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rpicardi1

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  1. Just an update on this story; I have been working on upgrading all of the previous stories up to the present. That has been currently disrupted this week by the massive destruction caused by flash floods on the Tittabawassee River where I live. I did escape the flooding downstream in Shields. No so the people living downstream of the Edenville Dam when it failed due to extreme flooding of Wixum Lake caused by 7+ inches of rain on saturated soil. The resulting flood took out Sanford Dam and the town of Sanford. It then flooded the downtown area of Midland under 9 feet of water. Fortunately, everyone living downstream of the Edenville Dam were aware of the danger and had moved to higher ground so no lives were lost when the earthen dam suffered a slump failure causing a breach that rapidly drained the flooded lake. Anyhow, when I get back to finishing the story, Farrell and Dr. Croft are going to go on their fantasy adventure to The Known World. It is a new mod map based upon the world of Game of Thrones.
  2. Been a while given living in The Twilight Zone. Have been updating several older stories the past month. Chapter 36 The World of Amissa It has been a week later that Dr. Gordon, his class of engineering students, Dr. Croft’s class of biologist, and Dr. Oswald with his 125 survivors from Extinction, start to make the teleport to Stargate Command. During that transfer, a survey team led by Dr. Rogers, that includes Joe Reeves, his wife Mary, their son Tod, his wife Sarah, and their twin young sons Bobby, and Connors, have established a settlement at the abandoned pirate village of Amissa. They have been able to use the existing structures and farmland at the camp to prepare for more settlers. This was a place where the people living there had been wiped out as a result of an EMP event caused when a nearby star went supernova. The only conclusion to what could have caused that could only be explained is that something fatal happened in the body chemistry of the ethnic group of humans living there resulting in their extinction. It had not affected any of the domestic animals and other wildlife living on that world. However, there had been some other creatures that were mutated by the event resulting in a crab and rats that had become giants. While the giant rat, the size of a rhino, has remained harmless unless it was threatened, the crabs became very aggressive. Fortunately, they have proven to be easy to deal with when they are hit in the head with a crossbow arrow. The engineering and biology students are the first to be transferred to the Amissa pirate village. They have been able to bring along their tames and robotic creatures from Extinction. Dr Oswald has been able to bring along his blueprints, the Time Machine model, and many of the other smaller items. He has had to abandon much of the larger machinery including the mech style robot and airships due to the limitations of what the Stargate can handle. Before heading over to Amissa, Dr Gordon has introduced Dr. Oswald to Farrell. He is in total shock when he realizes that Farrell is indeed a very intelligent dragon. “I want to thank you for sending that probe over to the dark side to confirm what my scientist were telling me what was happening to our atmosphere and allowing us to evacuate from Extinction,” he tells Farrell. “The condensation of the nitrogen in the atmosphere appears to have accelerated. The barometric pressure had dropped to 23.18 an hour before the last of us left.” “It’s a good thing that you were able to leave when you did,” Farrell tells him. “Jody told me that when they left Extinction with their tames, the strong hot breeze that had been blowing in from the West had subsided considerably. When Jenny came back with the tamed pteradons, she told me that the wind was now blowing out of the East, that the wild pteradons were having a difficult time flying, and that the streams and waterfalls in Sanctuary City were drying up. My latest survey with a probe sent to the Dark Side has shown that the temperature is dropping much faster then expected. All of that liquid nitrogen flowing towards the twilight zone has stopped the melting of the glaciers there. It is now so cold in the border zone that the evaporation of nitrogen has been slowed down considerably. It was a pouring rainstorm of nitrogen in the far reaches of the Dark Side. It is now only a matter of months, maybe weeks, before the atmospheric pressure on Extinction reaches a level that is fatal to anything still living there.” With that shocking news, the two doctors step through the Stargate to enter their new home on Amissa. The pirate island turns out ready made for the families that are relocating there. Dr Rogers has been placed in charge of surveying the village and is now busy, along with Joe and Mary Reeves, in finding housing for the families of Dr. Oswald’s survivors and the group from Dr. Gordon and Dr Croft’s class. The rustic housing of the village only needs some housecleaning to make each unit a home. The tames brought over are finding uses for surveillance and as beast of burden for farming work. More land is being cleared for crops and grazing. The giant crab threat has been eliminated. Two of the Roll Rats have been tamed and found useful for tilling the fields as well as to bring up rare minerals from the ground below to fertilize the fields. The sheep, goats, and chickens have been rounded up and placed in pens to manage and protect them from the giant crabs. The gardens which were already fenced in, are cleaned up of weeds and stray plants. Their crops of potatoes, carrots, maze and others, will soon be ready for harvest. “A freshwater sea,” reports Dr. Oswald when he conducts his test on the water there. “That is most unusual.” “That has been the case on several other worlds other then Thieves, the Two Suns, and Thunderdome,” reports Dr. Gordon. “When we get established, I would like to start exploring this world,” Dr. Oswald tells him. The two Doctors spend the rest of the day with their teams laying out plans for exploration as the rest get established into temporary housing. Flying on their pteradons, Jenny and Kerry have checked out two nearby locations on the mainland. They file their report to the two doctors. “Where the green beam of light comes down to the mainland, the terrain there is grassland and deciduous forest,” reports Jenny. It’s mostly inhabited by prehistoric herbivores. The light source has an alter that is surrounded by stone statues. It looks similar to what is under the Obelisk near the Pyramids. The obelisk itself has crashed against the North side of this island.” “Towards the desert area, I found a massive rock formation with a cave by the water,” reports Kerry. “The inside of this cave is rich in crystal and metal ore. The good news is that the cave appears to be threat free.” “That’s sounds like an excellent place to set up a manufacturing center, reports Dr. Oswald. “We’ll prepare one of these ships to sail over there.” Jody and the engineering students have been working on a project to protect the ships from a threat originally reported by the explorers on Crystal Isle. Working with Dr. Oswald, they have soon created and tested a device that electronically repels the ship destroying Leeds. Outfitted on the sailing ships found docked on the island, it will allow them to explore and transport resources from all over Amissa. Testing out the new system on a raft, Sandra and Sandy have set sail to a strange looking island in the East that is dominated by a huge plateau surrounded by steep cliff. The summit is rich in foliage, the beach area tropical palms. “It’s hollow,” Sandra comments in surprise as they sail around to the North side. “The foliage is so beautiful in there,” answers Sandy as she observes the towering trees forming a ceiling among the stone columns. Vines, some glowing with fungus, mushrooms, and beautifully colored plants abound in the interior. Dodo birds, parasaurs, lystros, and other small creatures are observed wandering about feeding on the berries and other foliage “It seems strange that there are no signs of any structures from the inhabitants from where we are living,” Sandra tells Barbara. “Lets land here and go exploring. Bring along the tec rifle and set it on stun in case one of those spitter takes an interest in us.” With their digital devices and the tec rifles, the two beach the raft to start their exploration and documentation of the island and it’s unusual cave. “Watch out!” warns Barbara when a spitter runs in to attack flaring it’s hood. Sandra dodges the green spit as Barbara knocks out the spitter with the stun setting on the tec rifle. It is a minute later as the two women finish their close up examination of the spitter that it starts to wake up. Stepping back from this creature, it gets up, looks at them for a second, lets out a screech in panic, and runs off. “Lets see if he will tells his buddies that we are not on the menu,” reports Sandra. Further into the unusual cavern. Barbara notices a set of unusual looking dragon tracks. “Did our orientation mention anything about finding dragons in this world?” she asks Sandra. “No,” answers Sandra. “These tracks are missing the ones made by their wings when walking. The report did mentioned that much of this world was unexplored.” “This is strange,”reports Barbara as she proceeds to photographs the tracks. “It looks like a tree with claws in it’s root through my viewfinder. Oh My Gosh! We’re standing next to an invisible dragon. What do we do now?” “Let me talk to it in Celtic,” reports Sandra. It is a shocked dragon, known as a Rock Drake, that materializes in front of the two women as Sandra talks to it. This dragon is not like any that has been seen before close up. It looks similar to the corrupted ones the two women have seen in the distance on Extinction. It walks on four legs much like a Moschop. There are claws on it’s feet. Unlike the corrupted ones seen by the spotting scope, this one is adorned with colorful feathers on it’s forearm and tail. “Wow! That creature is gorgeous!” reports Barbara. “How did you know our language?” asks the rock drake in surprise. “No pirates have ever tried to talk to us.” “We learned from our dragon friends that their native language is Ancient Celtic,” answers Sandra. “Do you have a name?” “I’m called Daryl” answers the rock drake “No wonder why you don’t behave like the pirates that live on the nearby island. You don’t even look like them. What happened to them? We haven’t seen them in months.” “They were all killed when a nearby star went supernova.” answers Sandra.” “So that’s what happened to them when we had to hide in our cave from that bright light in the sky for a week,” answers Daryl. “We never did like them. They were so nasty to us. We would attack them on sight in stealth.” “Why didn’t you attack us when you saw us?” asks Sandra. “I became curious when I saw you land using a raft instead of a ship with cannons,” answered Daryl. “Then, I was surprised when you didn’t kill the spitter that attacked you but instead knocked it out, then let it go.” “Like your flying relatives that we have made friends with, you are certainly very intelligent,” answers Sandra. “Can I come up to pet you?” “Yes,” answers Daryl as he lays down so Sandra can reach his neck. “Oh! That feels so good. I never knew that being petted by a human would be so pleasant.” “All of our dragon friends keep telling us that.” reports Sandra. “They even enjoy having us ride on them.” “Riding on us?” asks Daryl. “They seem to have a natural place where we can sit on their shoulders,” reports Sandra. “I’m thinking that it would be much different with you given that your shoulder looks so much different. I do believe that you would need a saddle if we were to ride on you.” “What is a saddle?” asks Daryl. “I can show you what one looks like on a Pteradon,” answers Sandra as she brings up a picture of a saddled one with a rider on the camera photo display. “You might be right,” answers Daryl as he looks at the photo. “We have these creatures here on our island in the jungle area. You might have a hard time hanging on to us when we would start climbing up a cliff face.” A few minutes later, a frantic radio call is received by Barbara. “Don’t go near that island to the East of us,” warns Dr Gordon. “It’s inhabited by hostile dragons.” “It’s all right,” Barbara assures him. “They’re friendly. They were just badly mistreated by the pirates. Sandra is busy taking photos and talking to them in Celtic.” “How come we haven’t seen them before?” asks Dr. Gordon. “These dragons are Drakes,” answers Barbara. “They don’t have wings. They have feathers on their forelegs.” “How did you get past the Leeds with your raft?” asks Daryl. “Dr. Oswald built a device that acts as a repellent,” answers Sandra. “The Leeds don’t like it. We can now sail on the ships without having to worry about them attacking or having to kill them with the cannons.” About then, Jenny and Kerry come flying in on their pteradons. “Now, I see how a saddle works,” Daryl tells Sandra. “You humans have done well making friends with the creatures of this world.” “Actually, these pteradons came from Extinction.” reports Sandra. “They were tamed, then rescued, from their dying world.” “How were you able to do that?” asks Daryl. “We have found portals that we can use to travel between several different worlds,” answers Sandra. “That is most incredible,” answers Daryl. “Everyone, uncloak yourselves and come up to meet our new friends.” Soon, the four individuals find themselves surrounded by curious rock drakes and their children. It is quite the party as the four humans spend an hour with all of the rock drakes on their island. Daryl has Sandra attempt to ride on him which quickly becomes apparent that a saddle is needed if he wants to start climbing up a cliff. She tells him that she will find out what such a saddle would look like and if it can be crafted. As the late afternoon approaches, they head back to the settlement. “We’ll be back to visit soon,” she tells them.
  3. Chapter 35. The land of Steampunk. With a large lake separating them from the ruins of the extinction event shelter, Dr. Gordon’s group is able to find a path that leads around the lake over to the foundation of the structure. Jerry and Kerry, flying on their pterodactyls, are able to find the best way over there. As they approach the base of the fallen Obelisk, they can hear the sounds of hissing steam, whirring gears and the rhythmic puffing of large piston driven steam engines. “Careful everyone,” warns Dr. Gordon. “There may be survivors in the structure up ahead.” Dr. Gordon dismounts from his dog walker and walks towards a door of a most unusual gleaming brass and glass structure. It opens as a tall slender male dressed in a Victorian Era business suit steps outside. “I’m Dr. Rubeus Oswald.” the stranger announces. “Welcome to Genesis.” “Dr. Bernard Gordon. Head of engineering at River State University and leader of this pioneering group from Earth.” The two men now shake hands in greeting. “You have done well to survive on the surface when you first appeared in this world, then made your trip here from the protective dome of Sanctuary City. I am most surprised at how your students were able to tame the wild creatures in that city as well as obtained control of the robotic ones.” “How do you know that?” asks Dr. Gordon. “You are not the only ones making use of the sentry drones.” Answers Dr. Oswald. “I have been observing your activities ever since your group arrived in Sanctuary City and set up a base of operation.” “Are you the creator of the sentry drones and other mechanical creatures we have seen in the city?” asks Dr. Gordon. “No, They were part of the Skynet Security Force of Sanctuary City.” “What happened to the members of the Skynet Security Force?” asks Dr. Gordon. “They were killed, along with most everyone else, when the extinction asteroid hit this world,” answers Dr. Oswald. “The force field domes protected what was inside of them, but, even they could not protect the inhabitants from the intense electromagnetic burst caused by that impact. My co workers and I survived by being down working inside this shelter when the impact took place. Those that survived up above went insane either committing suicide or were killed by the Enforcers when those machines went rogue. The creatures you see living in the city appeared much later. Those living outside of the dome became brain dead and corrupted killing everything that was not like them. A few strangely enough mutated into new species with most unusual abilities.” “What was that strange looking sloth bear like creature we saw while coming down into the cave that drops crystals containing manufactured items in them?” asks Dr. Gordon. “It is called a Ghaska,” answers Dr. Oswald. “It is a corrupted mutation of a Sloth Bear. However, it’s mind has not been corrupted by the purple crystals of the wastelands. It doesn’t attack anything unless it is attacked by them first. Then, it will defend itself by throwing rocks at its attacker.” “How did this cave survive the extinction event when this shelter above was destroyed?” asks Dr. Gordon. “It didn’t.” answers Dr. Oswald. “It appeared after the extinction event along with that obelisk that is leaning against the concrete elevator shaft. My crew and I were down working in the shelter when that asteroid hit just South of here. All of our technology in the shelter was rendered into junk by the massive EMP of that explosion. We were left with no means of rebuilding that technology.” “Investigating a damaged section of the shelter where the bedrock was exposed, we discovered that this huge cavern had somehow formed as a result of that impact. A quick inspection determined that it was stable and protecting us from the meteor storms that were occurring above on the surface. That is when we found that Obelisk leaning against the side of the concrete elevator shaft.” “When we accessed a terminal at the bottom of The Obelisk, it provided us with a gift called a Genesis Generator. When we activated it, a flash of light occurred that rendered everyone unconscious. When we woke up, we found the cave filled with the plants and animals you saw when you came down here. It had also repopulated the surface with various plants and animal species, many of them from our prehistoric past. However, something must have gone wrong up on the surface outside of the protective dome of Sanctuary City resulting in the dying plants outside of sanctuary City and vicious corrupted creatures living in what you call the wastelands.” “The terminal also provided us with the technical manuals and tool to construct the unusual technology that you can hear functioning inside this structure I am standing in front of. Come inside. Let me introduce you to my work crews and their families.” Stepping inside, Dr. Gordon and his students are in awe by the Victorian Era structures and furniture in the main reception area. The floor is a mixture of industrial wood block and inlaid hardwood. The walls are of gleaming riveted brass with glass and ornately upholstered leather. Dome wall panels feature gears turning behind glass panels. Others show static electricity arcing between conductors. The lighting is classic Victorian featuring what looks like incandescent bulbs, but is much more modern like LEDs for the filaments. Various pieces of furniture feature some sort of machinery functioning inside of brass and glass cases. Chairs and sofas are made of finely crafted tufted leather with ornately carved wood or polished brass finales. A model of the Victorian Era Time Machine with a cigar sitting in the driver seat sits inside a glass case. Back in the workshop, the full glory of Steampunk is on display. Central is the electrical generator powered by a dual compound steam engine. It is the source of the rhythmic puffing that was heard outside. Nearby is a steam boiler powered by some unknown source of heat. A steam powered drilling rig is puffing away just outside in the cave nearby. Various machine tools are hooked up to an overhead beltway powered by a smaller steam engine. Sparks are dancing from various other pieces of machinery. Several individuals are in the workshop working on a large machine that looks like a land crawler. A large armored space suit looking something like a small personal Mech warrior stands in a corner. Introductions are made by Dr. Oswald to the members of his work force and their families. Questions are soon asked by the students of Dr. Gordon’s class and those of Dr Croft’s biology class. “What are you using to power the boilers?” asks Jody. “We are using geothermal heating from a well we drilled deep into the planet,” answers Dr. Oswald. “Do you know where the water is coming from that supplies the streams and waterfalls in Sanctuary City?” asks Sandra. “The Genesis device seems to have tapped into the fresh water that is melting from the glaciers at the edge of the night zone of this planet,” answers Dr Oswald. “It is being channeled into an underground aquifer that is supplying the water distribution in the city. That runoff then supplies the streams and ponds in the wasteland and the water sources in this cave.” “Did your researchers create the mechanical creatures we have seen and obtained control of in the city?” asks Jody. “No,” answers Dr. Oswald. “They were created by the city engineers for the amusement park. Somehow, the Genesis Device enabled them to live on actual food and gave them the ability to reproduce. The Dog Walkers and Enforcers are true robots. They have been functioning on automatic until your students discovered how to gain control of them. The Enforcers have no such control which is what makes them so unpredictable.” “Has anyone been outside this cave to explore the wasteland and what is inside the other domes that we can see from the city?” asks Dr Gorden. “Since it is so dangerous on the surface for exploration, we have constructed several two passenger airships for that mission,” answers Dr. Oswald. “Unfortunately, we lost one of those ships and their air crew when they found a nest of corrupted dragons to the East of here.” “Farrell warned us about them when he had used a drone to survey this world,” reports Jody. “It is not only the flying ones that are dangerous,” reports Dr. Oswald. “There are corrupted rock drakes on the ground that can become invisible. There are also corrupted creatures that come out of the ground to attack anything nearby.” “How would it be possible to reach the domes we can see nearby with the risk of traveling with the dog walkers being so high?” asks Jody. “We have under construction near the surface a Great Airship. It will be armed with pulse cannons and Gatling Guns. We can fly above the corrupted creatures and take out any of the flying ones with ease. The ship should be ready for flight testing in a couple of months.” “I hate to interrupt but I have some alarming news to report to you and our visitors,” reports Dr. Westtimer. “It may explain why all of the plant life has been dying on the surface.” “Dr. Westtimer is my research assistant,” reports Dr. Oswald. “Her field of expertise is in atmospheric studies. Everyone, come inside into the conference room so she can give us a briefing of what has been happening to this world after it was struck by that extinction asteroid.” At the meeting, Dr. Westtimer presents everyone with her report of what has been happening to the atmosphere of Extinction ever since the extinction event had taken place. “As you know, high CO2 levels have been a concern in our technologically advanced world due to our extensive use of fossil fuels. In spire of our efforts into looking for ways to reduce that level, which had reached the level of 1200 PPM, we found the best solution was to plant gardens and forest in all of our urban areas. The Level of CO2 was starting to come down as a result of those programs when the Extinction Asteroid struck. As a result of the firestorm that took place, CO2 levels quickly rose to 1250PPM. Genesis started bring it back down as a result of all of the plant life that it placed back on the surface. However, we are now facing a far more serious problem that is occurring on the surface and will soon happen down here and under the protection of the domes. The reason that the plants are all dying on the surface is not because of the harsh conditions they are living in, it is because they are dying from CO2 starvation. Something has caused CO2 levels in the atmosphere to drop well below 300PPM, the threshold where plants can no longer produce photosynthesis. There is no way the biomass of this planet could have done that so quickly especially when there are so few places left on the surface where plants can grow. More dangerous then that, the atmospheric pressure has dropped to 26.82 inches as of today. It should be at a reading of 31.51 inches which I measured after the dust had settled from Extinction. That low of a pressure cannot be explained by the major loss of CO2 in the air. When I ran a fractional distillation or the air of the surface, I found that the amount of nitrogen in the air had dropped by about 5%. That is not possible under normal biological conditions. Something else has caused this. I can only conclude that it has become so cold over on the dark side of this world that most of the CO2 has fallen out of the air as snow and there are nitrogen rainstorm starting to take place.” “Is there any way to confirm your findings?” as Dr. Oswald. “I think that we may be able to help,” answers Dr. Gordon. “I’ll radio back to Stargate Command and ask them to send a stealth probe over into the dark side of this world. That probe can observe and do a chemical analysis of the ice sheet that has formed over there. If it’s finding confirm what Dr. Westtimer has predicted, this world will eventually lose all of it atmosphere to the bitter cold of the dark side.” “What will happen to us if our world is indeed losing its atmosphere?” asks Dr. Oswald. “I’ll see if I can get permission for you and your people to evacuate to Stargate Command.” answers Dr. Gordon. “We have located many other worlds that are suitable for colonization.” The call is made with permission given for Farrell to send in a probe to explore the dark side of Extinction. On the following day, Dr. Oswald calls for a meeting with everyone in his research group and the members of Dr. Oswald’s work crew and their families. A total of about 125 individuals ranging from married couples to infants crowd into the room. The researchers, watching the camp in Sanctuary City, listen in by radio. It is a crowded meeting in the conference room as Farrell transmits the findings of his probe search of the afternoon before. “I have some really bad news for you.” he tells everyone. “The probe has confirmed that the atmosphere of Extinction is condensing out onto the surface of the ice sheet. With a current air temperature of -200*F., it has been raining nitrogen over there. Radar analysis of the ice sheet shows a layer of carbon dioxide snow some several feet deep. There are already lakes and rivers of liquid nitrogen in the low lying areas of the ice caps. While much of that liquid nitrogen has been flowing towards the sunlit horizon to evaporate back into the atmosphere, those lakes are forming faster then they are draining away. Once they start freezing solid, the atmosphere will quickly disappear from Extinction.” “How much time do we have,” Dr Oswald asks Farrell. “From my measurements, I estimate that you have about ten years before the atmosphere on Extinction is no longer able to sustain any life.” “Ten years, we will likely all starve to death before we die from a lack of oxygen.” answers Dr. Oswald. “The good news is that you have received permission from Stargate Command to evacuate your world.” reports Farrell. “You still have plenty of time to prepare for your evacuation. We should be ready to start receiving your workers and their families by the end of the week.” “Thank you for your kind offer,” answers Dr. Oswald. “We will get prepared to move to Stargate Command when you are ready to receive us.” “Stargate Command tells me that the newly discovered world called Amissa would be most suitable for colonization.” reports Farrell. “There is a ready made settlement there that you can get established in. That world contains a ton of mysteries that you can explore from the various abandoned civilizations that used to live there.” “What happened to the former occupants that were living on Amissa?” asks Dr. Oswald. “We found the remains of a nearby star that went supernova,” reports Farrell. “The EMP from that distant explosion caused the same issues with the surviving population on Amissa as the asteroid collision did with this one. The only difference between those two events is that Amissa was spared the physical damage that was suffered in this world. You will find that all the structures in that world are mostly intact. It is just the humans living there that vanished as a result of that one time event.” “That sounds like an interesting world that need to be repopulated again,” answers Dr. Oswald. “Then we agree,” answers Farrell. “Amissa is available for your people to move to if you so wish.” “Thank you so much,” answers Dr. Oswald. “I would like to meet you once we are able to evacuate this dying world.”
