SCORCHBROOKE, OREGON – POPULATION 1 (I)

I

Emperor Bartala had agreed that it would be a good idea to station a Gaznzulian surveillance team to watch the area, at least until they could figure out what or who was causing items to randomly appear on Ploosnar. The Muse of Mischief contacted Zri as soon as she and Agent Brzko returned to their home in Lincoln City, Oregon. Zri has been looking out for the Muse of Mischief since she was an adolescent.

Gaznzul is a small planet with a population of agamic beings. They provide security throughout the Universe. Gaznzulians are known to have the highest integrity, loyalty, and intelligence. Their technology is second to none. That, combined with their physical prowess, makes them the ultimate protectors. Gaznzulians  project  their  appearance;  when  they  are  near humans, they look human when they are on Cazoova they looked like Cazoovians, hooves and all! Brzko once saw a Gaznzulian dead lift a Bispork after it fell on its rider. Considering how much a Bisporks weighs, that is an amazing feat. Gaznzulian security is expensive and worth every penny. Except… they aren’t paid in pennies.

It is always easier for M and Brzko to work from their home base in Lincoln City. Reviewing the satellite images of the Scorchbrooke junkyard on Ploosnar, did not identify any pattern to the times of appearance. Both the timing and the items seemed to be random. The only item that had provided a clue to its origins was the sign from Scorchbrooke, Oregon.

M and Brzko were seated in front of their main communications portal. They were engaged in an interstellar communication session with Lelelu. “I’ve never heard of Scorchbrooke Lelelu, what have you learned so far?” asked M.

“I think Scorchbrooke is near the now semi-ghost town, Hardman, Oregon. There was a lot of activity in the area around 1870.  Scorchbrooke was never  an  official town.  Locals have heard stories about it, but it doesn’t exist in any official records from Marrow County. It’s said to have been in the mountains outside of Hardman, near a rocky outcropping that lies between Lucky Spring and Midway Spring. But if you cross Alder Creek, you’ve gone too far.  The only written “record” I’ve been able to find is this letter that a man named Billson Blythe found with his grandfather’s personal records. Billson lives in Pendleton now but after his grandfather passed away he came across the letter while he was cleaning out his grandfather’s place in Hardman. It was written by his great-grandfather, also named Billson. I guess it was a family tradition for the firstborn son.” Lelelu sent an electronic image of the aged letter to both Brzko and M’s tables so they could read it for themselves. The paper had yellowed over the years, and the edges were mostly frayed. But the ink was still clear enough to read.

My Dearest June,

I hope this finds you well. Things here is just fine, although I find being away from you very diffcult my darling.  Our house is almost finished, we managed to get the roof on yesterday. Even though the winds was fierce. I still plan to come to Portland and get you from yer mother’s house round early in May.

You gonna like Hardman, it is very quiet. Most folk round  here  are  very hardworking  and  keep to themselves. There are  a  few  other  wives here  so you won’t be alone while I’m tending the fields or hunting. I hear tell they are opening a school down the way in Rawdog, we even have a saloon and two stores. I know you gonna be happy raising our family here.

Now I know you do not approve of time spent in a saloon. But a man can get a hot meal and good drink after a  hard  day working, so sometimes I admit I do frequent the saloon. I sure God gonna forgive me long as the house be done on time.

Yesterday  I  seened the strangest  man I  have ever seened sitting down the bar from me. His hair twas as white as snow and his eyes was black. He was hunched over the bar with a drink in his hand and my, his fingers was LONG. His clothes seemed normal nuff. He didn’t speak to no one, just finished his drink and left. When he walked by it felt cold like twas someone dancing on me grave.

I asked Lefty (he’s the saloon man) who he was after he left. Lefty telled me went by the initials R.G. and that he had a secret place up in the mountains. He said he

ain’t never seened the place for himself but he hears it be a mine called  Scorchbrooke and the only person he ever seen from there is R.G. What they mine he did not now,  said  R.G.  keeps to  his  self.  A few  have  gone looking for this Scorchbrooke, just curiosity I reckon, the first one was lost for a few days and finally made it back here to Hardman without his horse and unable to member where he been. But the second man never returned. His kin went out searchin for him but dint find him. They dint find Scorchbrooke neither, said they heared and seen weird things out there. So ever since then folk round here stay clear  of this R.G. Ain’t that somthin? We gots our own mystery man here in in Hardman.

Well darlin, I gotsta get back to work. I has ta finish bulding a house fer me n my famly.

Much love, Billson

When  do  you  think  this  was  written  Lelelu?”  Brzko asked.

“Well the school in Rawdog was opened in 1879, so it had to be just before that.”

“It’s amazing how much you can find out without even being on this planet Lelelu. You’re a great detective.”

“Thanks Brzko. Success lies in how you ask the question. I assume you two are taking a road trip, be careful and let me know if you need anything.”

“Since modern day items continue to appear on Ploosnar, there must still be someone in Scorchbrooke. We’ll keep you

updated on what we find. Bye Lelelu.” M terminated the communication  and  turned  to  Brzko,  “Time  for  a  little  off roading adventure!”

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