Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Butterfly Dreams (51)

(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)-
Sleight of Hand

Above the console a row of intermittent blue lights blinked across the face of a modem. One after the other each light ceased to flash but shone steady.

The connector in place, Addams depressed the switch that would enable a signal to be broadcast. I could only assume that the transmission tower in the desert, which was being manned by a team of Wingate's men, would then beam an encrypted code into space. My assumption was about to be confirmed.

"Thanks to Colonel Alison of the Air Force," Addams said launching into a gloating diatribe, "I was able to procure the access codes to a few satellites, which because of their strategic geosynchronous orbits, have made it possible for Butterfly Blue to be activated almost simultaneously across the planet."

I shook my head in despair and with a subconscious reflex raised my hand to the back of my head. Beneath my palm I could feel the bristling hairs on my nape as I rubbed there with a vigorous but futile attempt to render the implanted device at the base of my skull inert. Without looking in his direction I realized that Addams was watching my actions.

"Yes, Mr. Black," he said, "the nano-receiver in your head will soon be attuned to the signals from those satellites. When that happens, you will become a loyal subject of the President of the United States ...," he paused raising an octave the decibels of his voice to accentuate the final two chilling words, "... of Earth!"

His megalomaniacal blathering only strengthened my resolve to attempt to resist the inevitable barrage about to be broadcast from space into not only my head, but to an untold number of similar devices around the globe. I knew however, I would not be able to do so. I, like others around the planet, would become a living programmable automaton, an unwitting minion of the mad man before me.

Such was the strength of my concentration to barricade my mind, it felt as if the blood vessels in my forehead were about to burst. The beads of perspiration that formed on my forehead were beginning to drip into my eyes.

Amused by my plight, Addams burst into sadistic laughter. His rodomontade intensified with a curious quote from a popular science fiction program, "I am Locutus of Borg! Resistance is fu-tile!"

To my left I caught sight of David's hand. At belt level his thumb was raised slightly above his clenched fist. Wiping the sweat from my eyes I followed his gaze across the cabin to Brock O'Day. I was greeted by the same flutter from his eyes that he'd displayed earlier. I noticed too that Jordan's head dipped in a barely perceptible nod.

Implausible as it seemed, the three of them still had a plan in play. My mind relaxed its defensive posture and I allowed my thoughts to race, to replay all that had happened since we'd landed at the Amarillo airport. Then it hit me. On the plane, amidst the clouds of teargas, O'Day must have then swapped the connectors.

David, feigning allegiance to his former boss General Gates, had used a series of calculated but risky sleights of hand when he had handled the two connectors. His actions, which had turned out to be duplicitous, had fooled me into thinking he'd made a mistake when he had allowed the original device to be inserted into the receptive port. Somehow, David must have known about Addams' fail safe code. His mistake had been a deliberate one.

Although he had been unaware of O'Day's previous switch of the devices, Addams had nonetheless seen through David's sleight of hand maneuver. Unbeknown to him he had promptly removed the original device and had inserted and activated David's faux connector.

It took several seconds for Addams to realize what was happening. Behind him the two FBI agents lowered their weapons and staggered on their feet. Faye murmured something and looked about in a confused state. Susan rose from the console and stared wide-eyed at the bank of electronic equipment in front of her.

It was probably because of pent up frustrations and anger that I wanted to smash something. I watched my fingers curl into a ball into the palm of my right hand. My thumb pressed so hard against the digits that I felt the pinch of my nails digging into skin.

The stunned onlookers were aware of what I was going to do. Addams-Gates was not! He never saw the clinched missile that was on a collision course with his jaw. He never had the chance to avoid its impact.

"Yow!" I cried out as my fist slammed into his jaw. I felt something pop.

Addams' head twisted from the force of the blow and a moan escaped his lips. He was sent hurtling backward until he fell onto the deck in a crumpled heap at the feet of the two FBI men.

"You sir, are not Jean Luc Picard!" I sniped down at him.

Initially addled by my inexplicable act, Agent Ferrara's years of experience and training seemed to have been forgotten. When he sprung into action he pressed his gun against my chest and yelled, "Hands up or I'll shoot!"

The anger was still welled up inside of me. Despite the searing pain burning in my hand I swiped his arm away from me. Stunned by my sudden move his gun flew from his hand and crashed against the far bulkhead.

Landers, who was helping the President to his feet, started to wield his own weapon when Addams grabbed his arm. Despite the agent's resistance, he held tight onto the arm until the pistol was lowered.

"No! Let him be," he shouted. Gaining his balance and trying to show some dignity, he tugged at his suit jacket and tightened the double Windsor knot of his tie. "I can't say that I blame him. I deserved that."

With my aching right hand cupped in the left one, I looked into Addams' eyes and queried, "Mr. President, is that you?"

With a weak nod he replied, "Yes, I'm Vincent Addams." He rubbed his jaw and moved it back and forth, testing it, before speaking again, "Gates? Is he ... gone? I don't feel his presence ..."

David spoke up, "No, Mr. President. He's still in there. He's probably gone into dormancy to think ... to plan ..."

Susan approached me and pleaded, "Your hand ... let me see it." I winced when she tried to open my fist. Refusing to let go of my hand she touched in turn the tips of each finger. "Uh-huh," she whispered, "you have a broken pinkie."

Brock O'Day stood nearby and chuckled, "Michael, if you should ever choose another vocation, take my advice and don't take up boxing."

Addams had been quiet for several moments, lost in thought. He grimaced and in sincere words addressed us, "I've given this serious thought. For the sake of national security, you need to incapacitate me. Drug me, if you will. You have to get me back to Washington where I will resign as the President. Vice President Chandler has to be sworn in ..."

"Mr. Pres... President," Faye stammered, "Surely there must ... must be another way."

The President threw his hands up onto his head and shrieked! His eyes rolled back and he trembled as if in the throes of a seizure. Then as sudden as the attack had come over him, it subsided.

A feral glare in his eyes and a snarled upper lip announced that Gates' domination of Vincent Addams was once again in effect. "That sniveling weasel thinks I would allow him to step down?" he growled. "How did that weakling ever get elected in the first place?"

"It's over, General Gates," Jeremy Baxter said. "Your entire mind-control network has been shut down ... permanently!"

Gates-Addams' elbow jerked backwards into Agent Landers' solar plexus. As the man doubled over his gun ended up in the hands of his assailant. He backed a safe distance away from the agent and snapped, "You think so, Baxter? I built it once and I can rebuild it."

"There are too many who know ...," I said before letting my words trail off.

"For the moment, Mr. Black, for the moment," he responded with a wave of the gun in his hand. He stared at me and took a step in my direction. "You! You hit me. You hit the President of the United States!" He flashed an evil grin and espoused, "You shall be the first ... of those who know ... to be silenced."

( To be continued

Escape to Route 66 )



Jack K. said...

It will be interesting to learn how Wingate will be expunged from Addam's brain.

I think O'Day is right, boxing is not suggested as a profession for Michael.

Sandee said...

I too want to know how Addams can be made whole. Or will be be made whole. Questions and more questions.

Excellent read.

Have a terrific day. :)

Hale McKay said...


I think it's safe to safe to say that Michael will remove boxing from his bucket list.

Hale McKay said...


Addams with Gates in his head does present a problem for his continued job as President..