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|I just think it’s funny we call them ghosts.”||
January 6, 1997
….three months earlier.
“Can we get some heat in here?” Doctor Samara asked impatiently. “I don’t want this equipment freezing up.”
Aquarius looked at Samara, a Ph.D. in physics, out of the corner of his eye and turned away. His face was flush with anger from being badgered all evening by his professor. “Give me one second,” he replied, crawling to the front of the truck. He turned the key in the ignition and cranked heat on full. “It’ll take a minute to warm up.”
“You think so?” Samara asked condescendingly. He stared into a video monitor and watched his breath hang in the air. Turning to Aquarius he said sarcastically, “What is your undergraduate in again? I forgot? Auto-mechanics?”
Aquarius did all he could to keep from strangling Samara. He could do nothing but take this man’s abuse, for he needed this research project to finish his graduate studies. At least that’s what he told everyone. He really had ulterior motives for hooking up with Dr. Samara. Only time would tell if he was wasting his time. Interning under this monster of a man was a nightmare and he hated every minute. But he knew he could be replaced in a whim if Samara chose - so he kept his cool.
“What do you want me to do now?” Aquarius asked. He knew if he didn’t ask Samara for directions on a minute by minute basis, he would get mad for not reading his mind and doing the wrong thing. One chewing out too many taught him this.
“Donald, you need to learn to become an independent thinker,” Samara replied. “I can’t make every decision for you.”
Donald was his given name but Aquarius hadn’t gone by that name since freshman year in high school. Samara knew he preferred Aquarius but he delighted in tormenting him with Donald from time to time since that’s what appeared on his enrollment records.
“No buts,” Samara snapped. “Now go out and set up the lights. And hurry, it will be dark soon. Get Bobby to help you.”
Aquarius moved forward, out of the box of the truck into the driver’s compartment. He popped open the door and crawled out, standing in the snow. The chill bit his skin like ice picks.
“Close the door!” Samara yelled.
With a fit of anger, Aquarius slammed the door shut and secretly flipped off his supervisor, who was sitting inside snug and warm. He wanted to do this to his face but was not willing to screw up his mission. He walked over to the horse trailer parked behind the truck and banged on the side of it. A moment later Bobby stepped out of the attached pickup truck and came around to the back.
“Damn its cold!” Bobby said with a puff of steam that rose into the cold air. He kept his gloved hands tucked inside his coat pockets.
“Professor JackJerk wants us to put up the lights.”
“Why didn’t we do this an hour ago when there was more light?”
Aquarius chuckled and looked back to the command truck parked behind him. The smell of the exhaust sickened him. “That man suffers from a lack of common sense. He could calculate pi in his head, but forget how to flush the toilet.”
“He doesn’t have to be such a prick all the time,” Bobby said.
“Sure he does, Psychology 101, low self esteem and low self image can be compensated for by humiliating those under you. Works every time.”
Bobby opened the back of the horse trailer and swung the doors wide. Inside lay long poles and stands along side electrical chords and special nightvision lights. It would take forty-five minutes to assemble the array and hook up all the connections to the command truck.
The horse trailer sat parked twenty-five yards from an old wood and steel bridge that crossed the now frozen Lakota River. The cables were laid on the bridge along the sides in the event a vehicle should pass. The chances were slim this time of year and time of night.
The aluminum stands were set up and the light fixtures atop were aimed at the center of the two lane bridge. One stand stood tall on each of the four-corners keeping watch like gargoyles over a courtyard. The work was slow and tedious in the cold and dimming light, complicated by the stiff, heavy cables that had to be connected to the truck and by the overall length of the bridge itself.
Upon finishing the wiring, the two assistants came back to the command truck and climbed inside the driver’s compartment. The heat from the fan felt good.
“Everything in place?” Samara asked.
“We’re here aren’t we?” Aquarius replied.
Samara did not respond, realizing Aquarius was correct. The truck was silent and tension filled the area.
“Now what do you want us to do?” Aquarius asked. “I can’t read your mind.”
“Just get ready, OK?”
Aquarius settled into his position in the truck as he’d done dozens of times before and awaited the usual checklist from Samara. Bobby, who was here for the first time had a ten-inch monitor before him and a keyboard. Aquarius put on a headset and watched a digital audio readout on his monitor.
“Is the microphone working?” Samara asked.
