Saturday, November 14, 2015

New Release!

There's a new release out! It's a scifi time travel romance called The Sojourner! it's on sale at Amazon for $2.99!

All her life Sara McGregor has felt adrift, searching for. . . something. Part of her past is shrouded in mystery, thanks to her enigmatic mother, long dead, and she's struggling to figure out what course her life should take. Dropping out of college and a string of failed relationships has trapped her into a holding pattern. There's got to be something more than her dead-end job, her current loser boyfriend and the pointless rat race of life. Something is missing. 

A strange astronomical event coupled with the power of a family heirloom blasts her into the future, far away from her world and from everyone she's ever known and loved. She accidentally lands on the ship of a handsome pirate captain. Viewed as an unwelcome stowaway at the least, a dangerous spy sent to harm the crew at the worst, the captain is convinced that she's been sent to assassinate someone very close to him. Sara's in over her head and must think fast to convince the captain she's innocent. Sara's game for the excitement but does she have what it takes to survive among a den of space pirates who don't trust her? Survival among them depends on the captain accepting her account of how she landed on his ship and discovering her identity. The answer lies in the mystery surrounding her secretive mother, an answer that may save her life and help her chart a new destiny.

Monday, July 27, 2015


Super Unknown

Andrew got up and went through his usual routine before he left to open the bookshop. It was just after five o'clock in the morning. He fixed a pot of coffee and sat down to drink and read the paper. The distinct patter of steady rain was soothing and was a refreshing relief from the heatwave. He got up and peeked through the kitchen window curtains, put there by his wife, long dead. They reminded him of her. They still carried the scent of rendered beef tallow. 
Andrew was surprised. Though he welcomed the coolness of the rain it was the dead of summer. It hardly ever rained at he end of July. He wondered at it just the same. Something about this sudden change felt strange. He was no adept but he learned to pay attention to the life behind things; to the things that others didn't notice.
"Hmm." He put down the paper and went to the fake mailbox in his backyard. Perhaps one of them had left a message before they left. Perhaps Trillion did. He couldn't take the risk of becoming lazy and not checking the box. He put on some slippers and a raincoat and made his way to the backyard to the mailbox hidden deep in the bushes, that he and Trillion used to pass on secret information to each other or others.

There was a letter there, and a sticky-note attached to the outside of the letter. The note read:

Andrew, please give this letter to Dan. It's urgent that he receive it for I don't know when I'll be back. I've discovered recently that I'm being followed - this doesn't surprise me, nor should it surprise you - and I have no wish to put you or the others in danger! It may be a very long time again before I contact you. Or maybe not at all. I really don't know what will happen now. The thing must take its course. And be mindful, your duty and position as Keeper of the Doorway is already upon you.

The letter read:

Things are going to become very dark, very soon, Dan. I fear that I will not always be there for you. Please use the techniques I taught you to train the other two on the team and protect Andrew. He's risked his life to help us meet safely. You are all travelers now and your abilities will be heightened. It will be a dangerous time for all of you. When you pass through, open, or close the doorways things change and matter rearranges itself and so will your body and mind. Pieces of you can be left on the other side and this can dangerous if those pieces of you are essential to your humanity. Be vigilant, stay awake. Not everyone who seems liekea friend is a friend. This last battle is going to be waged differently from the others the redshifters have fought against you.

Andrew sat down slowly and then read it again. He felt his hands shake. It reminded him of the discussions he'd had with T in the past. The heat had been turned all the way up, the stakes were high. His bookshop long ago was once a place where a wormhole had opened up, but it was a different sort of portal than those in the rest of the main network. Before this bookstore was built, other stores, such as several grocery marts, a small law office and a medical office had existed in the past in this spot, and each business had seen odd, unexplained things happen. So much so that until he'd arrived and opened the bookshop the spot had a reputation for being haunted. Andrew remembered those early days. The little bookshop had attracted a cult following in Portland for the strange activities that would happen while people were browsing. Books and other objects would suddenly levitate. It had helped keep him afloat for many years. He remembered when Trillion had started coming. A tall, mysterious character in dark gray who would hang out in the store all day, at times. Trillion the time-traveler. He had shown Andrew one night over some beers why these unexplained things happened and after that they'd struck up a friendship and an alliance as Andrew was slowly introduced to the threat looming over humanity and Earth. As for the old wormhole, Trillion had managed to fully close it and keep it hidden.

His world had been turned upside down after that meeting years ago.

Well, there's nothing for me to respond to by letter right now. He thought. Andrew felt nervousness rise in him. He had anticipated a day like this would come and T had prepared him for it well enough. The problem was, he was no brave hero. Would he be able to hold down the fort while the others were away and protect them when they came back? Could he truly be the Keeper and Watcher of the Doorway under his shop? The time had finally come to open the wormhole under the shop. Andrew fought valiantly to still his fear and shaking hands as these thoughts stained his mind. He sat on the couch gazing at the rain. The streets were slick, the sky dark, signaling an omen. He folded the letter and envelope and took the note and stuck it on an end table. He had a safe box here in the house and he had a safe box at the shop. He would hide the letter until Dan and the others came back. And he prayed that they would come back. Andrew finally rose from the couch and continued to get ready to open up the shop. And ten hours later, when he was alone and the shop closed, the portal.

. . .

Trillion managed to temporarily drop his shadower on the way to the shop yesterday but the shadow was back as he made his way towards the east side pier. He knew this day would come, when they would find him. He could easily evade humans. This one was like him. In fact, he sensed others working in tandem with his shadower. The invasion task force had been hunting rebels like him for years right after WWII, slowly sniffing them out and putting them each to the question. The last twenty years they had grown complacent, thinking they had handed the rebels a devastating blow. So many of his friends and compatriots before the 1970's had disappeared. He shivered to think of what may have happened to them. He shivered, thinking of her. He knew their deaths had been cruel. Their leaders brooked no dissention nor disagreement in any way on the Expansion. Now his time had come. He only hoped the letter would reach Dan and that Dan would be strong enough to be a stabilizing force for the little group. He also hoped that Andrew would be able to find his courage to help them.

He hoped that he had given them enough. Other groups he had founded and trained only to see them fail and disappear, cut down by the redshifters. But there were other blueshifters taking up the fight. In fact, the strength of the blueshifters the world over was growing, which was why the hanyar were stepping up their own attacks. But their complacency over the years would come at a price. This gave him hope.
Trillion felt the cool breeze of the Willamette River running off the waves as he hurried down the walk way on the pier. He would miss such precious little gifts this world had to offer. He could feel them surrounding him even thought he couldn't yet see them. He turned down  a corridor walkway that led under the bridge when they caught him, ambushed him.
"It's about time we found you, traitor," said a voice behind. Trillion stood still and remained silent. The time had come. He was prepared. 
Trillion remained silent.
"Not going to speak? You will, eventually. We'll find out all your little secrets. and what you've been doing all this time out here. Oh, she'll get you to talk before you die." Trillion felt a wave of sharp tension run through him and this sensation, too, he treasured for soon he would be robbed of all thought and emotion except pain and then death, but he remained silent as stone. He could see their shadows, blacker than black, pour of the fainter shadows under the bridge all around him as the cars rolled by above them. He could feel the invisible chain field closing around him, a giant fist. of energy that rendered him immobile and then crushed around him. 
Well, they've at least improved on technology. He thought with grim amusement. The first time they'd caught him years ago the energy chain wasn't strong enough to hold him and he'd broken free. He could try to run for it again but that would be foolish.
"Do it!" One of them said harshly to another and a wormhole was opened. The energy from it was frightening, the screaming winds sounded like sonic cleavers in his ears. Trillion shuttered to hear it. He felt the dreadful power from it, slowly sucking his cells inside. The hanyar were masters at taming and controlling wormholes, imperfect as their technology was. He still marveled at it. If only his people could have used it for good instead of for the Expansion, Seeding and Settling.
He feared the High Sentinel, but in time, she would come to fear him also. He smiled inwardly as he was transported through place and time, through light, pain and darkness.He was ready for them on the other side and they didn't even know it.

