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The Lost Islands

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posted on Apr, 24 2006 @ 11:31 AM
The Lost Islands by Optimus Fett

n.b. writers note:-
all though no offence is attended, the following work does contain material refering to Nazi's. There are also several references that appear to condone drink driving, this is simply meant to be taken light heartedley as a work of fiction and i apologise in advance for any upset i may cause, it is not intentional.

As the Island of Principe loomed through the mist a little cheer went up amongst the team. As we starred through the wheelhouse windows the forest outline to the island was starting to poke through the grey, visibility had been poor from the outset and this was to be the first glimpse the crew were to get of their home for the next six months, it still looked as beautiful as it always had to me and although the weather was some what unusual for this part of the world, the driving rain only seemed to have dampened the teams equipment and clothes, not their spirits.

We made for our usual landing spot; an estuary that runs in land for about a kilometer, as we neared our mooring point, I couldn’t help notice there weren’t any locals on the small beach to meet us as was usually the case, no children laughing and waving and no fishermen in the bay, not even on the beach fixing their nets and tackle, fair point it was a miserable day to be stood outdoors to wave at a boat but something seemed to strike me as out of place? I had never known the Island to be this quiet; perhaps it’s a national holiday?

We anchored about 30 meters from the shore and the team started to load their equipment into the tender on the back of the ship, the plan was to get all the gear off as soon as possible and inland half a kilometer to the Villa I owned, most of their equipment was expensive and not particularly well suited to being banged about on a ship, myself and Max; the captain, launched a small dinghy with a 50’cc Yamaha outboard and ran up the beach ,I kept a Jeep Wrangler with a trailer at the house and we set of the short distance to collect it. We left the team in the capable hands of the small three man crew; scientists appeared to love big heavy boxes of kit but didn’t seem to like lifting them, I mused.

As myself and Max set off along the badly pot holed road running into the jungle, he also mentioned the lack of inhabitants, we weren’t particularly near any of the villages but it was abnormal to not see the locals going about their daily business, there hadn’t even been any fishing boats at sea on the way in?

We arrived at my villa to find a hand written note (in exceptionally bad English) pinned to the front door, it was from Our friend Paulo; a local policeman of sorts and bar owner in the nearest village, after around five minutes deciphering, Max and myself decided that it was instructing us to meet him in his bar as soon as we could, there appeared to be some problems that needed discussing?

Max needed little; if any, excuse to go to a bar and to be fair, neither did I, a cold pint of Guinness (or 10) would go down a treat, couple that with some good local conversation about lobster and coconuts and throw in the welcoming smiles of the friendly natives, we’d be laughing and joking about rubbish in no time. We took the Jeep down to the boat and loaded the equipment into the trailer, thankfully it all went in, in one go, the crew took the tender back to the ship and Max told them to have the rest of the day off. The two women; Alex and Jo, jumped into the back seats whilst the three men; Mark, George and Andrew walked alongside, one thing was for sure on Principe, you certainly didn’t go there for fast driving. We nursed the Jeep and their expensive load casually to the villa, taking our time to avoid running into the larger puddles that were swelling along the track, the ‘road’ had been put down about 15 years ago and apparently according to Max, hadn’t been much better when it was new!

The track continues to run to the nearest village and after a short hundred meter diversion off it we’d arrived at my homestead. We carried the gear into the villa’s empty storage rooms and I got the kettle on whilst everybody changed into something dry. I always kept the house well stocked and never forgot to keep some luxuries at hand, I cracked open a bottle of Bollinger’s finest and rinsed out some champagne flutes, none of the team had ever been to any of the islands in the Gulf of Guinea so it seemed worthy of a celebration, if the truth be known I would have pulled out the bubbly for something as trivial as the Jeep actually starting after being stood for a couple of months! Any excuse for champagne, I liked it as a motto.

