‘All relationships end’

All relationships end.
By death, apathy, or sin.
Some proceed slowly.
Others turn out coldly.
One ceases, another begins.

Some friendships bloom
from birth to the tomb.
We flay open ourselves,
with our hearts on a shelf;
and trust dutifully groomed.

One true love is enough,
If both players are tough.
We’ll get our hands dirty
by deep respect and flirting.
Bring on lots of mushy stuff.

Posted in Different Perspectives, Essays & Rants, Inspirational, Mantras, Poetry, Recollections, Romance, Thought provoking, True Stories, True Stories, Essays & Rants, Uncategorized, Whimsical | Leave a comment

‘Professional courtesy’

Hunters canvassing a swampy, low-lying area in the woods beside the highway reported a suspicious item. They discovered what they thought was a partially decomposed body. Being aware of the need to preserve the integrity of crime scenes, they waded out within a few yards of it and then remained nearby until we arrived. I had my team cordon off the perimeter and we went in slowly to confirm the details. As it turns out, it was a false alarm.

The ‘body’ was in fact, just a department store mannequin. The hunters could be forgiven for their reasonable mistake. From a distance it really did look like a human form, and we had a number of missing persons cases in the area. They were just trying to help. We need more concerned citizens like them doing their civic duty. I gathered up the lifelike debris and removed the crime scene tape from the bog. The other hunters had a good laugh at the one who spotted the ‘corpse’. He seemed to take it good naturedly. Frankly it was going to be a relief to turn in the official code for ‘false alarm’. Those missing persons were hopefully still alive somewhere. 

I returned back to the office and filed my report. My supervisor asked about the call. We had a good laugh at the thought of my pants and shoes getting muddy to retrieve a plastic dummy. It was “all in the line of duty”, I shrugged; but then I told him I was going to turn in a cleaning bill on my ‘expense report’. That elicited an even greater laugh. We don’t receive any compensation for damaged clothing in performing our work duties. Carrying a scantily-clad, waterlogged store mannequin out of the swamp must have been hilarious to witness.

Even though I was glad it wasn’t a real corpse, it did mean that some family remained in the dark about the whereabouts of their loved one. I vowed to keep searching for them. There were a number of leads that trickled in but after working them to their natural conclusion, I wasn’t any closer to finding the missing folks. A few days later we received another call about a suspected body floating in the bog. It was apparently at the same location, just off the highway.

At first I thought it was only a delayed report of the original incident but the eyewitness insisted he’d saw it earlier that morning. I wanted to be skeptical but knew the caller. He wasn’t the sort of guy to be confused about what day it was. He was as sharp as a tack so I knew he’d definitely witnessed something suspicious. I figured I’d just accidentally left some pieces of the damned dummy in the water. I stopped by a sporting goods store to buy waterproof waders. I didn’t want to ruin another pair of shoes and pants retrieving it from the swamp.

This time was different. There was a strong decomposition odor present. Even from the road, I smelled it. The object was in almost the exact same location as before but this one wasn’t plastic or fiberglass. It was definitely human remains. I called headquarters. My investigation team brought their forensic tools and cordoned off the investigation grid. The corpse was an adult female in a fairly advanced state of decay. There were no obvious signs of trauma but I’d leave the deeper analysis to the medical examiner. It was my job to preserve the scene and retrieve her body.

By my estimation, the body had been there for quite some time. It was waterlogged and had possibly been weighed down by something to expedite the process. It didn’t take a rocket scientist to realize it was weighed down by the mannequin. Besides underscoring my admittedly subpar earlier investigative work, it also suggested a clever culprit. They had to have realize that eventually the real corpse would rise to the surface. What better place to hide a real body than underneath a fake one? It was bound to make the investigator dismiss it as a false alarm. The idea was as clever as it was daring. 

That afternoon I mulled over what we knew. The victim was a young adult caucasian female, previously in good health; and her cause of death was definitely a homicide. Her fingers were badly degraded from submersion in the murky swamp water but the medical examiner did his best to get usable prints using a few advanced forensic techniques he knew. We’d hopefully get results back from the state crime lab soon. Her general features matched one of our missing persons cases but the prints and dental records would conclusively verify what we suspected. Then would come the difficult task of informing the relatives, figuring out what happened, and who was responsible. She deserved justice. 

I was troubled over the bizarre method of disposing the body. The killer had hundreds of square miles of inconspicuous places to hide his violent deed, yet the culprit choose to almost ‘flag’ her corpse for us to find. It was an incredibly risky decision. Why draw our attention to her rural dumping spot? An old log or nearby river stones placed atop the body would’ve possibly held it down, indefinitely. Honestly, the odds of finding a well-hidden victim are pretty slim but we don’t advertise that to the public. Crime shows and movies imply that no crime goes unpunished and that misnomer hopefully serves to discourage some premeditated crimes. Usually though, most murders are solved by hard work of the investigator, dumb luck, and accidentally incriminating behavior by the culprit. Strangely, this murderer actually took deliberate steps to help us find her body. On the surface it didn’t make sense. 

Once the victim’s identity was determined, we’d interview her known associates. It’s almost always someone they knew, but in this case it seemed like the killer was daring us to catch them. Either that or they were so cocksure of their mental superiority that they hoped the plastic marker was so distinctive we’d never look there again. It was clever, ironic, AND cocky. I admit my first instinct was to discount there being a real body at the crime scene, after retrieving the mannequin earlier. The killer may have also realized escaping decomposition gasses would eventually cause it to rise. They may have hoped we’d assume it was just another false alarm and leave it there, unmolested. Those theories and others even more bizarre floated in my head as I awaited to final lab report. 

When it came in, I had the unpleasant task of informing the young lady’s parents. It wasn’t the news they wanted to hear but it hopefully offered them closure. Not knowing can lead to a false sense of hope. I vowed to uncover the truth and bring her killer to justice. Then I asked if they could give me a list of her known friends and associates. Up until that point, they had been appreciative, and forthright. As soon as I asked whom she hung around with, they grew immediately silent. It wasn’t just my investigator paranoia thinking that either. My partner noticed their reaction too. Normally when people clam up like that, it suggests a greater awareness of the truth, or outright culpability. I wasn’t sure what the case was, but they were definitely hiding something. 

He went on a fact-finding mission and spoke with several of her friends. They projected an air of conspiracy or suspicion too. A little background digging unveiled something we were not ready for. The details of which possibly explained their mutual lack of transparency. The deceased had an intimate relationship with my supervisor’s college-age son. He hadn’t come forward to speak with us about finding her, and a number of their social media posts had been deleted since her disappearance. It looked very bad. Worse, I didn’t know how to approach the situation. It wasn’t easy to question family members of law enforcement.