Whether he would survive this was another matter. No rebel caught ever had as far as he knew. But the work would carry one on Earth. He laughed as he wound through the wormhole, his physical body tearing apart;  blood, bone and flesh being stripped off from his hanyar form and disappearing into the singularity as he traveled back to his accursed home so far away.

Saturday, July 25, 2015


Dark Passage

Dan had called everyone to assemble them at Andrew's bookshop. Trillion was there as well. Dan had a daring plan. And yet, his teammates had been unearthing their own discoveries to be explored. Jack mentioned that he'd found where the red boxes the redshifters used to entice and control people were stored. Mary had found previous portals they had opened and used. They would make time to explore these things later. Right now they were on the warpath and this time they all felt stronger. Dan could feel it around him, the energy around them was fed by fear, excitement and determination. Trillion showed them a new small technique for controlling their powers by working together. It involved touch anddeep concentration while working. They had not quite gotten the hang of it but Trillion had promised that after his business he would be training all of them regularly to use their abilities to the full.
"The time is close, it is the darkest hour. I can feel it. Good luck to all of you," he said."I'll see you soon."
"Good luck to you too, Trillion, and thanks you for bringing us together," said Dan.
"Where are you going?" Asked Mary.
"There is a convening of rebels at a secret location. preparation for the war that is coming."
They watched with trepidation as their mentor and protector left. Dan felt a chill run up his spine. Things now rested upon his shoulders to lead them. 
They were going to one of the major portals opened by the redshifters. It was revealed to him by the old blueshifter who went by the name Leonard, who had since lost his abilites through some tough, pitched battles. He'd met with the old man several times to talk and learn secrets since his return to the waterfront. 
Leonard once had powerful abilities when he was young, a stout fighter against the redshifters and as a result he'd sustained massive injuries and lost much of his powers because of this. He'd had reconstructive surgery and even had his fingerprints removed. He'd moved from state to state, even livingout of the country for a while to hide from the redshifters after dealing them a terrible blow as a resistance fighter in WWII. According to Leonard they had engineered the second world war just as they had engineered the first one.
He'd gone into hiding and had remained in hiding for the past twenty years. Leonard told him to come and bring his team. he a gift for all of them. "A passing on of the baton, so to speak, son," he'd said. Though he no longer fought, he remained vigilant and close to the fight,  observing while hidden.
When they'd reached Taylor Street and Third Avenue downtown Dan led them to a very old brick apartment building. It was four stories high made of brick and stone. it was a vestige of Portlan'd early days. but it was also rundown and in serious need of repairs. In fact form the outside it contrasted so much with much fo the rest of the buildings on the street that it looekd condemned. The other two gave him doubtful looks as if they had thought he led them to the wrong place.
"This is it, guys. trust me," he said. It was  a lock-out with an old telephone style call box. Dan pushed the numbers: 101.
"Looks like it came rihgt out of a 19th century dunghole." murmurred Mary, wrinkling her nose.
"Come on,  guys. Don't tell me a creaky old building is going to scare you off." The answer box crackled and buzzed with static.
"Yes?" Came a voice. 
"It's Dan." After some seconds that felt like minutes they were buzzed inside. Dan knew that though they couldn't be seen, there were cameras stationed at the front doorstep. There was a watcher who knew everyone coming and going from the building and fed this information to Leonard when it was necessary for him to know. The hallway was dark, and smelled of caked grease, years of tobacco smoke, urine, mice and mold. It had the heavy dank scent  that had become part of the  archetecture of the building itself. It was doubtful it would  ever come out. Dan marveled that it still stood where it did. They followed Dan all the way down the long hallway. At the eastern end, the opposite side, there was a door leading to the basement of the building and to the other side seven steps down. Here, there was one apartment unit with a red door. On the door it said: 101.
"Mr. Bing, he calls himself," whispered Dan. They heard a small dog bark briefly behind the door as he knocked softly. Then it was quiet for some minutes. So quiet that the entire building seemed abandoned. As if to dispute his very thoughts, a door opened and shut, the floorboards of the second floor  creaked and whined as they heard someone make their way down the hall above them. Finally the door to unit 101 opened. There was an old man with a balding head, thick white tufts of hair bristling out on both sides, no mustache and a bit of a beard. Dan thought he looked rather comical without his plaid hat.
"Come in. I sense your friends are much like you, Dan. I no longer possess them but I can still sense it in others. Beneficent and malicious." He guided them inside and locked the door.
The apartment was very small, spare and rundown but swept clean and the air had a slight fresh pine smell. The living space and the kitchen were essentially one room. The walls were cracked as if disheveled in an earthquake. The furniture was clean but threadbare. The little dog, a black Scottish terrier, sniffed at Mary and Jack, ignoring Dan, and satisfied that neither of them were a danger to him or his master, went to his little basket and tufted down the blankets. After having finally arranging them how he wanted, he plopped down and promptly dozed off.
"You said you had something important to show us."
"Right," said the old man.
"Sit down and relax at the table, if you want. Want some tea?" He asked. 
"No coffee?"Asked Jack. mary frowned at Jack.
"Sorry, kid. Coffee gives me the jitters." They all shook their heads. 
"Then I'll be right back." The man disappeared from the living room towards a closet door. Mary sat down at the little wooden table first. One of the legs was held up by sevreal folded newspapers.  A daddy-long-legs skittered across the kitchen floor. She folded her hands together looking about the place. she carefully placed her hands on the table and closed ehr eyes. Jack leaned agianst the wall and Dan sat down across from Mary. He reached out his hand to her and then to Jack. They all touched hands as they had been taught by Trillion; tapping into each other's powers , and in Mary's case, fleeting thoughts and feelings. It seemed to Dan that they could almost reach that pinnacle of zen where everything was warm light and energy flowing from and through each of them, but they needed a lot of practice so that this particular technique, which could be extremely powerful, could go smoothly. They had to work hard to tap into the weakest level of ability in each of them. Dan was looking forward to those lessons from Trillion. The man finally came back with a large cloth sack and  carefully placeed it on the table.
"These here are what I told you about," He nodded to Dan. Then he looked steadily at the other two. 
"These are special obects found near wormholes or were attached in some way to wormholes. Some objects such as these actually come from other places in the universe and have made their way to this world through. The history of those weird and wonderful objects remains unexplained. I have none of those. Mine are more mundane. This is a secret world of collectors and practitioners of enhanced abilites. Those of us who know of the portals often hunt for and find these things to collect and in some instances, trade. In other instances, people are killed for them. It's a dangerous business to possess them. These objects can even give one who is not gifted with abilites, power. They have residual energy in them if you know how to wield them, know their history when it comes to energy fluctuaions. What I have is only a mere fraction of what's out there. If the wrong person gets ahold of them, it can spell trouble."
"Objects empowered by coming through or being attached to wormholes and the energy fluctuations surrounding them?" Said Mary in hushed tones. Leonard nodded.
" People kill for them. This is an obscure, cult-like group. To wield them is dangerous for it is Nature you are dealing with. As unpredictable and controllable as the weather. Use them carefully."
"What makes them special besides that?" Asked Jack  The man opened the bag and poured its contents out and spread them about.
"On their own, unless they are truly alien artifacts, some are, they're noting special at all. It could be a pen, a cellphone, a Swiss army knife, a toaster a doll or a keychain. Anything mundane, to be honest. The proximity to these special alien made wormholes where they have opened up doorways and have affected the surroundings is what makes them special and powerful. They are imbued with cosmic energy. Take this knife, for example. When I was young I had the ability to  levitate myself or other objects around me. If you know how to use that energy it can enhance your powers,  whatever they may be."
"What a find!" Exclaimed Jack. Dan found the very idea of alien-made artifacts finding their way to Earth's black markets tantalizing. he was sure Jack did too. Jack was staring intently at Leonard, his eyes glittering with surprise. The old man sat down.
"Of course, the most powerful among the adepts, human or alien, can use the touch of other living beings as a way of extending their own abilities but that takes some time to hone. I saw you guys at the begiinnings of it, just now. It's good to see young people carrying on this fight. I  was robbed of my powers," he said sadly. The little dog gruffed softly behind them and shifted around in his bed. His ears were laying back on his head, however.
"Sammi's telling us there's something afoot."
"I would think it's very useful to have a pet around. Sort of like a familiar but without magic," said Mary. The man nodded. He motioned toward the objects spread out on the table.
"Please, each of you take one and I'll show you the passageway to the wormhole hidden beneath this place." Jack  took the knife, Mary the keychain and Dan took the pen. 
"Are we ready to go?" Dan asked his teammates.
"Yes," they both replied. The man grunted in approval, went to his call box and punched a few numbers, then listened as it rang. The bell sounded mor elike a loud, drunk buzzing bee.
"Adepts are coming down the doorway, Jackson."
"Right," said a voice through the speaker. leonard turned to Dan.
"Once last thing. You may think that Shafer Point is where you should be looking, but the real prize is right underneath this building. Good luck to you."
Dan led his team down through the basement door where they found another old man, a black man, sitting in a chair by the wall. He nodded to them and they nodded back. Dan hadn't seen him here before. It seemed as if he'd appeared out of the woodwork. Dan could feel the danger boiling and cooking around him in the air, unseen but felt he was sure by the others too. He could taste its bitter tang and it excited him. This was a hidden place the redshifters had built and had once moved in and out of frequently.
"You're the ones?" He asked. Dan nodded. The man lifted an arm. The basement passageway was narrow and very dim and as it continued to slope downward. What lay beyond was the unknown. When the man lifted and pointed his arm toward the direction they should go, the passagway seemed to suddenly grow longer, stretching out into darkness.
"Down there lies the doorway," the man said gravely.
"And how do we get back?" Asked Jack.
"The same way you came," said the man.
"Thank you," said Dan "Come on, guys. We've got work to do."
. . .