Once everybody had settled in a little, I gave our new lodgers a brief tour of the house and the grounds. I had bought the house around four years back from the local government, it had been built in the early 1800’s and had belonged to a wealthy Portuguese Aristocrat who had coca plantations nearby, as the industry had dwindled he had re-located to the Island of Sao Tomé, the jungles quickly claimed back the plantations and then started on the architecture. The house had lain empty and deserted for nearly 200 years. When I purchased it, it was in a sorry state, but even then as I remember it when looking at photo’s; something about the place gives you a sense of splendor and grandeur, you cant help wondering what it must have been like back in the days when the servants and workers busied themselves around the grounds and fine dinners were served on expensive silverware catering for Portugal’s upper classes as they visited their colonial playground. I had spent a year working on the main house and it now boasted eight bedrooms of modest size all with double beds and bathrooms, a large drawing room come lounge, nice sized kitchen and pantry. The bedrooms were on the second floor and went off to either side of a central staircase, they each had small balcony’s with seating areas and slatted wooden shutters. The central front of the upstairs opened outwards through paneled wooden and glass windows onto an open semi circular veranda, you can just make the sea out through the jungle and its an inspiring place to sit of an evening with a fine brandy or port as the sun trickles over the horizon, many a stupid evening of drunkenness had been spent here listening to the monkeys and parrots, equally as they had surely listened to our ramblings, laughter, lies and tales of adventure and discovery but probably with not quite as much interest. The gardens haven’t been changed and are terraced and slope off back down to the road at the front, the odd statue hidden in the vines. Its hard to differentiate at the back of the house where the gardens end and the jungle begins, I kind of like it like that and it doesn’t make me feel guilty about tidying them up.

It was around midday when Max and myself decided to head off into the village to catch up with Paulo, we invited our guests to come with us but they had decided to set up and test some of their equipment whilst relaxing after the previous three days traveling from their points of origin, we promised to return bearing gifts of freshly cooked lobster and prawns from Paulo’s wife by about six o’clock; we both new that this was a complete and blatant lie and we wouldn’t see them until the next morning, that’s if we managed to keep the Jeep on the road and out of the jungle on our inebriated return probably some time around three in the morning.
After instructing all concerned how to use the air conditioning and start the electrical generator, Max and myself set off in the Jeep with the wipers and headlights on full power. We were laughing; in rather poor taste, about how much the team were looking forward to our return with the freshly caught and cooked lobster, the truth would be that there quest to eat this charming shellfish would be achieved quicker if they hand wove their own baskets that very afternoon and went out to sea in a boat and caught them themselves, they seemed like nice people with a sense of humor but we had done enough babysitting for the past few days getting them here, they would have to slum it with some frozen chicken kievs from my stores. As we trundled through the afternoons rain we joked, we were going native with the famous Irish brew at about 4.8% a pint!

The trip takes twenty minutes on a normally sunny day but the road had become so water logged that cruising speed was down to five mph; running off the road after a skin full is one thing but god forbid it should happen before we’d had a drink, anyway you always know how to solve a problem like dragging a vehicle on its roof from a ten foot ditch after a pint, when your sober its useless. As the village came into view it was reassuring to see some people, the local kids running alongside the Jeep waving and the friendly faces of the fishermen and farmers smiling from their porches, the corrugated tin roofs keeping the rain of them. We parked outside Paulo’s bar and ran in from the rain. Paulo smiled as he placed to perfect pints of Guinness on the bar top, he walked round to greet us and gave us both a hug as random people; some we new and some we didn’t, stood up to shake our hands, it was good to be back here away from the mobile phones and the traffic, and as Paulo’s wife; Isabella, came out from the kitchen laughing to give us both a kiss, it felt like home.
Max was on pint number six whilst I was just getting to grips with pint number four. Isabella had prepared her usual fantastic lobster and prawn dish and she and Paulo sat down to eat with us. As we ate we chatted about all the usual things; our families, fishing, Max’s ships, the state of the local governments and so on.

Paulo and his wife were both huge jolly black people, they were the descendants of freed slaves that had been brought to the islands in the 1920’s from the Capo Verdé islands by the Portuguese, at the time the Portuguese had promised to repatriate their great grandparents at some later date, this never happened and such was the way in which the Portuguese treated the slaves on these islands, there wasn’t much love lost between the two races, even if they did speak the same language of sorts, we were well liked even though we were English, fortunately for Max and I, this is one part of the world our empire didn’t treat like a public toilet, unlike the Portuguese had.

