Prose

Saving Time- Chapter 2


by: Daniel I. Saum

Sitting at a desk, he looked down at the stacks of papers on the wooden surface. Letting out a sigh, he dived back into the work by picking up a file and looking through it. The report was talking about minor repairs throughout the building that needed approved. He took up a pen from the desk with his right hand. Pressing the tip of the pen to the paper, he began to sign his name. Completing his signature, he threw the papers back into the folder they came in and put the folder into a different stack.

Then there was a ding from his door, and he looked up from his desk. Grabbing ahold of a pile of folders, he moved them off of his desk and onto the floor beside it. When his desk was finally cleared off, he turned his attention to the door which had buzzed twice more.

“Come in!” He shouted, and the door immediately slide open.

“Director Johnson,” a small figured man standing at the doorway said.

“Yes Agent?” Deputy Director Frank Johnson asked.

“I have a report for you,” The Agent said, as he held up a folder.

“Of course,” Frank said as he looked down at the stacks of folders on his side of the desk.

Johnson took the folder from the hands of the young Agent and set it on his desk. Then he flipped it open and started pulling out papers. In the back of the folder, he found pictures. All of the pictures were of the same man, but of differing places and positions. Putting the pictures down, he started skimming through the reports in the folder. Looking up from the papers now sprawled across his desk, he took of his glasses and looked at the young Agent.

“Where did you get these?” Frank asked.

“It was submitted by one of my recon teams, you had said you wanted to hear about any reports like this immediately…so…” The Agent started, growing nervous as he spoke.

“No…you did the right thing Agent…Agent.” Frank said, trying to remember the young Agent’s name.

“Sha’ Re’.” The Agent said.

“That’s a unique name,” Frank said.

“It’s a very…old name. One almost forgotten in time.” Sha Re said.

“I’d bet,” Frank replied as he looked back down at the papers on his desk. “Thank you for this Agent, I want you to put together a briefing in the Conference Room of everything you know. Twenty minutes.”

“Yes, sir.” Sha Re said, and he left the room.

Looking through the papers again, Frank decided that he should talk to his boss. So, turning his chair around, he stood up and jimmied his way through the piles of folders still stacked around his desk. Then, getting to his door, he pressed a button on the wall and the doors slide open. Stepping into the hall, Frank could feel the difference in temperature and there was even a slight breeze that went across his skin causing his fine hairs to raise and his arms to get goose bumps.

“Director Johnson!” A man shouted from behind him.

“Yes Lieutenant?” Frank asked as he stopped and turned around.

“We have a problem,” the Lieutenant said.

“Of course we do, as if I don’t have enough paperwork already.” Frank said.

“Sir?”

“Nothing, what’s your problem Lieutenant?”

“We’ve lost communication with AS-01 sir.” The Lieutenant said.

“For how long?” Frank asked, forgetting about his other problems for a minute.

“Coming up on two check-ins, sir.”

“Great, just great. Thank you Lieutenant, I’ll take care of it. Is there anything else?”

“Yes, the President of the United States has called for you again. He wants to meet with you about the current…to use his words sir, situation.” The Lieutenant said.

“Tell him that I appreciate his support in our operations, and when I have a minute to spare I will contact him.” Frank said, as he turned and continued moving down the hall.

“That’s the thing sir,” the Lieutenant said as he jogged up to Frank’s side. “The President isn’t giving his support. But he isn’t against us either, right now he’s on the fence and that’s what he wants to talk about.”

“You’ve got to be kidding me.” Frank muttered to himself. “Contact the President and tell him that I expect his support or else I’ll use one of my high tech Space Ships to destroy the United States.”

“Do…do you really want me to do that?” The Lieutenant asked.

“No, don’t say that. Just tell him that I am in the middle of a non-threating emergency right now and I will give him a call as soon as possible.” Frank said.

“Yes sir,” the Lieutenant said, as he turned around and walked the other way.

Frank started continued walking down the hall until he came to a set of doors. Pressing a button on the wall beside the doors, there was a hum from behind the doors. After a few seconds there was a buzz and the doors slide silently open to reveal an elevator on the other side. Stepping into it, the doors silently slide closed.

“Fleet Command.” Frank said, and the elevator began to move.

There was a slight vibration in the floor that moved up his feet and into his legs. Standing there, Frank tried to ignore the now tingling sensation in both of his legs. However, it was beginning to annoy him. In an attempt to get it to stop, Frank started moving his legs up and down. It looked almost like he was trying to march in a military parade, except he was standing still. Just as he was in mid-jog, the elevator stopped and the doors slide open.

When the doors opened, Frank saw a large room filled with many people almost running about. There were steps that led down from the elevator and into the center of the room. At the center was a ring of computer equipment with a single man inside of the circle tending to all the equipment around him. That man was Colonel James Jenkins, head of the Communications Center which was one of the most important parts of Fleet Command.

Past Jenkins was a large screen that had a map of the world on it. Every country was light up with little red dots. The red dots showed were Agency recon teams were. Each recon team was given a mission to investigate differing things. One team in Germany was dispatched to investigate claims that the German government had built a particle weapon. Another team in Brazil was dispatched to investigate a possible alien crash.

