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The Cesium Flash: Jay Lyons
The Next Move
Alfred and Utalk went to a post office. Alfred mailed a package with a thumb drive full of information to one of his trusted followers. Then they went to an internet café where he set up a bogus email account and typed an email to the follower telling him to keep the thumb drive in a safe place until he contacts him. Alfred hesitated then typed an instruction for the follower to look at what was on the thumb drive if Alfred doesn’t contact him by the end of the month.
Alfred drove along a highway for a couple of hours then he turned onto a secondary road. He drove a few miles on the secondary road then stopped at a motel. The motel was cheap in both price and appearance.
Alfred booked 2 adjoining hotel rooms. A single room would have made more sense moneywise but Alfred figured it was best not to do anything Utalk might misunderstand.
In the hotel room Alfred’s thoughts turned to Jay Lyons. Alfred felt terrible about how he thought and behaved at the time knowing now what happened to Jay Lyons.
Eine Kleine Nachtmusick played on Alfred’s cell phone the call was from Mike.
“What did you get?”
“It’s in the Sierra Nevada Mountains.”
“Send me the coordinates. I have a follower who lives in Oakland. Maybe he can get there.”
“Is this follower okay?”
“Yes, he doesn’t seem like a kook.”
“Hopefully he is a better photographer than you are.”
“Cheap shot Mike.”
When Alfred received Mike’s message with the coordinates he brought up a hybrid satellite and map image and a set of directions. He sent an email to Jay Lyons. Alfred impatiently waited for Jay’s response. Alfred was overjoyed when he received Jay’s email:
I got your email. This is great news. Yes I can go there. I waited my whole life for something like this. I will go there!!! :-)
During Alfred’s work shift some thoughts tempered his enthusiasm. He thought if his efforts and those of his followers lead to direct contact he and his followers could get kicked to the sidelines. The skeptics would proclaim themselves the experts. That would be an ironic turn of events. He would have to quietly submit or give the space visitors a close-up view of human pettiness. Alfred tried to force this idea out of his head. He kept telling himself the most momentous event in human history can be happening soon and he shouldn’t let such personal concerns get in the way.
When Alfred came home from work the next day he rushed to his laptop and checked his email and blog. Alfred was disappointed when he didn’t see any messages from Jay. Another day passed with no word from Jay. Alfred thought maybe Jay had a dumb reason why he wasn’t able to make the trip and he was too embarrassed to admit it. Alfred thought maybe Jay went there and didn’t see a UFO and felt like he was Sally waiting in the pumpkin patch with Linus. Then the thought came to him maybe Jay did see the UFO and was talking to friends and lawyers about how he should and could protect “his” discovery. Alfred told himself he shouldn’t be thinking this way. He waited a few more days. He couldn’t bring himself to send Jay a message.
A week had passed and Alfred was on his way to work when the news on the radio said searchers in the Sierra Nevada Mountains were looking for Jay Lyons who has been missing for a week. The news shocked Alfred. Alfred was quivering when he stepped inside his apartment. His first thought was to call 9-1-1 but he hesitated. He thought he might also be charged with a crime. Alfred thought he might get sued for wrongful death if they found Jay dead. Alfred decided if the authorities asked him about Jay he would tell them what little he knew. Alfred also decided he would lurk on his blog and only answer direct questions until he could figure out what to do next.
Utalk sat in a chair and thought at how she was so easily fooled. They call her an erratic yet they seemed to know exactly how she would react. Utalk thought back to when she first met Susanna.
Utalk was performing her usual custodial duties when she heard a cheerful voice call her name. Utalk turned and saw a pretty woman with straight shoulder length golden blond hair and blue eyes. Despite the coveralls she was wearing Utalk could tell the woman had a well defined body. The woman had a cheerful voice and a smile on her face. Utalk knew she had to be an erratic.
“They renamed me Susanna.”
“What is your real name?”
“I am not to use it any longer. I prefer Susanna anyway.”
