The Shasta Caper
by John Pirillo
Robin and Smarn had a hard time hiding on the ground floor of the containment area where the prisoners were being held. The prisoners were so frightened that they were literally weeping to be freed, but Robin couldn't risk it. It would probably mean their immediate death if he freed them now. So with a finger to his lips for silence he climbed Smarn's shoulders and leaped to an overhanging cargo area. He reached his bow down and Smarn used it to swing himself up beside Robin. It was a routine they had practiced for years in the Hollow Lands as they were called by he and his peoples.
The Hollow Earth, most people think, is a land of Holy Ones, whose vibration is so pure that they can't tolerate or live with anyone else, when the reality was that the interior of the earth was so vast that those of the secretive and spiritual sort, like the so-called Holy Ones, tended to be safely secure in one of the areas usually remote to access and well hidden, such as the Higher Mountains which some called the underbelly of Mount Shasta and the Himalayas.
If one could draw a line marking the mountains inside it would form an almost perfect star, with the ranges crisscrossing each other below, even if above, they appeared in a totally different pattern.
Robin had spoken with Methusaleh once about the pattern and the nature of the hidden world below and he had laughed and said that God wasn't talking.
Robin had been confused at the time, for that was centuries ago now, but with time and age and experience he had learned much about the Inner World...or the Hollow Earth as it was named by the Upper Earthers, as they were called by those who lived beneath them.
Basically, the mountains were power storages. They held tremendous forces which if unleashed at the same time could shatter the planet, much as had been done to the ancient planet of Maldek when its citizens became so dark and evil that the Ancient Ones could no longer allow them to spread their vibrations across the universe.
Those planterary chunks left of the dark planet now orbited near Mars. The asteroid belt. A grim reminder of how the universe can correct itself when necessary to get rid of annoying dark spots in its matter areas.
Smarn smelled like corn cobs as Robin lay next to him. He only smelled that way when he was afraid, or nervous, or building up his courage for battle. He knew Smarn wasn't afraid and by the tension he felt in Smarn, he knew his tall friend was anything but nervous. He was getting ready to do what must be done to protect his neighbors below.
Many of the caught ones cuffed to the poles below had come from neighboring villages and thanks to that, Robin was able to convince them to be quiet, even though they knew that help might be very close for them. Their terror had to be great, as he and they knew what happened to those brought to the realm of the Dark Ones, as the germanic tribes were called. The Battle Tubes were known to be a fatal field of play for prisoners.
Robin remembered when that area of the world had been inhabited by peaceful Indians who had descended from the Shasta area above to escape the rampages of the white man, who plundered their lands for wealth and rape.
Robin shuddered when he thought of the anguish his beloved friends had been through. He had fought the savagery of a terrible king and they had to fight against the ravage of not only the white men above, but the Dark Ones below.
Robin with the help of Smarn and his giant friends had managed to secure the freedom and safety of most of their tribe, but many had fallen in the last battle that caused their fall and the capture of the lands by the Dark Ones.
It had happened almost a century ago now, sometime towards the end of the second war above. He frowned at that thought. Everyone below still shook in terror at the tests that had been constructed and carried through by both the Dark Ones and the Allied Nations who had fought the.
Atomic bombs they were called if he remembered correctly.
He swiped at his forehead where beads of sweat were forming. Must be some kind of heating grid overhead causing the rise of body temperature. He glanced aside at Smarn, and his noble face was glistening with sweat.
"Soon." He told Smarn.
Smarn nodded. He was short of words when none were needed, but long in action when that occurred.
Robin again thought of what had happened when the first atomic weapons had been detonated above. He had been exploring the Inner Lands with some of his friends when the first had gone off. The sky above had shaken terribly and darkened. Every single animal for miles around had fled in terror. The skies, which never had a dark cloud in them, suddenly filled with terrible storms that tore and ripped at the landscape, sweeping him and his men off their feet and tumbling them like rags about the land, until they could finally secure themselves safely.
It had been a terrible time and he remembered Methusaleh being angry for one of the first times he had ever none him. "This must not go on!" He had proclaimed!
Robin knew from the look on his face that it would not bode well for those above if they continued in the vanity of their destruction and self destructive ways.
But as the years rolled by and more and more of the devices were exploded on the surface Methusaleh calmed down. Robin had sat with him on the Great Stone one night as they looked out over the valleys below and asked him upfront. "Why?"
Methusaleh had sighed. "It is with great pain and effort that we deny the freewill of mankind."
"But these people above risk destroying us as well." Robin protested.
Methusaleh had given him a long and searching look. Robin had felt when he looked in those ancient eyes as if he were falling into an infinite ocean of kindness and calm.
"It will not be allowed!"
And that was the last time either had spoken of the weapons and soon thereafter the testing had stopped, even though some minor testing proceeded, which Robin assumed were done in stealth as none who descended from above brought word of them.
The sound of laughter brought Robin's attention back to the prisoners below. The soldiers were entering up the ramp. It closed and they dispersed themselves about the room, weapons held loosely, but at the ready in case any of their prisoners got any ideas.
Then the ship began to vibrate strongly.
The prisoners looked up at Robin, but he shook his head sternly. They all looked back down again, but their terror was absolute. He felt it. It caused the air in the large hold to stink as many gave off their odors of fear.
The vibrating stopped, then he felt a sense of motion. Gentle at first, then more urgent.
He glanced at Smarn. Smarn looked into his eyes. He only hoped that they would be able to rescue the strangers, as well as those below. His hand tensed on his bow and his blade. His eyes narrowed as he counted the soldiers below. Only two dozen.
John Pirillo"Writing fuels the heart and soul!" Science Fiction, Fantasy and Adventure Tales to Take Your Breath Away!