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200 Years my attempt at writing :D

#1 User is offline   Shinkansen 

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  Posted 23 September 2009 - 06:46 AM

EDIT: Table of Contents:



I've always been a fan of what's known as alternate history. An example of this is "what-if the South had won the American Civil War". At the beginning of the summer, I started thinking about "what-if the D'ni had delayed the construction of the Surface Tunnel?" I started drafting up a timeline, and rough backstory. I finally got bothered to start typing it up recently, and I decided to post it up here.

This story's going to be taking place over the course of 200 years, so you can expect a lot of different characters to crop up. Also, at certain points, I'll put in things like newspaper clippings, excerpts from books, that I feel add to the story.

Well, anyway, the story!

***

Excerpt from the BBC World Report, 24 October, 2185

New York

Ceremony was the order of the day at the UN headquarters on the Upper West Side, at the official granting of UN observer status to the D'ni people. Guild Master Jura, who has been chosen to be the ambassador to the UN, spoke today at the D'ni embassy in Washington. "I feel that this is a great step forward for both of our peoples," he said in a statement earlier today. "Observer status is just the first of many steps in our integration into the greater international community. We look forward to many years of friendship and co-operation between the D'ni people and the nations of the surface.". There has been some criticism of the move, especially by the Eurasian Federation and China, who name the move as nothing more than "an American ploy to increase their influence in the World Parliament." Still, to most, the move comes as no surprise, given what has been called a "dark chapter" in recent D'ni history...


200 Years
A Myst Alternate History


One


"Let it be noted that on 14 Leevobro, in the 9605th year of our residence on this Age, this august Council, in its wisdom, has resolved itself to the construction of a passage between this city and the surface areas of this Age, in order to make contact with any potential inhabitants of said areas, and if possible, establish peaceful relations with said inhabitants. Let it also be noted that despite resistance from Grand Master Veovis of the Guild of Writers and Grand Master Ri'anis of the Guild of Maintainers, Grand Master Aitrus of the Guild of Surveyors was successful in convincing the Council and people of D'ni of the need for exploration of the Age that we have called home for these many years."
- from the minutes of the D'ni High Council.

***

Frank Hutton had to admit it, his job was boring. Despite all his excuses, the reasons for staying on given to friends; good pay, health insurance, the hours; there was no denying it: his job was dull. Day after day of sitting in a little building on the outskirts of Carlsbad, New Mexico, waiting for the seismograph to register a slight tremor, so he could then inform his superiors that there was a slight chance of a earthquake in Mexico or California or someplace distant and tropical. His father had wanted him to become a volcanologist. Of course he did. Unfortunately, all the interesting jobs went to geology majors who had no aversion to physical activity, or physical danger, both of which Frank chose to avoid. So Frank spent his life, working with interns destined for more interesting things than Frank.

That was, at least, how he spent his life until that Friday. That Friday started no differently than any other, eating breakfast, driving to work, yelling at the intern for spilling his coffee, and so on. About 3:30, though, something happened. Phil Henderson, one of the many interns who assisted Frank in his work, knocked on Frank's office door.

"Mr. Hutton?"

"Yes, what is it" Frank replied.

"I think you should see this. One of the seismographs is showing something...interesting." said Phil.

"What, is the highway traffic interfering again?" Frank was in a bad mood. Waiting for the weekends was always the worst.

"Uh...no..." Phil replied uncertainly.

"Fine, fine, I'll see what it is."

They walked the few feet into the observation room, over to the seismograph in question. Phil gestured towards the paper slowly coming out of the machine.

"Phil, this air of mystery doesn't suit you. What is it you wanted to show me." said Frank, slightly annoyed. He wasn't one for playing games.

"Well, I'm...I'm not quite sure what it is, sir, so I decided to, uh, ask you?" Phil had the annoying habit, to Frank at least, of talking in questions when nervous.

Frank grabbed the paper, and stared at the line produced by the waggling of the seismograph. His annoyance slowly faded, replaced by confusion.

The record of a seismograph was usually a flat line, except when there was an earthquake, where the line, of course, became a tight tangle of up and down squiggles. This time, it was different. Instead of a flat line, or a group of tight squiggles, the seismograph had recorded what looked like a sound wave. It was regular and continuous, and it kept going. The waves produced by tectonic movement were usually recorded as a single blip, but this wave, according to the timescale, had been going on for at least a minute non-stop. In fact, the seismometer was, at that very moment, still recording the wave, moving across the paper slowly, elegantly. Frank stared at the movement of the pen. He knew that there could be no natural phenomenon capable of producing this, but he also knew that there was no technology, save perhaps a giant trumpet, that could produce something like this. He continued to stare at the seismograph, hoping perhaps that it would explain everything to him, make some sense of what was going on.

