New Project! FROM SPACE! Read the first words of the 1st Draft!

Over the weekend, I finished the first draft of FIRE ESCAPE.  It was a great feeling to get there despite knowing that the structure needs a lot of work and the pacing feels a lot like my last novel MAN FROM ZERO.  I feel like there is a tighter story in FIRE ESCAPE and it’s just a matter of me finding “the sculpture in the marble” as Michaelangelo would say.  I’ve been working on the premise for FIRE ESCAPE for over a decade so a little more work is not going to bother me.  That said, my goal this year was to write something for every day of the year, but just because I finished the story, doesn’t mean I get to take the rest of the year off!

This is where FROM SPACE comes in.  It’s a story that involves a character whom we first met in the first draft of FIRE ESCAPE but focuses on a young woman who is not from around here…

So, here are the first two days of words for FROM SPACE (or grab the PDF here):



20180909 Sun

The morning in question was like any other for Sarah. She woke up, went to her temp gig as a perpetual office assistant. The gig was originally supposed to be six weeks but it turned into six months. It was practically a normal job except for health insurance. Which was not a big deal since she pretty much hadn’t been sick in a long time. She had turned thirty a few years ago but did not care since she looked like she’d barely turned twenty-one. So the income was nice.

I came to meet Sara Church when the search for my one if my list items led me to her parent’s home. The night before I visited her, she had an experience that would change her life and I’m afraid meeting me did the same thing again.

The night before was like any other night where she invited her boyfriend to spend the night, for the most part.  The difference came in the morning when she woke to find herself alone and covered in a thin green film.

It wasn’t totally disgusting—it wasn’t a gross slime she was drenched in like you might find in one of your Earth movies. It was was just a thin film with think blobs in certain areas. She would later tell me it reminded her of a spider web. It was still gross, she told me, but my commentary is that it wasn’t as bad as what some beings have to go through.

But before all that, she had gotten out of bed, showered off all of the green webbing and left the green tinted sheets for when she got home from work.

The day would continue like any other. Again, for the most part.

She called her boyfriend but got his voicemail. She left a message and then texted him. After each action, she heard nothing back from him. She wasn’t so much worried as she was puzzled. Sarah always had her own way of doing things and found that it would often put off the men she would date.

In a meeting with all the departments at the tech startup she worked at, she was bored and absentmindedly fiddly with her fingers. After several Earth minutes, she noticed a strange green substance oozing from her left index finger’s nail.

20180910 Mon

A sour look crossed her face. She instinctively wiped it on the chair she sat on, turned her focus back to the meeting. From that point on, she was able to forget all about the green stuff and didn’t think about it again until after the meeting ended and she was back at her cubical sitting, staring at her computer screen. She wasn’t sure how long she sat there before she felt herself start to cry. Not full-on sobbing but just slight tears and soft sounds like she was clearing her throat. She grabbed one of those tissue-things Earth people keep in boxes on their desk and wiped her face with it. As she pulled it away and looked at it, she could see it was smeared with green.

She used her phone’s camera to see herself and make sure she wiped the rest of the green tears from her face.  Moments later she stood over the assistant to her boss as he sat at his desk.

“Hey, Chad, I’m not feeling so well. I’m going to work the rest of the day from home.”

“Ok. We’ll let you know if you need anything and you do the same—in fact, you’ve got some green on you—didn’t know that was you’re color!”

“Me neither. Thanks, Chad!”

She self consciously wiped her face as she headed out.

She thought about calling her boyfriend again but decided he would get back to her when he wanted to. Of course, after getting home to her apartment, she didn’t feel very well so she just took a nap.

At some point she had woken up, ordered food to be delivered and fell back asleep.

FIRE ESCAPE First Draft Update for 9/8/18: The End (No, seriously, the first draft is done!)

HOLY CATS!  I FINISHED THE FIRST DRAFT.

Amazingly, the final words in the first draft of FIRE ESCAPE follow below.  Please let me know what you think!  Now is when I need feedback.  Reach out to me on TwitterIG, or FB. Or visit pete.ink and use the form there to connect with me.

