They had died when helping thwart a plan to undermine the government of the United States. Now Ben and Susan have returned from the dead and they must bring that government down. Standing in their way are Michael Black and Michelle Gray, the bodies of whom they now occupy.
-(The Story begins HERE)-
The military and the Feds had taken the proverbial stick to the hornets' nest. The mayhem they'd stirred up was so widespread that it had to have been meticulously orchestrated.
The series of events of the day had been calculated to appear unrelated to the public in general. To a select few however, the randomized acts had been intended as a reminder that they were still out there and very much in business. That message had been received loud and clear!
I had managed to pull about a half car length ahead of the HumVee but it was fast closing the distance. Its camouflaged bulk again bearing down on us I shouted to Professor Jordan, "Brace yourself!"
The force of the impact jolted us forward into an intersection. From the corner of my eye I noticed that the red traffic light of the crossing street was just about to change to green. I turned the wheel hard to my left and on crying tires careened between two oncoming vehicles which had yet cleared the intersection.
Feet pressed against brake pedals and heavy hands upon horns, several drivers declared their anger over my reckless maneuver. Nonplussed, I continued through the junction of the two busy streets and slowed down only after I had driven a little over a block away from our tormentors.
Pulling over to the curb I loosened my seat belt and turned to view what was happening behind us. The HumVee was idling at the red light. It's driver, wearing dark sunglasses, was holding aloft an angry fist with an extended finger. When the light changed the vehicle's engine roared and they lurched straight ahead.
I pressed the back of my neck against the headrest and released sigh of relief, "They went the other way. They're not following us."
Visibly shaken, the professor muttered, "I have come to the conclusion, Mr. Black, that it is not safe to be in your company."
"Professor," I countered, "Obviously it's not safe on the streets of Boston for either one of us." I shifted into drive and added, "With our tailgating friends gone, I'm taking us to my original destination."
His eyes widened in terror as he cried, "Oh my God!"
I turned to see the HumVee coming at us from the opposite direction. They had not given up their attack. The bastards, I thought, they had taken the next street and had circled around the block.
Assessing our predicament, I reacted by turning the steering wheel to the left and pounding the accelerator to the floor. The car lurched from the violent contact as the front wheel bounded over the curb and onto the sidewalk. Sparks leapt from the bumper as it brushed against the brick facade of a building. An aluminum trash receptacle in our path took flight, its trajectory sending it crashing onto the street ahead of us.
I chanced a quick glance at the rear view mirror. Closing fast, the driver of the HumVee ignored the narrow passage between parked cars. A shower of plastic and glass that had been side view mirrors rained in the wake of the oncoming behemoth.
Too late I saw the trash can looming in my path. Already crumpled from the previous encounter it slid beneath the car and became wedged there. In a trice I lost control of steering; no doubt a tie rod had been broken. I swerved to the right out of control onto the sidewalk headlong into a telephone pole.
In a daze I struggled to push aside the airbag that had been deployed by the force of the crash. I reached out to the passenger seat to see if Professor Jordan had been injured. Suddenly I was thrust forward as the car was pitched and rocked by a collision from behind.
I rubbed my neck and twisted my head to peer into the mirror. Resting on the trunk was one of the HumVee's large tires. The vehicle had not only slammed into the rear end, but had driven up onto the back of the car.
From the corner of my eye I could see that the passenger seat was empty and door was standing open. Professor Jordan was gone. I feared that he might have been thrown from the car from the force of either one of the violent collisions.
I caught movement to my left in the mirror on the door. Two khaki-clad soldiers bearing assault rifles were approaching. A third moved into position by the open passenger door.
"Sergeant," the man shouted in the direction of the HumVee, "the old man isn't in the car."
Next to me one of the men said, "He couldn't have gotten far. Go look for him."
"Belay that!" bellowed a voice from somewhere behind. "We'll pick him up later."
"Yes sir, Colonel Wingate," snapped the sergeant. "What about, Black?"
His stern authoritative voice resonated within my head. "Operation Butterfly Blue is a go, sergeant. As for Mr. Black here ... I think we should put him out his misery. Have one of your men fetch the Butterfly Nectar."
I strained to turn my head in the officer's direction. I tried to speak but the shoulder strap was pressed against my throat making it difficult to even swallow.
Though I couldn't see his face he addressed me, "Mr. Black, you and your people have been a thorn in my side long enough. I don't appreciate you chasing my butterflies. Put this in your pipe and smoke it ... butterflies are not free!"
A reflection in the mirror, I saw his hands manipulating a syringe. A bluish liquid was being drawn from a small bottle. There was a sharp sting as the needle pierced my neck.
Nets of Wonder )