Stars and Stripes (Working Title) 4

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The night was uneventful after his odd dream. Erik studied the stars and mapped the meteor showers. High tech slow motion cameras caught everything on film that could be seen from one end of his sky to the other. He would have more time to pour over the details later. With all this equipment Erik was able to just relax and enjoy the show himself. The equipment would capture everything he needed. He settled into his chair and gazed through his open roof at the night sky. After natures fireworks ceased he shut up the room and fell over his bed. He didn't even bother to get under the covers. He fell asleep dreaming about meteors and space travel.

Over the next week results poured in from all over the globe regarding what was seen and studies about what was recorded. Erik poured over his data and compared it to the studies coming in. There were the usual comments about UFO sightings because apparently drunk rednecks can't tell the difference between a comet and meteor and a flying saucer.

Then a report out of Colorado caught his eye. A well respected astronomer noted some out of order comets at around 2:37 am MT/ 1:37 am PT. Erik pulled his recorder and focused on the half hour before and after this time note. In fact there were a few streaks of light that seemed to be contrary to the pattern. They would stand still, follow the stream, go against the stream. Then they would streak across the landscape. It was interesting. He pulled the high resolution camera footage and found the same thing but they have the distinct shape of being perfectly round with no clear tail/trail behind them.

This footage wasn't entirely unusual. Various records over the decades had shown that when several meteors collide with each other on large scale showers that some can bounce off in different directions while entering earths atmosphere causing light to steak in various directions. What was odd about this set was the frequencies of these anomalies and the few that seemed to stand still for moments at a time. This could be a result of gravity, much like a plane flying against the wind can appear to be standing still for a few moments before either accelerating or changing course.

This would require more looking into. There was a knock at the door that interrupted his thoughts. He didn't recall ordering anything to be shipped today but it was unlike him to forget sometimes, he had so many orders out there from time to time. When he approached the screen door there were two kids, high school age from the looks of it, wearing black and metal. Piercings showing on various facial extremities. They seemed to be quite nervous about something. He approached cautiously. "How can I help you?" He started.

"Are you Erik Schelding?" the kids asked timidly.

"Yes, I am. What can I do for you?" Erik felt that they were more afraid of him than he was of them, that gave him some power and he approached the door.

"We visit this hillside from time to time, there is a camp we go to during the summers. We were told to come talk to you. One of the other kids said you know a lot about science and stars and stuff." They still seemed quite nervous. Erik opened the door and motioned them inside.

"You could say I know a thing or two about science and stars... and stuff... what can I do for you?" Erik offered them a seat and some soda.

It had been a few months since he'd tutored anyone, although he doubted that's what these two had in mind. Still it could be fun to see where this intrusion was leading.

"We saw the meteor shower last night and something happened..." They turned and looked at each other and then back to Erik. "... We don't understand it, but maybe you could help."

Where could this be going? Erik held their stare for a few moments. "OK, you have my attention, spit it out, what happened?"

"I don't know where to start..."The young man said, the girl held his arm tight. "... we were alone and doing playing a game. Suddenly there was this light flash and she... " pointing to the young lady "... disappeared."

"I see..." Erik felt the blood drain from his face. More light flashing and weird things? So it wasn't just him.

"That's weird enough." the girl took over but when the light flash I was not at the camp anymore. I was on a cold hard metal bed, in a dark room, with a blinding light in my face. I could make out shadows but that's it."

"Normally..." Erik interrupted "I would stop you there and say that you two had been drinking and be done with you... but there just so happens to be a few strange things going on in this mountain today so I'll hear you out... then what?"

Well I could make out these shadows and they looked like... well... I don't want to admit this... I'm a straight A student... They looked like aliens. Straight Roswell stuff." Then she sat back and fiddled with her fingers. The boy prodded her to continue. "They told me that there were people on this planet holding back the evolution of our species and they may be forced to remove them if we don't get them in line."

