Art Adkins
Author & Leadership Instructor
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Mindwalkers- Chapter 9

Chapter Nine

“He requested to meet?” asked Lance Young, Chief of the United States National Security Agency.  “Preposterous!”  Lance grabbed his jacket from the back of his chair and slipped it on.

“Said it was a matter of the utmost importance,” replied his aid and closest advisor, Sheila Graft.

“That was never the agreement.  It has served us well for over a decade and a half and now they want to violate our deal?  No way.”  Lance turned from his office window to stare at his lovely assistant.  Sheila was nearing fifty, had never married and was consumed with working out.  Her stringy brown hair accented a well toned figure and she had been the object of desire of every man in the agency.  So far she had kept her sexual exploits outside the office.  Smart move, decided Lance.

“We may want to meet to discuss their position.  They have made some significant breakthroughs.  Especially where we had hoped to have success long ago.  If the data is accurate, they may be close to breaking the time-space issue.  Oracle may become reality, a reality to bolster National defense.  We cannot afford not to talk to them.”  Sheila waited for the ire in Lance’s voice to calm.  His first inclination was to always lash out when he heard news that upset him.  After his emotions were held in check, he made rational decisions based on logic with a clear understanding of the circumstances surrounding any situation.

“How could they have discovered something we overlooked or failed to reveal?  I find it hard to believe.  We pumped millions of dollars into the program in the late seventies and early eighties only to have Congress give it up.  We had some success, but nothing substantial that I would be willing to bet national security on.”  Lance was staring out his window, seeing and reliving the past. 

“Perhaps.  Then again, they may have uncovered the piece of the puzzle we never saw.  There have been some impressive, if not disturbing information leaking from the Island.”  Sheila shrugged her shoulders and crossed her legs.  Finally her boss seated himself behind his desk

“There are only a handful of men in our government that know we continued the work in this area.  The press forced the operation into the open the first time and it ultimately led to the dismissal of the project.  That and some ill timed experiments that failed to yield the desired results.  We assured the American people we would no longer explore this...this research.  It frightened them and we were painted as renegades for having delved into the possibility in the first place.  The human mind is a frail thing.”  Lance paused before continuing.  “Are you sure we cannot be tied to our jungle friends?”

“Not a chance.  The money we funnel to them is routed through an intermediary and at least a dozen blind contacts before it ends up in their hands.  None of the people in the transfer know why or to whom the money is being sent.  All sterile.”  Sheila opened the folder on her lap and spoke again, but slower.  “We do have another problem.  Cody Garrett.  As you know the President appointed him Director of the FBI.  He’s the youngest person to ever hold the position and the President holds him in high esteem.  Cody…”  Sheila was stopped by an upraised hand.

“I know all that, Sheila.  Why should that concern me?”

“Because the President has asked Cody to evaluate all programs concerning National Security.  It’s outside his realm of responsibility, but the President trusts the man.  I’ve met Cody.  He’s pure to the core.  If…” Sheila was halted a second time.

“How do you know Cody has been assigned this?  I haven’t heard anything about it.”  Lance leaned forward and let his elbows rest on the desk in front of him.

“Because I just received this request from Cody early this morning asking for us to meet with him.  He wants to discuss any clandestine operations concerning National Security.”  Sheila handed the piece of paper over to Lance, who read the correspondence twice.

“Does he have any idea about the jungle operation?”

“I don’t know.  But if he gets wind of it, he won’t back off.  He’s very tenacious.”

“Then if he gets wind of it, then we tell him.  Not before.  No need to expose our hand if it’s not necessary.  Not a prudent course of action.”  Lance looked sternly back at her.

“What about a meeting with the jungle representative?  I can set it up amid the cover of you checking on our foreign assets.  The meeting can be arranged so your schedule will not be altered.” 

“I like that idea, even though I’m not happy about meeting with the jungle contingent.  We were to get results when a break-through was made.”  Lance paused again. “What about the German problem?  How are they going to deal with that?”

