Art Adkins
Author & Leadership Instructor
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Mindwalkers- Chapter 34

Chapter 34

Juan walked back into the control room where the enhancer was located.  Technicians were attaching leads to Jimmy’s body to monitor his vital signs. 

“When the helmet is fitted to me it enhances my telepathic abilities?”

“That’s correct.  Be careful, Jimmy.  You’ll be able to focus a considerable burst of mental energy at a target.  You could kill someone if you’re not careful.”  Juan had walked up to the young man as he spoke.

“I’ll be careful, Juan.  Who do you want me to focus on?”

“Cody.  I’ll introduce you before the experiment.  I don’t want you to go too deep.  Just knock him unconscious.”

“For how long?”

“Several hours should convince him.”

Juan and Jimmy were interrupted as Slade, Cody, Lance and Sheila entered the lab.  They all stared in wonder at the chair and Jimmy. 

“Lady and gentlemen, this is Jimmy, one of our resident psychics.  He’s going to perform a demonstration for us today.  Cody do you mind participating?” asked Juan.

“Not at all.  I want to believe Juan, but I need evidence.  Tangible evidence I can take back to the President.”  Cody had walked closer to examine the chair and devices.

“Then let us begin,” replied Juan.

Everyone except Jimmy left the test center and entered the control room.  A technician lowered the metal helmet, with the wires attached to the array, until it was over Jimmy’s head.  A series of switches were flipped and the technician nodded to Jimmy.

An IV had been inserted into Jimmy’s arm and the plunger was activated to send the mind cocktail into his brain.  Within minutes he could feel the burning sensation as the mix of chemicals raced through his veins and arteries to his head.  The resulting synaptic explosion caused him to arc partially up out of his chair.  Only the restraining straps kept him in place.

“Focus, Jimmy.  Cody is your target.”  Juan spoke softly into the microphone and his voice bounced off the lab walls.

Slade turned to watch Cody, who was staring at Jimmy with a look of wonder.  Splitting his gaze between the two, Slade noticed Jimmy settled back into his chair and clenched his fists.  The monitors in the room started to dance across the graph paper as they recorded Jimmy’s vital signs.  The firing of neurons in his brain were being recorded and the needle slammed against the limit of its arc and remained there. 

Slade saw Cody reach up and rub his temple, his eyes widening as he realized Jimmy was mentally invading his mind.  Cody tried to step back, but could not move.  His mouth opened but no sound poured forth.  Two technicians had positioned themselves behind Cody and when he rolled his head back and his body went limp, they caught him before he could hit the floor.  Cody Garrett was unconscious.

“Jimmy you can stop.  Cease the experiment.  Cody is unconscious.”  Juan waited while Jimmy released his mental hold on Cody. 

The metal helmet was lifted from Jimmy’s head and the psychic opened his eyes with wonder.

“Juan, I could see everything!  I knew when I invaded Cody’s thoughts and triggered him to sleep.  It was so real!  The power of the enhancer is unbelievable!  When can I use it again?”

“First we need to debrief.  You need checked over and lab results must be obtained.  I want all of our physicians to monitor your vital signs.”  Juan turned to face to everyone in the room.  “Cody will be unconscious for several hours.  We’ll reconvene when he awakens.”

 

Cody was the last one to enter the conference room.  All eyes were upon him as he walked in and sat down at the head of the table.

“Believe now?” asked Juan.

“How did you do it?  I could feel Jimmy as he entered my mind…his thoughts….his control over my….over me.  I couldn’t stop him.”  Cody’s hands shook as he described the ordeal.

“Where did you get the concept for the antennae array?” asked Lance.

“As I told all of you earlier, from another member of the team that Slade has met.  Actually the other array is much larger than this one and its power is indescribable.”

“Was it ever used?” asked Slade.

“Oh yes.  It was used with devastating results.  Back in the early 50’s and 60’s it was tested.  The technique was not as advanced as they are today and the focus was broader in scope.  The idea was to focus a concerted burst of mental activity onto a large populace to study the result.  Aggression was picked as the targeted emotion and transmitted.”

“Why aggression?” asked Sheila.

“Because it was one of the primitive basic emotions of the human genome.  The belief at the time was a burst of aggression would trigger a result.”

“But how?  By plugging a psychic into the array and broadcasting their thought waves through space?”  Cody rubbed his head.

“That’s exactly what they did.  Only they did not have the mind cocktail we have discovered to enhance the psychic’s ability.”  Juan was cut-off by Slade.

