May He bless you with understanding of this truth...

Write the things which thou hast seen, and the things which are,

and the things which shall be hereafter...

Revelation 1:19

Page 2

Chapters Six - Ten


Chapter Six

Friday, November 10, 2006

 

When the ship heard Mr. Z  say “Let’s go,”  it took off.  Just as it was a few minutes before, it felt as if we weren’t moving at all.  But I noticed that the markings on the tunnel walls were an indistinguishable blur. 

 

More than just a blur, almost nonexistent.  But I knew they were there, I had seen the markings.  I could still see them, sort of…I…ahhh…   

 

The next thing that happened totally blew my mind.  I could see a light at the end of the tunnel.  Next thing I knew, we were entering open skies.  I looked down and saw desert. 

 

“This doesn’t look like D. C. to me,”  I remarked.  “Where are we?” 

 

Mr. Z  said we’d exited from New Mexico. 

 

“Wait a minute!  We’ve only been moving for a few seconds!”  I exclaimed. 

 

Mr. Z chuckled softly and asked me if I’d ever been in a vehicle moving fifty thousand miles an hour. 

 

“Never,”  I gasped in a barely audible whisper. 

 

“Well, welcome to the world of speed, my friend!”  Mr. Z declared.   This was one of the very few times that I actually heard genuine excitement in his voice. 

 

We’d just left Washington, D. C. at approximately fifty thousand miles per hour and exited out of the state of New Mexico into bright blue, clear, open skies. 

 

This has to be the most exciting time of my life! 

 

“That time is yet to come,”  Jona said, adding, “There is more.  Are you ready, Orion?”

 

“You bet I’m ready!”  I answered breathlessly. 

 

Taking me at face value, Jona thoughtfully directed the ship up.  Up, up, up, into the clear blue enormous sky we flew. 

 

It’s beautiful!  What I perceived to be the windshield area was still transparent.  The floor of the craft had, without my noticing, returned itself to its original density.

 

Very soon, though, the sky began to turn dark. 

 

We’re leaving Earth.  This has to be a dream. 

 

“Where to?”  Jona asked. 

 

All I could think of was the moon.  In the blink of an eye, in one beat of my heart, the moon was fully in sight. 

 

This is... …I can’t even begin to explain the feelings I was experiencing.  There are no words to explain these feelings. 

 

What happened next?  We orbited the moon, of course.  We were quite close enough to see the surface details, all of the craters and the plains and the mountains and hills and their assorted shadows.  I could even see the flag and plaque put there by the Apollo astronauts in July, 1969.

 

WOW!   I really must be dreaming all this. 

 

Mr. Z looked back at me and stated, “More on that Apollo thing later.  The truth is here, Orion.  The truth is here.”

 

We circled the moon twice, then headed back toward Earth and home.  One of the single most spectacular moments of my life began unfolding before my heart and eyes. 

 

There she was, Earth, in all her splendor, her natural glory.  What a magnificent, majestic, awe-inspiring sight she is. 

 

To this day, I still revel in seeing her from space.  I still experience that pit-of-my-stomach-butterflies feeling about our Mother Earth.  Earth has to be the most beautiful planet anywhere.  Just appearing to hang there in utter blackness, surrounded by the little twinkles of the stars all around her.  I just sat there looking, staring, awestruck.  I think I might have even been drooling, as I was so stunned that I neglected to swallow for several minutes.  Words alone are not enough to explain what I was seeing.  I did not even realize that tears were streaming down my cheeks.

 

I finally realized that the ship had slowed.  I came out of my trance-like reverie to see both Mr. Z  and Jona watching me intently.  As my head cleared, I noticed that they were both smiling upon me.  And now both of them had twinkles in their eyes. 

 

Mr. Z  said then, in a serious, yet humbled voice, “Behold the power of the Creator.  Is she not beautiful?” 

 

Then I realized that the ship was not moving at all.  We just hovered, observing.  To experience this gift from our Creator, first-hand from space, is utterly flabbergasting.  There are no words descriptive enough, sincere enough, to accurately portray the sight of Earth from space. 

 

The Creator at work!  I took the most-deep breath I’d ever taken in my short life…followed by the most heartfelt sigh. 

 

Jona asked if I’d had enough.  

 

Had enough?  How could I ever have enough of a sight such as this?   I thought I had seen beauty before, but now I truly knew what the word beauty means.

 

Mr. Z  interrupted my thoughts and vocally stated that we must return to headquarters.  “There will be more,”  Mr. Z promised.  “There will be more.”

 

Jona thoughtfully headed us toward home.  We moved at a phenomenal speed, heading directly for Earth.  We entered Earth’s atmospheres and the sky was immediately intensely blue once more.

 

Back to the desert of New Mexico.  I could see a hole opening in the ground.  The entrance looked too small, almost as if we wouldn’t fit through it.  But, in the blink of an eye, we again were safely in the tunnel.  I looked back, as quickly as I could, but the opening had already closed behind us. 

