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The Alien Orb

 

 

 

The Alien Orb

 

V Bertolaccini

 

 

 

First published 2013 by CB

This edition published 2016 by CB

This is a Shakespir edition 2016

 

Copyright Victor Bertolaccini

 

ISBN: 978-1-3100-8413-3

 

All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopy, recording or otherwise, without prior written permission of the copyright owner. Nor can it be circulated in any form of binding or cover other than that in which it is published and without similar condition including this condition being imposed on a subsequent purchaser.

 

All characters in this publication are fictitious and any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is coincidental.

 

From The Lost Alien Artifact 2 and The Alien Sphere.

Part I

Prologue

 

The Lost Treasure and Magical Orb

 

For centuries legends of lost treasure had been passed on through generations of people, though few details existed, and the occurrences behind them had been too confused and vague. Fundamental facts had been clearly missing that would have allowed people to locate anything thought by them to exist, and nothing had clearly been known to answer the queries of the treasure hunters, who had risked their lives in deadly attempts to explore the castle.

The origins of the castle’s hauntings, from the majority of accumulated sources, had been proven to have occurred around 1620 when fishermen had witnessed the materialization of something of unknown origins, with a bright light of magnitude that had exploded out of the morning mist.

Accounts of it reshaping and continually altering proved that it had altered from something else to something.

According to legends all the people at the castle had been found dead after it had been brought there – with its deadly powers going beyond this universe, opening gateways going beyond space and time – and that valuable treasure had been left near where it had been concealed.

For centuries the lost treasure had been thought to exist there by the few explorers, who had carried out investigations and searches for it, of which many had paid by losing their lives by being in the confines of the castle at the wrong time or place.

The place must have been one of the most dangerous places in the world! People could not survive permanently living in its confines! Even though at times its powers dwindled and some people had managed to survive and escape after living for months there, and had given horrific accounts of the mind-bending wonders and deadliest menaces that they had been subjected to.

At one point, in 1880, to which nobody knows why, its existence had become entirely dormant and a wealthy businessman had found the castle by accident while visiting the region and had bought it from the owners of the land.

He had recognized its value, historical importance, colossal architecture and dimensions, and had seen that it was worthless in the desolate wood, in the middle of nowhere, and had it removed in large sections and shipped across the Atlantic, where he had intended to reconstruct it near New York.

What occurred next was never revealed, and there occurred an extensive amount of lost information, and all that was known was that the owner had died in mysterious circumstances and that the castle had ended up at a different and secret location in the depths of an immense desolate wood, hidden away from anyone locating it, with what was there activated again.

 

 

 

 

I

 

The Lost Treasure

 

 

Chapter 1

 

The Deadliest Treasure

 

The sounds had initially been astonishing! Now they had gone beyond, and were mind-bending! They came screaming up through the shaft with a dangerous fury that stunned Pendleton, and no matter how he tried to shake it off and contemplate identities his thoughts never altered or formed stable recognitions.

Clouds of powdered dirt and stone swirled about through beams of lights from the above lights as he released some more rope, edging him downwards, seeking to get hold of the treasure.

The Second World War was still going, but just about over, and Pendleton realized that he had avoided being killed after all, and wondered if he was going to be killed here instead, and was unsure what was worse.

He groaned and dangled about on his rope, and grabbed hold of part of a castle boulder, while glimpsing parts of the shaft above, wondering if he could have wangled his way out of it. But it was not really them and he really wanted to do it, and he wanted to explore the castle shaft. He had always wanted to explore and discover something new of value and greatness, and perhaps even be remembered in history.

What interested and terrified them was why the treasure was hidden in such a place with such occurrences!

What was it they were dealing with anyway? Why was it there in such a far out place? Was the stuff protected by something?

Something of unfathomable unidentifiable supernatural nature sounded as though it were under the castle, in some form of magnetic field or energy field, trapped or trying to free itself from something, ultimately escaping to another location of liberty, and he tried imagining some form of spirit trapped there every night for hundreds of years, perhaps in an ancient dungeon. Yet again even that could not explain it, or anything!

“Have you found if it’s down there?” Henrik shouted down, in a combination of extreme annoyance and confusion, with a way that gave Pendleton the impression that the two archaeologists up above might be on the edge of considering doing something extreme, and beyond their normal. Though Norgrove, the other archaeologist, gave him the impression that he had waited all his life to be here!

He again started to realize the implications of the find and that they would have to check what was there, no matter what.

He quickly shouted up: “You investigated all these walls?”

“Yes!” Norgrove replied. “We used all the best equipment.”

“We’re the only ones here and that know about it?” he replied, still trying to find out more about what was happening, and they were allowing him to know. Basically it was just them three there at the great old immense haunted castle, buried away in the wood, at the location that they had traced the treasure to.

Yet they could have left the task until the morning but they could not wait. They had waited too long and had gone too far to get their hands on it, and he just wanted to get it.

What the hell difference did it make if it was morning or night? It was dark there in the tunnel at both times!

He wondered why the lights were above, and why he never had one, and shouted up, “Are you two coming down here or what?”

The two archeologists shifted into the shaft and made their way down, with the lights, and he observed them, and realized why they had not given him a light, and that he was like a worm on a fishing line, and there to check what the score was. The two also had trouble climbing in and down, and were overweight and bulky, and he was better at climbing than they were. They would have a hard time getting back up again! And he even wondered if they would camp the night at the bottom or something, if they were too tired and sleepy, which made him gasp again when he thought about it, and he lodged his boot into a gap between two of the boulders, to rest his tired body.

“What did they find out?” he muttered, mainly to himself, and wondered what he was missing again.

“There are other small shafts running through here …” Henrik called down, dangling overhead, who had stopped to examine a small hole in the shaft, he had missed in the darkness there.

“Ventilation shafts that connect together,” Norgrove continued. “They must run through most of the building.”

“I agree! I’m sure they are for an ancient ventilation …” Henrik continued, sticking his head up close, and shining his light in the hole and looking along it.

“What else could it be?” Pendleton asked.

“They could have been used to build it …” Henrik replied, moving away, looking for something else.

Pendleton wondered how high up they were, as the height of the castle was immense, and they had been on the top floor, and they never knew how far underground it went, and the blackness there looked like an abyss.

The height of the castle was incredible, as well as the length being massive with rooms and corridors going out everywhere, especially with there being no proper lighting, and he had not thought such a construction was possible at the date that they had given. It was also unbelievable that somebody had managed to ship the thing over to America, and when it must have happened, in such large sections and fit them together.

How could people spend so much on such things and leave them derelict, out in such desolate woods? Why had it not even been put out in the open for everyone to see?

Pendleton gasped as he recalled the legends and what had already happened, and wondered if this would be his death, in a death or glory situation.

For a moment he wondered if it had actually come from Transylvania and had vampires, and realized that if it were at least he would be still around as a vampire. At times he had thought it had similarities to castles over there.

“So are we going down …?” Henrik asked firmly, watching Pendleton’s peculiar expressions in his light, from overhead.

“You could send down a camera with a light attached?” Norgrove moaned sarcastically, and Pendleton started to move off from the wall where he was resting against, and prepared himself, and took glances at what was below as he started going down, but even with the lights being closer it never revealed anything new.

The rope suddenly started swaying and vibrating furiously, giving the impression that Henrik was frantically doing something against Pendleton’s rope, and he glanced up and realized Henrik was climbing up for some reason, and he gasped when he realized Norgrove’s face was frantic and that the two were actually desperately trying to escape from there, almost slipping trying to climb up, which amused him for a moment, bewildered at their sudden change of attitude.

As he tried to see what was going on he noticed that light across his front was not coming downwards from them but shining upwards from something below, and his eyes fixed onto a strange orb of light floating upwards.

“Get me out of here!” Henrik hollered, making Pendleton shudder and try to escape for his life.

Pendleton even thought of removing his harness and plunging down, and perhaps allowing him to have the fate of dying on the ground below, and having a normal human death.

With a loud thud Norgrove came crashing down to his original position after slipping, and clouds of gray dust flew up and blinded Pendleton as it went into his face and lungs, and he went crashing into the wall.

He groaned and dangled about on the rope, glimpsing parts of the shaft around him, mentally exhausted, needing sleep, allowing himself just to go into sleep state, wondering if he could somehow wangle his way out of it. But it was not a matter of persuading himself of anything, it was really happening, and he wished what was going to happen would just happen.

If he had only known all those years ago what would end up happing, he would have forced himself to forget about such ventures.

Sounds were now screaming out at him and he realized how loud they had become, from the abyss below, as if a gateway into hell were there, with him suspended over it on a thin rope, spinning endlessly, waiting to descend into its hideous reaches.

How had they managed to talk him into this? One minute they had been chasing treasure and the next a castle mysteriously appears into it, and he had been dumped with their theories, and then with the shaft.

He jerked, startled, hearing a sort of scream, almost human but somehow different, as though out of a distant strange place, and he visualized it out in space, in blackness.

There were traces of rotted vegetation floating in the light coming down from overhead, as they still continued to climb out.

Some of the blocks of stone about him resembled the stones in Egyptian pyramids. They were strange things to use to build, but they were hard to penetrate, and needed in a good castle.

He realized sounds were now not emerging from under him but coming were from somewhere above, and then they started emerging about him and he listened intensely with confusion.

Sounds manifested everywhere as though invisible creatures were surrounding them, and strange glowing and swirling forces formed and went about them and telepathic figures like spirits with shrouds swirled about it, wailing and screaming, and he partially entered a dream state, and as it increased he believed he was holding onto reality.

A bright explosion of colors exploded out making him come to, and realized the thing below him had reached him and he opened his eyes wide and examined his surroundings and saw that he was no longer in the shaft, and dazed and confusedly he examined his surroundings and an immense whirlpool of shifting outlines magically shifted by, and he studied everything and realized that he had no body or proper presence and was some form of energy formation shifting around with other similar formations, and that he was swirling out into a vortex of reshaping energy patterns that replaced reality, with transforming elements altering to something that he could not recognize.

If he had died and gone into the afterlife why was it so strange? Why it was there mesmerized him! Was he classified as being anything? Where was it? Reality was no more than magically spinning patterns and he wondered how worse the situation could get, realizing that he could be trapped there for all eternity!

 

Chapter 2

 

The Lost Castle

 

The whole story was incredible now and Bryson could hardly believe anything, and what had occurred. The events of the past weeks were astounding and he could hardly believe that they were on the trail of another treasure quest.

The last shreds of sunlight had vanished beneath the wood behind them, and well below the horizon, with the deep black winter night there engulfing them, and Bryson studied his surroundings over and over trying to explain why the wood so closely resembled the wood surrounding Grovnor Castle.

The wood looked almost the same in places, and he considered their search for the castle in what must be one of the most desolate regions of the US. They had not seen anyone for many miles, and planes even seemed to avoid flying there.

The fifteen members of the team (including him, and Merton and Mortimer), had been put together by him and Mortimer, and were mainly made up of archaeologists, scientists, ex-military, and explorers, who had experience in searching, examining, documenting, and detecting what they might miss, or there to help or defend them.

The adventure brought him back to life after a long length of inactivity and lack of anything of interest. At times he still could not believe that there was another castle, and that anything existed there! And that there had actually been a similar castle near Grovnor Castle at one time!

The last castle exploration, after all the findings and evidence they had collected, in the end seemed to add up to little, and he still now occasionally thought they had found something else.

It was winter and deep snow shrouded the jungle of vegetation around them, and he realized again that they would have to camp there. And having not slept outdoors in winter he gasped at sleeping in such thick cold snow, and considered if they would find his remains there one day, and wonder why they had done it.

The snow landscape was untouched by human hands, and at times empty of sound, and had a deep silence that he had only heard in thick winter snow landscapes. It reminded him of another world! An empty wood absence of life with faint mist surrounding regions around them.

What was shocking was how easily they could get lost, and he was unsure if they even knew accurately where they were. They knew where they had come from and what they would eventually arrive at after days of falling a compass, but not what was there about them. They had been unable to get a helicopter to search, but if they had waited and went far enough he was sure they could.

There was nothing to recognize anywhere, and he watched some of the men attempt to use communications devices to give updates on what was happening without picking up anything.

They were all getting too exhausted wading through the deep snow areas to do and recognize anything significant, and the first peculiarity he noticed was a distant hum, similar to a distant engine whirling, out at an unknown place, which shadowed them, and drove him insane trying to identify it.

Their legs almost became stuck in deep bogs of stinking vegetation buried below the snow, which resembled quicksand as it grew in depth, and they were hidden, even under intense lights, and Bryson started to wonder if they could even find somewhere that they could actually camp over. There was a definite look of a swamp emerging around them!

A cold haze edged its way over the trees and undergrowth and they started slowing, and allowing themselves to rest. It was nothing like anything that he had seen elsewhere.

He could not get if it was a strange environment about him, something strange existing there, or a combination of things that created different reactions.

Strange vapor clouds shifted about their sides, always shadowing them, at about the distance – as if they were probing them, and analyzing them for some purpose.

Nobody said anything about it but most looked like they were wondering if any of it had intelligence, and sometimes pondered vaguely watching it linger over deep pools of slime in the mind-bending landscape.

When more confident it existed Bryson watched it to find out what form of life it could be. What did it use to exist? What was it doing?

He wished he could get some samples from it, but decided to wait or leave it, and they would check if it was dangerous.

Gusts of freezing wind blew and withdrew simultaneously in opposite directions, blowing and sucking, giving him the feeling that something invisible nearby was breathing over them, something of supernatural or alien nature, like a hungry beast breathing over its prey, perhaps with saliva dripping from its mouth, or something was there and the environment was reacting to its presence and its paranormal powers.

Though the tiredness and lengthy day were affecting him and most of the others, Merton and Mortimer, the two paranormal scientists loved it, he was sure, and seemed to come to life more, as they always did in such situations, and at night.

They had become famous celebrities and the media had given them coverage for weeks at one point, and their technology had vastly improved, and if they found anything they would bring in all their new equipment to investigate everything that they could.

Since their investigations of Grovnor Castle and all the proven details had been released, what everyone had experienced there, people’s thoughts on it had seemed to alter more and more in the direction of there not being anything there, and there being no evidence of anything, and he had seen the problem again and again that people were not going to believe anything unless they were confronted with it, and that the two scientists had work to do.

He never got why they had not become conventional scientists like him! Surely they were good enough to become immensely wealthy and could lead the way in some other field?

Many of scientists were working on what it had been at one point, and again they all returned to their original thoughts.

Even though he also wished to investigate everything there, as they were sure to experience something, going by all the facts given. Yet he was starting to remember all the dangers and last encounters that had occurred.

The two paranormal scientists had tried informing others, not with them now, of their investigations of paranormal disturbances that could be there, and had soon withheld their research from them when they had found out that they did not accept anything of that nature, without total positive proof, and they avoided giving any details of anything of that nature, especially to the people there that had been in the military, including Mitchell, the head of them, who were there to help them and with any dangers and to investigate further.

They had given Mitchell some of their findings and thoughts of paranormal activity and strange occurrences occurring there, and he had given them his thoughts about it and that he was not fully sure what to make of it as they had not proven anything.

On the day before they had arrived there Mitchell had been amazed at the findings of the scientists when they had given him more, as they had believed that they should, as that they believed they would encounter more.

Nobody, not even the two paranormal scientists, knew what was there, and they withdrew saying anything.

Mitchell had wished to join the two paranormal scientists, as he had wished to investigate things further, and if they had found something, and he mostly wanted to find the treasure and anything else buried away there,

As they journeyed on Bryson watched the gray mist thicken, and it start to surround them, and snow and swamp pools increase.

As they marched on behind Mitchell they almost walked into the mist, while ignoring it, and more and more of them started getting nervous and begin complaining to Mitchell, who ignored it at first, with being so determined to achieve something. They knew the vague region of where the castle was supposed to be, as they had checked some of the region it could only be in.

Bryson’s legs became stuck in deep bogs of freezing water and he knew that they would have to do something soon, and watched the others and noticed that they were mainly holding back complaining.

It was then when they slowed that he properly looked about, and realized that the fog formed a perfect circle right around them, at the same distance all the way round, and was intensifying, and he wondered what they were trapped in.

“Where are we going …?” one of Mitchell’s men finally spluttered, fighting for air, furious that he had been put in a situation.

Mitchell stopped and showed how annoyed he was at the way things were going, and walked back towards them.

“We better agree to something …” he moaned, giving glances about at things and the mess of his expedition.

“Where can we go?” Merton continued, wondering what they’d do next. Barely able to realize what the outcome of such a situation could be.

Mitchell removed his phone and tapped it repeatedly against his large jaw, as he now had a habit of doing when in deep thought, considering trying to use it again to get help, which he really knew would not work, and which had been his main answer to such situations before they had lost using the communications.

It was then as they all waited for the outcome and his solution that one of his men shrieked out from behind them, and they turned slowly to see what was there.

The man had removed his gun and he swiftly fired it at something hidden in the trees, like an ancient gunfighter, and it swiftly smashed into a tree, with the loud explosion temporarily deafening them and sending piled up snow falling from the trees all around them.

All of Mitchell’s men removed their weapons and stood in a circle covering every area around them.

“What’s there?” Mitchell asked, vaguely confused, not seeing anything but the surrounding mist getting in the way.

“You never saw that thing …” the man that fired the shot moaned, slightly satisfied by his dramatic display and the deadliness of his weapon.

Everyone stood confused, especially by what he meant by thing!

Then, out of nowhere, a light emerged out of the mist, and Bryson stood considering if it was what he had seen at the last castle or if it was something new.

Its radiance pulsated like a mechanical life form, magically illuminating the snow and trees, stretching shadows from everything everywhere.

While they silently observed it loud pounds of something of immense weight rushed around, causing them to scurry away from the location.

 

Chapter 3

 

The Things in the Wood

 

They furiously shifted through the swamp, shifting over to hard ground, and to safety.

“You never saw that thing did any of you?” Mitchell moaned, dissatisfied by their actions and retreat.

Could their weapons have killed it? Was it something new? What could possibly avoid the deadliness of their weapons?

Then, out of nowhere, more lights emerged through the undergrowth with their radiance pulsating like living things, magically illuminating everything far more brightly, blinding their eyes with beams, lighting the snow and trees everywhere and fully showing them their surroundings and all its detail.

Bryson was fascinated by it and everything, and was surprised what the place really looked like. He had thought the other castle could not be worse! And he watched Mitchell and his men remove their weapons, and fired them into a region near the main light, where he had not properly observed, and heavy snow, from the powerful explosions, fell from just about every tree about them.

While they silently observed it deep pounds and creature sounds of things with immense weight rushed around, out of view, unaffected like any normal life forms by the explosions and guns – and made their way towards them – causing them to scurry away.

They furiously moved their legs in and out of bogs, shifting away to another region, with Mitchell and his men in confusion unable fully discover all the results of their actions were and what they were up against – but they had failed and they really knew it!

They ran almost blindly over humps and rough ground, rushing through thick trees and snow, while heavy beast sounds furiously chased, smashing trees down in way, like something out of a strange nightmare.

They were breathless and they could not move fast enough, and a thing was closing in on them.

Suddenly one of the scientists shouted, “Look out there!”

“There’s something!” Mitchell confirmed first. “Quick over there! There’s something there for us …”

Over to their side there was a hill the height of the trees, with its length going far away into the distance, with a cliff front facing them, almost the only place there without any snow over it.

The lights radiated its rock through the wood and they forced their legs to go faster to it. The appearance in the hideous place, out of the night, amidst the jungle of vegetation, was staggering! They just knew it had to be a place of sanctuary!

It was heaven within a phantom zone, out on the edge of realism, beyond the bounds of what lay beyond, and they were rushing away from the depths of hell, trying to return to reality.

For a long time as Bryson rushed along with the others he watched wondering why he and the others were so sure it was an escape from anything! Why was it? What was there? Was it just a hill and cliff? Could these things not climb or something?

Quick glances he gave behind him at the lights surprised him further! The place looked static, with it supernaturally glowing, and as if he were staring at a mind-bending animation, and he thought it was his exhaustion and breathing heavily affecting him.

Branches broke to pieces as they ran through them, as if dead for centuries, and some trees looked as if they were ready to fall into dust and that forces of something supernatural were keeping them in existence.

Behind them shifting lights were darting about through the wood like sparks, and he saw ghost images of creatures shifting about doing hideous things.

Yet all his looks showed him nothing of the heavy sounding beast things, he still occasionally heard rampaging towards them.

The minds of many of the others clearly were conjuring up hidden demons – as they rushed on an on – as they approached the hill – and they looked for ways to avoid them.

They rushed over an area of flat hard ground, clearly made of rock, and staggered up to the hill, where Mitchell moved over to an area next to the cliff, where they could climb up the easiest.

A deep thud like an explosion made the ground around them shudder like an earthquake and they all looked for what it was, but saw nothing except that they had gained some ground, but it was still approaching.

“Over there!” one of Mitchell’s men shouted, pointing. “There’s a cave!”

 

Chapter 4

 

The Cave

 

White radiance streaked in the cave as the last members of the team shifted in, and Bryson saw the lights and things outside shifted away, and he sat wondering why. Even though they had gotten in out of view, through a small gap in the cliff, which led into a long tunnel cave.

They all rested about, ignoring what was outside, and sheltered there and settled down, and Bryson searched around for a proper view of his surroundings. His dreamy sight probed into the tunnel, and into an abyss going deep into the cliff, out of reach of their light beams, where silky dust blew and settled, from the ground as they had rushed in, and some was in his lungs, causing him to convulse, but as he searched about, he covered his mouth with a piece of clothing, allowing him to inhale.

Faint echoes of all their breathing and talking could be heard in an extraordinary silence deeper in, with occasional deep gasps for air from many of the others, and Bryson wondered where the tunnel led to.

“You never saw that thing kill did you?” Mitchell moaned, dissatisfied by the results of the dramatic display and the deadliness of their weapons not having any influence, reminding them of the problems of not having any weapons.

None of the men replied and ignored everything, giving slight occasional glances at the entrance for anything.

Mitchell seemed to recall some of his old training and pointed at the weapons without saying anything, and ordered them to keep them loaded anyway and he had them remove them and practice firing.

“This is one for the books!” he moaned, staggered. “A scenario where weapons have no use … I never thought I’d witness it …”

“Something should affect them!” Mortimer replied for the scientists.

“Thanks! If you could come up with it, I’d like to know it!”

Glimpses of darkened figures of scientists and archaeologists moving deeper into the cave made Bryson stand up, from where he had rested, and he vigorously checked through debris about him, realizing something, and that the cave was a straight line going inwards, and he considered why.

Thick chemical smells from outside blew in, from gusts of wind, from the concentrated swamp pools pouring out gases through the freezing air giving it a sulfur stench, which some of them gave occasional coughs to, when it hit deep in their lungs.

By their anxious reactions he sensed that they believed that something was actually deep in the cave. Although the descriptions that some of the archaeologists gave still made it too unacceptable to him to believe fully what they had suggested, and that the cave could lead somewhere. Yet it would be better for them to go as far into it as they could as if they things returned they stood a better chance away inside, and them not being there if they just looked into the gap in the cliff – and he was sure their voices could be heard outside and they were progressively growing louder, and Mitchell’s men could talk really loud.

What was here? Everything was a mystery all around them! The castle if it existed was specified in vivid detail as something like a specified location of the resting place of something. His mind conjured up vague visions of spooky medieval things roaming ancient dungeons. Yet again it was far too vague and he could not remember anything like it remotely turning true for some reason!

When the scientists and archaeologists that had been deeper into the cave returned, they all started discussing going deeper inwards and everyone seemed to go along with it, especially as they kept suggesting it was warmer and out of the range of the cold wind blowing inwards.

Bryson joined some of the men at the entrance studying the fog clouds over at the swamp areas, seeing what it did, and saw that it reacted little now, now that they were not in it, and he wondered if it was part of something, like animals with poisons and defense systems against being attacked, and he was sure that it was not bothering them now as they were no longer a threat, and near it.

Suddenly, a light appeared deep in the fog to their side, and Mitchell asked them to move in the cave, surely considering the same things. Bryson watched it vibrating and brighten, and a beam pointed near them.

They moved in and away, while one man suggested covering the cave entrance, but they decided not to chance their luck as it may pick up any abnormalities, and even that the entrance was covered up.

 

Chapter 5

 

The Tunnel

 

Bryson rushed along, grasping his torch, and joined Mitchell and Mortimer leading the men into the depths of the tunnel, going below the hill, as the cave descended towards somewhere, nobody there could distinguish.

What could be at the end of such a cave? Bryson and, as far as he saw, nobody else had heard of caves like it. Its walls looked cut by something with a powerful force, and they regularly examined it expecting to see marks from some form of digging machine.

When it changed direction and went from one direction to another they examined its corners trying to see how it had been formed, and what natural occurrence could cause it.

They had started off trying to find a good location to spend the night, and then the further away from the dangers outside they got the happier they were, and the more they explored it the more they wanted to see and discover what was there.

Bryson confusedly looked ahead for anything dangerous to leap out at them. It was surprising now that they had the encounter outside that they left it open and that anything could appear.

Their reactions created a less tense atmosphere amongst them, making Bryson wonder what they were all thinking! What were their true feelings now? He was sure he and Mortimer had different thoughts of things after their past experiences.

It was phenomenal, they had been surely nearly killed and they never had a clue by what! What was its motivation? Was it animal motivations? Did it intend to consume them or kill a danger to it?

Should they leave it there, hidden away at the place, or have the police informed? How would they handle something that was supernatural? He could not decide the outcome of it!

Mitchell was not stupid and he did not push things too far, if he could help it.

One time the light shifted downwards creating a bright circle of light where Bryon could closely examine the dirt and saw the debris from the walls and picked some pieces up and examined it, examining its cut edges, considering what had occurred there.

It reminded Bryson of a shaft that had been built for some work to take place. But when he thought of it he did not have a clue what it was. What was a tunnel doing out there? Why had they gone to such lengths to construct it? What hidden motive had been behind it?

They had to have built it for logical reasons, as all the constructions were, which he could recall. They would only build it for their needs!

“Perhaps it’s part of a mine for something,” Merton concluded, trying to push things further long, trying to recollect something such as it.

“What happened to all the roads and constructions that they would’ve had?” Mortimer replied.

“How could they have built everything with all those trees being there?” Mitchell answered. “There’d be gaps leading through. Nobody would get anything through all that! Unless it was built a long time ago … And it all grew over it!”

“Perhaps it’s another part of the castle,” Merton spoke, trying to recollect something; maybe from his memories.

“You’re psychic researchers?” Mitchell replied, looking alert, and considering something that had been bothering him. “As well as scientists! What’re your thoughts of all that stuff outside …?”

“It is pretty hard to tell,” he replied, “especially at this stage … Things are so muddled, and we’ve so little … We’re not even sure that castle exists! Or is in rubble …”

“I’ve never seen anything like that! Something has to be behind it! And I’m sure it’s not all from this world whatever it is!”

“I’m pretty sure of that. It seems in an entirely different environment, than it was designed for.”

“As though in confusion … Of what was occurring around it!”

“We may be able to find something someday to defend ourselves against it!”

Mitchell grunted, and looked down at his useless weapon and went back to considering alternatives that would work.

Mitchell pointed his light straight out in front into the distant darkness there, illuminating different parts of the ground, and he lunged forward, as if he had decided that he wanted to find the answers to everything no matter what, and the sooner the better, just like they had been doing for many years. He shifted along, examining his steps, as he went into the darkness, which seemed to go endlessly on, and he examined everything.

It resembled an ancient mine, but more expertly constructed than that and that technology, and as though built to last a long time like an ancient sewer.

It was startling that there were no signs of any materials like bricks and cement in it, which led them to believe that it was something else built by somebody else.

The tunnel kept going endlessly on into the distance going where there was nothing but wood above, and they marched off into preparing themselves and ignoring their sleepiness.

What dangers could it hold? Did it have something of an incomprehensible nature existing in its darkness?

All the significations were startling! The world vanished behind them, and it felt absurd that they were going so far into it. It was like something out of place that should not be there. Especially not at such a location. Nothing seemed to put a conclusion to what it was needed for and why such lengths had been administered to construct it.

Questions endlessly flashed through Bryson’s mind as he followed Mitchell and Merton’s dark figures trudging on, behind their beams of light.

Merton seemed obsessed with handling his fantasy situation more than anything!

“Do you want one?” Merton moaned, handing back his cigarettes to Bryson and Mortimer, who were walking together behind him, as he blew out smoke about him; and they took one each to break the momentum.

Bryson strolled on blissfully puffing away, wondering where the hell they were going to this time. They clearly were under the trees, as some roots from trees had managed make their way down and had smashed their way through the rock.

It was surprising that it had not flooded with the cracks and holes, from water seeping down. Then he saw signs that it had occurred, and saw thick layers of dried mud ahead.

Mortimer looked happy and in his natural environment with the strange and unusual, with unsolved mysteries everywhere, and he smoked like he was experiencing an expensive cigar, flaring away at his mouth, tasting the smoke, with the smoke spinning through the air behind him.

The mystery of where it led to was certainly one of the main inspirations that kept them going, seeking an answer they knew they had to receive, driving them on no matter what.

If they turned back, they would never know, and could even have to face death, so they kept going.

Bryson realized that none of them would have believed that it went out to that length. Their pace stayed the same, their walk never changed.

He noticed that they mainly took it for granted that the tunnel had not collapsed anywhere and would reach somewhere, and that they would not have to journey back.

Bryson spotted something away in the distance and that the others about him had seen it, and they all went there with their heads facing it trying to observe something there that could not be properly observed.

His head eventually went back to where it had been, watching the tunnel about him, making sure that nothing was in their immediate way. Occasionally continuing with examining what was ahead, until he saw something blocking the tunnel far ahead, and he started to gasp.

Merton and Mortimer soon noticed launched into a discussion of the problem, and Bryson attempted to hear everything in their silent hushed chants. And he saw that they did not come to any real conclusions!

When they finally approached it Mortimer suddenly exploded with anger and went calm, on the brink of losing his patience while he marched up to it.

“Why did they build a wall there?” Merton moaned first, trying to obtain an answer to such absurdity.

The four of them stood, resting, glancing at individual sections of the wall, as the others stood back at a distance observing them.

“Whoever built this obviously was different from the builders and did it years later!” Merton remarked. “Something could be hidden behind this? Where do you think this is?”

“You’re probably right!” Mitchell remarked, touching the strange shapes of the boulders, and way they were put together. “Someone has hidden something away here …”

Bryson saw that none of them knew and that they were starting to think that they would have to return to where they had been, but he ignored that as he was positive that would not happen until the morning.

Merton started feeling along the edge of the wall where there was a crack going around it.

“We could trying shoving it over,” Merton announced, looking at it, giving Bryson a smile. “With our combined weight …”

He mechanically placed his arm against an area of the wall and started to push it and they joined in, and the bricks, which were not cemented, started falling inwards.

What they then found were thick webs covering the gap left, and they pushed the rest of the stone until it all crumbled and collapsed across the ground.

Mitchell removed his communicator and silently started trying to see if it now worked, trying to contact somewhere, and when he could not pick it up he put it away.

“Could that thing back there stop it working?” he asked them, trying to grasp the situation.

Nobody answered and showed they never knew, and they left it.

With the lights held out a black gap became visible behind all the thick webs and dirt, and they illuminated the tunnel going on and they moved in, removing the webs and dirt.

Bryson watched his shadow flicker along the stone, and his unblinking eyes watched the ground searching for obstructions, and he continued following Mitchell and Merton along.

Thick cobwebs crawled over his face and covered up everything ahead, and he heard the murmurs of provoked archaeologists behind him, and he realized that Merton had announced something. In the blackness ahead something indistinguishable was emerging, making his heart quicken and at any second he expected to find something deadly, and an immense cavity opened up in front of him.

 

Chapter 6

 

The Skeleton

 

How many centuries had the chamber been hidden away? The distant obscurity was full of chilling silence, which made him feel isolated. Webs hung everywhere around him and he waved his hand in circles scraping them away from him.

In dimness at the front, just in their light’s range, he watched dim gleams from things in the stone reflect dim light, producing a magical effect upon his hazy tired sight.

Faint echoes of their breathing and murmurs could be heard in its extraordinary silence, and by their frantic reactions he sensed that they believed that something was actually there. Although the descriptions that some of the archaeologists gave made it too unacceptable to him to believe fully what they had suggested the chamber was. In vivid detail they had specified that the location was a resting place of something! His mind conjured up vague visions of spooky medieval ghosts roaming there.

Water splashed over his face as it dripped from overhead, from cracks in the rock, and he moved sideways from it.

With it away from him he cleaned it away from his face, and he watched a light explore what he had missed, and it beamed out over the roof lighting up a vast cavern structure overhead, which had been cut out using the same method as the tunnel.

The roof was at a height of a hundred feet, and he caught glimpses of where things had once been and he listened to the surreal echoes of the archaeologists giving their explanations.

He shifted slowly into the fringes of where their lights beamed, as he rested from the journey there and long day, and at his front an object came into sight and he felt its roughness with his fingertips through thick webs and dirt, obscuring a proper view of it, and he placed his hands over it and its shape and hideous outline became clear, and he stepped back jerking his hand away, and saw that it was an open-mouthed skeleton with a rusted knife embedded in its chest.

The others soon came over and they crowded around it.

“How recent do you think this happened?” Mitchell asked, examining it up close.

“A very long time ago …” one of the archaeologists confirmed first, who had been first to examine it.

Their voices were changed and more professional, and made surreal echoes about them. Some archaeologist gave silent explanations to what might have happened, but only gave imprecise replies, especially after all the occurrences that had happened.

With a little amusement Bryson watched Mitchell’s figure hanging over it trying to grasp information about the person, and he searched the clothing of the man, but nothing was there except he spotted some pieces of rope where he had been tied up.

“This place has definitely been used for devil worship or witchcraft, or similar?” Mitchell asked firmly, unsure what else could have happened.

“I would say so!” the archaeologists replied.

“Someone gave a human sacrifice here, a long time ago, then!” he stated to one of his men, who wrote it down.

They all moved back or away from it, and the archaeologists got to work on checking it in detail – with gasps and surprises when they revealed its hideous agonized face more from webs and dirt – where the person had hideously died with his mouth open in pain, and had remained that way.

They continued brushing away thick webs and dirt, obscuring a proper view of it, while crumbling bits of gray rot fell off.

Bryson’s mind slowly grasped its hideous outline, and he stepped back wondering what the place was, and why they were doing it there.

The others checked everything they could about the cavity and one of the archeologists discovered another tunnel.

With their lights held out, they all started entering it and continued their journey, and Bryson saw that their lights would slowly drain of power and wondered what would happen.

The second tunnel was thinner and had a different look and atmosphere, and he realized their thoughts had changed of things. They no longer really thought of the things outside, but of the dead body that they had found cruelly sacrificed, and he continued walking with Mortimer behind Mitchell and Merton.

It had been a long day and he walked with unblinking eyes, almost hypnotized by the lights shifting over the walls, watching the ground in the glimmer searching for obstructions.

Occasionally cobwebs crawled over his face, and he no longer heard the murmurs of the archaeologists still discussing their find, and what other people would think of it when they returned.

Its creepy blackness made his heart beat fast and made him alert, and though, at times, he expected to find something deadly to confront them, he thought they might handle it, even though the things outside could have killed them.

How many decades had the chamber been hidden away there, and how long ago had the death occurred? The distant obscurity was full of chilling silence, which made him feel isolated.

Out in front, of the light range, he regularly watched dim gleams from stone lighting up like from a mysterious source, and he would confirm its type when he shifted passed it.

After listening to more of the archeologists’ allegations he realized that not much had actually been found out! Why had anyone built the tunnels? Why would devil worshippers or whoever made the deadly sacrifices?

Alright it was hidden away with little chance of anyone finding it, but why there and why go to such lengths to do what they had done?

He wondered what the place would throw at him next! All his life he had been use to solving things as they appeared and now he was having every unsolvable mystery, perhaps on the planet, for centuries, dumped on him without the suggesting of a clue.

In the pale illumination the tunnel went straight along, distinctively different from other tunnels – with its sides with smooth rock that never looked man-made and made by some means he could not quite grasp.

“Did you come up with anything?” Mortimer asked once, to his amusement, noticing that he was frustrated with having so little to go on and finding nothing.

Yet they seemed to have made a human sacrifice to something, and he wondered if they were done for the things outside, and that they could be even more deadly and powerful than they imagined, which would explain why they built the tunnels.

While he was wondering if they and the tunnel were actually connected to the castle his sight fixed on a magical glow at a point directly in front, which he realized was not a wall, and its surface glowed like white lava in the bright rays of the light, as though it contained energy.

“What could that be?” Mitchell moaned tiredly, leaning closer, as though he had partly fallen asleep and been awakened when he had seen it.

Some of his men removed guns and remained ready to fire, and some of the others thought of retreating to where they had come.

Nobody seemed to answer Mitchell and they remained silent, watching for signs of movement as they journeyed on.

The pace was slow but they saw no real danger, but they had much confusion in what was there and Bryson continued on and on unable to see a thing, captivated in it, and started to realize how faint the lights were becoming and that he was half asleep, and that most of the others looked the same, and he heard silent moans.

Jagged rocks scattered and piled over the ground brushed under their shoes, and he wondered why and saw rocks pile up more across his front.

Mitchell increased the power of his light by removing the batteries and adding some new ones from his pocket, and when it lit up they all stopped in horror, scarcely believing their eyes.

A monster creature, with large dark red eyes, with dimensions bigger than the tunnel was embedded in the side of the tunnel, like it had been tunneling through there and got trapped with its upper part embedded in the tunnel.

Its massive deadly shape glowed under their lights when they surrounded it, with its giant head frozen in place with its jaws wide open, and identical to a colossal killing demon attacking.

“There’s no heat from it!” one of the scientists announced, holding a device at it, reassuring them that it was dead, if it was in fact a life form at all. “And there’s no radioactivity …! If anyone needs that information?”

His last statement confused Bryson and left him wondering what he had meant.

“Why is its surface so smooth?” one of he archeologists remarked feeling it. “Why it’s so perfectly preserved … All signs identify it as being here a great deal of time!”

A stream of light was inundating the tunnel further along, producing a magical effect upon Bryson’s hazy sight, and he realized that they had finally reached the end.

 

Chapter 7

 

The Demon Creature

 

The morning sun stretched over the horizon throwing its golden rays amongst the trees, stretching long shadows everywhere, and brightly streaming its rays over Bryson and the others as they rested sleepily around a blazing campfire in the middle of a clearing in the snow covered wood.

What a night! He could barely feel his legs, never mind his feet, which he watched perched on a bolder near the fire, absorbing the heat.

The wood seemed perfect and like a winter wonderland, without its nightly dangers, which most of the others could not properly conclude why. Only he and the paranormal researchers and their scientists had any real insight into why as they had been at the last castle.

The sunlight stretched along the wood putting life back into it, making snow specks sparkle as they floated down from the trees.

A distant sound of scientists down in the tunnel, to his left, broke his silence, and he acknowledged a sweet pipe tobacco aroma lingering in the air, and he listened to their debates over what species the creature was classed as with some amusement, thinking of what the paranormal scientists would class it.

He examined the giant hole in the tunnel, where they had been able to escape from the tunnel from, where the ground had collapsed in years before through corrosion from water and weight, and he tried to see into the rest of the tunnel where it had collapsed over, but he could not see any entrance in to it.

He turned and stared into the smoldering red ashes in the campfire and imagined images of the creature’s large red eyes, as he had seen it in the tunnel, and realized that nobody there had seen eyes like it on any other animal. At times he had believed all the myths of the world and their remarkable things! Were there occult creatures buried away all over the world? He gasped at a drawing he recalled of a dragon creature.

What the hell was this thing? Its head resembled old draws he had seen of demons, from a collection of ancient parchments. All demons were not the same! They had different features and they could be far different from what they had been drawn like and perceived. What were they anyway if they really existed? The thing that they discovered might even change the image of prehistoric animals if they released photos of it. It could make the trip a perfect success, and all the trouble that they had gone through worthwhile! It was a discovery of the wildest dreams of paranormal scientists, and perhaps proper concrete proof!

Had they actually captured one of them things that had chased them through the wood? He was not sure if he could believe it! The things had been invisible! He had proven that!

Had this one become solid and burrowed through to there, where it had been killed hitting and trapping itself in the tunnel? He had a hard time believing they were what they were being described as! Yet what if it was something else that they had missed? The thing William Randall had found at the last castle had alien origins! With its powers opening up gateways into supernatural places.

“We’ve made contact with the outside!” Mitchell shrieked, holding his phone close into his ear, and joyfully walking back and forth on a flat area of snow, and entered a conversation with someone he knew that he was desperate to get in touch with.

After he had finished his conversation he hung up and put away his phone in his chest pocket.

“Well it looks as though we may get that thing …”

“How what’s happening?” one of his men replied, moving over to where he was.

“There’s a transporter army helicopter on the way … I managed to get a loan of it …”

“I thought we were going to continue with this …?”

“I’ve informed them of the situation here and that we’ve decided to stay … But if anyone wants out they can leave …”

“Why the helicopter?”

“To remove that thing and get it back … For it to be investigated, of course. I want their opinion on what it is?”

 

Chapter 8

 

The Military Helicopter

 

The helicopter emerged in the horizon and swept in low across the trees, blowing up massive clouds of snow with its powerful twin rotor blades, with loud deafening thuds shattering the silence, and it hovered in slowly blowing snow and debris about everywhere before landing on an area of flat ground, where they had flattened.

Bryson watched how startled the pilots were at what the mission was, with their strange looks and hidden thoughts, which he had expected with the descriptions Mitchell had given.

The region was desolate and a mystery, and they had not seen there before. They soon opened the compartment door at the rear end and removed a smaller digger, and one of the men aboard drove it over to where they had marked where the creature was buried under, and he soon started digging it out.

Bryson and the two paranormal scientists had become outstandingly famous since their discoveries at the last castle and some of the helicopter people were surprised to see them there, and gave more gasps at the discovery when they saw it. Yet Bryson was not sure what would become of the creature or what they would find it to be! They could easily end up classing it as some new variation of some animal!

When they mentioned the preservation of the creature the majority of them looked baffled, and nobody gave any proper explanation to why it had not rotted away. It clearly had been there for a great deal of time!

So when it was completely dug out and eventually lifted out into daylight all the scientists frantically talked, studied, and photographed it, avoiding giving much scientific explanations, and remained interested in the study its preservation and the uses it could have if they found something new there.

Bryson examined it to find the best way of killing it, if it was one of those beasts in the wood! Yet where had they appeared from, and they were invisible and partially invisible? So how could they handle such a thing? Would it be impossible to kill something that was invisible? Yet could it have killed while invisible? All the stories of encounters, which some of them could have been from them, as well as many other things, gave accounts of deaths! Did they fully materialize to carry out their attacks?

Bryson was still confused at what they were up against. They had nothing but a monster creature, from somewhere. Their vague examinations of its features and organs gave little, and showed little of its natural environment.

Yet when the helicopter was getting ready to take off, and all the people there were discussing the creature, he realized that they no longer believed it was one of the things in the wood and was something else, and Merton and Mortimer had lost interest in it completely, also thinking so, as all their examinations of it showed it was only a new form of animal.

The helicopter lifted off sweeping out low and increasing its height, with its deafening thuds rattling him to the bone, while simultaneously shattering their eardrums, making him wonder how the pilots never damaged themselves, and realized how much he had adapted to the deep desolate silence at the location, and he watched it vanish into the horizon, leaving its impression firmly in his minds.

 

Chapter 9

 

The Exploration

 

It was shocking how fast they started to realize the truth and that they should actually have left on the helicopter! When the early winter night started edging into the region all their recollections of the night before started emerging, and that they had not achieved their mission of leaving the wood, and at least getting to the castle.

The place was a public menace and should be marked as a danger zone and fenced off! Even as the sun edged into the horizon Bryson saw things that should not be there start to appear about the place, even the ground beneath them seemed to sag like it were turning into swamp.

Bryson felt like he had a sixth sense that could not detect the supernatural, and his brain detected other things caused by it.

The plan was to follow the rest of the tunnel, which they had dug into earlier, and they would find where that went and at least be away from their location.

A peculiar whistle haunted them, which could not be properly heard, like sounds animals hear that humans cannot, which came from no real location and shadowed them, irritating them trying to identify it and its location.

The tunnel was the same, and when they started marching into it Bryson heard scrambling movements and panic-stricken voices behind him and wondered if they had timed it too late, and if something had happened to the last people to enter and they did not know if they should go back or ignore it.

They soon discovered that it was only the last people that entered had seen a light deep in the wood before they entered!

If there were a death he wondered how the police would handle the situation if confronted with it and what the outcome would be?

“We better have our weapons ready anyway!” Mitchell warned his men behind him, as he stood in front of them, removing his weapon and putting it back, and waited for the others to remove their weapons and get the feel of them.

Merton went with Mitchell, in front of everyone, and Bryson and Mortimer followed them, with others in their usual formation following.

It was not as bad as it had been! They had renewed the energy in their lights and had more equipment that they needed, and could easily camp out in the tunnel if they needed to, and were not trapped, plodding on into the night.

