Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Alton One: Chapter 16

Even over the whir of the wind over the bed of the truck, Mike could hear the boy's slow, deep breaths as he sleeps sound.  Not even the bumps, turns, twists, and stress wakes him, and thank God.  Mike crosses his chest, and says, aloud:
"Our father, who art in Heaven, hallowed by thy name.  They kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in Heaven.  Give us this day, our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us; and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. Amen." 
He crossed himself again, and closed his eyes.  Lying on his back, he could feel the truck was still moving at a high rate of speed.  They were closing in on Manistee fast.  He opened his eyes and saw the sign of the Shell gas station buzz past, and he now knew they were half way on the 20 mile trek.  They would be just passing Fountain Road. 

He had time.  He looked at his iPhone, and pressed the icon for Lance's blog. 

I had that dream again last night.  You know, the one where I'm a rattlesnake slithering down a long and winding road.  I'm running from something, and don't know what.  All I know is it's something really bad and I can't let them catch me.  I come to a skull and squeeze between loose teeth.  Once inside I coil into a ball, and peer out through the nose, praying the whatever it is doesn't see me.  I can see human-like feet, although I know they aren't human.  I hear them shouting, and I feel my heart thumping. They are so close, so capable of seeing me if they look right, although for some reason I feel a sense of comfort.

This is when I wake up.  About a year ago I looked up this dream on the Internet. A snake is most often interpreted as a bad omen, a skull often symbolizes death and evil, and running may represent my attempt ot escape from something.  Well, I see what I might wish to escape, although I know if I do that I might be caught and either killed or forced to be a slave among the Sassa Guarrd.  I am told my Tsatso that you do not want to live on Sassa.  It is the most dark, gloomy, bloody, and horrifying place in the world.  He says he lived there during his childhood, and had many horrifying stories to tell.  I shared this story with you once before, if you care to check it out by clicking here.  Understand, however, that the people in the story are not people, but Altonians.  (The little boy is really Tsatso, but I won't reveal that until later)

The only difference between the dream last night and the one's I've been having the past several years is this time when I woke up my heart hasn't stopped racing.  I also feel really short of breath, as though the air is depleted of oxygen.  So I checked the oxygen meter a few hours ago, and it's reading 20,000 PSI.  When calculated for flow and time, I figure I have about 12 hours remaining, or, actually, less than that now.  I will explain my present situation in few hours, but first I have a few things I have to do.

I remember the class reading "Tell Tale Heart" when I was in high school and the teacher interpreting that beating of the heart of the dead as one’s conscience beating away at the living until the truth be told. And, even though the hero of Poe’s tale had committed what he considered the perfect crime, and had deposited the remains in the perfect place, the dead man still found justice in the end.

Evil is everywhere today; I can feel it in my bones. If Edgar Allen Poe were alive today he’d be right in the middle of his game; his own mind. This is the king of darkness, fear, dread, melancholy that he loved to write about. Yet it was the same kind of melancholy he yearned to escape in his real life.  I think the ironic thing about Poe's writings was that he wrote more about what he was trying to escape.  It was almost as though he yearned for more.

Not me. I hate this. I hate the darkness, the not knowing, the evil that lingers in the night and, as it now seems to be, the day. Evil is everywhere, including down there in Ludington, Scottville, and Manisttee. The rest of the world seems to be free from the Sassa Guard.  They only want what's where you are.  They onlyi want you, and Sarah, and other people it seems to need to continue this quest of theirs to take over Alton.  Now I'm not quite sure what they are looking for on earth, although I have a pretty good idea.  It has something, if not everything, to do with things that have happened in the past.  If things ultimately come full circle, then this is full circle.  What comes around is now all the way around.

I don’t want to imply that Mason and Manistee counties are evil, it's just that something evil happened down their a couple thousand years ago.  I remember when I was a kid reading about people finding dinosaur bones.  I remember you and me going for long walks in your back yard, way out beyond your parent's property, hoping to come across some dinosaur bones or something that would link to the past.  And we'd call the newspaper and become famous, maybe even get on TV.

After we hunted for something for several days in a row, on those long summer days when I spent the weeks at your house, we eventually came to the reality, although never admitting it out loiud, that it was so rare for someone to find a skeleton, dinosaur or human, just by walking amid nature.  Those kinds of things didn't happen, especially when you wanted them to.  They only happened when you weren't expecting them, and if you happened to be in the right place at the right time.  Well, it appears there was something under our nose the entire time, it's just we were looking in the wrong places.

So here's my journal excerpt.  Hopefully you can get enough of it down before your next journey.  In the meantime, here is an excerpt from my journal I've kept since my arrival here.  This should explain my situation a little better for you.  Good luck!  God Bless!  Lance Goodman.

Mike looked up at the blue sky, and watched as couple birds fluttered aimlessly and quickly flew out of view behind some trees alongside the road.  He looked to see if he could see Lance or Tsatso in the sky, but there was nothing, not even a cloud.  You'd think if he saw it in Scottville he'd still be able to see it, but it simply wasn't there.  Or, at least he couldn't see it.  They seemed to have the ability to make things seem invisible, and then visible when they wanted.  Or, perhaps it wasn't intentional.  It was just so awkward what was happeing, what had happened, that it was hard to even think about; reason about.

So what was it Lance was referring to.  He texted something similar to this. What was it that was in Manisttee that Lance wanted him to find; something Tsatso mentioned so many years back.  He couldn't think of a thing. 

