Ch 2 Exploring from Texas

Window to Friendship
TD Ranch (midway between Dallas and Houston), Texas USA
Monday May 24, 1999
Early Morning

Will watched his three youngest children and their Life-Mates.  It was hard to believe that a week ago, only Ian had found his Life-Mate and now the other four had.  Linda Steele would be finished in Hawaii in a couple of days.  She, her sister, and mother would fly with David Ridgeway.  The power controllers would be in Townsville by Friday.  He smiled.  Now to see how my two future son-in-laws handle being under Robert’s command.

“Let me repeat what you are going to do.  You will make the entry to Friendship.  Stay shielded except for each other.  Nancy will place the radio repeater near the window.  Set up a defensive perimeter around the window.  Check to see if you can sense either the Kin or the silent ones.  Also, check for other life forms.  Report verbally what you find.  Mental communication doesn’t work through a window.  When all of you agree that things are calm, Robert is to request the start of construction.  The other windows will be opened and the soldiers and the workers will come over.  Remember to stay near the window.  We do not want any of you cut in half.  Rob and Kim will bring the boys after the first building is complete.  I will be over to supervise that phase.”

He queried them mentally and they all acknowledge the orders.  Will looked over to Elvis Tohe where he stood beside the window generator.  “Turn in on, Elvis.”

The window appeared.  Charles led the group through the window to Friendship.

A minute later, their first report is heard from the speakers.  “Radio check.  Mary”  “Ben”  “Brenda”  “Charles” “Claire”  “Nancy”  “Robert.  Perimeter is in place.  The only animals sighted are small ones.  Some are flyers.  Almost a bird but it just looks wrong.  We will continue the check for Kin and the silent ones.”

Window to Air World
Trail Drive Ranch, Texas, USA
Monday May 24, 1999
Early Morning

“That is definitely not Earth.  Those trees look like a cross between a pine, a mesquite, and a banyan.  The leaves are blue-green.  The river runs to the southwest and is as broad as the Mississippi.  Then you have mountains with volcanoes to the southeast.  There is a very large herd grazing a mile away.  They looked at the soldiers and went right back to eating.”  Vice President Al DeSang was fascinated by the live pictures from the new world.

“No indication of any radio signals.  Air sample has a lot of carbon dioxide, but only slight traces of combustion products that could be from an advanced civilization.”  John Hauffman, the National Science Advisor, summarized a report that he had just been given.

“I expect that those combustion products are coming from the volcanoes.”  Senator Edward Mudd of Oregon commented.  “We had a problem with the EPA a few years ago.  One of the volcanoes had become active and was putting a lot of smoke and gasses into the air.  The EPA was telling us to cut down on the pollutants in the air.  It took months to convince them we had no control over the volcano.”

“Those AJ Power Generators will certainly cut down on the pollution.  John, I like the projection of the effects that AJ Power Generators and the new worlds will have on pollution that your people wrote.  I know it is preliminary but it shows the breath of the changes we have to prepare for.”  Speaker Al Hartley praised the National Science Advisor.

“The smell of the air coming out of the window is enough to tell me that it is another world.  That herd must have been grazing here recently.  You can smell their patties and it is definitely not cows or horses.”  Congresswoman Sandra Smith Lewis remarked.  She had seen her earlier guest off yesterday.  The President wanted a tight control on who knew about the windows.  He had Senator Mudd and Sandra representing the Republicans so there was no question of keeping it to one party,

Leslie was standing with Tom Reynolds, Larry and Diana Smith thirty feet from the politicians.  They represented the companies that had developed the exploration equipment.  We had expected to be running everything but when we brought the governments in to lead the initial exploring, we are relegated to a secondary role, at least in public.  What Will and the kids were doing was definitely different from what was going on here and their exploring was potentially a lot more dangerous.  “Diana, aren’t you concerned about all the traffic that you are going to have destroying the ranch.  You might never get the game back and they will probably want to pave the road to each window.”

Diana laughed.  “The contract that I and the Vice President signed gives me land in each of the other worlds.  The land over there is not only the land that matches the ranch but also the land that matches the three National Forests that are east of here.  I end up with over one hundred times as much land for renting the government access for the next twenty years.  I have five worlds to offer to take hunting parties when they come to the ranch.  Al smiled when he saw what I was asking for.  For him, the government has the better of the deal since they did not have to pay any money.”

