HERE IT IS...AS PROMISED
THE FIRST EXCERPTS OF MY DEBUT NOVEL...FALLEN LEAVES
IF YOU LKE IT, I WILL TRY AND GET THIS SELF-PUBLISHED FOR NEXT YEAR SO PLEASE SUPPORT ME AND BUY A COPY IF YOU CAN. I WILL TRY AND KEEP THE COST TO A MININUM AND THANKS ALL AGAIN. WITHOUT YOU ALL TO READ MY IMAGINATION THAT I TRANSCRIBE INTO WORDS, I WOULD NOT ENJOY MY WRITING HALF AS MUCH AS I DO.
NEARLY FINISHED...JUST A FEW MORE CHAPTERS LEFT TO WRITE AND EDIT...COMING VERY, VERY SOON.
FEEL FREE TO SEND ME ANY COMMENTS ABOUT 'FALLEN LEAVES.'
SO WITHOUT FURTHER ADO...
February 27th 2001
Two of America’s greatest minds confirm that time travel is indeed possible.
Not only is it possible, but they predict given the correct tools, equipment and labour that a fully functional time machine can be built within three years.
October 16th 2004
A little behind schedule ‘Bluebell 1’ the world’s first ever time machine is created.
January 7th 2005
They switched it on.
March 8th 2005
CHAPTER ONE...PART ONE.
“Behold my friend. Mankind’s greatest achievement...and Mankind’s greatest failure!”
Colonel Myles Charing... Idaho USA. March 10th 2005.
The Quay. Bristol, England. Tuesday June 14th 1887.
Wilson was weary. There was something he had to tell Pete...Something insane, but now wasn’t the time.
Pete had something to say too. He was growing tired of evading capture and the hard living, filthy life that he had come accustomed to and had always dreamt of a richer, fuller life.
‘Living easy’ he called it.
Secretly he’d been toiling away at his novel for many years now.
Sadly for Pete a grasp of the basic principles of writing and the fundamental principles of English were more in par with his thieving ways...a lot of effort with little return. Now here he sat inside the flea-ridden slum-house gaping at Wilson unceremoniously slurping his brew. With a heavy sigh he leaned slowly forward across the table and graciously recited a passage of his novel to Wilson;
‘It was cold and wet outside when the West Indies man came in from the outside world and sat down in the inn. All he wanted was a drink, it did not look as though he would get one today as everyone was staring at him like an animal.’
He didn’t get the reaction he’d envisaged.
Wilson was in no mood for arguments or petty comments, today was his lucky day, and today he was going to be rich. Wilson just shrugged his huge frame calmly, gulped down his brew and snapped his fingers to call for another.
“Come here and get it you lazy slob, what d’ya think this is a ruddy hotel?” Cried Honest Madge the gleeful slum-house proprietor
He shrugged again, muttered some profanity back to Madge under his breath and slowly inched out of his seat. He was a lazy, dirty, unsympathetic man who would rather hit you first, take your money and ask no questions, but today was an exception.
He didn’t get far.
Barely a foot from the table the doors of the slum-house splayed open and in rushed three constables of her Majesty’s finest. He caught sight of them and knew instinctively that they were here for him.
“Go Go!” He cried to Pete.
“What. Where?” Pete countered.
The constables scanned the area briefly, spotted Wilson and made towards him.
“Don’t ask just go I’m right behind you. Now go!”
Normally a smouldering bag of inactivity he now moved like a Gazelle.
With one fell move he stood fully, grasped the huge round oak table with both arms and hoisted it above his head. Lunging forward he hurled it effortlessly towards the constables.
One saw it and side stepped.
The other two weren’t so quick and went down hard as the table slammed into them.
He was away the moment the table had left his hands and headed towards the back of the slum-house. Honest Madge’s screams ringing incessantly in his ears as he flew headlong into the yard. Furiously stumbling over countless oddities, scraps of food and the odd pigeon he righted himself and looked around.
Four brick walls. Eight maybe ten feet high.
Then, there in the corner....his escape route.
A single wooden gate, closed.
The three constables now recovered, burst through into the yard.
There was no time to see if it was open or locked.
He charged the gate.
It fell effortlessly in half a dozen or so pieces. He stopped, turned around went back and picked up a huge chunk of shattered wood.
The three Constables halted their progress.
“Come on give it up now.” Bellowedthe taller of the three.
The other blew his whistle and bellowed for backup.
“Come on now we only want to ask you a few questions, and my colleague here has just called for more officers so don’t get silly now and try to escape.”
Wilson smiled patronisingly at them then charged.
Swinging the wood violently it connected with the head of the taller one with a chilling thwack.
A brief scarlet fountain splayed out triumphantly from the Constables skull intermingled with fine, tiny white smatterings of calcium.
He winced as the Constable went down hard.
