Implant in a Brisk White Lab-coat
Who Knew She Was There?
I looked up and saw her face again. Who was this strange woman I saw every time I closed my eyes? I looked out the window as stars streaked by and put my hand on the dura steel glass. It felt cold. For a few moments I wondered how it would feel if it shattered and all of us to be sucked out into the iceness of space. It made me shiver. What were we doing out here? We didn’t belong here any more than we belonged living at the bottom of oceans and lakes, but here we were.
I often wondered how it felt to live in one place, on one planet. Our planet had been squandered and destroyed by the ones in charge. The atmosphere had been ruined. Global warming had dried up many of the oceans and destroyed much of the vegetation, which only made things worse. Plants and animals began to die off. Water temperatures rose. Our ancestors didn’t do anything about it except provide electric cars and solar panels for the top fifteen percent of the people as people with average incomes watched, as if that helped.
They had a fantasy in the back of their heads, the fifteen percent anyway. They thought that they would wisp us off of the Earth to other planets that we would settle onto like on Star Trek movies. They figured the others were just stupid, and would be doomed. They thought that all of the planets out there were available and they would be Lords, even Gods, if they were the ones in control of whole planets of people. Little did they know that there were larger powers out there and that even the empty planets were owned.
The galaxy was separated into sectors owned by various groups of extraterrestrials and we weren’t part of any one of them. And so we began to roam through space from one planet to the next like vagabonds, staying until we were discovered or until the group needed to use their planet again. We had been cursed by the stupidity of our own ancestors and were jumping again to yet another planet.
I didn’t even know where I was going this time, and didn’t really care. It felt good to have a little downtime. On the transport ship we had very light duties. The crew did most of the work. We were just being transported. We were the settlers, the ones who would begin to terraform the planet before the arrival of the civilians. We were the first to land, even before the military. We were totally unarmed and at the mercy of everyone, knowing that if we arrived armed, or the military arrived first, we would probably be cut down and our raggedy little ships totally obliterated.
We were seen as pitiful creatures, but no one opened their doors to us because of the history of violence and stupidity that followed us. That was another gift of our vapid ancestors. I leaned back and closed my eyes. There she was again. A woman with platinum hair who was very pale. She had a blue jewel set in the center of her head that looked like a third eye. It flashed every so often. I began to drift off as she was talking.
“Wake up, sleepy head!” I opened my eyes quickly. Kyle was sitting across from me drinking a cup of coffee. He was tall and dark with a big afro and a bright smile. He was part of the crew, a genius when it came to keeping the engines on this garbage pile of a ship running. He laughed. “Jesus man, don’t you get any sleep at night?”
“Yeah,” I said. I yawned and stretched. “I don't know what’s going on. I just passed out. I saw that woman again.”
“Really. You must have a thing for that woman, or maybe she has a thing for you.” He winked and laughed. I was speechless. He sipped his coffee. “Yep,” he continued. “You know some of the races are telepathic and can communicate with us don’t you?” I shook my head.
“”Really!” He said. “Don’t you Terraformers get the latest news? We’re in a sector full of humanoid telepaths hoping, just hoping, they’ll let us stay here. So don’t be a wise ass with that woman because she’s probably real.”
“I’m a bit skeptical, but I’ll take you at your word,” I said.
“Yeah. You are always skeptical. What is she saying?”
“I don’t know. I can’t hear it, or I just fall asleep wherever I am just like that.” I snapped my fingers.
“I think you should go see security.”
“Really. So they can protect me from a fantasy? Ha! A pretty good looking fantasy at that.”
“I’m serious. I’ll arrange for it. They have counselors you know.” He gave me the most serious look I had seen on his face for the last three days.
“So you think it’s that serious, Kyle?”
“Yeah John. I do. What did I just say John? They are telepaths. They’re trying to communicate with you!”
“Well I couldn’t connect the two because I didn’t believe you. You know I never believe anything you say. Or at best I think you have it all mixed up.” He flattened his lips.
“Ha, ha. Pretty funny. You need to listen to me. I’ve been around. I’ve really been around," arching his brows.
“What do you mean?”
“I don't know. You’re not?” He tilted his head slightly.
“I’m not permitted to discuss such issues.” He drank down the bottom of his coffee. “That’s some good stuff. I’ll set up the appointment.” He stood up. “The way you handle this could mean finding a home or not. Remember that.”