Just a quick reminder: you can still support me if you like!  Head over to manfromzero.com and buy my most recent fully edited and self-published novel.  It’s good and takes place in the same story universe as Fire Escape–just way in the futrure.  In the meantime, if you want to make it easier for me to write, why not support me on Patreon? Just go here: patreon.com/petenicholls. Don’t want to commit to Patreon?  Then buy me a cup of coffee!  Or hay, just let me know that you like my stuff.  That means so much, too. Find me on TwitterIG, or FB.
Get the COMPLETELY FINISHED FIRST DRAFT (!!!) HERE:

fe2018.pete.ink

Or, read the final words below this line:


“YOU CAN’T SEE THAT?” I said, once again pointing to the dimension-eating monster behind me.

She paused for a moment, seeming to realize something was wrong.

“Is something wrong?  Are you in danger?”

It was like that moment when you go to the doctor and they ask “How are you?” and you’re like “I’M HERE, AREN’T I?”

“YES!!” I yelled pointing behind me again, adding: “AND YOU’RE IN DANGER, TOO!”

“What’s that?”

I pointed directly at her.  “You are in danger, too!!”

“Um, what?”  She went silent for a moment but her lips were still moving.  I started shaking my head gesturing to my ears.

“Dr, Ellsworth, I can’t hear you!”  That was when it hit me–maybe this is where she dies–disappearing in an alternate dimension that collapsed on us.  I knew I could not let that happen.  I moved to hold her hands.  As I reached for them, my hands passed through her’s with some strange static-electricity-like energy passing through both of us.  I backed away from her as she looked surprised.

I still couldn’t hear her as she tried to speak.

I was about to morph again and start trashing things when suddenly, I could hear her again.

“I told you, we’re phasically out of sync.  I’m not really here.  That’s why I’m having trouble understanding you.  Not all of the sound vibrations you are making reach my dimension.”

“Sound isn’t.  What about light?”  I had literally just though about how Kate might approach this problem.  Ellsworth eyed me for a moment.  I pointed to my mouth and spoke. “Read my lips!”

She smiled and nodded.

“So, we’re seeing into each other’s dimensions but are not able to interact,” I said. She nodded and spoke very loudly, not understanding that I could hear her just fine.  “The fabric between the dimensions is allowing us to see but not interact!  Yes.”

“I can hear you, no need to yell.”

“OH.  Oh.  Sorry!”

I realized I had to explain everything quickly and in a way she could easily read my lips.

“This dimension is collapsing.”

Her face went pale.  Her brow furrowed.

“There is a big, uh, I don’t know, anomaly, that is surrounding this town and is slowly compressing it into nothing.”

She looked horrified.

“Dr. Ellsworth: do you know how to stop something like this?”

She looked genuinely distraught and shook her head.

I threw my hands up.

“I’m sorry!  I barely got to this point!” She was yelling again.

I smiled and shrugged.

“Then there is nothing to be done,” I said smiling.

“I’m so sorry.”

“It’s OK.”

“Is it me? Is it my trimensional breacher that is doing this?”

“I don’t think so.  Maybe?  This dimension has been slowly collapsing for a very long time and only recently got this fast.”

“The anomaly, what does it look like?”

I smiled and took a moment to think of how to describe it.  “A monster.”

“With claws and teeth?”

I shook my head.  “Imagine the laws of physics turned against themselves.”
She looked horrified.

“You should go,” I said, looking back at the monster as it was now a hundred feet away.  “You don’t need to see this.  In fact, you won’t be able to see this.”

“Why?”

“This dimension will collapse and everything will cease to exist.  Since you can’t see the anomaly,
it’ll just look like the buildings and roads and me fading out, I’d guess.”

“I don’t want to go.  I want to learn.  Why is your dimension collapsing?”

“It’s not mine.  I’m just a tourist, like you.”

“What?”

“Yep.  The work you do–well, I can’t tell you how important it is but I can tell you that my big sister is a huge fan of yours.”

“What’s her name?”

“That doesn’t matter–just know that you and your work does matter.”

Tears started to fall from here eyes as I could feel the pull of the maelstrom.  It had gotten stronger.  It was like a cascade effect.  It was pulling me away from Ellsworth.  I tried to fight it, but it was so much stronger than before.  Then I remembered–to change.  “Memories.”

But it wasn’t enough.

