Aliens have made contact with Earth and say can solve human's problems. But can they?
|word count: 2,225 prompt: What if the bad guy was right?
“Can you believe it? They killed three of them – in cold blood!” exclaimed Tasha Vern.
“I know. They’re just a bunch of crackpot radicals. Who could speak anything against our new allies?” returned Derrick Mace as he shook his head. “This is the most heinous top story we’ve published since 9/11.”
Tasha was at her computer typing. At the top of the screen was written Obituaries. After a bit more tying she stopped and sat back with a sigh. “Done,” she said.
“Good,” said Derrick sat across from her. “Speaking of tomorrow,” He said looking at his IPhone notes. “the emissary will be giving his speech at 10 am.”
Tasha tilted her head and put a hand to her chin then, with a contorted face, looked at a snapshot of the three murdered bodies. She glanced at a photo of the emissary shaking hands with the president of the United States on the cover of an issue of TIME magazine and stared at it for a few moments. Both of them were dressed in black suits and could have been passed on as businessmen. The emissary had a broad chin, black short hair and deep brown eyes with a charming glisten in them. “The emissary could pass as George Clooney.”
Derrick motioned with his head. “It is peculiar. You would expect aliens to have six eyes and tentacles.”
“I know. So much good has been done by them,” Derrick said as he looked at a poster with one of the Vorta receiving the Nobel Peace Prize.”
“I think it because of fear. They distrust them because they are aliens.” Derrick frowned. “But ignorance is no excuse for their crimes.”
“What was it they said about the Vorta?” asked Tasha.
“Oh, something about them wanting to enslave the human race – bunch of nut jobs. The sect has had no evidence from day one.” Derrick hung his head then he veered his eyes and stared into space “Despite people like them, I believe the Vorta will bring about world peace soon.”
“Yep, that’s right,” said Tasha with a raised inflection.
Derrick looked at a digital clock on a wall above him. “Why is it we are the only ones who choose to work late? It was never in the job description.”
Tasha chuckled. “Tell me about it.” She stood and stretched. “Well, I’m all done here. I’m going home. I’ll be there bright and early for the emissary’s speech.”
Tasha put on a leather jacket and took out her purse from a cabinet by her computer and left the room. She went down in an elevator to the ground floor of the newspaper building and went to her BMW and started driving home. On the way there, a radio an anchorman was talking about the triple murder that happened just the night before.
“Shoot, the radio news beat us to the punch. Oh well. Everyone will get the details in the paper tomorrow.” Tasha noticed a small crowd around a person wearing a sign that said The Vorta are lying to us all! She parked by the curb of the sidewalk and walked to the group of people where the man was speaking out .
Tasha listened to the man. “The Vorta are planning a mass progressive takeover of all humanity! They have been using all their so called remedies to naturally put mentally degrading substances in our produce, water and their cure-all medicines. Even their air purifiers emit the substances. Within the next ten years our IQ’s will reduce to that of animals and the Vorta will be taskmasters.”
A heavyset man in the crowd shook his fist at the speaker and yelled. “Liar! It’s haters like you that are the problem!”
A woman also spoke up. “Yeah! shut up and get lost!”
It seemed a tumult was about to occur but fortunately the man gave into the adversity of the crowd and desisted with one final loud comment. “You can’t suppress the truth! The world will know as long as people like me resist!” the proclaimer said.
“That’s enough. You’re entitled to believe pigs fly but you are causing sedition,” said another.
The apparent troublemaker frowned but held his peace and walked off.
“Man. Talk about nerve,” Tasha said to herself.
A young male voice came from beside her. “I know, but why are they doing it?”
Tasha jerked her head towards the listener. “I didn’t know I was being heard.”
The young man glanced at the ground and back at Tasha. “It wasn’t my intention to eavesdrop. I too wonder why they are doing this.”
“There is definitely the question why the ant-Vorta circle is so adamant.”
“Haters are going to hate I guess,” said the young man.
“So it would seem.”
Tasha left talking and went to her car and continued on her way home. When she arrived, she turned on her TV and the anchorman on channel 8 was talking about the murders. Tasha clicked off the TV and went to bed early so she could arrive at the Vorta emissary pavilion before the crowd arrived.
Morning came early and the sun lighted through Tasha’s room window. She smiled and got dressed. After grabbing a bagel and an orange out of the fridge, she took her cell off her coffee table and darted out the door. Soon she arrived. Tasha wondered when the other photo journalists would start coming to get places as she sat on a bench. The air was crisp and cool as she waited. Tasha looked at the podium and wondered what the emissary was so interested in sharing. She was also apprehensive at the possibility of anti-Vorta radicals disturbing the speech regardless of police presence.
Tasha folded her hands and closed her eyes to rest. The voice of an older man came from next to her. “Quite an eventful day is it not?”
The reporter flipped her eyes open and turned to a man sitting next to her in a grey trench coat. Tasha frowned. “Excuse me?”
“The speech. The announcement of it has caused a real buzz. But I don’t need to tell you that since you’re a reporter,” he said as he glanced at Tasha’s ID hanging around her neck.
Tasha smiled. “It is true. I am on top of things. I got here early to beat the media crowd. Why are you here so early from the speech?”
The man threw his head back. “Oh, I don’t know. I’m just a morning person.” he paused. “My name is Roger. Who are you?”
