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Lemec's Story Archives

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  • Lemec's Story Archives

    Assembly of Conquest


    by Lemec



    An elongated cart,perverted and wrought with rusted iron, burst into the heavens. Soil,clay and rocks followed on all sides of it. Crude mining equipment littered the landscape. Fog enveloped the land in such a way that it rose to the sky and touched pink tinted clouds.

    The man knew it was a dream,a nightmare really, but he did not attempt to wake himself, he wanted to press on as he had this same dream before, but could never push far enough into it to fully understand it's meaning. He virtually floated over the reddish dirt to come to a stop before the cart just in time to see teal coloured manlike animals leap from the two wheeled buggy. They were four feet tall, toothless and wielded short barbed spears with their fur covered arms. They began prodding two men who were in front of them. A long passageway lead to a deep shaft behind the cart. The beasts were chanting 'work,work,work,heave,heave,heave,dig,dig,dig.'

    The man looked at the two men who were now holding shovels. He then recognizes one man as his dead father.

    "No!" exclaimed the dreaming man. "What is this place?, you are forcing the dead into labor! No, it can't be! damn it,damn you! What is this madness?"

    'work,work,work,heave,heave,heave,dig,dig,dig.'

    The man then ran headlong into the bizarre beast, breaking one spear, then feeling a sharp pain betwixt his ribs as one of the creatures pierced his side!

    The image abruptly vanished and the man became wide awake and pumping with adrenalin.

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The sun rose in the sky above the high mountain. Vibrant green deciduous trees cover the countryside. Men and women work with power saws and other tools used for woodcutting, They are constructing a palisade along with extra poles for the north bastion. It is an ongoing project to fully restore the old fort to it's original 1758 design.


    Linda, an adorable young lady,pushed a wheelbarrow over the thick grass. She removed a box of heavy steel files from it and placed it on the ground beside Richard Gebaur who was doing some axe work on the ends of the logs to form a tapered tip. Linda Anbernen wore her black hair in a long pony tail beneath a forest green baseball cap which reflected her jade coloured eyes beautifully. She is dressed in blue jeans and white t-shirt, in fact everyone there is wearing jeans and a simple shirt. Linda stands at five-foot-seven compared to Rich's five-foot-nine. Richard is broad of shoulder and very strong. Linda also has an athletic figure;however, she is quite slender. They have been friends since they met each other at their anthropology class two years ago. Richard's father,Pete,was one of the men selected to oversee the reconstruction of the redoubt from The French And Indian War phase of The Seven Years War. Other men with shovels filled in a narrow trench by one of it's fences.


    Tourists and some locals went inside some of the already existing buildings. Inside they explored the museum,which was there since the 1960's. They viewed mannequins dressed in British uniforms and some with American garb. The curator placed several artifacts in the tall glass showcases. He fastened a 'Brown Bess' to wall along with a powder horn that had Sterling silver plugs on it's ends. Next,he dusted the ornate silver platters and pitchers. He locked the cabinet that housed them after he thought they were satisfactory.


    Linda walked through the exhibition and out the back door. Up the hill she went along the concrete path towards a squat structure of timber. Wood boards creaked as she had to walk backwards in order to descend the precipitous stairs. She clung to the polished birtch rail. It was near impossible and very dangerous to attempt to go down those stairs as one would do normaly. Once inside the dark hole,that was actually the black powder magazine,she leaned over a red and white Igloo cooler and took out two twelve ounce plastic bottles of iced tea. Then the cute woman carried them up the stairs and turned right to run the length of a different trail that also lead back to the place where Rich was now smoothing the points on numerous staves.


    "Here ya go!", exclaimed Linda as she threw a bottle to Richard. Rich caught it easily.

    "Thanks",Richard said expressing his graditude in the hot sun. He began to drink heartily.

    "You're welcome sweetie", replied Linda. "What do you want me to do now?'

    "Can you please help Larry nail those planks together over at the mortar battery." Rich asked.

    "Sure thing Rich,I bet it will look really nice when it is complete." Linda replied.

    "Yeah, can't wait to take some photos of the whole place for the new web site." stated Richard.

    "Will it be done in time for the celebration in October?" inquired Linda.

    "Oh yeah, the re-enactors already have their equipment ready for the show and the parade. I don't want to disappoint those fellows." he answered. Rich went on to add,"Besides, some of 'em are coming up here tomorrow to help out with the cleaning up of the debris."

    "That's really wonderful of them," offered Linda "Don't forget, we have that history class to go to on Monday morning."

    "Alright,I'll be there," replied Richard.


    Larry stepped over and said," I sent Bill over to the hardware store to get some more two-by-fours, the one's I have left are all warped." Larry Lehrer is a fifty-eight year-old bulky man who had a few missing teeth,but that did not prevent him from having a perpetual smile. He has gray hair and gray curly pork chop sideburns. He is wearing a wide work belt that has a hammer, with a rubber handle, in one of the leather loops. "Some of the weather treated wood is all shot to heck too! The dern stuff isn't supposed to bow, but bow she does. I should have known it would never get better, I still have a support beam on my shed that is crooked as a pig's pecker! he emphasized by throwing his burly arms into the air and pointing in the general direction of his house with his stubby thumb.


    Rich then went on to say,"Geesh, ok Larry, I hope they don't overcharge him too much for the lumber."

    Linda smiles and states,"I'm ready to help you now Larry, I already dropped off the bags of nails for the boys at the West wall."

    "That's good Linda, want to help me put up some paneling in my den when we're finished here?" Larry laughed and Linda giggled.

    "Sure honey, anytime, I would be happy to help and so would Rich." Linda said to Larry.

    "Huh?, what?," Richard asked, not really paying attention. He looked away from his work and back to Linda. " Oh , uh...,ya!" " I can join in, maybe have a nice cook-out on the same night, that is if you supply the hot dogs, Larry." Richard smiled a friendly smile,almost turning into a chuckle.

    "That I will do, and a case of beer to boot," replied Larry, who looked very much like a Civil War general at that moment when he crossed his arms over his chest.

    "Super-cool Larry, we'll get together sometime next week, I'll bring Brian along too, if that is alright with ya?"

    "Fine,fine, just make sure to remind him to park on main street and not in my drive way if he decides to bring his car up here." said Larry,"I'm already lookin' forward to it, it will be fun."

    "I'll tell him and it will be an excellent night for sure." replied Rich.

    "Yes Sir,it sure will be nice, and I'll get Heather to bake you all a nice cake." stated Larry. "Pinapple upside-down or maybe a carrot cake. A simple chocolate never fails."

    "Hmm,yummie,that sounds delicious," said Linda.

    "Sure does," echoed Rich. He then swats a fly from his arm then returns to sanding and some planing of the long pine rods.

    Larry and Linda pick up five planks each and carry them over to three hollow cavities in the earth. They then hammered some boards together which formed a square base. The work all around the area continued on until dusk that night.


    At an hour before closing time, A fat man who is wearing a short sleeve cotton shirt with tiny images of deer and leaves blended into it's pattern, paid the entrance fee of seven dollars and entered the museum. He then walked over to the guest book and signed his name on the big paper. He wrote,' Andrew Walder/Visiting From Hayden,Ohio.' He placed the Bic pen back down on the podium and walked over to a large map on the Eastern wall. It was displayed beside a miniature model of the fort. In large print across the top it had written dates on it's surface which indicated,' Built 1758 Decommisioned 1766.' There was also an old painting of the fort itself beside it and next to that there was another map of the grounds, showing a large river that ran directly past the fortification's location in addition to the surrounding forest.


    The heavy man nodded to himself and walked into an area where they had 18th Century furniture roped off in a side room. 'I remember this well' he thought to himself. He took a few more steps and pushed open two metal and glass doors that went outside. As soon as he walked outdoors, Andrew felt a tingling on his right forearm and scratched at it with his left hand. The wind blew his shirt up slightly just then,which revealed his 1903 Colt .32 Auto resting in his leather pancake holster on the left front of his black leather belt. He nonchalantly tugged up his black pants to let his shirt tails fall back over his waist and into place.

    Andrew then walked on the cement walkway that lead up to a log cabin. Inside he saw two mannequins, one prostrated on a cot, the other adorned with brown hair and a long white apron. It held a physician's saw in it's right plasticine hand. Behind the cot, there was a small wooden table,with a white cloth over it. There were more archaic medical tools on the fabric with simulated blood on them, obviously the surgeon's room.

    "One foot in the past, one foot in the present, how will the future folk stand here, with their feet planted, looking at an MRI chamber and radiation treatment devices and also shake their heads on how primitive it is?"Andrew stated to himself when there was nobody else in ear shot.

    Adjacent to that area, there was a barracks set up complete with narrow pallets and musket racks. Some one then activated a circular saw close to Andrew's location and it made him wince because it was abnormally loud.

    "Good God!" exclaimed Andrew.

    It soon stopped and the sharp vibrating sound died away. The smell of saw dust was strong in the early evening air. Andrew hiked over to another expanse of grass and found a huge wood and iron gate there.

    "Impressive," Andrew stated to no one there. He bent close to it's surface and knocked on the thick wood for good luck. A small splinter lodged in his knuckle as a result, but he ignored it. He paced over to a few other cottages, spotting a store house and officer's quarters among them. It started to quiet down outside, so he completed his tour.

    "No stable," he said to himself in a low voice. He walked to one of the canon ports and admired the view below of the trees and the distant river. "Good ground to have in any century," he commented as a matter-of-fact. He felt proud at that moment. 'What a glorious battle this must have been!'

    The sun had begun to drop behind the mountainous horizon. Andew heard the sound of people talking and slamming car doors in the asphalt car park. He turned to see most of the vehicles in the lot pull out onto the main road. When he passed once more through the museum, he just reached hid T-bird in time to see a young man and a pretty girl with a green hat drive away in a blue open-top jeep. He stood there until he watched the small four-wheel drive car turn right and head towards a fancy white-washed gazeebo. Another right turn put them on a road to where there were several two-story brick houses that had huge front yards.

    Andrew slowly got into his driver's seat and shut the door. He inserted the Ford's key into the ignition and turned it. The car started up. He then placed a second ring of keys into the glove compartment. He flicked the headlights on and put his car in drive. The fat man then released his break and was soon on his way. He made it to the gazeebo,but made a left deviation and headed to the Veterans of Forign Wars club. He made a mental note of a department store on Main Street and thought to go there in the morning before heading to Pittsburgh.

    He whipped his candy-apple red Thunderbird in park after reaching a parking space. He got out, closed the door but did not lock it, and walked up a short flight of steps to the front door. He tugged on the door knob until he realized he had to push on it, so he did latter and entered into the modest establishment.

    A long bar ran the length of the wall on his right-hand-side, chairs and square tables were on his left and a pool table was straight ahead. In the far right corner,there was a cubby and it had a card table setting there with six chairs. Above the table and attatched to the wall, Andrew beheld a large rectangle picture of the infamous Andersonville Prison.

    There were only three other patrons at the bar aside from the bartender. Andrew smiled and said,"Hello"then plopped down on a stool. "I'll have a Miller draft please." he stated. He was thinking he wanted a thicker brew like a Guinness or Murphy's;however he also knew that this place did not serve it so he figured he would not act like a jerk and order one, he kept it easy. The bar keep obliged him and he drank deeply from a curving glass. He would be ready for a second soon. It tasted good since he did not have one for awhile.

    " Thank You" Andrew said warmly. " How's business?"

    " Good,good." replied the bartender. "My name is Phil. these are our regular's, George,Matthew and Karl."

    Andrew raised his glass in salute. "Greetings, I'm Andy," said Mr. Walder. The others raised their glasses in return.

    "I'll buy the next two rounds."said Andrew.

