The Hidden

the invaders

From the first episode of “The Invaders” (1967) with Roy Thinnes as David Vincent and Diane Baker as Kathy Adams.

No one believed him. He wasn’t surprised, but he was frustrated. He wasn’t some nut or UFO conspiracy kook. He was a rational human being who had been thrown into an irrational if not insane world.

Architect David Vincent. 29 years old, considered reasonably good-looking, divorced for two years, no kids, a successful career but at the cost of friendships, marriage, and family.

It wasn’t his fault that he’d seen an alien spaceship land near a deserted diner off of an old State road used by almost no one anymore. It wasn’t his fault that the only two witnesses, a newlywed couple who had been camping nearby, hadn’t seen or heard anything, not even the approach and then rapid departure of David’s car. It wasn’t his fault that the local Sheriff thought he was another crazy Californian trying to play a prank on what he thought was some dumb country Arizona officer.

There had to be evidence at the site. David had to tell someone. He drove to the nearest town, burst into the Sheriff’s office, and demanded an investigation.

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The Visitors

spaceship

From “The Invaders” television program (1967-68)

The strange irony was not lost on David Vincent when his car’s GPS device failed to lead him to the all-night diner off the old state highway and instead revealed a horrifying discovery.

“Damn it.” The young architect, driving through a remote area of Arizona after meeting a developer at the proposed site of a new data center, wanted to grab a cup of coffee before continuing his drive back to Los Angeles. It was after midnight and he was exhausted. Instead of a hot coffee and maybe a pastry, he found a restaurant closed for over a year. No town, not even a gas station within miles.

“I can’t make it. Got to get some rest.”

He pulled his Audi R8 off to the side of the building and after stepping out to relieve himself on a dying shrub, returned to the car’s interior and prepared for an uncomfortable nap in the front seat.

At first he thought he was dreaming. There was a shrill sound getting louder, fluctuating in tone. David opened his eyes and looked out the windshield. Off to his left, around the corner of the building. Bright, multicolored lights. He got out and hiding in the shadow of the old diner, peered around the side.

It was big, about the size of a two-story house. A short cylinder flaring out at the bottom. Three…no, four landing struts. It was setting down. There were windows in the top part of the cylinder. He could see figures moving inside. Then a light shone down one of the landing struts. Stairs. Figures were coming out. People. No, they couldn’t be.

“It began with a closed, deserted diner, and a man too long without sleep to continue his journey. It began with the landing of a craft from another galaxy…Now, David Vincent knows that the invaders are here. That they have taken human form. Somehow he must convince a disbelieving world that the nightmare has already begun.”

The Invaders was an American television show that ran on ABC in 1967-68 and starred Roy Thinnes as David Vincent, a man who had witnessed the landing of an alien spacecraft and learned that their intention was to invade and take over the Earth.

The last bit of narrative above in italics is taken from the opening title sequence and was dramatic as heck to me when I was thirteen years old.

I was reminded of the show when I read a piece of fan fiction earlier this morning, so I decided to recreate that opening for 2017. Below is a YouTube video of the show’s opening sequence. To find out what happens to my version of David Vincent next, read The Hidden.

Scattered Thou Across the Ages

anubis

Burial sled of Anubis from King Tut’s tomb, on display at the Egyptian Museum – Cairo, Egypt.

The Egyptian Museum – Cairo – December 22, 2016

“Here’s what we’re preparing for our 2018 exhibit, Gordon.”

Archeologist Gordon Ashe was being given a private tour of the new wing of the Egyptian Museum in Cairo by his friend Dr. Tarek Sayed Tawfik, the general director.

“This is truly astounding, Tarek. I have to admit to being more than a little envious. All five thousand of the artifacts that had been discovered in King Tutankhamun’s tomb will be displayed together for the first time.”

“You shouldn’t be envious, Gordon. After all, you’re here almost two years ahead of schedule, and you didn’t even have to pay the price of admission.”

“I guess being a personal friend of the director helps.”

Both men laughed. Gordon and Tarek had become friends at Oxford as undergraduates some decades ago. Both had a passion for antiquities but their lives traveled along highly divergent trajectories. Tarek had eventually gone into administration and Gordon gave up life as a field archeologist to work for the U.S. Government, though of course Tarek wasn’t sure exactly what services the esteemed Dr. Ashe performed for them.

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Eye of the Storm

ancient jerusalem

Jerusalem in the time of King Solomon – found at keyway.ca

Somewhere in that vast throng of revelers was Rachel Aiyana Zheutlin, a woman out of time. Gordon Ashe, Ross Murdock, and Travis Fox stood looking down at Jerusalem. King Solomon had dedicated the Temple of Hashem, God of the Hebrews two days ago, and from what Ashe recalled, blood ran exceedingly freely as 22,000 oxen and 120,000 sheep were presented as peace offerings.

Now was the great feast. Even if somehow they could get into the city already packed with hundreds of thousands, then finding Aiyana would be a miracle. Gordon chuckled to himself as he regarded the newly built Temple, clearly visible from their vantage point, and imagined it to be a house of miracles as well as prayer for all nations.

“So what now, Gordon?”

“We can’t hope to find her by going in, Ross. We’ll have to wait. I told Kelgarries as much over the radio link.”

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I’m Leaving You For 1966, Dear

colbert

© Provided by Variety

“Where are you going, NaCumbea?”

Martin Fields watched the woman he had fallen in love with put on her skin-tight temporal transfer suit. Both of them were reluctant time travelers, recruited by extra-dimensional beings for the purpose of correcting time anomalies in their little corner of time-space.

