As we moved, it was slow and methodical. Everyone else I noticed looked out from the center of the columns but I also noticed them looking up a-lot. I made a mental note to remind myself to ask why they looked up so often. At random intervals we would stop for a few minutes. In those quiet times I looked around, astonished at how well the details showed up in these goggles. Its like the night didn’t exist but I had noticed that my depth perception seemed to be off in them.
As we sat, I could hear faint whispers in what I assumed was each one talking in someway to each other just like back at camp when the other half of the group showed up. I was still amazed and frankly wondering if I was in some dream.
As a sat watching the others, I turned to look in Rorys’ direction and he pointed at his eyes then pointed out. In other words don’t look at him, turn at watch away from the group. I did just that and with my back turned it felt like I was all alone. The smells of the dead leaves rose up to me. A Cedar to my left smelled like fresh cut wood almost, as the air currents seemed to swirl around me. As I watched I noticed movement to my right and heard faint noises just below the ridge. A small twig bounced off my back and I turned a bit startled to see where it had come from. Rory sat, holding three fingers up then pointed in the direction I had heard the sounds from, then back at himself. I took this as a sign that the three that had stayed behind was returning. I noticed also that he seemed to be whispering so I assumed they had called into to warn of their return.
Sure enough, as I watched, one by one the three eased over the ridge and sat between us. They all nodded in my direction but didn’t speak, they just drank from what appeared to be camelbacks. After another few minutes they all rose as one and we started to move up the mountain again.
This went on for hours it seemed and as I began to tire and my eyes screamed for sleep, I glanced at my watch and was surprised to find it was almost morning. I had been so busy watching the way everyone moved and trying to figure out in my mind what was happening that the hours seemed to fly by. As I glanced over I could see Rory grinning from ear to ear and he held up five fingers. So, five minutes to what? Until we stop?
As the ground leveled I noticed ahead there was a bluff that seemed to vanish around the mountain to the right. I could see it clearly and most astonishingly I could see an area of black in the wall that we appeared to be heading right at.
As I walked and watched, the first of the group walked into the opening so I just followed. As I got closer the black of the opening turned into a cave mouth and detailed started to show. It seemed my night vision had some kind of smart technology because as I entered the cave, everything brightened and as I glanced back out side, the stars looked like streetlights in the distance.
As we walked farther, we started to form a single line so I just followed the guy in front of me. I might not know where I was going but they seemed pretty sure. After another ten minutes I noticed we had all come to a chamber that was a dead end. My first thought was, I not sleeping in this hole but my eyes seemed to say differently. I was exhausted at this point.
The one I remember he called Bill glanced around at everyone then touched the back wall. I almost fainted when it started to move just by his touch and was sliding open! Before it finished opening we all stepped past it and stopped again this time it was not some chamber of a cave we stood in, it had smooth metal walls, floor, ceiling. I glanced around and everyone was taking off their night vision and seemed relaxed. I wasn’t relaxed, more a mixture of excitement and wonder. The wall behind us closed with a vacuum sound and the wall in front slid open. As it did, what I saw next made the rock wall moving seem unimportant now.
I stood there with my mouth open staring at an area the size of a few city blocks, it had buildings, lights, people. It looked like I was staring into camp but this one was underground. I couldn’t move, I think it was the shock that such a thing would exist in what seemed to be the middle of nowhere.
“Come on John, lets eat then we will get you settled.” The person in front of me turned and said.
The man I had been following since we entered the cave was as I my mind adjusted again, actually a woman. Rory laughed loudly. The others seemed to started talking normally and moved in the direction of one building.
“Come on man, you act like you’ve never seen people before.” Rory said as he pulled on my shoulder.
“I have so many questions,” I blurted, “how did you guys talk out there, how did you know I was coming fishing this week, how did you get all this in here?”
He just laughed even harder, “Your asking all the wrong questions John. Thats easy, we buy stuff and we use it. None of this,” he gestured around, “is the important questions. All of this, is just tools to do a job.”
I noticed the smell of food now as we stepped into a building. It was a cafeteria and I frankly although hungry, I ignored it and followed in line with the others. I had to many things to ask and try and figure out to worry about what was for breakfast.
“Well, I guess, but to me right now they are all important questions.” I said.
“Sure they are, but in order to fit in here, there’s a lot you’re going to have to learn and top of that list is what?” He asked with a touch of sarcasm.
“I would suppose, who this enemy is. Where do they live, how did they get in this country?”