Officially they was just ordinary citizens like anyone else but the unspoken truth was often different. They were sometimes insulated from equal justice by their family ties. As a paramilitary organization, we had a rank-and-file system of doing things that protects our own. It was deemed ‘professional courtesy’ to extend them extra ‘consideration’; and that always stuck in my craw. My partner was thinking the same thing I was. We had to bring him in for questioning ASAP but that wasn’t going to be easy. His father was fiercely loyal to those he cared about. He would definitely try to obstruct our investigation if given the opportunity.

I though back to our conversation about wrangling the mannequin out of the swamp and ruining my shoes. He and I went days without taking about any of my cases. It was pretty unusual for him to take interest in them so early on, but I knew that alone wasn’t proof of wrongdoing. Obviously I couldn’t yet connect his son to the crime, nor did it suggest he knew anything about the murder, but my suspicions were growing. I started to share my hypothetical idea with my partner but he just shook his head. We were both thinking the same thing but were afraid to express it out loud. That was the very definition of dangerous.

Strategically I knew I had to plan out my next course of action carefully. One wrong step could be disastrous. If I brought in the state police as a backup and his son turned out to be innocent, I’d burn my career and my relationship with him. If I confided my ugly suspicions to him discreetly and they were actually true, he might bury the evidence, or worse. Much worse. I didn’t want to believe he would cover up a crime or commit one himself but parental love is a powerful thing. I couldn’t afford to be blindsided by assumptions or coworker loyalty.

Later that afternoon, Frank stopped me in the hallway to ask if there had been any further advancements in the case. I wanted to stonewall him until I could decide how to handle the issue but it was too hard to ignore. I decided to just come right out, man-to-man and confront him directly.

“We spoke to Miss Yates friends and family. Among other things, they mentioned that she had an intimate relationship with …Joey. I’m going to need to talk to him ASAP, Frank; and I’ll need you to fully recuse yourself from any further involvement in my investigation, going forward. Do you understand? It’s the only way this can go down and maintain the necessary level of impartiality.”

I studied his face but there was no hint of surprise or shock. There was none. He definitely knew Joey had been involved with the victim, and he already realized he would be a prime suspect in the murder case. The only question was, did he realize his son’s freedom was on the line AFTER she was positively identified, or BEFORE. I didn’t really want to know at that point. It was definitely becoming uncomfortable. Frank sighed. He was obviously relieved that the truth about their connection came out but I still couldn’t be sure he wouldn’t try to run interference to save his son. I’d revealed my hand for the benefit of seeing how he would react. The gamble paid off but it also changed how I needed to conduct the investigation from that point on. He would surely inform Joey of my intentions. That could make things go sideways rapidly.

“I’ll have him in your office first thing tomorrow morning. You have my word, Mike.”

One thing he didn’t do, was proclaim his innocence. It was a very telling reaction; and as an officer himself, he had to realize I’d notice. That certainly didn’t help me feel like I was overreacting to my suspicions. An innocent man would want to step forward immediately and clear his name once reasonable suspicions arose. Instead his; ‘I was unaware but I’ll fully cooperate’ act, was unbecoming for a highly-competent law-enforcement veteran. I nodded and thanked Frank for the promise and understanding. Afterward I advised my partner of the sudden development. It was going to be an interesting few days.

I hoped he knew better than to ask me to go easy on Joey. It was highly deceptive and unethical. Frank had stood beside me a hundred times when we pressed other suspects for answers over the years. Sometimes we pressed them hard. That’s how detectives bring the truth to light. The fact that it would be his own son sweating in the interview chair this time shouldn’t make any difference. Regardless, he probably hoped I would extend some ambiguous ‘professional courtesy’. Human nature being what it is in most people, devotion to justice takes a back seat to protecting our loved ones.

I understood the sentiment on principle but I had an official job to do. Even if Joey was innocent of the crime and coverup, Frank knew he would be a prime suspect once we connected him directly to the victim. Only after I made a formal request to talk with him did Frank acknowledge what we both already knew. He was using his authority to glean details of my ongoing investigation, in order to shield his son from suspicion. 

I put my partner on stakeout duty that night to make sure ‘Little Joey’ didn’t run. We no longer had the element of surprise. If he fled, we’d unfortunately have to work against our own organization to bring him in because some of our fellow officers would help him out of misguided loyalty. I also reminded Jessie that Frank knew we’d stake out his son’s home. As a highly-experienced veteran, he was familiar with every trick in the book to evade detection. Ordinary fugitives blindly react. The as-yet uncharged son of a high ranking police captain would be able to plan out an effective escape, using the vicarious knowledge he possessed by being so connected to the law-enforcement world. Jesse would have to keep his eyes peeled.

To my surprise, Joey arrived at my office door right on time the next morning. On one hand, it was a big relief to get on with the process and avoid dealing with drama and complications. Almost immediately however I got the impression he’d been coached on exactly what to say, and what not to say. That part wasn’t so surprising. It didn’t take having a chief detective for a father to realize that being interviewed in a murder investigation was going to be intense. Even innocent people sweat during the prolonged heat of interrogations.

I wasn’t so jaded that I believed it was impossible for the innocent to look guilty when they were not. Plenty of innocent folks fall apart because they are nervous and it makes sense to organize what they plan to say, but that also makes it more difficult for investigators like me to determine their culpability. There’s an ebb and flow to these things and appearances matter. Joey was way too well-coached for ordinary techniques to be effective. Up until that point, he’d passed ‘the sniff test’ of my run-of-the-mill questions with flying colors.

I could feel his father’s eyes monitoring the proceedings through the one-way mirror. Clearly Frank was making sure his son followed the script the’d rehearsed the night before. So much so that his answers came off the tongue too quickly. I knew I had to switch gears if I was going to have any success but that would be tricky too. It had to be quick and highly convincing. Ordinarily having Frank witness the interrogation wasn’t a big detail at all. He would observe the suspect’s reaction and behavior while my partner and I hammered them with questions. In this case however, I knew it was me he was watching. If I rattled Joey too much, he’d swoop in and put a stop to the interrogation. I wasn’t sure what pretext Frank would use to silence him, but Joey would clam up and any reasonable hope of a confession would go out the window.

