April 2006 Archives

Time Flies

The Beginning

By Douglas E Gogerty

It all began when James Henry Millard was an undergraduate lab assistant to the prominent Dr. Jeffery M. Decker. Dr. Decker was a leader in the field of optics. With Jim Millard's help, Dr. Decker invented a very special kind of glass. There was nothing like it in the world.

In their early experiments, they were bending light as far as was possible without distorting it. The Decker/Millard team was responsible for several exciting discoveries in this area. In their earliest efforts, they were able to bend the light of a laser almost eighty-seven degrees with very little distortion. However, they were always trying to improve upon these results.

The research team had experimented with several substances. They had refined the manufacture of refracting glass, and they were experimenting with the substances added to regular glass that would bend the light. In one particular experiment, they added a super-conductive material instead of their usual ceramic material. The light was bent as predicted. However, when they added a current, they got the most astonishing results. The glass was no longer transparent; however, it was not opaque either.

At first, they thought they had bent the light ninety degrees. Thus, all the visible light would come from the edges of the glass. By experimenting with a laser, they discovered that this was not the case. The distinctive red laser light did not register on the glass. In addition, the image did not dim when the edges were covered. In fact, the glass had a strange glow even when there was no light at all shining on the glass. Moreover, at times the team could see strange shadows moving in their glass. These shadows would come and go in a random fashion. The team could find little order to the movements of these shadows. They repeated the experiment several times, and still the shadows appeared.

For three years, they experimented with their glass. With improvements in super-conductive ceramics, there came improvements in the glass. Furthermore, with the independent discovery of a transparent film capable of heating and cooling the glass, they were able to reach a wide temperature range to observe the reaction of the super-conductive material. Thus, they were able to vary the amount of resistance to electrical flow throughout the glass. In this manner, they could find the ideal amount of resistance for given amount of voltage. This produced very good results. The shadows were beginning to take forms.

The team also experimented with the amplitude of the current flowing through the glass. When they determined optimal amplitude for the differing voltages, the forms became even clearer. However, the images were still not perfect. Optimizing the needed voltage and adding the ideal amount of ceramics was the next step. This part of the research took the longest. After painstaking trial and error, the images from the glass became very clear. It was through the sharpness and clarity of the images that it became clear that this was not a television image. The picture became very sharp. It had a better resolution than any known television signal.

Not only did these images not look like television images, they did not behave like television images. The people seen in the glass were not very interesting. These figures appeared to have rather mundane lives. Moreover, the movements of a television set do not alter the picture of that television set. It was a different story with this glass. As the glass moved, the pictured changed. It was as if they were looking at a mirror. The background and point of view changed with each movement of the glass. The scientific team was at a loss to explain this phenomenon.

However, this did not alter the enthusiasm of the team; in fact, it drove them to a new goal. The next several months the researchers tried to get sound to correspond with the images coming from this view screen. All these experiments were a resounding failure. The sound was on no broadcast frequency that they could locate. The team tried every possible frequency. When two people in the glass would converse, their conversation was a secret never to be heard by the science team. With failure after failure, the team finally gave up. The secrets conveyed by the images were safe from the intruding scientists. It was time to alter the course of the experiment.

By observing the images during these several months, various team members noted that all the images were relatively stable. An object, other than a person, appearing in the glass on one day was usually there the next day. In particular, Dr. Decker noticed a picture of an individual playing a tuba. This picture appeared on the far wall of the room that was conveyed by the glass. When someone obtained the first clear images, this picture appeared in the background. On any given day, that same picture would be hanging there on the far wall of the room depicted in the glass.

Furthermore, the people on the other side of the glass would change their routines. That is, they would not be doing the same thing every day at 4:37 PM. As a matter of fact, it appeared that the people in the glass were living their own lives. They would do things that people do ordinarily. Further, the team's log noted that the style of clothing that these people wore was very out of date.

Nonetheless, the stability of the scenes helped guide the team to the next stage of experimentation. The new objective would be to "change the channel". Maybe the team could pick up on some new images. Possibly there would be some audio to be found for a new set of images.

Changing temperature, amplitude, voltage, and dozens of other factors, image after image was discovered. After several weeks of experimenting, Jim Millard made a remarkable discovery. With his particular set of inputs, several very familiar scientists appeared, and they were working with a strange piece of glass. It was the team's own image appearing in the glass and in the image within the image was a picture of an individual playing a tuba. Dr. Decker stated, "It is like looking through a window into a whole new world."

That was it! You could almost hear the lights being turned on. It all made sense now. The reason that the images changed when moving the glass around was the fact that the scientists were looking through a window into a strange world. As the window moved, so did their view of this world. These were not television images at all. The analogy of looking into a new world also helped explain the stability of the images. The people in the glass were real people with real lives. This also helped explain the clothing that these people wore. That was the style then. In addition, one of these people living in this strange world obviously liked the tuba and thus hung a picture of a tuba player on the wall.

Furthermore, this helped explain why they could not find any sound on any frequency. The sounds coming from the people in this strange new world were not broadcast on any frequency. They were simply spoken. A completely new technology would be required to discover what these people had to say.

Now the team had to prove their theory that these were images were from another dimension. However, the scientists were euphoric because it was apparent that it could be possible to observe what was happening in a dimension other than their own. In a world with only three perceivable dimensions, people could see into an infinite number of different dimensions.

All of this pushed the researchers and of course Jim Millard into the realm of the time/space continuum. He would devote the rest of his life, studying dimensions, time, and any other relevant theories to aid in his search. A search for something he had not even yet imagined.

