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)-
Our drive north out of Boston afforded us some time to discuss all that had transpired that day. Yet, so much had happened in such a short amount of time we found it impossible to devote serious discussion to any of it.
Foremost on our minds, however, was the reason for our trek beyond the conurbation of Greater Boston through the lesser populated communities to the north. Neither Michelle nor myself was comfortable with confronting ... ourselves.
What could we say to Ben and Susan? Were the minds of the real Michael and Michelle in our original bodies? They had refused to talk to anyone but us. Were they trying to help us? Or ... were they part of a greater plot to confound us?
"They'd damned well better tell us what happened to my mother?" Michelle roared thumping her fist upon the steering wheel. She made no attempt to wipe away the tears that were forming in the corners of her eyes. "How was she able to walk? Where did they take her? What do they want with her?"
I didn't respond to her emotional queries. She knew I had no answers, but she just needed to vent her frustrations. In her true persona as Susan Parsons she had spent nearly her entire life not knowing who her mother was. When she was finally reunited with her mother after twenty-five years, tragically they were torn apart again.
It had been devastating for her to witness her mother reduced to paralysis and a near vegetated state so soon after finding her. Although I'd known Rosie as a long time friend, I couldn't imagine the emotional strain it had been having on Michelle. Then for her to see her on that tape walking out of the nursing home with her abductors, it must have been sheer torture.
We heard it several seconds before it came into view. The helicopter passed directly overhead. It turned about five hundred yards ahead of us and hovered above the trees lining the highway. Aligned with the brilliant sun behind it we could only make out its silhouette, a menacing obstacle in our path.
Trying to keep her eyes on the road Michelle exclaimed, "Now what?"
"Military?" I uttered. "I can't make out any markings."
Michelle lowered her eyebrows and glared before pressing hard her foot upon the accelerator. We were thrust back into our seats as the car was suddenly propelled forward with screeching tires leaving a trailing cloud of dark smoke in our wake. When we passed the beneath the hovering craft the speedometer needle was indicating eighty-five miles per hour.
Behind us the chopper swung around but it did not give chase. Nearly on two wheels we veered onto an exit ramp, Michelle deftly maintaining control as we careened around the looping access road. Once northbound on the secondary road, only then did she ease up on the gas.
"There's no sign of them," I said in response to her sideways glance in my direction. "I guess they're not going to follow us."
With an exasperated sigh she said, "Were they letting us know that we didn't fool them?"
"I don't know," I shrugged. "I suggest that we keep with the plan and hope that Brock makes it there without running into any trouble."
We arrived at the cottage without any further incident. Parking in the driveway we sat in the car for several minutes lost in our respective thoughts. In our own ways we were each trying to steel ourselves for the inevitable confrontation with Ben and Susan.
How would be able to cope with looking upon our former bodies? Could we look into their eyes without seeing ourselves? The conundrum didn't end with us either. How would they react when looking upon their former bodies?
I swallowed hard with dry mouth while dreading looking upon Susan. I would be seeing the woman with whom I'd fallen in love, but it wouldn't actually be her. Michelle would be facing the same predicament when face to face with Ben. It was maddening.
Hand in hand we strolled up to the door of the cottage. Michelle squeezed my hand as I reached into my pocket for the key. Before I could insert the key into the lock the door swung open before us.
"Come in," said both a familiar and unwelcome voice, "I've been expecting you."
"Faye!" I cried aloud. "What in the hell are you doing here?"
"You did exactly what we wanted you to do ... to come here," she retorted.
Michelle clenched her fist and held it aloft, "You bitch! You're a part of this?"
"It's nice to see you too, Michelle," Faye sneered. She turned to face me and added, "...And you too, Michael. The two of you are so predictable. We set the trap and you took the bait."
"A trap?" I muttered. "What's stopping us from turning around, walking right back to the car and driving away?"
"You don't think you're going to stop us, do you?" Michelle snapped.
"Me? No, but I think the two men behind you with the guns think they can."
I spun around and saw three men in dark suits approaching from the side of the house. They were same men we'd encountered at the university earlier. The one a step ahead of the other two pushed his jacket aside to reveal a gun tucked beneath his belt. He motioned with an extended finger for us to step inside the house.
When I crossed the thresh hold I confronted her, "Faye, why are doing this? Who's side are you on?"
"Let's just say I'm a matchmaker, shall we?" she replied. She glanced at the men and said, "I assume that my husband won't be causing us any trouble?"
"No, ma'am," answered the apparent leader of the trio of men. "He's out cold, sleeping like a baby in the back of the chopper. It'll be several hours before the drug wears off."
She giggled at the stunned look upon my face, "You finally figured it out? Yes, that was us in that chopper. It was awfully crowded in the thing with the seven of us, but we made it here in one piece."
"Seven of you?" Michelle said looking about at those present.
I nudged her with my elbow and pointed to the doorway of the back room. Two familiar figures, a man and a woman with their arms folded across their chests stood there looking back at us.
"Ah, yes," Faye said, "our guests of honor have finished refreshing themselves." She motioned for the pair to come forth, "Michael and Michelle, I think you know Ben Bering and Susan Parsons."
Two Faces Have We )