Suddenly, Ellsworth, what was left of Isaac Newtown, the sky, the air, the everything was gone.  It was just me.  My change had kept me alive–strong enough to weather the collapse of a dimension–pretty bad ass.  But now what?  Certainly, my biological functions eventually require sustenance.  I don’t know how long it was before I decided what to do next.

What did I decide to next?

Remember.

THE END

FIRE ESCAPE First Draft Update for 9/7/18: Meeting the Lady in Yellow

Get the most recent draft here:
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Read the latest words below this line:


When I saw her it was just like that night when I followed Jill up the fire escape outside our apartment. It was just a glimpse but her dress was such a bright yellow that it was impossible to miss, even in the corner of my eye.

I stared back at the maelstrom’s maw once again and there seemed to be no extreme change in its speed—it was still pulling buildings and pavement and reality itself up and in.

I considered trying the Accessory again but that red Fire Escape was a pretty huge risk and it seemed to “anger” the maelstrom, or more likely, destabilize the Fire Escape Dimension even more.

“Well, there’s nothing else to do,” I said aloud but to no one.

I turned back to where I had seen her. It was just a flash of yellow around the next corner, but I was sure it was her. I jogged toward where I had seen her and turned the corner. Again, I spotted a flash of yellow at the next corner. Though, when I locked my eyes on the exact place I’d seen the flash of yellow, I saw it reappear. Just a bit of the bottom of her dress showing around the corner of a building. It was likely that she didn’t even notice it was showing.

Using my Super Me speed, I had closed the distance in seconds and, miraculously, she did not vanish around another corner.

In fact, at first she looked scared.

“You can see me,” she declared in a way that made me think she was giving me permission to see her as much as she was surprised I’d caught up with her.

“Yes, I can,” I said.

“Are you alright? How are you here?”

“Well, I’m not from around here,” I said. She looked around at the buildings. “What year is this?

Everything looks so much older.”

“No idea. Where did you start out?”

She smiled a bright smile. She was older, maybe in her (late?) fifties but something about her was very luminous—she glowed—maybe literally.

“What?”

“We’re not fully phasicly synchronized,” she said.

“OK, I don’t know what that means,” I said honestly.

“I’m only catching parts of what you are saying,” she said squinting at me. I shrugged. “You seem fine on my end. Did you want to call me back?”

I instantly realized how dumb a quip like that sounded coming out of me with a growl.

“I’m sorry—it looks like this isn’t going to work after all. Gosh darn it! So close!”

“What do you mean? So close?” I asked.

“Sorry, Say that again two or three times and maybe I’ll work out what you said.”

“Wow, the connection is fine. Seriously—you look like you’re—“

Then a thought occurred to me. I really had to connect with her. This was Jill’s idol. This was Jennifer Ellsworth.

Who ever THAT is.

Famous scientist nobody’s ever heard of.

“Hey hey hey, so wait—“ I was about to try to explain everything but then I wondered if me being regular me again might help. I said my trigger words and reverted something that didn’t quite feel like me. I touched my face and could feel it was different. I was Conva. Thanks to the spooky physics in the FED when I reverted I morphed based on the physics of the FED.

“Hey, you’re Jennifer Ellsworth, right?”

She gave me a suspicious look. “I didn’t quite get all that—did you just say my name?”

“Yes! Yes, I did!” she smiled as my anxiety stomach jumped into high gear. Damn I never should have reverted. I started obsessing about the maelstrom. I looked behind me and saw it was moving quickly. My anxiety stomach felt like a piece of coal.

I looked back to Jennifer and she was smiling.

“How do you know my name?”

“Can you see that? Can you see that? Can you see that?” I said, pointing at the monster behind me. She tried to see what I was pointing at but she clearly could not see it and went back to obsessing about her name.

