FROM THE OFFICE OF [REDACTED]
Following the loss of agents [REDACTED], [REDACTED] and [REDACTED], in addition to Subject [REDACTED], in the course of field operations in [REDACTED], TX, Project [REDACTED] has been terminated, effective immediately. Findings of this investigation were largely inconclusive. This was to be expected, given the unconventional nature of its focus. The use of vanadiumdichroicmethylliminate (hereafter,VDML)to augment human perception, for the purpose of intelligence and reconnaissance, produced one notable conclusion. The discovery of an unforeseen side effect may merit further study.
The application of VDML, in the presence of certain High Energy Events (see appendix B), intensifies its effects in vastly potent and unpredictable ways. Subjects reported experiences characterized as “leaving the body”, “spiritual transport (space and time)”, “amplification of existing parapsychological traits: telekinesis, precognition, etc.” The nature and extent of these aberrations is difficult to quantify.
In the interest of producing repeatable results, Subject [REDACTED] was placed aboard the submarine USS [REDACTED], and tested in proximity to the nuclear engines. Subject demonstrated markedly different reactions from earlier tests in a “neutral” setting, including alleged contact with a “boy from the future” who the Subject believed was using VDML, or similar substance, in his respective temporal coordinate.
Potential use of VDML, perhaps in combination with a controllable external energy source, as a means of covert communication or surveillance, is recommended for future investigation, at such time as availability and safety of sufficient energy sources allows.
Portillo, TX – Present
A stranger joined a small group of blue-clad workers filing into the Air Today employee entrance.RJ passed through the gate, unnoticed. He proceeded toward the center of the great facility, passing the ammonia cracker, the evaporation tower. He stopped at the base of a flare stack, gazing at the flame, like an embryo of the inferno he was about to unloose screaming in the Portillo sky. He turned at a battery of boilers and walked on beyond a reaction vessel that looked like a four-story coffee thermos. Finally, RJ spotted his target, a large red valve wheel. He smashed the glass cover of a nearby fire alarm, and pulled the lever. He waited, listening to the sounds of a plan taking effect: sirens blaring, voices bawling with curt concision, the tattoo of safety shoes retreating to exits
Heather reached to ring the doorbell, but Dr. Momus opened the door, smiling at her.
“Tonight, Heather, your life will change.”
The doctor’s glowing optimism vibrated against Heather’s anxiety, keeping either from moving.
Finally, Heather stepped inside with a strange, nervous giggle.
They each sat in their usual, respective seats, but there was an uneasy quiet in place of their typical pleasantries.
“Shall we begin?” Dr. Momus asked.
“I’m ready,” replied Heather.
The doctor handed her a plastic cup of water, and a paper cup with three capsules. There was usually one, and it was a different color. Heather stared at them, tipping the little cup and watching them roll back and forth. She opened her mouth and threw them in, followed by the water.
Dr. Momus took the empty cups, and touched her lightly on the shoulder, indicating she should lay back.
“Heather, I want you to breathe deeply,” she said, lowering her voice. ”You’re feeling very relaxed.”
“Yes.” Heather was ready to submit. Regardless of the doctor’s intentions, she was poised at the point of no return, about to slide into a new realm.
Dr. Momus proceeded through the hypnosis routine. “You are tired, so very tired. Soon you will be asleep.”
She continued, and Heather obeyed, letting every inch of her reclining body go slack, unmooring the bobbing craft of her unconscious, paying out the rope.
“Now, Heather, you are asleep. You can go wherever you want, and do whatever you please. In our journey so far, I have attempted to guide you toward a critical event in your past. We investigated the effects of this trauma, the ripples it has cast into your life, and your development, from a child into an adult woman. Tonight, the goal is to take you back to that very place, that specific moment, to transport you to that event in your memory. How old are you now, Heather?”
“I’m seven. Seven-and-a-half.”
“Where are you? Where have we arrived?”
“The wall, by the beach. Daddy calls it the seawall, but it’s not a sea, it’s the Golf of Mexicans.”
Heather was fully under the influence, carried to a specific point in time and space. She hovered into the summer of her eighth year, floating over the Galveston seawall. She saw the room, and the man at the entrance. He filled the doorway, moving closer to the little girl, who was also Heather. The mechanisms that had helped her block this moment, the veils that concealed it, were stripped away. The scene was illuminated, now, Heather could see it with unprecedented clarity.
RJ laid his hands on the red wheel. He turned, turned again, as hard as he could, until the wheel would turn no more. The pressure built in the pipes and vessels that rose into the air above him. A defect had been created. A destructive energy had been invoked, inducing a perilous chain reaction. RJ tarried, hearing no voices or footsteps, only the shrill of the warning sirens. He stood alone, the only man left in the plant. By and by, a critical failure occurred. An explosion ripped through the plant, blooming above it. The valve shaft rocketed through RJ’s chest. His task accomplished, he collapsed to the rumbling pavement, his perforated form engulfed in flames.
I am tripping balls. What the hell did Nemo give me? I can see myself slumped over, in the restroom stall. I hope this ends before somebody finds me – embarrassing. Will it end? Am I dead? Dead from a Dirty Dim Dose? Damn.
I’m rising above the Sol-Mart. ¡Una visión EXTRAÑA! Something is happening at the end of Center Street. The dragon has escaped from Air Today. It stretches its wings, glittering with red and yellow scales. It rises into the black sky, emitting a gold light, or maybe just reflecting it.
The dragon’s treasure is spilling out; diamonds, rubies…what are the blue ones called? The red and blue ones twinkle the most. They’re not spilling out, they’re gathering, drawing towards the dragon. It rises, it fades now, into the night. There’s something following it, like a smell. Fear, surprise, confusion, they smell bad, not like the usual way it smells bad around here. Nemo’s driving away. Not cool, man. Oh, he’s worried about his dad. He feels bad that he ditched me. My mom’s probably worried about me.
A little bird approaches. It’s the TVTO helicopter. They missed the dragon. I’m going back down now. Settling back in the stall. Slipping back inside. So sleepy.
Danny Momus came to a stop halfway on the curb in front of his house, the Mazda’s ground effects grinding roughly against the concrete. He ran to the back of the house and stumbled up the spiral stairs. The blaze across the freeway was reflected in the big window, shattered in the blast wave. The orange shards looked like a jack-o-lantern’s jagged mouth. He kicked a few more teeth free and leaned in. He could discern that a large bookshelf had toppled, but little more was readily evident, in the darkness.
“Mom!?” Danny cried.
“Call 911,” his mother replied weakly.
Rex fell backward onto the quaking pavement. He gaped blankly at the ascending ball of orange fire. It was done. Getting back to his feet, he could see the Air Today workers gathering in the parking lot, several clusters of wriggling blue, like ants in a flood. The plan had worked. He detached the camera and set it in the passenger seat of the Crown Vic. He shoved the tripod in the trunk and jumped in. Turning again to look at the column of smoke dissolving in to the night sky, Rex pulled onto the feeder road and sped away.