John calls from Tele Aviv
“We need something more elaborate. Your thunder flashes and rocket bombs were well enough to send them hither and yon but it won’t hold them for long. Besides Langley will send a clever drone – one that’ll see the sweat on your eyeballs. That woman wants years to study. We’ll be found long ‘afore that. We need something to keep ‘em occupied for months at least.” The Commander paused his briefing from Tel Aviv.
Ben said, “I was hoping, Commander, that you could sell some sort of long term, possibly lucrative, project. Something they’d be pleased to keep secret – something they would help us to keep secret.”
“I am. With luck they’ll buy in to a variation of that project Israel Ali Akul and his band were up to.”
Bill interjected. “They were looking for water – wouldn’t uranium be more attractive?”
“There’s uranium everywhere. They got it all over Syria and Jordan. No, water’s the thing. Everybody needs water. You need water for just about every industrial job and you need a lot of water for fracking out uranium and oil and all sorts. No water’s the sell. You boys keep them CIA Kurds busy while I set minds a ticking in Tel Aviv and Langley.” He hung up.
Peter under Atlantis
Peter had walked the passageways to the end of the subterranean reservoir where a staircase had taken him down, down, ever down into cool air maybe a kilometre underground. He reached a landing, about a three metres square, with archways in two directions, each enticing, each unnerving in its darkened mysteriousness. Looking up he could see two of what must be many of the narrow roof openings that brought light from the surface to go all the way down all of the steps. Venturing to the archway straight ahead he saw more steps that seemed not to be lit from the openings above, but from lower down. He turned, went to the other archway where he saw more steps leading down to another landing that appeared much wider than the one on which he stood. He started to descend, noting as he went that the steps grew ever wider until the last one was half the width of the landing. In the middle was a hole – about the same size as the upper landing with a low peripheral wall not more than forty centimetres high and about ten thick. He walked around the wall, peering down as he went into the darkness. He was comfortable, he noted, able to walk easily because the air was fresh, cool – there was ventilation and there was light, but not in the hole. Looking over and down he could neither see, nor smell, anything to suggest its purpose except, perhaps, the square appeared perfect, and the walls were flat and smooth.
He returned to the first landing and took the other archway. There was plenty of light which was increasingly mysterious because there were no roof openings above these steps. Again he travelled down, and down for another kilometre or more before the area opened up and there, high on four marble columns, was the source of light. He was stunned. Standing back he leaned against the wall to take stock of a huge dish, about ten metres across, resting atop four marble columns so its upper edge appeared to be a metre and half from the roof. Surprising as it was to find such an object in such a place that wasn’t the source of his amazement; it was the light coming from it, extending all over the ceiling to illuminate the chamber in a soft white that stunned him. He stood upright again and stared. It wasn’t clear as to from where the light was coming but it had to be from the surface. It had to be from a light, and, or, a ventilation, shaft reaching up, maybe a mile of more, to the surface, yet it was pleasant here. It was cool and clean; how could it be clean? How could it be free of dust and dirt and volcanic ash? That didn’t make sense but there it was. He was standing in a comfortable, clean, well lit, chamber a mile underground that was devoid of any kind of machinery. He decided to sit, to contemplate, to give his tired legs a rest and his addled brain a chance to assemble the pieces.
When he awoke Meira was there, only she wasn’t. She was there, in his head, but not, physically, present. How could that be? He let it go, sat up, stretched, stood, and started to walk. Where? Where was he going? Another archway to another passage and it was lit. How was that? There was no obvious light source here – where he was walking to no conscious purpose – but he continued and continued and continued until – until he stopped at what appeared to be a concrete box between four stone columns stretching to the roof. He stepped into the box and waited. For what? He didn’t know. He didn’t know why he was here or where he was going when slowly, and by no means quietly, the box began to rumble up between the columns. He wasn’t alarmed – even as it went through the roof to another chamber and through that roof and another and another until it stopped – he wasn’t alarmed. He simply stepped out and walked through an arch to the first landing he reached on the way down. He wasn’t surprised at that. He should have been. His head told him he should be amazed, but he wasn’t. Instead he walked up the first set of steps until he was back at the big reservoir where he rested again.
“I can reach you now – from anywhere. I can reach you wherever you are.”
“I know.” Peter was calm – in total acceptance of the changes.
“Don’t you think it’s wonderful?” Meira stared into his face.
“Fuck. I’m not sure. I don’t fucking know what I think.” He paused, ruminated, “If you can reach into my head you can read my mind. That’s frightening.”
“No, I can’t read your mind. I can send guidance when you ask, and can read your face and eyes when I’m with you. You should be happy. You can reach out for help from me. I can reach the Old Ones so you, too, can reach them. That’s wonderful. That, as you would say, ‘Is fucking, fan-fucking-tastic.’” She looked at him – Long and hard she looked over his face and eyes. “Innit?”
He relented. “Yeah it is. It fucking is.” He grinned, smiled, slapped his leg, walked in a circle, stopped, looked at her. “Yes it is. I have a goddess.”
“No Peter – none of that nonsense. I am a well developed human making good use of my mind. Soon you will make better use of yours.” She watched him.
He thought a little more then turned to say, “Wish we had some champers.”
“We will. We’ll have oodles of champers and caviar, and smoked salmon and pâté de foie gras and oodles and oodles of pheasant and grouse and vin du pay.”
“Oodles and oodles?”
“Oodles and oodles and oodles.”
“Always the last word.”
“Bitch.” He hugged her, held her long – gave her all his love.