posted on Mar, 16 2018 @ 02:03 PM
Paul sat at his desk dozing off, when suddenly, he was startled awake, knocking over his cup of cold coffee as his computer beeped loudly signaling
the images starting to appear on his large screen after being decrypted. He noted the time by glancing up to the clock on the wall.
Grabbing his phone from his shirt pocket he quickly dialed his immediate supervisor…
“Hey, it’s ready, you’re going to want to see them right now. “
There was a brief pause on the other end,
“OK, bring what you have, tell no one”
The call abruptly ended, Paul grabbed his heavy winter coat while the files transferred to his flash drive. He moved some other related files and then
made sure all information was deleted from his system. Walking out into the dark late evening he couldn’t help but shiver. The temperature had
plummeted 30 degrees in the past few hours. Snowflakes kissed his forehead before he could bring his hood up.
Driving the now vacant highway at night was one thing but expecting the return trip in a predicted snow storm was something he wasn’t really looking
Marcus sat with his back to his office desk staring out over the city lights from the 25th floor. He raised his glass of scotch, the ice clinked as he
sipped feeling the familiar burn as he swallowed. The buzzer interrupted his moment of mental solitude. It was the front security desk notifying him
that a Mr. Paul Green had arrived with a small package for him. He spun around in his seat then thumbed the button to reply.
“Send him up”
Looking over his glasses across his desk at the other person already in the room.
“If this turns out to be what we think it is you and your people will have a lot to do in a very short amount of time General”
General Ramirez reached up with his beefy hands, removing his glasses slowly folding then setting them aside before replying.
“Marcus, we’ve known of this possibility for some time, for years we have speculated and strategized how this may unfold if true and now it seems
we may have to put those scenarios into practice. The amount of knowledge and possible technology we may acquire would be worth a considerable amount.
Not to mention it would give us an advantage over our future adversaries” The General was interrupted by a sharp double knock on the office door,
A rather serious faced well-dressed woman opened the door, introducing Paul’s arrival while she half leaned into the office.
“Thank you, Martha, you can go ahead and take off, I can manage from here.
“Thank you, Mr. Cromwell, have a good evening and I’ll see you Monday morning” She quickly closed the door.
Marcus stood up and walked around his desk as Paul met him half way, only glancing down at the seated General briefly nodding his head as their eyes
met. Paul wasted no time and handed Marcus the package.
“Anybody follow you?”
Marcus asked as he took the package then removing its content.
Paul replied as the General stood then walked close putting his glasses back on as he now stood towering over Paul. Paul felt intimidated by his
presence. Marcus plugged the flash device into a USB port built into the top of his desk then typed a command into the keyboard. The room darkened as
the lights automatically dimmed and the formerly crystal-clear windows went completely black while simultaneously a holographic 3-Dimensional image
appeared centrally hovering in the room. Paul drew the two men’s attention to the light blue image slowly spinning before them and noted the
location of what appeared to be a tunnel entrance.
“Our previous satellite image and data collection methods missed it due to the valley trench rock overhang but with our latest lander probe drones
we were able to fly into this canyon and take these scans”
Marcus and the General listened attentively then silently looked at each other knowingly out of the corner of their eye.
Marcus crossed his arms over his chest and massaged his well-trimmed goatee giving the impression of deep thought. The General cupped Paul’s
shoulder in his immense palm.
“Good job son, You ready for an adventure?” He asked in his deep husky military voice. Paul’s reaction was both excited and nervous at the same
“Yeah…Yes, I mean of... of course, Sir”
Marcus returned to his chair and poured himself another drink then set the bottle on the far end of his desk towards the other two signaling for them
to join him…
The next morning
The Oval office had the aroma of freshly brewed coffee
Marcus stood calmly cleaning his glasses in front of the President’s desk, General Ramirez was seated behind him with his head tilted towards a
high-ranking member of the joint Chiefs whispering as the President finished reading their typed report. Then he leaned back in his chair as he sat
the report aside and asked,
“How many personnel do we need and what will this cost?”
Marcus took a deep breath and said
“Well… Mr. President, we already have the technology for the trip and also already have the necessary people on the payroll with clearance. We
just need funding for the trip. Our Black budget should cover it”
The President looked past Marcus at another man seated across from them in a dark blue well-tailored suit.
“Bob, what do you think?” Robert Haskins was no stranger to creating cover stories for covert missions, He spoke up
“I believe we should be more concerned about the Chinese, they are planning to launch their Shan-Zhu Mars orbiter mission in less than 8 months”
Looking over at the two-high ranking military men.
“Can either of you two guarantee we can get there before them and still have enough time to explore, cultivate what we may find and accomplish the
mission with the least amount of exposure possible?”
General Ramirez cleared his throat then looked up at Marcus then over to the President and finally at Haskins and spoke.
“We’ve anticipated this scenario, we have the means to undertake this mission with only a weeks’ notice if need be. We already have a craft
built. It’s large enough to transport, support and maintain a crew of up to 20 people for 4 months”
Marcus then turned to the President and opened a file he had under his arm. He handed some documents to both him and then Mr. Haskins. The President
devoured the 2 page document and looked over at the two Military men.
“You’ve kept this from my Administration?”
This time the other General spoke up.
“We have had this vehicle for some time, it was developed during the last days of the Cold war, we’ve tested and flown it several times. It’s
been moth balled and It can be operational and reliably put into service rather quickly now that we have a real mission”
The President and Haskins looked at each other for a few seconds as if discussing the pros and cons without ever saying a word, Finally Haskins raised
his eye brows and nodded in the affirmative. The President looked up at Marcus
“Don’t # this up!”
Marcus gave the President a quick grin
“No Sir, No # ups”
Dr. Angela Brown always wanted to get into space, but her studies and career prevented that possibility but due to unforeseen sheer dumb luck she was
boarding the Aries 1 as it was now known. General Ramirez thought it was appropriate to rename it so.
“You the Doc?” Capt. Andrews asked as he was stowing away some gear of his own. He turned and extended his hand. She shook it and replied