A Darker Shade Of Pale

Details and a record of the characters exploits, successes and failures within the Parallel Worlds.

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Re: A Darker Shade Of Pale

Post by Keeper » Sat Mar 08, 2014 7:10 pm

The Lincoln’s tyres squealed on the asphalt as agent Pearson threw the vehicle around the corner into the quiet suburban street.
Even though it was dark and the house numbers not visible from the road he powered the car onwards towards where he knew the young teacher’s house would be.
He yanked on the wheel, swerving the car in and mounted the kerb.
The occupants hurled open the doors even before the car came to a complete halt and alighted immediately.
“Wait!” Pearson hissed, raising his hand, fingers outspread to emphasise the point. “There it s again, it’s definitely here.”
On the way over he had detected something, a psychic emanation coming from this general direction. It had grown more obvious as he had drawn nearer the source. And now he had detected it yet again, strong and precise in its bearing from him. It was coming from inside the small comfortable house on the other side of the tended lawn.
“Shouldn’t we call this in?” Lovett asked.
“No time,” Pearson decided, then added, “My call, gentlemen, understood?”
The other agents nodded, neither of them at all surprised that Pearson was absolving them of all responsibility.

“Go careful, guys! We are dealing with the unknown here,” Pearson said quietly, pulling his gun from its holster.

Once again the agents paused, this time as the result of the retort of a single gunshot from within the building.
“Shit!” Wills cursed bringing their momentary stop to an end.

“Shit!” Andrey Kurskoff had cursed when the black Lincoln had rocked to a halt. The couple in the seat behind him remained silent but he could sense how tense they were.
They had already seen one man enter the house but they had been confident that their comrades wold be able to deal with one mundane nuisance.
Now though, the true enemy had arrived and that changed things greatly.
When the gunshot went off inside the house Karskoff waited for the Americans to get to the house then looked pointedly over his shoulder and the man and woman in the back climbed out.

The door was open and Agent Wills led the way as the men cautiously entered.

“Who is zis man? And vere is ze boy? Two very simple question Miss Harrison,” a man with a thick Russian accent was saying.

Lovett, next in line behind Wills grimaced and put his pistol away knowing that he would likely have need of a different sort of skill now.

Outside the kitchen door Pearson made eye contact with his colleagues and signalled for them to go on his mark.
Three… two… one… GO!
The American agents surged forward.

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Re: A Darker Shade Of Pale

Post by Keeper » Thu Apr 10, 2014 8:14 pm

Agent Wills led the way
As he had entered the building he had been concentrating on something else, charging his mind up like a capacitor, storing psychic energy ready for instant release.
Pearson had felt the power building within his friend and had timed his count-down accordingly.
Wills surged through the kitchen door, releasing the pent up energy in a silent burst the exploded in the minds of the two men before him.
Both Russians yelled and clutched their hands to the sides of their heads as though trying to stop their skulls expanding.
The one crouching collapsed to his knees, the other merely bowed as though bearing a heavy weight upon his shoulders.

“Federal Agents!” Pearson yelled as he entered. “Do not move.”
Lovett repeated the words in Russian.
Seeing that both men were under Wills’ influence Pearson stopped, quickly cast his eye over the scene, then told his fellow officers to secure the communists.

Barbara Harrison couldn’t believe what was happening. This was beyond her understanding of reality. However, what she did know was that Petrick Mustenen, father of one of her pupils whom she had apparently placed in danger, had none-the-less entered this house and put his life on the line to rescue her.
No thoughts as yet entered her mind as to why Petrick Mustenen happened to be here. All she knew was that this relative stranger had made a bigger sacrifice for her than anyone else in her life had ever made.
She looked across to Petrick’s motionless form. “Oh my God!” she swore aloud before scrambling across the cold linoleum towards him.
She reached out a hand but was frightened to touch him. What if he was dead? What if he had been killed and left that poor boy an orphan?
She ignored the blood and stroked a hand across Petrick’s shoulder.
“Oh my! Mr Mustenen? Can you hear me? Are you alright, Mr Mustenen?” her voice was pleading but she knew she was speaking in vain.

