Castle Roland


by Al Norris

In Progress

Chapter 4

Published: 20 Jul 15


Copyright © 2015 by Al Norris and the Revolutions Universe Partnership.

All Rights Reserved

Tuesday, November 6th, 2012, 1045 PST

Somewhere in British Columbia

Scireians LogoKatja looked at the assembled councilors, "That is why, my friends, we need to get to this area of the US and gather as much data as we can. Time is crucial here. The longer we wait; the longer we debate; the less chance we have of confirming or denying the existence of a multi-dimensional rift. Do I have your votes of confidence in proceeding with this mission?"

After the presentation that Katja had just given, the councilors didn't waste any time in deciding. All of them tossed white stones into the tray that sat in the middle of the table. "Thank you." Pleased with the vote, Katja looked at Jens and Peter. "Jens? Peter? You have your teams ready?" They both nodded to her. "Then let's get the cruiser warmed-up for departure. We leave in ten minutes. This meeting is adjourned."

It took the three much longer to exit the meeting hall than the ten minutes Katja had wanted, as everyone wanted to wish them well in their journey and success in their mission. Jens had already signaled the air crew to prepare for insertion. The testing modules had been preloaded and the security crew was busy making last minute equipment checks.

For the Scireians, this was a major undertaking. For the first time in centuries, they were about to leave their citadel and sanctuary, and possibly announce themselves to the world, all in the effort to try and unravel a phenomenon that had universe shattering consequences.

The 'cruiser' was not like anything else, the outside world had ever seen. It was, in one sense, a flying saucer. In the sense that it was shaped like a disk. It stood six meters high, twenty-three meters in diameter, and tapered to a nearly razor sharp edge. Looking at it, you couldn't help but notice the aerodynamic sleekness. It looked like it could maneuver in any direction with equal ease.

The propulsion system was as innovative as was its shape. In simplest terms, it was designed to be powered and propelled by the magnetic fields of the earth itself. It was one of the latest achievements and a product of the purely mechanical sciences.

This was also one of the few Scireian designs that actually included offensive armaments, as opposed to those aircraft that only included defensive measures. The fact that Jens had chosen this new design, showed that he took possible threats very seriously.

As soon as the three councilors were aboard, seated and strapped in, the craft began to lift. Unlike other vehicles, this one made almost no sound. A slight low-pitched strumming sound could be heard at first, but was lost as it gained altitude and forward momentum.

"We have achieved operating altitude and speed." Announced the pilot. "With the current flight path, target is approximately 852 km. Current airspeed is 640 kph. Flight time is estimated at one hour and twenty minutes. We have set stealth controls to optimum."

"Marko," Katja began, "how many in security and what are our arms?"

"We have five from my division along with Jens and Peter's five scientists. All are trained and armed with standard neural dampeners. Additionally, my five have been issued ionic disruptors."

Jens blinked. "Good god, Marko! We aren't here to start a war!"

"Better to have it and not need it, than to need it and not have it, Jens." Marko said. In matters of security, Marko was always serious and prepared. "Look Jens, the neural dampeners have a very limited range. At 100 meters, they become almost useless. The effect on the human nervous system only lasts for a few minutes and affects only the voluntary musculature. The disruptors, on the other hand, are pinpoint accurate out to a kilometer before they begin to lose their effectiveness... Say, 1700 meters at most."

"Yes, but disruptors?" Jens asked.

"If worse comes to worse, I want to be able to take out whomever and whatever. I want to leave as little trace as I can. We do not need to advertise we are here. Yes, if we are attacked, an enemy will know something was here. But they will not have a clue as to what." With that, Marko reclined his chair and closed his eyes.

"Councilors, we will be landing in two minutes. Our target area is a small glacial lake, just to the west of the underground complex, but in direct view. Please prepare yourselves."

With that announcement from the pilot, Marko becomes completely awake and looks over to the scientists. "All right, when we disembark, we will need to keep in mind that while the ship will be cloaked, we will not have that advantage. Set up your equipment with as much cover as you can, while still obtaining the data we need. I want one security officer with each of Jens' personnel."

Looking at the topo maps of the area, Jens observes, "Marko, we are going to have to split the teams into two segments. The first team of four, including myself, will be where we initially land. But I suggest that a second team of three, with Peter, be ferried over to this mountain peak." Jens points to an adjacent area of the map. "Otherwise, our scans may miss some vital information."

"Pilot?" Marko calls out, "Maneuver to 40.597230, -110.830857. Find a shielded spot and we will deposit the first team of investigators there."

"Right away, Councilor." Came the reply.