“One second,” Aquarius replied, flicking on a switch. The lights on his panel danced on a display in front of him. “I have audio.”
“How’s the video resolution?” Samara asked, looking to Bobby.
“Looks fine here, I guess.”
“OK, turn off the truck. We don’t want to spook anybody.”
Bobby leaned over into the driver’s compartment and turned off the ignition. The truck fell silent in the dark.
“How long is this going to take?” Bobby asked.
Samara looked over to Bobby with disgust. “I hate nothing more than having to explain everything to the new help.”
Bobby looked to Aquarius and shrugged his shoulders.
“You tell him Donald, I have better things to do.”
Aquarius glared at Samara and his teeth ground in his clenched jaw. He wanted to tell him what he could do with his project. He shook his head and tried to calm down long enough to explain the program to Bobby.
“And keep it quiet,” Samara added.
Aquarius leaned over and tried to keep his voice down as he spoke to Bobby. “We’re chasing ghost’s.” A moment of silence followed as Aquarius waited for Bobby’s predictable response. He was surprised when he did not get it.
“Cool!” Bobby replied. “I thought this was some sort of field test for some lame ecology class.”
“How did you get hooked up into this project?” Aquarius asked. “You had no idea what this was about?”
“I signed up for tuition assistance. They assigned this to me for work-study. So, what the hell are we doing?”
“We are trying to get evidence of an electrical paranormal aberration on audio and video tape.”
“What does that mean?”
“Layman’s terms?” – Ghosts,” Aquarius whispered with a spooky lift of his eyebrows.
“Don’t you have some scientific acronym for ghosts? I mean like poltergeists or EPA’s or something?”
“There’s all sorts of things we could call them, I just think it’s funny we call them ghosts.”
Aquarius opened a new video cassette tape from the storage bin and placed it in the VCR. Making an adjustment, he closed his eyes and listened to his headphones. After a moment he opened his eyes and turned a dial to the right.
“Everything all right?” Bobby asked.
“Just checking levels.”
“So what’s this project all about?”
“I’ll try to make this as simple as I can,” Aquarius said leaning back in his chair. “It is Samara’s theory that all life lives on two planes of existence.”
“That’s a good way to put it,” Aquarius replied. “There is the plane of existence that we live in each day and there is the plane where the dead live.”
“That’s the only way to explain it to someone not familiar with the science,” Aquarius said, scratching his chin with the empty tape box. “All right, think of it this way, all matter is energy vibrating at a certain frequency. We just think it moves back and forth between two planes of existence.”
“So heaven and hell are just other planes of existence?”
“We are trying to stay out of any religious connotations here. We just call them reality A and reality B.”
“I take it we are in reality A?” Bobby asked.
“Kind of presumptuous but yes, this is reality A and we are hoping to see someone from reality B soon.”
“Out here? In this weather?”
Aquarius smiled and rocked in his chair. “This spot is prime for the kind of activity we are trying to record.”
“And why is that?”
“You have never heard the story of this bridge, the story of Noah Black? Never mind, I can tell you haven’t. Let me digress.” Aquarius pointed at Bobby’s monitor motioning for him to look at the picture on the screen. “You see that? That bridge has the most prolific sightings of unidentified aberrations in a four - state region, maybe the country. There have been sightings of a woman walking this bridge for years. The story is that she committed suicide by jumping off the bridge.”
“Creepy,” Bobby replied. “Jilted lover syndrome?”
“No one knows for sure. No one even knows if any of the stories are true. The only thing we know for sure is that there is a local legend that she walks this bridge trying to find someone who knows where her brother is.”
“And you believe this?”
“The stories? I have seen the aberrations with my own eyes!”
“You’ve seen this woman?”
“Briefly, two night ago.”
“Does she have a name?”
“Yes she does. We’ve learned through research that her name is probably Alice Black. Her father Noah Black owns a farm near here. He disappeared twenty years ago. We have a hunch that she has been searching for him since then.”
“You are willing to sit out here in the cold on a hunch?”
Aquarius leaned over and pulled a piece of paper off the wall. In one swift motion he handed it to Bobby and watched him examine the picture.
“It’s more than a hunch my friend.”
“It’s a picture of the bridge, taken in 1977. It was a feature shot for the local paper. See those fisherman?”
“Look in the upper right hand corner.”
In the picture, in the upper right hand corner was the faint blurred image of a woman leaning on the railing of the bridge.
