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U.S. Demilitarized Zone 7302 VA, CIA HQ, 9:36 AM
As the morning sun reached its zenith in the sky, CIA Headquarters was bustling with activity. Modern nuclear advancements had divided the U.S. into military and demilitarized zones. Zone 7302, formerly Langley, VA, was CIA HQ, along with the Personal Investigations Committee. Dr. Jonathan Do stood on the terrace of PIC Headquarters.
“So, I assume the new case will be brought in swimmingly?” Dr. Do asked the new intern.
“Yes, sir. AIG is very anxious for you to begin their case. In fact, they have requested you personally for the case.” The intern’s eyes swept the room nervously.
“All this fuss and only about a few disturbed satellites. Interesting, definitely interesting. Well, you are free to go now; please type up the paperwork tomorrow morning.” With an absentminded wave, he dismissed the intern and walked out of the cubicle.
AIG Headquarters, NY, 10:41 AM
Dr. Do walked the marble steps leading to the stone gray building. The outside of the structure was made of a titanium and carbon alloy, offering a sense of protection to workers. Dr. Do scanned his CIA I.D tag on the entrance of the building, and then scanned his fingerprint and his corneal image.
“Welcome, we have been expecting you.” The receptionist’s voice was cultured and the lift in the words was artificial, almost as if she were lying or uncomfortable.
“Why am I summoned here for satellite malfunctions? I would have contacted Maintenance.”
“Yes, but the satellite disorders have been both frequent and possibly due to electromagnetic pollution. Almost too coincidentally, before the disturbances we reported a large amount of electromagnetic radiation, from a certain point.” The receptionist gestured to the remains of a falling satellite outside. “All of our expert technicians agree that a large generator may be used to cause our satellite signals to Earth to be disrupted, causing them to fall.”
“Interesting, do you have any technicians you fired recently? Disgruntled employees tend to have an animosity against their former company, it is an enigma why, but they definitely harbor feelings.”
“Yes, Petey Switzer was fired several months ago. He has some training in electromagnetic fields and could definitely create the disturbance. Interestingly enough, the surge of electromagnetic pollution was on the opposite side of the world from Demilitarized Zone 2741, NY. The surge was in India.”
“India you say? That is interesting; it is on the opposite side of the world, possibly the negative anode of a huge magnetic field. But to create such a field, you would need a generator as strong as the Earth’s magnetic field.” Dr. Do trailed off and glanced around the building. “By any chance, would you have a huge magnetic generator in the vicinity?”
“Why do you say that? The electromagnetic disruption is clearly because of Petey Switzer first trying out his machine in India, then flying to the U.S, India has laxer policies regarding generators. Anyway, our ShockForce IX generator is in the third door on the right down hall B182, but I don’t know how it will help you.” The receptionist pointed to a white door as inconspicuous as dust farther down the hall.
Dr. Do ignored the rest of the receptionist’s words as he retrieved his Geiger counter from his suitcase. He then strolled casually into the brilliant white and stainless titanium facility. The pristine generator held the centerpiece, a large turbine generator with a sleek design.
“It appears as if the generator were moved recently.” Dr. Do examined the generator’s bottom and collected a sample of possible rust from movement. He stood up, collected his counter, and accidentally pressed the “ON” switch. Beeping rapidly, the counter’s readout was a shaky line of yellow on top of a green backdrop, alerting Dr. Do.
“How fortunate, when I accidentally pressed the button, we discovered high levels of background radiation present. Perhaps we should move away from this area.” Before Dr. Do could finish, the receptionist sprinted past him to the telephone and dialed 911.
“I suggest that you leave the room. The Geiger counter has detected some levels of background radiation in this room. The levels are consistent with a person with radioactive poisoning walking into this room, not harmful to most humans.” Dr. Do examined tell-tale signs of the machine’s recent use.
After taking several pictures of the machine’s wires and frayed edges that revealed the use and possible overuse of the generator, Dr. Do clasped his briefcase as precisely as a surgeon and calmly walked out of the generator room.
“Wait! You’re just going to leave the AIG case just like that?” The receptionist hurried after him.
“Patience, my dear Watson,” Dr. Do quoted from Sherlock Holmes.
