A True Story as Told to Sara Starlight in a Dream
(By Rhawn Joseph)
Feeling better, stronger, the thing opened its mind's eye and scanned its surroundings... and then the minds of those who had taken it captive.
The four men gingerly approached the small house which was almost hidden within a thick grove of evergreen trees. They halted in the shadows before the iron gating. They could hear music from inside the house.
Except for the blazing fire burning brightly in the fire place there were no lights. One of the men reached for his night-vison goggles, but then left them inside his coat. There were no drapes, the front of the house was all windows, and it was plain to see what was going on inside. The two naked bodies shimmered in the flickering light of the roaring fire.
Gabriel lay on his back in the red yellow shadowy light of the flickering flames, his guttural moans drowned out by the music blaring from 8 strategically placed stereo speakers. The sexy little Latina he had picked up at the bank that afternoon, was straddled between his muscular legs, her dark skin glistening in the wavering shadows. She was propped up on her knees, sucking away like a pro, her petulant lips kissing as she sucked and licked. As the pumping action of her lips and tongue went into overdrive and as his moan became a roar, his dog "Tiger" began barking like crazy out in front of the house.
"What's that?" She asked her dark almond eyes growing wide with alarm. "Why is he barking?"
"Don't stop..." Gabriel called weakly. He took hold of her thick dark hair and the back of her head and gave her an encouraging little push, trying to maneuver her wicked little mouth back around his still throbbing cock.
"I think my boyfriend followed me," she said worriedly.
"Why would he do that?" Gabriel asked sitting up.
"He doesn't trust me."
"Don't worry about him," Gabriel replied soothingly as he took her by her naked shoulders. He kissed her breasts and her nipples stood straight up in attention.
"mmmm..." she moaned as he repositioned her onto the floor, his lips kissing her breasts her tummy, and then her inner thighs.
And then the barking grew more furious. "By why are the dogs barking?" she asked.
"Don't worry about it, darling," Gabriel replied as he gently spread her long sexy legs. Licking and kissing, he nibbled at her clitoris making her cry and moan...
She was very wet and... spreading her legs wide he slid right in between her tight little thighs.
"Oohh baby," she moaned.
And then the barking of the dog became even more angry and alarmed. Tiger, his year old male Belgian Shepherd, was howling like a wolf.
"There's...there's... there's somebody out there," she said again, trying to pull away.
She was right. There was someone out there. But he was not ready to let her go...pounding away, he squeezed her breasts and flicked her clit...making her cry...making her scream... and then they both began to roar...
Tiger was running back and forth, howling and lunging at someone or something outside the cast iron fence.
"I got to go," she said in a worried voice. I should have been home right after work."
Reluctantly, Gabriel rolled onto the floor and let her get up.
What time is it?" she asked.
"Almost 11," he replied.
"Oh my god! He is going to kill me." She got up and began pulling on her panties and then her bra.
Gabriel watched, feeling enchanted by her beautiful 21 year old body. He immediately began to feel aroused... as well as disappointed that she was leaving.
All the neighborhood dogs were barking now. Gabriel frowned. Something was up.
"I'll walk you to your car," Gabriel replied as he pulled on his pants. Opening a desk drawer he retrieved his 45 and made sure the safety was off. The gun was a big black Browning...his weapon of choice... it always hit whatever he aimed at and could easily blow off a man's arm or leg... and once knocked down, it would be a long while before they got back up. Gabriel hoped there would be no need to use it.
Tiger bounded up excitedly, as they stepped outside, wagging his tail and smiling. "Tiger" was a big hairy canine: "looked just like wolf and was just as smart," Gabriel was fond of saying. "And he thinks everyone's his friend."
"Hey Tiger! Who you barking at, boy?" Gabriel asked, giving the dog several friendly pats along his hairy muscular back.
"I'm scared of dogs," his Latina lady friend said. She put her arm through his and pulled herself close as they walked toward the gate.
"Don't worry about Tiger. The only one around here who is going to eat you, is me," Gabriel said with a laugh.
Unlocking the gate, he stepped out onto the sidewalk and looked up and down the tree lined street. Tiger scooted out in front of him. There was no one to be seen, though certainly someone could be hiding behind one of the big evergreen trees.
"No boyfriend. Nada," he said, giving her a squeeze. He kissed her on the mouth and was met by her eager tongue.
"Why don't we go back inside," Gabriel asked as he slipped his hand beneath her blouse. Her nipples immediately responded.
"I'll come back tommorrow, if you would like," she replied breathlessly...
"I like," he replied.
Gabriel scratched Tiger's ears as he watched her car pull away. He was genuinely sorry to see her go. She was beautiful! She was charming! And best of all: "What cock know how," he said aloud as her tail lights disappeared around the corner.
Turning to his dog, Gabriel bent down on one knee and gave Tiger a hug and several pats along his back. "And how's my boy, eh?"
Although he had never expressed his feelings in words, Gabriel loved the dog, absolutely loved him. "He's the smartest dog I've ever owned," he had proudly told a friend.
Tiger stiffened and began to growl.
At that instant Gabriel became aware of the two men who had just stepped out of the shadows from across the street. Two more emerged from behind the house next door. Did they have guns?
"Jesus Christ!" Gabriel said, startled.
In a flash Tiger was running toward them, growling, barking.
"Tiger!" Gabriel yelled, and then pulled his own weapon.
He could see the flash of sparks and he could hear the "pop pop" as they fired their weapons... and then the boom of his own gun echoed in his ears as he returned fire... and then it all became surreal as if it were all but a dream...
And isn't life but a dream?
Tiger was running, leaping... weapons discharging... a man falling... pain in his neck... a splash of blood... Tiger yelping....leaping...guns firing... blood splashing...his neck... Tiger yelping...a man falling....his sweet Latina sucking sucking... his neck...
Gabriel lay on his side, in the back seat of the speeding car. He began to stir.
"He's waking up," the man in the front seat remarked. Gabriel blinked open his eyes and then wrinkled his nose. The car reeked of old farts and cigarette smoke. He grimmaced: but not because of the smell. His neck hurt. It throbbed painfully. He raised his hand to explore the wound, only to discover that his hands were cuffed together.
"Are you Dr. Gabriel?" the man in the front seat asked.
Slowly, Gabriel sat up and appraised the situation. The two men up front looked like thugs, thick and broad shouldered, and dressed in cheap suits. The car was a late model Lincoln Continental...and they were speeding along the freeway in the middle of the night. The driver took the exit ramp to Coleman avenue. San Jose Airport was up ahead.
His neck hurt... it didn't make any sense. "What the..." he muttered.
"Are you Dr. Gabriel?" the voice asked again.
Gabriel gazed at the two men in the front seat. They looked dangerous.
"Not me," Gabriel replied. "I'm his brother."
"You look just like Dr. Gabriel" the man insisted.
Gabriel tried to make sense of the situation... he started to remember. His neck was throbbing, and his head felt clouded, so they must have injected him with something...But why?
"You look exactly like Dr. Gabriel," the man repeated. He gazed intently at Gabriel's face, the dark hair and heavily muscled 6 foot frame.
"Well, duh!" Gabriel replied. "I'm his brother."
...must have shot him with something...that would explain the popping sound. The fuckers must have shot him with an animal tranquilizer.
The man in the front seat held up a book and gazed at the back cover. It was the second edition of Gabriel's classic neuroscience text. His picture was on the back.
"You didn't write this?" he asked.
"What are you, a book critic?" Gabriel snorted.
"So you did write it. You are doctor Gabriel!"
"And I guess you didn't write this one either," the man said, flipping a NASA ID-book into Gabriel's face.
It was his old photo ID from NASA's Astrobiology Institute
"Not me. You want my brother."
"No...we want you, asshole!" he replied. "You're the former chief scientist of Neuroscience at NASA, right?"
"Depends. Who is we?" Gabriel asked.
The man flipped open his wallet. He had a badge.
"National security," the man replied.
Gabriel laughed. "And the cow jumped over the moon, right?"
"National security" the driver echoed, holding his open wallet up over his shoulder.
They turned off a side road leading to the private hangers and the private planes.
"And why the cuffs? Why the cloak and dagger? Am I being arrested for something?"
"We cuffed you so that you don't pull anymore bullshit, asshole!" he replied.
"That's an impressive vocabulary you have, " Gabriel said. "And where is my dog?"
"Killed it," he said and laughed. "Fucking dog."
"And how many of you did I kill?" Gabriel asked. "More than one, I hope."
The driver sighed. "It wasn't supposed to happen like this," he said as he drove along the tarmac toward a private hangar. "You fucked up."
"I fucked up? You kill my dog, you shoot me in the fucking neck, you kidnapped me, and you say I fucked up?"
They slowed and parked next to a private jet. Several well dressed men in expensive suits quickly approached the car.
The man in the front glared at him: "You pulled a gun and started shooting. You fucked up!"
The two men unfastened their seat belts and stepped out. An older, distinguished looking gentleman with white hair, poked his head inside.
"Dr. Gabriel? Pleased to meet you!" the white haired man said, offering his hand. "I'm Dr. Lahey!" He was all smiles.
Gabriel just stared. They always come at you with smiles, he told himself.
Two thousand miles away a phone rang... Silently the thing probed their minds and became aware that a Dr. Gabriel was on his way.
The small jet taxied down the runway and a few moments later was airborne.
"Messy business. I'm sorry," Dr. Lahey repeated for the fifth time. "But secrecy is of the utmost importance."
"Right. National security," Gabriel echoed.
He rubbed his wrists and then touched his neck. It was still throbbing. He could feel a little lump.
"Normally, when people want to see me, they make an appointment. They don't kidnap me and kill my dog!"
"Your dog is fine, Dr. Gabriel. Like you, he was shot with a tranquilizer gun."
"Oh, great. I feel much better now."
"I assure you, he is fine. Now, if we can get down to business?"
Gabriel stared out the window of the private jet. It was pitch black outside. He had no idea of where he was going, but he was certainly interested in why. Given the circumstances, however, he was not feeling very cooperative.
"I'm not interested in doing business with people who shoot my dog. Now why don't you guys take a left turn at Albuquerque and let me off there."
"We would not have come to you if it was not absolutely vital. And we certainly did not expect you would pull a gun."
Gabriel frowned. "I've got four men sneaking up on me in the middle of the night. What am I supposed to think? They just wanted directions to the nearest Starbucks?"
"Again, I'm sorry. It was not supposed to happen this way!"
Gabriel said nothing and stared out the window of the jet. The lights of a city twinkled in the distance.
"Dr. Gabriel? Certainly you must be interested in why you are here?"
"Ah... the eternal question. Why are we here? Does life have purpose..."
"We have a situation, that requires your expertise."
"What expertise is that?"
"Neurology. Neuroscience. Astrobiology," Dr. Lahey replied.
Gabriel frowned. "Yes, I'm listening."
"We want you to assist in a dissection."
"A dissection? Of the brain? Why me?" he asked suspiciously.
"It is an unusual brain. It belongs to a very rare and unusual species."
"An unusual species," Gabriel repeated. "What kind of species? Does it have some kind of disease?"
Dr. Lahey shifted uncomfortably in his seat.
Gabriel frowned. "No way. This is bull shit. I am not going to...."
"It does not appear to have any disease. But we fear it is very dangerous just the same."
"In what way?"
"National security," Dr. Lahey replied.
"OK, I get it. Kidnap me, expose me to this shit, and if I die, its all top secret, right?"
Dr. Lahey gazed out the window of the plane. "No. Its nothing like that."
"Right!" Gabriel said. "Go on. I'm still listening. Amuse me."
"We picked you not just because of your expertise in neuroscience. As the former chief scientist in neuroscience, at the Astrobiology Institute, you have a unique perspective. Frankly, we need your help."
"A unique perspective?"
"Astrobiology? I no longer work for NASA, remember? Toppled too many cherished idols. Made a lot of the temple priests very angry. So, I can't imagine what you'd want with me..."
"I think you can imagine exactly why we need you," Lahey interrupted.
Gabriel, his mind racing, locked eyes with Lahey.
"This rare species you want me to dissect, you believe it came from outer space?"
"We know it did."
"It? You found just one?"
"Yes. Dead unfortunately."
"And you found it where? Inside a meteorite? Attached to the outside walls of one of our space craft?"
"Sorry. National security," Lahey replied.
Gabriel trying to contain his rising excitement, waved him off dismissively. "Cut the crap, Lahey. What kind of species are we talking about here, and where did you find it? Is it like a fish, a frog, animal, vegetable, bird, insect, what?"
"What is it? Frankly we don't know, exactly. That's where you come in."
Lahey opened a thick manilla envelop, pulled out a sheath of photos, and handed them to to Gabriel.
Gabriel, his mouth agape, stared long and hard at the first photo. The creature was well over 7 feet tall. It possessed four hairy appendages that were apparently arms and legs, which tapered off to become fingers, claws and eagle's talons. The head and face were massive. It had a long snout and furry face like a wolf, and then a fan of brightly colored feathers that grew out of the back of its head, feathering out along its back, and then spreading out to become massive bird-like wings. It probably weighed closed to 300 pounds.
"And we suspect, of course, that it came from another planet."
It was only at that moment, when in her mind's eye she watched as the doctor examined the photos, that it realized its mate was dead. Silently the thing closed its eyes... and began to weep.
