ANCIENT SECRETS . . . LOST IN TIME

 

THE SPIRIT GATE * THE LOST PORTAL * THE FIRST MIGRATION

 

Daniel Logan

 

 

 
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     NASA Time Travel Research . . . An armed conflict between East and West over water rights . . . A confluence of Ancient Mythology, Science and Faith

   

 
BACK

Excerpts from The Spirit Gate:

                    A pre-dawn ride in the desert

                 Darren and Tracey take a break

                 A plea for NASA to help

 

Excerpts from The Lost Portal:

                        The Dam

 

Excerpts from The First Migration:

 

                    Skeeter and Taylor

                 Darren Meets Tracey

                 Project TIME

                 The UFO

                 An Evening with Tracey

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

                                  

                                        PROLOGUE

                           The Anomaly

 

“Our fuel’s running low. I don’t know how much time we have left,” Skeeter grumbled, frustrated by the heavy layer of frost that obscured his view through the snow cat’s windshield. He rubbed a small circular patch on the glass with his gloved hand and peered into the darkness. The shrieking winter storm created a whiteout condition in front of him. Skeeter shivered and glanced at the thermometer, registering sixty-seven degrees be-

low zero and dropping. His mind, already numbed by the fumes from grease and diesel fuel that permeated the cabin, fought the maddening vibration from the staccato thuds of the treads

on the ice.

     “Jesus, how’d we get in such a mess?” he asked Taylor, his passenger. “Do you see any sign of ’em?”

     “Nope,” Taylor answered. “Nothing.”

     Skeeter and Taylor were members of a United States geo-physical team studying the shrinking ice pack on the Ross Ice Shelf. Skeeter drove the last snow cat in a convoy of seven returning to the Admundsen-Scott Base Station at the South Pole,

but in the storm he had lost sight of the others. The lead cat, Delta One, contained the electronic equipment necessary to navigate back to the base. Tense with concern about straying

off course, Skeeter grabbed the mike with a trembling hand and shouted a transmission above the growl of the snow cat.

     “Delta One, this is Delta Seven. Do you read?”

     “Delta Seven, you’re readable, but weak. Do you have us in sight?”

     Skeeter squinted through the clearing in the windshield and swore to himself, “Damn it, all I see is snow streaking right into the headlights. I feel like I’m diving into an abyss.” He clicked

the mike switch and answered, “Negative, Delta One, I can’t see shit.”

     “Delta Seven, stop for a minute and turn off your lights. We’ll shoot a flare.”

     Skeeter turned off the headlights and in the darkness said to Taylor, “You watch out back. I’ll watch the front. Our situation’s pretty simple. If we don’t find them . . . we die.”

     “Delta Seven, did you see the flare?”

Skeeter looked at Taylor and saw him shake his head.

     “Christ,” Skeeter swore, “they could be anywhere—ahead of us, behind us, or right next to us—and we’d never see them.” Again he shouted into the mike, “Negative, Delta One, we have

no visual contact. Can you wait a few minutes and try another flare? The snow might let up.”

     “Delta Seven, we’ve been stopped now for over fifteen minutes. We’re low on fuel, too. We can’t chance running out in this storm,” came the weakening reply. “If you don’t see us in a

minute or two, we’ll have to go on to the base without you. We’ll bring back a search party.”

     “For corpses,” Skeeter muttered, staring into the blackness.

 

 

 

 

(To find out what happens to Skeeter and TaylorRead the Book!)

 

 

 

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This excerpt from The First Migration copyright © 2005 by Daniel Logan has been reprinted with permission from James A. Rock & Co., Publishers.

 

Special contents of this edition copyright © 2005 by James A. Rock & Co., Publishers

 

All applicable copyrights and other rights reserved worldwide. No part of this publication may be reproduced, in any  form or by any means, for any purpose, except as provided by the U.S. Copyright Law, without the express, written permission of the publisher.