 

I said, to no one in particular, that it seemed like we were moving faster than before.  Jona said, “We were going faster for security reasons.   At this time, we must keep a very low profile.  If we were to be seen in the sky, it would be reported to the authorities.”  Jona added that those authorities need to know as little as possible right now.  Therefore, when returning to Earth, it is suggested that all vehicles entering the atmospheres of Earth do so in an expedient manner, thereby avoiding detection.  Jona's meaning of expedient at this time roughly worked to seven times the speed of light.  As I found out later, the true speed of light is not 186,000 miles per second, but actually 1.5 million miles per second.  Earthlings just aren't technically evolved enough yet to correctly measure the speed of light.  Soon though.

 

The tunnel was once again nothing but a blur.  I wondered if this thing could stop on another dime. 

 

Mr. Z remarked, “Stop on a dime and give you nine cents change, my friend.” 

 

We re-entered the hangar.  Jona returned the ship to the same place it had been when we’d first walked into it.  The ramp opened itself and extended itself outward. 

 

We were met by hundreds of people.  All the workers had gathered to greet us upon our return. 

 

“What’s all this?” I asked incredulously.  “Is this standard procedure when a ship returns?”

 

“Not all, Orion,”  was Mr. Z’s comeback.  “You have just completed your very first trip into space.  It is customary to be greeted in some celebratory manner.”

 

Another Reticulan appeared at the front of the crowd.  This Reticulan was carrying a bottle of champagne.  The staff woman from the cafeteria also approached carrying a tray of champagne flutes. 

 

Mr. Z  introduced me to the new Reticulan.  “Orion, meet Aviel.  Aviel is your neighbor.  She has the work area directly across the hall from your office.  Aviel asked if she could present you with the first congratulations of your first space flight.” 

 

Instantly, I was drawn to this woman.  Why, I had no idea.  However, I did feel as if I had just met my best friend. 

 

Aviel poured the first glass of champagne and handed it to me.  As I took the full flute from her tiny hand, I looked into her eyes. 

 

Immediately, I knew this IS my best friend

 

All around us everyone was pouring champagne. 

 

Oh, man!  What a great place!  I was grinning from ear to ear so widely that my face was beginning to hurt.

 

All raised their glasses and Aviel said in a heavenly little voice, “Welcome to our world.  Welcome to your new life, a life of wonder and amazement.  A life of unlimited possibilities, a chance to be part of the peace of the Universe and to be part of history.  We welcome you to the future.”  Aviel reached out and touched my hand. 

 

Mr. Z  watched with a look of pride, then confusion, followed by amazement on his face, and, of course, that ever-present twinkle in his eyes.  This was the second Reticulan to voluntarily reach out for me in a handshake or a simple touch.

 

Mr. Z  said that it was time now for me to be alone.  Time to return to my office and relax.  “Your training will start in the morning.  Remember, you are free to go anywhere in the complex.  You have no restrictions.”  Mr. Z  looked at Aviel and nodded. 

 

Aviel extended her arm and gestured me toward the elevator.  As we walked back through the hangar, I was greeted by everyone.  Slaps on the back, handshakes, everyone had a warm welcome for me. 

 

What an experience!  I could die a happy man right now. 

 

Aviel looked at me and without moving her lips, said, “You have done that once already.  No more for now.” 

 

It was at that moment that I realized why I felt such a comfortable attraction to Aviel.  She was in the delivery room at my birth after everyone else had gone.

 

Chapter Seven

Friday, November 10, 2006


Aviel and I entered the elevator and proceeded to the tenth floor.  We stopped near our office doors and Aviel asked if I would like to see her office. 

 

“Yes, I’d love to,”  I replied.  She opened the door and we entered Aviel’s office.

 

Office!?  It was more of a laboratory than an office.

 

Test tubes, Bunsen burners, petri dishes, and microscopes were everywhere. Aviel’s office looked so very different from mine.  Hers was all sterile white and stainless steel.  I asked Aviel her area of expertise. 

 

She told me that she is a biologist. 

 

“That keeps you busy,”  I said. 

 

She said that it certainly does, and that she is also a physicist, and an engineer. 

 

Okay, you’ve had some schooling, I guess,  was what I thought. 

 

“Schooling on my planet is different from what you know here,”   Aviel said. 

 

She’d read my thoughts.

 

“How so?”  I asked. 

 

Aviel said that I would learn about that later, but for now, I needed to take some time for myself and familiarize myself with my office and living quarters. 

 

“Yes, I guess you’re right,”  I said, “I am a little tired.  Busy day, so far.  I find that I do need to think and rest for a while.” 

 

We said our goodbyes.  Aviel walked me to her office door and watched as I crossed the hall, opened my new office door and went inside.

 

I stepped into my office and just stood there for several minutes looking around.  I took in again all the newness of it, the freshness of it.  I was actually a bit taken aback, humbled more than a little, to know that this was my new office

 

Then, I walked to the desk, caressed the green leather chair for a few seconds, then sat down in it.

 

Oh, this is comfort personified!  Omega Agency sure does things first class. 

 

I put my head back and lounged in the chair thinking about the day I’d had so far.  I inadvertently drifted off into a deep sleep. 

 

I awoke with start!  “Boy, did I just have some dream,”  I said aloud to no one.  I rubbed my eyes. 

 

As my eyes suddenly focused, I realized it was not a dream. 

 

I was sitting at my new desk, in my new office, at my new job.  Everything was just as I remembered it, plush and first class. 