  4. Chapter 34; The World of Extinction A select group of explorers, made up of collage age men and women with an engineering and biological background, has volunteered to explore that dangerous world. They are from Dr. Gordon's engineering class along with Dr. Croft’s biology studies. This group of students, along with Dr. Gordon are the lucky ones that were rescued from the raid conducted by the UN when a portal opened up in the dorm basement utility tunnel they were fleeing through allowing them to escape to the Stargate Command. It had been quite a shock to these students and Dr. Gorden when they had exited the Stargate Temple where Dr. Croft and Farrell were waiting to greet them. The orientation is quite unusual as the group gathers to learn what awaits them in Extinction. To the surprise of all of the newcomers, Farrell, Dr. Croft’s dragon friend, is conducting this most unusual session. “From my observations using out new stealth drones, I have learned that the world you are headed for has suffered an extinction event. The planet is in ruins as a result of an asteroid impact that has left a huge crater to the South of where you will be going. The planet is now tidally locked to it’s sun along with the weather. The sun remains in a 9AM position with the wind out of the west. The temperature is a constant 97* F. There is a broken moon in orbit around the planet that periodically sends down swarms of meteors that come crashing to the surface of the planet without warning.” “I have found that the safest place for you to get established will be a place called Sanctuary City. Even though the place is in ruins, it appears to be protected from the meteor storms by a force field dome. There are resources and water in the city that you can use for your survival. There are also prehistoric and mechanical creatures roaming about in the parks and streets of the city that you may be able to tame for your use. Most of them appear to be docile but some others are aggressive. There are both flying and ground bots still functioning around the city and its borders. While they serve to protect the city from attack from the dangerous creatures outside of the dome, the Sentry ones have been observed to occasionally malfunction and go after the docile ones. Keep an eye on them. They can be disabled with an EMP pulse from your new Tec Rifle if one of them becomes a threat.” “Outside of the force field dome, the terrain becomes a dangerous wasteland. Conditions out there are so harsh that you will need to wear protective gear at all times. There are areas that are dangerously hot with a corrosive atmosphere of sulfur dioxides and sulfuric acid ponds. There are two other force field domes nearby to the East protecting the environment inside of them. There also appears to be an extensive cave system hidden in the mountains to the North.” “When you go exploring out in the wastelands, be sure that everyone is armed with their tec rifles with extra element dust to power them. The creatures surviving out there have been corrupted by some sort of purple crystals. All are aggressive to any creature that is not corrupted. They will attack on sight, even the normally peaceful herbivores. They will also attack any structures that you build out there eventually destroying it. I don’t know what keeps them alive given that they don’t eat their kills or each other.” “Don’t go into any areas marked with the warning beacons, I lost one of the drones to some unknown danger after I got a warning about lethal levels of radiation in the wasteland beyond.” “Stay away from any dragons that you see in the wasteland. They are also corrupt and will attack you on sight. From my observation of them, they appear to have no language, no social structure, no mates, and no youngsters. Like the other corrupted creatures in the wastelands, their minds have been destroyed by the radiation and the purple crystals they eat. They appear to function by instinct alone. Don’t hesitate to kill them if they attack you.” “I found that there are some creatures living in the wastelands that are not corrupt. There is a giant flying grub that appears to be quite docile. There may be other creatures living in the underground and domes with similar behavior. Just be careful when approaching anything in this new world. There is no way predicting how any of the creatures living there are going to react to your presence.” “When you are ready to teleport over there, you will be outfitted with what we call Gille Armor,” reports Dr. Croft. “It will protect you from the heat and harsh sunlight. Along with the supplies you will be taking with you, everyone will be provided with a Tec Rifle. Keep it with you at all times. You should be able to find Element Dust on Extinction to power them.” “Your destination will be in a small park next to the bus station. There is a pond close by where you can obtain fresh water. Get your shelter established before you set out to explore that world. See if you can obtain control of some of the mechanical creatures to help you in exploring that new world. The flying drones and the walking dog like ones you may be able to gain control of. The Star Wars style defense units cannot be controlled. Let them attack anything corrupted. Take them out with an EMP if they start attacking any non dangerous creatures, your tames, or one of your team members.” The two freshmen classes from Dr. Gordon and Dr. Croft’s class are now studying a map of the known world of Extinction. Dr. Gordon is taking charge of the group with Sandra and Jody in charge of each class of 12 students that have been rescued from the UN raid of the dorm. With the supplies stocked at the alter of the Obelisk and everyone familiarized with their Tec Rifle, the alter is activated sending them to the park next to the Bus Stop. The world they have entered is in the ruins of a huge city. Tall skyscrapers are abound in various states of damage. There are pedestrian paths and elevated roadways that connect to many of the structures. Many of them are in various states of damage with sections broken apart and lying in ruin on the ground. The sky is clear with the hazy morning sun low in the sky. A hot dry wind kicks up the dust and fallen leaves as it comes in from the West. The temperature is a constant 97*F. Between the buildings as everyone looks around, parts of a rugged mountainous landscape can be seen along with jagged formations of glowing purple crystals. There are two domes that can be seen in the distance where an Obelisk floats inside in the middle. The first order of business to gets taken care of is to place all of the supplies in the Bus Stop shelter as several of the young men form a security perimeter to watch for rogue Defense Units. “Lets form up teams of four with two members of my Engineering Class and two members of Dr. Croft’s Biology Class.” orders Dr. Gordon. “Everyone stay in sight of this Bus Station as your teams go exploring the area and look for useful items. Be careful when going inside any of the buildings, Come back here in an hour. Look for items that we can use to construct a shelter by the pond when you return.” BOOM! “What was that?” asks Judy in alarm as leaves and small loose items shower down from above while several of the students duck for cover. “Meteor Shower,” Dr. Gordon tells everyone as more explosions are heard and seen with fire trails showing up high in the sky above. “They are exploding on the force field.” “They must be coming from that broken moon overhead,” reports Jody. “We’re safe so long as we remain inside the dome.” reports Dr. Gordon as an explosion is observed on the ground at the edge of the city dome. A Moschop comes running in a panic towards the group as a Defense Unit, a machine that looks like It is a Star Wars attack drone, comes chasing after it. Before anyone can react, Jody levels his Tec Rifle on it knocking it out with an EMP charge. Several of the Engineering Students go over to investigate the disabled Defense Unit. Using a hatchet, one of them hacks through the power feed shutting it down for good. “There’s no way that we can gain control of these units,” Jody announces after he and the others have completely dismantled it. “Lets keep the parts in storage in case we can find a use for some of this stuff.” “Meanwhile, the Moschop has made friends with Sandy as it starts to calm down. “What are you going to do with your new pet?” asks Judy. “According to the app on my smart watch, I can use her to gather berries and fiber for us,” answers Judy. One of the dog like robots has entered the area where the students are staying. Two of the Engineering Students, Kim and Mable, follow it around as Jody remains on guard. Finally, Kim jumps up on its back, opens up a panel just behind it’s head, and presses a switch. The robot stops in place. “I have manual control of this one,” announces Kim as the robot starts walking towards the bus shelter with him riding on it. Kim parks it there placing it on standby. Soon, all of the Engineering Students are inspecting the Dog Walker learning what makes it work and finding out that, like their Tec Rifles, it is powered by Element Dust. “Lets keep an eye out for more of these as we continue exploring the city,” Reports Dr. Gordon. “They will certainly solve our transportation needs.” The four person teams spread out to conduct an inspection of the area finding lots of overgrown brush loaded with berries, rocks containing various minerals, trees, and unusual creatures such as dodos, Lystros, and prehistoric creatures up to Segasaurs in size. There are Pterodactyls flying in the sky overhead. Some of those creatures are found to be mechanical versions of the larger ones. Coming back, each group files their report of what they have found. David’s group comes back with a mechanical Stego and Parasaur. Sandy’s group comes back with a real Parasaur they have been able to tame. Otto’s group has been in one of the larger buildings finding that the place has been mostly trashed by the environment and earthquake caused by the asteroid impact. They do find information about what had happened to the society of Sanctuary City before it was destroyed by the Extinction Event. “There is reported to be an underground shelter that was under construction to the North.” reports Otto to the group. “The officials of this city were going to shelter there from the upcoming Extinction Event.” “We have found that we can craft survey drones in the City Terminals,” reports Kim. “We can use materials salvaged from the light post and Defense Units to craft them. Unfortunately, due to some unknown interference, these drones only have a range of a thousand meters before we start to lose control of them.” Most successful of the taming of the wild creatures in Extinction is the team led by Jenny. They have managed to capture and tame a pair of Pterodactyls. Jenny and Kerry come flying back on them. “Those will be most useful for recon flying and checking out the tops of these skyscrapers,” reports Dr. Gordon. “We have found some hanging gardens way up on some of the large towers,” reports Kerry. “We can set up an observation outpost from the one North of here.” With the return of the exploring groups, construction of the shelter and tame pen continues. “How can it be nearly midnight, yet still morning out around here?” asks Jenny as everyone is starting to get tired. “It is this tidally locked rotation of this world causing the constant daylight,” answers Dr. Gordon. “That may not be the case under the two domes in the East. It appears to be very dark inside of them at this time. When we are ready, we will need to travel to those domes to investigate what is inside them.” The following morning, did it ever change to night in this strange world? The explorers of Dr. Gordon have started their their second day on Extinction. The Engineering students have proceeded to obtain enough of the dog walkers for everyone to ride on. Kim’s group had found a blueprint that they have placed in one of the City Terminals, along with the required materials, to construct two custom level ones. They have also discovered that the Dog Walkers can do a teleport jump over a short distance as well as scale steep cliffs. They also have a defensive ability that can be used against attacking creatures. “Between their capabilities, our Tec Rifles, and this Gillie Armor, we should be safe while traveling through the wastelands,” reports Kim to the group. “Then, we should make the trip to the underground shelter and see if we can find survivors,” reports Dr. Gorden. An Explorer’s group of 18 individuals has formed up to start the first expedition outside of the city dome. The rest of the group is staying back to continue their exploration of the city ruins using their ground tames along with the dog robots for escorts. Jenny and Kerry are in the lead riding on their Pterodactyls tames as they fly overhead. Several drones are also deployed as the rest of the group with Dr Gordon in the lead, head North on the Dog Walkers to the edge of the city. They find a small floating Green obelisk in a wilderness park containing a pond with beavers fed by a waterfalls to the West. There is no terminal under the Obelisk but a metal box is found containing a hand written note telling a tale about the construction of mech robots to battle some unknown giant creature. “What could that be all about?” asks Jody. “Unknown,” answers Dr, Gordon. “Lets continue on and see if we can get through the force field.” “We can travel through the Force Field,” reports Kerry after flying back to the group. “Apparently, it has been specifically designed to just stop the meteorites.” “We had better be careful that we don’t get caught out in the open should another storm hit,” reports Dr. Gordon. It is a sudden contrast as the patrol crosses into the Wasteland as the vegetation suddenly goes from green to brown. The weather continues to be hot as the Gillie Armor is now protecting everyone from the burning sunlight. The same prehistoric creatures found in the city are also observed outside of the dome. It appears that they are able to tolerate the harsh environment outside of the dome. Suddenly, Jenny and Kerry come flying back as fast as their Pterodactyls can travel. “We have hostile Pterodactyls chasing us,” Jenny says in alarm. The threat ends when Gary and Kim drop the attackers with their tec rifles set to kill. “This must be one of those corrupted creatures we were warned about,” reports Jody after examining it. “These glowing purple veins will warn us if they are going to be aggressive when they shouldn’t be.” “There is some kind of a structure showing up against that cliff in the mountain side up ahead,” reports Jenny. “It looks like that there may be a cave in the side next to it.” “Lets head over there,” orders Dr. Gordon. The patrol heads down the hill to follow a stream that is flowing towards the cave up ahead. Stunted plants are found growing alongside of it. Up on a hill, a formation of glowing purple crystal is seen with several creatures spotted feeding on it. Jody sends over a probe to examine it. “Those crystals are pure element,” reports Jody after studying the analysis from the probe. “All the creatures feeding on it, the spitters, Stegos, Carnos, trikes, Rexes, and pterodactyls are corrupt.” “So that’s what is keeping them alive,” reports Sandra. “They have become the organic equivalent of the tec creature. The stuff must behave like Crack to them. They appear to be in a zombie state as they chew on those crystals.” “Lets stay away from that,” reports Dr. Gordon as the patrol continues. Continuing on, the patrol follows the stream some towards a huge cliff on the mountain ahead where there are the signs of a huge hole in the side. A large concrete structure dominates the right side of that hole as a broken road now slopes down into it. The stream ends in a waterfall that pours down into a huge hole going into a bottomless pit. A strange glow is seen from down inside. The patrol stops at what looks like the entrance into the broken structure finding all ways inside blocked by fallen debris. “There is a tunnel up ahead with a paved road that goes down into the cave.” reports Jerry as he returns with his pterodactyl. “It looks clear all the way down.” As the explorers head down the road, the weather down below changes to a comfortable temperature. It is no longer so dry as water cascades down from some springs in the side of the mountain. The tunnel is well lit with a twilight along with some glowing alien structures. Eventually, the road disappears to be replaced by a trail with a stream running alongside. Lush vegetation is found growing on the floor of the tunnel. “What is that creature up ahead,” asks Sandra. “Is it corrupted?” “No, it doesn’t appear to be,” answers Jody. “It is eating something from the ground. I’m going to get a closer look at it.” “Be careful,” warns Dr. Gordon. Jody walks up to have a closer look at the strange creature which is about the size of an elephant with a bear like head, it’s back loaded with crystal like growths. He is able to get close enough to touch it as it looks at him with a smile on its face, then goes back to grazing on the rocks and foliage in the area. “It’s safe,” reports Jody. “Even though it has those glowing veins of the corrupt creatures, this creature is not hostile. Here is one of those crystals that fell off of it’s back.” “Is that one of it’s eggs?” ask Sandra. “No,” Responds Dr. Gordon as he checks out the crystal lying on the ground with a specialized piece of equipment. “My analyzer indicates that it is just a crystal growth. This creature must shed them when they reach a mature size.” “It appears to be hollow with something inside of it,” reports Sandra. She proceeds to crack it open on a rock finding a metal pick inside it. “How interesting, it looks like that this creature can grow tools inside those crystals.” “Like the goose that laid the golden eggs,” reports Dr. Gordon. “It’s creating tools inside of those crystal growths, then sheds them when those items are completed. Lets leave this guy alone but be on the lookout for any crystals it may have dropped.” “The explorers continue down the path in the cave finding more of the crystals on the way. Random items are found that include not so useful ones such as flint and berries. The tunnel soon opens up into a huge cave where the damaged concrete tower dominates one side. A small obelisk, a copy of the one floating over the Explorer Note they found, lays against it’s side. The waterfall from above lands in a large lake in the cave. It contains coe with giant beavers having formed lodges along the shore. Giant trees and tree sized mushrooms fill the forest on the floor and up in the cliff. A soft light seemingly artificially generated, fills the huge cavern. The temperature is a comfortable 72*F. “How could a cave this huge survive an extinction event?” asks Otto. “It likely was formed as a result of that event,” answers Dr. Gordon. “Lets go over and inspect the shelter to see if we can find some answers to what has happened here. This would be an excellent place to relocate our settlement in.” To be continued?
