10.26.2008

Time......... (Part 11)

Peter dragged Kevin along, and they worked on repairing the machine together. Peter soon found that, if Kevin was good at getting into trouble, he was even better at repairing mechanical devices.
"This machine shouldn't have blown up," Kevin remarked as he investigated it. "It must of malfunctioned somehow."
"Yeah, maybe because of all the stress it went through. I'm surprised it didn't blow me and Frank up, too."
"And considering all that stress, all of the materials we have here would have blown up first thing! Earth must be an amazing place to produce all these things!"
"Yes, I suppose so. How are we going to build duplicates of this machine if there aren't any materials that stand up as well?"
"Maybe we could smuggle some things from Earth in this machine," Kevin suggested.
"I hope it won't be too much stress on the machine, going back and forth with extras on it."
"Then maybe we could build the machines on Earth, and fly them back here. And then, if I could go with you, I'd be able to see Earth!"
"Oh, no!" Peter mocked horror.
"What?"
"You'd be in trouble every two minutes!"
"Stop talking like my uncle - or Lt. Fromere - or Lady Elwes - or the leader - or, oh bother! Like everyone else in this fort!" Kevin said, agitated.
Peter hid his grin in his sleeve. "Be careful with that screwdriver; you nearly poked me in the eye," he said simply.

Peter discussed the issue of materials with the leader that night.
"We have the plans all worked out, but we definitely lack the correct materials. We've tested the major ones on this planet, and nothing seems to hold up to anything higher than 1000 degrees Fahrenheit."
"How did you figure that out?"
"Labs," Kevin grinned. "We asked the lab-guys to test them for us, and they did."
"Scientists, not lab-guys, Kevin, please!"
"Yes, sir," Kevin said meekly.
"We had an idea though," and Peter told the leader the plan he and Kevin had discussed earlier.
"Where will you land on Earth, though? You may be miles away from where you can access materials!"
"That's true, but it's worth the risk, sir."
It took a lot of convincing, but in the end, they resolved on sending Peter and Kevin in the machine. It was determined that if Peter and Frank really were the ones prophesied about, they would survive in order to deliver the galaxy. It was risky, but it seemed the only way.
Frank would stay behind to see if he could help with the computer trouble; guessing passwords could become very useful.

Kevin followed Peter into the machine, and clenched his hands as Peter pulled the lever downward.
A click, a whizz, and a bump, then the engine began to smoke.
"I think we're here," Peter said. He opened the door and stepped out.
"This is Earth?" Kevin asked, gazing with admiration at the tall buildings surrounding them.
"Ah!" Peter almost screamed. We've got get out of here!"
Cars were stopping and beeping their horns; other simply whizzed by; a policeman began yelling to them; the tall skyscrapers - this was New York City. And the middle of it at that. And in the middle of a noisy, busy road, too.
Kevin, though he had never encountered anything that looked like a car, knew enough to start helping Peter drag the machine onto the side-walk. With the help of a couple of policemen, they succeeded within a minute's time.
"Now, then, what are you doing here? Int he middle of the road? With an odd looking, um - whatever it is?" one of the policemen demanded sternly.
"We were - trying to cross the street, sir," Peter said.
"And what is your name?"
"Peter Sperring, sir."
"And yours?" He pointed to Kevin.
"Kevin Hethe, sir."
"Now, none of that nonsense! You won't get out of this fix by telling me you're a movie star."
"I'm not a moving star! Besides, I thought they were called shooting stars, not moving stars!" Kevin protested.
"I'm not playing games with you!"
"Neither am I. What are you doing, though?"
"I'm bringing you two along with me to the station. You both look young, so no doubt you have parents or guardians, and we'll have to contact them." With that, he put a firm hand on both of their arms and lead them off the busy side-walk. The accompanying policemen towed away the machine.
"Peter," Kevin said, "it's really loud here. And are we going to have be questioned again?"
"Yes, you will," the policeman answered for him.
"Bother! I'm always getting into these fixes. Only this time, it's not my fault!"
"Well I didn't know where it would land," Peter replied.
"Does it fly, then?" the policeman interrupted.
"Sort of. I mean, it used to, but it's kind of broken."
"And may I ask you if you have a license to fly machines around?"
"Yes, you can," Kevin said promptly.
The policeman looked furiously at him, but didn't respond. They arrived at the police station, and were searched for identification objects.
"What is this, a wrench?"
"Wrench? No, that's a turn-screw," Kevin said.
"Turn-screw? What on earth is a turn-screw?"
"He means a wrench," Peter intervened.
"What does this card mean?"
"That? Oh, that's from my uncle."
"Major Abraham Hethe? And here's an address. We'll have to contact him."

Peter and Kevin were left in custody until their "guardians could be contacted." Kevin looked at Peter with excitement and despair.
"How long will they keep us here?"
"I don't know. I never was arrested before."
"Arrested? Is that what we are?"
"Yes."
"Then those people are the guard?"
"No, not guard; police."
"You mean like 'police wash my boots'?"
"Um, I guess so," Peter grinned. "I'm glad of one thing."
"What?"
"You're here. I know it won't be dull by any stretch."
"Is that supposed to be a compliment?"
"Yes, I think so. I'll also be glad that my parents will here about me. They must be worried sick!"
"What will happen to me, though? They're going to try to contact my uncle, but they can't do that; can they?"
"I doubt they can," Peter pondered Kevin's words. What would the police do to Kevin?

