Meditations: Validation

“We’re going to do a simple meditation to get you familiar with the process of placing yourself in a hypnogogic state.”

Gertrude painstakingly explains to Jason the value of being able to place himself into a hypnogogic state so that he can access the data that’s encrypted in his DNA.

“While in a hypnogogic state, you’ll see, hear, feel, and know things you’re unable to in a conscious state. There is nothing to be afraid of. This isn’t even like a hypnosis, and I won’t ask you to cluck like a chicken. Gertrude jokes with Jason.

“I’m going to place this ball in your hand, Jason. You will drop it the moment you slip into a hypnogogic state, and it will bring you back here with me.”

Jason takes some rhythmic breaths and closes his eyes. Gertrude walks Jason through some simple breathing and relaxing exercises that eventually lead to Jason slipping into a deep state of relaxation.

“I want you to imagine you’re in a room, Jason. This room can be any room you want to create to be. It can have walls or no walls. Ceiling or no ceiling. It is whatever you create it to be in your mind.”

Jason sees a bright tunnel in front of him as he begins to tune out Gertrude’s instructions.

“One,” he hears a voice say through the tunnel.

Jason can feel the ball Gertrude placed in his hand begin to slip out of his hand.

He runs frantically into the tunnel and is consumed by the light. He feels his body merge into the light and then hears the voice again.

“When you awaken in the next second, once the ball hits the ground and awakens you back to consciousness, she’s going to ask you questions about what you experienced while you were here. It’s important that you don’t mention this experience.” The voice says to Jason in a way that makes him feel at peace.

“What am I to tell her instead?” Jason asks.

“Tell her about the room you created.”

“But I don’t even remember the room I created.” Jason searches for any memories about the room he created and becomes frustrated.

“It’s okay to be frustrated, Jason. When you awaken, you will regain your memory of the room you created. It’s a magnificent room. Your imagination is exceptional.”

“So, what is the purpose of this? Are you part of what she is looking for?” Jason suddenly has a feeling in his awareness that Gertrude might not be as good intentioned as she seems. “You’re her husband?”

“No.” The voice remarks with a flat response. “I am a gatekeeper.”

“A gatekeeper to what? The information sequenced in my DNA?”

“No.”

“Then what?”

“The next gatekeeper.”

Jason remains silent as he ponders the gatekeeper to a gatekeeper concept.

“And after that gatekeeper?” Jason asks.

“I do not know, Jason. I only know my function.”

There’s silence for what seems like eternity.

“Two.” The gatekeeper says.

“What are you counting?” Jason says in a confused manner. He’s starting to feel a pressure building around him.

“The ball will slip from your hand in one more second, and you will be awakened. It is very important that you listen to me carefully and remember as much detail as possible.”

“I’m all ears!”

“Tomorrow, you will be in a car. There will be a car that you pull up next to at a stop light. There will be a woman who looks like this driving the car.” A 3D image of a blonde woman with a large nose and bob hairstyle displays in front of Jason.

“Now, I know this is some weird dream. Nobody drives a car anymore.” Jason thinks to himself. “She’s not really my type,” Jason says to the gatekeeper.

“She will be singing a song, Jason. I need you to remember as many words of that song that she sings.”

“I’m not much of a music guy, gatekeeper.”

“You will remember what you remember, Jason. Later that day, you will be back here in a meditation. Tell me all that you remember, and I will send you to the next gatekeeper.”

“What if I don’t remember anything?” Jason says.

“That would be rather unfortunate, Jason. But I don’t think you have much to worry about. I have faith in you.”

There’s a moment of silence as Jason ponders how a voice inside is head just told him that he has faith in him.

“Three…”

#

Jason sits up abruptly in his chair, startled by the sound of the ball hitting the floor! He’s breathing heavily. Gertrude places her hand on his hand.

“Are you okay?” She asks softly.

“That was weird, Mrs. Hammenstel.” Jason says in a broken chain of words, trying to catch his breath.

She hands him a small glass of water. He takes a big gulp and quickly downs the entire glass before he notices it has an odd taste to it. He looks at Gertrude who smiles softly at him as his vision blurs for a brief moment. He begins to feel a bit dizzy and tries to speak. But his mouth won’t move, and he can’t make a sound. He falls back into his chair and collapses.

Jason hears someone whispering his name softly, but he can’t see anything or feel anything. He tries to open his eyes, but everything remains dark. He can sense there is someone surrounding him from all sides but above where there appears to be a tiny pin prick of light so far away that it just appears like a speck of dust above his head.

He pushes himself up towards the speck and launches himself at what seems like a speed faster than the speed of light. Suddenly, he bursts into the spec and is surrounded by light. He awakens on the same chair he was on just moments earlier where he drank the poison Gertrude had handed him.

“Are you okay?” She asks startled. She reaches for a glass of water, and Jason quickly pushes himself out of the chair and kicks it out of her hand.

Startled, she recoils from him. “Jason, it’s me, Gertrude.”

Jason glares back at her. “I’m your friend, Jason!”

Jason heads towards the door of Gertrude’s office and reaches for the door handle.

“What happened, Jason?”

He pauses with his hand on the door as he hears a voice inside his head tell him to go back and sit in the chair and listen now that he knows the truth about Gertrude. He sighs and lets go of the door knob. Gertrude watches closely as he sits back in the chair.

