Time of Isolation, Chapter 11, Part 5

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.

Time of Isolation: Paperback (ISBN: 978-1-946179-06-1) Kindle (ISBN: 978-1-946179-07-4) and Epub (ISBN: 978-1-946179-08-1) and Desperate to Survive: Paperback (ISBN: 978-1-946179-09-8) Kindle (ISBN: 978-1-946179-10-4) and Epub (ISBN: 978-1-946179-11-1) are available for purchase as of April 21, 2017. These releases are second editions with the novels revised and updated. At this time A Taste of History Past will remain as a first edition and an EBook, this being the final book in the Survival trilogy.

The Woman in the Snow 2nd edition. Contemporary Christian Fiction available now: Paperback (ISBN 978-1-946179-03-6) Kindle (ISBN 978-1-946179-04-3) and Epub (ISBN 978-1-946179-05-0).

After reading what the last administrator had stated for the archives, it brings up a whole new list of questions for which they have no ready answers. Sabryn states that what has been read explains the present state of their cities, and the whys and where-with-all for the stagnant growth in technology. And this leads to questions of how close did their ancestors get during their study of the natives of this world. And if they did get “up close and personal” how did they go about it? With this new knowledge and the questions created the meeting breaks up, with the team heading out to their assignments. And with this onto part 5:

As the day progressed and with nothing showing on the screens Saige was becoming bored, but knew the importance of continued diligence, and then thought. I wonder . . . If these screens are covering the facility, the surrounding areas, is there a way to see if the system checks other areas also? If an animal husbandry area does exist one would think that it’s under the same system. Standing up and pacing, he knew that Stone had become the expert, and while the rest of them could operate the equipment, it was not to the expertise Stone had demonstrated. Well, all he could do was try. Turning to the now much used manual, he began to leaf through it to find out if there was a way to view alternate locations that may have been on the system, but did not require full time monitoring. But after a couple of hours of frustration he was no closer to finding out if there was a secondary, lower priority monitoring system in place. If there had been, it could have been general knowledge, and something that the security personnel were trained for, and thusly it had no need to be included or required to be in that manual. After all, the manual was more of an instruction manual on the operation and repair of the equipment, and probably was a standard manual for any security facility wherever it might be. Not something that covered the different possible circuits unique to each facility that as they could exist.

He knew that Stone was out in the hidden valley, searching for alternate accesses and also working in the hydroponics section. While yes much had been automated, there were some areas they found that required their assistance. In fact some of this portion had shut down and was awaiting a human hand before continuing operation. So he and Sorrel was there, with her being exclusively in the hydroponics. “Sorrel, are you there?” Saige asked. He had the one of the monitors covering the hydroponics and at this moment no one was in view. Not surprising really, considering all that was in there, and with only one security camera there were many blind spots. After a short time period he asked again. Then he heard some light laughter, and then he saw Sorrel come into the view of the monitor.

With a smile on her face she asked. “What do you need Saige?”

Smiling back, he thought. It’s good to see her smile again. Stone has been good for her. Instead he said. “I’m looking for Stone, is he with you right now or is he out in the valley?”

With a look of devilment on her face she said. “Oh he’s here. Do you want to talk with him?”

Then it hit him what had been going on, and quickly said. “No, no that’s not necessary. But when he can I would like to have him come to the security office. I need his expertise, and he may be able to help me solve a possible problem.” Then smiling he said. “The two of you can go back to what you were doing.” He then cut the connection. He had to admit that it really was good to see her smile again, and to have those looks that could just drive a man crazy. And he knew once he saw it that she and Stone were involved physically at the moment he had tried to find him. He then laughed quietly thinking. Isn’t that the way of it? You decide it would be nice to get as close as the two of you can, only to be interrupted. And it’s something you really don’t do a lot when comparing it to a full day. But for some reason when you do there always seems to be something to interrupt it.

* * *

“That is a problem Saige. It’s something I didn’t think about. But you’re right, there’s a good chance that there is a secondary non-critical section that the security office here could switch to just to make sure everything was okay.” Glancing at the panel Stone just shook his head. “I’m going to have to think about it. You said that you looked through the manual right?” At which Saige nodded his head. “I guess I wouldn’t expect it to be there, but one could hope. Hmm . . . I think I’ve tried most, if not all of these different switches at one time or another . . . but, haven’t gotten around to labeling them yet. Well at this moment you got me.” He got up and took a deep breath, leaned on the ledge that served as a desk staring at the monitors thinking.

Saige leaning back in one of the chairs looking up at Stone asked. “Do you think that what I am suggesting could exist?”

“Yes, once you suggested it, it makes perfect sense. I know that it’s important to be able to have the priority areas always monitored, but there has to be secondary areas that just did not require constant surveillance, so either they are on passive systems, and if a sensor went off alerting the security office, or there is a way for them to check into those areas now and then. You’ve definitely given me a problem here Saige, not that there aren’t constant ones anyway.”