The second constable ran back towards the slum house whilst the other backed off, his palms now outstretched in front of him as he began to plead for his life.
“Come on now don’t be a fool” He cried.
“You’re not taking me. They won’t show me any mercy this time I’ll be shipped off to the other side of the world now I will.” Countered Wilson.
“Be calm, be calm. Like I said we just want to ask you a few questions. If you’d let us ask you first instead of running we might not be in this situation now. You understand?”
“I don’t care. I know what you want and I ain’t going back.”
“What do we want then if you’re so sure?”
“You want me watch.” He snarled.
“Your watch man, no we just wanted to ask you about a murder that took place this morning.”
“You think it was me, I had nothing to do with it.” Wilson roared.
He gripped the wood tighter and glanced down towards the lifeless body of the downed Constable. Sometimes he felt like a raging inferno inside. He didn’t know why, just that some days he wanted to hurt people and some days he wanted to hold someone. Today he wanted to hurt again, wanted to release his joyous feelings and hurting people made him float with joy. He’d never meant to hurt that geezer this morning, but he wasn’t from around here, he’d never seen him before and it made him curious. Curious to know why there was a new face around the docks, and curious to see if he’d anything of value on his person. Poor souls from the ships - if indeed he was one - always seem to have something of value, something worth dying for and the furthest from whence they came the more extravagant the prize usually was. He never meant to kill the geezer but he’d put up a struggle. A good struggle in fact but he was no match for Wilson. He’d taken the watch after the killing. Didn’t notice it at first but then the ruddy bleeping sound and the flashing red light caught his attention. He’d never seen such a thing before, never beheld such witchcraft, entrancing but oh so magnificent.
The dial was exquisitely adorned with ivory and gold, and the strap was made from finest tan leather. So smooth and warm to the touch. He knew it would fetch a pretty sum, maybe even enough for him to retire with. Enough even for a little farm in America, that wonderful vast free land that he’d often heard sailors talk about.
He’d prised it off his victim’s wrist some four hours earlier and now here he was in the yard of the slum-house with Constable Dwarf wanting answers.
Wilson didn’t hear the others approach.
More constables had been alerted to the earlier whistle. They approached noisily from behind. Turning swiftly, Wilson counted five more formidable opponents standing firm and steadfast. Truncheons at the ready.
“Put the wood down...Now!” one of them hollowed.
He knew they wanted the watch but this was like nothing he’d ever glanced upon before, and all his being told him that this watch was the key to everything - the very essence his useless soul had craved for all his pathetic and squandering life - and he wasn’t about to give it up peacefully. Raising the huge piece of wood above his head he raged at the new arrivals;
“You’re not having the watch, and you’re not sending me to Hell.”
Then charged once again
Small Constable fainted. One made the sign of the Cross; one fell to his knees and prayed to the heavens above with both hands firmly clasped...and the others. Well, they just stood there spouting shocked profanities to no one in particular, over and over and over again.
Cruise ship ‘Adelaide Mirage’ Speed 17.8 knots.
Co-ordinates 38° 49’ 56” N 25° 23’ 15” E
(Deep within the Aegean Sea, en-route to Mykonos Town, Mykonos Island, Greece)
Monday May 14th 2007 – 2.21 pm.
Captain Oswald Stromland stood proudly at the helm of his pride and joy. He loved, relished, savoured every moment of his beautiful, pearlescent blue sea-faring profession. Maritime tradition ran deep through the heart of his family line prompting Stromland to research his family tree extensively over the years. In between his duties of the sea he’d discovered that one of his many ancestors - a stalwart Herbert Stromland - possessed a love of the blue wonder too, after unearthing an old record of him recounting a tale of the great storm of 1897 whilst out on his trusty boat the ‘Lady Samantha.’ Stromland had often wondered what it would have been like in those early days with no modern comforts or technology. It was a curiosity that had saved his ship on many occasions throughout his eight years with Adelaide Cruise Lines, having counted on age old techniques to steer his passengers and ship to safety whenever simple technology had failed. This was his first ever cruise ship, yet his third posting as a Captain, having worked his way up through the ranks over the past 25 years. He’d seen many a sight over the years and had skillfully captained his ships through many a strange anomaly and torturous maelstrom. He’d also experienced many wondrous moments too, such as Loving Honeymooners, old age love and canoodling couples, moonlight and sun-set oceans beneath a fiery beauty of red and orange skies, frolicking dolphins and golden, sandy paradises. Ironically the one aspect of cruise life that offered him the most joy was the odd terminally ill child. A holiday aboard astounded them. Living with the majestic beauty of the sea for just a few days seemed to magically corrode away the throbbing memories and pain of their ultimate, cruel fate. Their glinting, happy eyes marveling in the surroundings of the cool, blue sea as they drifted blissfully away into their own private wonder land. Stromland was en-route to Mykonos town. A pretty little Greek town that had been blessed with breath-taking sandy beaches, whitewashed houses upon lush, green hillsides and pretty little taverna’s adorned with all manner of purple, blue and pure sun ripened flowers of nauseating splendour. Sparkling sun-kissed iridescent pearl blue and white chapels, windmills and shimmering bell-towers tumbled forth amongst the landscape, and melded effortlessly together with the azure blues skies up above. Affording you a little sense of heaven as you lazily ambled on by. It was one of Stromlands favourite ports of call, and he was secretly looking forward to maybe an hour out with a frothy cappuccino in a small, quiet picturesque Taverna. The reality though was different, a Captain had to stay with his ship at all costs - occasionally leaving to supervise at the Harbourside when needed - and he was not due leave for almost another seven weeks.