Ring, ring!
"Hello?" Mrs. Sperring picked up the phone. "Peter? You found him? Where is he?" Her voice betrayed her excitement and delight. Mr. Sperring put down his book and looked up expectantly.
"Yes, we'll be down to pick him up tonight!" She put down the phone, and looked at her husband. "Oh, I'm so glad! They've found Peter!"
"Where was he?"
"In the middle of a street down in N.Y. City," she replied. "He was there with an odd mechanical device and another boy they've identified as the movie star, Kevin Hethe."
"Kevin Hethe? How in the world did Peter hook up with him?"
"I haven't a clue. There was no word of his friend Frank though," She puckered her face in anxiety. "I hope he and Peter haven't quarreled, and gone and down something dreadful!"
"Nevermind, we'll soon learn. I'll see if I can reserve a place on a flight to NYC tonight."
Mrs. Sperring nodded her agreement, and began packing at once.

Copyright - 9/17/2008 - Curious Cognitive Content (CCC)
Please do not reproduce without permission from the author(ess).

10.23.2008

Time......... (Part 10)

"Edmund! Come to dinner, please!"
"Yeah, I"ll take out the garbage in a minute!" the answer came back.
Edmund's mother put her hands on her hips and puzzled over her son's reply. "Not the garbage, dinner!"
"Okay, mom, sure."
Mom rolled her eyes. What was wrong with Edmund today? She knocked on his bedroom door and waited for an answer.
"Hi," was all that came to her ears.
"Ed, can I come in?"
"Yeah, that sounds good," the answer was without inflection and the tone one of total ignorance to that which was happening around him.
Mom entered the room and found him sitting on the floor with his laptop between his knees and an extremely serious expression on his face.
"What's wrong, homework?" mom asked.
"What?" Edmund looked up with surprise. "Oh, what do you want, mom?" he shut the laptop closed with a guilty expression.
"I asked if you were having trouble with your homework. I was calling you for dinner, and you didn't seem to hear me."
"No, I didn't. Sorry." Edmund stood up and shoved his laptop underneath a pile of papers. "But I've heard now," he grinned.
He was pleasant enough at dinner, but he seemed to be very vague and distracted. Mom decided that it was definitely homework that was troubling him.

Frank rolled over in his sleep. Why was the bed so hard? He woke up with a start and realized he was lying on the floor. Peter saw him stand up.
"What's wrong, Frank?" he whispered.
"The beds here are too narrow. That's the second time I've rolled off of it!"
"I expect you'll get used to it," Peter smiled.
"I'm not so sure," Frank replied. He looked around the narrow bedroom. The two rows of bunks that lined two of the walls were occupied by several soldiers. The only thing it lacked was some light. And fresh air. But when you show up unexpectedly, you took whatever you were given, not daring to complain for fear of something worse. And they had been promised a better room tomorrow night.
One of the soldiers stirred in his sleep. If he was asleep. Frank had a feeling the soldiers were only pretending. Unless they were very deep sleepers.
"Go to sleep, Frank," Peter mumbled sleepily.
"I can't see which way by my bed is," Frank said. "Holler out and I might be able to locate the general direction."
"I'm making enough sound, aren't I?" Peter continued in a whisper. One of the soldiers smothered a cough. Frank sighed, and with a shrug that no one could see, felt around the room till he found his bed again. But he didn't fall asleep.
"Pete, you know, we still don't know what this whole fort is here for. And Pete, why were we a part of a prophecy yet couldn't do what they need most? Pete?"
"Shut up!" Peter hissed between his teeth.

The leader still sat at his desk, his thoughts whirling through his head. Everything had gone wrong today. First the two boys show up and confuse everything. Then they raise hopes by producing spinning-watches, and making everyone believe they were the ones spoken about in the prophecy. But how in the galaxy could they do anything to help?
True, the boy could build a fast-traveling machine - that is, if what he had told them was true. And yes, one of them could guess passwords. But what good were those strange gifts? And was the prophecy indeed true? What if the boys were intruders that knew about the prophecy and were just faking it?
And why did Kevin have to get himself tangled up in everything? Because Kevin...was...Kevin. A smile flashed temporarily across his face. Kevin's father was a real mischief-maker too.
But his affair about the computer. Who had broken into it, and what had they seen?
The leader groaned and rubbed his aching head. He rose from his seat, looking pale and haggard. What good was asking the unanswerable when what he really needed was more sleep?

Edmund scanned the files again. "What's all this about Nagar?" he wondered.
"The Nagars's plans were discovered earlier today," a file dated two years ago, read. The captured plans were attached to the document. Edmund scanned them quickly, gasping with alarm.
The strategy was simple, or at least it appeared so. The tactic was to attack and defeat the hundreds of planets in Andromeda. They appeared to want to take over the Galaxy, or at least a large portion of it. But it was evident that Limblon was in the way, and was preventing the rest of the plan from working out. But it was clear from these plans, too, that they were trying to concoct some sort of a space-craft that could reach planet Earth in much less time. Earth apparently had great resources they could use.
"This is a joke," Edmund muttered, "Who ever heard of Andromeda being inhabited? And why would they take interest in Earth of all planets in all galaxies? It might have great resources, but could it actually be that much use to them?"
It could, so all the plans said. And then came a portion about some anciet prophecy being fulfilled by certain people from Earth, and how it must be stopped from coming to pass.
"This is weird," he said out loud.
"What's weird, dear?" mom came into the room. She had been keeping a close eye - and ear - on her son; he was acting so strange.
"Um, just something - I was -reading," he stuttered.
"I see. Tell me if you need help with it."
"What?"
"With your homework."
"Oh, okay," Ed grinned sheepishly as his mom turned away. He looked back at the screen. Everything was looking choppy, and the graphics were even worse. He couldn't click on any files; an error message kept popping up. "Someone knows I've been on their computer, and there trying to stop me," he thought. A firewall was blocking him out now.
"Oh, come on, you thing!" he sighed. After a couple of tries, he managed to break through the firewall. He pulled up a document, and typed a sentence, then saved it. Whoever owned the computer would have to try hard in order to overlook the document. Which mean they would read it, and that was just what he wanted.

