The Dark Age #TheDarkAge‬ ‪#JeffWHorton‬ ‪#SurvivorsofthePulse‬ ‪#Post‬-Apocalyptic ‪#Survival‬ ‪#Adventure‬ ‪#Thriller‬…

The Dark Age
#TheDarkAge‬ ‪#JeffWHorton‬ ‪#SurvivorsofthePulse‬ ‪#Post‬-Apocalyptic ‪#Survival‬ ‪#Adventure‬ ‪#Thriller‬ ‪#NowAvailable‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬
Ferrell made his way through the dilapidated ruins of the once great metropolitan area, mindful of the many dangerous inhabitants that now called it home. He scanned the ruins as he walked down the wide ancient road, which passed through the middle of a number of tall, crumbling buildings, overgrown with ivy and rust. Outside two of the larger buildings, where the grass that sprouted through the concrete was the tallest, he saw something that worried him. A hundred yards in front of them stood a small herd of whitetail deer, that had stopped to feed on some of the poison ivy and poison sumac that grew out of the cracks in the road. Ferrell hesitated because he knew what it meant…trouble. The deer were a favorite food source for the large predators that roamed the overgrown ruins in the mero. It was only a matter of time now.
He was preparing to turn the group back the way they came in an effort to try to find a way around the herd when he saw something out of the corner of his eye. The movement was subtle yet familiar. Crouching low in the grass, their massive sinews tensing as they prepared to attack the herd, was a pride of lions, emerging from the edge of a dark alley between the two buildings to his right. Ferrell turned to face the people with him, pointing toward the big cats. “Slowly,” he whispered, “everyone back away, slowly, no quick movements.”
The three lions launched their attack with lightning speed, quickly moving to flank and encircle the herd. Two of the male lions, a mature, large cat, and a much younger, smaller one, chased after a part of the herd that had split off from the rest and was now running in their direction. The remnant of the herd separated, some to Ferrell’s left and some to his right, but this time the lions did not follow the deer. Instead, they were now racing toward him and his companions. They had encountered human beings before, Ferrell surmised, and had probably discovered that people made for an easier meal than the much swifter and more agile whitetail deer. Two of the men travelling with him panicked and ran before Ferrell was able to stop them. I told them to stay close to me! How can I protect them unless they stay together? With a solitary movement, he drew his sword from its scabbard, sliced at the neck of the smaller beast, and then watched as it dropped lifeless to the ground. The second lion circled him for several moments, letting out a ferocious growl as it charged. The cat lunged at his throat with its massive claws outstretched, and its enormous canines positioned to close around Ferrell’s neck. Just as the beast sunk its claws into his sides, Ferrell buried his katana sword into its chest, though the momentum of the now dead animal’s carcass knocked him to the ground. He withdrew the blade from the animal and turned his attention back to the rest of the pride, breathing a sigh of relief when he saw the remaining lions devouring one of the deer that had been unfortunate enough to be at the rear of the herd.
Leading the group away from the feast and down a different path, he took a moment to catch his breath and check himself out as soon as they were clear. There were several puncture marks followed by deep scores where the big cat had nearly ended his life. Were it not for the thick and incredibly tough armor that he wore, the lion would surely have torn him apart with its powerful claws alone. Ferrell looked up briefly to survey their position. He soon regained his bearings and led the group around the ferocious animals.
Permitting himself to relax for a moment now that the immediate danger had passed, he paused to take in his surroundings. The crumbling structures on all sides reminded him of why he disliked the mero so much, regardless of how often he brought pilgrims through it. The ominous ruins of the ancient city stood as cold and foreboding relics of a strange and long-dead civilization. There was something unnatural about the place that made his skin crawl, and despite his regular treks through the long-deserted metropolitan area, he never could get used to it. The endless rows of buildings, clearly built to accommodate a vast number of people, now stood empty and desolate. As the travelers passed through the section of the mero where some of the tallest and most exotic structures stood, Ferrell tried to imagine what the city might have looked like when it was still in its prime, during the height of the Golden Age. Traveling through the mero alone so frequently had given him plenty of time to reflect on the disparity between what had once been, and what now was. Clearly the Ancients had achieved an incredibly advanced civilization, while the peoples of The Dark Age lived in such a primitive, feudal manner. It left him longing for something better for humanity. Perhaps, one day, we will tear down this graveyard, build a new civilization, and bring about an end to the Dark Age, as well as the death and decay all around us!
If the lion ruled the mero, then his four-legged subjects were the rat, the deer, and the dog, along with the many other descendants of zoo animals who, like the lions, had escaped their confinement hundreds of years earlier during the time of the Great Collapse.
Like most meros, however, the ruins were also home to packs of urba, people said to be descended from the Ancients that had built and once inhabited the now-deserted meros. The urba, who lived like bandits, robbed and killed anyone adventurous and foolish enough to venture into their territory unprepared. The ancient city Ferrell and his companions were traversing happened to be home to the only ocean port in the territory, resulting in a considerable amount of human traffic through that particular mero, despite the danger. The port to the Great Waters was the only reason so many risked the dangerous crossing through the mero. Most travelers were pilgrims or priests on their way to Rome, or settlers leaving for distant lands seeking a more hospitable place to live and raise their families. Few ships made such dangerous trips however, and fewer still were captained by men competent and honest enough to be trusted to carry them safely across the troubled waters.
Since the only way to get from the Outlands to the Great Waters was through the ruins, the urbas in this mero fared better than most. Even well-armed pilgrims fell victim to the vicious attacks of the urbas, who would then take anything and everything of value. Only a pilgrim of substantial means, who could afford to hire a warrior like Ferrell, could expect to have a better-than-average chance of completing the dangerous journey in relative safety. Though he often helped wealthy pilgrims get safely through the meros, he also offered free escort to those most in need, since he knew most of them would never survive without his protection. It had always seemed odd to Ferrell that they would risk their lives in such an endeavor. Even for those that made it to the port, navigating by ship was a dangerous enough business in itself, at least as dangerous as passing through the mero, by even the bravest man’s reckoning.
