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Dark Dig 12 - Reflections Over Events

by Bruce J. Spohn 6 months ago in Mystery
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Ancient Gods and Modern Drama

12 - Reflections Over Events

Reflections Over Events

Marcus listened closely to everything Ruth and Ben reported and tried to understand some of the details that were cloaked in a Vail of red tape. Carol was happy they had so much to report as it prevented any questions about what Marcus and she were doing all afternoon. Even though much of the report referenced top secret files that Carol had no idea of the true nature, she was able to see there was a clear link between the local cult and some Iran Government sponsored terror group.

The FBI was able to use the newly discovered decoder to gather tons of information about the group. It seems the FBI was also able to identify the cult leader and this information was duly passed to INTERPOL and the local Greek Authorities. The FBI identified the cult leader as a soldier of fortune, miss-fit from the Taliban who fled Afghanistan and sought refuge in Iran. They are sure he spent most of the last ten years working with terror cells in Iran. They even traced him to some very powerful pharmaceutical companies in Iran. This would explain how a very complex drug was made available.

Almost as an afterthought Ruth mentioned that the FBI traced his life all the way to when he was thrown out of a British boarding school for sexual miss-conduct with one of the nuns running the school. Later he studied in Egypt and even a short time in Athens. He has a strong interest in ancient cultures and religions.

This tidbit of trivia caught Marcus’ attention. He banged his fist on the steering wheel and barked, “What? Could that be some key to why my site was attacked! Some frustrated ‘WANT-TO-BE Archaeologist’ who wants to pollute the world with some sex drug and use my dig site as some temple to make himself God!”

“Well, we really are still trying to determine why you were attacked, but I guess that when you are dealing with mentally disturbed people that could be as good of a reason as any,” Ruth rebutted.

That touched off a somewhat humorous debate about why anyone other than Marcus would be interested in that patch of dirt. The joking and laughter melted the travel time to a blink of an eye. Everyone was still laughing when they entered the great hall. Strangely, Ellen was not there to greet them. Maybe she was not expecting them to return on time for a change. The visible sweat rings led everyone to agree there was a great need to freshen up before dinner.

Carol was really happy to have a chance to wash off the remnants of the last sexual extravaganza. She entered the spacious shower with a strange mix of emotions. On the one hand she wanted to get cleaned up and ready for dinner. On the other hand, she wished Marcus would join her and sweep her off to that magic place they both created when their bodies touch.

“Oh God, Marcus were you reading my mind?” sighed Carol as she melted in his arms.

“How could I read your mind when your body was shouting at me,” Marcus whispered in her ear and let his hands explore the elegance of her lithe body as he rubbed the shower gel into thick frothy foam.

The steamy water stimulated their naked flesh. A strange power overtook them. Their actions and movements were beyond their control. Swept away on the wings of lust the two lovers exploded with multiple orgasms until they both sank to the floor of the shower and let the brisk spray dance on their ravished flesh. They lay there for an unmeasured time until the life forces again surge through their veins. Realizing they are expected for dinner they hurriedly dress and attempt to compose themselves as they walk toward the main building.

As they walk, they heard voices coming from the patio near the reflecting pond. Carol thought she recognized Fronia’s voice. She pulled Marcus along to see who Fronia was talking to. Soon, they saw Fronia was engaged in an animated conversation with Ruth and Ben.

Fronia paused, as they approached, “glad to see you decided to join us,” she cajoled the two new arrivals.

Carol blushed slightly, “well we really had a lot of the dirt from all those relics and the sweat just made it turn to mud so it took a bit longer to freshen up.” Carol answered as she brought her hand up to her face as if wiping sweat from her brow, but really attempting to conceal a blush.

“Where is Ellen?” Carol inquired seeking to change subjects.

“I’m not sure. I just got back home and found Ben and Ruth coming out of their guest quarters. So, I just assumed the role of hostess and had the servants set up this little snack and drink table. She must be around someplace I saw both her and Jason’s cars parked in the garage,” Fronia replied.