******For a brief moment, Gabriel felt like somebody was secretly watching him...probably a hidden overhead video camera, he decided...but then, a terrible sadness wash over him like an errant wave. A single tear trickled down his cheek as he was overcome with an almost uncontrollable urge to sob and cry. And then the feeling was gone. Gabriel furrowed his brow, his face a frown.
"Something the matter?" Dr. Lahey asked.
"Yeah. I got to take a piss." Glancing about the small jet he counted four other men. Unlike the thugs that waylaid him outside his house, these guys looked to be genuine government issue.
"Its that way," Dr. Lahey said, pointing toward the rear of the jet.
"I'll take these with me," Gabriel said, indicating the photos and x-rays.
Five pairs of eyes tracked him as he made for the back of the jet, and then one of the men stood up as if to follow.
"Christ," Gabriel muttered. "What do they think? I'm going to escape out the toilet?"
Gabriel locked the door, sat down on the toilet, and began to ponder the situation. That the pictures and the alien were real, he had no doubt. That they had chosen him to assist in the dissection, however, was not just exciting almost beyond belief, but exceedingly unsettling. He had a very bad feeling about this. Why him?
Gabriel had made a lot of enemies at NASA. He had openly challenged some of their most ridiculous beliefs; said they were based on "junk science," like the concept of the organic soup. The likelihood that life emerged from an organic soup is the equivalent of discovering a computer on Jupiter and then claiming it was randomly assembled in the Methane Sea. And Darwin? What a joke. Unfortunately, NASA didn't think it funny. Darwin was a god, and the organic soup their religion.
The assholes running NASA hated him and there was no way they would agree to him participating in a project like this, or any project for that matter.
Gabriel frowned. It didn't make sense. There was a lot that did not make any sense.
He sighed loudly and continued to ponder. That they sent four or more men to his house in the middle of the night, armed with animal tranquilizing guns was definitely not a good sign. And didn't he shoot at least one of those assholes? How come no one has said anything about that? Not good. Not good at all.
No matter what the smoothing talking Dr. Lahey had claimed, they had kidnapped him pure and simple. Not good, no matter what their reasons. And though they claimed this was all hush hush, how come no one had said a thing about signing any nondisclosure forms pledging secrecy?
Gabriel grimmaced. That they might simply kill him, or worse, once he finished the job, was a real possibility. Why else would they send four men armed with animal tranquilizing guns to take him away in the middle of the night? Gabriel simply disappears and no one is the wiser.
"Shit," he muttered and then rubbed his still throbbing neck.
"You OK in there?" someone called through the door.
"Why? You want to come in here and hold it for me?"
Settling back he spied a newspaper in the trash. Out of habit he retrieved it and opened it to the front page. It was yesterday's afternoon edition of the San Francisco Chronicle:
"Russians Lose Contact with Marmir Space Craft" screamed the headlines. He quickly read the short article. "Contact with the Marmir orbiting space laboratory was lost for 20 hours Monday, raising fears that the out of control space craft might crash to earth. Although the Russian space agency managed to restore communications with the Marmir, they say they have no idea as to what might have gone wrong."
Gabriel laughed out loud. "No idea, eh? Maybe it collided with an alien space ship? Hmmm?"
Suddenly he felt a lot better. No wonder they came in the middle of the night. They must have just got their hands on the creature that same evening.
"Well that explains that," Gabriel said to himself.
Throwing the newspaper down to the floor and studied the x-rays, CAT-scans, and MRIs (Magnetic Resonance Images) of the alien's body and brain.
It was apparent from the x-rays and photos that the alien has been badly injured. There were broken bones, torn muscles, punctures, and what appeared to be blood splashed here and there on its body and wings. Gabriel wondered if any of those injuries occurred after the alien had been captured. No, he decided. It must have been killed when whatever kind of craft it was riding in collided with the Marmir... or maybe it happened after the alien craft fell to Earth.
He scrutinized the CAT-scans and MRIs of the creature's brain which looked vaguely human. However, what caught his attention was the complete transection of the brainstem. That's what killed it, he decided.
The brain was massive, almost 1900 ccs, a third larger than the human cerebrum. Although shaped and organized in a fashion quite distinct from the human pattern he was able to immediately recognize certain brain structures such as the basal ganglia, limbic system, cerebellum, and of course, the transected brainstem.
"Damn" he muttered. "Is that the amygdala? Its fucking huge!" The hippocampus, he could see, was also incredibly large.
A huge amygdala and hippocampus, he realized, would confer upon these creatures incredible powers of not just memory, but emotional sensitivity and...
Gabriel sat up straight. That feeling of being watched... the sadness that had overwhelmed him! The creature's huge amygdala... the hippocampus...that feeling of sadness... of being watched... Suddenly he realized that Lahey lied. They had captured at least two aliens... and one was still alive.
Cohen and Weinstein were most displeased. The discovery and capture of two aliens, one dead and one alive, was not at all pleasant news. The alien space craft, that was another matter.
"If we don't get our hands on that craft, and that alien, this could fuck up everything!" Weinstein repeated for the third time. He was pacing back and forth.
Cohen leaned against the wall trying to suppress the desire to sneak a smoke.
"Even if it doesn't leak out," he continued, "there will still be pressure from Defense and the National Security Agency."
"If that happens, we will just ask for more money," Cohen remarked.
Weinstein shook his head. "More money! More money! Yeah sure! Money right out of our pocket."
Weinstein slammed one fist into the palm of the other. "The real money is in the alien space craft. The technology should be worth billions."
"Except its wrecked, right?" Cohen added.
"But the alien is still alive," Weinstein added. "When it rains it pours," Cohen added sagely.
Weinstein continued pacing. "The problem is getting control, getting access, and then wringling a way to get the big contracts for defending the earth against a possible alien attack from space." Cohen laughed. "But remember what the new chief administrator said: NASA is about the Earth, goddamn it, not space. Fuck space!"
Cohen laughed. "Fuck it out of what?"
Weinstein stopped and glared at him. "Not funny. "
"The way I see it, we have two options. If NASA can gain complete control over the two aliens, and the alien space craft, then we control the technology, and then we, and our friends can use it for our own purpose. Not to mention making a lot of cash," Cohen added.
Weinstein shook his head. "I seriously doubt they will give us complete control over those aliens. And even if they don't, then it won't be our friends who benefit, but our enemies. ."
"Then we have to consider option two and contain this thing before it gets out of control."
"And how do you propose that we do that?"
Cohen blew another smoke ring. "The surviving alien must be killed and both bodies and the craft must be destroyed. We will make it all go away and turn it into a hoax. Hell, its been done before!"
Weinstein again shook his head. "That won't work. There must be at least three dozen officials who already know about this. And what about those involved in the recovery of the craft and the bodies?"
Cohen blew another smoke ring. "If we can't gain control, t hen we must destroy the evidence; either way we are home free. We just call on our friends to start neutralizing witnesses and destroying the credibility of those who can't be bought or bullied."
"I don't know..." Weinstein mumbled doubtfully. "The thing is, we have got to take care of this immediately. Now."
Cohen blew another smoke ring. "Do you belive in God?"
Weinstein looked at him as if he were crazy. "Of course not."
"But there are those who do."
"What do you think this is going to do to the Jewish religion, the Catholic religion, and all those who believe in god? The existence of these aliens will call into question everything about god and the creation. How do you think the Vatican will respond to this, or our friends in Israel? If there is no god, if more and more people begin to doubt, they lose money, power, influence."
"You think we should call..."
"Exactly," Cohen interrupted.
Weinstein continued to pace."I don't know. The more people who know, the worse it is for us."
"Do you have a better idea?" Cohen asked.
Weinstein stopped pacing. "I think the first thing we should do is kill that alien before it starts talking and putting ideas into people's heads; ideas about space weaponry and advanced technology that might conflict with our own best interests and that of our good friends. Then NASA can go on doing what it does best: Making us and our good friends very very rich."
Islands of consciousness were becoming peninsulas, and during her periods of alertness her mind continued to expand and to explore the thoughts and memories of those who had taken her captive.
It was clear they viewed her as more than a mere curiosity, but as something extremely dangerous. Some wished to kill her and yet others wished to seek out and destroy all those of her kind.
She did not take it personally. By scanning the minds of the teaming hordes crowded together in the basically identical cities and towns of this small planet, she quickly realized that the thoughts and feelings of most of the humans on this world centered upon violence, conquest, selfishness, power, and sexuality. Regardless of which planet they had evolved on, these traits were typical of humans; the hallmarks of the stereotypical human planet .
Yet, she was also puzzled. The dominant land animals, she realized, although sentient and industrious, were still surprisingly primitive, considering the age of their planet. They were still little more than big brained apes that had probably only recently learned to stand upright and to talk. In fact, almost all the mammals of this planet were shockingly primitive.
She scanned her own thoughts and memories for an answer. Perhaps some terrible calamity occurred hundreds of thousands of years ago that temporarily disrupted mammalian metamorphosis? Maybe their planet had passed through a cosmic cloud of viral contagion, or maybe it had been struck by giant meteorites or planetary debris that nearly wiped out the mammalian line early in its metamorphosis?
Catastrophes and mass extinctions were not uncommon. The mammalian line had become completely extinct on innumerable planets following cosmic collisions or viral contagion, and on some worlds fish, insects, plants, and reptiles had undergone metamorphosis in their place.
Again she reached out and explored with her mind, and then quickly confirmed her suspicions. There had been a world-wide cosmic calamity, two of them nearly 250 million years ago, soon after the first repto-mammals had gained dominion over the planet. Repto-mammals were a transitional species.They were more advanced than reptiles and would eventually become therapsids then mammals. Becaue of these cosmic catastrophes, the repto-mammals almost became extinct. The reptiles had taken over almost completely, and then gave rise to dinosaurs, who were then wiped out 64 million years ago when a giant meteor struck the planet. Although the mammalian line recovered, they were 200 million years behind schedule. No wonder the humans were so primitive.
Sensing thoughts of danger, she again scanned the minds of her captives. It amused her that they thought her dangerous. It was humans who were dangerous. If they did not self-destruct, as is characteristic of their kind, they would no doubt be eradicated before the evolved sufficiently so as to become dangerous to other worlds. Humans were killers. If they ever ventured beyond this planet, they would rampage throughout the universe, murdering, plundering, and destroying alien cultures and people.
That would never happen, of course. Almost invariably, humans destroyed themselves and the worlds that cradled them, as they were incapacitated by an amazing inability to gaze beyond their own selfish sexual and violent desires so as to clearly see the future.
Violence, sex, the future... she was feeling sleepy. It was, in fact, her interest in the future that had brought her to this world...but it was sex which killed her companion...She stifled a sob. Sex....sex....she did not want to think of sex...
Gabriel set the last of the pictures and reports in his lap and closed his eyes. He was feeling incredibly tired...and horny... Images of his little Latina began to dance before his tired eyes...and then again, there was that feeling of sadness...
Dr. Lahey leaned forward. "So what do you think?"
Gabriel opened one eye and gazed at Lahey. "What happened to my dog? Where is he?"
"I assure you, Dr. Gabriel, he is safe and sound and probably patrolling your yard at this very moment."
Gabriel looked skeptical.
"I am most interested in your thoughts, Dr. Gabriel."
The corners of Lahey's mouth turned downward, betraying a slight frown. Regaining his composure he again smiled. "We will be landing in about an hour. If I could hear your preliminary thoughts on the matter, it would be most helpful."
Gabriel sighed, stretched his shoulders, then his legs, and then picked up the sheath of photos, x-rays, and assorted documents.
"What we have here," he began, tapping an x-ray with his finger, "is an incredibly advanced and superior alien species."
"Advanced, superior? Please be more specific," Lahey interjected.
"I'm talking about evolution," Gabriel replied. "This is a highly evolved creature. Look at this," he said pointing at another x-ray. "It has a six chambered heart. The human heart has only four chambers, and lizards have only two. And the lungs... "
"We know all that," Lahey suddenly snapped. "I want to know about the brain."
"Temper temper," Gabriel teased.
Lahey looked abashed. "I'm sorry. Its the lateness of the hour. Lack of sleep. Please forgive me." Lahey smiled. "Please go on."
That smile... they always come at you with smiles, Gabriel reminded hmself.
"The brain?" Lahey asked.
"As I said," Gabriel continued. "This creature, from an evolutionary perspective, is extremely advanced."
"Could you be more specific?"
"Let me put it this way," Gabriel began. "A lizard is more intelligent than a fish, wouldn't you say?"
"If you say so," Lahey replied.
"Well, a human is certainly more intelligent than a reptile. Wouldn't you agree."
"Well then. From the perspective of this creature, we are at the level of a common reptile. Neurologically, these aliens completely dwarf the human brain. Intellectually, we probably appear to be quite stupid."
Dr. Lahey frowned. "Dr. Gabriel, you are talking nonsense. What do you base that on?"
"Look here, Lahey," Gabriel said, picking up an MRI scan of the alien's brain. "Look at this layering of the outer surface of this creature's brain. I count 12 layers. Twelve very thick layers. The human brain has only 6 to 7 layers, what we call neocortex. New cortex! Reptiles have only 3 layers of old cortex; what we call paleocortex."