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Re: A Darker Shade Of Pale

Post by Keeper » Thu Apr 10, 2014 8:15 pm

Anoushka Semyenova was the first to the door, the two men directly behind her. It was open, of course.
Short and slender, with dark hair cut in a bob, Anoushka was just simply plain to look at, almost forgettable.
She was a powerful telekinetic, and perversely once she had been experienced, she was rarely forgotten.

“Tovartich!” Semyenova growled from the doorway.
Lovett turned towards the sound, found himself suddenly lifting from the floor just as a saucepan, which had been sitting on the draining board, flew between the other two Americans so strike at the side of Lovett’s head with the force of a baseball bat.
In the split-second before the make-shift missile hit, Lovett’s subconscious mind reacted, pushing the pan away enough to avoid the full impact.
Even so the pan rang out with a dull metallic ‘thwunk’ as it bounced a glancing blow off his head before clattering noisily into the far wall.
Agent Pearson recovered from his surprise almost immediately.
Assessing the situation he knew instantly that he and his team were out-numbered and out-matched and knew he had to even the odds somewhat. He was already aiming his mundane weapon at a target. Returning his attention back to that weapon he didn’t hesitate to pull the trigger.
The bigger of the two Russian prisoners went down.
Furious, Agent Semyenova of the KGB reached out with her mind to wrest the gun from Pearson’s grasp.
She was a powerful telekinetic with quick reactions. The pistol was yanked from Pearson’s hand and rotated to face its previous owner.
Wills saw it and projected an image straight into the Russian woman’s forethoughts.
Fire erupted from Pearson in a huge yellow-orange sphere that expanded rapidly towards Semyenova.
She gasped and staggered backwards, her concentration broken, the gun clattering to the floor. She crashed into a colleague causing his concentration to break too. He frowned at her and shoved her away.
Again furious, the Russian woman growled a curse and punctuated it by ripping off a cupboard door several feet away and hurling it at the Americans.

Pearson had regained himself, his firearm swept up into his hand and then both were sweeping towards another target. He was having to use his concentration to the fullest. His most potent ability was being able to detect the use of psychic power. Right now there was so much psi-energy being thrown around his head was almost ringing with the sound of it.
He fired at the angry Russian woman but a wooden door struck his arm sending his aim off. The thud of the bullet as it embedded itself in the door frame was lost in the barking retort of the shot.

Suddenly fire blossomed on the dining table, the place mats igniting one by one as they became fire bolts hurtling towards the Americans.
Without thinking Pearson’s hand was up like a shield, the room temperature plummeted to way below zero and the flying missiles hissed as they tried to burn and freeze at the same time, steaming rather than ablaze as they struck Wills, one after another. Distracting but not otherwise harming him.

Pearson kept pushing the temperature down until a frost developed over the entire room.

Suddenly the kitchen table was sliding across the floor. It up-ended and without any particular speed shoved at the Russians corralling them towards the door. Lovett used minor gestures with his hands to guide it.
Knowing the Russians were trapped behind it, Pearson emptied his magazine into the pine furniture piece.
A yelp of pain from the other side told him he’d scored a hit.

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Re: A Darker Shade Of Pale

Post by Keeper » Thu Apr 10, 2014 8:15 pm

The dropping temperature had Barbara Harrison shivering.
She cowered over Petrick’s motionless form with tears of fright and remorse running to the end of her nose and dripping onto the dead man’s forehead. All hell seemed to have broken out around her and she was keeping hunched as though doing so would render her immune to what was happening.
It got colder still and when one of the men began shooting continuously at her dining table, she was too chilly to even scream.
She felt movement under her and noticed Petrick stir. My God! He was alive!

A huge roar sounded from the other side of the table-barrier. It splintered apart, a whip crack announcing the Russian counter attack.
Instantly the cold seemed to lift a little.

“Petrick?” Barbara whispered.
His unfocussed eyes blinked at her and he groaned as he tried to move.
“It’s okay,” she said trying to sound reassuring but not sure if she had managed it. She cradled his head in her lap. “Stay still, you’re hurt.”
“No,” Petrick managed to say with much effort.

