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fanfiction Amissa, The Lost Ark.

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Amissa, The Lost Ark

 

(CNN) — "Watch out for dinosaurs."

I smile at our guide's warning and enter the lush jungle growing inside Hang Son Doong, a 3-million-year-old cave in the central part of Vietnam. Water drips from a gaping scar in the ceiling over 100 meters (328 feet) above us. A spectacular sunbeam starts to creep down the side of the serrated cliffs. The shrill call of birds and macaque monkeys echoes off the limestone, drifting in from the unseen world beyond the skylight.

"Watch out for dinosaurs. That's what we called this place when we first discovered it," caving expert Howard Limbert, elaborates. The prehistoric atmosphere made the reference obvious.

We continue on, stepping deeper into the void that is considered by some to be the largest cave in the world.

Located in the heart of the UNESCO-listed Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park in Vietnam's Quang Binh province, Hang Son Doong is one of the most captivating destinations that can be experienced in Southeast Asia.

More people have stood on the summit of Mount Everest than have witnessed the surreal beauty inside these enormous chambers. Translated as Mountain River Cave, it was first discovered in 1990 by Ho Khanh, a local farmer who was seeking shelter from a passing storm in the jungle.

He noticed clouds and the sound of an underground river gushing from a large hole in the limestone, and reported his findings to the British Caving Research Association (BCRA), who were stationed in Phong Nha at the time.

Unfortunately Ho Khanh lost his bearings during his return, and the exact location of the cave remained lost for 18 years. In 2008 while hunting for food he stumbled across the entrance again, and returned the following year with Howard and Deb Limbert from the BCRA.

 

https://www.cnn.com/travel/article/vietnam-hang-son-doong-cave/index.html

 

Located near the DMZ in Vietnam, how did this cave manage to be hidden from the North Vietnamese, the locals, and the US military until discovered by a local farmer in 1990, then lost until 2008 when it was found again? How was it never found by the French during their colonization of Indochina? How come was it never found by the Japanese or British during WW2? That is the real mystery.

This story is about a fictitious Special Forces recon patrol, sent into the western area of the Quang Binh province in January of 1968 to look for a hidden North Vietnamese bases rumored to be located in the area. A week later, all contact is lost with the patrol.

Given that the story is about military personnel, Frack will be substituted for the usual F Bomb as was done for Battlestar Galactia.

 

Some common military terminology in use during the Vietnam War;

 

AK-47 – The Soviet Block automatic rifle that was issued to the enemy. It fired the Soviet standard 7.63 mm cartridge, but could also use the standard NATO 7.62 round, but, not the other way around.

Arc Light – A B-52 carpet bombing mission.

ARVN – Army of the Republic of Vietnam.

Click – To hike a thousand meters.

C-Rats – Military issue C rations. They contained a tin of the main course, bread or crackers, a dessert, cigarettes, pack of tissue, book of waterproof matches.

Gook – This was the enemy

HQ – Head Quarters

K-Bar – A Marine’s combat knife

M-16 Over and Under - The M-16 automatic rifle with the 40mm grenade launcher attachment.

NVA – North Vietnam Military

PRC-25 – Commonly known as a Prick 25, this was the first standard issue field radio that was designed around the transistors.

Starlight Scope – A night vision device that amplified available light.

VC – The Viet Cong, the Communist from South Vietnam.

 

The Special Forces Recon 12 Man Patrol;

1.Point; Sargent Lance, Specialist in tracking and path finding. Armed with the short barrel AR-15

2. Local Guide; Nicknamed Officer Tim since no one can spell or pronounce his real name. A local police captain from the village of Kae Sanh. He joined forces with the patrol due to his extensive knowledge of the southern Quang Binh province. He has an extreme hatred of the NVA for first driving him out of his homeland, then for butchering his wife and three children and hanging their mutilated bodies in the town square. He is armed with a Thompson and his 1911-45.

3.Rifleman; Private Miller, Specialist as a Tunnel Rat and Hand to Hand combat. Armed with a Thompson with a 1911-45 for tunnel work.

4.Gerinader; Sargent Powell, Expert in the use of mortars. He is armed with the modified M-16 mounted with an M-40 grenade launcher nicknamed the Over and Under.

5.Machine Gunner; Corporal Meyer. He is carrying a Thompson on this mission along with some Claymore mines.

6.Ammo Bearer; Private Root is packing Claymores as well as trip flares and WP grenades. He is also armed with a Thompson.

7.Squad Leader; Lt. Johnson. Unlike the usual 90 day wonders, he signed up for Ranger Training and has had extensive experiences conducting recon patrols in enemy territory. He is armed with the short barrel AR-15.

8.Radioman; Private Washington. He is carrying the PRC-25 with a long range antenna and spare batteries. He too is carrying a short barrel AR-15.

9.Medic; Corporal Mays or Doc. His backpack contains an extensive amount of medical supplies to handle any combat emergency short of a blood transfusion. He is armed with a 1911-45.

10.Intelligence; Lt. Kim, ARVN Specialist in communication surveillance. He has brought along a radio tuned to the known channels being used by the NVA military in the area. He is armed with a Thompson.

11. Sniper; Sargent Cisco, Expert in hitting targets at extreme range, he is armed with a modified M-14 fitted with a sniper scope. He also carries a 1911-45 as a close in weapon.

12. Rear Guard. Corporal Jefferson, Specialist in Hand to Hand Combat. He has brought along a small telescope to work with Sargent Cisco as his spotter. He is armed with an Over and Under for this mission.

 

Chapter One, The Cave.

 

Kae Sanh, Vietnam.

It is January 6, 1968 during the beginning of the siege of Kae Sanh that a 12 man special forces recon patrol is being assembled and briefed on a special mission they are about to conduct.

“Intelligence reports indicate that the NVA are constructing a supply base just North of the DMZ in the Quang Binh province. Your mission is to find that base, report its location to us, and get the frack out of there before we hit it with an Arc Light. I have assigned Officer Tim to help guide you as he used to live in the area you are heading. Lt. Kim, surveillance specialist from ARVN Special Forces is going along with you so that he can eavesdrop on NVA communications in the area.”

“I am also assigning a sniper, Sargent Cisco, to go along with you. We believe that one of Ho Chi Minh’s top generals may be supervising the construction of that supply base. If the opportunity arises, Sargent Cisco will put a bullet through his head. Otherwise, you are to avoid any contact with the enemy if at all possible.”

“Given that the NVA is already dug in around this fire base, we will do everything we can to help get your patrol past enemy lines before dawn. As soon as it gets dark out, we will launch a mortar and artillery barrage along the path you will be taking North. That should keep their heads down so you can sneak past their positions. Maintain radio silence until you have confirmed that you have found their supply base so that the NVA don’t discover that you are looking for it. Once you get 10 clicks beyond our base, you are on your own.”

That evening, under the cover of darkness and the advancing artillery and mortar fire, the special patrol heads out on their mission in search of a North Vietnamese Base Camp rumored to be located somewhere across the DMZ. Armed with the new short barrel close in support AR-15, along with the reliable short range Thompson Machine Guns, this patrol is designed to travel light. They do not carry any M-60 machine guns with them. Two of the men are armed with M-16 over and unders so they have the ability to launch M-40 Grenades with the backup of an automatic rifle if they need it. Otherwise, other then ammo, nylon blanket, and a poncho, they are only packing a map, a radio, spare battery, a Starlight Scope, C-Rations, grenades, a K-Bar, first aid kit, and water purification tablets. With the point man armed with a Starlight Scopes and the help of the harassing artillery barrages, the Marine patrol is able to sneak by the numerous NVA positions and activity in the area. They manages to get past the buildup of NVA forces around the Marine base and clear of the tangle of bombed out jungle by dawn.

There is only whispered conservation among the men as they continue their way North through the rough terrain of the Central Highlands, avoiding the trails and easy paths where North Vietnamese forces could be waiting for them in ambush or be able to detect their movement. One needs to be constantly listening to the environment for any signs of a threat, even be able to smell the environment, if danger is present. Therefore, this special patrol is made up of seasoned veterans, none of who have ever drank, smoked, or used any drugs.

Sargent Lance, who is on point, motions the patrol to stop and take cover. One of the macaque monkeys in the area has sounded out an alarm up ahead. The smell of marijuana and rank body odor now blows through the hot humid air towards the patrol.

“Do you see anything?” Corporal Meyers whispers to the Sargent.

“No,” he whispers back. “I can see some movement in the vines to my right.”

“If we can, let them get past us,” whispers Lt. Johnson to his men. “If not, we run 100 meters to the left, turn right 50 meters, and set up an ambush.”

The patrol, hidden in the jungle by wearing camouflage, remains motionless as the NVA forces travels close to them with armed soldiers, civilians pushing bicycles loaded with supplies, and a rear guard that stops for a moment to take a break before moving on. Ten minutes later, the NVA patrol is long gone. “Time to move out,” whispers Lt Johnson to his men. “Take the trail those NVA left for about a click, then break off to the North. Sargent Lance, keep a lookout for any tripwire traps those Gooks may have left for us.”

“That frackin Gook peed on me,” complains Private Miller in a whisper to Sargent Powell as they move out.

“It will just make you smell like one of them,” Sargent Powell whispers back.

“Should I alert HQ about that Gook convoy?” Private Washington asks Lt. Johnson.

“No,” answers the Lt. “We only break radio silence if we are hit or find our objective.”

The patrol has continued on when a trip wire is found leading to a grenade. Sargent Lance disarms it taking the grenade and trip wire with him. “I’ll set this up where we leave the trail,” he whispers to Lt. Johnson.

Suddenly, after traveling another 200 meters on the fresh trail, an explosion is heard up ahead. Black smoke can be seen in the distance as a deer, leaving a trail of blood from a stomach wound, bolts towards the patrol, then dashes off the trail to the right crashing through the jungle.

“Set up your trap here,” orders Lt Johnson. “Then, get the frack out of here before those Gooks show up.” Quickly setting up the trap, the patrol heads off in separate file to regroup a short distance to the North. Five minutes later, a grenade goes off followed by the screams of the wounded and the cursing of several NVA soldiers as several automatic bursts of AK-47 rounds go flying through the trees in random directions.

“Aw, too bad, they just got a taste of their own frackin medicine,” whispers Sargent Lance.

“Lets get as far away from here as we can from here before they pick up our trail,” orders Lt Johnson in a whisper.

The patrol continues North as the afternoon monsoons come pouring down where they find a small VC camp up ahead in the jungle. “It looks like it has been abandoned for the past several weeks.” Sargent Lance reports after checking it out.