“It’s been a difficult couple of weeks, Mrs. Hammenstel.”

“I can only imagine, Jason. I know this must be a lot for you to digest.”

“Are you sure your guys can’t get the encryption key to work?”

Gertrude explains to Jason how they continue to work on decrypting the information in his DNA and that these exercises are for helping him with the voices in his head and not about the messages in his DNA.

“I think of you like a son. This work is for you. I want to help you with the impact this is having on your mental health. I know you are struggling with all of this…”

“I’m struggling with hearing voices inside my head, Mrs. Hammenstel. How is this going to work? How is any of this going to help me? Shouldn’t I be in a padded cell? Shouldn’t I be on medication? I don’t even know what’s real and what’s not real anymore! I don’t even know if this is real!”

“I understand there’s a lot we don’t know. I understand there’s a lot you’re trying to work through and so much you can’t wrap your head around. This is where I can help you.” Gertrude leans towards Jason and touches the top of his hand. “And you should absolutely NOT be on medication, Jason. And it’s very important you don’t seek traditional mental health and medication.”

Jason looks at her with disappointment.

“The forces you are up against are powerful beyond belief. Your friend Jessica is lucky to be alive.”

“I’d like to go see her tomorrow.”

“She’s not awake yet, Jason.”

“I know. I just want to see her.”

“Okay, we can arrange that.”

“I want to go by myself. I know you think those goons are going to come after me, but I called Detective Gomez. She’s going to take me.”

Gertrude pauses for a few seconds while she sorts through what Jason has just told her, having ignored her directions to not contact anyone; including Detective Gomez. “Jason, I’m a little concerned that you aren’t taking me very serious. Your life is at stake here.”

“If these guys are as powerful as you say they are, then they could just come barging through that door and kill me right now. Or they could have killed me when I was younger.”

Gertrude shakes her head as Jason points out the various holes he finds in her conspiracy theories she’s been sharing with him over the last couple of days.

“Don’t take this the wrong way, Mrs. Hammenstel, but I’m thinking either these guys aren’t as powerful as you think…” He pauses as he gets out of the chair again and walks towards the office door. “Or I’m a lot more valuable alive than I am dead. Which means, it’s not just about the DNA.”

As Jason walks out the door and down the hall towards the front door, he hears a voice inside his head, “Good job!” He smiles.

#

Jason is sitting in his car as it drives him to the hospital where Jessica lies in a coma. As the car pulls up to a stoplight, he hears someone singing at the top of her lungs in the car next to him. He looks to his left and sees a young woman, exactly as was displayed to him during his hypnosis the prior day. She has her hands on a steering wheel and looks over at Jason and continues to sing the song as Jason’s car starts to drive forward with the green light.

Jason tries to get his car to stop, but there is nothing he can do to control his car. He hopes that the next stoplight will turn red for him so that he can hear more of the song. He tries to look back towards the car to see if he can see where the young woman is. Soon, he realizes that he’s not going to see or hear the young woman again, but he can’t remember anything the woman was singing.

Frustrated, his car arrives at the stoplight to turn into the hospital. Within a few seconds, the young woman driving the old car pulls up next to him again. She looks over at him while singing as loud as she can. He watches her and listens to her with 100% of his awareness, being sure to tuck away as much of the lyrics and melody as possible. The light turns green for the woman’s car, and she waves at him as she drives away and Jason looks on longingly.

As his car pulls up to the drop off zone, Jason continues to hum and mumble the song out loud, hoping to retain as much as he can for his next visit with the gatekeeper. Jessica’s parents (Mark and Martha) are waiting for him at the hospital and are glad to see him. He hugs both of them, and they check-in with the front desk.

The three of them walk into Jessica’s room where the robot nurse scans their badges and confirms their facial recognition with the International Legal Compliance Records. Jessica’s mom explains to Jason that she hasn’t seen her respond to anything. She’s tried every sound and smell she can think of, but Jessica doesn’t respond to anything.

Jessica’s father fights back tears as he puts his right arm around Jason and brings him in tight. “I know you and Jessica were just friends, but I also know you were her best friend.”

Jason looks at Mark and can see the pain on his face. Jason hears a voice inside his head, “She will listen to you.”

“She will hear me, Mr. Chance.” Jason says with confidence as he looks Mark in the eyes and sees his pain disappear.

Jason walks over to Jessica’s right side and holds her hand. He leans in and whispers in her ear, “Jessica, I know you can hear me.” He pulls back as he feels her hand move in his.

“Look!” Jason turns to Mark and Martha in amazement, but they look confused. “I felt her hand twitch in mine!”

“Do it again, Jason. Please!” Martha pleads with him.

This time, Jason doesn’t hold her hand so that Jessica’s parents can see. He whispers in her ear again, “Jessica, I know you can hear me.” Jessica’s hand does not move.

“It might have just been a reflex or a timely twitch,” Mark explains.

Jason’s face drops from excitement to disappointment immediately, and Martha joins him in disappointment as they both look at Jessica lying in a coma. Jason makes a few more attempts, each with the same non-result.