“Yeah, ain’t it true – and so many discoveries about our past and us. I really wonder what this Earth looks like, or maybe looked like. I mean, after these people being informed that there was a war on, and since then, there has been no communication, no contact, no nothing and that isn’t good in my way of thinking. And only a couple of things come to mind when I think about it. Either the Earth was destroyed, or the records that we are here were lost. And after seeing how this place operates, in my mind it would be the former before the latter. But again with so little to go on who can really say what happened.”

Shaking his head Stone said, “Not me, I mean just a short time ago I was happy and dumb in my ignorance. You know, working in the compound and thinking just about learning what I could. And now that life seems like a dream, unreal, like it never happened, and now this present life being the real one. Oh just an FYI here, while I have been exploring this place I can see where the first section was built, and then over time others added to it. Most of it looks like a common plan – prefab would be my guess. In fact I would say that if our people were on other planets in other solar systems then these are probably what they lived and worked in.”

“Makes sense I guess. It would make it easier to transport, or build, or however they did it, if all the pieces were made to fit together with minimal effort. I mean, could you imagine having to build here in this hidden valley by scratch?”

“Not really”, Stone responded. “But some of the stuff outside is actually native. So I guess that they were here a long time. I mean think of the work that went into redirecting that small river into this valley. Hey I have a question. Have any of us figured out where it goes once it leaves the facility? I mean it falls over the cliffs into that large pond where it is used. But there is no way that we could be using all of that water coming into this valley, and during the spring melt there probably is much more and yet the level on that pond never changes.”

“No, never really thought about it, but it’s a very good question. So what does that panel over there do?” Saige asked as he pointed to a small panel that sat by itself in one of the corners of the room. “By the way the reason I’m trying to figure this out is because of something Seve said to me. I have him researching it right now, but your question makes me wonder if this is where that water might be going after leaving the main facility.”

“What the heck are you talking about Saige?”

“Sorry, Seve suggested that one of the ways that our ancestors probably contacted the primitives, to get up close and personal, was to become traders, which meant that they would have to have pack animals somewhere, and thusly where the water is going. So I figured that if they did, these animals would have to be close by, and probably were taken care of by the automated equipment or systems. So I thought that these animals would be on a lower priority circuit, thusly why I had you come here to help and see if we could find one.”

“You don’t think that they would just have haggled for them do you? It would be easier than trying to keep your own herd.”

“True . . . but there are some other considerations that would make sense for them in keeping their own herd. For example, they could, as we did before we found this place, use the hides to make clothing that would match what the primitives wear, they could provide meat to supplement the vegetables that the hydroponics section produces. From what I have seen so far there are no replicators for foodstuff. Just those large ones we found in the maintenance section.”

“True,” Stone responded, “but while all of that could be a fact, we really have no proof yet.”

“I know, but we really haven’t been here long enough to even do a cursory search of the records, let alone a complete one. I just think, from my own point of view, and I realize that we are talking about a great distance of time between when they were in this facility, and now, that it really is the easiest way.”

* * *

As the team searches the facility, one of the members realizes that one of the ways the past researchers could have gotten in contact with the primitives would have been as traders. Meaning they could pass among the many clans and tribes, and not be affiliated with any. And if this is true, it means they would have used pack animals. And if they did, the logical conclusion would be they would maintain their own herd. And with this in mind we close out part 5. Have a great week and God Bless! (http://www.fdbrant.com/)

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Time of Isolation, Chapter 11, Part 4

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.

Time of Isolation: Paperback (ISBN: 978-1-946179-06-1) Kindle (ISBN: 978-1-946179-07-4) and Epub (ISBN: 978-1-946179-08-1) and Desperate to Survive: Paperback (ISBN: 978-1-946179-09-8) Kindle (ISBN: 978-1-946179-10-4) and Epub (ISBN: 978-1-946179-11-1) is available for purchase as of yesterday, April 21, 2017. These releases are second editions with the novels revised and updated. At this time A Taste of History Past will remain a first edition and EBook only with this being the final book in the Survival trilogy.

After a restless night Saige, during the next meeting, states that he read ahead of where they left off from the previous day and what has been learned so far. And if there had been any doubts about their origins, what he reads to them – the last written entry from the administrator at the time – it eliminates all doubt. They are not of this world. How does one face such facts that absolutely contradicts everything you’ve always known, always have accepted as fact? Is it possible to do an about face, and let go of one’s past? I’m sure you’d want to deny it all. And, of course, this knowledge changes everything. And with this revelation we head into part 4:

When he finished reading Saige remained silent for a short time to let the words of the last administrator of the facility sink in. “Okay all, there you have it. If any of you doubted it at all, here is the final proof that originally we were from somewhere else, a place called Earth. It’s obvious that he and the people who were here were looking forward to returning, but whatever this war was, it ended any such hope, and we are here because of their work and planning. Now what do we do? As you can see the original plan was to remain isolated from the primitives and allow them to continue on their own path. But now we have been discovered. Do we just let this continue and save a few by bringing them to this hidden facility or do we somehow bring an end to this sudden gathering of the tribes by bringing down their leadership? These are tough questions and we need to answer them quickly. We are few and so we will not be able to bring an end to this by any direct means. And we really have yet to even establish where this leadership is located. So for now I leave you with this and later today we will get back together and discuss it. Thank you all for being here this morning and now let’s get to whatever we were to do before I called this, and yes I know that originally we were going to continue here. But for now we need to continue to learn all we can about this facility.”

