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Link Posted: 12/5/2018 9:47:06 AM EDT
[Last Edit: buck19delta] [#1]
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Originally Posted By Coontrapper:
Hey @buck19delta any idea when we could expect another chapter?
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Sorry it's been so long. Lots of projects keeping me busy. I'm done with everything though until next summer.  I have family coming to visit all next week for deer season, once they leave I will get started on the book again. I'd say there should be few chapters being posted in about 2 weeks, and Greg updates all winter long. I expect to finish it before spring gets here, and instantly start on the second book.
Link Posted: 12/9/2018 8:18:30 PM EDT
I have to say that I'm really enjoying this story.

I got a little lost though, with the trip back in time to develop the other world though.  We went from setting up businesses and spending quality time with hot dwarf women to fighting dog things.  I hope we get caught back up soon.

Sign me up for a copy of this book when it's finished!
Link Posted: 12/10/2018 10:49:40 AM EDT
Definitely waiting for the re-start of this story.  I will have to go back and read it in the order it should appear in the finished book.  Will definitely be down for a copy when done!
Link Posted: 12/11/2018 6:41:43 AM EDT
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Originally Posted By DFARM:
I have to say that I'm really enjoying this story.

I got a little lost though, with the trip back in time to develop the other world though.  We went from setting up businesses and spending quality time with hot dwarf women to fighting dog things.  I hope we get caught back up soon.

Sign me up for a copy of this book when it's finished!
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I'm going to stream line the story, I tend to add too many details about equipment, and such. Glad you like it.
Link Posted: 12/11/2018 7:35:04 PM EDT
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Originally Posted By buck19delta:

I'm going to stream line the story, I tend to add too many details about equipment, and such. Glad you like it.
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I'm a weirdo, and the story involves equipment that I'm familiar with, so I kinda enjoy the "too many details".  You aren't as bad about it as some stories that I've read.

"Then jimmy-jo-bob grabbed his favorite rifle, an AR pattern rifle that started out as an m4 clone made by bushriver arms, but it has evolved over time gaining an 18" barrel made by PAC-oak with a 1-7.125" twist and a mat grey cerihide finish with a shore fire muzzle brake, laguizelle trigger, extended ambidextrous magazine release, and free-floating handguard with a battle worn subdued CSA flag paint job, all topped off with a 1.5-87 power us&bender scope, with a mil-vision reticle"


I think you're doing fine, especially after you get the re-write stuff squared away.

Thanks again for the story.
Link Posted: 12/11/2018 8:18:38 PM EDT
Buck quit doing projects and write more.
Link Posted: 12/12/2018 11:13:08 AM EDT
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Originally Posted By zoe17:
Buck quit doing projects and write more.
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^^This x 101!
Link Posted: 12/17/2018 11:14:01 AM EDT
[Last Edit: buck19delta] [#8]
You guys will be happy to learn to know that I just sat down and started working on it again this morning ! Deer season is over mostly, and i don't have ay projects in the winter so now i can finally get back to writing. I probably wont do anything BUT write from now, thru march, i expect to get this first book finished by then at least, and start getting it ready / cleaned up enough to put on amazon.

My brother was in town last week and took a liking to one of my guns, he offered me full price and will pay me in a month or so. I told hi to give the money to our brother whos good at building computers. ( I REALLY need a better computer). so in a month or so I will be getting a nice new computer. I figure $1000.00 should be able to finance a GREAT computer if hand built vs buying from dell, etc.

Then, Yesterday I found a great deal on a desk ( which I have badly wanted and needed,) i drove to Ft knox to pick it up yesterday, and paid $100 bucks for it. Its a solid oak computer desk.  Now i just need to get a 32" flat screen to serve as a monitor mounted on the wall.

heres the new desk / work station. it will be awesome when i get the computer set up.  

Attachment Attached File

Anyway, i started at the beginning of the story. I really need to smooth out some of the details of the story, some areas have way to many details, others not enough. I will start posting new updates soon enough. Don't worry though, im mainly just working on the beginning right now to get my head back into the story, in a few days i will jump back to the end to continue the story. Being more organized, and having a more comfortable work space  with a desk now etc, i should be able to get a lot more writing done now.
Link Posted: 12/17/2018 3:52:48 PM EDT
[Last Edit: buck19delta] [#9]

Sorry it took so long, but I am finally back at it again !

I know the book is jumping around, but I hope you guys understand. Im new to this writing thing, and im sort of feeling my way a little blindly right now. the story evolves as I write it, im MOSTLY just working to get the story line down, later I plan to hammer out the scenes, details, etc better. i honestly don't know where i want the story to go right now, its just growing on its own, i will say that I plan to use pretty much everything I have written so far, just planning to clean it up a lot more, get it in better order, flesh it out, etc. anyway, Heres a teaser. Its the new opening scene of the book, to toss out a little action, and give a peek of whats coming down the road. I partly don't like it because it gives too much away of whats to come, but I also feel its important to give a taste to get people hooked.
you guys have read everything I have written though, so I don't have anything im holding back, which means I have to write everything before I can post it, so it will be a little slow. you guys can read way faster than I can write, so be patient.



Jake’s painfully forced his eye lids open, struggling desperately to cling to consciousness, and discovered he was laying on his face in the dirt, and he could not breath. He struggled to breath, but could not inhale or exhale realizing the breath had been knocked from his lungs, and he lay there for what seemed like a eternity struggling against it. It felt like he lay there forever fighting it when suddenly he sucked in a great ragged breath of air, resulting immediately in a sharp stabbing pain in his side, and a hacking cough that made the pain in his side worse, as well as adding another blindingly sharp pain that stabbed through his head. He closed his eyes and braced against the pain, it hurt so bad he thought he was going to pass out, but instead after a long moment his breathing slowed and the pain lessened a bit, at least enough for him to think he was not going to die from it, vs a few seconds ago where he was not so sure.

He painfully raised his head up a few inches and tried to look around, but he was crying so hard he could not see anything for the moment. Everything about him hurt, and tears were streaming down his face. Why was he crying? He wondered. He wiped at the tears and gasp in pain, quickly discovering that even the slightest movement caused pain to shoot through his entire body, but his head and side were the worst. Jesus, what had happened to him? His thoughts were muddy, and he could not remember how he came to be here. He coughed again and tasted the smell of burning rubber, discovering a thick smoke lay over everything, he was not crying, his eyes and lungs were burning from the smoke. He carefully wiped at his eyes, and found himself staring at the dirt only a few inches in front of his face.

His mouth felt awful and he realized there was something gritty in it. He spat onto the ground and found himself looking at dirty brown spit and at least one of his teeth. Great, just what he needed. Something was under him, stabbing painfully into his chest, and he struggled to pull it free to ease the pain. With great effort he pulled the object painfully from beneath him, and found himself staring at a blood covered object he knew he should recognize, but didn’t. He stared at the thing for a long moment frustrated when he finally realized it was a blood smeared M4 carbine. Huh, where did that come from? He wondered. He turned his head suddenly to the side to see where he was and was rewarded by a blinding pain in his head as well as nausea, he leaned over slightly and puked up everything in his stomach, his body filled with searing pain as it heaved up his recent lunch.

He spat, trying to get the taste of bile, and partially digested Jalepeno cheese spread out of his mouth. He carefully rolled away from the vomit containing the mre he had eaten earlier, and managed to get onto his back, pulling the rifle onto his chest which resulted in more pain in his side. He realized he had at least one broken rib, probably several from the feeling of it. He coughed painfully again, and wondered where all this damn smoke was coming from, the smoke stank of burning rubber and cooking meat, a smell that was not unfamiliar to him. Looking around he discovered the smoke was coming from a pile of burning debris, some kind of wreckage only a dozen yards away from him that he could not identify, the smoke so thick he could barely see anything, he choked and gagged on it. What was the most strange though was everything was totally silent, not a sound to be heard, he didn’t even hear himself coughing, that was odd he thought.

He struggled to remember where he was and what was happening, but for the moment everything was a blur to him, was he back in Iraq? Was this another fucking flashback or a dream? There was something wet on his face, he wiped his hand across it and it came away covered with blood, he wondered where that had come from, but had no clue. Was he in a accident?

His head was pounding, and he was dizzy, fighting hard for balance. The wind suddenly changed, a powerful gust of cool, clean refreshing air blowing the sickening black smoke away, he laid back for a moment, just to think and stared at the bright blue sky above him, his eyes focused on something there, and he wondered for a second if he was going nuts, there, high above him in the clear blue sky was a enormous sickly colored green dragon. The creature flapped its massive bat like wings in a slow rhythm, and slowly circled, a dark oily looking smoke trailed from its mouth. The thing had to be the size of a fucking good sized airliner, it was enormous. When it flapped its wings next a faint sound came to him, like the sound of a massive tarpaulin, or the sail of a boat flapping in the wind, the sound quickly grew louder, becoming almost painful, followed by a enormous roaring sound, and a terrible hissing that appeared to come from the creature above him, sound suddenly rushed at him from all sides, a explosion, screams, automatic gunfire. The noise was incredible, almost painful, and suddenly it became faint again, replaced by a loud nonstop ringing. His eyes could not leave the creature, it looked like something from a nightmare had a large head easily the size of a bread truck, a huge mouth filled with long wicked teeth he could see from even this far away, a long narrow neck, a long thick body covered with large scales, it had a long slender tail that flipped from side to side, that ended with a large round spiked knob resembling a enormous spiked mace like knights of old used to wield, capable of smashing bone and flesh, or houses in this things case. It also had what appeared to be eight heavily muscled legs, that ended in talons like a eagle had, except these talons were at least two feet long. It was a strange ,bizarre and terrifying sight.

He just stared at the thing for a long moment totally confused, then suddenly everything came rushing back at him, all the memories of the last year, their discovery, the mission, everything. He also realized with a start that it was not imaginary, it was a goddamned real pissed off Dragon, and a big one ! Heart wrenching muffled screams of wounded and dying men and women washed over him, as well as the sound of raging gunfire from all manners of weapons, some kind of massive rumbling mixed with a spine chilling hissing threatened to drown out everything else with its sheer volume, and he realized it was coming from the dragon high above him, he swore it was laughter of some kind, the fucking thing was laughing at them!

He remembered their convoy had been heading to Dwarf Haven, he had been standing between the seats in the cab of the truck, taking a turn manning the machine gun that was mounted in the turrent ring, he had been joking with the driver about how he had awkwardly just proposed to his girlfriend just last week, the guys story was hilarious, and had him in tears. He was one of the new guys Emily had recently hired that was fresh from the sandbox, the kid was from Tucson Arizona. He remembered his had a boyish face, a week of stubble on his chin, and this long weird scar running across his cheek, he had…had what?  That was when suddenly the world had exploded around him!  This was not his first time experiencing this, Fuck they had been ambushed ! He turned and focused on the burning wreckage and realized it was the deuce and a half he had just been riding in moments earlier, somehow, by a fucking miracle of some kind, he had been thrown clear in the explosion. He caught a glimpse of a mangled body burning, still sitting behind the trucks steering wheel, and knew the kid from Tucson had not been so lucky. The sadness of the mans death tried to overwhelm him, and he fought against it.

Jake realized his mind was wandering and he struggled to pull his mind back on what was happening right now. What was happening? His thoughts were jumbled and his mind was moving like Molasses. Jake twisted his head side to side trying to get his bearings, only to be rewarded with more nausea, and sharp pain in his head. The thick acrid black smoke blew across him, a combination of burning rubber, plastic and human flesh, was both a curse, as it stank horribly burning his eyes and lungs, and a blessing, as it hid his location from the terrifying Green dragon that was flying in a slow lazy circle above their now burning convoy.

Jake stared at the dragon in fear, and awe for another long second, just stunned by the shock of it, Jesus Christ it was fucking real ! A strong shudder ran down his spine, it took everything he had to not run away in terror at the sight of the damn thing. Thoughts rushed through his head, flashes of memory from the briefing he had received from Brunella about dragons. Hearing about it was one thing, seeing it up close and personal quite another, he was so freaking scared he could barely think. How could someone prepare for something like this? It was like trying to describe a volcano, or a tornado or hurricane, you knew the generalities of it, but the reality was almost too much to comprehend when you were standing in the middle of it. That described his situation pretty well regarding this damn dragon situation. He remembered that many dragons put out some kind of psychic energy that triggered paralyzing fear in everything around them, people, animals, etc.

She claimed it was part of their magic, but he had his doubts about this magic bullshit. He had briefed his people on it, but nothing could compare anyone for this. He felt wetness on his leg and glanced down worried he had been wounded and realized angrily that he had pissed his pants. The thought he has pissed himself in fear, for a instant made him feel like a helpless child, a small boy who wanted to crawl away and hide from this monster before it saw him and came for him. It reminded him of being 4 years old and blindly afraid of the monster in the closet. His fear and embarassment was partly replaced immediately by anger, he was angry he had pissed himself, angry it had killed his men, and fucking furious because he knew that fucking thing was laughing at him!

He used the but of the rifle to help himself painfully into his knees, so he could look around better, then finally managed to stand unsteadily, swaying where he stood, feeling like he would fall any second, He stumbled several steps and grabbed the fender of the nearest truck. He caught a glimpse of several of his camouflage clad men running frantically away screaming in terror from the battle across a field off to the right their hands empty having obviously thrown their weapons away in a panic to escape the monster. Just for a brief moment He was enraged his men were running away, and even had thrown their weapons away, but honestly it took everything he had to not do the same thing, drop his rifle so he could run faster and run after them leaving this nightmare behind, the fear made his skin almost crawl and felt almost like a living thing and shivers ran down his spine. No they were good, brave men, how could he blame them when he himself was on the verge of fleeing? No, it was this fucking dragon that deserved the blame, the damn thing was scary enough on its own, with its massive size, huge teeth, and fire, but this was something else entirely, the fear it was generating was simply incredible. The dragon fear was hitting them all extremely hard. Jake fought against the fear, trying to shove it aside, his people needed him, and he would rather wind up as dragon shit than to abandon his people, he shoved hard at the fear and fought to focus on the battle.

The dragon shrieked, and Jake winced in pain, and dropped his rifle onto his chest where it hung there by its sling, painfully reminding him of his broken ribs. He gasp in pain, and turned away from the dragon and covered his ears from the painful piercing sound. It blasted through everything, and was painful to even his damaged hearing. It felt like someone was stabbing a ice cold knife through his ears, and into his brain. It was so loud and high and terrible it cannot be described, the ear splitting shriek continued, and even seemed to get louder, turning into a equal painful eerie keening wailing type sound.

Suddenly the windows in the truck he was leaning against, just exploded into a shower of glass apparently at the sheer force of the dragons screeching. The safety glass exploded raining down over him, and the people cowering inside the cab. Jake turned back just in time to see the monster attack the handful of men who were running away in the field. He realized suddenly that It was using its scream to pin its prey in place for its dive attack, simular to how a German Stuka dive bomber in world war two did, its screaming siren caused people to cower in fear from it, pinning them in place in fear as it dropped death onto them. It was a extremely effective method. The dragon swooped down on them at over a hundred mile per hour, they all stood screaming in terror, unmoving, covering their ears trying desperately to block out the agonizingly painful ear splitting sound.

The fire impacted the ground, washing over the men obliterating them from his sight in hellish green fire that quickly turned into a dark oily smoke. Incredibly, Jake could feel the searing heat from the dragon fire on his skin from where he stood hundreds of yards away. The dragon swooped up at the last second to avoid smashing into the ground, and snapped up one with the unlucky men into its massive maw of a mouth, its huge teeth crunching the man, and slowly climbed back into the sky with its snack. A moment later a massive concussion washed over them as if a huge bomb had detonated nearby.

He realized then what had happened to him, the dragon had attacked the convoy, Brunella had told him how very deadly a dragons breath was and that it was not really fire in the traditional sense as a person expected fire to behave, but more of a weapon of magic, masquerading as fire. The result was something that went far beyond mere fire in its destruction. Again however, it was just something you could not comprehend without experiencing it. He figured it just set shit on fire, like a flame thrower, instead it was more of a firebomb, the concussion its fire made was incredible. He suddenly realized getting hit by dragon fire was the modern equivalent of getting nailed by a 500lb bomb, and napalm at the same time.

Random small arms fire popped off all around him, mostly directed towards the left side of the convoy, where a roaring sound was coming from and getting louder. “What now?” He groaned. Nothing good, he was sure. He looked over the hood of the truck and knew they were really fucked now. Across the field to their left came a massive horde of Orcs numbering easily in the hundreds, rushing to attack them. He had only seen a handful of Orcs so far, they were large, powerful, terrible brutal savage beasts, driven by pure animal instinct, kill, eat, fuck, that’s all they did. This group appeared overcome by the blood rage they were notorious for, they were roaring and screaming at the tops of their lungs, screaming and roaring in anger, having worked themselves into a murderous frenzy, waving their various vicious bladed weapons in the air as they quickly covered ground, advancing on their crippled convoy, as if it were a wounded animal. Already envisioning killing, raping and eating him and his men once they got their hands on them, and only in that particular order if you were lucky. Jake involuntarily shuddered at the thought of what they had done to those villagers last week, their mangled bodies still gave him nightmares.

Jake could see the deuce and a half truck laying on its side, totally engulfed in roaring flames off to his left, it, and its cargo of was a total loss, to his right the Sherman tank was laying partly on its side, half in a ditch, Jake was frustrated to see that with the tank in the ditch it was at a really bad angle leaving its main gun pointing high in the sky, it could not depress enough to engage the Orc force that was about to wash over them. Their heaviest weapon was essentially worthless as long as it was sitting in that ditch like it was, hopefully it could get free right quick and in a hurry, or they were fucked. He watched as first one one track rotated back and forth fighting for traction, then the other, then both with little effect as the driver attempted to rock the heavy green tank loose to get it moving.

One track was mired in the soft thick mud of the ditch, the rubber track pads on one the other side were on fire from the dragons last attack, apparently it had been a very close hit, that had scorched the paint on one side, setting the equipment that was strapped to the turrent and rear deck on fire, as well as the rubber track pads on the left side. He realized a direct hit from that dragon would have probably destroyed the Sherman instantly incredible as it sounded, he would have laughed at the idea yesterday, he was not laughing now. He also realized that somehow the dragon fire had mostly missed them somehow, He guessed it had something to do with the way the wind was gusting today, it probably had been pushed off course at the last minute, hell or maybe it just had bad aim, he didn’t know.

He did know that though it had only hit them with a partial blast, it had been enough to blast the truck into ruins, shove the Sherman tank sideways into the ditch, and partially set it on fire, just with a partial blast. He glanced into the field to their right, where a big hole 20 feet across had been blasted several feet deep into the ground where the blunt of the dragon fire had impacted, as well as a massive area that was burning furiously from where the dragon fire had hit. They had just gotten lucky, well, if you call people dying, and the loss of possibly totally irreplaceable equipment, weapons, ammunition,and vehicles lucky, it damn well could have been worse though.

If the damn thing had hit them dead center with its fire it would have likely killed them all instantly, or at least enough of them they were totally combat ineffective. It would have been no different that getting hit by a napalm bomb. They could not survive a direct hit from that dragon, they had to fucking stop it somehow, and quickly! He watched as the tanks tracks spun but did nothing to put the furiously burning track pads out, the heat from them blistering the green paint of the hull even more. If they lost the Sherman right now, they were all fucked, it was their only chance of getting through this alive, but it was almost useless stuck like it was. He had to think of something, he fought to concentrate, the effort sending a sharp throbbing pain through his head, his thoughts slow, and sluggish.

The thick black smoke rolled off them further blocking his view of the ambushed convoy.   The fucking dragon had finished with the men in the field, and was slowly climbing back into the sky again flying in a lazy circle as it gained altitude overhead as it waited for its fire to build again to continue its attack, at least that was what he guessed, Brunella had said they had to recharge after using their fire. Their first real encounter with a dragon was not going very well, they had only seconds before it was ready to attack them again.

A hatch on the tank popped open, and a crewman dressed in green coveralls climbed out and sprayed the burning track with a extinguisher, just barely managing to put it out. A gust of black smoke obscured the tank for a moment. Did Jake just see a flash of red hair, he told her he didn’t want her on this mission ! That damn stubborn dwarf woman! Fear gripped his heart a the thought of anything happening to Miranda. He fought hard against the panic, shoving it down deep inside. All of this seemed to take hours, but in reality only 30 seconds had passed since the dragon attacked them. He grabbed his blood smeared m4 carbine, and struggled to his feet, fighting off a wave of nausea, as he struggled to keep his balance. Through the swirling black smoke he could just barely see that it was her ! Damn her ! She dropped the empty extinguisher, and climbed up onto the tank, grabbing the heavy .50 caliber machine gun, in her hands, she fought with the big gun a moment, wrestling it towards the sky and opening fire on the dragon. Damn that woman ! Jake felt a sure of fear for her safety, as well as another equal surge of pride at how well she was handling herself. Just then another crewman stuck their head out of the tank, and fired their Thompson smg towards the Orcs, letting loose with a long burst, of .45 bullets. The tank kept rocking, back and forth spinning its tracks, its huge engine bellowing exhaust as it roared like a angry animal fighting against the muck, but it was stuck fast it seemed. He could see the heavy rounds from the .50 cal impacting the massive dragon, but it didn’t seem to care, slowly flapping its wings, then it tucked them in tight, rolled over and fell from the sky. Did she kill it? For a brief moment he thought she had, but suddenly he realized it was diving to attack. He realized their only hope was the Stuart and its 37mm main gun, which was the second most powerful weapon they had, nothing like the Shermans 105mm howitzer, but damn better than a .50 caliber machine gun. Where was the damn thing?

Jake turned his back on the bellowing green machine and moved forward away from it. He hated to leave Miranda behind, it tore at his heart to do so, but he realized if he didn’t do something quickly it would not matter where he was standing as they would all be incinerated by dragon fire.

. He realized their only hope was the Stuart and its 37mm main gun, which was the second most powerful weapon they had, nothing like the Shermans 105mm howitzer, but damn better than a .50 caliber machine gun. Where was the damn thing?

He raised his rifle and dumped the magazine into the horde of Orcs who were only a few hundred yards away now, he spun away, reloading as he ran towards the last place he saw the Little Stuart light tank. He had to jump over the still burning bodies of several of his people, absently noting they were totally unreconizable, burned to a charred mess, their clothing melted into their skin, even the receiver and magazine of one of their m-16 rifles had melted into their flesh from the extreme heat of the dragons fire, something he knew would be giving him nightmares in the future. He still fought against the intense fear that burned through him and as he ran he saw he was not alone, several others were covering in fear, laying under vehicles, or in the ditch, a few others that were shooting their weapons had wet crotches where they had pissed themselves in fear as well. It was a testament to the quality of people he had that so many were still fighting even under the immense fear the dragon was generating against them.

People were finally recovering from the dragons attack and were getting into the fight, the amount of weapons firing was increasing by the second, people yelling commands all around him, about half were firing at the Orcs, with the other half firing at the dragon, another .50 caliber machine gun opened up on the dragon somewhere, little good it seemed to be doing against the dragons armored skin.

Shoving the thoughts quickly aside he rounded the burning truck and there it sat smoking in the road, much of the paint burned off, and the track pads smoking, but it was in one piece. He jumped into the side of the tank, feeling the hot steel under him. He yanked open the commanders hatch and yelled inside. “Why arn’t your guns firing? Get your ass in gear, Shoot that fucking dragon !” Heinreichs startled blood covered face turned to face him. The man looked confused and lost. Jake grabbed him and slapped him hard cross the face, and screamed at him. “Dammit ! start fucking shooting or we are all dead !”  The man nodded. “Ya! Ya! Mein Heir !” Heinreich leaned over and started yelling at the other men in the tank in rapid German, then switching to English.

The Stuarts main gun started to point skyward, but he doubted they would have a shot due to the angle. Jake realized the Orc horde was just as much of a problem as the dragon and needed to be dealt with quickly before them and their murderous weapons washed over them and hacked them to pieces. He grabbed the .50 caliber machine gun, and started raking the advancing Orc horde, cutting a wide hole in their ranks as the heavy machine gun roared in his hands. The main gun on the tank fired sending a shudder thru the steel beast, the coax machine gun came to life, and the tank started moving forward, he absently noticed the empty casing from the just fired gun being tossed out the open hatch, as they reloaded to fire again. Suddenly a dark shadow blocked out the sun, as if they had just driven into a tunnel, he went to look up when he felt a terrible heat wash over him, something hit him hard, and everything went black.

One year earlier...
Link Posted: 12/17/2018 3:54:12 PM EDT
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Originally Posted By DFARM:
I have to say that I'm really enjoying this story.

I got a little lost though, with the trip back in time to develop the other world though.  We went from setting up businesses and spending quality time with hot dwarf women to fighting dog things.  I hope we get caught back up soon.

Sign me up for a copy of this book when it's finished!
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I admit some of that stuff is tedious. im going to streamline that a lot. basically just tell Emily to handle all of that stuff more of less.
Link Posted: 1/14/2019 9:17:34 AM EDT
Finally had a chance to read the update, I enjoyed it!
Link Posted: 1/14/2019 11:41:19 AM EDT
[Last Edit: buck19delta] [#12]
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Originally Posted By Coontrapper:
Finally had a chance to read the update, I enjoyed it!
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thanks !  I thought you guys all abandoned me !  honestly, that new beginning is about as well as I can write. I plan to get someone else to clean it up for me, fix grammar issues as im not great at that, but I thought the new addition was pretty decent. currently going thru the entire story and doing more of the same. it reads a lot better IMHO, and I have time now to invest in it again. I plan to finish the first book in the next couple of months.

glad you enjoyed it.
Link Posted: 1/15/2019 8:44:14 AM EDT
Please keep on keepin' on with this story.  I, for one, have enjoyed it immensely and am looking forward to re-reading it in its entirety!
Link Posted: 1/15/2019 8:49:30 AM EDT
[Last Edit: zoe17] [#14]
@buck19delta keep writing I enjoy reading.
Link Posted: 1/15/2019 9:17:56 AM EDT
I own a printing company that prints paperback books, let me know if I can help.
Link Posted: 1/15/2019 1:10:33 PM EDT
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Originally Posted By madwis15:
I own a printing company that prints paperback books, let me know if I can help.
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wow, thanks.    Im pretty new at this. However, once I get the story finished, I was probably going to have someone proof read it for grammar, etc and fix my mistakes. While that was happening get some cover art done,  then once corrected try to publish it for sale somewhere.
Link Posted: 1/16/2019 1:08:57 AM EDT
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Originally Posted By buck19delta:

wow, thanks.    Im pretty new at this. However, once I get the story finished, I was probably going to have someone proof read it for grammar, etc and fix my mistakes. While that was happening get some cover art done,  then once corrected try to publish it for sale somewhere.
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So get on with it then! I want to read more about the dwarf women!
Link Posted: 1/16/2019 11:04:12 AM EDT
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Originally Posted By DFARM:

So get on with it then! I want to read more about the dwarf women!
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im mostly just fixing and improving everything iv already written right now. I can post up the corrected stuff as its finished if you want, but its stuff that's already been posted before, just reads a little better, with more details. if you guys want me to I will / can.

ill probably be creating all new stuff in a few weeks when I get close to the dwarf girl stuff. all of that section will change, but im keeping everything iv already written, just making it better.
Link Posted: 1/16/2019 5:01:34 PM EDT
Yes, Please post your re-written stuff in order so that we can read it again as you intended it to be read.

Need moar!
Link Posted: 1/17/2019 12:24:48 PM EDT
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Originally Posted By GreenGiant:
Yes, Please post your re-written stuff in order so that we can read it again as you intended it to be read.

Need moar!
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ok, ill start posting the rewritten stuff, as soon as its updated.
Link Posted: 1/17/2019 12:46:02 PM EDT
[Last Edit: buck19delta] [#21]
One year earlier.........Rowan county Kentucky.

Jake Reynolds sat in his truck and looked at the weather beaten sign attached to the gate in front of him, he flipped on the high beams to illuminate it better in the dark snowy night, sure enough he was at the right place. He breathed a sigh of relief, he was exhausted from the 16 hour drive he had just completed and was ready to call it a night, he hoped there was a warm bed waiting for him. The heavy snow, and slick conditions turned what should have been a relatively easy six hour drive, into a white knuckle miserable sixteen hour driving nightmare. It’s amazing he didn’t end up in a ditch as many other vehicles had, or smashed under the wheels of a eighteen wheeler, which he almost had once due to the terrible icy road conditions.

The only reason he had made it successfully was due to driving slow, four wheel drive, and the heavy bags of sand he had thrown into the trucks bed at the last minute. He would be glad to finally get out of this truck get a quick snack and go to bed. This was seriously in question however, as he had no clue as to what he was walking into, there might be no bed, or food, hell maybe no electricity or even water for all he knew, and he really was wanting a hot shower right about now. Hell, he probably should have just gotten a hotel room for the night, that would have been the sane thing to do. He would have done just that, except for the stipulation in his uncles will that required him to be on the property in no less than 24 hours, normally that would have been no problem, however the heavy winter storm had turned what should have been easy, into a real pain in the ass.

It felt like everything on him hurt from being hunched over the steering wheel for the last sixteen hours. His shoulders, back, neck and even his eyes ached, he was just totally exhausted and ready to just get some sleep. He didn’t want to drive up here tonight, especially in a damn blizzard, but he didn’t have much choice, his late uncles will had clearly stated he had 24 hours to take ownership of the property, or he would forfeit the farm to the next heir after himself, and in his current situation Jake really could use a little financial help in his life, his recent divorce had left him financially devastated, he shoved the thought of his recent painful divorce mentally away with much effort, and just stated at the locked snow covered gate in front of him and sighed heavily. “What a pain in the ass.” He grumbled to himself. “Why would someone put that bullshit in a will in the first place,? The damn place had sat empty for the last three months, what difference would a couple more days make ?”

He glanced at his battered watch and realized that he had made it though with just less than a hour of time before the deadline to spare, well, at least he made it, and the drive was over now. The representative from the bank would be here at six to check that he had indeed taken up residence within the allotted time. The last year of his life had been pretty rough for him. First he had lost his dad in a house fire, the fire had burned the house to the foundation, taking his dad with it. Jake had been deployed overseas at the time when the notification had come. It had taken him almost ten days to get back home for the funeral, something that had grated at him badly. There really was not much for him to do, the house had been a total loss along with everything in it, Jake had hired a lawyer to deal with the estate, and after a short reunion with his wife, he had been forced to return to Iraq.

A month later, instead of reenlisting, he had decided to finally leave the Army, to commit himself to his wife full time and start the family they had talked about for years. He supposed the recent loss of his father had really hit something in him hard, and made him realize how important family really was, and he was finally ready to start one with his beautiful wife. That was his plan anyway, give up his career as a soldier, and settle down in the suburbs and have some kids, maybe get a job selling insurance or something. The day he arrived home though, his dream of a family went up in flames, as his wife had hit him with divorce papers. It had caught him totally by surprise and left him completely devastated emotionally, Iraq had already taken a toll on him and then she did this to him.

How could she do this to him? He had agonized over that question for months. He had married his child hood sweetheart, she was his first and only love, and he didn’t know how to live without her. He had lost his father, and everything that reminded him of his father in the fire, and all the family heirlooms, the then his wife took everything else in the divorce, including the house, three quarters of his military retirement and even the savings they had accumulated from his deployment. In the divorce she had complained that he had abandoned her physically and emotionally to go to Iraq, when it had been her Idea in the first place for him to volunteer for the deployments to help them save enough money so he could leave the military, and start a family ! The entire thing made his head hurt.

He wished that had been the worst of it, but no, that still was not the end of it, to top it all off, she had ruined his credit by opening a dozen credit card accounts in his name, and maxing them all out to the tune of eighty thousand dollars. He had to file bankruptcy to escape the creditors who hounded him day and night. When the divorce was concluded, his exwife had gotten the paid off house, had a brand new BMW sitting in the driveway, a house filled with things she purchased with the credit cards, the fifty thousand from savings, and she even got his Jeep. It was so unfair it was insane.

His main plan after that had been to reenlist in the Army, it would have almost immediately given him a life again, but that plan fell through almost immediately when he was rejected due to his injuries he received in Iraq. The military apparently had no issues with him serving after he was wounded, because he could perform his job duties just fine, shoving aside the pain to get the job done, that was something he had always prided himself on. They would not however let him back into the military over those same injuries which they claimed would make him a unfit soldier. It really pissed him off, He had went on many missions, and even a entire deployment after receiving those same injuries, and he performed fine, hell better than many other soldiers did ! It was definately a sore spot with him these days. No sense crying over it though, he just had to make the best of things, and he was, it was not easy though.

Jake learned months later that his wife was actually sleeping with the Judge that had presided over their divorce, which went a long way to explain how the divorce had turned out like it had. He thought for sure he could get the divorce overturned over that, but being in a very small own with only one judge made that extremely difficult. None of the local lawyers were interested in going against the local sitting judge, who could make their lives hell should he so choose, especially not when Jake was flat assed broke. He had always thought himself a good judge of character, and was deeply disturbed that someone he loved and trusted could be so heartless, brutal, with no morals whatsoever, to do what she had done to him. He was reduced to living in a homeless shelter by the time the divorce was finished, had gotten out of the marriage with literally just the clothes on his back, a duffle bag of military uniforms, and one hundred and fifty dollars in his wallet, and a very large legal bill.

