Chapter 34: Seventh Personal Contact
30 July 1964 - 0200 to 0500 EDT
Over the last few years, I have come to realize that when the Korendians are involved in one's life, there is no such thing as a dull moment. They seemed to delight in surprises. This contact was no exception.
The events of the morning began rather suddenly. I was listening to the radio and scanning through some earlier contact manuscripts when Orii's voice popped in quite suddenly, saying only, "Be outside in one minute, Bob." It was so abrupt that for a second I wondered if I had really heard it at all. My questions were answered a minute later, under the star-filled summer sky. The same little scout I had ridden in so often was back.
As its top opened when it had touched down, I noticed with not a little amazement that it was completely unoccupied. Hovering overhead, the larger scout from whence this little saucer had come was blotting out a wide circle in the overhead sky. A small lighted opening on one side was awaiting our little ship. Without further ado, I quickly boarded and the dome shut over me.
Then, a rather stunning announcement came from the communicator. I was to fly this little craft up into the larger one. Now, I am always honored that they have confidence in me, but THIS was just a little bit out of my line, and I told them exactly that.
Orii replied, "The controls are the same as on my personal craft, except for the TILT control. I'd advise that you lift off quickly, else you'll be discovered, which we don't need.”
Having thus completely ignored my reasoning, Orii left me with the impression that I was on my own. The glare of headlights from the north added the necessary impetus. I locked up the seat belt, and as the car rounded the corner, I punched the elevation control forward. I immediately regretted it.
A sturdy smack in the seat of my pants and a blurring of the terrain showed well the ability of this ship. When I caught my breath, I noted on the altimeter that in the space of a blink of an eye I had risen 2500 feet. The larger ship was a thousand feet below me. [Note: thankfully, their crafts have safety systems for collision avoidance. My little ship had steered around the big one.] On the communicator, I heard the crew bantering about my hot-rod tendencies.
Pulling back on the lever, I soon reached the altitude of the larger scout. A 45-degree turn to the right and a few hundred feet later, I was centered under the opening. Very delicately, I rose into the gaping hole, and soon was hovering inside a hangar holding three of these little discs. Orii was standing against one wall, leaning on a control cabinet with one elbow, and pretending he hadn't seen me come in.
A little jockeying of the controls, requiring no more effort than maneuvering the Queen Mary in a wading pool, brought me to what might be called a safe landing in the ship's berth. Only when the top opened up did friend Orii turn his attention that way. With an expression of mock surprise, he said, "Back from space so soon?" I fully expected that, but still winced at it.
Lin-Erri entered at that moment, and glancing my way, said, "Well, well. If it isn't the Richard Petty of the saucer set." [Note: she had said "Barney Oldfield", but the name would be all but unknown in the 21st century. Richard Petty is recognized, and the point is made. The change was approved.] In self-defense I said, "What do you expect? After all, it was only my second time flying one of your machines, and there was the car coming up fast..."
They both laughed heartily, and Lin said, "You did very well." We left the hangar and went into the ship. We entered a large central room divided by low partitions into several sections. I was told it was for pure research. As we crossed the room to the pilot's area, I noted a slight feeling of movement underfoot.
The pilot explained, "We're now at an altitude of 50 miles, traveling at about 1800 miles per hours. We are heading for the area of Washington, D.C. We have a little work to do there, and we thought you might be interested in coming along, both for information and for the ride, as it were. When we get there, perhaps you'd like to learn how to operate a few of these instruments." Nobody needs to make an offer like that twice, I assure you.
We sat for the duration of the trip on a curved bench facing a screen on which was displayed a bird's eye view of the terrain as it passed under us. Ten minutes and about 300 miles later, we decelerated. The pilot activated the ECM controls (Electronic Counter-Measures) as we neared the city limits, to insure that our ship would be undetectable by radar. We then descended and came to a stop over the Pentagon at an altitude of five miles. With this done, he put the ship on Autopilot and went out through a door into another section of the ship.
Orii began. "Our purpose here is to plant three small Psychprobe monitors on the roof of the building, directly over three offices that we wish to observe. The three men are at work now, so our job is greatly simplified. Let's go over to the disc board, and we'll begin phase 1."
A moment later, Lin, Orii and I were seated in front of a curved console, about ten feet long and three feet high, the top sloping upward to the wall. About three feet of it on the left end was the Dispatch Section. Lin threw three of ten switches, and explained. "These activate three of our small discs. If you'll observe this screen, you'll note that on an outline of the Pentagon there are three red dots. These represent the places where our Psychprobes will be buried in the roof.
“Ordinarily, we would put the entire operation under computer control, but as this is a special occasion, we have decided to do it the hard way." She smiled as she said it.