Peter sat back in his chair and pondered what he had heard. "So Nagar is convinced it can actually undertake a job like conquering a galaxy?"
"Yes, and it has been fairly successful. Until they got to us. We were warned ahead of time that they planned attacking us next, and to evacuate the citizens, and organize a fort of some sort," the leader said.
"I see. But why is it so interested in Earth, too?"
"Because they know the prophecy," Fromere interjected.
"Yeah they know it better than we do," Frank hinted.
"But what does the prophecy have to do with Earth?" Peter asked.
"The prophecy says that the people who will save Andromeda will come from Earth. No one knows how, or how many, or anything," the leader replied.
"How will people like us from little Earth save a big galaxy?" Peter said, overtaken suddenly with an awe of the bigness of outer space.
"It has long been thought that Earth was a blessed place. It is unlike any other place discovered thus far, and it is believed that all life originated from it."
"How did people get to Andromeda then?"
The leader pressed his lips together in deep thought. "I didn't mean for this to be a history lesson," he said at last. "All you need to know is that we have a fearful enemy who wants control of the galaxy and of Earth, and you will probably encounter many fights here. As far as history goes, everyone in Andromeda came from Earth, and I don't have time for other details at the moment."
"Yes, sir," Peter replied. His eyes glittered with excitement. And perhaps a hint of pride. After Earth had been talked so poorly of, it was comforting to note that the leader actually admitted having originated from that planet. But how had they gotten to Andromeda?
His thoughts were interrupted by rapid knocking at the door.
"Who on earth could that be?" Frank wondered aloud. The leader glared at him.
"We aren't on Earth, so will you please keep your remarks to yourself. Let whoever it is in, Fromere."
"Yes, sir." Fromere rose to answer the door. Peter guessed he was the leader's right-hand man, because he seemed to always be around him.
"Why do people always seem to come in the middle of conversation?" Peter said softly. Kevin grinned at him.
"It's normal. You'll get used to it," he replied in a low tone.
The visitor was one of the men from the ITC (Information and Technology Chamber), and was there to give the updates on the hacker-situation.
"He broke through the firewall, sir. But that isn't all. He left behind a line, to."
"A line? What kind of a line?"
"A line of words, you know."
"Ah. What do they say?"
" 'If you guys are writing a Science-Fiction novel, I suggest using a stronger security system; someone could steal your ideas.' "
"That's all?"
"Yes, sir."
"Remarkable!" the leader scratched his head thoughtfully. He turned towards Peter and asked in a low tone, "What is a Science-Fiction novel?"
"A type of story, sir," Peter smirked.
"Does this know-it-all suggest a stronger system?" the leader asked of the messenger.
"No, sir. And I've no idea how to contact him."
"Leave him a document and see if he replies," the leader said. "Now, then. We've got work to be done. Peter, I wanted you to fix that machine; our robots have written the plans of it, but since it is needing repair, the plans are slightly messed-up."

Copyright - 9/17/2008 - Curious Cognitive Content (CCC)
Please do not reproduce without permission from the author(ess).

10.22.2008

Time......... (Part 9)

Millions of trillions of miles away from where Frank and Peter sat contentedly eating dinner, planet Earth continued its slow revolution around the sun.
Edmund shouldered his backpack, and turned to leave the school. He stopped where he was, however, when he overheard two teachers talking in the hallway.
"There's got to be some way of getting the school board to hire a better web designer!" one of them said. "The school website is done very badly!"
"I agree; shades of black and white are not what I call inspiring," the second one replied.
"Are you sure we can't convince them to -"
"Certain! I've tried several times. I have a feeling that if we made the website look more appealing, more people would want to come, but the school board doesn't seem to get my drift."
Edmund grinned and turned away. He didn't need to hear any more. He was an expert with computers, and knew just how to fix the website.
As soon as he arrived home, he hid in his room with a laptop between his knees, and began the process of hacking into the school's website. At least, he thought it was the school's website. It soon became apparent that he had made a mistake.
"Some other weird system," he sighed. "But what is this? 'Reports from the fort at Limblon, Andromeda,' and it lists a bunch of names. Andromeda? Is this a joke of some sort?" he leaned closer to the screen and, after a moment or two, was able to bring up a map. It was an odd map, with all sorts of tunnels and chambers branching this way and that. And what were all those red dots?
"I've found something. But what I mean by something, I don't know yet," Edmund scratched his head thoughtfully. The graphics were bad, he noticed. Like it was coming over a long distance. "One thing's certain, it must not be anything important, or else they would have set up a better defense than they have!"