They laughed.

“This is turning into a three ring circus.  The politicians, the military, and us.”  Tom turned back from watching the equipment being brought up to the windows for delivery to the Air world.  “I do not know how your dad maintained control of things when Australia opened their windows.”

“Lots of family and very close ties with the army at Lavarack Barracks.  Our main factory has been next to the base since before I was born.”  Leslie smiled as she considers the comparison between what they had here and what had happened back home.

“Why are the Tohes here and not over with Ben and Nancy at the Friendship window?”  Larry had just notices them standing in a tight group looking at something.

Leslie laughed.  “Linda is mentally communicating with Nels.  Nantai and Marion are discussing his and Nancy’s paintings.  Several of Nancy’s may also be of the other worlds.”

“This finding of Life-Mates may do away with dating for finding your special someone.  Will Nels come here or will she go there?”  Diana asked.

“I think that everyone except Will and I will be going to Carlisle.  We have to get back to Queensland.  Even with the government in control, we are needed to run the MME effort.”

“I understand that.  I am going to be tied up here for months.  I will be enjoying it, but I do not see me going to even Dallas that often.”  Diana saw something that needed her attention and hurried off.

Leslie was curious about what the Tohes were discussing about the pictures.  She turned towards them but found that they were on their way to her.

“We believe that this picture is near this location on the Air world.  See how the background of the picture matches the area to the west and north.”  Nantai held the picture for Leslie to see.

Leslie looked at the pictures.  They did look like the area to the northwest on the Air world.  Lynn, rotate the observation window so one of the pictures is of the northwest.

Lynn Reynolds Smith had the duty of staffing the observation window equipment.  Her job was to turn it off if someone on the Air world was about to blunder into the window.  That was very unlikely since the window was on a pole a hundred feet in the air so that they could see anything approaching in the other world.

The images shift forty-five degrees.  Yes, they match.  Use mental speech only to talk about this.  Is that a helmet in the corner of your picture?  Leslie asked.

Tom and Larry looked at the picture.

Yes, it is a World War II helmet.  The picture is looking out from a cave.  It must be somewhere in those hills to the southeast.  Nantai replied.

This area was used for training during the war.  Larry added.

We will need to explore that without letting anyone know what we are doing.  Leslie was concerned about what they will find being made public.  She informed Al, Dave, Will, and Jess.

We will set the shooting range near the hill.  It will keep anyone from wandering around over there.  Will replied.

Window to Friendship
TD Ranch, Texas USA
Monday May 24, 1999
Early Morning

“Rob, the first building is complete and that window opens into it.  Take the stairs to the roof.  They are waiting for you there.”  Will looked at Kim.  “Alice didn’t object to being left behind?”

“She is sleeping.  Beth is watching her.  I will come back in a while and let her see Friendship.”

Alice had not shown any indications of being any more than a newborn baby all day.  Will was not sure what to make of that.  He assumed that she had nothing to tell them.

The three boys were quiet.  Given the nature of the adventure of going to another world, one would have expected that they would have been constantly talking, but they were using mental communication.  They kept most of it directly between themselves but he could tell when they communicated with Rob or Kim because the adults would look at them.  The five of them stepped through the window.

Kim and her men have stepped over to Friendship.  Alice is sleeping with Beth watching her.  They are the only ones with mental communication here once I step over.  Will told his wife.

Tom will be back in a few minutes and I will get to go over to the Air world.  Try communicating with me as soon as you go over.

Will do.  As soon as I am done here, let us head down to the Fire site and visit that world together.

Great idea.  Leslie replied.

Will stepped through the window onto Friendship.  His link to Leslie that he has felt since the day he met her twenty-seven years ago has weakened but has not gone away.  You did have at least that much contact between Life-Mates.  He tried to reach out to her but realized that he did not know how.  Children, help me contact your mother.  Will asked Brenda, Mary, and Robert.  What he got was not only them but there Life-Mates.  The eight of them tried but they have no more success than Will had alone.  Then without asking Rob, Kim, the boys, and Elvis joined him in trying to contact Leslie.  Again, Will realized that it was not a matter of strength but of technique.  Thanks, but it looks like we will have to figure out how to communicate between worlds.  It is not a matter of strength.
That push did not disturb anything on this world.  I do not thing that there are any beings within a hundred kilometers that are sensitive to mental communications.  We do not detect anything.  Robert reported.