It was day two of a 14 night cruise. Having left their embarkation port the previous night, the huge ship was now pressing onwards to Mykonos, hoping to make port there at around 8am the next morning. Giving the joyous passengers aboard ample time to top up their tan within the open magnificence of the myth laden Aegean expanse.
Stromland stood doggedly upon his bridge gazing through his trusty Binoculars, out towards the huge oil tanker that was slowly making its way across the Mirages bow some 4.5 kilometers ahead. Radar had picked the tanker up some time ago, and Stromland had slowed a little to afford the huge lumbering vessel ahead time to pass. Changing course was an option of course, but the Aegean was as treacherous as she was beautiful, and even with his trusted parchment map and Mirages recent technological re-fit the previous year he dared not change course until all other options had been exhausted. For now slowing a little, and keeping in constant communication with the Captain of the Portuguese registered ‘Leah Mariaz’ had proved ample enough as he stood waiting, watching and calmly sipping his beloved dark, strong earl grey tea laced with a single slice of lemon and a tiny half spoon of sugar.
Stromland had barely let his cup leave his lips when First Officer Danny Van Der-mold came rushing onto the Bridge.
“Captain I think we may have a bit of a problem.” Van Der-mold announced.
“You can say that again Van Der-Mold this ruddy tanker ahead is beginning to worry me, but I think we may be ok.”
“We’ll be ok, I have every trust in you. We’ve been through tighter spots together but I think you may need to hear this.”
“Hear what?” Stromland quizzed.
“The Wilson family from the UK in suite F241, state that they’ve not seen their 16 year old son Harry for over an hour.”
“Not unusual Van Der-Mold, it’s a big ship and teenagers will go missing for hours on end whilst they go and explore.”
“Yer but they just notified the front desk of the situation. I just talked to them as I was there checking on the rota’s with Sara, and this was kind of different.”
“In what way.” Stromland pressed, straining hard to listen closely whilst keeping a stringent, cautious eye on the vessel ahead. He pondered the need for another much needed cup of Earl Grey.
“There are four of them, the Father and mother with their son Harry and a daughter…I believe Marcia aged 12. They were all together in the California lounge when they decided to go and pick up their family photographs from last night. Harry decided not to go and opted to wait for them and mind the table.”
“Go on.” Stromland gently pressed.
“The father Marshall said they were only gone for maybe five minutes or so, no more than ten, and when they returned Harry was gone.”
“Again nothing unusual, teenagers have a habit of doing that…just doing what they want.”
“I know. That’s what his parents thought, so they tried to call him on his mobile to give him a bit of a rebuke for wandering off…but his mobile was off.”
“No change there either, if a teenager wants to do their own thing that’s what they’ll do Van Der-mold.” Stromland countered, eyes still engaged straight ahead as the huge hulk of the ‘Leah Mariaz’ steamed clear of the Mirage’s course with a whole kilometer to spare.
He breathed a slow inward sigh of relief as Van Der-Mold continued.
“I’ll get to the point, after constantly trying his mobile for an hour they returned back to the California lounge and found Harry’s mobile on the floor under the seats where they’d been sitting. Again no suspicious circumstance there, he simply could have dropped it before he wandered off. However it’s when they returned to their suite to check there after searching everywhere else that things got more complicated.”
“He could still be around Van Der-Mold, as I said before she’s a huge ship and rather difficult to search every nook and cranny of her in an hour.”
“I know, but when he left he was wearing his typical teenage baseball cap and sunglasses. They found the sunglasses on his bed so he’d obviously been back to the suite. It’s when they talked to an elderly couple next door that they started to panic.”
“What did they say?”
“They bumped into the elderly couple who emerged from their suite at the same time as the Wilsons were leaving theirs, and they commented on the light.”
“What light?” He pressed again
“According to Marshall, the elderly couple stated that they had returned to their suite for a little rest about half hour before. They commented to the Wilsons on their use of a very bright sun-bed in their suite, and wondered why they didn’t just go outside and catch the rays for free.
