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Finding a Cave with a Secret Door Chapter 3
by Caroline Alderson
09/04/06
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Dragon in Hidden Man Wilderness
Chapter 3


Cadets Missing After Curfew

At the academy the instructors had set up at all the doors to take count of the cadets who were inside by sun down. Sun down usually occurred a little after 8 pm. It was now 8:30 pm. The Commandant of the academy had set the curfew at sundown.

Coming to check the status of the cadets meeting his curfew standards was Commandant Sebastian Winthrop. Approaching 3rd Cadet Ruth Maiden, Commandant Winthrop asked, "Are all the cadets in, Cadet Maiden?"

Ruth who had been put in charge of the front door, looked up at the Commandant, with her pretty blue eyes, and answered, "Everyone is in, Commandant, except for Cadet 1st Ariana Knightly, and Cadet 1st Selena Jerabek."

"Humm..." Winthrop looked towards the door with a concerned look on his face. "If they do not show up in thirty minutes, come let me know, Maiden."

"Yes Sir, I will."

Walking to the door, Winthrop opened it and looked out. It was a full moon, he noticed as he gazed up into the sky. Where are those girls? He hoped nothing had happened to them.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Shaking her arm, Selena said, "I don't think my GPS is acting right, Ariana. I think we're walking in circles. And it's going to be dark soon, in 45 minutes to be precise."

"Mine isn't working right either. How can both of them not be working? Could be something out here is blocking them."

Thinking for a minute, Selena then said matter-of-factly, "The dragon is blocking them. He doesn't want us to get back, because then he can track us down, kill us, tear off our arms.... and eat us."

"Gross, Selena!" Ariana slugged Selena in the arm. "Stop being so melodramatic! The dragon isn't doing anything to our GPS's. And nothing is going to eat us. What am I saying??" She slugged Selena again.

"Owwww, stop hitting me like that!! I'm going to have a bruise on my arm when you're done."

"Yeah, you can tell everyone the dragon did it," giggled Ariana.

Selena rolled her eyes at her friend. "You still don't believe that was a dragon, do you?"

"Um, nope. I didn't see any dragon, Selena. I know something was there, and it was blocking the entrance to the cave... but come on... a dragon?? Get real! No one's going to believe that story. If I were you, I wouldn't tell anyone what happened out here. Those instructors will think you're a loony toon, and ship you off to the psyche ward to have your head examined by psyche docs," Ariana said seriously.

"Yeah.... I know. I wish you had seen it, so I'd have a witness." Selena sighed. Now, what are we going to do?? We can't sleep out here with that scary dragon!!"

"What do you suggest?? When it gets dark, we won't be able to keep going. I think we should find some place to stay for the night. Maybe, there is a cabin or something out here, or... an empty dragon-less cave." Ariana giggled at herself.

"You know... that's not funny, Ariana."

Search Party Sent Out

Buzzing the Commandant's door, Ruth Maiden waited.

"Enter," came a voice from within. Opening the door, Cadet Maiden made strideful steps to Commandant Winthrop's desk.

"Have the cadet's returned, Cadet Maiden?" Commandant Winthrop leaned forward in his chair folding his hands on his desk.

Standing in front of his desk, Ruth answered, "No Sir, they aren't back yet."

Winthrop sighed and sat back in his chair, his arm resting on the arm of the chair. Then he said, "I'll have to send a search party out, but I don't want any cadets leaving this academy."

"Yes, Commandant."

"You may go, Cadet."

"Aye Sir." Ruth turned and left the room.

~~~~~~~~~~~~

The search party consisting of Instructors and assistants, and civilians working at the academy in various jobs, with flashlights in hand began their search for the two missing cadets. Commandant Sebastian Winthrop led the search. "One of the cadets I talked to said he thought they were going to climb Midnight Pass, so we'll head in that direction. Hopefully we'll meet them coming back, and find they ran into a snag and that's why they're late."

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

As Ariana and Selena sought for a safe place to spend the night, they came upon a wall.

"Where did this come from?" Ariana asked, shining her flashlight upon it. "Was this here before? I don't remember it when we traveled this way."
"I don't recall," Selena said, her eyes wandering up the surface of the wall.

"Maybe we can stay in here," Ariana mused. "Let's see if there is a way in." Waving her flashlight back and forth, she hunted for an entrance to the strange wall.

It was then she saw sparkles on the wall to the right a way off. Looking again, thinking her eyes deceived her; Ariana swept her light over it. There it was again. "Selena, look. I see something sparkling over there."

"Where?" Selena asked, her eyes going in the direction of Ariana's light.

Walking to where she saw the strange sparkle, Ariana found something. "Is that a wall shimmering in and out?" Placing her arm inside the sparkling wall, she thought she found a way in.

Watching her, Selena said, "Why is it appearing and disappearing like that? Do we really want to go inside? What if the wall disappears once we are in, and we can't get back out, Ariana?"

"Let's hope that doesn't happen," commented Ariana. "This looks like a safe place for us to stay. And look how strong that wall looks. If there is a dragon, it shouldn't be able to get in. A dragon wouldn't be smart enough to see this sparkling wall I don't think. Do you?"
"You have a point..." Selena conceded. "I guess we should check it out."

Slowly walking through the sparkling wall, Ariana felt light headed as she stepped through. Her light wasn't needed in here, she soon discovered as she passed through. There were torches on the walls she saw. Picking one up, she took out her lighter for campfires, and lit the torch, and then set it in the holder on the wall. It lit up the room quite a ways. There were torches in different places along the wall.
Selena came in the wall behind Ariana, holding her hand out as if feeling for something solid. Once inside, the shimmering wall disappeared, but the sparkles remained showing the place where the wall would open.