They had reached the edge, a vast, swirling of energy where they could see shifting views of different places in space, as if they were looking into a moving window of the cosmos. Its beauty was terrifying. This was far bigger and more powerful than the one he had encountered in the railyard. They felt the boiling energy shifting the air currents and the fabric bits of time around them. An abyss into space. Dan turned and looked at them and held his object tightly in hand. The other two did the same.  And then they held hands and walked through the portal.

Saturday, July 18, 2015



He turned over in bed, pressing down into his blankets. His body felt as if it were ablaze, nerves endings sensitive to the touch. He couldn't figure out if he'd just awakened from a sex-fueled dream or if he were on some powerful drug. Jack turned and glanced through the window, squinting his eyes. The sky was overcast and air blowing through the bedroom window was cool for a change. It had been as hot as an oven for the past week and once his place got hot, it stayed hot. Jack now had a new roommate. It took him a while to get used to the soft gurgling sounds the creature made in its container. It was still so odd, as if he hadn't awakened from a disturbing dream yet. It bobbed up and down slowly, twitching briefly, gurgled and then went back to silence. It had only been here since last night. Jack waited, lying in bed and looking up at the wall, expecting any minute for the police to show up at his place. He could only guess the little shrimp-shaped creature was asleep. Heaving a sigh, Jack climbed out of bed and headed towards the bathroom and into the shower. The hot water calmed his nerves as it splashed onto his body. Tiny rivulets streamed down his hair, arms, back and legs, caressing him like gentle hands. He closed his eyes and took long, deep breaths, almost drinking the steamy air around him, then soaped up and washed down. In the next room he could hear the cell phone ringing. He turned off the water, climbed out of the shower and went to the bedroom to get dressed. As he walked passed the wall mirror, he noticed something. Several objects were levitating in the air. As soon as he'd noticed this they crashed to the ground. He felt a power go out of his body at this raw sensation. 
The gnawing sensation of nervousness and anxiety settled on him again. It was something that had seemed to grow within him in the past few days. A new ability or perhaps his own ability augmented by something? Stress? The change in circumstances? Well, he had that in spades. Jack toweled off and put on a t-shirt and some clean underwear. He listened out for the little fetus, glancing at it. It still seemed to be in a resting state. So he went into the kitchen and fixed breakfast and sat down at the tiny kitchen table and wolfed down his eggs, bacon and burnt toast. Just in time for his new house guest to wake up. Jack heard loud gurgling noises coming from his bedroom, signaling to him that the thing was doing more than turning around in its sleep. If it actually slept. he was hoping he'd get some important answers from it. He wondered if he should reveal its presence to the rest of the team. No. He'd wait on that. He wanted to find out for himself what the creature was really about. It was time for twenty questions. Jack entered the room and came and sat in front of the little terrarium-like case.
"So, do you eat anything?"
"Not in the way you do. And at least not now, in this form."
"So how do you maintain yourself?"
"So far, I'm able to exist on a self-contained and self-propagating system of my own matter and this flesh. When I eliminate my bowels and urine I refeed upon it. So far, it is sustainable, if not exactly appetizing."
"Wish I hadn't asked." Jack made a face. "So, what's your name?"
"Before I was imprisoned, I went by the name of Gage," the little fetus turned up to look at him with dark, sclera-less eyes. "Gage is my most recent name or alias."
"How old are you?"
"Old enough to have used more than one name and one lifetime. I've gone through several."
"Well. . . Gage, I've got to figure out what to do with  you. If you're gonna stay here you'll need to be useful."
"And what sort of work would I be doing?"
"Giving me answers as to why your people are here, what they've done in the past and perhaps what their future tactics will be."
"I'll do my best but I'll need protection."
"You've got it. Now, how long have you been part of this Expansion project, how is the enemy organized and how do I locate them?"
"You're working by yourself? Surely-"
"I'll ask the questions, Shrimpy. Let's start with when you first arrived on Earth." He was going to make this little monster prove its worth or it was going to the bottom of the Colombia Slough.
"I first came here on the Expansion mission as one of several waves of hanyar in the year 1918. It was four years after our so-called new era to be ushered in, when we were supposed to have triumphed over the human population by bringing in the ideas of nation-states and new economic ideas. Things were set in motion that caused the Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria and Hungary's assassination, he and his wife. The hanyar, my species, had engineered this war for so long, for so many years. There were so many things we put in motion, unbeknownst to humans, that led up to it. The culmination was the destruction of the old human order of monarchy. We were sure that if we influenced certain humans to overthrow a governing system that had created an imperfect stability for thousands of years of human rule world-wide they would destroy each other and go down into total ruin and then we could come in and take over quite easily. By the time 1918 came it was clear that the first plan had failed. All of that seeding of dangerous and destructive ideas, the giving of new technological progress and know how and influencing humans to use these new technologies in warfare, and secret politicking in the 19th century, lost. Even when the Romanov family had been assassinated, under hanyar influence, it was still lost. Though things had radically changed, humans were still here and obviously not going anywhere. What happened afterward was chaos but human society managed to patch itself together and kept going, limping along. And then we came WWII. That was partly the hanyar's doing and partly through events we unleashed that were not under our control. It became clear after WWI that many hanyar would die here in the quest of the Expansion. It would not be some easy takeover as we were led to believe by the leading lights of hanyar society. When I came it was to be a foot soldier for the cause of taking back Earth. But I was one of a few rebels who, once we had tasted our predecessors' way of life, we didn't want what we saw and experienced destroyed, nor the friends we'd made here."
"You've been here since 1918?"
"Tell me, when you first arrived here, I assume you had a duty or were assigned to do something, to work with - comrades - or something. Are they alive now?"
"Some of them."
"Do you know where they are?" The creature gurgled softly. Jack could only guess that this was in regards to it's being deep in thought.
"I'd left the Expansion behind and was in hiding for so long that I'd lost contact with most of the others. We stay hidden because we are deserters. They hunt us and kill us. I don't know much about my former fellow soldiers anymore. But. . . .the last I knew, one of our cell leaders had been assigned to another task and location. This was many years ago. Back in the 1930s. A location called Telon. We have our own certain names for important locations. Telon is one of the biggest gathering places where the hanyar work. It's in New Mexico. We have another in Chicago, I think, but I'd heard only scant gossip about that one. I don't know its name."
"What are they, exactly?"
"They are bases of operation. The one in New Mexico is in the Jemez mountains."
"Do you guys have a hidden place like this in a vault with a planetary symbol on it?" The creature just looked at him. He couldn't really tell as there was not much expression on its face.
"Vault? I don't know. I've never heard of such a place." Jack didn't know if this was true or a lie but he decided to move on, for now.
"Nevermind, then. Can I assume that your species also had a hand in the 1929 stock market crash and the following Depression?"
"We had a hand in that, yes."
"Telon. How would anyone be able to get inside this base?"
"It's been many years since I saw schematics on the place. There's a specific cave opening that you would use last time I saw it. from a faint memory I can remember this, most of the large bases are connected by one doorway. You would call it a wormhole. it is the most stable wormhole we've ever constructed. It's been in operation since 1918. it connects the large bases scattered around the world. It is highly secured and highly guarded and difficult to enter. I think one of the bases here is connected to it." Now this was information the team could use, if it were true or accurate. Who knew? The fetus might have been telling the truth but since it had been sundered from its contacts for decades, things could have radically changed. But, it was a start. He felt excitement rise in him. Jack sat back, appraising the little fetus with a cool gaze.
"You don't believe me," stated the fetus.
"I don't know yet." He had an idea. "Of all the places in the Pacific Northwest we could find and hit which ones should we go to? And which one is the important base connected to this massive, stable wormhole?"
"There are several small hideouts operating here but the one that I know of connected to the most important bases. it's where you found me. The little house on Ankeny street. Believe it or not. it's different from the others int hat things are stored there, very important things and information. Especially in the basement. There are. . .other places where we have opened doorways and because of stability issues closed those doorways and abandoned them. But they still leave traces that a wormhole was once there." Jack would hire someone to investigate this privately to see if this were true. The fetus gurgled urgently. 
"I realize that the few humans who know about us see us as the enemy. But not all of us are your enemies. Just like not all humans are your allies in this. Some have created a place for themselves in the establishment of the coming New World Order."
"New World Order?"
"Yes. Even in this prison I've seen and heard things no human is suppose to know about. Right before I was caught and imprisoned they set another lofty goal. A final war. I fear they have learned their mistakes and about human adaptability and ingenuity. They won't fail this time. There was a twenty-year time-table last I heard of this new project."
"Which means that it is even closer now. What project is this?"
"Project Destruction. It's a biological weapon. A disease designed to kill only human beings. The code name for this superbug is hyper-pneumonia."
"Lovely." Jack had to use all of his strength not to break his cool exterior. "What happened to your planet? Why come here and take this one?"
"Our planet is not like Earth. It is vast, frigid cold and full of violent storms. It's more like a failed star. It is beautiful. . . but not in the way that Earth is. Our planet is cruel and cold."
"It's a ringed planet." The creature gasped.
"How did you know?"
"That planetary sigil is emblazoned on certain things. I've seen it." There was silence for some minutes.
"Perceptive. We were once you, you know, but we changed ourselves to a type of being with minds, hearts and senses unable to taste, smell and experience the sensations humans have."
'If you've evolved beyond these earthly things why would it matter so much?"
"Because those long lost gifts were encoded within us. We dream them even though we cannot have them as we are. it's a form of torture." Jack thought on this, inclining his head at the fetus. What a pitiable existence. He wanted nothing more than to experience  life in the way he did. He wondered who or what process brought these people to this state. So many questions.
"You don't have to destroy us to get them back."
"I know this. But many of my kind don't see it that way." This creature was put in this awful prison of a half-formed body. And shoved into a creaky old room in a dusty old house. Why would it lie?
"Why didn't your enemies kill you?" It made a sound that was something of a sigh. rolls of air pockets and bubbles rippled through the fluid and bubbled up to the surface.
"I know something they still find valuable. However, they were planning to get rid of me sooner or later."
"Is there any way I can get you out of that state you're in?" The thing made a mournful sound that Jack could feel in his belly. Jack heard his phone ring in the other room.
"I don't know," it finally said.
"Look, help me save my kind, Shrimpy, and I'll do my damndest to help you."
"I thank you to the very bottom of my quantum soul and as I've said before, I want to help you. But actually, my name is Gage."

