A Story by john Robinson

Is it a dream?



Carl Advent. Carl was sixty years of age,but he didn't look it. He looked more like forty. He was slim,weighed about 170lbs,was fit for his age,and black. Right now all that wasn't important as he watched a moderately large room of people. All standing in front of tables as if registering to vote. Men and women. Ages ranging from late teens to his age. All dressed either like punk rockers,or heavy metal fans. Others dressed like solders. It was a mixed bag of black,white, Asian,and Hispanic. Moslem,Jewish,christian,and whatever else were represented.

There were people stationed on the other end of the tables that were of the same make. Meaning they looked like the ones standing in front of the tables. On the tables were what looked to be marijuana joints on one side,and loose marijuana on the other. The people behind the tables rolled the marijuana into joints,or the ones before the tables rolled the joints themselves. Carl noticed that many were armed with various types of weapons. He also noticed that on some of the tables,the marijuana was being picked clean of debris. As Carl observed all of this,he realized that he had no idea of where he was. He was sitting at a table with two other guys that where carrying on a conversation while occasionally giving him a glance. At that moment a woman walked up. Dressed in black with chains and a metal belt. She wore long sleeves. One could see portions of tattoos on parts of her body that were exposed. She had short black hair,and looked to be Hispanic. She placed her automatic weapon on the table and began to empty her pockets as if searching for something.

She looked at Carl confused. “New recruit?” Carl was dressed in a short sleeved Chucky cheese tee shirt,with jeans and Nike sneakers. Carl was still trying to figure out where he was,let alone what he was wearing. “I'm Aja” she said extending out her hand. “Carl” he replied extending his hand and shaking hers. “This your first day?” First day of what? He thought. “Yeah-Yeah”. “Guess you didn't read the manual” said Aja. “Manual?” asked Carl inquisitively. “You won't last long in the other realm dressed like that. Where's your weapons? No bad. The spotters will get you set up.” Carl was becoming more confused with every word coming from Aja's mouth. Aja looked at Carl. She got the feeling he was scared. “Watch my stuff. I'm going to get a re-load”. Carl watched as she walked up to one of the tables. She didn't even stand in line. 

She just walked up and was greeted with a smile by the guy behind the table. She began cleaning a pile of marijuana from debris before she rolled a joint.

Carl noticed that there were people walking around with tablets in their hands. They looked official. They must be the spotters,he thought. Whatever that meant. Suddenly someone tapped him on his shoulder. He turned to see a woman with dark glasses and a tablet in her hand. “You can't go to the realm like that. Go to door 5 and get measured for your uniform. You'll be trained and indoctrinated. After that you can power-up”. And like that she walked off. That's when Carl began to notice something odd.

It seemed as if people were vanishing into thin air,while others were appearing out of thin air. Some that appeared would be filthy,while still others were injured and some were so badly injured that they were accompanied by others or being carried on gurneys. Just what was this place,and why was he here?

Aja returned with a joint in her mouth. Carl noticed how beautiful she was,and how toughed she looked. “What's your ETD?” she asked. “My what?” Carl asked. Aja lit her joint. “When you leaving?” “Oh”-Carl replied-” “I have to report to door 5 first”. Aja exhaled. “Make sure to get boots” she said pointing at Carl's sneakers. 

He smiled somewhat nervously. Aja could tell that Carl needed someone to show him the ropes. She also thought that he was also kind of cute. “I'll tell you what. Go get set up. You'll be trained for a couple of weeks. Then you'll power up”. Carl was at a lost for words. “Ah-Okay”. “In fact she continued. Why don't I help you get set up?”. “Even better” said Carl. The door called door 5 was deceiving. Behind door 5 was a room as long and as wide as an airplane hanger. It was equipped with uniforms weapons,grenades,mines,IED,hats,helmets,and a assorted range of vehicles,many were foreign to Carl. Carl was set up with a uniform and several weapons,including a 024M. It was the most advanced automatic weapon in the world. It was also only used by the military. It had became apparent to Carl that he was being prepared for combat. He just had no idea of whom it was he,or they were fighting.

Behind the giant room called door 5,was a training range. Aja gave Carl lessons on the 024M,along with all the other devices on his uniform and utility belt. Aja became kind of hands on which Carl loved,even though he knew Aja was most likely young enough to be his granddaughter. Aja,along with other trainers,worked with Carl for the better part of two weeks. They trained him on all the technical gadgets,as well as training him in hand to hand combat. After training was done for the day, the two would go to the cafeteria and have a hearty lunch.

Carl wasn't a big eater. Aja advised him to eat as much as possible. “Why?” he asked. She looked up at him and replied, “It may be a while before you see another meal like this once we're in the realm. You'll have to rely on your power up bars and rations”. That was enough to convince Carl that he might want to eat a bit more. Carl had a couple of questions for Aja,but he was kind of embarrassed to ask. Aja could tell there was something on his mind.”Don't worry. I was the same way when I was drafted”. Carl stopped. “Drafted. I was drafted?” Aja just nodded. Carl searched for the words to formulate a question. There would be time for that. Presently Carl had completed training,and today was the day.

