Art Adkins
Author & Leadership Instructor
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Mindwalkers- Chapter 30

Chapter 30

Finally INTERPOL had come through with a name.  It had taken time and effort to track down the whereabouts of Terri Taylor, the man Reggae had seen in Cedar Key with the rental van during the attempted assassination of Shirley.  Verification of his real identity had been the delay.  Taylor used so many aliases it had been hard to track them all down.  In the end, Terri Taylor proved to be his real moniker.

The real difficulty for the police was finding someone who knew where Taylor was employed.  A man of Taylor’s talents would require a considerable amount of money to be kept on retainer and word would spread.  An undercover operative in Belgium had obtained a lead that a man matching Taylor’s description was working out of Germany.  Further digging revealed Taylor was on the payroll of Gunter Gutenberg out of Berlin.

Bubba took the printout from the FDLE agent and thanked him again.  June and Dustin Zane peered over his shoulder.

“Gutenberg Incorporated.  Either of you ever heard of it?” asked Bubba.

“No, but I don’t like him or his company already,” replied June.

“Let’s go back to my office and let me dig up as much information as I can on him.  Maybe someone knows something about his dealings.”  Dustin Zane led the way back to Waterbury Enterprises.  Once behind his desk the multitude of monitors he had came to life.  Within minutes he made a half dozen inquiries to people spread throughout the world that he knew.  Most of them responded immediately.  June and Bubba read over his shoulder as the reports flashed onto the computer screens.

“German medical researcher.  Interesting.  Why would this man try to have Shirley and all of us killed?  Better yet, why did he have Stanley Watchman murdered?”  Bubba shrugged his shoulders as he spoke.

“We don’t know what else he’s involved in.  Besides, his holdings are impressive.  Why don’t we have Harry look over his portfolio?  He’s good at digging up information on companies.”  June had reached over and picked up several sheets of paper from the printer.

“Excellent idea.  We can also stop by and see Professor Johansen.  I want to know how Gunter ties in with the conspiracy theory he laid on us this morning.”  Dustin Zane had risen.

“You don’t think this guy has ties to the American government do you?” asked Bubba.

“I don’t know.  I do know that after the attack on Shirley, Cody Garrett sends two agents to ‘assist’ us immediately.  Was it a good faith gesture or a cover up?”  Dustin Zane had emphasized ‘assist’.

“And I thought I didn’t trust anyone.”  Bubba smiled at June as he spoke. 

“Has anybody heard from Slade recently?” asked June.

“I haven’t.  He called me when he left Alaska, but I haven’t heard from him since then.  He’s probably tracking down a lead,” said Dustin Zane.

“Except Professor Johansen said he had called him, but received no reply.  I don’t know what to make of that.”  Bubba wrinkled his brow in thought.

“Let’s touch base with Professor Johansen and Harry and go from there.  If Harry digs up anything for us to act on we can pay a trip to this Gutenberg character in Germany.  If not, we can always pursue the conspiracy theory hatched by the Professor.”  June was walking to the door.

“Why not do both?” replied Dustin Zane.  “Let’s move on the Gutenberg information and look for a connection between him and the conspiracy theory.”

“The information Professor Johansen gave us is far-fetched,” said Bubba.  “Mind control experiments on humans, brain enhancement, cellular stimulation and all that stuff.  There is no way that would go under someone’s radar.”

“Perhaps.  When I was with the Navy, I watched them hide stuff from the American public I did not think possible.  Experimental aircraft for one.  I think we should at least look into it,” said June.

“I agree.  After you two.”  Dustin Zane motioned for them to lead the way.

*************************************************** 

The progress was proceeding too slowly and he had moved to achieve the desired results.  Gunter had arrived at the Island during the night and his presence had the effect he was searching for.  Dr. Zofel had joined him in the cafeteria and was stirring his ever present cup of hot tea.  Gunter was chugging down his third cup of dark, rich Colombian coffee.

“The only thing Juan Domingo’s country has ever contributed that is worth anything.”  The German threw his head back and laughed, a loud throaty sound carrying around the room as he reached for another cup of Colombian coffee.  “Him and the Nine are inept and we will have it all!”  Gunter glared at Dr. Zofel when he spoke, his intent evident, his mannerisms malicious.  A fire was burning inside him and he could feel his synaptic gaps alive with activity.  The brain contained electrical impulses and he felt he could sustain an entire city from the firing of his neurons.  Such was the clarity, the enlightenment he was feeling. 

“Sorry I’m late.  Didn’t know you were coming in today.”  Dr. Rodney Hammermill strode up to the table and plopped down in a chair, rubbing his eyes as he did so.  “Is there a problem?”

