Chapter 56 – Jesus & Mary
Ali awoke in a helicopter. It was dark and he realised they were about to come into land. He could see a few lights in the distance, but otherwise no distinguishable features. He was slumped on the rear seat next to a man he had never seen before. In the front seat next to the pilot sat the Admiral.
Ali blinked and tried to focus. His mouth felt dry and he was bursting to pee. He could not remember how he had got here, and then he remembered the coffee. They must have put something in it, he thought. He had probably been drugged.
The man next to him spoke in a New York accent; he was a tall handsome black man, ‘Dr Palaszwaski, I am pleased to meet you my name is Mat’. Ali shook his hand unwillingly and asked, ’where are we going?’
Mat tugged on Ali’s seatbelt to check he was strapped in and said evasively, ‘You’ll find out soon enough.’ With that he clicked a switch on his headphones and obviously spoke to the Admiral, who turned, and acknowledged Ali was awake. Ali realised he was being shut out, and decided instead to watch the lights below to see if he could work out where they were.
He watched the ground come up to meet them, and then the helicopter touched down with a slight bump. Doors were opened by people outside, and Ali, the Admiral and Mat all disembarked. Ali noted that Mat carried Ali’s briefcase and his overnight bag.
They were led down a staircase and into a large house, which was surrounded by magnificent tropical gardens and a large pool. He didn’t know where he was, but he knew better than to ask. Besides he felt tired and groggy and just wanted to find a bathroom and then get some rest. But in the short distance to the house he sensed that it was warm, and it felt like he was back in southern Florida or possibly in the Caribbean.
Ali was shown to a bedroom and asked to get a few hours’ sleep. He had a headache, and after a visit to the bathroom, showered, took some headache tablets and slumped into bed.
He awoke to blazing sunshine and a discreet knock at the door. In his shorts and T shirt he opened the door to find a uniformed maid with a breakfast tray. Good morning she said, and placed the tray on the table. He went to find his wallet, expecting to have to tip her, but she had already left shutting the door behind her.
He was hungry. He thought it may be a side effect of the sleeping drug they had given him. He ate the fruit, eggs and bagels, but didn’t touch the coffee. ‘Once bitten twice shy’, he mused.
He showered and dressed, and just as he was tying his shoelaces, there was a loud knock on the door. He looked up as the Admiral barged in to the room without being asked looking resplendent in a smart tropical suit. He stood to one side, and was followed in by Mary Morrell, who in contrast made a much less aggressive entrance.
As Ali stood-up in surprise with one shoe lace still untied, the Admiral held out his hand and said, ‘Welcome to Jamaica’. Ali and Mary hugged warmly. The Admiral said, ‘Dr Palaszwaski, I apologise for bringing you here in the middle of the night, but it was necessary for the security of this operation.’
Ali was quite relieved when Mary released him from her hug, she said, ‘Ali we have some exciting news to share, there is someone I would like you to meet.’ She was clearly enthusiastic and grabbed his hand, pulling him to follow.
Not known for his small talk, the Admiral had already left the room. Ali released his hand, quickly tied his shoe lace and caught her up. Ali was still a little groggy from the sleeping drug. He was taken to an office suite in an adjacent building and the sat down in a comfortable meeting room with a good view of the gardens. He saw children’s toys in the garden, but thought nothing of it. He assumed this was some sort of US Government facility that Mary was staying in, or working in. Ali like most scientists, was not impressed by large houses or wealth. He knew it was fruitless to ask too many questions about exactly what this facility was all about. For now he was content to know they were somewhere in Jamaica. He thought he should tell his wife, but then realised that she would not be concerned because she probably thought he was still at Langley.
The meeting room table was covered in print-outs and there was a laptop connected to a large screen that displayed the NSA logo. On the wall was a large white board that was covered in notes and calculations, written in Mary’s distinctive rounded script. Mary sat down so she could use the laptop, Ali saw her type a few characters on the keyboard and the large screen changed to display a map of the solar system and a graph similar to the one he had seen in Frank Perusich’s office at Kennedy.
Mary began an explanation, as she opened a can of soda and a bag of potato chips. ‘I have been analysing the data provided by Perusich at Kennedy, and we are seeing a distinctive pattern in this sector of the Solar System’. She moved the mouse on the computer and highlighted an area on the computer screen. She munched another few chips while she continued, ’We are seeing a distinctive and regular pattern of activity, that seems to indicate some form of un-natural transmission or some form of beacon.’ Ali stood and examined the graph on the screen more closely so he could see the regular and uniform blips on the graph.
