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Monthly Writing Prompt
For this month's writing prompt write a scene using the following sentence to start;

The streets were deserted. Where was everyone? Where had they all gone?

Writing Tip
Our monthly writing tips are written by our very own TerishD. You can read more in Terish's Blog located in "The Abstractions" area of the forum.

Look Back

When not able to write ahead, it helps to look back. In my case I had written a paragraph ahead of the story. What I needed to do was add a section of exposition (talking) presenting some facts. In going back, I realized that I could insert a section where a 'tour' of the surroundings could be done. This allowed for character interaction, story development, and other things that enabled me to present the facts in an entertaining manner.

One should not face a writer's block with the mentality of bursting through it. I have found in my own experience that a writer's block is usually due to my mind indicating that it has a problem in 'channeling' the story. One reason might be a re-imagining of certain story points. Another reason however is that there is a problem in where you are at in the story, so you need to look back and find out the problem with the 'journey' that prevents the tale from advancing.

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» Of Reality and the Future: TimeSaga D8 (3 of 5)
February 19th 2018, 7:59 am by TerishD

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 Of Reality and the Future: TimeSaga D8 (3 of 5)

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Number of posts : 1257
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PostSubject: Of Reality and the Future: TimeSaga D8 (3 of 5)   February 9th 2018, 7:45 am

Of Reality and the Future
TimeSaga:  The Source Story Eight

Chapter One

I could not help but exclaim, “You cannot seriously be considering dropping a nuke!”  The whole room went quiet, so I was glad to see my brother enter the room.  “Clyde, please tell me that the Achilles does not have nukes on board.”

He scanned the room, which had me feel that his answer would fit the situation and not simply be the truth.  “Now, Debra, just because I am trusted with secrets does not mean that I am told every one.  I have no reason to suspect the Achilles has nukes on board.  A nuke would not help us with the okagaki, the verakiy, or the korlocks, so I would say that there was no desire to load the Achilles with nukes.”  I had to smile as he asked, “Why do we need one now?”

General Iasaki of the Iranian Air Force replied, “We need a secure location to drop our people.  There is no doubt that the transforming signal that turned the people of the Nerisus Federation into monsters is below.”

“Now, General, this is not the first time that we have encountered that situation.  This time I believe we have access to more than one robot.”  My brother turned to what appeared as a lovely lady with red eyes and long blue hair to say, “I am certain that I can trust you, FER-RON, to take out the speakers.”

In her usual flat feminine voice, my robot replied, “Yes, Major Clyde.  I have definitely learned how to recognize the speakers and effectively destroy them.  I would also say that the PASSIONs could help me.”

Clyde turned to look at me as he asked, “We have PASSIONs?”

I indicated one of my superiors as I said, “Dr. Beyonce brought two with her.  There are more on the Engendered, as it is a RayWeight vessel.”

“Ah, the toys my sister can play with.  Now, again let me ask why there is a feeling that we need nukes?”

General Iasaki replied, “Just letting everyone know the seriousness of our determination to succeed at this mission.”

“Captain Roy, you have nukes on board the Roland?”

The red-headed youth replied, “Uh, no, and Iran is not supposed to have them either.  General Iasaki however felt that you Americans would have them.”

“As far as I know, he is wrong.  Now, Debra, other than the method of clearing our landing point, what is the reason for this gathering?”

I replied, “The usual planning session, Clyde.  The conclusion is that we take out the source of the transforming signal.  The difference, hopeful difference, is that in this case we will be removing the source of the signal throughout the remnants of the Nerisus Federation.  The Iranians can claim a world for Allah, and others can claim worlds for their own reasons, without worrying about their populations becoming monsters.”

My brother still looked dignified even with hair now beyond military regulation.  While he had the build of someone with European ancestry, his dark hair I felt would give him the samurai appearance he was supposedly trying to obtain.  My brother had been with me on a number of previous missions, and I saw his confidence as he looked about the room.

He asked, “Who all is going with you, Debra?”

