Art Adkins
Author & Leadership Instructor
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Mindwalkers - Chapter 44

Chapter 44

“You knew about this all along?  You deliberately kept information from us.  This is outlandish,” screamed the woman, pounding her fists on the table.

“Control yourself.  I did not keep information from you.  I was just made aware of the new set of circumstances.  Did I think Colonel Torres would become involved?  Yes, I thought it may be a possibility.  He was close friends with Juan Domingo and I knew he would jump at the opportunity to avenge his friends’ death.”  Hal paused to let the others catch up.

“So you arranged, through Colombian channels, to have Colonel Torres go to the Amazon basin to help Dustin Zane and June search for Slade Lockwood and Cody Garrett.  Brilliant strategy.  When the three of them shared data, the same conclusion was drawn:  Gunter Gutenberg.  Gunter gets removed and we get what we want.  I must commend you and I am angry I did not think of it.”  One of the senior members had spoken.

“How is it so brilliant?  I see nothing more than mere coincidence,” replied the woman, unwillingly to acknowledge the maneuver engineered by Hal.

“Please.  With the Colombians involved, an assault on the Island by our forces becomes acceptable.  If anything goes wrong, we can answer the international community by claiming to come to the aid of Colombia while pursing drug kingpins.  After all we spend billions each year combating the entry of illegal narcotics into the United States and it is not a stretch to assume refinement labs could be sequestered in all corners of the world.”  The senior member raised his coffee cup as a toast to Hal and others around the table did the same.

“By feeding false information, should the operation go awry, we step away as innocent helpers assisting our South American friends.  If it is successful, we take control of the Island and all the technology,” added the junior member.

“Not quite.  If successful, we share in the technology and utilize other resources to control the Island and the research labs.  Remember, even when operations go according to plan there is always someone wanting to evaluate the motives, the results and the end game.  Better to not leave any fingerprints or trace of involvement.”  Hal smiled as the realization was finally accepted by the woman.

“Then I, too, toast you.  It was a brilliant move.  Use everyone as pawns to acquire what we want.”  The woman raised her cup.

“It is brilliant, but I proceeded from the wrong assumption.  I am still new to some of our strategy.  Feigning interest in one corner of the globe to distract a foreign interest in another is still new.  It’s like chess and miscommunication all rolled into one.”  The junior member shrugged his shoulders.

“Nothing is as it ever appears.  Deception is the key to the game.  That’s why we don’t allow all of our intelligence networks to share all the information.  Fusion centers not with-standing, there is a lot of information that is not shared.  The real coup ‘de grat is to learn how to manipulate this information to our advantage,” Hal spoke softly to the junior member.

“Before we become too elated, what about our other assets?  Will they be in place?” asked a senior member.

“Yes.  The Cruiser First Contact should arrive as scheduled.  It will be close.  With the Colombians on board, it should bolster our attack capability greatly.”  Hal had consulted his notes.

“What about using Shirley Waterbury in this game?  We were not totally truthful with Slade.  We had a very high suspicion Gunter would go after her and we did nothing to alert them.  We estimated their security protocol was sufficient to address the situation.”  The woman spoke the obvious.

“Shirley is a necessary part of the equation and her role has not yet been saturated.  She is still an option, but later in the game.”  Hal smiled back at the woman.

“Ralph?” asked the junior member.

“He’s our absolute ace in the hole,” said one of the senior members.

“True, but we do have another close to the President, but he doesn’t possess Ralph’s talents.  I’ve activated him to twenty-four status.  He’ll be moving closer to the White House, not that distance is all that important.  However, I want him within eyesight.  Maybe if he sees something go wrong, he can focus on it.”  Hal looked around the room for support.

“Are we sure Gunter has the capability to pull off a threat to the President?  This sounds very futuristic, almost paranormal.  Mind Walkers and psychics.  I know we tested in this area before, but really.  I don’t mean to sound skeptical, but it is hard to fathom.”  The woman shook her head in disbelief.

“The tests conducted on this very spot years ago confirmed what we suspected.  A concentrated beam of mental energy can and does influence behavior in humans and animals.  The SAGE array above us was the delivery vehicle.  The person connected to the array was a very low level psychic with no mind enhancing chemicals to aid her.  Still she was able to stimulate a response in people miles away.  And not only people, but animals.”  Hal gestured with his hands to emphasize his point.