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Terra Mortis II: The Gathering

Chapter 29

By Dwayne MacInnes

Brady took in a deep breath and started to let it out slowly as he waited for the half-track to get closer. His finger was waiting for the signal from his brain to squeeze the trigger slowly to unleash bullet from his M-16 towards the unfortunate target. The army captain prayed that the window wasn't bulletproof; otherwise, they were all doomed.

M16

"Well it's now or never," Brady thought. He started to squeeze the trigger when he heard Nori shout out:

"HOLD YOUR FIRE!"

Brady quickly looked over at Nori on the other side of the road. She was standing up and waving at the half-track. "Is she crazy? She knows we can't surrender," Brady angrily thought.

"Look in the truck!" Nori said excitedly.

Brady looked at the truck, inside was the driver he was aiming at. Brady didn't know what had Nori so excited. He looked at the passenger side and noticed a boy sitting in that seat.

"A boy?" Brady asked.

The captain looked harder as the half-track started to slow down. It couldn't be. It was impossible! Brady jumped out of the ditch and ran over to the half-track. There inside beside the driver was Coop.

A red dodge truck with an M-2 .50 caliber machine gun on a single mount in the bed pulled around the half-track and stopped beside it. In the driver's seat was Sarge. The whole army stood up as Brady and Nori ran towards the convoy. The large African-American army sergeant jumped out of the red truck and embraced Nori as she ran up to him. Brady just stood thunderstruck as he watched Coop run over to him.

1955 Dodge Truck

"Brady, I thought you were already dead!" the excited eleven-year-old boy yelled as he hugged Brady.

Brady pushed Coop back, "I...I saw you get bitten and go down under a hoard of zombies. How?"

"I did get bitten, see," Coop rolled up his shirt sleeve to show two nasty horse-shoe shaped black and blue bruises that were starting to yellow. There weren't any puncture marks anywhere along the bruise.

"It still hurts, but I was lucky that the zombie was an old man and didn't have any teeth," Coop said. "I was able to squeeze between the door and the wall because Lisa wouldn't let any zombies past her to me. Then I climbed up the ladder and ran all the way back home."

Brady shook his head. He couldn't believe his eyes or ears. The captain silently prayed a ‘thank you' to Lisa. Coop was still alive, because of her sacrifice. Brady looked at Coop again, the boy was never big to begin with, but now he was down right skin and bones. When he meant he ran all the way home it must have been close to literal. The boy must have had very little to eat and ran as much as he could.

By now, Sarge walked over to Brady. "Looks like Coop here is quite the hero. He got to camp before the Horde and warned us about you. We were heading west on a rescue mission when he saw the half-track. I was able to snipe the driver and gunner from a large tree. The rest was pretty easy. Whatever this Khan is, he is no military man. His thugs weren't even second rate soldiers," Greene laughed.

Brady looked over at the half-track, the mechanic George MacLaren was climbing out of the driver's seat.

"Hi, kid," smiled Greg Smith from the gunner's carriage.

The two armies started mingling when it was clear that both were on the same side. They decided to set up camp in the field next to the barn. With the two groups combined, they had doubled their strength in personnel and astronomically increased it in firepower with the addition of the half-track.

The next morning with the addition of vehicles, the two armies were able to make it to Vice-City in only a matter of a couple of hours. The once proud capital of Khan's empire was now a burned out hull. The debauchery that took place there only two days before were now forever silent. Black smoke still billowed up from the sewer and several buildings were reduced to rubble.

The convoy stopped at the outskirts of the town. The wind blew hauntingly down the deserted streets. The caws from the ravens were the only sounds. Brady looked up from the bed of the Dodge truck to see the black birds pecking at the flesh of several dead people swaying in the wind hanging from the lampposts.

"Damn," he hissed. The remnants of the Horde exacted their own revenge on the people of the town.

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Time Flies

The Hypothesis

By Douglas E Gogerty

After all of the experimentation, Jim graduated. During his course of studies, he earned two Bachelors of Science degrees. He earned one in Mathematics and the other in Electrical Engineering. However, he did not wish to leave the team. Thus, he rejoined them as a graduate student. Although Jim was still a student, he had quite a bit of experience on the project. In fact, Dr. Decker was the only one with more. Thus, he was given the task of discovering how the glass worked the way it did.

Others members of the team, depending on their field of expertise, were given different aspects of the glass to research. Everyone had a guess on how the glass worked. Jim had the task of testing to see if any of the hypotheses could lead to a predictable outcome. Jim worked hard and long on his task. He did experiment after experiment. With every change in image, he would attempt to find a date for it. Naturally, he also noted the temperature, the voltage, the amperage, and the rest of his experimental inputs. He wanted to determine how the combination of the substances made this inter-dimensional viewing possible. Inter-dimensional viewing or IDV was what the team called the glass experimentation.

Jim's personal hypothesis was the light was bent over three hundred and sixty degrees. This light rotation was responsible for the viewing of past events. This is why it all started with light bending glass. In his guess, each rotation made it possible to view another moment backwards in time. Thus, if he could determine how many rotations the light would take, he could determine how far back in time he could go.

After following the direction of Dr. Decker's suggested testing, it was time for Jim to test his own personal hypothesis. Thus, he made a mathematical model of what he believed was happening with the glass. He would have to determine how it would be possible to control how many revolutions the light would have to make to observe a particular moment in time.

With the collection of a large sample of data, he was confident that he could establish his theory. With his experience with the glass, he was confident on which variables he needed to alter to give more rotations. With the superconductive material embedded in the glass, temperature was definitely a major factor. The amount of current traveling through the glass was also important.

