Leonis,1:1,2:2 - Lightning Rod - Part I

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This new reality was dark. Actually it was pitch black, and as Parker placed his hands to his ears, clearly not as quiet as it was devoid of light.

"What the hell is going on here?" Parker exclaimed as he experienced a deafening sound he swore might collapse his eardrums.  Then, without warning, the rumbling broke, plunging Parker's dark world into a calm and peaceful silence. He removed his hands from the sides of his head and exhaled in relief. Stretching out his arms to either side, Parker nervously grabbed at the nothingness with his fingers. He hoped against hope he didn't find anything waiting for him in its depths, especially anything sharp, angry, hungry, or a combination of all three.

"Oh, come on!" Parker winced as he realized he only experienced a temporary break in the noise. Covering his ears once more, Parker thought he might have a vague idea as to what the bellowing sound belonged to. He imagined the horrid, ear-piercing noise originated from some type of machine or engine, and whatever it was, wherever it was, this roaring, mechanical beast was definitely powerful.

            Light suddenly filled Parker's world.

            "What the hell!?!!" shouted a shadow. The stranger stood away from the open door and lifted something in front of him like a weapon. "Where'd you come from?"

            "Whoa! Hang on a sec!" Parker exclaimed, cowering before the man. He, too, threw a hand up, but his was empty and used to shield his face from the light showering down on him from the open door. As his eyes slowly adjusted, Parker found he was crouching in the middle of some sort of storage room, the smell of motor oil and gasoline filled the air.

The noise stopped once more.

Parker could now make out that the stunned man in greasy coveralls standing over him in the doorway was about his age. Sprigs of sandy, blonde hair jutted outward from the edges of the stranger's dirty ball cap and he wore a menacing look on his face.

            "Hey, Don, what's the hold up?" echoed a voice from across the room.

"Uh, come 'ere a sec, Jerry," the man named Don said over his shoulder, his eyes never leaving Parker's face.

"What now? Huh?...who the hell are you?" inquired a middle-aged African-American man. He wiped his dirty hands on a red shop towel as he approached.

The older man stepped up next to Don, and they both gawked at Parker.

            "You wouldn't believe me..."

            "Try me," the younger man said, smacking the wrench against an open palm over and over again. "I was just in that room last night and you were not in there! Ain't no way to get in or out..."

            Jerry crossed his arms and lowered his face, looking at Parker from beneath the ridge of his wrinkled forehead. The older man's glasses were perched on the end of his nose. He reminded Parker of a college professor or a librarian.

            "You're with Roger's team, aren't you? Trying to catch a glimpse of ol' Lightning Rod before Osirisday?" Don asked accusingly.

            "Osirisday?" Parker asked aloud.

            Don and Jerry looked at each other and then back at Parker.

            Don crossed his arms, assuming a similar stance as the older man, but with one exception...he held the wrench to his chest, right in front of his heart. "You're drunk ain't cha, mister?"

            "No, erm, not now..."

            "Well, that explains that," Jerry said. "Regardless, you can't be too sober, especially if you don't know what day of the week it is."

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