Time of Isolation, Chapter 12, Part 5

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 much has transpired with the teams as they search, research, and rediscover the Alpha. Still mysteries abound, and while they may be a little closer to solving the riddles before them they are still frustrated by the inability to communicate with any of the Cities that may still exist. So their time of isolation continues. With the views of this world from above they have been observing a set of letters and numbers with the numbers changing according to where they are viewing. Nobody understands their significance. Meanwhile Sorrel and Stone have made important discoveries and are on the way back. And with this we open part 5:

“Has anyone seen either Stone or Sorrel?” Saige asked as they began sitting in the meeting room. Looking around, he saw that overall that no one had. He wondered what had delayed them. He knew that from what had been relayed to him, that they had found stairs that climbed out of sight, and a couple of enclosed rooms. From the brief description that he had received, the area was a place that he did want to visit, and the feeling he got was that most of the others here were of like mind. “I guess they will show up when they get back from whatever they have found. So let’s open this up with each of us passing on what we have found, or not found today, and I’ll start it. Shellian and I searched the grounds completely, and overall nothing has changed. We found a small greenhouse sitting back in a hidden corner that we felt was there for the use of the staff. You know, for things like growing flowers, or plants, and I think that it was also used for school projects, as there was a section that was separate that had a sign stating education – other than that, nothing at all new. Seve, Staven, your turn.” He sat down and Staven got up.

“Both the steam room and the electric room were completely searched, and other than learning that most of our system is based on geothermal and solar, we have nothing to report. Everything there was as expected. While there, of course, Seve came up with his ideas that were then presented, and I think Sabryn now has the answer to the question that was asked of her after lunch.” At this point Staven sat back down, and turned it over to Sabryn.

“Once Seirra had shown me those letters and numbers I knew that I had seen something similar, but where and what I couldn’t remember. But before I get to that, I need to say that our primary assignment was to search out the immediate facility, and nothing new was found, and the maps and schematics of the place are accurate. Now, onto the other, I now remember that there are three places that I remember coming across those combinations of letters and numbers. In the system it describes these as longitude and latitude. It is a way to locate something anywhere on this world. So when they were looking at a certain place on this world from those views it was automatically providing the longitude and latitude. The measurements that are used are degrees, minutes, and seconds. And don’t ask me why, I’m not the one who developed the system. Longitude measures through the poles and latitude measures from the equator. With these two, and the breakdown, any place on this planet can be located. Once you realize that, then it would make sense for someone to leave information on the locations of the planned cities. So once I understood that, I went back through the records that existed in the computer, and found a reference to a source in the administrator’s office, and a second tied directly to the security office. It required one to go to the admin office, to get first, the list of the cities, their names, and such. Plus there was a password there to use in the security office that would then release not only the locations by this system of longitude, and latitude, but emergency frequencies to contact them.”

“You mean that there might be a way that we can contact each of them directly? Wow this is great news.” Saige stated excitedly. He turned to Seve stating, “I guess you’re right, and when you presented it, it made sense.” About this time the doors opened with Stone and Sorrel arriving.

“Sorry about being late.” Stone said, “But we have some very important news to pass on, and while on that subject, did we miss anything?”

“Only the fact that we may now be able to contact the cities, and let them know what is happening, that’s all . . . Anyway Sabryn, are you finished with your report?” She nodded and sat down. “Okay then Stone, since you are standing, go ahead and let us know what you have found, other than the area that you had talked about over lunch of course.”

“Simply put, we found it. Well at least part of the puzzle anyway. As you know, the stairs led up, and we climbed them to the top. We discovered, albeit accidentally, what those rooms were also. Since we never had a need of them in our cities, it would never have occurred to us that it was a way to move between floors, without walking. They transport one from one floor to another. It is a different feeling when they begin to move. If they go up at first you feel heavier, and quite the opposite when you go down in them.” Catching his breath for a moment, he leaned forward supporting his weight on his hands that he had placed on the table. “While that is a nice discovery, the question is why would they need such a thing? It turns out that there are just three stops that we could get to. There is at least another, but that one requires a key, which we did not have. But I would guess that it is another supply area. The ground floor is at the level of the cavern, and the top floor exits to an open lunch slash meeting area, beautiful really. But the one in the middle empties into a room that has large swinging doors, big enough to move large crates through. So initially we thought it could be just another supply area, and when we went through it, there was a worked steam vent and . . .” He went on to describe all that they had found, and apologizing at the end, since they had been unable to do a complete search. “My feelings are that there has to be an exit on the far side, somewhere that would not compromise this compound, and besides I can’t really see anyone bringing those animals through the area where we entered. And for now that’s all we have.”

Smiling Saige said. “With the way things have been going I was getting very frustrated on the lack of progress, and now all in the same day things have moved so quickly that we will be working hard on solving the problems that have now been presented. Oh, one more thing Sabryn, did any of that information include locations for the primitives?”

Shaking her head she said, “No, the notation stated that since many of the primitives were nomadic, and had no real permanent location, that only full descriptions of their lives were included.”

“I guess we can’t have everything, but that sure would have been nice. Okay, it looks like we have a lot of work ahead of us, so in the morning, normally Seve and Sabryn would have manned the security office, but I am adding both of you, Seirra and Saar back there. There’s room for that many in there. We need to get that information and figure out how to contact the remaining cities, and of course the first one we need to contact would be Keahilani, since it is the pivot city, the one that maintains all communications traffic between the cities. They could get the word out quicker than we could. The rest of us will head out to this place that Stone and Sorrel located, and see if we can find that exit. Truly we are running out of time, and so far we haven’t been able to locate the alliance headquarters. But we do have, or will have shortly, the coordinates of all the cities, so we can narrow the search area down a bit by comparing the times when the cities we know were taken by the primitives, and by looking at the differences, come up with a much smaller area to search. If there isn’t anything else, I for one have to admit that it has been a full day.”

* * *

After many false starts and directions it looks like finally things have turned. And in one day they have discovered the importance of the letters and numbers, and found the location of the suspected herd they believe their ancestors kept. Now if they can take all of this new knowledge and use it to bring an end to the undeclared war with the primitives. But they are only ten. Still and while this is their long term goal, it is something completely out of their reach at this time. Yet, they have to feel good about this day, and with the meeting about to end and at the end of the day everybody can take a break before beginning the assignments given for tomorrow. And with the close of part five we are half way through the final chapter. Have a great week and God Bless! (http://www.fdbrant.com/)

Time of Isolation, Chapter 12, Part 4

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 left Stone and Sorrel discovering the location of the herds that the team suspected their ancient ancestors used to maintain contact with the primitives of this planet. This was a major scientific research project that went terribly wrong when for unknown reasons they were isolated on this world. To maintain their isolation and separation from the primitives they established the cities hidden deep in the desolation, and over time lost their true history and identity. This is followed by  the discovery of some of the Cities by the primitives, generations later, who then lay waste to these cities, leading a small scout team escaping into the Sacred Mountains where they then rediscover “the Alpha”,  the base of operations where the scientific teams had worked from. During this time of rediscovery they’ve found the truth about their past, but with no way to communicate to any of the surviving Cities they have no way of knowing if they are the last. Not only the last survivors of the Cities, but possibly of their species.

