Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Butterfly Dreams (39)

(A sequel to The Strange Story of Mr. Black and Ms Gray.)

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)-
Michael Black,
This Is Your Life

The plane, still ascending, banked to the right into a long arcing turn until it settled in on its westerly course. Behind us the sun was beginning to peek over the horizon.

It was obvious that Baxter must have requisitioned the prepackaged food from the base commissary. While I wasn't a big fan of chips and chicken salad sandwiches, I had to admit that it was better than the bag of pretzels we would been given on a commercial flight. The meal wasn't a total bust, at least my can of beer was cold.

I drained the contents of the beer and pushed the remaining half of the sandwich aside. Professor Jordan was still eating, but Baxter was not partaking of the refreshments. He was sitting still, his arms folded across his chest looking at me.

"Tell me, Jeremy," I said, "what awaits us when we reach our destination? It seems that everything that has happened has been leading to someplace in the southwestern desert."

"The fate of the nation's government," he stated.

His quick reply sent chills up and down my spine. I knew there was a power struggle waging between the military and the unnamed agency, but I didn't want to think that our government might be under siege.

His face turned sober and he added, "There are those in power who will stop at nothing to maintain that power. There are others who crave that power. Our democracy, although not perfect, insures a balance of power. However, the possibility of mind control and the ultimate possession of it, could shift that delicate balance."

Jordan spoke, "The value of the sword is not that it fall, but rather, that it hangs."

"What?" I queried.

There was a wry smile on his lips as he replied, "Does not Dionysius seem to have made it sufficiently clear that there can be nothing happy for the person over whom some fear always hangs?" He noted my confused countenance and added, "Those were the words of Cicero nearly two thousand years ago."

"Yes," Baxter asserted, "the Professor is making a reference to the Sword of Damocles."

I nodded, remembering that the Sword of Damocles was often cited regarding the threat of nuclear weapons. "I see. It all comes down to power, the haves versus the have-nots. If everyone has it, then balance is maintained."

"Quite right, Michael," Jordan asserted, "however, there is another way to achieve parity." He rubbed his hands together and asked, "What if no one had access to or control of our respective works? Would that not level the playing field?"

I bolted to my feet and faced the two men, "How do hope to accomplish that? There must be literally hundreds of people who know about it. We can't just undo our research and results. You can't make everyone forget." A foreboding thought popped into my head, "My God! You're talking about ... eliminating them?"

"Heavens no!" Jordan yelped. "I deplore violent measures." He pointed to my vacated seat and said, "We will discuss what has to be done later. Now please sit." He cleared his throat and whispered, "For now, we must address your legacy."

I sighed deeply and took the seat. "Alright, Professor," I began, "if I'm not Ben Bering in the body of Michael Black, who am I? Who is Michael Black?" I twisted in my seat and faced him, "Who are you?"

He interlaced his fingers and rested his chin on his thumbs. "It is well documented that during World War II, Nazi scientists conducted horrible experiments upon human subjects."

Short on patience I sniped, "Granted, but what has the past got to do with now?"

Unfazed, he continued, "They were particularly interested, no, fascinated with twins." He paused and watched as Baxter and I exchanged glances in reaction to his statement. "The High Command of the Third Reich ordered Ernst Fischer to use twins in his mind reading experiments."

I nodded, "Ernst Fischer, the man who would escape from Germany and eventually become one Bishop King ..."

"Yes. Before he died, he told me that had revealed his past to you and a few others." He cleared his throat, "I must say that he chose wisely in choosing you and your wife to take over his assets."

Choosing to ignore his praise I rubbed my chin and said, "Knowing that the Nazis were interested in them, I take it that he too saw the potential in twins and incorporated them into his experiments."

"It's not surprising," Jordan acknowledged. "Scientists, not the least of which include Psychologists and Psychiatrists, have long studied twins. Most twins display unique bonds and an inherent link to one another. They tend to think alike. Even when separated they seem to possess the same mannerisms and skills. In some cases if one is injured, the other feels the pain."

I reached into the cooler and pulled out another beer. After taking a long sip of the cold liquid I implored, "Just how long was my brother and I a part of King's research?"

He shrugged and replied, "I cannot say for certain. There were so many twins involved, too many for me to remember any details."

"My God!" I snapped. "Where did all of these sets of twins come from? Their parents consented to these experiments?"

A sullen look came over his features. "You have to remember that the government and the military were heavily involved with the development and funding of King's research. I am thankful that I had nothing to do with the procurement of the test subjects. I never wanted to know how or from where they gathered up those twins from across the country."

"Professor, you speak of them as if they were commodities, nothing more than fodder to be harvested," I lectured.

There was regret in his voice as he spoke through trembling lips, "Oh, I heard stories. Some of them were picked up in orphanages. Some came from homes where the parents died in unexplained accidents. Supposedly, some were even taken from hospital maternity wards."

Incredulous, I muttered, "How did they care for them? They must have had some facilities ..."

"Of course." he uttered. "The twins were placed in designated foster homes. There were foster parents at their disposal and under their control."

"Under their control?" I paused and stared wide-eyed at him. "There was a list! That list contained the names of two hundred women! They all had one thing and one thing only in common ... a blue butterfly tattoo!"

Baxter broke his silence and addressed me, "Remember? Our foster mother had one of those blue butterflies on her inner thigh."

I lowered my face into hands and muttered, "Then it was not a dream, but a subconscious memory?" I looked up at Baxter, "The backyard, the two little girls, the baths ... it was all real?"

"Yes. You were remembering but a small piece of our childhood." He let out a long sigh, "Sometime later, they tampered with our heads. They erased those memories and planted new memories."

Jordan continued, "As you have no doubt surmised, the two little girls were in fact Rosie and Faye Gates, the daughters of General Gates. When he was in that area on business he would drop off his daughters for your mother to babysit."

Despite the beer, my throat was dry and I struggled to swallow. "Now, you're going to tell me that Benjamin Bering and everything about him was a planted memory, a fabrication? There is and never was a Ben Bering?"

Professor Jordan's stinging reply was terse. "Exactly."

( To be continued

Lost In The Clouds)

2062

7 comments:

Jack K. said...

There never was a Ben Bering? Hmmmm?

How can we be sure there are any of the folks on the fictional airplane?

Aside from the crude pun, isn't it all fiction?

Great story. As you can tell, I'm hooked.

Sandee said...

Finding the truth may never happen. Power is the reason I'm sure, but finding the truth will be the difficult part.

As Jack said, "Great story. As you can tell, I'm hooked too."

Marti said...

Terrific story!

I hope you and your family have a wonderful Thanksgiving! I am so grateful for your friendship!

Hale McKay said...

Jack,

Never a Ben Bering? How can he explain a lifetime of memories of being Ben?

The place is real and so are the people on it.

Hale McKay said...

Sandee,

Absolute power corrupts absolutely.

Hale McKay said...

Marti,

Thank you.

A belated Happy Thanksgiving to you and your as well.

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