After three predictable ‘softball’ questions in a row, I did a dramatic about-face to throw him off-guard. Previously my questions were not accusatory at all. They just dealt with verifying his whereabouts from the time period of her last known eyewitness appearance, up until her body was discovered submerged in the swamp. I came out and asked Joey point-blank if it was his idea to use a mannequin on top of her real body, as a ‘false flag’ to confuse us. He actually grinned. He was visibly proud of how clever he’d been to use it to weigh her body down and delay the investigation. It was the first natural reaction I’d witnessed from him all morning. I knew his father was just about to end things. I had to dangle one more tempting hook in front of him before it was over. 

“Neither of you thought I’d go back into that nasty ol’ bog water, did you? You thought I was so particular about my clothes and shoes that I’d just ignore it if her real body ever floated to the surface. While the idea is both clever and daring, I’m insulted you thought I wouldn’t follow up on ‘another mannequin’ sighting. I might grumble a little bit about it but I’d go back into that swamp a dozen more times if it was necessary to do my job. Your father owes me a dry cleaning bill!”

“Oh man, you wouldn’t believe it! He and I had a bet. He didn’t think you’d go back in after it, but I did. I swear! I knew you’re a hard ass. I told Dad that drawing attention to the scene was a huge mistake. I…”

Frank angrily burst into the room and yelled at Joey to shut his mouth. Then he raced over to the interview camera and erased the video. Not to be foiled by the ‘undo’ feature, he permanently deleted to file in the trash folder so there was no way it could be recovered. That seemed to greatly satisfied him. He sneered and warned me that it would be my word against theirs; and that it would also amount to professional suicide to accuse them without any proof. They both left the station in a self-important huff.

Meanwhile I went back to my office to review something of paramount importance. Anticipating a similar scenario to what actually transpired, I’d set up a backup camera in the interrogation room to document everything and capture evidence. I decided to let the FBI know I had not extended my colleague with the ‘professional courtesy’ he wanted. Instead I’d let them be the ones to inform him about the extra video camera at their trial.

Posted in Adventure, Controversial topics, Different Perspectives, Fiction Stories, Murder, Mystery, Thought provoking, Thriller, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

‘Cup holder’

Like countless others; it was grimy, wet from perpetual condensation, and had numerous items stuck to the bottom. It became the default repository for unwanted things discarded by the owner. Within its carefully-formed confines was also a minuscule ecosystem of creatures so insignificant that the authorities didn’t even bother to name them. They were no more aware of the bigger world outside their isolated microcosm, than the other was of them. It was two self-contained, autonomous worlds.

Debris and moisture from all the insignificant items tossed inside it sustained the microscopic things dwelling in the small world. Spilled liquids contained in the receptacle were either a blessing, or created excessive flooding and death. Accumulated ‘crumbs’ from above were blindly accepted as mysterious ‘mana’ from the Heavens. Crumpled items indifferently discarded there actually provided shelter for these oblivious occupants. They learned how to adapt.

Occasionally the owner decided to dredge up his abandoned items in order to reuse them, or to clean up the accumulated mess. The results of these seemingly inconsequential actions caused deadly cataclysms for the helpless things below. They had no idea that the literal ‘hand of doom’ was about to sweep them into accidental Armageddon.

After each of these extinction level events, the tiny beings prayed to their unresponsive deity for mercy. Above, the owner failed to hear their pleas because he was unaware they even existed. He wasn’t listening. It was a reoccurring cycle of failure because the microcosmic creatures didn’t comprehend the parameters of their enclosed ecosystem. They didn’t understand that the Earth was really just a giant metaphoric ‘cup holder’.

Posted in Controversial topics, Different Perspectives, Dystopia themes, Essays & Rants, fantasy, Fiction Stories, Mystery, Science Fiction, Thought provoking, Twilight Zone Inspired, Utopia & Armageddon, Whimsical | Leave a comment

‘Stink bug’

All life forms mutate and evolve. That scientific fact also includes bacteria. More specifically E Coli. The run-of-the-mill ‘smelly’ bacteria known to inhabit the intestines of all reptiles, mammals, and insects is no exception to the rule. It changes too. It’s recent reason for adaption was unknown but in the matter of just a few weeks, the entire species of bacteria changed globally into an infinitely stronger, far less-palatable form. What had previously been merely an unpleasant side effect of its lingering presence, suddenly magnified to twenty times in both smell and potency.

‘Silent but deadly’ ceased to be a cute little joke. The mere act of ‘passing gas’ went from a minor, ‘innocent’ annoyance to a deadly act of premeditated malice. The worldwide death toll rose as millions succumbed to the malicious fumes of ‘the stink bug’; as it came to be known. With the bacteria’s methane output raised to such exponential volume levels, there was no escape from it. The incredibly fetid odor of dead bodies was preferential to ordinary human or animal waste! Absolute panic ensued from the mounting fear and restlessness. It was unbearable torture just to breathe in the air.

Scientists around the globe worked tirelessly in filtered air laboratories for a tenable solution. They tried to determine why the once-symbiotic digestive organism changed so drastically. Others didn’t care WHY it happened. They just wanted to be free of the merciless stench that permeated their noses at all times. ‘The stink bug’ turned the entire population against each other in a pointless battle of finger-pointing. It was a scent-based torture which naturally renewed on a daily basis. Inflamed tempers triggered wars and mass suicides in the futile effort to escape what was unescapable.

Both ends of the international research spectrum worked earnestly to discover a middle ground. People demanded a solution. ANY solution. One top scientist in India stepped forward. He addressed a special meeting of the coordinated research efforts but wasn’t looking forward to the ugly blowback (pardon the pun) it was sure to receive. His idea could actually save the human race from madness and murder but he knew he would be reviled as a monster for it’s unorthodox implementation. It was essentially throwing out the baby with the bath water.

“I have a possible solution to this global crisis but no one is going to like it.”; He began nervously. “I was asked to find a solution to this epidemic and all I can do, is offer it. We can’t reverse this unexplained evolutionary change to E coli, and we can’t destroy it. We need this bacteria in our intestines to aid in digestion. Everyone knows that but we CAN get by without our sense of smell. It’s possible to permanently destroy our olfactory receptors so we are unaware of the ‘stink bug’. As a beneficial side-effect, the world would also become much healthier since overeating food is tied to the connected pleasure of taste and smell. Destroying our olfactory ability through a chemical agent would eliminate awareness of the global stench, AND diminish the enjoyment of overeating food too.”

