Monday, October 31, 2011

An Early Planet

              Hey, this is your buddy, Clark Jackson.  Look, I know you’re not going to believe this, but I made an incredible discovery the other day.  I found an invisible portal that allows me to visit other worlds.  Just imagine, other worlds!   I can explore worlds that no other person has ever, ever encountered or even seen pictures of.  I can meet alien species and learn about their cultures.  Maybe it doesn’t seem too exciting to you to meet real-live aliens, but it’s the most exciting thing I can think of.  I get to meet aliens!  All I have to do is survive my encounters and keep my secret hidden from the feds.  You know that if they found out they would take this opportunity away from me and use the portal for their own purposes.
                Just like with anything else, there seems to be some rules to the portal system.  The coolest thing is that when I’m in there time doesn’t pass on Earth.  I return at the same time on the clock as when I left.  So far, I’ve also learned that only one individual can go in there at a time.  Maybe it’s so armies can’t go through to conquer other worlds.  I can only guess. 
                Before I go on, I know you will be able to read my official reports when I file them with David Englund for his book, Upsetting the Tides.  But I can’t wait to talk about some of these things and I want to get them off my chest.  Especially some of the things that won’t exactly make it into the book, like today’s visit.
                Anyway, I want to tell you about this interesting planet I visited today.  It wasn’t all that different from Earth except everything was a little lighter in color and grew taller.  I think that last part was due to the fact that there’s less gravity on the planet.  I was able to run a mile (about) in under five minutes.  I’ve never been able to run that fast.  Oh yeah, the biggest thing was that there were three moons there.  They were close too.  Even though it was daytime, they were pretty bright.  Three moons!  How cool is that? 
                Still, the place was a little spooky.  I’m not a scientist, so I can’t quite put my finger on it, but something was off about the place.  Things looked like they do here but it felt odd.  It smelled like . . . kinda like sausages.  The area I was in looked like woods to me.  At least none of the plants or trees moved or did anything else freaky.  No one seemed to be around.  I could hear little critters on the ground near the portal but that was the only life I could find.  Something intelligent had to live there.  After all, something opened the portal from their side. 
Maybe I didn’t venture far enough away from the portal.  I suppose I could have stayed longer.  This is still all new to me and I want to remain cautious.  I hate to admit it, but as excited as I was I was also nervous.  And scared.  The reality of the situation dawned on me; I was walking on another planet.  No human has ever been here before.  What did I think I was doing?  I didn’t stay.
                I guess the thing to do is keep going to planets.  I’ll learn and get better at this.  I’m sure I’ll meet an actual alien soon and then I’ll tell you all about it.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Sample from the First Book.

For the first post I would like to provide a sample from the first book, Upsetting the Tides.  Future posts will be written by the main character, Clark Jackson, providing details of his adventures that never quite made it into the book(s).  Enjoy.  I hope you find this site fun and entertaining. 

This is the room.  Wait, this room is empty.  This can’t be the right one.  Let’s start over from my room and make sure … yes, this is the one alright.  I never would have guessed.  If I had just explored on my own, I would have passed this one by.  It’s completely empty.  It looks just like my room. Looking through the portal, I can see from here that this world has daylight.  Good.  That’s a good start.  Let’s do this.
Clark stepped through the portal and began walking north.  He didn’t trigger any of the features on his phone device yet.  He wanted to have it available for whichever feature might become needed most.  It remained in his hand at the ready as he walked. 
He only had to walk a quarter of a mile before he could see a village nearby.  Everything seemed normal enough.  Along the way there was grass, trees, and rocks just like on Earth.  He could see mountains in the distance and the sky was blue, perhaps just a touch darker than ours.  The gravity seemed the same or close to it.  Actually, pretty much everything seemed the same.
Hey, wait a minute.  These guys are cockroaches.  They’re four foot high cockroaches.  I don’t believe this.  On this world cockroaches became the dominate species?  They look like something out of a sci-fi movie.  These guys are walking around on two legs, waving around four arms.  So an ant tells me how to find a cockroach.  What an amazing universe.    
The funny thing is this village could easily be a village in some foreign country on Earth.  I wouldn’t have known the difference.  The buildings are kinda plain looking but they’re built out of concrete just like buildings I’ve seen in pictures.  If I didn’t know better, I would think I was in a European city sometime in the 1800’s.  They have stores and parks and even what looks like churches.
 I seem to be making the locals a little nervous.  It sounds like this Tinkerer might be famous.  I would think they get guests here often.  Maybe that’s why they allow me to walk through their village.  Here’s the place, just like he described.  I guess the thing to do would be to knock.
            “Um, hello.  My name is Clark.  I was told you could help me.”
            Whoa, this guy is fascinating.  He scurries back and forth between his work tables working on several projects at once.  Back and forth and over to that table and back again, this guy just doesn’t slow down.  What is he even working on anyway?  I don’t recognize any of this stuff.  I think I came to the right place. 
“Uh, you’re talking too fast.  I can’t understand you.”
            “I will try to slow down.  Is that better?”
            “Yes, thank you.”
“Well, don’t just stand there.  You must have had a reason for searching me out.  What do you need?  Quickly, I have many things to do today.”
            “I would like to trade with you if that is possible.  I need some help in the form of technology and I was told that you’re the man to see about that.”
            “Yes, yes, of course you were.  Many have heard of the Tinkerer.  But what do you need?  I don’t have all metcan.”
            “I would like to get one of those invisible shields that you know how to build and more importantly, I would like to be able to momentarily shut down a different one.”
            “That is easy.  Why do you want to shut down a shield?  Are you going to kill someone?  I will not be responsible for any such atrocity.”
            “Oh my, no, no, nothing like that.”
            “Do you want to destroy property, perhaps a city or something?  I have helped some civilizations develop.  I have bonded with these people and they are quite appreciative of my accomplishments.  I will not be a party to any destruction.”
            “No, nothing like that either.  I need to steal something.  It is very important.”
            “Hmmm, I’m not so sure I like that.  I don’t know that I can help you.”
            “I need to steal a device for someone else.  I have kinda backed myself into a corner.  I have to get this thing for a creature that is very strong and threatens to destroy my world.  He has already visited my world and caused great damage.  If I don’t do this deed for him, he claims he will do even worse.”
            “Uhmmm …”
“Let me tell you, these creatures I have to steal from are nasty creatures that simply eat everything that comes to their world.  You would not feel bad for their loss.  They are primitive, scary creatures with no signs of civilization as far as I can tell.  And it doesn’t seem like they even need this object that I have to take.  I don’t think they will miss it.”
            “Hmmm, I do have an awful need for metal.  I need a great quantity of metal.  Any kind, any shape, I just need metal to build my beautiful inventions.  If I did this thing for you, you would bring me metal?”
            “Yes, metal.  I will bring you a lot of metal.”