Sunday, July 12, 2015


An Extraordinary Discovery

It was sweltering out. Mary was glad to get a chance to get back to the bookstore. Though, now that she thought of it, it wasn't air-conditioned. Things were coming together. Mary felt her abilities growing and moving like an underwater current. She saw flashes of images, events. Some terrifying. She wasn't sure if they were visions of the future or alternate reality. She'd contacted Andrew to study the book. With all of this running and jumping around town, if they really wanted to do something worthwhile they needed to now what came before. A sage man in the 18th century recorded all that he saw and understood and thought on this secret phenomenon. She was excited to find out what they could glean.
. . .

She came in right when the store was getting ready to close. As she walked in the old fans were running and the ceiling fan was going as well. It made for a slightly cooler place than outside.
"Hey, Andrew!" She called. Andrew smiled as he rang up a customer's stack of old books. She'd noticed that many of them were of alien abduction. All of a piece, she thought. She hung out near the classic science fiction section near the back of the tiny store until closing time. Once Andrew closed the store and drew the shades down they got to work. 
"How are you holding up, Mary?"
"I'm okay. it might seem strange but I'm glad I went through that kidnapping. I keep having these dreams. That experience in that tank. It's almost like I was meant to see something in there." Andrew paused cocking his head to the side in curiosity.
"It awoke something the? You don't think they . . changed you without your knowing?"
"Who knows, Andrew? They may have done that to all of us. Actually, I'm sure they haven't. Not enough time. I was saved in the nick of time. Anyway, enough dreams and things. I know that book holds answers for us." Andrew led her down into the basement where he kept the book in a special box. He unlocked the box and they both lift it out. Andrew moved over to a small desk with a lamp and turned it on. Mary carefully set the old book down and flipped through it.
"I found that the dates between 1780 and 1783 and there are other important time periods the author lays at as well. but pay special attention to this time. I think you'll find something very interesting there. Those dates are where the most important discoveries and information, as far as I can tell, were recorded," said Andrew, pulling up a chair beside her. "Some in particular in regards to time and place."
"Time and place?"
"Oh yes," he said.
"Thanks." She carefully turned to the page in the journal dated 1780:

April 1, 1780, Tuesday. I  came upon a curious discovery so momentous that I nearly fainted in excitement and fear. While walking along in the park after I'd escorted Miss Davenshire and her friend Miss Blakely home and decided to go a different way home from the route I usually chose, I'd come upon something I could only describe as an anomaly, either Natural or Supernatural. I'd gone down a small dirt road through an abandoned old apple orchard on the Asbury grounds and walked through something that I could only describe as a displaced or removed point in the world. Removed from reality. An another world right next to my own. It happened that my eyes were upon a butterfly which alighted upon a buttercup and then flew on its circuitous path and in a second the insect had turned itself into a moth as it alighted upon another flower. I moved and bent down to pick this flower as the thing flew away and when I brought it to me and stood up, the flower's colors became far more brilliant and beautiful. I stepped one foot forward and it seemed the color of the world changed. It was dull, grayed, almost a different species, into one quite lovely. I began to notice that my own hands seem to shift in and out of focus and sight as if I were standing in a shifting place; a place that was not grounded in this world. my first thought was that I had passed through a fairy ring and perhaps that such things were not tales told to children or small folk but I was not certain of that idea. This seemed something different, and I saw no fairies.

