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Prelude to a Queen

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“Just what in the hell was that?,” Senator McCain said.

At the same time, Bill Gates flipped a lid, and ran from the back of the auditorium style class room to the front, grabbed what looked to be a a wooden broom handle, and started swinging it where the sphere had just been.

He looked at Amy, with unrestrained fear in his eyes.

“What did you do?,” he yelled.

Amy looked startled.

Bill swung the wooden rod in thin air, trying desperately hard to find the missing sphere.

“What in the hell have you done?,” he yelled, again, glancing at Amy.

“The man’s gone nuts,” someone said.

“You don’t understand. This was my only connection to his world,” he said.

Amy walked over, reached down, and gently grabbed the wooden rod from his hands.

The man was in tears.

Someone said “If this is an act, it’s one of the best acts I’ve ever seen”

That’s when Amy said to him, gently “I’m still connected, Bill” as she placed the wooden rod where he’d gotten it from.

There was clear confusion in the audience.

And Bill Gates was struggling to regain his composure.

Senator McCain left his seat, standing, “Mr Gates?,” he said.

Bill looked up.

“Yes, John,” Bill said.

“This old man can’t hear you that well down there, but to be sure we’ve known eachother for going on.. what, 21 years now, right?,” Senator McCain said.

“I’ve never met a business man who was an actor, have you been taking lessons?,” he said, incredulously.

Bill walked over to a podium, silently, pushed a button, and as the podium elevated and shifted swiftly to the middle of the room, he brushed himself off and straightened his tie.

“I should have done this before for those who didn’t see the original presentation at the Pentagon. Dale, can you roll the clip of the initial sphere tests,” he said into the microphone on the podium, looking up to the back of the room where a projectionist area could be seen.

“Will do, Mister Gates,” he said came the response over speakers.

A massive 36 foot wide by 20 foot tall white projection screen rolled down from the ceiling at the top of the back wall to the floor.

The lights dimmed.

It was an interior view of a canvased tent.

“What I am about to demonstrate, Mr Gates, is the sphere bounding this cybernetic life form we recovered about 13 miles due south of this camp appears to be impenetrable through any and all means, to show you this, first, here’s a ice pick we use to dig trenches manually with,” he said, as he took an ice pick, and said to the person holding the camera “Point the web cam there, ” as he pointed at a large irregularly cut block of ice, “,I want him to see how sharp this thing is”

He took a whack with the ice pick, several more sharp jabs, and after enough jabs, the ice cracked in half.

“Follow me,” he said to the camera man, “Ok, now I’m going to take the same pick – and well – ,” he struck what appeared to be air but something hard deflected the impact.

“It sounds like it’s concrete,” came Bill Gates’s voice over the audio track.

“It feels like it a little bit too, but the weird thing is – it’s not causing any wear, whatsoever on the ice pick,” the researcher said, as he walked around the 10 foot in diameter sphere, striking the invisible sphere in a complete circle around it.

“What do you think it is?,” Bill Gates said over the audio.

“I dunno, Never seen anything like it,” said the researcher.

The camera flipped around, showing the cameraman’s bearded face in a parka “I think it’s a temporal stasis field”

“Anthony! Camera over here,” the initial researcher said, “Sorry about that, Mr Gates, he’s been watching too much Star Trek”

“He may be onto something though, this is after all the spitting image of a Borg, isn’t it?,” Bill Gates said in the recorded audio.

“I was never a fan of the show, so I wouldn’t know. Can I show you the drill?,” the researcher said.

“Sure, go ahead, “ Bill Gates said in the recorded audio.

The researcher leaned over, and grabbed a cordless drill, “So next, I tried drilling into it, “ as he turned on the drill and held it against air. The drill was clearly hitting something, but appeared to be making no progress.

“Spit on it,” Anthony said.

“Oh yeah. Watch this,” the researcher sat the drill down, walked up to the side of the invisible sphere, two gloved palms open on the surface making it clear where the surface of the sphere was, and then he spit.

The saliva bounced off the surface.

“Dale, can you play that last part in slow motion,” Bill Gates said in the auditorium.

“The video rewound, and the image on the screen was now only progressing at one/one hundredth of a second for every real world second. The researcher can be seen doing the wind up with his spittle, and then, the surface clearly deflected it.

“It’s like some sort of shield,” said someone in the audience.

“Perhaps, “ said Bill Gates, “I think Anthony may have been onto something when he referred to it as a temporal stasis with how remarkably well the body had been preserved.”

“Dale, you can bring back on the lights again,” he continued.