During this Time of Isolation they have been learning much, but feel there’s a long way to go before they fully understand what is here. Part of what they are attempting to solve, at this moment, is the fact, after discovering they can monitor the planet from somewhere in the sky, is a series of letters and numbers, with the numbers changing, all according to where they are viewing from those “eyes-in-the-skies”. And with Sabryn about to join the team that’s in the security office we move on to part 4:

Smiling as she went out the door Starr heard her whisper, “Thank You”, as she disappeared from sight. Sabryn hurried down the hallway, at the moment she was almost on the opposite side of the compound, and it would take her a little time to get there. As she hurried along her way, a smile came to her as she thought about her sleeping daughter, and wondered what the future would hold for her. One thing for sure it will be different in so many ways. Even if we are able to break up the alliance, we now know that the past, as it has been taught, is completely wrong. I really wonder when it got changed to what we were taught. And where is our home world? There’s absolutely nothing in any of the records even identifying its location. But I guess I can kind of understand it. That means that if something happened to one of the outposts, that the information on its location could not be compromised. Still, I would really like to see it if it still exists, and there is just no way to know, is there? She reached the security entrance and found that other than Starr, who she had left with the children, Stone and Sorrel, everybody was here at the security office. “This is a surprise.” She said, as she saw all of them there. “Are we having a party or something?” This brought a chuckle out of the group. “Would you like me to come in, or just wait out here? It’s getting a little tight in there, and I don’t know if I could fit comfortably with all of you in there.”

“No, we do need you in here. Seirra wants to show you something, and see if it looks familiar to you. Seve thought that you had either seen, or mentioned that you had seen something similar, and that it might hold the key to solving another of the many puzzles we’ve found since this place was discovered. And while it’s a little crowded, it’s really not that crowded since I believe that if we needed to, we probably could put everybody in here. But instead it’s just a few and I know you were just jesting anyway. The rest of the team will head back to the meeting room where they can continue to monitor us.” They began filing out and headed back leaving plenty of room for Sabryn to enter the security room. She watched as they left and stood silently for a moment before entering the security office. She looked around briefly and then at Seirra, who was looking back at her.

“Okay, I’m here. What’s so important that you pulled me away from our search? Not that anything new has been found, but I really did not figure that we would be looking at anything else until we had finished the searching.”

“Seirra showed me something and again, as I said, Seve thought that you had seen something like it, so if you would?” Saige then gestured for her to come forward and look at the screen.

She came forward and looked over Seirra’s shoulder and asked. “What is it that you want me to see?”

Seirra pointed to the bottom of the monitor and said. “It’s these letters and numbers that change when I or any of us change the view.” She then demonstrated. “See what I mean.”

“Yes and no. The letters stay the same; it’s just the numbers that change. Hmmm, let me think.” She was silent for a moment and thought. They are right. I’ve seen something similar to this. But what is it and where? Shaking her head as she continued to think, I’ve been through so much stuff lately just where is it that I saw this? She could feel the pressure mounting as the silence in the room grew, but at the moment she didn’t have a ready answer. “He’s right, I did mention something about letters and numbers, but I’m drawing a blank right this moment. Just let me think about it, okay?”

Saige shrugged and said. “At least it was worth a shot. So you do remember something, but not much more at this moment. Okay keep thinking about it. Tonight I want all of us back together to go over what we have learned, or not, and maybe by that time you will have come up with something.”

Again shaking her head, Sabryn said. “I’m so sorry. It’s just we have been researching so much stuff lately that it just escapes me for now.” She saw that Saige was nodding his head, and signaled her that she could return to what she had been doing.

“At least we may have an answer soon.” Then looking up at the camera he continued. “Remember we all need to be in the meeting room after dinner so that we can compare notes, and has anyone heard anything from either Stone or Sorrel since the midday meal?” All he got was silence. Breathing out heavily, he finished by saying. “Maybe they had better luck, so I guess everyone can go back to doing what they were before this interruption. We will look at what Seve suggested, and hope that Sabryn can remember. I think somehow it is all tied together. See you all later.”

                                * * *

The suns were dropping down behind the horizon by the time Stone and Sorrel reached the buildings once again. They had at one point cut across the meadowland to at least check part of it out. But to do a thorough search would require another day, if not two. The first thing that they noticed was that the pack animals were heading towards the buildings also. “Maybe they spend the nights inside one of the buildings.” Sorrel suggested.

“Yeah probably”, Stone responded. “It probably provides not only protection from the weather, but from the predators also, even though there has been no sign of any. I bet that these doors on the large building close at night also.”

“Really? Why would you think that?” She asked.

“Well think about it. If you remember what the entrance looked like, there was no soil buildup or signs of disuse on the rollers and channels. To me, that speaks of constant use. That way, in the cold of winters it would provide protection for the beasts of burden. And I suspect that once they are here that there are bots that monitor them and probably are also responsible for thinning of the herds so that they do not outgrow their food.”

“And that’s probably where the meat is coming from.” She was silent for a minute before continuing, “I think we need to hurry back. We’ve still got a ways to go, and I’m finding that I am actually hungry – haven’t done this kind of exercise since we’ve been here. And we can truthfully say we found where the beasts are kept. I know, it still doesn’t explain a lot, but it surely is one step closer, don’t you think?”

He had to agree, and he reached out and took her hand, and then hand in hand they retraced their steps from earlier in the day, as they headed back into the facility.

* * *

When Sabryn arrives at the security office most of the team filters out and heads to the meeting room where they can monitor what’s happening in the security office from the feed. At this point she comes over to where Seirra has been monitoring the world and views another of the many mysteries they have yet to solve, and knows that she has seen something similar. Unfortunately she doesn’t remember where. In the meantime Stone and Sorrel are heading back to join the rest of the team after a successful outing learning where the herd is kept. With the day almost over they head hand in hand retracing their steps from earlier in the day. Have a great week and God Bless! (http://www.fdbrant.com/)

Time of Isolation, Chapter 12, Part 3

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 discoveries continuing at the Alpha, there is still too little information to be able to solve the many issues and mysteries that are still before them. They continue to have no contact with the outside world, and are desperate to learn what’s happening. At the same time, with the continued use of the “eyes-in-the-skies”, they are searching the planet for any movement the primitives may make. Still even here there are mysteries that must be solved. Meanwhile the team of Stone and Sorrel are making a significant discovery as they are presently inside a building that appears to be open to the outside world. In the distance they can hear what they believe are herd animals. And now onto part 3:

“I don’t know either; shall we explore this before we go outside? You know it really doesn’t feel like this place stays open all the time. I bet you that when the suns set those large doors close down for the night. I suspect that like the sensors that turned on the lights as we approached, that there is something similar set up to close the doors when night falls or the weather gets really nasty.” Stone stated as he looked around. They slowly walked around the interior of the building and found many stations positioned at different locations, most they had no idea what they were used for. “Well, I am really starting to develop an inferiority complex here. I mean, the ones who built this place were our ancestors, and obviously they knew what all of this was for, and I haven’t a clue.”

Nodding in agreement, she looked down for a moment and said. “Enough of this, let’s go outside and see what other wonders our ancestors left us.” They headed out through a huge opening, stopping briefly; Stone noticed the opening had a huge door, which was on rollers, which would allow it to slide to cover the opening. Studying it closely he could see that that the rails that the rollers tracked in showed signs of usage. He commented. “See, the tracks show signs of usage which means that they probably do close and open.” Looking up, he saw that he was alone and that he had been talking just to himself. Now where did Sorrel run off to? He raised his voice and yelled, “Sorrel? Sorrel where are you?” Looking around the area he presently was in, he noticed that there were at least two more buildings to his left and on the right arose a volcanic wall that he suspected was another cone from one of the extinct volcanoes. Not getting an answer, he headed towards one of the other buildings that were a little distance from where he was. As he walked he could hear his footsteps crunching on the gravel. He looked down and realized that this whole area had been covered in gravel, and it extended around the other buildings as well. With no response he was getting worried that something may have happened, but realized that there was little chance of that actually happening, and got his emotions back in control. He went around to the right of the furthest building and stopped and caught his breath. Before him lay a large meadowland and surrounding it completely, rising to a great height, was the volcanic walls. Again he marveled at the sheer size. And again was thankful he hadn’t been here when these mountains had exploded with volcanic fury.

