The Child

Every year since I began this blog I’ve written a short story for Christmas and this year is no different. I’m foregoing the list of my novels that usually precedes the “post for the week”. If you’ve read my past Christmas stories you know that I usually try to approach them from an alternate direction dealing with the human condition, showing that there are many who don’t have what we have, and as such this time of year isn’t necessarily one of joy and happiness.

This year I decided to give the story a definite science fiction twist, so it will, at first, appear to be something that doesn’t apply. Still, stay with it and as you read the story it will become clear. As in most short stories,  one must build a living breathing world and do it concisely, and yet give it depth so that the fictional world feels real. If we saw this in a book it would be roughly fourteen pages long.

Please enjoy, The Child, and have a great Christmas season – F. D. Brant (https://fdbrant.godaddysites.com/):

She is my sister, the youngest of the family. She’s known as En to us, but to the community, the place where we live, she’s known as the child. I guess a little background here would let you know what this is all about. First off the one telling this story is obviously me. And my name is Fe. I’ve been told that it means iron, and because of the fact that only half of my siblings survived I was given that name in hope that it meant I would survive. I’m one of three surviving children of my parents and being the oldest put more responsibility on me. But to be honest it wasn’t a position by birth, as I was the second born.

My oldest brother only lived days before succumbing to what I’ve never known. I just know that whatever it was, in the end it took two others. Had we all lived then I would have been part of a family of eight – my sires or parents, me, three brothers and two sisters. Instead there was just my younger brother, and then the youngest being En. And because of the tragedy of family we’ve always been close.

I remember the day my sister came into the world and we, my brother and I heard the cry of a newborn coming from the room where mom had just birthed her. And shortly we were invited in to meet her. It was there for the first time that we learned some of the differences between females and males. Of course there’s much more to this, but at our age such was of no importance. Both my brother, and me thought that there had to be something wrong with this baby as she lay naked on mom’s chest. She was missing something between her legs and it was such a surprise. I mean I remember when my brother came into the world and he had what I had. So I thought that this was how every baby was.

Mom called both of us over – dad was there next to her and smiling – and we were shy about it. With the tragedies that had happened we really didn’t want to mention this obvious defect. But I guess moms can read their children because it seemed like she knew what we were thinking and smiled as she said, “Meet your new sister. We have named her En.” There was a pause and I could see she was trying hard not to laugh. Then she said, “This is the way girls are. It is one of the differences between you and her.” Mom did laugh lightly, although we saw that it hurt. “Later . . . much later you will see other changes that make girls different, but for now this will be the only one.”

Well, I had to admit, at that moment, it was a big difference. But after a short time it was something we didn’t even notice. Only that as she got older, began to walk, and get into our personal stuff, we had the normal arguments, small fights, and complaints that all children have. Still, there was something different about her. She was always smaller, well no surprise here since she is the youngest. But even here it seemed as if she would remain small. Then there were her eyes – always large, deep, and bottomless, as if she might see forever. She had a beautiful face that at times looked like mom, and other times reflected some of dad.

It was as she approached her fourth year that the reason for this other difference arrived. She had been given the gift. Yet for many who had received this in the past it had been anything but a gift. In fact it was more of a curse. It was when this gift manifested itself and was learned by the rest that she became to be known to our small village as the child.

Oh, I believe that it’s important that I break here and tell you a bit about our village – if one can call it such. Small is just about all one can say. And we are surrounded by desert. From what we’ve heard this world is almost completely desert. But for me personally I have no way of knowing or confirming this as I’ve lived here in this village, with the isolation, for my entire life. If we didn’t have visitors, now and then, coming from other areas that are protected from this great desert, then it would be easy to assume that we were the only survivors.