The passages to these journal entries went on as the author explained in great detail the things he saw in this small pocket of shifted space. Mary was fascinated. Was this an alternate reality?
"I seem to remember reading once at a later entry date that the man had come upon another place just like that, some odd pocket where things just weren't placed in time correctly," said Andrew.
"What do you suppose it means?"
"I think it has to do with the aliens finding a doorway from their home in the universe to Earth through some type of wormhole technology. I think those pockets are places where the fabric of time and space has been opened where they've traveled through. And perhaps left behind."
"How long do you think they remain?"
"Well, according to the journal it can take years before they fade. And even then I don't think that they disappear without a trace."
"What makes you say that?"
"Haven't you've ever heard of certain places in the world where time seems to slow down or disappear altogether? I get the feeling people are talking about these wormhole "holes". Perhaps if the oddness or activity is stranger even more dangerous on one area-"
"The wormhole was either very powerful and stable and perhaps remained there for a long time before disappearing. Like places where people pass through or go over while traveling and simply disappear and are never heard from again?"
"Or maybe it works in reverse. Perhaps the more unstable the wormhole, the more unstable and fluctuating the place that was opened."
"Good thinking," said Andrew.
"I think. . .what if a signature is left behind even when it closes? Andrew! Think of that!"
"Read more," he said. "I'll put the pot on." He was just as excited as she was. Mary cringed inwardly a little when he mentioned coffee. Andrew's cofee wasn't exactly the finest around. It was terrible. It tasted like stale sludge water. But it also gave her a warm, comforting feeling. This old dusty, musty place made her feel at home. She would welcome a cup, even in this heat, bad as Andrew's coffee was. 
Mary continued looking through the journal entries between the dates he'd given her. She found a term used only by her and trillion in regards to the redshifters, here in the journal. The entry was marked with a note in red ink. March 9, 1783:

I met a man today who wasn't a man. What I mean to say is that he is one of The Others, the men who aren't men and come from another world. I know this about him because he told me and then demonstrated to me that he wasn't a human being. My first reaction was to think this creature was really a demonic presence, or perhaps one of the fair folk, as some call them, but his flesh and blood was enough to convince me that he wasn't of this stripe. I met him while strolling in the Vienna Wood and now that the pockets of strange time lapses and difference places are known to me and as I've come in contact with other unearthly things I cannot understand, things are coming together a bit. he told me he was a visitor from another world not one fo Supernatural kind but one from another world in our natural universe. I don't know if this put me at ease that I was not conversing with a devil - thought I still could not be sure - I found him fascinating and wanted to know more about him. . .

July 18th, 1783:

He has become a pleasant acquaintance. Mr. Flynn, he calls himself. I invited him in for tea this afternoon. We talked more of the place anomalies. They are scattered around the globe, according to him. Not all of them are properly operational, some are very dangerous. He talked of those of his people who try to come through and never make it here or never make it back to where they are from. These "doorways" collapse unexpectedly. We spoke of mysterious disappearances of humans. He said some of them can be attributed to these portals. And to what he calls The Expansion of his people, a race called hanyar, from a faraway world circling a distant star. he said that the machinery they used to create these doorways was not yet stable enough to hold them open for very long and that this race to come to Earth was a good thing for my kind. That they would have to stop and correct their errors and this would take prodigious amounts of time. Until then there was time for us to fight back or even stop their progress. I should think that if anyone knew or heard these odd conversations they should think us both mad. This was one of many conversations I'd had with him and I sensed he is given towards pity and graciousness and beneficence toward humankind, for which I am glad for. It sets so many theological questions afire in my mind, but not now on that. As for now I know for him that humankind is in an invisible, quiet war that has been going on for some time. At least a century he has said. Who knows if he has told me the truth but I think he should not lie. He said something extraordinary:

"This world is yours, not ours. It was once our world. You may be shocked to know this. We were once humans like you, but we evolved so far beyond the natural godly genetic and biological parameters set for us that we cannot experience life the way you any longer. Though there are advantages to our way of life as near quantum beings the early memory of what means to be human has never left us biologically. Yours is truly suprior to our way of life and existance. One of our people, The Reactionary, as that one is called, created a planet-wide stir in consciousness by suggesting, violently in many ways, that what we have become are abominations and that our only salvation is to go back to what we originally were. but they intend to destroy their cousins, humankind, to do this. In this arrogance of moving beyond nature and in wanting to go back, they have learned nothing. This, I believe, is our legacy for ourselves and our fate for we wanted it. We must live with it. So a few of us are here to disrupt their progress when we can, the few of us that survived the purge that destroyed those who did not go along with the Expansion. Take care of this blue word of yours and each other. You humans will be fighting a quiet war one day. There will come a time when they will try to take over humanity and this world again. You must wake up and defend what you have. Do not go our way. Progress is good to a point but one must understand what one is progressing toward, otherwise, is it progress? We were once you. we now want that gift back and would snatch it from you. So long ago it is that we underwent the change that it is beyond count. My people are planning a Great War, the one to end all wars; the one that we feel will end humanity. When all the nations of the earth come together for war against each other, know that hanyar are behind it, the great plan for the Expansion. The Great War will be the precursor to the Expansion."

"This man was calling predicting WWI centuries before it happened!" She said to herself in shock. "As devastating as it was, humanity had managed to survive it. So what now?" She read on:

"They will not stop until they have gained victory. Beware of strange worldwide events and worldwide disasters and constant conflicts and wars, for this is us behind them, engineering the downfall of the human societies." This, the man said to me. His demeanor was solemn, his face sad and drawn but my heart had never felt more terror. 

Mary looked up from the journal. After the Great War there were certainly countless conflicts and another world war and many awful smaller wars since then all over the world. The world was enmeshed in war like it had never been. But she didn't quite understand. Andrew had come back bringing a cup a coffee for her. She took it and pushed the journal away so as not to spill any coffee on it. Andrew took a sip.

"Andrew, what I don't understand is this. It says that the aliens are behind the World War I. But we survived that. What's the significance of WWI? We're still here," she said.
"But what are things like now? If you read the work of historians of that era you'll find that many of them agree that that war changed the whole world. Things were never the same after that. The Great War was an epoch-defining moment in human history, and not a positive one. The peace we had was forever destroyed. We've always had wars, yes, but not like that one. The whole world had gone mad. After humanity survived it, they set to work engineering disasters, wars, conflicts, creating diseases on an unimaginable scale in the 20th century. The redshifters are behind the scenes engineering our downfall in these things."
"Rather clever, if evil," Mary said quietly. "Which is why we must work quietly so that they don't know about us. If only we could find one of these pockets of time left behind in one of these doorways."
"What do you want to do?"
"I'm not sure but I have dreams and I feel that perhaps I could draw some knowledge or information about them from just being in such a place."
"Dreams of the future. Do you think it's part of your abilities, Mary?"
"Yes. They'are growing. I see things sometimes minutes before they happen, Andrew. I wonder if I could get a wealth of information from something they've left behind. .. " she set her cup down and touched the leather journal feeling the warmth in it in her hand. 
"How do you know you'll find anything?"
"I don't but we have to figure these things out as we go when Trillion isn't here. This journal, for instance. I wonder if I can find out who had this journal before you did and how did it end up in the garbage?" Andrew shrugged.
"I once thought of trying to find out but I'm afraid a redshifter will find out about it and come and sieze the book away. You never know who they are," he said.She gazed at the book.
"In your reading of the book, how many places did the author note have doorways. I want to find some these places?" Mary said.
"The original author of the journal was a native of England and he found two such places in England and he mentioned several other places told to him by the redshifter, outside Vienna I think being one. Call Trillion and let him know. He'll fund your visit if you wish to go and explore this."
"Would you come with me? I don't want to go by myself."
"Oh, I don't know. I couldn't leave the shop. Not that I get much business, but my first business is here in case the others on the team need this place," he said regretfully. Mary sighed.
"I think I'll have to go to at least one of these locations. If I can get any clue or see something, that will give the team a wealth of information we can use. Or that's my hope. Perhasp I'll be a seer," she said.
"The world needs seers. Always has. The problem is that they rarely listen to them," said Andrew.
"All we need are a few people to listen. If we can get that, and build up this team, we'll have a chance to defeat the hanyar before they wreak more havoc that can't be turned back," she said.
"The hanyar. First time I've heard that word said aloud in connection to The Others. Isn't it strange that they were us? We're fighting, in a way, our own kind. Sad, really. It's something humans have done since the dawn of time."

Wednesday, July 8, 2015


What Goes Around. . .

