The Ones Before

Available now, two new novels: Of Gods Strangers and Messengers, Science Fiction Adventure (And the link to the webpage for this book: (http://www.fdbrant.com/page21.html), and Unexpected Unplanned and into the Unknown, a Post-Apocalyptic episodic novel, (And the link to the webpage for this book: http://www.fdbrant.com/page20.html) Both are available as paperback and in the EBook format. They were released on July 14,2017.

The Harsh Lands, (Link to webpage: http://www.fdbrant.com/page19.html) 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: (link to webpage:http://www.fdbrant.com/article02.html)  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: (Link to webpage:http://www.fdbrant.com/desperatetosurvive.html) 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, (Link to webpage: http://www.fdbrant.com/page18.html) 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, (Link to webpage: http://www.fdbrant.com/article01.html). 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).

* * *

In the weeks ahead I’ll be presenting each of the novels I’ve written. This is the first. I plan on going into a bit of background on each, what my thoughts were at the time, and the direction the novel was originally to take and where it actually ended. And during this process I’ll present them in the order written. And with the first I’ll be providing an introduction to this overall series of posts.

One would think that for example, trilogies are written as a set, one after another until complete. And I suspect for many writers it is this way. Still, with the two trilogies I’ve written neither were. In both cases the first two were written followed by other novels before returning to complete the series. Again, both of these trilogies are open for additional novels. Whether that happens is an unknown.

In truth, after retiring and then beginning this career as a writer I’m finding that after fifty plus years of working that I’m burning out. Yes, in comparison to the hours I spent working my original career, this is a leisurely journey. Still like any job, it requires time, and while I don’t punch a clock any more, I still must be disciplined, spend each day concentrating on the writing, editing, and things like this blog.

This probably requires more discipline, concentration, and dedication than anything I’ve done. And while it would be nice to see some financial gain for the time, effort, and finances spent, and it hasn’t been cheap, there’s a good chance in the end that there will be no such reward. Leaving my reward to be the actual completion of a number of novels, all that I self-published. I know that many have started such a journey never to finish.

I can say I’ve learned a lot, and know that as far as this industry I’ve barely begun. So much has changed since the time when I first tried my hand at writing. In fact the whole industry is different, and now so much of what must be done has to be done by the writer. It’s no longer write the novel, submit it, and if one is fortunate enough to have it chosen by one of the publishing houses, then from there they’d take over and do everything necessary to get it out to the world. And if you’re a writer you know of what I speak.

And when you consider that there are over a million new publications each year then for an unknown to become known is close to impossible. Statistics say that nine out of ten writers fail. And to be honest this might be even higher. So when I began this journey in earnest these facts were something I was unaware of. Maybe it’s a good thing since it meant that I wouldn’t be discouraged right out of the gate.

Still some of the ignorance remained with me through those first couple of years where I learned how long it takes to bring forth a new work. For me, from beginning to end, and here I’m not referring to actually publishing, it takes about a year to do all the serious work. That means writing the novel followed by serious editing. While it is less than ideal I must do my own editing. For this I have no choice. Financially, hiring an editor, is beyond my means.

Editing, by far, is the most difficult and important part of the process. For me I have a method, as I’m sure most writers do. And for me I go through a novel – first page to last – a minimum of three times. Still with the ones I’m presently editing I can say I’ve been completely through them at least twelve times. Why the difference? It’s simple really. These early novels have required the most revisions, rewrites, and edits. And this is why they have yet to be published. While over time my writing has improved to a point where it requires less rewriting and editing, which I have to admit is really nice, it still must be done. And this novel, as I’ve stated, is the first I ever wrote.

Book length is also important. In the genre I mostly write the word count expected is around one hundred thousand. Yet when I wrote these first two I was unaware of such things as word count. I thought page count was the thing. So both are long, with this one being over one hundred thirty four thousand words, and the second at over one hundred and sixty five thousand. With three hundred to three hundred and fifty words to a page it gives you an idea to the length. And what I’ve learned is that each page you add costs additional money. And by being a small publisher, using Ingram as my producer, and distributor, and by being a publisher of short runs it is expensive, (Now known as POD, or Print on Demand). And because of this the paperbacks produced for sale in the retail market aren’t cheap. If you look up the price of any of my novels you’d naturally think, they must be really good or the publisher thinks they will sell well or the writer has such an ego that he believes that they deserve such a price. As I’ve stated I’m that publisher and writer, and in the end I really only earn, in most markets, less than a dollar per paperback book sold – thusly this is the reality and cost of doing business. And with this it’s time to head into the novel:

The Ones Before came about because of my interest in the past, and in the field of archaeology. In a sense the movie Planet of the Apes where the protagonist discovers, at the end of the movie, that he is on earth sometime far into the future has stayed with me. I still see the images of the Statue of Liberty as a ruin clearly identifying the fact that his world is gone forever.