After a few experiments, Jim believed he was on the cusp of a major breakthrough. Not only could he predict which set of previously noted images would appear in the glass; he could change the various variables a certain amount to change from image to image without significant changes to the glass. This was of particular importance; because up to this point, major changes were required to view a new image in any one piece of glass. With Jim's discovery, instead of taking days to reconfigure the glass it would take a matter of hours. With a little more work, he was certain that image after image he could switch between images in still less time.

He also experimented with how to make his own image appear in the glass. He discovered how to see what was happening at the spot he was standing fifteen, thirty, sixty minutes ago. The small increments in time were difficult configure, but he was very adept at manipulating the glass.

With his rotational theory as a working model, he was confident in establishing when the image was taking place. He refined this new process to be able to select images to the nearest quarter hour. He was then able to see what he was doing just minutes before the present time. This created several interesting images. He was able to view an almost infinite number of himself as if he was looking into a mirror with a mirror directly behind him.

He dated the men in the room with the Tuba to be 1914. He looked at the records of the area, and was confident of his date. The more he researched the stronger he felt his theory was. He was fairly sure his calculations in this new body of research were correct; however, being the perfectionist that was Jim Millard, he wanted to be absolutely positive that it would work for times long since gone. He was sure it would work for time recently elapsed. However, could his results be extrapolated? How many rotations could he make before the images were no longer viewable?

If his upcoming experiment was successful, it would forever change the perception of inter-dimensional viewing. After this experiment, the glass could forever be thought of as an inter-time viewing device instead of just an inter-dimensional viewing device.

The calculations that needed to be performed were extraordinarily complex. It would take several hours of work to create correct set of variables for his upcoming, important experiment. To be able to change the images in a less involved fashion; Jim recruited some engineers to help him. He told his new associates what he expected from the device they were to work on.

Working with these engineers, Jim was able to connect a laptop computer to the glass. The engineers were able to connect the output from the computer to the glass and use this output to change the amplitude of the current. The computer could also change the temperature of the film covering the glass, and the myriad of other variables that were essential in changing images.

When the engineers had accomplished the goal Jim had set for them, he was able to enter the time and date into the computer. The glass would respond by showing Jim the image he wished to view.

Jim was ready to attempt the experiment of a lifetime. He was going to show that his theory was correct, and he was going to do it in high fashion. He was confident that his work with the glass could have astounding consequences. He was going to show that his theories were applicable to times long gone. That the IDV was a useful project and that there were some valid uses for it.

Furthermore, along with this experiment, he would show the glass would also work in a place other than the laboratory. Up to that point, the only images observed were within the laboratory itself. He was going to take the glass outside the lab, and give it a major test.

After his experiment was complete, Jim organized a colloquium with several of the faculty of the university. Jim had an important announcement, and he wanted the entire university to share with the team's discovery. His preliminary work was finished, and it was time to exhibit his findings. He was going to put on a show.

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Terra Mortis II: The Gathering

Chapter 30

By Dwayne MacInnes

"Looks like hell," Sarge said as he exited the cab of the Dodge.

"It was," Brady replied solemnly.

As the combined army started to dismount, a group of people began to pour out of the surrounding buildings.

"Look, it's them!" shouted a man.

"They're the ones!" yelled a woman.

The army looked around them confused. They gripped their weapons at the ready in case any trouble should spring up.

The crowd of people started to approach the army. The soldiers were feeling nervous. What should they do? They looked at either Sarge or Brady for an answer. Both were still observing the situation.

"Thank God, you made it," a large man broke out of the crowd and approached Brady. "I thought maybe they would have gotten you in the Labyrinth. I sent your friend there," he said as he pointed at Nori, "down a manhole to find you when I saw her and her friends sneaking into town."

Brady recognized the voice; he was never able to see Jesse's face clearly, when they were in jail together. The captain smiled, "Man, you not only saved my life, but that of Coop here as well."

"Sorry, about the girl," Jesse said with genuine regret.

"What exactly happened?" Sergeant Greene asked pointing to the hanging bodies.

Jesse began, "well, after your army here took out the fuel depot the power all over town went out. Fires broke out and for the first time in a long time, we woke up. We used to think that it was better to be abused than food for those dead monstrosities.

"Our families were forced into slave labor, or prostitution. With the majority of the Horde gone and the chaos flooding the streets in the wake of your raid we rose up. We took back our streets. We overwhelmed the remnants of Khan's band of thugs and to cap it off we got the head man himself.

"We knew the Horde would return and we wanted to send it a message so we hung the remaining Horde and its collaborators and we are holding its leader as prisoner. Now, it is apparent that you took out the Horde and we are free."

The crowd of citizens surrounding the army suddenly broke into wild exaltation as Jesse mentioned the word ‘free'. Brady, Sarge, Nori, Coop and the rest of the army looked around at the smiling and laughing faces of the town's people as they cheered on their victory. These people who for so long were victimized by a group of thugs who ruled with fear and brutality were finally free of tyranny.

"Now, now!" Jesse shouted over the rejoicing crowd. "Let's welcome our deliverers and we can kill that bastard in jail."

The people started to cry out and cheer even louder at Jesse's new speech. But before he could rally, the people to follow him to the jail Sarge shot a single shot in the air. Everyone quieted down. The soldiers looked at Sarge with a question on of their faces.

"We cannot kill him," Sarge called out.

The crowded started to grumble some shouted out questions and others told him to mind his own business. They all started to gather themselves up again to storm the jail when Sarge shot again. However, this time he fired in front of the lead civilian headed for the jail.

"You will not kill him or we will have to use force against you," Sarge cried out.

"Ah, he's bluffing," an old woman scream.

"Soldiers ready arms!" called out the old Ranger.

The two armies readied their arms as if they were one. The myriad rifles and assault weapons snapped into position and were trained on the crowd.

