Friday, December 2, 2011


Such are conditions on Saturn. The monstrous roiling clouds, thousands of times greater than clouds on Earth, encircle the planet in huge bands. They appear to possess a washed out orange, or yellow color due to heavy amounts of sulfur in the atmosphere. At the highest levels temperatures fall to near three hundred degrees below zero. Approximately fifty miles down they're analagogous to an Antarctic winter...a record breaking, bone shattering, soul crushing Antarctic winter. Even the penguins, including those with happy feet, would die. Temperatures reach zero degrees centigrade, the freezing point of water, one hundred miles down. But before you start packing, know this. The ambient gases reek of caustic compounds. Ammonia and similar unpleasant concoctions are everywhere. Oxygen is present, but in sub-therapeutic, cruelly tantalizing amounts. And we must remember the winds. Some zephyrs reach speeds in excess of twelve hundred miles an hour, almost twice the speed of sound. There's probably a strange, frigid sea further down, though it's not water, but liquid helium. You may have seen human scientists freeze  roses in it. Saturn is like a beautiful ornament definitely not meant to be touched.. And the 'Enemy' hides behind it.

The Archangel Corp formed ranks. Jonathon, Rafiq and Teddy joined the others. Human technicians went up and down the rows spraying each fanged warrior with a certain compound meant to preserve and protect the beneficial qualities of the black, rubber-like suits. Yet if those wearing these suits were, in fact able to successfully sublimate through the Enemy, what would happen to them when their atoms scatterd?. Granted, buy Star Trek standards, they'd only be stretched a little.  The membrane, plus the more-than-human beings inside them would reappear once the sublimations were over. Yet what fundamental changes would occur?

Lights were low in the vast chamber. It looked like a clean, white gym, or aircraft hangar closed down for the night. Small, strap-on 'jet' packs were distributed. The vampires strapped them om. The thrust provided will help them reach sublimation speeds in a vacuum. And when that happens, will they pass naked, right through their form fitting garments? No. The energy produced radiates out from their bodies to a distance of about ninety centimeters (3 ft.) . That's  how Jonathon was able to take Sarah with him when he'd sublimate with her. Now it seems counterintuitive that the Enemy  doesn't realize what's coming. But how do we know what they think, or for that matter, what's even important to them?

A buzzer went off. 'Spiderman' masks went on. Conversations ceased. They say the microscopic filaments in the membranes will keep them warm. I hope they're right. Now, let me tell you, I, Zebulon do not like venturing out into the void. I've done so and as a disembodied spirit what harm can it do me? Still the infinite 'nothingness' punctuated by assorted orbs disorients me. No, that's not exactly accurate. It terrorizes me. For I am reminded of nothing so much as  the complete absence of God.

Teddy fought back tears. They were all warned not to cry. The liquid might freeze inside the masks and hurt their eyes. He stood there with the others, as the huge  doors opened and the atmosphere rushed out. Each rank advanced toward the brink in their turn. Departure was well rehearsed. Kick off the magnetic shoes. Step out into the firmament. Sublimate away from the station and turn on the jet pack. Training was so thorough, they did this automatically. Jonathon stared up at the butterscotch behemoth looming above. The dark, gray, 'plastic' lenses covering his eyes allowed just enough light to see. Most of the others did the same, offering silent prayers in a variety of tongues. Then they focused on the leaders, identified by small, red, blinking lights fixed to various points on their suits. Signals followed and they 'disappeared,' sublimating through the vacuum (extremely difficult) towards a rondevous with a mysterious coordinate up ahead.

So far all went well. Then a vampire near the edge of the swarm lost focus, flickering out of sublimation and tumbling up toward the hell that is Saturn. In three seconds he vanished into the clouds. But four heartbeats later, the leading edge made contact with the Enemy.........

First came tiny echos, chime-like harmonies akin to choirs. Then the chords seemed to thicken, enveloping them in a lugubrious cloying web making forward momentum almost impossible. Light seemed to vanish. Oh, it was still there, but they could not see it. Not here. Not deep within an entity made from whispers. And they could feel the little words, touching them, kissing them, tickling them. Till the sound itself took 'form.' Perhaps this is how dolphins see down in the inky depths? Or maybe souls in perdition. Earth-sized waves rolled up to meet them.. Some fell out of sublimation, instantly 'snapping' into view, as legions of hungry whispers devoured them like piranhas. Even the jet packs disappeared..

Teddy cried as he pushed forward. He missed his neighbors. He missed his street in Winnipeg. But he knew from 'frequency' training that Jonathon and Rafiq, his partners, were right beside him And they could sense that their sublimating energy 'irritated' the creatures, much like mites burrowing under the skin

Four thousand vampires went out that first time. Twenty eight hundred came back. But Teddy was not among them. Scientists on the station detected a very slight drop in 'Enemy' power. But back on Earth, the sky lakes continued to grow. Seas were forming. Vast stretches of Europe and the North Atlantic were shrouded in dark, green undulating shadows. Headlights stayed on 'round the clock.

Yet not all of the twelve hundred vampire casualties were destroyed. Some were still quite viable. And Teddy was among them.......


we'll attempt to post more links in a blog roll, but the interweb continues to confound us. look to the bottom of the 11/17/11 post for what is available now.  please click on the SHARE button down below. thank you......oh, scroll down about a week.... you may enjoy the fish................. 

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