[Note: I was told while proofreading this report that the switches mentioned in the original published text were in fact center-off, digital "joysticks". They used terms I understood at the time. The text for the next couple of pages was edited, proofread, and approved by the Kors in order to update the language to our technical level four decades later.]
She depressed a button labeled Dispatch 1. A second later a blue blip of light appeared on the screen, on the upper right. As the dot came into view, three graphics displays on the panel lit up. On their faces were circles of light, two red and one green. On the panel below the displays were three bidirectional joysticks, with a Red direction, a Green direction, and Neutral in the center.
Orii took over the narration. “What you're looking at are the manual disk controls. Each of these joysticks represents a vector. The first is Vertical. The second is Longitude. The third is Latitude. Whatever color the display is that corresponds with the colors on the joystick directions, the stick must be moved toward that color.
“The colors represent, for the vertical, red for too much height and green for too little. For Longitude, red is west of the correct bearing, green is east. For latitude, red is north and green is south. The diameter of each of the circles of light on the scope represents how far the disc is from its correct target coordinates."
I noted that the Longitude stick was side to side whereas the other two were up and down. It was logical.
Orii moved the Vertical switch to Green. A light flashed and indicated an incorrect action. "A little safety feature. Without it, I could ram the disk into this craft." He moved it to Red, the color of the display circle. The circle began to shrink until it became barely visible. It then expanded to a narrower range of distance, and again shrunk. After the third such cycle, the circle shrank to a point and turned white. He then released the switch. "The disc is now at the correct height within a couple of centimeters." The dot on the large screen had not moved. Lin pointed out that this disc was to be set on the far right office.
[Note: the three offices were all on the top floor. The process for installing probes on lower floors is far more complex, involves PTP teleportation and different probes.]
Orii next moved the Latitude stick to Red. The little disc moved southward on the monitor until the Latitude display had gone through the three cycles and stopped at the white dot of light. The blue dot moved until it was directly east of the red target dot. Finally, he moved the Longitude stick to green. As the third scope pattern shrunk, the blue dot converged upon and merged with the one representing the office. The dot turned white and pulsed. A tone sounded, and the system went to standby condition. Phase 2 was ready.
Orii moved over to a small panel in the center, and switched on its power. A number of lights glowed as it ran a diagnostic sweep, and it was ready. He set a control marked Laser Output, and pressed a button labeled Laser Fire. A blip flashed on a display on the panel. He then pressed the third switch in this grouping, labeled Drop, and then tapped a button with the legend Heat Pattern On. It locked in for five seconds and then shut off. As it did the one dot became two, and a moment later, the little disc was back on board. As Lin sent off number 2, Orii added some details.
"When I set the laser, it burned a bole in the material of the roof. The probe itself is a ball about eight tenths of an inch in diameter. It is dropped via this button into the hole cut by the laser. Finally, the heat beam melts the area around the hole so that it flows in and seals up the probe. It is then invisible to observers even if they are looking at where it is."
"What if the roof is gravel-covered? Wouldn't that affect the operation?"
"Indeed it would, and it does. For that we have a different type of disc that physically moves aside the gravel, drops the probe, and then replaces the gravel. We have half a dozen different types of discs for various roofing materials. Within a few months, we will be using a new type now in the final testing stage. It will employ point-to-point teleport to plant the probes."
"In answer to your unasked question, the probes self-destruct by disintegrating if they are discovered. Nothing remains but powder. All they would have is a mystery. And, they are undetectable. They are not metallic, and are inert until they are powered by the beam that operates them."
I watched Lin go through the motions, and a minute or so later #2 was on its way back to the big ship. "Now," said she, "it's YOUR turn." I tried to dismiss the uncomfortable thought from my mind that I would manage to goof up and put the disc through the roof into the lap of one very surprised officer. Lin laughed and said that the safety systems disallowed that.
I pressed Dispatch 3, and the blue dot slid into the field of view. First, I pushed the Longitude stick toward Green. The display pattern cycled down and shrunk into a white dot, as the blue dot moved across the screen. I noticed that the rate of circle change depended on how far I moved the switch lever.
Next, the Latitude, this time also Green. The red and blue dots superimposed, but both colors were still visible. Finally, I moved the Vertical stick toward Red. The dots on the screen fused into a single flashing white spot, signifying that the disc was on target, so to speak. [Note: the sequence of moves is optional, unless doing the altitude first would result in encountering obstructions when moved horizontally. The computerized system always does the horizontal positioning first.] Moving to the laser control panel, I noted that Lin had adjusted the Laser output, saying, "We would prefer not to blast a hole into anyone's ceiling." I thanked her for that.