Around the room were computer stations and people standing at them. They all had different positions and jobs. Most of them were handlers for the recon teams across the world. However, the rest were working on establishing a new construction station but they weren’t having much luck finding a place where no country could find them or try to stop them.

“Are you okay sir?” Admiral Parker, Head of Fleet Security, asked as he saw Director Johnson jogging inside of the elevator.

“What?” Frank started to ask, and then he realized that he was still jumping about. “Hmph, yes I am fine. Thank you Admiral.” Frank said, as he ceased his movement, straightened his uniform, and stepped out of the elevator.

Frank walked down the stairs and towards the circle in the middle of the room. As he did, Frank noticed that all of the eyes in the room were starting to track towards him. He looked around the room discretely, using his peripheral vison. Confirming that people were staring at him, he starting turning around looking at everyone.

“Jenkins.” Frank said, letting the on looking eyes stare and moving back to the mission at hand.

“Yes Director?” Jenkins replied.

“I’ve gotten a report that we’ve lost contact with the Space Station, is that true?”

“Yes sir, they haven’t answered any communications and have missed two check-ins.” Jenkins said.

“Wonderful,” Frank said.

“Sarcasm sir?”

“Of course, what can we do?” Frank asked Jenkins, getting serious about the issue.

“Not much sir, I’ve tried everything from a Communications stand point. The only other thing we can do is send out a ship to check on them.”

“Admiral Parker,” Frank said as he turned to face the Security Head.

“Yes sir?” Parker asked.

“What ships do we have available?”

“Not many sir, a few transports. As you know, after the Chicago Incident we’ve lost half of our warships.” Parker said.

“Jenkins, where’s the Prometheus?” Frank asked.

“Hold on,” Jenkins said as he pulled up the Prometheus’ tracking system onto a map of the solar system. “Looks like they’re moving past Pluto, and on their way back.”

“Send a communication, tell them I want to speak to them.” Frank ordered.

“Message is away, we should receive a reply in a few minutes.” Jenkins reported.

Frank then walked over to a computer and started pressing a few buttons. Different prompts came up on the screen asking him what he was trying to accomplish. After a few seconds of messing with the computer, a logo with Earth in the middle of it with two swords slashed crisscross behind showed up on the screen, and started rotating. It was the symbol for the Earth Fleet, the defense organization founded and run by the Agency. Finally, the symbol disappeared only to be replaced by the image of Sha Re.

“Yes sir?” Sha Re asked.

“A new situation as arisen Agent, I will not be able to make the briefing for at least another twenty minutes now. Please wait in the Conference Room for me.” Frank said.

“Yes sir, I will be here when you’re done.” Sha Re told his superior, and then his image disappeared from the screen replaced once again by the symbol of the Earth Fleet.

“Director,” Jenkins said and Frank looked up from his computer.

“Yes?” Frank replied.

“I’ve got the Prometheus on Long Range Communications.” Jenkins reported.

“Put it up,” Frank said, motioning to the screen with the map on it.

Jenkins pressed a few buttons at his control panel and an image of a man appeared on the screen in place of the map of the world. Frank walked around the circle of computers that Jenkins was in. Coming around the other side, Frank had a better view of the screen and the man on the screen had a better view of him. The man on the screen had dark, jet black hair that was slicked back. He was wearing a black uniform that matched his hair, with gold trim around his shoulders showing that he was in command.

“Director,” Frank said in regard to the man on the screen.

“Deputy Director Johnson…Frank, how are things going down there?” The Director asked with a smile on his face.

“Well, I’ve got stacks of reports surrounding my desk and more keep coming in. I’m pretty sure you put me in this job to kill me. The stress of getting everything done is making my heart sound funny.” Frank replied.

“Sounds about right,” the Director said with a chuckle. “However, I highly doubt that you called just to talk about your workload.”

“Actually, it is a part of my call sir. We’ve lost contact with the Space Station, AS-01 has missed two scheduled check-ins. I’m beginning to worry about them sir.” Frank said.

“I’m sure they just had a problem with the array again, but it if satisfies your maternal instincts we’ll stop by to check on them.” The Director assured his second in command.

“That’s all I ask, sir.”

“Anything else Frank?” The Director asked.

“No sir, now I’ve got to go bicker with the President.” Frank replied, as he let out an unsatisfied sigh.

“Well, best of luck with that Frank. Just remember, that you’ll probably have to do it again in four years.” The Director told him with a laugh.

“Don’t remind me,” Frank said and the Director’s image disappeared replaced with the map from before.

Frank walked around the room and was heading towards the elevator doors. As he approached the doors, he turned around and looked at the room. He took in the sight, and even sucked in a large breath. He had begun to miss this, running about and doing field Agent tasks. He longed to return to his old post, but realized that he was needed as Deputy Director.

“Admiral,” Frank said aloud.

“Sir?” Admiral Parker asked, turning to face Frank.

“You have Command,” Frank told him and then he stepped into the elevator and disappeared as the doors silently slide shut.

“We’re going to have to make this quicker than usual Lieutenant, as I have a very important phone call to make.” Frank said as he walked into the Conference Room.