“And let’s not forget, that was only part of the experiments.  Remote viewing was another aspect that was explored.  We gained a great deal of intelligence, later confirmed to be accurate, from the experiments with the array.  We were just beginning to explore other areas when there was a leak and the operation had to be shut down.”  The senior member stared at the woman.

“So construct a smaller array, move it to the Island, change the name of the project to Oracle and go back into business.  Disgusting.  Haven’t we learned anything?”  The woman rolled her eyes.

“Not business as usual.  The goal was to explore how the neurons in the mind fires and the sequence of events that allows a psychic to ‘view’ remote places or influence others.  The goal was to develop monitoring protocols that would alert us to a psychological attack on our key personnel.  If the President, key members of the Senate and House, not to mention intelligence personnel could be influenced, harmed or killed, do you realize the impact on our country?  It would be catastrophic,” replied Hal.

“I did not view it from that perspective,” responded the woman.

“There seems to be a great many things you have not viewed from the proper perspective.  Perhaps you should broaden your mind and realize why we are here:  to safeguard America from all enemies, domestic and foreign.  Before you discount a strategy, you have to evaluate all known parameters.”  Hal had lowered his voice while speaking, the anger ghosting through.

“Do I need to remind you I was appointed by the highest authority who has connection with this operation?  Maybe you should remember that…” The woman was stopped from continuing. 

“Do we need to remind you that with a unanimous vote, you can be replaced?” said the junior member, tiring of the woman’s approach.

“Let us focus on the problem at hand,” said one of the senior members, attempting to diffuse the situation.

“Excellent idea.  We need to grab something to eat and get some rest.  Within thirty-six to forty-eight hours, the assault of the Island should commence.” 

Hal rose from the table and joined the others for a light lunch.

Gunter had finally had enough of waiting.  Dispatching one of his own cargo planes, he sent them to acquire a generator sufficiently powerful enough to run the array.  The system required more electricity than the engineers had anticipated.  The short time Gunter had been hooked up to it, the circuits in the smaller generator had fused.  Calculations indicated a considerable input of power would be needed to cover the distance from the Island to the White House. 

Striding through the research lab, Gunter encountered Dr. Zofel making his rounds.

“I’ve been thinking.  Are all the psychics ready for deployment?  Have we reached a state of equilibrium with their medication where they can be utilized to achieve our goals?”  Gunter had stopped in the hallway and Dr. Zofel did the same.

“Yes.  Including the two we have from Operation Stargate, you have five psychics available. Including yourself makes six.  Why?” asked Dr. Zofel.

“I want to hit multiple targets.  In addition to the President, what about the Joint Chiefs of Staff?  Think about it:  six assassinations in a matter of hours that look like death by natural causes.  The pandemonium would be unprecedented.  The government would be scrambling to fill the void.  The resulting vacuum would give us the time to activate the other parts of our plan, Zofel.”

“It holds merit.  What about retaliation?”

“What about it?  They will be too paralyzed to act.  We’ll be safe.”

“As it stands right now, we can only target one individual per psychic.  They need time to gather their strength.  It might not be wise to use them all in one assault.  Maybe three or four and keep two in reserve.”

“Good strategy.  Select two for reserves.  I want the others ready to go at a moment’s notice.”  Gunter continued down the hall.

Dr. Zofel walked to the holding area where the psychics were being restrained.  The first one he approached was Jimmy. 

“Good morning,” said Dr. Zofel.

“I want released.  I don’t want to be part of what you’re doing.  All of you are criminals and I want stand to be used any longer.  I demand you release me.”  Jimmy had stood up and faced Dr. Zofel.

“Or what?  Jimmy, you’re half away around the world in a remote part of the world.  No one knows where you are.  You couldn’t even tell your friends where you were going when you left to meet Juan Domingo.  Do you think they would really know to look here?”

“Release me.”

“Let’s talk about the array and the last time you were connected.”

“That’s what you’re calling it: connected?  Simple term for murder.  Juan Domingo was not developing the array for this type of procedure.  He was trying to help others.  Cure people.  His research was scientific.  What’s yours, Dr. Zofel?  Besides murder,” said Jimmy.

“Watch your tongue young man or I’ll let Gunter turn the machine on you.  Your psychic abilities are powerful and they could prove useful to us.  But I need you somewhat cooperative.”  Dr. Zofel pulled a chair up so he could face the cell.  Peering through the bars holding Jimmy, he continued.  “Your target is a great distance away.  It will be the longest span ever attempted.  You’ll go down in history.”

