Undisclosed, p.8

Undisclosed, page 8

 

Undisclosed
 



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  “Another incident: I knew someone in quarantine with the Apollo astronauts. He told me that the Apollo astronauts saw craft on the moon when we landed. He too was afraid; he said that the astronauts were told to keep this quiet; they’re not allowed to talk about it. My boss didn’t know about it, some people who sat right next to me didn’t know about it. It’s very strange, because I don’t know how they can do it, but they can let some people know about it but not others. I am willing to testify before Congress that what I’m saying is true. Thank you very much.”

  Adam looked up as another hotel guest attempted to enter the business center using his room key. Caucasian and in his early seventies, he wore a black suit and tie and a striped dress shirt. White eyebrows and sideburns stood out against pink flesh tones, his short-cropped greasy gray hair fashioned by a barber on a military base.

  Unable to align the passkey’s magnetic strip, he gave up. Tapping the glass door with his wedding ring, the guest motioned to the lock, his piggish ice-blue eyes stared unblinkingly at Adam, bearing the hardened gaze of a sociopath.

  “Can you let me in? My key doesn’t seem to be working.”

  Manipulating the mouse, Adam clicked off the YouTube link, the cubicle’s partition shielding the computer’s monitor from the stranger’s glare. “Ask the front desk.”

  The man’s face flushed red. A telltale jiggle of the handle revealed the spark of anger, then he forced a smile and left, heading for the front desk.

  Adam quickly located the Chrome menu in the top right corner of his screen and opened a tab displaying the computer’s browsing history. Opening the drop-down menu on the History tab, he selected the Beginning of Time tab as the time range, and deleted the computer’s browser history as the guest returned with the night manager.

  The man with the white eyebrows and soulless eyes entered, allowing the door to close on the manager’s apology. “You could have let me in.”

  “Sorry, I was watching porn.” He winked. “Didn’t want to use the company laptop. You never know when Big Brother is watching.”

  Collecting his empty ginger ale can, Adam pushed past the older man and limped out of the business center, heading for the elevators.

  9

  Norfolk, Virginia

  July 19, 2017; 2:47 a.m.

  LOCATED ON SEWELL’S POINT PENINSULA, the U.S. Naval Station in Norfolk, Virginia is the largest military base of its kind, supporting ships and submarines operating in the Atlantic and Indian Oceans as well as the Mediterranean Sea.

  Admiral Mark Hintzman, Commander-in-Chief of U.S. Fleet Forces, had been in a deep sleep when the call had come in. Groggy, he checked the text.

  “Christ … is this really necessary?”

  His wife, Jayne sat up in bed. “Is what necessary? Who is it?”

  “I’m needed on the base.”

  “At three in the morning?”

  “It’s nothing. Go back to sleep.”

  “You’d better not have a mistress, Hintzman.”

  “I’m sixty-two years old with two bulging discs and a swollen prostate—what the hell am I going to do with a mistress?”

  Limping to the walk-in closet, he located a pair of jeans, a wool sweater and sneakers, and carried them into the bathroom to dress. By the time he exited his wife was already snoring.

  Entering the kitchen, he debated whether he had time to brew a cup of coffee when the military limo pulled up outside his home. Putting on his windbreaker jacket, he yanked open the laundry room door and stepped out into the brisk night air.

  Admiral Hintzman acknowledged his driver and climbed in the back seat. He nodded off before they had pulled out of the residential complex.

  Ten minutes later he was awakened. “Sir, we’re at the gate.”

  Rolling down his window, the Admiral flashed his Zebra security badge, the cold penetrating the vehicle’s cocoon of warmth. Satisfied, the armed marine raised the steel barrier, allowing the vehicle access inside the perimeter fencing.

  A poorly-lit asphalt driveway led to an innocuous steel-framed, one-story prefabricated building that looked more like a supply shack than anything which would warrant the presence of a high-ranking officer.

  The driver parked before a solitary entrance guarded by two marines armed with M-16s. Exiting the limo, the admiral offered his badge to one of the men’s flashlight beams, the other guard holding open the reinforced steel door.