Don’t ask me why I use that word – survivor, because I don’t know. I can only say is that the word seems to fit. Maybe a remnant of a greater time in the past, honestly I don’t know. All I know is that this line of reasoning seemed right. Did I have any facts to back this up, or was there anything written in our history to support such a thought, no. It was just a feeling that I had. And I guarantee that there will be no way for me to travel beyond our lands. I do not have the time, the resources, or the need to leave and explore the vast desert.

Where we live is in a series of canyons – not large, but for whatever the reason they prevent the desert from encroaching here. To reach our lands, and the precious waters, required one to enter through a narrow passage that led downward into a series of narrow trails which were always shadowed because of the walls that rose to the sky. I suspect it was because of these features that kept the desert out.

Winds always howled down those narrow passageways. And sand would often pile near the entrances to the trails, but for whatever the reason would become less and less as one hiked through. Eventually they would open into the canyons where we lived. There was a small lake fed by a small stream that came from the living rock. And for as long as we had been here it had never failed. We prayed that it would always be that way. And when on those canyon trails leading to our village it was always cooler. In fact because of the small lake even with the full sun during the zenith it remained cooler than the surrounding desert.

It is here where we have our small herd, and where we grow our crops. And yes we even have a few trees, most bearing fruit of one kind or another. So we’ve never lacked for sustenance. While we’ve never had a lot, overall what we had met our needs. And in one of the side canyons we had a few mines. It was what we pulled from the ground that we traded with others. Still the traders only arrived once a year, and when it’s more often, which is rare, they would only show maybe twice more.

Why is this important to know? It is because the gift arrived after the departure of the traders, meaning that it would be at least another year before word got out that the gift had manifested itself once again. And to be truthful it was much longer than that before it became known. I’d like to say that this was something exclusive to our village but that wouldn’t be true. And once it arrived then many would travel to the village to seek out the one. But one of the issues lay in the fact that when the gift arrived it presented a different power to each that had received it. So in many cases once others had come to see the one they left disappointed because what had manifested would be of no use.

I suspect that in my sister’s case it would be the same. Still, at the same time what she had was really strong . . . So strong indeed that if she touched you during one of her visions, then you’d see the same vision. And you would find yourself standing beside her inside of those images. You knew it was her, but here she appeared to be different. As I’ve said I felt she would be small, and when she had attained her full measure she came only to my shoulders, and I am of average height. Yet, in those visions she is tall, taller than any.

I remember the first time I became aware of her ability. Like I said she was almost four when it first happened, and to her she thought that what she did was something everybody did. And being her older brother I thought that all of it was just her imagination. Then one day she happily pointed out towards the lake and said, “Do you see them? They’re beautiful!” (Beautiful was a word she was proud of, and always had carefully pronounced it.)

I looked and saw a few birds in the trees that were close to the lake and replied, “Yes, the birds are pretty.”

She looked at me as if I was crazy. She put her hands on her hips in an almost perfect imitation of mother when she wasn’t happy, which made me laugh. Then somewhat irritated she said, “I think they are horses.”

“Horses?” I know of horses, but the only time we’ve ever seen any was when the traders came. And I know that she had probably seen them at that time, but we had none and could afford none. I looked really hard and only saw the birds in the trees. It was then she pointed, followed by grabbing my arm.

I stood frozen because the moment she grabbed my arm the whole scene in front of me changed. We were standing on a large plain that seemed to go on forever. Catching my breath I saw, in the distance, large herds of wild horses wheeling and dancing, running and forming patterns as the colors shifted and changed. There seemed so many that it was impossible to know the size in numbers. Then she let go and the world returned to what I knew. I found I’d been holding my breath and had to let it out and begin to breathe again. I asked, “How’d you do that?” I was incredulous.

She shrugged and asked, “Do what?”

I guess to her it was a normal thing. I thought a moment, still shaken from what I had seen, and made a decision. Our sires needed to know about this. So I tentatively took her hand expecting the images to return but they were gone. I saw disappointment on her face saying to me that for her they were gone also. And so hand in hand we went back to our shelter. It was nearing the zenith meal anyway and both of them would be there.

