The Sergeant at Arms of the Senate appeared from the conference room and greeted the impeccably dressed man wearing the expensive Italian suit waiting in the hallway. His assistants, two women that could pass for runway models in Paris, stood up.
“They are ready for you, Mr. Harris,” the Sergeant said as he held the door open. Christian Harris, the CEO of Harris Industries, was a smart businessman and knew that this meeting could take his company in a new direction. As he walked down the hallway to the secured conference room, his two assistant trailing behind him, he could only smile at his fortune. Director Lehrer briefed him days ago on what to expect from the politicians.
“Please, Mister Harris, take a seat. We have a lot to discuss,” said Roger Duke, the senior Senator from Illinois and chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee.
Christian turned around and pointed to the chairs for his assistants as he sat at the table in front of five senators from both major parties and an assortment of military officers and federal law enforcement officers. One noted person was missing.
“Before I begin, Senators,” Christian said as slid his chair forward, “I would like to express my sincerest condolences for the death of Secretary Fraser. I know he was a member in this great chamber before the President nominated him to Secretary of Defense.”
“Thank you, Mister Harris,” the chairman said, “He was a great man and a dear friend. We still do not know why those Enhanced monsters crashed his plane.”
“Power corrupts, Mister Chairman,” Christian said without hesitation.
“Absolutely, Mister Harris. This briefing is classified Top Secret and will not be discussed with anyone outside of this room. You know the drill.”
“I do.” This was not his first ride in this rodeo.
“We brought you here because we believe you can unlock the key to saving our kind and our way of life.”
Director Lehrer stood up and placed a box labeled, Evidence – Top Secret SCI, on the table.
“The JTF search teams found this in Indianapolis. Director Lehrer connected two and two together so we know the role it played in the battle of Indianapolis.”
Christian opened the hinged lid and looked inside. “It’s a knife,” he said confused. A knife was worthless against most Enhanced.
“Yes, but it is so much more than that. Let me read you from Agent Scott Jurgen’s, callsign Justice, after action review about this weapon.
The knife rendered my powers inert – my skin could not deflect the blade and my healing powers would not work on the wound. For a time, I was as helpless as a mundane.
Christian glanced at Director Lehrer who smiled in return. This was not possible.
“We already know that the Enhanced scientists are years ahead of us in technology,” said the chairman. “They can produce weapons and gadgets that our best mundane researchers claim are impossible or years from testing. We believe this could be our final solution to the Enhanced problem.”
“Sir, you realize that once the Enhanced find out we are designing and deploying weapons specifically designed to kill them, they are going to protest, perhaps even violently.”
“How many more of our women and children must we bury because these people cannot live like the rest of us? How many cities must we lose because some Enhanced vigilantes want to pretend they are the police?”
“Even the JTF is not immune from the chaos created by the Enhanced. They lost a good man in Indianapolis, Judge Ronald Thompson. The searchers found his car buried under tons of rubble, but who knows what those savages did to his body.” The senator paused and looked around, every eye focused on him. “We need an equalizer and we need it now!”
“This will take a lot of money if you expect results anytime soon, Senator,” replied Christian.
“Look at this, Mister Harris,” said the chairman pointing to projector screen in the room. “You see those red lines coming out of the Middle East?”
“That is the Caliphate. By next year, we expect them to be in western Turkey, a gateway to Europe. In five years, they will conquer France and the rest of mainland Europe. They are not like us, Mister Harris, they use Enhanced as weapons because they believe they are holy warriors sent here to smite the infidels. Unlike the Turks in the 1400s, we have no way of stopping them short of deploying Enhanced soldiers of our own or nuclear weapons, which would likely result in the same outcome, a lot of dead mundanes.”
“The choices do seem rather grim,” Christian admitted.
The chairman nodded. “They are but we have to make them if we want the people of the United States to survive. We have a war coming, whether we like it or not.”
“I’ll need to take the blade with me and have my teams do a spectra analysis on the metal. I’m sure we can replicate it.”
“That is what we wanted to hear.”
I would like to thank all the readers for joining me on this journey through Portal (The Enhanced Series – Book 1). We finally made it!
Okay, now for the goodies.
On August 15th, the prequel short story, Inheritance, will be posted. Join LAPD officers during the worst Enhanced bank robbery in the history of Los Angeles and learn more about the mysterious Atomic Power.
On October 14th, we will continue the story in Paradox (The Enhanced Series – Book 2). The world is changing and the balance of power will shift.
That does not mean the site will be idle. Each Sunday, I will upload another chapter in my science fiction story, The Forgotten, at StarterSerials.com. I hope you will check it out. Here at ThePenintheStone.com, I am still working on more comic covers and I’m developing a new website theme to be deployed with the first chapter in Paradox.
If you have any questions or comments, you can always shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org