“I don’t care about history, Dr. Zofel.  I want kill another human being.”  Jimmy had remained standing, but sat back down on his cot.

“Who said anything about murder?  You’re the only one talking about it.  We just need you to test the capabilities of the array and see if it’s feasible.”

“You forget, Dr. Zofel, I’m a psychic.  I’m not killing the President of the United States.  The mind cocktail you’ve been feeding me has enhanced my abilities, just like Gunter’s.  I may not be as strong in certain areas as he is, but I can still see.  And I see a rat masquerading as a physician.  I thought you took an oath to cure and save, not maim and kill.  I will not kill anyone,” said Jimmy, over-emphasizing his last sentence.

“Have it your way.  You will help us.  Whether you want to or not.”

Dr. Zofel stood up and walked out of the room.  Arrogance.  What a wasted emotion.

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

“New…new person…” said Ralph, continuing to stare straight ahead.

“New person?  What kind of new person?”

For several minutes Ralph did not answer, but sat staring at the White House.  Occasionally his head would roll to his left shoulder and he would rub his chin, but other than those simple actions he made no other effort.  Rachael was about to repeat her question when Ralph answered.

“Kinda…kinda like…me…but…not….Mind Walker….just…..just…normal.”

“You mean normal like me or normal like you?” asked Rachel.

“No..no…not…..like…you, but….not…like me…no Mind Walker…like me..but…not me…”  Ralph looked at his mother, perplexed he could not explain it better.

“You mean like you, but not a Mind Walker?”  When Ralph nodded his head, she continued.   “So this new person can ‘see’, like you, but they’re not a Mind Walker.”  Rachel stared at her son for confirmation. 

“Yes.”

Ralph clapped his hands and patted his mother on the shoulder.

“Ralph, how do you know this new person is here?”

“He…he…tried….tried….to touch me…..here.”  Ralph pointed to his head.

“What do you mean?”

“His…..thoughts…..his….speak to me…..yes…speak to me.”

“What did you do?  What did he say?” asked Rachel and moving closer to her son.

“Say..nothing…just..thoughts…I know….he…wanted…to know…if I’m here.”  Ralph turned to his mother and smiled, before resuming his vigilant watch of the White House.  “Don’t worry….I block him…I Mind Walker.”  Ralph smiled broadly.

“You blocked him?  How?  Honey, I find this very interesting.  Can you help me to understand?”

“Not let him in….keep…keep… him out….away…he tried…tried… to come inside.”  Again Ralph tapped his head with his finger.

“Is he a bad man?” asked Rachel, the possibility scaring her and she immediately became angry with herself for not having thought of that possibility earlier.

“No..no..here to help….but I don’t…know…may…not help….may get hurt…by bad men…don’t know.”

“Ralph, how did you block him?”

“I not….let him in….made him go away..he did..not know.”  Ralph smiled at his mother again, very proud of his accomplishment.

Rachel wished Ralph’s therapist Jack was here.  She was having a difficult time understanding what he was talking about.   She was certain Ralph believed another man had tried to enter his mind, but how?  And why?  Was Ralph making this up?  Was it a scenario he had conjured up in his mind?  Was it all make-believe to Ralph and he was acting it out as if it was real?  Was this a set back?

Rachel rubbed her head and leaned back.  Reaching inside a small cooler, she removed a soda and drank from it.  Up until now she was confident her and Ralph being here was helping him, but what if she was wrong?  What if this was harming him?

“Can you make other people go away when they try to enter your head?”

“Yes…Mind Walker!”  Ralph said the last two words very loud and proudly.

“I know you are, Honey.  I know you are.”

Rachel sat quietly watching her son.  She would have to call Jack tonight and see if they should remain.  Perhaps she needed to get a tape recorder so she could record their conversations and play them for Jack.  Hopefully he would know what to do.

Rachel opened her magazine and started to read again but gave up after a few minutes.  She was distracted.  Was her son alright?  She did not want to lose him.  Rachel reached out and rubbed Ralph’s back.  Ralph turned and looked at her, smiled and went back to watching the White House.

Rachel sighed deeply and reached for her soda.  If Ralph followed his normal routine, they would be leaving in a few minutes to go back to the hotel and have dinner.  She was looking forward to it.

Chapter 45