  5. Chapter 33 The Crystal World “That was really interesting,” Farrell tells Dr. Croft after they have watch several episodes of the Game of Thrones series. “I never knew that a human could be a mother to three baby dragons. They were so small when they were hatched by fire from those little eggs.” “It’s all just a fantasy,” Dr. Croft tells Farrell. “None of that actually happened. The dragons in that story were computer created along with the castles and much of the background. The only thing real were the old Roman towns and backdrop scenery that were filmed from actual locations on Earth.” “It’s still a wonderful story even with those three tiny dragons and such a complicated plot,” Farrell tells her. “I’m glad that your are enjoying it,” Dr Croft tells him. “We need to go see Dr. Halls, his wife, and his grad students in the morning. They are planning to visit the world of Crystal Isle to study the creatures living there.” “Do you think that Argon and his mate will go there with him?” asks Farrell. “I don’t know,” answers Dr. Croft. “They have become such close friends as a result of the surgery that allowed him to fly again. They do have a lot of friends in this world, so, that is going to be a difficult decision for the both of them to make.” That morning, Dr. Croft and Farrell have a meeting with Dr Halls, Dr. Mays and his two grad students Kelly and Connie. Argon and Cindy, the two dragons from the wing surgery story, have flown in to join them. They have a happy reunion with Dr. Halls and Dr. Mays as they get together again. The two grad students are in a bit of a shock watching the happy reunion. The grad students are then introduced to the dragon pair. “You were not kidding about having done surgery on a dragon’s wing,” Kelly tells Dr. Halls after he has had the chance to inspect Argon’s wing. “That is one interesting healed scar he has on his wing.” “I find it so hard to believe that it had healed up so quickly after your surgery,” Connie answers after looking at it as well. “There is a healing herb in this world called Narcoberries,” Dr. Halls tells his two grad students. “The berries, when made into a disinfectant solution, have remarkable healing properties. Six hours after his surgery, Argon’s wing looked like it had been healing for a couple of days. The side effect is that they make one very sleepy which also helps speed up healing. Mary used that herb on Farrell’s leg injury and on the wound a Ballista bolt caused to Tyrions leg. Raganor also used it to treat Lisa’s wing muscle injury that was also caused by a Ballista bolt. All those serious injuries were healed up in a matter of days.” “We’ll definitely need to do more research into the healing properties of those unusual herbs of this world,” answers Connie. “Are there any dragons living on Crystal Isle?” “Yes,” answers Dr. Croft. “I’m told that most of the dragons living there are very curious and friendly. The crystal ones are very colorful. They wear a crystal bonnet on their heads. There are lots of interesting creatures living on that world as well. Most are quite friendly, but some others are extremely aggressive and very dangerous.” “It sounds like a most interesting world to visit,” Connie tells her. The orientation for the pioneering move to Crystal Isle continues. Both Veterinarians, their grad students, and family members are going to be a group of 24 individuals making the trip over to the Tropical land. They will start with a basic supply of food, temporary shelter, personal devices, tools, and pioneering weapons for defense. The plan for the first week will be to find a suitable location to build their pioneering village. Then, they will start to explore and study the plants and creatures of that new world. As they prepare for relocation to their new home, Dr. Halls assures Argon and Cindy that it is OK that they stay with their friends in the Land of the Two Suns. “We can come back to visit you every couple of weeks,” He tells him. “Thank you so much,” Argon answers. “You are a good human friend.” Gathering at the Obelisk alter, the 24 pioneers for the Crystal Isle Expedition prepare for the transfer. Ahab enters the coordinates to the location they will settle, then steps outside of the ring. A transparent hexagon field forms around them. In a blinding flash, they are transferred to the alter of the obelisk at the north edge of the Crystal Tropical Island Chain. Having studied a map of the area, Carl, the father of grad student Kelly, has everyone grab the supplies, which are on carts and backpacks, and makes the hour long trip to a ridge overlooking a beach where they set up camp. There are an abundance of trees, bushes, stones, some metal nodes, and those unusual crystals. On the trip there, two Moschops are befriended by Carl’s sons, Jeremy, and James, They are used to harvest thatch, fiber, and wood for use in construction of a shelter and pen for a starting collection of unusual tames. Having played survival games on their computers, they find the process of taming creatures in this real world quite similar. It isn’t long before a Listro, several Dodos, and a pair of spitters join the collection. Early that evening, a Leed, or whale sized fish, has beached itself on the shore. It soon dies from being out of the water. “If that thing is anything like the ones on the game, it will give us a ton of hide for saddles and other uses,” reports Jeremy. “Use your hatches on it to skin it. Get some fires going to cook up this prime fish meat.” By dark, with everyone working on the harvest, the job is done. The remains get pushed offshore with pike poles for the waiting sharks and predator fish to clean up. The following morning, the two teen boys have vanished as they have left the camp early to conduct another one of their adventures. A pair of saddled Parasaurs have joined the collection of tames in the pen. “Where could those two be?” asks Nancy, their mother. “No doubt, they have gone on another taming spree,” answers Carl. “These creatures that they have tamed so far are proving to be quite useful to building our settlement.” “I wonder what they will come back with next?” asks Nancy. “Hopefully, it will be with something useful,” answers Dr. Halls as he and Kelly checks out the Parasaurs. “I hope that they don’t try to tame something dangerous,” Nancy responds with concern. “They are old enough and familiar with their survival games to know what dangers may exist out in this world,” answers Carl. “If they keep taming up more of these creatures living in this world, we are going to need a bigger pen to keep them in during the night.” The pioneers of this group spend the day enlarging their village and adding crop plots. They are using the two Parasaurs to carry the fabricated building sections back to the growing village. Having an alert ability, the two Parasaurs sound out a warning anytime that a spitter happens to be hiding in the bushes where members of the group are working on cutting trees and mining for metal. In fact, Kelly and Connie have tamed two more Parasaurs and a pair of Trikes to help with material gathering and transport. “I didn’t know that such prehistoric creatures were intelligent enough to be tamed,” Dr. Mays responds after seeing them saddled and in action. “Lets just take advantage of their abilities to help us get established in this new world,” answers Carl. “Where are those two boys?” asks their worried mother Connie as the late afternoon approaches. “If they don’t show up soon, we had better go looking for them,” answers Dr. Halls. It is then that what looks like a flock of large colorful birds is spotted flying towards the village. “Everyone take cover!” orders Carl as the flight of unknown creatures gets closer. “Those look like dragons. There must be over two dozen of them coming this way.” “Everything is OK,” reports Dr. Halls as he places a spotting scope on the two lead creatures flying towards the village. “We’re not getting any warnings from the Parasaurs. It looks like that Jeremy and James have been on a taming spree. Those look like the Crystal Dragons. They are riding on the two leaders.” It is with a cloud of palm fronds and dust that all of the dragons land next to the tame pen of the new village where Carl comes over to talk to his two younger sons. “Have you two been on a taming spree?” Carl asks his two sons. “No Dad,” they answer. “You cannot tame a dragon. These are our new friends. They are friends of Alexander, Jerrie, Draco, and Hilda.” “No one has tamed us,” Clarence, their leader tells Carl in English. “We saw your boys just watching us over by the chalk cliffs so we flew over to visit them.” “What gorgeous creatures you are,” comments Dr. Mays as she comes over to see the new dragons. “I never knew that such brilliant color combinations were possible.” Everyone is soon outside the pen to see and interact with all of the Crystal Dragons that have flown in to visit. “You’re not going to believe this vast world,” Jeremy tells his dad. “Clarence and Clara took us over to see the floating islands of the East. Those mountains look like that they are straight out of Avatar. We found four legged dragons living up in the higher peaks. While they can’t fly, they can glide from island to island and climb up the steep cliffs. When we started back, we flew by a forest of trees so huge that they make the Avatar home tree look like a bush. Then, we flew over a desert where there were giant snakes, mantas, scorpions, and a creature called a Thorny Dragon that throws spikes from its tail to paralyze it’s prey. We even saw a giant sand worm that looked like a cross between those creatures in the Tremors movie and Dune, living in the sand dunes desert.” “It sounds like that you two had quite an adventure,” Carl tells them. “Next time, let someone know where you are going. We had no idea where you two had disappeared to. You had everyone worried that you had got hurt or were lost somewhere.” “We’ll let someone know,” Jeremy answers. “We’ll keep an eye on them when they are with us,” Clarence tells Carl. “This is going to be a most wonderful world to live in,” reports Dr. Halls. “With these most colorful dragons for friends and these unusual creatures that can be easily tamed, we are going to be kept most busy creating a record of it all.” It is a most wonderful evening that is spent with the crystal dragon flock. They soon return to their nests in the chalk cliffs with the promise that they will be back to visit and provide transport for exploring this new unusual world.
  6. Chapter 32, The fate of the Blue Helmets; Over the past several days of operations, Captain Margaret has been keeping track of the UN kidnappers that have been banished to the post nuclear war world of Thunder Dome through the use of a stealth drone. Once a green paradise of vast forests, prairies, tundras, large freshwater lakes, rivers, and other biomes teaming with wildlife, It soon succumbed to overdevelopment by an ever exploding human population that advanced too quickly in developing their military, robotic, and computer technology. The fight over dwindling resources, as well as over the enslavement of entire nations, eventually spilled over into total nuclear war when the central computers controlling all of the defense systems and drones decided that the real threat to the planet was the people that programmed them. The survivors of that war ended up establishing clans that were often at war with each other as they roamed their ruined world looking for uncontaminated food, water, ammo, and fuel to power their makeshift transports. It is a harsh world of volcanic wastelands, vast sand deserts, dying lakes, violent storms, zones of radioactive ground that glow in the dark, a coastline ravaged by nuclear created tidal waves, dead radioactive oceans, and burned out interior cities where vicious mutated beast hunt in packs looking for an easy meal. While the central computers were destroyed in the nuclear exchange that followed, there are still the occasional military drone and combat bots still functioning under their own power following those last orders programmed into them to kill all living creatures. Entering this hostile world through the Stargate, the Blue helmets are surprised to find that their combat gear is waiting for them. They find themselves having been teleported into a dead forest that has been flattened by the shock wave of a massive explosion. All the trees are laying in one direction. Many of them show signs of being charred by intense heat before the fires were snuffed out by the dust, blast wave, and sudden lack of oxygen. The hazy sky has a yellowish gray look to it from the dust that is still polluting the air, the sun barely visible. Grabbing their weapons, Captain Schultz and Lt. Fritz quickly run back to where they had entered through the Stargate only to find that it has now vanished. Stranded in this dead alien world, Lt. Fritz orders his men to get into their gear, load their weapons, and take an assessment of what they still have with them. That gear consists of an M-16 style assault rifle, two 20 round magazines, a bayonet, a canteen, first aid kit, and some basic rations. The officer in charge is only armed with a sidearm with one extra clip. The two pilots are unarmed. A burial detail is soon taking place as the point man does a quick survey of the surrounding. The soil is quite stony in this flattened forest making digging difficult. The blue helmets find an uprooted tree close by where it is possible to use their hands and sticks to dig a proper hole for burial. There is some grass, small bushes with some bitter tasting immature wild berries, and small trees that are trying to grow in the barren soil, but not much else. A pack of wolves are heard howling in the distance as the evening approaches with the darkening sky. Captain Schultz makes the decision that the group should build a shelter for the night along with a campfire to ward off the chill and approaching darkness. A guard detail is posted due to the presence of wolves and the total lack of any other animals or birds in the area. During their first night on Thunder Dome, three of the wolves in the pack make an attempt to attack the camp. Their glowing eyes are spotted by the night watch and are dropped by gunfire when they make a move to rush the armed soldiers. The other wolves in the pack quickly leave the area looking for easier pickings elsewhere. In the morning light, Lt. Fritz goes out to inspect the three freshly killed wolves to see if they can be butchered for their meat. He quickly determined that that might not be a good idea. All three wolves have festering maggot filled sores among their mangy fir that is just loaded with fleas and ticks. “Leave them be,” warns Doc. “Any meat that you get off of them will be unsafe to eat let alone with the extreme risk of getting an infection or some disease from the ticks and fleas that are infesting them.” “Lets pack up and head in the direction these down trees are pointing,” orders Captain Schultz. “If we can get clear of this mess, we will start looking for water and signs of civilization.” It is slow going traveling through the burnt tangle of branches of the downed trees. They continue uphill and soon reach the top of the ridge. Stopping to rest for a moment, the remaining wolf pack is spotted tracking them. “Can we set up an ambush to eliminate their threat?” ask a squad leader. “I believe that we can,” answers Lt. Fritz. The wind is coming from behind us which will hide our presence. If we plan this right, we can take them all out at once. Lets set up behind these logs and wait for them all to show up. Everyone pick out a target. Conserve your ammo. We need to take them all down at once and make every shot count.” The ambush works like clockwork, maybe too easy, but all six wolves from the pack are killed with one or two shots at close range. “That was not normal,” warns Doc. “A healthy wolf pack would have never allowed themselves to fall for such a trap. These wolves must be just as sick as the others. We better be very careful that we don’t end up like them.” “I see what looks like the remains of a town in the distance,” reports Captain Schultz as they start down the hill before entering the still standing forest. “Lets get a compass bearing from here before we head down into the forest below.” “We’re going to have to use dead reckoning,” warns Corporal Lee. “My compass is not functioning in this world.” As they enter the woods of mostly yellow needle pines that have dropped most of their needles, they find a two track trail. “Lets take that and see if it leads us to a road,” orders Captain Schultz. “Check out these large pine cones to see if they have seeds in them.” “We’re out of luck,” warns Doc after inspecting one of them. “That nuclear winter must have hit in mid Summer before they had matured. There are no edible seeds in them” A small natural spring is found which yields safe drinking water to fill everyone’s canteen. Then, a short distance further, after leaving the woods, a paved road is located with a sign pointing them to a town that can be seen in the distance through the farm fields of dead immature corn, stunted soybeans, and rotting sugar beets. “Damn, nothing edible here,” reports the medic as he examines the crops in the fields. “This corn looked like it has frozen before the ears started to fill out. The pods on the soybeans are in the same condition. Those sugar beets are now rotting in the field. All the crops have been ruined by the cold snap that hit after the nukes went off.” Heading down the country road, the patrol finds an abandoned pickup truck. Sargent Moores, the squad leader, pops the hood to examine the engine. He can clearly see the burned out computer modules as well as the melted wiring going to the damaged battery that has loss all of the acid from the cracked casing. “Unless we can find some old tractor or other vehicle that doesn’t use electronic modules, we are out of luck finding anything that will run,” he tells the others. “The EMP from the nuclear warheads will have burned out any electronics regardless if that vehicle was running or not.” “How did these power lines end up on the ground even though the poles are still standing?” asks Private Root. “The EMP from those nukes overloaded the wires melting them at the insulators,” reports Sargent Moores. It is strangely quiet other then the sound of the wind blowing through the dead trees. There are no sounds from birds or any other animals one would expect to find in the countryside. Skeletons of some farm animals are found in one dried up pasture. Remains of some birds and small wild creatures are found in the ditch in another area. So far, no remains of any people have been found. The patrol continues on where they find the farmhouse and barn for the farm fields they have been following. While part of the roof has been blown off and all of the windows facing the blast wave are broken, the house remains mostly intact. It had been spared from being set on fire by a power surge when the power line transformer exploded. The machinery shed didn’t fare as well. It has been burned to the ground. The barn, facing the force of the blast wave, has been knocked down. It’s presence has protected the farmhouse from major damage. It is unknown what may have happened to the family living there. They could have been caught in the open by the blast wave, may have been killed in the barn collapse, or succumbed to the effects of the radiation burst. There is a pickup truck and car in the driveway back by the house, but like the one found on the road, their electrical systems have also been burned out. Sargent Moores forces his way through the jammed back door which is the entrance to the back porch, the kitchen, and a cellar. A sizable amount of canned food is found in the cellar along with baking ingredients kept in metal tins. Other non perishable foods are found in the kitchen. “Leave the fridge and freezer door closed,” warns Sargent Moores. “Anything in there is going to be spoiled.” Taking all of the food, jackets, blankets, and other useful items that they have found, the patrol continues on. They have found a hand wagon and a wheel barrel to take the extra items with them. As the patrol continues down the country road, more farms are found and searched for anything useful. Even though badly damaged, the patrol is able to access the pantry of one farmhouse finding more canned goods. Everything else has been ruined by exposure to the weather. Unfortunately, for