Art Adkins
Author & Leadership Instructor
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Mindwalkers - Chapter 46

Chapter 46

The generator had arrived and the workers were toiling around the clock to install it.  New cables had to be run, the old ones were not sufficient to carry the required voltage needed to power the array.  Additional circuits were installed to ensure there was no feedback loop created. 

Gunter prowled the compound, overseeing the installation and asking dozens of questions.  His physical appearance continued to deteriorate, but his internal drive was stronger than ever.  The workers tried to avoid him, not daring to stare at the lesion on his face that had grown considerably within the last couple of days.  It was now a dark purple and flapped on his cheek.  He seemed not to notice.

Entering the lab Gunter looked for and found Dr. Zofel.

“Make sure the switches are installed here.”  Dr. Zofel pointed to a spot in the wiring above the helmet on the connector chair as he spoke to an electrician.  “I don’t want any power surge to enter the helmet.  It could be lethal for the occupant.”

“How is it coming?” asked Gunter.

“It should be on-line this afternoon.  I’ll run diagnostics this evening and we will be operational by midnight once I evaluate the data.”

“Good.”  Gunter turned to leave, but stopped.  “Have you utilized one of the psychics to scan our facility?  It has been awfully quiet since we acquired the array.  That is not in keeping with the group that controlled things.  I don’t trust them.”

“I’ve not done it since you returned. I thought you were handling that with your own ability,” remarked Dr. Zofel.

“We need to run a scan.”  Gunter peered at the far wall.

“Gunter, I cannot do two things at once.  If you want this array on-line by midnight I will have to focus on it.  If you want a perimeter scan completed I will have to stop what I’m doing and focus on that.  It could set us back several hours.  Which one do you want me to focus my attention on?” asked Dr. Zofel, pausing to stare at Gunter.

Gunter walked around the connector chair and ran his fingers across the helmet.  His eyes were staring off into space.  Turning around, Gunter walked aimlessly through the room before returning to Dr. Zofel’s side. 

“We can wait.  Besides, if they did try to move against us, this will give us the advantage.”  Gunter rubbed the connector chair again and barked out a short laugh.  “Continue Dr. Zofel.  I want this operational by midnight.”

Dr. Zofel watched Gunter leave.  His condition was fading faster than he realized.  He had run tests on the German earlier in the morning and the cancer cells were spreading at an alarming rate.  It would not be long before the disease started to shut down his system and destroy his organs one by one.  Dr. Zofel smiled to himself.  When Gunter was gone he would assume command.  It was the natural progression of things.

Smiling to himself, Dr. Zofel returned to his work.  Time.  It was always on the side of the patient.

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

“Mr. President, we are only asking that you consider the request.  If what Cody has told us is accurate, your life could be in danger.  It is not unreasonable to assume Gunter would target you as a victim.  What better way to send a message?” CIA Director Skylar Thompson spoke quietly.

“I don’t believe in all this mind control stuff, Skylar.  It’s all a bunch of hocus pocus and I won’t buy in to it.  I’m not leaving.  Is that clear?”  The President looked up from his desk and stared at his CIA Director.  “How is Cody doing?  I hear he is up and moving.”

“He is.  He said he would like to visit and brief you himself later today.”

“Splendid.  I’m pleased with the way you and Cody are working together.  I was worried about that.  The FBI and CIA should be sharing information.”

“Yes, sir.”  Skylar walked around toward the door.  “Sir, I would be remiss if I did not ask one last time.  Will you consider moving to another location?  Maybe to the chambers beneath the White House.  There is additional shielding there.”

“Skylar, I really do appreciate your concern, but let’s evaluate this situation first.  If I’m in danger from some sort of mind attack, what good would moving or additional shielding accomplish?  Wouldn’t they be able to find me anyway?  Like I said, I don’t believe this is accurate intelligence and I don’t believe in this mental imagery.  Thank you, but please don’t bother me with this again.”  The President forced a smile to his face and waved to Skylar, indicating he was dismissed.

“Yes, sir.  Thank you, sir.”

Skylar left the Oval Office and proceeded to a lower level and approached the Secret Service agents monitoring the security systems for the White House.  The Secret Service Assistant Director was there, Ellen Dipple.

“Are they back on their bench, Ellen?” asked Skylar.

“Yes, they are.  They were here earlier than we expected.  We pulled some information on them.  The boy was a patient at the Colorado Springs Brain Institute, but the parents asked for the treatment to be abated.  The mother, Rachel, wanted the young man back home with them.  They are wealthy and have been providing for his treatment out of their pocket.  Today will be two weeks they have been sitting and staring at the White House.”  Ellen looked over at Skylar.  She had been briefed on the possible threat to the President.

“Yes, I know.  We ran a check on them, as well.  The young boy was sent to a research facility in the Pacific, but we’re having trouble locating its whereabouts.  It would seem it doesn’t exist.”