Before any could get up to leave Sabryn interrupted and said. “Before we go, a couple of things hit me when we both read and heard what the administrator said. So if you will wait I would like to see if any of you see what I just saw.”

Saige looking over at Sabryn said. “Hey if anybody has any additional input I’m all for hearing it. What do you have for us?”

“Well, in truth I’m still thinking this out. But what he left here explains a lot.” Then taking a deep breath before continuing she said. “Look, if we really compare this place with our cities there really isn’t much difference. I mean we were able to come into this place and everything about it was somewhat familiar, you know just like in the cities. Does it strike anybody that there have been no improvements or inventions in the cities to help?”

“What are you getting at?” Saar asked as leaned forward placing his arms on the table.

Clearing her throat she said, “I think it explains why that was so. Our ancestors were waiting for someone to come and return them to our home world, this place they called Earth. So there never was a time where they had planned on staying here. The cities were just a temporary refuge while they waited out whatever this war was. And as far as we know right now, no one has ever arrived to pick up any of our people. So that brings up a more worrisome thing, and it’s this. While we have no proof one way or the other, we could be the last of our species. We could be the last that ever could have called this Earth home, the place where we came from, our mother world.” As she finished it brought another silence to the meeting as each contemplated what she had just stated.

Shellian, looking down at the table, thinking for a moment and then looked up at the rest at the table said. “I guess that’s a valid assessment, and I did not even think about it that way. So from what you just said, and again we have no way of proving it one way or the other, we could be it – we and our cities that is. We have no idea what the war was about as the details are basically nonexistent. We don’t know if maybe another spacefaring race found the Earth and started a war or whether it was our own people. Either way I guess it really doesn’t matter, since no one showed up to collect the scientists and their support staffs. So it would be easy to then conclude that we are it, we are the last. So with those thoughts it now strengthens our need to find a way to break this alliance, or alliances, and have things return to like they were before. But I have to admit that this discovery we have made will make it impossible to return to anything close to the way things were before the primitives began destroying our cities. So I guess this makes it more imperative that we find a way, not that it wasn’t before. At least it reinforces the need to interfere instead of just letting the primitives have their way with the cities.” Then taking a deep breath she asked, “There’s much to think about here, is there anything else that any of you want to bring to our attention?”  She looked around the table and saw that none did. “Okay then as my brother said earlier, let’s get about our day’s work and we will meet back here again with the evening meal.”

They broke up at this point and headed out in different directions. Except that Seve approached Saige and asked. “I know whatever we decide we will have to do it indirectly, since we are so few, but something came to mind while we were in here. If our ancestors were anthropologists I’m sure at some point that they had to contact the primitives to get closer, which means somewhere they would have to had pack animals. But so far there is no sign of any such thing here at all. And all the maps have shown just the facility and this valley. So where would they be? I feel that they would have kept and bred their own so that they would know them. Plus it would be something to use for trading. After all to be a real observer, and still remain apart from these people the perfect role would be a traveling merchant. So where is anything on this?”

Shaking his head, Saige had no idea at all. “You’ve raised some valuable questions, Seve. See if you can follow up on those if you can. There has to be something in the system on the methods they used to study the primitives, and there you might get a hint to where these animals might have been kept. Personally I would say that it would have to be close by – again, someplace hidden, but not so far a way that it would provide undue danger to either the animals or the people either tending them or picking them up for an assignment. Since Sabryn, your significant other, brought out those other points, the two of you can research it together. I guess you probably could leave your daughter with Starr since she’s got the duty today of searching the schooling records. Since she will be in the playroom area anyway with her son, then adding your daughter should both help as the two infants could be watched at the same time. Plus I think it only fair if Sabryn periodically checks in on them and assists anyway. I know she will anyway since both she and Starr breast-feed their babies. I’ve pulled the security detail today so if anything comes up that is where I’ll be. And good luck, I think that you’re right. It makes sense to do it that way. Now all we have to do is find the proof, and then hopefully the location of where these animals were kept. Although I doubt that any of them could still be around after all of this time. Yet, this facility is fully operational, maybe the place where these animals are kept is also under computer control.”

“So you think that maybe there would be a chance that there would still be some of the animals around today? It has been an awful lot of time that has passed since they abandoned this facility. And we are truly just guessing that it is one of the methods they used to contact and study the population.”

“True, but once you mentioned it, it makes perfect sense. That way they would not have to be from or live in any one tribe. They simply could say that they were beyond the mountains and that they are trying to open new trade sources. And by studying them like we did from a distance, they would have had a pretty good sense of what would have worked and what would not have – not that it didn’t have its own share of risk, but I think it would be less than if they had joined a tribe. Then there could have been problems when one tribe attacked another, which as we know is quite common – at least until recently.”

“Yeah, I guess so. Okay we’ll get right on it and be back here with anything we find with this evening meeting.” Seve turned and left to take this new assignment. Saige then headed off to the security office to monitor the facility and the surrounding area.