Current Date:  January 11, 2013
Date Written:  January 1, 2013
Name:  Lance Goodman
Location:  Alton One
Subject:  Journal

Here I am, up here, aboard a hijacked Alton One. Tsatso was not supposed to allow me to keep this blog because it's against Alton law, but Tsatso told me he had "powers above the law," and that is why I am able to keep this.  I will save it as a draft and publish it later, but at least it is here.  If something happens to me Mike has my passwords, so hopefully he will be able to find it some day.  If not, my story will be lost, and i will go down as just another person who disappeared for inexplicable reasoning.  So, without further adieu, here is my story.  I like to call it:  Alton One.

Technically speaking, they (the Altonians aboard Alton One) had no idea Tsatso was communicating with me prior to the point the Altonians realized they needed me. Of course, the sagacious Tsatso knew this all along -- that I would be needed to save Alton. Honestly, I have no idea how he could possibly have know, but apparently this has something to do with why he's been communicating with me for all these years.  I am to believe that the the experiences I told you about were actually Tsato's attempts to communicate with me.  I know, this sounds bad, yet he said it was the only way he could do it without getting caught.  He had some kind of insight. If I could go back, I'd ask a few more questions about this.  If only I could go back.

So the Altonians figured it anomalous that I wished to communicate with such ’Distant life.’" Not Tsatso of course, but his friends.  They couldn't figure out why I'd want to continue my relations with earth.  After all, it's never happened before.  However, there was no Internet before either.  And there never was a situation exactly like this before either.  This, as they say, is a new road to be plowed.

So here I am, in the office of Tsatso aboard Alton One.  One of my favorite objects in this room is an old-fashioned alarm clock from the 1950s.  It's an earth clock.  I asked Tsatso if he brought it on board from the time when he was a messenger, but he said no.  He said it was brought to Alton by one of the subjects.

Okay, I have so much to say I don't know where to begin.  I'll describe Tsatso in a while.  I will explain all that stuff about messengers and subjects and the like.  I imagine I'll have plenty of time for that before we return to Alton (or go to Alton, in my case).

So Tsatso's clock sits on the backside of his desk (pushed right up against the window) where it has stayed the past 50 years. He says he winds it once a day first thing in the morning and, thus, it has never stopped its ticking so far as he knows.  Tsatso has given me the job of winding it, and as I sit here I can hear the audible tick, tick, tick, tick as the red second hand moves round and round.  That ticking being my subtle reminder of where I come from. Two silver bells on its top chime had the alarm ever been set, but Tsatso said he never heard the alarm go off. He also said he hoped he never would; whatever that meant.

When I first arrived here and saw that clock, I wondered why he would want it, and I never asked either. Then, as time went by (no pun intended), I realized the importance of this clock: It was part of his job. Not his job on the ship, but his job of being an Alton Guard patriot first, rather than...

Okay, hold on, this is what I mean by having too much to say.  I got ahead of myself already.  Anyway, to put things in perspective, I’m not sure I’ll be able to keep the clock going much longer. Tsatso says something will happen soon, and I’m not sure what.

The most awesome thing about being up here, as I tried to describe in my last post, is looking out at Planet Earth.  Tsatso's room here is one of many hundreds.  The wall to the outside is one giant one way window, and it allows him to have a splended view of space.  Okay, so I don't want to spend my time here describing earth, as I'm sure you can see many pictures of it on the Internet.  Although, I have to admit, there's nothing that compares to see it in real time for yourself.  This, I have to say, is, oh man, so awesome.

Okay, so, you'd think Tsatso would have access to ebooks or things like that.  I mean, he does, but he also has some real books here.  He says writing on Alton has a similar path to earth, and for many thousands of years the only means of writing was through scrolls and eventually books.  I have a ton of books at my disposal that I just can’t get enough of. There's hundreds on the book shelf by the door.  Tsatso loves books as much as I do.

Let’s see, there’s the "History of Alton", "Alton and Earth: A comparison analysis", "Miracle the Time Warp", "The Cosmos", "Earth History: What the Altonians Know, "Earth History: What the humans know,"
That last one is our history, but Tsatso says it has a ton more information in it compared to one of our own history books written by our historians.  Some day I'd like to read it.  But so far I've found the history of earth, what the Altonians know, far more interesting.  I have trouble putting it down.  Between picking Tsatso's brain and reading these books, I find little time for writing.  However, I know writing here is important.

Yesterday I spend eight hours in a row reading without eating, drinking or even taking a pee.  Yes, it's that interesting, at least to me.  Speaking of eating, food here is made in a machine and it basically comes out as mush. There’s breakfast mush, lunch mush, afternoon mush and before bed mush. And to tell you the truth, it tastes like mush too. I'm not too impressed with Altonian food.  Tsatso says it's not like this on Alton, and if I were allowed to venture to the cafeteria I'd get to enjoy real Altonian food, although Tsatso has yet to allow me to do this.  So instead I'm stuck eating mush.

When I first came on board Alton One, Tsatso told me I was personally selected by him to spend time on Alton. He said I had a choice, but once I left for Alton I could never return to Earth. But, the terms of our agreement have since changed, so now I don’t know what’s going to happen. It seems there some sort of conflict on this ship.  He says something is happening that he doesn't like.  Although, he said, he's suspected, and planned, for such an event.  And, he says this has something to do with my visit.  He says I can help.  I'm not sure how yet.  That's something he will explain to me, he says, in due time.

Yet I can tell you that I was given the option to go with Tsatso.  He in no way "kidnapped me."  He gave me the option of going with him back to Alton.  He said Alton One's mission was complete, and it was time to go home.  So we made it to a space station outside Alton in about 72 days, and to me that was amazingly quick considering the great distance between the two planets. However, upon a mandatory inspection, Alton One was denied landing rights on Alton, and was forced to refuel at Space Station Alton and head back to Earth.