“As they were swiping their card into their door, they say they saw a huge purple light shine out from around the edges and bottom of the cabin door. It lasted for a few brief seconds and then nothing. They say it was so bright they had to go for a brandy to soothe their nerves.”
“You believe this?”
“I just talked to the elderly couple – The McIrnams – and they basically recounted the same story word for word that the Wilsons recounted to me.”
“I know what you’re thinking Van Der-Mold. So hell, you think it’s happened again? You think we may have another disappearance on our hands?”
“Yer I do Captain, but not again…not this soon. It can’t be?”
“If you think that…then that’s the third in the last two months Van Der-Mold. We’re only just getting over the last one from two weeks ago. Have you done a thorough search yet?”
“On it now. Got security all over the ship searching and circulating descriptions of Harry to everyone onboard - passengers and crew.”
“Good. You know the procedure after 24 hours we report this. Though given the other recent disappearances and the fact that he’s just a kid give it 12 hours, then we’ll notify the authorities if he’s not showed by then…okay?”
“Yer sure…I’ll keep you posted.” Van Der-mold replied solemnly then turned and headed back out to aid in the search. He paused at the door and turned back towards Stromland to utter one last word when Chief security officer Nikolos came stampeding in.
“Woah there big guy you nearly sent me overboard.” Van Der-Mold scolded.
“Sorry Sir…” Nikolas nodded towards Stromland…”Captain.”
Nikolas’s brow, uniform and cheeks were smattered with oily, olive sweat. He was a huge hulk of a man, but friendly, stern and resolutely loyal. He possessed an uncanny ability to put everyone at ease alongside a meticulous investigative mind that didn’t seem to harmonise with his slow, lumbering ways. Wiping away a huge slither of murky skin oil he quipped;
“Wanted you to hear this in person, just rang up four flights of stairs, got pissed at waiting for the elevator…sorry did I swear then…sorry. Anyway just been looking at the CCTV footage for that hallway on deck 9 that you asked for Sir.”
Van Der-Mold edged forward and placed a friendly hand upon Nikolas’s shoulder as he now hunched forward, hands upon his knees desperately trying to contain his breath and bring it on back to his aching lungs.
“It’s okay Nikolas, calm down take your time, get your breath. I asked Nikolas to check on the CCTV.” Van Der-Mold soothed glancing towards Stromland.
Nikolas struggled with his gait, gasped a little then continued.
“They were right. The Wilsons they were right. Precisely 1.33 pm for exactly 6 seconds there’s a…There’s a…” Nikolas gulped once more, wiped away further copious amounts of oily sweat from his cheeks then concluded…
“There’s a very, very bright flash of light coming from the Wilson’s cabin. It’s so bright it lights up the entire hallway. You’re not going to believe this, but the most puzzling thing is the clock on the CCTV is stuck on one thirty three and 42 seconds…the precise moment the whole light thing faded.”
“Strange…bloody strange.” Van Der-Mold gasped.
“That’s not all…the whole bloody system, all the whole lot…our entire network of cameras are stuck on 13.33.42.” Nikolas rasped.
Both looked towards Stromland in unison, their eyes seeking solace and advice.
Stromland rubbed his brow in exasperation
“Sod the twelve hours. Van Der-Mold do whatever you can for the Wilsons and Dayton get me Mykonos Port then head office on the line.” Stromland barked.
Petty officer Dayton one of many serving, resolute officers at Stromlands command obligingly contacted Mykonos Town port authorities.
It was as he waited to be connected that he happened to glance at the chief Bridge clock directly behind Stromlands head. Curious he could not understand why nobody had noticed it before.
He was sure it was way after 2 pm...But the clock displayed 1.33 pm precisely.
United States Antarctic Research Base, Anvers Island, north of the Antarctic Circle
64.46'30.32726" South Latitude 64.03'04.04752" West Longitude
Tuesday September 4th 2001 – 3.17pm.
Chief Samuel Emmanuelle - a respected Iowa citizen, loving father of two twin teenage girls and devoted husband to his second wife Glenys - had just returned from two months of pure bliss with his family, deep within the warm cosy surroundings of little town civilisation.
Samuel worked continuously at the base seven days a week, on a rolling period of five months on followed by a well deserved two months vacation. On the helicopter trip back to Palmer station some two hours earlier he smiled as the memory of last nights farewell dinner came creeping back over the threshold of his inner cellular house.
Dinner of Chilli Con Carne, rice and a prawn salad starter were the combined efforts of the twins. They loved and rejected their father in equal doses. Loved him when around, but hated him when he was away and having to miss out on all their glories, their coming of age events, their celebratory exam results, their first boyfriend and their heartaches. Glenys was a formidable, passionate wife who also longed for Samuel to be by her side throughout. Dealing with two teenage girls along with all their emotional turmoil’s and tantrums was a handful at the best of times but she made damn sure that she was always there for them. It was just that sometimes no matter how much a mother loved and cherished her children a loving husband was also a loving father, and children would ultimately long for their tender arms too.