“That’s part of what they want to talk about.  Seems they feel we should assist in the endeavor to eliminate the concern.”  Sheila closed her briefing folder and looked at her boss as the color drained from his face.

“When you walked in here, I thought you said you had good news,” whispered the Chief of the National Security Agency.

“I do.  We finally have contact with our South American friends and they’re willing to share what they’ve learned.  Seems we’re finally going to realize a profit on our expenditures.  The bet on Oracle may be paying off.  It may become a reality.”  Sheila smiled at her boss.  “Everything has a price.  You know that.”

Lance Young nodded his head very slowly.  But what a steep price.  Even the President of the United States did not know about Oracle, much less members of Congress.  There were some things not even the highest office in the land was privy to.  Too much collateral damage should things go awry.  And now Garrett and the FBI were asking questions. 

After a moment of thinking, Lance spoke.  “Pull all the old files on the extinct operation, before Oracle was given life.  I want to know who was involved down to the clerks and minor assistants. I want to know if they’re alive or dead and if they are alive, where are they now.  I especially want to know if they’re working with our jungle friends or if they’re connected in any way.  Is that clear?”

“It is.  One thing.  If they’re alive, do you want them to remain that way?”

Lance Young rubbed his head with his hands and stared at the far wall.  When his eyes came back to Sheila, there was a cornered, frightened look on his face.  “For now, they stay alive.  Just get me their names and whereabouts.  And don’t forget the files.  Information is knowledge and I need as much as I can get.”

“Yes, sir.  I’ll have it by the end of the day.”  Sheila scribbled some notes on her personal notepad.

Rising from his chair, Lance looked down at his assistant.  “Make the meeting happen.  But on their ground and around my schedule.  Give me a good cover.”

Without another word he stalked out of the room to attend a budget hearing.  There could be no mishap. 

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Professor Charles Warse stared at the obituary section of the paper a second time and read about the death of his colleague and friend, Professor Carl Peabody.  Gone.  Authorities were investigating the matter, according to the article he had read the day before.  That paper, too, was stacked on the table next to the latest edition.  Who would want to kill Peabody?  He had been one of the most loved and respected teachers at Johns Hopkins.  They had both started their academic careers over thirty years ago, had lectured together and had even vacationed together.  And now this.

Professor Warse left his chair and moved to the bay window in his kitchen that overlooked the front yard, his ever present cup of coffee held in somewhat shaky hands.  Was there a pattern developing in front of him?  Carl had come into his office a couple of days ago to tell him about the death of one of his graduate students, Stanley Watchman.  The young man had been gunned down in St. Augustine, Florida.  Was it a coincidence?  Both dead by violent means?  Was there a connection?  His analytical mind was probing for answers, demanding a solution to a puzzle plaguing him. 

He had called the St. Augustine Police Department, but they would only tell him the case was under investigation.  They would not give him any additional information concerning Stanley’s death. 

Professor Warse had not let the issue sit idle.  The police may not want to share information in St. Augustine about Stanley’s death, but that exclusion did not extend to this part of the country.  He knew some of the authorities who had investigated the murder of Professor Peabody.  The local detectives had been more willing to share information and they had told him Carl’s body and that of his wife, had been found by a Slade Lockwood, who had almost been killed before the explosion occurred.  The receptionist at the medical college had confirmed Lockwood had been at the institution asking about Carl.  But why?  Had Lockwood known Stanley?

Sipping the last of the coffee from his mug, Professor Warse rambled through his house to his office.  A massive Victorian style home, his office away from the college had been designed with a study adjacent to the master bedroom.  Books lined the shelves and a large oak desk, with papers strewn haphazardly across the top, dominated one wall.  A large red chair that gave the appearance of being very comfortable was near the book shelf and several open books were lying on the floor next to it.  It was a convenient set up and very functional.  It was apparent Professor Warse spent a considerable amount of time there.