“So you needed the bigger array Hal showed me to magnify the power of the psychic.”  Slade leaned back in his chair, not caring for where this conversation was headed.

“Correct.  The larger array compensated for the lack of a stimulant.  The result was the same, however.”

“What was the result?” asked Lance.

“The aggression emotion was broadcast to a wide area of a substantial population base for approximately ten minutes.  During the course of the evening, there was a 300% increase in domestic disturbances, brawls, and verbal disputes.  The local police force had to call in off-duty officers and neighboring jurisdictions were summoned to assist.  The most fascinating aspect was the impact on animals.  Dogs became aggressive, biting their owners and attacking other animals.  The same was true of cats, cows and any other animal in the targeted area.  The aggressive gene was activated and the animals became uncontrollable.”

“You tested this on innocent people?” asked Sheila, her voice rising slightly.  “I can’t believe you would do this.”

“I didn’t do it, Sheila.  Those before us, people like Gunter, believed it was necessary for national defense and they tested it.  But before you condemn them, remember your history.  The Cold War was very much alive.  Castro was rising to power in Cuba and the fear of communism was national news.  Russia was seen as a viable threat and measures, no matter how far-fetched, had to be explored to counter this terror.  It was viewed as acceptable to place some Americans at risk to save the country.”

“What happened?” asked Lance.

“The media found out about the experiment through some of the scientists who were working on the project.  There were actually two projects being conducted simultaneously:  Operation Stargate and the Montauk Project.  Both aimed at the concept, but utilizing different strategies and personnel.”

“But all controlled by the same group, one source.  Just like now.  They operate behind the scene, but it’s all manipulated by them.  No name, no trace, no identification.  No one to point at because their fingerprints can’t be placed at the scene.”  Slade smiled at Juan as he saw surprise on the latin’s face.

“Very astute of you, Slade.  Hal said you were a quick study.”  Juan nodded his appreciation.

“Do they know?” asked Slade, gesturing to Sheila, Lance and Cody.  “Or are they kept in the dark, each on a separate mission, yet being controlled by bosses they don’t know exist?  Very clever.  How long has this been going on?”

“Since World War II.  It was recognized that the current intelligence circles were inept at sharing information and relaying data to thwart threats beyond our borders.  The rationale was later proven accurate:  911, the Gulf War, the Korean crisis.  Need I go on?  By having an organization with, how did you say it, no fingerprints or identifiable structure, data and information could be funneled where it would have the most benefit.  It has worked surprisingly well.”

“Except for now.  Gunter broke free from your watchful eye and now has data even Hal is fearful of.  If he wasn’t scared, he wouldn’t have brought me on board.  I can go where they can’t, do what they won’t.  Fascinating.  All of us being manipulated.”  Slade shook his head in wonder.

“What are you two talking about?” asked Cody.

“I would like to know as well,” said Lance.  Sheila sitting next to him nodded in agreement.

“There is an organization none of you are aware of, but all of you answer to in one form or another.  By having multiple ways to collect data and intelligence, information can be sifted, verified and a probable scenario to handle the issue can be disseminated back to your organization for implementation.”  Juan spoke slowly so as not to lose them.

“You mean the FBI, CIA, NSA, and all the other alphabet intelligence communities for the country?  We’re all being….being manipulated by one group?  Who are they?  Who do they report to?” asked Cody.

“Yes, all of you are intelligence gathering vehicles for one organization that has the same goal of every intelligence community in America:  its protection.  Who are they?  They are anonymous and they report only to themselves.  The President is not even aware of their capability, but they dictate information given to him.  They are patriots, dedicated to preserving our way of life.”  Juan stared at each of them.

“Patriots can be misled, their ideals can become their own and then they become the enemy, Juan.  Have you thought of that?” asked Slade.

“We have.  There are several circles within the organization and no one knows who all of the key players are.  They monitor and confer on information, but not directly.  It’s a check and balance system.  I guess it could be flawed, but so far it has proven to be impregnable.”

“That’s a whole other issue.  Can we get back to the current problem? Does Gunter have an array?” asked Cody.

“No, but we believe he’s going to construct one.  With it he could develop the ultimate weapon,” said Juan.

“The ultimate weapon?” asked Sheila.

“An assassin or group of assassins.  Never leave his island and he can still kill anyone on Earth.”  Slade stared over at Juan.  “What have you people done?”

“Made an error, Slade.  An error all of you will have to help us correct.”  Juan rose from his chair.  “Come with me and I’ll show you our next plan of action.” 