Dr. Do calmly clasped his briefcase shut and walked out the door. The New York Police Department would be there shortly and he did not want to be detained on his CIA mission. Dr. Do bid one last goodbye at the building, which oppressed the skyline into a dull gray outline. As he was leaving, the rain began to streak out of the sky in carefree bursts.
“Signs of recent electromagnetic disturbance, raindrops,” Dr. Do muttered to himself as the sharp drops pelted his suit.
U.S. Demilitarized Zone 7302 VA, CIA HQ, 1:37 PM
Dr. Do sipped his slightly caffeine enhanced drink. He was now in CIA HQ Area 76, a zone curtained off for the sole purpose of tracking criminal activity. The room was bathed in fluorescent light, beeping and sounds of computer activity filling the silence.
Across from his table sat Petey Switzer, former employee of AIG.
“So, Petey, thought you could get away with one last farewell to your company?”
“I don’t know what you’re talking about. Sure, I heard about those satellites being grounded, but I had nothing to do with it.”
“Well, you are a technician with the means and know-how to power an electromagnetic field and disrupt the satellites, and you were fired from your job due to the recession. How do you think that makes you look?”
“I said I had nothing to do with it.”
“Well, alright then, we’ll just keep you here for now.”
Dr. Do exited the room and entered another. This time, the area was a streamlined machine of technicians and interns rapidly typing and searching the databases.
“Dr. Do! I have a report on the Indian International Instigative Investigation. Apparently, the charges received there were all electron, or negatively based, just as you had suspected.” One of the more senior members of the team was reading text appearing on his screen.
“Dr. Doom, I mean Dr. Do! There is a disturbance in both Militarized Zone 1942, NY, and in India. They are on the exact opposite sides of the world.”
“Then I must get going; apparently AIG now has some ‘ghost story’ to add with their crock-pot of extremely large electromagnetic generators. The AIG spokesman just contacted CIA with a ‘report’ on ghost sightings scaring away customers.” Dr. Do bade his tech team the curtest of goodbyes and left.
AIG Headquarters, NY, 2:02 PM
The passage of time had moved the shadows slightly, casting the entranceway in a large shadow, Dr. Do walked up to the entrance and scanned his fingerprint and corneal image once again. The receptionist he was greeted with earlier was absent; the police would have taken her for interrogation. Instead what greeted him was the chairman of AIG himself, Walter Reedson.
Walter Reedson looked and played the act of a perfect businessman of the 21st century. He wore a pristine grey suit, always kept a mini-computer in his pocket, a smile for every press picture, and had immaculate etiquette in boardroom meetings.
“Good evening, Dr. Do, your reputation precedes you.” Walter, normally with perfect manners, was fidgeting slightly.
Dr. Do mentally noted this and shook Walter’s hand. “So what is CIA being called here again for? A ‘ghost,’ I presume?”
“Yes, the ghost is difficult to see in daylight, but it is rather obvious that there is a specter haunting AIG. Why a ghost of all things to haunt AIG is completely absurd. AIG is a business complex, and ghosts aren’t even supposed to exist! Why of all places would that confounded ghost attack AIG? It can go attack the neo-Hippy organizations to make them happy, but never AIG! Our name will be dragged through the mud after this!”
Dr. Do ignored the tirade and moved to the west side of the building. The complex was seemingly free of any ghosts. His shoes crunched leaves slightly as he skulked around the building, searching for even an odd, lucid light in the noontime sky.
“Well, I believe you, sir, but I must return later if I am to view this phenomenon in plain sight.” Dr. Do began to clasp his briefcase shut brusquely.
“Absolutely. I am sorry for any inconvenience I might have caused, calling you here on such short notice for a fruitless effort.”
“No trouble at all.”
AIG Headquarters, NY, 11:47 PM
“Look, there it is!” Walter and Dr. Do were concealed from around 300 feet away, watching the wraith appear. Several late night stockholders had apparently been frightened by the ghost and left.
“Oh, this is going to be bad for the company,” Walter groaned as yet another stockholder left in a hurry, possibly to sell his stock.
The dark shadows of tree branches began to wave and beckon at the duo hiding in the bushes. Patterns formed in the grass as an unknown light source lit up the skyline. Dr. Do noted this and mentally formed an image of a possible ghost in the sky.
