Here is a special sneak peak of the next Legend Trippers book. If you like what you see hear, you can download Legend Trippers: Addonexus later this year. The first book, Legend Trippers: Screaming is Believing, can be downloaded now from Amazon.
Next up, the cover reveal!
Mathias Roderick gazed out a cabin window as his Bombardier Challenger 300 streaked across the heavens. He ignored the sky of glimmering stars above, focusing rather on the black void thirty thousand feet below. There were no lights, no landmarks, nothing to prove the existence of life on Earth. It seemed as though they were flying over a bottomless pit – a limbo going on for miles in every direction. Hidden somewhere beyond that impenetrable veil of night was the North Atlantic Ocean – a very special part of the North Atlantic Ocean.
Roughly five-hundred thousand square miles comprised this infamous spot located between Florida, Bermuda, and Puerto Rico. If one were to draw this spot on a map, it would be a very simple shape. A triangle.
Roderick smiled. According to the United States Navy, this area did not officially exist. It was just another stretch of blue-green water. Beautiful, of course, but hardly unique. And certainly not paranormal. Funny how an area with no paranormal properties has managed to claim over one thousand recorded lives.
In his mind, he recounted a small sample of the disappearances. In 1918, the USS Cyclops vanished while transporting magnesium ore. Despite a massive search effort carried out by every naval ship between Cuba and Puerto Rico, no trace of the vessel was ever recovered. As for her three-hundred and nine crew members, they were never heard from again.
In 1941, the USS Proteus set sail from the Virgin Islands on course for Baltimore. It never arrived. Its fate? Unknown.
In 1948, the passenger plane Star Tiger was destined for Bermuda. Despite crystal clear skies, the airliner went missing with thirty-one souls aboard. No distress message. No debris. No oil slicks. Unbelievably, an identical fate befell her sister plane, the Star Ariel, approximately one year later. Once again, the aircraft was never found. An investigation failed to produce an answer. The grim list went on and on – freighters, bombers, navy ships, sailboats. All had slipped into the phantom world known as the Bermuda Triangle.
Even the great Christopher Columbus was not immune to the bizarre phenomenon of the Triangle. Thankfully, Columbus had managed to traverse the area without becoming lost – but not before he and his men witnessed a strange light hovering in the distance, a light which rose into the sky, dropped back down, and then suddenly blinked out of existence. At the same time, their compass readings jumped erratically for no apparent reason.
Historians and scholars had long struggled to rationalize those twin occurrences. They said the light was nothing more than torches carried by shore-bound natives. They argued the erratic compass readings were caused by a nearby metal object, something as simple as a bucket of nails.
Yet Columbus and his men were still a sizable distance away from the Indies. It would’ve been impossible to see any torchlight originating from land. And could a man as brilliant and resourceful as Columbus really have been fooled by something as elementary as a bucket of nails?
Roderick stroked his chin, pondering one question after another. What did Columbus see that night in October of 1492? Was it a meteor crashing to the Atlantic? An optical illusion? Or was it something else, something…technological?
“Amazing,” Roderick whispered to himself.
He turned and met the anxious eyes of his eighteen-year-old nephew, Jeremy. Although the Challenger was large enough to seat eight passengers, Roderick chose not to involve anyone else from Jovian Technologies. Aside from the two pilots in the cockpit, only he and Jeremy were aboard. They had removed the other seats, making room for a collection of specialized computer equipment necessary to perform their experiment.
“I was just musing,” answered Roderick, a smile of utter contentment on his face. “Imagine being there with Columbus, Jeremy. Crossing the Sargasso. Making landfall. Imagine the first time your feet touched the ground of a new world – the thrill of it, the exhilaration. With any luck, we’ll soon know exactly how Columbus must’ve felt six hundred years ago.” He relished the thought for a long moment, his hands quivering with profound joy. He noticed Jeremy’s sweat-slicked hands were also quivering, although Roderick suspected it had nothing to do with joy. Ah, Jeremy. Always so cautious. I hope this expedition will finally draw you out of your shell.
The boy swallowed. “I wonder how nervous they were. You know, before finding those islands…”
Roderick offered his nephew a reassuring look. “Most people don’t know this, but during his voyage, Columbus kept two logs. In his private journal, which no one was allowed to read except him, he accurately recorded the distances they traveled each day. But in the ship’s log, which was available to the entire crew, he lied and deliberately wrote shorter distances.”
Jeremy furrowed his brow. “Why?”
“Because Columbus knew his sailors were afraid. Those men had never been so far from Spain. No one ever had. If they couldn’t find the Indies, they’d have no way of returning home before their food and water ran out. To keep their fears from escalating to mutiny, Columbus downplayed the true numbers. Fear of the unknown, Jeremy. Raw, primal fear. That’s what we have to conquer. And what greater unknown is there than the future?”
Jeremy nodded, his nervousness seeming to fade a bit.
The intercom buzzed.
Roderick tapped a nearby panel. “Go ahead.”
The professional-sounding voice of pilot George Byron filtered through the speaker. “We’re in position, sir.”
“Very good. What’s our status?”
“All systems normal.”
“Not for long, George. Put us on autopilot. Once the experiment starts, there’ll be a number of technical anomalies. Remember, don’t panic. I’ve planned everything to the smallest detail.”
Roderick let go of the panel, satisfied with his decision to assign Byron and co-pilot Edmund Wise to this highly sensitive mission. Both men were Air Force veterans, trained to follow orders with clockwork precision and absolute loyalty. They could be trusted.
Roderick took a seat behind his computer terminal. In front of him, a large screen displayed a three-dimensional diagram of the private plane, highlighting a pair of magnetic field generators mounted directly beneath the forward and aft sections.
Roderick activated the generators, starting them on the lowest strength-density. Within moments, the generators pulsed at pre-set resonant frequencies. Another moment later, a quiet hum filled the cabin. Roderick soon felt the tingle of static electricity in the air around him. He glanced down at his hand, watching as the tiny hairs stood up. He shared a smile with Jeremy as their hair frizzled from the building static. Then he increased the strength-density to maximum. The low hum grew into a relentless drone.
Roderick turned back to the screen. A rotating sphere – invisible to the naked eye – had begun to form around the entire plane, becoming larger and larger with each second. “It’s working!” he exclaimed. “We’ve just produced an electromagnetic field!”
Before Jeremy could respond, an unearthly green light danced in through the windows. They both gazed in silent awe as a roiling, hypnotic haze slowly wrapped itself around the wings, then the hull. The glowing cloud soon covered every square inch of the exterior.
“Ionic fog,” said Roderick. “Exactly as I predicted.” He dug out his antique pocket watch. Both arms had frozen in place. “Well, well, well. It seems time just stopped.”
Jeremy’s eyes widened. “We’re not moving…”
Roderick paused. Jeremy was right. The plane had stopped in midair. He tucked the pocket watch away and crept towards a window, his fascinated gaze riveted to the emerald glow radiating through the glass.
Suddenly, something emerged from the mist. Something alive.
Roderick could barely contain his astonishment as the dark shape of a hand – with four inhumanly long, slender fingers – pressed against the window.