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 Government Woes: TimeSaga B5 (All 6 Chapters)

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PostSubject: Government Woes: TimeSaga B5 (All 6 Chapters)   July 2nd 2015, 7:48 am

Government Woes
TimeSaga:  The Advance Story Five

Chapter One

I was actually with my men discussing where they would sleep when Col. Fockles stepped into the room and asked, "Clyde, having trouble gaining a girlfriend?"

Yes, the regular soldiers grinned.  If we were not in such close quarters, I suspect they would have chanced making comments among themselves.  I further suspected the joke would be on me, but from a superior I had no option except to play my part as the fool.

"I did not know I was under orders to gain a girlfriend, Colonel."

He jerked his head, and an M.P. came in the door carrying a female.  Again I believe the close quarters kept the men quiet.  She was unconscious and wrapped in a regular issue blanket.  It did not seem like a joke to me, so I stayed quiet.  The colonel waited, then ordered the M.P. to take the sleeping lady to the infirmary for a checkup.

"Clyde, she was sleeping in your bed."

Not really knowing the punch line, all I could say was the truth.  "I have not been to my room.  My room was next on the agenda, Colonel.  Taking care of my men came first."

"Yes, well, I had some paperwork to place in your room, and saw the lady.  There was a note on your headboard."

"I have a headboard?"

As I did that, I indicated a bunk that was basically nothing more than a section of steel braiding covered by a thin mattress that stayed held against the wall during work hours.  Some men had trouble keeping themselves from chuckling.  Could not blame them, but with an officer of the rank of colonel they knew to stay in line.  My superior did not break a smile, but gave every impression of being serious as he spoke of what he found in my bunk.

"I need to speak with you privately, Clyde.  Men, I know that you are used to hurry up and wait, but presently you just need to wait."

I stepped outside into the hallway.  There was nothing spacious about the Achilles.  It did have a few comforts that the Iliad did not have, but these were truly only included because of things learned about the other vessel.  All that the hallway did was put us out of the sight of the men, which I felt was really all the colonel worried about when he handed me a piece of paper.

The message was hand-printed, and read, 'You cannot leave your sister, and neither can I.  If this harlot can make it on board, you better expect me.’

The colonel asked, "Does that make sense to you, Clyde?"

Shaking my head, I replied, "No, Sir.  I thought the B2s had their own ship."  Thinking quickly, I added, "The fact that she was alive somehow does not have me thinking of Al B2."

"Presently your sister, with a number of important others, are in the Netherlands about to head to India.  If you can give me names, I can probably rule them all out except the one that left you that note."

Not really wanting to involve Debra in illicit activity, I tried another tactic.  "Sir, Dr. Beyonce has contacted me before.  If you do not mind, I could contact her.  Maybe she could shed some light on the note."

"This bulkhead is shielded, Clyde, so you have to go through our network.  I hope that is not a problem."

"Not for me, Colonel."

"Use my office.  Yours is presently being searched."

There was a lieutenant on duty in the colonel's quarters.  The way he stood I assumed that he was just keeping alert for trouble.  I simply informed the lieutenant what I would be doing, then walked past him to use the phone.

A hand went over mine.  I looked to see a youth in what appeared to be a proper uniform, although it fit him a little tight letting me know that it was not made of the authorized material.  The lieutenant was now slumped on the floor.  I spread my fingers letting the lad know that I would not be grabbing the phone even as I sought an introduction.

"I thought I knew all the B2s."

"I am told that I am a forskin, although not one made by Dr. Pathulma.  I was made by Zychi, then escaped.  I am Jericho."

That was enough information to have me form a connection.  "I have heard of you.  If it means anything, I was going to call Dr. Beyonce.  She probably would have told me to trust you."

"For the record, I like her.  Still, I am trying to find my own place.  My own gifts force me to find something other than what other people are looking for.  I am hoping to find something that placates me on this other world."

I did not consider 'placates' to be a normal word for one so young, but instead of questioning his intelligence I decided to assure a simple objective.  "So you are stowing away on this space ship?"

"Yes.  I am not that inquisitive.  Dr. Beyonce said it was my youth.  She could be right, and I accepted her statements that I should look to elders to help guide me in what I do find.  That is what has me contacting you.  If I find something of note, I will get a note to you."

"Why me?"

"You're Debra Washington's sister.  Dr. Beyonce trusts her, and she trusts you.  All those connections say that you can keep secrets."

Just wondering how well he knew my own association with my government, I asked, "Even if I do, do you really expect to be on this vessel undetected."

"Yes."

He stepped into the bathroom.  Not much to the room, but I did not see Jericho.  I could not even locate a volume of space in the room where he could be hiding. Wondering about how much trouble I would be in, and with whom, I walked back to where I left the men and, as hoped, I met the colonel along the way.

"Sir, do you know of the name Jericho?"

"Yes, Clyde.  Is that who Dr. Beyonce said was responsible?"

"No, Sir.  Jericho did."

I was glad to see him pause.  It had me believe that he really had no idea about who was involved.  The military would often order you to do something they already knew the answers to.  I thus waited for the colonel thinking that what I heard after the pause would be sensible as he did not know what to expect.

"Did he issue any threats?"

"Only if you consider his presence on board our vessel as a threat."  Nothing from the colonel, so I kept speaking.  "He basically said that he wanted to do his own scouting of Mission, and thought of me as a safe and viable contact.  Our conversation did not go into more details."

"I will be checking into the matter, Clyde.  At the moment, since your orders are to establish a presence on Mission, do not consider the matter further.  There is nothing wrong with getting to know the natives."

Actually surprised with the response, I replied, "Thank you for the liberty, Sir."

"That was not a liberty, Clyde, but a grace.  You presently have the grace of not viewing Jericho as a threat.  I however might give you orders of another nature after I check with my superiors."  Before I could make an acceptance of those words, he added, "At the moment however, you have your regular concerns.  Back to acclimating your men, Clyde."

My men did find moments to ask me concerning the situation with the colonel and the lady, but knew better than to press me for knowledge.  If I could have told them things, they should have trusted that I would have.  I guess they did, because after those moments of asking questions they began speaking of other things.

There was nothing to brag about with my quarters, except that I had some privacy.  The pilots, who only had the ranks of captain, had to bunk two to a room.  It was not only due to my rank of major that gained me a room to myself.  While each rank in the military did gain its benefits, certain fields provided their own advantages.  I had been blessed with a private room because of the secret nature of some of my assignments.  There really was nothing presently clandestine in my orders, as my superiors did not have any knowledge about Mission concerning what they should reveal or keep classified.  The reason for sending me was that if they gave orders for something to remain obscured, they knew I would make it so.  I thus settled into my quarters glad for some time to simply have some peace.