I answered, “FER-RON and Mary for certain.  We need Mary, as right now we are uncertain where the transforming signal is coming from.  The protection around the planet is good, and we detect the signal from all fourteen of the large strange satellites.  I have accepted Perry and his companions, as they were part of my advance from the beginning.  That status also applies to you, Clyde, which is why I did not allow General Iasaki to deny your presence.”

The general declared, “But we will have a team descending as well.”

Roy said, “Which is why I am going.  I will need to assure coordination of what Debra does and the Irani military.”

I added, “And I am having Chu and Lenny with me.  With so many robots active, I want some assurance that any problems can be dealt with.”

Clyde commented, “Sounds like the usual group to me.”

“As far as the actual advance is concerned.”

“When do we move out?”

“Four hours.  Clyde, you can have your team in one shuttle.  There will be a shuttle from the Engendered and one from the Roland.  With all three of our vessels now authorized, we should be able to pass down to the planet without any problems.  Oh, well done on gaining that authorization.”

I saw my brother bow as he said, “Thank you, your majesty.”  I smiled allowing that I did use my title as queen against my brother at times.  “Anything else to consider?”

General Iasaki said, “We will be bringing conventional bombs, just to be prepared.”

“I will not be bringing a nuke, even if I learn we have them on board the Achilles.”

“American arrogance.”

“I will not brag on our arrogance, but our competence.  I recommend that the Irani military seeks to do so as well.”

I did my best to hold a pleasant expression as everyone agreed to wait out the four hours while preparing for the descent.  Seeing everyone exit the room, I finally breathed a sigh of relief.  Dr. Beyonce broke her pleasant expression to fully smile, then spoke of her own thoughts of the coming operation.

“Now, Debra, the Irani have been quite vocal throughout our time moving through worlds, but have acted with reason.  Your brother has also not been a problem.  Everything should work out properly.”

“It should, but I am just realizing that success will have me as more than a programmer.  I feel that those in charge of RayWeight will be losing FER-RON, as after this I won’t stay a part of their company.”

“Just continue to keep us proud of you, Debra.  I did not know that I would be creating a monarch when I accepted you along with Jimmy, but you are a marvelous figure to have built my robot.  It is not FER-RON leading the charge to open up the Nerisus Federation to humanity, but Queen Debra.  Those at RayWeight are glad to have you on their staff, and right now there is no one challenging the amount we pay you.”

I knew to be pleased with her words, but understanding my situation had me say, “Well, let me go prepare my team.”

“I wish I was going with you, Debra.”  I turned back to her, so she added, “We are here due to my technology.  I am responsible for the creation of FER-RON.  I also will lay claim to being the mother of Mary.  I really would like to go down.”

I had to admit, “I just never had you pull rank before.”

“I am what I am due to my commitment to my work.  Well, this is it.  I have not just given humanity this wonderful technology, but I have stayed with it.  Having the entirety of the Nerisus Federation open to humanity I feel will allow me to feel that my work is over.  Maybe I will finally retire.”

“You’re the only boss I ever had.”

“I was never your boss, Debra.  Yes, I was responsible for paying you, but you took control from the beginning.  There was originally resistance to your additions to FER-RON, but after the death of Jimmy you had control.  You maintain control, Debra.  FER-RON would not be robot she is without you, and I know the PASSIONs and DARLINGs are selling because people trust what you did.  Right now I accept that you are feeling the weight of humanity trusting in your ability to overcome what the Nerisus Federation left.  Still, you can do this, and I promise you that even if not with you I will be watching.”

Attempting to remain some dignity, I simply told her four hours.  Dr. Beyonce assured me that she would be ready.  Hoping to be able to say the same, I simply turned to report to my own people.

I did not just hear my robot falling in behind me, but some softer footsteps rushed up to come beside me with Mary saying, “It is great having Mommy with us.”

I had to admit, “Well, she might have been speaking of me having control, but your mother has a lot of pull as well.”  We entered the large space where my team had set up, and I declared, “Okay, you told me four hours, and that is what I got the others to agree to.  You better be prepared.”

Chu turned from a seat near some PASSIONs to say, “We’re ready now, Queen.”

There were others present, but it was, Lenny, the other who had worked with me on FER-RON who said, “I did go through the details of the speakers and their transforming signals with the PASSIONs.  You should not have any problem once these ladies get busy.”