As if on cue, Jason burst through the big double French door with an arm full of bottles. Ellen, wearing a very eloquent, flowing, white silk gown followed into the room close behind Jason. In a flurry of action, Jason quickly filled everyone’s glasses and a hearty toast was made. Carol could not help noticing how absolutely radiant Ellen appeared. She also noticed Jason was a bit more jovial than normal. A smirk of a smile distorted Carol’s lips as she imagined Ellen and Jason being late to dinner for the same reason, she and Marcus were tardy.

After the toast the conversation exploded in a jumble of different topics, yet none of the topic examined the sudden heightened sexual stimulation everyone was experiencing. Ruth and Ben concentrated on the breakthrough of finding out who the mystery man was and even where he could be found. They cautioned it was still too early to rush in an attempt to capture him. They wanted to coordinate with the Local authorities and INTERPOL to execute a raid that would both free the prisoners and result in the maximum arrests.

Carol listened intently at some of the more detailed factors the two FBI Agents were able to discuss. Soon, Carol’s attention was caught by the way Fronia was acting. Fronia was seated at the far end of the table next to Ben. She was leaning forward with her elbows on the table seeming to absorb every syllable issued from Ben’s lips. Carol chuckled quietly to herself as she thought, if ever there was a poster girl for love sick girls, Fronia was it. Maybe there really is something in the air tonight that seems to have everyone acting a bit more than just strange.

In an attempt to take her mind off of Fronia, Carol turned to Ellen holding her glass out to be re-filled. Ellen appeared to be beaming and even more jovial and gracious than normal.

“Ellen, is there something going on with your Gods? I mean everything has become rather strange the past 24 hours,” Carol inquired.

“Carol, the Gods are rejoicing. Eros is delighted that Marcus has brought to light the treasures hidden from the people all these years. Zeus, Aphrodite and all the major and minor gods are celebrating their resurgence. Their celebration has set forth vibrations of joyful jubilation,” Ellen crooned in a misty far-a-way voice.

Carol did not answer; she only looked at Ellen as if trying to read some more meaningful message from her face. She was not sure she could accept Ellen’s explanation, but what Ellen just said confirmed her feeling of something un-natural was driving some unearthly agenda.

Ruth held up her tablet to show a photo her HQ just sent. She explained it was a recent photo of the man they are convinced is the shadowy cult leader.

“That’s Demious!” exclaimed Ellen.

Ruth jerked around to face Ellen. “You know this man?” she questioned.

“Demious is the cute computer geek that fixed my computer about a month ago. He even fixed it so that it runs Facebook faster than ever. He has even stopped by to check to make sure everything was running ok a few times. He always comes by when everyone is out working. That must be why none of you have seen him,” Ellen explained.

“Oh My GOD!” Ruth exclaimed. In a flash she had her phone pressed to her ear.

“Todd? This is Ruth Please grab your best computer geek and rush down to Marcus’ home. His sister’s computer might be the hub of the cult communication network.

Ok, I’ll see you as soon as you can get here,” gushed Ruth with a deep sigh.

Ben did not wait for Ruth to give the command, he jumped up and took Ellen by the arm and whispered in her ear for her to take him to her computer. Moments later they both returned carrying Ellen’s computer. He placed the device on the table and then carefully examined it for any obvious sign of being tampered with. Ruth joined him in his evaluation, but neither really expected to see anything as they realized they were dealing with highly trained experts.

Carefully Ruth and Ben asked Ellen many questions about how she met “Demious”. They wanted to avoid giving her the impression she had done something wrong. As they quizzed her, they tried to determine if she was targeted or she just happened to need computer service at an opportune time. Ellen struggled to remember details, but at the time all she wanted was to get back on line. So, she could not supply much information. Sensing Ellen becoming uncomfortable with the interrogation, Ruth smiled and sat down next to Ben.

