Time of Isolation, Chapter 10 Part 1

The Harsh Lands is available as a paperback (ISBN: 978-1-946179-00-5), for Kindle (ASIN: B01N69YCCW), or in the EPub format (ISBN: 978-1-946179-02-9). This novel is the complete Survival trilogy in a single book with a length of over 1150 pages.

Two weeks ago we left Saige and Shellian unable to sleep. So much has happened, so much tragedy, so much death and destruction. Even with the discovery of this abandoned facility, and its apparent condition, plus the fact that they feel safe, the differences are enough to leave them uncomfortable. Strange sounds, different air, and while it’s nice to have a real bed, even this is enough to make it difficult to sleep.

It is a surprise, and an unexpected discovery to have found such a facility hidden deep inside the Sacred Mountains – an area off limits to all except the priests, but to be abandoned and in perfect working order only adds to this puzzle. Saige is restless from his many aches and pains and leaves the meeting room leaving Shellian alone. Slowly her fatigue becomes overwhelming and she too leaves heading back to the dorm and her bed leaving the room empty and silent once more. And with this we close out chapter 9. (The Survival Trilogy: Time of Isolation, Desperate to Survive, and A Taste of History Past, and now The Harsh Lands (Also available as a paperback) are available from your favorite EBook retailer). And now on to Part One of Chapter Ten:

The next several days they explored the facility finding many important areas including the nursery, learning center, hydroponics, and security. With the location of the nursery and learning center found, just down from the apartments, this confirmed that there had been children of different ages here. This only deepened the mystery as to why the abandonment. With families now confirmed, and from personal experience of what lay outside of this facility in these mountains, why place themselves in this environment and the hardships that existed? Something really terrible must have happened . . . yet . . . yet there was nothing to indicate a problem or disaster – nothing at all. The discovery of the security office excited them all. Since there they would be able to find information on the facility. But the greatest find within the unit was the monitors. Once again they still functioned and through the rotating images they got a view of the whole facility. And then to their surprise, each of the caves along the pathway came into view. So somehow even these were under constant surveillance. It took about half a day for them to figure out the basic system, although manipulating those images was well beyond them. And now armed with maps of the facility and images generated by the security system they began to get a real feel for the layout. Surprising to them was the similarity to the layout of their city. But all could easily be racked up as coincidence. It was decided that one of them would stay in the security office and monitor the rest as they worked their way around. Again like before they worked in teams of two. Then by accident they found that there was two-way communications with the security section and anywhere they were within the facility.

That got them to wondering if it was the same throughout the network of caves that had been located. There apparently were thirty of these caves, allowing these people to travel far down the mountainsides in just about any direction. By having the caves monitored these people would know if it was safe, which led them to believe that like the facility, that there had to be voice communications within the caves. After all it made sense so that if there was danger detected, then the travelers could be warned. Of course it could also be that the travelers carried some type of device that allowed them to communicate, but if it was anything like they had presently it would have been short ranged. Not allowing for the great distances and line of sight problems that they had to deal with.

On this day Saar drew duty in the security office while the two women worked their way through the school to see if they could find out what was being taught there and to compare it to what they had learned in their own educational system. Nothing had been located as of yet to identify the people who had built this place. And while the clues stacking up still pointed to their own ancestors, they had no proof. The two men were working the large cavern where they had first entered. Since that time they had located three other entrances or exits from this hidden facility, but still used the one Saige had found when he first left. “Everyone!” Saar stated. “I need you all to report back to the security office now. Something is developing and we need to be together on this.”

The two women looked at each other and Shellian asked as she looked up into the area where the camera was located. “What’s going on Saar?” But he just repeated that they needed to come to him directly.

Hearing the request as it echoed in the large cavern, it took a moment before they understood what had been asked. They stopped immediately and at a fast pace headed back. In a short time they had joined the other three there since the two men had the furthest distance to travel. They saw the others looking at a couple of the screens intently and began to ask what they were looking at when a movement caught their eyes. “What the heck is that?” Saige asked.