“Yes sir,” Sha Re said, as he stood from the Conference Table in order to begin the briefing.

As Frank sat down at the table, the lights began dimming in the room. After a few seconds, the room was almost completely dark and a screen on the far wall opposite the doorway lit up. The screen showed pictures of the man from the file. Then the pictures decreased in size and moved to the side of the screen as new pictures appeared that Frank hadn’t seen before.

“Please, begin.” Frank said.

“These pictures were taken by a recon team in California. This man has been seen moving about several cities and towns. Where ever he goes, minor “miracles” happen soon after he arrives.” Sha Re reported.

“What kind of miracles Agent?” Frank asked.

“Small things sir. In one town several people with terminal cancer were reported cured after this man visited their hospital. In another city, five people were saved from a fire. Apparently, they were trapped inside the building and the building collapsed on top of them. However, they walked out of the rubble accompanied by this man.” Sha Re said, as he pulled up a large picture of the man.

“Anything else?”

“There seems to be unusual electromagnetic activity wherever he goes.”

“Wait, wait…” Frank said as he started looking at the pictures more closely.

“What is it sir?” Sha Re asked.

“Holy shit!” Frank exclaimed as he stood up and started moving for the door. “Thank you very much Agent! This has been very helpful,” Frank shouted as he moved out of the Conference Room and into the hall before he disappeared.

“About time he figured it out,” Sha Re said to himself as he shut down his briefing. “Almost had to tell him what is going on around here.” He continued to mutter, then when everything was cleaned up and turned off, Sha Re disappeared into the darkness around him.

Frank ran down the hall and took a sharp right corner. Moving swiftly, Frank made it to his office in only two minutes. Opening the door, he walked into the dark room as he gave a little wheeze from his lungs, since he hadn’t done that much running in almost eight months. “Lights,” Frank said, and the computerized lighting system brought the internal lights to Frank’s preprogrammed “normal” setting.

Sitting in his chair, Frank pulled out the folder that Sha Re had given him earlier. Opening it, he pulled out the pictures and started examining them. “Computer, bring up images from the Chicago Incident.” Frank said, and there was a humming from inside of his desk as the computer processed the request. When the humming died down, the lights began to dim in the room and a holographic projection was displayed overtop of Frank’s desk.

“2,876 Items Found,” hovered above the files of pictures. Frank moved his chair closer to his desk and then laid his hands down onto the wooden surface. When he did, little lights began to glow underneath of his hands as the computer brought up the laser keyboard. Taping away at his desk, Frank started going through the pictures one by one. It didn’t take him long to find one that he thought was suitable.

Taking one of the pictures out of the folder, he held it up to the holographic image to compare them. In the holographic image there were two men. One was a tall broad man of just over six feet. He had golden brown hair, and wore silver armor like a knight would but without a helmet. He also had a long golden cloak that fell to just behind his knees. This man, although most doubt it, was Zeus King of the Olympians, Lord of the Sky, and the god from millennia’s ago.

Zeus was talking to another man. The other man wasn’t as tall as Zeus, and he kind of slouched his shoulders a little. His other man had jet black hair, and pale skin. It looked almost as if he had never seen the light of day. He too wore armor like a knight would, except his armor was black and forged from darkness. He had a black cloak that fell to the back of his knees, and on his hip was a large sword. This man, although most would never believe it, was Hades. Lord of the Underworld and Warden of Hell.

“Computer, isolate and magnify subject in this photo known as ‘Zeus.’” Frank said.

The holographic image hovering above Frank’s desk changed as the computer zoomed in on the image of Zeus. The image was blurred as the pixels were stretched further then they were meant. Pressing a few buttons, Frank had the computer analyze the picture and add pixels to the image to make it clearer for him. When the image was cleaned up a little bit, Frank held the picture in his hand closer to the holographic image.

“You’ve got to be kidding me,” Frank whispered to himself as he examined the two images. Then he pressed a button on his desk and the holographic image disappeared and the lights came back on in the room. Sitting back in his chair, Frank held the picture in his hand in front of his face as he continued to study it. Wanting to investigate the situation further, Frank pressed a few buttons on his desk laser keyboard.

The holographic screen appeared above his desk once more. However, it wasn’t the pictures this time. This time, it was the image of the Earth Fleet logo. The Earth sat spinning over his desk with the two swords slashed behind it. Finally, after what seemed like minutes to Frank, the face of the Lieutenant from the hall earlier appeared.

“Director?” The Lieutenant asked.

“I need you to get a team together,” Frank said, skipping any pleasantries.

“What for sir?”

“Search and capture of a Level 1 Creature.” Frank said.

“A Level 1 sir? The most powerful we’ve ever seen is a Level 4.” The Lieutenant replied, slightly worried.

“I understand that Lieutenant, however, I have found us a Level 1. He is friendly, he just might not remember it.” Frank said, kind of muttering the last part.

“Understood, I’ll get a team in full gear ready to leave in thirty.”

“Make it twenty, and meet me on the rooftop.” Frank told the Lieutenant.

“Don’t tell me we’re flying.”

“We are, end of discussion. Director Johnson out.” Frank cut the communication feed as soon as he finished speaking.

