|In High Places |
|Type of Appearance:||Direct POV|
|Nationality:||Kingdom of Versailles|
|Date of Birth:||c. 2079|
|Occupation:||Soldier, briefly a slave|
Jacques (b. 2079) was a young man from the Kingdom of Versailles, a medieval Christian kingdom centered on Paris from an alternate in which the Great Black Deaths had killed over eighty percent of Europe's population, resulting in Muslim domination of the continent, and locking the world into a pre-Renaissance state.
Like most of his fellow Christian Europeans, Jacques was a dedicated follower of Henri, the Second Son of God, and frequently made the sign of the wheel when in distress. Jacques was fluent in both Arabic as well as his native French, and grew friendly with a local Muslim trading family from Marseilles. Unknown to Jacques, the merchant's beautiful daughter, Khadija, was in fact Annette Klein, a member of Crosstime Traffic and high school senior from California in the home timeline. Jacques was ordered by Duke Raoul of Paris, the power behind Versailles' throne, to keep an eye on the suspicious Muslim traders as they caravanned back to Marseilles. However, the caravan was ambushed by Muslim slavers, and both Jacques and Khadija were sold into slavery in Madrid.
Unfortunately for both of them, they were purchased by an illegal underground Crosstime slavery ring that kept slaves for entertainment. Jacques was forced, with other male slaves to build a road, where he found himself becoming friends with a man named Dumnorix, captured from another alternate. Jacques bristled under the conditions of slavery, but realized that resistance was impossible with the sophisticated weapons the slavers possessed. Unlike Khadija, he accepted slavery as a normal and necessary part of life due to his home timeline's preindustrial society, and couldn't understand why others, such as Birigida, were unable to give in to the wishes of the slavers.
Fortunately, Khadija was able to eventually escape back to her home timeline and alert Crosstime authorities. Jacques was deemed too risky to return to his timeline, so he began the process of settling into his new life in Annette's time, marveling at all the technological inventions and changes, in particular that the Home timeline had big cities where the streets were clean and did not stink - which they always did in the cities of his own timeline. The fact that Henri had not appeared in any other alternate, however, left him in a spiritual crisis. Also, he was far from happy about the absence of a formal social hierarchy such as was a fundamental part of the society he was used to; the closest approximation Jacques found in the home timeline's society were the law courts, whose procedures were often derived from the feudal society which was still a present reality where he came from.