FIRE ESCAPE First Draft Update for 8/6/18: Facing the End of Reality Right in its Rather Large Maw

Just a quick reminder: pretty much everything you’re going to read on this blog or its PDFs is an absolute first draft.  In most cases, you’re reading these pages before even I do as I write them and post them without even checking for typos.  The whole point is to write every day and worry about editing later.  If you want to read something from me that has been proofread and edited (WOW!), please check out manfromzero.com and buy my most recent novel.  It’s good and takes place in the same story universe as Fire Escape–just way in the futrure.  In the meantime, if you want to make it easier for me to write, why not support me on Patreon?  Even a buck a month (or a buck period!) will help.  Just go here: patreon.com/petenicholls. Don’t want to commit to Patreon?  Then buy me a cup of coffee!  Or hay, just let me know that you like my stuff.  That means so much, too. Find me on TwitterIG, or FB.
Get the most recent draft here:

fe2018.pete.ink

Read the latest words below this line:


For a split second, I could see the tiniest of particles trapped in the maelstrom that was eating everything in the dimension. In that instant I could identify the substances I saw based on what I could see alone. That doesn’t mean I could name every substance I saw but I knew I could pick each one out of a line up if I could only see a single molecule of it.

Also in that same instant, while recognizing my ability to recognize these substances, I also recognized that I was perceiving a lot of detail in a very short timespan which had the effect of feeling like time had slowed down.

I wondered if it was just me imagining things or if, somehow time had slowed down because of the warping of time.

I decided to test my theory by running in the opposite direction and jumping upward from the lab out of the footprint of the religious building, on to the street. I glanced behind me and saw that the path, the street, that sign, the purple mountain with the hub and barracks were all gone. In their place was this thing that was less like Maelstrom and more like a literal monster with it’s maw open wider than it’s face, somehow able to start chewing before it even took a bite. The food that was reality breaking apart as the few rules of physics remaining still managed to have an effect.

Once again, that glance took only a moment but I saw so much.

I turned back and started to run away from the maw. I had no idea where I was going, I was just going on instinct. After what felt like several minutes I stopped and looked back again. I had put several hundred feet between the maw and myself. It also looked like it was chewing up reality faster now. I stood there a good few minutes and felt like the closer it got the slower it was moving. Again, I might have been imagining things.

I bent my massive but now noticeably streamlined frame over putting my scaleless hands on my knees. I keep my senses peeled for any other holdout Conva who may have decided I was a bad guy.

I looked back at the maw and stared at it for a while just watching it churn up matter and the fabric of timespace.

What the hell was I even thinking trying to run? The medium which I existed it was going away. How the hell was I going to stop it?

I looked around and knew that if I hadn’t stayed Super Me, I’d probably be in the fetal position hiding in a corner some place. But what good was remaining panic-free and in control? What was I going to do run into a Conva coffee shop I’d found and caffeinate my way back to my trimension?

I decided to just go for a walk—do some window shopping, maybe make up a wish list.

About six items in is when I saw her–the lady in yellow. Yes. That same lady from when Jill and I were kids.

FIRE ESCAPE First Draft Update for 9/5/18: Forcing My Will on the Holdouts

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I put my hostages down and politely gestured with my still massive form for them to go through the Fire Escape. I even yelled “SAFETY!” but I think it didn’t have the effect I wanted because they had horrified looks on their faces and they just sort of staggered backward.  KJ approached sayinf “I think they need a different kind of encouragement.”

I stared at KJ for a moment and then started shoving the holdouts through the Fire Escape.

KJ shrugged as I realized I was in control and not at the same time. Once the holdouts were shoved through I looked to Wing and the other Conva soldiers and waved at them to go through. As they each took steps toward the MoAFE, the ceiling of the lab shattered and pulled away from us. Toward the steps down I could see reality stretching and the steps breaking apart and sliding upward. I looked back to the soldiers as they turned from me and ran. All them, aside from Wing, that is.

“What about you and Kate?!” he yelled—I could barely hear him but it was obvious what he was saying. Especially, as he looked past me at Kate who seemed to be working to keep the generator going and the MoAFE open. I could see his eyes soften. I smiled and yelled back. “Go! I’ve got her!”

He nodded reluctantly and backed quickly into the Fire Escape. I turned and ran to Kate. “Now’s the time, woman!”

“God you’re terrifying!” She said barely glancing up.

“Kate! Everyone’s through but us! Reality is being sucked away!” I pointed at the warping of reality that was making it’s way toward us.

“Oh God—we’ve waited too long!” She yelled. I could see what she meant—the reality warp was going to hit the MoAFE before it hit us—I shoved the journal into Kate’s hands and picked her up.

“What are you—?!!”

“Love you, girl!!” I then heaved her toward the Fire Escape.