Once dinner was over and the Guinness had suitably affected my already un reserved character, Max and I asked Paulo about the lack of fishing boats and people that were amiss earlier in the day, he gave us a look that exercised restraint, Isabella caught his eye and gave us both a smile as she got up to serve some one at the bar. “something strange is happening on the Island” Paulo said in something just a above a whisper, “two of the local boys were walking deep in the interior of the island around a week ago when they came across something unusual, some sort of entrance going underground; something more like a tomb, they reported it to me at the police station so I went to look with them, it took us most of the day to reach the place on foot, when we arrived at the place I pretended that I knew about it already and its nothing but the remains of an old house from the plantations but in truth I have never seen anything like it before on this island or others in the area, no one I know of has ever reported this place before because no one on the island has any reason to walk that far into the jungles, I have told the boys its nothing and not to go there again in case it collapses and they get hurt, I need to show you both tomorrow if that’s possible? ”Max absolutely pissed himself and I couldn’t stop myself from humming the theme to the ‘Twilight zone’, however this didn’t seem to impress Paulo one iota, his face went blank and then his expression conveyed a look of genuine dread, “My friends, please come with me tomorrow, this isn’t a joke and I think you need to see what the boys found, I would value your opinion, the locals are already talking, there’s a lot of superstition surrounding this island, as a boy I can remember one of the old men in the village talking about this place, he said it was an unholy place, a bad place, fortunately it appears that it has been forgotten for many years but now unfortunately it would appear to have been found again, the boys have talked about what they have seen and its started some rumors off, the fishermen wont venture out in their boats and people don’t want to leave their villages after dark, even the weather has turned strange, please say you’ll come? Perhaps we can put people at ease; the people on this island respect you both and your scientists that you bring here, if you come and look it will help things get back to normal, this island needs to be kept normal, it doesn’t need superstitious old wives tales upsetting the routine and stopping the work”. We Agreed to meet Paulo tomorrow and ordered another pint.

The trip back to the house had been; thankfully, uneventful. We had arrived back at around four thirty in the morning after leaving Paulo virtually unconscious with his head keeping one of his bars tables firmly attached to the floor, Max had appointed himself driver and we had pulled up outside the house in a torrential downpour, the team were tucked up in their beds and Max and I decided to neck a few shots of rum out on the balcony. We both agreed Paulo seemed suitably spooked by the local boy’s findings? But you have to remember that somebody’s always spooked about something out on the islands, not much goes on and its always good for the locals to turn any minor event into some link with witchcraft or sorcery, however it did seem like a rather interesting trip to look forward to? I grabbed a couple of blankets and we extended the chairs into flat positions, the light was just threatening to peek over the horizon as we drifted off to sleep.

I woke up; as I had expected, with a horrible ‘the Guinness monkeys crapped in my mouth’ taste, fortunately Alex had a nice fresh pot of coffee prepared and some toast buttered. It was half past nine and the rain had stopped, the sky was slightly overcast with the odd patch of sun poking through the clouds, Paulo would be here any minute. Jo informed me that Max had left about eight to check on his ship; the man just never seems to need sleep I thought. I apologized for the lack of Lobster the previous evening but thought better of lying and said that the one I had eaten was absolutely excellent and I was sorry that max and I were incompetent drunkards with no sense of time, this raised a few laughs and if the truth be known I had worked out many years ago that when your going to be living in peoples pockets for any period of time its far better to be yourself from the gate, rather than try and impress all and sundry with a make believe demeanor and crap promises that you mean to keep but would rather have a pint in the pub, after all it was my house and Max and myself had financed the trip, we had always found that people warmed to our characters, especially the scientists we worked with, I put this down to our relaxed ‘happy go lucky’ nature; something the scientific world didn’t seem to go in for in a big way, coupled with already being successful business people and having our own selected fields of scientific interest that we could afford to ‘play’ at rather than work at, we always appeared to be a refreshing change to deadlines, budgets and university grants.

Max pulled up in the Jeep at the same time Paulo arrived in his Land rover. As they both had a coffee I made a decision to not invite the team on our little outing, I don’t think Paulo would have appreciated there tagging along at this stage and it would probably be a bit too much of a trek on their first day, I decided it was better if they stayed around this area and got used to the local geography for the first few days. I left them the keys for the Jeep and gave them directions to Paulo’s bar, Promising on pain of death to meet them their at around eight o’clock that evening for the previously illusive lobster! After a few laughs and witty remarks, I grabbed a quick shower, my digital camera and a couple of machetes, Max and I jumped in Paulo’s Land Rover and set off.

After traveling as far as we could into the jungle by jeep, we set off on foot. Paulo informed us that we had a good three hour trek to the site and had to laugh when Max said “tres houras para o tomb de morte!”; three hours to the tomb of death, his mood had been pretty somber and it was good to see him back to his normal happy self, although I could tell he was still a little nervous.