I had to say, “Well, I am worried at the moment of just reaching the surface of the planet.  The Iranians are speaking of carrying some bombs with them, and I am worried that the sensors around the planet will detect them and respond.”

Chu asked, “Is the protection around the planet that good?”

Mary replied, “I cannot penetrate it.”

I broke into the conversation to say, “Well, let’s get moving to our shuttle.  I know we have four hours, but no reason to wait until the last minute.  I suspect we might be needed to help others, and who knows what might happen.  If we are simply standing around bored, I consider that better than standing around bored here.”

It would not have surprised me to hear some complaints to that command.  I actually said it to find out how ready my team really was.  While Chu and Lenny had been with me for a good period of time, there were others I had barely come to know.  Not hearing complaints however let me know that there were no troubles being kept from me, and I did what I could to help accepting that I probably would be standing around the shuttle bored.

The PASSIONs really did not look like FER-RON.  I remember it being said that the military requested a less attractive form.  Their personalities however almost perfectly mimicked my robot, as there was a strong acceptance of my code.  I expected their voices to also duplicate FER-RON, but they had a slightly lower register that I easily identified as not being my robot.

It seemed that everyone else was eager to descend to the planet’s surface, as we barely waited half the four hour limit when we set to launch.  It did not surprise me to hear Chu mention that Clyde had his team ready.  My head mechanic had hoped to spend time speaking with his lady who continued to serve with my brother, but with Roy speaking of the Iranians being read to descend I set everyone to their places in the shuttle.

We had to wait for the proper satellites to come into position.  There were twelve of the great gilded panels we called keys, as they looked just like the objects we had originally used to activate the portals.  They were set at a height about a hundred ten miles above the surface, which was not an orbit that allowed them to be stationary.  While waiting, I joined a discussion of the two at the poles wondering how they did stay in place when no orbit would keep them in position.

Mary spoke of a strange resonance as we passed through the two satellites our system identified as those we had permission to pass between, then yelled, “IT’S THE TRANSFORMING SIGNAL!”

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.

Last edited by TerishD on February 19th 2018, 7:52 am; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Chapter Two   February 14th 2018, 7:38 am

Of Reality and the Future
TimeSaga: The Source Story Eight

Chapter Two

While all the robots reacted to what the pink-haired girl declared, I calmly said, “We don’t have the type of speakers to truly reproduce the signal.”

Lenny commented, “Some people are buying them just for the sound quality, but no one is taking advantage of their ability to produce the physical wavelengths.”

Leroy, one of the new hires replied, “Well, the horror industry did think of using them, but came to the conclusion that a good strong bass did enough.”

There were transmissions from the other two shuttles about the strange sounds produced by their speakers. While it was considered disturbing that the satellites were able to overcome our own system to possibly transform us into the monsters that plagued our advance through worlds, we were all glad not to have developed some of technology the Nerisus Federation had. I did speak with those in the other shuttles about what would be required for us to be altered, but spoke with the others of being glad when the threat of humans becoming korlocks would no longer be present.

I worked to focus the robots on handling any actual threat. FER-RON had experience in dealing with monsters in limited environments, but the PASSIONs needed to be shown certain attack styles. I pointed out things about our height and the roof of the shuttle that would allow some shots. The PASSIONs needed to understand not just to avoid shooting at us, which I was glad to find integral in their logic, but to also keep certain parts of the shuttle undamaged in order to assure everyone’s safety. While I kept the robots on alert for any threat, we all relaxed with the feeling that those created to protect us would not be our doom.

We however all became alarmed when the voice of Chaos over the speakers could be heard to say, “Fascination.”

While one might have simply taken the word to mean that he was intrigued by something he saw, I knew the word to be the translation of a name of one of the intelligent entities from the transformation of the Nerisus Federation. Looking at a monitor, I became alarmed seeing a red mist develop around our shuttle. My memories of dealing with Urnaquay, or Fascination, were not horrible, but at this point in time I considered his presence an annoyance at best.

I activated my communicator and asked, “Roy, what are you sensing about Urnaquay?”