Aja. Other than Afghanistan. Who are we fighting?” “Not who. What” she replied as they made their way to the dispatch area. Aja looked at her watch,then pointed to a button on Carl's watch. “You see that?”-”Yeah”-”That's the jump button. If you find yourself in a situation. Push it”. “Jump button?” Carl didn't like the sound of that,or the fact that Aja said,if he should find himself in a situation. Also the answer to the question of who were they fighting,was not who,but what. That was all topped by the fact that he was drafted and had no idea that he was drafted. He figured there was a reason why the jump button,or who they were fighting wasn't mentioned anytime during training. “You ready?” Aja asked. “Aren't we going to power up first?” as if he knew what that meant. “Right” Aja replied. “Let me ask you something Carl continued- I see everyone rolling marijuana joints,but what's with the debris?” “Much of the supply is brought back from realm fields.

Many of the plants have been damaged in the fight. Some plants were found soaked in psychotropics,while others are found beneath graves or building debris”. Carl didn't understand. “Why don't we just use our own crops?” he asked. “We need to save our supply to have enough for our own population. For medical and recreational purposes. The realm war isn't known to our civilization. That's why you didn't know you were drafted”. “So you mean this is a secret war? Where is it being fought? Where is this realm?”-”One question at a time. See that button on your breast pocket?” Carl looked and acknowledge that he did. “When I say so,press it”. “Okay”. Aja nodded and Carl pressed it.

Less than a second later. The two were transported into a war zone. Carl began ducking and dodging,while Aja comfortably strolled along as if out for a walk in the park. There were bullets flying,and detonations going off on almost every corner. Carl had no idea where he was. Nothing looked familiar,for that matter it didn't look earthly. The ground was somewhat soft and muddy. Buildings were for the most part in ruins. There were boulders everywhere. Aja casually walked behind one and took a seat. Carl's head was turning in every direction. Things were whizzing passed them,and exploding in front of them. Aja took out a joint and her canteen. Carl couldn't believe it. “Seriously. You're going to take a toke now!” Aja shrugged and lit the joint. Carl figured she knew something he didn't. He chose to take a seat next to her. “Okay. Just one question.

Where the hell are we,and how the hell did we get here?”-”That's two questions. Answer one. We're in the realm. Numbers two and three. We jumped,and this is the war”. Carl ducked as something zipped by his head and exploded a few feet away. “Okay. I thought the jump button was on my watch,and again,what kind of war is this?” Aja took a toke,exhaled,then gestured for Carl to look to his left as she pointed her weapon. Carl turned to see three figures walking slowly and surveying the area. They seemed to be robotic,but with a combination of animal and human characteristics. Two of them had eight appendages.

Aja gestured for Carl to prepare his weapon. “On my mark” she whispered. Suddenly the creatures known as “Realm fighters” turned in their direction. Aja began to fire her weapon. Carl followed. It took more than a few shots from the 024M to take them down. Aja waited a moment after the fighting stopped. “They sometimes play possum” she whispered. She stood up slowly. Carl noticed that to her right another appeared. “3 o'clock!” She turned and fired. One of the three then stood up and began firing. Carl shot in his direction taking the thing out once and for all.

Let's go” said Aja. The two walked for about three thirds of a mile. The barrage of bullets and detonations decreased. Aja lead Carl to what looked like a cave. There was no entrance. Aja hit a button on her belt,and like the Flintstones,a rock slid to the side. They went in and the rock slid close. A voice rang out. “Aja. It's about time you got back!” From out of the darkness appeared a man who looked like a pirate. His left hand was a hook,and he had a false right leg to go along with his Santa beard and weird sailor outfit. Aja smiled. “Governor Sunny. Good to see you again. This is Carl. He's new”. Sunny held out his one hand. Carl shook it. “Governor?”-”Yeah” Aja continued-”He's the governor of this State,and commander of operations”. Once again. Carl was confused. “State? We're in a State? What State?”

Sunny stepped up to Carl. “The State is called Galil. It is a State within the realm,owned by your planet”. “So we're on another planet?” Sunny and Aja glanced at one another with a slight smile. “Not another planet” said Sunny,”another realm”. Carl threw his hands up. “What does that mean? Another dimension?” Sunny tapped Aja on the back. “I got to go round up the others. You explain it to him. See ya Carl”. Aja explained:

A Realm is a particular level of Consciousness in which an individual lives, so you can have an infinite number of Realms within a Dimension. It's like the light and sound spectrum. ... Finally a Universe is a collective of Dimensions, and a collective of Universes is the totality of existence, physical and non-physical”.

