Silhouettes on the landscape

In the alter-universe a group of soldiers have a strange experience.

(Originally written as a response to a word challenge)


“What the fuck just happened?” shouted Undercempa Hof in surprise.

Da N’tan could see his junior officer’s wide eyes in the band of green across her face. “I don’t know Sari but we’re back now” he replied, his face was half painted the same colour making it resemble a classical theatre mask. He turned and looked at the other soldiers who seemed as shocked as they did. “Bonnie you’re our Psi, got any ideas?”

Cempa Da N’tan was with Hof’s company currently carrying out exercises on the Wolds and had brought along Audrey Ashby aka Bonnie, a third level Psi or Magus as their telepathic relay. “I have no explanation but it had something to do with the Helm, of that you can be certain. I felt a huge surge in energy when it happened!” she replied excitedly.

The Helm, the mysterious other place, was the source of all novae power which was utilised by channelling it through a unique organ in their bodies called the Portal Node. The huscarls had been advancing in open formation up a hill towards the dawn’s red light and upon cresting the ridge stepped into a very different landscape. The sun was now setting behind them and ahead was an open space where a white scrid had been parked. Two figures in dark blue uniforms had got out of the vehicle to stare at them in astonishment then they were back on the familiar hilltop. It had been mere seconds but all fifty-eight novae had experienced it.

Bonnie stood for a long time reaching out with her mind but could feel only the resonation of her colleagues. “Nothing, it must have been a sudden energy spike that leaked into our world temporarily, I’ll report it immediately, certain people in London are going to be very interested in this.”

While Psi Ashby sent a telepathic report to the Highest in London, Hof had the troops fall out for a rest stop. She passed an energy bar to her commanding officer. “Do you think we shared in some kind of mass hallucination Boss?”

“It seemed so real Sari, I’d tempted to think we briefly stepped into another world” he replied.

“Did you see the looks on their faces? I think they were more shocked than we were” Sari ruminated. “They looked a bit like Ward officers…”

“Do you think we should report that?” asked Sergeant Dobbs in disbelief.

“You’re in charge Sarge.” Replied Wpc Beale, they had stopped in the car park for a secret, and totally against regulations, assignation. They were both married, but not each other.

“What do we report Judy? That we saw a load of soldiers on Hubbards Hill then they just vanished? And questions will be asked as to what we’re doing up here” was his answer.

‘We don’t definitely know they were soldiers do we Marty?’

‘Oh come on Judy they had helmets and guns and stuff!’

‘Yeah I know but the sun was behind him and all we saw was their silhouettes on the hill.’