the rest of the farms found along the road, the buildings are either burned down, or have been flattened by the blast wave. The terrain itself is beginning to look more and more like a desert wasteland the closer they get to the town in the distance. Then, the wind picks up blowing around so much dust and soot that it is making it very hard to see any distance. “This is awful,” warns Doc. “We need to find shelter from this dust storm and soon.” Entering the town, a local hardware store is found, sheltered by the other buildings, with the windows intact. With the door unlocked, the patrol takes refuge inside. By the light of a lantern found in a farmhouse, Sargent Moores and the others search through the looted mess inside for anything useful. “There are definitely survivors somewhere out there,” warns Lt. Fritz after the search has been completed in the retail sections. “They have taken all of the flashlights, batteries, and anything else that could be used for survival.” “They took all of the guns, ammo, black powder, and bow hunting supplies as well,” warns Captain Schultz. “It looks like that they were in a hurry,” reports Officer Cheng as he comes downstairs. “They missed searching the upstairs apartment. I found a pump shotgun with two boxes of buckshot and a semi auto handgun with four clips and 100 rounds of ammo.” “That’s going to be a rare find given if we run into any trouble,” answers Captain Schultz. “Once our ammo gets used up, our weapons will be useless around here.” “Here’s two more of those hand farm wagons in their boxes,” reports Doc. “Lets open them up, get them assembled, and use them to carry our additional supplies.” While they are assembling the two wagons, a strange noise becomes audible over the sound of the howling wind. “What’s that!” warns Lt. Fritz as the sound of something that is making the noise of a small tracked vehicle is heard outside. “Everyone take cover,” warns Officer Cheng as the sound gets louder, then changes as if it is turning towards the hardware store. Then, something smashes through the door. “That’s a combat bot!” warns Lt. Fritz. “Target the sensors. Don’t let it grab you.” Bullets are flying everywhere as they bounce off of the armored drone. But, soon, it is blinded as it’s sensors get knocked out. Three of the men grab bolt cutters, gets behind the machine, and cut several of the exposed cables and hoses at the joints thus knocking it out of commission. “I pray that there are no more of them still operational out there,” warns Lt. Fritz. “We don’t have the ammo to deal with any more of them. It may explain just what happened in this world. We’re lucky that this one has expended all of its munitions.” Examining the now disabled machine, Officer Cheng unlocks the control panel and access the computer terminal inside. “Interesting,” he says. “This bot had been programmed to seek out and kill all living humans. Having lost contact with it’s command center, it was carrying out it’s last orders. It’s down to 5% power in it’s battery pack. It’s a good thing that it is out of ammo or we would be all dead by now.” With a bolt cutter, he cuts the wiring harness leading to the terminal which thus shuts down the bot for good. “From the looks of the marks on it’s armor plating, it has been in other fights,” reports Captain Schultz. “Lets set up camp upstairs for the night, then further search this town once the storm has cleared.” The following morning arrives with the air heavy with dust and fog. Packing up their gear, the patrol heads out to search the rest of the town for anything useful, especially weapons and ammo given that the fight with the combat drone has left them with about 5 rounds of ammo for the assault rifles, 20 for the shotgun, and about 90 for the one sidearm. Before they continue down the main street, several houses are searched for anything useful. It is found that they have been cleaned out of anything useful such as food, clothing, and weapons. Checking out the nearby food mart, it is found that all of the shelves are empty. The storeroom is likewise void of any canned or box goods. Interesting, the refrigerated stores have been cleaned out as well. “There has to be survivors somewhere,” reports Sargent Moores after completing his inspection. They cleaned this store out before anything had a chance to spoil.” “Lets check out the farm coop next,” orders Officer Cheng. Rounding the corner to where the coop is located, the patrol is suddenly ambushed by a pack of angry feral dogs. Officer Cheng, who is in the lead, is brought down by the savage pack. Everyone opens fire on the rabid dogs killing them but not before Private Root had been bitten in the arm by one when he is forced to use his bayonet to kill it. “Those were harder to kill then those wolves,” reports Captain Schultz. “It took several rounds to drop them when only one round was enough to take down those sick wolves.” “These dogs don’t look normal,” warns Doc as he treats Root’s injury. “They look like that they had been mutated somehow. What were they doing here out in the open anyhow?” “They were feeding on these dead people,” reports Sargent Moores as he examines several more bodies lying in the street. “It appears that they found them already dead.” “What about Officer Cheng?” asks Root. “He’s dead,” reports Doc. “Those dogs ripped his throat open. He also caught one of our rounds in the head as everyone was shooting at those dogs.” “What do you think happened to those people?” asks Root. “Judging from those injuries, it looks like that attack bot killed them first, not these dogs.” reports Lt. Fritz. “They were probably out forging like us when they were attacked. They have no ammo left in their weapons.” “Search those bodies and the surrounding area for anything useful,” orders Captain Schultz. The resulting sweep of the area recovers some spare ammo for the victim’s weapons, some canned goods, and more clothing. In the coop, the patrol finds that the place has been ransacked for everything useful. There are feed sacks in the elevator section that have been filled with grain and stacked in a wagon ready to be towed to some unknown destination. “There has to be a survivor camp out there somewhere.” reports Lt. Fritz. “Those victims must have loaded this wagon with grain before they were killed by the attack bot.” “Doc, have a look at my arm.” Root complains to him. “The pain from that dog bite is becoming unbearable.” As Doc takes off Root’s shirt, he is shocked at what he sees. Root’s entire arm up into his shoulder has become badly swollen and is oozing pus it’s entire length. “Oh God!” exclaims, Doc. “I have never seen an infection spread so fast like that.” “What’s wrong?” asks Root who is now in severe pain from the infection. “That is a flesh eating bacterial infection,” reports Doc. “Those dogs bites must have been loaded with the stuff. “Can you do something about it?” asks Root. “I’m sorry, I can’t.” Doc answers. “Even if there was a hospital emergency room nearby, there’s nothing that can be done about it. All I can do is give you the rest of the morphine in my med kit for the pain. The infection has spread way too far to attempt an amputation of your arm to stop it from spreading further.” “That sucks,” Root tells him as Doc injects the rest of the morphine from his medical kit into Root’s other arm. An hour later, as the infection has spread into the chest and neck area, Root has died from the infection. “Leave his body where it is,” warns doc. “If that infection finds a way under your skin, you will end up like him in a couple of hours.” “Then, lets move on,” orders Lt. Fritz. “Lets see if we can find that survivor’s camp.” Heading down the road out of town, the landscape is quickly becoming barren. A dried up lake bed is to the right along with some dead trees. On the left are barren farm fields for miles. Ahead, some dust is seen being kicked up by something moving. Placing his binoculars on the objects coming into view, Lt. Fritz is shocked by what he sees. “What is it?” asks Captain Schultz. “Were screwed!” warns Lt. Fritz. “There’s no place for us to hide. It’s a survivor clan. They have victims chained to the front of their vehicles. They are definitely not friendly.” The clan, driving in on vehicles straight out of the Mad Max movies, comes charging into the patrol which has now scattered to hide among the few trees by the dried up lake. Several of the patrol members are killed by either being run over, or decapitated with axes and swords as they expend the rest of their ammunition in an effort to defend themselves. Captain Schultz, Sargent Moores and Lt. Fritz, who are hiding in the dead trees, are taken prisoner when they are knocked unconscious. The rest of the wounded are executed on the spot. “Load up their stuff and take these prisoners back to Barter Town,” orders their leader after he has interrogated their prisoners. “Maggot, Slime, take four armed men with you and go get that grain wagon at the coop. In Barter Town, the threesome are brought before their leader, The Fuehrer, to make them pay for their crimes of killing and wounding several of his men. He orders a trial by Thunder Dome. That is a trial by combat to the death. It will be the three survivors facing combat from six other very mean looking individuals captured from a rival tribe. They will be using blade and blunt weapons that are scattered about in the arena. In the evening, the three enter the dome with the six others as all of the clan cling to the cage of the dome to watch. “Let the trial by combat began,” orders The Fuehrer. Lt. Fritz, who is skilled in hand to hand combat, takes out the first bruiser by breaking his neck, then grabs his sledge hammer using it to defend himself against an attacker by a guy with a broadsword. Unfortunately for the less skilled Captain Schultz and Sargent Moores, both are killed early on in the battle leaving Lt. Fritz to deal with the five others of which three are now badly wounded. He manages to take them all out but suffers a spear wound in his right leg in the process. “Unfair,” screams The Fuehrer. “You were suppose to die right away with your friends!” A crossbow bolt from one of the spectators hits Lt. Fritz through his blue helmet. He is killed instantly. The cheers from the bloodthirsty mob can be heard for miles. The patrol has only managed to survive for five days before succumbing to the extreme hazards of the post nuclear war world of Thunder Dome and the gangs of evil people still surviving in it.
  7. Ch 31. Stargate Command, The pioneers to a new world. As everyone is getting settled down into temporary quarters, Dr. Nasser, Dr Croft, Coronal Arafat, and Cleo are holding a meeting in planning for the future of a Stargate Command. Farrell and the two pilots of the charter aircraft have been asked to join them. “With our command being relocated to this Land of the Two Suns, we are going to need to set up an Operation Center here,” Dr Nasser starts off the meeting. “What I need is someone on our communications system that is fluent in several of the known languages spoken here and is knowledgeable in deciphering the unknown ones. Dr. Croft, with your past experience in this world, and your educational research in ancient languages, you are a natural to fill that position. With your dragon friend Farrell living on this world, I’m sure that you are going to want to stay with him and his family. Would you be willing to take on that job and stay here in Stargate Command?” “That sounds like a challenge,” answers Dr. Croft. “What about you Farrell?” asks Dr. Nasser. “I don’t know,” Farrell answers in surprise of the request. “I have no way to access your devices like you humans can.” “That would not be an issue,” Dr. Nasser tells him. “Our access terminal can easily be set up for voice command. I can program it to recognize your voice in your native Celtic language. The few mechanical inputs needed can easily be modified for you to use them. The monitor you will be using has eye tracking built into it. Your knowledge of several languages would be a big help to Dr. Croft. You two would be a natural for working together at this location.” “From the work I have done with these dragons, they are more then capable of handling such problem solving task,” answers Ahab. “I’ll give it a try,” Farrell tells them. “Good for you,” Dr. Nasser tells him. “I’m confidant that you will both be capable of keeping track of our pioneering expeditions to the other worlds.” “Captain Russel and Margaret, we could use your piloting skills to operate these high tech stealth drones we have available to us for exploring the new worlds and tracking what is happening back on Earth. Would you like to take on that job for us?” “Yes, we will do so,” both pilots volunteer who happens to be a husband and wife team that are ex military with past skills in drone operations. “Thank you everyone,” Dr Nasser responds. “You will be all working together for Stargate Command.” “Interesting,” Captain Russel comments to his wife. “Are we actually going to be working with a dragon in the command center?” “Don’t be too concerned about Farrell’s abilities,” Ahab tells them. “He is a lot more intelligent then you think. He is more then capable in handling the task he has volunteered for.” In the days that follows, the two families, Dr. Croft, her husband Willard, Son Willard Jr. Daughter, Sandy, along with Farrell, Freida, Fargo, and Francis, make the move and get settled into their new home. The kids are so thrilled to become friends with each other. With a school being set up, both the kids in the village and the dragon kids are attending the school learning from each other. Willard Croft, who is a software engineer by trade, gets the new data center set up and programmed so that both his wife and Farrell can operate the two terminals. “Farrell is one fast learner,” He tells his wife later that evening. “I have to keep looking at him to remind myself that he is a dragon and not a human that is using voice and eye tracking commands to input data into his workstation. He has been a big help in setting up the software for this installation. He has even helped me solve some issues I have been having in tweaking the database to do what I want it to.” “I found myself having to look his way several times as we were setting up the drone controls,” reports Captain Russel. “I find it so hard to believe that I was working with a dragon accepting his suggestions on how to control these new stealth drones using the eye tracking and voice commands interface.” “I’ve always known that these dragons are very intelligent ever since I first saw Farrell hiding in the Sacrifice Temple.” Dr. Croft tells him. “Farrell’s new workstation could quickly show us what they are really capable of.” By the end of the first week, the data center has become fully operational. A schedule has been set up for keeping in contact with the other worlds being explored and settled. Six more worlds have been found with plans to send in drones to study them for exploration. A stealth probe, guided by Captain Margaret has been keeping track of the blue helmets on Thunder Dome. Another controlled by Captain Russel is tracking the breakdown taking place on Earth. Farrell and Dr. Croft have been using two other probes to study one of the newly discovered worlds for exploration. That weekend, everyone takes a break to relax and visit the Pyramid city. Willard gets a chance to ride on Farrell as his wife rides on Freida. Their kids give their kids rides as well. Ricky and Ronda come along to give the two charter pilots a ride of their lifetime. “I now understand why Jon Snow and Danarys so enjoyed flying on her dragons, even if they were so big and scary,” Captain Margaret tells her husband. “They certainly were huge and scary compared to how large we are as adults,” Farrell tells her. “It was so sad to see Reigal get killed in that ambush after he so enjoyed taking Jon Snow for his first dragon ride.” “When did you get a chance to watch Game of Thrones?” Dr. Croft asks Farrell in surprise. “I was watching those You Tube videos in my spare time at my workstation,” Farrell tells her. “How did that Night King ever get a zombie dragon?” “He killed one of Danary’s dragons with an ice spear, then later resurrected him as a zombie,” answers Sandra. “You need to watch those stories from the very beginning of Season One to know how the story evolved to it’s surprise ending.” “I’ll have to do so when I have the time,” Farrell tells her. “He is certainly a lot smarter then we think,” answers Russell Croft. “I never showed him how to access You Tube video clips on his workstation. He learned how to do that on his own. I can set up an entertainment center in the commons so the two of you can watch that series together from the beginning.” “That would be wonderful,” answers Dr. Croft. “I would certainly enjoy watching that series again with Farrell by my side. “This has been one interesting flight,” Captain Russel tells everyone. “I would have never imagine how these dragons are so wonderful to fly on.” Landing at the edge of the village, everyone gathers together for the trip into the trading center. Farrell tells Sandra that they will be visiting friends of theirs in the area and will be back here when the red sun starts to sets. “That will be perfect,” she tells him as they prepare to see the sights. The visit of the pyramid trading center is most interesting to the newcomers. “What an incredible number of unusual creatures.” Margaret tells her husband. “Those camel like creatures look like the ones from the Stargate Movie.” “They are called Morallotops,” Dr. Croft tells her. “I understand that they have been found on several of the known worlds containing deserts and badlands that have been explored.” “The tribes living in this world have also tamed Mammoths, Dire Bears, Sabre Cats, Dire Wolves, and quite a few other creatures from our past.” “How did they manage to find and tame dinosaurs from the Jurassic period?” asks Margaret. “For whatever reasons, those creatures have managed to thrive in this alternative world,” answers Dr. Croft. “Ahab has a pair of tame raptors back by the Sacrifice Temple.” “How did that place get it’s name?” asks Margaret. “It is where the Egyptians brought a young couple as a sacrifice to the dragons living here,” answers Dr. Croft. “It had been part of an agreement to a truce from a long and nasty war with them. Farrell was the key in ending that sacrifice and in uniting all of the tribes with the dragons living in this world.” “How did you become friends with Farrell if all of the dragons were hostile to all humans back then?” asks Margaret. “When we first arrived in this world, I found him hiding back in the temple,” answers Dr. Croft. “He had been badly wounded by a woolly rhino. When I learned that I could communicate with him, he accepted our help. We soon became the best of friends.” “What an interesting story,” answers Margaret. “No wonder you wanted to return back to this world.” “Still, it has had it’s conflict among the dragons and the tribes living here,” reports Dr. Croft. “Dr. Halls will have to show you one of his surgical successes with a dragon that had his wing slashed in a battle with Viking raiders. It was a most interesting surgery that took place to repair that damage. He gave Argon his ability to fly again.” “What ever happened to the raiders?” asks Captain Russell. “Raganor organized a raid on their village wiping out the raider threat for good.” answers Dr Croft. “They had been stealing dragon eggs in an effort to raise an air force of tame dragons to use for raiding. He managed to rescue the hatchlings to return them to their mothers.” “I can see what a dangerous force that could be after watching Torch flame that fighter pilot,” answers Captain Russell. “The good thing now is that everyone is living in peace in this world,” answers Dr. Croft. “They have been working together to turn this world into a paradise.” “That is evident by what I am seeing in this village,” answers Margaret. “This is quite a thriving trading center.” That rest of the day is spent visiting the various trading shops and taking a short tour of the pyramids themselves. That evening, they return to the edge of the village where Farrell has returned with his family and the other two dragons to fly everyone back home. Dr. Croft gets a surprise when she finds that an entertainment center has been set up in the commons where she and Farrell get to watch their first episode of Game of Thrones together.
