When the inventor of trans-time physics is assassinated during a protest rally, the resourceful leader of the Secret Society (SS) and his lover, JENNIFER HERO, vows to see his invention become a reality and use it to save humans from the Syndos—genetically engineered humans designed for space travel who now rule Earth and dominate the inferior “Naturals.” After decades of undercover espionage and high-stress coordination of SS forces, Jennifer is burned out.
Amidst an intense attack on the remote underwater base in the South Pacific, Jennifer sends her elite SS team on a one-way trip back 300 years to plant a genetic disruption agent meant to reset the moral compass in Syndos DNA. She does not go with them, opting instead to travel alone back to the 21st century to grieve the loss of the love of her life and to “find herself” outside the context of war. She holds a PhD in history from researching this time period and wants to experience the culture first-hand. Arriving on the radioactive South Pacific atoll of Moruroa, Jennifer meets the challenges of survival for many months alone. She has failed her team as their leader; guilt eats at her. Her nanotech symbiotes protect her from radiation and overexertion, sunburn and disease, as well as outward signs of aging. But they also mark a distinct difference between her and ordinary humans as much as the Syndos’ differences separate them from Naturals.
When handsome PROFESSOR MARTY ZITONICK’S research team from University of Hawaii lands in his amphibious plane, Jennifer feigns amnesia. She relies on her years of undercover experience to integrate into the group yet struggles to hide her superior intellect and calculation skills. An assumption is made she is a student at U of H; she is willing to go along with that idea. Marty and his team bring her along as they finish their research then head to Tahiti. Jennifer grows close with two of the women as friends, something she didn’t have the luxury to do in her native century. She absorbs the culture of the islands. Births, parties, love, sex—this is what really makes humans different. The key to their survival could be in these ancient customs.
On Tahiti, Jennifer is mistaken for the daughter of a missing wealthy French Canadian family—JENNY HEROS—and can’t dispute this “discovery” without blowing her cover. Marty promises to return before heading back to Hawaii, but Jennifer feels abandoned as he and his team take off again. A friend of her “parents” takes Jennifer under his wing, assisting her financially and hoping to jog her memory by touring her through the home of the other Jennifer. Vertigo overtakes her at photographs of a young girl with her face in places and with people she can’t possibly remember. Aside from that, Jennifer Hero is not her real name; it was an undercover handle she’d once used and kept. How could it be so similar to this doppelganger?
Marty returns and takes Jennifer to Honolulu, where she enters graduate school at U of H. There she uses her future knowledge to solve the mystery of dark energy and seek a PhD in Physics. She studies archaeology as well, her interest keyed while in the Marquesas. At a dig site in the islands a cave-in traps her for days but reveals exciting discoveries. She feels badly for the disruption of the Marquesan people’s culture by well-meaning explorers and missionaries, much as she feels she must atone for her grandfather’s part in destroying the Natural culture by creating the Syndos.
Over the next two years, Jennifer and Marty fall in love and explore their sexuality, both testing their previous boundaries in the face of intense attraction. Through her bisexual nature she helps him accept his ex-wife coming out as a lesbian, which had destroyed his family. Her patient, wise counsel helps Marty’s children heal as well, and she and Marty marry with their blessing.
Jennifer and Marty go deep-sea fishing but a fire breaks out on board. Jennifer falls into command mode during the emergency and assists getting everyone to safety in the life raft as the boat goes down. They float on the ocean a while before the Coast Guard finds them. Back on shore, Jennifer wonders if she’s a jinx, as disasters keep happening around her. Marty rejects the idea but it makes Jennifer privately question the disruption effects of time travel.
The family of the missing Jenny invites Jennifer to visit them in Montreal. With a vast fortune at stake, Jenny’s family secretly samples Jennifer’s DNA. Back in Honolulu, Jennifer hears from Jenny’s cousin—she’s an exact match for the long-lost girl. Jennifer doubts the veracity of her own memory of childhood. How could she and this other woman be the same? Did she imagine living in the 30th century? Has she gone crazy with study and sleep deprivation? At the same time the committee debates awarding her PhD and not one scientific journal will accept her paper on dark energy—they find her hypothesis too radical and the math too difficult to follow. She becomes severely depressed. Marty worries about her, as he must travel frequently for his research.
Then the phone rings; a woman with her voice introduces herself as Jenny Heros. Depression lifts with lightning speed. They meet clandestinely. Jenny and Jennifer are twins, conceived in a petri dish. Jenny was implanted in her mother’s womb long after Jennifer was born and in an earlier century. Her parents have a two-way time machine built in the 32nd century (based on the 30th century design). Jenny returned to the past as soon as she could to see her friends and learned her allegedly dead sister was here, living her life. The two sisters were meant as experimental subjects to learn the effects of time travel on reproduction. The result: being drawn inexplicably together, across time. They discover they share academic interests as well as personal interests. Telling Marty not to worry—she has a family emergency to take care of but will return soon—Jennifer and Jenny travel forward to assist Jennifer’s team, assuaging Jennifer’s guilt at last.
30th Century is Book 1 of a Trilogy