Barbara gritted her teeth, glanced up and saw two things.
First was the smaller of her earlier attackers, the one who said little but had held her suspended off the floor and threatened so much pain. He was prone, watching the proceedings, forgotten for the moment by the Americans.
Second was her back door, the one that led from the kitchen into the little utility room and out into the small garden at the rear of her house. Framed there, almost oblivious to the maelstrom around him and as yet unnoticed by everyone else was Caleb Mustenen.

She gasped.

The boy walked forward, behind the mean Russian, and knelt almost emotionless beside his father.
“Dad?” the boy said weakly, pleadingly.
Petrick stiffened in Barbara’s arms.
“Dad?” Caleb called again, this time a boyish yell of fear.

Wills turned in shock, saw the boy, knew exactly who the downed man was. He stumbled sideways as a wall of energy blasted into him.
His gaze was pulled away from the child and he returned an assault that had two of the Russians reeling.

“Caleb?” Petrick forced the words out, unaware of how slurred they were.

“Dad!” Caleb’s voice was relieved.

The sun shone directly into Petrick’s eyes and he turned away from it to look out over the deserted beach to white topped waves rolling into shore.
He frowned, unable to get his bearings. “What the…?”
“Don’t swear daddy, you’ll have put a dime in the box if you do!” Caleb’s voice sounded behind him.
Petrick started in surprise.
“How?” he stammered. “Where…?”
“In my head,” Caleb announced happily.
“Wha…?” Petrick turned to see the Miami skyline behind him. The place was completely deserted. “In your head?”
Caleb himself turned to study their surroundings. “Yes, in my head, I think.”
Petrick laughed loudly. “By the gods, Cal! You amaze me. This is just crazy… Ow!”
Petrick flinched and noticed blood dripping from his nose onto the sand.
“You’re hurt daddy. I think you are hurt real bad.”
Petrick sighed. “I am son. I was feeling it until we came here. I can sense it just a ways off.”
“I can’t fix you, daddy.”
“I think I’m past fixing, boy.”
Quietly Caleb turned away from his father. He didn’t want to hear any more. The sun faded like someone was turning down a dimmer switch and thick rolling clouds, heavy with storm swept almost instantly across the sky.
“Caleb,” Petrick said in soothing, fatherly tones.
The boy turned back and Petrick smiled, crouching down on his haunches and placing a hand on each of Caleb’s shoulders.
Wet glistening eyes blinked across at him.
“Caleb, you have made me so proud. What you can do is so special, so much more than what these folks in Miss Harrison’s house are doing.” He paused.
“When your mother died, I thought that was the end of all things, but you have shown men a life far richer than I could have imagined. I just wish I could have gotten to know this strange and wonderful side of you better.”
Again he halted and smiled warmly at his son.
“Be your own man, son. You know what’s right, do it and you’ll always be happy and make me proud.”
Petrick laughed and shook his head incredulously at the understanding in the boy’s expression. “Listen to me boy, talking rubbish. I have so much I want to say, so much I need to tell you and all I can come up with is be good? I just wish you could look inside my head an all I have to give you.”
He grimaced as pain wracked him and held tightly to Caleb to stop himself falling.
“Dad?”
“Yes, son?”
“Are you dying?”
The heavy sigh spoke volumes but the father didn’t want to not answer his son. “Yes Caleb, I think I am.”
“I’ll take it then,” the boy said as though he had reached the end of some debate.
“Take what, Cal?”
“Everything you have to give me, I’ll take it. I want to see it all.”
Petrick laughed at his naïve little boy, but the kid’s face was deadly serious, causing Petrick’s brows to knit into a suspicious frown.
“You’re serous? You can do that?”
Caleb nodded quickly as though he were answering a question about something normal, everyday.
“If you’ll let me,” he added.
It was Petrick’s turn to nod.
Caleb smiled and hugged his father.
“I Love you, Cal” Petrick said, his voice choked.
“I love you too, dad,” Caleb said softly, then added, “Goodbye.”

The boy’s mind reached out beyond the false landscape it had generated, seeking his fathers. He found the doors were all open.
He delved in looking for his father’s thoughts on his son, cherished memories, his hopes and dreams, his love.