  8. The Stargate, The Adventure Continues. Return Through the Stargate. The Adventure Continues. This is a continuation of the story loosely based upon the popular video game Ark Survival Evolved but without the Specimen Implant or of any map in particular. All names are fictitious and unrelated to previous stories I have written. References to popular movies are just to develop the thinking of the main characters. The main story, Ark Survival Stargate, takes place on an alternative world in the time period of 10,000 BC. There is the discovery of three ancient culture of humans on this adventure and the research into how they have influenced those cultures that remain in the present. Included are creatures both fictional and those present at that period of time. This story explores in detail the presence of dragons from the Dark Ages and the explorer’s interaction with them. It is an adventure where the research group get teleported into the alternative world of the two suns to discover and work with the inhabitants and the dragons living there in order to be returned back to the present world they came from. In this continuation of the story, our adventurers have made the decision to leave the growing turmoil of the political world of 2031 as society literally starts falling apart as a result of a past global civil war and crushing Government debts. It is the story of that escape and the adventure of becoming pioneers in newly discovered worlds. Rated M. Some mild combat, divisive politics, and predator violence. You have been warned if you are offended by such subjects. Ch 30, Escape from a New World Order. The world of 2031 is just starting to recover from a nasty Armageddon event that has decimated half of the world’s population. Most every Government is now gone bankrupt, or is close to being bankrupt as they struggle to rebuild their economy and ruined infrastructure. Some Government officials are aware of and have even attended a UN conference to lay out the plans for forming a one world currency based upon a formula known as Social Credits, something the Chinese started in 2018. It is to be financed by a world value added tax based upon the impact of such products to the environment. Unknown to many is that it is a guise to implement their real plan, UN Agenda 2030 or the consolidation of all world governments into a Socialist empire under the control of the Chinese UN leaders as part of a global climate control agenda. Aware of the secret plan of the UN to seize all private property, implement a global value added tax, and eliminate all freedom, the adventurers from the first story have returned home and are preparing to return to the worlds of the Stargate with their families, close friends, and relatives to the Stargate research site before it is too late to them to do so. That Wednesday in May, two weeks after graduation at River State University and just days before the start of the Summer Trimester, the research group, with their friends and families, are arriving for their meeting at Dr. Roger’s office at 10:AM. They come in under the cover that they are gathering to go on an extended archaeological research field trip being hosted by Dr. Rogers for select staff members, their friends, and family members, as they meet with Dr. Halls and his group from the veterinary school at Michigan State University. Hearing about construction roadblocks suddenly showing up on I-75, Dr. Halls has decided to take the back roads to the university. His two grad students are with him. They make the trip arriving at the University by 9AM. Everyone’s luggage has been picked up a day earlier by a courier service where it has been delivered to the charter that is parked in a private hanger at MBS International Airport. Boarding their charter bus which has arrived to pick them up, everyone makes the trip to MBS where they are waved through the back gate to where a large private jet is waiting for them. Then, they get a nasty surprise. Waiting for them is a company of blue helmeted solders with large white UN letters on each side of the helmet backed up with blue painted armored personnel carriers. It also becomes apparent that the local police and airport security have also been detained by those blue helmeted soldiers as well. “What is this all about?” asks Dr. Rogers with alarm when a platoon, armed with assault style weapons, surrounds them as they are ordered off of the charter bus. “By the authority of the United Nations, you are all under arrest,” the UN official in charge tells them. “My troops have been authorized to use deadly force if you refuse to cooperate. You are ordered to board this charter jet where you will be flown to your destination. Once you have arrived at your Stargate Village, you will be formally charged with your crimes against humanity.” Everyone including the charter bus driver gets escorted up the ramp into the waiting plane. The official in charge joins them. On board the charter are a squad of blue helmets armed with assault weapons. Everyone is searched with all ID and personal devices seized from them. The charter is then ordered to take off to fly to Madrid, Spain. Two fighter jets with freshly painted UN markings are soon spotted flying escort. The refueling stop in Spain is far from routine. Their charter is ordered to land at a Spanish air force base where the private jet is refueled. The charter pilot is then ordered to fly directly to the Stargate airstrip where he is told that the UN will be securing the installation by the time they arrive there. It is late that evening, as the charter is flying over the Sahara Desert heading to their destination, that a strange turn of events suddenly take place. The two escorting fighter jets suddenly break off to engage some unknown target that has appeared behind them. A bright light engulfs the two fighter jets as a high pitch whine hits the charter jet causing everyone on board to pass out. It is morning in the Land of the Two Suns when the researchers start waking up as they are laying on cots next to their charter jet. Two fighter jets with UN markings are parked in the hard pan of the dry lake bed near by. In the distance, one can see the pyramids as the group lies in the dual shade cast by a huge floating alien obelisk. Close by is the Stargate research village and the Stargate Temple. In a makeshift holding pen, a squad of blue helmet soldiers that were on the charter flight, the official in charge, and the two pilots of the fighter jets are now the prisoners of Coronal Arafat’s private security force. “What happened?” Dr. Rogers asks Coronal Arafat as he and the others wakes up. “How did everything end up here?” “The Anonymous Donor discovered that the UN was planning on capturing you to force you to take their forces through the Stargate so that they could take control of this new world and capture all of those fleeing to here.” Coronal Arafat reports. “They made the arrangements to let the kidnapping take place, then, they stopped that attempt by teleporting Stargate Village, the temple, and your flight to this remote location by the Obelisk.” “What’s going to happen to the UN soldiers and those fighter pilots?” asks Dr. Croft. “Since we can no longer use the Stargate to return them to Earth, we are going to send them, along with the official in charge of your kidnapping, to a newly discovered world that is called Thunder Dome. They will quickly learn a lesson about freedom as they struggle to stay alive in that post apoplectic world.” “What about our bus driver and the flight crew of our charter flight?” asks Dr. Halls. “Since they are unwilling victims of what you just went through, they will be given the choice to join you or any of the pioneering groups that are awaiting processing. Due to the dangers they would face back on Earth from the UN authorities, it would not be wise for any of them to return home. For their protection, the Anonymous Donors will attempt to find their close friends and family members and bring them back here.” It is with a surprise to everyone that the Stargate in the temple has become active again. “I just found out that we can use this Stargate to travel directly to the one in the Egyptian Village,” reports Ahab as he steps outside from the temple that used to be on Earth. “That will reduce the travel time between Pyramid City and the Egyptian Village by hours or even days.” Clarence has now arrived through the Stargate riding on Perry. The Parasaur promptly goes on alert warning everyone that a threat is nearby. Multiple marker appears inside the makeshift prison where the UN soldiers are being confined. The four resident dragons, Ricky, Ronda, Flame, Torch, from the Egyptian village soon arrive as well. They take a position guarding each corner of the holding pen. Coronal Arafat now heads over to inform the prisoners, that are now in a panic, the fate that awaits them. He talks to each dragon for a moment which have taken up a position on each corner of the holding pen. Then, he addresses the prisoners inside there.“I can see through this Parasaur’s alerts that it is still quite obvious that you people represent a danger to everyone living in this world. Since you saw it fit to kidnap these people in an effort to take control of the Stargate to invade this world, you are going to find out why you don’t want to be attempting to conquer other worlds. We cannot send you back to Earth since your sudden return would confirm the Stargate’s existence to your superiors. We cannot let you stay here because you clearly represent a threat to this and other worlds we have discovered. Therefore, we are going to send you to an inhabited world most suited to what your leaders will soon create in their effort to control everyone on Earth. We are sending you to a world that has been destroyed by a total nuclear war. We are sending you to the world of Mad Max, more specifically, Thunder Dome, where you will either conform to their rules of survival as you search in that radioactive wasteland for uncontaminated food and water, or die in combat in the arena in Barter Town. Until we are ready to send you there, don’t even attempt to escape from this holding pen. These dragons will set you on fire if you are foolish enough to try to escape your fate.” There is whispered conversation among the blue helmets and the two fighter pilots who are German. “There is no such thing as a creature that can spit fire,” Captain Adolf declares to the others in his group. “When they open the gate to move us to the Stargate, create a diversion so that Captain Schultz and I can make a break for it to our jets.” “We’re now ready to send them through the Stargate into Thunder Dome, Ahab announces. “Follow me single file into the temple. Don’t touch anything in there. Coronal Arafat’s security detail will be in there keeping an eye on you.” As the corner of the pen is opened to let the troops out, Captain Adolf attempts an escape to his jet. His wing man, Captain Schultz, hesitates for a moment. To the shock of the other blue helmeted force, Torch, one of the four dragons guarding them, turns him into a smoking corpse. “Oh Crap, they really do breathe fire,” a shocked Captain Schultz says out loud. “We better do as we are told.” Inside the Stargate Chamber, Torch is glaring at each of the blue helmeted soldiers as they file one by one through the activated Stargate into the hostile world beyond. He hisses at their leader, Officer Cheng, who hesitates to go through the gate. The smoking body of the fighter pilot is taken through the gate by two of those men. “What a relief to get rid of that threat,” comments Clarence as Perry now settles down from warning everyone of the threat. “I was hoping that one of them would be stupid enough to try to get away,” Torch tells Clarence. “Adolf didn’t know that I understand enough of the German language to have learned how he was planning to escape.” Shortly after sending the Blue Helmets to their fate, Cleo comes out of the temple with a group of men women, and children. There is a happy reunion among the flight crew and the bus driver as they are all reunited with their families and close friends. As everyone has finally recovered from their unscheduled teleportation to the Land of the Two Suns, Dr. Nasser prepares to conducts an orientation meeting with the new members of Dr. Rogers field trip, the flight crew, the limo driver, and the bewildered newly arrived family members. He rides in on Leader so that he can introduce the dragons to the newcomers. Farrell has come along where there is a happy reunion between him and Dr. Croft. He lays by her as she and the rest of her friends and family gather around him. There are a ton of questions as to what has been happening and a bit of a shock to see dragons and living creature from the Juristic World among the researchers and their friends. “Farrell is the dragon that made it all possible,” Dr. Croft tells everyone at the meeting when Dr. Nasser introduces her to the most curious newcomers. “Being my Game of Throne fantasy come true when I first found him, our friendship made it possible to unite into an alliance, all the dragons and everyone living here in this world some eleven years ago. That ended their war and uneasy cease fire that had been occurring for thousands of years. Many of the dragons know our language, many of us know theirs. They live as equals among the various cultures living in this world. Treat them and everyone living here with respect and we can all live together as friends in this new world.” The briefing continues with the newcomers and the representatives of those early explorers that have started colonies in the respective new worlds. Everyone gets an orientation of the different worlds and their unique challenges of what is known about them. “Stargate Village will now become the communication and travel hub between all of the known worlds,” Dr. Nasser tells everyone. “This Obelisk will allow us to remain in contact in those worlds with this travel center through our new information devices. They will give you valuable information about where you will be settling and how to thrive there. You will have some limited high tech equipment available for establishing your base of operation. Other then that, you are pretty much on your own using your skills in order to build and maintain your colonies. You are going to be the modern day versions of the early pioneers and explorers of the 16th Century.” With that, the meeting has concluded as the various representatives of the seven worlds that Stargate have established colonies in, meet with all of the newcomers and seasoned veterans from the land of the two suns. Back on Earth, an emergency meeting has been called by the Chinese Government and UN leaders. Each group is soon blaming the other for the disappearance of the charter flight, all of the friends and relatives of those on board, the friends and relatives of the flight crew, the bus driver, the people of Dr. Rogers expedition, and an estimated 6,000 other people worldwide. Having been unable to extract any information off of the traveler’s personal devices due to their SIMM Chips having been burned out by a kill command activated in those chips, a device that the Chinese Military had implanted in all electronic devices for the purpose of backdoor entry to control them, a raid is authorized on River State University, Michigan State Veterinary School, and anyone that is associated with them. Students and facility of River State University are in a panic as an army of special Chinese agents of the UN has descended upon the campus and start tearing the place apart. Again, there is another failure to control information as the raids alerts the world to the desperation of those conducting them. Several students and facility members are recorded being shot or beaten up by Blue Helmets and the special agents at both universities. Soon the news media people recording the event are similarly attacked with lethal force as cameras and recording equipment gets smashed. The broadcasting from Fox News, CNN, and all the rest of the major networks get suddenly cut off. Homes and apartments of many of the students and facility members, as well as those of the people that have vanished, are ripped apart in similar raids. As expected, the raid finds nothing other then to outrage everyone over the heavy handed illegal tactics being used by a foreign entity in the US. In Egypt, the commander of the raid on the Stargate Village, is shot for treason when top UN leaders arrive there only to find an empty depression in the sand where satellite and drone images showed an installation being there before they vanished in a flash of light. The entire task force that was sent with orders to seize the village are soon ordered back to the air base at Aswan and locked in the now overcrowded brig. They face days of intense interrogation and torture as spies before being beheaded. In the weeks that follows the disappearance of Dr. Rogers charter and the stargate village, protests and riots are breaking out everywhere worldwide. International news broadcast soon return. It quickly becomes apparent that the broadcasters, many of then substitutes for the regular broadcasters, are reading prepared scripts as the cameras pull back to show armed blue helmeted soldiers nearby. The broadcasts get cut again. The protests against the governments soon reaches the point where entire nations start pulling out of the UN and severing diplomatic relations with China. There is a total breakdown in Washington between the politicians and the military over how the UN was allowed to conduct such a raid on US soil in the first place. Somewhere along the line, nuclear missiles get launched at Washington DC and Beijing China. A major naval conflict soon erupts in the Pacific. Key communication and GPS satellites are targeted with lasers and rail guns. The International Space Station gets ripped apart by numerous collisions with the wreckage of those destroyed communications and GPS satellites. That sets off a chain reaction that soon turns anything in low Earth Orbit into a cloud of lethal objects. It climaxes with a total nuclear exchange with China, Russia, the Unites States, the UK, France, and other nations that still have a nuclear stockpile. What is left of humanity is soon struggling for survival as the aftermath of that global war, and the years of nuclear winter that follows, has resulted in UN Agenda 2030 far exceeding it’s goal of world population reduction. In short, all modern technology has been disabled or rendered useless. It has also become impossible to place any communications or spy satellites back into low Earth orbit due to the clouds of debris from destroyed communication and GPS satellites now circling the planet. Geo stationary ones, that have not been destroyed, have been rendered useless due to the orbiting debris cloud, made up of billions of metallic particles the size of grains of sand and larger, that is now blocking their signals. In short, civilization has been returned back to the stone age with the destruction of all electrical and electronic devices. Communication gets limited to Ham shortwave and wired land lines. Transportation gets limited to animal and human power as all, but the oldest of cars, trucks, motorcycles, aircraft, and trains are unable to function due to burned out electronics. It will be 20 years or longer before the descendant of preppers, those that have escaped the wrath of nuclear warfare, the years of nuclear winter that follows, and the mobs of desperate survivors looking for food and water, are able to reestablish small communities to start repopulating the now recovering wilderness they have hidden out in.
  9. Chapter 29. The return back home. It is mid morning when everyone has prepared for the return trip to the Stargate and Earth. As promised, Farrell has returned with his dragon friends to provide transport to the Egyptian village and the Stargate there. At the village, an important meeting is held with Helena and Dr. Nasser about their plans to move with their families to this land of the two suns. “I see a lot of new faces here,” reports Dr Croft. “What’s going on?” “The political world back home is rapidly changing for the worst,” warns Dr. Nasser. “While you were gone, our anonymous donor has warned us that a secret meeting was held at the UN with all nations attending to implement Agenda 2030. Given the current bankruptcy being faced by every nations worldwide, an agreement has been made to implement a new single currency based upon what the Chinese had been playing with known as the Social Credit System. In addition, they plan to implement a UN income and use tax to support their plans for worldwide reconstruction and resource control. While the United States and several other Western Nations have abstain from such a plan, they may have no choice but to eventually become part of that plan given the huge part of their National Debt is still being held by the Chinese. The overall goal of that meeting, the formation of a New World Order under one Socialist Government as all property is seized, and reallocated into construction of sustainable communes, with the eventual relocation of everyone into those communes.” “We are currently involved in the vetting and relocating of our friends and supporters of the Stargate Project to the Egyptian Village.” reports Dr. Nasser. “We have given it the name of Operation Mayflower. From here, they will be given an orientation of the worlds we have discovered so far where they will be allowed to pick out a destination to explore and settle in.” “How many people are involved in this pioneering effort?” asks Dr. Croft. “We’re looking at close to 6,000 selected individuals from all over the world,” answers Dr. Nasser. “Shortly after you had made the trip to the Land of the Two Suns, we have discovered ten more uninhabited worlds suitable for exploration and settling. “As the evacuation of our friends and families of our supporters on Earth continues, I would suggest that you make your preparations to become pioneers in one of the new worlds as quickly and as quietly as possible. Once the United Nations finds out that this place contains a Stargate to other worlds, they will try to take control of it. A list of who has already been vetted to come with you and what you can pack to take with you, has already been prepared. You can review that list on this special app that is already downloaded to your smartphone and can only be access by you through your facial recognition via your selfie cam. Your long range charter is waiting to take you back to MBS as soon as you step through the Stargate. It will bring you directly back here as soon as you have completed preparations for your return.” “I can’t stress enough about keeping your plans secret once you leave through the Stargate. While you will have limited communications with each other via the secure network app that is now on your smart phone, all other communications is being closely monitored worldwide through the Chinese created 5G network. I suspect that the Internet and cell networks will soon be shut down as word of the secret UN meeting starts to spread when they lose control of restricting access to that information. Have a safe trip back home. I’ll see you in a couple of days.” The researchers from Michigan, which includes Dr. Halls and his wife Dr. Mays, now enter the Stargate to begin their hasty preparations to flee their homes to return to a new world. The stargate chamber is a busy place with groups of new people with their supplies waiting their turn to be teleported to some new world. They exit the temple to see more groups of pioneers being prepared for their trip into the unknown. “This is getting serious,” Dr. Croft comments as they board the charter jet to return them home. “What’s to prevent this huge influx of pioneers from altering the cultures of the Land of the Two Suns?” “Dr. Nasser told me that most of the pioneers and refugees are going to be relocated to the ten newly discovered uninhabited worlds.” reports Dr. Rogers. Only a select few researchers will remain with the existing cultures we have made friends with.” “That’s good to know,” answers Dr. Croft. “Where do you think that we will relocate?” “Most likely, your group will be allowed to live at the Sacrifice Temple with your dragon friends.” reports Dr. Rogers. “Some of us will want to check out some of those new worlds. I would like to check out Amissa. I hear that there are the remains of several cultures that used to inhabit that world.” The flight home goes as normal with a refueling stop in Madrid, Spain. Dr. Halls and Dr. Mays board a local flight in Detroit to East Lansing where they start their preparations for their return. Two of his grad students have been invited to join him for the return adventure. They had helped him with the surgery of the fruit bat. Dr. Rogers prepares for his family to join him for what he has told them is an extended overseas vacation. He has been given permission to bring along his wife’s friend, her husband, and her two kids. The two women have already heard rumors about Agenda 2030 and are already noticing the censoring taking place on the social media sites as well as all reference of it either vanish, or are being changed into something totally different. Tod and Sarah make their arrangements to get their kids to travel with them. They are very curious about their upcoming visit to Disneyland. It is on Wednesday that the group has planned their meeting at Dr. Roger’s office at 10AM. Everyone has prepared to be there at that time. Joe comes in with his wife which is a custom where He often drops her off at the University before he heads to his place of business. The normal routing does not attract any attention in this now heightened security world. Hearing about construction roadblocks on I-75, Dr Halls has decided to take the back roads to the university. He has managed to borrow a classic van for the trip given that all modern vehicles sold since the turn of the century now have some sort of tracking devices in them. His two grad students are with him. They make the trip arriving at the University by 9AM. Luggage has been picked up a day earlier by a courier service where it has been delivered to the charter that is parked in a private hanger at MBS. Boarding the Airport Limo which has arrived to pick them up, they make the trip to MBS where they are waved through the back gate to where the larger private jet is waiting for them. Then, they get a nasty surprise. Waiting for them is a platoon of blue helmeted solders. It also becomes apparent that the local police and airport security has been detained by Blue Helmeted soldiers as well. “What is this all about?” asks Dr. Rogers when the platoon surrounds them as they get off of the limo. “By the authority of the UN, you are all under arrest,” the squad leader tells them. “We have been authorized to use deadly force if you fail to cooperate. You are ordered to board the charter jet at this time.” Everyone including the limo driver gets escorted up the ramp into the waiting plane. On board the charter are a squad of blue helmets armed with assault weapons. Everyone is searched with all ID and personal devices seized from them. The charter is then ordered to take off. Two fighter jets with UN markings are soon spotted flying escort. The refueling stop in Spain is far from routine. Their charter is ordered to land at a Spanish air force base where the charter is refueled. The charter pilot is ordered to fly directly to the Stargate airstrip where he is told that the UN will be securing the installation by the time they arrive there. It is late that evening, as the charter is flying over the Sahara Desert, that a strange turn of events suddenly take place. The two escorting fighter jets suddenly break off to engage some unknown target. A bright light engulfs them as a high pitch whine hits the charter causing everyone on the charter to pass out. Back at the UN headquarters, now located in Beijing China, there is panic among the secret society of leaders of Project Agenda 2030. “We had reports of our escort jets engaging an unidentified object over the Sahara Desert.” reports commander Chow. “We have lost contact with them and the Stargate Charter. Our drone tailing the flight shows a bright light engulfing all three aircraft before we lost control of it.” “It’s worse then that,” reports Madame Chang. “As our invasion force was about to land at the Stargate Village, a bright light engulfed it. Their commander now reports that there is nothing left at that location other then the runway, an oasis, and a large depression in the sand. Satellite data confirms their observation. The village and the dome over the Stargate Temple is no longer there.” “We have an even bigger problem,” warns Boris, the person in charge of Internet information. “Our advance force that was sent in to detain the people fleeing to the Stargate attracted the attention of the Governor of Michigan. They suddenly found themselves confronted by the National Guard and State Police. Captain Berry panicked and ordered his men to open fire on them. A video of that battle, taken by several individuals at MBS including the National News Media, has made it into the wild. We were unable to stop it’s spread by shutting down the net or forcing the American News Media to sit on the story. The more that we try to control the protests that are breaking out everywhere, the worst things are getting. We had better get all of our representatives together before we lose all control of the efforts to implement Agenda 2030 and our world domination for the sake of Climate Control.” It definitely doesn’t look good for humanity on the Earth as another World War threatens to break out between the Eastern and Western World thanks to the attempts by the UN and China to achieve world wide domination. Now, what has happened to the charter flight that was heading for the Stargate and the Stargate village? Read the next story on Return through the Stargate to find out.