“Yeah, so what?”
“There was no one else on the bridge when this picture was taken.”
“Probably a malfunction or a camera trick,” Bobby replied.
“I told you, we saw her here two night ago. This is no fools errand.”
Samara rolled back in his chair and turned towards the other two men. “It took ten years to come up with the funding for this project. Are you done chatting?”
“Yeah, we’re done chatting,” Aquarius replied.
“Good, now get ready, I’m turning on the system.”
With a flick of two breakers, the command center lit up with a variety of different colored buttons and lights. Machines warmed up and a high pitched wining sound hung in the air. “You have signal?” Samara asked.
Aquarius adjusted a dial and nodded his head. “It’s starting to get cold in here again.”
“You’ll have to tuff it out, I’m not scaring my lady away.”
“You don’t even know if she can see us,” Aquarius said.
“If you don’t want to play, I know two other grad students who would give their right arms to sit in your chair.”
It was forty minutes of silence later when the sensor sounded in the command center. A ding, ding, ding sound bounced off the walls and brought everyone to attention.
“What’s that?” Bobby asked.
“Shut up!” Samara said clenching his teeth. He quickly reached up and flicked off the alarm switch. “Check audio and video.”
“For what?” Bobby whispered.
“For anything!” Samara whispered back clenching his fist. “Just look at your monitor and make sure you’re recording.”
Bobby looked intently into his monitor and kept silent. He was looking for anything he could find in the dark. After a moment he couldn’t help but speak up. “Why don’t you turn on the lights?”
Aquarius chimed in before Samara could. “The lights are for later.”
“I see something!” Bobby whispered.
“Say again,” Samara said.
“There is something on my monitor.”
“Yes,” Bobby said looking at the red light on the VCR.
The back door of the truck opened and cold air rushed inside. In a flash, Samara was outside standing next to the truck looking to the bridge with his field glasses. Snowflakes drifted inside the truck and landed on the equipment, melting on impact. The cold air now turned their breaths back into steam.
“What is it?” Bobby asked.
“It’s her,” Aquarius replied.
“He’s making hard visual confirmation.”
Samara poked his head back inside the truck and said, “I have confirmation, get a reading.”
“Reading? How?” Bobby asked.
“Move over!” Aquarius said shifting over to Bobby’s seat. He tapped on the keyboard and watched for a read out. “Got it!” he yelled. He then realized he needed to keep it down.
“Punch it in!” Samara yelled back in the excitement of the moment.
With a click of a few keys the reserve batteries were tapped and power was sent to the lights on the four-corners of the bridge.
The lady on the bridge lit up like the sun. The area around her remained as dark as before. The lights worked perfectly only lighting the woman as if she were being viewed though a night vision scope.
“It worked!” Samara yelled. “Keep the camera on her at all times.”
“What the hell do you think I’m doing in here Doctor?” Aquarius snapped back. He was no longer putting up with Samara’s crap.
“How did you do that?” Bobby asked. “Why is she glowing?”
Aquarius was high on adrenaline and his heart was pounding, In his monitor he saw the woman as if she were standing in the daylight. “Her image was scanned by the video and her harmonic frequency was computed. We just calibrated the lights for her frequency. Kind of like a black light and a florescent poster. Only her image was clearly visible.”
“Does she know we can see her?” Bobby asked.
“I don’t know, why don’t you go ask her?”
Samara again leaned into the truck and whispered to the men at the controls. “I’m going in, do a headset check.” Clipped on his belt was a 2-way radio transmitter that was wired up to a headset. With a click of a switch, static crackled over the speakers of the headset blocking out all other sounds around him. Aquarius turned on his set and the static cleared the line.
“Check one, two, three…”
“Gotcha,” Samara replied. “Confirmed.”
“Confirmed,” Aquarius replied back.
“Keep the camera on her at all times, I’ll be in frame in less than a minute,” Samara said as he quietly shut the door and walked out of sight. His voice also filled the truck from the wall-mounted speakers.
The image on the video monitor was that of a woman leaning against the guardrail of the bridge. She seemed to glow in the dark against the pale moonlit bridge. Moments passed and Samara slowly emerged into the frame.
“There he is,” Bobby said aloud. His breath hung in the air.
Samara’s breathing see sawed in and out. He was nervous and scared trying not to spook the aberration standing on the bridge before him. He stepped in closer, like a cat stalking its prey. His footsteps gently crunched in the soft snow as he moved ever closer.
