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FICTION: Moribund Surveillance By Olabode Olakanmi  

Posted by Scott Wilson

AGENCY:

DATE: 04/22/03



BLACK BAG OPERATION # 631982



OBJECTIVE: INTELLIGENCE ACQUISITION PERTAINING TO

1, 2, 3, 4





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<.>//14:07:41//MOTION DEVICE ALERT--INITIATE RECORD<.>

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<.>//14:07:46//[jet engines, Venetian blinds rise, footsteps, computer activation, drawer opens, unknown objects inserted, drawer closes, computer keys]

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<.>//14:10:32//[phone off cradle, pound-three-four] Hi, Jennie. [pouring] Uh huh, well, according to the CDC and the NIH there should be nothing wrong with the tap water. Yes, the skin was the most grotesque part of it. Plus, with the bay ultimately leading to our water systems, I wouldn’t want to drink anything that may have fallen, oozed or popped from its body.

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<.>//14:11:00//Mmmmhmmm. I can’t wait until the military retreats out of the city and reconvenes by the shoreline. Those vehicles are always disrupting traffic. In fact, today, it took me an extra forty minutes to arrive at work thanks to a group of tanks they were situating in Netherland Park. More than anything they increase my fear level since their presence only accentuates how powerless we were to stop that thing. But, we should be grateful; they are putting their lives on the line.

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<.>//14:11:39//I’m sure we both will be, too. [laughter] Could you please send in Mrs. Jensen? Thank you.

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<.>//14:13:56//[typing]

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<.>//14:15:38//[door opens] Good afternoon, Dr. Jogden. [footstep]

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<.>//14:15:49//Good afternoon to you as well, Mrs. Jensen. Come in, [footsteps] please make yourself comfortable.

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<.>//14:16:01//[footsteps, purse/coat strike floor, keys jingle, plastic leather, springs creak, papers rustle]

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<.>//14:16:28//Let me get that coat for you, [footsteps] I’m sorry to have kept you waiting; I had an appointment of my own to make. [springs depress, writing] It’s ok. Times are busy now a days and so many new things to deal with. Early evening curfews, bombs and missile launchers lining the beaches, jet planes and helicopters lingering in the sky. Some people think the end of the world is coming.

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<.>//14:17:03//At any given point in history there are sizeable groups who think the world is about to end. And that’s without a giant creature suddenly rising out of the depths. It’s an attempt, always a wrong one at that, of finding their place in the world. Hmmm. Sorry to pry, but Jennie and I were making conversation and she said you were going to Jeremiah Avitzur’s wake. Poor soul and all the others like him.

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<.>//14:17:44//[writing]

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<.>//14:17:51//He was a dear friend of the family and shall be missed. Unfortunately, there have been hundreds of suicides since The Sighting. Is this related to why you’re here today?

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<.>//14:18:32//Take all the time you need.

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<.>//14:18:37//[throat clears] May I please have something to drink? My mouth and throat are dry. Sure. I also have gum. Peppermint flavored Nicorette, but tastes the same as regular gum. [springs decompress, footsteps, glass clinks, pouring]

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<.>//14:19:09//I’m not nervous. I want to be here. It’s just that the receptionist, Jennie, has on a lot of perfume and the smell got to me.

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<.>//14:19:18//[footsteps] Thank you. Don’t mention this to anyone, but Jennie’s eschewing showering until she’s absolutely sure the water supply is safe. Oh.

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<.>//14:20:01//That makes sense, I mean it sounds logical, to me. In a way, logic, or a lack of it, is the reason for my visit. Did Jerome already talk to you about my--situation?

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<.>//14:20:16//Not in detail. To be honest, I usually would not meet with the acquaintance of an associate. However, Jerome was fervent that I try to help you the best I can with absolute discretion. This will be a team effort, Mrs. Jensen, so please don’t feel hesitant. Our time together is completely confidential.

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<.>//14:21:10//[sniffles] No offence, Doctor, I’m an extra special case. Besides a friend’s recommendation, how do I know you’re qualified to treat me?

