No Day 11 writing to post. Today is the 12th day for NaNoWriMo, so that is what I’m posting. I’m about 2-days behind goal, so I have some catching up to do.
“If this portal follows the similar time as the other one, then you have less than an hour to do whatever it is you’re going to do,” Silvia pointed out. The glow of the monitor highlighting her face as she looked at them. Ramsden couldn’t tell her thoughts as Silvia kept her poker face in place.
“Okay, lets try this first,” Ramsden said as he walked several feet to a small tree or a bush, he wasn’t sure exactly what it was. He broke off about two feet of one of its branches then returned to the portal. From the side he had summoned the portal, he poked at it’s center with the branch. The branch disappeared into the Void. Ramsden kept slowly pushing the branch further in, but stopped inches from his fingers entering the portal.
“What do you see on the other side?” Ramsden asked. J.J. moved to the side opposite Ramsden and Jude grabbed a camera to follow J.J.
“Nothing here. Its just a center of pitch blackness, like the summoning side.” J.J. said. Ramsden withdrew the branch and walked to the other side. He attempted to repeat the effort with the branch, but branch just bent as if being pushed against a wall.
“Well that makes some sense,” Jude said. “One side you enter the other side you exit. That explains why the water ejected from the side opposite where you opened it from.”
“Okay, lets try the robot and see what happens,” Ramsden said as he threw the stick aside and moved over to the tables where the robot sat nearby on the ground. The “robot” was a modified remote controlled car that looked like a monster truck. The extra large wheels allowed it to navigate uneven terrain better than many others RC cars. Affixed with duck tape to the top of the RC car was a mini digital video camera.
“Grab that box,” J.J. said to Jude as J.J. brought a short plan of wood over to just in front of the portal. Jude placed the box below it and they constructed a makeshift ramp leading right up to the edge of the portal. “All yours,” J.J. called over to Ramsden who was using the RC controller, shape like a steering wheel, to drive the car toward the ramp. Ramsden drove the car like a new driver asked to drive a manual transmission and never having been taught how to do so.
“Give that here,” Silvia said as she took the controller away from Ramsden. He gave her a sheepish smile. She navigated the car easily to the bottom of the makeshift ramp and then it started to climb the short distance up the ramp.
“Where did you learn how to drive one of those?” Ramsden asked impressed
“I’m a nerd by trade. We know how to do a little bit of a lot of things,” she answered without taking her focus away from her driving.
“Wait!” Ramsden yelled suddenly, causing Silvia to jerk the steering and drive the car off the ramp and into the grass. Ramsden rummaged in one of their equipment sacks only to produce a coil of nylon rope then run over to the car and attach it to the back axil. “In case we have to pull it back.” he said as he stepped back behind the tables where Silvia stood.
“We good now?” she asked. Ramsden nodded. “Good, because I don’t need to scare the bejesus out of me again with your yelling. Here we go.” She moved the truck forward and it stopped as it made contact with the porta. All four could hear the RC car’s engine revving and the tires slipped once or twice on the wood plank, but could not enter the portal.
“What the hell?” Ramsden said as he stepped back up to the portal, then picked up the RC car to exam it as if something about the car were suspect.
“Maybe because the branch was a living thing, even after you already broke it off from the rest of the bush, and the RC isn’t,” Jude offered.
“That seems a bit of a leap in logic,” J.J. countered. When Jude gave him a questioning look, he shrugged. “I’m not saying I know why it isn’t working, it just seems like maybe there is something simpler or maybe not.”
“Try this,” Jude placed the camera he had been carrying back on it’s tripod. He then walked over to where Ramsden dropped the branch, picked it up and came back around to the RC. Ramsden tossed him the duck tape and Jude taped it to the top of the RC next to the camera. The branch stuck out over the hood of the RC by several inches. “If it’s a living vs inanimate thing, this should do.” He went back to his equipment when he was done.
“Try again Silvia, please,” Ramsden said. She gave Ramsden an unamused look at his saying please. A moment later she drove the RC toward the portal again. When the branch came in contact with it, it began to bend as if once again hitting a wall. Ramsden walked over again to the RC, pulled the branch and extra tape off it then looked between the RC in his hand and the portal. He took the RC and pushed it against the portal. It went in without resistance.