Once he had learned of his ex sleeping with the divorce judge, and how his now ruined life was the result of the Judicial system being flagrantly abused to ruin him, something that offended him deeply as someone who had sworn to protect and defend the constitution of the united states, which coincidently was designed to keep just this very thing from happening to its citizens in the first place. He had actually seriously considered going over and murdering his ex wife, and her judge lover as repayment for their ruining his life, very seriously considered it in fact. The only thing that had stopped him from doing it, had been the thought that no matter what they had done to him already, he still had his life, and still had many years left in front of him. He didn’t plan on spending them rotting in a prison for the rest of his life, besides that Jake was a big believer in Karma, and he knew they would get theirs someday, somehow. The thought of that helped get him through day to day.

His lawyer had taken pity on him, and managed to get Jake a job working for a construction company that one of the lawyers buddies owned. Jake suspected the friendly job offer was more designed to get the lawyer repaid, than it was to actually help him, but he was not complaining at this point in his sad life. It didn’t pay well, and had zero benefits, but it was a job, and they had cheap motel rooms for their employees that they rented to their employees for cheap, so at least he was not in the homeless shelter at least.
A depressed Jake had settled into his new life of back breaking heavy manual labor during the day, a short bus ride to the motel, a few beers and depressing cheap motel by night. He didn’t see how he could keep going the way he was, he desperately needed a change, a better job, but that was not so easy when you were flat broke, terrible credit, and had no help, no family, or any support system at all.

Jake had joked much of his life that he seemed to be blessed, things had somehow just always worked out well for him, even if he didn’t see it at the time, later things usually ended up great for him. This time however, it looked like his luck had finally run out though, and run out with a vengeance. He didn’t see any easy way things would be turning around anytime soon, if ever. He had always wondered how people ended up in a shitty life, with nothing to show for it, or to live for, homeless etc. He had his answer now, he was one of them.

Jake had scraped by for a few months, barely keeping a roof over his head, and food in his belly working overtime when possible to get extra money. He had managed to save a few bucks, get himself some decent clothing. He has occasionally considered dating, but he was honestly scared to even ask a woman out for fear of being rejected due to his new life style these days, that alone was enough to keep him from even wanting to date, plus he knew he was too deeply damaged emotionally to try to date even were his life not so screwed up.

He went on like this for months, just focusing on making it through one day, then the next, trying his best to not really think about what his life had become. Then, one day, things seemed to actually start turning around for him. The first good thing to happen was when he got a phone call from a local garage owned by one of his fathers friends. The old man had dropped off his truck at the garage to have the transmission worked on just a few days before the house fire. Jake was stunned, he thought the old truck had burned in the attached garage, the house had been such a total loss he had not even tried to salvage anything, just instructed the estate lawyer to deal with the wreckage, and have it all hauled away. The garage owner didn’t know how to contact Jake at the time, so had simply stored the old truck out back until he could get in touch with him. Just recently he had ran into a friend of his father who knew how to contact him, which he had immediately done. He told Jake he could pick up the old truck anytime he wanted, and he was waving the repair cost as a favor to his late father. Jake had tears in his eyes when he  stood there looking at his fathers truck, he never thought he would see it again, when drove off in the old ford four wheel drive truck he felt like he was with a old friend.

The truck had belonged to his dad since Jake was about 12 years old. He had so many memories of his father in it, hunting and camping trips, hauling firewood and building materials, Jake had even learned to drive in the old truck and passed his drivers license test in it. The truck while old however, was in mint condition. Jake’s dad had spent the last few years restoring it, and as a result it was a beauty and looked like it had just rolled off the showroom floor. Jake picked it up, and the drive back to his hotel room had been a very emotional one for him, he could almost feel his father sitting in the passenger as he drove, it was very comforting for him. The second piece of good fortune, had come while he had been cleaning up the truck. He had taken the rest of the morning to wash and wax the beautiful old truck, and while cleaning out the cab, he had found a pistol case jammed back under the seat. He had been shocked when he discovered it contained his grandfathers pistol, one of the heirlooms he was sure lost in the fire. It had been wrapped in a oily rag, and was in great condition.

The story was, his grandfather had been issued this pistol late in World War One, in Belgium when he was just sixteen years old. The old man had lied about his age to join the Army claiming to be eighteen, when in reality he had just turned sixteen, he had been assigned as a dispatch rider to deliver messages to and from the front, the job had turned out to not be nearly as safe as it sounded, and the pistol had saved grandpas bacon more than once. He had carried the heavy Colt pistol in France and Belgium, and had brought it back home after the war.

When World War Two had started, he had enlisted again, and took the old pistol off to war with him, this time serving a the commander of a Sherman tank, and carrying it this time through the invasion of France, until the end of the war. Then, when his father had went to Korea he had carried the old pistol himself, and later again when he was drafted to Vietnam. The history of the old gun was Incredible, which was why Jake had been so devastated when he thought it had been lost.He had very much wanted to carry it himself in Iraq, but Army regulations had forbid it, otherwise the old colt would have served three generations of Reynolds men in war. He had sat for a long time, turning the heavy old pistol in his hands, examining every inch of it. It was over a hundred years old, and had its share of dings and scratches and the finish was heavily worn, but despite the wear it was in great condition, and mechanically perfect, always well oiled and cared for.

When he was cleaning it later, he had been surprised to find his grandfathers and fathers initials and dates scratched under the pistols plastic grips. Pvt T Reynolds, France 1917 / Germany 1944-45, the opposite side had, Cpl E Reynolds Korea 50-51/Vietnam 70-72 . Jake had swelled with pride as he looked at those initials, thinking of all of the family history that was wrapped up in the old gun. He already knew its history, but to see his grandfathers and fathers initials that they had engraved themselves, with their own hands many years ago toughed him deeply. He would never part with this pistol.

How many people could say that they owned a pistol their family had carried through four wars? He felt terrible about the other guns that had been lost in the fire, such as his grandfathers Thompson sub machine gun, he had carried in Normandy, or the German Pistols, he had smuggled them all brought back home when the war ended or the Russian rifle his father had captured in Vietnam. Those were lost forever in the fire he thought sadly. Jake sighed heavily and gazed out the trucks ice crusted window at the snow covered countryside, realizing he had gotten lost in thought for a while, he missed his father so much. He patted his side where the old Colt .45 rode in a concealed carry holster under his jacket, and ran his other hand along the door frame of the old mans truck, they were Jake’s most Prized possessions, and brought him a lot of comfort these days.

He thought back to just yesterday when he had been approached by the estate lawyer, hell, was that just yesterday? It felt like it had been months ago. He had just gotten back to his crappy motel room with a six pack of beer, planning to sit and stare at the television for a few hours, before he went to sleep. Work, drink, sleep, that was his life these days, he had absolutely zero social life. There was a new Mercedes parked in front of his room, with a tall bald man holding a briefcase standing next to it. He was a estate lawyer from Lexington Ky, and had driven down to inform him that his uncle Edgar had passed away, leaving him a five hundred acre farm with a house in eastern Kentucky, as well as a sizable bank account to go with it. To say he had been stunned had been a understatement.

Jake had met his uncle Edgar exactly once when he was 10 years old, he was sort of the black sheep of the family, and his father had always told Jake he had best stay clear of his crazy old uncle, if he knew what was good for him. The man had shown up at Jake’s tenth birthday party with a present in hand, but a fight had ensued between his father and uncle, and his father had told his uncle to take his nonsense with him and to never come back, that he wanted nothing to do with it, and Jake would have nothing to do with it either. His father had refused to explain what the supposed nonsense was, but that fight had always stuck in Jake’s memory as it was the only memory he had of his uncle Edgar.

In truth the property had been left to Jake’s father Elias, but since Elias had died, it all passed into Jake’s hands, it had just taken the lawyer a while to track him down. Jake was shocked to be certain. His life a year ago, had went from happy and full of promise to bleak and depressing, losing everything and no future to be seen. Now However, things were finally turning around for him. He had his fathers truck, his grandfathers heirloom pistol, and apparently a 500 acre farm as well,it was all very over whelming, but Jake could see a bright light at the end of the tunnel finally!

Jake stopped staring at the snow covered countryside, bringing himself back to reality. He took out his phone, and sent a text to the lawyer, informing him that he had arrived at the property ahead of the deadline, just in case the rep didn’t show up due to the snow. This is Jake Reynolds Mr Smithe, I just wanted to let you know I just arrived at the property, well under the time limit. He relaxed back against the seat and stretched his legs, then poured himself a cup of warmish coffee from his battered old green thermos. The wind was blowing something terrible, and he was not looking forward to getting out to open that gate. Jake’s phone dinged, and he saw Mr Smithe had returned his text. Mr Reynolds, you drove across Kentucky last night in this blizzard !?! You did realize that there was a provision in the will for inclement weather, that gave you a extra twenty four hours to take possession? I’m glad you made it safely, however our rep cant make it out today due to the condition of the roads, but will be there tomorrow at 5pm.

Jake looked at the text and read it a second time.. “ SON OF A BITCH !”  He fumed. “You mean i didn’t have to drive all day in this white shit?” He was pissed, but screw it. He was here now at his new home, that had been a hell of a drive, and it really got his adrenaline pumping. That was more excitement than he had experienced in a really long time, and it felt good. He was going to have to get out of this slump he was in, and find something exciting, and challenging to push himself with. The life he had been living lately damn sure was not worth living, something had to change, that was for sure.

Jake pushed the truck door against the howling wind, struggling to get it open. He braced it against his hip and slid out of the truck holding the door against the wind and preventing it being slammed into him. His feet landed into the knee deep snow, he stepped back from the door releasing it, the wind immediately slammed it close with a loud bang. He took a moment to rub his tired eyes, and stretch, trying to work the kinks out of his back and neck, groaning with pleasure as he was rewarded with several loud pops from his back. The icy wind cut through him, and instantly brought him fully awake, even tired as he was from the long drive. He shoved his hands deep into his pockets, leaned into the wind while keeping his head down to avoid the painful sleet the wind was was blasting against him. He stepped toward the closed gate, the snow crunched loudly as he forced his way forward, he stumbled once almost falling as he tripped over something that was hidden by the snow, but then he was standing at the gate.

He examined the battered old steel gate before him, After knocking away several inches of snow he discovered a thick chain, brown with rust from many years of weather exposure. The chain was strung through the gate, and around a thick post, a heavy old equally rusty padlock secured it. He pulled the keys out of his pocket that the lawyer had given him, and with freezing fingers struggled to find one he thought might fit the old lock, he tried several wrong keys, but finally the next one slipped easily into it, the heavy old rusty lock might have looked a hundred years old, but it was well maintained, the key turned easily, and the lock popped open.

He grabbed the gate, and shoved his body against it trying to slide it across the road, the deep snow make moving it difficult though. He struggled against the gate and deep snow that blocked it from moving, shoving and kicking, it moved slowly before getting stuck against something, ice most likely, and refused to budge anymore despite his kicks and curses. Jake estimated it was just wide enough for the truck to squeeze past. “ Good enough”, he grumbled, and he stumbled back to the warmth of his truck.

Once back inside, he shifted the old truck into gear and stepped on the gas, the tires spun on the slick ground for a moment making a loud whining sound as they spun on the ice that lay under the snow. The knobby mud tires finally gripped and the old red truck moved slowly forward, clawing its way through the deep snow, and past the heavy gate. The driveway was covered with deep fresh snow making it extremely hard to stay on it , he found himself more than once sliding off the road, he drove slowly and carefully trying to keep to what he hoped was the center of it, hoping to avoid any ditches that might be hiding under the snow. The driveway was long and winding, but finally he emerged from the thick trees, and his headlights illuminated what he was looking for, sitting there ahead of him in a small clearing was his new home. He drove closer and could see a large barn across from the house, and two car metal garage off to the side of the house. He parked the truck, grabbed his back and climbed out of the cab into the freezing wind.

Jake was pleasantly surprised at what he found, it was a beautiful old place, the house design was the old farm house look, it was white single story house, with a wrap around porch, the house had a waist high chain link fence surrounding it. His bag in hand he walked through the gate in the fence, and stepped onto the porch. The front door was something to behold, he had never seen anything like it on a house before in his life. It was simply huge, easily 4 feet wide, and featured a highly detailed hand carved motif of what he thought was a dragon, fighting a knight. All of the hardware on the door was all heavy cast copper, that had a bright green hue to it from age and tarnish. He had never seen anything like it before, anywhere, it looked like it had come from a castle, but who would use copper instead of cast iron, or steel?

It was beautiful, but seemed impractical when steel would have been much stronger, but, he had to admit it made for a good looking door, someone who was very skilled with their hands had spent a lot of time making it, and copper reinforced or not, was more than strong enough to keep even a grizzly bear out if need be. He unlocked the massive door with a honest to god old fashioned skeleton key, and swung the heavy door open, further surprised at how thick and heavy it was. He pausing for a moment as something looked odd to him, he looked closer at the door frame and grunted in surprise. The wall was a good foot thick, he scratched at the wall next to the door frame with the house key and was more surprised to find it was not wood as he would have expected, but instead concrete.

He whistled in surprise. The entire damn house was made from concrete a foot thick, then covered with siding to make it look normal. He thought for a second and stepped outside to look more closely at the shutters that were on all of the windows. He inspected one of them rapping lightly on it with his knuckles and was satisfied that his hunch had been correct. It was not a normal decorative plastic or wood shutter at all as he assumed at first like you find on most houses these days, instead, it was a real shutter designed to be closed over the windows, it was also surprisingly made from thick steel and was painted to match the house. The damn house was basically a bunker. Maybe his uncle had been scared of tornadoes or something? No matter his reason, Jake liked it instantly, it was a solid well built house, he didn’t need to worry about burglars, or tornadoes he thought, hell or even swat teams for that matter.

He walked inside and found himself standing in the main room, which was a open concept style combined living room kitchen, dining room. He glanced around and loved what he saw. The floors were all hardwood, the ceiling had massive ancient looking wood beams, there was also a huge stone fireplace. The fireplace was built with large heavy dark colored stone blocks that to even his untrained eye looked very old and worn smooth, they had been carefully matched and fitted together by a master mason, the result was impressive. The fireplace had a wide stone hearth and the mantle was made from another thick wood beam that matched the ones in the ceiling.

The kitchen had recently been updated and featured a strange, but welcomed combination of all new stainless steel appliances, with a huge cast iron wood burning stove in the middle. The cabinets were a dark brown color, and the counter tops were made from a attractive granite, a old fashioned soap stone sink finished off the look. Beside the sink was another old fashioned piece of equipment, a antique looking hand pump that must draw water directly from a well or a cistern, it was obviously there as a back up water source that required no power, or county water to work.

Beside the kitchen was the dining room that featured a massive dining table made from thick dark wood, oak of some kind he was pretty sure. It was beautiful and at least four inches thick, four feet wide, and at least ten feet long. There were a total of ten chairs around it, four to each side, and one on each end. Jake tried to lift one end of the table and grunted with the effort, the damn table probably weighed 400lbs. He simply loved it ! Although the would hate to have to move the damn thing, as it was simple massive.He stared at the table a moment longer, and his mood soured for a second, its a shame he didn’t have any friends or family to sit around that massive table. He sighed heavily. Maybe one day he thought to himself. Moving a lot as a kid, followed by moving a lot in the military took a toll on making friends. Oh he had a lot of friends, they were just spread all over the country, with none close by.

There was a large leather couch and two comfortable looking leather chairs, and he noticed right beside the front door there was a large gun cabinet he had missed because the huge front door was so wide it had covered it when he walked inside. He walked over and peered through the glass. Inside he could make out a assortment of guns, and was both surprised, and pleased at what he saw, especially him being a World War Two buff that he was. Inside the cabinet there were exactly two of each gun, M1Garands, M1 carbines, 1903 Springfield rifles, trench riot shotguns, and lastly, two colt forty five automatic pistols exactly like the one under his jacket, hung in military style flap holsters on wood pegs. He also discovered that the bottom of the cabinet was filled with ammunition and loaded magazines. He was loving this place more by the second. Tired or not, the house had his curiosity now, he found a flash light in the kitchen, and went exploring.

There were three bedrooms and two bathrooms, the entire house had hardwood floors and he was pleased to see so did the master bedroom. The master was huge and featured another fireplace in it that was only a slightly smaller version of the one in the living room. In front of the fireplace were two more large leather covered chairs with a small reading table between them, the bed was king sized and the head board and foot board were made from more thick hand carved wood, Sitting on the bed Jake nodded in satisfaction, it had a thick comfortable mattress. He felt the mattress calling his name, he walked into the master bath, again pleased with what he saw. The bath was finished in attractive dark colored tile, and the shower was a large walk in style, with a separate deep tub.

He could not resist the shower, he turned on the shower, and started getting undressed as the water warmed up. The shower felt amazing after the long drive he had made, the powerful jets of how water soothed his muscles, and relaxing him, soon he was yawning, and felt that comfortable bed calling his name. He climbed out, and found the towels large and super soft against his skin. He climbed into the bed relaxing into the deep comfortable mattress , pulled the thick soft blankets over him and was asleep in seconds. That night Jake had vivid extremely realistic dreams of castles and dragons, he was riding a horse with a sword in his hand, and there in front of him was a fearsome, massive green dragon.

The beast reared up, showing a mouthful of wicked teeth, it roared, and spit a stream of deadly fire at him, the heat of the fire washed over him, burning his skin. Jake awoke with a start, with bright light streaming in the windows, he shook the weird dream from his head and it took him a second to remember where he was, pulling aside the blanket he realized he was covered in sweat from the heavy blankets, well that explained the dream at least. He always had weird vivid dreams when he got hot while sleeping. The weird front door must have played a part in giving me those dreams he mused.

He showered again, dressed and was soon drinking coffee in his new kitchen. Jake finished his walk around of his new home, the more he saw, the more he appreciated just what he had inherited. The house had been set up for self sufficiency, and his grandfather and uncle had done a incredible job at it. The kitchen had modern plumbing, but next to the farm style kitchen sink was a old style hand pump that drew water straight from a well under the house, providing water even if the power went out. There was a outside wood furnace that heated the water and the house, with a large supply of firewood along with another well.

There was a small building behind the house that contained a generator and fuel tank capable of powering the entire house in power outages for extended periods of time. The generator building also had several large batteries and charge controllers for a solar panel array, the southern side of the house roof was covered in solar panel’s. It was a great set up, and its what he would have done himself had he built it, and had the money to do whatever he wanted. He loved the place, the outside was a beautiful country house, while the inside had the feel of a log cabin, all beautiful wood, and stone, and it was built like a bunker. There really was nothing he felt it was missing, or that he could have done better. He spent some time walking around outside, and found that the garage was well stocked with tools, and one side was basically a workshop with everything needed for repairing vehicles. His uncles truck was parked inside, as was a older Honda four wheeler that was in good shape, and a lawnmower.

The barn was next and it was huge, he stepped inside and just glanced around. Parked in the front was a large four wheeled drive John Deere tractor, surrounded by various tractor implements and accessories, tools lined the walls and a long work bench ran across one wall piled high with tools, and some sort of tractor implement that was in the process of being repaired. Jake glanced around only recognizing a few of the tractor implements and their use, he had no idea what most of this stuff was for. There were doors along both sides of the barn and he found the first one was a office with a desk and filing cabinets, with most of the other doors being animal pens, several large rooms were obviously storerooms, both piled high with boxes and wood crates, with a thick layer of dust over everything.

Stairs led to a loft overhead filled with bales of hay, walking around the barn he discovered large fuel tanks filled with diesel and gasoline, a large tank of kerosene, large metal bins filled with corn, and beans of some kind, pallets of fertilizer, and many other things he had no idea what they were for, he was going to need some expert help if he planned on becoming a farmer he realized. A short walk around the property revealed rolling hills, many large fields, one a pasture for cows, several others had corn  and bean stubble from last years crop, there were large ponds, thick woods, and even a few large creeks on the property, it was all beautiful, covered in a deep layer of freshly fallen snow, the house and barn looked like a Christmas post card he was pleased to discover.

Then to top everything off, Late that day a representative of the law firm arrived to confirm he had taken possession of the property within the allowed time, had him sign a few papers, and left. Jake was stunned to discover the checking and savings accounts his uncle left him had a combined total of almost a hundred thousand dollars in them, and all bills were paid in full, the house and property owned free and clear, and even the kitchen was well stocked with food, meaning he didn’t have to worry about money, food or anything else anytime soon. He was in love with his new home, simply amazed at his sudden change of circumstances. His good luck had definitely returned with a vengeance!

Jake had been in the new house for a week, and had settled in pretty well, it was his dream home, and he was very comfortable in it. He had spent most of the last week just exploring everything, he spent many hours just walking the property lines, and enjoying the peace and quiet. It was going to take him quite a while to really go through everything here, go through the buildings well, go through all of the paperwork, and generally just learn whats here, and where everything at. One day, while going trough the large desk in the study he discovered a locked drawer in the top of the desk in the study.

He found a key on the key ring that opened the locked drawer, inside was a envelope labeled basement, containing a large strange looking key, and several old leather bound journals, Embossed on the cover was the name Tobia’s Reynolds, Jake’s grandfather. He was excited to discover his grandfathers journals. Jake knew little about his fathers side of the family, and this was a real treat for him to have such a personal look into the life of the family’s war hero. The old books were still in good shape, and he was grateful his grandfather had neat writing that was easy to read.

He started reading, curious as to both what his grandfather, and his grandfathers life had been like, the first journal was really rough, and very old, and detailed his experiences in world war one, then the second was all about his experiences in world war two, Jake sat down and started reading the entries his grandfather had made long ago, overcome by the history he was reading, the journals described what went on all through the wars, and what the man had seen, people he had met, battles, everything. It was amazing to read a first person account of trench warfare, chemical attacks,the invasion of France, the push through Europe towards Germany, the old mans tank battles which put the Sherman he commanded against the Nazi tanks. He knew his family had a lot of history, but he was floored by what he read.

He sat for hours sipping bourbon, and reading about what his grandfather had seen during the war. Then he started reading the last journal, which started detailing how his grandfather had returned home from the war, it began normally enough, but a few pages into it things got really weird, and he was wondering if his grandfather had gone insane.

August 1946, today while I was using the surplus welder / generator to repair the tractor, something strange happened, I had been welding the axle on the tractor, and laid the welding cables on the ground for a few minutes, when I realized what I can only describe as a black doorway opened beside the old cave, it was small, about the size of a doghouse, but when I crawled through, I found myself in another part of the world, I was looking down on castle ruins like I had seen in Germany during the war. I was surrounded by beautiful snow capped mountains thousands of feet tall, that rivaled the alps in their splendor. I don’t know where I was, maybe Switzerland? Its truly a marvel, I don’t know what this is, but I intend to experiment with making the doorway larger, and exploring whats there. The old man went on and on about experimenting with the generator, finally claiming sinking large copper rods into the ground and attaching the generator cables to them had opened the doorway up to the size of a house.

Jake read much of the journal, it went on to describe exploring ruins, discovering a enormous treasure of gold and jewels as well as many other fantastical things, such as unicorns, talking animals, and even magic if you can believe it. Jake just didn’t know what to make of what he was reading, he had no doubt his grandfather wrote it, as the hand writing was the same as the other older journals, and even the way he talked was the same, was the old man losing his mind, or thinking of writing a book or something? What the hell? He thought that he was seeing his grandfathers decent into dementia, and felt terrible. He kept reading though, hoping he would find this all to be a book idea or something.

Then. December 1946, today we were attacked by monsters, terrible , powerful, green , man like creatures over eight feet tall ! I was able to fight them off with my Trusty M1 rifle, and pistol, but just barely, they are tough to put down, and mean as hell, there were dozens of the things, I fear what could happen should they discover the doorway, and come back here to Kentucky, much less some of the other even worse things we have seen there. I have decided to use some of the treasure we discovered, and rebuild the homestead into a much stronger, and safer place before we do anymore exploration, a secure base of operations, able to fed off a attack if need be. A unemployed army engineer friend of mine, who has had a lot of experience from the war building bunkers, said we could build the house out of concrete. When I laughed at the idea, saying the neighbors would think I am crazy for building a bunker, he told me we could cover the house with normal siding, and no one would ever know it was anything other than a normal house just by looking at it.

The concrete construction would obviously make it super strong, last forever, and survive any tornado, hell it would be bullet proof as well. I very much like that idea after thinking it over, we will begin construction of a new house and barn next week, I also decided we would need better weapons and equipment should we want to succeed with our plan. The army depots are flooded with surplus war materials, and I had a supply sergeant friend offer to sell me a Thompson machine gun the last time I over by Fort Knox picking up feed. The man had hinted he could sell me anything I wanted if I had the money. I was doubtful and said as much, telling him I didn’t want any problems with the government should he get caught.

He said there was simply no way anyone could keep track of the mountains of equipment the bases were flooded with, especially not with people leaving the military in droves to go back home, equipment disappeared all the time, mostly misplaced, but noone knew for sure, nor really cared now that the war was finally over. He was leaving the military soon as well, and if I wanted anything I had better let him know. I had no interest or need at the time, but I surely do now, I am going to put him to the test and see just what he can scrounge up, I have made a long list of things I want so I guess we will see. If he can’t I could always ask around, it seemed as if every other soldier had brought home guns of all kinds from the war, just as he himself had.

I have little doubt I can buy pretty much anything I want with the resources that treasure gives me. That’s not to say there is no risk involved, the things I want to buy would cause a lot of problems if the government were to find them, so, I plan to store it under the house, and barn in the large basements I’m planning to build, should the government men come looking for some reason, they wont find anything. Jake put the book down, basement? The house didn’t have a basement. Well not really, just a small utility room / storm shelter, not big enough to fit or hide much of anything in, and the barn had no basement at all far as he knew. He reached into the drawer and took out the envelope that was labeled basement, and dumped a weird looking key into his hand, he had never seen a key like it before. He grabbed a flash light and headed towards the basement door.

He swung the door open, and flipped on the light switch, a weak light bulb flickered on, barely illuminating the room below. Jake stepped down the steel stairs, until he was standing on the concrete floor. This was silly he thought to himself, there’s nothing here, his grandfather must have been going nuts. He shoved those thoughts aside in the small hope it was all true, for no other reason he could not bear to think his grandfather had lost his mind. He carefully looked at the room, all the walls were concrete obviously as was the entire house. However down here the bare concrete was visible, and you could see the lines in the walls that showed the various truck loads of concrete as it dried, the roof in this room was concrete as well. The room was only ten feet square. One wall had a old rusty water heater on it, and a few rusty water pipes, the back wall and side wall had wooden shelves with odds and ends on them, lanterns, canned food, blankets. It was obvious someone planned to use the little room as a storm shelter.

It would be a hell of a shelter he thought, a under ground solid concrete room, surrounded by a concrete house. Jake randomly picked up objects on the shelves, examining them and setting them back down. He grabbed a old can of motor oil on a shelf, but it would not budge. That’s weird he thought, He poked at it, discovering it was apparently attached to the shelf, as was everything else on this wall, it was all permanently attached. Jake flicked on his flashlight and carefully examined the shelving and wall, he hesitated when he found what he thought was a hidden latch. He was starting to feel uneasy, not really so much for maybe about to find a hidden room or something, that part was cool. No what made him hesitate was, if he did find a secret room, it would give the weird last journal some legitimacy, which made the other stuff written it more likely to be real, and some of that shit was insane.

He gripped the hidden latch and pressed down on it, and was rewarded with a metallic click, and the shelving unit swing inward several inches from the wall. “Damn.” Jake muttered to himself. “Maybe there is something hidden here after all.” He pulled the shelves away from the wall, discovering they were on hinges. The wall behind the shelves, was made of concrete, the same as all the others, except for the large steel door large enough for two men to walk through side by side set in the center of it. The door had a single recessed handle in it, and a keyhole next to it and that was all, other wise it was just smooth featureless steel. He pulled the weird key from his pocket, and took a deep breath, and tried to slide it into the key hole. The key refused to go in, he turned it around and he tried the other side, it slid smoothly into the key hole with a snick. Jake took a deep breath, hesitated for a moment and then twisted it.

There was a loud clack and something heavy moved inside the door, Jake pressed against it, and the heavy steel door slowly slid open on well greased hinges. Inside was a small landing, and a short set of concrete stairs going down deeper into the ground, the walls, ceiling and floor was of the same industrial concrete, at the bottom of the stairs was a small landing.

A few feet in front of him stood another steel door. This door looked like it had come off a bank vault it was massive complete with round locking wheel in the center of it. He tried to turn it, but it would not budge, he looked at the door more closely and found another key hole. Sure enough the key unlocked it, Jake spun the wheel, and pulled the heavy steel vault door open wide enough to see inside. Stepping inside he used his flash light to look around, suddenly the room lit the room up startling him, illuminating the small room with blindingly bright modern led lighting. He figured there was a motion sensor somewhere that had triggered the lighting. He also noticed the lighting was pretty new stuff, his uncle had kept himself busy on the upkeep for this place, for which Jake was glad, this place would be a total disaster without any maintenance or upkeep for over 70 years. This was a decontamination room, he had seem a few while in the military. One wall had towels and shelves with folding clothing that resembled green surgical scrubs, the opposite side had shower heads, brushes and soap. There were vents in the ceiling for fresh air, and pulling out contaminated air, it was very professionally designed, much of the equipment he saw was newer stuff, obviously upgraded by his uncle over the years.

Jake was impressed, his grandfather had really put a lot of thought, and money into this place, whatever it was. There was another smaller steel door and he spun the wheel and pushed it open, as he stepped inside, more lights switched on. It only took Jake a few minutes to look around what he discovered was a small bunker built under the house. He walked through as he glanced around and discovered a lot of stuff. There was a bunk room, with bunk beds to sleep twenty people, a military style bathroom beside that with multiple toilets, sinks, and showers, next was a combined kitchen recreation area. The kitchen had pretty modern equipment, including a stove, sink, a large walk in pantry filled with up to date canned and packaged food, including lots of bulk things like rice, beans, etc.

It was obvious his uncle had expanded on things after his grandfather had died, this place was more designed to survive a nuclear war or the end of the world, than a attack by monsters as his grandfather had mentioned in his journal. It made sense he realized, his grandfather could not possibly know what was coming years later with the cold war, and threat of atomic bombs. He bet his uncle had even been a survivalist or prepper as things progressed and there was so much fear about war with the soviet union for decades up until the 80’s. He reminded himself though that his uncle was obsessed with being prepared for a invasion from some make believe world, not to mention wanting to explore that same new world. It was amazing the old man had not been found out at some point over the years, and locked up in the nut house.

Next was a large walk in freezer, well stocked with steak among other things. He imagined the food had been rotated out every few years to keep it up to date, damn, that would not be cheap he thought, just rotating this food every five years would cost tens of thousands of dollars easily as all of it was higher end survival and military rations that were damn sure not cheap. How had he paid for all of this? Hell replacing the food was cheap compared to what building all this had cost, at a rough guess he figured at least a minimum of a few million bucks just in materials, concrete, rebar, equipment, electrical, etc, and likely much more than that, especially, when labor was figured in. Just by glancing at everything here he knew that his uncle and grandfather damn well did not build all of this themselves, there had been a work crew, and a big one.

Moving on, there were several tables for eating and for relaxing, and playing cards, one wall had a locking steel cabinet filled with alcohol of all kinds, as well as wine, something he figured would be nice to have to help unwind when stuck in a bunker like this for weeks, or months at a time. There was also a large flat screen attached to the wall, and a shelving units containing thousands of dvd’s, as well as books, and a couple of computer stations with a wide selection of games, and more books and information of all kinds stored digitally. Just at a glance he could tell there was a huge library of survival, gardening, and much, much more. He supposed the recent prepper craze had effected his uncle, and had resulted in the more recent additions to the place.

Many of them suggested you have a library just like this so when things fell apart and the internet died, or libraries were destroyed you still had access to it to rebuild the world. He shrugged and moved on.Next was a mechanical room, with lots of electrical panels, and a well insulated diesel generator, and large fuel tank on one wall, one rack of gauges and meters were labeled solar power, which made him think there were likely solar panels somewhere on the property above him, as well as a bunch of batteries somewhere around here to store the juice and to serve as secondary power source.

Across from the mechanical room was a door marked supply. Inside was military style supply room, inside were shelves stacked with boxes, and crates, shelves with everything from folded clothing, boots, helmets, gloves, to notebook paper and toilet paper and much more. Beside that was a small office, with several desks, in the back of the office was a small bunk room, and a private bathroom, he assumed for whoever was in charge.

Next was another mechanical room, this one featured a water pump, for what he was sure was a well, and a large water storage tank. Across from this mechanical room was a locked steel door, and the word armory stenciled onto it. Jake unlocked it with the same key and swung the door open, lights instantly snapped on and Jake gasp in surprise at what he saw. He had perhaps expected the armory to have a few weapons, probably some old surplus rifles, maybe a few ar-15’s and a few pistols or something. He was shocked at what he saw.

The room was maybe thirty feet by thirty feet and it was stuffed full weapons racks, that ran floor to ceiling. They racks ran all around the room, as well as several more rows running down the center of the room. There were rack after rack of weapons, floor to ceiling, easily hundreds of guns he guessed. A glance off to the side revealed pallets of ammunition and other things stacked chest high, as well as a work bench with tools for working on weapons, and cleaning them and a bookcase filled with weapons manuals. The opposite side of the room was more racks of weapons.

