Otherworld Excerpt: Emperor Ants and Grey Assassins B2E2
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One of my sketches from the college years
Emperor Ants and Grey Assassins Part 1
Peter Andrews asked, "Do Keepers really live six hundred years?"
Dor: "I do not really know myself because I have only lived fifty five. But it seems like it is true."
Drew: "Why do they live so much longer than Simple-tongues?"
"Keepers are stronger. The Motherworld is cruel since it was broken. And the Day Star of Motherworld is cruel too. He has shortened the lives of men in his wrath." Drew was completely confused. Dor tried to explain, but Drew understood that Dor was saying that life spans were shortened on Earth after the flood since the flood.
Dor continued, "When men come here, they live longer than they do on Motherworld, but not as long as they would have before the Motherworld was broken in flood."
Drew: "Then why do some Keepers want to go back to the Motherworld?"
"The prophecy says that all must return, either in life or in death. It is the destiny of all men to stand before the Creator in judgement on Motherworld."
Jaggle saw something in the distance. The tiger looked at Dor and let out a low rumble as he said two words, "Milgrim Sa." Jaggle jumped up and ran off to where the sun was sitting on the horizon.
Dor thought that this might be a good diversion. Maybe it would even help Drew get out of his sour mood. Dor jumped up to follow but spun and said to Drew, "You coming?"
"What is it?"
Dor said, "Emperor ants."
Drew and Duke followed Jaggle and Dor up to one of those hills that looked like funeral mounds. But at the top of it was a huge gaping hole that descended into darkness. It was not a funeral mound. It was a deserted Emperor Ant hill. Drew did not like the look of the hole. It reminded him of the foreboding and fear that he was trying to get away from feeling. So he sat on the other side of the mound with his back to the hole and looked down where everyone else was looking.
Further east was another mound that was not deserted. It was inhabited. There were long rivers of shiny black ants flowing from the mound in all directions like a small volcano with black lava. These were the Milgrim Sa, the Emperor Ants. The workers were as large as a Great Dane in body. But they were squat in stance and spread out like their smaller Motherworld cousins.
Jaggle started stalking his prey. He crouched down and inched down the hill, hiding in bushes and under brush. Duke wanted desperately to run down the hill with Jaggle. But Drew said, "Stay." Duke did the dance that only dogs can do. He walked the edge between sitting and jumping up. He moaned quietly, torn between the desire to obey his master and go have fun with the ants. But Drew’s hand on his collar was the steadying force that helped Duke to obey.
Jaggle was hunkered down at the base of the mound, ten feet away from the stream of ants. He watched for some unknown feline cue. Then at the right moment, Jaggle’s hind quarters wagged back and forth for one instant, then he leapt. He flew like a white lightening bolt toward the ant. He grabbed him in his fore paws and tumbled with the ant. After tumbling, he righted himself and gathered for another leap.
The ants twittered and clicked and clacked with their mandibles and even made shrill hisses. They circled to react to this unknown threat. Jaggle spun like the cornered tiger he was. He pounced again and tackled another ant.
The ants reacted harshly. They came at the cat with their mandibles snapping. One got hold of Jaggle by his hide and threw him. Jaggle roared in pain and anger. When the tiger landed, he had a dark streak on his left shoulder where the ant had cut him. Jaggle righted his footing and spun around. He snarled like only a cornered tiger can.
The ants made a semi-circle
The ants made a semi-circle around the cat. Jaggle saw that his game was not appreciated by the ants. So, he started backing away, not daring to turn around. He came back up the hill as the ants retreated back to their mounds.
Drew asked Dor as they went back to the camp, "Why would he attack them like that? I thought that animals do not kill on this planet."
Dor: "He was not trying to kill them. That is his favorite game. But animals do sometimes kill here. If they feel that they are threatened, they will sometime injure or even kill to stop a threat. This is natural for all living things to defend themselves. I do not know why, but the ants must have felt threatened by Jaggle."
"Well, I would have felt threatened too. I mean to have a huge tiger jump on you and attack you. . ."
Dor looked at Drew not understanding. "What do you mean? He did not hurt them. He did not damage any. They are incredibly strong with natural armor. Did you see the way the one threw Jaggle so easily?"
Drew shrugged to the side. "Well, I mean, it was a surprise anyway."
Mark Kent met Dor and Drew, cat and dog, as they came back to camp. "Where were you guys?"
Drew: "There are some Emperor Ants over there. We were just looking at them."
