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Tesseract, Part Two
A Four Visitors Story
Start at the beginning of the Four Visitors series
"You could get lost in this place," Alex Lorem muttered.
"Yeah," the lieutenant replied. "In fact, that's part of the point."
After walking through about half a mile of corridors, stairs, ramps, and elevators, the briefing room deep in the bowels of the Pentagon where the lieutenant left Alex proved to be a bit of a disappointment. It looked like a recruiter's office, white walls hung with posters of ships, planes, and missiles. Someone had printed out a caption and taped it under the photo of a B-52 launching a cruise missile. It read "Mr. President, the Iraqi ambassador will be receiving our reply shortly."
The Colonel shook Alex's hand like an old friend. They'd only met twice before, although they communicated by email on an almost daily basis.
He invited Alex to sit and got right to the point.
"We've got our landing date and site in Rhode Island. December twenty-three, smack dab in the center of town. This is going to be one hell of a problem to cover up, son, I hope you're aware of that."
Alex figured that the Colonel didn't bring him down here because he wanted Alex to try to be helpful, but he also knew he'd better show some initiative.
"We could evacuate. Toxic waste spill or something. I'm sure we can make it work."
"Son, do you think we haven't thought of that?"
"Course you did, Sir." Alex waited for the lecture.
Instead, the Colonel shoved a manila folder across the desk. Alex opened it and flipped through it.
"Remote viewing exercise?"
The Colonel nodded. "We've never remote-viewed a landing."
"I hear it's nice around Christmas. They light up the whole town pretty."
Alex stood up. "Permission to speak freely, Sir?"
The Colonel looked bored. "Granted."
"Fuck you, Sir."
Alex picked up the folder, turned on his heel, and walked out. If the Colonel had reacted, Alex didn't hear it.
He slowed his steps, forcing himself to stay calm as the lieutenant who had escorted him into the Colonel's briefing room reappeared and fell into step with Alex.
This wasn't the kind of place where you wanted to show emotion. Too many people on edge around here. Living in hundreds of miles of corridors and cubicles will do that.
Alex was already planning. He could see where this was going. They'd written him off. Probably months ago, back when Alex's brother got involved. Nick went over to the other side, so now ten years of loyalty didnít mean a damn thing. Alex had fought the good fight. It didn't matter. He was washed up, babysitting a bunch of recruits with "potential" for some bullshit test.
The real action was going to be happening in Dansmouth, Rhode Island where Alex grew up, and he knew that he could be helpful there, especially if they were finally going to take their shot.
Alex didn't know all the details about the program. He knew it went back a long time. A very long time. And he'd kept his eyes and ears open, picking up little bits from hints in dusty folders and glimpses from his remote viewing.
He knew about the landings, the contactees, and how the lights in the sky would come out to play a few times a year. He'd also heard hints of some things that didn't usually make it out to the conspiracy buffs: teleportation, telepathy, massive disruptions of electrical equipment.
The electrical stuff was the focus of the research. Whatever these creatures were, they had some connection to electricity. Well, if they could affect electricity, then electricity might be able to affect them. They'd been tinkering with the equipment for years. Alex didn't know it for certain, but his gut told him that they were ready to try it. When those fuckers touched down in Dansmouth, they were going to get a ten-million-volt reception.
And Alex would be sitting in a Motel-6 in Alaska with a crew of would-be psychics drawing the Dansmouth town square gazebo with crayons.
They were coming for his brother, damn it.
Alex needed to talk some sense into the kid.
He still had some pull with the Marines, plus a couple of friends in the right places.
He figured the Colonel's guys were probably watching him at this point, but he'd get a pass on this one. A guy couldn't be blamed for sticking with his family. Well, maybe he could, but Alex gave them every opportunity to stop him and nobody did. They'd probably just bug the room. Alex didn't care. He had nothing to hide. Just a loyal soldier doing his job.
He met Nick in a gym on base. The CO conveniently arranged for the place to be empty. Alex had no idea what Nick was told. He didnít care.
"Hey, little brother." Alex stepped out from between some treadmills.
Nick didn't seem surprised. Not at all.
"Go to Alaska, Alex. You'll like it. They're big on the Second Amendment up there. Your kinda place."
This wasn't starting out the way Alex had planned. Nick was a fucking private. Who told him? The Colonel?
He played dumb. "No idea what you've been hearing, but I was thinking of heading home for the holidays. You know, the family together. Me, you, Dad, your girlfriend."