Frank stared at his empty plate.
"You know, wishing for food never got anyone any," Peter smiled.
"Not without some kind of action," Kevin agreed. "By the way, I wanted to thank you guys for letting me stay with you."
"You're the only one we really feel like we know here," Peter replied. "I'd try and stay out of trouble from now on, if I were you, or the leader might change his mind."
"The leader?" Kevin laughed. "Don't you know his name?"
"No. What is it?"
"I don't know. Everyone calls him sir," Kevin said.
"Another mystery!" Frank groaned. "I feel like I don't know anything here!"
There was a sudden knock on the door, and a guard walked in. He presented them with the message that they were wanted by the leader now. The boys promptly rose and followed him to chamber A2.
The leader was there with the original five men, and a few others. Chamber A2 was more furnished than A1, and looked more like a living room than anything else.
"Now then, you want to know more about what we are up to, don't you?" the leader asked.
"Um, yes; if you don't mind," Peter said.
"Well, first off, there's -" he was interrupted by an urgent entreaty at the door. Three men rushed in and breathlessly broke the news to him.
"Someone's hacked into the system!"
"Hacked into the system? The computer system?" the leader stood up hastily.
"Yes, sir! And what's more, the hacker is identified as coming from Earth!"
"Earth? Those idiots don't know how to break into computers in different galaxies! They're so concerned with themselves, and never imagine what might be happening around them! They don't even know the danger they are in!" this passionate speech from the leader roused all of the men, and made Frank and Peter look helplessly around. To be told that you come from a planet of idiots is not exactly encouraging.
"But what danger are we - I mean Earth - in?" Peter said at last. "You keep on talking in riddles! Some people from Nagar is all I've managed to piece together."
"I'll tell you that in a moment. Now you boys will have your chance to prove your usefulness to us."
"How, sir?"
"How? Aren't you two good with computers?" the leader asked incredulously.
"No, sir. I always made odd windows pop up on my mom's computer, and didn't have a clue as to what to do with them," Peter admitted. Frank nodded his head in agreement.
"But - the prophecy - and -" Fromere gasped out.
"What about it?" Peter asked.
"One will rule with iron;
One with words and symbols;
One will carry on,
One will computers control,"
Fromere recited.
"And you thought you couldn't remember that much," Peter grinned at Kevin.
"At least he told the truth," Frank said innocently.
"But obviously, one of you are good with computers?" the leader asked again.
"No, we're not!" Peter said frantically.
"Couldn't it refer to four people?" Kevin asked.
"But carrying on doesn't make any sense," the leader replied.
"Unless they were having a tantrum," Frank said. Peter nudged his arm.
"What should we do about the hacker, sir?" one of the three messengers persisted.
"Ah, me!" the leader groaned, burying his face in his hands. "Get someone in there to determine how much the person has seen, and try to stop them from seeing more!"
The men left to do his bidding. And the leader dismissed everyone from the room. He was having a hard day.

Copyright - 9/17/2008 - Curious Cognitive Content (CCC)
Please do not reproduce without permission from the author(ess).

10.21.2008

Time......... (Part 8)

The leader stroked his chin in deep thought. "I can not satisfy your curiosity at the moment," he said at last.
"Why not? If you want us to help, we ought to at least know what's going on," Peter argued.
"Yes, I do not contradict you. But as it is, we know so little about you. You seem to be what we are needing here, but that doesn't mean you aren't spies."
"Spies!" Peter exclaimed. "How many times must we assure you that we aren't spies? And besides, time will be running out. If you need our assistance, the sooner we help you the sooner you can win your war, and we can go home."
"Go home? My dear boy! You don't seem to realize how impossible that is!"
"What do you mean?"
"If you think it is just a few of us in a metal space-fort against hundreds of other planets, than you are mistaken!"
"Hundreds of other planets? Your enemy is that wide-spread?" Peter's eyes widened.
"Our enemy? Don't you get what I am saying? It is your enemy, too, if what you have told me is the truth about yourselves."
"But how?" Peter's face showed his bewilderment. "the way you go on is enough to make a fellow confused!"
The leader looked at the men closest to him with a questioning look. Would they tell these boys more? They genuinely seemed confused. Either they were telling the truth, that they had come from the oblivious planet Earth, or they were very good actors.
"You are certain you aren't spies?" one of the men asked stupidly.
"Certain. In fact, give me your watch, Frank!" Peter took off his own watch, and Frank handed him his. Peter gave them to the leader. The leader looked at them a moment, then started up in astonishment.
"Fromere, come here! You must tell me if I'm seeing right!"
"Yes, sir," Fromere bounded over, and examined the watches. His eyes widened and he handed them to the another man. In no time, the watches were circulating around the room, and the hum of conversation rose in the air.
Kevin looked at Frank and Peter with a puzzled air, and leaned over to whisper in Peter's ear, "What's so big about your watches?"
"I don't know," Peter said, returning the gaze. "They broke during our traveling and the hands are spinning around, but why would that cause excitement?"
"The hands are spinning around?" Kevin asked with renewed interest.
"Um, yes. What of it?"
"The Prophecy of the Spinning Watch! Now it makes sense!"
"Prophecy of the Spinning Watch?" Frank asked. "It sounds like something out of an old detective book series my mom used to read!"
"What series was that?" Kevin asked.
"It was Nancy Drew and the Hardy Bo -"
"Don't! You always get us off topic!" Peter interrupted his friend. "Tell us more about the prophecy!"
"Um, okay. It went something like this:
'When trouble storms in galaxy,
And wars between the planets,
A surprising help will come to thee,
Faster in space than comets.

