My Original Portal Story. “it came to me in a dream. Many years ago.
Dimension of Spiders
In the dark of the night in the forsaken wastes of the western united states lay a Petroform. There were thousands of such prehistoric rock constructions scattered throughout the continent and many more thousands throughout the world. They'd been there since before living memory of the local peoples. No one knew what they were there for although there were speculations. Speculations usually involving religion....astronomy or weather.
This one began to glow..........starting as a faint luminosity barely discernible by the naked eye but getting brighter and brighter. Had one the resources it might have been instructive to note that vastly greater energies were hinted at in the sub and supra visible spectrum. Faint to begin with but with increasing brightness, rays of multi and mono-chromatic light began to trace the shape of a portal. A portal the size of an aircraft hangar door...for a BIG aircraft. Increasingly brighter and brighter ,....... then.., almost faster than the eye could follow, a shape emerged from the ray traced portal and sped away across the plains...... accompanied by the sound of a great wind.
The portal vanished like a popped soap bubble....and the petroform's glow diminished and went away. Shortly it was as if nothing had happened.
* * *
Rolling across US Highway 50 in western Utah in the pre-dawn twilight were a trio of BullRacks. They were, as usual for cow-haulers, overloaded and speeding. The more time cows spent on-board and traveling the more weight they lost. The more weight they lost the less the cow-haulers got paid. It was in the best interests of the cow-haulers bank account to absolutely minimize the time interval between loading and unloading. Triple digit speeds helped them achieve that goal.
This stretch of Highway 50 was conducive to high speeds. As far as one could see in front, and equally far behind, horizon to horizon was flat as a billiard table. The highway was straight as a ruler. Normally there wasn't any traffic....especially at this time of the night. Over the border in Nevada, the locals had named US 50 "The loneliest highway in America." It was positively urban by comparison to this stretch in Utah.
Moving along at speeds in excess of one hundred and ten miles per hour, spaced about a quarter of a mile apart...the trio of bull racks sped thru the night.Normally , if there was any other traffic, the the bull racks were much, much faster.
Not this morning. They were being overtaken....and rapidly.
The driver of the rear bull rack first noticed the pursuit in his rear view mirror. He immediately informed his buddies using the CB radio.
"Hey ya'll" he said "...something coming up from behind ...REAL fast...it's gonna pass.".
" Can't let that happen guys" said one of the other drivers..."mash your motor".
So they did....each Peterbilt was powered by tricked out Caterpillar engines which displaced about a thousand cubic inches, and put out over six hundred horse power. Eighteen speed "double overdrive" transmissions and 3.23 "rears" provided a theoretical top speed of over one twenty miles per hour. The drivers had no idea how MUCH more...their speedometers "pegged" at 120. The speedometers had been pegged for some time.
The over taking apparition was brightly lit. At first the truckers thought it was an aircraft..but as it rapidly overhauled them it appeared to be a "chicken truck". An extremely LARGE chicken truck.
Were there an observer properly located he would have observed three bull racks, hammer down, engines bellowing with smoke billowing from their twin stacks, screaming across the asphalt at about one hundred and forty miles per hour. Behind them and rapidly overtaking them was another, very odd looking, VERY large truck which was DECELERATING RAPIDLY so as not to pass the trio at too great of a speed. Upon catching up to the semi's the apparition strolled past them slowly....if one might consider a hundred and fifty miles an hour to be "strolling".
Looking out his window each trucker in turn , as they were consequently passed, saw a vehicle pass them unlike anything they had ever before seen...and they were veteran drivers of many years.
In the passenger side window of the high speed monster....swear to gawd...there appeared to be a white cat , serenely observing the slower trucks as they were passed. The cat was wearing an eye patch...and was smoking a cigar.
When the monster wagon passed the trio of straining bull racks....and was a safe distance ahead it accelerated.
Within in minutes is was out of sight ...and over the horizon.
* * *
Onboard the high speed Leviathan.
"That was cute" said the driver...who...in a bad light...might pass as human.
"Who you calling cute?" said the cat smoking his cigar. "quit dawdling....the next gate is due to transit shortly..you wasted enough time not blowing the locals off the road."
"Uh Oh" said the driver.
"In times like this Uh-oh" is not a helpful statement" said the cat.
"On the radar....now...you can see it visibly...just before the gate..."...said the driver, rapidly manipulating controls....
"Uh Oh" said the cat looking forward...choking on it's cigar.
* * *
The old trucker hated being up this early. He normally didn't get up until AFTER sunrise. But "they" were screaming at him to get the load delivered. Seems a mine ahead there in Nevada had it's panties all in a twist about needing another excavator. If they'd needed it that bad they should have shipped it sooner.