Alex smiled. That had rattled Nick. Good.
"Tina's already in it, brother. Look, this is not going to end well for most people there. You could walk away from it. I could too, but I donít think either of us are going to do that."
"I'm going home," Nick said. "For the holidays. You're not stopping me."
"Oh, I don't want to stop you. I want you to be there. And I want you to make the right choices. I can still save this, Nick. I can save you. I can save my career. I can save the whole fucking grand conspiracy, but it's going to be easier with you on my side. I don't need much. I've got the names of the first three visitors. I know who the contactees are. I just need one more."
"Then you know that I donít have any idea."
"We're in a war, Nick."
Nick took a step toward the door. "No, Alex. You're in a war. That's the problem. You and your buddies have been playing war so long that you can't see that nobody else is playing your game. Go to Alaska, Alex. It'll be good to clear your head."
"How do you know about that?" Alex lunged at his brother, but it was a clumsy and obvious move and Nick just took a couple of steps back.
"I'm part of this now. We all have our tricks. How's that remote viewing working for you? Must be fun. You guys get warrants for that? Or do you do your peeping tom routine on whoever gets on your bad side?"
Alex stopped in his tracks, breathing deep to get himself back under control.
"You're messing with shit you don't understand," he snarled.
"Oh, I know." Nick took another step toward the door. "But we're trying to understand it, not destroy it."
Nick moved for the door. Alex moved too. He caught Nick by the shoulder and Nick recoiled from his touch.
Alex flinched as well, taken off guard by the horror he saw in Nick's eyes.
"Go to Alaska, Alex. Or at least take a look at what you're thinking of doing. God, AlexÖ You don't need toÖ" Nick turned and ran out the door.
Alex stood and watched it close.
He found the light switch and sat in the dark.
When he turned out the lights, he had no idea of what Nick was talking about. But by the time he got up and walked out, tracing the route between the treadmills, barbells, and stepping machines to the back door in the darkness without a hesitation or a stumble, Alex had figured out what his brother meant.
He left the base and drove north. Now he had plenty to think about.
"I want to do a dry run." Alex reached into his briefcase and pulled out a set of binders. Inside were maps, photos, and notes he'd put together about his home town. These were not the official documents. The official versions were waiting for them in a secure location somewhere in Alaska.
Team leaders on remote viewing exercises generally made up their own sets of reference material for practice runs.
Alex handed the binders to the three women and one man who made up his team. They were kids, just out of college or boot camp. He made a point of not getting to know their names or their faces.
Alex plugged his iPhone into a speaker dock and selected something meditative. The group took their seats around the hotel room. There were four chairs, which left Alex and the driver standing.
"They really psychic?" the driver whispered in Alex's ear.
Good. Amateur. Alex was concerned about the driver. If the colonel expected trouble, then he'd have a trained watchdog keeping an eye on him. Someone who wouldn't engage in small talk.
The team was beginning the operation. Hands reached for pencils and pads. One of the women started to draw, and Alex could see from her first few lines that the town bandstand in Dansmouth taking shape.
Her name was Alison, Alex suddenly remembered. She had real talent.
Alex didn't want to deal with any more regret than he had to.
He shot Alison first.
The change in plan gave the driver enough time to get his weapon halfway out of his holster before Alex put a bullet between his eyes.
The remaining three were easier. It takes fifteen seconds for a trainee-level remote viewer to disengage. That was plenty of time.
Alex was not trainee-level. Sure, he'd have to go in deep to see all the way to Alaska using reference maps or to Rhode Island using his childhood memories.
But the parking lot outside was quick. In and out, just a flash of vision and then process it while you move.
"Gunshots! Move in! Move in!"
Oh, fuck. The driver was a decoy. The Colonel had put a whole fucking team on him.
He fired out the window of the first-floor hotel room, not bothering to aim at anyone. He just needed to slow them down a step while he viewed the back.
A fucking swamp. He smashed the window, grabbed his phone and his bag, and jumped.
The swamp saved him. Or rather, the two agents who didn't want to mess up their nice shoes saved him. They were about sixty yards to his left because they didn't want to be in the swamp and he came out the window shooting at them. They dove for cover and he was out of sight before anyone could get a bead on him.
It was easier after that. It's always easier to elude people when you knew where they're going to be.
Within an hour Alex was on a bus for Providence typing out an email to let his Dad know he was coming home for the holidays.
Story and image by Rick Silva, Copyright 2010