Another influence for this series, for it is a trilogy, came from a favorite author. His stories always take place in real places. Not necessarily towns, cities, and such, but the lands. So I determined that I’d do the same with this one. So the wild lands, the places spoken of in this novel are real. And if one wanted to retrace the route of the people in this story one can. Although I have to say that those lands in the novel are lacking the cities and towns that exist now. So if one did follow the paths then they would have to imagine the lands without these cities and such.

And with all that I’ve written, in the ten to eleven years of writing, this series is the only one that follows the lands as they exist. Still, as I began this novel, I thought “first person” is the way to write it. After getting to the point where chapter four might have been, (there are eighteen chapters in this novel) I realized that this wasn’t going to work. So I started over and changed the perspective to “third person”. Oh just a small fact here; when I write novels they are all presented as “third person”, yet generally with my short stories I write in the “first person” POV

I say chapter four, but when I wrote this one I had no chapter breaks, nothing at all. So this became another issue as I had to go back and figure out where the chapter breaks should be. And these issues were only the beginnings of problems with this first novel. Issues such as a broken timeline. And others became obvious as I wrote, then came back later (much later) to clean it up. All my novels I now write have those chapter breaks in them as I go along. I can sense, as I write, where the natural break falls.

Did I say, clean it up? Well, that only happened later once I had added chapter breaks and such. I mean when I wrote my first novels the idea of editing didn’t enter my mind at all. I thought – write it, and be done with it. Well, that was another hard lesson. It has been stated that anybody can write, but only writers can edit. So the truth is one doesn’t have a story or a complete novel until the revisions, rewriting and editing is done.

Story – where’d the story come from? This, like the other trilogy I wrote, came from a fragment of a dream. This one, again like the other was a recurring dream. And it intrigued me enough to want to write a story. So when I began this I thought that I must have some type of goal to reach beyond this one novel. So I thought to set my goal rather high. I told myself that I’d write eight novels. Was that a real reachable goal? At the time I made it I really didn’t know.

In this story my original idea was to have one main character who is married and deals with the past. In fact I identified his position as “Head Keeper of the Past”. The other four characters that play an important part in the story were originally to be there as minor characters, ones who would pass on what they had so that the main character would then go forth and solve the mystery that’s before him. But, those other characters demanded more time, and a deeper role in the story, (really?). So instead of one main character I ended up with six. Each and every one critical to the telling of this story.

In fact, other than the prologue where the Head Keeper of the Past is writing, we don’t see him until much later in the novel. Instead we begin with a team that’s mapping major trails. From there we move on to the sister and brother who are trying to survive on family property that has been in their family for generations. And then it is from there we are finally introduced to the Head Keeper of the Past.

In a sense these novels are about discovering one’s past. In the story, The Ones Before are myth. Yet it is a myth that refuses to die, even though nothing has ever been discovered showing they were ever real, had existed, or had lived. Still many past Head Keepers of the Past have tried to solve this mystery only to fail. And this is the overriding theme. The story can be considered post apocalyptic in nature, but only generally. As the event is thousands of years in the past – at least for the first two novels.

Another aspect here in the beginning of my writing lay in the fact that I thought to eliminate conflict. After all, we have enough in our lives, why would I want to include it in a novel? Was I successful? No, not at all. It was later that I learned that conflict is what drives the story. And I learned there are many levels to conflict. From those decisions we make to go one way or the other, to outright war and destruction.

Is this novel available? No not yet. Soon, as I’m having covers designed for the complete trilogy in November of 2017, and hope to have them available by the Christmas season of this year. I have to admit that I love my characters and their interactions with each other and the world they live. And in this novel you truly do learn of their world, their society, and where they are technologically. And I find personally, seeing, reading, and finding a complete living world makes the reading so much more pleasurable.

So I hope that this look inside the process, and the introduction to my path as a writer piques your interest enough that you will want to at least read the back cover of the novel. It, as well as the other two, will be available as both a paperback and in the EBook format. Have a great week and God Bless! (http://www.fdbrant.com/)

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Time of Isolation, Chapter 12, Part 10

Available now, two new novels: Of Gods Strangers and Messengers, Science Fiction Adventure (And the link to the webpage for this book: (http://www.fdbrant.com/page21.html), and Unexpected Unplanned and into the Unknown, a Post-Apocalyptic episodic novel, (And the link to the webpage for this book: http://www.fdbrant.com/page20.html) Both are available as paperback and in the EBook format. They were released on July 14,2017.