"It is the neocortex which enables us to think and reason. It is the neocortex which enables us to communicate with language, and to read and write. The neocortex is the seat of our intelligence. This creature has twice as many neocortical layers, and each layer is obviously much thicker than its human counterpart. Compared to your average human, this creature might as well be a god."
Dr. Lahey seemed stunned and sat back heavily. After a long pregnant silence he finally stirred. "What else can you tell me?"
"First I want you to tell me something?"
"I'm a pretty good shot. I'm positive I saw two of those assholes... excuse me, two of your men, crumple to the ground. What happened to them? Are they dead?"
Lahey sighed. "Fortunately, Dr. Gabriel, they were wearing kevlar. Bullet proof vests."
"They're lucky I didn't aim for the head."
"Not that lucky. Both were hospitilized. Both suffered broken ribs, and one experienced a collapsed lung."
Gabriel pantomimed a gun with his fist and fingers, and then pretended to blow smoke from the barrel. Pointing "it" at Lahey he added. "Teach them to go sneaking up on a fellow in the middle of the night. A 45 is a powerful weapon."
"Yes. It is."
"By the way, where is my gun?"
Lahey grimmaced. "In a safe place. Now please, let us get back to business."
"Sure, OK. But first I have another question?
"Yes?" Lahey replied tiredly.
"Am I going to get to examine its companion?"
Lahey was clearly startled. "Excuse me?"
Gabriel sighed heavily. "Come on, Lahey. Cut the crap."
"I don't know what you mean!"
"Come on. Of course you do."
"I assure you I do not. There is no companion."
Lahey looked uncomfortable. "Why? Why do you say that?"
Gabriel picked up an MRI and pointed: "Look Lahey, see this?"
"This is the amygdala. Its huge. I'd say its three time the size of the human amygdala."
"And what's the significance of that?"
"The amygdala enables us to feel love, sexual desire, including the desire for companionship. The amygdala is the seat of our emotions. It generates the desire for social emotional contact. This creature, and those like him, are extremely social. And, they are probably very very sexual. In fact, I could guess that from the size of that things dick! Its huge. Look," he said, pointing at one of the photographs.
Lahey looked embarrassed
"I find it highly unlikely that this creature traveled by itself, for who knows how long, from some distant star or galaxy," Gabriel added.
Gabriel said nothing. He stared at him, waiting.
Finally Lahey broke the uncomfortable silence. "And what would you say if I told you that this specimen is the only one in our possession?"
"Then I'd say that either its companion got away, or there is a mother ship hovering out there somewhere just brimming with its friends, lovers, and comrades."
"Yes, I must admit we have already considered that possibility."
"A mother ship."
"Of course, there's one more possibility."
"And what is that?"
"That you're lying."
Dr. Lahey straighted up in his seat, seemingly offended. "How dare you!!! You have absolutely no right to insult me in this manner!"
Gabriel smiled. "Lahey, I find this entire situation insulting. But I find it even more insulting that you not only lie to my face, but that when caught red handed, you keep lying."
"What do you mean, caught read handed? You do not know what you're talking about."
"Lahey?" Gabriel said in a sing song voise. "Lahey?"
"You wanted to know how they communicate?"
"They're telepathic. Although they obviously have the ability to speak in words, they can send their thoughts, and they can read minds: Your mind, my mind, and even what we don't mind."
"What? What are you saying?"
"I am saying that they have highly developed telepathic abilities, and so does the companion of this creature that you no doubt have locked up somewhere."
Lahey looked stunned. "How... how do you know that?"
Gabriel smiled broadly and tapped his finger to his forehead. "Perhaps a little birdy told me...Or maybe I should say, a little birdy that also looks to be part wolf and part human."
His stunned expression changed to a face of fear. "What??!!! Are you saying that it, it, it... that this thing, this vile creature has communicated with you?!!!"
Gabriel put his finger to his lips. "Shhh... Naughty naughty. Be nice."
Lahey , his composure shattered, was becoming increasingly upset. "Be nice? What?"
Gabriel, supressing a desire to laugh out loud, looked askance to his right and then to his left. "Shhh..." he repeated. "I think she's listening."
One hundred thirty million light years distant, a massive orbiting biocomputer, the size of the empire state building, and consisting almost entirely of neurons and glia and ten thousand brains strung together, began to detect an anomoly. Instantly a hundred similar bicomputers were alerted and the anomoly identified.
The data was instantly transmitted to the authorities: A small enemy space craft of the XFX224555 class had ventured into the lH2-dh988fy-ffzzz-78-3999-bbXX--a1o7z2 solar system located on the outer rim of the M17884cfsXX44229988823xxffzzz23988 galaxy, belonging to the LS4598XZ-1SZY Universe.
The enemy space craft had been damaged in a collision with an orbiting metal object designed by the inhabitants of the third planet from the sun.
Casualties: One Death. One Injury. The damaged craft and injured enemy occupant were now in the possession of the inhabitants of that planet.
A millescond later, a Code 4 alert was issued. The inhabitants of the planet were humans!
The Deputy Assistant to the Director of National Security, and the three uniformed generals, stood practically nose to nose in the third floor basement of the National Security Agency. Having secretly listened to Dr. Gabriel's comments, they were now arguing furiously about what should be done.
No one had asked Dr. Kim for her opinion. She sat alone, draped in a white lab coat, her long legs crossed, rereading Dr. Gabriel's FBI file and the personell records from the Astrobiology Institute. She swept her long dark hair over her shoulder and turned a page. As Gabriel's neuroscience text had been required reading in her graduate seminar at Harvard, she was of course already familiar with his work. But his private life! It made fascinating reading. She was even more surprised by his picture. He looked nothing like she'd imagined. Six foot tall. Heavily muscled. Longish, thick black hair. He was truly an ugly brute!
"It would be foolish for us to go off half cocked," General LeMay was saying. "I say, we give him direct access to both creatures."
General McWorter shook his head in disagreement. "Even if he is telling the truth, I think it would be a mistake."
"And why is that again?" the Deputy Assistant inquired.
"He's too arrogant and full of himself. He will be difficult to control, much less work with. Wouldn't you agree?" he asked, turning to Dr. Kim.
She looked up from the file.
General Reily, six foot four, and black as night, grimmaced and made a face. He knew that McWorter could care less about her opinion. He just wanted to fuck her. Since he had first met her McWorter had been going on and on about her curvacious little body, her dark almond eyes, and surprisingly large and perky breasts. Bah! McWorter was a fool. She was nothing but a stuck up Asian cunt.
"Well, I..." Dr. Kim began, but Reily cut her off.
"I think this Gabriel character is full of shit," General Reily growled in his deep booming voice. "I think he's dangerous and can't be trusted. Remember, he was fired from NASA. They kicked him out on his rear." Turning to the technician. "Play the last part of the conversation again."
The technician made a slight adjustment and punched a single button on the computer console. Dr. Gabriel's tape recorded voice filled the room.
"They're telepathic." "What?!!" "They're telepathic..."
"Skip to the end," General Reily ordered.
"Perhaps a little birdy told me...Or maybe I should say, a little birdy that also looks to be part wolf and part human."
General Reily frowned. "He's lying. He's up to something. He has to be."
General LeMay turned to the technician. "What do you think, Sam?"
The technician indicated a view screen on a small computer. "Its the same as before. Stress and melodic intonational analysis fails to indicate any signs of stress or variation. There is nothing here to suggest a purposeful attempt at deception."
"He's not telling the truth," General Reily repeated.
"Not according to the auditory spectral analysis, General," the technician replied.
"I don't believe it," General Reily stated emphatically. "How could that creature have made contact with him? Why hasn't it made contact with anyone else?"
"Then how did he know we have a live specimen under lock and key?" General McWorter asked, somewhat rhetorically.
"It is extremely difficult to fool the computer," the technician added.
Dr. Kim set the thick file aside. "Maybe the only one he was trying to fool was Dr. Lahey."
General Reily gazed at her disdainfully. He didn't care how many degrees she had, how many scientific articles she had written, or how many languages she spoke. Insofar as he was concerned, she was a cunt. A woman, goddamn it!
He decided to ignore her. "If that thing is telepathic, and if its somehow made contact with this Gabriel character, then we have to kill it before it gets any healthier. It's an obvious danger to national security!"
"Wait a moment," General LeMay interjected. "Please explain yourself, Dr. Kim."
"Sam, would you please play that last part again," she said, turning to the technician.
"Perhaps a little birdy told me...Or maybe I should say, a little birdy that also looks to be part wolf and part human."
"Maybe's just being clever," she said.
"Clever?" General Reily exclaimed.
She smiled inscrutibly and brushed her long hair over her shoulder. "The key word, gentlemen, is: perhaps. Dr. Gabriel never said that the thing, the alien had communicated with him. As to the existence of the second alien, he simply made an educated guess. And when Dr. Lahey played dumb, Dr. Gabriel tricked him."
"Are you saying that this creature is not really telepathic?" General McWorter asked hopefully.
Dr. Kim shook her head. "No. Only that Dr. Gabriel fooled Dr. Lahey into confirming his suspicions; that the dead alien had a companion. Listen." Stepping over to the computer she turned a single dial and then flipped a switch.
"I am saying that they have highly developed telepathic abilities, and so does the companion of this creature that you no doubt have locked up somewhere."
"That you no doubt have locked up," she repeated. "He's guessing."
"You're sure about that?" General McWorter asked.
Dr. Kim flipped open Gabriel's secret FBI file and gazed at his rugged face. He was so ugly, he was almost handsome. But mostly he was ugly, almost like a cave man. For a brief moment she wondered what he would be like in bed. From what it said in his secret file, he had had a lot of practice.
"Yes," she replied. "He is very clever, but he is just guessing."
"This Gabriel is dangerous. NASA had the right idea when they fired him. I think we should cut him loose now before he turns into a serious problem," General Reily remarked.
"I agree," General McWorter added. "This is not a fellow who likes to follow orders. He's a loose cannon. Not a team player. Not at all."
"We should forget about Gabriel and kill the alien before it gets any healthier," General Reily emphasized.
General LeMay shook his head in disagreement. "I believe it would be a serious error to deny him access to this creature. It would be an even graver mistake to kill the alien before Gabriel and Dr. Kim have had a chance to examine it, up front and personal."
General Reily wanted to continue arguing, but as LeMay wore three stars, compared to the two on his own lapels, and as it was clear LeMay had reached a decision, Reily held his tongue. But not General McWorter.
"I don't care how brilliant he is," McWorter argued. "This Gabriel character is a bad apple. He will be impossible to work with, and impossible to control. He already proved that at NASA> Wouldn't you agree, Dr. Kim?"
"No no," Dr. Kim replied. "It was wise to have picked him for this project. He is obviously very clever. Remember, he was the chief scientist of neuroscience and astrobiology. We need him. I actually look forward to working with him."
"You do?" General McWorter responded with surprise.
"Yes," she replied. She gazed again at his picture and smiled. He looked like he could go all night long. "I look very forward to working with him."
She lay there unmoving as her body and soul continued to heal. She knew the humans were monitoring her, as best they could, with the primitive electronic technology they had only recently invented.
But that was not why she lay still. So long as she exercised her mind she would continue to recover. It was part of the healing process. The humans had a phrase for it: "Mind Over Matter;" though, surprisingly, the scientists and peoples of this world seemed not to take the concept seriously. She found it puzzling that the humans had failed to develop and exploit the power of their minds, which instead lay dormant, whithering away, untapped and unexploited.
She scanned her own mind for answers.
She almost flinched with surprise. The peoples of this planet believed in something they called god and practiced an odd superstition called religion!
And not so long ago the religious priests serving the gods had waged a religious war against all who possessed powers of the mind. They called it "sin." The priests labeled these "sinners" witches, warlocks, sorcerers, and then tortured and burned them alive!
She flinched at the realization, and immediately became aware of the frenzy of movement and mental activity of those watching her.
Inwardly she smiled. Her slight movement had frightened them. Now they were frightening others by using primitive electronic devices to inform them of her movements.
She knew that some of her captors already wished her dead. Would they want to burn her if they knew she had the power of "sin"?
She tunneled into their minds for an answer. Although many still believed in witches, the power of the mind was no longer referred to as sin, at least not by the scientists of this world. Now it was called "insanity." And those who were discovered to hear and to see with their mind's eye, were no longer burned, but fed and injected with mind deadening drugs.
The people were afraid of their own mental powers! Many voluntarily sought these drugs to deaden their own minds! This was so completely alien to her that she explored her own mind in order to understand.
Of course, she realized, not all were afraid. Some sought to develop and to employ these dormant abilities. This "Dr. Gabriel," she realized too late, may fall in this category. Now she dared not enter his mind until she was stronger. She could not risk the possibility that she might open a window that would allow him to enter her own mind while she was scanning his thoughts. She immediately withdrew, and had entered the mind of Dr. Lahey, the moment Gabriel announced her presence and described her abilities; what he called "telepathy."
Not "sin." Not "insanity." Telepathy!
Was this Gabriel telepathic? Could Dr. Kim have been correct when she claimed he was just being "clever"?
Soon she would know. And she would have to know quickly if she was to escape this planet before her presence was detected. Time was of the essence! There were those who not only wished her harm, but who had the power to utterly destroy her.
A code 4 alert was of sufficiently low importance that nearly 30 seconds passed before a budgetary analysis was performed and two sets of orders issued.
