The Sequels to Syrrah's Game SGSequels




CHAPTER 3

 

EARLIER, APRIL 29TH, 0900 HOURS

 

Major Eiken couldn’t help but notice the observation room appeared darker than usual. “So why did they decrease the lighting in here? I thought this one-way viewing wall made that redundant.” He looked to his left at Olivia.

She was lightly tracing her fingertip across the smooth, see-through surface. “You’re right. I’m not sure why. And the wall’s other side has that darker brown color, so even if someone shined a spotlight in here, no one would see it out there.” She looked up at him, subtle worry lines imprinting near her brow. “But I don’t like this. The general and Hakan are here. But where is Johanson? And do they really believe he could be doing this?”

“Can’t say. That’s why Hakan’s here.” Major Eiken directed his stare out the see-through wall. The door finally opened in the small interrogation room. Johanson entered, with two DFRs nudging him through the doorway, their M4 Carbines demanding Johanson’s compliant, hurried motion. “Well, he’s here now.”

“Yes. I see.”

General Tauring walked up to Johanson and the two tall DFRs stepped over to the now closed door and flanked it. The DFRs stared straight ahead, trying to appear oblivious, yet probably they would listen and observe from their ear and eye’s corner. Who wouldn’t, even with the risk involved?

Johanson had a somewhat relaxed, smug demeanor. But then his gaze took hold of Haken just walking out of the bathroom’s doorway. Immediately Johanson stared down. A slight tremor shook through Johanson’s oversized red tee shirt.

“Come on, Mr. Johanson.” General Tauring stepped closer to the quivering, heavy-set man. The general’s commanding voice filled the observation room far too easily. The recently installed amplification system, another new upgrade, was obviously working well. “I’ll cut right to the chase. Be honest with us. You’ve been planning on going to the media.”

Johanson now couldn’t restrain himself from staring at the slowly approaching Hakan. He then looked back at General Tauring. “What? No. No, of course not. How could you…how could you even know, I mean, think this? What’s wrong with you people?”

“Should have known better than to use a civilian.” General Tauring yanked a chair away from the table. He slid the chair to about two feet of distance from Johanson and then sat in the chair. He crossed his arms over his chest, pressed back into the chair, and looked up at the chubby man. “Do you realize you’re risking the lives of people in this country, and the security of the United States?”

“Umm, what? You risk people’s lives!”

General Tauring slowly nodded. “So, you were going to do it. I figured our source was correct.”

Johanson swallowed, easily detected by Major Eiken even at about fifteen feet away. “No, I didn’t do anything. How could you even think this?”

“I don’t feel like playing any of these stupid little games.” General Tauring glanced at his watch. “Time is of the essence. You’re lying. And now, Dr. Hakan will prove it to both of us, even with some names, numbers, and locations thrown in for good measure.”

Hakan stepped around General Tauring’s chair, drawing closer to Johanson.

Johanson stepped backwards, nearly equal in pace to the steps Hakan took forward. “No, I didn’t do anything!” Desperation infused Johanson’s voice. “Just keep him away from me. Just leave me alone!”

Olivia shivered. “Okay. This is freaking me out.”

“Why would this bother you?” Major Eiken asked, a bit irritated, perplexed. “I mean, come on, it’s like the general said. Johanson would be risking the safety and security of this country if he did it.”

Olivia glared at Major Eiken. “Do you know what this is like?” Her pretty brown eyes tunneled a hole right through him. “Have you ever experienced it before?”

He turned away from her glare, and looked through the one-way viewing wall again. General Tauring and Hakan now made Johanson sit in one of the other chairs in the room. Hakan then placed the chair General Tauring had sat in about three feet from Johanson. Hakan sat down in the chair and closely eyed the terrified Johanson.

“No, I haven’t,” Major Eiken answered, keeping his eyes on the three men. General Tauring then stated how they didn’t want either one standing as the procedure took place. “Have you?” He looked at her.

Olivia nodded.

“You serious?”

“It was…” She became quiet and stared out the one-way viewing wall for a moment. “Just for fun. I asked for it, stupid me. It was a level 5A transfer.” She spoke softer this time. Why, he wasn’t sure, since they couldn’t hear her out there, and probably no one would pay attention to any recording in this room. “It was the most terrifying feeling I’ve ever felt. Just…suddenly, I was in his body, looking at me! No one ever actually looks at himself, or herself, moving and talking, except in a video, or a mirror. Because we can’t! I remember being overcome with intense fear and shock, being in another person’s body…feeling things, that shouldn’t be there…drove me into near collapse…I then--”

Something moved in Major Eiken’s left peripheral vision, beyond where Olivia stood. He slowly turned enough to see. A five-foot tall Grey, clothed in a lightly sparkling white suit, stepped up to the one-way viewing wall, about six feet away from Olivia.

