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A Matter of Timing now available

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by ShunZu, Mar 30, 2008.

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  1. ShunZu

    ShunZu member

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    The Cataclysm Scroll - Chapter 23

    -23-

    “That was an excellent steak, Ty,” Mahkah complimented the chef. “Thank you.”

    “All I did was cook it,” Ty replied modestly. “Black angus from my rancher neighbor, Roy. They’re on the hoof over there less than a half-mile away,” he said, pointing north. “Great steers. The best eating.”

    Laura threw a glance to Mahkah and smiled, remembering their conversation from an hour before. Mahkah smiled back, knowing what she was thinking.

    “Sure was good,” Laura nodded. She stood up and started to clean off the table when Ty insisted she didn’t have to.

    “I’ll get that. You should call your professor,” he said.

    “Okay,” she agreed. “May I use your phone? Mine’s been turned off since before I got here because it has no signal.”

    “Sure!” Ty said, pointing to the phone on the wall near the refrigerator. “Help yourself.”

    She knew his number by heart and made the call. Katz answered.

    “Professor, this is Laura. I just wanted to let you know I was okay and tell you everything that’s happened,” she started.

    Ty and Mahkah stayed in the kitchen for Laura in case she needed a little moral support.

    I know,” she answered defensively. “I should have called but my phone doesn’t work here and I haven’t had time to pick up voice mail…”

    She paused, apparently interrupted by the professor. Ty could hear a man’s angry voice coming through the handset. He’d been witness once already to Katz’s intimidating phone manners, and now he was hearing it again. Even though Ty had never met Katz, he didn’t like him already.

    “I know, sir,” Laura apologized. “But please, let me tell you what happened…”

    There was more shouting on the other end of the phone. Ty suppressed an urge to take the phone from Laura and tell the guy off. But he knew it would get her in trouble with her employer so he bit the bullet. He looked at Mahkah in frustration. The shaman was sitting passive, arms folded across his chest, also listening to Laura get tongue-lashed.

    “Are Josh and Katie all right?” she asked. She paused while more loud words flowed out of the phone, and she said, “Good. Thanks for getting them. I really appreciate it.”

    She tried to explain what had happened, but Katz wasn’t giving her an opportunity to speak. Every time she’d start to say something, he’d cut her off. Apparently, Josh and Katie had already explained to Katz that the scroll was on its way back to the cave. And he was very angry he hadn’t had the opportunity to see it.

    “I’m sorry, sir,” Laura said, getting frustrated. “But if we had kept it, more disasters were going to happen…”

    How do you know that for sure?” echoed loudly from the telephone.

    Ty and Mahkah could now hear Katz clearly because Laura had pulled the handset back from her ear. She glanced nervously at them, as if apologizing for her boss.

    Laura shook her head as she became more flustered and said, “I can’t explain how I know it, sir, not right now. It wouldn’t make sense. I need to wait until we meet and I can explain things completely.”

    More shouting. Laura was looking down at the floor. She leaned up against the refrigerator and assumed the posture of a person who had been tongue-lashed beyond their ability to cope with it.

    “Yes sir,” she said quietly, then hung up the phone.

    “That was bull****,” Ty said. “What an arrogant ass!”

    Laura moved slowly to the table, plopped down in her chair and said, “I was told to clean out my desk at the university. The professor just fired me.”

    “What?” exclaimed Mahkah. “Without giving you a chance to explain?”

    “Yes,” she nodded. “I guess Josh and Katie did the best they could to tell him everything they knew. But he didn’t believe them. He didn’t believe anything about the scroll being connected to what’s going on. Katz thinks he’s lost an important archaeological find, that’s all.”

    “This is wrong,” Ty insisted. “What an *******.”

    “He can be that,” Laura looked up at Ty. “But that’s okay, there’s other jobs.” She tried to smile.

    “Things happen for a reason,” Mahkah said. “Sometimes you need to let go of that rock and flow down the stream to find a nicer rock.” He grinned and winked at Laura.

    “Don’t be distraught, my dear,” he continued. “The man is a tyrant and so full of ego and self-importance he’d drive anyone crazy. As you just said, there are other jobs.”

    “Yep,” Ty agreed. “I think Mahkah’s right. Things do happen for a reason. And you didn’t want to work with that Kirk Perry asswipe anyway. He almost got us all killed.”

    The shaman nodded that Ty had a point.

    The volume was down on the television, but there was a graphic of a meteor on its screen. Ty patted Laura on the shoulder as he went over to turn it up so they could hear the latest about the meteor.