Bryson tested the floor of the tunnel, which was dry packed mud and rock, wondering if it was a new form of mining that had created the walls. The technology behind it could be worth a great deal if it was what he thought it was, and the technology behind it was unknown, just like the creature that they found there, which had incredibly been able to burrow through the ground with its immense size, which they had not heard of before, which he would have dismissed as impossible.

It surprised him that if the technology to do it existed, and was unknown, how did it get there? Where did it come from?

Yet there was no proof and he did not know if he ever could prove it existed, and even doubted if the evidence and technology would be found, and yet could something like the creature have created the tunnel though?

Merton shifted around and spoke silently with Mortimer in conversations breaking the deep silence that kept emerging.

Bryson noticed the shaft prevented water flooding it by descending slightly. Small amounts of water had seeped through cracks, flowing down it to places it could exit from the tunnel. Yet he still never knew if it was deliberately built for long lasting use, and most of all why it was built, and he recalled the people that had made the human sacrifice back in the cavity. Yet that never made sense either! Why go to such lengths to build a tunnel and cavity? The time it would have taken could have been incredible!

“Who built this?” Mitchell moaned loudly once, trying to get them to give him something to solve one of the mysteries, but nobody replied and he thought of some other conclusion.

It reminded Bryson of the shaft that he had seen in the last castle, and had been built by William Randall. Yet the other tunnels there were made in the normal way without such technology. Yet the castle, if it existed, was built there about 1880, according the information they had heard. The technology of the tunnel was far more advanced, even by the current technology.

Over and over he thought of it and did not have a clue what a tunnel was doing in a wood! Why had they gone to such lengths to construct it? What hidden motive had been behind it?

They had to have put it there for logical reasons as all the constructions that he could recall had been built for. They had built them for their needs!

“Was it originally part of water system,” Merton mumbled to Mortimer, confused at the enormous distance it had, trying to recollect something such as it.

“Therefore, we should meet with where the water went!” Mitchell answered.

Merton pointed the light straight out in front of him, illuminating the ground many feet further down into it, and examined it. And he lunged forward as if he had decided that he wanted get to the source of it as soon as possible. He shifted down examining it going into the darkness, which seemed to go on endlessly, searching for any evidence of anything.

Its main feature now was its neat perfect size that continuously held without altering, but not from moving downwards now, making it resemble a mine but far more expertly constructed than that, as though built to last a long time like a sewer.

Bryson even wondered if people had found gold or other precious metal there, in a great amount, and had gone out of their way to cover it up, making sure nobody heard of it.

Occasionally he had watched Mitchell and his men examine the ground and mud for anything of value!

Webs shrouded the roof and corners about it again and occasionally they had to wave scraping them away from them, while the radiance from the lights made insects scurry away, especially when they saw them.

The builders must have known where all the rock had been as they avoided going through areas where it was not there, and must have been able to check for miles where it had been before building it, and he wondered what they would have done if there had not been any rock there as the tunnel would have collapsed if it had not been built in it, and they surely would have needed something to hold it all up.

Large tree roots had been sliced off and their lower areas were gone and some had grown again in places, and they had to walk around them, and the amount of mud increased and the tunnel started to lose shape in places where it sagged, and small collapses of the roof and sides appeared and they started to worry about not being able to reach their destination.

The tunnel went endlessly on into the distance turning in different directions, through nothing but the upper wood, and Bryson marched off into it preparing himself for what they might meet with, and wondering if it had collapsed if they could go back and follow its direction from the outside in the morning.

He was sure that they had compasses in their equipment and knew the general direction anyway, but could they accurately find the place if it was buried away deep in the wood, if it actually led there anyway.

His thoughts went to the wood again and its strange eerie confines and he wondered what normal animals actually existed there during the day, and how they survived.

What dangers could the wood hold? Did it have only something of an incomprehensible nature existing in its darkness?

All the significations of it were startling! The other day he had mostly not believed that it could be there never mind there being a tunnel going under it.

The journey kept giving him feelings of how absurd it was with it going so far into it. The direction and his perspective of where they were had altered so much he was positive that if they had to turn back that he personally could not find where it led to in the above wood.

At times it seemed like some of the others were there just to handle a fantasy situation more than anything!

“Want one?” Merton moaned, handing the cigarettes out again, puffing out smoke everywhere, and they all slowed and he took a break from the endless routine.

Mitchell removed his phone like it was a communicator and silently started trying to contact someone, and when he could not he tried to contact other places, and look surprised at it again.

“This place must be the only place in northern hemisphere you can’t get a signal?” he joked, putting it firmly away.

He stood trying to grasp the situation, and what was there.

“There has to be something blocking the signal …” Mortimer continued, with his investigation of the phenomenon. “It has to be pretty powerful too …”

“What has to be powerful?” he asked, still investigating their paranormal investigation and nature, not fully grasping something.

Mortimer never replied and Mitchell ignored him.

“What the hell is out here?” Mitchell muttered to himself later, with a worried glare, and rubbed his fingers over the perfectly flat smooth tunnel wall.

“At this rate we’ll be spending the night here after all!” Mortimer replied, with his professional tone.

“We better have our weapons ready if we leave here!” Mitchell moaned, removing a more powerful weapon, which he had got off the helicopter, and put it away, and Bryson realized that they were more confident of killing the things in the above wood now that they had found the dead creature, and had examined it, and thought they could kill them once they properly appeared.

His men also removed their weapons to get the feel of them.

The situation was confusing and Bryson did not fully get if they could kill them!

“Could that fog stop the communicators working …?” Mitchell asked them, still trying to grasp the situation, and surprised them with his attitude.

“Some conditions may create such occurrences!” Mortimer jokingly replied.

“Not normally!” Merton continued. “But this fog and it being out here changes the rules.”

“So once again nothing!” Mitchell answered, getting ready to continue walking faster. “Don’t forget those things attacked us …”

They were experiencing new things and Bryson wondered again if he could prevent something from happening.

He did not know if Mitchell could do something stupid. His reactions were different, and he saw that he could attack whatever was out there if it appeared at a later stage, and he recalled that he had originally believed that he would before they had been attacked, and realized the same situation could happen again – only they might not be as lucky the next time – but if he watched what he did and planned ahead he was sure he could survive.

His thoughts went back to the paranormal scientists and their work again, and him not completing his mission of discovering what existed there and how to deal with.

Why had nothing been discovered in the world except what they had come up with? This fact confused him incredibly as most of his life he had unsuccessfully investigated everything there and not found anything. It was true they were rare occurrences and he thought they did not fully know what they were talking about. All the stuff was a mess! False claims and facts that other things were behind things kept appearing!

The creature found embedded in the tunnel now never appeared like it was of supernatural origins.

The technology and all the research used would have at least properly proven its existence all over the world by now! But what were they up against now, and was it the same as at the last castle?

Again he decided to find and record anything that he could and use it as evidence of what was there! On him he had miniature cameras, recorders, and notebook to record his findings, and he remembered why they were not needed anyway, and kept by him in case the paranormal scientists and scientists never recorded anything. The amount of equipment they would have was enough, and the most advanced. If they never captured anything then he was sure there would be nothing to record, and he recalled the recordings and findings that they had made of those things that attacked them in the wood, even though they never had a chance to use the heavier stuff, and they got everything they wanted on the dead creature trapped in tunnel, whatever it was.

Bryson realized again that he would properly never experience anything like this place again and wondered what the outcome of it would be. He would remember it forever, and he was sure he would be remembered in history for taking part in it all, if things turned out like he imagined it that is.

Bryson sensed something, and looked over to where Mitchell’s eyes were staring furiously and saw debris covering the ground ahead, away at the end of the tunnel, and while their pace quickened he started to wonder what was going to happen as Mitchell and the others started to react strangely and viciously, and in horror of there being extreme danger, and he waited observing their reactions and decided to react to what happened.

What could be so dangerous about the tunnel being collapsed? The worst that could happen was that there was no exit and that they would have to walk back, which would only put them about half a day behind, and they could sleep in the safety of the tunnel.

On their approach there it became clear that the ground had collapsed years before, through corrosion from water and weight, and that there was a way out of it, to escape from the tunnel there, and he started to realize what the problem was and why they were reacting so much.

 

Chapter 10

 

The Castle

 

They had become trapped in the dark wood, freezing in the deep snow, hiding behind trees, while the lights and creatures shifted about violently smashing things around them, while the amount of them and their powers grew, while Mitchell and his men had their weapons ready.

Bryson now knew why having the military there could be a mistake, and he had realized it when they had escaped from the tunnel into the dark wood and had witnessed Mitchell and his men launching into shooting rounds of ammunition.

Thick snow shrouded everything everywhere creating a mind-bending landscape, and they were too exhausted to attempt to recognize anything. It was shocking how they could have got lost!

They should have stuck to being in the tunnel! They could easily have entered the other half of the tunnel in the morning!

The blackness and snow had turned to a nightmare!

Their legs sank deep into stinking vegetation that resembled quicksand in places, but Mitchell insisted that it was not and continued to take them on through it as if it were not there and only another obstacle – and the further away from the tunnel entrance they went the worse it got, and the fact that they would not be able to return.

Out of nowhere a giant light emerged from the undergrowth, and it pulsated like a living thing, magically illuminating the snow and trees everywhere.

The light allowed them to see everything, and he wondered if it was a type warning like a lion might warn them off.

“Look over there!” one of the scientists suddenly hollered, from over at their side, making them all jump and their adrenalin pump wildly through their veins.

Bryson was one of the first to look and spot what it was, and saw a castle buried away in the landscape and he stood astounded not only by its immense size but because he had a sensation that it had colossal power, and it eventually left him staggered! He sensed many strange things and was sure all the paranormal energy was centered there!

The castle was also blissful and they ignored the dangers around them and watched it. It radiated through the wood like a spellbinding ghost castle, and they forced their legs to move faster.

Its appearance as they moved there, out of the night, amidst the jungle of vegetation, was staggering! The treasure surely had to exist there! Bryson was amazed at the speed that they were now moving away from the disturbances towards it at and started to realize how enthusiastic they were to get to it now. And he even sensed many of the others had known of the treasure for longer than they should have, and were confident it existed.

Mitchell even forgot about his battle and made for the castle, and as Bryson watched him he realized that the tunnel had gone in the direction of the castle, and had led there all along.

It was like a phantom castle glowing in snow and shining from being in moonlight, like it were supernaturally glowing.

Behind them shifting lights were darting everywhere through the trees with ghost images of creatures doing hideous things.

 

Chapter 11

 

The Phantoms

 

The thin fog engulfed them before they reached the castle and peculiar vivid streaks like colored lightening exploded all over the top level of it, and Bryson saw the sky above it full of massive blinding stars that he had never seen before.

One star’s flickering light streaked into his face showing its real immense size! It was truly unique and clearly some form of space from somewhere else emerging.

He wondered from his scientific perspective what the larger and more advanced life forms would be like in such an environment. They had not seen anything there, and he sometimes thought he existed in one of the most barn regions of space.

The fog rapidly engulfed them and they lost more of what little sight they had, and they briskly moved faster, draining themselves of energy.

If only they could discover what was there without being killed, and he would be annoyed if they never found anything!

Thick mud and vegetation shrouded everything, covering their boots and clothes with muck, and he imagined the mind-bending landscapes beyond there and if they were the same, and he realized how tired he felt.

It was shocking how easily they got trapped and lost and the worst of it was he could not realize how they could avoid it. All they needed to do was stick to the exact places in the last castle and they avoided it. But here they could not have done it! Yet he was sure that at the majority of the time they could actually have done it if they had done it during the day, and that it was Mitchell and his men’s fault that they had kept going and had not slept in the tunnel until the morning. The vast dangers seemed to either stop them dead or they went charging in, and everything turned indistinguishable about him, and he wondered if it would be the end of him.

At one point he thought that he was actually on another world when he saw through slight gaps in the thickening fog and saw distant regions of strange places. Mitchell and the others stuck to the same routine and never seemed tire or alter their course.

Strange high frequency sounds shadowed them from unknown places, driving some of them insane trying to identify them.

Their legs started entering deep bogs of stinking rotting vegetation with chemical stenches, resembling some chemical that he kept examining to identify, wondering how such chemicals got there. Many smelt like they had been dumped there by some industrial site and he considered if an intelligent species there could have built civilizations there. But his mind refused to accept anything without further evidence and he considered it being put there either by the builders of the castle, or the tunnel, or someone else that had been there.

Out of nowhere the most powerful light emerged through the thickest formation of the mist with its radiance pulsating like an entity, magically illuminating the thin fog around them with strange shadow formations from things he could not see, creating mind-bending shifting shadows that weaved and probed their way towards them.

While they casually slowed and observed them sounds of heavy pounds of something of incredible size and weight rushed out, causing them to scurry away without being able to see anything behind them.

Mitchell and his men withdrew their weapons and rushed along with them but trying to see their target, and they furiously moved their legs in and out of bogs as it grew nearer and deadlier, causing their legs to become painful and tired, and they shifted away to hard ground to be able to escape better.

It was like they were making their last stand and being on the edge of destruction and Bryson watched how each of them reacted, and noticed Mitchell reacted the least and even looked as if he was definitely going to kill the thing with his weapon.

For a short time they ran almost blindly up and down over bogs and humps, rushing through to where the flat had ground was.

Heavy beast sounds furiously exploded out nearby and clearly chased them and they considered turning and firing. It was common for large animals to get frightened away from being fired on and he was sure that Mitchell believed it and was sure that it was the same as the dead creature that they had found in the tunnel, and that the last creatures had not heard or seen their weapons as they had not fully appeared there, and Bryson wished that he would confirm it with the thing fully appearing, which he believed that it would have to do to kill them.

It was like being in someone else’s strange nightmare and Bryson started to get annoyed over its avoidance of doing anything at all, and when he swiftly turned he saw an immense shadow spread through an area of the fog, where the sounds exploded out!

They were breathless and they all stared blankly, and he wondered what he was missing and what their explanations of what had happened would be.

One of the soldiers suddenly turned and started firing at the dark shape shifting through the mist, looking too tired to be able to go on properly at the rate they were going at and making an attempt at survival.

With interest the majority of them turned to watch the thing, and as far as Bryson saw and heard it never even acknowledged his direct hit on it, and it left them confused, and he decided to get him to try again if it appeared visible.

Their legs could not take them fast enough after the shot and the thing seemed to speed up and close in on them, and Bryson cursed their stupid idea of firing on it and running. Surely they could have made it appear by entering a thin area of the fog and confronted it, as it had to materialize to kill them, and at least they would not be exhausted and could aim and fire all their weapons at it at the one time.

The shape of the castle appearing through the vapor was blissful, and they all stared fascinated with it and in their luck.

The lighted castle radiated through a mass of trees and foliage and Bryson was sure he would not normally have seen it, and that it was not even visible to planes with its roof being completely covered in vegetation and small trees.

It was like a phantom oasis out on the edge of realism, on the bounds of what lay beyond, with the things charging out of the depths of hell, with them running to it and to reality.

All his looks back annoyingly never showed him a proper view of the heavy monster thing rampaging towards them and he wondered if the thing was playing with them, like a cat with a mouse, waiting until it fully had it.

They moved straight up to the massive castle doors, and Mitchell shot the lock and smashed it in and they rushed in, exhausted and staggered, and when Bryson got in the doorway he stayed at the side of the door and listened and watched the fog outside until the last of the men had entered and they shut the door, and he heard its powerful movements rapidly taking it to the edge of a lane in front of the castle, where for some reason it could not pass, and he saw its colossal ghost demon shape floating through the mist, snapping its massive jaws, before it vanished.

 

Chapter 12

 

Inside the Castle

 

Even though Bryson had not properly seen and measured the castle, as it was mostly buried away in thick trees and undergrowth, it was colossal and he was sure that it was far longer and wider than any type of football field, and as high as an average eight-story building (and could even reach up to 150 meters long and 60 meters wide, and 30 meters high).

The builder, William Randall, who had built a castle already, surely would not have built it so massive at the date that it had been built, and he wondered if the people that rebuilt it there had built it bigger! If it was built for defense, like most castles had been, why did he need it to be such a size, as it would have been far easier to build and defend a small castle? He would have needed and had to have maintained an immense army for decades!

Why did they not just increase the size of his army? Everything he had seen of people of that time had been done for logical reasons! Yet he realized it was exaggerated and that William Randall had built it, as he had built the last large castle, but not as large as it, and it might have been to show his immense power and wealth, and an army would also have thought twice before attacking such a construction, and they could easily have thought it held a great and powerful king, while it being buried away in a wood would have added to its defense.

He was determined to solve all the riddles, and prepared himself to find the proper answers!

He was determined to ignore the events of the past few days and concentrate on what was in the castle. He had seen little of it in the darkness with their lights, and it was cold and smelled of dampness, and nobody left the location at the lounge at the door.

Most of the night had been subjected to false alarms of the things in the wood reappearing there, and they had been glad when the morning arrived.

Later on he and Mortimer and Merton went outside to see it in the light of day and were surprised and disappointed. It was unbelievable and historical, but had fallen into being a derelict. Vegetation and trees virtually entirely covered it, including its roof, and it was part of the wood. It was lucky the interior was preserved, as they would have had a bad time staying there.

Bryson studied pieces from exterior walls strewn about in the undergrowth, and immense square boulders and other parts.

They wandered around it checking what they could but a lot of it was hidden from view, and he had a hard time realizing how they had been able to move it there! Why they had allowed such a valuable construction to become derelict? And realized again that it was the haunting of it and its deadliness! There were abundant deaths marked as occurring there! He thought the last castle had been bad but this one was deadly beyond belief and people avoided it to save their lives!

He wondered if they should have just left it! If they could not get rid of what was there they could be playing with something of great danger that could result in an immense amount of deaths, for decades to come.

Bryson made a rough drawing/map of it as they wandered around. At the front there seemed to be only the one central door, but there were others at the sides and back, and there was one at a kitchen at the back.

The front door had a hall that led to the other side of the castle, and long corridors of rooms went from one end of the castle to the other all the way through it. With different shaped and sized rooms everywhere. The majority of it was confusing, and he found little to answer his queries. The floors above were not identical, and he considered his theory that the place was built to scare off enemies with its magnitude and value, and he put all the things in it there for the building and with no real use. Yet if an army and other group of people stayed there it could well have all been used by them. They could have been complex and advanced people of that age and did many things not normally done.

He wondered where William had stayed in it, and where his room was located? Perhaps at the top floor, where he would have had a good view of his wood and grounds?

When they arrived back in the castle he heard Mitchell on his phone and listened to his conversation and that he was bringing in all their supplies, as they had planned to do once they had found and entered the castle. They had an area on the remains of the lane to it where the helicopters could land.

All the rest of the scientists and psychic investigators and their highly advanced equipment, to begin a detailed investigation, were being brought, as well as more men to help Mitchell, and as well as food supplies they were bringing generators for proper power supplies for the lights and everything else.

 

Chapter 13

 

The Legends

 

Throughout centuries the place had been viciously subjected to deadly mind-bending forces and manifestations!

Legends were extraordinary, bordering on absurd, and once Bryson got all his things off a helicopter he was able to check through the details that they had gathered in intense investigations at loads of locations, which was used to locate the lost castle.

The origins, from a majority of accumulated sources, to which he and the others had proven had occurred, occurred around 1620 when fishermen at a Scottish fishing village had witnessed the materialization of something of unknown origins, and that a bright light of magnitude had exploded out of the early morning mist over the sea, like a crazy shooting star, and had been seen landing.

After a great deal of observations, research, and discussions by the leading scientists they had agreed that the thing that they had found at Grovnor Castle, with its appearance there and its alien artifact creating gateways throughout space and time, could very well have been detected and located by it. The first had left traces through space and time for anything to detect!

Space and time could be full of things of unknown origins searching for other things of unknown origins throughout space and time. The description of the second revealed that it could well have been attempting to mimic the first and could have even been there to make contact with it or check what it was and analyze it.

Something encountering something new at an unknown location could easily assume that it belonged there, and they believed that when it had appeared there that it had assumed that the other thing had been an inhabitant of this world!

There was no proof that both encountered each other, and though the castles had been in the same region there had in fact been a great deal of distance between them. They also believed that though they had reached their destinations that neither had been able to achieve their objectives.

They knew why the original one had nearly been killed when it had made an appearance, when it had been found by fishermen, and that it had eventually died where the first castle had been built before the other had arrived, even though its powers had haunted that castle for centuries with its lost alien artifact hidden there.

Accounts of the other reshaping and continually altering its appearance showed that it had altered from something else and had been trying to adapt, and it having accelerated/decelerated motions and forms like a crazy entity/life form as it had appeared.

At first it had appeared to have damaged itself and be on the brink of losing its existence but it had been later perceived that it had entered some form of damaged or dormant state – surely exhausted of energy from either its extraordinary manifestation, or from its impact with the world, or it not even having existed in space and time.

The fishermen that found it had taken it to the most knowledgeable and powerful person there and to William Randall, who had been staggered by its existence, and who gave them his extensive knowledge and experience, but had displayed more confusion on its appearance than them.

He had taken it from them and it was never seen again, but years later, after the construction of William Randall’s second castle, they had heard of its activation at the second castle and that many deaths had occurred and that they had been trying use it for magical purposes – to foresee future occurrences – and to accumulate its powerful powers.

According to legends all the people there had been found dead, and it had left the most powerful magical object in existence at the castle – in whatever state and place they had left it – with powers going beyond anything else – with power surges opening gateways going beyond space and time – and with William Randall’s valuable treasure nearby.

For centuries the lost treasure had been thought to exist there by a few explorers, who had carried out investigations and searches for it, of which many had paid by losing their lives, by being in the confines of the castle at the wrong time or place.

No real clues to its whereabouts existed other than it was located near a magical object! The legends gave mentions of it but the actual details were too little and too vague and the occurrences at the place made it too confused to establish. All the facts were missing, but having seen what the William Randall had been like and that the other treasure had existed Bryson and the paranormal scientists thought he could have had it, and it was hidden there.

The place must have been one of the most dangerous places in the world and nobody attempted to live there, or even live near there. People could not survive permanently living in its confines! Even though most of the time its powers dwindled and some people had managed to survive and escape after living for months there, and had given horrific accounts of the mind-bending wonders and deadliest menaces that they had been subjected to.

At one point, in 1880, to which nobody knows why, its existence had become entirely dormant and a wealthy businessman had found the castle by accident while visiting the region and had bought it from the owners of the land.

He had recognized its value, historical importance, colossal architecture and dimensions, and had seen that it was worthless in the desolate wood, in the middle of nowhere, and had it removed in large sections and shipped across the Atlantic, where he had intended to reconstruct it near New York.

What occurred next was never revealed, and there occurred an extensive amount of lost information, and all that was known was that the owner had died in mysterious circumstances and that the castle had ended up at a different and secret location in the depths of an immense desolate wood, hidden away from anyone locating it, with what was there activated again.

 

Chapter 14

 

The Disturbances

 

When Bryson opened his eyes he never even knew what he was! He had no recognition of anything or where he was, or that he was in one of the rooms in the castle!

He was staggered and sat upright and turned on his room light, and wondered if it was caused by his exhaustion, done on the day before, or his lack of food, the severe cold and snow falling outside, or something in the castle influencing him.

The dreams that he had had been incomprehensible and he wondered if they had actually been dreams! They never made sense and had been made up with shimmering lights and freakish sounds being whirled about him, and like being in a colossal vortex, where he never thought or even did anything, and had been like he never existed and just experienced what was there.

He liked the room around him and how well preserved it was after such a length of time, and how well it had been made, especially for the era it had been from.

Merton was in the room next to his on the left and Mortimer’s room was next to that, and Mitchell was in the room next to Bryson on the other side, where he was next to his men.

They were all sleeping in rooms at the front of the left side of the second floor, with the stairs in the center of the castle.

Bryson noted the air was just cold and with no scent, and that it was cool and calm in the room, and he spotted that there was a really thick blanket of snow covering the wood outside. He remembered earlier and being in a huddled posture with his blankets tightly wrapped about him, with him reacting to the cold.

For a moment he recalled an earlier dream and that he had thought he had died and gone to some form of afterlife, and tried to recall everything he could about it. The dreams that he had at Grovnor Castle had given him vision of other places, and what could be hidden away, and he had visualized the places the creatures sounds there were coming from and had some insight into them and their environment.

The sky outside was dark even though it was snowing, and it was normally light where he lived with the streetlights and light being reflected from the snow illuminating it, and he realized how far they were from the outside world and this place this time had no roads or connections to anything. Their communications had gone when the dark winter night began.

It was so peculiar that he liked it more than he should have! His normal life and things he encountered were too repetitive and he relished finding abnormal things to do and explore, especially when they had new outcomes and findings.

He switched off his light and went over to the window and stared out into the darkness and ancient wood with a shiver running through him, from the cold, thoughts of the cold, and deadly things that they had encountered there.

It was like another world to him and they were put there to explore it, and it was like a world without a proper sun and thousands of light years of empty space between it and the stars.

The world below was a decomposing landscape shrouded in snow with weak energy.

An array of door knocks made the door shift about, reminding him of the age of the place, and he wondered again why it had such advanced objects and structure for that age, and he realized again that the people who had reconstructed it had done it up and that he was experiencing 1880 technology.

He slowly marched over and yanked open the thick wooden door, which had been clearly expertly crafted by hand, and he watched Merton and Mortimer standing glaring at him from the darkness outside, suggesting something was along the corridor. Bryson nodded and closed the door behind him and followed them along the outer corridor.

He still wondered why they liked being up in the middle of the night so much, and why he never had properly seen them tired in the middle of the night. Surely they never had that many things to do at night?

As he considered how sleepy he was and what they were up to, and then thought of other situations that they had done and of them awaking him in the middle of the night, and as he recalled situations he gasped as he suddenly realized that he could hear sounds emerging from somewhere further ahead, and he gasped even more when the sounds seemed to magnify and turn to being blared out.

It then mildly amused him as he recalled a similar situation, and he also realized that the sounds reminded him of his dream, but he could not notice any connection and why it did.

“What hell happened?” Mitchell moaned, rushing up the corridor, after being awakened by something and seeing them rushing towards something.

He slapped his face trying to awaken himself further, vaguely looking like he had a slight hangover, and he recalled him taking alcohol from the helicopter.

As they approached a region of the corridor that they heard the sounds at their loudest the disturbance seemed as if it had different states to it and regularly altered, and Bryson imagined it as a warp through in space and time causing many different things to occur and create sporadic sounds about the castle, and in his dream he wondered if he had seen inside the warp itself (and the castle lay somewhere beyond it, being one of the locations connected to it throughout space and time).

Yet even if it was a warp he still never knew what it was or what was happening, what created it, and why the things in the wood were there! Did the things, whatever they were, become part of the disturbance while near it, when it automatically opened?

Three scientists rushed up to Merton and Mortimer and they began discussing the occurrences and situation, and the three scientists rushed back to get equipment and more of the scientists.

Merton and Mortimer stood listening to the sounds trying to establish things and where they were mainly emerging.

Some sounds came screaming at them with fury and sometimes as though things were trapped in some form of field.

The scientists rushed back and forward setting up their new equipment, connecting the equipment along that region of the corridor.

“What do think?” Merton carefully asked him, leaving Bryson with little to say.

He gave Bryson the impression that they might be going to do something or come to a conclusion.

Mortimer also gave him the impression, which would normally have confirmed it, but things were different there and they were not fully themselves!

Bryson started to realize the implications of things and that they might have to check what was there and things of great danger!

Mortimer quickly told the other scientists: “Investigate all these walls, floor and roof …”

Bryson suddenly felt deep tiredness and wished that he had stayed in bed, and was asleep.

Why were they not tired like him? What had they been doing when they heard the sounds?

In the darkness at the end of the corridor two figures came rushing towards them from the stairs – resembling a sort of dream view to Bryson in his sleepy state – and the figures turned out to be two of Mitchell’s men, who were on guard below, and they whispered things in Mitchell’s ear.

Mitchell’s face turned frantic, and he was desperate to do something, and he rushed away with the two men to where the men had been, and to the stairs.

“What are they up to?” Merton muttered, staring, bewildered.

“This place is a hell of a place!” Bryson mumbled.

Bryson watched drifting currents of snowflakes blow about a room window, and he realized that he really felt like going to bed. It had been a long day and the next day could even be longer, and he watched Mortimer rush away after them to the stairs, and he wondered what he was missing. Even though he had done what he felt like doing – rush away – but in the opposite direction – to his bed, and without saying anything.

Why were they not all tired like him? And he recalled all the things he had been doing and all the late nights before he had arrived there.

He watched them rush into the darkness at the stairs and realized that they might have to stay up for a long time, to obtain the conclusion to what was occurring, and he realized he had better follow to get it over with.

Merton shrugged and followed him, and they eventually started chasing after them.

In the sounds behind him he heard a rhythmical tapping, slowly increasing in volume, making him slow to listen, and he realized that it was footsteps rushing towards him from behind, and from behind him two more of Mitchell’s men came running along, while they were fixing gun holsters on their waists.

Bryson saw Mitchell going down the stairs with his gun in his hand. They seemed to have adjusted their lights dimmer, to make them darker and not open targets.

The situation looked bad! If someone did not die it would be surprising!

Bryson and Merton rushed to them and crept down the stairs – which creaked loudly when they made rapid movements.

At the bottom of the stairs he watched their dark figures creep around from room to room looking for something, occasionally giving a significant gasp, which most of them had given since they had arrived at the castle.

They eventually approached Mortimer trying to get information.

“Let’s look in the kitchen!” Mitchell warned, creeping away.

His men followed him. And one of them switched on a light and they rushed into the kitchen, holding out their guns, ready to shoot at anything that appeared.

Bryson felt awake again, but tired and he avoided staggering.

“I saw someone down here with a gun,” one of Mitchell’s men muttered to them, moving along with them.

How had he seen anyone down here he wondered? It had been so dark without the lights that it was virtually in complete darkness, and when he questioned him further he told them that all they had seen had been a dark figure with a gun.

When Mitchell entered the kitchen they heard him gasp loudly, grasping Bryson’s attention as he had definitely found something, and they rushed in after him.

When they reached the kitchen it was virtually in darkness and Bryson turned his head about to search in every direction and to where he saw gusts of snow blowing rhythmical against a window, and through the window he saw the haunting dark shapes of the trees of the wood shifting in the wind, almost hidden in the dark about the castle.

The brightness beamed down from the kitchen lights lighting everything about them, when someone finally turned them on, and they entered further and glared over at an area of the floor, to their side, where Mitchell was kneeling next to a dead body.

 

Chapter 15

 

Mind-Bending Dreams

 

Lights flew around everywhere like electric forms of insects stopping Bryson from seeing anything else in his surreal dream, with him mildly viewing it while he happily slept, floating freely.

Deep in dark regions he caught sight of things shifting about with no form to what they were or doing, like energy floating wildly around in a void surrounding him, and to his fascination he heard sounds of thoughts like whispers from out in hidden places or invisible zones, and they taunted him.

Energies of the universe shone and moved, which normally would have been invisible, and he saw mist formations that were really energy formations and he realized that he was seeing something as it really was, which was powerful and intelligent, which never really made sense when thought about, but which did as a fantasy.

It resembled floating in a cold dark cloudless night sky with no ground below, under a bright moon, and a lunar colored radiance emerged everywhere.

Golden places appeared around the strange energy lights that twinkled brighter through thick areas of the energy mist and a bright light appeared deep in the mist, and he realized the depth of it was really immense and that he was further off than he thought. It was tremendous and like looking into the depths of deep space.

He felt the presence of something mysterious and alive, which existed all around him and which he could not account for, and again he looked out at the lights and wondered what it all was, and studied it. Even though he never recognized anything it had a familiar look, which he determinedly tried to grasp.

He was suddenly awakened by a loud knock that rattled his room door up and down and he saw by the morning light that it was later than he had intended to sleep and he rolled sideways and checked his clock and realized that it was even later.

He automatically listened to the voice of Mortimer asking him where he was, and he told him he was getting dressed.

Even though it was winter and the border of window was shrouded with vines and other vegetation it was bright with the sun and light blue sky and the snow covering the entire landscape, and he quickly put on his clothes and opened the door and saw Merton and Mitchell, who both studied him curiously.

“You wanted us to contact you if anything happened,” Merton stated, excitedly. “Well, something has! You’d better get down to the lounge if you do not want to miss the action!”

“What action?” he answered, shifting out of the door and studying the corridor, watching some of the new scientists that they had brought in, who were checking areas of the corridor.

“One of our men just found a few faint footprints of the killer at another window further along from the kitchen!”

“Is that everything …?” Bryson asked firmly. “And your theories are?”

“He killed one of my men – who must have discovered him doing something … And he got out the door, escaped into the wood … And must have returned later …”

“He wouldn’t have dared go deep into the wood!”

“And we should have predicted his movements …”

“You found the remains of his footprints after the heavy snow fall, with the prints at the window that he entered, where they avoided being fully covered over …”

“Perfectly correct! We are having a discussion on it in the lounge and wanted you there!”

“But this means the killer is in the castle and that he can’t escape!”

Both Merton and Mitchell nodded in agreement!

 

Chapter 16

 

The First Death

 

All the main people in the castle were there, sitting silently in the large lounge, where everything seemed to have massive proportions for some reason.

They all sat still in various large seats at various angles, in seats found in the surrounding rooms, in front of what must be the largest fireplace Bryson had ever seen, with the logs blazing away with a high temperature from all the logs someone had piled into it, surely to fit it in there without making it too small.

Mitchell resumed his pacing across their path, leaving a faint trail over the late nineteenth century carpet there, which the whole castle had as well as main other modifications that allowed people to live there, which had been added later on – including electrical lighting, kitchens, toilets, proper beds …

They had found a generator that powered everything, when they had tried to connect the generator that the helicopter had brought in. Yet even with all the later technology the castle remained the same, lost in time and trapped in a warp in time.

Mitchell’s expressions barely ever altered but now showed there was trouble ahead, and some of the time he was in deep thought not quite mentally there.

Bryson wondered if any of them had been confronted with such crimes before, and why they had?

In fact, after a careful examination of all the people there he realized that he and the two psychic researchers must have the most experience, especially from the murders at the last castle! And he realized why they had wanted him there and Merton had taken Mitchell up to get him, and he realized that he could have a lot of problems ahead of him!

They were not experienced enough to conduct an investigation, and the last time it was the police that had been doing things and he had helped.

He was sure that Mitchell had some facts about the killing that he was not revealing, and he tried to think of what he would not say and what he would do! Yet there was little to go at the moment and he left it for later.

There were many hidden facts to it and he would wait until they surfaced, and stopped troubling himself.

The others were mainly discussing the death but knew little, going by what they said. They were waiting for something to occur and come to some conclusion – perhaps even waiting for an argument to occur. Then perhaps they might get some information to enlighten them about it.

Bryson gave occasional shudders from the cold that came through the opened door. His lungs felt as if they had sandpaper grated over them from breathing in the cold in his room.

Merton and Mortimer sat at his sides, silenced by the whole event, glimpsing the window as if they were waiting for something and did not want to say anything.

Mitchell turned and coughed into a handkerchief.

“I don’t understand,” Merton argued, “why someone would want to kill the guy? What did he not want us to find out by being caught in the kitchen …?”

“You could be right!” Mitchell replied. “Why did he not want to be caught so much?”

“How did a stranger know about this place? Who do you think he was?”

“I don’t know, but we’ll have to make sure it doesn’t happen again! Now knowing this place … I could imagine him easily as a lunatic …”

“Are the cops coming then?” Bryson asked, seeing the meeting there was to get everyone informed on what was happening.

“They’ll be arriving later today by helicopter!” Mitchell answered, showing the situation was nothing to do with him.

“It’s going to be really tricky explaining the place and the situation to them …?”

The police obviously might not accept the full account and of what had happened to them in the wood, and it clearly involved a horrendous crime …

Mitchell turned his face away from the fireplace and its yellow radiance flickered over his back, and Bryson watched gray wisps of smoke rising up the chimney.

“Anyway, I wanted to ask you all … Did anyone see anyone near this place?” Mitchell spoke, standing, and watching nobody move in the room, and they all nodded that they never one by one.

If it had been one of them and not a stranger then the person must have been missing when it took place and he wondered about the people that he had not seen, and from what Mortimer told them they had checked up on them and that there was at least ten people there that never came in contact with anyone when it took place, and had been sleeping, and Bryson realized that they had made a mistake by not checking them at their rooms to see if anyone had been missing, and he also realized that they never thought it was them and that they would not have gone to such lengths to carry anything out.

Bryson realized the infernal place now had a killer, who had a motive to kill for, and they and all the evidence had shown that the person could not be in the wood and was hidden away somewhere in the colossal castle, and that they would have to sleep there with him lurking in shadows.

 

Chapter 17

 

The Treasure Quest

 

The entire castle was colossal and dangerous beyond belief, even during the day, and they had checked all the stuff that they had accumulated and found there had been many occurrences and deaths during the day, and nobody seemed to want to go into the unexplored regions, where they also thought the killer lurked.

So when they started their investigations of the castle it was in search of the treasure there and was organized by Mitchell and he brought all his men, with Bryson and the two psychic investigators, and some scientists and archaeologists, who were curious what was in the unexplored regions.

They had been no further than the central region, and region that they slept in on the second floor, so Mitchell’s idea of going to the central region of the top floor was really interesting.

Bryson climbed the stairs studying everything, while curiously watching Mitchell as he followed him up and occasionally listened to everyone else behind him, and Bryson noticed that his surroundings seemed to get dirtier the further up they went and by the time they reached the top they were sweeping giant webs away, which seemed to increase in size, and he started to consider there being dangerous spiders there.

“Well,” Mitchell finally announced, breaking his silence. “We now know that killer has not been here! Though there must be other staircases up here, so we still have him being about as a problem.”

They entered the top floor and it looked incredible to Bryson. It was like another world and like seeing a real haunted place, place where supernatural existed, and he considered it as being either one of the only places like it on the planet or one of the most powerful places on the planet.

The corridor had to be the most ghostly darkest places he had seen, and with freezing cold and snow it was even more still, silent, and empty of life as was possible. Even with the lights on there were strange haunting dark shadows and glows that held secrets and dangers!

Some of Mitchell’s men insisted in announcing their being there clearly to the killer, if he was up there, and they insisted in leaving him until the police arrived. And even though it was one of his men and he had directly attacked them, he had escaped and it was a police matter! Though he was sure most of them actually still intended to do something when they could!

They grouped closely together and wander down the corridor in the one direction with startled and amused faces as they searched its interior, with faint thoughts of what it would be like there at night. The place to everyone there seemed to be the source of all the occurrences in the wood, and it at times was like being in a central area where something existed that was more powerful than anything else there, and perhaps on the planet, and the stuff in the wood avoided going there because of its power and that they were being checked and it had hidden intentions to do things with them.

The treasure being hidden away there was like something were using it to lure people there to their deaths, and he wondered again if he would survive this adventure!

Merton wandered about offering anyone next to him a cigarette, and spoke to them confidently, and they gave startled expressions at their surroundings and what he actually worked as and a famous leading investigator of psychic occurrences.

Mitchell, Bryson noticed, was giving them confidence and his wisdom in carrying out the task ahead, while gently persuading them to do what he wished, and use their powers of deduction to find clues or anything there. There main motivation seemed to be money, and they were all positive that was what motivated the killer there.

As they passed different rooms it became clear that nobody had been there in many decades. Cobwebs and dirt just about shrouded everything they met with!

Nothing showed any clues to what Bryson wanted, and it made little sense.

The killer had to be ruthless and carefree to have done it in the way that it had been done, especially to one of Mitchell’s men. The person had done it under their noses! Yet it could indicate that he never knew them or what they were like?

From the looks that that he caught he knew that the incident had affected them all. Some of them were argumentative when they mentioned the dead guy, and he was sure that they had not found any major clues.

Bryson touched his sore forehead with his fingers feeling if the coldness had sunk into his brain.

He saw that it had still stopped snowing and that there was a good chance, according to a forecast, that the weather would stay that way until the night.

He wondered if the place had actually turned people insane! He wondered if the killer had an interest in anything else and if they were thinking of him as being only after one thing.

A loud helicopter thud gradually emerged away in the distance, and they all grew silent and considered the arrival of the police, and at a window Bryson and some of the others watched it and another three helicopters arrive, making them even change their interest there to below the castle, where they landed, and Bryson watched the faces of all the police and people connected with them get out and looking about slightly amused but mainly very curious, and some actually knowing some things about the place, and he heard some of their communications blaring out as they told of their arrival and what the place looked like.

The police had a hard time realizing what they were dealing with, and Bryson listened to the person he was sure was in charge of everything. He had clearly been communicating with the police elsewhere in his helicopter.

“We can separately look about more,” Merton declared, clearly losing interest with looking out the window. “We can cover more ground …”

They all split up more and into groups, going into rooms more, and searching more.

Bryson marched away himself straight to where he thought one of the main rooms was, which was larger and unusual, and he was sure it belonged to the owner that had reconstructed the castle, if he had even lived there or had it built for him before his death.

It was incredible how fast Mitchell rushed after him, and he watched Merton follow him, seeing it was the most interesting place to go.

The others mainly agreed to search the corridor and to check paintings and antiques, which were really ancient and valuable looking, especially being there and covered in such dust and dirt.

The door to the room at first seemed locked when Bryson reached it, before the other two had made it to him, and he quickly confirmed it was locked before trying to shove it in.

“Curious!” Mitchell muttered. “Very curious! It’s got a lock and it’s locked!”

Merton ducked and stuck his eye to the keyhole and moved back, and asked, “We could wait and try to find a key, which may not exist, or we could just break in?”

“Let’s break in!” Mitchell quickly replied first. “What’s in there could be of great value! And if we leave it someone else could get here first! This place is getting more and more people …”

“Alright!” Bryson replied. “The door can be replaced anyway, if it’s of any value …”

Mitchell immediately left to nearby rooms until he found what he wanted, and arrived with a large log of wood, which had been in a fireplace, and used it to smash in the lock and viciously shove it in, until the door screeched right open and Bryson saw only darkness and then windows that were covered by thick curtains, and dust flew down over them as they moved in and they entered like they were entering a tomb.

The mess was shocking! Webs and fungus had shrouded everything and an ancient bed was left rotted away within the room, with small amounts of ancient furniture around the edges of the large room, and Bryson attempted to age it all but never succeeded.

“The owner liked a large bed,” Merton muttered, humorously, examining its remains, watching a dust cloud from their entrance float in beams of light, from streaks of sunlight from the window where Mitchell started opening the curtains, trying not to destroy the rotted remains of them, and looking out at the wood from there with some fascination!

They then crept around the room watching his fascination of the wood, and his drawing all the areas of interest in a vague map, and listening to their creaks and cracks from the floorboards.

Bryson’s attention fell on the bed again trying to imagine what age it was, and he realized it was early twenty-century technology.

When he moved back he saw the humorous side of what they were doing. The place interested him and he liked such places and their history, imagining all the past events and people who had been there, and all the many hours and days and thoughts that they had, and he wondered what the future would hold for it and fantasized being in a time machine shooting through the depths of time. What would the future be? And what would the outcome of their investigations there be? What would the future be now that the murder and all the police were there? Was this the end of the desolation of it? Or could the place become so deadly that they would have to isolate it from humanity?

He saw a small drawer under the legs of the remains of a wardrobe in the corner of the room and saw it had not been seen, and investigated it with interest, while he considered the room from different perspectives. He wondered if the people had just slowly left there or had been forced out by the occurrences there, or had they died there?

The stiff drawer revealed it was full of old clothes and he looked through and man’s clothes considering what he had been like.

Mitchell never investigated anything any further and assumed that they had found what they were going to, while Merton copied Bryson and still searched unusual places and objects that he came to, and looked under a small gap below the bed.

“This place is gruesome!” Bryson muttered. “This place must have been the biggest castle in the world when it was built! And it could have had one of the richest people too! It must have been the most magnificence building to live in at one time, with luxury beyond other people’s wildest dreams! And look at what it ended up like! One of the worst deadliest places on the planet!”

He wondered if something might occur to mankind in hundreds of years with the world turning desolate like the castle! Could this be really what happens to the whole of civilization one day? Will the remains of the human race end up living in the remains of everything, treating it as desolate gruesome remains of an ancient race obsessed with size and power, building immense structures for unknown strange reasons?

“An incredible place with an even more incredible history!” he remarked, flicking webs away from him.

“Do you think that we made a mistake being here?” Merton asked, seeing his change of feelings. “This place is cursed with deaths … And not just one or two people at a time …!”

“A ruthlessly place with many lost secrets that does not like people staying in its locality for too long …”

“Let’s check somewhere else!”

As they left they were amazed at how far the others were going to search the place, and even Mitchell gave a surprised look at what some of his men were doing and that they were frantically yanking up floorboards all over the place, as well as in specific places.

When they walked further up Mitchell was even more surprised and stood with his mouth open, and one of his men whispered something in his ear and he realized something and nodded back in agreement, making Bryson wonder what they had realized and had turned frantic over.

“A good way!” Merton revealed. “We can get this place searched properly if they all carry on like this.”

When they moved along the corridor Bryson realized that it was a good idea and slowly started copying and helping them.

Though Mitchell allowed it he never joined in and remained ready to go to anywhere anything was occurring though.

Bryson wandered around just to see what he randomly found, and stopped at paintings and antiques wondering what they were worth. The owners were immensely wealthy and could easily have left something that could have vastly increased in value, and he studied a painting and wondered what it was worth.