We made light conversation as we walked and stopped every 30 minutes for a break and some water, the rain came in heavy dark showers followed by bursts of hot sun, the jungle was pretty dense in places and wielding the machetes for any length of time sapped our energy, every now and then a startled monkey or bird would screech down from the tree’s making us jump, I couldn’t help feeling like I was in some Vietnam movie; guiding a patrol through hostile terrain or that I was about to look down in fear as the red targeting beam from the creature immortalized in the film ‘The Predator’ picked me out and blasted me, I voiced these thoughts to Max and Paulo who gave me that look that says “ok weirdo, put the big machete down and step back”, dammed warped imagination, I laughed.
After what seemed an eternity Paulo stopped and pointed up ahead to a slight clearing, “its there in the clearing” he said, I did my best spooky ghost noise and Max pissed himself again, Paulo on the other hand just did his ‘that’s not funny’ look and stayed bolted to the spot. Max and I moved into the clearing and made a few observations. The clearing was a basic area of about 30 meters in diameter, the jungle had encroached back over the floor and we were pretty confident that a road or track of some sorts had entered the clearing from the north at some point. Paulo cautiously pointed out a more densely overgrown patch in the rough centre of the clearing, under the mass of branches, roots and vines we could see a circular hole; approximately three foot deep and five meters across, sunk into the ground, it was lined with heavy cut stone and we could make out a base beneath the undergrowth, a large circular disc of iron or some similar metal had been placed in its centre. We started hacking away with the machetes at the undergrowth, half an hour had gone by, by the time we had made any sort of noticeable dent on the thick vegetation, Max and I were covered in about twenty different varieties of sap and pith, not to mention the cuts and scratches that decorated our arms, face and legs. Paulo was keeping well back and chain smoking whilst keeping an eye on his watch, neither of us wanted to be struggling around in the jungles after dark but obviously for different reasons; he was scared of having is soul stolen by some creature from the underworld and I was frightened of missing out on some more of his wife’s lobster over a pint.

Max brought down his machete on a particularly large root and went straight through with an almighty clang and a flash of sparks as he hit the metal plate beneath, the jungles birds bolted from their treetop perches with a deafening screech, showing their alarm at the unnatural noise, “F**k me, its broken the blade” Max said, I pulled the wreckage away and cleared some of the silt from the metal disc. “Christ on a bike, there’s writing on it, I think its in German or Dutch or something” I exclaimed, I continued to push the dirt aside, clearing the surface, “It is German”, Max hacked away a few more roots so that we could expose the whole disc, I couldn’t believe what was starting to appear before us, a giant swastika was engraved into the surface of the metal. The whole disc measured about two meters across its diameter and the edge was adorned with inscriptions and symbols, the presence of the swastika left no doubt that the writing was German but what the hell was this thing? “What does it say?” asked Max, I had absolutely no idea and I knew what was coming next, “But you speak German don’t you”; Max has been under the impression for a reasonable amount of time that I can speak German, he had based this on the fact that I had watched enough German porn over the years to be able to repeat handy phrases at the bar like “you cant have me fraulein, my trouser snake is too big “and “I want to wear your lederhosen darling” , I had repeatedly told him on many an occasion that I do not speak German, if either of the two phrases I have just mentioned were to appear on this Nazi monolith then we were some of the way there to a translation of sorts regarding the writings on our find, however my limited but reliable instincts told me; without any shadow of doubt, that as the Nazi’s were not famous for their sense of humor we were s**t out of luck on this one.

We had to start heading back before we lost the light. I took several photographs with my digital camera whilst Max explained; in very brief terms, the rise and fall of Nazi Germany to Paulo. This was some find and a very strange one at that, I could sense Max was dying to discuss this in great depth with me as I was with him but it was probably best to do it amongst ourselves, it wasn’t making much sense to either of us and we didn’t need to be freaking Paulo out with wild and fanciful theory’s at this stage of the day.

We covered the site back up as best we could with the undergrowth we had originally removed, it was blatantly obvious that something was underneath but it seemed the right thing to do, a token gesture if you like.
I took a fixed Nav point with my hand held GPS and activated the programme to show our start point; where we had left the vehicle, no point zig zagging back when we can walk straight and save time. I took one last glance back at the site as we set off, this was all very, very weird and dammed exciting at the same time, Sieg Heil.

The hike back had been a strange one, Paulo was his normal chatty, smiley self; he had convinced himself that because Max and I had recognized the swastika symbol that we had found an old; seemingly normal and uninteresting, war antique. I could understand his chain of thought though, as Principe was littered with cannons from century’s of Portuguese occupation, it didn’t interest the islanders in the slightest, to him this was just another rotting memory of a war he had never seen, What myself; and what I also new without question Max was thinking was, that the Nazi’s never visited Principe, they didn’t even travel into the gulf of Guinea as far as I knew? What the F**king hell was a giant Iron Swastika doing buried in the ground in the middle of a jungle that no body but no body has had any even bizarre reason to visit? Max and I made normal and polite conversation all the way back to the jeep. We had made slightly better time than we had hoped and just beat the darkness, it was eight o’clock and lobster/ Guinness time again.

