Taurian Invasion 9: Somewhere classified under the White House.


John Norman stood uncomfortably beside the Secret Service agent. He had been lead through numerous underground halls and passageways and hoped he was on the final elevator ride to his destination. He fished for his note cards in his pocket for the tenth time, but they had been confiscated at one of the first checkpoints and therefore were still not there. He was visibly pale and sweating when he was ushered into the room with the President.

The President stood and offered his hand. “What have you got for me son?”

Mr. Norman swallowed and tried to keep his voice from cracking, “We have aliens, sir. I know how silly it sounds, sir, but I didn’t have the evidence to back it up, I wouldn’t be here.”

“If anyone thought that this was a joke, you wouldn’t have gotten anywhere near this room, son. “He indicated that Mr. Norman should take a seat and the agents left the room. “The US Government has collected a lot of oddities over the years and some of them are believed to be alien in origin. Those things have ended up here

“The truth is I’ve already heard most of what you were going to tell me from Colonel Mather.”The president tapped a familiar looking set of note-cards on the mahogany table in front of him, “OK, now that that’s out of the way, the real reason you’re here is to give you access to this archive. The law says that I have to personally brief you and let you in myself. Welcome to the US Unknown Archive.” He opened what looked like a closet door that lead to a room about the same size as the meeting room filled with unimpressive metal racks full of file boxes. “Not exactly as awe inspiring as the movies. You’ll have to pardon the dust as the cleaning staff isn’t exactly allowed in here. This stuff has been collected from around the world and for the most part seems to be trash left by alien expeditions.”

“What about the Area 51 stuff like ships and bodies and such?”

“If they exist, their too classified for even the President of the United States to know about. The only thing we have is Al here,” patting an antique steamer trunk. He opened it to reveal a jumble of bones and a file folder that he took out. “He was found in a grave in Colorado with a few alien artifacts back in 1918. His clothes are in one of these boxes somewhere.” He handed him a drawing from the folder. “This is their best guess as to what he looked like back in the 1850’s when he was still alive.”

The paper was starting to yellow with age, so he took it carefully, “He looks kind of like Bigfoot.”

“Yes, that’s what all the experts say. They also agree that he’s not human, and that he and his equipment isn’t from Earth. After that they can’t agree on anything about him.”

“So what do you want me to do sir? I’m an analyst. This type of thing is way outside my field of expertise.”

“I know what you mean. I’m a politician and an old soldier, not a scientist and I need you advice on who would be the expert on this type of thing. If they’re really here, I need to turn this over to someone who might be able to make sense of it. Some of these things have been analyzed dozens of times over the years, but nothing useful has ever come out of this junk pile.”

“I’ve heard the rumors that we have been copying alien technology.”

“Well if we are it isn’t from this stuff. Actually, most of the stuff is so broken up that no one has ever been able to tell what it did, much less how it worked. I need someone who is not only trustworthy, but who might be able to make sense out of this stuff and any other alien stuff we might come across.”

“Sir, I might just have your man.”

* * *

“Don, would you quit fidgeting or I’ll never get your tie straight.”

“My dear Angelia, I have an appointment to see the President. I’m sure he has more important things to discuss that how straight my tie is.”

“It always amazes me how you can be the smartest and the dumbest man I know at the same time. I know it doesn’t make sense to you, but you need to trust me that first impressions are very, very important. Everything you know or do can be permanently degraded or made worthless by a bad first impression.”

“I shall defer to your wisdom, my dear. I don’t understand why it works the way you say it does, but it hasn’t failed us yet.”

“I simply open doors and make sure they don’t get slammed in our faces. Without the solid strength of your skills and knowledge, my ability to read people wasn’t getting me much of anywhere.”

“Yes, and I lost contract after contract due to the constant mis-communications. I really can’t see all that much difference in how things are run, but the results are unmistakable. I’m still afraid that I’m going to wake up one day and find it has all been a dream.”

“If it was a dream, my feet wouldn’t hurt this much.”

“I still don’t see how comfortable footwear would have made a bad impression, but you’re the expert.” She smacked him on the arm, “Ow, what was that for?”

“That was for being right.” She sighed and turned to the escorting agent, “Would it be a breach of national security if you told me how much further it was?”

“I’m afraid so ma’am.”

* * *

“Mr. President, I would like to introduce Mr. Donald Ray and Mrs. Angelia Howard; Directors and chief motivating force behind Prometheus Corporation. They were the ones who sent out the videos of the aliens.”

“Good to meet you … haven’t we met before?”

“Yes sir. We met at the battlesuit trials two years ago.”

“Ah yes. Yours were the only ones that didn’t fall over. Didn’t you get that contract?”

“The Army and Marines have already taken delivery of over 3500 of our Groundpounder battlesuits and are snapping them up nearly as fast as we can make them, although, I don’t think that is why you called us here.”