I really have no idea why this happened to such a respected ship as this, except perhaps it had something to do with the talk of war on Alton. Tsatso told me the Altonians had re-established peace, and was assured it would be long lasting again. Otherwise, he said, he never would have allowed me to go on the journey with him back to Alton.

On the way back to Earth he didn’t talk to me much about this, it seemed to be a sore spot for him. I’m certain he knew more about what was going on, though, than he let on to me. Perhaps he felt he had let me down.

My guess, however, it that the Sassa Guard (which Tsatso often refers to simply as the miscreants), had become fed up with the Alton Guard and sent out all their forces. Lord knows there had been Sassa spies among the good guys all along. I imagine Tsatso had an inkling this was going on. However, I don’t think he knew the extent of their plan (to state the obvious). When he did figure it out, it was too late, and he was forced to leave his home of 50 years (his home being here on Alton One by earth).

It must have been while the main crew was off Alton One relaxing in one of the Alton Space Station’s 250 luxury rooms, or dining in one of its fine cafeterias or clubs, that miscreants, already surreptitiously among the crew, set Grassa gas bombs (which release a gas that causes severe flu like symptoms and lasts for several days) inside the ventilating system. That Alton One was forced to return to Earth was as much of a shock to them, I think, as it was to us; but, nonetheless, they proceeded with their plan.

I left Tsatso’s quarters am on my way to the Captain Zaquastin’s quarters to have a meeting with Tsatso and the captain, when Tsatso and his private staff came running down the hall yanking me with them toward an escape room. In the rush I'm separated from Tsatso.  There's an explosion, and I'm hit hard in the head, and fall to the ground.

I wake and find myself in the hall of the spaceship.  I sit up and see a bunch of dead Altonians.  The escape room has no capsule, and I pray Tsatso was able to make it away safetly.  I must have been left for dead.  I make my way to the only place I know, and that's Tsatso's quarters.  Outside his door is a keyboard, and I enter the password.  I will not tell you what that is -- Lord no.  That password is the only thing keeping me safe for now.

I’m not sure what happened to the other "good guys" aboard Alton One. I imagine they either escaped as Tsatso did, or have become slaves. Or, perhaps many (if not all) have been killed. I have no way of really telling.  So, here I am, this time aboard a hijacked Alton One.

Current Date:  January 11, 2013
Date Written: January 11, 2013
Name:  Lance Goodman
Location:  Alton One
Subject:  Journal

I can’t imagine they know I’m in here, Tsatso said not even the scanners they use to detect life forms can penetrate these walls. You’d think I’d feel safe, but I don’t. That constant noise they make in trying to get in here is as consistent as the ticking of Tsatso’s clock, a constant reminder of the evil so close to where I sit.

Somehow, though, I’ve managed to keep my sanity despite my present situation. I do it by reading (lots) and writing, and do it by occupying my mind on some way to get out of this room and off this ship. So far everything I think of would result in my immediate demise if I failed. Then again, doing nothing would also result in death. So, you can see my dilemma.

I do have access to something in here that the miscreants probably know about, and of which I can use to destroy them.  However, I have a few things I must do before that time.  I have a few things -- WE have a few things, WE have to do.  We have 11 hours.

I give up on any chance for me: at some point they will get me.  However, as I watch the people on earth, I find a speck of hope.   Yes I can zoom in.  I'll get to that in a moment.

Current Date:  January 11, 2013
Date Written:  January 2, 2013
Name:  Lance Goodman
Location:  Alton One
Subject:  Journal

So here I sit, all alone in Tsatso’s quarters aboard Alton One. It’s quite cozy, actually. I mean, I have this nice leather recliner made just for me, for all their furniture is way too small. Sitting in their stuff is like an adult going to an elementary school and having to sit in the kid-sized chairs at kid-sized desks.

Speaking of desks, this room has this capacious desk with all sorts of computerized, futuristic looking gadgets at my disposal (futuristic to your and my eyes anyway). And when I look out from my desk I can see the most beautiful object in the history of the universe in all its shining glory: The planet Earth. Again, I could spend hours writing about that.

This whole place is amazing. The whole wall is one big window, which curves inward at the top. It’s as though I’m sitting right out in space with the sole job of watching Earth in its abundance. I can totally understand why Tsatso chose to do this rather than captain Alton One as his ancestors had done for so many years. It’s like I’m living in a dream, only I’m not dreaming.  I pinch myself all the time and nothing seems to change.

To the right and left of the window are ribs that go all the way to the other side of the room. Between them, there are more ribs about a foot apart. In the middle of the ceiling, on one of the ribs, there is a rainbow colored object, circular, and about a foot in diameter. It is this object that somehow provides light for the room. Quite frankly, I have no idea the technology that makes it work. Some day, if I survive, I aim to find out.

As I sit here at the desk, a Tsatso-sized recliner next to mine, and look to my right I see the solid white wall. The wall to my back side, while it looks to be a solid white wall at first sight, actually has three doors on it. The wall to my left has three large machines that produce food, water and oxygen: the essentials of life. Also along this wall, between the desk and the oxygen machine, is a door which leads to an elevator and an escape hatch below. (I’d use this to escape, but..., well, I’ll get to this later.)

On the right side of the desk is a big red dial, when I touch it the same image seen out the window is projected onto the wall to my right, which I determined is actually one giant computer screen. By moving the dial left or right I’m able to zoom out and view the earth from far greater distances than is possible from the present position of the craft, or zoom in closer and closer to Earth. I can zoom in so close that I can literally read the print of an old newspaper lying in the backyard of my parent's house.  I can see my good friend Mike Rove lying in the grass next to it.  His eyes are shut.  The sun beats down on his face.  I can only imagine what's on his mind.