As he surveyed the beauty before him, off in the distance he could see Sorrel standing and staring at something. He then made his way to where she was standing, and was about to admonish her for getting separated, when he, following the direction she was looking, became distracted himself. Out in the distance was a large herd of what he knew was the herd animals that the primitives used for their milk, their skins, meat, and for transport of materials. He saw that like the two of them, these animals, well at least a number of them were watching them also. “Well”, he said softly, “I guess this answers the question, as to whether our ancestors had their own herd or not.” He was then silent as the quiet beauty of the place settled in on him.

She turned to him with a sad smile on her face and said. “Yes, I guess so.” It’s just so sad to realize that sometime a long time ago our ancestors worked and lived here. Had created all of this, and then because of something we really do not understand, had to abandon it. And then it lay sleeping, awaiting the day when someone would rediscover it. She gave herself a mental shake and continued saying, “Let’s go out there and see what there is to see. One thing for sure, with the natural walls around this place, these animals can’t leave, and it protects them from their natural predators also. There has to be some type of a water source out there, and from looking at how green everything is, I bet that this place has either a high water table, or our ancestors set up some type of irrigation system to keep it this way.”

“You’re probably right, and I’d guess that it’s sub-irrigated. But seeing what we have found so far, it would not surprise me to find that they artificially irrigated this place. And I agree with you, we need to walk this out and explore it. One of the main reasons we need to do this, is because, they had to get these animals in here in the first place, and I guarantee it wasn’t the way we came. So there has to be another outlet where they could take them out of here. Plus, I feel that it needs to be far enough away from the main facility that there is no hint of where the facility is located. And again you are so right; this place is just so beautiful. Who would have guessed that such an area as this existed here?”

Looking at him she said, “Well then, the day’s flying by, let’s do it.” They headed off towards the wall on the right figuring to follow it around, since it would logically be somewhere along one the walls that the exit from this place should be. Looking up at the sky he saw that they really did not have much time. While summer days were longer, they had entered this area late after lunch, so the day had been more than half over when they discovered the meadows. Unconsciously he picked up the pace. She found that he was starting to pull ahead of her slightly and said. “Hey, this isn’t a race.”

Smiling slightly he said. “Sorry Sorrel. Didn’t mean to do that, but we’re running out of daylight, and I guess I just unconsciously picked it up to try and get around this place before darkness fell. I mean, look at this place. It’s huge! I’d guess we are looking at a circumference of oh, I’d guess around ten kilometers, and I suspect that it will be pushing dark thirty by the time we head back to those buildings.”

                                * * *

“Can you watch Sommer for me?” Sabryn asked. “I don’t know if I can help, but it sounded urgent.”

“No problem, after all, there seems to be an excitement in Saige’s voice. I wonder what’s come up. I know that we haven’t found anything that we didn’t expect here where we are in the facility. Maybe one of the other teams found something.”

“You know that could be it. Anyway I just fed her and put her down for a nap and she fell right to sleep, so if you just look in on her a couple of times it would be appreciated.”

“Oh you know I will. We do this all the time for both of our children, and I’m not too far from doing the same with my son – feeding and putting him down for his nap. And I think that like your Sommer, Shayne will be down for at least a couple of hours. That will allow me, and maybe you, if they let you go, to continue to search the records.”

* * *

It’s obvious that Stone and Sorrel have made a significant discovery finding the location where the herd animals are. And what they discover is a safe haven for the animals, as it appears that the herd is located inside the caldron of one of the extinct volcanos. Yet the day is getting away from them and with less time to do a good job of exploring they must head back. Meanwhile the mystery of the letters and numbers remains unsolved. Sabryn is called to assist as she appears to be the another who has seen this combination somewhere during their searches of the archives. And with this we will move on to part 4. Have a great week, and God Bless! (http://www.fdbrant.com/)

Time of Isolation, Chapter 12, Part 2

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 left Keenan not happy with the response from the leadership, and is worried because there are eight cities that have gone dark. And with no explanation as to why, other than the fact that it has happened in almost the exact same way for all eight, he is left frustrated. Meanwhile back at the Alpha Seve and Staven return to the security office looking for Saige and Shellian. They have something of importance to run by them.  And when they do get together in the meeting room Seve relates what had come to his mind convincing the leaders that he is probably right. Then Saige asks a question about another of the teams who is out searching the complex. And with this we now move on to part 2:

“Yes.” Seve replied, “We met them while eating the midday meal. And they may be on to something. Anyway, they had found another way, which they thought would lead out of here, but hadn’t had time to explore it yet. I suspect that we will know much more tonight when they come back. As far as the rest of us, we’ve come up empty.”

“That may be true, but what you’ve come up with here, Seve, may be the most important thing so far. I mean once you presented it, then it was just obvious. Is that feed set up yet Saar? Oh, and add the area where Starr and Sabryn are working, if you please.”

“Yup.” Then pointing to one of the larger monitors he said. “See, there they are.” And as he said that the ones in the meeting room nodded their heads in response. He pointed to another one and they could see the women.

“Okay, can all of you hear us in there?” Saige asked. Again they nodded yes. Smiling for a moment before continuing he said. “Now come on, would one of you please speak so we can adjust the volume in here.”

Laughing, Shellian approached the monitor and said. “No Saige we figured we would pantomime the whole thing and make you figure it out. So how’s this sound?”

At about the same time Starr whispered. “Sommer is asleep, so we are going to remain quiet.”

Nodding he said, “Fine.” Turning back to Saar and Seirra he said, “I’m going to have Seve repeat to you what he told us, and I should have thought about it at the time he presented it to us, and then all of you could have heard. But then again, I had no idea. Seve, if you will?” Then Seve gave a much shortened version of what they had covered in the meeting room.

Seirra then asked. “I wonder if these letters and numbers that keep coming up at the bottom of the screen when we are searching from the sky mean anything.”

Looking over her shoulder Saige asked. “What are you talking about Seirra?” She then pointed at the screen she had been studying and said. “Right here, Saige.”

He then looked closer and saw what she was pointing at and asked. “Do they stay the same?”

“No silly, if they did that I wouldn’t have thought anything about it. If they had never changed, I would have assumed that it was probably some serial number or such that had to do with what we were using, but it changes according to what I am viewing. Now watch and I’ll show you.” He watched as she changed the view and as she had stated the numbers changed but the letters did not. Seve came over to join him and paused a moment. He had the look of concentration on his face as if he was trying to recall something. “I think we need Sabryn to come in here. She commented that she had found both in the computers and in the administrator’s office in hard copy, something similar to this.”

Looking up at the other monitor Saige asked, “Sabryn, can you come here now?”

She nodded and tiptoed out of the room and away from the camera, obviously heading to the security office, leaving Starr to watch Sommer.

                                * * *

“These double doors are really large.” Stone commented. “Hmmm, did you look at that other room that moves and see if it might have been the same size or maybe larger than the one we rode?”

“Why do you think that something like that would be important Stone?”

Gesturing with his hands he said. “Look at the size of these doors. I mean there has to be a reason for them to be this big, and the moving room that we just left isn’t big enough to require doors this size. So I’m wondering if the other one is larger that’s all.”

She turned around and pushed the button on the wall that activated the moving rooms and waited until both the sound of the ding and the panel above the doors lit. She stood in front of the one that was to the right of the button and waited while the doors opened. She then peered inside and said. “Yup, this is at least twice the size of the one we were in, and if I am honest, these doors are larger also. So what do you think it means, Stone?”

“My guess is that it’s a way to move large things, maybe supplies, or whatever, out through those double doors. So, it could be that where this leads, is a storage area and that would explain the size. But until we actually go through them it’s all conjecture – shall we?” He pushed through the doors and found that they were in a small room with a second set of doors similar to the first. But unlike the first set these were not manually operated. Try as they may, the doors would not push open. Looking around Sorrel saw a square silver plate on the wall closest to her. She reached out and pushed it and then the doors swung outward allowing them to pass. Stepping through the doors they found themselves in another tunnel, again, he suspected that originally it had been a steam vent caused by the extinct volcano. Still, he could see that it had been modified to accommodate whatever their ancestors had used this area for. Along the floor and ceiling there was recessed lighting which turned on as they approached, and on one of the walls, an identical panel to the one Sorrel had pushed to open the doors. “Must have some type of motion sensor for these lights – good way to conserve energy, to only have them light when they are needed. And doing it this way means that someone cannot accidentally leave them turned on.”

