Art Adkins
Author & Leadership Instructor
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Mindwalkers - Chapter 49

Chapter  49

“His vital signs are normal!  His breathing is fine and his respiratory system has stabilized.  I need to run additional tests but he’s going to make it.”  The doctor treating the President looked at the people in the room.

Everyone turned to look at Ralph who was still kneeling next to the President with his eyes closed.  Slowly he turned the President’s head loose and rubbed his hands on his thighs.  Opening his eyes, he looked at his mother and smiled.

“Told you….Ralph…powerful…Mind Walker….win…save President…Ralph…did…yes…did…..”  Ralph smiled at everyone in the room.

Rachel broke free from the agents and rushed to her son.  Sobbing she knelt down and wrapped her arms around his neck and kissed him on the cheek.  Leaning back, she grabbed a napkin and wiped the blood from his nose.

“Honey, what happened?  What did you do?”

“Stop…attack…other Mind Walker….dead….Slade…..Slade..not…not…Slade….not…now….different….”

Rachel noticed the change in his voice when Ralph mentioned Slade’s name.  She could see the sadness in his eyes. 

“What’s wrong with Slade?  Is he okay?”

“No….bad man…hurt…hurt..Slade…..not…Mind Walker.”  Tears formed in Ralph’s eyes and trickled down his cheeks.  No one in the room moved.  “Had….had..to help….President….Slade knew…Ralph..Mind…Walker…had…to….help….President….could…not…help….both..so…so…sorry.”

“You helped the President, but couldn’t help Slade?  Is that what you’re saying?” asked Rachel.

Ralph nodded his head.  Cody knelt down by Ralph.

“Ralph, Slade told me about you.  Said you would be here to help the President when the time came.  He would have wanted you to do what you did.”  Cody patted Ralph on the shoulder.

“I…know..still….it…it….hurts.”  Ralph stood up and reached down and took his mothers’ hand, helping her to her feet.  “Hungry…hamburger?”

“Sure honey.  I’ll get you a hamburger.”  Rachel looped her arm through his and they turned to the door.

“You’ll have to answer some questions…”  The Secret Service agent was stopped by Cody.

“No she won’t and neither will he.  They will be with me.”  Cody turned to Rachel.  “I’m a friend of Slade’s.  He saved my life in the jungle.  It’s a long story.  But right now I would like to buy you and Ralph dinner.  On the government.”

“We would like that,” said Rachel. 

As they left the room, the President was placed on a gurney and wheeled to a waiting ambulance.  His condition was stable and he was already regaining consciousness.

All was well within the White House.

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

“The Island is ours again.  Splendid news, Colonel.  We’ll be starting the research facility in Colombia again as well.” Hal smiled as he spoke into the phone.  The Colonel was on speaker on phone and the others at the table remained silent.

“It was a high cost to pay, Hal.  The array has been destroyed and the remaining medical personnel will be prosecuted.  The machine guns are gone.  The Island will be as it was meant to be: a research facility.”

“I agree Colonel. What about the hostages?”

“Jimmy died while Gunter was trying to control his mind to kill the President.  The other hostages are all well.  None of them desire to remain at the facility and I cannot blame them.”

“Neither do I considering all they have been through.  Thanks again Colonel.”

“Anytime.  I hope this will continue our alliance and strengthen our relationship,” said Colonel Torres.

“Absolutely.  The effort of the Colombian government will not go unnoticed.  One last thing Colonel.  The data file Jones was sent to retrieve.  Do you know what happened to it?”

“No.  Jones was killed we believe by Gunter.  We know he downloaded the file, but he also erased it after downloading it and activated a virus to destroy it so it could not be recovered.  We have not located the data stick it was down loaded to.   If we find it we will notify you.”

“Thank you, Colonel.”  Hal remained silent until the connection was terminated and a green light came on indicating it was okay to talk.  “Well, that ends that nasty little issue with Gunter.”

“I have a few questions.  How was Ralph able to thwart a Mind Walker using the array?  That should have been impossible,” said the junior member.

“That very issue or answer is what got us started on these projects years ago.  Decades ago our scientists realized autistic savants had brain activity so abnormal it could not be replicated.  Think about it.  Some autistic savants have the ability to analyze vast amounts of data in a given field, find minerals or, in some rare cases, walk in others mind.  The problem was we could never find the combination of drugs to activate the sequence to produce a desired objective.”  Hal paused.