Marcus, sensing the tensions mounting, quickly filled everyone’s glasses and made a toast for good fortune. This served to derail the train or thought, and soon more pleasant topics were being pursued. Ellen leaned against Jason and wrapped her arms around him in a most unusual display of affection.

“Carol and I were just talking, and she mentioned that she has noticed that there seems to be some enhanced erotic activity. I think we all are aware of a very strange phenomenon. I’m sure Jason can testify to that,” Ellen announced while looking deep into Jason’s hazel eyes.

Ellen’s proclamation caught everyone off guard, but the resulting darting of eyes from one face to the other around the table confirmed her case. Ruth and Ben were the only ones that failed to blush. Fronia was still looking at Ben with her BEDROOM EYES on high beam. The awkward moment was broken at long last by a pounding on the main door. Followed by a servant leading Todd and his computer geek out to the table in the garden. Marcus jumped up and rushed to greet the new arrivals and then introduced them to everyone who they did not already know.

Todd introduced his computer specialist as Bob, as Bob reached for the lap top to start his analysis.

“So, this is patient ZERO! Let me check it out and see just what they did and how they did it,” Bob sighed as he pulled a computer tablet out of a pocket in his cargo pants.

He moved to an area off to one side of the gathering and Marcus instructed the servants to make sure he was fed and had whatever he wanted to drink. The group started talking about the cyber code. Todd was explaining how Bob was the one who not only tracked it down, but was able to crack it and then prevent it from spreading to other computers. At the time we thought Christina was the one who infected the Site computers.

When Bob stopped the site computers from infecting other computers that was when he found that there must be some other source of the virus code, because it kept spreading.

Everyone started to speculate about why Ellen’s computer was patient ZERRO. Jason thought it was just a quirk and they just targeted any computer to get a toe-hold. Ruth and Ben were more convinced of Todd’s appraisal of the events. To them it was just too much of a coincidence that a random selection of a computer would just happen to belong to the sister of the person conducting research at a dig site that the cult later attacked. Ellen took Jason’s hand and held him close as it became more and more apparent Ellen had been targeted.

After an hour of heated discussion, it was agreed that the attack was planned and Ellen was targeted because of her relationship with Marcus and thus the dig site. The one big question no one was able to answer was – WHY THE DIG SITE WAS OF ANY INTEREST TO ANYONE OTHER THAN A MUSEUM?

Insight Over Dinner

Seeing they had no solution to that question all agreed to table it until they could confer with their local inspectors in the morning. Ellen graciously invited Todd and Bob to spend the night as it was late and they had plenty of rooms. Then she had the servants serve the late dinner.

The conversation drifted to and fro, touching on topics of various topics as the group consumed the copious offering, Soon, subtle innuendos spiced with erotic overtones dominated the verbal intercourse, evoking spirited laughter from all present. This sparked speculation about the nature of the new drug “Aphrodite’s tears” and what role it played in this enigma. Ruth conceded there was still a lot the lab could not explain, but they were going to get a few men and women to volunteer to do some controlled tests. Suddenly Fronia burst out in laughter. With a deepening dark red blush burning up her cheeks she blurted out, “Gee, I would volunteer!”

That succeeded in capturing everyone’s attention. Seeing how her remark must have been taken in perhaps not the way she intended, Fronia attempted to recoup by going on the offensive. Declaring that everyone was just being hypocritical if they said they wouldn’t like to see what it might be like to have a wild uninhibited erotically sexual mind-blowing experience. Her defense must have hit a raw nerve as it seemed to make everyone look away and appear to fidget uneasy in their seats.

After a rather prolonged pregnant pause, Ellen smiled and leaned over to kiss Jason on the cheek. Carol was holding Marcus’s hand tightly and had it pressed between her thighs and seemed to be nodding her head in agreement.

“Well, the Lab thinks that this drug has an equally intense affect on men. They said it was like SUPER NOVA VIAGRA. That is why they are seeking both men and women. GOOD GOD! All this world does not need is a pill that will transform normal men who have learned to respect women and are now able to avoid sexual harassment, into raging sex maniacs,” moaned Ruth.