When we entered En, seeing mom, screamed a scream of happiness and ran to her wrapping her arms around her legs, looking up into mom’s eyes saying, “I love you mommy!”

Smiling and looking down at her one and only daughter mom laughed and said, “And I love you too.” She looked up at me and said, “You’re back early. It will be a few before the food will be on our table. So take your sister outside and wash.”

I nodded and pried her off mom’s legs and we went to the trough outside and cleaned up and headed back inside. At this point I didn’t know how to tell them, so I waited while the five of us ate. Then I simply blurted out, “I think En has the gift.”

There had been some conversation going on between my sires, and suddenly it got quiet. My, well our father, looked at me and asked, “What did you say?”

I repeated what I said, and then explained what had happened, followed by the fact that her vision had only lasted a short time. They both looked at me and then at En, and then back at me. He asked, “Are you sure? Are you sure it wasn’t your imagination, or some game the two of you were playing?”

“No sir. To be honest I thought she was imagining something, but when I saw what she saw I knew better.”

He turned to En and asked, “What did you see down by the lake today?”

She really hadn’t been paying that much attention to what was being said as she was enjoying the food and was concentrating completely on the meal. She lifted one shoulder in a partial shrug and said, “Horses . . . lots of horses, and they were running and playing.”

“And where did you see them?” He asked quietly.

As if they were there all the time she replied saying, “Oh on the other side of the water. I couldn’t get to them because of that but they were having lots of fun and I really wanted to have fun with them.” At that point she went back to eating. We all knew that after the meal she’d be heading for a nap.

He turned back to me with questions in his eyes. “Okay son, did you see the horses?”

“Like I said dad, all I saw was the lake, the trees and the birds, nothing more. Then she grabbed my arm and all of it vanished and I saw great herds of wild horses.”

 

For the next few years we, as a family, tried to keep it quiet. Still we all had a chance to experience her visions, and I guess you can say that they did enrich our lives. Still, what she had been given wouldn’t help any so we felt that keeping it a family secret was the best. Then one day while she had been out with her friends she came home shaken and quiet. At that very moment we knew she had experienced one of her visions and from the look on her face, and the pallor of her skin, and the fact she had tear tracks on her face told us all we needed to know.

Mom, with concern showing in every part of her being asked, “En, are you all right?”

At that moment En broke out in a fresh bout of tears and ran to mom and clung to her. This was the first of many visions that followed that shook her, and to be honest, us. Up until that first one all of her visions had been pleasant, pleasing to our minds. None of us understood, at the time, what was happening or what these visions were. And we were sure that no one would be interested in the gift that only presented images that had no real purpose or use for the world as it was.

We were all together one evening when that first different one repeated. We saw the fear in her eyes as she stared sightlessly out into nothing. To see the rest of us gathered around and held onto her. What we saw shook us to our very core. When we had come together as a family we found ourselves standing on a mountain and we saw each of us next to each other. There was a strong wind blowing and while the air was warm, the breeze was cool. We sensed more than saw that something ominous was about to take place.

I stared out into the distance and saw what had to be what we knew as a city. Cities didn’t exist now, only in the past. We were too few, and the places where any might live and survive were even less. Suddenly the skies lit up with a blinding bright light right over that city, followed by a cloud of some kind climbing high into the sky. From this point of origin a large cloud layer rolled out in every direction hiding what was under it. And when we could see everything it had touched was gone.

Looking at the family and En I saw shocked disbelief. And then I, as I suspect they, realized that even here we wouldn’t be able to escape that cloud of death. Panic began to rise in all of us and we desperately looked for any way to escape, but there was none. Then as this cloud began to climb the mountain approaching us at a speed greater than any horse, or anything we ever saw moving, despair and dread filled us and as one we turned to run, and then we were back in our shelter.