The unexpected will turn out the best,
So the amazing-machine will tell;
The spinning watch will say the rest,
Inside it's shining, metal shell.'
"There was more to it too, but I can't remember it," Kevin said ruefully.
"And they think we're the ones? The mysterious help?" Peter asked. He wondered why his voice was heard so clearly. Then it struck him that the room was silent, and everyone in it was observing him and Frank closely. He felt his face flush with embarrassment.
"Yes," Kevin said softly.
"I wonder that we hadn't seen it before," the leader broke in. "The 'amazing machine' is clearly your 'time' machine, as you called it. And the prophecy talks of a Liftun and a Sperring. We always assumed they were the names of spaceships."
"You knew my name then?" Peter asked astonished.
"Is your last name Sperring?"
"I should think 'twas!" Peter exclaimed.
Frank turned to Kevin, "You really did leave parts out of that!"
"But now, sir, if your convinced we aren't spies, would you explain some things to us now?"
"Convinced?" the leader choked. "I'm more than convinced! But we mustn't discuss things now. The emergency signal can be canceled, Fromere. But the word of these boys must not leak out! We can't have the enemy aware of this news!"
"Yes, sir!" Fromere saluted and left hurriedly.
"Kevin! Do hear what I say?"
"Of course, sir! I shan't say a word!" Kevin grinned. The leader eyed him suspiciously, but passed on.
"It is dinner time, so we will postpone conversation and plans for later." He dismissed the men, till the only ones remaining in the chamber were the three boys, Lady Elwes, and the leader.
"Kevin, since we can't risk you leaking information amongst the men, you will stay under close watch."
"Can't he stay with us?" Frank interjected. The leader raised his eyebrows.
"You want that trouble-maker hanging around you?"
"He's not a -"
"Yes, we do," Peter interrupted Frank.
The boys finally convinced the leader of their plan, and left for a private chamber for dinner, for, as the leader explained, they would excite suspicion by entering one of the main dining halls.

Copyright - 9/17/2008 - Curious Cognitive Content (CCC)
Please do not reproduce without permission from the author(ess).

10.18.2008

Where then is thy hope?


“And now, O Lord, for what do I wait?
My hope is in you.
Deliver me from all my transgressions."
Psalms 39:7-8a

"For to this end we toil and strive, because we have our hope set on the living God, who is the Savior of all people, especially of those who believe."
1Timothy 4:10

"As for the rich in this present age, charge them not to be haughty, nor to set their hopes on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly provides us with everything to enjoy."
1Timothy 6:17


We are the "rich in this present age." We have been blessed in America with many privileges other countries do not have. But have we set our hopes in these riches? With the economy's drop, many people panicked. Why? Because all of their hopes were placed in the money they lost.
I know that I have placed my hope in dozens of other things than Christ and the Gospel. I have been so wrapped up in election candidates, and worried till my hair has almost fallen out, yet what has it down for me?
"And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life?" Matthew 6:27

Therefore, let me encourage thee; to place thy trust in Christ and in Him alone!
Note: quotations obtained from ESV Bible Online

Time......... (Part 7)

Peter swallowed hard. The hand on his arm seemed to lighten a little bit. Peter mustered all of his courage, and said, "I'm Peter."
"Peter? Peter who?" the man demanded.
"How did you get in here?" a second interjected.
"Through the hideout," Peter said. He tried to appear calm, but his knees were all shaky. It was clear to him that the men had been discussing something they didn't want anyone to hear, and their faces betrayed their anxiety.
"And how -" one of the men began.
"Wait! What were you doing in the hideout, boy?" the man who appeared to be the leader asked of him.
"I -I was frightened," Peter replied.
"Frightened? Of what?"
"Of- of- soldiers, sir."
"Soldiers? Why were you frightened by them? Don't you realize, that by giving into your silly fears, you have landed yourself into more trouble than if you hadn't?"
"Yes, sir."
"Then why did you do it?"
Peter remained silent. He could tell he was making a fool of himself. Yet if he were to tell them everything, they would not believe him, and if they did, Kevin and Frank would be in hot water, too. He screwed up his face to think.
"More to the point," the leader continued, "Why were you afraid of the soldiers if you yourself... are... one," his voice trailed off, and he looked at Peter sharply. "Or aren't you?"
"Please, sir, I don't know what I am!" Peter said as he gave way to vexation.
"What do you mean? Everyone knows what they are."
"Well, at least - I- know I'm a boy," Peter stuttered. The leader rolled his eyes.
"Yes, yes. Of course your a boy! If you were a man, you'd answer like one!"
The room became very still for a few minutes. Finally one of the men spoke.
"Sir, what do you want done with him?"
The leader stroked his chin thoughtfully. "He's an idiot, I can tell that, but even idiots have ears. I'm not sure how much he has heard."
"Nor I, sir."
"I think you should hold him in custody for -" he was interrupted by a rapid knock on the door coming from the hideout. "Doremat, answer the door please."
"Who is there?" Doremat, a thin man with shaggy brown hair, called out.
"The Lady Elwes, sir," the answer came back.
"Elwes. Should I let her in?"
"Uh, yes, go ahead. Things can't get much worse can they?" the leader replied wearily.
Doremat opened the door, and the lady entered to room. Her long, dark hair was worn in a braid, and her eyes were clear blue. Peter saw at once that she was both beautiful and stern.
"Father," she said, addressing the leader. "We have found that, according to our computers, there are two people in the fort without leave. We caught one of them, in the midst of some mischief with Kevin, and -"
"Kevin!"
"Yes, and the computer directed us to this room for the other one. Since no one else is allowed here while your meeting was in session, I came alone to warn you."
"Well then, it would appear that this boy is the person you seek," her father motioned to Peter.
"Another boy?" She raised her eyebrow in surprise.
"Yes. What does Kevin have to do with all of this?"
"I do not know. He was found in the Information and Technology chamber. The other boy, who says his name is Frank Liftun was found in the hall directly across from the entrance to the chamber. I must also inform you that he knew both the entrance and exit passwords."
"This is not looking good. The computer identified nothing else?"
"No, nothing out of the usual," the woman's face looked puzzled for a moment and she added, "there was one other thing. An oddly made machine was brought in today. The materials are a type of metal we are not familiar with."
"But that could easily come from another planet. Which would describe a lot of things. These two boys were thought to get away with spying, and thus were sent in the machine from Nagar."
"But Father, the Nagar's don't have this kind of metal on their planet either!"
The leader's face showed his confusion and for a moment he was unable to speak. Then he said, "Fromere, send out the emergency signal. Something is going on and we have to figure it out."
"Very good, sir!" Fromere saluted, and left the room hastily.
"Sir?" Peter said timidly.
"What?" the leader demanded harshly.
"I think I could explain - about the machine - and about me and Frank."
"Ah! so you admit that you are directly related to the machine?"
"Yes, sir."
"You will tell us everything when we reach the Information and Technology chamber." The leader yelled out some orders to the men, and they set off on their way. Peter's eyes took a moment to adjust to the dark lighting of the hall, but he managed to half stumbled, half be dragged along by Doremat.
The hall was soon seething with people. People were rushing past in uniforms and arranging themselves in lines. There were few woman though, Peter noticed.
His group reached the gate, and the leader demanded entry as the password had already been changed and the new one was yet unknown to him.

