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Chapter Two

Missing in Action

Ben helped Maria as she stumbled slightly when they stepped out of the flash of light onto the grass at the rear of the farmhouse.

“You okay, Mom?”

“Yes, just lost my footing. I’ll be fine.”

Ben turned to see the view into the intragate chamber, still shimmering in the night air in front of the two large sheds. He watched as Levi took the tissue samples and the virus canister from Michael then helped Tina toward the intragate. There was another blinding flash of light and Levi and Tina appeared at the farm.

“You made it,” said Ben, with a sigh of relief.

“Yes,” Levi replied. “Michael and Charlie are right behind us.”

He helped Tina to sit down on the grass. She was pressing on the wound in her side to stem the bleeding, but didn’t appear to be in too much pain. They all saw Michael standing with Charlie at the intragate console but then the view into the chamber abruptly vanished.

“What’s happened?” said Ben.

“I don’t know,” Levi replied.

“We could see you talking to Michael and Charlie in the chamber then there was a flash of light before you appeared here,” said Maria. “What’s happening?”

“Michael said it was unstable,” Tina added. “He said that he didn’t know how long he could keep it focused on the farm.”

“So where are they?” asked Ben, staring at the air where the shimmering view had been visible only moments earlier. “Shouldn’t Michael and Charlie be here by now? What’s happened to them?”