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The Vigil [EWC]

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posted on Jul, 30 2013 @ 03:57 PM
(This is my first story here - I just found out about the contest today and thought - why not? I have zero expectation of winning anything, but thought it would be fun... It is kind of a first draft but I'm running out of time.
Let me know what you think! Peace - AB)

The Vigil

It’s calm in the listening station. I sit in the dark, in the hum and snick of uploads, and the deep yawning silence of the void Between. My vid screen nags for attention. I allow it to come up into my inner vision, opening the 4-D display and sifting through the timeline to find the blip in the language landscape. It’s there. I zoom in, allowing it to fill half my vision.

I run the code automatically, having done this procedure to no avail a million times before. I wait. Then. My chest thrums in excitement - it is an open line! Scrambling for half-forgotten protocols I dive down into the Now of that light in the virtual landscape of Earth, mentally seeking the source of the blip. An open line! Synergy of time, place, state of mind – a hundred thousand small factors lining up in the most improbable way. Ah. There is a vortex where she is sitting – a facilitator, and…a chance, then, a one in seven billion chance to find…hope? My thoughts skip a beat in the dizzying flight to hope.

“What was that?”
“What do you mean, ‘what was that,’ I didn’t see anything.”
“The board did something weird.”
“You want to time-line it and do the paperwork?”
He let out a heavy sigh. “Yeah, sure. That’s the job, isn’t it?”
Frank let out a snarky laugh and jabbed a button on his screen. “Yep. Listening to the masses, waiting for the needle in the haystack to pop out and poke us.”
He barked a dry laugh in return. “Yeah, if we can wade through enough crap, we may yet find the Holy Grail of Terrorism for the DOD.”

“Or get a heads-up on the Second Coming,” Frank said in his sarcastic, nasal voice.

“Or find some poor nerd hacking too deep into things he should leave well alone…” he said, wearily, remembering.

“Ooh! I’d love a new co-worker! If only nerds were hot…” That was Jenny, walking past at a high clip and catching the conversation. The only woman down here for a good half-mile of hallway. Poor girl. Then again, he thought, she got tons of attention, considering she was just about the only woman any of them saw, ever.

“Hey Jenny, baby,” Frank wheedled, “When you gonna have lunch with me?”
He could feel Jenny rolling her eyes as she maneuvered down to the far hall.

“When the AF boys stop coming by, Franko…” He watched Jenny actually turn and give Frank a flirtatious grin. Geez. He’d be hearing about that the rest of the week.
Back to the blip on the boards. Could be something important…

There. The individual is sitting in…a social place? There is food. The individual is eating and talking with another. The light, the open space is still ‘on.’ My limbs would tremble if they were functional. As it is I force a calm to come over my thoughts, and go quickly through the steps to become one with the frequency resonance.

There. I have…her….yes, her, attention.

She senses me. Stops eating and talking. She…answers! I have the information to download ready. It has been waiting for so long…she will allow it! I send. She tries to make sense of it, though the information is going too fast. Remarkably, she slows the flow to grab a few frames. I interrupt. It will take far too long if she insists on seeing the data. I sense her surprise at what she sees. The first two she does not recognize. Understandable. They are of primordial earth as seen from our probe. The third she does understand. It is the great desert, the lines that seek the heavens, a triangle in the dirt…

He went over the data for a third time. Some kind of weird frequency burst. Where did it come from? He couldn’t find it right away. Then he began to zero in on the target of the burst…Oh God… It was off-planet. It was freaking coming from off-planet! Not from any identifiable satellite either. And being received. Somewhere in the southern US…