“Ya.  We need to accelerate the experiments.  I have an uneasy feeling settling over me.  It’s like a cold envelope of doom.”

“Have you tried to ‘see’?” asked Dr. Hammermill.

“Ya.  The way is not clear.  I fear there is someone near us who is not what they appear to be.  A traitor perhaps, but I’m not sure.  I thought Stanley Watchman was the only one, but now I’m not sure.”  Gunter rubbed his head.  The only side effect was the headache.  He couldn’t stop the dull pounding from behind his temples.

“Have you increased your dosage again?” asked Dr. Hammermill, reaching over and grabbing his boss’s wrist and staring at the face of his watch.  Just as he expected: elevated heartbeat.  “I thought we agreed you wouldn’t do that unless you consulted with me?  Gunter it could have side effects we’re not aware of.”

“Relax, Rodney.  You worry too much.”  Gunter leaned forward and patted the cheek of Dr. Hammermill.  “You can run a test on me this morning if it will make you feel better.”

“It would.”

“What did you have in mind for the experiment?” asked Dr. Zofel.

“We need to test the effort of our two ‘volunteers’.  We need to know if they can reach out and harm like we hope.  I have a likely candidate in mind.”  Gunter looked around the cafeteria.  A lot of doctors and technicians were in the room, but it was noticeably quiet.  Could one of them be the suspected traitor he had ‘seen’?

“Who do you want to test the results on?” asked Dr. Zofe.

“One of the Nine.”

“Juan Domingo?” asked Dr. Hammermill.

“Nein.  He’s too powerful and we may need him for the future.  I was thinking of his Number Two man, Xavier Sanchez.  I never liked him and he was one of the primary members who wanted to oust me from the Island a long time ago.  Now he will pay for that mistake.”  Gunter laughed again, his bellow reverberating off the walls.

“When do we proceed?” asked Dr. Zofel.

“As soon as we can, but today.  I want to see the results.”  Gunter stood up and turned to Dr. Hammermill.  “You wanted to examine me?”

“Yes.”  Both men left a quiet room as the staff busied themselves with breakfast.

Dr. Hammermill stared at the printout.  Gunter’s blood results were out of whack.  The mind cocktail was wrecking havoc with his internal systems and there was an abnormality in his blood stream he could not identify.  Leaving the monitors, he walked back over to Gunter who was seated on an examining table with his shirt off.

“How long have you had these welts across your chest and upper back?”

“I noticed them about three days ago.  Probably an allergic reaction to the cocktail.  I probably should not have upped the dosage as much, but I didn’t think it would harm me.”  Gunter grinned at Dr. Hammermill. 

“Your blood results are not good.  Your kidneys and liver are working overtime to compensate for the added stimulant and I’m detecting some damage.  I want to hook you up to our computer so I can do a brain wave scan.  I need to know if your synaptic responses have been damaged or if any neurons have been fried.  This is a deadly balance, Gunter and you may have altered the equilibrium in your system.  We need to know.”

“Okay, fine.  Check me out, Doctor.”

Dr. Hammermill proceeded in attaching leads to the Gunter’s head.  When he activated the monitors he almost jumped back as the readings were displayed on the monitor.

“Your Beta waves are at a level I’ve never seen.  It’s….it’s like they are super-charging and firing all at once.  You’re exceeding over a hundred cycles a second.  That is two and half times normal.”

“Then that is good.  I can feel the firing in my brain.”  Gunter raised his right fist into the air.

Dr. Hammermill stared at Gunter as if seeing him for the first time.  Gunter was changing, had changed.  The clues had been there, but he had ignored them.  The mind stimulant had affected him in other ways.  The strong personality of Gunter was enhanced, bordering on psychotic, if not already there.  The heavy dosage of the cocktail had altered him mentally, probably damaging him permanently.  Dr. Hammermill stared back at the monitor.  There were no Alpha waves to indicate Gunter was in any way relaxed or reflecting.  He was in a state of agitation, of constant acceleration.  But where would it end?

Walking over to a cabinet, Dr. Hammermill selected a syringe and plunged it into a bottle of clear liquid.  Gunter needed rest and a break from the hectic pace he had subjected himself to.  Dr. Hammermill did not want to think about the possible conclusion if Gunter continued on his current path.  Psychosis could set in and he could become totally and irrevocably separated from reality.  He could enhance the negative sides of his personality to disastrous results. 

Drawing in two cc’s of the fluid, Dr. Hammermill turned around and gasped aloud.  Standing directly in front of him was Gunter, the leads having been ripped from his head.  His eyes were wide, his face contorted into a grimace.  Before Dr. Hammermill could react, Gunter grabbed both his wrists and shoved him back against the cabinet.