The Earth Fleet logo reappeared hovering just above his desk. Pressing a few buttons, Frank began to make another call. He sat and watched as the world spun around and around. Each time, he tried to find his little place in it. It was almost fun for him to try to find his small city on such a large planet. Then, the logo disappeared only to be replaced by Admiral Parker’s face.

“Parker,” Frank said aloud.

“Sir?”

“I need you to get me transport to California.” Frank ordered.

“California? That shouldn’t be too hard, give me thirty minutes sir.” Parker replied.

“What is it with everyone and thirty minutes? You’ve got twenty and I want to be in the air.” Frank said, and he cut the communications feed before Parker could reply.

Sitting back into his chair, Frank let out a sigh. He was wondering when something would start working in his favor, when something would actually take care of itself and not make him become stressed. Closing his eyes, Frank began to let the quiet of his office over take him. Everything was beginning to be peaceful for the first time since his promotion. His lips moved silently as he prayed that his mission would go well in California. He needed it to go well, the world would probably need it. Just as he was about to fall asleep, there was a beeping on from his desk as a red light flashed. Pressing the button, Admiral Parker’s face reappeared over Frank’s desk.

“Admiral?” Frank asked, rubbing his forehead.

“Director, I have a transport on the roof and ready for California.” Parker reported.

“Understood, I’ll be leaving in a few minutes. While I’m gone, you’re in charge. Call me if anything big happens, okay?” Frank said.

“I will sir,” Parker replied with a small smirk.

“Johnson out.” Frank said, and he clicked the communications feed off.

Frank pushed the metal door in front of him open, and stepped out onto the platform. The platform was built on top of the Agency Tower to safely land transports. The Agency had tried regular helipads, however, they proved too weak and would crumble under the transports. So, they redesigned them and made a Transport Platform.

“Are you ready sir?” Lieutenant Manson asked.

“I’m ready,” Frank huffed.

Frank moved across the platform to the transport sitting waiting for him and his team. The transport was a large metallic bird. It was a combination of a helicopter and a jet. The transport was designed to do almost anything. It was reinforced to fly into space, or even below water. Besides being damn near impossible to destroy, the transport was meant to transport troops in and out of battle. Built with advance armor, a small energy shield, and several plasma cannons, the transport wasn’t as innocent as it looked from the outside.

Stepping into the machine, Frank looked around. The transport was designed with two distinct sections. The front section housed the cockpit, along with the pilot and copilot. It had everything the two men needed to fly the ship around. There were buttons, switches, and lights galore in the cockpit. So much so, it was known to cause hallucinations in some pilots. Because of that, some of the trainees began referring to it as ACID. Since it was possible they could get a hell of a trip off of just sitting in the cockpit.

The second section of the transport housed the supply area. It was were everything was put during transport, be it troops, vehicles, or supplies. It was a large space, about five feet wide and ten feet long. It was empty at the time being, however, bucket seats could fold out of the wall for people to strap into during flight. Frank stood in the doorway, and turned his head over his shoulder and spoke.

“Lieutenant, have your men get in the seats and strap in. I’m going to go talk to the pilot before we leave.”

“Yes sir,” the Lieutenant said, as he turned to relay the orders to his men.

Frank stepped into the transport, and went to the doorway at the left of the entrance. The door was closed, and locked. Beside the door was a pad with keys on it. Frank tapped a few of the keys, placing his code into the computer. A little light above the keypad flashed red, and then turned green to grant access. Then the door gave a creek and a groan as air hissed from around it while the door opened. The solid doorway split into two, and each piece retracted sideways into the wall to allow Frank passage.

“How’s it look Major?” Frank asked the mid-aged man in the pilot’s chair.

“Everything looks good sir, we’re ready to leave whenever you are.” The Major said, turning to face Frank.

“Then get us to California Major.” Frank said, as he turned around.

Stepping back through the doorway, it shut and sealed behind him. Then, he walked over next to the Lieutenant, who had pulled out a chair for Frank to sit in. Sitting down, Frank pulled the harness from the back side of the seat and strapped himself into the chair. Then, he felt a vibration through his boots as the engines on the transport fired up.

“Can I make a confession sir?” The Lieutenant asked.

“As long as it’s not personal.” Frank replied, not wanting to learn too much about the men under him and getting attached.

“I hate to fly,” the Lieutenant said and Frank started laughing as the transport lifted into the air.

The Transport landed at an airport almost a half an hour after it had taken off. As soon as the transport touched ground, the Lieutenant opened the doors and jumped out of the transport. He ran a few feet and then fell to the ground. He was breathing hard, trying to calm himself down. Frank stepped up to the doorway of the transport and looked at the Lieutenant.

“Are you going to be okay son?” Frank asked, with a small chuckle.

As a reply, the Lieutenant just held up one of his thumbs as a sign of “all good.” Then, the Lieutenant went back to trying not to throw up in the grass next to the tarmac. Frank stepped out of the transport, and walked down the tarmac until he was at the backend of the transport. Moving around the transport, Frank saw a motorcade. There were four vehicles in the motorcade. A small, black sedan was at the front of the motorcade. It had black tinted windows, and enough armor plating to withstand several small yield missiles.

