Saturday, July 18, 2015



He turned over in bed, pressing down into his blankets. His body felt as if it were ablaze, nerves endings sensitive to the touch. He couldn't figure out if he'd just awakened from a sex-fueled dream or if he were on some powerful drug. Jack turned and glanced through the window, squinting his eyes. The sky was overcast and air blowing through the bedroom window was cool for a change. It had been as hot as an oven for the past week and once his place got hot, it stayed hot. Jack now had a new roommate. It took him a while to get used to the soft gurgling sounds the creature made in its container. It was still so odd, as if he hadn't awakened from a disturbing dream yet. It bobbed up and down slowly, twitching briefly, gurgled and then went back to silence. It had only been here since last night. Jack waited, lying in bed and looking up at the wall, expecting any minute for the police to show up at his place. He could only guess the little shrimp-shaped creature was asleep. Heaving a sigh, Jack climbed out of bed and headed towards the bathroom and into the shower. The hot water calmed his nerves as it splashed onto his body. Tiny rivulets streamed down his hair, arms, back and legs, caressing him like gentle hands. He closed his eyes and took long, deep breaths, almost drinking the steamy air around him, then soaped up and washed down. In the next room he could hear the cell phone ringing. He turned off the water, climbed out of the shower and went to the bedroom to get dressed. As he walked passed the wall mirror, he noticed something. Several objects were levitating in the air. As soon as he'd noticed this they crashed to the ground. He felt a power go out of his body at this raw sensation. 
The gnawing sensation of nervousness and anxiety settled on him again. It was something that had seemed to grow within him in the past few days. A new ability or perhaps his own ability augmented by something? Stress? The change in circumstances? Well, he had that in spades. Jack toweled off and put on a t-shirt and some clean underwear. He listened out for the little fetus, glancing at it. It still seemed to be in a resting state. So he went into the kitchen and fixed breakfast and sat down at the tiny kitchen table and wolfed down his eggs, bacon and burnt toast. Just in time for his new house guest to wake up. Jack heard loud gurgling noises coming from his bedroom, signaling to him that the thing was doing more than turning around in its sleep. If it actually slept. he was hoping he'd get some important answers from it. He wondered if he should reveal its presence to the rest of the team. No. He'd wait on that. He wanted to find out for himself what the creature was really about. It was time for twenty questions. Jack entered the room and came and sat in front of the little terrarium-like case.
"So, do you eat anything?"
"Not in the way you do. And at least not now, in this form."
"So how do you maintain yourself?"
"So far, I'm able to exist on a self-contained and self-propagating system of my own matter and this flesh. When I eliminate my bowels and urine I refeed upon it. So far, it is sustainable, if not exactly appetizing."
"Wish I hadn't asked." Jack made a face. "So, what's your name?"
"Before I was imprisoned, I went by the name of Gage," the little fetus turned up to look at him with dark, sclera-less eyes. "Gage is my most recent name or alias."
"How old are you?"
"Old enough to have used more than one name and one lifetime. I've gone through several."
"Well. . . Gage, I've got to figure out what to do with  you. If you're gonna stay here you'll need to be useful."
"And what sort of work would I be doing?"
"Giving me answers as to why your people are here, what they've done in the past and perhaps what their future tactics will be."
"I'll do my best but I'll need protection."
"You've got it. Now, how long have you been part of this Expansion project, how is the enemy organized and how do I locate them?"
"You're working by yourself? Surely-"
"I'll ask the questions, Shrimpy. Let's start with when you first arrived on Earth." He was going to make this little monster prove its worth or it was going to the bottom of the Colombia Slough.
"I first came here on the Expansion mission as one of several waves of hanyar in the year 1918. It was four years after our so-called new era to be ushered in, when we were supposed to have triumphed over the human population by bringing in the ideas of nation-states and new economic ideas. Things were set in motion that caused the Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria and Hungary's assassination, he and his wife. The hanyar, my species, had engineered this war for so long, for so many years. There were so many things we put in motion, unbeknownst to humans, that led up to it. The culmination was the destruction of the old human order of monarchy. We were sure that if we influenced certain humans to overthrow a governing system that had created an imperfect stability for thousands of years of human rule world-wide they would destroy each other and go down into total ruin and then we could come in and take over quite easily. By the time 1918 came it was clear that the first plan had failed. All of that seeding of dangerous and destructive ideas, the giving of new technological progress and know how and influencing humans to use these new technologies in warfare, and secret politicking in the 19th century, lost. Even when the Romanov family had been assassinated, under hanyar influence, it was still lost. Though things had radically changed, humans were still here and obviously not going anywhere. What happened afterward was chaos but human society managed to patch itself together and kept going, limping along. And then we came WWII. That was partly the hanyar's doing and partly through events we unleashed that were not under our control. It became clear after WWI that many hanyar would die here in the quest of the Expansion. It would not be some easy takeover as we were led to believe by the leading lights of hanyar society. When I came it was to be a foot soldier for the cause of taking back Earth. But I was one of a few rebels who, once we had tasted our predecessors' way of life, we didn't want what we saw and experienced destroyed, nor the friends we'd made here."