Ok, let us try and make contact with those at the British site.  Kim, you lead with trying to make contact with Marie.  Will ordered.

I contacted her as soon as I stepped over.  Kim replied.

Soon they all were communicating with all the humans with mental communication ability at the British site.  They couldn’t make contact with any of the Kin.

John Harvey, it looks like we cannot learn to contact the Kin at a distance and we cannot tell if there are any kin here.  Will stated.

Will, with the group of you there to identify the location we can check for the Kin from here.  We cannot detect any near you.  I agree they will have to come here to learn.  We will be ready when they get here.  Are you sure that you and Leslie don’t want to come here first?  John Harvey asked.

No, we will just have to wait.  It is getting hard to direct things from here even with mental communications.  Besides, we planned this and we want to see it through.  Will answered.
Who is in charge of arranging things?
The White House.  Bruce will probably contact you, but Dave or Sue might be the one.
We plan to go on the offensive against the silent ones in a few days.  I would like to use everyone that we can so that we have an overwhelming force.  Alyca’s distaste for the silent ones was evident in her thoughts.
That is the way to fight.  You only fight at a disadvantage when you have to.  Will remembered the action that he saw in the Falkland Islands and other areas that were never mentioned.
United States Compound 1
Air World
Monday May 24, 1999

The five ATV hurried off towards the cliff.  Ben and Charles drove while Mary and Brenda road behind them.  They were flanking the three ATVs with trailers that Robert, Nancy, and Claire were driving.  It took less than three minutes to reach the cliff even though it was a couple of kilometers from the compound.  The ATVs with the trailers stopped while the other two ATVs drove in opposite directions a couple of hundred meters.  The riders of each of the flanking ATVs got off and started to explore.  The distance was chosen because that was where Mary and Ben saw the cave from the picture.  Mary had mentally told Brenda and Charles to stop so that it looked like a prearranged distance.

Robert and Nancy were unloading the trailers while Claire stood watch.  They then began to assemble the targets.

Mary and Ben walked towards the cave.  Others had scanned the cave but they had not.  They wanted their information to be based first on ordinary senses.

The rifle with bayonet is stuck in the ground in the center of the small cave opening.  The helmet is lying to the side as if it had fallen off the butt of the rifle.  Ben’s thoughts were sent to all those with mental communication ability nearby.

I wonder if that was placed there to mark the cave or was to prevent some large predator from entering.  Mary was taking photographs of the cave.  Both of them were wearing gloves.

No, it is how you mark a grave.  Charles answered.

Ben pulled the rifle out of the ground and set it to the side.  He took a flashlight and shined it into the cave.  It looks like it widens up after a few feet.  I cannot see any animals in there.

There are a few small animals in there but nothing larger.  There is some steel and also some metal that we don’t recognize.  Jason advised.

We are going in.  Mary followed Ben into the cave.  She also had a flashlight.

I see a web belt and a backpack lying next to some bones in fatigues that appear to be human.  Ben describes the scene that Mary and he were seeing.  There are a cup and plate and some other items also.  To the side is a small alcove.  There are rocks stacked to form an altar with a cross sitting on it.  In front of the altar, there is a skull and two sets of hand bones.  They are not human.  Next to them appears to be a hand weapon.  It is not a pistol.

Mary was taking pictures while Ben describes what they saw.  They looked around for more items.

“Ben, look at this arm bone.  It looks like it was melted.”  Mary repeated the comments mentally.  A small spot in the middle of the radius bone looks to be melted.

They continue to look around.

There is a shelf here.  There are several items on it.  An aluminum bowl, a canteen, and a small knife.  The last item is a canvas pouch with a strap you could wear over your shoulder.  It has something in it.  Ben stopped commenting as he opened the pouch.  A few second later, he continued.  There is a book and some letters.  Ben carefully opened the book.  It appears to be a diary.  I am wrapping it back up.  The letters and the book are fragile.

They looked around some more but didn’t see anything else.

Jason, do you or your brothers sense anything that we missed.  Mary inquired.