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Time Flies

The Hypothesis

By Douglas E Gogerty

When the faculty was gathered together, Jim got up to speak. "Ladies and Gentlemen," he began, "I just flew in from Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, and boy are my arms tired!"

A few titters of laughter came from the audience. It was an old joke, and perhaps too old. However, Jim liked starting his speeches with a little joke, and he had to press on.

"I am sure you are aware of the work that Dr. Jeffery Decker, myself, and others have been working on regarding the inter-dimensional glass or the IDV project. A few years ago, I was given the task of determining how the glass was able to give the images that it was giving us. Exclusively, I worked with our glass in this field of research, and I have been able to determine how it does indeed work.

"With the help of Mr. Algernon Quintell and Ms. Willamina Harris, two local engineers, I have been able to fabricate a device that will allow me to view almost any time that I may wish to view. To be specific, this glass will allow me to view what has happened at the location where we place the glass at any time I select.

"We took the device to Gettysburg for a test. I entered the date November 19, 1863 into the device I have before you. I also entered the time of 6:00 AM. However, the cooling film would not get cold enough to go back that many years, and we did not have a powerful enough generator to increase the amperage. Thus, we had to balance the temperature using liquid nitrogen. After several hours of waiting and looking through the glass, I was able to take this video."

Jim placed a tape into the VCR and images appeared on the monitors located throughout the room. "As you may know, the IDV only collects light. Sound does not linger. Thus, I assigned some undergrads to obtain audio from other sources. They managed to obtain a ancient recording, and thus, the crispness of the video will not match up with the poor audio. However, it was a recording from 1863."

The video was playing, and it looked a bit strange through the occasional liquid nitrogen flow. However, the crowd soon realized what it was when they heard, "Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal."

"In case you were wondering, this is the actual image of Abraham Lincoln giving his Gettysburg Address. This is not a recreation or fabrication of any kind. That is Lincoln himself." Jim explained. He pointed to several features that indicated it was indeed the sixteenth president of the United States.

"Obviously, this new technology has tremendous potential. Any scientist or historian will be able to view events as they actually happened. Things will be seen that have never been seen by anyone of our time. Many questions that have long gone unanswered, will now have answers. Speaking of which, do any of you have any questions at this time?"

"Can you give us a real-time demonstration?" one of the professors asks.

"Certainly. First, we will need a marker or milestone that occurred in this very room. Something that a number of you will recognize. Are there any suggestions?"

"Several years ago, the building on this sight burnt down," came a voice in the crowd. "Maybe we could see this fire."

"Or maybe we could watch last weeks lecture on asexual reproduction of aquatic plants given by Dr. Finnley," suggested another person.

"Your lectures are none too exciting either Dr. Williamson," responded Dr. Finnley.

"I know what we can see," interrupted another participant. "Remember when former President Carter gave his speech to the faculty? That would be a recognizable land mark as it were."

"That is a good suggestion, but I need the exact time and date in order to view that occasion, Dr. Faulklin," responded Jim. "I need this information entered into this device in order to view this episode."

"I showed the video taken from that occasion to my 'Modern Government' class last week," added Dr. Williamson. "The video is in my office, and the time and date were noted on the tape."

"Great!" exclaimed Jim. "We will be able to compare the images from the glass with the images coming from the video tape."

When Dr. Williamson returned with the video tape, Jim replaces his video of Abraham Lincoln with the Jimmy Carter video. The time and date were recorded on the bottom of the video image, and Jim entered those numbers into the glass's laptop computer. He took a little bit of time to synchronize the images. The audience was amazed at the clarity and accuracy of the images coming from the screen. To assure the assembled professors that no tricks were involved, Jim moved the glass around. By doing this, Jim was able to show several different angles to the speech given by President Carter. Everyone in attendance was amazed.

"As you can see, the images given through the glass are very accurate. With this device we can get an accurate view of several events in history," continued Jim.

"What about viewing the future?" asked Dr. Williamson. "I would like to know who will win the Kentucky Derby next month."

"I would to," replied Jim. "However, from the few tests I have done, I have been unable to predict what will happen in the future. This device picks up light that has already reflected off surfaces. There is no way to pick up light that has yet to be reflected. If we reverse the polarity, we get the exact same images. Nothing that we know of will pick up images of future occurrences."

"How can you be sure of the accuracy of the images from the past?" inquired a skeptic in the crowd.

"The several images that I have been able to catalog are very consistent," responded Jim. "If the images from the past were not consistent, I would be very skeptical of the results from the past also. However, the same images from August 13, 1984 at 2:30 PM are always the same. Furthermore, I have done tests similar to the one we have just completed involving former President Carter. I have been able to match views from the past with those on video tape. It is this reason that I am reasonably confident in the images taken from the past."

"What is your theory on the time/space continuum?" inquired the skeptic.

"My theory on the time/space continuum is not yet complete, and I would not like to discuss it at this time. However, I would like to add that history is events that have happened. As we all know, light has some very unusual properties. For instance, it behaves like a beam and a wave. Somehow, the IDV glass picks up the light from past events. I do not know if it is being reflected off distant objects, or if it is a previously unknown property of light."

"Very good!" inserts Dr. Williamson. "There are several factors that are involved in the unraveling the mysteries of time/space."

"Yes, that is a good point. Now, are there anymore questions?" asked Jim.

After answering a few questions and making a few more demonstrations, Jim gave his theory on how the glass works. He discussed in detail on how he believed the light was being rotated through the glass. After a while, no one in the crowd could think of any more questions to ask Jim. "Well, thank you all for coming. If you would like to know more, my paper on this research will soon be available. You can also ask your questions to me at anytime. You all know where to find me. Thanks again for coming, and drive safely."