“Search this place thoroughly for any signs of booby traps or any other activity,” orders Lt Johnson. “If it is all clear, we will set up camp here for the night.”

“I hope that we don’t get an Arc Light called in on us,” comment Private Miller.

“We should be safe,” Sargent Lance assures Private Miller. “General Westmoreland knows that there are friendlies in the area. He plans to Arc Light what we find as soon as we break radio silence.”

“We’ll camp here inside this hooch for the night,” orders Lt Johnson. “Four man watch every two hours. Don’t leave any trash behind from your C-Rats. Flatten out all of the cans. Bury it where you take a $hit before we leave.”

The night is far from quiet as the moon comes out casting an eerie light through the jungle canopy. Some macaque monkeys start screaming making it difficult to hear what may be approaching them in the distance. A pair of beady eyes show up down the trail through the Starlight Scope, then vanish when Corporal Meyer throws a stick at it. The monkeys calm down as the unknown predator moves on to hunt elsewhere. Still, all night long, there is the constant thump of exploding artillery shells along with random burst of heavy machine guns and the occasional high pitch whine of a Gatling Gun being fired from a circling propeller driven aircraft in the distance.

At daybreak, the patrol packs up, fills their canteens from a nearby jungle stream, buries and camouflages their trash, and continues on through the rugged terrain North.

“What’s going on?” ask Lt. Johnson after the patrol has traveled several clicks through the hilly terrain and has come to a halt.

“My compass is not functioning,” reports Sargent Lance.

“There must be something in the ground that is interfering with them,” reports Lt. Johnson after he takes his out and sees that it is not functioning either. “Lets try to navigate by the sun if we can.”

“This is most unusual,” reports Sargent Lance when the patrol takes a break in the afternoon. “I have not seen any trails at all for the past several hours, not even any game trails.”

“This area is totally unknown to me,” warns Officer Tim.

“I’m not picking up any radio traffic at all,” reports Private Washington. “In fact, I can’t even pick up Radio Hanoi.”

“I’m getting no chatter at all from the usual NVA channels,” Lt Kim reports.

“I hate to admit that we are lost,” answers Lt Johnson. “I have not been able to find any landmarks that make any sense in this area. “I do know this, we are now in an area that remains basically unknown to any of us in the outside world. It would be most ideal for the NVA to be hiding a base of operations here. Lets continue on to some higher ground until we can re establish some radio reception and figure out exactly where we are.”

It is late afternoon when Sargent Lance spots something unusual up ahead in the valley below. “Does that look like a cave entrance down by that river?” he ask Lt Johnson.

“It certainly does,” the Lt. answers. “I just don’t see it marked on my map. It must be somehow hidden by the jungle above. Lets go check it out but watch for any signs of the NVAs. It would certainly make for an excellent place for them to hide a forward supply base.”

“So far so good,” Sargent Lance reports as he proceeds towards the cave entrance. “I see no signs of any trails anywhere.”

“Here’s a stream coming out of here. The water is clear. I see no Gook footprints in the sand at the cave entrance. Officer Tim, do you know what could have made these giant chicken footprints over here in the mud?”

“I don’t know,” Officer Tim answers. “There are rumors where I lived from my grandparents about a place where one could find dragons. It is just that nobody has never seen them. This area is so remote that nobody has ever explored or hunted over here.

“The interior is huge,” reports Corporal Meyer. “It must be over 100 meters in height. How could no one know about this place?”

“They say that Indochina has vast areas that have never been explored,” answers Lt. Johnson. “Given a world war, French occupation, Japanese invasion, and the Indochina war that led to the defeat of the French, I find it odd that there are no signs of civilization in here at all.”

“I wonder if there is another way out?” ask Sargent Lance.

“There most likely is given the amount of water that is flowing through that stream,” answers Lt. Johnson. “Lets look for a sheltered place to camp here for the night, it will be dark soon. Then, we will see how far we can go in once the morning sun lights up the entrance.”

Heading into the cave interior in the evening twilight, they find it filled with jungle vines and other plants hanging down from the ceiling which has several gaping holes in it to let in the remaining daylight. “If the rest of this cave is like this, we should have no problem going through it in the morning,” reports Sargent Lance.

“Lets set up camp behind these boulders,” order Lt. Johnson. “It should be easy for us to see and hide from anything that comes through this cave. Four man night watch as before.”

The night in the cave is a far contrast from the night before in the abandoned VC campsite. There are the restful sounds from the flowing stream down below. A comfortable breeze blows through the cave to the outside world. It is a sharp contrast to the warm sticky air of the jungle night. The chirping of crickets fills the night air as it is occasionally broken by the sound of some macaque monkeys communicating with each other. Gone are the sounds of combat, the thump of artillery rounds, the whine of the Gatling Guns and the rhythmic staccato of the 50 caliber.

“I never knew that one could actually find a tropical paradise in this all expense paid vacation the military gave us into the armpit of the world,” Corporal Mays tells Lt. Johnson as they are on guard duty.

“Doc, Have you been shooting up on morphine?” Lt. Johnson asks him.

“No sir,” he answers back. “I’ve seen too many of my friends get fracked up from shooting up on that stuff. It’s bad $hit to get addicted to.”

Deep in the cave, a distant roar is heard from some huge unknown creature. It echos throughout the length of the huge cave. “What in the frack was that?” Sargent Lance ask Officer Tim as they are pulling guard duty.

“I don’t know.” Officer Tim answers nervously. “Perhaps my grandfather was right. There may be dragons living in here.”

“Whatever it was, it sounded like that it was a long ways off. We’ll know for sure when we can continue checking this place out in the morning.”

With the dawn’s early light, the cave get lit up reveling stunning rock formations that have formed in the limestone from the dripping water from above. “Wow, it sure is beautiful in here,” comments Private Root as the patrol prepares to continue on.

“If we stay along the rocks, we shouldn’t leave any footprints” Sargent Lance tells the others.

“Be aware of your surroundings as we continue on,” orders Lt. Johnson. “look for places where you can find cover in case we run into something ahead.”

The patrol continues on through the stunning stone sculptures. The landscape soon changes to a different type of rock formation as they pass through a dark area, then a returning twilight where the other entrance can be seen in the distance. “Frack! Why am I getting so tired,” Sargent Lance starts complaining.

“So am I,” complains Private Miller.

“$hit, we never brought any gas mask with us,” Lt Johnson says in a panic. “Get the frack out of here, NOW!”

Too late to escape the effects of whatever is putting everybody to sleep, they all succumb to the effects of the sedating air and drop to the ground unconscious.

Edited by rpicardi1

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Chapter 2. The Red Jungle.

 

It is early morning in the cave as the normal jungle noises continue on. A gentle refreshing breeze blows into the cave over the patrol who’s members are starting to regain consciousness from whatever had put them to sleep.”

“Ohhh!” moans Sargent Lance as he regains conscious. “What the frack just happened? Where’s the frack is my gear? What is this thing doing in my left wrist?”

“Everyone, look around, QUICKLY!” orders Lt. Johnson. “Sound off with what you find.”

“I see nothing behind us, Not even our footprints.” Corporal Jefferson reports. “What is this thing in my left arm?”

“It’s all clear up front,” reports Sargent Lance. “No signs that anyone but us has been in this cave.”

“I don’t see any tracks other then ours,” reports Officer Tim.

“OK,” Lt. Johnson answers back. “Everyone report in with what gear you still have on you.”

“I have my K-Bar, my compass, my canteen, and that thing in my left wrist,” reports Sargent Lance. “Interesting, the date on my watch has reset itself to one and the time to 0605.”

“I have my pocket knife, my canteen, my police whistle, my pocket watch that reads five minutes after six and that strange gem as well,” reports Officer Kim.

“I have my K-Bar, canteen, and this embedded gem, reports Private Miller. “My watch has done the same thing.”

“K-Bar, canteen, and this frackin implant,” complains Corporal Meyer. “My watch has set itself to 0605 with a day of one. What could that mean?”

“I don’t know,” answers Lt. Johnson. “Lets continue the report, then we can try to figure out what the frack is going on around here.”

“K-Bar, canteen, my watch, trip flares, and that strange gem.” reports Private Root.

“K-Bar, canteen, my watch, this Prick 25, two spare batteries, and that glowing gem,” reports Private Washington.

“$hit!, they took the medical backpack and all of its supplies,” reports Doc. “I still have my K-Bar, canteen, that implant, and my watch.”

“I have my bayonet, canteen, my NVA radio, spare batteries, my Chinese Rolex, and this strange gem,” reports Lt. Kim

“K-Bar, canteen, the sniper scope to my rifle, a watch, and that strange gem,” reports Sargent Cisco.

“K-Bar, canteen, spotting scope, watch, and that gem,” reports Corporal Jefferson.

“That is so strange,” reports Lt. Johnson. “Why would the frackin Gooks take all of our stuff but leave us with our Combat Knife, canteens, our watches with the dates and time synced on them, and selected gear such as a radio, my map and binoculars? How did they manage to implant these gems into our left wrist? How did they manage to knock us out, then leave without a trace of them being here? Why didn’t they just kill us or take us prisoner?”

“That is a good question,” answers Officer Tim. “That is far from normal VC, NVA behavior, or even that of their Communist advisers.”

“Washington, Kim, are you picking up anything on your radios?” ask Lt. Johnson.

“No,” Private Washington answer. “All channels, but three, are clear. Channel 4, 16, and 28 are receiving a clicking tone that sounds like code. The sound is of a different pitch on each of those three channels.”

“I’m getting the same signals on those channels as well.” reports Lt. Kim.

“Can either of you get a bearing on those signals?” ask Lt. Johnson.

“Not while we are inside this cave.” Private Washington answers.

“Then, lets head outside and see if you can get a bearing on any of those transmissions.” orders Lt. Johnson. “Then, we’ll find someplace high, figure out where the frack we are, set up the long range antenna, and break radio silence.”

It is a strange world of red vegetation as they step outside of the cave into the morning daylight. “Has something happened to our vision?” Sargent Lance asks Doc.

“No,” Doc answers. “What gear we have is normal in color. It has to be this frackin jungle that we stepped into that is colored so weird.”

“Did this area get sprayed with some chemical defoliant?” ask Officer Tim.

“No,” answers Lt Johnson. “That frackin stuff just kills everything that’s growing, it doesn’t just turn it red.”

“Do you think that your military may have used some tactical nukes in this area to stop the NVA supply lines?” ask Lt. Kim.

“No,” answers Lt. Johnson. “The Pentagon has discussed the possibility of tactical nukes in this area but decided that they weren’t worth the risk of having the Soviets escalate in kind by giving some of their nukes to the NVA. Besides, the terrain around Kae Sanh is not suitable for their effective use. If this area had been nuked, everything around here would have been flattened by the blast wave, not turned red in color. Also, our watches would have quit working, not have their time and date reset to the first day of the month.”