  10. Chapter 28. Pyramid City and the Sacrifice Temple. Back in the Great Hall, Argon goes through one final wing inspection as Dr. Rogers does a closeup video of the scar left from the surgery. It looks more like a decoration with it’s line and cross stitch pattern on the surface of the membrane. “I will still want to share the video with my colleges in the veterinary school.” Dr. Halls tells him. “Argon, you are one of my best patients ever. It’s so hard to believe that you have fully recovered from such a serious injury in only a week.” “I can never thank you enough for giving me back the ability to fly again.” Argon tells him. “It has been my pleasure to help get you flying again my good friend,” Dr. Halls tells him. “Just remember one thing, you are my friend, not a slave.” “I’m still more then willing to take you on a tour of this world,” Argon answers. “Cindy is willing to take Dr. Mays with us.” “Ahab is going to plan the rest of our visit before I have to return back to my world.” Dr Halls tells him. “We plan to visit the Pyramid City, then go see the tamed raptors at the Sacrifice Temple.” “That sounds great,” answers Argon. “I would love to visit those places. I’ve have never been there before. I have really enjoyed you riding on me.” “As it is a two hour flight to the Pyramid City, it will be a good test on your endurance,” reports Dr. Halls. “We will leave in an hour as soon as our medical supplies are packed up on one of the dragons flying with us.” The research and veterinary team soon leave on their dragon rides to the Pyramid City. Alexander and Jerrie have joined them along with his oldest son on Hilda’s son. It is a smooth flight where they first stop at the Obelisk, then to the bustling city where they find accommodations for the evening. “That is really interesting,” Dr. Rogers tells everyone after inspecting the alter with Dr. Croft. “It’s so hard to believe that Alexander and his dragon friend Draco were resurrected from their ashes by this unusual machinery.” “Like the app that allowed Dr. Halls to surgically repair Argon’s wing, the resurrection was possible thanks to the extraterrestrials that constructed this Obelisk,” answers Ahab. “This terminal has allowed us to visit seven other worlds so far. It allows us to maintain radio and smart phone contact with those exploring there. If you have the time, we can go visit one of those new worlds in a couple of days.” “That would be most interesting,” answers Dr. Rogers. “Lets get over to Pyramid City before it gets dark out.” Alexander and Jerrie have flown ahead to make the arrangements for the group to stay for the night. Those arrangements are completed as the rest of the researchers arrive. “This place has sure changed a lot since our last visit,” Dr. Croft tells Alexander. “We have made great progress in rebuilding this city,” reports Alexander. “It is now a central hub of the trade routes from the North, East, West, and the South. You will find Eskimos and Israelis living here as well as Egyptians, Vikings, Celtics, Africans, Asians, Incas, Mayans, and other early history tribes we have made contact with.” “As you can see, the main mode of transport for the goods on convoys are Morleys, Parasaurs, Trikes, Stegos, Parcers, Dire Wolves, Mammoths, and Mongolian horses. While slow, compared to flying on dragons, they provide for reliable transport across the various terrain of this world.” “That is quite a range of unusual domesticated creatures,” answers Dr. Halls. “I’m going to be kept quite busy checking each of them out.” Argon is taking a well deserved rest as several of the villagers marvel at the repair done to his wing. “You have done well to fly this far so soon after recovering from your operation,” Dr. Halls tells him. “Get some rest. Keep up with your recovery and you will soon have your endurance back and more.” Dr. Rogers and Dr. Croft are studying the various traders that have set up shop in the new city. Dr. Halls, Dr. Mays and Mary are soon with Ahab as he takes them over to study the unusual domesticated creatures of the Jurassic and last Ice Age. Visiting the Eskimo quarters, Dr. Halls is astonished to get to examine a Mammoth family up close with their Native owner. “In spite of our best efforts, we were never able to successfully get a complete set of genes from those frozen Mammoths we found buried in the Tundra in order to clone one,” He tells Mary. “There was just too much damage done to the chromosomes by 10,000 years of being frozen in the ground. What good DNA materials that we had recovered, ended up being destroyed when eco terrorist broke into the research lab during the war.” “The ones in this world are so much better then the efforts to clone them from the frozen tissues,” reports Dr. Croft. “They are an excellent representation of what they looked like back at the end of the Ice Age. They have even domesticated quite well. It makes me wonder if the early North American Natives ever attempted to domesticate any of them like they were able to do with wolves.” “We just don’t know,” reports Dr. Halls. “There is no doubt about these being domesticated and doing well as tames.” The researchers also get their first close examination of the Dire Wolf, cave bears, giant elks, Woolly Rhinos, and some saber tooth that are tames of the Eskimo tribe. “Sandra, don’t get too close to those rhinos,” Farrell tells Dr. Croft with concern. “What is that all about?” asks Dr. Halls. “When I first found Farrell, he had been badly injured by one,” Dr. Croft tells him. “That horn has ripped his leg open like a can opener.” “I later found out that it had been an accident,” reports Ahab. “He told me that he landed too close to a newborn calf, so it’s mother attacked him.” “Now, I understand why he is so nervous around them,” answers Dr. Halls. “Most mothers are very defensive of their new born, even the rhinos still living in the zoos can be like that.” “Farrell, it is all right,” Dr Croft tells him. “You are safe so long as you don’t get between a mother and her infant. I’ll be careful around them.” “You be careful.” he tells her. “I don’t want to see anything bad happen to you.” “I’ll be careful.” she tells him. The group completes their study of the unusual tames of the Eskimos along with asking their owners about how they were able to obtain them. The study continues with their culture being compared to that which was known at the end of the Ice Age on Earth. The day soon ends with everyone retiring to the accommodations that also allow the dragons to be with the group. “Will you get jealous if you find me sleeping with a dragon?” Dr Halls asks his wife Dr. Mays. “I was thinking that you might get jealous if you found me sleeping with a dragon,” she tells him. “Then, we’ll make it a foursome,” he tells her. That morning, the explorers fly back to the Sacrifice Temple to further check out the settlement that is thriving there. Tammy, Tarmac, Marty, and Macy are up in their nest with their youngsters. “That is quite some home those dragons have above the temple,” Argon tells Dr. Halls as he lands there. “Dr Croft tells me that they moved there from the northern rookery eleven years ago,” he tells Argon. “Tod and Ahab helped them construct the shelter to protect their nest from the sandstorms that can hit this area.” “That is so incredible,” Argon tells Dr. Halls. “I never knew that it was possible for us dragons and humans to live together with the friendship that I see here. Their shelter looks so much like the homes that the humans are living in.” “We have both helped each other in the construction of our village and the homes of our dragon friends,” Ramsey II tells Argon. “It has been a most wonderful arrangement of cooperation.” Landing down in front of the temple, the researchers and the two doctors get off of their rides. After unloading the dragon carrying the supplies, they thank them all for the wonderful adventure together. “Tomorrow morning, we will have to return to our world,” Dr. Croft tells Farrell and the other dragons. “We will most certainly return at the earliest opportunity. If possible, we would like to return with the goal of making this place our retirement home.” “That would be most wonderful,” answers Farrell. “We’re off to visit our friends living at the Northern Rookery. We’ll be back in the morning to take you to the Stargate.” “Thank you, all of you,” Dr. Croft tells them as they prepare to leave for the afternoon. Ahab proceeds to take Dr. Halls over to see his raptors. It is a most amazed Veterinarians that get to examine the raptor pair and their youngster. “This is so much better observing and studying real raptors then trying to guess just how they lived millions of years ago,” Dr Halls comments. “I do believe that the behavior of the raptors in this world is nowhere near the same as it would have been in their Jurassic World.” answers Ahab “They, and the various wild and domesticated dinosaurs in this world, behave so much different then one would expect. You will need to study the Sentry Parasaurs back in Ramsey’s village to understand what I mean. The horn on their head acts like a form of sonar that can detect a nearby threat or even be used to locate a buried object. They can also be ridden like horses.” “Thankfully, these raptors are not like those of that first Jurrasic Park movie.” Dr. Mays answers. “They sure do like the attention.” “Still, we saw what a pack of them did to a lone Morley,” reports Joe. “These two adults Farrell scared off when they were clawing at the temple door to get at us. He fried and crushed their leader when we opened the doors. These two kept hanging around but posed no threat. So, we decided to capture and see if we could tame them. They have turned out to be good loyal pets that have kept the Troodons and wild pegomaxes at bay.” “You still need to keep an eye on your valuables,” Sarah tells Dr. Mays as she walks in with a pegomax on her shoulder. “They are still little thieves even when tamed. Peggy will take things out of your pocket and run off with them when you are distracted. She was tamed when she stole my mejoberries off of me.” “The Troodons are just nasty period. They are just not worth what is required to tame one. They are good eating especially after one has been roasted by a dragon. They taste like chicken and pork combined.” “Jarboas are most interesting little rodents,” reports Cleo. “Besides being so cute, they have an ability to sense when bad weather is coming in these desert like lands. You can tell what kind of storm is coming by their change in behavior. They have been able to give us a ten minute warning of an approaching sand storm, electrical storm, or a mega heat wave.” “This is such an interesting world,” Dr. Halls tells everyone. “I am so tempted to retire early and join the rest of you away from our ruined world.” “Given the uncertainty in our present world, I would have to agree with you,” answers Dr. Rogers. “I just can’t see how the reconstruction of our world can possibly take place without bankrupting the country or taxing us all to death. There is already serious considerations by the politicians to start forming a single United Nations or New World Order. With so many other Governments having gone Bankrupt due to the war, the Chinese, United States, and the Russians already racking up unsustainable debts, I see another Civil War rising when the day comes that all remaining wealth gets seized to pay for the sustainable centers they have already started building in our destroyed cities. Lets plan on doing so when we get back, but also be careful that we don’t start a stampede of refugees that will try to escape with us. We run the risks of these worlds being corrupted if Ahab loses control of the Stargate and this place gets swamped with people that don’t belong here.” “Our Anonymous donor has made provisions to prevent that from happening,” reports Ahab. “Anyone that wants to live in this world has to be vetted by them before they can go through the Stargate. You and your families have already been cleared to make that move. An app that only you can access is already on your smart devices that will guide you on what you can pack and how to make arrangements for it to get here. Dr. Nasser and Helena can tell you more about the resettlement project when you get back to the Stargate Village on Earth.”
  11. Chapter 27. Recovery and Research in this new world. That following morning, Dr. Halls and Mary goes to check up on Argon. As predicted by Mary, the wing is healing up at a remarkable rate. Dr. Halls conducts a complete examination of Argon as both he and Mary wash the repaired area of the wing with the Narcoberry solution. “Argon, if you keep healing up at this rate, you will be flying soon.” “I’m so happy to hear that,” he tells him. “You may go walking at this time.” Dr Halls tells him. “I would also like you to unfold and fold the wing from time to time. Just be mindful of the restraint on your fingers. When it is time to remove the stitches, I’ll allow you to take some short flights. The important thing is that we get that slash to fuse at 100% strength. You are well on the way for that to be happening. Be careful out there and you should be just fine.” “I’ll be careful,” Argon tells him. “What are your plans for today?” “I plan on studying the dragons and other creatures living around this village,” answers Dr. Halls. “We can escort you to their nests,” answers Argon and Cindy. “I’d be delighted to have you two as my escort,” answers Dr. Halls. “Just remember, don’t try flying at this time even though that wing feels so much better.” “I’ll stay on the ground,” Argon tells him. The two, along with Cindy, Dr. Mays, and Mary, follow Argon to the nesting area set up South of the village by the Vikings for the survivors of the Marcus Rookery. The dragons living there are soon by the group looking at the repair to Argon’s wing and asking a lot of questions. Mary is serving as translator for the dragons that only know Celtic. The group spends the morning examining each dragon from the flock, measuring their size, recording their coloration, age, sex, and many other areas of study. They also get their story about their lives, the raid on their nest, the injuries suffered and treated by Eric’s vikings, and the raid to put Rollo out of business for good. “I’m so glad that you have been able to repair Argon’s wing,” Aragarnot, their new leader, tells them. “Eric’s surgeons were able to take care of our injuries from the raid. They just had no knowledge on how they could have taken care of Argon’s injury.” “An injury like his, if left untreated, can cripple a flying creature for life,” answers Dr. Halls. “He is lucky that I was able to stitch it back together. I am confident that he will be flying as soon as his wing is completely healed.” “That is really good news,” Aragarnot tells him. Dr Halls does another inspection of Argon’s wing. “Your wing is holding up well,” he tells him. “Just continue to take it easy. Get some rest if you feel that it is starting to bother you. I don’t want you to accidentally pull out any of the stitches.” “Thank you for that report,” Argon tells him. “I’ll see you later in the day,” Dr Halls tells him. The group continues on their tour of the Viking Village as Argon and Cindy stays to visit with their friends for a while. They head outside over on the East end of the village where there are several Morlys grazing on the sagebrush. “Oh my gosh!” comments Dr. Mays. “Those look like those creatures that Jackson made friends with in that Stargate movie.” “They are called Morelotops,” answers Ahab. “We have seen them in several of the other worlds that we have visited. They are similar to camels in our world, but much stronger and tougher. Even though they are classified as a mammals, they are egg layers.” “Such an unusual creature,” Dr. Halls reports after examining the ones in the field. “How are you able to ride them?” “We have a saddle that fits on their neck,” reports Ahab. “I’ll have one of the shepherds saddle them up for us so I can show you what the brush lands towards the pyramids looks like. As the brush lands harbor some dangerous predators, our Morleys will offer us protection from any attacks by the predators we may see out there.” Saddled, the group head off into the Eastern wilderness. It is rugged terrain with sage brush, large cactus, grassy meadows, small trees in the dry washes. Several small mammal like creatures are seen grazing on the berries in the bushes. “Those are Jarboas,” Ahab tells the newcomers. “They serve as our weather forecasters when we are out in the wilderness. They have the ability to detect when a storm or heat wave is coming.” “Are we in any danger from the bad weather?” asks Dr. Mays. “I have packed a special tent with us,” answers Ahab. “We can seek shelter in it should we run into a sandstorm, electrical storm, or heat wave.” “What about the Morrelotops?” asks Dr. Halls. “They are well equipped to handle the weather extreme,” answers Ahab. “They will just rest next to the tent like the camels do in Egypt during a sandstorm or other bad weather.” As the expedition continues along the game trails, other creatures are spotted out in the distance. Those include some giant kangaroos, a vulture, and some jug bugs. “Are those raptors in the distance?” asks Dr. Mays. “Yes,” answers Ahab. “So long as we are riding on these Morlys, they will keep their distance. I have a family of tamed ones you can study once we go back to the Sacrifice Temple. They are surprisingly quite friendly as tames. Alexander’s Son has a Direwolf as a tame. They are large enough for him to ride on like a large pony. We have many more unusual creatures from Earth’s early history back in the Egyptian Village that you can study.” “That is most interesting,” answers Dr. Halls. “I will have to be careful that Argon is properly healed before I give him the OK to go flying with no restrictions so I can continue the study of the unusual creatures of this land.” It is approaching late evening when the patrol makes it back to the Viking Village. “That was quite an interesting trip,” Dr Halls tells Ahab. “I had better go find Argon and check out his wing.” Argon and Cindy comes to meet Dr. Halls over at the Great Hall as the rest of the researchers arrive there. His wing gets examined by both the Doctor’s and Mary. “This is really looking good,” Dr Halls reports as he and Mary apply another Narcoberry treatment to the stitches. “If you continue healing up at this rate, those stitches can come out in a couple of days. The app is telling me that we can remove the tongue depressors tomorrow.” The evening is spent comparing notes on the field trip and observing the creatures the Vikings have as their tames. Studies of the livestock have gone well with Dr. Halls amazed at how healthy those herds are in this new land. The following morning, Dr. Halls has Argon back on the makeshift operating table so that he and Mary can remove the tongue depressors. They are no longer needed to align the wing membranes and are starting to leave an impression in the healing wing. They apply the narcoberry solution to the stitched area. “I believe that those stitches can come out tomorrow,” he tells Argon. “That’s good news,” he tells them. “What are your plans for today?” “I plan to study the agriculture taking place in Eric’s village and Alexander’s trading center.” He tells Argon. “I’d be honored if you serve as an escort.” “Ride on me,” he tells Dr. Halls. “I’d love to do so,” answers Dr. Halls. “You’re wing has healed up enough for you to carry me. Just don’t go flying yet. I’ll have you do some wing exercises when we go outside. Sitting on you will give me a good view on how well your wing has healed.” Outside, Dr. Halls has Mary and Dr. Mays observe Argon’s wing as he is put through some flapping exercises. “Looking good,” they both report. “We’ll do some more of those exercises throughout the day,” Eric has now joined them as they head out to the agriculture area of the village. “Interesting,” comments Eric. “Argon is letting you ride on him. You are the first person ever to do so.” “He asked me to sit on him,” Dr. Halls answers. “I believe that he wants to experience what his friends have been experiencing when your villagers go flying on them. At the rate he has been healing up, he will be flying soon.” The tour takes them to Tyrion’s nest in the center of the village where Dr. Halls has a look at the scar on Tyrion’s leg and the one on Lisa’s shoulder. “This is the bolt that I pulled out of his leg,” Raganor tells Dr. Halls. “He’s lucky that he still has his leg,” Dr. Halls answers after seeing the size of the bolt that was used against the dragons. “That Lisa is one tough dragon to survive 24 hours swimming with a wounded wing in the sea.” “You did a good job with completing treatment with Tyrion’s leg.” answers Mary. “When did Lisa show up?” “We found her swimming in the sea shortly after you left,” answers Raganor. “She was the only one of the four to survive being shot out of the sky by Rollo’s dragon killers. She was so scared of us when we sent out a longboat to bring her back to the shore. One of the orphan eggs we recovered was hers. The other was Tyrions.” “Those are going to be some gorgeous dragons when they reach their adult size.” answers Dr. Mays as she checks out the two juvenile dragons in Tyrion’s nest. “You are so lucky to have so many dragons as your friends.” “We have made allies with so many of them that I doubt that they are any wild ones left on this world,” answers Ahab. “The Marcus Rookery were the last wild dragons we ended up making contact with. In spite of what happened to them, they have all chosen to live with us of their own free will.” That evening, Argon is back in the operating bed for a wing inspection. “This is great!” Dr. Halls tells him. “My app is confirming what I am looking at. We’re going to go ahead and remove the stitches at this time. Tomorrow, your wing will be ready for you to take some short flights.” “That is some great news,” Argon tells them. “I’m going to have a hard time waiting until morning to go flying.” “We still have to apply the Narcoberry solution to the holes left by the stitches,” answers Mary. “That alone is going to make you drowsy. By morning, those holes should have closed up.” With the removal of the stitches, the last treatment is applied to the wing which now has a line showing for the scar from healing. Soon, that will show a matching dot pattern looking like a tattoo. Argon soon drifts off to sleep as Dr. Croft massages his neck. The following morning, everyone is getting ready for the big test. Dr. Halls has examined Argon’s wing finding that as Mary has predicted, the holes from the stitches are now fully healed. With Argon on the surgical bed, he proceeds to remove the restraint from the two wing fingers. “Let go see if you can fly,”He tells him. “Do some wing flapping test for me.” Argon steps outside and does a wing flap test. Dr Halls gives it a quick look over as Argon holds the wing open. Then’ he tells Argon. “Do a test flight for me.” Argon carefully gets a running start, then launches himself into the air. Everyone is cheering as he circles about and comes in to land in front of the medical team. “Lets go inside so I can do a complete exam on the repair,” Dr. Halls tells Argon who is in tears of joy that he has now able to fly for the first time in a year. “Excellent,” Dr. Halls tells him after doing a complete exam on the medical bench. “You are now cleared for flying. Just take it easy until you get your strength and flying skills back.” “Fly on me,” Argon tells him. “Are you sure,” Dr. Halls asks him. “I owe you a ride for what you have done to help me fly again,” Argon tells him. “Lets go see your friends at the rookery,” Dr. Halls tells him as he climbs up onto his shoulder. They are joined by Dr. Mays who has been asked by Cindy to ride on her, Mary, Dr. Croft, and Ahab as they all take flight on the dragons with them. It is a most astonished rookery of dragons as they see Argon flying to visit them with a rider. The sky is soon filled with dragons that have to see for themselves. It is soon a busy scene when Argon lands by his old nest as every dragon in the area have to come up to look at the healed wing and to thank Dr. Halls for repairing their friend’s wing. “You now have a dragon friend for life,” Dr. Croft tells Dr. Halls. “This is been a most amazing adventure,” Dr. Halls answers as they all take flight to circle the village to visit the other nearby rookeries. “I never imagine that dragons were for real, that I would actually do an operation on one to repair his wing, that they would be as intelligent as these dragons, that I would make friends with one for life. I’m not going to want to return to the madhouse of my world after living in this one for a week.”