The old trucker was miffed. He HATED bootlegging a load. The downside was just too great. He'd been forced to go against his instincts on this load. He'd run after dark and started before daylight...like today. The mine REALLY wanted this excavator and he was trying his best to get it to them.
Bubba and LeRoy...his cats...were smarter than he was...they were in the bunk asleep.
Glancing into his rear view mirror from time to time as he normally did the old truck noticed a speck far, far behind him. Just about at the horizon.
The speck grew at fantastic speeds, growing enormous...........passing................
"Oh Shiiiii..........." the old driver said...clamping down on his ceegar and trying to edge his wide load over as far as he could so the frickin' idiot coming up behind could pass....
.....and a tunnel opened in front of them
......and the monster Leviathan whooshed into the gate at five hundred miles per hour
......and the heavy haul KenWorth was pretty much sucked in behind it....barely under control.
........and the gate shut soundlessly
........and all was quiet and serene as the sun rose upon the Great Basin.
Somewhere a chukar called to it's mate.
* * *
The driver of the ET truck looks into his version of a rear view mirror just as they clear the gate.
"Dammit-boy" he says
"I just know that I'm not going to like this"...says the cat....arching it's back and scratching the upholstery...."what?"
" We sucked the local yokel thru the gate with us"...said the Driver...
"hissssss"...said the cat.
"sigh....nothing for it....." moaned the driver...." we got to stop.....can't leave him here. Not in THIS continuum...activate the gun-pod "....
"as if I wasn't already" growled the cat as it snuggled into it's seat and made adjustments to various devices...
The big truck...the ET...began to make a huge sweeping turn...slowing down as it did and returning to the truck from the "other dimension"
While making the turn and proceeding with all due haste back to the earth truck the driver of the ET focused his forward vision plates on the earth truck...and zoomed in on the scene...what he saw filled him with dismay...
"oh shit..." mumbled the driver..."already...I'd hoped we'd have had more time".
....and rather than continuing to slow down he speeded up.
"Get ready cat...this is going to be tricky"....
"rrrrrrrrrrrrrrr'...said the cat....snuggling into the harness..
* * *
"Damn lucky I drive slow"...thinks the old trucker as he fights the controls of his truck. They'd just exited the portal into this.......place...and he was having a very difficult time keep it upright. He was braking as fast as he could and fighting a jackknife...
He almost made it. Damn ditch. What was a ditch doing out here? The right trailer tires dropped into the unwelcome depression which caused the rig to tilt to the right. That wouldn't have been too bad but for the fact that the ditch led into a LARGER ditch...which just continued the tipping movement.
In other words the truck rolled.
In slow motion...the trailer rolled over, and over...pulling the truck with it. For a while there they were sliding along. The left wheels of the truck were in the air...the trailer was tilted even further...and they slowing to a stop...but nature wasn't helping any....another hole in the ground appeared in just the wrong place and the trailer continued it's roll....twisting even further.
The kingpin could only take so much. With an explosive "pop" and it broke and ripped free from the fifth wheel. The airlines and electrical lines immediately stretched past the breaking point and snapped. Backlash imparted recoil to the truck caused it to flip BACK into the upright position even as the trailer continued to roll...and roll. Losing pieces as it rolled down the hill.
Eventually the truck plowed to an abrupt stop into a mound of sand while yards away the trailer finally quit rolling. Amazingly enough, to those who didn't know the old trucker, it's load was still chained securely to the bed of the trailer. Ragged, bent up, broken , missing pieces and leaking hydraulic fluid..but still attached to the trailer.
"Well SHIT!" growled the trucker as he finally settled down after being bounced around like a bb in a can....."Spilt my damn coffee!!"
The trucker somehow managed to find and light a ceegar...he looked out the front of the truck thru where there once had been a windshield.
"oh no" he said reaching for his Glock...' this is turning out to be a really bad day".
The two cats...Bubba and LeRoy....released their death grip on the upholstery and emitted terrifying battle screams. Claws out...fangs bared.
Over the hood crept horrors...
..........spiders. Many, many spiders. Big suckers too. Some were a yard across...most however where a third that size. The trucker punched the lights out of various spiders with his Glock. He wasn't supposed to have a weapon onboard his truck..much less a pistol...but then he wasn't supposed to do a lot of things.
He continued to fire, managing to keep most of the big ones away. One shot to center of mass and they kind of exploded...the range wasn't much. He was in the driver's seat and they were trying to get into the truck by crawling over the hood....thru the busted windshield. Amazingly enough both side windows were intact.