The tunnel changed in direction bending to the right in a gentle curve and then coming back to the original direction. Up ahead, in the distance, they could see what appeared to be another set of doors. Once there, like the first of the double set, they were able to push through them, only to find once again a set that required pushing a plate. When the doors opened they were hit with a blast of fresh cool air, but from what they could see, they were not yet truly outside. Walking through the doors they found themselves in some type of building. Yet the floor was a mix of dirt and straw, and looking around they could see some the areas had concrete floors. Just past the entrance, and looking up, they saw a pulley system set up that could hoist items and move them around this building. Above they could also see shelving and platforms for storage, and presently most were vacant. There was a musty smell and they could hear the bleating of animals somewhere in the distance. After leaving the warmth of the compound it felt almost cold and both shivered in response to the change in temperature. Both looked at each other and then Sorrel said. “I think this place is probably where they take care of the animals, and obviously they used it for some type of storage. But since this seems to be open to the weather, I don’t know what that might be?”

* * *

With this new knowledge, and then the further lack of knowledge when something that’s being observed makes no sense there is elation in the fact that there may be a way to contact the cities to let them know what’s happening. But those letters and numbers that Seirra pointed out must have some significance and importance also. Seve mentions that someone else had seen something similar and maybe between them they can identify what this means.

Meanwhile Stone and Sorrel are exploring an area that they recently discovered. After going through a number of tunnels and doors they enter into a large structure, with the floors being a mix of concrete in some areas, and dirt with straw in others. In the distance they hear the sounds of herd animals, and both shiver as the cold air hits them making them realize that this building appears to be open to the outdoors and weather. And with this we close out part 2. Have a great week, and God Bless! (http://www.fdbrant.com)

Time of Isolation, Chapter 12, Part 1

Available now, two new novels: Of Gods Strangers and Messengers, Science Fiction Adventure, and Unexpected Unplanned and into the Unknown, a Post-Apocalyptic episodic novel. Both are available as paperback and in the EBook format. To learn more please follow the link to my website at the bottom of this page where each novel has its own page. 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).

* * *

Two weeks ago we closed out chapter eleven, and now we go into the final chapter for this novel. A lot has transpired, and the team at the Alpha are desperate for answers, including the need to find a way to contact the remaining cities, however many there might be. With this in mind, and the fact they now believe their ancestors maintained herds so they could mingle with the natives of this world, they are searching the whole compound to find those answers. Time is against them, yet each new discovery is giving answers that should allow them to solve the overall puzzle that is before them. And with this we now open chapter twelve:

Eight cities had gone dark. Rumors flew, but there were no hard facts. And while the city of Keahilani was considered the pivot city, the one all communications passed through, the knowledge they presently had wouldn’t fill a thimble. One would have thought that by now something would be known, and they could begin to solve the puzzle that had been presented. And while it was not his place of expertise, Keenan knew that somewhere there had to be a reason for this to be happening. Especially since all of the cities that went dark, did so, in the exact same way, and approximately at the same time of day. These facts alone spoke strongly of a correlation, something in common, but for the life of him, he couldn’t figure it out. There was just too little known. The one thing that he could lay his finger on was the overall nervousness the permeated the air here. He suspected that it was the same for the rest of the cities. Well, his shift was almost over and soon it would be time to return to his residence. As usual, except when the cities disappeared, all the communications traffic was normal, routine, almost boring in fact. Standing at the railing that overlooked the floor he saw his people preparing to leave their shifts and the replacements waiting quietly to replace them. Sighing deeply he thought, Yep, another normal day . . . Not that one cannot see the tension that is flowing through everyone, but, other than that, a very normal day.

                                * * *

Seve and Staven headed back to the security office. At the moment they couldn’t remember which section of the compound that Saige and Shellian were searching. Once there, Seve asked. “Saar, where is Saige right now?”

Looking up from their search he turned around and was silent for a moment. “Has something come up? Have you finished the area you were searching or what?”

Shaking his head no, Seve said, “No. No, but something occurred to us while we were working our area and we need to run it past Saige and Shellian. We feel that it’s important enough that we run it past them right now.”

Turning back to the equipment, he first looked at Seirra and said. “Seirra continue if you would. I’m going to switch this so that I can locate Saige and Shellian. If they are close enough to one of the speakers then I’ll contact them.” Then turning back to Seve and Staven he said. “They are searching the grounds, and that would mean that the meeting area would be closest. So why don’t the two of you head there, and when we get their attention we will, or I will, send them there.” At this point Seve and Staven nodded and headed back out of the security office. “I do hope they find them quickly. And yes I know it can wait, but we really need to be pursuing this, as well as everything else we are doing, and I have a feeling that the place to set such a thing up would be the security office, or the office of the one who had been in charge here. But it just seems like the security office would be the most logical place.” Staven commented, as they reached the meeting room and waited the arrival of their leaders.

                                * * *

“You know Shellian, we’ve been over the grounds a whole number of times and so far we haven’t really found anything new. I mean other than the fact that some of these trees are different, and that small area, where it appears that they used some type of climate control to allow the residents here to cultivate plants that wouldn’t normally grow in this climate. I’m sure there are a few things like that that we have overlooked, but nothing on the scale that we are trying to find.” They continued their search of the grounds and were heading back towards the main building that Saige had first found when he had fallen into the hidden valley. Shellian couldn’t disagree with him. Everything he had said was true, and she was beginning to wonder if what they were trying to locate really existed. It seemed so plausible at the time. After all, it would have been an easy way to make contact and observe, without raising any suspicions on the part of the primitives. Shaking her head slightly she continued her thought process. I would have sworn that our ancestors would have done this. But so far we have no proof at all, other than a brief statement or two saying that it was a viable option.

“Saige, Shellian, this is Saar. Can you report to the meeting room? Seve and Staven want to discuss something with you, and they felt that it was something that needed to be brought to your attention immediately.” Snapped out of her thoughts she asked, “Now what could that be about?” Not realizing she had said it she turned to her brother who just shrugged before answering her. “There’s no way I’m going to know sis.” They picked up the pace since they were heading back in that direction anyway, and in a short time entered the room from the same entrance where he had the first time. Once their eyes adjusted to the dim interior lighting they saw Seve partially sitting on the edge of the table and Staven looking out through the windows. Both turned towards them as they entered the room.

“Okay you two, what’s so important that you needed to see us immediately? By some chance did the two of you find something?” Saige asked.

Seve and Staven looked at each other and the Staven said, “Well Seve, it was your idea, go ahead and tell them.”

With a slight pause Seve got up off the table edge and said, “Yes, and no. No in the sense that so far in our search we have come up empty. But as we searched the two of us were discussing some things and then from that we realized something.”

“Okay, you realized something and what would that something be? I mean we were not privy to your conversation so we really have no idea.”

Smiling, and shaking his head Seve said. “Sorry Saige, it’s just I was trying to set it up so you could see how we came by this. Anyway, we began to ask ourselves that if our ancestors had to abandon this place, like they did, and then set up the cities, like they did, then they had to have put in place a way for any rescuers to contact them. I mean, think about it. If rescuers found this place abandoned, would they just leave, or would there be something in place that would allow them to know what happened, and then have a way to contact our ancestors from here.”

Quiet for a moment as the implications of what Seve just said really sank in, he sat down and put his arms on the table and then leaned forward. “That’s an interesting thought Seve. And it makes total sense. But what would they have done? I mean . . . I’m sure that it is something that was standard, but standard for them not for us. Now all we have to do is figure out what that was.” He laughed bitterly before continuing. “And since we are far removed from that time, and from what we have discovered here, we know that we have adjusted facts and our societies have changed, and with no known information left, I haven’t a clue.” Then turning to the others in the room he asked. “Any of you have an idea what they would have set up?” Once again there was silence and he could see that the rest were just as much in the dark as he was. “So in your thinking Seve, did you have some ideas as to where the rescuers might first go if they found this place empty?”