He quickly phoned an old friend to see if he would value them and was surprised that he had heard about the castle and occurrences there and that it was all over the media, and he was comforted to know that they never knew the location as the police did not want to give away the location, and Bryson knew that they knew there was danger there and that people would be in danger.

His next surprise was that he was more interested than he had thought in checking the value the things there for him and Bryson sent photos of paintings and antiques when came to them, and left him to check them.

While he searched a repetitive forceful hammering appeared in the distance and occasionally interrupted him enough to stop and listen and wonder why someone was so determined to break through something.

He realized how much he liked and missed treasure hunting and quest for the discovery of the paranormal cause and the solutions, and realized why he was there more than ever. The quest, the exhilaration, and the thrill of the chase made gave him immense excitement and adrenalin rushes! He was sure there was stuff all over the place after seeing the reactions and things there!

While he considered the castle’s interior from various perspectives the sounds in the background escalated into a furious rummaging and banging, which made everyone about him stand alert and listen. What was happening? What had they missed by not checking there? The people behind the sounds sounded as if they had really found something and were trying breakthrough to something to get it.

Bryson stood next to Merton and watched a room far along the corridor where there was a cloud of dust was coming out, and heavy thuds were accelerating louder, almost climaxing and the people were about to uncover something and they marched quickly there, and the others around them joined them.

“What the hell have they found there!” one of Mitchell’s men finally moaned out loud, glaring ahead.

Bryson followed behind him and watched the room – where the cloud of dust increased and moved along towards them, and they heard and felt shudders going through the walls and sounds of boulders crashing across the floor.

Their looks changed from bewildered glances to observing everything as they approached it, and they looked in the doorway and saw chunks of rock and pieces of plaster scattered everywhere across the room and Mitchell and his men crowded around an area of the floor where there was a large black hole, which they had smashed the floor away to reveal.

They had discovered something concealed below the stone floor beneath the wooden planks. Perhaps after they had discovered that the ground under the floorboards had given a hollow tone, but when he questioned Mitchell he told them that when they had lifted the floorboards there that they found that the stone floor had a hole in it, where it had caved in, and that they had seen a chamber below.

Bryson measured the floor with amazement and realized that he had not even considered it, even after being in the last castle. It was phenomenal how thick the floor between the top floor and the lower floor was and he had not noticed it, and it even looked large enough to conceal something, and he recalled what William Randall, the builder of the castles, was like and had done in the other castle.

Yet why had he gone to such lengths to conceal this one? Was there any connection between it and the disturbances that had occurred at the place?

Mitchell’s men viciously smashed heavy hammers against the thick stone and chunks of it crumbled away and crashed down beneath the floor, while the others got ready to climb down.

 

Chapter 18

 

The Hidden Chamber

 

A deep thud echoed down when Bryson jumped down into the chamber below, through the hole, landing on all the debris that they had smashed in, and he watched Mitchell and his men looking around with a single torch and Bryson looked up and out the hole at the faces of the others glaring down, interested but remaining there until more lights arrived.

It was hard to figure out why it was so valuable to them and why it was even anything, although in the last castle it had been, and he started looking for proof that it was more than part of the structure of the castle.

The ebbing radiance of the torch clearly was not enough to allow more of them to see properly at any proper distance and they moved gradually while checking everything, and Bryson followed scarcely grasping the concept of why such things had been built, and recalled in the last castle they had been used as hiding places and escape routes from being attacked and overcome by enemies.

He had only one fact to prove and that because it was in the castle it might have been part of its defense against invaders! So he searched everywhere for clues that people had been supposed to stay in it and all he saw were chimneys and supporting walls as his eyes slowly adjusted to the vague light.

The height of it was low and they were crouched over to avoid hitting their heads against the above floor and they crept through the dirt and building debris, while sounds took strange tones, and he strained his eyes more trying to see further in, but there were no features of anything.

After a great deal of time they wandered around and the new lights arrived and surprised them as they were able to see away into distant regions all around them, and one of Mitchell’s men suddenly shouted and they all followed his gaze to a strange shape away in the distance, and one of the men shone his light directly on it and revealed a large square object.

While they shifted there it became clear the place had not been used as a hiding place, unless it could have been going to be one or the builder had put it in to convert into it if they had needed it.

They approached the object slowly and Bryson wondered where they were under, at the above floor, and tried to grasp what would be there. Was it hidden away or was it part of the structure of the castle? His examinations of it at a close range gave him little to go on other than it was made of gray stone and square, but when they finally approached the thing it became clear it was the square end of a tomb, and if they had seen it from a front angle they might have recognized it.

They examined small writing on the side of it but the stone had deteriorated and it was too dirty and dark and none of them could identify any of it.

Bryson took out a piece of paper and drew a vague plan of where they had traveled giving the exact angle and distance that they had walked from the entrance hole for him later to find where the tomb was actually under, and he realized there had to have been an entrance nearby as someone would not have taken such a bulky heavy object across any great distance. They were practical people, which he had proven in the last castle as well.

He searched around looking for it above and found a large slab entrance hidden in dirt on the above floor in front of the tomb.

“What’s that?” Mitchell asked, hardly seeing him, too busy trying to find clues on the object.

“I worked out that they had to have had a nearby entrance to get that down here …” he replied, shoving the thin slab up and sideways, out of the way, and examined the floorboards over it and found that they were not nailed down there, but fixed together, and he carefully removed them and pushed the carpet over it up, ripping the areas of it up where it was nailed down.

Sunlight from outside beamed down through the above room through the entrance, lighting everything around them, and Mitchell’s men congratulated it and some of them left through the hole, and Bryson climbed out to see where it was and was surprised that it was over the central region, where it had been in the last castle.

He searched about for anything else but only found that it was faraway in the opposite direction than they had been searching in, and he climbed down to the tomb when they started to lift the lid off. Then he wondered who was buried there and why they had been placed there? And he gasped when he recalled all the disturbances and deaths that had occurred there?

“Who will it be?” Mitchell asked, astonished, looking at the tomb, seeing if Bryson had any idea.

“I do not know!” he replied, moving over to his side at the side of it, standing as though he were standing at the front of an altar, which amused Mitchell.

As they started to shove the thick slab covering the tomb onto the floor Bryson examined the writing on the tomb again and cleaned away as much dirt as he could by washing it in water, from a bottle he borrowed from one of the men, and he started to see vague outlines of the writing but could not fully understand it, and took photos of it to examine afterwards.

“Check that stuff later,” Mitchell moaned, amazed at the sight of the cover of the tomb moving from the tomb.

Something stopped the lid being shoved any further again and they gave it a quick heavy shove pushing it only slightly sideways, and it seemed fixed in position, and it needed much more force to shift it or the heavy block of stone would have to be lifted off it.

Before they lifted it one of the men from above climbed down with a crowbar and they used it to shift it sideways again, and as Bryson rested and the cover went over onto the ground his sight fell on a skeleton, and he wondered if any of them knew it might be one of his ancient ancestors, as it could very well have been a descendant or relative of William Randall, his ancestor, and why he had been at the other castle in the first place.

 

Chapter 19

 

The Ancient Tomb

 

Most of the words on the tomb were by all means to do with William Randall but words were missing and they were in riddles and were only comprehensible to someone who would have known the things that they suggested.

The skeleton had to be someone connected to William Randall or the original people at the castle, and it might be the only source of any information about the occurrences and treasure.

“Do you get any of it?” Mitchell pleaded, seeing him intensely examining the words on the tomb again, after he saw little in the tomb itself, and he had stayed watching him crouching in front of the tomb reading over what he could, trying to find something.

All of it was confused, and it was turning to a disappointment, and Bryson nodded in disagreement and stood up and ignored it.

Mitchell and he moved around looking baffled, as well as tired, and examined the skeleton again.

“What do you think they buried this here for?” Mitchell asked, probing, curious and looking for more.

Bryson rested and never replied and as he did his sight fell on the skeleton, and he wondered if he should react to having the privilege of encountering a great ancestor, and he saw that it had the same height as he had.

Traces on the skull showed that he had had similar looks too!

Mitchell grew annoyed and poked it, and it moved and shifted position and he saw something sparkle as it did, and Bryson stuck down his hand at where it was in a pile of dust in the center of the skeleton and he probed through its bones and felt an object, and he pulled it out.

“What do you think?” Mitchell asked, trying to see what was there.

He cleaned the dirt, which was encrusting most of it, and found that it was a large ring, and he started polishing it with a cotton handkerchief that he had in his pocket and revealed an expensive ancient large diamond gold ring, and he examined the diamond realizing that it had been it that had sparkled.

The large size of it was peculiar and he had not seen any normal ring that size before.

“Can I see it?” an archeologist asked, which one of Mitchell’s men had brought over, and he swiftly shifted in beside him, and put out his hand. “I’ve seen something like that before …”

Bryson handed it over seeing that he knew something, and the archeologist twisted and unscrewed the area that held the diamond, and removed it from the ring.

“People concealed small objects in them,” the archeologist stated. “Just below the jewel!”

His fingers probed in it and he removed a small piece of paper!

 

Chapter 20

 

The Secret Map

 

He unfolded and stretched it out, perhaps done for the first time in hundreds of years, and someone shone a light over it and its details became clearer and some of the men grouped around him, and they examined it.

“It’s an old drawing of this castle,” Mitchell replied first, seeing something that confirmed his beliefs.

But Bryson realized that it was more than that and that it was an ancient plan of it from a side view, showing where something was, and he knew it because it was so important that the person had it hidden in the ring, and he had seen something similar in the other castle. It had far more detail, and more than what it had looked like when first seen, and it was an accurate map of the interior.

Bryson’s thoughts went wild and he wondered what they had been up to! The other castle was just a place haunted, but this place in places never made sense anywhere! What did they find? What were they doing here? And why were there so many secrets involved?

Mitchell took it, and held it over his light, and he and Bryson considered the faint lines for a moment. He tried to realize what he had been like. What had he actually been like? And what had he thought of the castle?

“Could be anything to do with the treasure?” one of the men finally asked, desperate for clues.

They examined it for clues to its identity, and why it was there!

It could be more valuable as assumed but on the other hand it could be anything! They studied it from different angles, until they started losing interest.

“That looks like a faded cross marking something?” the man that had asked if it could be anything to do with the treasure asked, pointing at a very faint cross that he had found.

Bryson was surprised that he had not seen it, and that the others never seemed to have noticed it.

“Where do you think that is?” the man finally muttered, like he knew where it was and wanted to confirm it.

“It’s on the top floor and surely not far from here!” Mitchell finally answered, seeing they were not coming out with anything. “So let’s go and have a check …”

After a few seconds of examining it the others started climbing out, into the room above, and Bryson put it away in his pocket.

The ring was valuable and could well prove there was more, and showed they had wealth, which he had known already by the massive castles and estates, and last treasure they had found. Yet he could not work out why there would be two treasures!

As he climbed out he vaguely wondered how safe the castle structure itself really was, and if it was safe to be in, as it had been built by ancient craftsmen with only a basic knowledge. Who would know if they had only designed it to last a few decades at the most? Yet if it had stayed up the amount of time that it had it must be strong enough not to collapse! They could have easily built it to last! He had only seen castles with no roofs that were crumbling away, and he had never heard of one such as it falling. Yet he had heard of parts of modern structures collapsing!

As they walked along the corridor Bryson noticed some signs of value in paintings, and took photos of them. There could even be a connection between something in them and the clue!

 

Chapter 21

 

The Discovery

 

What Bryson was surprised at was how easily and firmly they had identified where the mark on the map was in the castle, and he had not even considered that it had been when they had arrived there!

The man who had found the mark on the map seemed to be the best at it, and they all looked at the rooms there.

As Bryson examined the best places to look he remembered the plan of the castle and removed it, and he started trying to see what the mark was at, and he suddenly noticed the man that had found the mark and Mitchell were measuring the floor in the corridor, outside the rooms, and he wondered what they were thinking.

The map looked different in the light from outside at a window, and he saw things that had not been recognizable before and it slightly surprised him, as he had expected it to have dulled lines and blemishes, especially because of its already bad condition and ancient age.

Bryson glared, partially blinded by a sudden illumination from the sun, and its powerful glare from the snow. Then when it decreased he saw more detail and faint lines that had faded and that had not been visible before, and he wondered if the others had seen stuff that he had not seen there, and why they never bothered asking to see it again?

He studied things on it astonished at missing them and saw where the exact location of the small cross mark was marked at the castle, even though it was so faint that he could easily have taken it to be a badly drawn mark or correction rubbed away.

Yet though he knew that it was something its size was not big – it looked too small to be significant – and it was not just a bad drawing as it had been carefully drawn there! And he considered why the person had gone to such lengths to draw it so well into the sketch, and wondered how the man in his tomb had died and what the person had been like, and why he had been buried there?

Bryson stood up and joined Mitchell and some of his men measuring the room, who took it that he knew what they knew.

Bryson gradually realized what he had missed and that there was a large distance between a room wall and the wall in the room next to it, and when he knocked the wall it did not sound as solid, and it was not as solid as the stone walls in the other rooms.

He was sure a small chamber existed there, and wondered why it had been hidden away, and why they had been so secretive and had marked it on an old map?

Nonetheless, how could they check it? Where could the entrance to it be? It could be sealed, but there could be a way to climb into it!

Bryson considered it for a moment and realized that was what Mitchell was considering, and he wondered if he would knock a hole in the wall of the room where the map cross had been marked? Their faces still some showed puzzlement, indicating that he had a problem and had not realized how best to get into it.

Bryson started tapping the room wall and listening to see how hollow it was in different places.

Mitchell decided to do more, suddenly looking more energetic!

“It would be a shame to ruin this wall,” Bryson explained, considering the hole that they had made in the floor to enter the chamber beneath the floor. “It could make a hell of a mess!”

The man who had found the mark on the map suddenly used the opportunity to show them what they were missing and went over to the corner of the room and lifted up the edges of the wallpaper, showing them that there was, in fact, a gap going around the entire wall, and looked like a large crack and was deliberately concealed.

“What do you think it is then?” Bryson asked, confused, not fully grasping what it was or what he was explaining it was.

“We’ll need to find a way to tug it out from the side at the door as the hinges are at the other side,” he replied, and Bryson shrugged and decided to wait for him to show him what he was talking about.

He went to different places of the wall examining the crack and inserted a tool into the gap, which allowed him to grip the wall and yank it slightly outwards, proving nothing was holding it, and Bryson recalled an inner library that they had found at the last castle, and realized that the wall was really a giant doorway concealing something behind it, and he helped the man pull it out, and soon realized that it opened out on hinges at the opposite side.

It opened out like a giant door revealing a hidden chamber full of old books and scrolls, and Mitchell’s men saw value in the books and the information they could hold, and Bryson wondered why the map had it marked on it and why someone would keep just books as a secret?

 

Chapter 22

 

The Police Investigation

 

A bright large fire burning furiously in the fireplace in the lounge enticed Bryson in and to a seat, where he intended to rest and go through all the things that they had found in detail, and he was sure he missing things and that he would realize them now, while resting on his own.

Yet as soon as he sat down three of the policemen marched in, and looked him over!

The heat from the fire made the central policeman’s eyes bulge out as they entered further in, making their way to the fireplace, and Bryson saw he was the policeman in charge there.

“So you’re Bryson!” he exclaimed, looking about him. “I’m Lieutenant Spelman. I’m in charge at the moment …”

“Have you found anything?” Bryson asked, becoming interested, examining their official clothing, wondering what they would make of the disturbances there, and wondered if they had encountered anything or what they had heard and thought of it.

“Where are the others?”

“They’re at the top floor rooms,” he answered authoritatively.

“They’ll all be back down soon?” he asked.

“I don’t know when they’ll be down! But I’m sure most of them will be down soon … It’s dark now! Have you found anything out about the death of the man in the kitchen?”

“Various things! But we don’t have the killer yet!”

“So have you found any fingerprints or DNA?”

“You’re one of the scientists here! This place is strange!”

“Strange? Stay here long enough and I’m sure you’ll never see anything as strange again!”

The policemen showed signs of confusion and surprise, but Bryson was sure that they had been informed of some of the things that had happened there or had already seen something. He was sure someone in the ex-military men with Mitchell had been telling them what had happened. It was also them that had called the police in and he was sure one of them also knew them.

In distance Bryson realized that there were noises of trouble, and action by the police, and he realized that something was happening, especially going by the reactions of the police in the room, and a policeman rushed in the door.

“We had him but he escaped!” he hollered, breathing faster. “We know where he went and two of our men are going after him!

“We were investigating the castle where his footprints were and we found him at the floor of a room. He escaped down a tunnel there!”

They followed him out and they rushed over to the room, and Bryson sensed that he was going to be in danger of getting it!

At the side of the room the carpet had been rolled over, and the person had removed a hidden entrance to a tunnel and had escaped without covering it over, and Bryson heard scrambling movements and panic-stricken voices deep in it, where the police were clearly chasing the killer out towards the wood.

It was worse than he had imagined! More police were rushing in determined for action, and they were contacting the rest of the police force, and he now positively knew that they never knew of the dangers out there and that great danger was there! And yet if he told them, warned them, he not only knew that it would be a mistake, it could very well make things far worse.

He just did not know what to do and was too tired, and he hoped that Merton and Mortimer would appear and help prevent things escalating further.

Then he realized that they might be able to catch the man before he left the tunnel, and he thought he could either catch him or make them go faster, and he rushed into the tunnel with the others.

“That guy was sneaking around up there!” Bryson gasped, speaking to a policeman at his side.

“If he escapes we may never have a chance to get him again.”

“Let’s go as fast as we can!” Bryson announced, checking his watch.

He swiftly led them deeper into the tunnel, surprising them with how fast and experienced he was in going through tunnels.

He surely did not have that much of a head start! If they moved fast enough they might catch him in the wood.

He gasped at the fact that they could end up going miles into the wood with those things there, as his footprints were guaranteed to be there and force them into getting him. Yet if they moved far faster than him they might capture him first before anything happened. It had only just turned dark!

As he rushed on he studied the walls of the tunnel amazed at the workmanship and that it had been manufactured like the other tunnels that they found there, and he wondered if the guy knew the people that had made it.

As he grew tired he thought the police in the tunnel would just give up. Yet he was sure that they could catch him! He wondered what he looked like, and what he was up to? He also knew that the police would be using helicopters and wondered what would happen there, and if he used a hideout?

From one of the communicators behind him he learned that it was now snowing heavily above and over the whole region, and he happily knew it would cover his trail in the wood, if they could not get there before him entering deep into the wood. They had to be as fast as they could! This could be the only chance to get him!

As he heard the police not that far ahead of him he realized that they had not been in a tunnel before and that they were going slow, trying to see what was ahead, and he gasped as he suddenly heard the police communicators stop work, from the disturbances in the wood.

Bryson regulated his breathing, blowing out steam through beams of torchlight, and rushed on and on, as he searched for obstacles ahead.

He felt surprisingly awake now, with no need to sleep, and he felt things could be successful and he intended to increase their pace further.

So when the police ahead of him in the tunnel appeared, now going very slowly, they allowed them to pass, almost not believing that they could capture the killer, probably put off by the length of the tunnel.

While they continued Bryson saw that they were following them, at the back, and he realized that he was now at the front and that the killer could even be nearby, and suddenly realized why they had been so happy to allow him to pass and he realized that he never even knew if the police directly behind even had guns.

It was hideous! It could be anyone and the guy could be far more different from what he accepted, especially going by what this place had come out with so far.

He definitely did not want to confront him in the tunnel as he could easily shoot him as there was nothing to give him any cover, and it was better to wait until they were outside. Even though that could mean him escaping or dragging them through the wood in something like a gun battle!

His eyes stayed on the most distant part of the tunnel, searching for him, waiting for him to take a shot at them or to attempt to ambush them.

When he recognized the steps to get out the tunnel he sprinted there, and when he approached them he considered what to do next and realized how easily the killer could be waiting for them to climb out of the tunnel. He knew that they were chasing him, and had to have heard them as they had not tried to conceal them being there, and going by the distance the police in front of him were he considered him not far ahead.

Bryson rushed up the stairs and waited, and the others appeared behind him with startled faces, and he realized that at least he might have talked them out of doing something stupid, and was amused to hear some of them wondering who the hell he was.

“Well, what will we do now?” one of them asked, panting slightly, looking at him as though he was crazy.

“We’d better have the police with guns here! We don’t know what this guy could do!”

Once the police moved to his side Bryson climbed out into an immense blizzard, with the snow blanketing his entire surroundings, almost in complete darkness, without any lights, shifting into deep snow, considering everything that he was up against, attempting to observe any place he could see, and wondered if the killer could possibly see him.

He listened through the howl of the wind and all that he heard was the trees being blown around, and he looked for a place to take cover and move over to, and one of the policemen appeared at his side and shone his torch about, and though the wood became visible, he could barely see anything else.

“There is part of his footstep!” a policeman announced, pointing, and they realized that they could not follow him, as there was only part of one footstep there.

 

Chapter 23

 

The Space/Time Gateway

 

Once Bryson arrived back at the top floor that night after resting and having a meal he instantly realized that they had found something else, and he saw Mitchell and his men standing around a large hole in the floor in front of the bookshelves.

“We just dug through,” Mitchell announced, in excitement, as Bryson arrived, glaring, and Mitchell shone his light around the large hole, where they had removed floorboards and smashed in a stone entrance slab.

“When did you find it?” he replied, wondering what was there, realizing it probably was what was marked on the map, and that the bookshelves were covering it up.

“We found it only an hour ago!” Mitchell replied.

“How did you find it?”

“Some of the men, who were still exploring the chamber with the tomb, found the area below here was surrounded and hidden by a thick wall … And we found a sealed entrance over it …”

“What’s down there?” Bryson asked, trying to see in it.

“There’s stairs … They go down below somewhere!”

Mitchell entered first, using his light to see the ancient steps going straight down, and Bryson followed, surprised that the tunnel and stairs fitted into the massive walls in the floors below.

Bryson watched Mitchell moving down making sure he never slipped, and a deep thud echoed down from behind, and he saw that only one other man followed him, and he realized that it was a good idea only having the three of them as the ancient derelict castle steps might not be able to support more weight.

The ebbing radiance of the light was not enough to allow more than three to go safely down either, and he tried to grasp the concept of the tunnel and he imagined the outside of the castle, as he had seen it, and tried to recall the place where they were on it, and where they were going. He was sure that it might have been part of its defense against invaders!

Sounds from behind altered and echoed down giving muddled and strange tones, and he had to strain his eyes more and more to see what he was doing, what Mitchell was doing, and occasionally look back at Mitchell’s man behind him, who was the man that had seen the cross map on the map, which had led them there, and he wondered why he was so keen to find what was there.

He saw little below and that there were no new features of anything, and that the tunnel’s small shape (less than a meter all around him) vanished into the dark.

The steps descended sharply and hazardously and they had to climb down slowly, rather than walk down like with normal stairs, and he had to hold himself upright and lean backwards, and its drop seemed perpendicular at times.

Once he thought he heard distant movements from below, surrounded by their growing surges of strange sounds, and he was sure Mitchell reacted, just ahead of him, with the light oscillating irregularly. Its light swayed over the stone, and the narrow shaft seemed to vanish at a point below.

A feeble glow from something reflecting light caught his attention and he wondered what was there to reflect it, and he saw what looked like a crack in a wall, between the castle stones, and when he looked down he realized Mitchell had vanished!

At first he thought he never saw him as his light had gone, and that he had broken it and that they would have to return, but as he moved down an explosion of colors exploded out from something stunning him, and he opened his eyes and studied his surroundings and saw that he was no longer in the shaft, and as he confusedly studied his surroundings a colossal whirlpool of shifting outlines magically shifted about him and he realized that he had no body or proper presence, and was some form of energy formation.

 

 

 

II

 

The Magical Orb and Treasure

 

 

Chapter 1

 

The Supernatural Vortex

 

Energy beams exploded at Bryson as he gained consciousness, covering his entire vision with bright colored light, and he studied everything that he could see wondering where the hell he was! A colossal vortex of shifting outlines magically shot by and he analyzed it in greater detail and proved that he could not realize what or where it was, or even what he now was!

His presence was some form of force formation, and he swirled out into a vortex of reshaping energy patterns that had replaced reality, and he wondered if he could be trapped there for all eternity, and he ignored it and realized that he was no longer bothered and wondered what his future would be like.

He studied a surreal splendor of mind-bending displacements and saw that they were altering to something that he could not recognize. All of his knowledge of science and universe gave him little and it left him mesmerized! Was he even classified as being a life form? His knowledge of what was beyond the universe was little and he felt like he was about to explore something far greater and mind-boggling than he could have ever imagined!

Questions started emerging and he mainly wondered how he could observe anything? If it actually was light there what was he using to perceive it? Yet he recalled the mind-bending dreams that had experienced in the castle and being in a supernatural vortex, and he started to realize that it had to be it or something similar.

Even though he never actually had anything he still felt glad he had some form of recognition of what it was and tried to work out what it did, how it worked, and where it might go to!

While he was considering what would happen next he spotted a miniature circle of flames buried away in the central region ahead of him, and he grew more and more interested, and he started to recognize more detail as it grew and was astonished as he shifted into it, and within its depths he saw what looked like magnificent colossal stars, in a golden haze, blending into his surrounding brilliant colors.

Spectacular golden beams exploded out, and gold stars shot by, and he realized the tremendous speed that he was traveling at, and a region of golden space was expanding out all across his front, and he floated into it.

He saw his body emerge with a new formation and start transforming, and sensed there was something far more different about it, and he saw a strange transparent world formation emerge, with ghost images going through the swirling golden brightness.

Magnificent bright white and gold lights filled his entire vision everywhere, shifting around everywhere, as if he were floating into some form of cartoon cosmos.

Where was he now? Was he actually in one of his dreams he had been at the castle? It was incredible! Would he be able to solve all those queries he had accumulated? At an early age, when he had first visited the first castle, he had experienced the dreams and mysteries buried away there!

Large objects, he was sure were stars, dazzled him with their brightness. Their density together filled space everywhere and yet they never came into contact with each other, staggering him that they could even exist in their state, without being pulled together.

The whole of space around him had the objects shifting and visibly shooting around, and he observed them with curiosity, and as a scientist. He had to answer what was there as much as he could! He was sure that they avoided courses that would make them crash into other objects, and he finally spotted one actually altering its course to avoid hitting another and was dazed and confused that such an object, if they were suns or the size of suns, could have intelligence and the ability to alter their course through space, and he considered what they were and did.

He exploded with excitement when he searched behind him and saw the vortex he had come out of stretching across space, and he tried to grasp what it was and realized the immense speed that he had been traveling at, and was still moving away at.

The size of vortex looked close to the size of a solar system and the vision staggered him and stuck in his mind!

Over a great deal of time he dreamily partially entered a form of sleep state, shooting through the surrounding emptiness, through the surreal space, far from the universe, out beyond reality.

Obscure illuminations endlessly shifted as he wildly spun around, with no real awareness of anything, and a tranquil shape gradually emerged across his front, of something of brightness, and he came to sometimes to study it.

How had he managed to end up in such a far-out place? Where the hell was he? How could he survive this? He was barely a ghost/energy state in some far out mind-bending place, and he considered if he was actually in the castle in a dream state!

He felt as though he had been falling through something and he tried to grasp the concept, and where, and suddenly realized something was blowing at him from somewhere and he saw, hidden away in intense brightness, he was plunging down to some form of world under him.

He was over some form of water! He was sure of it! And he was falling out of its sky!

He prepared himself for everything that he could think of and a roaring and blinding surge of what looked like invisible water or form of energy hit him and he automatically put out his arms, swimming upwards and pulling himself out of the endless depths, where he saw star objects through at the other side of the world.

 

Chapter 2

 

The Mind-Bending Universe

 

He continually kept going over everything that had happened! All the supernatural occurrences that they had encountered as they had approached the castle, exploring the wood surrounding the castle, and the strange mists and lights there that haunted the place for centuries, and attacks by the things that emerged there, chasing them through the deep snow and into the strange tunnel that they had found that led them to the location of the castle.

Even now he could not explain what it was all caused by! What could be there and have created such a disturbance, which nobody could now deny existed? Yet he had worse things to explain now, and thought if he ever returned he would be spending the rest of his life trying to explain it all!

They had professional ex-soldiers, with Mitchell leading them, and every leading scientist in paranormal or anything connected to it, and he was a leading scientist too, with the two main psychic researchers there, Merton and Mortimer, who had explored the last castle, and found everything that they could have, and he was sure they could achieve something if given long enough.

Who had the killer of one of the ex-military men been? The police were exploring the whole region there now and he wondered what the outcome of that would be, and he gasped! They could not find a way to explain things to them to prevent them from doing something stupid there!

The most frustrating things were the search for the treasure and them finding more and more clues! They had only been searching the castle for a day and they had made discoveries everywhere! A chamber under the top floor with a tomb in it, with some strange writing on it, which he had not been given any proper time and proper examination of, and the strange skeleton inside, which had to be someone significant and be buried there for a reason – and with a ring that had a secret compartment with a map with a secret location marked on it that they had traced to a library where they had found a tunnel below – which the three of them had climbed down, with him following Mitchell down and one of Mitchell’s men following him, and then Mitchell had suddenly vanished below him and when he had climbed down had been transported into the vortex to where he was.

He had to find a way back and he constantly went over things trying to find something that he had missed!

He wondered where Mitchell was, and the other man if he had followed him there, and he wondered if it transported people to random locations? Was it the supernatural vortex that he had dreamed of in the castle? Did it have things trapped in it? Did things get transported back and forward through it? And if it did why could he not reenter it and return there?

The island, if it could be called an island, was fascinating and made of something similar to matter, and he constantly studied.

It was virtually translucent in places, as well as being slightly translucent in different degrees in other places with different colors through it, which he was sure was made of some form of new energy, with strange atoms replacing normal ones.

It was firm in places but like being on a waterbed in other places and he was glad to be on it as he had spent hours wading through its sea, if it could be called a sea, as it was nearly like thick air and he only managed to float on it due to him also being made of a similar composition. He was sure gravity existed, at least! Or was it just something similar?

It was incredible! Through the sea and areas of the land he had seen the other side of the world, if it could be called a world, and its size was close to being the same as the moon and he saw similar islands to his in different sizes and shapes, some massive and others small like his island and they seemed to float around it.

The place never needed a sun and glowed brightly with all the surrounding lights or suns in the sky, virtually covering all the sky, and he had to search for black areas of empty space to confirm they actually existed there, which he was still unable to prove.

The world also generated its own light and heat, but he could not realize how! The strange thing was it had the many of the characteristics of the normal universe and it was like it was mimicking it and as though it had some of the same forces like gravity and had formed similarly with the forces governing it.

Though his survival was an important thing he wondered if he could actually die as he never needed any food or oxygen and he was made of the same indestructible or nearly indestructible substance that everything there was made of, and he was unsure how it functioned.

The sea surrounding the shore was barely visible but had colored matter grains in it against the shore, like sand, mixing through it, and the rhythms of its waves skimming up the surface of island gave sounds like real waves and blew the form of air there in gusts like something was breathing over him, and he wondered if something was there examining him!

There were vague things in orbit and mists over the upper atmosphere that shifted, with the world’s vague rotation, and he saw some signs of its faint rain having fallen. And he put the exploration of the island as his main activity, except he had to find a way to return home!

One time he dived deep into the sea, as fast as he possibly could, and admired the surreal abyss below and enjoyed the swim, going fast and furiously into it. It was a dreamland and he treated it like a holiday, especially compared to the conditions of the castle, and he realized how bad the conditions at the castle had been and that the warmness there was ecstatic compared to the cold and snow and he wandered around enjoying the solitude and bright light, and exploring an unexplored alien world.

 

Chapter 3

 

Back in the Castle

 

Deep in dark regions and lights surrounded Bryson in his dream as it started ending and he started waking, and he caught sight of things shifting about with no form and wondered what they were or were doing there as he opened his eyes and examined the sun beaming into his castle room, and the snow falling outside.

After all he had been through the dreams still never made any sense and he still insisted in trying to examine it to find some clue to what he was missing.

The dream had been about nothing and eventually bored him, and he rested in his bed with his blankets wrapped tightly on him.

Yet the lights in the dream reminded of the supernatural vortex he had been in and he now wondered if it had anything to do with the supernatural or something else.

The dream had allowed him to forget all the events of the previous day and his return to the castle. It had been incredible! He had been exploring the shore of the island when he had found footprints, which could have only have belonged to a human put there like him, and he had traced them for hours, thinking it had to be Mitchell or his man who had been behind him in the tunnel, but he had been surprised that it had been another human.

They had talked for hours, and he had realized that the man was almost crazy in places from being stranded there for many years, and the man had loved hearing his accounts of what the outside world was like, and all the new technology that now existed, and Bryson had learned that he had been there for decades and from the Second World War, surprising Bryson with his young looks, and that he was far older and had clearly not aged.

Bryson had learned about him being in the castle and their search for the treasure there with great interest!

Even though Bryson had been surprised at his search for the treasure he was sure that he had not known much about it and had been there to help.

Both of them had thought each other had been dangerous at first but had slowly realized that they had finally met other humans, and though he had been amazed at Bryson’s accounts of the castle and the tunnel he had been surprised that there had been stairs in the tunnel and Bryson had realized that the man and his two associates had been in another tunnel and that they had been sure the treasure had been buried away there.

Yet one of the biggest surprises had been when the man finally remembered his own name again, as he had been so delirious for so long that he could not recall things about himself, and he had told him that his name was Pendleton, which Bryson had heard of in the accounts of some of the people who had vanished there.

The man’s view of the island had been startling and he had even thought that he had missed something as the man had not fully believed that he had been transported there through a vortex and had religious beliefs of what had occurred! He surely had thought he had gone into his own place in the afterlife and was unsure whether it was heaven or hell, and had beliefs that he was still being considered for both, and he had watched him regularly praying to be saved.

Yet after being there, and all that had happened, he almost felt like copying him, but had thought better of it. It clearly had not saved him for one thing!

One of the problems had been there was little to do! There was no need for food and they never got tired or slept! And if it had not been for the fact that they never felt properly bored, agitated, or, in fact, anything really, and he would have been worried!

One time they had visited a strange phenomenon on the island, which Pendleton had told him of, which was a large hole going into a hard region of the island, which seemed to go down into an abyss far below the island, which had actually looked volcanic, and had grasped Bryson’s attention as if it was volcanic it could have proven that the island had been formed in the same way as the world, and, of course, given him some form of insight into how the world had been formed and what it actually was.

Yet after a great deal of examination of the substance there he had still found nothing! There had been no sign of anything that remotely came out of volcanoes!

About a day later, when they had started to think about leaving there they had suddenly started vanishing, which had grabbed Pendleton’s attention first and the most as he had not experienced it before and he had prepared himself for years to meet something there and enter some other place in the afterlife.

They had both appeared in the castle, surrounded by scientists, to their astonishment and confusion!

How the hell did they get there? Neither of them could explain anything! Bryson could not explain anything and why they had not gone through the vortex and Pendleton could not explain anything either! And Pendleton could not even recognize the castle after such a long time! He must have been the only person in the history of the world to have been in such a place and have returned to the world after such a long time!

The simplest things confused Pendleton and his now normal human body staggered him, and he had a hard time adapting to it and having such things as feelings. He could not understand and remember what hunger was and why he grew tired, and even thought that he was ill most of the time, and occasionally gasped at what he had been missing – yet as he was still the same age as he been when he had left he still had the same amount of years that he would have had!

He also never recognized people, and they were different from what he had remembered them as, and he had not seen anything of the future! He was like a time traveler in a future world! He also thought of himself as having been put there to start over again and repent, in another attempt at entering his relished afterlife.

He spent most of his time studying everything that he met with in fascination – like he were an alien being visiting this world in the form of a human being.

Chapter 4

 

The Psychic Research Equipment

 

When Bryson had recovered and rested from everything that he had been through he decided to go and visit Merton and Mortimer in their new psychic research room, which was located behind the wall of the tunnel at the exact spot he and Mitchell had vanished into the supernatural vortex – where they were most likely to get the best response – and where all the action must be.

When he entered he was surprised at not only how advanced their equipment had become but at the capabilities of other stuff they had there. Their visit to the last castle had clearly given them far more of an insight and knowledge than he had realized. He was positive that they had found far more than they had indicated, and were keeping secrets from him.

What confused him the most was how they had managed to get him back to the castle! He had not thought of anything himself, and continuously tried to think of a good way to get them to tell him as they had avoided answering his and everyone else’s queries on it and were clearly hiding things. What sort of equipment could have taken him back into the castle almost instantaneously with Pendleton?

He recalled seeing Pendleton wandering around dazed exploring the inhabited region of the castle, getting use to his new body and life on the Earth. He mainly remained on his own the most of the time, as he had become use to, but was still excited to meet the others in the lounge. The police there had examined him wondering what he was doing there as they had been given strange vague replies and detailed explanations by the scientists, which had left them baffled.

Mitchell’s return had confused everyone as he had given them the strangest replies that he had heard from any of them, and he was particularly interested in where he had ended up as he had not arrived at the same place or even universe that he had, and he clearly was covering things up on what was there, which they had not been able to get why. It was in his nature not to say much and be secretive, and it was not apparent if there was anything they should know there and that he was really keeping something that they had not even imagined.

The other man, Mitchell’s man who had been behind Bryson in the tunnel, had seen and acknowledged everything that had happened in the tunnel and had returned to the top, which explained why nobody else had entered it, looking for them, and it had been him that had told the scientists what had happened and what he had seen happen, and they had immediately started work on getting him returned.

It surprised them and Bryson that only the three of them had returned, and he and them believed that the rest had all died a long time ago at where they had been located, and Bryson realized that it proved that there was no immortality in the places that they had gone and that the other places were vastly different, which could also be proven from what they had seen of the other events that they had heard of, and what they had seen existed.

Bryson believed from what he had overheard from some of the other scientists in the room that they had temporally deactivated, for a brief amount of time, what was in the tunnel with their own energy field in the room and had allowed them to return, and he was sure that it had been dangerous, which he believed was because it might cause whatever was in the castle to become more activated again as it had done at many times in the past.

 

Chapter 5

 

Reverse Sequence of the Spectral Maelstrom

 

Bryson was growing in determination to find out what they all knew that he should know, so he was glad to see Mitchell and his man who had been in the tunnel turn up at the room seeking answers to what was going on there.

Bryson examined all their equipment for clues, and recalled reading about some of the work that Merton and Mortimer had done recently, after they had given out documents of some of their investigations on the paranormal investigations at the other castle.

Their stuff had been surprising, and even alarming in places, which had drawn his attention at the time, and he had just dismissed it later as them using it to advertise their work! At times he had thought they were deliberately putting the psychic research there to cover their real work and discoveries! They never mentioned anything on the other stuff that they did, which he had found existed at many occasions, and he had hardly even seen anyone even check what they did or had created. They ignored them as being fake ghost and alien hunters!

Merton and Mortimer informed him that they were checking for virtually all known forms of energy and matter disturbances in and around the void and gateway in the tunnel and he was sure that they could have reversed what was in the tunnel instead of what he had heard earlier from some of the other scientists who thought that they had just deactivated it. They could have caused a reverse sequence of the spectral maelstrom!

By the way that they reacted he believed that they might have something that could detect aliens, so they would know if there were any about. But he was unsure and he was sure that they were unsure if it worked, and at what distance from them would it work, and he wondered if they had anything that could be used to catch them, and even catch and kill the things in the wood!

Presumable their presence could produce effects to indicate them being there – such as altering air currents, gravity, magnetic fields, radioactivity, scent, sound waves, static, and the light spectrum …

Most of the equipment in the surrounding laboratory was there to check everything in a degree that had not been done before!

Bryson finally made a proper move to find out more and moved over to some equipment that he had heard them talking of, with suggestions that they might being able to detect aliens with, and he asked Mortimer, “Would this detect an alien at a distance?”

“It may detect temperature changes at really far distances! I am unsure what temperature readings aliens create though – or if they, in fact, have any temperature here! But we do have stuff here that we use to check a whole range of things to show us exactly what is occurring and what we may be missing. Information such as it is vital! We may be able to acquire some type of insight into what is happening – with the right information?”

Bryson realized once again that he was avoiding telling about things, as he had clearly heard them mention things that he had avoided telling!

“So are you using any of the equipment in the wood?” he quickly replied.

Mortimer strangely glared at him, and asked, “What take the stuff over there? Why should you want to do that? It’s too expensive! Besides we believe that we may get the opportunity to use it in the castle!”

“To find out if we are missing something out there! Those things could kill, and they have not come up with anything to destroy them with yet! And if things go the way that they are I am sure it will! Those police could enter there later at night … If you have anything, even if it just helps locate their position, then it will be of great use …”

Bryson glared and wondered how much he had exaggerated the situation – or if it was really far more.

“That may be a good idea,” Mortimer replied after some time, still considering it. “But are you fully sure they just want to kill?”

His reply surprised Bryson and he was sure that he had forgotten all the accounts of occurrences there, and he wondered what he thought those things in the wood had been up to. Did he think that they were just animals protecting their territory or something?

“I’ve a few good ideas about that you should know …!” Bryson warned. “So when was the last time you read up on all the deaths that have been occurring around here?”

“They may have been done by something else!” Mortimer firmly responded.

 

Chapter 6

 

The Psychic Research

 

Bryson removed a container from his bag and poured the drink from it down his throat.

“Perfect!” he announced to Merton. “What type of surveillance stuff have you for detecting it then?”

“We have a great deal of stuff as we’ve already shown you! We specialize and experiment in detecting things! This is the best there is, and we love investigating anything extraordinary! Even if it is an assassin that could try to wipe us out … And we would love to help stop it …”

Bryson was surprised and wondered what he was talking about now! He knew they were hiding things, and were hiding what their equipment was and was for. Even the most craziest things that they had come out with had something!

There was something strange about the way that they insisted something of a paranormal nature existed and that it was entirely new, and had not existed in the last castle, especially after considering that he had not actually heard them come out with anything that existed there and that their work showed how accurate they were and always kept to the facts, only showing what truly was there and what they believed was there.

Bryson had a great passion for the new and fantastic and the investigation of the paranormal activity was really interesting even after him actually being in what he considered was a supernatural universe, even though he now had thoughts that it could be something else, and he was surprised that they never questioned him much, but he had realized that they had been affected by meeting Mitchell first and him avoiding saying virtual nothing about what had happened, which made Bryson very curious, and he noticed that they all had an interest in Pendleton for some reason, which he was convinced was to do with his free way of saying things, when he did talk to them. He had a hard time explaining what was there though!

The dreams of the supernatural vortex that Bryson had enlightened them about only confused them and he was sure that they thought he had imagined it and was exaggerating anything that might have existed.

The problem, he was sure, was that they never properly knew what they were up against, as it was a different castle with something else, and that they were not entirely sure what had been at the last one, and that it had not fitted into everything that they had known and had been trained to deal with, which was very vague, unexplored and unproven, and he was sure the vast amount of it had been created to fill the void of nothing occurring.

He believed there were strange phenomena that had not be fully explained everywhere and that the scientists there mainly knew it!

Could this thing they were considering as being from beyond the realms of the universe, and some form of supernatural being, actually be some form of alien? He had not fully proven that the supernatural universe that he had been in had been! Why could such things not exist with hidden science that they never knew of?

What was classed as supernatural? Anything could exist with the right science existing and he wondered if he could actually believe it if he fully encountered it!

It was incredible that nobody had fully proven and investigated anything of that nature, and that all the scientists only considered it when it was brought up, and the other castle seemed to be the only proper case of anything of that nature existing!

He and Merton and Mortimer always saw their point of view and that there was barely any real evidence! They could barely even establish anything and jumped at the chance of finding the slightest suggestion of something that actually was there, and finding new ways of detection! They were fanatics and crazy to achieve what kept proving itself as being fantasy!

They were there to investigate anything in that region that could have been missed, and missed out by other scientists who avoided checking or wasting their funds on it!

The two scientists were accurate in their investigations and checked everything that they could and had built up the most advanced paranormal research establishment that there was, containing the most highly advanced equipment that there was available, which they mainly had there.

On arriving there he had realized that they had something and that they had put together something, and they continued building a vast assembly of equipment fitted together on tables, covering the surrounding room with it, mainly surrounding and aimed at the tunnel behind the wall, with equipment and tools left everywhere, and it was clear that they had been at work building it for a great deal of time already.

The more he examined everything the more he saw and realized more, and that they might achieve far more!

All their assistants and scientists were still running about altering and adjusting things, collecting new information on things, getting old information from their records, and studying it.

Yet he could barely guess what parts of it were for, and it interested him greatly, especially with the interest of the scientists in it and their reactions to it, as though they had been waiting all their lives to create it and that they never had all their technology available before and had something with such incredible potential!

He wondered if what was in tunnel could damage the equipment that they were using and if they could fix or replace it in the near future? It was clearly expensive stuff and perhaps the only stuff available!

Other scientists were there to investigate what the scientists could not and do it to a greater degree than ever before, and he was positive by their reactions that they had never had their day and proper encounter with anything like it and achieved their goal, and that nothing surely would be left for the people who might follow their work someday, to find and be remembered in history.

If only they could just find something that had gone undetected by everyone else, with their detection methods and equipment, and have proper proof for the world!