Just like my men, my bunk stayed up against the wall until I was going to use it.  Probably one reason the colonel recognized there being a lady in my quarters was simply the fact that the bed was set for someone to lie in it.  As I dropped the bunk, I noticed a few extra folded towels, blankets, and pillows.

The voice of Jericho said, "I took extra so I could have some for me."

I did take a second pillow for myself, but indicated that I only needed one blanket.  "In case you did not hear, I presently have the grace to work with you."

"I heard.  I cannot be everywhere however, so let me warn you that I will simply disappear should that grace be rescinded."

Noticing the lad use the word 'rescinded,' I had to say, "You seem to have a lot of education behind you."

"I spent time with Dr. Beyonce, and used that time to learn what I could of my own creation.  I do not believe those at Zychi were understanding what they were doing when they made me.  They were attempting to make a super soldier, but their use of the time process was not as controlled as that of Dr. Pathulma.  While his forskins basically came out as if a whole lot of special mutations had occurred in their development, I came out feeling the entire history of my processes that brought me into being, including those whose moments were considered undesired, so reset in this timeline.  I feel very old, even though my body is not old at all."

Considering the pains of what I put my own body through, I had to ask, "Any physical problems?"

"No.  Dr. Beyonce had me go through a physical.  It helped that she had instruments that could truly study me.  FER-RON does not completely exist in this timeline, and neither do I.  The same instruments developed to enable the creation and improvement of the robot allowed her to truly work with me.  According to her, I was as healthy as any boy my age."

Attempting to learn more about the lad, I focused on something he said, "Is that how you disappear?  Moving between time streams?"

"I don't really know what I am doing.  Dr. Beyonce taught me a lot of math as she tried to explain things of the time stream with me.  I cannot say that I understood the math, but from her using the math I heard things that I did find interesting.  I hope to eventually go back to her and have her go through all those explanations again."

"Yes, I know how you feel.  My father always warned me about not being as old as I felt I was."  Seeing him smile, I decided things were presently at a good point.  "Okay.  They are to launch this thing at oh four hundred.  We are to check for others that might still be out there from the Rhinemaiden.  My team is then to be taken to the surface of Mission.  If that is your objective then you attached yourself to the right person.  If you don't mind, Jericho, I am going to assume that you are a civilian attachment to my team.  You make reports to me, and I will pass information to you."

I did not add anything giving him an opportunity to accept or deny my offer.  As far as I was concerned, what I said was how it was going to be.  He however wisely spoke to assure not having a problem with my offer.

"That was my plan.  Now, if you don't mind, I am going to try and get some sleep."

Those words sounded like he was willing to work with me.  I thus allowed that I had nothing presently to worry about.  I thus turned out the lights and moved back to lie in my bunk.  What happened was hearing words of complaint from Jericho as I fell upon him.

TimeSaga:  The Development, the first 12 stories edited, is now available on Kindle.

_________________
Fantasy puts more requirements on the writer than any other fiction, because the world must be made as real before anything else can be real.
Adult Christian fiction quite different than all the usual lame stuff in that market.  "Dilemma of Dreams" now in hard back.


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PostSubject: Chapter Two   July 7th 2015, 7:48 am

[b]Government Woes
TimeSaga: The Advance Story Five]
Chapter Two

I rolled off him and gained my feet in a low crouch. I looked to Jericho to see him standing. Feeling that the lad could not have had a hard life, I decided to advise him.

"A smaller target is harder to hit."

"When you don't know where you are, you have to look."

I heard some defiance in his tone. Instead of getting mad at him, I found myself having to imagine the type of life this lad had led. The abilities that he had probably did enable him to easily gain food and other desires. What he had not been able to do was keep them. While many in his situation would have turned to a life of crime, Jericho had sought for some substance to his life. He spoke and acted as someone who had gained a good education. I felt there were things that he would fight for, and I changed my tone of voice not wanting him to feel a need to fight me.

"In my line of business there is usually something attempting to attack. What are you expecting to see?"

"Just looking. There is nothing attacking."

I did not rise, but I did start scanning my surroundings. The first impression was a nice forest. There was a clear dirt path. I did not see the tracks of animals, and those of tires were thick with tread. That meant mechanical vehicles. One form of technology usually meant another, which to me meant guns. I however was dressed in only a tee shirt and shorts. Jericho had the ability to move between time streams, so could escape. I did not have that option, so did more than scan my surroundings accepting that I would have to make it on my own.

The trees had a bark that I did not recognize, and large leaves that hung down like those of a willow. I did not see limbs or leaves on the ground, but only a rough grainy powder. There were rocks, but feeling a need to check all my options I went to a tree. Grabbing a limb I felt that I was reaching for a rusting iron pipe. Grit came off into my hands with the limb not feeling like wood at all. Pulling on it had it bend like tugging on something plastic, and releasing it had it only return to its position at a slow rate. Accepting that there would be more that I did not recognize, I made a simple comment.

"I guess we are not in Kansas anymore."

"I have seen The Wizard of Oz," Jericho replied.

Just seeing if I could push one of his buttons, I commented, "It would be a poor childhood if you had not."

"There was a lot they did not teach me in my development. They completely focused on military history and training. I went to Dr. Beyonce wanting to learn other things. She taught me math and had me watch a number of movies she felt children should watch."

I pointed in a direction wondering if he would reveal some more facts of himself. While the words came out rather dry, I did appreciate that he shared the information. Jericho did not just point in the opposite direction, but began walking that way. Having no reason to assert my decision, I moved in the direction he was heading.

We were speaking of movies and the books they came from as we walked upon what looked like a church. My time in the military actually gave little time for watching forms of entertainment, but plenty of time to read. I thus had more knowledge of the books behind the movies than the movies themselves. Jericho proved himself not really mentally developed enough to truly enjoy the written word, although he tried to sound like he was too old to enjoy a good movie with a simple story and characters. We both stopped and looked at the building with me wondering how well the lad could speak of religion.

The walls were of stone with sections of slate for roof tiles. The steeple appeared to waver. While I saw it as a cross at times, it appeared to morph into a number of shapes. The illusionary manner of the steeple had me look around for other signs of my surroundings just being an illusion. Seeing everything else show signs of being solid, I walked around the building until I saw a couple of doors set in the stone walls.

Jericho asked, "Are you going inside?"

"I am open to suggestions," I replied.

"No. I was just going to say that I would go in."

The door was highly varnished wood. From what I experienced with the limb, I felt the polish actually a necessary function with the material. The spherical knob however seemed like the familiar metal device I was used to. I again looked around, then without other options I opened the door.

Jericho stepped in ahead of me. His lean youthful form easily slid through. If he wanted to volunteer, I would not stop him. I simply paused and waited for something to happen to Jericho before stepping inside myself.