We looked at each other surprised that we were back, and still alive. And then we all looked at En and saw that she was shaken and crying. These images were too much for one so young. How did one deal with such? How did one stay innocent? How could one not be destroyed from such images? We reached out and held her close. It was the only thing we could do.

It was later that I began to wonder what this image was all about, what did it represent? We hadn’t been there long enough to see what had actually happened to that city that was in the distance, and whether the visions she had meant anything at all. And the fact that she had no control over them, no way to suppress them meant that others like this one would arrive unbidden leaving her shaken, as well as any who happened to be in physical contact at that moment. And it was one of these incidents that finally revealed to the village that En had the gift. No it wasn’t one of the scary ones, thankfully.

It was a few years later during one of the celebrations that included dance, song, and fellowship. During one of the dances where the entire village would dance as one, with each holding on to each other’s hands, she had one of her visions. Suddenly, other than the ones playing the instruments everything went quiet. En who was in the middle with the other children, which included me of course, and all the grown ones on either side started having one of her visions, and fortunately it was one of the early ones she had many years in the past. It was of the vast herds of horses dancing and wheeling on the vast plains. And as quickly as it was there, it was gone, leaving the village breathless.

Fortunately nobody, other than the family knew who was responsible or what such a thing represented. For now it allowed, for a short time, En to remain anonymous since the whole village experienced the vision. It became the talk of the village for a long time. Eventually, as in most things, time and other incidents put it out of the memories of most. Still such cannot remain a secret forever. And in truth, this vision seen by all had leaked out beyond, and the rumors began saying that the whole village had been given a taste of the gift and that there would be a great chance that someone there would be the receiver.

Well, we knew that had already happened – we the family. We all wanted to protect En, but there wasn’t any way we could protect her from those visions. Visions that had to tear her apart inside as all that death and destruction came to her. Eventually, by the way she’d act and react, the ones around us began to suspect, and eventually know. We, the family knew that we wouldn’t be able to keep it a secret forever. Still, in a small part of our souls we hoped to.

One day we were called to the meeting area where the leaders came together. We were confronted with what had been observed, and asked to give answers to the questions. No it wasn’t put forth with suspicion or with fear. We were asked honest questions for which we knew we’d have to give honest answers. The one point we had to make, simply stated, was that the gift En was given would help no one. We guessed that what we saw when we were with her in those visions were images from the past. And as such would do no one in the present any good. And yes what she had was strong – strong enough that others, when in contact with En, would experience the same vision.

It didn’t take long for the word to spread beyond our village, and even though it had been stated that one here in this village had the gift this manifestation would benefit no one. Still it didn’t prevent many from making the trek from wherever they were to see and experience the gift firsthand. And it meant that somehow that our village would have to figure out how to support these additional ones putting a further strain on what we had.

Eventually the fervor died down. Since she, at this time, had no control over when these visions of hers would arrive, many would leave disappointed, and at times angry to have not experienced firsthand one of these visions. And this led to both doubt that she had the gift from some, and excitement from others because they had experienced and lived one of those visions. Eventually the archivists wanted to see, figuring that what she experienced might have truly been the past of this world. They wanted to write down what they saw.

In the end even they finally left. The problem, they learned, was there was no continuity, no way to tell what they saw through her visions was the past, and there was no timeline with those visions. So they had no way to know when or what happened. It was during this time that the visions became stronger, and when inside them one could use all one’s senses. Now they – these visions – were as real as looking out in the morning watching the sun rise above the horizon. Real as feeling the chill of the morning, and then the warmth as the heat drove that chill away.

Now you tasted the air, felt the humidity, sensed the subtle changes that happened when you hiked through an area. It was the smell of the greenery, the sounds of birds flying, the feel of the wind, and the moving of the grass in the grasslands as those winds created waves. And unlike before where you could only look where she was looking, one now could turn in any direction and see the whole world, and at times it would bring tears. Why tears you ask? Because what we’d see showed this world in all the beauty and variety that no longer existed. It made one want to spend all their time inside of these visions.