“That is strange,” reports Corporal Meyers. “When I picked up a stone to look at it, it just vanished out of my hand. Then, I got this strange message in my head that said, ‘Added one stone.’”

“Oh Wow!” Private Miller reports. “Look into your implant. That is so weird! It looks like something out of that Beatles tune ‘Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds.’”

“Interesting,” reports Corporal Meyers. “I’m getting this display in my head about all kinds of information about myself.”

“What a medical dream this is,” reports Doc. “I’m getting readings on health, torpor, stamina, hunger, fortitude, hydration, strength, oxygen level, and a bunch of other medical stats.”

“What is stamina, fortitude, and torpor?” Private Miller ask the Doc.

“Stamina is a measure of how tired you are getting. Fortitude is about how tough you are in resisting what the environment throws at you such as the heat and humidity we faced on our patrol the past few days. Torpor is a measurement of if you are about to pass out or not,” Doc answers.

“This is most interesting,” Corporal Meyers reports to the others. “My implant says that if I get a wood and ten thatch, I can use the stone I picked up to craft a primitive pickax.”

“Give it a try,” orders Lt. Johnson. “See if some of these sticks and palm leaves that are lying around here will give you want you need for that pickax.”

“Where did you find that stone age pickax?” Sargent Powell asks after seeing it appear in Corporal Meyer’s hand.

“I did what the Lt. told me to do,” answers Corporal Meyers.

“This is most frightening,” Private Root reports. “When I check out what is called my Specimen Implant, I find my name, a serial number and a message ‘Survival Quotient undetermined’”

“OW!’ answers Private Miller. “That’s sounds like whatever has fracked with us is betting that we are not going to be around here much longer.”

“We’re Special Forces,” replies Lt. Johnson. “Lets get our $hit together and prove them wrong.”

As the men continue discussing the discovery of the properties of what are called the Specimen Implants, some of the local creatures are starting to show up to investigate them.

“Does anyone know what this cute little chicken size reptile is?” ask Private Root. “OW! That mudder frackin ba$tard just took a chunk of flesh out of my leg!”

“Here comes some more of them!” warns Sargent Lance. “Kill them mudder frackers! Use your K-Bar.” Six little vicious chicken size reptiles, known as Compys, soon bite the dust.

“That is interesting,” reports Corporal Meyers. “My implant told me that it was a Level 4 female Compy. When I used my stone age pickax to kill that thing, it just vanished with a message that said that I got 4 hide and 12 raw meat. In fact, my implant says that I am now carrying 4 hide and 12 raw meat in one stack. Oh oh, I’m being told by my implant that raw meat is unhealthy to eat and that it will start to spoil in six minutes.”

“Where did that thing bite you?” Doc asks Private Root as he comes over to examine his injury.

“Right here,” Private Root answers. “What the Frack! I could have sworn that thing took a frackin chunk of flesh out of my leg. Now, it’s all healed up.”

“If that little chicken thing can take a bite out of your leg,” ask Sargent Lance, “what in the frack can its big brother that made those huge tracks we saw in the mud last evening do to us?”

“We had better get some better weapons to defend ourselves with before it’s big brother shows up,” orders Lt Johnson. “I have a bad feeling that if whatever made those huge tracks should ever find us, we would be just a tasty little snack for it.

“Our Specimen Implants are telling us that we have just earned something called Level Ups.” reports Doc. “You can apply those to your personal stats to make yourselves tougher. I would suggest health and stamina for now.”

“Everyone, get a hatchet and spears for now,” orders Lt. Johnson. “Then, we can work on clothes, campfire, and construction materials for a shelter.”

“I need some frackin flint to make that primitive stone hatchet,” complains Private Washington. “Where am I going to fracking find that?”

“Try hitting this rock with your stone pickax,” orders Corporal Jefferson.

“Thanks, man. The boulder is giving up flint and stones.” answers Private Washington. “What the frack! That boulder just blew up into pieces.”

“It must have something to do with this strange place,” answers Corporal Meyers. “It’s like that compy suddenly vanishing when I was hacking at it with my pickax.”

“The same thing just happened to this tree when I was chopping it down for wood,” reports Private Miller. “Where in the frack can I find fiber for a spear?”

“Try picking at some of those fern like plants over there,” answers Sargent Powell.

“Yes! Fiber.” answers Private Miller in excitement. “Anybody know anything about these berries I am gathering?”

“My Specimen Implant tells me that you can safely eat any of them,” answers Doc. “Just don’t eat the black or white ones. While they won’t poison you, the black ones can speed up healing an injury but will make you sleepy, the white ones will give you an energy boost but will badly dehydrate you. The rest are listed as just plain tasty.”

“That will certainly be better then eating a cold can of ham and mudder frackers with all of that greasy lard on the top,” answers Corporal Jefferson. “When we can build a fire, we should cook up some of that raw compy and see what it taste like.”

“I’m willing to bet that it will frackin taste like grilled chicken.” answers Private Root. “After all, those Compy things looked like chickens, it’s just that these frackin Compys come with very sharp teeth.”

“These spears don’t have a wear bar associated with them,” warns Corporal Jefferson after he crafts up one of them. “I have a feeling that we had better make make up three or more of them.”

“Good idea,” answers Lt. Johnson. “That way, we can throw a spear at whatever attacks us to slow it down, then finish it off with the extra ones.”

As everyone continue learning how the Specimen Implants work, a shrill chirp suddenly interrupts Sargent Powell. Turning around to see what has made the sound, he gets a face full of green slime. “Aggg! I can’t see!” he screams as the bipedal lizard rushes in to attack. It runs into Corporal Meyer’s spear which breaks on impact. The creature gets killed when a second spear thrown by Private Miller hits it dead center in its body.

“What the frack was that thing?” Sargent Powell asks Doc as his vision slowly returns to normal.

“My implant calls it a Dilophosaur,” Doc answers as he helps Sargent Powell wash out his eyes with water from a canteen. “It registers as a Level 24 male.”

Looks like a bigger chicken tried to frack with you,” comments Private Washington.

“That’s not one bit frackin funny,” Sargent Powell answers back in disgust. “I couldn’t see a damn thing after it spat that frackin green $hit all over my face. Look at all the teeth in that thing’s mouth, it could have taken my arm off with one bite.”

“That must be how they hunt their prey,” answers Sargent Lance. “They stun their prey by blinding it, then move in for the kill.”

“What are these frackin Nerdy Glasses doing in it’s inventory?” asks Private Miller.

“Who the frack knows in this weird frackin place!” Lt. Johnson answers back. “My inplant is informing me that we can now craft up some thatch clothes. Lets get some clothes crafted up, then start heading for some higher ground and get out of this red jungle.”

"Hey, these don’t look half bad,” reports Sargent Powell as he crafts up a set and puts them on.

“Well, at least you don’t look like Tarzan,” Sargent Powell kids back.

A storm rolls in as they finish crafting up what is known as Thatch Clothes. A campfire is cooking up the dilo and raw compy meat. Three more Dilophosaur show up but are quickly spotted and ambushed by the patrol members as one of them acts as a bait. “So long as you see them coming, it is easy to dodge that green spit,” Private Root tells the others. “They stop and raise that frill on their neck when they get ready to spit on you.”

“Excellent, we can now make slingshots, clubs and bolas,” Sargent Cisco reports.

“Look what I just found!” Corporal Jefferson reports as he carries in a strange looking flightless bird. “I thought that these creatures went extinct a century ago.”

“They did,” reports Doc. “A Dodo Bird. They have to be one of the stupidest creature that ever existed. We must be in the Land of the Lost. At least they aren’t going to try to take a frackin bite out of you even though they have chicken feet.”

“Just let that noisy thing go before it attracts a bigger chicken that will take a bigger bite out of us.” orders Lt Johnson.

“Ow! Ow! OW!” Private Root is yelling as he runs through the temporary camp as a large bipedal creature with a horn on the back of its head keeps pecking him as it chases him. Corporal Jefferson tangles up its legs with a bola as the rest of the group hit it in the head with rocks from their slingshots thus knocking it out.

“Why was that frackin thing chasing you?” asks Lt Johnson.

“I found this egg laying on the ground, so I picked it up.” answers Private Root.

“A warning to everyone!” warns Lt Johnson. “Don’t pick up any eggs you see lying about. Their mamas are going to have a frackin royal fit and go after you.”

“What is that frackin thing that attacked me?” ask Private Root.

“That is a Parasaur,” reports Doc. “They went extinct millions of years ago with the Dinosaurs.”

“Dinosaurs?” questions Private Root. “How did we end up in the land of the Dinosaurs?”

“The stories from my Great Grandfather are starting to make sense.” Officer Tim announces. “He told me that he had found a lost land while exploring the rugged jungle near our home. Everyone just laughed at him when he was describing the creatures that he saw in that place. I’m beginning to think that he was not as crazy as everybody was telling me now that I have seen it for myself.”

“This is most interesting.” Doc reports as he examines the unconscious Parasaur. “My implant says that we can tame this creature if we want to by just placing berries in its inventory.”

“Lets just recover the bola and let her wake up,” orders Lt. Johnson. “Leave her egg with her. We can explore this taming thing once we can find a safe area to set up a more permanent camp where we got some protection from the area predators. Lets head for the high ground and try to reestablish communications.”

With the high ground to the North, the patrol starts heading in that direction. The color of the jungle changes to normal as it thins out to more open terrain. As they stop to take a break at a small stream, a level up gives everybody the ability to craft up a primitive bow with arrows.

“Excellent,” Sargent Cisco reports. “Not only were these bows easy to make, they appear to be quite accurate and deadly at range.”

“Oh! Oh!” reports Sargent Lance. “I see three of those chicken thing heading this way. They look to be twice our size. Oh $hit, they got teeth and claw hooks on their feathered wings.”

“What are we going to do?” warns Doc. “Those look like raptors. My science book says that they are pack hunters that can leap on their prey and disembowel them with a claw hook.”

“Lance, Miller, Powell,” orders Lt Johnson. “Pick out your target and tangle up their legs with your bolas. The rest of us will use arrows on them with spears as backup.” The tactics work as three raptors race towards the group, get taken down with the bolas, and are killed by the arrows and spears.

“Good job everyone,” Lt Johnson praises his men. “Lets butcher them up and move out.”

Edited by rpicardi1

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Chapter Three. Amissa Village.