The Harsh Lands, (Link to webpage: http://www.fdbrant.com/page19.html) 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: (link to webpage:http://www.fdbrant.com/article02.html)  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: (Link to webpage:http://www.fdbrant.com/desperatetosurvive.html) 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, (Link to webpage: http://www.fdbrant.com/page18.html) 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, (Link to webpage: http://www.fdbrant.com/article01.html). 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).

* * *

Last week the team at the alpha had two jobs. Most of the team headed out to the caldron to search for a possible exit. The remainder worked the security office with the job of testing the communications system and see if it’s really possible to complete the connection so they can transmit. To their surprise once the button was pushed it automatically connected and thusly began the conversation with the pivot city. This week, as we close out both this chapter and the book, we pick up that conversation and the actions that are taking place in both locations:

Saar, looking around at the rest shrugged. He had to admit that he thought it wasn’t going to be that hard to get things moving once they made contact. But it was turning out to be much more complicated. Turning around he asked to no one in particular. “I wonder what that is all about? After all it’s not like we are all jokesters here, and just love to put something over on any who are gullible. So what’s the problem here? Is there something I did or said to make this guy suspicious?” He could see that everyone in the room had no answers for him, so all of them just waited until this Keenan made contact with them again. Yet, at the same time, there was an excitement building. Now they knew for sure that other cities had not received the same fate that theirs had, and there were still ones of their own species around. Saar, thinking, I need Saige and Shellian here, but there is no way. As far as I know they are half way across that large meadow by now and we will have no contact with them until they return tomorrow. They have planned on camping if necessary so that they could do a thorough job of exploring, and possibly finding the exit that they are sure has to be there. So I guess, since I’ve been in charge in the past it is all on me. “What do you think he needs to know?” Saar asked the group. Again shrugging, as he turned back to the console, when he heard the crackling as someone on the other end was picking up a headset.

“Are still there?” The female voice on the other end asked. This is Kacey; I’m the one who monitors the less used channels. Keenan said that he would be with you in a moment. And since I do monitor these channels I heard the conversation between you and Keenan. Is it true that you are from one of the cities that went dark?”

Smiling, as Saar could hear the barely concealed excitement in her voice, said. “Yes, it is quite true. But I am sad to say at the same time that we are very few.”

“Oh, here he is, and to let you know everything that is happening on this channel is automatically recorded.”

“Thank you, that’s good to know.” Saar replied. He waited as the mic went dead once again, and then heard a different one being moved. He turned around placed his hand over his mic since it was voice activated, and said. “I may need help with whatever questions this person has, so listen well.”

“Okay, Saar is it? Right. Saar, you say that you were originally from the city of Sequoyah. If this is so, who was your present head of the council at the time your city went dark?”

At least that was an easy question. But if he really admitted it, most likely, he would not have known, since they had more or less isolated themselves from the city to be able to work and live closer to the way the primitives did. And he had to admit that was probably why any of them were still alive. When the crisis had arisen it had been the leader who had contacted Shayne and then everyone in the compound knew. “His name was Sione. And I say was because I do not know of his true status, but from what we observed, there is little chance for any to have survived.”

“Survived?” Keenan asked. “What do you mean survived?”

“Look, we can go into all of this later, have I not answered correctly? And if you have any additional questions please ask. Time is short and what needs to happen needs to happen yesterday, especially if you don’t want to lose another city. And it’s really that simple.”

“Okay, you did, and I did have others but I’ll accept what you have told me, but just one more thing, where did you and your over-bosses work?”

Laughing a bitter laugh Saar said. “We were the last of the scouting units. We had learned that all the other cities had dropped the units. We feel that if that hadn’t happened then what has transpired may never have occurred. Look, I was told that our conversation is being recorded, and if that is so, you need to transmit a copy of what I am about to tell you not only to your council, but to every city that still survives. Our very existence depends on it, and it is that serious, do you understand?”

Still with suspicion in his voice Keenan said. “Oh come on, you’re telling me this and expect me to just jump and do? Get real here.”

Saar then interrupted Keenan and said. “Look we can argue this all day, and still not solve anything. When this was first brought to Shayne he was given the color yellow.”

Then interrupting Saar, Keenan asked, “Shayne? Who is this Shayne that you are talking about?”

“He was our leader, but was killed during our escape. But that is old history now, and I am giving you a color that is rarely given as I feel it is that critical. And that color is Black.” Now there was only silence on the other end for the longest of times. Then he heard a deep sigh.