The group of pilgrims accompanying him through the mero on this trip was a typical assortment of men and women; consisting of three couples, one who had brought along their five year-old son, and three men and two women, each traveling alone. They were on their way to meet their ship, which was docked where the Great Waters began on the eastern side of the mero. Once there, if everything went as he hoped it would, he would be escorting a different group of pilgrims from the ship to the Outlands. Some would be travelling to local villages; others would make long treks through the Outlands to distant territories. Ferrell had long ago considered the absurdity that just as many people seemed to be heading into the Outlands as there were people trying to get out. Most of them were either just restless or desperate he had concluded, hoping that their next home would be better than their last.
They had made excellent time and were now well over halfway through the mero. The thought occurred to Ferrell that maybe, just maybe, this would be the first time he made it all the way through the mero with at least one group of pilgrims without any challenge from the troublesome urba.
A sound from behind him caught Ferrell’s attention. He turned, drawing the sword out of his scabbard as he did so, swinging the blade as if decapitating an invisible enemy. Although he did not see anything, he could hear a number of soft steps in the shadows to his left and to his right.
“Urba! Everyone, get behind me. Those of you with weapons, get them out. Do it now!”
Urbas emerged from alleys behind them, as many as twenty in all. Placing himself between the urba and the pilgrims, Ferrell ran toward the urba, sword in hand. He became a blur to the pilgrims as the only discernable feature became the flash of his blade. One of the urba stabbed at him with a sword, which nearly found its intended target. Ferrell sidestepped the attack at the last second, causing the urba’s sword to stab his companion instead of Ferrell. The clansman then struck the second urba on the head with the hilt of his sword, rendering the urba unconscious. Ferrell looked up to find himself suddenly surrounded. He looked hard at the urba standing closest to him.
“Just so you know, you urba punk, “ he said, pointing a finger at the big man standing in front of him, “I’m taking you out first!” A flash of fear fell on the urba he had singled out, while the others around him relaxed. Ferrell took a step forward, before suddenly stepping back, away from the frightened and intimated urba. He then delivered a powerful back kick to the solar plexus of the urba behind him instead, knocking him back six feet and onto the ground. The other urba rushed in and with Ferrell suddenly gone, they ran clumsily into one another, with two of the urba accidentally stabbing other members of their pack.
When the remaining urba attacked, Ferrell’s blade sprang into action. Within seconds, the urba lay in a heap on the ground.
Ferrell had already dispatched most of the urba when he noticed that one of the pilgrims was in trouble. In a moment of folly, the naive man had left the others, dropping his guard in a misplaced attempt to try to talk with one of the urba, to try to reason with him. The attempt failed of course, as the pilgrim was knocked unconscious from behind, snatched up by two of the urba’s companions, and dragged toward one of the tall buildings nearby. Ferrell knew what gruesome fate awaited the man if they reached the building with him. If he was lucky, they would kill him quickly before robbing him, taking whatever they could find on his corpse. Trying to reason with an urba! Ferrell decided to focus on helping the others instead of going after the hapless pilgrim. He had given explicit instructions to the group before they started through the meros that if attacked, they were supposed to stay by his side and just as important, they were to say nothing, and stay together. The man would get what he deserved for his foolishness in not following his instructions.
“Get to the ship,” Ferrell told the others, “I will take care of the urba. Now go!” Ferrell took out two more of the urba before he noticed that most of the pilgrims were still there, standing motionless and staring at Ferrell. “What are you waiting on? I told you to head for the ship!”
“We will not leave without our companion, Mr. Young.”
Unbelievable. Ferrell shook his head as he assessed the situation. He dispatched the remaining urba until they were all down. Even before the last one hit the ground, Ferrell was already sprinting after the man that was taken. He caught up to them just as the urba were dragging the terrified man across the threshold and into one of the buildings. When they saw Ferrell running at a full clip toward them however, they immediately dropped the pilgrim out of fear, and ran deep inside the bowels of the building in a panic. They had seen what Ferrell had done to the other members of their pack, and decided that they had had enough.
“Is everyone okay?” he asked, looking the group over for signs of injury after retrieving the man.“Is anyone missing?” he asked, counting even as he did so.
“We all appear to be okay, and I believe that everyone is still here, Mr. Young, “ answered one of the women, “thanks to you. We owe you our lives.”
“Hmm!” Ferrell grunted as he sheathed his blade and started walking toward the dock. “Then maybe you will learn to listen next time, hmm? “
Ferrell and the pilgrims saw no further urba. Furthermore, he knew it was unlikely that he would have any additional trouble on the way back through the mero. It would be some time before the urbas he had just taken out were replaced by urbas from other packs. Since a pack typically roamed a specific part of a mero, and he had just dispatched most of the pack that patrolled the section they had passed through, the return journey would be quieter.
As they neared the dock, the pilgrims began to breathe easier, sensing the danger had passed. It was common knowledge that the urba stayed away from the docks, having learned long ago that messing with the armed crews that worked the ships was far more trouble than it was worth. When they finally made it to the ship, the pilgrims thanked Ferrell once more for all he had done. A crewmember greeted them as they approached and asked about payment for their passage. Visibly pleased with what they offered, he nodded his head, and pointed toward the gangplank, which they would need to cross to board the vessel.
Ferrell lingered at the dock for a while, taking the opportunity to sit down, rest for a few moments, and relax while waiting to see whether anyone disembarking from one of the ships would require his services on the return trip. Since he had to walk back through the mero to get to the Outlands anyway, he figured he might as well be paid for his trouble. He looked up at the sun, which was now sitting high in the sky, and determined that based on its position directly overhead, that it must be close to noon. If he left soon, he might make it back through the mero before nightfall.
“Mr. Young?” Ferrell quickly looked down, having been blinded momentarily after looking up at the sun. After looking away for a few seconds, he turned back around to find a tall, elderly man with a kind face and dressed in black clothing, standing before him.
“Yes?” Ferrell answered roughly.
“You come highly recommended by some of the men that just boarded this ship. They tell me that you handled yourself quite well on the way here, when your group was attacked by wild beasts, and then by urba. They said you are an exceptional warrior, and that they had never seen anything like you before. I was hoping you might be willing to help me get back through the mero.”
Within a few moments, Ferrell was able to see clearly again. He recognized by the man’s clothing that he was a priest.
“Sure,” he answered, “I’ll take you.”
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The Last Prophet #TheLastProphet‬ ‪#JeffWHorton‬ ‪#Christian‬ ‪#Apocalyptic‬ ‪#Endoftimes‬ ‪#AntiChrist‬ ‪#Thriller‬…