Jake slowly walked around the tightly packed room it, walking between the weapon racks, carefully examining what was there. It looked like his grandpa had done exactly what he had mentioned in the journal, it looked like he had robbed a WWII military arms depot. First were the pistols and most of them dated from the war. He recognized US military 1911 .45 autos, and Nazi marked Luger 9mms, as well as browning high power 9mm’s. The next rack however was filled with at least a hundred Glock pistols, some were 9mm’s, but most were the more powerful 10mm variants, which was a little odd he though. Why would you want that many 10mm pistols? They were not the usual self defense weapon to use against humans, they were usually used for hunting, and defense against bears. Weird.

Looks like his uncle had added some modern weapons to the older stuff grandpa bought back in the day. All of the weapons gleamed with a thick coating of oil, indicating they had been well cared for over the years. The American weapons were mostly all brand new, and still showed packing grease in many cases, while the German weapons were all used and showed wear from use, but all cleaned, well lubed and in perfect mechanical shape. He supposed these were the war trophies the journal had mentioned that had been purchased from other returning soldiers .

The next racks Caused him to blink in surprise. They seemed to contain nothing but full auto sub machine guns, again, all dating from the war, and there seemed to be only three different guns represented, American made Thompsons and M3 Grease guns, the last being Nazi manufactured Mp-40’s. The Thompsons and grease guns still had cosmoline smeared all over them, it is a kind of grease that protected guns in long term storage from rust and moisture. That told Jake most of these weapons had come here straight from a government weapons depot, hell, his granddad really had robbed a world war two depot ! Jake carefully picked up a Thompson smg, one of the ones that had been cleaned of the thick cosmoline. He shouldered it and looking down the guns sights. The bolt pulled back easily and locked to the rear on well oiled parts. He looked down at it and smiled, damn what a beautiful weapon. He had always wanted one, but they were extrremely expensive, he glanced at the racks that were filled with them and just shook his head. It was amazing, they were all here, and all his apparently. He returned it to the rack and continued exploring.

Stepping past the racks of sub machine guns, he reached the rifles, rack after rack of infantry rifles of all kinds, there were semi automatic M1 Garands, little compact M1 carbines, then German K-98’s followed by British .303 rifles, and even several long racks containing Nazi Stg-44’s. He recognized the weapon instantly, even though he had never seen one in real life before. He picked one up and worked the action getting a feel for it. It was the first assault rifle the world had ever seen, grand daddy of them all. He admired it, running a hand over the well worn metal and scarred wood of the stock. It was the first one he had ever seen in person, obviously more war trophies purchased one at a time from other war vets he supposed. One of those guns today was easily worth fifty thousand dollars if they had papers making them legal to own, which he doubt any of these did he thought sadly. Next to the rare weapons was a huge wood box filled with magazines for the weapons, as well as spare parts to keep them running. His grandfather had prepared for everything it seemed. He felt a little sad he had never met the man, or his uncle, he wondered what they had been like, he felt a sadness deep in himself he would never know them.

Many of the rifles he was looking at were the original sniper models featuring the original rifle scopes, and other accessories, each one worth a small fortune to a collector but were all likely bought for almost nothing when his grandfather had bought them. The next racks made him blink again in surprise, something he didn’t think was possible after everything he had seen so far, but he damn sure kept getting surprised. These racks were filled with the much more modern M-16 rifle, some of them were even fitted with grenade launchers. He could see being able to buy war surplus weapons as World War Two wound down as the surplus was measured in millions of metric tons, flooding every base and warehouse to the gills, not to mention all the war trophies andother military equipment running loose, but where did they get modern m16 rifles? He shrugged, it was one thing to buy a grenade launcher he thought, another thing entirely to find grenades for it, those were basically useless as weapons he figured.

He guessed they had been acquired around Vietnam maybe, that era was notorious for drafting men who didn’t want to be in the military, and draftees tended to not always be professional soldiers they had today and many more of them back then leaned more towards sketchy behavior. He could see some disgruntled soldier stealing and selling weapons for a big wad of cash. The next racks were modern sniper rifles, there were bolt action Remingtons in .308 mostly, but also scoped M14 rifles, then at the end of the sniper rifles he was pleased to discover a dozen of the huge semi auto Barrett .50 caliber anti material rifles. He turned the corner and let out a long whistle.

The next racks were filled with belt fed machine guns, and the very first ones were the massive Browning .50 caliber heavy machine guns. He just stared at them for a long minute, they were huge, for practical reasons the most powerful machine gun ever made. There were certainly larger weapons, with machine gun rates of fire, like the 20mm vulcan, and the 30mm vulcan but anything larger than .50 caliber was considered a cannon. The next guns were the smaller browning 30 caliber versions of basically the same gun, then there were several racks of the excellent Nazi manufactured MG-42, then a rack of the much more modern M60 machine guns. There were crates and boxes stacked everywhere, and he didn’t open any of them but at a glance he saw night vision goggle and scopes, magazines, load bearing gear, optics, spare parts, accessories and much, much more.

Hell he even saw a stack of crates containing hand grenades and explosive rounds for the damn grenade launchers, so much for them being useless. Plus to top off everything he had seen so far there was even a crate of M-72 Law antitank rockets. They were a small antitank rocket and not nearly as effective against a main battle tank as the more modern stuff, but they were damn sure deadly against anything smaller than a main battle tank none the less. He glanced around the weapon packed room just trying to wrap his mind around everything that was in here, something not that easy to do. One one hand he felt chills up his spine at the excitement of having all these goodies for himself, it was a damn mans dream come true, especially a man with a love for history as he had, however the downside of it was he could never really shoot most of what was in here, as without paperwork it was illegal as all hell, and he felt more than a little fear of what would happen should any of this shit ever be discovered. He would probably spend the rst of his life in a federal prison should that happen. He thought about it for a long minute and finally just sighed, all this shit had been down here for over seventy years, and never discovered, no reason to believe it would be now as long as he didn’t do anything fucking stupid with it, like get drunk and blast away with a machine gun in his front yard, or try to sell it to a undercover ATF agent.

It was obvious his uncle had continued on with his grandfathers plan and had bought newer equipment when possible, the fact they were able to get all this stuff was just mind boggling to him. What the hell was he going to do with all this shit? If he was smart he would cut it up with a torch and dump it all into the nearest river. He sighed heavil again, as he knew he could not do that to his grandfathers legacy, it had to be shown more respect than that. He supposed he could sell all the legal stuff to collectors and then sell the parts off the illegal ones as well as long as he was careful to dispose of the receivers first. He knew that stuff went for really good money and there was a fortune here, even spare parts were worth a lot of money. If he did it right he would probably never have to work again, and be pretty well of financially. He could probably make millions off just what he could legally sell.

Something caught his eye, and he walked over to look closer at it. There built into the wall was a large steel safe, it didn’t have a combination dial though, just a locking handle, and another funny shaped keyhole. He stuck the key into the door and with another well oiled click it unlocked it for him. He pulled the door open and shined his light inside, the safe was stacked to the top with canvas bags. He pulled one of the heavy bags out and looked inside. Jake whistled loudly and blinked in disbelief at what he saw. He scooped a handful of gems out into the light and saw large diamonds, rubies, emeralds, sapphires, and other stones he could not recognize, another bag was filled weirdly with random oddball items made from solid gold.

There were large gold nuggets, ingots, various everyday items that were strangely made of gold, handles, door knobs, forks, knives, spoons, buttons and much more, there were silver coins and even a jewel and silver encrusted dagger like a king of old or a drug lord would carry obviously worth a fortune in precious gems alone, there were also bags filled with gems, he was no expert but he was pretty sure there were real diamonds, rubies, emeralds and more.

Jake blinked, as he realized how much wealth was crammed into this safe, as he forgot all about the weapons value he had just been considering a moment ago. The value of this stuff was a thousand times more what the weapon stuff would have brought. I’m a fucking millionaire, hell, I might be a fucking billionaire he realized as he hefted a large heavy bag of diamonds in his hands. He sat down on a crate of ammunition to get his bearings, and try to wrap his head around what he had just found, something that was getting harder and harder by the second. He damn sure didn’t need to worry about money again, he glanced at all the illegal weapons, maybe worry about prison, but not money.

This stuff was well hidden though and had been here for a really long time and never found, as long as he did nothing stupid he should be fine. Plus, he was a very wealthy man now able to afford a entire law firm if need be and that would go a long way in keeping away nosy gov agencies, funny how money could do that for someone. He looked down and spotted several large military foot lockers with large dollar signs painted on them with white paint, like something you would see in Scrooge Mcducks money room or something.

He was not even surprised when he reached down and opened one discovering it was filled to the top with bundles of $100 dollar bills, there had to be several million in cash in just this one box he figured, and there were several more boxes just like it stacked along the wall. Everything he had found in the last hour was just mind boggling, and one of the things would have been a huge discovery, all of them added up was too much to process, and was making his heart race, he needed to take a break. Jake was locking the safe back up, when he noticed a letter on top that was addressed to his father, he sat back down on the ammo crate, put his feet up on a box of cash and started reading the letter.


If your reading this letter, then I am probably gone to be with father, and you are once again back at the home place. I only wish you could have come back long before now. Fathers discovery, was the greatest find anyone has ever made, even greater than Columbus discovering America in my opinion. There has never been anything like it before. Imagine, A doorway to another world, and not to just any world, a world filled with amazing creatures, beauty, and unlimited wealth just there for the taking, not to mention the freedom of a new world, a life free from our meddling government, a place where anyone can be anything they want.

Unfortunately, it is also filled with great danger, and part of that danger took our father from us. I still remember it like it was yesterday. Father had realized the danger early, and had put the exploration on hold for a few years until the home stead was ready.He feared what might come through that doorway and wanted to be prepared should it ever happen, as well as have a secure place to operate from, free from meddling government men. He was right about that, and over the years government men searched our home several times looking for stolen government weapons, but never finding anything thanks to fathers foresight.

Anyway, We had just finished building the new house and barn and fully stocking it, when father was finally ready to take us through to the other side for the first time. He had went first to make sure it was safe for us, and from what he said before he died he had the terrible luck of running into something more than he could deal with. Which is really saying something if you knew our father. I was fourteen years old, and you were barely ten, our lives were about to change forever, and they did, just not as we thought. I don’t know what you think you remember Elias, but I know it was no ones fault, especially not yours.

You took it hard though, you blamed that other world for killing father, and you refused to even discuss it after that. You went to live with Aunt Edna, and even refused to talk to me  at the fathers funeral. How that broke my heart brother. I gave you fathers pistol that day to remind you of him. I sorely wanted to explore fathers discoveries, but how could I without my only brother? I never went there after father died, I stayed here, year after year, waiting for you to return. You never came back though brother, and it broke my heart. I respected your wishes though and left you be, hoping you would eventually come around, I waited decades for you.

That is until Jake’s tenth birthday, when I decided enough was enough, it was time for you to come home, and we continue fathers dream, and I confronted you at the party. We argued and that was when I discovered you had somehow fooled yourself into believing it had all been a bad dream, something you imagined as a child and none of it real, and I and our father had simply been crazy. I can see how you might do that, you were only ten when it happened and fathers death had hit you hard. How it broke my heart to hear though that though, when I did I knew there was no point arguing, I might as well been trying to convince you aliens were real.

Brother, the truth is our father did not die from a farming accident the way everyone thinks. The truth is he lost his leg and got his body mangled by some terrible creatures in that other world, they did that to him. Even badly hurt as he was he somehow managed to get back through the doorway and luckily close it behind him before anything followed, but he was beyond our help and died a few minutes later. The tractor accident story was just to keep anyone from coming around asking unwanted questions, as if anyone would have believed the truth anyway. When I left the party I came back here and hoped one day you would come around, remember the truth, and come back home and help me explore that new world together. I kept the home place going, I cleaned and maintained the guns and equipment father bought for it, kept everything in good mechanical shape, and even added some things over the years as I could. Living close to Ft Knox really paid off a few times.

When I was able, I used some of the treasure to buy land from neighbors interested in selling. I’m proud to say I increased the original 40 acre farm to over 500 acres now, it damn sure gives us some more privacy, and we will need it to continue fathers dream that’s for sure. Elias, if I’m gone, you and your boy should finish what father started, he would have wanted that. He would have been pleased to know the Reynolds men were continuing his dream, for you to go explore that new land, it is just sitting there waiting for you. A new shiny wild world where a man can be anything he wants. Father felt we could do great things, be explorers greater than any to ever live, and create something wonderful there.

I am truly glad you are finally back brother, enjoy your home, and be safe in your adventures. Love, Edgar.

Jake blinked and rubbed his eyes, this partially explained why his daddy refused to talk about his family, as well as his history with his brother. The few times his father had said anything when Jake had asked, he had said. “ No boy, your never to visit your uncle,  him and his fool ideas will get you killed, same as they killed your grandfather.” None of it had made any sense to him before now, but it was starting to make sense to him now. Not that be believed the story of a new world and a door to it, but the insanity and craziness his uncle seemed to believe explained why his father cut all contact with his brother, and forbade Jake from being around him. He guessed their fathers death had just been so traumatic it had broken something in his uncle, and he had made up a grand story to explain his fathers pointless death, one that sounded much cooler than a simple tractor accident. It was sad really.

He had a lot of questions and doubts about things now, he didn’t believe there was a new world around here someplace, but there damn sure was something strange going on, like where the hell had all that treasure come from? Jake locked the armory back up, and was about to leave when he realized there was still another door he had not explored. He unlocked another heavy door and found himself in a long narrow tunnel illuminated by lights mounted on the walls every twenty feet. He followed the tunnel and ended up at yet another steel door. He swung the heavy door open and this time was in a dark room, judging by the how sound was echoing it was the largest room yet. The air had a musty military surplus store smell to it, Jake recognized the smell from his time in service, it was the smell of heavy olive green canvas military tarpaulins.

He shined his weak flash light across the wall, until he found a light switch. He flipped it, and lights overhead in the ceiling flickered on, illuminating the room in weak light. Jake turned around and some huge canvas covered thing towered over him covered by a faded green military tarp. He walked over to it, lifting a corner and peeking under it, not quite believing what he thought he saw. He grabbed a corner of the heavy dusty military tarp and pulled hard on it until it started to move. It started sliding, slowly at first, then picking up speed where it finally slid off what it covered, falling to the floor with a thud, resulting in a large cloud of dust that made him cough.

He stood there stunned, staring at what stood before him. The olive green paint looked new, glistening under the lighting, the large white star on the front instantly telling its age, the huge gun stuck out just over his head. “Its a goddamned Sherman tank !” He breathed out breathless. “How the hell did they get this damn thing down here?” He wondered. A glance revealed a concrete ramp in the back of the room that led up into darkness, he supposed there was a hidden entrance up there somewhere. He looked slowly around the large room at more large tarp covered heaps, there were a few more the size of the Sherman he had discovered as well as many more slightly smaller heaps covered with tarps, as well as dozens of large wood crates stacked against the walls.

He suddenly felt exhausted, not having the energy to look further into the mystery that was unfolding around him. It was just too much to process at once time, and he needed a break. He returned the way he came, relocking the heavy doors, turning off lights until he found himself back back in the small basement of his new house. He slid the shelves back against the wall tugging gently to make sure they had locked into place. Satisfied, he returned to the study, where he sat behind his crazy dead uncles desk, and poured himself a large glass of his uncles bourbon with shaking hands.

Jake sat at the desk drinking bourbon, trying to figure out how to process everything he had discovered today. He sat there for hours thinking it over and what the hell to do about it. Insane as it sounded, he knew he was going to have to go check out that cave that his grandfather had mentioned in the journal, and see if there was any truth to this doorway to another world thing. He thought it was pure fantasy this morning when he read the journal entries, but then again, he would have called you insane if you told him he would find a Sherman tank in his basement. His uncle and grandfather had gone to a hell of a lot of trouble, and expense building and stocking this place, they did it for some reason, and the huge pile of treasure in the safe backed up their story. He was going to have to check it out tomorrow, he had a uneasy feeling about the entire damn thing. He had to do it for no other reason than there might be more things around here that could send him to prison. It was best if he did a much better search, and find out, lord only knew what his uncle had been up to all these years.

The next day Jake found himself heading into the woods behind the barn. This was the warmest day so far since he had moved into the place. The sun was shining brightly, in a clear blue sky, and It was almost fifty degrees today, the snow had mostly melted away, turning the ground muddy. He was wearing some rubber boots he found in the barn and they squished noisily on the soft muddy ground. He walked down what he thought was a old logging road into the thick woods, he didn’t have to go far before the woods opened up into a small clearing. The clearing was covered in short brown grass, and on the opposite side of it was a large hill, the hill rose up several hundred feet and was covered in large leafless oak trees. The tree branches had snow still clinging to them in places, as did the entire hillside as it was north facing and received little sun, that is except for one area that featured no trees at all, it was all exposed dark Grey solid rock. Directly in front of the rock wall was a slightly elevated chunk of rock that stuck out of the ground a few inches, and it was about fifty feet square. Jake stepped onto it and slowly walked across the weather beaten rock, the first thing that he noticed about it, was that it was perfectly flat, as flat as a pool table, other than being flat, it was also almost perfectly square. He looked it over closely, and except for it being flat and square there seemed to be nothing special about it. Although flat and square did seem to be pretty weird when you thought about it, pretty much zero chance it occurred naturally like that, but who, or why would someone go through all the trouble to cut it flat like that?

A short distance away next to the woods was a short concrete structure that looked for the world like a small bunker to him. He moved closer, looked it over and sure enough that’s exactly what it was. There was a heavy steel door on the back of it, next to what looked like a large steel box with a aluminum fuel tank beside it. He tugged on the heavy door discovering it was locked, and looking closer he recognized the weird key hole as soon as he saw it. He pulled his key ring from his pocket using the weird key on the lock. The well oiled mechanism turned easily and he was able to pull the heavy door open and stepped into a small room about ten feet square. The little room featured a heavy steel table that had a control panel of some kind bolted onto it. The panel had the familiar key hole in it, there were several power gauges on it, and several switches, with one large switch, thick power cables extended from the panel into the concrete floor. The only other feature to the bunker was one small narrow window that faced the odd square rock table. There was some metal device bolted to the window sill and he was surprised to recognize it was a mount for a machine gun. He pondered it for a second, getting a uneasy feeling.

Sure, someone might build a bunker under their house, due to being paranoid about the world, but why build this thing? It made him uneasy, he didn’t really believe there was some weird doorway to another world, but his uncle and grandfather sure believed there was and had expended enormous effort and money to build all of this, besides, where the hell had all of that treasure came from? Stepping back outside, he discovered the metal box was a large generator with thick power cables coming out of the generator and disappearing into the ground in the general direction of the flat rock. He walked all around the area examining everything closely but not finding anything else strange, or weird, just the odd flat rock, and the little bunker.

He was extremely doubtful this was going to amount to anything, but he knew he was going to have to at least try to make something happen, he was going to have to turn that generator on, and show this was all bullshit so he could be finished with it. No matter if his grandfather and uncle were nuts they had left him very well off by leaving him the farm, not to mention extremely wealthy, from all that treasure wherever they had found it. He stood considering how to go about this for several seconds, switching from wanting to maybe get some specialized gear to do it right, to just saying screw this bullshit for forgetting about it, and burning that damn letter. Finally he just said screw it. He flipped the power switches in the control panel, pushed the starter button and the big diesel generator fired right up with a belch of black diesel exhaust and a roar.

He let it idle for a few seconds watching as the needles all moved to within normal operating ranges as were marked on the gauges. Oil pressure, temperature, amps, fuel all were reading in the green. Apparently this was another area that his uncle had worked hard to keep in perfect operating order all these years. Jake stood there staring at the flat rock with his hand on the big master power switch for almost a full minute, running everything through his head, finally he just said screw it.

He flipped the master power switch, and immediately the generators rpm and engine noise dropped as it struggled to provide power, whatever the power drain was it seemed substantial to put such a drag on a generator that size. A few seconds passed, and nothing happened, then ten seconds, then twenty seconds. Jake laughed out loud at the absurdity of everything, here he stood standing in a actual bunker, dicking with this generator, with part of him actually hoping a damn portal would appear, if for no other reason to prove his family were not insane, while another smaller part of him, his inner child, the adventurer, hoping beyond belief it was all real. Thirty seconds passed, and the more practical, skeptical grown up part of him laughed out loud. “This is fucking insane.” He breathed, I’m a fucking idiot. He looked down at the control panel reaching for the master switch, so he could power down the generator, and end this shit, and put this nonsense behind him. Just as his hand touched the switch a ear splitting crack resounded through the little clearing, Jake jumped and crouched down at the sudden loud noise, he glanced up quickly to see where the lightning had struck, because to him that’s exactly what it sounded like, a crack of lightning. His eyes darted around the clearing even as the booming noise echoed back at him from the hillside, and far across the countryside around him. He frowned when he could not locate smoke, or anything to show where the lightening had hit, it had sounded like it had hit right in front of him, where did it… Wait.. what the hell is THAT?

There in front of him, just over the weird flat rock, the air seemed to ripple, like pavement on a hot summer day, as if the rock was super hot or something. The ripples were growing bigger, and moving faster, then started swirling in a circular pattern counter clock wise, like a pin wheel. Colors started flashing in it, or rather on it, looking like streaks on a water color, blue, red, orange, yellow, the colors grew as the rotation increased, finally turning into a bright orange blur as it rotated faster than he could follow. Jake just stared at it unable to move, his mind dumbfounded trying to figure out what he was looking at. The orange blur flashed once, then again, and again, flashing faster and faster from bright blinding orange, to pitch black. The flashing grew faster and faster until finally the flashing suddenly stopped and it remained pitch black. There in the bright winter sunlight, on the weird flat rock stood a large black circle easily twenty feet across. Jake finally blinked and with a start realized the door to another world was real !

He stood there for a long minute just looking at it, finally walking over for a closer look. The inky black portal towered above him as he stood off to the side looking examining it from up close. The air close to the portal was bitterly cold, and seemed to radiate from it in waves, causing his skin to prickle even through his clothing. The front of the portal was a inky black circle, and he could smell a very pleasant flowery type smell coming from it. Stepping to the side he was surprised to find that the portal was only a inch thick at most, and easily missed if you didn’t know it was there. When he stood to the rear of it it totally vanished from view and you could not tell it was there at all something he found strange.

Well, really just one more really strange thing to toss in the mix of strange things. Only while standing in the front of the portal could you actually see the doorway, or maybe tunnel was a better description for it because that’s what it looked like, the entrance to a pitch black tunnel. Except for the roar of the generator behind him, everything was totally silent, the portal thing made absolutely no noise at all. The flowery smell was quite strong and he wondered if the portal made that smell, or the smell was coming from whatever was on the other side of where ever it went, just another mystery.

He squatted down and touched the stone under him with his bare hand and was surprised to find it almost hot to the touch under his hand, instead of ice cold as it should have been in the cold January air. Well not all that surprising he supposed, the portal was the surprising thing the ground under it being hot to the touch much less surprising, on the scale of strange it really didn’t register compared to everything else.

He wanted to stick his hand into the inky blackness, but was honestly afraid to, no way was he going to play with this thing. He needed to find out more about it first. Then he remembered what the letter had said about what was on the other side, danger, and extremely dangerous creatures, and best he could see nothing was stopping one of them from just stepping through and appearing a few feet in front of him. He involuntarily took a step back from the portal, then three more, turned and quickly walked back to the bunker.

The entire time his back was to the portal he expected something to grab him at any moment, a strong shiver ran down his spine as he stepped into the safety of the heavily constructed concrete bunker, realizing what a good idea it had been to build something like this, just in case. He went to the control panel and flipped the master power switch to off, and then turned the generator off as well. The fading engine sound echoed through the woods and was soon gone leaving everything dead quiet around him and the clearing.

He was surprised to see the dark portal still standing there seemingly unaffected by the complete loss of power to it, something that made him very uneasy. ‘What if it didn’t close, what then? What if something came out of it, what would he do? He placed a hand on the holstered pistol under his jacket, and realized it was not much of a weapon against a large dangerous animal. The thought was more than a little unsettling to him, and he discovered he was covered in nervous sweat. He wiped his sleeve across his face and stood there for almost a full minute nervously watching the unmoving black portal, when suddenly without a sound, or warning of any kind it just blinked completely out of existence as if it had never been there.

He breathed a heavy sigh of relief that lasted a few seconds. Maybe he should just forget about this portal shit, he was a very wealthy man now and would never want for anything, or have to work again for the rest of his life, hell his children and grand children would never have to work for that matter. He didn’t have to mess with this thing nor have to deal with whatever drama it would bring. He sighed again heavily he knew it was too late for walking away from it now. He was hooked and no matter what happened, he was going to figure out this portal thing.and had to look into this more. Suddenly a thought occurred to him. “What would happen to anyone standing, or anything laying or going through the portal doorway when it snapped close?” He didn’t know, but he had to assume it would be very bad. Suppressing another shiver he realized he was going to need to do some shopping, he was going to have to buy some equipment before he turned that portal on again.

A week later, Jake sat in the bunker checking his equipment almost ready to turn the generator on again. Next to him on top of the control panel sat a new laptop that was connected to a powerful antenna, on the roof of the bunker. A few yards away on the ground in front of the bunker sat a large multi engine drone. All of it recent internet purchases. The laptop was showing the feed from the drones downward mounted camera, the drones batteries were all fully charged, and he realized he was finally ready to begin. The drone he was using was a hand built prototype and very highly customized with much greater capabilities than a standard off the shelf model. Jake had reasoned a standard off the shelf drone would be highly useful for exploring a new world, but since he had the money he could get something very special that would be a hundred times more useful than a standard over the counter drone.

He had found a online drone seller who specialized in high end drones and that offered drone customization, and after a phone call Jake had discovered the man had already built pretty much exactly what he wanted. This particular drone had been the mans personal drone that he had recently just finished building, it was his greatest creation yet. Jake had immediately wanted it, figuring it would be perfect for his plans. However, the man had initially refused to sell it to him, explaining it had been very difficult and expensive to build, and it was his pride and joy, not to mention it was also highly illegal to operate without the proper permits. He didn’t want to get in trouble should Jake do something stupid with it and get caught and everything be traced back to him. Jake finally had offered to pay triple what the man claimed it was worth, and even to messenger him cash so there would be no way it could be tracked back to him. That had sealed the deal. It had been a very expensive purchase, and had shockingly cost as much as his ex wifes new car.

Well, a month ago it would have seemed very expensive, in Jake’s current financial status though the drone purchase had been pocket change, he could buy a thousand more of them and probably not notice it financially speaking. This drone was larger and more powerful than any off the shelf model available to the general public, only the military had better drones. This model had many features a off the shelf model just cound not compete with, such as much greater battery power, much more powerful motors that the man claimed gave the drone altitude capabilities of almost ten thousand feet, and a much longer range of up to almost 50 miles line of sight, or a max practical range of up to ten miles non line of sight. All features that Jake figured would be extremely useful for exploring a unexplored new land. The remote control system was also much more powerful than standard to take advantage of the greater range of the drone.

It was also highly illegal, and could potentially get him thrown in prison if caught flying it, at a minimum there would be massive fines and many legal issues. To operate a drone and radio this powerful required both a special license to operate the drone as well as another license for the radio system it used. Jake had neither license and both the FCC and the FAA would both shit a brick if they knew he was flying something like this in the United States without the proper clearance.

He doubted anyone would be complaining though either way out in the sticks of Kentucky where he currently lived, or where ever the hell the drone was going to be operating. He had also had the man installed some powerful lightweight led lights on it, just in case it was as pitch dark inside the portal as it appeared. He realized if he was going to do this stuff very often he was probably going to have to actually hire someone to help him, hire a specialist to both build and operate the drone and radio side of things, because he damn sure was not able to do it himself.

Oh, sure he could fly one on a limited basis, take it up to take a peek of things occasionally, fly it short distances, but to operate one long range or repair damage, or rebuild it? Hell no. He would need a specialist for that. Bringing other people in on this was something he deeply dreaded, as secrecy was going to be of the utmost importance. Just one big mouth, just one wrong word could bring hell down on everything, and he would lose all of it. Not to mention it would be such a huge break through to pretty much anyone, especially the government, he would likely be locked away the rest of his life in some prison just to keep the secret from getting out.

He adjusted his grandfathers pistol on his hip, checked the rifle in the corner again making sure it was loaded for the third time, well better safe than sorry. His grandfather had over and over again explained how dangerous this could be in his journals, he figured he would be foolish to ignore the warnings. He had been extremely foolish to open the portal last week being totally unprepared, but how could you prepare for something like that?

The generator fired to life almost instantly. He allowed it a few minutes to warm up. Once he figured it had been running long enough, he checked the camera feed again making sure they everything was working properly then he turned on the power. The generator bogged down for a few seconds, smoothing out a moment later as it matched the power load. The voltage was adjustable by turning a large knob on the panel, Jake started at the lowest voltage setting, unlike last week where it had been at almost the maximum. He waited a full minute giving the portal time to open, and when it didn’t he applied more power very slowly, turning the power knob increasing the voltage flowing to the portal gradually.

The generator got louder under the heavier load, but he didn’t see anything different, Suddenly there was a loud crack from the direction of the portal, this time the crack was more like a gun shot than the massive lightning strike boom he had last time. Maybe the crack was quieter, because he was using less voltage? There in front of him was the whirling vortex of colors, except this time it was only about the size of a basketball, instead of a house like last time. He turned the power knob slowly and as he did the portal increased in size. He stopped when it was a little bigger than what the drone would need to fit through. His reasoning was the smaller the portal, the smaller the threat that could come out of it into his world, if he had to fight something, he figured the smaller the better.

He picked up the heavy remote and powered up the drone, bringing it to hover a few feet off the ground, He turned on the bright lights on it and moved it toward the portal. He had been practicing with the drone for several days now and had found it to be pretty easy to fly, hopefully his little recon with the drone went well and he could get a good idea of what he would be dealing with on the other side. He held the drone directly in front of the portal, took a deep breath, and eased it into the blackness. The drone dipped into the inly blackness and vanished from sight as did the video on the screen. Did it just vanish? Was it destroyed? Did it block radio waves totally, or was it just pitch black inside, with nothing to see?  Just as he started to get worried he had lost the drone images appeared on the screen in front of him, first in black and white like he was in dark cave then suddenly the image turning into a bright, color filled high definition image. He found himself looking at a forest. The surprising thing about the forest was everything was bright green and lush, like it were summertime, instead of the cold, lifeless January weather he was experiencing here in Kentucky.

The next thing he noticed was the trees were enormous, several times larger than the ones where he lived, the images he was looking at looked much like the pacific northwest of the united states. Everything green and lush, large flowers, thick ferns, and enormous trees, he swore some of the trees had to be the size of Sequoia’s, easily several hundred feet tall, they took his breath away. Just the tree size alone proved he was looking at something quite different that what he was used to. Flocks of large colorful birds flew through the treetops, and he could see several kinds of large colorful fruit hanging from many of the trees.

He rotated the drone slowly in a circle, discovering the same forest all around him. Moving the camera down he found the ground was covered in short plants that had large colorful flowers, and there right below the drone was another huge flat square stone like the one here. He guessed the portal had a fixed opening, fixed over that square stone, and not just randomly opened just anywhere, or a different location each time, which could be super annoying.

A few feet away from the stone were some lumps in the grass, the biggest lump looked like wreckage of some kind. He moved the drone closer and discovered it was a small truck, no, a little jeep. He could still make out some of the green paint on it, and there on the crumpled hood was a white star, identifying it as a World War Two era Army jeep. It must have been one of the vehicles his grandfather had bought from the military. He looked closer at the little jeep and was surprised it was smashed from one end to another, as if a giant hand had smashed it, there was even a machine gun still mounted on the back of the jeep that was bent in half and covered in rust. This was disturbing, it had to have been his grandfathers jeep, but what had happened here?

He noticed more lumps on the ground in front of the jeep, dozens of them, leading away towards the forest, like large green stepping stones. Jake maneuvered the drone closer to them and let out a little gasp when he discovered that the green lumps were each a large pile of bones from some long dead creature. The bones of the skeleton were thick and heavy, the arms were long like a ape, and the skull was massive. Looking closer at the skull revealed that it was easily twice the size of a humans skull, it also had long sharp tusk like teeth similar to a warthog, that extruded from its mouth upwards and downwards almost four inches, and they looked wicked and dangerous. Great, more disturbing news, just what he needed. He would hate to run into any of these things, they looked pretty nasty.

Then he noticed several holes in the skull and realized surprisingly that they appeared to be bullet holes. He inspected several more of the bone piles and found more of the same, heavily boned creature, with large heads, tusk like teeth, and bullet holes in various skulls, bones, and the occasional piece of greenish armor which he thought was made of copper, bronze or something very close to it. He even found a broken sword sticking out of the ground that had the same greenish hue to it that indicated a bronze or copper alloy. There had been a big fight here, it looked as though grandfather had opened the portal and driven through right into a horde of these creatures. The fight had not gone well for the creatures, as even their huge size and strength could not save them from modern armor piercing bullets, but it had not gone well for grandfather either he remembered sadly.

It appeared as though he had given a good account of himself in the fight though and taken many of the creatures with him, maybe all of them. He counted seventeen piles of bones in all. His grandfather had taken seventeen of the attackers with him, and that was a thought that brought Jake much comfort for some reason. Probably because he had known many soldiers who had been killed in Iraq, for seemingly no reason, and never having seen their attacker, at least grandfather had gone down fighting, and had made the enemy pay a high price in the process, they should all wish to be so lucky unlike some of his friends who had died randomly by buried bombs he thought sourly.