Frank turned to see Peter enter with a stately group of men and the woman he had seen before. He was glad to see his friend unharmed, and called out to him,
"Hi, Pete!"
Peter seemed to be occupied with other thoughts, for he only glanced at Frank. He was intently studying the faces of the people around him.
The leader cleared the room of anyone lower than captains, and sat down in a chair by the computer screen, Lady Elwes standing by his side. "Now then, bring those boys here. Kevin, too, mind you!"
The three of them stood before the leader, and shifted uneasily.
"Peter, you claim you are able to explain everything to me; please do so."
"Yes, sir. Frank and I built the machine and traveled into the future, or rather here, and -"
"This won't do! No one can travel through time!"
"Yes, sir, but -"
"What year did you build it in?"
"2054, sir."
"And here it is 2054. You didn't go into the future at all. Now start over again."
Peter looked helplessly at Frank, and Frank returned the look. "We thought we did go into the future, though. I have no other explanation, unless - unless we're on a different planet somewhere?"
"Hmmm. Which planet do you come from?"
"Earth. The planet Earth."
"Earth of the Milky Way? We've been observing them for a bit."
"You have? Then this isn't even in the Milky Way?" Peter gasped. "Great Scott! Where are we then?"
"You told me you could explain everything."
"And I thought I could, only I'm dreadfully confused now!" Peter suddenly felt very weary.
"Alright, then Kevin you explain how you got involved in this."
"Yes, sir. You see, I was wandering about in the North side when I heard a thud and a click coming from one of the chambers. I entered it, and found these two in it. So, of course, I figured they were spies and brought them to Uncle - I mean Major Hethe - and he sent my away thinking I needed help getting out of a jam again -"
"And no wonder he thought so! Continue."
"So then I had nothing to do, so I took them done a hall or two."
"And how did Frank learn the passwords, you manage to get in here, and Peter into the hideout and eventually chamber A1?"
Kevin was at a loss as what to say. He didn't want to get Peter or Frank into trouble, nor himself if he could help it, and - how did Frank guess the passwords?
"I can tell you!" piped up Frank. Peter and Kevin exchanged worried glances. "Yes, I can!" he continued. "We were walking through a hall and Kevin thrust us into the hideout to keep us - well, hidden - and we were pulled out except for Peter and I guessed the passwords to get in the gate and managed to escape from it."
"Guessed? How did you guess?"
"From conversation."
"I don't understand. Can you opened that gate again?"
"I don't know. They changed the password."
"Then guess the new one."
"Okay," Frank walked to the gate, closely shadowed by some of the men, and typed something in. The gate swung open.
Everyone started up in amazement.
"And what was the password?" the leader demanded of Frank sternly.
"Guessing gait," Frank replied. At that, question after question bombarded him, and he felt overwhelmed. Somehow he managed to tell the story of Peter and his adventure in the midst of it all.
"May I ask something, sir?" Peter said at last.
"Yes?"
"If we're not on Earth, or the Milky Way, or the future, where are we?"
"Andromeda, boy. Limblon, Andromeda."
"Does that mean we still have hope of getting back home?"
"Going home!" the leader cried. "No indeed! You can't go home now! With a boy who can build faster-than-the-speed-of-light machines, and a boy who can guess passwords correctly; why you two are just what we need to help us win this war!"
"If we must stay, then would you be so kind as to tell us what you want us to do and what this whole war is about?"

Copyright - 9/17/2008 - Curious Cognitive Content (CCC)
Please do not reproduce without permission from the author(ess).

10.16.2008


Happy Birthday Mum!