A communal groan was uttered in perfect unison. Everyone present understood the unpleasant but practical implications of his plan. Millions were dying. Civil society had broken down from the madness of the stink bug. No one was able to contain the daily need to excrete. It was a biological imperative. Eliminating all awareness of the intense odor haunting mankind was both medically possible, and would save humanity.

As predicted, his drastic solution wasn’t well received at first but it was eventually accepted as a necessary evil of life in the age of stench. The pharmaceutical agent was mass-synthesized and distributed to every corner of the Earth. Shortly thereafter, peace returned to the planet. Death row prisoners were no longer put to death. They were just denied the drug as punishment.

In recognition of his important efforts on the behalf of mankind, Dr. Chetan Smeltit was awarded the prestigious Nobel peace prize. Afterward, it was said by those with a smile on their face that: “He who ‘Smeltit’, dealt (with) it.

Posted in Adventure, Controversial topics, Different Perspectives, fantasy, Horror, Humor, Macabre, Mystery, Sarcasm, Science Fiction, Thought provoking, Thriller, Twilight Zone Inspired, Whimsical | Leave a comment

Red: Chapter Thirteen; ‘The biggest secret of all’

With their merciless race all but destroyed, humanity was headed back toward prosperity. I couldn’t imagine why, but Darcy was holding something back. She wasn’t at ease after our victory. I could feel it. There was an even deeper secret she was struggling to contain; and realizing that made me uneasy. We both knew she was suppressing something but it wasn’t going to just reveal itself. I had to drag it out of her. For reasons I didn’t understand until later, she had to work herself up to it. The big secret was somehow tired to the color yellow, and buried deep within her psyche like a festering sore. When I learned what was behind her agitation, it took my breath away.

“They have a particularly strong bond to the color yellow because it’s the same sulfuric tint as their home planet, Lemur. It’s natural resources are completely decimated because of the chronic overpopulation and deadly pollution. It’s dying. For tens of thousands of years they’ve been transitioning to relocate here. All of them, not just the few million you fought off! What none of you realize is that the Lemurian high council has been grooming this beautiful blue world to take it over. They’ve had their eyes on it since before the first human language was written down, 5000 years ago. The Earth was just a small expansion colony before now. Once the transfer ships arrive with the massive influx of settlers, it will become their permanent home.”

I’m sure I was as white as a ghost for her massive gut-punch reveal. The bewildered confusion and disbelief on my face caused her to pause for me to acclimate.

“Matt, as I’ve been trying to tell you. This isn’t a new uprising. They want our planet to be closer to what their homelanders were used to. I’ve been haunted for many years by the ugly visions of Lemur they’ve forced into my head. It’s the textbook definition of a desolate, dying place. Their desert-like heat and highly acidic rain is how they wish to transform the Earth to be like. The ghastly yellow pallor of their reptilian skin is another permanent affectation to the harsh home world environment. For that reason they also LOVE the color of rot and festering decay. It symbolizes everything they are reluctantly leaving behind.”

I finally understood the magnitude of her mental anguish and discomfort. They had inundated her with visions of immense horror, all of her life. (In what I could only assume was some sort of sadistic game of ‘toughening her up’ for what was to come). Being flooded with hellish imagery like that every day against her will had surely served to create the broken, divided person before me. I wanted to give her a hug for the psychological pain she’d endured, but she still had the most unpleasant detail left to disclose.

“I… need you to listen closely. They are going to make me pay dearly for this so I have to get it out quickly. My mind will be flooded with the ugliest thoughts imaginable, for telling you what I’m about to say. The minor wave of preparation attacks we just survived were only supposed to be a preliminary stage before the great masses arrive. An invasion fleet of over a hundred thousand Lemurian warships will be here in less than a month.”

I sat with my mouth agape, having considerable difficulty breathing as the crushing weight of those words sank in. It was immensely painful to hear Darcy’s final secret. We were possibly the only two individuals who knew about the immanent doom to come. The Colonel and the rest of the combined armed forces had been so busy congratulating themselves for eliminating the minor little ‘dress rehearsal’ that they had no idea about the massive, non-terrestrial insurgency of reptilian invaders about to arrive.

I knew Darcy wasn’t able to tell the Colonel. Her loyalties were not in question but she couldn’t bring herself to articulate it officially, lest her tormentors retaliate. There was also the matter of what might happen to her from the exact same ‘friendly’ humans who ‘interviewed’ her so intensely before. Once again she was caught in the middle between two waring species. Her only recourse was to reveal it to me and hope for mercy. She knew I would do the right thing and share the unpleasant news with Colonel Jackson.

“Matt, when you advise Colonel Jackson about this, please remind him the messenger isn’t responsible for the content of the message. I could’ve just kept my mouth shut! As it is, I’ll be mentally tortured by the Lemurians for warning you; and if they suspect I might be able to offer more strategic assistance, they’ll permanently silence me. You can count on that. Please remind him I am about to be put through a living hell for telling you about the invasion. Hopefully his men will treat me with a little more respect this time around. I don’t want to regret informing my human side of an upcoming war, any more than I already do.”

I assured her I would do all in my power to protect her from the wrath of Jackson’s calloused men. They weren’t going to be happy about the looming truth but it wasn’t her fault. Obviously I had no real power to shield her but I did possess a certain level of effective persuasion to offset my absence of physical might. Before I walked out of her living quarters to make the long, unenviable trek to his office, I asked if there was anything else she could offer. I thought it might help ease the devastating news.

I could see in her eyes there was something else she wanted to say but it was buried too deeply in the recesses of her mind. Immediately she started shaking violently. A vacant look of terror haunted her face as a powerful seizure gripped her writhing form. They’d already started brutalizing her for helping us! I caressed her gently in hopes I could break the parasitic link but it was pointless. They had her in a merciless, psychological chokehold.

The seizure was so powerful that her nose, and then eye-sockets began to bleed profusely. I wanted to call for a medic but there was no time. She was hemorrhaging in a way that no living thing could survive. I knew Darcy was dying and there was nothing anyone could do. Through the torture she was trying to hold on long enough to share a parting shot against her reptilian half. Somehow she regained slight control of her arms for a moment. She fanned them around wildly in a way which might’ve been mistaken for involuntary reflexes, except that there was a definite pattern to her gesticulations.

She pointed repeatedly to a small bookshelf in the corner. In it was a bright yellow bound, ruled notebook. Despite her terminal condition, I left her side briefly to retrieve it since she was so determined for me to pull it off the shelf. It was the only yellow thing in her entire room and seemed incredibly odd, considering her deep aversion to the color. In it were page after page of neatly written notes. Darcy’s eyelids fluttered open and closed in odd succession. Then her eyes rolled up into their sockets.