He was staggered when he considered what they had come up with, as they had advanced far further than he had even imagined and the place was packed solid with every form of equipment possible, and it went beyond his imagination what they might do!

They had managed to transport him back there from the other universe or whatever it was, and must be the only people ever capable doing that!

It was like an experiment to them to see what would happen if they pushed further than ever beyond the boundaries of natural science and out into the supernatural.

The darkening winter night sky through the window revealed the abyss of the billions of light years of stars to Bryson and reminded him of the dangers of exploration into the unknown, and he considered what could exist in its depths, and what kind of aliens existed out there.

“Well, we have now finished our work on setting some of the stuff up!” Merton announced tiredly to Bryson, dragging himself away from his work.

It was incredible! He realized that he had been there for hours and that they still had not properly notified him what they were doing, and what it was fully for! He could not believe how long he had been there without barely noticing it and wondered if he had been damaged by being in the vortex and other universe, and he had seen that the others had seen differences in him and vaguely studied him now and then.

Merton marched over with a smile, while rubbing his tired arm.

“We are here to help!” he announced. “But we do not want all our work ruined and all our valuable stuff available everywhere before we have properly used it!”

Bryson was surprised by his reply and he did see their point of view, and considered what their thoughts of him there were!

He thanked Merton and for saving him from the tunnel.

“You now must be the most experienced on what exists out there!” Merton informed him and the others.

Bryson examined their scientists and the equipment carefully and tried again at estimating what they were doing and left it until they either told him or showed him its use, which surely was the latter and that it would be better for them to show it.

He watched them silently considering what to tell him!

“When we checked the tunnel behind that wall,” Merton stated, “we realized that we could come up with something better to use to check what it does … Well, especially after hearing and monitoring those sounds, which appeared all around this region, at specific points, and we realized that we should!”

“So you can properly check it further?” Bryson replied tiredly.

“We will be able to check it within other dimensions … And properly check those sounds …”

 

Chapter 7

 

The Dinning Room

 

Most of the people at the castle were sitting in the dinning room, chatting loudly and excitedly all around the dinner table, and Bryson walked in fascinated at how far they had cleaned the place up since the last time he had been there.

Bryson sat between Pendleton and Mitchell at the center of the large ancient circular wooden table and ate his food greedily, hungrily than he had in a long time, and realized that he and Pendleton were both eating and drinking crazily and were the only ones there doing it, and some of the others occasionally watched.

Mitchell now seemed more silent and inactive since he had left the castle and Bryson realized how much interest he had in where Mitchell had ended up, and he continually tried to think of a way to get him to say something and solve the puzzle.

Yet he could not think of anything and knew that he would avoid replying to everything!

They all jerked when two loud exploding crackles came off partly wet logs burning in the fireplace, directly in front of Bryson at the other side of the room. The heat from it could be felt warming the place and some smoke could be seen entering the room, giving the place burnt scent, which liked.

“Well, how are your two scientist friends doing?” Mitchell moaned, moving backwards in his seat, to see him better.

“They are making progress!” he replied firmly, watching Mitchell examine him and Pendleton and their eating habits.

Bryson anxiously took some soup and watched him at the corner of his eye with his chunky face examining him. For a moment, he wondered if he had found the answer to the clue or something else.

The hunt for the money was an exciting game to all of the men there and he listened to their tales of their searches for it with great interest and decided that he wished to pursue the treasure more than anything now. Mitchell’s men now seemed far too overconfident now, for some reason, and he could not establish why and realized that they were deliberately avoiding saying something, and it seemed to be Mitchell’s idea, making him wonder why. Were they on the trail of something and were they keeping things secret? But why worry about it! They would either find it or they would not. They had nothing to lose.

He was happy that they had not found it yet anyway, especially while he was not there! As he really wanted to be at least there, and perhaps hold some influence in its discovery.

There seemed be little findings and activity since they had vanished into the tunnel and he was not sure if it had been the fact that Mitchell had not been there, and perhaps him too, and that they had not known what to do without them being there or if it had been the fact that they had found everything that they could and hit a dead end, but he was sure that it had been both factors.

Why not have a good time there! Who knows they might get something else of great value at the place after all! There were many generations of eccentric owners of the castle! Things in it had been there for an immense amount of time! Perhaps some valuable antique existed hidden away somewhere!

He quickly phoned his friend on his pocket phone, and established contact with him and that he would continue his search of the castle for items and send him photos of them for him to establish if they were worth anything, and was surprised that he was still interested and excited, and told him the latest news about the murder at the castle and the police investigation there had come up with little and it was no longer appearing on the media.

Only one or two of the police were at the castle now and there because some of them wanted them there, because there was still great danger of there being a reoccurrence of the killing.

It emphasized the value of the treasure, if it still was there!

Bryson felt the warm air in the surrounding room now and relaxed against the back of his seat. The corridors and rooms were freezing compared to the room now, which he felt occasionally blow in through a gap in the door from someone further along opening an outside door.

He intermittently lifted his glass and tasted sweet white wine.

“Did they not find anything else with all that equipment that arrived here?” one of Mitchell’s men further along the table asked.

“They’ve not finished!” Bryson replied. “They were working on a lot of things! Like our return to the castle!”

“They’ve not finished their work?” Mitchell answered, reminding him again with how vague he was now.

Pendleton lifted his arm and allowed it to fall to his side, and examined a magazine that he had with him, which one of the scientists had given him, which he kept reading with fascination at the technology and things that now were available.

The whole place was mysterious to him, and Bryson also had many mysteries to solve.

Mitchell stretched his arms out, waking himself, and announced, “It’s time to start work!”

“Where are you working now?” Bryson quickly asked.

“We going to lift that tomb out … Then up through the floor from the hidden chamber … Then we’ll see if there’s anything else there! So if you’re interested …?”

Bryson nodded in agreement, realizing Mitchell wanted him there, as well as the two scientists being there, and realized that it would be a good idea to start there, where they had left off, and he recalled the words on the tomb and that he had not established what they meant.

 

Chapter 8

 

The Clues

 

When they entered the library Bryson examined the tunnel entrance, dug out from the floor and now covered over with an ancient stone slab, and Bryson sensed something unusual. But he only grasped that there was snow falling outside.

Yet something seemed different and he watched the others grouping about the table with seats, in front of the books, and he made himself familiar with his new surroundings. Most of the people there were Mitchell’s men and the archaeologists.

Bryson wondered why the books had been hidden away there anyway – in a chamber hidden behind a false wall that opened out like a door – and why someone had gone to such lengths to build it? He knew why the tunnel was hidden out of view but not why they had hidden a small castle library there.

Yet the others that had looked through the books insisted there was nothing there and he took their word for it!

He watched Pendleton gasp as he saw the covered over tunnel, and quickly acknowledge it as a different tunnel entrance from the one that he had gone down, which they had not investigated yet.

Bryson suddenly realized that the books were uneven and hanging out everywhere and that when he had passed by the room earlier that the books had been neatly placed together by the archaeologists, who had been there last, who were the only ones interested in the books, mainly to search for historic accounts of there, and going by what the others had told them.

Somebody had clearly searched through them for something, and Bryson wondered who had been there, and what had the person been looking for? The majority of the people at the castle had been at the dinning room or with the scientists.

He examined objects in the room from different perspectives trying to see if there were anything altered, but never saw anything else and started examining the books.

He eventually asked the archaeologists, “Are there any books missing there?”

They examined through them but never noticed anything so Bryson ignored it.

He wondered where the killer had gone and if he was looking for the treasure, and he started wondering why he had been so desperate to do something? Why did he not wait? Was there a trail that led to it somewhere? Had the person been trying to get something to get to it?

The treasure could be anything and he even wondered if it was the same one that had been in the other castle, and that they would be spending all their time searching for something that they had found already! The treasure could have been there and had been taken by William Randall to the other castle with him! It was only logical that he would have had it near him! Why did he have two treasures anyway?

Bryson had never heard of people having two treasure before and he considered if there was more than one person involved and that there was a second person who had been at this castle who had been a friend or relative of William Randall, and again he wondered if it had been the person in the tomb buried in the chamber beneath the floor, which they would soon go to and remove from the chamber.

Who the hell had they been, and what had they been up to? He started searching through the books with the others for information! Something had to be there and he searched what the books were mainly about and what they were interested in, and soon found out that the books never belonged to them and belonged to later owners of the castle, and the earliest had only a few books that were virtually meaningless to him and gave little.

He was sure that if the map of the castle found in the ring on the person in the tomb proved the person had been with the original people and William Randall, and that if there was information about them, it might be there after all.

There was something about hunting for hidden things that he did not like and that frustrated him! There were far too many things that suggested where things could be and that could anywhere. The mind could almost turn anything into what looked like a clue just by staring at things for long enough, if the person wanted something badly enough! They could be following false clues all the time and make major mistakes there until they left if they were not careful! He was sure, if they had not already been doing it, that they would start doing it as soon as they checked the main places and clues at the castle, with there being no real ways of finding it left.

Here they were searching books for the answer to something that could be anything, and not even exist. The amount of things that the mind could conjure up and associate with it was vast. He doubted if the treasure seekers that he had seen in movies, who had chased after clues, could have answered the clues that they had been given. Why had he never heard of anyone chasing after treasure like it? As far as he was now concerned the people who had found things had been looking for them in ships with people who had found records of there having been treasure, and which had been aboard vessels that had sunk in specific regions that they could trace – and with them not solving strange riddles to them! People found them with knowledge and traced them with technology, and spent a long time doing it, and in most cases never found anything or virtually nothing!

Yet even though they had in the last castle solved the riddles and traced the treasure! And he tried to recall his line of thought when he had found it, and the way the people at the last castle had been that had helped him discover it.

He believed people that came across treasure were incredibly lucky, in the right place at the right time.

He had never proven that people had actually followed clues ever found anything, even though that was what he intended to do, and he thought what he had done at the last castle was more like solving an ancient mystery! People endlessly chased after treasures that never existed – or with fake or unsolvable clues.

Many people had found things while looking for other things though and he could not recall hearing of any of them finding what they had been looking for when it came to major finds like the Holy Grail.

Yet a long time ago things might have been different, and if people did find them he was sure that most people would have no real reasons to report finding anything! Why would they want to? Why tell that people had actually gone about hiding treasure, leaving maps and riddles?

Would real treasure maps be incomprehensible to anyone else? Surely people would try to stop someone else getting their hands on it? Why would they write down obvious places and names that other people would know of and allow them to find it? They could easily use codes and words that other people would not be able to understand, and miss out and muddle things up making sure other people would not be able to establish things – hiding if numbers were co-ordinates or paces. They could give false clues that could easily remind them of the real ones!

The main problem was that there were no real clues or evidence of the treasure existing and that made it incomprehensible to everyone! Yet somewhere there might be another map or mention of it! They might also be able to discover the treasure itself if they searched all the key places people would put it? The archeologists and scientists had very advanced equipment that could be used.

Yet he was unsure if they could cover the whole castle!

Bryson had also been starting to believe that someone knew something that at least proved its existence! He kept sensing it and, though he had not proven a thing, he was sure that it would not take long before they found out about it!

 

Chapter 9

 

The Tomb

 

Bryson wondered how they were going to remove the tomb, as he made his way there from having something to eat. The tomb was made of solid heavy stone and he wondered if they could get enough of the men around it to lift it through the floor.

When he arrived there he was surprised at how far they had gone to do it, and knew right away it was Mitchell’s idea!

The floorboards of the majority of the room around the entrance were piled in the corner and the entrance had been increased in size to a size far greater than the tomb, surely to allow people to carry it up planks of wood, which were sloped down to the tomb to allow it to be pulled upwards.

By what they said Bryson realized that they had attempted to lift it and had been unable to get it and the men up the planks and through the entrance.

Now they were wrapping chains around the tomb and were putting metal poles across the planks of wood, going up through the entrance.

When they had finished preparing everything he watched them push and roll the tomb up the planks of wood over the poles while the others in the room helped pull the tomb up with the chains.

When it was finally up they lay about resting, and Bryson managed to get a proper look at it in the lighted room and tried to see what he had missed, but he never saw anything as the tomb itself was far too dirty and covered in debris.

What interested him most was what they intended to do with it as he could not realize why they were so desperate to get it out, as they had clearly examined it in the chamber with everything that they had, including all the scientists and archaeologists.

He started examining the tomb to see how valuable it might be, but he could not image it could worth much, unless it had historic value that he never knew about, and he wondered if they knew something there that he never and that the stuff had value somewhere. For some reason he could not imagine them being there if there was nothing with definite value there, even the treasure could be there, and he wondered if collectors might value it as being valuable for some reason that he never knew and he thought of phoning the guy he knew who was having him take photos of things to value there.

After taking a few photos of it from a few angles he sent the photos and a message to his friend, and soon received an acknowledgment of the receipt of them. He watched the others to see what their reactions would be but they just ignored him.

Archeologists arrived and got to work cleaning the tomb, and washing all the dirt from it, and Bryson wondered if they intended to make the castle famous and worth something and he wondered what would happen then – and what would happen if it remained haunted and people visited the place from all over the world.

Bryson realized that they were not properly searching the castle now! Yet even though they had agreed to concentrate in the right places and stay together out of danger it might be a mistake as they surely would start giving up after long enough! He was sure that they were best searching it as quickly as possible and covering as much ground as they could without putting themselves in too much danger, and he wished to discover all the key places and search there.

Therefore he started trying to realize where the key places were and wondered how he could safely wander about the rooms and corridors looking! Perhaps it would help solve some of the mysteries there that had accumulated over a long time and since they had arrived.

For a long time he had wanted to investigate somewhere like the last castle as he had missed it greatly and he could not believe he actually had another to investigate. He had always wanted to search the other castle when he had been younger! He had been unable to do it for years as the servants there had kept him in the lounge, on his only visit there, and had persuaded him not to go anywhere else, and he had been unable to visit there again when he had been older as his uncle had not allowed him back.

He felt that he had the freedom to roam this castle and he wanted to take full advantage of it when he could, without getting into any danger, but he was far more interested in finding everything he could about the tomb before doing anything else.

The others spent a long time tediously cleaning the tomb rock and he joined in and examined the writing on it again in case he had missed something, but never found anything. It was just ancient writing that was usually found on tombs and had nothing of interest or was to do with anything else.

Yet one of the archeologists washing and cleaning the end of the tomb uncovered some writing there, which had been covered over with dirt, and Bryson went there first to see what was there, but just before he got there the archeologist announced to his surprise, “It’s the identity of the person in the tomb … His name is William Randall!”

Bryson was staggered and did not know whether to believe it, but the other archeologists there confirmed that they were positive that it was and Bryson wondered what it meant as he had definitely seen the remains and tomb of his ancestor William Randall at the last castle.

Bryson had a hard time even remembering William Randall in detail, and what his skeleton had looked like, and started realizing that he could not properly prove the skeleton in the tomb was him or was not him! How could they prove anything? The lack of evidence annoyed him greatly and he could not prove anything and was like a blind man trying to recognize someone from someone that had not spoken, or had identified himself properly, or had any information about his identity revealed and met someone who never said anything that was being identified as the person! He remembered little about William Randall! Yet he had known what he had been like in places, but that was only basic stuff about him and other people like him at the time. If only they could find something that could give them something worthwhile about him and the people at the castles!

He tried to remember the accounts that they had put together to find the second castle and he tried to recall something about it. He could not remember much about it – yet he could recall that William Randall had been identified as being at the second castle and had been the person who had the second castle built, and he thought that he would have stayed there as well.

It was as though someone were deliberately trying to muddle the facts up and confuse them! It made him shiver thinking of it and what the consequences were and he would now have to accept that the other skeleton at the other castle was someone else. Yet what the hell difference did it make?

He examined the skeleton in the tomb wondering if it really was his ancestor and what difference it would make.

He wondered why they had buried him there under the floor of the castle? Why would someone bury him there? Was there someone after him, or the person there?

Mitchell marched over seeing his slight distress and examined him and seemed interested in something.

“Wasn’t William Randall mentioned as being at the last castle?” he enquired, trying to get some information from him.

“Yes!” he replied firmly and annoyed. “I saw his tomb there though! He was my ancestor that built the castles …”

Most of the people turned and stared, surprised that it was his ancestor that they were examining.

“Incredible!” Mitchell answered. “That’s right! I remember Sir Richard Randall was your uncle … And Robert Randall the current owner … It must be strange being in such a place and meeting one of your ancestors here?”

Bryson finished examining the skeleton and realized that it actually looked the same as the last skeleton!

“Perhaps they could have both skeletons examined to see if they are genetically linked to you?” Mitchell announced. “That should prove what one is authentic and what one is not!”

“That’s a good idea!” he replied, surprised that he had not thought of it.

“I can have it done for you …?” One of the archeologists firmly replied, examining Bryson’s features and comparing them with the skeleton, with surprise. “I’ve another friend over there … Near the other castle who can get something from the other skeleton …”

Bryson was astonished and realized that they had come up with the answer and he agreed firmly and thanked him, and Mitchell for coming up with such a great idea, and he wondered what the outcome of it would be.

 

Chapter 10

 

The Second Death

 

Bryson studied the crumpled up remains of the body of the scientist, who he had worked with many times, trying to realize what had happened. His body was completely drained of water and of something else that he could not recognize.

He had just arrived there, at the remote region of the castle, with Mitchell and his men, and met with Merton and some scientists and police that had been there.

One of the other scientists who had been with the dead scientist earlier had gone out searching for him when he had not arrived to meet him.

For some reason everyone there took it that he had not been killed by the killer and by something else! By something so hideous, evil, and unearthly that they could not even imagine what! He tried to ignore how hideous it was, trying to look upon it as an artist would observe a crazy exhibit, but it was no use! Something was now out to get them! The things in the wood, if they were not the culprits, looked like nothing compared to it, and they now looked as if they had been playing with them and only scaring them away from their territory.

The complexion of the body showed it was drained of blood and showed the deadliness of the place, and their chances of survival had vastly decreased and danger could now exist there in the castle and during the day now and they never knew what they were up against and how to survive against it. They were becoming defenseless and they could not do anything about it!

Bryson was confused more than he could ever recall and he had difficulty discovering what was occurring because now he could not even imagine solving what had happened!

Strange thoughts of him leaving the cold confines of the place and that region gave him shivers of ecstatic pleasure. Yet the pleasure he could have if they solved all the riddles there would be far greater! He could return home or go on holiday to some hot place next to a desert and celebrate – after returning to reality – not on the brink of catastrophe – and he could return to solving normal everyday problems with the effortlessness that he had done for most of his life.

He attempted to work out the exact time that it could have occurred and where the room it was in was located, and wondered why the scientist had been there working alone anyway? At least it might show that the thing would not touch them in groups and in the inhabited regions of the castle.

He could not get why no sounds seemed to be heard from there, and why the death had not been heard? Some loud sounds outside could be heard miles away. Yet all the castle large stones could block even the loudest sounds!

Merton still seemed slightly shocked at it! He had seen him working with the scientist on many occasions!

They all stood about the body while the police examined things about the body. The scientist even looked as though he had tried to crawl over the floor before his death! But he was sure that it only looked that way and that he had been killed swiftly. But by what? And what had the thing done to him?

Bryson and virtually all of the rest of them, accept the police, gasped when some more of the police arrived and one of them asked, “Who would want to kill him?”

Everyone there shrugged and nobody seemed to be able to reply and Bryson did not know how they were going to explain the castle and the situation there if they had to! The police there refused to believe anything extraordinary could occur there.

Merton seemed to mutter, not being able to stay silent any longer, breaking the deep silence, but then was silenced by definitely not wanting to put his foot in it.

“What worries me more than anything,” Bryson muttered to Merton, with confusion, “is they don’t seem to have any clues!”

“They’ll find something!” Merton quickly replied.

“What kind of thing does that? It even looks like a vampire has drained him of blood!”

“That’s ridiculous! We should not have started entering the castle’s desolate regions on our own!”

“What do you reckon could do that then?”

“You’ve a point and I don’t have enough facts to say anything! It may be entirely new to us? They are best treating it as a normal killing until more facts appear.”

“You’re correct,” he muttered back, glaring through a window at the wood outside with interest, wondering how the police would handle the truth.

“How did his killer know that he would be here?” Bryson spoke louder, for the police to hear, startled by the thought that whatever it was could be watching them, perhaps now hidden away in the distant shadows.

“Perhaps that killer was lurking about and encountered the scientist on his own out here, and confronted him … We’ll have to stay in groups and only enter these regions when we need to.”

The police at the body seemed to realize the body was drained of something more and discussed having it checked further to discover what had happened to it.

“Why kill him? Do you think something has been removed from the body?”

“I do not know that! The body will have to be checked thoroughly.”

One of the policemen started using a phone to communicate information about the situation to someone, and eventually started talking louder to someone else who had him examine the body for him, and the police vigorously checked the body looking for a wound and they checked bruised areas trying to see it and finally seemed to give up disappointed, and the person on the phone seemed to react strangely to it and had them check the body again at other places.

The heavy thuds of distant helicopters arriving appeared in the distance and Bryson saw the others starting to leave there.

Persistent moans followed from the person on the police phone, who was trying to identify what it was, and it gave Bryson the impression that they never had a clue either and that the police at the body had not been entirely able to explain what had happened to the person on the phone, and that the person was being dragged away from another vital case to visit there.

Although he could not fully get what the person thought, as the occurrences on this occasion were far from normal, he was sure that they had not been able to explain the deadliness and unusualness of the death and that they were trying to persuade the person to investigate it.

 

Chapter 11

 

The Blood Red Devil

 

The enormous blood red devil energy field shot through the thick stone castle walls, like they were mist, seeking to attack something with vengeance, and its speed increased and the walls altered to glowing flickers while it raged on.

The few people at the castle that rarely caught glimpses of its distant lightening materializations saw only flashes of red, and if it had been slow they would have seen red energy and devil features, straight out of the realms of hell, and realized that they were confronting the devil, with its giant demon shape glowing, altering, whirling, within hideous energy surges, while it consistently stopped itself vanishing from existence and back into its original place and energy states.

Parts of its composition frequently altered or vanished from view when it totally lost control of itself and it even formed other hideous things, and it would show its powers by forming itself into different versions of itself, like freaks of nature.

In ancient times people who had witnessed it had either just escaped with their lives and had given accounts of confronting the most deadly and powerful devil from the deepest depths of hell or had been brutally killed with many having their bodies drained of energy, with their remains being found in hideous forms, and some had even been found so unrecognizable that they had not been thought of as being human.

Sometimes it had lurked in the dark shadows of the castle doing unseen hideous things, and examining the formation of things.

At times it had seemed to detect their thoughts and try to understand what they were and be able to detect strange forms of energy or energy sources from somewhere and alternate, as though trying to imagine what it could be and that it wished to confront it if it could.

Its vast unstable energy explosions could blast out across outer dimensions with so much force that they threatened to make space and time either unbalanced and warped or completely rip away and destroy the fabric of space and time.

 

Chapter 12

 

The Psychic Research Room

 

The psychic researcher’s room, beside the tunnel, was fantastic now and Bryson felt comfortable being there, and especially away from the murder scene at the other side of the castle, which was now packed with police investigators and the media that they had brought there and he was sure they were using the media to cover up making a mess of things somewhere.

It was incredible as at one point he had considered the room that he was in to be the most dangerous place there, with the supernatural disturbance just behind the wall in the tunnel, and which could well be the most powerful supernatural spot on the planet, and he now felt happy there with feelings of comfort from being away from the murder occurrences.

At one point he had been sure that they had been going to remove them from there or take them all away to interrogate them. Sounds of them could be heard away in the distance, as he watched all the scientists in the room about him doing their work and he considered what they could achieve there at the most – but again he still had too little facts to assume anything.

He had thought of getting permission from Merton or Mortimer to have their scientists inform him of any discoveries and information from the equipment as they monitored it, but decided not to disturb them as they would tell him anything important when it occurred anyway.

He frequently gave gasps like the scientists there when he considered what was behind the wall, and the power of it, with it being able to open powerful gateways out the universe and to beyond. It reminded him of sitting on a wall over hell or some hideous place. What was he missing? What were they missing?

He was sure that he could believe that anything could exist somewhere if it had the right means and he knew the powers of science could be used to create.

The situation was bad and the castle’s interior was very dangerous and he wondered if he was imagining that they could get out the place and situations alive, and that the place and supernatural disturbances was playing with them and when either they tried to escape from there or it was ready it would take action against them. The tension on them had clearly been increasing and some people in or near to the targeted areas reacted as if they were in war zones.

Bryson suddenly recalled recognizing some of the work that some of the scientists had done years ago, when he had been examining documents of theirs, and he recalled why he had remembered it all – as it had to do with them checking for the existence of paranormal for the military.

Their stuff was surprising and even more surprising with them working there with the psychic researchers and he recalled that he had even originally thought that they had been deliberately putting the paranormal research title on their project to cover their work and discoveries, as he had not properly seen anyone even check what they had claimed they had been doing or had created. He had thought that they had been checking an alien encounter or the possibility of an alien encounter having happened.

He questioned them on what they were doing and if they had found anything and they gave him documents that informed him that they were checking for virtually all known forms of energy and matter disturbances within and from the tunnel.

He questioned Mortimer about it and if they had detected anything occurring there or elsewhere when the death had taken place and he informed him that they had not and had acknowledged no differences.

He wondered if they could put something together that could properly detect anything emerging from it into the castle so they would know where it was located and they could warn the others. Their lives could also be in danger, especially at such a close range, and that they were not actually protected by anything, and he wondered if there was some reason that it never reacted to them being there?

“What do you have that can be used to detect that thing that killed one of your scientists if it reappears?” he asked Merton, when Merton entered the room, when he finally returned there, and Bryson watched him consider it as though he had been already for a long time and was now thinking of something to say about it, and come to some a conclusion.

“Presumable reactions and any presence might act on things and produce effects to indicate them being there,” Merton replied firmly, but not sure. “Such as it altering air currents, gravity, magnetic fields, radioactivity, scent, sound waves, static, and the light spectrum …”

“Most of the equipment here is to check everything in a degree that has not been done before!” Bryson replied. “To find out if we are missing something! That thing is starting to kill the people now and they have not come up with anything to destroy it. And if things go the way that they are it could kill far more people! We may even have to leave here in the end! If you have anything, even if it just helps locate its position then it will help …”

Merton glared at him and just laughed, and he looked as if he was wondered how much he was exaggerating things and if they should help.

“That may be a good idea if we can find anything,” Mortimer finally replied for Merton, considering it. “This is not the same as the last castle either! What I want to know is what does it wants here? Why has it not left here after such a length of time? And, very importantly, why does it do what it does?”

“We have an abundance of things as we have shown!” Merton continued. “We specialize and experiment in detecting things! This is the best there is and we love investigating anything extraordinary! Even if it is an assassin trying to wipe us all out … And we would love to help stop it if we can get it …”

Bryson started to grasp how advanced and undetectable the thing really was! And he wanted to see what they were up against!

“We barely even found it here,” Mortimer added, clearly trying to encourage them in their work again. “It was pretty well concealed!”

Bryson was confused and wondered what they were suggesting, and why they were so secretive again? Surely they would only really receive fame for their discovery? Scientists all over here could have announced whatever it was straightaway, without any hesitation, just to be acknowledged with the finders, yet they wished it to be concealed.

“We have found something new!” Bryson continued. “And we have not seen anything like it before. It is totally unknown and it has intelligence!”

“An existence that exists in other dimensions than the ones we’re in?” Merton replied.

“We do not know what it is or if it ever was a life form?” Mortimer continued. “Or what other form of life it could have been? But we are sure one of its properties is that it exists through other dimensions!”

“So you have equipment that can detect outer dimensions? I never knew all that stuff actually existed! I have not seen it proven to exist or anything that can enter or detect there!”

“Exactly! What about when you entered that vortex? We have ways of detecting it! It is confidential, of course.”

Bryson realized their point once again and heard them silently confide that they wished to keep their research as confidential as possible, especially with there being the media and so many not fully checked scientists there, and leading scientists, and they thought of having him to agree to a verbal contract agreement of not disclosing anything without their consent, which he agreed to anyway to show them that he would, and wondered what they could actually discover.

As they considered what to say next Bryson examined nearby equipment, and stuff that he recognized and that it was for detecting neutrinos, and he considered what they used it for, and guessed it was another way of detecting paranormal phenomena.

“Of course! But will you sell it? It could make a lot of cash and they may be able to advance the technology further along!”

“Perhaps!” Mortimer answered. “But it is new and needs to be checked out further and we may come up with other findings before anyone else does!”

“Alright! I get you now.”

“I am certain you’re thing, running about the castle, is connected to what’s in this tunnel!”

“That could explain where it came from!”

“Exactly! We have barely done any research on it and we have been at this virtually since we arrived here. We have barely slept! We have so little time!”

“You could contact someone to prolong the stay to carry out your work? And you may be able to advance the technology further along!”

“Perhaps we may! But it is new and it needs to be checked out further, and we may also come up with other equipment …”

 

Chapter 13

 

The New Scientists

 

Bryson had decided to keep their new equipment as secret as he could, even though he was not sure what they had, and what he had seen had been little and could be easily have been exaggerated by them either to keep the scientists all interested or cover up something else they never wanted to reveal!

When he arrived back at their paranormal research room the next day he was surprised to see that the place was packed with more equipment and even though he never knew what it was and had seen any of it before, and he was well updated in technology. The place looked transformed into something new, and he was surprised to see new scientists had arrived and by what they said he was sure that the equipment had been brought by them and belonged to them. Yet one of the biggest surprises he got was when examined it up close and saw how expensive and advanced it was! He could not understand how they could put it there with such value!

He decided he still liked being there, especially away from the other murder scene at the other side of the castle where things had become worse! Everywhere he had looked he had found investigators and people searching for clues, and examining him! He had listened to helicopters arriving all morning, and had been woken up by a loud one landing nearby.

What staggered him was what would happen if they found that the killer was of supernatural origins? Would they come up with another killer that was human to give to the public?

They had thought of telling them to see what would happen and realized that they would firmly believe that they were crazy, and perhaps check them out as suspects.

The situation was bad and could escalate, and them coming up with a fake culprit might do little. The tension amongst Mitchell’s men for one had increased! The people near the outskirts of where the targeted area seemed to react far more to it being a danger. And he wondered if most of them were hiding behind illusions that what was there would avoid the areas they were together in and he started considering in more detail why the others were so sure about it avoiding there! What could stop it going there? Yet he recalled he had been sure that it originated from the things in the wood not getting near the castle there!

Was there some form of rules to how it worked? Was it the same as vampires not being able to come out in the daylight? Were they missing the fact that these things actually existed? It was thought to be supernatural in nature and have originated from supernatural gateways.

Bryson recalled recognizing some of the work that one of the new scientists in the room had done, after Bryson had examined documents that they had given him.

Their stuff was surprising and far more surprising with them using it to work with the psychic researchers and he even thought that they were deliberately putting the psychic researching title on it to cover their work and discoveries, as he had hardly even seen anyone even check what scientists did or created in that region.

They informed him that they were checking for virtually all known forms of energy and matter disturbances.

Bryson imagined the presence of some mysterious entity there, existing in the tunnel, which they could not detect or account for, and wondered if it could be contacted through someone.

Some people thought mass killing was going on at the castle from the way the media was showing things there, and with them covering details of the occurrences, which the police had done as they had not found anything on how the death was so hideously done. To them it was like some group were carrying it out, and that it looked as though other deaths were to follow.

What was the true nature of the savage and brutal killings that threatened everyone there? What were the motives?

The quest for the treasure by someone seemed to have gone beyond the normal and they thought something else was occurring! Had some hidden occurrence taken place that had led up to the events? Unseen and unpredicted events could occur that had to be handled!

Why did the killer or killers continue on going even after all the occurrences and heavy police presence? Surely the person or people must be mad to continue in the mode they had?

Many people wanted more than investigations of the deaths and what was actually occurring there and Bryson realized that they could end their adventure there – and even accuse them of crimes!

What if it was proven that there was an actual alien there, what would they do? Would they call in the military to deal with it?

The paranormal scientists decided against going near or in the direct path of what was there, if they could avoid it, and they stayed located at places where other scientists and the others regularly occupied and where they could make a quick exit from if it appeared, and Bryson had heard them discuss using surveillance cameras and other equipment, which he was interested in and wondered if the police would consider it?

Whatever it was it was virtually unpredictable! And he wondered if it would turn predictable, as the things in the wood were predictable in their appearance, and he wondered if they were normally unpredictable? What if there were a lot more of them and these were the only ones that made predictable appearances? There could be a great deal of luck involved in encountering them, if they were unpredictable!

Eventually the paranormal scientists had consultations with the police, and the police gave them their accounts of the evidence that they had gathered and they now had left their minds open to what was there.

Bryson knew that all the scientists as a group did think it was of paranormal origins, even though the killer existed, and that he had chased him through a passage out into the wood.

Yet someone who had been there and seen a lot of the things there could easily have found a way to mimic what something there might do, for the person to cover up their crimes! Yet how would the person have removed what had been removed from the body? He wondered if he could have found something there to do it with? How did the tunnels in the wood get made? Where did the technology come from?

Bryson left it there as he never had enough information in what could have done it! He had not heard of anything that could do it or if it was even possible!

What surprised him and a few others was how they reacted and treated it, and that they had something at last that they had been waiting the majority of their lives for, and they were not going to ruin it on such an occurrence and that they had all decided to help the police with their investigations.

The occurrences that they had witnessed there astounded enough of them enough to believe that they were dealing with something supernatural that might have taken an ancient form and they consulted openly with the other scientists on what it could be – while leaving it open to anyone to add to and for other scientists to give their thoughts on – and they all agreed that they thought it was new and of an entirely new status.

After a great deal of discussion and surveillance of the tunnel, checking readings and observations of it through monitors from every form of surveillance, most of them remained set on leaving it open and claimed that it was more advanced than anything that they had seen and perhaps would see.

Another discovery was announced by one of the new scientists at locations around the tunnel, in the rooms going around it, and that faint sounds were emerging around the tunnel, which were being checked by various equipment around it, and that they showed something strange, and that with the sounds played around the scientists in the positions that they were recorded at around the tunnel, with the volume turned up, the sounds were appearing around something, at the other dimensions that they were appearing from.

 

Chapter 14

 

The Treasure Tunnel

 

Bryson and Pendleton arrived at a castle room, deep in the danger zone of the castle, where they had to slip passed the police to get to, and Bryson still could not believe that they were going to such lengths to explore there.

It was the only way to find what was there! The police would not allow them to enter that region of the castle, and Pendleton had told him it was where the tunnel he had entered had been.

After consistently wandering around the castle Pendleton’s memory had returned and he insisted that he knew where the room where the hidden entrance to the tunnel was, on the top floor, but they could not get there because of there being so many police there, and they had gone to the floor and room below it. Bryson could not ignore it! If it was the tunnel that Pendleton had gone down there might be a chance that the treasure was buried somewhere nearby.

Thus Pendleton had a reason for wanting the treasure so much now! He had nothing now that he had returned as all his possessions were gone, years before, and Bryson had promised him a good share in it if he found it.

The room was an ordinary castle room, which had clearly not been entered by anyone for a long time.

He could not get why they thought the treasure had been there, and neither could Pendleton, but the tunnel had been there at the exact location they had traced it to and if it had not been for the supernatural vortex, like the one Bryson had entered in the other room, Pendleton was sure that they would have found it.

Pendleton could not believe he was back there, with the other two treasure hunters now gone, as he had fantasized many times on the island of it.

The wall grabbed his attention as its thickness was the same as the room the other tunnel was in. Even though many rooms had chimneys running through them!

If only he had taken some of the equipment the archaeologists had to scan the wall first he could have gotten a vague view of its interior, as well as of the floor. Yet the scans of the other tunnel had shown little! The technology would have to be improved!

Bryson repeatedly thumped his hand hard against the wall, intensely listening for anything, while he slowly moved over the bed. Then he suddenly halted and jumped back, as a chunk of stone crumbled and shifted in behind the wallpaper.

The destruction of a historical castle gave him slight feelings of guilt but he knew it could be easily repaired and if they got rid of the haunting there he was positive someone would do up the place and turn it into the expensive historic castle that it was supposed to be, and perhaps clear the region of wood surrounding it into gardens with lanes and a road.

He carefully shifted the awkward mass of stone out, in stages, from the wall, as Pendleton stayed ready to help him. Pendleton had little strength now, after being on the island for so many years and though his body was not old it was weak and he suffered from being ill a lot, especially with the intense cold.

They were both obsessed and Bryson’s clambering resumed until he finally had to stop – feeling a sudden loss of energy, with his legs starting to collapse under him, with much discomfort to his hands and arms being cut and bruised at where he had been tugging the boulder out.

His eyes occasionally fell on the mess under him with little interest! The thick layer of stone and dust fragments scattered across the room was nothing now!

With a sudden heave he incredibly wrenched the boulder out and dropped it over to his side, where it bounced off the bed onto the floor, where a loud bang instantly came from the floorboards, which even collapsed in with the weight.

In the large black gap left in the wall, where the stone block had blocked, there was nothing visible and he waited for his eyes to adjust to the darkness. But it stayed dim and showed him nothing!

Pendleton handed him one of the most powerful lights that they had brought to the castle, and which was another reason why they were there as the lights that they had used in the tunnels had been weak and showed nothing because of their limited range.

He turned on his light and confirmed that it was the tunnel and he poked his head in and crawled into the hole towards it.

Once further in, with his arms out in front, he pulled himself into the tunnel, with his head facing downwards, and he shone the powerful light down the tunnel. Where he saw the tunnel going deep down below, and as his sight adjusted to it he saw nothing and started to wonder if it was a large chimney.

Yet it seemed too large to be a chimney and there was no trace of soot or anything that would surely be there, even if they had it cleaned. Although there was the chance that nobody had really used it and that any marks were hidden below. But again it was not in the right position to be one! And he was sure that there were no fireplaces below to be connected to a chimney!

He saw its true size the more he looked and that it went further down to the bottom of the castle. His breathing echoed into it, and its coldness made clouds of steam pour out of his mouth into it.

Suddenly sounds started emerging below and he wondered if he had activated it! They started sounding mind-bending and started screaming through the shaft until they had a fury that stunned him, with some sounding like screams and others like wailing spirits.

Clouds of powdered dirt and stone fell about at different points around boulders far below as though the tunnel were being shaken by an earthquake. Dust swirled through his beam of light as he wondered where the treasure would be buried away!

He imagined Pendleton and the other two treasure hunters there years before, during the Second World War, hanging on their ropes, just over the disturbance, which he tried to locate and realized he could find something there by watching what was happening below carefully, which he had not been able to do when he had been in the other tunnel on the steps, surrounded in darkness, and he realized that he had actually avoided being killed there after all, and wondered if he was going to be killed later instead and was unsure what was worse.

He groaned and grabbed hold of part of a castle boulder he was resting over, with his head and arms sticking over into the tunnel, glimpsing parts of the shaft below, and he wondered what William Randall, his great ancestor, builder of the castle, had done and built there? They had clearly gone to great lengths to build something! At times it had felt like the whole castle was something else – created for some function that he could not even imagine – which went beyond his understanding.

Yet going by the stories something happened that had killed them all! So if it was true then what happened then and how did it end up in the tunnel and in the other tunnel, and was it there in other dimensions, and what was there below? Why had it not moved away into the other dimensions? What was keeping it there? Surely there had to be something there that they were missing? Perhaps it was disguised as something or had been hidden? Such advanced technology could achieve virtually anything and it could be something that he had not even considered possible?

He had always wanted to explore and discover something new of value and greatness in science, and perhaps even be remembered in history!

What interested and alarmed them was why it was hidden in such a place and created such occurrences! What was it they were dealing with anyway? Why was it in such a far out place?

Something of unfathomable unidentifiable supernatural nature sounded as though it were under him trapped in some form of magnetic or energy field, trapped and trying to free itself from something, ultimately escaping to another location of liberty, and he tried imagining some form of spirit trapped there every night for hundreds of years.

“Have you found if it’s down there?” Pendleton shouted in, in an alarmed state, with a combination of annoyance and confusion, and Bryson realized that he had been trying to get his attention, and he gave him the impression that he might be on the edge of considering doing something extreme, beyond the normal.

“It’s that disturbance below! I need more time here to examine the tunnel and see if I can discover something!”

Bryson again started to realize the implications of the find and that they might have to check what was there someday, and he better start finding information about it.

Pendleton shouted loudly, “Good idea!”

Bryson was confused at what they would do if he found the treasure there below? How would they go about getting it? What was there could be guarding the treasure, and why nobody had got it? William Randall could have left it there to guard his treasure while he was away? Yet if that were the case how would he have gotten the treasure himself and how did he put the thing and the treasure below?

Bryson felt that he had finally found something that might even be above his understanding and he wondered if he was going pay for his encountering the thing below?

It amazed Bryson, from what Pendleton had told him, was that they had been trying to get the treasure there in the middle of the night, in what had been a haunted castle buried away in a wood. Yet he believed that they were good – as they had traced the treasure there and found the location – and had survived getting through the wood.

He imagined them shifting into the shaft and making their way down, with their ancient lights.

Bryson looked up and saw ventilation shafts entering the tunnel and realized that they must run through most of the building.

“What else could it be?” Pendleton asked, trying to get some information on the tunnel, and Bryson ignored him.

The height of the castle was incredible, especially with it having been built when it had, as well as the length being so massive with rooms and corridors going out everywhere – and he could hardly believe that they had built it and he wondered if it was built by something else – and he remembered that he had not thought such a construction had been possible at that date. It was also unbelievable that somebody had managed to ship the construction over to there when it had happened, in such large sections and fit them together.

How could people spend so much on such things at the date it was built? It was a disgrace and offense that such a work of art and construction should end up derelict out in such a desolate wood? He really wished to solve the mysteries there and put them out in the open for everyone to see.

He gasped as he recalled the legends and what had already happened there and wondered if this could be his final encounter!

For a moment he considered if it had actually come from Transylvania and had vampires or something – and that was what they were missing! At times he had thought it had similarities to castles over there!

“You could send down a camera with a light attached down?” Pendleton announced, to his surprise, and wondered why the scientists had not done it and recalled that he had heard some of them mention exploring the tunnel with equipment, and remembered that their stuff had vanished.

Sounds were now screaming up at him and he realized how loud they had become, as if a gateway into hell were there, with him balanced over it.

He jerked when he heard some sort of almost human scream as though from out of in a distant strange place, and he searched below where the bottom of the castle was and saw blackness, like it were really located out in space.

Some of blocks of stone about him resembled smaller versions of stones in Egyptian pyramids and he even wondered if they were the same and there for some reason. They were strange things to use to build with as their weight was immense and they could easily have decreased their size and made them easier to shift about and work with, but they were hard to penetrate and were needed in a good castle.

He realized some sounds were now not emerging from far below him but were coming from somewhere just below him, and then he thought he heard one emerge next to him and he listened intensely with confusion.

Sounds manifested everywhere as though they were invisible unidentifiable things surrounding there, and strange glowing and swirling forces seemed to form in the blackness below, and he saw something that looked like a transparent rectangle black shape.

As he tried to see what was going on about him he noticed that light across his front was moving upwards and he fixed his eyes onto a strange orb of light floating upwards.

With a loud thud he banged his shoulder against the side of him and clouds of gray dust flew about almost blinding him, going into his face and lungs, and he rushed back into the room.

 

Chapter 15

 

The Mist

 

Early the next morning Bryson awoke in the deep silence of his room and opened his eyes to see that it was starting to get light, and realized something was somehow different and instead of seeing peaceful surroundings of his darkened room he slowly focused upon a faint mist about him and he instantly started searching for signs of a fire.

Yet there was nothing there to burn as the castle was virtually entirely made of thick stone and was as non-flammable as it could be! So he considered what could be burning!

Could smoke reach there from the lounge, dinning room, or kitchen? Perhaps one of the chimneys caught fire with all the rubbish stuck up in them, from years of being there, with small trees and vegetation covering the outer walls and roof? A hole in a chimney from it crumbling away could let smoke in!

Yet there was no sign of the scent of smoke or anything, and he sat upright in bed and watched a dark shadow from the mist creep over the walls, while cold swirling currents of mist shifted about in a hovering shape, and a wild beast’s blood-chilling screech came from a distant place, hidden out in the landscape, and he considered what it was.

When his eyes adapted and his vision grew in strength he saw a cloud drifting about over the floor that was moving around as though there were no gravity and he considered if it was real or something else. He proved that it was not made of smoke and only looked like it – and was really something else that was unidentifiable that was very faint that he could hardly see – and he looked about to find its source and where it was being generated, but never saw anything and he checked if it was a mirage, and some form of light illusion and reflection off something, and he checked all possible sources. Yet there was nothing visible to him that could produce it and it hung in the air over the middle of the room and swirled about, and seemed to be actually doing something. He was unable to explain its presence, and he stayed where he was, and started to grasp it could be one of the supernatural disturbances there, like the mist in the wood, and he realized that it could be dangerous.

When it thickened he started shifting and grabbed his clothes, without entering the central region, and he moved right up to it and watched it forming a turbulent cloud formation, with it forming shapes in itself, like something was forming itself into a life form, and, even after seeing all the things on the previous day in the tunnel, he still tried to prove that it was something else and he started thinking of other things that it could be.