“Finally, smart questions but again only the first one matters. The enemy is like I told you last night ancient. And I mean ancient.” He said as we grabbed trays and slide down the line. I didn’t even look at what was getting put on my tray. I just followed down the line.
As we settled down at a table, the smell of bacon on my tray distracted me for a minute. Rory got his fork ready and looked right at me and started to talk.
“By ancient I mean older than us. They are bigger, faster, stronger and just as smart if not more so than we are. They have controlled our population and movements for thousands of years. Maybe more! Some here call them the game keepers and John, we are the game.” As he said this I just sat there still thinking.
“Fine, but WHO are they?”
“They my friend, have many names. Legends abound about them all over the world. Religions refer to them. Peoples all over the world fear them and tell stories to frightened kids about them. Most have forgotten the fact that those stories are based on truth. There is not a place on this earth you can go that they are not there. Watching, manipulating, all without most people having the slightest clue. They start wars, create chaos, turn us against each other all in order to control us.”
“Your talking about what we call Bigfoot aren’t you?” I said while he ate.
“Bigfoot!”, he laughed, ”Oh man, that’s great. We even have you fooled.”
“Ok, so Bigfoots not real, then who are they!” As I said this he smiled and shook his head.
“The enemy, looks like us, they speak our languages, all of them, they eat, sleep. They are born, live and die just like us except for one big difference. Their eyes are black.”
“Black?” I asked, “Black how? What country do they come from?”
“First, they have no country pay attention. By black, I mean their eyeballs are solid black. Black as coal. They are referred to in the Bible as the Nephilim. You know the story I’m sure, sons of God who like the daughters of man right? Had giants for kids? Or how about the other religions, Jinn, Wood Spirits, Green-man of the woods, vampires, werewolves? Heard of any of them?” He asked.
“Sure, I know of these things. Are you saying they all describe them?”
“I’m saying it’s the way people have over the centuries, yes. We don’t know where they came from but it seems they have been here a long time. All you need to know from day one is that they are smart, cunning and deadly.” He said while pointing at me.
“Ok, the enemy, got it. Then who are all these people, how did they get here. Where do you get money? How did you build this fake cave?”
“Well, this fake cave as you call it, we learned how to build from them. All the people got here like you. We get money from selling some of our discoveries that we don’t need or don’t mind sharing. Ever heard of radio, transistor, microchip; yeah that was us. You’re welcome.” He chuckled.
As I finished my food, I just sat there looking around. Trying to absorb all that I had learned so far. The people around just acted like this was all common knowledge, like this was just how normal people lived.
“Come on, let me show you where you will be staying. You can get cleaned up, grab some sleep and we can start training this evening.” He said as he rose and walked towards the door with his tray.
I followed as we walked down what seemed like rubber coated floors. No sound came from our steps. My head was on a swivel, taking it all in. I saw firing ranges, workout areas, row after row of metal buildings; some normal, some quite large. As I was looking around like a new kid in school I seemed to walk into what felt like a wall and fell backwards. As I glanced up, at what I though was a wall was about nine foot tall and covered with hair. The deep laugh it let out I could not only hear, but felt in my chest. I tried to speak but couldn’t. It reached down with a hand as big as my head and picked me up like I weighed nothing. I just stood staring up speechless.
“John, this is Bigfoot.” Rory said trying to hold back a laugh that didn’t work. “Or as we call him Culsit. Well, that’s what his momma named him so we respect it.”
“Don’t look so shocked John, Im not going to eat you, just had breakfast and I’m headed for the showers.”Culsit said then laughed even harder.
“They work with us. They are not the enemy, think of them as scouts, masters of the woods. The eyes and ears of nature so to speak.” Rory said casually as if everybody on earth knew that except me.
It was then I realized the had what he probably called a towel over his shoulder but I would call a blanket.
“Nice to meet you.” I said. “Sorry to bump into you.”
“Oh you didn’t hurt him I assure you.” Rory said laughing again. “ Beside he teaches hand to hand combat here. I’m sure he’ll knock you down a few more times!”
As we turned into a building he pointed out my room and pointed to the showers at the end of the building.
“Get cleaned up and catch some sleep and I’ll be back about five for dinner and then we will get you geared up and get you started on our training program.”
As he said this, Rory turned and walked away. I just stood, ready to collapse. Skipping the shower I fell onto the bed and was asleep before I even realized it.
Part 4 COMING SOON