"Peter? It will be faster if we all help to off-load your team first." Marko states. "We can get them set up and running then get to the original site and set it up."

"Marko," the pilot responds, "I think that the tongue from the western edge of East Grandaddy will work better. There is more cover for the team, at that location. It will also be about 305 meters higher, and about three kilometers closer. It will have a direct view of the terrain in question at about 1.5 kilometers. The primary site is level with the cave opening, also at 1.5 kilometers distant and will have a direct view of team two at 1.8 kilometers. While the teams are not within hand-held disruptor range of each other, this will not be a problem for the cruiser's armaments."

The three councilors looked at each other, before Marko spoke to the pilot. "That is precisely the kind of thinking that would make for a great security operative, pilot! Do you have an idea of where to park the ship to provide for the best coverage of the teams and the target?"

"Absolutely, Councilor. There is a small ledge about 250 meters above and one kilometer northeast of the primary team. The cruiser will be in a position to see anything that moves on the ground within the five kilometer range of our offensive capabilities. Any airborne traffic within sixty kilometers will also be detected."

The ship landed and the secondary team was off-loaded and while they began their scans, the primary team was lifted to their location, disembarked and the pilot took the cruiser to its overview site.

By early evening, the teams had completed their research and transmitted the data back to their citadel. The pilot had collected the second team, stowed their gear, and was back at the primary site. The teams were stowing away the rest of the equipment, while Peter was briefing both Marko and Katja on what they had discovered and surmised.

"It is as suspected, Katja. The cave structures are new to this universe. The signatures are decaying... No, that is not a valid term. The quantum signatures are aligning themselves to our universe at a slow rate, but not as slow as it was initially projected. First glance indicates that the structure, and the beings within it, will achieve unity within a week, perhaps a bit longer."

Jens took over the briefing. "While we were doing our scans, it seems that Sabrina has made her own scans of two beings. If what I am reading is correct, these people come from a universe that, while closer to ours, is also radically different. There are numerous time signatures that show some extensive travel within or through various time-streams. I suppose there can be some other interpretation of the data, but I cannot think of any at the moment."

Katja looked at the cavern that hid the anomaly and turned to Marko. "It's time to get Sabrina out of there. Signal her please, and tell her where we are."

Sabrina opened her eyes and realized that she had fallen asleep. Little Tommy was still asleep and curled up next to Fluffy, who was wide awake. "It is time to wake him. Food is coming and I am hungry," sent Fluffy. Fluffy then began to gently 'clean' Tommy, who at first, tried to brush her tongue away and very shortly began to giggle.

"OK Fluffy!" Tommy gasped, "I'm awake!"

"I am hungry. It is time for food."

Just at that moment, a knock was heard at the door. In her mind Sabrina heard, "Ma'am? This is Logan Hayes. May Adam and I come in to talk with you? We have brought some food for all of us."

Tommy literally bounced off the bed and ran to the door. Before opening, he glanced back at Sabrina. "Can I let them in, Sabi?"

"Sure, Tommy." Sabrina thought to herself, "I am not at all sure I could stop them."

"Well you could just say 'no'." Thought the voice that called itself Logan.

"I really, really need to practice my telepathic skills." She thought.

"I'm sure that in your line of work, your empathic skills are much more valuable." The blond haired teenager smiled at her. "But yes, a little better shielding would be helpful around many of us. Now before we begin to talk, let's have dinner. I know Fluffy is hungry and we have some fresh lamb for her." At that, Fluffy's ears perked up and she padded over to Logan and sat on her haunches.

The blond, Logan, sat a large plate of raw meat in front of her. "The sight of Fluffy eating won't bother you, will it?"

"No Logan, it will not." As she accepted a plate from the other teen she said, "You must be Adam."

"Yes Ma'am, I am. Blondie here sometimes forgets his manners." Adam said, as he gave Logan a punch in the arm.

"Ow!" Logan cried, even though he was smiling.

"OK. I was going to ask Tommy to introduce me to both of you, but since you are here, I have to ask... What gave me away?"

"You gave yourself away to Chang." Adam said. "Chang noticed that regardless of what he or Mom did, you didn't stop and stare like the other medics did. Oh, you watched everything they did. But it didn't stop you from doing your job."

Logan picked up the conversation. "This got Chang curious. When he saw you being confronted by Tommy and Fluffy, and you didn't react like a 'normal' human, he knew something was up. Chang came to me with his suspicions that you didn't belong here. You are good, I'll grant you that. Your documents are foolproof. Well, foolproof to those of this world. Not to me and the equipment I use."

