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86'd in Area 51

Was Meyer's imagination too good?

86’d in 51

“ Sally, this is Mr. Meyer. Please register him for level two facility access.”
“Certainly, Mr. Drake.” The computer’s voice, a touch sultry, prompted Meyer’s imagination in erotic directions.
“Mr. Meyer,” the siren continued, “Please step up the eyepiece on the wall to your left for Iris scanning.”
Scanning took only a moment.
“ Thank you Mr. Meyer. Do you wish to assign personal preferences for music and art on the plasma screens? These preferences will follow you as you travel from room to room. If you would prefer, we can assign preferences later.”
Drake answered in Meyer’s stead.
“ Thank you Sally, he will specify preferences later.” Drake smiled at Meyer and quipped,
“ Got to keep the silicon in her place.”
Meyer smiled, but only to be polite. He had more than passing respect for A.I.. If true A.I. didn’t exist yet…well, it wouldn’t be long before it did. It seemed to him Area 51 was exactly the sort of place it might become reality one day very soon.
Meyer gazed about as he entered the grand hallway of the administration building with its marble floors and giant plasma screens changing impressionist art once every minute.
“ Nice digs Mr.Drake – I heard you guys had some cool high tech’ systems up here..”
“Oh, you mean Sally? Actually, Sally is a low level A.I. system that controls and monitors much of the environmental and security systems. She also attends to the cultural comfort of all people in the facility.
“… like HAL2000?” Meyer couldn’t help himself.
Drake chuckled.
“ Well, yes, I guess you could say that”
Meyer thought about what Drake said. Sure he was joking, but in fact true A.I. might happen sooner than they all thought given the high tech computers, experiments in quantum computing, and other stuff the military and CIA probably were into here at Area 51. Of course, no one ever knew everything that went on, at least not Meyer, but the rumors of the Alien project had persisted now for over a hundred years. Many people still insisted that military technologies such as stealth, and even the integrated circuit had been reverse engineered from alien technology. Who knew for sure - it was probably above top-secret stuff.
Above Top-secret. Meyer thought the classification stupid, even dangerous. What was the point of a classification that even the president of the U.S.A wasn’t privy to. It meant that no-body was responsible and therefore the public had little if any authority over it. Damn scary. Meyer prayed Area 51 wasn’t like this but after working on the base for so long he suspected it probably was. Hell, secrecy was the moniquer of the place. Hell, Meyer had been working at Area 51 for five years and this was the first time he’d ever been invited to the administrative facility.
Drake began speaking,
“ Lost in thought Meyer? What’s on your mind – little green men?” The question startled.
“ No…not really sir.”
“Sure you are – everybody in the facility and the rest of the world thinks we are hiding aliens and crashed saucers at 51” Drake winked, then both of them laughed, but something about Drake’s demeanor was disturbing. Meyer decided to risk a question.
“ Sir…if it were true …you know – the crashed aliens, saucers and all...”
Drake stopped walking to listen intently.
“ Yes, if it were true - then what?”
“Well, do you think they would ever tell the public the truth.”
Drake shrugged, “ I don’t know?” His eyes narrowed,
“ completely hypothetical issue anyway?”
Meyer sensed that he was getting the high sign to change the subject.
“ Yes, Yes, I guess so.”
They entered a lift that responded to voice command.
“Level U4 please. Clearance Drake.”
“ Certainly Mr. Drake.” That woman’s voice again – Meyer wondered if any real woman could sound more enticing or accommodating.