That’s right, Mike. You were Tsatso’s job. Tsatso had been watching you no matter where you were on Earth for each of the past five years of your life. Likewise, he spied on Sarah and me too. If you don’t believe me, you go to the hospital and get x-rays done of your body; you’ll see a chip somewhere. And I’m not joking about this either.

Remember the dreams you told me about where you were lying in your bed late at night and this thin, white creature with big black eyes came into your room and touched your forehead. I remember you told me you’d wake up so scared you couldn't get back to sleep. Well, those dreams were regarding veritable events. You were having those dreams because your subconscious mind was reliving what your conscious mind was programmed to forget.

I’m not trying to scare you; I’m merely preparing you, Mike. There are things you need to know, things you need to do. I’m beginning to think that perhaps my being here at this moment is more than a mere coincidence. Even if it’s not, it’s this optimistic thinking that keeps me going amid the underlying dread of my present position.

If the hair on the back of your neck is standing straight up right now and that warm tingly sensation running up your spine, I felt the same way when I learned about this. Heck, I had that feeling several times a day since the time I saw that first message on my screen and learned that Tsatso was coming to my living room to pick me up. Sometimes what I learned would amaze me, and other times what I learned would throw me into a state of trepidation (utter fear). When I learned that we all had been abducted, it made me rethink my whole life.  I will get into the kidnappings later, if I get time.

Is it perhaps true that Tsatso is responsible for us being friends in the first place, or was that a mere coincidence? From some of the research I did it appears that alien abductions may even be genetic in a way, whereas the Altonians like to do genetic research. I can’t really go into details about this research because my knowledge of it is miniscule. If I ever get out of this alive, and Tsatso is alive yet, perhaps he’d be willing to share his knowledge with you guys. Then again, he’s been an ardent supporter of not educating Earth people beyond what they already known.  H said history has proven too much information too early can cause more problems than it's worth, and history proves it.

Current Date:  January 11, 2013
Date Written:  January 3, 2013
Name:  Lance Goodman
Location:  Alton One
Subject:  Journal

I suppose I can take you back in time and explain that the Altonians had actually arrived on Earth about 2,500 years ago (however, some accounts have it going back 3000 years). The way they got here to Earth was a miracle, or, better yet, a mere coincidence.

According to "A History of Alton" by Mildamoasa Quassar (1), Queen Mestimoglio was ruler of the Altonians and has gone down in Altonian history as the most famous Altonian rulers of all time. She was a very good queen, and was determined to move Alton forward into the future. She was also a very open minded and fair ruler who was more than willing to change policy if someone could convince her she was wrong. Likewise, she wanted to hear about new ideas and technologies; and was more than willing to allocate money to any project that would increase knowledge; and make Alton a more prominent nation.

That’s where Tsatso comes into the story. Well, not Tsatso personally, but one of his distant, great grandparents named Tsatsilato. As a matter of fact, from what Tsatso told me, Tsatso is short for Tsatsilato. Anyway, Tsatsilato was the son of a famous Altonian philosopher named Remus who was on very good terms with the queen because of his ideas regarding the cosmos.

While people on Earth were busy burning down Greek and Roman libraries and places of learning, and while Church officials prevented commoners from gaining knowledge, philosophers and scientists on Alton were encouraged to do just the opposite. Sure some of them met with opposition (some even executed), but those times were over and done once Queen Mestimoglio came upon the throne. She was, as they say, the Queen of Knowledge and Wisdom.

Working with the theories of various other Altonian historical figures, Tsatsilato determined that Alton was round and that it revolved around the Statson, which is their sun. Likewise, he dedicated his entire life to learning the truth about the stars, the planets and the Alton satellite (which they call Mont). They also learned about the other eight planets in the Altonian solar system, and a ninth planet which they also called Pluto, although, like on our planet, there was always a debate as to whether or not it was really a planet.  It's reading things like this that make me think that perhaps the Altonians had some influence on the name Pluto.  And I'm not just referring to the planet either, I'm also referring to the dog Pluto.

Tsatsilato was as amazed and excited about the cosmos as his dad, only he wasn’t just interested in coming up with new discoveries and theories, he wanted to actually travel out into space. So, with funds from the Queen, he built a magnanimous space station and a space ship. (Just to put this into perspective, Altonians 2000 years ago traveled around on horseback and had no electricity in their homes. Quite frankly, life on Alton was not much different from Earth. Actually, it still isn't.  As I get time I'll delve into all this).

Twenty years it took him to finish his work, and during that time the infamous dinner meetings continued. He was not a great communicator like his dad was, but he was a smart man and wanted to stay in the good graces of the Queen.

Finally, in the Earth year of 20 AD, Tsatsilato sent a message to the Alton Queen that her ship was complete, and instead of meeting her at the palace he requested that she come to see her space station and the launch of her space ship.

When the queen arrived Tsatsilato gave the Queen a Royal tour of the Great Space Center and all its magnificence. He then offered a feast to the queen and her 17 royal followers. When all were done eating Tsatsilato lead them out into the courtyard where 60,000 individuals had turned out to see the launch of the Great Ship.

To a cocophony of cheers, she said: "I dedicate this Space station to the honorable Queen Mestimoglio," As she spoke, the cheering stopped, and every ear was directed at the loving queen.  "I wish to allow my friend Tsatsilato describe this home."

Tsatsilato spoke loudly before the crowd. "This space center is not mine, it belongs to the Queen and all her glory. Therefore, I dedicate it to her and, henceforth, it shall be named The Moglio Space Center."

