The Scenic Route:

A winding detour through the past

Author's note: I've been toying with the idea of writing a Sanctuary related story for almost the past 9 years since I first started watching the show. This is just one version of events that I have in my head that's the most viable for me to publish. Most times it's me thinking of several different variations of random events but there's no real substance outside of maybe a 5 minute character interaction. The focus of this story is going to be more towards present day, so it will be skipping a lot through the past. Maybe a decade a chapter? Not sure. My goal really isn't to spend too much time fleshing out the details given to us about Magnus' activities in the past, but they will be included in order to help keep continuity.

Disclaimer: Sanctuary belongs to its rightful owners and creators, especially the three main people behind the show: Damien Kindler, Martin Wood, and Amanda Tapping. All characters belong to them (except for the OC I'm going to be adding in), and this story is inspired by their creative genius, falling mostly during Helen Magnus' 113 year 'vacation' back through time.


Time travel is an absurdly funny, but yet cruel thing, at least that's how Helen Magnus sees it. What shouldn't have been possible has now unfathomably happened to her. Being stuck 113 years in the past has inevitably forced her to take a step back and fully analyze this 'new' reality that she's in.

Not long after the incident with Adam Worth, Helen finds herself in a small flat just in the South of London near Kennington Park. She's been quietly receiving a small allowance from James for the last couple of weeks to rent the place. She knows she can't keep depending on James for too much longer, which is a financial issue she is keenly aware of, but at the moment, she has more profound things on her mind.

Due to the huge change in time zones, Helen has been very slow in adjusting to her new sleep wake cycle. Since the first night she arrived in 1898 London, she is still wide awake in the middle of the night as she lays on her bed staring up at the ceiling, with a cold cup of tea long forgotten sitting just off to the side. Helen didn't mind not sleeping much through the night, as she knew her circadian rhythm would eventually get used to the new routine. What troubled her again this night, like all the rest, were her thoughts going back to what Adam had tried to do, and her unwillingness to participate.

Over and over again, she faces the greatest of all temptations. At some point in everyone's lives they get asked the big 'what if' question, "If you could go back in time, would you change anything?". For Helen, and like most others, after quick thought would come to a conclusion and say "no" as they understood their past and accepted it, bad or good, as it essentially made them who they are. Also, because they knew wishful thinking can't change the past and that they had no choice but to move on. Only now, it's not 'wishful thinking' and Helen literally is stuck back in the past and can actually change things. Night after night she is plagued with memories of the past 113 years of her life, going over every major turning point in her history that she could remember; focusing on the outcomes of certain decisions she'd made, whether they fell in favor or not and if anything could be done about the less than favorable choices she's made. It gave her a baseline to contemplate.

She knows she'd be a massive hypocrite to allow herself to reap the benefits of time travel, while denying Adam the same pleasure, but unlike Adam, she ultimately still didn't want to change anything. Helen was very wary about the dangers of time travel and what it could mean if anything happened differently to the way history was supposed to write itself. James even understood that essential detail; the farther out you are from when you came, the bigger the ripple effect.

There was one thing Helen was certain of and it was that she absolutely could not directly interfere with the Helen Magnus of this era in any way. Of all the possibly causalities she could create by messing with the past, the most damning outcome would be to be stuck living in an alternate world where her daughter isn't a part of it, and that simply could not happen, ever.

So, this left her stuck. Like any human, the great Helen Magnus as stoic as she is, she couldn't pass up the opportunity to fantasize about capitalizing on her 'losses' in life. With the ripple effect at the forefront of her mind, she thought scrupulously over every detail and how any changes could impact all lives, not just hers. The trouble she faced was in how she was going to pull off being a 'smoke and mirror' character if she eventually acted on any event at all; to be an independent third party that takes advantage of the "good ending" without being noticed while simultaneously not at all changing the 'bad ending' the other Helen gets. Even though Helen has an exceptional memory, she couldn't possibly remember exactly where she was every single minute of every single day for the past 113 years. In order to not run into her other self, she would have to have a way of keeping tabs, which is where James dutifully comes into play. With his help, she'd be able to more effectively keep a safe distance from her younger self.

But when and where to start? Adam wasn't all wrong though, as this time period was, no, is a simpler and more elegant time. Compared to the time she came from, it is easier and less complicated for her to move about unnoticed, which is a major benefit to her. The biggest reprieve being that this era is in a pre-digital age where your movements aren't tracked by cameras almost everywhere you went. It was also a time where records were easier to falsify, another advantage for her.

This leads her thoughts to circle back around to her current financial situation. Whatever she'll eventually do or not do, it's definitely going to need to be bankrolled if she is going to have to 'hide in the shadows' for the next 113 years, costing more than James can support. And so this is where Helen decided to start first and focus her efforts around.


Reviews are welcome. :)