The crowd filed out, and a few come up to congratulate Jim on his work. Many mentioned that they would be very interested in reading Jim's paper describing his research.

It was this research and the discovery of the inter-time viewing that Mr. Millard used in his dissertation. This was no ordinary research paper. This would enable Jim to take an important step in his life. With this impressive body of work and the support of Dr. Decker, Jim would no longer be Mr. Jim Millard. He would now be Dr. Jim Millard, Ph.D.

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Terra Mortis II: The Gathering

Chapter 31

By Dwayne MacInnes

The citizens all quieted down and looked at the army as if they were the loathsome Horde.

Sarge began his speech again, "I will tell you why you cannot kill him. You cannot kill him because to do so would make you as bad as he was. Wait, wait and hear me out," Sergeant Greene said as the crowd started to grumble again. "Remember that we are still Americans. Maybe the rest of the country has written us off, but we are still Americans. This country, this state, and this town were based on a system of laws that were in place so that we all could live in freedom without tyranny. Once we discard any one of those laws, we become no better than the thugs that the Horde -- and this Khan -- were.

"It wasn't so long ago I used to think as you do. But a friend...excuse me, family member of mine reminded me of whom I was." Sarge nodded smiling toward Nori.

"I was reminded of what is best about our country. Yeah, maybe it isn't perfect but it's the best we got. So like it or not, Khan will face a just and lawful trial. If for no other reason than to show to him how much better we are than he and his flunkies were."

Many in the riotous crowd looked down at their feet. A few were moved to tears remembering better times. Some even broke out in smiles and walked back to the army.

"Well," Jesse smiled. "I guess you touched a chord in all of us. Although many of our community will suffer the physical, mental, and/or spiritual scars for the rest of our lives, we will do so with our heads held high. Maybe we've suffered rape, addiction, and beatings, but we will carry on as a community. We'll help each other, and we'll do so with justice not vengeance."

Later that day Brady and Nori went to the cell to visit Dr. Vanders, a.k.a. Khan. The man once the leader of his own empire now sat huddled in a corner of a cell rocking back and forth.

"Dr. Vanders?" Brady tentatively asked.

The man looked up at the voice. His eyes looked right past Brady and he started mumbling.

"Uh...Khan?" Brady tried again.

This time Vanders eyes focused onto Brady and an evil smile formed on his face. A chill went up Brady's and Nori's back as the nasty smile took form under the two mad eyes.

"Ah, it's the rebel leader. So where is the rebel camp?" Khan asked.

Brady and Nori both looked at him. It was obvious that Khan had lost his mind.

"I'll ask you one more time, where is the rebel base?" shouted the mad man spraying spittle across the cell.

"Come on let's get out of here," Nori said as she grabbed Brady's arm and led him out of the cellblock. After the guards closed the door, Brady turned toward Nori.

"You know I feel sorry for him. All he ever had in life was his fascination with Genghis Khan. I wonder if he'll ever know of all the pain and suffering he's caused so many people?"

Nori looked up at Brady, "I doubt it. I think he should be institutionalized, unfortunately there aren't any asylums anymore."

"Yeah," Brady said starting to laugh.

"That's not funny, you should be ashamed of yourself," admonished Nori.

Brady smiled as he waved his hand, "No, no it's not that. I just felt like I was Luke Skywalker when he kept asking about the rebel camp."

Nori for a second was caught off guard, "Did you just make a movie reference? There's hope for you after all!" Nori laughed her infectious laugh and soon had Brady laughing along side of her.

"Though you're not Luke so much as Han Solo," Nori finally said.

"How so?"

"First of all you are no Jedi knight. Secondly I'm not your twin sister, and thirdly Han gets the girl," Nori said as she pulled Brady towards her and kissed him hard on the lips.

It took Brady a few seconds to recover his composure before he put his arms around Nori and returned the kiss.

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Greetings! On many "blogs" there are various Friday traditions. Some have "Cat Blog Fridays" or "Cephalopod Friday" or any number of other image related posting. Thus, I thought I would start doing that as well. However, this is a story telling blog, so since a picture is worth a thousand words, it will be "1000 Word Fridays"!!! I created this image a long time ago staring my Iguana Hank and the Empire State Building. I call it

Hank Kong

Hank Kong

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Time Flies

A Brief Vacation

By Douglas E Gogerty

Jim was finished with his paper, and he would receive his diploma at the end of the semester. Years of hard work and sacrifice would pay off at that time. Jim was the leading, and perhaps only authority on inter-time viewing. It was a title that made Jim very proud.

On the occasion of Jim's upcoming graduation, Dr. Decker threw Jim a party. It was on this happy occasion that Jim received some unhappy news. At this party, Dr. Decker announced his retirement. "I have pictures to paint and stories to write," Dr. Decker informed the people in attendance. "I sure hope none of this interferes with my watching the Cubs on TV!"

Everybody, including Jim, was at a loss, but Dr. Decker assured Jim that he would recommend that Jim take over for him at the university. That assurance did not ease Jim's fears. Dr. Decker would be missed; most of all by Jim, but almost everyone believed the line of excellence would continue. It would be the inevitable passing of the baton from mentor to student.

Jim naturally applied for the position vacated by Dr. Decker's retirement. With the strong recommendation from Dr. Decker, Jim felt confident about acquiring the empty place in the Physics department. He was very popular at the university and had a most impressive academic record.

Because of fair hiring laws, the university posted the position nationally. Despite the overwhelming array of qualified applicants, Jim felt very self-assured. "Who would be more qualified for the post than me," Jim occasionally thought to himself. "Besides, who would want the job?"

A search committee was formed and interviews were performed. With each step in the hiring process, Jim became more and more confident that the position was his.