The computer cranked through its algorhythms honing in on a mid-sized city in the Smokey Mountains. Hernesville? He'd never heard of the place. The signal is a definite anomaly, the kind that gets the hairs on the back of the neck standing up and tingling. He taps his fingers unconsciously and bounces his leg, waiting for the conclusion of the search - State, city, street…restaurant. Now, he pulls up the cell phone reverse-mics in the area – a hundred babbling voices the computer searches for key words and identities. It spits out lines of audio that may be relevant. Got it! Got it! The strange frequency burst was still present, and there was someone there receiving it! More importantly, the receiver of the signal, some lady, was talking to her friend about it. Gotcha. The cell mics and gps devices were enough to pull her name, drivers license information and address in a matter of a minute. God, he loved this machine! Adrenaline from the chase shot through him – it was rare moments like this that made the rest of the mind-numbing dead-ends in this hole of a job worth it. And since he could never leave this job…God, something had to make it worth it…

He pulls out his company cell and dials quickly to report, simultaneously attaching the information to an email, along with the relevant audio clips that the computer has zip-filed. Once his boss is on the phone, he realizes how strange it sounds to be giving the address of an Italian chain restaurant to his higher ups – but its not his job to worry about that, just to report what the computer says and send the data files to them for investigation.

She wants to know who I am. I show her a cocoon. That is an accurate metaphorical image of me in stasis. I am timeless, in the Between. Some have mistaken me for a god. It has been three hundred Earth years since my last contact. The data has run its course. With gratitude, I leave. Mission accomplished.

A silver Mercedes follows a white Ford pickup from the restaurant. The truck’s occupant is unaware her vehicle has been tagged. The instructions from DHS are clear. Bring her in. Scare the hell out of her. Make her talk. Hold indefinitely. He narrows his eyes, keeping a fair distance behind her, wondering idly if she can feel his stare, or if she is spending these last moments blissfully unaware of what is in store. Her cell chip mic blares out a pop tune she has on – she is singing at the top of her lungs. He smiles, his teeth showing white in the twilight summer.

My station is quiet now. But I can feel the shift in resonance even now. There is so much satisfaction in this moment. Perhaps, in another thousand earth turns, this species will be ready, finally, to interact. The seed programs will have multiplied through the generations, through contact with this human, and will be connected to the others I've planted, which are more like small stones thrown into the vast waters below, making widening ripples. We will achieve connection, and the waves will meet. The planet spins like a blue and white gem in the deep. I have grown very fond of its shimmering brightness. And now I will be able to achieve my communication objective and place the call home to the Council. Perhaps then, I will awaken. Until then, the deep. I rest, feeling the strange quiver of hope settle into a vigil's patience…
edit on 30-7-2013 by AboveBoard because: to a T

edit on 30-7-2013 by AboveBoard because: (no reason given)

edit on 30-7-2013 by AboveBoard because: Tweaking....

posted on Jul, 31 2013 @ 11:22 AM
reply to post by AboveBoard

Welcome to the Short Stories Forum.

That was a very good first submission.

...More Please!...

posted on Jul, 31 2013 @ 03:15 PM
reply to post by isyeye

Hey, thanks!!
Most appreciated iseye! I got to the party pretty late, so I was steeling myself for a 0 flag/0 star/0 reads!
And that you want "more please" has made my day...


posted on Aug, 5 2013 @ 05:11 PM
reply to post by AboveBoard

I was just checking out the winners since they were announced, and had to stop by to read your story. Very nice job, SnF, but too late to win anyway. (Keep that one for posterity, your first entry.)

These contests are challenging, but you, honestly, have talent, and should you get in quick to the next one. I do keep my sig line linked to the latest contest. As soon as the next one is announced, I update the link.

Yes, you are an excellent writer, and I seriously hope you pursue your talent.

posted on Aug, 6 2013 @ 12:19 AM
reply to post by Druid42

Thank you, Druid! That is wonderful to hear from you!!

I knew I was skipping in barely under the wire on this one, but it was too much fun to pass up - and I need deadlines/story-inspirations like this to get me moving to the keyboard amidst the massive amount of "life stuff" I'm doing...

I really appreciate you stopping by to give me this encouragement. It's been a long time since I shared my writing and I greatly respect your opinion! I will try to keep an eye out for the next one to make sure I get a story in quickly...

peace to you,


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