Los Alamos, New Mexico – April 11, 2008 – The sophisticated equipment in the lab was quite capable of monitoring any frequency known to man and then some. For years now Dr. Stephen Grable had managed to keep a secret to himself, despite the continuous background checks regarding his past and the annual polygraph tests administered by his employer. Working for the United States government researching and testing advanced communication techniques shrouded under a veil of secrecy meant giving up your entire life for the benefit of others. Dr. Grable gulped down the dregs of his morning coffee and reflected over the past several decades.
The signals had been weak at first, but had become increasingly stronger over the years. A spike in the Summer of 2007 followed by a now steady pulse every 120 seconds beckoned him to investigate further. The original frequencies were encrypted and to this day he had yet to unravel the mystery of their origin. He admired the advanced code being transmitted as any scientist would, and at first he had suspected they were extraterrestrial in origin but his sensitive monitoring equipment pointed exactly 145 miles to the East Northeast and underground near Capulin volcano.
Two days prior the signals had suddenly weakened but the two minute pulse continued its buzzing harmony through his headphones. He’d run advanced deciphering algorithms in an effort to determine why the original signals had all but vanished, but his efforts were futile. From seven hundred feet underground Grable calmly fired off the required email requesting a few weeks vacation and began to formulate a plan in his mind.
There would be questions and there would be answers. There would be followers and there would be unwanted company as well. An employee with his knowledge would be monitored closely during his travels and interrogated upon his return. Grable would take along his teenage son and his daughter of 26 years in an effort to appear as innocent as possible. He’d answered the usual barrage of questions about his vacation and his response of planning to visit several of the National Parks in this part of the state came off well. His vacation request was granted and he checked his badges with security and headed home.
Grable packed his SUV full of camping and hiking gear and set off with Kelly and Kyle in tow. His converted cellular phone chirped quietly from his shirt pocket exactly every 120 seconds. Kelly and Kyle discussed trance music and global warming while Grable smiled to himself. If only his deceased wife could be along for this trip it would mean the world to him. The miles disappeared into nothingness as they do when one is lost in their thoughts. The brief Saturday journey ended in the late afternoon with a quick visit to the volcano area and on to Folsom for a nights rest before heading back out to the volcano on Sunday morning.
They were able to acquire adjoining rooms at the small motel in Folsom, and the volcano loomed in the distance just a few miles away. Grable stared at it from his room window as thousands of stars filled the sky and rained a magical light across the entire countryside. His cell phone chirped happily away and Grable felt a sense of contentment that he could not explain. In fact it startled him. He felt the hair stand up on the back of his neck and chills ran down his spine. He laughed out loud to himself and as he realized how odd he appeared standing in the window an unmarked car eased slowly through the parking lot of the motel. He stared at it intently and picked up a vibe that only someone who is being followed can detect.
Grable nonchalantly eased way from the window and sat in the cheap motel chair. He opened the lid of a small notebook computer and plugged his cell phone into it. He started the diagnostics program for the signals being picked up by the phone and a 3D animation formed before his eyes as the complex software created a map grid of the entire area and its subsurface. The signal was not pulsing at all, but instead it was rotating from a precise point deep within a maze of underground tunnels and caverns! Grable stared at the newly created map in absolute disbelief. His grid clearly showed a complex series of what appeared to be man-made pathways. Clearly these had been bored through the strata with machinery, but he couldn’t say for certain if these were known excavations.
Grable rotated and studied the complex 3D graphics before him. It was quite obvious that an entrance was near the surface, although it appeared to be partially blocked and hidden from view. And why this signal rotating from a point far underground? Was this his own government at work? Was this some super-secret underground base? His head spun with wild ideas about the possibilities.
He connected a small printer to the notebook computer and printed out a series of grid elevations and maps for his own use. He removed the drive from the computer and stood and looked out the window. The unmarked car was nowhere in site but he still felt ill at ease with the situation. He dropped the hard drive in his pants pocket and tucked the notebook under one arm and the printer under the other and walked outside. He casually tossed both of them in a large trash bin and walked behind the motel and destroyed the drive with the heel of his boot. He picked it up and tossed it over a fence and into a fast moving stream that he could see beyond.
Grable lay in his motel bed many hours later as the stars found their way down the sky. The room was filled with an eerie light and his heart began to pound as he looked at the bedside clock. It was 4:10 AM. He sat up on the side of the bed and began to sob uncontrollably. What was this all about? Why does he feel like part of him is being pulled out from the inside? He pulled on his boots and walked back to the window. He grabbed his jacket and cell phone. He knew what he was about to do but he didn’t know why..
Grable sat out on his own with his two dear children asleep in their room. Visions of his dead wife clouded his thought processes. The volcano was only about 3 miles away and he could easily make it before sunrise. Armed only with a small powerful flashlight, Dr. Stephen Grable unknowingly finished one life and began the journey of another..