 

I wondered what time it was.   Without windows or sunlight, it is not easy to judge the passage of time.  I checked my watch.  The watch had stopped working at eight o’clock that morning. 

 

Great, first day on the job and the watch breaks. 

 

I wondered if I would be late for anything.  I decided I needed a shower to wake me up.  I walked toward the wall that led to the living quarters and the door silently slid open. 

 

The soft dim light came on as I entered the room.  As I passed the chest of drawers, I took a peek inside each drawer in turn.  The top drawer held brand-new underwear.  The second drawer was full of new, neatly folded white undershirts.  The third drawer was cram-jam loaded with new socks, pairs of black and pairs of white. 

 

I went back to the top drawer and selected a pair of undershorts and checked the size.  The underwear were my size and my style.  The undershirts were also my size and style.  I looked in the sock drawer once more.  Those, too, were my size. 

 

Okay, I guess they supply everything we need here.  This is something else.  This is great! 

 

I walked toward the bathroom.  The door slid open, just as silently and smoothly as all the other doors.  The blue light started glowing. 

 

What great light! 

 

I looked in the medicine cabinet.  Hot dog!   There were all the toiletries that I personally use.  Dial soap, Wilkinson Sword Blade razors, even the razor handle was the same one I preferred.  There was my Right Guard deodorant, Head and Shoulders shampoo and even the Old Spice aftershave lotion I liked. 

 

This is amazing.  They do know me completely.  Oh, well, they said they’d been monitoring me since the age of eight.  I guess they would know all the little details.

 

I undressed and stepped into the shower stall.  Whoa!! 

 

This was a lot bigger than it looked from the outside.  This shower stall had seating all around its walls, except for the door.  The walls looked to be of a plain white standard four-inch square tile.  The odd thing was, I didn’t see a shower head anywhere.  There was not a faucet of any kind or shape.

 

Okay, now I need to get out, get dressed and find someone to tell me how to work this thing.  Great.  All I wanted was a shower.

 

At that thought, the ceiling started raining! 

 

HEY, What the h…Whoa!  Startled, I jumped back, arms akimbo. 

 

There was nowhere for me to go.  The whole shower-stall ceiling was raining.  Then I realized that the water was the exact temperature that I liked. 

 

Whew!  

 

I looked around to see if I had bumped into anything that had triggered the shower, when another memory dawned on me.  Jona had said that a lot of things around here work on thought. 

 

Okay, I need to try this one out. 

 

I thought the shower to stop.  It did.  I thought the shower on.  The hot rain began again.  Hmmm…I am an intelligent adult human being.  I’d just landed a super-duper job working with Visitors from outer space.  And here I was on my first day playing with the shower. 

 

On.  Off.  On.  Off.  On.  Off...This was great fun!  Now, if only the shower could scrub me up and dry me off. 

 

I waited foolishly. 

 

Well, I guess that part is up to me. 

 

That first Omega shower felt wonderful.  As I stepped from the stall, the blue glow intensified. 

 

Okay, the shower didn’t dry me off but the blue light is helping with that part. 

 

I put on the new white underwear and tee shirt.  I shaved and trimmed my mustache with a pair of scissors I found in a drawer.  I decided that my beard didn’t need any tidying touches at the moment.

 

Hmmm, same type of scissors that I had at home.  Unbelievable. 

 

I went to the closet, removed one of the black jumpsuits and tried it on.  Then I pulled on a pair of boots.  It all fit me like the proverbial glove.  But then, I should have known that it would.  As I said, Omega goes first class.

 

I went back out to the office area, went to my desk and sat down in the chair again. 

 

Careful, I warned myself, you might fall asleep again. 

 

But I looked around the room this time instead.  I thought the computer on again.  Poof!  On it came. 

 

This job is going to be the best. 

 

I thought a little news would be nice.  I am a news junkie.  Instantly, the wall came to life.  News junkie!!  I had my choice of news all right!  Right there on the wall were so many choices of news sources that I was astonished once again. 

 

Okay.   I made a news-source selection.  Now, what do I do? 

 

The one news program I’d chosen completely filled the wall-sized screen.

 

HA!  Forget those newfangled remote controls!  This way much is better! 

 

I watched the latest news for several minutes. 

 

Then it occurred to me that I hadn’t looked to see what the drawers of this beautiful desk contained.  I opened each drawer in turn.  There were all kinds of paper, paperclips, pencils, pens and erasers. 

 

Okay.   Now, I know what’s in the desk.

 

I watched some more news;  things were typical.  The Vietnam conflict was still raging.  Protesters were everywhere...same old news.  I turned away from it.

 

That is enough of that.  The television turned itself off.

 

When I’d turned away from the depressing national news is when the wall directly opposite my desk suddenly commanded  my full attention. 

 

Why is there a shade over that wall?  Oops!   I forgot to ask it to open. 

 

The shade opened just as I thought about it.  And, I got another large surprise.  The shade pulled itself back to reveal yet another large hangar, although it was a smaller hangar than the one I’d visited earlier.  Inside this room was a craft. 

 

What the heck is that?  No way!  Is it possible??

       

Chapter Eight

Friday, November 10, 2006

   

I could not believe what I was looking at! 

 

Suddenly, the computer spoke to me.  Mr. Z  was talking to me through the computer.  He asked if he could stop by my office. 