There were pews to each side of a black carpeted aisle down the middle. At the other end was a stage on which were some chairs behind an elaborate railing of the highly varnished wood. I felt there were horizontal sections on the back side of the railing for holding texts. While the inside of the building continued to have me think of a church, I saw only wavering images where any indication of the actual religion might be displayed.

Rising from chairs against the far wall behind the railing were two females. They appeared human with one being a girl showing no signs of maturity and the other a very somber lady. Both were in dresses, but that was about the only similarity between them. The girl had her light-brown hair hanging down while the lady had her thick sky-blue tresses lifted up in a fashion on her head. The dress on the girl was rather simple, while the better designed dress of the lady obviously had some petticoats underneath the skirt to fill it out and a brassiere beneath her blouse to keep her stomach in. Considering the one with age to have some authority, I found it strange to hear the girl speak first.

"Welcome. We are fighting a war of wills. It is this war that got us into trouble, and it seems that others seek to bring your people into this war as well. If you will permit us, we would like to show you things about ourselves. It could help you understand what you are fighting."

Jericho turned back to me to whisper a question, "Do we fight them?"

Acting as if I was not afraid of the females hearing me, I replied, "Ladies? We are not supposed to. I also don't know about you, but I am without any weapons."

"I am a weapon."

"So am I, but my childhood included lessons in not fighting women." I advanced next to the lad while saying, "You need to learn to enjoy the company of the fairer sex." Bowing to those on the stage, I said, "We would be honored to see what you have to show us."

I felt shocked seeing a momentary image of a smaller type of humanoid korlock than what I knew attack with others and kill one of the larger humanoid korlocks. Not just the carnage, but the dark mistiness of the scene presented a feeling terror that made a strong impression within me. I came out of the vision feeling my body tense, but saw Jericho in a stance that I felt would have him attack the ladies.

"Calm down," I softly ordered. "Do not allow the enemy to control your thoughts." I assured that my body displayed a relaxed state before asking, "What was the fighting about?"

"Me," the girl replied. "I am Shame. The technology you have found provides for a number of benefits, although youth was one that seemed unachievable. We then discovered the secret. I found it, and used the process on myself. Instead of being the one declaring my success, I became an object of hatred. Instead of showing my people the secret they claimed to desire, I became the focus of those who wanted to destroy all that we had achieved. Instead of paving the way for an even more glorious future, I watched and cried as my science was used to destroy my people."

The next image was of a gray landscape of a grassy hillside. A large tree appeared on top of the hill. Considering what I learned in dealing with the earlier alien trees, I held my place. Beside me was Jericho, Shame, and the other lady. She however also could be seen sitting under the tree watching two girls playfully skip about. If not for the lack of color, I would have considered the sight pleasant.

Jericho spoke of what he saw before I could. "That lady over there looks like you, but the girls do not look like her."

The elder lady displayed her knowledge of whom the lad was referring as she replied, "Yes, as this is an image of who I must be. The problem with what you are viewing is that it is all an illusion. I am not watching over them, but active here with you or fighting the war with Shame. The girls are also not playing, but their bodies are being used to regulate a most horrid existence. If you can free the girls from their illusion, you might be able to see the path to your own salvation. If you however cannot free those girls, you will surely be doomed to join our people in this nightmare."

I asked, "How do we free the girls?"

"The enemy has them. We are not one people, and we inhabited many worlds. You will need to find your way surely finding yourself more and more involved in our war. Not only will you find your advance to bring you more into the fabric of our horrors, but your own knowledge of the science will possibly have you seeing doom come behind you. It is our fear that you will become your own enemy."

Jericho asked, "Who should we attack?"

I answered, "One thing is true of every battle, the objective is to stop the war. Of course you want your side to win, but the actual objective is to stop the war. The question is thus not who should we attack, but how do we win the war to put a stop to it."

The elder lady said, "Those words give me hope that we contacted the right people. Our own doom provides us with ways of relating – being aware – of others that have been also affected by our path. Such is the boy. However, through him I felt the attachment to you, and realized that you were known to me through others. Thus, when you and the boy came together I joined with Shame to bring you to us."

Not having the elder lady's name, I decided to assure her of my own. "I am Major Clyde Washington of the United Stated Army. The lad with me goes by the name of Jericho."

"I am History. That is what I feel you need. If you do not mind, I ask that you and Jericho travel a path through our world. It is dangerous, as this route leads through our reality and not that of the existence you are used to."

"What is our objective? To free those girls?"

"No. You cannot get far, and the enemy will not allow me to have such access. I said that I am history, so hopefully something of who we are is all that I am hoping for you to gain."

Jericho asked, "Are you going to go with us?"

"No, although Shame and I will be responsible for your path. If you find yourselves in trouble, this place will be a refuge for you."

I said, "That is what a church is supposed to be."

It was Shame that replied, "Yes, that is why History pressed me to create this place. However, be warned that we are not a people that truly put substance into any one god or religion. I wanted this place to be a home, but our homes were not like yours. Strangely, our churches were, although I see the similarities as just a common point for us to start relating to each other and not as indication of any higher power guiding our lives."

"I cannot say that I am an overly religious man either, but it does bring me comfort that we have something in common to start a relationship. Now, where do you wish for us to go?"

A cackle sounded behind me. I spun with Jericho to see another lad. This one I however had knowledge of. The build of the body along with the white hair had me recognize someone that was of our world. The shifting great form behind him I however recognized as even more of a threat.

"Oh, you need not go anywhere at all," Al B2 said. "I felt that I could do this little meeting well by bringing the war to you."

TimeSaga: The Development, the first 12 stories edited, is now available on Kindle.

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Adult Christian fiction quite different than all the usual lame stuff in that market.  "Dilemma of Dreams" now in hard back.
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PostSubject: Chapter Three   July 12th 2015, 8:32 am

Government Woes
TimeSaga: The Advance Story Five

Chapter Three

I had no weapons, and it took special weapons to attack korlocks. Also, if they touched you they would drain one's body of its essence. I thus considered the threat very real. However, I also knew that Al B2 was basically just a normal boy. I thus charged toward him knowing that my size and combat training more than made me a threat to the lad.

He screamed when I grabbed him, but I did not let that bother me. I think he believed that he could dodge my larger form, but I regularly practiced wrestling and other forms of physical combat. While Al B2 probably felt that his small size and youthful reflexes would keep me from bothering him, by grabbing him I definitely proved that thought wrong.

As Al B2 screamed to the korlock to attack me, I held him up as best I could to make the lad a shield while asking, "Can you tolerate being attacked by that thing?"

"What? Of course."

The lightness of the reply did give me concern. He did not sound too worried about me holding him in a manner that would have him contact the large korlock. The creature did pause in its attack, but probably just not wanting to hurt Al B2 in any manner. Thinking that I had a source of information about the dangerous aliens, I decided to try and gain some facts about my concern.