Lauren and Mary-Beth were at that hormonal, inquisitive stage of their adolescence lives and they were not about to relinquish that trait anytime soon as they pressed Samuel over the prawn salad starter.
“So come on then dad you’re not really out there for climate research are you? You’re looking for aliens really.” Lauren quizzed as Samuel bit heavily into his crisp lettuce and prawn.
He gulped. “Tastes really nice this salad girls.”
“We know.” They answered as one.
“Don’t try and side track me into some other subject dad. Come on you can tell us.” Lauren pushed leaning forward excitedly across the table, her bubbly features now broadening into a mischievous grin.
“Don’t push your father honeys, you know it’s only dull climate research he does. Though it is important for all of us...all humanity I mean.” Glenys diplomatically interjected.
“If dad was looking for aliens of course he’d deny it wouldn’t you dad.” Piped up Mary-Beth.
“He’s not going to answer that if he was dummy...would he?” Lauren quipped.
“Come on girls...girls. What on earth makes you think me and my team would be searching for extra-terrestrial life in the Antarctic...of all places!” Samuel exclaimed raising his left hand aloft in delicate negotiating mode, whilst also edging forward across the table. Stabbing the last remaining prawn and heartily chomping on its pink, chewy sinews he continued.
“I mean come on, I can understand your inquisitiveness if I were an astronomer, or working at some secret government facility, but it’s not...it’s not secret. You know where I work, you talk to me on the webcam regularly and I upload regular pics of me and the gang outside to you both regularly...come on you’ve been watching too much TV girls but I’ve missed you both...you too Glenys.”
“Yeah we know that dad, but the best way to throw someone off the scent is to let them know the research and the base are not secret...you know what I mean don’t you? Like erm, what’s it called...erm” Mary-Beth pushed once again, unfazed by her fathers comments.
“...Misdirection...” Lauren finished.
“Yer dad misdirecting us...” Mary-Beth hollowed.
“She’s right dad and besides they’re always finding aliens in the ice. Their ships always crash-land in the ice and that’s what you’re looking for.” Lauren sidled in again.
“Girls I’m not getting into this anymore. Alien spaceships have never crash landed on earth and I am not part of some secret government facility. Now come on let’s eat this sumptuous Chilli that you prepared for us, I’m real looking forward to it.”
“Go on girls; go fetch the main I’m looking forward to this too.” Glenys gently pushed.
“Lauren will go get it...” Mary-Beth uttered.
“No you go. I brought the salad in.”
“Look don’t argue both of you. Mary-Beth come on I’ll help you bring it in.” Glenys calmly rebuked.
“Alright come on then mum.” Mary-Beth replied, slowly stood then flashed her tongue mockingly at Lauren who in turn did the same.
“They love each other really.” Glenys joked, swaying her head in smiling desperation as she glanced towards Samuel.
He glanced back jokingly swaying his head in mock unison, then smiled at Lauren.
“So Lauren, how’s school been?”
Memories of home and last night never left Samuel as he slowly got back into his daily work routine. It was good to get away once in a while but he couldn’t help but feel that coming back here to the station was equally exciting too. It was a role he had applied for many years ago on more than one occasion and it was a joy to him when he was finally accepted. Ever since he was a small boy he had loved the snow, and this tagged with an eye for detail, a brilliant mind and a head for leadership had earned him the right to be here.
It had been an eventful first day back and it was about to get much more stranger.
Palmer station - the only Antarctic base north of the Antarctic Circle was an orderly little community of steel dwellings, research labs, hangars and living quarters situated on Amsler Island. The majority of the work and research conducted at the station centred on Marine Biology, Helio-physics and Seismic, atmospheric and UV monitoring with the odd lightning research thrown in. Staffed by a moderate 30-40 personnel, with a total capacity of 46 souls maximum it was the last bastion of comradeship within the most inhospitable environment mother Earth could command. Despite the lowly numbers, the abrupt, cold cruelness of old Jack Frost and the close proximity of one another, it was actually the cosines...the camaraderie that made the station warm, cosy and inviting regardless of the cold, dark essence outside.
He'd barely taken off his coat and pressed the button on the espresso machine before he was summoned to the main communications room.
Six minutes later he entered the communications room and was confronted by the most profound chaos he had ever witnessed.
Chief communications officer ‘Abdul Akinyo,’ was shouting rather concernedly at Palmers Chief Scientist ‘John Grey’ and two fellow researchers ‘Philip Greaves’ and ‘Glen Lockly.’
“They must be wrong, there’s nothing scheduled.” Glen was hollowing.
