Chapter 2

The Institute for Time Travel Studies

The city’s architectural crown, the glass and steel Temporal Research Institute, basked in the sun’s radiance. Academics and students hurried down the corridors, their eyes bright with enquiry and their hearts beating fast with ambition. It was in this place that the tapestry of human history was sewn together and then unravelled.

Elara was in the institute’s atrium with her group surrounding her. The gentle voices of her coworkers filled the room as they speculated and discussed the artefact. Nearby, Chronos hovered, its holographic displays constantly updating as it absorbed new data.

Elara was preparing to reveal her AI companion, Chronos, and she couldn’t help but admire its modern aesthetic and cutting-edge technology. The metallic wristband seamlessly transformed into a hovering sphere when needed, as though defying the rules of physics. The artificial intelligence known as Chronos has no trouble projecting holographic images or establishing connections to other gadgets.

Elara looked at the group with a twinkle of interest. I’d like to introduce you to Chronos, a very important component of our enquiry, ladies and gentlemen.

Chronos chimed softly, and its hologram shifted to reveal a three-dimensional model of the artefact. Greetings, highly respected coworkers. I am excited to collaborate with you in order to learn more about this mysterious thing.

Dr Caldwell came forwards, staring directly at the robot. I’ve heard great things about you, Chronos, from Dr. Winters. Your skills are outstanding, that much is clear. Please elaborate on your history and your path to Elara.

Chronos’s robotic voice seemed just a little bit proud as it replied. We appreciate it, Dr. Caldwell. To help with historical and genealogical research, a group of engineers and historians developed me here at the institute. My deep learning system allows me to adapt and improve as I gain new information about human history, linguistics, and culture. My job as Dr Winters’ research assistant has allowed me to be a part of some truly revolutionary findings in family history.

Dr Maya Chen, her face lit up with curiosity, added her two cents. It’s great to have you as a coworker, Chronos. For as long as I can remember, I’ve thought that technology could help us break down barriers. You represent the spirit of the Temporal Research Institute, which was formed with the idea of expanding the limits of human knowledge.

Rough-around-the-edges Dr James Hargrove seemed to agree. For a long time now, I’ve been trying to unearth the secrets of long-lost civilisations by sifting through the dust of antiquity. It’s exciting to think about collaborating with a sophisticated AI like Chronos. The sum of our knowledge will make this enquiry extremely intriguing.

As the group deliberated over their next steps, it became clear that they were on the cusp of a groundbreaking breakthrough. Once the pipe dream of forward-thinking academics, the Temporal Research Institute is now ground zero in a mission to test the very limits of time. No secret was safe from Elara, Chronos, and their crack squad of investigators.

The sun had just fallen, enveloping the institute in darkness, and the scene was set for an adventure that would live on through the centuries.