The Big One………………Chapter 43

,                                                                                        Fred Casper sat at his wooden desk in what his friends were beginning to refer to as his basement hide away. He had found the old wooden piece of office furniture in a dark corner of the barn collecting dust. He kept his main console on day and night now because of the abduction of Dave Rippley. This allowed him to keep track of the tremor toad he had sent to bring the youngster back to the valley farm. Fred watched as Gorbel and his Russian torture expert friend had departed suddenly on a helicopter to take care of urgent business elsewhere. The door was melted by one blast of the toads inner acid juice formed into a gas and shot from its mouth. Dave had then been ushered by the toad from the mountain fortress in utter amazement as three agents tried to stop them and were reduced instantly into writhing puddles of red slime by the toad.

The others on the farm had no idea of what was going on, in fact Dave’s girlfriend Loraine had to be sedated in order get her to rest and was now sleeping in an upstairs bedroom. The other women had taken little Emily to play in the nearby field. Abe, Bill and Kevin had warned them not to go too far and this had made Fred smile to himself because since the abduction this valley farm was the safest place on earth. One more glance at his console brought yet another smile because as the music played by that newcomer Rem Josephis floated over the valley, little did they know that approaching the outer rim of the slope at a rapid trot was young Dave Rippley.

The Big One…………………………………….Chapter 42

Kevin Cross was exhausted and feeling rather frustrated once again not only because of the unexpected abduction of his good friend Dave Rippley, his head was pounding due to another one of his many unexpected life shocks. The girls had Dave’s girlfriend Loraine in the house trying in vain to calm her down. Fred Casper had once again gone back to his basement hide away and Abe Yoder had gone somewhere in the woods with Bill Langley leaving Kevin to just stroll about wondering what to do next. Thoughts shot through his head about arranging a search party to find his friend but that would be no good in this vast mountain range because according to the frantic Loraine he had been taken in some sort of helicopter. This meant that he could be just about anywhere by now and the very thought made his heart sink.

Just about that very moment the sound of the most beautiful music reached his ears and he headed towards the barn to find it’s source. Reaching the open door he looked up into the nearest hay loft to see the new comer Rem Josephis sitting there playing a mandolin. The music was so wonderful that it instantly relaxed him causing the young man to forget his troubles for a bit. Leaning against a near post with hands in pockets he simply toke in the sound of this strangers singing coupled with the lilting mandolin. It was amazing how naturally talented Rem was with the instrument and the music drifted out over the valley like a calming balm to the wounds of the current troubled situation. Kevin hardly noticed Donna Case come from the house and call for Bill and the two eventually coming to stand behind Kevin. It was not until some time later when Abe Yoder came shouting from the tree line that everything stopped and everyone turned to look at him. His face was flushed and sweat beads had formed on the young mans forehead as he rushed up to them.

“The radio the radio”, he managed with breath coming in gasps. “I have managed to raise someone on that radio Bill and I found in that old shack”.

The Big One………………………………Chapter 41

Late summer morning sun was warm upon the meadow valley farm as the young Amish lad Abe Yoder leaned upon his porch railing with coffee cup in hand. His youthful mind had many things to ponder including the disappearance of his friend Dave Rippley . No one seemed to know where he had been taken or who had snatched him away. Abe had heard the girls talking and one of them pointed out that it was odd how Fred Casper was taking the news. He was not one bit upset or surprised and seemed utterly sure of Dave’s soon return. Lifting his mug for one last swig of coffee he could see over its brim the shapes of two women and little Emily playing in the meadow together. The men folk had warned them not to go far given current happenings. Abe had found a smaller shack not too far from his own, just back in the woods a ways. He had yet to explore its interior and so with time to himself he headed off to do just that. He had not even reached the trees at the edge of the meadow when the plane pilot Bill Langley joined him. The two walked on together talking and Abe thought it better not to tell Bill about the large molten gold deposit he had discovered on his last hike with little Emily. Grass and brush had grown up around the little building throughout summer and the two men noted an antenna towering above the structure. The old wooden door would not budge at first but soon gave way with the men’s continued efforts. Once inside the interior was dark and smelled musty but Abe soon found a flashlight and turned it on betraying a room that contained book cases with a desk and a couple old leather swivel chairs. It was the item on the desk that made both men utter surprised exclamations. For there sat a full portable radio device with two head sets and what seemed to be everything an operator could need. The Amish lad had seen such things before but Bill Langley being the plane pilot that he was knew this system very well. Abe was instantly glad that Bill had joined him and the pilot spent the next half hour showing the youngster how to use it. The two were still hard at it when a distant female voice called Bill’s name and he bid Abe good bye leaving him alone to continue. He played with the dials for some time hearing nothing but static but then it happened. It was very faint at first making the young man doubt he had heard it but then it came through clear as day

” This is Diego Island come in come in……anybody out there got a copy”?