“Tasha, Tasha Vern,” she said as she extended her hand that Roger promptly shook.
“Do you ever wonder how many sympathizers are of the anti-Vorta viewpoint?” Roger asked.
“That’s a good question. Who knows how many there really are?”
Roger nodded then paused. “If you had the chance to sit and interview one of them, what do you think that person would say?”
“I would expect the same rubbish that the rest have.”
“I see. As a person who works for a newspaper, aren’t you supposed to be unbiased?”
“There is also how justice should be upheld. The secret circle just killed three of the Vorta. That is out and out crime.”
“I see. There is no denying that then,” said Roger in a soft steady tone. “Well, I have to go. It was nice chatting with you.” Roger stood, smoothed out his coat and bowed slightly. “Good day then.”
Roger began whistling and walked off.
“That was an odd fellow,” Tasha said to herself.
To pass the time, Tasha played a game app on her phone until little by little people began to show up. Finally, it was time to get a good place in the front row. She was about to stand, Tasha noticed a white envelop where Roger had been sitting. Tasha picked it up. It was totally blank. She decided to satisfy her curiosity later and put it in her pocket then joined the rest of the media just arriving.
The place was soon a bustle. Thirty minutes afterwards, the emissary came out and took his place at the podium with multiple microphones jutting upwards. He wore a suit and tie and was the model of presentable appearance.
“Thank you all for coming. I have come to announce a breakthrough that is the secret to human longevity. My colleagues, both Vorta and human, have designed an anti-aging treatment. It is done by a scanning device we have named Operation Holy Grail.”
Reporters cried out asking this and that about cost, availability, safety, required duration of treatment, another questions that the emissary coyly answered. Tasha chose to keep notes and observed. The speech was relatively brief soon the emissary left with a smile and a wave.
The reporter left the area and walked to her car and got in. She threw back her hair and sighed. She recalled the blank envelop and pulled it out and opened it, revealing a simple but strange message. If you want to know the truth, meet me at the abandoned theater behind the Smith’s shopping center in two hours.
Tasha swallowed and bit her lip. “Who is this guy? What does he want?”
Roger did seem harmless enough. But why was he acting so secretly? Being a reporter, Tasha was naturally inquisitive. She would meet him.
Tasha went to the old theater, and waited. She paced around until Roger’s voice met her ears. “Thank you for coming,” he said.
“What is this all about?” Tasha demanded.
“You want people to know the truth right? I have well secured evidence that, beyond the shadow of a doubt, will incriminate the Vorta.”
“Who are you?”
“I worked on the project to diminish the human mind over time. In exchange for my services I was to be excluded from the mentally ailing influence of the Vorta. Look here.” Roger said as he neared Tasha with manila file folders with Tops Secret and Confidential stamped on them.
Tasha snatched them from Roger’s hands and began reading silently. After several moments her eyes widened and her jaw dropped. “I can’t believe it! It’s all here! How did you get them without being noticed or followed?”
Roger looked down and rubbed his forehead. “That is the problem. I stole them just two days ago. Soon I will be found and most likely killed.”
“Oh dear! I don’t know what to say. Are you sure? What will you do?”
“My fate is sealed. That is where you come in. Your profession puts you in the perfect position to publically expose the Vorta.”
“After all these years anti-Vorta antagonists have been right all along.” Tasha straightened her back and looked squarely in his eyes. “Count on me. You’re a brave man. I won’t let your sacrifice be in vein.”
Roger gave a slight smile and nodded. “This is where we part. Good luck Tasha.” Roger jerked around and walked away.” Tasha was on her way to her vehicle and she saw a black van next to her car with men in black FBI coats walking around.
Her heart quickened and she took a step back. “Oh no!” she said as she spun and sprinted in another direction. Suddenly another black van stopped right in front of her and an FBI agent came out called to her. “Tasha Vern! Stop where you are!”
She was trapped! This was it. She would be incarcerated or share the same fate of Roger.
“Give us the documents!” the man demanded. “We’ve followed the man you’re in league with and we saw him give you the documents.”
From behind Tasha, a silver Camry screeched beside her and the agent. A male in a white vest came out of the car with a gun pointed at Tasha’s captor. “Let her go!” He kept his gun pointed at the agent as her rescuer neared Tasha and took her by the hand into the car and then sped away. Inside the car were four other men.
“These four and I are with the resistance. You’re safe. We are headed for a secret tunnel that leads to a hideout in Paradise Park. It’s well hidden.”
“Thanks for saving me,” Tasha said.
In a few minutes they drove onto a field of grass then stopped. “This way,” said one of the men dressed in black spy gear.
They passed through an area of thick foliage where an iron hatch was pulled open by the man and everyone entered into a long corridor. Soon Tasha and the resistance force went into a metal room like a large shed full of people.
“We have spies everywhere. We were privy to the man called Roger and his activities. Another member heard you speak to him.”
“What will happen now?” asked Tasha.
“You will be escorted to your newspaper building by a police officer working for us. Then you will expose the documents in a story. When this happens, the word will spread like wild fire to all public and private circles.”
“Such a thing will create backlash even riots.”
“Be that as it may, the truth must be known, “said the man.
Tasha looked down for a while then glared at the resistance member and replied. “I’ll do it. It’s my job. Be careful Vorta - here we come.”