She passed through it. Almost immediately I saw the MoAFE start to warp toward the reality vacuum. Just then it occurred to me that the reality vacuum could suck people back through the Fire Escape since it was still open. I smashed the controls, and then rand over to the generator and started tearing it apart with my bare claws. The MoAFE closed and I was left with the reality warp staring me in the face.

FIRE ESCAPE First Draft Update for 8/4/18: The Maelstrom is About to Hit the Fan!

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As we reached the ground floor Wing and two other soldiers directed Super Me to a room opposite the high priest’s office. Wing had told me on the way up that they were the holdouts, determined to die on the land they were born on. In hindsight I wonder why I didn’t respect their choice to stay and die. I guess I didn’t have control over my Super side as much as I had thought. As I revisit these memories now I really regret my actions.

“They won’t answer!” another soldier yelled to me as what sounded like a hurricane on steroids raged outside. The generators still seemed to be reinforcing the structure, but I could see them vibrating violently. I knocked on the the door hard. I heard something said in Conva from the other side.

“What did he say?” I growled down at a Conva soldier.

“He said that they’re not going anywhere.”

“I hate to disagree, but—“ I said tearing apart the door with my claws. The Conva holdouts scattered when they saw me. The soldiers went into soldier mode and aimed their rifles at the holdouts. I quickly put my massive form in front of three of them, protecting the holdouts. “No! We need to save them!” I said as my heightened senses notices the reinforcement field was starting to fail. I immediately scooped up three holdouts in each of my massive arms. I ignored their screams, punches and kicks, and carried them back toward the high priests office. The other soldiers, including Wing, ushered the remaining holdouts at gunpoint out of the other office space, following me.

As we passed through the main hall of the religious center I called to Kate on the comms.

“Talk to me, Kate! How’s Dot?”

“She’s back! Get down here!”

“On our way!” Just as I said that the generators exploded and seemed to cause the entire above-ground portion of the center to crumble and get sucked into the maelstrom which looked like a giant vortex of destruction. The last holdouts to leave the other office and their soldier escort got caught in the pull and were lifted off, into the maelstrom. I kept my focus on getting the holdouts I’d kidnapped to the Fire Escape.

By the time I got to the lab, the other evacuees were gone and Kate was waving us to go through the Fire Escape as she stayed at the controls.

FIRE ESCAPE First Draft Update for 9/3/18: The Mother of All Fire Escapes

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“Have them stay against the wall!” Kate yelled over very loud rumbling from above. I and Wing gestured for everyone to back up against the wall as I was pretty sure I saw the ceiling shake with the last rumble. Wing leaned toward me and yelled over a wind that was suddenly coming from the bandshell and/or the generator: “Beings are still up there!”

I looked back at Kate as she pulled a literal lever on the console she stood at, causing the wind to grow more and the light from the speedbumps and generator grow. Then, I saw it—a ball of light forming in the center of the bandshell, maybe a few feet forward from it putting it very center-stage. I knew what it was but it was huge, the size of a volley ball, and was growing slowly, unlike the other Fire Escapes I’d seen so far.

It continued to grow as those ever-frequent rumbles became constant and then more like the sound of perpetual crushing.

My anxiety stomach was nagging at me big time.

“Did you hear me? Many of my people are upstairs still!”

I nodded but could not look away from the mother of all Fire Escapes as it grew to easily twenty feet in diameter. Then, a dark center began to form and then grow, eventually becoming an opening.

“But where does it go?” Dot yelled.

“Uhhh… not sure!” Kate said.  “It’s my work! I’ll find out!”

She stood started to move around the console, toward the stage when Dot pulled her back. “Forget it, kid! If this is a tunnel to nowhere, these people need you to find another way!”

Dot then ran up onto the stage and through the Fire Escape.

“Please! I need your help!” Wing demanded, ignoring Dot’s action. I held my left hand up, waiting to see if Dot returned.

“You do have TIME on your side, don’t you?” Wing yelled at me. Memories, I said and a moment later was looking down at Wing who looked afraid of me.

“Kate! Tell me on comms the instant Dot is back!” I growled, quickly turning back to Wing. “Lead the way shorty!”