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<.>//14:21:23//[writing] I obtained my Psychology degree from BSU., as you can see right here, before attaining my dual MD/PhD. in Psychiatry and Experimental Psychology at Harvard, where I met Jerome. I’ve practiced for eleven years and have helped publish two papers in the Journal of Psychiatric Practice on the extremities of patient treatment. And besides these academic check offs I have the recommendation of Dr. Jerome Band. [pen click] Mrs. Jensen, Dr. Band is far more skilled in his vocation than I. Why come to me if you know a psychiatrist of his caliber?

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<.>//14:22:08//[sniff] He said what you lack in ‘a-ssi-duous-ness,’ you make up for in creativity. He asked me to make sure you heard that. It sounds like an inside joke. Band sure knows how to give a compliment. He’s referring to a younger woman who spent more time pontificating about her thesis and dissertation than researching the subject. Alas, causing the resulting defense to be good, but not world shattering like I had promised. By nature, I prefer spontaneous discussion to formal discourse. So my approach can be more confrontational than my colleagues. Don’t worry; age has imbued me with maturity and meticulousness, so I am very much the professional. [pen click]

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<.>//14:22:55//So why did you choose to study psychology? [light laughter] It’s been a while since I answered that question. [throat clears] Not to sound rude, but all the psych. majors I knew in college took the major for one of three reasons. They found it came easy to them. They were trying to save the world. [hands pat body] Or, most commonly, they were trying to save themselves.

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<.>14:23:21//I’d be lying if I totally rebuked your observations, which could be allocated to most medical professions. However, I must disappoint you when it comes to me. [pen click] I do what I do because I get pleasure solving problems, especially when the solution results in a better life for someone else. But I’m now too old to believe I can individually proliferate change on a worldwide scale. [pen click] Right now, you’re the entire world I want.

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<.>14:23:52//[soft claps] Good answer. One more question. I’m all ears. I saw you on the local news a few months back during Melvin Clark’s murder trial. You were on the stand for the prosecution, explaining why he was a threat to society. Were you the psychiatrist who convinced him to go to the police? [nervous cough] No, I was brought in afterwards as a witness for the prosecution. There was no pre--

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<.>//14:24:23//[buzzing] Mrs. Jensen, I am so sorry. [footsteps] My phone was left on vibrate because I was expecting a call from Leslie Avitzur. It’s ok, Doctor. No, it is not. You deserve better. She wants me to participate in a eulogy of sorts for her husband, but that is in the future and we are in the present.

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<.>//14:24:58//[footsteps, springs squeak] Again, my sincerest apologies. Nothing that unprofessional will happen again. Don’t worry, but thank you. That means you’re going to be on T.V. again, right? You’re the most famous person I know. It’s no big deal. I’m just honoring my friend. [throat clears]

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<.>//14:25:23//You may find this to be semantic--still, I must emphasize that I do not cure anything. I help people find and expound their healthier part of self, while confronting, treating and learning to deal with areas that are more difficult.

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<.>//14:25:47//I understand, [soft claps] I understand. [deep exhale]

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<.>//14:25:52//So, when you’re ready, let us begin.

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<.>//14:25:57//My family knows I have experienced a Sighting-related shock. What they don’t know are the exact details of my experience. I pretend that everything is fine and through that I’m able to act the way I was before.

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<.>//14:26:08//Do you feel that your condition has gotten better, worsened or stayed the same? The same, no change. [throat clears, writing] The situation that brought me here today was last week’s telethon fundraiser for victims of The Sighting. A woman was blaming Witness 1 for the death of her family. Their car was found underwater, but no bodies. She was in far greater agony than I’ll never know. Yet, I felt nothing at all for her. I’m a mother, so I tried to sympathize and tried to be with her in the moment, but I was cold. Her runny eyes and red face were wasted on me.

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<.>//14:26:50//Has this emotional fatigue presented itself anywhere else? This is a stressful time for everyone and it can be easy to let oneself become overwhelmed by it all.

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<.>//14:26:59//Not really, Doctor. I grew up in a small town and went to country school with the other twenty kids in the surrounding area. To keep a long story short, I had braces and no one else did, so I was teased…a lot. [palms rub] My parents could do little more than tell me to ignore them, so that’s what I did. I learned to completely ignore their jabs, to let them bounce off me like I was rubber. After a while they gave up. I think that was similar to my current lack of sympathy.