Saar not taking his eyes off the screen said. “This is the view in the area of the third cave. And I do believe that what we are seeing here is Sorrel.”

“Sorrel?” Stone asked. “What the heck is she doing out there, and from what I can see alone?”

“How can you tell doc? The image is still distant from the camera location. I can tell that whoever it is that this person is definitely female, and pregnant – quite pregnant, but other than that I don’t recognize her.” Saige said.

“Give it a couple and I think you will. Being that I am the doctor for this group I’ve become pretty familiar with all of you.”

Laughing and lightening the moment, Saige asked. “How do you mean that doc?” This immediately brought a chuckle out of the rest while Saar’s face reddened a little.

“Now hold on there! You know what I mean.”

Patting his shoulder Saige said. “You’re the one who said it not me.” Then pausing briefly he continued. “Yes we do know what you meant, but it was the way you said it that made me think that way. Anyway I’ll take your word for it. I know that from a distance I can recognize Shellian from the way she walks and her movements, and I know it is the same for her since we have worked and trained together for most of our lives. It can mean the difference between living and dying. So I trust your judgment. If this person keeps on heading in her current direction then she’ll be very close to the camera shortly and we’ll have it confirmed. Have you seen anybody else out there, or any who may be following her. You know something to lure us out in a trap of some kind?”

“No. Once I saw her I began looking at the other cameras that are behind or in the direction we originally came from. And then looked ahead just in case they would be ahead of her, but she appears to be quite alone.”

They all watched fascinated with the image as it approached the camera’s location. Shaking her head Shellian said. “She looks like hell. I wonder what happened.” Then pointing at the screen she said. “Look how dirty she appears, and the clothing looks damaged.” Then Sorrel passed the camera’s location close to the cave. There she stopped and looked desperately around. They could tell from both her body language and her haggard look that she was near to the end of her endurance, and that she had lost all hope. Then Shellian asked, “What has happened back there? I mean this woman we are watching is in her early third-third, and yet she is risking everything to be away from shelter. With the amount of snow on the ground and the way she is dressed she has to be cold, and she’ll find no sign of us either. I’m surprised that she’s gotten this far. So what do we do about it, and is this some kind of trap? I know Saar, you’ve been making sure that it isn’t, but that doesn’t keep me from worrying about it.”

“Look”, Saige said, “if she continues as she is, she will almost naturally be heading in the right direction for the next cave. It doesn’t look like she’s carrying a pack or anything extra. This looks like a decision that she made quickly, and did not have time to prepare.”

“You’re right.” Stone answered. “And that’s not a good thing. I mean when one has the equipment with them to make such a journey and not be carrying then it’s not too much of an issue. But here with this she is in very real danger. Not only to herself but also to that child she is carrying. I say let’s go get her before she gets into any more serious trouble.” Looking around he could only see agreement on the rest.

Saige seeing the response of the others said, “Okay, I have to agree and I can tell the rest of you feel much the same way. Shell, you come with me and we will go and meet her. I would like the three of you to continue to monitor the situation from here. Run it in shifts. I know at this time we have yet to figure out the voice communications for the caves, but keep working on that. There has to be something here that allows it. After all whoever built this place has the devices all over the facility and also visuals. And since we have visuals at all the caves it is only reasonable to assume that there is voice also.” Then turning to Shellian he asked. “Shell’, shall we go?” And then turning back to the Saar he said. “Yes I know you being the doctor would love to be one of the ones to go. But if this turns out to be a trap we cannot afford to lose you. Just be prepared to take care of her if it isn’t.” Then looking one last time at the screen he shook his head and said. “She really does look like hell.” And with that statement, turned and left the security office with Shellian close behind. “Shell’ grab those communicators so that we can hopefully be in range and keep in contact with whoever is in the security office. I’ll grab some of the food, and weapons. We’ll meet at the ladder in that large cavern.” If she was at the third cavern from the original direction that they had come from then it would take them over a day to reach her, unless they pushed hard.