Not in the cave.  Eric found an airplane without wings.  It is made of that metal and other strange metal It’s up in the hills.  He indicated the location.
It appears to be a spacecraft.  Robert has stopped assembling the targets and concentrated on the location that Jason had indicated.  There is no apparent damage.  I would say that it was a shuttle for a larger spacecraft.  There is another body in it.
Can we get to it?  Jess asked.
Robert, Nancy, and Claire scan the land in the direction of the spacecraft.  It is very rugged back there.  It would take a while to get there and it would have to be on foot.  We would need a couple of hours to reach it.
It is off to the side and not behind the target range.  We can test the rifles while we plan how to explore the spacecraft.  Claire commented.
I think Claire has the right idea.  Kim was eager to examine the alien remains.  While you all do that, I would like to take the alien bones and examine them in the lab.
I will expedite the set up of the lab equipment.  The building was just set up.  Diana headed towards the window.
Let the others know.  Sol will want to get over here and direct things.  We also need to send someone down to the Houston Space Center and find us some space scientists that have the ability to communicate mentally.  Jess suggested to Diana.
Tell Mei-lei that I need her help.  Kim told Diana.  Brenda, Linda, and Marion, I could use your help in setting up and doing the tests.

United States Compound 1
Air World
Monday May 24, 1999
Early Afternoon

The selected Army and Marine officers and NCOs arrived as the remote firing tests were completed.  It had turned out that the military had a larger percentage of people able to learn mental communication than the general public had.  Will, Jess, Al and Sol had been discussing the plans for investigating the alien spacecraft.

Larry addressed those gathered to see the demonstration.  “We have had everyone not invited to watch this demonstration return to Earth.  The windows to this planet have been turned off.  Don’t worry we have brought windows generators over to this planet so we are not trapped if they forget to turn them on.  Everyone that remains here has the ability to communicate mentally.  When teaching you that skill, we also learned if you were someone that we could trust.  So far, it has been one hundred percent.  Yes, that is unexpected, but over the past nine days, we have learned a number of unexpected things.  We are about to tell you about some of these.  We expect that there is more to learn.”

“One of the nice things about mental communication is that most of the time you can do it while you are going about your normal tasks.  So we will now switch to mental communication to tell you about what else we have learned while you watch the demonstration of the new coil guns.”

Sol took over the mental briefing.

Larry completed the verbal description of the two calibers of coil guns.  “Now, I would like the Army and the Marines to each select their best marksman.”  He paused while it was decided who the best marksman were.

General Kamalski looked over at the 1st Cavalry Division Chief Master Sergeant, Blake Remington.  He nodded to him and Blake stepped forward.  The Marines were three different units.  Colonel Satoni was supporting Lieutenant Johnson.  Colonel Vor was supporting Sergeant Elvis Tohe.  Surprisingly, Colonel Duffy was supporting Elvis also.  He had seen Elvis shoot.

“Let them both shoot.”  Larry said.

The CSM and the Lieutenant had their rifles.  Elvis did not so he started to borrow one from one of the marines when Mary handed him her gun.  Elvis realized immediately that it is a custom rifle and the balance and the feel are the best that he has every found in a gun.

“We will be using the 100 yard targets.”  Larry signaled for Lieutenant Johnson to go first.

All of Johnson’s shots are in the inner three circles.  Elvis realized that that was what he usually shot at this distance.  He wondered how he would do with this strange gun.  Elvis put all but one shot in the inner two circles.  CMS Remington smiled and assumed the prone position as the other two had done.  His shots were all in the inner circle with half in the bullseye.  General Kamalski and CMS Remington nodded to each other as the CMS rejoined the soldiers.  The Army had outshot the Marines.

Larry nodded to Claire and Robert.  As they approached the firing positions, the military realized that the two teenagers were competing with their best shooters.  Claire and Robert took a standing shooting posture.  They rapidly completed their shots.  Only Claire had one outside the inner ring.  Both of them had most of their shots in the bullseye.  They slowly walked back as the soldiers and marines discussed what they have just seen.