The Last Prophet
#TheLastProphet‬ ‪#JeffWHorton‬ ‪#Christian‬ ‪#Apocalyptic‬ ‪#Endoftimes‬ ‪#AntiChrist‬ ‪#Thriller‬ ‪#Religious‬ ‪#NowAvailable‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬
I sat there on the sofa waiting, staring intermittently at the clock, the one with the minute hand that seemed to be racing around its circular course faster than any timepiece should. I looked out the living room window where I could see nothing but gray skies and stillness. I knew he was coming for me, and that he would arrive within the hour and this time, kill me. Addon and his followers would undoubtedly rejoice once I was gone. I was the one that they feared and despised, the one they held responsible for the many plagues they had endured.
Having long ago said our goodbyes to our families and the believers we had met since arriving in Jerusalem––the wonderful, glorious, holy city—Moe and I were ready. We had done all that we could to comfort our brothers and sisters, to assure them that we would see them again very soon. While all of them rejoiced with us that we were about to go be with the Father, some had left only when we told them that it would be easier for us if they did so. Even then, they left in tears for our sakes.
We knew that our waiting was almost over when far off in the distance we heard a low, faint, rumbling noise which seemed to be getting closer. The reverberating sound grew louder and more distinct as the source of the roar drew near. It soon became apparent that the noise was coming from the rolling tracks of a column of tanks. The house began vibrating with an ever-increasing intensity as the tanks drew closer to our home. Several paintings hanging on the walls in the living room began to rattle. They leapt from the walls and crashed onto the hardwood floor, shattering and sending shards of glass in all directions. Judging by the considerable contingent Addon had sent for us, we assumed that he knew what happened to our would-be executioners the last time someone had attempted to silence us before our time had come.
Moe and I looked at one another before rising unsteadily from our seats. We both nodded in unspoken agreement as we began walking toward the door. We were scared, but we refused to stay and cower inside, just waiting for our enemy to arrive. We would meet him outside and face him as the faithful soldiers we were. Each of us took comfort from the words, “greater is he that is in you than he that is in the world.” We would not give the enemy the satisfaction of finding fear in our eyes when he arrived.
Our work was finally finished after traveling a long and difficult road wrought with trials and tribulations. We had dutifully accomplished our mission by delivering the message that the Lord had sent us to bring, and we had warned the peoples of the Earth about the coming destruction. Our work was over; it was time for us to go home…
General Simon had radioed his men to stand down and to begin withdrawing. The tanks rolled out and the men fell in behind them, marching out of the city in the opposite direction from where the enemy troops were positioned. As they moved out, the enemy troops moved in. Within fifteen minutes, all we could see around us were enemy troops and tanks. Soon after, we heard the whirring sound of a helicopter approaching overhead. Looking upwards, toward the approaching sound, I could see that it was Marine One, the Marine Corps helicopter known for carrying the President of the United States and more recently, for carrying the President of the United Nations of the Earth. The helicopter circled overhead several times before landing on the street in front of us. The pilot switched off the helicopter, and just as the blades stopped moving, Abe Addon exited the aircraft, an evil smile stretching from ear to ear.
“Mr. March, how nice it is to see you again. Oh how I have longed for this meeting!” He walked over to where we were standing, even as men raised their M16A4 rifles. Positioned atop the buildings all around were snipers with their M82A3 sniper rifles, all pointed at two unarmed, civilian men. They must have considered us dangerous men indeed.
“Too bad I can’t say the same, demon!” I said defiantly.
“Please, Mr. March, come closer. I want to really savor this moment. Get it? Savor! Oh, that was a good one, I’m such a jokester!” The three of us stood there on a street, in the middle of Jerusalem, with tanks and soldiers all around us. Next to the massive army gathered all around us, we felt small indeed.
“Look, Mr. March and Mr. Princeton, look around you and behold the power at my command. You, too, could have held such power, if only you had chosen to join with me, instead of Him!”
Moe stepped forward and said boldly to the beast,“‘And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone. And the remnant were slain with the sword of him that sat upon the horse, which sword proceeded out of his mouth: and all the birds were filled with their flesh.’”
“Yes, yes, I know all of that,” he said, “we’ve been here before, remember? I know what my end will be, but for now, I will just savor yours. Goodbye, Mr. March.” He reached out and placed one hand on my shoulder and his other hand on Moe’s shoulder. His hand felt as cold as ice. I suddenly felt myself collapsing to the ground as everything went black.
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The Way of Nacor #TheWayofNacor‬ ‪#JeffWHorton‬ ‪#Christian‬ ‪#Fantasy‬ ‪#Children‬ ‪#Books‬ ‪#Sci-Fi‬…