He was hunched over the radar station next to Abdul, surrounded by John and Philip. John took a long, slow sip of coffee and nodded his head in unison with Glen’s visual observation, whilst Philip stood rubbing his temples in profound bewilderment.
“Let’s just think about this, it’s got to be a glitch or some big bad ass animal.” Said Philip.
“A big bad ass animal that moves at over two hundred miles per hour...I don’t think so.” Abdul countered.
None of them noticed Samuel approach as he unceremoniously and deliberately cleared his throat.
“Seems I wasn’t the first one to be notified then?” Samuel rebuked and approached the team.
“Sorry, Philip and Glen were already here running some numbers past me and John heard the commotion on passing just after I called you Sam.” Abdul replied.
“What’s the story then? You sounded pretty heated up Abdul.”
“Yer, think you better see this. I picked up something on long range radar five minutes ago.”
“It’s way out there.” Philip Emphasised.
“It’s moving pretty fast.” Glen announced.
“What is, what you got?” Samuel fished. He was now standing over Abdul looking directly at the radar screen with concerned, scrutinised eyes.
Abdul turned to him.
“This blip here.” Abdul pointed to the computer monitor, a green and blue circle encompassed the screen intersected by lines and numbers of radius, constants, variables and distance markers. A small yellow triangle just within the outer edge of the circle caught Samuels’s eye.
“It’s travelling at near three hundred miles per hour, and at its present speed it will reach us in a little over half an hour.” Abdul continued.
“There’s nothing scheduled for today right? The next drop is nearly two months away right.” Samuel questioned.
“Yeah end of October, the last drop before the big freeze. Besides as you know we’re re-stocked by the Ice breaker Gould and never by air, and certainly by no aircraft of that speed.” John interceded slowly finishing his coffee and placing it upon the small table next to Abduls station.
“That’s what I figured.” Samuel remarked.
“Thing is it’s not just heading for us, it’s descending as well.” Abdul pointed out rather bewilderingly.
“Elaborate.” Samuel probed.
“When we first observed the object it was travelling at over three hundred miles per hour at 30,000 feet. It’s now at 26,000 feet and just below three hundred miles per hour, so in effect slowing and descending. If I didn’t know better I’d say it was either about to crash or about to land.”
“So what you’re saying it’s heading straight for us?” replied Samuel.
“Certainly heading for us, but may overshoot us by a few miles and a few thousand feet.” Philip interrupted.
“I’ve...well me and Abdul have done some calculations Boss, and it’ll pass over us at about one to two thousand feet travelling at about 70-80 miles per hour. So yeah it looks as though it’s on a landing path or a crash path whatever you want to speculate at.” Glen announced.
“Only thing that travels at that speed is an airliner or some kind of jet though, but that’s not possible. No commercial flights travel over the Antarctic, or am I missing something.” Samuel pondered.
“That’s what we all figured to, it doesn’t make sense.” Replied Philip.
“I pointed out it might be a UFO.” John mused.
Abdul shook his head in disbelief, Philip grunted like a small confused, pink-skinned ungulate and Glen high-fived with John in agreement.
“This ain’t a Sci-Fi movie gentleman, now get real.” Samuel rebuked.
“Come on you of all people should no that given the billions of galaxies, billion of stars and the enormous number of planets out there, that we cannot be the only planet with intelligent life.” John countered.
“Intelligent...that’s stretching it.” Philip grunted once again.
“Come on guys we’re all intelligent and you know it. We’re some of the best, if not the best minds on the planet so let’s all behave like it shall we.” Rebuked Abdu.
Samuel frowned then replied.
“Well scripted Abdul. Now come on guys let’s get our heads together, figure this one out. Better still Abdul keep monitoring the blip. John, Glen you’re with me. We’ll gather some binoculars’, get suited up and go and wait for this thing outside...let’s see what we’re dealing with. Phil you stay and co-ordinate things from here with Abdul.”
“Brad and Leigh-Anne are out there at the moment gathering samples. What you want me to tell them?” Abdul pondered.
“Just us three going out. Until we know what we’re dealing with make sure everyone is accounted for and bring em back in.”
“Will do Sam.”
“Now let’s do it. Let’s go check this mysterious blip out hey...” Samuel commanded.
“Hell yeah!” roared John, pleased at the possibility of encountering a real live UFO flypast.
“Ok John we get it...We’re suppose to be professionals so act like one heh.” Glen croaked.
“Ok point taken.” John replied.
Some twenty minutes later Samuel, Glen and John made their way out into the vast, crisp bliss of the breathtaking white and azure blue expanse that enveloped mans last, great frontier of exploration. It was a little after 3pm in the afternoon and the sky was awash with clear, Mediterranean blue and blindingly white, sparkling snow that glistened and shone from horizon to horizon. All personnel knew of the dangers out here, the sudden temperature drops, the isolation and sudden unannounced risk of snowstorms and the need to be aware of your buddy at all times.