Ben sat quietly listening to the flow of the conversation. Then he jerked bolt up-right and snapped his fingers. You could almost see a light bulb turn on over his head as he shouted, “what if that is their real objective? What if they want to introduce this drug into western culture to use openness and freedom as a weapon against us?”

“What do you mean? I’m not sure I follow your logic,” Carol protested.

Ruth gave Ben a stern stair and asked, “What are you talking about?”

Fronia’s swarthy complexion was still stained by the dark shadow of the blush resulting from her confession she wished to be in the test group to see what effects this drug had. She tried to hide her embarrassment by joining the conversation, “how could a pill designed to make people enjoy sex be a weapon?” she inquired.

“I’m not sure I follow your logic, but please go on and see if you can connect this drug to your thesis,” Ruth coaxed.

Ben’s suggestion sounded preposterous on the surface, but then history was full of examples of really preposterous events. Now everyone at the table was all ears, everyone was eager to hear what Ben thought the answer might be.

“Well, think about it. If you are the leader of a religion that treats women like they are slaves and your ideology is constantly being threatened by images from the western nations of women free to dress, work and be independent. Wouldn’t it make sense to develop something that would cause the west to start adopting the same restrictions on their women?” Ben attempted to explain.

Marcus shook his head in disbelief, took a deep breath before he commented, “I think that would require a rather complex infrastructure. I would think it nearly impossible to organize such a covert attack.”

“So, Ben, you think Iran is behind this cult, because the one guy that the FBI was able to positively identify was a friend of a political figure in Iran? Now I see where the crazy conspiracies get started. I agree with Fronia, after all when Viagra was released, it did not topple any governments,” Carol protested.

“Wait a minute Carol, I think Ben might have stumbled onto something that has been hidden in plain sight. Where as you are right about Viagra not causing any real damage, it is clear it never had such a powerful effect on women as this drug seems to have and it never made men commit rape. Our lab has only started to test it on men, but they said it caused a similar hyper sexual drive in men, making them become sex-crazed maniacs. Can you imagine how dangerous it would be for women to go out of the house, with who knows how many men high on this drug roaming the streets?” Ruth injected.

“Thank you, Ruth, I think you see where I’m coming from. If this drug starts showing up across the nation, we could see parents forcing their daughters to wear “BURKAS” to make them less attractive to the sex-crazed perverts. This might even require their daughters to be accompanied by a male family member for protection. Does that sound familiar? Think about the chaos that would result. Packs of horny men lurking in the shadows, raping every woman they can grab. Women would be forced to hide in the home. They would be afraid to go to school where they would be vulnerable. They could not get jobs where they would constantly fear being sexual abuse. It would be the ultimate defeat,” Ben surmised.

“Don’t you think there is some way to find a middle ground where women are allowed to enjoy a man’s attention without becoming a whore? I mean after they are like say 18 years old. I sure would not want to be under constant surveillance. Girls just want to have fun too you know,” Fronia asserted.

Ruth laughed out loud, before she replied, “Fronia that is the issue. I know from personal experience how hard it is for women to get the respect they deserve. When men go out and “SCOPE” out women that is ok, normal and no one makes a fuss about how many women guys score with. Women are held to a different standard. I’m sure you are very aware of the differences. But here in the west women fight against the old traditions and have made a lot of progress, but that is what causes the Muslin nations to fear us. They see our culture as a threat to all that is holy,” Ruth explained.

“That is all very interesting, but alas, I see no real connection to my dig site,” Marcus grunted. “Now that we know the 12 women were not really kidnapped, why was the site attacked? No one was holding the women in chains they were all free to come and go as they pleased. So, why a big blazing gun attack?” continued Marcus, still shaking his head.

“I’m still trying to fit the pieces together. I’m expecting more reports from my smart guys and maybe there will be some bit of evidence that will make the big picture come into focus,” Ben answered.