“You’re right. I want your professional opinion on the object in the box that Mr. Norman has.”

Mr. Ray (better known as the Director) took the box and took out the object inside. It was ten inches long, black, and oval curved into a half-moon like a shell with a straight cylinder that was fused through the center of it. He peered intently while running his fingers delicately over the surface. Before anyone could react, he pulled a multi-tool from his pocket and popped open the shell to reveal the inner workings of the device. He opened a fine blade and lightly traced a number of fine lines that had been revealed for a few moments before he gently set the two halves back into the box. “It’s a cell or satellite phone of some sort, but I’ve never seen any components manufactured this way before.”

“You’re sure?”

“All the necessary components are there. There is a microphone at one end and a speaker at the other. The entire case is an antenna and there is what looks to be a power cell at the base. The stack of wafers in the center is connected to fine wire traces like a circuit board. The only thing I don’t see is any kind of controls or display.”

“Where do you think it comes from?”

“That’s is much harder to say. I’ve never seen any components that are even vaguely like this, even in the alien mechanism we captured. In both cases, its like someone went back and reinvented everything from scratch, but they don’t seem to be handmade. Who would go through the trouble of making the machines to make such a device and not make lots of them or use standard components? I’m not familiar with what the case is made of. It’s obviously very durable, and would have to be conductive to act as an antenna, but it’s not coated metal. I see some plastic spacers here, but they seem to be incredibly brittle. Do you know how old it is?”

“It’s at least 150 years old and might be as much as 200 or more years old.”

“Then the only possibilities are alien in origin but not the same aliens as we are dealing with.”

“Other experts have come to the same conclusion about it’s origin, but you’re the first one to say with any conviction what it does.”

“Then I would expect it to be from a race whose ears are further from their mouth than ours are. It’s too long for a human to use comfortably.”

“How long would it take you to find out something useful from things like this?”

“That would depend entirely on what you meant by useful. It would only take a week or so for us to figure out what frequencies and protocols this device used. Within a month or two we could create devices that listen in those ranges and a month or so after that, we could upgrade our current equipment to have that capacity integrated.”

“So does any of this have any military application?”

“As much as a cell phone or radio does. This isn’t a particularly sophisticated device, but it is a precision one.”

“What do you mean?”

“It obviously would take a lot of technology and precision to make such a device, but it doesn’t do much. I can’t even see a way of turning it off without taking the battery out. It just seems to be an open two way radio with no controls of any kind. I have to conclude that it has been deliberately simplified so that it can have only one possible function. Why make such an inflexible device? Very curious.”

“Can you get anything useful out of studying this?”

Angelia gently captured the Director’s free hand to capture his attention, “I think he’s asking if studying this could make our military stronger. Is that your question Mr. President?”

“In a nutshell, Yes.”

“Then the answer is no. There is nothing that I couldn’t do as efficiently or better with standard materials.”

“Let me ask the same question with a different twist. Is there anything you see in this device that our military should be afraid of?”

“No, for many of the same reasons. I don’t see anything here we can’t do and do better. The only thing I see that has any military significance has little to do with the device itself, but it is has enormous military implications.”

“And what would that be?”

“The fact that this device came to be on Earth in the first place that long ago.”

* * *

“OK Donald, spill it. You haven’t said a word since the President agreed the aliens were here and gave you a roomful of new toys. When you get a new toy I usually can’t get you to shut up.”

“I need to rethink the whole economic and social framework of the world before I can make the necessary adjustments to make this all make sense.”

“And. . .”

“My mind is just racing in circles. This changes literally everything and it is overwhelming my thoughts.”

“Do people still need to eat and sleep?”

“Well, yes.”

“Do they still have the same needs and wants?”

“Of course.”

“Then the most important things haven’t changed at all.”

“My dear, that was beautiful and completely irrelevant.”

“Is your mind still racing.”

“No.”

“Then it worked perfectly. Now, what do we need to do about these aliens?”

“That is the problem. There are more thing that need doing than I can count.”

“Then what needs doing first?”

“We have to tell people that the aliens are here.”

“I thought we had already done that.”

“No, we told the governments. Telling the general population is a whole different ball game. It has to be said in a way that they do not panic, but they do not simply dismiss us as lunatics. It has to seem like enough of a threat that they are willing to change, but are not so scared that they willing to give up. Beyond that, the message will need to be tailored to nearly every single group in a different way to try to get them to react in some sort of unified way!”

She smiled in triumph, “Well that gives us something concrete to work on, doesn’t it.”

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One thought on “Taurian Invasion 9: Somewhere classified under the White House.

  1. The US Unknown Archive is one of my favorite creations. Its full of things that make you go hmm. Another thing in there is a pan made in 1956 that was found in 1922.

    Scincerely, Scintor

    Like

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