“You wnnna do something fun?” Joey’s voice crackles over the car’s speaker.
Misty was returning to the moon after a meeting with Dr. Sarah Hampshire. Dr. Sarah is the top administrator of The Lunar and Planetary Institute. Misty has recently accepted employment, as an operative diplomat, working for Joey. Joey is the ancient artificial intelligence that is active in this solar system. The meet didn’t go well; words were exchanged. Misty rides alone in the back of the Autopiloted blacked-out Tesla, hosting an irritation.
Misty knows the voice as the one Joey most often uses with her.
“Maybe?” she answers, her irritation with Dr. Sarah still active and showing in her voice.
“Something unexpected has come up,” it says.
“I’m not sure if I believe the unexpected part, but what is it?”
“You are being followed,” Joey told her.
“Me! Why would anybody follow me? From NASA? She wrote me off as a nut case and, between you and me, I don’t think she’s smart enough to harbor a secret agenda. So why follow me?”
“You aren’t being followed by NASA. It’s the Illuminati.”
“What’s so fun about that? Being followed by a secret society of smarties? I doubted they actually exist. Don’t they want to rule the world? Why would these guys get the itch to follow me and how did they do it so quickly?” she asked with growing concern.
“The Illuminati know aliens are real, although I don’t know any aliens that are in contact with them. They have bugs in the Doctor’s office waiting for this very opportunity. They hoped on following you to me.”
“But it gets worse. They were only able to get two sedans and one helicopter activated on such short notice. Now they think you will be able to ditch them. You will, of course, with my help. They decided to provoke a reaction and see what turns up,” Joey told her gravely.
“What reaction?” Misty asks with growing fear.
“They decided to kill you.”
The car slows to a halt and the dark tinting fades from the windows. Misty hears a pneumatic whine and the whap whap of a faltering helicopter rotor. Just several dozen yards in front of the car she sees an unmarked military helicopter perform a very hard landing. It bounces once before settling with a tilt beside the empty road.
“Some fun! What did you do?” Misty asks, now afraid someone will pop out of the wreck to attack her with something powerful enough to overwhelm her armored car.
“I had your saucer overhead and used it to strike the two cars with a focused EMP. Those cars will never drive again! I couldn’t just stop the helicopter and kill the occupants. I try hard not to kill anyone, as you know. I used the EMP on low power to partly disable it. I beamed an upgraded taser at the men; they won’t be able to talk or even more for hours,” Joey tells her. Misty sensed pride in its voice.
“EMP? Electromagnetic pulse. Did you kill my car too?” she asked.
“No, of course not. You have a Faraday cage.”
“Of course,” she mused. As her senses returned from shock, she garnered some deserved anger. “They were going to kill me! I’m nobody to them! I couldn’t harm them if I wanted to! What kind of bastards are these people?”
“I’m afraid it’s worse than you imagine. The two drivers and the pilot are all mercenaries who might kill you for money, but they would feel bad about it. The shooter is a Delta, one of their brainwashed assassins. He’ll kill anyone that his handler assigns before returning to his CPA job or something. His conscience has been erased.”
Her saucer landed on her left, crushing a few saplings before the ramp extended and dropped to the ground. Two of the big-headed spindly grays exited the 75-meter diameter ship and moved over to the downed copter to retrieve the disabled men.
“You can leave the car. We’ll finish the trip in your saucer,” Joey informs her.
She didn’t have luggage or even a briefcase so she just got out and headed for the saucer’s ramp. The car turned around and left as she followed the grays with their loads into the airlock. After the quick cycle, she entered the interior to find more grays hovering over two unconscious men strapped properly onto gurneys. They were intubated while ports were being installed into their necks.
“The drivers?” Misty asked into the air.
“Yes,” said the closest gray. Its eyes weren’t focused on her and it was obvious the dumb thing was just being used by Joey.
The wall had turned transparent and she watched the craft rise for a moment. The two newcomers wriggled with fear but the robots were stronger than they looked and the two men were incapacitated; all they could do was wriggle. There was no escaping their fates and soon she viewed all four unconscious killers with dispassion as they lay quiet.
“Are we going to space this trash?” asked Misty, trying to talk tougher than she is, preparing to face a troubling future.
“No, no. You know I can’t kill. I don’t like to reprogram people, either, but sometimes extreme measures become necessary.”
“Reprogram?” Misty queried.
“Yes. Give them new personalities. If they didn’t have the Delta with them I could just frame them for some serious crime and let them go where they would get caught. The Delta has to be totally redone and I can’t have the others talking about it,” said the gray without any inflection, like a robot.
“Won’t their employers find the ruined equipment and wonder what happened to them?”
“No. The Illuminati are ramping up their program and ruining a lot of lives, killing a lot of people. They’re used to bloody people and will just assume we killed and disposed of them,” Joey told her.
