Tagged: radio

Horizon

Dear Planet Earth,

We drove all through the night, heading in a single direction to find our missing companions. It was a long shot, even by global mole men invasion standards.

We started having real conversations about what could have happened. Sure, mole people could have kidnapped them, but why? Why leave us? Why use ninja-like skills to take everything but my broken walkie talkie, but keep us alive? Did our friends leave on their own? It seemed like we were all getting along just hunky dory, all things considered. Yeah, the army guys made all the major decisions, but no one seemed to complain about it.

The word “tyranny” came up. Along with “abandoned,” “suicide,” “spy.” “Rapture.”

I was squashed in the back seat next to Maria. Our bare arms touched each other several times during the bumpy trek, and I felt like I was back in middle school, wondering whether the contact bothered or excited her. Portly Private Linares crushed me on the other side. He didn’t smell nearly as good.

Then we saw it — 90 to 100 miles away on the horizon. The rising sun illuminated its silhouette, instilling an otherworldliness that it already had enough of on its own. Our first Californian drill.

The Wrong People

Dear Planet Earth,

I’m left with even more questions after my 20 hour debriefing than I had yesterday. I was again taken to my canvas tent cell where General Talpa again gave his one-man rendition of good cop/bad cop.

He said the tech gurus couldn’t find anything in my broken walkie talkie but dead circuit boards and batteries. He was convinced that it must be a symbol for something else, and he made me retell every memory I had about walkie talkies and my father. I told him the same thing I tell everyone about my father.

“He was just another dead beat dad. An aging hippie who couldn’t handle the pressures of a career and family. My mom said he got into drugs and made connections with the wrong people, and that’s all I ever wanted to know about him.”

“And what about The Time Machine?” Talpa asked. “You said he read it to you every night?”

“Yeah, but . . . I’ve gone over these same questions a dozen times already in my head.” I rubbed my eyes, hoping for sleep or wakefulness to finally arrive. “You guys probably know more than I do. You’re the ones with that damn list.”

They let me go a few interrogations later, even gave me the stupid walkie talkie. But I know they’re watching me; some of Talpa’s scouts have been eyeing me in the mess hall, offering to escort me back to my tent. They’re probably reading this blog.

Well, boys, I don’t know shit. As soon as I do remember some tiny clue from my past that could explain every crazy thing that’s happened so far, you’ll be the first ones to know. Whether I want it or not.

Found and Lost

Dear Planet Earth,

I found her — Martha. We were all feeling a little more at ease with the sirens and floodlights finally off, so I was understandably calm last night walking back from the mess hall when I saw something glinting near some plastic containers. I went to check it out and found my naive stupidity embodied in a Beretta M-9 pistol staring me in the face.

“Wait! Don’t kill me! Don’t kill me!” What else was I supposed to say?

I could make out her gaunt, dirty features from the moonlight. She looked like my elementary school librarian if she had been starved and tortured for a week. She studied my face for several seconds and then motioned with her gun for me to come closer.

“Who are you?” she croaked.

“Scott. My name’s Scott. I’m not a soldier.”

She nodded and lowered her gun.

“No. You’re not.” The woman rummaged through a pink fanny pack hanging loosely from her waist. “You’re just a dumb kid mixed up in something bigger than any of us. I don’t give two shits about you, but it’s not really up to me, is it?” She took out an old walkie talkie and made me clasp my fingers around it.

“What –”

“When it happens, when you get the call, do everything they tell you to do.”

She stood up and trained her gun on me again.

“Don’t think, just act. Remember what he taught you, Scott.”

She started walking backwards to the fences, to her freedom.

“‘Strength is the outcome of need,'” she said before disappearing into the darkness.

“‘Security sets a premium on feebleness,'” I completed.

It’s from my favorite book, The Time Machine. My father used to read it to me every night.

Elephants

Dear Planet Earth,

The plot thickens. Dr. Eimer revealed some more details to me about the ominous drill. He seems to think that it might not be a drill at all.

It turns out the radio signals I was told about before aren’t what you and I know as radio signals. The object is giving off incredibly fast vibrations to send out messages. Through the ground.

He calls it seismic communication and it’s used by some animals like elephants to speak to each other. This could make much stronger signals, conceivably from one side of the planet to the other. The only problem is this takes a lot of energy, more energy than any current country could utilize for this scale. On Earth, at least.

The strangest thing the good doctor told me was that he doesn’t think this is the first time we’ve been visited. He said the army brought him here to consult about his theories of past visitations from these kinds of objects spanning back to the dawn of mankind.

I’m going to let that one sink in and drink some more of his whiskey for the next several hours.

Between a Pail and a Penny

Dear Planet Earth,

These army boys sure know how to keep a girl waiting. And then totally freak with her mind. A sleepless eighteen hours after our first encounter, General Talpa returned to my cell with another nerdy-looking guy who couldn’t be much older than me.

“Good morning, Mr. Panus.” I haven’t been able to tell morning from night since I got here. He could have already lied to me. “I have good news.”

I watched the younger soldier carefully flip through a stack of papers he brought with him. Talpa took my silence as a sign of acknowledgement.

“I believe you. I believe you actually are just an impulsive kid with bad luck.”

This was a relief, I guess. I still wasn’t sure what I was being accused of, and I was too tired to fire back at his “impulsive” comment.

“Okay,” I said.

“With that said, I have another question for you that might really help us.” He took the stack of papers from the other soldier and dropped it in my lap. “We started to pick up a radio signal two weeks ago. It was a faint message, and spoken in something that took us days to get even a rough idea of what was being broadcast.”

I looked at the top paper in front of me. Ofertt, Marcus. Ortega, Lindsey.

“They were names. Each one buried in a complex code beyond anything geeks like Brandon here could ever understand.” He smiled.

O’Toole, Patrick. O’Toole, Catherine. There were pages and pages of random names.

“My question, Mr. Panus, is if you have any idea what this means.” He put his thick index finger above the next name I read.

Panus, Scott.