So all this is taking place in our heads?”-”Sort of. The realm is real. Planted into our consciousness upon being drafted”. “But I saw people injured,muddy. How can that happen if it's only in our minds?” “I have a better question” Aja added- “How are we here right now. Together”. “It sounds as if it's all a dream”. Carl didn't understand the correlation between the realm and marijuana. Aja explained that to fight the realm war,one had to have a certain level of consciousness. This could only be reached either by consumption of marijuana,or of psychotropic medication.”

Medication? LSD and meth isn't medication”. “It is in this case” said Aja. “So what about people that are sober”. “They never get drafted”. “So all I had to do to avoid this war was be sober?”- “That's right. Let's go meet the others”. Carl shook his head and followed. The cave was five miles in length. It split two miles in. Aja went to the right which lead to a little hole which lead into a larger area. The two entered.

Sunny stood there in front of a map of Galil with three women and two men. All were smoking joints. They looked at Carl and greeted Aja. She introduced Carl. The women were Nola,23,black and a wiz at communications,electronics and computers. Tara was 40,Jewish,and a Israeli fighter. Era was an American Indian. She was 34,and could find anything anywhere. She was like a bloodhound. Then there was Mike. 52. 6 foot 8. A professional wrestler and a sharp shooter. Geo was 19,been in the realm for only six months,and loved to smoke and blow up things. He was the demolitions expert.

Sunny got things started:

Nola was able to infiltrate RF communications. They'll be bringing in air Support and looking to make the final strike. He nodded to Nola who continued. She stood up and went to the map. “Unfortunately we can't get air support to the realm. RF home base is approximately ten miles south. The parameter is cut off in all directions”. “That's not good” said Geo. “Worst. They've set up surveillance at all points. It's like they know we're coming”. She then nodded to Era who took over. “We will remain in a group until about two miles out. Then we'll deploy inviso shields. RF have a heightened sense of smell,but they won't see us. Still they'll guess our position. Geo's going to use skunk gas to throw off their sense of smell”. “Skunk gas?” Carl asked. Aja looked at him with a smile. “It's good stuff”. Sunny then brought the meeting to a conclusion. “Well have to do a bit of fighting,but once we're a mile out-he paused-That's where the fun begins”.

The goal was to take over the realm fighters home base. Their air support wasn't going to risk bombing their own base,and taking control of it will give the guys the upper hand in negotiations. Simply put. Home base was at this point the Capital of Galil,and they needed to take control.

Let's move out!” Sunny commanded. The crew headed for the end of the cave. Carl still had tons of questions. “I still don't get it” he started. “Get what?” Aja asked. “If the realm and Galil are planted into our consciousness. How can it be real?” Nola walked up beside them. “Life is a level of consciousness” she added. “Yeah but Life on earth is real” Carl replied. Tara walked ahead of the three. She turned back and chimed in. “Ask yourself this. Can you live life unconsciously?” “Of course not” Carl answered. “That means it's a level of consciousness”. “The realm is a sovereign State” added Nola. “Meaning?” “Meaning the laws here are different than those of our world” said Tara. “Then it is another world”. “Sure it is” added Era- “It's another state of mind. For that matter there is more than one realm,but this is the one everyone wants to conquer”.

And why is saving this world so important?” Geo was walking behind and decided to add his thoughts. “Because our world is two dimensional. Galil is one of those dimensions.” “It would be like being colorblind” Mike added. “If Galil falls into the hands of the realm fighters,who feel that Galil is their right. Our earth could suddenly become flat,or we could lose the sun” said Aja. Sunny stopped and turned to Carl. “When Timothy Leary experimented with LSD. He found Galil. He invited members of the United States government to take a trip with him. Only a handful dared to. Galil has been a secret sovereign State ever since”.

What's to keep anyone who has been here from letting the secret out?” Geo raised his hand. “Who's going to believe an alcoholic,or substance abuser?” “Okay” said Sunny. “We're about two miles from ground zero. Tara,Mike,and Era will come with me. The rest will go with Aja. Geo. As soon as we exit this cave,you do your thing”. Geo nodded. “Okay. Let's do this.

Activate invisio-shields” said Aja. “Geo. You and Nola head out first. Keep communications with Era. Be prepared for a fight. Carl. You and I will head into the belly of the beast. Everyone power up”. Aja and Carl headed into dangerous territory. “Is your phone on vibrate?” Aja asked. “Of course,but I must say. Fighting a war with a cell phone for communications. Different”. “So what do you do in the other world” Aja asked. “I'm a social worker. You?” “I drive an Uber”. “Oh. So how long you been a part of this army?” “Three years”. “You mean this war has been going on for three years?” “Galil is always under attack from some external realm looking to invade ours”. “why are they called,realm fighters?” “That's what they are. Well actually they come from different universes”. “So they're aliens?” “Yep. All those UFO reports you hear about. They are all real”.

Man. Nobody would believe me if I were to tell them about all this. Holy. That's the whole idea of an army of alcoholics and druggies. I get it now”. Aja raised her hand signaling silence.