“Okay Saar. You do know that using that color has, as far as I know, been used only once in our entire history. Are you sure you want to invoke black?”

Then in a quiet voice Saar said. “Yes.” Then he let a few seconds of silence go by before continuing. “If there was something higher than black I would use it. This is that serious.”

“Okay then, as you know we are recording this.”

“I was told, but now I have a question for you. Can this be put to your council live? And if so, how long before they can be gathered?”

“I don’t have that kind of authority!” Keenan responded.

“Then run the color black against whoever you need and let’s move on this.”

“Okay, I’ll see what I can get done. In the meantime work with Kacey, and let her know the details so that there will be a small part that can be presented while the council is getting together.”

                                * * *

The information passed through the cities like a wild fire. Now the cities that remained were on full alert, knowing what had happened to their sister cities. But no one had any answers as of yet, as to what they could do to stop the primitives. Saar was thankful that their time of isolation was over, that they had found that many of the cities had survived. But there still was a long and twisted road ahead of them as they came to grip with this alliance. But with knowledge, many times a solution could be found. And with point Alpha rediscovered, their true history would be known throughout the cities. And Saar for one would be glad to let Saige, Shellian and the rest of the crew know that contact had been made and plans were progressing. Still he knew that this was only the beginning, and there was much work ahead of all of them. Including the search for their home world, and whatever it was that had left them isolated here, on this distant world.

 

To be continued in the novel Desperate to Survive.

* * *

And with this I’ve presented the complete novel, Time of Isolation. What has been learned here is the fact that there were two levels of isolation they are dealing with. The first they knew, when they escaped their burning city, followed by a running fight with the primitives, ending with them in the Sacred Mountains, spending a winter there, and then through an accident discovering the abandoned facility known as Point Alpha. And with no known way to communicate it left them isolated from the rest of the cities. As they brought the facility back to life they discovered their true past, and found that they – all of them – were involved in a much larger Time of Isolation as they had been abandoned here on this planet. Yet the danger persists, and at this point in the story the primitives seem bent on destroying all of the cities hidden deep in the desolation. And while book two – Desperate to Survive will not be presented here I’ll briefly talk about it.

In Time of Isolation the story deals more with the cities, and specifically with the scout unit. The primitives are only seen as the antagonists. In the second book we get up close and personal with the primitives, their society, and the reasons for the alliance. It also deals with the captives from the fallen cities. Of course the scout unit still plays a major role in what happens. Have a great week and God Bless! (http://www.fdbrant.com/)

Published in: on September 23, 2017 at 7:15 am  Leave a Comment  
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Time of Isolation, Chapter 12, Part 9

Available now, two new novels: Of Gods Strangers and Messengers, Science Fiction Adventure (And the link to the webpage for this book: (http://www.fdbrant.com/page21.html), and Unexpected Unplanned and into the Unknown, a Post-Apocalyptic episodic novel, (And the link to the webpage for this book: http://www.fdbrant.com/page20.html) Both are available as paperback and in the EBook format. They were released on July 14,2017.

The Harsh Lands, (Link to webpage: http://www.fdbrant.com/page19.html) 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: (link to webpage:http://www.fdbrant.com/article02.html)  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: (Link to webpage:http://www.fdbrant.com/desperatetosurvive.html) 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, (Link to webpage: http://www.fdbrant.com/page18.html) 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, (Link to webpage:http://www.fdbrant.com/article01.html). 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).

* * *

A lot is happening. Whether, in the end, it leads to solving the many problems before the scout team is unknown. Still with the knowledge gained they are moving forward hoping to both discover how their ancestors used the herds, find an exit from the meadows where the herds are located, and learn how to contact the cities hidden deep in the desolation. We then shift perspectives and follow Keenan as he deals with less than ideal circumstances. And while his back is to his crew one of the members approaches and begins to request his attention. We pick up the action after some conversation between the two:

She nodded her head and he could see that she almost said it again but paused. “Okay, I just received a communications from a channel that has never been active.”

“You mean active while you’ve worked here, right?”

Shaking her head she said. No, no as far as I can see, and I’ve checked the logs as far back as I could, it has never been used. And this channel has our highest priority color attached to it. And the signal is weak and scratchy, but I think I can actually hear someone trying to communicate with us.”

“Are you sure?” Then shaking his head he said. “Of course you are, sorry about that, but it is a surprise that’s all. What does the monitor tell you?”

“That’s the really weird part; it’s saying that it is originating from point Alpha.”