“What the…” J.J. said as he stepped closer. “Give it to me Ram.” Ramsden looked between the half of the RC that he still held and J.J., then he pulled it out and handed the car to J.J. The younger man took the RC from Ramsden and examined it. From where Ramsden was standing it looked fine, as if nothing was damaged or changed. J.J. tried to put the car into the portal. Hit hit a solid wall. Ramsden shared a look with J.J.
“No you shouldn’t,”J.J. began as Ramsden closed one eye and gritted his teeth expecting searing pain as he touched his pinky finger on his left hand to the portal. To the touch it was cool like flowing water, but no pain. He withdrew his finger and examined it; all was intact and unmarred.
“You didn’t just do that,”Jude said instead of asked, as he pressed buttons on the equipment. “Yep, you just did. How’s the finger?”
“It’s fine,” Ramsden said as he still examined the finger. He did feel something. . .something. . .nice. It was as if touching the portal rejuvenated him.
“Why do you think the car would go in for Ram, but not J.J.?” Silvia asked as she put a fresh stick of gum in her mouth, throwing the wrapper on the ground.
“I think the one who opens the portal is the only one who can enter the portal or as long as he or she is touching something that thing can also enter the portal,” Ramsden said still examining his finger, unable to shake the energizing sensation that lingered.
“Lets do another test,” J.J. said as he placed the RC back on the ramp in front of the opening. “We something with some length,” he said as he looked around the grassy field and the equipment they had brought with them. But he couldn’t find what he was looking for. “Damn.”
“What do you need?” Jude asked.
“I need something for Ram to push the car all the way through…wait I got it.” J.J. said as he grabbed Ramsden by the shoulders, Ramsden let this friend guide him to stand several paces back from the portal. J.J. then bent down, picked up the rope that was trailing the RC and handed the other end to Ramsden. “You’re connected this way. Let’s see if it will work. By the way, this is safer than putting your finger in there.” J.J. scoffed as if Ramsden was out of his mind for even thinking of using his body as an experiment when there was perfectly good toys around to do the same thing.
“This should be interesting,” Silvia said between blowing bubbles. Ramsden never knew how she never got any of the gum stuck to her face, unlike his lack of coordination with bubble blowing. “By the way, take up the slack Ram,” she suggested. Ramsden looked down at the thin, nylon rope and pulled up the slack until it had enough tension without pulling the car off the ramp.
J.J. nodded to Silvia and she applied power to the car. The RC continued forward until the antenna crossed the threshold, then the car stopped. It was bitter sweet. As long as Ramsden was linked in some way to the item attempting to enter, then it worked.
They team spend a significant time trying different scenarios with the car and different objects to see how they responded to entering the portal or not. The alarm on Jude’s watch rang out. He looked up at the portal where they had used the branch to push the car through. All that could be seen is the rope disappearing into the Void and that was it. In the moment the Void flickered then with a popping sound like one’s ears make when changing altitude, the portal disappeared. The RC car appeared to float in mid-air for moment before falling to the ground. A wheel popped off and rolled a short distance in the trampled grass.
“What happened?” Silvia asked.
“I set my timer to the same time as the first portal. It looks like that part is consistent,” Jude said as he made his way to the RC to retrieve the camera. With a catch release, he removed the camera easy enough and waved the camera in the air. “We so need to watch this!” he said with excitement.
“If the robot went somewhere, why did it appear back here, do you think Ram?” J.J. asked as he retrieved the wheel and tried to reattach it.
“I think as long as part of it is tied to it’s place of origin, then when the portal disappears the items is back in the same space and time it was in. Intriguing!” Ramsden said as he walked a half circle around where the portal had been as he looked between J.J. and the spot where a mystical portal stood moments before.
“Can you re-open the Void?” Silvia asked. “I can hang for another couple of hours and we aren’t done here yet.
“I don’t know. Let me try,” Ramsden said and the others all stepped hastily back, using the tables and equipment as a shield between them and the portal.