Chapter 14: ISOLATION
Stacy and Stuart ran in the opposite direction everyone was supposed to go.
Brad and the others followed, “Wait,” he said, “What are those!?”
Stacy and Stuart didn’t answer, expecting the other to do it. They ran into another large room that was mostly empty except for some equipment along the walls.
Brad entered to find Stacy and Stuart looking on at a cell. He angled for a better view and found that behind its energy barrier, the cell was empty.
“They got out.” Stacy said.
Stuart began to speak, “This is going to be a big pain in the…”
“Who,” Brad interrupted, “Who got out?”
Quinn and Kimberly entered as Stacy stepped back and answered, “Kascor and Zepas. Two Anunnaki we were holding.”
Brad was dumbfounded, “You managed to contain an Anunnaki?” he asked.
“Yes,” Stuart replied, “This is a specialized cell developed by us for that.”
Brad looked on at the cell, “I thought we had a live and let live policy with them. Wasn’t it part of the treaty.”
“Sort of,” Stuart answered, “We caught them on Terex’s moon and brought them here. That’s how I ended up here. It’s part of my job to make sure they’re secured.”
Stacy snapped out of her disbelief and walked to the next room. It was dimly lit and had a table that doubled as a giant monitor for her to sit at.
“How did you catch them?” Brad asked.
Stuart then began his story.
The year was 2997, Stuart sat with several others in a cafeteria on a UED ship. They just ate and talked amongst themselves when the intercom came alive.
“This is Commander Frankes,” he called, “Lieutenant Commander Spiner, Private Forbes, and Specialist Stuart, report to briefing room A on the double.”
“So much for lunch.” Forbes said, as she and the others got up from the table and began to jog through the ship’s corridors.
In the briefing room, the three sat in the front to see Frankes standing there with a large monitor for a display. Another man, dressed in an all-black suit, stood in the shadows behind the monitor.
“Hi everybody,” Frankes began, “We had our little war with the Anunnaki a while ago. Part of the treaty we made with them says we’ll stay out their territory if they stay out of others’. Earlier today, we got a report from Terex, our base that we setup just outside of Anunnaki space, that an Anunnaki shuttle has been landing on one of its moons.” He then used the monitor to show a map of the moon, “The facility on the moon is just a front for the base’s sensor station,” he continued, “The building is full of old equipment giving off false readings to make them think it’s easy to bypass, when in reality, we’ve been secretly monitoring their actions. At first, they were testing our abilities by doing flybys. Now, it appears they’re landing and collecting what they believe is vital information. Everything is automated so, there’s no worry about civilians or UED personnel getting in the way.”
Spiner raised his hand and asked, “How many are there?”
Frankes changed the image on the monitor to an Anunnaki shuttle, “Their shuttle can comfortably hold six people but, we’ve only detected two.”
Forbes raised her hand, “Are they there now?” she asked.
“At the moment,” Frankes replied, “No. Two are dropped off every day and then the shuttle leaves only to return later and pick them up. The UED isn’t interested in the shuttle, they want us to capture the two individuals gathering data.”
Stuart then raised his hand to ask, “When do we start?”
As the UED ship took orbit over the moon, Stuart and the rest of his team entered a teleporter room and phased their suits on as they stepped on the pads. They needed their suits on to use the teleporter.
“We just received word,” Frankes said, “No sign of the shuttle, it already left. Just two Anunnaki snooping around. We want to get them and get out before that shuttle comes back. Our own shuttle will pick us up for extraction. Everyone, ready?”
They all then went down in beams of light about two feet from the ground to then land softly with no incident. It was in a spot made for such landings, a short distance from the building. The area lay in a forested section that had been cleared out.
“Remember,” Frankes said, “We’re dealing with Anunnaki here. Suits off when you engage them. They can’t hurt you and your suit is liable to be destroyed if you have it on.”
“What are we supposed to use then!?” Forbes asked.
“Use your bare hands,” Frankes answered, “Our orders are to capture anyway, not kill. Use the suit’s radar until you engage. Any questions?”
No one had anything to say.
“Move out!” Frankes ordered.