* * *

As time is moving past them they begin researching and discovering what they can about this hidden abandoned facility. Everything continues to point towards their ancestors as the builders, yet they have no proof. It is during this time, with Saar on security watch that he requests all the teams to report to the security office, and once there they learn of Sorrel, and she is alone. Once they get a good image they realize that she’s in trouble, and plan a rescue. And with this we close out part one. Have a great week and God Bless! (www.fdbrant.com)

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Big Brother is Alive and Well

The Harsh Lands is available as a paperback (ISBN: 978-1-946179-00-5), for Kindle (ASIN: B01N69YCCW), or in the EPub format (ISBN: 978-1-946179-02-9). This novel is the complete Survival trilogy in a single book with a length of over 1150 pages.

Personal thoughts and opinions:

First, let me state that this is my “between chapters” post before moving on to chapter ten from the novel Time of Isolation. This term “Big Brother”, became known and popular from the novel “1984” by George Orwell. It projected a future where the government controlled all including everything in one’s personal life. And any of the news organizations, and such were also controlled by the same – sounds kind of familiar doesn’t it. In a sense this Orwellian society exists today in many of the communist nations. It began to rear its ugly head here in the  USA as the government placed the Constitution in the “unimportant and useless” category and decided that they knew better. Thusly burying their citizens in an unimaginable quagmire of new laws and regulations, to include the monitoring of the internet, phones, and any other electronic device to further control and restrict what the average citizen could do.

Now this sounds like I’m heading into this direction and will continue to talk about the government, but this isn’t true. This is about what Big Brother is and how it applies to today. And in reality to make such work it must be sold to the citizens as something positive – something they can’t live without. And here I saw this very thing happening as corporations pushed a product in such a way that I’m sure they sold millions of them. To the ones who purchased these coveted products I’m sure they never realized the can of worms or Pandora’s box, that they just opened.

Okay, what does Big Brother do? In the book he exists in every home, in every apartment, in other words everywhere,  and can never be shut down, or can one ever escape his watchful eye, making the secret police, the KGB, or any other state police system seem like a child’s game. In the book it meant there was no way to escape his watchful eyes or ears. And one never knew if they were under some investigation, or being watched. In many ways the movie Minority Report, shows the same dystopian society where every part of your life is tracked and recorded. And with the technology of today this is something that is easy to do. So this leads to the question: Have you helped make it easier to keep track of you and your family? If you have a smart phone, and most do now days, then the answer is yes. All smart phones have GPS which means the phone must know where it is otherwise it is useless – other than as a phone. And if this is the case, your location is known at any time.

Then this holiday season I began to see items advertised that moved all of this one step closer to “Big Brother”. So how many of you purchased these devices? You know, the ones that sit unobtrusively on a table and simply listens, then answers your questions?  Just an idle question you ask? Think about it. You’ve just let large corporations into your private home. And as the little device sits there innocently taking up space, it listens to everything that is said in your household. And for most of us it’s something we wouldn’t even consider. So in a positive light and with your eyes wide open you purchased “Big Brother”, and enthusiastically brought him into your home.

It is already known that without our knowledge that webcams can be remotely operated giving no sign that they are even on or being used. And because so much now goes through the internet, our computers, phones, and devices are always connected. Meaning that at any time any of these large corporations, and the government to be truthful, want to spy on you and what you are doing, our modern world makes it easy.

While much of what is available helps us in our daily busy lives, it’s the unintended consequences of all of this “help” or assistance that we need to be aware of. Like those viruses, and spyware that we have software to protect us from, we need to be more aware of the consequences of all of these convenient devices and the negative effects they can produce. Think, Enemy of the State, where technology is used against a citizen, (Yes it’s a little over the top).

Remember that we don’t lose our freedoms or privacy in large chunks. It’s always small bits and pieces until we look back and realize that it’s all gone, and there’s no way of going back. Because, in this world, what we lose is never returned. While this is just one person’s opinion, I hope that if nothing else, it makes you think. God Bless, and have a great week! (www.fdbrant.com)

Time of Isolation, Chapter 9, Part 8

The Harsh Lands is available as a paperback (ISBN: 978-1-946179-00-5), for Kindle (ASIN: B01N69YCCW), or in the EPub format (ISBN: 978-1-946179-02-9). This novel is the complete Survival trilogy in a single book with a length of over 1150 pages.