“We still have more left for the facility tour, if you’re prepared for it, being honest, I wasn’t expecting Amy’s experiment to be quite so successful, Amy, I’m sorry for yelling at you,” he said, “if you’ll all file through the back doors, we’ll meet you in the hall.”

Everyone started to get up, when Senator McCain yelled, “Just hold on a damn second. Everyone sit down. We’re not done here.”

Everyone in the audience looked at each other, and sat down, obediently.

“Amy, put some damn clothes on, will you? And Mr Gates, I need some answers, now, as if all of this as you’ve presented it is beyond capabilities of any intelligence, service I’m aware of, so if you’re withholding technology which could be critical to the security of this country, which I would damn well consider an absolutely realistic looking hologram a security concern, then you better start opening up to us.” Senator McCain said.

Amy leaned over and whispered into Bill Gates’s ear something.

“First, Amy’s politely declining your request to put some clothes on, and has made it clear this is how she’ll appear in this facility from this point forward,” Bill Gates said looking at Amy.

“Second, I absolutely intend on going over the recordings of today, thoroughly, but I can assure you I nor does anyone I am aware of have any holographic technology remotely close to this. what we saw today was at the very least 20 years ahead of anything we have, maybe even more. Remote projection, physical alteration of the room, “ he rambled a bit as he was cut short.

“And that man, you’ve never seen him before?,” Senator McCain responded.

Bill looked at Amy, who shook her head negatively, “Neither of us has seem this man before.”

“You’re walking on exceedingly dangerous grounds with sexual experimentation, there’s something you need to see to understand the gravity of what you’re both toying with,” the Senator said, wagging his finger.

Neither Amy nor Bill responded at first, then Amy spoke up.

“Well, it did produce results,” Amy said.

“You want results? Try patience. You’ve confiscated my phone. Do you have access to an outside line in this room?,” Senator McCain said.

“It’s a secured and untraceable line that comes over the speakers,” Bill Gates said, “But sure, the rooms has phased array microphones so you’re fine, take a seat and make yourself comfortable.”

Amy walked over to the side of the room  and grabbed two folding chairs and set them up on the stage.

“Fine then. Please dial three zero one, six eight eight, six five two four, “ Senator McCain said.

“Security Operations,” came the voice over the speakers.

“Yes, Senator McCain here, can you please connect me with analyst A9771213 please?,” Senator McCain said.

A digital bleep could be heard followed by a, “Yes, Mr McCain, Forwarding immediately”

A dial followed by “Senator McCain, what can I do for you?”

“Yes, I need you to retrieve and analyze all digital records for this immediate vicinity for the last, I need to know if you have an identity on the holographic man,” the Senator said,

“I have no doubt we’ll understand that when we retrieve the records, sir, and what else do you need?”, the man on the other line said.

Bill Gates smugly said, “You’re not going to be able to access anything in here, this facility is as secured as you’re going to get”

Senator McCain smiled, “You showed me yours, pardon the pun to Ms Newton, now it’s time I showed you mine”

“Agent, have you obtained an area map,” the Senator said.

“I have,” the agent said.

“Could you provide an operational summary?,” the Senator said.

“Sir, there are 30 unauthorized personnel in that room alone, and I’m counting – 20 more in the observation room,” the agent responded.

“Disconnect all external feeds, limit the audience to this room, this will fall under the new clearance – Cosmic. Those who observed the event are Q clearance only. Cosmic should cover it. Be sure to include yourself in this clearance list,” he said.

“Yes sir,” the agent said.

“Operational summary is as follows. twelve primary screens, three projection units, two side units currently retracted. One primary projection unit – the main screen I assume. In the room are 40 phased array microphones, and fifteen three dimensional scanners without projection capability. Two phone lines in, one at the podium, the other near the left rear door if facing out from the stage. Some kind of communication device is just above Amy’s… nude right breast, technology I’ll forward to R&D to understand the capabilities of,” he said

Senator McCain grinned in triumph, AS Bill Gates said out loud “How in the hell do you know all this?”

“The projectionist room has 10 racks of servers, about 50 servers in all, highly customized systems with enough storage space to record what looks to be – wow – nearly 20 years worth of data all on an isolated local area network without external connections. Impressive design,” the Agent said.

“This is supposed to be a closed system!” Bill Gates exclaimed.

The Senator’s moment of triumph passed, as he then said “Agent, on the primary screen, can you bring up Event sixty nine alpha forty two”

“Sir?,” The Agent said.

