Today, I thought I would share a short excerpt from my young adult science fiction thriller Chesapeake Station.
Security personnel from the main office were right on schedule. Treagor wiped his brow with his sleeve and began breathing more slowly as he paced back and forth from behind the front desk. He turned, locked the inner office door as he left, and returned to the basement. After fumbling with the key, he unlocked the lower level office door, rushed over to the package, unsnapped the razor knife from his belt, and without hesitating ran the knife along the seal breaking through the electronic adhesive, which instantly transmitted a cryptic signal advising the package had been breached.
Treagor delicately lifted the orange pouch from the container to have a closer look. Printed on the back of the pouch were the words, Pass code: Three Coins. Treagor placed the pouch in his pocket and expressed himself back to the main office where he inserted the chip into the electronic decoder. He entered the pass code and launched the chip, checking for any deviant anomalies such as radioactivity, corrupting worms, viruses, or anything unknown or unusual. Nothing. He removed the chip from the decoder, placed it in the computer and ran it. There was a single file on the chip. He opened it and glanced through it briefly. It was in the form of a letter. The astonished Treagor, quickly ran off several copies on the printer, sat back and continued to read. “Oh my God!” he said out loud…”I’ve got to save this, and save it in a hurry!”
He removed the chip and leaning into his desktop mirror, slid back his flap of hair and strapped on his bio-feed integrator, then carefully inserted the chip activating the electrodes attached to the stainless steel window implanted in is frontal lobe. The information on the chip downloaded directly into his brain. He removed the chip, closed his eyes, focused for a moment and retrieved the single document which was now stored in his memory. His neuron receptors instantly displayed it as a hologram, which appeared in midair directly in front of him. He began reading once again.
My Dear Senator,
Except for disc number THREE, which I will speak of later in this communiqué, this disk, disk number TWO, completes the set. You and I, and the others, if coordinated with precision, will soon control the galaxy far beyond the outer limits of our Solar System, out to the habitable zone of planets orbiting the sun system Tau Ceti, in the constellation Cetus. Planet Echo contains water and may very well support life. It is of great interest to us as we plan for the future. Tau Ceti, smaller but essentially identical to the Earth’s sun is, in terms of space travel, a relatively short distance from Earth. We’ll operate in an orbital holding pattern onboard our fully self-sufficient transport, Xerxes, and maintain our position in the outermost gravitational orbit around Echo, thus closing the distance from Earth considerably.
Xerxes, which is now docked in bay seventeen on the lower level of Chesapeake Station, is being outfitted with electronic weaponry and support systems and supplied with all necessities for sustaining life during extended periods. As you know, Chesapeake has been orbiting Tau Ceti for several years now and, even though it’s the largest orbiting station ever designed, built and successfully launched, there have never been any conflicting issues. We’re in league with those in command, so there is no controlling authority to dampen our objectives; we will come and go as we please without detection, suspicion or interference.
Xerxes, so named for the 4th Century Persian King, has recently been upgraded with our newly developed frictionless assimilator, allowing it to maneuver through space unimpeded and at speeds beyond present day comprehension. With this assimilator, Xerxes will traverse the fourth dimensional sideslip phenomenon known as Celeritas, allowing us the capability of reaching speeds never before imagined…speeds where time is suspended. Intimidation is the game…strike and fallback, strike and fallback, until our demands have been met or agreed upon. It won’t take long before the mere mention of Xerxes will bring others in line.
Senator, this information is to reassure you that we’re right on schedule. Your substantial financial and political investment, without which we could not have reached this milestone, has placed you among us as an equal. Memorize the information on this microchip. Then burn it and destroy any trace of the magnetic seal. I should inform you that once you’ve broken through the magnetic seal, a signal will have been sent to us acknowledging your receipt. So again Senator, read it, memorize it, and destroy it! Do not fail!
For the record, Senator, this disc number TWO, now in your possession, has the nuclear capacity to set off a vast cosmic disturbance like hell itself, giving us more power than you could possibly imagine. Nothing will come or go throughout our sector without our knowledge and consent. All will pay a price, a tariff, or be crippled and sent whirling into space, or at the very least entrapped and brought to Chesapeake. Updates on this will be forthcoming.
Furthermore, as you know, I am in possession of disc number ONE, and played a major role in this enterprise from the very beginning. Number THREE, which I mentioned earlier, has the capacity to modify, even shut down, the reactions emanating from TWO. We call it the “silver lady” because of its stunning brilliance and unique composition. Disc ONE can be programmed to further intensify the effects of TWO or set to neutralize TWO in the event THREE has malfunctioned or has been rendered ineffective. In other words, ONE is the backup, the failsafe disk in the event of an emergency. Its main purpose, however, is to intensify emissions generated by TWO for maximum effect and destructive power when and if needed. Remember, Senator, make no mistake, I have and will continue to have complete control over ONE.
I’m giving you this comprehensive update because we may not be in contact with one another for several weeks. Again Senator, read it and destroy it!
With respect to THREE, it has been locked away for the past several years in drawer number 02-1650 inside the safety deposit vault located on the second floor of the International Exchange Bank, EU on the Grand Cayman Island.
Zebulon will contact you by means of his ADX microwave transmitter very shortly. His transmission will be sent directly to your office via the U.S. Telecommunications Satellite, Spindrift II when it passes over your location. Both you and Zebulon will coordinate your plans and rendezvous in the Caymans when the Earth is in apogee at 1900 hours GMT on 18 January 2189. It is at this point that you must transfer this disc, disc number TWO, to Zebulon. Take full advantage of your position, Senator. Use your private jet and arrive at the airfield under military escort to avoid security.
Once in the Caymans, you and Zebulon will enter the bank and retrieve number THREE. Zebulon has the key. The bank has the duplicate. It takes both keys to open the vault. It should go without a hitch. Zebulon will make arrangements to ship TWO and THREE directly to me. With all three discs in my possession and under our collective control, Senator, we will own our sector of the Universe. Fantasize about it, Senator. The power we’ll have at our disposal is simply staggering!”
The letter had been written by Stargazer, a code name familiar to Howland.