 

“Sure,” I said, “I’m not busy yet.” 

 

Just seconds later, a pleasant chime sounded throughout the room.  I looked around. 

 

Oh, maybe that’s the door bell. 

 

I walked toward the door and it opened, barely whispering, just as before, at the right distance and moment.  Mr. Z  was standing there. 

 

Where had he been on a computer?  How had he gotten to my door so quickly? 

 

He explained that when someone stops in front of your door, the chime will let you know that someone is there waiting for you.  Mr. Z  glanced toward the shade-wall and saw that it was open.

 

“You found something interesting, I see,”  he commented.

 

“What the hell IS that thing?”  I blurted anxiously.

 

“Well, let’s go take a look and find out,”  he placated me.

 

Behind that most unusual shade on that wall was a glass window.  Its size was approximately eight feet by five feet.  Mr. Z stepped just to the left side of the window, and Presto!  another magic door whispered open.  We went through the previously invisible door, on into the small hangar right outside my office.

 

There sat a triangular craft.  Well, it wasn’t sitting, of course; it was hovering.  It must have been five hundred feet on each side, and about ten feet in height.  It was black, a dull, lack-luster black. 

 

And this was a smaller hangar?? 

 

“What the hell is this thing and why isn’t it with the others?”  I  was blurting, again.   I had to know. 

 

Mr. Z  raised his hand and with a wave of his arm, said, “Look around you.”

 

As I regained my composure and began to look around in earnest, I saw that there were fifteen smaller triangular ships.  Each was approximately forty feet by forty feet by forty feet, seven feet in height and black.  I continued scanning the perimeter and saw fourteen other windows just like my office window. 

 

I looked questioningly at him, my brows knit. 

 

“Jona mentioned earlier about The Fifteen, do you remember?”  he asked. 

 

“Of course,”  I replied in the affirmative. 

 

“Well,” he continued, “I guess it’s time you officially met the rest of the crew.” 

 

No sooner had he voiced those words than thirteen of the fourteen other doors smoothly, silently opened onto the hangar.  Out stepped thirteen men dressed in black jumpsuits, identical to the one I was wearing.  Each bore a different number on the right breast and a different name on the left.

 

It seemed even more odd that Mr. Z  was still wearing his business suit.  In fact, I never did see Mr. Z in his black jumpsuit.  He always wore his regular business suits.

 

We all formed a group near the middle of the hangar, not far from the nose apex of that enormous ship.  From this perspective, I could easily determine the layout of this huge square hangar.  The two walls with the office windows facing the hangar and the invisible doors were perpendicular to each other.   The back walls were so distant that I could only sense their presence.  But that distance was filled with the very large triangular craft.  Forming a semicircle behind it, were fifteen smaller triangular ships of the forty-foot-size variety.

 

“These men are the completion of The Fifteen.” 

 

The other men stood silently smiling as they waited for Mr. Z to continue. 

 

“The group of The Fifteen is now complete.  Orion, you are the last member of the team.  I am the first.” 

 

Mr. Z introduced them to me, one by one.  He began the introductions with Aquarius, next Cancer, then Pisces, followed by Sagittarius, Capricorn, Libra, Aries and Gemini.  He continued on through Taurus, Virgo, Scorpio, Leo and Mercury.  “And, I, as you know, am Mr. Z,”  he looked at me, saying, “You are, of course, Orion.  You complete The Fifteen.”   

 

“Names of the stars,” I remarked.  “That’s interesting.”

 

“All fourteen of you have come to us within the past eighteen months.  Finally, we are complete and can start the training,”  Mr. Z said. 

 

We shook hands all around and again introduced ourselves to each other.  When we’d finished, I believe it was Gemini who asked Mr. Z  exactly what the fifteen of us are here to do. 

 

“Tomorrow,” Mr. Z answered.  “Tomorrow you will find out why you’re here.  Tonight, relax, get to know each other.  You will be spending a lot of time together after today.”

 

We all agreed to head for the cafeteria.  We were excited and hungry. 

 

What better way to get acquainted than over a congenial meal? 

 

All of us ate large dinners, but talked very little.  After the delicious meal, we wandered around the complex as a group, satisfying our curiosity.  A couple of us wanted to step outdoors and breathe some real air.  Everyone decided to go along.  We packed ourselves into the elevator and thought it up to the ground floor. 

 

Upon arrival, we headed toward the front door.  Quite unexpectedly, two men appeared directly in front of us.  They appeared virtually out of what seemed to be thin air. 

 

Fifteen of us couldn’t have missed seeing them, blocking our way as they were.  These men were dressed like the Doublemint Twins who’d come to my apartment in New York.  Eyes black as night, their emotionless voices informed us that we were not to leave the complex while wearing the jumpsuits. 

 

Leo said that we were just going outside for some air. 

 

“Forbidden,”  the Doublemint Twins practically shouted as they stepped toward us in a most assertive manner, arms raised, palms out.  Their universal stop stance left no doubt in our minds that the two of them could and would stop all fifteen of us.

 

Mr. Z strode to the front of the group and halted five or six feet from the two of them.  He waved his hand once, from left to right, directly in front of the two men at about chest level.  The two men stepped back a pace or two. 