Mission: Robotic Space Command would dispatch two battle ships from the X13-Z4XX-cfcf85TY-9900LS42 galaxy, which was located in the Y37XXFZ-44A Universe, where they were currently assisting in peace keeping missions. They were to seek out and eliminate the enemy before it escaped from the planet located in the outer rim of the M17884cfsXX44229988823xxffzzz23988 galaxy.
Method of Termination: A contingent of 4 robotic hunter killers, two to each battle ship, were assigned the task of hunting down and killing the enemy and vaporizing enemy craft XFX224555-class. If the enemy attempted to hide on the human planet or any other world within solar system lH2-dh988fy-ffzzz-78-3999-bbXX--a1o7z2, the robotic hunter killers were to descend to the planet's surface in order to complete the mission.
Concusion: Enemy species would be terminated and enemy craft would be vaporized.
Bugetary Restraints: Bugetary restraints required that the mission be accomplished within .000173/.000000000132/galatic rotation (three days) and did not allow for pursuit outside the lH2-dh988fy-ffzzz-78-3999-bbXX--a1o7z2 solar system.
Five seconds later additional orders were issued. Mission: Robotic Space Command would immediately dispatch a Destroyer from the Z4XY7zXZV1V2G3-00ZX galaxy where it was assisting in the eradication of all human species located in that portion of that specific universe. The Destroyer would survey the lH2-dh988fy-ffzzz-78-3999-bbXX--a1o7z2 solar system and analyze the technological capability of the inhabitants of the third planet from the sun.
Human specimens would be retrieved from the planet's surface for DNA, neurological, and intellectual analysis. The Destroyer would then destroy the human inhabitants of that world even if they were not yet sufficiently evolutionarily advanced and unable to exploit the technology of the enemy craft which had fallen into their hands.
Method of Termination: A virus would be manufactured on board and genetically engineered to selectively attack and destroy human DNA and the human nervous system. The virus would be deposited into the upper atmosphere of the planet and released into the water supply. Infection would be almost instantaneous.
Conclusion: Within 72 hour of release there would follow the total annihilation and the total extinction of the human race and all closely related primate species.
Bugetary Restraints: Bugetary restraints required that the mission be accomplished within .000173/.00000000000132/galatic rotation (three days).
She awoke from her brief sleep. Every passing moment left her feeling stronger, more alert. Her body was rapidly healing.
Again she scanned the minds of her captives and then burrowed into the minds and thoughts of the teaming hordes. And again she recoiled. Death, murder, hate, war... the humans of this world were continually killing one another. They enjoyed killing!
Brother, sister, husband, wife, daughter, son, friend, neighbor, strangers... all could be murdered at a whim! Over trifles. Over nothing! These people must be insane!
It was worse than she had been taught. More terrible than she imagined. Death was everywhere. They loved death! They loved to kill! They even loved mass murder!
No wonder they self-destructed. No wonder humans were marked for eradication and their planets eventually sterlized of all human life. But why were they so violent?
She lay there quietly, exploring, understanding. And there it was again. Religion. God. And more: Greed. Fear. Racism. And... wait. Religion, she suddenly realized, was but a spark which, over the course of evolutionary metamorphosis, would eventually give rise to powers of the mind similar to her own.
She scanned her own mind, and then smiled. Over a billion yeas ago, her own ancestors had practiced something akin to religion... Could she use religion, the religious superstitions of these humans, to help her escape from this planet of killer apes?
Tantrar, his bushy tail swishing angrily as he paced to and fro, cursed himself for blindness, for succumbing to selfish desires and embracing the unknown.
Absently Tantrar threw the fist sized ball against the multi-ribbed inner walls of the space craft. It bounced back and he threw it again. Thick veins of gold interlaced with diamonds and crystals, criss-crossed the multi-ribbed walls, creating a sparkling spider-web-like effect. Again he threw the ball and when it bounced back he fought the urge to bite into it and tear it apart.
It had been 18 suns since he had demanded freedom, only to discover he had achieved the freedom to be alone. He had loved her so! Why? Why? Why had he let her go? To dally with other damsels was the answer he once knew. Yes: He was a fool a fool a fool!
And now his beautiful Marslastarla was sailing through the heavens in the arms of.... it made him growl. It made him so angry, he felt like biting someone. Others had gone a leaping at the chance to swoop down and carry her away, to dry her tears, in hopes of sniffing and getting a peace of her delightful tail. But it was his best friend, Sarttra, that wolf in eagle's wings, who had stolen her away. Unconsciously, Tantrar, his feather's ruffled, extended his talons as if to rip and tear. Oh, if he could just turn back the atomic clock and relive that foolish day.
"Ah, Tantrar is now a poet," laughed his second in command. He smiled with a wolfish grin. "Dry your tears, Tantrar, at least she is with a friend."
Tantrar ceased to pace and quickly hid his thoughts. That's what love can do when the one you loved was lost.
Silently he gazed with eagle eyes at the ancient painting that hung along the space craft door. It was but a reproduction from ages before: "Save the squirrels!" It demanded to no avail. Bushy rat-like creatures stared down from atop the branches of a tree as hungry wolves danced upright upon the forest floor. Squirrels were an ancient delicacy that simply were no more.
Again he tossed the ball against the multi-ribbed walls. Where was she? He asked with his mind's eye.
But the second in command did not respond, for Tantrar had closed his mind to stem the tide of escaping pain before it became a flood.
Tantrar gritted his fangs. "Any news?" He asked aloud.
The wolfish smile disappeared from the face of the second in command."Give me an atomic second," he said, "and we shall see what we shall see. No, it is as it was before, the signal is gone. So she must not wish to be found."
"Forget Mars," came a commanding, worried voice inside his head. It was the Aziel, Commander of the Outer Star Fleet. "At least for the moment, my Tantrar friend. We have a curiosity that we must examine in her stead."
Quickly the commander filled them in, transmitting thoughts and images at lightning speed: "The enemy, as was plain to see, had dispatched two battle ships and a destroyer, and according to the apparent trajectories, were traveling at great speed to a distant yet unexplored galaxy."
Tantrar growled with recognition, his thoughts seeping out beyond his control: "Marslastarla!" The enemy were now traveling at great speed to where her signal was no more.
Instantly Tantrar scanned the collective unconscious to learn all he could of this obscure galaxy, a galaxy so distant it was located in another universe. Her reason for such a journey, he knew, was not just romance, but to guess the future from the past.
Galaxies, of course, came in all shapes and sizes, but this, where her signal ended, was of the more common formations, a spiral galaxy.
Stereotypically, spiral galaxies consisted of 100s of billions of sun centered solar systems, most of which were ringed with planets of varying size and composition.
Galaxies were nevertheless, microcosms. Galaxies, like solar systems, were just minute parts of a greater whole.
Separated by vast distances of extra-stellar space, galaxies nevertheless tended to collect together due to gravitational forces which forced them into a cosmic dance orbiting round and round.
Collectively these distant galaxies formed a universe.
A 100 billion suns thus made up a galaxy, and hundreds of billions of galaxies made up a universe.
His ancient ancestors, he realized, long ago believed there was only one universe. But they had learned millions of years ago, that they were but islands and innumerable; each island universe swirling upon the sea of eternity.
Each universe was separated by an incredible vastness of space, and it was supposed that collectively these innumerable universes were also but microcosms and just minute parts of an even greater whole. And perhaps this universal collective was also part of a whole, which in turn may be but a living thing.
The seeds of life swarm throughout the cosmos. Almost everywhere there was life.
The robot killers, however, were not alive, but machines with a purpose: The destruction of living things. Who had first made them, was unknown, though it was supposed that they were first created by humans in another universe long ago.
Yet, when they first invaded, although it was humans that they sought to kill, the viral contagions they created and unleashed would mutate once their mission was fulfilled. Having destroyed their temporary human hosts, these viral mutants would then search out other living things which they would quickly devour and kill.
Tantrar bared his fangs, canines, and teeth. Killing was so alien to him, though to dominate, admittedly, gave him a delicious thrill. And so too did biting and chewing and clawing at those who dared oppose his will. But though killing was such an ignoble thing, his race, his peoples were now at war with the robotic machines.
Tantrar reached out for a meeting of the commanding minds and collectively they arrived at a battle plan. There was little time to spare, but if they acted now, they might intercept, engage, and destroy the battle ships and destroyer, before they killed his Marslastarla, if alive she be... but where?
The dawn sun was rising on the east coast when Gabriel stepped out of the small jet and down onto the tarmac. The cold morning air smelled of diesel fuel, the sky was gray and overcast, and everywhere he looked there were military personnel and soldiers going about their business.
He grimaced. He felt tired. Alien or no alien, it would have been nice to have a few hours sleep.
Gabriel watched through heavy lidded eyes as Lahey conferred with two spiffy looking military men. Both sported an incredible numbers of badges, ribbons, stars, and other insignia that hung heavily from their chests. One of the generals, a black giant standing six feet four, motioned toward a black Bell helicopter whose rotors were already in motion.
Dr. Lahey waved Gabriel over.
"Dr. Gabriel, I want you to meet General McWorter and General Reily." They stared at him stiffly and did not offer their hands.
"Slight change of plans," Dr. Lahey explained.
"Yes. Apparently there is some kind of squabble between Defense, the National Security Agency and NASA, over who should have authority over this project."
"Yes?" Gabriel asked suspiciously.
Lahey looked uncomfortable. "And there is a problem regarding the body of the dead alien and the damaged space craft."
"So I go home now, right?"
"No, no. Not at all," Dr. Lahey said, looking slightly abashed.
"Well then, what?"
Lahey turned to the two Generals.
Gabriel followed his gaze and stared at the Generals who stared back at him. Crew cut, spit shine and polish, they stared at him as if he had a disease.
He could read their condescending facial expressions, but could care less. Hell, he hadn't slept all night. What did they expect? John Wayne?
"It has been decided, " General McWorter began, "that you shall have complete access."
Dr. Lahey suddenly looked even more embarrassed.
"To both aliens," General McWorter clarified.
Gabriel suppressed his smile. He had been right!
You will be assisting Dr.Garcia and Dr. Kim," the General added.
"I will be assisting?" Gabriel repeated skeptically.
"Is that a problem?" General Reily asked, his voice booming across the tarmac.
Gabriel shrugged tiredly. He felt he might topple over from lack of sleep.
"Ah, here comes she now," General McWorter remarked. "Dr. Kim."
Gabriel followed his gaze and his jaw all but dropped. An incredibly beautiful Asian woman, dressed in a white blouse, black heels, and a tight black skirt, had just exited a cherry red Ford Mustang, and was strolling self confidently their way. She had long thick black hair, a tight curvaceous figure, long sexy legs, and an incredibly beautiful face. And those almond eyes and her pouty lips! This was Dr. Kim?!! What a babe!
"Wow," he mumbled under his breath.
"Dr. Gabriel?" she said, offering her hand. He took it in his own. It was cool to the touch. "I'm Dr. Kim."
He no longer felt tired.
"Pleased to meet you," he said.
"The pleasure is all mine," she said without smiling. She was all business.
He wondered what she might look like naked. He resolved there and then that after examining the alien his number one priority would be to pull down her panties and get her into bed.
Dr. Kim sat next to him in the back, behind the two generals who were sitting up front with the pilot of the big black Bell helicopter. She seemed to radiate self confidence and intelligence, which made her even more sexy.
She crossed her legs demurely, which caused her dark skirt to rise up well over her knees. She didn't seem to notice. But Gabriel did. He fought the impulses to run his hand and fingers along her smooth silky skin. She had great legs. Very sexy.
She had been saying something, but she had leaned back away from him and the sound of the helicopter rotors had drowned her out.
"Excuse me? I didn't catch that." He scooted closer to her and for the first time caught her scent. He liked the way she smelled; like vanilla and coconut. It made his mouth water.
"That's a great fragrance," he said with a smile. I also like your body and your legs, he wanted to say, but said nothing.
She gave him a puzzled glance.
He spoke louder. "Your perfume. I like your perfume."
"I'm not wearing any perfume," she replied. She was all business.
She turned to her left and leaned down, causing her skirt to ride up even further, and opened a large handbag that was sitting on the floor of the copter, next to her feet.
He caught a glimpse of black Chantilly Lace sneaking out from beneath her skirt. Smiling, he leaned to the right and hunched down slightly to get a better look. Damn, she was wearing nylons and black garters... he felt himself becoming hard and aroused.
"I have something you might want to see," she remarked.
Gabriel sat upright and laughed. "I'll say!"
She gazed up at him and gave him an inscrutable look. "Is something funny?"
He put his hand over his mouth. "Sorry. Lack of sleep. You were saying?"
She straightened her skirt and handed him a thick manila envelop. More photos. More x-rays. He quickly thumbed through them, at least half of which he had already seen. Ah, lab reports. He quickly scanned the reports looking for an analysis of blood work and, more importantly, DNA, and then hesitated. There was something about the photos.
"Are these in order?" He asked, holding up the photos of the dead alien.
"Damn," he muttered as he flipped through the photos and then the x-rays.
"Yes?" she asked, curious as to what he would say. She thought she already knew the answer.
Gabriel pointed at one of the photos. "This reminds me of the wicked witch of the West."
Dr. Kim furrowed her brow in puzzlement. "Excuse me?"
"I'm melting, I'm melting," he said in a high pitched voice.
She didn't smile. Just stared at him as if he had lost his mind.