With the two women returning from the restrooms which not only are restrooms but include showers and clothing, it is here where it is suggested, after one of the men “puts his foot in his mouth”, that they continue to explore this newly discovered facility. Sage decides, after looking outside and seeing the lateness of the day that they continue their search inside. He states rightly that he really hasn’t had much time to explore himself, and that there must be living quarters for the ones who had lived here in the past. (The Survival Trilogy, Time of Isolation, Desperate to Survive, and A Taste of History Past, are available from your favorite EBook retailer. And with the release of The Harsh Lands, the trilogy is available as a single book as stated above.) And with this introduction we close out chapter 9:

No one said anything other than nodding in agreement. So they turned around and headed back through the areas they had just left, then through the administrative work area and then once again through double swinging doors. Immediately the atmosphere changed. It was obvious that this was the area where the living area had been built. The first doors they saw were marked for single men on one side and single women on the other. As a group they went inside of both finding that the side for the men was generally open with cabinets that divided the areas from each bed and chair arrangement. The cabinets were spacious and allowed each one who lived here their own space. On the far side was the common bathroom with the normal items including the open showers. Seeing the arrangements Seirra then said. “I just don’t understand this, and I never will. I could no more shower in such a place, then run around without my clothes. How do you guys do it?”

It was a question none of them had ever thought about. As a group the three of them shrugged. “I have no answer for that as this is the way it has always been and it doesn’t bother us at all. Why would it bother you?” Saar asked.

Shaking her head Seirra replied saying, “I don’t know, it just does. Shall we go look at the other one, you know the single woman area?”

“Why not” Stone replied. “I’ve never really been in one of those as such places were always off limits to us. So lead on if you would Seirra.”

“Okay I will. And I think you will see that it is quite different. Oh by the way, I think I am beginning to believe that our ancestors built this place. There are just too many things that are the same. If the other side turns out to be like I suspect it will only strengthen my beliefs.” She then led them out and then across the hallway and into the single women facility. Immediately it was obvious that it was set up completely different. Each area where the single women would live had “L” shaped walls blocking any view from the next area, giving each woman almost complete privacy. If there had been doors on the front then it would be so. But instead there were curtains hung in the openings. Once inside the cubicle they found dressers mirrors and cabinets that would hold infinitely more than any they had seen on the men’s side.

“Wow! Is this the way it was in our compound back at the city?” Stone asked.

“Pretty much so”, Shellian said, “But I am sure there are some differences, but I think I have to agree with Seirra now. This could be close to what we are used to. But until I look at the bathroom here I’ll hold my judgment.”

“Okay then, why don’t we?” Saige asked. They made their way into the bathroom and were immediately met with the differences between the two. All toilets had stalls, and each shower was also enclosed. Everything based on privacy and just the opposite of the men’s unit. “This is so different. I didn’t realize that you women took your privacy that seriously.”

“Well, we do Saige”, Seirra said. They as a group then left the area and then continued down the hall. Here they began finding what could only be called apartments. These obviously were for the coupled members. While not large they at least were comfortable.

After some additional time had passed Saige said, “I think I would like to continue this, but I don’t know about you but I haven’t eaten for a while and my stomach is complaining so let’s go back to the cafeteria and eat. We can discuss what we have found so far and then actually retire to a real bed. I know what a concept. But I suspect that we won’t sleep too well on them anyway. You know strange bed, strange environment, and strange noises, all leading to poor sleep. Tomorrow we can do a better search and maybe get the kitchen operating again. I suspect that there may be some emergency supplies around somewhere. So if we can find those it will at least give us something until we have this facility up and running again.” Then with a sweep of his hand he asked. “Shall we?”

Laughing Stone said. “Call me anything but late to a meal.”