"Why not? Are you telling me that the korlocks do not have to be harmful with their touch?"

"There are ways to adapt to them. I am not like my brothers. No. No. No. No longer like Roy, and I was never like Nick. I have become more like the korlocks, so their touch does not bother me. Does not bother me at all."

Suddenly, a strong, strange sound reverberated with the korlock turning its attention to Jericho. I knew the weapon that my sister had. The one that was attached to Jericho's arm was more like a sawed-off shotgun. It did not appear as powerful as that given to my sister, but its smaller size allowed the lad to move a lot easier. With Jericho darting around and taking shots when he could, I found the creature not to have its attention me, so I did something I probably should not have.

Al B2 escaped my hold on him as my body reacted to the korlock being struck again by Jericho's weapon. At least I verified Al B2 was not harmed by touching the creature, as I had his head right upon the back of the strange being. While I reacted to the residue of the power passing to me through the lad, I could only guess that his young and altered physique enabled him to recuperate faster.

I could not say if Al B2 actually had concern for the large korlock, but he called it back in making the escape. I thus recovered from the shock finding no threats presently upon us. I looked to Jericho and let him know that I was concerned about facing another korlock without a weapon.

"I need to get me one of those."

The lad replied, "This was designed from the blueprints used to make your sister's weapon."

"I know, and if it had not been so effective I would be saying that you were using a girly weapon. It did pretty good however."

"Dr. Beyonce kept stressing to me how powerful and dangerous her technology was."

I heard a sound that I actually recognized. Turning, I however saw History with a weapon that I could not identify. She however showed me things about it that basically matched what I knew of long-range firearms. It was as she showed me how to reload the weapon, then hand me a satchel with more ammo that I heard her speak some words of advice.

"Be careful with it. I cannot say how much trouble will be presented to you, but this should be more than enough to handle things over the distance I hope for you to travel."

Wondering about those final words, and my health, I asked, "There is an objective?"

"Yes, although I cannot promise that you will understand it. You have to understand that because your technology does not truly match ours, and your response to this science does not match our own, there is a hope that you will succeed where we did not. However, the same logic also tells me that what advice I provide will not be understood."

I replied, "That is why you debrief your men and not simply give them orders. It helps you and them to discuss what actually happened, how they responded to it, and what was found. We will need to speak with each other again."

"Survive in order to give us those opportunities."

"Yes, ma'am." I nodded to Shame, and after she smiled at me I turned to another. "Jericho, anything you want to say?"

He mumbled more than asked, "Do you trust them?"

Not wanting to alarm the boy, I whispered my answer, "This is not a matter of trust, but a matter of situation. I believe the situation they are presenting to us worth taking on. Honestly, exactly how things goes will help me decide whether to inform my superiors about whether or not to trust them in the future."

I saw his head nod, although was glad to also hear him mumble, "I'm good."

With his assurance, I looked back to the ladies to ask, "Any directions?"

History answered, "If you would have taken the path in the opposite direction, the path would have been closed. Now it will be open for you."

I patted Jericho on the back signaling for him to move, although I did ask him, "Anything you want to ask them?"

"Yes," he answered while continuing to look at the females. "Are you really humans?"

It was Shame that replied, "No, although even if we were, we would not be. That is the fate we are hoping for you to avoid."

"But I already am not human."

"The other seeks to pull humans toward us. Will you do the same?"

"I'm not like Al." As if that answered the question, Jericho turned to me. "I'm with you, Major Clyde."

I put my hand on his back to direct him back out the door as I said, "It's just you and me, and you are not military. Thus, just Clyde will do. Get back around other military figures and it might be better if you did use my title."

Jericho wisely allowed the matter to be settled. He moved outside the church to also look around with me in checking for more information of their surroundings and other possible options to consider. While the terrain around the building seemed natural, there was something oppressive about chancing to go in any direction other than the cleared path. I did not know if it was Jericho's youth or indicated wisdom that had him accept the designated route and not challenge the surroundings.

No sooner did I feel that they were returning to the place where we first entered the reality than a group of uniformed korlocks came from the surrounding trees in what appeared to be an ambush. For a moment I actually considered allowing the group to capture me, as I felt the proceedings could answer a number of questions. Knowledge of what contact with korlocks usually did to the human body had me decide otherwise. While these soldiers did not waver in the manner of other korlocks, I still felt it best if I avoided direct contact. No sooner did I prepare my weapon to fire than I found Jericho attacking the group.

I felt something was wrong in not sensing any developed tactics from the korlocks. Their uniforms indicated to him that they were of an official group, either military or police, that should have had some training in conflict maneuvers. They however did not act with any real understanding of strategy or coordination. Even though they had the advantage of numbers and position, Jericho and I quickly and easily were able to reduce the threat then eliminate it. I did not feel pleasure at the end of the conflict, but concern about what I considered wrong with the tactics of my opposition.

Seeing the bodies dissolve into powder, then disperse without any sign of them having existed, I felt the need to comment, "Well, I guess I have no choice but to continue fighting in my underclothes."

Jericho replied, "The ladies did not mind having you dressed in such a manner."

Wondering about the mental maturity of the body, I asked, "You noticed?"

"They didn't say anything about it."

"No, they didn't. Still, I would have preferred being dressed in a better outfit. I also do not feel proper walking about in just a tee shirt and shorts."

Jericho just giggled. Not having a proper response, I simply started back to following the trail. Attempting to recall certain things about the ambush, I studied the surrounding terrain while advancing. Also showing signs of attempting to stay alert, Jericho followed.

We had not gone that much further before noticing a couple of uniformed defenders standing in the path. I had to look back to judge exactly how far we had traveled, as I wondered why they had not responded to the earlier conflict. Weapons had been fired, and most trained for conflict learned to listen for them. I thus did not want to advance further until assuring myself that another ambush did not wait ahead.

Jericho moved to the edge of the path with me, then assured me he understood the situation by saying, "There were five in the last group."

I considered my options, but gave the lad a chance to speak by softly commenting, "No one said we had to stay on the path. We were just told to follow it."

He did more than simply glance into the foliage, so it did not surprise me that he returned something more than a simple agreement. "I can be quiet."

"We stay together. That way we can be certain that a stray shot will not hurt us."

I was the one in bare feet. The ground had not been bothering me, but I felt it would off the path. The leaves and sticks did not feel comfortable, but they also did not inflict pain. I found myself agreeing with Jericho that staying quiet was my primary concern and not suppressing any feelings of agony front things sticking into my feet.

There were only four in this group. The lad and I took them down with almost no resistance. That was the way I liked my battles, and felt that as long as the groups stayed small and separated they could be easily dealt with.

