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)-
When I stepped outside I paused by the door and stared at the carnage. The ground seemed to be shimmering, not unlike the mirage effect when looking upon a paved road on a hot arid day.
Michelle stopped next to me, pointed at her car and groaned, "Great, just great! The driveway is blocked!"
Ben and Susan slipped between us and turned toward a flagstone path that led to the back of the cottage. They motioned with twists of their heads for us to follow them. "This way," they said in unison.
Before us several of the men who were sprawled on the ground began to stir and we could hear muffled moans. The surreal shimmer of the driveway scene was becoming muted. Our eyes were being assaulted with distorted imagery.
"It's not real!" Michelle exclaimed. She grabbed and arm and pulled me in the direction of the flagstone path. "It's all an illusion!"
Swinging my arm free of her grip I tried to focus on the surrounding area of the driveway. I stared in stunned amazement upon the visual transformation of what my eyes were perceiving. The very air seemed to ripple like sheer curtains furling and unfurling before a breeze through the open window upon which they had been hung.
Dumbfounded I gasped as the helicopter seemed to un-explode, its fragments reassembling themselves. The effect was not unlike a video being rewound in slow motion. Nearby the HumVee was righting itself, flipping back onto its wheels.
When Michelle touched my arm again I turned and followed her lead. I could see in her eyes that she too was overwhelmed by what was happening. It was apparent that we had witnessed an awesome display of mass mind control.
In mid-stride she exclaimed, "How is it possible? Who has that kind of power?"
I could bring to mind but one name and uttered, "Rosie?"
On the path ahead of us Ben and Susan were waiting at the crest of a rise overlooking the nearby beach. They were waving their arms in a frantic effort for us to follow their lead. Behind us we could hear the shouts of the agents and soldiers.
"They can't be familiar with this area," Michelle offered, "they must be receiving mental instructions."
"Or commands," I countered. "But why are they receiving them and not us too?"
"I don't know," she replied. "I do know that we have no choice but to follow them."
Moments later we were standing where Ben and Susan had been. We were at the edge of marsh grass and sand, overlooking an unimposing precipice of three or four feet to the beach sand below. The couple were not to be seen, but their footprints trailed off to the left and disappeared behind a large dune.
When we rounded the dune we found them sitting in the sand beside a pair of old pilings which were probably the remains of a boat dock left in disrepair. They appeared calm and unaffected by our ordeal. There was no urgency in their demeanor.
"We're not safe here," I barked. "We have to move."
Susan grinned and raised a finger in front of her pursed lips, "It's the thoughts that count!"
"What?" Michelle muttered. "What's that supposed to mean?"
There was a sudden rumble of an engine beyond the dunes, back in the direction of the cottage. That was followed by the distinctive sound of another but different kind of engine.
"The chopper? It's taking off!" I shouted. "We were not safe here. We have to find cover."
Ben shook his head, "There's no need to hide. They are chasing us to the highway."
Bemused Susan nodded, "Yes, we stole one of their vehicles. They are chasing us right now."
Before either Michelle or myself could respond the helicopter passed over our heads on a course toward the Interstate. We watched in stunned fascination as the craft disappeared beyond a stand of trees, the sound of its rotors fading with its passing.
Michelle struggled to stifle a giggle. "Well, I'll be ... It would seem that our mental guardian has sent the bad guys on a wild goose chase."
I glanced at Susan and said, "It's the thoughts that count, eh?"
They stood up and brushed the sand from their clothing. Grinning, they strode past us and began to climb up the hard-packed wall of sand. Once at the top Ben knelt and extended his hand, first to Michelle and then to me, and helped us up from the beach.
He took Susan's hand and began to walk along the path in the direction of the cottage. He ginned again and said in a tone much to cavalier, "Come, there is someone waiting for us."
"Who? Who is waiting for us?" Michelle stammered.
Susan tittered, "Why, our guardian, of course."
The Guardian )