“What will they be?” asked Misty from curiosity.
“They’ll have new life stories, new IDs, new fingerprints, and new looks. I’ll fill them in with the details of the religion of the ancients and they can slip right into their new career as prophets. They’re to open a new church in Cincinnati, Ohio,” Joey informed her.
“Religious prophets! Now that’s a turnaround. You’re sick, Joey.”
“Thank you. I need to talk with you. Will you transfer over to my ship?” Joey asks.
“I guess,” Misty said but was wary of what transfer entailed. She didn’t have to wait long! As soon as she agreed a gray placed a transparent helmet over her head while another one thoroughly sprayed her with a foam that instantly gelled into a clear, flexible covering. She was led to the gaping airlock and practically thrown into it. Ir closed as quickly as her fear rose; her only hope was knowing that Joey wouldn’t let her down. In another second the outer door opened to dark space and the remaining air sucked her out at some speed.
A rope smacked into her shoulder and, after a minute, she realized she was to grab it. She could see a tubular spaceship before her, much larger than the one she had just left. She missed the rope and it drifted away. She was hit with another one square in the nose of the helmet and this one she snatched. An airlock opened as she was pulled into the larger craft. She cycled uneventfully through the airlock and moved into the entry of the ship. Once in the air, the sprayed suit and helmet misted off her as if they had never existed.
The android Joey stood in front of her. He is six-two with a square jaw, blue eyes, and short blond hair in upper-crust European casual clothing with soft leather loafers. He smiles at her.
“A rope? You threw me a rope in space?” she complained.
“You expected a tractor beam?” he teased.
She snorts; actually, she had. She follows the being into the main room, the community room, where she finds a crowd of a dozen young people with half that number of adults. She recognizes Amie and Patti, who wave, from a previous casual meeting. She rightly assumes they are all part of Joey’s army of lost human souls. The sitting young men and women are all excellent examples of human fitness dressed in prim outfits resembling religious school uniforms. The four men and two women standing behind them, dressed in various casuals, stand frozen as the deactivated robots they are.
“What’s on your mind?” Misty asks while the young people listen intently.
“As you know, except for the handling of aliens, I try to stay out of human development. You are a more robust race when you develop your own science and solve your own problems,” Joey begins.
“Uh-huh, like a baby is trained.”
“OK. But sometimes I find that evil is winning. You’ve met the Illuminati; we’ve followed Misty’s encounter from here," Joey tells the group. "Well, in the 1950s, they partnered with the Bilderbergs to influence the CIA to pursue mind control. It was an unsuccessful and sloppy ordeal with overuse of LSD but they did have some success with disassociation,” Joey instructed.
“Isn’t disassociation a mental state wherein the mind separates from a body in distress?” Patti questions.
“Yes, thank you,” Joey continues. “Under the name of MK-ULTRA, the CIA used tortures to break people down and rebuilt them reactive to their trigger of some kind.”
“Like ‘The Manchurian Candidate!’ Amie squawked out.
“Very much like that movie! By the time that the illegal operation by the CIA was ended in 1973, it had gained that degree of reliability, as in it worked. It is believed that it continued without oversight but we know the Illuminati continued the work. We now have one of their Deltas! How far could they have come in the last fifty years? Ever heard of Sirhan Sirhan?” Joey asked then paused. There were no answers and no interjections, so it continued.
“The horrors of producing this brainwashing are overwhelming to any but the most psychotic of the group's members. Common thugs can’t be used. It works easiest with children under fourteen.”
“Is that how we are reprogramming the men we capture?.” Misty asks.
“Oh, no! I use a machine that finds the damaged, stressed memories and removes them completely. Then new memories are implanted. To completely remake someone, all memories are removed,” Joey says. To a soul, his audience scowls.
“It’s painless,” he assures them and their expressions relax a little. “The thing is, I have found the factory that is brainwashing people, making Deltas and sex slaves. It’s damn active, the Illuminati takeover attempt is nearing fruition. They may have trouble from some of their rivals, the Bilderbergs or even the CIA that also wants the power, but we can’t count on that.”
“Let’s drop a MOAB on them!” Misty exclaims with zeal.
“Were it that easy,” Joey explains. “The group owns a modern three-story office building facing Fountain Square innocuously in downtown Cincinnati. Can’t use that big ass bomb there, unless you want about a thousand collateral casualties. You know I don’t kill people, even some as bad as these.”
“Hiding in plain sight. OK, what’s the plan?” Misty asks, ignoring her inner self telling her to be quiet.
“I’ve made arrangements for a field trip from a local school to visit. They will only be shown the cover business of an insurance brokerage, of course. Once inside, the team will disable this cover and advance into the real workings.”