It was forming itself into something that was unidentifiable and he knew Merton and Mortimer would love to see it and started to work out a route to the door without entering it and realized that he would have to go through one of its edges.

He strained himself and prepared himself to handle what could happen if it reacted and did anything. Though he could not really see it doing much as it was only in a mist formation!

Then within it he spotted what looked like a head and he sat dazed trying to figure out what it would form into, confused at what would happen when it did! What if it formed some form of dangerous life form or something else?

The color of the head region was white, with a far more dense shade than it had been minutes before, and it clearly was now forming at an accelerated rate, and he decided to go and get the others and rushed to the door and out into the corridor and looked out for others but never saw any of them about.

When he knocked on Merton and Mortimer’s doors he wondered if he had imagined what it was and he informed them of what had happened and they both dressed quickly and rushed over with him to his room.

They stood dazed examining it at the doorway, searching it for clues to its identity, trying to see what it could do.

“What the hell is that?” Mitchell said, announcing his arrival from behind them, from the side of the doorway. “Is it dangerous?”

“We don’t know yet?” Mortimer replied first, examining it more than the others. “What I want to know is why it’s in your room and why we have not seen this anywhere else?

“What did you do yesterday? Did you go out into the wood or something? I noticed you were away for a long time …”

Bryson considered what to say and whether to tell him, ignore him, or tell him something else.

“We went to find the other tunnel where Pendleton entered …”

“Was that over there where the police banned us from going?”

“Yes! And we found it! Pendleton recalled where it was – as he now has an interest in the treasure …”

“That could have been dangerous!”

“Did you find anything?” Mitchell said, startled at the mention of someone making a major move to find the treasure without him knowing of it. “What was there?”

“We only found another tunnel like the other one under the library!”

“Where is it then?”

“I’ll have to show you!”

“Alright! Show it to us later!”

“I think it is transferring itself here!” Mortimer announced, staring at the formation forming in the center of the area in front of the bed.

“What will we do with it?” Bryson muttered, wondering if it had a means of understanding them.

“Wait here!” Mitchell replied, and he rushed off to get his men at their rooms.

“It is becoming more powerful!” Merton stated, staring at its large head shape that kept reforming into something, which it was clearly putting most of its time and energy into.

Bryson spotted that it had transformed into normal matter in places and that yellow slime dripped from its head into the carpet, and a slight human/animal odor scented the air.

The thing seemed to sense something somewhere, perhaps danger, and increased how fast it was building itself, and Bryson wondered why it had chosen his room – which the others thought was connected to his visit to the tunnel – and he wondered why something wanted to visit him and he realized that it could have easily formed itself somewhere nearby!

The main questions had to be was it dangerous and what did it want to do there?

Mitchell arrived with his men and their weapons, and moved Bryson and the two scientists out of the way, and stood at the doorway aiming their guns at it, waiting for the opportunity to fire at it.

Bryson wondered if they could kill it in its original state as the bullets surely would have gone straight through it, and now it could keep repairing the damage.

“What are we going to do with it?” Merton suddenly announced emotionally, realizing something about it, deliberately grasping Mitchell’s attention.

“What we need to do now is decide what to do with it if it does not attack us?” Mortimer continued, wondering what Merton had noticed, and he studied it in detail.

Bryson looked at where Merton was staring, at its head region, and he suddenly noticed that it was taking the shape of a human head, and realized that they could be in trouble if they destroyed it in the form of a human.

 

Chapter 16

 

The New Species of Human

 

Once it had completely formed into a human the men dropped their guns down and stared at it with their mouth open, and they acknowledged that they had to have witnessed a miracle.

Surprisingly Bryson had to be the most startled and if not certainly the most confused as it was identical to him, and he realized he was now going to meet himself.

The men seemed happier that they were not now in any apparent danger, and they could destroy it or take it prisoner.

Bryson started to wonder if it had any of his memories and wondered how much of a danger it was to him? Was it intelligent? What did it want? Why had it deliberately done it in front of him, and when he awoke?

Did it have a mission? Was it connected to the thing or was it the thing itself that he had encountered in the tunnel the day before? And was it the same thing that had done the killings there?

They all seemed confused and wishing for answers, and a few of the police, some of Mitchell’s men knew, had passed there and had tried to explain what had been happening, and now never understood why there was another Bryson about.

They watched it put on some clothes one of Mitchell’s men got for it and stand next to them at the doorway, and Bryson realized that not only had it put on clothes that it had done it in the same way that he normally did, and he gasped at the thing knowing all his thoughts and memories and he tried to work out how dangerous it could be.

Yet the supernatural thing could have read and got his make up from the first seconds that he entered the supernatural vortex, and perhaps even before then when he had arrived at the castle.

What was the answer to this problem? None of them knew what they were dealing with! Was it more than one thing? Were the rest things that it had picked up through the vortex? And what was it up to? Was it part of the thing in the tunnel that he had visited the day before?

He did think it had some connection to the thing in the tunnel as it had looked as if it had wanted to make contact or something with him, but he did not risk it as he could have end up in a worse place and situation than the last time!

Yet why had the thing in the tunnel wanted to make contact with him when he must have made contact with it going into the other tunnel and going through the vortex? The thing would have got all the information that it had wanted there and could have communicated with him! Was there two things – one in each tunnel – or perhaps more?

Bryson watched the copy of himself and realized that he could learn a lot of things from it and about himself, and saw all the advantages of it being there. If it was there to do harm why did it not just kill him?

His first thing to do was try to communicate with it and somehow get information about its mission.

Merton and Mortimer took Mitchell further up the corridor and communicated in whispers with him, decided on something and returned, and they took him and the thing down to the empty dinning room, and closed the door behind them, and offered the thing food that Bryson normally ate and they all ate their breakfast, with Bryson sitting opposite them directly in front of the thing, occasionally watching it with some amazement. He had never fully known what he had been like until now – even though it had a great deal of different reactions – mainly due to it being a stranger and unfamiliar with many things – and Bryson slowly accepted it was something else in his body, and realized the potential again, as well as the others as well, and them actually getting information from the thing haunting the place.

Yet after more observations he realized that it could be something else – and not the thing haunting there!

None of them said anything to it and waiting for something to happen, and Bryson wondered what would happen and sat chewing pieces of his food, considering what he would do if he was it in different scenarios and when he finished he considered what the others would do, until he felt that he had considered everything, and was surprised that something else actually happened instead and the dinning room door swiftly swung open and two archeologists entered with startled faces – and stared at the two versions of Bryson facing each other across the table with amazement and laughed – and even thought of changing what they had planned to do but went through with it anyway.

Both of them sat next to Mitchell and one of them removed some documents and placed them on the table in front of him, and Bryson recognized him as the archeologist that had been at the tomb when they had taken it up into the room and found the tomb had the name William Randall engraved on it.

“We had both skeletons examined to see if they are genetically linked to Bryson’s blood sample you gave us?” the archeologist announced. “To prove what one was William Randall and what one was not William Randall!”

“As William Randall is marked as being in a tomb at the other castle and in the tomb here …” Mitchell continued further, vaguely amused, watching the thing along the table from him.

“That’s correct!” he replied, almost laughing hideously for some reason that baffled Bryson – who wondered which one had been the authentic one – thinking the archeologist would now tell them that it was neither.

“We even had the results checked again after receiving them!” the archeologist firmly replied.

“And what …?” Mitchell moaned.

“Well! They are both William Randall!” the archeologist announced, handing the documents over to them, shrugging and wondering again why the stranger looked like Bryson.

 

Chapter 17

 

The Two Randalls

 

Bryson recalled examining the features of the skeleton in the tomb at the top floor and comparing it with the other skeleton at the last castle and knew that they had been the same.

The other version of him had seemed to react for a brief moment when it had been told!

Bryson was astonished and realized that there had been two William Randalls and that they had not been twins! Mitchell had suggested that they had been twins and that the accounts of them had for some reason missed out details of them, which was common in historical accounts as Bryson had learned on many occasions, but the archeologist had firmly declared that they had not been twins and had been identical – and that the documents affirmed that they were of the same person.

It was strange as he now had to think of there being two William Randalls at two castles and he wondered what had happened to create such a situation? How did the William Randall at the top floor die? And why had he been put where he had been? And what had people at the time thought of it, and he wondered if they had thought of it as witchcraft? There had been accounts of it at the last castle, and he even thought the occurrences there had been responsible for putting so much accounts of witchcraft into the history books – as they had been the only proper accounts of witchcraft happening – as far as he was concerned!

For a moment they had all silently watched the other him at the table as he had finished his meal and Bryson had started going through the problems that might surface and that they might keep identifying it as being him and vice versa, and he had wondered what would happen if it started claiming it was and how he could explain to people who had not witnessed what had happened what was happening? They could barely explain anything there to the police already and they insisted in knowing everything there!

He wondered what it was classed as? If it had not been for the strange appearance it had made in his room he could have taken it for something else! He might have thought the disturbance had done something with time and allowed an earlier or older version of him to appear!

Bryson could not realize who was more amazed him or the others, and he dared not let the other him out of his sight in case it did something that he would get the blame for!

“Just tell me – what the hell you are?” Mitchell demanded once, finally trying answer at least one of his queries.

“I do not know!” it announced, clearly not knowing.

“I never knew you had a brother?” Mitchell continued, amused, trying to think of what he was missing. He clearly thought there was a hidden joke!

“I don’t remember anything!” it continued, not knowing what to do now.

“What? You lost your memory? Where did that happen?”

“On my way back here!”

“Back here!” Mitchell replied, and laughed loudly. “What? You are claiming you were here and left …?”

“Of course! I awakened – up there!”

The stranger pointed over in the direction that that had come from, from Bryson’s room, and Bryson tried to detect if it was now following an act to cover up its identity.

Mitchell heard a noise from his communication device and picked it up and started talking to someone.

Bryson wondered what would happen if the thing made copies of all of them? They would be breaking the law if they tried to do anything to them! What could they do with them? Could they prove that they were aliens?

Bryson decided to keep the thing near him! But not to near! He was not going to sleep with it near him! Yet the thing could have easily have already killed him in his opinion!

“That’s strange!” Mitchell announced, leaving the room. “A lot of the stuff on the people here has been erased from our files!”

Bryson immediately wondered why Mitchell had files on the people there, and as if they knew about it. It was strange! They had brought Mitchell there to find the treasure and basically help them with anything dangerous – and he was now running things further than anyone else – and seemed to have connections in the police as well as in the military, where he seemed to be still a major figure for some reason, which he had claimed he had no longer anything to do with – and all the men working for him had treated him as being far more than ex-military, and some had even given him a high up military title and salute.

Bryson watched Merton and Mortimer follow him out and leave him alone with the thing, facing him across the table.

“So what’s your name then?” Bryson finally asked jokingly, realizing that he had to talk to it and he had been in far worse situations there already – like going through the vortex …

“Bryson!” it joked back, making him gag for a moment.

“We could be twins?” he replied, not just joking but seriously trying to solve the problem of what to do with it, for the moment.

“Alright!”

“My name is Bryson so you’ll have to choose another …”

“Call me Thomas!” it replied, making him gasp again, knowing it had deliberately used his first name knowing that it had not been told to it, and he thanked it for letting him know it.

“Choose another!”

“Call me William then!”

“Alright!”

“Maybe we can do each other a favor … We could have information that we both want?”

“You are perfectly correct!”

Bryson observed how human and identical it really was and tried to establish the differences in it to establish what it was really like and he saw differences in the way it used its features.

 

Chapter 18

 

The Thing from the Tunnel

 

Bryson wondered if the thing was automatically carrying out a programming given to it by what was in the second tunnel, even though it was capable of being human and doing human things it was like it was carrying out a plan, which he never fully knew what and left it as it wanting to gather information.

It seemed to like finding information on what it could and checking for anything of interest, abnormalities, and he watched it examining things. And even though he could not get if it was hiding anything he avoided questioning it.

He was starting to think Mitchell was part of scheme to carry out some very illegal activity there. Yet what could he be up to there? Unless he intended to take the treasure away and disappear with it?

He even considered there was something of else of value there and if he intended in taking it back without anyone knowing of it! But what was it? Perhaps he had heard of something being there from accounts of there – which had been hidden away from them? Pendleton and his two treasure hunters had known things that had not been told to them! Yet that was not an illegal activity and it was even up to him whether he told anyone of it – and he was sure that it was something else!

Though he would be bothered if he did take the treasure without him knowing about – even if he never got any of it – as he wanted to find it and see what it was more than anything!

Many items there were being kept and sent out by many of them that thought that they had great hidden value, but he knew that they never as he had them checked out by his friend and Bryson had not found anything worth taking except for glamorous and curious ornaments to remember the place.

They started searching the rest of the top floor and the area the police had warned them not to go in, and searched everything while checking nothing deadly was there.

He started noticing Mitchell had more interest in the William Randall tomb and insisted in having it removed from there – by having the windows of the room removed and having it lowered down to the ground on ropes, where it was taken away by a helicopter. All the people he had contacted about it valued it as of being of little value and he wondered if he was going to have it checked for something, and it having something hidden in it.

He was sure that he would even discard it before they left there, especially if they found something of real value. Since he had been at the last castle he had gotten to know many explorers, who had made explorations all around the world, as it interested him greatly, especially after him finding the last treasure, and he had started to believe there were treasures about and he was amazed that a lot of treasure hunters and people interested in exploration had met with him after hearing of his discover of the treasure, and they had him recollect and give his account of what had happened.

Mitchell was an explorer and had heard of his accounts and had been told many things about him by the scientists.

Bryson was unsure how far they would go there and how it would end, and wondered if they would keep going searching there for months and wondered how long he would stay there until he had enough of it and was positive that there was nothing there, and if they could solve the disturbances there.

He knew how valuable the place was though and would try to get what he wanted somewhere before he left.

There had to be something of value there and they were all keen to find what was hidden away there enough for something to happen, and he briefly wondered if what existed could be let loose on the world? Nobody knew what was holding it there or what it really was!

Bryson searched the rooms with William and watched him search and how he did it. Yet he still could not grasp some major thing about him, and never really knowing what he was doing or looking for being that thing, but he still could not believe it actually was it. It surely was created by it, separate from it, to carry out work.

If it was seriously dangerous, and it started doing things against them, they would have to do things legally against it – because as far as everyone there was now concerned it was human – and he also thought it was human now and that they could end up having serious problems.

What if it really was different and an alien and could breed? Could such creatures start to take over the Earth?

While they were searching a room Mitchell had appeared at the door, and started searching objects there, like he was checking if they were missing anything.

“Do think there is anything here?” Mitchell asked it, trying to get his views about it.

It just laughed like Bryson, over some hidden joke, either about it or about him, or something that they had not grasped.

“I have checked almost everything here,” Bryson replied. “Nothing here is anything of value! What do you think William? Could there be anything of value about here?”

It looked over at him, still slightly amused, with its amused expression, and replied, “Out here! I don’t think so!”

His reactions were little! If he was what he claimed why did he not act more like him? Yet why was he not like a twin and even doing things differently? It once had him searching his memories of his relatives that had been like him!

 

Chapter 19

 

The Killer

 

Bryson stood at a room window and watched the snow come down heavily and he knew that it was the start of another blizzard hitting region, and watched it cover the wood in front of the castle.

Somewhere in the lower castle he heard a heavy thud that sounded like an explosion of something and he felt its shudder go through the castle stone.

As he started to wonder what had caused it a strange black figure, covered all over in black clothing, rushed out the castle at a speed he thought was staggering, and he wondered if he was an eminent sprinter.

Then he watched the figure enter the wood faster than he thought possible and wondered what he was missing, and stood more confused when another figure appeared below and started blasting rounds of bullets at him in the wood with one definitely hitting him – especially going by the confidence of the policeman and the way he stopped and his various reactions.

Bryson left and put on a thicker jacket and rushed down to the lounge and to the front door, where he saw a group of policemen who recognized him immediately as they were the same police that he had followed into the tunnel and out into the wood after the killer.

One of them turned and even gasped when he saw him, and Bryson was sure something was going to happen there as they were getting ready to do something.

They rushed out into the wood and invited Bryson to follow them and Bryson followed them, checking that it was not going to turn dark, but he was sure that they had at least an hour before it did turn dark.

He immediately started showing his presence and went up to the front of the group to question the policeman that recognized him, that he remembered talking with when they had chased the killer into the tunnel.

While they scrambled through the snow he heard two policemen in front of them giving panic-stricken replies and he wondered why?

They clearly believed that they were chasing the killer out into the wood, and they were glad to see Bryson there again and knew that he knew the ground more than them.

The man had been in a large hooded black jacket that he had used to cover his face and nobody had seen his face, and he had shot and killed one of the policemen in the castle.

It was believed that he had entered the castle and police surveillance equipment, put there to catch him, had alerted them to him being there!

A blue light flashed over the wood from behind them and he watched it illuminate the wood slightly, making him realize it had become dimmer, and he wondered if it was entirely the snow falling, thick trees, and heavy clouds doing it.

It turned worse than he had imagined as the police were rushing about back at the castle getting ready to begin a full-scale operation in the wood to get the guy. Yet he realized that though it could have them out there in the dark that a police helicopter could catch him!

The killer confused him as nobody yet had seen his face, which was clearly covered up, and the speed of the man was incredible and that of a top athlete. Had the guy increased his running speed to get out of being caught and he wondered how long he could run at that speed and he knew that the police about him thought that he would slow down eventually.

The speed of him was the main thing that they had underestimated the last time and that he had managed to get out into the wood and have his footprints covered up by the snow, and with them running after him fast through the tunnel.

When Bryson saw his footprints he was surprised again! Though they were normal shoe marks their placement was strange and placed differently than he had seen before! Yet it could have been him rushing through the deep snow and through the blizzard, and he still seemed to Bryson’s disappointment to be still traveling at a fast pace and he wondered where the hell he was going to out there anyway.

He had survived in the wood the last time and seemed to know it and where he was going. If only the helicopter would turn up!

Their confidence was suddenly increased by the discovery of the killer’s blood on some of the snow, showing that he had been wounded and that they had not imagined it, and they collected some and examined it and Bryson was amazed that it actually looked different and as though the person had something on the wound that had altered it somehow – and he wondered if they would trace and catch him if he got away.

Through one of the police communicators he listened to the police back at the castle communicate with the police somewhere else and he listened to their exchanges with interest and heard them mention a helicopter coming out.

When it finally appeared it was far darker and they saw its light racing over the trees, going towards the castle, and he wondered how long it would take to reappear over them. He wondered where the guy was going to and why he thought there was no danger being there in the wood at night? Had the guy originally intended to stay in the castle at night? And where was he going to now?

He decided to accept that the person knew of the disturbances and deaths that had occurred in the wood and wondered if he had made a mistake being there at night or if he had some means of avoiding it, and Bryson started considering all the things available to him. Yet there were few and going by the direction that they were going in that he might pass part of one of the tunnels or there might be another, if there was an entrance to it there.

When he saw one of the police with a map of the region he examined it and saw that there was a small place about twenty miles out across the wood in front of them and he wondered if the guy intended to go there, and he thought he might have made a mistake as if he reached there surely they could be waiting for him. Yet would the guy attempt to get there at night or did he have a hiding place?

The heavy blizzard, going deep into the thick wood, started obscuring their view the darker that it got and they tried to catch up with the guy more.

The snow glowed brightly in their lights, from their lights beaming out, and Bryson spotted the beam of light from police helicopter beam through the wood as it followed their path to them, and he wondered what would happen?

It was turning too dark and he grew tired from the evening spent searching the castle and he remained confused at what the police knew about the disturbances there and if they would make the mistake of staying there in the dark night and he could not think of a proper way to tell them of the dangers that existed there!

To his disappointment the helicopter flew straight overhead blowing up all the snow at them and throwing the blizzard about it, and it raced away into the distance, and he tried to hear what one of the others in front of him was talking about on his communicator, but could not, and was happy to see the helicopter return and stop at a place ahead of them – where he saw it land on an empty region of ground in the trees.

Away in the distance they watched three of the police using their lights to search for something beside the helicopter, and the police around Bryson all tried to see what was happening, through all the trees, and they raced towards them.

The policeman with the communicator hollered to them to go faster – now with his communicator blaring out at full volume with the frantic voices of the police over at the helicopter.

Another policeman eventually grabbed it and started to use it to speak to one of the men there, that he knew, who told them to come over as fast as they could.

 

Chapter 20

 

The Death

 

Bryson rushed over to the helicopter, going in front of the rest of the police, determined to find out what happened, and was blinded by the helicopter’s bright light blasting through the blackness and he waited until he saw where the police from the helicopter were and moved over to them, standing away in the distance around something in the vegetation.

Bryson rushed over, sensing that it was needed for some reason, almost blinded by the mixture of intense lights and darkness, considering everything that he was up against and attempting to observe every place at the one time.

He listened and all he noticed was the wind blowing the trees about the police ahead, with snow blowing around wildly.

Then just before he reached them he darted over to them and one of them turned and shone his torch over him, and one of the other police there acknowledged that he knew Bryson and that he was with them.

In all the footsteps in the snow Bryson suddenly noticed the killer’s footprints and that they staggered around and he saw that he had collapsed where the police were standing around, and he saw a trail of blood to him, from him clearly being shot by them.

They had attempted to fix his wound with bandages, and when Bryson stood beside them he saw that he was close to death.

Yet the police still had their hands on their guns at their sides!

By their reactions he was sure that they did not have a clue what they were dealing with for some reason and he searched for the reason. It was dark, within the grounds of the castle, and they had chased a vicious killer and had shot him.

From the helicopter they had easily traced him out into the dark wood, blanketed in deep snow.

The clothing of the killer was thick and wrapped around him, almost entirely covering him, and Bryson froze trying to see his face – expecting him to pull out a gun and start a gun battle.

When he saw that he had been handcuffed Bryson moved to his side to see what the problem was, and saw his face, and watch heaps of snow falling about him from the pine trees.

Bryson’s heart exploded, beating faster than he had ever felt it beat, when he saw its facial features!

He watched the figure almost fall over sideways, barely able to stay alive, and he saw its blood and that it was different.

The other police that were with Bryson strolled there, not shining their lights there – as though not daring to – approaching in wonder as though they were going to meet the devil himself.

When one of the police standing around him shone his light there they all were dumbstruck, and wondering what it was?

Bryson stared down in horror at what he was positive was a genetic cross between a human and some sort of alien, crippled on the ground!

It resembled some form of ghost, with it giving weak splutters from its form of mouth!

“Do you know what it is?” one of the police muttered, slightly shivering and gritting his teeth with the cold.

And they waited for Bryson to say something!

“I want to talk to it first!” he pleaded, and they moved back as he knelt down beside it.

“A scientist!” its weak voice muttered, and Bryson nodded in agreement, knowing that it could speak his language.

“Where did you come from?” he asked confused.

“A gateway threw a few of my species here years ago! They were trapped here, unable to return. I’m one of their experiments, and crossed with them and your species! I am the last of them! They were unable to return after all! They also made me to handle your species, communicate with your species, your outside world, and I was to find a way for them to return home! They built those tunnels you used to find the castle! They were built to get about the wood safely!”

“Were you watching us?”

“I used their technology to detect you and follow where you were going …”

“Why did you kill the people here?” one of the police finally asked, amazed at what it was. “And where were you going to?”

“They could’ve killed me …! My species were killed here …!”

“There was a skeleton in a large dome cavity within the tunnel,” Bryson continued. “How did that happen?”

“Some of the people of my race still worshiped ancient gods! They gave the sacrifices to the gods, believing that they had been punishing them putting them here!”

Bryson saw it was weakening and decided to alter the subject!

“What were you looking for in the library that he found? You left all the books disrupted!”

“I have been trying to find a way back to my world to tell them what happened – and you found more information, which I had to check …”

“Did you discover anything?”

It pulled out a crumbled bit of paper and allowed it to fall at its side, unable to move any further.

Bryson instantly picked it up and examined it.

“It’s a page from a diary? There’s nothing really on it?”

“It’s more! It’s definite proof of the diary of your ancestor – William Randall! I’ve been searching for it for most of my life.”

He stared down at its body cringing onto life, with blood pouring from its mouth, and it fell over dead and Bryson strolled away watching the confused faces of the police, wondering what they really thought of it.

 

Chapter 21

 

Another Death

 

At a top floor room window Bryson observed most of the police leaving in helicopters and was amazed to see the body of the alien being put aboard a military helicopter and Mitchell shaking hands with a high-ranking officer and Mitchell handing him his report and being handed documents and his orders.

Bryson knew there was far more behind it and Mitchell, and the military being there, and he left it there as he knew he was going to get information about it! Mitchell was being far more open than he had been, and would be if he intended to be secretive, and he wondered what Mitchell would have put in his report for when he had gone into library tunnel and through the vortex.

He even considered searching his stuff to have a look at what he had put down! What had happened to him? Had it been just the same? He thought of ways to get him to reveal what he wanted, realizing that it might not be secretive any longer.

What was their story? Why was he there? Why did they not send in an entire military group to search the place? It would take them far longer for them to get results the way that they were working there!

He felt amazed at actually meeting an alien and one of the builders of the tunnels out there, and the killer that they had been hunting for, with the police everywhere and the story being covered by the media in such depth.

The problem now was he never thought the other death was the alien killer and that something else had completely drained the body of water and of something else that they could not recognize.

A glance into the corridor once again showed him that the archaeologists were scanning regions of the castle with their equipment as they had said they would.

Bryson was amazed at the destruction some had made and they had removed the lower ceiling to reveal the original ceiling, made of solid oak beams, and he considered what it would be like being upon the castle roof and wondered why they never searched there?

The wires from the lights had rot and webs over them and had been easily broken and were in bits scattered over the floor, and he eyed up the mess wondering why they had not left it and if someone intended to fix it as they would have no lights there if they were not repaired.

The place would have to be cleaned up anyway or left if the place remained with its disturbances, as many more deaths would follow, and he wondered how the hell they would handle the situation? Would the military make it a forbidden zone?

Bryson marched along the corridor occasionally looking into rooms, which the others had clearly rigorously searched through, and he made an occasional search of anything that looked interesting to see if he could spot anything that they had not.

Bryson decided to go and see William, and left the top floor, and was amazed to see the police rushing up the stairs on the next floor and going out to the scene of another death, and he decided to follow to discover what had happened.

At the door of a room, where the police had gone in, Bryson studied a crumpled up body of one of the police and gasped and realized that all the police would be returning there, and he realized that he recognized the policeman and had seen him a few times at the lounge and he tried to see if he had missed anything about the death and if there was anything different this time, and as he did he realized that the police there thought the alien was the culprit – and that they thought there was another there.

Again the body was completely drained of water and of something else that he could not recognize and he saw why they had blamed the alien, and he even considered if it had been. The alien in the wood had been a genetic cross with a human! What if the proper alien was far different? The genetic cross version was clearly adapted to meet and talk to humans.

According to the alien they had advanced technology – and had built the tunnels – and had made human sacrifices to their ancient gods. Yet it could have lied to cover up there being aliens there, or were there others that it had not known about?

 

Chapter 22

 

The Invasion

 

Only a few days had passed and six more deaths had occurred in the castle, and Bryson realized that there must be at least a hundred policemen there now.

The entire castle and media to Bryson seemed to be going crazy – mentioning and thinking of the occurrences at the castle!

The deaths were unbelievable and all done in the same hideous fashion leaving the victims drained of energy! The police could not realize anything new now! And it seemed something was killing people all about them, right under their noses, which was totally unbelievable, and it was like someone had come up with something to make a fool of them all and ruin their methods of detection and representation. All their leading people from all over the country were trying to solve the mystery! The most advanced surveillance methods and equipment were everywhere monitoring the place night and day.

Yet the problem with it was that they never put it in people’s rooms or in the rooms that the people were working in – but in the main places and corridors that any person would have to through to get someone, including the outer building.

Yet most of the people now had phones and were sharing rooms and could hear any sounds from the rooms next to them, as well as having the corridors monitored by the police and soldiers guarding them.

What annoyed Bryson was nothing indicated and gave any clues to what it was!

William seemed confused and to be in danger like the rest of them and Bryson and everyone else watched him everywhere, and he just gave confused remarks.

There were stories being put on television for days and mainly because it was the only real occurrence that was happening! Everyone seemed to be taking an interest in it and their safety! Most, Bryson believed, wondered what would happen if it started occurring everywhere – and they could not even control the region of the castle!

Everyone took it that it had been a human killer and not something else, which was only suggested, clearly because of the castle! Surely something so hideous, evil, and unearthly that they suggested could not exist? He tried to ignore how hideous it was, trying to look upon it as an artist observed a crazy exhibit, but it was no use! Something was now out to get them! The things in the wood, if they were not the culprits, were nothing compared to it and they now looked as if they had been playing with them and only scaring them away from their territory.

The thing, whatever it was, played with their imaginations and they were not allowed to get anything about it and if it had been something like the aliens that had built the tunnels in the wood. There still was no connection and anything in the castle!

He had thoughts that it could be what had caused all the deaths through the centuries and that the thing had been thrown out of one of the gateways, vortex in the tunnel, or from what had put the aliens there. It could have been trapped there, and perhaps not been such a killer, and it could either have gone mad or something had happened to it to make that way.

The only real evidence that existed was what had happened to the people killed by it! The complexion of the bodies showed it had drained them of blood and showed the deadliness of the place, and their chances of survival had vastly decreased and danger could now exist there in the castle and during the day.

They never knew what they were up against and how to survive against it! They were becoming defenseless and they could not do anything about it!

They were confused more than he could ever recall seeing the police and they had difficulty talking about what was occurring because they had so little!

Strange thoughts of him leaving the cold confines of the place and whole region gave him shivers of ecstatic pleasure once again!

Yet the pleasure they would get if they solved the case and showed it to the world was far greater, and it was clear in the things that they said, especially in the dinning room when they were not working. It was a classic new scenario and there seemed no way to solve it! Something had to happen? How could they stay there with more and more deaths occurring without what was behind it being caught?

Bryson kept thinking of it at two angles and that he could leave and go on holiday to some hot place next to a desert or when he realized what was happening that he quite definitely would have to be forced into leave there as he did not want to miss what happened there.

He worked out the exact time the deaths occurred and asked the police what their times for the deaths occurring were and they all closely matched, and he recorded all the times, and he tried to compare the times with each other to see what they all had in common. What had been happening there when the deaths had occurred? Were they at the same times of the day or were they at times something happened?

Yet after a great deal of investigation he only proved that they were random times! He also checked the people who had been killed and what they had in common, what they had been doing, and at the time of their deaths, and what locations they had been in and he established that there were no real connections other than that they had been on their own and mainly in places that people had not been near, which showed whatever it had been had deliberately hidden itself, which he considered might show that it might be destroyed.

Was the thing only being safe, preferring solitude, or did it have weaknesses and could be destroyed? The thing could be anything though? It surely was not of this world! It could have been a normal powerful alien life form turned into one of the most deadliest entities, still with reactions of its original self, and he considered how they could use that? Could they find a way to scare it from there? Could they persuade it to do something else?

The police still unsuccessfully tried to discover how the killer had drained the victims of water and energy, and there was a suggestion a scientist was thought be involved or the technology of one had been used. Yet Bryson never believed anything to do with any scientists was involved, and he knew that the thing doing it did not really need what it was taking from them – unless it was some form of vampire.

He believed it was using the best way it could to kill them, and silently and quickly!

The rooms that most of the victims had been found in left them wondering why they had been there working alone!

Most of them still felt safe in the inhabited regions of the castle!

He could not get why no sounds seemed to be heard from the attacks? Why the deaths had not been heard? And he knew that the castle and its thick stones and strange formation could alter sounds – making silent sounds travel further at some places and stop even the loudest sounds being heard at some nearby places!

The police seemed to have secrets concerning the alien killer that they had killed in the wood and many of them thought there were more – and that they clearly had the technology to carry out the deaths. They had built the tunnels there!

Why kill them though? The alien in the wood had done it to survive and not get caught! The only logical reason, other than it liked it, was that it was determined to destroy them or scare them away from the castle!

 

Chapter 23

 

The Military

 

Bryson was amazed when he entered the psychic researcher’s room, at the tunnel with the vortex, where the scientists were still setting up equipment around the wall where the vortex was behind, and that their equipment had gone beyond anything that he had seen, which was immense and powerful, and the power supply there had been increased immensely to it with large cables being fed into there from massive generators.

He had not even been able to get near Merton and Mortimer, who now were just advisors on things! They had so much work that they had not slept in a long time!

The military scientists there had full control of the situation, and they clearly knew the equipment far greater than any of them.

The military’s mission there seemed to be a death or glory scenario. He was sure that they really wanted answers to what was there – and not to free the castle from what was there – and get any new technology or advancements there were a far greater achievement. Their interest in the aliens there was tremendous and far more than he had thought! They were checking out all the tunnels there and the alien that the police had killed, and where he had been staying and everything about him.

They had seen the story all over the media and had decided in sending in more people to investigate. Yet there was still much confusion on what was happening there and what was there, and they could only really investigate things as far he was concerned.

Some high-ranking officers had arrived and were being escorted around places by Mitchell, which Bryson gave occasional gasps at, thinking of what was killing people there. There had been two more deaths, unseen and unsolved again, and three sightings of other things of paranormal that resembled ghosts. The disturbances were clearly increasing and Bryson and the other scientists were working away to solve the situation, and find a solution, and he had been surprised that the treasure there was being forgotten, for the moment anyway.

Bryson was amazed when Merton and Mortimer handed him a military report and other documents, which they insisted he saw, perhaps to give his opinion on.

Documents told of investigations there going back to the start of the last century, before Pendleton and his friends had arrived there, and of police investigations that had told of paranormal disturbances, and why they and the military had left the place, and gave major investigations in the sixties that had ended with all the scientists there being killed and their bodies being found later, and that they had fenced the entire region off, and not allowed anyone near there, and that it had been left for people of the future to investigate someday with proper technology and ways of investigating and handling what existed there.

Again Bryson realized that all the scientists there were in danger, and that he would be lucky to get away from there alive!

Bryson knew there was far more behind Mitchell and the military being there, and he left things there. He wondered again what Mitchell would have put in his report about his entering the tunnel and going through the vortex.

In the end the paranormal scientists had decided against going near or in the direct path of the alien if they were able to detect where it was, which was what they were attempting to do, and to locate the vortex and everything with it in other dimensions, and find out what was there and build up an illustration of it and what they were dealing with.

The problem was getting their equipment to work as their attempts had so far failed there, and the stuff had never been fully and properly tested as not very many things existed in other dimensions.

If anything attacked them they had a procedure to escape from there, which Bryson thought was all they could do at the moment!

He wondered if it would turn predictable, since it could beat their weapons and had killed large amounts of soldiers, and mainly intended to wipe everyone out and scare the living daylights out of them.

All the paranormal scientists had recently had consultations with all the other scientists and the military and they now entirely left their minds open to what was there and would happen.

Bryson was surprised that when one of the scientists started cheerfully calling them over to a computer screen and showed a blurred view of the vortex in the tunnel, which Bryson was sure was of the vortex in another dimension as it was normally invisible and he had only seen it when he had entered it in an altered state in another dimension.

“This is entirely new!” Mortimer stated, considering it from various perspectives, and he watched it as if he had been waiting all his life to see what was there, and gasped slightly.

“What do you make of it?” Mitchell asked, walking over to them. “We so far have had nothing properly put forward on what its identity is?”

“How about calling it a vortex?” Bryson stated, realizing that Mitchell had entered the vortex too.

“You’re right! It can be called some form of vortex!”

“Well, it’s a start!” Mortimer continued. “The visible part of the vortex has been detected in another dimension! We should be able search what else is there. For instance what is causing the vortex to exist, and what it really is? Maybe even places it leads to!”

They were there to investigate what other scientists had not and to do it to a greater degree every time and Bryson was positive by their reactions that they had never had their day yet and they now never considered that they might never come upon anything, and achieve their goal, and that it would not be left for the people who followed them someday to find and get marked in the history books for.

If only they could find something there that had gone undetected by everyone else, with their detection methods and equipment being improved!

He gasped when he considered what they could come up with if they had something that really worked – as they had advanced far further than he had even imagined, and the place was packed solid with ever form of equipment possible and it went beyond his imagination what they might do.

It was like an experiment to Merton and Mortimer to see what would happen if they pushed beyond the boundaries of natural science, and out into the supernatural.

The dark sky of the place through the room widow now showed him the abyss of billions of light years of space, and the dangers of their exploration, and he considered if they would find anything if they used the equipment at night.

 

Chapter 24

 

The Interdimensional Surveillance

 

Once they had moved all the equipment that they needed over to a room at the second tunnel the other scientists joined them, and Mitchell arrived, and stood wondering, looking slightly annoyed and watching the equipment.

The scientists decided to check the second tunnel at the same time as the other tunnel with their improved outer dimensional scan, to see if they were connected to each as the majority of the scientists believed, which Bryson also wanted to find out.

It was morning and the scientists had increased the power of the dimensional scan and had started exploring the other tunnel.

Bryson sensed that there was something that they were not saying, but he knew he would only needed to wait for them to tell what it was as they were in danger and needed to give all the information that they could, to survive there.

While he considered what could happen next the scientists started examining the information on their screens on the equipment, and he wondered if the stuff worked anything like the stuff for detecting neutrinos, and he considered what it did.

“It’s found something new!” Merton announced, updating Mitchell and the other scientists on what they had found. “I’ve not seen anything like it! It is unknown and looks like it has intelligence!”

“An entity/life form that exists in there,” Mitchell announced, examining the wall, where the tunnel was behind. “What’s it like? Is it that thing that’s killing everyone here?”

“We do not know if it is a life form – or what it is – but it exists in many other dimensions!”

Bryson was fascinated and realized that it was what had tried to make contact with him, and surely had made William appear.

All the scientists were fascinated and confused at what they were going to end up with – another incredible find or disaster!

“Well, what will we do now?” Mitchell enquired. “Do you make contact with it?”

“It might have made some form of contact with us already!” Bryson announced.

“When did that happen?”

“William! His appearance occurred after I entered this tunnel, where I was sure something was trying to make contact!”

“William does not know what he is or is doing? But according the other scientists document on him he had to have been put here to check us out …”

“But he would have to be doing it without knowing it … As he would have said or we would have noticed him checking things. He also ignored many things – and sources of information put near him that would have been of interest!”

“Perhaps it is both!” Merton replied. “It was put there to make contact and check you! It might have underestimated and thought we were something different and had not understood what William was and capable of! There are suggestions in the all the accounts of it in the past from its first appearance on this world that it never fully knew what it was doing. It is surely far different and not from this universe in other dimensions and is mentioned as arriving here to check out the other the thing at the other castle, which it’s mentioned in trying to make contact with. It could very well be designed to make contact, but damaged itself!”

“That’s the best and most explained solution that I’ve heard since I heard of this whole affair!” Mitchell replied, thanking him.

Bryson was surprised and decided to keep it as what Merton suggested until anything else appeared.

Like some phenomenon occurred the instruments scanning the alien showed it in outer dimensions with incredible levels of energy, and all the scientists studied the recordings that they gave them fascinated.

“So this thing really exists and is in other dimensions!” Mitchell announced, taking out his communicator to call the military control center of it and all the other findings.

Bryson noticed some form of powerful magnetic influence from it being registered on some of the equipment, and realized that it had confused them, and that he would get answers on it later.

“What could create such power?” Mitchell asked, observing them understanding the information more.

“This thing is tremendous!” Merton stated. “I can now see why they could not destroy it. The majority of it is in the other dimensions – and it is not made of normal matter. It is made of energy to us – but it is far more in its own dimensions.”

“What do think it wants?” Mitchell asked.

“That I am not sure of!”

“Could it just be evil?” Mitchell asked, trying to see if they thought of it as the paranormal entity that it looked like. “And if it’s not what is killing everyone here for?”

“I cannot fully answer that! But I think at one point when it arrived at the castle it had to defend itself and created things to defend it – and it did not fully know what it was creating or was up against – as with William, and it does not fully know what it or William is doing here – if it even knows about it at all – as I believe it is not fully conscious! There are mention of it and other things altering and going dormant. It must have been damaged or its energy source grows weak, or both? It surely has not seen anything like us! That can be proven by its original behavior and it trying to adapt itself to here. I think it still tries to learn and collect information though!”

“That’s very interesting” Mitchell answered firmly.

Mitchell began talking to someone on his communicator, and asked Merton, “What form does this multidimensional take in this dimension, and as a whole through dimensions? And what do you call it, if you had to give it some form of identification?”

“I am not sure I can answer all that yet – as it is through dimensions – and our equipment has not been adapted for that yet – and has different energy states in them all. It is more an entity! We have not fully realized what it is! It is in what is like the depths of space, at the most different region from our environment as it can get. So I doubt I can properly compare it at the moment! We have so little, and know so little about its identity …”

“And they may not fully believe you?” Mitchell moaned, as he listened to the response from the military control center. “And they want to know if we can properly back up the claims you made already?”

“Exactly! They will need to know everything that they can about it – as they will need to destroy it!”

“We need as much as possible in detecting it and capturing it – if we cannot destroy it! And they can throw it back out there in space or something, where it belongs!”

 

Chapter 25

 

The Treasure Expedition

 

Bryson and Pendleton arrived at a room at the virtually unexplored ground floor, without anyone seeing them going there. It was where the bottom of the second tunnel was, and came to an end, which Pendleton occasionally gasped at.

Bryson still could not believe that they were still coming across highly potential unexplored spots, where the treasure could be buried away.

After a great deal of thought and information from the scans of the tunnel Bryson started realizing that William Randall could have buried it at the bottom of the tunnel, with the thing in it to scare away anyone going there. Pendleton’s memory had returned and he insisted that the other two treasure hunters with him had insisted that it was there and that it was buried away at the bottom.

The room was an ordinary castle room, which had clearly not been entered by anyone for a long time by the webs covering it everywhere, and he also noticed that no footprints were on the dust on the carpet.

Bryson could not get why the others never thought the treasure had been there on the ground floor, and neither could Pendleton.

The tunnel had been there at the exact location they had traced it to, and Pendleton was sure that they would have found the treasure there and he was sure that they had only entered the tunnel at the top floor as it had looked the best place!

The wall grabbed their attention as its thickness was the same as the other rooms the tunnels were in.

The archaeologists had given up scanning walls and had found nothing with it. Their scans were not good and their scans of the other tunnel had shown little! Their equipment needed to be improved!

Bryson repeatedly thumped his hand hard against the wall, intensely listening for anything, while he slowly moved across it.

Bryson easily located the tunnel behind the wall but instead of finding the boulders at the spot he discovered something larger, and peeled away the wallpaper with Pendleton until they revealed what looked like a solid block of stone, the size of a doorway, surrounded by castle boulders.

Bryson stood amazed at how he and so many others could have missed such a thing! How could they have found the tunnel in the library and not even bothered going to the bottom of it? It even made him gasp as he wondered if they had avoided going there for a reason? The thing up there was hideous, even if they were now thinking of it as a normal life form trying to escape from its confines, and having advanced intelligence.

He was sure the ancient historical castle had many hidden secrets and treasures buried away and wondered if they might find anything else there.

At first he thought that he would have to force the slab in or destroy it completely but when he pushed it he saw it was a door, made of stone, and he carefully shifted the awkward mass of stone in, in stages, into the wall, as Pendleton stayed ready to help.

They were both obsessed and Bryson had to push it further with all his weight and strength, as it became stuck with dirt and stone around its edges, and his clambering resumed until he had it out of the way and they could enter the tunnel.

His eyes occasionally fell on the mess under him with little interest! The thick layer of stone and dust fragments were scattered across the ground and he started brushing it away with his shoe to see what was below, and found more castle stones!

He turned on his light and looked further, and he wondered if the scientists working above would detect their presence there, with amusement.

Bryson was sure that the thing above only reacted to things at certain distances, but he was unsure about them being below it!

Yet why did it not work through the walls? He had been in the rooms behind the wall with the other scientists and nothing occurred there!

He turned the light upwards and examined the tunnel going upwards. What was it? What was there? He had put together everything that they had found and he now could barely believe most of it! Was there something else there hiding itself?

He shone the powerful light straight up the tunnel, where he saw the tunnel going up to the castle roof, and as his sight adjusted to it he saw nothing and started to wonder what it was built for?

Yet it seemed too large to be a chimney and there was no trace of soot or anything that would surely be there, even if they had it cleaned. Although there was the chance that nobody had really used it and that any marks were hidden now.

His breathing echoed into it, and its coldness made clouds of steam come out of his mouth going up into it.

Suddenly sounds started emerging above and he wondered if he had activated it!

They started sounding mind-bending and started screaming through the shaft until they had a fury that stunned him, with some sounding like screams and others like wailing spirits, and he wondered if there were other dangers there at the bottom that were not at the top? Could the thing come down and escape? And get them outside the tunnel?

Clouds of powdered dirt and stone fell about at different points around boulders above as though the tunnel were being shaken by an earthquake. Dust swirled through his beam of light as he wondered where the treasure would be buried away? And he sheltered it going into his eyes.

He imagined Pendleton and the other two treasure hunters there years before, during the Second World War, hanging on their ropes, just over the disturbance, which he tried to locate.

He watched what was happening carefully, which he had not been able to do when he had been in the other tunnel on the steps, surrounded in darkness, or when he was above sticking his head in the tunnel, and he wondered how dangerous it really was and if he was going to be killed by it.