“Yes, that was the easy part. At least once we found out how this place was laid out and how it worked . . .”

“Let’s keep the explanation short if you would. After all you’ve already convinced both of us, and I have to admit that I can kick myself for not thinking about it.”

“Sorry Saige, I think either the administrator’s office or the security office, and of the two I believe that the security office would be my first choice.”

“Again I have to agree with you. So I guess we need to head there, and I know that all of us can’t fit in there very well, but we can get a feed from there into this meeting room which allows communications in both directions, so Seve, you and I will go, Shell’, you and Staven can monitor from here and give us any ideas and suggestions that need to be addressed.” Saige then signaled Seve to precede him out the door and both of them headed directly to the security office. Once there, Saige said, “Saar can you set up a complete feed to the meeting room? Seve has come up with something critical and we are going to need all of us to figure out the solution. By the way has anybody had contact with Stone and Sorrel?”

* * *

We start this chapter with Keenan feeling frustrated with the lack of progress towards understanding why eight cities have gone dark, gone silent. This is followed by returning to the Alpha and following the teams as they continue to explore and add to their discoveries. Meanwhile Seve and Staven return to the security office wanting to discuss an idea with Saige and Shellian. They meet in the meeting room and convince the leaders who then  want a video conference with the rest of the team. Saige then asks if anybody has had contact with Stone and Sorrel. And with this we close out part one. Have a great week, and God Bless! (http://www.fdbrant.com)

Time of Isolation, Chapter 11, Part 12

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 release date is 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).

* * *

We are back from being away and once again have to face reality. Time away from work is always nice, but usually much too short. In the next couple of years my wife will join me in the world of the unemployed, in other words she will retire. Of course when I did this – retire – I began my writing career, and as you can see I will be releasing two books this month. Both are stand alone and fall under the general genre of Science Fiction. And with this it’s time to get on with this week’s post:

A few weeks in the past we left Stone and Sorrel standing outside in an area meant for the staff who worked at the Alpha as a place to relax, and from its size this place could hold everybody that worked here. And from what they can determine the area is built in such a way that it is invisible to the rest of the world making it a safe area. It leads Stone to the conclusion that there must be other such places somewhere in this vast facility. He then notices the two sets of double closed doors with a single button between the two with an arrow pointing down, which are similar to the ones they saw when they first left the vast cavern. It leads to some curiosity and he makes a statement for which Sorrel asks a question in reply. And with this we move on to the close of chapter eleven:

At this point he reached out and pressed the button, which immediately lit up, and then both of them felt and heard a slight rumbling which slowly got louder. It stopped suddenly and there was a loud ding, followed briefly by a second one, both unexpected sounds making them jump because of the silence that had surrounded them. Looking up above the closed doors a light showed and suddenly the doors opened which made them jump again. And before them were the same two rooms they had witnessed at the ground floor. Frozen for a moment, Stone then started to enter one of the rooms, and as he did the door began to close on him. Instinctively he reached out to block it and found that as soon as he put pressure on it the door reopened. After a few seconds with him standing partly inside the door attempted to close again and once again it reopened when he pressed on it. “I guess we can say that whatever these things are, you can’t accidentally get crushed by them. And I guess that would make sense by what we have found so far. Hey let’s have you stand here and you can block the door and I’ll check it out.” And while they had been involved with the one side, the other set of double doors had closed.

Shaking her head, she said, “You’re not going to get me to do that. Besides I’m smaller, let me get by you and I’ll check it out.” And without waiting for him to answer or argue she pushed past him and entered the room. First thing she noticed were the handrails, which were located on three of the walls, and then she turned to face Stone and then a panel caught her eye. “What’s this?” With the way that Stone had been blocking the door his back had been to that side and he leaned around to see what she was looking at, lost his balance and fell inside the room with her. The doors immediately closed behind him and both of them were now inside the closed room. For a moment they looked at each other and then fought a little bit of panic and then she said. “Now you’ve done it, we are both inside of this thing, and now what?”

“I don’t know, but at least it’s lit. Well now that we are in here, let’s look at this panel that you were pointing out to me. She reached down and helped him off the floor where he had landed when he fell inside. “Look this has buttons similar to the one we saw outside, and look there are two more one stating doors open, and the other doors closed.” He pressed the one for opening the doors and they miraculously opened. He then followed it by pressing the other and the doors closed. Looking at her he said, “At least we aren’t trapped in here. And I guess we don’t need to panic either.” Breathing heavily out and giving his head a slight shake he continued. “Okay then, let’s see what this thing is all about now that we have, well, fallen into it.”

She laughed and said. “Don’t look at me. I wasn’t the one who fell into it, as you just said. I was just standing here minding my own business when you stumbled in here and the doors closed.” They looked around the inside once again and she continued. “I guess you probably could fit oh around twenty to twenty five people in here at a time. And if I remember right the other side was larger. Now why would you want to do that?”

He studied the panel and noticed that the bottom button stated “Ground Floor”. So he reached out and pressed it. A number of things happened at the same time – first the button lit up, followed by a small clunking sound and then they could feel themselves descending, as the floor seemed to drop. She screamed in surprise as both of them reached out for the rails. For a moment it appeared that they were falling faster then suddenly it slowed down and came to a stop. As it stopped they looked at each other and she had that look that a mother gives her child when he did something he wasn’t supposed to do. Then the doors opened once again and they found themselves in the area where they had first entered. “Wow, it just took us from the top to the bottom and no stairs to climb. Does it work the other way also?” She asked

“It must, as there are only three buttons here, and the one on top just states “View Deck”. But the middle just has a number two. So I wonder if that is where that other door that we passed as we climbed the stairs on the way to the top? Well I guess we aren’t going to find out unless we try it.” He then looked at her and asked. “Would you prefer that we go back to the top, or do you want to see what this other area is like?”

Looking down at the floor for a moment she said. “We do know what the upper area is, and we are here trying to find out all that we can about this place, so I guess we should go there. Not that I haven’t had enough surprises for one day.” She reached across and pushed the middle button. The doors closed once again. They, at first felt nothing, and then they could tell that this room was ascending back up the way they had just come. But this time the ride was much shorter, they heard that chime again and the doors opened into a room similar to the bottom floor. They quickly stepped out and noticed that again, like the bottom or ground floor, the doorway to the stairs was located directly across from the doors that they had just exited. “At least that’s consistent,” he said. Looking to the right all he saw was a solid wall, but looking to the left he saw double doors, and then looking back as Sorrel he asked. “Shall we?” She nodded in agreement and both of them headed for the double doors.

* * *

“This electric room is huge, and I think I’ve confirmed that it uses steam from the steam room to drive these turbines here.” Seve, looking around at the shear size of the room they were in, shook his head. “I bet this is the largest of the modules that they had to bring in. In fact, I’ll bet this consists of at least two of the buildings that they used. Then these generators – all four of them, would have been individually delivered. And that steam has to be geothermal. I know that back in the cities they used more solar and wind than what we are seeing here. But it must be based on what is available in the areas where they set up. In fact, now that I think of it, I can see similarities in the structures in the old section of our city, to what I am seeing here. So most likely, they used some of the modules to initially set up the cities. It would make it quick an’ dirty.”

“That could be true.” Staven replied, “But if they had done just that, then why is it that this place appears to be complete and still working? I would have thought that they would have cannibalized this place to build the initial cities, but here it stands.”

Again looking around at the large space, Seve shook his head. “I don’t know, maybe they used those industrial replicators to produce them. But who knows, maybe it was important that this place continue to operate. After all, it was here that this research team had been placed, so by leaving it here, then if anybody did finally return, they would know that there were survivors, I think.”

