Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Butterfly Dreams (54)

The(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)-
End of Dreams

Both Brock and I were left speechless. Having seen Rosie on the surveillance video from the nursing home awakened from her year-long coma was one thing, but to see her in the flesh was quite another.

Her acknowledgement of us was nothing more than a curt nod of her head. She stepped aside and motioned for us to pass through the entrance into the room that lie beyond. Jeremy and Stu, assisting the wounded Professor Jordan led the way, followed by Brock and myself. Faye appeared lost in deep thought and hesitated before stepping forth behind me and her husband. Showing neither recognition of us nor emotion Rosie fell in stride between Ben and Susan as the door closed behind us.

We came into a lighted area, a makeshift living quarters consisting of a pair of sofas and several armchairs around a central conference table. Next to a six-foot high wall which partitioned the quarters from a larger room to the left was a pair of doors leading to bed and bath facilities.

Stu positioned a pillow behind Jordan's head even as Baxter helped him into a lying position on the nearest sofa. Despite his injury Jordan growled with feisty bravado, "Stop making such a fuss over me. I'll live! There is much to do ..."

At that moment a side door swung open to reveal Michelle carrying a bag of supplies to treat Jordan's injury. At her back I caught a glimpse of the lower most steps of the steep stairway she'd descended to join us in the underground hideaway.

Giving way to Michelle as she joined Baxter to attend to the professor, Stu moved over to where Brock O'Day and I were standing. He was apologetic as he addressed me, "Michael, the other day at the bar ... I ..."

"Never mind, Stu," I said patting his shoulder, "forget it. I know now that it was part of a plan which required Michelle and me to be kept in the dark. Clever." I looked about the room at the gathered faces and added, "I'll have to admit that even now I'm not sure who to trust and who not to trust."

"That's understandable. You see, it was also important that Gates didn't suspect that his inner circle had been compromised. Of course, in light of recent events, we've lost that advantage and that's going to make our job more difficult."

Raising my eyebrows I asked, "...And just what is our job? Exposing him and his treachery would mean that the existence of our research would have to be made public. I don't think that is at all wise."

From across the room Jordan shouted, "Damn straight it's not wise!" He sat up and moved his arm to test the dressing Michelle had applied to his wound. He looked up at her and smiled, "It feels good. Thank you."

Michelle returned his smile and faced me with her hands on her hips, "Michael, get over here and let me see what I can do for that broken finger."

The professor patted my arm as we passed and said, "Don't worry, she's a good nurse." He raised his voice to make sure he had everyone's attention, "Why don't the rest of us gather around the conference table and we'll discuss what needs to be done."

Rosie offered her outstretched arms to Faye, "Come, sit next me." When Faye hesitated she pleaded, "Please, Faye. Won't you sit beside your sister?"

The professor stood at the end of the table and studied those seated before speaking, "As most of you know there are two minds in my head. I'm speaking to you now not as Professor Jordan, but as Bishop King." He paused to observe the reactions of those seated before him. "I am in the unique position to know Julius Gate's weakness."

"Weakness?" queried Stu Jankowski.

"Ah, let me explain that," he responded. "It's hard to elaborate, but I'll attempt to do so. I ... we ... the professor and myself, might co-exist in this body in a symbiotic manner, but only one of us may be present at any given moment. We are aware of the other and we can communicate with the other. The mind that is at the forefront is there because the other has conceded. Yet, either one of us can assert ourselves over the other."

My finger in a plastic splint and my hand wrapped in gauze and tape Michelle and I took a seat between Brock and Jeremy. I looked at him and said, "I take it that for now the two of you are in agreement as to what we need to do to carry out your plans?"

He smiled, "Quite. We are very much in agreement."

"You said you knew Gates' weakness?" Michelle asked.

He nodded, "Where the two minds in this brain have been compatible, such is not the case with the brain in the body of President Addams. You've witnessed it yourself. Gates is clearly the dominant mind and for the most part has been keeping the Addams' persona suppressed. Our President is a virtual prisoner in his own body."