The ghost suddenly visualized in their point of view. What had scared the stockholders off was merely surprising for Dr. Do. He had seen much worse in his CIA career and was not at all intimidated. He was, however, fascinated by the eerie glow of the ghost. The specter was several hundred feet in the air, suspended by an unknown force, and colors danced around his features, making him visible. Walter fainted when the specter turned to their location. Almost as soon as the ghost arrived, the air began to sizzle in bursts of sound.
Dr. Do slowly inched forward. He crept as stealthily as the wind to where the ghost seemed to erupt from. He ignored the lucid display of lights above his head and found himself at the back of a warehouse. The crackling was more obvious now; Dr. Do quickly removed his handgun from his holster and slammed the door shut with a thunderous resonance. Inside, were a generator, and a lighter, but nothing else. Dr. Do quickly dusted for prints and found several; he stood up and left the room.
U.S. Demilitarized Zone 7302 VA, CIA HQ, 6:25 AM
Dr. Do worked through the night on the new case. His interns were running the print through the many databases of the world and had received a hit. After the hit, Dr. Do felt a connection to the case and sipped his Coke-Cola until he was fully awake again. The suspect was in the Pyrotechnical Optical Recognition Database (PORD) and CIA field agents were hunting him down.
“Dr. Doom, we have the suspect apprehended in Interrogation.”
“Excellent. Please commend the agents on a job well done.” Dr. Do moved to a familiar room under the scrutiny of fluorescent lights and hidden cameras.
The suspect facing him was Jorges Garcia Lopez, fireworks inventor; his file lay on the table between them. Lopez’s eyes kept darting left and right and sweat began to accumulate on his forehead. His entire body was shaking, and he seemed to suffer from premature hair fallout so that his scalp began to look like a hardboiled egg.
“Good evening, Mr. Lopez. In the file here it says that you are a 45-year-old pyrotechnical expert, that gives you access to a whole host of things with which to create a ‘ghost.’ The cost may be a bit steep, but if an opponent of AIG decided to take it out, they would fund you with enough money to create a ghost image. Unless you explain otherwise, you alone will be charged with the ghost.”
Dr. Do let the silence stretch as if he was savoring the pause. He looked closely at Lopez, and under his sharp scrutiny the icy vise of fear gripped the man.
“ Alright, alright! I’ll talk, alright? Ya see, I wasn’t paid nothing from another company. This guy I work for, Norman Stevenson, yea he’s the one. He pays me to set off a bunch of fireworks every so often so that it looks like a ghost. Now can I get some kinda deal here, dog?”
“Sure, for talking early you will receive partial immunity. Now what I don’t understand is, even with the advancement in modern fireworks, fireworks alone could not create the image I saw, and how does a generator play into this?”
“Norman always first made this glowy light. He called it ‘Aurora Borealis,’ alright?”
“So that’s how a generator comes in. I want Norman brought in at once."
U.S. Demilitarized Zone 7302 VA, CIA HQ, 9:37 AM
Norman Stevenson faced Dr. Do. The scientist turned out to be a government worker who had been fired for improper use of the government equipment. After using the new Ghost Image® technology that was being experimented with for military use and subterfuge, he tried to sell it off to AIG’s rival company.
“Alright, Mr. Stevenson, you know what you did, and I know what you did, but we need some specifics. First of all, who were you working for?”
“I’m not saying anything unless I receive full immunity.”
“Interesting. Now I’m going to go on a hunch here and say that Lopez is suffering from radiation poisoning. During interrogation, he was shaking and his hair was falling out, signs of radiation poisoning.”
“I can’t be held responsible. The generator needed uranium fuel rods to power it, creating a magnetic field requires a lot of power. It’s his fault he didn’t protect himself!”
“Yes, there is a cure, but I didn’t say anything about a generator.”
Norman Stevenson began to sweat, “Alright, alright! I’ll talk, but only if I receive some immunity. I was working for BIG Corporation; they asked me to create a Ghost Image and scare away stockholders from AIG, moving customers to their company. I needed Lopez because the Ghost Image is experimental. All it does it create a magnetic field equal to the Earth’s and creates the Aurora Borealis. I needed someone to create the Ghost’s face with fireworks.”
“That’s a confession.”
The intercom clicked on. “Good work Dr. Do.”