"You know. The Wizard of Oz?"
"Oh," she said, and then laughed. She smiled at him for the first time.
Gabriel smiled back at her. He liked her laughter. And those pouty lips!!!
He sighed audibly, and then, returning back to business, waved the photos at her. "Correct me if I'm wrong. But in the first set of photos, this thing, the uh, alien, looks pretty banged up. Then in the later photos, it looks like it might be healing. Here see?"
She nodded and leaned close. Again the fragrance of coconut and vanilla. She smelled so good it made him want to lick her up and down and eat her alive.
"In these photos...." Gabriel tried to concentrate. "In the photos," he repeated, "the wounds don't look as bad, the skin and the bones seem to be mending... and here in the last photos, all hell is breaking lose. It looks like he's melting."
"Yes," she agreed. "His body is disintegrating. That is why we were unable to get any meaningful lab data. The tissue samples, blood samples, his body, everything turned to mush."
"At least according to the lab," she added.
Again she leaned down to retrieve something from her handbag. Although sorely tempted, Gabriel forced himself not to sneak another peak up her skirt.
"Here," she said, handing him another set of photos. "We received these just moments before you arrived. That's why I was late," she added.
Gabriel stared at the photos. Where before there had been a robust albeit battered alien, there was now a puddle of alien goo.
"Well damn," he muttered.
"The body apparently disintegrated very quickly," she added.
"So, first it starts to heal," Gabriel said, thinking out loud. "But since its already dead, the healing process finally stops. And then the body begins to disintegrate, slowly at first, and then, puff, no more alien."
"Apparently," she added.
Gabriel looked at her askance. Was there something she wasn't telling him?"
She read his quizzical expression. "Yes?" she asked.
"So now what?"
"Now this! Your new assignment!" She gave him a bright smile, and handed him another set of photos. "I mean: Our assignment. We will be working together," she added.
They were pictures of another alien. It was smaller, somewhat more delicate than the other. Perhaps about 6 feet tall, and weighing, he guessed, about 200 pounds. He compared photos. Like the male, she had the face of a wolf, and then feathers sprouted from the top and back of her head, spreading and jutting out along her back and then becoming wings. In addition to the wings, she had four fur covered limbs, arms and legs, that is, whereas the feet and hands became bony and clawlike. Yet, unlike the first creature, this alien, although bruised and battered, was clearly a female... and, she was very much alive.
While she lay there, unmoving, exploring the thoughts of the multitudes and the history of the planet with a thousand tentacles of her mind, she simultaneously became aware of the humans who were just arriving outside the observation room, but a short distance away. She sensed danger.
Again she peered into the minds of those who continued to examine the wreckage that had been her honeymoon home for the last 18 suns. The space craft was a burnt and twisted wreck. She winced. It was amazing she survived.
It was her fault. If only she.... But she didn't want to think about that. Not now.
She withdrew her mind into herself. The space craft could not be salvaged. The humans simply did not have the intelligence or the technological capability to make it space-worthy. That they didn't have the slightest inkling as to what made it function, or the brain power to repair it, was beside the point. Even if she directed their thoughts and made them understand (which she didn't really think was possible), there was not enough time. Soon her presence would be detected... and they would come...and destroy her.
The arguing outside the observation room was becoming more intense. She gazed into their minds. The new arrivals wanted to kill her, though that was not what they said.
It was time, she decided, to prepare.
As her strength and mental powers, though still weak, had sufficiently recovered, she resolved to finally take complete stock of her immediate surroundings, and to visualize her body and the room in which she lay. Whereas before, in her weakened condition, she had merely explored the thoughts of the multitudes, and had peered through their eyes, she now began to visualize with her own mind's eye.
The first thing she saw, was her still broken body lying down below. It made her wince.
Her feathers and fur were matted and dirty. The three broken talons were still cracked and had not yet completely regrown. And her golden wings and beautiful tail, which had driven the males crazy with lust and desire, were twisted and bent and still missing large clumps of feathers and fur.
She looked ugly, and it made her sad. And the smell! It was horrible! What would Tantrar and Sattrar think if they could see her now?
She watched as tears welled up in her eagle eyes. She suppressed a sob. Sartrar was dead and would now be nevermore. And Tantrar... She grimaced.
Tantrar! She hated him! He had been so cruel and mean. If he could see her now, she would... she would scratch and claw his hateful face.
Almost unconsciously she extended her claws and raised her arm as if to strike, only to become physically and then visually aware of the numerous metal straps and metallic devices that encircled her arms, legs, and body, presumably so as to keep her still and lying in place.
What an interesting surprise! If the humans were not so silly and dumb, she would have been insulted.
Fragmenting her mind into a hundred fingers of consciousness, she quickly probed, and then disengaged, the numerous locking mechanisms that were supposed to keep her physically immobile on the large bed of shiny metal that sat in the middle of a small room of concrete and lead-lined steal.
Her stomach growled. She was hungry. And, she had to pee. Yet, she knew it would be best to continue lying still. She would allow the healing process to continue, and gather her strength; strength she would soon need to deal with the humans that were gathering outside her cell block door.
Gabriel, with Dr. Kim at his side, tiredly followed the two generals and an armed contingent of U.S. Marines. Why they needed an armed escort was beyond him. Nevertheless, apparently the two generals thought it necessary, for after some heated discussion that seemed to angry the Generals, a discussion that Gabriel couldn't quite make out, they had ordered the Marines to accompany them into the Top Secret National Security Research and Containment Laboratories. Had the alien tried to escape?
The amount of security seemed incredible. Armed soldiers were everywhere. Soon, however, the repeated security checks by heavily armed soldiers, at innumerable security check points, as they descended deeper and deeper into the secured research and containment laboratories, seemed redundant and a waste of time. Not only were there ID checks, but voice print checks and retinal image checks by scanning computers, over and over again. It was crazy, particularly in that, although he had no ID, they allowed him to pass anyway. Some security.
But it was not as crazy as the situation they walked in on in the basement of the National Security Research Containment Laboratories.
Gabriel surveyed the incredible scene. Angry and confused soldiers were pointing rifles and machine guns at each other, at other officers, at the two generals, at white coated technicians who had their hands up, and even at Dr. Kim and himself. Kim was so frightened she had put her arm through his and pulled herself pleasantly close.
Left temporarily unattended were all manner of lab equipment, computers, telecommunications equipment, blinking monitors and video screens.
Adding to the bedlam was the shouting of the two generals. They were arguing with a short and somewhat dumpy looking officer who had identified himself as General Ehud Klein. Klein spoke with a decided Middle Eastern accent.
Ehud? What kind of name was that? he wondered.
And now General Reily was shouting.
"By what right?" General Reily bellowed.
"By order of the Assistant Secretary of Defense," General Ehud Klein yelled back. "Now I am ordering you and your men to drop your weapons!" he shouted.
"And I'm ordering you and your men placed under arrest!" Reily shouted back.
General Klien pulled out his sidearm. He aimed it at General Reily. "And I'm ordering you to drop your weapons. You are to immediately vacate the premises."
General Reily and General McWorter reached for their own sidearms.
Guns were pointed everywhere. Several of the soldiers clicked the safeties off their weapons. The tension was so thick it was palatable. Yet at the same time, the situation struck Gabriel as incredibly ridiculous.
"Now now boys, can't we all just get along?"
Kim looked up at him as if he had just gone insane. Releasing his arm she cautiously backed away, out of the line of fire. Several of the soldiers laughed nervously.
General Klein glared at him with daggers in his eyes. "And who the fuck do you think you are?"
"Me? I know who I am. I'm Dr. Gabriel. Here to see the alien. But, if she's indisposed, I'll just come back later."
A beady eyed, big nosed, bearded man in a white lab coat spoke up. "You've been misinformed, Dr. Gabriel. There is no alien."
"And who might you be?" General Reily demanded.
"I'm Dr. Hymie Kirchstein," he answered. "I've been appointed to take over here."
Kirchstein? Gabriel knew that name. Kirchstein was in charge of NASA's Astrobiology Institute. In charge of ruining it, that is.
"Appointed by who? And where is Dr. Garcia and Dr. Ho Lee?" General Reily demanded.
Kirchstein sneared. He gave a sidelong glance at two men, both of whom were dressed in expensive, well tailored suits. They were standing behind Ehud. One of them stepped forward.
"Dr. Kirchstein has been appointed by NASA. I appointed him. He is taking Dr. Garcia's place."
"And who the hell are you?" General Reily demanded in his loud booming voice.
"I'm Sidney Weinstein, Deputy Assistant to the Chief Administrator of NASA. And this is Ariel Cohen, chief counsel, and special assistant to the Chief Administrator and Liaison to the National Security Agency and the Department of Defense."
"NASA has no authority here," General Reily growled.
Cohen smiled. "I'm afraid your wrong, General. NASA and NASA's Astrobiology Institute are best qualified to be handling this, uh, situation. And this change of plans has already been approved by all acting authorities."
"Bull shit! Lets see the orders!"
"As I said, General...."
"You heard the man," General McWorter seconded. "Lets see the orders."
"General," Cohen said, trying to continue, "Mr. Emanuel Epstein, the Assistant Secretary of Defense, has..."
"Let's see the orders, goddamn it! Now!"
Weinstein and Cohen glanced helplessly at each other and then turned to General Ehud Klien who had stepped forward, menacingly waving his gun.
"Orders? Orders? We don't need to show you any stinking orders," Ehud barked.
"Mexican standoff," Gabriel commented idly. Several of the soldiers laughed.
"Get this fuck out of here," Ehud bellowed.
Kirchstein gave Gabriel an evil smile. "Dr. Gabriel, you heard the general. Your services are no longer needed."
Gabriel laughed. "Fine by me. This is getting boring anyway."
"You're not going anywhere," Reily barked. Turning to one of the soldiers. "Get General LeMay on the phone. Now!"
She lay there on her hard bed of steel, silently observing with her mind's eye. The humans were crazy, she decided, or at least subject to repeated bouts of temporary insanity. But not the insanity that involved hearing and seeing with the mind's eye. This human male madness was driven by hormonal imbalances, an excess of testosterone. Humans were a very primitive and violent species.
The males of her own species, she knew, had similar tendencies, though death was never their aim. The males of her planet battled and struggled for honor and supremacy. Even an accidental death would bring dishonor and terrible shame. Dominance was the name of their game.
Humans were so different, so alien, the males especially. They genuinely desired to kill each other, and in fact, derived pleasure from playing at murder and destroying every living thing. The history of their small planet was written in blood and gore.
With her mind's eyes, she continued to observe, feeling amused. The bluff and bluster of the men in the next room reminded her of the males of her own planet; not the adults, but the little ones, the infants. The mothers of her world had a name for it: The terrible twos. Unfortunately, the humans had weapons that could do much damage, even to her own body, primitive though those weapons may be.
She wondered if she should enter their minds or intervene before they began murdering one another.
The stare down contest continued unabated as they waited to get General LeMay on the phone.
Gabriel leaned heavily against a wall. The tiredness hung on him like a dead weight. Finally, he could stand it no more. "Excuse me, fellows."
All eyes were on him.
"While you guys are trying to figure out whose got pissing rights, I sure would like to get something to eat, take a hot shower, and maybe take a nice long nap. Think that can be arranged?"
General Reily turned to another of the soldiers. "See to it."
Dr. Kim took hold of his arm as an armed Marine led the way. "I'll come with you," she said.
The Marine took them to the commissary and then stood off to the side, watching them discretely as they ordered food and coffee. A few minutes later, Gabriel dug into what was supposed to be scrambled eggs, and then glanced up at Kim who was sitting across the table. He stopped eating.
The two top buttons on her white silk blouse had come undone revealing the upper portion of her smooth, round, upturned breasts, and just a tad of a black Chantilly Lace bra. He wondered if they came lose by accident or if she had unbottoned them on purpose; maybe to entice him perhaps? He dismissed the idea. The woman was all business, and, it did seem rather stuffy and warm in here. Or was it just him getting hot and bothered?
What bothered him even more, however, was all the heavy artillary in the basement of the research and containment labs. It didn't make any sense.
He took another bite of the scrambled eggs and then asked: "Do you have any idea what the hell is going on?"
"Politics," she replied. "All these different government agencies are supposed to be working together," she continued, "but they really don't."
"And why is that?"
She shrugged. "Power. Money. Influence. Defense, the State Department, the National Security Agency... they see each other as the enemy, the competition. These squabbles go on all the time."
"Squabbles? I thought those guys were going to start killing each other."
She nodded. "It was pretty scary."
Gabriel sat back and drained his coffee. He glanced at the Marine and then back at Dr. Kim. He tried not to stare at her breasts. "Whose this General Klein character? Do you know him?"
She shook her head and then opened her bag. "No. But I can find out." She pulled out what looked to be a pocket calculator and then flipped open a viewing screen and a keyboard. Her fingers danced across the small keyboard.
"What's that?" he asked, leaning forward, genuinely curious.
"My computer," she replied without looking up. "It has internet access and plugs right into the main frame at the National Security Agency."
"Its wireless. Very advanced. Very top secret," she replied. She continued typing.
"Well then, I'll take two," he remarked idly.