He lost his balance and grabbed hold of part of a castle boulder he was resting against behind him and it came away in his hand, and he glimpsed its dark shape and felt it wondering what it was, and he finally shined the light over it and saw something that resembled a piece of wood from the building of the castle.

He then realized some sounds were now not emerging from lower down than they had been and he saw that something was coming downwards, and he thought that he heard one emerge just above him and he listened intensely with confusion.

Sounds were manifesting everywhere as though there were invisible unidentifiable things surrounding there, and strange glowing and swirling forces seemed to form in the blackness.

While he tried to see what was going on at an area he noticed that light was moving downwards and he fixed his eyes onto a strange orb of light floating down, and it all swiftly vanished, and he stood wondering what had happened to it all?

Bryson turned sensing something was in the room and saw William standing blankly staring at him, beside Pendleton, and Bryson walked into the room and shut the stone doorway, blocking the entrance to the tunnel, and saw William and Pendleton staring at the thing that he had in his hand, which he had thought had been a discarded piece wood from the building of the castle, and he realized that it was an ancient book.

 

Chapter 26

 

The Diary

 

The page that the alien had given Bryson, when it had died in the wood, fitted into the diary and confirmed it was authentic!

When he started reading it William’s appearance at the tunnel haunted his thoughts, making him wonder why he was there? What had the entity put him there for?

It was as though he should not be there! He could not tell them or explain how he knew they had been there at the tunnel. Only that he had to go there, and Bryson was amazed at the way the thing in the tunnel had vanished when he had appeared.

What was the connection? If the thing there had made him, what did it want him to do? It clearly took control of him at times and used him to do things!

The ancient book was incredible and he had known it was something by the way William had reacted and had waited for him to read it, and Bryson had been more than fascinated when he had read it and found it was William Randall’s diary! He had actually found William Randall’s diary! It had been left upright in a gap in the wall, where it had resembled part of the wall, with a withered cover that resembled a dirt covered stone.

It felt like he had been waiting all his life to find it and that everything else had been the build up to it. What it contained he could not even guess, and he guarded it greatly, and he did not want to show it to anyone until he had ruthlessly checked it.

He soon realized that it was not a normal diary and that it had strange things scribbled through it, with a quill pen, and he conjured up images of his ancestor wearing ancient clothes at a desk writing it.

The more he read it the more important it became and the less he thought of his ancestor writing it, and it even gave him details of the hidden treasure.

There was no doubt about it the book explained occurrences at the castle, and he wondered what his thoughts of the castle had been at that time in history.

At times it was like the whole castle was something else – created for some function that he could not even imagine – which went beyond his understanding.

As he read it he repeatedly wondered what the people in the past would have given for the book that he had in front of him, and what the aliens, who had built the tunnels in the wood, would have given for it?

He recalled all the accounts and things that he had heard!

What had been the truth about the stories that had said something had happened that had killed them all? So if it had been true what had happened and how had the entity ended up in the tunnel and in the other tunnel? Why had it not moved away into the other dimensions? What was keeping it there? Surely there had to be something there that they were missing? Perhaps it was disguised as something or was hidden away? Such advanced technology could achieve virtually anything and it could be something that he had not even considered possible?

He had always wanted to explore and discover something new of value and greatness, and even be remembered in history!

What interested and alarmed them was why it was hidden in such a place and had created such occurrences? What was it they were dealing with anyway? Why was it in such a far out place?

Something of unfathomable unidentifiable supernatural nature sounded as though it were there trapped in some form of magnetic or energy field, trapped and trying to free itself from something, ultimately escaping to another location of liberty, and he imagining some form of spirit trapped there for centuries.

Bryson again started to realize the implications of the find and that they might check what was there someday, and that he better start finding information about it.

The book started by stating facts that were given in the accounts that Bryson had read and that the origins of the entity had occurred in 1620 when fishermen at a fishing village had witnessed its materialization, and that it had appeared over the morning mist over the sea as a bright light of immense magnitude, and that everybody that had witnessed it had realized that it had been something of great power and intelligence, and that they had seen it landing and that they had followed it to where it had crashed.

William Randall had thought he had seen everything until he had been shown it by the fishermen and it had fascinated him, and though he had been a scientist of that time he believed in forms of magic and witchcraft, especially after his encounter with the first transcendent and its artifact at the first castle, and the entity had powers going beyond anything he had seen.

Something had damaged it before it had crashed and it had continually altered, and had been made of energy, and altered from something and had been trying to adapt to something and had been trapped in something invisible to them.

At one point they had believed it would vanish completely from existence but it had been later perceived that it had entered some form of damaged or dormant state, surely exhausted of energy from either its extraordinary manifestation, impact with the world, or it not having existed in their form of existence.

The original transcendent at the first castle had died before he had taken it to the castle, where it had slowly altered into something that they could not understand, and they had tried to use its magic.

They had found some ways of communicating with it when it had created the second William Randall and they had used it to build the second castle with its powers.

Through the second William Randall they had learned that it had traced the original transcendent and artifact there into this universe, and it had occasionally attempted to mimic it and make contact with it and analyze it. It had been unable to repair itself and had been trapped and could not fully achieve its objective and fully understand.

At the second castle they had tried to use it for magical purposes, and it had foreseen some future occurrences, but had unsuccessfully tried to accumulate its powers to use themselves.

They had used it to create castle defenses when they had been threatened with annihilation by an army, which they had not been able to do properly, and had improvised and as a result of it had turned the castle into what it was, which had killed all of the people there, except William Randall who had been at the other castle when it had happened, and he had found out about it later when he had gone there, and it had entered a dormant state.

The second William Randall had been killed there and they had put him in the tomb at the second castle.

They had not been able to deactivate it and had split it into two parts to weaken its powers and they had put them into the two ventilation shafts.

Bryson finished the diary realizing that it had left the deadliest menace in the world at the castle and he tried to work out how they could possibly approach it without being killed, to return it to where it had originated!

 

Chapter 27

 

The Voyage Beyond the Cosmos

 

For a moment Bryson sensed a weird sensation as though something had happened and something else was going to happen!

The scientists were calibrating their equipment in the room at the second tunnel and Bryson watched them gasp, and even Mitchell stood dazed, as they realized what was going to happen. It was absurdly dangerous beyond anything that Bryson could realize and he had not heard of anything like it being done before.

William had been found to be able to communicate properly with the entity in the second tunnel at a close distance, and they had used it locate the two parts of the entity in the ventilation shafts, which had been discovered to be solid matter.

They had used William to stop it from attacking or throwing them into gateways going beyond the universe and they found that they were small black slabs like shiny black stone, measuring three feet by three feet with a thickness of half a foot, which were fitted above the entrances into the tunnels, disguised as the castle stones there.

It had surprised Bryson that William Randall had persuaded the entity to make itself into solid matter! Bryson had been able to touch them without being killed or thrown out of space and time into some other world, and the scientists found a way of joining them together by using the entity and William and it had formed into a rectangle black alien artifact identical to the rectangle transparent black shape that he had visualized in the second tunnel, when it had tried to make contact with him.

They had found ways to increase the communications between William and the entity by using specially designed equipment, connected to the alien artifact.

William was in a seat where he had objects covering his head connected to equipment that monitored him and his thoughts and transmitted his thoughts to the alien artifact.

Bryson realized that they had been correct in informing the entity that the other transcendent and its alien artifact at the other castle no longer existed, which it had been stuck there trying to make contact with, and it had told them that it had detected it was. It had been designed to meet it and destroy it if it was a danger to it or its creators – and it had been unable to do it as it had been damaged by having its energy source damaged, which had happened so fast that it had not realized what had happened.

They had all watched it activating their equipment – which they had taught William how to use and how it worked.

All the scientists had stood back as it burst into life – using massive amounts of energy fed to it through attached cables – with the sheer energy making the castle about them vibrate and lurch!

Even though it was a great deal of energy to them it was little to the entity – but enough to allow it to do what they had told it to do – and to open a gateway through time to itself before it had entered this universe, just before it had made its appearance on this world where it had failed to get enough energy.

All the scientists there realized immediately that it was working and that it had achieved its mission – and that it could use the energy supply from itself in past!

Bryson realized that they had actually found out from their questioning of it that it was partly programmed, but nothing like their computers, or from this universe, and that it mainly functioned carrying out what it had been created for and that it had been a form of time probe – which they had not been properly able to deduce – as vast amounts of information that it had could not be translated or understood, and had no equivalent.

For a moment Bryson wondered if it could change history and do something like stop itself from entering the universe in 1620, when the fishermen at the fishing village had witnessed its materialization and bright light exploding out of the early morning mist over the sea, like a crazy shooting star.

Suddenly William and the alien artifact vanished and Bryson realized the hideous reality of the situation and that they had let it loose on the universe and on the whole of time!

In the first place it had been virtual mad when it had been split in half! It surely had been altered by William Randall and his men’s experiments – and them altering it to believe in tales of witchcraft, magic, demons, and hell – and the other transcendent haunting the other castle that it had mimicked – and there was no proper proof that it was undamaged by its entrance into the universe, and it crashing into the world!

Though they all soon sensed that it had not and felt its power and intelligence, and how sane it was, and that it was far more than anything that he had ever thought existed!

Light from it exploded everywhere all over the world showing them its new existence – and entities in the form of large bright globes appeared around them and slowly vanished.

When it finished Bryson felt vaguely confused but knew that it had left the universe and that they had done everything that they could for it, and the world.

He then wondered if William had told him the truth earlier that day when he had told him that William Randall had got his treasure from the entity, which had collected it from many sources, and that he had only removed part of the treasure to the other castle – which had been what Bryson had found at the other castle – and that the remains of the treasure had been buried away in a secret chamber under floor of the second tunnel.

When Bryson investigated it he was staggered to find Pendleton there already, digging up the ground under the second tunnel and that he had just uncovered the secret chamber, and both of them climbed into it and found an entire room full of treasure.

 

Epilogue

 

The Transcendent Voyager

 

For billions of years the transcendent voyager had existed never wholly knowing what had created it or where it had originated, carrying out its mission of searching through time and space in its universe for abnormalities, unknown civilizations and species, and transcendent entities with colossal powers and capabilities and to destroy them if they were dangerous to reality and what its programming considered dangerous.

It had been designed and given technology beyond anything else that it had encountered and had the abilities to search its universe in a degree and with abilities that would not have been believed to exist by the most advanced transcendences and civilizations, and would have been thought of as magical powers, and it had the ability to search its universe throughout time.

Its form had been an invisible complex mass of energy, stored in many dimensions, that had been built to last forever, and it directly entered stars to energize itself and store its vast powers for extensive amounts of time.

Its stores of information had been vast and it had the ability to collect as much information on what it had been programmed for eternally and improve its defenses and other abilities, and it had become the ultimate weapon of destruction against the destruction of its universe.

It had stored the technology and abilities of zillions of species and had the ability to recognize and handle what it had been searching for within a range of its universe.

At one point it had unintentionally left the universe and had entered an outer universe that it had not known the existence of, where colossal amounts of universes had existed, and on its entrance there its programming had accepted it as the real universe and that it had to accept it as the universe that it had to carry out its mission in.

At first it had been unable to enter the universes and properly detect anything in them and it used all its information and studied how it had entered the outer universe and found a way to enter them and locate particular things in them, but infinite amounts of things of unknown origins existed in them.

In supernatural universes it had learned to open and use gateways that shifted it accurately to destinations. It discovered far more than it had ever realized could exist and it gave itself colossal magical abilities and energies and it had analyzed everything in a greater degree.

On its first entrances to the universes it had been left staggered when it had encountered something of unknown origins that had drained its energy from it!

Something had virtually absorbed all its power instantly on its entrance of the Earth’s atmosphere, only leaving it with some of its energy in other dimensions, which it had not considered possible as it had not been possible in its own universe, and it could not get proper amounts of power in other dimensions and had to fight to survive and had continuously tried to alter and adapt to something that it could survive as, and it had to create dormant states and ways of collecting energy from small sources and storing it until it had enough to reactivate itself, and work on finding a source powerful enough for it to use to leave there.

Even though it had not done much in its damaged condition, with its vast abilities virtually unusable, it had been able to explore things through supernatural gateways into universes, going out into the strangest places, and it had even considered if there had been others such as it in the endless universes and if they had created it, and if it could contact them to help it, and it had gained abilities to explore inconceivable dimensions and powers in the universes, far beyond its original knowledge and powers.

The humans had helped it and it had used its powers to help them and it had created things for them, including defenses and entities to protect them, and it had created things to hide itself away, even though it had almost damaged itself by splitting itself into two halves.

The humans had become far more advanced and it had been surprised that they had actually found a way for it to restore itself!

On entering the outer universes it had repaired itself and immediately made sure nothing could drain it of energy again and gave itself abilities to create energy in new ways anywhere, and it altered most of its programming to adapt.

It created colossal supernatural powers, going beyond anything known, and used its magical powers to transform it into something beyond anything that it had ever encountered and it gained powers to build universes, and others, and found far more than it had ever realized could exist and another universe beyond there.

 

Part II

 

 

 

The Alien Sphere

 

 

Prologue

 

The Alien Sphere

 

Chief Science Officer James Dexter struggled to focus on a distorted form of the sun, seemingly magnified, shimmering around, as his spacesuit adjusted its polarized faceplate to compensate for the extra light.

He expected to see the Martian Space Station in the faint sky – in a vague form of a satellite with networks of translucent tunnels, with large round and square non-transparent bulges.

Members of the crew analyzed soil samples nearby, while others inspected the shuttle, mainly for structural damage.

“Well, Mars may be good for mining …!” Burrell conclusively muttered, through his communicator, gazing about him.

“The moon may even be better …!” Dexter replied.

“Yet why are there no proper meteor craters …?”

“The atmosphere is indicated at ninety-five percent carbon dioxide, three percent nitrogen, and the rest in traces …” he replied, pointing to a monitor on his spacesuit. “Well, for one thing – though it’s surely thin air – winds here are thought to reach the forces of hurricanes …!”

Suddenly, everyone began following Commander Strachan as he led the crew away, in a specific direction.

They half-heartedly followed – observing the soil and rocks – while looking out for traces of fossils and life forms within the layers of ground.

Then Dr Selina Jackson, a zoologist/biochemist, yelled, making Dexter think that they had found the large specimens of the white worms found there.

He left some puzzling smashed rocks, and with wonder followed her eyes to a shape shining brightly at a mound.

Deputy Commander Basinger, who was mainly an astrophysicist/planetary geologist, like Dexter, went to it first.

“They must’ve visited here?” Basinger asked, curiously.

Selina suspiciously examined Commander Strachan, as he was desperately trying not to respond, and was hiding something.

“Impossible!” Commander Strachan announced firmly. “We’d know of it! This entire section is the least checked region on Mars. We’re here to put up a flag and open the region to future explorations. It’s considered to have rare minerals – desperately needed …”

“We must have found one of their first space probes that they sent here, in the late twentieth century –”

“Or even the remains of one of their rockets …”

“Yet why is it a metal sphere? And how did it become embedded like that?”

“It could have fallen down – from up in orbit!”

“It seems to be intact!”

All the astronauts formed a circle around it, and studied it.

“Even if there were a proper atmosphere, and it crashed at high speed, it shouldn’t be implanted in this rock like this!” Burrell stated firmly.

Dexter shifted in close, and Basinger touched its surface.

“This rock encrusting its surface must be at least thousands of years old!” Basinger declared, gasping.

Dexter copied him and brushed his glove over the rock encrusting its surface and felt a pulsating vibration from something deep in its interior, as if it were alive.

Chapter 1

 

The Black Hole Experiments

 

In the outer fringes of the black hole, shifting wildly about itself, within the opened up alien sphere, a metallic gleam of light was magically suspended, motionlessly in mid-air, from the surface of an electronic clock, by the scientists.

The clock held at the end of an almost invisible cable, of translucent material, had its precision digital numbers frozen in fuzzy multidimensional forms (in a suspended cluster of partially transparent layers).

Professor Bergman, the leading scientist, had it released further, edging it into the black hole, creating more spectacular optical effects from the clock, making it distort in twisted forms (shaping beams of light with matter like a form of glass sculpture).

Its numbers shifted fast forward, until they froze again, and the clock almost vanished, and they stopped its progression.

A loud cheer erupted from all of the scientists and technicians crowded into the laboratory, applauding.

Dexter realized that it was more than a rupture in space. It had properties of suspending time! It was a hole in the fabric of space and time, and a gateway into the depths of time.

He had staggered when he had first observed the pulsating alien sphere, when he had entered the laboratory of the UN Space Agency – where leading scientists were carrying out a series of basic experiments on it.

They had not been able to determine its origins, so they had brought it back to the Earth, to allow leading scientists to investigate it.

He had shuddered as he had studied its cleaned surface and perfect sphere shape, with no blemishes or openings.

The abnormal antics of the laboratory scientists had captivated him – mystifying him with the depth of their nervousness, and fear of something! Some still repetitively studied the controls of an immense laboratory laser, with alarm – preparing themselves!

What were they going to do? Had something gone wrong in their earlier experiments?

A swift flash of light had exploded out, and the laser’s flickering beam had blasted into the sphere – silencing all the scientists.

It had triggered it to unlock, open (with a deafening bang), and reveal its inner chamber, where it was – by the manipulation of gravitational forces – suspending a black hole.

Professor Bergman calmly raised his hand, quickly giving a signal to a technician.

“As you see,” he announced, “it manipulates perceptions of space and time – within its outer radius! It suspends, accelerates, and suspends it. And if you’ll look – to the clock – suspended at its outer radius – it decelerates it too.”

The cable emerged outwards, pulling the clock back, with its numbers going swiftly backwards, until its numbers once again became motionless.

“And if you examined that clock, you would see that the numbers don’t move backwards!”

Dexter copied Basinger, Burrell, Selina, and the others, and clapped wildly.

He briefly wondered if it could be a form of time machine.

“Professor Bergman!” a scientist, next to him, called out. “If something fell in there, would it go on a quantum leap? Would you say that it would appear at some stage after its collapse?”

“I personally believe that it would travel into the future. But where it ends up is not in my field of knowledge!”

Dexter wondered if in reality the black hole was different from what they perceived. But he dismissed the idea. He did accept their philosophy!

“What are your intentions?” another scientist called out, from behind the group. “Are you going to send something in there?”

“We have investigated it little, so far, and if we do, I can assure you that I shall have you all informed about it!”

“What uses to industry do you think it may have?” the scientist continued. “Could science not use it? It has the power to stop time in its outer radius!”

“We do not know at present how safe it is! We shall test it much further, and we may find a use for it – as you mentioned.

“If you will take an observation of its shifting movements, which we have been studying closely over the past few days – which some of you may have observed – as its constrained pattern of movements has dramatically altered.”

Dexter examined its lethal appearance. It resembled a large black bubble of pure energy – buzzing wildly and dangerously about – ready to discharge somewhere.

“Do you believe that space is full of black holes like this?” another scientist asked. “Is space full of them from events such as the big bang? And how long do you think it will last?”

“There may be many, scattered throughout the universe, and a danger to any explorations of space! Thus we can study this one, and learn to detect them.

“The length of time that they exist may depend on their size and the conditions that they exist in. We just don’t know how long they last! However, I can give you other details about this one. Our fact sheets have all our findings, from our experiments, which may interest you.”

A technician entered, nervously listening to everything, and began handing the documents to the scientists at the doorway, and they queued up to the back of the laboratory.

While Dexter stood waiting for them to finish, he sensed something peculiar, but he kept his sight on the queue, where the scientists were captivating.

As he listened more, a gentle draught appeared, and he discontentedly tried to detect where it was coming from.

But it increased and he realized that it was not a draught – the air was being sucked away – and he glimpsed a hideous black shadow over the floor, with a horrific emerging shape, and he stood frigid, watching the black hole crawl through the laboratory’s protective screen material.

In an instant it vanished and reappeared across his path, and he could not escape its powerful pull, and the whole laboratory erupted into a frenzy of activity as he plunged into it – hurtling into blackness – with existence rapidly vanishing.

 

Chapter 2

 

The Fringes of Eternity

 

In a blur, he was floating over all the stars of the universe, and tumbling through the depths of eternity – far from the nearest stars – out beyond reality.

Obscure illuminations endlessly shifted, as he wildly spun around, with no real awareness of anything.

A tranquil abyss flowed surreally against him.

A shape gradually emerged, of a stretch of shininess.

He came to, from his state of disarray, studying it.

How had he managed to end up in such a far-out place? Where was he? How could he survive?

He felt as though he had been falling through something, and he tried to grasp the concept, and where he had been.

There was no longer any light of the outer universe!

Large stars magically appeared about him, with incredible dimensions, and shone with blinding rays.

Howling air suddenly blasted at him, and around him, and he plunged down, and he saw the night sky, swirling about him.

He was over water, and falling out of the sky.

He realized he could survive, and prepared himself.

A roaring and blinding surge of water hit him, and he dived through it, swiftly sinking downwards. And he automatically put out his arms, pushing away water, stroking and tugging, pulling himself from the endless depths of water.

Chapter 3

 

The Shifting Jungle

 

The rhythms of the waves, skimming over the surface of the black sand, gently brought him out of his sleep.

He felt the warm air tenderly caressing his lifeless body.

He had vague recollection of him swimming ashore, the night before, and then hearing Selina, screaming, and her splashes, and him pulling her ashore. Then, before he had rested, and had fallen asleep, a dog had come splashing out of the water, at them, and he had discovered that she had brought her dog, Darwin, with her, which she must have had concealed in her luggage in the laboratory.

He watched her, with curiosity. Her laboratory jacket was ripped to pieces, and she held it around her.

He was sure that they were the only two to go through.

The warm colors of the red sun blazing down, and the bright celestial objects shining through the sky, turned the world about him into a wonderland.

The stars, and color of the sun, made it apparent that they had traveled further into world’s future than he had imagined possible. He estimated the length of time that had passed as being at least many millions of years.

What would humans have turned into over such a long time? Would there actually be anything left …?

With astonishment, he focused his eyes further, to view the tropical beach, with the crimson glow of the sky over it; and, at the end of the beach, he saw an immense perpendicular cliff, curving out to the sea.

With an abominable thud, Dexter felt something crash against him, and he swiftly rolled sideways, to see a chunk of vegetation.

He shaded his eyes, and clabbered upwards, startled at the fascinating sight behind him. A jungle of unknown variations of trees and plants went along the beach, in both directions. Many overhung the shore like palm trees, with types of fruit clustered at their tops. Some nearby plants resembled strange forms of cactuses, with animal-like hairs thickly scattered over them, instead of spines.

The sun was blazing, and the air was turning roasting hot. Golden patches of sand, through black sand, glowed in bright red sunbeams, while the turquoise sea sparkled it.

He stretched out his painful limbs, feeling slightly dizzy, and he turned his blank expression to a smile. He had actually survived, and he was on an island.

Their main task now would be to find food!

Why had he not seen any fish …? He had to check again – there had to be some.

Sounds of rummaging came from behind him, from something strange in the undergrowth.

“Where are we?” Selina suddenly groaned, rubbing her eyes.

“We’re resting on the shore of an island!”

Why had he not seen or heard any birds? Surely there would still be forms of seabird on an island.

“There’s something peculiar about this place!”

“How far in time do you think we have traveled?” she asked, holding her head, looking at the bright tints of the sun.

“At present, I don’t have a clue!”

“Is there anything to eat?” she spoke, throwing a pebble along the sand.

Darwin shook himself, and he ran after it. Once he reached it, he smelt about the sand, looking for things to eat.

The sand was starting to burn the soles of their feet.

Splashes of water sprayed over the sea, at his side.

“There’s a giant fish!” Selina shouted, gaping outwards.

“A fish …!” Dexter answered, moving to the water’s edge, looking downwards. “It is more like a sea snake! It looks dangerous – it has spiked jaws!”

His eyes stayed on the clear water, where the creature’s orange shape, covered in thick scales, floated by.

The fantastic island glowed with fabulous spectral colors, in the intense red sunshine. It was fantastically surreal – there was vegetation everywhere behind the beach. Colors of nearly every conceivable variation of the entire spectrum glowed all over it, like a mind-bending cartoon. Vegetation of all shapes and sizes mingled. Loud eerie sounds appeared, from creatures within it, which he felt vibrating in his ears.

He was sure that they were nearby, watching them, in hidden places.

“We better find spears!” Dexter warned. “This place could be dangerous!”

“That’s probably just some bird …!” she answered, while adjusting her pieces of clothing.

She walked to him, and she balanced herself against his side.

There were no proper fish, but there were insect-like green plankton. He found them edible, and a good source of nutrition. The water on them tasted strange, and it was surprisingly consumable, which was peculiar, as he had not heard of a slightly salty sea.

After a few handfuls of the plankton, they grew sickening, and he knew that they could only consume so many of them. Therefore, they searched for other things, as they silently staggered along, beside the sea. There were many types of algae, but they did not touch them – their appetites now demanded proper food.

The coast was so unreal that he was sure that he was walking in a dream, and had consumed some form of hallucinogenic.

Along a stretch of the beach, he saw that the vegetation still was too dense, and that they still could not enter it. Its shapes shifted continuously, as though things in it were shuffling about, with some kind of an itch. Its complexity was tremendous, and his mind could barely grasp what he was observing; and he continuously glanced into it. However, what grabbed his attention even more was that there was no wind or anything that could account for it.

He knew that she had no explanation for it either: she was more concerned about where she was.

To his astonishment he realized that the trees were not normal: they were mostly similar to giant plants, going up to at least fifty meters high, and others resembled immense mushroom-like plants, with feathery seeds falling from under their domed tops. In one direction they formed part of the jungle, going out as far as the eye could see.

Distant shrieks of wild creatures came from within them.

Dexter briskly sharpened the end of a stick of vegetation, on a sharp stone, making it pointed, and into a reasonable spear.

It would do, until they could make something better.

Dexter occasionally climbed up small trees, hanging over the beach, to remove some of the fruit-like vegetation growing on them. Their shapes and sizes varied greatly, and he easily pulled some off, but he needed to cut many off, with sharp stones. Some were much like coconuts, and they had to be smashed open, to reveal their nutritious contents.

After they had tried the majority of the varieties, they started collecting the best ones.

Suddenly, as they were about to finish, Darwin did a strange thing – he ran away at full speed, and he disappeared into part of the jungle. His loud bark then went through the vegetation.

They swiftly left what they were doing and ran after him. It was not like him to leave when there was food about. Furthermore, if there was something dangerous, why had he been so enthusiastic to encounter it?

The dog stood peering into a more dense part of the vegetation, trying to find a scent, as though whatever had been there had escaped. Some mysterious thing had hidden itself!

However, he realized something even more bizarre, which he had seen and had just ignored. In a shallow pool of black mud, at his side, there was a footprint, which looked like his own. It was a faint impression, and neither of them could explain it – or even be positive that it belonged to a human.

He did not know if humans still existed.

Why was it a bare footprint? Had humans gone back to living in the wilderness? How many of them would there be? How dangerous were they …?

At their side, he spotted a newly fallen tree, creating a gap, which would allow them to get further into it.

Once they had climbed through it, he saw that its density decreased, and that they could scramble through it.

Their heads darted about, looking for traces of any signs of life, and anything that would indicate the presence of humans. Even though it was hard to believe that humans were on the island.

Apes had human-like arms, hands, and feet. Could there be an animal such as this hiding in the vegetation – like a Bigfoot? As he thought about it, traces of two pairs of footprints actually appeared in the soil at his feet, and he found a clear set of them.

What had they been doing here – at the beach? They were fresh, and they were differently sized footprints, almost identical to theirs. They had walked through to the beach, and they had gone back into the island. He was sure that they had been actually watching them, from further up the beach.

Deep musty scents like flowers and pine mingled through the hot air, while he carefully placed his feet, treading quietly over the ground. And he crouched, ready to shelter.

It was a mysterious jungle, and it created an extremely intense atmosphere. At any moment, he expected to see a tiger-like animal hiding in the tangle of vegetation.

Their pace stayed slow, at a speed that they could see anything dangerous in their path, while staying hidden.

There were no signs of them. Where were they going?

Just ahead of him, where the footprints went, a white shape emerged in the multicolored vegetation. And he approached it cautiously, searching everywhere he could. And he saw that it was something resembling a giant egg, with size of him.

Even though he thought of it as a form of plant, it had to be a creature – it had a white leathery skin, which pulsated …

It shuddered when it sensed them near to it, and they tenderly followed the prints passed it, ready to escape; and they swiftly continued away from it. He soon saw what it was that they were going to – a short distance away, there was an artificial tower, stretching high above, where its top bulged out, loomed over the trees, at least fifty meters above.

They approached it, in stages, examining bits of it through gaps, trying to figure out what it resembled. In the distance, the shapes of shrieking creatures hung on branches.

“What do you think it is?” Selina gasped, breaking the silence, as they moved into a clearing, about its base.

“It could be some sort of observation station …!”

“How old could it be …?” she uttered, looking at its black surface. “If we can establish that, we may be able to establish how far we have traveled into the future!”

“And how long ago a civilization existed …!”

“It’s made of a material like metal,” she muttered, “and it’s not corroded anywhere …”

Dexter unsuccessfully attempted to dent and scratch its surface, and they wandered around its base, until they came to an entrance, which looked as though someone had recently opened. Its inside was dark and gloomy, and, except for a pole ladder, it was empty.

“Will we proceed …?” he asked.

“It’s to dangerous …!” she replied, looking at its leaning black shape, towering overhead, at fifty meters above.

“They must have gone up it …!”

“Where are they?” she said, looking straight up, with her hand over her eyes.

“Stay here –” he spoke tediously, and started to climb up the ladder pegs, into the darkness.

The only sounds that he heard were the clangs of the ladder echoing upwards, as though he were clambering through a sewage pipe.

The hot air drifted up from beneath him.

There was little for him to see above.

Sometimes he believed that he saw someone climbing down to him. He now saw Selina’s point of view, and that it was not worth it – but if he could just find one clue that would answer his queries about the world.

A freak wind made a hollow whistle through the entrance, and died away. The temperature had to be reaching its maximum limit. He tried to imagine what was up at the top of it, but he had no evidence of anything.

He plodded on, while the light under him grew fainter; and he realized that he had underestimated its height. He had been climbing too fast – it had exhausted him! He felt his legs give way under him. It was not a normal ladder – he had to grip the handles to stay on it – the handles were at large distances from each other, and he could not properly rest on it. He was soon hanging on for his life, with the pole swaying under him. However, he managed to rest, in a different position.

In the blur overhead, a vague illumination became visible, and he vigorously moved towards it.

When he reached it, he saw an entrance to a room, where faint beams of red sunlight shone, and he fell over onto its floor exhausted. Then, from somewhere in the surrounding darkness, a black shape shifted over the light.

Chapter 4

 

The Mysterious World

 

A spectral shape floated over him, but his unfocused vision simultaneously altered, allowing him to see a crouching figure, looming above him.

“So you made it …!” Basinger murmured, grinning at his face. “It’s Dexter!”

“Wait until you see the other tower …!” Burrell spoke, as he appeared at his side, humoring him, while holding back a smile.

Dexter reluctantly dragged himself upwards, from where he had just managed to rest.

“Come over here …!” Burrell called out, moving over a gap in its outer shell.

Once at it, Dexter stumbled backwards, stunned at the height that it was leaning over.

Selina’s figure was at the edge of the jungle, where she was examining the vegetation.

Another gigantic tower was looming up in the sky in the distance, where Burrell was pointing.

There must have been some danger in regularly climbing up the towers! Who had built them? What function had they had? Had their descendants just been energetic?

A glance about outside showed him that the island was far more different from what he had believed that it could have been. In many directions, there were miles of jungle terrain going far into the distance.

“So what do you think it is?” Burrell finally enquired.

“It might have been a communications tower.”

“You may be right!”

Basinger and Burrell returned to what they had been doing, over in the darkness. Dexter followed the bulged out outer wall in the opposite direction, going in a circle. It was peculiar – it looked as though nothing had been in it – there only seemed to be the blank surroundings, and he finally arrived at where the others were standing.

It confused him, because it was entirely empty. Had they emptied it of everything that it had contained?

Then he saw that there was another entrance, in front of Basinger, which they were trying to open. It was at an area on the central section, where the other entrance was behind, through a wall.

Basinger fiddled about with a type of keyhole, and stepped back bewildered.

Dexter saw a faint gap in it, further along from them, and he pulled at part of it, sticking out. Then he pushed his fingers into the widened gap, and yanked the jammed entrance open.

“You did it!” Burrell proclaimed, congratulating him.

“Would you like to go first …?” Basinger said, and held out his arm.

Dexter immediately climbed into it, gripped its ladder, and pulled himself up.

He was soon on its roof, over the top of the structure, where there were just curved edges around it. Its view was astonishing, especially with it dangerously sloping.

 

Selina gazed at what appeared in front of her as though she thought that reality had finally gone haywire. And when she saw them she dropped the vegetation that she had been examining, and strolled towards them.

“Deputy Commander Basinger …?” she called out, extremely alarmed. “What are you doing here?”

She stood studying the two of them, and she looked at their bare feet. They had also lost their shoes swimming ashore!

They were barely recognizable to her, in the glare from the peculiar sunshine, in the strange surroundings.

“How did they get here?” she spoke, looking more startled than he had ever seen her.

“And why did they not see us …?” Dexter murmured, looking at the remains of their clothes, hanging on them.

They looked wilder, in the light. Their beards gave them an appearance of being castaways, which had been on the island for weeks.

“Was it you who saved us …?” Basinger grumbled, while he recalled something.

“What …?” Dexter answered.

“How could he have saved you?” Selina continued.

“Well, both us found ourselves here – on the shore of this island –”

“After I hit the water,” Burrell revealed, “I am sure I actually drowned …”

Selina stared at him, searching for any signs that he was exaggerating his claims.

“What did you do once you discovered you were on this island?” Dexter enquired further, thinking of a light that he had seen on the island, which had guided him to it.

“I’ll tell you …!” Basinger announced, cleaning his brow of sweat. “We awoke under the cliff over there – on the beach – under it – where this vegetation stops at the cliff. We believed that there was not anything on the beach …”

“We have been surviving on sea creatures,” Burrell continued. “And we have been thinking of different ways to hunt animals, to survive here!”

“Did anyone else follow you into the black hole?” Selina asked Basinger.

“There was nobody else in the laboratory! We entered it to save some equipment, and establish what had happened. That black hole is unstable, and a menace to civilization. Its power was incredible!”

“Have you any food?” Burrell asked, wildly eyeing up the vegetation about them.

“Yes!” Selina replied. “We have found some food!”

“Do you think that it will be safe to stay the night here?” Dexter announced, thinking of solving future problems.

“Did I not tell you that we found a cave, over at the cliff?”

“What will happen if the sea floods the beach?”

“The sea cannot reach it – it’s too high up!”

Selina and Dexter slightly nodded their heads, and they followed Basinger, leaving towards the cliff.

Basinger was roughly the same, but Burrell had turned wilder, to survive in the wilderness – and he savagely ate part of some type of creature, as he trailed along behind them.

Basinger already had a map in his mind of the jungle about them. They had been exploring it, searching for food. They clearly had not noticed all the fruit-like vegetation growing at the beach.

Basinger picked up and played with a simple animal trap, which he had made out of vegetation. He turned it around in his hands, studying it, mentally making a vastly better version.

Basinger took them onto the beach, which went under the cliff, and they silently strolled along together, examining the water and rocks, while Darwin ran about in front of them.

Part of the cliff, in front of them, hid the area behind it; and Darwin suddenly smelt something and ran around it.

A high-pitched shriek instantly came from something! And, at their swift approach to it, Dexter heard the dog chasing after something.

They then saw Darwin standing steady, rhythmically barking at a white object, at the cliff.

“What is it?” Selina murmured, approaching it.

“It looks familiar!” Dexter answered. “Could it be a descendant of a species of seabird?”

“It should be edible!” Burrell grunted, almost drooling.

Basinger gripped the ball of white fluff, while the dog jumped about at his knees, and he carefully wrapped it in the tattered remains of his jumper. Then he checked that it could not escape, and it gave out a muffled shriek.

Darwin then splashed through the water, and pulled out a stone-shaped object; and he dropped it onto the beach. Dexter immediately saw that it was similar to a shellfish, and he knelt beside it. He swiftly exposed the inside of it, revealing a type of oyster. He considered having the dog taste it before him, but he could tell that Burrell had already eaten them, so he tried it – and vaguely liked its peculiar meaty taste. They then collected as many of them as they could carry.

Basinger unfolded his jumper, and he showed them that the furred creature had died.

Basinger took them to part of the cliff, where the cliff was enormous, and a straight wall of rock. And Dexter spotted a small cave, forty meters up, with a slope of rocks under it, which they could climb up.

“It’s a perfect shelter!” Dexter told them, as he climbed up.

“We could build a fire in it!” Selina explained, as she followed them.

Once they were in it, he watched the sun edging towards the horizon.

“I am sure there are flint stones here …!” Selina told them.

“But can we find anything that will burn? Are there any plants about here that are flammable enough to be ignited by the sparks?”

“There is plenty of dry stuff!” Basinger replied.

Basinger chipped different rocks against a rock, until he found a stone that gave off sparks.

At the side of the cave, he collected all the dry pieces of plant, and he shredded it into tiny fluffy hairs with two rocks. Then he placed the ball of fluff on a flat rock, and he whacked the flint stone against its surface.

The sparks sprayed out, and small wisps of smoke occasionally came from the ball of fluff, but it did not ignite.

Burrell finally took a turn, but he soon stopped.

Dexter tried different techniques of doing it, and he thrust the flint over a very rough edge of a rock, creating a large cluster of sparks over the fluff.

He then gently blew the smoldering clump, until a flame ignited. And he swiftly placed it between some rocks, and he placed dry pieces of plant on it.

They collected a large pile of many different types of vegetation.

The stems of many plants, which they found below the cave, were dense, like the wood of bushes, and they burnt for a reasonable amount of time, allowing them to cook their food properly.

The island grew dark, and they blissfully rested, and Dexter satisfactorily observed rain pouring down a few meters out from the cave. However, his satisfaction did not last, as cold water came rushing down, over them, and the fire, from somewhere within the dark depths of the cave, which they had not had time to explore.

Chapter 5

 

The Secret Passage

 

Once the sun had started lighting the horizon, with its strange illuminations, Dexter began his observations of the stream of water – pouring out of the entrance – going down the beach.

It was not that it had flooded in the middle of the night that annoyed him, it was the fact that he had not thought of a way of preventing it happening again; and it surely would occur again, if they did not solve the problem.

They had to find a way to prevent it happening, or they would have to move away from the cave. The winter months would surely have a lot more rain.

His mind only came up with the same ideas, which were not any good. It seemed a small problem, which he was exaggerating.

He had been sure that the water was pouring through cracks in the rock, but it was apparent that there was a hole, at the bottom of the cave. He searched the ground about it, trying to find out where the hole went, and he discovered that the hole, which he believed was not any bigger than his head, was large, and mostly buried under sand and rocks.

Once he had removed the rocks and sand about it, he was able to fit himself into it; and he saw that it sharply angled upwards, in a tunnel. Burrell followed him in, and then Darwin ran through. The dog stayed just ahead of them, as they marched on and on, ascending to somewhere upwards, through the darkness.

Darwin eventually ran off, leaving them wondering what he would find.

They did not have to wait long. His loud barks soon appeared from somewhere ahead of them.

Yet the bark was a different bark, and he realized that the dog had encountered something. Yet it was strange!

While he rushed forward, carefully listening to his constant barking, the dark gray rock began to illuminate in reddish sunshine.

Then an entrance appeared ahead of him, where the dog’s sounds were coming from.

They proceeded to it, looking exhausted from the climb.

There was a short cavity, going upwards, with a pool of clear blue water at its center. The sides of the cavity went in a circle, going upwards for about three meters, to where the top of the cliff was.

Darwin was barking crazily at the water, at the edge of the pool.

“I don’t get it …!” Burrell remarked. “Darwin never barked like that before, without there being someone there …! He virtually has paranormal senses …!”

Dexter stared into the depths of the pool. He could clearly see through the water, but its visibility disappeared, into blackness, far down.

The dog was barking loudly, as if there was a human in it.

After they had calmed the dog, they climbed up to the surface, where there was a jungle, full of rotting vegetation.

They went to the outer fringes of it, closely checking them.

“This is perfect!” Burrell rationalized. “This will supply us with a proper fire!”

“If we can build some weapons and tools, we will be able to hunt and fix up the cave!”

“What about that stream of water?” Burrell continued, trying to solve the problem.

“There must be a way of stopping it. It’s the safest place for us to stay!”

He pondered over different ways that they could use to try to divert the water, and he removed a long piece of vegetation, with an appearance of a cane. It was thin but hard, and he knew that he could sharpen it into a spear.

“There shouldn’t be that much rain!” he finally spoke, thinking of the tremendous temperatures that they had experienced. “Therefore, we can channel the water away from the rest of the cave, and out through the entrance. Grab some vegetation – for a fire! I am starving …!”

They instantly began work, grabbing chunks of dried out vegetation, dragging it to the cavity, and dropping it onto the embankment, beside the pool. Once a large pile had gathered in it, he cut a strong rubbery vine plant, and he wrapped it around a boulder, then he fed the other end of it down the cavity, for an easier way to get up and down.

He edged his way down it, making sure that it could sustain more weight. They then, with some difficulty, took some of the vegetation, in bundles, through the dark tunnel.

Once all the vegetation was neatly stacked at the side of the cave, they carried up as many shell creatures as they could collect, in their clothes. Then Dexter dug a hole at the edge of the cave, and he placed stones in a circle about it, and then he made a fire.

Dexter devoured a feast of overcooked sea creatures, next to crackling pieces of vegetation, at the edge of the entrance, while observing the red tints of sunshine glowing from the sea. The food was one of the most welcomed meals he had eaten in a long time – even though the sea creatures could be sickening, especially when eaten in large amounts.

He continued to realize the reality of the situation – they had in fact survived it, against a situation of certain death. What had the odds been of them making it to an island? He vaguely wondered if Selina had actually realized how lucky they had been. They now had a shelter, a pool of fresh water, and some basic food.

He left the end of his stick in the fire, and once he had reasonably burnt it, he took it out; and he removed the ash, making it pointed and a reasonable spear, to accompany their other spears

He searched through the tunnel for other tunnels and holes, to divert the water to, but nothing was there. If he could only produce the right tools, he might be able to chip away the lower rock, at the bottom of the cave, and make a trench. Even though the rock might be difficult to break. It would be a slow and tiresome job. The trench might have to go down as much as a meter.

He eventually ploughed the blunt end of his spear through the sand and stones, to form a line through the cave, from the hole to the entrance. Yet, it soon became apparent, as he dug down, that he could dig deep into it, to make it into a trench, which could take a large flow of water through the cave.

None of them had any proper clothes, for surviving in the wilderness. If it had been a cold climate, they probably would have frozen to death – the water at the least would have given them hypothermia. He was sure that the island was actually somewhere in the South Pacific. Did the end of black hole drift, or had the continents shifted? In that case, they could be anywhere!

Nothing on the island was normal. Had they genetically adjusted everything? However, why had they changed everything so much? He had not seen any proper fruit or vegetables! Yet could they have made them to produce products – such as rubber – for industry? If so, they might be able to use them, perhaps to make clothing, and footwear.

What would he do if they encountered mankind? Could they adapt to its new ways and civilization? Had they changed like the vegetation? Would they be deadly? Yet why had they not seen any trace of them? Surely, there had to be types of planes and ships. However, it was possible that they were at a barren region of the world.

“We must find more food!” Basinger suddenly remarked, over to Selina. “We cannot survive on these sea creatures!”

“There is plenty of the fruit, over at the jungle! I think we should fix this place up. If we are going stay here, we should live properly! We could put some type of cover over the front, to shelter, at night.”

“Do you think that this place has a cold winter?” Burrell enquired. “I think we will have to find warm things to wear, and to sleep in. This place is strange – I haven’t seen one normal animal, or anything in fact, anywhere!”

“I want to get more wood!” Basinger announced. “There is not enough of it for tonight, and, perhaps, we can use it to seal all of the ways in here! There might be dangerous animals about that can climb into the cave. This place could be dangerous! There are tigers that can climb up trees …!”

 

Once they had brought down all the vegetation needed, Basinger began to look satisfied; and he took long pieces of it, and he used them to seal the entrance.

He secured the vegetation with various things, including fitting rocks against it, and fixing vines around it. He then fitted a large hollow stem above the fire, to release the smoke through it.

It was night again, when they finally finished, and they sealed the way into the tunnel.

The possibility of wild beasts existing there was now a main issue. Darwin definitely seemed to sense the presence of something! Had an animal gone into the tunnel?

As far as he was concerned the spear was a good enough weapon; and they had blocked the hole, with a large chunk of rock, which was heavy enough to prevent animals getting in.

Selina seemed to feel safe with the barricade being there, but she remained alert, at her dog’s vicious barks towards it.

He engaged himself in thinking of ways of getting food, and in thinking of ways of properly securing their hideaway against wild beasts. Winter might some day edge into their lives, and he was determined to survive. Their hunting and survival techniques would have to be greatly improved. They could use bows and arrows, and hunt the furred animals that roamed the jungle. They would greatly cherish their furs, as things to keep them warm.