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<.>//14:27:31//I like my life. I love my husband and kids. I did something wrong. Something I didn’t mean to happen, yet horrible nonetheless. When I think about what I’ve done I feel numb. When I don’t think about it I still feel strange. Not sympathetic, just out of it, which, in turn, makes me think about what I did.

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<.>//14:27:47//[squad car sirens] What did you do?

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<.>//14:27:50//And you won’t tell anyone? I’m not worried for myself. My girls are only three and eight. Despite what’s wrong with me, I’m still human enough that I don’t want to miss them growing up.

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<.>//14:28:01//Our talk today is protected by patient-physician confidentiality. Don’t think too hard and just let it come out. Tell me what happened.

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<.>//14:28:12//[hands clench, knuckles pop] I’m Witness 1. The person everyone is looking for.

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<.>//14:28:17//We-- [voice cracks] Could you elaborate on that? [writing] Since the bridge’s security footage became readily available there have been many individuals coming forth to claim the identity of Witness 1. Even though I’ll have to occasionally interrupt I don’t want you to lose momentum. We can worry about most of the small details later, but I’ll need to record this carefully. If possible, please speak clearly, Mrs. Jensen.



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<.>//14:28:45//No one will know? These are my private notes. No one will see these besides myself.

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<.>//14:28:51//Everything started off normally that Tuesday morning. The sun was rising in the East, the direction I was driving. I put on a pair of shades. All my windows were down, I was smoking a cigarette and the radio was playing Jamie and Jackie in the Morning. I increased the volume and tried to fully wake up as I passed through the two neighborhoods leading to the bridge.

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<.>//14:29:15//Which neighborhoods? [writing] Vanceburg and Freemont. Where were you going? I work early mornings at a call center for an online store. That way I can leave before my husband and kids get home. You know, to clean, get dinner started. Please continue.

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<.>//14:29:34//My car lead the morning rush. We started to cross the one-way Post Bridge and I remember thinking, ‘Why did a beautiful, sunny day have to be so cold?’ While the radio DJs argued over something to do with Whitney Houston and Phil Collins, I looked out the passenger side window and started to follow the clouds that were gliding over the bay. For the life of me I couldn’t explain why they stood out. I mean they were clouds: the thin, knobby ones that spread out for miles in long lines. They criss-crossed one another, kind of like a grid. And, at times, they glowed in the sunlight, like there was a thin layer of rainbow around them. They didn’t look that odd to me at the time, just a distraction while flying across the two-lane bridge at sixty miles per hour. [drinking]

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<.>//14:30:20//Ahh, [lips smack] by the time I was halfway across I could see a huge, dark shape forming far off in the water, like a shadow, near the mouth of the bay, under the clouds. From so far away it looked like those drifting patches of foamy sea algae you see on National Geographic. So it looked strange, but it was explainable. [computer powering down to sleep mode]

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<.>14:30:44//Take your time. I know our session was only supposed to be an hour long, but I don’t have another appointment for two hours.

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<.>//14:30:51//[throat clears] The bridge was pretty high off the water and maybe that’s why I didn’t immediately see the giant boiling bubbles brewing beneath the foamy stuff. Suddenly, the water started to…explode upwards as it rose out of the water. That’s the only way I can describe what happened--the water literally began to explode. As Unknown Aquatic Entity 1, UAE1, or whatever the government wants to call it, pushed through the water I think it somehow heated the bay. Water and steam and foam suddenly flew into the air in a b-line from it to the bridge. So high that I could barely make out the sky. I said explode, yet there was no boom. But everything started to shake and quake. The bridge, my car, my body. [cough] That’s when I--

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<.>//14:31:39//Stopped your car…

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<.>//14:31:42//Yes. My stupid mistake. From here on things become blurry. I remember slamming on my brakes, the car going from sixty to zero just like that, [fingers snap] and skidding to a stop in both lanes. That should have been enough to get me killed, but all I felt and heard was a tap against my back bumper and the screech of many, many tires. After seeing the surveillance and witness footage, I know cars in the rear of the pileup were far less lucky. Some people died right there in those crashes. I didn’t hear the screams, the horn blasts, the crushed metal getting more destroyed by incoming cars off Bay Street.