TimeSaga: The Development, the first 12 stories edited, is now available on Kindle.

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PostSubject: Chapter Four   July 17th 2015, 12:25 pm

Government Woes
TimeSaga: The Advance Story Five

Chapter Four

The walk almost became pleasant. Instead of finding the path filled with squads, I found myself wondering about the mentality of the aliens concerning their opinions of about what they considered threats and how they responded to them. I thought about our earlier attacks upon what appeared to be troops with orders to stop Jericho and me. I found myself concluding that the authorities only sent out what they felt would be enough to do the job. I knew my own government would have acted in such a manner. Normally, my response would be to cover as much distance as possible in a direction no one would suspect. Hoping that the 'authorities' in this pseudo-reality would have other intents than our capture, I calmly followed the trail wondering what Jericho and I would next encounter on our walk.

I stopped upon noticing the lad fixated on something. Not wanting to disturb him or what he was watching, I calmly moved to gain a position near him. What I saw also caused me to stare wondering about the truth of what my eyes fixated upon.

The creature appeared to be a rabbit. It was large, but had the long feet, bushy tail, and tall ears of a bunny. The plump white body appeared very much as a rabbit.

It held a water can, and poured the liquid on large plants that appeared as great carrots. The orange color breaking through the ground had me make the initial identification. Having the creature actually work to pull one up verified the assumption. After holding the water can in the manner of having the final drops fall on a plant, it began to move off with its one large carrot.

I saw Jericho looking at me when I turned my eyes on him. Upon softly giving the order to follow the rabbit, I saw his body relax as if expecting to have to challenge me. He then turned to head on down the trail in a low stance that I knew indicated a desire to move with stealth.

Considering that I had given the order, I could not help but match Jericho's style of advancing. The rabbit did have a hopping manner of moving. The fact that it used a water can had me consider the rabbit intelligent. What bothered me was that none of the korlocks I had seen appeared in such a manner. None of the korlocks had appeared human either, but Shame and History had. Considering that a water can was not what I felt was a threatening item, I did not feel worried about Jericho or myself as we followed the rabbit.

The trail we followed stayed on high ground while that of our quarry dropped in elevation. The trees thinned out both above and below, although there was more open space where the rabbit went with evidence of an area being cleared. Jericho and I stayed behind a tree to watch while our quarry hopped to the remains of the trunk of what had been a rather large tree.

I heard the machine, but really could not make it out. It surely had been set within the wood, possibly to use the thick foundation of the ancient tree to secure the vibrations of the operation. All I could make out were the rumbles of some gears processing the carrot.

The container must have been already in position. The rabbit possibly set it in place before leaving for his garden. I saw him lift a container, I guess that I could call the square metal can a pitcher, and take it to a door set into the hill.

I stood and boldly walked up to study the terrain between our position and where the rabbit had performed its operation. Jericho tried to call me back into a place of hiding. I thought of quoting his words of ‘When you don't know where you are, you have to look’ back at him, but simply stayed quiet hoping that Jericho would allow me to show a little of my own defiance. I turned my head to look around, and then went back to seeking a way to the rabbit’s burrow. I guess the lad understood that I was not afraid of being attacked, as he stood then walked up to join me.

There was a line of foliage growing thick near what I assumed to be a flow of water. Not really wanting to know how the water was different from the liquid I knew, or dealing with the odd bark of the plants, I looked for a path from our position to the clearing. It took moving back down the path to find where another trail split from the one we followed to see a route to where I wanted to go. It would still demand us jumping the stream, but at least we could do so without also worrying about the foliage.

I did advance slowly up to the flow of liquid just to check for anything that might attack. Seeing no sign of anything remotely large enough to be a possible threat, I jumped over the stream. Jericho did not need to be ordered, but once I moved out of position he also made a leap across. He then began to move toward the clearing, but I gave different orders.

"Jericho, let's go get a carrot."

"You think he is still hungry?"

"I don't think that is a rabbit or the carrot is a carrot. I am even suspicious of the water being water."

He went to the bank of the stream and knelt down. Without any display of reluctance he moved a hand through the liquid. Jericho did not drink any, but his conclusion still sounded with a tone of confidence.

"I believe it is water."

Not wanting to miss a chance to give a lesson, I said, "Well, let's go check other things about this place."

We turned to head away from the clearing. I guess we both expected a straight path to the garden, as we had earlier watched the rabbit move rather quickly to the clearing. There however were other paths that we had to check to assure that we were headed in the proper direction. While the surrounding terrain really was not confusing, Jericho and I showed a sense of caution as we headed to the garden. Finally seeing the plants ahead, we both turned to locate our earlier position in order to assure we found the right place before advancing.

I did prefer natural foods. The arguments that they were healthier and better tasting I did tend to accept as true. That however did not mean that I had any experience with gardening. My occupation just did not give me enough time in any location to raise my own plants. While I had purchased carrots from farmers, I could not say that I was familiar with their stages of growth and knowledge of when the tuber was at the peak of flavor. While the plants appeared natural without any sign of them having been genetically modified or grown with the help of certain chemicals, their large size had me suspicious about them actually being good to eat.

Jericho did make a comment when I asked him which carrot looked the best. It was not spoken with any authority, but I was glad to hear something other than an 'I don't know,' or other non-committal statement. I believe he could tell that I also was uncertain about which carrot to pull, so appreciated a moment to speak to me as an equal. Between the comments, Jericho and I decided upon a carrot to pull.

Moving to the clearing, I studied the large stump and found the controls to the machine along with a couple more square containers. Up close I could easily see the lacquer coating the stump. Jericho mentioned a belief that the remains of the tree was artificial, but I commented about the strange nature of the local plants, so suspected the aliens needed to preserve their wood much more than we did. Metal should have still been metal, and up close the machine parts were easily identified with the controls not showing any complexity requiring me to actually need to translate the symbols.

As the machine ground the carrot into a pulpy juice, Jericho and I turned upon hearing, "HEY! WHAT ARE YOU DOING?"

The actions of the rabbit earlier had shown him to be intelligent. The noise of the machine was also enough to make it believable that it had disturbed him. It did surprise me to be able to understand the rabbit, but since the two ladies had spoken to us I suspected that those associated with this pseudo reality would also know our language.

I replied after the machine finished, "Getting some carrot juice."

"Those aren't your carrots or your machine."

"No, but I saw nothing else to do in this forest, and the walk was starting to wear me out."

The face did have some human features. I really felt like asking questions of the rabbit, but was afraid that he would consider them rude. There was a hope that Jericho would blurt out some desire for information, but he stayed his usual quiet self. The rabbit looked at us with his face seeming to indicate that he wanted to ask personal questions of us.

Finally, he said, "Go ahead, take a drink."