 

“That was most interesting,” Doc tells Private Washington as the patrol continues heading for higher ground. “Those raptors, with their mouth full of sharp teeth, didn’t have chicken feet at all, but that Parasaur, which just had bony plates in it’s mouth, did.”

“Then, it looks like that we can’t judge if a creature living here with chicken feet is going to want to eat us for lunch or not,” Private Washington answers back.

As the patrol continues up the boulder strewn slope, Sargent Lewis spots something large up ahead heading their way.

“Oh $hit!” warns Sargent Lewis. “Quickly, take cover in those rocks!” The ground is soon shaking as the huge thunder lizard reaches where they are hiding and starts looking around for an easy snack.

“What is it?” ask Lt Johnson in alarm.

“That looks like a frackin T-Rex!” warns Sargent Lewis.

“Kill it!” orders Lt Johnson. “Use hit and run tactics on it. Don’t let that frackin thing catch you in the clear.” The huge predator cuts loose with an earth shaking roar that carries for miles, then tries to bite at its antagonists.

“Our arrows are mostly bouncing off of its tough hide,” warns Sargent Lewis. “How can we kill that frackin thing?”

“Find something tender on it to shoot at,” orders Lt Johnson. “Aim for its eyes. Shoot arrows inside of its mouth. Hell, stab that frackin thing in the balls if its has a pair!”

Using the rocks as cover, the 10 marines and their two Vietnamese counterparts, attack the Thunder Lizard from all sides. It roars in pain and frustration as it gets an arrow into an eye, then a spear into a tender area of its underside. Thrown off balance by being partially blinded as it has stepped up on one of the boulders, it loses its footing and ends up wedged upside down between two boulders.

“Hatchets!” orders Lt. Johnson.

Screaming in pain and frustration as it thrashes about trying to get back up, the Thunder Lizard eventually succumbs to the death of a thousand cuts. It then ends up in everybody’s inventory as raw meat, raw prime, and hide when it vanishes.

“Anybody hurt,” Doc yells out.

“I’m still frackin alive if that means anything,” Corporal Meyers shouts out.

“Who $hit their pants?” complains Sargent Cisco.

“I think that everybody did when it made that thunderous roar,” reports Doc.

“What the frack!” complains Private Washington. “This raw prime doesn’t stack and it will spoil in two minutes!”

“It must be unique to this place,” answers Lt Kim.

A check of everyone finds only the expected amounts of cuts and bruises from the strenuous activity of combat with the giant predator. “We got lucky with this one,” reports Lt Johnson. Had we been caught in the open by that thing, I’m most certain we’d be all fracked up by now.”

“Now I know what the frack made those giant chicken footprints I saw in the mud at the cave entrance,” Sargent Lewis comments as everyone catches their breath. “My implant called it a T-Rex, Male, Level 55.”

“Incredible,” comments Private Washington. “We just fracked up the biggest frackin predator the prehistoric world has ever known. Yep, I even see some mudder frackin Brontos in the distance feeding on those trees. This really is a freaking Lost World.”

“What an interesting inventory this creature has,” reports LT. Johnson as he picks up a bag left behind when the T-Rex vanished from being butchered. A set of leather clothes, a metal pickax, assorted berries, a Journeyman Crossbow, and a pike pole.”

“This is really good news” reports Corporal Jefferson as he examines them. “Those items are going to be most useful especially once we can make them for everyone. How do you suppose that frackin T-Rex obtained them?”

“Probably from someone that thing killed and ate for its dinner.” answers Private Miller. “Who the frack cares, so long as it didn’t eat one of us for its frackin meal.”

“Does that mean that there may be other people stranded here with us?” ask Sargent Lewis.

“I don’t know,” answers Lt. Johnson. “We’ll have to figure out if they will represent a threat to us or not should we find them. Lets get cleaned up and find some place where we can better defend ourselves in case that thing’s mate should shows up.”

As the patrol continues on, the ground levels out to grasslands with large deciduous trees with smaller bushes and boulders scattered about. To their right, a massive cliff is seen. On the left, the Red Jungle along with some other mountain peaks showing above. And far ahead, what looks like snow capped mountains can be seen.

“Wow,” there is nothing recognizable here on my map,” reports Lt. Johnson It is as if we are no longer in the Quang Binh province. “In fact, I doubt that we are even anywhere in Southeast Asia at all.”

“There is no way one can see snow capped mountains from anywhere in Vietnam, even while flying high up on a cargo plane heading towards Kae Sanh,” answers Lt, Kim.

“Then, we have definitely ended up in a Lost World,” answers Private Washington as the patrol starts heading North once again.

“Take cover!” warns Sargent Lance. “There’s a settlement up ahead.”

“Lance, Miller, Powell, go check it out and report back here,” orders Lt. Johnson. Using all available cover, the three men proceed to carefully head over to the outskirts of the village, then they go inside. Half an hour later, they walk back to the waiting patrol to file their report.

“That settlement is most interesting,” reports Sargent Lance. “It looks like that it was just built yesterday, yet, it has been totally abandoned for years. There is a thick layer of dust on the floor, the gardens are overgrown with vines and ferns, the pond has fish in them, but no signs that anyone or anything has ever been living there.”

“Lets move out and search the entire area,” orders Lt. Johnson. “If all is in order, we’ll make this our base of operations until we can figure out where the frack we are.”

The patrol enters this strange village made out of stone structures. It is laid out with a town square with a pond in its center. The surrounding structures are laid out what what looks like trading markets followed by housing units. All are made with white granite stone of the same architectural design. There are doors and windows, but no actual door or glass window frames. Some furniture is found inside. Balconies and walkways abound, many of them elevated and fenced in with stone railings.

“It looks as if this village was abandoned before anyone moved into it,” reports Sargent Lance.

“I do not recognize the construction style at all.” reports Lt Kim. “Probably the closest thing to that style are the old temples in Hue.”

“It looks like a good place to set up camp,” reports Lt. Johnson. “The doorways and window openings are small enough to keep out any Rexes interested in us. The balconies and walkways those raptors and spitting things. The two ways into the village are easily defended.”

It is late afternoon when one of the members of the patrol finds a strange box in one of the rooms where they are setting up camp. Lt. Johnson opens it to find a journal written in Chinese. He hands it to Officer Kim who is literate in that language.

“It is a journal written by Mei Yin Le,” he reports. “She was one of the warriors of the Yellow Turban Rebellion that occurred in 184 AD. She found herself trapped here when she and the surviving warriors with her sought shelter in a strange cave far South of their homeland in China. She describes herself as the beast queen for her ability to tame the creatures living in this strange land. She calls this place Amissa Village. It was constructed for a secure place for her and the warriors with her to live in harmony with the temperate environment found on the plateau until they could find a way of escape from this island.”

“An island?” questions Lt. Johnson. “How could have we possibly ended up on an island?”

“She does not know,” Officer Tim answers after reading further in the journal. “She describes this island of having several intersecting rivers that divides it up into several distinct regions. An arctic wilderness containing a temple in the side of an active volcano that is nearby here, This temperate grasslands, a vast swampland of dangerous water borne creatures, that Red Jungle we walked through, a redwood forest with giant glowing mushrooms, another located along the seacoast, a vast desert with a tent city, a high mountain plateau with a temple in the sky, and an island inhabited by invisible dragons.”

"Invisible dragons?” asks Private Root.

“She says that they are of the four legged kind with no wings, but can glide and become blended into the terrain.”

“Did they ever try to sail away from this land?” ask Lt Johnson.

“Yes,” answers Officer Tim. “They tried sailing South to a place where they could see pyramids, but ran into an invisible wall. They then sailed parallel to the wall to find a way around it but lost one of their rafts when it was attacked by a giant fish. As far as she could tell, that wall surrounds the island and goes far higher then the Mountain Dragons can fly.”

“What does she write about the beast that inhabits this island?” as Lt. Johnson.

“She says that most of them can be tamed for our use,” Officer Tim answers. “Even that giant thunder lizard that we had to kill earlier today.”

“So, it was not some kind of mistake when my Specimen Implant said that we could tame that Parasaur that attacked Private Root,” Doc answers.

“And, even those raptors and spitter things,” answers Officer Kim.

“So, how do we get out of here?” asks Lt. Johnson.

“We will have to explore this entire island to learn its secrets in order to find the exit back out of here,” answers Officer Tim.

“There’s some kind of a light beam coming down to the ground close to here,” reports Sargent Lewis. “It looks like some kind of a spinning capsule has landed on the ground next to it.”

“Lance, Miller, Powell, go check it out,” orders Lt. Johnson.

“What is that thing, some sort of alien spacecraft?” ask Private Miller as the threesome approach the spinning object.

“No,” Sargent Powell responds. “My Specimen Implant says that I can access it.”

“Go ahead,” orders Sargent Lewis. “We’ll cover you.” Sargent Powell uses his implant to access the spinning capsule which soon shatters into a kaleidoscope of crystals that vanish.

“What happened?” ask Private Miller.

“That Loot Crate, as it is called, went into self destruct mode as soon as I took everything that was in it.” answers Sargent Powell.

“What was in there?” ask Private Miller.

“It had a complete set of leather clothes,” answers Sargent Powell.

“Interesting,” Sargent Lewis comments. “We can craft leather clothes now, but, it looks like that the little green men that brought us here has given us a set of them for free. We better head back to the village before it gets too dark to see.”

“Wow, look at that sky to the North,” comments Private Miller as they head back in the growing darkness.

“I’ve never seen anything as brilliant as that, even when I did a tour in Alaska at NORAD.” reports Sargent Powell. “This is one most unusual place.”

Back in the village, a planning meeting is being held before the guard rotation is set up for the night. “Private Washington and Lt. Kim both have reported that they are getting a directional fix on those three channels.” report Lt Johnson. “The strongest signal is coming on Channel 28 on a heading of 330*. The one on Channel 16 is coming from a heading of 160*. The weakest on on Channel 4 is on a heading of 220*. I’m going to recommend that we send out a patrol to the North in the morning to find the source of the signal on Channel 28. The rest of us will make improvements to our location here. We will experiment with taming some of the creatures around here as soon as we have tranc arrows to safely knock them out. Four man watch for the night. We have a busy day tomorrow.”

Edited by rpicardi1
Finished the chapter

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Chapter Four, Getting established.

 

It is the morning on the second day on Amissa. Everyone’s watch is now dated as 2. Strangely Kim has noticed that his Chinese Rolex doesn’t register the day of the week, it only displays just the word day. “That is so weird,” Kim reports to Lt. Johnson. “There is no way this Rolex can suddenly have the day of the week blanked out to only display the word day.”