"Now would you mind telling us who you are?" Adam asked.

"You know, I should be asking you this question. It is painfully obvious that Tommy and Fluffy are not of this world..." Logan and Adam simply stared, open mouthed, at her. "By extension, and what my own eyes have told me, neither are you."

"On the other hand, while I am not of this world, I am from this world." Sabrina said as she watched their reactions. After a moment, she reached for her scanner and held it up. "This is a medical scanner. Tommy and Fluffy allowed me to scan them. Tommy is not human. Fluffy is more than a mere panther. Isn't that right, Fluffy?" She thought this, to everyone. To Logan and Adam, "Fluffy says you are human but not human. Care to let me scan you? Then I can show you what I see."

"May I?" Logan asks, holding out his hand. Sabrina handed him the scanner. "Shit!" Logan exclaims, "This thing's alive, Adam!" He quickly handed the scanner back to Sabrina. Smiling, Sabrina took back the scanner, pressed some surfaces and turns it, so that Logan and Adam can see it.

"I triggered the scan, Logan. It would normally take a few seconds to do a deep scan. But when you touched it, it took only that fraction of a second to complete. See what it shows?"

"Sorry. I'm not a medical tech. Those symbols and numbers mean very little to me. Now Chang or Mom might have a clue... But not me."

"Logan, they tell me that you are 99.994% perfectly human." Sabrina said to him. "Are you aware that no one is that perfect? Well, no one from this world. Genetic drift alone, causes deviation. While I cannot say that you are a created being, I can hazard a guess that you are the product of very selective breeding."

Sabrina pressed a couple of more surfaces, looked at the results and held it for Adam to see. "And you Adam? You were created. The genetic manipulation involved in combining human and animal genes is beyond the known scientific accomplishments of the Outside, um, this world. Just as Fluffy shares some of your human genes, so you share genes from Fluffy's relatives."

"Then there is the matter of Tommy. He is not human at all. What he is exactly, I have yet to determine. His genetic components are like nothing I have ever seen or even dreamed of. Is it true? Is Tommy from a system outside of this planetary system?"

"All of this begs the questions: Who are you people? Where are you from? How did you get here? And lastly, why do you align yourselves with Jack Bryce?"

Almost an hour later, Sabrina was only partially closer to having answers to her questions. But she knew without a doubt, that these kids just might be the answer to many questions, some, no one had even thought of asking. At that precise moment, her scanner chirped. She pressed another surface and talked into the scanner, "Sabrina."

"Sabrina, this is Marko Beck. Please turn off the emergency locator. We are here to take you home. We also have all the scans you have taken. They have confirmed the readings we have performed over the last several hours."

"Councilor, you must then know that two of the leaders of this group of beings are sitting right in front of me?"

"Yes Sabrina. President Katja is with me, as are Peter Vogel and Jens Winkler. We have determined that our possible new friends are no threat to us, Scireians. What we need now is for you to come out of that fortress. We have an awful lot of data to sort through. Especially if we are to convince the rest of the council to back these people, in their quest to throw Ashwood out of office."

Sabrina looked up at Adam. "Adam? Will you show me the way out of here? I fear, my sense of direction is slightly turned around. Nor do I believe I know the protocols to exit this place. Well, without force, that is." She smiled.

Logan stood up, "I'm sorry that you have to leave. Meeting you has been very educational. You will argue our cause with your people, Sabrina?"

Sabrina nods and turns to Tommy, "Tommy? It has been a pleasure meeting you. If there is anything I can do to help you, Fluffy knows how to contact me. Fluffy? You take care of our Tommy, OK?"

"He is my Cub. What else would I do?" Then Fluffy extended the claws of one paw, and licked it.

"What else indeed!"

As the small group moved into the hangar area, Sabrina noticed that there was a lot of activity. From the uniforms and speech, she could tell these were Russian soldiers. She looked at Adam and Logan. "I don't suppose you could tell me what is going on, if I asked?"

Logan smirked, "No, I don't suppose we would."

Sabrina grinned back, "I didn't think so."

As they waited for the great door on the flight deck to open, they were joined by Janet and Chang. Sabrina turned towards them, "I wish I could have stayed longer and gotten to know both of you better. You make my own surgical skills look like child's play. Oh, and you do know what those transfusions will do to Linda and Chris? More importantly, the baby?" With that, Sabrina walked out into the twilight.

Janet looked at Adam and Logan, "How did..."

"Mom," Logan interrupted, "We didn't tell her about the blood. She must have figured it out with her scans of Adam. Come on, we need to tell you about her and her people."

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