  Admiral Hintzman entered the building, following a dimly lit access corridor to a third checkpoint—a steel gate safeguarding a pair of elevators. He entered his Zebra security code on a touch panel, waited until the magnetic bolt retracted, then pushed open the gate as one of the elevator doors opened to greet him.

  He stepped inside and held tight to the rail as the car dropped twenty stories into the depths of a dome-shaped, hardened steel and concrete bunker constructed to withstand the direct impact of a hydrogen bomb.

  The elevator opened to his assistant, a young woman with a smile that always seemed to charm him, no matter how dour his day.

  Sophia Pregadio handed him a fresh cup of coffee. “Woke you again, didn’t they?”

  “Our visitors have no respect for the working man. I like the new hairstyle.”

  “Nice try. I added the gold highlights two months ago.”

  “Sorry. Where am I headed?”

  “Conference Room-A. Director Solis is already inside with the night-shift nerds.”

  “Not the South African?”

  “Sunny Pilay? Don’t you remember? You had me transfer him to Pine Gap.”

  “I forgot. Nice enough fellow; I just couldn’t understand a damn thing he was saying. Let the Aussies deal with him.”

  “The new lab coat is American. Erin Driscoll.”

  “Do I know him?”

  “Her. She’s the strawberry blonde who got sick at the New Year’s Eve bash. Oh yeah … Dr. Death decided to make an appearance.”

  “Christ. Did he bring the vampire queen?”

  “She’s in the break room.”

  “Probably feeding on bloodworms. The two of them make my skin crawl. Is that it?”

  “General Cubit is on his way.”

  “Good. I’ll watch the show from the theater until he gets here.”

  “Are you hungry?”

  “No. Wait, do we have any more of that chocolate cheesecake I had at lunch?”

  “I’m sure I can find you a slice.”

  “Good girl. Tell the general where to find me … and get him a slice, too.” Admiral Hintzman headed down a ramp leading to a pair of double steel doors which opened automatically as he approached.

  The command center, often referred to as “the theater,” resembled NORAD’s war room, only its equipment was far more advanced. Technicians worked in open stations in a semi-darkness that was lit by colorful giant LED screens which occupied the entire six-story-high forward wall, the maps able to pinpoint the precise location of every air craft, warship, and submarine—friend or foe—in the world.

  Everyone’s attention was focused on the thirty-by-fifty-foot center screen, its map zooming in upon Maine’s eastern seaboard where six to eight objects, color-coded in yellow, were flitting on and off the screen like fireflies. As the admiral watched, one of the lights raced east over the Atlantic as if shot out of a cannon, stopped on a dime, and then soared ninety degrees to the south and off the screen beyond the range of their radar.

  A number flashed in the lower right corner. Velocity: 7,665 mph.

  A pair of objects blinked into existence over Nova Scotia. Admiral Hintzman followed them as they streaked west across the Atlantic, their color fading from gold to aqua-blue, indicating the bogeys had submerged.

  They disappeared, only to reappear seconds later over the coastline of Portland, Maine.

  Velocity: 13,812 mph.

  “Putting on quite a show for us tonight, huh Marko?”

  The Admiral turned to a man in his mid-fifties. Like Hintzman, he was wearing casua
l attire, his sandy-brown short-cropped hair poking out beneath a Central Florida baseball cap.

  “How are you, Tommy?”

  “Good as can be expected. Matthew’s entering his second year in law school; Andrea’s back in Boca with our daughter and …” Cubit glanced up at the main screen as four red dots, flying in a diamond formation, crawled slowly across central Maine, heading for the coast. “Here come the F-16s.”

  “If you ask me, this entire exercise is a waste of taxpayer money. It’s not like we’re ever going to catch them.”

  “Attention. Admiral Hintzman and General Cubit, please report to Conference Room-A.”

  “Xavier sounds cranky.”

  Hintzman nodded. “Our director has uninvited guests.”

