Timeline by Michael Crichton is a book about a group of archeological students who get the chance to not only study the past but experience it first hand. Edward Johnston, a professor of history that is leading a group of graduate students on an archeological dig on a medieval site in France. ITC, the company that sponsors the archeological site, summons him to the states to meet with them. He soon finds out that the company has developing a form of time travel secretly. Insisting on trying it out, he is sent back to the very site that he has been working on- six hundred years ago. After abandoning his machine the Professor becomes trapped in medieval France.

While the professor is gone, the students find a startling document that disturbs them all. Only two words- help me on it. The document is in the professor?s handwriting. Unable to explain it, the students contact ITC in hope of a reasonable explanation. They were told only to get four of their best archeologists together to come to ITC headquarters and that everything would be explained to them later.

On the plane an ITC employee explains to the students

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