“That is even a greater mystery,” answers Lt. Johnson. “None of us have been able to reset the time or dates on any of our watches, Lets set off on a patrol to the North and see if we can reach the source of the signal on Channel 28.” With those orders, the patrol leave behind all their extra items in their newly crafted storage chest in the village camp and proceed to head North out of the village.

It is an interesting trip down the hill to the grassy plains where several types of herbivores are observed grazing on the trees and bushes. “I wonder if those Trikes can be tamed and ridden?” ask Sargent Lewis. “They would certainly make good armored mounts with those horns that could be used to attack any predators.”

“Mei Yin’s says that they are an easy knockout tame that is best done using tranc arrows or darts,” Kim answers. “We just have to be careful that their friends are not nearby when we go to take one down or we will have to deal with all of them coming to defend it.”

“What does she say about these giant eagles?” ask Doc.

“She says that as long as you don’t do anything to harm them, they won’t attack you,” answers Kim. “Otherwise, they will tear you up with that sharp beak and their talons. They can be easily knocked out with tranc arrows and tamed. But, they need a saddle made with some materials that we haven’t seen so far if we want to ride on one.”

“I think that we have a problem,” Sargent Lewis reports as they reach the river that is up ahead. “That looks like it is the Ice Age on the other side. Even worse, this water is ice cold.”

“Lets build a raft to sail across and confirm your suspicions,” orders Lt. Johnson. “If it is a cold as it looks, we may have to wait until we can get cold weather gear for everyone.”

With the raft constructed, Sargent Lance and Private Miller head across to the other side.

“Do those look like frackin piranha?” Ask Private Miller.

“They sure do,” answers Sargent Lance. “They’re huge. And a frackin good reason to not go swimming across. Brrrr, it just got bitterly cold.”

Turning around, the two men head back. Sargent Lewis files his report. “As I expected, it is bitterly cold on the other side. Through Corporal Jefferson’s spotting scope, I can see what looks like some sort of Alien Obelisk lying half buried on the mountain side. It appears to be powered as it is emitting some sort of pulsating light.”

“There also appears to be some sort of a temple on the slope of that mountain where the fallen obelisk is located.”

“I saw all kinds of Mastodons, giant elk, bears, saber tooth tigers, and what looks like oversize wolves. Oh, that river, stay out of the water. We saw piranha the size of those spitter things along with huge salmon that looked about as dangerous. Other then those Devil Fish, it looks like that area had been taken straight from our Ice Age.”

“Then, we will definitely need to obtain some cold weather gear before we can go check out that temple and that alien device,” answers Lt. Johnson. “Lets secure the raft in these shallows for now. We can use it later to sail down the river to that sea in the distance.”

“It now looks like that we can craft tranc arrows, a refining forge, and a Smithy. We’re going to need metal ore and lots of narcoberries. Lets spread out in teams of four as we head back, gather the berries, look for metal ore, and kill any predators we see along the way.”

The three groups heading back have managed to gather several stacks of narcoberries that will be needed for the tranc arrows. Lt. Johnson’s group find an outcropping of yellowish rock that yields all the metal ore that the four men can carry. The metal pick has proven most useful for providing a high yield of this much needed ore. Raw meat and hide has been collected from the pesky compys and the thieving gulls that fly in to harass Sargent Lewis’s group.

Back in the village, two refining forges are crafted up and stocked with raw metal and wood. Sparkpowder is being crafted from the extra stone and flint along with the narcs from the rotten meat and narcoberries. Narc arrows are ready in short order. Packing two newly made saddles and a second crossbow, Sargent Lance, Officer Kim, Private Miller, and Sargent Powell head out to look for a pair of trikes to tame. Remembering the warning from Mei Yin, they find a male that has wandered away from the rest and bola him.

“That didn’t frackin work!” yells Private Miller as the angry male destroys the bolas and charges him.

“Get up on that boulder,” orders Sargent Lance as he and Sargent Powell hit the trike in the head with narc arrows from the crossbows. It soon falls to the ground unconscious.

“Now, what do we feed it for taming,” ask Officer Tim.

“Lets put all of the berry types on him and see what he eats.” orders Sargent Lance as he removes the tranc arrows from the trike’s head.

“Looks like that he prefers the Mejoberries,” Sargent Lance reports.

“We better get him tamed and use him to harvest more mejoberries before we go after the others,” Officer Tim tells them. Protecting him from any predators that could be in the area, the taming process goes well and they soon have a Trike they name Mike.

“With a saddle place on him and Private Miller riding, Mike the Trike is soon put to work harvesting the nearby bushes. “This has sure saved us a lot of time gathering berries. Mike already has gathered four stacks of narcoberries and six of mejos.”

“Lets go get his mate, get her tamed up, and head back to the village,” orders Sargent Lewis. In short order, they have their second trike named Trixie. Sargent Lewis saddles her up riding her back to the camp gathering berries all the way.

Back in the village, more tranc arrows are crafted up from the saved spoiled meat and collected narcoberries. A hunting party has brought back more raw meat and hide from the dodos, those pesky primitive seagulls, and several pig like creatures that were tangled first with the Bolas before they were killed. “We could have tamed those pig things to ride but who wants to be riding on a meal for a T-Rex?” comments Doc.

“The good thing about them is that we now have enough leather for ten more Trike saddles,” reports Lt Johnson. “Lets go out, and tame a trike for the rest of us, then get more metal ore so we can arm everyone with a crossbow.”

The taming process ends up taking most of the afternoon. The experience of the first taming hunt has proven the value of going after high level Trikes so the teams have become more selective of the ones they take down for taming.

“We now have our tank trike army,” reports Lt. Johnson after the last four trikes have waken up tamed and are saddled. “Before it gets dark, I would like to build a stone pen where we can secure them for the night. Craft the wall sections as you harvest the stone with your metal ax. It will weigh far less then the raw materials.” With those orders, teams of two set out crafting sections of stone foundations, walls, and a pair of dino gates. A pen gets built in a flat grassy plain at the North end of the village next to the commons area.

“Who would ever believe that such large creatures could be so gentle around us,” comments Private Washington as the patrol gets settled in for the night.

“Actually, if this were the real Jurassic World, we would probably had been all gored to death by now,” answers Doc.

“As it was, some of almost got gored while we were trying to knock them out,” answers Private Miller.

“Where’s Private Root and Corporal Meyers?” ask Lt. Johnson.

“They took off on foot to the South after they had tamed their trikes,” answers Sargent Powell. “They said that they would be back by nightfall.”

“Here they come now.”

“Oh wow, they tamed themselves a pair of Parasaurs.”

“I’m surprised how sweet this girl is,” Private Root reports as he brings them into the pen. “I have forgiven her for being so mad at me yesterday when I took her egg. She is a fast mount with good carry weight.”

“Her mate is just as sweet,” reports Corporal Meyers. “The Trikes are good for our protection so we’ll still want to take them with us. These Parasaurs will make good fast recon mount.”

“We’ll look at adding some of those eagles once we can make saddles for them,” responds Lt. Johnson. “That would give us some eyes in the sky.”

“This has been a very productive day,” reports Lt. Johnson at their evening meeting. “As soon as we have crafted up better tools and weapons for everyone, I would like to send out a mounted patrol following the river to the East to see what is out there. Sargent Powell says that we should have a sniper rifle ready for Sargent Cisco by morning. Four man watch rotation for the night.”

The second night in Amissa Village remains peaceful. The sky has cleared to reveal the brilliant display of the Northern Lights over the distant fallen obelisk. A wolf howls in the distance. Otherwise, it is a quiet night, something that can be most unusual in a place otherwise known as The Ark.

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Chapter 5. The Patrol to the Sea.

 

It is day three on Amissa, or at least, that’s what the watches are displaying, as the morning is spent preparing the supplies for the extended patrol. With the discovery of a construction process that had been given the name “Structures Plus”, a portable pen has been built, disassembled, and is ready to pack on the three spare trikes. Lt. Johnson, with the help of his night watch team, has manage to find a lone Argy to drop for taming. He has found a saddle for one in one of those spinning supply drops the night before. Another team is out on the Trikes on a wood and metal run. They plan to fill the forges with metal ore and wood and let them run until all the wood is consumed.

Sargent Cisco has been busy on the Smithy crafting up the first Long neck Rifle along with some ammo. Unable to get his sniper scope to work with the new rifle, he crafts one up an Ark version and uses it.

With the new Longneck rifle fitted with a scope, Sargent Cisco gives it the first test dropping one of the pesky gulls sitting on the mast of the stowed raft with the first round. “This will frackin do the job as a sniper rifle,” he reports to Lt. Johnson. “I can put up with the slow reload $hit of it’s bolt action so long as it has the ability to frack up what I am shooting at.”

With the Argy now tamed, Lt. Johnson places a saddle on him for a test flight. He takes the bird up into the sky along part of the planned route of exploration, does some hunting with him, then returns to the village. Looks like Mei Yin is right.” he reports to Sargent Lewis. “We are on some kind of an island. I can see the sea from high up in the sky. It looks to be about half a days march from here. If we follow the river, we should have no problem getting around the high mountain to reach it in time to build a pen and shelter for the night.”

It is noon when they are ready to go. The patrol lines up with Sargent Lance on point continuing in that order. The one exception is with Corporal Meyers and Private Root. Lt. Johnson has decided to use them on their parasaurs to scout up ahead of the slower Trikes to find the best route to travel. Being much faster then the lumbering Trikes, the parasaurs have the ability to quickly get away from danger.

“If only my frackin high school buddies in the First Cav could see me now.” Sargent Cisco comments. “Riding on these Trikes give a whole new meaning to the words, armored cavalry, even if it is a prehistoric one.”

Scouting up ahead on the Argy, Lt. Johnson has spotted possible trouble in the planned river route. He flies back to the point scouts on the Parasaurs, who are already heading back to the patrol and orders a change of course. “I’m going to have you take a path around to the South of this rocky hill. There is a swamp by the existing route that doesn’t have any dry path by the hill that one can use to stay out of it.”

“Thanks for finding us an alternate route,” answers Corporal Meyers. “Patty and Perry were getting very nervous about us getting too close to that frackin tangle of vines and heavy brush. It is as if they have some sort of built in sensor that warns them of danger up ahead. I couldn’t see any safe way to avoid wading in that frackin mess given that the vertical cliffs from that hill came straight into the water. From what we could see, the flies in there were gigantic with the frogs feeding on them even bigger. A mammal almost as big as an elephant was feeding on the trees and vines in that swamp. Then, we saw something that was about the size of that frackin T-Rex with a huge sail on its back. It appeared to be after the fish in the water.”

“South around the hill will take longer, but looks to be a lot fracking safer.” reports Lt. Johnson. “Just watch for the frackin predators out there hunting the smaller mammals. I spotted a pack of three raptors harassing some ostrich like creature.”