It was Phil who finally broke the silence. "What do you think we should do, Mr. Hutton?"

"Wha...oh, uh, I think we should call somebody..." replied Frank, uncertainly.

***

"What's that? A sound wave? Are you sure, Frank? Uh-uh. And Mr. Henderson saw this too, right? Oh, don't want to think you're hallucinating, Frank. It's been known to happen to you monitoring station folks, you know. Never mind, Frank. Just a joke. Well, then, I'll come down and take a look, just to be sure there isn't something wrong with the apparatus. OK, bye Frank."

Carl Standsky put the phone back in the receiver and exhaled. Something odd was going on, that was for sure. An earthquake that showed up as a sound wave on the seismograph was not something that happened everyday. It was enough to get Carl out his office. Still, it was not worth making the drive from Santa Fe to Carlsbad at this time of day. That could wait until morning.

***

Frank Hutton was fuming. Carl had said he'd be coming to Carlsbad. That was yesterday afternoon. It was now 9:00, the next morning. He had not gotten much sleep that night, visiting the public library, hoping to find some explanation to what had occurred. Of course, his efforts were futile. He paced back and forth in the observation room, unkempt and unshaven. Finally, at around 11:00, he heard the crunch of a car on the gravel outside. He opened the door and ran out to see Carl emerging from a battered Toyota, wearing jeans and a plaid dress shirt.

"What the hell took you so long, Carl? You said you'd be coming down yesterday!"

Carl looked slightly surprised, having not expected anger on Frank's part, "Come off it, Frank. You expect me to make a six hour drive at four in the afternoon?"

Frank stopped walking towards Carl, now angry with himself more than anything. Now he realized what a fool he had been. He had been caught up in the excitement of the moment yesterday, expecting to become the centre of everyone's attention. He stepped back and hunched his shoulders slightly, embarrassed.

Sensing the unease, Carl walked over to the door and turned towards Frank, still standing in the parking lot. "Frank, you had a rough night. Now, what was it you wanted to show me?"

"Uh, right. It's in here, in the observation room. Phil's in there now."

They went through the door, and into the observation room. Phil was sitting in the middle of the floor wearing a dirty lab coat, working with a screwdriver on the seismometer. He looked up as the two other men entered the room.

"I was, uh, just checking the apparatus, for, you know, problems? There's nothing, nothing wrong with it, as far as I can tell, but it could be a problem with the, uh, well, the buildings foundation could be settling or something, so I'll go and check...". Phil was halfway out the door, the screwdriver still in his hand.

I always have to work with the nutcases in this job, thought Carl. However, he said aloud, "Phil, where's the record of the event?"

"Oh, it's, it's on the wall, over there...pasted up," said Phil, pointing to a piece of paper that had been taped up on the wall.

Carl went over to the paper, examining the wavy line that had now become the focal point of his day.

"Good God, how long did this go on for! Ten...twenty...forty five minutes! There is no way tectonic movement could have produced this. Also, I'm sure that a broken seismograph would not record an error this specific. Is there any sort of interference that could make this, Frank?"

"Well there's the highway, and the train tracks, but that's a air disturbance, not really a rock disturbance," said Frank.

Just then, the phone in Frank's office started ringing.

"I'll get it," said Phil, walking into Frank's office, still carrying the screwdriver.

"Where did you get that guy, Frank? New Jersey?" asked Carl, chuckling slightly.

"He's a student at the university. He wants to be an archaeologist."

"So why's he working for you, Frank? Extra-credit?"

"He wanted an internship, but didn't really feel like working for the Park Service. So he came here." Frank replied, not really wanting to make small talk.

Phil reappeared at the door, holding the phone with his hand over the mouthpiece.