Dan was working on his third cup of coffee when he decided to make his next solo move. He would soon have to get the team together to work out plan to attack the next alien hotspot. He sat back in his chair. The radio was on and the announcer mentioned again that there was an unusual meteor shower happening this week and next week. unusual in that up until now it hadn't been detected by astronomers. it seemed to come out of nowhere. funny things was, these odd natural phenomena happened and people made a bog hoopla out of it for a few days and then went back to their daily lives and moved on to the next big story. Dan shook his head. he noted the meteor shower activity in a notepad app on his phone. Anything like that had a reason for happening.. Alien activity might be behind it. Who knew?
Dan turned off the radio when the news story ended, whistling to himself. It seemed these places were in low to no security locations, like the old building in the railyard. Or it appeared this way. A huge advantage for the team. He was studying his pin map of locations of possible alien activity, wondering if there was a pattern to discern that he couldn't see. This working alone had its disadvantages. Mary r perhaps Andrew might have discerned a pattern. What he did realize soon after was that there were several places they could destroy right here in the city. What weapons would they use? Bombs? Molotov cocktails? Jack was good at making those.  Semi-automatic weapons? Hell, he didn't even know where to get those. Jack would know. Dan himself had started the inferno that burned down the building he and Mary had been trapped in. But would such low-end tactics be enough? Would such things even be effective? Most would view such actions as terrorist activity, being that most people in society were unaware of the danger they were in. The aliens were hiding in plain sight. Making such obvious attacks would only land them in prison. The advantage he and his team had was also a disadvantage. They seemed to have rested on the fact that so far they hadn't come upon high security. After all, if you're hiding in plain sight, what need is there for high security? Such things would draw too much attention to your activities.
But then now that Dan and the others had been awakened, they could be easy targets, as of now.
He examined the little red pin where he'd stuck it in near a location at the waterfront. Tom McCall Waterfront Park. This place was a mile south of where he'd first been attacked by thugs, not as built up as the northern part of the waterfront. but ti did rest close by several small condominiums.he remembered the night well. He'd been tossed into the Willamette River and rescued by Trillion. That was when his powers first started to manifest. right after that life threatening experience. Trillion had once told him that that was how such abilities manifested. He felt them growing stronger though he wasn't sure how to truly use them to the full. But the darkness of a storm of destruction was coming. he didn't have time to train for long periods of time. It was only fitting that he would feel stronger. what to do with that strength was another matter. Could he even go back there without having a panic attack? To the place where he was nearly killed? His heart flailed within him at the thought. Dan would go. He was a different person and he had a mission. This particular place that he'd pinned down previously was close to where it had all started for him. Dan charged up his iPhone. He would need a decent working camera and recorder to see what he could see.
. . . 
It was late evening when he arrived, on a hot summer day. The breeze off the river came over him in small waves and made the walk comfortable. He was headed toward a place called Shafer Point, a small adjunct building near a newly built condominium called Shafer Point Heights. From his preliminary investigations coming here early in the morning and looking and asking around the waterfront he'd found out that there was going to be some sort of special function or event. Several people said that it was probably a Scientology event, others said it was a birthday bash for some corporate bigwig. An old man passing through walking his dog told him something that caught his attention.
"Some event for stargazers, I took it. Couple of days ago I saw a small banner outside the building here with a planet with large rings. The banner's gone now. I saw some folks coming and going with telescopes. Figured it was some gathering for amateur astronomers." The little dog sniffed around at Dan's ankles and having been satisfied with checking him out, started wagging his tail. Dan bent down to pet the dog.
"Have you seen anything strange going on around this area recently?" He asked the man. The man lifted a bushy eyebrow.
"Recently? Can't say recently, though there's been a lot of weird stuff that happened here some time ago and still does from time to time."
"Like what?"
"Well I don't live too far from here but sometimes at night I've seen strange lights at night flashing about, like its coming from underground. And sometimes strange vibrations where all the metal in the house or apartment in this area gets all stirred up and flies around the room. Some of the neighbors have talked about it but no one can seem to get the news folks to come out and take a look around."
"How long has this been going on?"
"For years, on and off. Most just stopped paying too much attention to it as it only happens rarely and briefly. Places around here get a lot of turnover."
"I would imagine so. So something weird this way comes," said Dan quietly.
"It's already here, son."
"Thanks," said Dan. "Thank you very much."
"No problem." Said the old man. The little dog gave a short, soft bark.
"Quiet, Sammi," hushed the old man. He took another look at Dan and smiled, nodding his head. "Well, I've got to get on so Sammi can do his business. "Say, you seem kinda familiar. Like my grandson or something." There seemed to Dan to be some kind of odd familiarity as well.
"I do?" The old man nodded. "Do you come around here often? To the waterfront? I'm investigating some odd phenomena and happenings and I'd like a neighbor's take on what's happening around here," said Dan. The man gave him an approving look.
"I come down by the waterfront to walk Sammi usually every Monday, around seven in the morning. I'll be going now. Take care around here, son. There's nasty folk about. Throwing folks off bridges and all sorts of other nonsense." Dan's heart pattered quickly as the old man walked away. The little dog turned and looked at Dan before  following the old man at his urging.
"Yeah, I know," said Dan quietly. A huge stroke of dumb luck had just fallen into his lap by meeting this old man. He'd learned more about the place than he ever thought he would. Dan watched the man and  his dog disappear down the street and around the corner, thinking that perhaps he'd met another blueshifter kindred spirit.
. . .