I don’t know how I had the presence of mind to do so, but I pulled out my cell phone to videotape her final moments. I figured there would be a number of questions afterward. Her possessed body shook like a leaf in the wind but there still seemed to be a cognizant pattern to her actions. In a final death spasm, she flopped around on the floor and then became permanently still. Darcy Ann Mason was gone, but even with her brutal death, she managed to offer humanity an essential piece of the puzzle. All we had to do was to assemble it.

The notebook was written by her mother Megan. It was a journal of her incredible experiences exposing (and then fighting) the Lemurians. She detailed the early days of the vicious war and offered insights into her efforts to defeat them. Many times I read those accounts and hoped within the spellbinding saga was a practical solution to defeat them. If Darcy’s assessment was true, we only had a few days or weeks before they reached our embattled planet.

I couldn’t help but believe the secret Darcy wanted me to discover was buried somewhere within her mother’s personal account. The words themselves were recorded with no deep allegories or flowery prose. Megan Mason was a fighter, not a literary genius. The neat, handwritten testimony in her book began at some pivotal point after a number of huge victories against the enemy. Just as Megan believed they had them by their proverbial tails, a huge, unforeseen setback caused her to reevaluate their strategy. I understood how realizing her own daughter was psychically connected to the very creatures she was trying to destroy; took ‘the wind out of her sails’. ‘The yellow saga’, as the notebook became to be known, began with the unsettling realization that her own daughter was caught in the very middle of the war.

Thank you for reading my ‘Red’ chapters. The series continues soon with: ‘Yellow’.

Posted in Adventure, Controversial topics, creepy, Different Perspectives, fantasy, Gothic horror, Horror, Macabre, Murder, Mystery, Science Fiction, Technology ran amuck, Thought provoking, Thriller, Twilight Zone Inspired, Utopia & Armageddon, Whimsical | Leave a comment

Red: Chapter Twelve; ‘The cycle started over’

By her spellbinding account, Darcy was torn between two diametrically opposed worlds. It was the same inner-conflict which every hybrid individual surely felt. She was two incredibly different things and that disparity tugged at her personal emotions and divided her loyalties. She was understandably infuriated by their cold-blooded deeds; but human history had been filled with merciless violence and depravity. She realized neither side of her lineage was innocent. The unspoken expectation to pick a side haunted her conscience but she wanted to remain neutral. Eventually the tug-of-war grew too consuming to ignore.

Besides committing savage murders and torturing purely for amusement, the Lemurians also systematically drugged major city municipal water supplies. That was to facilitate the systematic, forced impregnation of thousands of unsuspecting women as they slept. Learning she was the byproduct of a bestial assault triggered a sense of self-loathing within her. Darcy couldn’t fully escape the uncomfortable truth of who she was.

According to her, their master plan was to assimilate all the beneficial aspects of human DNA into their evolving species. They were trait ‘borrowers’. They intended to infiltrate every city across the world through inner-breeding. Darcy’s conception was a rare, wide-awake exception. Her mother Megan had been crouched helplessly inside a closet, awaiting the unspeakable violation with the full understanding of what was to come. I winced involuntarily when she told me.

Being ‘awake for it’ was considered ‘an honor’ (among the Lemurians), and Darcy was quickly earmarked for ‘special things’. After her birth, their leaders tried to kept continuous tabs of her whereabouts. Once she reached a relative maturity age they planned to imprison her to produce their first generation of hybrid soldiers. Through their cross breeding program, they hoped to better adapt to the complicated task of conquering the planet. Megan’s unrelenting desire to protect her child despite the circumstances of her conception (and to fight back) intrigued them. They saw her maternal tenacity as a highly desirable trait to assimilate into their evolving gene pool. Unfortunately that put a permanent target on poor Darcy’s back.

They felt she would inherit strong instincts and survival traits from her mother. They wanted to incorporate those impressive aspects into their rapidly-evolving genetics program. In their conceited arrogance, they didn’t count on Darcy’s human half fighting back so ferociously. They soon learned that her mother’s unrelenting efforts to expose them, and Darcy’s iron conscience were more than they bargained for.

She began by telling a very pivotal moment in the early fight. Up until that point, she’d never divulged to her Mom that all ‘halflings’ were linked by a psychic connection to their reptilian ‘cousins’. As a matter of fact, it was considered morally unconscionable for any of them to reveal that. Despite the unspoken edict, Darcy finally felt compelled to tell her mom the truth. She disclosed ‘their big secret’ on the same day the Lemurians requested a global truce.

Even as she admitted she was in deep contact with them, she felt a crippling sense of betrayal to her Lemurian half. It also went against her unspoken vow to remain neutral, but she’d reached a moral tipping point. Her mother and members of their strategic organization were in grave danger by the taboo omission. Previously, Darcy deluded herself into believing both species would eventually find a peaceful path forward. It finally became clear to her it wasn’t going to be possible to remain neutral. Withholding the secret compromised their security.

In a defining moment of clarity, she stopped straddling the fence and embraced her human side. From that moment on, all ambiguity was gone and she couldn’t turn back. They wouldn’t allow it. It was her personal awakening in the moral war. As a sadistic parting shot, they used the color equivalent of ‘cowardice’ to shame and punish her for divulging the link. They’d taken full advantage of the opportunities it offered many times against Megan’s organization. It was a serious blow to them when the secret was revealed.

For her perceived betrayal, they deemed her an ‘apostate’ and pumped her mind with unspeakable visuals. It was an incredibly effective form of psychological warfare. They tortured Darcy with intense yellow-tinged images she couldn’t escape from or block out. While Megan was distracted by her daughter’s mental anguish, the Lemurians seized the opportunity and attacked their headquarters in a brazen assault. It was a daring, ‘Hail Mary’ attempt to save themselves but unfortunately it worked. Once they’d killing Megan and her entire organization, there was no significant resistance left to fight them anymore. Things looked bad for humanity but things were about to get much worse.

In lieu of their recently decimated numbers, the Lemurians switched gears. They transitioned from raw force to using technology to protect themselves from being finished off. With the successful launch of the amnesia device in the atmosphere, their fortunes changed dramatically. Almost overnight they managed to completely erase our awareness of their existence and allowed them to regroup. That bought them two decades to fully repopulate their species. Meanwhile, Darcy spent years languishing in various mental institutions while trying to recover from her crippling aversion to the color yellow. The medical staff sought to ‘deprogram her from her ‘lizard-men delusions’. Eventually she learned to suppress the facts so they believed she was ‘cured’. It was no wonder why she was terrified to confide in anyone.