The Team were already sat in Paulo’s bar when we arrived, a little cheer went up as we walked in, we couldn’t decide whether that was because they were impressed they had found the bar or that we had been better with our time keeping? Isabella was playing the perfect hostess with some tappas on the table and the drink flowing freely, the lobsters were on their way and the team was keen to speak about their first day of exploring. Paulo had to take some fish over to a friends bar in the next village so he made his excuses and left, Max followed him out and then returned, I knew what had been said, Max wanted to keep this hush for a bit and I agreed.
The team had, had a good day and were going to be busy setting up equipment around the beaches for the next two or three days, they had marked down a few sites that were of particular interest to their studies and wanted to get stuck in, this suited me and Max down to the ground as we wanted to get back out to our German find, preferably on our own.
As we ate we chatted and got to know each other a little better, Max was discussing the finer points of owning a shipping company with Mark and Alex and I was discussing the ins and outs of Portuguese history with the others, I eased my way on to the subject of languages to see if any one spoke German, George did, he had spent two years studying in Berlin on a marine biology course and obviously had to make an effort to learn the basics, I mentioned that I had a few bits and pieces I would like him to help me try and translate in a few days, he agreed no problem, I gave Max a little nod, that should help a bit I thought.

We set off back to the house; a little merry, and although it was a super tight squeeze with us all in the Jeep, we managed it with no problems, the team all went to bed to get an early start the next day, Max and I headed for the Balcony with the Rum, we were bursting at the seams to discuss our unusual find.

“what the f**k do you think it is?” max asked, “I don’t know but its definitely important, or was” I replied, “that thing was a real nice piece of engineering, it was meant to be there, it hasn’t fallen out of a plane or something and just landed in the middle of the f**king jungle, the stone round the outside, did you notice how well fitted it all was? It was an absolutely perfect fit, there wasn’t even a millimeter gap in it”, “yeah I know” said Max, “and what about those weird symbols? They were like Egyptian hieroglyphics or some weird s**t?”, I agreed, they had looked Egyptian at first but I had studied Egyptology quite intensely for a year and the symbols didn’t ring any bells in my memory, “I think that disc thing is an entrance to something like Paulo said” added Max, “we should go back tomorrow and take some jimmy bars, try and move it, what do you think?”, I had been thinking that and something else as well, “why don’t we get that German deciphered first, on the computer or show George the photo’s and see if he can translate it? What if it says something like ‘F**k off, do not open this hole, we have filled it with toxic nuclear s**t and if you get any on you, your dick will fall off, thanks, Regards, Adolf Hitler?”, Max laughed out loud, “I suppose that’s a possibility, but I think we should keep anyone else out of it at the moment, translate it on the computer tomorrow and well make a trip up again the following day eh? I mean just suppose it’s the missing Nazi gold or the Ark of the Covenant or something, last thing us and this island needs is reporters and religious lunatics crawling all over it tearing up the jungle to get to that thing; whatever it is, Paulo’s going to keep stum, I said the same to him and he agrees, whatever that thing is, I don’t think just anybody was supposed to find it?”, I agreed with that as well, this was going to be an interesting next few days.

