The Big One………………………….Chapter 39

Anson Gorbel sat in his office deep inside the CIA operations centre at the heart of the mountain with hands behind his head and feet on his desk. The room was dark as he loved it when he was alone to think on matters that concerned him. Staring now at the ceiling he thought of the agents that had been killed by whatever that creature Casper had set upon them. Gorbel had almost gone crazy with rage on one of his agents upon their return inside the debriefing room when he had suggested that the creature was a large flying porcupine. He had to admit however in the quiet council of his own mind that anything was possible giving what had happened with his agents and the drone that had been vaporized while landing on their own strip.
So now there must be a different approach and a cruel smile creased the corners of his mouth as he thought of the holding cell just down the hallway from his office that held the young Dave Rippley. One of the worlds most cruel torture experts would soon set to extracting information on New Special Signal Directive out of this young lad and Egor Vrolev was just the person for the job. Vrolev had been brought from the CIA centre in the southern states in anticipation of Dave’s capture. Gorbel did not care who they caught because he was sure they all knew what Casper did, for Fred being a smart man of science would not let anyone near him that was not trust worthy. Vrolev had joined the CIA from the Russian Secret Service after working for the agency as a double agent during the cold war. He was about six foot five and muscular in his late fifties, slightly balding with a crew cut and a square jaw with cruel features completed by the most creepy and cold green eyes.
A sudden knock came to the door and then it opened with his young nephew Tyler Gorbel bouncing in. Anson thought it a wonder he had knocked as the nineteen year old normally just barged in unannounced. Smiling at his uncles dark and foreboding stare he spoke casually.
“Hi you wanted to see the prisoner before Egor does his thing”?
Getting up from his desk he left the room and headed down the hall to the room where Dave and Egor waited followed by Tyler. Peering into the small door window he turned pointing his finger into the face of his nephew his cruel eyes growing darker with brow furrowed in anger.
” Three things before we continue, one Egor Vrolev will interrogate this peron not do his thing. Secondly this person is not a prisoner, we call him a detainee. Thirdly you are a trainee and so you will sit in a corner and watch. This means that you are to be seen and not heard, UNDERSTAND”?!
With that he turned opening the door and they both entered the room to join Dave Rippley and the very nasty Egor Vrolev.

The Big One………………………………Chapter 38

Fred Casper was forever in his basement hide away under the big farm house in the valley. His only wishes were for an endless supply of food and that no one knew where he was. Since that annoying pilot Bill Langley had disturbed him not many days back he was always wondering when he would once again have to tell one or more people to leave him alone. Fred struggled mentally at times with thoughts of right and wrong. Since sending the butterfly weapon to blow up the drone he had been plagued with memories of his old friend and fellow scientist Doctor Ginsley just before he died. Ginsley had spent much time just before his passing admonishing Fred to do good things with this new found technology and not to use it for evil gain. Casper knew that the drone was unmanned and therefore no one had been killed but with Gorbel and his army of agents in the next valley, this would certainly lead to blood shed if they were to survive. Fred knew that he was the only one who could adequately protect this valley and the lives of it’s inhabitants.
The very thought of this brought a great burden of responsibility to bare upon him and he did not like this. Turning now with a sigh to his console he brought the screen to life with a tap of the main button and saw a darkened room inside the CIA fortress deep in the next mountain courtesy of the deadly little tremor toad. In this room sat Anson Gorbel tipped back in his chair with hands propped behind his head, starring as it seemed at the ceiling. Casper longed for an occasion to reason with the man in order to come to an understanding but had spent enough time around the CIA to know that this person was extremely cruel and evil. Such things as reason and compassion were complete strangers to him and Fred had both seen and heard many examples of his utterly mindless deeds. There was sudden movement as the door of the room opened and a person entered with Gorbel and the other leaving right away.
At that very moment Fred heard a commotion coming down the valley and he ran upstairs onto the back porch to see Bill Langley and Donna Case running up the valley to meet Loraine and Amber. Kevin lagged behind with some older looking stranger who was dragging some belongings with a contraption of sorts. Casper noticed right away that Dave was no where to be seen and therefore this commotion concerned him. He could hear Amber calmly relating that Dave had been taken by a helicopter and she had a hard time completing a sentence for Loraine’s crazed and frantic interjections.
Fred Casper’s calm and confident voice made everyone stop dead as they turned to see him standing on the porch, hands in pockets with a spooky look in his eye.
” Don’t worry guy’s, everything will be fine I promise you. We will get old Dave back safe and sound”.
With that he turned and went back into the house leaving everyone standing there in shock and bewilderment.

The Big One…………………Chapter 37

Kevin Cross and his lovely girlfriend Amber Gershwin were very much in love. The two of them openly admitted that they had never felt so deep a feeling in their entire lives. That is why on this beautiful late summer morning when breakfast and all the chores were done, they just naturally drifted off together hand in hand into the woods to chase one another and become lost in one another’s embrace. Well lost is in fact what they eventually became, because about an hour after they left the valley farm Amber asked Kevin where they were and he did not have a clue. Looking around Kevin spotted a clearing that appeared to be near the outer rim of the valley . He looked at Amber and winked.

” Say darling , how about I go spread a nice blanket in that clearing so we can have a nice snack and take a load off for a while”?