“I won’t give it a second thought.”
“Sure,” he said with a grin. “I know you will.” His face became serious again. “Don’t worry. It will be alright.”
“Thanks for the vote of confidence,” I said.
“What are friends for?” He turned and headed out of the lounge. I looked out the window again and noticed how much time I spent lounging. I deserved it. Once we hit the next planet I would be going almost 24/7. Why shouldn’t I have been lazy when I had time off? I looked out the window again. It seemed so vast and so cold. Why had our ancestors destroyed our hopes and dreams because of their greed and laziness?
“What is your name,” the Dr. asked, leafing through her notes. She looked up expectantly.
“John,” I said.
“That’s it! What’s your last name?”
“I don’t have one of them anymore.”
“Oh. You’re one of those rebels or terrorists?”
“Not because I don’t have a last name.”
“I have a last name.” She pointed to her badge. “What’s that say? Dr. Brenda Wentworth. Everyone else has a last name. Why don’t you have a last name, Mr. Blake?” I was silent.
“Let’s not be resistant Mr. Blake, shall we? You were invited here. I could write up an order for you to be sent here and kept here.”
“You don’t think so. Do you want to see me do it?”
She reached over onto the desk and pushed a small button. Two men came rushing in in uniforms with pistols on their hips. She looked at me.
“Good. I thought you would come to your senses.” She looked at the men. “We won’t be needing you for now, but I would appreciate it if you would stay just outside the door.” One gave a nod and they headed back out.
“Show of force, eh? Pretty hostile.”
“You haven’t seen hostile yet. You start cooperating or...haven’t you realized who we are yet? Are you that dumb?”
“No I haven’t. You can’t say you are Intelligence. They were banned decades ago.” She grinned. “Weren’t they?”
“Come on John. We know all about you. What have you been experiencing?”
“I’ve seen a woman. In my head. Tall, blonde with a blue jewel right in the center of her forehead. But every time she tries to speak I just fall asleep.”
“Good. We’re making progress.”
“Progress? What kind of progress?”
“We've been watching you and people like you for more than a century waiting for you to develop your telepathic powers. You, and a few more, have alien DNA in your blood cells making you not fully human.”
“I assure you. I am fully human.”
“Your DNA says different. We've been giving you a nutrient that will help you manifest your telepathic network for quite some time. In the water, so to speak. You are the third generation receiving the treatment and it seems to be paying off.” She flipped through my files a few more times. She pulled out a photo of me as a child of 4 or 5 and handed it to me.
“This was our first contact with you. We’ve been treating you ever since. Chemical experiments, psychological manipulation, a lot of experimentation and experiential treatments to bring you where you are right now.” She reached out and I gave her the picture. “You just might end up saving the human race, John.”
“That’s good to hear because it seems like someone needs to, Brenda. When will you scientists stop doing illegal experiments and operations on citizens?"
“You are not a citizen. Your parents signed you over to us to help you cope with being a child who was different from others and we helped. When you got of age and signed on to come out here in space...you consented to the things we’re doing for the betterment and survival of the human race. We’re well within our rights as a species and government so suck it up and keep drinking the water.” She grinned. She thought herself clever. I didn’t.
Kyle was sitting there having lunch when I walked in. He seemed quite happy. Marvin was spouting out some old dry stories...the kind where he always ended up being the hero. He was such a good liar that we pretended to believe him and went along with him. He was like a living vid-screen--gifted to say the least. I pulled up a seat and sat there looking at Kyle. He turned to me.
“What kind of monster did you send me to?” I asked.
“What do you mean?”
“That monster of a doctor you sent me to. She was horrible.”
“Was it that Wentworth woman? '' Marvin asked. “She is just horrible. I always hear complaints about her because of her experiments. It's said that they're doing bio experiments on unsuspecting people--real Nazi stuff, over generations.”
“That's what she told me herself. She bragged about it.”
“Keep It Down,” Kyle said.
“Hide it is what you mean.”
“No,” Kyle said. “You may whip up some type of resistance and then we'll all be sorry. “ He leaned closer and lowered his voice. “Don’t you know who is really in charge here? The Cabal.”
“Oh Jesus! The Cabal again.“ I said. "They seem to be everywhere.” Kyle just looked at me. and tilted his head slightly. “Come on,” I said. He was silent.
