By Forrest Wayne Schultz
As I headed toward the stacks I began to have a strong feeling that a woman was searching for me. The feeling quickly morphed into a clear emphatic urgent message -- this woman was a very good and very competent person on an extremely important mission and that it was imperative that I go to meet her now. I somehow knew the message was true, so I decided to meet the woman.
As soon as I made this decision I somehow knew that this woman was rapidly driving her car down the road toward the Library. Since it appeared that haste was of the essence, I left the Library at once and went out to the driveway to meet her. A few seconds later her car proceeded up the driveway and stopped next to where I was standing. After she rolled down the window I said, "I believe you are looking for me." "Yes I am; please get in," she replied.
I got in and sat down in the front passenger seat. She handed me a special wide belt and told me to put it on immediately. "This will make you invisible to everyone and undetectable by the bad guys who are seeking you." I put it on as she hurriedly drove away and began to explain what was going on.
"I work with a group who is protecting you from the cabal of bad guys who is intent on stealing something from you. We call them simply "the bad guys" because they keep their real name secret. A hacker in our group succeeded in breaking into their computer an hour ago where he learned that they had just finished constructing a device to locate you. They do not know your name or anything else about you except that your location was the Library. They immediately sent forth a team to the Library with this device which would pinpoint your exact location within the Library."
"Another member of our group, who is doing historical research, recently found the belt you are now wearing, which the documents say will make you invisible to all and indetectible by the cabal's device. She gave it to me yesterday informing me of its function; and she told me that the documents also say that the cabal would very soon have the device and therefore be able to locate you. As soon as the hacker told me the bad guys were on their way to the Library, I set out to try to get here first, which I have succeeded in doing, since I happened to be close by when I got the word."
"I am taking you to a safe house at a remote location which will be guarded by members of our group who have had special forces training. Just before reaching the Library I received word that the house and environs is secure and they will meet me there to escort you to the house."
"My name is Darla. But, Please, Do NOT Tell Me Your Name!!! And do not tell me anything at all about yourself just in case I get captured by the bad guys. And Keep The Belt On At All Times!! And Do NOT tell ANYONE about any of this!! If you get separated from me somehow, do not try to contact us. As far as we know they cannot locate you as long as you are wearing the belt. But if they find out who you are, they could enter your house and catch you that way. It was a good thing you were in the Library instead of at home when their device was activated because now all they know is that you were in the Library, but there is no way they can find out who you are that way because there are a lot of people in the Library now and they have no info on you, such as your appearance, by which they could go in there and ask any of the librarians who you were. And there was no one around seeing you get into my car. So, they do not know who you are and we need to keep it that way. All they know is that you left the Library. Ever since you have put the belt on, they no longer know your location."
"One more thing. None of the documents our scholar has studied either name you or name what it is that you have, which the bad guys want to steal. This object is only called "It", and you are referred to only by title as "He Who Will Bear It".
I agreed to do as she said and thanked her and her group for their concern and their protection.
What the good guys did not know was that there was a mole in their office who learned of the safe house. As soon as this mole reported the location of this safe house to the bad guys, they sent a team of their own special forces there, who arrived well ahead of the good guys. The safe house is a cabin in a woods on top of a hill surrounded almost completely by a steep cliff. It also turned out that one of these bad guys was even familiar with the site and knew of a special ledge (which was known to almost no one) which was located a few feet below the top of the cliff where the men could stand hidden from view behind shrubbery and ambush the good guys shortly after they arrived on the site by the only path leading to it, a narrow dirt road.
The instructions which the leader of the bad guys gave to their special forces were very simple and very emphatic -- they were to kill all the good guy special forces men but they were NOT to fire upon me or the woman bringing me to the site. They were to take us alive back to their headquarters for interrogation.