"You've been here since 1918?"
"Tell me, when you first arrived here, I assume you had a duty or were assigned to do something, to work with - comrades - or something. Are they alive now?"
"Some of them."
"Do you know where they are?" The creature gurgled softly. Jack could only guess that this was in regards to it's being deep in thought.
"I'd left the Expansion behind and was in hiding for so long that I'd lost contact with most of the others. We stay hidden because we are deserters. They hunt us and kill us. I don't know much about my former fellow soldiers anymore. But. . . .the last I knew, one of our cell leaders had been assigned to another task and location. This was many years ago. Back in the 1930s. A location called Telon. We have our own certain names for important locations. Telon is one of the biggest gathering places where the hanyar work. It's in New Mexico. We have another in Chicago, I think, but I'd heard only scant gossip about that one. I don't know its name."
"What are they, exactly?"
"They are bases of operation. The one in New Mexico is in the Jemez mountains."
"Do you guys have a hidden place like this in a vault with a planetary symbol on it?" The creature just looked at him. He couldn't really tell as there was not much expression on its face.
"Vault? I don't know. I've never heard of such a place." Jack didn't know if this was true or a lie but he decided to move on, for now.
"Nevermind, then. Can I assume that your species also had a hand in the 1929 stock market crash and the following Depression?"
"We had a hand in that, yes."
"Telon. How would anyone be able to get inside this base?"
"It's been many years since I saw schematics on the place. There's a specific cave opening that you would use last time I saw it. from a faint memory I can remember this, most of the large bases are connected by one doorway. You would call it a wormhole. it is the most stable wormhole we've ever constructed. It's been in operation since 1918. it connects the large bases scattered around the world. It is highly secured and highly guarded and difficult to enter. I think one of the bases here is connected to it." Now this was information the team could use, if it were true or accurate. Who knew? The fetus might have been telling the truth but since it had been sundered from its contacts for decades, things could have radically changed. But, it was a start. He felt excitement rise in him. Jack sat back, appraising the little fetus with a cool gaze.
"You don't believe me," stated the fetus.
"I don't know yet." He had an idea. "Of all the places in the Pacific Northwest we could find and hit which ones should we go to? And which one is the important base connected to this massive, stable wormhole?"
"There are several small hideouts operating here but the one that I know of connected to the most important bases. it's where you found me. The little house on Ankeny street. Believe it or not. it's different from the others int hat things are stored there, very important things and information. Especially in the basement. There are. . .other places where we have opened doorways and because of stability issues closed those doorways and abandoned them. But they still leave traces that a wormhole was once there." Jack would hire someone to investigate this privately to see if this were true. The fetus gurgled urgently. 
"I realize that the few humans who know about us see us as the enemy. But not all of us are your enemies. Just like not all humans are your allies in this. Some have created a place for themselves in the establishment of the coming New World Order."
"New World Order?"
"Yes. Even in this prison I've seen and heard things no human is suppose to know about. Right before I was caught and imprisoned they set another lofty goal. A final war. I fear they have learned their mistakes and about human adaptability and ingenuity. They won't fail this time. There was a twenty-year time-table last I heard of this new project."
"Which means that it is even closer now. What project is this?"
"Project Destruction. It's a biological weapon. A disease designed to kill only human beings. The code name for this superbug is hyper-pneumonia."
"Lovely." Jack had to use all of his strength not to break his cool exterior. "What happened to your planet? Why come here and take this one?"
"Our planet is not like Earth. It is vast, frigid cold and full of violent storms. It's more like a failed star. It is beautiful. . . but not in the way that Earth is. Our planet is cruel and cold."
"It's a ringed planet." The creature gasped.
"How did you know?"
"That planetary sigil is emblazoned on certain things. I've seen it." There was silence for some minutes.
"Perceptive. We were once you, you know, but we changed ourselves to a type of being with minds, hearts and senses unable to taste, smell and experience the sensations humans have."
'If you've evolved beyond these earthly things why would it matter so much?"
"Because those long lost gifts were encoded within us. We dream them even though we cannot have them as we are. it's a form of torture." Jack thought on this, inclining his head at the fetus. What a pitiable existence. He wanted nothing more than to experience  life in the way he did. He wondered who or what process brought these people to this state. So many questions.
"You don't have to destroy us to get them back."
"I know this. But many of my kind don't see it that way." This creature was put in this awful prison of a half-formed body. And shoved into a creaky old room in a dusty old house. Why would it lie?
"Why didn't your enemies kill you?" It made a sound that was something of a sigh. rolls of air pockets and bubbles rippled through the fluid and bubbled up to the surface.
"I know something they still find valuable. However, they were planning to get rid of me sooner or later."
"Is there any way I can get you out of that state you're in?" The thing made a mournful sound that Jack could feel in his belly. Jack heard his phone ring in the other room.
"I don't know," it finally said.
"Look, help me save my kind, Shrimpy, and I'll do my damndest to help you."
"I thank you to the very bottom of my quantum soul and as I've said before, I want to help you. But actually, my name is Gage."

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