By Ryan MagnonFull Rant . . .
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Every year the Toy Association names the top toys in the country. These toys are some of the best selling and creative toys on the market and we are so proud to be a finalist in the action figure category for 2021! The Toy of the Year Awards, known as the “Oscars” of the toy industry, are presented annually to the top toys, games, and properties of the year. Administered by The Toy Association, the awards program supports the philanthropic work of The Toy Foundation, which delivers new toys to children in need. As consumers you can have a say as well! Voting for the awards can be done HERE.Full Rant . . .
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Operation 52 Pickup Debriefing Report
Submitted by Lt. El Ray
The final radio check I heard before my disappearance started with Commander Ezra Stone about 5 hours after we left the Ready Room in the USS Allen W. Dulles.
Operation 52 Pickup was supposed to be a simple and, as Quillroy had said, the “most, least extreme” mission. We’d been sent to recover wreckage from an experimental hyper velocity aircraft the fellows at Area 51 had been testing – The Thunderbird. It had crashed on an uninhabited Island in the Bahamas. My task was to recover the black box recorder, which was ejected from the aircraft as a safety precaution in case the hyper velocity scramjet engine vaporized the vehicle on impact. The box lay in the deep waters in the south Atlantic.
I was 5 meters down when I noticed lights emanating beyond the famous Bimini Road. I expected it to be additional crew from the Dulles searching for wreckage and swam to meet them. My path took me along the Bimini Road itself, that strange, underwater formation of ancient limestone. I wondered how anyone thousands of years ago could’ve placed such an intricate formation of cut stone so far beneath the sea. Could the creators be ancestors of mine?
Because the Dulles was sailing in open water, time was short. In the final radio check, Cdr. Stone said the Dulles aircraft carrier would transform back into its cruise liner disguise. The goal was to avoid any prying eyes from a nearby resort island. I responded that I was en route to meet, what I assumed were, exploratory subs From the Dulles. I asked for confirmation that he’d sent them.
Instead of Cdr. Stone’s response, I heard Quillroy report that he completed loading the heaviest parts of the scamjet’s fuselage onto the Tortoise amphibious hauler. He then confirmed Daart and Albert VII rendezvoused with him at the hauler after they recovered and accounted for the aircraft’s smaller parts, which were scattered on the tops of the island’s tree cover.
Cdr. Stone questioned why the mission’s second in command was responding. I would find out later that they couldn’t hear any of my radio responses. Something or someone in the area was disrupting communication in the Bermuda Triangle.
Operation 52 Pickup Debriefing Report
Submitted by Cadet Daart
Cdr. Stone already asked me what I’d witnessed, and he wrote a report. I know no one asked me to file a debriefing report in the same way the rest of the team does, but I figured I should be official too, right? Albert VII is always saying like “99% of Navy life is paperwork!” and I am in the Navy, even if I’m just a cadet, so I want to do my part!
Anyway, when we noticed El Ray wasn’t responding we got scared. Even Albert VII didn’t want to make jokes and normally I’d be happy about that because his jokes are terrible. We were back on the USS Allen W. Dulles when Cdr. Stone said he was
gonna going to send a search and rescue team. Of course he picked Albert VII and Quillroy. I never get a chance to do the cool stuff! Since I was brought into the Generation Kymera program, El Ray was always there for me… like a big brother. I think Cdr. Stone knows that too. He let me stick around the CVIC, that’s the ship’s intelligence center, so I knew what was happening while Quillroy and Al-7 took Akhlut Minisubs down to the last place that El Ray was tracked. I got to watch the live VR feed from the Akhlut imaging cams. That was cool and all, but I still want a chance to do that stuff for real.
When the subs got close to El Ray’s last known location, we saw this weird road that looked like… I
dunno don’t know.. Maybe like a buncha bunch of rocks shaped like a Connect 4 game board, except flat on the ground instead of standing up with a few obelisks scattered around. That’s when Sham started acting weird. He did that thing where his eyes move independently when he’s looking for something. I couldn’t stop thinking about it. It creeps me out. He yeeted. Then I had an idea! Sham is like James Bond from those old 007 movies. Well, except that he’s a giant lizard. Anyway, instead of watching the video stream for adventure, maybe Sham had something we could do to help El Ray right here from the ship! Boy was I wrong.
