New Excerpt October 2015
A lone male sits at a large rectangular glass table in a sparse almost bacterially free room. Four walls of the most pure and faultless white surround him. All are bare except for the wall opposite him which bears a huge map –which he assumes to be the facility layout – etched flawlessly into a colossal streak free pane of uncomtaminated, blemish free glass. A door to his left - the one he was brought in through - integrates itself effortlessly into the wall and holds no lock, handle or control panel for him to work with. He sighs then leans back into the soft leather chair that he has been instructed to sit in and wait. His right hand rests upon his right thigh whilst his left nonchalantly stretches towards the table and taps impatiently upon the glass as he initiates his cognitive ability and begins to assess the situation. The male counts nine other chairs around the table including three opposite him and three each respectively to his left and right. He guesses that the guard who escorted him will bring more people soon. His eyes are of the deepest sapphire blue and they notice a tiny imperfection in the wall to his right and instinctively he rises and makes towards it. Soft strands of dark blond hair sit upon his head and cascade regally down to his shoulders where they meet with a seamless moulding of dark tweed that perfectly hugs his upper torso. A pure white angora sweater protrudes from underneath the sophisticated tweed jacket and along with a deep blue set of denims and a pair of protruding loafers the Professor look is complete. Seen from behind the man exudes an air of maturity and casualness due to the clothes that one would see. When viewed face on however your cortex intervenes and throws your world into confusion as the young 33 year old looking back at you confounds your earlier comparisons.
He paces slowly towards the imperfection – a raised bevel a shade lighter than its surroundings - and begins to study it closer. He leans a little further in and scrutinises the surrounding edges upon the wall just as the far door opens with a slight venting of the faintest hiss of air.
The man turns towards the sound but does not rush towards his freedom as his intellect and reasoning deduce he is in no immediate danger or distress. A tall slim female enters then turns abruptly back towards the open door. He looks on as the guard that escorted him into the room earlier utters the same words to the female that had been uttered to him a little over an hour ago. Abruptly the door closes once more and he is alone with the female as she turns to him with perplexed and astute eyes. It is only now that he notices her features and gasps inwardly at her striking appearance and slender Chinese beauty.
Still appraising the situation slightly she swiftly pans the room and studies her options. Satisfied the male opposite is of no concern and deducing that he too was brought here in the same way she approaches him and offers her right hand.
“I’m Takayo Ishiga and I assume you were brought here too – and have been given no reason why yet – judging by the look on your face.”
The male gazes at her sternly trying to determine her actions and her role in all this. Eventually after a lengthy but awkward silence he reluctantly takes a step forward and clasps his palm to Takayo’s.
“Kevin Oswain.” The male confidently replies. “Yes I was brought here by the very same, the erm very same guard who escorted you in.”
“Oswain you say, I’ve heard of you. Not the Kevin Oswain the particle physicist?”
“Yes afraid so.”
She relaxes a little but still fights with her inner self to keep a rigid control and trust no one until her mind was absolutely clear of what was happening and why they had been brought here...and by whom.
“Pure guess here but I’m assuming you too have a unique quality?” Oswain pushed.
“Head Professor of Theoretical Physics at the Cern Laboratory, Geneva.”
“I knew it, I knew it. What is it they are after from us? Who came for you? They met me after a speech I was giving in Washington DC and told me the President requested my assistance.” Oswain probed pacing back towards the table and slumping heavily into the soft leather chair. Swivelling towards Takayo he indicated for her to sit also.
“Same here.” Takayo sighed. “Came for me at home just after my breakfast – couple of mean looking guys in immaculately dressed suits. Showed me some government credentials and asked me to go with them, and here I am!”
“Without boasting wouldn’t you say we’re a couple of geniuse’s heh Takayo?” Oswain smuggly cried.
“I yeah, yeah I would say that.”
“Good then let’s put our heads together and try to deduce where we are, what they want from us and who they might actually be?”
“Ok then.” Takayo replied and eased herself into the seat next to Oswain.
Both sit feet apart, their bemused but affable facades begin to slide away as they begin to talk like two old friends who had just met for coffee. The camaraderie of their professions and the profoundness of their genius coupled with the uneasy situation they had just been placed in helped them form an immediate and almost trustworthy bond.
