When the Vannucci Project uncovered information – and learn of artifacts – of great historical value, they knew they would finally need to use their technology to change things and recover those discoveries. How? By assuring that Elizabeth the 1st never takes the English throne and that Mary of Scots has no claim to any throne, Scottish, English, or French. Would tricking an astrophysics graduate student with remarkable DNA do the job, though?
Dear Ms. Stuart,
After much deliberation, the head of counsel of the Vannucci Project would like to congratulate you on your acceptance to our program. We look forward to working with you and brining your theories to life, changing the world as we do. The semester is set to begin on August 1st, at which time you will need to be present at VPHQ (Vannucci Project HeadQuarters). We have arranged travel for you, which will be scheduled for your departure on July 30th. We ask that you bring only what you need, pack lightly. We look forward to seeing you.
Ana Stuart nearly dropped the letter out of her hands, shocked at her acceptance. She barely had 10 days to get her affairs in order to begin this new journey, but she was sure it was what she wanted. She quickly threw the letter down onto her kitchen counter and pulled out her phone, calling her mother.
The phone rang twice before an older woman answered.
"Màthair!" Anan nearly screamed through the phone. "I'm been accepted to work on the Vannucci Project, I received my letter today."
There was a moment of silence. "When do you start?" Her mother's accent was thick, but she spoke English well.
Ana let out a sigh. "I leave the 30th. There aren't specifics on when the programs ends but I assume it cannot be more than a year abroad."
She could hear her mother breathing heavily through the phone, typically what she did when she was thinking of what to say next. "Paris?"
"Yes, the HeadQuarters are in Paris so I assume more of my work will take place there."
Ana was hoping for more exciting or encouraging words from her mother, but since her initial decision to apply for the Vannucci Project her mother has been weary, pressuring her to look at alternative options.
"Dìon thu fhèin aig a h-uile cosgais., tha gaol agam ort." And the call ended.
Protect yourself at all costs, I love you. Those were the only things her mother had to say about her acceptance and future departure to Paris. Perhaps the 2200 miles of distance already between them made this easier.
Ana poured herself a glass of wine and took a seat in her recliner, choosing to relax and think about the coming journey. Working of the Vannucci Project was the opportunity of a lifetime and she could not wait to learn more about the gateway of knowledge she opened with her acceptance.
July 27th, Chateau de Chenonceau, Loire Valley, France
The halls of the castle were silent, except for the few spirits that always liked to make themselves known. While Gina Maxwell and Austin Evers preferred the least amount of complications possible, the last seven years of their work have been filled with it, particularly the task of sneaking into and working in the castle without security of the nation finding out. Disturbing preserved property such as the Chateau would come with more legal ramifications than either could afford to deal with, no matter how successful they were.
Tucked away in the few existing stone tunnels from the original construction of the castle, Gina and Austin tried to remain as quiet as they could; they would need to if they planned to be successful.
Cordelia, often referred to as Cordy, had been hard at work for well over 5 hours, beginning to make Gina and Austin stressed.
Gina looked at three different computer screens sitting in front of her and Austin, shaking her head. Austin pulled his headphones, that also doubled as a microphone, down for a moment.
"She's going to come out any second." He tried to assure Gina. She wanted to believe him, but this situation was more than stressful, and she couldn't be sure. Cordy may not make it back out and everything they've worked on for years would be for nothing, them bringing Ana Stuart to them would be for nothing. "I am confident in her abilities, just as much as I am Isaac's and Ana's."
Austin was always there to just and assure Gina of the success coming their way, trying his hardest to keep her anxiety at bay.
Suddenly, both readings on their screens started going haywire, a high-pitched ringing pierced into the headphones still around Austin's neck. A moment later a flash of blue light appeared within the two meta poles the team had set up months ago. Once the flash had cleared, Cordelia was visible, crotched on the floor trying to catch her breath. The black suit she wore was tight against her skin, she looked as if she was half-dressed for a deep-sea dive. Gina rushed over to her, kneeling on the ground next to her.
"Are you okay?" Cordy was still trying to catch her breath so all she could do was nod. After a few seconds she brushed the sweaty hair that was stuck to her forward away. She looked up to Gina, still nearly breathless.
"Mary, Queen of Scots, is dead. Her throne is open and ready for Ana. I bribed two older servants and a guardsman from Falkland to testify on her behalf that Ana is in fact King James V first born, who was hidden away proceeding her mother's death during childbirth. Everything is set and ready for her."
Gina and Austin were both able to breath a sigh of relief. All the years of work they had but into this project would finally be paying off in some short time. Now they just had to put all of their faith into Ana and her own abilities and willingness to help change history.