The mood in the room slowly shifts down as it becomes clear that Jason’s presence isn’t making a difference for Jessica. Jason slowly walks towards the door with his head down. He hasn’t heard a voice inside his head since entering the hospital. Suddenly, he’s inspired, thinking the hypnosis gatekeeper was trying to send him a message about how to help Jessica! He turns around and begins to sing the song he heard the young woman singing in her car:

All I can say is

After today this

Love goes away with

One more goodbye kiss

Jessica’s parents look stunned as they listen to Jason’s terrible singing. They look at each other in astonishment. Then, in hope, they look at Jessica with an enormous mutual smile… Nothing.

They look back at Jason who flaps his hands at his side in disappointment.

“It was worth a shot, Jason. It’s a beautiful song.” Martha says.

“I’m sorry I let you down, Mr. & Mrs. Chance.” Jason says before leaving the room.

Mark catches up to Jason in the hallway and stops him. “Jason, we really don’t want you to think this is your fault. There’s nothing you could have done if you were there anyway. The police said these were very bad men who did this. Please don’t feel like you’ve let us down then or now. You’re a wonderful young man, and we know our daughter had nothing but the utmost respect for you.”

Jason starts to cry and hugs Mark who hugs him back.

#

“I want you to imagine you’re in a room, Jason. This room can be any room you want to create to be. It can have walls or no walls. Ceiling or no ceiling. It is whatever you create it to be in your mind.” Gertrude leads Jason into another hypnosis.

“One,” Jason hears the gatekeeper.

“I remembered the lyrics, but they didn’t do me any good,” Jason explains to the gatekeeper.

The gatekeeper asks Jason to recite the lyrics, and he sings them as he did in Jessica’s hospital room. “They didn’t do me any good though. Jessica is still in a coma.”

The gatekeeper has a new voice. “You have much to learn, Jason. Why would you think these lyrics have anything to do with your friend?”

“I don’t know. I don’t know what any of this has to do with anything. I honestly feel like I’m going insane. You know, when I’m in the real world, I hear voices. Not voices like you though. They seem to just be me but with difference voices.”

“I’ll let you know something very important now so you can make a choice for yourself, Jason. But I can only let you know if you choose to know.”

“I’m starting to question whether I know anything at all, gatekeeper. So, if you want to bestow some great wisdom upon me, I’m all ears.”

“This isn’t wisdom, Jason, but it is something you need to choose for yourself.”

“Okay, choice-bot, hit me with it!”

The gatekeeper is silent.

“Hello?” Jason keeps looking around for something visual, but there is nothing but darkness all around him.

“This has nothing to do with you, Jason. You are not a chosen one. You are not going to save the world. You won’t have any superpowers. You won’t win any great battle or become some great hero. You won’t even be able to save your best friend from dying.” The gatekeeper delivers in a dry tone. “Which is happening at this very moment, Jason. Your best friend is dying, and there is nothing you can do about it.”

Jason is filled with rage at the gatekeeper and this hypnosis. He can feel his heart racing as he tries to escape the hypnosis. He remembers he’s holding the ball in his hand, so he thinks of dropping the ball and imagines the ball hitting the ground.

There’s a sudden thud on the ground! Jason springs out of his chair and runs out of Gertrude’s office yelling, “I’ll be back! I need to check on Jessica!”

Jason arrives at the hospital where Jessica’s mom is waiting for him. “What’s going on, Jason? What’s wrong? You sounded to worried over the phone.”

“Is Jessica okay? Is she still alive?”

Martha looks concerned as she can see the panic on Jason’s face.

“She’s fine, Jason.” Martha pauses. “Well, she’s as fine as she can be in a coma.” She stops to catch her own emotions. “And she’s still alive. Thank God.”

“Can I see her?”

“Jason, I’m not sure that’s a good idea right now. I don’t feel like you’re in the right state of mind to see her. You’ve got me a little worried for you right now.”

Jason’s breathing has switched into full panic mode. “I really need to see her. I just need to know she’s okay, right now, at this very moment!”

“She’s okay, Jason. I was just in her room 10 minutes ago. I’ve been with her all morning. She’s fine, son.” Martha hugs Jason in an attempt to calm him down.

Jason breaks down crying, “I just want her to be okay. I’m so sorry, Mrs. Chance! I’m so sorry for making your worried. I’m not doing well.”

“I understand, Jason. I can only imagine how hard this must be for you as well. I know you love my daughter, and I know she loved you too. She would always compare any boy she’d go on a date with to you. Even though you were just friends, she would always compare them to you. No one ever made it to the second date. You’re such a great young man, Jason.”

“Okay. Okay.” Jason panic begins to subside. He pulls away from Martha and starts to walk away. “Okay. Jessica is okay. You said Jessica is okay, right? She’s Okay?”

“Yes, my dear. Jessica is okay.”

#

“I want you to imagine you’re in a room, Jason. This room can be any room you want to create to be. It can have walls or no walls. Ceiling or no ceiling. It is whatever you create it to be in your mind.”

“One.”

“You’re full of shit, gatekeeper!” Jason yells. “I don’t even think you are real. You’re just inside my head!”

The gatekeeper responds, “You are so certain, are you?”

“I went to the hospital, and I saw that Jessica was just fine!”

“You didn’t see her, Jason.”

“You don’t know what’s real because you can’t be honest with yourself, Jason. If you can’t be honest with yourself, of course, you won’t know what’s real.”

