I am starting a new writing group, if anyone is interested, called “Live By the Sword, and Die By The Pen.”
“I’ve got an appointment on Monday to apply for a federal grant, for computer classes at Cyberstealth Industries,” I looked over at him, and smiled.
Richard leaned over in his chair, and grinned at me. “I’ve got faith in you.”
“Thank you,” I blushed.
I watched as he worked on the plans for Neversoft Office version of Windscreen 10. I wanted to tell him, how I felt about him, but I was too shy. He had his shirt off, and I could not help myself from looking at him. I memorized the locations of his tattoos.
“Are you, O.K.? I mean you were looking at me like-”
I blushed. Had I been giving him the eyes?! Damn, he looked good for his age.
“I should go.”
I bolted toward the door, embarrassed.
He looked at me with confusion, and then intrigue.
Before, I could reach the door, I felt his hand brush up against my back. It was not the pat on the back of a stranger; it felt like an intimate caress. I became aroused. I looked up at him, wordlessly, and then headed for the door. We exchanged pleasantries, and then I left.
My stomach was in knots, as I waited for the bus. It had been years since I worked, or even taken classes. As I entered the first bus, I was overcome by a sense of adventure. I got to the transit station, exhausted, and quite anxious. I pulled out my laptop, and jotted down some random thoughts about my neighbor, as I gulped down my latte.
I felt panic stricken as I entered the next bus. My hands began to tremble as I studied the route map. I wasn’t quite sure where I was going. My heart sank as I realized that I had gotten off at the wrong stop.
I knew I had to get there. I’d missed out on too many opportunities for stupid reasons.
I panted, and wiped the sweat from my brow, as I climbed the steep hill, looking for addresses. I tripped over the rocks, and my feet ached. I was ready to give up, when I looked down at the pavement, and saw an old dragon wind chime. I thought of Richard, and smiled. I closed my eyes, as I sprinted across the busy street.
“Sorry, I’m late,” I panted. “I got off at the wrong stop, and I had to walk a mile up Sanitarium Road. ”
“No problem. You’re fine. You’re not late. I’m Danny. I care about my students. I’m not here to judge you, or make fun of you. I’ll teach you everything you want to know on the computer. Welcome to StealthTech Industries.”
I couldn’t help but notice the man was giggling the whole time. I may have just been exhausted, but I had a feeling he was looking down my shirt, during the testing. After the test was over, and he recorded my scores, Danny took me on a tour of the facility. “We handle classified material here, so you can never mention what you see.”
“When am I going to know if I qualify?” I inquired.
Danny nodded toward another female. “Step into my office.”
I was scheduled to start the following week. “Welcome, aboard.” Danny grinned.
As I was gathering my belongings, I heard Danny repeat my name, over, and over. I felt uneasy.
“Did that just happen?” I wondered. to myself, as I waited for the bus. “I seems awful strange that they offer me classes, and a job on the same day.”
I received a strange E-mail. from an unknown source, titled “Recruitment Phase.” It included a video of three hooded figures, wearing white masks, covered in blood. “Welcome to the Recruitment Phase,” a disembodied voice hissed through my computer. It sounded like a combination of music, and otherworldly chanting. The only words I could make out were, “You will be tested on poetry, philosophy, art, and music.”
I took the test. When it was confirmed that I passed, everything went haywire. The last thing I remember, is seeing a message displayed on the computer, “Something’s not right.”
Then everything went black.
I awoke that morning to an unusual E-mail. “Your first assignment will be located on 556 Walters Road. You are to report at 1900 hours.”
I thought the message was a little strange, but I was in need of a job. I followed the address on the E-mail, to an abandoned military base. I tried the door. The place seemed to be in operation. The walls were surrounded by people sitting in front of computers. On the bulletin board was a sign that read:” Armageddon Communications Network.” I noticed a huge satellite on top of the building. I felt uneasy.
“Welcome,” Mike said, “We’ve got a couple different positions open.” He motioned me toward the row of computers. “This is the data input station. This is where we key important information into the computer database. You can never discuss anything you see, because it’s classified.” Mike grinned, and raised an eyebrow. “Got it?”
I nodded. I couldn’t help noticing that he kept staring at my chest, and wouldn’t look me in the face. He kept muttering under his breath, “I’m such a big dummy.”
Mike led me into a tiny office. An older man in military fatigues, was relaying a message by short wave radio. He appeared to be using a string of numbers, letters, and music. “Alpha, Bravo, Delta, Niner, Niner…”
I looked at him, puzzled.
“Oh, yes,” Mike said, “This is a number station. Sure, it’s considered cold war technology, but we use these coded messages, and ciphers for covert operations (to communicate with spies from other countries, and disaster-relief protocol.)
I chose the data entry position. One evening, when I was keying data into the computer, I came across a strange file. It refused to open. A message appeared. “Security clearance required.”
I typed in the only thing that came into my mind, “Cicada 3301.”
After reading the contents within the file, I became sick. My stomach was in knots, and I couldn’t breathe. Apparently, the government was using a form of mind control, through the number stations, to get the population to conform. Those who are immune to this technique, are thrown into federal re-education camps. The project was known as HK-Ultra.
“I miss you,” Richard said from the other end of the phone line. My heart skipped a beat. My throat closed up. The only reply I could get out was, “O.K.”
It hadn’t even been two weeks, and he longed to see me. He had been on my mind frequently, but I was too shy to verbalize this. His brother had recently been killed in a motorcycle accident, and he needed time to grieve.
I approached the parking lot of Dollar Mania, when I saw him honking frantically, and waving his arms, out the window. “Come in.”
Richard reached for me, and pulled me close to him. He ran his fingers through my hair. “You smell so good.”
His fingertips brushed against my face, and he gazed into my eyes. “Want to come over?”
He led me into the bedroom. He tasted my lips, and explored the rest of my body with his tongue. I groped his penis, as I felt it stiffen against my leg. He gasped in excitement. Richard moaned as I glided my tongue against the shaft of his member. I ran my hands through his hair, and stroked his goatee, as he laid his head in my lap. I noticed that he seemed distant. “What’s wrong, honey?”
“Oh,” replied, “I don’t have the part for your computer.”
“That’s O.K.,” I said, tackling him playfully. I kissed each of his tattoos. “What do you want to watch next?”
“How about Digital Lust?” he replied.