Shortly, they stepped out of the lift and emerged into the subterranean area of the administration building.
Inside a large open area, workers in uniforms hurried about, stared at computer screens, or worked in groups at tables.
Meyer felt thirsty and looked for a water fountain. Strange, he thought. There were no fountains to be seen. In fact, no bathroom signs either.
The large open room itself was spotless, like those clean rooms at NASA where they assembled payloads for launch and everyone always looked permanent pressed. True, with 21st century Teflon V, pant creases really were permanent. Still it looked odd…everyone seemed a little too neat. Meyer wondered what they were all doing, but hesitated to ask. Drake seemed to read his mind.
All activities of Area 51 are directed from this complex. Certain special projects are carried out here in maximum security. Meyer wondered what these projects were but knew better than to ask. Drake led as they walked to an area around a corner, out of sight from the main work-space.
“Here we are,” He glanced at his watch, “ Just in time I think.”
Drake flashed his I.D. at a blinking green light and a metal pocket door slid silently to one side. The pattern in the steel wall was such that the entrance was completely invisible until it moved. Ingenious, Meyer thought. It seemed to him a 21st Century equivalent of the hidden staircase behind the bookcase.
The meeting room was small with two other men present. Neither of them got up to greet them but one of them spoke.
“Ah, Mr. Meyer, take a seat.” He indicated a place across the table.
Meyer sat down. The reason for inviting him here remained a puzzle but one he figured he was about to discover. Drake commenced introductions.
“ Mr. Meyer, this is Mr. Gomes and Mr. Salonsky.” Gomes and Salonksy looked like they could be brothers. Each had pasty skin and sparse blonde hair that made them both look like bad facsimiles of Andy Warhol.
Salonsky spoke first.
“ Well Meyer, what do you think of the facility? Quite impressive isn’t it”
“ Yes, I had no idea that so much of the complex was underground.”
Underground facilities are of course essential for secrecy now that private satellites read newspaper headlines from space and even space tourists cruise overhead.
Meyer found his curiosity evolving into a knowing discomfort.
“Yes, I guess so. Why exactly did you want to meet with me?”
Gomes spoke.
“You have done good work on the Medusa project Meyer.” Medusa was the primary assignment Meyer had worked since coming to Area 51. It was rumored the project would end soon and Meyer suspected this meeting might have something to do with that. Gomes continued,
“ Medusa is to be wound up and the team dispersed to other projects once a final report is complete.” Some of your innovative methods for surveillance of the world’s data stream have already provided valuable information.” There was a silence and the three head office guys looked at one another as if not sure who would speak next. Finally, Salonsky spoke.
“Having worked on Medusa Mr. Meyer, you wouldn’t be at all surprised to know that we also monitor the communications of our employees. We know that you have floated a few articles in cyber-space about area 51.”
Meyer began sweating profusely. He felt like a kid trying to appear innocent when he really was innocent, but can’t help appearing guilty anyway. Meyer folded hands squeezed tighter.
“You know – those Science Fiction stories you write.”
“Oh, my stories! They are merely imaginings – speculation. Why would they be of interest to you?”
Salonsky’s face grew serious and he leaned forward and thumped his clasped hands on the table.
“ Imaginings? We don't think so. Some of your details – well they are just too accurate for our liking. We intend to find out how you learned about us - and what else you know.”
Meyer’s heart pounded in his throat that was now so dry he could barely squeak a reply.
“What do you mean us?” Meyer stammered. He wasn’t at all sure he wanted to hear the answer. He thought of bolting but realized it would be futile.
“ You see Meyer, we did come here in 1948 but this was only our most recent visit. One of our spacecraft did crash at Roswell. Actually we crashed it there on purpose. It was the best way to gain rapid access to your most secret military sites.
Gomes continued.
“ We use disinformation, confusion so your kind will laugh and joke and argue about us – then forget about us. But we are real – just as you speculated in those stories of yours.” Gomes gently shook his head, “ Such tales Mr. Meyer…not smart for a man with high level security clearance.”
Shaking and sweating, Meyer stood up, his eyes darting for the exit.”
Drake produced a handgun from his pocket and pointed it in Meyer’s face.
“ Of course, we can’t permit you to leave. But ask away whatever you like about – you won’t be telling anyone else. How about you ask the first question, then we will ask one? ”

A hearse pulled up to the administration building’s side door. Mr. Drake handed the driver all the necessary papers.
“ Cause of death?” The driver in black asked, taking the paperwork.
“ Suicide. The military coroner has signed off. We believe he’d been over-working for far too long…shame really. Well, it happens sometimes doesn’t it? Oh, the examiner’s report is in the envelope.”
“Thank you sir.”

As the funeral attendant entered the building, a sultry voice overhead directed him to the level where he could pick up the body. He found the voice erotic – enticing. For a moment it took the guy’s mind off his chore. He filed her away for later. Who said funeral guys were dull and unimaginative.

(c) Malcolm Watts 2007
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