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The story so far:

"Giant Rock" -> (3 skipped) -> "Giant Rock: Frank Critzer" -> "Giant Rock: The Inducer"

Giant Rock: The Conception  by shadinah

Chapter 6:

September 1954

"You been here all night?"

The words jarred his intense focus on the blueprints in front of him. George looked up, startled. Eva smiled shyly and held out a mug.

"I thought you could use this."

George accepted the mug, and downed its steaming contents. The jolt of caffeine brought him back to reality, and he glanced at the clock. Then cringed.

"I’m sorry, sweetheart – got caught up in my work again."

Eva sighed – she’d long ago come to terms with the fact that she ranked second in his life. His first passion was the vision given to him by the beings. She had a hard time believing the story of the origins, but what he described of the machine he planned to build seemed noble enough.

"How about we take a walk? You can go look at the site…" This seemed to hold his attention. He set the cup down and followed her out.

The remnants of the convention were still evident as they headed toward the proposed building site. A couple tents still remained, as the die-hard believers were reluctant to leave. But the donations had been generous, and George planned to start erecting the frame of his machine very soon.

 

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The Integratron

February 23rd, 2000

 

Her skin was crawling again, as she stood before the Integratron. The same current that flowed through her veins at Giant Rock filled her, drew her. The Integratron beckoned. The glass ball grew warmer and began to buzz. She removed it once more, and moved as in a dream toward the entrance. The sound of Byron’s ranting grew dimmer. And then she was inside. In an instant, the glass ball exploded into brilliant beams of light, bouncing back and forth across the interior of the dome. The vibrations shook her hand, moved up her arm, and settled into her chest. Every cell seemed to come alive, as if set ablaze. She began to convulse as the energy filled her. A blinding flash shot from the structure…

Byron’s curses dwindled only slightly as the surge of light enveloped him. In a split second, his world went dark. He screamed at Rachel, but to no avail. The seconds seemed eternal as he concentrated on the hum in front of him. A dim form emerged from the blackness. He squinted, willing some of the light to come back. But all he could make out was the giant dome. He stumbled forward. His simple world had been shattered with the breaking of the Rock. The loss of his friends… How he hated Rachel! If it wasn’t for her, they’d be partying at Derek’s house right now. He growled out her name as he stumbled through the door of the Integratron. Oddly enough, the interior glowed in a dull red hue. He took in the inner workings of the odd machine. The odd, empty machine. Rachel was no where to be found.

 

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Giant Rock

1974

Annie Van Tassel slipped away from the group meditating beneath the Rock. Her father insisted that the whole family join him, but was rarely aware of anything once he started his meditation. She’d grown jaded to his beliefs with her mother’s diagnosis. The doctors said that her body was riddled with tumors, and nothing could be done. Mother still stood faithfully by Father’s side, encouraging his foolish dreams and serving pie at their café. Annie had made the mistake of questioning him about his connection with the aliens. She found it ironic that this machine they’d inspired him to make could easily cure her mother, yet it wasn’t operational. The structure had been finished for years, but somehow, it still wouldn’t work. Annie fumed as she walked, wandering farther from the camp. She was ready to be rid of this nonsense. The only good that came of it was the conventions, and the pharmaceuticals brought by the crazies who attended.

She looked back, surprised at how far she had strayed. From this angle, Giant Rock looked vaguely like a skull. She frowned at the elongated back. "Alien skull." she huffed, "Figures…" She turned again and gasped. The air around her was suddenly charged. Tingles ran up and down her spine. She whirled around, sensing a presence, yet no one was there. The sun caught her eye, making the desert around her swim. Her limbs begin to shake. And then she heard it.

"Annie…"

The voice was so clear, yet so soft. It sounded like it was right beside her, or miles away. She knew she should be confused, but a pleasant numbness was filling her body, taking over her mind. The sensation was better than what she had sampled at the last convention. She held up her hand, staring through the blurry colors at it’s wavering form. She smiled.

"Annie Van Tassel…" Now a form emerged. Almost human, but something was off. Like her parents. She gave a little laugh at the thought. A hand reached through the confusion and touched her forehead. Slowly, the mist thinned, and clarity returned to her.

"Who are you?"

"Have patience, and we will tell you what you need to know."

In a blink, the desert disappeared, and in its place were shiny walls. Annie stared, amazed as the creature in front of her offered a seat at a mahogany table. "You are very special, Annie," she began as several other beings materialized around her. "You have been chosen…."