“Agent, why are you questioning me? Please cue that on the main projection unit, and then fill the remaining operational screens – I count twelve in all – with a rotating feed of the other cameras,” the Senator said.

“Yes sir. But sir. This isn’t,” the Agent said.

“I SAID COSMIC CLEARANCE, GOT IT?,” he yelled, his instantly turning a beet red.

“Yes sir,” he said.

On the main projection unit was a pornographic image of five black men and a white woman. Laying on top of a black man with his erect penis firmly inside her pussy, another black man had his erect penis inside her anus. Another black man was in front of her, erect penis inside her mouth poking on the inside of her cheek, and two other black men were sitting on a couch off to the the side, penises firmly in hand as they masturbated waiting for their turn.

A woman in the room said “I didn’t know I’d be watching porn all day”

Senator McCain said “Other feeds, please, can you put the primary one on a side monitor and show a room view on the primary”

The agent responded affirmatively.

Other pornographic scenes came into view on the other screens. A couple engaged in anal sex on one screen, two females with a double headed dildo on another monitor. A woman walking naked outside on another.

And on the main screen, was an image of a tri-level platform, where video cameras were each pointed to 10×10 rooms which served as makeshift sets, some with green screens, some with beds, some with kitchens, there were 15 separate configurations in all.

Each video had a time stamp at the bottom “08:31:1997 12:19.33 AM”

Senator McCain spoke “For about two years, the NSA had actively been experimenting with information sources and whether or not sexuality in the vicinity of intelligence gathering operations influenced the information obtained. What you’re seeing here is a set of stages – one of twenty stages in all – all set up underneath the NSA’s primary information gathering facilities at Fort George G Meade in Maryland, just outside of Washington DC.”

Amy laughed. “So you hired sex workers,” she said.

“I didn’t myself, dirty business if you ask me, but you could say our government did,” The Senator responded, “but to answer your question, yes, for two years time we had nearly a thousand sex workers who called the NSA their workplace”

Someone said “So now we know the real reason behind the high incidence of AIDS in Washington DC”

Everyone chuckled.

“Those of us in the Senate in a Special Closed Committee hearing who authorized it, people like me, heard testimonies from individuals in the sex industry who rationalized it for us – having a formal paycheck from a government agency legitimized their lives and provided them a path out of the sex industry. Many of this looked at this as a win/win for the individuals involved and for the government who didn’t have a clear understanding on the impact of sexuality,” the Senator said.

A few grumbles in the audience, with someone saying “I guess I can see that”

“Now. Watch,” he said.

The clock on the monitors read “08:31:1997 12:23.00 am”

About then, a black swirling dust appeared in the middle of the room seen on the main screen.

“Oh my god what’s that,” someone in the audience said.

On the first screen to the right, a man who had been penetrating a woman missionary style could be seen screaming, his penis covered in blood as the woman’s eyes rolled into the back of her head, she convulsed, and massive spider legs began crawling out of her widening vagina.

On another screen where the woman was having sex with the five black men, the woman’s body suddenly exploded into a swirl of black dust as it fiercely started ripping around the small set, ripping the flesh off the men around her who were trying to get out of the area.

On another screen, another woman on a bed was sucked through the bed, her body folding unnaturally as the man pushed himself off, as several massive spiders, six inches to a foot in size, crawled out of the hole.

Everyone in the audience was aghast.

Each stage it was the same thing, every actor being decimated by spiders and snakes and a black swirling dust.

And from the primary camera’s perspective, the swirling black dust cloud grew larger and larger, as people trying to run from the cloud didn’t make it far before their skin was ripped off, when they collapsed bloodily to the ground.

The stages started to collapse, as lights flickered and exploded. The left side of the third floor buckled, instantly putting an end to a woman who’s breasts and pussy had exploded with snakes and spiders.

The dust tore at everything as the bodies disappeared, followed by the stage, and finally.

One by one.

Every camera. Gone.

A General in the audience said “What in Sam’s hell was that?”

Someone else said “I feel sick.”

“That,” said Senator McCain, is why the government stopped any and all experimentation involving sex.

“Senator?,” The agent said on the intercom.

“We’re done, Agent, unless you have something for me” The Senator responded.

“Actually. I do,” the Agent responded.

The Senator looked up curiously,“What is that, Agent?”

An image of the holographic man they’d all seen was presented on the main projection screen.

“The DNA shows an ancestral match, but the image, well,” the Agent said.

The likeness was undeniable.

“It’s him,” Amy said.