 

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places and incidents either are the product of the author's imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events, locales, organizations, or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental and beyond the intent of either the author or the publisher.

 

Website copyright © August, 2006, by Daniel Logan All material in this website is copyrighted and may not be copied, reproduced, or distributed without permission.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

              

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

                                                       

                 

 

 

                                      CHAPTER TWO

                     Tracey

 

 

                              —Three years later—

 

     “Hey man, did you hear me? Do you wanna try the Stealth Landing?” Jeff ’s voice broke into his thoughts.

     “Sure, Jeff, go on ahead. I’ll fill my briefcase and be there in twenty minutes. Don’t let any leggy blonde fool you into thinking

you’re a fighter jock. Your heart wouldn’t last.”

     “Yeah, but what a way to go, huh? See ya there in a few minutes.”

     Darren gathered up the instrumentation diagrams he and Jeff had been checking and put them into a locked file. He stepped into the men’s room to wash his face and comb his hair.

Thinking of Jeff ’s comments, he studied his reflection in the mirror. He had the build and natural good looks of a quarterback, but he had never even stepped onto a football field during

college. He concentrated on his study of physics instead.

     His face featured a wry smile, no matter what his mood. Sometimes the smile came from the humor he saw in things, but other times it caused people to wonder what he knew and wasn’t

sharing. Strands of gray added a touch of dignity to his wavy brown hair. In a suit and tie he could be quite distinguished looking, but he hated suits and seldom wore one. His weathered jacket gave him a bit of a disheveled look, belying the constant

worry and turmoil going on in his head. The unassuming looking man he saw in the mirror had control of a project vital to the survival of the country, if not the world.

     Darren left the men’s room and walked up the metal stairs to leave the underground complex. The sterile, gray interior, illuminated by the cold, flickering glow of fluorescent lights added to his somber mood. The hum of computer-controlled

equipment, running unattended, amplified the inhuman feeling of the surroundings. Darren felt minuscule, and a sense of being alone overcame him. His footsteps resonated in the cavernous

chamber and gave him the eerie feeling that someone was following him. Turning around, he realized he had been startled by an echo. Embarrassed, he thought, This place is enough

to make anyone feel spooked. The enormous responsibility he carried for the project dwarfed all the other priorities in his life. And the immensity of the task sometimes made him question his ability to pull it off.

     Darren reached the top of the stairs and opened the door to the outside. The sight of the brilliant stars in the desert night sky and the rush of a cool dry breeze restored his faith in himself. Gazing at the stars always helped him put things in perspective. As big as his responsibilities were, they paled in comparison to the sheer size of the universe. And the stars contained an implicit message of an order, a purpose, a meaning

to life.

     Jeff had no doubt ordered his second beer by now. Darren closed the door behind him and hurried to his car, the only one remaining in the parking lot. Pulling into the Stealth Landing lot a short time later, he heard the unmistakable

beat of an electric bass guitar going full tilt. The place looked crowded.

     Once inside, Darren searched for Jeff. He spotted him at a table stacked with empty beer glasses and surrounded by a couple of Stealth pilots and several women. Seeing Darren, Jeff waved and shouted above the din for him to come join them. Darren wasn’t sure he was in the right mood yet. His mind remained on the myriad details back at the missile range. He went over to the table anyway.

     “Darren, this is Kyle, Jim, Amy, Kim, and, and . . . uh . . .”

     “. . . Tracey,” she said, with a smile. She was stunning, well-dressed and poised, but she looked

like she felt out of place. She seemed happy to meet someone who didn’t appear to belong there, either. Darren could not believe how pretty she was. Trying not to be obvious—but failing—

he couldn’t resist making a visual assessment of her features. His gaze settled on her face, surrounded by shoulder length, auburn hair. The sounds and images around him faded into a dream-like background.

     “Tracy was my grandfather’s name,” Darren heard his own awkward detached voice say, “but, you . . . you’re . . .”