    "Here,here," chimed in Matthew,"Nice to meet you friend."

    "Likewise," said George,

    "Yup," Karl blurted.

    "Mighty kind stranger," stated Matthew.

    The next round came and they all drank heartily.

    "You'll get popular here quick sir," said Phil.

    Andrew laughed,"I imagine so. Keep them comin' Phil."

    The bartender slid another beer to him.

    "So...does anyone know when the new editions to the fort will be finished?" inquired Walder.

    Karl turned and said,"Yes, October 14th is the scheduled day right before the town festival."

    " Ah, that is good, thank you. I will come back for it if I find myself in the area again."

    "You should," said Karl. "Lot's of smoke, food and fun! The re-enactors really get into it and they pay close attention to the detail of their costumes. They use real black powder in their flintlocks,they just don't use the ball." He winked at that."That is some smoke screen when they all get done shooting at each other."

    " I bet." replied Andrew.

    "Don't forget about all the out of town women." said Matthew with a wink.


    "What kind of food do you have around here?" asked Andrew.


    Phil said," Well, you missed fish night on Friday. I can have my wife make you up a turkey,ham and cheese sandwich if you like."


    "Please do, if it not too much trouble." Andrew replied.


    "No bother at all friend." said the bartender. "Say, your gold necklace looks like the kind that come from Asia , were you in the service?"

    "Yes, '68 to '70 in country as it were, got out in '73 after serving stateside for a bit." replied Walder.

    "All of us here put in our time,of course, George there was in Korea."

    George shited in his stool and said," My part was no big deal, alot of better men than me died there for their country. It is the 'Forgotten War' though. I don't mind for myself, but a little more recognition would be nice for the other men who served and their families. The do have a memorial now in down in D.C. and they finally got around to putting the World War Two memorial there, but Jesus Christ, what were they waiting for?, the vets to kick off to build the damn thing?"

    "We all agree with you George", said Phil.

    " I do as well." Andrew quickly added.

    Phil's wife,Barb, came out of the back and gave the club sandwich to Andrew. "Thank you," he said. "It's nice to make your aquantance."

    "Thank you too," Barb replied with a smile, She then walked away. She knew there will soon be more customers around this time so she hurried back into the kitchen.

    Andrew took a small bite out of the sandwich. "Very good, my compliments" he stated. It was very good and Andrew should know, he ate many similar sandwiches in his lifetime and he had them from different places all across the country, from truck stops to five-star restaurants.


    More customers walked in and sat down at tables so Walder remained mostly quiet and continued to eat his dinner. The others increased their conversations and it went on like that for a couple of hours.

    'What do do, what to do' Andrew thought as he chewed his food.

    Later that night, a score of miles away from the fort. A 1978 AMC Matador's engine roared as the firecracker red car accelerated, it's driver pressing firmly on the gas pedal while he clings to the steering wheel. He is trying hard to hold to the curving freeway. He forms a wicked smile on his face,his big teeth lighting up from the dashboard bulbs. The car's headlights shine brightly, but are not on high beams. The man directed his vehicle into the left lane and passed several cars. When he glanced at the speedometer it indicated to him that he was traveling at ninety miles per hour.


    Three minutes later he located what he was attempting to catch, a white Chevette four-door that has five people cramped within it. He gradually reduced his velocity in order to merge with the right lane. He drove in the right lane two cars behind his intended target. He removed his foot from the gas pedal, flipped on his turn signal and allowed to car coast onto a side turning lane which lead to a shopping mall. He slowed down some more and turned a sharp right into the parking lot. At the same moment he saw the five young men get out of their car and close the doors. They all looked somewhat bewildered.


    This was Brian Eisen, the reckless operator who just almost side swiped several cars, luckily he did not cause any accidents. He would do anything for a laugh or sometime do things for the pure shock value. He pulled into the vacant space beside the '89 Chevrolet and stumbled out of the driver's side door. He was doubled over and laughing boisterously nearly shrieking. Brian wiped tears from his eyes with his left hand and steadied himself with his right hand by pressing his palm on his car's left fender. He is an average size man, but he was always full of energy. He continued his walk toward his friends and said," Hey! How's it going?"


    His five friends,still a little shocked and certainly not amused by Brian's actions, all thought he had finally gone insane.

    "Brian!" exclaimed Danny Plaener, a fit man with brown eyes and brown hair. "I wondered who the Fu** wanted to get down the road that fu**ing fast. I'm thinking, what IS wrong with this guy, then I recognized your car from my rear view mirror and it explained some of it at least."

    " You are a mad man Bri," stated Robert.

    "Hahahaha," Brian laughed. "I know, I'm sorry guys, it's just that I was going down the off ramp and saw your car drive up the on ramp so I gassed my car and followed, then when I did not get your attention and you got way ahead of me, something took over inside and my first reaction was to floor it!" explained Brian.

    "Not cool man," said Dave

    "We all love ya, but sometimes you are way out there,dude." stated Randy.

    "Jesus!," exclaimed Brad. " Don't do that again, you could get us killed."


    Danny said" Ok, I'll admit it was a little funny." He stated to laugh and the others joined in at last. "Please think before you act next time though. Did you want anything special by the way?"


    "Nope." stated Brian flatly then he chuckled. "I was just heading home from work, saw you and acted on impulse."


    "Well, lets take a walk in the mall before it closes, I want to check out the bookstore." said Danny.

    They all follow Danny to the mall doors and enter.

    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    "With a deep, not-unhappy sigh, Elric prepared to do battle with an army." (Red Pearls)
    - Michael Moorcock

  • #2
    Monday morning came and went and now it was late in the afternoon. Linda and Rich are seated at a sizable window watching traffic go down the road. They are inside an Eat 'N Park restaurant, where Rich is finishing his hot turkey sandwich and Linda is eating the last bite of her baked Italian hoagie.

    A seven-year-old boy bounces by them holding a portable video game. Beeps and rings emanate from it's tiny speaker. The boy runs headlong into his brother who gives an energetic slap to his siblings shoulder. Their father quickly scolds them then proceeds out the exit doors.

    "Kids are so spoiled today," stated Richard.

    "Awwww," Linda laughed. "They are cute. They only want to have fun like everyone else, how can you say that?"

    "Well,I don't mean the very young ones. I see so many teenagers that have everything given to them and they still want more."

    "What?, and you are an old man already?," Linda teased.

    "No,but,I hate to say it,as every generation says it,but children that were born after 1990 are very disrespectful on average. As a whole they are the most selfish children ever to walk the planet. Parents are to blame naturally, they all practice child psychology and understanding instead of just whacking them once in a while with a leather strap when they misbehave. I fear what will become of this country when that generation is in the senate and the presidency," explained Rich.

    "It's not all that brilliant right now," interjected Linda.

    "I know,but think of it as at least twenty times worse. They are already saying that the new adolescents expect everything to be handed to them, including hundred-thousand dollar a year jobs, with no work or effort on their behalf. Besides, if you ask me,it was much more fun not having certain things so I could look forward to getting what I wanted and sometimes you did not get them,but I did not care,my family knew that did not matter,as long as we were all healthy and happy. Now kids are born with all this technology around them,while it is good in some cases,it is bad in others. If it is too easy for them,they won't grow as individuals. It might be a tremendous advantage to have the internet;for example, but
    it also makes them unwilling to seek information elsewhere and thus experience life. If it's not online, I guess it does not exist," Richard said sarcastically.

    "You might have a valid point there," Linda replied.

    "Also,the youngsters have no respect for their elders, all the world is a big joke to them." said Rich.

    "Don't get too upset Rich, you'll get sick, finish your mashed potaters," pleaded Linda.

    "Ok,I'm not upset,I will calm down thought,I'm only talking. Pardon my rant. Where was I?, oh! They have little or no adversities. You only have to go back to the nineteen-forties to observe a different world entirely. My mother did not even have running water growing up. Some people did not have electricity and they all enjoyed life, were happy and did not even think of themselves as poor when they were kids. Now, children want to grow up to become pop stars, rappers or actors. We'll have a shortage of doctors and trained proffessionals for one thing. The media pushes those desires on them, they say get famous and buy a mansion,fancy cars and absurd jewelry. The folk in the World War Two era were out to help people, help each other, now it is all selfishness. Do you think that today's citizens could handle the amount of manufacturing production this country needed for the war effort?" he said expecting no answer,nor waiting for one. "I think not! It will never happen again. There is no way we could mass-produce the equipment,ships,trucks and tanks in the numbers that they churned out, not to mention how fast they accomplished it."

    "This mornin's class got you thinking,eh?" asked Linda.

    "Yeah, I suppose so. It does seem that each generation,mine being no different, fails to live up to what came before. Take architecture for instance, no offense to those in the field, we know how to make modern buildings sure,but again have forgotten the old secrets on how to construct structures like the old cathedrals and such." Rich went on to say.

    "And the pyramids, I watch 'In Search Of'," added Linda.

    "Ha!, Aliens are responsible for those didn't you know that?" asked Rich.

    They both laughed, making the mood brighter.

    "Well, let's ge out of here, we are getting stares, strange stares." said Linda.

    "Sounds like a good plan Lind' " said Richard.

    "Don't forget my 'smiley' cookies," Linda reminded.

    Richard and Linda walk over to the cash register and Rich pays for the meal. They also purchase a box of iced cookies that have an immense smile and two little eyes drawn on each one.

    They leave the doorway, causing a small brass bell to ring on their way out. Rich climbs into the driver' seat of his car and starts the Jeep. Linda hops in beside him and they are soon on their way home by way of Route 30.

    After going down the road for about five miles, a radiant Ford Thunderbird passes by them at a high rate of speed, traveling in the opposite direction.

    "With a deep, not-unhappy sigh, Elric prepared to do battle with an army." (Red Pearls)
    - Michael Moorcock

    Comment


    • #3
      Outside of Wholey's Fish Market, the night is black as coal. There ar only a few cars passing by on Penn Avenue and the other roads. A short man with blonde hair is pressing the cold muzzle of his Model 65 Taurus Magnum up against another man's skull, just behind the left ear. The diminutive figure had earlier punched the other man hard in his stomach, bringing him down to his knees.

      "Where are the blueprints?" asked the man with the medium framed firearm.

      "They, they're in a safe at a house in Penn Hills," stammered the injured man.

      "What road?"aked the short man impatiently.

      "Near Rodi, Garland Drive." answered the kneeling man who has short brown hair.

      "Who lives there?"

      "Only me."

      "Not for much longer..."

      "Please,I can help you."

      "I don't need anyone, I can crack the safe."

      "It's trapped."

      "We both know that is not true."

      "I have gold."

      "What?" inquired the little man, somewhat interested.

      "bullion, ingots."

      "Where?"

      "In a barn, I can take you to it."

      "Fine, if it's not there, you are going head-first into the Allegheny."

      The killer smiled, " Now, get up slowly and lead me to your car. I will ride with you and you can show me everyth.........," he was interrupted by Andrew's left uppercut that slammed into the stunned assassin's jaw. Andrew immediately struck again using his right fist, hitting the shorter man in the forehead, directly above the nose. The man crumpled to the pavement.

      Mr. Walder then swiftly grabbed the revolver from the man's hand, unloaded it and chucked it in the river. He placed the six cartridges inside his pant's pocket.

      "Andrew!" shouted Greg. "Thank you so much my friend!" Greg knew Andrew for a long time, they used to go to the farm auctions together. Greg stood upright and dusted off his brown suit pants. "I think he is unconscious."

      Andrew kicked the prone man in the side of the head. "Now he is." He bends low to search the man's pockets. He unceremoniously empties the contents onto the ground. He found a switchblade,two speed loaders with .357 shells, car keys and three-hundred dollars in twenties.

      "Keep the cabbage,Greg." Andrew said.