Picking up the piece of paper on his desk, he stared at the name and phone number.  Slade Lockwood.  Had never heard of the man.  Shrugging to himself, Professor Warse picked up his phone and started to dial the number.  Professor Peabody had been more than a colleague; he had been a friend.  And as a friend he would make sure he did all he could to make sure his death was properly investigated.  Even if that meant confiding in a man he had never met.

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The main building housing all the research on the island was a low concrete structure, drab in appearance but expansive on the inside.  The builders had dug into the coral and the research complex extended underground in parts.  The most sophisticated equipment to track brain activity was in some of the lower rooms.  A very large lab, staffed with over two dozen men and women was the nerve center of the complex and activity occurred inside it twenty-four hours per day.  Exploration of the human mind was all consuming.

Deep within an inner chamber, a young teenager was sitting in a chair staring at a blank wall.  The lights in the room had been dimmed and the only piece of furniture was the chair the boy was sitting in.  An IV was in his arm and attached to a bag of fluid suspended above and behind him on a small metal stand.  In addition to the IV, a series of probes had been attached to his shaved head.  Over twenty of the small round pads had been stuck to his skull, trailing leads that fed into a small machine sitting on a stand with rollers.  The lights on the machine were all blinking green, but Stewart, the young boy, did not seem to notice.  His expression was blank as his eyes bore straight ahead, looking but not seeing.  His facial features were serene, peaceful as he appeared to be mentally drifting to a horizon in his mind. 

In an adjoining room two doctors sat in swivel chairs watching an image of Stewart projected onto a screen in front of them.  The monitor in the room was feeding information into several computers they were constantly adjusting.  A pattern of Stewart’s brain waves were dancing across one scope in front of the female doctor in the room.

In addition to monitoring the nerve cells in his brain and their ‘firing’ sequence, an infrared three dimensional hologram of Stewart’s brain was suspended above a screen.  The image could be turned and manipulated.  Different colors indicated which part of Stewart’s brain was active at any given time.  When a particular section was processing it reflected as red on the image.  Most of Stewart’s brain was blue indicating passivity or no action.  Only the instinctive activities of the brain manipulating involuntary internal functions to sustain life were active.  He was at a ‘rest state’ and precisely where the researchers wanted him.  

“Zero activity at this time.”  Dr. Patricia Fawn moved the dial to make sure the reading was accurate.

“Same here.  Let’s administer the accelerant and see if it has the desired effect on Stewart.”  Dr. Tommy Conner pushed a button on the console in front of him.  A plunger, attached to the line feeding into Stewart’s arm in the other room, discharged a brown liquid into the tube leading into the boy’s vein.  Within seconds the liquid had disappeared inside his body and it did not take very long for the desired activity to commence.

It was less than one minute before Dr. Fawn spoke and she had an excited air to her voice.  “Activity!  Neuron firing in four parts of the brain.”  She glanced at the video monitor to check on Stewart.  He still sat silently in the room.  Parts of the brain on the three-D hologram were beginning to glow pink and increasing in color.

“Slight increase in heart rate and blood pressure, but all within accepted normal limits.”  Dr. Tommy Conner reached over and pressed down on a switch before talking into a microphone.  His voice sounded hollow when it came out the speakers in Stewart’s room.  “Stewart, listen carefully.  Can you hear me?”  Dr. Conner waited until Stewart nodded his head.  “Good.  I want you to concentrate.  Remember the learning lab?  I want you to think about it.  Focus on it in your mind.  What is going on there right now?  What is happening?”   Dr. Conner released the microphone button and glanced over at Patricia.  “Now we have to wait.”

“How long?”

“It shouldn’t be that long.  The accelerant, if the amount is sufficient, should stimulate his brain to capacity within minutes.  It’s been a little over three minutes since injection.  Complete absorption in the blood stream should have already occurred.  We now just need to wait until the heart pumps it to the brain.” 