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<.>//14:32:20//To my right was a mountain of steam and foam that was slowly thinning into a fine mist. All my eyes took in was a bleary, gray thing in the distance coming out of the water. [sigh] That must’ve been when my sickness began. On camera, the monster is plain as day. However, I truly believe my brain, at that moment, couldn’t understand what I was seeing. My brain broke.

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<.>//14:32:46//[pen click] The inability to visualize an aggressor can be a product of a highly stressful encounter. [pen click]

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<.>//14:32:53As the monster came closer I started to feel the thumps of its steps and it became clearer, like a lens being focused. I began to notice large, phlegmy chunks of the body falling into the water. They started off the size of cars and buses and broke into smaller pieces as they fell through the air. When they touched down there was no splash, just an eruption of foam like hydrogen peroxide. No wonder your receptionist doesn’t want to drink the water. [forced laughter]

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<.>//14:33:24//Each step shook through the bridge, the next stronger than the last. They seemed jumbled together somehow. Almost as if it wasn’t walking but crawling or slithering. I can’t describe it more than that. People started honking their horns even more frantically; I could only remember the sounds after seeing the footage because all my attention was focused on breaking down the situation before me.

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<.>//14:33:49//One step--the half-fish half-horse head stretched and frothed. Another step--the air began to smell of rot. Another step--all those flippers and tentacles twitched, curled: searched. I was stupefied, half-seeing UAE1, half-hearing the horns, half-feeling the cars far back start to push cars ahead of them, which eventually tried to push me forward. My stunned foot held the brake. It got closer and closer. Each slithering step dozens of feet long, I suppose.

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<.>//14:34:24//[deep exhale] It was the first few people who abandoned their cars and ran around and over mine that kicked me into gear. I tore my eyes away from it, ripped my foot off the brake and slammed on the accelerator. My car shot forward. Some of the runners ahead tried to wave me down. Some practically tried to throw themselves in front of my car. I’m really surprised that I didn’t run over any of them. All I could think of was being terrified and wanting to see my family. That’s what I did. I went home to see my family, no matter the cost. The bridge was no longer safe, so I returned home using the long route around the bay. I drove through the city at high speeds, leaned into the turns with all the force I could muster.

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<.>//14:35:14//I didn’t look back to see it hit the bridge, but I heard its scream. The windows of businesses all around me shattered, broken glass fell like rain from skyscrapers. My windshield cracked in half. The bridge collapsed and sounded like the world’s biggest thunderclap. Then UAE1 started to dive back under the water. The deafening boom the plunge created drowned out the twangy suspension cables and waves that overturned boats and pounded the shore.

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<.>//14:35:40//When I got home I went inside and sat down, didn’t move a muscle for over an hour until my husband could get a call through the overworked phone lines. As you know, there was a lockdown throughout the city for several hours. My whole block was empty except for some elderly couples and one or two stay-at-home moms. I was alone until after sunset that night. Waiting for my family to get home and when they did I hugged them, oh yes, I hugged them and kissed them as hard as I could until my arms hurt. In fact, we’ve all been sleeping in the living room since then. Jody and Judy, my daughters, had the idea that first night and it stuck.

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<.>//14:36:25//[writing]

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<.>//14:36:37//[throat clears] That must have been quite a harrowing ordeal, Mrs. Jensen, and I am glad that you survived. Besides this emotional trauma due to the initial shock, how else has the encounter affected you?

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<.>//14:36:50//No problems eating or sleeping, if that’s what you’re asking. But since then I’ve had a reoccurring dream. Most details are lost after waking up, but here are the broad strokes. It starts out with me standing naked on the moon. Before me is Earth, floating. The atmosphere isn’t hot or cold, just there. The only thing I can feel is the dust or sand between my toes and the sensation is nothing short of irritating. The stuff starts to vibrate as I walk forward and stomp down hard to get the clingy space dirt off my feet. I’m looking down, then up and am unsurprised to find myself walking up Nixy Beach.

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<.>//14:37:37//[air sucks through teeth] I refuse to look back towards the destroyed bridge. UAE1 walks in sync behind me, as do three others. Am I as tall as them, or are they as short as me?