"Well... " Erik sat back and pondered... "is that all to the story?"

"Yes, pretty much. There was another flash of light and I was back with him. She motioned. The boy nodded.

"I'm sorry to ask this, but were you drinking?" Erik asked.

"Yes... but only one beer each, far less than our usual weekend night." the boy replied.

"Around what time did this occur?" Erik questioned further.

"Well that's the weird thing. Both our watches stopped working at the exact same time last night, we assume it was after the flashes." They handed over the watches... both digital. They weren't off or blank. They were simply stopped. 1:35 am PT. That was too much of a coincidence. "Would you mind if I kept these for further analysis?" The kids both said that he could keep them. They didn't want to see them anymore, too weird.

"What assistance do you believe I can be in this matter?" Erik asked.

"We're not sure, but we didn't want to tell the kids at school, or our parents, the police would laugh us off... some of the other kids from the camp grounds that we trust thought you might help in some way to help us grasp what happened. We felt like we needed to tell someone. Now that we did we'd just assume forget it happened and move on... too weird man... to weird..."

Erik took out a piece of paper and wrote down their contact information. "Where are you staying up here?"

"Off of Sulphur Springs Rd. at Horse Flats." the young man replied.

"I didn't catch your names?" Erik asked.

"John Buchner but everyone calls me JB. And this is Lucy Tartanion."

"JB, Lucy, it was an interesting time I had here, pleasure meeting you both. If I can be of any further assistance let me know. I'd like to take some time to look at these watches and get back to you." Erik said.

They nodded and left.

This trip up the hill was just getting weirder and weirder... unfortunately, unlike the kids, he wasn't so inclined to brush it off and pretend it didn't happen. He wanted to know more.

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Stars and Stripes (Working Title) 3

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It was now 11:33pm... and Erik suddenly woke up. He was wide awake. As though he hadn't been sleeping at all. The coffee machine wouldn't be starting for another few minutes and the alarm wouldn't be ringing for at least 15 minutes or so. But he felt awake. Wide awake. More awake than he'd felt in a very long time, as he typically only slept a few hours a night and worked incessantly.

Erik sat up in the chair and looked about the room. Nothing seemed out of the ordinary. Nothing seemed disturbed or moved. But he suddenly felt very, very awake. He also felt a strong sense of anticipation combined with foreboding. At the same time he didn't feel like some stalker would burst through the door at any minute or anything like that. Then, faintly at first, a small light appeared in front of his eyes. He thought that a firefly must have gotten through the screen door. But the light grew brighter and brighter.

Then with a flash it was so bright he couldn't see anything, at all. Eyes open or closed, it didn't matter, he saw nothing. Then as quickly as it came it was gone. His eye sight started to return and the room came into focus. Erik sat back and rubbed his eyes and waited for the room to quit spinning in his mind. He closed his eyes and opened them several times. Finally his vision cleared. As he started to sit back the silence was broken by a soft low voice coming from the couch across from him. "Hello Erik." Erik jumped; nearly out of his skin! The voice wasn't shocking in and of itself. It was actually quite calm. But he had been alone. Who was there. He turned to look at the couch and there was a man, dressed in a white suit with blue and red pin stripes. It could have been a patriotic suit, but it was also first class. There was nothing tacky about it. He wore a matching bowler cap and one hand rested on a cane. At second glance the cane looked like a walking stick more than a cane. It was longer than the average cane.

The man sat back, comfortably on the couch and let Erik adjust to the sight. He was too stunned to say anything. "Don't worry, your not crazy..." the man said. "No I'm not here to attack you either..." the man said. It was as if he was responding my very thoughts. "Yes I'm really here..." Ok now that was just weird how did he know... "Because I can read your thoughts as though they were spoken."