Both doctors sat watching Stewart who seemed to be frozen in time.  His body was rigid, tense and he shifted uncomfortably in his seat.  His arms and legs had been bound to the chair and he could only squirm, twisting his upper body slightly.  Stewart’s eyes rolled back in his head several times, but each time he was able to regain control and stare straight ahead. 

“Look at the hologram.  I’ve never seen activity like this.”  Dr. Fawn motioned with her hand to Dr. Conner.  Over twenty-nine percent of Stewart’s brain was glowing pink and beginning to turn red.  The scopes monitoring the neurons firing inside Stewart’s head were beginning to jump more erratically, indicating a firing sequence occurring.

“Men…moving….young girl…hurt, but alive.  She feels….no…she is frightened…scared…..tell them…tell them…she is scared of needles….tell them to stop….to stop!”  The last two words were screamed out by Stewart and he pulled violently against his restraints.

Dr. Fawn and Conner looked at the closed circuit monitor of the learning lab and saw two doctors approaching a young woman lying prone on a gurney.  She was obviously frightened and her eyes were glued on the syringe held by one of the doctors as he attempted to insert the needle into her arm.  Her fear was stenciled across her face and she was foaming at the mouth and twisting to escape. 

Pressing a button linking them to the learning lab on a closed intercom system, Dr. Conner spoke very slowly.  “Dr. Russ, please cease the administering of the injection of your patient.  It’s projecting negative reactions on my subject.   Please cease immediately.”  Dr. Russ and his colleague instantaneously recognized the significance of what Dr. Conner was reporting and retreated from the young woman, placing the syringe into a drawer out of sight.  The young woman immediately calmed and within seconds she was passive, her fear temporarily abated.

It was several seconds before Stewart calmed inside the viewing room.  Dr. Fawn had been watching his brain activity.  “His patterns are more within the normal range.  You can resume when you’re ready.”

“Stewart.  The young girl is safe now.  Thank you for helping us.  Now I want you to focus ….”  Dr. Conner was cut off by the young man.

“Coming….a man….coming….to help….he is not close, but will be……he is coming.”  Stewart let his eyes roll back in his head.

Dr. Fawn and Dr. Conner looked at each other.  What was Stewart talking about?  They had given him no stimulus to activate his thought process.

“What man, Stewart?  Who is coming?” pressed Dr. Conner.

“Image….gone….disappears….calm…bring help…peace….”

“What’s he talking about?” asked Dr. Fawn.

“Maybe a distorted image.  We need to refocus his activity.  Adjust his reality spectrum.”  Dr. Conner once again resumed contact with Stewart.  “Stewart.  I want you to focus on the island next to ours.  It is a small island, about half the size of this one.  What do you see?  What is developing there, if anything?”

This time the wait was slightly longer than when Stewart ‘saw’ the interior of the learning lab and the young girl’s frightened response to the injection.  Once again his brain activity began to escalate and major portions of his brain turned pink and small sections became deep red.

“More buildings…..bigger complex…more doctors…weapons for….for…to hurt people…big guns hidden in sand and trees……boats off shore…not fishing….boats…but look like….mean boats….with guns…..”  Stewart grew silent and his body visibly relaxed before he spoke again.  This time his voice was barely a whisper.  “Not good…..not good for us….like me….research…”  Stewart turned his head and stared at the one way mirror separating the two rooms from him and Dr. Fawn and Dr. Conner.  “You want to…..experiment on me…hurt me…no…no….NO!” 

Stewart reacted so violently his body contorted out of the seat and strained with every fiber in his body as he screamed.  Brain activity on the scopes resembled a runaway heart beat, as the indicator slammed to the far extremes as it recorded Stewart’s body revolting against the drug.

“Do something,” urged Dr. Fawn, glancing over at Dr. Conner who sat impassively watching the young man.