Caleb found today’s memories on the surface. He saw his father chasing him, getting his plans for escape ready, the lock-up with the car, the three huge holdalls full of cash in the trunk.
It started slowly, like he was a passenger on a train pulling out of the station, the memories passing by the window like people stood on the platform waving goodbye. The train gathered momentum, the memories rewound faster, Caleb found the journey intoxicating. He was seeing life from his father’s eyes, feeling what his father felt; happiness, sadness regret, anguish, elation, pride, love. Every memory carried with it not only the visual and audial information but context and emotions too.
He had read the minds of others many times, listening to their surface thoughts, delving into recent memories linked to those thoughts, but he had always been an intruder, feeling wrong for doing what he was doing, and meeting subconscious resistance from the ‘victim’ of his intrusion.
But his father had let him in and had pulled down all the barriers with one single decision.

Further the boy went, deeper that he had ever gone on anyone else before.
More memories, from a past that he knew nothing of. A criminal past with things of wonder and horror for the boy to behold.
Deeper still, into his father’s years with his mother. Caleb giggled when he saw his mother and father together.
Yet deeper still into his father’s childhood.
All of it he took, sucking his father’s life story into him like a sponge with water. And yet deeper he delved finding what he thought were memories but they seemed strange, not linked to any particular time or event. They seemed…. Meaty. He took them too, determined to learn all there was to know about is dad. Unknowingly he was absorbing not only his father’s experiences and knowledge but these deeply ingrained ‘meaty’ memories of skills that he had not known now became his to use.
The onslaught was overwhelming and Caleb found he couldn’t stop himself. Memories, thoughts, emotions, reactions, even muscle memory like how to breathe, all of it assaulted the young boy’s mind, imprinting itself deep in the normally unused parts of his brain.

The train was going so fast now it was all just a blur.
Caleb began to panic, knowing he had lost control.
Onwards the train hurtled until.. blackness.
Sitting inside the carriage looking out into his father’s mind there was complete nothingness and he knew that his father was dead. He had just killed him.
He swallowed hard, the lump in his throat restricting, choking.
“Goodbye, dad, I’ll miss you,” he said to the face of his father reflected in the window.

He withdrew, closing the compartment door and the door to his father for good.

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Re: A Darker Shade Of Pale

Post by Keeper » Wed Apr 16, 2014 7:05 am

Caleb's eyes blinked rapidly to refocus them as he returned to the world.
Petri k glanced around himself confused. everything had stopped and all of the people in the room were staring at him, some open mouthed.

No one had noticed the boy enter at first but unbeknownst to him, as he had entered his father's mind and began to delve, the psychic emanations grew to such an intensity that each of the American and Russian agents not only became aware but became overwhelmed by the power of it.
Even Barbara Harrison, who didn't possess a single psychically active cell in her body had sensed something big happening.

***

It was when Petrick looked down at himself, cradled in Barbara Harrison's lap that he realised what was going on.

The Russians and the Americans were all still staring at him, watching him closely, probably waiting to see what he'd do.
He felt angry that they had killed him. He wanted revenge.
"You are dead, father," a voice inside his head told him.
BAM!
It was like someone had pulled a breaker, switching polarities. He was no longer in Barbara Harrison's house but was in his own father's living room in the Finnish countryside.
Caleb was there watching him curiously.
"How are we here, Cal?"
“You loved this house,” Caleb said directly. “I made it for you.”
“What? I don’t understand. Aren’t I dead?”
Caleb shrugged. “I don’t know how this works entirely, but yes, you are dead, mostly.”
“I saw myself a moment ago.”
Caleb nodded. “Yes, because it was me looking down at you. You are dead but I took all that was you into my mind, everything, like you told me to. Everything that was you, was my dad, is now in my head. But I’ve never done anything like this before, not like this. I didn’t know how it works and I’m just confusing what is me and what is you. But I’ve set boundaries no so I know where you begin and end. You can never cross those boundaries.”
Caleb glanced over his shoulder, head cocked to one side as though hearing something Petrick was not party to.