"Mr. Hutton, there's a Dr, uh, Loftin on the line. He says he's found something interesting, that, that you might be interested in."
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#2 User is offline   Allatwan 

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Posted 23 September 2009 - 07:00 AM

:) OMG!!!!!! I am STUNNED! This is pure awesomeness! If I could favourite this, I would! :tomato:
I've also thought A LOT about what would happen if D'ni ever got discovered in real life and what would happen, but it always sounded to complicated and since I don't like politics and stuff (although my dad's family wished I did, so I could be a diplomat like my dad :D which I don't want to do, lol...), I've never had the courage to write a fan-fiction about it. Yet, I was hoping that someone would- thanks a lot mate! Plus, you've got a good style- I like it! I may not like politics, but I like stuff that talks about bigger groups- like the EU, UN and stuff. Good, VERY good. I don't know if you'll get many people interested in this one, but you've certainly caught MY attention! :)
Keep writing!
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#3 User is offline   Lostthyme 

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Posted 23 September 2009 - 02:46 PM

I'm a big fan of "What if" type stories, too. I'll be sure to watch this one closely. :D
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#4 User is offline   Gehn, lord of ages 

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Posted 23 September 2009 - 04:29 PM

Ooh, interesting.
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#5 User is offline   Shinkansen 

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Posted 24 September 2009 - 05:09 PM

Oh no! They liked it. That means I have to keep writing! Gaah!! :D

Seriously, I'm glad you all liked it.
Anyway...still writing, expect updates.
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#6 User is offline   Allatwan 

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Posted 25 September 2009 - 05:07 AM

YAYYY!!! Expect impatient fans! :D
Yes, I bully good writers for their next chapters! XD
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#7 User is offline   Shinkansen 

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Posted 25 September 2009 - 05:07 PM

Two


Carl's Toyota bounced its way along the road, kicking up dust. Carl was driving, Frank was in the passenger seat, and Phil was sitting in the back, listening to his Walkman. Carl, wanting to break the silence, turned to Frank. "What did he say?"

"Who?"

"Dr. Loftin. What was it he said to you yesterday on the phone, Frank?"

"He, uh, told me that he's been on an archaeological dig for the past few weeks somewhere out here, and he found something that might be of interest to us." He stressed the last word, emphasizing the difference between Dr. Loftin, a university Professor, and himself, seismologist for the USGS.

"Anything else?" Carl felt that "something interesting" was probably not enough to make Frank Hutton travel out into the desert.

"Er...well he gave me directions, and then said his quarter had run out, so he hung up. He talked to Phil first, so...hey Phil!" Frank raised his voice in order to be heard over Phil's music.

"Huh?"

"Phil! What did Dr. Loftin say to you?"

"Huh?"

"Phil, for cryin' out loud! Take the earphones off."

"OK, OK!" Phil pushed the earphones back so they were resting on the back of his neck. "Yeah?"

"What did Dr. Loftin say to you, yesterday?"

"Uh, well he asked if we had recorded anything unusual, and I told him about that wave that I showed you, and then he asked to talk to you. Well, not to you, he asked for my, my supervisor, but that's you, so I, uh, gave you the phone..."

Frank cut in, "Thanks, Phil."

Frank's mood had improved considerably with the help of a full night's sleep and a proper cup of coffee. Otherwise he'd be yelling at Phil for being stupid again. That was another one of Phil's bad habits, Frank noted, saying stupid things when nervous.

Phil put his earphones back on and turned the volume up, causing tinny guitar chords to emanate from the back seat.

A few seconds silence passed, causing Carl great unease. He turned to Frank, risking more small talk.

"Who is this Dr. Loftin, anyway? Friend of yours?"

"He's a professor, I think, at the University. Doctor of Native American studies or something. I meet him, once. He asked me for some geological surveys of this area."

"Anything else? What's he like?"

Despite his improved mood, Frank still found Carl's continued attempts at conversation annoying.

"Like I said, only meet him once. I'm not even sure if he still works at the University. Hey Phil!"

"Huh?"

"Does Loftin work, oh...never mind."
***
They had reached the small service station that Dr. Loftin had indicated as their destination. All three men got out of the car and looked about. There wasn't anything there that could be considered interesting, save for the large green concrete dinosaur outside the station's convenience store. Aside from Carl's Toyota and a jeep parked next to the dinosaur, there were no other cars around.

"So now what?" asked Carl, to no one in particular.

"I guess we wait," said Frank.

They then heard the opening of the convenience store door. They turned and looked.

A largish man wearing a blue and white floral patterned shirt was walking towards the jeep. He was carrying a six-pack of beer and a shopping bag filled with food. He noticed the three men looking at him and said "Aha!" He put down his items and walked over towards Carl. He stuck out a hand. He grabbed Carl's hand and shook it vigourously.

"Mr. Hutton, I'm Elias Zandi. I'm Dr. Loftin's business partner."

Carl stared at the man. So did Frank. Phil just stared at his feet.

Finally, Frank blurted out "I'm Hutton."