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<.>//14:37:52//One gives me the impression of crashing waves, the next shines like groups of milky stars winding in space, the third burns like magma, or would that be lava? And the last is pure emptiness. We walk towards the buildings and I know the possible outcomes. Either we trample the city, the remnants we shall consume as ash. Or destroy everything and rebuild in our image. Our steps boil the bay, turn sand to glass and burn the ground. We get closer and closer and then I wake up.

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<.>//14:38:24//[writing] Is there any personal significance to the dream?

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<.>//14:38:27//The meaning of the dream seems obvious to me, but I’m not a trained professional. [tongue clicks] Deep inside, I blame myself for all the people who died. Unfortunately, I have no access to those feelings. Which, in the end, must make me as big of a monster as UAE1.

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<.>//14:38:42//You mentioned wanting to see your daughters grow up. Do you think your present state is related to concerns over possible legal repercussions due to your impaired ability to react? From what you’ve told me today I doubt criminal court would find malevolence in your actions.

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<.>//14:38:58//My problem is that I don’t feel sorry for what happened! I know I’m here bearing my soul about how my actions lead to the death of seventy-eight people, but this is not survivor’s guilt. [foot taps carpet] I know I should feel guilty, but I don’t actually feel bad. I think, in order to help me cope, my mind is tricking itself to justify my actions.

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<.>//14:39:26//Every time I remember what happened at the bridge. The monster and all those people. The bodies and cars falling down so far to the water below. My emotions freeze and my senses numb, just like that horrible morning and I just move on. The only thing I can actually feel is gratitude for being alive to see my family. To be glad I’m alive and not buried under rubble or flattened by its feet, tentacles, whatever they are. That’s the worst part. I know I should feel terrible; still my mind won’t let me. Sometimes, before I fall asleep at night, I come to the conclusion I’ve always been like this: Unable to truly feel sympathy for others. [gulps]

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<.>//14:40:09//Should I turn myself in? Would that return me to a normal human being, if I ever were one?

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<.>//14:40:15//In my opinion, it would be wise to discuss your situation with the authorities, even just for the sake of their continuing compilation of information regarding The Sighting. With therapy, and possibly medication, we can treat your condition. [writing] During the short time we’ve known each other you have shown genuine concern for Jennie, Jeremiah and myself. You are not a monster, Mrs. Jensen, just a human being put through a very unfortunate circumstance. To me, your dream accentuates the guilt you are having trouble expressing. You are still the same person, maybe just in need of some emotional calibration. Now, in my opinion, there is little chance of the State trying to prosecute you.

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<.>//14:40:59//Why not? They have me on camera.

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<.>//14:41:02//Exactly. When I watched that video on T.V. I was initially furious that your car didn’t move sooner. Yet, I couldn’t help but think of how terrified I would have been in that scenario and I’m sure others did as well. Guilt may be the usual feeling to express after what has occurred, all the same, too much of the emotion leads to depression, amongst other illnesses. From what you’ve told me you have suffered a great shock, one that is still debilitating your senses.

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<.>//14:41:33//So, I won’t be taken away from my family?

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<.>//14:41:37//Not if I have anything to say about it, but I’m not a lawyer. [relieved laughter]

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<.>//14:41:42//[throat clears] This does not mean you will have immunity from civil trials. There will surely be many relatives and friends of victims who may be too affected by grief to empathize with your perspective of events.

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<.>//14:41:54//But this will be a public trial, right? [helicopter rotors, feet shuffle] The government can’t have it in a secret location?

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<.>//14:42:02//Maybe one could argue either the criminal or civil trials would concern national security however, I doubt that anything judicial would occur in such a clandestine manner. The trial may not be open to the public, but it would be at a known location. Don’t you want to give the families and friends of these victims some peace? I feel it will help you find peace as well.

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<.>//14:42:24//Do you think I’m crazy--

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<.>//14:42:43//[electrical interference] There’s no other way for me to say this without sounding crazy, so I’m going to spit it out: I think there are men in black following me. [writing] I used to think it was all just a movie, but since the bridge footage was released I’ve been getting calls with no one on the other end. Sometimes there’s just heavy breathing. Um, and sometimes electrical noises. The caller ID always displays UNKNOWN. Everywhere I go there are men in black suits, even in this building.