The main building had a small extension, for maintenance, a few yards from it that led underground. The area around the building was cleared of the surrounding trees.
“Spiner,” Frankes called, “Take Stuart, and cover the maintenance access. Forbes, we got the main building. I’m reading one down in maintenance and the other in the main building checking out the relays. It doesn’t look like they’ve noticed us yet but, it’s a good bet they will soon enough so, stay vigilant.”
An Anunnaki very much resembles a human, only with opaque white skin and blue to purple hair. They too wore suits, all black but no phase technology. Instead of phasing off their suits, it simply stayed on like a comfortable uniform. The only thing that ‘phased off’/deactivated were the helmets and those retracted back into the suit rather than actually phasing off. Their helmets were just as advanced as their human counterparts and resembled their designs also, but with fewer variations between them. Instead of phasing them on, they activated and sprung forth from the suit.
Spiner and Stuart reached the sides of the entrance.
They both looked at one another and phased off their suits.
“He’s in the coolant chamber,” Spiner said, “Ready?”
Stuart nodded and both went through as Frankes and Forbes entered the main building and phased off their suits.
“This way,” Frankes said, “It didn’t look like he’s moving so let’s hurry.”
Spiner moved along one wall while Stuart did likewise opposite of him.
“This feels weird right,” Stuart hissed across to Spiner, “I feel naked without my suit.”
“Just don’t phase it on,” Spiner replied back, “No matter how you feel. Avoid that instinct, it might save your life.”
Frankes and Forbes ran to their destination, “No words,” Frankes said, “Just run in and grab him.”
“Why are we scurrying if he can’t hurt us,” Stuart asked, “Trying to be sneaky isn’t going to help either if he has a radar.”
Spiner came off the wall with a sigh, “You’re right,” he said, “This is it, let’s just grab him and get out of here quickly.”
Spiner and Stuart ran in and spotted Zepas. She was waiting, ready for a fight.
“Come with us now!” Stuart said.
“Don’t resist!” Spiner added.
Frankes and Forbes quickly entered the room indicated by their radar. Both moved between the aisles to check. There was no sign of the Anunnaki. Frankes phased on his suit to check the radar, “This is the room,” he said, “Where is he?”
Forbes phased her suit on and kneeled by one of the machines to pick a small, glowing object up.
“What is that?” Frankes asked.
Forbes scanned the object in further detail, “Our Anunnaki,” she replied, “It’s some kind of signal generator but, this thing is giving off a false reading.”
Frankes checked his radar again, “Damn it,” he said, “Phase your suit off. This way, hurry!”
Both Frankes and Forbes ran out of the room.
Stuart grabbed Zepas by the wrist only for her to pull back, dragging him toward her. They both fell to the ground and began wrestling.
Spiner came around a table to help, “Stop resis…”
Spiner couldn’t even finish his sentence and was knocked out cold as he was struck in the back of the head by Kascor, who came out of hiding.
Stuart looked and was surprised to see Kascor. He tried pulling up to defend himself but, Zepas was holding him down. The most he could do, now that he knew of Kascor, was raise one hand in a feeble attempt to protect his face from the incoming pounding of Kascor.
After a few strikes, Kascor attempted to fire an energy blast at Stuart, with no effect. The beam simply burned a hole through his clothes as it passed through harmlessly.
All it did was scare Stuart momentarily. He thought for just a fraction of a second of phasing his suit on and then remembered what Spiner had said about not phasing his suit on.
Spiner himself was already starting to come around. The genetic enhancements and nanites wouldn’t let him stay down for long.
Kascor grunted and went back to viciously pounding on Stuart.
After a few seconds, Frankes and Forbes came running in. Frankes immediately tackled Kascor, who couldn’t put up much of a resistance, especially when Forbes jumped in.
Stuart, not having to worry about Kascor anymore, placed all of his weight on Zepas, “Give up now,” he yelled, “You’re finished!”
Zepas deactivated her helmet to breath better.
“Zepas?” Kascor said weakly, as she continued to struggle wildly.
With Spiner still getting to his feet, Stuart threw a vicious punch of his own, phasing on his suit just before the moment of impact to make it that much harder, and knocked Zepas out.