“So the scientists involved in Operation Stargate and the Montauk Project were interested in obtaining the firing sequence, or chemical combination to produce this result?” asked the woman.

“Absolutely.  Think about it.  We wanted the ability to genetically alter a human to be more than they are from a mental perspective.  To produce a group of mathematical geniuses, or gifted musicians, or any area selected.  It was a heady proposal.  Autistic savants could accomplish it in given areas, but they did not direct their talent in a particular field.  They were born with it.  Unable to appreciate it, explain it or channel it in another direction.  We tried to produce the results in a defined scope.”  Hal smiled.

“But that does not explain how Ralph was able to defeat the array with a psychic wired into it,” repeated the junior member.

“Because he is an autistic savant.  Ralph is probably the most powerful Mind Walker we will ever meet and hopefully the only one in existence.  Gunter was terrified of him when he learned how powerful he was.  Ralph was able to shield his mind from the stimulant when he was injected with it and actually purged it from his body.  Due to some natural defensive mechanism, he was immune to it.  We also believe he may have telepathically encouraged his mother and father to remove him from the Island without them knowing it.  We don’t even believe he’s aware he sent those signals.”

“Why didn’t Gunter abduct him for further experiments?” asked the woman.

“Fear.  Gunter was afraid Ralph would become uncontrollable and turn the weapon on him.  Actually he did in a sense by thwarting the assassination attempt on the President.  Gunter needed powerful psychics, but not ones that could turn.  Ralph was too much of a threat.”

“How did Ralph know the President was at risk?” asked the junior man.

“We don’t really know that.  We think he may have ‘seen’ it and reacted to it.  We do know that through conversations with Slade, he convinced Slade there was going to be an attempt on the President’s life.  That’s why Slade was so adamant about going to the Island.  Ralph also told Slade that he would only be able to save one of them.”

“So Slade told him to save the President?” asked a senior member.

“Yes and Ralph did just that.  There is a strong bond between them.  I can’t explain it,” said Hal.

“Where is Ralph now?  Doesn’t he pose a threat to security?  What would stop him from entering someone’s mind and killing them?” asked the woman.

“Ralph is in Fairbanks, Alaska with his mother and father.  He is no more of a threat to security than you or I.  Like all autistic savants he knows he has ability, but does not know how to channel it or focus it.  We are convinced this was an anomaly, produced by his relationship with Slade and his experiences on the Island.  Ralph is a rare treasure.”

“Shouldn’t we watch him anyway?” asked the junior man.

“We are.”  Hal smiled when he saw confused looks on some of their faces.

“His therapist,” stated the woman.

“I do believe you’re catching on to this game.”

Hal raised a coffee cup to toast her.
                                    ***************************

Ralph walked out onto the porch and sat down next to his mother.  Rachel folded the newspaper and placed it on the table in front of her.

“What would you like to do today?”

“Go for a walk.  I read where it’s going to be a very nice day.  Not too hot.  Supposed to rain tonight.”  Ralph looked at the sky as he spoke.

“Your performance with the President was first rate.  I still can’t believe you were able to stay so focused.”  Rachel smiled at her son.

“There was some good that came from the Island, mother.  When Gunter injected me with the mind cocktail the first time, I felt it working in my brain, rewiring my synaptic connections.  When I realized I could heal myself by using the drug as a crutch, I embraced the technique.  Next was to contact you and dad.”  Ralph smiled.  “I’ve been given a second chance.  No longer am I an autistic savant, but it was my illness that has allowed me to save others.”

“Do you think they will find the cure on the Island?”

“Perhaps.  I know if they knew of my ability I would be locked up and prodded and probed.  My cure was a one in a trillion miracle.  They would not understand that and would want to do everything but dissect me to find the answer. Sometimes there is no answer.”

“Remember, Jack.”

“Oh, I know.  I must be Ralph the autistic savant around him.  He reports to men who could hurt us all and they survive by deception and deceit.  They are evil men, but needed.”

“Is there anyone we could trust if needed?” asked Rachel.