Just to be annoying, I replied, "Not straight from the can. Do you have a glass I could use?"

"Oh, take the can with you. You should be able to find a glass in the city. It's not that much further."

Hoping to get more information, I asked what I hoped would be considered a basic question. "What is the name of the city?"

"Uh, well, it's based on Mergistry."

"If this is just a simulation, what are you doing here?"

"I run the computer. Modifying it for your minds has been a little tricky, so I am testing things."

That was more of an answer than I expected. The rabbit also presented himself as someone I could treat as a competent source of information, which completely amazed me. Not wanting to allow a chance at gaining some understanding of my situation pass, I pressed for more answers.

"I can assume that the ladies are not ladies and you are not a rabbit."

"It caught us by surprise when a portal activated. The presence of Al further caught us off guard. Luckily, our state of existence does not sense time that well, so certain knowledge has not been lost. I easily restored this system and adapted it while working with Shame and History."

It did sound like an answer, although I had to be grateful that Jericho blurted out an understanding of the words. "You mean this is a game?"

The rabbit looked over the lad, although I could not be certain that he recognized him as a child. "This was originally a source of escapism, but I cannot say it was a game. I however do believe some felt that with immortality they would have the time to spend more time in this type of existence. Our present forms however really do not work well with this technology, as computers process in cycles of time."

I had to ask, "Do you have a name?"

The rabbit said something strange, then explained, "You would need to understand our language. Part of this simulation is to find out what you can assimilate. We are conversing, which is good. You also seem able to move about with some competence. This part of the simulation was simply to assure that things would go well for you. I was hoping that you would pass on by, but I guess that this meeting is constructive."

Jericho asked, "What about the soldiers?"

"Actually, those were real – in a way. They were the actual threats designed for this simulated reality. In all that has happened to us, I have found them to become more real than us. I have always had the hope to enable us to lose ourselves in a pseudo-reality. Since all of my people were transformed by our technology, it should be conceivable that we can be influenced by our technology. However, our presence in this pseudo-reality is not able to be maintained. I have an advantage in that I am directly working with the equipment, but my level of involvement is also limited."

I said, "Well, thank you for your time. I hope that there is an objective to this simulation."

"Well, as best as we could do in the limited time. Bear with us, and hopefully we can find ways to improve our interactions. Hopefully, we can find a manner to relate to each other, and hopefully the future will be beneficial to us both."

TimeSaga: The Development, the first 12 stories edited, is now available on Kindle.

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PostSubject: Chapter Five   July 22nd 2015, 12:31 pm

Government Woes
TimeSaga: The Advance Story Five

Chapter Five

The meeting with the rabbit actually got Jericho to talking. While up to now I believe he considered this adventure as just another stealth operation. It seemed that he mostly lived alone, so took to staying unseen as a part of his life. Being raised by the government, he was brought up being taught combat techniques. What we had been doing was thus something he knew how to handle. What I did with the rabbit however let him know that other options could be taken with some positive results, so Jericho began speaking of things he had done with his life seeking me for the methods I would have used to handle the situations.

I had studied the files on the forskins produced by Dr. Pathulma. Roy B2, Al B2, and Nick B2 were not as old as they appeared, although the time manipulation that produced them actually would have them older. Al was dangerous, while Roy and Nick were proving themselves as productive members of society, but all three showed signs of immaturity. I found my understanding of the files given some substantiation by what I heard Jericho mention of his own life along with what I had seen in his behavior.

To keep the lad talking I did relate some things about myself. I did not consider that a big deal. If I had no direct command to keep something confidential, I was willing to speak about it. The only reason that most information about me was not known was that I did not live a life where I stayed a public figure. I was not one for bars or other social gathering spots. Jericho knew about my sister, and actually already knew enough about me that he felt it worthwhile to make contact with me. What I ended up telling him I considered to be nothing more than filling in the holes, or correcting mistakes, in what I heard the lad relate about me.

I had to stop when Jericho asked, "Did you want your sister to marry Jimmy?"

He had spent time with Dr. Beyonce. I thus accepted that Jericho knew of Debra's romance with the original creator of FER-RON. I set back to walking accepting the change of topic.

"I found nothing wrong with Jimmy. Actually, I felt bad for him, as he really did not push the relationship. He respected their differences in age, so never did anything to get any of the adults alarmed. I lived with Debra, so definitely knew that she was deeply in love with him, but Jimmy kept his focus on developing his goals. I became very supportive of the relationship when it led to Debra also focusing on establishing her own credentials. If Jimmy had not died, I feel that he and my sister would have managed some fantastic things."

"Dr. Beyonce is proud of what she had done with FER-RON."

I felt good hearing the report of a vote of confidence from my sister's boss. I had gained word of my sister surviving the destruction of the Iliad along with a report on the actions of her robot. While a lot of that information was classified, I felt that I could converse with Jericho on some basic details that were public knowledge. However, what I saw ahead had me feel a need to change the subject to a vote on which direction to proceed.

The path actually turned to head into a ditch. The depression was not completely dry with a small flow of water coming from a large diameter pipe. While the bare length of ground we were following did go toward the culvert, I stopped wondering if Jericho would vote against continuing to follow the path.

He stopped in a manner that let me know he understood where we were expected to go, then said, "Want me to check things above the drain?"

I pointed while asking, "What can you see? All I can see are thick woods."

"There might be a path."

I could not deny that option, so allowed the lad to advance and reconnoiter. He moved ahead with some confidence, but did not stand tall or call ahead. That proved to be a wise method maneuver, as suddenly korlocks, actual monsters and not uniformed soldier-like aliens like before, made themselves known. Jericho proved his special ability by disappearing. Realizing that I could be the one found, I quickly advanced into the ditch and hoped the lad would follow as I moved into the pipe.

The only thing to hide me in the cylindrical passage was darkness. My only source of light were small shafts that I could only assume were drainage channels that allowed enough light to pass enabling sight. Not feeling safe, I moved on through the pipe. I did not stop even when I heard the voice of the one I was hoping would catch up with me.

"They’re not following."

He had whispered, which I considered wise, although wanting to assure him that I heard I softly made a reply in return. "You need to teach me that trick."

"You think I could?"

"I got things I could teach you in return, so it could be worthwhile to figure out how."

"Dr. Beyonce said that I should be able to teach others, as I am as much human as anyone else. However, something happened in my DNA that makes me different. Dr. Pathulma's forskins are something different, and what happened in my creation seemed to bring out something quite unexpected. Still, as far as anyone can tell, I am human, so I should be able to teach others."

I found myself wondering about Jericho's relationship with Dr. Beyonce. I knew that she had spent time with the lad, but I was hearing quite a bit of the association. Whatever happened, he considered the time positive. I found myself making a note to contact the lady and discuss her opinion of having Jericho as a guest.