There was a possibility that the red mist would block our signals between our shuttles, so I was relieved to hear the lad reply, “I almost want to say that isn’t Urnaquay, although I can tell that it is. There was something that attracted Al, and I am sensing that enticement of wonder.”

“Well, don’t you give into it.”

“I am getting the same advice from the Irani military, Debra. I’m all right.”

Satisfied with that response, I put my focus on another. “Chaos, any trouble in our descent?”

The voice of the pilot of my brother’s shuttle usually was very calm, but I detected tones of agitation as he said, “I don’t believe we are descending any longer, Debra. Fascination is doing something around us.”

“Is he that powerful?”

“The power is in our zonons.”

I had not heard the word zonon in a long time. It was an early word created after the discovery of the active portal in India to identify what we had truly found. As we came to an understanding of the alien technology, we began to use words that identified the processes and not anything that spoke of what we were dealing with to be strange and unknown. I did not know if what I heard was Chaos using our word or simply my mind understanding that word to be the best translation of what he said.

I had to ask, “What can we do?”

“I tried powering through as your brother suggested, but it did not work. I therefore told him the same thing I am telling you, which is to deal with it. If I may offer some solace, you humans have been doing wonderfully at that.”

The voice of Roy came over the speakers saying, “General Iasaki told me to power through it as well, but I have to agree that it had no effect.”

Mary said, “We are becoming part of a simulation.”

Since she was not at a speaker, I spoke to make certain all knew what information she had supplied. “Do not trust the reliability of what you see or hear. Mary says we are entering a simulation.”

“Good!” Roy exclaimed. “I am feeling my second heartbeat, and was thinking Al was back alive.”

“Stay strong, Roy.”

“I am. Ask Mary if it is all right for us to land on that surface ahead.”

Instead of the girl replying, I heard a voice that troubled me say, “No, Roy. Follow that male Saprello.”

It did not help my attitude to hear Roy verify the one that spoke, “AL!”

“You just killed my body, Roy. Those guns you shoot are really not good at harming the transmuted parts, and I was mostly that at the time.”

“I don’t want to kill you again, Al.”

“Good, as you need me at the moment. Follow Saprello.”

I heard Genearl Iasaki ask, “Can we trust him?”

Clyde’s voice quickly returned an answer. “I am in the shuttle with Chaos, and I am trusting him. It is his body down there, and if he wants to be rescued he needs us on the ground.”

I spoke to assure those on my shuttle of my thoughts even as I hoped to encourage the others. “I trust Chaos. Maybe not Al, but I do trust Chaos.”

The voice of the kid said, “Yes, I have been an ass. Mary, to you and all your peaches, I apologize. I actually thought I could learn something, but I know now that it was just my own corruption driving my thoughts.”

I felt some relief in hearing Roy say, “You killed more than some of the Annapolis series, Al.”

“Listen, I’m sorry for those of the Annapolis series. The others, well, they were more casualties of a war. Let me retain some of my illusions, Roy, as I need them at the moment.” I could only guess that some body language, or maybe a mental connection, spurred the next comment. “You’re sweet on Mary?”

“I don’t think I am growing older, Al. I feel Mary and I could relate to each other staying stuck in young bodies.”

“Yes, Father really did wrong in making us, but it seems that we were what humanity needed. Would have me believe in God, or Allah, except that our lives are so corrupt. Still, I guess we are shining examples of humanity, so I am here trying to save you, Roy.”

“Thank you, Al.”

“Hey, just don’t go around saying that I ever liked you, all right?”

Suddenly, Mary said, “That is a secure landing spot! I cannot detect much, but I can tell that no signal comes from below. It’s ground.”

I detected some tension in Chaos’ voice as he replied, “I wanted a spot far enough away from our destination to be beyond the signal. We are still in the simulation, but at least we can be certain of not falling.”

Al commented, “Yes, everyone gets to be disappointed. Still, the first lesson we kids get to learn is that life sucks. There we are trusting in our parents to have everything under control, and we have to realize that they don’t. Further, it did not take me long to realize that I wasn’t going to fix it either. Still, here I am doing what I can to have the human race continue its path. I guess that means I lived a successful life after all.”