Orii motioned to me to turn on a yet-untouched switch, which I did. A small screen lit, showing in color and depth a view of the roof under the scout. I pressed the Laser Fire button. A brief, bright stab of deep reddish light pulsed into the roof. Where it hit, a puff of smoke rose as the material was vaporized. Pressing the Drop button, I saw a tiny metal sphere neatly deposited into the hole, its surface just below the roof's. Finally, the Heat beam melted the roofing material in around the globe. It was no longer visible, and when the roofing material cooled, it would be undetectable. I felt a deep sense of relief that nobody inside had suspected the carrying-on over their heads. The disc had by now returned to its berth in the ship, and the control panels shut down automatically.
"These probes", Orii elaborated, "are attuned to specific mental frequencies, and will disregard all others. When activated by a disc above the probe, they monitor all brain activity on the conscious level, relaying it to our instruments in the small base out in the ocean near here. By the time we are through with this particular operation, we will have planted over ten thousand of these little probes in Washington alone. As the program progresses, we will set up half a million.
"Now we'll go over to the monitor boards and watch them at work." We crossed the room to a large panel full of graphic displays, screens, readouts, and controls. Orii switched on the power and adjusted several controls. The various units powered up in sequence and began their duties.
"The board is now monitoring the #1 probe. Here on this screen you see a display with three colored traces. These monitor the brain's electrical activity, such as Alpha waves and the sympathetic nervous impulses. They give us an exact indication at all times of the activity of the brain under probe. They tell us whether it is relaxing, working, daydreaming, and the like. They tell us his heart rate by the periodic pulses in the red trace, the sympathetic pulses being the control signals to the heart.
"On a second screen we have the image of a Standard Man. It is a product of the computer, and is keyed to another set of brain waves, those controlling motion of the body. Every motion he makes is duplicated on this image, from the blink of an eye to the wave of an arm. This third screen, the Optical Reproducer, lacking a better name, is putting into picture form exactly what his eyes see. This secondary screen below it is just a spare, as the circuitry in this one is very touchy and prone to problems. Korendor is working diligently on a new technology that is far more reliable. [Note: brought into service in 1967.]
"The two speakers monitor what he says and what he hears, by probing the involved areas of the brain for those two functions. I might note here that the various sections of the brain give out characteristic patterns, immediately identifiable to the computer in charge of this panel. One addition we just installed is a headset that places the wearer in psychic rapport with the subject, so that he sees, hears, speaks, smells, tastes, and feels everything the subject senses. Later we will add another element to allow thought to be shared. Would you be interested in trying this one on for a minute?"
I agreed. Orii plugged its connectors into a panel, and placed the helmet-like apparatus on my head. Abruptly, I was in a comfortable chair in a spacious office. Before me, on a mahogany desk, was a copy of a manual on one of our bombers. Nearby was a typewriter with an unfinished page of type. A full complement of papers, pens, and a pair of phones completed the desk array.
Orii interrupted me by switching the gear to standby. He said, "We're going to give YOU control of his mind for a while. What YOU want him to do, he will do. Since you are an Earthman, you are not affected by the laws of non-interference as we are. I'm going to switch you over now." So saying, he typed a password into a keyboard and flipped a switch from Monitor to Control.
The headgear then returned to life, and I was back in the office. I noted that only when I directly willed it did I control him. He still reacted normally to his surroundings.
I turned my/his head to observe the room. It was quite comfortable for an office. On the floor was a tan carpet, blending with the cream-white walls. Several pictures hung on the walls, along with a number of documents that gave his name in full. Since to give it here would put him in a very bad situation, I'll say only that his first name is Joseph. It was very light in the room, the ceiling being one of those types with wall-to-wall fluorescent fixtures. The door was to the right of his desk, with a chair on one side and a coat tree on the other. The light switch had a chrome plate on it, with several fingerprints clearly visible.
In the room were other chairs, a table, a bar and TV, a radio, and miscellaneous bookcases and cabinets. On one of the cabinets, a large picture of his family stood in his sight. He has a very lovely wife and two children, one of each.
A secretary came into the room. They conversed momentarily about a visitor waiting to see him, and she left. A moment later, a tall, distinguished-looking gentleman entered, carrying a briefcase. They greeted each other with a handshake, and began to talk on matters of which I have no comprehension. I took off the helmet here, figuring that what they were saying was none of my business.
Over the speaker, Joseph's voice came clearly. "You know, Ed, I had the weirdest feeling a moment ago, like I was being watched. Then I felt an urge to do things that I ordinarily wouldn't have done. I don't know. It was the oddest sensation, like somebody else was in the room here. Are there ghosts in the Pentagon?" Ed said something about working too hard, and they both laughed. However, Joseph's uneasiness continued to be evident.
I shuddered to think at the psychic atrocities that this could be used for if it fell into the wrong hands. People could be forced to kill themselves or others. There could be no privacy. In fact, war could be precipitated by simply controlling world leaders, and making them declare war. If this were impossible, then the military leaders could be made to begin the war WITHOUT the leader's consent. In this age of atomic weapons awaiting the push of buttons, how easy it would be to begin the end of mankind. Thank the Infinite One that such power isn't within our grasp... yet. It would truly be a hell on earth if it were.