The second vehicle in the motorcade was a stretched limousine, one that was also black with black tinted windows. On the front of the limousine were two small flags on either side of the front, sitting on top of the hood just above the headlights. One flag showed United States Diplomatic Immunity, while the other flag had the Agency’s logo on it. The third vehicle in the motorcade was a large black, military transport truck. The fourth, and final vehicle, was a second small, black sedan identical to the first one at the beginning of the motorcade.

Frank started moving towards the limousine in the motorcade, as he did he approached a man came around the limousine and opened the rear door for Frank. Turning around, Frank saw that the Lieutenant had regained his composure and was ordering his mean to get into the transport truck. Watching the men carrying all of their gear to the truck, Frank stood still outside of the truck. When the men had finally gotten themselves into the truck, Frank turned to the man still holding the limousine door for him.

“Take us to the scene Benson,” Frank said to the man, as he, Frank, sat down into the limousine.

Sitting in the limousine, Frank leaned back in the seat. As he did, the leather upholstery underneath of him gave a slight squeaking noise. Shifting a little bit, Frank tried to find a comfortable place in the seat. Finally finding it, or close to it, Frank pressed a button on the ceiling of the vehicle. When he did, a glass plate rose in between the driver and passenger sections of the limousine so that Frank could have a little privacy. Reaching into the pocket of his suit jacket, Frank pulled out his cell phone.

Pressing one of the numbers on the touchpad, the cell phone speed dialed the Agency Headquarters in Chicago. The line rang for a few seconds, and then Frank heard a voice on the other end of the line. It was the familiar voice of Colonel Jenkins in Fleet Command.

“Command Communications, Jenkins here.”

“Jenkins, I need you to patch me in to the President.” Frank said.

“Understood, give me a moment sir.” Jenkins said, and the line began ringing again.

Frank sat in the limousine as it moved towards the scene of a crime the Agency was investigating. It wasn’t every day that the Agency investigated crimes, but this one was special. Frank pressed a button on the center console under his left arm in the middle of the seat. Immediately afterwards, a light flickered and a holographic screen appeared. On the screen were pictures of the scene he was headed to, and preliminary reports from his field Agents.

“Yes?” A male voice asked on the opposite end of the phone.

“Mr. President?” Frank asked in reply.

“Yes, and who is this?” The President asked, annoyed.

“Deputy Director Johnson, of the Agency.” Frank stated firmly.

“Oh yes, Mr. Johnson…” the President started.

“Director Johnson, Mr. President.” Frank corrected.

“My apologies, Director.” The President redacted. “To what do I owe this grand pleasure of finally speaking to you?”

“I wanted to call and make sure that I, and the Agency, have your support in these tough political times.” Frank said.

“Well, that’s where we may have a problem.” The President replied.

“What problem?” Frank almost growled through the phone.

“It’s hard to say that you’re looking out for our best interests, when we don’t know what you’re doing. Or when we cannot even get a hold of you in a timely manner.”

“The same could be said by the American people about your government Mr. President.” Frank said, giving a slight chuckle.

“I suppose,” the President muttered in contest of the comment. “However, we’re not discussing my government, but your organization.”

“My organization has been around longer than you, and we’ve been doing what we do since our foundation. But, if it makes you feel better, then you have my personal promise that we will not attack you or anyone else on this planet.” Frank said, sarcastic in demeanor.

“No offense Director Johnson, but how do you suggest I go in front of Congress and offer them your promise not to attack. We both know that they will never believe it.” The President said, with a hint of concern in his voice.

“Well then Mr. President, I guess you’re going to have to make them believe.” Frank said, as he looked out the car window. “This chat really has been lovely, and we’ve got to do it again soon. However, right now I have more important things to tend to. Good day Mr. President.”

“But we haven’t…” The President started to rebuttal, but Frank closed the call before the President could finish.

The limousine started slowing down as they approached the scene that they were investigating. Coming to a police barricade, the patrol officer waved the motorcade through. Frank looked out the tinted windows to see a massive crowd of camera crews trying to get images of the scene. The limousine came to a stop at the steps of a massive three story building. The steps went up about fifty feet, where they came to the two story tall pillars which supported the large, stone roof.

Frank stepped out of the limousine, and put his phone back into his inside jacket pocket as he did. Looking to his right, Frank saw the Lieutenant stepping out from behind the truck, and ordering his men to do the same. Once all of the men were on the hard pavement, the Lieutenant walked over to Frank.

“What’s the plan sir?”

“I’m going in, I want you guys to make sure that the perimeter is secured, check the building completely. Our Level 1 may still be close by.” Frank said as he peered around the block.

“Understood sir, we’ll meet you inside the lobby.” The Lieutenant said as he saluted, and then relayed the orders to his men.

“Keep the car running,” Frank said to Benson before he shut the door.

Heading up the stairs, Frank remembered why he wasn’t a field Agent anymore. It was too much work, and he was getting too old for it. His body ached by the time he reached the top of the stairs, and he had to wave off three paramedics that wanted to give him aid. He stood there, hunched over with his hands on his thighs as he tried to catch his breath. Feeling lightheaded, Frank leaned against the nearest pillar for a few seconds.

