THE HYBRID WAR.
As the two women separated from Roberts group, and went to back track old Minstrels prints, they carefully negotiated their way deeply into the depth of the mountain, proceeding with extreme caution in case Minstrel or even worst Virgo was to suddenly attack them. Then some time later and to their relief they were amazed to suddenly find themselves walking out into a rail tunnel, and then after following it for an additional two miles they eventually emerged some five miles down in the lower valley.
It was only then that they realised exactly where they were, activating the military radios handed to them by Robert, they tried to communicate their discoveries.
“Is there anyone there…, hallow…, can anyone hear me?”
There was a crackling noised created by static,
“Yes, we can here you Julie; do you know where you are?”
“Yes, you won’t believe this, but there is a secret entrance deep inside the old Windsor tunnel.”
It was those words “Windsor tunnel” that attracted Mary Jane’s attention.
“I know where that is, it’s only some miles down in the lower valley.”
Michael was pleased, as he knew if the military had a base there, then there had to be some form of access which was capable of receiving vast quantities of supplies, as well as a means of transporting the military personnel.
Minstrel’s knowledge of the area was such that he had long been using the cave complex as a means of hibernating in the winter months for warmth and safety.
“Tell me is…,”
Michael’s conversation was broken by the injured brother Donald trying to reach him telepathically from inside the missile complex,
“Michael…, Michael can you hear me?”
Michael knew instantly from the tone of his brother’s voice that there was something seriously wrong.
“Andrew you must be very deep within the mountain, as there is something trying to break up your communication.”
It was then that Michael recognised the interference, as that of which he experienced earlier with the Undraus troops.
“Michael it’s about Jamie, he is with Minstrel, and we need your help, please if you can find your way into the complex then try and bring yourself and the whole family.”
His telepathic conversation was broken, Andrew also had recognised the root cause of the interference, and was now extremely concerned for his families’ safety, their homestead had been well constructed; but was no match for a consorted military strike using advanced weapons.
Quickly Michael instructed the women to return to the safety of the tunnel, and explaining that they would soon be arriving, he had long planned for such a retreat, and had ensured that all necessary equipment was readily available, as was the two military Jeeps and troop carrier that he and his brothers had acquired. Within the hour, he and the family had packed and were ready to leave.
Michael could sense the presence of the other bear, but seemed to know it was keeping its distance, having been seriously wounded it was apprehensive of entering the same area for a second time, and its wounds had been extensive and with the beast needing time to heal.
The hover cabs manoeuvred themselves into position and then guarded the flanks of the two troop carriers. Within thirty-three seconds both carriers had dropped their load and returned to the safety of the air. As the troops disembarked from their carrier pods, they set up camp, carefully clearing up the remains of their fellow colleagues, and placed a security barrier on the outer parameter of the camp. Thus, ensuring that even a mouse on entering the area would activate automated sensors which were armed with the latest military laser cannons.
From a safe distance Virgo had been attracted to the area, and he moved his body, placing his huge weight from one foot to another producing a swaying motion. He was again hungry and angry; his pride had been attacked with a direct challenge to his territory. He had been roaming these grounds, long before any of these men had ever stepped foot onto the blades of grass. He also wanted revenge yet was wise enough to know that he must bide his time and wait for the right opportunity, his wounds would quickly heal due to the genetic engineering, for now he just needed time.
Michael and his new family arrived at the tunnels entrance and collected the two women, then carefully manoeuvred the adapted vehicles so that they ran along the rails which took the small convoy deeply into the heart of the tunnel.
“That’s a thought; do trains still use this line?” enquired Michael.
Mary Jane smiled,
“It’s a little late to worry on that one now, yes they do but there’s not another one due for another three days.”
She could see the visible sigh of relief on her partner’s face.
“There…, look just ahead to your left,” said one of the women he had just collected.
Michael looked forward; clearly within the beam of light he could see a side tunnel that branched off to the left.
“Boy there’s no mention of that been there in anyone’s guide books,” joked Michael
“At least we know we are heading in the right direction,” said Mary Jane.
It took a further thirty-three minutes before the vehicles arrived at a junction, and where the train would have off loaded its various cargo’s and have been prevented from continuing any further.
“This is where we joined the tunnel…look can you see that side entrance?”
Mary Jane and the others parked up their vehicles away from the rail and disembarked then made their way into the complex following the directions of the two women.
Meanwhile deep underground in New Mexico, it was Elaine, who sensed something was wrong, looking over to Alex she could see he also had become aware of the silence; and within seconds Peter and the others were also disturbed.
“Why has it become so quiet?”