Carol looked directly at Marcus and saw his frustration burning his last nerve raw. Jason jumped up and filled all the glasses, in an attempt to lighten the atmosphere. He toasted to a better morning and glasses clinked all around. As the level of alcohol raised, so did their mood. Soon everyone was laughing and quipping about silly situations each incident seemed to convey more erotic images.

Fronia was no longer being coy. Her body language was shouting, “BEN, I WANT YOU”, but Ben was either the consummate federal agent avoiding her advances or he was just not that into women. Ben was a rather hard to read individual. He was funny and witty. There was no doubt that he was well trained. He was friendly to everyone, even Ruth whom he was wary of. Perhaps he was just overly conscious of the dangers of interpersonal entanglements.

Ellen communicated with the servant to ensure the guest rooms were ready. After a few more rounds of drinks, Ellen took Jason by the hand and with a wide smile announced to all that Jason had to make good on a promise then lead him down the hallway to their room.

Carol took Ellen’s lead and tugged at Marcus’ hand. They were followed by the remaining guests as they all filed off to their assigned room. Heartfelt “GOOD NIGHTS” were passed around and each said they looked forward to what the morning might bring.

More clues – Pieces fall into place

Carol and Marcus were the last souls to gather around the massive table to avail themselves of the morning fest. They were scarcely noticed as everyone was focused on consuming the wonderful meal laid out before them. Full mouths resulted in sporadic conversations at best, but it did not prevent the group from exchanging quick observations. The mood was high and laughter followed most of the utterances.

Marcus and Carol loaded their plates and joined the merriment. Carol scanned the gathered assembly casually noting how the group dynamics were playing out. Seeing Fronia seated next to Ben was really no surprise but finding Ruth sitting so close that she appeared to be leaning over Todd was surprising. Carol considered that it may just be a result of the available chairs at the time and did not give any deeper significance to the observation. After all no one made an issue of her relationship with Marcus, so why should she suddenly become the moral apostle.

With a wide smile lighting her face, Carol sat between Marcus and Ellen. The fast-moving conversation was hard to follow, so Carol listened a few moments to try to understand the general topic. There seemed to be a lot of good-natured quips about how Jason’s disposition improved and how Ellen was even more radiant than normal.

Ellen didn’t seem rattled by the taunting; rather she only smiled and insinuated that Fronia was out shining everyone this morning. This caused Fronia to stop mid-sentence. Now, Ellen smiled as she pointed to Fronia, to divert attention, Carol noticed some suspicious dark red blotches on Fronia’s shoulder and just above her bra showing through the thin cotton blouse.

Momentarily, Carol pondered the source of those unusual blotches. Then, her attention was captured by some rather big reddish scratch marks on Ben’s neck, right at the collar. He was completely focused on his computer display wearing the face of a sphinx. Carol thought Ben was being more detached than usual. Randomly she wondered if anyone else at the table connected the “dots”.

“I’m going to Athens to do some shopping. Does anyone want to ride along?” Fronia queried.

Ellen respectfully declined pointing out that last time she went to Athens with Fronia she spent too much on things she really didn’t need. Carol was tempted, but she realized the work was piling up and she needed to get the essential orders placed before the operation ground to a halt. Surprisingly Fronia suggested to Todd that she would be willing to take Bob back to the Athens Office. Todd pointed out that there were a few more procedures required to make Ellen’s computer safe to use without leaving any evidence of the fact the virus was detected and quarantined.

Fronia consulted with Bob, explaining she needed a few minutes to get ready, so they arranged to meet at the main door in 15 minutes. Bob busied himself packing Ellen’s laptop and all of his test equipment while he waited for Fronia.

As if that were the starting gun, everyone jumped up and started to gather their essential electronic devices together. On their way out a brief discussion of who was driving, Todd suggested Ruth ride with him to avoid cramming four adults into Marcus’ Land Rover. After the seating arrangements were settled, they all sped off to greet a new day. Ruth was happy to accept Todd’s offer. She had a few points she wanted to talk about with him without worrying about being overheard.

