Art Adkins
Author & Leadership Instructor
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Mindwalkers- Chapter 35

Chapter 35

“Faster.  They will be here in minutes.”  Juan was pacing back and forth behind his staff. 

Gunfire could be heard down the hallway and several explosions punctuated the small arms fire.  Smoke had drifted into the room and despite the efforts of the ventilator fans it was causing them to cough and was irritating their eyes. 

“That’s it.”  A senior technician jumped up from his seat.  “We need to leave.”

“Go.  I’ll stay and hold them off.”  Juan smiled at his staff and waved to them as they sprinted for a back door.

Walking to the center of the room, Juan faced the door and folded his hands in front of him.  When the doors burst open, Gunter was the first inside followed by a half dozen men with menacing weapons.

“Juan Domingo.  So good to see you again.”  Gunter walked up to Juan and slapped him across the face with the back of his hand, knocking him to the ground.  “It is futile to resist me!  My destiny has been carved out of time long before this!  What I need to finish my ascension you possess no longer!  It’s mine!”

Rising to his feet, Juan turned and faced Gunter.  There was a change in the German.  His eyes were bloodshot, with constricted pupils.  His nostrils were flared as if he could not drink in enough oxygen.  Juan noticed a red lesion on Gunter’s left forearm and pointed to it.

“The results of the Mind Cocktail?  I had heard you were injecting yourself.  Are they all over your body?” asked Juan.

“None of your business.  It’s the first stage of evolution, Juan.  Can your puny mind encompass what I’m becoming?  I’m the next step in human development, superior to the current homo sapiens inhabiting this planet.  When we are finally visited by other beings from distant galaxies it will be my ancestors that greet them and welcome them to our world.  Not feeble creatures like you.”  Gunter threw his head back and laughed.

“Gunter, the data bases have been wiped clean and the programs are irretrievable.”  A man in a small dark coat rose from the terminals and faced Gunter.  “I cannot capture any data from them.”

“Check the other rooms.  The enhancer must be here.  That is what I need.  The data would have been a bonus, but it is not crucial.  I have all I need.”  Gunter smiled at Juan and walked up close to the man, invading his space until his breath blew the hair on the man’s face.  “How do you want to die, Juan?  I can’t leave you alive, you know that.  Of all the people on Earth, you know too much about me.  It’s time for you to leave this world and join the next.”  Gunter made a flying motion with his hands.

“You’re mad, Gunter.  The drugs have altered you.  You’re going insane.  Slowly, but nonetheless you are losing your grip on reality.  Do you want me to describe to you what will happen next? You’ll start to lose focus on reality and enter into a fantasy you create, where shadows are nightmares and dreams appear real.  You will no longer be able to discern…”  Juan was stopped by Gunter yelling.

“Shut up!  Shut up!  You don’t know what it’s like!  The power is unbelievable!  I can do anything, go anywhere!  This,” Gunter stepped forward and ripped his shirt open, revealing his chest.  There were over a dozen red lesions on his chest, all about three inches long and rising above his skin about three eights of an inch.  “This is a small price to pay, Juan!”  Gunter threw his head back and laughed again.

“Gunter, what have you done?  You’re killing yourself.  Are they on your back too?” asked Juan, stepping closer, the compassion for another human being taking over.

“They’re all over me and I welcome them.  They release me….release me from the confines of the normal human parameters.  I’m free, Juan and so are you.” 

Gunter went from laughing to serious in a split second.  Raising his pistol he fired one shot into Juan’s head, killing him instantly.

“I can see everything, Juan.  Everything.”  Gunter spoke as he stood over the fallen man, no compassion in his voice or feelings of kindness on his face. 

“The device you want has been found.  The men are disassembling it now.”  One of the mercenaries had approached Gunter.

“Fantastic!  Bring the trucks.  I want to be out of here within the hour.” 