* * *

Sabryn brings up aditional valid points about the Cities, which leads others thinking about the research that was conducted here deep in the past. What was being done here can be compared to what the scout units from the Cities were doing. Yet, what has come to light is the fact that most of their own work had been from a distance, leading to the fact that they missed the important hints and changes that have led to their Cities being discovered by the primitives, and the resulting destruction. They feel that there’s a possibility that their ancestors found a way to get up close and personal. Now they only have to discover, first, if they did, and secondly, how’d they do it. Have a great week and God Bless! (http://www.fdbrant.com/)

Time of Isolation, Chapter 11, Part 3

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.

Time of Isolation: Paperback (ISBN: 978-1-946179-06-1) Kindle (ISBN: 978-1-946179-07-4) and Epub (ISBN: 978-1-946179-08-1) and Desperate to Survive: Paperback (ISBN: 978-1-946179-09-8) Kindle (ISBN: 978-1-946179-10-4) and Epub (ISBN: 978-1-946179-11-1) will be available for purchase April 21, 2017 (subject to change). This release is the second edition with the novels revised and updated. At this time A Taste of History Past will remain as a first edition, this the final book in the Survival trilogy.

Last week we left the team exploring and discovering what this abandoned facility has and is. At this time both Saige and Stone are working the security office, with Stone under the banks of monitors trying to see if there is anything hidden here. The problem they face is a simple one. Everything is passworded and that means they are locked out of systems and any information that may be here is unavailable. Yes the general stuff is available, things required to keep all the myriad of equipment, environmental, and IT systems working. In a sense it’s like they are on familiar ground, and that seems impossible. Still what little they’ve been able to ascertain conflicts with what they know as the truth, and thusly why Stone is where he is.

Eventually he discovers a hidden cabinet built into the wall which is locked. They remember a set of keys – actually more than one set – for which they retrieve, and after some basic deductions by Stone he finds the right key and unlocks the door. Inside he discovers important paperwork, a complete map of the immediate facility, and the override codes to all the systems. And here is where we close out last week’s post, and now onto part 3:

Indeed! The emergency override codes allowed access to the mainframe and they were finally able to learn much about not only the facility, its beginnings, purpose, and why it was located where it was, but was the part about themselves, and this was the most revealing and shocking revelation. They learned that unlike what they had been taught, that this facility had only been in existence for somewhere between two to three thousand annuals around the binary suns. It was the first on this planet. Its location had been carefully planned and located, to make it easier, both to hide, and to provide access to most of the species of this planet. And they were not from this world at all, but their ancestors had come to study these primitives and remain completely unknown to them. Their ancestors were anthropologists, sociologists, scientists, and such. Their ancestors were from a distant world called Earth, and the war they spoke of in the histories of the cities had nothing to do with this place at all, but one that involved their home world. Whenever it happened, the ships no longer came to this place to bring supplies, and other vital equipment. The war had been a surprise and there had been no time to leave. They had become isolated and had no way to return to their home world, thusly beginning a time of isolation. Eventually even the communications network went silent and they knew not of what had happened.

Over the next, what they called a year around the twin suns, they worked on trying to reestablish any communications with their roots, but all they got was static and silence. So it was decided that they would need to move from these mountains and establish a number of hidden cities using the technology that they possessed to keep these cities invisible to the primitives and to continue to study the people. Once they left this hidden facility it would be powered down to the minimum, and all of the automatic equipment placed in the maintenance phase and set an automatic signal to alert any from their own home world that they were here. As this history became available to them, they continued to look at each other as one surprise after another was revealed. Everything they had been taught, everything that they had believed, was a lie. While they were similar to the primitives, that was as far as they could go with it. Nothing else was compatible. There could be no children from the union of the two different species no matter how similar they appeared. From the surveys that had been performed, at least the fruits produced by the vegetation and the meat from the animals, were edible and would sustain them. But even here they relied more on their hydroponics than on what the world could provide.

Here they learned that part of the plan had been the signal, one that continually pulsed out to space – an SOS for any who might travel close by. Then if they responded to that signal it would set in motion another signal and operational plans for the cities to return here. But either the signal failed or no one passed by this remote region of space – because, as far as they knew, the signal was never answered. And so the cities grew and the truth disappeared over time. The histories changed to reflect only this place, and the true origins were forgotten. Stunned to silence they could only look at each other as the information continued to scroll across the monitors. And while it explained much, it still left much too much out. And still the information continued, and when it finally reached a breaking point Stone paused it. Taking a deep breath and looking around he said, “We started reading this in the morning. I think if you all look around you will see that it is now dark. We have been here all day, with brief stints to the restrooms and taking care of the children, but other than that this day has flown. I think we need to break, eat something, and then absorb what we have learned here today. I have to admit that what this has revealed makes me wonder if any of it can really be true – or is this some type of cover story if the primitives ever found this place. Yet, I feel that what we have just witnessed is true, so very true. I am worried about what it hasn’t said.” Silence followed.

Shellian then said. “I have to agree Stone. This is almost too much to take in, let alone accept. So let’s all go eat something in the cafeteria, and decide while we are there, if we want to continue this tonight or wait until tomorrow. This changes things.”