As we arrived at the site of this supposedly safe house and proceeded to the end of the dirt road, Darla parked the car and told me to get out. Right after I got out of the car I tripped and fell flat on my face in the tall grass and my right hand came into contact with a metal disk which immediately showed me where the bad guys were and what their intent was. Before I could say anything to Darla, they opened fire and killed all the good guy special forces men. The disk responded to my rage at the bad guys by slaying all of their special forces men there, causing their bodies to fall off the ledge and down the cliff, and it slew all the men at the HQ of the bad guys and the mole who had been in the office of the good guys and was on his way back to the bad guys HQ.
As I rose to my feet still clutching the disk, I noticed that it was bluish-green and was attached to the end of a jewelry chain. I somehow knew that this object, which I decided to call the Cyanodisk, was "It", and since my title is "He Who Will Bear It", I placed the chain around my neck with the Cyanodisk under my shirt. I noticed that Larry the van driver was shaking in his boots in the van and that Darla had fallen down and was unconscious, so I guessed I was going to have to take charge here. I walked over to the van and spoke to Larry with an authoritative voice as though I were his commanding officer, "Larry! Pick up the bodies, put them in the van, and take them back to Headquarters, now!". Larry was so agitated that he did not realize that he never actually saw anyone -- he immediately proceeded to the task I assigned him as though I were his boss.
While he was doing this, I attended to Darla. I gave her a Darvocet tablet for the pain from the large bump on her head, and I carried her to the car. Since she was shivering, I placed her in a sleeping bag I found in the trunk, and then put her in the front passenger seat, buckled her in, and looked through her purse where I found her wallet which had an "in case of emergency" card, which had her sister Jenna's address on it. I drove to Jenna's house, used Darla's garage door opener on her key chain, parked the car in the garage and closed the garage door. The house was dark, so apparently Jenna was not at home. I carried Darla out of the car, through the garage, and through the adjoining door into the house, and up to her bedroom.
This was apparently the family house in which they had grown up and which Jenna had inherited and from which Darla had moved out but in which her childhood bedroom had been maintained for any times she came for overnight visits. Since Darla was still shivering, I left her in the sleeping bag, put her into her bed and placed blankets over her and turned up the thermostat in the house up to 80 degrees Fahrenheit.
On a computer in the study I went to Microsoft Word, got a document on the screen and typed in very large and bold capital letters a note which I printed out and affixed to the wall above the night stand next to Darla's bed. The note said: 12 HOUR DARVOCET GIVEN TO DARLA AT 4 PM FOR SEVERE HEADACHE FROM CONCUSSION ON FOREHEAD. I placed the bottle of Darvocet tablets (from Darla's purse) on the night stand.
All the time I was in the house I kept my gloves on so as not to leave any fingerprints anywhere, even on the computer. It was the dead of winter so that I was already wearing gloves. I then left Jenna's house and walked to my own house, which, fortunately was only about a mile away. I took my favorite route home, a path through the woods which hardly anyone else ever used. I met no one.
During my walk home the disk assured me that all the bad guys had been executed and I never sensed any danger then or after I arrived at my home. Just to be certain, though, I made sure everything was locked up and I kept the special belt on. I then went to my phone and called my friends (who lived a block from the Library) and told them that my plans had changed and that I would not be visiting them tonight.
After making a quick supper I meditated on what had just happened and I grieved over the loss of the good soldiers. The excitement of all that had just transpired had drained me of energy, so I went to bed early and slept soundly until morning when I awoke refreshed but curious as to what was behind all of this and what I was supposed to do now.
Jenna was really mad at being put onto the 4 to12 shift. Her supervisor, resenting Jenna's superior intelligence, did it just out of spite. Then, as she arrived at the hospital, she suddenly received a strong impression that Darla was in danger. Even though Darla had been knocked out, the sounds of the gunshots registered in her mind at the unconscious level. It was these "bad vibes" that Jenna received because of her close relationship with her sister. Jenna was terrified because it seemed to her like evil men were shooting at Darla.