Gunter turned and walked out of the room.  Pausing at the door he stared at the computers.  Most of them were still running, but nothing was displayed on the screens.

“Destroy all of this.  You never know who may want to resurrect Juan’s work and we can’t have that.” 

“Yes sir.  We’ll blow it up when we leave.”

“Sweep the complex.  Make sure no one is hiding.  I want the psychics.  They have to be here.”  Gunter strode out of the control room to supervise the dismantling of the enhancer.  Time was of the essence.

Jimmy, Katy, Roger and several of the technicians were huddled in the back of a supply room.  They had repositioned the cabinets to make the room appear smaller and they were hiding behind them.  Three times patrols had opened the door and kicked stuff around.  One of the mercenaries had fired a burst from their automatic weapon into the room.  The bullets had passed through the file cabinets and killed a technician. The women were crying and fear was a tangible thing.  Jimmy motioned for everyone to remain calm.

“How long has it been since the last patrol stopped by?” asked Katy.

“About an hour and a half.  They may have left.”  Jimmy glanced at his watch.

Before anyone else could say anything, a series of explosions ripped through the structure, raining pieces of the ceiling down upon them.  They grabbed each other and hid under what they could find. 

“I think it stopped,” said Jimmy.

“There may be more,” replied Roger.  “We need to stay here.”

“I’ll go and look around.  Those explosions came from the area near the control room.  That means they have whatever they were after and were destroying everything else.  That would indicate they are leaving.”  Jimmy rose as he was speaking.

“Be careful,” said Katy.

“I will.  If I’m not back in an hour, wait until dark and try to contact someone.”

Jimmy crept to the door and tugged it open.  Smoke was thick in the hallway but he could tell it was spiraling out of a hole in the roof.  Leaving the supply closet he walked down the hallway to the control room. He could see that his estimate about the explosions being internal was correct.  The debris field could only have come from a bomb being detonated inside.

 Sounds of trucks could be heard and Jimmy found a hole in the wall that allowed a view of the outside.  A line of trucks were traveling away from the compound.  The array had been disassembled into several pieces and he could see some of it from the back of several trucks.

Returning to the supply closet, Jimmy eased the door open.  Calling softly he alerted the others to his presence.

“It’s me.  They’re leaving.  Come on.  We need to get out of here.”

Jimmy waited while all of them left the closet and entered the hallway. 

“Which way do we go?” asked Katy.

“They are leaving out the front, so we need to go out the back,” said Jimmy.

“Come on.  I know a way,” replied one of the technicians.

Everyone fell into line and hurried with him as led the way out the rear of the complex.  They were about to enter the jungle when they heard a sound.

“Now wouldn’t you rather come with us?  We have a lovely island you need to visit.”  Gunter rose up out the bushes, his camouflage clothes blending in nicely with the surroundings.  A dozen men stood up with him.

“Let us go.  You have what you want,” said Jimmy.

“Not entirely correct. I have the array, but I need psychics.  You and your two friends are psychics and I need them.  Got to have someone to plug into the machine.”  Gunter smiled.

“How do you know we’re psychics?” asked Katy.

“Because I told him.”  The man who had led them out of the building stepped over near Gunter.  “I hid them in a supply closet until I was sure they would not get killed by one of your men.”

“You did well.  Bring them along.”  Gunter laughed again and dragged the back of his hand across his mouth. 

Jimmy, Katy and Roger were loaded onto a troop transport.  The remaining technicians were shot by Gunter’s men and left where they fell.  The traitor went to get into the truck and Gunter killed him.

“You’re usefulness has ended, my friend.”

Gunter jumped onto the running board of the troop transport and like a wagon master from the Wild West yelled, “Move’em out!”

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

“No luck?” asked June, bringing the Tross in for a landing.

“None.  Slade must have his phone off.”  Dustin Zane dropped his cell phone back into his pocket and leaned back in the co-pilot seat.  “Are you sure it’s okay to land here?”