As a beneficial side effect of branding her a paranoid psychotic, no one believed her when she told anyone about their species. They further tarnished her reputation by leaking the asylum residency, and it was an effective strategy. I’ll admit, after learning about her involuntary confinement, it made me doubt her sanity too. During her interrogation as a possible enemy combatant, I feared she was causing pointless distractions from the real enemy attacking us. Her rather dubious claims of a previous insurgency and that her mother personally led a coordinated war to eradicate them seemed like the full-blown ravings of a lunatic. I even thought that about her while being fully aware of the recent flying lizard attacks! It was just too much to absorb, too quickly.

I couldn’t wrap my head around the idea of having earlier knowledge of them since no one could remember it. Turns out, that’s exactly what they wanted. The amnesia satellite did its job perfectly until they had increased their population back to real, defensive numbers. Then they changed their tactics back to raw brutality and attacked us with fury. With their population stabilized again, they no longer cared if we knew about them anymore. The final phase in their sprint to victory was meant to wipe us off the planet.

With Megan and the team snuffed out years earlier and the satellite in full operation, they could’ve killed Darcy at any point. That puzzled me at first but I realized they were still hoping to bring her back into the reptilian fold. She would’ve been a powerful asset if they could’ve kept her afraid and compliant. I couldn’t help but think how ironic it was that one of their own hybrid children had been instrumental in helping defeat them this time; and her own human mother was behind saving humanity the first time.

Darcy sought out Red’s organization after her release from the asylum. Her mother’s pioneering work had been completely sanitized and wiped clean from the history books. It was like a forgotten dream. She hoped V.O.R.K. would eventually be receptive to her damning testimony but with all evidence erased and the records redacted, it was a tough call for her to decide whom to reveal the secret to. The human sympathizers among us saw to that. The rest of us were completely oblivious to the murderous reptilian scourge plotting our extinction.

She’d approached me a number of times shortly after I joined Red’s hidden society. In each encounter, she would start to tell me something and then ease away from it. I know now she was trying to gauge if I was a trustworthy individual to share the shocking truth with. If I was some kind of hidden sympathizer mole, it would be disastrous. Revealing the secrets to an interloper would’ve been worse than telling no one at all. It would’ve uncovered her intention to actively engage in efforts to destroy them. Evidence of that would’ve led to unrelenting torture by her tormentors again.

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Red: Chapter Eleven; ‘Snuffing out the resistance’

There were numerous pockets of resistance for a while. They were not apt to put all their literal or figurative ‘eggs’ into one convenient basket. The Lemurians knew how to adapt and evolve. They had proved that many times over and were incredibly clever. It was obvious they were determined to survive, despite the serious setbacks. I warned the Colonel that it was a mistake to underestimate them, or assume they were done for.

The collective armed forces of Earth collaborated for the common good of rooting them out. We turned over every single stone until it appeared they were largely extinguished. Then all known human sympathizers were rounded up and interrogated until they gave up the others hiding among us. The sympathizers didn’t seem to know much about the Lemurian infrastructure; but that was surely by design. It wasn’t very smart for individuals susceptible to pain, coercion or intense interrogation techniques to know things they could divulge.

If I was one of the elite, strategic planning individuals, I would have kept their human sympathizers on an extremely tight leash. The less they knew, the less they could be forced to confess. It’s how sleeper cells had always operated in terrorism circles. In reality, those feckless individuals were by far the worst insurgent sympathizers in the world. They had sold us out for a completely different species to support, over their own kind.

That’s why I trained myself to think akin their reptilian counterparts. I tried to avoid underestimating their resilience or impressive adaptability. I also didn’t want to assume they were extinct. Just like unwanted rodents and detestable vermin, they always seem to slither back out of the cracks when you least expect them. The Colonel relied on my insights to advise him of things he might’ve not considered otherwise. In that way I made myself invaluable to the ongoing mission to regain our planetary dominance.

I also consulted heavily with Darcy Mason. Now that her loyalties were no longer under suspicion by the powers that be, she felt comfortable telling me about her highly unusual childhood. That was extremely compelling. She experienced the primary wave of attacks firsthand and was still able to remember it. She also told me all about her late mother Megan’s tireless crusade to exterminate the bloodthirsty lizards. What a firebrand she must have been. Without her pioneering efforts to fight back and expose them, the human race would’ve ended long ago.

It was a shame she didn’t live long enough to see our current state of advancement against the ancient race of forked-tongue devils. She would’ve felt vindicated by our last minute rebound against them; and she would’ve been incredibly proud of her daughter for leading the way in taking out their memory jamming technology. Without Darcy Ann’s bravery to share that intelligence with me, we would’ve never even known about the global wasteland they were aggressively pushing the planet toward.

In a manner of 18 months, the global authorities declared the reptilian scourge completely eradicated. Skeptics doubted those claims but no tangible evidence existed to support their concerns. Humanity was tired of living under the shadow of fear. They were ready to rebuild our once-beautiful planet and few wanted to entertain any negative possibilities. The pushback against the critics was a coping mechanism. After becoming lucid enough to recognize the deep environmental deterioration facing us, most civic organizations focused on trying to reverse the planetary damage. In that way, we made impressive strides and it was a rallying cry humanity could universally get behind.

Darcy was one of the lingering skeptics clinging to her worries. While she admitted she couldn’t pick up telekinetic links to their collective consciousness, she was convinced there were still survivors; hiding somewhere, deeply underground. I tried to keep an open mind but part of me believed her restless paranoia was from a lifetime of fear at looking over her shoulder. Instead of openly disagreeing or becoming abrasive however, she asked me to visit her home that afternoon so she could share an important story with me. It was a wise strategy.

After everything she had done for the human race, I felt like it was the least I could do. Darcy had divulged some interesting things previously but I was in for a real education when she revealed the full story. It was breathtaking. To think that we had suffered dozens of full scale attacks twenty years earlier but the Lemurian amnesia device (LAD) had rendered our species incapable of remembering! It was distressing how hypnotized we had been in the past, and cast doubts in my mind whether we were truly free even then.

The sophisticated neural transmitter disrupted a targeted range of functionality in the human brain. It was placed on a commercial satellite to allow their struggling race to reverse their dwindling numbers. Megan’s tenacious organization exposed them and their merciless crimes to a previously disbelieving world. It should’ve finished them off but they weren’t a species ready to give up.

