Baxter flexed his hand to gesture his computer a command. The artifact room appeared on a big screen monitor, but with bands and spots of color. He sat behind his minalmalist desk. “Brook has been more useful then she realizes.”
“Her notes are sent to our primary lenguist team, but what is that?” Salmon stood with his hands folded examining the screen.
“The computer tracks where Brook looks and records this. The longer she gazes at a spot the brigher the color.”
Salmon was not aware of the system, and being security chief it cam to a him as a surprise. Other thing got past his briefings earlier, like the secret escape tunnel and the 50 cal embedded torrents. “One spot on the artifact she looks at appears ajar.”
“Her notes have set our research back by months. Then he voiced the reason he called his security personal manager up. “What was on the table there?”
“Lester’s sport watch. It’s to track his condition at the gym.” Solman wondered what else Dexter’s computers were tracking.
“I relayed a report with relivant security information to your computer. Anything else?”
“Yes, dispite the large buffet in our cafeteria Brook has requested some additional foods.” Solman expected Baxter to ask for more information.
“Okay. Brook is a valuable member of our team. She can get her food request. She can come and go as she pleases.”
“Understood.” Salman left the office to get that report on his computer. Yeah, he thought, she can come and go as far as the automated machine guns don’t stop her.
“Aaron set the crate of devices on an unfolded table. They parked their van in a forest in Canada.
“What is this crap?”
“Recognizance.” Aaron opened a box to review two dozen small copters. He activated one with a switch on it’s base and let it fly. “We let them fly and find signals. They fly into a formation that lets them relay the signal back with light, becoming undetectable.”
“If they don’t fly into trees.”
“They use a kind of sonar to get around the trees, and they are good at finding stuff.” Aaron traced a couple symbols on his arm. “My watch tracks from vibrations where I touch and I can program the drones.” The drone took the command and landed. He repeated the process until all the drones landed.
“Your cheep van was hauling some pretty expensive toys. How about next time you skip a little on toys and put a little in the van’s comfort.”
Brook and Lester are on tread mills in the compound’s gym.
“Brook, you seam disappointed that the device isn’t giving you super powers.”
“Well, maybe it is.” She joked while getting into her running. “You didn’t tell me why you were here.”
“I was approached by somebody that told me I was poisoned with a designer drug. If I worked for him I’d get the cure, otherwise….”
“I didn’t see a lab around here.”
“By the time I realized it was a trap I was in a compound surrounded by autoguns.”
She was sure this wasn’t right and there was another reason he was in the compound. As she started to feel the running effect she imagined the alien language and runes that were so familiar from her dreams. Then she had an uneasy feeling that something was reading her thoughts.
An alarm went off and the researchers were ordered to return to their quarters.
Aaron watched the video of a machine gun torrent opening and blasting his drone. “Okay, I wasn’t expecting that.” They were going up a dry stream when it happened and returned to the van to see the data on a laptop.
“Are you sure your sister is here?” Jet asked. He was there to help Aaron keep out of trouble; and the adventure.
“I thought you were done asking that.” He typed some new parameters for the drones.
“That machine gun was up quick. What kind of sensors ….”
Aaron broke his sentence with a laugh. “We have total control of that network. Reprogramming defense guns.”
“Brook did that while guarded by a psychopath with automated guns? It looks like people are converging into the central lab.”
“Brook is going the wrong way. Better inform her.”
Brooklyn saw a flash of light from from Lester’s watch. She twisted the timer ring much to Lester’s dismay.
“Brook, I’m here.” Aaron’s voice cames from the watch.
“Good, I’m headed for the alien thing. Watch out for security and machine gun torrets.”
Aaron continues, “I have control of the computer system and I’ll use the torrents to detour the security.”
“You did what?”
“Don’t worry, I programmed them to aim like a Star Trek phaser. They won’t hit a thing.”
“Lester, let’s get to the alien thing.”
Aaron and Jet, in cameo gear, pushed open a door to the artifact room from a maintenance passageway. Brooklyn and Lester, in sweet suits, came in through the main corridor on the opposite wall. Salmon and some security personal were finding somewhere to shoot from.
“<safety mode>” Brooklyn told the artifact in an alien language. This is one of several commands she remembered from her dreams. Several shots ran out from combatants, with the bullets dissolving into flashes of harmless light. The artifact starts to glow from edges and Brooklyn heads toward it.
“Get away from that,” Baxter yells from the main corridor entrance. He holds up a horse shoe shaped device glowing the same color as the artifact. “No. I will not let it return.”
Brooklyn pulls a soda can shaped object from the artifact, stringing fiber optic lines behind it, and throws it to her brother. Before the object could reach him every person within five meters of the artifact were turned into two people (Brooklyn, Lester, Baxter, and Salmon), each shoved to the ground opposite of his or her double. The small object turns into two objects as well. The ground twist and expand as computers spark and catch fire.
Samson had enough of artifact damage and ran to try and stop the twin Brooklyns from picking out more objects. “Stop that, you’ll kill all of us doing that.”
As Aaron catches one device the other one seamly disapears before it can get to him.
The twin Baxters aim their devices at the artifact. A shimering field appears around the same distance where the distortion ended. One Lester yells at somebody unseen and runs through the field, vanishing as he goes through the field.
The people inside the field see the world outside transform into a wooded area. The artifact having only enough time to push people from appearing in trees looses it’s light and crashes to the twisted floor.
“We were teleported to a forest.” Lester says. While twin Brooklyns and twin Baxters were yelling at each other Lester hears something. A jet flew over. “Let’s get out of here!” The group runs into the woods as more jets appear.