And she was frustrated because there was nothing she could do about it because her shift was about to start, and it would be a very busy one with no breaks, and, even so, Darla was so dedicated to her dangerous work that she would resent Jenna calling her on her cell. Darla thrived on danger and regarded Jenna as a scaredy-cat.
Then, to top it all off, Jenna learned just before her shift was about to end that she would need to work overtime because of an emergency surgery to be performed by that pompous dictator, Dr. Butcher. Yes, his name really was Dr. Butcher. Now there was no denying that he was one of the best surgeons in the nation -- and he knew it and flaunted it and delighted in bossing the nurses around and denouncing them for even the most petty mistakes -- for example, being a little too slow in handing him his scalpel.
By the time that Jenna finally returned home at 3 AM she was a nervous wreck. Then she was astounded to see Darla's car in the garage. How dare she drop in unannounced like that! Darla did not visit often but she always called first.. Then as she entered the house she exclaimed, "And why is it so damn hot in here?" Then she almost lost it when she saw the computer on in the study and looked at the MS Word Document on the screen -- 12 HOUR DARVOCET GIVEN TO DARLA AT 4 PM FOR SEVERE HEADACHE FROM CONCUSSION ON FOREHEAD. What the -----???
She rushed up the steps to Darla's bedroom and saw the same note taped to the wall above the night stand next to the bed directly above Darla's Darvocet pill bottle. And Darla was in bed in a sleeping bag under a ton of covers!!
Darla woke up very groggily and mumbled, "Where am I? Jenna, is that you? What happened?" Jenna retorted, "YOU are asking ME what happened? I come home, find you here unannounced with a bump on your head and this note on the wall. YOU need to tell ME what happened!! How did you get here? Who wrote this note? What about the gunshots?"
"Gunshots", Darla whimpered. "Oh, my God, what happened -- were any of them hit? Boo hoo hoo! I can't remember anything. I fell down and then woke up here -- I don't know anything else."
"OK, Darla, let me put a compress on this bump and give you another Darvocet and you go back to sleep and we will talk more about it in the morning."
The next morning shortly before noon both women woke up. Darla still couldn't remember anything. By then Jenna had calmed down. She told Darla she could stay as long as she wanted. By then Darla's headache was almost gone but she still felt woozy. A bit later she finally felt up to calling in to headquarters.
Sam Jones is the leader of the good guys -- a very good leader but he could not have done all he had without the aid of her secretary Susan, who was an excellent administrative assistant and source of encouragement. Her skills were needed now more than ever to confront the crisis facing them. Sam was so anguished over the tragic slaying of his men and so humiliated at being penetrated by a mole, that he could barely function. And he did not know how to handle Larry, who was so terrified he could not utter a coherent sentence. It was amazing that he had even been able to load the slain men into the van and drive back without getting into a wreck. And he did not know where Darla was. All he could do was blubber about not seeing her car when he left the site in the van. And Darla was not answering her cell because it was turned off. So, on top of everything else he did not know what had happened to Darla. He feared that she had been kidnapped by the bad guys. About the only good thing that had just happened is that his friend Joe immediately responded to his request for guards to be posted around the office.
Meanwhile Susan was undertaking the heart-wrenching task of informing the families of the slain special forces men and the task of calming down Larry enough to arrange for him to deliver the bodies to the families. She also had the laborious task of disposing of all the old files, for Sam had decided to shut down the company, something he was thinking about doing soon but now decided to do immediately. He would finish out the main current op dealing with me, and he would turn over the few still active minor ops to Joe. All other files would be destroyed. Susan needed to deal with the paperwork involved in this. She also had the job of the paperwork involved in the financial compensation to the slain men -- final paychecks, severance pay, insurance payments, etc.
The worry about Darla ended at 12:30 PM the following day when she called in from her sister's house. She assured Susan that she was safe. She was not sure what had happened to me because she was unconscious after her fall, but she assumed that I was the one who had driven her to Jenna's house and she sensed that I was safe.
