Cimmerian Shadows: The Prologue

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SPORS-Space and Planetary Observation and Reconnaissance Station

SPORS Special Space Station

 “Sir, you’re gonna want to come see this.”

The lanky, battle-aged man sitting stiff-backed in the chair before a rusty steel desk didn’t so much as look up at his visitor.

“Has the situation changed?”

“The event is now Priority One. Sir, we think there might be a breach.”

With one swift and powerful motion, the older man was out of his chair and bearing down on the smaller man who was obviously shaken by the sudden movement. His demeanor in the shadow of the larger man made him look to resemble a dwarf. The dwarf sidestepped the balding gentleman as he passed him through the doorway. The balding man’s energy was swift and deliberate. His movement was defined with enthusiastic purpose.

“What happened?” asked the older man as he hurriedly rushed by the small gentleman who seemed to be crowding the office door space. The smaller man with the too tight tie and sweaty collar did his best to keep up with the taller man’s pace as he tried to explain the situation.

“There was an increase in gamma activity near the location right before space and time warped. There is a center where we’ve seen matter gravitating to but it’s hard to confirm…”

The two men had reached the Brain Room; the epicenter of real-time analysis, monitoring and surveillance at the core of this super-secret U.S. intelligence base located on the dark side of the moon; which, for those in the know, was also known as inside of the moon. The tall brisk man stormed into the room. It was large and open, divided in rows and columns of half cubicles. Analysts manned these stations around the clock. They were trained in the most obscure trade and relied heavily on their abilities to improvise and compensate. Creativity and thinking outside of the box were strict requirements of the job.

The tall man’s sharp blonde hair created spikes of golden light as he scanned the room. He found who he was looking for and walked over to him. The person with rank seniority in the Brain Room was a young black fellow in his mid thirties. He had an athletic build and he tended to highlight this fact with shirts that revealed every cut and muscle in his upper torso. His co-workers called him Stanley. Stanley was standing over the shoulder of a young female analyst. Not much for looks but she had a skill-set that solidified her presence in one of the world’s most secure and secret facilities.

“What do you got, Stan?” asked the blond fellow.

Stan gestured to the young lady, giving her a cue to begin speaking.

“Sir, the star disappeared…or so appeared to have,” she began, “We used the ARP satellite network to monitor energy levels around the space. Initially, the event resembled a normal black hole formation but there was no initial explosion or supernova. These things alone take billions of years to happen but…” The young girl hesitated.

“’But’ what, Lydia?” asked the blonde man.

“But… this one took about 2 seconds and we can’t pinpoint the reversed location of the vortex.” She looked up into the blonde man’s face, “This isn’t a black hole. Sir…I think it’s a portal.”

Stars are torn to shreds of light when being ripped by 'space-pullers'.

Stars are torn to shreds of light when being ripped by space distorting black holes.

By the time the tall lanky fellow with the short spiked hairdo made it back to his small and dusty office space, he had acquired a moderate layer of perspiration and a healthy dose of raw human fear. However, he knew the territory of the job; he accepted the risks and he looked forward to the adventure. What he never looked forward to was the prospect of a real encounter with hostile forces that were not of earthly origin. He was prepared for the concept and his training gave him the ability to use extreme prejudice when dealing with the nations enemies. But this wasn’t about nations; it wasn’t about governments and corridors of power. This was about race. The human race; and it frightened this battle-hardened soldier to his core.

The blonde-haired man lifted the telephone receiver from its cradle and pressed only one button. There was a series of high-pitched chirps and tone sounds. After several seconds, the line clicked and began to ring in a hollow and distant trill. He waited. After what seemed like an eternity, someone answered.

“Help desk,” came a man’s voice.

“Copernicus,” replied the sweating man in the small office.


There was an audible click before another voice came over the line.

“Please ID and verify.”

“This is SuperNova One. Five, Five, Four, Sierra, Papa, Oscar. One, One, Three, Seven Zero. Alpha.”

“Standby,” said the voice in the distance.

The blonde man didn’t have to wait long. He didn’t expect to since he was sure that his phone call was expected. There had been many new developments and anomalies. He wasn’t privy to all of the details. He had a part to play and his role was the only one that he knew how to play. For a second he almost regretted volunteering for this assignment but he was the curious type. He wanted the adventure. He welcomed the unknown and invited knowledge that he did not yet understand. He was a man of integrity, honor and duty. If there was a way to offer himself for the benefit of his nation, he would do it. Not because he was patriotic but because his children were his gift to the world and he wanted to make sure that the path laid out for them was not just a promise of hope, but a reality of dreams. That is how it was for him and he was determined to see the same for those that he loved. His motivation was pure, but he now felt fear unlike any other. His core was disturbed; his sanity was at stake and his ability to carry out his duty lay in the balance. He would have to discover a new courage if he was to see this through. However, being 240,000 miles from not just home, but the planet earth itself, gave one a new perspective on those most important things in life. But life is only relative…

“General, this is Director Hagen. I hear you have something.”

The Director of National Intelligence Charles Hagen was a brute of a man. Built like a Pittsburg Steeler linebacker and as hard as any nails known to man, Director Hagen was a force greater than anyone’s reckoning. His reputation from the U.S. Senate preceded him as an American monster that ate heads and didn’t ask for names. And he was even more ruthless when it came to exercising American power after being appointed to the head of all national intelligence.

“They’re opening a window,” the general began almost as if reluctant to speak, “A space-time portal and we’re not goin’ to be able to shut it down before anything gets through. We need a nuclear detonation to distort the wormhole enough to cause a permanent malfunction in its molecular transport capabilities. At the very least, SPORS can create a rip on our end that would divert the time-dimension on exit. But, as we know, that’s only a temporary solution. We need the proto-type.”

“Understood, General. Your mission status is updated. Execute protocol StarBright.” There was a pause before the Director spoke again. “You’ve done your job well, General. It’s time to shut ‘er down. Leave no trace. Get to the Space Station. Space Station 1 Cosmonauts will assist you with further travel. We will arrange for the deployment of the proto-type. You have 24 hours to evacuate. Otherwise, you may suffer casualties.” The line went dead.

Lieutenant General Bradley Kristol let the telephone receiver slowly rest on its cradle. He had been drilled on Protocol StarBright in the very beginning. It was a stop-gap in the event that everything went wrong. It consisted of a total self-destruction of SPORS and all of its resources, tools and satellites as well as a suicide return to Earth mission. He didn’t like what was happening but he knew that the part he played was imperative…so he commenced to doing what he knew needed to be done.

Stay tuned for the dramatic climax to the truth…!!

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Born in Atlanta, Georgia and raised in the small town of Anniston, Alabama, there's no doubt that country living and sentiments still reside in Terencio Safford, executive editor of Secret Laboratory. He came a long way from his roots. He had a very unique childhood which allowed him to experience different cultures, religions and family values; this ultimately gave him a sense of awareness and acuteness that formulated his inspired outlook on life. He is a critical optimist, a pessimistic hopeful, and a failing romantic. He enjoys a sweet and mellow Don Tomas on Sunday afternoons, thoughtful walks near giant windmills during lightning storms, and a nice long breakup every once in a while. He's not taking the path--he's leaving the trail. Email:

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