Undisclosed, p.32

Undisclosed, page 32

 

Undisclosed
 



Larger Font   Reset Font Size   Smaller Font   Night Mode Off   Night Mode


  Dr. Death’s solution: Psychotronic intervention.

  A Level-3 abduction was ordered two days after the subject had been admitted to the infirmary. The time-released drug that had been injected into the subject’s artery was a powerful hallucinogenic developed by the CIA as part of Project MK-Ultra. This enabled Colonel Johnston’s psychotronic warfare team to implant a holographic scenario directly into Jessica Marulli’s subconscious—in this case a staged alien abduction intended to put “the fear of extraterrestrials” into the scientist’s psyche.

  Similar “abductions” had been used over the years on family members of royalty, politicians, and billionaires in an attempt to sway their opinion about Earth’s interstellar visitors. What had made Dr. Marulli’s experience especially effective was the Grey alien’s knowledge of her pregnancy—a secret she had yet to share with the fetus’s father, but which had been discovered through the clinic’s blood tests. The emotional and psychological trauma the Zeus director had experienced virtually guaranteed Dr. Marulli would not be a risk to MAJI after she left the complex.

  Her fiancé, however, was proving to be quite the nuisance.

  * * *

  Colonel Johnston tapped his right index finger atop the armrest of his chair, his eyes glued to the large flat screen projecting a real-time black and white image of morning traffic moving along Interstate 495, the spy satellite locking on to the signal coming from Adam Shariak’s iPhone.

  Johnston knew Shariak was a passenger inside the Uber-registered vehicle heading to Dulles International Airport. The round trip airline ticket to Phoenix had been purchased the previous night at 21:23 hours using his VISA card, but there had been no prior calls in the last week referencing the flight or his ultimate destination.

  The fact that Shariak had been to the Wrigley Mansion in the last thirty days was not lost on the colonel, but the face-to-face meeting had taken place at a scheduled MAJI event and there were no personnel of importance permanently stationed in the area.

  There were also no direct flights to Phoenix. Shariak’s American Airlines itinerary would take him by way of Minneapolis and then Chicago’s O’Hare airport en route to Sky Harbor International. It would be almost twelve hours before he arrived at his destination—the now jobless former Under Secretary of Defense forced to ride all three sold-out flights in a middle seat in the back of coach the entire way.

  The colonel smirked. As soon as he arrives in Phoenix, we’ll put him out of his misery.

  Dulles International Airport

  Washington, D.C.

  The United Airlines baggage check-in line inched forward. Adam waited until he was two passengers from being called before switching his iPhone to airplane mode. Unzipping his suitcase, he shoved the device deep inside the load of dirty laundry.

  “Next.”

  Adam handed the female attendant his ticket.

  “One way to Phoenix. Are you checking any bags?”

  “Just this one.” He lifted the suitcase, placing it on the scale.”

  “That will be thirty-five dollars.”

  She swiped his debit card and gave him his receipt and boarding pass. “Gate 27C. Have a good flight.”

  Subterranean Complex—Midwest USA

  “… and so I think it is imperative that we launch the other satellites and complete the array as quickly as possible, before the Interstellars detect the advanced energy devices aboard the Zeus satellites and destroy them.”

  Jessica Marulli finished reading her report and looked up from her iPad. There were seventeen Council members in the chamber and six following along on Skype. Most were male and Caucasian, the exception being an Indian couple, herself, and Lydia Gagnon, who was seated at the oval table on her right.

  General Cubit, being the most senior member in attendance, had been asked to chair the meeting, and he was clearly not pleased by his protégé’s comments.

  “Launching twenty satellites in a short time span … how do we justify that kind of payload to POTUS, let alone the Russians and Chinese?”

  “That’s your problem, General. Mine is protecting Zeus. A minimum of thirteen satellites is required to be placed in orbit before the array can protect itself.”

  “Understood.”

