Containment Breach

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“Sorry I’m late, guys; had to make a quick stop. What did I miss, other than introductions?” the new arrival asks.

“Steve was giving his implosions update and we were just about to start the interviews, questions, I mean,” stammers Terry.

Quickly, our mysterious guest cuts in. “Well then, let me interrupt and introduce myself. I am Jonathon Dart, on loan from Space Ops.” He pauses as he looks across as to survey us one to the next with a smile.

I do not miss the slight glaring glance he gives Terry. “I think I have gotten the crew a little nervous. I guess you don’t get many visitors at Level Four do you? It is Marcie, isn’t it?” he asks, as he looks over at Marcie.

While he is looking at Marcie, who seems unsure what to say, he is actually finding who will tell him what he wants to know. He knows Marcie wouldn’t really be the one, being the new person. What he really wants is to find out who is the talker, or better yet, the thinker in the group. The one from which he can draw information from their thoughts.

Jonathon is a Government Mind Reader and if he is a very good one, I may not have a chance to hide much from him. If my past was not what it is, it would be no chance at all with any Government Mind Reader. Within a few seconds, I can tell he is good at reading people’s thoughts, just not that good.

Jack tries to come to Marcie’s rescue with the “she’s actually new here” comment but it might have got him the first shot in the hot seat.

“Oh, that’s right, sorry to put you in to the limelight unarmed,” he comments while he leans in towards her, slightly too close. Again, to gauge a reaction, to get a thought from her, will she shrink back and will her thoughts show fear or not?

What I would not have expected, Marcie leans forward. Closer to him, just an inch, if that, but indeed enough to show no fear.

“Quite alright, it is true, I am the new one here,” she says nonchalantly.

Can’t take the time to comprehend this with everything unfolding before me but I won’t forget it, that’s for sure.

“So please introduce yourselves along with a short version of your job or the project you are working on. That’s how you say it here, isn’t that right, Terry?” Jonathon asks coolly.

“Yes, Jonathon that is a good idea; why not start us off again on your update, Steve?”

Jack interrupts with a comment. “You did hear ‘short version,’ right, Steve?”

Everyone except Steve gives a tiny laugh and several eyes roll to Jack’s comment. This will hopefully break the ice. Jonathon smiles and gives an approving nod to each of us, furthering the want to relax everyone.

Steve goes into more detail than asked and I watch from the corner of my eye to see how Jonathon is reacting. He is watching Steve, but like me, he is looking mostly with his peripheral vision at everyone else.

Any eye contact will be read; even the slightest bit can reveal more thoughts than most people would ever want to tell. Well before the military found out how to recognize and use mind readers, the good ones in fact were hired by the biggest corporations.

A study came out, finding one in one hundred children could learn to focus their thoughts and become various levels of mind readers. Required testing and quarantine at six years of age for all children who had the ability to read minds was made law. Those who were found with the strongest levels of ‘the gift,’ as it was called by the military, were institutionalized when I started in college. This was, as most indicated, what brought Zayack out into the public limelight, as he was adamantly opposed to the testing and quarantine.

Not soon after, to the common people it was called ‘the curse’ and many who were older did their best to hide their talent. Parents were told how lucky their child was, to have the gift. They would have a great future helping the government if their ability could be developed. The ones with the strongest abilities would typically never be seen again by their parents.

Being around a reader is not as difficult for me as it would be for most. What Jonathon and the government do not know is that my mother, brother, and sister were readers. My mother encouraged them to develop their abilities from a young age so they might be able to hide it better. Without their ability, I had to spend hours at a time in my home learning to focus my thoughts on only feeling their thoughts. Finally, I was able to feel and recognize their searching thoughts when they were trying to read my mind. I perfected making my thoughts either a jumble of erratic patterns or a repetitive drone of what others were saying.

To a mind reader, I am intently listening to who is talking and am mentally repeating what they say, or I am off in my own scattered little world. I am just a very boring person with no real thoughts to hide and right now, that is what is most important.

“Okay, good, Steve, sounds like you are doing well, or at least not doing badly,” Jonathon comments.

“How about you, Jack? You keeping things moving along, or keeping things moving in place, I should say? Isn’t that right, Jack?” Jonathon asks with another slight smile.

“I guess that’s about right,” Jack retorts, with a little impatience at the play on words.

I think Jack is still thinking about the not doing badly comment to Steve. Jack proceeds to update us on his perpetual gravitational fields and the advanced analysis. I go along and act like I have not seen or heard of the continued good results he has been getting.

Now to Marcie, our new team member. Marcie explains how she does our basic structural toning inside the orbs. How she creates balanced structures within the gravitational fields that Jack keeps moving after Steve implodes the test space location.

Now it is my turn at this show and tell. I explain how I create basic organics and cellular compounds to live in the orbs. I give a quick version, and then start to expand, but luckily, I am cut off by David.

“Great, and there you have it. Good job everyone, see you next...”

Now he is cut off by Jonathon, who holds his hand up and gives him the same quick glare he gave earlier to Terry.

“Let me jump in here, David. I am here talking to all the advanced teams, helping to analyze what, if any, projects we at Space Operations can work on with you.”

“We need to kick our progress to the next level in working with other groups. So, it looks good for this group. I may stop in and see you again, if needed. For now, I hope the best for your on-going projects.”

While a look of relief passes around, I can’t help but notice Terry and David are again looking at the mirror. I know someone else or others have been watching our little meeting. While a relieved look is on my face, I do not see this as over, not by a long shot.