The Way of Nacor
#TheWayofNacor‬ ‪#JeffWHorton‬ ‪#Christian‬ ‪#Fantasy‬ ‪#Children‬ ‪#Books‬ ‪#Sci-Fi‬ ‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬
Rachel looked around in confusion at the darkness that surrounded her. Only moments earlier, she had been sitting on her grandfather’s porch. It had been a bright and sunny day, with a warm breeze blowing the puffy white clouds gently across a Carolina blue sky.
But that was before. Instead of a warm sunny day, there was now a cool, dark night.
Rachel sat up on the ground looking around in fear, seeking solace but instead finding only the darkness to comfort her. She was still disoriented when she finally stood up and began trying to piece things together, to make some sense out of what had happened to her.
She had been in her grandfather’s back yard just moments earlier, running after Jessie…but why? Then she remembered–the glimmer. First, the bird had disappeared into it, then Jessie….
Rachel turned to look around and found Jessie sitting on the ground a few yards away, looking around much as she had been doing. Next to Jessie was Michael, who held Eli close.
Relieved that everyone was safe, Rachel looked up to find herself staring at a dark and alien sky. She gasped and her eyes widened at what she saw. Instead of the sun hanging in a beautiful blue sky, there was a massive orange and red gas giant, which consumed much of the night sky high above them. Wherever they were, it was now clear to her that they were no longer even on Earth.
Among the infinite number of stars visible in the night sky, Rachel looked for but was unable to find any familiar star patterns. Orion’s belt, Taurus, Sagittarius, even the Moon; all of them were—missing. After trying for several minutes she was still unable to make out any of the constellations. Furthermore, the stars appeared to be much larger and brighter than any she had ever seen before on Earth.
Her gaze fell from the sky back down to the surface as she began surveying her immediate surroundings. She found that despite the considerable light radiating from the stars overhead, it was difficult to make out anything more than vague shapes in any direction.
Still a little perplexed, Rachel walked over to where her brothers and her sister still sat on the ground, bewildered. She recognized that the others were terrified and disoriented by what had happened. At that moment, she knew that she had to be strong, for all of them.
As their eyes gradually adjusted to the darkness, they found themselves gazing in awe at a strange and alien landscape that stretched out before them in all directions, as far as the eye could see. The land seemed to be mostly flat, reminding Rachel of the high desert country found in much of the western United States. Shapes resembling mountains or large hills were faintly visible at times in the distance. In the weak light, she could see that vegetation consisting of mostly grasses and small bushes covered much of the ground’s surface all around them. The vegetation appeared to have a bluish hue, something that Rachel attributed to the eerie light playing tricks on her eyes.
No one said anything for the longest time, gaping in wonder at the fantastic beauty all around them. In time, however, they ceased looking around them and began looking to one another.
“Michael, what do you think happened?” Rachel asked. “How do you suppose we got here? Am I imagining this, or is it just some incredible dream?”
“I don’t know what happened or how we got here, Rachel, but I’m pretty sure this isn’t a dream,” he answered.
“Where is Grandpa’s house?” asked Eli. “What happened to the Sun, and the clouds?” he asked.
“How should I know?” quipped Michael. “All I know is that one minute we were all at Grandpa’s house, then that bird disappeared, then Jessie went in after it.” Michael turned with a snarl to his younger sister. “This is all your fault,” he said accusingly, pointing at Jessie.
The little girl shrank back in fear at the outburst from her much bigger older brother and started to cry.
“Good job, Michael,” Rachel said dryly, rushing over to comfort her little sister, while staring angrily at her brother. “Like that’s going to help!”
“Where is Grandpa?” asked Eli with an increased sense of urgency, as if he was now beginning to sense that something was wrong. There was a lot of yelling and crying going on, and he was getting scared. Rachel motioned for him to come to her, and he immediately complied. She held Jessie and Eli close to her, offering them comfort while finding solace for herself through the embrace as well.
“Grandpa had to run to the store, Eli,” she said calmly, gently stroking his head with her hand as she did so. She sat him in her lap and looked him straight in the eyes. “How are you doing, Tiger? Are you doing okay?”
“I want Mommy,” he said, sniffling.
“I know, Eli, so do I. We’ll see Mommy soon, I promise.” Rachel cast a hard look at Michael, whom she could see was about to say something less than helpful in response. The look in her eyes stopped him cold, before he could blurt out anything else.
After a few minutes of peace and quiet, everyone calmed down a bit and the four of them looked around for the second time. Rachel’s face took on an expression of alarm when she looked back in the direction from which they’d come. Michael, seeing the look of fear on her face, turned as well.
“That thing we came through—it’s gone!” he yelled. “How are we supposed to get home now? We’re never going to see Mom again!”
Eli suddenly started to cry, and this time Jessie started sobbing as well.
“Michael Seekers! Why, for once in your life, can’t you act your age? Why don’t you take a look around you? We’re on some strange alien planet, and we have no idea at all where we are! Now you’ve convinced Jessie that this is all her fault and you know that’s just not true! And as if that wasn’t enough, now you’ve gone and scared poor Eli half to death. Can’t you try to be a little more helpful here?” she asked sarcastically.
