Part 54 of an original tale that delves into the unexplored realms of the human mind. Hired by her lover to find a raven haired beauty, Benjamin Bering must avoid the local police as well as the agents of a nonexistent government agency who are after him and the woman. There are just two problems. The woman is in a coma and her body has been stolen. (Part 1 can be found HERE.)
Under my breath I was cursing myself. From the moment we had arrived at the Check Mate facilities I had tried to steel myself, to be prepared for anything. I had not foreseen this. Brock O'Day and myself had never seen eye to eye on a lot of things, but I'd always known him to be loyal to his badge, an honest and dedicated police officer.
"Brock, why are you doing this?" I pleaded trying to reason with him. "Why are you going along with Gates' insane plans?"
"Benjamin, you don't get it, do you? You just don't understand. You've never learned to look at the bigger picture," O'Day exclaimed.
"For the love of God, Brock, think about what you're doing. If Gates gives that speech as the President of the United States, all hell is going to break loose. Think of the protests worldwide. Think of the terrorist retaliations," I roared. His reaction to my words was to give a 'thumbs-up' sign. "Hell, Brock, that speech could put us on the brink of war!"
A broad grin spread across his face and he replied, "Ah, you are able to see the bigger picture! You call it war, but General Gates and I, we see it as a crusade to purge the world of the Muslim cancer that is spreading unchecked. We will inject into their nations the serum of democracy."
I stared, gawking in dumb silence at him. He was quoting word for word some of the lines of the speech the President would be giving. This was not the Brock O'Day I knew. O'Day was not a bigoted man and he certainly would not advocate genocide. It was not Brock O'Day! He wouldn't have known the words upon that paper. Someone was in his head controlling his actions and his words.
I turned my attention to the general's control module. What other programs was he running and worse, what had he already run? Reminding myself that with all I had witnessed and experienced since the debacle of Mr. Black and Ms Gray had begun, I should not rule out anything no matter how impossible it might seem.
What if he had broadcast a message to one or more of the minds of that silent army spread across the country? That army would be those nameless unsuspecting people walking around with a miniature receiver embedded in the bases of their brains. I shook my head and tried to convince myself that he hadn't had enough time for something of that scale. However, he would've been able to reach out to one mind. That mind would've been someone who shared his beliefs ... someone close.
If I was correct, I figured it wouldn't take much to evoke the mind within O'Day's head to make its presence known. "Brock, you know that Gates is a borderline fruitcake. He's crazy! He belongs in an institution. Think about it, Brock. He's still playing war games even though he was kicked out the service years ago. That's right, they kicked him out because he was unfit to serve in the Army, much less be placed in a position of command. He's insane!"
"Stop it!" Brock screamed in reaction to my biting words. "How dare you insult Daddy's reputation!" He paused and glared at me. "Clever, Benjamin, very clever. You always knew which buttons to push. So, tell me, how did you know?"
"For starters, Faye," I responded, "you called me Benjamin. Brock never used my full name. The kicker was when you recited some lines from the President's speech, a speech which I presume that you authored."
"I assume you were proofreading it for errors."
"I hardly knew where to begin," I replied in sarcasm, "the whole thing is a big mistake."
"I'm not going to stand here and trade insults with you. I could have stayed married to you for that," she quipped. She began to laugh and spoke again, "That dumb bastard Brock. Instead of trying to figure out how he ended up in my body, he's sitting there playing with my boobs!"
Michelle got her attention and said to her, "You have a trace link with your body and pieces of his mind. Please, can you see or feel how Susan is doing?"
Brock's eyes closed for a moment as Faye's mind in his head concentrated to touch her body. "She is ... alive. She's on life support," she said. She opened Brock's eyes and addressed me directly, "Benjamin, they are not very optimistic that she will live. For that I'm sorry. I'm not without a heart. She is my niece after all."
A voice rung out from across the room, "... And she is my daughter! Faye, my dear sister, you should be there watching over her for me."
"Rosie?" she stammered. "What are you doing? Get out! Get out!" Brock's possessed body dropped the gun and he staggered before falling to the floor. His body was writhing and twisting for several seconds before lying at rest. Eyes glazed he sat up and looked at his cupped hands which were squeezing the air in front of his chest.
Rosie looked down at him and said, "Brock O'Day, you are a naughty boy." She winked at the rest of us and there was a shared moment of stifled laughs and giggles.
"Rosie, how did you ...?" I said as she stumbled forward against my chest. I steadied her and looked into her face, "Rosie? Are you okay?"
She nodded and said, "Yeah, I just felt a little dizzy." She looked around at Brock, Michelle, Stu, Dave and King and the two Feds and said, "I don't know why, but I know what's going on. I know what has to be done."
Bishop King suggested, "Gates! One of his programs must have awakwened you, activated some dormant memories within your subconscious mind. He must have previously implanted instructions for you to act upon."
"Yes," said Stu, "he told us that you must be protected. That you were the key! We had no idea as to what he meant. You must be his fail safe in the event that he failed."
O'Day, still on the floor was looking about bewildered. "What happened? What am I doing down here?" Retrieving his service revolver he struggled to his feet and muttered, "I feel like I just had a losing argument with the old lady."
"Hell hath no fury like a woman porned," Rosie said with a giggle.
"What?" he responded groggily.
"It's not important, Brock," she replied. She studied the large egg-shaped object dominating the lab room. "I've never seen that thing before, but yet I know what it is." She climbed up into the structure and looked back upon our small group. Her eyes were wide as if trained upon another place, somewhere beyond where we were gathered.
"Ma'am, you must not touch those controls!" Dave the intern stepped forth and protested. "The general had them programmed them to function only to his brain wave patterns."
She regarded the young man for a moment before picking up a headpiece resting in front of a keyboard displaying a series of flashing lights. "Thank you for your concern, young man," she said with a stern face, "but it appears that I am compatible with the system." Donning the headpiece she closed her eyes and winced at the sudden influx of information.
Michelle moved next to Bishop King and whispered, "I am assuming that she somehow cast Faye's mind out of Sergeant O'Day's head and vice versa. You said yourself that once transferred the minds cannot be returned to their original bodies and survive. Does what we have witnessed not fly in the face of that fact?"
"I assure you, Michelle," he whispered in kind, "I am as perplexed as you. To this day, I cannot explain how that simple device I used to escape from Germany was able to transfer so easily the mind from one body to another, when our modern state-of-the-art equipment must be computer controlled. For all of our knowledge and technological advances, man knows virtually nothing about the human brain and how it functions."
Michelle and King were so wrapped up in their conversation that they hadn't realized that I had joined them. "I don't want it to appear that I was eavesdropping, but I was curious as to your reaction to the transformation that has occurred in Rosie. I mean, was Gates really responsible?"
"Mr. Bering, as you know, the general and I go back a long ways. While he is ... or was a brilliant military man, what he knew about science and technology could scarcely fill a hand-written page. He did not design, construct or program that control module in which Rosie is occupying."
"Then what you said earlier about someone else involved in the same kind of research is true," I voiced. "From your demeanor I have come to the conclusion that you don't know the identity of this someone, do you?"
He turned and faced me and said, "No, and that is a matter most troubling to me. From what I've witnessed here today, I'm more troubled that someone has achieved results that far exceed my own. It is not a matter of ego that I make that concession. I fear what that someone's intentions might be."
Rosie suddenly opened her eyes with a start and announced, "That someone ... both close and far away ... is trying to get into my head!"
(To be continued in Part 55 on Friday, 6/5, with "In Rosie We Trust.")