     “A woman!” she laughed. “I’m happy you noticed. Tracey’s a woman’s name these days. My parents added an ‘e’ to the spelling, but there are lots of other ways to spell it.”

   

 

 

( (To learn more about TraceyRead the Book!)

 

 

 

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This excerpt from The First Migration copyright © 2005 by Daniel Logan has been reprinted with permission from James A. Rock & Co., Publishers.

 

Special contents of this edition copyright © 2005 by James A. Rock & Co., Publishers

 

All applicable copyrights and other rights reserved worldwide. No part of this publication may be reproduced, in any  form or by any means, for any purpose, except as provided by the U.S. Copyright Law, without the express, written permission of the publisher.

 

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places and incidents either are the product of the author's imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events, locales, organizations, or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental and beyond the intent of either the author or the publisher.

 

Website copyright © August, 2006, by Daniel Logan All material in this website is copyrighted and may not be copied, reproduced, or distributed without permission.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

                             

 

 

                CHAPTER FOUR

 

    Project TIME

 

 

 

 

     “Any more questions?” Darren asked, pausing for a moment. “If not, I’ll turn it over to Jeff to get us going.”

     In mock military tones, Jeff said, “All right, everyone, you are in my command now. Darren’s the easygoing one, but I’m the General. You will follow my instructions! In the alcove outside

the conference room we have hard hats, goggles, and ID badges. Let me know if anything does not fit. Okay, let’s go. Snap to it.”

     The visitors got up. Some ran for the restrooms and others walked to the alcove to get their gear. Darren always enjoyed this portion of any visit. Many guests had trouble with their hard hats—some would even put them on backwards. He liked

to watch Jeff try to remain calm while assisting with the equipment. Darren knew that Jeff could not understand their inability to do the most basic and simple things. Darren caught bits and pieces of the conversations.

     “No ma’am. You must wear a hard hat, I know they muss up your hair a little,” and, “Sir, the strap for your goggles goes around your head, not your hat.” And last, “Let’s see, we have eight visitors and three of us, so that’s four each in the first two

cars and three in the third. Let’s go, people.”

     Darren got in the third car and Tracey and Jennings joined him. Darren drove with the convoy to the control center building and parked. Everyone assembled once again in front of Jeff.

     “We’ll go inside,” Jeff instructed the group, “but I ask you to remain clear of any barricaded area where construction work is going on, and please do not touch any of the controls. We’re

not in operation yet so you wouldn’t start any equipment, but we are fine-tuning the controls, and you might cause an erroneous reading. Thanks, and stay close to me.”

     They went inside and climbed two flights of stairs. They entered a room that looked similar to Mission Control at NASA in Houston, but with one major difference. This room had a huge panoramic window overlooking the complex. The visitors

rushed to the window and looked out in awe at the view. For the first time they were able to see the scope of the undertaking. They were amazed by the image of a huge circle of blockhouse-like

structures, interconnected with concrete beams, disappearing to the horizon.

     Tracey exclaimed, “It’s like a giant, modern-day Stonehenge!”

   

 

((To find out how Project TIME works—Read the Book!)

 

 

 

 

 

 

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This excerpt from The First Migration copyright © 2005 by Daniel Logan has been reprinted with permission from James A. Rock & Co., Publishers.

 

Special contents of this edition copyright © 2005 by James A. Rock & Co., Publishers

 

All applicable copyrights and other rights reserved worldwide. No part of this publication may be reproduced, in any  form or by any means, for any purpose, except as provided by the U.S. Copyright Law, without the express, written permission of the publisher.

 

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places and incidents either are the product of the author's imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events, locales, organizations, or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental and beyond the intent of either the author or the publisher.

 

Website copyright © August, 2006, by Daniel Logan All material in this website is copyrighted and may not be copied, reproduced, or distributed without permission.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  

                                

 

 

 

                                   CHAPTER SIX

 

                 Pangaea

 

 

 

Darren awoke at dawn the next morning with a dizzying headache. He rummaged through his bag for his coffee pot and aspirin. Too much stress yesterday, he concluded. Plus it didn’t help

being awakened by those Nighthawks flying over. With a hangover like this, I should’ve at least enjoyed a few beers last night.