Abduls voice crackled over the comms...it was surprisingly clear given that there was no radio or mobile traffic this far north.
“Can you see it yet...should be visible and the skies are clear.”
“No sign of it yet. Yer blue skies, good visibility but kinda blindingly white around the edges as always. Hard to tell which direction” Samuel answered.
“Check your navigation, should be coming in from the west...ocean side towards the ridge.”
“Okay we’ll just...”
“Hold on...I see it. I see it!” John spouted.
“Where?” Glen enquired squinting heavily through his snow-glasses.
“Holy Mother of God is that what I think it is?” John shockingly enquired.
Samuel quickly motioned for Glen and John to follow him over to the far ridge that overlooked the vast ice shelf below and the cool, glacial ocean beyond.
They stood at the top of the ridge looking out towards the vast white, blue void.
Neither of them could believe their eyes.
Collectively they scrambled to locate the object with their binoculars
“Can’t be?” John quipped, focusing on the black image on the horizon coming in fast.
“It doesn’t make sense.” Samuel murmured.
“It is isn’t it? Tell me I’m wrong but it is isn’t it? Does everyone else see it?” Glen probed.
“We see it Glen old buddy, but I’m with you, it can’t be.” Samuel replied.
Glen and Samuel lowered their binoculars and scanned the sky ahead of them.
Seconds before the shape in the distance was a mere black dot. Now fast approaching and corroborated with the aid of their binoculars they could now make out what their minds could not comprehend.
Then the sound of its enormous twin Rolls-Royce engines began to assail their ear canals from afar.
Somewhere in the Pacific North Western United States. Exact location – classified.
Tuesday February 7th 2001.
A lone male sits at a large rectangular glass table in a sparse almost bacterially free room. Four walls of the most pure and faultless white surround him. All are bare except for the wall opposite him which bears a huge map –which he assumes to be the facility layout – etched flawlessly into a colossal streak free pane of pure, blemish free glass. A door to his left – the one he was brought in through - integrates itself effortlessly into the wall and holds no lock, handle or control panel for him to work with. He sighs then leans back into the soft leather chair that he has been instructed to sit in and wait. His right hand rests upon his right thigh whilst his left nonchalantly stretches towards the table and taps impatiently upon the glass as he initiates his cognitive ability and begins to assess the situation. The male counts nine other chairs around the table including three opposite him and three each to his left and right. He guesses that the guard who escorted him will bring more people soon. His eyes are of the deepest sapphire blue and they notice a tiny imperfection in the wall to his right and instinctively he rises and makes towards it. Soft strands of dark blond hair sit upon his head and cascade regally down to his shoulders where they meet with a seamless moulding of dark tweed that perfectly hugs his upper torso. A pure white angora sweater protrudes from underneath the sophisticated tweed jacket and along with a deep blue set of denims and a pair of protruding loafers the Professor look is complete. Seen from behind the man exudes an air of maturity and casualness due to the clothes that one would espy. When viewed face on however your cortex intervenes and throws your world into confusion as the young 33 year old looking back at you confounds your earlier comparisons.
He paces slowly towards the imperfection – a raised bevel a shade lighter than its surroundings - and begins to study it closer. He leans a little further in and scrutinises the surrounding edges upon the wall just as the far door opens with a slight venting of the faintest hiss of air.
The man turns towards the sound but does not rush towards his freedom as his intellect and reasoning deduce he is in no immediate danger or distress. A tall slim female enters then turns abruptly back towards the open door. He looks on as the guard that escorted him into the room earlier utters the same words to the female that had been uttered to him a little over an hour ago. Abruptly the door closes once more and he is alone with the female as she turns to him with perplexed and astute eyes. It is only now that he notices her features and gasps inwardly at her striking appearance and slender Chinese beauty.
Appraising the situation slightly she swiftly pans the room and studies her options. Satisfied the male opposite is of no concern and deducing that he too was brought here in the same way she approaches him and offers her right hand.
“I’m Takayo Ishiga and I assume you were brought here too – and have been given no reason why yet – judging by the look on your face.”
The male gazes at her sternly trying to determine her actions and her role in all this. Eventually after a lengthy but awkward silence he reluctantly takes a step forward and clasps his palm to Takayo’s.
“Kevin Oswain.” The male confidently replies. “Yes I was brought here by the very same, the erm very same guard who escorted you in.”
“Oswain you say, I’ve heard of you. Not the Kevin Oswain the particle physicist?”
“Yes afraid so.”
Takayo began to relax a little but still fought with her inner self to keep control and trust no one until she knew exactly why they had been brought here...and by whom.
“Pure guess here but I’m assuming you too have a unique quality?” Oswain pushed.
“Head Professor of Theoretical Physics at the Cern Laboratory, Geneva.”