* * *

It was entering the middle of the night and like a prophet, he found that indeed he could not sleep. So Saige headed out of the large room past the silently working bots that appeared only at night to clean. He suspected that there were similar bots that did the repairs. Breathing deeply, and with eyes that were burning, he headed off through what they had believed was the admin area, then through the lunch room, out the other side and into the large glassed room that he suspected was used for executive meetings. Pulling one of the chairs back he sat down staring at the opaque windows seeing only a reflection of the interior from the soft glow of the lighting. He did not know how much time had passed but he suddenly realized that someone else was entering the room. Looking back at the entrance he saw Shellian coming in. She, seeing him smiled, but it was a sad one. “I see you couldn’t sleep either. Seirra was out cold so instead of staying there and maybe waking her I decided to go and walk. I really needed some time to think, and you?”

“I don’t know, maybe it was the sound of those bots going about their business. You know a different sound. And since it has been very necessary for us to always be on the alert for danger . . . well it’s a different sound. Then knowing I wasn’t going to be able to sleep both for that reason and the fact that I hurt just about everywhere I decided to come here. Don’t ask me why it just seemed like a quiet area that one could look out from. But of course I forgot that these windows are built somehow to prevent any light from the inside to be seen from the outside. So all I could see was a reflection of this space.”

Coming over and then sitting across from him Shellian said. “I wonder if Seirra is right?” Then shaking her head she continued. “I know right now there is no way of knowing. We’ve seen so little of this place. I guess it’s just idle speculation on my part. But . . . but it just feels right. I don’t know how else to explain it, it just feels like us.”

Sighing and then shaking his head Saige said. “I just don’t know. I have so many questions. Like why is this place abandoned? Obviously from what little we know right now, this place was shut down with the idea of returning some day. Yet no one ever did. And yet the bots have continued their work, again for how long is anyone’s guess. It is the only reason that I can see that this place is in the condition it is. It looks like whoever was here just stepped out yesterday. Yet there is a feel of age on this place – a feel of real age, like it has been here for thousands of annuals. And if that is so can we solve the puzzle as to why someone left a perfectly good facility and never returned? I don’t know.” For a short period of time both were lost in their thoughts as these puzzles lay before them. Finally restless once again Saige said. “I have to get up and move, I just can’t explain it but something about this place really bothers me. So I’m going to walk a little and probably try to get back to sleep. I think that tomorrow some of our questions will be answered as we search this place. I guess then I’ll see you in the morning sis.” He got up and left the room leaving Shellian alone with her thoughts.

I can understand it. She thought. Then looking down at the huge oblong table she got up and idly walked around the room opening the cabinets that lined the walls – finding pitchers and glasses in some and pads of paper and writing implements in others. It established for her that this was a place for meetings . . . but what kind of meetings? There was nothing left to give her any hints at all. Finally weariness began to overcome her once more and she got up to head back and try and get some additional sleep. She sighed, shrugged, and then left the room leaving it vacant and silent once more.

* * *

As they explore this hidden facility the mysteries only deepen. They really don’t know why it is abandoned, or why this place feels like home. And with the present condition it looks like the owners have just stepped out, yet to Saige there is a feeling of real age on the place. That night and with all the aches and pains that he has he’s restless and is unable to sleep ending up in what they’ve decided is the meeting room. Later Shellian arrives and the two talk while Saige’s restlessness pushes him on, leaving Shellian alone. Eventually as the weariness begins to seep into her consciousness she leaves leaving the room vacant and silent once more. In two weeks we begin chapter 10. Have a great week and God Bless!

Time of Isolation, Chapter 9, Part 7

The Harsh Lands is available as a paperback (ISBN: 978-1-946179-00-5), for Kindle (ASIN: B01N69YCCW), or EPub (ISBN: 978-1-946179-02-9). This is the complete Survival Trilogy in a single novel, with a page count over 1150.