Larry nodded to Brenda and Mary.  They approached the firing positions, the military quiets as they saw that there was more to see.  The twins also used the standing shooting posture.  There fire was much faster than Claire and Robert.  Mary was slightly better than her sister was.  One of Brenda shots was half into first ring, while all of Mary’s were in the bullseye.  Again, the soldiers and marines discussed the shooting but then they realized that Mary and Brenda have moved over to the medium range, 300 yards.

When they had everyone’s attention, they again assume the standing firing position.  This time the fire was slightly slower.  Mary again had all her shots in the bullseye.  Two of Brenda’s shots were in the inner circle and the rest were in the bullseye.  CMS Remington realized that they had not used scopes.  He started to go to the girls to talk to them but then he realized what he was doing and stopped.

“Mary and Brenda have been shooting with their cousin Alyca Maclaren.  She won the biathlon this past winter.  She has helped them to improve their shooting.  They helped their brother Robert last week and taught Claire how to shoot four days ago.  Since then we realized that their skill was based on ability related to the mental communication that you have all recently learned.  They will be teaching a few of you their method so that you can teach others.”  Larry’s remarks left the military silent for a few seconds, but then the talking got very loud until the commanders restored order.

“Now we would like to go to the second half of our demonstration, the firing of the coil guns.”  Larry paused.  “The coil guns have not been fired by hand previously.  Mary and Brenda will be firing the smaller caliber coil gun.  Robert will be firing the larger caliber coil gun.  Sol has just briefed you on the capability of the coil guns.  We will discontinue the briefing so that you can give your full attention to the demonstration.  They have not shot the guns before so they need a few shots to get the feel of them.”

The three shooters took some practice shots to get acquainted with the guns.

“The needles that the coil guns fire are hard to see on paper targets since they will just leave small holes.  We have some remote cameras at the targets that should help.  Brenda’s first shots will be at the subsonic setting.  She will shoot single shots at the 100-yard target, then at the 300-yard target.  She will then switch to three shot mode and shot two groups at each distance.  She will attempt to do an “X” centered on the bulls eye.”  Larry explained.  “Robert will repeat with the larger caliber gun.”

Brenda and Robert performed the shooting as described.  The “X”’s were a little crooked but recognizable.

Larry discussed effectiveness of the coil gun at the subsonic setting.  “The larger needles are slightly larger than the bullet of a standard rifle round.  The smaller needles are smaller.  Both are given a spin by the magnetic fields used.  I did not understand it but my engineers thought the method was brilliant.  Now, with the subsonic setting, you have very little noise but you have to hit a vital spot such as the heart to get a kill.  We have needles that fragment after hitting something that would do more damage and are not as likely to exit.  Still you may want to do more damage, so we will use a more realistic target.  During construction, we encountered a pack of predators that could not be persuaded to leave us alone.  It took several bullets to bring most of them down.  One of them was killed with a single shot in the eye.  We have mounted the carcass on a stand at the 300-yard range.  Mary will now show you what fully automatic can do.”

Mary approached the firing line.  Once in place she switched over to fully automatic mode.  She fired at the carcass for a couple of seconds.  The firing sounded as a steady whirr as it tore up the carcass.  Mary paused then shot two quick burst.  The stand’s two support posts were cut in half.

“That was a little more effective that we had expected.  We had expected to use up the full three hundred round magazine when shooting at the carcass.  Mary realized that she had extra rounds and fired at the stand.  Even then she did not empty the magazine.”  Larry stopped for a couple of seconds and then shook his head.  “We have decided to skip the intermediate velocities.  The next firing will be at a one-inch thick steel plate at a distance of three hundred meters.  The velocity of the needles will be mach 10.  Please put on your ear protectors.”

Brenda took up a prone position.  The rifle had a scope.  She shot two single shots that hit on either side of the plate.  She then switched to three shot mode and shots an “X”.

Larry has switched to mental communication.  As you can see in the monitor, all of the shots passed through the plate.  Mary will now demonstrate fully automatic mode.  In the monitor, you will see a boulder.  It is about four meters high.  The distance is five hundred meters.

Mary was also firing from a prone position but she had added an attachment to the stock of the rifle to take up some of the force from full automatic mode.  She had also slipped on a vest with special padding for her shoulder.  She took aim through the scope and fired a couple of shots.  She then made adjustments to absorb the force better before going to full automatic.  It took about fifteen seconds to empty the magazine.  The repetition of sonic shocks from the shots had slowed down slightly after the first half second.  The boulder had broken into many pieces.