With his brow furrowed Saige asked. “Changes things? How so, Shellian?”

“Well, think about it Saige. If what we just sat through is true, then we are the interlopers here, not the primitives. And while our people had done a good job of staying out of the way of the primitives, and not interfering with their way of life, other than to observe and record, which is what we in the scouting unit did, and is what our ancestors were doing anyway, then do we have the right to interfere, even if it means the destruction of our cities?”

“Good point and that really causes a dilemma. Okay we aren’t going to answer any of this right now, let’s go eat as Stone as suggested. I really had not realized that this much time had gone by.” They got up as a group and left the meeting area and headed to the cafeteria much subdued, and silent. Shellian had made a valid point, did they have the right, or should they try to just let the cities die and bring as many as they could back to this hidden facility?

It was decided while they were eating, that since the information was going to be still available later that all would take the rest of the night off, and come back after the morning meal to continue to see what else this facility and computing system had to tell them.

* * *

“I’ve had all us of gather once again this morning, not that we weren’t going to do this anyway. Last night I couldn’t sleep for the longest time and so not to bother Seirra, I got up and went to the terminal that we had, and read some additional stuff on what our ancestors faced. So I have marked it on all of your monitors to read as I read it to you. But before I do that I need to bring all of you up to date on what they were thinking.” Pausing a moment before continuing, he stood up leaned forward to make his point before continuing. “With the news of the war, and unfortunately they never learned with whom, they knew from the received communications that there would be no one coming to get them. And what made it worse lay in the fact that a supply ship had only been there a short time before the announcement of the war, and would have been ample in size for all of them to leave and go home. It wouldn’t have been a comfortable trip, but quite workable.

Then for the longest time they were in a quandary as to what they should do. You know should they stay here in this facility, should they try and make real contact with the primitives that they had been studying, should they leave? But as each question was answered the only real answer was to build the cities in the valleys, and lowlands, in places that the primitives would not normally want anything to do with. And that was how and why our cities came to be. So with the decision finally made they planned to make the move at a time when the primitives would be staying within their villages and camps, and to assist each one of the new sites until they were up and running, and all the security measures could be put into place. Even with the equipment they had it took about five annuals around the suns to accomplish. They established twenty-six cities, which eventually expanded to thirty, each with a name that attached to the letter of the alphabet that they and we use, with the names coming from our home world. That’s why they are so different from the names that the primitives have attached to places, lands, mountains, and such – different culture, different beginnings, and truthfully a different world. Some of the cities were empty, but they knew that eventually that there would be enough population to begin to fill them. The other decision lay in how people in each of those cities would be named. By doing it this way they would know immediately which city one came from and its location. At least that was how it was planned. Thusly that is why all of our names begin with an “S”. Of course, the first people in our city had names that started with any number of letters. But, I guess at the time of the decision it made sense to them. Anyway that kind of brings us up to date with our beginning history. I’ve skipped over a lot here and tried to just cover the highlights. Now here is what the leaders said at the time they prepared to leave, and I quote.”

“After much thought, discussions, and deliberations we have decided that it is necessary for us to leave our hidden facility in the mountains and establish cities below. Since we are not of this planet, and had only originally come here to study the people it has been decided that we must keep ourselves separate from the true owners of this planet and let them advance as they naturally will. With that isolation each city will become one onto itself. While communication between cities will exist, there will be minimal travel so as to avoid alerting the primitives of this world of our existence. While we plan for the long term, it is hoped that whatever this war is, that for us it is short, and not terribly destructive, and that in the near future we will have a ship arrive to rescue us and then at that time be able to return to the Earth our true home. Until then we will live, and remain isolated from this world and its peoples using the technology we have to essentially become invisible. We have set a beacon, a signal to any passing ship that we are here, and where we presently are located on this planet. We have planned for the long term and truly hope for the short. Below is a map and marked locations of all of our newly established cities. So that if any do arrive here and find the facility empty they will know that we are here, alive, and well. This will be the last communicate that I have placed in the system as my last act as administrator of this facility. It has been a great assignment and we have learned much from our studies, but all may be for naught since in the end we ourselves may become natives of this world with no knowledge of our true past.”

* * *

What a shock, what a surprise. As everything they’ve known as the truth has turned out to be a lie. And as Saige reads what the last administrator wrote it is like this administrator prophesized what actually happened. They, as citizens of Earth, have forgotten their origins, with their history  changing to reflect only this world. Yet, before them, this scouting team, is the absolute proof that they are not of this world, leaving a dilemma and major problems that they must face and solve. And what they truly have is an alien encounter with them being the aliens. And with that written statement from the last administrator we close out part 3. Have a great week, and God Bless! (http://www.fdbrant.com/)

Time of Isolation, Chapter 11, Part 2

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.

Time of Isolation: Paperback (ISBN: 978-1-946179-06-1) Kindle (ISBN: 978-1-946179-07-4) and Epub (ISBN: 978-1-946179-08-1) and Desperate to Survive: Paperback (ISBN: 978-1-946179-09-8) Kindle (ISBN: 978-1-946179-10-4) and Epub (ISBN: 978-1-946179-11-1) will be available for purchase April 21, 2017 (subject to change). This release is the second edition with the novels revised and updated. At this time A Taste of History Past will remain as a first edition, this the final book in the Survival trilogy.