~~~~~~~~~~~

The search party walked all the way to Midnight Pass having never found the cadets on the way.
"There are all kinds of signs the girls came this way and did arrive here, but now where did they go from here?" Winthrop surmised. "Their tracks end before they cross to that cave over here, so that means they probably didn't enter the cave, but where did they go from here?" He was puzzled. In all the years he had tracked people; he had never seen tracks disappear that way except when someone deliberately decided to erase the tracks. The cadets would have had no reason to hide where they were, so that didn't seem likely, Sebastian thought to himself.

Once inside the cave, Ariana noticed a tube of oil that ran through what looked to her to be the length of the cave that connected to each of the torches. Taking her torch and pointing it into the oil, Ariana leaped back when the tube of oil caught fire lighting the torches going through the cave. Then it was only oil again, and her and Selena could see by the lit torches where to walk. The fire danced with light along the cavern walls.

"It's not perfect light but at least we can conserve our batteries," Selena said, packing her flashlight.

Her eyes going to the left, Ariana saw stairs leading up. "Let's go see where those lead."

"Why would there be stairs in a cave? Don't you think that's odd, Ariana?" Selena wasn't too sure about those stairs.

"It is odd. Maybe this cave is man made. In fact, it would have to have been; only people could put these torches and this tube of oil in here. It sure couldn't be natural.

"Point made," Selena agreed.

The stairs were damp from being underground, and Selena's nose picked up a musty dank scent, as she walked up the steps. Dark green moss grew along the walls, and from time to time tiny trickles of water appeared, traveling downward. Selena hoped the dragon didn't know about this place. He'd probably tear up these stairs... if he ever came in here, she thought to herself.

At the top of the stairs, the girls found a large round room. "We can stay the night in here," Ariana said, removing her backpack from her back. Laying out her sleeping bag on the floor, she pushed a button and watched as the bottom part filled up with air for padding.

"Yeah, okay," Selena said, looking around, not liking the idea of staying in a cave, since that's where that dragon likes to stay. Hopefully, it would be safe here. She tossed her backpack on the ground, and pulled out her sleeping pad.

Back to the Academy

The next morning, the girls woke up. Ariana looked at her chrono. Turning over, she saw that Selena was already awake, and watching her. She must have been waiting for her to wake up. "Are you ready to go back to Garden of Eden Academy? It should be light now, so we can see where we're walking."

"Yes, I'm ready. It's creepy out here. I was worried all night we'd be eaten by dragons."

Selena stood up, her bedroll already packed.
"Dragons?? Now, there are dragons? What happened to one dragon?" Ariana shook her head, and began packing and making her backpack ready for travel.
"You never know…" Selena mumbled. She waited for Ariana by the stairs. She had a really bad feeling, and wanted to get back to the academy, like now.

"Okay, all ready."

It was easier walking down the stairs. It seemed more lighter too, but that's silly. It's the same as it was last night, Ariana thought. Finally the last stair. Striding back the way they came, she searched with both her eyes and her fingers for the part of the wall with the sparkles. "Found it!" There it was like last night. A small array of sparkles.

"I hope if the dragon comes this way, he can't see those sparkles. But, maybe they wouldn't mean anything to him anyway," Selena surmised, as she followed Ariana out through the wall. Her hands were out as she walked, in case there was something solid that appeared.

They both walked out into the early morning light.

"Selena, check your GPS and see where the academy is located. I hope it's not far."

"You and me both."

"Hey, the GPS is working now! Why didn't it work last night? Something was jamming it. I thought it was broke."

"That is odd. I don't know why it wasn't working. I'm certainly glad it works now. Which way?" Ariana asked.

"This way…" Selena headed back the way the GPS showed.

Reporting the Dragon Sighting

Jeremy Albright drove his jeep into the small town of Dragon’s Cove looking for the Sheriff’s office. He needed to report a sighting. A sighting of what? He could almost hear the Sheriff saying. A sighting of... Uh... Something invisible with a large scaly dragon tail. “Oh yeah, that’s going to go over beautifully,” Jeremy said out loud. What was he going to tell the Sheriff, once he found him? “Uh, Sheriff, I have to report a dragon sighting in your area. You need to evacuate your people... No, he’ll never believe that.” Sighing, he tried to think of a way to say it that wouldn’t land him in the psyche ward. There it was up ahead, next to Callahan’s garage. Pulling in front of the Sheriff’s office, Jeremy stepped out of his jeep, and slammed the door. Here goes nothing, he thought.