I said, "I choose those for my squad that have different skills. We might all be human, but some are just able to excel in things others cannot. Yes, I try to learn what I can, but some things I just don't have the physique, mentality, or whatever I need to get good at it."

"It might help if you could right now."

Jericho did show his age in his tendency to occasionally dart ahead. He had not displayed boldness, but kept a cautious stance to his movements, which had me not worry about him. He also had kept me informed of things he observed, so I accepted his behavior. Hearing his comment, I darted to what I determined to be a safe position even as I sought to learn of what Jericho had spoken.

The culvert opened up into a room where other large drainage pipes had their flows enter. Considering that we had followed an outflow stream, and that it was not much, it did not surprise me that most of the openings appeared dry. While the low level of liquid made our travel decent, I could hear the splashing of korlocks having gathered to feed on whatever might have been moving through the pipes.

The monsters were not humanoid in appearance. These had the forms of great bugs. One set looked like some weird six-legged insect, although it seemed to me to be more something that would live in the forest and not in a sewer. The other was one of the floating tentacled creatures that I had seen photographs of in the reports from the attacks on the space ships. While I felt both types of monsters could be handled with the weaponry developed, I held back not feeling adequately protected against so many large threats.

I actually looked into the room considering the presence of korlocks as the minor problem. I had no idea where to go. It helped having a weapon, but I did not feel it to be dangerous enough against the number of creatures I saw. Looking into the room to come up with some strategy for the situation, I found myself having to admit that even if I had a weapon capable of clearing the room of the monsters, that I would still have the problem of knowing what to do after gaining the victory.

It caught me off-guard when Jericho directed orders to me. "Hold your position. I can phase out, so I should be safe."

He was correct with me having previously admitted that he had talents I probably could not develop. I thus nodded accepting that for the moment this was his show. He turned to put his focus on the room, then chose his moment to quickly advance.

I did pay attention to the korlocks. My age and military status had me consider the lad mine to protect. The monsters however did not react to the intruder. That had me suspect Jericho had done his disappearing trick, so I found myself surprised when he simply dashed back to a position of cover near me. Accepting that he had figured something out, I paid attention to what he reported.

"There is a machine, probably a generator, directly to our left with an access shaft. I believe its vibrations disturb the korlocks. Anyway, there is a fence around it. I thought to climb it, but the gate wasn't locked. Wait until their backs are turned, then dart in, turn left, climb up the ledge, then go through the gate. Hopefully at the top of the access shaft we will be able to continue."

It sounded like a plan to me. I told the lad to lead the way. I watched as he followed his own instructions. Again not noticing the korlocks react, I advanced to where Jericho had taken a position. I then followed his plan.

The ledge to climb out of the ditch was not that high. I did not think it would be, as Jericho did not mention a problem in climbing out. I quickly and easily made it out, then darted through the gate closing it behind me. Without checking on whether I had been noticed by the korlocks, I rushed to the ladder to climb out of the room.

We came up through a manhole in a road going through a city. There were no vehicles, except for a rusting mass of metal that I felt was an ancient wreck possibly left by someone attempting to flee the collapse of their society. Looking about, the entire city showed signs of having been abandoned. Not thinking that we had traveled far through the pipe, I looked for signs of the forest, but the buildings of the city prevented me from seeing any undeveloped areas.

About where I felt the road should leave the civilization, the rubble of a collapsed structure kept me from seeing further. In the other direction I could see some towering architecture that I felt was proper for a large population center, but the detritus of those tall constructions kept any remaining people from easily going anywhere. Wondering about my own path, I looked for a way to leave the road.

Jericho and I pointed out the movement of korlocks. These were rather large monsters with a form I would consider more ape-like than human. They had bulbous bodies without hair, although with long arms. I pointed out a set of steps up to the street level of the city, then Jericho and I decided upon the best way to reach them.

We were spotted as we moved, but the korlocks did not move well through the debris on the road. Their size did not allow them to maneuver over and around as easily as Jericho and I could manage. They also did not seem to understand that we had an objective. When we broke into a run it was not with any sense of thinking we could move faster, but simply able to reach the stairs and get away from the road before being caught.

We gained a shielded position in what probably was once a store, then stopped to catch our breaths. As we took in large gulps of air, we looked around for something else that might attack. Nothing disturbed us, although I found myself curious when I saw Jericho stop to move some rubble.

He picked up something, then created a cloud of dust slapping it and beating it on large pieces of construction material. I wanted to ask what he was doing, although stayed quiet with worry that he might have grabbed a living creature. He however slowed down his actions to simply brush off some of the particles remaining on the object, then handed it to me.

"This should help you carry that juice."

I noticed that I did still carry the container. There honestly was a lot of stuff that was part of my regular active-duty uniform. Being only in my underwear, I guess that having the container made me feel better dressed.

I took what Jericho handed to me. While still covered in dust, I could make a sparkling blue color in the material. Considering the condition of things around me, I found it surprising that the long strap held together. I smiled thinking that Jericho had handed me a woman's purse, but accepted that it would make carrying the container easier.

Seeing me set the strap on a shoulder and gain a comfortable stance with the item, Jericho said, "We might want to look around for more stuff."

I replied, "Honestly, I just want to find the way out of this."

TimeSaga: The Development, the first 12 stories edited, is now available on Kindle.

_________________
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PostSubject: Chapter Six   July 27th 2015, 1:10 pm

Government Woes
TimeSaga: The Advance Story Five

Chapter Six

With the finding of the carrier, we came out of the rubble looking down the remains of the buildings for what more we might find of use. We really did not find any stores or business worth checking out. A couple we did consider, but the presence of korlocks had us look to alternate routes. Finding a section of the city that appeared less derelict, we took a side road that presented a route between the remains of buildings we could take without too much trouble.

Jericho began to climb over some rubble, but I stopped realizing that these blocks of stone were not just from the buildings. While korlocks did not appear human, I could still make out that what had fallen was a statue. The sight had me attempt to consider what had been the history of this civilization. While cities usually changed to display a common familiarity to whoever might visit, each had a past that actually gave it a unique character. I thus stopped to try and imagine how this city once considered itself separate from other large population centers.

I felt that what I saw was enough to answer any questions that a superior might present when I advanced to find Jericho and I entering a path that appeared to be a type of park. Instead of just a walkway for pedestrians, there were benches and statues lining the route. I noticed a few to be of a korlock that appeared more human. They honestly gave me the impression to be similar to those wearing the uniforms who attempted to attack earlier. Others however I could not recognize. From their positions I felt them to be animals and not other intelligent species. That had me wonder about the relations between the natives of this city and the interplanetary relationships with the others that had joined them in whatever existence made them the monsters now attacking those of us from Earth. Curious about what questions the statues might be able to answer, I did not advance quickly, but paused to study each work of art.

