Regeneration, Pt. 8 of 8. Nadine regained consciousness in warm darkness in a completely different time and place. She felt a layer of membranes snug against her nude body that provided support and protection, but she was unable to physically talk or even breathe. Incredibly, she did not have to, and her muscles felt no pain or numbness from the tight vacuum seal of the opaque envelope. It was a storage sac, a kind of womb, and her strength slowly returned after really an unknown amount of proper time. She managed a feeble move outward against the slippery inner skin, but it would not tear and release her as increasingly desired. "Where am I?" she mentally cried. "Have to get . . . out of here. God help me. Please?" Another voice likewise answered her. "You no longer need help or to be afraid, Nadine. I will always be with you. Struggle harder, and you
Regeneration, Pt. 7 of 8. Nadine held onto the strong line tightly secured to the yellow-glowing pedestal and pulled as hard as possible downward. She felt G-forces press her to the now-glowing floor to the point that even breathing was difficult, but they were still greatly diminuated to preserve life as a last self-preservation measure by the power pylon. Only the build-up of lactic acid in her fixed arm muscles forced her to relax the desperate grip and constant effort she exerted on the cord, and the top half of the cone became fully upright again. The speed of her ascent also became static, and by then, she was inside the edge of the infinite realm of space some three hundred miles above the Earth. The condensed ectoplasmic cloud, swirling and glimmering around the external force field, correspondingly thinned and evolved into plasma bands that continued to whirl about the exterior of the new vessel; they also prevented her from feeling the effects
Regeneration, Pt. 6 of 8. Jack made a loop in the nylon line and swung it above his head briefly before he released it into a favorable gust of wind toward the globe atop the pylon. The others watched as the lasso attempt failed and subsequently appeared more despondent. He assured them that he was no Pecos Bill while pulling the line back toward him and enlarging the loop, but they looked more anxious when a second attempt was also unsuccessful. At first, the loop appeared to go around the top of and over the supported sphere but then popped off, as if it had the same charge to a strong magnet. Lightning crackled overhead, and he wondered if the intense static electricity fluffing their hair and tickling their skin affected his efforts. Bonnie could wait no more for success and boldly went forward onto the open platform after handing him her loaded spear-gun. She put her arms out, showing that it was safe for them
Regeneration, Pt. 5 of 8. The sky rapidly became as dark as night, and the lightning discharges were almost continuous when Jack, Bonnie, and Nadine advanced further within the forbidden area. It was like an experimental biology laboratory in which every imaginable plant form was being manifested, moving up and retracted back down fast respectively before their eyes -- tested temporarily for adaptation in any permitting planetary environment. Insects, amphibians, and other otherworldly fauna also seemed to come out of nowhere to be most visible during the electrical outbursts, but all was primitive and unknown to any science; they could not even guess why. In their situation, they could not ponder the very important question either, only to know that something was increasingly wrong. Time and evolution together could not remain artificially in check for any reason -- even in the ri's sanctuary. The alien plants popped up
Regeneration, Pt. 4 of 8. The remaining adventurers of the group were emerging from the native Carboniferous Age forest toward the central point of the ri's sanctuary at about the same time the others were released onto the high plains desert. They were still well within the collapsing perimeter of the ancient world and had covered a shorter distance, but with much less haste. Caution was required of them in the increasing darkness, as twigs, leaves, and debris rained downward from a more angry sky. They moved more like burglars toward the primary room of a living temple seeking expected and guarded treasure. However, unlike a house, this place had no visible avenues of escape. The prehistoric trees were replaced by smaller more fantastic flora, and they were bathed by the softer warm greenish-yellow light again. None of them could believe their shielded eyes would ever witness to such a strange area. The ill
Regeneration, Pt. 3 of 8. The dismayed vagabonds slowly got to their knees and likewise examined the bleak landscape under the baking sun. Their strength returned fast as they could finally rest in peace alive, but Maxine's screams were again heard in the distance behind them -- screams of jubilation now instead of terror. They initially thought the joyous cries were in their minds, and Russel was first to stand up and see her on the other side of a 4-wire fence in the flesh several hundred feet away. The sight of her uplifted their spirits greatly, as it also indicated their actual location. "Shit! That crazy bitch has to have more lives than a black cat, but I've got her now," the rugged detective mumbled. "Probably has more luck than sense," Walter added. "Dumb luck too," Iris said. "I thought she was a goner."
Regeneration, Pt. 2 of 8. Russel stepped out from the limited cover first and was followed close behind by Walter, Iris, and Maxine. They moved through the blackness at an irregular walking speed dictated by the uneven ground and wind-blown foliage. The relentless gusts blew against them more as the strange trees and large ferns vaporized in bright flashes and disappeared with ever increasing frequency. The bigger the plant, the larger and more intense the flash was; the lightning above illuminated them more with its blue-violet light, to also provide brief visibility across the increasingly vacant terrain ahead. They could only guess and pray to themselves to be able to endure the nightmarish circumstances long enough, as the wind appeared to blow everything away into oblivion. They struggled against the chaotic mayhem for almost another twenty minutes and had to yell at each other to do even the simplest verbal communi
Regeneration, Pt. 1 of 8. The violent gathering gloom of the strange storm overwhelmed the frightened members of the fearful team on the outgoing raft first. The clouds became, lower, and more active, and bursts of electricity flashed through them, followed by radiating blue-white veins of lightning. As best as he could tell, Russel estimated that they had been rowing fervently and following the currents for nearly a half hour before the ferocious winds could no longer be effectively countered by their desperate efforts. Even within the narrower stream they were in, it caused resisting frothy waves and sprayed water and leaves at them, as if trying to make the whole environment resist them with a conscious intention. By then, they were accustomed to the loud thunder that shook the air at random, but the rapidly increasing darkness was even more frightening. The four terrorized people sought protection from the worsening
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