     As Darren warmed the water for coffee over a camp stove, he wondered how Tracey had spent the evening—and how she had spent the night. Had Rick managed to sway her to say yes?

Had she spent the night with him? He didn’t care to dwell on that possibility. Darren shivered in the brisk morning air, wishing he had packed a jacket. He gulped down his coffee and began to think about the day ahead. He got out the cinnamon

rolls he’d brought and wolfed down the entire package as he anxiously waited for the front gate to open so he could leave.

     Darren gathered up his gear and tossed it into the car. When he started the engine, the blare from the car’s radio startled him. With a reflexive action he punched the power button to shut it off. I don’t need any damn racket until my headache lets up a little, he thought.

     He left the park without any challenge from the gate attendants and drove to his apartment. He checked his answering machine for messages and was disappointed that there were none. He had hoped for a message from Tracey saying that she had returned early the night before and that the thing with Rick was over. But there was no word from her—besides, she had his cell phone number and could have reached him.

     Darren got ready for work and drove to his office. Before he even got close to Sandy’s desk, she called out to him with excitement,

     “Did you see it? The whole town’s buzzing about it. It was even on CNN this morning! I tried to get a glimpse, but I didn’t—”

     “Hold on, Sandy. Whoa! Slow down! What are you talking about?”

     “Jeff said he saw it. It shook him up,” she exclaimed.

     “Sandy, what the hell is it? Tell me.”

     “You know. A . . . uh, UFO,” she gasped, out of breath. “It must’ve come right over where you were last night. It was west of town. How could you have missed it?”

     Jeff Ryder walked up with some work authorization forms in his hand.

     “Darren, you need to go catch the TV broadcast,” he said.  “Alamogordo is experiencing its fifteen minutes of fame.”

     “I’ll go, too,” Sandy said.

     Darren was still trying to catch up with all of this. Three cups of coffee hadn’t been enough. His headache was worsening. He poured a fresh cup from the community pot and followed the two to the video-conference room. Sandy tuned the TV to CNN and took a position right in front of the screen.

     Framed by a “Breaking News” banner, the anchor was voicing over a panoramic aerial view of Alamogordo. “Some residents of this sleepy town in New Mexico awoke at about one o’clock this morning to see the image of a UFO in the distance over the White Sands National Monument.”

     “See, what’d I tell you?” Sandy said. Darren had never seen her so animated. She could not sit still.

    

 

(To learn about Darren's connection to the UFORead the Book!)

 

 

 

 

 

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This excerpt from The First Migration copyright © 2005 by Daniel Logan has been reprinted with permission from James A. Rock & Co., Publishers.

 

Special contents of this edition copyright © 2005 by James A. Rock & Co., Publishers

 

All applicable copyrights and other rights reserved worldwide. No part of this publication may be reproduced, in any  form or by any means, for any purpose, except as provided by the U.S. Copyright Law, without the express, written permission of the publisher.

 

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places and incidents either are the product of the author's imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events, locales, organizations, or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental and beyond the intent of either the author or the publisher.

 

Website copyright © August, 2006, by Daniel Logan All material in this website is copyrighted and may not be copied, reproduced, or distributed without permission.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

                             

 

 

                                     CHAPTER SIX

 

                Pangaea

 

 

 

     “Darren, could you come over?” Tracey pleaded in a muted voice. “I just got back, and I don’t feel like being alone right now.”

     Darren showered in the bathroom adjacent to his office and drove to Kim’s apartment. Tracey opened the door to greet him as he came up the walk. She had on a pretty sun dress and was

wearing high-heeled open sandals. She looked stunning, and Darren was glad he had taken a few minutes to freshen up.

