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TimeRiders: The Infinity Cage
TIMERIDERS9 front
The cover for the book.

Author(s)

Alex Scarrow

Series

TimeRiders

Genere(s)

Science Fiction

Publisher(s)

Penguin Group

Publication date

6 November 2014

Edition(s)

Paperback

Pages

416

Book in series

9

Preceded by

TimeRiders: The Mayan Prophecy (book)


TimeRiders: The Infinity Cage is the ninth book in the series. The book follows Maddy, Liam, Rashim, Bob and Becks in a final effort to learn their purpose. The group travel to the year 2070 to confront Roald Waldstein and prove once and for all if he is friend or foe. What they learn is more shocking than anyone could have imagined and the team must endeavour on one final mission, back in Biblical times to save all of humanity...

Spoiler warning!
This article contains plot details about an upcoming episode, book or any other feature of this topic.

Plot Edit

The story opens with Roald Waldstein, as he is about to attempt the very first practical demonstration of time travel. He intends to see his wife, Eleanor and baby son, Gabriel, on the morning before the tragic accident that killed the both of them. He deeply regrets taking them for granted, and wishes to see them one last time, in order to properly say goodbye.

Waldstein finds himself in his kitchen, with his wife and son. But baby Gabriel speaks to him, shocking Waldstein. They are not his wife and son, they are impersonating them. When asked who they are, they describe themselves as "The Caretakers". They tell Waldstein that whenever they detect the unique signature of time travel, they come with the same message. They reveal that time travel is an incredibly dangerous science that threatens the whole Universe, and that it must not be used. They warn Waldstein that time travel makes everyone vulnerable, and offer Waldstein a choice. He must either prevent the proliferation of time travel, otherwise they will be forced to erase mankind from existence.

Meanwhile, in the year 1890, Liam, Maddy, Rashim, Bob and Becks return from an eighteen month sightseeing expedition. They've explored the far reaches of the British Empire, and Liam is writing in Sal's old diary, picking up from where she left off. He describes the trip as his idea, to take Maddy's mind off the loss of Sal.

They return to the Holborn Viaduct to find that computer-Bob has picked up a broad-sweep tachyon signal message, stating "All past sins forgiven. Come and seek me out. Your work is done."

The team come to the conclusion that Waldstein sent this message, but they disagree over his intentions. Maddy wishes to find him and get answers from him, while Liam is concerned that he is trying to lure them to him and kill them. They decide to split up, with Liam and Bob travelling to Jerusalem in the first century AD to search for the second "transmitter" and Maddy, Rashim and Becks travelling to New York, 2070 to seek out Waldstein at the W.G. Systems Tower.

Maddy, Rashim and Becks arrive in New York, which is a flooded and mostly abandoned. The only inhabitants are living on the upper floors of various skyscrapers, people that are too stubborn to abandon their beloved city to the rising sea. The group hire a cabbie that transports them via motorboat, not in exchange for money but for "barter", luxuries by way of food and drink. He takes them to the W.G.S. Tower, where a man called Walt lives. Maddy initially suspected that Walt was a nickname for Waldstein, but he is in fact Walter M. Roberts Junior, formerly Waldstein's personal valet. He and his wife Charm explain to the group about New York's official abandonment in the year 2061. This was a year after the levee walls that held the rising sea back gave way, causing a tidal surge that killed thousands. They also reveal that Waldstein left the W.G.S. Tower for the last time shortly after the disaster. Waldstein had relocated most of his crew to the W.G. Systems Research Campus near Denver, the new Capital of the now Federated States of America (FSA). Maddy and the realise that they must travel across the Abandoned States and cross the border into the FSA, called the "Median Line". They cannot use the displacement equipment because in this time they'd risk being discovered, due to the international law against time travel. Walt and Charm support them by giving them barter, and the group leave to start their journey.

Meanwhile, Liam and Bob arrive near Jerusalem. Their aim is to enter the holy temple and attempt to locate the second transmitter beneath it. But when they attempt to enter the temple platform, the crowd react to them furiously and disgustedly. Bob then reads a sign nearby warning that gentiles (non-Jewish people) are forbidden to enter the temple. Liam and Bob quickly leave as guards approach them, realising that they can only enter after creating some sort of distraction.

Back in 2070, the cabbie takes the group west through New York and New Jersey, finally dropping them off at the sea-line. They are in "frontier land", a lawless area dotted with populous shanty towns. Maddy manages to hire a guide, Technical Sergeant Heywood, to lead them west toward the Median Line, on the price of getting him into the FSA. They give him a cover story about being out of the country for a long time and need to return Rashim to carry out important research. They assure him that Rashim's status as a senior scientist would enable him to talk their way into the country. Despite Heywood's reservations about travelling with an older generation of organic (Becks is a model from the 2050s), he agrees to lead them and gathers his supplies. The group get moving at dusk. Heywood explains that the people around them would expect them to leave at first light, so they are getting an 8 hour head-start. He claims that they radio ahead to groups of "jackers", armed gangs that prey on travellers headed to the Median Line. Gangs that rob people, kill them... and Heywood eludes to much worse.

In Jerusalem, Liam and Bob concoct a plan to obtain appropriate clothes to pass as Jewish pilgrims and enter the temple with an animal to sacrifice, similar to the other pilgrims. Liam recommends that they steal money from someone in order to buy food and a goat to sacrifice. Bob identifies a suitable candidate: a slave owner dressed in fancy clothing.

The group in 2070 have been travelling across rough country, parallel to Route 80. Heywood justifies this movement when they find the burning remains of several hand-drawn carts. A group of people caught by jackers. After Maddy asks what jackers want with people, Heywood reveals that people are food to them. Rashim comments on this, having not realised how bad things had gotten out in the East. He had been living on the side of the line where some semblance of order still remained. The group discover a survivor in the wreckage, a young girl called Charley. Becks manages to comfort her and promises to look after her. Meanwhile, Heywood begins to grow very suspicious of the group after Rashim blurts the words "mission objective." Heywood informs them that he has a pretty well-tuned crap detector and that he doesn't buy their story. Maddy decides to tell him that they are time travellers and that their mission is to meet Waldstein. She tells him about the Kosong-ni virus that will wipe out almost all of mankind in a few months time.

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