“Yeah.  I spoke to a friend of mine.  The Captain on board the cruiser is an old friend of mine.  He’s a good salt dog.”  June smiled remembering things from his past.

“Why does the American government have patrols here in the Gulf of Mexico?”

“We keep a contingent of ships stationed around the world.  This area of the Gulf of Mexico next to Panama is a strategic hot bead.  We keep several ships in the region.  America must protect her borders.”

“A lot of boats down there,” commented Dustin Zane.

“Yes, there are.”

“What are they?”

“The big one is a Guided Missile Cruiser of the Ticonderoga class.  It has the most sophisticated missile defense system ever constructed.  It can launch a series of air-to-surface or air-to-air missiles.  It can travel the oceans and get there in a hurry.  It’s almost six hundred feet long and has a total crew of almost four hundred men.  A lot of fire power.”

“Were you ever stationed on one?”

“No.  Being a fighter pilot I was stationed on board the aircraft carriers when deployed at sea.  Don’t forget the Navy has ground based fighter squadrons and I spent time on those as well.”

“Saw the world, huh?”

“I did.  Parts I didn’t even know existed.”

Both men laughed and stared at the ships on the surface of the Gulf of Mexico.  Land could be seen on the horizon.  The isthmus linking North and South America was a vital piece of real estate and both continents had an interest in it. So did the governments that held dominion of the various countries comprising the narrow strip of land.

June banked the Tross and let her glide to the surface.  Two jets streamed overhead and Dustin Zane could hear some chatter in June’s headset.  June spoke into the headset and continued his descent.  The flying boat settled into the water and June taxied her to the starboard side of a cruiser. A line made her secure. 

Opening the hatch they were met by several sailors in white uniforms.  Each peered intently inside the Tross.

“Permission to come aboard,” said June.

“Permission granted.”

June looked up at the railing.  Captain Jeremiah Richardson was beaming down at him.

“Been a long time,” yelled June.

“Come on up.”

June and Dustin Zane were on the deck minutes later and introductions were made.  Captain Richardson took them to the tactical room and introduced them to his staff.

“June, I asked for information from the Fleet HQ and was told not to get involved in this.  When I pressed it, I was told it came from the Pentagon.”

“The Pentagon?” asked June.

“Yup.  I was allowed to access our satellite images and we located the compound based on the coordinates you gave me.”  Captain Richardson pointed to a junior officer who displayed an aerial view of the Colombian jungle onto a screen.  “There’s the compound and based on these images there was heavy fighting recently.  Smoke is billowing out of the main complex and infrared sensors are picking up dead bodies.  The culprits are long gone.  I don’t believe there is anyone left alive there.”

“We have to go see.  Our friend is there.”  Dustin Zane looked down at the shorter man, his eyes intense.

“I understand how you feel.  But I can’t launch an official mission on this.  The Colombian government has said they will investigate and they are sending in troops as we speak.  They said they will notify us immediately if they locate anything.”

“So we sit and do nothing?” asked June.

“Unfortunately, yes.”

“You know that’s not my style,” replied June, turning and starting toward the door.

“I know and that’s why what I’m about to do is the hardest thing I’ve ever done.”  Captain Richardson paused as June turned to face him.  “You and Dustin Zane are being placed under detention until further notice.  You’re not to interfere with problems in Colombia.  The locals will have to handle it.”

“I don’t think so,” said Dustin Zane, stepping toward the Captain.  The sound of an automatic weapon being cocked froze him in his tracks.

“You’ll have to sit on the sidelines on this one, big man.”  Captain Richardson stepped back and allowed his MP’s to disarm the two men.  June had remained silent during the incident.  “Take them to the Brig and post watch.”

June was led to the door, but turned to face Captain Richardson before stepping through.  “I thought I knew you better Jeremiah.  Turns out I didn’t know you at all.”  Without another word, June stepped out of the tactical center and was escorted to the Brig.

Read Chapter 36