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<.>//14:43:16//Many male and female professionals in the building dress similarly in dark attire. On the right day, Mrs. Jensen, you could have entered this room and seen me wearing a dark suit. On an even righter day, I might have been wearing shades. How could these Men in Black find you if the public agencies are still searching?

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<.>//14:43:33//My station at work is customer service. A woman once called me to arrange the return of a Panasonic CR three hundred digital camera. This machine was smaller than my fist and could zoom in so close that a bird from a hundred yards away appeared to be only ten feet. Also, [scratching] I saw a movie where the government used surveillance satellites to track people. Technology that is right-here right-now. Maybe they were able to get my license number from the footage. Or were there watching the whole thing happen and then followed me home?

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<.>//14:44:09//But what would this agency want with you? [writing] You had nothing to do with The Sighting.

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<.>//14:45:15//[dry swallow] Maybe they don’t know that. My sudden stop made me look suspicious and they’re dotting their i’s and crossing their t’s. Or they could‘ve been watching me for years. If UAE1 had kept going through the city it would’ve gone through my block. I Google-Earthed the path. Lines right up. It’s the same direction as in my dream. Maybe, these people are waiting for me to lead them to something else. What if they’re right and I just don’t know it?

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<.>//14:45:47//Mrs. Jensen, I can tell you are both an intelligent woman and a science fiction fan, like me. However, if you really wish to see certain signs they will appear. What you’ve experienced is sublime enough for several lifetimes. Do not take your life so far out of the realm of normalcy that you cannot find your way back.

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<.>//14:46:08//I know you’re right, Dr. Jogden. I just can’t commit to something so extreme right now. Maybe after a few sessions. [awkward laughter] Listen to me, I’m talking future sessions and one should be enough to get me to do what I already know is right. We know the problem; how come it doesn’t feel like this visit is helping anything?

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<.>//14:46:29//[deep exhale] You’re nervous and that’s perfectly normal. Psychiatric treatment can be a lengthier process for so-

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<.>//14:46:36//FOR NORMAL PEOPLE! [unknown object strikes floor] No one has ever experienced what I have! For all I know something like this will never happen again!

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<.>//14:46:44//So you won’t go to the authorities? I can guide you through this every step of the way. Help you find a good lawyer, if need be.

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<.>//14:46:52//[springs depress] No, please. I’d rather not.

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<.>//14:46:56//Can we schedule you for another appointment? Same time next week?

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<.>//14:47:01//Of course. Um, I’m unsure of my schedule. I can find out at home and call in to make the appointment later.

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<.>//14:47:09//[pen click] Mrs. Jensen. I have heard several people say the same thing never to return. All my patients are equally important to me; however your case may have national, possibly international significance. I’m not ready to let you go, so I’m scheduling a two-hour session a week from now. Ok?

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<.>//14:47:27//Ok, if that’s what the doctor orders. [sharp exhale] I still don’t see how you’ll be able to make me feel differently, but I’ll be here next week.

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<.>//14:47:36//[springs decompress] Do I have your word?

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<.>//14:47:39//[deep breaths] …Yes. Cross my heart. What time will it be again? I’m really bad at remembering times and dates.

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<.>//14:47:54//[light footsteps, door locks, light footsteps]

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<.>//14:48:04//That response sounded shaky. You were wrong earlier, Mrs. Jensen. Seventy people and up shared your experience, except they are dead. [drawer opens]

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<.>//14:48:15//I know, [papers/writing instruments rifled] and I wish I had the sense to be moved by that remark.

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<.>//14:48:23//I was giving you a chance to avoid what’s going to happen. [drawer slams shut, drawer opens, papers rifled]

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<.>//14:48:32//What’s going to happen?

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<.>//14:48:34//My brother was on that bridge, too. And to answer your question, you’re going to die.

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<.>//14:48:40//[screams]

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<.>//14:48:43//Shut up. You had your chance. [safety clacks]

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<.>//14:48:44//[unintelligible, chair falls]

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<.>//14:48:47//[footsteps] I want you to dig deep down and apologize to my brother. You better be honest or else you won’t have to worry about not feeling anything ever again.

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<.>//14:48:58//[unintelligible]

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<.>//14:49:05//I don’t believe you.

