Pam yanked on her leg to pull it out of the deep mud. She was tired and dirty, but she’d been in worse situations. The difference was, it had meant something before.
“C’mon, c’mon. Hurry up!” stage whispered Ken Banacek, codename: Falcon.
“Here? Seriously?” she groused as she pushed aside some reeds.
“It’s just up ahead.”
A voice spoke through the communicator embedded in her jaw. “You’ve got to maintain the illusion you’re on an operation, LittleWing. He needs to see for himself.”
Pam sighed. Ever since Ken was caught in that mad scientist’s experimental ray beam, he hadn’t been himself. Apparently, he believed aliens were dropping off superscience gizmos for humans to reverse engineer. Everyone in the CIA knew he was insane. At last, his usefulness in Belarus had spent itself, and it was up to Pam to exfiltrate him. Ken insisted on one more pickup from the aliens before leaving. A CIA psychologist believed in letting the tangent happen. When nothing was there, the realization might help the madman’s rehabilitation.
Pam would rather be shot at in Pakistan than slogging through this chilly bog on a fool’s errand. “So Control, you using that coffee mug Falcon sent to you?”
“The one that heats water by itself? Never tried it. It’s sitting right here, gathering dust.”
Pam chuckled. “What about that teleportation amulet he sent to Brewster?”
“Right!” Control guffawed. “He gave it to his mom.”
“Did she like it?”
“He hasn’t seen her much. She’s been traveling to 14 countries the last six months. She’s loving her retirement. Hey, what about that tee-shirt Falcon gave you? The one that makes you invisible.”
Pam rolled her eyes. “Yeah, that one. Never wore it. Gave it to my baby sister.”
“Is she wearing it a lot?”
“Can’t say.” Pam mused. “Haven’t seen her in a long time.”
At last, Pam crouched next to Ken. He pointed to the mansion in the dim light beyond the weeds. “We’re almost there. Let’s go!” He dashed off. Pam tried to follow but her boot was stuck in the mud again. When she finally pulled herself out, she charged beyond the reeds and into a field. Ken was standing there, arms upraised.
Pam heard Control trying to contact her, but the signal was garbled. She forgot about that when she spied something shimmering above Ken, something massive. The waves of optical distortion faded and left behind a gargantuan spaceship, one kilometer long. One of the ship’s gondolas hovered just above Ken. Something dropped out and Ken caught it. An alien arm stuck out and offered a thumbs up. Ken returned the gesture.
As Pam ran towards her charge, the shimmering returned around the ship and soon it rocketed away at unfathomable speed. She arrived beside Ken in time to see him put on a strange-looking belt. It lifted him off the ground and soon he flitted around her, laughing.
At last, Control got through to her. “LittleWing. LittleWing! Are you alright?”
“I’m alright, Control,” breathed Pam.
“Is Falcon okay? What’s happening?”
“Oh, he’s flying high.”
“Just like always, that lunatic,” muttered Control. “Anything you need from us?”
“Yeah. I seriously recommend you try out your coffee cup. Then call my mom’s house and tell my little sister she’s in BIG trouble!”
Every week, aliens drop off photos of strange places at a dead drop in Kensington, UK. Actually not, but you never know, I could be using reverse-psychology on you. Or, having admitted that, maybe it’s reverse-reverse-psychology. Then again, maybe photographer Alastair Forbes offers up an original photo as a writing prompt for flash fiction. Look here for more stories based upon the photo above!: http://sundayphotofictioner.wordpress.com/2014/11/23/sunday-photo-fiction-november-23rd-2014/