“Jessica is okay! You’re just some voice of paranoia inside my head!”

“You don’t know Jessica is okay. Someone told you Jessica is okay, and you believed it. That’s how you’ve spent your entire life, Jason. You’re entire life has been spent believing what someone else has told you. Even when you think you are thinking for yourself, you’re just searching for validation from someone else for a thought you didn’t even truly have yourself. Your very own thoughts are just what’s been programmed into your brain for you to output at a given time under given circumstances.”

“So, I’m programmed to think you’re a jerk?”

“Yes.”

“Why do you waste your time on me then? I’m not a hero! I’m not going to save the world! Why waste your time on such a meaningless robot?”

The gatekeeper is silent.

“You’re just a voice…”

The gatekeeper interrupts, “Because that is my purpose.”

Jason pauses for a moment to digest what the gatekeeper has told him… He starts to cry, “I’m a nobody. I’m nothing. And you’re just wasting your time on me because that’s your purpose?”

“No, Jason. You are not a nobody. You are not nothing. And I am not wasting my time on you. You are my everything. You mean everything to me. You are everything to me. My entire existence is dependent on you.”

“But you said all of this had nothing to do with me. You said I couldn’t save Jessica. Who happens to be alive, by the way.”

“Yes, Jason. The greater purpose has nothing to do with you. You won’t be the hero in this story. You won’t save the girl in this story. None of that means what you made it mean. You don’t mean nothing.”

Jason begins to dry his tears from his eyes.

“You are my purpose, Jason. You are everything to me.”

“And that’s supposed to comfort me? I’m supposed to feel great because some voice inside my head tells me that I’m its everything?” Jason screams in an almost state of madness.

“You sound ready.”

“Ready for what, gatekeeper?”

“Ready for validation.”

In complete confusion, Jason answers question after question about his past and his upbringing. His parents had impressed upon him to learn his genealogy as far back as he could. He had his entire family tree engrained in his memory going back to the 1600s. The gatekeeper asks about the books he read in school, the animals he owned growing up, and so much more.

Finally, the gatekeeper is quiet.

“Hello?” Jason again looks around for any visual signs of the gatekeeper.

The gatekeeper has a new voice, “I’ll see you next time, Jason.”

Agent Lee

“He’s by far the most promising recruit we’ve seen in the history of the program!” The medical director says to Fredrick Prophet as he leads him down the hallway.

“And his DNA analysis?” Fredrick asks.

“80 percent match, sir.” the medical director smiles as he opens the door to the room where Cadet Lee sits quietly reading through a history book on mid-American history.

Fredrick motions to the medical director to leave as Cadet Lee abruptly closes his book, places it on his desk, stands up, pushes his chair in, and stands at attention saluting Fredrick. Fredrick smiles, “I’m not one of those, Cadet Lee.” Cadet Lee relaxes and let’s out a big sigh.

“The medical director tells me you’ve shown the best results of anyone he’s ever seen in the program. I know that might come as a surprise to you given your subpar grades.”

Cadet Lee doesn’t understand where Fredrick is going with the conversation, so he remains silent and keeps his stern face.

“I have a special assignment for you, Agent Lee.” Fredrick says as he looks out the tiny window in Cadet Lee’s room.

Cadet Lee’s stern composure turn to surprise at the sound of “Agent Lee”. He cracks a smile and almost laughs in the process.

“I’m not joking about the agent part, Lee.” Fredrick says, not even turning around to see Cadet Lee almost laughing. “You have something within you of particular value, and I’m hoping for you to reach the potential I know you’re capable of.”

“With all due respect, sir, I’m not sure I understand what you’re talking about. I don’t even know why I’m still in this program. I should have failed out months ago. I’ve seen others with better grades get kicked out. So, whatever you’re talking about, I don’t understand, sir.” Cadet Lee says as he sounds disappointed in himself.

Fredrick turns to Lee and looks him in the eyes. “What you can’t see, I’ll help you see, Agent Lee. The confidence you lack is a minor hurdle for you to reach your full potential. You are destined to change history, Agent Lee. I’m here to take you to the next level.” Fredrick smiles. “You’re next round of training starts now. Come with me.”

Cadet Lee flattens his smile and has a dumbfounded look on his face. Fredrick walks over to the door and grabs the handle. Not turning around, he says to Cadet Lee, “Don’t pack anything. My team will take care of it. Your sole responsibility from this point on is to follow my orders, Agent Lee.”

#

Cadet Lee lies submerged in a float tank with a series of wires connected to his head. He’s in a deep state of meditation as Fredrick Prophet and a team of scientists monitor his vitals and an application that’s providing them with direct insight into Cadet Lee’s near real-time brain functions.

“Maurice, how’s everything looking?” Fredrick asks the lead scientist directing the operations.

“It appears that Cadet Lee is the closest he’s been in months, Fred. If he can maintain this level of meditation, we should be able to make contact within the next 10 minutes!” Maurice responds in suppressed excitement.

They continue monitoring Cadet Lee for another 10 minutes as Fredrick begins to grow increasingly anxious. The program suddenly begins printing data to the screen at a rate that nobody can read! Cadet Lee’s body jumps suddenly in the tank and he awakens. He’s pulled out of the container and several scientists help him untangle himself from the mess of wires he’s become trapped in from thrashing around uncontrollably in the tank.