He looked perplexed for a moment and then glanced over at his monitoring panel and saw that one light was flashing, and like at her station this light had never flashed in his twenty-five years of working here. “What the heck is going on?” He thought a moment before continuing. “Okay Kacey transfer it to my station and I’ll take it from here, and please set up for record, we want an accurate recording of this, and if it turns out to be some type of hoax, then we’ll have it all down. And please monitor it with me so that if something comes to mind that you want to either ask or add you can.” He glanced up at the clock and it said 1433.

                                * * *

“Look, when we pushed this button that is marked with the highest priority color, then this happened.” The other two stared at the center panel than now was lit up. A message appeared on the monitor that sat above this panel and stated, “Ready to Transmit”. “Who’d of thought it would be that easy?” Saar asked. He looked around at the rest and he could see the surprise in their eyes also. “Okay now what?”

“Now what, what?” Sabryn asked.

“Well, as far as I know, we were just supposed to figure this out, and then report back to Saige and Shellian on our research, not actually make a connection.” Saar responded.

“I guess it’s too late for that now.” Seirra replied. “It looks like it has sent out a carrier wave, and set itself up, and connected to Keahilani.”

“Which means”, Seve said, “that some type of confirmation would have happened there, so they would know that someone would be trying to contact them.” They could now feel the excitement building inside of them, as well as nervousness, as they realized what was happening. After all this time of isolation they were finally going to be able to talk to a city.

Saar, looking around at the rest asked, “What should we say?” He could feel the tension in the room as the other three shrugged. “Take me to your leader, doesn’t work here,” he said, trying to ease the atmosphere. And it had its effect by a series of small nervous chuckles that the statement evoked. They all jumped when a scratchy but understandable voice came out of the panel.

“Who is on this priority channel?” The voice asked before continuing. “If this is some kind of joke or prank we are not laughing here. And if it is, then there are serious consequences for operating on this channel.” The voice said with strong authority.

They looked at each other for a moment and then Seve said. “You’d better respond, or I guess the better question is, have you figured out how to respond?”

“Ah, this is Saar.”

“Saar? Who the heck is Saar, and since you are connecting through point Alpha why is your name beginning with an “S”?” Keenan asked.

“Point Alpha? Look, whoever you are, since you haven’t identified yourself, if you happen to really look, you will know that on any of the circuits or maps for that matter, there is never a mention of this place, point Alpha as you called it.” And it was true, this location had never been on any map and the list of cities never had one that began with “A”. And because it had never been there, there never had been a question as to why. Now their little band knew why, but nobody in the rest of the world did.

“True.” The voice agreed. “But for some reason it is on my panel, although I’ve never seen it activate or become active in any way. And I am Keenan, the leader of this shift.” Again he couldn’t keep the suspicion out of his voice.

“Keenan is it? Okay then, there is a reason for that, and if what happened to our city had not have happened, then all of this would not have happened, or had become known. Anyway, I am a doctor, and as you have guessed, we are not from here or there. Our city was Sequoyah.” That brought silence for a moment, as if the speaker on the other end was trying to assimilate what he had just been told.

Then in a softer tone Keenan said, “Sequoyah is one of the cities that went dark.” Then with the realization of what had been just relayed to him he continued. “You aren’t trying to pull some type of prank here are you? Because if you are, then I personally will be sure to see you pay for it.”

Saar looked around at the rest of them that were in the security office and just shook his head. He then took a deep breath before speaking again. “No, Keenan. In a way I wish it were so and our city still existed. But it is gone as are the others, which have gone dark. And on that subject just how many have gone dark now?”

“Have you been out of the loop or something? Everybody knows that we’ve had eight cities go dark. How is it that you don’t know that?”

“I guess you can say that we have been in isolation for somewhere close to or more than a full annual. And let me say that we know why it is happening, and that every city that still exists needs to know this information, and all of you need to figure how to fix it now.”

“Okay, right now all you are doing is talking in circles. You’ve given me no proof of who you are, and how you got on this channel, or even what this channel is for. I don’t think I’ve even heard anything about it at all, and I don’t remember any mention about it in the archives.”

“Okay, okay then, what is it that you need from us to prove that we are legitimate and not someone who is trying to pull off some big publicity stunt?”

“Good question, give me a moment and I’ll get back to you. I’ve got to find some info on your supposed city, and then I’ll ask the questions, you then can give me the answers, and confirm that what you are telling me is true. Be right back.” The mic then went dead.