It felt good to notice that Jericho did not run off to leave me. Considering his age, I guess that I could not hold him at fault for wanting to move on. I however noticed that he also stopped to look at each statue, and I heard an exclamation as he found something recognizable.

"A rabbit!"

I looked to where he was standing to indeed see a stone representation of one resembling the creature we had met in the woods. That troubled me, because I had not assumed the other figures to be intelligent species. I thus advanced to the statue attempting to determine if it was of an animal or an actual member of the society. Actually, it appeared almost identical with the one we had spoken with. While the figure did not show itself with any clothes, it had the pose of standing and looking back at the one studying it with a learned gaze.

I scanned the statues attempting to reappraise what they were trying to represent. As I looked around I saw a large open area. What caught my eye was seeing a swing set with one set chains holding a seat moving. In attempting to find the location of the korlock responsible for disturbing the items, I instead saw Shame slowing moving back and forth.

As I started to advance, I found Jericho moving with me. The way he stayed at my side I felt indicated that he also saw the girl. She stayed seated in the swing, although did stop her movement. I continued to advance not seeing any threat in the area.

Coming close, I said, "I don't really understand what you wanted me to see."

She smiled, then replied, "I am satisfied with that response."

Those words had me think back over what I had witnessed. While I had given him no command, I appreciated that Jericho stayed quiet. It took some thought for me to remember what Shame and History had originally spoken about. Considering what I had seen, I found the words to say to the girl.

"You wanted to make the point that you were not much different than us."

Jericho blurted out the question, "What about the rabbit?"

Shame looked to the lad as she asked, "Did you find him unusual?"

"No. He was a rabbit."

Wanting to put the conversation back on track, I said, "I do not remember any discussion of us, us humans, wanting to fight against what we are calling the korlocks because they were not human. Excuse me, but they first attacked us."

She hung her head while saying, "And they will probably continue to attack. Still, we were people. Please, see that we were once people. What mistakes we made you are capable of making as well."

"Now that I have heard from my own people."

Jericho asked, "Will we meet more rabbits?"

I felt able to answer that question. "He said that he was the programmer. Thus, it is possible that we will meet him again in another simulation."

Shame supported me by saying, "Yes. As you learn about us, he hopes to be able to reveal more to you. Still, that is not his true form, although in these simulated realities it is the one he prefers. He created the avatar back when he had children, and as things got bad he found that form to help him hold his sanity. He does not like war, so you will find him seeking ways to help you determine other solutions than destruction."

"This city however seems to have suffered destruction."

"If you ask me, the destruction did not come fast enough. Still, it is to our shame that it had to come at all."

Jericho blurted out, "This area is not destroyed."

Shame stood and pointed to a tall building showing almost no signs of destruction. "That was the building they sought to destroy. It was powerful enough to protect itself, and doom us all. It is there that you can gain all your answers and doom yourselves as well."

Things went quiet for a moment, then I said, "Thank you for showing us this."

"Thank you for being such willing guests."

"Well, we are advancing to the planet we know about. It might help if we could learn your language."

"Right now you do not know enough for us to do that. In order to speak to you, everything must be translated. Hopefully, you can begin to figure things out, then what we say can be less in your words."

It was Jericho that said, "Well, still, thanks."

"You are welcome. Now, it is time to send you back. Let me however say that I am not unwilling to have you meet us again."

Suddenly, I heard the call of men alerting others of our return. I looked to Jericho, then told him to hold his place. Seeming to accept that his time with me meant that he needed to be recognized, he held his place. I took a rigid stance, and hoping to put things in a proper attitude I saluted Colonel Fockles when he came through the door.

After returning the salute, he said, "Cylde, I assume that you have things to report."

"More than just Jericho, Sir. It seems the two of us were chosen for a special situation. If you do not mind however, I would prefer to put on some clothes before the debriefing."

"Certainly, Major, however be warned that we have held up the launch of this vessel due to your disappearance. It would thus be desired for this matter to be handled first thing."

I handed my items to the colonel, explaining that all were obtained in the simulation. Since they were part of the simulation I was surprised that they came out with me. I thus explained that they might simply be plastic forms, but that they should be of alien manufacture all the same. The colonel took them, told me to get dressed then head to the mess where I would be able to tell my story.

Jericho was given the chance to do most of the talking. Not only was I curious to hear his version of events, but I felt it to be a good method of him gaining some acceptance. He seemed pleased to have everyone interested in what he had to say, which I felt was supported by his grins when I spoke in support of what he said.

After we had spoken of all the events, the colonel concluded, "So, it seems that there are korlocks that want to be friends."

I replied, "It seems that those close to the technology that doomed the korlocks are hoping to work with us. To what ends, I cannot say. They say that they do not want us to suffer their fate, but also that we cannot help their own people. That has me wondering if they do not expect great things from us."

"Are you expecting great things?"

"My opinion is that we will need to accomplish great things, Colonel. Hoping to get by on less I feel will have us fall into the path that doomed the korlocks."

"I am going to put those words into my recommendation, Clyde. I hope you do not find yourself regretting that you said them."

I looked to the camera understanding that everything being said would be passed along to those considered with a need to know. I however also accepted that the colonel knew things were being recorded. Thinking about what his reasons would be for making the statement, I considered what I should say in reply.

"I hope those in charge of this advance into alien territory understand the weight of what we will find. This is not a threat to our people, although there is a threat to our people. This is not a chance at great wealth, although it might be there to be found. This is not a possibility of gaining advanced knowledge, and I believe we are being warned about what knowledge we might gain. We need to go boldly, proudly, but not as conquerers. By luck of place, history, or the grace of God we are inheriting the remains of a group of people who were doomed by their path. Unless we keep ourselves above them, both in actions and attitude, we might find ourselves the korlocks, the monsters, troubling another type of humanity."

"Let me say, Major Washington, that I am glad you are one of those leading this advance. Still, let me stress to you to display your own convictions. As you lead the charge into these unknown worlds, remember your own advice to those in your shoes."

"Yes, Sir."

I was glad to then have the colonel look to another to ask, "Jericho, anything you would like to amend?"

"Uh, well, I would still like to attach myself to Major Washington. I, uh, like him."

"That is fine by me, Jericho. We will have some papers for you to sign. The military is a part of the government, after all." Seeing the lad nod, the colonel dismissed us with the words of understanding that we needed to continue to work together to assure the success of our advance into the unknown.

TimeSaga: The Development, the first 12 stories edited, is now available on Kindle.

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Fantasy puts more requirements on the writer than any other fiction, because the world must be made as real before anything else can be real.
Adult Christian fiction quite different than all the usual lame stuff in that market.  "Dilemma of Dreams" now in hard back.
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