      Greg squated down and picked up the money, then tossed the car keys back to andrew,the remainder he pitched in the dark river.

      "Let's search his car," Greg said. "It's the Mitsubishi." They both walk over to the white sports car. Andrew unlocks the door then opens it. After ten minutes of searching, they find nothing,except a bag of shirts and loose change.

      "No registration,Greg, most likely stolen."

      "It would seem." said Greg.

      "You don't seem to shaken up?" observed Andrew.

      "Well, I lived a good while. Not much that I could do at that point. I did not know if you would meet me in time or not. I was going to live or I was going to die. I wanted to remain calm in case I could talk or fight my way out of it. I don't know who he was working for, but he somehow knew about the blueprints and in detail." stated Greg.

      "That's a bit troubling." said Andrew. "Nothing for it now though. We will proceed as planned. Have you spoken to Teresina?"

      "Yes." replied Greg.

      "Then there are no worries." Andrew said.

      "Who do you have so far?" inquired Greg.

      "I will have twelve, but at this moment I think I'll end up with the dubious dozen." stated Andrew.

      Greg laughed. "Well let's chain Mr. Cheery there to the pole."

      Andrew and Greg got a bicycle security chain from the trunk of the Thunderbird and wrapped it around the would be killer and the nearby light pole multiple times until it was taut when he slid the padlock on and locked it.

      "Have you been having the dreams again?" asked Andrew.

      "Yes." answered Greg.

      "I have similar ones too." stated Andrew.

      "Remember Andy, The mind is a maze, you must find the correct path to walk!" Greg said with a wink.

      "Oh! Get out of town, you comedian." said Andrew.

      "I plan to, after stopping by the old house." said Greg.

      -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
      Thirty-six hours later.....


      A man awoke from a hazy dream. Dim sunlight shines through dilapidated venetian blinds. He stikes a wooden match igniting the tip of his Camel cigarette. He takes a drag then flips on the room's cable box, tuning to the local news. An ill-looking newsman is reading from a telepromter on the small television screen.

      The news anchor begins to speak "...another accident ocurred this afternoon when a forty-three year-old woman ran a red light in her black SUV, killing the owner of a silver Toyota. Metro Police are expected to file charges when the woman is released from from Sunrise Hospital. The name of the man who was in the crash will not be released at this time."


      The tall man,about six-foot-two, adjusted the volume so that the set was almost on mute. He has long arms and wiry fingers. He ran his hand through his raven hair as he does so often as a nervous habit. In present day he has a deep brown tan,which is a contrast to the pale complexion his friends were acustomed to viewing during the thirty years of his life when he lived in Columbus. That is where he obtained his business degree. His name is Paul Thomas Garand and he recently moved to an apartment that was the first available that he could find.
      Paul jumped in and out of the cheap shower, pulled on a pair of black Dockers,leather dress shoes and a blue cotton shirt with a black tie. Despite being very hot outside, he placed a black suit jacket over his shoulders. It had a small metallic lapel pin of an American Flag. He always was patriotic so he felt that he was not just joining a trend,besides,it has been quite some time since there was a significant terror strike and it seemed like everything was going along as though the country was never at a heightened alert status. He knew people are quick to forget,too many distractions in today's society for most people to pay attention to what is important. He shrugged as he figured that,in reality,people just did not care, as long as they could buy their expensive cars and go out drinking and dancing they will just stay in their own little world. A gripe here and there mentioned in living rooms and bars alike,never did carry much weight to helping folks or to produce any real change for the better of mankind. Now too,in the United States the political game is in full effect and the citizens seem very mixed up and not even attempting to unite for ideals greater than themselves. Thinking all this over and still a bit confused by the dream,he grabed his car keys and soon was speeding down the street in his used light blue 1993 Chrysler New Yorker. The car was good for the city,medium sized if you compared it to cars of three decades ago,small by the standards of the 1950's.


      The sun was setting in earnest when he pulled into the employee parking lot of the twenty-four hour cafe where he worked as assistant manager. It is slow tonight so he decided to have his dinner out in a circular booth instead of eating in back in his office with stacks of papers piled on the floor and on his desk. The chef made him a nice porterhouse steak,as was the weekly special,cooked rare and with a garden salad.

      A stranger to Paul walked in and sat down in the seat. He sank in deep,being that he was five-foot-eight,but his weight was about two-hundred and fifty pounds. He sat opposite of Paul and he wore a Hawaiian style shirt complete with red flower designs.

      "Hello,may I help you sir?"Paul said somewhat suprised. "The hostess should be around..."

      "No need for that,my name is Andrew Walder and I am here to see you Mr. Garand." He replied as he smiled through his thick brown beard.

      "Me? I don't know a whole lot of people around here,why?"

      "You had a science minor and I enjoyed your thesis about moralities in a future society and how it impacts on the usage of technology."

      Paul chuckles and says,"So,you must teach on campus in Ohio?"

      "No,I work in the administration building, a friend,a professor came upon your writings."

      Paul extends his hand and Mr. Walder shakes it,a firm grip.

      "Pleased to meet you Andrew."

      "Likewise,I am happy to have found you." stated Walder.

      "Thank You, are you on vacation?"inquired Paul.

      "In a manner of speaking,yes."

      "That is good,otherwise,you could've sent me a letter or e-mail. I don't fully believe what I wrote back at college, it was only a few ideas. I
      wanted to devote my time into something that will pay the rent; if you will excuse the cliche. I did what was required of me to graduate and nothing more. There were many others more intelligent than me there and that is just at one University. I don't understand why you would seek me out,I'm no one special,certainly not a great academic." Paul explained.


      "You underestimate your gifts. To settle your suspicions,I will tell you now that I am here to gather a group of fresh minds for a new subjective think tank."countered Andrew.

      "What purpose do you have for something like that? Money runs the country not thoughts." muttered Mr. Garand.

      "The purpose is to help solve the world's problems,or at least a few of them."Mr. Walder said.

      Paul smiled and laughed,"I've heard wild claims before,there are no remedies. I see my life from a practical viewpoint now. I gave up awhile ago on thinking about outer space and beyond. I know there are some new scientific discoveries;however, it seems all speculation to me,instead of an inspiration to make some new theory's of my own."

      "Being pragmatic is only the beginning. You will come to see the truth of that one day soon."

      "Aside from your philosophical posture,what possible purpose could you have for me?"said a slightly irritated Paul.

      "You have other talents. I am not saying that you are the only person that I considered for the position,it's just that you seem to have a bit of ambition and I would like to have you with us."

      "Please,come to my office and finish this conversation in a place more private."

      Andrew nods his approval then he follows Paul through the kitchen and back into a bright office where he takes a seat in front of a small wooden desk. Paul also sits down into his chair with the soft cushions. He then withdraws a pen and a business card from the drawer.After writing something on the back, Paul tosses it to Walder.

      "Here is my home phone number if you need to reach me. At the moment I am in no way interested in your invitation, I hope you will understand."
      Andrew frowns and leans back in the ridged chair.


      "At a later convenience perhaps?"

      Paul lets out a long sigh' " I doubt it,but you never can tell how things work out. This day and age, communication is reasonably easy. It might be I'll get world-weary and send you an instant message. It is nice to talk to someone from back East and I appreciate you stopping in to see me."

      "Very well Paul,but please think on it, we might have a senatorial ear on this project. I feel certain we can actually make an improvement to our country. With you specialty skills in finance, we could work together to help the economy."

      "Well, take care Mr. Walder. Enjoy the remainder of your stay here.
      Next time I get back that way,I'll give you a call."

      "Goodbye and good luck with your advancement." offered Andrew.

      "Thank you, Goodbye." Paul said as he turned back to his work. He started to read some information in a thin notebook and Walder waved,turned and walked out a side door. After leaving the office, he rounded a corner and ran through the employee corridor that soon led him to a parking lot where his new red Thunderbird awaited him.

      -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

      Greg Nephele steered his yellow dodge pickup truck into the parking lot of the Sky Motel.

      He unloaded three suitcases from the truck bed and carried them into a small room with a single lamp. He withdrew some clothes from one of the containers then removed his silk shirt. He looked into a wall mirror. He stared at a long scar that ran from his navel to his right armpit. It seemed to have healed properly. He had a recent rock climbing accident. The jagged crags cut him deep after missing a handhold. He fell ten feet then scraped on the sharp rock. He did not much care because the excursion had been a success. He had found a considerable amount of blue crystals that were akin to quartz but having a higher density. Now those same crystals are being examined in a laboratory that is approximately a hundred miles north of the motel.

      He went to the sink and washed his face, then pulled on a new black t-shirt that was set aside on the bed. Greg picked up an envelope that was under the lamp. He tore the top open with a slender knife and produced the paper that was inside. He read the letter. On it was printed the words,'Greg, I have finished the machine. I need to be advised on the next step. There is room for four people and five-hundred pounds of supplies. The blueprints that you had faxed to my office were precise. My colleagues have begun to build a second crawler. I need to know what you have discovered in Brazil.'
      'Please act with haste.' - Dr. H.A. Laoch.

      Greg then activated his butene lighter and burnt the letter in an ashtray. He waved away the smoke and opened the window. He walked over to the Skyline casino and ordered a shot of peach schnappes,which he drank in one gulp,paid and walked over to stand in line to the coffee shop. Once inside he ate a grilled cheese sandwich and a bowl of vegetable soup. He then tipped the waitress then walked back outside to his truck. He peered in the back to make sure the tarp was secured, then mounted the driver's seat. He started the vehicle, then drove out on Boulder Highway, traveling in the direction opposite from Hoover Dam.

      ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

      A cool breeze wafted through the class room. Ben Yaveene is there sitting on the professors' desk in front of Richard and Linda. Ben is a tall seventy-year-old man with blue-gray eyes. He is employed by
      Andrew Walder who had observed the pair and sent Ben to see if he could recruit them to their cause.
      They were already talking alone together for a good half hour when Ben said,"So, you see we are not looking for scholars with ton of accolades and degrees. They are too set in their ways and unconsciously are not open to new theories. Life is what they are told it is. What is being taught in schools and colleges is one way of thinking and is not always correct. In years to come many of our facts have been proven wrong or expanded upon to take on a new or different meaning. As it is, alot of science is theory, but the community accepts it without question."

      "That is most intriguing." said Rich.

      "and exciting." added Linda.

      "Good, I am glad that you are interested," said Ben. "Many don't believe us. The organization will provide each of you with ten-thousand dollars, I know it is not much, but our capital is spent on equipment and research."

      "We are now finished with the fort restoration, so there is not much keeping us here. We will have to postpone our education,but I feel this is too great an opportunity to miss." said Linda.

      "I am also getting a little anxious to leave this area, I need something new." said Rich.

      "Thank you both for you your honesty." replied Mr.Yaveene.

      "When will we depart for Nevada?" asked Linda.

      "I already have two tickets for you. You will leave tomorrow from Latrobe airport on a flight to Pittsburgh. They stopped the normal shuttle flights,but I have a special arrangement." he said with a wink.

      "You will depart Pitt at 8:50 a.m. and arrive in Las Vegas in about three hours."

      "We better get packed Lind' " said Rich.

      "You will be picked up by a man named Greg when you get there." Ben said.

      Ben then packed some papers and maps into his silver briefcase and said, "Good Day."

      "Good bye," said Rich as he made for the door.

      "Farewell," said Linda as she followed him.

      "Bon Voyage," replied Ben.
      -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

      "With a deep, not-unhappy sigh, Elric prepared to do battle with an army." (Red Pearls)
      - Michael Moorcock

      Comment


      • #4
        The four friends jaunted down to the water's edge. Catfish can be seen swimming about by little rocks. Brian and Danny met with Linda and Richard to say goodbye after Rich had announced that they were leaving Pennsylvania.