She pointed in front of her. Carl looked to see an official looking building that seemed to have sustained no damage. Her phone vibrated. It was a text. Geo released the skunk gas. Nola texted that the Rf's air support was in route. She signaled for Carl to kneel. When he did she kissed him. He was surprised. “That's in-case we don't make it back.” “I'm old enough to be your grandfather” he whispered. “I'm forty three” Aja replied. “I'm sixty”. She was surprised. “You look so young”. Some Rf solders were surveying the area. They were getting close to the two. They both received a text that read,put your mask on. They did. Suddenly a cloud of smoke. It was skunk gas. Aja motioned and the two ran to their left before taking cover. They were just feet away from the parameter. Aja texted their position to the other two. Sunny texted her back. He texted that the Rf air support had heat indicators which would give off their positions. He told them to hunker in place,and to activate the 024M heat sensor resistor. This would allow them to not be seen. Even with the heat sensors. The only problem is that the 024M would become inoperable as long as the resistor was activated. They would have to use their glocks. Sunny texted them to stay put until further notice,or until the Rf air support was out of range.

The two sat and went to their rations. “So Carl. You married. Got kids?”. Carl looked at Aja. “You kissed me back there,and now you want to know if I'm married,or have kids?” Aja shrugged. “This is war. All is fair in love and war”. “Well. I'm not and never was married,and I don't have any kids”. “Wow. I mean you're sixty. Time is running down,wouldn't you think?” Carl kind of tilted his head. “Well. My views on love,life,relationships,are somewhat confusing”. “Meaning?” Now it was time to come clean to someone Carl felt he may have a chance with. He inhaled deeply and exhaled. “I've had all kind of relationships. Gay,strait. I was never really satisfied. I guess it's because,as a kid. My family never really had a relationship with one another. We just lived together,and shared the occasional holiday together,but there wasn't really a family dynamic”.

Aja nodded in agreement. “I know the feeling. I never really knew the true meaning of relationship. I was in an abusive relationship for ten years. No kids. Just drama”.

How about your Moms,pops,siblings?” Carl asked. I grew up in the foster system. I never knew my parents,or whether I had any siblings”. At that moment Carl felt closer to Aja. They were both dealing with life on their own. Alone. Searching. At that moment the two were covered by a shadow. They looked up to see an Rf air support ship shaped like an H. Carl received a text from Aja saying that the airships had sonar. The two remained very still,as the airship slowly passed over them. They both received a text from Nola stating that the airships were making the rounds in three minute intervals. They watched,as the airship moved further away. “Three minutes. That gives us enough time to make our way in,and set an entrance for the others” said Aja. “I thought Sunny wanted us to remain in place?”. Aja was becoming impatient. She was one that craved action. She texted Sunny while looking at her watch. Carl looked at his watch. Less than two minutes before the next airship makes the rounds.

Sunny texted both of them to wait until the next airship passes. At that moment they would have just enough invisio-shield power to get them by the parameter security. Nola and Geo would join them. Sunny and the rest would attack from the opposite end to cause a distraction. All eight would have to make it inside,or no less than six for an overtaking of the building to work. It would be a dogfight,and there were no guarantees. Aja prepared herself. Carl did the same. “Well. I guess it's go time” he stated. Aja smiled. She enjoyed the battle. “This is when the fun starts” she replied. At that moment an airship threw them into darkness. The two remained still as it slowly passed over them,shining a light which appeared to be infrared. Aja made Carl acknowledge the light,and the two would move out of its way. The light would miss them by just inches. At one point the airship stopped in mid-air,and the light began to scan the area for a second time. “What about the invisio-shields” Carl asked. “No chance with the infra-red”.

The two managed to stay out of its way as the airship continued on. That's when Geo and Nola appeared out of the bushes. “You found us” said Carl. “It's called GPS tracking” Nola replied. “I knew that”. Geo kept tabs on the parameter,and how difficult it was going to be to get in. Their invisio-shields didn't have enough charge to keep them invisible. Sixty minutes at the most. There were 35 to 40 Realm fighters both in and outside of the building. There were prisoners in the basement,and Geo had information that there may be a traitor in the building assisting the Rf. “Who is this guy?” Aja asked. Geo wasn't sure,but he thought that it had to be a planet official. “There are only a few that speak the language of the RF” he stated. “But there are many realms. How would they know who they're dealing with?” Aja asked. Geo shrugged. “Either they worked for the United nations,which have access to the various realm languages,or they set up this invasion in an attempt to become the realm leader”. “That is deep” said Carl. Nola sent Sunny a text with Geo's revelations. Sunny was by no means a happy camper.

He recalled being visited by a member of the G7. That member had appeared almost jealous of Sunny. Sunny then remembered that when this G7 member returned,he suggested that Sunny be relieved of his duties. “That sounds like a traitor to me” said Carl. Geo said that there were 15 to 20 RF with more than four appendages. “That's like eight against sixty” said Nola. “This isn't going to be easy people” said Aja. “What do you suggest we do” Carl asked. “Scan the building. See if there's another point of entry from this side. Something less conspicuous” said Aja.

