Chapter 49 - Alien Life Form Support Team
Several people in the room had used the interruption to grab drinks and more coffee, Mary did the same. Bob then called them back to order.
‘This video was shot by 4 different operatives using helmet-cams. It was shot at night. It has been edited by the folks at Langley, and lasts about 3 minutes. I am going to play it once without interruption, then I will replay it section by section so you can ask questions.’
Bob pressed a button on the remote and a NSA classified logo appeared, on the TV screen. The screen went black and then an image appeared of a silver object, by a river. There was what appeared to be a tube extending from the object into the water. The object appeared to be taking in water from the river. The image was jerky, obviously because the cameras were mounted on the heads of men who were moving. Occasionally another soldier could be seen in shot in full battle dress, weapon ready, with the helmet cam clearly visible. The soldier seemed to be wearing a strange long scarf or cloak.
There was no sound, and Bob was fiddling with the remote, trying to get the sound to work. Suddenly he hit the right button and there was a blast of sound from the TV speakers that startled everyone in the room. One of the soldier’s voices saying, ’where did it go?’ As Bob hastily lowered the volume, they could hear the soldier’s footsteps and their pants for breath as they moved quickly obviously searching for the silver object, which seemed to have vanished.
The screen went black, and when the pictures resumed after a few seconds, there was a different view with the river now in the distance. There was little sound apart from the exerted breathing of the soldier wearing the helmet cam. By the position of the ground and the steadiness of the picture it looked as if the video was being recorded while the soldier was lying on the ground. Bob pointed at the screen, so everyone could pick-up the faint image of the Silver man. Again there was a stunned silence of disbelief as they watched the Silver man float into view and then they saw the rapid movement as the Admiral put the Taser against his back, the last sound was the vicious electric shock of the weapon. Then Mary heard a familiar voice say, ‘Now let’s see who the fuck you are’. The NSA logo appeared again and the screen went black.
Several of the people in the room had shown strong emotion at the Silver figure was brought down with the Taser. Mary was amongst them she had placed a hand over her mouth and let out a scream of shocked horror at the sound of the electric shock. A doctor who specialised in children’s medicine wept openly. Mary hugged her, her name was Anne Davis. Other people were standing, one had knocked over his plastic chair. He picked it up, embarrassed. Ali placed a comforting hand on Mary’s arm and mouthed silently, ‘That was the Admiral.’ Mary nodded.
Bob called them to order again,’ I am sorry if the video has upset some of you, but I wanted you to see what we have. Now let me take you through the video, step by step, if I can use this dam remote’. A few people laughed, a release of tension.
Bob started the video from the beginning and then paused on a view of the silver object with the tube going down to the river. He looked down at some notes. ‘The Techs at Langley having interviewed the soldiers on the mission, believe this to be some form of spacecraft. It had struts that looked a little like wings, and this tube appeared to be taking in water from the river. Comments?’
Several people now stood so they could get a closer view of the screen. Ali said, touching the screen and leaving a finger print on it, ‘Yes I can see one of the triangular struts’.
Another bearded man who Mary had not met before called Carl Lancaster said, ’if it were a craft it would have some form of propulsion system, but none seemed to be visible. Bob, do you have any still photographs of the object?’
‘Sorry Carl I don’t, but I’ll see if I can get some screen shots for you.’ Bob made a note on a pad. The discussion went on for a further hour as Bob stepped through the video. He then called a halt for lunch. It was 1 PM now in Colorado, but Mary’s stomach was still on Alabama time and told her it was getting on for dinner time. After a passable lunch of chicken salad sandwiches they were all back in the conference room 40 minutes later. Mary had also had time to check out her new room, and found it had pretty much the same furnishings as the previous one, but was bigger so that two single bunks could be pushed together to make a larger bed.
Bob now held up the 235-page manual he had handed out earlier, and brought them all back to attention. ‘OK ladies and gentlemen, you have seen the video, we are now going to go and see the Silver man. But before we do, let me talk you through the procedure we are going to follow.’
For the next 25 minutes Bob reinforced the safety and environmental procedures they would follow in the manual. It was clear from what he was saying that there were no going to be any short-cuts. It turned out that the PROCEDURE TO ANALYSE AN ALIEN LIFE FORM manual laid out a soups to nuts procedure to deal with this process, and to protect his pension, Bob had told them all that, ‘they would follow it to the letter. By the book.’
They would begin at Step 1 of the 15 step process. Step 1 was to record every detail of the body. The first thing that was necessary was for them all to dress in bio-protective clothing. This involved surgically scrubbing like a surgeon entering an operating theatre. Men and women were segregated into different dressing rooms, and first dressed in disposable surgical clothes, followed by an outer green plastic boiler suit, and then green rubber boots. Mary was relieved that the female Marine was on hand to help them dress. She had obviously also found a large enough suit to fit Mary. She was grateful.
Before they dressed, the women were instructed to remove makeup and jewellery, and then to wash their hands and faces in the disinfectant soap. The boiler suits had hoods which they pulled over their hair. As they stepped out of the dressing room door, the lady Marine operated a spray that washed their suits in disinfectant. They also walked through a disinfectant foot bath. This disinfected their rubber surgical boots.