“Humans and extraterrestrials. A big family spanning across the galaxies in charge of how we live, what we do, what we hear, and what we are allowed to understand. Don't you get it, John? When will you learn that you aren't free? None of us are.”
“Holy shit. What are you saying?” Marvin commented.
“We’re fucked and we can't do anything about it,” he answered. “Our only hope is to contact those telepaths and others who are not part of the system so we can get free. That’s what I’m talking about.” He grinned and then looked more serious.. "That is why it's so important."
Oh, just kidding," he suddenly said, sitting back into his chair. "You guys are crazy.” He pushed his seat back from the table. “I have to get back to work. You two think about it and what you're saying. You don't want to cause harm or be harmed, do you?” He grinned and then quickly looked serious. “If you repeat what I said and you're wrong people will just think you're crazy. If you're right you'll just disappear. Welcome to the agency." He winked. I watched as he walked away. I didn't know how to respond to any of that. Talk about sending a double message.
"What the fuck was that?" Marvin asked, voicing my exact thoughts.
"I have no idea. No idea at all. I think he's a spook, and so is that doctor."
"You better be quiet then. Very quiet, because now they're a rogue agency. They aren't supposed to exist.”
“You’ve got to cool out, Brenda. You have people talking,” Kyle said. She glowered. “Don’t kill the messenger.”
“Who's talking, Kyle?”
“A lot of people like John and others who have come to visit you. You can’t be telling them you’re working for…” he lowered his voice. “You know! They’re supposed to be dead. If they find out we’re still around we’ll end up stranded on some asteroid or something.”
“We’re sanctioned. We’re not rogue.”
“Yeah, but they aren’t supposed to know about it. Who do you think will get it in the rear end if they start asking about us, the people sanctioning us in secret or us?” She thought for a moment. She picked up her beer bottle and took a swig.
“I can see what you mean. I’ll cool it down...a little.”
“That’s good. By the way, I told John everything.”
“What do you mean everything?”
“The whole truth, and then I pretended like I was lying and joking, but he knew I wasn’t. Now he knows and knows that he will be erased if he ever talks about it. Marvin was there too, so now he knows, and what will happen to him too. I hope that will shut them up for a while.”
“Big risks, Kyle.”
“I know, but we just can’t start killing people. I think I can recruit them.”
“It would be helpful to have a terraformer who gets to travel around the galaxy to gather information for us, if only that. And this one seems to be becoming telepathic. I loaded up his coffee with x-factor so next time I think he can tolerate the message. But who knows what she will tell him?”
“I hope all of your scheming works.” She took another drink. “Sometimes I don’t know how I let you talk me into this madness.” She lowered her voice. “You know we’ll never get out from under their power. They’ve been in charge for probably millions of years. They've seen it all.”
“True. But nothing ventured, nothing gained.”
“A cavalier attitude, but we’re playing with our lives. Let’s just hope your friends have enough sense to shut up!”
“I think they will. I know them very well. By the way, what did you tell him? He was really shaken.”
“The whole truth, except I didn’t tell him I was joking.’
“Why the hell did you do that?”
“I thought it was time. Let’s stop bullshitting and get some people on board who will help us. I’m tired of trying to trick people into doing what we need. I figure he helps, or he winds up in a disposal dump somewhere.”
“You’re supposed to be a doctor, but you’re as ruthless as hell.”
“That’s what makes me so good at psychiatry. I’m ruthless as hell. Now let’s see what happens.”
“I gotta go,” Kyle said. “But before I go I have to tell you something. Don’t know how to soften it so I’ll just say it. You’ve been acting like a bitch and everybody hates you and says that you're a monster.”
“Your reputation around the ship is that you’re horrible. Please stop, or we’ll have to hire a new psychiatrist.”
“Oh. Now you’re going to fire me?”
“No. You’re going to act like a professional instead of a bitch.” He smiled. “Good day, Brenda.” He turned and walked out of the room. Brenda sat there, eyes narrowed and lips pursed, and then took a drink. The beer was still cold and had a touch of bitterness just the way she liked it.