Opening the door, he walked in looking around for the Sheriff. A man sat at the desk with a Sheriff’s badge on his shirt. “Sheriff?”

“Yes? What can I do for you?” asked Sheriff Renner.

“Has there been anything unusual happening in your town?” Jeremy decided probing would be the best approach.

Sheriff Renner cocked an eye at the stranger. “As a matter of fact... There was a mauling the other night, by possibly a huge grizzly. I had called the Wildlife department and was trying to get them to send someone out here, but they haven’t sent anyone yet.”

“I’m a Wildlife Biologist, Sheriff. My names Jeremy Albright. Maybe I can help you. But, what I saw wasn’t any grizzly... It was something more like… well...” He mumbled, “A dragon.”

“What was that?” The Sheriff asked.

“You’re not going to believe this… but I swear I saw something that looked a whole lot like a dragon, Sheriff.” There, it was out, Jeremy thought.

“That’s been the reports around here, but the ones who reported seeing a dragon were drunk. Were you drinking when you saw this alleged dragon?”

“No, I wasn’t...”

“What makes you think it was a dragon,” Renner asked.

“It had a scaly tail… The thing was huge; I mean really tall. It covered the trees, and you couldn’t see them until he flew,” Jeremy attempted to explain.

“Flew?? Now this dragon is flying?? That one I haven’t heard yet.”

Jeremy went on. “It was invisible too…”

USS The Blessing

“USS The Blessing” was a star ship sent by Earth to explore space and report it’s findings. They are 260 years into the future from what is happening in “Hidden Man Wilderness” on Earth in 2106. The year for the crew of the “USS The Blessing” is 2366.

Lt. Commander Amelia Pearson sat at the helm piloting The Blessing. Unexpectedly, the wandering wormhole they had been tracking showed up in front of the ship. “Captain! Incoming wormhole!”

Captain Talitha Dalton yelled, “Full Reverse!”
Pulling back hard on the pilot’s gear, Amelia tried to back the ship away from the wormhole before they were pulled in. The gravity well from the approaching wormhole was too strong and the ship was being pulled in.

“Captain to the crew!” Talitha strapped herself into her captain’s chair. “Brace yourself!” Pressing her hands into the armrest, she waited, bracing herself for the impact. “We’re being pulled into the worm-hole!”

The ship bucked and bounced as the wormhole dragged them toward it. Turning end over end the ship was drawn into the wormhole. Astounding lights exploded all around them. In front of the ship, Amelia from her seat at helm on the bridge saw a blue ribbon like thing swirling in a pure white light. Inside the wormhole was total creative artsy like. Amelia was awed at what her Creator had created for them to view. The fear which had tried to rise up within her melted at what she saw. Only Yeh`shua {Jesus} could create such beauty. “Lord protect us all,” she prayed to her God in faith. Different colored lights swirled all around the ship. They were beautiful. She felt like she could touch them, or swim in them. As she pondered these things, the wormhole spit out the ship on the other side.

“All hands, Report!” Captain Dalton ordered, hoping damage was minimal.

“Shields are 95%.”

“Weapons are all functioning normally.”

No one was hurt; Talitha was glad about that. She sighed in relief they had made it through safely. “Now, where are we?”

Lt. Commander Laurana Fitzpatrick, Astrometrics and Science Chief said from her position. “The wormhole we were tracking looks to have deposited a dragon from the fourth dimension, Captain.”
“Have you determined where we are, Commander?” Talitha asked.

“We have gone back in time 260 years to Earth, Ma’am. I have tracked where the dragon landed, and it’s here.” Laurana put up a map on the viewer. With the cursor she pointed to the exact location. It’s a wilderness 100 miles from any main roads. It is Mostly forested, with a large body of water known as a lake. The dragon appears to have come maybe a few weeks before us. The period in time is 2106. They have only begun space travel barely outside their own galaxy at this time.”

“Alright, we will orbit Earth, and send down an away team to find the dragon and see if it has done any damage to the people here,” the Captain decided. “We need to see if we can get it back to it’s own place and time in the fourth dimension.”
“If we don’t succeed?”

“Then, we’ll have no other recourse but to terminate the dragon…” Talitha said quietly.

Arriving at the Academy

Selena and Ariana came in the front doors of the Academy. 3rd Cadet Ruth Maiden saw them come in. “Cadets! I need you to report in before going to your room.”

Tapping the comm on her wrist, Cadet Maiden contacted the Commandant. “Sir, Cadets Selena and Ariana have come home.”

“Very good Cadet. Set up an appointment for them in my office in the morning. I’ll need to talk to them before classes,” Commandant Winthrop said. He was glad nothing had harmed them and they were safe. He could now return to the Academy with the search team. Still, why weren’t there any tracks continuing after they went to that cave? It was all very strange indeed, Sebastian thought. Maybe the cadets would have some answers of their whereabouts, and the mystery of the missing foot tracks.

“Okay everyone, the cadets are back at the academy. We can go home now,” the Commandant informed his team.

The search team was happy to hear that, and the atmosphere changed to one of fear to one of comfort. There was a lightness among the people on the search party as they began walking back to the academy.


Copyright 2006 © No Fear Here Ministries









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