10.11.2008

Time......... (Part 6)

Frank didn't have to sit there long before he heard the sound of a group walking hurriedly down the hall. They were approaching from the side of him farthest from the gate, and he jumped inwardly as he realized his only exit had been blocked off. He shrank as far into the crevice as he could, praying that the shadow would hide him.
"Officer Grear, how did that sneak manage to break the password you said was so strong?" a woman's commanding voice echoed on the walls of the tunnel.
"How was I to know anyone could guess it?"
"Well, they obviously have, and its a good thing they've caught him. Who knows what he might have learned from the computer? I want that password changed at once."
"Yes, of course, I'll change it as soon as we get there!"
The static of a voice on a receiver broke into the conversation. The walkers came to a halt - right in front of the alcove where Frank hid. Frank held his breath and tried to decipher the words said on the receiver. He found it difficult to follow, however, and had to rely on the woman's answers.
"It was Kevin? Oh, that irritating boy! How did he get in? Oh, he won't say? Well you'll have to make him tell you. This is a breach of security, and if he managed to find a way in, than any spy who comes along could probably do the same!" There was a brief pause in her responding, and when she spoke again, it was in a tone of disbelief. "There was someone with him? And he escaped? He must be found at once! Especially if the computer has been tampered with as you say it has. Oh, what to do with a mischievous - a stupid - boy!"
"He may not be so stupid if he managed to get in the forbidden wing," Officer Grear commented as the woman pocketed the receiver, the conversation being over.
"Yes. But anyways, we've got to find out who was with him and where that person is now!"
"I suggest we look on the -"
"Shh!" the woman said suddenly, and Frank realized with a start of horror that she had spotted him. She grabbed him by the foot and dragged him out of the hollow. "What are you doing here?"
"I- I- I'm Frank. How do you do?" Frank said attempting to stand up.
"Frank?" Officer Grear looked hard at him.
"Y-yes," Frank felt slightly unnerved by the cold look. "That's only my first name. Last name's Liftun."
"Liftun?" the woman looked at the officer with a puzzled air. "Does General Liftun have a son?"
"He never spoke of it, but you never know about these boys."
"Take him along."
"Why?"
"He's near the tunnel isn't he? Even if he isn't involved in the, uh, mischief, he might be able to give a clue concerning the hiding one. But let us go now!"
"Alright. Here boy -"
"Frank," Frank interrupted. He hated being called "boy."
"Whatever," Grear grabbed his arm and helped him stand up. Frank had the uncanny feeling that he was being marched into a hornet's nest. Everyone would be annoyed with him if they found out that he was an intruder.
They reached the gate, and the woman hastily typed in the password. The gate did not move. "Bother!" she said in frustration. She tried it again, and again it didn't move. "What is wrong with this thing!"
"What password did you give it?" Grear asked.
"You know! The howshouldiknow one!" she said in vexation.
"Oh, that's the one for exiting the place," Frank said without thinking. "Melimp as common as water is the one I think you want."
"How did you know that?" the woman asked, turning at him sharply. Grear's hold on his arm tightened noticeably.
Frank gulped. "I - just kind of - you know - guessed?"
The woman typed in the password, and turned to him as the gate opened. "No one can just guess that. I hope this information was not passed on by General Liftun," she said coldly. They entered the room quickly. There was Kevin, standing in the middle of the room, in front of an old man who was questioning him sternly. They were surrounded by an anxious-faced group of men in uniforms. Kevin turned and looked at Frank, but made no sign of his recognition.
"General Liftun," the woman addressed the old man, "Is this your son?"
"Who? That?" the general pointed to Frank. "Never saw the lad in my life!"
Two of the men stood in front of the computer, scanning the series of red dots with experienced eyes. "He isn't on here at all, m'am!" one of them exclaimed.
"What do you mean?" the woman's eyes widened slightly with fear.
"He has no number, 'else the computer would have read it," the man clarified.
"He isn't a part of the fort? At all?" she didn't even attempt to hide her anxiety.
"Nope," the man replied.
"Will you look up UMO's, please?" she said. Her eyes swept over Frank and Kevin who now stood only a yard apart.
Utter silence reigned over the room as the man searched the computer.
"There's two," he said at length. "There's two of them in the fort!"
A buzz of speculation swept through the room, and grew into a noisy chatter.
"Silence! Please!" the woman called over it. "Where is the second?"
"In the chamber A1," the man said in a half-whisper.
"A1!" the woman gasped. "How ever did they find it?"
"Who can say? But let's hope they are not stirring up trouble! There's a meeting in session right now!"
"Yes, Offic-" she paused in the middle of a command. "Never mind. No one's allowed in there but me. General, I'll have to go and investigate. Please standby."
"Yes, m'am. What should we do with these two?"
"Squeeze anything out of them you can, and don't let them escape!" And with that, she left the room in a hurry.
Frank gulped, and looked at the General, "will the squeezing hurt?"
"What?" the general looked skeptical.
"She said to squeeze us!" Frank explained.
"Um, yes. Well, you'll be an easy one, I can see that!"
Kevin looked at Frank pleadingly. Frank had the vague feeling that he was saying too much, but it was only vague.
"I wonder what Peter would do?" he wondered silently.
Copyright - 9/17/2008 - Curious Cognitive Content (CCC)
Please do not reproduce without permission from the author(ess).

Time......... (Part 5)