The final decision was to be made in late July or early August. Jim wanted to take this opportunity to take a long needed vacation. He did not take any summers off in his college years because he always went to summer school. With some money he had saved up, he decided to do some traveling during that summer. It would be a well-deserved rest.

His final interview was on May 22nd. After the interview, the search committee informed Jim that he was one of the three finalists. With that news, he felt that it would be useless to worry. In fact, Dr. Williamson, who was one of the hiring committee members, told Jim, "Why don't they have you sign a contract now and cut out all this rigmarole?"

Jim nodded modestly and returned to his apartment to make some plans. He was looking forward to seeing some of his old friends, and partaking in some sort of adventurous activities.

It did not take Jim long to decide where he wanted to go. He decided there were two longtime friends who he kept in contact but hadn't seen in several years. He talked to a travel agent, and he would leave for Florida on June 1st. This would give him plenty of time to get his affairs in order.

Before he left, Dr. Williamson asked for an address where Jim could be reached "...just in case something comes up." Jim gave him the information Dr. Williamson wanted, and Jim embarked on his adventure.

Jim's friend Ken Michaels met him at the St. Petersburg-Clearwater International airport. Jim wanted to spend a couple of weeks in St. Petersburg and then he was going to visit another friend, Wayne Leonard, in Charleston, South Carolina. He was greatly looking forward to being somewhere tropical. The summers in central Texas were a little hot and dry. It was not exactly what Jim wanted on this vacation. Furthermore, something about the Atlantic Ocean had always appealed to Jim.

Ken took Jim to several sights in the area. Jim saw Busch Gardens, Tiki Gardens, the Salvador Dali Museum, and various other sights in the St. Petersburg/Tampa area. However, Jim spent most of his time at the beaches. Jim loved to swim and bask in the sun. He spent several hours at Clearwater beach, reminiscing with Ken.

Ken was a high school friend of Jim's who was now a professor of philosophy at the University of Tampa. They argued about everything but were still the best of friends. Sometimes being a philosophy professor would give Ken an arguing advantage, but Jim was a good debater in his own right. At times, the two friends got several strange looks from passing beachcombers, but this did not bother them. They would continue on arguing about who was better Batman or Spiderman or what was the best movie of all time.

It was a very relaxing time for Jim despite the occasional agony of defeat. He did not like losing any of the debates. Jim always loved a good debate and Ken was more than willing to oblige him. After two weeks of arguing in the sunshine of Florida, Jim had to press on. He hated to leave, but Wayne and Charleston were waiting.

Jim and Ken had one last debate on the safest mode of transportation, but before the issue could be resolved, Jim had to bid his friend farewell and head for South Carolina. Wayne was one of Jim's most interesting friends. Wayne was a forest ranger in the Francis Marion National Forest. Jim was about to spend two weeks in the wilderness. Being from Montana, Jim was quite at home in the wild; however, he had spent several years at the university in the middle of Texas. There was not a great deal of wilderness in the city of Austin. Further, the South Carolina wilderness is very different from the wilds of Montana or Texas for that matter.

Being in this lovely forest setting gave Jim the chance to take pictures. He did take some pictures in Florida, but Ken was a bit impatient when it came to that sort of thing. When at a particular sight, Ken would not wait around very long. In South Carolina, Jim took pictures of everything. Wayne was very patient and sometimes took some pictures himself. Jim had a digital SLR camera, and he loved to take photos, especially of the scenery. He barely filled his memory card in Florida, and he almost needed to purchase another one to get all the sights of the South Carolina area where he was staying. He spent one whole day taking pictures of wildlife in the Cape Romain National Wildlife Refuge.

Wayne and Jim also reminisced about the old days. They used to camp in Wayne's back yard when they were little. They thought it was the greatest in those days. Wayne especially loved it. He would always say that is why he became a forest ranger. There was nothing like the thrill of the outdoors. Being a ranger allowed Wayne to camp out regularly. When he was not camping, he was at least in the wilderness. Wayne was the picture of a contented human being. Jim could never think of a happier person than Wayne. Seeing someone so happy made Jim happy. South Carolina was a very relaxing leg of his trip.

After a couple of weeks in South Carolina, Jim went home to Montana. Jim's dad still lived in Great Falls. His mom had died when Jim was an undergraduate, so he tried to get back home as often as he could. He became really close to his dad after his mom died. He never dreaded coming home to spend some time with his dad.

Jim's dad was the owner operator of a hardware store. Jack Millard never went to college, but often regretted that he never got the chance. Jim's grandparents were never that well off, and they could not afford to send Jack to college. After Jack graduated from high school, he went right to work. He worked in several retail settings until he got the opportunity to open his own business. For ten years, Jack ran a very successful store, and he probably would have retired if his wife had not died. The store was now his reason for getting up in the morning. It was very good therapy for him.

Jim and his dad often talked about Jim's mother. Inevitably, this always led to the same question. "When are you going to find a wife?"

This question Jim could never find a good answer for, and it was the reason he did not often wish to talk about his mother. It always meant having the same conversation.

"How have you been Jimmy?" began Jack.

"Dad, when will you stop calling me that? Do you know I have my Ph.D. now? I am no longer your little Jimmy."

"Sorry, doctor, old habits die hard."

"OK, I guess I can forgive you. I have been fantastic. Ken and Wayne say 'Hi!'"

"How are they doing?"

"Very well, they seem to be very happy."

"Are any of them married?"

"Dad! Are we going to open this old can of worms already?"

"Well?"

"Ken has a serious girl friend, but she is in Paris on some sort of trip or another. I didn't get to meet her. Wayne, well, he lives in another world, and he hasn't met anyone who wants to share it with him. He has met a few women, but nothing serious has come from them yet."

