The Power of the Dark Lord

                                                                                 By Bert McKenzie 

                                                                                  Copyright 2010

 

 

Chapter VIII
"We can't go out there!" Alex insisted in a hoarse whisper.

"Why not?" Jennifer whispered back, and then added in a full voice, "And
why are we whispering?"

"I've seen enough spy movies to know we're being watched, or at least the
house is," he said.

"You're crazy," the girl replied with less conviction than she wanted to
show.

"Then look out the front window."  Scott, Jennifer and Caseldra all made a
dash for the large window in the drawing room that faced the street.
"Don't be obvious about it!" Alex said urgently.  "For all they know, the
house is still empty.  Remember, you were supposed to be away on vacation."
The three all dropped to the floor and peeked out over the window sill.

A beat up old Toyota sat across the street by the park.  It appeared to be
empty.  "I've seen that car before," Jennifer said.  "I wish I could
remember where."

"You've ridden in it before," Alex said.  She turned to him with a look of
astonished surprise.  "Don't you remember the scientist from that
institute?"

"Of course!" she recalled.  "The guy who gave us a ride home after we were
questioned by the police!  What's his car doing here?  And where is he?"

Scott quickly jumped to the logical conclusion.  "He may be the one who
crossed through the gate, which means we can probably look for Akuta at
that institute."

"That makes sense, but how are we going to get out of here without being
observed?" Alex asked.

"But the car's empty," Jennifer protested.  "Who's to observe us?"

"And what about the man reading the newspaper at that park bench over
there?" Alex pointed out a conspicuous man on the bench just beyond the
car.

"You think he's watching the place?" Scott asked.

"How many times have you seen a man in a suit and tie sitting on a park
bench in a residential neighborhood in the middle of the morning reading a
newspaper?" Alex responded.

"Good point," Scott agreed.  "I think I've got an idea.  We could use some
sleep to get over this jet lag between worlds.  Caseldra, you keep watch
while we rest.  Then once it's dark, we can slip out the basement door on
the side and head for the Blanc Institute."

"On foot?" Jennifer asked.

"The basement door is just a few feet from where you parked your car,"
Scott explained.

"And you don't think they're going to notice a car driving away from the
side of an empty house?"

"You got a better idea? Scott retorted.  No one did, so the three humans
headed upstairs to bed while Caseldra sat close to the window, keeping an
eye on the watcher in the park.

* * *

"Now let me get this straight," the new doctor with the crew cut said.  "He
just disappeared right before your eyes?"

"Well, kind of," Sharon replied.  She was tired of the barrage of
questions.

"Kind of?"

"I already told you what happened.  I sneezed, and when I opened my eyes he
was gone.  It was no more than a second, and after all, we thought he was
dead.  Can I go now?  I was supposed to get off work two hours ago."
Dr. Westfall looked her over suspiciously.  "Look, I guarantee I'm not
smuggling a dead body out of here in the pocket of my lab coat."

"Alright, you can go," Westfall said.  As the girl left Sorenson's office
Westfall called the gate security.  The regular staff had been supplemented
with a large number of special military personnel.  "Sharon Gates is on her
way out.  Before she leaves the complex I want her, her vehicle, and
anything she is carrying to be thoroughly searched."  He then called his
staff agent in the security office.  "Arrange for surveillance on Sharon
Gates.  She'll be leaving the complex in about thirty minutes.  Any report
on the search for the alien?"

"Nothing's turned up yet, sir.  But we do have some unusual video tape for
you to look at."

"I'm on my way."

In a couple of minutes Westfall was sitting in the security office looking
at a video monitor.  It was a tape of the cell where the alien had been
held.  In the center of the room Dr. Sorenson was taking a hypo from a
small case.  He walked over and sat on the cot.  The area next to him was
distorted and solarized as if there was an extremely bright light pointing
right into the camera lens.  Sorenson reached into the area of distortion
as two other people entered the cell.  They were Sharon Gates and the
orderly.  They reached over into the solarized area of the screen, and as
they moved, the area of distortion moved with them, leaving a ghost image
burned into the camera.  The three left the room, taking the source of the
interference with them.  The bright band of ghosting slowly faded leaving a
view of the empty cell.

"That must be the way the alien registers on video tape," Westfall said.
"Any tape of the hallways or corridors after they left this room?"

"No sir," the security officer said.  "There aren't any video cameras in
the halls on the way to the surgical theater.  No need for them."

"Is there any other way to detect this invisible alien?" Westfall asked.

"Heat sensors and motion detectors work on it," the man replied.

"Then I want security supplied with portable instruments and I want them to
sweep every inch of this compound.  You can't trust your eyes alone on this
thing."

Just then the phone rang.  "It's Jenson, sir.  He wants to know if he can
release Dr. Gates.  She's clean."

"Yeah, sure."

The officer relayed the message then turned back to Dr. Westfall.  "He also
reports that they're having trouble with their surveillance cameras."

