Saturday, January 19, 2013

 “Remember”
by Derek Vaughn
Characters:

Roman - Death Row Inmate, age 37 (Innocent)
Vincent – Auto-Mechanic, age 44 (Orphan)
EthanMurder Victim, age 17 (Destroyer)
F. McCullogh - Minister, Age 34 (Caregiver)
Agent Pollock - Head CIA Personnel, Age 57 (Lover)
Duncan White - Prison Warden, Age 51 (Ruler)
Mr. Black - Mountaineer, Age 67 (Magician)
••• 
   Vincent would come to terms with his brother’s murder after his assailant’s death sentence was carried out at the beginning of next month. The middle aged auto-mechanic had waited two decades for the execution date to arrive. Finding some closure in his life weighed heavy on his mind as he closed his downtown auto-shop. As Vincent walked to his car two C.I.A. agents greet him. Citing national security as their cause for speed and secrecy, the agents escort Vincent into an unmarked car and whisk him to a private jet where he is immediately flown to a secure and undisclosed location.
   Inside the jet Vincent is introduced to Head C.I.A. personnel, Agent Pollock
   Vincents’ eyes blaze with fatigue and bewilderment as Agent Pollock presents the auto-mechanic with a snap-shot of his murdered teenage brother.
   “Do you recognize the person in the photograph?” said Agent Pollock.
   “It’s my dead brother Ethan and his friend Roman who killed him on a camping trip. Why do you show me this?”
   “But your brother’s body was never found?”
   “No. They never found his body. But his friend Roman got the death penalty for his murder. What’s this all about?”
   Agent Pollock tells Vincent that his brother might be alive and that his identity must be verified by a living relative before any questions can be answered. Vincent breaks into nervous laughter. Agent Pollock understands that laughter is the emotion that holds paradoxes together, but concrete proof was needed to help explain the unexplainable.
   Vincent is blind-folded as the Jet lands and he’s taken through a series of corridors in a top secret military base. Agent Pollock presses record on a surveillance camera, “It’s only going to take a few moments, just nod your head if it’s your brother.”
   The door opens and the two men enter a room. Agent Pollock removes the blindfold and Ethan, still only 17 years-old, sits in a chair mumbling in tongues, “Roman where are you?”
   Vincent is speechless as he approaches.
   “Is that your brother?” Agent Pollocks requests.
   Vincent walks to Ethan and places his hand on his shoulder. Vincent turns to Agent Pollock, “Yes, it’s him, but how?”
    “Are you Roman?” Ethan asks in a haunting voice.
   “No. It’s Vincent. Your brother, don’t you recognize me?”
   “Do you know where Roman is?”
   “Yes, he’s...”
    Ethan trembles and shakes as a BEAM of energy bursts from his mouth and blasts Vincent to the floor.
   Vincent quickly reawakens in a trance and repeats, “Roman, where are you?”
   The 17-year old Ethan snaps out of the trance that was holding him and for the first time since his abduction he is in control of his own consciousness. Ethan falls on his hands and knees with a blood curdling scream. Meanwhile Vincent slides around on the floor as if possessed by another power.
   Vincent opens his mouth and a second BEAM of energy shoots out and returns to Ethan.
    Ethan’s eyes glaze as his trans-like state returns.
   Vincent shakes uncontrollably and begins to ramble like a child. He says that he’s seen an alien world and that his brother Ethan is being used as a living place holder for an alien invasion from another dimension.
   Agent Pollock orders the reunited brothers to be quarantined. While reviewing the case files Agent Pollock runs across an envelope marked “Top Secret” and pulls out a photo of Ethan being sucked into a glowing ball of light.
   Agent Pollock reviews the video tape of the meeting between the brothers and just as Vincent hugs Ethan the tape goes blank. Agent Pollock acknowledges that it’s a high stakes conundrum where dangerous unforeseen consequences present itself with every option entertained.   
   To admit that Ethan was actually abducted and has returned un-aged would spread world wide panic and crash religious & financial institutions. But it could lead to a discovery of an alien species and help prepare the planet for a possible attack.
   To ignore Ethan’s existence in the name of national security was to keep an innocent man on death-row while flirting with an unknown force that could destroy the world.
   Agent Pollock and the experts deliberated for hours on what the next steps should be. A thought occurs to Agent Pollock, “What do you do when unimpeachable authorities have opposing points of view?” It seems the only thing the experts could agree on was that the investigation must remain a well contained secret with-in the walls of the C.I.A.
   Agent Pollock reads the background file:

   A 17 year-old boy named Ethan was murdered twenty years-ago during a camping trip. Police reports state that a mountaineer, Mr. Black, heard a scream in the woods and went to help. He found a young man named Roman wandering the woods naked covered in blood.
   The police formed a search party and canvased the woods, but Ethan’s body was never found. The boy was believed to be buried in an unmarked grave somewhere in the area. But heavy snow fall thwarted the search efforts.
   When winter passed and the snow thawed, the search party was renewed but all that was found of Ethan was his blood soaked clothes scattered amongst the tree tops.
  The trial was set in Ohio in 1976, the same year the death penalty was reinstated. After a lengthy trial for Ethan’s murder his friend Roman, 18 years-old at the time, was tried as an adult.
   Testimonial from the mountaineer D. Black stated that a heated argument between the two teens ended in a blood cuddling scream. That in conjunction with blood soaked clothes found amongst the tree tops and Roman found in the woods covered in blood, proved to be enough evidence to win a conviction. Roman was sentenced to death by electrocution because the judicial climate of 1976 made it easy to do so. It was reasoned away by the jurors that a heavy wind, during a snow storm, must have blown Ethan’s blood soaked clothes to the tree tops.
  Proponents said Roman was mentally ill and should not be executed because he was an atheist and believed that an alien had abducted Ethan and carried him away. During the trial Roman said that he had used his camera and had taken a photo of Ethan during the abduction but the police took his camera away.   
   The police reports did show that a camera was confiscated but it turned up as missing evidence during the trial. The one part of Roman’s story that the jurors could never reason away was that Ethan’s blood soaked clothes were slightly radio active.
•••
   Roman’s sentence was death by the electric chair but Agent Pollock had wished it was lethal injection. It would be easy to fake Roman’s execution by using an anesthesia to trick the eye witnesses and have the reunion in secret. But Roman being strapped to an electric chair with thousands of volts as the conduit to end ones life could not be faked.
   The meeting would have to happen before the execution as soon as possible. The CIA would have to take its chances on Roman ranting that Ethan has returned as the insane ramblings of a death row killer that’s about to die for his crime. The C.I.A. would attempt to record the BEAM phenomena with a spectrum analyzer to gain a better understanding of the situation. Convincing the Warden to agree to the meeting required a phone call from the Secretary of State. Agent Pollock simply picked up his phone and with-in twenty minutes the Secretary of State was on the other end.
   The Warden compiled with the request but made a note that it would be difficult to conduct the meeting without the prison Minister taking notice. Agent Pollock convinced the Warden that secrecy was needed and recommended that the Minister go on vacation.
   It was reasoned that the reunion should take place while people were away so Thanksgiving was set as the reunion day. The CIA moved quickly as they outfitted a basement room where the two would be reunited. The CIA placed a spectrum analyzer camera, with radiation proof housing, inside the room to record the meeting.
•••
   While on death row Roman became solemn as he came to terms with his life. His Minister believed Roman to suffer from autism and snapped in an animal rage killing his friend and inventing the alien abduction as a way to reconcile the horrible deeds in his mind.  
   Roman confessed to his Minister that he had a dream, that Ethan had returned to the area where he disappeared. Roman pleads with the Minister to go to the area and look for himself.
   The Warden seemed nervous as he asked the Minister to take a vacation, “Even a Shepard of the lord needs time with family,” was his justification. As the Minister leaves the prison for a conveniently timed vacation, he notices workmen outfitting the prison basement. His mind is concerned about other matters and thinks nothing of it.
   While on holiday the Minister begins to have nightmares and decides to visit the alleged abduction site the day after Thanksgiving.
   At the alleged abduction site the Priest runs into
D. Black, a mountaineer that gave testimonial against Roman twenty years ago. He says he remembers the screams, but they never found a body.
   The mountaineer mentions that he’s not the only one to pay a visit recently as he describes campers that have been galavancing around the area with Geiger counters.
   The Mountaineer takes out his Geiger counter from his closet and takes the Minister to the area of interest. The Geiger counter needle jumps wildly revealing that the ground is radio active.
   “Has it always been like this?” The Minister asked.
   “No.” The Mountaineer says solemnly.
The two wait until night fall and notice that the ground has a soft orange glow.
•••
   That same day the Warden lets the CIA take Ethan to see Roman. As before, as soon as Roman hugs Ethan the BEAM transference happens and Ethan is whisked away. The camera outfitted with a spectrum analyser records the phenomena and Roman is left alone rambling in a trance like state.
   The Minister returns and visits Roman. He is shocked to hear him speaking in tongues. The Minister records the chants with an audio recorder, a warning for the unknown and unknowable.
•••
    Weeks later, on a windy day, Roman is executed. All the lights go out as the kill switch is pulled. The Guards point their flash lights in the direction of the electric chair but Roman’s body has vanished. All that remains of him are smoldering blood soaked clothes. The voltage used from the electric chair caused a black-out that took the shape of a lopsided triangle that covered a three mile radius.
•••
   Months later the Minister continues to examine the recordings of Roman speaking in tongues. They seem to be from the ancient Vedic Tradition. At temple the Minister assembles a group of holy men to translate the recorded tongues. The consensus of the holy men reveal that the chants are a mantra: loosely translated it means Infinity, Sun, Earth, Invade...
•••
   ...At the same time, the wind picks up around the prison as the ground begins to take on a soft orange glow. A pattern of a lopsided triangle covering a radius of three miles can be seen from the heavens. This pattern is the inverse of an arriving warship from another dimension making its final approach to land.

The End
  

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