She’d gone through hell and was just now beginning to come to terms with her new life. First of all she had died at the age of fourteen, but that was over 700 years ago. She was resurrected by “them” as one of their time travelers, but a rogue “them” named Vanir had captured and tortured her in an other-worldly realm for centuries.

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On a C-130 Flying into Puerto Rico

c-130

Evacuees leaving the destruction of Hurricane Irma board a C-130 Hercules transport aircraft of the Royal Netherlands Air Force at St. Martin airport September 10, 2017. (Netherlands Ministry of Defense via REUTERS)

The Puerto Rico National Guard C-130 was approaching Luis Muñoz Marín Airport carrying evacuees from St. Maarten in the aftermath of Hurricane Irma.

“Guys with swords just popped up in the hotel lobby, like Pirates of the Caribbean only more raw.”

Gus Phillips had been vacationing in St. Maarten feeling lucky he was alive to talk to the young man beside him.

“Anyone get hurt, Gus?”

“No. They seemed confused like everyone else. Their swords looked real, though. Then it was like they vanished or something.”

“Maybe that’s a good thing.”

“Oh, we’re landing. Gotta phone my nephew…tell him I’m okay. What about you?”

“I’ll be home soon, Gus.”

Time Traveler Martin Fields was satisfied after he’d sent those ancient pirates back to 1665, that no one realized who they were. Hurricane Irma spawned a very real time storm which dumped those buccaneers into 2017 during the worst hurricane in recorded history.

I wrote this for the What Pegman Saw photo fiction challenge. The idea is to take a Google street image of a specific location and use it as the inspiration for creating a piece of flash fiction no more than 150 words long. My word count is 150.

Today, the Pegman takes us to San Juan, Puerto Rico. Given recent events, it was impossible for me to not write about the aftermath of Hurricane Irma. I learned that the Puetro Rico Air National Guard was helping evacuate people from nearby islands, and that on St. Maarten, there were numerous reports of lawlessness, including men with swords in a hotel lobby.

It’s been over six months since I wrote a time travel story featuring Martin Fields, but this seemed like the sort of situation that would be right up his alley. The “time storm” concept I took from my current set of tales I’m writing as a homage to the works of Andre Norton (Alice Mary Norton).

To read other stories based on the prompt, go to InLinkz.com.

The next Martin Fields and NaCumbea adventure is I’m Leaving You For 1966, Dear.

Diverting Armageddon

ceres

Found at: solarsystem.nasa.gov

“Papa, why do I have to go to Hebrew school? You didn’t.”

“My dear little Miss, that’s because I’m not Jewish. You and your Mama are.”

“But it’s so boring. I already know all of the Hebrew, the cantillation is so easy, and Rabbi Endelman drones on and on and…”

“Now stop it. Rachel Aiyana Zheutlin, you will not mock your elders. This is important. There are so many Jewish children behind the Iron Curtin who would love the opportunity to have a Bar or Bat Mitzvah, but…”

“I know, Papa. The Communists made it illegal.” Almost twelve-year-old Rachel Aiyana hugged her Papa. “I’m sorry. I love you and Mama. I just sometimes get…well, frustrated.”

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Falling Down the Rabbit Hole

comet impact

Found at The Verge

Twenty year old Fred Valentich was reaching the end of his rope or at least his dreams. With only 150 hours of flying time, he had been twice rejected by the Royal Australian Air Force and failed all five of his commercial pilot’s licensing subjects, not once but twice. He’d also been cited for deliberately flying blind into a cloud and received a warning for straying into restricted air space.

He wanted to be a professional pilot more than anything, but everyone who knew anything about flying said he was no good at it.

At 1819 hours on October 21, 1978, he took off in a rented single-engine Cessna 182L from Victoria’s Moorabbin airport near Melbourne, Australia with the intension of heading across Bass Strait to King Island near Tasmania. He’d told flight officials that the purpose of his trip was to pick up some friends from the island, but he’d also told his friends that he was going to pick up some crayfish.

Neither was true. He just needed to get away and clear his head. His life was mundane, boring really. He was enthralled with UFOs and thought it would be great to encounter one in the air as other pilots claimed to have done. If nothing else, he could log a few more hours flight time.

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The Desert of the Real

desert

© Danny Bowman

Life after the Matrix. Morpheus called it “the desert of the real”. I should have taken the blue pill and stayed in wonderland. No, then I’d be lost. We won. We defeated the machines, removed all those people from the power source. They died to free humanity.

We didn’t murder them, they just didn’t want to live without the simulated reality of the Matrix. I don’t want to live without it, without her.

Trinity died fighting the machines. I’m blind. We still won. We have reality, but it’s a desert. Now that I look back, the fantasy was much better.

Written for the Rochelle Wisoff-Fields Friday Fictioneers photo writing challenge. The idea is to use the image above as the inspiration for creating a piece of flash fiction no more than 100 words. My word count is 100.

Obviously, I’m referring both to the 1999 film The Matrix and the third film in the trilogy The Matrix Revolutions (2003). Yes, I’ve changed how the trilogy ends. I let Neo live, but to prove a point. Sometimes the fantasy is more interesting than the reality, and the cost of facing reality is high.

To read more stories based on the prompt, go to InLinkz.com.

The Lost and the Found

man of the hole

The only known images of The Man in the Hole were captured in the film Corumbiara – Photo credit: Vincent Carelli

“Now we wait.”

Historian and linguist Aiyana Zheutlin sat down on the ground in front of the rough-hewn hut in the Amazon rain forest.

“Wait for what?” Her companion, engineer Lynn Huỳnh quickly sat down beside her, putting her tablet in her lap.

“Him. I told you. We brought the food and water as a gift. This is his land. We are intruders but we hope he’ll accept us as guests. So we wait for him to respond.”

“How long, Aiyana?”

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