When most people think of torture they envision the grotesque and horrific. The tortures Richard endured were less messy but equally effective. It began with sleep deprivation. The lights would come on and off at random times and for varying lengths of time. His circadian rhythm was thrown out of flux his mental state immediately deteriorated.
They also kept Richard in complete isolation. He never heard or saw another human being. His food came on a conveyer belt that had directions to follow and the penalties that came for not following the rules. The food torture was something Richard could never have fathomed. They fed him three meals a day but he never knew of what quality. Sometimes it was gruel, other times steak, he got foreign dishes from the Caribbean, Spain, Italy, India, and China. Richard even had sushi followed by a meal of raw potatoes. The erratic foods meant Richard spent many an hour with the only piece of furniture in the room. He was never one to eat three meals a day but his other option was being tied down to a bed and fed vie feeding tube. The last liberties Richard had was feeding himself and wiping his own ass.
Like the lights, the temperature varied from desert heat to arctic cold. Then there was the music and noises. Richard knew the military sometimes used speakers to blast heavy metal or annoying sound effects to help dislodge entrenched locations. What Richard endured was well beyond that. They pumped everything from metal, country, rap, folk and anything in between. They would repeat the same song for hours or during songs keep turning the volume up and down. They would wail sirens, blare whistles, the pounding of jack hammers. The one good thing from it was Richard had regained some semblance of the passage of time.
The worst might have been the smells they pumped in through the vents. Flowers, dung, rotting flesh, old person perfume, burning rubber and countless others Richard couldn’t identify. He spent hours holding his nose gasping through his mouth. It had demoralizing psychological effects. What got Richard through each moment was knowing that Zeus was enduring everything he was and worse, all of his tribulations plus some. Most of his tortures wouldn’t even faze Zeus and clearly their captor’s meant to break them.
Then one day the door opened and the guards that dropped Richard into his living hell were bagging his head and taking him out. They loaded him into the little transport. The whirl of the electric engine stuck in Richard’s head as the last normal sound he heard. He was loaded into a waiting propeller driven airplane and stuck in a seat. A few moments later Richard felt someone deliberately knock knees with him, it was Zeus.
After they got airborne and leveled, Richard heard the voice of the man in the dark blue suit. “Do you understand the jeopardy you put our national security in?” It was another statement from him instead of a question. “It’s best you forget any of it ever happened. Plus there is no evidence to back any wild claims you may try and make. Just so you are aware, the government released a statement condemning the Voyager and her crew for pirate archeology. They impounded the ship and detained the crew. After questioning the crew, it was determined they were unaware of any illegal activities of senior leadership. So senior leadership I think you have served your time, you have been absolved of any crime.”
When all they could hear was the drone of the propellers again Zeus leaned into Richard and said, “He is either NSA or the Department of Homeland Security possibly with the CIA pulling strings.” The plane flew them around for a few hours, making constant turns before touching down. Zeus and Richard were rushed to a waiting helicopter flown around for a few more hours before he felt the drop in elevation. The chopper then came to a hover and whoever was sitting with them threw Zeus and Richard out of the door. They were only a few feet off the ground besides a few bumps and bruises they were fine.
The helicopter quickly dusted off and after a minute they could no longer hear the blades breaking the sound barrier. Richard heard Zeus get to his feet and the snap as he broke the plastic restraints. He helped Richard to his feet and removed his hood. Zeus then stood behind Richard and yanked his elbows backyard. The plastic restraints snapped as his wrists separated.
Richard examined a box dropped at his feet as Zeus walked around in circles trying to gain bearings to a place he had never been. He opened the lid revealing two compartments, one of dust and the other Henrik Brunnuer’s personal effects from the Messerschmitt wreckage. “Can you explain to me how we endangered National Security? All they found was old planes and ships how does that jeopardize America?”
Zeus stopped his dance and sat down in the dirt. “I have spent the last three months thinking about that as we wasted away in those cells. What an oil tycoon with limitless money and power has in common with the U.S. government besides you and me. I poured over each detail looking at them singularly and combining them together.”
“One thing has stood out, that black orb spinning at the bottom of the ocean. The magic orb that propelled the ancients across the sky, that powered a submarine that should not exist, that causes magnetic fluctuations in the Earth’s magnetic field. So I thought what the orb was. Somehow it produces a magnetic field that opposes the Earth’s own field giving it the illusion of flight when it is actually magnetic levitation.”
“The Germans figured out they could link it to a drive shaft to turn propellers. Then there was those oddly placed vents on the submarine which I believe were propulsion ports. The Germans used electrified seawater to pass through the orbs magnetic field, the seawater accelerated through the field and was directed through the ports, a magneto-hydrodynamic drive.”
Richard joined Zeus in the dirt, “Where does National Security come in?”
“The orb is somehow a perpetual engine when introduced to a large magnetic field. If it could be replicated it would be a limitless source of energy. The world’s currency of oil would be worthless. The Middle East would destabilize, governments would fall, the economic stranglehold over the middle class would end, and the energy needs of the trailing countries could instantly be met. The world would be forever changed if all energy needs could be met.”
“But they destroyed it all, all the photos, video and the submarine, the orb,” Richard said defeated.
Zeus picked himself out of the dirt and helped Richard to his feet. He had a sheepish grin running across his face. Then opened his mouth and reached in with his fingers. From the back of his mouth Zeus looked like he pulled out one of his molars and handed it to Richard.
“Is this an external drive? What’s on it?”
Zeus started walking, “Everything we need.”