Carl took out his night vision binoculars and began scanning the building. Sunny sent Aja a text stating that they had found an entrance to the emergency bunker. Aja texted back that they would attempt to find an entrance to the bunker from their end. An airship was making the rounds. The four kept still. Avoiding the search lights. When the coast was clear Aja spoke. “Sunny said he found an entrance to the bunker”. “Found? Asked Carl. He's the governor. Shouldn't he have known that?” “For security reasons the locations of the external entrances are held confidential” added Nola.

He texted that they were about 60 to a hundred yards from the parameter” Aja continued. “We're about thirty yards out,but how do we know that area isn't secure with RF?” asked Geo. “We don't” Aja replied- “But if we find it we can flash bang it to clear it out”. “Sure that's going to work?” asked Nola. “No,but it's better than walking into hellfire”. The four searched around their side of the now Capital building. Making sure to be still when the airships made their rounds. Aja told the three to move in different directions,and text if they found it. Also they had to watch for landmines. Geo said that the mines were most likely 20 to 25 yards out,and there would be no landmines in the vicinity of the bunker entrance. “That would be counter productive” said Carl.

Geo texted the three to meet him at 45 degrees north of the parameter. Everyone had to be careful not to be seen by the airships. They also had to make sure to stay out of the range of the parameter security. Their invisio-shields had less than 40 minutes of power left. Aja was the last of the three to arrive at Geo's point. He pointed at a cylinder just before his feet. “Is that?”-”looks like it” he shot. Aja stepped forward. Knelt in front of it,reached her fingers under it,and attempted to lift it. “It's not budging” she said.

Carl and Geo knelt. Both of them examined the cylinder to see if it had buttons,or if it turned. Anything to get it to open. They came up empty. “Maybe you have to open it from the inside” said Nola. Aja texted Sunny to see if he found a way to open the one on their side. He returned a text that said,somewhere close to the parameter was a hidden keypad. He didn't know where,or what the combination might be. Aja conveyed this to the crew. “Can anyone tell me just who planned this failed mission?” Carl asked. “If we find it,then maybe I could crack it” said Nola. “We don't have a lot of time. Our invisio-shields will run for less than 30 minutes” said Aja. Another airship was overhead. The four remained still. Suddenly Carl decided to go Kamikaze. “Meet you inside” he said turning off his shield and running behind the airship.

Aja's eyes went big. Nola and Geo couldn't believe theirs. The airship came to a midair halt. A light was shinned down on Carl who began shooting at it. At that moment parameter security all headed in his direction. Carl moved his 60 year old legs like he was twenty five. Aja saw the opportunity. “Let's go let's go” she said leading the three hurriedly towards the parameter. She chose not to run,but simply walk quickly. Geo and Nola had her nine,her three,and her six. Seems the RF were good in protecting the parameter,but they weren't very smart. Carl had no idea where he was headed,but the plan was to make it to the other end and give Sunny and his crew a chance to make a break. Carl activated his invisio-shield. He had about 15 to 20 minutes left. He needed something to throw off the Rf's sense of smell. They were closing in fast,and the airship remained above.

He managed to knockout the search light,but it had been repaired or replaced seconds later. He thought about tossing a grenade. That's just what he did. He tossed two. One behind him and one up towards the airship. He then ran as fast as he could. He realized,or should I say,his knees reminded him of his age. He was in pain. He was hardly able to walk,let alone run. He checked and prepared his 024M. He looked back to see that there were still a number of Rf fighters following. The airship sustained minimal damage and maintained its presence. Carl was running out of options. Now he knew what it felt like at the OK Corral. He continued to move in the direction he planned on moving. He had two grenades left. He knew it was crunch time. The question was,just who would be doing the crunching?

He received a text from Sunny telling him to stay put. Era and Mike were headed in his direction. That was a relief. His knees were hurting bad,and he had to take a seat in the bush. He held his weapon as he noticed parameter security getting closer. He looked up to see the airship directing it's search lights right at him. He had about ten minutes left on his invisio-shield. He had no choice but to use it and hope that Era and Mike would find him before he became a victim of the Rf.

Aja and the other two were cautiously making their way to the command center,or at least searching for it. Every now and then they would run into security. The ones that looked like humans were easy to overtake,but the ones with the extra appendages posed a slight problem,because it took more ammunition to incapacitate them. That and the fact that they never really knew if the enemy was eliminated due to the fact that they would play dead.

Carl could hear shots being fired not too far from his location. He knew it must be the cavalry. He began making his way slowly in the direction of the shots. In case the two needed some backup. His invisio-shield was losing power,and he would sporadically become visible. The Rf's began firing in his direction. He continued to move while firing back on occasion. The airship began dropping detonations in his area. He was in a bad situation. He looked at his watch and the jump button. Any longer and he would have to use it. Suddenly someone grabbed him by the shoulder,and without hesitation he turned and hit them with the butt of his 024m.