FIRE ESCAPE First Draft Update for 8/2/18: The Conva Lab Under the Conva Church

Just a quick reminder: pretty much everything you’re going to read on this blog or its PDFs is an absolute first draft.  In most cases, you’re reading these pages before even I do as I write them and post them without even checking for typos.  The whole point is to write every day and worry about editing later.  If you want to read something from me that has been proofread and edited (WOW!), please check out manfromzero.com and buy my most recent novel.  It’s good and takes place in the same story universe as Fire Escape–just way in the futrure.  In the meantime, if you want to make it easier for me to write, why not support me on Patreon? Just go here: patreon.com/petenicholls. Don’t want to commit to Patreon?  Then buy me a cup of coffee!  Or hay, just let me know that you like my stuff.  That means so much, too. Find me on TwitterIG, or FB.
Get the most recent draft here:

fe2018.pete.ink

Read the latest words below this line:


“What do you got?” I called out as I descended steps into a big room with what looked like a giant turbine in the far left corner. Next to it was a platform that looked a lot like a a clam shell-style performance stage that was made of some kind if shiny metal. Only there was no curtain and the back wall was concave—like an old school radar dish that was very reflective.

On the far right side of the room were several consoles behind which stood Kate, Dot and KJ. Kate was staring at a console.

“Keep working, I’ll brief Jacob,” Dot said waving me over. “It’s pretty self-explanatory, that’s the generator that we think powered a Fire Escape that was big enough to bring over all of Isaac Newtown.”

I looked up at it in awe as I kept walking toward them. Dot continued: “That stage, we think, is
designed to concentrate the energy from either the generator or from the Fire Escape, itself.”

I marveled at the stage—it reminded me of the chrome bumpers old cars used to have. I nearly tripped over several speed-bump-looking things on the floor that suddenly lit up with a warm glow.

“Yes!” Kate called out. It seemed like she had made a breakthrough.

“What did you do?” I asked.

“Got power to the generator. Oh, dawg, I really wish Jill were here to see this now!!”
Warm light came from the generator as we could hear a loud whirring sound as it spun to life. Just then we heard a deep rumble that shook the building.

“That’s not from us,” Kate said.

“The maelstrom must be getting close,” KJ said.

“While I adjust the settings, KJ, get on the comms and tell Wing that we have a way out, and Dot tell Jake about the book we found!” Kate said. I could feel my anxiety stomach again. I decided to take some deep breaths rather than trigger myself. I had gotten pretty good at controlling my abilities.

I joined them behind the console as the light from the speedbumps and the generator got brighter and the noise from the generator began to compete with the rumbles coming from outside. I whispered my trigger word and then squinted through the space between the atoms that made up the ceiling and the walls and could see a wave of blurriness coming toward us from the direction of the Hub.

“Kate. How much longer is this going to take?” I asked.

“Not long, hopefully.”

“Here,” Dot said, handing me a book. “It’s a journal Kate found down here. Kate says it belonged to Jenny Ellsworth.”

I got chills as I looked at it.

“You need to hang onto it.”

“Why me?”

“Because… you’re more likely to survive this than anyone else.”

Her words hung in the air as we started to see evacuees entering the lab.

“Ok Kate! Now what?” I called out.

FIRE ESCAPE First Draft Update for 9/1/18: Why Would ANYONE Not Evacuate the Collapse of their Own Dimension?

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The inside of the religious center looked much like a church.  It was more obvious than ever that these people came from our world at some point in the last fifty to sixty years but because of the way time works here, have lived many many generations.  This church looked like so many I’d seen in movies and TV shows, with its two rows of benches and nice carpeting covering the aisle down the middle to an altar-looking thing.  It was much nicer than any church I’d ever been in, even though it seemed so much older.  The churches I grew up visiting were often store fronts or old movie theaters, not the reverent structures so many rich folks had access to.  But whatever, my life taught me that if there was a God, he wasn’t too interested in helping people of color and that’s certainly what it’s taught me since this whole thing wrapped up.

But inside the religious center did make sense for them to use as a hiding place.  From what Wing could tell us, they were supposed to end up in the civic center but that the old timers gravitated toward the place of worshiping God.

“I mean, I’d go with the more reinforced structure of the civic center,” KJ said, adding, “but maybe they’ll listen to actual reason and let move them there next once that Maelstrom out there starts to close in.”

