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)-
There was an awkward moment of anticipation as we stared in disbelief as the entities of Ben and Susan approached us. It was as if our own images were stepping out of the confines of a large mirror.
Expecting to peer into dark lifeless eyes, we saw instead bright living orbs staring back at us. Though our eyes made visual contact, there was the perception that our very souls were trying to communicate.
Driven by impatience Faye faced the pair and snapped, "You're just going to stand there staring at them? Talk!"
Ben and Susan looked at her with blank expressions etched upon their faces. Michelle and I glanced at each other but said nothing.
"Goddamn it!" Faye roared waving a finger in their faces, "I went to all this trouble to get the four of you together ... it's what you demanded. You wanted Michael and Michelle, well there they are standing in front of you."
The agent who'd assumed the alpha role stepped forth and placed his hand on Faye's shoulder, "Mrs. O'Day, back off."
She spun around and shoving his hand aside screeched, "Back off? Me? You back off, Agent Reilly. If not for me, you buffoons would be flying off on a wild goose chase to Las Vegas right now."
Michelle looked at me with quizzical eyes. Like her I was confounded by not only Faye's presence but her outbursts as well. What in the hell was she up to anyway? What part did she have in all that had been taking place?
Reilly nodded, "Yes ma'am, you saved us some valuable time. But hear me on this, I'm in charge of this operation. Unless you'd rather go sleep in the chopper with your husband, then I suggest that when I tell you to back off, you'd better back the hell off!"
Her mouth agape she tried to protest his affront, but could only stammer in humiliation. Finally she managed to speak in arrogant defiance, "Just you wait until the Colonel hears about this." The words had no more than escaped her lips when she threw her hand over her mouth.
"The Colonel?" Reilly said glaring at her. He rubbed his chin and mused aloud, "So, you've been dealing with Wingate also. It would appear that you've been buttering both sides of your toast, Mrs. O'Day."
Faye lowered her head and muttered, "Yes, I'll admit it. Look, he was a friend of my father and I thought he could help ..."
Reilly raised his hand in front of her face and bellowed, "Wingate is a fucking loose cannon. Jesus H. Christ, the crazy son of a bitch was running amok in the streets of Boston!"
"Say what you will about the Colonel," she retorted, "but he knows what my father was trying to accomplish. You and your government friends are screwing it up."
"Lady, we're not here to argue the contrariety of the virtues of the government or the military. Our methods may differ, but I assure you that our objectives are the same, and that is for the preservation of the nation's security."
"Enough!" his voice boomed. Startled by the sudden outburst we turned in unison to face the figure of Ben Bering. His face reddened in anger he took a deep breath and exhaled slowly before speaking again. "...And we are not here to listen to your petty bickering."
"Fine," Reilly said, "but let us not forget who's in charge here ... aarrgh!" He suddenly reached for his throat gasping for air.
The other two agents bolted forward and pulled their guns from the holsters beneath their armpits. One of them shouted, "They're using that mind shit!"
The other man raised his firearm and aimed it at Ben. He had no more than steadied it in his shaking hand when he inexplicably cried out in pain and let it fall to the floor. He clutched at his hand as if it had been burned by the weapon.
Without hesitation the third man raised his piece and held it aloft in a firm grip with both hands. In a trice his eyes slammed shut and he screeched, "Stop! Stop it!"
Frozen where we stood, we watched in stunned fascination as he struggled to keep the gun aimed at its intended target. The gun, as if its weight in his hands had increased tenfold, dropped below his waist despite his efforts to keep it trained on the man. The perspiration forming on his brow was running into his eyes making his plight all the more desperate.
He cried out twice; once in an attempt to remove his finger from the trigger, and a second time when the gun discharged. He fell to the floor writhing in pain holding onto his foot where the bullet had struck him.
"Have it your way, Mr. Bering!" exclaimed Reilly his ability to speak restored. "Now get out of our heads."
Bewilderment apparent on their faces, Ben and Susan looked at one another and then at us. It was as if they looking to us for an explanation. I was certain that Michelle too could sense that the pair didn't know what was happening. They were not responsible for the assaults upon the minds of the agents.
Michelle seized the moment and said, "Reilly, they wanted to talk to us and no one else. Let us talk."
Susan broke her silence and quipped, "Alone!"
"The hell you say," Faye roared. "We want to hear what they have to say ..." Her hands flew up to her temples and she screeched in pain. She collapsed to her knees with her fingers intertwined behind her head. "Get out!" she pleaded.
As sudden as the attack had been, it was over in mere moments. She raised her head and stared at the four of us. Beneath her flared nostrils droplets of blood could be seen on her upper lip.
Reilly grabbed her by the arm and pulled her to her feet. "Let them talk, Mrs. O'Day." After handing her a handkerchief he then helped the injured agent to his feet. He signaled to the other man who was kneeling nearby to retrieve his gun, "Outside. Let them talk."
Ever adamant, Faye protested, "What are you doing? We need to hear what they have to say."
He glanced at her, his patience running thin, "They are not going anywhere. We'll interrogate them later." Following his two men he shoved her through the open door. Straddling the thresh hold he declared, "You've got thirty minutes!"
Faye's string of obscenities was only drowned out when the door slammed shut. Through the slightly parted curtains we could see the four of them moving away from the building. I chuckled as I watched Faye's animated protestations as Reilly led her away.
"What a bitch!" exclaimed Susan.
"You've got that right," Michelle said in agreement.
Although the ice had been broken, we fell silent for several minutes. Four sets of eyes studied our confines as if avoiding eye contact with each other. When Susan began to look upon Michelle, she promptly returned the stares. Ben and I then began to act out the same scenario.
The young girl turned her attention to me. She approached and stood before me. Her eyes seemed to be trying to look into my soul. As for me, I was looking into the eyes of the woman with whom I'd fallen in love.
Beside us a similar drama was developing. Michelle was facing the man whose physical appearance was that of Ben Bering, the man who'd captured her heart.
It was Ben who broke our mutual spell of silence, "I feel that I should know both of you. There is something familiar about you. Yet, I feel that it's more than that." He turned his attention to me and added, "You, I can see in your eyes that you know us."
Susan nodded and said, "Yes. I feel the same thing. We are drawn to you." A tear formed in the corner of her left eye, "But I sense that you are repelled by us. No, not repelled, but wary ... unsure of us."
Barely perceptible Michelle murmured, "For now let's just say ... two faces have we. "
"What's that supposed to mean?" asked the woman.
I cleared my throat and put some distance between myself and Susan, "We'll sort that out in due time. For now, I don't suppose either of you can explain what just happened to those Feds and to Faye."
"You mean, it wasn't you?" Ben asked.
Michelle raised her voice, "No! It wasn't us." She gathered herself and pointed at the couple, "What have you done with Rosie? Where is my mother?"
Wide-eyed Susan whispered, "Your mother? She ... she told me I was her daughter!"
Before Michelle could respond there was a sudden gush of air emanating from the back of the house. The four of us grew quiet and turned to face the bedroom door which was standing ajar.
"Damn it!" Ben bellowed. "They promised us thirty minutes."
"It's not them, Ben," I said.
I thought I could sense someone, a presence. Glancing at the others I could tell that they'd felt the same thing. In the next moment I could feel a tingling sensation in my head behind my eyes. The others were exhibiting signs that they too were experiencing the same stimuli.
Then there were the words, not spoken, but loud within our collective minds, "Now is not the time for questions or answers. We have much to do."
Much To Do )