The man's smile faded. He turned towards Frank. "You're Hutton?" he asked. "Ah...well...so, then, you're Frank Hutton, with the USGS, of course. And these are...?"

"Dr. Carl Standsky, he's from the state geological commission, and that's Phil Henderson. He's interning with me at the monitoring station."

"Well, nice to meet you all." Zandi clapped his hands. "So, then everybody, let's get in the jeep!"

Carl stopped walking. "The jeep? What about my car? We can't just leave it here! It'll get stolen!"

"Relax, Carl, I've left my jeep overnight here often, it'll be fine." Zandi was opening the trunk, placing his groceries in the back of the jeep.

"Why do we even have to take the jeep? Why can't we follow in my car?" Carl was usually much more relaxed than this, but when it came to his personal possessions, he became somewhat protective.

"Well, Carl, I don't think," Zandi glanced at the Toyota, "your car could make the journey. We'll go in the jeep. We'll all fit."

There was no arguing the point, so Carl ran over to his car, made sure the doors were locked, and ran back to the jeep. He got into the back seat with Phil, as Frank had quietly taken the front seat. Zandi started the motor, pulled out of the parking lot, and turned onto the road. The jeep traveled for about a quarter mile, when Zandi slowed down and turned off the road onto a gravel track.

Carl leaned forward, "Mr. Zandi, you said you were Dr. Loftin's business partner.

"Yeah." Zandi said, keeping his eyes on the winding track.

"What does that mean exactly? I figured that he worked with the University."

"No, he left there years ago. Me and John, we started a partnership a while back. He goes and digs things up, and I sell 'em to museums and collectors."

"Ah." Though no academic, selling historical artefact to the highest bidder struck Carl as somewhat seedy.

Zandi continued, "I was coming down to check on him, I usually stop at that store to buy him things he needs, and the clerk told me to pick up a Frank Hutton and party and take them down to the site."

"So you have no idea what this is about, either?"

"Dahh...what?"

"Didn't you wonder why you were being told to pick up a bunch of people?" Carl was now resting his arms on the back of the passenger seats, leaning quite far forward and pushing Phil into the back corner. "Didn't it strike you as odd."

"I...didn't...you're not cops, are you?" Zandi turned to Frank in alarm, then quickly looked back at the road.

"No, Mr. Zandi, we're not cops," Frank said, elbowing Carl's shoulder, forcing him into the back seat again. "Half of what Carl says is misleading. That's why he works for the government."

Surprisingly, Carl let out a laugh. Zandi immediately relaxed and grinned at Frank. "So, what is this about, then?" Zandi asked.

Frank told Zandi about the odd recording two days ago, and the phone call from Loftin.

"And he didn't tell you anything more?"

"Nope." Frank replied

"Huh. Well, we'll find something out soon enough. We're almost there."
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#8 User is offline   Lostthyme 

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Posted 25 September 2009 - 05:14 PM

What an awkward car ride. Phil doesn't seem to be helping much.
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#9 User is offline   Gehn, lord of ages 

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Posted 26 September 2009 - 12:25 PM

Yay, another chapter!

I like Phil.
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#10 User is offline   Shinkansen 

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Posted 27 September 2009 - 03:02 PM

Three

"There has been much speculation about the nature of John Loftin's involvement in the Contact with the D'ni. Some have made him the sole player, while others have held that he was just in the right place at the right time. Most do not dispute his role, but also highlight the actions of the others involved in the Contact; namely Richard Watson and Eric Moss. However, Loftin's role cannot be discounted. It was him who brought Watson into the affair in the first place, and the one who kept Moss from ruining it. At any rate, if Loftin had not been in that stretch of New Mexico desert, on that particular week, any one person could have been the one to make the vital first impression on the D'ni. Even worse, there could have been no one to greet the D'ni, who would have no doubt returned to their cavern, leaving the tunnel to be found by a wandering hiker or rancher. The consequences of this would have been disastrous."
-from The Road to Ae'gura, published 2204, by Roald Edvarson, University of Olso
***

Zandi's jeep turned off the gravel track, jostling the four passengers in their seats as they traveled over the rough ground. They were driving a rise up to a flat plateau now. Off in the distance was the unmistakable shape of a volcano. Zandi turned away from the volcano towards a small group of tents. A bearded man was standing outside one of the larger tents. Zandi pulled past the man, and parked the jeep on the edge of the tent complex. Zandi turned the motor off and got out. Frank unbuckled his seatbelt and turned towards Carl and Phil. "Well, come on," he said. He then exited and went after Zandi.

