Friday, March 04, 2011

Butterfly Dreams (50)

(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)-
The Mind Squared

It was obvious that the mind and the larger than life ego of General Julius Gates was the dominant persona behind President Addams' outburst. Defeat was not in his vocabulary, and surrender was not an option.

"Mr. President," Wingate shouted grabbing Addams' arm. "You can't do this. It would be cold-blooded murder."

He yanked his arm free of the colonel's grip and took a deep breath. "You're right, of course. I can't be soiling the President's reputation now can I?"

Professor Jordan removed his headset and swiveled in his seat until he was facing Addams. "It's not easy being you ... and him, is it?"

His eyes narrowed and he seemed pensive as if measuring his words before responding, "What are you implying, Jordan?"

"It's obvious," Baxter said, "that he wants to know to whom he's talking."

Addams spun around and stood nose to nose to him, "I've had enough you and your insolence, Baxter! Who are you? Who are you working for? The FBI? The CIA? The NSA?" He backed away suddenly remembering that there were others in the cabin.

"Why, Mr. President," he replied with a mocking inference to the man's title, "those agencies answer to you, do they not?"

"Don't patronize me, asshole!" Addams lashed. "I've seen your record and your current status. Tell me, how is it that a soldier with eight years of service has never been promoted beyond the rank of corporal? How is that your duty status is listed as TAD-classified for the entirety of your second tour of duty?" He paused clinching a raised fist before straightening his necktie to regain his composure. "And why is it that I'm being denied access to the nature of your assignment and to the identity of whomever authorized that status?"

Like Jordan I had removed my headset and was sitting in silence, watching and listening as the drama unfolded. For the past year I had been curious as to how Corporal Jeremy Baxter, had seemingly at will, been able to move about in both the military and civilian arenas.

"It's obvious," Baxter said with a wide grin, "that my orders were issued on a need-to-know basis only. Frankly sir, for matters of national security, the President of the United States was not included on the list of those who need to know."

His nostrils flaring and his face turning red he sniped, "That's preposterous! All matters of national security must come under the auspices of the President!"

"Ahem," Colonel Wingate gulped. "I'm afraid he's right, Mr. President." He averted his eyes from Addams' angry glare before elaborating, "There are provisions in our Constitution to limit the powers of the President, who is after all, an elected civilian."

Brock O'Day laughed aloud, apparently to have his own say. "You know, I don't always agree with our Congressmen and Senators, but I've just gained a lot more respect for them."

Addams pointed at Baxter and snapped, "So that's it! You're answering to some senator, maybe several of them!" He rubbed his chin and mused, "They must be operating through a committee, an insignificant one that gets little attention. Perhaps, technically it doesn't even exist. Now, why would there be a need for a covert committee in the first place?"

"Begging your pardon, Mr. President," said Faye as she approached him, "might I suggest that it was your successor behind Corporal Baxter's duty status as well as the formation of this possible committee?"

Nodding in agreement to Faye's observation Wingate said, "Jackson Baker would have known about the mind research and the various projects associated with it. That he might have surrounded himself with some senators that he trusted is not out of the question. Have you not aligned yourself with some of the current senators, Mr. President?"

"Let's keep how I run my office out of this discussion," Addams responded.

I couldn't help myself but to declare, "You can't be soiling the President's reputation, now can you?"

He flashed a sardonic grin before allowing his facial features to morph into a menacing scowl. "I don't know who's been the biggest thorn in my side ... you and your wife or Corporal Baxter?" He paused and scanned the faces of the others in the cabin. "For that matter, the lot of you have been more itches than I care to scratch."

"Ah, would it then be safe to say," Jordan interjected, "that Vincent T. Addams is nothing more than a rash?"

"That's twice that you've used my name in the second person. Why?" Addams demanded.

A toothy smile appeared below the professor's moustache, "Why don't we cut to the chase ... Julius?"

Addams heard the audible gasp that escaped Faye's lips but remained stoic, "Professor, it would appear that your mind has been turned to mush from using those headsets once too often."