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<.>//14:49:07//[unintelligible, crying]

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<.>//14:49:12//I DON’T BELIEVE YOU!

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<.>//14:49:14//Ahhh. [thump on wall, footsteps, bawling] I WAS SO SCARED, SO, SO SCARED! I DIDN’T WANT ANYONE TO DIE! NOT ME, NOT YOUR BROTHER OR ANYONE ELSE ON THAT BRIDGE. I JUST COULDN’T HANDLE HOW CRAZY EVERYTHING WAS. I’M SORRY THAT YOUR BROTHER’S GONE, I’M SORRY THAT THEY’RE ALL GONE AND YOU HATE ME! [crying] Please don’t kill me. My family needs me.

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<.>//14:49:45//[trigger clicks, hammer claps, thud on floor] Stay in the moment, let it wash over you. Don’t think, just feel. Feel your love for your family. Feel the panic of your escape. Feel for all those people on the bridge who are gone.

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<.>//14:50:34//[crying] Please get up, Mrs. Jensen, you’re ok. I don’t have a brother and I didn’t shoot you. Huh?

#

<.>//14:50:48//This isn’t a real gun. [trigger clicks, hammer claps, trigger clicks, hammer claps, trigger clicks, hammer claps] As you can see, it’s my old lighter. Dr. Band gave this to me as a graduation present.

#

<.>//14:50:59//Oh my God, oh my God. [shallow breaths] How do you feel, Mrs. Jensen? Could you please open a window? Wow. Yes, of course. Please forgive me. I know that was out of the ordin--

#

<.>//14:51:14//[heavy footsteps, door knob jiggles, plangent blow, wood splinters] PUT DOWN THE FIREARM AND STEP AWAY FROM JENSEN!

#

<.>//14:51:19//It’s not-- [shot fired, shot fired, shot fired]

#

<.>//14:51:21//[bang, scream cuts off, footsteps] Grab her in case she tries to run! [chairs shoved aside, muffled scream] She was telling the truth, Desert Eagle novelty lighter. This is my fault.

#

<.>//14:51:32//[sounds of dishevelment, footsteps] Lousy feed. All our heads are on the line. Get up front and help with the clean up. You, hurry up. I want anything of possible importance ready to go in three minutes. We’re going out the way we came. [glass breaks]

#

<.>//14:51:55//[thumps, papers rifled] Be quiet. You live because you’re pertinent. Your family is not. [Mumbles]

#

<.>//14:52:06//Do you care whether your husband and daughters continue to breathe? I’ll do anything. Please don’t hurt them. [ragged breaths, coughs] Hand me the body bag. We’d wipe your memory but we need you to be…yourself. We want you to simply live your life. Go where you wanna go, do what you wanna do. Just know that we’re going to be watching.

#

<.>//14:52:30//I didn’t mean to hurt those people on the bridge. There isn’t enough data to determine whether that’s the truth or not. Just do as I say and your family will remain safe. If you cooperate, I’ll personally see that the Old Guard ceases with the phone harassment. [computer screen smashed] It’s hard to teach old dogs new tricks.

#

<.>//14:52:53//I don’t understand. [zipper opens] That’s good. From the moment you were born, no matter where you were, there were signs, if one knew what to look for. Which, we didn’t--until you brought yourself to our attention and we performed a very thorough background check. [pilot light] Migration patterns, weather cycles, and astronomical phenomena, amongst other things: all indicative of whatever you are, Witness Zero.

#

<.>//14:53:03//[coughs, moans] The doctor is still alive, Sergeant. Dispose of her. [gun cocks] NO, NO, NO, NO! [scrambling on floor] Please don’t kill her. I don’t want anyone else to die because of me. If you let her and my family live I’ll do anything, anything you want. The only way she’ll be allowed to survive is to spend the rest of her days in Containment. Some, including me, say that’s a fate worse than death. [sirens] Is that the life you wish for her? I’m not letting her die. Do something! Save her! Fine. Let’s get you home.

#

<.>//14:53:42//We’re ready to burn, Ma’am. [zipper closes] Good. Give her a hand. Time to leave, freaks. [footsteps, burning]

#

<.>//14:53:56//END RECORD<.>

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