Roy replied, “I’m glad to feel your heartbeat again, Al.”

“Well, it really does not mean anything. Land this craft.”

I believe it was Roy crying that had General Iasaki say, “Do not mourn for your brother, Son. He has a multitude of sins to make up for. The fact that he is trying should bring you joy. Now, do what he said and land this craft.”

Having been through a few simulations, I knew the quality of what those of the Nerisus Federation could produce. I had not seen any indication that the technology was prevalent in the society, but I had to suspect it was a recent advancement. My own opinion was that it was used as an enticement to get everyone in the civilization to allow the special speakers into their public and private spaces. The fact that the simulations had been a tool to setup the extermination of those of the Nerisus Federation had me concerned for my experiences, but determined to overcome any barrier I prepared myself for whatever would come.

It did bring us some comfort when FER-RON and the PASSIONs agreed that we had landed. My robot had actually freed me from a couple of simulations, as her intelligence could not be manipulated in the way a regular mind could. The science of the transforming signal, and those of the simulations, were still beyond what we could understand, but it had been shown that we had been able to give our robots very practical senses. When FER-RON and the PASSIONs came off the shuttles to declare that the surroundings were safe, we had the comfort of not dying due to a simple illusion placed in our minds.

Stepping out of the vehicle, I however could not help but wonder about my reality. In the earlier simulations we did not actually move. While our bodies performed actions, we actually stayed within a limited area. Those watching did not see enough activity to entertain them. I therefore could not help but wonder if I was actually stepping out of the shuttle, although looked around knowing how real the situation in a simulation could be.

The sight around us had more relevance should we have still been above the planet. While I saw enough land around us to hold the shuttles, it quickly descended into a reddish-violet haze. Around us at a distance circled large masses that I wanted to call planets. Above was a grand floating structure composed of intertwining cords of some exotic material surrounding a strange yellow glow.

As I heard a voice say, “Hewollor, Losomor, Nalicholl, and Phoshect, the four original homes of those of our great civilization, all threatened by a fifth star spanning race not willing to be a part of our whole,” I finally placed what I felt the central structure represented.

“That’s supposed to be an okagaki ship.”

Roy replied, “Yeah, it does look like the really big one standing on its front. The tetrahedral ones are rather large as well.”

The others stayed quiet as I listened to the voice speak of the dangers of the okagaki, but then I had to speak another fact about the presentation. “He is not listing any actual attacks by the okagaki.”

This time it was Perry that replied, “You know, you are correct. All that is being presented is that the okagaki are not joining the Nerisus Federation, so the threat is only assumed.”

There was some statements of agreement, but we all went silent as images of the humanoid fighters of the okagaki were shown swarming from the central structure to descend upon each of the planets, which had me say, “There does not seem to be any real attempt to speak to the okagaki. I mean, we don’t have any agreement with them either, but my conversations with the okagaki have not had me thinking bad about them.”

Roy replied, “Yeah. They’re just different.”

We then started into a discussion about what we heard in the presentation and our own experiences with the okagaki. Unlike the other simulations, this one just seemed to be a lecture and not a set of situations to interact with. Not having our focus on what was occurring around us did not present itself as a problem. We did listen enough to comment on how things matched our opinions or presented other possibilities, but mostly held a discussion among ourselves of how we felt those of the Nerisus Federation had interacted with the okagaki.

All of us however turned with alarm when the presentation suddenly exclaimed, “Don’t you understand? The threat is real!”

The mass of okagaki images suddenly turned to us. Considering we were in a simulation, I had some concern for them appearing real. I however held my position wondering how far away they were from me, and how much of a physical threat they might present. What alarmed me was hearing the robots yell out an alarm stating their detection of korlocks, and I reacted understanding that they were a much more credible threat than the images of okagaki.

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 Three   February 19th 2018, 7:59 am

Of Reality and the Future
TimeSaga: The Source Story Eight

Chapter Three

I remember the first time I came out of a simulation, as I was worried about my attacks having an effect upon the reality around me. Previously, the things of the world around me would not be evident, so there was no way to take the surroundings into account. FER-RON and the PASSIONs were however present with the shuttles also visible. I also knew that the world we had come down upon was dead, so I did not bother worrying about my attacks upon the semi-material monsters.