Last week we left the team finding Saige still alive after his fall. In many ways this accident is fortuitous as he discovers a hidden facility buried deep inside the Sacred Mountains. Still who built it and why is an unknown. To add to this mystery it is abandoned, and with the maintenance bots still functioning it seems to be in perfect working order. As Saige leads them they all feel like they’ve come home, and they are with what is familiar and common. It is a strange and unexpected feeling. Here, once inside of what appears to be a lunch room or cafeteria, Shellian spies what must be public restrooms and with her urging she and Seirra head out to see if they are still functioning. After all, to have real restrooms after all this time in the wilderness would be a luxury. And with this we close out part 6. (The Survival trilogy – Time of Isolation, Desperate to Survive, and A Taste of History Past, and with the release of The Harsh Lands, are available from your favorite EBook retailer, with the exception of the Harsh Lands which is as described above.):

Shaking his head Saar said. “Now that is something I will never understand.”

“What’s that Saar?” Stone asked.

“Why is it that any time a woman wants to use a public restroom that they always must go in packs, or at least two of them? After all when we use them we just go. Sometimes it’s with another guy, but most of the time it’s just us, one at a time. But if there are at least two women, then they always tag team it.”

“I’ve never thought about it”, Stone replied. “But you’re right. I’ve never seen any of them go to one of these things alone.”

They sat at one of the tables that were anchored to the floor waiting until the women made an appearance from their trip. With no one speaking initially and all just looking around. “I would say that this place could seat maybe fifty or sixty easily”, Saar said. “And I suspect that whoever was here probably worked in shifts, so that means that this place could have had at least one hundred to one hundred and fifty people, if not more. What’s off in the other direction from that administration area Saige?”

“Don’t know really, didn’t have time to explore it yet. But my guess is, that’s it is the main way through. It wouldn’t make sense for the main thoroughfare to go through a place where people eat. But to have a place to eat close to the working areas makes total sense.”

“True, but working areas for what?” Stone asked. “While I know that we more or less just walked through that cavern I didn’t see anything that would constitute work.”

About this time Shellian came out of the restroom and quickly joined them at the table. “Hey! Guess what we found?”

“I hope an operating restroom.” Saar answered

Laughing she said. “Yes, and so much more. Care to guess?”

“Well a working restroom is plenty for me.” Turning to the others he asked. “I wonder how they did it? This place hasn’t been used in what seems forever. Yet so much of it appears to be in working order.”

Placing her hands on her hips and shaking her head she said. “You men always are looking at how things work, instead of just appreciating that it just does. Okay since none of you want to guess I’ll tell you. These restrooms are equipped with showers. The real thing and like everything else they appear to work and there’s hot water also. So I don’t know about you but I am tired of smelling like smoke and I for one am tired of smelling dirty bodies. So I suggest that the three of you go check it out and if yours are so equipped go clean up. Oh by the way there seems to be supplies of towels and believe it or not some type of clothing that whoever worked here used. So we can also get out of these skins and into something a little more comfortable.” She then turned around and headed back into the restroom.

Looking at each other for a moment they then got up from the table and headed into their public restroom. Pushing through the door they found a large area with the standard urinals, toilets, and sinks. But further in there was a section that held supplies of toweling and clothing, and just beyond that there were showers. Not waiting they stripped down, looking in one of the cabinets they found something that could pass as soap and went into the open shower area. Later, with the clothes provided in the restrooms they emerged feeling clean for the first time in what seemed like forever. But even though they had started their showers later than the women, the ladies had yet to emerge. “Wonder what this material is?” Saar asked idly, as they waited for the women to make their appearance. “You know I’ve forgotten how good a shower feels.” The rest had to agree, and to be out of those skins, which had needed cleaning for a while, but with nothing to change in to, they had to make do. Looking at the clothes that they were in, they found that it changed their looks, now not appearing to be a part of the primitives. The items were one-piece coverall style – making it easy to get in and out of. The material could have been paper, so they were a one-time use and then probably recycled. In the supply lockers all of this clothing was a simple light blue. It appeared to use some type of magnetic closure so there were no buttons or other type of fasteners. “I don’t know about you . . .” Stone said. “But I think I want to go check out the kitchen area. If this place is similar to the cities then they probably have food processors in there. I really don’t think that this would be an easy place to grow food. Although I bet with something this size they probably have hydroponics somewhere.” Looking around they saw that the women still had not emerged and so agreed with Stone. They all got up and headed into the kitchen area. The first thing that hit them was that everything was spotless, and no dust lay anywhere. It was obvious that it had been shut down with the idea that it could be a long time before anybody returned. “This will take some time to figure out.” Saige said. “This was a careful shutdown and it appears that the equipment has been mothballed, but with the idea that it can be brought back quickly if needed – which makes sense, as this would be one of the first places I would reactivate after returning.”

