Saturday, June 10, 2017

When Worlds Collide - Chapter Three

“No… No… Everything is fine, I just don’t need you today,” Nat said from the other end of the line. “There is just some fine tuning I need to do and you may as well take the day off. It’s such a nice day… Enjoy the sun.”

Chelsie was surprised he even noticed the sun was out. He never seemed to leave the lab these days.

“If you’re sure,” she said hesitantly on the other end of the phone. It wasn’t like the professor to let her slack for a day. His normal operational behavior was to ask her to stay overtime.

“I’m sure.”

She could almost see his smile on the other end. He was a handsome man and even though he was obsessed with his work, Chelsie still had hopes of distracting him sometime after he finished developing the general’s technology. She had been imagining him in her bed for months.

“Okay, then I will see you tomorrow. I hope you make progress today.” She wished she could get him to take a break. She could ask him to join her today for some time at the beach.

“See you tomorrow.”

She heard the line go dead. Well, maybe someday in the future…

*****

Nat scribbled notes in his journal. He had started to handwriting all his observations rather than trusting them to the computers supplied by the Committee. He didn’t think any password was strong enough to keep them out and his discovery was much too important to allow it to fall into just anyone’s hands.

Over the last week, he had made several observations after he convinced himself he was not losing his mind.

When the Shedu bumped him to one side, he figured out the limitations of the window he was making his observations through. He could step to his left, up to eighteen inches, without losing the image. He could not step back or forward at all, but he could step to his right fourteen inches and then forward six inches and regain the image. Once he was in this spot, the lab behind him disappeared and he was totally surrounded by the meadow.

When this happened the first time, he panicked and almost lost himself in what he now deemed to be a parallel or alternate world. Luckily, he had left footprints in the meadow grass and could retrace his steps to return to the lab.

He determined he had opened some sort of portal, but he was confused by the Shedu coming up from behind him the first day, seemingly from the lab. He had been so rattled that day that he had trouble putting down what actually happened and what he saw in his journal. The Shedu spoke to him. It had told him he was blocking the gate, but when he did master the courage to step through the portal again, he did not see a ‘gate’ when he looked back.

He fervently wished he could meet someone who might tell him where he was, but except for the Shedu, which had taken a bounding leap and then flown away, he had not seen anything other than insects. Even though his curiosity was almost overwhelming, he was frightened of straying more than a few feet from where he entered each time.

Today he took a page from cave explorer’s techniques. He was going to attach a line to a peg where he stepped through and then explore as far as his 400-foot ball of twine would take him. He had another ball in his lab coat pocket just in case he felt adventuresome and wanted to go another 400 feet.

It was a beautiful day when he stepped through. The sun was shining and he could hear birds today as well as insects. Nat pounded his metal tent stake into the ground with a couple of whacks of his journal. In the past, he tried to take pictures with his phone, but found that it would not function. Thinking it was loss of the network, he took in a camera, but that wouldn’t work either, so the journal was the only thing left in order to document his discovery. He opened it and jotted down basic observations before he started to unroll the twine.

His intention was to head for the rocks that looked like the Pipe Stone National Monument. If it turned out to be the Pipe Stones it would lead to more questions, but it would also give him some concrete answers in this weird world he had discovered.

*****

Ky shifted into his wolf-self and bound through the gate from Raven’s area of The Realms to the land of the Yeti and through another one to Nayenezghani’s. The Realms consisted of an infinite number of worlds connected by gates, which let you roam from one world to another. Some worlds had gatekeepers or sentries.

Raven used the role of gatekeeper as punishment for his coven members who refused to drink human blood. He stationed one at each gate with strict orders not to leave. He hoped keeping them at the gate, unable to hunt animals to quench their thirst, would eventually drive the vamps to attack a human passing through. Sometimes it worked. Most times it didn’t. The humans of The Realms, who tried to live in Raven’s area peacefully, usually saw to the needs of the vampires at the gates as a thank you for their perseverance.

Ky took up a position on a small rise he used for spotting game when he came here. The sun was gloriously warm on his coat and he lay down for a moment and just delighted in rolling in the tall grass. Nayenezghani kept his world clean and free of any humans who might pollute it in any way. The inhabitants were either Native American’s or descendants of Native Americans who knew the way of the land. Nayenezghani was strict with his leadership, but if you obeyed his rules of leaving no trace behind, he was a fair ruler. Half man, half wolf, and all hunter, he was Ky’s kind of leader.

The shifter had contemplated moving here at one point, but rejected the idea. Shifters were considered shamans and god-like in this region. Ky never wanted to be mistaken for a god. He had enough troubles just being a shifter.

Ky heard the howl of a wolf and then another joined in. He jumped to his feet and his ears pricked forward. He raised his head and howled a reply with a yep at the end that told them it was him. This was a pack he hunted with often. They all knew each other well. The alpha male was a large black brute that Ky had once saved. In order to accomplish that feat he had needed to shift to his human form, but the big wolf, Ky dubbed Jak, didn’t hold it against him. Jak’s mate was a beautiful albino with red eyes. She threw lovely black pups like her mate. In fact, the whole pack was black except for the white, Nila. When Ky joined in, his silver tipped grey looked like a mixture of the alpha pair. He often wondered if Nayenezghani thought the same when he looked down upon them.

Art by Kasia of DA



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