New Story

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New Story

Postby Murray » Sat Mar 24, 2007 8:55 pm

The first part of a story I've been working on and off.

*****

Conspiracy Within Conspiracies



The scientist opened the door, which had a large glass window, and left the building. Nearby

it and two other structures was a sign that read "NASA Research Facility." The dark-haired

man with spectacles was still in his white coat as he walked down the sidewalk to his car,

briefcase in hand. It had been a long day, and he was a bit tired.

He was just about to get to his car when he noticed a woman walking up to him. Somewhat tall,

she looked somewhat thin, and was dressed in a dark gray business suit, wearing sunglasses,

and had her dark hair in a bun. "Excuse me, Dr. Fall?"

The scientist turned, "Hello Ma'am. Can I help you?"

"Yes, I heard about your questions about the recent findings on the Venus probe."

The scientist pondered for a moment, "I haven't discussed them with many. Where did you hear

about them?"

The scientist then heard something behind him, then turned. While he had been talking with

the woman, two men had walked up to several feet of him. They wore black business suits and

sunglasses, with serious stonefaced expressions.

"Don't try anything," he heard the woman say, "You're coming with us." He felt her grab him

by the wrist, and glancing at her saw a stungun in her other hand. Before he knew it, he was

quickly escorted to a black van, and made to go in the back where the woman and one of the

men joined him. The second man started the van, and drove off. The first yanked his

briefcase, and began ruffling through it.

Begining to overcome his shock, the scientist finaly spoke up, "What is the meaning of this?

Who are you?"

"Who we are," the woman spoke in a stern tone, "is not your concern. The meaning of our

apperance, that has to do with your reckless behavior."

"What are you talking about?"

The woman gave a brief hint of a smirk, and her voice lightened a little, "Now really,

considering how our conversation started, you should know." She then once again frowned and

her cold voice returned, "Were you not warned by your superiors not to disclose the Venus

probe's findings?"

"Is that what this is about?" The scientist looked nervous, "I, I had no plans to release to

information to the press."

"Correction, you gave up your plans to inform the press of the Venus probe findings only

after your superiors threatened to fire and blacklist you. But neverless you still told a few

unauthorized personel about the findings."

"They, they were highly qualified scienists." The man was starting to sweat.

"No authorization means no authorization, none for them to hear, and none for you to speak."

The woman leaned forward a little, "Thanks to you, your friends are going to find themselves

under survelience."

"Some were overseas. If you're with the FBI, you have no authority over them."

"We are not with the FBI, and we have our ways of getting what we want." The woman's face

turned into a slight scowl, "As for you, we could do a number of things. If we so desired,

you could disappear for a while, or perhaps permanently."

"You can't do that!" The scientist was perspiring, "The police will track you down!"

"We have ways of dealing with the police."

"P-people will talk. My disappearance will not go unnoticed."

"Perhaps not, but people do vanish every day, only to turn up later as the apparent victims

of random murders, accidents, amnesia, including cases so severe they forget even how to walk

and talk."

The scientist took a hankerchief to wipe the sweat off his brow, perspiring more than ever.

The first of the woman's stonefaced male assistants then closed the briefcase, some folders

and papers sticking out, "Nothing in here."

Stillf facing the scientist, the woman than leaned back, her tone briefly becoming somewhat

softer, "Fortunetly for you, that would take effort. Effort that may not be worth it, and you

may prove useful," her scowl returned, "provided you do not discuss the probe's findings

outside your facility!"

"Y-yes Ma'am." The scientist nervously answered.

The woman then looked toward the front seat, "Driver, return to pickup."

The car then slowed, then began to turn around. The scientist breathed a sigh of relief.

"Do not think you have gotten away with this," the woman's scowl turned worse than ever, "If

we so as much suspect you have leaked as much as a word of Venus to anyone outside your

facility, or this conversation to anyone, you and your family will be going away for a very

long time."

"What?! Wh-what has my family to do with this?! Leave them out."

"No we will not. Dr. Fall, thanks to you, we are going to keep a very close eye on them. And

don't think that sending them overseas will protect them. In fact, that may make our job

easier."

"They have done nothing. L-leave them alone."