He went back to the camera and figured he needed to get a higher altitude to look around, going into the forest would be pointless most likely. He powered the drone and climbed it skyward, going up higher and higher until it reached its maximum altitude of five thousand feet above ground level and he could see around a bit better. The view got a lot better, once above the tree tops, and the first thing he noticed was the enormous mountain range. Panning the camera in a circle revealed that wherever he was, or rather where ever the drone was and the portal opened up to, was located in the middle of a massive mountain range that rivaled anything he had ever seen before anywhere, the mountains were simply massive and snow covered even now in what must be summer down in this valley.

He had a thought and glanced at the drones height and was surprised to discover it was only at five hundred feet above ground level, and not the ten thousand plus feet it was supposed to be capable of, glancing at the altimeter on the display though answered that question. While the drone was operating at five hundred feet above the ground, it was also operating at almost ten thousand feet above sea level, it just didn’t seem like much because they were so high up. So the portal opened up in the mountains at almost ten thousand feet above sea level huh?

Ten thousand feet above sea level was admittedly pretty high up already, high enough to make breathing a challenge to those not used to it as he had discovered on a trip to Equador once. Just walking up a few steps left you winded. While the enormous mountains towered far above his view easily the size of the Alps he guessed, maybe even bigger, possibly as high as even Everest, which was crazy, surely this had to be some location on earth somewhere, perhaps another dimension or something where everything was similar, basically the same earth, just slightly different? He had no clue.

He ignored the breathtaking view of the massive snow covered mountains, and focused on the lower terrain of the valley. Panning the camera around he discovered he must be near the very highest point of a valley as he could see the valley fall away below to the east, he rotated the camera to the west and could only see the snow covered side of a massive mountain that rose into the clouds before his view. Damn sure not going that way he thought. The view to the north and south of him was nothing but deep rocky valley, with massive mountains rising over head. Damn sure not going that way either, to the east it is then, he panned the camera back tot he east and examined the valley that was laid out far below him. The camera was high quality and the view was sharp and crystal clear and offered a spectacular view of what was there. He saw more massive green forest that extended down the valley many miles until it vanished out of sight to the east, there was a decent sized river that was a brilliant bright blue color, speaking volumes about the quality of the water, there were some big rock formations, and… wait, was that a. a damn castle?

He focused the camera on the distant object and zoomed in to see it better with the cameras impressive optical zoom capability. The image on the laptop blurred for a moment then popped into crystal clear clarity, looking like it was only a few hundred yards in front of the camera instead of the half dozen miles it actually sat far below them in reality. He examined it closely, it sure as hell was a castle, and a big one at that, although it seemed to be very old and in questionable shape and likely deserted from the lack of any movement, or wood smoke. It was situated on a wide rock ledge about a half mile wide that ended abruptly at the edge of a thousand foot sheer cliff face. A thousand feet below the fortress walls lay more forest and a river on the valley floor.

He could just barely make out a narrow winding road that had obviously been carved from the rocky mountain side, that led from the fortress down to the valley floor below. There was a tall defensive wall separating the castle from the high cliff, and the valley and forest far below. Located on the inside of the wall was a good sized city, consisting of several hundred buildings he guessed that likely held maybe a few thousand people at most, with the castle located in the city center.

The entire city and castle were built from a white colored stone of some kind, perhaps marble, and bright red tile roofs a combination that gave the entire city a bright cheerful feel to it. It was kind of hard for him to tell what was castle fortifications, and what was city as many of the city buildings looked like fortifications or tall towers themselves, but the main castle was pretty easy to see the way it rose up much taller than the other buildings around it.

The main castle complex had another tall wall surrounding it and separating it from the rest of the city, and inside the wall was the main castle building that was surrounded by even another wall, between the outer and inner walls were other smaller buildings the best he could see. Those would have been stables for horses and barracks for soldiers he supposed. The castle its self was one a massive large main building, featuring three large tiered levels that resembled a wedding cake with each layer topped with battlements, and narrow slit windows. The top most layer had several tall towers rising high above it, connected to each other by fragile looking bridges, with one central massive tower rising high above the rest. While the castles walls on the lower levels were just narrow arrow slit type windows, built for war, the upper windows on the higher levels were much larger and open, obviously meant for letting in light and for good views.

The wall that surrounded the city, ran completely around it, and on the backside appeared to be a gate, and a road that led from the wall into the woods in this direction, which made him think for a moment, and focus the camera back on the ground of the small clearing. Sure enough, from the higher altitude he could make out a stony road leading away from the portal and into the woods, most likely leading right to that castle. The drone started getting hard to control, and he realized the wind was picking up and dark threatening clouds were rolling in from the west, it was time to bring it back.

He damn sure didn’t want to lose it as it would not be easy or cheap to replace, and had already proven its self extremely valuable to this project. He rotated the camera getting ready to bring the drone back down away from the incoming bad weather, when something caught his eye. It was a large tan and white colored object in the sky that he at first thought was a large bird of some kind, he absently zoomed the camera in on it mildly interested in the large bird. The camera in tight on it and as the image zoomed into crisp sharp focus he blinked in surprise. What the hell is that?: He said aloud.

The creature flew for a few moments flapping its large white powerful wings when suddenly it was hit by strong winds. The creature folded its wings alongside its body and dropped quickly towards the earth, disappearing seconds later through cloud cover and vanished from sight. Before he could really think about what he had just seen, the drones camera view tilted violently to the side reminding him of the bad weather quickly approaching. Jake toggled the power button cutting power and dropping the drone quickly to a lower altitude where it was safer from the strong winds.

He forgot about the creature he had seen only moments ago and using the drones controls fought against the violent wind, soon his face was beaded with sweat from his concentration, and he was sure he was about to lose the drone, but instead it hit calmer air below the tree tops and he regained control of it at the last moment. He carefully manuevered the drones controls and in less than a minute later it appeared safely through the inky blackness of the portal. He killed the power to the portal, and waited until it blinked out of existence before breathing a sigh of relief.

He hit replay on the recorded camera footage and watched the video again, and this time seeing many more details since he could concentrate purely on the video and not on flying the drone. Near the end of the video, he saw the flying creature again and right as the video zoomed into sharp focus on it, he paused the video, and just sat and stared at the scene before him. He could not believe what he was seeing, but there it was before him on the video. The flying creature. It had the head and front end of a massive eagle, complete with talons and beak, however its rear half was that of a lion. He remembered a creature like that from mythology, but could not remember its name at the moment. He knew one thing though, nothing like that existed on this planet, or at least had ever been discovered. He stared at it a long time, before hitting play again, he could look at this later at home. The next scene the camera tilted drunkenly to the side in the violent wind, and he saw a image he had not seen earlier. He paused the video again, and replayed it frame by frame until he had the best image of it and just stared. There on the screen, the camera had caught a glimpse of the sky, there on the edge of the screen for just a moment was a image that proved to him this place was not located on earth at all, but was in fact another planet entirely. He stared at the image of the three moons as they appeared on the screen, three moons rising just over the horizon on the video. Damn sure not earth. What the hell was this thing? Part of him knew what it was, but the rest of him just refused to believe he could really be seeing such a thing, but it was more of a winning the lottery, I cant believe this is happening to ME, than the impossibility of it happening in the first place. He had the proof of it, he just could not believe it was really happening to him.

He shutdown the laptop, and started to collect all of his equipment, first was the expensive and delicate drone, he carefully returned it to its heavy duty military spec storage case, returning the remote control, booster antenna and laptop to their places in the large case and locking the lid closed. Once he had that done, he picked up his rifle, and loaded everything in the back of his truck for the return trip. The last item was locking the steel door of the bunker. He climbed into the truck and headed back towards the house, he had a lot to think about, instead he got drunk as a skunk that night trying to not think about it.

Over he next few weeks Jake carefully considered all of the pro’s and con’s of going through with the exploration of that new world. The list was heavily in favor of the con side of the equation. Every single pro he came up with in favor of the exploration, had a dozen cons piled on top of it that far outweighed any benefit. Such as great wealth, he already had all the money he could ever spend. Just as Discovery of new medicines to cure disease, was far outweighed by what terrifying new diseases could be brought back through the portal there was no cure for. Jake was also a science fiction junky, and he had seen dozens of movies and television shows about just this exact topic. The exploration of a strange new world through a portal or gate of some kind, created either by advanced technology, a strange naturally occurring phenomenon of some kind, or even magic, the more crazier of explanations. Generally things for the explorers turned out badly, either in the beginning, or later on at the hands of hostile creatures, aliens, or even strange diseases.

Yes, any reasonable person would quite literally just take the money and run. He knew that's what he should do, it really had no down sides for anyone, especially himself. Unfortunately for Jake however, he shared the same taste for adventure as had his grandfather before him. While a life of luxury at first sounded nice, Jake knew deep in his soul that for himself, while it would at first be a dream come true, it would soon grow boring for him, something exploring a entire new would could never do. No, he knew he was hooked and exploring that new world was something he was going to do, no matter if it killed him, he just hoped that it didn’t kill him though. He was going to have to be careful though, to ensure that didn’t happen.
Link Posted: 1/18/2019 12:16:13 PM EDT
Okay now your writing again. Stop trying to buy property and keep new young neighbors from building a crack shack in your backyard and keep writing. Interesting story so far. Keep up the good work.

Link Posted: 1/18/2019 12:23:52 PM EDT
[Last Edit: buck19delta] [#23]
I moved the story back a little bit sorry about that, I thought it reads better like this. . heres a new part, going to post it when im done with it. .

While a life of luxury at first sounded nice, Jake knew deep in his soul that for himself, while it would at first be a dream come true, it would soon grow boring for him, something exploring a entire new would could never do, get boring. No, he knew he was hooked and exploring that new world was something he was going to do, he was already making plans in his head for his trip. He had decided to go through the portal on a short exploration trip, really just to see it in person and confirm it was real, something a video just could not do. He needed to see it himself, he also wanted to take a closer look at those castle ruins. One thing he didn’t know about though, was it even possible to open the portal from the other side? That was critical for his plan to move forward, he had to find out if it could be opened from the other side, and if it could not, figure out a way to open it from this side so he could return. He had a few ideas about how to accomplish these things, time to get to work, he had shopping to do.

He sat down and started working on the list of the equipment and supplies he figured he was going to need to get started, once that was done he picked up some cash and headed out in his truck to do some shopping. A few days later and he was ready.

He finished checking his truck and figured he was as ready as he could be. His truck was heavily loaded with supplies of all kinds and was towing a heavy trailer that carried several large military surplus generators on it, several heavy steel storage boxes, as well as heavy power cables, tools, and other electrical gear he figured would come in useful. He had picked up the heavy duty Kubota generators a few days earlier just for this exact purpose, and had them modified for his use. They were in new condition and started easily, with plenty of spare fuel, oil and filters.

He had dressed in what he was most comfortable in, military fatigues. A trip to a military surplus store in Lexington had scored him everything he needed in one stop shopping, he was sure he would be buying a lot more of this gear in the near future. He was dressed head to toe in multicam camouflage. He was wearing black combat boots, a boonie hat, and even a tactical vest loaded with magazines for his rifle.

Grandfathers pistol was on his hip, and he was carrying a fully automatic M16 carbine from the armory, not much different than the one he had been issued in the military himself. He felt a bit silly geared up for combat the way he was, but the old saying stayed stuck in his head, and he could not ignore it. “Better have it and not need it, than to need it and not have it.” It was dangerous on the other side of that portal, and he planned to take every precaution possible. He considered the disease aspect of things, but realized his grandfather must have made many trips through that portal, and spent a fair amount of time on the other side, and had not apparently brought anything infectious back, so he felt the risk was minimal at this point as long as he took reasonable precautions.

He drove his heavily loaded truck back to the portal and parked it beside the bunker. He unlocked the bunker and went inside. He learned a few days earlier that the bunkers generator could be put on a timer. It could be set to automatically start up or shut down, at various times all depending on how the timer was set. It appears he was not the first one in his family to worry about how to get through the portal, and get back safely. He was damn sure nervous as hell about getting stranded on the other side of that thing, so he was being extra prepared for this trip, even though he only planned to be there for a few hours. He had inspected all of his grandfathers journals several times, as well as the way the generator was hooked up to the portal on this side, and he planned to try to do something similar on the other side. He rechecked the generators fuel and filters again for the third time, confirming its five hundred gallon fuel tank was filled and was ready to begin. He fired up the generator, and opened the portal, increasing the size of it until he could easily drive his heavily loaded vehicle through. He figured the five hundred gallon tank gave him several days of generator run time easily, even though he was only planning to use it for a few hours on this trip.

He climbed back into the cab of his truck, started the engine and pulled forward until his front bumper was only a few feet from the inky blackness of the portal. He stopped there for a long minute, carefully considering what he was about to do. He knew he was committed though. He checked the new system he had recently installed in the truck to make sure it was ready to go. The large display screen that was mounted on the dash was hooked to a large hard drive, as well as multiple video cameras that were mounted all around the truck, front, rear and both sides would record all sides of the vehicle, and everything around it.

He wanted as much video as he could get, he figured it would be very useful in the future, as he could replay it and catch things he missed while he was driving. He hit record on the display and the video began counting time, confirming it was recording everything. He looked forward through the windshield at the inky darkness, took a deep breath and stepped on the gas. The heavily loaded truck crept forward, and the inky blackness engulfed him. Darkness engulfed him and he could not even see the bright display of the video screen on the dash, the temperature dropped to bitter cold, and just as he started to panic bright light flooded in. He blinked his eyes against the sudden bright light and stepped on the brakes. The first thing he noticed was how the place felt, it tingled. It was hard for him to describe, it was sort of like the feeling you get right before a big storm hit, how you got goosebumps, the place just had a electric feel to it somehow, a light airy exciting feel to it, he swore his skin tingled.

His eyes quickly adjusted and he could see a field of green grass in front of him, and woods beyond that. Everything was bright green and in full bloom, bright flowers were everywhere, colorful birds fluttered from tree to tree, and fresh summer time smells flooded his nose as a warm breeze flowed through the trucks cab. It was a very nice summer day, and he relaxed a bit, everything he was seeing was a stark difference to the cold barren winter landscape of Kentucky he had left just moments before. He glanced in the rear view mirror and there behind him was the inky blackness of the portal, it looked the same on this side.

He pulled the truck off the flat stone of the portal, dropping the six inches to the grass covered ground, he turned the truck until the trailer was in the correct spot and he parked. He grabbed his rifle climbed out of the truck and shut the door behind him. He stood there in the quiet of the forest as with all of his senses in overdrive as he scanned everywhere for danger. He looked and listened for a long time but didn’t see or hear anything odd, just the chirping of birds, and the wind through the trees. Time to get to work.

He slung his rifle, and got to work, after a few minutes he was gasping for air and wondered what was wrong with him, he took a break, and then he realized it was the altitude. He was at approx ten thousand feet above sea level, and the air was simply thinner here, which went a long way to explain why he felt so weak, he had felt the same way the time he was in South America at high elevation in the mountains there. He got back to work and after struggling for a few more minutes he finally slid the heavy generator off the back of the trailer. It was not a easy job either the generator was extremely heavy, and moving it was a real bitch by himself.

It would not have been possible at all had he not installed rollers on the trailer to help with unloading, even with those however it was hardly easy to do alone. The generator was heavy when he bought it, but he had had several modifications done to it, one was the 100 gallon fuel tank base that was attached under it, which added a lot more weight, but the big weight increase came from the quarter inch thick armor plate he had welded around the generator. His thought was there were dangerous creatures over here, possibly intelligent creatures, he damn sure wanted his generators and only way of opening the gate from this side well protected from damage.

He got the heavy generator situated next to the stone slab of the portal, and worked on installing the long steel anchors into the ground to keep it from being moved, and a hour later the generator was situated. Next he started the truck and backed the trailer into the woods fifty yards away. Once far enough into the trees and brush, he climbed out and unloaded the second generator, which was exactly the same as the first one, filled with fuel, heavily armored, and painted camouflage. He installed the anchor bolts in this one as well, locking it in place where it sat, he laid out heavy power cables next to it. Next he wrestled the two heavy steel storage boxes that were filled with supplies off the trailer and put them next to the generator and locked everything together with a heavy chain.

Next he covered everything with a camo net and some dead branches to hide it as well as possible. He examined his work carefully and was satisfied it was well hidden. Should something bad happen, he wanted some extra supplies that only he knew about. The generator was a backup for the other one, and the steel boxes contained extra clothing, food, weapons, ammunition and medical supplies. He figured no amount of preparation could be too much in this endeavor and he wanted as much back up and options as possible. He parked the truck back by the portal, took out a metal detector and started looking for the copper posts he thought would be there. He had found them by the portal on his property, heavy copper posts a foot thick just under the ground that his grandfather had attached the generators power cables too.

He assumed there would be more of them here somewhere, and when the metal detector beeped he thought he had found them. He used a shovel to dig down a couple of feet, and sure enough there they were. The work took a lot longer than necessary because he stopped every few minutes and would spend a long time looking around for danger before returning to work, and took a lot of quick glances around when he was working, his rifle lay close at hand the entire time, and he really wished he had someone to watch his back.

He cleaned off the heavy copper posts, and using a battery powered drill he drilled a inch wide hole deep into the copper posts. He tapped the hole, threading it and installed a thick bolt, making it ready for the power cables. Next, He dug a trench in the ground from the generator to the copper posts which were only a few feet away luckily, and laid the power cables into it and covered them back up with dirt. That was it, he had the generator on this side connected and ready to go. He relaxed a lot more now that he could concentrate on his surroundings and keeping a eye out for danger. He discovered several bugs crawling on plant leaves and was somewhat surprised they were just regular grasshoppers and lady bugs, just as he had back home. Using his binoculars he discovered many of the birds were the same species as back home as well, he spotted crows, some kind of hawk, red cardinals, and blue jays. He also spotted several birds he had never seen before, but they looked like normal birds, just oddly colored nothing sinister looking. He saw several squirrels as well, which looked normal to him at first, as they played on the sides of trees, until he remembered these trees were simply enormous an much bigger than back home,

That’s when he realized the squirrels were actually much larger than the squirrels back home. Upon closer inspection he realized they probably weighed at least ten pounds each and were almost three feet long from nose to tail, simply huge. He pondered for a moment what would happen should he release some of those things back in the woods of Kentucky, that would give some squirrel hunter something to talk about! He found a acorn the size of a softball as well, which explained what huge squirrels ate, they ate huge nuts. He figured he needed to take a few samples, and with a well aimed shot he blasted a huge squirrel out of a nearby tree. The other squirrels vanished at the gunshot, the same as they did back home. When he got to the dead animal he was simply amazed at the sheer size of the damn thing, it was freaking huge. It was about thirty six inches from nose to tail and was closer to twenty pounds he would guess, damn sure would only take one of these to make a meal, he wondered if it tasted like a normal squirrel. He placed it in a garbage bag along with a few of the big assed acorns, and tied it shut.

He also took some time to examine the bone piles he had seen from the drone footage. The bones were a lot bigger in person, he pulled a enormous skull loose from one of the piles, and examined it. It looked similar to a human skull sort of, or maybe a gorilla, it was about three times the size of a human skull, this one had short horns sticking out the top, as well as large tucks that protruded upwards from the mouth about four inches. It was truly fearsome to look at, he took several of the skulls as well as other bones and various items and put them in his truck. He didn’t plan to show these to anyone, but figured they would come in handy if he ever did need to convince anyone the portal was real. Checking his watch he realized he had been here for almost four hours, and he really needed to get back to work. He turned to go back to the gate and that’s when he spotted the moons in the sky.

It was simply breathtaking to look at. Back high above the gate the three moons hung in the sky, two of them were white and looked about the same as the moon he was used to back home, while the third seemed impossibly large to him, it was also mostly green and had a pale bluish colored ring around it like the planet Saturn had. The surface of the large green moon had some bright bluish green areas of various sizes and he felt sure they were water, lakes or oceans possibly? Could the green be vegetation? He wanted to say it sounded crazy, but after the portal everything seemed possible and he had better not rule anything out, it would probably be safer that way as well, just assume anything was possible. He stared at the sky for a long time, finally taking out a digital camera and shooting several dozen pictures as well as a lot of video as well. The last thing he did was set out several deer cameras to see what kinds of animals were around here.

Then he went back to work, he had things to do, and was getting nervous at being here for so long, the running generator back home his only way to get back, if it failed for any reason he would be trapped. He unlocked the generators armored cover and checked everything out, then he checked the clock on it.

The clock, or rather timer was another modification he had done to the generator, it was designed so the generator could be set to automatically start at certain times, stay running for a specified time, and shut its self back down at a certain time as well. He also had a security system installed on it, requiring a six digit code to be inputted before the generator could be started. He figured that would be a good idea as he didn’t want just anyone being able to open the portal op and come on through it should they find the generator.

He had been here long enough, time to do the test. He input the code on the key pad, and set the timer on the generator. The success of this test would determine how he went forward in the future. He climbed back in the truck, started it, and drove back through the blackness of the portal, arriving back in a cold, dead looking Kentucky, still in the grips of winter. He parked the truck, and shut down the generator, a minute later the portal blinked out of existence. He checked his watch, he had fifteen minutes left, he grabbed a mre, and a bottle of water out of the truck and sat to wait. He kept checking his watch, and realized it should happen any minute now, if it was going to work that is. Sure enough a moment later that was a loud crack, like a gunshot and the portal reappeared.

It had worked ! He was able to open the portal from the other side ! He waited, and a minute later the portal blinked away as the generator on the other side had shut down. He felt very pleased with himself, being able to reopen the portal from the other side was a huge thing, that would make his exploration much easier. He was pleased with the progress from today, he also realized he was exhausted. He was going to hang around the house for the next week just to see if he had any side effects from going through the portal, and if so, could get some medical help, not something easily accomplished on the other side of the portal.

He also had some more things to think about as well. He returned to the house, and after vacuum sealing the squirrels body, and the large nuts he had found he placed them in the freezer in the garage. He dropped his clothing in the washer set on hot water, then took a hot shower and scrubbed himself well head to toe, checking every inch for ticks, and other such things. Last thing he needed was to get some weird tick born illness. He ate dinner and was in bed and asleep in minutes.

The week passed and he didn’t have any sickness, or any weird symptoms, so he was ready for another trip. The truck and a new box style trailer were heavily loaded with supplies and this time he planned to reach the castle ruins, and explore them for a few days. After opening the portal again, he set the timer on the generator to give him enough time to check things out on the other side before it shutting the portal again, and he went through the portal. He checked the generator, and his hidden supplies and best he could tell they had not been bothered at all, he swapped out the deer camera memory cards, and climbed back into the truck.

While he sat and watched the portal to make sure nothing went through it, he checked the camera cards from the deer cameras on his tablet. There were dozens of pictures on each, but nothing strange, just some deer, a few elk, several foxes, a coyote, a few wolves and even one bear, all of the animals looked perfectly normal to him. He was fairly amazed at the amount of wildlife here, there was a lot of it too. He had just finished looking at the pictures when the portal blinked out of existence a few minutes later, he was ready to head towards the ruins that lay several miles away.

He drove slowly across the field towing the heavy camouflaged trailer, a few hundred yards away he did the same thing he had done a week earlier. He backed the trailer into some thick brush in the woods, draped a camo net over it and did his best to hide it from view with some branches he cut. When he finished it was pretty hard to see and he felt pretty satisfied it would not be found easily. He really wanted some back up supplies to be around should he need them for any reason, he was in a strange place and no telling what he might get into here.

When he reached the edge of the woods he could make out what appeared to be a wide trail leading into the trees, and when he turned into it, he was sure it was some kind of a road, it was headed in the same direction he needed to go so he followed it. He had studied his drone footage a lot, and from that he knew the portal was located high up basically at the end of a valley. There was nothing past the portal but rugged impassable mountains, it was in as about as remote a location as possible, and difficult to reach.

He wondered if that had been on purpose, it seemed likely, you might not want just anyone finding it after all. Heavy forest extended several miles in each direction, with the castle ruins several miles away down the steep wooded valley. The castle ruins were located at a bottle neck in the valley, right on a cliff, and they blocked access from the lower valley to the higher valley behind the castle, where he was at now. That would further work to keep people out of the area he thought. The trail was easy enough to follow through the woods, it was covered with a thick layer of leaves, but oddly not a single plant grew in the trail.

The knobby mud tires found traction easily and he was able to easily drive over or around the occasional fallen tree or branch. The trees of the forest were simply massive and he had not seen anything like them before, ever. They were so large it made him feel like he felt like he was driving a toy truck the way the trees towered so high above him. Most wildlife fled the noisy truck before he could see them, but even so he still occasionally caught a glimpse of a deer, and even once thought he saw a wolf. He knew he was going to have to be on high alert around all this wildlife, no telling what he might run into while he was here. He might as well be in Alaska from all the wildlife he had been seeing. The trail had been heading downhill pretty steadily, since he had been following it, and a few miles later the trail suddenly exited the thick woods, and there in front of him lay the castle ruins. The sight of them took his breath away, they were massive and sprawling and covered a lot of area, behind the castle were the beautiful massive snow covered mountains that towered high above everything else.

He had exited the woods on the edge of a field of some kind, and he was pretty sure it was not natural from the look of it. He drove out across it and realized he was right. The field was really a large rectangular field, that stretched almost a mile off to his east, and was about a quarter mile wide, he could see stone wall on the edges of most of it, and the ground was pretty much totally flat, a closer look revealed that the ground of the field was paved with large flat square stones. It had the feel of a parade field to him or a fair grounds maybe. He took a good look at it and realized it would probably be perfect for staging supplies brought from back home.

Any supplies stored here would be behind the castle and thus protected from the rest of the world here and anyone would have to come through the castle ruins to reach the supplies. Part of the reason he wanted to explore the ruins was to see if they would make a good base of operations for this project, more and more he was sure the castle ruins were going to be perfect, even if they needed a lot of work. He drove the truck towards the edge of the field where he could see a large gate opening set into the high white speckled wall that surrounded the town and castle beyond. A few minutes later he parked the truck next to the massive gate opening that rose high above him, he checked his gear, grabbed his rifle and stepped out of the truck.

He heard only the wind, and the chirp of a bird somewhere, the wind made a low moaning sound as it passed through the open entry into the city. Jake checked his rifle again to make sure it was loaded, tightened the straps on his pack and stepped into the opening. The sun was blocked out by the high wall and the temperature inside instantly dropped several degrees. The wind blew harder here as it was funneled through this entrance, and the coolness of the air coming out of the ruins gave him goosebumps. The two huge doors were back against the walls of the entrance and Jake Paused to examine them. They were made from some kind of wood about six inches thick, and he was surprised to discover that they were reinforced with what looked liked the same green metal reinforcing as the door on his new house.

“That explains a lot”, he thought to himself. His grandfather must have gotten the front door to the new house from these ruins.The massive wooden doors seemed to be in decent shape, there appeared to be no rot to them anywhere. The next thing he noticed was the stone wall, or rather the size of the stones in the wall. They were simply massive, each one the size of a dump truck, and had to weigh a hundred tons each, they were also tightly fitted together, he had no clue how someone could have build this wall with those massive stones, it would have been difficult with even modern equipment. The ground was paved with more of the wide flat stone, with the occasional weed or bush growing out of it, vines grew up the walls in many places, and a thick layer of dirt covered much of the pavement telling him this place had been empty for a long time. He stepped into the interior of the wall and could see a streets running to the left and right around the interior of the wall, and away in front of him.

There was a doorway in the wall beside him that he assumed led up to the top of the wall somewhere, to provide defenders a way to the top of the defensive wall. Right next to this doorway was a short building with narrow slits for windows, and a heavily reinforced looking door on it, he had to assume it was some sort of a jail from the looks of it. There was a open gate next to the building that led back to what he thought were stables from a glance.

He stood and listened for a few minutes, just getting a feel for the place, listening for any sign he was not alone. He realized it would be a mistake to just assume he was the only one here, there could be other humans, or animals, or remembering the big skeletons he found next to the gate, even worse. The wind made a whistling sound as it blew through the ruins, he could hear ancient boards creaking when the wind blew against them. The squeal of a hinge made him grip his rifle tighter and he gazed in the direction the sound was coming from, but he realized after a few moments the squeal had a rhythm to it, coming only when the wind gusted, it was nothing but the wind, he realized. He relaxed his grip on the weapon and breathed a sigh of relief.

He stepped over to the building to get a better look at it. The door on it looked more like a gate to him, and the windows were narrow slits with bars over them. He stepped up to the door to get a closer look at it and discovered that it was not really a door though, more of a heavy gate made from thick copper bars that resembled a jail cell door. It definitely gave the building a jail feel to it, but then he noticed the gate locked on the inside, in a way that was obviously meant to keep people out, not in. Weird he thought, cant be a jail with a door built like that, but what was building used for?

Then he noticed there was a second door behind the first jail looking one, this one was a heavily reinforced solid door that had a peep hole and the entire outside of it was covered by a thick copper plate, obviously meant to be armor for the door. He looked at it for a moment, and guessed it must be used when the temperature was hot, you could lock this outer gate, and leave the interior door open. It offered good protection, while allowing air to circulate inside.

He gripped the metal door handle and pushed against the heavy door. The door refused to open and seemed stuck, so he shoved his shoulder against it hard and was rewarded by the door sliding a few inches. He rammed his shoulder against it again and again and slowly the thick heavy door moved, scraping noisily across the stone floor with a loud groan of protest, the hinges squealed loudly in a way that made him wince as the high pitched sound cut through him, and echoed through the abandoned buildings around him. He sighed. So much for being stealthy, if there was anyone around for miles, they damn well knew someone was here now.

He finally got the door fully open and peeked into the dark interior, he pulled out a flashlight and stepped inside and found himself standing in a large open room. He looked around the interior, It had a large fireplace on one wall with a battered heavy table close to it, across the room were rows of what looked like bunk beds that were falling apart. The narrow windows let in little light, but he was able to make out what he thought were weapon racks as well on another wall.

He realized this was not a jail at all, but most likely a guard shack of some kind, the fact it was so close to the gate reinforced this hypothesis. The building had a back door as well, which was much like the front door, thick and heavy, he peeked out one of the narrow slit windows and noticed there was a small building of some kind out back. Looking closer at the door he realized there were heavy copper bolts on the back door locking it closed, about eye height was a small peep hole, covered by a small metal door. He turned to the front door, and discovered it had the same kind of heavy bolts on the inside of it as well, and when locked this would be a snug little mini fortress of its own.

He was really liking what he was seeing. He gazed upwards at the thick hand carved wood beams supporting the ceiling, and noticed it was all open space above him, most importantly though he realized he could see no daylight through the roof. It appeared to be weather tight, the roof also appeared to be made from copper, which explained why it was still in such good shape, a well made copper roof could last about forever, as long as it was not damaged.

He left the little building and slowly walked through the ruins, on high alert, as he explored what the place had to offer. The area inside the walls the fortress covered was huge, He had seen dozens of buildings so far, they came in all sizes and shapes, everything from tall skinny towers, to short fat warehouse looking buildings, and everything in between. He knew from the brief drone footage he had seen though, that he had only seen a small fraction of it so far. He took a peek in a few buildings just to get a feel for what kind of shape they were in and was surprised to discover Most of the buildings he had seen so far seemed to be structurally sound, only requiring minor work to make them habitable. While the stone work was in excellent shape.

After a few hours of creeping around he realized it would take him forever to really search everything properly by himself, even if he had nothing to fear, and could just walk carefree through the ruins to look around it would still take many months to search properly, and possibly years if creeping on high guard as he was now. He sighed heavily, and realized if he was going to use these ruins as a base of operations, he was eventually going to have to get some serious help for this project, the sheer amount of things that needed to be dealt with were staggering.

Eventually he would get some help, but for now it would just be him, so he better get to work on this search. Just as he had that thought the rumble of thunder echoed across the mountains. He gazed in the direction it had came from, and frowned at the dark clouds that were just now appearing over the mountains several miles away. The temperature had started dropping as well, and it looked like it was going to rain soon, maybe a lot from the looks of things. He groaned in frustration and annoyance. He was not looking forward to sleeping in a wet tent, or sleeping cramped up in the cab of his truck. He turned and started working his way back towards his truck. He was almost to the gate he had entered  and was seriously considering returning home until the weather got better, when he realized trying to retrace his steps up the valley could be dangerous in heavy rain. Then he had a thought. Why sleep in his cramped truck, or a leaky tent when he had that nice little weather tight mini fortress he could use?

He returned to his truck, climbed inside and drove it back to the little building, parking behind it. Out back he explored the other building and discovered it was a barn, which he guessed had been stables at one time from the smell of it. The little barn was in not nearly as good a shape as the building out front was, but it had a doorway big enough for his truck and would be a good place to hide it. He parked inside, and covered the truck with a tarp, it was impossible to see even a dozen steps away, as it blended into the dark interior perfectly.

He was satisfied no one could see it unless they actually walked inside the building. He didn’t think he would run into anyone out here, but it was better to take precautions all the same. Jake started unloading his camping gear and started setting up his camp inside the snug little building he had found. The timing worked out perfectly, just as he sat the last box down inside his new temporary home the sky opened up and heavy rain beat down on the roof. He stood there for a few minutes watching, and waiting, but except for a small drip in one corner, the roof amazingly didn’t leak at all. He felt blessed at having found this place, it would be a great base camp, that was close to the gate, offered good protection from the elements, and offered great protection from being attacked, it was ideal. He doubted he had anything to worry about from humans, as the place appeared deserted, but there were always wild animals to worry about, and a hungry bear could really wreck your day.