Regaining his stamina, Frank moved towards the doors. Grabbing the brass handle, Frank pulled on it and the door swung open for him. Walking inside, there were a lot of people moving around. A large group of people, witnesses to the incident, were all huddled in a corner and talking amongst themselves. Frank looked around, and found his man. Special Agent Armanno Russo. He was an Agent from Italy that had been on assignment in California.

“How’s it going Agent Russo?” Frank asked, as he approached the Lead Agent.

“It’s goin’ well, sir.” Armanno said in his thick Italian accent. “This man over a’ here,” he started point across the room to a security guard. “He’s our key witness, saw the whole thing. Up close.”

“Really, have you talked to him?”

“Yeah, a little. But, I thought you’d like to talk to him first. Ya’ know?” Armanno asked, giving a little chuckle as he did.

“Yeah, I know Armanno. Thanks, I’ll go talk to him.” Frank said, and he patted Armanno on the back as he walked away to interview the security guard.

His shoes clicked on the floor of the bank, it was a sound that he always loved. Coming up to the security guard, Frank found him with his head in his hands. Stopping in front of the security guard, Frank gave out a small and obvious cough. The security guard lifted his head, and ran his hand through his hair.

“Yes?” The security guard final asked.

“I’m Deputy Director Johnson,” Frank said.

“I’ve already spoken to the police,” the security guard said. “Good lot that did.”

“Well, I’m not the police. I have a few questions that might be different.” Frank said. “Do you mind?” Frank asked, motioning to the empty spot next to the guard.

“I guess…” the guard started.

“Good, now first question. What’s your name?” Frank asked, as he sat down next to the security guard.

“My name? It’s uh…uh..” the guard hesitated, as he rubbed his head. “Conor, Conor Fogarty.”

“Conor, good name. Now, I would like you to tell me what happened.”

“Three men came in, gunmen. They held us up, and were robbing the bank.” Conor said.

“Then what happened?” Frank asked.

“He stood up, and he tried to stop them.”

“How did he try?” Frank inquired, pushing for more.

“He tried to talk them out of it, and then they shot him. He died, right over there.” Conor said, pointing to a spot on the floor with dried blood on it.

“He died?” Frank said, trying to understand. Then he waved over the Lieutenant that had come with him. “Lieutenant, check all of the bodies that came out of here. See if any of them are our Level 1.” Frank asked.

“Sir,” the Lieutenant said in a whisper. “There were no bodies, non except the three gunmen.”

“What,” Frank said, getting more and more confused. Then he turned back to Conor. “You say this man died, but the only dead bodies that they found were those of the gunmen.”

“Yes, that’s because he came back to life.” Conor said, “He was laying there on the floor and I tried to stop them myself. I mean that’s my job right, that’s what I’m meant to do. So, I tried to stop them. But, they shot me too and I fell onto the ground a few feet from him.” Conor said, as he rubbed his chest while he was lost in his memories.

“Do you need medical assistance?” Frank asked, beginning to worry.

“No, no I don’t. Because he healed me, he brought me back from the brink of death. Then, he started fighting them. A great storm appeared around the ceiling, and light flashed all about. One of the bolts struck him, and when it did he changed.” Conor said.

“Did he get silver armor? A long cloak?” Frank asked.

“Yeah, how did you know?” Conor asked, looking up at Frank.

“Lucky guess, please continue with your story.” Frank said.

“I guess he fought the gunmen, I don’t remember that part since I was unconscious on the floor. But, I came back to with him, the man in the armor, standing over top of me. I don’t know how, but the bullet wound was gone, is gone.” Conor said, looking down at his chest. “I bet that sounds ridiculous, I probably imagined most of it or something. I haven’t slept much in the past few days, maybe it was a hallucination.” Conor tried to explain.

“Yeah, maybe.” Frank said as he stood up and buttoned his suit jacket. “At any rate, I’d like to take you home Conor.”

“Are you sure? I mean, there’s no more questions or anything?”

“Not right now,” Frank said, trying to create a kind smile on his face, but finding it difficult.

“Okay then.” Conor replied, as he stood up and followed Frank out of the bank.

They walked back to the doorway, and Frank pulled on the brass handle again to open the door. Allowing Conor to go before him, Frank stepped outside. Once there, the two men were approached by Frank’s Lieutenant. After getting the introductions out of the way, Frank and the Lieutenant had a quick conversation.

“What do you want us to do?” The Lieutenant asked.

“Decontamination Protocol, Level 4.” Frank replied swiftly.

“What about him?” The Lieutenant asked, nodding towards Conor.

“Don’t worry, I’ll take care of him.”

“Understood sir, we’ll get things taken care of and head back to Chicago.” The Lieutenant said as he saluted Frank and walked back into the bank.

Frank pulled his cell phone out of his pocket, and pressed a few buttons on the glass screen. He held the phone to his ear, and heard the ringing of the line. After a few rings, a male voice grumbled on the other end of the line. “Benson,” Frank said into his phone. “Benson, bring the car around front, we’ll be waiting.” Then Frank put the phone back into his pocket, and led Conor down the stone steps to the street curb.