"Only as long as you keep quiet. If you do not, we have many ways to make their lives, very

uncomfortable. Would you like to hear them Dr. Fall?"

*****

Less than a minute later, the black van drove back into the facility's parking lot. The door

opened, and the scientist stumbled out. The briefcase was tossed back out, opening up upon

inpact and spilling it's papers and folders. Then van door closed, and the vehicle began to

roll away.

For a moment, the scientist stood there, quivering and shaking with fear. Then he nervously

rushed to his briefcase and quickly began gathering up the papers just as the wind began to

blow some off.

From the same door the scientist had exited earlier, a shape was behind the window. When the

black van was a distance away, the figure stepped out. A younger scientist dressed the same

as Fall, but a little taller and with brown hair. Looking concerned, he began walking over.

Dr. Fall was rushing after the last paper, being carried away from him by the wind, when the

second scientist stoped it by stepping on it with his shoe.

"Wha- oh, (whew), thank you." the older scientist was still sweating and shaking. He quickly

took the paper and stuffed it into the briefcase without bothering to look for it's folder.

"Dr. Fall, are you all right?" the younger man asked.

"I- I'm fine, never better." The older man's tone made it obvious this wasn't the case.

"Are you sure? I saw that black van driving away. Did it almost hit you or something."

"No-no. I need to go now, Mr. Kline. I'll see you tomorrow." And the older scientist quickly

walked away back to his car.

The younger man watched as his collegue fumbled over his car keys, dropping them at one

point. He eventually got in, hastily started the engine, and practicaly tore out of the

parking lot. Kline watched as he sped off, continued to look that way for about a minute,

then stepped back inside.

*****

Back at the van, the woman grumbled a little about the scientist, "How someone could be so

inteligent yet so foolish - " Her sentence was never finished as it was interputed by her

cellular phone. She took it and answered, "Hello?"

"Madam Director," spoke the other end, "you're needed back at the office."

"Very well, I will be returning."

*****

The car drove to behind a building that looked ordinary on the outside, with the front

displaying the sign for a travel agency. But it was for a totaly different purpose.

Going inside, the woman dismissed the two men with her, then walked down a hall. She was soon

approached by a third man, also dressed in a dark suit, but slimmer and with his black hair

begining to turn gray.

"That scientist shouldn't be giving us any more trouble," she told him, still walking, "I

assume, Miller, that this is more than just another trying to spill classified information."

"No Diana," he explained, walking with her, "This has to do with our European counterparts."

Diana snorted, "So their softheartedness has gotten them in trouble once again and they want

us to help them clean up their mess."

"Not exactly. As far as we know, this has nothing to do with someone attempting to inform the

public. It appears they have lost some artiacts."

"Alien devices?" Diana turned to Miller, "Did they specify?"

"No. As we had a meeting with them scheduled to discuss inter-agency strategy, and they

consider the lost arifacts a 'moderate risk,' the person going will be briefed over there."

"How anyone could consider alien technology that could be potentialy taken by anyone as

'moderate risk,' " she paused, "I better handle this myself."

"They also informed Canada, so they will be sending a represenative as well."

"Is it Pierre DuPree again? I have the worst time trying to understand his accent."

"Not exactly. He is one of the transfers who left us a few years ago and joined them. Miller

stoped at a door and began reaching for the handle.

"One of ... as long as it's not - "

Miller opened the door. Inside was a meeting room with a table and chairs. Sitting in one was

a man dressed up in a stereotypical reporter's outfit, frumpled trenchcoat and hat. He looked

thin, and the black hair the hat didn't cover looked like he was a week or two past a

haircut.

The man looked at the pair and grinned, "Diana. Long time no see."

"Sebastian Wolfe." Diana almost groaned.

*****

Diana recalled the moment she first saw him. It was nearly a decade before when she was a new

agent. The director at the time was a Mr. Gimmels, an older, white-haired man with a wrinked

face whom stood half a head taller than her. He had gone to talk to Wolfe personaly, and took

her as an escort and to help keep an eye out to make sure no one else would hear.

They met on an empty street just outside his college campus. At the time Sebastian Wolf was a

journalism student on campus, looking not much different than most others, although he wore

slacks instead of jeans and had no sneakers. She thought he would intimidate him into

silence, but he had different ideas. At first, Sebastian answered evasively. But Gimmels,

without raising his voice or showing the least bit of anger, eventualy delfated his

arguments.

