Conspiracy earth, p.1
Conspiracy: Earth, p.1N.T. Bergeron
By N.T. Bergeron
Copyright 2012 NT Bergeron
Cover Art by Jacob Zerby
Thanks for taking the time.
“Thanks Nick, you really bailed me out” said Steve.
Nick studied Steve momentarily. A friend since elementary school, he and Steve had drifted apart in recent years. Steve’s job as a fireman kept his shifts erratic and his ever increasing family commitments consumed much of his remaining free time. Still though, when Steve needed his help, Nick was glad to give it and it provided them a chance to catch up. In this case it was the usual; Steve’s computer had been acting up. It wasn’t too hard for Nick to sort out. Some spy ware issues and a few programs were loading that didn’t need to be and his computer had slowed to a crawl. Grinning Nick replied “No problem Steve. You want a beer?” Steve’s reply of ‘sure’ was not unexpected and Nick was already up and crossing the floor of his apartment when it came. An athlete through his school years, Nick had managed to stay in good shape after graduating high school and college. Nearing thirty years old, Nick had never married or had children and that afforded him the time he needed to stay in shape. He kept his brown hair cropped quite short; his face cleanly shaven and preferred to wear jeans and t shirts as much as possible. Nick opened his fridge and grabbed two pale ales and returned to the computer table where Steve was waiting. Passing one of the beers to Steve, Nick sat down and twisted his beer open in one smooth motion and tossed the cap in the garbage can by his feet. Throwing a quick glance at his computer’s monitor Nick read “UFO Sightings on the Rise” was splashed across the screen in bold black lettering with a long pointed article underneath. Hmmm, I will have to finish reading this later was all he had time to think. Turning to his guest he noticed Steve was also reading the headline on the monitor.
“So you’re still into the whole alien thing then?” Steve inquired, one of his eyebrows raised questioningly. A simple scan of the surroundings would have revealed the answer. From the UFO posters on the wall, the bookshelves loaded to sagging with books that had titles like Atlantis: Is it still there? and Earth Chronicles. There were newspaper and magazine clippings of UFO sightings and crop circles littering his coffee table. On a short table, tucked neatly in the corner was a Stonehenge replica. Everything betraying Nicks love of ufology with gaudy audacity. Nick acknowledged Steve’s question with a slow nod as he was sipping his drink. Lowering his beverage, Nick readied his response. Years of raised eyebrows and sarcastic, eye rolling ‘uh huh’s’ had forced him to be ready to defend his passion.
“Well, you know we can’t be alone in this big universe.” He blurted out, “Seems like an awful waste of space if we are the only life in it don’t you think?” not bothering to hide his irritation at having to answer this question yet again.
“Take it easy Nick; you don’t need to get your back up with me” Steve said, his hands raised, palms out in an apologetic fashion “Personally I find it all pretty interesting; I just don’t have the time to research it”
Nick sighed and shook his head, “Sorry Steve, it’s just instinct, don’t take it personally. It’s just that I get so many people that blow it off as a bunch of conspiricist crap or think I am a total nut. It really gets me going” he said and took another long sip of his beer and looked away. Steve eyed him warily before he spoke, his voice calm. “I don’t think either of those things buddy. I really do find it all pretty interesting”
Nick looked back and before he could stop himself he was telling Steve about his current interest.
“Right now I am reading some really cool stuff about a supposed twelfth planet called Nibiru.”
Steve’s eyes narrowed the tiniest bit; his look slightly skeptical yet interested all the same so Nick continued “Yeah, it’s this planet that has a long elliptical orbit that brings it in close proximity to Earth every thirty six hundred years. There are theories that it is because of Nibiru that there is even a planet Earth in the first place.”
Steve’s raised eyebrows told Nick that there was more explanation needed so he pressed on.
“It’s theorized that eons ago, when Nibiru was coming through this quadrant of space, it collided with what is now Mars. From that collision a piece broke off and assumed the orbit that became our beloved planet Earth and also formed the asteroid belt.”
“Wow, that’s quite a theory” Steve offered.
“Its inhabitants, the Annunaki, are supposed to be way more advanced than we are. There are some theories around that when ancient man spoke and wrote of gods, it is the Annunaki they were referring to. It’s really interesting stuff and goes in depth and shows early pictograms displaying men in flying machines and stuff like that” said Nick, his voice alive with excitement.
Silence followed for moment while Steve digested what he had heard.
“Who came up with this theory? I have never heard anything like it before” Steve questioned
“It’s all in these books written by a guy named Zecharia Sitchin. He translates ancient Sumerian texts and this is what he gleans from them.” Nick said pointing a finger at his groaning bookshelves to punctuate his point.
Steve nodded his head again but remained silent so Nick pressed on.