The team were out and about when I woke; I had actually made it off the balcony to my bedroom this time, a note had been left on the kitchen table, ‘Gone over to Sao Tomé with the ship; f**king problems with government again, back in couple of days, e-mail me anything interesting fraulein, Aufwiedersen’, Max must have gotten a fax through on the ship, Sao Tomé was Max’s main offices for the Gulf of Guinea and was a good twenty four hour return trek, I would have to e-mail Max any findings, mobiles dont work out on Principe, fortunately however I always took my very expensive satellite link up phone with me to hook up with the web and check my mail, I may be able to get in touch with him on that, I pondered. I switched my laptop on and waited for a connection, whilst I plugged the camera into the USB to check the photo’s. Looking at the Disc and it’s inscriptions on the computer monitor gave me an odd feeling, what was this thing doing there? I printed off a few of the better shots and started looking for a translation programme on the web, once I had found one I left it downloading whilst I made another coffee. I typed the German text from the disc into the box on the screen and pressed ‘enter’, the please wait sign came up and then things started getting weird, firstly a pop up appeared indicating I was in violation of the American Secrecy act, then I was informed that my signal was being traced and I was to remain on line, “f**k that” I shouted and pulled all the plugs out, even the electricity, that was one of the weirdest things I had ever seen, it must be some internet prank I thought, some virus or something? I plugged the computer back in but off line, I waited for the usual start up procedure but nothing happened, after a few more seconds a box appeared ‘ YOURE HARD DRIVE HAS BEEN FOUND TO CONTAIN ILLEGAL INFORMATION, IT HAS BEEN WIPED IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE UNITED STATES FEDERAL SECRETS ACT OF 1945 NO 1665253456-53-3’ this was a joke, it had to be a virus of some description but computers were one of my businesses and I hadn’t heard of this before? I turned the phone back on and nothing, just the backlight and a sign saying ‘DATA ERASE’, the camera was the same, blank, totally blank, the photos were gone as well, what the F**k was going on? I pulled out a pack of Marlboro red’s and sparked up; I had stopped years back but this was a real weird situation, I was suitably freaked out and trying to get my brain to work, a cigarette was definitely called for, I paced round with a brandy trying to put some reasoning behind what had just happened, I couldn’t come up with a sensible answer, how had the phone the hard drive and the camera been wiped? Had some illegal information been placed on my laptop without my knowledge? Had some weird automatic chain of commands shut my s**t down and wiped its memory? I just didn’t know but I wasn’t willing to believe it had anything to do with the German translation I was trying to do, at least I had the pictures I had printed, that would give me some help with getting George to translate for me, I didn’t really have much choice, I wanted an answer with this disc, were the writings linked to the shutdown of my gear?

[edit on 24-4-2006 by optimus fett]

[edit on 25-4-2006 by optimus fett]

posted on Apr, 26 2006 @ 11:18 AM
Chapter 2.

It was four thirty in the morning when Major John Hardwick had gotten the call on his secure line; It was lieutenant Colonel Slade; “ John you better get in, there’s been some unusual developments, weve got a code Rainbow lock down here, and for the record this is not a drill, I repeat not a drill”

Hardwick put the phone back on the bedside table and rubbed his eyes, he hadn’t had a call like this since 96’ when a ‘Phexon’ light gravity troop ship had gone down in mid Alaska. A car would be on the way to collect him and take him to His station point at the Base at Dulce. He put on his uniform and went down stairs to make a coffee; although he never showed it publicly or to his ‘associates’, the excitement and anxiety was starting to bubble deep inside him, he hated the constant drills, drills that since 96 had been about as exciting as going for dinner with his 87 year old mother in law, sure it was important to stay focused and alert; no one new that better than John but to have a real code ‘Rainbow’ was a result, even at 62 years old it made him feel like he was 30 again and pushing the envelope as a test pilot with one of the many aviation manufacturers with which he had worked.

John’s career in the military had started early. Growing up in Austin, Texas he was flying crop dusters at 15 years old and had been quickly snapped up by the air force in 62’ to work on the McDonald Douglas Phantom F4 development project. John’s ‘gift’ for flying fast jets had seen him rise quickly through the ranks regarding ‘test flying’, he was respected by all for his ability to quickly resolve issues regarding control surfaces and handling problems, he saved his employees large sums of cash and he got aircraft into production quickly and with minimal fuss or fatalities. His ‘fast track’ development of the F4 had seen it play a serious role in Vietnam and move further forward to a reconnaissance role with participation in ‘Wild Weasel’ anti-aircraft suppression missions, this whole process had been ‘smoothed’ by John Hardwick’s dedication and commitment as a test pilot and government employee, commitment that hadn’t gone unnoticed.

In the summer of 1968 John Hardwick’s life had taken a very serious turn away from known reality. It was widely accepted, yet unspoken amongst test pilots and engineers in the ranks of the U.S. military that several ‘very, very strange’ projects are tucked away in very, very secret places around the United States. Several of John’s associates had been ‘invited’ to work on these projects over the years, but in keeping with the strictest protocols known to human kind, nothing but nothing was ever spoken or relayed outside of this elite and highly unusual collection of people, the group simply known as ‘X’….the U.F.O. boys. In 1968 John’s life changed forever.

The first meeting with ‘X’ officials had been a bizarre and surreal experience for John. After being taken to a ‘Code Grey’ military base (code grey being the top classification for any military installation) he was introduced; some what ‘casually’ he thought, to over 20 extraterrestrial craft and the ‘dead’ remains of some of their crews. It was explained to him that his government had no reason to return any of the remains to their relevant alien counter parts as they were simply viewed as ‘empty shells’ with no value, all alien species accepted that mortal flesh was simply a ‘host’ for their luminous beings and of no interest or value once the host unit had been damaged beyond repair, or abandoned on a planet such as earth.