Although they had learnt how to block out the multitude of thoughts and voices, they had collectively become aware of the sudden silence. It was Alex that realised exactly what was happening.
“I don’t know how, but I have a feeling we have been compromised, Seth should have given us prior warning of this; I can only assume they have become aware of our infiltration and have corrected Seth without our knowledge.”
Peter had only just become aware of his new abilities and had not long accustomed himself to been able to walk or react in a physical manner. His mother took immediate charge, instructing the various cloned technicians to access the information that had been pre-genetically programmed; giving them instant tactical knowledge with instruction to place their lives before that of their creators.
Peter had always been aware of the various security measures built into the complex; however even he had been unaware of the surprise that awaited him in the Southwest wing.
Elaine had instructed her private construction teams, who had been made up of ex-military personnel, to ensure that they built to the letter; every detailed instruction included within the blue prints for the new Southwest wing. It was here that she had her own personal accommodation quarters built, ensuring that on her visits, that she and her family could live in the luxury and life style that they were accustomed to in the outside world.
Unknown even to Peter, there was now an additional and separate access tunnel leading directly to an inner sanctum some two miles into the mountain, to the Southwest of the New Mexico complex and some two thousand feet in depth, having been fully screened from all external surveillance.
As she guided her family and guests into the Southwest wing, along with a selected group of three hundred and seven cloned technicians, which had been instructed to accompany them, it was their personal duty to not only act as bodyguards, but also as an advanced technical team to continue with their work.
In addition, unknown to the Undraus Corporation, Peter had also created hybrid humans from other animals that were themselves now a living quiet life of their own in their chosen communities.
As the wall panel slowly closed itself with its seven-meter thick titanium steel doors, Peter looked in amazement as identical clones of his old self and his family members walked past them and entered the room where they had just vacated.
Above ground, a co-ordinated assault task force had struck with considerable precision, having successfully gasses all external personnel and those within the first two levels.
They had been informed of an escape tunnel situated on level two that went directly to a private airfield some three miles away.
By securing this area quickly, they were confident that Peter and his family had been successfully contained, fortunately they were not aware of Elaine and Christine’s presence, nor were they aware that Peter now had the ability to not only walk, but if required to run with considerable ease, nor of the new extension for Elaine and her family.
It had taken a further two hours and four minutes, for the assault team to fully capture the site. Alex, Peter and four other cloned personnel had barricaded themselves into the inner most central wing, Mrs Undraus had instructed her team to secure the premises, allowing Peter and his team to remain unharmed; also, the strictest of instruction had been given for no one to enter the east Wing.
Back deeply inside the secure facilities of the missile complex, Michael embraced his father; it had been too long since they last saw each other.
“Father…dear father, I am indebted to you, for your forgiveness.”
Robert had intended regardless of Michael’s position within the pride, to make an example of him.
Elaine interrupted “Peter and his family are all safely out of harm’s way, I will explain in a moment.”
Elaine had arrived under escort of her own personnel who were escorting her.
“I shan’t lie to you son; your mother and I took the decision to track you and the others down and terminate your lives…you knew the risk the moment that you stepped outside the family’s protection.”
Juliet moved over to her son’s side.
“Enough…yes, we did place a contract on your lives, but that has now been lifted. Your actions not only saved our personal lives, but that of father Peter and the rest of our extended family. You and your family are safe to live in peace and whatever harmony that you can make for yourselves.”
Michael embraced his mother.
“What has happened to father Peter?”
It was Elaine who answered as she walked alongside Michael, along with her security team, and with those of the armed forces that sympathised with her beliefs and her vision for the future. Certain sections of the US Military had seen the value of her research and through their various Black-opts; had part financed the construction and research of Peters work.
They had also become aware of the Undraus Families public resistance to bio-genetic research and human cloning. Even though it was common knowledge within certain corridors of power that certain sections of her empire were in themselves world leaders in such research.
Alex interrupted, “I don’t know what to say, as we were not informed of your visit.”
“It is all right Michael; we were aware of their visit and even assisted in their arrival. It was thought, that the fewer people, even from among our own family that were aware of their arrival, the safer it would be for them.”
Michael and his family were confused; it was Juliet who brought them up to date.
“Elaine has through her military contacts acquired ownership of this complex, we intend to continue with our research from this very building, it has the added advantage of been almost impregnable, and having been constructed within the heart of this mountain.”
“Does this mean we will have to return to the homestead?”
“No son, I’m sure you are aware that this complex is more than capable of supporting everyone here and many more.”
“Unknown to you, there is a further twenty-three levels below this one and then even more above.”
Michael had assumed the complex had other levels but had been unable to gain access through the sealed nuclear blast doors.