Some of the smaller spiders , for some....really damn big...values of small...had managed to evade his fire. Bubba and LeRoy however were on the scene...almost as if they had been trained. Cat Claws and teeth could dispatch the one pound pseudo arachnoids quite adeptly. For never having left the truck in their lives the two cats were doing quite well.
For a while there it was a stalemate. Big spiders would come into view over the hood of the truck and suffer the same fate a watermelon would when hit by a high powered bullet. Some of the smaller spiders evaded the gunfire and entered the truck....to be rendered by the cats. Unfortunately there were a LOT of spiders. One of the spiders evaded both the gunfire and the cats and slashed the drivers leg. This tended to degrade his accuracy and more spiders got by...and more. Shooting at targets inside the truck wasn't productive but he had a hammer under his seat. The hammer very satisfyingly squished the little ones and didn't do the big one's any good either.
But there were a LOT of spiders....
* * *
The ET truck was still moving very rapidly when it's pulse gunn began to fire. The cat was locked in on the spider like creatures which were attacking the trucker.
From the truck came a slow, methodical "bang.....bang....bang..." but then it quit. Cat Battle Screams from inside the truck were growing weaker as were the obscene bellows from the trucker....liquids of various consistency and colors were splattered on the inside of the side windows and dripping off the hood.
The driver's door popped open and the driver rolled out of his seat and fell to the sand. He had two cats on his back protecting his get-away. The interior of the truck was painted with spider ichor. Spider ichor flowed from the open door and dripped down the sides....it must have been inches deep in the cab.
The driver was severely injured as were the cats....he couldn't walk and neither could they. He drug himself, and them out into the open. It wasn't the best of defensive positions...in fact it sucked...but it was what he had.
He and the cats , facing three directions now, couldn't be snuck up on and they had room to move. Such had not been the case in the cab of the truck. They all three settled down to business. Approaching spiders got shot if they were big enough...smashed with the four pound baby sledge or slashed and ripped by the cats.
A good time was being had by all but the Trucker and the cats were getting weaker. They were bleeding out and there were still a LOT of spiders. They never even noticed the ET.
It was getting dark. The driver couldn't see too well. LeRoy was in his lap not moving and Bubba was hanging across his shoulder. And ANOTHER spider leapt...and got the baby sledge between the mandibles...(squish)...and ANOTHER spider leapt...and got a 9mm bullet thru the center of mass for it's trouble...
A spider jumped on his back...and bubba used his remaining strength of bite, slash and claw the spider...
It was getting dark...
The old driver swung one more time...smashed a leaping spider to mush...and collapsed....Bubba drug himself over to "his" human bared his teeth..and proceed to take on all comers...
No one noticed the crackling sound as the ET slid to a stop not yards away....it's pulse guns were firing continuously...and the remaining spiders were popping like soap bubble landing on grass....
The ET slid to a stop and a monstrous form emerged, followed by a small white cat with an eyepatch.. the duo walked over to where the old man lay. One cat, the siamese, was beside him, dead or unconscious...the Black one...torn to doll rags...was on his back.
Bubba faced the new "threat" and hissed....
* * *
The old trucker put his cigar down and stood up politely as GOD walked into the room.
Not God actually. But if Charleton Heston made a good Moses this guy made a damn good God.
"Well son" said the pseudo deity..." it's a fine mess you got yourself into".
"Reckon so" said the old man. " Last thing I remember I was dying"
"Me too" said Bubba the black cat.
"Me too" said LeRoy, the siamese.
"God" smiled. "Well let me give you the executive summary...then we'll see what we can do".
It turned out to be a pretty good deal. The old trucker's last stand against the spiders had been 'filmed' by the ET truck coming to the rescue....then put on the "indie" market. That kind of thing seemed to be fairly popular right now and it brought in a remarkable amount of money. Since the old trucker and his cats had been "involved" , so to speak, they got a share of the revenue. Pretty big share. Huge even.
The ET and his cat were long gone...they had deadlines to meet. They'd scooped up the ragged, mostly dead human and his two feline companions and popped them into, for lack of a better word, the freezer. There they had "kept" until the ET truck had reached "civilization" They had then dropped off the old trucker and HIS cats at the local equivalent of an animal shelter.
The vet at the "animal shelter" had done a little tinkering and the human and two felines were good as new. Actually, as they were learning...they were much, much BETTER than new. How MUCH better was going to take some getting used to.
"So that's how it is" said GOD.... the avatar of the General Omniscient Device that stayed in the basement where it was cool....
"You're a free agent. And you have some income...what you do next is up to you."