Frank looked at Kevin with annoyance. "Do you know what you just did? You just cut off our last chance of finding Peter!"
"I know! But I thought that maybe that big map would help us. Come, let's go have a look at it. And for goodness sake be quiet! We don't want to announce our coming here publicly."
"No doubt we already have," Frank sighed. He followed Kevin over to the large screen on the wall that still displayed the map. Kevin tried to figure out how to use the map as soon as he reached. Both of them felt an urgency, a need for speed.
"We can't be caught here," Frank said. "Who knows what they'll do to us!"
"Thank you for that encouraging bit of news!" Kevin said in an irritated tone. "What do you think I'm going so fast for?"
Frank shrugged in reply and paced the floor uneasily. He watched Kevin's vain attempts for a moment then broke out impatiently, "Okay, so that won't help us. I think it's time to go."
"Try and leave," Kevin said simply.
"What do you mean?"
"You need a different password to leave by that gate," Kevin replied. "Our only way out of here will involve more quick thinking."
"What!" Frank gasped. "Why can't they use the same password for leaving as for entering?"
"Maybe because they hope to catch intruders like us by stopping us from leaving. Someone would need both passwords in order to complete a job unnoticed. Even then, I'm sure there's some kind of radar or something that shows a guard of some sort we entered. There!"
Kevin sighed with relief. He had found what he was looking for.
"What is it?" Frank wandered over to the screen.
"This setting allows us to see every person in the entire space fort," Kevin replied.
"Space fort?"
"Don't ask. You'll get me confused again. But look at this thing! Everyone has a number and something on them sends a signal to this computer, so if your looking for someone, you'll know where to find them."
Frank looked at the mass of tunnels the map displayed. Hundreds of rooms and passageways made him feel quite dizzy. And there were a lot of red dots, too.
"Do the red dots represent the people?" he asked.
"Yes. See if you run this pointer over it, it shows you the person's number. Or, if you type in someone's number over here, the red dot representing that person will turn green. See?" Kevin typed in his own number to demonstrate.
"So we're right here?" Frank pointed to the chamber in which the green dot appeared.
"Exactly."
"Well, that's useful! Look up Peter."
"Okay, I -" Kevin stopped suddenly. "He doesn't have a number!"
"Great Scott, that's right! And I haven't either!"
"Let me see if I can change the settings a little bit."
"What do you mean?" Frank looked worried.
"I'm going to search for UMO's," Kevin responded, then seeing the puzzled look on Frank's face, said, "That means unidentified moving objects."
"Oh. But we're not objects! We're people!"
"Sometimes I wonder what you are," Kevin rolled his eyes. He made more adjustments to the settings and was rewarded by the appearance of two large, blue dots. "Look there you are, and that must be Peter. My word! I never even knew that chamber existed, and there's other people in there! He must be in trouble!"
"If he is it's all your fault that we can't save him!" Frank cried frantically. Kevin wisely made no reply. He scanned the computer some more.
"Nothing more to see here. We've got to find that password and get out of here!"
"Oh, this is so great!"
"What should we type in?" Kevin asked. He found his way over to the gate, and looked imploringly at Frank.
"How should I know?"
Kevin typed something in. There was a whirr and the gate swung open.
"You did it!" Frank cried with joy.
"No, I didn't. You did! How did you guess all of the passwords?" Kevin looked at him with admiration.
Frank looked puzzled, "you mean you typed in 'howshouldiknow" and it just opened?"
"Yes, but come on! If we're going to get out of here unnoticed, we have to escape now!"
Frank caught the worried tone in Kevin's voice, and glanced behind him. He didn't see anything, but he rememebered that Kevin had sharp ears, and no doubt had heard somehting approaching that made him nervous. He sprange lightly through the gate. To his horror, it automatically closed behind him. He had looked back just in time to see Kevin being surrounded by a swarm of men. Then he was all alone.
He knew better than to stick around the entrance to the forbidden wing, so he raced down the tunnel till he came to a small break in the wall, big enough for him sit in. He slouched out of sight in it, and caught his breath.
"Great," he thought dismally. "Peter needs my help and I have to go find him alone!" Then something other than fear or loneliness touched him; he missed Kevin. He hadn't realized how much he had grown to like him until now, and as he recalled how annoyed he had been towards him, he felt ashamed. "I ran away from danger while he had to stay behind. And I might have been able to help him too!
"I've got to figure out how to rescue them both now. But Great Scott! I don't even know where I am!"
Copyright - 9/17/2008 - Curious Cognitive Content (CCC)
Please do not reproduce without permission from the author(ess).

10.07.2008

I'm scared. I'll admit it. Too scared to try to copy the html for a link to a page that gives me chills. Maybe I'll summon the courage later.
You would be startled too. Startled if you knew that Japan has managed to create a "Robogirl," a robot that looks almost exactly like a girl and even talks. Except for the eyes. I think its the eyes that give my the chills. Look it up on Google news, and maybe I won't have to link to it for you.....

10.04.2008

The best way to make everyone dissatisfied is to try and satisfy them all.

Alright. Some of my readers want my view on the current events happening in the nation. My family wants the fifth part of "Time...." So I must try to satisfy them both in this post.

First off, "Time...." is being uncooperative, and therefore is met with further delay. The reason? Simple. Peter just doesn't seem to know how to act! In the first version I wrote, he acts uncommunicative, and even a little bit saucy. In the second version I wrote, he goes and falls asleep in the middle of being questioned. I decided that in trying to make him smart and cautious, I instead turned him into an idiot, so the story needs a little work to get it right....

As to my view on current events? I'm afraid my view does injustice to too great a number of people, but I shall express it here in a sentence or two: "The stupidity! The utter stupidity of people! Where are their heads!"
If they only were to reason things out, they would be able to get out of the mess of an economy they've made. If they only used their heads; if only their eyes were opened to the truth!
I began to think this way after be immersed in news for two weeks or so. To hear some things such as the fact that dozens of people were injured after jumping into the ring in the middle of a bull fight that was taking place in Columbia (I saw a clip of it, and the people were.... stupid!), you begin to wonder (and even hope) if it was actually all made up.
If people are doing such crazy things, is it because they are so consumed by despair? The despair that there is nothing worth living for, and therefore life is nothing, everything is empty, and the only thing left to do is kill yourself (either literally, or such an overdose of entertainment that they kill their brains), or try to gain money with as little work as possible?
If so, then I want to tell them; I want to tell them that there is a God who made them. I want to tell them about the hope I have in the Gospel! I want their eyes to be opened!

And there it is, the end of this post.