As he did so, he heard the Admiral’s voice from behind him, ‘I agree with Mary, I think it’s a beacon or some sort of homing device’.
Ali turned to see the Admiral enter the room leading a young black boy of 4 or 5 by the hand. Mary beamed as she saw the boy, he instinctively ran to her embrace. The boy said, ‘Mama it is a beacon.’
Mary kissed the boys hair, and said, ‘Jesus I wasn’t you to meet a good friend of mine and one of the most brilliant scientists at NASA. Jesus this is Dr Ali Palaszwaski.’
Ali said, ’I’m pleased to meet you Jesus.’ But inside he was shocked, if this was the baby he had seen born a few weeks earlier in the Colorado Bunker he had grown up unbelievably fast. Jesus looked at Ali with highly intelligent eyes, and Mary said, ‘Ali, I know what you are thinking, Jesus’s development is very fast. In just a few weeks he has the body of a 5 year-old’
Jesus then stunned Ali by saying in the voice of a 5 year-old boy, ‘Dr Palaszwaski, I have just read your paper on space debris and I found the conclusion very interesting indeed.’ Ali sat down in shock, he couldn’t believe that a child of 5 could have read a scientific paper.
Mary was clearly proud of her protégé. She smiled at Ali’s obvious shock and amazement at Jesus’s observation on Ali’s scientific paper. But before she could say anything the Admiral interjected in his characteristic no nonsense way, ‘Jesus what did you mean when you said that it is a beacon?’
Jesus answered in a child’s high pitched voice, ‘The spectrum on your charts are similar to the Wow! signal detected about 40 of your Sun’s revolutions ago. My people use a frequency about 1420MHz which is to hide where hydrogen resonates.’
Jesus laughed as if he had made a joke, and Mary laughed with him. The Admiral sat stone faced. Ali was so shocked by the lucid scientific explanation from a 5 year old, that he failed to laugh, but managed a smile.
Mary provided a brief technical explanation for the Admiral’s benefit. ‘The Wow! Signal caused great excitement amongst radio astronomers in 1977. Scientists in Ohio were working on the Search for Extra Terrestrial Intelligence or SETI project detected a pattern in a radio signal that they thought emanated from an intelligent life form in outer space. It lasted just 72 seconds, and was never detected again. The frequency of the Wow! Signal is very similar to the frequency that hydrogen resonates and as the universe is largely made up of hydrogen, it is easy to confuse it. Like looking for the proverbial needle in a haystack.’
Mary’s explanation had given Ali time to recover from his initial shock, so he asked Jesus, ‘so please tell us, why would you want to hide in the hydrogen spectrum?’
‘To avoid detection of course, silly, they don’t want the homing beacons discovered.’ Mary ruffled Jesus’s hair at the slightly disrespectful reply, but before she could reprimand him Ali persisted, ‘but why don’t they want their homing beacons discovered?’
‘So the elimination capsules cannot be detected and destroyed.’
Now Mary took over the line of questioning. The Admiral sat impassively.
‘Jesus sweetie, we have talked about these elimination capsules before, now tell these two Gentlemen what you know about them.’
‘My people monitor the cosmos, my mission here was to plant sensors. The sensors showed an extraordinary rapid progress in this civilization, so to prevent you becoming a threat to them, they are sending elimination capsules here.’
‘Jesus sweetie, what will happen when the elimination capsules arrive?’
Jesus replied with a childlike honesty as if relating a trivial fact without acknowledgement of the seriousness of his words, ‘They will eliminate 99% of known life, returning evolution back to a point where it is no longer a threat.’
The Admiral let out a gasp. Mary covered her face with her hand in shock.
Ali sat impassively and asked, ’How do the elimination capsules work?’
‘They contain an organic virus that is 99% effective against all life forms.’
The Admiral asked, ‘Jesus, when will the elimination capsules arrive?’
Jesus thought for a moment, and moved his lips as if performing a mental calculation, and said in his clear confident child’s voice.
‘616 days, 6 hours, 14 minutes and 27 seconds.’
Back in Washington, the President and the NSA Director watched a recording of the conversation with Jesus.
The Admiral said what they were all thinking, ’if the boy is right, we got about 18 months left.’