The young boy surveyed the world he had created to represent the vault in which he now stored his father’s essence. He was pleased with how it looked.
“I have to go now, dad. You’ll be safe here.” His voice was cracked, like an adult trying to contain their emotions in front of a child.
It was true. Caleb had just learned about his father’s whole life dirty secrets and all, and also about his mother, a person that until today he had never really known, only heard about. Now he knew and loved her as much as his father had.
He was feeling overwhelmed by the emotions.
“Caleb, am I in your head now?”
“Yes.”
And I’m alive in your head?”
Shaking his head Caleb replied, “No dad. You are just the memories, the feelings, the essence of you inside my mind. This personification of you is just my minds way of representing my access to those memories.”
“I have to go, dad,”

Caleb blinked and stared into the worried eyes of Miss Harrison. The dam broke and the eotions swept through the eight year old boy like a flood.

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Re: A Darker Shade Of Pale

Post by Keeper » Wed Apr 16, 2014 7:07 am

The boy began to sob. Big shoulder wrenching sobs that represented a lifetime of loss.
Barbara placed a hand on his arm reassuringly.
Then the fighting between the American and Russian agents started up again.

The mean Russian who lay near to the teacher and the boy suddenly scrambled across the floor and grabbed the boy’s other arm.
“Mine,” he growled yanking Caleb towards himself as at the same time he unleashed an assault upon Barbara.
The woman howled as a blast of psychic energy hit her in the chest slamming her into the ove, but she maintained a grip on Caleb’s wrist.

Agent Wills spotted the exchange. “Leave him,” he commanded, his voice laced with controlling power. But ‘mean’ Russian was prepared and resisted the influence, though he did stop pulling.

Barbara gasped as she regained her senses.

“Secure the boy!” Pearson was yelling as he moved towards Caleb.

“Get the damned boy!” Semyenova screeched.

Pearson kicked out at the Russian holding Caleb but despite going over onto his side the Russian didn’t release his grip. He simply dragged the boy with him.
Caleb cried more.

His concentration away from the fight, Wills was his again, this time by a splinter of wood from the broken table. It skewered him through his stomach.

“Let go of him!” Barbara Harrison screamed as she got to her feet and leapt at Mean Russian. She punched out at his face and then slipped an arm around Caleb to pull him away.
She got a kick in the face for her troubles and Semyenova grabbed the boy next.

Caleb saw Miss Harrison get hit and his sorrow and bitterness and loss suddenly chilled in to absolute outrage.
He looked at all of these people. “Get out,” he demanded angrily.
No one, save Barbara, paid him any heed as he dug his heels in and pulled vainly against Semyenova’s grasp.
“Get out!” he said a little louder, a little angrier.

Pearson, who was now engaging in an actual fist- fight pushed his adversary away as he felt something big building.
The Russian he was fighting was about to take advantage of the distracted American but something about the way he was looking towards the boy prevented him. Instead he followed the American’s gaze.
Caleb had stepped in front of Barbara now and torn himself free.
“Get out! Get out! GET OUT!” Caleb screamed louder and louder until he was yelling the words, his eyes screwed shut and his fists clenched in white knuckled balls.

Pearson began to wilt under the power of the rising psychic event.

The energy suddenly released from the boy like TNT going off.
A cone of telekinetic energy fanned out before him.
Semyenova was hurled towards the far wall like nothing more than a rag doll.
The blast hit everything before him, knocking walls flat, crushing bone and soft tissue alike.
It was as though there had been a flameless explosion within the building. With the collapse of the walls the roof sagged, creaked, dropped, and eventually fell into the house billowing up a thick cloud of dust and throwing the house into darkness.

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Re: A Darker Shade Of Pale

Post by Keeper » Sun Apr 27, 2014 10:04 pm

Silence finally fell over the little suburban house, broken only as the odd piece of masonry slid or dropped into the dust shrouded rubble.

Caleb Mustenen stood with dust doming around him as he was surrounded by a sphere of clean debris free air.
Barbara Harrison was immediately behind the boy, protected by the same force that protected him. She was white with shock, her breathing coming in quick sharp gasps. She had truly believed that she was going to die a few moments ago.

Caleb’s breathing was equally as laboured, though his was long drawn out breaths, as though each one took tremendous effort on his behalf.
He was shaking too when he turned to face his teacher. His face was streaked with tears that glistened in the light from the small fire that had broken out in the corner of the kitchen.