“What was that, Fred!” Cadet Lee yells into the rafters, knowing that Fredrick is monitoring him along with several other scientists in the observation room up on the mezzanine. “What in the crazy ass hell was that Fred!” He yells again!

Fred runs down the stairs, “Lee! You did it! I need you to tell me everything that happened!”

Cadet Lee jumps out of the tank, snapping several of the wires in the process and shoves the scientists away from him as he heads, drenched, towards Fredrick in a rage. Just as he’s about to reach Fredrick, he drops to his knees and then collapses into convulsions. Fredrick rolls Cadet Lee on to his side and then removes his sports coat and covers Cadet Lee’s naked body and comforts him until his body stops convulsing and Cadet Lee falls into a deep sleep.

#

“Agent Lee…”

“Agent Lee…”

Cadet Lee feels warm sunshine on his face as he awakens inside of a dream state. There’s a beautiful grassy hill in front of him with a single large Terebinth tree at the top. A glowing orb shoots out of the tree and begins to swirl around him, and he begins to spin in circles trying to catch the orb until he blacks out and awakens in an empty building.

A man who is just a silhouette walks towards him and begins speaking even though he has no face or mouth, “Agent Lee, it’s nice to finally meet you. Welcome to our home.”

Cadet Lee looks around at the empty surroundings. “Our home?” He asks.

“We’re going to be spending some time together, Agent Lee.”

“Fred? Is that you? Are you playing some sort of mind game with me? Nobody calls me Agent Lee except your stupid ass.” Cadet Lee says with anger as his relationship with Fredrick Prophet has greatly soured over the months they’ve been working on Project Bishop.

“No, I’m not Fredrick.”

“God?”

“I’m not God.”

“Satan?”

The figure chuckles, “No, Agent Lee.”

“Do you have a name?” Cadet Lee asks in confusion.

“No, Agent Lee.” The silhouette responds.

“That doesn’t help much. How should I address you?”

“Just call me.”

Cadet Lee waits for an additional response and finally breaks the awkward silence. “Why am I here?”

“To spend time with me.”

“And why are you here?”

“To spend time with you.” The silhouette responds.

Cadet Lee throws his hands up in despair and places his hands on his hips, looking disgustedly at the silhouette. He begins walking to his right away from the silhouette and notices that the walls of the empty building are moving so that it appears he’s in the same place in the middle of the empty room. He turns back to the direction of the silhouette, and it’s gone.

“Where did you go?”

The silhouette suddenly appears in the same location it was before and begins walking towards him. Cadet Lee starts walking towards the silhouette and the two begin gliding towards each other until Cadet Lee finds himself floating inside the silhouette. Suddenly he begins to feel like he’s falling faster and faster until his flesh and bones disintegrate from his soul and his soul splatters on the ground.

He watches as the puddle of his soul slowly spreads out on the floor of a semi dark room. There’s a light source, but he can’t tell where it’s coming from.

“Who are you?” He hears a strange voice he’s never heard before. “What are you doing here?”

He answers back, “I’m Agent Lee. Who the hell are you?”

Agent Lee waits for an answer as he hears the other man breathing heavier with each passing moment.

“How can I help you Agent Lee?”

“You can start by telling me who you are.” Agent Lee demands.

“Who sent you?” The voice demands back.

“The Bishop sent me.”

“Which Bishop, Agent Lee?” The voice asks in a more relaxed tone.

“Maurice.”

Agent Lee responds to several more questions with information Fredrick has been training him with for the last several months. The voice sounding less and less skeptical with each question.

“Call me Mr. Phillips, Agent Lee. Tell the Bishop I need three days after the data drop. I will speak with you soon.”

Agent Lee looks confused, but Fredrick had prepared him for this moment for months.

“Congratulations on the promotion, Agent Lee.”

“Thanks, Mr. Phillips.”

“Oh, and Agent Lee, watch out for that first drop. It’s going to hurt.”

Agent Lee suddenly feels himself dropping again. Faster and faster. This time he feels the pain as his flesh begins to disintegrate from his body.

#

Agent Lee suddenly wakes up in a hospital bed. A doctor is sitting at his bedside and touches him on his arm.

“Agent Lee”. She says softly to him in a soothing voice that immediately calms his anxiety.

“How did I get here?” He calmly asks the doctor.

“Fredrick brought you here. I’ve been monitoring you for the last six weeks.” She responds.

“I’ve been out for six weeks?”

“Yes, Agent Lee. You might feel a bit weak. From not moving much, but we’ve been taking very good care of you. Fredrick himself has been changing your sheets and rubbing the skin treatment on you.”

Agent Lee looks confused and starts to respond, “but he’s an asshole, Doc.”

The door opens and Fredrick enters the room. The doctor stands up and walks towards Fredrick. “He’s doing well. I briefed him on his status, and he was just telling me how thankful he was for your care.” She says to Fredrick.

“I bet he was,” Fredrick says. He walks to Agent Lee’s bedside and places his hand on the guard rail. Looking at Agent Lee with a big smile, he turns to the doctor. “Doctor, Harvey, can you bring in the transcripts from the session so that I can review them with Agent Lee? Thanks.”

