• NaNoWriMo 2016 – Wrong Exit – Week 3

    Sara gets angry over Dale’s sharing of the details of her relation with Caleb to the others. Dale starts to test his abilities.

    [Read More...]
  • NaNoWriMo 2016 – Wrong Exit – Week 1

    Dale contacts some friends to try and get help figuring out what he has stumbled into, and re-opens some old wounds in the process. The information he has posted on-line about the strange exit seems to have attracted some unwanted attention, and the mysterious woman from the exit returns.

    [Read More...]
  • NaNoWriMo 2016 – Wrong Exit – Week 0

    Dale Carter, a medical supply courier, takes a highway exit that leads to a place that doesn’t seem to exist.

    [Read More...]
  • Camp NaNoWriMo 2016 – Portals – Week 4

    Perry finds that no one has considered a psychological study of the teams on the far side of the Portals, but finds that they do regularly monitor all communications home. He and Peri are told to not talk to each other and to keep their observations to themselves, resulting in an unexpected but necessary arrangement to continue with their research.

    [Read More...]
  • Camp NaNoWriMo 2016 – Portals – Week 2

    Interlude – 12 years earlier Everyone knows about how the first portal was found, but it occurs to me that you, reading this, may not. Well, not about ours anyway. I know this is supposed to be my story but since I don’t know where you may be reading this, I probably should give some background as well. When we first found the first Portal we didn’t even know what it was. Some kayakers on the Columbia river were the first to see it, exposed by some recent erosion caused by the same rains that brought them to the surging rapids in the first place. They apparently crawled all over the ring without anything happening. Anyway, they wound up posting pictures and video of the ring on-line. Others started stopping along the river to take selfies with it as well. Eventually someone in authority noticed and sent someone out to look at it. It was on the Canadian side of the river and after a few months a team from Montreal showed up. They didn’t notice anything about it beyond the fact that it was obviously man-made and obviously quite old. With nothing else obvious they contacted the Squamish, the First People’s tribe from the area. The Squamish didn’t immediately recognize anything about it either. It was obviously artificial and obviously pre-dated the European arrival in the Americas, but it was nothing they recognized. They took custody of it and the pedestal it had apparently stood on and immediately put

    [Read More...]
  • Camp NaNoWriMo 2016 – Portals – Week 1

    Day 1 The quad landed in the courtyard of what I would have guessed was an old British castle back home, but here it was somewhere in what would have been upstate New York. As the engines whined down I could hear the other quad coming in behind us as well as some music blaring from somewhere in the castle. I guess the weird silence here got to everyone. I adjusted my dust mask as the pilot popped the canopy. She was a skinny black woman who had spent the entire trip with a pair of earbuds plugged into her ears, nodding along with something playing on an archaic iPod. I had talked to her long enough to learn that her name was Dierdra but that was about it, After that I had done nothing but stare out at the dust-covered landscape as we flew the several hours north towards the site, over surprisingly intact cities sitting alone and uninhabited amidst empty stretches of blowing dust. Still nodding to the music, she pointed towards an entrance to one side of the courtyard where several people were exiting and walking towards us. “Thanks for the lift!” I said. I’m not sure she heard me. She was already engaged with dragging a charging cable over from the solar array back to the quad. I grabbed my pack from behind the seat, wincing as I did. My muscles had cramped up during the several hours in the quad after all the work I

    [Read More...]
  • One Thing Left to Do

    The pounding on the hatch had stopped. I hoped that the rest of the crew had given up, or that whatever was happening to them had completed and they were no longer interested in getting in. Then a bright spot appeared above the door. Apparently there was another cutter on board somewhere and they were now cutting through the door I had welded shut. “What are we going to do!”, Anna shouted again. She had been repeating the same question over and over for the past hour. I was getting tired of hearing it. I turned away from the door to look at her. The infection, or whatever it was, was spreading. Her left arm where she had been bitten was now unrecognizable as a human’s. Longer, thinner and with green scales covering it. Claws on her fingertips. I noticed the the greenish coloration of her face, the first scales starting to appear on her neck. Her eyes had turned yellow and a bulge had appeared at the base of her spine. I didn’t know how long she would last. I looked down at my own hand. It too was scaly, the tips of my fingers protruding claws. And I could now hear it in the back of my mind. Whispering. “Relax, it was saying. “Let it happen. Everything will be fine. No more pain. No more confusion. No more worry. Just relax. I shook it off. “We need to blow the drive.” I said. “What!” she turned to me,