Last week we opened chapter 11 and enough time has passed that we are now in summer with new lives added to the remnant of the scout unit. Sorrel has recovered but it has taken time for her to get over the emotional and physical loss, which has shattered her life and personal confidence. With the help of Stone and Saar she is back to the woman she naturally is, even though the loss of her daughter weighs heavily on her. With the time that has passed the team has no idea if there are any surviving cities, and what they are learning from this hidden facility has left them with more questions than answers. And what little they can learn seems to contradict what they know as fact. And with this introduction we continue chapter 11 after the breakup of the meeting:

After lunch Saige headed for the security office, as it was his shift to monitor the cave system and approaches. But with the arrival of the four other members there had been nothing but the local animals that would periodically show up. The three who were behind the conspiracy were never seen again. Either they stayed at that first site or returned to the valleys. Stone, who had a knack of discovering how much of the equipment worked in the security office, would be there with him as they continued to research this hidden place. As he watched the many screens Stone asked more to himself than to Saige. “What’s this? Hmmm, now that’s interesting.”

Half listening and half watching the monitors Saige asked. “What’s interesting Stone?” As he looked down on Stone, who was under the consoles and built-ins, which housed the equipment and was generally out of sight except for his legs sticking out.

Stone backed out and sat on the floor looking up at Saige and said. “I think there is a hidden door down here. Probably requires a key or something to open it – not very large, but in a place where one would normally not look for anything. Do you remember that set of keys that we found here, and do you remember where we put them? There’s a possibility that one of them might unlock this thing.” Again more to himself than to Saige he said. “I wonder why one would put something like this here? It’s not easy to get to, or find, and there is very little space to work down here. There isn’t any access to the equipment from here and it just looks like a place to put one’s legs and feet while working here.” Then shaking his head he continued, “Just doesn’t make sense to me.”

Getting up from the chair he was sitting in, Saige went over to the cabinets where they had first found the key rings. There had been many and they were both color coded and identified for the different sections of the facility. Opening the large cabinet that was attached to the wall he looked over the keys and asked. “Okay Stone, we have, oh I don’t know how many keys here, which one do you want to try?”

Getting up off the floor Stone came over and joined Saige as they looked over the vast array of keys there. “I keep forgetting that this facility is large and there are a lot of doors, and all of them have locks. Which makes me wonder, why so many locks? I mean we are guessing that there probably were roughly 100 or more people here, and there appears to be just as many keys. Were they that untrustworthy, or was it to keep the others from getting into anything if they found a way into the facility?”

Shaking his head as he smiled, Saige said. “You got me Stone. I know that in the compound where we trained and worked there were few locks. But I know that in the city itself that all the residences and places of business had locks. So maybe it’s just something that is common with us. By the way, how are you and Sorrel getting along? I know that at first she just needed to support and someone to help her rebuild her confidence in who she was, but I think that it’s much more now.”

“Yeah, it’s much more now. At first I was reluctant to be the one to help her, but it has worked out well for both of us. Hmmm, now if I was one to want to lock something up, and yet have a key available in the security office to be able to open it in an emergency how would I place it?”

“Hey, isn’t there a second set that wasn’t in here”, Saige said. “In fact I think that we had to use them to open this key cabinet. Now where are they now?” Both of them started searching the small room, since the keys in question hadn’t been touched since they had first opened the locked cabinets within the security office, and after about an hour of fruitless searching Saige said. “Ah, here they are.”

“Where? I don’t see anything?”

“Well, believe it or not, since we haven’t used them, and all of us have used this office as we each shared monitoring, somehow they got knocked to the floor and . . .” He laughed and then smiled, “They ended up on the floor under these consoles and in one of the corners where they probably were kicked – right next to where you found that hidden door.” Then pointing to the very corner he said, “See . . . right there.”

“Okay I can see them now. Okay, keep your monitoring up and I’ll retrieve them and then try the different keys to see if any of them work.” Then grabbing the ring he said, “Even with this office being small there are a lot of keys on this thing. They can’t all be for here. Okay this is going to take some time since the keys are all similar and only the color coding identifies different areas.” Sitting on the floor once again Stone began to study the ring of keys. He leaned back and placed his back against one of the walls as he looked at each key. “I would suspect that it would be one that is used rarely, but that is only a guess.” Again saying this more to himself than Saige, “I wonder . . .” Then deep in thought he quietly said, “I wonder if this hidden locked door is for emergencies only. If that’s so, then using our color scheme I should try the ones that are for the highest danger.” Looking closer he found three keys marked that way. Then crawling back under the unit he grunted as he shifted to get into position to be able to try the keys. After a couple of attempts he said triumphantly. “Got it!” Saige could hear the turning of the lock and the squeaking of the door as it complained from being opened. “There appears to be a few manuals and stacks of papers in here. It’s too dark to make anything out. Here I’ll hand them up to you.” He then handed Saige a large stack of paper, and a few thin books and then crawled back out from underneath and joined Saige. “So what do we have here?”

