A contamination is a change in the original time-stream. These changes can be for better or for worse, and can change the world we know into a world we don't.
"Mess around with time and the world you know... could become a world you don't."
~The blurb of each TimeRiders book.
There are two contamination events in this book.
The first involves a man called Paul Kramer and his team, who travelled all the way back to 1941, using Waldstein's original time machine, which was hidden inside the Natural History Museum. They arrive outside Obersalzberg , to get to Hitler and help him win the Second World War instead of losing it. They are successful, and wind up uniting most of the world, including the United States and China, underneath the flag of the Third Reich. In this timeline, there are no wireless communications systems, save for the Internet, and all history before 1956 has been erased.
The second involves Kramer going insane and ordering the death of his remaining crew member, Karl Haas. Kramer wires up an existing atom bomb to a mechanism which magnifies the power of the explosive infinitely, creating an explosion of gamma radiation which will kill every living thing in its path. He succeeds and destroys his Reich, along with the Earth, leaving behind an irradiated wasteland, with the last survivors nothing more than mutated creatures which resort to cannibalism in order to survive.
TimeRiders: Day of the Predator Edit
This contamination can be split into two causes:
The first involves five clay tablets Liam buried back in the Cretaceous, in order to communicate with the field office in 2001. One imprint survived for 65 million years, and was discovered in Texas in 1941. There, the tablet found its way into the hands of a secret agency known as "The Club", which discovered the TimeRiders' base in 2001.
The second contamination involves the hyper-intelligent species of predator Liam encountered back in the Creataceous. This species and its back learned from Liam and the students trapped there, and fiured out how to use basic tools such as spears, even creating a bridge across to Liam's "base". This information allowed the creatures to survive the K-T Extinction Event , allowing this reptillian species to flourish, and eventually take Homo sapiens ' place as the top species on this Earth. In this alternate 2001, New York is nothing but jungle, and the hyper-intelligent species has changed, now walking bipedally(on two legs) just like humans. The species can build crude settlements, and also use basic tools, The creatures can also create basic transport, such as canoes, but it is suspected that the creatures are a dead-end of evolution, that they plateaued when they reached they best they could be. It is unknown whether the creatures ever reached the technological capabilities of mankind.
TimeRiders: The Doomsday CodeEdit
The first small change involved a film coming out, "The Manuscript". The film was about Adam Lewis, and how he decoded a section of the Voynich Manuscript .
The first major change resulted in England becoming weakened after a Peasants' Revolt, resulting in the French invading England successfully. From there, they eventually managed to colonize the US, meaning New York never existed, with a small fishing village taking its place instead. In this world, Internet and other wireless communications do not exist, but medicine is extremely advanced, with cancer being cured by 1963. Wars are rare, and the world population is 3.3 billion, less than in the original timeline.
The second change left the world the same, the only minor change being that King Richard the Lionheart decided to go on a Fourth Crusade. His Crusade fails, and the same outcome is expected: England is weakened, and France invades.
The third change leaves the world in a state of flux, with history choosing to go one way or the other. If left like this for too long, the walls between reality and chaos space would break down, meaning the end of everything: the Earth, all life, and even the universe.
TimeRiders: The Eternal WarEdit
In this book, a rather drastic change occured: the Civil War between the Union and the Confederates has carried on to 2001, with New York reduced to rubble. The Union is backed by the French, whilst the Confederates are backed by the British. When Abraham Lincoln was taken out of the original timeline, the Confederates signed their own anti-slavery act, to get the British public(who oppose slavery) on their side. The Union did the same soon after, and received the backing of the French. The Civil War raged for more than 100 years, years in which the Britsh Empire, instead of waning, gained more power. Development of technology here has been accelerated by war, and although no Internet or mobile phone communications exist, lighter than air technology and genetic engineering (nicknamed eugenology in the book) are extrememly advanced, more so than in the original timeline. The British grow these units all the way back in England, in vats filled with growth solutions all the way in the countryside. They are able to create life-forms fit for basic, rudimentary tasks, but are careful not to give the creatures too much intelligence, instead choosing to keep them simple-minded. Genetic enginnering can also create units which are fit to be deployed on the battlefield, and are used to devastating effect when attempting to launch an offensive on New York. These units are called Dreadnoughts, and can withstand massive damage before succumbing to their wounds. Lighter than air technology has advanced to the point that the British now have a "sky-navy" from which they can drop bombs down to the ground, or deploy British regiments quickly and efficiently. The French, on the other hand, aren't doing too well, with tanks which stall and aircraft that are prone to falling out of the sky. Bioweapons exist in this timeline, and are mentioned by the British when Liam and Bob, who are accompanying a British regiment into the ruins of Baltimore (known as the Dead City) where the Union used bioweapons to render the area uninhabitable. Medical knowledge may remain less advanced than before, as Captain McManus mentions his men have been inoculated against the disease in the Dead City. This could imply that vaccinations do not exist in this timeline, or are considered harmful.
TimeRiders: Gates of Rome Edit
In this book, America is never colonized. New York remains as coniferous woodland, and Native Americans live there. The Roman Empire becomes gradually weaker and weaker under Caligula's rule, resulting in Rome becoming a slum. Crime is rampant, and Caligula does nothing, instead waiting for his ascension into Heaven, a clear sign to all that he is insane. Caligula cannot be killed in this timeline, as Stone Men (units from the failed Project Exodus) protect him at all costs, and can kill without mercy.
TimeRiders: City of ShadowsEdit
In this book, Jack the Ripper is killed by Faith, an artificial support unit originally sent back to kill the TimeRiders, but is sidelined during the Gates of Rome. She manages to travel back to 1880, where Mary Kelly befriends her. Before Jack the Ripper can kill Mary, it is suspected that Faith killed Jack, revealing his identity as Lord Cathcart-Hyde, a friend of the queen and senior government official. Riots break out, and eventually, the monarchy is driven out, resulting in Britain becoming a socialist state. Several states in Europe follow suit, each undergoing their own revolutions, save for France, which remains capitalist. The USA, along with several countries in the Americas, also remain capitalist. The 20th Century remains a Cold War between the capitalist and socialist states,both undergoing their own advances in technology, slowly but surely stacking up a nuclear arsenal. In 2001, when Liam and Maddy inspect the timeline, the world is on the brink of global thermonuclear war , as a US convoy ships nuclear weaponry(known as atomics in thia timeline) to its capitalist ally, France. It is suspected that this is what sparked off a global war, resulting in an unknown amount of states launching nuclear weapons across the globe, destroying civilization, ending humanity's reign on Earth.
TimeRiders: The Pirate KingsEdit
Here, a very minor change takes place. Months after their failed trip to the Great Fire of London , Liam and Rashim create their own Republic of Pandora, a free haven for the oppressed. Liam and Rashim, both trapped in time, are trying to leave a mark in hsitory, in order to get resuced by Maddy and Sal. The British and Spanish, fed up with the rampant piracy in the Carribean, both agree to temporarily team up in order to crush the upstart Republic. The succeed, and Liam & Rashim are arrested and executed back in London. The Republic of Pandora is disbanded, and becomes nothing more than a footnote in history.