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)-
I knew I needed to get some sleep, but I dared not close my eyes. I needed to keep my head full of thoughts. To put it mildly, the events of the day had provided me with plenty of fodder to fulfill that need.
Susan on the other hand surrendered to the need for rest. Citing exhaustion she excused herself and retired to the guest room. It did not go unnoticed that the door to the room was not closed behind her but purposely left ajar.
I glanced at my wrist watch and muttered to myself, "It's eleven fifteen." I knew that meant that Michelle and Ben would be landing in Las Vegas in about fifteen minutes. I clasped my hands in helpless desperation. It would be almost eighteen hours before we would be able to join them.
I allowed the events of the day to fast forward in my mind, trying to make sense of it all. It was evident that each seemingly random event was all part of some master plan, a means to an end. I exhaled in exasperation, for that end lie somewhere in the southwestern desert.
I glanced in the direction of the door to the guest room. I was not comfortable with that door being open. I got up from the sofa determined to remedy that. Through the crack between the door and the frame I peered into the darkened room. I could see that the bed was unoccupied.
From somewhere in the darkness I could hear Susan's voice. She was speaking in a soft whisper. She sounded distraught. Was she talking to someone or to herself? I placed my ear against the door and strained to hear what she was saying.
"What ... what more do you want from me?" she said with labored breathing.
There was a moment of silence and I used that moment to glance at the telephone on the end table. As I suspected, the phone was not being used. That meant she was either talking to herself or was responding to a telepathic voice in her head. It was my guess that it was the latter. I tensed as she began speaking again.
"I tried!" she uttered. "It was him. He stopped when the phone rang." She was silent for several minutes, no doubt listening to the voice in her head. She sounded upset when she replied to what ever had been said to her. "No! I won't do it. Please don't make me."
I stood fast, fighting the temptation to barge into the room. I was torn between wanting to continue eavesdropping on her conversation and thinking I needed to interrupt the intrusion within her head.
"No!" she cried, her voice in an elevated pitch. "You promised you wouldn't hurt her."
I drew in my breath. Who were they threatening to hurt, Rosie or Michelle? It was becoming clearer than ever that Susan and Ben were being manipulated by an unimaginable source of mind control. I could only assume that they were somehow using Rosie's powers of thought projection to carry out their dubious plans.
Her voice softened again to a barely perceptible whisper, "Alright. I'll try." She grew silent for several long minutes, perhaps receiving more of the remote instructions within her brain. It was frustrating to only hear half of the transpiring exchange.
"Hello? Hello? Are you there?" she muttered.
When I heard the shuffle of her feet upon the carpet I hurried away from the door and walked into the kitchen. I felt at least for the moment, she didn't need to know that I'd overheard any of her conversation.
Having already suspected as much, it was apparent that they intended for the young woman to have sex with me. It was also apparent that Susan was not willfully following those instructions. Was it possible that there was a moral soul within that shell of a body? Was that soul at odds with those voices in the night?
Both she and Ben were being forced to do their bidding. To insure their obedience, there was a threat hanging over them. That was evident in Susan's own words that they'd promised not to hurt her. By her, I reasoned that must have meant Rosie.
What of Ben? What had they promised him? What were they holding over his head? Perhaps Susan's welfare was the driving force behind his actions.
In a subconscious reflex of thought I muttered aloud, "Michelle, I trust you have also realized what they are up to. I hope we are both strong enough to fight them."
I was busying myself with the coffee maker when I heard her sudden scream. By the time I reached the door to the guest room I could sense that she was wracked in the throes of some terrible grief.
"Susan, what is it?" I shouted as I entered the room and flipped on the overhead light.
Tears were streaming down her cheeks and her lips were trembling. "No. It can't be true! This can't be happening!" she screeched.
I spotted the open folder, the documents and newspaper clippings from it scattered upon the bed next to her. I didn't know how she'd gotten hold of it, but that folder and its contents were not anything she should have been seeing.
"Damn!" I exclaimed. I hurriedly scooped up the paper work that had put her into traumatic shock.
Choking back the flood of tears she gasped, "That man ... that woman ... they look like us. They have the same names!" She buried her face in her hands. Her body shook with convulsions.
I placed a hand on her shoulder and tried to comfort her, "Susan, it's not what you think. I can explain ... but not now."
With a violent thrust of her elbow she brushed my hand away. "Don't touch me!" she screamed. She bolted from the bed and ran into the bathroom. She slammed the door and cried out, "Stay away from me!"
With folder in hand I left the room and closed the door behind me. I cursed the fact that either Michelle or myself had left that folder lying around where Susan could find it. I could only hope that the shock that the poor girl was experiencing would abate. I could only hope that her fragile mind would be able to handle the truth.
I plopped down on the sofa. I stared at the folder clutched in my grasp. It contained newspaper clippings of the events of one year earlier. Of particular prominence was an article concerning a failed assassination attempt of the President of the United States. Another article featured a brief profile of the deceased assassin, one Ben Bering. Still another was the obituary of a young woman known as Susan Parsons.
Abra Cadaver )