#

Agent Lee is a bit nervous the evening before his third trip for Project Bishop. He’s sitting with Fredrick, Doctor Harvey and Maurice Lane, the chief scientist, as they paint the picture of the most important, and final phase of the project. Agent Lee is to deliver the final set of data that will be necessary for Mr. Phillips to complete Operation Bishop.

Over the last several months, the friendship between Fredrick and Agent Lee has greatly improved as Agent Lee now understands the full scope and importance of the work Fredrick has chosen him for. Plus, he’s learned to understand why Fredrick had to keep him in the dark about the true purpose of the project at the onset.

Fredrick has become a father figure to Agent Lee, a father figure he never had growing up. As he’s staring out the window, Agent Lee thinks back to the conversation he had with Fredrick a couple of weeks ago.

“Fred, I have to tell you something that’s very important to me.” Agent Less said to Fredrick.

“Go ahead, son.”

“See, that’s exactly it, Fred. I never had a father growing up. He died before I was born. You’ve been the closest thing I’ve ever had to a father in my life.” Agent Lee’s eyes welled with tears. “You’re more of a father figure that I think an actual dad could even be. I just want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for believing in me and supporting me through this entire project.”

“I appreciate the sentiment, Lee. It means a lot to me. This project is your destiny. It’s been generations in the making. In many ways, I feel like your father. In full disclosure…” Fredrick paused for a moment as Agent Lee felt like he was giving great consideration to what he was about to say next. “Your father and I worked together, Lee. I made a promise to him that I’d watch you and shepherd you if anything were to happen to him. He was a great man, Lee. He understood just how important you were going to be. He too believed in you as I do.”

Stunned, Agent Lee was at a loss for words as Fredrick continued. “The truth is, Lee, your family has been a target for generations because of Project Bishop. Same with Doctor Harvey and Director Lane. The coup plotters changed Oswald’s name to Lee Harvey to send a signal over the generations since 1963 that your lineage and Doctor Harvey’s lineage are to be targeted. Someone’s a trader, Lee. I’m not saying you or Harvey, but I’ll be honest…”

Agent Lee had never seen a more serious look on Fredrick’s face, “I’m not ruling out Maurice, Lee. Don’t give him all your trust. If you ever wanted fatherly advice that’s it. Don’t fully trust Maurice.”

Agent Lee contemplated the enormity of what Fredrick was saying. “You think my father was killed because of me?” He asked.

“Absolutely, Lee. Someone on the other side found out who your father was. I think that was one of the reasons for the name change. It wasn’t to just let us know that they figured out we went back and faked the assassination. It was to leave a breadcrumb for the future so that someone could find it and attempt to thwart Project Bishop. Your entire lineage has been a target, and your father was the closest they ever came.”

#

Agent Lee sits across the table from Doctor Harvey as they eat their regular pre-meditation breakfast. “Are you ready to make history, Agent Lee?” She smiles.

“You ever wonder if all of this has any point to it?” Agent Lee asks.

“I’m not sure what you mean, Lee. We’re saving a great man’s life.”

“Are we really? In all the history books, he’s dead. And the agency we’re working for and the men I’m talking to back in 1963 are all implicated and blamed for the assassination or at the very least not stopping it. What’s the point?” Agent Lee says frustratedly pushing his bowl of oatmeal away from him.

Doctor Harvey slides the bowl back closer to Agent Lee. “I know it’s not easy for you, Lee. I know this whole experience is borderline torture for your mind. You need to eat.”

“You haven’t answered my question.”

“Yes, Lee, I believe this all has a point. I believe we’re answering a higher calling than we could possibly understand. And most importantly, I believe that you were given a gift.” She places her hand on Agent Lee’s hand and continues. “You were given a gift that allows you, and only you to make this happen. Now, if you want to know why I think you were given this gift, I can’t even begin to fathom. I’m a pretty smart woman, Lee.”

Agent Lee interrupts, “You’re absolutely brilliant, Doc.” He smiles.

“Thank you, Lee. Despite all that intelligence, I haven’t a clue who chose you or why. What I can comprehend is that it’s you. You save this man’s life. You make history, and the world is a better place because of it.” She pauses as she searches for the right words to say to Agent Lee.

“Quite honestly, Lee, I think the world is a better place because they think he’s dead. It allowed him to operate behind the scenes and engage with the deepest members of the teams that all lead to us sitting here this morning.”

Agent Lee smiles at Doctor Harvey as the two stare deep into each other’s eyes. They become almost lost in each other’s trance as they’ve become close partners during the execution of Operation Bishop.

“Let’s go make history, Doc!” Agent Lee stands up and the two hold hands as they walk towards the observation room.

The Little Mermaid (Idea)

Sci-fi version of “Little Mermaid” where Ariel is a genetically engineered mermaid who is part of a top secret military program (Atlantica). She is capable of sinking submarines and ships with a powerful sonar she is able to create with her underwater voice. She is ordered to sink a fishing vessel (mistakenly thought to be a foreign military vessel) in the Pacific Ocean off the coast of Los Angeles. She saves the Captain (Eric) but becomes depressed about her situation of destruction and lack of legs. Of course, she’s smitten by Eric and wants to be with him on land.