"What about you? Have you met anyone that trips your trigger?"

"Dad, I don't know? It is not that my standards are too high; it is just that nobodies standards are that low."

"Don't sell yourself short son."

"I won't dad, but most women are afraid of me, and the rest have this preconceived notion of who I am. I can't live up to either perception. Thus, I am stuck being alone."

"The big problem you have is you are too shy."

"I agree, that is part of my problem. However, another part is the fact that I actually like being alone. Not many people can understand that."

"I suppose you're right."

"Besides, Jack Jr. has already made you a grandpa. You don't have to worry about that."

"I am just concerned about your happiness."

"Thanks for your concern, but I will be all right. So, how is the store?"

"Business is good. So are you trying to change the subject?"

"Me? No, never, I would never try and do anything like that."

"Son, I would like you know, that I am very proud of you. By the way, the university called they wanted you to call the committee in the morning."

"Did they say what they wanted?"

"Nope! Sorry, I didn't ask either."

"I guess I will find out tomorrow. So, how are Jack, Carol, and little Sean?"

Like always, the conversation of the father and son went long into the night. They talked about just about everything. They even revisited the marriage conversation. When they were equally exhausted, they went to bed.

Jim called the university the next morning. The committee wanted to meet with him in mid-July. He arranged the meeting with them for July 22nd. They were not very specific on the details of this meeting. He tried to find out what it was about, but they were very tight-lipped about the whole thing. He would have to wait until July to find out what they were considering.

This delay would still give him some more time with his dad. He may even meet up with some high school friends that still lived in the area. He was not sure who was still in town, but a few trips around town on his bicycle would let everyone know he was in town.

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Terra Mortis II: The Gathering

Epilogue

By Dwayne MacInnes

Epilogue

Brady stood in front of Pastor Brown remembering the last couple of months after their victory over the Horde. The remnants of the Horde vacated the various towns that they had previously held while under Khan's leadership. In order to prevent a power vacuum, Ronald set up temporary local governments backed by a few of the soldiers from his army. These soldiers had the task of maintaining the peace and training a defense and police force.

Camp Crystal Lake soon became the capital for these recently freed towns. Not everything went off without a hitch. Food would soon become scarce and so a scavenging detail was set up to help stretch local food stores until crops could be planted in the spring and harvested later on. Water and sanitation were another concern as were the wandering undead that occasionally showed up. So far, different committees had been set up to deal with these and other problems. The local governments were performing well, but there was still some grumbling.

Back at Camp Crystal Lake, the Rabbi and the Pastor with the approval of the local council promoted Sarge to General. Only those closest to General Greene still called him Sarge. He was now setting up the workings of a functional army.

Laurie Germain was promoted to Colonel with Marcus Miller as her major. The five groups of the rebel army became the backbone of the new military. The rest of Ronald's army, that defeated the Horde, either went back to their jobs at the camp or joined one of the five squads.

Thomas Cooper was awarded the highest award that the new government could offer. He was granted the Gold Star of Gallantry for his run from Vice-City to the camp. It was his warning that saved them all from the coming danger of the Horde. Rabbi Rosenberg was able to find a skilled jeweler who was able to create the new medal.

However, the best thing that happened was that Nori had accepted Brady's marriage proposal. He knew in another lifetime that they would have been considered very young to be getting married. But they both had grown up a lot over the last year and a half. They both maintained their ranks in the new army, but Brady and Nori were going to try and find a different kind of life together.

Sarge and Coop decided to move into a cabin at Camp Crystal Lake in order to let Nori and Brady live at the West's cabin on their own. All felt that the area was secure enough that a constant lookout wasn't needed at Brady's cabin. Plus, scouts were constantly patrolling the area for anything from bandits, feral dogs, to undead walkers.

A lone violin began to play Pachebel's "Canon in D". Brady looked back down the long rows of wedding attendants standing in two lines in the great lodge of the old summer camp. Down the long isle he saw Nori in a white homemade wedding dress being escorted down the carpet by Sarge. Brady couldn't ever remember seeing Nori look so beautiful or Sarge so happy.

"She's beautiful," Coop said next to Brady. Brady knew that he could never have found a better best man than Thomas Cooper. They were more than companions they were brothers in every sense of the word but blood relation.

"Yes," was all Brady could choke out as he looked at a beaming Nori slowly walking down the aisle towards him. "Now you get nervous?" Brady asked himself internally.

After the vows were exchanged, Pastor Brown pronounced them husband and wife, and after the reception party was over, Brady and Nori headed for a red Dodge truck. The 1955 Dodge truck still had the .50 caliber M-2 mounted on the back as well as shoes and cans tied to the back bumper. Someone had written with soap on the sides and windows ‘Just Married'. The truck was a gift from Ronald to the newlyweds.

As the Rabbi helped the newlyweds into the truck, he gave them some sage advice. Then he waved at them and stood back with the rest of the crowd cheering as Brady and Nori headed off in the dusk through the camp's gates toward Brady's cabin.

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Here is another early Hank picture! Obviously climbing the Eiffel Tower in Paris. This one has been around the internet for quite a while! Hank is still a youngster in this one.

Thanks for visiting!

Hank on the Eiffel Tower

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Time Flies

The Disaster

By Douglas E Gogerty

Not much of note occurred in the last few weeks of Jim's vacation. This is mostly what Jim had hoped. He relaxed. He read quite a few things that he simply did not have time for while he was at school. It was a restful and enjoyable time. However, he could only take so much of this. He was ready to get back to the old grind. When July 21st arrived, he bid a fond farewell to everyone in his hometown, and he left for Texas.