It did hurt the presentation that what I saw coming upon us were the korlocks as I remembered them. In previous simulations the forms of the monsters had been altered as the equipment that operated the altered reality worked to adjust for their presence. Considering that the intent of the simulation was to present propaganda against the okagaki, one would assume the real threat would have been changed to appear as the ones who were supposedly an enemy. Actually having to attack korlocks that appeared as those of the Nerisus Federation had me think of them in an antagonistic manner.

The PASSIONs did have weapons capable of dealing with the monsters. It had been a concern with Dr. Beyonce about the quality of the arms available in her robots. She needed to get special authorization to have her robots able to give her the amount of protection she felt she needed. I found that the ones with us were using weapons as powerful as the one I used, because the PASSIONs supplied to a corporation did not need special authorization to match FER-RON in destructive capability.

There was not only my team, but a group from the Roland and Achilles as well. Only my group did not have members of the military present, although I felt those with me had the most experience in dealing with the monsters. Those leading the others however had worked with me. I did not just speak of tactics with my group, but worked to coordinate attacks with Roy who directed those of the Irani military and Clyde who had authority over American soldiers.

It however disturbed me to hear the voice of the presentation exclaim, “Yes, kill them! Kill those of the okagaki!”

I could not help but replied, “We are not attacking the okagaki! We are attacking those of the Nerisus Federation transformed by your stupid signal.”

Perry added, “Not that we would have to attack those of the okagaki. They would be – what? – a meter tall. Not that much of a threat at all. You could have made your simulated okagaki the same size as real okagaki.”

Roy said, “Yeah, even Mary and I are bigger than them.”

I felt the size of the okagaki were scaled larger than they were in reality, as they were impressive figures to go against the simulations of the home planets of the Nerisus Federation. The orbs were however much smaller than the real worlds. While I could not exactly judge distance and size, I trusted the mechanical perceptions to accurately establish certain facts. What I did was wonder about the processes behind the simulation, so felt a need to see if I could get a reaction.

“We really need to feel sorry for the okagaki. Poor little okagaki.”

I had said my words a little louder than regular speech, so it did not surprise me when my brother caught the intention of my words and declared, “Men, when the small robot people get here, let’s pet them and treat them kindly.”

The one I knew as Freckles replied, “Yeah, they are cute.”

Roy said, “They are not here yet. When are they going to get here?”

Mary answered, “They aren’t. I am getting the indication that they were simply to mass.”

I had to reply, “Yes. I felt this was nothing more than propaganda.”

Clyde asked, “But is that all there is to this? No demand for us to purchase war bonds, vote in a certain method, or even enlist in the military?”

The voice of the presentation exclaimed, “You should fear them!”

That told me what I wanted to know. There was an intelligence behind the simulation. Maybe it was nothing more than an administrator, but I had to allow that it could be someone like the programmer my brother met. With the knowledge that I was dealing with an actual intellect, I worked to know more of my surrounding.

I whispered, “Mary, find the location of this person.” Raising my voice, I then worked at again getting the one handling the simulation to respond. “We have met the okagaki. They are not bad people. Not like us at all, and not like you, but they are all right. We definitely have no reason to fear them.”

As hoped, I got the voice to make a statement. “If they are not with us, they are against us!”

Keeping my voice strong, I replied, “This is a grand universe. There will be others. Submission and integration should not be expected of all, although common courtesy and a means of trade should be possible with all intelligent species. The okagaki have shown us courtesy, and we are speaking of possible trade.”

“There is more to trade than a simple exchange. There needs to be a common language and currency.”

“No, there does not,” I shot back. “We can learn the language of the other, and a system of barter can be established.”

“Those are barbaric!”

“Those are simplistic, yes, but sometimes that is all you can do. We want to be good aliens. We want to rise above what we have been, and show ourselves to be a good people. If learning a language and managing basic trade is all we can do, we will do it! We will be the good aliens, and not spread the evil of the Nerisus Federation!”