"How did you know I knew?" the youth asked.

"Oh, we have our ways." Gimmel answered, "We also noticed you could have tried to tell the

press after you first found out, but didn't."

"I, I wanted to know exactly what I was getting into, if releasing the information would do

more harm than good."

Gimmel smiled, "Smart lad."

"I'm still a little unsure. This 'Agency' of yours, by whatever of the several names you've

been calling it, was created in the late 1940's. Why hasn't there been some attempt to

gradualy let the public know? I can see why not just after World War Two, but why not now?"

"There has been some, internal debate, about that question. And no, we don't belive that 'a

person is smart, people are dumb.' But I belive even you admit there is a significant

minority of the populace who would not take the news very well."

"But eventualy they will find out."

"Perhaps, but for now, we should, how did that one actor say it, 'let those still caught in

the past have the time to catch up to the present.' Eventualy, we will tell the public, but

for now, those who would react badly need time to adjust."

Sebastian thought for a moment, "But you will tell, eventually?"

"Yes."

Sebastian thought a little more, then spoke again, "Okay. I see your point. I'll keep it

under wraps."

Gimmel smiled, "Good. Now I'd like to make you an offer. How would you like to join us?"

Both Sebastian and Diana started at him, dumbstruct. "What?!" Sebastian blurted.

"We do recruit most of our agents from the military, police, and government enforcement. But

not all of them. We also have need of scientists, researchers, and others. Coming across you,

it seems you are pretty skilled at finding things out. We could use someone of your talents."

"M-me, an agent?" Sebastian was still in surpurise by the offer, "What, do I have to do?"

"Doing what you do best mostly, gathering information."

Sebastian thought some more, "It doesn't involve, having to hurt someone who doesn't

cooperate, does it? I mean, I didn't come across anything that suggested you did, but - "

"But us being something like from the 'Men in Black' movies? I assure you that our policy is

to stay within the letter and spirit of the law as long as we can, and we have more subtle

and ethical means of dealing with those who would carelessly release information that would

cause panic. Yes, there have been a few circumstances in which we had to end a life, but

those involve cases of terrorism or suicide cults that we come across. To do otherwise, well,

I doubt someone like you could be persuaded to stay quiet."

Sebastian thought some more, "All right."

Gimmel smiled again, "Excellent." He extended his hand, and Sebastian did the same, and they

shook hands.

"What do I have to do now?"

"For now, go about as before. We will send someone to contact you later. After your

graduation in a few months, your real training will begin."

"This, this is still pretty big. I never thought ... "

"Don't worry about it." He checked his watch, "I believe you have a class shortly."

"Oh yeah, thanks. Be seeing you." Sebastian gave a quick wave and rushed off.

After the youth trotted off, Diania gave Gimmel a look, "Director, I'm not sure if that was a

good idea."

"Mister Wolfe is not without flaws, but his phsychological profile showed he will be a

trustworthy and reliable agent."

"Reliable? I find it hard to believe that twerp will be much help."

"He may require a little training to make sure he aims for the vitals should he ever find

himself fired upon. Fortunetly," he gave Diana a slight glance, "there are plenty of agents

in the Company he could be paired with on missions who have no problems with that."

"If that was a reference to me, I do not find it amusing."

Gimmel gave a slight smirk, "If I didn't try to find some humor in this job, I would have

burned out a long time ago."

*****

Some months later, Diana was walking down the hall of the station until she came to a door

and entered. It was to Gimmel's office.

"Ah, Agent Sorrel. Good to see you could come in on such short notice."

"I am not one of those agents who whines about having to do a number of missions in a short

period of time, Sir," Diana answered.

"Of course. This mission is medium priority. Your partner is fairly new as an agent, but his

previous efforts show he's ready for work beyond the easy assignments."

"A new agent? What do I need to know about him?"

"Oh, you know him from a few months ago. He shouldn't be much longer." It was then the door

opened again, and after taking a moment to look over the man, "Ah, there he is now."