Frank could see Zandi talking to the bearded man. Zandi turned to Frank as he approached and said, "Frank, this is Jens Morritz,. He's our logistics master; keeps things running smoothly on our expeditions."

There was much shaking of hands as Frank, and Phil and Carl when they caught up, were introduced to Jens.

It was Carl who asked the obvious question, "So where is Dr. Loftin?"

Jens pointed towards the jeep. "He is at the site, you know, taking measurements." There was a slight trace of an accent in his speech.

"Oh, should we get back in the jeep?" Carl asked.

"No, we walk. It's not far." Jens started walking at a deliberate pace. The four others followed, Carl out in front, followed by Frank and Phil, with Zandi in the rear trying to keep up.
***

The group was descending a rocky slope, towards what looked like a large outcropping of rocks. There was a grid of rope covering the ground surrounding the outcropping. Near the edge was a white-haired man with a clipboard. Off to the side was looked like an old army truck.

Jens called out, "Dr. Loftin! The men from the USGS are here!"

The white-haired man looked up, put down his clipboard, and stepped over the ropes towards the group. He spoke, "So, I'll wager that you all are curious as to why I brought you out here."

"Yes," Frank blurted, sounding more irritated that he would have liked.

"Your annoyance is understandable, Mr. Hutton, but don't worry, all will become clear. But first, I haven't been introduced to the rest of your group."

There was another round of introductions and hand shaking. After it was over, Loftin rubbed his hands together and began to speak. "As hard as it may seem, gentlemen, this rock formation was not there three days ago. Here, I took this on Friday afternoon". He pulled a photograph out of his shirt pocket and handed it to Frank.

The photo had been taken from the top of the rocky slope, about where they had walked down before. In the photo, where the rock formation was now, there was a ring of sand and rock flying up into the air, as if there was a giant vibrating plate just under the ground. Frank studied the photo for a few moments, and then handed it to Carl and Phil. Zandi, clearly out of his element, had gone back to the jeep to take care of the groceries.

Loftin continued, "At the same time that I took the photo, there was a noise in the air, almost like the sound of the test patterns on television, you know? On Friday, you of course recorded that wave," Frank nodded, "that you told me about on the phone. I'm an archaeologist, so I don't know much about earthquakes, but I'm sure that that was not natural, right?"

Carl answered, "There's no known natural phenomenon that could cause this, but I suppose, that if you had a giant speaker in a cave underground and played a tone on it, something like this could happen, and it could explain our wave."

"Yes, but why would there be a giant speaker under the ground," said Loftin, eyes bright with glee.

"Perhaps the military is testing something," said Phil matter-of-factly.

"For all we know, that could be true," said Frank, in spite of himself. The way things were going at the present, he willing to accept almost any explanation.

"Well, there's only one way to find out," said Loftin, walking back towards the truck, "we must find out if there is a unknown cave down there. Come, help me set up the scanner."

The scanner was in the back of the army truck. It consisted of an air compressor , control panel, and a large metal cylinder. Such a device was familiar to geologists and archaeologists. It worked on a principle similar to sonar, but rather than chart the ocean floor, it sends a shockwave generated by the force of the descending cylinder through the ground, which then bounce off of various formations that might be down there. Oil prospectors use them to search for deposits of oil.

Jens, Loftin, and Carl lowered the scanner from the back of the truck, and wheeled it to a position just outside the ring of stones. Loftin flipped a switch on the side of the scanner, starting the air compressor. After a short wait, Loftin pulled a lever, releasing the air pressure, causing the cylinder to strike the ground with a loud THUMP. A roll of paper then slowly emerged from the side of the control panel; the results of the scan. They all stared at it.

Various layers of rocks showed up as irregular lines across the page. Near the bottom of the page was a thick line. It sloped down away from the rock formation on the surface. Directly below the formation was a curved line, like the ceiling of an underground vault.

"Well, we have our secret cave," said Loftin.
***

Over the next few hours, they made more scans of the surrounding area. They did so again on the next day. They were able to figure the structure of the mysterious cave based on the information obtained in the scans. From the large cavity under the rock formation, the tunnel sloped down at about 23 degrees, and went in a general southwestern direction. About one hundred feet from the large cavity, there was a smaller cavity, a node, and the tunnel changed direction slightly. Past this point, the tunnel was beyond the range of the scanner's wave.