“I don’t know about that.” Staven responded. “I mean if I returned here and found it empty then after doing a planetary search I would conclude that the primitives had wiped out everyone.”

“That does pose a dilemma doesn’t it? How would you let any rescuers know that you were still here, when you knew that it would be necessary to abandon this place? As you just stated, leaving it empty and running would not prove anything one way or the other . . . unless . . .”

Looking closely at Seve, Staven asked, “Unless what? What have you come up with here?” He could see now that something was beginning to excite Seve.

“Look, and I think it’s something that we have completely overlooked – if you were going to abandon this place and still at sometime in the future hope for rescue, then you would have put something in place that would allow the rescuers to know that you were still here and alive. And not only that, but you also would have put something into place that would allow you to communicate to them from your cities. So I think that this is something we’ve completely overlooked, which means if I’m right, we can contact the cities from here and warn them. Let’s go and find Saige, I think right now this is more important than finding what’s here. After all, the remaining cities need to be warned, and as quickly as we can do it.”

* * *

As we close out chapter eleven, we find the teams making additional discoveries, and with this it brings up additional questions. This eventually leads Seve to come to a conclusion that, if correct, might allow the team to actually make contact with the cities from here at the Alpha. And with what they have learned, and what they still need to learn we are now ready to move on to chapter twelve. Next week will be my between chapters post. Have a great week and God Bless! (http://www.fdbrant.com/)

Time of Isolation, Chapter 11, Part 11

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).

* * *

We left the team last week in the process of doing a complete search of this lost facility hidden deep inside the Sacred Mountains. As a review for those who have come into this story late, what they have found is impossible. The Sacred Mountains are only available to the priests, and the primitives have no capability or understanding to be able to construct such a place as the Alpha. And what they’ve learned here has turned their world upside down.

If the situation wasn’t so desperate they might be able to leisurely rediscover all that is here. But their cities, which are hidden deep inside the desolation, are being located one-by-one and destroyed by a united primitive army. The ten members that are here at the alpha are isolated having no contact with any of the remaining cities – if there are any remaining cities. And presently the teams are researching, and learning all they can about this forgotten facility. And last week we finished the post with Stone and Sorrel about to open a discovered door, and it is here where we begin:

At first nothing happened, and then he realized that he had been pushing on the door, so he then pulled and it opened. Looking through the now open door they could see what looked to be a small lighted room. They entered looking around. On the right wall they found another door and this one had a small glass insert which allowed one to look inside. Peering through, they could see steps heading up and out of sight.

The wall opposite of the door they had entered through was solid. But the left wall had two double doors, which had no handles. Between them was a small panel, which had two buttons on it, the top with an arrow pointing up and the bottom, which just said basement. But that bottom button also required some type of key for access. “I wonder what’s down there, if anything.” Sorrel said, then continued, “Probably not important anyway, but what does this other one do?” As she asked she reached out and pressed it with her finger. Both of them jumped as both sets of the closed doors opened revealing another small room in each. Again both were frozen in position with indecision as to what they should do. In that time of delay both doors closed again. They both looked at each other and Stone asked. “Now what was that all about?” In the cities that they had grown up in, all the buildings were single story, and the ones that had basements used stairs to access those areas. This was something they had yet to encounter. “Tell you what, before we go any further let’s get some food in our bellies, and think about this.”

“Works for me,” Sorrel said. She was no more eager to go into a small room that had no apparent exit than Stone was. And once the doors closed and they were inside could they then get out, or was it a trap of some kind? They turned back to the door they had entered this room through, opened it, and saw that once again it was dark. “I guess that confirms that these lights are at least on a timer. Do you remember where that switch that you hit was located Sorrel?”

She nodded her head and then stepped out into the passage. As soon as she did the lights came back on. “Looks to be motion sensitive. So I guess the switch I accidentally found was a master switch. Still like you, I think there has to be one on the other side somewhere. But maybe it isn’t important now. Shall we go eat something then?”

As they entered the cafeteria they ran into the four who were searching the facility directly. They were well on the way to devouring their meal when Seve looked up as they entered and asked. “How’s your search going so far? We’ve been unsuccessful overall.”

“Let us grab something then we’ll fill you in to what we’ve found so far, and maybe it’s something that will help – don’t know really at this time, but ran into something strange, or at least different.” He paused there and then went and grabbed a plate of food for both himself and Sorrel. She had gone to get them drinks, and then joined the others at one of the larger tables. Once they sat down Stone then continued, “First off let me say that that cavern is really huge. From what I can determine it’s mostly natural. I really wouldn’t have wanted to be here when this volcano let loose. It’s no surprise the primitives fear these mountains. Anything close would have been wiped out, and the amount of smoke and ash this thing had to put into the air would have put the fear of the gods’ anger in such a people. And with no lights, other than a few to keep it from being totally dark, it was difficult just to walk across the floor, let alone see anything. But when we got to the other side” . . . he then went on to explain what they had found and that before continuing they needed to eat.

“Wow, that’s more than any of us has been able to find so far.” Staven said. “Are you planning on going into one of those small rooms, or what?”

“No don’t think so right now. I think instead we’ll just climb those stairs. I suspect like the ladders we used to first enter here, that it is another way in and out of this place. Once we check it out, then tonight like the rest of you we will fill everyone in. Then with more of us we can figure out what those two small rooms are all about.”

* * *

“So what do you think Sorrel? Should we see what those small rooms are all about – you know if one of us stays on the outside and one of going inside, or should we just take the stairs?”

“Well, I don’t know about you, but the stairs are something I know about. This other thing I don’t. So until I know more I think I’ll stick with the stairs, thank you.”

Laughing lightly Stone said. “You know what; I have to agree with you. Maybe later.” He then bowed and swept his arms in the direction of the door that led to the stairs and asked. “Shall we?” Smiling she curtsied and together they entered the stairway. “I think we’ll take it to the top to see where these things end, and then explore the different exits as we come back down. How does that sound to you?”

“Works for me,” Sorrel responded. They looked up and could see that it appeared that the stairs went quite a ways up. So they began the ascent. It appeared that at each level the stairs would switch back and make the rise and that it took one switch back to make what they guessed was a floor. After ten such switchbacks they came to a platform and another closed door. On the way up they had really only passed two others and they guessed that some of the area was no more than the walls of the natural cave. Catching their breath before opening the one at the top they reached and opened the door, stepped out, and then caught their breath once again. Before them was a panorama of both the mountains and views that appeared to just go on forever. Here, the area had been worked and some type of material laid that was impervious to destruction by nature. They saw tables, chairs, and some additional sealed cabinets similar to the ones they had found in the facility. Plus there appeared to be facilities for cooking meals, a small stage, and other items that they did not immediately recognize at the moment. The next thing they noticed was that there was a wall around this area that probably kept anyone, such as the primitives, seeing into this place. “Wow, this is beautiful!” Sorrel exclaimed. “And chilly after the cavern!”

Shaking his head and smiling Stone said. “If you want me to disagree with you it’s not going to happen. And this place is huge. It looks like most of everyone who worked and lived here could be up here at the same time and it’s invisible to the rest of the world. And it would give the support staff some place to go to get outside for a while. I bet now that we’ve found this place that there are others. Some place where the children could run around and play that let them burn off all that excess energy they all seem to have.” They walked around quietly and inspected things as they went. Close to where they had emerged they found a double set of double doors built into the side of the rock face that was similar to the ones with the two rooms at the bottom. And here between them was a single button with an arrow pointing down. With a look of curiosity on his face Stone speaking low said. “I wonder . . .”

Looking up at him she asked. “Wonder what?”