        "How long will you two be gone?" asked Danny who was wearing his 'Queen of the Stonage' t-shirt.

        "At least six months. Could be two years." replied Linda. She wore a nice dark green dress and black shoes.

        "Don't worry we will write to ya." said Rich as the wind blew his plaid long sleeve shirt and black jeans.

        "Where can you be reached? What mailing address?"asked Brian. He wore a blue jean jacket, a 'Green Day' t-shirt, black cotton trousers and sneakers.

        "We are told that we will have a place on Industrial Road that is near a post office. It is called Sun Harbor Suites." said Linda. "It sounds like we won't have to stay there very long though."

        "Ok." said Brian.

        "Have a safe trip." said Danny.

        "Maybe I'll take a little cross country trip in a couple months." Brian laughed.

        They continued to stroll around the large lake at Twin Lakes Park in Greensburg. The fresh cut grass produced a very nice aroma. Rich walked along with a big smile on his face. He had grown up with Brian and Danny. They knew each other so well. They always got together for drinking parties,holidays and weekly card games. When Rich met Linda,who was from New Jersey, the friends warmly invited her into their group and they were all happy ever since. They pretty much do everything together so now it was a sad time to be parting. Danny often talked about moving to South Dakota to live with his cousins, but he never got around to it. Brian seemed happy to stay where he was while Rich always wanted to experience life in a different state, but reluctant to leave so he could be close to his father. Linda was up for any adventure for she was a free spirit. Her family used to take her to various states on vacation. She really enjoyed their trips to Florida. Their folks encouraged her to live her life so they did not expect her to hang around with them.

        "Hey Brian, isn't this the spot that you burnt your hand when that 'Roman Candle' backfired?" asked Rich.

        "Yes, it did not stop me from blowing stuff up though with those quarter sticks of dynamite that I get every Fourth of July." Brian said and laughed.

        "Hey, that made me think of something just now!" exclaimed Danny. "Did you see on the news that there was a tanker truck that rolled off the turnpike? The driver got out, but there was a huge fireball! It hit a Volvo and a Mercedes before it took a dive off the shoulder."

        "Man! I did not see that." said Brian. "I hate the local news, they treat everyone like they are stupid."

        "I saw it, but I agree with you Brian, the news does suck badly." said Rich. "Everything has to impact on our little community,they take every national story and tie it in somehow with our little town."

        "That was a bad crash." said Linda. "I am glad that nobody was hurt. My aunt takes that same road every day."

        "Anyway, I guess Brian and I should take off. I wish you the best of luck and I hope that you squeeze in some fun along with all that work!" said Danny.

        "We will," pledged Linda.

        "If it turns out to be something that we didn't sign up for, we will be back in quick order." said Richard.

        "That's good, I hope it is ok though."said Danny.

        "Oh, don't worry, it will be fine." Linda assured him.

        Danny and Brian head for the Matador and Richard and Linda move off in the direction of the Jeep. This could turn out to be the greatest adventure in their lives,though none of them knew it. Rich thought that that Ben guy was pretty cool. He reminded him of his grandfather who had alot more knowlege than appears on the surface. He looked like a man who had done alot in his lifetime. Rich's grandfather sever on a Destroyer in the Atlantic and Ben Yaveene looked like that he would be very comfortable on such a ship.

        Rich drove his Jeep and followed Brian's car out of the park, then they all hollered and waved and went their seperate ways.

        -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

        "With a deep, not-unhappy sigh, Elric prepared to do battle with an army." (Red Pearls)
        - Michael Moorcock

        Comment


        • #5
          The fragment of metal bounced up and down the formica work bench like a jumping bean. It hummed slightly. Greg brought the strange alloy to Scotty's Junction where he met up with Dr. Henry Laoch at the private entryway to his underground base and laboratory. He had previously met Richard and Linda in the morning and deposited them at the designated apartment building to await further instructions via telephone.

          "There it is doctor, that's the sample piece, the excess is now stored in the South tunnel." stated Greg.

          "Most enchanting," replied Henry. He is wearing a white smock with pockets and black pants. He observed the metal while wiping his lenses with a damp towel. He put the glasses back on his face. "It is as I suspected. You found it in a cavern?"


          "Yes, my team located it while spelunking in Brazil." said Greg.

          "The combination of elements is truly astonishing. I must let my peers know of this compound."said Dr. Laoch. "Our agents in Europe will be very happy. It is what we theorized about all this time."

          "Can it be linked with the crystalline vessels?" asked Greg.

          "I am positive it can be done, it is amazing how much capacity it has to store energy. A cubic inch could power an aircraft carrier for a year." replied Henry.

          "Andrew will be pleased." said Greg.

          "Step this way." Henry said as he picked up the metal and placed it in a plastic beaker that had a rubber lid. He then walked over to a door,slid it open and walked inside a vast chamber. A bright light shined down to the center of the room. There is a forklift against the far wall and various machines used for working with metals and wood. There is also an oven and about forty feet from that, there is a forge,blower and anvil.

          In the middle of the flat steel floor, there is an object that is seventy feet long with a circumference of eight feet. It is oblong and has creases along regular intervals. It would resemble a gigantic worm except that it is totally covered in blue spiked crystals overlapping black ceramic crossbars. A portal has been cut into the left and right sides revealing an electronic console and four bucket chairs with high backs and arm rests. There are twenty cases filled with scientific and geological tools and apparatus. A first aid kit is attached to it's inner wall. Beside it four HAZMAT suits with helmets are suspended from pegs. Gas masks are tucked underneath the swivel seats. A sonar unit is installed on the left interior side. Two .45 calibur Thompson machine guns are mounted on the rear panel with six extra magazines and a case of ammunition. A Mossberg twelve guage pump-action shotgun and a Remington Model 700 SPS 30-06 bolt-action rifle are contained there in an alluminume case. Beside it is a red fire axe and fire extinguisher. A pile of MRE's and some other canned food are stacked in the front nose of the vehicle. Blankets are rolled up under the roof and back packs hang on nearby hooks. A repair kit is stored under the floor panels.

          "Does it work?, is the question." said Greg.

          "It does work by conventional means and now we have a new power source to try on it. Right now it is on battery and bio-diesel fuel." stated Henry.

          "Excellent." said Greg.

          "Do not tell the recruits about it." instructed Henry.

          "No, I won't, not until we assess their potential. If they are up to it, I will need to train them." stated Greg. "After three months time, one of them might be ready to accompany us."

          "How long do you think it will take to make the crawlers work as we want them to?" asked Greg.

          "My experiments conclude that the new engine can be made compatible within a fortnight."stated Henry. "I will attempt something. Stay where you are and watch this."

          The doctor walked inside the circular vessel and shut the doors by pulling on a cable. Once inside Henry pushed a few buttons on the control panel, flipped five orange studs to the "up" postion and turned a small wheel to the right. He then typed some numbers into the keypad, then entered some word commands. He then walked towards the rear, where he opened a side hexagonal inner door and dropped the piece of metal from the beaker in a long tube and quickly shut the tube's hatch. The tube angled down to a device consisting of plastic hoses,stainless steel cogs,gears,wheels and wooden rods. It was enchased in the same blue crystal as the craft. Henry rapidly shut the inner door and walked over to the keyboard, typed in a new set of commands and pressed enter. He next walked over and sat in one of the chairs. He twisted some knobs and pressed a green and indigo button on the left arm rest. On the right arm rest there is a flat screen monitor that he touched with his fingers to activate some strange runes. A beep followed, the a series of five beeps and then two beeps after that. A new monitor decended from the ceiling to stop directly before his lap. He typed in some more commands on the touch screen and then a menu of items appeared. There was one marked TEST 0001 GO X 3498. He pressed that then made a wave motion. The screen went back into the roof. He flipped open a clear plastic cube and depressed the black button contained within.

          Greg was watching from outside the vessel,near the lab's doorway. After waiting ten minutes, the crystal worm began to hum and creak. Then steam rose from the blue crystals. The crystals then started to merge and morph together. The blue quartz-like substance suddenly turned into a dark purple then it grew darker by the second until the whole craft was a deep black, as black as tar. The vehicle began to move forward. It wiggled left and right, right and left and up and down. The side creases performing like a hollow wood toy snake that they sell at carnivals. The steel floor beneath it buckled and twisted slightly it lurched over the floor.
          It traveled a few feet forward, then turned right to make an entire loop. It then revearsed it's coarse and moved backwards near to where it began.
          It stopped. The colour turned back to purple then blue, but now the crystals were melted together and resembled skin. The side outer door opened and a grinning Henry leaped out and ran up beside Greg.

          "The damn thing works!" exclaimed the doctor. "Now, we just need to make a few changes and program coordinates when we figure out where it is we are going!"

          "That is quite a site Henry. Congratulations, you might be up for the Nobel Prize if we could actually tell the public about this. Now we need to get that assembly gathered together quick so they can tell us what to do with the contraption. I sure hope Andrew has some new insights on what we are to do. Please continue to construct the new engine and we will see where that takes us." stated Greg.

          "Yes, I will focus on it now that we have achieved this wonderful ground-breaking step." replied Dr. Laoch. "We will prevail!"

          "Don't forget to load the video recording equipment before you finish the second crawler." reminded Greg.

          "Very well, I shall do that without fail." stated Henry. " I must send word to Mr. Yaveene. He will be astounded."

          Greg slapped Henry accross the back and guided him back into the laboratory. The doctor shut the door and Greg broke out the champange.

          -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

          "With a deep, not-unhappy sigh, Elric prepared to do battle with an army." (Red Pearls)
          - Michael Moorcock

          Comment


          • #6
            "I checked the fingerprints from the cartridges that you gave me. The man's name is Glen Hunter, he is a small time ex-con from Illinois. He had several arrests, grand theft, larceny and racketeering." Dr. Laoch said to Andrew who was sitting in a wood chair at the library that connected to the laboratory complex. "The police picked him up and put him jail again for a parole violation."

            Andrew arrived there, in the bunker, an hour ago and Laoch provided all the information about the crawler and recent events. The library was really a long tunnel made of re-enforced concrete. It had walnut book cases on both sides and a handful of tables and chairs. There were also two plain six-foot long benches. The light was more than sufficient. There were extra lamps there that are linked to the emergency generator in the event the main power fails. The complex has four main tunnels on sub- level three. Level's one and two are comprised of a five room chamber formation that branch off from the elevator room. Level four is a large steel cube, housing oxygen tanks,food,water,living quarters,an escape tunnel that runs directly East and radio equipment. A meeting room is now set up inside of room number nine on the second level. That room has a big white marble table that is hexagonal in shape. It has twelve soft leather seats in all, two on each of it's six sides. On the table's surface there are twelve flat screen monitors with an equal amount of state-of-the-art computers. Two colour printers and a scanner are also present. The library is in the west tunnel on level three. Henry and Andrew leave the library and take the lift up to the meeting room. It is dark inside, there is only one light above the table and two green guide lights to mark the entryway. Andrew walked in and sat down.

            " I am enormously relieved that all is going well, much better than expected. Henry, you have done well. How many people did Ben finally persuade to work for us? Who are they? I was not able to get Mr. Garand." asked Andrew.

            "Here is the list, he convinced Richard and Linda from Ligonier, PA, Karen Salali of Wheeling, West Virginia, April Turillo from Detroit, Michigan, Kate Wren and Pam Smythe from New York, Melinda Aalamgeer from Lexington, South Carolina, Rob Lee Baker from Sanderville, Georgia, Mark Hargren from San Diego and Sal Bharani from Columbus. So that makes ten, we need two more my friend." ansered Dr. Laoch.

            "Very good." stated Andrew.

