We quickly made our way back to the cave. It was amazing how difficult it was to determine the opening from the outside, but once inside, one could never tell and may even have a hard time finding it again. The wolves assured us that the flyers could not pass through if they saw us, but would only get badly bruised heads or limbs if they tried, especially if they try to jump through, as some users like to do. They recommended that we not imitate the jumpers, since they were experiencing difficulties with the portal at this time. Once inside the portal, we rested until the others returned, hoping they would not be too long in returning, since night fall was not too far off.
A little while later the professor and Sarah returned with their companions. They seemed a little exhausted. <What happened?> I asked. <They settled down to a meal,> the professor answered, <but they seemed to be in a hurry to eat it.> <We suspect that they will be here shortly to investigate, since it will be getting too dark soon,” said Sarah. <We are protected by this portal?> I asked concerned. <As far as our experience with it has shown, it will be just a boulder to them with no way they can enter,> my wolf companion, Midnight, answered. <We will soon see. Here they come!>
I think we all felt a little worried and anxious to see what would happen, but we placed a lot of trust in our companions. The men came quickly up from the path that led from the beach. All four of them came with their machines. I suspected that they needed higher grounds to take off rather than the beach. But later we learned that the wind from the ocean was enough to get the lift they needed with these excellent designed flying machines. Unfortunately, they dropped their machines on the path at the top of the hill not far from us and continued to advance towards our cave opening. We seemed so vulnerable with the opening right in front of us and facing their advance, that I wanted to run back into the cave, but the wolves stood their ground, not moving a muscle.
Soon they were right before us looking at the ground around the boulder, checking the foot prints of the wolves. Our companions had tried to walk out the human prints with their own. At one point they looked straight at us, as though the boulder was a two way mirror, but in the end they could not see us or even suspect that we were inside. But something told me that they suspected, and all might not be what it appeared. They were here before, that much was obvious, and maybe they had seen someone or something come out of the portal or at least got a glimpse. But they said nothing, only staring at the boulder for a long while, then turned and walked back to their flying machines.
<They are beautiful,> Sarah said. <So tall and lean and well proportioned. They must fly a lot to stay in such great shape.> <Is this love at first sight?> teased Michael. I don’t think Sarah heard, since she couldn’t take her eyes off of our aliens. They were a sight to behold, but very much humans! Whatever this planet was before with its alien life, it was now definitely populated with humans, at least four male looking humans.
<I don’t understand, Professor?> I asked. <Is this portal to another world, or to another part of our planet?> <I thought it was to another planet,> he answered as he turned to look at the wolves for verification. <The moons,> Alpha pointed out, <we are on another planet. At some point in earth’s time, after the Great Disaster, these portals were set up to save as many humans as possible. Unfortunately, as the radiation levels rose, many of the portals were inaccessible. Once they are set up, they are hard to move, even though the K-dwellers use mainly their mental abilities to work them. This portal is permanent, as far as we can tell.> I had to mention my suspicions. <I couldn’t help but feel that the young men have been here before, and were curious about our boulder. It seems that they may suspect something, even though they could not see us yet?>
The young men were taller than humans, but also much thinner and lean. The gravity of this planet must be much lighter, since we could feel it on our way to the beach. But that would only partly explain their longer and lighter body frames. They seemed most adapted to the flying machines, or the other way around. They were walking back to their machines where they had left them. Their bodies gracefully covered the distance quickly because of their long legs. They seemed to be covered in a tight fitting body suit, I guess, to keep them more aero-dynamic, but it didn’t hide anything either. Their machines were super light as I could tell, as they picked them up by one hand and fitted it over and around them, then fastening a seat with a back that fitted under their crotch and came up in “y” shape tubes that went up and around their legs holding them in place. That way the wings, which seemed to be operated by a pumping action using the feet and legs, helped to hold them in place, and where they could even get a running start and jump. This left the upper body free to operate the steering mechanism with the hands and arms. We could see that the machine was stable enough that one could operate a bow and arrow with enough coordination and practice, as we witnessed earlier.
How easily they were airborne. One, two, three, four, quick loping runs and a jump, then they quickly put their feet in the stirrups to work the wings, and they were already flying off in the direction of the high mountain in the distance. I think we all were envious of their flight, and lingered a little longer to watch them fly out of sight. A little friendly growl from our companions, though, brought us back to the mission.
<We need to report into the Global Government,> the professor reminded us. <It has been several days now, and I am sure they are worried, since this is new territory.> <We will have to pass through the tunnel again and on to the outside for us to get a good signal,> Sarah said. <Maybe the wolves can show us a pass through this old roadway tunnel to save us some time in getting back. I am sure this tunnel will lead us closer to a place where we can be picked up,> the professor suggested. <I do not think this tunnel goes anywhere you would want to go. We have explored it ourselves and know that it makes a turn and opens into a new area that no one has explored before,> Alpha said. <If it is a new territory, I would be interested in checking it out,> Michael said. <We seem to be getting lucky with aliens and portals so far.> <This territory,> Alpha warned, <could be filled with mutants. There is always that danger.> <She is right,> Sarah said. <I for one do not want to run into any of those monsters that we encountered on the last expedition!> <But that has been rare,> Michael sounded disappointed. <Let us report first,> said the professor, <and let them decide.>