The crowd bellowed, "Hail the Queen" and "Hail the Moglio".

Tsatsilato continued: "In great dedication to Queen Mestimoglio, I dedicate her ship as the Mest. My firsts journey in the Queen Mest will be to the Mont and back, and I will leave at this time tomorrow."

At this moment, a series of Blists flew overhead.  These are men with Blist wings attached to their arms that are light, and as they are flapped, and the feet pedaling powers an engine, they fly.  I found this fascinating, because I know that Michelangelo drew up designs that must have been eerily similar to the Blist.  I wonder what would have happened to earth history if Michelangelo had more time to finish his project.  I wonder if earth history may have taken the same spin as Alton.

Tsatsilato continues:  "Everything I do I do for the Queen, and I will make sure I bring back plenty of gold for Her Majesty of Alton."

Of course there was no gold on the Mont, but just like ancient Earth societies had superstitions, silly false gods and fables they believed as true, so too did the Altonians. And, however silly this may sound, the (ancient) Altonians believed the Mont was made of gold.

The next day a crowd of over 100,000 packed solid into the courtyard around where the Mest was stationed and ready for take off. There were so many that late comers had barely any chance of seeing anything at all until the ship finally took off.

The crowd yelled "Long live the Queen" and "Go Mest" and (as was the favorite of the Queen) "Alton is the future". And, finally, with "ooos" and "ahhhs" from the crowd, a plume of exhaust and the roar of engines, and a rumble of the ground, the Queen Mest slowly lifted off; and all eyes intently followed her until it was a tiny speck in the distance and finally disappeared into the clear blue Altonian sky.

According to Quassar, "it was the most magnificent moment in the history of Alton. Just as the Queen had wanted, it was an event that shaped the future." (2)

Tsatsilato and his crew of nine did intend on traveling to the Mont and back, but the journey ultimately took them beyond the Mont to a place in time and space that no one at that time had ever even imagined existed. And this is where the miracle I was talking about comes into play.

The Mest never made it to its destination. Just as the ship was closing in on the Mont it seemed to have vanished into thin air; all contact with the space center was broken. It was assumed that the space project had been a failure. The queen was saddened, but she was also quite irritated that so much money had gone into a futile project. She immediately cut off all funding of this and any other future space projects.

Tsatsilato’s staff never stopped trying to regain contact with the Mest, and it turned out to be a worthwhile effort. Exactly 102 days after it disappeared, the Mest was right back where it had started, in the courtyard outside the Queen’s space station.

Quassar writes that Tsatsilato never intended to land on the moon, "as a matter of fact, he just kept right on going as though the Mont were just a minor attraction. But the reason contact was broken was because the Mest somehow ended up 6.5 million light years away not far from a planet we soon would learn is called Mars."

Think about this for a minute, the Mest traveled from Alton to Mars and back to Alton in less than four months. To put this in perspective, a 6.5 million light year journey would take 6.5 million years to complete. This seems an impossible event, does it not? Well, it’s not impossible. I will explain.

You see, this is where the miracle (or mere coincidence) I mentioned earlier comes into play. As it turns out, not far beyond the Mont, the Mest ran right through a warp zone. If you ever read the book "A Wrinkle in Time by Madeline L'Engleyou'll know what I'm talking about. A warp zone is almost a place where time is wrinkled, so as you enter from point be, point c is only a short distance away, as opposed to many light years.

Let me describe this another way and then I want to move on. Take a piece of paper. Put a dot on the far right side, and lace a dot on the far left side. Now draw a line between the two, and write 6.5 million light years on the line. That's how far and long you'd have to travel to get from one dot to the other -- 6.5 million years. When you are on one dot, if you see the other, you are basically seeing that planet 6.5 million years in the past. If you want to see the present, you'd basically have to travel 6.5 million earth years into the future.

Or, you'd have to travel for 6.5 million years at the speed of light. It was the case with the Mest, you could travel through a warp zone. I will describe it this way. Now take that paper and place your thumbs over each dot.  Bend the middle of the paper so that that your two thumbs, which are right over the dots, are side by side.  Now the two dots are close to each other.

Now to get from one dot to the other you only have to travel a short distance.  This is what a time warp is; a wrinkle in time.  By folding the paper as such, you have created a wrinkle in time; a warp machine.  n a way, this wrinkle allowed the Mest to travel from one dot (Alton) to the other dot (Earth) in less than a month.  The warp zone has since been named (and rightly so) Miracle.

Thus, it was a Miracle that led the Altonians to Earth. Completely invisible to the naked and the aided eye, the only way one would find a warp zone would be by mere coincidence.  Neat story hey. I don’t know if it’s true, but it’s one of the stories I read about in "History of Alton" yesterday. I imagine it is true, though, because that's the only way I can think that Alton One would be able to travel to Earth from Alton in one person's lifetime, and then back to Alton.

  1. Quassar, Mildamoasa, "A History of Alton," 1743, volume II, Milosa, Altonian Historical University, pages 667-732
  2. Quassar, ibid, page 669

Current Date:  January 11, 2013
Date Written:  January 4, 2013
Name:  Lance Goodman
Location:  Alton One
Subject:  Journal

I have many more stories I’d love to tell about life on Alton and its history. I always figured they’d be so much more advanced than we are. Granted their space program is superior to ours, but some things of ours are far superior to theirs.

For instance, in "The History of Sassa," which is written by anonymous authors, probably Altonians (which makes the history kind of speculative) historian Mistoosha walks along a stone path along the edge of a river.  the path is wide enough so that three horse and buggies can ride side by side.  But as he closes in on the city of Sassoon, the road gradually becomes narrow.  The way the Sassafrass trees loop over the road, it's like being inside a tunnel.  Even if the sun is shining, lights are needed to travel through this.

