Chapter 19. Epilogue
In a valley of the Two women with their faces draped with dark cloth against the intense light of the sun, walked towards the religious school where several masked men dressed all in black stopped them.
They whispered just loud enough to tell the enforcers of morality where they were traveling and who they were to meet.
“Trykon.” The chief inquisitor echoed the woman.
The other men backed away. Consorts of the Leader of the Truth were given way, so long as they headed to their destination without leaving the path. Deviating from the route to the church of the One True Path was punishable by the choice of the Holy Leader.
It was the destiny of such women to submit to Trykon the Leader. Anyone who would dare touch the women’s skin, would be put to death in the most hideous ways possible. A favorite way, they enclosed the condemned in a giant terrarium filled with South American driver ants. The victim’s death was long and agonizing, then days later, nothing but bones were left, plucked out with care and tossed to dogs.
The guard led the pair of young women to the inner sanctuary, where the guards searched for weapons or explosives. The men who examined them, did a strip search to their undergarments, but the visual investigation uncovered no threat, just two pretty women.
A single guard led them below to the first sub-basement, past tables where male androids were partially constructed. Then down an elevator two stories underground to an opulent room with a raised dias.
The fifty-one year old Supreme Leader and Prophet stepped out from behind a massive, bomb resistant door after told that the women were local converts who wished to submit to him for blessings.
“Women, what honor do you wish to perform?”
“Oh wise one, first, before I give you my heart, I humbly request one thing.” Her eyes glittered with sensuality behind the pastel-colored drape of silk. She held out a graceful, delicate hand with just the index extended. “Pull my finger.”
Dateline Russia, WorldNetNews
Today the United Nations announced that sensors had detected an extremely large disturbance, possibly an explosion in the remote area of the Russian Federation. Russian authorities deny that weapons of mass destruction were tested and the cause is under investigation.
There are no other reports coming from the area that the Russian authorities have closed off to all traffic. Downwind in the polar jet stream a large amount of dust has drifted over the northern latitudes in the upper atmosphere, but no radiation is detectable.
Theories are it was possible that the cause of the explosion was an undetected comet or meteor. More news on this developing subject as it becomes available.
Elswhere in the news, typhoon Felix has taken a northerly track out to the open ocean…”
Thor turned off the video display while Lady Sif, Burning Chip, Running Man, Alvin and Walter were pleased with “Operation: Return to Sender” began to toast each other.
“Antimatter threat has been neutralized.” Alvin said quietly.
“JustWolf,” Alvin flinched at the death look Walter gave him, then used his real handle. “Lone Wolf, We can relax now.”
“No, it hasn’t. Just this one threat. Each time we will do this, there will be more, but we have discovered ways to win that problem.” Walter said as he typed more nicknames on the screen.
“Whoa! What do you mean “Each time”? Sif’s eyes were wide. “We do not have that kind of network.”
“We have something better.” The round-faced computer whiz smiled. Turning the monitor, an image shot from a helicopter of columns of smoke drifting out of a two-mile-wide crater with a subtitle:
“You are always my brothers and sisters. It is a new term I have learned and I will use when I think of you every day. Love Tin Man.”
The image less than six hours old, intercepted from the most secure network the Russian Military had.
“Steve’s still with us.” Walter smiled.
“Antimatter explosions do not leave radioactive fallout.” Running Man fistbumped Burning Chip.
“No new android bombs.” Burning Chip said with a smile.
“We hope.” Thor wished. “If there is another, how do we catch a shape shifting android?”
“Walter.” Alvin said. “Reply to Steve with our worry. Like it or not, we are a white-hat team.”
“No! I don’t want to be a white-hat, thems are real nerds.” Walter grumped and continued to mutter his dissatisfaction about how life has done them all wrong as he tapped the keys to answer Steve. Then sighed. “Damn. Damned white hats, anyway!”
Walter, the unwilling White-Hat made the rest of them laugh with the irony.
