“Damn thing’s gotta be a hundred miles across,” the crew-chief’s voice said in Lucas’ earphones.
The anomaly ahead of them was an open wound in the earth. Reddish-gold light, so unlike the Sun’s, poured out. Lucas kept the chopper’s nose pointed straight at it.
Someone, the crew-chief or the door-gunners, muttered a prayer over the intercom. Brandon, the co-pilot, crossed himself. Lucas remembered a song–
And everywhere that man can be,
Thou, God, art present there.
The last of the Pennsylvania countryside passed underneath them. Then they were over the anomaly. One moment there was earth beneath them, and the next, sky. Sky above, sky below– Lucas fought the sensation of being in a climb, and the impulse to put the chopper’s nose down. Not yet.
The door-gunners charged their weapons. The land inside the anomaly– Lucas could see it now, behind him and at right-angles to his flight path– was dark and green and rolling.
“Committing,” he said, to the crew, and all the world listening. “Hold on.” Now he tipped the chopper’s nose down. There was a moment of vertigo, of stomach-churning redirection, and then the chopper flew straight and level, under the light of an alien sun.