"OK. Here we go," she said, and then stared at the words appearing on the small screen. "Ehud Klein. Born in Israel. Educated at Tel Aviv University. Joined the Israeli Army in 1996 and was commissioned as a lieutenant. Transferred to the Sayaret, the Israeli Special Forces, and promoted to Captain in 1996. Received advanced training at the University of the Americas..."
"That's where they train right wing terrorists, right?" Gabriel asked.
She gave him a wry smile. "That's not how the U.S. Government characterizes it, but yes. They provide training to foreign military officers."
"Like torture techniques, right?"
"Interrogation, is how they put it."
Dr.Kim continued reading: "Credited with 29 kills of Palestinian terrorists including women and children. Decorated for valor. Promoted to Major in 1998." "Guess his training paid off," Gabriel remarked wrly.
"Lets see. Ehud Klein was granted U.S. citizenship by a special disposition of the Clinton Administration in 2000. He was sponsored by 10 U.S. Senators."
"He has dual citizenship. Lets see," she continued to read. "He received a commission in the U.S. Army in 2000, at the rank of Captain, was assigned as a special liaison to the Secretary of State, specializing in Middle Eastern affairs. Promoted to Major in 2001. Lt. Colonel in 2002. Colonel in 2003. General in 2004."
"That's incredible. Nobody rises in the ranks that fast."
"And he's still a citizen of Israel?"
"And the United States."
"That's really bizarre...." Gabriel took a sip from his coffee cup, only to discover it was empty. He stared thoughtfully into the empty cup.
"What are you thinking?" she asked.
Gabriel gazed at her and smiled. She was so beautiful and so incredibly sexy it made him ache. "I'm thinking I need another cup of coffee, and then a shower, and then some sleep." He winked at her, and then smiled mischieviously: "Care to join me?"
"Yes," she said without smiling. "Another cup of coffee would be nice." She was all business.
Gabriel leaned back from the table and savored the coffee and the beautiful woman who sat across from him. She was busily laying out photos, x-rays and other documents on the table. If given the chance, he would love to take her in his arms, bite and kiss her all over her pretty face, neck, and breasts, and then strip her naked and rip off her panties with his teeth. Cunnilingus was not something he normally fancied, but this beautiful vanilla-coconut flavored woman.... mmmm mmmm mmmm, he could spend all night exploring her pussy with his fingers and tongue.
She leaned down and forward, her eyes on the photos. He could see right down into her open blouse, and stared hungrily at her naked nipples and breasts.
"I want you to look at something," she said, her eyes on the photos.
"Damn, honey. I'm looking. I'm looking."
She gazed up at him. He tore his eyes away from her breasts. She sat up, her face unsmiling, one hand reaching toward the open buttons of her blouse. But then she gave him an inscrutable look and turned her attention back to the documents and photos.
"These are the photos and x-rays of the female," she began. "And these are of the male."
"Now, I wrote down what you were saying as we rode over here..."
She stared at him, wondering how he would respond: "And I know you believe these creatures are telepathic."
He didn't flinch. He didn't seem surprised that she knew what he had already told Lahey.
"They were monitoring... tape recording your comments back on the jet," she offered, by way of explanation.
He smiled. "So I guess that means you're not telepathic."
"No. Not at all."
He smiled and the stared boldly at her breasts. "Are you sure? See if you can guess what I'm thinking."
She blushed, and then reached up with her hand as if to button her blouse.
"No," Gabriel said in a commanding voice. He reached over and took hold of her hand. "Don't do that. I like looking at you."
He continued to hold her hand, running his fingers over her cool skin. She blushed a deep red, but left her hand in his.
"Dr. Gabriel..." she said softly. "Please. Don't." Still, she left her little hand in his.
"You have such nice skin. It would be fun to kiss you all over."
She pulled her hand away. "Dr. Gabriel. Please. Stop."
Gabriel laughed. "Don't. Stop. Don't stop. Don't stop. Give me a chance, honey, and I promise you, I won't stop."
"Dr. Gabriel. Please. You're embarrassing me."
"Dr. Gabriel! Please." She was no longer smiling. With a single sweep of her hand she fastened the two buttons of her silk blouse. It was back to business.
Gabriel shrugged. "Can't blame a boy for trying."
"I wouldn't know," she replied evenly. "I never date boys."
"Ah, touchZˇ. OK. I'll behave. Now what is it you wanted to talk about?"
She glanced around the room, saw what she was looking for, and then got up from her chair.
"You'll have to excuse me," she said.
She began walking away, and then shot him a look. "I'll be right back."
Damn, he thought. What's she going to do, report me? He watched as she strolled into the woman's bathroom, and then silently cursed himself for having been so forward. "Shit. I blew it," he mumbled. "Damn!"
He needn't have been so hard on himself. If he had been telepathic he would've realized that she really wasn't mad. She just needed to remove some very wet panties.
Aziel, Commander of the Outer Star Fleet reached out with his mind's eye and issued the necessary orders, since he was in fact top dog.
Tantrar, also known as the "Howling Wolf" would lead the killing eagle squadron. His second in command, Ishtrar the "Screaming Eagle," and by order of Space Command, Plushtrar, Solis, and Brakas would pilot the accompanying attacking fleet.
The appointment of Brakas, came as an unpleasant surprise. That Brakas was fierce and brave, there could be no doubt. There were few who were as ruthless and cunning as Brakas. Also known as "Lone Wolf," Bracas, if provoked and given half the chance would leap for your throat. Cross him and Brakas was ready to pounce, which made him dangerous indeed.
Brakas, aka: Lone Wolf, had a history of leaping for the throat, and on more than one occasion had to be restrained before he slashed and killed. Killing, Tantrar suspected, would give Brakas a blood lust thrill.
Tantrar did not trust the Lone Wolf, who was not a team player. Yet he hid his thoughts and his dismay deep within his mind, secreting them within the deeper layers where they could not be accessed even by the most astute of his kind.
Brakas too, hid his thoughts, and his mind. He had in fact become so closed minded that Tantrar suspected that Brakas had something terrible to hide. But what? Treachery? Personal ambition? Yet, when Tantrar serepticiously searched that mind, he detected only angry arrogance and the foolishness of foolish pride.
That Brakas was ambitious and wished to become top dog should be no cause for shame; many had the same desire, including Tantrar who had long ago earned his eagle wings. Competition, the seeking of dominance, was the name of the game. Yet, Brakas was not just hiding his ambitious thoughts. He was up to something, but what that something was, with the mind's eye, was yet to be seen.
Tantrar seated himself in the command module that had been specially designed to accommodate his tail, wings, and massive frame. Closing his eyes Tantrar withdrew and searched his mind, and then communed with the collective unconscious for logistics and the proper killing strategy. They would approach the problem like a game.
The starry heavens burst asunder, his mind soaring on eagle wings. Planets, stars, and galaxies rushed hither and yonder, and the universe began to sing. Rivers of darkness, studded with planets like diamonds shone, his mind racing onwards, searching for the robot killers his mind began to roam.
Since the robot killers were not really alive, he and the others had few qualms about killing them. They were a menace to all living things, which included, of course, his own species. They had to be destroyed; though he also knew, the prospects of ultimate success were exceedingly slim.
Although psychologically, Tantrar and his kind were adverse to murder, when it came to survival, one must kill and kill again, so long as they did so with regret and honorably, and not just to appease a blood lust whim.
The problem with destroying the robotic killers was that destruction was but a means without an end. The robots, after all, were just machines that could reproduce with amazing ease; they had long ago been designed as such, by ancient humans, to go forth and war and win.
However, in a curious reversal of bioengineering, the computational power of the robots was provided by huge neural banks of interlinked mammalian brains. Living tissue served the machines, instead of the other way around. The problem: Find, then kill the living, thinking brains, and the machines would die, the end.
To win the war against the machines required that his own species, and those like them, search out and destroy these vast neural nests and synaptic networks of living brains. Unfortunately, although his species had waged several successful attacks, these were few and far between. Worse yet: brains too, could regenerate and be easily replaced; all it required was but a dash of DNA.
The ends were obvious. They just lacked the means.
This was a problem Marslastarla had been working on before he drove her away. Since the killer robots may have been first built by humans, millions if not billions of years ago, then understanding and finding the solution, she argued, lay not in the future, but in the past, in the forgotten long ago. She need find a still primitive human race.
"Marslastarla!" he silently howled. "I love you, where can you be?" "In the arms of Sarttra!" came an unwelcome thought. Unconsciously he angrily flapped his wings.
Tantrar, and his second in command, Ishtrar, fixed the coordinates for what would be a relatively short journey; "relatively," considering the incredible distance they would travel. Although, almost incomprehensibly vast indeed, their species had long ago learned that so long as they ignored the illusion of "the straight line" that travel from one universe to the next took less time than traveling from one end of a universe to the farthest galaxy.
Time, they had learned millions of years ago, was distance; the distance between two moments. Yet, the same moment could exist simultaneously in multiple regions of the cosmos, and even in the same room. One could therefore begin a journey and end a journey in the same moment, even though they had traveled a vast distance. Hence: the secret of the mind's eye. In fact, they could arrive before they departed, but only if one were measuring time from the point of arrival.
However, the same journey could also take a lifetime, or billions of years, but only if one set their trajectory according to the illusion of a straight line and the movement of light. This is because the shortest distance between two distant points was not a straight line. Straight lines, were an illusion of light and gravity.
Since light is effected by gravity, and can be twisted, bent, turned upside down, stretched and spun in multiple directions as it travels through space, "straight lines" also bend and twist in different directions; at least when considered on a galactic scale. The shortest distance between two galactic points was not always a straight line, as straight lines were illusions. The longer the "straight line" the greater the illusion; a function of the tremendous and unequal gravitational forces of all the matter and anti-matter in the cosmos.
What was actually "curved" might appear to be a straight line, and what was a "straight line" might appear to be curved, depending on the length of the distance and gravitational variations in different regions of the cosmos; like the refraction of a stick that appears to bend when one end is submerged in a pool of water.
If you were to set your trajectory according to the illusion of a "straight line" or where the end point of a target appears to be, an incredible amount of time would be wasted going up then down, then back then forth, and so on. It would be like trying to get to a spot 1000 miles behind you by walking straight forward and clear around the world simply because the forward curve of the world had been evened out and was not apparent whereas distance to the spot behind you had been stretched and bent by the unequal distribution of gravitational forces. The spot behind you might not be visible (that is, from a galatic scale) due to the gravitational curvature of light and the bending and stretching of the "straight line." Because of unequal cosmic gravitational forces, the point behind, beside, or above you might be visible only by looking straight ahead; and would thus be viewed as further away that it is.
In order to find the shortest route between two points that seemed incredibly far apart, one had to take into consideration not only the illusions of light and the illusion of the straight line, but the organization of the cosmos.
If the cosmos were visualized in terms of light and space, then on one hand the innumerable universes that made up the cosmos could be viewed as stacked and organized in infinite series of rows and columns. However, because of gravity, not just light, but the rows and columns were also bent and twisted, creating furrows, walls, and spatial sulci.
In consequence, if you traveled along the "walls" of the spatial sulci, from one universe to the next, you might journey down the wall of one universe, pass through a chasm of space, and then journey up the wall to the other universe. This, however, would be an incredible waste of time.
It is much easier to leap from the "wall" of one universe to the "wall" of the other universe, which were essentially adjacent, like a ceiling and a floor. The only reason these "walls" seemed so far apart, was because of the illusion of the straight line which, like light, was bent, stretched, and twisted by gravity. By succumbing to the illusions of light, and by failing to realize that light can be bent and stretched, one might begin following the light and travel the wrong way instead of directly toward an adjacent universe that was actually right on top or beside or beneath you, wasting a lot of time in the process.
Tantrar had no time to waste. He and his convoy of space war craft, piloted by Ishtrar, Plushtrar, Solis, and Brakas, were to immediately depart. They were dressed to kill and would slash and rip and tear the robot killers apart.
According to the calculations generated by the collective unconscious, Tantrar and his crew of two, and the other four space war craft, would arrive in the next universe, in exactly 1.2478 suns (about 1.5 days). It would take an additional .6234 suns to reach the galaxy designated by the last signal transmitted from Marslastarla.
Unfortunately, they could not arrive before the departed.
Fortunately, at least according to their calculations, they could reach their destination before the arrival of the robot killers.
Then they would lie in wait, like a spider, for the two robotic battle ships and the robotic Destroyer. Then they would kill them.
Mission accomplish, Tantrar would track down his lady love, and win her back from Sattrar.
Forget pride. Forget honor. Tantrar would do almost anything. Anything! He would even say he was sorry. He would offer her the stars.
Holding her close, breathing in her vanilla-coconut fragrance, Gabriel kissed and licked her lips, her eyes, her neck, her silky skin. With one hand he deftly released then removed her Chantilly Lace black bra, and fondled and squeezed her amazing breasts. She moaned with desire, his beautiful Asian princess, his lips and tongue now kissing and sucking the nipples of her succulent upturned breasts.
Gabriel drunk with desire, slowly felt along her silky thighs, his fingers slipping beneath her black panties, now touching, exploring, and entering her sweet vagina. His sweet Asian princess moaned and sighed.
Slowly, gently, as he kissed and sucked her nipples and sweet breasts, he pulled her panties down... and kissing biting her chest, her tummy, her knees and her thighs, he spread her long legs, his fingers and tongue deep inside. Probing, touching, licking and feeling her clit, he spread her legs...