    The news anchor looked like she hadn’t slept in days. In a very tired voice she said, “Observatories around the world have calculated the meteor will hit in the Atlantic ocean near the equator twenty-eight hours from now. But the U.S. government is insisting that NASA’s calculations clearly show the meteor is going to miss Earth by over a million miles. They urge that there is no reason for the panic that has gripped the world.”

    “Meanwhile,” she continued, “chaos in the streets of nearly every city on Earth has now claimed over two million lives. And the number is steadily growing as reports continue to flow in. The Associated Press and Reuters are unable to keep up…”

    “A million miles is a big difference, don’t you think?” Ty asked his friends. “How can there be that big of a gap in their calculations?”

    Mahkah chuckled, “It’s our government’s job to keep telling us everything is okay. No problems at all. Business as usual. The meteor’s going to miss. The economy is fine. It’s what people need and want to hear.”

    “Sheeple,” Ty said in a disgusted voice.

    Laura looked at him with a curious face and asked, “What’s sheeple?”

    “People who are sheep,” Ty smiled at her and replied, “sheeple. Those who need to be led and have no desire to know the truth.”

    Mahkah laughed and said, “I’ve never heard that term before. But it sure does apply.”

    Laura stood up and said, “I think I’m going to go to bed. The wine and that great meal, and the day we’ve had have worn me out.”

    “That’s not a bad idea,” Mahkah nodded to Laura. “I’ll sleep down here on the couch.”

    “And I’ll sleep downstairs,” Ty said. He looked at Laura and said, “And you sleep in the master bedroom up in the loft.” He pointed up the steps.

    “I’ve been up there,” she said, “when I hid in the closet because someone was coming over.” She looked at Mahkah and smiled, admitting, “I didn’t know you were a nice guy at the time.”

    They all laughed, then Mahkah said, “Sleep tight, Laura. You too, Ty.”

    She looked over at the Indian and asked, “Dreams tonight?”

    Maybe,” he mused. “That is, if you have any energy left to remember them.”

    Ty shook his head again, as he always had when they talked about these things. “Scary stuff,” he said.

    “Yeah, sure,” Laura chuckled sarcastically. “After the gun fights you’ve had today, you think dreams are scary? Ha!”

    He was smiling as he headed down the steps to the basement.
     
  2. ShunZu

    ShunZu member

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    The Cataclysm Scroll - Chapter 23 (cont)

    Steve Fleming was burning the late-night oil at his desk in Washington D.C.

    He’d been going through phone records of the White House, the staff’s cell phones, fax machines, and computer Internet firewall logs of data traffic in and out. He’d also requested that three of his most trusted NSA staffers stay late, to help run down where all the calls were going. Fleming especially needed help with the firewall logs because of their sheer size just from the last 24 hours; literally hundreds of pages with I.P. address, web sites, email access and other Internet traffic that took a long time to trace.

    With all those sources of information available to him, he was hoping to be able to identify who had been leaking information to the press about the meteor. He and Brunowski agreed that a large percentage of the mayhem in the cities could be attributed to the media broadcasting leaked information about the inbound meteor. And the chaos was unraveling the United States a little more every hour.

    But so far, he’d had no success in identifying any suspicious calls. There had been hundreds of records to dig through in cell calls alone, and he was getting tired. He regretted that, even with all of resources at his disposal, there were a few cell phone records that he hadn’t been able to obtain; The President’s cell for one. He knew Brunowski wasn’t convinced Parker hadn’t been part of the conspiracy all along, and Fleming was looking for hard evidence one way or the other.

    There was a knock on his door and Milo Giovanni walked in carrying a foot-high stack of paper. Fleming had hand-picked Milo from the FBI computer lab in Quantico and given him a promotion. It was Milo and his staff last month that had identified a computer chip that the Iranian terrorists had used as part of their attack. Fleming had rewarded Milo with a nice raise and increased security clearance.

    “Sir,” Milo said as he took a seat in front of Fleming’s desk, “we found something you should see.” He pulled a page off the top of the stack that had three different colors of highlighter on it. Most of the lines were lined in green, a few had yellow, and Fleming noticed one was pink.

    “That’s very pretty,” Fleming said sarcastically. “Good thing I’m not color-blind.”

    Milo smiled, adjusted his glasses that were always sliding down his nose and said, “The pink one is very interesting. It’s from a laptop in one of the small conference rooms in the White House.”

    “Who has access to that room and the laptop?” Fleming asked without even looking at the printout.

    “Unfortunately, many people, sir,” Milo replied. “But if you look at where it’s been going, it used port 80, which is a standard web-browser port on the network to contact a web address that we had to dig very hard to identify.”

    “Interesting,” Fleming said, leaning over the paper. “You were able to find out what that site was?”