John’s role within ‘X’ quickly became apparent. Two of the retrieved craft had sustained very light damage in their crash landings. These craft had been repaired; if some what crudely, to ‘Flying status’ by the engineers. John spent the following 3 months developing a simulator to be used in conjunction with both of the alien vessels, the hours spent inputting control service variables, ‘G’ statistics, flight schematics and acceleration/ deceleration inputs were all based on the calculations accumulated through the years of ‘guess work’ by ‘X’ technicians, granted it was without a doubt the very best ‘guess work’ in the world.

Six months in the simulators; with John training his co pilot, Mike woods, brought fourth the day when the Alien ships; affectionately known as ‘Tom and Jerry’ were to take their maiden ‘Human piloted’ flights over the deserts of Area 51 (the one and only time any alien craft have ever used this facility). After being delivered to the base via an underground rail network (also highly classified) the two pilots began their ‘pre flight’ checks on the 20th of July 1969 at, in 30 minutes Neil Armstrong would be walking on the surface of the moon, the perfect diversion had been timed immaculately to coincide with something far more remarkable than for filling Kennedy’s promise.

Whilst the rest of the world gathered ‘amazed’ around their T.V. sets, John Hardwick got airborne in ‘Tom’. After reaching a height of 2000ft; as indicated by the human made flight instruments that had been installed, things went terribly wrong. Some kind of hidden auto pilot took complete control, ‘Tom’ accelerated vertically at speed unreachable by any modern aircraft even today and at an indicated 37,000 ft went into a violent spin heading directly back to the desert floor. After a few seconds of complete blind panic the controls began to respond again, John pulled the ship out of the dive with incredible ease and with virtually no noticeable ‘G’ force working against him, the air speed indicators registered nothing but the view from the cockpit and Johns experience told him he was pushing around Mach 2 as he blasted across the desert at an indicated 2000ft. Thinking back, John should have took the ship back to the hangars to asses the strange autopilot anomaly, but as this first pioneering flight may be his last, he had to see ‘Tom’s’ potential. After becoming slightly more comfortable with the controls John initiated some super tight turns and loops, the lack of any ‘G’ left him some what disorientated and confused of his position, coupled with the fact the radio link to ground control hadn’t worked since the autopilot had played up, as he came in for a low pass over the ‘X’ engineers the alien flight displays went into a previously unseen display mode. It became apparent many years later; after repeated evaluations of the alien circuitry, that ‘Tom’s’ in built defense computers had selected ‘Jerry’ and Mike Woods as a stationary target and threat, ‘Tom’ deployed some sort of magnetic pulse weapon that vaporized ‘Jerry’ and Mike in a millisecond, also killing 23 of the ‘X’ technicians working outside the stationary ship. Seconds after the horrific event ‘Tom’ lost all forward propulsion and descended; still at high speed, into the desert floor, the first thing John was to remember of this event was 4 months later when he came out of his coma. All ‘Alien’ craft flight tests were cancelled indefinitely.

John’s role within ‘X’ changed after 69’. With most of the ‘X’ engineers killed; and replacements being virtually impossible to find, ‘X’ had taken on the increasing amount of R.C. (Retrieval and containment) situations that were arising. A team of Special Forces operatives; mainly Delta, had been draughted in and trained to act as ‘fast response’ to downed alien vessels. John had never been comfortable with the way the R.C. units needed to work; any witnesses to the downed alien craft were executed on site, their murders and corpses quickly hidden away in the incinerators on any of several ‘Code Grey’ bases, John would make his peace with God later on but his guilt regarding these matters would never leave him. As more craft became available for research and evaluation, ‘X’ continued to retrieve and file information. One such area that had always been of immense interest to John was the Nazi ‘Paperclip’ files. During WW2 elite teams of Wafen SS had retrieved several ‘flying discs’ from remote locations, primarily Antarctica and the Jungles of the Congo, they had later used some of their stolen knowledge to assist in their development of primitive flying discs and ‘ anti grav’ craft. At the end of the war both American and Russian Special Forces raced to capture leading Luftwaffe and SS scientists to cream off knowledge relating to their respective Jet and Rocket programmes, the ‘rescued’ German experts being quickly; and very quietly, fed into the research unit now better known as NASA, with just 2 Nazi’s being comfortably ‘imprisoned’ at the ‘X’ research facility in Dulce; New Mexico, this complex and secret mission had become known as ‘WitchHunt’, years later the press had wrongly named it ‘Operation Paperclip’

On johns arrival at the ‘X’ facilities he preceded through the standard high security verification checks as he had done thousands of times before. As he traveled down the elevators and corridors to his departments Labs and engineering facilities, he wondered what lay waiting in the briefing room. Virtually all of ‘X’ was seated and waiting when John entered the room; this was a little strange as he had expected a few members to be already on route to the crash zone with an R.C. team, that was going on his assumption that there had been a crashed ship in the first place?