Eric’s father happens to be the Admiral who has Project Atlantica under his budget. Once he hears of the incident, he decides to shut it down. The program director (Dr. Triton) is told of the news to shutdown the program and is ordered to euthanize all of the creatures in the program. Of course, he has to keep it a secret, but the AI running the facility (Underwater Research System – Los Angeles) discovers the plan and uses Ariel’s love of Eric to coerce her into becoming a bipedal land dweller.

URSLA sends an AI lobster bot (Sebatian) to make arrangements with Ariel to become bipedal. URSLA fabricates some bionic legs to allow Ariel to see the world through a bipedal experience. Of course, Ariel must do a favor within 72 hours for the URSLA AI by plugging in a blue and yellow device (Flounder) to the USB port of an specific computer (Admiral who is shutting down Atlantica/Eric’s father).

Since Ariel is an underwater creature, she cannot vocally communicate outside of water, and there is not enough time to create a vocal communicator for her. The AI hides her from Dr. Triton but doesn’t let on that it knows Dr. Triton is euthanizing all the creatures and allows them to be systematically killed, including others just like Ariel.

Meanwhile, Ariel gets Eric to fall in love with her via online dating apps and virtual reality, masking her lack of voice. She gets to meet Eric’s father after Eric invites her to have dinner at the Admiral’s house. There she discovers that the URSLA program is slated to be shutdown by Eric’s father because of the incident where Ariel sank Eric’s ship, killing everyone aboard. This is only after she has already plugged in the device to the USB port.

The URSLA AI spreads to a nuclear submarine and begins to move the submarine into the Pacific to initiate global nuclear war. The only one who can stop it is Ariel, but since she no longer has fins, Eric must take her in an old ship, under heavy weather, and drop her into the ocean where she can destroy the submarine. She will have no way to make it back to the surface without fins, but it’s the only way to save Eric and humanity!

The Savior

Ned Lysander is a dangerous man!

That thought suddenly pops into Jason’s mind while he’s sitting in his biology lecture hall. His heart starts racing and palms are sweating. Who is Ned Lysander?

Class ends, and Jason rushes out of the lecture hall to get fresh air. He’s in a virtual panic from what just happened in the lecture hall. A sudden rush of thoughts about topics and people he had never heard of before. It was like he was day dreaming… Only, this seems real.

“You okay?” Jessica asks Jason. “Need me to call someone?”

Finally starting to catch his breath, Jason explains to Jessica that everything is just fine. Another student is walking by and hands both of them a religious pamphlet: Jesus Saves. He was just stressing about the upcoming finals. Jessica offers to walk with Jason back to his dorm, and he accepts her offer.

“Have you ever heard of Ned Lysander?” Jason is curious to find out who this person was who just popped into his head during the lecture.

“You mean the guy that started that science conference Ned Notes?”

Jason had seen the Ned Notes videos online before. It’s always the top scientists, authors, and artists discussing important political, philosophical, social, or psychological topics. One of his favorite best-selling authors had just given a presentation a few weeks back.

“You know, I never really put two and two together on that. Ya, that’s the guy!”

#

Jason spends the entire evening researching Ned Lysander online. “There’s not a single negative thing anywhere about this guy.” Jason is puzzled. “Something’s fishy. There must be something about him”. Jason decides to call it a night and go to sleep.

Jason slips into a deep sleep, and then his brain kicks into overdrive. His dreams are vivid and more like memories than dreams. Visions of huge scientific papers are rolling through his dreams like he’s scanning through an old microfiche. Then everything stops and all Jason can hear in his mind is “Ned Notes are carefully orchestrated to fulfill on a specific agenda for creating mass compliance within the intellectual community”. It repeats over and over in his mind until he wakes up with one final thought. “Find Gertrude Hammenstel”. Who is Gertrude Hammenstel?

Jason is half awake as he pulls up his computer and searches for Gertrude Hammenstel. Nothing. It’s like she doesn’t exist. He begins to wonder if perhaps the stress of finals is getting the best of him. He goes back to bed.

#

There’s a knock on Jason’s dorm room door. He slowly gets up and answers. It’s a woman he’s never seen before, but she looks so familiar. “You wouldn’t happen to be Gertrude Hammenstel, are you?” Jason asks half asleep.

“No. I’m an investigator with campus police. Detective Gomez. Jessica Sands was assaulted last night, and we received information that she was last seen with you yesterday afternoon after you were acting erratic during a lecture.”

Jason feels like he’s really losing his mind now. Could he have blacked out and done something to Jessica and not even remembered it?

“Is she okay?”

“We don’t know yet. Her vitals are stable, but she’s unconscious.”

“Uh… She walked me to my dorm yesterday after class. That was the last I saw of her.”

Looking around Jason’s dorm, it’s what a detective would envision is a typical dorm room for a well-organized biology major. Books on top of books and the obligatory religious pamphlet on top of his dresser: Jesus Saves. “What direction did she go when she left your dorm?”

“Well, she didn’t come into my dorm. She just walked me to the front of the building. I think she might have headed back in the direction of campus. I didn’t really think much about it at the time.”