  “Johnston?”

  “And the Goth queen. She’s in the cafeteria eating bugs or whatever it is witches eat.”

  “I wish someone would put a silver bullet in both their devil-worshiping hearts.”

  “We should talk about that sometime.”

  Sophia Pregadio approached, handing each man a slice of chocolate cheesecake on a paper plate. “Hurry up and eat this; I stole the last two pieces from Director Solis’s refrigerator.”

  * * *

  Conference Room-A was a 2,000-square-foot chamber featuring a balcony that overlooked the theater. Tonight its sliding glass doors remained closed and tinted, the four large flat screen LED monitors inside all tuned to the map featured on the command center’s main screen.

  Xavier Solis, former Directorate of the CIA’s Special Activities Division, sat at the head of the oval smart table. On Solis’s left was Lillie Becker, co-chairman of the Council of Foreign Relations. On his right was Dr. Erin Driscoll; seated beside her was Dr. Michael Kemp, CEO of Kemp Aerospace. The two scientists were focused on the data scrolling across their iPad screens.

  Seated at the opposite end of the table from Xavier Solis was the older Caucasian man, his piercing ice-blue eyes red-rimmed from having just driven three hours in the dark from Tyson’s Corner, his white eyebrows furrowed in concentration as if his mind was seeking a way to mentally obliterate the dancing yellow dots from existence.

  * * *

  Rory Johnston was twenty-six the year Adolf Hitler invaded Poland. The amateur pilot had just accepted a job teaching history at a high school in upstate New York and was worried about being drafted when he met Sandra Donahue at an Arts Festival. A struggling artist, Sandra was sharing a trailer with six people. Rory bought three of her paintings and asked her out.

  Two weeks later, he asked her to move in.

  A month later she informed him she was pregnant.

  A devout Catholic, Rory convinced Sandra that they were meant to be together and asked her to marry him. Uncertain whether the child was even his, she nevertheless accepted, and the couple exchanged vows at Johnston’s church.

  Alexander Rory Johnston was born on April 7, 1939. His father worked two jobs to make ends meet; his mother stayed home and painted, often leaving the infant alone in its crib while she worked … and drank and cursed her life.

  Two weeks after the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor, Rory received his draft notice.

  After completing basic training, Private Johnston was informed that his experience flying qualified him to be trained as a bombardier. He was sent to England and, over the next four years, participated in more than a hundred combat missions. He returned home to a five-year-old son who did not recognize him and a wife who was just as distant. Sandra confessed that she was having an affair with the principal at the high school where Rory had worked and that she wanted a divorce.

  Rory packed his belongings and left. He returned later that night—drunk and quite violent.

  Alexander was playing in his room when he heard his mother yelling at the stranger. An object smashed against the other side of his wall, followed by a chorus of grunts and screams … then silence.

  The boy waited, his pulse a steady sixty beats per minute. After a long moment he entered the hall and peeked through the open master bedroom door. He saw his mother spread-eagled on the floor, blood pooling in her mouth, the telltale purple imprints around her collapsed esophagus.

  Hearing a noise coming from the master bathroom, he ducked beneath the bed.

  Alexander watched through the reflection of the medicine cabinet mirror as Rory Johnston freed a length of chain link from the sky light and fashioned it into a noose. The boy grew excited, waiting until the groan that told him the stranger had stepped off the edge of the tub.

  Alexander approached the bathroom gallows, far more curious than fearful. Suspended above the floor was an animated bag of flesh fighting to contain Rory Johnston’s soul. The boy studied everything—his father’s bulging eyes, the pulsating cords of blood vessels popping along the swelling neck, the herky-jerky leg movements …

  The internal battle caused the body to sway and spin, and suddenly the former history teacher realized he had an audience. Purple lips mouthed silent objections, flailing arms commanding his son to leave.

  The boy held his ground—the Grim Reaper’s protégé intent on counting down the final twitches of life until the stranger’s soul slipped free of its physical purgatory and escaped into the unknown.