Yet, during all of this time, the visions covered large areas, great vistas, mountains, cities in the distance, and such – nothing up close and intimate. That would change later. Still, we appreciated what we saw. Unfortunately for her these stronger visions would wipe her out and she’d easily sleep two days before recovering. It was a worrisome thing. One so small had only so much energy to expend, and for whatever the reason, the visions seemed to require a lot.

Eventually the ones coming to see the gift trickled down to a few, only showing up with the traders, making it easier on everybody. And slowly as she grew up she began to gain control over the visions. No, she couldn’t manifest them on command, but she was able to shrink the areas down, make the scenes more intimate. And eventually we began to understand one of our yearly celebrations.

Here in this vast desert there are but two seasons and two major celebrations. And they, the celebrations, rotate around the growing and harvesting of our crops. The first celebration has to do with the plantings and the hope for a successful wet season – such as it is – to allow our crops to grow, and the last is after the harvest where we’d gather and give thanks for the bounty. Yet, here with this celebration another seemed to be a part of it, but had no direct connection to the harvest. It was the celebration of the birth of a male child.

Now to be honest, we always feel great with the birth and survival of a child, as death seems to follow as often as life. Yet, for whatever the reason this had more significance than this. And with reverence we, the whole village, and as I understand it, the whole world, would honor this child. And maybe, in the end, this is why En had those visions, even though it took years for her to learn how to control them.

And we really never understood why or when this portion of the celebration had become part of us, but it had always been there, and important. We felt that what this part represented is the future, since a child coming into this world held its own promises for such. If one traveled, which I mentioned I didn’t, then one would most likely see this celebration in exactly the same way everywhere, and at the same time of the year.

We, the village, were sitting around the communal fire, quietly celebrating this portion of the annual harvest celebration when I noticed En smiling, having that distant stare saying she was having one of her visions. She reached out and touched the ones on either side of her, and they realized what was happening. Shortly we were all arm in arm and enjoying what she was seeing.

So different from those of the past, as this was up close and personal, an intimate view of this same celebration, but at the same time different. In fact it was two visions with a small break between. It explained everything to us – everything.

First we saw what might have been a desert, but in a way not really. Then we slowly got closer to what had to be a village. What and who we saw, well let’s say it was different. We saw what might have been a star shining bright overhead, and in a place reserved for the animals a young woman about to give birth. And with that birth the air filled with beings that seemed to hang in the sky proclaiming the birth of this child – the very one we celebrated. To say we were in awe is an understatement.

This scene faded, and before we broke contact the second began and it was obvious that some time had passed as we were inside a room, which had to be part of someone’s home or shelter. It was night, and when we looked outside it appeared to be lit up with some type of artificial light. Something we didn’t have now, but we’d seen something similar in other visions of hers.

In that room was a tree, but of a type we were unfamiliar, and that tree was decorated and lit with lights of many colors. The room was warm and inviting, and there was music in the background. We heard the words, “For unto us a child is born”, and we realized it had to be that child we’d seen in the previous vision. It was then as we listened in awe, that the words spoke of a Savior, and at that moment we realized that this is exactly what we celebrated now. Even after all the time from then to now, this was still with us.

Then that vision too faded away and we were back. Looking around I saw that everybody was quiet, introspective. Now we knew, now we understood. We had a rare opportunity to understand, to see, and to tie it all together. That child had come into the world to save us, to show us the light that lit the darkness. It was God providing a way to bring us back to Him.

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The Ones Before

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

The Harsh Lands, (Link to webpage: http://www.fdbrant.com/page19.html) is available as a paperback (ISBN: 978-1-946179-00-5), for Kindle (ASIN: B01N69YCCW), or in the EPub format (ISBN: 978-1-946179-02-9). This novel is the complete Survival trilogy in a single book with a length of over 1150 pages.