The doctor was suddenly alert.  "Where's the monitor?"  The security chief
pointed up to a bank of overhead monitors mounted high on the left wall of
the room.  On one screen just left of center was the image of the parking
lot and front gate.  Two men were expertly examining an old jeep.  Sharon
Gates stood nearby, looking very impatient.  Not far from her was a bright
area of distortion that looked exactly like a mirror reflecting the
sunlight into the camera lens.  It also looked very much like the same
distortion evident in the video tapes of the isolation cell that Westfall
had just been watching.  Even as he looked at the screen, Gates climbed
into her jeep.  The bright light seemed to trail behind her, and then
winked out at the edge of the vehicle.  She then drove off through the gate
and out of the camera's field of vision.

"That's it!" Westfall shouted.  "Tell them to stop that car.  Get her back
here."  He jumped up and headed out of the office at a dead run as the
security chief relayed his orders over the phone.

Arriving at the front gate just minutes later, the doctor found a very
uncomfortable looking security staff.  "It's gone, Dr. Westfall," the head
man said.  "The distortion cleared up on our monitors before we could take
any action.  We didn't know it was important."  The security man was
worried about the reaction he might get.  The thin man with the crew cut
stared at him for a moment without saying a word.  "I'm really sorry,
Dr. Westfall.  We had no idea..."

"Get me the tapes of the last thirty minutes," the doctor ordered curtly.
"Who've you got tailing that woman?"

"Kittering and Piper, sir,"

"Contact them and have them bring her in.  As soon as she gets out of her
car I want them to open fire on that vehicle.  If there is anything in it,
I want it dead.  Understand?"

* * *

"We're safe now," Sharon said to her empty car as she drove away from the
institute.  "It's okay."  She looked around, but was still alone.  She
glanced in the mirror, then back down and jumped, nearly losing control of
her vehicle.  A thin, blond man in a hospital gown was sitting in the
bucket seat next to her.  "God, you startled me," she breathed.  "That's a
great trick."

The blond looked at her and seemed to think for a moment, then spoke in
halting tones.  "I sorry."

"You speak English?" she said excitedly.  Dr. Sorenson must have been wrong
in what he told her.

"Yes," the man said and smiled broadly.

"Great.  At least we can talk.  Where do you come from?"

"Yes," he said again.

"Yes, from where?  Another planet, another dimension, another time, where?"

"Yes."

A thought suddenly occurred to her.  "I bet you don't understand a word I'm
saying, do you?"

"Yes."

She smiled at him and said, "I'm the most beautiful woman you've ever seen
in your life and you're madly in love with me."

"Yes."

Sharon laughed loudly.  "At least you've got great taste," she said.  The
alien laughed with her.

"Uh oh," she said, her smile fading away.  "We've got company."  She had
noticed a dark blue sedan following a short distance behind them.  She
turned onto Third Street and so did the sedan.  She again turned onto
another adjoining street and watched as the dark blue car followed.  "I
guess this means we don't go to my place.  You'd better fasten your seat
belt."  The blond just looked blankly back at her.  "Oh well, hold on
tight."

Sharon stomped her foot down on the accelerator and turned the wheel
sharply almost throwing her guest out the door opening.  He grabbed the
back of the seat tightly and hung on as she headed down a narrow alley.
She then whipped the wheel again, this time heading the wrong way on a one
way street.  After a half block she back tracked in the direction from
which they had come and sped down a major thoroughfare.  There was no sign
of her pursuers in the mirror, but she kept up the speed until they were
back out of town and heading down a rural country road.

"We're heading for my cabin on the lake," she said by way of explanation.
"It belonged to my folks and I sometimes use it as a retreat.  No one knows
about it except my brother and an ex-boyfriend.  We ought to be safe there
for a while."  The stranger just smiled at her.  "You don't even know what
I'm saying; much less have any idea where I'm taking you."

About an hour later they pulled into the yard of the little, wood-framed
house.  It was a small farm house with an excellent view of the water,
colored gold and red by the setting sun.  Both sides of the property were
bordered by farm land, isolating the little house from any neighbors.  The
structure itself was almost invisible, being surrounded by big, leafy
trees.  Green vines of ivy had grown up to take over the porch, all but
obscuring the windows.  "This is it," Sharon announced as they came to a
stop and climbed out of the jeep.  "My own private hideaway."

The strange man looked at the little building, and then turned to look out
at the water of the lake not far away across the yard.  As he did so he
turned his back to Sharon, which made her quickly aware of his unusual and
somewhat immodest attire.  "Come on, big fella," she called.  "Let's go
find you some clothes.  You ought to fit into something my brother has
around here."

The tall man turned to look at her.  He smiled and tapped his chest.
"Akuta," he said.  He then pointed at her.

"Sharon," she replied, quickly interpreting his meaning.  "I hope 'Akuta'
isn't your word for 'boy,'" she then muttered under her breath.

"Shaw-rone," he repeated.

"Let's go find you some clothes, Akuta," she said and held out her hand.
He took it and together they climbed the porch steps and entered the cabin.

* * *

"My lord, please awaken," Caseldra said quietly as she gently shook Scott's
shoulder.