* * *

It’s apparent that Stone and Sorrel are discovering the more interesting things within the facility. Still those two small rooms that they’ve avoided could hold some importance. Yet they decide to stick to what they know and take the stairs instead. And once they finally reach the top, open the door, and enter into this area, they discover a worked area that would allow the residents access to the outdoors, a place to relax, and take a break from the work they would have performed here. With this discovery Stone feels that there must be other such areas with some that would allow the children a place to play and burn off all the excess energy they all seem to have. He then spies another set of double doors and become curious. With this we close out part 11.

There will be a break on the weekly posts with the posts returning to the weekly format on July 8th where we will close out chapter eleven. I will be away from any sources that will allow me access to the net making it impossible to post. And since I’m the only one working this blog there is no one else to cover. This would be a great time to check out the archives as there’s lots of great stuff there! Have a great few weeks and God Bless! (http://www.fdbrant.com/)

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/)

Time of Isolation, Chapter 11, Part 9

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).

* * *

Before getting to this week’s post I’d like to mention that here in the USA we will be celebrating Memorial Day this Monday after my Saturday post. A time of remembrance for all those who have sacrificed all to protect their family, strangers they’ve never met, and the nation where they were citizens. Being a veteran myself I understand why. Still any of us who have served in the foreign fields and wars always hope to come home to the ones we love and respect, but it isn’t something that is guaranteed. And many who expected to come home to those happy reunions, come home to be laid to rest never seeing their children, or family again – leaving an emptiness, and a sadness that will never go away.  Within this national celebration are the many personal stories, and tragedies that we never hear or will feel. So let’s honor our war dead and thank God for what we have.

* * *

Last week we left the teams involved in doing a detailed search of the Alpha, and we specifically followed Stone and Sorrel as they worked their way through the gloom that is the cave where they first entered into the facility in the past. From what Stone can determine the vast cavern has the appearance of being worked sometime in the deep past. This leads to the conclusion that there has to be lighting here, but as of yet they haven’t found any switches. Of course in the gloom visibility is minimal. Eventually they discover what he considers to be either a steam vent or a lava tube, and again it has the appearance of being worked. As they work their way down this feature Sorrel accidently brushes a light panel turning night into to day and temporarily blinding them. Ahead they spy a doorway which is closed. And as they prepare to enter we close out last week’s post.

And as we have been doing in the last couple of weeks, this week we follow another couple of teams while getting up, close and personal, as they work their assignments. As is usually the case when people work together small talk between the members keeps things as normal as it can be. All are trying to answer the many questions, and to really learn the whys and wherefores of this facility. And with this onto part 9:

“You know Seirra, I can’t get used to this feeling that I’m falling every time we adjust our views from wherever these things are located. It almost makes me ill with; I guess you could call it motion sickness. And I swear whatever this is, that it is falling out of the sky – yet . . . We’ve done this a lot and they’re still there. So logically I know that they remain wherever they are. And this still makes me wonder what happened in the cities so that they forgot about this. I mean we all have seen the records here and now know the truth. But it has been so skewed in the cities and the way it is taught in the learning centers, that none of the truth is known.” Saar complained.

Smiling at him for his minor complaints, she really couldn’t blame him for his thoughts. And she had to agree that when they used these small sticks to adjust their view, it really did feel like she was falling. But what a tool, what a view, and it really showed her the beauty that this world had, albeit somewhere above this world. She’d been dazzled by the shear variety that she’d been shown. And also the shear size of their world – well not their world even though they had lived here for a few generations – really was a surprise. It was not surprising then that they had yet to find out where the alliance was headquartered. She felt that they could probably be here for days upon days and do nothing but search and barely touch all that was being revealed to them. “Well Saar, I know what you mean. It does take some getting used to that’s for sure. Hey, it surely is a great view. This world is just gorgeous, I never realized that at all, and so large. I haven’t even begun to recognize everything we’ve spotted so far. There has to be a better way of doing this. Not that I’m complaining, but we cannot even be sure at this point where we are looking. And I am worried about our people who still are living in whatever cities that haven’t been located by the primitives, and of course for the ones who have been captured, and probably been made slaves or worse.”

“Yeah, I know, but there’s really little we can do. After all, considering what this alliance has accomplished so far, well whoever is in charge has successfully gathered many of the tribes and so far has been able to hold them together, has accomplished. We, who now know, what’s going on, well, you can count on the fingers of your two hands of those who know, and we are supposed to defeat that? I think the odds here are a little one sided, don’t you think?”

Looking down at the floor and then at him Seirra said. “Yeah, I know all of that. But what can we do? I mean, somewhere here we have to find an answer. We don’t know what happened to our own people. I am meaning the ones from our own home world, and it they were annihilated, wiped out, then, as far as we know, we are all that’s left. So somehow we’ve got to find a way to break this alliance, and finding it is the first step. So I guess instead of talking about it we should be a little more diligent and at least locate the area they are working from. Then we can decide what to do from there. I wonder if any of the other teams have found anything as of yet?” She glanced once again at the screen that was in front of her and noticed the small letters and numbers that were displayed at the bottom of the screen. “Saar?”

“Yes Seirra, what is it?” He asked quietly as he studied the images on his screen. He had to admit that she had been right. This world was much larger and varied than he ever imagined. When this search had started he thought it would be a simple thing. Since they could see from the sky it should be a snap to just see the gathered tribes. But he had been proven wrong. And all of them had been going over and over the images produced so far with no apparent success.

“Has anyone figured out what these letters and numbers mean yet?” She asked.

“Not that I have heard of. In fact someone guessed that it might just be a way to tell you, you were looking at a different image from wherever they are coming from – in space I guess. Why? Is there something about them that seems important? Or are they in your way, because if they are, I’ve been shown a way that you can remove them, or make them larger or smaller.”

Shaking her head she said. “No, no that’s not it. They are not causing me any issue at all. It’s just that there has to be a reason that our ancestors put them here, and I feel it’s not something to do with which view we are seeing. Look, if I shift the view to a different portion of this world from the area I am looking, then numbers change. So it has to be something more than just a way to identify the view we are seeing.”

“Ah, I see what you mean. But what it means I really have no idea. Maybe it’s something you can bring up tonight when we get together. It could be that one of the others has some idea, and right now I think I’m going to get us something to eat. Be right back, we can eat here while we continue our search.” He then pushed back his chair got up and headed out the door. On his way out he asked. “Is there anything special you would like me to bring back?”

Without turning around and continuing her search she said absently. “No, no not really . . . surprise me.”

* * *

Sabryn and Star, because of their children, worked the facility around the areas of family living and schooling, while Staven and Seve concentrated on the areas that dealt with maintenance, and operation. Not that there would be a true chance of finding the area where the pack animals were kept, but there could easily be a reference to, or an alternate way, that could be located somewhere within the facility. Part of the reason for the search in these areas was to be able to say that they would have searched everything and covered every corner once they finished. And if in the end they came up empty, then there was a good chance that this idea of an alternate entrance was incorrect. “Whew! I think you just loaded your pants little one.” Star stated. “I guess we need to take a break here and change your pants.” Fortunately at the time they were close to what they had determined was the daycare area, and immediately headed that way. While there, Sabryn decided she would check her daughter’s diaper also. It probably would be a good time to feed them and put both down for a nap anyway. One of them would remain with the children and the other would move over to the terminals in the schoolroom and at least continue to search the files. “So Star, is everything going okay with you and Staven?”

“Yeah, no complaints. He helps where he can, but is a bit clumsy around the baby. But he’ll get better. Like all things it just takes practice – After all these things do not come with instructions. So it’s an on-the-job training type of thing. And as you know if you get it wrong, the boss here will let you know in no uncertain terms.”

Laughing she had to agree. If her child did not like what was going on she would let them know her displeasure immediately. “It’s funny how that works. You would think that because we are the parents that we would be the ones in charge. And that’s so far from the truth. Okay that’s done. I guess I’ll feed her now and then put her down, stay long enough to see her asleep, and then go do the searching – actually if both of them go to sleep, then we could prop this door open and both of us could work. How does that sound?”