As I walk back to my office, I am not sure what I can do. Even if I wanted to destroy my creation now, I will have to explain why it failed. If I am right and there were others in the next room, it will be impossible to hide the evidence of the advances I have made.

They will want to know why I had not notified them of my progress; why I am hiding the exact discovery they pay me to make and report to them. Now my paranoia hits a new low. What if they do know and this meeting is because they know? Is this a coincidence, or a confirmation that I am being watched? It does make sense if they are watching me. How else would they move forward?

Maybe they are watching what I am doing; maybe they want to see if I come out with an incredible result, or if I am hiding my discovery. I need to slow down, be conservative. If need be, and they do know, I need to act as if I am making sure of my results before going forward. If I find that I have no other choice, I could say I was waiting to make sure everything is reliable, and most of all, repeatable.

……………

Jonathon waits to see all have left, and then enters the room next to the conference room. The knock is swift and sure; a call from within to enter is not needed or waited for. Inside is the enclosed entrance where one is between two rooms. It is a tiny locked passageway when one enters, they are trapped and completely at the mercy of those who control the locked doors.

Jonathon is not worried in the least, and true to his lack of concern, the second door opens. He quickly enters a dimly lit room and stands at the end of the table. Knowing he is to do nothing without command, he patiently waits to sit if asked or to just stand and wait. He does not have to wait long.

“So, is this a group that has a chance or not?” the voice at the end of the table asks.

“I give them a good chance at best, probably closer to a fair chance is more like it. They are on paper the most advanced group we have,” Jonathon quickly and confidently replies to the question.

“Is there a leader in this group?” is the next question from the speakerphone near the center of the table.

“Not sure. The Imploder, Steve, wants to be. In fact, that exact thought was blaring at me the whole time. The readings from the Grav Fielder did not show he focused on him as one would if he were a true leader.”

“Names, use their names,” the voice interrupts Jonathon’s comments.

“Sorry, sir,” Jonathon responds very fast. While the command was not rashly spoken, it didn’t have to be.

“The Gravitation Fielder is Jack Wilson; he looked over at Walter Smithton, the Life Former, several times. Looking and thinking of what he would want him to say. Smithton, however, is dull at best, a scientific thinker for sure, but no readings in the least about what should be done.”

“So, you would say he was out in his own little world?” This question comes from the far corner of the room and catches Jonathon by surprise.

The look on Jonathon’s face changes, if just for a moment. His concern was obviously not in hearing the question that was a statement and not a question, but in who was asking.

“The girl, Marcie, she…” Jonathon says before he is interrupted by the voice from the corner.

“We don’t need to talk about the girl; she is new here and we have very good records on her from her past position. Our concern should be with the three, and who they are. So, you are saying we have one who is ambitious, one a follower, and the life former who is just a dull pointer, and you give them a good to fair chance?”

Jonathon knows not to answer this as a question as it was not really asked, but again stated.

“From what I am hearing, it is more like no chance at all. Seriously, is this the best you have now?” the voice continues.

Now Jonathon knows to answer. “All the documentation shows they are the top group we have. I read very strong, confident thoughts; they are good at what they do.

“I think…” Jonathon starts before he gets cut off again.

“That will be all for now. I may have you meet with them one on one.” This command gives Jonathon the signal to leave, which he wastes no time doing.

As the lights come up, more faces appear; men and women who know any questions for Jonathon, are to be asked through the chain of command. These are the military’s top people and they all know who is in charge.

“That will be all,” is the command spoken to the room from General Tallen. He picks up the phone on the table and a short conversation is communicated to the voice from the speaker. When the room clears, only the General and the man in the corner stay behind. When all have left, the General puts the phone back down.

The voice of the High Commander returns to the speaker and asks the man in the corner, “So what is your take on their chances, Director Bush?”

“Steve Janson will want to be in charge, and if Jack Wilson is a follower, as your reader guessed, will he follow Janson?”

The General counters Bush’s question with his own comment. “‘Guessed’ is a little out there. Jonathon is a very good reader, and I know that for a fact.” This time a little impatience is in the General’s voice.

Bush disregards the tone and continues. “Readers can be fooled. Jonathon thinks too much and reads too little. More importantly, I believe he has got Smithton all wrong. As we know, he is the one we need to know more about. More about what could shake him up, because this meeting didn’t at all, and it should have.”

After a short pause Bush continues, “We need to test him. We need to know more about him.”

“What do you want to do? What is this weakness or strength you seem to think he has, and when do you want to test him?” the General asks.

“I have already started,” comes with the smallest hint of a smile, on a face a smile would never seem to cross.

“Then I should wait for this to transpire? I have more to do before we go forward, but time is short. How long will this take?” the General asks, pushing the subject.

“Not long at all, it should be very quick, very, very quick.” Bush says as he turns to leave.

No one likes Bush, no one, and it does not take being around him for long to know why, the General thinks to himself as he leaves. Bush’s reputation as Director of the World Alliance Intelligence Division was well known and, by most, well feared.

Inside the conference room, Bush waits a few moments then speaks into a micro headset in a low voice. “Did you get her?” he asks.

“Yes Sir, we got Smithton’s assistant when she went into his office, no one saw anything. She is ready for transport.”

Again a brief smile appears and vanishes before Bush speaks. “Get her on the next ship to Station One.”

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