Everyone left their chairs to follow Juan, uncertainty about the future a foregone conclusion.

Juan led them to a tactical center within the complex.  Large plasma maps dotted a wall and images were being transmitted onto the screens.  Two islands occupied the largest of the monitors.  The larger island had a low concrete structure situated in the middle of it.  The smaller of the land masses was being developed.  Construction equipment could be seen on the highest part of the land.

“This is Gunter’s main facility.  As you can see, he has weapons and built-in defense systems.  They are staffed twenty-four hours per day.  The main building houses the lab and research areas.  They are practically impenetrable.  When completed the second atoll will be target hardened as well.  A veritable fortress.”  Juan walked into the center of the room.

“And we can’t call in a missile strike because he now has two hostages.”  Cody turned to stare at Juan for confirmation.

“Exactly.  Plus he has others who are not loyal to him and afraid to leave.  We know of at least one.”

“You’re not stating the other reason.”  Everyone turned to look at Slade as he spoke.  “The information Gunter has obtained.  A treasure trove of valuable information on mind control.  Any scientist would love to get their hands on it.”  Slade could see the stating of the obvious register with the others in the room and they nodded their heads in understanding and condemnation.

“There would be some benefits to obtaining the data in the computer archives,” confirmed Juan. 

“What is the strategy to take the island?  Surely you’ve developed one.”  Lance walked to the map and pointed to the main complex.  “There has to be a weakness.”

“There is.  We have spent countless hours studying the layout and defense grid.  Attacks at four different locations could distract and confuse their security forces.  The assaults would have to be timed at intervals to draw forces away, each time allowing the successive force to acquire more headway.  It will be a costly endeavor.”  Juan sat down.

“How many men do you think we will need to take the Island?” asked Sheila.

“A hundred, maybe two hundred.  Armed with small weapons and support from several gun boats with 5mm cannons.  We have to soften their defenses before we move in.  This is not a surprise attack.”

“It’s an invasion.  An unauthorized invasion.”  Slade sat opposite Juan.  “What makes you think he’s going to let us just walk in and take what we want?  How do you know he hasn’t hooked someone up to an enhancer similar to yours and is trying to scan for such a scenario?”

“We don’t believe he has an enhancer.  But we do believe he is probing to evaluate our intentions.  Remember the experiment we conducted earlier?  Gunter is doing the same.  That’s why we must move on this.” 

“When do we commence operations?” asked Lance.

“In two days.  We need to assemble the last of our forces.  They are amassing near here and receiving final instructions.  We should be…..” 

Juan never had the opportunity to finish his sentence. A security guard bathed in blood burst into the room. 

“Juan Domingo!  We’re under attack!  They’re coming out of the forest!  Our sentries are gone!” 

“Activate the defense grid!”  Juan yelled to technicians at the monitors. 

Immediately the video system was switched from the island to the perimeter of the compound.  Men in camouflage could be seen assaulting the guards and weapons fire surrounded the enclosure.  The guards were putting up a valiant fight, but losing.  They were slowly being backed toward the main facility. 

“Prepare inner defense measures!”

“Juan, we need weapons!”  Slade had grabbed Juan as he started to rush by.

Turning to the security guard, Juan said, “Take them to the armory!  Hurry!  We’re going to need all the help we can get!”

Slade ran with the others, following the guard out of the control room and to the weapons center.  Rushing in, Slade looked for and found a Glock .40.  Grabbing as much ammunition as he could, he stuffed two additional clips into his pocket and slipped the pistol into his waistband.  Grabbing an assault rifle, he loaded a twenty round magazine and grabbed three additional ones that were already loaded and placed them into a carrying bag, along with several boxes of ammo.

“Where is the defense the weakest?” asked Cody.

“The back side.  That is where they have concentrated their main attack,” said the guard.

The guard turned and started to run and they all followed him. Bursting out of the last door, Slade dropped to a combat stance when rounds impacted above his head.  Returning fire, Slade saw two men near the forest wall fall.  There were more behind them.  A low concrete planter offered the only cover and Slade took it, quickly followed by Lance, Cody and Sheila.

“We have a bad tactical position!” yelled Cody.

Before anyone could respond, a mortar round exploded to their left about forty feet away, sending debris flying all over them.

“That turned the tide!  Unless Juan has the same type of firepower, we don’t stand a chance.”  Slade turned to ask the guard if the facility had mortars and saw him lying on his back, a single shot to his head.  “We need to move back inside!  They’ll move that mortar in a minute!”