 

Mr. Z explained that, at this time, we could not leave the complex wearing our jumpsuits.  That the people of Earth had never seen the Omega Agency insignia and would certainly be more than curious about it.  And that as the Agency is still secret and that we could not even explain the uniform, this would arouse a great deal more suspicion. 

 

We nodded in unison, in agreement with the boss.  But Leo asked, a bit sarcastically, what was up with the amazing invisible materializing men here? 

 

Mr. Z looked directly into the black eyes of the security men and dismissed them.  They appeared hesitant but slowly walked away.  Mr. Z continued saying that they are part of the security force within Omega Agency.  Continuing, he explained that they do for Omega what the Secret Service does for the president of the United States.  He flatly told us to get used to them, that they would be with us at all times from then on. 

 

I spoke up next, asking why. 

 

Mr. Z  said that we would speak about all of this during the next day.  He ended saying,  “Right now, it’s time for all of you to get to know each other.”

 

We fourteen looked around at each other for only a moment.  Then Gemini said,  “Dessert, anyone?”  Needless to say, we headed back down to the cafeteria. 

 

When we arrived at the Big White Diner, my first thought was that I really needed a large hunk of chocolate cake and a glass of ice-cold milk.  When I cheat on watching my weight, it’s always chocolate cake or brownies and a glass of milk. 

 

Well, wouldn’t you know it?  As we walked through the serving line, there was one huge slice of chocolate cake.  Of course, I grabbed it.

 

The remainder of the evening was taken up with general guy talk of where each of us was from;  what our majors were in school;  likes and dislikes (including chocolate cake and brownies);  how we felt about how our lives had changed.  We discussed the sports we all enjoyed.  We spoke of our various hobbies.  We finally realized that Mr. Z was just sitting there, just listening, just taking us all in.  He seemed to be soaking up our chatter and our good humor. 

 

Perhaps he felt fatherly toward us. 

 

He had that little twinkle in his eyes and that small smile on his face.  We felt that he was truly enjoying listening to us, watching us interact.

 

“Okay, enough about us,”  I said.  “What about you, Mr. Z?  How did you happen into all of this?”

 

Mr. Z looked slowly and deliberately around the table, making eye contact with each one of us in turn.  He paused, looked down at the table for the briefest of moments, took a deep breath and began to tell us his story.

 

“My name is Jonathan Halloran.  At one time, I worked for the CIA, in its Covert Operations Division.  I have some special talents that the CIA liked and made use of.  But after thirty years, I began to re-evaluate my life and my career with the Central Intelligence Agency.  I did not like what I was doing.  I did not like what they had me doing to the citizens of this country and the people of other countries.  I have had experiences similar to those you all have talked about here tonight.  I, too, have been visited by strange little people.  When I left the employ of the CIA back in 1962, I started getting involved with certain politicians to try to stop the CIA and the NSA.  But, there was no way the federal government could control those two agencies any longer.”

 

“I became more concerned than ever and very frustrated.  Even with all the connections I still had, I was powerless against the NSA and the CIA.  One night in late 1962, I was again visited by these little people.  That visit was most timely.  They made me an offer I could not refuse.  It is the same offer for all of you.  I became a part of Omega Agency.  And, with the technology that the Visitors have, I was able to interfere with the NSA and the CIA.”

 

“I was told that, beginning in 1971, fourteen people chosen for specific jobs with Omega Agency would be reaching maturity.  A leader would be needed to guide these men through their orientation and training.  I was asked to take that responsibility.  I agreed.  Since that time, I have been in training.  I am now ready to lead you through yours.”

 

Mr. Z sat back, smiled and with that twinkle in his eyes once again, looked slowly around the table.  Then he said, “Boys, get ready for the most unbelievable, fantastic, awesome experiences of your young lives.”  He was positively beaming.  He added that we would leave in the morning.  That we’d know when. 

 

I piped up asking what he meant by that.  My watch was broken.  I could only guess what time it was. 

 

“You’ll know.”  He then directed us to head back to our offices, get a good night’s sleep.  He’d see us in the morning. 

 

We did as he’d instructed.

 

***************

 

I awoke the next morning, at what time, I don’t know.  I showered and dressed and headed for the cafeteria.  As I entered the Big White Diner, I noticed Mr. Z, Gemini, Leo, Sagittarius, and Capricorn were sitting at a table drinking steaming mugs of coffee.  I helped myself to a cup as quickly as I could and joined them.

 

“If you want to eat,”  Mr. Z  said, “do it now.  We’re waiting for the others and then we’re gone.” 

 

Strangely, I wasn’t hungry.  Within ten minutes, all fifteen of us were sitting at the same table. 

 

Jona approached and asked us if we were ready. 

 

Mr. Z smiled, nodded and said, “You betcha!”  As he rose from his chair, we all stood and followed Jona to the elevator. 

 

We descended to Floor Nine.  The floor of the humungous white hangar.  When the elevator’s door had fully opened, the hangar seemed eerily quiet.  The large black triangular craft waited in the middle of the room. 

 

Surrounding the ship were dozens of men like my Doublemint Twins.  Believe me when I say, these guys looked extremely serious.  It seemed as if they were keeping everyone away from the craft.  On closer inspection, we noticed that the fifteen smaller triangular ships were attached to the underside of the larger one.  For some unknown reason, no one spoke a word. 