    [Read More...]
  • Loophole

    I had just come in from the garage carrying the grocery bag when I saw him. “Sorry Doctor.” he said, pointing what looked like a gun made out of glass at me. “I can’t let this happen.” He squeezed the grip. Nothing happened. I sighed and stepped around him into the kitchen, putting the bag on the counter. He looked at the gun then pointed and squeezed it at me again. More nothing happened. He yelled in frustration and threw the gun at me. He missed and the gun bounced off the side of the refrigerator. “Watch it!” I said, getting annoyed. “You could break something.” He yelled again and charged at me but tripped over the leg of a chair. He hit the ground hard and lay there unmoving. I sighed again and started putting the groceries away. Some minutes later I had finished and was looking in the back of the refrigerator to see if I had any beer left when I heard him groan. I looked over to see him push himself up into a sitting position. He looked around and saw me then staggered to his feet. “How?” he asked finally. “What did you do?” “Nothing.” I said, popping the tab on the beer. “No need to. I figured that out a while back.” He paused. “What do you mean?” I leaned back against the counter. “Who do you think I am?” I asked him. That seemed to startle him. “You’re Henry Armstrong, right? The physicist?”

    [Read More...]
  • Welcome Aboard

    Ian and I were working on the irrigation units on the north wall when we saw the trader pass overhead. Just the contrail of re-entry, but we knew it meant they would be landing soon. We left the pump half-disassembled and headed down and across the Gash. We knew the rest of the town would be heading for the pad as well. It would be several days before things returned to their routine so no one would be paying attention to the lower water pressure for a while. The lifts were already up so we had to take the Thousand Steps to the top of the south rim and by the time we finished the climb the trader had already settled onto the flat expanse of compacted dirt that served as our starport, though the only real way to distinguish it from the rest of the plain was the array of antenna and sensor domes surrounding it. Most of the population was already there, watching as the automs brought the scheduled cargoes out of the hold and carried them to the lifts that would lower them to the valley floor. Then came the market goods, the things that everyone had come to see and trade for. I watched the crowd as they moved among the tables the trader’s crew had put out. We mostly had items of glass to trade; when you live on a world of sand your manufacturing options are limited. The crew took what we had, carefully

    [Read More...]
  • The Shadow War – Part 2 – (Tales from The Secret World)

    I woke up to find myself strapped to a table. I struggled to get up which brought the other occupant of the room running. “Whoa! Whoa, whoa! Don’t try to get up!” I looked at him, confused. For some reason all I could think of was Doc Brown from the Back to the Future movies. “What…?” I managed to get out. I hadn’t recovered from the blow to the head yet and everything was still fuzzy. “Who…?” The man laughed. “Just relax. You’re feeling the effects of the neurochemicals we’ve pumped into you.” “Neuro… what!” I struggled to get up again. “Calm down!” the man said. “I’m a doctor. You’re completely safe. Probably. I think.” He stopped long enough to take a breath from an inhaler he carried and shook his head. “Whoa! This is exciting!” My head was still fuzzy but I took a deep breath and tried again. “Where am I?” I got out finally. “And what is going on? Who are you?” The man nodded. “Good. Good.” He looked over his shoulder at a console of some kind. “Patient is responding.” He then looked back at me. “You’re in the Eye. Illuminati HQ. You’re lucky; most people who wander in here don’t get to leave. Well, not the same way they entered. Anyway, you are very lucky. You have been given an Anima infusion. Not many people can say that.” His eyes focused on the distance for a moment. “If only we’d had people like you around

    [Read More...]