  His mind intoxicated by endorphins, Alexander spent another twenty minutes examining his parents’ vacant corpses before the police arrived. The night was an education in forensics—the child reveling in what would become his life’s passion: Thanatology: the study of death.

  * * *

  Alexander Johnston entered his teens, moving from one foster home to the next, his hobby of killing stray cats and raccoons tarnishing his surrogate family’s welcome. Seeking human subjects, he lied about his age and enlisted in the army when he was sixteen, the armed forces providing him with a “license to kill.” He quickly worked his way up through the ranks, demonstrating a lethal creativity on the battlefield that impressed his superiors. After enrolling in and graduating from Officer Candidate School, Colonel Johnston was chosen to command a Green Beret unit participating in clandestine operations in Vietnam and Thailand. One of these Special Forces—Project Phoenix—was responsible for the torture and killing of civilians in My Lai and later in El Salvador.

  As educational as killing had become, what the colonel really desired to learn were methods of separating the life force from the body, an act which he believed would induce instant death. Believing this hidden knowledge existed among the more primitive cultures, Alexander Johnston resigned his commission and set out to find it, traveling to Tibet to converse with monks and with shamans in the Amazon jungle. He studied voodoo with witch doctors in Togo and feasted on human flesh with the cannibals of New Guinea. From the Russians he learned the art of psycho-correction; from former CIA officers, remote viewing and other paranormal exercises—until he was convinced he could use telepathy to interfere with the brain’s electrical activity and chase the life force from the body.

  Three years later, Colonel Johnston presented his “soft option killing” theories to Major General Sebastian J. Appleton, Director of U.S. Army Intelligence and Security Command. Appleton was enthusiastic, and suddenly the man who had spent hundreds of hours staring at goats had a new position as Director of Non-Lethal Programs working out of the Los Alamos National Laboratories. Here, the colonel was able to focus on mind control and psychotronics while gaining access to black budget projects which used advanced technologies necessary for his project’s success. He worked side-by-side with Dr. Igor Smirnov, a psychologist from the Moscow Institute of Psycho-Correlations who had designed a technique to electronically analyze the human mind—a necessary step in order to learn how to influence and control it.

  In 1992, Colonel Johnston married Yvonne Dwyer, a practicing Satanist and self-published author on the occult. At twenty-six, Dwyer was half the colonel’s age, but she saw in his eyes a youthful madness waiting to be exploited.

  By day they lived the lives of semi-celebrities as the
colonel became a popular TV and radio guest, debunking UFOs while presenting lectures on “non-violent warfare.” They rubbed elbows with billionaires, religious leaders and political power brokers, with the colonel being invited to sit on the boards of several powerful military contractors—allowing him unprecedented access into top-secret facilities and their black-shelved technologies. Behind closed doors, “Dr. Death” and his bride drank tiger’s blood and consumed the umbilical cords of newborns while participating in Satanic rituals—the biggest being the annual festivities at the Bohemian Grove.

  Every July, two thousand elitists from all over the world—including former presidents and government officials, CEOs of major corporations, bankers, Big Oil executives, and members of the Trilateral Commission, the Bilderberg Group, and the Council of Foreign Relations—were invited to the Bohemian Grove, a private compound located in a Redwood forest 65 miles north of San Francisco. On the first night of this pilgrimage, all the invited guests gathered at a clearing by the lake for the opening event, known as the Cremation of Care ceremony. There, guarded by the 45-foot-tall statue of an owl, Bohemians dressed in dark brown robes would pretend to struggle to ignite a bonfire required to burn a human effigy referred to as “Dull Care,” a symbol representing the burdens and responsibilities of the world leaders in attendance. The assembled then prayed to the giant owl, a Canaanite idol known as Moloch, that was used long ago to sacrifice children. Wild applause would erupt from the inebriated crowd as an aura of light appeared around the statue’s head when the pyre was successfully lit, the sound system blasting human cries into the night in a pagan ritual that bound the rich and powerful to darkness.

 

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