Actually, not so much a spoiler as it is a thought-plant.
I made that two word term up. But hey, I write science fiction so wouldn’t you expect that from me?
I am planting a thought in your mind by way of a photograph…a picture that I found that truly has a part in the sequel to
HILL OF GREAT DARKNESS
Just recieved a critique of the first draft for the aforementioned sequel from a lady, who many of you would know if I mentioned her name (which I won’t because…umm…I didn’t ask if I could mention her), that surprised me in the detail to which she addressed the draft.
I will say this much though; I AM PUMPED!
Now I have to carve out the time to do the rewrite, so….
How about you take a little trip back to Book I; Hill of Great Darknesss?
CHAPTER 15: SATURN’S LURE
“This is Jessica; I need a Lear ready at any moment. No, no I don’t know where to yet, just- will you shut up and listen to me! I’m on to something really big. I need full clearance, pull whatever strings you have to; just DO IT! I gotta go – I’ll call back soon as I can.” She quickly closed her phone as Ralph Marlow walked up to her.
“Now what are you up to girl?” Ralph was seriously eyeing his friend trying to square up some answers.
“Hey Ralph,” she was speaking, as she was trying to walk away rather hurriedly, “I really gotta go, I’ll catch up with you tomorrow.”
“Yeah, sure Jess.” Ralph had a reporter’s nose, one that could smell. He knew something was up with little Ms. Vandale. And he was going to find out what that was if it killed him.
Roger Hand stepped into one of the secure rooms at Johnson Space Center and keyed in a number he never thought he would use again. He waited rather intolerantly as the necessary protocol of security systems engaged to assure both the one he called, as well as himself, complete privacy.
“Mr. President, I need a satellite and a tech team. It’s Magellan, Sir. She’s found something here on Earth and I need the resources to get to it before anyone else does.” A pause as the expected question came, then:
“A Black hole sir.”
Another few seconds of silence on Roger’s end of the phone then he concluded the conversation by politely saying “Thank you Sir, I’ll get right on it.”
“This is it!” Dr Armone proclaimed triumphantly “the missing piece; look.” The doctor was showing the com officer what he had found when the intercom came to life. Using the voice recognition system for the Hummingbyrd, he opened the com channel “Yes, this is Jon”
“Hey Doc, you’ve got to see this.” Matt Moore seemed almost sophomorically ecstatic in his delightful demeanor. “The whole blessed planet glows doc, it GLOWS!”
While he and Carl had been working on communications, they had wisely chosen to close the ‘window’ to space. One gets very little work done when staring at the stars, dreaming the same dreams, wondering the same wonders, as our ancient ancestors did in millennia past.
“Full view of Saturn please.”
“Chirp” then the usual ‘sliding’ type of sound as molecules of steel charged their sub-atomic substruction making themselves ‘invisible’.
The doctor and the communication officer both stood in a dazed bewilderment as their minds attempted to explain to themselves what exactly they were seeing.
“That’s the understatement of the hour.” The professor replied, “And we’re not even completely behind the planet yet.” Jon did not want to get into a discussion about the fact that this glowing of Saturn was something that was new. The Cassini probe had orbited Saturn for over a decade and never saw anything like this; this was a new and possibly dangerous sign.
If Carl Lewis had his mouth open any wider, his chin would have been resting on the floor. The two men stood speechless for what seemed like an eternity as the gas giant beckoned their limitless imagination to run wild.
“As intoxicating as the song of the Sirens” Dr. Armone was wistfully saying to no one in particular.
“Greek mythology my friend; on an island in the straits between Sicily and Italy, ancient mariners were lured by the inescapable and indescribable song of the maidens attempting to attract them to their island.”
“That doesn’t sound so bad” Carl replied without taking his eyes off the dazzling light before them.
“On its own, no its not, the complication was the fact of a dangerous reef system around the island that no ship could safely maneuver around.”
“Must have made for many a short romance, huh?”
“Indeed.” The doctor replied as he was wondering how long Carl could keep his mouth wide open without swallowing the entire universe when his compatriot snapped to and asked:
“Is there any way Magellan could land?”
“Aha, Carl- there it is; the song of the Sirens, luring a man to certain death in search of untold beauty and majesty. Do you realize, only a few thousand miles closer and we would be sucked right into the planet by its massive grav force? We are truly ‘living on the edge’ my friend.”
“Oh yeah,” He looked around rather sheepishly, “I know that. So, Doc, what-dya think makes it glow like that?”
“I’m sure the fact that the planet is just one big gas ball has plenty to do with it. But the color and the patterns,” his voice trailing off in thought as he instinctively did what all scientists do-he started to rub his chin- “electrical impulses, plasma, magnetic fields (he wanted to add black holes but wisely chose not to); all I can really say is that it is absolutely BEAUTIFUL!
“Your lady friend is gonna be really ticked-off at you for not waking her up to see this.” Carl said, yet…neither man took his eyes off of the majestic dark-side beauty of Saturn for any length of time; they silently stood there almost as if each were weighing his own mortality.