            "My counterparts in Europe and Asia have their respective groups as well." said Henry.

            "We are the only ones with the crawler,right?" inquired Andrew.

            "Yes, the other countries don't have the material or enough crystals to build one at this time. Besides that, Greg is the only one in the world to know where to get more of that unstable ore." stated Henry.

            "Very good, we will share with the others when the right moment presents itself. Right now, I want them to concentrate on thier science, we need more answers to the nature of the universe and not any more speculation. I need fact for what we are about to embark upon." replied Andrew. " There is no telling how it might upset the cosmos. I don't know....well, anyway, I am getting ahead of myself. We must first do what we set out to do and that is helping our country before it is plunged into a dark abyss."

            "I am in agrrement." stated the doctor.

            "Ok, get everyone in here as soon as you can. I'll see if I can find a couple other whom we might trust. I am going to send Ben to Washington D.C. to see what he can accomplish there. I will return as soon as I can. If you need to buy any chemicals or other supplies, see Greg or take the funds from my company ATM card. Thank You." said Mr. Walder.

            Andrew spun around and left the room. He then rode on a small lift to the surface rather than taking the freight elevator that could carry a car. The door opened and Walder stepped out onto the desert landscape away from the brush that concealed the hidden entrance. He started up his Thunderbird and turned on the air conditioning shortly after letting the red car run for awhile. He was soon rapidly traveling down a lone road, the dust kicking up high in his wake.

            -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

            "With a deep, not-unhappy sigh, Elric prepared to do battle with an army." (Red Pearls)
            - Michael Moorcock

            Comment


            • #7
              Two weeks passed and Greg did a wonderful job making everbody work in a tight cohesion. Introductions were made and the individuals got along together just fine. Richard and Linda really enjoyed sleeping in the bunker, it was fun for them. The others did not seem to mind it either. They had good food brought in from outside once in awhile, but mostly a man named Diego Martin, a chef from Las Vegas, prepared their food from what they had stored up in a walk in freezer and supply room. They stayed in the Level 1 chambers where there were plenty of beds and even a recreation room. Andrew was away during that time, but everyone got to know Greg,Diego,Doctor Laoch and his staff alot better. Ben had contacted them a few times via a satellite phone. He said that he was able to make good contacts and he added that there were people there who were in a position to change how the government spent money. The team already found a way for each state to save at least two-million dollars each year. They found so much waste on the federal and state levels. They also proposed some new changes on how medicine and health care could reach more people. They found that The Pentagon could really trim down alot without sacrificing national security. The group was also working on some new discoveries. They were in communication to similar groups who shared information with them to speed things along. The system they created was able to get more accomplished in two weeks than what is done in two years. Greg let them do various things like that, but told them that soon they would have to turn their whole attention on testing out some of Dr. Laoch's theories. He said they also had to run some experiments on the physical world and what lies in space beyond it.

              They all worked for long hours without complaint because this was a new to them and they were also getting results. Henry had a staff of twenty scientists and workers who would come in and do the grunt work of what was proposed in their council meetings. Greg took the team once in awhile outside to a track at a school so they could run and jog. He also took a half-hour out of the day to get them into some stretches and sit-ups. There also was a weight room in the bunker so anyone could work- out there if they had the time.

              The room is bustling with activity as the group moved about the white table and debated issues. Karen, a mathematician, sat down and began writing calculation in a wide notebook. She is an average looking woman with long blonde hair and blue eyes. Today she is wearing a white blouse, black suit pants and dress shoes with rubber soles. Most of the team members wear rubber soles so they don't slip if they need to go into the laboratory. Rob is beside her typing away on a computer keyboard. He has a specialty in computers, but is self-taught. He is the youngest one there at age twenty-two. The others are in the twenty-five to thirty-five age group. They are all treated the same though. Rob has short business type black hair and large brown eyes. April is working at a black table with some test tubes, work that she need not perform in the lab. She is a chemist and is wearing a black skirt,black hose and a red blouse. She is thirty-two years-old and five feet tall. She has long auburn hair and green eyes. Richard and Linda are working near her and discussing something that was printed on a clip board. Kate, a matter and energy physicist is a tall red-head who is wearing tight brown pants and a brown sleeveless blouse. She is talking to her friend Pam, a five-foot-seven-inch tall brunet who is wearing a tuquoise coloured dress. She had been going to classes on particle physics and astrodynamics. They have been pouring over books all day. Mark is a six foot tall black man,he is very handsome.He is a geologist. He is wearing a blue shirt tucked into black suit pants. Sal is five-foot-six with curly brown hair and moustache. He has brown eyes. He is wearing a blue long sleeve shirt with blue jeans. He was recruited to them team because he had degrees in anthropology and a certificate in environmental studies. Melinda is five-nine,has short brown hair and is a pure beauty. She has green eyes and is wearing a peach coloured cotton dress. She has a psychology degree.

              Sal turned to Rich and said,"Some believe that people live their lives in various states when dealing with their their fellow humans. An instinctive state of mind,a violent state,a state of communication and a mental state that seperates one from all animal reactions."

              "I see, so in other words, the first reaction is to run away, the next is to fight, then the next stage is to work the problem out with words and the last being above all that where on would be above worldly matters,just to exist, then in addition to that you could reach a stage that balances those forces all together so you can choose any action without being a slave to your emotions." said Rich.

              "That is correct." said Sal.

              "Greg says that any thoughts we have outside the mainstream will be helpful, so we need to keep ideas like that in focus." said Linda.

              "Yes, there is alot of different ideas out there already if you look for them. I did not invent that philosophy, just passing it along." said Sal.

              Rob walked over to them then and said,"Hey, I thought of something funny, you know how people are always worried about the a meteor hitting the Earth or talking about how the sun will burn out one day, or even worry about nuclear war?"

              "Yyyyeah," replied Rich.

              "Well, If our solar system drifts through space a tiny fraction at a time and our galaxy also moves in some way, how do we know that the whole universe does not move? I believe there is an outer layer to the universe. I feel we are thinking in small terms. There could even be an outer rim to the regular outer universe and that rim,which would really be another globe as the old universe probaly is, things seem to be created in the form of a sphere. To make a simple statement, think of a cooked egg in a bowl on top of a saucer, we are all focused on preventing the yoke from breaking and watching things go on in the egg white, but what we could be missing is what is happening in the bowl and beyond that the whole saucer could be falling to the floor to break in a million shards and we in the yoke would never know it! The outer universe sphere could be heading to an inferno or a big space monster for all we know! We could all be non-existant in a fraction of a second and we would never have any warning." explained Rob.

              "That is one way to look at it I suppose." said Linda.

              "It has been wondered about for centuries,what is really out there? It can't all be endless space can it? If it is spheres then the spheres would just stack and stack upon each other and we are back to pretty much the same theory that space is endless." said Rich.

              -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

              "With a deep, not-unhappy sigh, Elric prepared to do battle with an army." (Red Pearls)
              - Michael Moorcock

              Comment


              • #8
                "There is something else that we have been working on." said Kate. "They have new ideas concerning layers of dimensions interlinked with one another. In each film that overlaps, there appears to be different properties assigned to it."

                "To add to that there could be a second "covering" over the smaller dimensions, one large coating that we don't know what is inside it. The smaller ones have a purpose, a kind of adhesive to hold the present reality together." said Pam.

                "If it does exist, it could explain the intricate mechanisms of the universe. It could be a passageway to the other dimensions or to a separate
                realm entirely. said Kate.

                At that moment Andrew sneaked up behind them and shouted ,"The Spirit Ream!"

                They all turned to him and said their greetings.

                "Mr. Walder, you have returned." said Kate.

                "Yes and I like where your conversation is headed." said Andrew.

                " The Spirit Realm?" asked Pam.

                "The one I refer to is often spoke of in different cultures. Native Americans sometimes call it the ghost realm of their ancestors. I firmly believe that such a place or dimension could exist."

                "That may fall under religion Andrew, it could just be thought up to provide comfort to the living or created to serve as a model for morality." said Mark.

                "It may be, but I don't think so." stated Andrew. "There has to be more to it. There are many stories of powerful visions that were past to generation to generation by word of mouth."

                "Could be true." said Linda.

                "With everything as we know it and with new discoveries all the time, there could have been things or even beings that slipped out of another realm over the years. For all we now, in a time before man, the dimensions were open free to the Earth. I t could be that some great catastrophe closed the gates to these other realms and thus changed the Earth's reality to what it is this present day." Said Andrew.


                "First we would need to come up with a device that could actually detect or allow us to see where these realms begin and end." said Kate.


                Andrew motioned them to all gather around the hexagonal table and they continued their conversation. The talked for several hours, but did not come up with any solid theories as to how they could break into another dimension or even examine the material that might make up another realm.They went back to more practical issues and continued their work for the government. If they could get past the corruption and graft, they might be able to change the United States for the better.

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                "With a deep, not-unhappy sigh, Elric prepared to do battle with an army." (Red Pearls)
                - Michael Moorcock

                Comment


                • #9
                  The man dreamed again. He felt weightless. He looked out into and endless black mass. When he focused his eyes he saw that he was in a house, but it was drifting in space and was lit up by the stars. He looked below him and saw the planet being torn apart. Massive chunks of debris floated past him. The oceans were starting to vaporize. The continents as he knew them no longer existed. Continetal plates drfited in rapid fasion and collapsed in under each other. The atmosphere was breaking down on a molecular level. Insects with eight pincers and ten spindly legs crawled out from the windows of the brick house. They shambled towards the man. The house began to crack apart. The insects drew near and the man could see that they were as big as dogs. They jumped on him and he could feel his flesh being lacerated. He thrashed about, but knew it was too late as there were already dozens of punctures in his skin. His mind began to struggle with the thought of what was going on and why he still alive to start with, as he was suspended in the vacuum being pulled apart by alien creatures. Then he awoke on the floor beside his bed, looking up at sunlight streaming through venetian blinds.

                  -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


                  Paul walked towards his Chrysler in the parking lot of of an Albersons holding a bag of groceries. It was night and it was Tuesday,one of the days that he had off as he had to work weekends. Suddenly he was roughly pushed from behind. He dropped his bag and immediately dove into a shoulder roll. He was up on his feet in an instant, just in time to bring his forearm around to block a vicious kick. A man dressed in a gray jumpsuit kicked again, this time low,connecting with Paul's left leg. Paul dodged slightly so it did not hurt as bad as it could have. At the same moment another tall man in a blue jumpsuit threw two swift punches towards Paul's face. Paul raised his right arm and slapped both strikes away with the flick of his palm. Paul then threw a feint with his left hand and rotated to kick out with his right foot, catching the second assailant in the abdomen. That man fell to the hard pavement. Paul blocked again,this time deflecting three incoming punches from the first man. He came around and stomped on the second man's chest. He kicked again and hit the fallen man in his temple. That man was now temporarily out of the fight. Paul squared off to face the first man, arms raised and swaying back and forth.

                  "You were visited by a fat man, what did he tell you?" asked the first man,his name is William Blackthorne, a six foot tall,well defined man with white hair,he is in his late forties.

                  "Why should I talk to you, you attacked me?" said Pail.

                  "We are desperate men. We are trying to stop Mr. Walder from making a horrible mistake." said William.

                  "You are just buying time for you friend to recover!" shouted Paul.

                  "No, you must listen to me." said Blackthorne.

                  "This is no way to go about pleading your cause." said Paul who looked over his shoulder for more muggers. "I'll let the cops deal with the likes of you."

                  "I can't allow you to leave, I must have the information." said William who withdrew a commando knife from his boot with his right hand as he held up his left arm to ward off any attack from Paul.

                  "I'm going to stick that blade up your arse!"said Paul.

