27. Darkness and Silence

November 6th, 2016 § Comments Off on 27. Darkness and Silence § permalink

Chapter twenty-seven of Unknown North, a novel that will be published chapter-by-chapter until it’s done. All chapters so far: Unknown North.


The NASA team took guns to Mars. Oh, the public wasn’t made aware of this (“scientific instruments” can look like just about anything), but Dr. Angelo Moore was well aware and a bit unnerved. The guns meant either NASA was nuts because they expected to meet something unsavory; or not nuts, meaning they would meet something unsavory. Going to Mars under either condition did not help Dr. Moore sleep well.

“Angelo!” General Rauchbach barked, nudging the doctor, whose head had slipping onto the general’s shoulder. Everyone else in the bus jumped and the soldiers unconsciously readied their guns. “I didn’t pay you to come to Mars and sleep!” » Read the rest of this entry «

26. Doorway to Entanglement

October 25th, 2016 § Comments Off on 26. Doorway to Entanglement § permalink

Chapter twenty-six of Unknown North, a novel that will be published chapter-by-chapter until it’s done. All chapters so far: Unknown North.


Hiram was circumspect and quietly mumbled, “I can see why they’re after Ana-loop” when Carlos returned with his theory about a physical ship going somewhere physically, despite the fact that “somewhere” wasn’t—somehow—Mars at all.

“What’s that?” Carlos wondered invitingly.

“There’s only one doorway that I’ve ever heard of,” he replied evenly. “And it was closed—or at least hidden—for a reason.”

He looked carefully over the others crowded into the debriefing room. He knew that they all viewed him with a healthy amount of skepticism and he wasn’t relishing the idea of trying to explain to them the truth behind the higher mystical concepts of angels, demons, and gods. There wasn’t time for a grand theological debate. » Read the rest of this entry «

25. Somewhere Else Entirely

October 18th, 2016 § Comments Off on 25. Somewhere Else Entirely § permalink

Chapter twenty-five of Unknown North, a novel that will be published chapter-by-chapter until it’s done. All chapters so far: Unknown North.


“Dr. Moore? I didn’t expect to find you here.”

He turned at the sound of the voice and unconsciously tried to hide his bourbon, despite the fact that he was in a bar after midnight with bleary eyes. It took him a second to focus, but finally he recognized the face of General Rauchbach. Had he not been drunk, he most likely would have jumped away from the man, as if burned.

“You knew I’d be here,” he said instead, his tone aggressive. “You’ve been tapping my phone and reading my mail since you fired me.”

“You were never fired, Dr. Moore. We don’t fire people. People simply … leave.” » Read the rest of this entry «

24. The Science of Faith

October 9th, 2016 § Comments Off on 24. The Science of Faith § permalink

Chapter twenty-four of Unknown North, a novel that will be published chapter-by-chapter until it’s done. All chapters so far: Unknown North.


Bransen was not entirely thrilled by his impromptu meeting with Hiram and Carlos. He liked to think of himself as a very understanding man who would always evaluate everyone’s opinions before making any decisions, and to never intentionally sow the seeds of division or doubt. As he looked at the faces of Hiram and Carlos, though, he discovered his own personal nightmare: If he listened to their opinions, he may indeed be the farmer who was sowing the seeds of division and doubt.

Bransen looked evenly at each of the two men, who both sat politely quiet, waiting to be called on to speak.

“I think I knew this would happen,” Bransen admitted plainly. “I think I knew this project would evolve in unexpected ways. But gentleman, I cannot believe for an instant than Howard and John Fobell are here to open some kind of gate to the underworld to let demons run amok over the Earth.”

He held up his hand to stop Hiram from speaking and finished, “Even if I were to allow for such things as demons, I am quite confident that the Fobells would have nothing to do with them.”

“They aren’t demons,” Hiram blurted. » Read the rest of this entry «

23. Light in Dark Corners

September 27th, 2016 § Comments Off on 23. Light in Dark Corners § permalink

Chapter twenty-three of Unknown North, a novel that will be published chapter-by-chapter until it’s done. All chapters so far: Unknown North.