“Wait a minute,” Bill Gates said, “With that photo I remember him. Absolutely Gifted Programmer. Saved my ass more than once and helped me make millions, I flew him to Seattle a few years back and asked him to lead the Visual Basic 7.0 team when he crashed and burned in the technical interviews. He couldn’t even answer a simple question about two trains I’d reserved specifically for my secretaries, something any programmer should easily be able to figure out.”

“Isn’t that convenient. You remember him now,” said Senator McCain.

“He’s correct, Senator, his name’s Brian Scott Gregory, we’ve tried recruiting him numerous times and had very similar results. It says here in the last interview that ‘the man is either bat shit crazy or looking at a remarkably different world than the rest of us’,” the Agent said.

The Senator’s accusatory face changed to one of consternation.

“It may be very possible he is seeing a different world. Where’s he located?” the Senator said.

“Right now, he’s living in Gilbert, not far from you and he owns a company in North Phoenix. The name of the company is Touchscape, they specialize in – get this heuristic learning algorithms – stuff the NSA’s been chomping at the bit to get a hold of. They’re days away from an IPO and his valuation alone is … twenty million shares times fifteen dollars a share – it’s three hundred million dollars on day one. Incredible,” the Agent said.

“He may have an edge the rest of us mere mortals do not,” the Senator said, “This is top priority. Effective immediately, I need two by two full coverage on him twenty four seven. He should be considered a passive threat to National Security.”

“Dont you think that’s a bit drastic,” Bill Gates said.

“Passive is considered unintentional. Whether it’s victim of circumstance or poses no obvious threat but exhibits something of immediate noteworthiness to elevate our interest in him. I would say this classifies as immediately noteworthy, wouldn’t you Mr Gates?,” the Senator said, “And to be sure, you’re not pulling my leg with any of this”

The negative look Bill gates gave the Senator said all he needed to hear.

The Agent then added “Oh yeah, he’s going through a nasty divorce, the IPO wreaked havoc on his marriage. He’s been under level one surveillance since he was eighteen years of age.”

“That’s highly unusual. What for?”

The agent responded “Doesn’t say. But comes from the top though.”

“Well hopefully the old man remembers why he did it. Ok. One last thing. Make Mr Gregory an offer he can’t refuse to come work for the NSA,” the Senator said, “And while you’re at it, passively vet him, I need you to get a clear understanding of who he is and how he relates to the man we saw today and how he’s an ancestral match yet a spitting image.”

“Yes sir,” said the Agent, “anything else?”

“We’re done, agent. Please notify W, I’ll be returning to DC a day late,” the Senator said.

“No problem, sir, end transmission,” the Agent said.

The Senator breathed.

“Mister McCain?,” Amy said.

Still naked.

“Senator, Ms Newton,” the Senator responded

“Senator,” she responded, “if he’s going through a divorce, I’d like to approach him, you know, to date him.”

“Absolutely not,” the Senator said.

She looked at Bill Gates, as if for approval, and then became defiant.

“I’m not asking for permission, Senator, if you’re unwilling to help me, a US civilian date another civilian, then I’ll find alternative means to meet him,” she said.

The Senator grew angry.

“You’re playing with fire, young lady, Don’t go overestimating your position and role here,” the Senator said, “For all we’re concerned, you’re an expendable part of this equation.”

She smiled, as if she was holding the winning hand in a poker game.

“His name is Brian Scott Gregory. Adopted on Christmas day in 1969, in Orange, California. He chose his adoptive family before coming to this planet for no other reason than he enjoyed the idea and concept of who they are. His name is Q, he’s an eternal being, and he creates himself in what he refers to as a casual time loop to manifest himself in a physical form. His name as Q was shortened from that which he once was – the Borg Queen herself . And now, he’s exploring the male form. The beacon was placed there to locate a suitable female who chose him and could psychically bond. So you see – we have chosen each other, whether you like it or not, “ Amy said defiantly, “and whether you support us or not we’re already psychically bonded.”

The Senator’s face turned white with palpable fear he tried unsuccessfully to mask.

“Well then, Ms Newton, since you put it that way, we don’t really have any options, do we?,” Senator McCain responded.

“Unless you can invent time travel and somehow prevent all this from happening,” she said, tauntingly.

The Senator looked at Bill Gates, who seemed just as surprised as his eyes refused to budge off Amy.

“Amy,” he said. “Is it true? You’re still connected?”

She looked at him, and in that moment he could have sworn he saw a woman that looked and acted as old as the universe itself.

“We are, Mr Gates, We are,” she said.

Even her voice carried with it an unearthly feel to it which sent a chill down everyone’s spine.

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