“How are you liking flying recon?” ask Corporal Meyers.

“This giant eagle is great,” answers Lt Johnson. “He’s slow enough that I don’t have to do a lot of circling around. He feels like that he can fly all fracking day without getting overly tired.”

The overcast is now clearing some as the patrol resumes on it’s new heading. Soon, it is possible to see the tops of the high mountain cliffs from the valley they are traveling in. The one top looks like that it is snow capped, the other like a temperate forest. A waterfalls comes cascading down the slope from the top.

“Are those actually floating islands?” ask Officer Tim as he spots a series of unusual rock formations floating high above them.

“Unbelievable,” answers Sargent Lewis as he places a spotting scope on one of them. “Not only are they floating, they are even interconnected with what looks like a floating stone bridge. They appear to form a pathway connecting the two mountain tops.”

“That means that there must be a path somewhere we can use to get up there,” answers Officer Tim.

“Can you identify that strange looking bird that is flying up there?” ask Sargent Lewis as he hands Tim his spotting scope.

“My God!” Tim responds after studying the flying creature for several minutes. “It looks like a dragon. Great Grandfather and Mei Yin, you were right. The Mountain Dragons do exist.”

“Do they represent a danger to us?” Sargent Lewis asks Officer Tim.

“According to Mei Yin journal, as long as we don’t do anything to harm them, they shouldn’t be a threat to us.” answers Officer Tim.

About then, the parasaurs scouts come running back to the patrol as the lead Trikes start to get a strange orange glow around their heads. “That frackin raptor pack is after us!” warns Corporal Meyers.

“Form a defensive line” orders Sargent Cisco. “Arm your crossbows with stone arrows. Let that frackin ostrich thing go past us. Then, we will see what kind of tanks we are riding on and charge them head on.”

Armed with crossbows, the nine men riding on trikes turn to face the advancing raptors. The ostrich like creature goes flying between them as the trikes, now with their heads glowing brightly, paw the ground like a bull getting ready to charge, then take off at a dead run with the three big horns aimed like lances at the attacking raptor pack. A salvo of nine arrows hit the attacking raptors. Two of the raptors get impaled in the trike horns and are killed. A third has managed to leap over a charging trike at the last second. It gets two arrows to it’s head from the scouts riding the Parasaurs, then gets put down for good from a shot to the head from Sargent Cisco’s new long neck rifle.

“Is everyone all right?” ask Lt. Johnson as he comes in to land next to the dead alpha raptor.

“We’re fine,” Doc answers back.

“How are the trikes?” asks Lt. Johnson.

“Not a single frackin scratch,” answers Private Washington who was riding one of the trikes that has speared a raptor and has it’s horns and face covered in blood.

“Good job everyone,” Lt. Johnson praises everybody as they regroup and harvest the three dead raptors. A shotgun is found on the pack leader and assigned to Private Miller.

“It looks like that we have found a new friend,” Private Washington comments as the patrol continues on through the valley. “That big ostrich thing has decided to travel with us.”

“It just wants the assurance of our protection,” Doc tells the others. “It sure does look skittish.”

“You would be too if you had three frackin raptors chasing you all day,” Lt. Johnson tells Doc as he takes off back into the sky with his eagle ride.

The patrol completes their detour coming back to the river. Up ahead, one can see the sea with several palm covered sandbars. A small snow covered island is in the distance along with a rocky one near the horizon. Closer to the South, a mountainous mound of tree covered rock can be seen along with a stretch of palm covered beach.

“We seem to be getting closer to the source of the signal on Channel 16,” Private Washington announces. “The source seems to be coming from that green beacon on the southern horizon.”

“When you reach the beach area, look for a good spot to set up camp for the night,” orders Lt. Johnson. “I’m going to fly over to that nearby island with the high cliffs and check it out.”

Reaching the shoreline at the mouth of the river, the patrol finds a suitable flat area to place the pen for their tames for their overnight camp. There are harvest able resources nearby to fill out what they haven’t packed with them. A quick survey with the Parasaurs finds the area to be quiet with no major threats in the area. The Gally that has tagged along comes in to the newly constructed pen with Doc. She has calmed down a lot even letting Doc pet her as he gives her some berries to eat.

“There’s a giant frackin fish stuck in the shallows,” Corporal Jefferson reports to the others. “Who wants grilled fish for supper?”

“We’ll never have a better opportunity then now to take out one of those raft killers,” reports Officer Tim. Ten of the men of the patrol grab their spears and hatchets. They proceed to attack the stuck Leed which gets beached even worse, finally killing it.

“That is a fabulous fracking amount of quality hide we got off of that creature,” reports Sargent Cisco as he takes inventory of the bounty that has been harvested from the dead Leed.

“What are we going to do with all of this raw prime fish?” ask Corporal Jefferson. “It doesn’t stack.”

“Lets cook up as much of it as we can,” orders Sargent Lance.

“Blackin Cajun coming up,” Private Washington tells the others as he prepares one of several fires to start cooking up the prime fillets.

Lt. Johnson comes flying back from the stone island. Both he and his Argy look quite scared from the experience as his exhausted bird lands in the pen. He is stroking Andy’s neck feathers as they both start calming down.

“What happened over there?” Doc asks him.

“I had just landed on the tropical beach near the base of the huge stone mound.” answers Lt. Johnson. “I could see that a large section of the stone mountain was actually hollow. It was quite beautiful in there with the towering trees and glowing fungus hanging from the vines. I was about to get off of Andy when I saw a shimmering shape moving towards us. It dissolved to reveal a huge four legged creature staring right at us. It gave off a loud hiss as those feathers on its head displayed a war bonnet. We were out of there in an instant as several others of those creatures suddenly materialized close by. Fortunately, they didn’t try to follow us over the water to come back here.”

“That must be Rock Drake Island that Mei Yin referred to in her diary about a species of dragons that live over there,” answers Officer Tim. “You’re lucky that you both didn’t become its meal. Fortunately for you, the Rock Drakes can’t fly even though they can glide quite well. They do not possess a ranged weapon which is why you were able to escape.”

“Still, someone must have been over there at one time,” Lt. Johnson answers back. “I saw a wood shack just inland of the beach similar to what we have packed with us. There also was a raft pulled up on the beach. It looked like that one of the rock drakes even had a saddle on it when it materialized out of nowhere.”

“That is most interesting,” Officer Tim answers back. “It must have been one of Mei Yin’s egg tames. Or, it could have been one of the wild adults she made friends with given that wild Rock Drakes cannot be tamed.”

“Then, it looks like the two of us need to go back there to investigate what happened to Mei Yin. Would you be willing to take that risk?”

“I’ll go with you,” answers Officer Tim.

“Then, we’ll craft up a raft in the morning and go check out the shack.”

It is later that evening over a delicious meal of blacken fish steaks that Officer Tim explains in detail Mei Yin’s description about the dangers lurking in the swamps on Amissa. “She says that the Amissa Parasaurs have the ability to sense danger from a distance long before they can see or smell anything that could be a danger to them. That is likely why they were getting so skittish when you were approaching the swamp before Lt. Johnson talked to you. She also says that the Trikes will do that orange glow to bolster their courage together when facing a dangerous foe.”

“The swamps are a place to avoid altogether. Besides leaches as big as house cats, which could infect you with Swamp Fever, the water is filled with mega piranha. Giant boa constrictors also live in there. Then, there are the giant flesh eating flies and the huge frogs that feed on them. Worst of all are the two types of crocks that live in the water. The first is something called a Sarco. They will grab its prey by a limb and tear it off by spinning their body. The other is a smaller croc that will ambush you by jumping out of the water, then pulling you under where you will drown. Both can attack you and your tames even while you are on a raft. There are also huge spinosaurs that live in those swamp. They are mostly fish eaters and are not a threat so long as you keep your distance from them. The Parcers are big enough that the swamp predators don’t represent any threat to them.”

“She has a recipe that Doc can use to make a medicine to both prevent and cure Swamp Fever in case we ever need to go in there to gather some rare resources. There is also a recipe for bug repellent.”

“We’ll make this camp a temporary base of operations for now,” orders Lt. Johnson. “In the Morning, Officer Tim and I are going to sail over to the Rock Drake Island and check out the shack. While were gone the rest of you can send out a patrol to check out that radio source to the South.”

“This has been a most productive day. Hopefully, we’ll find some answers about how we got here and what we need to do in order to get back to the real world.”

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Chapter 6. Rock Drake Island.

 

Day Four on Amissa, at least, according to the watches that have a date counter on them. It has been a mostly quiet night for the guard duty watch. A creature that looks like a robotic machine has been seen glowing in the distance. It looked a lot like a Stegosaurus covered in angular metal plates. Most unusual was the appearance in the moonlight of a giant sauropod near the mountain that had the look of Godzilla of the Japanese Science Fiction movies. “I hope that frackin moving mountain stays away from here,” comments Sargent Lance as he observes it in the spotting scope.

“Do you think that it has the atomic breath of Godzilla?” ask Private Miller.

“No,” answers Sargent Lance. “I don’t see any of those glowing rubber like fins on its back. This thing has jagged boulders on its back. Unlike Godzilla, this thing is walking on all four legs and tearing through the trees like they are just broccoli.”

With the arrival of dawn, preparations are being made for both a patrol and a visit to Rock Drake Island. Officer Kim and Lt. Johnson are constructing a two man canoe on the beach. They have decided that it would take too long and be much too dangerous to sail the raft back at the village down through the swamp.

Doc has managed to find enough metal to craft up a saddle for his new nervous friend who has stayed close by his side all night. He puts it on her and takes her out for a test run. “I now understand how she was able to stay away from those raptors,” Doc tells Lt. Johnson. “She is even faster then the parasaurs.”

“Go ahead and use her as your ride for today,” answers Lt, Johnson. “Let your Trike serve as the patrol armor backup. They were working well together yesterday when they helped eliminate that raptor pack that was after your new friend.”

“According to Mei Lin’s journal, your new friend is a Gally.” answers Officer Tim. “She is one of the fastest dinosaurs that can be found on this island.

“We’re ready to go,” Sargent Lance reports. “Is it going to be safe for the two of you to sail over to that island?”

“We don’t know,” answers Lt. Johnson. “I’ll let you know what kind of fun and games we run into over there when we get back.” With that answer, Sargent Lance leads the patrol out of the gate with Doc on his new friend running scout, and Corporal Meyer and Private miller, running flank with their parasaurs. Sargent Cisco is flying cap with Andy. All the extra trikes are going along to serve as mobile armor or pack animals.