 

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Annie’s eyes snapped open. She lay on the desert floor, skin prickling, and not just from the cool night air. She took a shaky breath and tried to remember… A ship? An encounter? Was she dreaming? It was too real to be a dream, yet looking around provided no evidence to back up her memories. She shivered, and started back to the compound. It was time for a long talk with her dad.

 

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9 months later

"Augh!" Annie wailed as another pain hit. The contractions were coming more consistently. She was sure something was tearing her apart from inside. Her mother stroked her forehead, her face an unreadable mask. She had been furious at Annie’s surprise pregnancy, and when she’d tried to pawn it off on the alien abduction story, Eva had finally had it. She’d dragged Annie away from their family and placed her in a maternity home for the duration of the pregnancy. Annie’s initial anger had been dampened by her mother’s condition. Eva had become weaker each day as the cancer grew. Now here she was, a battered shell of a woman, watching her daughter writhe in pain. Annie screamed again, ignoring the soothing voices of the midwives. "Help me, Momma," she begged. And as another pain hit, "Get this thing out of me!"

The midwife looked up from between her legs. "You’re close, dear. Now just give a big push, and we’ll meet the little one."

Annie grunted and strained. Sweat rolled down her cheeks, mingling with her tears. Her body shook with the effort. As the hour passed, she felt her strength ebbing away. Then a jolt of fire burned through her belly. It was as if she was being ripped in two. Then numbness. Her brain registered a small wail and the word "girl". "Call her Rachel," she breathed as blackness engulfed her.

 

**************************

 

Blood flowed and flowed. A sea of red pouring from her daughter. Eva watched in horror, bile rising in her throat. The midwives scurried around trying to stop the tide, but Eva knew it was too late. Her daughter had paid for her sin with her life. Tears streamed down her cheeks as she stared at her daughter’s ashen face.

"I’m so sorry," said a nurse behind her. Eva blinked, realizing that they were covering her daughter’s still form. They were covering her baby with a clean white sheet. She recalled tucking her in at night as a little girl. She wanted to kiss her cheeks once more, beg forgiveness for allowing her father’s madness to poison them. The nurse touched her shoulder, and she turned, stopping short at the sight of the tiny bundle in the nurse’s arms. "Would you like to hold your granddaughter?" she asked, gently.

A perfect, tiny face stared back at her, chubby cheeks, wide eyes. "I…I can’t." Eva backed away, and then ducked out the door, leaving her daughter and the babe behind.

 

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The Integratron

March 1978

Rachel stood before the Integratron. The dingy surface was now pristine. In the seconds it took to get her bearings, she spotted a man leaving the building.

"Jack Van Tassel," she said, her voice stopping him in his tracks.

He squinted, face paling, "Annie?" he whispered, "It can’t be…"

"No, Jack. I’m Rachel. And you are taking something you shouldn’t." She nodded to the bundle in his hands. "George’s dream was to see this finished. And that is a critical element of this machine."

Jack’s eyes narrowed as he studied the young woman before him. "How do you know my brother? How do you know me?"

Rachel sighed and carefully pondered how much to divulge. She had been given the knowledge that all the missing parts would be returned to the Integratron – all except this one. What she wasn’t aware of was his reason for taking the part. They sized each other up for a few minutes, until finally she broke the silence.

"I am from the future. I was given a mission to gather the parts of the Integratron to make it operational."

Jack shook his head. "Operational??? George spent the last decade of his life trying to make it operational. He almost gave up when his wife died, but kept on to no avail. So how can you suddenly make it work? Find something in the ‘future’? Or did Dorris send you?" His glare could have cut through steel.

"I know you have suspicions about your brother’s new wife. And while you are correct in the fact that she betrayed him, your accusation about me working for her is false." She pulled the glass orb out of her pocket and held it up for him to examine. "This is why the Integratron would not work. If you trust me, I can show you my claims are true." She extended her hand. Warily, he reached out and in a flash, both disappeared.

 

 

 

 

 

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  'Giant Rock: The Conception' statistics: (click to read)
Date created: Jan. 25, 2010
Date published: Jan. 28, 2010
Comments: 2
Tags: giant, rock
Word Count: 2191
Times Read: 388
Story Length: 2
Children Rank: 4.3/5.0 (6 votes)