Michael looked at her, dumbfounded. He was hurt at first, then angry, but soon he came to realize the truth. She was right, about all of it; he just had not looked at it that way. All of them were going to have to grow up a little if they were going to survive.
“You’re right, Rachel, I’m sorry.” Michael then walked over to Jessie and lifted her gently up off the ground, where she had been sitting with her head buried in her arms, still weeping.
“I’m sorry, Jessie,” he began, “this isn’t your fault, I promise. I was just running my mouth without thinking. Any of us could have touched that thing. How could any of us know what would happen? Whatever happens now, it’s not your fault; I was just being a jerk. Will you please forgive me?”
Slowly, Jessie raised her head, looked at Michael, and nodded.
“I’m sure it’s not your fault,” he said calmly, hugging his sister.
The teenager then looked over at Eli, who sat on Rachel’s lap, scared and crying. “Hey, little man, how are you doing?” Michael asked his five-year-old little brother.
The little boy turned and looked at Michael, tears still streaming down his face. “I want Mommy!” he told Michael angrily. “You said that we would never see Mommy again!” Eli then began sobbing uncontrollably, and cried out once again. The sadness in his tears grew more and more heart wrenching and difficult to watch.
Michael put Jessie’s hand in Rachel’s, then knelt down to embrace his little brother, partially to console him and partially out of guilt. He promised himself that he would be much more cautious about what he said in the future in front of his little brother. Eli was going to need him; they all were. “Don’t worry wild man, we’ll see Mommy again soon, I promise!”
“We will?” the little boy asked, his eyes lighting up.
“You bet!”
“Yay!” he exclaimed, jumping up and hugging his big brother.
Michael could not help noticing the mixed look from his older sister, a slight smile combined with a look of concern, clearly uncertain her brother would be able to deliver on that promise.
With the initial shock and acceptance of their new reality behind them, Rachel began thinking about how they had traveled from Earth to wherever they were now, and what their next move should be.
“Michael, why don’t you help me try to find that glimmering thing we came through? It should be right here somewhere; it’s probably just hard to see.”
“What do you think that thing was, Rachel?”
“I’m not sure,” she answered casually.
“Do you think it could be one of those Einstein-Rohlp thingies?” asked Michael.
“You mean an Einstein-Rosen Bridge, a wormhole?”
“Yeah, something like that. I saw something one time on a science channel on television talking about that.”
Rachel rubbed her chin and considered it for a moment. “I suppose it must be something like that, Michael. I mean, how else could we have stepped through that shimmery-portal thing and gotten here from Grandpa’s backyard?”
“Exactly,” Michael answered, pleased with himself for having remembered something from television that was actually useful.
“Well, wormhole portal or whatever, we’ve got to find it if we’re ever going to get back home,” she stated. She began walking around, gradually working her way farther and farther from where they had been talking. In just a few minutes she and Michael were already well beyond where the portal should have been, but without success in finding it.
“I don’t understand; it’s got to be here somewhere!” Rachel declared, raising her voice in frustration.
“Maybe this bridge-portal thing was a one-way deal,” Michael suggested.
“Or maybe the portal to get home is somewhere else now. Regardless, we must try to find it. It’s our only way home.”
“So what should we do now?” Michael asked her, looking to his big sister for answers. “It’s dark, we’re tired, and we’re going to get separated wandering around in the dark if we’re not careful.”
“Alright,” she answered with a heavy sigh. “That’s a good point. Let’s start looking for someplace to stay for the night, somewhere we can get out of this wind and hopefully stay warm. But we have to stick together, okay? Like you said, Michael, we could get separated in the dark. We’re a long way from home and we have no idea where we are or what dangers may exist, so it’s important that we all stay close, agreed?” The others nodded in agreement. “Great; okay, Michael and I will start looking around for possible shelter but we’ll stay close. Jessie—stay with Eli at all times, okay?” Jessie nodded.
“It looks like there are some hills or something off in the distance, Rachel,” Michael told her, pointing towards the mountain peaks in the distance. “Do you think we should head for them?” he asked.
“I don’t really see much else,” she answered. “Of course, I haven’t been able to see much, even after my eyes adjusted to the dark here.”
While Michael was watching a look of terror suddenly appeared on Rachel’s face. With her back to where the portal had been, she now faced away from Jessie and Eli. Upon seeing the look on her face, Michael, who faced in the opposite direction, quickly turned to see what she was looking at. Had he not been immediately immobilized with fear, he undoubtedly would have grabbed the others and run for his life. Barely visible under the faint light of the stars he saw something…a creature…considerably taller than any of them. It walked on two legs but it had four arms, two on each side of its body. While it was still difficult to see in the faint starlight and the little light that reflected off the gas giant, he could tell that whatever the creature was, it was covered with fur, and it was big, really big. Michael estimated that the muscular creature had to be at least seven or eight feet tall, with large, massive shoulders. It was a fierce-looking creature, with an angry expression on its face, and it was walking toward them.
Trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h0I70cD5-8A
Amazon: http://tinyurl.com/o3vm4gq