“Like a good idea to me. But we’ll see if he will go down. At times it just seems like all he wants to do is go.” Starr responded, “But it doesn’t allow me to do much when he’s like that.”

* * *

It appears that Saar and Seirra have the security duty, and while there are searching the images created by the cameras that seem to be above this world, Seirra notices that there appears to be a series of numbers and letters associated with the images and asks if Saar knows what they are and what they mean. He doesn’t, and states he can remove them from the screen if they are distracting. Meanwhile Starr and Sabryn are looking into the archives specifically the ones for the educational section. It makes it easier to take care of their children. And as is usually the case when women get together their children and mates do come up in the conversation. Have a great week and God Bless! (http://www.fdbrant.com/)

Time of Isolation, Chapter 11, Part 8

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

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 left the team continuing their search for answers with Saige and Shellian working the hidden valley. While they are doing this they discuss what they know, what they hope to learn, and then look at the impossibilities that are still ahead. With the new discoveries dealing with the security system where they are able to see this world from the skies, plus seeing the possible herds their ancestors might have used, they have some reason to feel somewhat positive. Still with as little as they’ve learned they know that to succeed they still have a very long way to go. This week we begin by following another team searching another area within this large hidden facility:

“This cavern is really big,” Sorrel said, “and there just has to be better lighting somewhere.”

“Probably, but I suspect that there is really only lighting in the work areas. As you said this place is huge. And if they only used a portion of it why light the whole thing? I know that they had portable lights, but none of them work now, and none of us are really good at working those industrial replicators, so we haven’t figured out how to make new ones. So I guess we just will have to search in this gloom. At least there is some lighting; otherwise I suspect that it would be pitch dark in here.”

“Yeah that’s probably true, but wouldn’t you think that there would be some type of emergency lighting just in case they had to come here? I mean even though there’s a little light here; it’s so dim that one could easily get hurt by stumbling over, or into something that can’t be seen.” Yeah I know you mentioned the portable lights they could carry, but there has to be something better than that. “I guess all we can be is careful. I don’t need something else to happen to me. That last time I was close to death, and I for one do not want to repeat it.”

“How much do you remember of that anyway? I’ve meant to ask but, something always came up or I would forget. But if you don’t want to talk about it that’s okay too.”

“I really haven’t thought about it a whole lot. I remember leaving our first cave, sneaking out without anything. I felt that it would be too dangerous to try and steal something to help. I knew where the next cave was and headed for that one. But by the time I reached it I was weak and I could feel a fever coming on. I had no choice once I got there but to continue. I was desperate. I couldn’t go back and I didn’t know where you guys had gone. Sometime after I left that cave the fever hit and really don’t remember much of anything – just waking up in the infirmary, and being informed that I had lost my baby, and that I was lucky to even be there at all. When I found that I had lost the baby I was devastated and really didn’t want to live. Well, from there you know the rest.” She shrugged before continuing. “I don’t know, maybe not remembering is the mind’s way of protecting us. But that’s the best I can do, and who knows, maybe later more of it will come back. But at the same time, it may never.”

Looking down at the dirt floor he thought once again. She’s really is a strong woman. And maybe it is good that she doesn’t remember. I know from what Saar stated, she had almost died at least three times, but something in her, some hidden strength kept her going, and now I find that I have grown close to her. So I for one am glad she is alive. “You’re right it’s probably a good thing, a way for someone to protect themselves. After all if you don’t recall anything, it can’t come back to haunt you and give you trouble later on.” They continued on quiet both in their own thoughts walking carefully through the twilight that the cave provided. As they proceeded the cave began to narrow, and they finally located the far wall. From there they moved along it briefly in both directions finding nothing to tell them that it went any further, they turned around and began to retreat back but then stopped. Out of the corner of their eyes they caught what looked to be another dim light in the distance off to their right. It was so dim that at first they were not sure if they had indeed seen anything. It might even be a crack admitting sunlight from the outside. Turning to Sorrel, Stone asked, “Well, what do you think? Should we try and find the source of that light I think we are seeing, or just head back?”

“We were sent out to try and find out more, so I guess we should just go ahead and look. I suspect that all we will find is a crack and its light from outside. But if we don’t check it then I guess we really haven’t done our job,” She looked down in that direction, “I must admit that it’s pretty dark in that direction and it would be easy just to skip it.”

“My thoughts also – okay then we’ll go do it, but very carefully.” With hands on the wall they headed in the direction of the dim distant light. Shortly the wall on their left closed in and they found themselves in a narrow passageway that if arm in arm they could reach out and touch both walls. Still it was close to pitch black as it could be with only the dim light ahead of them in the distance. At first it appeared to be receding from them, but that was impossible so it had to be an illusion, a trick of the eye. Finally it appeared to brighten a little, but not enough to light their way, so they continued their careful approach. Then her hand brushed against something and instantly the area they were in lit up, temporarily blinding them. “Ouch! That’s really bright! What did you do Sorrel?”

With her eyes screwed tightly closed and watering from the change in light, she whispered. “I really don’t know. But I can’t open my eyes yet, it’s just too bright.”

“Know what you mean.” He then found that he could slowly open his eyes without it hurting too much, and finally they adjusted to the brightness, and he breathed out a sigh of relief. “That’s better. Now let’s see what happened.” Turning around and looking back from the direction they had just traveled he could see that the passageway they had just entered in the twilight was now lit. “I wonder where the switch is on the other side, since it only makes sense that there would be more than one. It would suck to have to come all the way here in the dark just to turn on the lighting.”

“True. Look there it is, a panel built into the wall here. It’s what I must have put my hand on. And look ahead of us, doesn’t that look like a door?”

Before going to that closed door, Stone retreated to where they left the cavern and had entered the passage, he then said. “Sorrel come here, you’ve got to see this.” She had briefly remained behind as he had retraced his steps not knowing exactly what he was trying to do. She then joined him and then shook her head. If they could have found the companion switch to the one she had accidentally found, then coming to this side passage would have been a breeze. On the floor of the cavern was a double row of lights shining up from the ground towards the hidden ceiling above. The lights formed a path that led directly across the cavern floor to where the bright lights in the passageway were presently shining. As she looked closer she could see that some of them were partially buried under the loose soil that made up the cavern’s floor. “That would have been nice if we had found the other switch that’s for sure. But now I am wondering where that door leads?”

Shrugging and smiling he said, “You women, always curious. I guess we should go and find out, now that we can see everything. Lead on, oh lady of mine.” He then bowed to her and motioned with his hands for her to lead. She giggled slightly and took the lead back into the passage, with a stately walk. They both arrived at the door at the same time, as there was room enough for two to walk abreast and still be comfortable. Looking at the walls as they proceeded towards the closed door Stone said. “You know this looks like it was widened. I suspect that the original passage was a steam vent from this old volcano, but there definitely are signs of additional work here and see as we approach the door the area has been enclosed and constructed so that this ending wall and door would fit.” Shaking his head he thought. This really is fantastic work. And considering how old it is, it really was built to last. If I didn’t know it’s age I would have thought that it truly was not that old. Hmmm, I really wonder what other secrets this place holds. They stood there staring at the door not sure if they really wanted to open it or not, but finally Stone reached out, turned the handle and opened the door.

* * *

As we follow the second team consisting of Stone and Sorrel, we find their assignment is to search the large caldron or cave that once had been part of a large volcano. It shows signs of having been worked. So the two figure that somewhere in this vast cavern there must be working lights, but are in darkness instead. They have yet to discover any of the portable lights (flashlights) so must carefully search in the gloom. Eventually they find a passageway that Stone figures must be either a steam vent or a lava tube, but shows additional signs of being worked. As they work their way down the tunnel Sorrel accidently brushes a light panel turning on overhead lights that leaves them temporarily blind. And once they are able to see spy a closed door ahead of them, and with this we close out part 8. Have a great week and God Bless! (http://www.fdbrant.com/)

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