  “Understood? General, the blue spiral that appeared over Beijing was clearly a scalar burst.”

  “What can I tell you, Dr. Marulli? Council obviously wanted to test the weapon.”

  “While the president was in China?”

  Heads turned; all eyes now on Jessica.

  “What are you inferring?”

  “I’m not inferring anything. As I stated in my report, testing any Zeus satellite before the array has been established is not only dumb, it’s dangerous. You need to tell Council that they can’t play head games like they did with Obama. The difference between a scalar shot using a crystalline-based ZPE generator and the rotary unit powering that missile blast over Helsinki is the equivalent of a lighthouse beacon going up against a flashlight.”

  “Duly noted.”

  “It’s also in direct violation of our contract with the ETs, isn’t it General?”

  Lydia reached out under the table, prodding Jessica’s thigh with her thumb.

  “To what contract are you referring, Dr. Marulli?”

  Jessica’s face turned red. “I don’t know. It’s probably just some Internet nonsense I read. Sorry … I didn’t get much sleep last night.”

  General Cubit stared at her for a long moment, debating where to take the discussion.

  “You’ve had a rough few weeks, Jess. When are you scheduled to head home?”

  “Not for another three weeks, sir.”

  “How ’bout we give you time off for good behavior. Dr. Gagnon, would you arrange a private jet for Dr. Marulli to take her back to D.C.—today if possible.”

  “I’ll get right on it, sir.”

  Jessica’s eyes welled with tears. “Thank you, General.”

  “Okay then, unless anyone else has any other conspiracy theories they’d like to discuss, I think we’re done here.”

  The chamber emptied quickly, General Cubit pulling Lydia aside. “What the hell was that all about?”

  “Dr. Death gave her a level-three mind-fucking last night.”

  “Oh, Christ …”

  “We can’t let her out like this, Tom. Her expertise combined with Shariak’s dismissal makes her a newsworthy loose cannon.”

  “Then we need to find a way to fix it, or Council will.”

  “How?”

  “Take her to La-La Land.”

  35

  O’Hare Airport

  Chicago, Illinois

  “THANK YOU AGAIN FOR FLYING UNITED. The local time in Chicago is 2:14 p.m.”

  The jumbo jet’s engines powered off, the cabin lights illuminating, initiating a traffic jam in the aisle as a third of the two hundred and twenty-three passengers simultaneously attempted to retrieve their carry-on luggage from the overhead compartments in order to quickly exit from a plane whose doors had yet to even open.

  Adam stood as well—not because he felt the need to hold his small gym bag stuffed with personal items, but because his irritated stump was in terrible pain. It had been several years since he had worn the bare steel prosthetic leg he had switched to this morning; having been wedged between two fairly large human beings over the last four hours had not helped.

  In due course, the twenty-six rows ahead of him cleared and he lumbered off the plane. Upon reaching the concourse, he checked the departure board for his connecting flight to Phoenix. Just under an hour layover, plus the four hour flight … figure five hours before your suitcase and iPhone arrive in baggage claim. They won’t know if I got off in Minneapolis or Chicago, and by that time, I’ll be out of the area … unless they’ve got eyes on the ground here?

  Adam looked around before heading for the nearest restroom. When he emerged he was wearing a gray sweatshirt, black sweatpants and sneakers, a Cubs baseball cap and s
unglasses—the sports jacket, slacks, dress shoes and carry-on bag having been shoved into the trashcan in one of the handicapped stalls.

  Tilting the brim of the cap down low, he followed the signs for baggage claim, trying his best to conceal any trace of a limp.

  * * *

  The white van advertising Betz Electronics followed the airport signs for arrivals. Entering Terminal 1, the driver spotted a familiar-looking tall man in a gray sweatshirt seated on a bench outside the United Airline’s domestic baggage claim. Flashing his lights twice, he pulled over to the curbside pick-up.

  Adam climbed in the front passenger seat, exchanging a quick embrace with his former Apache co-pilot. “You look good, J.B. How’s the family?”