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MAY IS: all-in for Startup Pregnant

MAY IS: all-in for Startup Pregnant. So many things are happening! If you want to follow along the social pages and support the journey, we’re just getting the flow going with our still-new social pages.
Instagram is HERE! Follow along for curious photos, quotes, and tips from other startup veterans, parents, and people who are curious about leadership across work and family:

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I just created a public Facebook page for my contribution to an exhibit that opens on First Friday, June 2, at the Portland Public Library’s Lewis…

I just created a public Facebook page for my contribution to an exhibit that opens on First Friday, June 2, at the Portland Public Library’s Lewis Gallery. The name of the page, as well as my installation is “Honored Guests” and is comprised of 21 pencil portraits of distinguished people who have contributed to the arts/ cultural scene that we enjoy in Portland. I have combined my drawings with 19th Century portraits of notables from the Library’s collection, hoping to link the cultural tradition of honoring citizens through the public display of their portraits. The page is still rough but I want to post bios and links to familiarize the public with the great contributions made by these remarkable Portlanders.

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Frontiers #Frontiers‬ ‪#JeffWHorton‬ ‪#Cybersp‬@ceSeries ‪#ScienceFiction‬ ‪#Suspense‬ ‪#Aliens‬ ‪#Adventure‬…

Frontiers
#Frontiers‬ ‪#JeffWHorton‬ ‪#Cybersp‬@ceSeries ‪#ScienceFiction‬ ‪#Suspense‬ ‪#Aliens‬ ‪#Adventure‬ ‪#NowAvailable‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬
“Okay, Hank, you’re doing great so far. Now, open the outer doors, and then take it nice and easy up the smoke stack. Oh, and Einstein?”
“Yes, Control?”
“Try not to scratch the paint job, it’s new.”
“Copy that,” Hank replied, wearing a large grin.
“Just relax, Hank, and remember, have fun!”
Hank forced himself to relax again before settling back into his seat.
Rise, slowly. In response to the mental instruction, the ship lifted off the ground and slowly began to rise toward the vertical column above him, what he and Hailey had nicknamed the “smoke stack.” The ship wobbled slightly as it entered the smoke stack, smacking against the edge of the stack on the right side of the ship, from Hank’s perspective. This time however, instead of bouncing between the walls like an ancient pinball machine, the ship settled down and continued to rise slowly and smoothly all the way up the stack, until moments later, the ship was clear, and the world came into view once more. Hank gasped at first, stunned by the level of detail around him, right down to the heat waves rising from the ground.
“This simulation is really something, Control…I’m impressed!”
“Well, you can thank Sandra, and your mother of course. They spent months working to get the simulation as close to reality as they could based on available satellite imagery that the military has at its disposal; which, I might add, is not insignificant.”
“Okay, what next?” he asked.
“Just take her out for a spin, Einstein. This simulation is all about you getting comfortable at the controls of the ship before we put you into the one-of-a-kind, tens of billions of dollars worth of real-world, alien-technology spacecraft.”
“Copy that,” he answered. The craft was now hundreds of meters above the ground. Once more he took a deep breath, determined to practice the self-discipline he felt it would take to successfully fly the craft.
Forward, slow. The simulated Frontier lurched slightly before starting to glide gently forward. Hank suddenly had the impression of feeling like a puck in an air hockey game. The ship was floating gently, nearly imperceptibly. Faster. The ship jerked forward slightly and began accelerating.
Hailey began reading off her computer screen. “Einstein, this is Control.”
“Copy, Control.”
“You’re now traveling at Mach 2, Mach 4….”
Hank remained calm and focused. Faster!
Hailey was still counting. “Mack 8, Mach 20, Mach 30! You’re now at Mach 40! You’re now traveling over forty nine thousand kilometers per hour, a record. Congratulations! How are the inertia dampeners holding up, Frontier?”
“Everything’s fine in here, Control. More like a Sunday drive than anything else.”
“Well I’m certainly impressed. Okay, that’s probably good for now Hank, why don’t we—?”
“I don’t think so, Dreamland. This time, I’m going to take her around the block!” Hank focused again and in his mind he thought, 45-degree vertical bank. Frontier complied, and without so much as a jolt, the ship executed the maneuver precisely
before exiting the Earth’s atmosphere and entering the blackness of space. Directly ahead of him was the moon, which seemed to be approaching much faster than he ever could have anticipated. He was sure had he not swerved at the last minute, he would have slammed into it.
Faster. The ship lurched forward and accelerated. Hank then heard a voice, which he distantly recognized as Hailey’s. It took him a moment to remember that what he was seeing wasn’t real, that he was actually still in the simulator.
“Hailey?”
“Hank, what the heck are you doing in there? This was supposed to be a basic up, down, left, right, slow, fast! Whoa, you’re already nearing Mars?”
“Yeah, heh…it’s coming up fast at ten o’clock.”
“Wow.”
“Yeah, Roger that.”
“Looks like you’ve gotten a feel for the ship.”
“Yeah, it’s great. It handles a lot better than I thought it would, at the speed of thought, no less…literally.”
“Yeah, that’s the idea. This is incredible, you’re doing fantastic!”
“Thanks.”
“So what’s the plan, Einstein?”
Hank took a moment to reflect. “I think I’d either like to fly near the sun, to see how the shields handle the heat, or—”
“Energy Armored Phased Protection,” came the correction.
“I think the shields can take it; what about you, Dreamgirl?”
“Easy now––focus, flyboy, focus!”
“Roger that.”
“Or, what, Einstein?”
“Or I can activate the quantum engines to get a feel for them, though frankly I can’t wait to experience the real ones. Just think of it, experts argued for decades about quantized space-time. Then, for twenty years or so there were several published papers about LQT, or loop quantum theory. They were all wrong, of course!”
“What do you mean?”
“Despite what some theoretical physicists may say, Albert Einstein never claimed that the General Theory of Relativity was the end all of cosmology. In fact, many of the more recent theories about space-time are much closer to the truth. When it comes to traveling faster than light, PDT rules.”
“What is PDT?”
“The quantum engines actually use something called Phased Dimensional Shifting, or PDT, to achieve Faster Than Light travel, or FTL. The theory has to do with slipping slightly into an alternate state of being, another dimension, enabling travel for vast distances. Dad and I have had a number of conversations over the years about various theories that might account for how the ship was capable of interstellar travel. Based on what I’ve learned from developing the quantum engines, they definitely rely on PDT, or something very close to it.”
“Wow.”
“Yeah, it’s really cool. You know, some physicists believe—”
“No, Hank, I’m talking about you.”
“Come again?” he asked, rather confused.
“I can see why they call you Einstein.”
“Was I getting a little geeky? Sorry.”
“No problem, I find it––attractive, actually,” came the reply. Hailey spoke again before Hank could respond. “So where are you now?”
Hank smiled. He knew that she was watching in the control room; she knew exactly where he was.
“Edging past Pluto and the other dwarf planets.”
“Okay, then. Want to try out the quantum engines?”
“Sure, but I’d rather test the real ones.”
“Hank?”
“Sure. I’m punching it in…3-2-1.”
Buy Now: http://amzn.to/1PU6cEt
Read a free sample: http://tinyurl.com/hn5r94o
Book Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ko771QBYMUE

