The Return of Planet X - The communicator Part 11

Hank and Coty were left staring at the door as the General left. They had heard his stern warning, but the scientist in them wouldn’t allow things to be left at that.

“I need to get back to the research lab,” Coty said to Hank, still looking at the door.

“I’ll drop you off,” Hank said. “I have some things I need to do too.”

Jennifer was in a panic. She was shaking and tearful, but knew she had to get out of the car park. She put the car in gear and released the clutch. The car stalled.

“Dammit!” She yelled, frustrated. Slamming the steering wheel she turned the ignition again. The car pulled away with a jerk, but this time it did not stall, instead speeding off with a spin. She was going round and round, up towards the exit boom. Still shocked and tearful, she couldn’t get out of there fast enough. Swinging around the corner, just before the exit, she saw the figure of a man ahead, walking down the ramp towards her. She screamed and hit the brakes. They locked. The car rammed straight into the side wall. Jennifer bumped her head on the steering wheel, and for a second was disorientated. She looked up dazed and could see, in the cars headlights, the man heading towards her. He was running. She began to panic. He came to the side of her car door. She couldn’t see who it was, but she was terrified. Screaming with fear Jennifer fainted.

Father Delagado’s black Jaguar winded its’ way up the narrow road towards the noon gun. He was hoping his contact would be there, but looking up ahead he couldn’t see any other cars. “Pull up to the side here Jeffrey,” he asked. The car came to a stop next to an old anti aircraft gun. The resident German shepherd was nosing around, curious to see who has arrived in his territory. Father Delgado got out the car and approached the dog as if it where his own.

“There boy, that’s a good boy,” he said, stroking the dogs head. The German shepherd lapped up the affection then turned around and walked off. As father Delgado straightened up he saw the figure of a man in a black suit with a black hat walking up to him. His contact had arrived.

“Jennifer? Jennifer?” Coty was shaking her about to wake her up. “Are you ok?” he shouted. Jennifer mumbled, she was ok but had a slight gash on her forehead. “Jennifer, its Coty, are you ok?” Coty asked concerned. Jennifer slowly regained her vision, but sounds where still muffled. She saw Coty’s face, and then passed out again. Coty carefully picked her up from out of the car and lay her on her side just next to it. Moving her hair from her eyes he assessed the wound on her head. It wasn’t too bad, but she was obviously slightly concussed. He removed his jacket and, making a make shift pillar, carefully lay her head down to allow her to recover. She was fine, just a bit banged up.

Hank was determined to find out what the General was hiding. His behaviour was far to calm for someone who was faced with a global catastrophe. Surely he new something? As far as Hank was concerned, he was the first person to pick up the signal from space, yet the General behaved as if he was already aware of it. Hank had to reassess the data, but this time he wanted to download it straight from his source, Selene 2, his lunar radar. Hank always recorded the signal on a local storage facility connected to the radar and also recorded the broadcast that was sent from the radar to his laboratory, which is the data they have been analysing. The General has made him question the validity of the data transfer between the radar and his lab, so just to be sure he wants to check the local data. He hadn’t expected a climb when he got up this morning, but it was necessary to get to the raw data that was stored in Selene 2’s belly.

Zep was lying awake in his bed staring out of his window at the beauty that is mother Earth. He didn’t sleep much. Since arriving on the Explorer he has been thrown so many curve balls he can hardly concentrate on what his mission was initially all about. He had to get his head around everything and focus. He had to deal with his main priorities and then try and deal with the Altazar issue, even though they went hand in hand, he just couldn’t compute all he has been told.

The intercom system next to his bed buzzed and flashed a red light. He snapped out of his day dreaming and leaned over to answer the call.

“Yeah?” he said in a very sleepy tone.

“Zep, it’s me, get yourself dressed and ready. We have a debriefing in my office in one hour.”

It sounded like Alt, but Zep wasn’t sure if it was his friend or not.

“I’ll be there,” Zep said and released the button.

Hank was out of breath. He hadn’t done this hike to Selene 2 in a very long time. This task was mostly left to contract engineers and students Hank would send up there as part of their studies. He stopped and looked up to the Apostle peaks, taking a second to recover. For a moment he forgot about the current situation and just absorbed the beauty that is the Table Mountain range. Turning around he gazed over the ocean, passed Robben Island, to the horizon. The world as we know it will never be the same he thought, mostly underestimating the coming changes but also anticipating excitement as any scientist in his field would. He turned back towards the mountain and could see her. Just to his left about 300 meters ahead was Selene 2. Nice and hidden from public view, she was an awe of beauty for Hank. Selene 2 had replaced Selene 1 after a rock slide on the mountain. When they built Selene 2 they made sure rock slides could not affect it again by wrapping the surrounding rock face with wire caging. Bushes had long overgrown the wire so it was no longer entirely visible, but Hank knew it was there.

“Right,” he said, “Lets see what secrets you may be hiding Selene.”

“Good day Padre,” Phil said with a strong Italian accent. He leaned forward and kissed Father Delgado’s hand.

“I didn’t expect this meeting would take place in my lifetime, but here we are,” he continued, taking in the breathtaking view from atop signal hill.

Father Delgado was silent, staring seriously over the city.

Phil turned and looked at him. “Do you have it?”

Father Delgado looked at him worryingly.

Hesitantly he reached into his robe and pulled out a small wooden box. Judging from the raw workmanship and rough designs etched onto the box, Phil could see it was very very old.

“Good, I will make sure this gets to the right person,” Phil said, still maintaining a serious look as Father Delgado handed the box over to him.

“Yes,” he paused, “Yes my son. I trust you will fulfill your destiny as it has been set for you,” Father Delgado spoke softly as if he knew what Phil had to face.

He turned and faced Phil. Reaching under his robe he revealed his crucifix and held it up in front of them.

“Que deus esteja com você,” Father Delgado said in Portuguese, making the sign of the cross in front of Phil with his crucifix.

“May God be with you too Padre,” Phil replied sarcastically with a smirk and walked off back towards his car.

Father Delgado turned and looked over the city again, hands tightly wrapped around his crucifix.

“May God be with all of us,” he said softly.

Next: Will Hank find any new data? What did Father Delgado give Phil and wil Jennifer be ok?

Coming soon: PART 12!!

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Enjoy.

The Ski

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