"All we had to do was to rattle his cage," Baxter cut in, "and to challenge his authority. Sure enough, the general in him reacted ignoring protocol. No general can tolerate a threat to his authority. Gates is no exception. Throw in a threat to his Presidency ..."

"So," I uttered glancing at Ben and Susan, "you produced our two friends here and arranged for Rosie to be kidnapped from the nursing home. Okay, I can see how he would perceive that as a threat and how it would force him to take action, but ..."

"May I, Professor Jordan?" Rosie stood up and looked over to Jordan. He extended an open hand for her to continue.

"I'm sure you've noticed that I am not quite myself," she began, "and that's true. I'm heavily sedated to keep my mind functioning. I might never really be my old self again." She saw the concern on several of our faces and waved her hand, "I'm okay with that, so please don't shower me with pity."

"...And your awakening from the coma was drug induced?" Faye asked.

"Not exactly," interjected Jordan, "unless you consider software a drug!" Not waiting for the expected shocked responses he quickly continued, "As Rosie lapsed into a coma a year ago, so too was she awakened by means of a software program."

When our collective eyes turned back to Rosie she spoke again, "Not in the manner in which both Professor Jordan and Bishop King are standing before you in the same body, but I too exist in a state of duality."

Brock O'Day whistled softly, "Wait a minute. First we learn that Gates and President Addams are in the same head. Then the professor tells us that he and King are renting the same skull, and now you're going to tell us that someone else is sharing your brain too?"

I placed my good hand on his shoulder and announced, "My friend, I don't think she's referring to ... a someone."

"You are correct, Michael," Rosie said, her demeanor remaining stoic. "Ever since the destruction of the facilities in New Hampshire I have been intrinsically and irreversibly integrated with and into General Gates' master program. There was a massive power surge into his control module while I was linked to the system and as a result, it is part of me and I am part of it."

"Rosie, I'm so sorry that such a horrible thing happened to you," I muttered. "Maybe it is possible to ... separate you from the program ... or the program from you?"

"No, I'm afraid that's not possible." She noted without visible reaction to the glum faces of us gathered around the table. For a moment she gazed at Michelle and her act of wiping away a tear from the corner of her eye before addressing her directly, "Because of the merger of my mind and the program, I am incapable of experiencing emotion but I do have a memory and I do know that you, Susan Parsons, are my daughter."

Michelle laid her head against my shoulder and began to weep. "Oh, mother," she blubbered, "if only we'd had ... more time ... to get to know each other!"

"Perhaps you can take comfort in knowing that when I am in a comatose state, I am actually sleeping and while asleep I do experience dreams," she said, "and in those dreams we are close ... and we talk. I'm looking forward to our final talk out there in the night and naked together we'll watch the butterflies fly away."

Michelle bolted upright and gasped, "My dream! You know of my dream?" She looked into Rosie's eyes as if looking into her soul, "You've been sending that dream to me ... in my dreams!"

She moved away from the table and nodded to Professor Jordan, "I sense that the time is near." She looked back at Michelle and whispered, "For me, it will soon be time for the end of dreams."

( To be continued

A Deadly Digital Dilemma )



Sandee said...

I've always thought there was more to Rosie than we knew. There is and we probably are just scratching the surface.

What's Julius Gate's weakness? That's what I want to know.

Oh this get more and more interesting.

Have a terrific day. :)

Jack K. said...

It would seem that Gate's weakness is his ego. I suspect that there will be some program that Rosie is able to actuate that will cause him to leave Addams. Perhaps Gate's brain/persona will be directed to a mouse. Now there would be one roaring mouse.

Hale McKay said...


Gates' weakness? His ego.

From story one, Rosie has been the key.

Hale McKay said...


Right you are - it's his ego.

LOL @ roaring mouse.