Barbara could hear people calling out to her now. Concerned neighbours gathering outside.
“I’m sorry, Miss Harrison,” Caleb said looking worried.
Barbara blinked at the shadowy carnage all around, then returned her gaze to the young bedraggled boy standing before her.
“Take care of my boy, he’s all I have,” she recalled Petrick Mustenen saying to her when they had met at the beginning of the semester.
“Of course, Mr Mustenen. I treat all of the children in my class as though they were my own.” That is what she had replied. Yet she had seen Caleb do things that frightened her and had reported it to the Principle which had led eventually to this mess.
She looked at the scared kid in front of her who had just lost his father, who was being hunted not only by the Russians but by their own government too. What would they do to him? Could they arrest him for what he’s done? After all, he was only eight, that wouldn’t happen, surely?
No, that was just naïve thinking. She had a pretty good idea of what would happen, they would take him away, experiment on him or something equally as terrible. The thought made her shudder with repulsion.
The sound of the city had drifted back now, and amid them and the calls from outside, could be heard a groan. Not one of anguish or pain, but rather that of someone confused, maybe even a little concussed.
Then someone swore in Russian, this time a string of words which Barbara couldn’t understand were hissed and spat laced with plenty of pain. They were being said as though the profanities would stop it hurting.

As Barbara slowly climbed to her feet a large section of the ceiling, which was hanging down from the wall beside it at forty-five degrees, jerked a little sending more dust into the already thick atmosphere.
Then it slid to the side with a heavy crunch to reveal the bruised and battered form of Agent Richard Wills, his legs twisted under him at obscene angles and blood staining his white shirt. He coughed and blinked up at Barbara and the boy through the dust and darkness.
“Go!” he urged. “Get the boy out of here.” He glanced at Caleb and felt nothing but pity for the young orphaned lad.
“Leave Miami,” he went on. “You should get a good eight to ten hours head start.”
Barbara coughed herself and stared at him, but she understood what the man was telling her to do. She knew that his fellow agents would search for the boy, even after this. And so would the Russians, she surmised.

Grabbing the young boys hand she said, “Come with me Caleb,” in her best ‘teacher knows best’ voice.
Caleb quietly allowed himself to be led outside into the fresh night air.
Barbara noticed many of her neighbours were gathered out there, concerned expressions fixed upon many of their faces, and relish at such gossip opportunities on some of the others.
Some rushed forwards and wrapped arms around her and Caleb, leading them away from the scene of devastation amid many declarations of amazement that she wasn’t hurt.

Sirens and bells could be heard now, getting nearer.
Barbara knew that if she was here with Caleb when the police arrived then she would be stuck here. More agents would come and they would take the boy away.

She glanced at her car, but her keys were buried in the wreckage of her house somewhere.
Caleb tugged at her hand to get her attention. “My dad’s car,” he said to her indicating the white Mustang.
Amid apologies for her predicament and platitudes and genuine expressions of concern she pulled away from her neighbours and dragged Caleb with her to the car.

Glancing at Caleb and seeing tears in the boy’s eyes she knew she had no choice now, but she also knew that this was the right thing to do.
She started the engine and it purred and throbbed. Flooring the pedal she sped off into the dark Miami night.

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Re: A Darker Shade Of Pale

Post by Keeper » Sun Apr 27, 2014 10:05 pm

Westchester Manor, 20 miles south of Norfolk, Virginia.