“Slow down Samara,” Aquarius said in his headset. “She started to move.”
Samara stopped in his tracks and looked at her intently. It was almost like she knew he was there. Again he stepped closer. He was now on the bridge and making progress towards her ever mindful of her stance and actions.
Twenty feet away he stopped and stared at her. He was in awe of her presence. Then she turned her head and looked him right in the eye. She seemed to be surprised that he returned her glance. They had made hard eye contact.
“Oh my God!” Aquarius said across the microphone. He could see her caught in a trance. Like two rams ready for a face-off. He used the joystick on the console to zoom the roof - mounted camera. He fine tuned the focus and continued to stare at his monitor.
The woman stepped back from the rail and faced Samara head on. She was perplexed and confused by his presence and by his knowledge of her. She squinted and craned her neck to get a better look at him, not moving closer or further away.
Bobby took notice she was wearing winter clothing. How odd it seemed that a ghost would be weather conscience. Did she feel cold?
“Say something to her Samara,” Aquarius said into his microphone.
For a moment time stood still and no one said anything. Just hot breath and steam shot out of everyone’s mouth and nose. Everyone’s but hers.
Samara raised his hands to his sides and opened his gloved fingers. For some reason, he felt like he needed to prove he was unarmed. When he felt the time was right he spoke out, “Hello.”
She looked at him. A curious look fell upon her face as if she could not hear what he had just said. Again he repeated the greeting. She again made the face of confusion.
“She can’t hear you,” Aquarius said over his microphone to Samara. “Try to get her to say something to you.”
Samara motioned with his hands to try to coax her into speaking. She understood right away and her lips began to move but no sound came forth.
“I was afraid of this,” Aquarius said aloud.
“Afraid of what?” Bobby asked.
“She’s not of this world. She can’t make sound waves on our plane. She can make the motions but she can’t produce sound because she can’t move air over her vocal chords.”
“There must be another way.”
“There is, but it won’t do us any good tonight.”
“We have to tape this and take it to be analyzed. We will need a lip reader to decipher what she is saying.”
“Kind of makes communication suck doesn’t it?”
“We have a protocol for just the occasion.”
“And what is that?”
“He has predetermined questions he asks. We analyze and come back later with some sort of solution to the problem.”
“What questions,” Bobby asked.
Then suddenly a gunshot sounded from outside the truck.
“Holy Jesus!” Aquarius said aloud. In the monitor he could see Samara bolting from the bridge back to the truck. It only took a few seconds for him to reach the cabin door and open it wide. He got in and slammed it shut.
“Who the hell’s shooting at me?” Samara asked, out of breath.
“Let me check infrared,” Aquarius said as calmly as he could. The camera zoomed out and with a flick of a switch the image changed to a heat sensing infrared signal. The lights on the bridge spiked the infrared signal instantly.
“Kill the lights!” Samara yelled. Bobby flicked the switch to the lights and the image on the monitor changed to a single bright green shaded figure on the edge of the screen.
“We’ve got company all right,” Bobby said.
“No crap,” Samara said smugly.
“What are we going to do?” Aquarius asked looking to Samara. In the monitor the green shaded figure was getting larger in the view and was starting to look more and more like a man. In his hand was the glowing hot barrel of a recently fired rifle.
“Just sit tight. We can’t go anywhere with all this gear hooked up. If we take off, we will drag the lights and ruin them,” Samara said trying to keep calm.
“There just lights!” Bobby yelled. “Screw the lights!”
Bobby stood up and grabbed Samara by his coat and shoved him against the wall of the truck. Aquarius did nothing to stop him. “I’ve had about as much of your crap as I’m going to take.”
With a sudden series of loud bangs the three scientists quickly had their attention focused on the back doors of the vehicle.
“Forget it,” Aquarius said as banging quickly stopped , then started again.. “He’s knocking on our back door.” A moment of silence ensued. “Who’s going to get the door?” Aquarius asked.
“It’s his project,” Bobby said, pointing at the doc. “Let him get it.”
Samara took charge and stepped to the back door of the truck. He swung open the latch and pushed the door open to the dark cold night and to an angry man holding a rifle in his arms. Snowflakes gently fell from the sky and landed on the ground all around the truck in an eerily beautiful but terrifying sight.
“Is there something I can do for you?” Samara asked. It was the first time all night he was nice to anyone.