As further evidence of their impressive ability to adapt and evolve after the first Lemurian purge, they developed genetically modified DNA to rapidly push themselves into the next phase of evolution. They hoped the gift of flight and an artificial invisibility, aided by the LAD, would help them finally defeat us. It damn near did!

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Red: Chapter Ten; ‘Taking down a giant’

The Lemurians were piggybacking their jamming technology inside the official satellite waves encircling the planet. By disguising their sophisticated programming inside our own, no one realized a global insurrection was propagated upon mankind. Based on the limited number of people who had access to the equipment and original shuttle launch, we had a pretty good list of potential suspects for facilitating the deadly deception upon humanity.

The Colonel sent his best men to have ‘a chat’ with them. Naturally these unannounced meetings took place in private rooms. For once I had no issue with taking the direct approach to ‘interview’ them, as I had been, not that long before. The Colonel probably assumed I would raise human rights issues again if I had been present. Considering what was at stake, I might’ve even been inspired to help ‘soften them up’. Once we managed to uncover the hidden network of sympathizers behind the psychological sabotage, we had a decent chance of shutting it all down.

With any luck we’d have a far better opportunity of defeating these murderous beasts with a clearer, more focused point of view. There was no telling how much our perception was skewed by their signal. Ordinarily I’d never defend the unconstitutional lengths which the Colonel’s men went to obtain ANY ‘information’ but this was definitely a WAR. Different rules applied. Even as an unapologetic pacifist, I could see that now. Several of the individuals cracked, and that was of the utmost importance.

As it turns out they were all high ranking members of the group I’d originally been slated to infiltrate. The Lemurians assigned sentries to keep watch over them, to prevent their traitorous actions from being compromised. It wasn’t from respect of any degree of loyalty. It was sheer protectionism. What these humans knew put them at high risk of being uncovered but if they were killed off, it would unravel support among the sympathizers. Once the tipping point of risk was reached, they would take them out to protect the mission.

Realizing this pivotal vulnerability, I advised the Colonel to instruct his men to quickly remove the suspects to remote locations and perform DNA tests on them, ASAP. If they were hybrid humans like Darcy, they could telepathically signal their guards. Our only chance of getting that Lemurian signal turned off was by pressuring one of them into telling us how to shut it down.

Three of the guilty cabal members were eliminated by their reptilian ‘protectors’; but two of them were successfully broken. As enemy combatants caught between two determined forces, they resisted but the Colonel’s goons have their ways. After a 45 round in their kneecaps, both traitors to humanity eventually cracked and divulged a potential way to shut off the signal. I could hear their screams from down the corridor but I did my best to tune it out. Pain is an effective motivator.

An extremely high-value target was identified in the New Mexican desert and taken out by a cadre of stinger missiles. From the surface of things it was just an uninhabited shack; but in truth it maintained their absolute mind control over is. For the first time in over 18 years, humanity finally saw our crumbling world for what it actually was. The undiluted reality was beyond unpleasant. The planet was a burned-out cinder being radically transformed into the Lemurian’s perfect idea of home. It was incredibly depressing; but it was just the ‘bitter pill’ we needed to help humanity fully focus on our clever, slithering enemy.

Massive hatcheries were bombed with impunity and Lemurian nests were destroyed across the globe. Without their highly effective camouflage of ‘pseudo invisibility’, they were largely defenseless. Anti-aircraft weapons blew battalions of them out of the smoldering sky and then scavengers gorged themselves on their rotting carcasses. It was incredibly inspiring to see them taking such huge losses for a change. It helped humanity rebound quicker from the devastating shock of learning the Earth was far into a startling reptilian transformation.

By promoting destructive global industries in third-world countries, they secretly managed to increase planetary greenhouse gasses tenfold. That raised the temperature worldwide to better suit them and it flooded low-lying areas for more swampland. With the haze of ‘the amnesia device’ eradicated, we finally saw the ugly truth. The world that remained was a tepid, marshy wasteland undergoing a startling metamorphosis. We had to act fast to reverse their malignant actions.

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Red: Chapter Nine; ‘Elimination of a roadblock’

Knowing they’d erected some sort of global-reaching ‘amnesia device’, meant they probably still benefitted from its effects. Sure we knew about their existence after the brazen attacks, but there could still be many things we couldn’t see. Until we eliminated the source of the mental block, we had no effective way to determine if there were other important details we didn’t realize about them. Just as radar jamming technology is highly useful in preventing enemy forces from knowing things, their secret technology put us at a significant disadvantage. The Colonel agreed. He wanted to send in his goons to ‘question her less gently’, but I put my foot down.

“Do you want her to completely clam up? She was extremely hesitant to even reveal the jamming system because she feared I was a double agent! Either that, or the truth about them could get her killed. Darcy is understandably afraid but she still unburdened herself. If there was more, she would’ve already divulged everything. A boot in the face isn’t the solution to everything!”; I shouted.

“No! But big boots and big fists do get results; trust me!”; He barked back. Our tempers flared. Even if that was true, it wasn’t the right call with her and he knew it. “Right now we desperately need details.”; He snarled between gritted teeth. “You get back in there and see if you can get her to tell you everything there is to know about this damn thing. It’s possible she still knows something useful that we could use to track it down and dismantle the apparatus. No matter how insignificant it might seem to her, it might be helpful in destroying it.”

It royally pissed me off that he was commanding me like one of his rank-and-file lackeys but we both knew I was the most qualified to get the information we needed. I let the bruise to my ego go, in the spirit of ‘suffering for the greater good’; and full cooperation. Darcy only trusted me, and that was sparingly. I went back to the cell and asked for her to tell me everything she knew about the ‘amnesia satellite’. At first she simply parroted what she’d said before. I expected that but there were a few new details mixed in which I hoped would make a difference. I hated to admit the Colonel was right about there being more information to glean, but he was. With Darcy Ann Mason, it was how you asked.

In the middle of my first unofficial assignment as a pseudo ‘military intelligence operative’, a massive explosion rocked the compound. Luckily, the master of arms insisted I carry a firearm while on base. At the time I felt silly taking it since I’m not much of a marksman but in the heat of a rapidly-developing unknown situation, I was grateful to have it on my hip. I told Darcy to turn over her cot and use it as a hiding place. I assumed they were making another attempt to seize the bodies of their dead.