“Does the boy pose a threat to the President?”

“I have information that he does not and that we are not to disturb him,” said Skylar.

“Who gave those orders?”

“I can’t say, but I trust the decision.”

Ellen looked at the monitors.  Ralph was staring at the White House, his eyes glued to the building.  Sensitive monitors could pick up their conversation.

“Have they said anything today?” asked Skylar.

“Not anything worth repeating.  Ralph talked about being a Mind Walker.  Do you know what that means?”

“No.  I wish I did, but I don’t.  Please let me know if anything develops here and I’ll do the same on my end.”  Skylar nodded to the agents.

Ellen and her two agents turned to stare at the mother and son.  So much they did not know.

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

June landed the Tross near an island with swaying palm trees and several jagged mountains jutting to the skyline.  The water was a crystal blue and as clear as polished glass.  Two rather large inflatable rafts met the Tross and the Navy SEALs piled on board.  After securing the plane, June, Dustin Zane and Slade followed them.

A temporary command post had been erected on the beach and Colonel Torres was already present with his men. 

“We are within fifteen miles of the Island.  Weather is good and we should be able to launch our assault tonight.  We have additional equipment.  We need to go over the operation one last time, grab some food and rest and strike when it is dark.”

“What about fire support?” asked June.

“The US Navy Cruiser First Contact should be here.  Even without her, we must push forward.  We will not have a better opportunity.”

“Then let’s go over the operation plan again,” said Slade, following the Colonel to the command tent. 

It had been impossible to sleep.  The sound of the surf lapping at the beach and the birds calling in the trees.  Slade had been restless and walked through the command center several times.  Walking into the mess tent he found June and Dustin Zane already there drinking coffee.  The three of them shared stories and laughed until it was time to get dressed.

The three of them were in the third raft.  Powered by a two hundred horsepower Yamaha outboard, the boat shot across the water and glided over the swells.  The raft carried twenty men.  They were with the Navy SEALs and some of Colonel Torres men.  There were twelve rafts all total.  A little over two hundred men to launch the attack.  Would it be enough?  Slade dismissed the thought from his mind.

Slade ran his hand over his rifle.  In addition, he carried his Beretta 9mm.  The gun was over twenty-five years old, but it gave him comfort.  He had carried it on LAPD and it had saved his life more than once.  Checking the snap, he made sure it was secure.

Glancing over at June and Dustin Zane he noticed they were checking weapons as well.  Everyone was in camouflage clothing and dark paint was streaked across their face.  A fine mist from the spray the waves created when striking the boat had coated them, but noone seemed to notice.  Their nerves were on end and they were all focused on the assault.

Slade’s team would have the responsibility of taking the research lab, releasing the prisoners and securing the computer data base.  Slade looked over at Jones.  The young SEAL had not spoken to him since their conversation and he avoided eye contact with Slade.  The man was probably lying about some of the information he had given Slade, but the truth would all be revealed.  Slade shrugged his shoulders.  Their main concern was staying alive long enough to learn the truth.

Nearing the Island, the main engine was cut and a smaller electric motor was employed.  Not as fast, but incredibly quiet.  The men moved lower in the boat to reduce any silhouette an alert sentry may see.  Their primary concern was exposure at the top of a wave before the boat slipped into the trough created by the swells.

The break water.  Slade heard it before he saw it.  A small natural cove was going to be their landing spot.  Two machine gun nests were positioned with a commanding view of the shoreline.  They were approximately seventy-five feet from the water’s edge.  They did not know what type of electronic surveillance the Island had, but they had to assume there were sensors on the beach.

A SEAL was reading the depth gauge near the console.  When it signaled three feet, he motioned to the team leader.  On cue, everyone started slipping quietly over the side.  Slade felt the water rush around him and had to compensate for the current.  Easing forward, they pushed through the water for shore.

Slade could see June and Dustin Zane on his right.  They were about thirty feet from him.  The first man to reach the beach was a SEAL and he immediately went to a prone position and started to crawl forward.  The other men followed suit.  Slade eased down into the sand and cradling his rifle, and started to crawl.  He had never felt so alone and exposed in all his life.  The beach would become a killing ground if the machine gunners discovered them.  There was no place to hide. 

Luck held and they were able to move within feet of the first machine gun nest.  The two men manning the position were playing cards and arguing over who had the better hand.  Just as they were about to assault the position, gunfire could be heard across the Island.  Momentarily there was a pause before the two men sprang to life.  The assault team members reacted at the same time and a brief fire fight erupted.

Surprise had been on the side of the assault team and both machine gun positions were taken without mishap, the mercenaries killed and the deadly weapons silenced.  Moving forward, Slade joined the SEAL Lieutenant.

