Jack P Rocket-Man Narrative, Part R.06.
Jack P Rocket-Man is FICTION. No warranties expressed or implied.
REM: The THT International Airport, the black jet, the mystery visitors, that machine: in 2003? Those visitors: aliens, sentient, alive? How does it all tie in with Gregory Johnstone, and work he has for you this year?
JPRM: I assume you’re taking notes. Is that a BlackBerry? VR+, Open Source, Cloud Computing? Can I touch it? It looks smarter than you…
I recall working on hardware that interfaced with those 1970’s IBM 3340 HARD DRIVES, them you couldn’t fit in your pocket. THEY were smarter than you too…
There were SEVEN of us inside the hidden meeting room Floor Six-Point-Five that evening: Mister Director, Mickey Rodriguez, Angela, Gracie, Karl, Slim, and me. I had informally named the four visitors. They were so similar, quadruplets? There weren’t any name tags but I figured it could soon be a non-issue.
I didn’t have a Blackberry like yours back then, I had a basic cellphone, a 3×5 Inch notebook, the paper kind, and of course that MACHINE… which I figured was soon to be confiscated. Likely either before or shortly after they finished killing me.
I asked them if I could take notes; that I was bad with names. They didn’t complain. “What do you mean ‘temporal’ problem,” I asked. “You guys,” I hoped they did not mind all being referred to as guys, “you don’t look like natives?” I assumed they wouldn’t be offended I insinuated they were not LOCALS.
Angela, who sat opposite and diagonally from me, facing Mr. Director, verified they were indeed not locals; yes, they were stuck both temporally, AND temporarily. She was an optimist, she reiterated the “temporarily.”
Then Angela mentioned that past and future were “gray areas,” had I read any papers by Albert Einstein, and Erwin Schrödinger? I answered yes, that I was a displaced engineer in between gigs, as well as a dedicated and eclectic student.
I was careful to be real polite and subtle, after all I was in a hidden room with a retired cop, and a 4-XL sized, three-hundred-pound Mr. Director, plus four enigmatic extraterrestrials the color of Stealth Fighter Jets, fortunately minus the rough edges.
REM: What did she mean?
JPRM: She told me it had something to do with “relativity” and “quantum physics,” other than that, she did not have a clue. I nodded with empathy; she was, after all, stranded. Bad.
When Angela mentioned the “gray area,” I summoned my courage and asked her why the four of them were so uniquely pigmented? Was it like a tattoo, skin art, all over? Did they have any body piercings? She said no, it was merely adaptive coloration; they had to endure hostile environments from time to time. Like earth, for example.
I found that plausible, she didn’t seem to mind the third-degree she was receiving, she probably figured earth security people were marginally intelligent, nosey a-holes. Angela was definitely more of the marketing type, versus engineering or product development.
One down, three to go. If they could all speak… was there an engineer in the group? Law enforcement or security? A politician… that would be depressing.
I was pretty sure the four of them: Angela, Gracie, Karl, and Slim, were straight shooters… After all, I am still here today. Furthermore, they were not cyborgs, automatons, or those movie-transforming-robot things. Too bad on the last count, I could have used a new car that year.
REM: Did they let you keep the Star-Trek device that resembled a Tricorder?
JPRM: Yes! That’s exactly what Gregory Johnstone asked me last week. Surprised the shit out of him. I told you he dropped Acid, LSD, twenty-two times back when we went to school in the seventies, Massachusetts. I think he wanted that MACHINE more that he wanted me… my engineering services, I mean…
I whipped the thing out, the machine. His eyes got as big as silver dollars, and twice as shiny… I was prepared to dial 911 just in case poor Gregory started getting flash-backs or dying even, he is pretty fried, you know.
Do you know what “Paranormal Psychology” is? I never heard of it until I watched that horror flick: about the little kid, and the insane asylum, the kid runs away? No… it wasn’t my life story.
Anyways, these friendly aliens, they must have read that book, because they all were synchronized, and seemed to be conversing among themselves somehow, but not verbally, while Angela was talking to me! Creepy.
I was wondering if Alien Number Two, Gracie, was a talker, like her co-worker. She is! I’m really getting into these people from another time, dimension, or wherever they live. I am WORRIED that they are stranded, only short-term hopefully. Maybe Mr. Director, Mickey the Shift Supervisor, and me can help them out.
If Angela was from marketing, then Gracie must be the techie in the bunch. It was like it was all a movie, surreal. Mickey must have put something in the coffee. Whatever was going on there at Six-Point-Five. These people, yes, they’re people to me now… not aliens.
People. Some people, creative types, novelists, artists, inventors, gamblers, card-players, et cetera, “filter” the world differently. Like a sixth sense. I knew what was coming.
Gracie begins by telling us they’re stuck here because the black jet is in BETA Engineering development phase, they took a chance. It’s a prototype!
REM: As if they were in a rush to arrive at THT International, back in ’03?
JPRM: Yes, and that reminded me my security partner Patrick must have been outside an hour in the cold and peeing his pants by now. I looked at Mickey, pointed to his walkie-talkie, he got the idea. By then he was more than happy to oblige. The man’s a scaredy-cat.
Gracie asked me if I knew who the “Khabiru” were. Of course I do. I warned Gracie that she wasn’t going to draw me into some sort of religious debacle. I stay away from that. Just like the politics, and all that sex stuff… I’m an Engineer: which means I know how to wake up, dress up, and show up, mostly.
Gracie gets it. In general terms, the Khabiru were collectively nomads, displaced people, who were, as the writer Julian Jaynes, theorized in his book, part of a massive culture change as humans started becoming more different from one another. Eventually, they became known as “Hebrews,” easier to pronounce.
Then Gracie explained the black jet wasn’t just a jet, which was no secret. They hadn’t planned on needing it way back in 2003. I mentioned to her that JIT, “Just In Time” business strategies were a bad idea, and their situation proved it.
So, Gracie confessed they had not planned on showing up until Year 2012…
And, did I know Gregory Johnstone?