As the voice replied, “You don’t know what you are speaking about!” Mary softly let me know, “I found him.”

Clyde said, “We got to take out the signal first.”

I asked, “Can we just leave this simulation? It does not seem as immersive as the others.”

Mary replied, “I believe we can. It is controlled by the satellites, but I believe only the two are authorized to let us pass are active.”

“Is the source of the transforming signal within the area of those satellites?”

“No. It should be outside their effective range.”

“Then let’s leave.” I then raised my voice to say, “We’re coming for you! We need to have a conversation.”

The voice replied, “I’ll be waiting.”

It shocked me to suddenly have the view around us shift back to reality. What I saw was a large paved expanse possibly once used for space vehicles to arrive and depart. One of the tall structures actually had a circular glass structure on top that appeared as an observation station found at almost any airport on Earth. I looked at the view around me, then made an observation.

“It seems that we landed where we should have. Now how about getting where we need to be.”

Mary said, “It’s over a thousand miles away.”

Clyde asked, “Any reason we cannot get back in the shuttles and fly there?”

“Our shuttles are not recognized on their network. I am sensing that their defensive programs are still active.”

I had to ask, “How about the people? Surely there were a percentage unaffected who have managed to keep offspring alive.”

“I cannot sense them. Wait. Ooh.” Mary had a hand go to her head as she groaned, and as we went to her she said, “I sense something, agony. I can now sense Saprello calling to me.”

Clyde rushed back to his shuttle, but heard his men mention that their pilot was no longer on board. Mary regained her composure, although told us we needed to go. I saw the looks on those around me with it obvious that none wanted to start a thousand mile march. Some of Clyde’s men looked to the Iranian soldiers and mentioned seeing if they could get a native vehicle working, and they began pointing out possible options.

Roy asked, “Couldn’t we just go into the airport and authorize our shuttles for flight the way we authorized them for landing?”

I had to admit, “It could help us in other ways to see how those of the Nerisus Federation handled personal travel. Mary, can you access their network?”

She replied, “No. It timed out. I however sense that we could pick up the keys, or whatever device would reactivate the network. That is just a hunch on my part, but a system that needs regular authorization surely has a method for someone to perform an emergency or circumstantial access.”

One of those with Roy, who appeared to be an officer in the Iranian military, said, “I would agree with Dame Mary. Men, work with the Americans to assure that what technology they learn we learn as well. In the same manner I will go with Queen Debra, Dame Mary, and Captain Roy.”

Without any display of being offended, my brother commanded, “Men, work with the Iranians. Hopefully one of us will come up with a solution.”

We gathered our packs wanting to be prepared for whatever we might encounter, although became alarmed when sirens went off and distant lights started flashing. Thoughts of korlocks or our authorization timing out came to mind. What I did not expect was seeing Mary grimace. What I then heard over my communicator let me know that the fear those of the Nerisus Federation prepared for had come true.

The translated voice of an okagaki asked, “Humans, could you authorize us?”

I replied doing my best to display the anger I felt. “Why did you have to appear? Don’t you know that you are the reason the Nerisus Federation destroyed themselves? You have the capabilities of monitoring us. You should have just stayed away.”

Another translated voice said, “Ah, yes, Queen Debra, we are noticing the reaction to our presence. We really did not think they would recognize us, but assume we were just another foreign vessel.”

“It should have been obvious that we had not yet gained control.”

“Well, while gaining permission for yourself, we felt you could gain permission for us as well.”

It was Clyde that replied, “You could have waited. Since when have we refused a request?”

“We apologize. Could we help?”

I did my best to continue to sound angry as I said, “Don’t destroy anything! Let us see what we can do to handle things. We are not the bad aliens here. I am sorry, okagaki, but it is obvious that you are perceived as the bad aliens. Stay away.”

Looking around, I felt some relief to not see any aggression coming upon us. While the strange sound of the sirens and the odd color of the flashing lights spoke of danger, nothing was threatening our groups. I thus looked to Mary and spoke what I felt others would consider some words of relief.

“Hopefully, whatever overrides we can find will allow us to continue with our mission.”

She replied, “I hope so as well.”

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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