“Lets get this over with,” Lt. Johnson tells Officer Tim as they secure the overnight camp before leaving. Launching the canoe, they set off with Officer Kim in the bow. It takes the two of them an hour to paddle across.

As they are crossing, a Leed is heard growling deep below the surface of the sea. It ignores the canoe which looks a lot like the primitive dolphins that are tagging along with them as escorts.

“Anything near that beach side cabin?” Lt. Johnson asks as they approach the island.

“Just some Dodos and small mammals,” answers Officer Tim. “I don’t see the Rock Drakes anywhere. But then, they could be hiding from us in stealth mode.”

“Lets land next to the raft and go check out the cabin.” orders Lt. Johnson. Landing, they drag the canoe out of the water placing it next to the raft, then check it out. “This is interesting” reports Lt Johnson. “There are several Rock Drake saddles in the crate on the raft. Whoever this raft belongs to must have tamed some of them.”

As they walk towards the cabin, it starts to shimmer. Large claw prints are now noticed in the sand.” I think that we have company,” warns Officer Tim. “My implant is registering a Level 150 wild Rock Drake standing in front of me. Now what do we do?”

“Talk to it in Chinese,” orders Lt. Johnson. “Either it knows Mei Yen, or we are both going to be dead soon.”

It is a most strange several minutes as Officer Kim speaks in Chinese to the shimmering object in front of him. It answers back in Chinese, then materializes to reveal what it is as the conservation continues.

“This is Meu Cheng,” Officer Tim tells Lt. Johnson. “He is a good friend of Mei Yen.”

“He’s gorgeous,” answers Lt. Johnson. “Does he know what happened to Mei Yen’s and her warriors?”

“Mei Yen found something called a portal and went through it. The rock drakes couldn’t go through the portal with them, so they came back here to their home island to wait for their return. That was a month ago. They miss her.”

“That is so unusual,” answers Lt. Johnson. “He registers as wild. Mei Yen must have somehow ran into them and managed to become their friends. Given that some mid evil period fantasy books mentions that dragons can talk, I can see how that can become possible.”

“How is it possible that Mei Yen was here only a month ago?” ask Officer Tim.

“This place must reside in some kind of a time warp. It’s the only thing that can explain Mei Yen being here only a month ago when she came here from the second century in China.”

“What just brushed up against me?”

“Stay still,” Officer Tim tells Lt. Johnson. “Meu Cheng’s mate, Lin Cheng, is next to you checking you out.”

“Is it OK to pet her?” ask Lt. Johnson.

“You can pet me if you wish,” answers Lin Cheng as she materializes out of stealth. “I’m sorry that I scared you yesterday when you flew over here on your bird you named Andy.”

“That is quite all right,” answers Lt. Johnson. “I didn’t know what to expect when I first saw you appear. How is it that you know my language?”

“Your Specimen Implant allows us to talk to each other,” answers Lin Cheng as she lays down next to Lt. Johnson.

“Your skin is a lot softer then what I expected for a dragon,” Lt. Johnson tells her as he rubs her neck.

“That feels so good,” answers Lin Cheng. “It’s been a long time since I was last petted by a human.”

“Did I see a Rock Drake with a saddle on it yesterday?”

“Yes, you did,” answer Lin Cheng. “It was on Min Chow. He sort of forgot that he was still wearing it. I took it off of him yesterday and placed it into the chest on the raft with the others.”

“Was he a tame?” ask Lt. Johnson.

“No,” answers Lin Cheng. “He is wild like I am.”

“That is most interesting,” answers Lt. Johnson. “Wild Rock Drakes that allow us humans to ride on them. Are there any other creatures on Amissa that are as intelligent as you are?”

“Only the Mountain Dragons,” answers Lin Cheng. “You will need to be very cautious if you go into their territory. They can be very skittish about the presences of strangers in their home land. Unlike us, they can attack with fire, lightning, or poison bombs.”

“We will certainly be very careful if we find the path to the temple in the sky,” answers Lt. Johnson.

As they are talking, ten more rock drakes materialize out of nowhere and walk over to the two men. Lin Cheng, introduces them to the others who have now climbed up on the cabin roof to be at eye level with the rock drakes.

“How did you humans end up on Amissa?” ask Min Chow.

“We are part of a 12 man recon patrol that were looking for an enemy supply base,” answers Lt. Johnson. “Officer Tim is familiar with the terrain we were searching in, but even he didn’t know where we were when we found a cave that led us through some kind of a portal into your world.”

“That’s what Mei Yen told us,” answers Min Chow.

“In spite of all of the wars that have occurs in Indochina since Mei Yen found refuge in Amissa, the cave to the portal has remained undiscovered for over 1800 years.

“Do you think that we may possibly find Mei Yen and her warriors?” ask Officer Tim.

“Given the time warp that has brought us this close together, it may be a possibility.” answers Lt. Johnson. “We will have to find the portal where she left Amissa and continue the search from there.”

“Is it OK if we have a look inside the cabin?” Lt. Johnson asks Lin Cheng.

“Yes, go ahead,” answers Lin Cheng.

Lt. Johnson finds a map of Amissa in the cabin on the desk. He checks it against the travel data marked on the Spawn Bed finding that there is one located back in Amissa Village, inside the Fallen Kingdom, one to the Sky Temple, and one in the desert tent city. “Interesting. One can fast travel to other locations using the spawn bed.”

“Is it possible for us to fast travel using these beds?” ask Officer Tim.

“No,” answers Lt. Johnson. “The beds are specific to the tribe that has created them. We cannot use them for fast travel or respawning.”

A further search of the cabin yields a spare set of clothes, weapons, and tools. The preserving bin, as expected, is empty.

Back outside, Lt. Johnson shows Lin Cheng the map and tells her what he found inside.

“Would you like us to give you a tour of our island,” Lin Cheng ask.

“I’d be delighted,” answers Lt. Johnson.

“Put one of the saddles on me so you don’t have to worry about falling off,” answers Lin Cheng. “We are fully capable of climbing up vertical cliffs with ease.”

“Do you need the bridle?” ask Lt Johnson.

“No,” answers Lin Cheng. “It is not necessary for me to wear it.”

“Let me know if I have placed the saddle on you properly,” answers Lt. Johnson. In short order, both rock drakes are saddled and ready to conduct the tour.

The two Rock Drakes start out by taking the two soldiers on a trip into the interior of the unusual hollow mountain. Massive trees soar to the sky above. They are aglow with purple flowers. A huge rock column forms a support for the open rock ceiling. The two drakes now climb up the vertical cliff to the plateau above. The view is impressive with another fallen obelisk seen laying against a mountain in the far distance to the West.

“There’s those pyramids on that far distance island,” reports Lt. Johnson. “Mei Yen’s was right about their existence.”

“Lin Cheng, I see a green beacon on the mainland. It is far different from anything marking a supply crate. Do you know what it is?”

“It marks one of the three terminals of the fallen Obelisks,” answers Lin Cheng. “We can take you there if you want us to.”

“The rest of our patrol is headed over there,” answers Lt Johnson. “It is the source of one of those radio signals we have been monitoring on our field radios.”

“How do you plan to get us there?”

“We glide quite well,” answers Lin Cheng. “It is an easy flight from here.”

“How will you get back if you take us there?” ask Lt. Johnson.

“We will glide part way, then swim the rest of the way back,” Lin Cheng. “We are good swimmers.”

“Then, lets go,” answers Lt. Johnson.

With a running start, the two Rock Drakes take off in a glide. “You glide quite well,” Lt. Johnson tells Lin Cheng. “I can see the patrol up ahead. They have just arrived at the Green Beacon. Circle them so that they can see that you are saddled and we are riding you.”

“We can go stealth if you want,” answers Lin Cheng.

“That won’t be necessary,” answers Lt. Johnson. “Land by the lead Trike.” The two rock drakes circle around the astonished rest of the patrol, then come in to land.

“Stand down,” orders Sargent Lance as the two rock drakes land in front of him. “It looks like Lt. Johnson and Officer Tim have made some new friends.” Everyone gathers around the two rock drakes as Lt. Johnson gets off the one he is riding.

“This is Lin Cheng.” Lt. Johnson announces. “She and her mate Meu Cheng are good friends of Mei Yen. She tells us that Mei Yen and her tribe were here a month ago.”

“She is able to talk to us?” ask Sargent Lance in surprise.

“Yes, we can talk to you humans,” answers Lin Cheng.

“That is remarkable,” answers Sargent Lance. “Is there anything you can tell us about this terminal?”

“Mei Yen told us that you can upload your tames, your supplies, and yourselves to travel to other places that are called arks or store them in status. A month ago, they placed tributes in there in an effort to return back to their world. We haven’t seen them since.”

“Thank you for that valuable information,” Lt. Johnson tells her. “We will track down every clue, every lead to find out what happened to them as we look for a way back to our world. Is there anything we can do for you?”

“Just being our friends will be reward enough,” Lin Cheng answers.

“Let us take the saddles off of you so you don’t have to carry them back to your home island. We can store them on one of the trikes should you wish to come visit us at a later time. If we find out where Mei Yen went, I can fly over on Andy to visit.”

“What about your canoe?” ask Lin Cheng.

“Just leave it next to the raft.” answers Lt. Johnson. “We have no need of it at this time.”

“We’ll be back to visit in a day or two,” answers Lin Cheng as they climb up onto a high hill in preparation to glide back to Rock Drake Island.

“Thank you for the tour and the ride back to my patrol,” Lt. Johnson tells her as she takes off.

“What an amazing trip that was,” Officer Tim tells the others. “Mei Yen writes in her diary that dragons cannot be tamed. She never mentioned about being able to make friends with them.”

“Indeed,” answers Doc. “They registered as wild. Do you think that we will be able to make friends with the mountain dragons when we find the path to the sky temple?”

“Lin Cheng says that it is possible,” answers Lt. Johnson. “We just need to be careful with our first contact with them.”

“Private Washington, Lt. Kim, anything you can tell us about the radio signal?”

“The signal from Channel 16 is definitely from here,” reports Private Washington. “I just have no idea what it is or what it does.”

“I concur,” answers Lt. Kim.

Inspecting the terminal at the base of the green light column, Lt. Johnson finds out that it is as Lin Cheng has described it to everyone. “It’s just as Lin Cheng told us. We can store out tames and supplies here, or use it to transfer to another location. There is nothing in there about using this terminal to return to our world. Lets head back to camp,” orders Lt. Johnson. “We can plan to explore the desert next in the morning and find a way to the red one in the distance.”

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Amissa has received a major update that will impact the next chapter as it is being written. The addition of the pyramids in the desert are going to be a key to the puzzle of how the patrol gets back to the real world. Do expect additional chapters to take weeks to compose.