....he spread her sweet thighs, he was drunk with desire, his cock so huge that he felt on fire...
....She was calling his name, moaning with anticipated desire, he spread her long legs....
....he was almost inside her....
"Dr. Gabriel? Are you awake? Dr. Gabriel?"
Gabriel rolled over and flicked open his eyes. Darkness. Someone knocking on the door. Where was he? Darkness. Was someone calling his name? Where was he? This wasn't his bed. Darkness. He could see nothing.
Gabriel sat up, completely disoriented.
Suddenly he knew where he was. Sitting on a bunk in a private room in the barracks of the Research and Containment Laboratories. He had been sleeping.
Again the knocking. "Dr. Gabriel? Are you awake? Rise and shine!" It was Dr. Kim.
"Just a minute," he answered. Then he remembered the dream. "Damn," he muttered. "So close, and yet so far."
Finding and flicking on the light, he then slipped on his clothes, found the bathroom, relieved himself, splashed some water on his face, gurgled with cold water, and then opened the door. He gazed out at Dr. Kim, and three others, two men and a woman who were garbed in white lab coats. An armed Marine stood off to the side.
"This is Dr. Garcia, Dr. Lee, and Dr. Meyer," she said.
A few minutes later they were all gathered together in Dr. Maria Garcia's small and somewhat cramped private office. Books and journals lined the shelves. A painting of an Aztec princess covered in jewels her arms raised to the sun, and another of an Aztec King and his attendants tearing the heart from a sacrificial victim, graced her walls. On her desk, a bloated brain lay in a glass tank of formaldehyde. It didn't look happy.
Dr. Maria Garcia was a gray haired and attractive woman, her sharp nose and cheek bones bespeaking of her Aztec heritage and giving her a stern air of commanding authority. Even with the white lab coat, it was obvious she was a good looking women.
Gabriel wondered if she were single.
Although her fingers were bestudded with gold and silver and turquoise rings, she wore no jewelry to suggest she was married. Probably married to her job, Gabriel thought.
Quickly Dr. Garcia cleared her desk of papers, books, notes, and the scientific journals she'd been reading. A digital clock on the edge of her desk read: 4:15.
Gabriel glanced at the clock and then some of the titles: Journal of Comparative Neurology, Brain Research, and, to his mild surprise, his textbook in neuroscience and astrobiology... which she picked up and held out to him:
"Interesting book," she said. "You should read it," she deadpanned.
Dr. Mannie Meyer also laughed. "I admit, Dr. Gabriel, that I stopped reading when I got to the part about light traveling faster than the speed of light."
Gabriel raised a single eyebrow and looked at him askance.
"But then two months later, an article appeared in Nature, verifying your statements. Obviously, " Dr. Meyer continued, "you knew something the rest of us didn't. I immediately devoured the rest of it. Given the situation that is before us now, I must admit that I and my colleagues were wrong and that NASA made a big mistake by firing you."
"Wrong about what?" Gabriel asked.
"Well. Obviously life has evolved on other planets, just as you said. And, like you said, it is clear that even if humans don't evolve, human-like creatures will evolve in their place. This creature has definite human-like features, even though it appears to be more wolf-like than human; a wolf with wings that is. Those are just some of the reasons we requested your help. You were obviously on to something well before the rest of us. A lot of people are going to feel foolish when this gets out," Dr. Meyer added.
"I'm sure they will find a way to claim they knew it all along," Gabriel commented wryly.
"Yes. Hindsight is always 20 20," Dr. Garcia sagely added.
"There are a lot of idiots, out there," Meyer stated matter of factly. "A lot of them have a lot of power. Kirchstein, for example. What a fool. When your book first came out, he was one of the first to denounce it and to demand that you be fired. NASA fell all over itself in the hysteria to have you fired. Like I said, a lot of people are going to feel foolish."
"You pointed out what a lot of people were just too blind to see," Dr. Lee added. "Me incl
Gabriel merely grinned. "Flattery will get you nowhere. What I want to know is: where is the money?"
Dr. Kim, Gabriel was pleased to see, was beaming at him.
Gabriel leaned close, taking in her vanilla coconut scent, and whispered in her ear.
"I had a dream about you!"
The beaming smile disappeared from her face.
"Oh, did you?" she replied softly.
"No," he laughed. "I woke up too soon."
"OK, " Dr. Garcia commanded. "Lets get down to business. Shall we?"
Drs. Kim, Garcia, and Lee took seats around her desk, whereas Dr. Meyer hovered over their shoulders. Gabriel, instead leaned against a bookcase and folded his arms.
"What exactly is the situation here? " he asked. "What's the story with the alien? Do we get to examine her or not?"
Dr. Garcia folded her hands and made a wry face. "Politics," she replied disdainfully. "The word has come down, " she began, "that I am to remain in charge of the facility. However, Dr. Hymie Kirchstein is to co-direct the investigation."
"And where is the good Dr. Kirchstein?" Gabriel asked.
"He chose not to attend our meeting," she replied evenly.
Gabriel frowned. "That doesn't make any sense."
"He's an asshole," Dr. Meyer interjected. "I don't trust him."
"Generals McWorter and Reily have also been reassigned," Dr. Kim added. "General Ehud Klein is now the commanding officer."
"Why is that?" Gabriel asked.
"Anti-Semitism," Dr. Meyer stated. He looked chagrined.
"What?" Gabriel asked.
Meyer shrugged. "It's bullshit, of course. But they have both been reprimanded for making anti-Semitic slurs to another officer."
"Another officer? That guy is not even an American."
"Dual citizenship," Kim reminded him.
"That's just crazy! How can they make some guy a general in command of U.S. armed forces when he's a citizen of another country?"
"Dual citizenship," Kim stated again. "Its not all that unusual. Almost a fourth of all the officials in the State Department have dual citizenship. With the U.S. and Israel, that is. And the same is true in the Pentagon, the Department of Defense, and the National Security Council. There are a lot of government officials who were born in other countries."
Gabriel shook his head. "That's crazy."
"That's politics," Garcia added. "Money and politics. Everything is for sale. Even our national security."
"I was born in the United States," Dr. Lee suddenly blurted somewhat defensively. "My ancestors came to California 150 years ago."
Gabriel laughed. "I'm Cro-Magnon, myself."
"Cro-Magnon?" Dr. Garcia asked.
"A very ancient race," Gabriel added. "In fact, if you go back far enough, my ancestors are not of the Earth. They came from other planets."
Meyer chuckled good naturedly. "According to Dr. Gabriel, we all came from other planets. Our DNA, that is. Says so right in his book, Astrobiology. The seeds of life swarm throughout the cosmos, and some of those seeds fell to earth. Did I get that right?"
Gabriel nodded. "You got it!"
Dr. Garcia cleared her throat. "Well be that as it may, it is clear that some of those seeds also fell on other planets, and it looks like the descendants of at least some of those seeds have decided to visit the earth and take a look around. Now one of the things we need to figure out, is, why? Shall we get down to business?"
"Have any of you had the opportunity to look over the alien space craft?" Gabriel asked as he took a seat.
"No," Dr. Garcia responded.
"What do we know about it? Anything?"
"Nothing," she replied.
"Do we know for certain there are only two aliens?" he asked.
"If there is another one, " Dr. Kim replied, "they haven't told us about it."
"How did you guess there was a second alien? That the dead alien had a companion?" Dr. Garcia asked.
Gabriel grinned. "From the size of his sex organ, for one. And from the size of his limbic system, the amygdala in particular. Where's the MRI scans? I'll show you."
Gabriel frowned in puzzlement and looked from face to face. "Is there something you're not telling me?"
Dr. Garcia cleared her throat. "General Klein has confiscated all the records."
"He sent in his goons and they took everything," Dr. Meyer added.
"The mother fucker!" Gabriel exclaimed. "How the fuck... Excuse me. How the hell are we supposed to...Whose got them? Kirchstein?"
"Who knows?" Dr. Meyer responded gloomily.
"Well, damn. Then what are we supposed to do?"
"Let's go over what we do know," Dr. Garcia stated matter of factly.
"What all do we know?" Gabriel asked.
"We know," Dr. Garcia began, "that two aliens were badly injured when their space craft collided with the International Space Station. We know that the Aliens lost control and that the space craft apparently caught fire as it fell to Earth. We know it a crashed into a cow pasture in West Virginia. We also know both aliens were badly injured. They were unconscious when their bodies were recovered. And, we know one of the Aliens died."
"And we also know," Dr. Kim added, "that both aliens began to show signs of healing. Both bodies began to recover, but then one died, and then it apparently disintegrated."
Dr. Lee spoke up: "The tissue samples, from the dead Alien also disintegrated. They began to decompose the moment we removed the samples from the body. So we have absolutely no blood work, no DNA samples. Nothing."
"And the other Alien has continued to heal?" Gabriel asked.
Dr. Lee nodded.
"What do you make of the six bony fingers? Or are those talons?" Gabriel asked.
"Two of those talons," Dr. Lee remarked, "are more like thumbs. They have two thumbs in addition to four middle digits, two thumbs to each hand, or rather, paw."
Gabriel whistled. "Two thumbs per hand?" He looked down at his own hands and wiggled his fingers. He tried to visualize what it would be like to have an extra thumb next to his pinky. "An extra thumb would give them an amazing degree of manual dexterity."
"Sure would," Kim agreed.
"And what about those wings?" Gabriel asked. "Certainly they can't be used for flight. Are they just decorative?"
"No," Dr. Lee replied. The wings do have movement capabilities. However, my guess is that they are used like a solar battery."
"Yes. Collecting and storing light and heat which is then converted to energy."
"Energy for what?" Dr. Kim asked.
Dr. Lee shrugged."Beats me."
Dr. Meyer cleared his throat: "We also know these creatures possess two sets of lungs. They also have a set of gills. This means that they are able to breath under water and can probably extract oxygen under even the most poisonous of gaseous and atmospheric conditions. Coupled with the additional chambers of the heart and their incredible powers of healing, they would be able to easily survive even when exposed to an extremely hazardous environment, under conditions that would kill most of us in just a few minutes."
"Yet, they can still die. They can be killed," Dr. Kim added. "That is, so long as you destroy the brain." She looked to Gabriel for confirmation.
He nodded in the affirmative.
"Is there any sign that the surviving Alien suffered brain damage?" Gabriel asked.
"We don't know," Dr. Garcia replied.
"Have any of you had a chance to examine it?"
"Has anyone tried to communicate with it?" Gabriel asked.
A sea of silent skeptical faces turned to him.
"Didn't it communicate with you?" Dr. Meyer finally asked.
Dr. Kim thought she knew the answer, and waited to hear what he would say.
It was Gabriel's turn to be silent.
"Did it?" Dr. Garcia demanded.
Gabriel took a deep breath, ran his hand over his face, and then stared at the ceiling. How to explain this, he wondered.
"Well?" Dr. Garcia asked.
"I got this feeling," Gabriel began and then stopped.
"As I am sure all of you know, I believe the creature is telepathic."
"So it did communicate with you!" Dr. Garcia exclaimed.
Gabriel looked around the room, his eyes searching. "Who else do you think is listening?"
"You mean, other than the Alien?" Dr. Meyer asked.
The room echoed with nervous laughter.
A sullen and irritated General Ehud Klien, accompanied by 8 of his hand picked soldiers, marched into the observation laboratories adjacent to the concrete and lead lined steal containment cell that housed the alien. Cohen, Weinstein, and Dr. Kirchstein followed.
General Klien immediately dismissed all the technicians, and as his men pointed their automatic rifles for emphasis, he ordered them out of the room.
A quick glance at one of the video monitors confirmed that the Alien, this evil thing, this abomination, had still not moved. It lay there as if dead.
Klein knew what he had to do. He had orders. He had to kill it. The body, he had been assured, would quickly self destruct.
Klein stared at the monitor. He was of two minds.
The value, militarily, of such a creature, could well be beyond reckoning. Could be; though there was no guarantee. Worse, those who would most likely gain the most, would be the United States; a mongrel nation of subhumans and loathsome animals that he would soon enslave or kill.
Militarily, there was also the concern that this evil thing that had fallen from the skies, was a scout, a spy. A mother ship brimming with these monstrosities could be hovering somewhere out there beyond the sky. If only he could question it first.
Klien new how to get information. There was the shabeth, a weighted sap, perfect for inflicting horrible pain and bruising, but which spared bones so that prisoners did not die from shock. And the concrete coffin, where broken prisoners would be confined for weeks until they began to talk.
Klein generally preferred more direct measures; electricity, knives, saws, and 25 pound hammars.... He had personally tortured dozens of Palestinian donkeys to death. In the end, they begged to talk if only he would kill them. Klien allowed them a brief respite to speak, but would then continue the torture and prolong their miserable lives for weeks. Torture was useful, and a source of personal pleasure to see and hear the "rag heads" scream and cry.
Until the Americans protested, the Israeli government had given full approval to methods that had always proved most useful. And then the Americans began to protest, and his methods had been outlawed and condemned. Of course, torture was still permitted
The Americans! Klien almost spit. How he despised these arrogant animals, creatures that stood upright but had no souls. But, then, though loathsum beasts they be, they had their uses; money, power, and soon the American military.