The monitor switched to another image.

This cliff is just over a kilometers away.  Robert will shoot some single shots to get the feel for the distance.  His ability allows him to follow the shots to the cliff.  He will then switch to automatic fire.

Robert also took a prone firing position.  The preparation that he took to manage the force of the heavier needles of his larger gun took more time than Mary.  He fired four individual shots, then made further adjustments.  He then switched to fully automatic.  It took sixteen seconds to empty the magazine.  Rob had shot a hole into the cliff.

Larry took off his ear protection and everyone else followed suit.  “I am told that the hole that Robert shot in the cliff is about a meter across and almost a meter deep at the center.  As you have seen the coil gun is a rifle that is nearly soundless at the subsonic setting.  At that setting, it is an effective weapon against animals and light structures but has a limited range.  At the highest velocity, it is armor piercing and truly destructive.  It effective range is limited by the shooters ability to hit the target and loss of velocity in atmosphere.  These guns would be more affective in the vacuum of space and they were designed with that in mind.  Earth escape velocity is about Mach 6.5.  At the settings of Mach 7 and above it is possible for the needles to escape the Earth’s gravity if fired from space.  On Earth, the atmosphere would slow the round enough to keep it from escaping.  On a very high mountain, a needle fired at Mach 10 vertically might escape into space but more likely would return to Earth.  We don’t recommend trying this since the winds could cause the round to land over a wide area that would include yourself.”

Vice President DeSang stepped up beside Larry.  “These guns are prototypes and are all handmade.  They were developed by Trail Drive International without government money.  We have been able to secure two of these guns for evaluation.  One will go to the 1st Cavalry and the other to the 3rd Marine Regiment.  I suspect that CMS Remington and Lieutenant Johnson will be the primary users since accuracy is of the upmost importance.  Use and knowledge of these weapons is restricted to those who can mentally communicate.  I know that all of you have been shown the ability to detect objects probably by objects in a pocket being identified.  That ability is occurring in a percentage of those that can mentally communicate.  Before you start worrying about abilities that you don’t have, let me remind you that the knowledge that these abilities existed and that they can be taught was only learned in the past two weeks.  We also believe that being around those that can or are using mental abilities improves the mental abilities in others.  Therefore, by just being here watching this demonstration your mental abilities may have increased.  In addition, you may find out that you have an ability that we don’t know about yet.  If you do, let us know about it.  Learn more about it and try to teach it to others.  The three young Maclarens were chosen to demonstrate the rifles because they have learned mental abilities that help them in their shooting.  Now the Maclarens as a family have shown the most advanced mental abilities, but that does not mean that mental abilities are particular to red headed Scots.  Look at the range of individuals that you represent.  Kevin Gilbert who works for the MME as a pilot is a full-blooded Aborigine.  That is about as diverse as can be from a red headed Scott.”

“Back to the coil guns.  You all are going to be taught to use your abilities to improve your shooting.  At this time, shooting of the coil guns will be restricted.  A limited amount of the needles was produced and more will not be available for a week.”  Al paused.  “We have four new worlds to explore.  There are  dangers here but there is also opportunity.  We need to explore these worlds and discover what is there.  The military will be assigned to exploring these worlds and protecting the civilians that will be drawn to them.  The Army will be based in Texas.  The Marines will be based in Hawaii.”

“Now I know that we have stressed a number of times that we are having a large number of lucky coincidences.  Well, here is another one.  President Clarke had a hunch that we would find locations in Hawaii from which we could access the other worlds.  At the time, we were discussing exploration of the worlds and looking for locations from which to access the new worlds.  Dave interrupting the discussion and said we would check out Hawaii.  He ordered that we make plans to transport TDI’s second set of exploration equipment there.  Well just a little while ago, I was informed that the scouting party had no problem in finding a site where they could access all four worlds.  They found that we could access all four worlds from the Marine Corps Base Hawaii.  That is a very strong coincidence.  I would also like to remind you that when we have one of these lucky coincidences that it has turned out to be very important to mankind.  To me, it appears that there is a higher power at work here setting up the coincidence.  So both the Marines and the Army will have very important assignments.”

Chapter 3  Survivors


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