“It was constructed in 1960 by a joint United States and Canadian military, as a backup to Cheyenne Mountain and later debunked after the end of the cold war.”
“Are you the famous person who Michael and everyone here call Father Peter Friend?”
The group stopped talking and looked at Mary Jane,
“Oh, sorry in all the excitement, I forgot, this is Mary Jane my partner.”
Michael looked very pleased with himself.
“Sorry Michael but I’m not meaning to be rude, please now are you this Alex character that I need to talk to, and how can I reach Peter?”
“Well…yes I guess I may well be him.”
“Listen Mr, I’m not meaning to be rude, but either you are or you’re not, if you are then you are the only person that can help my son.”
As she had been speaking Michael had brought the family up to date.
“Yes…yes please forgive me, I had no intention of been rude, nor had I known of your son’s situation until now.”
Mary Jane looked across to Michael.
“Sorry Mary Jane, I know I promised not to talk through the mind in your company, but under the circumstances I felt it the quickest way of bringing the family up to date.”
It was Elaine that walked over to Mary Jane and placed an arm across her shoulder.
“If from what Michael has told us is right, then I think we may be able to help, however there is one problem, it will take some months before we could be ready.”
“I don’t care Mam if it takes you a year, I only ask that you help my son and heal his wounds.”
She was sobbing; her love for her son and for his bravery was such that the entire family was indebted to him.
“From what Michael has said, this young man of yours is quite a character and has placed his life on the line more than once, not just for his human blood family but also for mine.”
Mary Jane looked at Elaine.
“Your family…I don’t understand.”
“I know I may not look like it, but I am Peter’s mother, and it is through me that he was able to carry out his work, so in a way his extended family is also my family.”
Mary Jane could not understand how this woman who looked younger than herself was Peters mother, none the less she felt that this Elaine was going to become a good and trusted friend.
Mrs Undraus was pleased with her acquisition, yet the cloned humans had kept her forces at bay long after Elaine and her family including the chosen family workers were fully away from the complex, knowing that the cloned copies of Peter, Alex and two other key workers would fool even the Undraus scientists.
Elaine had given them the full knowledge of Peter and Alex, knowing that such was needed to pull off her illusion. Also, she knew that there were other security measures in place that when activated would ensure her success.
“Please Mr Armstrong…or can I call you Peter, your work and intellect is renown and I personally have followed your career.”
Mrs Undraus paused for a brief moment directing her eyes towards the huge and impressive person next to her.
“Alex here is a fine example of your work and a true credit to your capabilities, however it has come to my attention that you are conducting experiments within your South East wing, that are shall we say not from this world, and will radically change the future.”
The cloned Peter moved his hover chair trying to move away from Mrs Undraus, his computerised bio link still enable him to talk.
“You have no right to take over my home…yes this research institute is also my home. We have some very powerful friends that will by now be aware of your intrusions, you may have won this particular battle, but I assure you my mother will ensure you are imprisoned for this”.
Mrs Undraus smiled; she lifted her left arm and waved to one of the security personnel behind her.
“I feel you are not aware of my power, nor of just how week your position now is.”
From within an enclosed room a door opened, and three-armed security personnel led out the cloned versions of Christine and Elaine.
“My soldiers found these two young ladies within a secured section of your North wing, it would appear they were hiding in what they thought was a secret section, I can only assume they were hoping to leave when the opportunity arrived.”
Peter pretended he had not been aware of their presence and had thought they had escaped through the South West wing. Elaine ran over to her son.
“Peter…oh Peter I’m so sorry I could not warn you; they have been using some kind of blocking device on Christine preventing her from using her powers.”
The cloned Alex turned away from the console where he had been monitoring various experiments.
“It’s the East Wing someone has tripped the internal alarms.”
“Yes, that will be my team.”
Said Mrs Undraus.
“Now Elaine, I meant exactly what I said, if you co-operate you have my word that Peter and your daughter will live and be employed, all be it under house arrest, but they will be unharmed and as long as they co-operate and in time they will live a life of considerable luxury.”
Her smugness was starting to blind her own reasoning.
“I also will keep my word and provide research to your team that will reverse your son’s ailment, it will not happen overnight, but within two years he could be like any healthy young man of his age.”
Elaine explained to peter that she had agreed to give Mrs Undraus and her son’s access to the East Wing and its research, on condition that she kept her word to allow us to live.
It was eventually agreed that only Mrs Undraus and her three sons would be given access to the East wing along with Elaine; and that the cloned versions of Christine, Alex and Peter was held under armed guard as security for their safe return.
As the group made their way through the vast nuclear blast doors, they had to wait for the first doors to close before the next system of security gave them access to the outer ring that enclosed the inner sanctum.