Late the next evening Dan came back to the waterfront,  a pair of binoculars in his hand, this time starting far up north near the very place he was attacked. Memories flooded back and he wondered if it was a wise idea but Trillion had said that pain and fear can be used to draw strength. Even remembering that sharp crash into the cold waters below, he felt calm tonight.  The blue-brown waters of the Willamette lapped up the sides of the pier and its long thin currents made brisk turns down stream. It was hot and the sky bathed in burnished brilliance, unlike that fateful might which was cold and dark. If he were able to get inside and just pretend to be part of the scene that would be great. He imagined himself ruefully as an investigative journalist here. He hoped he'd get out alive. After about twenty minutes he came upon the small building near the condominium complex. A water fountain stood beside it with small kids and dogs running and skipping through its rising and falling streams of water. Some feet ahead behind a gazebo, he saw people gathered and talking. Nothing seemed out of the ordinary to the naked eye but as he approached he felt the tang of redshift essence. Whatever was that was going on, it had something to do with alien activity.
From the outside it really did look like a stargazing party. a small banner hung outside the door. it said: The Metro stargazing Club. There were telescopes everywhere. There was an unusual meteor shower happening this week, Dan noted. Lots of people were fascinated with it. How much that would shake them up out of their slumber, he didn't know. He walked right in among them, smiling as if he belonged with his binocs hanging from his neck. It seemed a rather informal affair. Dan had managed to make himself look like part of this crowd. he made his way inside. Inside people were milling about in small groups and on the tables just outside were brochures and  flyers. Dan picked one up: The Metro Stargazing Club invites the community for a momentous, once-in-a-lifetime event! The Delphid meteor shower is happening! Come and watch an celebrate with us! said the flyer. The brochure had a similar announcement and more information about the club.  Interesting, he thought. Interesting way to get people sucked in. I wonder what happens after they join? Was it an astronomical event that coincided with the Expansion?
He walked around, gazing and taking in everything he could, even enjoyed some of the finger foods. The place seemed rather spare besides a few tables and chairs and equipment. Suddenly someone took to the stage and knocked on a wireless microphone.
"Excuse me. ladies and gentlemen, thanks for coming! This is our fifth celebration of the stars. Enjoy the food and drink before we get underway to observe the celestial phenomenon of the Delphid meteor shower. No. . ." as the man went on, Dan went over to a young woman wearing glasses standing by a sandwich tray. he took up a small glass of bubbly and downed it.
"Excise me, are you a member?" He asked, trying to be casual.
"Oh, yes," she said, smiling. She seemed innocent enough. He detected nothing sinister about her though she seemed a little vacant, which might have been why she was here. Minions came in all types.
"How many of these clubs are around the country?"
"Excuse me? I don't understand?"
"Are there more clubs like this one under this name in other states, or just one?" By her expression Dan immediately knew he'd asked a wrong question, or had given off some strange vibe to her.
"You're not a member?" Dan shook his head slowly, watching her face. Her smile faded a bit and her eyes grew wider as if in alert but she remained cordial enough.
"Does one have to be a member to attend this event? I mean, it seemed open tot he public," he said putting a tad bit of accusation in his voice.
"Well, we do have several around the country, on the Pacific Northwest. It's actually for members but there's no. . ah, rule, in outsiders attending," she said slyly. Outsiders? Well!  She went on and Dan didn't like her sudden slyness at all.
"Perhaps you'd like to meet-"
"No, that's fine, actually. I'm from The Rose City Astronomy Club, you see. Just checking it out. We're actually having our own stargazing event for the Delphis Thursday, it's all so exciting!" He lied. She laughed, a sound silvery and fake. He sauntered away but could feel her watching him. This function felt more like a cult to him. He managed to get some information, though. There were possibly more  of these cells operating around, mainly in the Pacific Northwest,  if she told the truth. Fiddling around with his binocs he saw from the corner of his eye that someone was shadowing him as he moved through the crowds. Dan could feel the emotion emanating from the crowd that these were willing minions, in full and complete control over themselves as of now. Minions were supporters of the aliens and there were different levels or kinds within this group of human redshifters. Dan had taken to calling them base-level minions, who had not had their minds taken over - yet. His suspicion was that these kinds of minions did not see or know the real level of danger involved in what they were supporting. They were shown somethings, probably only what the aliens wanted them to see, Dan suspected, but not the real plan, He feared that one day these people would have to have their minds erased and they would cease to be human. Aliens would them take them over. A place like this was a sort of preparation for the expansion, getting them ready for those would take over their bodies. It reminded him of an old film he saw years ago with his dad called Invasion of the Body Snatchers. Only now he was seeing it unfold before him in real life. 
Dan looked around the room and in the back was a doorway hidden behind a curtain. Moving his way toward that door as nonchalantly as he could, he slipped down the hall through the doorway towards another open room.
 In the middle of this room were a bunch of old telescopes, likely there to give the appearance of amateur star-watchers gathering here. Dan could feel a power, a dreadful power somewhere beneath the place. There must be a wormhole or doorway here or some other power source they were using, hidden beneath this building. Perhaps taking over the whole block near the waterfront. He marveled at how utterly banal this place seemed. They were hiding right in plain sight. Dan put a hand along the wall, feeling a slight warmth. He felt a buzzing sensation that he was sure no one else could detect. His senses were growing more powerful. Yes, the old man was right. There was something here, hidden far beneath the ground and they had a way to it, some doorway. If only he had more time. He heard footsteps coming. Dan went to one of the telescopes and pretended to be adjusting it. Upon doing that, just under the mass of standing telescopes he say a faint flurry of lights flash on and off between a thin crack in separation in the tiles in the floor. He bent down to stare and examine it. Again the flash of lights came, blue, green, white, yellow. The floor seemed smooth and seamless but he saw a circular pattern of mosaics, nothing special, but this pattern of mosaics set in the center of the room was different from the rest of the floor, which was plain white tiles. Dan decided that either it opened up or one could probably fall in beneath deeper underground like a lift. But he knew his preliminary investigation was coming an end. Into the room came two people
"Excuse me. Can I help you?" Said a small, wiry, venal looking man with large rimmed glasses.
"Oh I was just noticing your vintage telescopes here-"
'We use them for elementary school class groups that come to study," he interrupted briskly. he looked Dan up and down."You don't belong here."
"What do you mean? I thought this event was for amateur astronomers?" Said Dan feigning an indignant expression. 
"I would have seen you here before if that were the case."
"Hey, look, i just saw the flyers outside and thought I'd come and celebrate with you guys."
"Which doesn't explain why you're snooping around in back rooms." The man turned to the larger, bruising looking man that Dan thought he'd recognized.
"Please see him out," the little man snapped and he turned abruptly and left. The other one cracked his knuckles.
"Look, I was just-"
"Shut up! How did you get in here?"
"The doors were open. Like I said, I thought everyone in the community was invited," Dan said. He felt fear and something else, an adrenaline rush that gave him boldness. Something seemed to erupt in him. Remembering Trillion's words on using his powers of telekinesis. He stared intensely into the man's eyes as he came forward to grab him and when the man was only a foot away, he stopped as if he had been shoved away physically. Dan remembered him. Red Rag.
"You don't remember me, do you?" Dan asked. The man shook his head as if confused.
"Remember what?"
"You and your friends threw me into the river. I remember you. Dan recalled vividly the night and as he stared hard into the man's eyes, the man grew fearful.
"Yes, now you remember, don't you?" Dan said. Dan recalled the pain, the abject terror and then the blue light from the bottom of the river coming up to envelope him, and then blackness. When he'd come out of his grim reverie Red Rag was on his knees, whimpering. Dan stepped back, afraid and confused for a moment. Realization washed over him. He had made the man see and experience through his own memories what he'd been through. He wondered how these abilities would eventually morph and grow. Whether they would eventually engulf him.
"I can't see, I can't see!" the man cried, groping in his own perceived darkness. His eyes were completely black, even the irises polluted with black. Dan hurried from the room, leaving Red Rag stumbling and crawling on the ground. Dan saw that the crowd had gathered closer around the man on the podium. He hurried from the building, making as much distance as he could from the place. He felt the vicious looking little man's eyes following him. Dan felt afraid but he also felt a renewed sense of vigor and power. He could fight back without even using a weapon. His weapon was his mind. He needed far more training but what started out as a sickness from what would have been a murder was something that made him stronger.
He'd have to call the team so they could share information. he hoped he'd meet the old man again. get more information from him. This place was sitting on top of a minor alien stronghold. It was time to figure out how to get rid of it.