Secret Disclosure

Once they were on the main road, Ruth took a deep breath and turned to face Todd.

“Todd, by now you must have some idea about how I feel about my job. Well, more to the point how I feel about the Bureau. I’ve said things, in front of Ben, that I’m sure will get back to the people in charge of my future. So, I’m sure this is as high up the ladder I’ll ever get,” Ruth stated in a very professional tone of voice.

“Yes, the other day when you were talking to Carol, I was thinking you were really putting your neck on the line. Your little rant about the ‘good old boy’ club showed that you have seen the belly of the beast and want out. I think you are just holding on out of pride. You just hate to give up. Then there is the obvious consideration – WHAT WOULD YOU DO IF YOU DID QUIT? It is easy to say quit and get a new job, but people who say dumb shit like that must not pay bills or the rent/mortgage. Oh, and good jobs are not falling from the trees like autumn leaves. I must say if I worked for the FBI, it would be hard for me to justify quitting, but then I’m a man and as you pointed out there is gender discrimination big enough to hide the Grand Canyon,” summarized Todd as he piloted his roadster along the old highway.

Ruth nodded as she listened to Todd. After she was assured, he did understand her position she continued, “That’s right! It is really hard to pull up and move somewhere after you have spent so many years putting down roots. For one thing after years of dealing with the status quo - it is easy to assume one job is just as bad as the other so why jump ship and loose the seniority you have acquired. That was why I was listening so closely to what you were telling Carol about your operation,” she explained.

“Yes, I saw you listening, but I was not sure if you were going to make a case against Carol for ‘un-American activities or if you were indeed sympathetic to what Carol was ranting about. As you might suspect, I’ve had some unpleasant encounters with ‘the Bureau’. I have run into some of the guys that form the prototype of the FBI image, but I’m sure you have too. So, cut to the chase, are you looking for a job?” Todd summarized.

“I’ll be blunt, YES. What I heard you say to Carol and what I’ve been able to observe of your operation I can see you not only talk the talk, but you also walk the walk,” Ruth admitted and then took a long deep breath. She was greatly relieved to get that off her chest. Nervously she glanced in the rear-view mirror and wondered if Ben was aware of her desire to get out of the system.

“I’m sure you did a lot of soul-searching and did not make this decision on a whim. This may surprise you, but I have done a lot of checking on you and of course Ben also. In this business you have to know who you are dealing with. I got a lot of reviews on you from ‘the Bureau’. Seems you were not well liked by many of your former partners. Good thing I personally know most of them and I know they are the real problem. I really like your style. You use your brain rather than the shoot first, ask questions when the smoke clears approach I see too often. With your background and experience I would start you out as a section chief, with security teams like the one we have here for you,” Todd announced.

“WOW! I guess I should be speechless, but there is the ever-present issue. Will I be able to pay my rent?’ Ruth stammered.

“Reasonable question, I’m very familiar with your pay system. I can guarantee you 15% more starting and I’m sure by the end of a year you will be earning 20% more. You will be stuck in the office most of the time, but you can go out on any assignment you feel like taking a personal interest in. Oh, and you will be able to talk directly with the boss anytime,” Todd confided.

“Sounds almost too good to believe, when can I talk to the boss and submit my resume?” Ruth enquired.

“I’ll give you the email address when we get to the site, but that will just be for the HR people to file and start the paperwork for your background check. Being in the FBI will make that a snap. So how much notice do you have to give and will they slap any restrictions on your future employment? I’ll introduce you to the boss when we get to the site,” Todd answered.

As he took a long look in the rearview mirror, he could not help thinking about Ben and what was causing him to be so silent this morning. Todd worked with Ben on other assignments and this was the first time he saw him so introspective. Todd just let the thought pass by like the markers along the road.

Mystery

About the author

Bruce J. Spohn

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