Abe’s heart leaped into his throat as he grabbed the mic, pushing the button he responded.

” This is Abe Yoder responding, I copy”.

There was nothing but silence for a moment and then the radio crackled to life once more this time with a woman’s voice…..

“Diego Island copies Abe Yoder…….did you say Abe Yoder”?

“Yes, said Abe…this is Abe Yoder of Lancaster County Pennsylvania. I am now in the mountains of Colorado living on a small valley farm. Where are you folks at and are you well”?

A rather lengthy silence followed causing the lad to wonder if they had heard him but the radio came to life once again with the same women’s voice a little shaken with excitement this time.

“Abe this is Anna….Anna Colbenze”.

Abe just sat there dumb founded…..could it be? Anna this girl raised a few farms down from his who’s horse he had taken for his trip here?

The Big One…………………Chapter 40

Dave Rippley awoke bound hand and foot to a steel chair in a dimly lit room with a table over which hung a circular light. On the other side of the room sat a large man with a square jaw and the most creepy green eyes  he had ever seen. Upon seeing that Dave had awakened, he stood to his feet, a cruel smile on his lips and leaned towards his captive a raspy voice betraying a Russian accent.

” So you finally wake up after your little sleep. I thought maybe you sleep forever with me waiting right here for nothing”.

Just then the door opened and a young lad entered the room, his eyes darting between Dave and the big man. The large man simply waved his hand in the boys direction without taking his eyes off his prisoner.

“Go get your uncle lad and tell him our guest has decided to join our little party”.

With that the youth quickly left the room and the Russian picked up what seemed to be a sharp steel device from off the table turning it over in his hands keeping those cold green eyes on Dave’s. It was then the young man noticed that there was a whole array of similar instruments laid out all over that table including one that was attached to a large steel box on the floor. These resembled something that a person would jump start a car with. Dave knew that this was no social gathering and that this man was not here for friendly banter.

The door opened once again and in came a more slender yet tall man dressed in black with the young lad trailing behind, a sheepish look on his face. The youth quickly toke a chair and sat in the far corner. The man in black rolled up the sleeves of his shirt and did not even look at Dave as he began to speak.

“So you are from the farm in the next valley are you not”?

The man did not even give the young fellow a chance to answer but simply continued on.

” There just so happens to be a fellow I once knew who lives there as well. You would be  aware of him I’m sure…a certain Fred Casper”?

Dave simply nodded his head in bewildered acknowledgement as Gorbel rambled on.

” I am also sure that you are well aware that he is quite the accomplished scientist…no?!….And that he has a number of rather peculiar devices capable of some amazing things correct”?

Dave sat there bewildered by the things this man was saying and it must have shown on his face because Gorbel became irritated at this point and pulled something from his pocket. It was at the last second that young Rippley saw a metallic flash from the brass knuckles because he felt it a second later as Anson Gorbel punched his full force in the jaw. Dave’s head snapped to the side and the room spun around him. Something warm oozed from his mouth onto his lap as he shook his head and looked up into the dark and evil eyes of this complete stranger. The mans voice was cold and to the point as he continued to speak.

” Let me be very clear with you, I want to know all about this technology Casper has and where he keeps it. You had better level with me right now if there is any desire inside that pathetic head of yours to go on living”.

Dave could see that although this man was slender, there was  quickness and power in that frame because he never saw the next punch coming as it slammed into his stomach sending what remained of the picnic lunch he and Loraine had enjoyed all over the place. Two more wicked uppercuts to the face sent the young man back into a state of unconsciousness. No one had noticed the big Russian leaving the room but Gorbel turned around upon his return with both quickly leaving following a brief exchange in Russian. The lad in the corner  soon followed leaving Dave, head on his chest and blood streaming all over the place. The young man had no clue how long he was out , but what happened next seemed to him an illusion as the steel door in the room melted away into a pool of molten liquid and starring at him from the floor of the outer hallway was a creature resembling a toad.