Takayo indicated towards the glass screen on the far wall.
“That I don’t like.” She announced.
“Me too, why have a map on that wall and nothing else in this utterly bare room?” Oswain pondered.
“I assume it’s a map of the facility or base or whatever it is we are in. It’s vast though, it doesn’t take a fool to deduce that as the guard that brought me here escorted me along miles of corridor on a golf buggy.”
“Same here, so why have a facility map in here? Don’t places like this normally have maps in the corridor to point the way?”
“So you think there’s a camera behind it? I do.”
“I was thinking more of a listening device as the map is printed onto the glass and it sits about an inch from the wall behind with no obvious protruding apparatus behind it.”
“So you’ve checked it then?” Takayo probed.
“When I first came in yes, was the first thing I checked as it didn’t look right, still doesn’t.”
She stood and paced over towards the glass as she spoke.
“So if there’s a listening device it could be miniscule and etched discreetly into the glass...or...”
“Or we may be wrong and it may just be a map after all.” Oswain smiled. He was beginning to warm to Takayo and caught a whiff of her perfume and a taste of her breath as she glided effortlessly past and dropped gracefully back into her chair with one solid fluidic movement of bliss. She was wearing a rather low cut and somewhat fetching brown cotton sleeveless top that hugged her graceful and slim figure like a second snakelike skin. A knee length black skirt completed the look and Oswain could not help but notice her slender fawn coloured appendages that oozed out from beneath as she leaned back and crossed them rather distractingly.
She looked innocently around the room once more then leaned forward towards Oswain - who found it hard to keep his composure and not be distracted by her smooth blemish free cleavage - and whispered.
“Or it may just be a transparent TV screen that can change its image at will, we’ll just have to wait and see what transpires.”
Oswain toiled with his inner demons and thought the urge to gaze at Takayo’s heavenly body for longer than he needed to and tried to get his thoughts back to the situation at hand.
“Okay so what do we do now then?” Takayo quipped.
He opened his mouth to speak but the hiss of the far door opening once again caused him and Takayo to pause and turn towards the sound.
This time the guard was prevalent once again but surprised them both as he courteously nodded to them and actually entered the room. Pausing just inside the doorway the guard turned back towards the empty corridor and spoke.
“Please Mr Ramero we need you to wait in here, all your questions will be answered soon. Sir, please.”
Takayo and Oswain simultaneously deduced that a third visitor to their small cosy group was imminent as they craned their necks in almost total unison towards the open corridor beyond.
Oswain could hear heavy sighing from beyond the door and figured it would be best if he helped the guard a little.
“Whoever you are out there just come on in. My names Kevin Oswain and with me is Takayo Ishiga. We’ve been here a while and have been treated fairly good so why don’t you come in and talk to us both.” Encouraged Oswain.
The guard acknowledged Oswains help with a cursory nod and sombre unfaltering features.
More sighing was heard outside but with slightly heavier chords than the last as first a shadow, then a tall and slim figure came into view of the doorway.
“Please Mr Ramero we need you to wait in here. I have strict orders and those are for you to wait here. All will be explained to you soon, now please if you will.” The guard re-iterated and indicated towards Oswain and Takayo.
“Please make yourself comfy.” Takayo directed.
A small tentative step at a time the figure entered the room allowing Oswain and Takayo a more identifiable glimpse of their third visitor as he stepped into the light.
He wore a faded pair of dull grey jeans atop a stylish pair of off brown Deck loafers and a strikingly bright orange T-shirt with the words;
Mathematicians work it out with a pencil
Long shoulder length jet black hair bunched together angrily across his forehead and sides in a careless unkempt manner while odd tussles of lengthy tresses fell and swept across his eyes causing him to brush them idly aside.
Oswain always struggled with toilet humour and never saw a need for it in everyday life as he breathed a silent derisory objection at the sight of the caption.
“Thank you Mr Ramero.” Boomed the guard and headed for the open door. Then just before the door closed he turned back towards the room and continued. “Mr Oswain Ms Ishiga thank you also for your patience, someone will be along shortly to explain everything.”