* * *

At this point in the story we are concentrating on the communication center, and the Alpha. For the ones in the security office their role is to simply test and determine how and if the system works. They then are to report to the two leaders when the team, who is out searching the caldron, returns. They learn that the system isn’t set up that way and when they push a button to test out what they’ve learned, the system automatically connects. For the communication center on the other end this has never happened. The circuit has always existed, but has never been activated. Next week we not only wrap of chapter twelve, but close out Time of Isolation – book one it the Survival Trilogy. God Bless and have a great week. (http://www.fdbrant.com/)

Time of Isolation, Chapter 12, Part 8

Available now, two new novels: Of Gods Strangers and Messengers, Science Fiction Adventure (And the link to the webpage for this book: (http://www.fdbrant.com/page21.html), and Unexpected Unplanned and into the Unknown, a Post-Apocalyptic episodic novel, (And the link to the webpage for this book: http://www.fdbrant.com/page20.html) Both are available as paperback and in the EBook format. They were released on July 14,2017.

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).

* * *

Last week we followed both the team and then Keenan as we push towards the end of book one in the Survival Trilogy. Finally, for the team, they’ve learned a number of things, and one of the most important is that they now know they can contact the hidden cities, if there are any remaining. They only have to figure out how to do it. At the same time this is happening they are planning a detailed search of the large caldron where Stone and Sorrel located a large herd. Meanwhile Keenan is frustrated with the lack of progress, and answers given to the present crisis. With this we are up to date and ready to move onto part 8:

Seve turning to his mate said, “You’ve been great on searching the database, and if Shayne becomes fussy or needs to be fed, you can slip out to the nursery and take care of his needs and probably be able to continue the research.”

Smiling and shaking her head she said. “I have no problem with that, but we created this child and we will share in everything. Of course, since I am breast-feeding him you cannot take part in that, but I expect you to go with me with everything else, and that includes helping me put him down for his nap or change his messy pants. That’s the way it was in my parents’ house and that’s the way it will be in ours.” She looked over lovingly to the sleeping baby that was lying in a small portable bed, oblivious to what was going on around him. “It appears that Staven is totally into fatherhood, and he is carrying Sommer on his back, as they are exploring that meadow.”

“Yeah I know. It’s just something I have to grow into. In the house I grew up in, mom and dad stayed within their roles. Mom took care of us and dad did the rest. I think probably it had to do with the fact that they worked closely with the primitives and that’s how the primitives that we observed sort of lived.” Then putting his hands out in front of him in defense he continued. “So it was the way I thought it was supposed to be, but I can see that it is so much better to share in everything. But it is going to take me some time to change the way I was raised.”

Saar then interrupted saying, “Now that we have had our family discussion, can we get on with this?”

Both turned around and realized that was exactly what they were doing, and apologized profusely. When Saar turned around he saw Seirra smiling. “So what are you smiling at?”

“Oh them. The one thing everyone forgets when they get into a relationship is that both are coming from different places, have different views, and have different experiences. So, there is much the two of you have to overcome, and it’s really surprising that anybody actually stays together. But I guess we all learn to adjust if we really care.”

As he thought about it he had to agree. Even he and Shellian had had some growing pains, but both of them were willing to work on it. Shellian was a very strong willed woman and one who had confidence in her abilities. And he had to admit that she had earned that right. “I guess that’s very true. Oh well, I guess the show’s over, so to all of us, let’s get to it.”

                                * * *

Keenan, looking over his workers knew that they had sensed his mood, and were being very careful to stay out of his way. They all had been, at one time or another, on the receiving end of his displeasure, and it was not pleasant. So they all walked on eggshells and avoided direct eye contact. Yet, all of them had to admit that they would not want to work with anybody else, as their boss even when he was in a foul mood, made sure that all were treated fairly. They knew that as much as he would not put up with anything from them, he was the same way with his own over-bosses. So they, in some ways, were able to do more and have a little more freedom than the other shifts. Still, they could sense the electricity in the air, and now was just waiting for it to discharge, and hope everything would return back to normal. But this had been something that had been building for a while, they knew it had to do with the cities that had gone dark, and the weak excuses his over-bosses were passing on to him.

Shaking his head as he paced back and forth on the raised area in the back of the center, he felt as if something was about to happen, and he hoped that it was not another city going dark. But the morning passed quietly, and all appeared to be much too normal for him. And even with this semblance of normalcy, he still sensed that something was very wrong. So with a deep sigh, he headed for the midday meal, and looked for a table that would isolate him from the rest of his peers. He was in no mood for company. As he sat down with his food, he looked across the cafeteria and saw Kiley approaching his table, and he looked up at him and glared, and almost laughed as Kiley stopped dead in his tracks, changed direction, and headed for another table.