 

It was uncanny.

 

The workers began to gather around us offering their good-byes.  Aviel was also there.  She walked in my direction and stopped directly in front of me. 

 

She smiled and said,  “Your new life begins today.  See  you soon.”  Aviel bowed slightly to all of us and stepped aside.

 

We followed Mr. Z to the ramp that led up into the large triangular craft.  As we entered the mother ship for the first time, we looked at everything, curiously, interestedly.  We were in awe. 

 

We finally had to stop inspecting everything we could see and sit down.  We chose seats all together about midway of the craft.  There were hundreds of seats in rows, either side of a center aisle. 

 

As we sat down, Mr. Z began to speak.  “I will drop you off but I am not staying with you.  I’ve had my training.” 

 

The ship immediately sprang to life.  It could only be sensed, it made no noise whatsoever.  The craft rose a little off of the floor.  A wall in front of us opened, revealing a tunnel.  In what seemed to be a millionth of a second, the ship had entered the tunnel.

 

Chapter Nine

Friday, November 10, 2006

 

What felt to be a fraction of a second more, found us exiting the tunnel into the brightest of bright blue skies.  Another fraction of a second passed and we found ourselves in the deepest inky blackness of outer space.

 

“We will be passing through the Van Allen Radiation Belts.  But, don’t worry.  The ship can handle it,”  Mr. Z stated flatly.  The Van Allen Radiation Belts are layers of radiation surrounding Earth.  Mr. Z told us the Creator put the belts there to stop Earthlings from deep-space travel until Earth matures.  We were able to pass through the belts because of the speed we were traveling.  Mr. Z explained that passing through the belts is much like passing your hand over a flame.  Move too slowly and you'll get burned.  Move faster and you'll never feel a thing.

 

Evidently, that ship did handle it.  I was not even the least bit aware of the Van Allen Radiation Belts or when we passed through it.

 

In what could only have been several seconds (we discovered that it was only seconds), we were leaving our galaxy, the Milky Way.  We all turned to watch the sight behind us.  The scene was breathtaking.  I can only say that I cannot begin to tell you how beautiful this sight is.  One day, in the not-so-distant future, you, too, will experience this awesome sight.  We were briefly speechless.  Well, maybe a little more than briefly. 

 

So, we sat twisted in our seats, necks craned.  We watched, engrossed, as our galaxy became a small and distant twinkling speck with every passing moment. 

 

Finally, someone broke the awe-filled silence.  Mr. Z  was asked where we were going for this training.

 

His reply was only one word, coolly spoken, “Plajara.”

 

We fourteen just looked at each other as if one of us might know where Plajara is.  None of us did, of course.  So, naturally, we asked Mr. Z  where Plajara is located.

 

He just smiled and said two more words as coolly spoken as before, “Close by.”

 

“Oh, come on!”  “Really!”  Fourteen male voices were incredulous.

 

He smiled that almost-sly little smile of his once more, and eyes atwinkle, said, “Eight hundred million light years from Earth, give or take a light year or two.” 

 

It seemed only a few minutes more had elapsed when Mr. Z  was informing us to get ready for landing.

 

The craft entered the atmosphere of Plajara, and the next thing we knew, we’d landed on the surface.  We never felt anything out of the ordinary.  The ship just touched down on a platform with a barely-audible thunk.

 

Mr. Z  asked us to please step outside.

 

We asked him if we would be able to breathe on this planet.

 

He just chuckled and said, “The atmosphere here is just like Earth’s.  All human beings breathe air.” 

 

Mr. Z  stood in the midst of us just long enough to look into each man’s face and assure himself that each of us was tolerating the situation well, as we were expected to.  We were all just fine, looking expectantly forward to the next phase.  Confidently, coolly, quietly, he told us as he re-entered the ship, that he was heading for home and that he’d return in about a week.  The fourteen of us just stood there on the platform, gaping, surprised, and watched as Mr. Z and the craft took off.  Within one flat second, it had disappeared from the sight of fourteen pairs of eyes.

 

*****************

 

Breathing deeply, standing on a strange platform, on a strange planet, somewhere in the strange vast expanses of the Universe, the fourteen of us just looked around at one another as if to say,  “What next?”   Some of us may have even actually shrugged.

 

There is a serenity that envelopes Plajara that I have not found anywhere else in the Universe.

 

As we glanced around our position, we noticed that the sky of Plajara was clear blue and cloudless.  We estimated the temperature to be a balmy seventy-three degrees Fahrenheit.  We noticed there was not so much as a sigh of a breeze.  The daylight was very bright, but not hurtful.  You didn’t want to go searching for your sunglasses. 

 

The landing pad upon which we stood was unusual;  it was white.  It appeared to be a composite, a mix of ingredients, like a runner’s track.  It was solid, all right, but springy, almost soft.  You could stand on this stuff all week and your back, legs, and feet would send you a thank you note.  We bent down for a closer look because at first we’d thought it to be very thick white carpet. The platform appeared to be about fourteen inches to sixteen inches thick--the part above ground that we could see, anyway.    