Sunday, June 28, 2015


Breaking And Entering

Jack spent half the next day in an old coffee house across the street from the little curiosity shop, sipping coffee and leisurely reading various newspapers. He'd positioned himself on a worn leather armchair. he had a perfect view of the curiosity shop across the street. He had arrived at six o'clock in the morning and like half the patrons in the coffee house stayed nearly all day, nursing coffee and pastry. All day he watched the shop. No one had come or gone from it at all. Not even the owner. Jack recalled his first encounter with the man. he was friendly enough. Talked on and on about his shop. Jack hadn't detected any red aura about him but something was off. He just couldn't put his finger on it. Something had to be here. Something hidden.
Angela had gotten that strange gift for Frankie from here. The red boxes had come from here. Things the aliens used to lure and trap humans. From the brief info Frankie had decided to tell him about his ex-girlfriend, it seemed Frankie himself was struggling with not being compromised.
Frankie was scared. Jack had never seen his old friend like this. He knew for a certainty that he had to investigate the place again. Jack had a long and colorful history of theft and breaking and entering when he was a teenager. But this time it was for a good cause.
When the coffee shop closed he went to his rental car parked across the street about a block down from the shop. He hated spending the money for it but it wouldn't do to perform a stakeout on a motorbike. Jack got in the car with a last cup of coffee in a paper cup, setting it on the dash, with a small panini, and settled down for a long night. As the sun went down and the color of the neighborhood quieted down and faint street lamps came on he remained focused on the curio shop. Just like in the morning and afternoon, it seemed dead. He saw no one come into or leave the shop at all. How does the man stay in business? He wondered, eating his sandwich. Nevermind, dude. There's more than meets the eye going on in there. He recalled the store owner. Strange little man.
The perfect time finally came around eight o'clock in the evening.came. Jack had fallen asleep sometime at dusk. He woke with a start, it was dark. A few streetlamps and porch lights down the street were on but it wasn't so bright that he felt uncomfortable. He froze. There was the movement of a shadow in the window of the old Victorian house. As luck would have it, someone was finally coming out of the house. Jack tossed the empty coffee cup on the floor and lay down on the passenger seat, then peered over the dashboard again. The man looked around quickly, then he turned and locked the door. He was carrying a large bag strapped on his arm as he walked down the steps and disappeared into the garage. A few minutes later a car backed out of the driveway, its headlights briefly illuminating Jack's car. Jack bowed down low so as not to be seen as the car drove past and down the street. He watched in his left side-door mirror until the tail lights had disappeared into the nightscape. Time to rock and roll. Watched the house with hungry curiosity. What are you hiding in there? He watched for any other movement near the front of the shabby Victorian house. No shifting shadows or shapes to suggest that there was anyone else left.
Jack walked up the stairs and slipped a tension wrench into the lock, turned and worked it until he felt a little give by turning it counter-clockwise. he slipped the pick inside the upper part of the keyhole.
He heard voices of people walking home from dinner from a restaurant around the corner. He ducked down and moved to the left of the porch to hide himself until they passed. A car rumbled down the street. When things quieted down he tried again After a few seconds he was in. It was an old and rather easy lock. There was no gate and Jack was relieved for that.  He quickly slipped inside and closed the door.
It was dim inside, the back of the main store room  in shadow. The windows were wide open. but as most of the other houses and businesses on the block were empty this didn't trouble him. Jack took his time listening out for anyone and anything,  his eyes slowly sweeping the entire room. There were the usual curiosities and knick-knack items he saw the first time. Some quite glorious in their strangeness. Some rather macabre. But what was he looking for? The smell of incense was intoxicating and it was a different scent from what he picked up the last time he came. A very heavy scent. Almost. . .drug-like in its sensuous, rich overtones. Jack hoped it wasn't really a drug. He couldn't afford to lose his sense of urgency. He didn't feel his senses becoming fatigued or dull but certain drugs could work insidiously.
He wandered through the store looking for anything that might suggest something alien. This would be difficult. Curiosity shops by nature had many alien-like things in them. He passed by the old cast iron cages full of stuffed taxidermy creatures or terrariums full of odd looking plants and other odd things Jack wasn't sure of. The wind-up antique dolls were in their display case,except tonight they were still and silent, staring out at him with those creepy innocent looking faces. He remembered the flowers and plants of the colors he couldn't describe. These had fascinated him to no end. What if these things are like material from another place in the universe. Who ever heard of colors they couldn't describe? But he forced himself away from these. That woman Angela seemed to have a connection to this place. She was either one of The Others or working for them. He thought he heard something from the back of the display and shop room. He followed where he thought he'd heard it. At the back of the front room was a door. Jack slowly turned the knob. It was locked though with an old fashioned lock and keyhole. A sudden blast of car headlights sped through the room making him turn around and freeze. It was a large truck rumbling by down the street. He  listened out for any other noises. Hanging on the wall beside the door was a golden chain were two keys. He took up the chain and tried both keys. The second key, a long skeleton key unlocked he door. it let out a creaky sigh. Jack looked around. This room felt very warm and something about it disturbed him greatly. Which meant there was something in here that he needed to see. There were bookcases with glass cases filled with all sorts of liquids, even the requisite fetuses, animal and human. There were other objects too, strange looking metal boxes, armor, swords and many wooden boxes.
He heard the sound again. It was coming from behind. It was like a slight gurgling sound. He turned to see one of the fetuses moving around. Horrified and fascinated he edged over to the creature. The fetus was inside a hermetically sealed glass case filled with a reddish fluid. The case itself was lodged inside a wrought iron carrier.  It opened its eyes, or what passed for eyes. It spoke.
"Who are you?" Jack was taken aback but he'd seen enough strange things that he would find a way to take it in stride. After all, what had he come here for anyway?
"What are you?" Jack retorted..
"A prisoner," it lamented. Jack carefully stepped forward carefully to examine it. Inside its case was some kind of contraption that looked like a large glass tube by its mouth that served as a mouth piece. At the top of the case this tube flared out like a horn. it spoke through its little horn contraption again.
"Please, help me escape!" 
"But who are you? What are you? Really?" jack was wondering if someone had entered the house again while he was busy having a conversation with a fetus.
"I exist halfway between time and space. I must remain inside this glass case or I will no longer exist nor can I hang onto this world or dimension. I do not actually look like a human fetus in real life. This body only a shell or a place-holder I use to exist here."
"But I don't understand. Why a fetus?"
"I was punished for suspected crimes against my people."
"Crimes? And you think I'll help you?"
"Suspected crimes," it emphasized. "The suspected crime of helping humans captured by my people and killed. They have no true proof against me so this is how they punish me - they put me in the form of a completely helpless human being. a fetus."
"Your people have a real macabre sense of humor," said Jack.
"This is my punishment. To see but not to act or interfere with The Expansion. Not to sense, taste, touch or truly live, here or anywhere. My prison."
"How long have you been in there?"
"We've been here a very long time. Many, many years. Longer than you know. I don't need help out of the case, you can't do that anyway but take me with you. even if i die, I don;t want to stay here anymore," wailed the fetus.
"Look, calm down! I'll take you but quiet down. I'm not supposed to be in here. But first I want to know more about this place."
"What do you want to know?"
"What is this place hiding? What's here? i can't believe I'm talking to a fetus-"
"You're not talking to a fetus."
"Right. Are there any red boxes sold here in this shop? The owner told me no, but I think he was lying. Little red boxes that hold a way for aliens to get into here? if you are what you say you are, you'll know what I'm talking about." Jack demanded. The creature was silent for a moment.
"red boxes," it said. The fetus then twirled in its fluid for a bit then turned to look at him, its monstrous little body crawling up the glass wall of its prison.
"I've seen the little red boxes. He keeps them in the shop under the floorboards under a dingy, threadbare Persian rug. It's in the corner there by that totem." Sure enough, in a dark corner there as a tall wooden totem pole of a turtle ,a whale and a crow.
"Over there?"
"Yes. Why? Those things are deadly."
"I know. And how much do they cost?" The little thing gurgled. It sounded like laughter.
"You don't want one, do you? Oh, no-"
"Tell me! I don't have much time, kid, er, whatever!"
"Those aren't sold. Those are given to people who wish for some kind of suffering to end, some kind of problem they can't handle to go away. The price is their life. They are taken over by the Quantumin once they do open that box ad use it."
"The best word I can use to describe my people."
"Is the owner of this place an alien?"
"No. He's a servant. A worker for them. There are different levels of these humans who willingly or unwillingly work for the Expansion. He's a willing one as far as I've seen." Okay, so he's a minion.
"I need more information before he comes back.-" the house shook and all the lights blinked on and off for a split second.
"That's happened before here," said Jack more to himself. "What else is here? Something's hidden here, isn't it? A wormhole? Tell me!" he demanded.
"I know many things. If you want more information Please, get me out of here. I can tell you all you want to know. I promise!" It pleaded. Jack grabbed the case by its top iron handle.
"This house is a conduit for entrances for my people where they can travel through and see into this world. Albeit a small one. I've seen things. Glimpses of where other conduits are." Jack could see the soft red halo pulsing off of the creature even in its fluid. And he was tempted to take it and chuck it down a dumpster or against the wall here. But for a brief second its halo changed from red to a violet color to blue, and then red again. It gulped and gurgled, looking up at him through reddish fluid.  Jack's heart started to race. Would this be a good idea or the worse idea in the history of the world? Suddenly, he heard the front door opening.
"He's come again! You don't know the awful things he allows here! Get me out of here!" The thing whispered frantically. Jack no longer had time to think. He hid behind one of the large bookcases waiting for some one to walk in. But the owner didn't come into this room. Jack waited for what seemed forever, the room hot and stuffy to the point of suffocation. He heard the shop owner whistling and pacing slowly to the back of the house and then he heard a door open and shut and he heard footsteps going downstairs. Jack then tip-toed from the room, the floor creaking more than he was comfortable with. Closing the door as quietly as he could, he then raced from the house and into his car. Throwing the case into the passenger's seat he started the car and sped away just in time to see the owner of the shop struggling with his cane to come out on to the porch with a distraught and aghast look on his face as he watched Jack speed  away into the night.