Brenda glared at me when I walked into the room. I don’t know why I was called back again. It had been a few days since I had first visited. She motioned to the chair across from her. Her hair was long and straight, tucked into a tight bun on the back of her head. She had a pencil tucked behind her ear partially hidden by her long blond hair. She was wearing a white lab coat covering a black dress with ugly thick white shoes, like nurses shoes, with ugly stockings to match. I took a seat.
“I’m surprised to see you again, John, after you snitched on me.” She picked up a nearby legal pad and took the pencil from behind her ear. She looked at me waiting.
“What do you mean, snitched on you? That’s not a very professional term is it?”
“I mean that you have been talking about things you should not be mentioning.” She put the pencil eraser in her mouth for a moment and paused before speaking again. “The things that I told you are private because it's dangerous for you or anyone to know them. Don't you get it?”
“You mean what Kyle was talking about? I don't believe anything he says.”
“Good answer. Now are you in or out?”
“In or out of what?”
“Does Kyle know you're talking to me about this?”
“Kyle thinks he’s my boss. He thinks he knows about the agency, but has no idea how old it is or how widespread it is.” Suddenly my mind was filled with the images of stars and galaxies, different faces and different beings. The amount of stars and planets seemed limitless. I didn’t pass out that time. I just sat back and blinked. "That wasn’t the woman who’s trying to contact you, that was me."
I’m not quite human. Kyle doesn’t know that, but you do. Our cousins out here are trying to contact us. They want to warn us about the dangers in this system. Who’s side are you on? They’re trying to contact you because we, the ones who have been living among you, have lost our ability to receive. We can only send."
One of the reasons we were planted on your planet was to just send information. We are the Watchers. They thought that if we could receive information it might make you more aware of us. So you are the instrument who will receive the information and pass it onto us.”
“Don’t I have a choice in this?”
“No. You will receive it. You can have a choice in what you do with it, but you will receive it. And you will not be talking to Kyle or Marvin, or any of your friends about this. Kyle actually thinks we're part of an old defunct intelligence agency from Earth. We were implants put in the agency to monitor the agency.”
“Double agents,” I stated.
“Not necessarily. We were always allies and always will be as long as you don’t bring your barbaric ways out here into space. We don’t want your culture, or your way of life. Very few do.”
“Well there is nothing I can do about it.”
“Yes there is. You can be a Watcher who is able to receive and send. That’s what you’ll do. You wouldn’t have been able to receive the message I sent you the first time you were here. You should have no problem getting the messages from the woman you are talking about now.” She looked down at the pad and wrote something. She looked up. “So. Have you made up your mind. Join us, help the humans. Don’t join us,” she snapped her fingers, “Poof!”
“Poof? What does that mean, you’ll kill me?”
“No. The aneurysm will kill you, the one I am noting may occur due to the results of some of the scans we did a few days ago. And I wouldn’t be the one doing it, the ones who are able to contact you now would. Or someone. Maybe some of the hostels who are able to send messages too. If they realize that you, a human, can pick up telepathic messages they will do away with you.
The secret of the cabal, especially on Earth, was the power of their minds. The telepathic abilities that many of the HighBloods developed kept them a step above everyone else. Do you think they will let you have those skills? You would be a potential enemy and if word ever got out that you were an enemy they would take care of you. So are you in or out?”
“I need time to think about this” She looked at her watch.
“I’ll give you ten seconds.”
“That’s not enough time. That’s not fair.”
“You’ve wasted 5. I'd hate to have to leak your existence, but I would.”
“OK. I’m in.”
“Good. Thought you would come around. Welcome to the squad and I warn you, if you tell anyone you will be endangering their lives along with your own.” I just frowned. “It’s so good to have someone I can share this information with on board. I’ve had to hide it so long, even from Kyle, like you will. Now I can stop acting obnoxious, with you anyway. That was my method to keep people at a distance.”
“Oh. You’re saying you just acted that way, but are really this sweet, nice, intelligent women? Am I getting that right? You really did a good job.”
“Of course I’m saying that, and thank you. I try to do everything well. I knew you could see through it though.” She started smiling. I could feel it in my head and wondered what I had just signed onto.
About the author
John (Om Prakash) Gilmore, is a Retired Unitarian Universalist Minister, a Licensed Massage Therapist and Reiki Master Teacher, and a student and teacher of Tai-Chi, Qigong, and Nada Yoga. Om Prakash loves reading sci-fi and fantasy.