One thing she hadn’t divulged until that chaotic moment, was that they possess a psychic connection with each other. This interconnected telepathy link was previously unknown to us. While their dead couldn’t give away their location, Darcy’s reptilian half involuntarily could. They were determined to remove her from our custody, before we could gain useful intel. As a half human hybrid, they would surely kill her on sight. I knew it, and so did Darcy. I vowed to defend her with all of my might but that was probably a modest consolation. In an assertive move, she asked if I could get her a firearm too. I yelled into the hallway for the Colonel. Without hesitation he tossed us a rifle, a handgun, and three grenades. We wouldn’t go down without a fight.

Darcy whispered that the previous incarnation of the Lemurians were totally flightless. At the time of her mother’s efforts to destroy them they were much more agile on land. They sacrificed their bipedal ability to gain the strategic advantage of flight; over a few generations of aggressive genetic engineering. One major drawback to their level of unnatural tinkering were large, cumbersome wings. That made a ground assault on our position difficult since the narrow hallways of the base acted as a barricade. A contingent of the winged lizards tried to gain entrance through the roof but we fired wildly into the ceiling and successfully fought them back.

Knowing they were telepathically linked was incredibly valuable to know. We risked giving away any secret location we had if we tried to hold one of them captive there. Only a dead Lemurian would keep our secrets. I debriefed the Colonel about my observations. Despite having a serious control issue, he genuinely appreciated my thoughts. Their latest assault was thwarted by the diligence of soldiers on base and our steadfast efforts in investigating.

I suggested the amnesia device could’ve been launched into space by human sympathizers. It could’ve been disguised as civilian or military communication equipment so we went through a list of all known shuttle launches. Those and other avenues for a satellite to be taken into orbit seemed the most likely possibility. There were a number of events which were unquestionably legitimate but a few did stand out as somewhat suspicious. In the military’s secret arsenal was a range of sophisticated jamming equipment which could be used to block all broadcasts from each of the orbiting units.

In lieu of the unparalleled global crisis, the international leaders elected to allow us to take each of them offline, one at a time. There we could observe the results of each transmission blackout. Interestingly, all the suspected satellites failed to produce an obvious ‘mental awakening’ when jammed. It was incredibly frustrating until one of the tech support technicians on the Colonel’s team pointed out that one of the satellites we jammed was still sending a global signal to earth. It wasn’t the official content that it was licensed to broadcast. It was a rogue, independent signal!

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Red: Chapter Eight; ‘Unimaginable confession’

“I’m… only half human, Matt. May I call you by your first name?” She didn’t wait for my permission after that bizarre statement. “My mother was… raped by one of these vile reptilian monsters. At least an earlier version of them which didn’t yet have wings. Their insidious numbers grew so large that they no longer hid in the shadows. My mother uncovered their murderous conspiracy and lead a worldwide war against them where every country on Earth coordinated with her organization to snuff them out.”

It was such a bizarre statement I didn’t even know how to process it at first. I just starred, dumbfounded. Before I always found Darcy to be lucid and articulate. Her confession came across as the ramblings of a deeply confused, highly psychotic individual. I guess the startled look on my face betrayed my thoughts. She went to elaborate on her highly fanciful tale but I moved to silence her. I really didn’t wish to reinforce such dangerous delusions.

Anticipating my skepticism she was prepared. She’d had a whole lifetime to carefully rehearse her responses to the monumental doubt she was sure to encounter. It was only with me that she finally felt it was safe to divulge them. For that confidence she felt in me, I tried to keep an open mind but it wasn’t easy to maintain a straight face. It seemed like she had stopped taking her meds. One by one however, she had a succinct answer for each of my reasonable doubts. Of course I didn’t believe any of it but I was impressed that she was so well prepared.

Then she moved on to logic which I couldn’t deny or discount, based on believability. She pointed out that a month ago no one would’ve believed in invisible flying lizards either, and yet here we were. I had to hand that one to her. She swore there had been a worldwide effort to kill them after their existence was exposed by her mother’s team but some of the Lemurians had apparently survived. When I asked why no one had any recollection of that global effort, she was quick to explain that ‘they’ were using some satellite-based memory jamming device to cause humanity to forget everything related to them until they could regroup.

The entire delusion was brilliant. She had every angle covered and there was no sense in debating her any more. I left Darcy in the holding cell and requested that Colonel Jackson get her the best psychological care they could offer. Instead of agreeing, he dropped a massive bombshell. He spread open her official medical file for me to examine. By the dramatic gesture I knew it was going to be pretty damn unusual but I wasn’t at all prepared to see the results. She really did have non-human DNA! She wasn’t lying to us about that. I sat there slack jawed while the Colonel observed my bewildered face.

“How can that be? She looks totally human! What are we dealing with here?”; I stammered. He looked at me and shook his head in frustration. “She obviously wasn’t lying about being part… ‘them’. If she’s also right about an earlier attempt to eradicate them, then we were possibly under some form of technological amnesia. In truth, how would we know?”

“The bigger question is, can we trust her? She’s not human! Who can say she’s even loyal to us. Maybe she joined Red’s ragtag organization to keep an eye on what you guys knew, or to plant false flags to keep you busy chasing your tails.”

I pointed out that she’d divulged a number of things which we didn’t already know; and she admitted her partial reptilian lineage before it was discovered. The idea that it was just a ‘long con’ to lure us into a false sense of trust seemed far fetched to me. We wouldn’t even think to look for evidence of an earlier campaign, if she hadn’t told us. Now that I had potential buried secrets to uncover, I knew what to focus on. Any unusual periods of historical inactivity could be tell-tale signs of a deliberate blackout of information.

My next interview with Darcy yielded numerous promising leads in the war against the cold-blooded monsters. I think that was largely because I approached the new conversation with far more acceptance. She told me the appropriate time and dates when the united forces of humanity fought them. Once I knew the time period to search, spotting signs of a coverup was much easier. When you erase major events from the official records, it still leaves a noticeable void in the details. The whitewash efforts stand out like a sore thumb.

Finding out about her mother, was a different story however. Her history, and that of their civilian organization were much harder to locate. I had to dig deep to even uncover evidence of their existence. There had been a total media blackout to wipe away every shred of truth. The Lemurians obviously had human assistance since that level of obfuscation isn’t easy to achieve. Perhaps it was the same traitorous group I was slated to infiltrate who were behind the assistance.

Concrete evidence was all around but it had been branded ‘conspiracy, or nut job’ fodder. Human beings have a tendency to discount or ignore things which do not fit their traditional narratives. In many ways, discrediting what they couldn’t completely erase was even more effective in the long run. I apprised the Colonel of my findings and reminded him of the possibility of infiltrators within his ranks. That didn’t sit well with him, at all.

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