He was instantly alert.  "Are the others up?" he asked.

"Just Jennifer.  I am about to waken Alex."

"Okay," Scott replied.  "Where is Jen?"

"She is preparing food for us downstairs."  Scott started to open his
mouth, but she countered his fears before he could voice them.  "It is
rapidly growing dark, but I cautioned her not to make any lights that might
betray our presence to watchers outside."  She then slipped out of the room
and down the hall to the guest room to awaken Alex.

Minutes later they were sitting in the dining room.  Jennifer had drawn the
blinds tightly closed and lit one candle.  The humans found it somewhat
difficult to see, but it did make for a romantic dinner.  Having eaten and
refreshed themselves, they started to make plans.

"I once hot wired a car when I was a teenager.  We could slip down the
street and borrow someone else's vehicle," Alex suggested.

"I've got a better idea," Scott said.  "I'll just call a cab and have it
pick us up in the next block."

"What if they have the line tapped?" Alex asked.

"Okay, let's walk to the convenience store down the street and call a cab
from a pay phone."

They dressed in dark clothes and headed down the stairs into the basement.
Caseldra led them, being the only one who could see in the dark.  The
others followed behind, holding hands and stumbling along in the blackness.
The fairy girl slowly lifted the outside basement door.  She looked
furtively around, then beckoning the others to follow.  One by one, they
slipped out and into the shadows of the nearby hedge.  Following along to
the backyard, the four quickly sprinted to the gate.

"I see no one watching this entrance," Caseldra whispered.

"Then let's go," Scott replied and pulled open the iron gate.  The four
dropped the three feet into the alley and jogged down to the end of the
block.

"This is almost too easy," Alex said.  Suddenly they were bathed in bright
light.  A dark car sitting at the end of the alley turned on its headlights
to spotlight the four causing them to freeze in place like wild animals on
the highway.  They turned to run but were caught in the beams of another
car pulling up quickly from the other direction.

"Stay where you are," a menacing voice said, coming from an electronically
amplified megaphone.  "We have you covered and surrounded.  Place your
hands on top of your heads and no one will get hurt."

"Caseldra, can you get away?" Scott whispered as quietly as possible.

"I can use the homing crystal," she wind whispered in reply.

"Do it," he said.  "But don't come back for us.  We'll be able to get out
of this on our own.  We can't risk any more Tuathan's getting caught.
Understand?"

"Yes, lord," she replied sadly.  "I love you," she wind whispered to
Jennifer, then reached down and tapped the pink stone hanging from the
chain around her neck.

"Where'd the other one go?" a man in a dark blue suit asked as he and two
others came up carrying drawn guns.

"What other one?" Scott asked innocently.

"She can't have gotten far.  Find her," the man ordered as he pulled out
handcuffs and started fastening them to the three remaining fugitives.
They were then shoved into the back seat of one of the dark sedans and
minutes later the car was speeding through town, heading for the Blanc
Institute.

Alex tried to bluff his way out of the situation.  "This is kidnapping,
bucko," he said to the driver and the other man in the front seat.  "I know
my rights."

"Shut up," came the reply.

Twenty minutes later the trio found themselves sitting in a waiting room
outside a door labeled 'Director.'  One of the men who had brought them in
took Jennifer into the inner office leaving Scott and Alex alone with the
man who had driven their car.  When he finally went out to get a cup of
coffee Alex turned to Scott.  "Do you think Caseldra will bring help back?"

"I hope not," Scott replied.  His friend looked back at him in amazement.
"Be logical.  Akuta is already missing.  We can't risk another invasion of
fairies into this world."

"So what do we do?  You have a plan to get us out of this on our own,
perhaps?" the red head asked his friend.

"Not yet," came the reply.

Inside the office Dr. Westfall and the chief of security were questioning
Jennifer.  "Now, Miss Sloan, we know you're somehow connected with these
aliens.  All we're asking is for some information," the security man said.

"So why was I kidnapped and handcuffed?" Jennifer shot back.

"This is a matter of national security, Miss Sloan," Westfall said.  "I
apologize if you were hurt or frightened.  I am sorry for the somewhat
unorthodox method used to bring you here, but we had no choice.  Now if
you'll just answer a few questions."

"We have a report from one of our agents that an alien came through a hole
in the back of your garage," the security man said as he sat on the edge of
the desk.  "A hole that no longer exists, I might add."

"I don't know what you're talking about," she replied.

"And I don't suppose you know anything about the disappearance of
Dr. Strahan or another of our agents who also were last seen entering your
garage?  Miss Sloan, you could be charged with kidnapping, accessory to
murder and possibly even treason."

"That's ridiculous," she said, mustering up as much bravado as possible.

"Well, you think it over," Dr. Westfall said and indicated that she should
be removed.  They then proceeded with the interrogations of the other two
individuals with just as little success.  Westfall finally instructed that
each of them be locked in a different holding area, isolated from each
other.  He hoped that the fear of what might be happening to their friends
might make one of them talk.  If not, he could always try sodium pentothal.


 

 

 

 

 

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