It was Mike. Carl immediately apologized,and Mike shook it off. Mike grabbed Carl by the wrist and pressed his jump button. A second later the two were standing in front of Sunny and Tara. That was the first time Carl had experienced the situation jump button. He thought it was awesome,except for one thing. “If we can do this. How come we just can't jump into the building?”-”You can only jump to a place you've previously been”Tara answered. Sunny let the others know that Aja,Nola,and Geo were in the building thanks to Carl. “That was both incredibly brave,and incredibly stupid” Era added as she walked up to join the rest. “It's nice to see you again as well” said Carl.

Era wasn't smiling as she became animated. “Not only did you put yourself in danger,but you put Aja and the crew in danger,and you left us here having too alter our plans to get you out of a jam!”- “Well excuse the hell out of me for attempting to put something into motion here. Seems like there is no plan” he countered showing some animation of his own- “The governor here has got as much idea about what to do than”- He was interrupted by the very person whose name he had said in vain. Sunny walked up and got face to face with Carl. “If you got a problem with how I run this operation,then you can hit that button on your shirt pocket and head on back to comfort”. “I wouldn't have a problem if you were actually running an operation”. “Is that right!!- “THAT'S ENOUGH!!” Tara interjected. “We got a crew inside that building that has a situation of it's own. If we don't help them,they'll have to abandon,and then we're back to square one”. “She's right” Mike added- “We got to get inside and finish this thing”.All the bickering had cost them their position. An airship had honed in on their location,and hit them with a spot light. They all pointed their weapons at the ship and started firing. They managed to knock out the spot light which gave them enough time to hit their invisio-shields,but there was only enough power for about five minutes.

Aja and the other two had hidden in what seemed to be the furnace area. This gave them time to regroup and figure out how to get to the other end where they could let the the rest of the troops in. Nola spotted something that could be the answer to their prayers.

Parameter security was closing in,and several shots were being fired in their direction. One of the amazing features on the 024m,was it's ability to fire GPS ammo. This would seek out the enemy and make a direct hit. Still it took more ammo at times to finish some of the Rf fighters due to their multi appendages. They had to attempt to take out the humanoids first. Sunny asked Mike if he felt that between the two of them there would be enough strength to open the bunker hatch. “That hatch is spring loaded. If I'm not mistaken,the resistance can be as much five thousand pounds”. The airships spotlight was once again operational. Carl stared at the airship. Contemplating. “Has anyone else noticed that those things really aren't that advanced?” “Meaning?' Era asked. I'm not sure,but like anything. There has to be a weak spot”. “Yeah,but we don't have time to figure it out” said Tara. Once again they found themselves under enemy fire. Everyone fired towards the Rf fighters except Carl. He was looking through the scope on his weapon at the airship. As the spotlight hit them,he saw something that he thought may have been the brains of the ship. It was just a guess,but he set his 024m to spread. That meant that the bullet would hit its target and explode. He fired. The bullet hit. Nothing. Ten seconds went by. Suddenly the airship began to split into four pieces. Mike,Sunny,Era,and Tara,looked up in astonishment. Carl looked back at the four and said,”I saw that in a movie once”.

Nola,Geo,and Aja found some maintenance uniforms. They strapped their weapons on their backs and casually walked through the building in the hopes that no one would notice that they were the good guys. They kept their voices down when speaking to one another. “I'm going to see if I can make it to the opposite end and let the others in. You two look for command central” said Aja.

Sunny received a text from Aja. He passed on the update. They were still under periodic fire,and it was certain that another airship would be headed in their direction. “We need to move towards that back entrance” he advised. “Maybe the hero has an idea” said Era sarcastically. “Hey. I didn't volunteer for this,so I'd like to get it done so I can go home” was Carl's reply.

You think it's that easy? Mike asked- you're in the army now”. “I was in the army forty years ago. This realm crap is just a bad dream that comes to an end once this dumb poorly planned mission is over”.

Nola and Geo made their way around the building looking for the command central room. They walked passed many Rf fighters that looked like any other person from their realm. Occasionally an Rf fighter with multiple appendages would walk by and give the two a strange look. “I don't know about you,but those type make me nervous” said Nola. “You're right to be nervous. They can sense we're not one of them. We have to act quick” said Geo.

Aja made her way to the back entrance. She made it appear as if she was checking one of the building lights. She looked to her right,and that's where she saw what seemed to be the cells where the prisoners were being held. She sent a text to Sunny letting him know what she thought she saw,and her position. She received a text from Geo saying that they had to act fast.

She texted Geo that she thought that she found where the prisoners were being held. She texted him the location,and said that it may be better if they attempted to free them,and find where their weapons are being held. Geo felt that the idea was worth trying.

Aja's at the back door. She thinks she's found where the prisoners are being held” said Sunny. “How about you guys make a go for it” suggested Carl-”I'll hold the fort down and cause a distraction”. “I'll stay with him” said Tara. An airship was approaching. “It's now or never” said Mike. The three made a break for the parameter,while Tara and Carl fired at the Rf and their airship. Carl told Tara to aim just left of the searchlight.