He gladly viewed the morning sunshine, against the pale red shadows of the above cliff; and he squeezed through the door in the entrance. Burrell threw a large arm full of vegetation onto the smoldering ashes of the fire, and the cave soon lit up from its flames.

They would be exploring the above island, so Dexter practiced using his spear, to get the feel of it, as their survival might depend on it.

Once they had climbed up the tunnel, Darwin opened his jaws, and gave out a short growl, at the pool, and Dexter thought of making a rope ladder to get easy access to the top of the cliff.

At the top, they chose a route, along the cliff, going around the dense undergrowth. And, as they followed it, it soon became clear that it would have taken them hours to make it through it – if they could in fact have hacked their way through it.

They tracked the contours of the coastline, in the opposite direction from where they had been, when they had landed on the island. Selina wished to view the wondrous coastline, and they wished to visit a number of places. Their main intention was to find things for them to use.

A short distance from the cave, at the bottom of a gorge, Basinger discovered bits of coal, scattered about the ground. Then, on the side of a slope, further along, he discovered a coal seam. The coal was valuable, but it was not an immense amount. Yet it proved that it might be common, and that they might find a lot more.

Dexter was not sure if he was wasting his time searching for metals, but they continued to look for it along the bank of a stream, below a slope, which ran along the side of the cliff. However, when they went to cross it, they saw traces of iron ore – and he was sure that he could reduce the ore to iron, by subjecting it to a high temperature, with the coal.

The amount materials that were available vastly increased. At the cliff, he saw an abundance of limestone, at the bottom of the cliff.

They could easily remove it, in chunks, and take it to the cave. Once they had a pile of it, they could heat it on the fire and smash it into cement. They then could mix it with sand and water into mortar.

They could build a wall at the front of the cave, with a door, window, and chimney. They could easily camouflage it, by cementing thin rocks to its outside, to match the cliff.

He could build a stone stove with a chimney, which he had once seen in an old shack. However, if they were going to remain at the cliff, they had better remain hidden. If there were any humans, they might be dangerous. Even though he could not truly imagine what they would actually be like. Had civilization in fact fallen?

He started to realize that they could make some proper tools.

They could make a pair of workable bellows, to raise the temperature of the coal. If he made an adhesive, like from melting an animal carcass, and took thread from the fiber contained in the plants, they could glue and sew a big piece of animal skin into an airtight bag. They would only need to attach two flat sticks and a pipe to it. It would soon reduce the ore to a lump of iron.

They could pour it into simple moulds, made from cement, and he could make blacksmith tools, knives, arrowheads, and axes. They would be invaluable to them. Some day they might be able to build a building.

The height and thickness of the trees about them began to go beyond anything that he had heard of before. They loomed over them like immense columns, and their tops stretched out like clouds. There were many variations of their species, with their colors and shapes varying tremendously.

Darwin stayed ahead of them, smelling the scents of strange plants, eating occasional worm-like insects.

An immense creature, resembling a dinosaur-sized anteater, scuttled clumsily, amidst the shadows of the trees, letting out loud snorts.

Chapter 6

 

The Island at the End of Time

 

On the beach, at the jungle, they relaxed in the hot sun, after they had gathered a large supply of the fruit-like food. Even though it was a tropical paradise, similar to a hot Hawaiian shore, they would not stay anywhere near the jungle at night, unless they had to. The monster shrieks that came from its depths made them cringe. Yet the deadly beasts, which they had encountered so far, were slow, and they had been able to avoid them.

There was not anything familiar left. They did not have any idea how far they had traveled through time. How long could the sun and world survive? Dexter had heard scientists estimate how long the sun would last. How could they have been sure though? Had they in fact traveled many billions of years into the future? Could they be on the remains of the United States or Britain?

He constantly observed rocks at different locations, looking for traces of mankind in the layers of stone, as he had once looked for dinosaur fossils. He regularly thought of himself as one of the last men on the world. They had not observed any ships, planes, or remains of mankind anywhere.

Was there actually a winter? The sun seemed to stay in the same place in the sky, with the weather cycles repeating themselves. He constantly thought of different ways to prepare for winter. It was strange, thinking of there not being a winter. It was almost comical – the way the others reacted to there being changing seasons, especially when it began to be cloudy, and then they seemed to return automatically to thinking of it as being a permanent summer.

He had noticed that the moon had disappeared somewhere. They had not seen it over the entire time that they had been on the island. Had a celestial object collided with it, knocking it out of its orbit?

He was sure that if the inhabitants of the old world were all gone, that an ice age might have destroyed them. Could the island still have one of these winters? The moon had moved – could the world have also moved? Why were there not any normal fish, animals, and vegetation? Had an immense ice age destroyed everything out of existence? What was growing on the island could be what grew afterwards?

The world might have spiraled into an outer orbit, and it somehow moved back towards the sun. The island might be an example of the original planet. He had already seen dinosaur-like beasts.

He suddenly noticed that Darwin looking agitated.

He barked loudly, and went backwards and forwards, then stopped, and looked into a bush. Then he barked at something.

The bush shook, and it went still. Dirt sprayed outwards, until a dust cloud hovered over it, and a burrow was visible.

Dexter attempted to view the island differently, searching for information, and he realized that he did not have enough information about it. If it was an island: they still had not checked behind some hills!

The world beyond the island was a place of great mystery to them. It was as though they believed that the descendants of mankind lived there. They would eventually have to check the other side of the island.

Dexter realized that there were no longer any sounds from Burrell. He had gone somewhere inland. He followed his footprints, with his eyes, going along the sand, between some trees and plants, and they disappeared into the dense vegetation, which still eerily shifted, in a way that they were unable to explain.

The immensely colorful landscape surreally illuminated Selina, splashing through waves, skimming over the sand, while she moved out of the water. She finally rested at his side, with water pouring in streams over her tanned skin.

Dexter could not imagine where the island was, but it looked like somewhere near Hawaii now. Were the remains of civilization beneath the sea – out there …?

“Where is he?” Basinger grumbled.

“Shall we follow him?” Selina asked enthusiastically.

“Okay!” Basinger answered.

Basinger buried the food that they had collected under the sand. Then he handed Dexter his spear.

The beach vanished behind them, but the sounds of rushing waves remained, and they continued to follow Burrell’s footprints. They did not seem to know where he was going. The angles and separations of his prints showed that he had been in a hurry, and that he might have been desperate. Had he seen something on the island – when they had left the cave that morning, up at the cliff – as he had climbed up a tree?

The tropical-type vegetation about them started spreading out. It was a different place from the other part of the jungle.

“What is he up to …?” Basinger explained loudly, placing his hands on his hips, shaking his head from side to side.

“He’s probably having a little fun, or something …” Selina replied, smiling.

“So he’s having fun!” Basinger mumbled. “He’s running about mad now! Look! What did I tell you …!”

His eyes popped out their sockets, gapping at the footprints, which went in wild strides over the ground. Then they went from one side of a stream to the other side, demonstrating that he had done a long jump over it.

Basinger casually walked over the stream, shaking his head, while balancing himself upright.

“Where has he gone?” his voice exploded, as he panted, trying to inhale properly. “Just think – we might have had a good day on the beach, instead of going after him!”

“Is that him there?” Selina asked.

They looked up at the top of a hill, in front of them, where a dark figure stood, facing something.

“He seems to have found something …!” Dexter spoke silently, keeping himself uninvolved.

There would be a good explanation for Burrell doing what he was doing. One of his jokes might have annoyed Basinger. He had been awake for most of the night.

The hill ascended more than they had noticed, and they strained themselves climbing it.

A full view of the island below started to appear, and it curved out, for five miles across.

He saw that it was the highest hill in a region that was flat.

When they reached the top, they were all tired and hungry.

“What is that …?” Basinger mumbled, pointing to a structure, marching across to it.

“Is that structure made of the same material as the tower?” Selina asked exhausted, reaching the top.

“Yes, it is!” Dexter replied, from behind her.

He saw a small forest of vegetation surrounding the square structure. Then he saw that the forest had a pool of water in it, and that the land looked moist. His excitement grew, when he saw some of the edible plants that they had discovered. Then he saw food on the trees. It was a good place for them to stay!

It had a full view of their part of the island. The ground was fertile, and he thought about planting the seeds that he had collected. There only were small amounts of them, but they could easily get more. Their real problem would be to find enough meat.

Dexter watched Basinger and Burrell squabbling. Then they stood at its edge, silently discussing something, and they went around the structure.

He tiredly strolled over to Selina, and they eventually followed them around the structure.

Its foundations had slightly sunk into the ground at one side, and it was resting at an angle. Fawn mud surrounded its base, and he searched it for prints. Selina followed him and Darwin.

He could not imagine them scaling it, as it was too high, and it loomed above like a giant black box, with a smooth surface.

As he went around the corner, he saw that Basinger and Burrell were in a knee-high hole, arguing about how they should continue digging. They agreed about something, and then they showed him and Selina their discovery.

At the side of the structure, where Burrell had dug the hole, he saw faint lines, which was obviously a closed entrance. And he knew, by their attitude, that it was the only way that they could enter it.

He rummaged through some sticks, scattered about the outer vegetation, for a strong one. He settled for a stick similar to the one that Burrell was using, and he knelt at the side of them, and pulled muck from it, pushing it onto a heap, at his other side. He scraped and dug at the soil, but he barely made any distinguishable progress.

The trees hanging overhead allowed the sun through.

Then dimness went across the edge of his sight again, as a gust of wind rushed past, blowing the trees across the sun, and Basinger suddenly fell backwards, and the entrance opened.

Dexter instantly dropped his stick into the hole.

Then he saw Selina, pushing a stick into the structure, where she had found an opening mechanism. They had not seen her, and Basinger had fallen into it, to where the light met the dimness inside. He had been resting on it, while it had opened.

Its interior was remarkably clean, but incredibly dark and gloomy. There were no signs of water or dirt anywhere. The structure had to be airtight.

“Are you all right?” Selina asked, helping Basinger.

“Yes, I am fine!”

“Good timing!” Dexter congratulated Selina.

The sun’s beams radiated over them, and as Dexter moved into it, his eyesight adjusted to its dimness – and a large interior became visible.

“What’s that there?” Burrell exclaimed, from behind him.

It obviously was another entrance, which they soon found they could not open, and which did not seem to have anything to open it.

Basinger finally led them out of it, and they went around the structure.

“Do you want to go back to the cave to get a rope?” Burrell explained. “I made one long enough to throw over the top – to the other side – and we can fasten it to a tree.”

“Why do we want to climb up onto the roof?” Basinger asked. “This is pointless …!”

“We could live here – instead of in that cave! There may be artifacts in it, which we could use …!”

“Why would there be a door on the roof? What would artifacts be doing in there, on top of an island?”

“We do not need to go back to the cave …!” Selina called out, towards Dexter, from an area at the trees.

“Why do we not need to go back …?” Basinger moaned.

“There’s an old tree that we could climb up!”

After they had surveyed the fallen over tree, they gripped its wide trunk, and they pulled it over to the structure, where they lifted the end of it onto the top of the structure.

Basinger gripped the tree, and climbed up, using his arms and legs. Then Dexter began climbing it.

At the top, he instantly saw two small pillars, and that one of them looked like an entrance. Basinger went over to the entrance, while he watched Dexter examining the rest of it.

Dexter heard Selina and Burrell coming up the structure.

“Have you tried pushing it?” Burrell enquired patiently.

“Yes, at every angle …!” Basinger replied.

Basinger tried again, and he felt its edge with his fingers. Burrell found a stick, and he tried to insert it in parts of it, then he gave up.

“Is that a keyhole?” Selina spoke, as she approached them, pointing at a mark, about half a meter away from them.

Dexter took the stick from Burrell, and he carefully inserted it into the hole; then he twirled it about.

A shuffling sound came from it, and a dark interior appeared, where the line of the entrance was; and Dexter saw a dark tunnel, going down into it.

“Well, how do we get down – never mind back up again?” Basinger asked.

“There’s something!” Burrell replied, holding his face close.

A shine came off a pole, with handles going down its side.

Basinger leant forward, and he grabbed it. Then he poked his leg into the entrance, putting it down upon a lower handle, and he climbed into it.

Dexter waited until he had vanished below somewhere, and he climbed into it, and rushed down after him.

At the bottom, he thought he saw Basinger standing, holding something, in a large black-walled room, but when he went near him, he saw him examining a machine, which resembled a black jukebox.

Various machines became visible about him, at different positions about the floor, as his eyes adjusted to the darkness.

They had the same black material as the structure, which he believed was one of the few materials to survive.

“If this is a computer – it may speak some English …!”

What did Basinger actually want to know? He had intensely investigated everything he had come across. He was sure that Basinger was going to activate everything on it.

A high-pitched whistle screeched out startling him.

The machine burst into life, making hair-raising sounds, which had similarities to cat purrs, and creature tones; while a vivid green light flashed about bright illuminations, with shadows of Basinger’s figure in it.

“This thing may be dangerous! It may be better to just leave it – until we can at least test it – it could be anything!”

“Of course, you are right! It could be very dangerous! And I do not have the slightest idea what it is!”

Once the machine had ceased reacting, with its lights and sounds, one light remained illuminated on it. And they ignored it, and climbed back up the pole. But while they were struggling to get out of the entrance, a giant black shadow became visible, and they observed a twenty-meter disc soaring above the structure.

Chapter 7

 

The Unknown Species of Human

 

In the crest of the morning sky, a bright whiteness soared against the upper atmosphere. For a brief moment its spectacular features deceived Dexter, making him believe that it was an aircraft, shining in the bright sun, but its distinct flame gave away its identity, and that it was another immense meteorite.

Dexter felt a sensation of balancing over the world, as he towered over the darkened view of the island. The warm sea breeze gently blew at his face. A rustle of dried animal skins came from him. He once again saw how visible the structure now was, with its dish activated.

He thought about building a plough, to plant the seeds that he would collect. His foot touched a small meteorite, embedded in the soil, at the edge of the hill, and he again wondered why the meteorites were so common, and the stars so densely packed. The others, who were resting in the structure, occasionally looked for them in the sky, as though they were a danger. But, as far as he knew, none of them had landed within a mile of them, so far.

So far he had only discovered one animal that might pull a plough, but he had only caught sight of the one. The beast resembled a miniature ox, but the animal had looked as though it might tire easy.

He believed that the structure was a good place to stay, especially with the lower entrance now open. However, it was not hidden, now that its dish was out; and they would regret it, if there were in fact dangerous occupants on the world. Yet their fears that there were humans left were gradually decreasing. They had not found one trace of humans. He was sure that the structure was a form of communications station. Dexter believed that it ought to be able to receive something – if there was anything in that part of the world.

If they had used helicopters to land on its roof, there might have been other bases near it.

Whatever it had been communicating with, surely had to have been in the direction of the other side of the island, where it was facing. However, they did not want to give away their presence, by using it. They did not know what they were dealing with yet.

He listened to faint tones from Basinger and Burrell, mingled with distant surges of waves, but their voices were too vague to hear properly. However, he could imagine what they were saying. They would be discussing the food that they had collected from the remaining vegetation.

He felt like searching the entire landscape for all the edible plants that there were. Their survival might some day rely on it.

While he went to leave, his foot dragged over the ground, pushing something open under the muck, revealing a deep hole. He pushed it further forward, shoving his weight against it, and it moved under the surface of the ground.

It had to be the cover of something; but he could only see a deep gap under it. However, as he removed the mud from about it, a perfect square shape became visible. He felt that it had a perfectly flat surface, without any blemishes; and as he wiped the mud from it, he saw that it had a shiny surface.

He knelt on the dirt, and he hypnotically peered at his reflection. There was no corrosion to it – it had to be part of the structure.

His unusual behavior soon drew the attention of the others. Basinger and Burrell casually strolled out of the structure, while they tried to see what he was doing; and Selina followed them. At their approach, Basinger saw the shiny side of it, and he briskly increased their pace.

They stopped at the same distance about him.

“What could it be?” Selina spoke, breaking the silence.

“What would whatever it is be doing there?” Burrell asked, looking around himself, and he watched Basinger push his head down into its narrow space.

“It’s deep …!” Basinger explained, rubbing his fingers along its outer edge, covering his hand in muck. “Wait …! I can hear some sounds, from something far below!”

There were no signs of anything at the bottom of it, and no apparent ladder, or way to get down into it. Dexter knelt next to him, and he pulled out a rock embedded in the ground, and he balanced it between his hands, then he carefully dropped it down its center. He listened, with his ear close to it, and he heard a faint thud.

“Let’s get some of the vines over there …?” Burrell spoke anxiously. “There has to be something at the bottom of it!”

“It might only have been a type of drain …!” Selina argued, from behind him.

“Why would they have made it out of metal, or whatever it is?”

“It might have been used to pump up water!” Basinger quickly answered.

“That would mean that there was something else here!” Burrell disclosed. “Well, why have we not found any bricks, metal, or anything …?”

“They might have moved it away!”

“You have a point there!” Dexter replied. “Will we get all the vine …?”

“What will we attach it to?” Selina asked, looking about her. “There is nothing here!”

“Yes, there is …!” Basinger exclaimed.

“Where …?”

Basinger bent over, and he pointed at what looked like a lump of metal, on the edge of it. He cleaned mud away from it, to show them a loop of the material, which obviously had something like a cable attached to it.

As they went towards the vegetation, Darwin ran out of some nearby bushes, and he reluctantly followed them. Dexter considered the discovery from various angles, trying to give himself some kind of idea of what it was they were dealing with. He accepted that it might have been a source of water.

If the island had many other structures, he was sure that it could have been a water pipe leading to a water supply. However, why did it need such a large pipe?

Once they had piled up the rope-like vine at its edge, they fixed it together, into one large rope, which Basinger attached securely to the loop.

Dexter fitted a harness, made from a piece of the vine, around his shoulders, and he attached it onto the rope. They then fed the vine down into it. The entire length of the pile fitted into it, but they were not sure if it reached the bottom.

After he had prepared himself, and he had fitted himself into the small space of the tunnel, using his back and legs to balance himself, he began to abseil into its darkness.

Dried dirt covered the sides of it, which flaked off, coating his back and legs.

Combinations of natural light mingled about him. His breathing grew loud, and he listened to the others discus his descent.

Darwin’s head peered down at him, resting over the edge. For a second, he looked as though he was going to pounce down at him.

Dexter occasionally stopped to balance himself, against the sides. Then he allowed the rope to whirl around the vine buckle, jerking occasionally, as a small knot went through it. The rope was strong enough, and he had checked it enough.

The exit shrank to a point of light, leaving him in a dim radiance. Just as he was slowing himself, the dim sides cleared of mud, and its shiny surface appeared, reflecting his face.

A faint sound of a voice came from above, and the walls vanished. Blackness engulfed him, and he stopped his descent. His body dangled back and forth, in the cool air, and he only heard silence about him. The noises from above went, and he heard the wind blowing through it.

He released the rope, through his clenched hand, and it spun about as he continued downwards. His body then jerked, and the large knot at the end of the rope caught in the harness.

His surroundings had not changed, and he looked downwards. An outline of something was below him, which surely was the ground, and he cursed himself for not getting more vine.

However, he realized that he could jump down as the ground was only at a distance of his height, and he unfastened the lower knot. The knot unfastened, and the vine slipped away, and he flew down, onto a pile of dry dirt.

Then he stretch his arm upwards, and discovered that the end of the rope was out of reach. He had badly underestimated the height of it. Even jumping at it, his hand was a meter away from it. He then realized that they could not hear him.

However, Basinger would eventually come down.

What was he in? He saw a floor, beneath the dirt, and he followed it along, observing traces of the ground. There were signs that it had been recently flooded with water. He was in a circle-shaped room, which he believed was a type of storage place, for something.

It was empty, with no other apparent entrances. It was like the remaining lower part of some type of structure. At his original position, he saw the rope, where it had been, dangling down from the above tunnel. They had obviously not moved it. There was nothing else left to do. He would just have to wait, to find out what the others would do.

As he tried to see the ground properly, he saw a faint shape in a mound of muck, which he had passed. Its peculiar shape became apparent, and he rubbed his fingers over a flat part of it, making bits of dried dirt crumble from it, revealing a shiny surface.

He tugged at its corner, and it broke away, leaving the lower floor revealed.

The materials that the object and structures were made of were fascinating. They could have been there for many millions of years.

He took a piece of his clothing, and he wiped the rest of the crusts of mud from it, revealing a line of dials, which he pushed and turned. The object seemed not to function, but as he moved away, his legs hit something. His legs seemed to have sunk into the muck, but he felt the ground below his feet. He then found that the muck that was in front of him was actually resting a few inches over the ground. Some mysterious force was lifting it. It firmly fixed the dirt where it was, and it withstood him stamping on it.

After he carefully considered it, he individually touched the dials, which he had moved, and the layer of dirt lifted up further.

Dexter realized that he should be able to use it to get to the rope.

Once he had positioned himself beneath the rope, he changed the angle of the device, so that it covered the area beneath him; and he gradually lifted himself. However, the device worked slowly, which was why he had not seen what it had done. So he pushed the dial that had activated it right into it, as hard as he could, and it nearly flew out of his hands, as he swiftly went up.

He tightly gripped the device, and he narrowly avoided hitting the side, as he went up into the tunnel.

The light blinded him, and the others jumped back from him, as he shot out. And their startled faces glared up at him, as he lifted him up into the air.

He swiftly deactivated the dial once his eyes had adjusted to the light. Then he stopped ascending, and he remained standing. The others remained staring up at him, with their hands over their eyes, and he gradually lowered his height, with the dial.

In the light, with the dirt cleaned from it, the device had a resemblance to a type of black musical keyboard.

“It has to be an anti-gravitational device!” Burrell explained, staying at a distance.

“Incredible!” Basinger gasped. “We have to get of this island, to explore the outside world …! Think of the inventions that may exist …! That machine may have an insignificant capability compared to the lifting potential of other machines! How can such a miniature machine be capable of moving such heavy weights?”

Dexter hovered over the ground, and he went forwards – and he tried the different controls on it. The device was only capable of lifting objects in front of it, and the other controls could maneuver the objects about, to adjust their positions and angles. He was positive that it only was a tool, used as a lifting device.

He could not establish if they recharged it. There was not anything on it, to connect anything to it. There also were no screws or anything, and it had no gaps in it.

“How strong do you think it is?” Burrell finally asked, looking at a large boulder.

“I think that its power is running out! It was moving sluggishly when I first used it!”

“It would be a good idea not to use it!” Basinger continued. “We may need it some day!”

 

Vivid green flashes from a machine brilliantly illuminated the entire interior of the structure.

Its flashes stopped, and it shined a pale green light over them. Its long rectangular shape now had control lights activated all over it. Burrell sat on a large board, in front of it. His hand lifted a head-shaped device, which he had recently found in a compartment, in its surface; and he eagerly placed it upon his head.

“What do you think it is?” Selina whispered to Dexter.

“It looks good …!” he replied, as he saw more head devices.

In the dim green light, he saw Basinger reluctantly take one of the devices, and place it on his head.

When Burrell activated a series of switches, Basinger suddenly jerked backwards, looking alarmed at something. He held the device at his head, waiting to remove it, and he forced himself to keep it there.

“What is it?” Selina asked anxiously, from behind him.

Basinger’s voice made a series of eerie sounds, and Burrell looked over at him, in surprise. Then he replied, with similar sounds, and Basinger seemed to know what he meant.

Basinger’s face showed that he was deeply concentrating, as though the room were not there.

They sat at the machine, occasionally peering at each other, making strange sounds. The machine had somehow taught them a new language. However, it was nothing like any language that he had ever heard.

Dexter finally picked up a head device, in the dim light, and to his surprise, he realized that the device almost was twice the size of his head.

Burrell glanced at him, and he activated the machine.

A silent hum seemed to come from the roof, and Dexter felt a surge of something go through his mind. Strange shapes of light, like ghosts, appeared and vanished about him. Their shapes and colors were too visible for his mind to be creating them.

He waited for the machine to stop before he removed the device from him.

Basinger’s face seemed flushed, and he turned towards him. Then he looked directly into Dexter’s eyes, and he started to make one of the sounds.

“Welcome to the future!” Burrell swiftly spoke.

Basinger’s complexion changed back to normal.

“You will only have learned this language …!” Basinger assured him, in the new language, as he held his head. “This machine implants information within the mind, so that you can instantly learn vast amounts of information!”

Dexter somehow knew that he was correct, and when he glanced at the machine, he knew how to use some of its controls.

For some reason a switch at his front drew his attention. It was as though he had actually forgotten what it was. He sensed that he wanted to activate it, and he put out his finger; and he gently touched it.

A light brightly spread across a wall, from the machine. It was projecting a circle of swirling lights, and he sensed that it was not functioning properly. Just as he was going to correct it, Burrell did it first, and it instantly adjusted, into an image of a creature.

For a few seconds, he stared at it in utter horror – he could not believe what he saw – the creature could not possibly be a descendent of the human race. The creature could barely walk properly. Where had its green claws, jaws, and warty skin originated? Had some form of catastrophe turned mankind into genetic mutants?

Chapter 8

 

The Last Black Hole Experiments

 

Green shades gleamed over walls, from unobserved places, illuminating everything. Machines poured out hot air, heating the cold morning air.

Burrell resumed analyzing the complex machinery, which he had found hidden in the dimness, and he randomly experimented with their controls.

Basinger’s peculiar behavior had kept Dexter awake. He had been actively sifting through information into the early hours of the morning, rummaging through projected symbols.

Dexter could not make out if he had actually found anything. He had attempted several times to get his attention, but he had been too busy, and had ignored him.

“Is there anything about what happened to civilization?” Dexter finally asked, approaching him.

Basinger reluctantly stopped what he was doing.

“Yes, I did find information that was incredibly interesting, which could hold a clue to why civilization fell, or changed!”

“What was it?”

“Well, by what I saw, I would say that they were doing genetic experiments, to advance civilization …! There is no information about what happened to mankind. There is evidence that they carried out some experiments in this region. I believe that they were trying to create a superlative race, and that they were trying to extinguish the flaws that their race and civilization had. Their experiments were disastrous though, but they continued, trying to achieve their goal! They made experiments to animals, trying to get a solution. I believe that these creatures, we saw, are the results of these experiments. Civilization fell, after it had survived for an immense amount of time! I do not exactly know how it happened …!”

“That’s far-fetched!” Dexter exclaimed. “I would like to see more evidence, before I believe anything!”

Basinger suddenly looked as though he had remembered something.

“Do you recall when this machine first mentioned them – when the projection first showed us the creature from its records?”

“Yes!”

“Well, it mentioned one of the super-species …! I think that they created them!”

“Are you sure …?”

“If some of them still exist, they may be able to answer our questions!”

“That may be dangerous!”

“Some of the new species may be …!”

“What else have you found?” he enquired, out of curiosity.

“Actually, I think I might have …! I checked a list of machine diagrams, looking for the machines in here, and guess what …?”

“What did you find?”

“There was some form of black hole mentioned beside one of the diagrams! I am sure that they used it to instantaneously transport objects from one region to another.”

Dexter just stared at him, startled at the thought of encountering another black hole.

“How could they use it to transport objects – it moves things through time?”

“They must have found a way to get rid of its time travel properties. Then they must have put the exit end of it in another machine. I am not positive – it only vaguely explained it! Yet think of what all the scientists’ black hole experiments could have achieved, since we left! In that amount of time …!”

“They had black holes then!” he spoke, shrugging his shoulders.

“If it still exists, we may be able to use it!”

“Use it for what?” he asked loudly, startling the others.

“We could use it to travel back in time!”

“You want us to go into another black hole, to travel back in time! That’s impossible!”

“How can it be used to travel back in time?” Selina asked.

“If they were able to control black holes, they might also have been able to use it for time travel!”

“Are you sure that it would not need another machine – to pass through to – with the exit end of the black hole?” Dexter asked.

“The exit end, which we could travel to, is back where we left!”

“Even if we do find this black hole machine,” Burrell suddenly replied, “and it’s still functioning, how will we know if it’s capable of doing what you say? We could end up in a worse situation …!”

“We can look for information about its functions! I am going to search their records for more information about it. We may be able to discover if it will work!”

“If you insist!” Dexter answered. “But I think that you will find out that it may not work! We have already been through enough, and I do not want to go through any more black holes! We can survive, and we can find out what happened to mankind.”

Burrell stood up, and he angrily left, towards the other side of the room, to get some water.

“All right let’s check it then.” Dexter replied. “Where shall we start?”

“We can start by checking these machines!” Basinger swiftly mumbled. “There is more information in here than you realize! These machines may hold vital information! We also have not found out what this structure is yet!”

 

Shadows of branches stretched out, through the vegetation, beyond the entrance. Squabbling sounds came from somewhere, and Dexter realized that they only were the distant noises of Selina and Burrell discussing something.

Basinger’s figure abruptly leapt from his seat at the machine. He adjusted his sight, towards the screen.

“There – a mention of a black hole machine, located in this sector!” he called out, rhythmically slapping his hand on the machine.

“That does not prove that it still exists,” Dexter replied, “or that it has a power supply, which we can use! The energy that it consumes must be tremendous! I don’t believe that we can go back in time – there is no proof anywhere!”

“We do not fully know how the black hole actually works, do we? We only know theories about it and time travel. There really is nothing that suggests that we cannot travel backwards!”

“I will believe it when you show some evidence! Why were they not able to stop their civilization from falling – if they could travel, back and forward, in time? And if these black hole machines existed, why are there none of the past inhabitants roaming this world?”

“They may have been unable to stop it happening – even with a time machine! They only did things for logical reasons, which would eliminate them traveling about for the sake of it.”

“You could be right, but I still don’t believe it!”

A loud thud made them simultaneously look up, towards the entrance, where Burrell had bumped into a wall.

Something like a grunt came from him. Basinger instantly understood the situation, and he walked towards him, speaking in a low tone, so that Dexter could not hear him.

Dexter glanced at the machine diagram, which Basinger had put on the wall. The representation barely resembled anything, and the symbols representing the black hole in it were barely believable.

He put on the head device beside him, and it gave him some vague information about it. It being called a Star Chamber grabbed his attention more than anything else. If they had been as logical as Basinger kept on mentioning, then there must have been a good reason for them to use that name.

He briefly wondered again what the structure was for, and why it had a giant dish. Could it have been a military base, for monitoring space? He began activating the machine, to get it to show him more machine outlines. He examined their shapes, increasing the speed, at which they appeared. Just as Basinger stopped speaking to Burrell, he saw an interesting shape.

He immediately saw that it was a vehicle, and he turned on the head device, to get information about it. A surge of facts filled his mind, and he realized how the vehicle functioned, and that it had to be occasionally charged somewhere.

He wondered what other information Basinger had found out about the Star Chambers.

Darwin’s barks gave him the impression that he was in some danger, outside, but he knew that it was just Burrell.

Basinger took some food, which Dexter had taken from nearby plants.

“It has a strange taste!” Basinger spoke, chewing a piece.

Burrell instantly entered the structure, and Selina then walked in, making faces at him, behind him. Dexter saw that he was holding a small creature by the neck, which also curiously looked as though it had been making faces at him, before he had killed it with a spear.

Burrell threw it over the surface of a machine, glaring at it, seeing if it was still alive. Dexter had not seen its species before, and he wondered what it was.

He ate a piece of food that resembled an apricot. Its bitter taste made him want to remove it out of his mouth.

Basinger suddenly pressed a switch, which he had not seen been activated.

It projected a swirling blur of light onto the wall, which formed into an image of a similar structure, and one of the creatures moved into view, wearing a golden robe; and he observed its repulsive features. The creature he had originally seen now seemed only mildly hideous. It looked different in the daylight, with its green, slimy, warty skin glowing. He had not seen anything like it before.

Its massive form made perfect jerks forward, on its four limbs, and claws, going up a ramp, like a tiger clambering up a tree. It was apparent that they had actually designed the ramp for their limbs. Furthermore, it shot up one of the pole ladders, which they also had obviously designed for them to use, with the least amount of space.

 

Basinger stayed sitting at the machine, holding his head, and Dexter briefly wondered why he was so anxious. Then he returned to watching the others getting food.

A circle of light beamed out, onto the wall. Symbols began flashing on it, as Basinger pressed buttons. It then changed to columns of symbols.

Dexter realized that he had not found anything that even suggested that an ice age had engulfed the world. However, Basinger had the knack of using it, and he now was searching through massive amounts of its data, with useless details about the inhabitants of the region.

The incredible characteristic that they had shown had been the machine-like way they had done everything. There were no signs that they had carried out any real leisure pursuits, and they appeared to do the work that they had needed to do.

“I have found something!” Basinger mumbled excitedly.

Dexter looked at the projection on the wall, and he saw the interior of a structure.

“What is it?”

“It’s a place that’s a sort of storage depot, where they kept some important machines!”

“That does not prove that it will have a Star Chamber in it!” he quickly replied. “Why would it be in a storage depot?”

“They used it to move objects to distant places. It vaguely mentions moving things up into space!”

Chapter 9

 

The Sunken City

 

A dark shape, at the edge of a hill, vaguely resembled the top of a structure. Yet, as they got close, Dexter realized that it was something else, and he tried to guess.

The last people had to have been more unexciting than he had been imagining. There were no signs of any types of shops, restaurants, bars, products, and anything else to do with leisure. Had things actually turned as uninteresting as he had observed? He tried to compare everything that he had seen to the things that had existed. How could they have changed so much? Had some sort of state control taken over?

However, all the things to do with leisure might have been made of inferior materials that had crumbled into the ground. Gaps turned visible all over the island, which were in the shape of things. But all he found were stones and muck, when he searched for any remains.

He caught a glimpse of a wisp of smoke, but he ignored it. The island had volcano vents, at its shore, further up from the jungle. They were now positive that it was not a Hawaiian island, or on the fault line there.

At the hill, a long object became observable, within some bright yellow bush vegetation.

It definitely was not any form of building, but it had the same material as everything else, left of the civilization. It had a resemblance to a bus, but it had a perfectly flat roof, and flat sides, which had window holes along them. It had to be a form of transport.

There was no visible means of entering it, and he searched through the bushes first, to try to find some type of rail leading to it. But if it had been metal, it would have corroded.

It was incredible how much the landscape had changed. He could barely see anywhere a vehicle could travel. He decided to look for its wheels, and he was mildly surprised not to find any on it – or any places where they could have been.

The others finally found a trace of an entrance, under dirt, covering the end of it. Basinger fiddled with its lock, and it automatically sprung open, with an engine sound, which proved that there still was power in it. It was hopeless, but it was worth investigating.

Its interior resembled a vehicle for transporting goods, except for long seats that went along its sides. He strolled along it, for six meters, to the front, to where another seat went across its front. Its front had numerous switches and dials.

It looked familiar, and Dexter sat at it, as the others sat about him. They eagerly looked at its controls, and he felt as though he were sitting in an old vehicle on a dump.

“It is the right size,” Burrell spoke tiredly, “but it is too heavy. If we were to find another one, near the beach, it may make a good boat. It’s waterproof, and it’s made of this material …!”

“They must have had boats!” Basinger stated, looking out at the outside. “And it would be an extremely good idea to search for one!”

“But will there be any of them about here?” Burrell explained. “This place is empty!”

“It would still be a good idea to look for one!”

“Where will we get sails for it?” Selina asked.

“If we find one with power, we wouldn’t need to … This thing may move – somehow!”

“Why do we need to travel by sea?” Selina responded. “If there are flying machines, like that lifting device, they may do everything that we desire.”

“Exactly!” Dexter interjected. “A boat, even made out of this material, can still sink – especially in a storm!”

He glanced about, and he started eating some of his food.

In the dim light, coming through a window hole, Basinger sketched a faint outline of something, on a piece of animal skin, stretched over the seat.

“If we could only build a yacht,” Selina explained, “it would be fast and safe!”

“That’s a good idea!” Basinger replied, captivated in his work. “However, I do not believe that we are capable of producing one, with the materials that are available to us. But we could of course make it as close to one as we can make it!”

Dexter agreed with him, by nodding, as he recalled seeing a wooden fishing boat that he was sure they could copy.

“My uncle took me out in his yacht,” Selina spoke sleepily to Burrell, “when I was at high school! He showed me how easy it was to put it upright again – if it capsized …!”

“Other boats can also be safely used to travel around the world,” Basinger continued. “If they are built good enough, they should withstand some of the worst storms …!

“We can make types of wooden bolts to fix it together. We can also get a good supply of strong glue from animal bones, and there are thick tar and rubber substances, which can be obtained in vast amounts from some of the trees!”

“What dimensions are we making it?” Burrell enthusiastically enquired.

“I have worked out the dimensions of it!” Basinger swiftly answered, turning his head, to stare at Burrell. “They are the dimensions needed to hold everything that we need, including all the food supplies that we need. So there are not any problems about that! It must be as unsinkable as we can possibly make it!”

After Basinger had finished drawing a rough outline of it, he stood up, and he stepped back from it.

“This will do, for the moment! We will obviously have to do a lot more, more accurate, plans!”

For a few minutes, Basinger considered it, and he shrugged his shoulders.

Dexter did not know what they were going to finally achieve, but Basinger had already been searching for the best materials to make it, and he had a vague idea of the type of boat that it actually might turn out like, from the types of wood that he had been considering.

They would still have to test the different samples of wood, and evaluate their strength; and their being cut and fixed together in various ways. They probably would separately examine the samples, and they would give their different thoughts about them.

Dexter had successfully made tools out of the basic materials that they had found, which would cut and shape the wood; and he thought of different designs of wooden benches that he could easily make, to help cut the wood into various sizes.

They would probably work together, collecting the wood, but as the work progressed, they would prefer to do the various jobs on their own, at various locations, and they would regularly swap jobs, until they would be doing the work that they preferred doing.

Once they had accumulated a good pile of accurately cut wood, they would have to build a fire on the beach, to heat the planks, then start bending them into the shape of the hull; and carry out the rigorous work of fixing them together, while putting a waterproof sealant between the junctions. They might then test the caulked sections for their efficacy in preventing water entering, and cover them in tar, from the trees.

At night, they could make things for it, such as slowly making the sails, by thinning especially tough animal skins, which they could then sew together, and use a rubbery tree substance to make waterproof.

He would do everything that he could to prevent any leaks occurring to it. They could roll the hull down to the water, on logs, and he could check it, for leaks, in the water. He could also test its capabilities, and test it to find out what modifications it might need. They could then use winches to return it to the cliff edge.

Basinger’s sketch of it showed that he was going to add an airtight cabin that would cover the majority of the boat, to hold their supplies, and for them to use as their quarters.

He would refuse to celebrate its completion until they had fully tested it in the sea, with a heavy wind blowing it fast through large waves.

Even though he had various clues, he was not sure where he now was on the world. However, he knew what direction Basinger would travel in, and that he would take them beyond the other side of the island. He was sure that a Star Chamber was in that direction, somewhere. Dexter was sure that he had seen faint images there, behind the misty horizon, and he was sure that it was the mainland.

Dexter observed Burrell pressing a control lever, next to him, as he had been doing with the other machines in the structure. However, he only realized what he had done when he heard the entrance loudly shut behind them, and he felt the vehicle lift into the air. It seemed to float over the ground.

Selina and Burrell stuck their heads through the gap at the front, where some type of window had been. For a few seconds, he thought about climbing out of it, through the gap, but he stayed seated, watching the controls. Selina and Burrell joined Basinger, behind him.

Half of the controls had long lines of glowing switches.

Suddenly, Dexter recognized the controls about him – from information that he had taken in from the machine in the structure – it was the vehicle that he had seen there! Moreover, he knew what switch would make it take them to the structure, where a Star Chamber was; and he swiftly activated it, before anyone objected to the idea.

A loud shudder furiously shook them up and down, until they were gripping the seats. Then it finally calmed, to a fast vibration.

To his surprise, the vegetation rattled along its edges, and it broke free; and it rapidly increased its velocity. Yet, to his astonishment, it plunged down the steep slope of the hill, going down towards the shore.

Once the vehicle was going at an unbelievable speed, they avoided looking outside, and held onto it. He could not think straight, and he tried to think of a way of stopping it if something went in its path.

Its wild movements, maneuvering about the landscape, threw them from side to side; and, to his great pleasure, the vehicle went over an area where he was sure a building once had been, proving that it might not be just following a route.

The vehicle finally decreased its velocity to maneuver around an obstacle, which completely blocked its path. He was now positive that some type of computer was steering it around objects, but he was not positive where it was taking them, and if they could ever return.

As it went along, he observed the scenery, about its front, at every angle, but he was unable to recognize anything. He had never seen the place before.

Areas of vegetation stretched out over vast regions, and he saw familiar plants and creatures in them. He now knew many new places where they could hunt the animals that they wanted.

An area of small hills opened out, at its front, and the sun shone, from behind some small clouds, lighting everything. Suddenly, a dark figure of a creature moved through some bushes. Its unusual movements and behavior grabbed his attention, and he could not recall seeing it before, but it was vaguely familiar.

As he attempted to remember, more of the creatures appeared, from places about their sides. Some of them were standing upwards, using their mouths to communicate. Yet what startled him the most was the fact that some of them were wearing animal skins.

They reminded him of a tribe of ape-men, but it then became apparent that their heads were more like hairy alligators, with dark green tints to their skin and hair.

The creatures were turning around everywhere, about the vehicle, and they stared in through the windows. The crowd grew dense, in front of them, and one of them went in front of the vehicle; and it swerved around it. Its features stuck in his mind, and he realized that it was similar to the creature that had been on the machine’s projection, in the structure.

The creature stood steady, with its top limbs at its sides, staring at them, behind the vehicle.

A sudden jolt, made him jerk forwards, and the vehicle almost stopped.

“What in the hell were they?” Burrell yelled out, jumping up from where he was sitting.

The crowd of creatures were pursuing them, with increasing speed, as the vehicle maneuvered about a hill.

“Just keep calm!” Basinger exclaimed. “And don’t do anything – remain where you are!”

As it floated on, and it increased its speed, Dexter realized that he was now even more confused than he had been. Why were there two races of them? Had that race descended from the other race?

The creatures definitely were not descended from mankind. Their features were not the same, and they obviously had their own ancestors that had to be a four-legged creature with claws, and their jaws were similar to a reptile.

Surely the machines in the structure would have some information about this other race. He realized again that the world now had many deadly creatures. He was beginning to believe that they should have stayed there. This entire race might now know of their presence! Could they actually return? If they left this island, would they eventually meet a more deadly race? Yet if they stayed here these creatures might find them.

As the vehicle moved further away from them, he realized that the creatures were more advanced than he had thought, and that he was exaggerating the situation. Some of the creatures had greeted them.

He realized that the creatures were definitely the ancestors of the other creatures, who had built the structure. They were like a tribe of ape-men, of their race. He had heard them make three silent grunts, which had been a greeting, which he was sure that the other race had adapted into their language.

As the vehicle went out towards the other side of the island, he saw the other massive tower, in the distance, and he realized that it had only been a large version of the tower in the jungle, at the beach.

The vehicle moved over endless lines, covered in fawn dirt and sand, which he was sure once had been old streets.

He did not believe that the creatures, which had built the civilization, would actually kill them. The others had given many nervous glances at the projected creature. He could not imagine them fighting and killing them. So far he had not seen with any weapons.

A hand appeared beside his head, which he recognized as Basinger’s. He pointed outwards, and Dexter gasped, when he saw that it was heading towards the sea, which was less than a few miles away, behind some hills of sand.

Basinger stood at his side, and he pressed another of the buttons, but the vehicle continued on going. He then began pushing buttons and levers, as the sea slowly stretched out in front of them, and the vehicle continued to race towards it. Dexter knew that the other controls, which were not destination buttons, only adjusted the way that it maneuvered, and, for some reason, none of them would stop it. Moreover, he did not know if it had enough power.

 

The wind sprayed water against Dexter’s hand, at the back of the vehicle, and he watched it move over the waves.

Burrell sat down, at the front, where he had been.

The water was clear, but it was too far out, across the sea, to see the bottom. A large group of multicolored sea creatures swam alongside it, and then shifted away to the right.

Darwin peered over the edge of a window, and he went back to smelling about him. The island grew small, and turned to another shape about them. Their plan, of moving away from the island, was taking place – but the mainland had not been at the horizon, where they had believed it had been.

He realized that it might have been the creatures’ fire that he had seen on the island, when they had arrived at the island. But it could also have been a volcanic eruption near the shore.

The strangeness of it grabbed him, as he vividly recalled its surreal glow beaming out, from the island. It had looked deliberate, like a beacon, though. He had sometimes wondered if it actually had been a fire. Furthermore, how did the others get ashore?

He rested, and imagined himself skimming over the sea, with the island sinking into the sea, behind him.

What kind of strange place existed beneath the waves, down at the seabed? If he only had his scuba-diving gear at the island …

The red sunshine brightly shone down, engulfing the sky, in tints of crimson. Shadows and reflections of small clouds wavered on the surface of the water.

The strange redness seemed to be in every shadow and reflection, and especially in the sparkles of the waves, swirling about under it. A cloud’s reflection mingled with the sunlight in whirling eddies.

A slight scent of the water was in the warm air, rushing through it, from the front. For a second, he thought that he caught a glimpse of something at the most distant point of the horizon.

The island completely disappeared, and nothing could be seen anywhere, on the water. With his eyes shut it was as though it were not moving but hovering on a breeze.