“You forget, Rodney that I can ‘see.’  The cocktail has aided this ability, especially when someone desires to do me harm.”  Gunter snarled close to Dr. Hammermill’s face, his coffee laden breath feeling warm against his skin.

“No…no…I didn’t wish you harm, Gunter.  You need rest.  The drugs are altering you and you need rest.  I was going…”

“You were going to incapacitate me.  But not now.  Maybe you should have rest.”  Using his height and weight to his advantage, Gunter slipped his right hand down onto Dr. Hammermill’s left wrist, controlling the hypodermic needle.  Redirecting the barb at Dr. Hammermill, he slowly pushed forward until contact with the doctor’s chest was made.

“No….Gunter….no….you don’t know what you’re doing!  Stop!  Stop!”  Dr. Hammermill’s breathing had become accelerated and panic consumed him.  He was unable to break free from Gunter.   In horror he watched as the needle disappeared into his clothing and he could feel it penetrating his pectoral muscle.  Gunter leaned forward and used his chest to shove the plunger down.  Dr. Hammermill could immediately feel the effect of the narcotic.

“Now you sleep, Rodney.  Never to awaken again.  You will see how I deal with traitors.”  Gunter growled in Dr. Hammermill’s ear as the physician slumped against him, unconscious.  Letting the body slide to the floor, Gunter turned and strode back to the examining table to retrieve his shirt.  He had seen the malice in Dr. Hammermill’s thoughts.  There was no doubt the doctor had wanted to stop him, because he was becoming superior to everyone.  He was the next stop in evolution and Hammermill had become jealous.  Gunter was superor.

Grabbing Dr. Hammermill, Gunter hoisted him to his shoulder, rearranged the examining table and deposited the doctor on it.  Using straps he secured the physician and carefully placed probes on his head and all over his body.  Moving to the bank of instruments, Gunter activated the recording devices.  Dr. Hammermill would be able to provide information even in death.

One of the original psychics from Operation Stargate was secured to a chair resembling those found in barber shops.  Her head had been shaved and electrical leads covered every square inch.  Additional feeds adorned her body and every bodily function she possessed was being monitored.

“Can we control her?” asked Gunter, turning to Dr. Zofel.

“Of course.  I worked out the balance of drugs necessary to produce a compliant subject, but not to disrupt her powerful psychic ability.  We can control and direct her energy toward a specific location or person.  Do we continue?”

“Ya.  But the object of her attention has changed.”  Gunter grinned at Dr. Zofel.

“Who?”

“Dr. Hammermill.”  Gunter roared with laughter when he saw the surprised looks on Dr. Zofel and the technicians in the control room.  “Dr. Hammermill is the traitor that I could not identify until recently.  He’s strapped down in the next room.  His actions will not go unpunished.”

“Are you sure, Gunter?  Rodney has been with us since the beginning.  He’s an astute mind in the field of brain research and…” Dr. Zofel was stopped by Gunter.

“Do you dare question me?  I know what I know!  He’s the one.  His reluctance to escalate the tests was the first indication I had of his disloyalty.  His actions this morning cemented my suspicions.  He’s a traitor to the cause and to what we had hoped to achieve.”  Gunter had moved closer to Dr. Zofel, the intensity of his action burning into the eyes of the other man. 

“Okay…okay.  If you’re sure.”  Dr. Zofel turned back to his monitors.  Gunter was going mad.  It was occurring right in front of him.  He should have noticed earlier.  The ragged appearance, the body odor and general disshelved apearance.  He thought the late flight had accounted for it and Gunter had not had the opportunity to shower or change.  Now he could see it in his eyes – the man was going insane. 

“Are you okay, Dr. Zofel?” 

“Yes…yes.”  Dr. Zofel turned back to the monitors in front of him, but he noticed his hands shook when he reached for the control dials.

“Then proceed.”  Gunter slapped Dr. Zofel on the back and moved to a viewing window to watch.

The sedatives had already been administered and the psychic was passive, slumping against the chair.  Dr. Zofel slowly administered the mind cocktail and there was no immediate reaction.  Within a minute the psychic stirred, her body convulsing slightly.  When the stimulant had been fully processed her eyes shot open.

“Stimulate her direction.  Focus her on a brain hemorrhage of….of Dr. Hammermill.  It’s best for him, Doctor.  In death he can contribute.  In life he’s an annoyance.”  Gunter spoke as if giving a lecture on routine matters in the clinic.  He was completely impassive and lacked the slightest degree of emotion for another human being. 