Nola followed Geo's lead. The two quickly and smoothly headed back to the furnace room. Geo looked around until he found another door. The two went through it and found that they were Just feet away from the area were the comrades were being held. There were three Rf on security. One with multi appendages,and two humanoid. The two ducked back into the room. “How'd you know they were there”? Nola asked. “No time for that. Look around for drawers,or closets,or anyplace where someone might hide keys,or tools like a crowbar”.

Aja noticed the airship splitting apart. That was her cue. She made a mad dash down towards the window. One of the captives had his head on the bars. He looked at Aja with skepticism. “She looked towards the parameter to see that the security was still busy. “I'll make this quick. I'm one of you. Were getting you out,just be prepared”. He looked at her. “I know where the weapons are”. That was good news. She noticed an Rf soldier heading her way. She pretended to be checking the communications cable. The soldier said something in Rf language. She had no idea what he,or it was saying. It repeated the sentence louder this time. That's when the prisoner she was conversing with replied to the soldier. The soldier walked over annoyed and got nose to nose with the prisoner. Aja took out her weapon and hit the soldier over the head. The prisoner pulled it in closer with force. Causing the fighter to bang his head on the bars. He then went into it's pockets. He took a set of keys out and tossed them to another prisoner. He then let the soldier go who fell to the ground. The action didn't go unnoticed,as a some Rf fighters began firing in Aja's direction. A siren alarm went off in the building. Sunny and the rest had crossed the parameter with Carl and Tara not far behind. The prisoners exited the cell,over powered the security and went to a door just to right of them. The soldier with the multiple appendages had the upper hand. Geo and Nola could hear the commotion. “Sounds like an invitation” said Nola as the two flung their weapons to the ready and stepped out to join the party.

The soldier with the keys opened the door to expose a horde of weapons. Still there was the issue of the command central. The leader of the imprisoned soldiers lead Aja,Geo and Nola in that direction. His name was Ben. He was first commander of the Rf resistance fighters. They stopped long enough for Aja to text Sunny and let him know that they were headed for the command central. The Rf airships were bringing reinforcements. The party was just getting started. All eight of the crew were now in the building,and the freed prisoners,now had the upper hand,but the enemy was re-loading. They had to find the command room. Sunny,Era,and Mike were already on it. Sunny had been there a couple of times, so he kind of new the layout.

Aja was in a bit of a predicament with Rf fighters coming at her from all sides. She worked her fighting magic,and looked like an acrobat as she would shoot and fight her way back towards the door. Some of the Rf fighters turned their attention away from Aja,and towards Carl and Tara who were approaching fast from the opposite end. Geo and Nola were giving some extra fire power to the comrades. Geo noticed that the airships were delivering reinforcements,and had an idea. He hit his jump button and returned to an area just outside the parameter. He hid behind some trees and watched as one by one the airships floated by and dropped Rf paratroopers. He reached into his belt and took out a little bag of tricks. He quickly put a charge together that would be a little surprise. He laid a small wooden square on the ground before him. On top he attached a diamond shaped metal rod about a foot high. He then reached back into his belt and took out a black bag with a small,but long black hose. He connected the hose to the metal rod. The top of the metal rod had three antenna looking rods which he pointed one in the direction of the standing airship. Another pointed in the direction of the on coming airship,and the third pointed towards the direction where the Rf paratroopers were landing. Geo then set a timer for 60 seconds. He then hit his jump button and returned to Nola's location.

What. You take a bathroom break?” she asked in the midst of combat.

Aja,Tara and Carl had their hands full when there came three loud booms. Two airships exploded into pieces,and Rf fighters and paratroopers were blown to bits. The three saw their chance,and ran into the building.

Sunny,Mike,and Era found the command center. The door was massive steel and locked. “We need Geo and Nola” said Sunny. He sent a text to Geo and Tara,telling them how to get to the command center. Tara left Carl and Aja to hold down the fort while she assisted Sunny and the others. Geo and Nola left the freed comrades to take up the rest of the fight while they headed to the command central.

Aja and Carl had defeated many of the Rf fighters,but the 024m was running low on power. Ammo was never an issue with the weapon,but it needed to be recharged every 3 to five days for up to twelve hours. They both ran inside,closed the doors and headed into the direction of the command central. There was carnage everywhere,and the two made it to the door of the command central just as Geo and Nola did. Sunny gestured for Geo. “What can you do with this?” he asked. Nola walked with him.”I got an idea” she said. She raised her left sleeve to reveal two watches. Mike chose to give his weapon a break,and went into hand to hand mode. It wasn't long before Tara was using her Israeli fighting techniques from the rear. Sunny thought the two needed some assistance,he went over to lend a hand. “What's your plan?” Geo asked. “This door has a cylinder code lock. Maybe I can override it” was her reply.