                  William smiled and lunged low towards Paul. Paul quickly brought his arms together so his writs touched and he blocked the man's arm at the wrist while he leaped back. Paul then twisted the man's wrist and hand that held the poniard, to the right and smashing William's elbow with his left palm. Paul tore the dagger free,reversed it's hilt so the blade was turned around and placed in a downward position. The man screamed and was leaning forward. William then tried throw out a straight punch with his left hand, but Paul was already on the move, he spun forward into William and William's futile punch hit harmlessly against Paul's left shoulder in the back. Paul then drove the sharp knife down into the man's neck in one quick action. The man fell dead to the ground. Paul then yanked out the dagger from the man's throat being he had already crossed the line between life and death. Paul spun around just in time to plunge the knife directly below the other man's ribs to pierce his heart. The man had come to his feet and was pulling out a Colt 1911 from inside his jumpsuit. People were gathering fast to investigate the commotion. Paul quickly took a handkerchief and wiped his prints off the blade and hande the best he could, then he dropped the knife and ran to his car. Security was shouting to stop and shoppers were calling the police on their cell phones. Paul started the blue car, put it in gear,backed out of the parking space and kicked the gas pedal.He sped down the road with his headlights off. He made a left and drove on that road for three miles, then turned a right to drive for five miles, then he pulled on his headlights and made another right to merge with traffic where he slowed down to the posted speed limit. Paul's body visibly shooked. He heard police sirens in the distance as he drove on into the night.

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                  "We don't know what repercussions all this activity could bring about, Walder has no clear idea what he is doing. If he interferes with the inner functions of the living world we could all be doomed. He could unleash power greater than a hundred megaton nuclear bomb or worse, he could unravel the world itself. We need to find out what exactly he is doing, we need to find out where his operations center is located and destroy it if need be. We also need to know all of his associates. Now that Blackthorne and Wellks have been killed, we need to double our efforts." stated Roger Vask, a tall man who is six-foot-four and one-hundred-ninety pounds.Roger is the owner of Vask Enterprises, a worldwide company that deals in machine parts among other things. He is a sixty year-old ex-mercenary. He knew Andrew Walder from his days in Vietnam. Roger got wind of Andrew's activities about five years ago and has been keeping a close watch on him since then. At first it was out of curiosity now it was a more urgent search. Roger had built a nice little empire for himself and he intended to enjoy the rest of his life the way he wanted to,not in a world that is changed from the one he knew how to manipulate. He certainly did not want the damn planet to be destroyed after he worked so hard to achieve his enormous wealth.

                  "We will do as you say Mr.Vask. My new operatives will not fail you. I will pull the experienced men out of Los Angeles and send them to Nevada. Blackthorne said that he was on to something there before he died." Frank Sankelma said. He is Vask's company security chief. He is tall,blonde and brawny. He always wears dark gray or navy blue suits.

                  They are standing in a warehouse on the private grounds of one of Vask's manors.Crates are stacked from floor to ceiling. Vask's black 2005 Lincoln limousine is parked beside a double garage door. There are armed guards walking around on catwalks. Frank's brown Lincoln Towncar is parked a few yards away near an open exit. Frank nodded to Roger and got into his car and drove out of the building. Roger started to pace in circles.


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                  "With a deep, not-unhappy sigh, Elric prepared to do battle with an army." (Red Pearls)
                  - Michael Moorcock

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    "Damn you Walder! What did you get me into?" asked Paul over a pay telephone. Paul had ditched his car in the desert and burnt his handkerchief and his blue shirt that had some blood on it. He then put on a new white shirt that he got out of the trunk then walked over to use the public telephone at a gas station.

                    "Calm down, what happened?" asked a concerned Walder.

                    "Did you send men after me?" asked Paul.

                    "No, I have no need to do that Why would I? I have most of the team that I needed. What is going on?" asked Andrew.

                    "Where are you?" asked Paul.

                    "I'm in Nevada."said Andrew.

                    "Good! Come and get me. I'll be near Sunset Station in Henderson. Just you, don't bring anyone else. I'll be outside, near the back entrance." commanded Paul.

                    "Are you hurt?" asked Andrew.

                    "No, now come and get me damn it." said Paul as he lit up a cigarette.

                    "Alright, I will get there as soon as I can, but it will be about two hours. I am on my way out now." said Andrew.

                    "Jesus!" shouted Paul as he hung up the telephone.

                    Paul felt that Andrew was genuine. He may have been the indirect cause of this mess,but he thought he might also be the only one to get him out of trouble. Paul never had to kill anyone before. He never really was in a serious fight. He always avoided trouble. He had taken Kempo Karate back in Ohio. He was remembering all the good times that he had back then. It always kept him in good health and it certainly served him well. Now he was at a loss of what do. Had anyone recognized him? Did anybody get a good look at him? For all he knew his face was plastered all over the news. Somebody might have taken his photgraph on their cell phone. 'I shouldn't worry.' he thought. 'They never catch anyone, well almost never. There are murders all the time in the city, not to mention hit and run deaths, but they don't show that on national news, it would hurt the tourist trade.' His business depended on the tourist industry, but even if they reported all the crime, he felt people would still come in massive numbers like they do now. 'For the first few months after the fall of the twin towers the industry panicked and laid of thousands of workers, even when things picked up the casinos were happy to run certain areas with as few employees that they could get away with. They did not have to pay extra workers so the casinos really made out during that time. Now in present day, they are making a killing, tourism went sky-rocketing
                    and the casino are earning record profits, the CEOs even get on Fox News and brag about how much they are making, but still they were only keeping a few employees on hand at alot of places. It was not anything near the amount of jobs there were in the nineties. I guess I was lucky working at the cafe,not all that has changed. Where is that fat bastard anyway?' Paul looked at his watch. 'Damn, it's only been an hour. What the Hell am I thinking? I just killed two men.' Paul rubbed his head. He was also very upset in the stomach. It was uncomfortable outside, it was hot and he could smell the carbonmonoxide and fumes from cars. He tossed things over in his mind and wondered what he should do. 'I guess I should go back to work as nothing happened,I'll have to see if the cops have a suspect. It was self defense after all, but I ran and that is very bad. They probaly would have had me up on murder changes anyway. If it's someone else they would get away with it,me they would throw away the key.' More time passed slowly,but it did pass and then Paul saw headlights and a car. He stood up from his concealed position to take a glance through the car's windshield, it was him thankfully, so Paul ran out towards the car and waved him over.

                    "Thank Christ!" Paul said.

                    "Get in." said Andrew. Paul jumped in the Thunderbird and shut the door. His heart was beating rapidly.

                    Andrew took a firm hold of the steering wheel and drove out the back way toward Warm Springs road. He was driving the speed limit so he would not attract any unwanted attention.

                    "I'll get you to a safe place." stated Andrew.

                    "Thank you Mr. Walder." said Paul.

                    "What happened?" asked Andrew.

                    "I was attacked!" exclaimed Paul.

                    "Are you sure you are ok?" inquired Andrew.

                    "Yes, I am sure, I will be alright." he confirmed."They looked like military men, I was forced to kill them in the end. There were two of them."

                    "That is most disturbing. I am sorry that my presence caused you so much pain." stated Andrew.

                    "Do you know who sent the men?" asked Paul.

                    "I have a good idea of who it might be, it's only one man who has been sending agents, it's not a nation so were lucky on that."said Andrew.

                    "Well, whoever he is, I'd like to get him in the balls right about now." said Paul.

                    "My friend Greg and I ran into one of his operatives. He wasn't too much of a problem, but by the sound of it he is sending more capable agents so we all will have to be very careful here on in." said Andrew.

                    "You don't have to tell me, it was almost me lying dead in that parking lot." said Paul. He then let out a nervous laugh.

                    "What's funny?" asked Andrew.

                    "I just realized I left my groceries there." stated Paul.

                    "Well, I have plenty of food at my base." said Andrew.

                    "base?" asked Paul.

                    "Yes, you'll see. We have everything you need and once we get there you won't have to worry about getting jumped again for awhile" answered Andrew.

                    "Well, that's good, at least. What about my life though?" asked Paul.

                    "Don't worry, I'll check into all Clark County law enforcement to see if they have anything. I think you got away clear." said Andrew.

                    "I'll have to report my car stolen tomorrow,in case someone got my plate number. Hopefully the cops will believe it was stolen if someone described it." said Paul.

                    "Very good." said Andrew.

                    "So, did you solve all the world's problems now?" said Paul.

                    "Hardly!, we have only focused on a few things. We are two member short though if you are up to it." said Andrew.

                    "Yeah, I thought by me calling you, you would take the hint that I wanted in, not that I have much choice in the matter now. I'll be lookin' over my shoulder my whole life until we get this situation resolved." said Paul. "I'm just glad that you were not back in Ohio."

                    "Me too, I might have been able to send someone else, but you may not have trusted them." said Andrew.

                    "I need to sleep a bit until we get there." saying that, Paul closed his eyes and fell fast asleep.

                    "Go right ahead." said Andrew softly. Andrew got on the highway for a few miles then off again, then he reached the road to the northwest and took it. He drove on and eventually reached the bunker in safety.


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                    "With a deep, not-unhappy sigh, Elric prepared to do battle with an army." (Red Pearls)
                    - Michael Moorcock

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Paul slept for a whole day inside one of the chambers. When he finally got out of bed and got dressed, he met up with Andrew in the library. Rihcard,Linda,Karen,April,Kate,Rob,Mark,Sal,Pam,Me linda,Greg,Diego and Dr. Laoch also arrived and they made their greetings. They had briefed Paul on what they had formulated in the conference room. Greg had informed Paul that the police were not looking him. Paul was relieved. The police did not really know what to make of the deaths and they had no clear discription of the suspect.
                      Paul notified work that he had to take an emergency leave of absence. Richard and Andrew went out earlier and retrieved Paul's car, then put it inside one of the underground chambers.Two months had passed and Henry's team finished building a second crawler machine. They also seperated more of the strange unpredictable metal from the ore that Greg had aquired. Both crawlers now had upgraded engines,new improvements and restocked supplies. Dr. Laoch did not reveal the existence of the blue machines to the group. Andrew was not able to get the twelfth member, so he or Greg filled the position. They really only needed eight people for the crawlers, the other were there in reserve or to be used if a third crawler was constructed. The others could stay behind and monitor the crawlers from the base's control room. They could be very helpful and may indeed be able to save the crews if they were in danger. Paul helped out with the finance department and suggested several good ideas that could help the government spend the tax payers' money more wisely. Paul also noticed that Andrew was paying too much for certain equipment so he found a new low cost supplier. The others continued thier joined efforts to somehow tap into another dimension. The had some minor success in that area by passing protons and neutrons through a weakening zone that they had found. They discovered some kind of roaming patch of energy that is invisible to the human eye. There was evidence that something lay beyond that patch. In their spare time,Greg put them all through some basic weapons training. They did not uncover any enemy agents during that time period.

                      They were in the rec. room now making light conversation.

                      "Something all of you never thought of is that when you scientists send probes into outer space to encounter aliens, is the fact that you do not take in consideration that the aliens who might find such a thing might not have any eyes or ears!" Diego said and laughed. "you send music and pictures, how do you think they are going to perceive them? If they do have vision capabilities, how will they interpret what we are trying to say?"

                      "So true", Linda agreed. "We can only hope that it would show to them that we, intelligent life forms do exist."

                      April looked at Diego and said," In the future, we could be able to contact life outside this planet by telepathy, there might be a race out there who could hear our thoughts at least. At this very moment aliens could be reading our minds and we just can't read their's. If mankind began to focus more on the mind, we might be able to feel intentions of another person if not learn to hear their thoughts."