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Chapter 7 The Desert.

 

Heading back to the temporary camp, the discussion continues with Lt. Johnson and Officer Tim riding on their trikes. “Those were such remarkable creatures” Sargent Lewis tells Lt. Johnson. “That was so fortunate to find such intelligent creature to be friends with in this strange world.”

“It was certainly the last thing I expected to happen, being able to actually talk to these creatures,” answers Lt. Johnson. “How was your patrol to the Green Terminal?”

“It went smoothly,” answers Sargent Lewis. “Doc covered a lot of territory with his new friend. The spitters kept their distance from us. We saw mostly Dodos, small mammals, and some larger herbivores. He got a close look at that stego machine. We should see if we can take it back with us so we can figure out just what it is.”

“There it is up ahead,” reports Officer Tim.

“How do we control this thing?” asks Sargent Lewis as he gets alongside the machine that registers as a Tec Stego.

“Let me see if I can find a control panel,” ask Private Washington. “OK, here it is. I have control of it now. It is now set to follow us back.”

“What powers it?” ask Lt. Johnson.

“That’s what is so interesting,” answers Private Washington. “It eats the same thing as a wild Stego does. The food is what powers it. And, it is a girl.”

“Such a strange land this is,” answers Lt Johnson. “Tamable dinosaurs, intelligent dragons that we can talk to, and now a machine that is for all practicable purposes a living creature?”

“A very strange world we have stumbled into,” answers Sargent Lewis.

“We have enough daylight left to send Doc, Corporal Meyers, and Private Root on their Parasaurs and Gally back to Amissa Village to get more rifles and ammo made during the night,” Orders Lt. Johnson. “If you can, pack up the Smithy and Forge and bring them back with you in the morning.”

While the three soldiers head back to Amissa to complete their tasks by dark, the rest of the patrol is out looking for metal ore. They have found that the round river rocks and rock piles will yield several metal ore with their metal pickax. With the trikes enough narcoberries have been harvested to process the spoiled prime fish into trancs. “That will help us prepare tranc darts if we need to defend ourselves from the Mountain Dragons,” reports Officer Tim. “After talking to Meu Cheng, we definitely don’t want to harm any of them should we be forced into a confrontation with them.”

“Better to have them and not need them then to need them and not have them.” responds Lt. Johnson. “When we have enough darts made up for the Longneck Rifles, we can test them out on some of the desert creatures before we make the trip up to the sky temples. Lets set up our guard rotation for the night and be ready to leave when Doc and his party return in the morning.”

It is Day Five on the watches as preparations are made for the first excursion into the desert. It had been decided to move the temporary camp by the shore to the Green Terminal at the edge of the desert. That move gets completed as Doc’s party returns from Amissa Village with the forge, smithy, and four more Longneck Rifles with ammo.

“Lets just take a Trike patrol out today and let the scouts rest in the camp.” orders Lt. Johnson. “I’ll fly scout on Andy.” With the preps complete, the patrol starts off heading Northeast along the river that separates the open plains from the desert visible across from it. A mesa can be seen in the distance from its towering cliffs. There is a waterfalls coming off of the jungle plateau that feeds the stream. They soon encounter a stone bridge crossing the narrow part of the stream.

“Any idea what the significance of this stone angel is?” asks Sargent Lewis as he stops to check it out.

“I don’t know.” Officer Kim answers after checking it out. “It must be some kind of a landmark. There are no markings on it to identify who placed it there or for what reason they used it.”

“There are horses out in that desert,” reports Lt. Johnson as he flies in on Andy. “If you want to have some faster rides, you better get out there and rescue them from the wolves that are chasing after them.”

“How do we tame the horses?” ask Sargent Lewis.

“Just feed them rockarrots,” answers Officer Tim. “The wolves are a knockout tame.”

“Will we need saddles once they are tamed?”

“No, they can both be ridden without saddles.”

“Roundup time,” orders Sargent Lance. “Help the wolves get them up in the box canyon with the Trikes. Once they are in there, tranc the wolves and see if you can passive tame the horses once they have calmed down.”

It is one strange roundup as the wolves and horses get cornered into the box canyon. The alpha wolf, realizing what is going on, tries to make a break for it but gets blocked by the horns of the trike, then dropped with a tranc dart. The rest of the wolves are quickly dropped with tranc darts. With the wolves knocked out and the trikes blocking the exit, the horses mill around, then settle down.

“Five wolves, seven horses, taming time.” orders Lt. Johnson. “Pick one out and get to work.”

“Who has the rockarrots?” ask Private Washington.

“I do,” Doc answers. “There was a patch of them by the spring. Take some with you and go tame yourself a faster ride.”

“Excellent,” answers Private Washington as his offering of a rockarrot is accepted. “These guys can be ridden bareback with ease.” It isn’t long before the seven horses are tamed and being ridden.

The taming of the wolves is a longer process. Given that they had to be knocked out so they wouldn’t kill the horses, the taming process turns out to be placing raw meat on them for them to eat. “We need more raw meat to tame these guys,” warns Lt. Johnson. “I’ve just ran out.”

“We’ll take care of it,” Sargent Cisco responds. Riding out on their newly tamed horses, Sargent Cisco and Corporal Jefferson head out into the desert on a hunt. In short order, two shots are heard being fired in the distance. Several minutes later, the two return at a gallop.

“Get this prime on those wolves before it spoils,” Sargent Cisco orders the men taming them.

“Where did you find raw prime?” Lt. Johnson ask the Sargent.

“We killed a Carno just past that hill,” reports Sargent Cisco. “It took two shots to kill it. There appears to be Egyptian ruins and a huge pyramid just beyond the ridge.”

“Were those the ones on an island beyond the barrier?” ask Lt Johnson.

“No,” answers Sargent Cisco. “These are part of the desert mainland. The ones on the island are much further out in the sea.”

“Once the wolves are tamed, lets get the trikes back to camp, then scout out the area with our faster mounts.” With raw prime from the Carno, it isn’t long before a pack of five wolves are tamed.

The even stranger convoy has left to return to the temporary camp when Sargent Powell asks doc, “Why did you stick a horn on the head of your white horse?”

“I never put that there,” answers Doc. “She came with that horn on her forehead.”

“You mean that Doc has found himself a Unicorn?” ask Sargent Lance.

“It appears to be an actual Unicorn,” answers Doc. “Still, other then those Direwolves, it is just a horse like the rest of you are riding.”

Arriving at the temporary camp, the Trikes are unsaddled, fed and turned loose in the pen. The patrol heads back out with Sargent Lance riding on the alpha wolf. The Parasaur scouts come along with Sargent Cisco riding on Doc’s nervous friend. Lt. Johnson is on the Argy flying scout. With the rest riding the horses, it leaves the four wolves free to work with Sargent Lance as they cross the stone bridge back into the desert.

It is quite a contrast as they see the open jungle across the inlet to the left, along with Rock Drake Island in the distance, as they travel across the hot sand. Primitive kangaroos are seen browsing on the brush. A strange porcupine like creature is chasing after some unknown mammal along the beach. “Frack, that think can pitch its quills,” warns Sargent Lance as he watches the creature knock out it’s prey. “Safe to say that we better fracking stay away from them,”

Continuing around the ridge, they finally see it, a huge pyramid that soars high into the sky. There is a large stone wall enclosing a courtyard in the front. The main entrance is adorned with huge statues of some important figure of royalty. “Looks like this frackin place is straight out of 3,000 BC Egypt,” comments Lt. Johnson as he flies back to talk to Sargent Lance. “It looks so brand new. Don’t head to the main entrance, there are way too many strange looking frackin predators hanging around there. Stay along the sea side of the entrance structures. There is a side entrance into the courtyard that is free of those nasty frackers.”

The patrol heads on as instructed along the shoreline. Palms and berry bushes are found in clumps along the low spots near the water table. The side entrance is soon located where everyone enters into a large open courtyard. There is a gate at the main entrance which has kept the predators out.

At the North side of the huge pyramid, an entrance way towers above. Like the main gate, it is adorned with statues of Pharaohs and other of royalty. A pair of huge wooden doors are framed by two imposing figures that look like priest with horns on their heads. “Do you think that the early Egyptians were responsible for this strange place?” ask Officer Tim.

“No,” answers Lt. Johnson. “While the early Egyptians had figures of bird headed Gods and other creatures, there is no record of individuals like these with horns like these on their heads. It is highly possible that some little green men may be responsible for this place. They may have been influenced those early kings or may have influences the early Egyptians architecture that is here. Sargent Lewis, Officer Tim, Sargent Powell, Sargent Cisco, Corporal Jefferson, You’re with me. The rest of you secure the entrance while we are inside.” With a spooky creaking sound and a cold puff of misty wind, the left side door is pulled open. The interior starts to light up. “Everyone be on guard, the torches on the wall have just lit themselves.”

It is a strange sight in the entrance chamber with the flickering torches lighting up the rows of statues of Pharaoh Kings lining the main corridor to the interior. A strange hum, like the sound that was picked up on the radio, vibrates throughout the corridor. The place is very clean with hardly any dust on the floor and no cobwebs anywhere.

On the wall there are paintings and hieroglyphic symbols from the 3,000 BC era. Most strange are the symbols of the three Obelisks floating in the air, each with a distinct colored beam of light ascending into the sky. Several individuals are observed standing around the alter while a single figure floats above it. “This is most strange,” Officer Tim comments. “The green alter we observed yesterday did not have an obelisk floating above it. It did have several stone figures holding globes surrounding it.”

“Something must have happened to the obelisk causing them to fall from the sky,” Lt. Johnson answers. “When gliding over there on Lin Cheng, I could see it lying on its side in the ocean against a rocky island. It was still glowing as if it still was powered. Something must have happened to them to cause them to crash to the ground.”

Reaching the end of the corridor, the six man patrol find another door. It is made from metal and is mounted on a metal frame embedded into the stone wall. “Frack, it’s locked,” complains Sargent Lewis. “It looks like that we need a key to this door before we can proceed any further. There is no way we can possibly force our way through that. Whatever lies beyond the door appears to be the source of that sound.”

“Where do you think that key may be located?” ask Sargent Cisco. “We have seen nothing here where it could have been kept in storage.”

“There is this picture on the door of a red castle located in a canyon with what looks like a lava river,” reports Corporal Jefferson. “Could the key to this door be located in there?”

“I guess that the only way we can find out is to find where that canyon is and go to the red castle to search for the key to this door,” answers Lt. Johnson. “Until we can open this door, we can’t go any further in here. Lets get back to camp and figure out what we should do next to find the way back to our world.”

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