A gust of wind appeared, at the side, and he heard the sea gurgling beneath the vehicle; and he saw a huge surge of bubbles coming up from below. A type of seaweed surfaced about them, and it was all over the surrounding sea.

The sky was growing pale, and he saw that the sun was edging its way down to the sea, behind them.

The world looked surreal. The island had been like something out of a weird dream. He had never realized that things could change so much. He still believed that the world had been changed by some form of catastrophe – an ice age had to have occurred.

However, he believed that the creatures that had built the structures, and their ancestors, had appeared after it. Yet had any people actually survived? Yet he had not seen one life form on the island that he had recognized. Perhaps mankind had also changed. Perhaps civilization had eventually changed all the life on the world before the ice age?

Whatever it was, there must be clues somewhere. He rummaged through his memories, trying to discover something, from what he had seen on the island.

Many bright stars appeared in the darkening sky, and cold air replaced the warm air.

Burrell stood up, and he adjusted the remains of his clothing.

“I could do with something to eat!”

Dexter stretched out his arms, and yawned.

Basinger and Selina took out some food.

An odor, like roast pork, came to him, through the wind, and he rubbed his cold hands together. Then he grabbed a chunk of food, which he had kept, at his side.

He then went to where he had chosen to sleep, and the others moved to places.

Once he had finished chewing a morsel, which was in his mouth, he rested and went to sleep, feeling the slight movements of the vehicle.

 

A mysterious sound entered his light dream, and he realized that it was a voice – from the real world.

Blackness was all around him, and he felt Selina’s warm body, huddled around him.

Basinger’s loud snore came from somewhere else.

What had produced the sound? He gently lifted Selina’s head and shoulders from him, and he put her back down on some thick fur. The sound of the sea surging against itself grew, as he stood.

In the starlight at the front, he spotted Burrell pointing outwards into the dark. He went to him, without making any loud sounds.

“What is it?” Dexter spoke wearily, trying to observe what it was.

“It has not altered our course!”

“So what is it then?”

“There’s another island over there!”

Dexter stared, forcing his eyes to focus, and to adjust to the blackness, which was swallowing his sight. A faint outline became visible. It was so distant that he wondered if he could really see something.

“Do you want me to stay up …?”

“No, I will stay here! I like being here.”

“Thanks!” Dexter replied, returning to where he had been, feeling himself falling back asleep.

 

The vehicle was still rapidly going over the dark sea, when it became apparent that the region had a storm engulfing it. And Dexter once again realized that he might have made a mistake, and that he should have stayed on the island.

The whole sky about them was changing, and grew more menacing by the minute.

Thick clouds, with a firm winds, were edging in, to them.

The drizzle glowed, under the stars, and the wind picked up momentum.

Some faint streaks of light came from bright starlight, going through scattered clouds, and drizzle blanketed rugged waves. And the vehicle wildly rocked, and waves went up and down.

A dark mass of swirling clouds covered the sky, and it pelted them with large drops of rain.

The sun still had not ascended to the horizon, and the powerful storm was blasting through the dimness.

Dexter felt like slapping himself hard across the face for making such a blunder, and taking such a risk.

How much force could the small vehicle sustain?

His eyes searched the darkness, scanning for any signs of land, or if it was going to hit something, undetected by it, in the storm. Rain trickled through the windows, and poured in through the front. And a confounded rattle came from their loose objects banging into to each other about the floor. Then he saw another problem – all the water pouring in was swiftly making a pool, across his front.

Basinger and Burrell started using their hands to throw the water out of the vehicle, as it violently rocked about. And Dexter helped Selina to collect the loose objects on floor.

Basinger managed to get them to increase their pace, and they ignored the howling wind.

The outside grew dark, and it hid the blasting rain, pouring in, over them. Then lightning erupted, dazzling their eyes, as well as giving them a horrific fright with an extremely loud thunder roar.

As lightning continued erupting about them, it illuminated the soaked vehicle.

The thunder exploded over them, and Selina snatched Darwin out of the water, from the floor.

The lightning rhythmically flashed at different angles, about the sky, making the sea glow, and shadows of the vehicle shift about them.

 

At times he believed that he was definitely going to die, as they clung onto the vehicle, while massive waves pounded into it, and he could only hope that it had enough energy to sustain it. It was as though it would never go away, and that it would be impossible to survive.

Rain, wind, and coldness blasted at him. It flooded the vehicle, and made him numb, until he could not feel anything. Yet the long night, and final nightmare, subsided, leaving them in a thick mist.

His eyes roamed the deep cloud that they were left in, trying to recognize anything in it. The last gush of rain still streamed about the floor, shaking from the vibrations of the vehicle.

Slight turbulent winds occasionally rocked them, as they rested, and recovered from the incredible experience.

Burrell rested at the front, with his head facing downwards, out of the window, still trying to examine the way ahead.

Dexter felt himself going to sleep, and he realized that he could not properly see anything. The vehicle’s speed did not seem to have decreased, and the amount of energy in it had surprised him. However, he would not be happy until the mist cleared away, or thinned to a reasonable density, and they set foot on land.

Then, once again, something occurred – a thud came from the front, sending a shudder through the vehicle, knocking Burrell over, and onto the wet floor.

“What was that!” he yelled.

Where the mist thickened, and hid the sea behind it, a black shape slowly emerged. It loomed out of the sea, and it moved towards the edge of the vehicle, coming at their startled faces, like a sea monster.

Basinger moved across the floor to see it, and he leaned out, as it went by. And, as it disappeared, the others ran to the sides looking at it.

“What is it?” Burrell asked, confused.

A few seconds later, a shape moved out of the mist.

As the vehicle moved away, Dexter saw its shape a little more, and he was sure that it was a giant tower, which had fallen over, across the sea. The storms had probably sent it crashing down a long time ago. Yet how did it manage to get out in the sea?

As the mist grew thin, he saw another tower, up close – towering above them – disappearing into the clouds above.

Square holes went in lines along it, until it vanished out of view.

It was vaguely like a strange skyscraper. He saw a hole just over his head, but he was unable to get a good look inside it.

A magnificent view emerged about them, and many structures towered above, through the fading mist vapor, like an immense graveyard. They were flying over a city buried beneath the sea! Most of its giant structures had fallen over, with their foundations going across the water.

As he moved to a different position, he saw a rugged shape, on the skyline, where some mist was retreating. It had to be an island. Yet it seemed to stretch across the whole horizon.

The dead city was glowing brilliantly beneath the sea, with its towers reaching up, through the gentle waves.

In shades of aqua blue, it glowed surreally, suspended in depths of time, like a modern Atlantis. Its black structures rising high, stretching up to the stars, like the ancient columns of an immense temple of the Greek gods.

Even though many of them had overturned, like immense trees, fallen into the sea, with their lower regions going up to the height of large buildings, they remained undamaged. A magnitude of storms had pounded them, and they had no noticeable wear.

As the vehicle edged over the massive city, Dexter examined buildings and machines, shrouded in the red glow of the sun, which now was beaming down, through a clear sky. Some resembled shipwrecks, with the gentle waves making blurry ripples over their shapes.

A splash of water occasionally interrupted the extraordinary silence, as Basinger discarded unwanted objects over the side. Burrell and Selina rested in the warm light of the sun.

Darwin stood at his familiar position, at the side of the vehicle, with his legs on the seat, frequently tensing his body, as though he were getting ready to jump on land. He occasionally glanced into the water, and at the vehicle’s reflection, and then he would return to sniffing about him.

What type of city had it been? How did its civilization perish? Regions of it were as though they had actually sunk into the sea the way that they had been. A disaster, which might have changed the whole world, could have actually flooded it. However, he was sure that it had happened years after civilization had gone.

All the mist about them vanished, and the sea grew shallow.

He imagined the city surfacing, scattered in sand and debris, stretching out to the horizon, with steam rising from it, from the hot sun heating it.

“It’s the mainland!” Burrell called out. “This is what we were wanting – we’ll no longer be trapped on an island! If there are any humans left, we can at least find out what they are like …!”

“We may have to eat more sea creatures …!” Basinger said, interrupting him.

“We may find normal plants and animals, which were not on that island!”

“You have a point!” Basinger replied. “I actually think that we will be happy with what we will discover!”

Dexter watched part of the civilization below disappear into an area of murky water.

The region of land disappointed him, with its lack of vegetation. High mountains soared over a desert region, with the civilization, under the sea, in front of it. There were signs that the sea had overflowed, across the land, as though some enormous tidal wave had swept inland. However, he saw that the storm had not been there, and there were no traces of water.

When the vehicle finally went over the land, hot air started to engulf them, and Dexter realized that they had a new problem. The heat coming through the window soon felt as though it were burning him, and he watched the hot sand going under it. What had he done? They might now die in the desert. He quickly decided to move to a shaded place in the vehicle.

The hot air continued to rush through it, with its never-ending gale, and the sun blazed through the windows; and sweat poured from them.

He remembered the position of the sun, as accurately as he could, to plot its course.

He frantically observed the mountains, across the landscape, and he noticed that hills were replacing the flat desert. He imagined the power of the vehicle deteriorating, and he thought about all the things that they could do, if it marooned them at the place.

It looked as though an atomic bomb had exploded there.

He recalled information on how they gave the vehicle energy. There was a special location where a machine did it, without any cables.

The vehicle gradually took them up, at an angle, over hills and slopes, towards the base of the mountains. The region hidden there, between the hills and mountains, looked less empty than he had expected – for such a high place – ancient structures were at many places.

The rugged shapes of the mountains grew, and they went far into the distance. There was a route through the base of them, but he believed that something was blocking it. Then Dexter saw large hills of boulders strewn through it, which had obviously came down, in avalanches, from the above mountains.

The vehicle headed for a specific region, and Dexter just relaxed and watched the scenery float by. He wondered if the vehicle could actually take them up one of the steep ridges, to the summit of a mountain. However, it could easily run out of power, and plunge downwards.

A stretch of sand, which he believed was the remains of a lake, was between the mountains and the hills, and he saw a large structure in the middle of it. Then, to his surprise, the vehicle descended, and went towards it.

There were no signs of life anywhere, about it – there only seemed to be the desert.

The vehicle rapidly flew low, over the surface, and, with a soft thud, stopped on a heap of rubble. Then Darwin automatically leapt out onto some dry mud, and waited for them to join him.

There were no indications of anything, only an unusual silence. Yet every nook and cranny of the desert was strange!

Chapter 10

 

The Scientific Expedition

 

The flaring brightness of the sunshine gave a surreal splendor to the terrain, as Dexter tediously explored plots of vegetation. What he wanted to find was some form of vegetation that would provide them with temporary food.

A landscape of hills, of mounds of sand, went down into the lower regions, beside the sea.

It was a large flat ledge, on a slope, from a valley, between two searing mountains.

As they continued searching, Dexter noticed that instead of the pace slowing that it was actually quickening, and then Basinger and Burrell deliberately walked on, leaving them.

After a long search, he managed to suppress his hunger, as well as his thirst, and he and Selina returned to the vehicle, seeking shelter from the heat.

He, once again, searched the empty ground into the distance, all about him, looking for anything that was a danger.

“We’ve found a building all right!” Burrell spoke, as he arrived. “But will we be able to get into it?

“They are incredibly advanced …!” Basinger revealed. “The only problem will be how to get into its entrance, when we find its entrance!”

Dexter shrugged his shoulders, feeling happy that the choice of location might be right.

His first impression of it was that it was another structure, similar to the one that they had been staying in, on the island, but, as they walked to it, he started to become aware of its true size.

They separated into two groups, and wandered about its immense perimeter.

Dexter and Burrell went swiftly along the structure, which resembled a giant, black, metal box, and which went up to a hundred meters above.

Burrell then went away from him, and Dexter followed him with his eyes. He stopped at a dark patch of sand, at the edge of the structure, and he began throwing sand away from the side of the structure.

As he approached him, he recognized an outline on the structure, and he saw that he was unearthing an entrance.

He went around a dust cloud lingering in the air about him, and he stuck his hands into the gray sand and dirt, and he helped him dig it away.

They created loud sounds as they frantically dug at it, in the silent surroundings, which soon attracted Basinger’s attention. And they slowly came over to them, allowing them to do more digging before they got there.

They soon helped them to uncovering it, and they swiftly unveiled part of it.

“We may be able to get it open!” Basinger mumbled, breathing heavily, wiping away some of the dirt, from his face.

“How will we do it?” Burrell asked.

Basinger strained his tired eyes, examining him.

“Well, all of the other entrances had an opening mechanism, at the exact same position, relative to their size …!”

“There it is!” Dexter called out, and moved over to it.

He fumbled about in his pockets, removed part of a stick, and he inserted it into it.

The others moved away, as the ground began shaking under them. As it thudded furiously up and down, Dexter fell over, and he tightly held onto the ground, swearing to himself, for not foreseeing its reactions, to it being in the ground.

When the entrance slid open, he fell forwards, and just managed to land on his feet, and swiftly move out of the pile of dirt about him.

The dust cloud gradually dispersed, and a dim interior, with dark shapes, became visible.

“How are we going to find it?” Burrell asked, tiredly, as he dropped down, into it.

“We can stay here,” Basinger replied, “and search it at our leisure. We should be able to find enough food to survive …! Let’s start by finding somewhere in it to stay!”

It had fortunately not let in any water, which surprised Dexter. He wondered how they had stopped the airtight structures suffocating them, but he remembered that the other structure had an automatic ventilation machine, which worked when the oxygen was low.

He was unaware of how they could build such an immense structure. There were no noticeable parts making it up – it was one large structure – it looked as though they had molded it the way it was.

The structure was the same all over, with large machines randomly placed about it, and he located its furthest away corner, which had a rectangular shape next to it, which vaguely resembled a machine.

They circled the first machine, which he was sure was a lifting vehicle, with a squashed appearance. The controls were roughly the same as the vehicle that they had arrived in, but it seemed to have manual controls beside them.

The next machine, if it was a machine, left them in total disarray. Basinger was bewildered, and he was unable to confirm if it was the machine. Dexter had expected him to grasp its basic functions, but he could only examine it repeatedly, without recognizing anything.

Their tour of it proceeded, with them, including Darwin, giving blank stares about them. It did not take long before they just went to find a place to stay.

It was dim, but it was a good shelter, and they found lights.

Once they had chosen a place to stay, beneath a light, Basinger and Dexter went to find a way of lighting it.

“Is that it?” Burrell called out, pointing straight out, to the opposite wall, where Dexter saw a familiar shape.

The machine was identical to the information machine, and it had a head device on it, to Basinger’s great pleasure. And once Basinger had dived down in front of it, he soon had the lights on – putting the entire interior in a greenish glow.

Basinger put a projection onto the rear wall, and he began absorbing the information.

Once Dexter saw that its information was about the same, he left, to join the others.

“Is there power to recharge the vehicle?” Selina asked.

“I’ll have a look for it later …”

Suddenly, he realized Basinger was gone. Then he saw him eagerly removing dust from a large machine, at the other side of the structure, and Dexter briskly left towards him.

As he was approaching him, he gasped, when he clearly saw the machine.

“I got enough information about it …!” Basinger mumbled.

“My god! Did you recognize it …?”

“What …?”

“It’s the alien artifact – we found on Mars!”

Basinger looked at it amazed, and he walked around it, closely examining it, at different angles.

“It is not the same one. It’s one of the Star Chambers, identical to the diagram …!”

“It had its cover over its controls!”

“So they actually copied that alien sphere …!” Burrell mumbled, approaching them.

“Do you know if it will work?” Dexter enquired.

Basinger walked to the side of it, where he had been, and he played around with an unlocking mechanism on it.

“This control I believe should reveal more controls!”

A panel silently slid into the machine, revealing its complex controls.

Basinger’s hand gently touched a control, and Dexter barely kept his eyes open, not wishing to see what it would do. To his fascination, a shield slid away, from its central region, going into the machine, revealing a deep darkness. Then he looked upon the blanket of blackness in disgust, wanting to edge away from it, but it did not seem to be a genuine danger. The machine seemed to be in control of it. It had no protection screen over it, yet there was no pull from it. It was stable, and it covered the entire area of the inner chamber.

“Why is the inside of it actually different …?” Burrell asked Basinger.

“From the information I got from the machines, I would say that the one at the laboratory had been left on, and it lost most of its power. The black hole would have formed in it, from the entrance curtain, over the chamber. It collapsed into its original state, and one of the machine’s safety devices was holding it, at the machine. In the right circumstance not even the safety devices could stop it escaping from it!”

“Why are there so many controls?”

“They are different destinations …!”

“Will the other machines be working?”

“They may be!”

Dexter avoided saying any more on the subject, and he wondered just what he was planning on doing.

“Let’s try the machine out!” Basinger taunted. “Touch them two buttons!”

A dim view of something lit up on a screen, at the top of the controls.

“This gives a view of the other side of the black hole!”

Basinger pressed the first of the hundreds of location buttons, at the top of them, and the screen partially lit, in dim shades. They viewed it at different perspectives. The light slightly vibrated, and he began to understand what it was.

He held his hands apart, in front of his eyes, over the screen.

“Is that daylight? Could that be where it is passing through?” Dexter presumed, looking at specks floating about, in the beams of light.

“It’s underwater!” Basinger continued.

“It must be at this side of the world – the sun is out!”

Basinger pressed another button, and he saw dirt and rocks dimly light, in a green shade, from light going into it.

“We can use this to transport ourselves about the world!” Basinger explained. “And we can properly explore it. The other machines will have lots of other destinations!”

“Do you want to push something into it,” Burrell enquired, “to see what happens?”

“Let’s find something …!” Basinger answered, wandering away, looking for something long enough.

Dexter knew where there was a pole, which could be detached from one of the machines, and he went straight to it, and got it.

Basinger eagerly returned to the machine, with him, and Dexter put it into it.

It felt strange, as though the magnetic properties of something had caught it, and there were no signs of any time derangements. The end of it then hit something, which was the ground surrounding the machine at the other end.

“Do you want to try the other controls?”

“They only adjust some of its basic functions.”

“Let’s see some more of its destinations!”

The first controls activated more buried machines, but then the interior of a small structure appeared, which had light entering it from a slightly open entrance.

“If that machine is not working properly,” Dexter enquired, “will we be able to return here?”

“You pushed the pole through, and it came back through!” Burrell answered.

Dexter shrugged his shoulders, and just smiled.

“But the top of the pole is missing!” Basinger replied, showing them the top of it missing.

“You said nothing could break that material!”

“Good, it has the ability of virtually stopping everything, from coming through it – if you don’t open it at the other end, to return. I am positive that the other machines will be working, if their shields open!”

Dexter wondered what Basinger was going to do next.

“I am going through …!” Basinger suddenly volunteered.

“How about us searching for a better location first?” Dexter pleaded. “It would not take that long to search through them! If you cannot activate it, to get back here, it may leave you trapped in a desert!”

“No!” Basinger grunted, and he unhesitatingly plunged into its blackness.

Chapter 11

 

The Star Chambers

 

The dark city shapes of the sunken city rapidly illuminated, beneath the morning sky, as the sun elevated.

Dexter observed the sun reflect from the sea, in sparkling shapes.

He started eating his morning ration of food, as he stood at the edge of the entrance.

As he turned, the machine’s shield sprang open, at lightning speed, and Basinger instantly leapt out of it.

“My god!” he yelled, panting, and staggering sideways. “Close it, and change the destination!”

Dexter swiftly ran to where he was, and he managed to close the shield on the other machine, before Basinger could get to it. Then he changed it to another destination.

“There are worse dangers at the other side of the world than in your wildest fantasies!”

“What happened?” Burrell asked loudly.

Basinger held his side, and he took in a lungful of air, calming himself.

“Once I got through the entrance, I found that it was a small structure, in the middle of a swamp – the strangest swamp I have ever seen –

“I was attempting to locate where it was – and why nothing resembled anything I had seen – but I got lost …! It was buried, and the exit was too small, and hidden away! The stench of gases, stuck in my lungs … I was going in circles, and I could not find it …

“Then the land that I was on, next to some water ditches, lifted, and I saw everything shifting up …!

“A head, almost double my height, appeared from beneath the water! The thing threw me out of its way, and in the water!

“After a long slog through the swamp, I climbed up a hill, and I saw the shape of where the structure was! Yet, as I rushed back, the sky rapidly darkened, and I heard some of the most ghastly, goddam sounds. I don’t know what some of the things, beasts, were, but hundreds of them started appearing everywhere!”

Dexter listened, horrified that the world was inhabited by monsters, beyond his imagination.

“Surely that cannot be correct!” Burrell replied dazed. “Why have we not seen any beasts – the size that you described?”

“The same reason that you didn’t get lions and elephants on other continents, or on islands!”

“Are you sure that you did not travel in time?” Selina asked.

“I am sure …! The information machine gave me facts, which told me that it is not a time machine! We will just have to check the destinations better, and, perhaps, draw a map of where we can go!”

 

The destination controls made many shades of soil appear on the screen, and then a view of a gap, going out of the ground, emerged.

Basinger grabbed the pole, and he pushed it into it. Then Dexter watched some rocks fall away, revealing a valley, from the side of a hill.

“It must be near here,” Selina declared, “as the sun is almost in the same position as here! Let’s try to get through, to try it?”

“We may not be able to get back!” Dexter answered. “If it is buried in something – we would have to dig it up! We have to do this right – this machine could be dangerous …!”

He swiftly began to activate the controls. Most of the views were now dark, and he tried to see if they were in structures. For some time, they just stared at the screen, as he rhythmically pressed the controls.

A blur of light appeared, which was underwater, and something about it grabbed his attention – it somehow seemed familiar – for some reason. He could not identify it, and he saw Selina’s antics – signaling to him to move on – and he proceeded at a slow pace. Some hot desert places appeared on it, and they were not worth investigating.

Halfway through them, the others grew tired of standing at it, and they left to get some food. Dexter then put the underwater view back on the screen. It was as though he were seeing something he had dreamt.

He thought of every underwater place he had recently seen, and he froze, in shock, and he barely breathed.

A strange shiver went through him, and he swiftly changed the destination, to where it had been. He desperately wanted to inform them where he believed it was, but they would not believe it. He barely believed that it was possible.

He then realized that it did not make sense. The view on the screen had to be only reminding him of the bottom of the pool, outside the cave tunnel, at the top of the cliff. However, he was sure that he had seen something there, in the depths of it, even though he had not noticed that it had been a machine.

What had been there, at the island, and in the pool, and why did he sense that it had saved them?

Selina strolled towards him, and he desperately tried to hide his startled looks.

“Here’s some food!”

He took the food, and he chewed large bits out of it, as he tried to think of a way to check it. He might not be able hold his breath long enough, to activate the machine, to return. He could put himself in great danger, or be stuck there.

He just put his hand out, and he put the view on it again.

“What is it?” Selina murmured, glaring at him.

Without any explanations, he just leapt into its blackness, as he was sure that he could do it, and it went past his head like a black line. And he swam up through the water, to where light beamed down.

He leaped through the surface of the water, and he crawled onto an embankment.

As he cleaned the water from his eyes, he saw some of the animals that they had left at the pool, jumping back from him, as they saw him.

It was incredible, he had thought that he would ever see the cave again, but it had been his intention to return.

As he rested, he wondered if he had condemned himself to be stuck at it for the rest of his life. Yet he knew where he was, and where the others were. Moreover, all he needed to do was find a way to drain the pool.

While he tested his breathing, proving that it was about normal, he stood. But as he was about to dive, he remembered the lifting device. He had to try it first, even though its powers might not be enough. The rewards for getting it to the surface would be outstanding.

Once he had it, he practiced using it, and he dived into the water, as fast as he possibly could. If he could swim down fast enough, he might have enough oxygen left. The pool seemed to go endlessly down, but he swam fast and furiously into it. As it grew very dim, the bottom finally appeared beneath him.

He frantically searched, trying to find the machine, but it was not visible to him. However, he recalled where it had been, and he found it. Then he traced its shape into the mud.

Dexter swiftly activated a control, and his height increased, dragging up a tremendous weight beneath him, including the mud and water, surrounding the machine. Even though he had activated the control that made it swiftly lift, it only was capable of taking him up at a gradual pace.

His lungs began to lust for air, and he thought he was going to die. But he saw the surface over him. Then the water rushed away, and he gasped for air.

He was soon lying on a layer of water, on the ground, with the machine next to him.

Selina appeared at his side, and he saw that the water had stopped pouring off the machine.

“What did you do?” Burrell moaned, as he approached him.

Dexter coughed furiously, and rested.

“We’re back at the cave!” Basinger explained, in amazement. “And the animals are here!”

Dexter smiled, and he nodded rhythmically.

He had never seen them so troubled for an explanation.

Basinger and Burrell then strolled into the cave, looking baffled, and Selina stayed with him.

She cleaned some of the mud from the machine, with water.

Basinger and Burrell congratulated him, when they returned, with the things that they needed, and they quickly left, to get some precious food supplies.

There was a large amount of things that they needed from the island, and they would have to keep making trips to it. They had not found anywhere else to get proper food.

However, they had not seen that many destinations. And the machine, in front of him, would have destinations on it that were not on other.

 

The next morning, Dexter helped Basinger check more locations, on the machine at the structure.

Dexter carefully marked down the locations that they were able to go to, and what he saw at the places, which were mostly deserts and rocky locations.

Basinger did not know why another swamp region had not appeared. He eventually returned to the information machine, where he sat captivated, trying to find details on various things.

Dexter examined the locations on the machine, and he would remove them from the list if he realized that they were too dangerous, or if he might not be able to return – especially if the machine looked as though it was in a place that might have damaged it.

He finally decided that it was time to check the machine at the cave, and he went to it.

After only checking a few destinations on it, a dark green shade appeared, and he realized that it was a type of forest. And he marked it down as a possible source of food for them. He then closely examined the types of soil at various locations about the world.

Then a spectacular whiteness illuminated at one destination, and he saw that it was ice and snow. And he wondered why the snow had not covered the machine, or why it had not been in a glacier, and he decided to investigate it.

A bitter breeze hit his face, as he swiftly walked through, onto crunching snow. And an unusual sight opened out behind him, where he had only expected to see the sun beaming brightly. A hill of square stones went out for about half a mile, of the remains of a stone structure.

What confused him was that the machine was out in the open – and not under the stones. There were no indications why the machine was there. However, it might have been in part of the structure that had deteriorated away, over the many years, by the harsh winter conditions. Its remaining parts had to be under him, and the weather must have destroyed it.

Then he noticed that there was an area missing from the stones, as though the machine had been in the stones.

He was sure that it was a sort of observation point, to check the region, and that it was at the edge of a polar region. He was sure, by the fact that the structure was not under the ice, that the world now had a stable climate.

At the controls of the machine, he touched a control, and it reversed the black hole. The brilliant whiteness vanished, as he went back through, and the dim surroundings of the cavity engulfed him.

He was about to activate the controls of the machine at a fast pace, as there were many destinations under the ground appearing on the screen, when he saw a faint shape, within one. When he closely examined it, he did not see anything else. However, since the faint light that was about him that was traveling into the machine was not bright, he waited for the sun to appear from behind a cloud.

Then, when the sun flashed, he saw a room.

When he entered it, he instantly smelt a deep stale odor, and rapidly proved he could breath it.

Then he spotted speckles in the darkness! And he moved further in, and realized that he was glaring out at the stars of deep space.

Chapter 12

 

The Gateway to the Stars

 

A blue radiance shone so dimly, through a crack in its structure, that he knew that he would not normally have seen it. He surely would have mistaken it for a reflection, but, in his alert state, he positively recognized it.

His emotions had been running amok, seeing the spectacular view of space, in the darkness; and they were nothing compared to the eerie sensations that were now gripping him. He sensed a presence, as though the entity from the pool was nearby, and he was sure that it had to be at the blueness.

Was this place associated with the mysterious things that had happened on the island? Why had the civilization left a spaceship in space? Had their civilization advanced so far that they had been able to leave spaceships all over space? There were not any signs of the world, and he was sure that it was traveling through the stars.

He tenderly approached the crack, exiting into something, which created a vague beam of blueness. He could not imagine what it could be – what would live here, in this barn place? A desolate spaceship, left out in the depths of space, endlessly trapped …

An entrance became visible, where the crack was, and he gripped and pulled its shape, until it finally opened, revealing another interior, full of beaming blue controls.

Had mankind actually traveled to the stars? What had they found in space? Had it destroyed mankind …?

He accepted the truth – the creatures had been aliens!

Had mankind contacted them, or had they found them? Had these things killed every last human? Yet they surely would have recorded it, somewhere …

He continued his search, through the controls, looking for anything familiar, daring not to touch anything. Gradually, he backed away, and went back into the other room.

While he was entering the machine, he wondered if the spaceship was actually traveling through another galaxy, on a voyage to somewhere.

 

Basinger only slightly accepted his explanation of what the civilization had been, and he continued to work, at the machine.

“Do you think that these creatures invaded the world?” Burrell replied.

“I do not know what they did, but I know that they are aliens, and I was in one of their spaceships …!”

“You were in a spaceship!” Selina exclaimed, and they stared at him.

“Yes, and I have news for you – they were aliens …!”

“My god!” Burrell shrieked.

“What did they do to the human race?” Dexter pleaded.

“Calm down,” Basinger replied, “there is no evidence that anything happened! There will be a logical explanation! Do not forget how long ago mankind was here. We have not found one piece of evidence that indicates that mankind even existed. The information might have been lost in the depths of time! This race was too logical to destroy an entire race of beings! Their information suggests that they mostly ate plants. I am going to get to the bottom of this if it takes me the rest of my life!”

“What type of world do you think they are from?” Selina muttered.

Dexter shrugged his shoulders, and he looked at the structure differently.

“Well, I would like to see this alien spaceship …!” Basinger spoke, walking towards him. “Technology was progressing at a very fast pace when we left … Think of how far mankind could have advanced in the amount of time it probably existed …!”

“Let’s see this alien spaceship!” Burrell stated.

Dexter held out his arm and bowed, and they stared at him, with worried looks.

Once at the cavity, they examined the dark screen, with interest.

“Why is it dark?” Burrell gasped. “Is there no lights on in it?”

Dexter ignored him, and he walked into the machine.

Once inside the spaceship, he stood at the edge of the machine, and he examined the faint rays coming through, out of the blackness; then something distorted them, and Basinger’s figure magically appeared from its blackness, with his eyes bulging out, as he tried to see about him. He then moved himself about, as he felt the lighter artificial gravity.

Once the others had entered, they stayed silent, and listened to a distant hum. Then Dexter took them to the window, where they stood glaring out at the stars of the universe.

 

Basinger’s thirst for knowledge was increasing, and he insisted in checking the other locations, while Dexter watched; and the others went to get food. Dexter saw the same type of places randomly appear, and he no longer thought that the machine would have any more good destinations. He could not understand why it had a spaceship as one of its destinations, and it was not on the other machine. However, he was sure that they had mainly used it for transporting goods, to the island.

“Why are we trying this machine …?” he finally asked Basinger.

“We have checked the other one …!”

“Yes, but that other one was for transporting goods, and this one was probably used by the inhabitants of the island.”

“Of course, it would be better to try the machine on the spaceship!”

“Think of the destinations that it would have …!”

As he stepped into it, he noticed again that the air in the spaceship was weak.

The first destinations were disappointedly similar to the other machines, but a surreal sight lit up, and he saw that it was another world.

“Where is that …?” Basinger gasped, as he saw it.

“I would say it was another world!” he answered, into the confines of the dark spaceship.

“They visited other worlds! This thing actually traveled to other worlds!”

“You might already have visited one of them – when you first entered that machine – that swamp you told us about.”

“My god!”

A yellow cloud of gas floated by the screen, with a surreal motion, and a creature like a jellyfish drifted through it. The air and world looked too deadly, and they avoided making any statements about going to it.

The Dexter activated control after control, and strange landscapes appeared. Their colors and shapes were unpredictable, and they did not move as he pressed a new one.

By the amount of worlds that he had seen, he knew that the aliens must have traveled incredible distances. At any moment, he expected an alien civilization to appear on it, but there were no traces of any civilizations on the machine. They seemed to be exploration places, or places that they had chose to go to for other reasons. He was beginning to believe that mankind might have been one of the few civilizations that they had found. Yet had they found the remains of mankind, years after its extinction?

There were hundreds, and they were speechless by the time they got to the last. Basinger looked as though he was getting ready to argue with him, if he suggested going to any of them. Yet Dexter was sure that most of the worlds were so deadly that they would not be able to survive on them without spacesuits and weapons, and that they needed time to consider them.

As he was thinking of how many other worlds there were on the other Star Chambers, an unusual view appeared on the screen. It remained there, and they moved their heads about at different angles trying to see what it was. Eventually Dexter went close to it, and he took a proper look at it. It seemed to be in some type of structure. Basinger put out his hand to press another button, and Dexter grabbed it, tightly holding him away from it.

“What is it …?”

“There are lights on in it!”

“It will be some type of machine that has remained running on solar power, or something!”

Dexter disagreed, and he moved his head from side to side.

He sensed something, and he knew that he had to check it.

“I am going into it!”

“You better take a weapon with you?”

“I’ll not need one!”

“What do you mean …? Why do you not need it? Anything could be hiding there?”

“I want to do this the right way!”

As he leapt through, a place like a tomb became visible about him, and he watched the machine, making sure that Basinger was not following him.

As his eyes adjusted, he saw yellow globes of light dimly lighting a narrow corridor, like dull candle flames.

At a distant region of it, it abruptly darkened, where the lights did not go any further, and he saw that it was the corridor of something, with the machine at the end of it.

The gravity felt the same as the spaceship, which meant that the aliens had built it.

A low buzz sound emerged, from somewhere in front of him, and he realized that he was in another spaceship. He temporally doubted his senses; but a spaceship would have enough power to keep its lights going – the lights on the controls in the other spaceship proved it. The size of this one seemed immense, with its corridor going on endlessly into it.

The lights vanished, and he walked into the darkness.

An open entrance finally appeared in it.

He went through it, not seeing where he was going, and, with a thud, his side hit something. In amazement, he then saw that he was not just in darkness – a large translucent dome surrounded him, and his entire sight was full of stars.

It obviously was an observation point of a starship. The black floor was a barely visible line below him, and he felt what he had hit – its shape suggested that it was a type of seat.

After he had finished feeling its rough texture, he rested on it, and he stared out into space.

Suddenly, a clang came from behind him, giving him a fright – making him instinctively jerk forward – and he realized that he was not alone. He was positive that it had been an unintended noise, and he gently lifted himself up, making faint brushing sounds. And as he moved towards it, he started to sweat.

In the dim starlight, he saw a closed entrance, on a wall, beside the entrance that he had come in, which had a material on it that almost hid it. He carefully removed a stick out of his pocket, and gently inserted it into a hole at its side, and it silently opened, revealing a dark interior – with the dark figure of a being. Yet, as his sight adjusted, he recognized its shape.

Basinger virtually jumped into the air, when he heard him.

“What are you doing here?” he cried out.

“This is where I arrived – through that entrance! You have to see the observation room that’s in there!”

“Show me!” he grumbled, while calming himself, as he closely examined him.

“I’ll show you!”

“Where in the hell is this?” he gasped, as he walked through to the observation room. “Why are there two of the machines?”

“They might have been transporting it to another world!”

They stood silently, watching a light streak by, across the stars.

“How fast do you think this thing is traveling at?” Dexter asked.

“It is fast enough to get quickly to other worlds! What I want to know is where in the heck it is! If this thing has been traveling through space since the aliens of the civilization existed, it may be many galaxies away, in the distant depths of the universe, traveling forever into infinity!”

“How do you think they got their food?”

“I am going back to the others!”

“Do you want to check the rest of the destinations first?”

“Okay!”

When Dexter got to the machine, he activated a control, and a moon appeared.

“Why is that there? All the others were worlds!” Basinger spoke, from behind him.

“Could have had something that they had an interest in – perhaps for mining?”

Another world lit up, and he was sure that he now knew why some of the worlds were on it – they had to have things on them that they had needed – they were not colony worlds.

Basinger started to get ready to leave, as they approached the last controls, and Dexter suddenly saw surreal blue shades wavering about, in patterns of whiteness. Their colors gave away their identities – as the reflections of water. In the brightness, he saw a flat shape, which was obviously an artificial floor.

He stared intensely at it, and Basinger shrugged his shoulders.

“Well, what is it then?”

“I don’t know, but its color is identical to the sea, back on the world!”

“So what?”

“It may be useful – if it’s a structure – if it’s on the world?”

“If you want to check it, please proceed …!”

Dexter just stared, and he walked towards it.

The darkness swiftly turned to blinding light, and a type of dome, made of a translucent material, became visible over him, which had brightly lit water over it, sending reflections all about him. The distorted shapes of the sun seemed magnified.

He was in a globular bulge of transparent material, connected to a translucent tunnel, which went on and on into the distance.

Stars shone below him, as he clumsily rested, and he realized that he had been mistaken – he was not on the world – he was over the world. Its sphere was shining in space, at the side of him. It was completely different, and he could barely believe that it was the world.

He was on some form of space station, with a tremendous size, stretching out for miles all about him, in networks of translucent tunnels, with large round and square bulges.

After a long time, of observing it, he returned to the machine, and made his way back to the spaceship.

Basinger was gone, and he blindly searched for him. He wondered why he had left. Then he saw the entrance to the control room at a different position than it had been.

At his approach to it, he saw something strange in its blueness, but the intense brightness to blackness was still affecting his sight.

Yet, amidst the blur, he saw a large sphere rotating at the center of the room, and Basinger’s head was faintly visible behind a machine. He was at a machine that he had not noticed before, at the opposite wall, in the darkness that was there. He was sure it was an information machine.

“You have an early view of the world there!” Dexter explained, looking at the hologram image of the world, floating in air. “I just saw a recent view of it from space!”

“No, you never …!” he called out, frantically shaking his head from side to side, as he lifted a head device from his head.

“What …?”

“This is not the Earth! I should have realized it …!”

“What have you realized?”

“We have been on another world!”

“What …?”

“From this machine’s star charts, I gather that the Earth is in another universe!”

 

The spaceship’s technology was incredible, and it had the most advanced and last records of the super-species who had eventually completely replaced the aliens. Their territory had spanned galaxies, and then universes …

Their knowledge was immense, and his mind could barely understand most of their information. They used the Star Chambers to keep their civilization connected, over the immense expanses of space.

Dexter sat, in its blue glow, with his head facing a patterned screen, listening to its silent hum. He took the head device away from his head, and he placed it into darkness, at the side of the machine.

Basinger sat thinking, probably about how to use the newly found knowledge.

“Did you get any information about why the black hole put us at the island?” Dexter asked him, watching his head glow, in the surrounding dimness.

“From the information that I have taken, I would say that the black hole connected to the nearest open black hole, from the damaged Star Chamber. With it being damaged, especially when it entered the laboratory, and we were pulled into it, it would not have been able to connect properly with the other Star Chambers, and we might have ended up in a natural black hole, somewhere. Perhaps at the center of a galaxy!”

“Or we might have traveled on endlessly into infinity! The last of the aliens might have deliberately left the black hole at the island, over the water there, to prevent such occurrences happening!

“Is there anyway to link a Star Chamber to that black hole back on Earth?”

Basinger’s eyes glared for a second, as though he had just been thinking about it.

“I do not know …!”

“How did the aliens connect them to each other?”

“I only know that they connected some on this world, and took them to their destinations.”

“At least, we have a transporter, which can take us all over that world, and to other worlds, if we become tired of this one. There must be thousands – or millions, in other universes – with valuable locations. On all the machines! We could be searching them for the rest of our lives!”

Dexter rested against a wall, on the badly shaped seat, and he placed a head device over his head, and activated it.

Basinger leisurely switched on a lever.

A projection beamed out of the machine, and the hologram world lit up in the air, at his front, and a vivid green diagram appeared over it, marking regions on it. Dexter tried to see where the island was, on it.

Basinger finally left, and Dexter decided to continue his search of the destinations, and he chose to check the other machine, at the end of the corridor.

He began by automatically pressing controls, and ignoring views of soil, searching for any signs of structures. His speed gradually increased, and his hand rhythmically went from control to control, as images swiftly appeared and vanished.

An image on the screen stuck in his mind, and he once again activated it. In a murky view of some location, he made out a perfect shape, and he was about to forget the meaningless sight, but he saw that there were no signs of soil, and he then caught a glimpse of a faint square shape, shifting wildly about. It was dark, but he was positive that he had found a destination with a damaged Star Chamber, with a black hole formed in it.

The familiar pattern of movements fascinated him!

Dexter was tired, and left it, realizing that it was night at the location, and that he might be able to see something on it when it was daylight at the location.

When he returned the next morning, to continue his search, he instantly observed that the location on the screen was now brightly lit, and vibrating furiously, in a blur of many images.

Yet though it was bright, it was not daylight – artificial lights beamed over it – and, to his great delight, he saw an image of the laboratory, spin through the frenzy of images.

Chapter 13

 

Destination: Earth

 

An extraordinary scene developed before Dexter, as he landed on the floor of the chamber. A mass of shuffling, activities, and flickering lights erupted about him, and he ignored cries of shouting and mumbling voices.

Dexter leapt over to his side, and the others came through, behind him, drawing away the attention of the crowd, from him, and he was able to see them properly.

How could he have been so unlucky? The entire laboratory was full of reporters and television crews. Had they actually expected their arrival? He had expected the opposite!

The laboratory looked the same, except for the screen, which was a more dense material. The crowd, behind it, watched them, with profound amusement, unable to believe what was in front of them. They occasionally cracked jokes, and loudly laughed, while they desperately filmed them.

Basinger observed himself and them, at different angles, and he shrugged. Selina held her ears, to ignore the racket.

Dexter imagined the media, and public, remembering them, the way they were, forever – as the scientific expedition that returned from the famous black hole as savages – dressed in bits of alien animal skins, and covered in muck, sand, and bits of creatures.

He felt as though he were Robinson Crusoe returning to civilization. He barely understood their reactions to things. How had he changed so quickly? Their cleanliness was unbelievable! Would they actually accept what had taken place – and that they had come from another world – and that they had stayed in the remains of a futuristic alien civilization, in another universe?

Professor Bergman finally appeared, and he pushed his way through the crowd. Then he stood glaring, in utter amazement, and confusion, at them, and Basinger repeatedly shrugged his shoulders, with embarrassment.

Professor Bergman rushed back through the crowd, and he ordered his assistants about.

They gradually drew the crowd away, and they started setting up equipment, to check the black hole. They finally opened an entrance to the chamber, at the side of the screen, and anxiously ushered them out.

“What happened …?” Professor Bergman cried out.

Basinger lifted his hands up, exasperated, and he let them fall to his side. Burrell and Selina laughed, and Dexter laughed more uncontrollably than he could remember doing, and he decided that he was going to let someone else explain.

“Why was the media here …?” Selina asked.

Professor Bergman observed her, for a few seconds.

“We thought that the black hole might disperse, after its appearance had altered – and the media had a fascination in it. What information have you discovered about it?”

“You will not need a protection screen around it anymore!” Burrell muttered. “It will not pull anything into it anymore …!”

Professor Bergman looked at him, as though he were mad, and he touched a piece of animal fur on his shoulder.

“What in the blazes is that?”

A technician, at the door, came over, and he examined it.

“May we take this …?”

“You can have all of it – once I have put on some proper clothes!”

“Do you want these as well …?” Dexter asked, taking out a handful of bits of vegetation.

“What are they?” the technician muttered, examining their peculiar features.

“They are seeds!” Dexter replied, handing him the seeds, from the jungle. “Can you have them grown, and, if possible, tell me why some of them shift about?”

“Yes!” the technician replied firmly, confused.

“Look …!” Burrell called out.

The black hole vibrated, as though something was coming through.

Then, as its movements stopped, Dexter saw a strange blur in front of it, which vanished into it. Then the black hole started contracting, until it no longer existed.

“How did that happen?” Basinger grumbled.

Dexter realized why, from the spaceship’s information, but he never said anything, because it had been the entity, and the last of what some of the super-species had advanced into, before their new species had completely annihilated itself.


The Alien Orb

An action-packed novel with two high quality mind-boggling science fiction horror thrillers with explorers encountering mind-bending celestial orbs that send them on mind-bending trips beyond space and time! Explorers, paranormal investigators, scientists, military, archeologists, and treasure seekers uncover a deadly mind-bending celestial orb with inconceivable magnitude and deadly supernatural origins that explored time and universes from somewhere beyond and detected something of unknown origins in space and time and emerged into this world. After exploring a legendary desolate region where they have heard accounts of supernatural activity, deaths of large amounts of people, and there being treasure, they slowly reveal something deadly of unknown highly advanced origins. They uncover unknown and mind-bending occurrences everywhere as they explore the remains of the place, trying to determine what it is and what it is doing there, and slowly uncover it buried away, and its hideous supernatural intelligence, waiting to be revived, with powers capable of destroying reality. Explorers stumble upon a mysterious metallic sphere with a pulsating vibration on Mars and unlock it to reveal its forces are suspending a black hole, and while experimenting on the black hole an accident occurs and scientists enter it and travel out beyond the boundaries of space and time into a mind-boggling deadly universe.

  • ISBN: 9781370035434
  • Author: CosmicBlueCB
  • Published: 2016-08-28 18:20:24
  • Words: 88369
The Alien Orb The Alien Orb