Later, back on shift, he thought that other than supporting his body, that the midday meal was worthless. He couldn’t even remember finishing it and leaving, let alone tasting anything. Looking over the workers again, everything appeared to just be as it should be, and yet, he felt that it was just wrong. How it was wrong, he had no idea, but he just could not put down the feeling that it was. He turned his back and stared at the wall deep in thought, trying to come to terms with this foreboding that appeared to penetrate his very soul. There was a crisis, but looking around one would never have guessed. Maybe that was why he was feeling this way. Everything appeared to be very normal, and it was anything but. “Sir?” He barely heard it and then thought. Sir is it? How I hate to be called that. Then shaking his head inwardly, Yeah, I know it’s a sign of respect, but I always figured that it belonged to my parents or someone older than I am. Okay, who asked? Turning around he saw Kacey standing below him. She had worked here for about eight annuals and was very good at what she did. She monitored the little used channels, and he had tried to get her not to use sir, but she had insisted. With a mental shrug he asked, keeping the tension he was feeling out of his voice. “Yes Kacey, what is it?”

She paused for a moment not sure how to continue, and the indecision was plain on her face. She looked down at the floor for a moment and then said, “I’m not sure what to make of it sir . . .” She immediately paused again when she saw him glare at her for using sir. “I’m sorry, but I just can’t change the way I was raised.”

Looking at her, he could see a nice looking woman, not pretty by any means, but one who could be attractive if she dressed a little differently and wore her hair in a different way, but she preferred to keep things as plain as she could, while working. As far as he knew she was still single, and he tried to stay out of his workers personal lives, unless it had an effect on their work. “Yes, yes, I know, but as you know, I’ve never cared for it.” Sighing, he continued, “This is getting away from why you are here, now please continue.”

* * *

We opened with a brief discussion about family before shifting perspectives and leaving the Alpha behind. Here we follow Keenan as the shift he’s working, and where he is the supervisor, continues to move right along making things appear normal. Yet he feels a foreboding that seems to go completely through him, leaving him short tempered. For the ones who work under him it is a time to simply do their jobs and not rock the boat. While his back is turned Kacey approaches with a situation and we end this week with the conversation dealing with something Keenan has never liked and she, because of her upbringing, cannot keep from using.

This ending chapter, chapter 12, has ten parts, and with this we are down to the last two where we close out this story. Have a great week and God Bless! (http://www.fdbrant.com/)

Time of Isolation, Chapter 12, Part 7

Available now, two new novels: Of Gods Strangers and Messengers, Science Fiction Adventure (And the link to the webpage for this book: (http://www.fdbrant.com/page21.html), and Unexpected Unplanned and into the Unknown, a Post-Apocalyptic episodic novel, (And the link to the webpage for this book: http://www.fdbrant.com/page20.html) Both are available as paperback and in the EBook format. They were released on July 14,2017.

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).

* * *

With the research, the remnant of the scout team from Sequoyah have done at the Alpha, it appears they are on the verge of a breakthrough. They now know that it is possible to contact the cities hidden inside the desolation, they only have to discover how. And with the discovery and location of the herd, it is time for the majority of the team to search the large caldron for a possible exit. With the team at breakfast the anticipation is high.

Meanwhile Keenan is short tempered and tired. It appears that their world is coming apart and yet from the responses from the leadership it could be any normal day. Still eight cities have gone dark with no explanation as to why. And as he faces a new day he feels helpless against the forces that seem to remain out of sight and out of reach. And with this we pick up the story with Keenan continuing his thoughts:

He knew that the city of Sequoyah had been the last to maintain the unit that worked out in the field, who had trained continually to be able to work among the primitives, if it came down to the need, but Sequoyah was one of the cities that had gone dark, and so any chance of discovery went out the window with them. He looked up and realized that he had reached the central communications center, and wondered how he had gotten here so fast. It appeared to him that he had just left his apartment. At least if something happened to this city there would be no family for him to lose, he mused. He had been coupled twice, but it had never worked out. And in those short unions no children and his parents had died a long time ago, as had his one brother and sister. Oh if he searched he probably had a couple of nieces and nephews but he truly did not know. Looking up at the large clock he found that he had time to get something hot to drink before beginning his shift and headed for one of the machines before relieving the last shift.