“Yeah, you can get this piece of crap off my property,” the rifleman replied.
Samara looked out the back of the truck onto the land surrounding them. “But sir, the road and the bridge are county property.”
“You’re not parked on the road. You’re on my land and I want you off.”
“What if we move the truck back onto the road. We’re only a few feet on your property.”
“What if I shove this gun up your behind and pull the trigger?”
Samara had stood his ground and lost. Aquarius and Bobby were ready to hand him over any second. “All right, just let us gather up our gear.” Samara said in resignation.
The rifleman turned and looked behind him at the snakes of cables and aluminum stands on the bridge. “What the hell are you doing here anyway?” the rifleman asked.
Samara noticed his coveralls, and instantly thought this man was no hunter. This man must be a local farmer. “We’re doing a study for the university. We are doing a wildlife survey of this area.” Samara was a terrible liar and he knew it.
“You must think I’m a dumb son of a gun don’t you?”
“No sir, I do not,” Samara said, trying to think his way out of this.
“I don’ t cotton to liars. I think it best you just take off down the road now!”
“It’ll get ruined! It’s wired to the truck,” Samara said at a higher pitch. “This equipment is very expensive.”
“Teach you a lesson, trespassing and all.”
“I said we’d move the truck.”
The rifleman chambered a round and aimed the barrel at one of the computer terminals in the truck. With a tug of the trigger the rifle popped off a single shot that pierced the machine like it wasn’t even there. The bullet went thought the wall of the truck, though the cab and out the front windshield into the woods beyond. He brought the gun back down and chambered another round. “Get down off there,” the rifleman said.
Samara looked down upon him with disbelief. “I am not leaving this truck.”
“You better do what he says,” Aquarius said from deep inside the truck. Samara looked back and bit his lip.
“You heard me, now get down off there before I take you off the hard way,” the rifleman said.
Samara complied and jumped down into the snow. He was now face level with the rifleman, staring at the gun he kept close and under tight grip. “What are you going to do with me?” he asked.
“I’m going to teach you respect and some manners,” the rifleman replied, looking into the back of the truck. “One of you get in the drivers seat and take off, you hear me?”
With no hesitation Bobby jumped into the driver’s seat, started the engine and put the truck into gear. Aquarius, still in the back suddenly found the open door slammed in his face. With a little shot of snow and gravel from the rear tires, the truck took off dragging the cables behind it. It only took a second for the slack to become taut and for the lights to be snapped off the stands. They slid down the snow-covered road kicking up white powder as they slid by like water skis.
“Watch yourself,” the rifleman said with a chuckle. “I wouldn’t want you to get caught up in the wires.”
The truck sped off down the road and over the hill out of site. The only traces left was a trail of exhaust and the hum of the engine. In the dark of night, Samara was scared, cold and no longer in control.
“I don’t want to die,” Samara said aloud. The rifleman looked to him and shook his head.
“Ah it’s not so bad,” he replied. “Death isn’t the worst thing in the world.”
“Why else would you bring me down off the truck and send them away?”
“I said I was going to teach you a lesson. You can’t teach a lesson to a dead man, now can you?”
“I suppose not.”
“You’re pretty stupid for a college man. You think I don’t know what you’re doing out here?”
Everything was still as the rifleman awaited an answer. He received none.
“Wildlife survey? That was actually pretty smart of you. Damn quick thinking, I like that. What kind of wildlife do you survey college man?”
Samara shook his head and looked up rolling his eyes. He knew he was caught in a lie and couldn’t think of another one to get out this one.”
“There is no survey,” Samara admitted.
“That’s right, you’re out here looking for spooks aren’t you?”
Samara rolled his tongue over his front teeth under his lips. He snorted out a puff of steam and replied, “You could say that.”
The rifleman scratched his beard and adjusted his cap. “You’re in over your head. You have no idea what you’re getting yourself into,” he said deliberately word by word.
“I have a theory.”
“You’re a real smart jerk you know? You and you fancy pants college friends, snooping around in other peoples business. There’s no reason for you all parkin’ out here in the middle of the night.”
“I meant no offense,” Samara interjected. “Just let me drive that truck out of here and you’ll never see me again.”
“I had a couple of eggheads snooping around here - it’d been 10 years ago, askin’ a bunch of snoopy questions. I don’t know why the alignment...,” The rifleman paused suddenly realizing he was saying too much. “Any way it was a real mess now beat it.”