“I knew it, I knew it. What is it they are after from us? Who came for you? They met me after a speech I was giving in Washington DC and told me the President requested my assistance.” Oswain probed pacing back towards the table and slumping heavily into the soft leather chair. Swivelling towards Takayo he indicated for her to sit also.
“Same here.” Takayo sighed. “Came for me at home just after my breakfast – couple of mean looking guys in immaculately dressed suits. Showed me some government credentials and asked me to go with them, and here I am!”
“Without boasting wouldn’t you say we’re a couple of geniuse’s heh Takayo?” Oswain smugly cried.
“I yeah...yeah I would say that.”
“Good then let’s put our heads together and try to deduce where we are, what they want from us and who they might actually be?”
“Ok then.” Takayo replied and eased herself into the seat next to Oswain.
Both of them sat mere feet apart facing each other and began to talk like two old friends who had just met for coffee. The camaraderie of their professions and the profoundness of their genius coupled with the uneasy situation they had just been placed in helped them form an immediate and almost trustworthy bond.
Takayo indicated towards the glass screen on the far wall.
“That I don’t like.” She announced.
“Me too, why have a map on that wall and nothing else in this utterly bare room?” Oswain pondered.
“I assume it’s a map of the facility or base or whatever it is we are in. It’s vast though, it doesn’t take a fool to deduce that as the guard that brought me here escorted me along miles of corridor on a golf buggy.”
“Same here, so why have a facility map in here? Don’t places like this normally have maps in the corridor to point the way?”
“So you think there’s a camera behind it? I do.”
“I was thinking more of a listening device as the map is printed onto the glass and it sits about an inch from the wall behind with no obvious protruding apparatus behind it.”
“So you’ve checked it then?” Takayo probed.
“When I first came in yes, was the first thing I checked as it didn’t look right, still doesn’t.”
Takayo stood and paced over towards the glass as she spoke.
“So if there’s a listening device it could be miniscule and etched discreetly into the glass...or...”
“Or we may be wrong and it may just be a map after all.” Oswain smiled. He was beginning to warm to Takayo and caught a whiff of her perfume and a taste of her breath as she glided effortlessly past and dropped gracefully back into her chair with one solid fluidic movement of bliss. She was wearing a rather low cut and somewhat fetching brown cotton sleeveless top that hugged her graceful and slim figure like a second snakelike skin. A knee length black skirt completed the look and Oswain could not help but notice her slender fawn coloured appendages that oozed out from beneath as she leaned back and crossed them rather distractingly.
Takayo looked innocently around the room once more then leaned forward towards Oswain - who found it hard to keep his composure and not be distracted by her smooth blemish free cleavage - and whispered.
“Or it may just be a transparent TV screen that can change its image at will, we’ll just have to wait and see what transpires.”
Oswain toiled with his inner demons and thought the urge to gaze at Takayo’s heavenly body for longer than he needed to and tried to get his thoughts back to the situation at hand.
“Okay so what do we do now then?” Takayo quipped.
Oswain opened his mouth to speak but the hiss of the far door opening once again caused him and Takayo to pause and turn towards the sound.
This time the guard was prevalent once again but surprised them both as he courteously nodded to them and actually entered the room. Pausing just inside the doorway the guard turned back towards the empty corridor and spoke.
“Please Mr Ramero we need you to wait in here, all your questions will be answered soon. Sir, please.”
Takayo and Oswain simultaneously craned their necks in almost total unison towards the open corridor beyond.
Oswain could hear heavy sighing from beyond the door and figured it would be best if he helped the guard a little.
“Whoever you are out there just come on in. My names Kevin Oswain and with me is Takayo Ishiga. We’ve been here a while and have been treated fairly good so why don’t you come in and talk to us both.” Encouraged Oswain.
The guard acknowledged Oswains help with a cursory nod and sombre unfaltering features.
More sighing was heard outside but with slightly heavier chords than the last as first a shadow, then a tall and slim figure came into view of the doorway.
“Please Mr Ramero we need you to wait in here. I have strict orders and those are for you to wait here. All will be explained to you soon, now please if you will.” The guard re-iterated and indicated towards Oswain and Takayo.
“Please make yourself comfy.” Takayo directed.
One small tentative step at a time the figure sombrely entered the room allowing Oswain and Takayo a more identifiable glimpse of their third visitor as he stepped into the light.
He wore a faded pair of dull grey jeans atop a stylish pair of off brown Deck loafers and a strikingly bright orange T-shirt with the words;
Mathematicians work it out with a pencil
WANT TO READ MORE?
SORRY YOU WILL HAVE TO WAIT FOR THE NOVEL.
FALLEN LEAVES - COMING SOON.
THANK YOU ALL ONCE AGAIN.
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All characters contained in these tales are fictitious and any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.