As to what the tunnel was, they could only guess.
***

It was the morning of the day after the conclusion of their scans. They were in one of the tents eating breakfast, when it happened. Phil was the first to notice it. He gestured for everybody to be quite. "Do you feel it?" he asked.

Frank felt it too. In fact, he was surprised that he hadn't noticed it before. The ground was vibrating. It wasn't much, but enough to cause the silverware to shake against the aluminum dishes, making a clattering noise. Loftin stood up, and ran outside. The rest of the group then followed. Loftin was standing on the rocky slope, staring at the rock formation, shaking his head. "I don't understand why it's not moving," he said, gesturing towards the formation. "There's no noise, either." They returned to the tent.

The tremor continued for another six hours, much to the confusion of Frank and Carl. Earthquakes usually only last a few seconds, several minuets at most.

Loftin was equally agitated by this, and showed it. He kept looking over the scan results, and pacing around the camp. Finally, he said, "I'm gonna make another scan. The tunnel could have collapsed."

They all went back out to the area that they had been scanning the past few days. Once again, the cylinder hit the ground with a loud THUMP. Once again, the result printed out on the paper. Loftin grabbed the paper, and stared at it, eyes widening. He then ran back to the camp.

"Never stops, does he?" Frank asked Jens. Jens shook his head, and ran after him.

Loftin was in his tent, comparing the profile they had compiled of the tunnel with the scan results. He had circled something on the scan with a red pencil. "Look, he said, handing Carl the piece of paper and the profile. Carl held it so the others could see. Frank could now see what Loftin had circled, and why. The large cavity, in the profile, was about five hundred feet wide, and fifty feet tall. On the most recent scan, the cavity was, according to the scale, now over five hundred feet tall. No collapse or cave in could do that, without causing a massive sinkhole on the surface. Someone, or something, was definitely digging their way to the surface.
***

Loftin had elected against calling anybody, as he feared the press would descend on the site like a pack of vultures. It seemed his plan was to wait until the tunnel reached the surface, and see exactly what was coming to the surface. Frank, Carl, and Phil had all chosen to stay and wait, too.

There wasn't much to do besides wait, either. Loftin continued to make scans, observing the "growth" of the large cavity. The rest of them passed their time the best they could.

About a week after the initial scan, Frank was walking, wondering if he had made the right decision. He had gone to the gas station one day with Zandi and called work, taking some vacation time, but now he was thinking about going back early. Nothing had happened, save the tremors which were now happening on daily basis.

As he pondered this, Frank found himself overlooking the gas station. He had not meant to walk this far, and now cursed himself and the long walk back to camp that he now had to make. Just before turning back, something at the gas station caught his eye. There was a military truck standing in the parking lot. A khaki figure stepped out of the convenience store and got in the truck. The truck then manoeuvred onto the gravel road that lead to the camp. To Frank, this could only mean one thing: the military had somehow found out about what was going on.

He jogged back to camp as fast as his legs would let him.
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#11 User is offline   Lostthyme 

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Posted 27 September 2009 - 04:42 PM

Ahhh... but I need to find out what happens next! :D
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#12 User is offline   Gehn, lord of ages 

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Posted 27 September 2009 - 06:56 PM

View PostLostthyme, on Sep 27 2009, 03:42 PM, said:

Ahhh... but I need to find out what happens next! :)

See what cliffhangers do to people? They're evil. Evil, I tell you. :D

Anyway... this should make things interesting. Of course, it could be that the military is simply coincidentally around there. That would be very tricky to pull off, but would be awesome none the less.

So basically, I'm predicting continuing awesomeness of this story.
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#13 User is offline   Nyrunia 

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Posted 27 September 2009 - 06:59 PM

Oh snap, the military is coming into the picture! What happens next?
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#14 User is offline   Lostthyme 

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Posted 27 September 2009 - 08:42 PM

View PostGehn, lord of ages, on Sep 27 2009, 07:56 PM, said:

See what cliffhangers do to people? They're evil. Evil, I tell you. :D


I'm innocent, innocent I tell you!

Okay, maybe not. :)
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#15 User is offline   Allatwan 

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Posted 28 September 2009 - 08:29 AM

AHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!
I agree with Lord Gehn (hey, it's a first! Write it in the records, lmao!): cliffhangers are EVIL! They kill innocent readers with suspence!
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#16 User is offline   Zenoc2 

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Posted 28 September 2009 - 04:21 PM

I agree. Moar plz. :)

See that? It's so good I lapsed into LOLspeak. Please do continue. :D
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#17 User is offline   Shinkansen 

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Posted 03 October 2009 - 10:42 AM

An update!