Susanna liked to chatter and often drew Utalk into irrelevant conversations. Utalk enjoyed Susanna’s babblings and was surprised they weren’t chastised for having distracting talk.
Susanna surprised Utalk with a visit just before Utalk’s sleep period.
“Utalk, they told me why they brought me, and certainly you, on this flight.”
“This is strange, I have never been told reasons for decisions.”
“They want to test us to see if we have some use for their plans for this planet, Earth.”
“What are their plans?”
“They did not tell me. It is surprising they told me as much as they have.”
Their space craft landed in a valley of a mountainous area. Utalk received orders to carry out some duties in an area that showed images of the area outside the craft. She saw Susanna walking from the craft. Susanna had on ornate clothing. The costume’s form didn’t seem to match any function.
Susanna walked from the craft. There was a man with a camera in the distance. She called out to him.
“You may call me Susanna. Please come closer.”
The man took a few hesitant steps towards Susanna then picked up his pace.
“Welcome to Earth. My name is Jay Lyons. You can call me Jay.”
When Jay was a few paces from Susanna he extended his hand.
Jay turned into black ash flakes.
What happened horrified Utalk. She could see Susanna was hysterical. A normal crew member said a few words to her and a crying Susanna slowly walked back to the craft.
Later Susanna spoke with Utalk at great length at how terrible she felt by what she witnessed. This drew Utalk closer to Susanna.
Utalk had since figured out Susanna was merely mimicking emotions. Susanna was using her to see if she could fool other erratics. If Susanna could fool an erratic then Susanna could certainly fool Earth people.
The Thought Experiments
Utalk was lying in bed thinking about how Susanna might have behaved differently.
They were in the wooded area and Utalk handed Susanna the weapon. Susanna incinerates Utalk.
Susanna’s action shocks Alfred.
“Why did you do that?”
“There was no choice. We couldn’t trust her.”
“She could have killed us but she didn’t.”
“It could be part of their plans. Even if she was sincere she might have had a change of heart later. There was no choice, now come on.”
Susanna and Alfred run off.
They were in Alfred’s apartment. Susanna incinerates Alfred while Utalk is in the bathroom. Utalk steps out of the bathroom. She sees the pile of ashes that was Alfred. Susanna covers Utalk’s mouth to muffle Utalk’s inevitable scream.
“Utalk, I had to do it. We have to go back.”
Susanna takes her hand from Utalk’s mouth. Utalk meekly asks, “Why?”
“Tracking fluid, they put tracking fluid in me.”
“They think we are dead, otherwise they would have caught up with us by now.”
“Maybe, maybe not, but we have all Alfred’s stored data. If we take this back with us and tell them we disposed of Alfred they won’t kill us. Utalk, we have no other choice.”
Utalk softly cries but helps Susanna gather Alfred’s data.
The Next Day
Alfred and Utalk were in the car and Alfred was driving.
Utalk, “I was thinking last night. How we are both still alive?”
Alfred took a quick glance at Utalk.
“You think there is something we overlooked?”
“Why didn’t Susanna kill me the moment she got the weapon?”
“She probably figured such a cold act would make me suspicious.”
“Would it? Or would her explanation for killing me convince you your only option was to trust her completely?”
Alfred pondered the question and Utalk continued.
“I know had she killed you and told me we had to go back to save ourselves I would have done it.”
“Is this true confession time or is there a point to this?”
“Susanna’s primary mission may have been to see if erratics, and by extension Earth people, could be controlled by manipulation.”
“In that case she failed, at least as far as they can tell. We will see if we can cause them other failures.”
Utalk and Alfred exchanged reassuring smiles.
As Alfred drove he realized at Utalk’s word he abandoned his apartment, most of his possessions, and gave up his job. At her word he left her alone possibly to die. He was supposed to return in 2 days but could only stay away from her for one night. Alfred had no reason to believe Utalk was manipulating him but Alfred realized how easily someone could manipulate him.
Thanks to Au Fait for convincing me to continue the story.