Time of Isolation: (link to webpage:http://www.fdbrant.com/article02.html)  Paperback (ISBN: 978-1-946179-06-1) Kindle (ISBN: 978-1-946179-07-4) and Epub (ISBN: 978-1-946179-08-1) and Desperate to Survive: (Link to webpage:http://www.fdbrant.com/desperatetosurvive.html) Paperback (ISBN: 978-1-946179-09-8) Kindle (ISBN: 978-1-946179-10-4) and Epub (ISBN: 978-1-946179-11-1) are available for purchase as of April 21, 2017. These releases are second editions with the novels revised and updated. At this time A Taste of History Past, (Link to webpage: http://www.fdbrant.com/page18.html) will remain as a first edition and EBook only with this being the final book in the Survival trilogy.

The Woman in the Snow 2nd edition, (Link to webpage: http://www.fdbrant.com/article01.html). Contemporary Christian Fiction available now: Paperback (ISBN 978-1-946179-03-6) Kindle (ISBN 978-1-946179-04-3) and Epub (978-1-946179-05-0).

* * *

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Time of Isolation, Chapter 12, Part 10

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

The Harsh Lands, (Link to webpage: http://www.fdbrant.com/page19.html) is available as a paperback (ISBN: 978-1-946179-00-5), for Kindle (ASIN: B01N69YCCW), or in the EPub format (ISBN: 978-1-946179-02-9). This novel is the complete Survival trilogy in a single book with a length of over 1150 pages.

Time of Isolation: (link to webpage:http://www.fdbrant.com/article02.html)  Paperback (ISBN: 978-1-946179-06-1) Kindle (ISBN: 978-1-946179-07-4) and Epub (ISBN: 978-1-946179-08-1) and Desperate to Survive: (Link to webpage:http://www.fdbrant.com/desperatetosurvive.html) Paperback (ISBN: 978-1-946179-09-8) Kindle (ISBN: 978-1-946179-10-4) and Epub (ISBN: 978-1-946179-11-1) are available for purchase as of April 21, 2017. These releases are second editions with the novels revised and updated. At this time A Taste of History Past, (Link to webpage: http://www.fdbrant.com/page18.html) will remain as a first edition and EBook only with this being the final book in the Survival trilogy.

The Woman in the Snow 2nd edition, (Link to webpage: http://www.fdbrant.com/article01.html). Contemporary Christian Fiction available now: Paperback (ISBN 978-1-946179-03-6) Kindle (ISBN 978-1-946179-04-3) and Epub (978-1-946179-05-0).

* * *

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

                                * * *

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

 

To be continued in the novel Desperate to Survive.

* * *

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

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

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

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

The Harsh Lands, (Link to webpage: http://www.fdbrant.com/page19.html) is available as a paperback (ISBN: 978-1-946179-00-5), for Kindle (ASIN: B01N69YCCW), or in the EPub format (ISBN: 978-1-946179-02-9). This novel is the complete Survival trilogy in a single book with a length of over 1150 pages.

Time of Isolation: (link to webpage:http://www.fdbrant.com/article02.html)  Paperback (ISBN: 978-1-946179-06-1) Kindle (ISBN: 978-1-946179-07-4) and Epub (ISBN: 978-1-946179-08-1) and Desperate to Survive: (Link to webpage:http://www.fdbrant.com/desperatetosurvive.html) Paperback (ISBN: 978-1-946179-09-8) Kindle (ISBN: 978-1-946179-10-4) and Epub (ISBN: 978-1-946179-11-1) are available for purchase as of April 21, 2017. These releases are second editions with the novels revised and updated. At this time A Taste of History Past, (Link to webpage: http://www.fdbrant.com/page18.html) will remain as a first edition and EBook only with this being the final book in the Survival trilogy.

The Woman in the Snow 2nd edition, (Link to webpage:http://www.fdbrant.com/article01.html). Contemporary Christian Fiction available now: Paperback (ISBN 978-1-946179-03-6) Kindle (ISBN 978-1-946179-04-3) and Epub (978-1-946179-05-0).