The men all dressed in the same green suits and boots, joined up with the women and Bob led them along a corridor in single file. They squelched along in their damp rubber boots from the foot bath, leaving a damp trail behind them. The harsh slightly flickering 1960’s strip lighting reflected off their wet green suits. Bob led them into a viewing area where a floor to ceiling window overlooked an old-fashioned operating theatre in the next room. The Silver man they had seen in the video was lying motionless in the centre of the room, on what looked like an operating table with wheels. The operating theatre was brightly lit, and there was an instrument panel on the wall opposite the viewing window so the temperature, humidity and radiation levels in the room could be monitored by anyone looking through the viewing window. There was also an old fashioned digital clock, accurate to the second.
When she saw the clock, Mary went to check her wristwatch to check its accuracy. But she felt her wrist, and remembered she had left it in the changing room with the rest of her jewellery. The clock read 14.13.47 or 13 minutes past 2 PM and 13 seconds.
Bob asked for volunteers, and most of the men put their hands up. Bob selected Carl and Ali to go into the room to begin Step 1 of the operation. The two men put on breathing apparatus, then entered an air lock and went into the room. Mary and the others sat on plastic chairs in their uncomfortable plastic suits, and listened to the voices of Carl and Ali through loudspeakers in the viewing gallery as the radios in their breathing apparatus transmitted their muffled voices. They measured and photographed every inch and dimension of the Silver man. As they did so, all the data was typed into a laptop by one of team.
There was a banter around the group, about the Silver man. He still wore a helmet, so his face was not visible. He had the build of a man, his suit was tight and the shoulders were broad. There was a bulge at his crutch. He still wore silver boots and silver gloves, so none of his skin was visible.
They watched as Carl and Ali operated a weighing machine that was integrated inside the operating theatre table and the measurements called out. She could hear the tapping of the keyboard as the data was typed in. Bob then pressed a button on an intercom, and called Ali and Carl out of the room. Apparently their air supplies were about to expire. They entered the air lock, and after the door closed on the operating theatre side, there was an automatic blast of disinfectant spray that startled everyone. They inner air lock door opened and Ali and Carl came back into the viewing area, their suits still dripping. They removed their breathing apparatus, and after a debriefing, Bob dismissed them. The women returned to their dressing room, where the lady Marine instructed them to shower and wash their hair. The water was clearly mixed with a disinfectant and it made Mary’s eyes sting.
A reasonable dinner of pork chops with baked potatoes and vegetables was served promptly at 6 PM. The conversation over dinner was excitable with many of the ALFST team members clearly enthralled scientifically. There was also an informed and intelligent debate about the ethical and moral issues, and the implications of a real life alien life form here on Earth.
Carl was saying, ‘one of the scenarios we modelled was the implications on financial markets around the world. It could significantly affect technology and energy stocks if investors felt that those companies could be undermined by new technology, but could significantly enhance the value of companies in the food, commodity and defence sectors’.
Bob interjected,’ this is the one of the reasons while we have to insist that you are here on a complete comms blackout. On no circumstances must you communicate with anyone out of this complex.’
Ali said, ‘Bo we understand that, but from a moral point of view is there not an argument that the United States should inform its closest allies about the existence of the Silver man?’
Bob replied, ‘Clearly that is the President’s call, but for now, our instructions are clear.’
Mary found the conversation enthralling but she found she couldn’t concentrate. She was tired from the time difference and her interrupted sleep the night before, so she made her excuses and had an early night. She slept well despite the fact that she had to straddle the join of the two single mattresses.
After breakfast the next day, they went through the same process to dress in the rubber suits. Overnight a body scanner and an x-ray machine had been brought into the operating theatre. This must have taken some effort, and Mary could still see the disinfectant dripping from the outer parts of the equipment.
Two other members of the team entered the operating theatre today. They had been trained on this equipment and had a medical background. After some initial excitement, there was great disappointment when neither showed any images other than of the external silver suit. At first they though the equipment faulty, but one of the operators scanned and x-rayed the other, and it was clear that both pieces of equipment were working perfectly.
The medics in the team attached every form of monitoring device they could to the Silver man. However they failed to get any real data, because he was obviously dead. He did not respond to any stimuli. He was not breathing, there was no heartbeat, there was no body warmth, and there was nothing detectable at all. None the less the data was recorded, and the recorded data suitably backed up.
They also tried and failed to take some blood using a syringe. None of the needles the tried would penetrate the silver suit.
The scientists in the team probed and analysed, with Geiger counters and every form of particle and material analysis they knew. The Operating Theatre was sometimes so full of electrical equipment that they ran out of wall sockets to plug it all in.
Brian Fellows, the anthropologist in the team, in close cooperation with the Anne Davis one of the medics in the team, felt the Silver man’s body from head to toe using his gloved hands so he could estimate his bone and organ structure. Neither Brian or Anne could feel anything that was in anyway different to a normal modern day human being, and estimated that he was a fit your man in his late twenties or early thirties. There was no indication of any bones that were broken but should not tell anything about his head, hands or feet because she could not feel through the helmet, gloves or boots.
Like the medics, and the anthropologist, the scientists found no meaningful data, but it was all recorded and suitably backed-up.
After 10 days, Dr Cabana authorised them to move on to the Step 2.