 

As we straightened up, we noticed a path of the same material leading through grass for approximately two hundred feet.  The grass was lush and green, short and full. 

 

This must be golf heaven.  Sag grinned at me when he heard my thought.

 

The white path led to a white one-story building.  I got the impression that it may have been a cinderblock structure faced with white stucco.  Yep, pure white gritless, lump-free stucco.  It was incredibly smooth when I touched it. 

 

We were discussing the possibility of walking toward the only building in sight when a voice entered our heads. 

 

The voice told us to enter the building and be seated in the lobby.

 

We did as we were instructed.  We quietly and steadily walked toward that white building.  We weren’t paranoid about it, taking one giant step while heads were swiveling, eyes searching for danger on all sides.  But, we didn’t run toward it, either.  We didn’t march.  We just walked determinedly over that white path and went inside.   But, of course, our natural instinct for caution was alive and well until we connected with the inhabitants and a complete and total bond was achieved.

 

On either side of the entrance, were shrubs.  These two bushes, of about five feet in height, may have been of the boxwood or euonymus family.  The leaves were a nice oval shape of maybe two inches long and an inch and a half wide.  And, other than the normality of light-brown bark, these two bushes were an arrestingly royal blue.

 

There was no door.  The entrance was a large, graceful, open arch.  As we entered, we tended to spread out around the spacious all-white room.  We looked the place over pretty well.  Then we sat down, trying to make ourselves somewhat comfortable with the situation.  There was the element of surprise lurking in our minds, that element of the unknown.

 

The physical comfort department was a foregone conclusion.  The lobby and everything in it were starkly white and squeaky clean and sparklingly bright.

 

After only a few minutes, an angel appeared. 

 

Well, it looked like an angel. 

 

It looked like what we Earthlings think of as an angel.    It was beautiful and appeared to be transparent.  I am saying “it”, but we were given the distinct impression that they were male.  And, they are people. 

 

He was seven feet tall.  He was dressed in an almost-floor-length robe whose long sleeves had that bell-bottom effect.  Wide at the wrist, in other words.  His robe had no collar.  The material having no fuzz, no nap, and no glitz.   The robe was pure white.  The fabric was as silk or satin, an understated, elegant simplicity with a sheen that reflected the ambient light in glints.

 

His features were that of an older gentleman.  His face was very pale flesh tones of smooth, unblemished, wrinkle-free skin.  His nose was straight and fine and unremarkable.  His jaw tended toward square and masculine without being of the lantern type.  His hair was white and long and parted naturally over his shoulders, falling to mid-chest.  He looked like what I imagine an elderly Jesus Christ would look like.   

 

The angel stood quietly in the large, open archway.  Moments later, thirteen angels stood in the arched door with him.  They moved toward us as if their feet did not touch the floor.  Simply gliding along in our direction.  We quickly jumped to our feet so as not to be disrespectful and to be on guard, like we could really do anything if these people were violent.  One angel stopped in front of each one of us.  One man, one angel.  The angel who had entered the lobby first, came and stood in front of me.   Although the fourteen angels were incredibly similar, each was an individual.  One had a cleft in his chin, one had a more bulbous nose, one, a less-square jaw.

 

The angels bowed slightly to us in recognition and welcome.  Then, as they turned to depart, each man followed the angel who stood directly before him.

         

They were not really angels.  These were the Plajarans. We learned that the Plajarans are the oldest civilization in the known Universe.  What I like to say about the Plajarans is that if the Creator has a home planet, it is Plajara.

 

The Plajarans watch over the Creator’s creations.  They do not interfere with the creations or aid them in any way, but they do keep records of everything that happens in the Universe, including on Earth…especially on Earth.  As it turned out, the Plajarans are not human beings.  They are not angels but somewhere in between.  The Creator created them for His reasons.

 

Chapter Ten

Friday, November 10, 2006

 

We each followed our own Plajaran.  They took each of us to what turned out to be our sleeping chambers.  My Plajaran stepped in front of a door, and, of course, it whispered open.  We entered and my Plajaran turned to me and told me that this is where I am to sleep, shower, and so forth.  And, as for our meals, we would gather in the lobby where we’d first entered the building.

 

“What is your name?”  I respectfully inquired of my Plajaran.

 

His Plajaran pearl-gray eyes looked me squarely in my baby blues and he telepathically said,  “You may just call me Host One.”

 

“Oh.  Why do you have such an unusual name?”   I hoped that I didn’t sound impertinent.

 

“Soon you will have all the answers.”  With that transmitted, Host One turned and seemed to float out the door.

 

Although his voice within my head was authoritative and powerful, I could feel his compassion, his gentleness, his understanding toward me.  During the entire week, he was never patronizing.

 

As he departed, I heard him say inside my head, that meals will be the same time and schedule as on Earth.

 

Whew!   I stood stock-still for a few seconds.

 

I began taking in the accoutrements of my room.  It was similar to any bedroom on Earth.  Nothing elegant or fancy, just plain and simple and got the job done admirably.  The bed was a little different.  It was rather like a bunk on a Navy vessel.  It was just large enough for me to fit comfortably in length and width.  It was built into, or onto, or maybe out of, the wall.  The only thing it didn’t have were those straps, the ones like seat belts for a bed.  Hey!  That was okay.  I did not think that this particular planet would be making any abrupt movements, tilting or quaking.