                      "Going back to an earlier topic, if there are other world's out there, we need to establish what they are." said Kate. "There already have been several theories on alternate realites. I feel that there probaly is one dimension where everything is opposite. If the mind does survive it's mortal form, then there could be a realm of souls like what Andrew spoke of, in fact there could be a higher existence where all beings go, not just the intelligent ones. There could be many places where the laws of this reality do not apply. We could classify these places as postitive,negative,alternate and spiritual. Another could be made of raw matter. Another could be a dimension that you could step into any era in history. Another one might even take you to another planet that would have it's own inter-dimensions. Each planet could have many layers. The layers could be infinite in some cases."

                      Melinda the said," If it is true, could the human mind comprehend it if a person were to travel to such a realm? Would they be able to withstand the harsh changes, or would it crack under the pressure?"

                      "Let's hope it does not break," said Pam. "I would like to think we could grasp such a concept. We did after all, travel to space and the moon and the mind survived."

                      "Could we encounter threats from these realms?"asked Richard.

                      "Anything is possible when dealing with the unknown." said Karen.

                      "What would worry me most would be a virus, something will might not immediately detect." said Rich.

                      "Yes, there are many dangers we would have to watch for." said Sal. "As it is there could be diseases leaking through the fabric of reality."

                      "We don't even know how life would function somewhere else, we could be in a weightless environment, it could have greater gravity, it might be like swimming in a gel, we might not be able to move at all." added Linda.

                      "Do we have a medical doctor among us?" asked Pam.

                      "I have some medical knowledge." said Melinda.

                      "Greg knows a bit about it as well, he should keep us out of any trouble in that field." said Dr. Laoch.

                      "That's good, I also have had some EMT training." said Mark.

                      "Well gang, it is no longer speculation!" exclaimed Andrew. "We now have the means to travel to such a place due to recent discoveries and I must admit that your true purpose for being here is to accompany me to an undiscovered domain!"

                      The all seemed to be a bit astonished at the statement, but not wholly suprised given the nature of the projects they have been working on for the last ten weeks. An uproar of enthusiastic conversation ensued after the announcement.


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                      "With a deep, not-unhappy sigh, Elric prepared to do battle with an army." (Red Pearls)
                      - Michael Moorcock

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        That night the assembly of imaginative citizens all suffered the same hallucination in the form of a dream. A trillion globes of golden light hovered in the night sky.Orange dust covered everything in site. The spheres glowed brightly and turned the dark into strange varying shades of yellow. A burst of luminescent violet water was spinning to form a pillar with a twenty yard diameter. It violently streaked through the air like a geyser. Everyone of the team members was present and they are were coughing on the orange powder. Crimson lightning dazzled the group as it struck rocks and they split asunder. A multitude of shadowy figures were standing the length of the horizon. Winged creatures, that were nine feet long, flew overhead with their eight appendages wriggling about. Walking up from a dell, the band saw a long line of men and women chained together by their ankles. They were being directed into a march by a man with long black hair and a white billowing shirt which had sleeves that extended well past his hands. He was holding what appeared to be a rapier. Each minute that passed, the man would jab one of the unfortunate prisoners to move them into action. The cruel man seemed to be the only other human there that was not shackled. Behind him there was about a hundred blue scaled creatures standing upright on a wood platform. The group sprang over the open ground that was between them and the slaves. They had no weapons, but they had to try something to help the men and women. The creatures launched their spears at them as their eyes began to glow with a silver light. The barbed tipped spears fell short of their mark, about two feet from the party. A voice was heard throughout the valley. It said,"Return travellers. We need this power. You can not know this place. It is changeless existence."

                        Andrew turned to the group and said, "Take note, this is all symbolic. We must discover it's meaning!"

                        "I have been here before!" shouted Paul.

                        "We all have, in our own way of perception, been here at some time in our lives." said Greg."That is how Andrew knew how to draw all of you together."

                        "Lets help those poor people, we can avoid primitive spears." said Karen.

                        "We are in a vision,Karen,what we do here will not matter in our realm,only our thoughts are here,don't you know this is a dream?" said Sal.

                        "It seems pretty damn real to me." stated Karen.

                        "How do we know it won't help, I don't seem to be waking up." Rob said as he pinched his arm.

                        "Hey man beasts!" shouted Melinda "Let those folk alone! What are you doing to them?"

                        "You do not belong here amongst us. You must take the journey first." said the man holding the slim sword.

                        "What makes you say that? Are you the world's top authority on the subject?" asked Mark.

                        "You are still alive, you must pass first through the realm of the dead." said the evil man.

                        "Oh." Mark responded with a blank expression.

                        "We might be able to arrange a passage for you soon enough human!" said one of the winged creatures. It had pink eyes and two wicked tusks."

                        "Your world is doomed at any rate. Your species will terminate itself in an interval that means nothing to us." said the dark haired man.

                        "But you're a man of Earth." countered April. "What do you mean 'your' species?"

                        "I am the embodiment of the nature of mankind. You see me as human because that is what you expect. You are aware of evil acts so you project this image onto me. I am the avatar of primal instinct,I am the fear,I am the greed,I am the hunger,I am lust,I am the unsatiable thirst for power, I am the desire to force my will on fellow human kind. I am the lie, I am the deceiver, I am corruption, I am hatred, I am poison, I am murder, I am the killer with no reason, I am the anti moral, I am disease, I am chaotic destruction and I am the extreme face of law and order." replied the man-being-creature.

                        "I think we get it!" exclaimed Sal.

                        "Now that we can discourse rationally...," said Kate "What is this place?"

                        The man poked a hole in a woman's arm then said,"Do you not know?" The man let out a long laugh. "This is the interception point and zone before the portal of your happy hunting ground, this is the path to your Heaven,your Hell, this is the portion of space and realm that allow all things to live and survive own what you call a planet. You all are thinking that sleep is linked with the land of the dead and you are correct. When the deceased life forms enter this dimension, their residue can still communicate in various ways. These exist on the material plane as voices,echoes on the wind,apparitions, when the residue speaks through a person, you call it a demon. It is the human mind who allows you to see a ghost,you really see unspent energies and your primitive minds form an image on their own."


                        "I don't believe you." stated a shocked Linda.

                        "What there beasts doing here?" asked Richard.

                        "They saw your wars. They are plunderers and raiders from other worlds. They want all the new energy that is flowing from the material plane into this realm. It was easy for them to attach themselves to this inner dimension. their spheres are linked to this one. As I said, your world is about to be destroyed so, they are taking advantage of an opportunity, to get as much raw and refined energy as they can before Earth vanishes and the energy dissipates into nothingness. Is that not what a good business man would do?" The man laughed. "Your leaders and policy makers do the same everyday." The man pointed his sword towards the group."Your moment in this current cycle is over. The Earth may or may not reform when the next cycle occurs."

                        "When might that be?" Pam said caustically.

                        "Five-hundred billion years by your understanding. Matter is a constant, it is always here, but in different forms. I could walk into another dimesnion where the Earth still is being born or I could take another route and see it's death. In it's death my associates have all it's material and energy for them to apply on any purpose or design that they have or will have or did have.

                        "So, you are with them then? I thought you were a fixture of this realm?" asked an outraged Mr. Walder.

                        "Andrew, we will act,but we will act later." advised Dr. Laoch.

                        "We must use the crawlers Andy to get to the bottom of all this. We must know the true meaning!" exclaimed Greg.

                        The man laughed then stabbed another victim. He then said. "I was created in this realm at the emergence of this galaxy. I do not have to stay here though. I am going to get my fair share of the energy. Time does not exist, but to use a human phrase, the other countless species have logged in more hours and they knew not to waste their planets and resources. You are not even deserving of what you had to work with in the beginning. Not many realms even know of you, the Earth's evolution was not even a distraction, to the rest of the universe you are the size of an atomic particle and once more, to put a reference to it's meaning, a being standing on a planet looking through their telescopic just saw you as a tiny fleck of light as your world went through it's entire creation and destruction."

                        "We will be the judge of that!" shouted Paul.

                        "No, I am the cosmic judge." stated the man with dark long hair that was now covering his entire face. He pointed the rapier towards Paul,Andrew and the remainder of the group. He shouted one word, " Begone!"

                        The group suddenly melted down into the orange dust.

                        An instant later, they all awoke in their respective chambers. They were sobbing uncontrollably.


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                        Brian and Danny arrived at the Stardust Hotel and Casino,where they had reserved two rooms. They had each taken a week's paid vacation to drive out to Las Vegas so they could visit their friends. They ate breakfast inside the coffee shop, they both ordered pancakes. The two companions played some quarter slot machines, then walked out the glass doors in the back of the hotel. They strolled by parked cars on their way to the apartments behind the Stardust. It was slightly chilly outside, it was early January.

                        Richard had earlier sent an e-mail to them detailing the room number and the hotel that he stayed at when he was not working. Brian knocked at the door, the door swung open wide from inside. Brian and Danny stood in shock as they looked in to see the man holding the doorknob was also pointing a sawed-off shotgun at them.

                        "Don't move an inch!" exclaimed the man. He was dressed in a brown suit. Another man, in a blue suit came out of the bedroom and leveled a Glock 10 mm in their direction. Brian thought about pushing Danny out of the way, but knew that would be useless, the scattergun could not miss them.

                        "You are coming with us." said the man in the blue suit. "Get in into the van. He pointed to a white Chevy van.

                        "Where are we going?" asked Danny.

                        "Where are going to find your friends." said the man as he put his shotgun under his jacket. The other man kept his pistol low and still trained on Brian.

                        They entered the van and the shotgun man started it up. Danny tried to struggle, but he only got pistol whipped for his effort. Brian and Danny were forced to sit in the back as the man in front of them watched their every move. The driver drove the van onto Industrial Road and headed for the downtown area.

                        "How do you know we were going to see friends?" asked Brian.

                        "Don't start playing dumb, we are after Richard and Linda." said the man. "If you resist again, we will kill you,then we will kill them. We will only detain them if you cooperate with us. We are after a man named Andrew Walder. Do you know him?"

                        "No, we only know they came to Nevada for a job." replied Danny who was thinking that these guys were indeed serious and not some stupid criminals.

                        The man zigzagged on the roads for awile then got on South Martin Luther King Boulevard. After a few more minutes he turned onto highway 95. At that point two black Cadillac Escalades pulled immediately behind the van without hesitation. They were all heading west and north.

                        "He comes Mr. Sankelma." the driver said to his associate.

                        "Good, let him take the lead." said the other man. The driver waved his arm out the window to signal the SUV's. The Escalades then passed the van and increased their speed. The man then looked in his side mirror to see a Mack truck traveling in the left lane. It had a Vask Enterprises symbol painted on the side of the long trailer. Brian and Danny remained silent for the rest of the journey.


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                        "With a deep, not-unhappy sigh, Elric prepared to do battle with an army." (Red Pearls)
                        - Michael Moorcock

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                        • #13
                          The group was in a somber mood in the morning. They had debated their next move. Andrew decided that they needed to take action. There was no more time to spare in testing new theories or to run any more trials for the crawler vessels. They had moved the two vehicles into the North tunnel so they could have more room to run experiments. Dr. Laoch sent most of his team to help Ben Yaveene in Washington D.C. and to inform him of everything that has happened to the assembly. Only two of his scientists remained, Edward Kollinwort and Oscar Freemonte. They were both average looking men, five-foot-eight, one-hundred-sixty pounds with short black hair. Ed had brown eyes while Oscar had blue irises. They both wore black shoes,black slacks and a white smock with a black t-shirt beneath it.