    “Yes,” Milo nodded, excited because they’d worked over an hour to find it. “The IP address wasn’t in any domain name servers and Network Solutions didn’t have it registered to anyone. We kept getting bumped every time we tried to route a connection to it. But finally, we figured out what was going on.”

    Milo pushed his glasses back up his nose and continued, “There’s a router somewhere that we haven’t been able to identify its physical location yet. But it finally let us connect to a system on its other side. It was basically acting as a traffic cop, as all routers do, but when trying to connect to the address we wanted it would intentionally redirect those requests to other addresses at random. It drove us nuts. But we finally got a connection to the right system.”

    “And what was that?” Fleming asked, getting mildly frustrated Milo was talking in bits and bites that he didn’t care to hear.

    “A site registered to the Associated Press,” Milo said triumphantly. “And you’ll find that same connection made, from the same laptop, about every two hours. It recurs on these other sheets here, too.” He pointed to the big stack of paper.

    Fleming finally had the break he’d been looking for. “Very good,” he said, giving Milo a verbal pat on the back. “Now all we need to do is figure out who is using that laptop.”

    “Yes sir,” Milo said, nodding quickly.

    “Okay,” Fleming said, leaning back in his chair. “Tell the team they did well. And go home for the night. See you in the morning. Thanks.”

    Milo jumped up and grabbed the stack of paper, rushed out of the office to tell his associates that they’d all earned their pay that day.

    “One more thing,” Fleming said as the analyst was leaving. “Not a word, and I mean not a syllable about this to anyone. Understood?”

    Milo nodded quickly, fully aware of what the consequences would be if he or his team told a soul.

    After Milo had closed the door on his way out, Fleming picked up his phone, glanced at his watch that confirmed it was after 2AM, and called Frank Brunowski.

    After three rings, a very gruff voice answered the phone. “What is it?” Brunowski growled.

    Fleming chuckled and said, “Damn, you sound even meaner when someone wakes you up! Sorry to interrupt your beauty sleep.”

    “I need all I can get! This had better be good,” Brunowski warned, recognizing the voice on the other end immediately.

    It is,” Fleming replied. “We need a little spying done, and I figured the CIA was the one to call…”
     
  3. Lightninstrike

    Lightninstrike Member

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    Late to this thread. Glad someone bumped it. Ordered AMOT today.
     
  4. Robby

    Robby Member

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    Ya'll got me hooked, I can hardly wait to place and order. Dang, I have not read this much since I retired.
     
  5. ShunZu

    ShunZu member

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    The Cataclysm Scroll - Chapter 24

    24-


    Laura found herself in a room again, surrounded by a yellowish light. She looked around and could see no one. She called out, or least, she thought she called out. But she couldn’t hear her own voice when she tried to mouth the words.

    “We’re here, my dear,” Mahkah’s fluid-like voice flowed through her mind. “Focus on my voice and you’ll see us.”

    She tried, but didn’t have any luck. She closed her eyes and tried again by visualizing what Mahkah had looked like at the dinner table. When she opened her eyes again, he and Wakanda were standing in front of her. Both of them were smiling.

    “Very good!” Mahkah smiled, his teeth just as white in this dreaming state as in real life.

    “Hello,” she said. When she looked at Wakanda she realized the Indian woman was much more than a glowing rock that she’d perceived before. This woman was wearing a traditional Indian dress, moccasins, and loosely fitting blouse.

    “You’ve been successful in gathering more energy,” Wakanda said to her. “You are moving along very quickly in your dream control.”

    “Mahkah is really helping, I think,” Laura replied. “I’ve never been able to remember much about my dreams, much less control them.”

    “It’s true I’ve lent you a little energy,” Mahkah nodded, “but not much, really. By keeping an open mind and having a desire to work on your dreaming body’s adeptness, you are doing most of this on your own.”

    “Yes, she is,” Wakanda said to Mahkah, as if Laura wasn’t there. “She has the good fortune to have a natural curiosity about dreams which is really helping her along.”

    “I’m trying my best,” Laura said, smiling. She was very happy these two Indians were with her. In fact, she felt very loving, feeling so full of affection for both of them that it washed over her like a wave. For a moment, she thought she would cry.

    Mahkah and Wakanda both smiled, sensitive to her emotional state. Mahkah said, “Don’t run over and hug me! And definitely don’t start crying!” He laughed.

    “I’m sorry,” Laura said, feeling tears well up in her eyes. “Right now I feel like I love you both beyond what I could describe in words!”

    “Words are not necessary here,” Wakanda said with a motherly tone in her voice. “And we understand your state of mind. Love is a strong, sometimes overwhelming emotion. And the release of all the stress the scroll was causing you has freed your spirit. What you’re feeling now is your soul’s basic nature. Love, happiness and an endless amount of curiosity about things that you do not understand.”