     “What do you want to do about dinner?” she asked.

     “Let’s talk about dinner later,” Darren said. He pulled her to him and kissed her slowly. This time there was no resistance, no turning of the head, no pulling away. She kissed him back with an equal intensity. He leaned her back on the couch and

kissed her neck and one exposed shoulder.

     Darren’s caresses made Tracey forget about D.C., about career, about men who were future senators or presidents. Her moves showed Darren she wanted him. She breathed in his ear, “Please—don’t stop.”

     He ran his right hand down the side of her body to her waist, feeling the curve of her hip. She moved with him, whispering to him as he kissed her forehead and her eyebrows. She grasped his collar with both hands and began to unbutton his

shirt.

     He reached down to the inside of her ankle and unbuckled her sandals, then slipped them off.

     “There you go again,” she whispered, “taking off my shoes. Remember me telling you before how that approach wouldn’t work?”

     He took the instep of her left foot in his firm grip, squeezing it with his fingers and stroking the top with his thumb. “I think it has a better chance this time,” he replied.

     “We’ll see,” she teased. Darren eased his hand up the calf of her leg and beyond her knee. Tracey stood up and grabbed his arm. “Come with me,” she said, leading him to her bedroom.

 

 

(To learn what they talked about in the bedroomRead The Book!)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Prologue

 

The Dam

 

People with varying viewpoints were united in awe of the demolition of the Glen Canyon Dam scheduled to take place within the hour.  The white concrete dam stood in stark contrast to the red rock canyon walls, like an abandoned drive-in theater screen spoiling the pristine countryside surrounding it. Some in the gathering crowd saw the man-made icon as an obscenity, a middle finger raised to all humanity, responsible for defiling a majestic wilderness, while others marveled at the enormous power it had once generated by controlling the raging and chaotic Colorado River. Still others remembered the boating and recreational opportunities created by the immense Lake Powell it used to hold back.

     A half-mile downstream, bleachers were erected at the canyon’s edge on each side of the river—now merely a dry wash filled with outcroppings of sage and juniper. A few lucky people with coveted green badges suspended from lanyards around their necks were scrambling to gain the best seats in the V.I.P. section.

     I hope they’re not lost. Dwy Stewart scanned the growing crowd with concern, trying to spot his parents, Darren and Tracey, who were uncharacteristically late.

     The sun, at its highest point in a cloudless, azure-blue sky, bathed Dwy and the other onlookers in its oppressive heat. Vendors hawked bottled water, sunscreen and straw hats, working the growing crowd by yipping their wares like overgrown prairie dogs calling out alarms to their colony.

     There they are! With relief, Dwy Stewart stood and waved at his parents. Once they saw him, he ran down the steps of the bleachers to greet them. When he neared, he saw his mom had been crying, but she smiled and hugged him, not letting on that anything was wrong. He shook his dad’s hand and escorted them to their seats in the president’s box. His mom surprised him by sitting on his left, instead of next to his dad, who remained on his right. Always before, his mom and dad would have been seated next to each other. Something’s not right. Dwy could sense the strain between them.
      Dwy stood and scanned the sky to the southwest, searching for a white-topped helicopter. Checking his watch, he frowned.

     “He’s going to have to hurry,” he said.

     “It won’t start without him. I promise,” Tracey replied. “And anyway, it’ll give us a chance to catch up on some things until he gets here.”

     Dwy smiled. Always the optimist, his mom found the good in anything. “You look great, Mom,” he said, ignoring her puffy eyes. “You’re incredible. At your age you still turn men’s heads. I saw several guys staring at you on the way up.”

     Tracey laughed. “Some of the old ones maybe, but the only man I worry about is your dad.”

     Turning toward Dwy, his dad said, “You know, Dwy, your mom isn’t old . . .”

