Time of Isolation, Chapter 11, Part 10

Coming in July two new novels: Of Gods Strangers and Messengers, Science Fiction Adventure, and Unexpected Unplanned and into the Unknown, a Post-Apocalyptic episodic novel. Both will be available as paperback and in the EBook format.

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 EBook only with 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 (978-1-946179-05-0).

* * *

Saar and Seirra are doing duty in the security office while Starr with Sabryn are searching through the educational archives and at the same time the two women are taking care of their children. Back in the security office Seirra notices, as they monitor the planet from wherever those sky-cams are that there are letters and numbers that change according to where she’s viewing and wonders what’s the significance of them. Saar states he doesn’t know but he does know how to remove them if they are distracting.

Meanwhile everybody is involved in learning as much as they can from this forgotten and abandoned facility. With all of them hoping to find the answers to the too many questions this life changing facility has presented. In a sense it has completely undone their known past and thrown it out the window turning their world upside down. Of course at this moment they are the only ones who know this as they are still in their Time of Isolation, and haven’t determined whether there is a way to contact what cities may be remaining because of this unknown threat, which is known only to them at this moment. And with this we move on to part 10, opening with Staven as he finishes his present assignment:

Staven was covered in the grime from the pump house. Shaking his head he found that after complete search, he determined there was just the one door and that was it. After crawling through the numerous pipes, pumps, unknown equipment and searching all of the hidden areas, he had come up empty – other than the fact that he had skinned a knuckle or two from slipping and falling. He hoped that Seve had better luck, and he thought that he had better join him since the area he was searching was both the electric and steam room, separate of course since electricity and water did not mix. One thing for sure it was easy to tell that the whole thing was modular in design. It would have made it very easy to set up, and to repair if it needed to be. And he was sure that this probably had been repaired a number of times over the thousands of annuals that it sat here empty. He knew that after the two of them finished here, they would move on to the maintenance section, but between the two areas they would head back in for a bite to eat, before continuing. So far nothing had been found to indicate a way to the pack animals, if there were any at all.

Seve, once he had entered the electric room, just shook his head. This place was huge, and while the task was daunting, it wouldn’t get done if he just stood there looking at it. He knew that as soon as Staven finished in the smaller pump house that he would join him. With that in mind, he thought that probably the best thing for him to do was to either work the steam room, which provided heat and air conditioning to the whole facility, and provided the push for the turbines, or to concentrate on the electrical. Obviously for safety’s sake the two were separated, but since the steam room required a substantial power source it was only smart to locate it close to the generators. He knew that the generators used a number of sources including solar, water, and yes even the steam that was generated in the next room. It also used materials that could not be recycled, and vented any of the smoke, which was almost invisible, out through one of the many chimneys that the extinct volcanoes had created in the distant past, effectively hiding its location. In his hand he had a schematic of the room, and there were numerous doors marked, but not all of them were identified as to what they were or where they led. Which probably meant that whoever worked here was familiar with this standard layout and did not require a full labeling.

Thinking about it he decided that he would work the steam room because it was smaller. He headed off that way, with his reasoning being that it was much smaller of an area, not really much larger than the pump house – he should be finished in about the same time as Staven. Then when Staven showed up from his search of the pump house they could both work the electrical room and all of the doors. He opened the door into the steam room and immediately felt a blast of hot damp air. Shaking his head he thought. It surely is named right. I really would not want to be assigned this section if I had been here back then. He thought that most likely the bots handled most of the work anyway, yet moisture was the enemy of the bots, so he couldn’t be sure. But at the same time, felt that it had to be inspected and confirmed that there were no problems. So even if the previous owners had to come here only once a day to confirm things were okay, it would still have been a miserable visit. Looking through a small steam cloud that appeared to be venting, he saw the entrance to the small operations center. It sat higher up and had what appeared to be windows that overlooked the entire facility. He worked his way there, climbed the metal ladder to a small platform that led to the door. Opening the door and entering into the control room he saw a panel that allowed the operators to manually override any portion, and to completely shut it down if some emergency required it. There he found on the back wall a drawing that showed the emergency evacuation routes out of the facility with this area highlighted. It was really hot and humid here and he wondered how and why this equipment didn’t rust. After all, with the constant attack of heat and high moisture, it should show signs of rust and damage. Yet from the condition of everything there, it could have been placed there yesterday, and not the thousands of years in the past that he knew was fact. What did they construct this stuff out of? While I know that something like this isn’t my specialty back in the city, I don’t think our stuff held up nearly as well as this. Shaking his head at these thoughts he continued to look around the small room. I guess even though we thought we were advanced, what this place has shown me so far, is that we have lost some of that knowledge that this place has demonstrated so competently, and it has been shown by the way we have found things. So much of what we don’t understand our ancestors took for granted . . . and how do I know that? Because they did not label something, because it was common knowledge, so it did not require labeling, that’s how. “This isn’t getting this place searched. I guess I should just use this evacuation sheet and check it against the doors it has people leaving by.” He said quietly to himself.

He took out a small notebook and drew a rough copy of the emergency evacuation plan and then headed back off the ledge to the floor and in among the pipes, heat, humidity, and steam and then looked at the floor. He, to his surprise, found that the floor had large markings on them. He followed one around the corner and found a large arrow painted on the floor with the words emergency evacuation written within the arrow. Shrugging he thought, why not, and headed in the direction the arrow pointed.

* * *

Later with an unsuccessful search of the steam room, he met up with Seve and they first went to the showers to clean up, and then headed to the cafeteria to grab a bite to eat before both of them searched the electric room. When they entered the cafeteria by chance they found Starr and Sabryn had arrived just ahead of them. “What a surprise.” Seve said, and Staven couldn’t agree more. So far the day for them had been unsuccessful, but not completely, since they now knew more about the facility, its layout, and construction. It once again, gave them insight into their distant ancestors and how they thought, lived and worked.

* * *

“So Stone, what do you think? Do we continue, or do we take a break and get some food?” Both of them were standing in front of the closed door. Neither had ventured, as of yet, to open it and see what lay on the other side.

Taking a deep breath, Stone had to admit that he was getting hungry, but at the same time curiosity was driving him forward. “I guess what we can do is open it and see what’s there, then before we go past this point, go back and get something to eat. That will leave most of the afternoon for us to continue our exploring. And I think that we need to locate the switch on the other side so that we aren’t stumbling around in this semi-darkness. There has to be one. Now I wonder if they are timed or motion sensitive – which could be the case also, since that way, once a master switch was thrown, anybody walking in this direction would turn the lighting on. And since this cavern is part of the natural landscape here, it would have been something that would have been added at a later time – I’m speaking of the work on this steam vent or lava tube, and possibly what’s on the other side of these doors.” He paused knowing that he was delaying, as he shook his head. “Let’s just do it.” He reached for the handle and gave it a twist.

* * *

The exploration continues as each section of this facility is being searched and inspected. Finally the two Seve and Staven head to the lunch room after showering with plans to continue the search and inspection together after lunch. When they reach the lunch room they run into their mates who are also eating. Meanwhile Stone and Sorrel are also feeling hunger pangs and are deciding whether to break or go through that door to see what is on the other side. They decide to at least open the door before heading back in for some food leaving the afternoon free to continue their discoveries. Have a great week and God Bless! (http://www.fdbrant.com/)

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