In his hand Saige saw that there were complete schematics of the facility, and then to his surprise on this was a statement identifying the large cavern as a spaceport. He looked at it questioningly, a spaceport? But as far as he knew they never had been in space. And there had been nothing ever taught to reflect that possibility, yet what else could this mean? Meanwhile Stone was going through another stack and then said, “Jackpot!” Saige asked, “Jackpot? What do you mean?”

“Saige look at this! This booklet here has the emergency override codes for everything here including the main computing system. With this we should be able to finally get into it and find out what this place is all about.”

“This is great news, but I have something here also that needs some understanding. Look here, this map or schematic of this place lists the large cavern as a spaceport. My first thought was outer space with space ships landing here, but we never achieved space flight, right?”

Stone thought a minute and said, “I don’t think so. As far as I know we have always been here on this planet. We know that most likely there are other intelligences out there, but from the observations that have been made; the distances are so great that it would be almost impossible to travel them and survive. And that doesn’t include the deadly stuff out there that our planet protects us from. Yeah, now what did they mean by that? I mean as large as that cavern is I guess you could have a space ship land there – a space ship, wow. Are you sure you are reading that right?”

Handing it over to Stone, Saige said. “Here you look at it. See, plain as day it says spaceport.”

Stone couldn’t deny it. But did it mean something else. “I wonder if we will find the answer once we get into the main computing system.”

“Good chance. I think I’m going to call another meeting since this is important, and all of us need to get right on it – Especially if the overrides that you found work.”

* * *

With all the systems being locked down and requiring passwords, they have been unable to do more than see that the systems still function. What little information they’ve been able to gather is general and requires no security or lockdown. Still what has been revealed makes no sense. Saige and Stone are presently working the security office and Stone, who seems to have become the expert, discovers a hidden and locked compartment under the monitor bank. After successfully finding the keys to unlock it he discovers a treasure trove of needed information on the facility including a book with override codes for everything here. Plus there’s another confirmation that continues to contradict what they know as fact. With what’s here in front of them Saige knows the importance of this discovery and will be calling a meeting to get this into the hands of the team. And with this we close out part two. Have a great week and God Bless! (http://www.fdbrant.com)

Time of Isolation, Chapter 11, 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.

Time of Isolation: Paperback (ISBN: 978-1-946179-06-1) Kindle (ISBN: 978-1-946179-07-4) and Epub (ISBN: 978-1-946179-08-1) and Desperate to Survive: Paperback (ISBN: 978-1-946179-09-8) Kindle (ISBN: 978-1-946179-10-4) and Epub (ISBN: 978-1-946179-11-1) will be available for purchase April 7, 2017 (This being an approximate date and could be pushed back a little deeper into April). This release is the second edition with the novels revised and updated. At this time A Taste of History Past will remain as a first edition, this the final book in the Survival trilogy.

Two weeks ago we closed out Chapter 10. It is a chapter full of crisis, and tragedy as Sorrel loses her unborn child and has been on the brink of death for days. At the same time all of this has been happening four members of the conspiracy that threw out the past leadership from their winter quarters appears to be following the trail left by Sorrel, and then the tracks added by the deposed leaders who went to rescue Sorrel, to where they presently reside. Their intentions are unknown. Eventually the four arrive in the area of the rediscovered facility where Saige confronts them, and then sends them away. Later, from the urging of Stone, they go after the four.

Unknown to the four, who feel that their chances – their one last chance at redemption is gone – have been used up, retreat back down the mountain. Due to the lateness of the day they must find shelter for what will be a very cold – dangerously so really – night. And with their flagging strength and with a heavy depression upon them, they feel it is over, as the cold descends upon them. “Let the night take us”, is their prevalent thought. From a promise of a new beginning to it all falling apart, and possibly ending right here, they huddle around their small fire unable to keep warm knowing that the worst is yet to come. It is at this point that Saige and Stone finally locate their hidden camp and with the conversation between them the four learn that they are being rescued. And with this we close out chapter 10. And now we open chapter 11 where some time has passed:

Summer began with the temperatures rising, but remaining cooler than the lands that they had left. There were two new lives in the group now – a boy from the union of Starr and Staven, and a girl from the union of Sabryn and Seve. Sorrel had recovered, and with the loss of her child, had clung to Stone as he tried to comfort her. As time healed the wounds she and Stone grew closer together. And it was obvious that now she looked to his strength to help her through. She was no longer the open and defiant one, but quiet and almost afraid to do anything. With her confidence completely shattered by the ordeal that she had lived through, she looked completely to Stone for approval. Stone took the role of protector and healer seriously and slowly there could be seen a change in her as the past was slowly slipping away from Sorrel. For the longest time she isolated herself from the rest, but eventually with a lot of work from both Saar and Stone they were able to get her involved once again. And if truth were told, it was probably the arrival of the two new lives that was the deciding factor. Yet even here, you could see the yearning, and the hidden tears, from her personal loss. For the rest it was a time of discovery and understanding. This facility was indeed a place of their ancestors, and they were learning more with each new discovery or reactivation of the equipment, machinery, or computer systems within the structure.

