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    The Fourth Factor

    Sinister Device

    by , 06-05-2018 at 09:42 PM (85 Views)
    I’m walking down the metallic corridor of a spaceship, carrying a small backpack and some other item with me. I spot a door on the left-hand side and walk in. It’s a little room with a bed, a sink and various other useful things along the walls. I set my things down. It looks like nobody’s claimed this one yet. I’m glad because I like room #2—they’re all pretty similar, but I just like this one more for some reason.

    I look at the bed—just a molded bit of plastic, no sheets on it yet. It’s pretty uncomfortable. I could have brought some extra bedclothes, knowing in advance that it would be, but I figured I’d just pick some up along the way.

    All of this is so familiar to me because I can remember all of it happening before, even the things that haven’t happened yet. If déjà vu is like seeing a firefly flickering in the darkness, this is like being in broad daylight. I remember all of it, although not everything seems to be set in stone—little things like my being the first one here and the outcome of one very big thing that’s still a long way in the future.

    Somewhere out in space, there’s an odd device wired into the workings of a satellite devoted to climate monitoring. The device had originally been with me, but some time back, in the midst of a chaotic situation, some group had managed to get their hands on it—not a hostile group, exactly, but not overly friendly either. They had managed to figure out that it was a powerful device and even how to get it to do some interesting things, but they really have no idea what it was capable of.

    This situation doesn’t bother me too much. An unmanned climate monitoring satellite isn’t a bad place for the thing for the time being. They’ve taken great pains to keep it a secret, and nobody is likely to find it there. And when it leaves dormancy and begins to destroy the satellite—it is a matter of when rather than if—there’s only so much damage it can do.

    That won’t be for a while yet. It will also take a while for them to trace it back to the device and figure out just what they’re dealing with. And that’s when they’ll come to me. I have some kind of connection with this thing, which is how I know all this, and I’m the only one who has a chance of destroying it. I won’t have to bother about getting it back. All I have to do is make sure I’m ready when the time comes.

    Someone else enters the room—a young woman, tall with short, blonde hair and a punk-ish look. I’m one of four people who have just been brought here, possibly as some kind of training program, and she’s another of them. She tells me the people in charge here found something out about her past and are making her take some kind of test—something they needed a blood sample for. She hasn’t got the results back yet. I don’t know anyone here that well yet, but I have the impression she just needs someone to talk to.

    We go out together, through a door in the ceiling. We aren’t actually in space now—we’re parked. It’s definitely not earth, though: we move through the air like swimming, as if gravity is very low here. It’s dark out, and there’s nobody else around. Not far from us is a park with a playground. We float over to it. I notice my companion is wearing a purple pair of flippers, which strikes me as a smart idea—she can probably move faster that way.

    I grab ahold of a colorful children’s play structure and maneuver through a hole in it. Might as well get a feel for what it’s like moving through the air like this. I think that this, in a way, is also preparation for what I’ll eventually have to do.

    The woman heads back to the spaceship at some point, but I stay out a bit longer.

    5.6.18

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