Mr. Kent was drill sergeant harsh. "Did you have your radio? No. Did you even have you gun? No. Did you tell me or ANYONE where you were going? NO! You are here as a soldier! You will act like it!
Mr. Kent handed the two of them night vision goggles. "And I better find that you have plugged them in at the end of your watch, before you go to sleep." He handed Drew his riffle. "We are in dangerous lands, have this with you at all times."
"Yes, sir." Drew watched as Mr. Kent went to his tent. Drew was in a sour mood again. He said to Dor. "He did not even yell at you."
Dor looked at the goggles’ straps. "It would have been inappropriate for him to speak to a Keeper in that way." Then he looked at Drew. "But I share the blame with you, okay?"
Drew noticed that Dor used the American euphemism; but because of his sour mood, he just said, "Whatever."
Then there was a clicking and clacking off to the east. Drew shined out his flashlight and saw the light reflected of shiny black armor of Milgrim Sa. These ants were army ants. They were much larger than the workers. They came bearing down on the camp fast.
Dor bent down and picked up fist sized stones. He started cracking them together quickly in a rapid code. Drew did not know what Dor was saying, but he knew what Dor was doing. He had seen Dor do this tapping code before when talking to the ants guardians of the Gate.
The ants changed their posture as they came near to the humans. They began clicking back to Dor in reply. Dor asked if they knew the trade tongue. They spoke so Drew could also understand. "Why did your cat attack me?" The ant’s voice was a harsh whisper, metallic sound. Drew could understand, but only if he listened very carefully.
Dor tried to explain. "Jaggle was just playing. He plays this game often."
"I do not know this cat or this game." These were obviously not the same ants that were involved with Jaggle’s tussle that happened mere minutes ago. This confused Drew because Drew did not know that the ants have a self image that is foreign to humans. Ants in a colony call themselves "I" or "me." They do not think of themselves as individuals, but more each one is a member of the one ant or colony.
Dor said, "We come from a land far away from here. We have friends in the Milgrim Sa. They guard the Gate for us. Sometimes Jaggle likes to play with them."
The ant said, "I do not want to play anymore."
"Jaggle understands this now. I apologize. It will not happen again. He meant no harm though. But can I ask you a question?"
The ant did not answer immediately. "What is it?"
"You seem to be angry."
The ants clattered with their mandibles snapping and their legs rubbing together. "I have been attacked. Men from other places have invaded my nests. I have been killed. They have hurt me many times."
Dor understood this to be the dark ones, the grey invaders. "We have come to fight them, for they have kidnaped one of my relatives. They are our enemies as well. We are not here to harass you."
The ant said, "I will not harass you either. Just keep your tiger from attacking me."
"Agreed." The ants moved clicking into the distance and the darkness.
Drew put his night goggles on and then watched the ants disappear. Then Drew took his post. The goggles were on the setting that caused the existing light of the moonless night to be magnified. He could have used them on the setting that would see heat, or there was a setting where the goggles would shine out an infra-red light that it could then read like a black and white picture. But that only worked when the objects were close. So, Drew just used the light magnify function.
His watch went uneventfully until about 2:00am. By that time he had taken off his goggles. He did not like the restricted way they made his head feel. So, he looked up at the stars with his bare eyes. There seemed to be so many more stars on Otherworld than on Earth.
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C. S. Lewis
A sketch from college years
At 2:06, Drew heard the ants return. There was a clicking over by bushes. Drew was about to stand up and go get Dor to talk to them. Then Drew remembered what Mr. Kent had said to him. He picked up his rifle and swung it over the right shoulder. Then he picked up his night goggles and put them back on. He stood and started walking over to the sound.
In mid-stride, Drew’s heart fell into his stomach and there was a burning in his face when he realized that these were not ants. Through the goggles, he did not see ants, but he heard the clicking and clacking. Drew switched the goggles to see heat. Sure enough, there were three men huddled under the bushes. Drew could not see them before because they just looked like rocks but rocks do not have heat. They were clicking. That was the way the grey assassins did it. This was exactly the danger that Drew had been most in fear of.
Drew crouched to the ground himself. What should he do? At least they were outside the camp still. Or were they? Drew looked over to the tents and carriages. Sure enough, there was a skulking figure moving slowly toward a carriage door.
Drew felt for his radio at his belt. He had none. Mr. Kent was right about his preparations. At least he had his rifle. But there was no time for chiding himself now, death was on the line. Drew had to act now, but what was he to do? He could not get to the carriages before that assassin could kill. But there was no more time for thinking. He had to do something before someone died.