” Sure Mister Cross”, said Amber sarcastically,”I would love that”.

Heading towards the clearing while Amber stood watching with hands on her hips Kevin had a small food basket in one hand and was shaking out the blanket with the other. That is why he never saw a hysterical Loraine Michaud come flying out of the bushes to his right and plow straight into him knocking both himself and the goods he was carrying sprawling. A few seconds passed as everyone was shocked but Amber sprang into action first and ran to grab Loraine as she was obviously in crisis of some kind. She had to actually wrestle with her a bit and in doing so they moved off down the valley towards the farm. Loraine was in such distress and out of breath and so her words did not make much sense. All Amber could was able to understand was that some one or something had taken Dave.

Mean while Kevin still a little stunned was getting back to his feet and brushing himself off, a dull throb in his head. These types of things were getting to be a normal thing for this poor fellow and he wondered how this had come to be.

That very thought was still in his mind when a large older model dirty red pickup truck came flying over the ridge straight at him. Kevin stumbled backwards in shock and fell over a smaller bush sprawling onto his back. There was a shout of shock from Amber who had moved down the valley a ways with Loraine but what Kevin saw next was purely eccentric.  Out of the truck that was blasting what sounded like blue grass music with what appeared to be a banjo leaning on the dashboard jumped an older looking man. He had an old straw hat on his head with a dirty tee shirt and dirty denim coveralls held up by suspenders.

“Why howdy there young feller”, said the man with a smile that exposed rotten and missing teeth.

“Rem Josephis is the name and mountain music is the game”, he said letting out a large belly laugh of amusement with his own talk.

Kevin just stood there staring and then his heart went still within him. The trauma of what he had suffered these past number of day’s culminating with what had just gone down boiled up within him. It all gushed out of him all at once in the only way he could vent it.

“AH WHAT THE HELL MAN, YOU ALMOST KILLED ME”!!

The Big One…………………..Chapter 36

The sound of the explosion from a couple days back was still on Abe Yoder’s mind but he never mentioned it to little Emily. Life was hard enough for the three year old little girl without troubling her any further. She seemed to be adjusting to her new living situation very well but there were times at night that Abe could hear her mutter in her sleep for her mother and father. Abe remembered his old Amish grandpa say that you could take the boy out of the country, but not the country out of the boy. This saying he was sure would hold true just the same for a little girl and her family. The morning was warm and sunny as Abe watched Dave and his girlfriend head off up the ridge. Emily had been wanting to explore for a number of days now and so Abe decided to head in the other direction for a change, along a path that followed the river at the mouth of the meadow. This trail lead along nicely for a bit before becoming more rugged with mountains looming on both sides that had been broken and torn by the quake as it seemed appearing to look like piles of spoil in an old scrap yard. He kept the little girl close holding onto her hand and  the two walked silently for some time taking in the new scenery yet enjoying the feel of the mid morning sun on their skin and the birds in their late summer song.

About an hour into their hike, Abe noticed a mountain to their right that had been rent down the middle and appeared to have been split in two. They moved a little closer and noticed that one could actually approach it very easily. The river to their left had sent a branch stream right through the middle of this mountain and  the two followed its path right into the valley between the two peaks. Standing there in the shadow of those peaks the air was cooler and a chill went down their spine, in fact Abe felt a tremor travel from little Emily’s hand to his and he smiled at her.

Looking up at the left handed peak Abe noticed a small tendril of smoke rise from it and saw a path winding upward from the peak. He knew that much of the earth was likely still unstable but his curiosity got the best of him and so they wadded across the shallow river branch between the peaks and headed up the trail. One could not see it from the valley floor but when they were half way up the path turned in towards the peak and opened into a cavern were it became much hotter and steam drifted upwards. What Abe saw next left him speechless. About one hundred feet below was a massive lake of some molten substance bubbling from the heart of the earth. Abe’s great uncle had worked in Pittsburgh for years for a gold smith. He used to talk at great length about how gold was shaped and processed and his employer often paid them a visit and talked all hours of the night about the American and Canadian mountain ranges and how they held many mineral riches in their midst. Abe knew his minerals very well and he was well aware that before him lay a massive treasure trove of a molten liquid gold deposit.

The Big One………………………….Chapter 35

Dave Rippley being the active young man that he was had never been a person to sit around idle. His girlfriend Loraine Michaud was not surprised when he invited her to go hiking in the woods. They left the valley farm not long after breakfast with no indication of when they would be back. The eager athletic Dave took the lead sprinting off up the slope with Loraine shouting for him to slow down and wait. They stopped in a clearing about halfway up the slope to roll around in the tall grass and make out. The sun was bright and warm on this late summer morning and the birds sang and flew about with flowers blowing in the occasional breeze from off the mountains. The whole situation seemed like a scene from a romance novel and yet the two were totally unaware that their every move was being watched very closely.

Being finished now with their meadow frolic, the two headed further upwards towards the rim of the valley with plans of climbing the neighbouring mountain. Upon reaching the rim they began once again to wrestle and play about. Dave knocked  Loraine down and darted off into a stand of trees to hide from her. He was so intent to find that perfect place that he never felt the stun dart when it struck him. He simply slumped to the ground unconscious and was carried quickly by two agents to the waiting helicopter.

Loraine broke through the trees in time to see the helicopter flying away and all she could do was stand there in shock.