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New Beginnings #New‬ Beginnings ‪#JeffWHorton‬ ‪#ScienceFiction‬ ‪#SpaceOpera‬ ‪#Action‬ ‪#Fantasy‬ ‪#Colonization‬…

New Beginnings
#New‬ Beginnings ‪#JeffWHorton‬ ‪#ScienceFiction‬ ‪#SpaceOpera‬ ‪#Action‬ ‪#Fantasy‬ ‪#Colonization‬ ‪#NowAvailable‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬
“History; it is the only mirror before which we can clearly see tomorrow. It has been just over forty-five years now since my father, Dr. Nick Reynolds, and my mother, Dr. Kate Reynolds, revived an alien, sentient, living computer, an Entelli, that they referred to as Ignis. Existing in a dormant state since his ship crashed in Roswell, New Mexico in 1947, Ignis’s reawakening was the direct result of a desperate effort by the United States government to find a way to combat the highly advanced Ares cyber warfare system, which had already caused the deaths of over a million Americans. The cyber warfare platform, an innovative and powerful system whose design was decades ahead of its time, had been commissioned by the former KGB agent Nikolai Chervanko, who threatened to use the weapon to bury the world in nuclear ash. My parents worked feverishly alongside my grandfather, Dr. Henry Summers, to reverse-engineer the alien technology they found onboard Ignis’s crashed ship, which had been recovered by the United States government from Roswell. The spacecraft, which they named Prometheus, offered their last hope of finding a way to stop Chervanko before millions or even billions of lives were lost.
“Well, many of you know the story―about Chervanko’s capture, and how Ignis and Prometheus gave us everything we needed to construct our own interstellar ship. This, of course, brings us to the event we have all gathered here today to celebrate, the 25th anniversary of humanity’s first interstellar flight, and the formation of the Earth Space Alliance.
“It was twenty-five years ago today that I took Frontier, Earth’s first interstellar ship, a craft modeled after Prometheus, on her maiden voyage to our nearest interstellar neighbor, Alpha Centauri. Who could have imagined back then the dramatic impact that single flight would have on humanity all these years later?
“Consider everything that has occurred as a result of that flight, and the work done to make it possible. Humanity hasn’t had a real war in almost twenty years now. The Earth Space Alliance has been a phenomenal success, helping to peacefully disseminate the dark energy technology all over the planet, while also creating incredible economic opportunities in harvesting raw materials throughout our own solar system. The First Contact, which came about after an alien ship answered Frontier’s distress call while I was stranded in Alpha Centauri, helped usher in lucrative trade with the many sentient species across the galaxy. Then comes perhaps the single most important benefit of all. Because of the Frontier program and the Earth Space Alliance, humanity has turned its collective energy away from war and strife and towards exploration of the universe, and the subsequent trade and interaction with other sentient species across the galaxy.
“The Alliance has already constructed a fleet of ships—enhanced versions of the ship I flew to Alpha Centauri—established trade agreements with over a dozen worlds, and funneled back to Earth some of the most incredible technologies imaginable. Our world is so preoccupied these days with discovering the universe that no one has time for war anymore. Finally, after millennia of conflict and war, humanity is finally at peace.”
The audience at the FedEx Galactic Field in Landover, Maryland was filled to capacity, and once Hank finished his last statement, it seemed the entire audience rose as one before letting out such a resounding roar of applause, mixed with shouts, yells, and whistles, that Hank was certain it had been heard throughout the entire metro area. He joined in the celebration, however, knowing, as they did, that these accomplishments were something each of them had helped bring about, and they could all be proud of their achievements. After several minutes and with some encouragement from Hank, the crowd gradually quieted.
“I’m so very proud of everything we’ve accomplished at the Alliance; first under my father’s leadership for two terms as President of the Earth Space Alliance, and then during my time here as president. I don’t think I could be more thankful for the opportunity you have given me, nor could I have asked for a team of more dedicated, enthusiastic individuals than those I’ve worked with these last few years.
“With your permission, I would like to also take this opportunity to make an important announcement. Unlike my father, Dr. Nick Reynolds, who served two terms with the Alliance, I would like to announce that I will not be seeking a second term as president.”
The announcement stunned everyone in attendance so much it seemed one might be able to hear the proverbial pin drop. “I have been asked by the League of Sentient Species to be Earth’s ambassador there, and as important as my time with the Alliance has been, I feel I can contribute even more as your ambassador to the League. I haven’t decided whether to accept this position, but I have decided that in either case I will step aside to let someone else take over the incredibly important responsibility for leading the Earth Space Alliance.
“Once again, congratulations to everyone for twenty-five amazing years leading Planet Earth out of its protective nest and out into the far and amazing reaches of the cosmos. Thank you.” Hank turned, and without saying another word walked towards the exit before disappearing behind the closed door.
Buy Now: http://amzn.to/1Seq6MJ
Read a free sample: http://tinyurl.com/hw2dzrx