Olivia turned and stared up at Major Eiken, her eyes holding alarm and weariness.

Major Eiken leaned close to her right ear. Her sweet, fragrant perfume was so soothing to his heightened nerves. “Don’t worry,” he whispered. “It’s just teacher observing his student. Hakan wasn’t born with all of it.”

Olivia exhaled quietly. “I don’t care. I don’t like those EBEs.”

Commotion and noise filled the General’s interrogation room. Major Eiken looked through the one-way viewing wall again. Hakan had just shot up out of his chair and was now backing away from Johanson. Terror riddled Hakan’s face. “Why did you do this to me?” Hakan looked down at his upper body, his eyes wide as headlights. Hands shaking, he grabbed the brown tee shirt covering his body. He grabbed his face, feeling it. “Where’s a mirror? Where’s a mirror?” He turned and ran to the bathroom.

Johanson sprung up from his chair. He turned to face the DFRs and pointed at Hakan. “Get him! Before he hurts my body!”

Both DFRs didn’t know how to react. One began lunging for Johanson, but then recoiled at Johanson’s angry face.

General Tauring stepped closer to the two tall men. “It’s Dr. Hakan, fools, in Johanson’s body.” General Tauring thrust his hand in the bathroom’s direction. “Get the real Hakan out of there!”

Olivia shivered again. “I had Hakan’s heart racing like a NASCAR driver on steroids when it happened to me.” She spoke softly again. “It’s crazy. It’s no walk in the park.”

Major Eiken nodded, his own heart rate now ramping up. “I know. I can see that.”

“And look at Johanson’s body,” Olivia said. “You see why Hakan, in that body, needs the DFRs’ help?”

“Yeah, I do.” And how could you not. Johanson was a complete blob, a short, wussy, chubby white boy. There was no way Hakan, now in Johanson’s body, could tackle his own six foot two, huge-muscled, 230 pound Native American mass.

The DFRs guided Hakan out of the bathroom, grasping him securely in their arms. Hakan was shaking and crying like a baby.

General Tauring pointed to a section of the concrete wall. “Just hold him there a moment. Sitting in a chair probably won’t work. This won’t take too long.”

Hakan, in Johanson’s body, moved closer to his mumbling, tear-stained self. He next stood still and closed his eyes.

Time passed.

Major Eiken lifted his wrist, viewing his watch. “Forty five seconds so far.” He stealthily glanced to his left, beyond Olivia, at the Grey. The Grey only stared forward, ignoring both he and Olivia.

“Oh my God, Major,” Olivia said quietly. “How is this possible? Hakan must be blocking Johanson, in Hakan’s body, from accessing Hakan’s memories, thoughts, and knowledge. That’s a level 5A. But…but yet Hakan in Johanson’s body is accessing all of Johanson’s brain, a level 5E! That’s non-parallel!”

“Yeah, probably. His special gift, ya know. I guess he can do this non-parallel. I believe that’s the main reason we’re observing.” He thought about Olivia’s experience with Hakan. “Isn’t that what happened with you?”

“I don’t know. I was too preoccupied with being in Hakan’s body to even contemplate accessing his mind. Mine had to be 5A. Not sure about Hakan, but it probably was 5E too.” She shook her head. “I always thought it could only be parallel.”

In the interrogation room, Johanson turned to General Tauring. “Got it. We can end this now.”

“You sure?” General Tauring asked. “You have convincing, concrete evidence?”

Johanson smiled broadly. “I most certainly do. I have the names of reporters he planned on using, and he even typed up draft emails, documents, took photos, and other info on his phone and laptop. I suggest we get them ASAP.”

“Good job,” General Tauring said. “Will do.”

“No…no.” Hakan was crying again. “You people are evil! How could you let that happen to that girl!”

Johanson ignored him. He stared at General Tauring. “I’m changing back now.”

“Good. Go ahead. Well done.”

In a split second, Hakan’s normally stern, intimidating demeanor seized control of his own body. He yanked both arms away from the grip of the DFRs. “Stand down, guys. I’m back.” Hakan gave each a smug, sideways glance. “You can position yourselves by the door now.” Hakan lifted a cloth from his pants pocket and wiped his face, removing the tears.

General Tauring stared at the DFRs. “That’s correct. Assume your normal stance.”

The DFRs walked over and flanked the door again.

Hands covering his face, muffled sobs forcing out, Johanson dropped down in the nearby chair. “How could you know?” He removed his hands and stared up at General Tauring. “How could you possible know!” Johanson yelled, his loud, screechy voice rattling through the observation room.