Special Agent Mark Thompson threw open the pale oak door to the director’s office.
The Director was sitting with spectacles in hand chewing absently on the arm and studying the huge map on the wall.
He turned quickly at the sudden intrusion. “What the hell is it, Mark?”
“Director, you need to see this,” Thompson said waving a sheaf of paper at his boss.
“We had the gestalt up again. We’ve had them scanning south Florida just to see if we could give Pearson some help finding our rogue psychic. About a half hour ago we started detecting multiple emanations coming from a single location in Miami. We started to monitor it more closely and all of a sudden it erupted. Lots of level six to eight and the odd ten or twelve in there too. Big stuff being thrown about in rapid succession. Cox said it reminded him of a battle he had once observed during training.”
Director Mortimer scanned down the hand written action report. “Any word from Pearson?”
“Not contactable at the moment. He must be in the field.” Thompson nodded towards the paper indicating that that was where he thought Pearson was.
He waited while his superior read through the report again.
“I agree,” Mortimer said looking over the top of his glasses. “Reads like a fight too. You think they found our commie?”
Thompson handed across another sheet.
“Two massive events, Director. The first went on for a couple of minutes, sustained, and almost off the chart. The second was a short blast that went way off the scale. The gestalt were concentrating on that area and got feedback. They have had to be relieved and one of them is getting medical attention.
“What?” Mortimer almost choked.
“They found our guy, sir, and it’s like nothing we have ever encountered.”
Mortimer’s head shook in disbelief. “It even got our guys here?”
“Yes, sir,” Thompson confirmed, “though our team said it was a bit like static. They put it down to the fact that their combined concentration was on that one solitary point.”
Mortimer rubbed at his eyes wearily. “My God, Mark. We need to find out what’s going on. Get a full team there now, I want Miami closed off until we know what the hell is happening down there.”
Thompson nodded and disappeared out the door as quickly as he had entered.
Mortimer frowned at the phone on his desk. Now he was going to have to call the Whitehouse.

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Re: A Darker Shade Of Pale

Post by Keeper » Sun Apr 27, 2014 10:06 pm

April 29, 1966

10 hours later.


Barbara Harrison had parked the car under some trees just off a beaten road in the middle of the Everglades.
The sun was up and the temperature already rising.
The young teacher had removed her dressing gown as she had got out of the car and nipped into the undergrowth to pee.
Now as she wandered back through the trees barefoot she became very aware of the fact that all she had on was her nightdress, and it wasn’t exactly the ankle length thing her mother would have approved of. Almost the exact opposite on fact. Indecent, her mother would have called it.

She noticed Caleb watching her as she returned to the vehicle and became very self-conscious of his stare.
“Did you have a good sleep?” she asked him as she climbed in becoming even more embarrassed as her night dress rode up even further making her have to pull it down again.
Caleb nodded and shifted slightly in the seat beside her, now staring straight ahead.
Had he noticed her embarrassment and was now trying to make her feel more comfortable? Barbara smiled, Caleb always had been very mature for his age.
“You have very nice legs, Miss Harrison,” Caleb announced matter-of-factly.
Taken aback Barbara laughed aloud. “Erm… well thank you, Caleb,” she smiled then sat silently, her face scarlet for some time.
“Cal?” she knew he liked to be called Cal rather than Caleb by his friends.
“Yes, miss?”
“I don’t think we should call ourselves by our real names.”
Caleb nodded agreement. “Yes, the authorities are likely to on the look-out for our names, wherever we end up.”
Barbara was again taken aback.
“That’s right,” she said. “We should come up with new names… what does Mustenen mean anyway?”
“To blacken. To make darker.”
“Okay, how about Black then?”
Cal nodded, Black sounded good and was a common enough name.
“So, you’ll be Caleb Black, and I’ll be Mrs Black. You’d best call me mom though when we are with people.”
“Callum,” the boy said. “I like the name Callum”
Barbara smiled and offered her hand. “Hello Callum,” she said, “pleased to meet you.”
Callum Black shook her hand then scrambled across the gap to hug her, taking Barbara by surprise yet again.
“I never had a mom before,” the boy declared holding her tight.
Barbara recovered and wraped her arms around the boy. “I never had a son before.”
They cuddled like that for a long time.
“What’s your mom’s name?” Barbara eventually asked softly easing away from Callum.
“Barbara,” Callum responded after a moment.
She gave a small chuckle. “I mean your real mother?”
“Chaya. She was from Israel.”
Barbara nodded. “Chaya? That’s a nice, but unusual name. I don’t think I could convince anyone that I’m from Israel, but I might be able to pull off Mrs Chaya Black. Would you like that?”