* * *

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

                                * * *

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

“Now what, what?” Sabryn asked.

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Ah, this is Saar.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

* * *

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

Time of Isolation, Chapter 12, Part 8

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

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

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

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

* * *

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

                                * * *

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

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

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

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

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

* * *

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

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

Time of Isolation, Chapter 12, Part 7

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

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

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

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

* * *

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

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

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

                                * * *

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

                                * * *

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

* * *

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

Time of Isolation, Chapter 12, Part 6

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 (Here is the link to the webpage:http://www.fdbrant.com/page19.html) .

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: (Link to the webpage: http://www.fdbrant.com/article01.html) Paperback (ISBN 978-1-946179-03-6) Kindle (ISBN 978-1-946179-04-3) and Epub (978-1-946179-05-0).

* * *

Much continues to happen for the positive with the ten located at the Alpha. And with the day over and more understanding of what some of the mysteries have presented, Saige is wrapping up the evening meeting. With the end of this day they now know what those illusive letters and numbers mean, and the herd they felt their ancestors maintained has been located. Still and even with the successes they remain isolated and have no idea what has  transpired with the Cities – if there are any remaining cities. With their number only being ten they know of no way to defeat this primitive alliance and the vast army that is sweeping away their cities. And with this introduction, onto part 6:

He looked around and saw that the rest agreed with him. “Okay then, we is done here. Let’s all meet for breakfast in the cafeteria and then we can go as a group to our different areas. And I’m going to take a chance and not have anyone monitoring the security office tonight. So far, we haven’t seen a primitive within kilometers of this place. We need everyone for what is happening tomorrow, and all to have a full night’s sleep. So, good night all, and thank you for all of the effort that has gotten us to this point.” He watched as the members filtered out of the meeting room. He saw that Seirra waited until all the rest had left and then came over and joined him.

“I agree I’m really tired tonight. Do you really think that we will be able to contact the cities?” I really do hope so, there has already been too much loss here, and if there is a slight chance that we can alert the rest to what’s happening, then maybe they can come up with some way of keeping the primitives out. “I know there is no way you can answer that right now, but I had to ask.”

He reached out and hugged her and then took her hand and said. “I really never, well Shellian and I really never wanted this job, and to answer your question, I don’t know. After all, all of our training was to spy on the primitives, and not repair the equipment. That was for other members, and none of them survived our flight to here – so all of us are flying quite blind here. And while everything seems to be working because of the bots and replicators, I just don’t know.” Taking a deep breath and shrugging he said. “I really wish I did, but I have to be honest, I just don’t. Enough on this, I’m tired, lets head back to the apartment and call it. I have a feeling that the next few days are going to be extremely busy, not that most of them haven’t been, but we now know so much more, and I do hope we can use what we learned to stop the slaughter and slavery of our people.”

“I do love you, you know that?” She asked as she looked up into his eyes and smiled.

Smiling back at her, she could see softness in his eyes as he said. “Yes, I do, and I knew that for a long time. It was just that back in the cave I couldn’t show any favoritism towards anybody, and especially you, but I have to admit that I am in love with you also. You have become very important to me in so many ways.”

Then smiling mischievously she said. “Well, let me show you tonight how much I appreciate you.” And then she laughed as they headed for their apartment.

