Athens in 490BCE was a dream come true for young Nick Sakopolous. The Time Scribe threaded its crowded, noisy streets, ignoring calls from persistent merchants while dismissing advances from gaudily dressed and perfumed courtesans. Far from the Athens of his time--a run-down city mired in pollution and grime--this was clean, almost pristine.
But it stank fiercely.
Spotting a statue, he stopped to read the Greek chiseled across its base. Athenae Nike, donated by Euthydicus. He sub-vocalized a query to his implant. "Is this in the database?"
A feminine voice responded. "No record. I will document it."
Nick circled the statue like an avid tourist, his visual augmentations recording details for scholarly dissemination up-time.
"Thank you. Next?"
Nick stroked his chin. "You think Marta would like this?"
"You jest. Your wife prefers the Hellenistic period. Need I remind you it is..."
"Just joking. How about we visit the Acropolis?"
"I go where your legs take me."
Several minutes of winding ascent brought Nick to a small temple.
“That is the future sight of the Parthenon."
“I know that. Want to see it?”
“That is a key protocol, if I am not mistaken.”
“You’ve developed an unacceptable level of sarcasm since implantation.”
“I merely adapt myself to the host’s personality. Would you prefer your previous implant?”
“That critical thing? No. With any luck it was paired with an equally humorless eccentric.”
Nick overheard two men in heated discussion. A single word commanded his attention: Persian.