I peeked in Sham’s quarters and he was looking at picture books, but not the fun kind. It was a dusty old book with pictures like… Well, they were kind of like the pictures I saw in my 6th grade history lessons where they talked about p
haroes pharaohs and Romans and stuff. Ancient stuff, literally! Before I could talk to him, he ran out of the room right past me! He was in such a hurry he dropped the book he was looking at, so I checked it out.
Don’t ask me what the title was. I couldn’t read it because it was just a bunch of weird letters or characters or whatever. They did look a little like the letters on the big obelisks thingies we saw in the water. The old, crusty book was falling apart in my hands so I put it back on the ground carefully
cuz because I didn’t want to get in trouble for messing it up.
I went back to the CVIC to watch the Porpoise Sub video. There wasn’t much action, but I got to see the inside of the weird underwater building. It was huge! There were more of those weird letters from Sham’s book. Quillroy and Sham docked their subs to look for El Ray inside. Stone asked me to go find Sham to help figure out stuff about it. I had no idea where to look, but eventually I saw Sham coming out of Dr. Mera’s office on the ship. That lady creeps me out more than Sham’s crazy eyes. I mean, I’m not scared of her, but I can understand why people are. I guess I shouldn’t be so like, mean, about her. Some people probably think I’m creepy too. Anyway, I thought something was fishy (no offense to El Ray if
ur your you’re reading this).
I didn’t catch up to Sham until he was back in the security room. He had pulled up blueprints for the Porpoise Subs and there were popup windows with their stats: depth, range, all that stuff. Then he was just typing away like crazy and he had the eye stuff going again! I walked in to check it out and saw he was coding. “Cool!” I think, maybe he can help me with an app I wanted to make for this old game called Roblox. I’d have to impress him though so he doesn’t think I’m dumb. There was a line that said “Redirect” then some numbers in parentheses. I tried to put 2 and 2 together.
“Sham, are you redirecting the subs?” I asked.
He must not
of have seen me, he jumped like he was scared. Then he was mad. Like really mad.
Operation 52 Pickup Debriefing Report
Submitted by Ens. Quillroy
Dear USN Command, I don’t do many of these reports, Lt. El Ray usually does, but here goes nothing. Albert VII and I piloted a pair of Akhlut Minisubs back to the last place El Ray was pinged.
Under the water there were a bunch of little, rectangle stones arranged neat-like in a grid. The sub’s geomap ID’d this area as Bimini Road. I never heard of it so I toggled the geomap AR for more info, but it didn’t have much. No one knows how it got there, but the stones were really old, ancient even.
Al-7 went northeast. I went southwest.
Below is a transcript of radio communications between Albert VII and Quillroy:
Albert VII: “Albert VII calling Quillroy.”
Quillroy: “Go ahead.”
Albert VII: “—discovered a structure that appears— and the– building— activity inside.”*
*Communications started breaking up.
Quillroy: “Al Seven, where are you?”
*No response. Recording ends with digital static.
I turned the sub around and went full speed northeast up the road to find my
bro fellow sailor.
On the northeast side of Bimini Road, the ocean floor got deeper and deeper. As I traveled farther, I started finding stone obelisk statues placed on either side of the road. They got taller and taller as I traveled up the road. Each was carved with letters I didn’t recognize. I even tried using the VR cameras on the sub to analyse the writing, but all it said was “unidentified hieroglyphs.” The road went up before dropping back down into another valley revealing what Al-7 was trying to tell me.
His sub was docked next to some kind temple in the center of a crazy underwater city. I couldn’t see the whole thing from the haze of the water, but it was lit up somehow. To be clear, these underwater “buildings” had lights. I don’t see that well, but I could still make out the general shape of the city. It was laid out in a perfect square with more roads in circles around it. What was weird about the buildings was that their placement and shapes seemed random at first, but then I’d start to notice patterns. I didn’t exactly know what the pattern was (I’m not one of those SNI eggheads). Hieroglyphs, like the ones on the obelisks, were arranged on the buildings between carvings of straight lines and shapes. It was like architects from the future decided to build ancient structures.