He knew the prophecies. He was a religious man. The Americans, these subhumans, would someday be slaves of Israel, their women and daughters sucking and fucking the chosen ones: Israeli men. God would deliver this Gentile nation and all its wealth and power into Israeli hands. Someday soon they would kill the men, enslave the women and little ones, and send these sex slaves packing to the Promised Land. It had all been unfolding exactly as God planned.
Silently General Klein repeated the prophecies from Deuteronomy, Isaiah and the Holy Talmud:
"Talmud Sofrim 15:10 R. Shimon ben Yochai taught: Kill (even) the good among the gentiles."
"Talmud: The best of the Gentiles--kill him; the best of snakes--dash out its brains."
"Talmud SanHedrin 57a. When a Jew murders a gentile there will be no death penalty."
"Talmud Baba Kamma 37b. The gentiles are outside the protection of the law and God has exposed their money to Israel."
"Deuteronomy 6:10-11. Great and goody cities, which thou didst not build and houses full of all good things which thou didst not fill, and cisterns hewn, which thou didst not hew, and vineyards and olive-trees, which thou didst not plant, and thou shalt eat and be satisfied."
"Isaiah 49:6-8. This is what the LORD says, the Redeemer and Holy One of Israel: "Kings will see you and rise up, princes will see and bow down, because of the LORD, who is faithful, the Holy One of Israel, who has chosen you."
"Isaiah 60:13-15. The sons of your oppressors will come bowing before you; all who despise you will bow down at your feet and will call you the City of the LORD, Zion of the Holy One of Israel."
"Isaiah, 49: 22. I will raise my hand against other nations...and they shall bring your sons in their bosoms, and carry your daughters on their backs. Kings shall tend your children, Their queens shall serve you as nurses. They shall bow down to you, face to the ground, and lick the dust off your feet."
"Isaiah 60, 5, 16. The riches of nations shall flow to you... and the nation that does not serve you shall perish; Such nations shall be destroyed.... you shall suck the milk of other nations...who will bow down to you..."
Klien gritted his teeth in anger. He could not understand. What had gone wrong? All the years of planning, the U.S. government nearly in their hands, Israelis in all key positions... Gore would win and then they'd kill him, and Lieberman an Orthodox religious Jew, would have been President in his stead. It was God's plan.
They won! Then it was all stolen from them. What had happened? Why? What had gone wrong?
Klien could think of only one answer: The evil one. He gazed again at the monitor: The Evil One.
Politically, the existence of such a monstrosity would be suicide for the Israeli state. Christians and even Jews would begin to doubt. If there were no God, then by what right could they claim to be the Chosen Ones whose destiny was the enslavement of all nations as was their God-given right.
Klein knew there was a God. The Jews were His "godly children." Of this he had no doubt. Now God was testing them, testing him, testing their faith.
It was the Evil One who had waylaid their well thought out plans.
The Evil One! God was testing them. Were they worthy? Killing it was a test.
Klein knew what he had to do. It had to be destroyed. Now it would die.
Klein instructed four of his men to begin destroying all the records, files, tapes, and any other evidence of the alien's existence, and to make it look as if the alien had run amuck wihtin the observation room.They immediately began destroying hard drives and tearing up files and equipment.
Satisfied, Klein ordered his remaining men to lock and load. Brandishing his own weapon, he ordered that the concrete lead-lined door be opened, and then in he marched, flanked by his well armed men.
The Alien lay there, still and unmoving.
Now it would die.
Her consciousness had separated into a multiplicity of minds; sprouting into an ever increasing number of mental tentacles which probed and explored the thoughts and memories of the teaming human multitudes. She searched and explored not just out of idle curiosity, but for answers. Humans, she was sure, were responsible for the creation of the robot killers, and humans were basically identical. They behaved the same, went through the same stages of evolutionary metamorphosis, created the same architecture, the same cultures, the same weapons of war, and cities which were basically identical, no matter what planet they evolved on.
Given a suitable environment, and barring environmental cosmic catastrophes, over eons of time the same genetic seeds inevitably gave rise to the same step-wise sequence of increasing complexity; beginning with simple microbes and then more complex creatures, all of which would genetically engineer the environment and the womb of the planet in preparation for those yet to be born.
Oxygen would be secreted by the first inhabitants of new born worlds, thus building up an oxygen atmosphere, including free oxygen in the oceans and streams; a billion years later calcium would be secreted enabling creatures with shells and bones and jaws and fins to evolve and swim beneath the seas; and then a hundred millions years later fins would become simple legs which would enable some creatures to crawl upon land; fish-like creatures that would give rise to amphibians, followed by reptiles, repto-mammals, therapsids, mammals, and, quite frequently, creatures similar to humans, or variations of woman and man.
Of course, different genetic seeds were usually strewn upon innumerable worlds within the same galaxy. And these genetic seeds would sprout increasingly complex species which looked and behaved nothing like mammals or humans.
The genetic seeds of life flow throughout the cosmos. But the DNA contained in some of these seeds often possess wholly different genetic instructions. Once these seeds fell upon a suitable planet, simple creatures would also emerge and begin the genetic engineering and modification of the atmosphere, climate, and environment of the planet. Although a step wise metamorphosis would ensue, all manner of highly complex and intelligent creatures would evolve instead of humans.
Generally, similar if not identical genetic seeds fell on planets located in adjacent solar systems. And identical seeds almost always fell upon every planet in the same solar system, though usually only a single planet could actually provide the gravity, water, heat, and other necessities which would although these seeds to sprout and give rise to complex life.
Usually, only a single planet per solar system was suitable for growing complex creatures. Often there were no suitable planets. They might be too large, too small, too far away or too close to the sun, or lacking water and other essential necessities of life.
It was not uncommon, however, for two planets within the same solar system to sprout complex creatures, as was evidently the case in this solar system.
In addition to the Earth, the fourth planet from the sun, which she was amused to learn, had been named Mars, had also proved suitable for growing humans. Mars, as was evident when she and Sattrar briefly visited that world, had long ago experienced some incredible cosmic calamity. What first caught their mind's eye, was the face:
The atmosphere and seas had long ago been stripped away, perhaps by the gravitational pull of a wayward planet... perhaps an Earth-sized world that had crossed orbits and veered to close to Mars...
She could still visualize this great cosmic event in the imagination of her mind's eye...the Martian atmosphere, oceans and seas rising up into the sky by the gravitational pull of a passing planet... and then trailing behind this great planetary orb like a giant cosmic tail...
And now the great Martian cities lay under tons of solid mud and debris... and only a few giant pyramids, and a single massive face of stone, staring upward into the abyss, were all that remained of the civilizations of Mars.
Except for microbes and simple multi-cellular creatures that dwelled beneath and sometimes slithered above the mud packed surface, almost all of Martian life had died out and became extinct.
Of course, there was always the possibility that some of the Martians had escaped from the red and rusting planet. She wondered if any Martians had escaped to Earth...
Though intrigued by the question of Mars, Marslastarla had more pressing concerns; there were matters more important than satisfying idle curiosity. The humans in the next room were opening the door to her concrete and lead-lined steal cell. The humans were going to kill her.
Marslarstarla focused her mind's eye.
And then, to her genuine surprise, she discovered that one of the men, Ehud Klein, possessed information that she had come to this world to pursue. Marslastarla had nearly given up her quest, as it seemed the humans were still so primitive they had not yet evolved the necessary intelligence to create the robotic brains or the viral contagions whose secrets she came to seek.
The humans of this planet were working on creating the virus!
As the door swung open, and the armed uniformed soldiers marched in, she scanned and probed deep into the mind of Ehud Klein.
Like so many fingers reaching out from a multitude of hands, tentacles of her mind shot outward to probe the thoughts, minds, and memories of all those that Klein knew to be working on these viral weapons of war.
Tel Aviv, Washington D.C., Berlin, Paris, Baghdad, and Tehran...so many secret laboratories hoping to wage viral war...
The Pentagon and the United States Defense Department, she immediately learned, had secretly funded what they called: "The Human Genome Project." Although they dressed up their intentions in niceties, the purpose of the project was to unravel human DNA so as to make genetic weapons of war.
In Tel Aviv, and Washington D.C., two massive research facilities were working secretly hand in hand. They were desperately seeking to create deadly diseases and viral organisms which would selectively attack an "enemies" DNA.
Marslastarla continued to search and probe.
An organization called the National Institutes of Health, directed by a woman Klein thought of as a member of his "tribe," were genetically engineering a deadly virus which had killed millions just a hundred years before.
The military of the United States and Israel both wished to create deadly viral organisms that would target the DNA of specific racial ethnic groups, while sparing their own.
Once perfected, the military authorities of both nations intended to secretly release these viral organisms as a weapon of war. The nation of Israel would test the weapon first.
She tried to make sense of the thoughts used to describe the first who would be exterminated: "rag heads" and "sand niggers," would be the first to die. And unbeknownst to the Americans, following that success, Klien's "tribe" would genetically engineer a virus that would kill something called: "goyim."
What did these words mean? Was this the forerunner to the viral contagions the robotic killers used to exterminate humans and every living thing?
Swiftly she leaped back into the mind of Klein, and then back to the minds of those whose identities she discovered in his memories and thoughts, and then back again as he and his men stepped into her cell and raised their guns.
General Ehud Klein had the attributes she associated with the Robot Killers. Klein was seething with hate and venom, and not just for her, but for all living creatures that were different from his "tribe."
Klein, she realized, was no different from most of the other humans on this planet, or the humans of any other world for that matter. Humans were haters. They were killers. What was different, what could not be controlled and dominated, was a threat and would be utterly destroyed. Yet, even when they achieved dominance, they tortured, humiliated and killed; the men especially, sometimes indiscriminately, often just for fun. They even made a game of fighting, and called it sport, with different teams symbolizing an enemy that was to be dominated, humiliated, and beaten into submission.
Klein and his "tribe" were stereotypical humans, she realized, no better and no worse. Yet, as they were intending to kill her, and posed an immediate threat to her safety, she would have to protect herself from injury and hurt.
Klein gritted his teeth fiercely and glared at the evil thing. An angel of Satan, it was lying almost within reach. Without taking his eyes from the creature he ordered his men to take careful aim. Klein did not want automatic weapons fire bouncing off the concrete walls and maybe striking some of his own men.
"Aim for the head," he commanded.
Four uniformed soldiers pointed their automatic weapons at Marslarstarla's head. In the next room there was the sound of equipment being smashed and broken.
All the guns were fired at once, but to Klein's surprise, and that of his men, the weapons only went: Click. Click. Click. Click. Click. Click. Click. Click. Click. Click. Click. Click.
She lay still, an almost imperceptible smile on her face. The primitive weapons were easily disabled. Her mind had done the trick.
With her mind's eye she could read their shocked, confused, and frightened thoughts, and could see them reflected in each and every face. The humans were amusing.
Yet, she knew what would happen next.
Klein quickly got over his surprise, and then pulled and fired his own weapon, which like the others merely went: Click. Click. Click.
Klein was almost apoplectic with rage.
"Damn it. God damn it!" He bellowed, and then threw the weapon which struck her in the head.
She flinched from the sudden pain.
Klein would not stop until he killed her, and two others in the room were of the same mind. She would have to stop them, and now was the time.
Her amusement became regret.
Klein looked wildly about the room, and then roughly pulled a saber from the sheath of one of his soldiers.
Brandishing the saber, he screamed "You are going to die!" and then marched over to Cohen. Cohen, his eyes wide with fear and confusion, stumbled backwards trying to get out of the way.
Klein grabbed Cohen roughly by the lapels of his stylish and expensive coat. Cohen, his mouth wide with fear, put out his hands to protect himself and to push Klein away. Klein raised the saber over his head and slashed away half of Cohen's fingers. Blood splurted from the angry red stumps.
Cohen stared at his bloody hand as if hypnotized, and then looked back at Klein, his face uncomprehending.
As Cohen watched wide eye, Klein arched his arm back, and then stabbed Cohen in the neck, the blade passing from front to back, cleanly through Cohen's throat.
Blood shot into the air, spraying Klein's face, his general's uniform, the soldiers, and the walls of the room.
"Now you!" Klein screamed.
Weinstein, his face white with fear, pushed two of the stricken soldiers aside and made for the door. Too late. Klein was on him, and pushed the blade deep into his back. With a mighty effort he yanked the blade free and then stabbed Weinstein again and again, as he fell to the floor.
The soldiers, shocked and confused, and covered with spraying blood, and those in the observation room who had now rushed to the door, made no effort to intervene.
Klein, now kneeling next to Weinstein's body which lay in a bloody heap, stabbed him one more time for good measure, and then pulled the bloody blade free.
His uniform and face smeared with blood, his eyes bulging from his head, Klein stood up slowly and then stared wild eyed at his dumbfounded men.
Kirchstein was nearly catatonic, and stood helpless, petrified with fear, convinced that Klein would kill him next.
Klein, dripping blood, instead turned to face the Alien which had not stirred and continued to lie still.
"This!" Klein bellowed, pointing his saber at the Alien. "Is an angel of God."
Klein, his General's uniform soaked with blood, turned and faced his men. "An angel of God!" he shouted. "And I... all of us... God damns us! We have sinned!"
Klein lifted the saber, placed the razor sharp point against the nape of his own throat, and then with a mighty effort, plunged it in.
The Alien Mind
The Origins of Life Table of Contents Table of Contents
Biological Big Bang
Life On Earth Came From Other Planets