Yet after a few miles in darkness, the road becomes narrow, and the woods thin.  The blazing sun shines off the golden steeples of the towers in the distance, barely visible over a huge gate the lines a mile long bridge across the river.  Mistoosha orders that his men dismount their horses and lead the animals across the bridge as to not scare the Sassoonians.  He knows very little about them, but he does know that they are very gruff, rapacious people.  He has to visit them because he wants to write an accurate history of them.  In return, he's hoping they will take knowledge he has to offer about the Altonians.

Eight large, stone arches extend from inside the river and tower high.  Ropes splayed between the arches make for a magnanimous artifact.  On the sides of the road is a stone wall the height of about three Altonians.  So you can see, getting a view of Sassoon without actually being inside the border is nearly impossible.  One cannot go into the water, as it is full of Gatorfalls, which are creatures similar to yet way larger than Aligators on earth.

The stone wall curves in as the path narrows, and leads the travelers to the bridge.  At the base stand three armed Sassonian soldiers.  They wear black tights, and carry Splissopoons, which are basically large laser guns with very accurate and deadly aims.  The guards are shorter than the Altonians, although they are quite deadly.  If you don't have good communicating skills, or something useful to offer, you are killed.  So Mistoosha must have faith he has a good product to trade for his demand for history.  He must also have settled all his affairs back home in case he never comes back.  And, chances are, he never will.

The massive golden gate that expands in the middle of the bridge.  As the travelers approach, Mistoosha is leading the way, and he is not walking his horse.  While the other stand back, he walks up to the guards, and bows.  This is what he believes is the appropriate introduction.  He crisscrosses his arms across his stomach, and says, "I am Mistoosha, and these are my men.  I have knowledge of the Altonians to offer.  I bring you wisdom so you can conquer them.  In exchange, I want to learn your history."

There must have been a sigh of relief as the gate started to open.  The soldiers moved to the side, and Mistoosha can see that a series of pulleys are attached to oxen, who are working hard to pull the gate up.  As he steps forward, he can see building upon building lining the path.  Some are two stories, some are way taller.  Some are only one story, and each of these have potted plants in boxes under their windows.  These were homes where the women lived.  The larger buildings were shops where products were made, or as we would call them, large industrial factories.  Smoke billowed from many of them, polluting the air.  The smell of sulffa was strong.

In the distance, to the right or left, as far as the eye could see, so long as no forest of trees was blocking the view, were houses stacked side by side.  They were made of mud-brick, and each was surrounded by a mud-brick fence so that there was a small courtyard for every homeowner.  In the courtyard was a fire pit, a larger fireplace, and tables.  There were no chairs.  This was where the women spent their days, cooking and taking care of the equipment the men needed to fight their battles, or perform their work in the shops.  At night the men slept in beds in the small houses, and the women returned to their homes.  Children lived in special schools until they were 18, and they were run very strictly (you can get a small taste of this by clicking here).

Finally they are at a place on the road where neat looking square buildings, all made of a yellow rock, the same rock that the path was made of, that had signs on them.  These, he imagined, were the shops, and above them were apartments where the shopkeepers lived, or where their guests stayed.  These apartments were also reserved for official visitors, and this is where Mistoosha figures he and his men will be housed.

Finally the travelers are far enough along the path that they can see what they came to see: the temples, museum, library, and the castle that housed the Queen of Sassa.  The castle stood high up on a hill so that it was more magnificent than even the temples to the Sassa gods.  It was and coluseum, and the museum, and library, and other amazing and interesting structures.

To approach the Acropolis, which is what the beautiful structures on the hill were called, one had to dismount animals and approach on foot.  It was also advised that only one person at a time approach.  When more than one person approaches, this is seen as intimidating and arrogant.  One man, or one alien, or one visitor, was seen as humbling and giving of himself fully to the Queen.  It also made it easier for the pat down. If you had any weapons on you, even a pencil, you were beaten by hand until you were dropped to the ground, and then you were thrown into the prison that was on the other side of the castle, and on Sunday you were thrown into the Lions Den of the colosseum in front of over 30,000 spectators, and the Queen and all her followers.  If you were lucky, the King would be there to send out weapons for you to try to defend yourself, but he only made sparing appearances when he thought you had something that may benefit him.

I also have a ton of knowledge about Earth and it’s history. Did you know the ancient Greeks invented a computer in 150 BC, and a few years later, in 142 BC, a rocket was built and successfully launched? I mean, if this is true, then why didn't the Romans invent a rocket way back when Jesus was roaming the Earth?  Why wasn't the computer invented so many years ago?  Such were invented in Alton, and is the reason for this amazing progress in time, at least as far as technology was concerned.  Although on Sassa, such technology was feared and outlawed.  Anyone bringing in anything technological was beheaded.

In "Alton and Earth: A comparison analysis," Hick Langast explains that the leaders of Alton (with queen Mestimoglio being a prime example) were far more open minded to new ideas than the leaders on Earth. This wasn’t necessarily true in all areas, but it was definitely true in the area of science (especially regarding the cosmos).

For the most part, though, Langast explains that the people of both planets are very similar, and the histories of both planets very similar as well. For one thing, they both had a period of great scientific and philosophical growth around 300 BC, and they both had a period such as the Renaissance on Earth. They both had Kings and Queens in their past and have mostly evolved to democratic type nations with capitalistic systems, although the Sassonians were regarded mostly as totolitarian.