He put his army cot against the wall close to the fireplace, set up a folding table, and a couple of folding camp chairs, then he slid his heavy cooler under the table, and set up a few lanterns. The cardboard boxes of canned food, and other supplies were stacked against the wall, and arranged so he could find things easily, even in the dark. The narrow slit windows didn’t offer much light to begin with, and once the dark clouds had blocked out the sun, it was hard to see inside. He lit his lanterns which did a great job of illuminating the little room with a warm cheerful glow.

The temperature was dropping quickly due to the storm, and he realized he could see his breath in the air, no telling what kinds of weather they got up here in these mountains, Might as well tackle the fireplace next, he thought. He had brought some seasoned firewood with him on this trip and had stacked it beside the fireplace earlier, so it only took a minute to get a fire going. He crossed his fingers, as he lit the fire, and was pleased as the smoke was sucked up the chimney, indicating it was going to work, and not smoke him out. The interior warmed quickly making the room warm and comfortable a hell of a lot better than being stuck inside his small tent. He thought happily. He grabbed a quart of motor oil from his truck, and with a little work he had the door hinges, and locking bars lubricated, and the door opening much more easily and quietly. Jake opened and closed the heavy door several times, and played with the thick locking bars sliding them in and out, locking and unlocking the door over and over.

There was something very satisfying about the heavy door, the sound it made as it thudded shut, as well as the clunk of the heavy locking bars slamming home. The sounds soothed something primal in him, the way it solidly stood between him and the outside world. He smiled at the feeling. I might not need a door like this. He thought to himself, but it damn sure felt good knowing it stood between him and the unknown world around him, especially tonight while he would be sleeping.

Jake sat cooking dinner over his camping stove, and he was soon even more glad he had relocated into this building. Right after dark the temperature plummeted and the rain turned to sleet covering everything with a thick layer of ice. He busted his ass several times when he attempted to go back to the truck for another box he had forgotten. The cobblestones were slick as hell, and almost impossible to walk on. He finally managed to get back inside without breaking his ankle just as the wind started gusting hard, actually blowing the sleet sideways. It was a hell of a storm, and anyone caught out in that mess would be beyond miserable, hell fast moving storms like this were dangerous as hell, and could easily kill the unprepared who were caught in one without shelter.

He was thankfully warm and snug however, he sat eating his dinner of dehydrated beef stew and sipping bourbon while watching the flashes of lightning, through the bars of the locked gate blocking the doorway. Damn sure not a night to be out and about, and he was glad he had good shelter, he wondered what kind of weather this place had, and hoped storms like this were not a common occurrence. This was dangerous weather and he would hate to get caught out in it. He yawned heavily and realized he was exhausted. Time for bed then. The locked gate would probably be enough protection, but better safe than sorry, besides that gate wont keep heat in, or wind out.

He wrestled the thick heavy door shut, and slid home the thick metal bolts, locking the door. The thick heavy door, heavy bolts, small windows and thick stone walls made him feel very safe. Once in his warm sleeping bag he was asleep in minutes. It stormed like that for hours, late into the night, booming thunder woke him more than once, but he was warm and toasty, and fell asleep again quickly.

Jake lay on his cot with his eyes open, staring into darkness. Something had woken him up, but he didn’t know what. He lay there for a moment listening, but didn’t hear anything, and was almost asleep again when he heard a sound. It was a soft scratching sound, something was scratching at the door. Suddenly the soft scratching turned into a loud banging rattle as something beat violently at the heavy metal gate outside. There was loud growling, and something with claws tore at the door frantically, making shrieking sounds as claws scraped across the metal door. Jake tumbled from his sleeping bag onto the stone floor startled by the sudden loud violent noises. He grabbed for the sleeping bags zipper, ripping the sleeping bag open and stumbling to his feet. Something heavy thudded against the door again, actually managing to rattle it in its hinges, whatever it was sounded big, and mean. Whatever it was tore at the door again the sound the claws made as they scraped down the thick copper plated door were awful. He could hear the growls of several animals as they tore at the door, and a moment later the back door was attacked in the same way, indicating they were out back as well. Whatever they were began growling loud enough to be heard through the thick door, and he thought he could hear muffled words being spoken, making him think it was people outside pretending to be animals possibly.

Jake raised the rifle to his shoulder, and yelled loudly to be heard. “I’m armed, and not afraid to defend myself, you had best move on !” The clawing sounds instantly stopped. A shiver ran down his back, and goose bumps sprouted on his arms as the growling turned to a vicious guttural sounding laughter, like a monsters laugh. Then it spoke.The voice so thick and harsh he could barely make out the words. “Open….human…quick...die.” Then there was a long pause. “ Fight.... suffer..” The words dripped with malice, and Jake had to fight down the fear that was threatening to over whelm him, he stuffed it down deep and replaced it with anger.

He flipped the safety off, and flipped it to full auto. “ This is your last warning !” Harsh guttural laughter came from outside. Jake had never heard anything like it. It sounded like something from hell was just outside the door. It was not just the sounds though, as terrible as the animal sounds were, the voice was ten times more scary as that meant it was intelligent, but there was something more. There was a feeling to it, a dark, feeling of terror ripped through him, part of him wanted to run away in terror, while another part of him wanted to open the door and embrace the creature. He needed to touch it, he needed to embrace it, to let it in. “Yesssss…. open.” The voice spoke again, it sounded as if it were right against the door. Suddenly something crashed against the back door behind him, making him jump. He realized he had his hand on the doors bolt, and was about to pull it back unlocking the door. He blinked his eyes and shook his head rapidly, trying to clear his head. What the fuck was happening to him?!

“Fuck you !” Jake screamed. He raised the rifle and dumped a half dozen rounds through the front door, right in the center, in a line from the floor up to chest height. He thought he heard a squeal of pain, but that didn’t slow him down, there was something clawing at the back door, he pivoted on the balls of his feet spun around and dumped another half dozen rounds through the back door. Something shrieked in pain there as well, a terrifying, soul wrenching sound that cut through him. There came a hell of a ruckus from the back of the building, loud screeching, vicious snarls, and squeals of pain, it sounded like a combination dog and cat fight to him, it was horrifying in its ferocity. Something thudded heavily against the door again, and he dumped another burst of fire through it. He stood there with his ears ringing painfully from the enclosed gunfire, and realized his rifle was empty, the bolt locked back on a empty magazine.

He stumbled towards the corner and grabbed his tactical vest and slipped it on. He pulled a fresh magazine from it and reloaded his rifle, then threw some wood into the fireplace with one hand, while he kept the rifle pointed at the door. He stood there for what seemed like hours, but didn’t hear another sound from outside, it was dead quiet. Suddenly he felt weak, and his hands started shaking badly, and his knees felt like they were about to give out. He dropped into a camping chair, and sat facing the door, he held the rifle in one shaking hand, and fumbled with the bottle of bourbon with the other. He took a long deep drink from the bottle of Knob Creek, the bourbon burning its way down his throat.

He felt his nerves slowly calming as the liquid courage took effect. His arms slowly stopped shaking, and slowly he regained his calm. He sat in the chair for the rest of the night, until the sun had risen enough for beams of sunlight to flood in through the high narrow windows. Only then did he finally get out of the chair, he stayed put for several more hours, peeking out through the narrow windows, looking for any sign of the creatures that had attacked him, but seeing nothing except for a huge dark looking wet spot on the ground that he guessed was blood. The temperature rose quickly, and the sleet melted away in a few hours.

He realized he could not stay in here forever, its not like he could call 911, or someone would come looking for him, he was going to have to deal with this thing himself, he had food, but most of his ammunition was out in the truck, he had six more magazines and his pistol, but it didn’t seem like much after last night. He realized with a start that he was still only wearing his underwear, and quickly got dressed. He pulled out his equipment, and put on all of his combat gear that he had. Once he was fully dressed , he buckled on his pistol and tactical vest, and picked up his fully loaded rifle. He was well armed, but It honestly didn’t feel like it was enough when compared to the horror he had faced the night before.

He took a few more drinks of bourbon for some added courage, and sighed heavily, he had to do this eventually. He had not heard a sound for hours now, and figured this was a good a time as any. He checked his pistol and rifle, making sure both had a round in the chamber, then yanked back the heavy locking bolt, and kicked the door open. He stood there and stared at the scene before him. The heavy gate that had been locked across the entrance was pulled open, the lock on it had been broken and the heavy gate had been pulled open apparently.

The area in front of the door was smeared with blood, and bits of what looked like bone, there were thick smears of blood covering the ground out front. He assumed he had hit something with his rifle fire after all, there was no body, but there damn sure was a lot of blood. The thick blood smears left the door and traveled across the cobble stones and disappeared down a alley across from his building. The smears of blood had multiple large animal tracks in them as if something had followed the blood trail, and stepped in the blood leaving tracks. Strange. He returned to the front of the building, examined the front door, the thick copper plate on the door had deep gouges scratched into it, whatever had done that had been strong as hell. He made a mental note that he needed to reinforce this place better if he planned to stay here in the future, he was also going to need some heavier firepower. The heavy door had done little to stop the high velocity rifle rounds though, they had cut right through the door easily and into what ever had been outside. He shouldered his rifle, and slowly moved around the building towards the back door where he had heard the fighting. Every nerve in his body was on edge, and his eyes darted to every alley, and every bush big enough to hide anything bigger than a rabbit.

He had no clue what he was looking for, but figured he would know it when he saw it. He turned the final corner and stood there staring in shock at the scene before him. It looked like a slaughter house, there was blood everywhere, as well as tufts of thick black fur, spread around the small court yard were piles of gore. Pieces of meat, and bone lay scattered about on random places. He edged closer, to get a better look at it, and was rewarded with a view of shattered bones, ripped fur and entrails. He had no clue what he was looking at, whatever it was was had been ripped to pieces. He was no expert, but he knew whatever it was he was looking at, had a lot of it missing.

He found a bullet hole in a bone, that told him he had definitely hit it, but what had happened to it to do all of this? He kept moving around the court yard, his eyes constantly scanning for danger, as he thought about everything. Apparently, what had happened was, he had wounded one, or several of the creatures, and the rest had attacked the wounded member of the group ripping it apart in a feeding frenzy, similar to what he had seen happen in shark attacks, the creatures had ripped apart and eaten their fellow wounded members.

It was not a comforting thought at all. He did feel some satisfaction though at putting some hurt on whatever it was that had tried to attack him last night. He shuddered to think what would have happened had he been sleeping in a tent last night. He needed to get the fuck out of here, who knew what else might be creeping around this place. He decided to just leave most of the supplies in the little building and reuse the place again later, so no need to haul all of it back out to the truck. He took the stuff he figured he would need, and climbed back into the truck, started it and headed out the way he had came in. He turned the corner into the gate area and slammed on the brakes. The gate was shut blocking his exit from the city !

He stared at it for a long minute, then checked all the trucks mirrors for anything behind him, grabbed his rifle and climbed out and tried to reopen the massive gate. It would not budge, he could pull on it, and it would move a foot or so inwards, but it was obviously secured somehow on the other side. He put his back to the gate and faced the interior of the castle as he thought quickly, there was no way to attach a cable to the door on this side to pull it open with the truck, at least no way that didn’t leave his back exposed to attack for long minutes while he worked. What the fuck was he going to do? He moved to the doorway that led to the top of the wall, and sure enough inside he found a set of stairs that led to the top of the wall. Once there, he peered over the wall but could not see the gate from where he was at. He could get a rope and climb down and open the gate, but it would leave him exposed, was it a good idea, or a bad one?  Before he could decide a icy cold blast of wind blew against him, and he could feel rain drops against his face. He turned and looked at the sky and discovered another storm was quickly blowing in on him, and it looked as bad as the one from yesterday. He considered getting a rope and climbing down the wall, but stood firm to not make any rushed decisions, he had a secure place to wait out the storm after all, he could reaccess the situation when this storm was past. Jake returned to the truck and moved it back to its hiding spot, then locked himself back inside the guard building. He took a chain from the truck and used it to secure the outside metal door, it would help keep those creatures out should they return.

The skies opened up a few minutes later and there came a heavy down pour of freezing rain, the cold rain on the warmer ground made a dense fog and visibility dropped to just a few feet, making him glad he was inside a secure building, and not on foot somewhere. The temperature dropped below freezing again a few hours later the rain turned into sleet, coating everything in ice again. Jake made himself comfortable by making another fire in the fireplace, and started something for dinner. He was damn sure glad he had brought so many extra supplies, he might be stuck here for a while, although he hoped not. The sun set not long after and he wondered if those awful things would return again.

Deep inside he knew they would, so he sat up late fully dressed, with his rifle across his lap sipping bourbon, he didn’t feel like sleeping, and the bourbon might be a bad idea, but it helped calm his frayed nerves. Late that night something felt wrong, basically a tense feeling in his head, like something was about to happen. Then he heard it. A creepy whispering came from just outside one of the small barred windows. He could barely hear the words, and the sound made his skin crawl. “Opennn…..humannnn……Opennnn.” He sat in his chair facing the door and listened intently for a few seconds. “What could these things be?” He asked himself. Didn’t really matter, he was safe inside here and they could not reach him.

He felt sleepy and closed his eyes for just a moment, the whispered words moved through his mind, gently pushing at it. “Opennnn…..doorrrr……” When he opened eyes a moment later he found himself holding the locking bar to the door in his hands, and he realized he had already pulled it half way to unlocking the heavy back door. The whispering was urgent. “ Opennn…. Opennn…..Open…. Yesss…Open…” Jake shook his head to clear it of the sound, and realized with a start that he had almost opened the door! He slammed the locking bar back in place, and stepped away from the door searching for his rifle, and found it laying on the floor where he must have dropped it. He scooped up the rifle and the weight of its cold metal and plastic brought him some comfort.

The voice grew more urgent. “Opennn…. Opennn….Opennn…Opennn….” He felt a strong desire to open the door and took a step towards it. The voice pushed at his mind, and he felt the urge to open the door grow stronger, and he struggled hard against the urge. “What the fuck was happening?” Suddenly he realized something, somehow the voice was able to use mind control, it really was making him do shit against his will. He had to stop that voice somehow. He yanked a small case off his vest and dumped a pair of orange earplugs into his hand quickly stuffing them in his ears blocking out not only the voice but all sound, his world became totally quiet. He sat there and switched his gaze between the front door and the back, wondering if they would realize mind control had failed, what would they do next? He got his answer a moment later when he could see the back door shaking as something attacked it violently. He considered shooting through the door again and almost did just that, when he decided against it. Every time he shot through the door he weakened it, and that made it easier and more likely the creatures could break through it.

No, he needed to be smart about this, and had a idea. He rummaged through a equipment case and pulled out a pair of night vision goggles, and slipped them over his head. He turned off the lantern and the room plunged into darkness, the only light was the weak light from the dying fire in the fireplace. He flipped the goggles down and switched them on and immediately the room came into view through the goggles, everything a weird shade of green, the weak light of the fireplace looked like a raging inferno through the goggles as they magnified all light thousands of times brighter. He stepped to one of the windows and peered out into the night.

There in the street outside he could see blurry movement. He focused the goggles and large dog shaped creatures came into focus. He looked closer and watched for a few seconds and thought he must be going crazy, as what he was seeing just could not be real. There were dozens of the damn things, some sat on their haunches watching the building, others darted about, on all fours, while it looked like others were walking on their hind legs, and carrying what looked like weapons or something in their front paws. “How the fuck can a dog carry something in its paws?” He wondered to himself. He thought maybe there were humans out there, but no, he could see long tails behind each of them indicating they were all the same kind of creatures.

Then he saw a new group of about eight of the creatures, all walking on their hind legs, and working together to carry a large log or something between them and he realized they were going to use it as a battering ram to attack the door unless he did something soon. Once he started shooting they would scatter, he needed to make his first shots count, which ones should he shoot first for the most effect? Was there a pack leader or something? He then noticed that one of the creatures was acting different. It was waving its arms and pointing directing the others, although he could not hear anything due to the ear plugs. He watched it carefully and noticed with a start it was also wearing what looked like a robe or something.

The creature turned away from the others and stared intently at the building he was in, it stuck a paw under its robe and pulled out something shiny and held it, and he thought it was a necklace or something. The creatures wicked jaws started moving and he realized it was talking, it must have been the one that was whispering the last two nights. Suddenly he felt the words in his head again, even though he could not hear them, he could feel them, even stronger than before somehow. “Opennnn….Opennn…” The creature was holding the necklace tightly and placed its forehead against it, looking like it was concentrating. “Could the necklace be how the things were getting into his head? He didn’t know, but time to end this. He flipped on the infra red laser on his rifle, and put the dot on the creatures chest, where it stood thirty yards away, and put a burst of bullets into it, the creature dropped in its tracks. All hell broke loose at his shooting, and the creatures with the log rushed forward, obviously rushing the door. Jake swung the rifle a few degrees to one side and dumped a hail of bullets into the group, the log was dropped and several of the creatures dropped with it, the others scrambled trying to avoid the hail of bullets. Several creatures approached the downed leader but each time one did Jake blasted them, suddenly things changed. The creatures seemed to lose control, and all dropped back onto all four feet, and the non wounded ones immediately ripped into the wounded with their wicked teeth and claws.

Jake kept dumping bullets into targets of opportunity, and the creatures even in their blood lust feeding frenzy must have realized it. They ripped into their wounded, locking their jaws into them, and started dragging the still struggling wounded away and into a alley across the street, within seconds they were gone, leaving only a few dead or wounded behind, the leader being one of them. He sat there for a few more hours making sure the leader was not moved, after the sun rose he finally felt safe enough to venture outside. The scene outside was awful, there was blood and guts everywhere, and it stank of blood, guts, wet dog and piss. He walked over to the closest one and finally got a good look at what he was up against.

The other creatures looked a lot like a big dog sort of, with heavily muscled bodies, smooth short fur, dog like heads, and big dog like mouths filled with sharp teeth. The bodies also had long hound like tails. There were some differences though to set them apart from a real dog. The main one was the front paws, they were not paws at all, but actually rough human looking hands with long sharp wicked looking claws on them, the next were the eyes. Their eyes were several times larger than a regular dogs, the eyes were huge and black, and looked like something a nocturnal creature would have. Which explained why they seemed to only attack at night, they must dislike daylight a lot, the last distinction were the creatures ears, they were large and looked more like the ears of a bat than a dog. When he approached the downed leader however, he saw something much different.

The leader was much larger than the others, it was absolutely huge compared to them, it also seemed to resemble a wolf more than a hound as the others had. Its hair was thick and long, like a wolfs, its muzzle was longer, and everything about it seemed much more menacing, as if the others were not bad enough already. This one was also wearing a long tattered black robe that he realized was made from some kind of black leather. The creature had a half dozen holes in its chest where he had shot it killing it instantly, around its neck hung a silver necklace with a large red ruby in the center of it. He used the barrel of his rifle to pull it off the creatures head, and dropped it into a pocket of his vest, he could examine that thing later. He was going to have a busy day.

The first thing he did was wrap the wolf looking leader and one of the other dog creatures in large trash bags and tape them securely around them, and load them into the truck, he was definitely keeping these bodies, they would be hard for anyone to dismiss should he need proof this place was real. Once that was completed, he made himself something to eat and considered everything. He thought for a long while, before he came to a decision. He knew what he had to do, and figured it was a really bad idea, but he was going to have to either wander around looking for another way out while risking getting lost, or attacked from behind, and if he climbed the wall he could come down the outside to a hundred of the damn things. He was pretty sure they only came out at night, but not enough to bet his life on it, besides there could be other things in here as well. He decided he should follow the tracks and blood trails the others had left and kill them. The hunter in him agreed at this best course of action, take the fight to them and make them pay, besides, he had always wondered what dangerous game hunting was like.

He knew what he had to do. He simply could not stay here and leave a threat like this unchecked behind him, and wanted to avoid the gate right now, just in case it was a trap, these things seemed pretty smart. He needed to figure out where he stood, either it was a small threat, with only a few animals and he could deal with it himself, or it would be dozens or hundreds of creatures, too much for him to deal with and he would have to evacuate until he had more help, and heavier firepower to handle it. He hated to think about walking the several miles back to the portal on foot.

He replaced the empty magazine with a full one, and added some more full magazines to his pants pockets, then he hefted his rifle, and slowly and carefully followed the blood trail the wounded creature had left behind. It was not hard to follow, bloody footprints, and bloody smears where the creatures had drug the bloody carcass’s of their dead with along with them. The trail wound down alleys, around buildings, and through them. He followed it across the ruins almost to the other side of the fortress until he ran into another bloody scene with another pile of gore where another slaughter had taken place similar to the first.

Bloody tracks left the scene of the slaughter and a short distance away they disappeared into the collapsed ruins of a small building that sat off by its self. Jake cautiously walked around the building, always careful to keep the wind in his face when possible, he carefully studied the ground and discovered it was covered in tracks. There were hundreds of tracks in the dirt whatever it was had been coming and going from this spot for a very long time, he also discovered that there was only one entrance to this place, which would make things a lot easier.

He peered through the door way where the tracks went, and discovered a jumble of wood timbers, and a narrow tunnel leading into the debris. His hair stood on end, and every fiber of his being was screaming for him to run from this terrible place, before these monsters discovered he was here, and came pouring out of this hole after him. It took everything he had to keep from running. He peered into the dark tunnel where the tracks led, the ground was littered with feces, and bones of all kinds from other kills, he looked uneasily at a human skull sticking out of the dirt.

That pretty much removed all doubt if these things would kill a man or not, obviously they would. He gripped the rifles stock with sweaty hands as a terrible stench of rotting meat, shit and wet dog came from the tunnel before him. He strained his hearing, and swore he could hear something moving around inside there. This was obviously the creatures den, how many of those things were down there? He wondered. Well, one way to find out.

Two hours and a lot of work later, Jake was peering at the den through his rifles combat optic. He raised the sight slightly and easily found the five gallon can of mixed gasoline, and diesel fuel he had worked hard to place at the rear of the collapsed building high enough to be seen from the front. The can of fuel had been lowered from the top of the buildings back wall until it sat on top of the rubble. The rubble was filled with lots of rotten old wood beams, and they should burn easily he thought. He slipped the tracer round into the rifles chamber, slid the bold closed, and inserted a full Magpul drum magazine holding sixty rounds of ammunition. He had chosen his spot carefully, he was located directly across from the den in the ruins of another building.

He had barricaded himself into the little building, by stacking wood and blocks of stone, against the doorway and windows leaving only a slot large enough for his rifle to poke out and that was it. If this went badly he didn’t want those things to be able to easily get at him in a rush. He figured as long as they could not easily get to him, he could pick them off eventually. Next to him was a five gallon can of water, a box of canned food, and a extra can of rifle ammo. He could stay here for quite a while should he be forced to, he damn sure didn’t want to, but better safe than sorry.

There were a dozen ways this could all go to shit. Once again he wished he had some help in this, and was not forced to do all this crap alone. No time to dwell on that right now though, he had work to do. He checked everything again, and realized he was as ready as he was going to get.

Jake raised his rifle, and centered the green dot of his optic on the metal gas can, and let out a heavy sigh. He hated the thought of shooting one of the fuel cans, as he loved those things. The steel military surplus fuel cans were not easy to come by, but he greatly preferred using them to the new gov mandated safety gas cans, those things fucking sucked ass. Whoever designed those things deserved a kick in the nuts. It was for a good cause though. He took a breath and whispered to himself, “ Jake I hope the fuck you know what your doing.”

He relaxed his body, took in a deep breath, then let half of it out and held it, and slowly squeezed the trigger of his rifle. The rifle fired, and all hell broke loose. The 5.56mm tracer flew across the distance instantly, like a laser beam and disappeared through the side of the fuel can, a instant later the fuel can exploded into a huge roaring fireball, spraying burning fuel across the debris the den was built in. The fuel flowed into the cracks of the debris setting it ablaze and within moments it was a roaring inferno, thick black smoke rose into the sky, and wood popped and crackled under the intense heat.

He dropped his aim slightly and shot the second fuel can that was just inside the entrance, sending up another fireball of burning fuel. A few seconds later he was rewarded with screeches of pain coming from the burning debris. He aimed through the doorway at the general location of the tunnel which was obscured by the smoke and fire and started firing his rifle, dumping burst after burst into it. He kept up a steady stream of fire into the approximate area where the tunnel was hoping he was hitting something. The rifle bolt locked back on a empty chamber and Jake quickly reloaded, stuffing another sixty round drum into place, the rifle was smoking as the hot metal burned off the oil on it, he released the bolt and kept up the stream of bullets.

Something dark streaked from the doorway running away from the burning building with its fur ablaze. He shifted to follow it, quickly putting a half a dozen rounds into it, it flopped onto the ground writhing in pain as its flesh burned. He put his gun back on the doorway and opened fire again, just as several more creatures erupted out of it, he got a lucky hit on the first dropping it in its tracks, the second leapt onto the first and attacked it, apparently crazed by pain and blood lust. Jake dropped it as it ripped hunks of flesh from the first one. He reloaded several more times, this time using thirty round magazines, as he kept firing, the stack of empty magazines beside him was growing, and his rifle was getting pretty damn hot, the barrel already glowing red, so he slowed his rate of fire to a shot every few seconds.

He kept firing at this slow pace until he had shot all of the spare magazines he had brought with him for this. He reloaded with a magazine from his vest, and sat watching the burning ruins, as he slowly reloaded all of the empty magazines from the ammo can. The massive old timbers burned brightly for hours, and he sat watching it to ensure nothing escaped. Finally, as dark was approaching he knew he could not sit here any longer. He dug himself out of his little bunker and approached the smoking ruin cautiously.

First he checked the creature he had shot as it ran away, it was dead, and looked like hell with half of its fur burned away. It was hideous to look at. He moved to the two creatures that had died in the doorway, but he could not get very close due to the intense heat from the fire. He could see though that his rifle fire had done its job, as behind the first two creatures, he could see the burning bodies of several more jammed in the tunnel behind them. It was getting close to dark, time to head back, he didn’t plan on being outside after dark here anytime soon again, who knew what else was creeping around out here at night.
Link Posted: 1/18/2019 3:37:26 PM EDT
Cool we have progress. Got any more of them chapters @buck19delta? Thanks for the update.
Link Posted: 1/18/2019 3:53:16 PM EDT
[Last Edit: buck19delta] [#25]
Link Posted: 1/18/2019 3:55:27 PM EDT
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Originally Posted By zoe17:
Cool we have progress. Got any more of them chapters @buck19delta? Thanks for the update.
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im posting it as fast as I finish it. the good news is since I have so much stuff already written, rewriting it goes pretty quickly. Im just reworking the story line a bit, and fixing issues, adding details, etc. when I get done posting this stuff, it will be about 90% written, and will just need some professional grammar help  and cover art before I can put it out on the web.

glad you guys like it.
Link Posted: 1/18/2019 6:48:41 PM EDT
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Originally Posted By buck19delta:
im posting it as fast as I finish it. the good news is since I have so much stuff already written, rewriting it goes pretty quickly. Im just reworking the story line a bit, and fixing issues, adding details, etc. when I get done posting this stuff, it will be about 90% written, and will just need some professional grammar help  and cover art before I can put it out on the web.

glad you guys like it.
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Originally Posted By buck19delta:
Originally Posted By zoe17:
Cool we have progress. Got any more of them chapters @buck19delta? Thanks for the update.
im posting it as fast as I finish it. the good news is since I have so much stuff already written, rewriting it goes pretty quickly. Im just reworking the story line a bit, and fixing issues, adding details, etc. when I get done posting this stuff, it will be about 90% written, and will just need some professional grammar help  and cover art before I can put it out on the web.

glad you guys like it.
Good rewrite so far. I recall the fixer chick from earlier.
Link Posted: 1/19/2019 2:32:46 PM EDT
I’m still less than halfway through page 1 but down to buy Book 3 the minute you publish.
Link Posted: 1/21/2019 10:12:20 AM EDT
Keep up the re-writing buck19!  Very good so far.
Link Posted: 1/21/2019 1:10:38 PM EDT
His first step was to do something to better control the portal and what came in and out of it. While the bunker provided some protection for himself while operating the portal, it did nothing to restrict what came out of the portal its self, such as dangerous animals, or diseases for example. He was in no hurry and if was going to do this, he was going to do it right. He spent almost a week making notes and sketching designing what he thought would work best for his needs, and when finished he sat back and looked at what he had created. Damn this will be expensive he thought. Well, iv got the money, so that’s not a problem, he thought to himself. He thought long and hard if this was what he really wanted to do, and finally just said screw it.

He contacted a architect who he thought could handle the job, and with a little financial persuasion the guy put Jake’s project at the top of his list and even put a rush on it, getting the completed plans into Jake’s hands a few weeks later. Jake had been researching construction companies who could do the work especially ones who specialized in the type of buildings that would work well with his project. He needed something they could quickly build that would work well with his design, furthermore, he needed a discrete way to pay them that would not bring the attention of the government.

True, he was filthy rich, however none of the money or treasure was claimed income and it could damn sure lead to big problems if the Government ever caught wind of it. Jake knew he was eventually going to have to hire someone to help him with this money issue, someone who was good at it, as he damn sure was not. The entire idea pissed him off having to hide money like this, the greedy assed government had their hands in everything. He thought he had found just what he was looking for in a nearby large construction company, who’s owner was looking at some serious legal issues over alleged misappropriation of company funds. He thought this could work to his advantage, and with a little work managed to arranged a short meeting with the owner for the following day.

Jake had to sit in the waiting room for all of five minutes, before the very pretty receptionist stood up and waved him to approach her desk. She adjusted her glasses, and flashed a million dollar smile at him that send chills through him. The red lipstick, and low cut blouse she was wearing didn’t help one bit either. Her voice had a charming southern accent to it that further melted his heart. “Mr Reynolds, Mr Josephson will see you now, please follow me.” Jake nodded and fell in behind her. She led him down a long hallway, and past models of what he guessed were previous construction projects.

Many of them seemed to be very impressive, and probably there to impress upon the prospective client the firms competency at building things great and small. He really didn’t more than glance at them however, due to his eyes straying to the stunning receptionist he was following, and how her hips mesmerized him as they swayed under the tight material of her skirt as she walked, and the way her stockings clung to her shapely legs took his breath away. He felt desire stirring inside him, and realized that he REALLY needed to get himself a girlfriend or something, it had been ages since he felt the touch of a woman, especially a woman that looked like this. The woman's perfume had a musky smell to it that made things even worse. Jake realized the woman had stopped and was looking at him and had caught him looking at her legs, at least he hoped it had been her legs she caught him looking at. He felt his face flush bright red, and the way she smiled back at him, like a cat would smile at a mouse, told him she had expected this reaction from him. He didn’t know whether to be embarrassed at getting caught looking or annoyed she obviously dressed for just this exact thing. Other than his blushing he kept his face impassive. You were saying Ma’am? Jake asked. The woman’s bright smile faltered at the ma’am comment. “ Please refer to me as Chelsea, Mr Reynolds, And as I was saying we are here.”

The woman gestured at a massive oak door, that had a engraved brass plate inset into it that read. R Josephson Ceo, and she knocked softly. A muffled voice called from inside. “Yes, send him in Chelsea. Jake smiled. “Thank you Chelsea, I believe this meeting will take a while.” The woman had a slightly worried look on her face, obviously unhappy not knowing what this meeting was about, the fact he was dressed like a construction foreman, instead of in a fancy suit as she was likely used to probably didn't help anything. Jake stepped into the office and closed the door behind him.

The office was large, with the main feature being a huge mahogany desk that was beautiful, behind it sat a older graying gentleman who could only be Roy Josephson. Jake walked over and sat down in the chair opposite the man. Roy Josephson stared at Jake for a long moment before he spoke. “Mr Reynolds, how can I help you? You didn’t say much on the phone, and I have to say I do not usually meet with clients. The man glanced at Jake’s simple attire of jeans, jean jacket,work shirt and work boots and frowned.

Jake smiled a toothy smile at the man, annoyed at his self importance. Mr Josephson, may I speak freely? I find that gets things done faster.” Josephson looked uneasy, but nodded in agreement. Jake smiled again. “Truth be told Mr Josephson, the only reason you agreed to this meeting at all, was because I said had a way of saving your ass from financial ruin. Josephson started turning red and looked angry, obviously not used to being spoken to like this. Jake held up his hand, and continued. That’s why I am here, that, and well, to give you a project I need you to start on immediately” He laid the tube that contained his construction plans on the mans desk, and laid his battered backpack on the floor beside his chair. Josephson stared at the plans like they were a snake, unwilling to even touch them.

Josephson cleared his throat. “ It doesn’t work that way Mr Reynolds, we are at least a year away from starting any new projects, perhaps you should just call the office and get a meeting with one of our construction scheduling partners. They will look over your little, project, and see if its something we are interested in.

“One point five million dollars.” Jake said. Josephson blinked in surprise. “Excuse me?” Jake spoke again. “I Said, One pint five million dollars, that’s the amount missing from your accounts, and what the local authorities are about to prosecute you for, that one point five million that’s missing from the employees retirement accounts.” Josephson turned bright red and stood up, obviously furious. “ You need to get out of my office !” Josephson breathed angrily. “I wont have one of my employees coming in here and threatening me !” Jake just stared at the man a long moment before speaking. “I do not work for you Mr Josephson, and I am not here to confront you over that missing money, actually I’m here to save you. I will pay you a bonus of one point five million for taking on this project, plus of course pay for the project in full. However I need construction to begin immediately. You taking the project immediately, and helping with some creative accounting helps me immediately, and my one point five million helps you to immediately avoid some difficulties of your own. Josephson squinted his eyes at him. “You cant be serious, why would you do something like this?”