“Okay all.” Saige said, as they sat in what they still called the meeting room. Everyone was there today including the two babies which were contentedly asleep on their mothers’ laps. So as not to wake them, the conversations were kept low and soft. “What have we found out so far? First off, I’ll start by saying that I have now investigated the waterfall and the system that brings the water into the facility, and have to say that it is completely manmade. I know that it looks natural and I think that was the plan, just in case any of the primitives got past their fears of these Sacred Mountains and investigated. It’s a masterful job and only because we are from the same society and level of technology I found it. So Staven, have you been able to get the main computing system up yet?”

Shaking his head he said, “No. No not yet. It is still password protected and I have yet to figure out what it is or how to find it. We have much of the system that is automatic and accessible, but where the important records are, is still inaccessible. I’m sure that from the way this place was still operating when you and Shellian found it that there probably had been a plan to return here, if not permanently, at least periodically to check up on things. So I suspect that there is something that is kept within this place that has that record. But so far we haven’t found it. But on the positive side, we were able to get the educational programs running and they seem to address children from just about toddler to young adult. While we haven’t observed much of the data yet, there are some things we have seen that we feel just can’t be right. But there was also a large library of digital readings, so we feel that maybe what we are observing is a fictional story or something like that.”

With a look of questioning on his face Saige asked, “How so?”

Taking a deep breath trying to get his thoughts together before continuing Staven said. “Well, if we look at what we have been taught in our educational system we have been in our cities since the Great War a few thousand annuals in the past. And it was that Great War that caused the ones we now call primitives to abandon the technology that we use and become what they are presently.” Looking around he could see the rest of the group agreeing with him. “Okay, from what I get from the teaching computers they completely contradict that. So that is why I question it.”

“Contradicts what part?” Shellian asked.

Pausing for a moment before continuing Staven said, “Pretty much all of it, and that’s why I question it.” He could see with that statement that all of them were looking closely at him.

“Are you sure?” Sabryn who just looked up from watching her sleeping daughter, asked.

Again taking a deep breath and pausing before answering Staven said, “As sure as I can be right now. But until we can access more than what we can right now I can only question it.”

“Okay then, I guess all we can do is continue to get more of this facility operational and then some of these new questions might get answered.” Then turning to Stone, Saige asked. “Have you and Sorrel learned any more about that large cavern, where we first entered this facility, was used for?”

“First off,” Stone began, “It is much larger than we first thought. And if you go back to the distant end of it you can see where it has been sealed. We haven’t been able to discover if this sealing is because of danger beyond that point or whether it was just a good place to seal it off, or whether there is really anything of importance beyond it. There doesn’t appear to be any doors, holograms or hidden entrances beyond that point, and the lighting just sucks by being almost absent. Plus back there the cavern curves around into a little cul-de-sac. Here we found large, well, what I could only describe as tanks and equipment to operate them. From the little investigation we have done they appear to be empty at this time, and no these tanks did not hold water or anything like that. In fact they have the markings that show that whatever the contents had been that it was poisonous. From what we have observed so far, it appears that our ancestors took advantage of one of the extinct volcanoes to build this facility, thusly shortening the time necessary to build this place. But we’ve only explored in the one direction, and there’s so much more. And that’s just about all we can say right now. Again we have more questions than answers, Saige.”

“Okay, how about the hydroponics Starr?”

“Again, just like everyone else, the system is automatic with little need of us doing anything. We haven’t figured out much, but really don’t want to tinker with it since it is our food supply. But we can see that it actually sits lower than the pond so it just uses gravity to feed the water through the system, and the lighting that is used is both natural and artificial, with the lighting being directed by skylights, and where it doesn’t provide enough then the artificial lighting takes over.”

“I guess that just about covers it then. While we have found out some things there is still much we do not know at all. I feel right now that we are more visitors here on a tour than actual guests who are part of this place. There is still so much we don’t know, and until we do there is very little at this point that we can do to help our cities. We can only hope that the primitives do not know the location of all of them and that ours falling so quickly after the one before was just coincidence. So keep working on this and we’ll meet again in a couple of days. And if my stomach is telling me anything I think it’s time for lunch. So let’s go eat and then get back at it. Thanks for the updates, and now we all know everything that is known.” Saige then pushed back his chair and headed for the cafeteria. He had to admit he was hungry. Still it was frustrating to have been here to the end of winter and through spring, to now at the beginning of summer and still know little more than they did when they first entered here. Yet, at the same time to be in the best shape physically and mentally that they had been since the fall of their city and the harrowing flight so long ago. Now if they could only learn why this was here and if it predated the existing cities or was just a part of the network.

* * *

A time of discovery, a time of contradictions, a time of frustration as they continue to discover much about this forgotten facility hidden deep inside the Sacred Mountains. With what little that has been learned, so far, there seems to be a major contradiction between what they know to be fact, and what they are learning here. So what is the truth and what is fiction? For the answer to that question they don’t have a clue. And one of the main reasons is they are unable to access any of the systems as they are presently locked out. Still they have much they must learn to fully understand what and why it is here, and what the implications from what they learn will be. Have a great week, and God Bless! (http://www.fdbrant.com/)

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