Shellian and Seirra finally emerged from the restroom and saw that the men were not around. “Now we couldn’t have beaten them out”, Shellian said. “After all I’ve never seen a man take a shower that he wasn’t out way before any of us. So I wonder where they went?”

“I think I hear voices over there towards the kitchen.” Seirra said as she pointed in the direction.

“I do think you’re right. Shall we go and join them?” They headed into the kitchen and found the men once again in deep discussion about something. “Okay guys what’s gong on?” Shellian asked.

“Wow! Look at you two.” Stone exclaimed. “Oh while we were waiting it was decided that we’d come in and check out the kitchen. After all we are just about out of what we brought with us. So it was a good time to check it out since we really didn’t know how long the two of you would be. But personally I can say the wait was worth it.”

Looking at Stone with askance Shellian asked. “Now what is that supposed to mean?”

Laughing at her look he said. “Now Shellian you have to admit that with the way we have had to live that none of us looked the best that we could. I am just saying that I appreciate the change. Besides it appears that you and Seirra had more choices in the one-piece outfits than we did. We had the choice of, oh let me see, one color, while I can tell there was a much greater selection for you – and I have to admit that they fit rather well also.”

Shellian had picked an outfit that was pale yellow and with her tanned skin it worked very well for her, while Seirra had found one that was a darker shade of green and again had done her justice. Stone continuing said. “It’s nice to be really clean again, and if I cannot appreciate what it does then . . .” He shrugged looking to the two other men for support.

Laughing Saige said. “Don’t look at us Stone. It looks like you’re doing a great job of digging your own grave right now, and besides I’ve never succeeded in winning when sparing with words with either Shellian or Seirra. So leave me out of it.”

Saar looking around at everyone just shook his head. “Okay guys not to change the subject, but to change the subject, we do need to figure out how to get this back on line so that we can use the facilities here.”

“Breathing out deeply Stone said, “Thank you Saar, and you’re right. But I think that Saige should continue to show us what he has found so far. Then we can come back and try and get this and anything else we need back on line. So Saige, if you would?” Stone then stepped back and gestured for Saige to continue.

Looking around at the other four Saige said. “Okay? If you are ready, let’s do this. Like I said before we were interrupted . . . not that it was a bad interruption.” He added hastily as he headed through them and led them out of the eating area through a set of double swinging doors and into a hallway. Looking down the hallway there were a number of closed doors on both sides. He turned left where there was only one door at the end. And like the one they had just gone through it was double swinging doors. Once through the door they found themselves in a large room with a single table and many chairs around it. There were some small cabinets around the perimeter and on the walls that the doors attached to. But the opposite side was all windows. But at the moment, with the soft light that was in the room, they could not see through them. It was now nighttime and completely dark out. So the only things visible were their reflections on the glass, or whatever the windows were constructed from. Glass first came to mind, but then they realized that unless it was tempered that regular glass would probably been destroyed by now. “Well I was going to show you the outside portion, but that looks like it will have to wait until the morning. I guess we should explore in the other direction from the cafeteria, dining area or whatever you want to call it, and see what exists in that direction. So far I haven’t found any living areas, but I suspect with the size of this place, there has to be.”

* * *

When the women return from the public restrooms the men are nowhere to be seen. And when the two groups come together Stone digs a hole for himself at which point Saar changes the subject, and saves him further embarrassment. And as the team continues their discoveries Saige tells the others what he has discovered so far. It is too late in the day to go back into the hidden valley, so the decision is to search another part of this facility. And with this we close out part 7. Have a great week and God Bless!

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