  Jared Betz waited for a cop safeguarding a pedestrian crosswalk to wave him back into traffic. “Wife’s good. Kids are good. You’re the one I’m worried about. What’s all this about, Captain?”

  “Trust me, the less you know the better.”

  “You’ll have to do better than that if you expect me to supply you with a loaded weapon.”

  Adam nodded. “The powers that be who brought in the girl from Iraq to make me look like a war criminal may be holding my fiancée against her will. This may be my only chance to get her out.”

  “By powers that be, are you referring to this secret government you’ve been talking about on the news networks?”

  “You don’t believe me?”

  “I’m here, aren’t I?” For a long moment Betz remained silent, focusing on staying in the correct lanes that led out of the airport complex and south onto Interstate 294. “Where’s the meet?”

  “Thirty-two miles outside of Detroit.”

  “What time?”

  “Oh-two-hundred hours.”

  “I guess that explains why you wanted the night-vision glasses.”

  “Were you able to get a gun?”

  “This is Chicago, Cap. Anyone who wants a gun can get a gun.”

  “And the tasers?”

  “I picked up two King Cobras; each one packs about three million volts.”

  “Nice. What about the copper wire?”

  “Everything you asked for is in back. I had my cousin drop off the rental car at a rest stop about ten miles from here.”

  “Thank you.”

  “Cap, that RPG strike over Karbala … it should have killed us. You saved my life.”

  “Consider the debt paid.”

  “It’s a four-hour ride to Detroit; at least let me drive so you can get some rest. I can always rent another car for you once we get there.”

  “Appreciate the offer, Jared, but I can’t let you do that. The element I’m dealing with … they don’t mess around. If they knew you were helping me they would come after you and your family. But I’ll definitely need your help rigging the tasers before I get on the road.”

  “What are you planning on doing with them?”

  Adam smiled. “Let’s just call it my version of shock and awe.”

  Subterranean Complex—Midwest USA

  It took Jessica less than fifteen minutes to pack. Her heart was racing with adrenaline; she felt like a prisoner on death row who had just received a last-minute reprieve from the governor.

  Not wanting to spend another night alone in her suite, she had hounded Lydia after the meeting. “I don’t need a private jet. Just get me to Edwards Air Force Base, I can find my own way home from there.”

  Her supervisor had promised to do her best.

  She jumped as her Hispanic holographic concierge materialized in the living room mirror. “Pardon, Senorita. There is an incoming message from Dr. Gagnon.”

  “Put it through.”

  Lydia’s image replaced Raul’s. “Bad news, Jess. I can’t get you out of here until seven a.m.”

  “I told you, I don’t need a private jet.”

  “And you’re not getting one. The problem isn’t flying you home; it’s getting you to Edwards. Maglev trains don’t make regular pick-ups like the D.C. Metro, they have to be scheduled in advance. Enjoy your last day; I’ll come by your suite tomorrow morning at six-thirty.”

  The mirror went blank, Lydia’s words hanging in the air.

  Enjoy your last day …

  Her heart pounded as the doorbell rang twice, the security video displaying the image of her visitor in the mirror.

  Logan?

  “Let him in.”

  The door unbolted and the teen entered, carrying his hoverboard. “Wow, you’re actually here. I haven’t seen you literally in forever.”

  “I’ve been busy.”

  Logan spotted the luggage. “You going somewhere?”

  “I’m heading home. I leave tomorrow morning.”

  “Damn.” He slumped sideways into the recliner. “Were you even going to tell me?”

  “In fact, I was just on my way to see you. Have you had dinner yet?”

  “No, but I know a really cool place to eat … let me take you.”

  “Okay. Do I need my hoverboard?”

  “Of course.”

  Jessica located the board in the hall closet and followed Logan out onto the Maglev track, the teen crossing the center pedestrian walkway to the opposite lane.

  “Where are we going?”