                                * * *

As they walked the large cavern towards the entrance to the stairs and moving rooms, the lights turned on automatically, as they came into the range of the hidden sensors. Before them, lay a pathway of lights, shining up from the ground towards the ceiling that was high above them. This area had to have been a large pocket of magma, that had disappeared, leaving this cavern here a very long time ago, and it was huge. Sorrel and Stone led the way, and they shortly arrived at what Stone felt was originally a steam vent. Making the turn, the passageway lit up as the floor had, and before them they could see the closed doors leading into the room where the stairway and moving rooms were located. “The stairs are on the right through a door, and on the left is the other rooms, and straight ahead is a wall,” Stone commented as they reached the door. As they prepared to enter, the rest could see that there was wired glass to allow them to look into the room. Sorrel then held open the door and with a flourish, waved them through. As all of them entered, the room was exactly as they had described. Stone then went over to the doors on the left and pushed a button that was between them. The doors opened immediately causing Saige, Shellian, Staven, and Starr to jump. Laughing softly Stone said. “Sorry about that, I didn’t think they were going to open that quickly. But hurry everyone inside. These doors only stay open for a short time and they will close again.” Hesitantly the four of them joined Stone and Sorrel inside. And as he had stated the doors did close. Stone then turned towards the panel and pressed the button for the top. He could feel the tension in the air, since the other four did not know what to expect. There was a soft whirring sound and suddenly the room was moving upwards and they briefly felt heavier, then just the opposite as it slowed and then came to a stop. The doors opened and they now were outside of the facility. “Quickly now – these doors will close again. It really isn’t a problem, as you can keep them open by blocking them.” Stone then demonstrated, as the doors had begun to close and he blocked them and they opened again. “The other moving room is much larger, and I suspect that it is the one the used to move freight up and down.”

They took a quick tour around the area and had to agree with the assessment that they had been given the night before. Again, it was obvious, that from the trails on the mountains that this area would be invisible. And the views from here, as described, were spectacular. “I can see that this would give any of the support people a place to go that would be safe and still be outside. Yes, I know that they probably walked the small valley, but this area gives you vistas to stare at, and one does not feel closed in at all. It is just beautiful.” Saige said.

Stone then led them to the stairs, and they descended to the middle area and the large swinging doors that marked the passage into another worked steam vent, and out into the buildings that led into the meadowlands beyond. Once there, after a brief stop in the buildings Starr exclaimed as she saw the area. “This is so big, quiet, peaceful, and really, really beautiful too.” Then turning around and looking at the rest of them, she could see that all of the rest were in agreement with what she had said.

Sorrel then stated as she pointed out into the distance. “We ran out of daylight, and unlike the buildings which seem to have a dusk-to-dawn lighting system, there are none out here at all. We were only able to get less than half way out there and had to return. Stone figures that this place has to be around ten kilometers around.” Then she pointed towards a different area and said. “Over there is a small lake. We didn’t have time to figure out whether it was natural, or something that our ancestors had built. But we were able to confirm that this volcanic wall goes completely around it, protecting the animals that are in here.”

“Were either of you able to get close to the pack beasts at all?” Shellian asked

Shaking her head Sorrel said, “No, they were still out towards the other end of this giant bowl, but as night approached they were beginning to head back to those buildings. But we were out of time and needed to get back. Yet, from a distance, they showed more curiosity than fear. But whether that’s because there is nothing for them to fear here, or because the bots have worked with them, I really don’t know.”

Turning around and facing the group Saige said, “I guess even with your description I didn’t think this would be as large as it is. Okay, here is what I would like to happen. Staven, you and Starr take the left wall and follow it out. Stone, you and Sorrel, since you have been here, work up through the middle of the meadows, and then Shellian and I will work the right wall. We should be able to see at least some of the others as we work our way around. Then we will meet on the other side, and see what we find. We can then break for lunch and continue. You all know what we need to do, so let’s get to it.”

                                * * *

“You all know what we are here for today. Seve, you and Sabryn search that manual and database and see if there is any mention on how we tie what you Sabryn found to anything here in the security office.” Turning around and facing Seirra, Saar continued, “Since you were the one who actually discovered the locations being placed at the bottom of the screen, maybe you can find out which of these, I guess you can call them, eyes-in-the-skies that will get us closest to Keahilani. And since part of our job is to keep us safe, for the first part of the day here I will monitor the area. We’ll all switch jobs later. And as Saige said, we are in a critical situation, and time is, as usual, running out on us and our people.”

* * *

For the team at the Alpha today is a day of trying to find answers, not that they haven’t been doing this from the beginning of their discovery of the forgotten facility. Still with the knowledge they presently have they feel that they’re approaching a breakthrough, and shortly their Time of Isolation will be over. At the same time this is happening Keenan, from Keahilani, is frustrated and is about to begin his shift. And as one can see we are rapidly approaching the end of book one in the Survival Trilogy. Have a great week, and God Bless! (http://www.fdbrant.com/)

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