“It’s a chance to learn, Dr. Fawn.  The straps will hold him.”  Dr. Conner briefly looked over at his colleague, but quickly returned his stare to Stewart.  “Do you have any idea what we have just witnessed?  This is what the Americans had hoped to achieve over fifteen years ago before their program was dismantled.  This is…..”  Dr. Conner was stopped by the angry voice of Dr. Fawn. 

“I don’t care what I’m seeing or witnessing right now.  There is no need to let him suffer.  Put him to sleep now, Dr.  Do I make myself clear?”  Dr. Fawn had risen from her seat and was moving toward Dr. Conner.

“Calm yourself, Patricia.  Peace is but a button away for Mr. Stewart.”  Dr. Conner pushed a green button on his console and a second syringe injected a clear liquid into the tube in Stewart’s arm.  It was quick acting and they watched as Stewart started to calm and his head fell on his chest, his normal breathing indicating he was asleep.  “Satisfied?”

“Yes.  Let’s get him back to his room and go over our results with the other physicians.”  Dr. Fawn started turning off equipment and collecting printouts.  There was so much to decipher.

Getting Stewart to his room was a simple affair and it was accomplished without incident.  Once secured on his cot with the proper monitors to ensure he continued to breathe, Dr. Fawn and Dr. Conner walked rapidly to the inner most conference area in the complex.  This main meeting area was located on the lower level and when they entered the main room, over a dozen staff members were present, all talking excitedly.  Dr. Fawn grabbed a mug of coffee and slipped into a waiting chair.           

“Did you monitor the results of the test?” asked Dr. Conner, grabbing a chair and pulling himself to the table.  When a chorus of nods accompanied his question he turned to Dr. Zofel, the resident expert at the facility.  “The new formula seems to enhance the subject’s ability to cover the time-space dilemma.  Stewart accurately reflected what was going on in the adjoining lab and on our sister island.  His description of the complex and gun emplacements was uncannily accurate.” 

“What was he referring to when he said ‘a man is coming’?  Was there ever a reference to someone visiting our facility?” asked Dr. Zofel, sipping from an ever present cup of green tea, wisps of steam trailing up past his head before disappearing in the manufactured environment.

“We don’t know.  It could be a stimulus reaction to when he was brought to the island and may be a reference to anyone of us that have worked with him.”  Dr. Fawn shrugged as she offered an explanation.

“What if it’s his ability to see the future?  To see events that are about to unfold?  Need I remind you Doctor, Mind Walkers do not live in our world, but in the realm we seek.” Dr. Zofel dipped his tea bag in the brown fluid several times before depositing it on a saucer next to him.

“You mean psychic ability?” asked Dr. Conner.

“I didn’t say psychic, but the ability to see future events.  Time and space are merely parameters.  So far we have assumed the ‘time’ element is focused on the present.  What if Stewart is pinpointing a time in the future, for instance tomorrow or the next day and is alerting us to a set of events that have already transpired, but has not yet occurred for us to witness.  He may be alerting to stimulus that has not yet occurred, but is inevitable.  For example, describing the placement of the defense system on our sister island.  It is, as you say, the time-space dilemma.”  Dr. Zofel watched his students carefully.  They were venturing into an area none of them had dared to speak of.  The time-space dilemma had been explored before with other subjects, but with no success.  The probability of success had seemed remote, albeit impossible. 

There was silence in the room until Dr. Fawn explored the possibility.  “Then this changes things.  We can explore future options with a certain degree of certainty if Stewart’s information was to pan out.  We need to test him for accuracy.  Have him ‘see’ what will occur in one or two days from a set date and validate his information for accuracy.”

“Sounds like a logical place to commence.”  Dr. Zofel rose from the table and picked up his cup of tea.  “Besides, if Stewart is correct we have a visitor to plan for.  We just need to know when. And who.  The verification of his data, once we determine the time/space continuum will validate his role as a possible Mind Walker.  That would be extraordinary.”  Without another word Dr. Zofel left the room as each student stared at him, the impact of his words finally hitting home.

Read Chapter Ten