  “Elevators.” Stepping onto his board, he yanked on the power cord and idled, waiting for her to follow suit.

  Jessica slipped her feet into the two straps and activated the electromagnets beneath her board, chasing after Logan.

  They rode straight to the fifth-floor lobby, their presence eliciting a friendly wave from Kirsty Brunt seated behind her work station. “I heard you’ll be leaving us tomorrow. I’m so sorry to see you go.”

  “No, it’s all good … flying home … can’t wait.” She waved, once more rolling the parting phrase in her mind until she mentally kneaded it into an unhealthy snack of paranoia.

  The lanky teenager pressed the wall button to summon Elevator-3, the doors of which opened instantly. He stepped inside … holding his palm against the door’s rubber seal to prevent it from closing on Jessica, who entered ahead of him and took a seat—

  —as Logan stepped off, offering her a quick wave before the doors sealed shut and the elevator plunged more than a mile down the vertical shaft.

  Chicago, Illinois

  Jared Betz had labored for two hours in the back of his electronics van to rig Adam’s taser until the improvised weapon functioned to the former Apache pilot’s liking. When they finally finished, the two war vets embraced and parted company.

  Adam ate lunch at one of the rest stop’s fast food restaurants. He used the bathroom before making his way to the rental car parked on the south side of the parking lot. The black 2015 Ford Taurus had been paid for earlier that morning using Jared’s cousin’s credit card.

  It was 4:25 p.m. by the time Adam pulled onto Interstate 294 south-bound, heading east toward Indiana.

  He had lied about his destination in order to protect his friend. The address Kelly Kishel had texted to him the night before was located in southwest Michigan only two hours from the rest stop. Earlier that morning he had stopped for coffee at an Internet café, using one of the establishment’s computers to take a Google Earth view of the property and memorize the directions.

  Adam did not trust the blonde Air Force intelligence officer. She had already played head games with him once and knew all the right buttons to push. He estimated his chances of walking into a trap that would end in his own execution at over eighty percent, but according to Steven Greer, he was already a dead man anyway.

  “First they’ll destroy your reputation, then they’ll render you an outcast before they finally issue the orders to Terminate With Extreme Prejudice. Before this happens you need to run. Leave everything behind but the cash in your bank account; be sure to toss your cell phone and destroy your credit cards. If you have no other choice but to use your car, swap out the license plate and remove any automated toll booth devices. Stay off the grid, Mr. Un
der Secretary. Any form of technology will lead them right to you.”

  Interstate 294 had become I-94 East by the time he had passed through Indiana and entered Michigan. Merging onto US-12, he found himself driving in a rural countryside where he backtracked north on State Route 60.

  It was dusk by the time he entered the village of Cassopolis.

  Situated close to Diamond Lake, one of the largest inland lakes in Michigan, Cassopolis was a typical rural Midwestern town with a population just over 2,000. Adam had eight hours until the rendezvous, and knew he needed to sleep. But before he found a safe haven to sack out, he needed to know what he was dealing with. After a few tries he managed to guess his way out of the center square of buildings and shops until he found himself on the right stretch of country road—the two-lane tarmac bordered on either side by cow pastures and surrounded with barbed-wire fencing.

  Adam slowed as he approached the mailbox marking the private gravel driveway leading up to the gray-roofed, white stucco farmhouse. He knew the residence sat on ninety-three acres of farmland. A quarter mile north of the house rose a pair of silos and an immense three-story A-roofed barn which looked like it had been erected at the turn of the 19th century.

  There were no lights on inside the dwelling nor were there any vehicles present—save for a rusted jalopy rotting in the weeds by a small garage adjacent to the house.

  Adam continued driving, searching for potential places to leave his car when the time came. The only viable option appeared to be an old gas station located three miles down the road, a realty sign indicating the property was for sale.

  Walking three miles in the new prosthetic leg was not an option.

 
Turn Navi Off
Turn Navi On
Scroll Up
Scroll