John sat down and poured him self a glass of water, “Gentlemen, what do you have for me?” professor Mark Jardine stood up and cleared his throat, “I’ll try and keep this basic for now. We all remember the information on the vessels retrieved by our Nazi buddies in ww2; John I know your particularly well versed on most of the details. As we know, all these craft disappeared before any one outside of the S.S could get to them. As far as we were previously aware all material proof and evidence of them and their locations were destroyed, the information we do have came to us via our deceased friend ‘Professor Schloss’. Schloss had seen several of the craft stored in underground facilities in the Netherlands nearing the end of the war, apparently they were in perfect flying condition and awaiting delivery to a secret location known only by a handful of the S.S top brass. All working at that facility were killed in a bizarre gas explosion 4 days after Schloss was moved with his research to Berlin. It would appear; after events 2 hrs ago, that Professor Schloss wasn’t telling us the complete truth regarding his work and involvement in ‘The Netherlands incident’, however he did have the decency to leave us all a little surprise in the ‘X’ computers hard drives.” Professor Jardine sipped his water and continued, “As you are all aware are computer systems monitor virtually all internet based traffic on the planet, Key phrases or words trigger warning systems allowing us to pick up ‘problems’ or threats to our security and disclosure when a member of the public gets too close for comfort, they are also programmed to alert us when a certain phrase or text comes up, for example last year when those ‘Venturi’ alien scripts were registered via the web to a publishing company in the U.K, our computers recognized the terminology and within 24 hrs they were safely in our hands, a further 6 hours and 3 freak car crashes later, all evidence of their existence on our planet was removed. Before his death 4 years ago, Schloss placed a ‘deep core’ trigger in several of our back up servers, once triggered they were to reveal details regarding our ‘missing’ craft and details of their location. Schloss’s information is sketchy at best but the trigger appears to have been a gabled ancient gothic text predicting the end of all civilization on earth, that text has never been found anywhere other than on that weird monolith the brits discovered back in Nepal in the 50’s, weve checked with our U.K counterpart and its still under lock and key in Scotland, only 3 people alive know of its existence, 2 of which are in their late 80’s. Schloss left several notes regarding ‘Super Submarines’; far bigger than anything we have ever seen, that left the Netherlands for the Nazi base in ‘Newschwabbenland’, they were ‘apparently’ carrying our missing Discs and some other ‘Seriously Dangerous’ Occult artifacts. Now we know that they never arrived in the Antarctic, Schloss believes these subs were to rendezvous first, somewhere off the West African coast to collect other ‘Objects of importance’. 2 hrs ago Schloss’s trigger came via a sat phone connection, somewhere off the coast of Equatorial Guinea”, Gentlemen…..we have a problem”.

posted on Apr, 29 2006 @ 11:15 AM
Firstly I thought it was a very good and interesting story.

I found it refreshing to read a story set from a first person point of view, I believe writers tend to stick to third person writing as in the first person style of writing there is a danger of zoning in on the main character and neglecting the story, although I've read work by Stephen Lawhead who maintained the character and story which you seem to have done.
So far I'm liking the characters, they're down to earth lads looking to have a good time no matter what their are doing.
A critic I have is I think you revealed the alien connection way too early, half the fun of stories such as your own is the mystery of not knowing, keeping the reader guessing as to what is around the next corner.
So I liked the first chapter but wasn’t overly keen on the second, introducing a potentially ''main'' future character in the second chapter helps to create a main character for each side, a counter balance to the main character of chapter one so that is good.

I'm liking the unveiling story theme, the Nazi base in Antarctica is one of my favourite conspiracy theories and blend it with some occult I can't think of a more interesting story line

I'm very much looking forward to future instalments of the story!

[edit on 29-4-2006 by UK Wizard]

posted on Apr, 29 2006 @ 12:23 PM
link mate.

much appreciated for taking the time, and thanks for the constructive crtisism.

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