Security had been tightened at Bransen Labs and the patent for the Circadia X had been secured—one of the benefits of working for Bransen Labs was how much speed in bureaucracy his money could buy. Unfortunately, there was also talk about an emergency session of Congress to pass legislation regarding the use of any such device—a move for which Uncle Sam could not be blamed. If the experiment hadn’t been so fruitful, historical, and globally important, the whispered chatter contended that PISA would have been shut down and the Mars team arrested. After all, had some unfortunate airliner passed through the beam and instantly been whisked to a barren, airless planet, there would have been trouble. Big trouble.

Instead, PISA negotiated a sort of plea bargain that awarded Bransen Labs the patent but demanded that NASA would be given equal (and free) access to the design and related trade secrets, and would serve as an oversight committee to its use. Bransen’s attorneys assured him that accepting the offer was his only real option, so Bransen put on his best smile and announced at a press conference the joint NASA-PISA venture to explore Mars. Contracts were signed, loopholes were closed, and in the end the world suddenly had Circadia X1 and Circadia X2, and two wholly separate teams intent on exploring the red planet. » Read the rest of this entry «

22. Body of Light

September 18th, 2016 § Comments Off on 22. Body of Light § permalink

Chapter twenty-two of Unknown North, a novel that will be published chapter-by-chapter until it’s done. All chapters so far: Unknown North.


Hiram McKenzie was nervous. R’dau had told him that Ana-loop was making real contact with several people from Earth, but he’d had no idea the contact was connected to a project so scientific and high profile as PISA. She’d also mentioned that someone had been traveling to the Lands Below, and this had concerned Hiram more. The Lands Below were the domain of the Golgantry, and the Light Beings rarely went there.

He wondered how much of his concerns he should share now. It was his first daily end-of-day team debriefing, when they could all get together and share their day’s work, and so far they were treating it all exactly as he’d anticipated: Like a perfectly controlled science experiment.

What was of immediate concern to Hiram was that, while he was sure Bransen had read Unknown North, he feared the team Bransen had assembled was blissfully unaware of their Radiance. And if one didn’t understand their Radiance, one should not dangle at the end of their silver cord. Even more unnerving to Hiram was that he knew they would go ahead with their mission anyway, even if he spelled everything out in plain English, because people often mistake comprehension for understanding. » Read the rest of this entry «

21. Debriefing Dreams

September 11th, 2016 § Comments Off on 21. Debriefing Dreams § permalink

Chapter twenty-one of Unknown North, a novel that will be published chapter-by-chapter until it’s done. All chapters so far: Unknown North.


“Jesus, it was beautiful, Luce,” Mouse said later, during the team’s private debriefing. Of all of them assembled, Henry and Sophie seemed the most enrapt. “I was in, like, a jungle or something. Swear to God, man—huge trees and all these ferns and lots of strange noises. I assume they were animals…”

He shrugged and trailed off; Howard adjusted his glasses and lent in.

“I told you!” Henry declared.

Lorna gave him a stern look—the kids had been invited to the meeting because their dreams and remote journeys seemed eerily similar to what Mouse had experienced, but it was still a scientific business meeting first.

“Are you sure you were on Mars?” Howard asked Mouse quietly, offering Henry a sympathetic wink that told him he’d get his turn soon enough.

Mouse shrugged again, “That’s where you sent me, right?” » Read the rest of this entry «

20. Mouse on Mars

September 5th, 2016 § Comments Off on 20. Mouse on Mars § permalink

Chapter twenty of Unknown North, a novel that will be published chapter-by-chapter until it’s done. All chapters so far: Unknown North.


The media didn’t change its feelings about the PISA Mars mission until Bransen labs sent a monkey to Mars and back—alive. Now they could adjust the spin of their stories into an animal-rights arena, where clicks and visits sadly outnumbered the previous spin of children in danger. It didn’t matter that Bransen treated the first Earthling on Mars like a hero—and better than most zoos—because the question of the animal having a choice about the risks involved was still there. But even then, the interest didn’t start to peak until NASA admitted that PISA appeared to have beaten them at their own game. The naysayers no longer had a leg to stand on, and the spin started to right itself to what Bransen thought was the real issue at hand: A creature from Earth had finally visited another planet. If the Moon had been the bronze medal, then this was the silver, and the gold—visiting another planet in another solar system—was finally imaginable, with PISA pulling ahead. » Read the rest of this entry «