“Won’t they just call for help?” one of the boys asked.
“Good question Frank. Part of my job will be to take over communications in and out of the building. Neither side will know they are talking to me and I’ll keep it that way until you all have revamped the insides.”
“About revamping the workings?” Misty asked for clarity.
“I don’t have the blueprints of the interior so, once inside, you will all spread out in groups moving in different directions. I’ll supply everyone with a focused taser, EMP grenades, and cloaked bulletproof clothing. The parental-looking androids are able to break any lock and can call on greater firepower in case of emergency,” Joey told them enthusiastically. There were a few questions.
“Why don’t we blast the place with these focused tasers and EMPs, bigger ones, from space?” the same young man asked.
“The building is protected with a Faraday cage, for one. For two, larger beams will disturb the surrounding air which might attract attention.”
“And I’m supposed to do a military assault in a Foxcroft Mary blouse with a pencil skirt and high heels?” Misty asks, seriously.
“You’re wearing a slide sandal and you’ll be fine,” assured Joey.
No one noticed that the atmosphere had been penetrated as the wall went transparent and their unit could see outside. Misty was getting used to the view of a quiet glen surrounded by tall trees, adjacent to an untraveled road. This time there was a bi-articulated Van Hoot bus that sprang to life as the space transport opened the egress ramp and the airlock doors wide.
The androids moved quietly while the young people chattered excitedly as they moved across the mossy soil and settled into the comfortable seats. The transport was quickly on its way opaquing the windows. One of the parent androids drove the bus while two others passed out the armament. When it was her turn, one of the bots pressed a tube to her shoulder encasing her into that enhanced but dreaded spacesuit again. A different android strapped a taser projector under her sleeve. It took over an hour to trek into the city and Misty sat quietly, heavy with leadership. What if one of the young ones got hurt or killed?
Misty was disturbed from her reverie by the motion of the stopping bus. The door creaked open and the ‘parents’ hustled the seemingly bored ‘students’ from the bus and lined them up along the broad sidewalk across from the building of interest. They passed over at the light and Misty led them to the entrance. After a moment of hesitation, she opened the door and entered.
The reception area was large and open and Misty hied to the secretary seated behind a desk on the far side. She smiled at the woman as she pulled her taser from its sheaf and shot her. The innocent victim’s smile froze on her face as she immediately fell, with an awful thump, into and then under her furniture. Misty heard her entourage squeal with glee as they opened up on the office workers behind the glass enclosures. There is a short hall on either side leading to poorly protected management offices. The occupants didn’t have the time to secure the doors behind the weak locks before the youngsters shouldered through them and gunned down the desk jockeys and their guests.
“Some of these people are going to have some nasty bruises when they wake up,” Amie stated in general as they reassembled in the commons. Misty opened the door of the central elevator and activated the hold.
“I want six students against the elevator back, four adults in the middle and I’ll take the point,” Misty commanded. In seconds the car was filled and then opened onto the second floor. She stepped out facing a guard room with a dozen heavily armed men ready to kill. These guards opened up with a deafening rattle of heavy caliber handguns and automatic rifle fire.
Before Misty could get off a beam she took a bullet to the neck. The armor instantly distributed the load and saved her life but the impetus knocked her off her feet and to the side. The androids were sturdier and strode out past her with beams blazing from both hands. Bullets nicked small pieces from their reinforced hides. Misty was able to regain her footing in time to join the wall of students as they charged into the fray shooting selectively at the remaining targets. Misty's team took some damage but they persevered in short order.
With the guards fallen they again split into two groups, one for each side hall. Down the far side, the Illuminati workers were surrendering and being herded into the second-floor commons in front of the elevator. On Misty’s other side, the team encountered a heavily armored door. One of the androids manipulated his eye to match that of the Delta they had captured and peered into the identity scanner. A green light appeared at the top of the door and it opened. When the employees inside saw the ease with which it was breached they surrendered.
There were plenty of large and painful bruises to go around. The students tasered down these now huddled employees with less glee but greater zeal.
Using the same lineup they again gathered in the elevator to affect the final floor. Two of the androids were heavily damaged and would be able to provide little help with the next fight. The elevator opened on the third floor and the crew piled out into an empty commons.
Misty led the crew to the Northside first. They opened that door into an open area containing about three dozen beds filled with unconscious individuals ranging in age from twelve to thirty. There were no attendants. Half of their crew hurried out to retrieve equipment that would replace these horrific things with Joey’s compassionate repair machines.
Hurrying to the other side they opened the door into open living quarters. There was odd-shaped furniture, odd toilet equipment, and a kitchen. In the middle of it sat a large human form with green scaley skin and a lizard head with slitted eyes and flesh-ripping teeth. It reeded of rot.
“Chitauri!” hissed the nearest android.