Diana looked over the newcomer. He was a somewhat thin young man in his 20's with black hair

that she thought needed a haircut. That is once she saw it past the hat he was wearing, as

well as the frumbled trenchcoat. He seemed to be in a happy mood, smiling.

Diana's eyes narrowed a bit, thinking, This goof is an agent? "And you are?"

"Sebastian Wolfe, at your service," the new agent smiled.

"Wolfe? Oh, the student from the college."

"Yep, graduated, took a crash course in 'Agency Inteligence 101,' and here I am." He looked

her over, "Nice to see you again."

"Agent Wolfe is an inteligence specialist," Gibbal informed her, "and considering the results

of his last mission, he should be ideal for the one you will both be taking."

Diana did not look too happy, "So my job is to baby-sit this neophyte?"

"Not entirely. You will be assuming the identity of an FBI agent looking into information on

cult activity. Agent Wolfe, he will be acting as a freelance journalist for the 'Weekly UFO

News.' "

"Acting?" Sebastian gave a smirk, "I thought I really was."

Diana gave him a look, "Explain, please."

"Since my degree was in Journalism, the guys here at the Agency and I had a talk, and decided

to put it to use by getting a 'cover job' as an independent reporter. They insisted it be for

a tabloid, though."

"I believe we explained why." Gibbal reminded him, his tone taking on a touch of seriousness.

"Yes sir, I know," Sebastian's smile faded a bit, "the best place for me to discredit those

who can't keep their mouths shut."

Diana looked at Seb icily, then at Gimmel, "Do you mind if we talk alone for a moment?"

"Very well," he looked at Seb.

"Okay, I'll be outside the door." Sebastian then exited the room.

Diana then turned back to Gimmel, "Are you crazy? A *reporter* of all things in our ranks?"

"I admit it is unorthodox, but forgein national inteligence groups have tried it before with

promising results."

"We are not just any inteligence agancy."

"True. His personality profile was promising. Still, there is that small chance that we

missed something, or perhaps his tolerance for 'lesser evils' may not be what we thought.

That's why our 'probationary period' will be slightly longer for him than we let on. One

reason he was steered to working for a tabloid agency instead of something more reputable, it

would be easier to discredit him should he try anything."

"Then why not keep him on missions of low priority."

"This will be his first real test. That is why I'm assigning you to him. Part of your duties

inolve keeping an eye on him, making sure he is what he seems to us."

Diana pondered, "In a way, I almost wish he was not. He acts more like a schoolboy than an

agent."

Gimmel gave a slight smile, "And the witnesses he will be talking to will see him as nothing

more. That's one reason he's on the mission, most people let their guard down around him."

"Including yourself?"

"I didn't get where I am on senority alone."

Diana thought for a little more, then spoke again, "All right, but if I find him about to

make an all points bulliten to a more reputable news organization, the next news story with

his name will be his obituary."

"Just try to bring him in alive." He then presses a button on his desk, and the door opened,

"Agent Wolfe, please come inside."

And Sebastian did, "No trouble I hope."

"Of course not, Agent Wolfe." Gimmel then got two folders from his desk, and handed them to

the two agents, "Now, your assignment involves the two of you going to ... "

*****

This would be the start of the first of the missions Sebastian and Diana went on together.

The pair were truly a contrast with her professional-looking dark business suit and his

frumbled trenchcoat and hat. His manner was a contrast as well, cracking jokes and puns.

Many, including Director Gimmel, liked working with him. Diana, whom he often ended up

getting paired with did not.

"You seem to have trouble with him," another more professional-minded male agent asked her.

"Trouble is the word for it, Agent Miller." She answered, "Half the time, he doesn't seem to

take his work seriously. His jokes about 'Men in Black,' and humming the tunes of campy spy

movies ... " she sighed.

"Have you not spoken to the Director about him. Your performance here has made you one of the

higher-rated agents in this division of the Agency."

"Yes. Sometimes he'll grant my request for another agent, but a few times he insists on

pairing us together. Despite his annoyances, somehow he manages to get results." She paused,

"However, he can't keep up his streak of luck for long. One way or another, his

unprofessional manner will catch up to him, and I'll have him regulated to low-level

missions."

"Speaking of which, have you heard some of the rumors about the missions? That we are getting

a few more related to extraterrestrial activity that are not leading to dead ends?"