Jake sighed. “ I already told you, I have a project I want started immediately, and I need some creative accounting to cover up how its paid for, to make it look legal.” Jake pointed at the plans on the mans desk. Josephson stared at Jake a long minute, before finally taking out the plans and glancing at them for a moment, before his eyes grew wide in surprise. “ What the hell is this for?” Jake smiled. “Its for a new business I’m starting, that’s all you need to know, and did I mention ill pay you one point five million in cash as soon as we sign a contract? I believe I did say that already.”

Josephson looked stunned. “You cant be fucking serious.” Jake picked up the backpack, stood up, and dumped the contents across Josephson’s expensive desk. The mans eyes bugged at the huge pile of cash that lay there. “Do I have your attention now?” Jake asked? The man looked white. “ Is this some kind of cartel thing? Is this drug money? The man looked terrified. Jake smiled. “ I can promise you that money came from one hundred percent non illegal means Mr Josephson.” Josephson looked unsure. So, um, since this will apparently be a shady enterprise, what keeps me from just keeping the money, or reneging on the contract.”

Jake leaned forward, and whispered menacingly to him. “Because, if you do Roy, then we will kill you.” Josephson looked stunned, and scared. Jake continued. “Roy, while we might not be a cartel, per se, I can assure you we are a group of very serious people, and we will react very, very badly to having our money stolen, or our trust broken.” He gave that a few moments to sink in, before continuing. “ However, as long as you don’t steal from us, or break the secrecy of our agreement, you will never have anything to fear from us at all, and in fact, are in a position to make a shitload of untraceable money.”

Jake gestured towards the huge pile of cash on the mans desk. Like this big pile of ass saving money right here for example, totally untraceable and a lot more where that came from. Look, Roy. I don’t want to make a enemy here today, and I don’t want a underling, id much rather make a friend today, a partner, friends help each other, and we can both do much to help each other. I’m just on a time crunch, and I need this project to start immediately, for reasons I cant discuss. Otherwise id not be making you such a generous financial offer. How does that sound?” Josephson sighed heavily, and nodded in grudging acceptance. He pulled the blueprints out from under the huge pile of cash, opened a large drawer, and brushed it all inside, and closed it again. He eyed Jake and Jake simply nodded his approval.  One other thing Roy, Jake continued. I need everything about this project hush hush. Everyone who works on it in any way shape or form, from truck drivers to foreman, need to do full confidentiality agreements, and must pass back ground checks, I also want only one set of plans used and never copied, and those returned to me. I will give you another different set of plans to show to any gov entity that demands them. If I find out you fucked me on this Roy, you will regret it. The mans eyes grew wide, then he nodded. “I understand, but Jesus, do you know how much of a pain in the ass that will be to accomplish, and how hard people with clean records are to find in the construction trades? Jake smiled. “Yes, I do. Ill pay extra for it, whatever it costs, just bill me. You will get another hundred thousand dollar bonus when the construction is finished, as long as you follow my terms, to the letter. Plus, down the road I will probably have more financial rewarding projects for your company to do for us. Josephson nodded slowly, and laid the plans out and took a really good look at them for the first time. “Well…. I suppose we have a few projects we can shut down temporarily, and we can pull people from a few others….

Later that day Jake returned to Josephson’s office to sign the contract. Josephson showed Jake his idea for moving the money around to pay for the project, and it seemed solid to him. A survey crew was scheduled to arrive in the morning to start laying out the construction site.
Link Posted: 1/21/2019 1:11:31 PM EDT
[Last Edit: buck19delta] [#31]
While the construction crew got started, Jake busied himself with converting some of the treasure, such as gold, and large gems into actual cash. It was a extremely frustrating project, he drove all over the country to various high end jewelry stores, gem exchanges, gold buyers and other assorted places trying to sell his items. Many places either totally refuse to buy from him, or tried to low ball the price so badly it was a joke. The only thing he did accomplish in the first week, was getting a good idea of what some of the gems were worth, and it was a staggering amount. He eventually found a high end store who had a owner who was interested in purchasing some of his items.

Jake got the impression the man was much more interested in getting a good deal, than caring where such fine gems had originated from, just who he had been looking for. After much discussion they worked a deal, and Jake handed off a handful of gems for a suitcase containing several million dollars, and a agreement to buy the same amount each month. He had a few other successful exchanges and returned home with close to five million dollars in hard cash. While many would call that a successful trip, Jake found it stressful and tiresome, one traffic stop and he could lose all of it. While that would not be exactly financially devastating to him, it would be a setback to his plans, and something he could not tolerate. He was more worried about being robbed honestly, and took great care to be on his guard, getting murdered over some money was not a good thing either. He really needed a better, easier, and safer way to convert this shit to usable currency.

He watched day after day as construction continued on the project each day bringing him a little closer to being able to start his adventures. He spent most of this time doing research, reading about survival, survival tips, how to handle injuries ,medical problems, threats of disease, insect bites, purify water, deal with dangerous animals, and other survival topics. Some of it he already knew, from his time in the military, but much was new information and he learned a lot. He also picked up some specialty equipment he thought he might need, he was up to his eyeballs in weapons and ammo, but light on up to date camping gear, outdoor clothing, and such.

He put in a large order with a outdoor store for a dozen sets of top of the line camping gear, and paid for it with a prepaid credit card. He had discovered the prepaid cards to be great for his situation, and for making purchases, where the money aspect was mostly untraceable. He simply went to walmart and paid cash, and that cash was credited to his prepaid credit card. It was not a perfect system, but it was working for now for things he was mail ordering, and he knew he was going to be ordering and buying a ton of shit mail order in the near future.

When he had finished with those projects, next he focused on researching people who might be able to help him with this project. He had no problem finding people with useful skill sets, his biggest problem was figuring out how to weed them all out, and getting trust worthy people, and handling all the paperwork aspect of it. He saw a huge pile of problems coming his way soon, and he was going to need a expert to help him get through it successfully, with his secret in tact. His situation was so bizarre however that he had no clue as to how to even describe what kind of person he needed, much less search for them successfully. He knew part of what he needed though, he needed a highly skilled manager. One who could handle a wide variety of problems, think on their feet, and above all, keep his secret. How the hell did he find someone like that without giving away his secret in the process of looking for someone both qualified and trustworthy? He was stumped.

He could not advertise for this job either, he was frustrated to realize he was in way over his head, and he needed some help, or maybe at least some really good advice about how to get started. There was only one person he knew personally, who had real world experience in running a large business, dangerous affairs, war, management, and other things, and that was his old buddy Jim Braddock. Jake had known Jim Braddock since his first enlistment in the military back when he was a green private fresh from basic training. Braddock had been his Platoon Leader, Lt Braddock back then, and Jake had been a simple rifleman under Lt Braddock’s command.

Their relationship changed dramatically one day however, when Jake had been in the right place at the right time to save Lt Braddock’s life from a booby trap while on patrol. Jake had grabbed him and thrown him to the ground just as the trap was triggered when a door was opened in a house they were searching. Jake had been on top of Braddock during the explosion, and his body armor had absorbed the brunt of the blast, but still resulted in Jake getting a concussion, and a load of shrapnel in his right leg and shoulder, it would have likely killed Braddock however had he been standing when the grenade exploded. Braddock had been extremely grateful for the selfless act that had saved his life, and they had became good friends after as a result.

Lt Braddock later became Captain Braddock, and moved to Special Forces where he later was promoted to Major, soon after that however, he had left service and started his own private military contractor company known simply as DarkWater Industries. Jake had lost touch with him years ago, but he felt if anyone could give him advice, it would be Jim Braddock, he was not comfortable however telling even Jim Braddock about his discovery, at least not yet. DarkWater Industries was one of the biggest private military firms in the world. They provided highly trained military type security forces to all corners of the world, and as such dealt with a wide variety of people from politicians, to generals, to leaders of foreign countries, to warlords, and they even had a extensive legal team which was adept at finding all the ins and outs of various laws and the countries they operated in. He was guessing that the circles Braddock ran in had him crossing paths with a wide variety of people, some of which could be what he was looking for.

He googled Major Tim Braddock, and Darkwater Inc. He pulled up DarkWaters corporate information and there he was, Ceo of darkWater industries Major Tim Braddock ( Ret) He copied down Braddocks office contact number. Then he sat and ran the conversation through his head over and over, trying to come up with something plausable, but that would keep his secret. He finally just decided to tell the truth, well mostly. He punched the number in his cell and called. The call was answered on the second ring. “DarkWater Industries, office of Tim Braddock Ceo, how may I help you today?” The voice was femine and professional sounding.

Jake cleared his throat and began.“ Yes, my name is Jake Reynolds, and I am calling for  Tim Braddock, Ceo of Darkwater Industries.” There was a short pause and the woman spoke again. “Sir, I mean no disrespect to you, but Mr Braddock does not usually take calls from the switch board. People who need to talk to him usually have his private number. Could I ask what this is in reference to, and who is calling? Jake groaned. Great, he was going to have to battle the secretary. “ I understand ma’am, no hard feelings at all. I am a old friend of Tim Braddock. I served with him in Iraq and I recently found myself in need of his services. I guarantee he will be happy to hear from me, and I also guarantee he will be very unhappy if this message is not relayed in a timely manner.”

The woman didn’t seem impressed, but she stayed professional. “I understand Mr Reynolds, However, Mr Braddock is out of the office at the moment. I will forward your contact information, and he will contact you soon.” Jake relayed his phone number, and hung the phone up. Now I guess I wait. He thought. He went to the kitchen for a beer and sat down with a notebook jotting down notes of items he needed to look into before he began his solo expedition. A half a hour later his phone rang.

The number read private, Jake hit answer. “Jake Reynolds, how can I help you?” The line was full of noise, he swore he heard helicopter rotors. “Jake ! Hey old buddy ! I got your message. Its good to hear from you. You decide to take my job offer finally?” Jake laughed. Same old Braddock. “Hell no Tim, I worked for you once, and I almost got my ass shot off because of it.” Jake head laughter through the phone.

“Hey now, that was not my fault Jake, you act like I was the one shooting at you. If I recall I was the one that saved you from being shot. “True.” Jake laughed. I believe I saved your bacon once or twice as well.” Jake could hear men yelling, and gunfire in the background and was having trouble hearing tims voice. “I cant argue with that Jake, you saved my ass for sure.” “Where the hell are you at?” Jake asked. Your secretary said you were out of the office, I assumed lunch or something.” Tom laughed. “Nope, try Anbar Province, we are doing a job here for some people. I cant talk long, but neither could I refuse to return a call from one of my best friends. What can I do for you?” Jake just jumped in with both feet.

“Well I have a issue I need some professional help with. He explained what he needed. He was looking for a manager type person to help run a project for him. He needed someone who could think on their feet, someone who could handle themselves in a hostile environment if needed, someone that could handle a wide variety of issues. Things from sourcing supplies, to personnel, to payroll, to dealing with legal issues. He needed someone who could offer solutions to complex problems, and give advice when needed. But most of all, he needed someone very discrete, that would put discretion above all else, and could be trusted.

“Hang on a second Jake.”There was a short pause as he heard Braddock yelling commands to someone in the background. “Sorry about that Jake, had to handle something. What exactly are you getting into Jake? Nothing dangerous, or illegal I hope.” Jake laughed. Its not illegal, no. I just want someone who can make sure it stays legal. I basically need a skilled paper pusher, who is creative and can fix issues big and small and can think outside the box. It pays well though. I don’t run in the same circles you do, hell I don’t really run in any circles anymore. I was hoping you might have someone you could recommend for the job.”

Tom laughed. “I wish I didn’t run in these circles myself most of the time. I might know someone, but they are very expensive, you sure you can afford to pay? It wont look good if I send you to them, and you waste their time because you wallet is not big enough.” “No worries about that Tom, I have a pretty generous budget, I wont get into it right now, but my situation had changed dramatically, maybe one day soon we can talk about it in person over a beer, it damn sure wont be over the phone.” Tim chuckled. “ I understand what your saying old buddy. Listen, You better be able to pay.This chick I‘m going to put you in contact with, she ain’t cheap, but she can handle everything you just asked for easily, shes also free right now I believe.”

Jake frowned. “Chick? There is not a man you could recommend instead?” Tom laughed. “You don’t think a woman can do the job? I might agree with you usually, however I promise you this woman is a Grade A badass. Sure, I could recommend a dozen men for the job. However, you said discretion was as important as their ability to do the job. When I think of competency, and discretion there is only one name that comes to mind. “Emily Carson.” Jake sighed. Well, is she qualified?” Jake asked. “Damn right she is.” Tom replied. “She is prior service military. She left service and got her start working for me as a contractor mostly in the middle east. She graduated to executive personnel protection, girl can sure dress up. One of her protection detail clients offered her a several years back running their household staff, that later grew into managing a election campaign for a senator. That put her rubbing elbows with politicians, and all kinds of powerful  and connected people. The girl excels at anything she touches, shes a savant, I swear.” Jake was not convinced.

“I’m not sure a campaign manager is what I’m looking for.” He replied. “I don’t blame you.” Tom said. “But you didn’t let me finish. She ended up doing a side job for a congressman, solving a problem he had. Apparently she did such a good job, she was referred to some of his friends. She’s sort of what you would call a fixer now. Its cliche’ as hell, I know, but that’s what she does. She fixes problems. Girl has dealt with blackmailers, paid off mistresses, and even once delivered a ransom to terrorists. Shes legit.

She did a job for me again recently and I was happy as hell with her work. Shes as discrete as hell, she even went to jail a few times over it. Once when she refused to testify as to what she did for one guy, and a second time for refusing to disclose who a client was. Served three months the last time before they released her. She never said a word. You want discretion, its her middle name. One word of advice though. You wont be interviewing her for a job, she interviews her clients and decides if they are worth working for. The girl has high standards, and she will turn you down if your cause does not meet them.”

Jake sighed. “You sure are pushing her on me hard Tom. Whats the real deal with her?” Tom laughed. “You got me Jake. Yeah, she is special to me. Shes my niece, my older sisters kid. I know I can trust you, and I owe you big time for what you did for me. Shes the best. I will shoot her a text and let her know you will contact her soon. Be warned though. Shes a professional. The fact we are friends, and shes my family means nothing to her taking a job. You will have to make the cut, just like everyone else. She has turned me down several times in fact. I respect her more for that than anything else. Jake sighed. “Is she a conservative? That’s a requirement as well.” Jake added. Tim paused a moment before answering. “I don’t know why it would matter, but yes, She is. She makes Reagan look like a hippy.” Jake laughed. "Ok, I give up, you can stop your sales pitch, ill go with her.” Jake laughed.

Then he had a thought. “Hey Tim, if you were offered the opportunity get away from all the bullshit we face everyday, and colonize another world. To start from the ground up, hack a country from the wilderness, set things up as you saw fit, even totally change the locals established system. To basically establish a new country based off the constitution, except this time account for the bullshit that you knew would eventually arise. Would you do it?” Damn Jake, Where the hell did this come from? Tom asked. “Its just the plot idea for a book iv got running in my head is all. I’m thinking of writing a book, and thought id ask your opinion, I don’t really have anyone else to ask honestly.” Jake explained.

It was not a lie, he really had thought about writing a book eventually about all of this. “ Would you do it?” Jake asked. Tim sighed. “ It is tempting idea, I admit, very tempting,but no. In fact hell no. I like my excitement in small doses, and a warm mostly safe bed to sleep in at night. Something like that would be filled with bullshit, people infighting constantly over the rules you want to make, hostile locals trying to kill you for messing with their stuff. Hell I deal with that enough now, even with The US Government supporting me, damn Afghan warlords want to kill you over the dumbest shit. Do it on my own? Hell no. You can feel free to name a character after me though. A real scoundrel who enjoys adventure and has a way with the ladies.” Jake laughed. “Will do good buddy.” Tim had one more thing to say. “I will give her a call and tell her to expect you to contact her. Oh and Jake. Emily is a good person and shes my family. You drag my niece into some bullshit, or get her hurt, and you will answer to me, friend or not, Understood?” Jake nodded even though Tim could not see it. “I understand, Tim.” He took down Emily Carsons contact information.
Link Posted: 1/21/2019 1:21:10 PM EDT
I moved the story back a little bit. go p a few posts and you will see the new addition, that comes before he starts construction on his new place. it will take me the rest of today, and maybe tomorrow to get all of that stuff added. then the story will continue below with Emily arriving.
Link Posted: 1/21/2019 3:33:36 PM EDT
Looking for updates later. Keep going buck.
Link Posted: 1/21/2019 3:50:22 PM EDT
[Last Edit: vim] [#34]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By buck19delta:
No one has any comments? It sucks, its interesting, I like it, I hate it, its stupid.  Come on, lets hear some feedback. Feedback that's not related to grammer, punctuation etc.
View Quote
Not what you want, but.

I once edited science fiction professionally.  Major publishers; well-known authors.

You don't need this proofread; you need it edited.  And you are the one to do it, at this stage of development.  Work on your punctuation skills and try to embrace the idea of simpler, shorter sentences.  As your writing grows crisper, so will your story.  At the moment, those mechanical issues send signals of an author who will require much development.  The craft of writing does not suffer from improvement of the basics.

This is the book you seek:  https://www.amazon.com/Words-into-Type-Marjorie-Skillin/dp/0139642625.  I know of no plainer or more comprehensible practical handbook for grammar than its section on the topic.  Its examples are clear and common-sense.

Good writing, writing with clarity, takes effort.  “There's nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and open a vein.”  (Ernest Hemingway)
Link Posted: 1/21/2019 6:20:43 PM EDT
I'm really liking this story, keep it up!
Link Posted: 1/22/2019 10:50:23 AM EDT
[Last Edit: buck19delta] [#36]
I added a lot more to the rewrite above. I added a lot more to the dog creatures attacking jake, might want to go back and reread that section. everything thing new from now on will come after this post.
Link Posted: 1/22/2019 1:26:19 PM EDT
YES!!! Keep it up!  
Link Posted: 1/22/2019 3:31:39 PM EDT
[Last Edit: buck19delta] [#38]
The story is going well. Hope you guys enjoy !

Jake thought long and hard about what he wanted to say, he rewrote his email to her a dozen times before he finally was satisfied with what he had written and hit send, launching off his email to Emily.

Emily had just finished talking to her uncle when she received the email notice. She slipped into the comfortable chair at her desk and checked her in box. Sure enough, it was from Jake Reynolds, the man she had just been told about. Her Uncle had no clue what the job was about, but he spoke very highly of him. She had heard Jake’s name before occasionally over the years when her uncle would talk about the military. She knew Jake had saved his life years ago, and they had been close friends ever since. Her uncle knew how she operated though, and she reminded him again. She would take his recommendation into consideration of course, but If she took Mr Reynolds as a client, it was because she vetted him personally, and she approved of what she was getting herself involved with. She read the Email several more times, it didn’t tell her anything specific really, however it suggested he was up to something big.

Dear Miss Carson.

My name is Jake Reynolds, and I have found myself to be in the market for a project manager of sorts. Tim Braddock spoke very highly of you, and gave me your contact information. I was very impressed by what he told me about you, your qualifications and especially about how discrete you were. I feel you would be a good fit in what i am trying to create here. I would be very interested in meeting with you to discuss the details further, but In short ,When I say I am looking for a manager, that no where describes what the Job entails. Its truly a once in a lifetime opportunity, and I guarantee it would be a much bigger challenge than any you have ever experienced before, and offer you opportunities you will never have again in your life time.

I will even go so far to say that if this works out, not only will you become very wealthy, your name will probably be in history books. What I’m trying to accomplish will make Google and Microsoft look like dime store outfits. That’s all I am willing to say at this time however. I am willing to pay for first class air travel and accommodations, as well as a generous fee just for you meeting with me. Would ten thousand dollars be acceptable to you for a one hour meeting? I would also like you to sign a nondisclosure agreement at the time of our meeting. I would prefer to meet you at your earliest convenience at my home, which is located near Lexington Kentucky. Contact me with a time that will work for you, and I will make the travel arrangements.

Sincerely, Jake Reynolds.

She read the email several times, damn the man knew how to set a hook. She pondered the phrase, “I will even go so far to say that if this works out, not only will you become very wealthy, your name will be in history books. What I’m trying to accomplish will make Google and Microsoft look like dime store outfits.”

She didn’t know whether to be interested, and intrigued, or consider this guy a delusional nut ball. If not for her uncles recommendation, she would have declined, even with the guy offering her ten thousand dollars for a one hour meeting. Emily researched Jake Reynolds, and had everything there was no know about the man a hour later. There really was not very much. He had joined the Army just out of high school, had served ten years in the infantry before leaving under Honorable conditions. He was divorced within a year of leaving service, and it looked like his ex cleaned him out in the divorce.

He worked a few odd jobs in construction for a few years, until he apparently inherited a farm in eastern Kentucky recently when his uncle and father both passed away. He had no other living relatives as far as she could tell. He had no active employment. That was pretty much it. He was about as far from the type of person she normally expected to be contacting her for a job offer as possible. Congressmen? Sure. Senator? Sure. Tycoon? Sure. Unemployed farmer from Kentucky? Nope. She was tempted to turn the man down immediately, but her uncle had spoken very highly of him, and she had promised to at least meet with the man.

She owed a lot to her uncle, so she dug a little deeper. She still found nothing. The man had the money in his bank account to pay her traveling expenses, and the ten thousand he promised her, but damn sure not enough to hire her. Her promise to her uncle to take Jake Reynolds seriously clung to her though. What the hell she thought. Her schedule was clear for the near future, and the money the man had promised her would make the trip more than worth her time, plus he said first class. She had billionaires pay her expenses in the past and not spring for first class. She sent Mr Reynolds a email, with her travel arrangements.

Mr Reynolds.

My Uncle spoke very highly of you. I would be pleased to meet with you under the conditions you mentioned. Please feel free to have my flight leave anytime after 8am tomorrow morning. I will be flying from Spokane Washington, and should be at your house on Reynolds creek road by three pm. If there are delays I will notify you.

Sincerely, Emily Carson.

Jake made the arrangements for Emily’s flight, and hotel booking, and even arranged to have a nice rental car waiting for her upon her arrival. The entire thing took a big chunk out of his dwindling checking account, but it had to be done, he could always pay her the ten thousand fee from the cash he had on hand. He got busy getting things ready for their upcoming meeting.

The driveway alarm sounded promptly at three pm, announcing someone was coming up the driveway. Miss Carson had arrived, it was time to get ready! He turned off the tv, and turned on some soft background music, then he laid out the paperwork he had prepared for the interview. Emily pulled her rented Mercedes SUV into a parking spot in front of the farm house and shut off the engine. She had been pleasantly surprised at how this Jake the farmer guy was treating her. The man didn’t seem to have much money, but he was treating her better, and offering her far better travel accommodations than many extremely wealthy men had ponied up for her in the past.

There was the first class round trip airline ticket, the penthouse at the nicest hotel the area had to offer, and especially the High end Mercedes rental she was driving. It was all top notch. The guy was getting on her good side, and she really loved the Mercedes, it was a dream to drive. She looked around at the small farm with a sharp eye, and noticed several things. One was it was not a working farm, there were no animals present, none of the fields had been planted recently, and from the look of the farm yard and the lack of tire tracks, it did not appear there had been any equipment moving in quite a while, well farm equipment that is. There was a new driveway that went to the back of the property and from what she could see there had been a lot of construction going on recently here, and even as she watched several contractor type trucks were coming and leaving. Interesting.

She still had no idea what Jake Reynolds wanted to talk to her about. If it were not for her uncles insistence she meet with him, she would have never agreed to the meeting at all. She stepped out of the vehicle and smoothed the wrinkles out of her skirt, and checked to make sure her silk blouse was in order. She adjusted the small Glock nine millimeter in its concealed holster and was satisfied everything was in order. She picked up her Italian leather briefcase, and closed the car door behind her. Her heels clicked loudly on the stone walkway as she approached the house. It was a cool early spring day, and the trees were just beginning to show their new leaves. She took a deep breath of the clean country air and sighed happily, she loved the country.

She paused at the front door and just admired it for a moment. She had never seen a door on a house like this before, it was simply beautiful, and looked very old. It was simply massive, and apparently had all copper hardware on it. It was beautiful, not what she expected to find on a farmhouse at all. She gripped the heavy door knocker and beat it against the massive door three times. Before the last booming knock had faded away there was the click of a heavy bolt being pulled back and the door was pulled open.

Standing in the doorway was a ruggedly handsome man, he was dressed in jeans, hiking boots,and a snug fitting“ Come and take it” pro second amendment t-shirt, that showed off his chest and arm muscles nicely. She stifled a smile at the shirt, it very much reminded her of her Uncle Tim, she would bet money he owned one just like it. The man was just under six feet tall, looked to weigh around two hundred pounds, and had a short military style haircut, and was well muscled. He Flashed a big smile and held out his hand. “Miss Carson, correct? Pleased to meet you, I’m Jake Reynolds, I hope you had a pleasant trip out here, no troubles I hope?” Emily liked him immediately for some reason that went beyond his good looks and fit body. Maybe it was how he seemed genuinely happy to see her, like welcoming a old friend.

Emily shook his hand and was pleased to find he also had a firm dry grip, that felt honest to her, not a soft limp handshake as many men had these days. “Yes, I am Emily Carson, and no trouble getting here, the entire trip was very nice. You may call me Emily if you like Mr Reynolds, ” Jake smiled. “Thank you Emily, please call me Jake. Jake had been expecting a woman to arrive today, but he had not expected Emily to be such a babe. The second he saw her he had silently wolf whistled to himself. She was simply beautiful, blonde, long silky hair, tall, long legs, and a slim athletic build, her big blue eyes seemed big enough to fall into. He flashed her a warm smile and hoped he was not so obvious about finding her attractive, he needed her help badly and was not willing to blow it over her being hot.

Please come inside Emily.” He stepped aside and she followed him inside, and closed the massive door behind them. The house was beautiful inside, all hardwoods, and massive hand cut stone, something you just didn’t see much of, and usually cost a fortune when you did. It was a open concept downstairs, and it allowed a full view of the kitchen, living room, and dining room from where she stood.

‘Emily smiled. “You have a beautiful home Jake.” Jake smiled in return. “Why thank you Emily, yes, I really love it here.” Would you like to take a bathroom break before we begin? I know it was a long drive out here.” Emily shook her head. “I appreciate the consideration, but no, I’m fine, id prefer we get right to business, if you don’t mind.” Hake nodded and guided Emily to the large rustic dining table where he already had some paperwork and refreshments ready. They were seated and Jake offered her some bourbon, which she accepted, and took a small sip of, sighing happily as she did so.

“So, Jake.” She began. “What can I do for you?” Jake smiled, and pushed a piece of paper towards her. “Would you mind signing this before we begin?” Emily took the paper and read quickly, discovering it was a nondisclosure agreement of sorts, then she dropped it and looked at Jake. “Jake, where did you get this awful thing?” Jake blushed. “Well, I printed it off a website, to be honest.” Emily smiled sweetly and lay it aside. “I thought so, no matter I have us covered.

She then took a inch thick contract out of her briefcase and dropped it heavily on the table with a thump. “This. She began. Is a real nondisclosure, the same one I use on all of my contracts. I could violate the one you have a dozen different ways and get away with it with no penalties, however, this one is iron clad. If either of us breaks it, we would pay heavily for it.” Emily signed it in various places and slid it over to him, little sticky notes read “sign here”, to show him where to sign. What does it say exactly?” Jake asked, obviously not wanting to read the entire thing right now.

Emily smiled. “It basically says I refuse to ever disclose anything of what is discussed in our meeting today, to anyone, for any reason, ever. In return, You agree to pay me the agreed upon ten thousand dollars for the initial meeting, any salary or bonuses or other compensation that’s agreed upon in the future should I accept your offer of employment, and you agree to be professional, and not behave in a unprofessional manner, such as not sexually harassing me for example. If you fail to pay me, or sexually harass me, or physically harm me at anytime during our business relationship, I’m free to tell everything to anyone I please.”

She looked back at him with totally expressionless face. “I admit its not a standard agreement, but iv found it to be very effective at keeping things purely professional, and cutting out the bullshit as it were.” Jake looked at her carefully for a moment, wondering what had happened in the past to make the woman create something like this, something bad happened to her he was sure. Suddenly he realized she was watching him carefully as well, likely to see how he reacted to her contract, it was a test of some kind, he was sure of it. Jake smiled a broad warm smile. “Sounds perfect!” He scrawled his name on the dotted lines, placed a big fat envelope filled with cash on top and slid the pile of paperwork and cash back to her. Emily suddenly smiled back, dropped the cash and her copy of the agreement into her briefcase and she slid him his copy of the contract. “So Mr Reynolds, what do you have to tell me?”

“I think we need to take a little walk.” Jake replied. I have visual aids that will make our discussion much easier I believe.” He escorted her to the door, then looked at her with a look of concern. “Do you have a warm jacket with you? We need to take a short trip and its pretty chilly.” Emily shook her head. “No, I’m afraid not, I didn’t expect to be outside.” Jake grinned and scooped a spare jacket off the hook by the door, and handed it to her. “I got you covered.” Emily slipped on the warm jacket finding it smelled pleasantly of his cologne. Jake escorted her outside into the cool air, and to a new golf cart that was parked beside the house. He climbed behind the wheel, she took the passenger side and they headed across the driveway and down the newly constructed road behind his barn.

I apologize for this Emily, however I just don’t have any good way of explaining what I’m working on without showing you in the process. You will understand when you see it.” Emily smiled back. “No worries Jake. You have my undivided attention for another.” She glanced at her watch. “Forty three minutes, just as we agreed upon.” Jake laughed. “You stick to the letter of agreements don’t you?” Emily sighed. “Yes, absolutely, I learned a long time ago to do it that way, and it serves me well these days.” Jake nodded. “Understood, ill talk fast and make sure to get everything out before you burn rubber out of here in exactly forty three minutes.’ Emily snorted and covered her mouth with a surprised look on her face. Jake burst out laughing. Emily shook her head. “Sorry, you caught me by surprise, most people I deal with these days are extremely serious, and dry, she explained. “But, funny guy or not, I’m still leaving when our time is up.” Jake nodded. “I understand.”

They rounded a curve in the road and there before them sat a large green warehouse style building constructed from metal. The building had one large industrial door for big vehicles, one man sized door for people, and that was the only feature, there were no windows. The building had about fifty feet of pavement completely around it and the entire thing was surrounded by a tall heavy duty chain link fencing. The contractors were all working on another smaller building right beside the entrance gate and to emily it looked like a security guard shack. “Why would a farmer need  secure building, with guards controlling entry?” Jake drove through the open gate and right up to the building, parking beside the only entrance door.

They approached the door, and Emily was surprised to discover the door was a top of the line high security door, complete with a biometric scanner, and key pad, she also noticed multiple security cameras. Jake placed his thumb on the scanner, then punched in a six digit access code. The heavy door popped open and they walked inside. Bright lights flickered on as they entered and she was pleased to discover that the interior was at least comfortably warm. The were in a small room, the walls were painted white and appeared to be made from concrete. The room was also entirely featureless, except for a thick bulletproof high security window where a security guard would sit to observe entry, then buzz people through the opposite door. That another door that was located on the opposite wall was another high security door. Jake did the thumb scanner again, and punched in his access code, that door opened as well and they went through. Next was a long hallway that had multiple doors on each side. They walked passed doors that were marked with things such as laundry, dining hall, latrine, warehouse, computer lab, supply, barracks, rec area, and finally stopped outside a door marked maintenance. Jake keyed in another code and they walked past that door into a room filled with water pipes, air ducts, electrical panels, a boiler, and other equipment used to keep a building running. Emily started to feel a little worried. “Perhaps there’s another place we can talk.” She suggested. She started to worry about being here alone with this guy, locked behind all these security, her anxiety was building, and she fought to keep the panic away, this guy was just a little weird, thats all, he meant her no harm, stay cool Emily. Jake smiled. “Its ok, we are almost there.”

He looked directly into Emily’s large blue eyes. “Emily, I really do hope I can trust you. I am betting everything on being able to trust you, every fiber of my body is telling me to not show you my secrets, but I don’t see any other way to proceed. Can I trust you Emily? Really trust you? Emily nodded, and turned totally professional. “Mr Reynolds…Jake, as long as you adhere to the agreement, you can trust me more than your own mother, I will never betray your secrets whatever they are, and will take them to the grave with me.” Jake nodded. “I guess that will have to be good enough.” Ok, here goes.

I built this place to hide what I’m really doing here. Everything out here that we already passed through is going to be a business I’m starting, that’s supposed to deal with highly classified computer research. The researchers will live on site, with no one coming or going, no connection to the outside world at all, and the people who do come here, wont know where they are, what state they are in, etc. That way, they could not tell anyone about its location if they ever decided to do so after leaving employment. Following me so far?’ Emily nodded, seems simple enough so far. Please continue.

First off, lets get something out of the way. What I’m doing has never been done before, by anyone, anywhere, and I doubt there are even any laws that deal with it to be honest, I just know secrecy is extremely important, just because its not illegal, does not mean the government would not take control immediately if they were to discover whats going on here. I am not in anyway dealing in anything illegal, or intending to break the law or circumvent any laws of this country. I’m not making or transporting narcotics, I’m not smuggling anything, or anyone, I’m not part of any organization, I’m also not dealing in cyber warfare, or any biological warfare.