Four


Lieutenant Justin Maneris drove the truck up the gravel road, hoping that something lay at the end of it. It would have been melodramatic to say he had staked his career on finding something, but in Justin's mind, he had. It was with great reluctance Colonel Moss had given approval for Justin to come into the desert, though, of course, Justin was here alone. Still, if there was something in the recent tremors, a promotion could be expected.

Suddenly, the gravel road ended. Justin stopped the truck and got out. The overhead sun was beating down uncomfortably on Justin's head, so he put on his beret. It was not the best shaped hat for blocking sunlight, and its black colouring wasn't much help either. Wishing he had brought his peaked cap, Justin looked around for signs of the camp that the man at the gas station had mentioned. The gravel road had ended in a shallow depression, so his view was limited. He started walking back the way he had just driven, to make sure he hadn't missed another road or a turnoff. The road curved back around the hill, towards the highway. There was a slight slope leading to the right. From where Justin was standing, there were no apparent turnoffs, on either side of the road. However, there was a man walking in the distance alongside the road. Justin shouted and waved his arms, hoping to catch the man's attention. He ran back to the truck, got in, started it up, and reversed it quickly, kicking up sand in the process.

The truck caught up with the figure fairly quickly. Clearly, the man had been running just before. The man's t-shirt was wet with sweat, and he was breathing heavily. He must be from the camp I was told about, Justin thought. He slowed the truck to a stop, opened the door, and called out to the man, "Sir, you want a lift?"

The man looked up, eyes squinting in the bright sunlight, and nodded. He went around to the passenger side door and got in. Justin surveyed the slightly overweight man as he started the truck moving again. He said to the man, "I'm Lieutenant Justin Maneris, from the Army Engineer Corps."

"Frank Hutton, USGS," the man replied simply.

"What were you doing out in the middle of the desert, Mr. Hutton?"

"Uh...I was going back to camp, I'm sure the gas guy told you about it, to tell Loftin that you were coming."

"Loftin?"

"Dr. John Loftin. He's the archaeologist who called me out here about a week ago, after the first tremor. How'd you find out about what's going on?"

"We have our own monitoring stations. We usually use them to see if anybody is testing nuclear weapons when they shouldn't be. However, that event a week ago caught our interest. Well, my interest, anyway." Justin paused for a moment. The fact that this USGS man had been here for over a week meant that something was going on. "Where's your camp?"

"Turn off right there, after that greyish rock."

Justin slowed down, careful not to hit something and damage the truck's underbody. Off-road driving was not one of his strong skills.

"So, have you found anything of interest, Mr. Hutton?"

"There's the, the, tunnel." Frank said.

"Tunnel?"

"There's what appears to be a tunnel, down there, in the ground. And it's growing."

"Growing?"

"Well, it's the tunnel is longer today than it was three days ago, and it's coming towards the surface," Frank paused. "So our tunnel is not a military thing, then," he added.

"Nope," Justin replied, "this is the first I've head about it. If the military was behind this, I probably wouldn't have been sent me out here. Probably," he added as an afterthought. This could all could be some horrible joke on me, he thought to himself.

They were coming up on the camp now. Frank could see Phil sitting on outside one of the tents, reading a book.

Justin stopped the car and got out, Frank followed suit. Phil looked up from his book. "Who's this?" he asked.

"Lieutenant Justin Maneris," answered Justin, extending his hand.

"Ah," said Phil, shaking Justin's hand. He then went back to his book.

Justin looked at Frank, and raised his eyebrows.

"That's Phil," said Frank. "He's been interning with me."

"How interesting," said Justin, flatly. "So where is this tunnel you told me about?" he asked Frank.

"Oh, its, over there," Frank gestured towards the rock formation, "but there's nothing to see, really. All the scans we've made are in a tent, down at the site, though."

"So let's go there, shall we?"

"Uh, yeah..." Frank started walking backwards towards where the tent with the scans was. "You just stay there, a-and, I'll...go get them for you. Yeah..." Frank turned around, and jogged off. Justin started walking after him, then stopped and turned around. He said to Phil, "What's with him?"

Phil answered without looking up, "Eh, he probably thinks that Loftin and the others would be unhappy to see you. It's their project, you know. Well, it was, until now."

"Would this Loftin be upset?"

"Probably not."

Justin looked in the direction of where Frank went. He started walking again.
***
"I just need them for something, OK!" Frank was pleading with Dr. Loftin, trying to get hold of the scan readouts.