    “She loves challenges,” Mahkah nodded to Wakanda. “And all we’ve done is open the door. Her spirit will walk through it voluntarily, with all the respect this level of awareness demands.”

    “What do you mean,” Laura asked, “with the respect this awareness demands?”

    “He means,” Wakanda answered, “that you must take baby steps before you can walk. That is what you’ve been doing the last few nights. Once you’ve begun mastering this awareness, the adventurer in your spirit will want to run through the next door. But you should not. You need to throttle and control your spirit’s curiosity.”

    “Because,” Mahkah continued, “if you do not, this level of awareness can cause your spirit to be jolted.”

    “Jolted?” Laura asked, still not understanding.

    “Scared,” Wakanda answered, “startled, to the extent it could manifest in your waking, conscious life. There are entities and beings on these levels that you must maneuver past, or negotiate around, to avoid being jolted. That is why you must exercise control and caution when you’re in the dreaming body.”

    “As Wakanda just told you,” Mahkah explained, “your spirit is, by its nature very loving, happy and curious. We are simply warning you that not everything here is as nice as you.” A small chuckle escaped him, once more enjoying her situation.

    He continued, “Do you remember those two entities last night? The ones that were off in the distance?”

    Laura nodded quickly.

    “They are just two of millions that exist among the many layers of awareness here. To some extent, spirits stay within the boundaries set by their inherent nature. Your spirit is loving and kind, so it vibrates at a very high level. But there are spirits that vibrate at much lower levels who are extremely dangerous to your well-being here.”

    Laura understood suddenly. She asked, “So, higher vibrations are like Heaven, and lower vibrations are like Hell?”

    “Yes, you could say that,” Wakanda replied smiling. “Never work on your dreams or meditate when you are feeling angry or negative. You will find yourself in levels here among beings you will not enjoy.”

    Mahkah was nodding rapidly in agreement with Wakanda.

    Wakanda looked at Mahkah and asked him, “Do you think she is ready?”

    Laura got a puzzled look and asked, “Ready for what?” A pang of fear overtook her, making her midsection feel tightly wound.

    “Perhaps just a glimpse,” Mahkah answered. “But only for a moment, and we must stay with her.”

    “Ready for what?” Laura asked again, still registering fear in her stomach.

    “Release that negative feeling of fear,” Mahkah ordered, “and will yourself to come with us.”

    “There is nothing bad that will happen to you, Laura,” Wakanda promised. “Just stay with us and experience the moment. Let your love of adventure and natural curiosity overtake that feeling of fear.”

    “Then,” Laura insisted, “just tell me what we’re going to do. I don’t know how to get rid of this feeling just like that.”

    “You’re going to see something remarkable,” Mahkah smiled, “that nobody in the conscious, waking world could ever witness.”

    Laura had a sensation of floating forward very quickly. It was dark around her, and she had the distinct feeling that she was flying, somewhere into the blackness, wildly out of control.

    Then she heard murmuring voices, but couldn’t see anyone. And the language, or whatever the voices were saying at almost a whisper, was entirely foreign to her. She looked around and could not see Mahkah or Wakanda. There was just emptiness, a black fog that seemed to go on endlessly.

    Then she felt Wakanda’s voice flow through her.

    “Gather your energy and will yourself to see,” Wakanda instructed.

    Laura closed her eyes, made an attempt to use her intent to see whatever it was that she should be observing. She opened her eyes again to find herself standing among thousands of glowing orbs of light, all pulsing at an extremely fast rate. She had the feeling that they were the source of the murmuring, although she still could not understand what was being said.

    Then she realized there was a bluish-white light everywhere around them. And Wakanda was standing next to her.
     
  6. Lightninstrike

    Lightninstrike Member

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    Halfway through AMOT. How's the sequel coming? :):)
     
  7. Mello

    Mello Member

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    ShunZu has posted elsewhere that he is prevented from posting here.
     
  8. Adventurer

    Adventurer Member

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    Bummer. I joined here just to read it and had seen it referenced on ohter boards that this was the "home" of the stories. Anyone know where else he's posting it now?
    Thank you in advance.
     
  9. Tom488

    Tom488 Member

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    Change ".org" to ".us" in your URL - you'll find his posts over there.
     
  10. Adventurer

    Adventurer Member

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    Found it. Thanks very much!
     
  11. Adventurer

    Adventurer Member

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    Shunzu asked on the other forum that someone here post a message letting everyone know that the new book is now available. Just ordered my copy this morning and looking forward to reading it! I clicked the link off of www.gmillercompanies.com and it was $10.95 plus shipping.
     
  12. Adventurer

    Adventurer Member

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    Just finished reading it. Couldn't put it down and now can't wait for #3!
     
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