I am purely a explorer, that’s the extent of my role in this, and this is all being created to help me with the exploration of my new discovery. Understand?” Emily shook her head. “I understand what you just said, but not a clue what your referring to by discovery.” Jake nodded. “Understandable, this just takes a bit of working up to, you will understand in a few minutes.” Jake reached up and opened a electrical panel, then flipped multiple breakers in a certain order, a moment later there was a loud click, and a large piece of equipment across the room swung out from the wall revealing another security door behind it. Jake punched in the usual code and they were through it, Emily could hear the heavy panel closing behind them.

They stood in another hallway. They walked past several more doors, they were marked latrine, showers, medical, armory, supply, robotics, logistics, and stopped in front of one marked specimens. “Its cold in here.” Jake said simply as he punched in his code unlocking the door. Inside was a large room, that had glass doors running down all of the walls, obviously large freezers. Several dark shapes were visible behind one door, and Jake pulled it open for a better look. Emily gasp at what she saw. “Is that a gigantic squirrel?” Jake nodded. “Sure is, I took that one about six months ago. “Emily stared at it a long minute. “A giant squirrel is interesting, but not exactly something I would be useful in helping with.” She explained. “Be patient.” Jake said. “It gets a lot better.” He moved to another door and pulled it open. Inside was one of the dog creatures. “Emily stared at it for a moment. “ its definitely weirder than the squirrel, but you know some creative taxidermy could easily create these.”

Jake nodded. “I do, I promise we are getting to the big thing, very soon.” “Emily glanced at her watch. “You have twenty minutes left.” Jake nodded. He led her back to the door marked logistics. Inside he showed her to a seat, and he hit play on a screen. “This is the first video I took when I made my discovery.” He explained. “Just watch.” The ten minute video showed his drone approaching the gate, passing through it and then the video of the other world, the castle, then the griffon and ending with the three moons in the sky. Emily sat silently watching, when the video was over Jake turned to her. “Well?” She gave him a neutral expression. “Its all easily faked.” Jake nodded. “Emily paused for a moment.

She had dealt with some oddball people in the past, one billionaire for example claimed he had proof of aliens. Many people would have walked right out the door, instead Emily humored the old man and listened to his story, she remained interested and was polite to the old guy. He never convinced her, or had any proof, just theories, but later that same guy referred her to a powerful friend of his for another job and it really jump started her career. Yes, she had learned the value of being polite to even crazy people.

This Reynolds guy didn’t seem like he had money, but it was obvious to her someone had spent a lot of money building all of this. She planned to remain polite, and listen to the rest of his little speech, then she was going to get in her car and leave, but damn sure planned to watch him closely. She had to admit some of his evidence looked pretty damn real, not that she believed he had actually found a freaking star gate however for one damn second.

She continued. “Your saying that you discovered a star gate type door to another world? Jake nodded. “Pretty much, I doubt you believe it, I’m going to show it to you next, I was just trying to build up to it, we better get to it.” He glanced at his watch, only ten minutes left in our meeting.” Emily nodded. “Yes, ten minutes. Better hurry.” Jake let her to a door marked simply operations, and it was a extra heavy looking steel door. He input his code and they entered a honest to god control room, there were computers and video monitors everywhere, controls for various equipment, and even a rifle rack filled with weapons in the corner. There were thick armored windows through which she could see some kind of a platform. The star gate thing she supposed.

Damn sure spent a lot on this place, looked like a movie set to her. Jake nodded. “I’m going to turn it on.” He punched some controls and Emily could not resist rolling her eyes behind his back. He was going all out she had to admit. Suddenly there was a loud crack that sounded like lightening, or a explosion, and she jumped suddenly. “What the fuck was that?” She exclaimed. Jake pointed out the thick window, her gaze followed and there was a big black inky circle where none had been a moment ago. She saw Jake looking smugly at her. “See I told you !”

Emily just smirked. She had had enough of this circus, she was going to chew her uncle Tim’s ass good when she got back home.“ No way that’s real.” She said. “More special effects.” Jake looked shocked. “Its right fucking there ! Its real !” Emily rolled her eyes at him. “Bullshit” She blurted. So much for polite she thought. “Times up, Jake. Get me out of here.”

Jake felt everything he had worked so hard for slipping away.Getting this woman on board was supposed to make things easier, she was not supposed to leave here a nonbeliever. He had to do something. “You want out?” He said. He walked over to the armored door that led to the portal, and punched in the code, the heavy door slid open. Jake pointed through the open door “There you go, but not before you go look at the damn portal, its fucking real.”

He stepped closer to her meaning to simply touch her arm gently, to just plead with her, just to say. “ Look Emily, this is real, its not fake.” Unfortunately however, Emily took his sudden advance badly, and misinterpreted his intentions. Jake caught a glimpse of a delicate heeled foot coming at his face, it had appeared out of nowhere lightning fast and caught him totally unprepared. The next thing he knew he was on the ground with blood running down his chin from a broken nose. He blinked his eyes against the intense pain and caught a glimpse of Emily’s legs as she darted out through the open door in the direction of the portal.

Emily sprinted through the doorway into the large room beyond, she ignored the obviously fake portal to another world and instead she ran directly to a large industrial sized garage door and tried to open it, but it required a code like everything else in this damn place. She spun around, frantically looking for another exit, and she saw Jake just getting back to his feet inside the control room. She felt panic spread through her, he was coming after her! She would not let it happen again!

She spun and felt cool night air hitting her in the face, she could smell the forest, there was a open door behind that damn thing! She didn’t even hesitate she just sprinted right at the inky blackness of the portal, figuring it would take too much time to go around it, when she could just through the stupid hologram, and reach the door that she assumed was behind it faster. She ran for the door she was sure behind it.

Jake struggled to his feet, he grabbed a counter top and struggled to stand, the world around him was spinning, and he was fighting nausea. “Jesus that woman could kick like a mule.” He muttered. He managed to stand up and turned to look out the thick armored window just as Emily disappeared into the inky blackness of the portal. Jake’s eyes flew wide with horror. She had no idea what she was getting into ! He stumbled to the weapon rack and grabbed at his gear where he had dumped it in a pile from his last trip through the portal. He pulled on his tactical vest, stuck his arms through his pack straps and grabbed his rifle from the rack. He staggered through the open door and across the floor towards the inky blackness of the portal.

Emily found herself running in the cold night air, it was night time and wet grass was hitting her bare legs as she ran. Damn it had gotten cold fast. She thought Kentucky was a lot warmer than this in March, no matter she would not be out here long. She didn’t know how she got to be here in the first place really, one second it was all bright lights the next pitch blackness. There must have been a open door behind that fake portal or something and she had ran right through it into the dark of night. She stopped to look around and get her bearings, looking around for lights from buildings to head toward, where was that damn guard shack?

Jake stumbled through the portal and found it was night on the other side, he flipped on his night vision and scanned the area for Emily, easily finding a fresh trail leading through the wet grass where she must have just passed. Jake ran as silently as he could, following the trail of crushed grass just hoping he found her before something else did.

Emily heard someone rapidly approaching her from behind, that Jake guy must be chasing her, shit, she was hoping her round house kick would have kept him down a little longer. It was dark as hell out here, how was he following her? She had not seen and light from a flash light. She considered drawing her pistol, but he would not be able to see it in the dark, to be scared of it and know she was deadly serious, and she was not quite ready to kill him over just getting a little too handsy, no,she needed something else. She dropped to her knees and felt frantically for another kind of weapon a stick or something and was relieved when her hands wrapped around a thick tree branch, perfect! She tugged hard on it pulling it out of the grass and stood up clutching it to her chest. The steps were coming up fast behind her and she timed it just right and swung hard in the direction of the noise.

Jake was relieved. There she was ! She was safe ! He needed to get her back through the portal to safety, damn they had been lucky, of anything happened to this silly woman he would have never forgiven himself. He reached out for Emily’s shoulder, simply meaning to calm her and tell her everything was all right and lead her back to the portal when something heavy smacked him across the forehead, Jake’s world descended into darkness, and he dropped like a rock onto the cold wet grass.

Emily’s hands and arms hurt from the impact of the stick on Jake’s head and she dropped it into the grass beside his body. She knelt down and found him laying there, his head covered in blood, but his breathing steady. Good, she would send the cops back for him. She stood back up and turned in a full circle looking for the lights of the guard shack. She didn’t see it anywhere, where was it?! She turned her head upwards to stare into the sky in frustration and froze as what she saw. There, high above her in the heavens were the same three moons Jake had just showed her a few minutes ago on that video. This was impossible to fake she realized. It was all real after all, and that meant that he had not really been attacking her after all. She had simply over reacted, Her anger fades away instantly and she suddenly felt terrible for poor Jake. “Emily, you’re a stupid bitch.” She blurted aloud.

Behind her the portal blinked out of existence.
Link Posted: 1/22/2019 6:38:59 PM EDT
Cool update Buck. Got anymore? @buck19delta
Link Posted: 1/22/2019 7:28:56 PM EDT
[Last Edit: buck19delta] [#40]
Emily found her way back to Jake and sat next to him, cradling his head in her lap. She found his pulse strong, and his breathing steady, which were both good signs. She pulled off the night vision goggles and put them on her own face and adjusted them. Now she could see everything. She pulled his pack off him, and searched it for a first aid kit and was pleased to find a rather large well stocked one. She cleaned his head wound and applied pressure to it until it stopped bleeding, then she bandaged it carefully. A light rain began falling and was quickly soaking through her thin dress.

She started shivering badly and realized she was freezing, she was only wearing her light dress she had worn for the meeting, the jacket she had borrowed from Jake was back in the warehouse. Jake could wake up at any second, he probably would from her experience with head wounds, but he could also be out for days, which would be very bad under the current circumstances. Emily’s body shivered against the cold and the wet and she knew she didn’t better clothing. She needed to get herself warm, and take care of Jake until he could wake up and get them out of here, maybe in the morning she could figure it out herself.

She found a spare pair of pants and a light jacket in the pack as well as a pair of polypro thermal underwear. She stripped off her dirty dress stripping down to her underwear and quickly squirmed first into the polypro snivel gear, then into the military uniform. The clean dry military clothing, and especially the snivel gear were a godsend and she immediately felt much warmer. There was a watch cap in the pack as well and she removed the night vision goggles long enough to pull it over her head then readjusted the goggles to fit over it, the wool cap added a little more warmth. She wriggled her freezing toes and frowned there was not much she could do about her heels though, just suffer. The clothing didn’t stay dry for long, the rain was quickly soaking through but even wet the military clothing was much warmer than her skimpy dress had been.

She was warmer at least, a animal howled off in the distance, a high keening howl that went on for almost a full minute, and a few moments later other animals returned the howl from a long way away. The howling sent a shiver up her spine that had nothing to do with the cold, and reminded her not only was she in the wilderness, it was wilderness on another world, and pretty much anything could be living here for as far as she knew. Such as more of those terrifying dog creatures Jake had already shown her earlier.

She picked up his rifle and was glad it was a M16 series rifle that she had a lot of experience with, she quickly checked to make sure it was loaded, and on safe and slung it across her back. She wanted to go for help, or take him somewhere to shelter of some kind, but she had no clue what was here, or even which direction to go. She could not just go wandering around here, and damn sure not at night. A short distance away was a thick clump of bushes, she figured they would offer them some cover and protection from animals and the elements.

She grabbed onto Jake’s Arms and pulled hard, the muscles in her arms ached at the strain but he slowly slid a few inches along the leaf covered ground, she took a deep breath and yanked again throwing her weight into it pulling him a few inches with each tug. It was not a easy task as she only weighed just over a hundred pounds soaking wet, and he was basically twice her size, and heavy as hell. She was grateful for the long hours she spent each week at the gym, without her regular workouts she seriously doubted she could have moved him.

She would drag him a a foot or so then take a break, rinse and repeat, she was covered in sweat, but she eventually managed to get him inside the bushes. She covered him with a poncho and poncho liner combo she found in his pack, the makeshift field blanket and wet weather gear was not perfect, but it would keep most of the rain off, and add a little warmth. She needed to keep him as warm as possible to prevent hypothermia. She was still cold herself however, and was shivering again as the air temperature had steadily kept falling since she arrived here.

She had to keep both of them warm and only had one idea of how to accomplish that in this wet weather. She raised the poncho and snuggled tightly against Jake’s body, then pulled the poncho back over her to share their body heat. She felt better instantly, Jakes body was putting off a ton of heat, and she snuggled closer. Emily lay there listening to the sounds of the forest for a long time, with her hand resting lightly on the loaded rifle should she need it. All she could think about was how nice Jake had been to her, and how he had just wanted her help with this star gate thing, and she had almost killed him. She sighed heavily. The temperature was still falling, she could see her breath in the air as she exhaled, and soon the rain changed to sleet covering everything in a layer of ice, the wind also picked up and was causing the poncho blanket to flap as the freezing air worked its way under it. She fought the makeshift blanket trying to keep the cold air out, but was having little luck, the wind had to be blowing over fifty mph, the wind chill must be close to zero. She was soon shivering uncontrollably, as was Jake, she needed to do something, but her cold numbed body was making concentrating almost impossible, she struggled to think o anything she could do, but fell asleep instead. A heavy gust of wind ripped the poncho away and it disappeared into the night. Freezing rain fell across their exposed bodies.
Link Posted: 1/22/2019 9:13:01 PM EDT
Thanks for the update buck19delta.
Link Posted: 1/23/2019 8:45:46 AM EDT
Me Like!  You Write Moar!
Link Posted: 1/23/2019 9:54:56 AM EDT
I appreciate the kind words, thanks guys.  Im trying to figure out the story line right now, and I have a sinus headache today, so not sure how much writing I will get done today. im working on getting rid of the headache though. yesterday went great and I did about 10,000 words.
Link Posted: 1/23/2019 11:37:15 AM EDT
[Last Edit: buck19delta] [#44]
Emily was dreaming, she was a small child again and her mother was whispering to her. Her mothers long soft hair brushed against her face and tickled causing her to giggle. Her Mother was caressing her face and whispering soft words of encouragement, to ease her fear and was wiping at her tears as she carried Emily easily through the forest. Emily had not seen her mother in a very long time. “I missed you mommy.” she whispered. Her mother soothed her with a soft kiss. “I am always her for my beautiful daughter. It is “Dangerous out here dear Emily.” Her mother whispered. “We will take you and the man to safety. Emily whined. He is sick mom, I hurt him, I’m sorry, I thought he was going to hurt me.”

Emily’s mother frowned. “Did the man hurt my Emily?” She asked her the heat of anger in her voice. Emily shook her head embarrassed, and ashamed for what she did. “No mom, he is a good man, I made a mistake and thought he was like the other bad man that hurt me, but hes not, hes a good man.” Mother stroked her hair gently and kissed her. “I can see your thoughts dear one, and feel your pain. We will care for this man of yours, he will be well after a long sleep. Were it in my power I would punish this other man for harming you, but he is beyond the portal where I cannot go. I can take away the pain he caused you however, it shall be my gift to you.” Her mother pressed her warm lips gently against her forehead and gave her a long soft kiss.

Something stirred within her, the terrible memories she had been struggling to hide deep inside herself were suddenly thrown to the surface and laid bare on her soul. The pain of the memory of what had been done to her burned her like fire, the pain of them was searing and agonizing. Suddenly the pain vanished as if it had never been. She could still see the memories, but looking at them made her feel nothing, instead of the terrible pain they gave her only a moment ago. The long kiss ended and her mother looked into her eyes lovingly and spoke again. “There my daughter, I have taken away your pain, be in peace again my child.”

Her mother lay her down in a warm soft bed that smelled of flowers, and kissed her. She whispered in Emily’s ear softly.“You will both be safe here my daughter, rest before continuing your journey. Do not fear for your man, he will awaken well in less than two days time, The portal lies towards the rising sun. Good night my daughter.” Her mother kissed her again gently and Emily had never felt safer in her life. “Good night mom.” She whispered back.

Emily was awoken by the sun in her eyes. She yawned and stretched her arms above her head to work out the kinks in her back. Still in a sleepy haze she smiled at the warm memory of the dream she had about her mother. It had been so real, so vivid, thinking of the dream made her feel happy and loved. Everything would be all right, her mother had said so and she believed it, even Jake would be okay. Jake? Suddenly everything came rushing back at it her, everything that had happened the night before hit her and she sat up in bed in a panic. Jake !

Emily looked around wildly for a moment only stopping when her eyes fell on Jake. He was laying an a bed a few feet away, his chest rose and fell and she breathed a huge sigh of relief. He was alive! She glanced around and discovered she was in a small cabin, or house or something made entirely of stone. Rustic exposed wood beams stretched across the ceiling, the floors were stone, and in the corner a warm fire crackled in a fireplace. She looked around quickly again and was relieved to discover the loaded rifle was leaning against the wall beside her bed.

The bed felt a little uncomfortable, and somewhat familiar, and she realized that was because it was a older model canvas military surplus cot, and she was covered with a military issue wool blanket as well. She pulled the blanket off and found she still wore the clothing she had taken from Jake’s pack. She picked up the rifle and walked quietly to the small window and looked out, seeing only trees, the only sounds she heard were the blowing wind, the chirps of birds, and Jake’s steady breathing. The checked the door and discovered it was locked from the inside with a heavy metal bolt.

She pulled the thick bolt back and cracked the door peeking out, she saw grass, and flowers outside, but no people. She stepped outside and found the building really was a stone cabin, or cottage, and it looked extremely old to her. The cottage was located in a small flower filled field and surrounded by thick forest, at one end of the field she saw several deer grazing. It was beautiful, and felt peaceful, the air seemed to have a electricity to it as well, sort of like you felt before a storm hit, but she felt no anxiety at all, she could not remember the last time she didn’t feel anxiety and emotional pain, but she didn’t, she felt only peace. She realized something had changed in her somehow, she replayed the dream through her mind, and remembered her mother saying she would take away the pain of the terrible memories she carried.

It was insane, but when she thought about what that man had one to her, well, she felt, nothing at all. She could see the memories as clear as day, but they meant nothing to her emotionally anymore. Thinking about what had been done to her, it was more like a movie she had seen a hundred times, a movie where a man was abusing a woman, she just felt nothing. Emily collapsed to the ground and lay the rifle in her lap, pressed her hands to her face and sobbed heavily, not from the pain of the memories, but for being freed from the terrible pain those memories had caused her. She didn’t know who had taken the pain away, so she simply whispered a emotional tear filled“Thank you.” To whomever might have given her such a wonderful gift.

A while later, she pulled herself together, and considered their situation. She wondered how they had gotten here, apparently someone had carried her, well them here from where she had attacked Jake. She dreamed her mother did, but that made no damn sense at all, as her mother had passed away years ago, and she very much doubted her mothers ghost carried them here. However, she would have sworn she had seen her mother last night. She took a few steps into the flowery field and when she looked back where she had stepped she saw the soft flowers were very delicate and she left deep foot prints in them where ever she had stepped and crushed the delicate plants. She walked around the entire cottage, but found no foot prints leading to or from the little cottage not a single step anywhere except her own. She just could not figure out how someone could have walked through this field and not left any tracks at all, it seemed impossible to her. It was a real mystery.

She checked on Jake and felt terrible when she got a good look at him. His nose was swollen and a awful bluish black color where she had kicked him the night before,both of his eyes were black as well. The huge purple knot he had on his forehead concerned her a lot more, he was breathing normally and had a strong pulse though which were both good signs, but he was still unconscious. She knew she should be worried about him, but she wasn’t. She knew he would awaken either later today or maybe in the morning and be fine. Her mother had told her so, and as crazy as that sounded, it just felt right. She still felt terrible she had hurt him so badly however. Someone had cleaned him up, the blood and dirt had been cleaned away and he looked and smelled fresh and clean.

Her stomach rumbled and she realized she was starving, looking around she saw a pile of  fruit on the small table in the corner. She picked up some grapes and found them to be fresh as if just picked, as was the rest of the fruit all very fresh and perfectly ripe. There were some apples, pears, plums, black berries, walnuts, and a few other strange looking brightly colored fruit she had never seen before in her life. She picked one of the strange fruits up and took a small bite and found it to be delicious. She walked around and inspected the cottage as she munched on fruit, and discovered a lot of military surplus gear, older stuff all made from heavy green canvas.

It had also been here for a very long time from what she could tell, as much of it had been chewed by rodents and was full of holes. What was odd though was how clean everything seemed, as if it had all been recently scrubbed and washed, she could not find any sign of rodent droppings, or even dust as you would have expected a old abandoned building to have. Very odd for sure, but hardly the most surprising thing she had encountered in the last twenty four hours. She was grateful and was able to relax much better knowing everything around her was clean, even if tattered. There were a couple of large green military foot lockers with the name Sgt E. Reynolds stenciled on them in faded letters. “Huh, Jake must have set this place up.” She thought, although it was weird he would use old mouse eaten equipment, when everything else she had seen about his operation had been gleaming and brand new, with no expense spared what so ever.

She found a thick book on a shelf and carried it to the window where the light was better to get a good look at it. She turned the thick book over in her hand and saw it was very old, the pages yellowed and stiff. The book appeared to be a journal of some kind, and with nothing else to do she began to read. She flipped the book open to a random page and started reading.

This new world never ceases to surprise me, both in its brutality and in its beauty, and strangeness, I have seen some truly wondrous and terrifying things since coming here. The old man I mentioned meeting in the earlier entry a few days ago has turned out to be a odd one. He is a hermit apparently, his name is Osgold, and among other things claims to be over one hundred and fifty years old. He apparently travels the wilderness searching for subjects for a series of books he is writing, that has been his life long project. I want to say its a book series on mythology, as many of the things hes mentioned searching for seem to be really out there, hes looking for everything from fire breathing dragons, and unicorns, to even spirits and magic swords.

I would like to call him insane, however the things I have seen on my travels here have blurred the lines of what was supposed to be fantasy and imagination, into rock solid fact. I’m not exactly sure where mythology begins and ends anymore to be honest. We were a little drunk the other night and when I said I didn’t believe he was a hundred and fifty, he pulled out a silver necklace from under his shirt. He claimed he had been given it by a honest to god witch when he was a young man as a reward for saving her life. Its supposed to be magical and extends the life of anyone who wears it and even has the ability to heal.

My back was hurting, so he encouraged me to try it out, i finally gave in and gave it a shot to humor him. I held it for a minute, thinking about my back pain and wishing it would go away, and I swear to god it did go away! It returned when I handed the necklace back though. I would have sworn it did take the pain away for a moment, but obviously I was mistaken, the mere thought is crazy. Magic sounds like something only a fool could believe in, and I assuredly do not believe in it, however the way he explained it seemed to make some sense to me, if nothing else its a interesting addition to my journal and will make some good stories for my grand kids some day.

He claimed that in this place magic existed as a pure force of energy, not much different than electricity, or a under ground river or even blood in the blood stream, you might not believe it was there, but you could find it if you dug deep enough. Just as a storm, could create lightning and friction could create a static spark how some mechanical devices could make use of electricity. He claimed that magic could be harnessed in much the same way, if you had the knowledge to do it. Most magic use basically depended on intense concentration, and willing a device or a spell to do what you were imagining it to do, it required a psychic or mental component to control it.

He also said just as there were mysterious creatures that thrived in underground rivers, or even lived in the blood of men, so too were there creatures that lived off of magic, such as dragons, the most powerful of them. I forget much of what he said, and I should have written it down sooner, but I believe I am recalling the conversation correctly. He mentioned that I am presently located in a vast wilderness where many strange and dangerous creatures and other things live, he rattled off a extensive list and honestly most of it sounded insane, at least I hope he was insane, and such creatures did not actually exist in the real world.

Anyway, he said that most humans fear to venture into these lands, and the last humans who once lived in the nearby ancient castle of Camelot, abandoned it centuries ago after some kind of calamity. ( Yes, that Camelot ) The castle had apparently been built long ago, before recorded history he claimed, to block the pass through the mountains into what he called the forbidden land, to keep what lay beyond away from mankind, so they may live in peace. The Castle became a center for magic research, and was a center for learning, up until the calamity he called it, which was apparently caused by a accident with some kind of magical spell or something. Crazy I know, I’m really just recording the nonsense here as it will be a interesting story to tell one day, and I wanted to remember all the crazy details.

The supposed spirits of the forest that I mentioned earlier are what brought him to this particular area. He claimed he found some ancient forgotten book in the ruins of another castle that mentioned something about mythical spirits of some kind being in this area, they were only referred to as, “ The loving sisters.” Supposedly these two female spirits, used to live in the nearby castle of Camelot a very long time ago, and at some point both their children became lost in the wilderness and were never found.

The two sisters became so distraught by their loss, that they petitioned a powerful sorcerer to help them protect all lost sons and daughters forever, as atonement for failing to protect their own children. Somehow the sorcerer used a powerful artifact of magic, and when they committed suicide, in a complicated ritual he managed to turn the two sisters into living spirits of some kind, who wander the wilderness always searching for lost sons and daughters so they might protect them, as they had failed to do in life.

They supposedly save the occasional lost traveler from harm and deliver them to safety or something, they are even supposed to have healing powers, and even be dangerous to anyone threatening those they decide to protect. Its a crazy story, and I obviously don’t believe it myself, even though I have seen some truly wondrous and insane things here, I don’t believe in spirits just yet.

The hermit did warn me however that he had seen large numbers of what he called Orc’s while traveling here. Apparently the Orc nation as he calls it, is somewhat nomadic and has seasonal movement of its people into what they consider their traditional hunting lands to seek out new food sources and eliminate anyone who has moved into those same lands. When he finally described them to be I realized he was describing the large green human shaped monsters I have fought on occasion. Now I know what to call them, Orcs. I also learned another bit of information about them. They are meat eaters and will eat anything made of meat, to include animals, humans and even each other. All of which makes them even more horrifying, to top it off apparently a favorite hobby of theirs is rape, male or female makes no difference to them, and generally those victims are raped to death. Nice, huh?

They are terrible beasts, and I have only seen them singly up until now, ( Ferals the hermit called them, Orcs who were kicked out of their clans for various offenses ). The thought of encountering dozens or even hundreds of them at once is simply terrifying. I fear what could happen should they manage to pass through the portal back to my own world. I feel the time has come for me to stop my adventures until I can make better plans, and defenses against these violent and dangerous creatures.

I have more than enough treasure to pay for it now, I will be returning home soon once I finish up a few more things, I think im going to help the hermit for a few days to learn more about this place as he is a treasure trove of information. Then can begin my preparations, and I will be ending my explorations here until I’m properly prepared to protect my family, and my home, should some of these dangerous creatures make it back to earth through the portal.

Emily stared at the page in surprise. Could that be what she had encountered last night? Those loving sister spirits? Surely not, the mere thought of spirits carrying her through the forest was insane, however she honestly had no other explanation for what had happened. The thought of a mothering spirit traveling the wilderness in search of her children to save however, deeply resonated with in her for some reason. She returned to reading, fascinated by what was in the journal. A while later the writer referred to his two young children Tobias, and Elias Reynolds, and she was surprised to realize that Elias was Jake’s father which made the journals author his grandfather. Jake’s family had been messing with this portal for over fifty years, talk about a family secret !

A soft groan from behind her pulled her attention from the book and she turned around to find Jake moving in the bed. He had woken up finally ! She grabbed a canteen of water from the vest and moved to sit beside his cot. She helped him to slowly sit up, and she stuffed his pack behind him to rest against. He held the canteen out to him and he took it and pressed it against his lips and gulped the water down greedily. A moment later he came up for air and closed his eyes as if in pain. Emily was worried about him. “Does your forehead head hurt badly Jake?” He nodded slightly. “Its killing me.” He gasped. “My whole head hurts. What the hell happened to me?” He glanced around the room. And where are we and how did I get here?” Emily’s eyes filled with tears, and she looked at the floor ashamed.

“I did it.” She moaned. “I knocked you out with a tree branch. I’m so sorry Jake, I over reacted. I thought you were attacking me, and I ran. When you caught up to me I was afraid you were going to hurt me, and I, well, I hit you with a tree branch, although my other option was shooting you, so it could have been worse.” Jake was quiet for a moment, then he placed his fingers under her chin and raised her face to look at him. Emily, its okay. I hurt, but, I’m okay and will recover. I didn’t mean to frighten you, and I damn sure was not trying to hurt you.” She nodded her head as the tears flowed. “I know that now Jake, I know you were just trying to show me your discovery, and that the portal was real, then after I kicked you, you were just trying to save my silly ass from the portal.”

Jake nodded his head slowly, wincing in pain as he did so. ‘That’s exactly right. Emily, I know its not any of my business, and you probably don’t want to talk about it, but… did someone hurt you recently?” She looked at him through her tear filled blue eyes and nodded. “Yes. Something terrible happened to me on a job a few months ago, I thought I was controlling how it was effecting me, but I guess I was wrong. I’m sorry I hurt you Jake.” He smiled. ‘Its okay Emily. Hey, how did we get here, and where the hell are we?” Emily wiped her eyes with her sleeve. “Jake, did you happen to dream about your mother?” Jake nodded. “How did you know that?”

She explained everything that had happened since she had knocked him out, her dream of being carried, all the way up to her finding the journal, and she reread the page she had read already that mentioned the hermit and the spirits he was searching for. Jake looked shocked. “ Your saying, a spirit, or spirits carried us here, and one of them took away the pain of the attack that was tearing you up inside?” Emily shrugged. “It sounds insane when you say it out loud.” Jake was looking at the journal entry and shook his head. “Just to be clear, although it does sounds crazy, I did not say I thought you were crazy.

Emily, I have had to totally redefine what crazy meant to me recently, and although this is out there, I don’t believe its impossible at all. I dreamed about my mother as well, and mine also, well, mine kind of took away some pain of my own, at least Im pretty sure she did after talking to you just know. When I think about what happened to me in Iraq, well, its like watching a movie, instead of it happening to me, the pain of the memory is just, well, its gone. Yesterday it would have torn me up to really think about it. So, your definitely not alone in this Emily.” He smiled and patted her hand gently. “I’m just glad you ended up safely here in this little stone house, and nothing bad happened to you. I guess my grandfather was using this place as a base of operations for when he was here, I honestly didn’t know it even existed until now.”

She smiled at him. “I’m glad your not mad at me for turning your head into a punching bag.” Jake sighed, and carefully touched his tender nose wincing in pain as he did so. “I cant say I’m happy it happened, but I definitely share some of the blame.” Jake cracked a smile. “I’m just glad you didn’t kill me, you hit hard woman. Hey, um, how about we don’t mention any of this to your uncle Tim. I don’t need him punching me too, deal?” Emily nodded. “Oh hell no, yes, deal!” Jake’s stomach suddenly let out a loud gurgling growl. “Say, is there anything around here to eat?”
Link Posted: 1/23/2019 7:58:50 PM EDT
Good update. Now we are getting somewhere. Thanks @buck19delta
Link Posted: 1/24/2019 1:15:58 PM EDT
working on fixing some of the last entry above, then start moving the story forward again. hope to get some done in a little bit. yesterday I had a awful headache, and didn't get very much done.
Link Posted: 1/24/2019 4:21:43 PM EDT
[Last Edit: buck19delta] [#47]
Emily, I have had to totally redefine what crazy meant to me recently, and although this is out there, I don’t believe its impossible at all. I dreamed about my mother as well, and mine kind of took away some pain of my own, at least I’m pretty sure she did after talking to you just now. When I think about what happened to me in Iraq, well, its like watching a movie about it, instead of it actually happening to me, the pain of the memory is just, well, its gone. Yesterday it would have torn me up to really think about it. So, your definitely not alone in this Emily.” He smiled and patted her hand gently. “I’m just glad you ended up safe here in this little stone house, and nothing bad happened to you.” Then He grinned playfully. “Well nothing worse happened than a bad hair day.” Emily gasp in surprise at him, grabbed the watch cap and pulled it down over her head. “Hey now buster, lets not be commenting on my hair, my life got a little strange recently, and not much opportunity to fix it properly!” Jake laughed. “I’m just teasing you.” He took his hand and pulled some stray hair out of her face, them smiled warmly. “Actually, you look beautiful.” Emily blushed at the compliment. “Now, now Mr Reynolds, this is a professional relationship, remember? Don’t go breaking our contract.” She looked serious, but then she smiled slightly. “Thank you for the compliment though.” She said sincerly, then her voice turned playful. “ I ‘m sure I am beautiful compared to how you look right now!” Jake started laughing, but then grabbed his face gently in pain. “Ow! Ow! No Jokes, No jokes ! Jeez that hurts !”

She smiled at him. “I’m glad your not mad at me for turning your head into a punching bag.” Jake sighed, and carefully touched his tender nose wincing in pain as he did so. “I cant say I’m happy it happened, but I definitely share some of the blame.” Jake cracked a smile. “I’m just glad you didn’t kill me, you hit hard woman. Hey, um, how about we don’t mention any of this to your uncle Tim. I don’t need him punching me too, deal?” Emily nodded. “Oh hell no, yes, deal!” Jake’s stomach suddenly let out a loud gurgling growl. “Say, is there anything around here to eat?”

The sun was setting so they made the decision to stay one more night in the little house, rest and then start heading out to find the gate the next day. Jake finished his last piece of fruit, patted his full stomach and sighed heavily. “Man I feel better, full too. That fruit was amazing, I wonder what its called?” Emily shrugged her mouth full of the delicious fruit, and a look of ecstasy on her face. “We should call it “Emily’s addiction.” He joked. She rolled her eyes at him, but nodded in agreement as she swallowed. “It would be aptly named, that’s for sure.” She agreed. “That stuff is amazing, I think I could live on it.” Jake nodded in agreement. “Its good.” He agreed. “but a nice steak would hit the spot about now.”