“We can only hope,” I said.  Though, honestly, I found something admirable about them reaching out to God.  I mean, I have no idea why I found that admirable, maybe there is a part of me that still respects all that religious stuff our parents tried to force down our throats or maybe the nihilist in me respected their recognition that there was no one else to turn to for help at this point.

“But I don’t get it–why didn’t these idiots evacuate to our side?” Dot wondered aloud, and then wincing as Wing, having overheard her words, replied: “It’s a surprise–they didn’t want to force their way into your world like the others.”

“Oh, hey, sorry, Wing, I didn’t mean they’re all idiots,” Dot said.

“Well, some said they didn’t want to invade, while others said that this was their homeland and they always said they would die here so they will even though it is beyond their time.”

“Well, we’re going to try to save them, even the idiots,” Dot said.  “Come on, Kate, let’s find what you’re looking for.”

“Wing, where is the place no one is allowed to go?” Kate asked with an urgency in her voice that I was not used to hearing.

“Um, maybe the high priest’s quarters?”

“That’s a good place to start,” I said, as the doors we’d entered through opened again, allowing soldiers to come in.  My trigger word was on the tip of my tongue when Wing slung his rifle over his back, moved toward the soldiers, while holding his hand toward me.  “No changing!”

It was only then when I noticed that these Conva weren’t even holding weapons, but equipment instead–gear that would have looked at home back on Julio’s shelves. Wing exchanged words with them in Conva and then turned back to us.  “They are bringing field generators from the Civic Center to reinforce this building, you and your friends, go find the secret place and please find a way for us to leave!”

“You heard the Conva, Kate, Dot, KJ, you guys get going and I’ll catch up in a bit,” I said.

“What are you going to do?” Kate asked.  I smiled, ignored her, and started to walk toward Wing and his fellow soldiers.  “He Wing, can you and your buddies use a hand?”
Kate smiled, nodded, and took off toward the altar.

“Maybe.  The generator components are too big for the door way,” Wing said.  I smiled and said: “I gotchu.”

And then I said, “Memories.”

And felt the stretchy clothes Jim had made for me get just a little tighter, saw the floor move a little further away and the door way we’d come through get a little smaller.  Oh and the soldiers looked worried and backed away from me at first but then stopped as Wing spoke to them.
“If you can just make the door way a little bigger!” Wing called up to me.
Minutes later, they had all of their equipment inside and were repairing the bigger door way I’d made with something very similar wood.  Within what I guessed was about twenty minutes, they’d set up the field generators which began to reinforce the structure of the church.

Once I saw that, I moved after Kate and the others.  I found the high priest’s office and then a door that said “DO NOT ENTER” in English and probably the same thing in Conva right below it.  The lock had already been blown apart so I just passed through and moved down a stair case where I found a blown apart door.

Eventually, I found my way into a pretty big lab.

FIRE ESCAPE First Draft Update for 8/31/18: Kate Recognizes the Conva Religious Building, but How?

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“Yo, I’ve seen this before… I think.”

“Where?” KJ asked.

“It was in a book, some notes Jill showed me.”

“Was it like a journal?” I asked.

“Yeah, man. She said it was Jenny’s Journal.”

I looked at the building and could see that several of the symbols and signs on it were all reminiscent of Christian symbols. I could also see that behind and/or under them, were scientific symbols like atoms, microscopes, and magnifying glasses.

“Dude, those religious symbols look like they were literally pasted over the science stuff,” KJ said, smirking. “I knew it.”

Alright ladies, you see what you can find inside, we’re going to go find the rest of the Conva.
Suddenly, we heard a deep rumbling, almost thunder-ish sound roll past us, echoing off of the nearby buildings as it went. I looked back to the hub and the mountain it was built on and saw that the mountain was now being chewed up by the maelstrom and the field generator was very close to being chewed up next.

“Let’s go—we’re about to lose what little lead on this we’ve got!”

KJ and I followed Wing as he led us toward the civic center.

“You don’t think he’s leading us into a trap, do you?” KJ asked.

“A trap we can handle—it’s thousands of Conva refugees I’m worried about. They were right about us—“

“Jake! KJ! Stop!” we heard from behind us. We stopped and turned around to see Kate waving us back.

“We found them! They’re all here!” she said waving. Dot was there, too, waving us back.