A soon as they reached the edge of the street, the black limousine rolled up in front of them. Stopping so that the back door was in front of Frank, Benson got out of the driver’s side and walked around the car. Opening the door for the two men, he began to speak.

“Bringing a guest sir?” Benson asked.

“Yes, yes we are. Now, take us home Benson.” Frank replied as he got into the limousine.

The two men sat in the limousine in a silence. Frank stared blankly at Conor, while Conor was looking around the limousine. It was the first time that Conor had ever been in a limousine, and it felt as if it was missing something for him. He had expected a little more, like alcohol on ice or something. Then, Conor noticed that Frank was staring at him. Turning to face him, Conor grew nervous.

“So, do you want to know where I live?” Conor asked.

“Why?” Frank replied, puzzled.

“So you can take me home.”

“Oh right, right. Before we do that, I have a proposal to make.” Frank said.

“Okay…” Conor said, unknowing what was expected of him.

“I was wondering, would you like a job?”

“I already have a job.” Conor said.

“Actually, you’re going to be fired tomorrow morning.” Frank replied matter-of-factly.

“Oh,” Conor said, as the reality hit him.

“So, I’ll ask again. Would you like a job?” Frank asked, attempting once more to give a warm smile and once more it didn’t quite work out.

“What kind of job?” Conor asked.

“You would come work for me at the Agency.”

“Doing what, exactly?”

“The Agency was created in the late 1930’s when an alien ship crashed into northern Pennsylvania. It was realized then, by a select group, that we needed an organization to protect the world from outside influences. At first, the Agency investigated alien activities, and kept alien interactions with humans to a bare minimum.” Frank said.

“Sounds Men in Blackish.” Conor replied.

“At first, I guess you could say that it was. However, somewhere along the line our mission changed. Today, we don’t just monitor aliens. We also look into the paranormal, the magical, and supernatural.” Frank said.

“As much fun as this ride on the crazy train is, I would like to go home now.”  Conor replied, looking at the front of the limousine towards the driver.

“You may not want to believe it Conor, but this is real and it is happening. In fact, you’ve already met a supernatural creature today.” Frank said.

“What? No, there’s no way.”

“That man, the one who created armor and a cloak seemingly out of nowhere? How do you think that I knew about that before you told me? Because I’ve seen him before Conor!” Frank said, starting to throw more passion behind his words. “Do you know Greek mythology?”

“A little bit, not much.” Conor replied.

“Well, you may know about the Greek god Zeus, the King of the Olympians and Commander of Lighting and Thunder?” Frank inquired.

“Yes, I’ve heard of him.”

“Oh you’ve done more than that my friend, you met him earlier today.” Frank said, with a smile on his face.

“No I didn’t.”

“Yes, yes you did. He was the one that fought off the gunmen, he was the one that healed you bullet wound.” Frank replied, a smirk coming across his face as he spoke.

“I told you, none of that happened. I imagined it.” Conor replied, forceful in his answer.

“Tell you what, why don’t you come to work with me for a few days? If you like it, great you can stay. But, if you don’t. Then I’ll take you home, and you won’t remember any of this and can live a happy life.” Frank offered.

“Can I think about it for a minute?” Conor asked.

“A minute, yes. But, no longer.” Frank replied, as he looked at his watch.

Conor sat in the back of the car in silence as he debated the issue before him. On one hand, he may have just been offered the greatest opportunity of his life. Whereas on the other hand, he may have been approached by a crazed madman with a nice car, suit, and several men following his orders. The more he thought about it, the more Conor had the sneaking suspicion that the man before him in the nice suit was telling the truth.

“Okay.” Conor said aloud.

“Okay?” Frank asked, trying to figure out what Conor was telling him.

“Okay, I’ll try it for a few days.” Conor replied.

“Good, great!” Frank said, excited at having a new recruit. “Now, normally you would be sent off to train with other recruits. However, we don’t have time for that and I need you with me. So,” Frank started as he pressed a button on the armrest. “I’ll just go ahead and put you into the system now as Special Agent Conor Fogarty, Head of Supernatural Affairs.”

“Sounds important,” Conor said, as he got a little jump of adrenaline.

“Actually, I just made it up. But, I hope to have a complete Supernatural Affairs Division up and running in a few weeks.” Frank replied.

As the two men were speaking, a glass plate moved up from the floor in between them. Once it was all the way up to the ceiling, it gave a little flash of light it came to life. Frank pressed a few buttons on the screen interface, and there was a large flash of light in Conor’s direction. Gripping his hands over his eyes, Conor yelled out in pain.

“What was that?!” Conor exclaimed.

“That was the computer taking your picture, for your lanyard. It will be needed for you to do anything on Agency grounds. Frank explained. “Now, please hold very still.”

As Conor tried not to move, a solid light moved from his feet to his head and back again. It reminded Conor of the light from his home scanner/copier. However, this light was a softer one, and not as intense as the light in Conor’s scanner. He had found out, in a terrible way, how bright those scanners could be.

“All done,” frank said as the glass plate moved back into the floor.

“What did you do, scan me?” Conor asked, starting to rub his eye rom overexposure.