"If you need to look at them, just look at them here. There's no reason to take them out of the tent." Loftin was standing in front of the cabinet where the scan results were stored, his arms covering the doors. Frank was trying to reach around Loftin and open the cabinet.

"Please, just give them to me!"

"Frank, what is it?"

"Nothing!"

"Frank, who's that?" Loftin pointed towards Justin, who was walking down the slope towards where Loftin and Frank were.

Frank turned around, saw Justin walking towards them, and sighed. He turned back to Loftin, "This is Lieutenant Justin, uh, Mendes...from, uh..."

"Lieutenant Justin Maneris, Army Engineers," said Justin, with a sideways glance at Frank. "You must be Dr. Loftin."

"Indeed. So you're from the army. I was wondering when they'd show up. So what has Frank told you so far."

"Well, he mentioned this "tunnel", and that's about it. So can I see the scans?" Justin asked.

"Yeah, go ahead." Loftin opened the cabinet and took out the more recent scans, along with the profile that had been drawn up. "You know, Lieutenant, I'm glad you're here. Shows that this whole thing might be something important."

"You're telling me." Justin glanced at the scans, "There's no way this could be a natural formation, this has to be constructed." Justin stared at the scans for a few more seconds, and then turned to Loftin. "Do you have a phone or radio here? I need to make a call."

"No, sorry. The only phone around here is in the gas station." Loftin smiled.

"Ah."
***
The call had gone well, Justin thought, as he once again drove the truck from the gas station to the camp. Colonel Moss had agreed to send a small contingent of soldiers to help seal the area off from the general public. Though Loftin and the others might accept military "assistance", Justin was unsure how they would react to a military takeover of the investigation.

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#18 User is offline   Gehn, lord of ages 

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Posted 03 October 2009 - 11:12 AM

Muahahaha! That's awesome.

Now we only need some D'ni to pop out of the ground to form a nice little party of chaos.
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#19 User is offline   Shinkansen 

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Posted 03 October 2009 - 12:28 PM

View PostGehn, lord of ages, on Oct 3 2009, 12:12 PM, said:

Muahahaha! That's awesome.

Now we only need some D'ni to pop out of the ground to form a nice little party of chaos.

Well, the next chapter is chapter 5...
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#20 User is offline   Zenoc2 

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Posted 03 October 2009 - 12:29 PM

View PostGehn, lord of ages, on Oct 3 2009, 01:12 PM, said:

Muahahaha! That's awesome.

Now we only need some D'ni to pop out of the ground to form a nice little party of chaos.

Indeed, indeed. This is getting more interesting by the minute... :D
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#21 User is offline   Allatwan 

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Posted 03 October 2009 - 12:49 PM

View PostGehn, lord of ages, on Oct 3 2009, 12:12 PM, said:

Muahahaha! That's awesome.

Now we only need some D'ni to pop out of the ground to form a nice little party of chaos.


OHYESOHESOHYES!!!! ^^ I can't WAIIIIIIIITTT!!!!
Please post some moooooaaarrrr! :D The suspence is killing me!
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#22 User is offline   Zenoc2 

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Posted 03 October 2009 - 01:10 PM

View PostAllatwan, on Oct 3 2009, 02:49 PM, said:

View PostGehn, lord of ages, on Oct 3 2009, 12:12 PM, said:

Muahahaha! That's awesome.

Now we only need some D'ni to pop out of the ground to form a nice little party of chaos.


OHYESOHESOHYES!!!! ^^ I can't WAIIIIIIIITTT!!!!
Please post some moooooaaarrrr! :) The suspence is killing me!

Woah. Look out, Shinkansen; it appears your story has its first fangirl. :D
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#23 User is offline   Allatwan 

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Posted 03 October 2009 - 02:25 PM

LMAO!!!! :D
I'm not the only girl here: LostThyme and Nyrunia are fans too, unless I'm wrong! ^^ But yes... it appears so...
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#24 User is offline   Lostthyme 

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Posted 03 October 2009 - 02:34 PM

Oh yes, I'm very sad I'll be missing any updates on this that might happen in the few weeks.

I don't really fangirl over stuff though. I think one of the only times I've fangirled is when I found out there was going to be a Myst movie. :D

I agree with Gloa. I can't wait to see what happens when the D'ni join the party. :)
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#25 User is offline   Allatwan 

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Posted 04 October 2009 - 04:56 AM

Lol, so what's the difference between fangirl and regular fan/liking something?
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