“I’m impressed, you certainly believe in security, it’s just a shame you never took such measures at ground level.”
Alex looked her directly in the eyes through the use of the security monitors.
“That is not as easy as it would seem, under here we have the advantage of several thousand feet of solid granite.”
Mrs Undraus smiled at his tenacity.
“Point taken big guy…but are such measures needed for whatever it is that you are researching?”
“Please Alex just allow Mrs Undraus and her family make that decision for themselves.”
It took a further twenty-three minutes to pass through the automated security units; they then walked into a small-enclosed tunnel.
“Once we pass through those blast-doors we will be observed by automated security, from there you will be the only humans outside my immediate family to see another life force that has lived outside and within this planet long before man walked the earth.”
Elaine paused for some seconds allowing her words time to sink into Mrs Undraus mind.
“Its knowledge far out reaches anything that we could even dream of.”
Those words greatly excited Mrs Undraus; she looked, and then spoke.
“I will be truthful with you; we had thought that your scientific advances were such that you had to be accessing this knowledge from an unknown source.”
As they walked through the blast doors, there was stunned silence, an area of some seventeen thousand square metres was totally void of any structures, the entire area had been scorched by such heat that even part of the granite had changed its surface turning into pure glass.
As the blast doors resealed themselves a lone cockroach emerged from its hibernation.
“Before you ask Mrs Undraus, it was your daughter Gemma that betrayed you, you see I had her intercepted some seven years ago and replaced by one of my clones; a truly remarkable copy even if I say so myself.”
The look of confusion amused all Elaine’s cloned family, who were watching from various security monitors.
“You will never get away with this, someone will realise she is working for you and put a stop to her actions.”
There was a moment’s pause as Elaine viewed the beast leaving the small physical casing of the wall that had held it in safety.
“No…no you see she is even unaware of our actions; in all truth she truly believes herself to be your true daughter; and even has no memory of that incident.
In many ways she is exactly the same as we found her…only with a few genetic modifications, one been a natural sympathy towards other life forms, and a hidden program to work in harmony with my other true self.”
Mrs Undraus looked in horror as it dawned on her that the persons present with her and her family, deep within the vast underground complex, were themselves clones.
“You see, we have been genetically altered in such a way, that this life form cannot inhabit our bodies or our mind’s, as for yourself or your family, all it has to do is to come into physical contact to transfer into a new host.”
Mrs Undraus and her sons backed away from the approaching cockroach.
“Then it will live off your life force and any other human it can contaminate, as for myself and my fellow cloned family within this complex”
Elaine paused, as again the Undraus family frantically tried to avoid contact with the creature.
“As I was saying, as for myself and my fellow cloned family within this complex, we shall die and disintegrate within the next twenty-four hours, leaving you and your staff sealed in this greatly desired complex forever.”
She then took great joy, in explaining, that the military that sympathised with Elaine and her family, extended into the presidential office and to the president himself.
It had been agreed to allow the sections of the Undraus military to expose their actions of betrayal and allow the presidential staff to know who they were. In doing so they were eventually taken into custody and charged with treason, knowing that once the plan had been placed into action that this vast underground complex was to be permanently sealed by detonating a nuclear device, and killing us all, even your invading army; never to be re-opened again.
Back inside the mountain range the real Peter and his family and cloned army had started rebuilding their lives.
“Jamie, Jamie how do you feel?”
It took the young man, some seconds to grasp the reality that he was alive.
“I don’t understand, the last thing I remembered was Old Minstrel, he was about to have me for his lunch.”
“Well you were not far wrong,”
Jamie looked over towards the sound of a voice, that he instantly recognised, there by the other side of his bed was Michael.
“When Andrew and the others found you, you were near to dead, as for Minstrel he was so sedated that he collapsed into such a deep sleep that he landed almost on your lap.”
Jamie raised his arm and felt his side where minstrel had taken large pieces of flesh away as well as breaking three of his ribs.
“I don’t understand…where are my scars and why am I feeling so fit and well?”
“Enough, for now it is just important that you are well, there is something else we feel you have a need to know and see.”
As Michael moved away Donald walked over and smiled at his friend, “Hi their young man, it would seem your actions saved my life yet again.”
At that he pushed aside a medical screen and removed a white sheet. Jamie almost jumped from his bed.
“Dear lord…I don’t.”
He stopped his words, then grinned, realising what had happened.
“Dear Lord, Thank you God, so I got the old monster after all.”
They’re as life like, as in real life, old minstrel had stood in height some four meters even above Alex, with his huge bulk and Garth capable of encompassing more than five big men, only now he had succumbed to the skills of a very experienced Taxidermist.