The investigator sizes up Jason as a possible suspect in the assault on Jessica. He’s too much of a wimp to be a threat to Jessica whose parents let her know had a brown belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. She smiles at him. “Gertrude Hammenstel was an adjunct professor here almost 20 years ago. I had her for a biology class. Her husband died about the same time, and I think that was the last class she ever taught. Great teacher and lovely couple. He was a genetic engineer over at X Labs. One of the founders.”

Jason tries to hold back the look of shock from his face, but it doesn’t require a police investigator to know something was amiss. The investigator asks Jason a few more questions about Jessica and any possible boyfriends or people who might not like her. She leaves him a card and tells him to call her if he remembers anything.

#

Jason goes to the school library and looks up old school papers from 20 years ago. He searches everything on the computers and can’t find anything.

‘Try the microfiche,” he suddenly thinks.

The librarian is a petite older woman with a feisty attitude when Jason asks her for a microfiche machine and old school newspapers. “No one has used microfiche for a decade, young man. Do you want some help?”

Jason refuses her help, and the librarian leaves Jason to himself.

Jason spends hours pouring through slide after slide. He’s getting exhausted listening to the voices inside his head telling him stories about Ned Lysander’s arrangement with the government to create mass market brainwashing protocols and propaganda. He feels a hand on his shoulder, and he nearly jumps out of his chair.

Standing in front of him is the librarian holding a microfiche slide. “I believe this is the one you are looking for.” She extends the slide towards Jason.

Jason isn’t sure what to make of it. “Are you Gertrude?” he asks as he takes the slide from the woman. The woman nods.

Jason examines the microfiche but nothing is standing out. Suddenly, a sequence of numbers enter his mind. He goes through the microfiche using the number sequence as a guide for finding words on each of the images. The message isn’t making any sense to Jason.

“It’s his private key,” Gertrude says to Jason. “Let’s go to my lab.”

#

Gertrude takes Jason back to her lab and explains to him along the way that her husband was a genetic engineer who discovered an agreement between Ned Lysander and the US government to develop Ned Notes into a program that appears to spread brilliant ideas of science, art, society, and politics but is actually a front for disseminating information to help the government subconsciously control intellectuals around the globe.

The program has become so massively successful over the years that scientific research is funded based upon how closely you are tied to Ned Lysander. In order to get close to Ned, you must have performed some sort of compelling research that is reviewed by the Ned Notes board. Then you are selected to participate in the program as a presenter.

“That’s where the magic happens, Jason. Have you ever noticed how nearly ever single presenter for Ned Notes has the exact same presentation style and intonation?”

She was right. Everyone presents in the same way.

“That’s not just because they have a format, Jason. It’s not just because that’s the best way to present. It’s because these intellectuals are being manipulated using the best psychological techniques ever discovered. Often times, they are too smart for their own good. They are unwittingly brainwashed over time into creating a message of compliance for the masses. Compliance that allows the government to easily manage and control society.

You notice how there always appears to be this synergy of ideas in science and news? That’s not because of an actual synergy. It’s fabricated! Newspapers and television news are reporting the same thing because that’s what they are told to report. There is tremendous financial incentive to be in compliance, Jason. Research grants and government funding all require compliance, and if you’re not in compliance you won’t get hired and you won’t get funded. You get blacklisted.

It’s not just in science. It’s in the arts: music, paintings, acting, writing, producing. Artists that comply the most, get the work because they are hired by others in the compliance alliance. That compliance alliance is what drives the narratives that the masses are influenced by. The machine that drives the compliance is Ned Notes.”

Jason is following every single thing Gertrude is explaining, “But what do I have to do with it?”

“When Ned found out that my husband figured out the plan, Ned had my husband killed and ensured that all of the data was destroyed along with him. But I think my husband embedded the data into your DNA. and that private key you just found is to unlock the encrypted data within your DNA.”

Gertrude has Jason swab his cheek, give her a hair sample, and also some blood.

“Now, we wait until the sequencing is completed.” Gertrude lets out a sigh as she’s so exhausted.

There’s a knock at the door that startles them both. Gertrude is not expecting any visitors. With what Gertrude and Jason just discovered, they are paranoid. Gertrude looks through the peephole in the front door and sees two large men standing at the door. She motions to Jason to go hide downstairs.

Then Jason hears a familiar voice outside the house. “Can I help you two?”

“Ma’am, we’re just spreading the word of our lord and savior, Jesus Christ.”

It’s the investigator who visited Jason’s dorm room. She had been following Jason after he left the library with Gertrude. “Sure you are.” Gomez is suspicious. “Do you have pamphlets? I’m quite interested in the teachings of Jesus.”

One of the men starts reaching his left glove covered hand towards his inside suit pocket.

To signal that she’s no pushover, Detective Gomez places her hand on her pistol. “Let’s do that extra slow now, shall we.” She can see the bulge of a shoulder holster on both men. Her heart is racing as she looks up both men and thinks to herself that these two definitely aren’t here to talk about Jesus.

“Yes, ma’am.” The man slows his movement and reaches into his suite pocket. He slowly pulls out a wrinkled pamphlet with a picture of Jesus on it. He hands it to Detective Gomez and the two men step down off the porch while Gomez watches their every move.

After they are out of sight, she looks down at the wrinkled pamphlet with Jesus on the back cover and flips it over. Her heart starts racing as she realizes that Jason is in some serious trouble: Jesus Saves.