A moment of silence then passed as the two men examined one another and stared into each others eyes. There was something kind about this man's eyes. As though he were older than he looked and maybe wiser. "OK..." Erik started. "I'm not crazy, or hallucinating, or whatever... " How did you get in here and what do you want? And what sort of device creates a flash that bright? Who do you work for?" Erik realized that was too many questions and the man must have a point in being here so he stopped and waited.

The man in the suit spend a moment or two studying Erik before responding. "I work for me. There is no device. How I got here is not important." The man let that sink in. "In fact, who I am in not important either, for now. You wouldn't understand right now anyway. Let me just say that I am well connected and I've been watching you for some time. What I'm interested in is truth young man. Nothing more, nothing less. You are talented beyond the skill of others in your field. You have insight that surpasses those within the limits of government bureaucracies. However..." The man took a few moments to let that settle. "I am not interested in your talents or education as much as I am interested in your insight. You have been created with the ability to see what others fail to see. But you give too much credit to that which you see and fail to see things that are right in front of you. Therefore that which you see could lead you to believe that, that which you see is true when it is in fact false. Do you see?"

"I think so?" Replied Erik

"Good!" the man continued with a lift of excitement. "You don't yet but you will. I came here to warn you. You are about to see things that are not what they appear to be. Take a healthy and liberal dose of skepticism into the next few months. Don't believe your eyes, your instruments, or your colleagues. However, trust your heart and your belly. When you get the gut feeling that something isn't right, don't just brush it off. Follow that instinct. You will find more than you saw at first. Trust that feeling. Do you understand?"

"Yes, I believe so." replied Erik.

"Good!" the man said again with a warm grin, he was an excitable fellow if ever there was one. He waited a few moments and studied Erik's face again. "Your coffee is waiting for you, enjoy the meteor shower ok?"

FLASH! Again with the bright lights...

Erik woke up to the smell of expensive Colombian coffee and a buzzing sound coming from the granite counter top. It was his alarm going off. It had been a dream! But it felt so real, more real than any dream he'd ever experienced. It must be the mountain air combined with a few bottles of Guinness. It was time to get up and get the recorder on before the meteorite shower started up.

The dream quickly faded but something gnawed at him about it still. He'd have to reconsider those dream books and see if your mind really did try to communicate with you through sleep. What could it mean though. What was with the red, white, and blue? "I guess I need to take fourth of July more seriously..." He mused to himself.

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Stars and Stripes (Working Title) 2

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It was on a Monday after locking himself away for 10 days solid that Erik decided to come up for air. It was a cool evening and the stars were just coming out. He hopped in his trusty Dodge Ram, packed full of star gazing equipment, and headed up the mountain on Hwy 2 to his cabin in the Angeles Crest Mountains. He was receiving enough income from his books, published works, and speaking engagements that he didn't have to work on any specific thing at the moment. That didn't keep him from staying busy and working on projects. Erik bought an entire hillside in the mountains for himself just to keep away from the lights of neighbors. That way he could work with the sky at any time of year. He also built a modest observatory. Nothing fancy mind you, but it was enough.

After stopping at Newcombs Ranch Restaurant and Bar for quick bite to eat he worked his way up to his secluded mountain top. He turned his cell phone on silent and never bothered installing a land line. Who wanted to be reached in a place like this? Besides he used internet network phones to check voice mails from time to time just in case an important message came through.

It was about 8pm on a cool summer evening. The stars were starting to show, although on top of the mountain it stayed light a little later because the sun had no where to hide. It was now starting to darken as the stars became brighter. There was no moon tonight. Perfect, clear skies. As he set up the equipment he noticed a letter he had nearly forgotten about. He didn't know why he kept it. After all this time. These was one girl that he let himself get attached to. She wrote him a letter to break it off because he was so wrapped up in his projects that he didn't even notice her pack and leave that day. He can't say that he regrets the incident. He was on the verge of a new discovery, he was always on the verge of a new discovery. She was important to him, but he just didn't have time for her. She figured that out too. So she left. Still... there was a tinge of guilt and sadness at the sight of the letter. Mostly, he kept it around, he guessed, to remind himself not to get caught up in these types of relationships again. Too costly. Too distracting.