     Heralding

 

 

 

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                                        CHAPTER ONE

 

              The Holy Cross

the arrival of the sun that would appear within the hour, the planet  

     Jupiter rose in the pre-dawn sky above the high desolate flatlands of Northwestern New Mexico. The pinpoint of light joined the myriad of sparkling stars dotting the heavens above the desert floor, their brilliance undiminished by light pollution. Driven by universal constants, Jupiter ascended from the horizon in an arc along the ecliptic. Almost through the constellation Sagittarius this summer morning, Jupiter could be seen at the center of the dusty band of the Milky Way Galaxy before the light of the forthcoming sunrise would all too soon cause it to disappear from view.

     “The Holy Cross,” Dwy shouted to Skeeter, the man driving the ATV.

     Straining to hear Dwy over the clattering engine, Skeeter raised his voice in reply.  

    “The Holy what?”

     “The intersection of the plane of the Milky Way Galaxy—the galactic equator—and the plane of our solar system—the ecliptic. It’s been called the Holy Cross through the ages, at least since the 5th century when the Greco-Roman, Macrobius, named it that. Other cultures, like the Mayan had different names for it—the Gate of the Sun, for one. Even the Anasazi, the ancient, Native American inhabitants of Chaco Canyon, wove it into their spiritual mythology.”

     Skeeter guided the ATV with his knee while he fumbled with his thermos. Bracing himself against the lurching of the vehicle, he tried not to spill the scalding coffee in his lap as he poured himself another cup.

     “You need a warm up?” he asked Dwy.

     “Nope. Thanks anyway.”

     Skeeter squinted at Jupiter, attempting to visualize the intersection Dwy had described. No luck. He shook his head in frustration. He knew the younger man seated next to him represented a polar opposite to himself. Trim and good looking, Dwy sported a gold earring and a tattoo on the outside of his left shoulder—the insignia of the Air Force squadron in which he had served as a pilot and later incorporated into his Sedona Flight Tours business logo. Skeeter appreciated, rather than envied, Dwy’s encyclopedic recall of natural phenomena. After a moment, he attempted to pick up the conversation where it had left off. “So this . . . uh, Holy Crossing—”

     “—Holy Cross,” Dwy interrupted.

    A bit exasperated, Skeeter asked, “Okay, whatever you call it, how did you come to know about it?”

     Dwy’s face fell, his features now highlighted by the pale luminance from the light of daybreak. 

     “Dad showed it to me on a camping trip. He promised that someday he’d take me to the Comanche Springs observatory on the Texas plains west of Fort Worth, where the night sky featured some of the best star gazing in the U.S. But something always came up that made him postpone it, and he never . . . ah, we never . . . before he . . .” Dwy’s voice trailed off to a whisper.

 

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                                  CHAPTER THREE

 

            The Great Gates

 

 

     Tracey smiled and said, “Darren, there’s some snacks and sodas in the kitchen. While the three of you are taking your break, I’m going outside and enjoy the fresh air.”

     Darren followed the other two past Tracey. Once beside her, she gave him an affectionate pat on his butt, followed by a squeeze that lingered. “Want to come with me?” she asked. “It’ll do you good.”

     Darren did not hesitate. He put his arm around her shoulder and said, “You’re right. Come on, let’s go.”

     Once they stepped outside, the breeze, tinged with a hint of sage, refreshed their spirits. Strolling casually, hand in hand, they momentarily forgot about being marooned. Darren focused on the outline of Tracey’s figure beneath her clothing, made more noticeable by the gentle wind and the rhythmic motion of her stride. He brushed a strand of auburn hair away from her face with his fingertips and then eased his hand around her waist. She matched his pace, step for step.

     “You know, I’ll bet the sand this time of day would be warm on your feet. Think about wiggling your toes in it.” Darren said.

     Tracey laughed, taken back to a time long before. “Darren you’re just trying to get me to take of my shoes. After all the years we’ve been married, don’t you think I’m on to that old line?”

     “Usually works pretty well.”