Orii became very serious now. "I don't wish to cause you unnecessary apprehensions, Bob, but your science CAN duplicate this device if they want to. Your dismay was well founded. You are scientifically capable but not ethically prepared or culturally advanced enough for it. You could surely use this for purposes of evil and wrongdoing. It is your people's way to use everything you get to obtain an advantage over your fellow man, before you even consider using such forces for good.
“This is the one reason why your people MUST bring about a change of heart BEFORE such powers become available to you. If these forces are discovered first, God help you.” The thought of it was frightening beyond words. My need to help was made greater than ever.
Once this ominous note had diminished somewhat, we resumed our tour. We stopped at a panel of moving pen recorders such as you see on lie detectors and seismographs. They were recording on photoresponsive paper the same traces as the display screens were reading out. Orii picked up one sheet and pointed to several sharp peaks. "This is where Joseph became uneasy when you started controlling his body. Notice also that there is unsteadiness in the traces. His mind was fighting the outside control signals, but was losing to them because of their much greater strength. At this point, you released control. Note the sudden sharp peak and the subsequent return to a slightly less strong waveform. His mind had regained control, but it was prepared for another fight. You will also see that the strength and activity of the trace gradually diminishes with time, as the mind relaxes its guard. However, if you will compare it to the pre-takeover pattern... here... you can easily see a marked difference in shapes of waves. He will be several hours returning to normal.
"An interesting but so far untried technique consists of recording these signals and playing them back a quarter to a half of a second later, in a sort of feedback or echo signal. It would most likely introduce utter confusion and panic, mental disorientation, and a complete breakdown of thought processes. This is another thing you ought to worry about if your science discovers it. You could be driven insane in less than a minute. In addition, if your heart pulses were recorded and echoed, so that it receives a signal when none is required, it would cause violent fibrillation and subsequent death, as the heart raced wildly trying to respond to the echo signals. That's a horrifying thought, is it not?" I had to agree strongly with that.
The pilot had returned by now, and was seated in his chair. At Orii's request, he took control and in a moment, we were about three miles above Pennsylvania Avenue. It was relatively quiet, but at 4 AM, which it was by now, what should I expect? Lin took us over to a unit with a large screen on it. She turned it on, and there appeared the image of the street below us. She pressed a button labeled Focus, and the clarity and sharpness became incredible. Orii turned a control labeled Magnification, and the scene was exactly as you might see through a zoom lens. The ground came up quickly, and soon we could pick out individual people on the street, what few there were. Orii said, "Pick one of them." I chose a taxi driver who had stopped temporarily for a break.
Orii went over to another panel, this one called the Remote Psychprobe. He switched it on and focused its beam on the man three miles below. He then pressed a button marked Computer Analysis. From somewhere in the depths of the ship came a whirring that lasted about five seconds [Note: it was a cooling pump for the beam projector]. During this time, I noted that the man was apparently aware of something unusual in the making, as he stopped smoking and looked around with cautious curiosity, as if trying to see somebody that he hoped wasn't there. When the beam stopped, he puffed on his cigarette and scratched his head in bewilderment.
Orii had the sheet from the printout unit. He read it off. “His name is Peter ------ (deleted for privacy's sake). He is 36 years old, lives in Washington, and has a wife and three children, two boys and a girl. He drives a 1961 Chevrolet, white and red, two-door hardtop style, on which be owes three payments. He will be off duty at 0600. He thinks Barry Goldwater is a nut."
I couldn't think of anything to say. Orii therefore continued. "This probe goes into the unconscious mind, the memory. It is this way that we get background on those whom we might wish to probe or contact. We can determine one's likes and dislikes, his fears, and his abilities. We plan our programs accordingly. It is this way that you were actually screened before we contacted you. We had to know your interests so that we could establish immediate rapport with you in your own terms. I think we did rather well."
I asked him if this could be used to intrude on private affairs. He replied, "No. The computer has an undefeatable censor circuit that cancels out all information of a personal nature. We must have it this way." I could well imagine why. There would be much ill will when people could possibly be probed in strictly private thoughts. I was greatly relieved that their sense of ethics absolutely forbade any such violation of secrecy. If it didn't, what could we hide?
The rest of the time with them was spent in discussing wiring diagrams and technical specifications for their instruments, which I am sure would be of little interest to anyone not so inclined. Therefore, I will only say that when it was over, and I returned home, I had a considerable amount of information that needed to be given to my readers-and much that cannot.
Consider well what has been presented. Discoveries such as these will pose a great dilemma for humanity. Will they be used for good or for evil? The choice is ours.
© 2008 Robert P. Renaud -- all rights reserved