After everything was set up he sat back on a reclining lazyboy and waited. It would be three hours exactly before the meteor shower would begin tonight. In fact meteors were known as meteoroids when in space and meteorites when entering earth's atmosphere; but people generally called them meteors and Erik wasn't such a stuck up geek that he couldn't oblige a common name for ease of conversation. A very exiting one it was made out to be too. Projection were that this years shower would be heavier and more visible in his part of the sky than every before. Erik decided to take a few hours and rest. The alarm on the desk would wake him and start the coffee machine a few minutes before so he could get right to work. With that he closed his eyes and imagined what it would be like to work on the Enterprise.

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Stars and Stripes (Working Title) 1

In and around you is a world you've never seen, but you always knew it was there. It wasn't obvious to your physical senses but you've had the feeling that there was more. You never really understood it, never knew what to believe. There are so many opinions. So many documentaries. So many "sightings". What do you believe?

Eric Schelding didn't know what to believe either. It was the summer after his last year of college. He graduated  Summa Cum Laude (with highest honor) from MIT. Eric was a major in EAPS (Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences. Eric was a serious student. He spent very little time fraternizing with other students. Although all his fellow graduates were considered the best of the best they all thought too small. Eric felt their biases were too many to make them worth spending too much time with. He kept to his books and reports. He had already published 137 major scientific papers on space science and 13 books on the subject of space and space travel.

Eric was skeptical of any of the UFO sightings common people bought into, however he couldn't help conjecturing that with so many star systems some must also have sparked some time of life. The mathematical odds of any life evolving to be self aware and developing twice were literally astronomical. It was highly unlikely at best. The more likely scenario was that base organism existed somewhere that could be comprised of elements not yet known to humans.

Nevertheless, he would stare into the stars and dream of making space travel a reality. Government bureaucracies were too inefficient to rely on. The USA was still using space shuttles that were designed in the 1950's and 60's because they refused to invest in new technology that had already been designed and tested in smaller scales. Eric was convinced that if anyone was going to experience travel to distant parts of our own solar system, not to mention other galaxies, in his lifetime it would have to be private funded and researched.

Erik's one distraction and non serious pursuit was being a fan of star films. Any star film. Star Trek (All versions), Star Wars, and any other film he could get his hands on. Lost in Space was always good for laughs. He even found Space Balls amusing. When questioned about his one less than serious pursuit he would dismiss it as research. He was smart enough to know that science imitated art as often as art imitated science. He was a much better doer than dreamer. If someone else could dream it for him, he would set his mind to making it happen.

The iPhone's first release was due in great part to Erik's participation during a summer work assignment at Apple Headquarters. He sat watching Captain Jean-Luc Picard and Geordi La Forge use tricorders and thought to himself "Hey... good idea!" He spend the rest of the night drawing out schematics and processing equations. That project turned into the iPhone and revolutionized the industry. Of course he was interned and all the credit went to Steve Jobs. He doesn't receive any royalties as it's company intellectual property. But they agreed to provide a free iPhone as often as he needed a new one and lifetime free cell plan for his work. He figured that was worth more than any royalty anyway. He was of course called on from time to time to work on later editions of the newest phones too. Being oddly self serving, as he would be getting one for free he was more than happy to oblige at no extra charge. It's not often one has a hand in fashioning a device that is so intricate to ones own daily life.

... DW

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About Me

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Hi! My name is Darrell G. Wolfe. I am a wealth of random information and I make complicated things simple at DarrellWolfe.com.

I have a knack for absorbing information, breaking it down to its root elements, and teaching it to others.

Most importantly, I help purpose-driven people to understand their place in His-Story and provide them the tools they need to fulfill their unique position of opportunity and influence in this world (their Topos).

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