“It gets complicated and difficult to follow at some points, but Sitchin ties everything together with the Mayan calendar, which is amazingly accurate to this day. Only it stops at December 21, 2012 and nobody can figure out why. According to his calculations that’s around the next time that Nibiru will be approaching Earth” and then took another sip of his drink as he eyed Steve closely, trying to gauge his reaction to what he just heard.
Steve screwed up his face as he thought.
“I have heard of the Mayan calendar before. So if his theory is right then this twelfth planet will be back in our neck of the woods soon” Steve said, almost robot like as he performed the calculation in his head
“That would be about right” Nick agreed “Many people think the whole thing is the prelude to some sort of apocalypse, either by war or alien invasion or something equally sinister. Others still think that the planet’s close proximity to Earth will cause a pole shift due to the gravitational effect of such a large body being so close to Earth” he finished.
“And what do you think?”
Nick reflected momentarily. “I can’t deny it’s a way out there idea and without actually seeing it, it’s hard to imagine another planet such as this but at the same time I think there are many mysteries in the universe. Mankind is just scratching the surface of what could be out there.”
“Good point” said Steve and after a brief pause offered “If it does exist though, wouldn’t the government have told us?”
Nick gaped at Steve for a moment in disbelief “Well, government transparency issues aside, I think it was in 1992 NASA issued a press release that talked about mysterious deviations in the orbits of Uranus and Neptune which would be explainable by the gravitational effect of an unknown large planet.”
“Huh” Steve said and started as he glanced at his watch
“Wow, I got to get going Nick. Cindy and the kids are waiting for this computer to come back and I still have to stop at my dad’s before I go home.” And with that he drained the rest of his beer in one long slow drink and put the bottle on the table. “Thanks again for fixing up my rig.”
“No problem” Nick replied.
“I should really just get a new one eh?”
“Yeah it’s about time you get a new system. That one is getting a little uh long in the tooth shall we say” Nick chortled
“Ha ha.” Steve said mockingly “We should go for coffee one day and you can tell me some more about that twelfth planet.”
“Vacation? Where are you off too?” queried Steve
“I’m finally going down to check out Area 51. It’s going to be a cool trip. I’ll be gone a couple of weeks.”
“Wow, I hope you have good trip buddy. Take lots of pictures and stuff, try not to get abducted eh” he added, jabbing Nick in the arm playfully.
Steve got up and, after putting on his jacket, tucked the repaired computer under his arm and made his way toward the door. Nick rose as well and escorted Steve to the door and opened it for him. A quick ‘see you soon’ was all Steve could say as he headed out into the hallway and turned toward the elevator. Muttering the same as a reply, Nick closed the door and turned around. He briefly wondered to himself if all the Nibiru talk had been a bit too much for Steve and scared him off. Oh well he shrugged, it was still interesting reading. Finishing his beer he looked around his apartment. It was sparsely decorated with a couch and chair facing his big screen television, coffee table covered with more conspiracy theory literature. The kitchen was clean and tidy and down the hall, beyond the bedroom door, he could see his bed, still messy from the previous night’s sleep. He picked up Steve’s empty bottle and walked into the kitchen and put it with his back in the case with other bottles. Turning to go use the bathroom, his cell phone rang. He picked it up from the kitchen counter and answered “Hello?”
“Hey man, its Joel, you coming or what?” barked a voice on the other end of the line.
The sound of Joel’s voice crystallized his memory and like a flash of lightning Nick remembered his Linux user group meeting. How could he could he have forgotten that?
“Ya, ya. I’m just running a bit behind” he said as he moved toward his computer desk, the urge to use the bathroom having vanished.
“I’ll just grab my laptop and be right there.”
He snapped his phone shut without waiting for a reply and shoved it back into its belt clip. Hastily he grabbed his laptop and a bunch of papers related to the new operating system he was currently playing with and stuffed it all into his laptop bag. Pulling on his jacket and lacing up his shoes, he paced quickly to the door and slung his laptop bag over his shoulder and then exited, making sure to lock it behind him. He opted for the stairs instead of waiting for the elevator. Taking the stairs two at a time his descent from the third floor was rather quick, and he exited the stairwell and proceeded across the lobby and out the front door. It was a pleasant evening, the transition from winter to spring nearing its completion. Inhaling deeply through his nose, Nick enjoyed the fresh air and noticed there were no clouds to speak of, the sky awash with the colors of sunset and smiled. How lucky to have beautiful days like this he thought and headed off in the direction of his meeting.
Had he not been in such a hurry, he may have noticed the lanky figure detach itself from the shadows along the side of the building and follow stealthily in the same direction.
