Friday, June 15, 2018

Rory 10.9

Rory put the camera down and scrambled back to the window.  He peered out and saw something at the bottom of the ladder.  It was an octopus.  And it was climbing upward.

Rory ran back into the heart of the room and tried to look for the door.  It was so dark he began to panic just in the search alone.

Finally he found it and dashed down the hallway on the other side.  It was dark there, too.  He didn't stop to wonder if there were unpleasant things in the dark.  He already knew there was an alien chasing him in the other direction.

He came across another door, at the other end, and opened it.  It led to a stairwell.  He quickly began the descent.  He could hear the alien in the distance, in the hallway, and then at the top of the stairs as he continued his way down.  Had the ladder really put him so many floors up?  Finally he reached the bottom, and a door that led outside.  He shoved it open.  Outside was glaring sunlight.  When he'd been out earlier, it had been raining, but that seemed to have cleared.  But it wasn't just the absence of rain and sudden brightness that greeted Rory. 

He was now in a desert.  He saw a cactus.  He wondered how on earth that was even possible.

"You see the truth now," a voice said behind him.  "Your world intersects with mine.  We obey many of the same rules, but there are differences."

It was the octopus alien, clutching the raygun from the pictures, as Rory now saw, in one of its tentacles. 

"The desert places were always gateways, Rory," it continued.  "We build new ones as needed, to help get around."

Somehow the creature knew his name?

"We have much to discuss," the alien concluded.  Rory wasn't about to argue.  He reached up and adjusted his bandana.  Suddenly having been caught in the rain earlier seemed like an advantage.  It was the only one he had left.

"Okay," he said.  "Let's do this."

Rory 10.8

The picture showed an octopus.  The strange thing was that the octopus was not in water.  The stranger thing was that the octopus looked very much alive.  If Rory knew anything about octopuses, it was that they were supposed to exist, alive, only in water.

But what if it wasn't an octopus?  What if it was an alien?

Rory 10.7

There were also pictures filled with piles of money.  Money in paper form, money in coin form.  Lots of money.  Rory couldn't even begin to guess why someone would take pictures of money in quantities like that.  Combined with the raygun, his best guesses were wild, to say the least, each more unbelievable than the last. 

Was this evidence of some sort of invasion?  Is this what invasion looked like?

And then he saw another startling image...

Rory 10.6

Within a few pictures, Rory knew that whoever had left the camera in this room was no ordinary person.  His anxiety began to subside, and then ramp up, the more he thought about it.  He'd broken in to this building, wearing a bandana.  Anyone could have seen him do it.  Anyone, including whoever had taken these pictures...

He saw what looked like an honest-to-god raygun.  It could've been a prop, but Rory didn't live in a movie town, and there were famous collectors around, either.  That didn't mean the person who took the pictures couldn't have traveled around.  After all, that's what you do with cameras.  But the raygun looked real.  It didn't look overly stylized.  It look entirely functional.

If it were just the raygun that startled him, maybe he could've dismissed it as a prop.  But it wasn't.

Rory 10.5

Inside the dark interior of the building, Rory saw a digital camera, covered in dust, on a filing cabinet.  He was never one to be shy.  He turned it on and started scrolling through the pictures.

He was astonished at what he found.

Rory 10.4

Rory came across a ladder propped up against the side of a building.  His niece used to love climbing, almost as much as she loved stairs.  It was much the same thing.  He saw the top of the ladder rested against a windowsill.

He saw no one around.  He decided to have a look.  The building had no cars in front of it.  It was still early, and besides, the building looked abandoned.  No security guards in sight.

He started climbing.  By the time he reached the top, he saw that he could push his way through the window.  He checked it out to be sure.  He became aware that the bandana on his head might give observers the impression that Rory was a burglar.  He took the chance.

Rory 10.3

Finally, to get out of the rain, Rory ducked into a tent he saw set up for some sale.  The clerk was nowhere to be found, there were books sitting in boxes on a sea of tables, and he busied himself combing through them for several minutes, just trying to wait out the rain, see how long it lasted, if it was going to be a brief downpour or an extended one.

He saw a lot of titles that interested him.  If the business had been open already, he would have bought some.  He saw a security guard around the corner.  He made himself discreet.

He slipped away before much longer.