Emily nodded in agreement. “Yeah, I could get behind a big steak right now myself, with buttered yeast rolls, and some big salty steak fries.” Jake rolled his eyes. “Jeez woman, stop, your making me hungry.” She giggled. Well it does sound wonderful. What can I say, I love my food, food just doesn’t love me back.” I have to diet and work really hard to stay looking like this.” Jake nodded. “Its a nice look I agree.” Emily smiled at him, keep your mind on business Mr Reynolds.” Jake sighed, and nodded.

Guess we should look around and see if we can find anything useful, no telling how far we will have to walk to get back to the portal, some extra gear would be nice.” Emily stuck her bare foot into the air and wriggled her naked toes. “Shoes of some kind would be nice.” She smirked. “Ill do my best.” Jake grinned. It didn’t take long to search the little cottage, and when they were done they had a small pile of equipment laying on Jake’s cot. Jake held up a pair of old army boots he had found in one of the lockers, and a couple pairs of green socks. “These are pretty small, think they will work?” Emily wrinkled up her nose. “Uggg, I hate the thought of sticking my feet into used boots, especially old boots, but, beggars cant be choosers.” She pulled on a pair of socks, and stuck her feet into the boots, frowned, and pulled the boots off. She wadded up a sock and stuffed it into the toe of each boot and tried them on again, then she grinned. “Well, at least I wont be barefoot. Hey, what kind of gun is that? Jake hefted the little rifle and took a good look at it. He removed the magazine, and worked the bolt, checked the action and handed it off to Emily. “Its a World War Two era M1 paratrooper carbine.” He explained. “Well a M2 or M3 carbine I think as this ones full auto, but I can never remember the right nomenclature for them. Its a little crusty, but there’s a cleaning kit here for it, and there’s plenty of ammo to go with it in that ammo can, the other can is filled with thirty round magazines. I’m not sure how reliable this old ammo is, but since it was in a sealed ammo can, its probably good to go.”

Emily shouldered the little rifle, and worked the bolt, and closed and opened the folding stock. “I freaking love it !” She exclaimed. Its so much lighter than a M16, and it fits me like a glove. You said its a World War Two gun? Is it safe to shoot? Is it still effective?” Jake smiled. “Its definitely outdated, but its still lethal enough, and yes, its perfectly safe to shoot. The M1 carbine round is not as good as the m16 for longer ranges, and its less powerful, but it will still put a hurting on someone. I think you will like its smaller size and lower recoil.” He slid a old leather tanker holster across the bed to her. “Here’s a browning high power, its a single action and..” Emily scooped the browning out of the holster, racked the slide locking it open, dropped the magazine, worked the slide several times, then reinserted the magazine and dropped the slide.

Jake stared at her. “I think I’m a little turned on. Emily frowned at him. “There’s that harassment talk we talked about.” Jake squirmed and felt really uncomfortable. Then Emily smirked at him and shined a bright smile at him and giggled. “Just fucking with you Jake. I have a browning high power at home. I used one on a contract for a while when I was in Israel and fell in love with them, so I bought my own when I got back to the States. I really like them, and this ones a sweety.” She started breaking the pistol down and in seconds had it broken into its basic parts and started cleaning it. While she did that Jake started cleaning the carbine for her, and when he was done put a coat of oil on his M16. They loaded magazines for her new rifle and pistol, and put a few things for her in a old military pack they found in a footlocker. He dropped a heavy bag on the bed and dumped it out, gold items, silver coins and glittering gems spilled across the bed. Emily gasp in shock. “Were rich !” Jake busted up laughing. “That’s nothing, iv got another fifty bags just like it back home, I don’t know how plentiful gems are here, but gold is as common as hell here, its everywhere.” Emily looked shocked. “Seriously.” Jake nodded. “Seriously, how do you think I’m financing everything?” Emily picked up a big handful of gems and started examining them.

“Jake looked around the room again taking everything in, then sighed heavily. “I guess my grandfather was using this place as a base of operations when he was here, I honestly didn’t even know it existed until now.”

Emily smiled. “Its like finding a piece of your families history, huh?” Jake nodded. “ You have no idea. I never knew my grandfather at all, or my uncle either, they were total mysteries to me.” Emily patted the thick journal next to her. “ I’m sure you will get a good look at the man your grandfather was from reading this. He seemed nice, insightful, and it was obvious he loved his family the way he spoke about them in his writings.” Jake nodded. “I’m really looking forward to reading that, all of his other journals were written before he started coming here, that’s the first one iv seen that spoke about his time here, and what he saw while here. No telling whats in that thing.”

Emily nodded. “Jake, why did you want my help with this portal project? I don’t know what I have to offer you, I’m not a explorer, or scientist. Id think you could easily get help from real researchers, actual scientists would probably kill to be here right now. What did you think I could do for you, that they cant?” Jake was quiet for a long moment before he spoke. “Well.” He began. “I need a lot more than just researchers. I need someone who can help me find qualified researchers, find people who will be willing to keep this a secret.”

“I need someone to help me find them, pick out the best candidates, hire them, and get them here in a way that the location of my farm and the gate remains a secret even from them. I also have a shitload of gold and gems from here, with shit loads more to be done in the future to keep everything financed. I need to launder, turned into cash and get that cash into a bank account so I can buy things I need, all while hiding it from the government.”

“I need someone who can help hide all this from the government, someone to figure out the paperwork of the business I want to start as a cover for the building, probably help start some other businesses to help explain all the vehicle traffic and supplies that will be coming through my farm, everything from building materials, to weapons, to food, heavy equipment, and much more. I need someone who could find me a good legal firm to help keep things as legal as possible, and to keep the government away. I need someone with connections, who can help with problems as they pop up, and who will eliminate problems before they become problems.”

Emily whistled. “ That’s a lot of stuff to handle, it will be a big challenge, but I can handle all that for you. What kind of businesses were you considering?” Jake thought for a moment. “ Well, I was considering saying the new building was going to be home to computer researchers, dealing in classified research. That might not be a good idea though, I’m open to suggestions on that one, I’m just trying to find a good reason to explain a large building on my property, that I wont let anyone enter, but have lots of traffic going in and out of. I am going to need a lot of building materials, so I was thinking of buying companies that deal in plumbing, construction materials, and electrical, and also a company that buys and sells surplus government military equipment. I will be needed a lot of it. Probably a sporting goods store as well, to help explain ammunition purchases, and such.”

Emily nodded. “Yes, I agree. If you owned those types of businesses you could easily explain purchasing, possessing, storing, and moving large amounts of those materials. I’m getting the idea you are not just planning on exploring this place are you planning on developing it?” Jake shrugged. “I had not considered developing it, I was just wanting to bring in everything needed to bring the castle back into fully livable condition, make repairs to everything and up date it to modern standards. Plus to start stock piling supplies in large quantities, just in case the portal decided to not work for a extended time, or even if we were to get trapped here permanently. Plus there’s always the chance the government will try to take it away, or even put me in prison, and as a result I have to relocate here permanently on short notice.”

Emily nodded. “That would be a good plan, to cover contingencies. You never know what emergencies can pop up. You are also right about the government. If they had any clue this existed, you would already be locked away in a prison somewhere for the rest of your life under a provision of the patriot act, with no visitors, phone calls or legal counsel. I suggest you tread very, very carefully in this project, and you listen carefully to everything I tell you, as I damn sure don’t want to be sitting in the same prison you are in.” Jake nodded. “Yes I thought the sam….” Jake stared at her in surprise. “ You already decided to take the job? I haven’t even told you half of the story yet, or even discussed salary or terms of employment.” Emily shrugged. ‘How can I resist this opportunity? Its the biggest thing I’m every going to see in my lifetime, no way I’m turning your job offer down.”

She paused for a moment and met Jake’s eyes before she continued. “Jake, whatever it was that happened to me here, it changed something in me. It cured me of a deep seated pain that I thought I would have for the rest of my life. I feel like a different person today and that is not even taking into account the mystery of this place, the beauty, and wonder of it. I’m in, besides didn’t you just say you had and I quote “ Shit loads of gold and gems?” She grinned. Jake rolled his eyes. “Yes there’s gold and gems out the ass here, tons of it. Apparently steel is extremely rare here for some reason, while gold is as common as steel is back on earth.”

“Gold is literally everywhere.” He continued. “ They make door knobs, and dinner plates from it here. Plus, I suspect steel here is likely as valuable here as gold is back on earth, which opens up the prospect of trade with enormous profits.” Emily’s eyes got huge. “Seriously?” She asked. Jake nodded. “Seriously. Name your price, just keep in mind that we have to figure out a way to convert that gold into cold hard cash, and get said cash into bank accounts in a way that its legal. Iv already learned hauling it around to jewelry stores and pawn shops is a real pain in the ass, we need a better plan than that.” Emily grinned, “Oh I think I can help you with those issues for a million dollars up front as a signing bonus, another million a year, plus expenses.” With another five million placed in a emergency fund, that becomes mine if the shit hits the fan.”

Jake whistled. “ A million a year, plus expenses, plus a million signing bonus, and five million severance package? That’s seven million dollars up front just to hire you Emily. Emily nodded. “That’s just for the first year, and that’s based on this not getting weird. If it gets weird, I will be getting a pay raise, a big one. Each year after the first year I want a extra million in compensation.” Jake stared at her. “I like you Emily, and you seem very sharp but, that’s a shitload of money, why do you think you are worth that much to me?” Emily shrugged. “Jake, I absolutely love what you have here, and I would probably be involved and help you even if you were flat broke. However, your not broke, and apparently money is no object. I deserve fair compensation for my skills, and my risk, and if money is no object, I’m getting very fairly compensated, because my risk is extremely high.”

“Honestly, you cant afford to not hire me Jake. I can think of a hundred different ways this will all come crashing down without some very professional help, from many different areas, and I can either provide that help, or refer you to a trusted expert who can help. Just one wrong slip, just one missing permit, just one missed bribe, just one angry inspector, just one nosy IRS agent, just one funny looking bank transaction that gets the attention of just one eager bank bank manager and you will have the full weight of the government down upon you, you will be in prison, and your grandfathers dream dead and buried in some deep dark government project. Lets not forget something Jake, while this project is your legacy, and it belongs to you, and your assuming the most risk here.  Don’t you forget my risk that I will be exposed to. I will be putting my name on the line here, I will be ass deep in this scheme from the beginning and in my estimation, the risk of discovery will only grow greater each year as more people become involved in it.

Plus, if it blows up I will be risking prison just like you, it will also likely be the end of my career and I would like to have a retirement account I could depend on should I find a need to suddenly move to a foreign country with no extradition treaty with the united states.” Jake smiled. That’s a good argument, would you really have done it for free if I were broke?” Emily nodded. “Oh, hell yes I would. This is the opportunity of a lifetime, its definitely worth going to jail over, if anything is, this is. Lucky for me however your loaded, so I don’t have to do it for free.” She smiled a big smile. Jake sighed. “Any other requirements?” Emily nodded. “A few things, yes. Full medical, I am a equal partner in everything. I have full access to all information, the full records in every business, your full plans as soon as you think of them, I have equal say in hiring and firing, You do not make any decisions without my input.

If I tell you to do something business related, you do it, no questions asked. Plus, if you ever lie to me about anything related to the business, I’m free to leave and take my five million retirement with me.” Jake looked shocked. Your asking a lot Emily, maybe too much, you would have more say in this project than I will.” He felt defeated, he could not agree to all of this, and he had been betting everything she was going to be the one to help him. Emily saw how Jake slumped in defeat, she hated to do this to him, but it had to be done. She sighed heavily, it didn’t mean she liked doing it though. “Look Jake, Yes, I am asking a lot from you, but I don’t think you really understand what your asking from me. You are not asking me to help you open your own Burger King Franchise Jake, there is nothing innocent about this project.

Every single thing about what we will be doing is illegal, every little last bit of it.We are in a conspiracy to break the law right this second, and everything we do after this is illegal due to that conspiracy. We will be creating businesses for the sole reason to launder illegal untaxed money, created by selling illegal untaxed gold, with profits that will not be taxed and to purchase and move materials purchased with those funds, to provide support for another highly illegal activity. While creating falsified bank accounts, using falsified records, using creative tax and accounting practices to move those illegal funds, for those illegal projects.

If we are caught, id be looking at prison just the same as you, no way I could claim to be a unwitting accomplice, who didn’t know what was going on. I don’t deal in illegal activities Jake, I never have, If this were any other situation I would walk away and never look back.” Jake interrupted her. “For someone who does not do anything illegal, you sure seem to know a lot about how to skirt the law.” Emily nodded. “I have learned how people operate in the shadows by dealing with people on a regular basis who do break the law for a living. I’v learned how they do it, and I know how to do it myself. I’v just always refused to do that sort of thing, there’s a difference between working closely with criminals, and being a criminal yourself.”

Jake’s eyebrow rose in surprise. “Really? How, whats the difference?” He asked. Emily looked hard at him. “Policemen work with criminals everyday, as do prosecutors, judges, lawyers, doctors, mental health experts and more. Are you saying they become criminals, just because they know how criminals think, and know how they behave?” Jake shook his head. “Obviously not.” He felt bad for accusing her. “ I’m sorry Emily, please continue.” Emily nodded. “As I was saying, The only reason I am even considering getting into this illegal assed mess with you at all is because its such a amazing opportunity. I think your right, I believe this will be huge some day, possibly the biggest single thing to ever happen to anyone and if I pass on it now, I know I will really regret it someday. Some things are worth risking jail over Jake. But just because I’m willing to risk jail, does not mean I actually want to go to jail.

That’s why I want equal control, full access and a say in every single decision. You might think a decision is a simple affair, while I can look at that same decision and see how it could wreak havoc with the secrecy of the entire project, due to a jurisdictional issue, a importation issue, a permitting issue, a licensing issue, a banking regulation issue, hell, just taking one of these delicious fruits back home with us is illegal, and could bring hell down on us if the right person took notice of it. Its the little details that fuck you much more often than the big ones. Like a terrorist getting caught because he had a broken tail light, and not when he blew up a building full of innocent people.

Yes, I demand a high price for my services, as I’m sure my uncle warned you, and I demand a lot of control, but since its my ass that will be going to prison, I feel I’m entitled to full access and be well compensated for my time. I might have done this for free if you were broke, however I’d still have demanded full access, and equal say in things. Its still your project Jake, I don’t want to control it, its your baby, you direct its course, I just need to have the decisions ran by me first before you implement them. Do you understand now??

Jake nodded. “Yes, I understand, and I agree. I really have not thought about it the way you just described it to me. I figured I just needed a little help, I never really thought about how the projects discovery could impact you as well, I was mainly just worried about losing my families legacy, and my ass going to jail, I never really considered what you might have to lose. We have a deal, ill sign the contract as soon as you put it in front of me.” Emily smiled broadly at him. “You also need to know that you will be my only client from now on, I have a feeling that keeping your little scheme here secret will be a full time job. Now, how about you tell me what you have been up to so far, and how you paid for everything, I’m almost afraid to find out.”

Jake explained everything he had done so far, from selling the gems, to his deal with Josephson construction in building the new building, and everything else he could think of that was related to the business, he answered a few questions when Emily asked them, finally she was done. “How bad did I screw up?” Jake asked. Emily grinned. “Honestly, not half bad. You were smart enough to use a fake name when dealing with the jewelry stores, and your deal with Josephson was not half bad either, hes not likely to want to admit he stole all that money from his company, and turning you in would accomplish just that, and you compensated him extremely well for his work, which should have left him liking you as its financially rewarding for him. Requiring only one set of plans, and nondisclosure agreements for the workers was very smart as well, putting cash on prepaid cards will work for small purchases, but we have to get started on bigger things when we get back.

I have a contact I know who can move probably ten million a month in precious gems, and another who could move several million in gold, with the proceeds direct deposited into account’s in the Bahamas I will open for you, you wont have to do anything but hand over the loot to them. The money is moved through dozens of shell corporations then cashed out, and then redeposited in different amounts into different banks. These banks will be located in several different countries, before finally ending up in multiple different accounts that would be almost impossible to trace back to the original source.

Some of those accounts will be set up and used to purchase surplus equipment from  your business, then another more legitimate accounts will be used to purchase the equipment from the government auctions that you will be reselling at a nice fat profit. In effect you will be buying and selling to yourself, and occasionally selling to other legitimate purchasers and mixing more legally obtained cash with your own. The legal after tax profits you earn will grow quickly, and give you capital to purchase whatever you need for the project. Its a hell of a lot more complicated than I’m describing it, but that’s the end result, plus you will have honest to god one hundred percent legal after tax money in legitimate American bank accounts.” Jake looked lost. “Emily laughed Don’t worry, I have it covered. Best of all I will be working as your attorney, and you are my client, which gives us a lot of protection from government meddling.

Jake looked surprised. “You’re a actual lawyer?” Emily nodded. Among other things, I’m also a certified accountant, a licensed pilot, a registered nurse and paramedic, and a few other things, I even speak four languages fluently, and can get by in three or four more. I have started down several different career paths in my life, but found I get bored easily, eventually I realized I’m much happier when I get to use a wide variety of skills that challenge me, and offer me a lot of variety. Its how I ended up in this job, travel, adventure, excitement and using my wits to stay ahead of my rivals. I love it.”

“How much cash do you still have in the bank?” She asked. “Jake thought for a minute. “Right around fifty thousand bucks, why?” Emily smiled. “Because we are going to start your surplus business first, and use that fifty thousand to start bidding on auctions. Its important that we start with a clean spotless account, where the origin of the accounts origin is easily tracible. When we sell something the incoming money will go into that clean account. Later on we will split some of the clean money to open other business accounts.” She suddenly broke out into a huge yawn, and stretched. “Guess its bedtime, going to have some busy days ahead of us.”

Jake pulled the tattered blanket over him and lay there for a while thinking about everything that had happened, and how lucky he had been to find someone like Emily to help him in this. It was a huge relief to finally have some help, and enormous relief to finally have shared the secret with someone. He was asleep in seconds.

“Are you sure its in this direction? Jake asked. Emily groaned. “That’s the fifth time you have asked me that, its not like I have been here before. The woman in my dream said the portal lies towards the rising sun.” Jake pushed aside another thick bush and squeezed past. The forest here was extremely thick, and high rocky cliffs pressed close around them making the walking difficult. “I know.” Jake replied.” Its just we have been walking towards the sun for hours, I don’t see how we could have been carried this far. We are about to hit the cliffs in front of us, when we do we will have to go back and try a different route.” Jake wheezed as he gasp for air, and paused a moment as he sucked in several deep breaths. “Jesus, this thin high altitude air is kicking my ass. I thought the portal was at the highest location in the valley, we must be above it somehow.”

Emily was panting for air behind him. “Iv never been to any real high mountains before, is feeling like this normal? I feel like I’m about to die, like I cant get enough air.” She asked. Jake took a sip of water from his canteen nodding as he gulped the ice cold water. “Yes, the higher you go, the thinner the air, the portal is located at around ten thousand feet, the cottage was much higher than that, s we have been walking downhill for hours now. Id bet some of the big mountains here are at least as high as Mt Everest, hell maybe even bigger for all I know.” Emily groaned. Well this thin air might be normal, but it fucking sucks to breathe, just walking is taking everything I have to just put one foot in front of another. I’m glad everything is at a lower altitude, cause if not I might be rethinking getting involved in this mess.” Jake nodded in agreement. “How are your feet doing? The boots working ok?” Emily raised one of her feet showing the old army boot. “Yup, the boots are awesome, it would have really sucked to be walking all this way barefoot.” Jake stepped forward and moved another thick bush aside and paused in surprise. “Looks like there’s a cave opening, huh, I can see light on the other side.” The walked carefully through fifty feet of cave and emerged out the other side in more thick bushes, ahead of them the forest was lighter, and they soon discovered they had emerged at the far end of the field where the portal was located.
Link Posted: 1/24/2019 9:34:54 PM EDT
Thanks for the update. Look forward to story development. I read many stories here and elsewhere. I read more than I watch TV. I don’t really care about grammar, punctuation or formatting. Keep writing @buck19delta.
Link Posted: 1/25/2019 11:38:41 AM EDT
I rewrote a lot of the last entry above, might want to go reread it, as its got a lot of new stuff added to it. the newer stuff will be posted below when I get it done..
Link Posted: 1/25/2019 2:58:49 PM EDT
[Last Edit: buck19delta] [#50]
They also realized they were not alone, in the field between them and the portal stood three large figures, they could not see what they looked like as the sun was behind them casting their features in shadow. Jake moved to pull Emily back into the bushes before they were spotted, but realized it was too late for that. A roar went up as the figures spotted them, and immediately began to run towards them. Jake cursed. “Shit, Emily, get close to me, make sure your rifle is ready to fire.” Emily groaned from exhaustion. “I don’t suppose that’s the welcome wagon here to bring us refreshments?” Jake snickered. “That would be nice, but, I doubt it very much.” The figures were closing the distance between them quickly, muted roars could be heard coming from them, their arms were raised above their heads and they were brandishing various weapons, one looked to have a club, another a axe, and the last looked to have a sword of some kind, they were huge, and he thought he spotted horns on their heads.

Suddenly Jake realized what they were. “Fuck, they are Orc’s Emily, shoot them !” Jake raised his rifle and dumped a burst of rifle fire into the one on the right, he saw the bloom of blood where his bullets hit. “Yeah, got you sucker!” he thought. He was swinging towards the next target when he realized the first one had stumbled, and slowed for a moment, but then roared in pain and anger and started charging them again. Jake started firing again and cursing nonstop. “Shit! Shit! Shit!Shit! Shit!” Jake dumped two more bursts into his Orc, his weapon ran dry right as it pitched foreward onto its face no more than fifty yards away. He dropped the empty magazine from his rifle, as he fought to pull a fresh one from his vest, never taking his eyes off the two remaining Orcs as they rapidly closed the distance between them. Jake screamed at her. “Emily, fucking shoot them !”

Emily gaped in shock at the huge monsters who were running towards them in long powerful strides.She didn’t know what she should do, surely she was not going to have to shoot someone today. She had received a lot of tactical training over the years and been in many dangerous places, but she had never actually had to shoot someone. Suddenly Jake yelled something about Orc’s and opened fire on them with his rifle. She stared in shock as she saw his bullets hit the one on the right multiple times, splattering blood all across its chest, but incredibly all the creature did was stumble a moment, and then started running even faster screaming in rage and pain.

How was that even possible? Jake kept firing at the thing and all Emily could do was stare in shocked fascination as everything unfolded in front of her. The unstoppable creature suddenly pitched forward onto its face, just as Jake’s weapon stopped firing. She didn’t know what to do, she glanced at the other two creatures, and saw something that broke her out of her shock, and brought her back to reality. The two remaining creatures were sporting huge erect penises, that were slapping back and forth as they ran, and suddenly a entry from the journal echoed through her mind. “A favorite hobby of theirs is rape, male or female makes no difference to them, and generally those victims are raped to death. Nice, huh?” Something inside her snapped.

Emily threw the little rifle against her shoulder and opened fire on the two remaining Orcs, She went totally numb and just kept her front sight on the Orc’s head and gently stroked the trigger over and over. Suddenly something slammed her knocking the breath out of her and everything went dark.

Jake finally yanked the magazine out of his vest, and watched in shock as it slipped out of his grasp and fell towards the ground. No time to reload, he dropped his rifle on its sling and grabbed for his pistol. He knew they were dead, if it took a whole magazine to kill one of the things, no way was he going to kill two with his pistol in time to stop them. He brought his pistol up and managed to pull the trigger one time before the charging Orc’s slammed into them knocking him hard onto the ground and his pistol flew from his hand.

Jake hit the ground hard, and grabbed for his knife, ripping it from its sheath and attacking the nearest Orc who had fallen on the ground beside him, he stabbed it repeatedly in the back and when it was not moving he turned to the next one, and suddenly realized it was not moving either. Suddenly he heard muffled screaming. It was Emily screaming. “Get this thing the fuck off of me ! Get it off of me ! Get it the fuck off !” He suddenly realized one of the huge Orc’s was laying on top of her, he could see her legs and feet poking out from under its huge body. Jake grabbed a huge blood streaked arm in his hands and pulled as hard as he could, and slowly pulled the huge creature off of her, the damn thing had to weigh over five hundred pounds. Something popped painfully in his back under the stain and he knew he would be hurting bad after this.

The enormous horrific smelling creature slid off Emily and she gulped in a deep breath, choked then rolled over and vomited onto the ground next to her, fruity sour tasting vomit spewed from between her lips. Jake was terrified for her, sure she had been badly hurt, either physically or emotionally. He reached down and pulled her out from under the dead Orc and plopped her onto her feet beside him. She had a wild crazed look on her blood smeared face, her hair was sticking every where like a crazy woman and tears were streaming down her cheeks. Jake reached to comfort her, and she shoved him aside, angrily causing him to fall backwards over one of the dead Orc’s. “Get the fuck off me!”  she screamed.

“Oh you dirty fucking stank assed mother fuckers ! Jake rolled to get back to his feet as more gunfire popped off, were there more Orc’s? Fuck !He reached for his rifle but found the sling had been ripped off his vest. He spun towards the gunfire, and stopped cold when he realized Emily was shooting the dead Orc’s with her pistol and screaming obscenities at them the entire time. Her pistol ran dry and she dropped onto the back of the closest one and began beating its head with her empty pistol causing blood and brains to splatted all over her.

Jake Scrambled to find his rifle, then reloaded it, and then grabbed his pistol and scanned the field for more Orc’s, hoping like hell there were none. Emily’s enraged screams continued the entire time. When he realized there were no more Orc’s coming, he went to Emily and wrapped his arms around her and lifted her off the Orc’s back, holding her tight against his chest, with her arms pinned so she could not hurt him, she continued screaming obscenities directed at him now. He whispered calming words to her over and over, and finally she fell limp in his arms. “I’m okay now Jake, please let me go.” she said. He released her, and she immediately retrieved her rifle and pistol and reloaded them both, then came and stood beside him again. She spoke first.“I cant fucking believe how awful these fucking things are.” Jake nodded. “ Yeah, they are monsters right out of a nightmare. Hey, you killed two by yourself, how did you do that?” He asked. She shrugged. “I just did a failure to stop drill, and aimed for the head same as you would for someone wearing body armor.” “Dang.” Jake replied. “Yeah, ill make sure to aim for the head in the future.” Emily shook her head. “I don’t plan to be in a position where I will have to be shooting these things if I can help it. Take me back Jake, I need to get drunk.”

Jake nodded, I need one too. The portals right over there. I’m just glad your okay, um, you are okay right, shooting someone can really fuck with you bad?” Emily looked at him. No, I’m not okay, but I think I will be. I didn’t shoot a person Jake, those things back there, they might have two arms and two legs and a head, but they are not fucking people, its more like I killed a rabid bear. A rabid fucking rapist bear.” She shuddered. “I’m glad I killed them and I wont lose any sleep over killing them either.” Jake nodded but didn’t reply. Emily spoke again. “Hey, whats that?” She said and pointed towards a bloody brown covered lump that was laying on the ground next to the portal.

She poked it with the barrel of her rifle, and the lump made a distinctively female sounding groan of pain. “Jesus Jake, its a little girl ! Emily dropped her rifle and rolled the kid over onto her back, and brushed her filthy blood stained hair out of her pale little face, the child looked pitiful and moaned softly in pain. “Please help me Emily, save me from the bad monsters.” The little girl pleaded weakly, then she passed out.

Emily quickly examined her, running her hands gently over the little girls body as she checked her for injuries. Then she turned to Jake. Shes dehydrated, has a few broken ribs, a few deep cuts, and maybe internal injuries as well, shes been beaten badly and probably has a concussion.” Emily turned to Jake and she had tears running down her face. “And shes been raped Jake, some fucking bastard raped this helpless little girl!” We need to get her some help, get that damn portal open now!” Jake ran to get the generator running and a few moments later they both ran through the portal together, with Emily carrying the poor little girl in her arms.

In their haste to get the injured little girl to safety, neither one of them noticed a flicker of movement on the edge of the woods. A blob of constantly changing color shot across the open ground towards the portal, just before it got to the inky blackness of the portal it stopped. The blob shifted to the same inky blackness of the portal, until the two became indistinguishable in color, then the blob slipped through the portal just moments before it blinked out of existence.

Emily shot out of the portal with the bleeding, crying little girl clutched tightly in her arms. Jake pointed towards a corner. Medical supplies are over there!” Emily didn’t even hesitate, she ran to the table in the corner and placed he little girl on the table. She grabbed the medical cart and dug into it searching for supplies. Jake stood beside her unsure how he should help. Behind them both a large inky black blob exited the portal  just a moment before the portal blinked out of existence behind it. The blob quickly moved into the corner of the room where it froze, it almost instantly changed color again to exactly match the white wall behind it, rendering it completely invisible, as if it was not even there, impossible to detect with the eye.
Emily rummaged through the first drawer finding that it was filled with drugs, everything from pain killers to include morphine, to anti seizure meds, atropine, and everything in between. The next was bandages, the next was filled with intravenous iv solutions. She grabbed one along with the correct tubing and catheter needle. She hung the bag, cleaned the little girls arm with a alcohol wipe and started to insert the needle into the girls tiny little arm.

The small weak little girl suddenly became much stronger as she fought against Emily and the needle. “Noooo, Nooooo, don’t hurtttt meeeee!” She wailed. Emily tried to comfort her, its okay sweety, this is medicine, it will make you better.” The little girl was not having it, she screamed louder. “Noooooo, Jake, shes hurting me ! Please make her stopppp!” Jake’s heart was breaking. Emily, do you have to do that right now? Shes terrified.” Emily turned on Jake. Its important ! Her veins could collapse, and we might not be able to get the needle into a vein later, she needs these fluids now !” He looked shocked. “Oh, ok. Hey, look sweety, aunt Emily is just trying to help you, its ok, we wont hurt you.” The little girl fought harder.

Suddenly a fierce female voice called out scaring the hell out of both of them. “You are in danger, step away from the child, now ! Emily was fighting the little girl,and could not turn to look, but Jake raised his rifle and swept the room, ready to engage the strange woman, but found the room behind them totally empty. “Who is it.” Emily asked? “Did someone follow us through the portal?” Jake was flummoxed. “There’s no one here.” He replied nervously as he searched the empty room with his eyes and rifle muzzle. “The rooms empty.” Emily was still fighting the little girl. “Well I heard someone !”

The fierce voice spoke again, the sound seeming to come out of the thin air. “You are in great danger foolish humans, you do not know with what you meddle! Step away from the child!” Jake gripped his rifle tighter. “Did you hurt the little girl? We will not let you have her whoever you are.” The voice seemed to be coming from everywhere at once. “Tis not a child fool, tis a demon, step away before it is too late !” Jake looked around wildly, but could not see anything. “Its a child, any idiot can see that.” He exclaimed.

“Show yourself woman.” Suddenly Emily screamed as the little girl bit her. She lost her grip and the little girl crawled up her back and wrapped her little arms around Emily’s neck. Emily started making choking sounds. Jake turned to help Emily, jeez cant she handle just one little girl? Emily’s face was turning blue and the little girl had a demented look on her face as she choked her with her tiny little hands. Jake tried to keep his rifle pointed in the direction of the voice, as he reached with his other hand to dislodge the girls grip on Emily. The little girl grabbed Jake’s extended hand and yanked hard launching him across the room to smack into the wall ten feet away. The little girls cries turned into a shrieking ear splitting squeal not of this earth.

Emily thought she was about to die. She could not breath, she could not break the little girls super human grip, she was incredibly strong. Emily thought she was about to pass out, and likely die when suddenly the air swirled around her and a tall slim woman dressed in medieval looking armor appeared from thin air.

The woman pulled out a necklace with a red stone in it and she deftly dropped it around the little girls neck, and spoke a single word. “Adraplyle!” Instantly the little girl let go of Emily, and fell onto the floor writhing in agony, Emily dropped to the floor just feet in front of the little girl. She lay there gasping for air, when the little girl changed into a little boy, then a dog, then a pig, then a baby Orc, then into a tentacle creature from nightmares. She Screamed and scooted away from the thing stopping only when she hit a wall, she drew her pistol and pointed it between the strange woman and the nightmare creature on the floor. “What the fuck is that thing!?!” Emily screamed. The woman looked at her with pity and she spoke to her gently “Tis a changling, lass. Sometimes called a dopple ganger, a terrible creature of lies and murder. They murder loved ones and replace them with a exact copy, then create fear which they feed on, then later murder those closest to them.” She looked sad. “This one killed my dear sister a month ago, I have been tracking it ever since, to take my revenge.” The woman muttered a few works Emily could not hear clearly, then she dumped a sparkly bluish powder of some kind over the creature. Instantly it caught fire, burning fiercely. The creature writhed and squealed in pain, and was quickly burned to ashes. The woman looked at Emily. “It is done, the murderous creature is no more. What place is this?” How do I return to where I”……. Suddenly the woman jerked and appeared to have a seizure, her slim body arched in pain, and suddenly she collapsed into a heap on the floor.” Behind her, Jake lay on the floor a taser gripped tightly in his hand, blood streamed down his face. Emily ran to him and pulled him into her lap. He whispered something to her. “ 24246” What was that Jake? I cant hear you. "The code." He gasped. “24246”, lock her in a cell before she wakes up”….. Then Jakes eyes rolled back in his head and he was unconscious.
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