  12. Chapter 26. The Operation. An e-mail from Dr. Rogers has alerted Dr. Croft that Dr. Halls has just arrived at the Stargate Temple and will soon be on his way to the village. “This has been one most unusual trip,” Dr. Halls tells Dr. Rogers. “I have never taken a trip before on such short notice where everything has been so prepared right down to my passport and bypass all of the security at the airport to be taken by a private charter to this remote location. What is going on here that is so important that it requires my skills? What is in the specialized medical equipment suitcase that has been sent with us?” “We have a most unusual patient for you that needs your surgical skills so that he can fly again,” reports Dr. Rogers. “Once you get to see him, you will understand why we had to bring you to him. I’ll be free to tell you more what this is all about once we enter the Stargate Temple.” “Lets go then.” reports Dr. Halls. “Have you ever watched the movie Stargate?” asks Dr. Rogers as they enter the temple. “Yes, I did when I was working on my master’s degree,” answers Dr. Halls. “Why do you ask?” “Because the Stargate in this temple is for real,” answers Dr. Rogers. “You and Dr. Mays are about to join an elite group of interstellar pioneers once we step through the portal. Let me show you what my research team found 11 years ago.” Heading inside the Stargate Chamber, the foursome, that includes Ahab hauling the specialized equipment on a hand truck enter the Stargate Chamber. The gate is activated as the foursome step through into the temple on the other side. “Welcome to 10,000 BC Egypt in the land of the two suns.” Dr. Rogers tells the two newcomers as they step outside. “Here comes our transportation to the Viking Fishing Village.” “Oh! My! Gosh!” says Dr. Mays in shock. “Are those real dragons?” “Yes,” answers Dr. Rogers. “Dr. Halls patient happens to be a dragon in a village we are headed for. His wing was slashed by a broadsword during a fight with Viking raiders leaving him unable to fly. Don’t be afraid of them, they won’t harm you. They are very intelligent. Some of them can talk to us in our English. Ahab knows their native language.” Six dragons land next to the foursome as Ahab introduces them to the newcomers. “Now I understand why you asked for my help,” answers Dr. Halls as he gets to see a real dragon up close. “Those dragon’s wings look quite similar to the fruit bat wing I did surgery on for the Detroit Zoo last year. This is going to be quite interesting doing similar surgery on a dragon wing.” “At least, the scale you will be working with will be a lot easier to operate on,” answers Dr. Rogers. “And, unlike the fruit bat, you will be able to talk to your patient.” “As soon as we pack your surgical supplies on one of the dragons, we can be on our way to the viking village,” reports Ahab. “You ride’s name is Marty. Dr. Mays, your ride is his mate Macys. They are both familiar with the English language. It is a four hour trip to get there. You don’t have to do anything while flying. Just enjoy the ride as you carry on a conversation with your dragon friends.” “Oh my gosh,” Comments Dr. Mays as she gets on Macy. “She’s wonderful. This is just like Game of Thrones.” “The main difference is that this is as big as these dragons will grow,” reports Ahab. “The bonus is that we can talk to each other. By the ways, they can actually breathe fire so you want to be on their good side. No, I’m not kidding about their breathing fire. They use that fire to cook their meal. Talk to Macy about anything that you want, Tell her about your family, ask her about hers, she would like to get to know you.” The flight takes off heading for the Viking Fishing Village. It goes quickly for the two newcomers as they engage in conversation with their dragon rides. Dr. Mays is fascinated with how the dragon families and social structure works in this new world. It is nothing like she had expected. “Our fantasy knowledge about your kind is so, totally wrong,” she tells Macy. Dr. Halls is mostly asking questions about the dragons and other creatures living in this world. “When I am done repairing Argon’s wing and he is well on the way to a recovery, I would like to see those other creatures living in this world.” he tells Marty. They make it to the village by noon. The two newcomers head over to where Argon has been resting with his mate Cindy and feeling nervous about the plans for the day. Mary is with him for the introduction. Dr. Halls and his assistant Dr. Mays conduct their examination of his wing with Cindy in attendance. “You were wise to ask for my help,” he tells Mary. “This is a most difficult injury for even a fruit bat to recover from. As I was able to get the fruit bat back in the air again, I see no problem in getting Argon’s wing stitched up. It is just going to take a couple of hours of work to get it stitched together and keep it that way so the two halves can fuse together as they heal. “When you get my wing sewed together, how long will it be before I will be able to fly again.” asks Argon. “I can tell that you’re going to be a such a good patient,” answers Dr. Halls. “Argon, I’m not sure. We don’t have any dragons in my world. I don’t know how long it is going to take for a dragon’s wing to get healed from such an injury like yours. I’m guessing about two weeks at the most providing that there are no complications with the healing process. That is what I observed with the fruit bat’s wing that I sewed together. It could be a lot sooner then that. Mary tells me that the dragons she took care of, that had holes in their wings, were fully healed in a week. Raganor has told me just how quickly Tyrion’s leg healed up from his cross bolt wound. I’m planning on staying here with you to check out the healing process. I’m told that the Narcoberries in this world have great healing and disinfectant properties. I definitely plan on using them to get you flying again.” “Thank you for such encouraging news,” Argon and Cindy tells him. “We’ll get started as soon as I have my equipment set up in the Great Hall,” Dr. Halls tells Argon. Raganor will bring you there when we are ready. Back in the Great Hall, several of the villagers are helping to get the makeshift operating room ready. A bed is placed for Argon to lay in where his wing will be supported by tables padded with blankets. Battery powered LED lights have been sent along with the special equipment as Dr. Halls, Dr. Mays, and Mary lay out the tools on the table next to Argon’s bed. “Plastic Tongue depressors? What will they be used for?” asks Mary. “The app I am getting on my data device is showing me how to stitch his wing together.” reports Dr. Hall. “The tongue depressors are going to be used in place of a support mesh in order to align the two halves of his wing in place as we stitch it together. It is even showing me the stitch pattern required. Mary, according to this app, I will need you on the floor under his wing to push the suture needle back through his wing and place a tongue depressor in place so I can tie off each stitch pattern. We’ll place a blanket down there for you to lay on with a pillow and a light.” “Dr. Rogers, where did this app come from? I’ve never seen anything like this before.” “It originates from our anonymous donors,” answers Dr. Rogers. “They must be the extraterrestrials that constructed the Stargate and made the arrangements for our first visit. Apparently, they are unable to do anything about Argon’s wing and are using our help to repair it for them.” Raganor has now brought Argon into the Great Hall where Dr. Halls gets him positioned on the bed. Cindy is with them. “I would like to be awake while you are working on my wing,” Argon tells him. “I see no reason why you need to be put to sleep for this procedure,” Dr Halls tells him. “I have some medication that I can use to numb the area where I am working on your wing. I am going to have to cut through the healed edge of the injury so that there is raw tissue to pull up against it when I stitch the two halves in place. Once I am done with a stitch pattern, Mary and I will apply a narcoberry solution on the repaired section. According to the app, that will start the healing process, stop any bleeding, and further numb any pain from the surgery.” “Are you ready for me to start the procedure?” “Yes,” Argon answers. “I’m going to start by tying these two web fingers in such a way as to take the pressure off of the sutures.” Dr Halls tells him. “Then, I’ll inject some Novocaine into the cut area to numb it. When you tell me that you have no feeling there, I’ll proceed to trim the edge of the slash and we will start sewing it together.” “Lets get this show on the road,” Argon tells him. “I’m glad that he has a good sense of humor,” Raganor reports. “He has been so depressed about being unable to fly for so long.” “That’s good to know,” Dr. Halls answers. “Argon, we are going to measure out and secure just how far the fingers supporting the injured section of your wing membrane should be spaced. We’ll use your good wing to get the measurement needed.” Dr. Halls and Dr. Mays proceed to measure out and secure the two wing fingers using their spikes to superglue the hooks for the restraint into position. They proceed to check out how the wing fabric is lining up before tying down the restraint into position. “We’re now ready to proceed with stitching the membrane back together.” “This is going to sting a little,” Dr. Mays tells Argon as she injects the Novocaine into several spots at the top of the slash in the wing membrane. “That’s not too bad,” Argon tells her. “It’s starting to tickle. Now, it feels strange, like it is going to sleep.” “Good, that means that the Novocaine is doing it’s job.” answers Dr. Halls. “I’m going to start at the top of the tear and work my way down with the stitching process. Mary will be under your wing to pass the suture needle back up to me. Dr. Mays will provide us with the instruments and supplies needed for stitching up your wing.” “I’m ready,” Argon tells him. The operation goes smoothly as the process of trim, suture, treatment with the Narcoberry solution, and numbing of the next several inches of the injury continues. The process takes well over an hour to complete as Dr. Halls, Dr Mays, and Mary are in constant conversation with each other, Cindy, and an ever getting drowsy Argon. “Why am I getting so sleepy?” Argon finally asks Dr. Halls. “It is the sedating effects from the Narcoberry solution we have been applying to the wound.” He tells him. “Anyhow, we have good news for you. We are now finished with the surgery. Lets get you into a more comfortable position so you can get some sleep at this time. Just don’t lay on the surgery side of your wing. Someone will keep watch as you go through your post operation recovery.” As soon as he has been placed in a more comfortable position, Argon is sound asleep as Dr. Croft is massaging his neck to relax him. “That is the best recovery medicine I can give him for now,” a tired Dr. Halls tells everyone. “I think that we could all use a good nap after that surgery,” answers Mary. “You can use these beds we have brought into the Great Hall for you,” Eric tells them. “We’ll keep an eye on Argon while he is sleeping.” It is early evening by the time everyone wakes back up from an exhausting day. Dr. Halls goes over to check on Argon who is just waking up as well. “Argon, you are healing up nicely,” he tells him after a quick inspection of his stitched up wing. “The villagers are bringing you something to eat and a bucket of water. We will apply some more Narcoberry solution to the wound once you are finished eating. Then I want you to take it easy and get a good night’s sleep.” “Thank you for sewing my wing back together. It no longer feels so weird with the membrane flapping about and the constant pain of it’s failure to heal up properly.” Argon proceeds to get a drink of water from one of the Vikings that has brought it for him. He then eats several pieces of cooked meat. After several minutes of questions about how he is feeling, Mary gives him some Narcoberries and water. He then gets positioned back in the bed as she massages his neck. He soon drifts off back to sleep. “I believe that Argon is most certainly well on his way to a full recovery,” Dr Halls tells everyone as he files his report on his PDA device. “Mary is right when she told me that dragons heal up fast when a Narcoberry solution is used to clean and disinfect their wounds. From what I am seeing on Argon’s wing, it looks like that it has been healing up for two days already. It will certainly look a lot better in the morning. This has been a most interesting experience for me. My colleges will never believe me when I have told them that I have conducted surgery on a dragon’s wing.” “You can just tell them that you had to do emergency surgery on another bat’s wing for the Cairo Zoo,” answers Dr. Rogers. “Or just tell them the video I made of the operation was done on a computer simulation.” “I suppose I could do so,” answers Dr Halls. “This place sure has some of the most interesting creatures I have ever seen. I can’t wait to study the dragon families and all of the other creatures they have in this world.”