I started to wonder if something would pop out of nowhere and attack. I had no idea if there were people in this city! Was this some kind of secret base? Did Alpha or Sabotage have the resources to build something this complex? I was honestly scared, but I never let that stop me from doing what has to be done. I always figure you can’t have courage without first being afraid. I docked next to Albert VII’s Akhlut. I put on my custom rebreather helmet and exited the sub. Even though the comms were all fritzo, the AI link between the rebreather and the Akhlut seemed to be working fine. As I got closer to the thing we call “the temple” I could see what it was made of. There were lines of stone zigzagging and criss-crossing in geometric patterns like those in the skyline of the city. This same stone material was used for doors and lined the outside of what were probably used as windows.These windows were made out of a clear material that was nothing I’d seen before. It was sort of like a strong plastic, but also a little stretchy like rubber. These windows were tall, round on the sides and pointy at the top, kinda like a cat’s pupil. I reached the door nearest to Al-7’s Akhlut. The stone door had a sort of upside down tombstone shape, rectangular on the top but rounded at the bottom. It had gaskets with that same plastic-rubber material. I had to use all my strength to lift it.
I pulled and pulled for what seemed like forever before it finally budged. It started to give and a flood of water pushed into the opening and at the same time the door opened fully. I was swept inside the building by the torrent and tossed around like a Bracket Ball in a tornado. I was able to grab onto some of the deep carvings in the wall of the room I was in.
I heard Al-7’s voice coming over the comms again!
RADIO TRANSCRIPT OF COMMUNICATIONS RECORDED IN HELMET
Albert VII: “…and aircraft. I think it must be some kind of storage warehouse or something..”
Quillroy: “Al-Seven. Help!”
Albert VII: “Quillroy! Where are you!”
Quillroy: “The entrance near your sub… Hurry.”
I lost my grip on the wall.
I got tossed around a few more minutes before the current stopped. Drained of all my energy, I just floated there for a sec until I noticed the water level was dropping fast. It was so fast I didn’t have a chance to get upright and straight up did a faceplant on the floor.
RADIO TRANSCRIPT OF COMMUNICATIONS RECORDED IN HELMET
Albert VII: “Q.R. are you alright?”
Albert VII: “Jeez, talk about klutzy, you even manage to break mysterious, paranormal technology. Did you at least try to find a door handle first?”
*NOTE: Oh yeah, I guess I forgot to describe the panel earlier in my report. Al-7 showed me how it opens and closes the door and manages the pressure difference between the inside and outside. It was right next to the door but I guess I went straight to relying on my guns, Lefty and Righty. In my defense, you would too if you could curl 240.
RADIO TRANSCRIPT OF COMMUNICATIONS RECORDED IN HELMET CONTINUED
Albert VII: “C’mon! I found a way into the super-secret part!”
*NOTE: That’s when I got a look around at the white-gold room we were in. It had, I dunno, maybe 40 foot ceilings. More geometric lines ran in all different ways. In a corner, Al-7 pulled a panel away and climbed in a passage. I followed, barely. Inside was a steep diagonal chute that was almost too small for me to fit in. Little Al-7 climbed up with ease.
It took all my endurance, but I finally reached the top. I climbed out into a huge dimly lit, warehouse-lookin place. I saw planes from the 20th century, pirate lookin’ ships, submarines with flags that haven’t been used since WWII, and really just a ton of water and air vehicles from every era.
Albert VII: “Looks like we found out what happened to Ameilia Erhart, am I right?”
*NOTE: We were interrupted by lights shining in from one of those cat-pupil windows. We cautiously peeked outside and saw it was the headlights of our Akhluts Minisubs.
Albert VII: “The Akhluts! They’re leaving without us!”
Quillroy: “We need to get back or we’ll be stranded here!”
Albert VII: “It’s gone, Q.R.”
Quillroy: “We can’t just give up! No one knows where we are!”
Albert VII: “I’m not worried about that. We’re the Navy’s most valued assets. They’re sure to send a search and rescue team.”
Quillroy: “Good point..”
Albert VII: “ Exactly! The real thing to worry about is dying of thirst or malnutrition!”
That Al-7 can be a real jerk sometimes.
END OF PART 1Full Rant . . .