General Tauring tilted his head back slightly, obviously some anger building from Johanson’s aggressive tone. “Let’s just say I have friends from afar with excellent telepathic abilities.”

Major Eiken glanced left to see the Grey again. But it was gone.

Olivia noticed the same. “When did he leave?”

“I don’t know,” Major Eiken said quietly. His stomach was hurting for some reason. He looked back into the interrogation room.

Hakan walked to the other chair. He sat himself in the chair, feet flat to the floor, and after grabbing both sides of the chair, dragged the chair across the cement floor, producing a loud screeching noise. Hakan now sat within inches of Johanson. “You’re belly-aching over one stupid civilian.”

Johanson quickly wiped away the tears by his eyes and stared dead on into Hakan’s glare. Finally, some courage. “Yeah. One now. Actually, it was two, just…just one more compliant than the other. But there’ll be more. You guys always find a way to get more.”

Hakan let out an angry sigh. “You need…to understand,” he said, his words measured, holding back the full force of his voice, “…the sacrifice of a few, for the betterment of the majority…can only be accomplished in such a manner.”

“That’s enough.” General Tauring’s voice came loud, direct. “From laws passed by congress to prevent terrorist acts, you, Enias Johanson, are under arrest.”

Johanson ignored Hakan and looked up at General Tauring. “What terrorist acts?”

“Under that law, any act that threatens the security and safety of U.S. citizens is considered a terrorist act. And your plan to expose details of a covert operation does exactly that.”

“What evidence do you have? My thoughts?”

General Tauring held out his cell phone and entered a text message. “Done. In a short time, my boys will be working with local authorities to confiscate your computer and extra cell phones. You do have evidence, remember?”

Johanson began breathing hard. “You…you need a search warrant.”

“Uh, no I don’t there Enias, buddy-boy. Your computer and phones became federal property after you signed those important agreement documents. Remember? So, your computer can be confiscated, and any other devices or documents we deem important.”

“All right. Look. I get it. I won’t…I won’t tell anyone.” Johanson swallowed. “Sometimes a few, get hurt, for the many. I get it, I--”

Hakan seized Johanson’s chubby chin and forced him to stare into his eyes. “Are you going to take this like a man or a little girl? I’m really getting sick of your whining. You made your bed, now accept it and lie in it!”

Johanson yanked his head back away from Hakan’s grip. “You’re right. Screw this. What was I thinking.” He stared up at General Tauring. “That girl was crying, man. She was scared out of her mind. How could you have let that happen to her?”

“A few get hurt for the many.” General Tauring laughed. “You just declared that seconds ago. You’re now taking back your own words? But enough of this.” The general gave a nod to the two DFRs. They approached and stood behind Johanson.

Johanson sensed their close position. Slowly, he stood up, keeping his stare locked on Hakan. Johanson sniffed and pointed at Hakan. “That…that other girl, that famous girl, she left her body, and moved around. She wasn’t supposed to. God…God is going to punish you for this.” He then pointed at General Tauring. One of the DFRs grabbed Johanson’s upper arm and began pulling him toward the door. “I know it. You mark my word.”

The DFRs continued pulling Johanson away, though he resisted, a disgusted grimace covering his face.

General Tauring snickered. “God? We have supremely intelligent extraterrestrials collaborating here, and you still want to talk about God? Yeah, you go ahead and have your mythology.” The general directed his attention at the DFRs. “Take him down to the holding cell. I’ll arrange for his departure later.”

Major Eiken glanced to his left again, to see if the Grey had returned. But that eerie, annoying EBE had not.

“Typical,” Olivia said softly. “Here an instant, gone the next. Another reason I don’t like being around them.” She gazed, concerned, into Major Eiken’s eyes. “What did Johanson mean, that the one girl walked around, and wasn’t supposed to?”

“I don’t know, but probably another reason we’re here to observe. I’m sure we’ll find out later.”

She sighed, and stared down. “Yes, probably.” She looked into his eyes again. “But I suppose you’re right. Some people, like Johanson, don’t understand. There will always be some collateral damage, to the betterment of society, and our ability to protect the country.”

Major Eiken nodded slightly. “Right. I know.”

But then he frowned, allowing his disgust for this whole debacle to show through; she was right to have been upset. He sighed and stared into the interrogation room again.

Johanson was now wrestling like a mad man with the DFRs. He again thrust a pointed finger at the general. “Mark my word.” He said it several more times, his eyes full of hate and rage. Hakan must have really angered him.

Finally, the DFRs removed him from the room.

But his words still resonated in Major Eiken’s mind: ‘Mark my word.’