"Perhaps it is you who suffers from a gelatinous brain. You never weighed the consequences of how the mind of a politician versed in diplomacy might coexist with that of a crazed power-hungry warmongering general." Bemused Jordan watched Addams' reactions to his words. It was clear that the man was trying to suppress the anger festering within him.

"Coexisting minds?" Addams sputtered. Fiddling with his necktie he adopted a more defensive manner and tried to tap into the diplomatic trait that Jordan had cited. "Everyone here knows we have been exploring the use of the human mind, telepathy if you will, but really professor ... mind swapping?"

"Mind swapping?" Jordan harrumphed. "You and I both know that you've progressed beyond mere mind swapping."

Addams raised his arms and spread them, "Ladies and gentlemen, this is what happens when a man's mind enters flights of fantasy. He becomes delusional."

"The charades must end here!" Jordan roared. Gaining his composure he continued, "I know that the merger of two minds in one body is not only possible, but it has been accomplished ... on two occasions."

"The mind squared," I asserted.

Addams' eyes widened as he stared long and hard at the old man who stood before him in undaunted defiance. The realization of the meaning of the man's words could have easily been mistaken for a sense of visual recognition.

He folded his arms across his chest and smiled at his adversary. "Bishop ... Bishop King? You ... you are in there?"

"Yes, Julius, it is me. When I realized what you'd pulled off during that so-called assassination attempt on the President, I knew I had to stop you."

"Ha!" Addams cried. "You forced your mind into Professor Jordan's head. You, sir, are no better than me!"

"Mr. President or General Gates, whichever one of you is present, this is Jordan speaking. Bishop did not forcibly put his mind in my head. No. It was my idea. I suggested that we undergo the procedure. Like Bishop, I too wanted to stop your plans."

I noticed that everyone else in the cabin, like me, had become a stunned and silent audience. I was amazed that the mind of Jordan-King was able to allow its two personae to function, independent of the other. I couldn't help but wonder how a psychiatrist would diagnose the man with anything but a multiple personality disorder. He would be wrong.

"You see, I was dying. My body was failing. After the cemetery services of Ben and Susan I was visited by Professor Jordan," said King.

Jordan picked up the narrative, "...And I was aware that I was in the early stages of Alzheimer's. In the end, it was an easy decision for both of us."

"Bah!" Addams-Gates bellowed. "You're driving me crazy ... the two of you talking through the same mouth! I won't allow that to happen to me. I'm stronger than Addams and I alone run this body."

"Don't underestimate him, Julius," Jordan countered. "Like it or not, he's in there, somewhere in your head, he's there."

"Enough of this bantering!" he roared smacking his fist into his open palm. "You're plans were for naught. You've failed. You have not stopped me!" He extended his hand to Wingate and said, "Give me the connector you're holding, Colonel."

Although there was a nervous look on his face David said, "You're wasting your time, sir. My connector rendered your program useless."

"Did it now?" Addams gloated. "David, your skills at sleight of hand might be impressive but your attempt to sabotage my plans also failed. Of course, you had no way of knowing that I had fail-safe measures in place."

He shoved David away from the console and switched the connectors. He winked at the young man, "Your device did nothing. No signal was sent. It's like this, son, this station will not transmit without first receiving a coded signal from a remote signal." He picked up a telephone receiver and punched three buttons.

"No!" David exclaimed. "You can't do this!"

"I can and I will," he boasted. He looked around at the gathered faces and grinned. "I'm putting this on speaker. I think you'll get out of it."

"Hello, General Gates," said the voice on the line. "I'm awaiting your instructions."

I felt sick to my stomach. There was no denying to whom the voice belonged.

"Stu Janikowski, my old friend. It is good to hear your voice. You may send the transmission ... now!"

( To be continued

Sleight of Hand )



Jack K. said...

It will be interesting to discover how Gates/Addams will be thwarted. I am sure he/they will be thwarted.

Hale McKay said...


I'm sure you are right. :o}

Sandee said...

I banking on Gates/Addams being thwarted. Excellent.

Off to read the next chapter.

Have a terrific day. :)

Hale McKay said...


I can't very allow the Gates-side of Addams succeed ... or dare I?