportedly the cattle of the day were huge and looked somewhat like overgrown Bramah bulls with a natural broad white stripe across their backs.
Both men and women brought hundreds of twenty-five-kilo bags of coal for heating and cooking. It seemed that every time a person found themselves with nothing to do they went up-time to pick up another load of coal. We stripped four forgotten hopper cars of coal found on a disused spur line in a South Dakota switching yard. They'd been there long enough to fuse the wheels with the rails by oxidation. My friends and I went up-time to disassemble a big log splitter with a ten horse engine and brougt it back. We left it disassembled on a pallet until we could figure out where to start harvesting firewood. I went looking for spare engine assemblies and stole a couple. Likewise we grabbed chainsaws, files, cutting chains and five gallon jerry-cans of fuel and oil, both for the chainsaws and the splitter. Then we tackled our next scavenging list. Someone had researched what mini-tractors could be broken down into one hundred kilo loads. We tore down a John Deer small tractor and hauled it back-time, then re-assembled it. We high-fived when it started and ran. Then we popped back for the plow, harrow, cultivator, sickle mower, front-end loader and carts that it could pull. by the end of the week we were damned tired of humping jerry cans of fuel, let me tell you.
We positioned the Franklin stoves so that we wouldn't interfere with each other while cooking or when positioning the sleeping benches around the stoves. Then we set up the stove pipes to guide the smoke through the chimneys and outdoors. Ten Franklin stoves got the place up to near-nekkid conditions quickly. We were sent back up-time for forgotten pots, pans, dishes, tools and whatnot. Once the kitchen tables and chairs were in place the "mommas" were happy. We were off the hook until the next emergency. I got together with my crew. I had an idea--a 'make momma happy' idea. We went up-time for overstuffed chairs, couches and rugs. I saw my dad look around and relax. He realized that he'd missed the bullet on that one. I had built up a few credits with him.
.... There is more of this story ...