Drew stood to his feet and shot his rifle off into the air, three rounds in quick succession. "They’re here! The greys are attacking! Wake UP!"
Then Drew realized that the three crouching greys were no longer crouching. They were running at him. Each one had a spear and they were coming for him and they were only yards away from him. Drew did not even think this time. His gun started sputtering out fire and thunder. He sprayed the trio without knowing if the shots were effective or not. Before Drew knew what was happening, one of the greys was on him. The assassin took his spear and hit Drew’s trigger hand. Then the other end of the spear struck downward on the barrel of the gun knocking it out of Drew’s hand. The gun would have fallen to the ground if Drew did not have the shoulder strap. The goggles were knocked askew in the scuffle and Drew began to panic as he could not see what was happening.
Drew tried to use his right hand, but it was not usable. It was numb, maybe broken. Drew pushed his goggles off his head and saw the grey as he pulled away enough to strike. The assassin pulled his spear back with both hands to run Drew through. His right hand was numb. He could not make it work. So, Drew reached over with his left hand and grabbed his knife. He brought the knife up the only way he could. The blade tip was pointed away from his thumb. Drew brought the knife edge up against the man’s right arm. He thought he cut the man but the man did not make a sound and did not stop.
Drew’s mind turned off. He just acted. He attacked the assassin trying to stop the spear from stabbing into his belly. But the man was not stopping. Drew saw the spear tip coming at his right side. So, Drew spun away from the assassin, the knife in Drew’s left hand cutting on the way.
Drew danced away and when he faced the assassin again, the man was on the ground, not moving. Drew did not know what had happened. He looked at his left hand with the knife. It was dark and wet. Drew looked at the man on the ground. He did not move. Drew was afraid that the assassin might be faking. Could the man be really gone. The man was laying flat with his face in dirt. Drew was grateful for the darkness. Drew had a feeling that he would not like to see the color that day light brings.
Drew walked away from the assassin. He wanted to have more distance between them. But he did not want to turn his back to the man in case he was not dead. Drew did not know what else was happening in the camp. He kept sweeping his eyes back an forth trying to figure out what was happening. But he could not clear his head. Drew kept shaking his hand to try to get feeling back. It was swelling. Was it was broken?
When all the dust cleared, there were five assassins dead. Three of them by Drew, one by Mark Kent, and one by Balentar. The five assassins were dragged to the middle of camp and inspected. They found the ordinary things that were always found with the greys. They had spears and thin cards with unknown writing. Apparently, these were identification cards. They did have other sundry items that were presumably pilfered from unlucky victims in the Cursed Lands.
As Rob and Johnny dragged up the last slain assassin. They looked at the wounds and said to Jim, "This one yours?"
Drew came up feeling a mixture of intense pain and the let-down from adrenaline. He looked like he had to drag himself up to the campfire. He still had his knife in his left hand. Johnny said, "Hey man, you okay?"
Rob: "Are you bleeding?"
Drew looked at his left hand. "No, that’s not mine."
Jim walked over to Drew. "No, here, on your side." Drew looked down at his shirt. It took him a second to realize that his shirt was torn. Then it was like he was in a daze. "My shirt is torn."
Jim: "Forget your shirt. Your side is bleeding."
Drew said, "Oh, yeah."
Mark Kent set to work examining the wound. He cleaned and saw that it looked worse than it was. As he finished stitching up the gash on Drew’s side, Jaggle came up with news. He spoke to Dor, but in trade tongue so that every one could understand. "There are some more men over there in the bushes." Mark tied down the seventh stitch, and applied the bandage.
By Andrew Grosjean
This is an excerpt from my second novel in my unpublished Otherworld series, "Justice for the Silent."
This is fiction of course. I would like to designate it as "Creation Science Fiction." Like traditional Sci-Fi, we seek to take real world ideas of science and extend them into the furthest reaches of possibility. This is what we have done here but we have used the Bible as the source of ideas. So, we have tried to make a world where nothing that happens nor anyone that exists is in contradiction to the truths of God's Word. You must know that above all, we believe that the Bible is God's protected and inerrant Word. We have woven together Biblical concepts with fiction in a way that may surprise you. I am not suggesting that what happens here is true. Obviously, I made it up. But there are some things that are true. You will need to examine and explore the Scriptures yourself to see if something is possibly true or not. That is the real fun here, to see the Word of God come alive with possibilities that we might not have expected. Let me close by saying my primary goal in publishing these stories is to get the children of God to examine the Bible more carefully and deeply.
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