During the week it took Susan to shut down the office, Sam recovered enough equanimity to function somewhat normally and he finally did something he had wanted to do for a long time, and that was to ask Susan to marry him. He would have done so a long time ago but there was a strict policy in his company against dating among employees. Things worked out quickly and well on that score because Susan had been wanting to be his wife. They married immediately and she moved in to live with Sam in his house and sold her house to Larry, who had been wanting to move out of his parents house for some time into his own place.
Larry also quickly recovered from his fright and rose to the challenge of his tough assignment of delivering the bodies, so much so that Darla was impressed, and now they are going to be married. They both really like Joe, so they will be working with him now.
Amy is the historical scholar I mentioned above and one of the most intelligent persons I have ever met and is by far the most knowledgeable about the subject of "It". This is not surprising because she has devoted her whole life to the research, beginning when she was just a child. Her tireless labors finally led her not only to the belt and the knowledge I have already mentioned, but also to a disk similar to the one I literally stumbled upon, and at the very same instant -- apparently it was her discovery of her disk that somehow caused me to fall onto mine -- if you can figure that out! Her disk is also tuned into mine so that through her disk she was aware of what my disk was doing. This is why she knew that the bad guys had all been destroyed and where their headquarters were, which is why she immediately went there and worked all through the night getting all the useful info she could find, which actually wasn't much, and then destroyed the rest.
After getting a few hours of sleep in the morning, she called in to report to Sam shortly after Darla did. Sam was very relieved to know I was safe at home and that the bad guys had all been destroyed. However she did not tell him or anyone else about the disks. She then ate a late lunch and pondered what to say to me when she came to meet me late that afternoon.
I sensed that Amy knew what had been happening and knew for sure she was on her way to visit me because she sent me a mental message to that effect. I was almost certain that Darla's admonition against speaking to anyone about this subject did not apply to Amy, but in order to reassure me of this, Amy began her conversation on that very topic.
She began by showing me her own disk first. Then, in response I showed her mine. They were identical except that the color of hers was magenta instead of bluish-green. AND it needs to be noted that the invisibility provided by my belt did not apply to her just as the invisibility provided by her belt did not apply to me. I mean that we can see each other, although no one else can.
Before moving on I need to say that the impersonal sounding way I have discussing Amy is very misleading because I was strongly attracted to her even before we physically met, and when she walked into my house I was so awestruck with her and she with me that we could barely speak and had to make a Herculean effort to hold our feelings at bay while we discussed the facts.
Then after we could contain ourselves no longer we flew into each other's arms and no words were needed to express our overwhelming desire to be married, which we did immediately by means of a justice of the peace, who is a close friend of Amy and with whom she had already made the arrangements because of the knowledge she had from her disk.
Before she went out to get her friend, the disks told us that, at least for the near future, there were no bad guys after them any more and that therefore the invisibility they had been providing us would now end until such time as it might be needed in the future. This was a relief. Her friend then came in, married us, wished us well, and left.
After a very enjoyable evening and night of fun, we awoke late the next morning to begin planning our life together. I said to her, "I would love to go on a honeymoon with you now but I believe that first we need to discuss our responsibility pertaining to these disks. What are we supposed to use them for? What is their purpose? Why were we given them? What do we do now?"
She agreed completely with this, saying that she had already given a great deal of thought to it but was embarrassed to have to admit that in spite of all her research that she did not have a clue!
I was utterly astounded!! I told her I appreciated her honesty and humility in admitting this but could not understand why we were given these disks if we did not know what we were supposed to do with them. Amy could not answer this. She told me that when she had asked her disk for the answer, it was SILENT !!
Finally, I said, "Do you know what? I think that WHEN we need to know that, THEN we will be told. In the meantime, let's take care of some practical things, like you moving out of your house into mine." She agreed.
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As of this time we still do not have the answer but we believe that when it is time for us to know we will be told. And, I think that time is drawing near. When it does and the adventures resume, I will let you know what happens. Until then, Auf Wiedersehen !
June 1, 2008