“How about some coffee?” Oswain voiced.
“A little food too, haven’t had my breakfast yet.” Takayo followed.
“I will see what I can do.”
“Why are these walls precisely three feet thick and yet the walls in the corridor are six feet thick? If we’re eleven stories underground then all the walls should be at least ten feet thick to counteract any seismic activity, unforeseen explosions at this depth or constant shifts of erosion of the earth’s crust.”
Oswain deduced that Mr Ramero was maybe late teens to early twenties with a high degree of intelligence and a rather low ratio of social and happiness skills.
The guard kept up his dignified and disciplined air and did not afford Ramero with an answer as he turned and headed out into the corridor as the seamless door silently hissed shut behind him.
Oswain swivelled his chair back towards the table and then rather casually raised both his feet and placed them with a determined degree of brashness onto the heavy glass table top.
“So you’re making yourself comfortable then?” Takayo sniggered.
“Might as well, we might be here for some time.” Oswain returned directing his attention to the newcomer.
“So Kid you’re a mathematical genius then heh?”
“Yeah and how did you know we were eleven stories underground precisely?” Takayo probed.
With head down Ramero meandered silently around to the far side of the table. Suspending his meandering for a moment to take in his surroundings Ramero slumped heavily into a randomly chosen empty chair with the languid sluggishness of a spoilt, unruly teenager.
Takayo and Oswain exchanged cursory glances to one another and then back to Ramero as Oswain spoke once more.
“So we know your surname Ramero but what’s your given name?”
Ramero looked weary and pathetic and all he wanted to do right now was to go home and work on his equations and then maybe go to bed later with a glass of warm milk and his moms cookies.
“Don’t really wanna answer questions okay? And don’t like being called Ramero...My names Paco.” He uttered through gritted teeth.
Oswain deduced the Spanish connection when Ramero entered the room, and now the teenager had offered a first name and it too was of a Spanish origin Oswain was intrigued to probe a little more.
Takayo smiled back at Paco as inwardly he found it hard to communicate with him. She hoped Oswain would do the talking and leaned back further into her chair - crossing her arms beneath her bosom - content for Oswain to probe further.
“So where you from Spain, Mexico? You don’t have an accent though.”
Paco raised his head a little, looked directly at Oswain and brushed aside a lone solitary tuft of hair from his eyes.
“USA, my mom was Spanish my dad American. Why?”
“Just curious that’s all. You say you’re mom was Spanish, she changed nationality or something?”
“She died of cancer two years ago.”
“Sorry to hear th...”
“Two years, four months, 3 days, eleven hours and 21 minutes to be exact.” Paco interjected not really caring or listening to what Oswain was saying.”
Oswain sighed and wished the guard would return or for someone to at least tell them why they were all here.
Paco decided he did not want to talk anymore and bowed his head back down onto his chest and casually started to pick at his fingernails.
“So this is fun.” Takayo mocked then breathed a sigh of relief as the now all too familiar hiss of the door assailed her eardrums and they both turned as one once again. Paco raised his eyes a little but not his head and struggled to see anything of particular significance that would appeal to him through his dark knotted mass.
Both Oswain and Takayo were slightly surprised as the guard did not enter. In his place strolled three individual males each carrying a shadowy air of command and dignified arrogance along with them. Two of the males were tall and heavyset with broad opinionated shoulders. They were dressed in the finest black Armani suits fashioned with a pure Italian azure white shirt and a tie of the finest Florentine silk. The third wore a military uniform adorned with countless medals and pips and carried a huge black folder under his right arm. Oswain knew a grand number of things but military hierarchy was not one of his strong points. Luckily it was one of Takayo’s strong points having had a father who was a Major in the Chinese Imperial Army. Throughout the postings of her father’s career Takayo had picked up a fair deal of expertise in this field as together with her mother they had traversed the country with him.
Takayo recognised the insignia instantly. The outstretched silver wings of the American eagle proudly holding the shield of freedom meant they were all in the presence of a Colonel. Takayo instinctively stands at the sight of the Colonel as a show of respect she is unable to break habit with after a lifetime of looking up to her disciplined father.
“Please be seated.” One of the suits utters.