Diana scowled, "I have. We need to be concentrating on those, and those leading to cults and

nut cases wanting to blow up a building turned over to the FBI to finish. And when we finaly

did come across aliens, Director Gimmel ordered us to just watch them! Just watch when they

were planning who-knows-what! Before we were ready to make a move, they were gone."

"Ah yes, the new race that was discovered."

"They haven't been linked to any experements, that may be true. But some abduction cases have

their pawprints on them. And if they're not allied to the 'bugs,' how could they be here

without their consent?"

"These armidillo-like ones haven't been seen together with the 'Bug-Eyed-Aliens.' But true,

considering the circumstances, there are many in this Agency chapter and others who feel we

need to be more agressive in capturing one for questioning."

Diana looked Miller's way, "And what is your position?"

"If you have to ask, Agent Sorrel, I also feel we need to be more agressive. Gimmel seems

afraid of making too many enemies, but I fear our restraint is only inviting more trouble."

"And as long as he's Director ... " Diana looked away, grumbling a bit under her breath.

"Perhaps something can be done about that."

*****

As time went on, Diana, Miller, and others worked behind the scenes. More and more evidence

of UFO activity, and even of alien actvity on the ground caused further doubt of whether

Gimmel's policy was too passive. Then came evidence of terraforming on Venus. There were

stories of the Directors in the Company arguing over whether to take a harder stand. Gimmel

was clearly one of those who advocate asking questions first and shooting later.

Finaly came the day that started innocently enough, Seb showing up with the usual grin on his

face. Coming to the Director's office, he saw a few furnishings being moved out. Gimmel was

nowhere to be found. Seeing Diana nearby, he went to her and asked what was going on.

"Mister Gimmel is no longer with us," Diana told him.

"What happened?"

"The Directors had a conference yesterday, which I'll be explaining later. He was one of

several who were encouraged to take 'early retirement.' "

"That you'll be explaining?" Seb thought for a moment, "So you got the job."

"I have."

Seb smiled, "Well, congratulations."

Diana gave Sebastian a smile that looked predatory,"Don't be so quick to celebrate, Mister

Wolfe. You may find not all the changes will be to your liking."

Seb's grin faded, "I'm not sure what you mean."

"I'll be calling a meeting. Be at the main conference room in forty minutes. In the meantime,

I believe you have things to get to."

"Of course," Seb smiled, as if he didn't see anything wrong, "See you then."

*****

Forty minutes later, Sebastian Wolfe was among the other agents of this particular station,

save those on current assignments, in the meeting room. It consisted of a few tables with a

lot of chairs around it, where the few dozen agents sat. Not every single agent wore dark

blue business suits, though with his reporter's garb he stood out like a sore thumb, as

usual. Some chatted a little about Gimmel's abscence, and what it would mean, but even those

who talked were guarded, not trully feeling free to speak. Seb was among those who seemed the

most free, "Oh, I'm sure everything will be fine."

Finaly, Diana entered the room. After going to the head of the table, "Good Day everyone,"

she greeted everyone in a flat tone, "By now, most of you have heard about our former

Director's retirement. I am the one in charge now."

"When Director Gimmel came to be in charge of this particular station of The Agency, it was a

fairly relaxed time. The reports of UFOs were relatively few and most turned out to be

military experements. He saw no reason for alarm, and considering the evidence then, not many

others did at the time either."

"More recently, the reports of sightings have become more numerous and suspicious. Reports of

people being abducted are growing, and old ones getting a second look show more reason to be

taken seriously. Then there is the evidence of, experements." Diana's expression tightened a

little, a bit of anger creeping into her voice.

She then cleared her throat and resumed, "Finally, we have these reports coming from Venus.

NASA and Russian probes show temperatures are dropping, and the atmosphere is showing less

carbon dioxide and more Nitrogen and oxygen: terraforming. Then there were the images of a

structure of some kind."

"These aliens are clearly building a base, and considering the earlier evidence, we can only

conclude only that they are hostile and have long-terms plan here."

"Gimmel was slow to see this, even though other directors of the Agency tried to convince him

otherwise. Therefore, you are going to see some major changes in our tactics. There will be

no more coddling of witnesses who seek to share their knowledge with the public at large.

