Thursday, February 24, 2011

Butterfly Dreams (49)

(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)-
Sensory Overload

Tightening my grip on President Addams' legs I paused at the base of the boarding stairs leading up into the plane. Something was reflecting light from the westerly setting sun. I averted my eyes from the glare and saw that Baxter too had noticed it.

"It must be a car. The driver is probably wondering what happened to the road," he opined.

"Curious," I mused, "that a road would end so close to the airport."

"Years ago the Air Force increased the length of the runway to handle the larger jets. They split the road and closed it off to keep traffic away from the base. Now motorists have to travel forty miles around to pick up the continuation of the old highway. That driver must have missed the detour sign."

At the top of the stairs and before entering the plane I asked, "By the way, what road is that?"

"It's the old Route 66," he answered.

Once we were inside the plane two airmen relieved us of the burden of Addams and led the still groggy man to a nearby seat. With the men attending to him Wingate joined them to check on the President's condition. Although I tried, I was unable to read the colonel's lips as he whispered something to the three men before him.

Susan, a neuro-headset resting on her head, was seated in front of one of several consoles along the starboard bulkhead. Next to her an airmen was manipulating several dials, probably an exercise to calibrate the sensitive equipment.

The forceful hand which shoved me in the direction of the consoles, also forced me into one of the swivel seats. Next to me I was joined by a grumbling Professor Jordan. When he turned his head my eyes followed his and together we studied David's face. The young man revealed a curious grin on his lips coupled with arched eyebrows before he motioned for us to don the headsets.

Earlier Brock's wink had indicated that he was up to something. Although I had not been apprised, I was compelled to accept David's facial movements as some kind of a signal. As such, I remained calm and did not react when I felt his fingers probing and then removing something from my back pocket.

On the plane, I thought, when Brock and I were trying to escape the tear gas, he had patted me on the backside. I realized that he must have slipped something into my pocket, something that David knew would be there! While impressed with their plans up to that point, I was becoming increasingly frustrated at not being in the loop.

I caught site of the object being palmed in his hand. With its USB-type plug and measuring about the size of a deck of cards, it resembled a large wifi connector. I scanned the console before me and sure enough, next to the headset connection was an identical device.

With his left hand reaching above my head for a row of switches he let the device slip from his right onto the console. Taking his cue, I jiggled the connected device until it came away in my hand. I slipped the original device under my arm and picked up the one David had placed in front of me. Before I could connect the substitute connector I froze, reacting to a commotion outside.

"Damn it, Faye," Brock O'Day growled as she shoved him through the door, "if we ever get out of this ..."

"Shut up, you big ape," she snapped at her angry husband. As luck would have it, my hand and the object it held was in her direct line of vision. He eyes remained fixed on me and she pointed in my direction even as she shouted, "Colonel Wingate!"

He spun around obviously irritated by the interruption and responded, "What is it, Mrs. O'Day?"

"Michael is tampering with the equipment! There! Look in his hand!" she cried.

"Damn!" David was quick to react, grabbing the connector from me and moving my arm aside to reveal the other one. "He was trying to switch the wireless module!"

"...And right under your nose!" Wingate snarled. "How could you be so careless?"

David stammered, "I ... I was cal ... calibrating the radio signal. It never occurred to me ... I didn't think he would have a duplicate ..."

I slumped back in the chair in defeat but gave no impression that David had been abetting me in any way. It had to appear that I was acting alone. Yet, I was puzzled by David's careless mistake.

Apparently alert but unsteady on his feet, Addams shuffled behind me and eyed the device in David's hand and the one on the console. "Mr. Black is not one to be underestimated," he muttered shaking his fist at the young man. He regained his composure and said, "I trust you know which is which?"

"Yes Sir, Mr. President, Sir," he replied with a nervous nod of his head. He handed the device he was holding to Addams, "This one is the duplicate. It is most fortunate that Mrs. O'Day saw him trying to connect it to the system and alerted us."

"Indeed it was," Addams said. He looked over at her and added, "Well done, my dear."

An 'aw shucks' flush tinted her cheeks, "Thank you, Mr. President."

The professor frowned at her before addressing Addams, "One minute you're going to shoot her and the next you're singing her praises?"

"My good Professor," he chuckled, "I assure you that I had no intention of shooting her, or anyone else for that matter. It was simply a matter of drawing out those not loyal to me or my cause. When it comes to our nation's security, I needed to know who I could and could not trust."

"Obviously you didn't trust your own security team," Baxter asserted.

The President eyed him with derision and grinned, "Oh, I trusted them, but those two were incompetent. They failed in New Hampshire. They failed me again at that university campus."

Baxter eyed Landers and Ferrara standing at the front of the cabin. "Who else could you trust but two corrupt FBI agents?" Ferrara sneered and took a step forward but stopped in his tracks when Addams raised his hand.

Addams laughed, "Corrupt is such a dirty word, Mr. Baxter. I prefer loyal." He twisted his head and looked up at the taller man. Just who are you loyal to anyway? To whom do you answer?"

"I am loyal to the United States of America. I answer to my country and Her flag!"

Enraged Addams threw the connector onto the deck by his feet. "Don't give me that patriotic crap! I'm your Commander-in-Chief and you answer to me!"

Baxter shook his head, "You sir, are not my Commander-in-Chief!"

Landers stepped forth and announced, "Mr. President, if I may, my partner and I have ways of getting people to talk."

"Bah, there's no time for that. Not now. Cuff him and the cop to one of the seats ... and keep your eyes on them."

Wingate picked up the device Addams had thrown to the deck, studied it for a moment and asked, "Just what are these things?"

David, having already connected the other device to its port, looked up and answered, "In the simplest terms, it's like a wireless transceiver. It has been programmed to the frequency of the transmitter that your men secured earlier."

Addams let out a throaty laugh, "When it is activated, an unsuspecting army will awaken. That army will be loyal to me and to me alone!"

"Operation Butterfly Blue..." I muttered.

Stunned by Addams' tirade Wingate asked, "...And what would happen if the wrong one of these things was used?"

David flashed a toothy smile and replied, "It would result in a sensory overload. It would effectively render all of the cranial implants inoperative ... forever."

Addams' jaw dropped and he cried, "How would you possibly know what would happen?" His eyes widened in terror and he screamed, "No! Stop him!"

David flipped a switch on the panel and backed away from the console. "It is done. You cannot stop it. It cannot be reversed."

Crazed to the brink of insanity Addams screamed, "Kill them! Kill them all!"

( To be continued

The Mind Squared )



Steve said...

I'm up to 32 on Echoes of Eddie. Quite enjoyable, but it would be a little easier if it was in one location. Mike you need to get these fine stories together for Kindle. A collection of original short stories would be good.

Sandee said...

I don't like Adams at all. Not one bit. I guess he's the typical political figure if the truth were known.

I can't wait to see what happens next. This is an excellent thriller.

Have a terrific day. I'll be gone through the 7th of March. It's cruise time. :)

Hale McKay said...


Thanks for reading my tales. Once the current story is completed, I will be acting on getting the stories into print.

Hale McKay said...


We don't really know much about Addams, do we. It's the General Gates personae that we are seeing. Perhaps the real mind of Addams will figure in the end?

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