I remember when I was a kid my parents took me to see some ancient Mayan ruins in Mexico. I can’t remember the exact name of the ruins, but I remember when I was there the guide directed our attention to a carving above one of the ancient entrance ways. The carving was of a man on a cross ascending into Heaven. It looked like Jesus. When did the ancient Mayans live? I know for sure it was way before 1492 and the discovery of America. So, how did they know about Jesus?

Anyway, me learning that Christianity is a religion on Alton gave me that same "wow" feeling that carving over the Mayan door did back then. How could it be that societies on opposite ends of the Earth could know about a man named Jesus? And, likewise, how could two societies 6.5 million light years separated believe in the same God?

Well, I say they believe in God. Not everybody believes in God on Earth or on Alton. But, various religions are prevalent on Alton too. Does this somehow prove the theory that religions are necessary for societies to survive? Does it prove God is real? Well, I've never been much of a religious person myself, but this is just something interesting. I can't stop reading this stuff, even knowing the end will come soon.

When it comes right down to it, though, Altonians are good people (aliens if you must) and they are also a flawed people; just like us. They have celebrations, loyalties to their home nations, economic ups and downs, problems with crime and differences of opinions in politics. And, yes, they too have wars, mainly with the Sassa Guard.

Overall, you’d be amazed at how similar our planets are. I will expound on this later, I will continue the story of Mistoosha later, but for now I have to go fix that damn oxygen machine again.

Current Date:  January 11, 2013
Date Written:  January 11, 2013
Name:  Lance Goodman
Location:  Alton One
Subject:  Journal

All is quiet tonight but for the tick, tick, tick of the clock. This is the first time in the past week I haven’t had to listen to that banging. It’s nice in a way. Then again, the generator has been silenced as well. Now I have a diminishing supply of air and food. So maybe I won't make it the 12 hours I predicted earlier.  I might have no choice but to set off the bomb earlier than I suspected.  Oh, I didn't explain about the bomb yet.  Yeah, I'll have to get to that soon.

From the constant sound of metal on metal (ting, ting, ting) reverberating through the walls of this ship, I'm now beginning to wonder if they are trying to get through these walls.  If so, maybe they are the reason my oxygen machine no longer works.  If so, then I will have no choice but to set of that bomb.

I can only wonder how long it will take them to break through the specially reinforced walls of the quarters I’m in right now. Tsatso’s position and prominence on Alton One had provided him with the most secure quarters in the ship, but considering the noise, they obviously think they can break the code or, perhaps, smash the door, or walls,or something. Or, maybe I'm just paranoid.

Anyway, I'm glad to hear Sarah is okay.  I was really worried about her.  It's her that keeps me going.  I actually thought of blowing this ship up already, but with Sarah on my mind I came up with this plan of mine  I hope it works.  Yet you'll have to help me.  With you guys, I’m inspired to go on.

Tsatso’s food machine has remained functioning, and will (hopefully) get the oxygen machine working again, soon, so long as the generator remains on. The oxygen machine, on the other hand, has been nothing but a stressor for me: It keeps pittering out and I keep having to restart it. Either way, there's only 10 hours left in the tank.  It can only be filled by the Engineers, and I'm sure the Sassa Guard won't allow that to happen.  I will die of asphyxia in my sleep, or I'm going in an explosion.  I get to pick.  Time, I guess, is not on my side.
Finished reading all Lance's posts, Mike set his head next to the boy's head and fell asleep.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Alton One: Chapter 15

Mike was lying on the bed of the truck, holding, snuggling, the boy, who continued his fight.  He was not letting up.  "Hey, it's okay," Mike said, trying to sound calm.  "It's gonna be alright?  You're gonna be okay.  I'm a good guy.  I'm here to help you; we're all here to help you."

"They tried to get me!" The boy cried.  Mike let go, and the boy cowered to the front of the cab.  His face was flooded with tears.  His eyes blood shot.  What happened to him? Who was following him? What did they have to do with the boy's fright? Why was he running?  Well, Mike supposed it had something to do with those objects that were -- Mike looked back.  He saw nothing unusual -- chasing us; chasing the boy. 

What do they want? Why do they want with the boy? What did they want with Sarah? Or, did they purposely let her go? Sometimes Mike wondered if they purposely let her go so she would come to him, and then they'd know where Mike was.  If that were the case, if this theory were true, then they'd have a chip in Sarah too.  Maybe that's what they were doing when they grabbed her? Maybe that's why she was bleeding? But, if that were the case, then were in her is the chip? 

Of course, if that were the case, then what was it about Mike they wanted.  Well, Mike had his theories about that too.  The boy was looking at Mike, and he heeded the moment. "My name is Mike Rove.  I'm fifteen years old.  I was taken by aliens when I was a little older than you.  I know what it's like.  You did the right thing by running."

He didn't know why he said all that, it's just what came out.  Given the strangeness of the day, he figured he might as well just spill everything to the boy.  Maybe it would help make a connection with him.  And, as the boy slid over to Mike, lying down again, Mike figured he must have made such a connection.  Mike put his arms around the boy when his phone started ringing. 

"Can I answer the phone," Mike asked. 

"Yes," the boy answered quickly. 

Mike sat up, and he felt uncomfortable as he did.  For some reason, with the truck moving as fast as it was, sitting didn't feel right.  He felt he was being pulled out.  He felt he had to hold on in order to stay in. How fast was Jim going? Was it 60? 70? 80? Probably faster than that the way the trees were buzzing by.  Trying to focus on the trees made him feel light headed.  It made his head hurt.  Jim must have the truck going at least 100 miles per hour.

Concentrating, trying to stay calm, Mike reached into his pocket and grabbed his phone.  He held it so he could see the front.  The message was from Lance.  It said, "Mike, this is Lance. Are you there?"