“Basically, yes.” Frank replied. “It’s not important right now, what’s important is getting back to the office.”

“Yeah, the other guy said something about Chicago? Please tell me that’s not the closest office you have?”

“Actually, right now it’s the only office we have on Earth.” Frank said, with a small grin.

“So, how are we going to get back there? Fly?” Conor asked.

“No, that’s going to take too long.” Frank said, as he leaned forward and started speaking to the driver. “Benson, get us to the office please. Full Throttle.”

“Yes sir, Full Throttle.” Benson replied, a hesitation in his voice as he spoke.

“What’s Full Throttle mean?” Conor asked.

“You now work for the Agency, a few years ago we created a second organization called United Earth Fleet, but is now just Earth Fleet.” Frank started to explain.

“Earth Fleet? What do they do?” Conor asked.

“That’s not important right now, what is important is that they created a wonderful device. One which allows us to move around great distances in short periods of time.”

That’s when there was a humming from the back of the vehicle as a machine started to energize. In the front of the car, the headlight covers opened to reveal a hidden device. A rod, with a pointed end, came out where each headlight cover was. Then, Benson pressed a button and there was a jolt inside the limousine as a jet like engine fired underneath of the car sending it several feet into the air above traffic. Then, four smaller engines began firing underneath the car at the corners. This allowed the car to hover for a few seconds while the main engine underneath the car recharged to fire again.

After several more fires of the main engine, the limousine was hovering just over top of the taller building around the city. Then, Benson pressed a button and an actual throttle control raised itself from the center console. Gripping the throttle, Benson turned to look over his shoulder at Frank. Getting a nod from his boss, Benson pressed the throttle all the way forward and there was a groan from the trunk of the limousine.

Power surged from the trunk of the limousine to the rods on the front. The rods harnessed the power coursing through the limousine, and directed it in front of the vehicle. When it did, twin beams of green electric energy fired into the sky before the limousine. The twin beams found a similar mark, hitting the same place in the air. As it did, the sky in front of the limousine began to warp, or tunnel. The tunnel in front of the vehicle grew larger and larger the longer the two beams were shooting at it.

Finally, after a few minutes, the opening of the tunnel was just bigger than the limousine itself. Looking through the tunnel opening, Benson could see a building on the other side. Pressing the accelerator, the limousine flew forward and into the tunnel. As they went through, the limousine bounced, and jolted about. Electricity arced across the tunnel as the limousine passed under it. Then, just as fast as it happened, it stopped and the limousine was on the other side of the tunnel.

Looking out of his window, Frank could see the building that they were now hovering beside. It was a tall skyscraper, one that was black with dark tented windows. It was nearly impossible to see what was happening inside of the building. Then, looking to Benson, Frank began to speak.

“Take us down.” Frank said.

Immediately after he spoke, Frank noticed the skyscraper beside him rising into the air. Although, it wasn’t really rising, since Frank knew that the limousine was in fact falling. A few minutes later, after a nice glide down to the surface, the limousine was back on the ground. The doors, which had locked automatically with takeoff, unlocked as Benson put the limousine in park. Then, he got out of the car and went to open the door for his two passengers.

“Thank you Benson,” Frank said as he stepped out of the limousine and Benson just nodded in turn.

“What was that?!” Conor exclaimed.

“You my new friend, just went through a wormhole.” Frank said, as he climbed the steps to the skyscraper in front of him.

“Went through a what?” Conor asked, upset at what had just transpired in the limousine.

“Einstein-Rosen Bridge, commonly known as a wormhole.” Frank replied, as he opened the door to the building for Conor.

“That means nothing to me, English sir. ENGLISH!” Conor replied, getting aggravated.

“Okay, it’s like this.” Frank started as he walked up to a security desk. “Can I borrow a piece of paper?” Frank asked the security guard behind the counter.

“Here you go, sir.” The guard replied, handing Frank a piece of copy paper.

“Okay Conor, look at this.” Frank said holding out the paper. “Question is, what’s the fastest way to get from point A, to point B?” Frank said, marking two different points on the paper as he spoke.

“I don’t know, going straight from A to B.” Conor replied, trying to figure out where the metaphor was heading.

“Right! Modern Geometry provides that a straight line from one point to another is the fastest way to get between the two. But,” Frank started, holding up a finger. “Albert Einstein and Nathan Rosen came up with a simple idea. They created a theory that basically says, space is like this piece of paper.” Frank said, holding out the paper before Conor. “Their theory says that you can take space, bend it, and then touch two points together that may be in reality light-years away from each other.” Frank explained, as he brought the two points on the paper close together.

“So, you’re saying that you bent space? And by doing that, it caused that tunnel, or bridge, to be created in between here and California?” Conor asked.

“Basically, yes.” Frank replied, as he handed the piece of paper back to the security guard.

“Speaking of here, where are we?” Conor asked, looking around the building.

“This is where you’ll be working for the next few days.” Frank replied.

“So, this is…” Conor started.

“Yes. Welcome Conor, to the Agency.” Frank said, with a smile. “Come on, I’ll show you around.” Frank told Conor, as he started walking away from the security station.

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