Nick was moving with purpose up the sidewalk and the figure hung back a little, working hard to maintain visual contact without giving himself away. He was content with meandering along slowly but with purpose, weaving in and out of the fellow pedestrians that populated the sidewalk, some of them glancing sideways at him as he passed. It didn’t affect him anymore; he was used to it now. Recruited into this job as a young man right out of military college, it was now thirty plus years on and he was exceedingly good at his craft and had seen it all. Nothing bothered him anymore. What did he care if some of the sheep, as he referred to them, wanted to gawk at him as he passed? He didn’t care. None of it would matter if he could pull this off, and it was this plan that had him out here among the herd he so despised, following Nick instead of scheming in his preferred place of refuge, his office.
His graying hair was mostly hidden underneath a black fedora, dark penetrating eyes looking out from below its brim, taking in every detail, no matter how minute. A sharply pressed charcoal grey suit finished off nicely with highly polished shoes adorned the rest of his body. Yes, Bill McGraw knew his role and he knew it well. He gave the impression of a predator, pursuing his prey. Lifting his radio to his mouth he spoke “Target is on the move. Steve left and now he is rushing out to make his monthly geek meeting” A smile played at the corners of his mouth as he said this. Not that he felt any animosity toward Nick; he had never even met him. It’s just that the surveillance portion of this operation was grating on him and he was anxious to move on to the next stage.
What were they waiting for? This guy was perfect. No family, as his parents were killed in a car crash shortly after he moved out on his own. No wife or kids or girlfriends, and the few friends that he did have could be ‘convinced’ not to ask any questions.
“Roger that” the reply rattled in his earpiece. “Maintain a safe distance and keep us briefed”
“Affirmative” Bill replied with a sigh. “Is it a go tonight?” he queried hopefully. A long pause followed and the answer came, “Negative. The time is not quite right yet. Patience old friend, our time is near and it won’t be long before we initiate the next stage”
Not even bothering to acknowledge the news Bill stuffed his hands in his pockets and strolled casually after Nick, still thinking about how perfect he would be for the role. He shook his head. If only Nick knew how much his life was about to change. All the revelations, the discoveries and in the end, his natural abilities and a starring role in the biggest conspiracy man would ever be involved in. Bill was all too familiar with what he was getting out of it. He had readily supported the plan from his first day when it had all been laid out for him. A big payday and his life extended several hundred years seemed like a fair trade for his services. It was going to happen anyway so why not cash in on it if he could Bill justified to himself. Ahead, Nick was disappearing around a corner and Bill sped up in response.
Nick took a quick turn down Second Avenue and continued on. Still chuckling slightly to himself for forgetting about the meeting in the first place he spied his destination. He was really looking forward to it too. As he had been using OpenSuse twelve for about a month now and was really digging it he wanted to see what other people’s impressions were. Arriving at the front door to Joel’s apartment he trotted up the steps and pushed the buzzer for apartment number five hundred and seven.
“Hello?” said a crackly voice
“Hey, it’s me, buzz me in.” Nick replied
“Damn, we were hoping you were the pizza guy. OK, c’mon up” the voice crackled, raucous laughter ringing out in the background.
The buzzer sounded and Nick, his hand already on the door handle, started to pull the door open. In that same moment, a tingly feeling started to form in his head. He likened the sensation to the pins and needles feeling he would get in his hand if he fell asleep with his arm in a weird position. It felt as if some dormant part of his brain had been awoken and was functioning for the first time. He stopped cold in the doorway and with his free hand he reached up and clutched his forehead. He felt compelled to look back over his shoulder. There he saw a lanky man in a grey suit and hat pass by, casting the slightest of glances in his direction. The feeling intensified in sharp waves to an ice cream headache like crescendo as the stranger drew nearer to him. Closing his eyes against the pain, a blurry vision popped into his head, like a picture way out of focus. It was so blurred he couldn’t make anything out, but Nick just wanted it to go away and take the pain it was creating with it. Pain was radiating out from the center of his brain, so intense he was actually gritting his teeth against it. Just as fast as it had appeared, the picture was gone, like some sort of weird mental flashcard. The pain was now dissipating and Nick gingerly opened his eyes and looked around. The stranger was now several yards past the stairs to the apartment building and still striding purposefully away. Nick stood and rubbed his forehead a little longer and watched the man walk away and
"Ya ya you guys, I got a lot of stuff on my mind you know. I am leaving on for vacation in two days” Nick responded.
“Oh, how could we forget” everybody chorused, with more than one pair of eyes rolling.
“You only remind us every time you talk to one of us” Fred chimed in.
The laughter died and they got down to business. Frank was busy showcasing his new laptop.
With a shudder Nick remembered the feeling he experienced at the front door and he threw a cautionary look out the window behind him. Maybe it was a shadow, Nick didn’t know, but he thought he saw the same man in the gray suit looking up at the building. “Naw, it couldn’t be” he consoled himself and turned away.
Conspiracy: Earth by N.T. Bergeron / Fantasy have rating 4.8 out of 5 / Based on38 votes