“What mess?” Samara asked.
“Forget I said anything about a mess. Now I want you to turn your college behind around and start walking. It ain’t that far to town.”
“What about my pickup and trailer?”
The rifleman hesitated and looked to the side of the road where the other vehicle was parked. He didn’t want them coming back for it later so he gave in. “You get that piece of crap out of here, and I don’t want you coming back here again. You hear me?” he said holding the rifle in an offensive position.
“I can’t turn it around on the road. I will have to cross the bridge and take the first gravel road so I can head back.”
The rifleman stepped forward and looked Samara dead in the eye. “I’ll keep my sights on you mister. One wrong turn and I will fill you and your truck with lead.”
Samara stepped back without saying a word. He turned and walked to the pickup, keeping an ear to what was going on behind him. He pulled the key out of his pocket and unlocked the door with a click. Slowly, he slid into the driver’s seat and watched the rifleman who was standing guard over him twenty feet away. The rifleman did not move.
Putting the key in the ignition, he turned it starting the truck. It hardly made a sound as it began to purr and exhaust poured out the back in a billow of white steam. Samara flipped the headlights on and slowly pulled out of the ditch onto the snow covered gravel road. The headlights lit up the rifleman and shot his shadow across the woods behind him. Samara headed for the bridge.
The wood slats moaned and creaked under the weight of the truck. The headlights illuminated the rusted steel structure and the steady stream of snowflakes that seemed to be getting heavier. Looking in the side mirror, Samara watched the rifleman, glowing red in his taillights, slip further and further away. He began to feel better about the situation.
The trailer rolled up onto the wood slats of the bridge with a thump and a tug that he could feel from the cab. The pickup moved along the bridge at a slow even pace. Samara did not want to spook the man with the rifle. He feared for his life. Onward he drove, watching the rivets in the steel as he moved past them. Old paint had chipped off and the rusted metal shown through where the snow wasn’t clinging to it. He imagined the bridge must be at least forty or fifty years old.
He had made it just over half way when the engine began to sputter and choke. The lights on the dash blinked on and off and the headlights dimmed. Samara began to panic, trying to figure out what was wrong. He did not want the rifleman to come back and blame him for this.
Just then the pickup died. The headlights remained on and a dinging sound came from the dash. Samara tried the key, only to get the starter, the engine would not engage. He looked in his side mirror for the rifleman behind him. He could not see anything but the side of his trailer and the rails from the bridge.
Just then, Samara got a sudden chill and an uneasy feeling. For some reason he was compelled to turn to his right. His heart skipped a beat and he felt a rush in his veins. He took a deep breath and slowly released it as he turned his eyes, then finally his head to find in his startled amazement - the ghost woman sitting in his passenger seat. She was semi transparent, but still quite visible to him. She looked at him, staring into his eyes, trying to make contact again.
She spoke, but again, no words came from her mouth, her hands moved but he had no idea what she was trying to say. Samara’s eyes opened wide and he turned to face her head on. “What?” he asked, like he was talking to a foreigner who could not speak English.
She stopped and tried to listen to him speak. She could not hear him either. She made a motion with her hand, a sort of gesture that he could understand. She pointed to the bridge and then to herself. She then pointed her finger at Samara and back to her making the connection between the three of them. She wanted him to stay.
Suddenly there was a knock at the side of his window and Samara turned to see the rifle barrel tapping on the glass. He opened the door a crack and looked to the man holding the gun standing next to the bridge rail.
“What the hell are you doing mister?” the rifleman asked.
“The truck died. Give me a second,” Samara replied. The key was again turned and the truck started. Samara looked for his companion to his right, but she was gone. Putting the truck back in gear, Samara depressed the gas pedal and again the truck was on its way. Looking out his windows, Samara desperately searched for the woman he was in contact with a moment ago; the angry rifleman was the furthest thing from his mind.
He made it to the end of the bridge and back onto the gravel at the other side. Samara had to get back to the office as soon as possible. He needed to check his recordings and data. He needed to talk to someone about what had just happened. He needed to make plans and check to see how much of his gear was destroyed. He also needed to contact the sheriff.
|Morning Star chapter 1||Alignment chapter 13|
|Alignment chapter 8||Morning Star Prologue|
|Morning Star chapter 21||Alignment chapter 15|