“The test is commencing.”  Dr. Zofel watched as a technician inputted data into the electrical feed attached to the psychic.  There was no need for voice command.  All the information could be relayed via the feeds once it was turned into an electrical impulse capable of being decoded by the brain.

“Turn on the monitors in Test Lab C,” instructed Gunter.  When the monitors were turned on, they saw Dr. Hammermill strapped to the examining table, his eyes wide open.  “I was going to allow you to remain unconscious for the experiment, but decided I owed it to you for you to be awake.”  Gunter had activated the intercom system.

“Gunter!  Gunter!  The drugs are affecting you!  You’re not yourself!  I was only trying to give you a sedative so you could sleep!  You need rest!”  Dr. Hammermill strained at the straps in a futile attempt to release himself, but to no avail.

“Relax, Rodney.  It will all be over soon and you and your little conspiracy can all die together.” 

“Dr. Zofel!  Dr. Zofel!  Stop him!  Stop this!  It’s madness!   Owwww.”  Dr. Hammermill’s body contorted in pain, a fire arcing across the neurons in his brain.

“Look at the psychic response,” said a technician, calmly dialing in the information on a scope receiving information from a lead on the psychic’s brain.  The monitor was alive with brain activity, the beta waves cascading in a multitude of readings.

“Excellent.  Excellent.  You’ve done it Dr. Zofel.  You should be proud.”  Gunter was pacing in front of the viewing window, alternating his attention between the psychic and the screen in Test Lab C.

For Dr. Rodney Hammermill he did not have long to last in agony.  In the beginning phase he could feel a cold presence probing his mind, sliding across his synaptic responses, numbing his senses.  His reaction was one of terror.  The ice-like tentacles slipped deeper into his cells, and he could feel the malice of the intrusion as he slowly lost control.

Straining against the straps keeping him prone, Dr. Hammermill screamed in horror as his brain was contorted, manipulated.  His eyes bulged till they seemed they would pop out of his sockets.  Tiny blood vessels erupted coloring the whites of his eyes.  Veins stood out on his arms and his entire body was rigid.  Not possessing the mental capacity to cease the violent attack, he was helpless, adrift, alone and that realization did more to terrify him than the mental molestation.  All his efforts were to be in vain.

Due to her enhanced mental powers, the psychic sent out an overload signal to the blood vessels in his brain.  Within minutes there was a rupture, a split second of blinding agony, followed by peace.  His body ceased its struggles and he slumped against the table, the rigidness in his extremities abandoning him.  Dr. Hammermill was murdered and was never touched by human hands.

“Let’s start the autopsy.  I want to know how severe the hemorrhage was and much of his brain was affected.  Excellent job, Dr. Zofel.”  Gunter hurried from the room, clapping his hands as he left.

Dr. Zofel remained at his seat staring at the psychic and the image of Dr. Hammermill.  Science dictated there must be sacrifices, but he had not expected this.  Several technicians had moved into the psychic’s Test Lab and were removing the leads and restraints.  She had been given a drug to help her rest. 

Rising from his chair, he dismissed his action as a scientific necessity.  Maybe Gunter was going mad.  But you had to be mad to proceed down the road they were heading.  Perhaps that is what had been missing before – the headlong rush to discover if what they had accomplished could be done. 

Forgetting the train of thoughts, Dr. Zofel turned toward the door.  He had an autopsy to perform.

The curtains had been drawn and her tears ran freely down her face, pooling on her chin and dropping to the floor in a soft thud.  Her eyes were bloodshot and swollen.  They could not see her like this or they would know.  Know she was not one of them. 

Stanley.  Poor Stanley.  Dr. Fawn had been in the cafeteria when Gunter had discussed the elimination of Stanley Watchman.  No wonder he had not called or contacted her.  He was dead.  A new wave of sobs racked her body.

And Dr. Hammermill.  The monster Gunter had become had shown no remorse in murdering his closest ally and friend.  The man was delusional and powerful.  A deadly combination and she was afraid.  Very afraid.

Stanley had been right all along.  The Island was not a research facility to help patients in need of care.  It was designed to feed the insatiable appetite of a madman in his headlong quest for power.  Where would it end?

Dr. Fawn buried her head in her hands and started to cry again.  How could she escape?  Was there a way off the Island?  Stanley had escaped, but how?  Could she do it?  She knew she could not go on acting as if nothing was wrong.  She would be caught and her end would come like Dr. Hammermill’s.  She needed a plan.

Rising from her bed, she retrieved her lap top computer and started to make entries into a personal encrypted file.  She would only have one chance.

Read Chapter 31