                                * * *

Keenan stayed long enough to make sure that the shift change went smoothly, and then headed out to grab something to eat before he went home. He was in a dark mood, and really did not want any company tonight. The word coming back from the council was nothing but political mumbo jumbo saying absolutely nothing, and the information being passed down by the over-bosses was just as bad. In other words, nothing was known, and nothing was being done. Was this paralysis to continue, until, for whatever reason, the light would be turned off here? Again he had no answers. He wanted to do something, anything, but again by not knowing what had happened he was frustrated, and had no real direction to go. He was a man of action, one who wanted to delve deeply into the problem and get it solved. And this was the reason for his dark mood. Yeah, it’s obvious that nobody knows anything, and is just saying what sounds good. Why isn’t someone out there trying to find out? Instead all we get is talk, talk, talk! Breathing deeply and shaking his head slightly his thoughts continued unbidden. I just don’t get it. Why haven’t they sent someone out to at least check on one of the cities that have gone dark? Yeah, I know, not one of the cities is that close to each other, but if I remember correctly, there was supposed to be some type of special team to do just that. Now with a bit of sarcasm his thoughts continued. Oh that’s right. Budget cuts, since we never had any need or use for that department it was eliminated as waste. Chuckling inwardly he just stared out at nothing in particular as he headed for his favorite restaurant. I guess tomorrow will be another day, and maybe, just maybe, someone will do something – yeah like that’s going to happen.

                                * * *

Morning came too quickly, and all of them filtered out to the cafeteria for breakfast. Looking around, Saige could see that most looked blurry eyed and somewhat drug out. At least I’m not the only one that looks that way right now. But it was little consolation, since they needed to be fresh and alert today. He really wanted to be able to make contact today, and to completely explore the meadowlands that had been discovered yesterday. Looking around he noticed that the women were missing at this moment and realized that it was their day for kitchen duty at the meals, and as he realized that, the women began to bring in the food and as the smells reached him he realized that he was quite hungry. Smiling at them as they piled the plates of food in the middle of the table he could hear his stomach rumble in complaint and anticipation. The women then went back briefly to the kitchen and brought out steaming pots of coffee. It had been something they had discovered here, and all of them had found, that like their ancestors, they were living on the stuff. It was different than the shick they drank back in the city, and he had to admit, better. Once the coffee had arrived they sat down and Shellian said. “Well, dig in everyone while it’s hot. I do not like cold food.” Someone replied. “My parents raised no fools; you don’t have to tell me twice.” This brought out a general chuckle from everyone there. Then all that anyone heard was the moving of plates, silverware, and cups as everyone concentrated on the food and drink.

                                * * *

It had been a restless night and Keenan was short tempered and in no mood for the normal political crap today. So he knew that he had to keep his mouth shut, and to be careful, so that he did not say something that would put him on report. Things had been building for quite a while now, and if something did not happen soon, it would not matter, he would blow up anyway. It seemed that all of the ones above were avoiding any mention of the problems that were now confronting the cities. As if ignoring them would make them go away. Yet, as he looked around on his way to work, everything was just too normal. Shaking himself inwardly he thought once again. Eight cities gone, and still no one to explain why, and no one who will take responsibility for trying to discover the reasons why they have gone silent. He knew that right now he was too old, and had too many minor health problems, to be one who could do the discovering. It was another point of frustration for him. Back in his youth, he had almost joined the ones who were active in keeping an eye on the primitives, the research, and advancements that they made. And yes, even the fighting between the clans and tribes. All of this was important, but before he could join, the council disbanded it as unnecessary. So here he was all this time later close to the age of no longer working, to have this crisis show its face, and no one willing to do anything about it.

* * *

With the team here at the Alpha a new day is beginning and there is anticipation in the air as they eat breakfast. Saige hopes that soon, with the knowledge they’ve confirmed that contact can be made with the “pivot city”, the one responsible for the overall communications network between the cities. They only have to figure out how. At the same time the majority of the team will head out and explore the vast area where the herd had been discovered the day before, searching for a possible exit. In the meantime we are also following Keenan who is one of the supervisors from the communications center, and he isn’t happy about the responses that have come from the leadership on the fate of the eight cities that’s gone dark. And with all that’s happening we are rapidly approaching the end of book one in the Survival Trilogy. Have a great week, and God Bless! (http://www.fdbrant.com/)

Published in: on August 26, 2017 at 6:47 am  Leave a Comment  
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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/)

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