 

I continued my inspection.  I checked out the bathroom.  It was almost exactly like the one at Omega.  There was white light, instead of the blue glow.  And, the wonderful white walking-on-clouds carpet was in the bathroom, too.  All my favorite toiletries were on hand.  The rain room was the same, too.

 

Between the sleeping and dressing areas, was an interesting white triangular table with three white chairs like those in the lobby.

 

I moved on over to the dressing area, peaking into the closet.  Hanging inside were the same black jumpsuits which were issued to us at Omega.  On a shelf in the closet were the requisite undergarments.  It was obvious we were expected guests.

 

I went toward the door and, again, it whispered open.  I stepped out into the hall and looked around.  Even the hall was sparkly, squeaky-clean white with the ever-present white glowing, invisible-source light.  The carpet was identical to what covered the floor in my quarters.  There were thirteen other doors down this hallway.  Six more doors opened onto this hall on the same side as my door.  Seven doors were on the opposite side. 

 

Hmmm…Things that make you go hmmm…  The first chamber off of the lobby was mine.  I made a mental note that there were only fourteen doors in this corridor.  I stood where I was for a couple more moments. 

 

I was in mid-turn to re-enter my room when one by one the other doors opened and thirteen men in black jumpsuits converged into the hall.  Five or six seconds went by.  We looked at each other questioningly, silently transmitting,  “What’s going on?  Did you find out anything more than the rest of us?”   Some shrugs…a few raised eyebrows.  Hmmm…

 

We headed for the lobby where we’d first gathered after our short long journey.  I needed a cup of coffee.  The others agreed that they could use a drink of something wet, too.

 

Oh, man!

 

There in the lobby was a table set with beverages waiting for us.  There were the fourteen of those white chairs.  We’d already discovered how very comfortably they sat.  These chairs were the whitest white and appeared to be some kind of new-fangled padded plastic.  But…the padding was built-in, so to speak.  Or, built-on, as opposed to being a separate layer added on.

 

The table was a huge, sturdy, round, white plastic platform.  We immediately felt comfortable, at home even, in the starkly white, squeaky clean surroundings because we were reminded of the Big White Diner of Omega. 

 

So, the fourteen of us gathered ‘round the table as if we already knew which place was whose.  As it turned out, we did already know where each of us was to sit.

 

At my place at this table was a cup of coffee, just as I like it, hot and sweet with just a little cream.  The rest of the guys found their places were set with drinks just as each preferred.  There were pitchers of Pepsi Cola, juices, iced tea, iced coffee, iced water.  Mine was the only hot coffee, and no one’s favorite was milk.  Evidently, our hosts had done their homework.  As we were yet to learn, our hosts knew everything about the fourteen of us.  And, I do mean everything.

 

There was a very large white rectangular banquet-type table a couple of paces behind my seat.  It had not been evident in the room before, either.  At the moment, it was bare.

 

Without a first or second thought about that empty table, we began reviewing our trip to Plajara as we drank our whistle-wetters.  We were utterly amazed at what a short trip it had been.  Mr. Z  had told us that the planet of Plajara is eight hundred million light years from Earth.  In my head, I tried to figure out the speed at which we must have traveled.  But that old demon, the math-anxiety monster of my youth, bared his ugly teeth and snapped at me again.  Everyone looked as mind-boggled as I felt.  I’ll tell you one thing though, it was one hellava trip.  We’d traveled maybe twenty minutes.

 

As our conversation progressed, we grew hungry.  It’s a guy thing, ya know?  We suddenly realized that the table behind me was now laden with food.

 

Hmmm…

 

None of us remembered seeing anyone enter with piled-high-dishes of food.  Is it possible that we were so engrossed in our conversation that we simply did not notice anyone delivering tons of food?

 

We got up at once and crowded around the bountiful buffet to select our favorites to eat.  Everything looked and smelled positively heavenly.  There were steaks, sausages, thickly sliced roast beef and ham, broiled fish, hot dogs and hamburgers.  The choice of vegetables was enormous.  You could choose any style of potatoes and yams.  There were dishes of whole-kernel corn, sweet peas, black-eyed peas, green beans, lima beans, cauliflower, broccoli, carrots, asparagus, squash, zucchini, spinach, and many others I don’t recall.

 

Ahhh…then there were the desserts.  There were cakes of every flavor and color:  chocolates, whites, marbles, lemon, coconuts, pounds, tortes and cheese cakes.  There were cookies and brownies and ice creams.  There were Hershey bars of both milk-chocolate and dark chocolate.  There were Nestles Crunch bars, too.  They weren't actually Nestles brand, but they were very similar.  And, as I found out later better, a lot better.

 

One of the things that grabbed our attention was that there was at least one of each of our favorite foods on that table.  Well, we piled it on the plain white China plates, and sat in silence for some time and just enjoyed chewing every morsel.  Another thing that we especially noticed was that as we continued to eat, we continued to feel comfortable.  We never felt uncomfortably full, but finally satisfied.  The food was literally out of this world, pun intended.  We just ate for a while and enjoyed…and chewed, swallowed and enjoyed…and smiled and ate some more…and…enjoyed.

 

                                                                                                                                                              

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