Through all the commotion,Era had managed to slip away. She turned on the locator search on her GPS app. It lead her to a small room which had a fire escape type ladder that lead to an upper room which held what would be the turning point of this operation. She would have to use her pistol and fighting techniques to manage. There was a little power left in the 024m,but it wouldn't be enough.

Nola made several attempts to crack the code to the lock of the command central door, but to no avail. Geo put together a detonation device with a fuse,but he didn't think that it would work. The door was just too thick. The Rf fighters inside the building had been for the most part defeated. At that moment Ben showed up with a couple of comrades. “There's a bunch of men outside taking care of the reinforcements. What's it look like here?” he asked. “We're trying to get the door open” Sunny replied as they all looked on. Sunny looked around and noticed something wasn't right. “Anybody seen Era?”

The room had brick walls and two doors. One on the left side the room. The other on the right. The room was about forty yards long and ten yards wide. There were two windows just to the left of where Era entered. She closed the entrance to the room,so that she could investigate it undisturbed.

Everybody took cover as Geo lit the fuse. That is. Everyone but Ben. He stepped on the fuse putting it out. Geo looked at him shaking his head inquisitively. “There's a better way” Ben added.

The two windows in the room were sealed shut with metal window size plates. Era went to the door closest to her. It took some effort,but she eventually managed to open it. It was another room. In it was a desk. On it a desktop monitor and a mouse. There was a chair on the floor, a file cabinet,and room long monitor on the wall. Era first turned on the desktop monitor. Simultaneously the wall monitor came on. There was a page being showed that read,”Operation Realm”. She walked over to the file cabinet and opened it. There were of course,files. She took one out that read,”Phase one”.

Ben reached into his pocket and took out a Phillips screwdriver. He inserted it into the cylinder lock and fiddled around for a minute before having an eureka smile on his face. Suddenly a click. He motioned for everyone to take a position. Then he turned the screwdriver and opened the heavy door. Everyone pointed their weapon to whatever was on the other side of that door.

Era sat in the chair and had gone through several of the files. She also found the files on the desktop and projected them unto the wall monitor. She was in shock and disbelief at what she was reading. It seems that the Realm was a G7 inspired operation to examine the brain functions of those with substance abuse. Era found evidence that the functional fortitude of the substance abuser was much more than that of those that didn't,or have never used,or abused a substance. Even cigarette smokers were tested in a different realm. Sexual preference along with religious beliefs were being separately tested in other realms. Seems the goal of these experiments were to differentiate,and separate individuals,and create different classes. Those deemed the lesser classes would eventually be weeded out,or exterminated. It was to be a systematic form of societal cleansing,or genocide,sanctioned by the worlds governments.

Everyone slowly lowered their weapons once they realized what was behind the massive door. Nothing. Absolutely nothing. The room was the size of a small closet,and there was nothing in it. “Your kidding right?” Carl asked. Ben felt around to see if there were any hidden doors,or entrance ways. Nothing. “I don't get it” said Aja. “I do”. Everyone turned to see Era standing there with a few papers in her hand. She walked forward and handed the papers to Carl. She looked around to see where Sunny was standing,but he was no where to be found. Aja,Ben, Mike,Geo,Nola,and Tara all stood around Carl,looking over his shoulder.

The revelation suddenly became a horrifying realization...

The phone alarm went off. It was 6 am. Carl yawned,stretched,and looked around. He was home,or was he? He was confused. The phone rang. It startled him. He looked at it on the night stand. He answered. “Hello?” “Mr Advent. It's your driver.”

It was a woman's voice. I'll be there at the usual time.” “Who is this?” he asked. “Your driver. I'll be there at the usual time.” Carl looked around. It looked like his apartment. Was it really just all a dream?

 He took a shower,made coffee, and ate a muffin. It all seemed to be his world,but it felt so strange. He got dressed. He remembered his job at the care center. An hour went by. There was a honk downstairs. He went to the window,and that's when it hit him. The world outside was unfamiliar. It was like another realm. He looked down at the car. 

He saw the Uber sign in the windshield,but the car had no tires. It was a hover car. The driver door opened and a woman looked out. It was Aja. “Good morning Mr. Advent” she said. She was dressed in a simple blouse and jeans. He saw no signs of tattoos,and her hair was longer. Carl was perplexed. He went to his closet to retrieve his shoes,and there it was. The 024m. Propped up in the corner of the closet. There was an envelope attached to it. Carl took it,opened it,and in capitol letters it read, “End phase one”...

© 2019 john Robinson

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Added on September 8, 2019
Last Updated on September 8, 2019
Tags: Dream, realm, army, fighting, soldiers, alcohol, drugs, abuse, worlds, dimension, fantasy, fiction


john Robinson
john Robinson

Jamaica, NY

I like being me,but I despise my life. It's the old saying,"if it weren't for bad luck,I would have no luck at all". Then again I did spend twenty one years in Germany after I left the army. I did tou.. more..