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The Return of Planet X - The communicator Part 10

Updated on June 1, 2011

Very few people were privy to the knowledge of what Father Delgado was protecting. Its’ very existence has had enormous influence over generations of men. Secret battles in the higher echelons of society had raged on for centuries. Not one of these pursuers knowing exactly the contents of the box, but they were all intoxicated with desire to possess the power it was believed to hold.

His driver was waiting at the foot of the steep stairs with the car door held open. It had been some time since he last drove himself. Not since his fall, breaking his hip, has he been behind the wheel. The limp he has endured for the last 10 years will always remind him of it. He was comfortable in the back seat, but today he was a bit anxious.

“The Noon Gun Jeffrey, and don’t spare the horses.”

Zep listened as Altazar went on talking about his time on the Explorer. He didn’t actually register much of what he was saying, more like just nodding and agreeing most of the time. Altazar didn’t seem at all concerned. He just carried on as if everything was ok. According to him it was.

“Zep, you are leaving for Earth soon. We haven’t really discussed your AI support yet.”

“Yeah well, you know, I got it man. All I need from you is the contact point and person. I will take it from there,” Zep said very confidently.

“You think you have everything under control don’t you hot shot? Well this is a big job Zep, even for you.”

Zep got so caught up for a minute he forgot who he was really talking to. He paused and composed himself for a second.

“Look Alt, I’m kind of tired. I think I am going to get some rest for a bit. We can get together later to discuss this further.”

Altazar stared at him with a serious look on his face.

Changing to a more humorous reply he gave a little giggle.

“Yeah, you go on. I’m going to get another one of these funny little colourful things before I grab a shower.” Altazar gestured to the barman.

Zep tapped him on his shoulder walking out.

“You do that old buddy, you do that.”

Coty could feel the tension in the air. It was obvious that Hank was not very happy with what had just happened, and it was obvious that whatever happened from then on, the military would oversee it. This was no longer a scientific discovery, but more a military operation. Of course Coty understood the need for national, or international, security, but given the circumstances, should the governments of the world not be notified immediately, allowing them the time to react or at least do something to prevent this happening?

The government official was now heavily engaged in conversation on his phone in a quiet part of Hanks lab. The General was standing next to him, in thought, and not paying any attention to Hank or Coty. John Maku sat quietly behind his pc screen, as if he was not listening to the conversation, but could definitely hear what was being said.

Hank gestured to Coty to come one side, checking to see if the General was looking at them. He wasn’t.

“Listen Coty, I don’t know what is going on here but I have a suspicion there is far more to this than we know.”

“I’ve had my own suspicions since I saw the Military was involved back at the research centre Dr,” Coty replied.

“Coty, I don’t think we should allow the Military to suppress this.” Hanks old school rebellious attitude was taking over.

“Here, I want you to take this,” Hank gave Coty a disc.

‘Keep it hidden and whatever you do, do not let them know you have it,” Hank gestured to the General and Government official.

“Dr Williams,” the General’s voice was loud and stern. Hank jolted and turned around nervously as if the General had just seen what he gave to Coty. Hank started sweating. The General walked over to him with a suspicious look on his face, glancing between Hank and Coty.

“Dr, I will need all your research on this signal, all recordings, and translations, everything that you have on this. My personal will be here in a few minutes to collect it. And General, please don’t leave anything out. We wouldn’t want there to be any mishaps due to your withholding information from us.”

The Generals words were threatening enough to make the Dr tremble slightly, but not enough for him to reveal that he had already given Coty a disc carrying all the data. Dr Williams feared for his safety. Coty would have to get the information to the public.

Jennifer fumbled with her keys. She was a bit afraid to start the engine in case anyone heard her. The sound of the elevator arriving at the basement parking made her jump. She froze and stared straight at the doors, waiting for them to open. As they did a bunch of staff came rushing out, laughing and joking amongst themselves. They walked straight past Geoff’s car and kept on walking. Jennifer’s eye’s followed them, but when they walked past Geoff’s car her gaze was locked. She rehashed what had just happened. A tear formed. No, enough, she thought. I must get out of here. She wiped her eyes’ and turned the key.

The Noon gun was on top of Signal hill. It had been there since 1806, initially to announce the arrival of ships into Table Bay but now firing off at exactly midday each day. The South African Navy managed it, but even though it is an historic time signal, there are very few personal that goes up there. Often only one officer would be on duty at a time. Since the advent of the Galvanic telegraph it became possible to fire the canon remotely, from the South African Astronomical Observatory, hence the reason why the canon was not manned. Father Delgado had always known the noon gun would be the meeting place if he ever had to open the box. No one would suspect a thing, or even notice them there. It was the perfect spot.

A team of military vehicles arrived outside Hanks house. Soldiers dressed in camouflaged uniforms, armed with R4 rifles jumped out and contained the immediate area. The road was blocked off further up and further down. No one was to get in or out until they had finished. A group of civilians jumped out of a white unmarked van and headed towards Hanks lab in the back. They were carrying big silver cases between them, for the equipment they were going to confiscate. This wouldn’t take long.

The General met them at the door and had a brief discussion with who seemed to be the team leader, a civilian. Neither Coty nor Hank could hear what was being said, but they felt very uncomfortable.

The General walked back into the lab, followed by the civilian team leader. He motioned to a few bits of equipment and then walked over to Hank and Coty.

“Dr Williams, please be assured that all your equipment will be well looked after. At this point, and as a matter of national security, we feel it is best if we continue this investigation and take the appropriate action. Dr, Coty, this never happened! You are not to talk to anyone about this. And that goes for your assistant to. I will be in touch to arrange the return of your items.”

The team of civilians acted swiftly. They unplugged and packed everything up into the cases they brought and started packing them into the van.

The General followed behind them, stopped and turned and looked at Hank and Coty.

“Gentlemen, do I have your word on this? I would hate to have to come back and contain the situation further.” The General was serious.

Coty and Hank both looked at each other and then back at the General nodding their heads in agreement.

“Good. Well, you will be hearing from me Dr.” The General turned around and left.

Next: Who is Father Delgado meeting on the hill? How will Hank and Coty deal with this now?

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The Ski


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