“This is where we split up.  I’ll take my men and attack the array.  You have the compound and prisoners.  Take Jones with you.  He’s a computer expert.”  The Lieutenant looked at Slade for confirmation.  “And don’t forget, there’s no need for silence now.  Keep me apprised of your situation.  If you get pinned down, I’ll send some men to help you.  Good luck.”

“Got it. Let’s move.”  Slade motioned for his group to follow him.

The sound of the attack was growing in intensity and he heard explosions.  Mortars.  The Colombians were assaulting the defensive positions on the main beach.  The machine guns could be heard firing continuously.  Where was the cover fire?  Where was the US Navy Cruiser First Contact?  Without it, they would not survive. 

The main compound was dead ahead.  Before they could take another step, they were spotted and the defensive perimeter opened fire on them.  They were immediately forced to take cover.  Three men were killed in the first exchange.  June crawled over next to him

“Any ideas?”

“Working on it.”  Slade peered out from behind a mound of dirt.  The mercenaries had dug in around the main entrance.  In addition to the two gun emplacements near the door, they had a third on the roof.  It would be suicide to rush the front.

A young soldier crawled up next to Slade.

“We need fire support.  Do you want me to raise the First Contact?”

“Yes.  See if you can get them,” replied Slade, firing a quick burst at the gunners.

“Captain Richardson!  I’m getting a request for cover fire from the Island.”

“XO, are we within range for our guns to be effective.  Must be a precision strike.  I don’t want our boys hurt.”  Captain Richardson prowled the Bridge, his brow knitted.  They had been traveling at top speed for days and everyone’s nerves were on edge.  This conflict was why they were here.

“We’re within optimum range…..now, sir.”

“Relay the coordinates and open fire, XO.  I want those enemy emplacements neutralized.”  Captain Richardson turned to a junior Lieutenant.  “Lieutenant, keep us at full speed.  I want to get as close as I can so we can use our cannons to peak efficiency.  Is that clear?”

“Yes, sir.”  The Lieutenant turned toward the helmsman.  “You heard the Captain.  Let’s see if she has any more speed.”

Captain Richardson felt the bulkhead quiver as the First Contact’s guns started to fire.  Bright lights arced through the night toward the island.  They still needed to get closer.  He just hoped they had arrived in time.

Slade heard the rounds coming in and started yelling at his squad.

“Back up!  Back up!  Coordinate the bombing with the First Contact!”  Slade had yelled at the radioman and he was busy relaying information.

The incoming shelling was starting to have an effect.  One round landed directly on a machine gun nest and it was destroyed.  The others missed, but the mercenaries were forced to take cover from the shrapnel. 

“Tell them to keep it coming!” yelled Slade. 

“Gunter, we’re under attack!” screamed Dr. Zofel.

“Calm yourself, Zofel.  We have sufficient defenses to hold off an army.”  Gunter turned back to the lab.  “Are we ready?”

“The final data has not been processed, but everything looks good.  I need a little more time to evaluate the last set of data…”  Dr. Zofel was cut off.

“In case you have not noticed, we’re out of time.  It is now time for action.  Bring in the first psychic and implement the removal protocol.   Target:  the President of the United States.”  Gunter turned to Dr. Zofel with a fire in his eyes.  “Our time has come, Zofel.  They will all feel our wrath.”

Dr. Zofel turned toward technicians and started giving instructions.  Within moments the array was brought on line, power surging through the cables to the connector chair.  The indicator lights above the helmet started to glow and Dr. Zofel was listening as an assistant read the power settings.

“Seventy-five percent and climbing.  We should have full power within one minute.  Eighty-three percent.  All systems stable and functioning within established parameters.”

Dr. Zofel looked up as the side door to the lab was opened and Jimmy was wheeled in.  He had already been sedated.  He was quickly strapped in to the connector chair and the mind cocktail was fed to him through an IV. 

“Is his mind ready to fire?” asked Dr. Zofel.

“Yes.  Neuron activity increasing.  A spike in synaptic activity.  He has reached optimal capacity and we have control of his mind, thoughts and projection.”  A senior technician proudly looked over at Dr. Zofel.

“The array?  Are we at one hundred percent?”

“At ninety-seven percent and creeping up.  A fluctuation in a power conduit may not allow us to achieve any more.  It will have to be repaired later.”

“Acknowledged.  Start invasive protocol and introduce our psychic to his target.  Ladies and gentleman we are moving into a new era.”

Dr. Zofel and Gunter approached the one-way mirror of the operation center so they could view Jimmy strapped to the connector chair.  His body contorted violently several times.

“What is happening?” asked Dr. Zofel.

“He’s fighting the command introduction.  We’re compensating by increasing the sedative.  It’s a delicate balance.”  Within a minute Jimmy’s struggles ceased.  “We have total control.  Proceeding.”

Gunter and Dr. Zofel looked at each other.  Years of research was about to be realized.  History was being made.

Chapter 47