“Let’s move!”  Cody jumped to his feet and fired at the approaching mercenaries, buying them enough time to run inside and secure the door. 

Before they had run forty feet down the hall, an explosion right outside the entrance where they had been crouched knocked them down and filled the corridor with smoke.  Slowly they regained their feet and stumbled down to the main control room.  When they burst inside, Juan was yelling at the technicians.

“Destroy the main computer bank!  The hard drives must be wiped!” 

“Juan your facility is being overrun!”  Slade locked the steel door as he spoke.

“You must all leave!  We will stay and destroy the computers.  They must not fall into the wrong hands.”  A look of resignation settled over Juan’s features and he turned somberly to Cody.  “Do you believe now?”

Cody nodded his head slowly.  “Yes, Juan.  We’ll attack the Island.  Hold them off as long as you can.”

“Is there another way out of here?” asked Lance.

“An old tunnel leads out of the main lobby area.  Is it occupied?”  Juan addressed a technician.  Seeing that it was not, he added, “You’ll have to hurry.  They’ll be here in minutes.”

Slade led the way back into the corridor and to the main lobby area.  They encountered no resistance until they arrived.  As they entered the main room, the front doors were blown off their hinges and hurled inside.  Without hesitation, Slade and Lance fired into the opening, delaying the assault team massing outside for an entrance.

“Here it is!” yelled Cody, prying a book case slightly from the wall.  “Come on!”

Cody turned and started firing at the entrance.  Lance and Sheila started walking backwards, firing their weapons as they retreated.  Slade rushed forward and pulled the book case away from the hidden entrance allowing access to the tunnel.  The assault team was advancing and bullets were flying around them.

“Move it!” yelled Slade, dropping down several steps.

Cody grabbed Sheila and shoved her toward Slade.  A group of guards rushed into the lobby and assumed defensive positions along the far wall, adding to the suppression fire.  Sheila tripped as she hurried toward the tunnel and fell into Cody, knocking them both to the ground.  Sheila landed on top of him, her weapon careening across the floor. Rising to her feet she turned and ran for the gun.

“Let it go!”  Lance fired at the advancing entry team again.

The sound of the grenade bouncing into the room could be heard above all else.  The metal jacket of the explosive struck hollowly on the tile floor and it rolled toward the center of the room.  Slade was the first to react and he dropped down into the tunnel.  Cody dove for the entrance and was entering the opening when it exploded.  Sheila and Lance were not so lucky.  They, along with the guards, were killed instantly.

Slade regained his feet at the bottom of the tunnel.  The excavators had angled the entrance and it was a long sloping decline until it leveled off.  Slade had rolled the entire length, hanging onto his weapon and ammunition.  There was limited lighting, but enough to see by as he slowly regained his feet, shaking his head to rid himself of the ringing sound from the grenade.

Moans behind him!  Spinning, Slade dropped his weapon and aimed the muzzle at the body crawling to his hands and knees.  Nearing the man he recognized Cody.

“Are you hurt?” asked Slade.

“My shoulder.”  Cody rolled over onto his side.

Cody’s shirt was caked in blood and dirt.  Grabbing the lower portion of his shirt, Slade tore fabric into thin strips, covered the wound and applying pressure. 

“Hold this over it.  You have to stop the bleeding.”

“Bullet wound?” asked Cody.

“I don’t think so.  Probably shrapnel, but I don’t know how bad you’re hurt.  The lighting is not the best.  Unfortunately we don’t have time for me to stop and play doctor.  We have to move.  Can you walk?”

“I don’t have a choice.” 

Slade helped Cody to his feet and retrieved the agent’s weapon.  Handing it to him, Slade took point and started off down the tunnel.

“Where does it come out?” asked Cody.

“Don’t know.  Didn’t have time to ask,” replied Slade.

“Sheila and Lance?”

“There is no way they survived that blast.  The grenade was within seven feet of both of them.  We’re lucky to have escaped with our lives.”

“What’s our next move?”

“Get out of here and find Juan’s forces.”  Slade stopped and turned to look at Cody.  “Then we attack an island.  This is the second time Gunter has tried to kill me.  I don’t intend to give him a third try.”

“You think it was Gunter?”

“Who else?  No government would move against Juan.  He was too well connected.”

Without another word Slade resumed their journey down the tunnel not knowing where it would deposit them.  Any place was better than where they were.      

Read Chapter 35