  13. Chapter 25. The New Worlds. Stepping through the activated Stargate, the returning group are greeted by Farrell, Ramseys II and Clarence. The chamber in the land of the two suns has been decorated with 21st Century items as well as modern Egyptian, Celtic, and Viking ones. Stepping outside the temple, they are greeted by Frieda and the two dragon kids. Ramsey’s children are also in attendance along with a lot of new faces and dragons to greet everyone. “Are you sure that we are in the same village we left ten years ago?” asks Dr. Croft.” “Yes,” answers Ramseys II “As you can see, our village has grown quite a bit since you left us. Our kingdom has grown considerably the past ten years. We have made alliances with the Vikings to the West and the Celtics to the Southwest. We found a tribe of Eskimos living in the northern Tundra by their ice covered sea. We also found a lost tribe of Israel from the time of Moses living in the South. Given that we have found just about every rookery of dragons living in this world, I don’t think that there is such a thing as a truly wild dragon any more. They are either living with us, or with one of the other kingdoms as their allies.” Dr Croft is interacting with Farrell’s kids as she is introduced to them. Dr. Rogers has taken quite an interest in these unusual fantasy creatures. “What a wonderful dragon family you have,” Dr. Rogers tells Farrell as he interacts with the dragon kids for the first time. “I’m so happy for him,” answers Dr. Croft. “Without his friendship, none of this would have been possible.” “We have built up a large trade route with all of the kingdoms except one.” reports Ramseys II Each kingdom trades in those resources that are in short supply for the others. Pyramid City is once again occupied being located on the trade route between our village and that of Eric’s fishing village on the sea. “The only kingdom that remains isolated from us is Rollo’s viking raiders of the Northwest. A year ago they tried to steal eggs from the Marcus Rookery East of their island killing several of the dragons and injuring a dozen others in the process. Raganor and Tyrion soon taught them a lesson they will never forget when an alliance of over 200 male dragons from all the nearby flocks, warriors from our kingdom, the Vikings of his village, and the Celtics, all launched a raid on Rollo’s kingdom. Your radios were a great help in conducting that raid. They hit them with the dragons by diving out of the eclipsed suns at noon taking out all of their dragon killers at once. Then, they burned their village to the ground, set fire to most of their longboats, managed to rescue several hatchling dragons along with the two Viking women caring for them, and started a raging firestorm which burned off all of the trees on that island and destroyed their crops. Tyrion says as of last week that they still haven’t recovered from the retaliatory raid to their homeland. The survivors are still living in makeshift shelters as they attempt to live off what is left of their ruined land.” “That had to have been quite a battle,” answers Dr. Rogers. “One would have though that Rollo’s son would have worked to change their ways after his father was defeated on the raid on Eric’s village by the dragons protecting it,” answers Ramseys II. “I’m just sad to hear that more innocent dragons ended up getting killed and injured as a result of his raids” answers Dr. Croft. “Hopefully, it will not happen again.” We were able to successfully treat all of the injured dragons except for one,” Ramseys II tells her. “Argon got his wing sliced by a broadsword. In spite of our efforts by our best surgeons, it just refuses to heal up properly. The injury has left him unable to fly any distance.” “Where is he living now?” asks Mary. He is living with Eric’s Vikings,” answers Ramseys II. I’ll want to have a look at his wing when we visit Eric’s village,” answers Mary. “Lets see what changes have taken place here and make plan to visit Eric’s village as soon as possible, then the Israelis settlement.” The tour in the village is quite a contrast from eleven years ago. Sentry parasaurs are still around but the village has grown quite a bit in size. There is a market square next to the Stargate Temple where the two dragon pairs Ricky and Ronda and Flame and Torch are living in their shelters on the roof. There is a short delay in the tour as Dr. Croft has to see them and their kids. Down the main street, it is lined with cottage industries where the families are busy with weaving linen and other fine fabrics. Another shop there is involved in the creation of fine pottery. Still another, the casting of jewelry. A Blacksmith shop is forging farming tools and other items. A Brick Kiln is curing building materials. Farm fields are growing fruits and vegetables with rice, corn, soybeans, and wheat in the further areas of the valley. A flock of dragons has flown in to take Ramseys II and the researchers to the Sacrifice Temple. Many of them are familiar to the research group. “You will like what we have done to your old home,” Ramseys II tells them. “Dr. Rogers, you can ride on Firefox.” “How do I ride on a dragon?” asks Dr. Rogers. “No one knows how to ride on a dragon until they have ridden on one,” answers Dr Croft in jest. “Just climb up on the arm of her wing, sit on her shoulder, and enjoy the ride.” “This is outstanding,” Dr. Rogers tells Dr. Croft after they have taken off to fly to the sacrifice temple. “As Jon Snow told Danys, you have spoiled me from horses.” It is quite a sight to see the small village that has sprung up around the sacrifice temple as the dragons fly in to land. The swamp has become a rice farm with one end being kept as a natural area for the wildlife and fish living in it. The two shelters above the main gate are much stronger having been made out of wood and stone for the four dragons with their youngsters living up there. Freida’s nest is in the temple where her two youngsters come out to see Sandra and the newcomers. The accommodations of the researchers remain maintained in the side along with their crafting stations and unused supplies. Everything is in excellent shape as if they had left it yesterday. Ahab’s raptors come in looking for attention with their two offspring that are now half grown. “Are they safe?” as Dr. Rogers with concern. “They are quite safe,” Ahab assures him. “They behave like large gentle dogs. We have learned a lot about raptors in this world including how they raise their young after they constructed a nest and hatched their eggs.” “Lets us plan to visit Eric in the morning,” reports Ramseys II. “There’s plenty here to keep everyone busy for the rest of the day.” In the morning, the flight is made to the Viking Village of Eric. It is vastly different from when the researchers left having now doubled in size with newcomers and the addition of the trade center. Everyone gets to meet Alexander with his Draco and Jerrie with her Hilda. Both are raising families. “Where did all of the dragons come from?” Dr. Croft asks Eric as she sees that there are nearly a hundred of them in the area. “They decided to move in with us of their own free will,” answers Eric. “Is Argon here with them?”asks Mary. “Yes he is,” answers Raganor. “I pray to our Gods that you can do something to help him. He has been feeling so depressed about his injury he suffered fighting Rollo’s raiders. His wing is so crippled by it that he can no longer fly.” “Lets go see him so I can inspect that injury,” answers Mary. Raganor takes the group over to where Argon has made a nest his home where the introductions are made. Both Mary, Dr. Croft, and Dr. Rogers do a detailed examination of the injury by having Argon laying down and spreading out his wings as if he is flying. “I now understand why this injury is not healing up properly.” reports Mary after conducting her examination. “Because of the way the finger bones are held into position by the webbing of the wings, these two finger bones are being pulled out of position when he tries to fly or is resting. This slash is never going to heal up on it’s own if it keeps being pulled apart. I have an idea of how this can be surgically repaired but I don’t feel confident that I can do this with what supplies I can obtain here. It is going to require cutting the sliced edge of the webbing, placing it in a surgical mesh to support it, then sewing the two halves back together so that the trimmed section can fuse together as they heal. We’ll also need to restrain the two fingers in such a way to limit how much they are spread apart until that sliced membrane between them has fully healed.” “I may know someone over at Michigan State Veterinary School that may be able to help us,” answers Dr. Rogers. “These dragon wings look a lot like those that one can find on a fruit bat. He has successfully done repair surgery on the wings of one for the Detroit Zoo.” “See if you can contact him on your cell phone,” asks Ahab. “I’ll make the arrangements to get him here.” The call is made which gets through the Stargate to a college named Dr. Halls. “Let him know that we can pick him up, and his assistant, at 10AM tomorrow morning in front of his office and that all of the travel arrangements have been made,” Ahab tells Dr. Rogers. “He will be provided with a surgery kit customized for what needs to be done for his patient.” “We have definitely peaked his interest in our expedition,” reports Dr. Rogers. “He is quite curious why he has to come here instead of bringing the patient to him. He will be here in two days with his surgical assistant.” “Argon, we are going to do everything that we can to get you flying again,” Mary tells him as she massages his neck. “Dr. Halls is one of the best veterinary surgeons in the business.” “Thank you so much for wanting to help me,” answers Argon in Celtic. “Everyone here has been so helpful to our rookery after what the raiders did to us a year ago.” “I’ll personally bring him, his assistant, and his medical supplies here as soon as he arrives through the Stargate.” reports Ahab. “I want to see you flying again.” “I’ll return with you given that this place and his patient are going to be quite a shock to him and his assistant,” reports Dr. Rogers. The Viking Fishing Village has changed considerably in the past 11 years. A large walled section neat the southern cliff has been added to the village to protect Tyrion’s flock that is living there from any predators. It had been built with the help of the dragons. A new dock with a breakwater has been built to protect the fishing fleet from bad weather. Dragons had been used to carry the stones over to it from a quarry nearby. Two additional Longboats belonging to Eric’s son are tied up with the other longboats. They had been used to bring back the rescued hatchlings with their two Viking caretakers. They are doing just fine with their mothers and the two caretakers. Alexander has set up his trading outpost with Jerrie and their children living there along with Hilda and her two dragon kids. Farm fields are in the nearby valley with it’s stream providing the irrigation for the crops that need it. The following morning, Dr. Rogers and Ahab make the return trip to the Egyptian Village and the Stargate installation on Earth so that they can be there when Dr. Halls and his assistant arrives from the States. The rest of the team make the flight to Montgomery’s village to spend the day there studying the Celtic culture. It is a surprise to find out that they had made friends of the dragons independent of Dr. Croft first making contact with Farrell. “We found out that their dragons were part of Tyrion’s flock that had moved to that island some time ago,” reports Raganor. “We had made a trip to Logan’s homeland when his people found us by the burned out Abby. They spoke to us in the Celtic language. Like us, they were riding on dragons when we first met.” “I now understand how that was possible,” Dr Croft tells Helena. “With the common language between the two, that made it possible for the Celtics and the dragons living on their island to build up their trust between them and become allies.” The Celtic Village has changed little since it’s discovery 11 years ago by Raganor. In fact, it has changed little from it’s early history in those times of Stonehedge. Still, among the simple farming life and crafting, a Stonehedge type temple has been constructed and maintained as an observatory of the twin suns and the stars at night. It’s only major change in the culture has been the friendship with the dragons which has allowed them to conduct trade with Eric’s Vikings to the East and other Celtic settlements to the West. Detailed examination by the researchers find nothing unusual about the structure or it’s purpose as explained to them by Montgomery. It is determined to have no properties of being a suspected Stargate. “This seems to be a culture that has become suspended in time,” Dr. Croft files in her study of the village and it’s inhabitants. They spend the night there in observing how the Stonehedge is used in studying the stars. In the morning, they head back to the Viking fishing village to await the arrival of Dr. Halls.
  14. It reads more like an outline of ideas for putting together the story. Use that outline to expand those ideas into a story that features your character's adventure. I see a lot of possibilities with the expansion of those outlines into a readable novel of that futuristic society.
  15. Chapter 24, Ten Years Later. It is Spring of 2030. The world is slowly returning to normal as a result of a bitter world war that had erupted between the forces of good and evil. It had been a bitter wake up call to the sleeping people of the Western World to the threat that Radical Islam had created world wide. That war was launched worldwide by a coordinate series of attacks on September 11, 2024. It had mostly been a nasty uncivil war involving the military, the National Guard, law enforcement, and local hastily formed militias as the fighting against the radical religious terrorist has erupted everywhere. There had been a nuclear exchange between Iran and Israel, another between India and Pakistan. Several Terrorist smuggled in nuclear warheads have been set off in various port cities around the world. China has had to put down a major Islamic rebellion in it’s country in spite of it’s past effort to contain the Islamic threat by rounding up it’s believers by the millions. There was also a short lived nuclear war in Korea. The city of Mecca is vaporized by a suitcase nuke. Still, much of the worldwide fighting had been of a Civil War nature within the countries as the believers of The Religion of Peace, that infiltrated into the countries through encouraged illegal immigration, then sheltered in the Sanctuary Cities by the bleeding heart Progressives, had launched their attacks in those countries worldwide. The elections of 2024 has taken place in spite of the country being involved in a bitter most uncivil war. It has been a most difficult time for voting due to the violence taking place in the Sanctuary cities, the 24 hour martial laws making it difficult for voters to reach their polling place, the censoring of news both by the Socialist loving news media trying to influence the voters and the social media providers that were censoring the post of millions of their subscribers, and the massive voting fraud that soon surfaced in Democrat location causing their candidates lose big everywhere. Eventually, it all gets sorted out although the inauguration of President Pence had been threatened by the numerous lawsuits financed by that same aging billionaire and the Hollywood elite, who’s illegal activities are eventually exposed resulting in numerous arrests for treason. This uncivil war finally ends by 2026 as the inner city purge gets complete, the military moves in using high tech killer drones to eliminate the last pockets of terrorists activity, the surviving leaders are executed or deported to Gitmo, and their surviving enforcers get locked up in hastily reopened mothballed prisons. It had been a costly uncivil war with the populations of most major cities being all but wiped out by the violence as local law enforcement, the National Guard, and an army of armed volunteers from the suburbs have formed a defensive ring to confine the rioters to their urban neighborhoods. Mostly, those rioters end up completing the destruction of their neighborhoods as they lose their mobility due to a gasoline shortage, then fighting each other for any remaining food, drugs, ammo, and gasoline. As a whole, the smaller towns and rural areas of the country, has been spared the worst of the violence. Between local law enforcement and an armed population, any terrorist activity in the suburbs and rural areas has been quickly put down with deadly force. Basic services and overall food distribution gets slowly restored as the residents of those areas work together to become self sufficient. Barter becomes the new currency in those communities given that all electronic forms of money are suddenly unavailable with cash being in short supply. Overall, the world ends up losing half of it’s population in this brutal war of Armageddon. As the economic crisis caused by the war gets sorted out, 2030 has found the country to be in the beginning of an economic boom far greater then what occurred at the end of WW2. Large areas of the destroyed inner cities, that were not destroyed by a nuclear weapon, are being turned into new economic zones of growth as they are first mined for recoverable resources, cleared, and rezoned to encourage construction of a modern urban center which combines specialized manufacturing, luxury apartments, shopping centers, and produce agriculture, much of it accessible on foot or by battery powered transport. It is during the spring of 2031, at the end of graduation, that Dr. Rogers calls for a meeting with Dr. Croft, Joe, Tod, Sarah, and Mary Reeves. Dr. Sanders has long ago retired and moved to Florida. “Yesterday, Professor Narcy has informed me that the Stargate at the dig site has become active again. He and Helena have been able to visit the land of the two suns. You have been invited to return there to visit your friends and document the changes that have taken place since your last visit.” “That’s wonderful,” Dr Croft tells her husband. “I can’t wait to see Farrell and his Egyptian friends again. When do we leave to go see them?” “You will be picked up here next Tuesday at 10AM by the airport limo.” reports Dr. Rogers. “Bring your cameras and a change of clothes. Professor Narcy has informed me that everything else will be provided for. Unlike your last trip, I will be attending the expedition with you. I’m looking forward to seeing your dragon friends.” The trip to Egypt goes by private charter as before. Landing in Cairo, the city is in a rebirth as it’s ruined sectors are being rebuilt into a modern community with large areas of irrigated cropland. Like many Arab countries, nearly 3/4th of it’s population had been wiped out in the unholy war of Armageddon. The next day, the trip is made to the dig site by special charter. It now has several permanent installations along with a paved runaway for aircraft. A private security company headed by a retired Coronal Arafat provides protection for the installation. The temple that has been covered with a permanent tent like structure to protect it from the hot sun. A small oasis has been established using the water from the buried river for irrigation. About a dozen researchers from around the world have been working at the site the past couple of years in secret. Pioneering adventurers have also become part of those expeditions. It is all supported by the anonymous donor with Ahab and Cleo being placed in charge of the study of the temple, its artifacts, and the new world beyond. “We were fortunate to have escaped the fighting that took place thanks to the remoteness of this location,” reports Ahab as he takes everyone on a tour of the temple village. “As you can see, we have become nearly self sufficient being able to grow most of our food in this new oasis. Much of this independence we have to thank our Egyptian friends from the land of the two suns. They have helped us set up our farming operation along with the exchange of pioneers that have taken up the challenge of living in a new world.” “I thought that the Stargate had remained inactive until now?” asks Dr. Rogers. “That has been the official report,” answers Ahab. “We have been in contact with our Egyptian friends there since the war ended. We obtained free use of the Stargate in the spring of 2027. In addition, we have found the addresses to seven other worlds in addition to the one of the two suns.” “The first world we were able to visit was where Alexander and Jerrie took their honeymoon. It is a land similar to the fictional world of Pandora. It has a beautiful tropical island jungles inhabited by colorful friendly dragons that wear crystal bonnets. To it’s west is an expanse that looks like the floating mountains of Pandora. Another area has huge trees growing in there. In spite of the paradise feel of this land, there are areas that we have had to avoid that are extremely dangerous to even the dragons that live there.” “The second world we saw we gave the name of Extinction. It is a world where the advanced race of beings living there went extinct. It is dominated with huge ruins of several cities with a dome protecting it. The surrounding wastelands are extremely hazardous due to the heat, radiation, meteor showers, and corrupted creatures that attack anything on sight. So far, we have explored two other biodomes containing some very unusual creatures living in them. We also found a massive cave system with unusual plant and animal life living protected inside it. As the planet is tidally locked, there is constant daylight where we have explored with constant weather. Eventually, we may launch an expedition to explore other parts of that world but we will need to use mechanical transport for our protection against the heat, cold, and corrupted creatures. Given that there is no way to stargate the vehicle needed there, it will have to be sent there in segments and assembled on the site.” “The third world we have been to we have called Thieves. It is a water world of numerous islands of various sizes. Many most unusual creatures live there along with several terrifying fantasy ones. The human society there is dominated by several clans of pirates straight out of those Pirates of the Caribbean movies. Their life is that of exploration, building settlements, and creating trading outposts on the islands they discover. They have managed to tame most of the unusual creatures that live on them, but they tend to get involved in battles over claims on their occupied islands. Interesting is that among their 16th century technology are some 18th century Steampunk style inventions. One of the clans has a Jules Verne style submersible for exploring the deep ocean where they have found an Atlantis style city. Another has a huge flying airship they use for exploration. Still another clan has built torpedoes they have used to sink rival galleons. All have a common enemy known as ‘The Damn.’ They are ghost of the past that attack their ships at sea, defend buried treasure, and guard a Fountain of Youth.” “A fourth world is one we called Scorch Earth. It is a desert badlands with areas of desert much like you see around here. Several of the same creatures found in the land of the two suns also live there. The dragons there are aggressive having been treated badly by the emperor of the now abandoned desert city. Nomads are currently living off of the land given that the original inhabitants of that empire were killed during a great earthquake and volcanic eruption that is responsible for the present conditions on that world. The sand desert is extremely dangerous due to the giant sand worms that inhabit those area. Vicious sand and electrical storms can blow up suddenly. The sand storms sap one’s strength while the electrical ones disable all electronic and electrical equipment. The mega heat waves are the worst. One of our exploration parties lost most of it’s members to heat stroke with the survivors suffering from brain damage and second degree burns over the exposed areas of their bodies. The temperature in that one registered 75*C. “A fifth world that we found we called Frozen. It looks similar to our Earth with the abandoned cities containing huge skyscrapers and ghetto neighborhoods. It looks like that the residents attempted to move underground when an ice age froze their world. No one survived the freezing extinction that followed. There are many strange and unusual creatures living there along with mechanical bots roaming both on the surface and below in the ruins. Another planet with an ocean and atmosphere dominates the sky at night. We do not know if it is inhabited or not.” “A sixth world is one of vast open plains, steamy jungles, huge swamps, rugged badlands, a vast desert, and a frozen mountain arctic where the temperature can drop to -60* C. No humans inhabit this world at present, yet we have seen horses and sheep roaming in flocks in the grass highlands. There are numerous ruins of castles and other structures indicating that this world was once inhabited by a sizable society of midevil age humans. There are dragons living there along with a species that uses a freeze attack to stun their prey. The reason that the sheep and horses can thrive with the dangerous predators we have seen there is because the dragons are managing those flocks and herds. We also found a creature that cannot exist, yet it does. It is half eagle and lion, a Griffon. We have no idea how they can thrive given that the ones we have captured are neither male or female. Given that we have observed unicorns among the horses, this world remains a mystery waiting to be solved.” “A seventh world we have sent pioneers to it to inhabit an island where we found signs of the previous inhabitants that were recently wiped out by some toxic material that they ingested from the giant crabs found living there. They have been able to deal with the crab threat. They are only just exploring that world using some of the ships that have been found tied up to the dock and repaired. They have found their livestock roaming on that island. They plan to explore the adjacent islands as soon as they get established a camp in that village in this 1700s styled world.” “Farrell, what are you doing here on this side of the Stargate?” asks Dr. Croft in surprise as a familiar dragon flies in landing next to her with a young man in Egyptian garb riding on him. “Helena told me that you were coming to visit,” Farrell answers. “She told me that it was safe for me to come into this world to see you. She says that we cannot be picked up on your radar or infrared detectors.” “I so missed you,” she tells him as he gets a big hug from her. “Who is the young man riding on you?” “I’m Clarence from Ramsey’s village,” the young man answers. “I’ve been working with Farrell ever since you had left my world. He is a most wonderful dragon friend. We wanted to see what was out in this world, but so far, it is just endless sand beyond this oasis.” “You were right when you told me that this was not a friendly world,” Farrell tells Dr. Croft. “There is nothing out there but endless sand.” “Actually, had you flown far enough East, you would have reach signs of our civilization,” Sandra tells him. “That would have not been a wise thing to do. You would have placed yourself and this installation in extreme danger had the rest of our world found about your existence and this place. When we have the time, I will show you some video of the better places of my world.” “I’m sorry if I have placed everyone in danger,” Farrell answers. “No harm done,” Sandra tells him. “You would have had to flown all day to the East before you would have reached the Nile River and the edge of our civilization.” Dr. Rogers is standing there in shock as he watches the physical and verbal exchange between Dr. Croft and her dragon friend. “Farrell is the dragon that made our visit the success that it was,” report Dr. Croft as she introduces Farrell to him. “He made it possible to end the war between them and the humans living in their world.” “You are exactly what Dr. Croft has told me about you,” answers Dr. Rogers. “I’m still in awe that you exist for real.” “Come back with me to see my family,” Farrell tells them. “As soon as we get unpacked, we will make the trip through the Stargate,” Sandra tells him. “I can’t wait to see Freida and your children.” “When you have unpacked, gather at the entrance to the Stargate Temple,” Ahab tells everyone. “We’re going to head back to the village so we can let everyone know that you will be visiting soon,” Clarence informs the group. Unpacked in their village accommodations, the group assembles at the temple with their research recording devices. Ahab gives everyone a quick orientation of what it is like in the land of the two suns before they proceed to the Star Chamber. “Do we still have net service in Ramsey’s world,” Mary asks Ahab. “Yes, we have up to date secured service via the Stargate,” answers Ahab. “We still have the apps available through the Keepers of that world.” With that info, everyone enters the Star Chamber where the gate is activated and they step through into the chamber on the other side where Ramsey’s II and Farrell are there to greet them with their children.
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