“Yes.  Slade.  But we will have to wait.  He has a long road ahead of him.  One that he even does not know he has to travel.  The journey will be difficult, but he has people around him to help and guide him.”  Ralph paused before continuing, his eyes taking on a faraway look.  “There is another coming to assist him.”

“Good to know my instincts about him were correct.”  Rachel rose from her chair and took her son’s hand.  “Come on.  Let’s go on that walk.”


Chapter 50

Cedar Key

Three Months Later

Connie Edge, owner of Black Dog Bar and Tables, returned with another bottle of wine.  Carefully, she refilled all of the glasses except Slade’s.  He was seated in a wheel chair staring out at the Gulf of Mexico.  The sun would be setting in a few moments and he loved the colors as they danced across the water.  Katherine was seated next to him, her hand placed protectively on his arm. Occasionally she would look at him and run her fingers through his hair.

“So how you feeling?” asked Dustin Zane.

“Better.  I’m told only the passage of time will get rid of all of this stuff in my head.  I have headaches every morning and sometimes late at night.  I still tire easily.  But I’m getting stronger.”  Slade smiled and sipped from a glass of water.

“Luckily June and Dustin Zane got there in time,” commented Bubba, glancing over at his friend.  When Slade had landed in Gainesville and was taken to the University of Florida’s research medical center, Bubba had refused to leave his side and had to be physically removed from the hospital by security staff.  Since arriving in Cedar Key he had remained near Slade, and Katherine had to shoo him home on several occasions, assuring him Slade was okay and recovering.

“No more assignments for you, mister.  I have things that can keep you entertained here at Waterbury Enterprises.  Your days of investigating are at an end,” said Shirley, moving over to look at Slade.  The concern for the man who had become her adopted father was evident.

“We’ll see.  I knew my friends would be there and they were.  Just cut it a little close this time. I’ll be careful on the next round.”   Slade managed a weak smile at Shirley.

“What about the data disk, Shirley?  Did it have any incriminating evidence on it?” asked June, puffing from a cigar Connie’s husband Jay had given him. 

Shirley stared off into space and did not answer for a few moments.  It was as if she was pondering her thought and choosing her words carefully.  Finally she turned and looked at them, realizing no one had said anything.

“Yes, it had incriminating evidence.  It had information that should never be revealed and should never be shared.  I can understand why your friend Hal would want it.”  The last statement was directed at Slade.

“Then if it’s that incriminating it must remain beyond the reach of all who seek it,” replied Slade.  “I assume it’s in the vault.”  Slade was referring to the massive vault on the lower level of Waterbury Enterprises.  It took three people of a possible seven to activate the locking mechanism.  All three had to be present and they had to be authenticated by voice, fingerprint and retina scan.  It was the most sophisticated vault ever constructed and it now housed the secrets of over seven decades of mind research.

“It is.  Operation Oracle will continue, but will do so without the information on the data disk.”  Shirley stated it matter-of-factly.

“How do we know they won’t try to experiment on autism patients again?” asked Jay, passing another cigar to Bubba.

“Because I’m on the Oversight Board for the Island and the research lab in Colombia.  I have final say over the direction of the projects.  I’ve solicited a very experienced Professor to help me of course,” said Shirley.  Everyone burst into laughter.  They knew she was talking about Professor Johansen.

“How did he take his new duties?” asked Bubba.

“With his usual boyish enthusiasm, which I find fascinating and stimulating.  The man never ceases to amaze me,” said Shirley.

“I have a question,” said Connie, turning to Slade and Katherine.  “When are you two going to get married?”

A hush fell over the group of friends as they watched Katherine and Slade stare at each other.  Slade reached out and took her hand, squeezing it gently.  Before either could answer a large brown pelican swooped in from the sea and landed on the railing.  The feathers on his head were standing on end and he hopped down from the top board and waddled over to Katherine and Slade.

Bypassing Katherine, Old Clacker lumbered over to Slade and eyed him for several moments.  The man who had rescued him was not well.  Somehow the bird could sense it.  Normally he would not allow Slade this close to Katherine, but today he raised his bill and rested his head across the man’s leg.  For the first time ever, Slade reached down and rubbed his head.  Old Clacker rolled his head so he could stare at Slade.

“Soon.  Real soon,” said Katherine, leaning over and kissing her fiancée.