Sunday, November 16, 2008

164: Wilbur and Kolak Part One, Chapter 7 Excerpt

            Kolak always hated meetings with Ultrik.  He knew about Ultrik’s hatred for him and tried to avoid him outside of a group setting.  Kolak had to go to this meeting alone because it was about the expedition to Earth.  Kolak and Ultrik sat at a small round table while Tarvos waited on them with a special dinner.  They had currently been talking about the Cat Rangers and the future pertaining to Juriorty, the Rangers and Lara.

            “Well,” Ultrik said as he finished what was on his plate, “let’s get down to the matter at hand,” Ultrik noticed that Kolak wasn’t finished with his dinner and waited to be prompted by Kolak to continue.

            “Yes, I had always wondered why we had never tried to communicate with Earth before,” Kolak said.

            “Humans are a peculiar breed.  They tend to fear and hate what they don’t understand.  They are our closest contemporaries and over the years we have weighed the options and just decided not to pursue any contact,” Ultrik explained.

            “But why now?”

            “Opportunity, my boy.  We’ve done studies on the planet and learned quite a bit.  Earth is seventy percent water, their rainforests are being wiped out, one-third of an entire continent is an arid desert.  With our terraforming capabilities, land can be created on water, rain forests can be reborn and the desert can become livable.  The so-called super powers of the United Kingdom, United States, Russia, Japan and China can take advantage of our military powers while smaller countries can protect themselves better,” Ultrik explained.

            “I’ve read some reports on Earth and from what I saw, most of the countries are possessive and very volatile.  Are you sure it’s wise to introduce this type of advanced technology to this species?  They’ve had many wars over things are considered pretty trivial,” Kolak warned.

            “Earth is the only other planet in this solar system that has any life on it.  With our ships, it’ll take three days to get there.  It currently takes six months to get to our closest ally and a year and a half to our next closest.  Earth will be good for the economy,” Ultrik said.  “Upon arrival you will blend in with the humans.  Gain their trust and learn about them.  We expect this mission to last about seven months then hope to open the lines of communication and possible trade routes,” Ultrik noted.

            Kolak ate the last of his dinner, quickly chewing and swallowing it, and spoke.  “I still don’t see why I have to go alone.  If two Rangers went we could possibly push the trading date a couple of months or so,” he said.

            “We’ve thought about sending two but this mission can only be handled by the best and while we were hesitant in sending our best to Earth, we know that Dahrkron is more than competent to take over for you while you are gone,” Ultrik said proudly.  “Now, will you join me for desert?”

            Kolak stood up from the table.  “No thanks, I’m gonna get home so I can spend some time with Lara before leaving in the morning.  Dinner was fantastic, sir.  Thank you,” Kolak saluted and left the banquet hall.  A smile came over Ultrik’s face as Tarvos approached to remove dishes. 

            “Yes, Cahmossieu, run off to spend time with Lara.  It could be the last time you see her,” Ultrik lightly chuckled.

 

            Porter, Mitchell and Dale trudged through the thick woods on the Kupfer property.  They could hear other animals nearby but being pitch black out, they couldn’t see them.

            “I think we’re lost,” Mitchell said after tripping on an exposed tree root.

            “We’re not lost,” Dale proclaimed.  “The gate should be nearby.”

            To trespass on the Kupfer property, one could not take the easy way up the small gravel lane to the front door.  One had to go around and follow what used to be a farm road and go through the woods, approaching the back gate.  The trees started spreading out and the grass became thicker and taller.  Dale pointed the flashlight ahead and lit up two stone pillars and an iron gate.  The iron gate was bent and ripped from its hinges.

            “Here it is,” Dale whispered.  Mitchell and Porter got closer to their older brother.  Dale shined the flashlight around the gate, up the stones and onto the gargoyles that sat atop the pillars.  “Those are so cool,” said Dale.

            The three brothers slowly and cautiously passed through the gate and prepared to approach the house.  Dale nonchalantly tried to push Mitchell in front but Mitchell stood his ground and forcibly shoved his older brother’s arm away.  “What are you doing?” Mitchell asked.

            “I thought you might want to be first.  I’m trying to be nice,” Dale explained.

            “This was your stupid idea Dale so you are going to go first,” Mitchell ordered and took one step back behind Dale.

            The Kupfer House was in shambles.  Nearly all the windows were broken and the doors hung loosely on their hinges.  The paint was peeling and chipped from the walls.  The grass was up to Dale’s waist but was a sun-scorched yellow.  The three boys peered into the house through one of the broken windows and saw that nearly all the furniture was ripped apart and nearly torn to shreds.  A loud shuffling noise erupted behind the boys causing them to scream and run away from the house.  They ran back down the old back road to their bikes they left at the entrance.  The three of them pedaled as fast as they could.

            Soon, they heard a noise.  A loud whooshing noise mixed with intermittent flapping.  The whooshing and flapping got closer until the sound of Porter’s bike falling to the street and a piercing scream flooded the night.  Dale and Mitchell slammed on their brakes to look behind them.  There, they saw their youngest brother being carried off by a man-like monster with bat-like wings.  The creature flew away until disappearing in the woods surrounding the Kupfer House.

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