Mike quickly one-finger type a response, "Lance, I’m here."

He looked at the boy, and saw he had his eyes shut.  "Oh, man, you must be just completely exhausted.  Sleep well, my firend."

His phone chimed.  The text read, "Mike, I need your help. I have a mission for you. I don’t have much time."

"Anything." The truck bumped over something, and Mike nearly lost the phone.  He looked back, but the truck was moving so fast he could barely focus on it before it was well ain the distance and gone.  Although, he surmised, it was a possum or raccoon. 
"If you by any chance hear from Tsatso, and I think you will, I need you to tell him I'm alive and I can help.  But I only have twelve hours left."  Another bump, and this time he heard a scream from the cab, and he dropped the phone.  He looked in the cab, and didn't see anything unusual.  He tried to peer through the front window, and couldn't see anything. 

The truck hit another bump, and swerved.  Mike fell on to his butt, just missing the head of the sleeping boy. He brace himself as the truck took a series of swerves: to the right, to the left.  He lies down next to the boy, who's waking up.  He snuggles with the boy, rolls so he's paralell with the tailgate of the truck, as the truck swerves again.  He rolls slighty onto the boy, and then presses his feet against one side of the truck, anything to gain support. 

The truck rolls right, and the force pulls him to that side of the truck, is feet feeling the pressure.  The the truck turns left, and his head hits the other side. He works hard to keep the kid from hitting anyting.  No matter what happens, he has to keep the kid safe. 

Finally the swerving stops, but now he feels the urge to wretch.   How the hell does Jim keep this on the road? He has the urge to scream, to shout obsenities, but he can't.  He can't for the kid.  He has to stay calm for the kid. 

He looks back and sees a variety of objects in the road, and this time he realize they weren't animals but objects.

His phone chimes. "12 hours, Mike.  We have 12 hoiurs to get this thing done."

"What do you mean?  What happens in twelve hours?

"The Sassa guard has taken over Alton One, and they are using Tsatso's the E35 Fether Landers (think coffins) to travel to earth.  They bring some people back here, and I would guess to be used as slaves.  Some people they let go.  I don't know why.  But it's not good.  We have 12 hours to stop them." 

Mike types in "How can I help," then he deleted it and typed "How can we help?"

"I need you to remember your discussion with Tsatso when you were with him in 2008.  I need you to think hard.  There was a theory he had, and you must remember what it was.  Think.  I have to go now.  I have something I have to do. I did update my blog.  It will be the last time, I think."

"Lance, what happens to you in 12 hours."

"I die. If we succeed, they die with me.  I only have a couple of these. Now duck."

Mike did not duck.  Instead he continued to crouch, with a forceful wind blowing his hair.  An explosion -- BOOOOM! -- knocked him back, rocking the truck ever so slightly.  Sitting with his back to the cab, he saw a second explosion -- BOOOOM! -- which again rocked the truck ever so slightly.  Mike watched as pieces of incinerated E35 Fether Landers fell to the ground.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Alton One: Chapter 14

The wheels of the truck sqreeched; the engine roared.  The truck shot forward, and the tired screeched again as Jim took a left turn.  Mike ran alongside the pickup, grabbed the rim, pulled himself up with all his might, and flipped himself into the bed.  "PICK UP THAT KID!" He screamed. 

The vehicle roared forward.  He worked his way to the front, leaned to the driver's.  "PICK UP THE KID. THERE'S A KID.  PICK HIM UP! PICK HIM UP!"

"WHAT!" Jim shouted.  "What was that!"

"Pick up the kid, Donna.  There was a kid.  We need to pick him up.  PLEASE!  GO AROUND THE BLOCK AND PICK UP THAT KID!"

Seconds later the truck took an abrupt turn, and Mike was tossed across the cab, and just as he regained his balance, Jim sped up and he was flung to the tailgate, where here smashed his head hard.  The vehicle took another sudden turn, left again, this time onto Columbia, and this time Mike braced himself good.  The pressure of the turn tried to yank him from the truck, but he held on tight, as though for dear life.

As the truck was gaining speed Mike saw the boy taking the turn from Columbia onto James.  And just then the truck crashed into something, yet thankfully Mike was already holding on tight.  A large silver object crashed to the ground on in front of the truck and burst into flames. 

Mike jumped from the bed and ran after the kid. He cut across the lawn, down the end of the Goodman driveway, and back onto James.  The boy was about two blocks ahead and still running hard.  Mike figured he couldn't be more than eight or nine years old. Mike ran hard, hard as he could, and was quickly gaining on the kid. 

"GO AWAY! GO AWAY!" The boy screamed frantically, as Mike passed him, grabbed the boy around the waste, and hugged him tight.  "LEAVE ME ALONE!  GO AWAY! GO AWAY! GO AWAY! GO AWAY!"  He writhed and pulled, trying to get away.  Mike was too strong. 

Mike heard a screach as the truck came to an abrubt stop alongside the the boy and Mike.

"GET IN! GET IN!" Shouted all the folks in the truck

"Quick, get in," Jim said.  "They's more commin!"

Mike looked back toward Lance's house.  He saw nothing, but trusted his friends.

"Come on, boy.  We have to get in the truck."

The boy continued his efforts to escape Mike's grip."

Mike picked him up, and heaved him into the bed, and jumped in behind him.  He held on to the boy to make sure he didn't try to jump out.  Mike forced the boy to the ground, and as he did he looked back toward Lance's house -- one more look.  As he did, as the truck took a sharp right, Mike saw, or thought he saw, two silver objects, elongated objects, the size of coffins, zooming close behind.