Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Butterfly Dreams (42)

(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)-
Purple Mountain Majesty

All but overcome by the old man's revelations, I pressed my index fingers hard against the sides of my head to relieve the throbbing pressure of my temples. I was lost in a sea of chaos where not only nothing was it as it seemed, but no one appeared to be who they really were.

I could feel the plane begin to bank slightly to our right. Glancing in that direction, I figured that it must have been a mid-flight adjustment to bring us on course to our final destination.

Next to me the professor began a slightly off-key chant, "Oh, beautiful for purple mountain majesties ..."

Perhaps he deliberately left out the spacious skies and amber waves of grain lines, or maybe he didn't really know the lyrics I thought. Through the window next to him I could see what had inspired him. In the distance, rising above the clouds, the high peaks of the Rocky Mountains had come into view.

The mountains, however, failed to fill me with patriotic sentiments. If anything, they evoked a sense of dread of what awaited us beneath their peaks. My redundant announcement caught their attention, "We're almost there."

Baxter glanced at his watch and nodded, "Yes. We'll be starting our descent in ten minutes."

"When we land, just what is our plan of action?" I asked. The only response was Jordan's shrug and Baxter's unblinking eyes. "There is a plan in place ... right?"

"A plan?" Baxter grinned. "I would venture to say that there are several plans in place." He waited for the anguish on my face to dissipate and elaborated, "Out there in the main cabin sits Wingate and two FBI agents. I can assure you that the plans of the military and the FBI are not from the same play book. They are not about to share the prize."

My eyes darted between the pair and I growled, "If we're not collaborating our efforts with them, then why on earth are we traveling together?"

"Michael," the professor offered, "might I remind you that there is yet another faction out there? The fact that their organization doesn't officially exist, doesn't mean that they are to be dismissed."

Rubbing my chin I realized what he was inferring. "Ah, our unlikely alliance is intended as a show of force?"

"Precisely," he answered.

Bemused I threw my arms above my head and expounded, "So, when our unnamed friends learn that we are working together ... they're going to shit their pants and just ... walk away?"

"Great plan, eh?" Baxter said, sarcasm ruling the tone of his voice.

I clasped my hands behind my head and stared up at the ceiling for several moments before asking the question to which I already knew the answer, "Who, pray tell, came up with that brilliant plan?"

Although Baxter saw through my feigned query, Jordan did not, "Why, our illustrious Commander-in-Chief of course!"

The door to the main cabin swung open. Wingate walked in and addressed us, "Gentlemen, we are about to land. Buckle up!" He then strode past us and opened a door at the back of the cabin. He looked inside and belched an order, "Men, lock and load!"

Stunned, I attempted to get to my feet but Professor Jordan grabbed my arm. I glared at Wingate and yelped, "You've got armed troops in there! Why?"

Glancing at me he replied with a haughty arrogance, "We might be on the same team ... for now ... but I have my orders to be prepared for armed resistance."

"I was promised that there would be no violence!" Jordan cried. "We are here to seize control of the research facility. We have Butterfly Dreams. There is no need for weapons."

I turned and glared at the old man, "You ... you're a part of this? Whose side are you on?"

"Enough, old man!" Wingate shouted. "My orders are neither subject to interpretation nor open for discussion. Allow me to inform you that as of this moment you are no longer useful to us."

At that moment a soldier stepped forward from the rear cabin. He snapped to attention and saluted, "Everything is ready, just as you ordered, sir."

In what seemed to be one fluent move, Wingate withdrew his pistol from the holster at his waist and swung his arm to his left. Baxter crumpled in his seat from the force of the gun striking the side of his head. I had no more than opened my mouth when the muzzle of weapon was pressed against my forehead.

"Relax, Mr. Black," he said holstering his gun. Standing before me, his hands on his hips, a menacing sneer stretching his mouth into an angry crevice, he spoke slowly and deliberately, "I'm afraid there is going to be a most unfortunate accident. When I give the command, the private here will be detonating several strategically placed C-4 charges."

I slumped in my seat and sighed, "Of course you and your men will have disembarked by then."

"Of course! My mission is to eliminate the subversive elements that are a threat to our operations and to protect those operations at all costs. While my men and I are parachuting safely to earth, you and your friends on board will die in an unexplained midair explosion of this craft."

( To be continued

An Unlikely Savior )



Jack K. said...

Your hiatus did not dull your mastery of building suspense.

A planned crash?

An airborne drop?

Two unsuspecting FBI agents, not to mention the crew?


It will be interesting to read the next installment(s).

Sandee said...

What Jack said. We're both on the same page here. This is a twist I'd not thought of, but I should have. You are a master at cliff hangers.

Have a terrific day. :)

Hale McKay said...


There has been a lot of dialog, necessary to reveal the subplots, but it's about time for some action and suspense.

Hale McKay said...


"Who do you, who can you trust?" is a woven theme in this second tale of Ben & Susan.