Frankes looked at Kascor “I suggest you come quietly,” he smiled, “Unless you want the same thing.”
Outside, Frankes and Forbes escorted Kascor into the shuttle while Spiner and Stuart carried Zepas. As soon as its door closed, the shuttle took off at high speed. Once the shuttle docked, the UED ship broke orbit and left.
In the briefing room, Frankes stood in front of his team, “Great work people,” he said, “It was touch and go for a minute there but, we pulled it off with no casualties.”
In the shadows was the man dressed in all-black.
Spiner raised his hand, “What now sir?” he asked.
“Who knows,” Frankes shrugged, “We completed our mission. What the UED does from here is anyone’s guess.”
Forbes then raised her hand to ask, “Sorry, sir. Just addressing the elephant in the room. Who is that?” she pointed.
The man dressed in all-black stepped up. He was a regular human with no nodes, “My name is Mr. Ice,” he said, “Thank you, Commander Frankes. I guess I’ll take it from here.”
Frankes moved over and sat with his team.
“You’ve all done a wonderful job,” Ice continued, “The UED couldn’t be happier with your success. You caught the Anunnaki red handed. They are in the process of being returned as we speak.”
Frankes raised his hand, “Excuse me, sir, I was told to give you my full cooperation but, we still don’t know who you represent.” he said.
Ice smiled, “You’re all dismissed.” he replied.
Frankes and his team rose from their seats and began to exit.
“Except you, Mr. Stuart,” Ice said, “The rest of you, please go. Mr. Stuart, I’d like a word with you.”
Stuart watched as Frankes, Spiner and Forbes left. He walked back to his seat and sat.
“Specialist Stuart,” Ice began, “Skilled with computers, no family, no known associates, no place of residence. It’s almost like you don’t exist.”
“I like to keep a low profile.” Stuart said.
Ice sat next to Stuart, “Stuart, I’m going to be frank with you and by telling you what I’m about to tell you is classified so, first you have to agree whether or not you’re going to join. I work for an agency that deals with very sensitive subject matters. We’re called Raven’s Eye, sanctioned by the UED to uphold its secrets. Do you want to join?”
Stuart leaned back as he thought, “I take it your real name isn’t Mr. Ice.”
“That’s not important.” Ice replied.
Stuart leaned back forward, “Raven’s Eye,” he said, “Everyone’s heard of you guys. Black projects, very secret stuff. What if I say no?”
“I’m hoping you won’t,” Ice replied, “You can be ordered but, we’d rather not force you. Makes you seem less trustworthy. Say no and that’s it, you walk away and we never had this conversation. Say yes, and a whole new world opens up to you. You’ll of course have to cut all ties. You won’t be part of a team but, you’ll still be a Myrmidon, you can make new friends just as long as you don’t tell them what you do. We’re going to give you a new life somewhere else doing something very important for the UED.”
Stuart thought for a moment, “Aside from my team,” he said, “I don’t have anything to lose so, I guess I’ll join but, this better not be some BS assignment.”
“Good,” Ice said, patting Stuart on the shoulder, “The Anunnaki you captured are not being returned home. They’re ours.”
Stuart was surprised, “What do you mean ‘ours’?” he asked.
Ice adjusted himself and said, “We signed a treaty to stay out of their space and they’ll stay out of everyone else’s. Anyone caught violating the treaty is to be arrested and returned. We captured two of them in our space but, are going to hold them for further study.”
Stuart closed his eyes tight in disbelief, “So what we’re doing is illegal?” he asked.
“Yes,” Ice answered, “It’s for a good cause.”
Stuart threw his hands and feet into the air, “Damn!” he yelled, “I knew I should have said no. I don’t suppose I can back out now?”
“Sure, you can,” Ice said, “Just don’t be surprised if you get a special visitor tonight. Why do you think we built a base so close to Anunnaki space? The UED was hoping for this and this was the perfect opportunity to seize the moment.”
Stuart leaned forward and buried his face in his hands.
“If you’re worried, don’t be,” Ice continued, “No one knows about this and you won’t be alone. You’ll be testing new weapons that might be useful against them. C’mon, next stop, Omicron.”