Caleb Mustenen/Callum Black silently studied Miss Barbara Harrison for a moment. Since taking his father’s memories and feelings he sometimes found himself looking at her in a completely different way to how he used to. It was a far more adult an assessment than was probably appropriate for a boy his age. It was something he was realising he would have to contend with. Normally such assessments woiyuld mature with time, age and experience. His father had done all that for him and he had to be mindful of not coming across too grown up, especially in the way he had just been thinking about the woman sat beside him. Very inappropriate indeed.
He wrenched his attenbtion back to the question at hand, forcing the other thoughts back into his subconscious and posting a gurad at the door to keep them at bay.
“I think Chaya would suit you,” Caleb/Callum said. He glanced at the long tanned legs.
“My mother was beautiful too,” he added, then his face flushed scarlet as he silently admonished the guard for letting one of his wards slip by. He looked out of the passenger window to hide his own embarrassment.
Once more Barbara Harrison giggled. “Thank you for the comparison, Calum,” she said the name very deliberately to try to get used to saying it.

Starting the engine she looked at her brand new son. “Where should we go?”
“North, towards Atlanta, then west out to Texas or New Mexico. There are a lot of small towns out there where we can disappear and start over.”
Chaya Black shrugged, “Yeah, from rock bottom I’m afraid,” she said with only hint of bitterness tainting her voice.
“Not quite,” Callum said and when Chaya glanced at him he pointed to the back of the car. “There’s nearly half a million dollars in the trunk.”
The new Chaya Black’s mouth dropped open and Callum laughed.

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Re: A Darker Shade Of Pale

Post by Keeper » Tue May 20, 2014 7:03 am

May 6th, 1966

Albert Pearson limped into Director Mortimers office after spending a week in hospital. It had taken that long to organise the transfer to a hospital closer to Washington DC, which of course meant a few days more being looked after by Agent Cole and he was up and about.
“How’s the back?” Mortimer asked as he pulled a seat forward for his guest.
Pearson gave a resigned sigh. “Cole did his best sir. Backs are tricky things, and I have to be glad I can still walk.”
“Indeed,” Mortimer agreed. “And Wills?”
“Back on his feet too, fit and ready.”
“Good. Damn shame about Lovett tough. It’s tough when you lose a guy in the field.”
“I was lucky I didn’t lose more,” Pearson said with a hint of bitterness.
Mortimer slipped back around the desk and into his own chair.
“Tell me,” he instructed.
“We were unprepared, sir. We’ve never had to face those situations before, not on home turf. Well, in the kids case, not anywhere. Not only that it turns out that the kids father was some sort of mob hitman in a previous life. We were outgunned both mundanely and psychically.”
Nodding his agreement Mortimer said, “I agree. I want to change that. Discovering a Russian team that big on American soil has made my mind up.”
“I want to reorganise the teams. Each squad will consist of two combat trained telekinetics, minimum. Every member of this agency will get combat training, even those in clerical positions, and yes, I mean the women too. I want our people to be able to hold their own against mundane threats without having to expose their talents to the great unwashed out there.”
“I’m going to be recruiting normals from FBI, CIA, Special Forces and such, people who have encountered psychics, perhaps without knowing what they were, people who have fought them and have the right attitude, of course.”
“I’ve briefed the President and he’s on board with this. He’s giving us full Federal Agency Status; law enforcement powers, the works. But we’re to remain covert. The other agencies will be made aware of our existence but they won’t know who we are or what we are about. Both he and I are nervous about how the populace would act if they found out that these psychics they keep reading about in the rags were real!”
Pearson’s raised eyebrows spoke volumes. “This can’ all be on the back of this one incident?”
“No, but I’ve been arguing our case for a long time. Commie mind readers on our doorstep has put the frighteners on out illustrious leader.”
Mortimer sat back and steepled his fingers together. “Albert, I want you to head up the recruitment drive. I want anyone suitable brought in, psychics, mundane, whatever.”
Again Pearson looked surprised.
“I’d be honoured, Director.”
“Good, Oh, and Bert?”
“Yes, sir?”
“As a part of that drive… I want the kid brought into the fold as soon as possible before the damned commies get hold of him.”
Person gave a kurt nod as he pushed himself out of the chair. “Always was the plan sir. What if he doesn’t want to come in?”
“Yes, that could be one development. You remember the motto of my predecessor, don’t’ you?”
“You mean Director Glupp?”
“Yes, him. He was very fond of saying ‘shoot it….. or recruit it’,” he smiled. “I like that motto too, but in the boys case coerce him, any way you can. If you still cant bring him in after that, well…. Frank Glupp was a very wise man!”
“Yes, sir. I understand.”

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