                          Henry,Oscar and Edward had refined the special metal from the ore that Greg had brought them. They placed extra slivers of the metal inside of small ceramic containers,in case they needed it to operate the crawlers. A large cube of the bizarre material was placed in the new engines. It has special properties, it was shifting in and out of worldy existence and Henry had devised a way to control it, allowing them to use it not only power the vessel but to teleport the crawler to another plane of existence. They now only hoped that it would take them to the correct realm, the spirit world. Andrew,Richard and Linda tested all the electrical components in the conveyance while Sal and Pam prepared the precious camera and filming equipment. The exploration team had been selected. Andrew,Greg,Mark and Paul are to captain the first crawler.

                          Richard,Linda,Pam and Sal are to pilot the second. Everyone else is to stay behind to continue research and to remain in radio contact, if it was possible. Rob,Karen,April and Melinda were designated as the reserve team. Karen was in charge of the placement of four NASA space suits per vessel. Rob performed a systems check. April was told to oversee the base control room. Melinda was assigned to check all safety protocols. Once they all started to work together on their shared goal, their morale began to soar high. They all did an excelent job. Kate video recorded the event.

                          "Thanks to everyone for their contributions! When we embark on our quest we will discover a new and wonderous world! Keep in mind that the dreams only show a negative aspect to the dimension we are about to enter. For thousands of years mankind had rightly looked to the spirit realm as a place of hope and goodness. It may have changed due to a new threat that we as a species have never before faced. Now we are here to fight that threat in whatever form it takes! We are fortunate to have developed the technolgy for such a purpose. Perhaps an alien race secretly looks to our well-being and they have provided the shifting metal for us to find. Those who believe in a higher intelligence or a deity should focus their thoughts to the success of our mission. Those who are pure scientists we need you to think postive as well, for this may be a psychic combat as well as a physical one. These...monsters have made a conquest of spirits! Like any act of tyranny they must be stopped! They are common thieves, only they steal on a cosmic level! We will liberate the realm of souls and any other place where the yoke of oppression is present!"screamed Mr. Walder.

                          A tremendous elation erupted in the large tunnel. Everyone was shouting "Hurrah!" It soon quited down and the dimension voyagers assumed their positions on board the crawlers. Each team strapped themselves in their swivel chairs after activating the appropriate,switches,buttons and levers. They triggered the automatic switch for the twin doors and they shut firmly.

                          April,Henry,Oscar and Edward stood at a control bench and monitored the systems. Melinda, Karen and Rob stood off to the side near the fire equipment in case of emergency. They watched as the crystal crafts turned from blue to purple to black as they steamed and their plates fused together. Then something unprecedented occured. The crawlers turned red-hot, then white-hot and after a solid five minutes they turned a bright silver and suddenly vanished! Kate turned off the camera.

                          Two seconds later, an explosion erupted from the tunnel wall. Heavy slabs of concrete and stone flew through the air. The blast outright killed Rob and Karen. A squad of men wearing Kevlar vests and helmets had earlier tunneled their way to the cement bunker. Earlier they had drilled a hole into the barrier and placed a shaped charge of plastic explosives. When some of the dust cleared, an assault force of twenty men stormed into the chamber. They were armed with Heckler and Koch MP5 submachine guns. They fired without hesitation. They rushed forward and gunned down the surprised Melinda.

                          Dr. Laoch reached for a revolver, but Oscar quickly intercepted him. Henry looked up at Oscar and said,"Freemonte,you fool! You betrayed us! Why?"

                          Oscar was pointing his Ruger Mark III .22 caliber handgun at Henry. He said,"You do not know what you are dealing with. I never understood Walder's obsession with the dead. People's souls should not be tampered with. Unfortunately, Vask's team was too late to stop Andrew. We can;however,finish the third crawler."

                          Edward was beside Dr. Laoch and was in no position to help. He raised his ams in surrender.Edward said,"Please don't kill Henry, we can make a deal."

                          "Very well, I won't, as long as you do as I say." said Oscar.

                          Meanwhile, Kate and April took cover and grabbed two M-1 Carbine rifles. They fired rapidly at the invaders. The hit several men in the squad, but only killed three because their body armour saved the others.

                          "Tell them to throw down!" shouted Mr. Freemonte. "Quickly, before the team surrounds them!"

                          "April,Kate!, give up!, there are too many!" Dr. Laoch screamed.

                          Kate and April threw down their weapons and reluctantly stepped out from under their makeshift barricade. The armed men motioned to them to join the doctor,but did not shoot at them anymore.

                          They walked over and stood beside Henry and Edward. One of the men removed his helmet, it was Frank Sankelma. He ordered Kate,April,Ed and Henry to sit on the floor and they obeyed without complaint as they were wholly defeated.


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                          "With a deep, not-unhappy sigh, Elric prepared to do battle with an army." (Red Pearls)
                          - Michael Moorcock

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                          • #14
                            Danny and Brian had their arms tied to the bumper of the van. They had heard the underground explosion and set to cutting the bonds with a serrated knife that Brian was finally able to dig out of his shoe. They broke free and jumped out of the van. There was nobody around so they searched the front seat of the van. The keys were still in the ignition and to their surprise, the double-barreled sawed-off shotgun was still there on the seat. There was even a box of 12 gauge shells on the floor. Brian grabbed the shotgun and shells and Danny took the keys. They quickly set to work. Danny let the air out of the tires while Brian ran over to an Escalade and got into it. The keys for the Cadillac were in it as well. He started the vehicle and drove it down the road a hundred yards away from the crude tunnel entrance. He left it running and hurried back to Danny who was letting the air out of the tires of the Mack Truck. Brian looked in the trailer, it had all kinds of equipment that he could only guess to it's function. Danny got up into the truck and took it's keys then walked around in time to see Brian carrying a box of submachine guns.

                            "Jesus!" exclaimed Danny.

                            "Quick,get the other Cadillac."said Brian.

                            Danny ran over to the SUV, started it and drove it over to the trailer.

                            "What is all that crap in there?" asked Danny.

                            "I don't know, but there is a boatload of firearms in here. There is also a cell phone." said Brian, he walked over to the passenger side of the Cadillac and tossed in the box of weapons. "Here are the keys to my car back at the hotel." He dropped them into the box. "Don't let anyone see you and put them in my trunk. I will call the police, so you might have to pull off the road when you see them coming. Please wait for me at the casino when you get back to the city, you will be safe there. I am going to try to go down there and see if Richard and Lind are there. I'll bring them back if I find them."

                            "I should go down too, they are our friends!"shouted Danny.

                            "True, but they might show up back at the apartment so I want you to leave a not for them. We mightbe able to all meet back in Las Vegas if all goes well." said Brian.

                            "But, you are my friend too, you could get hurt or die." said Danny.

                            "Don't worry about me, I'll be alright. I will go down a different way if I can, but either way,they won't be looking for me to pop out of the tunnel." said Brian as he took another H&K from the truck and he slung it over his shoulder. He stuffed some ammunition into his pant's pockets.

                            "That's actually a good plan Bri, I'll do it." said Danny.

                            "Please go now, they could come up here at any time, I got the other Cadillac to use." said Brian.

                            "Alright, good luck." said Danny as he turned the Escalade around and drove away.

                            Brian ran around the perimeter and came across an elevator shaft, but it was locked and he could not force it. He then made his way over to the newly made tunnel. He slowly made his way deeper and deeper. By the time he reached the tunnel breach, he peeked inside to see seventeen uniformed men, and a single man with a white shirt, lead two women and two men into a stairway. The group
                            ascended the stairs,but there were also stairs leading down one more level. Brian waiting until they reache the level above,then entered the staircase himself and quickly went down. He saw it was stocked full of food and supplies. It had an iron door that could be shut swiftly and most of all it had an emergency exit. He went back up the stair to discover an area comprised of five large chambers. He heard the group talking inside room number nine.

                            "I'm telling you, it will take another week to finish the third crawler, you will not be able to catch up to them." said Dr, Laoch.

                            "Yes,but Mr. Walder could be in the realm for month!" countered Mr. Sankelma.

                            "True,we can build it for you,it will take at least five days and that is only because I know how to build the damn things now." said Henry.

                            Brian's thoughts were going in all directions,he had to act fast. It was obvious Richard and Linda were not in the room and Brian did not think they were among the dead. He did feel though that he had to help these people because they were the same ones who were after his friends.He had to duck out of the way suddenly because fourteen armed men came walking out of the chamber to head towards a large freight elevator. They got on the lift, activated it and rode upwards to the surface. "What incredible luck!" Brian thought. I will never complain about gambling losses again." The people in the room continued to talk.

                            "What we will do is, bring the third crawler from room ten to the surface. There, we can load it into your truck,Frank,one piece at a time." said Oscar.

                            "Can you contact Andrew from here?" asked Frank.

                            "No, your jerk!" you shot the damn radio!" said April defiantly.

                            "When my men finish unloading the trailer, they will begin to load all the parts and equipment needed to complete the vessel." said Frank.

                            Kate was thinking that she will sabotage the craft while building it. Then she said,"Ok, you got us, but how will we know if you will let us go after we finish the crawler?"

                            "Oh, I can give no guarantee. I can only say that you are caught and that we can beat you into submission if we have to." stated Frank as he smiled.

                            Edward stared hard at Oscar and said "You murdered our friends."

                            "Yes, and I'd do it again if it ment stopping a fanatic like Mr. Walder." said Oscar.

                            "Fanatic? You are the madmen here." said Henry.

                            Boom! Henry had crept silently up behind the two guards and let loose with one barrel, the shot crippled the two men as the projectiles slammed into their legs. Brian instantly pulled the second trigger and blasted the other two men hitting them both in the groin. They all screamed and writhed in agony. Brian switched to the submachine gun and blasted away at the men's faces, killing them.

                            Brian turned to the four collegues and said," I'm Richard and Linda's friend, hurry we will use the escape tunnel!"

                            "Thank You!" shouted April.Kate,Ed and Henry.

                            "You know of the tunnel?" asked Henry.

                            "Yes! Let's go, they will be back soon!" shouted Brian.




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                            "With a deep, not-unhappy sigh, Elric prepared to do battle with an army." (Red Pearls)
                            - Michael Moorcock

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                            • #15
                              Danny received a telephone call from Brian from inside his room at the Stardust. He was relieved to hear that Brian was safe and had indeed escaped. He was also happy that he had saved friends of Rich and Linda's. He was worried sick over where Linda and Richard might be now. Brian had said something about traveling to another realm which Danny didn't fully understand and wondered what his friends had gotten themselves into. Three hours earlier he had been driving on the desert road and had avoided the police. Law enforcement from other counties were converging on the bunker site. The police had sent a helicopter that identified the trailer truck.

                              Henry,Edward,Brian,Kate and April managed to get out through the escape tunnel. At the end of the tunnel were several vehicles. Andrew had hidden two military trucks,a 1940's Jeep, four motorcycles and a small airplane. The companions took the airplane,there was a dirt runway cleared in the rough desert. Edward is also a pilot as well as a scientist. They flew to the airport in North Las Vegas. From there, they hired a taxi to drive them downtown. Edward had brief business to conduct there and after five hours had passed, they boarded another cab to the Stardust and Brian was re-united with Danny. They would explain things to the police later, they decided to wait until the metro police caught up with them. They were not able to get to the crawler now, so all they could do now is hope and pray that the two teams are still alive and that they will save the planet. Brian made a mental note to tell the police that Vask was behind the destruction and death. They were helpless and felt useless so they sat down in a restaurant to eat what could very well be their last meal.


                              Mr. Vask was alone in his mansion awaiting word from his mercenaries. He received no such word.
                              What he did get, was a visit from a police detective and the accompanying SWAT Team.

                              Back at the bunker, the police swarmed the region and arrested Vask's hired men. They did not resist after they found out Sankelma was already dead.


                              -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

                              "With a deep, not-unhappy sigh, Elric prepared to do battle with an army." (Red Pearls)
                              - Michael Moorcock

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