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Heaven’s Oasis by Jeff W

Heaven’s Oasis by Jeff W. Horton
#Heaven’sOasis ‪#JeffWHorton‬ ‪#Christian‬ #Romance ‪#Religious‬ ‪‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬
It couldn’t have been more than a few hours past dusk. Judging by the lukewarm breeze that caressed his face, he judged it to be a midsummer evening. The crashing of the waves on the beach was at the same time both soothing and peaceful, and not a little calming, with a slight breeze giving the evening an almost Caribbean ambiance. It was dark out, yet from where he sat on the beach much of the ocean was still quite easy to see. A full moon beamed its light down from above, bathing the ocean’s surface with glittering light, casting a beautiful and radiant reflection on the surface of the water, and surreal silhouettes up and down the beach. In total the subsequent effect was to create the most romantic of atmospheres. Kevin glanced over at Claire, who’d closed her eyes for a moment to enjoy the ocean breeze. Her face was bathed in moonlight and her skin warm and soft to the touch. Kevin’s heart swelled with emotion as he watched her, the woman who’d brought such joy into his life; his soulmate. His gaze was still fixed on her when Claire suddenly opened her eyes. Following a brief moment of surprise, a beautiful and
infectious smile soon broke out on her face, a smile which immediately spread to his as well.
“Why are you staring at me, Kev?”
A great longing and a faint hint of sorrow slowly began gnawing at him. “I’d just forgotten how beautiful and amazing you are, Claire,” he said smoothly and with utter sincerity, tracing the curves of her face and shoulders with his hands. “Your emerald green eyes, the extraordinary curves of your face and your body, that brilliant, amazing mind of yours, and your warm and caring personality…what an amazing woman you were!”
“Were?” she asked with surprise. A momentary wave of confusion passed over Kevin’s face, but soon passed.
“No, I mean how beautiful you are, of course!” The couple stared into one another’s eyes for several moments before kissing. Her moist lips, her familiar and exciting taste, and her gentle caresses caused a great warmth to flow through him, along with a feeling of bewilderment that she’d chosen him as her husband, and he was so very, very glad that she had.
Afterwards, the two of them lay down on the blanket they’d brought with them to the beach and gazed up at the stars. Claire lay on her side, resting her head on his chest as she was prone to do, and Kevin in turn stroked her hair, as he was prone to do. A peace and serenity passed through him, as it often did when he was with Claire. Her calm and quiet spirit was a constant reminder of her piety, and the love for Jesus Christ that they shared. Their deep and abiding love for God and the depth of their love for one another had forged the kind of bond that few couples ever experienced.
Claire wrapped her arms tightly around him and kissed him again, before laying back down on the blanket to continue staring up at the stars.
“Kevin, do you love me?” she asked him without warning.
Kevin shot up on one arm and leaned over her, staring into her eyes and smiling. “Do I love you? No, I don’t just love you,” he said with a playful grin. “I absolutely adore you! After all, I married you, didn’t I?”
“Yes, you did!” she answered with a big smile this time, before pushing him down flat on the blanket and this time suspending herself with her arms so her body remained suspended above his. “I want to ask you something, Kev,” she stated with some slight hesitation.
“Ask me anything, Mrs. Foster, I’m yours to command.”
“Kev, I know we were just married, but I’d really like to start a family once I wrap up this project I’m working on, if it’s okay with you.”
“A family?” Kevin asked.
“Yes, of course. I love you more than I thought I could ever love anyone, and I want nothing more than to have your children.”
Kevin kissed her, and smiled like a school boy until his expression changed slightly. “But Claire, what about your work? You’re gone for so long on those expeditions….”
“Yeah, well, I thought maybe I’d make this expedition my last trip out into the field, at least until after the kids are grown. I could take on a fulltime professorship
teaching in the classroom. That should enable me to stay close to home so I can spend some quality time with the man I love, and our children.”
Once again his heart swelled, recognizing once more, as he had many times in the past, how blessed he was to have Claire in his life. “Then let’s do it.” The couple locked in a long romantic embrace until their bliss was interrupted by a strange and unwelcomed sound, which both startled, and for some strange reason he could not fathom, greatly agitated him. The intrusive noise grew ever louder as it seemed to draw closer, causing him to sit-up with a start. He was suddenly overwhelmed by an ugly feeling of dread.
“Claire, what is that sound? Do you hear that?” He waited for several seconds for her to answer, before eventually turning back to her. After he’d turned around, however, he discovered why she hadn’t responded; he was suddenly and inexplicably alone on the blanket. He began to panic and grew momentarily disoriented and confused. Then, the moon and the stars vanished, and the sounds of the ocean ceased.
***
Kevin opened his eyes and stared at the ceiling for several seconds, until the exceedingly aggravating sound of the alarm clock blaring away next to his bed drove him to sit up and turn it off. It was then that he realized that the time with Claire had been nothing more than a cruel mirage in a desert of suffering, and his heart sank in his chest. He sat on the edge of his bed for some time, dejected and despondent, trying desperately to recapture even a few fleeting moments of bliss from his dream. He recalled her smile, the smell of her hair, her touch, and her words; then, in the privacy of his hotel room, he began to weep.
Buy Now: http://tinyurl.com/hgqdd9t
Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U6HUQcXXsEs

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This is my new favorite song

This is my new favorite song. Something so bluesy when he off-key croons, “I was born a Capricooorrrn.”
Like man, you *get* it. It isn’t easy being a relentlessly ambitious saturnine pillar of society ;)
#capricornpower
Don’t feel left out if you didn’t have the good fortune / melancholy curse of being born a sea-goat tho…
there’s a weird badly sung lounge tune for every sun sign by this guy ;)
Thanks for finding it, Annie Derek, you penetrating scorpionic force, you.

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The wonderful Natalie Ross of the Dream Freedom Beauty podcast interviewed me the other day about: - How to love the parts of you that love to be…

The wonderful Natalie Ross of the Dream Freedom Beauty podcast interviewed me the other day about:
- How to love the parts of you that love to be f*cked up
- What’s happening when the world open ups and swallows you into a weird black hole
- Differences between the hero’s & heroine’s journeys, and why it’s important for those with strong feminine inclinations to know this
- The non-dual nature of reality as told through the Persephone story
- Practices for transmuting the power of SHAME
- The synchronous relationship between unconscious desires and what happens in your world
- Why NOT to be careful what you wish for
you can find the podcast here:

http://www.dreamfreedombeauty.com/carolynelliott

P.S. And of course if you’re feeling up for it, INFLUENCE: the life-altering course on mastering practical magic is still open for registration until Monday, February 27th at midnight – you can learn more and register here:

http://www.superconnectors.online/post-solstice-2/

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