His apartment was still in order after his extended trip. However, it was slightly dustier than he remembered. He unpacked his clothes and was back into the swing of things in a matter of hours. It was as though he had never left. When all was put into order, Jim turned on his stereo and finished reading the book he had started on the airplane. He was quite tired from the travel, so he turned in early to get a head start on the next day. He wanted to be ready for a day that would be very important to the rest of his life.

Jim arose early to prepare for this meeting. He showered, shaved, and threw on some errand-running clothes. He needed to get some things done before his big two o'clock meeting. The first thing he did was get his haircut. It had been quite a long time since his last cut. It was due.

The library was Jim's next stop. He wanted to get photocopies of all the articles of his that were published. He had quite a few, and he was proud of all of them. If they asked him about his research, he would be prepared.

He stopped for a bite to eat at his favorite local Chinese restaurant before continuing on his errand running. He needed to pick up a transcript, and some other things that he ordered from the University. Jim's background led him to be prepared for anything. He would have a briefcase full of things that they may wish to see at his meeting. Whatever he needed, he wanted to have with him.

When the running was finished, Jim cleaned himself up a bit, and put on his suit. His briefcase was jammed with paper, but he felt confident that there was nothing left to do. He was as prepared as he could be.

He showed up at the office of Dr. Williamson a few minutes early. Actually, he would have been fifteen minutes early, but he waited around outside the building. He was a little nervous, but he did not want to appear to be. When Jim made it to Dr. Williamson's door, Dr. Williamson was sitting at his desk writing something down. "Come in Jim," he says hesitantly. "The rest of the committee will meet us in the lounge. Have a seat."

Jim did not like Dr. Williamson's tone, so he asked, "What is going on? Is there something wrong?"

"Jim, they asked me to try to break this to you gently. Please sit down. I tried all I could, but they wouldn't listen to anything I said."

"What? What is it?" begged Jim as he took the chair at the front of Dr. Williamson's desk.

"It appears that you will -- not -- be a part of ... next year's faculty."

Astonishment came over Jim. He did not know what to say. He just slumped in the chair with his mouth open.

Dr. Williamson continued, "They are going to tell you about budget cuts, and this and that. The fact is -- they wanted to go in a different direction. Your research is expensive. In addition, they claim that they were looking for a person with more teaching experience. They didn't want someone who was primarily a researcher. In my opinion, they were all jealous of Dr. Decker's notoriety, and you were an unfortunate victim of that. I am so sorry."

"So what is the point of this meeting?" asked Jim angrily.

"Actually, they want to discuss your options."

"What?"

"Why don't we go to the meeting and talk to them."

Jim and Dr. Williamson walked into the lounge where a dozen or so professors and administrators had gathered. "Have a seat Jim; would you like something to drink?"

"No thanks, let's get on with this," Jim replied curtly.

"Jim, although we did not select you to replace Dr. Decker, we wish you would consider staying as a teaching assistant," started Dr. Faulkner, the head of the math department. "There would be virtually no change in your benefits, and you could remain a part of our team."

"You know the routine well, and your work load wouldn't be very different from the one you have grown accustomed to," added Dr. Marrienna.

"In a few years, you could be a full time member of our faculty," finished Dr. Faulkner.

"Is that all?" asked Jim with as calm a tone that he could muster.

"What would you have us say?" asked Dr. Faulkner.

"I don't really know, but of course, you know I am going to turn you down," replied Jim. "You didn't expect me to settle for being a TA after all the work I have done for you."

"Don't be so hasty, Jim. Think about the offer," Dr. Marrienna inserted.

"Frankly, you cannot have your cake and eat it too. Pardon the platitude," replied Jim. "I do not think I have to consider your proposal. You slap me in the face, and expect me to act like it never happened!!! I am sorry, but I respectfully decline your 'generous' offer."

Before anyone could say anything, Jim had left the room. He had been prepared for just about everything, but what had just occurred. Dr. Williamson went after him. "Jim, hold up! I mean Dr. Millard."

Jim stopped to hear what Dr. Williamson had to say.

"Good for you Jim. I don't blame you. I know of a position that has just become available at the University of Northern Iowa. It is a small university, but I am sure they would love to have you. They are in a bind. One of their professors suddenly became ill. The job is right up your alley. Of course, you would have to teach a class or two. Are you interested?"

"Dr. Williamson, thanks. Can I let you know?" replied Jim fighting the turmoil that was brewing inside him.

"Of course, I understand. You will need some time to absorb all that has happened. I'll give you the information. Do you have your articles with you?"

"Yes, I thought somehow they would be interested in them."

"Could I have them? I want to make a point to the committee."

Jim fumbles into his briefcase and pulls out a large stack of paper. "They're all yours. But, what are you going to do with them?"

"I want to show them the work you have done. Not just the work for the university, but also the work for science in general. It will show them that they shouldn't have let jealousy get in the way of making they're decisions. For the last few weeks, I have researched a few things. I found thirty-seven articles that sight one article or another of yours. That is prestige. Prestige that they just threw away like an old shoe. It also says something about the work you have been doing. It will be good to rub it in their face. I sure hope they don't do this to any of my students when I retire."

"Thanks, Dr. Williamson."

"Hey, you deserved better. Let me know if you need a reference or anything. Consider the Northern Iowa job.

"I will."

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  • Douglas Gogerty: Thanks for the kind words Kerry. I too am very read more
  • Douglas Gogerty: Thanks Christian! I too had a DOS computer. read more
  • Christian: A great story, i remember my first computer with DOS read more
  • Kerry Glasscock: Good story. I love that Dwayne. nice work! read more
  • Douglas Gogerty: Thanks Susanne. You are correct, the OS of computers has read more
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