     They continued their stroll, arm in arm. Then for no apparent reason, Tracey stood still, frozen in place. She placed her hand over her heart and murmured, “Oh, my god . . . Darren . . .”

     Frightened by her abrupt change in demeanor, Darren reached to steady her. “Trace, is something wrong?”

     Tracey made no reply. Her face paled.

     Concerned that she might be on the verge of fainting, Darren took her by the shoulders and tried to lead her to one of the benches so she could sit.

     Tracey resisted his effort, “No,” she said, gasping for breath, “I want to stay right here.”

     “Trace, tell me what’s going on,” Darren said. “Do you need help?”

 

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The receptionist interrupted. “Gent

 

 

 

                                  CHAPTER FOUR

 

                  NASA

 

Ms. Langdon will see you now. Go on in.”

     Dwy experienced that little adrenaline-driven flop of a stomach that preceded a critical moment. He stood and inhaled a deep breath before he entered the office, followed by Skeeter.

     “Good morning, gentlemen, I’m Moira Lambert,” she said, with an outstretched hand. “I’ve been expecting you.”

     Whatever image Dwy had pictured for the woman they were meeting had been wrong on all counts. Moira was a striking woman even though Dwy estimated her to be beyond sixty. She wore a bright red jacket accented with a jeweled necklace and matching earrings. An American Flag pin adorned her lapel. Dark brown hair with golden highlights curled to the midpoint of her slender neck. Her makeup and nails were done to perfection. Her attire, complete with skirt and high heels sent the message that even though she occupied a lofty and demanding position in NASA, she was not afraid to be feminine.

     Shaking her hand, Dwy introduced himself. “Ms. Lambert, I’m Dwy Stewart, the son of former NASA Director, Dr. Darren Stewart. And this is Jim Myers, Mayor of Alamogordo and curator of NASA’s time-travel museum there. Uh, his friends call him ‘Skeeter.’”

     “I’ll be happy to call him Skeeter if you’ll call me Moira. Please make yourselves comfortable.” She grabbed a folder from her desk, bringing it with her to sit in a chair facing them. While reviewing several of the papers inside, her expression remained pleasant but noncommittal. “So please tell me what I can do for you.”

      Still a bit unnerved, Dwy stumbled when beginning the request he had mentally rehearsed on the flight to D.C. “Ms. Lambert . . . uh, Moira, we need NASA to undertake a mission to rescue my dad and mom . . . uh, Dr. and Mrs. Stewart—and three others in the crew that went missing three years ago at Chaco Canyon.”

     Moira tabbed through several pages in the folder. Frowning, she said, “It looks like we tried at the time to do what we could, which I admit wasn’t sufficient. But given the amount of time that has since passed, it appears to be a cold case—or at least that’s the position outlined in my brief.”

     Skeeter pulled out a handkerchief and wiped his forehead, obviously not liking the way the meeting was going. Before he could say anything, Dwy began to bring her up to date about the image on the video they had seen the previous week and emphasized the S.O.S. signal.

    “It means some of them are at least still alive, but they need help. That’s why we’re here. We need NASA’s help.”

     “What do you want us to do?” she asked.

     Dwy explained that the NASA museum had a similar time-ship on display, one given to them by the ancient Pangaeans out of a debt of gratitude. “We could refurbish it and use it for rescue. NASA did something similar years ago when they took one of the Saturn V rockets that had been on display nearly fifty years and launched it.”

     Moira shook her head. Her body language stiffened. “That took a great deal of money, a level of expense that we don’t have in our budget today. As you are aware, we’ve even had to cancel our Mars landing program. We had all the original design papers available for the Saturn V, but the time-ship at the museum would have to be reverse-engineered. Worse, my information says the Pangaeans purposely disabled a critical linkage that would have allowed it to be activated.” Folding her notes closed, she said, “I don’t see how we can help.”

 

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This excerpt from The First Migration copyright © 2005 by Daniel Logan has been reprinted with permission from James A. Rock & Co., Publishers.

 

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