The tall mixed race Hawaiian and African man in his tailored suit strode down the hallway carrying an ultra-secure notebook computer. His ID badge over his pocket said T. Lieutenant, his only identification he carried. The man stopped in front of an unmarked door where green and red dots marked his body while his image was taken, along with retinal imaging, then matched wirelessly against the ID chip in the name badge before he was buzzed in by someone sitting in a remote office.
The laser generated light beams turned off as weapons systems behind him powered down to standby mode.
“Lieutenant. Good! I have something to show you.” The technician had T. Sergeant on the lapel. “There was something seriously wrong about that kid that had that seizure earlier today.”
“His brother said he has diabetes, but it struck me as wrong. The older kid was lying.”
“Excellent observation. He was, listen to this conversation between the third male and the one that said he was ‘Brother’.”
“We can’t leave him here like this, how long will it take?”
The third male asked.
“You known him longer. You should know.”
The heavyset one that called himself brother answered.
“That’s not the best part. Watch the video, just before we alerted you to a medical emergency out on the sensor pad.”
Sergeant played the video. The boy was on the ground but looked odd.
“See how it’s blurred?”
“That’s odd. Our cameras should keep it in tight focus.” T. Lieutenant said as he pulled up a chair and sat down to look closely at the display.
“Right. So I slowed down the playback frame rate. We can capture a hundred frames per second, when I slowed it all down to half speed?” Sergeant looked at Lieutenant. “This is where things really go off the reservation.”
The two government agents watched the video in ever more detail and slower playback. Noting both color and physical shapes the boy took during his “seizure”.
“Sir. I don’t know what you had out there. But one thing for sure, the boy is not human and there’s something significant that happened.” Sergeant stared at the screen. “These two men with him were surprised, so this whole event appears unexpected. We kept them under surveillance with long-range cameras for the best angle.”
A few taps on his keyboard.
“I have more audio, but it needs to be run through the filters some more. But, the older males were unprepared and frightened by what happened. However, the boy recovered and ate like teenagers do, he sucked down a full meal and drank a pink colored frappe thing, a brown drink – we suspect an iced mocha. Then he went to the back of the deli. That’s the last we see of him.”
Sergeant held up a finger before the Lieutenant said anything.
“Then a small event. A female, caucasian, redhead sat near them, ate a sandwich. Spoke with them from behind a paper she was reading, so there is no transcription of what was said. She kissed them and walked out.”
“We got part of that transcription from long-range mics.” The Lieutenant said. “’And my life.’ Is the last thing said.”
“That’s not all.” Sergeant said. “We tried to track her?”
“Yes?” Lieutenant said.
“She turned the corner, and we never picked her up again.”
“You have a multi-billion dollar, state of the art, super tracking system and you are telling me you lost two persons of interest in the span of a few minutes?”
“Yes, sir. And not for lack of trying.”
“We need to find these guys and see what all this was about. Find the girl and find the boy.”
“As far as we can tell, the boy never left the building. I am checking all video cameras now in the area. He went into the back to the bathrooms and never came out. There is no exit, no windows in that area of the deli.” Sergeant said. “I think the girl was the kid.”
“Why do you say that?” The Lieutenant already knew the answer.
“That batch of images of so many people laying on the ground at once, in one body? I don’t know what it is, but I would say it’s related and obviously unexpected. It might have been an aborted attack of some kind.”
Lieutenant hung his head for a moment.
“That is what I thought, I just wanted to hear you say it, too. Thank you. I need to call the Captain now.” He said as he inserted a micro-telephone in his ear.
“C. Captain please. T. Lieutenant.” A pause. “Captain, I have information you need to see. We need to meet in private. Five minutes. Thank you, on my way.”
“If we’re right, Sergeant, we’ll need a team to track these boys down. I’m going to drop your name to be with me.”
“Yes sir. Wherever this person is, we’ll find him.”
“Good. Now I need to go meet with the Captain.” And he turned to leave.
The door clicked softly behind him.
T. Sergeant looked back at the slow video playback of the body on the ground, counting the distinct and different sizes and shapes that appeared in each frame of the video. He stopped counting at two-hundred. Two-hundred distinct body shapes, colors and sizes.
“I don’t know who you are, but we’ll find you.”