Those whom it has been determined have seen something genuine will be told in no uncertain

terms to cease and dessist, and take severe action against those who persist. This goes even

more for those involved in close encounters in which the aliens are more interested in

collaboration instead of experiments. Any potential tool of these aliens must be delt with

as soon as possible."

She glanced in Sebastian's direction, "And we must have a loyal and disclipined force. No

more questioning of or bending of orders."

Sebastian had been carefuly listening. It was now he broke his silence, "Was that intended

for me?"

"Agent Wolfe, to be honest I don't know what Director Gimmel saw in you. You're

undisclipined, over-individualistic, all too willing to coddle eyewitnesses, and unwilling to

see the intentions of the aliens as hostile."

"Di-, er," Sebastian corrected himself, "I guess it's Madam Director now, I believe the past

results of how I handle eyewitnesses speak for themselves. I never had the need to resort to

threats, only subterfuge. As for the aliens, there seems to be more than one race involved.

The experements seem linked to only the bug-eyed humanoids."

Diana's tone turned more irritable, "How you handled eyewitnesses depended far too much on

luck! Making their stories look wild in the tabloids may discredit them may have worked, but

with more and more sightings, more and more are listening and taking them seriously.

Therefore they must be silenced."

It was at this point another agent spoke up, "With all due respect Madam Director, we have

always tried to stay within the spirit of the law, if not the letter. To respect the rights

of indivuduals. Only in those rare occasions when we had to side-step legalities, such as

when we stumbled across that suicide cult, did we detain or terminate anyone without due

proccess of law."

"The law? The law is going to get us enslaved if we have to bind ourselves every time we face

these invaders!" Diana turned furious, "Being a member of the Agency carries great

responsibilities. If you cannot carry them out, you have no place here!"

"We *have* carried out our responsibilities," Sebasitan answered, "and never once have we

been asked to throw away our morals. We also have a responsibility to respect life and

liberty."

Diana fumed, "I am sick of your dribble, Mister Wolfe. You are dismissed from the Agency."

"Fine," Sebastian stood up, and headed to the door.

"Need I remind you the confidentiality agreement you signed should you ever resign or be

dismissed. And with our current situation, it will be enforced more strictly than ever. I

doubt you'll be able to find a job as a journalist outside those rags you've been working for

as cover, and one story that even hints of classifiable information, I'll have you detained

before the ink is dry!"

"Don't worry, I know where to go where I can still be doing what I've been doing, and with a

clean conscious." He looked back at the other agents, "I don't know how long this is going to

last, but if any of you have worries about doing your job and having to tell Saint Peter when

you finaly get to the pearly gates, it's time to either take an extended vacation or another

job in our field."

He then left the room.

*****

The following day, Diana was in her new office behind the desk, going over some paperwork

with Agent Miller nearby. "Blasted turncoats. Nearly a dozen agents turned in their

resignations in the past twenty-four hours. All that effort to train men with such

questionable loyalty."

It was this moment her intercom buzzer rang. Diana looked at the display screen for who it

was, "Hmm, wonder what our Records Department wants?" She pressed a button, "This is Director

Sorrel. What do you need?"

"Madam Director," a lady's voice spoke, "We have a request from the Meteorlogical

Investigations Patrol for some personel records."

"The Canadians? Who are they interested in?"

"They wanted the personel records of agents Robert Gates, Abigail Norman, and Sebastian

Wolfe."

Diana's expression took on a look of surpurise, "What?!"

"It seems some of our former agents decided to seek employment with one of our counterparts."

Miller commented.

Diana snorted, "Ironic how it used to be we were even softer than they on issues such as

'rights.' Now they're the ones who hold on to them now that we're faced with invasion."

"At least this way, those former agents will be of some use to us, albeit indirectly. And

they do depend on the Agency for donations of equipment, so we have the 'power of the purse'

as some call it. They cannot afford to annoy us, much."

Diana thought for a moment, "All right, send them some copies of the records of the agents in

question." She pressed another button, ending the call.

(to be continued)
Murray M. Lee
A Writer's Block
- Science Fiction stories, jokes, and art
USS Freedom
The Misadventures of the wackiest ship in Starfleet
Murray
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