All three make their way to the right of Oswain and place themselves into the three chairs at the end of the table.
Paco raises his head a little at their arrival - places his right forearm on the table - and then slumps his head back down again into his elbow in a somewhat bored and uninterested manner.
Oswain studies the individuals carefully as Takayo takes her seat.
In the centre of the two suits sits the Colonel with a placid air of dignified sternness. He does not speak but turns to the male at his left - a slender bald headed figure - and nods to him in silent indication to commence the brief.
The bald headed man clears his throat, adjusts his tie and begins.
“My apologies Mr Oswain, Ms Ishiga, Mr Ramero. It was not our intention to keep you waiting this long.”
Bald man was eloquently interrupted mid-speech by the subtle tones of the opening door.
“Ah here is Penton now with coffee and food for you all.” The bald man announced.
Penton - a middle aged chubby blond female - glides into the room in a regaling and softly manner. Oswain glanced towards her and spied the guard in the corridor beyond. She carried a huge tray adorned with coffee and a resplendent assortment of fine pastries and sumptuous bagels with various fillings and accompaniments. Squeezing between Oswain and Takayo she gently placed the tray upon the table then turned and left the room, leaving only the faint sound of the closing door to permeate the surrounding air once again.
“Please help yourselves we have a lot to go through so please eat.” The bald male offered.
Oswain leaned forward and went for the coffee whilst Takayo opted for a Danish pastry.
“A lot to go through you say. Why are we here?” Oswain queried as he poured himself a rich dark roast.
Paco stirs once again - eyes the bagels with a lusting grin – then thought better of it and slumped back further into the comfort of his elbows.
Bald man sidled up closer to the table and placed both elbows upon it.
“I am sorry for keeping you here for longer than we anticipated. We were having trouble locating a fourth person who we need also. However we have now located him, he is mere minutes away and I will explain everything once this fourth and final individual is present. Now please eat away you will need your energy today.”
Takayo edges forward a little and grabs herself another Danish pastry. Oswain looks at her ruefully and wonders how she manages to keep a slender figure with such a veracious sweet tooth.
“You are not hungry?” The bald man directed towards Ramero.
Ramero just shrugged and carried on being at one with his elbows without the slightest hint or tinge of politeness.
“Don’t worry bout him, doesn’t talk much. Good with numbers though.” Oswain mouthed.
A word from the third guy sat to the Colonels right turns everyone’s head towards him. Raising his right hand to his ear he whispers acknowledgments then stands.
“Our final guest is here.” He rumbles.
Unlike bald man he possesses a full head of hair - although a tad grey. He was a good deal older than the young bald man also, but he was a proud, athletic soul who looked and moved far more gracefully than his 63 years would have anyone believe.
Grey haired man gazes towards the seamless door...waiting.
The door opens once again as high voices begin to straggle the air and intrude upon the room.
“What the hell is this place?” A voice booms from the corridor.
“Please Mr Mont they are waiting for you.” The guard once again gently pushes.
With heavy footsteps the figure steps quickly into the room then hastily halts at the sight before him.
“Hi.” He snappily quips to the room.
Takayo and Oswain raise their right hand in silent greeting as Paco grunts once more.
Grey haired man indicates towards an empty chair.
“Please Mr Mont won’t you come and join us we have been waiting for you.”
He is dressed in blue denims and a black cotton shirt. Over his shoulder he carries a draped white Harrington jacket and edges forward apprehensively. Oswain and Takayo offer a smile as he slinks into a free seat next to Takayo. Once seated the bald man turns towards the Colonel who in turns nods back a silent agreement. A brilliant flame red beard - finely trimmed and shampooed - lays beneath the necomers fair speckled face and a pristine orderly mass of fiery red follicles.
Takayo and Oswain extend their hands to the newcomer and offer introductions as the bald man tersely stands
“Please all of you there will be time for introductions after. Now if I may have your full undivided attention all of you.” Bald man commands turning to gaze wearily at Paco. “That goes for you too Mr Ramero do I have your attention? Mr Ramero?”
The words have little effect on Paco but they are enough to cause him to lift his weary head and open his eyes a touch. Bald man sighs inwardly but determines that it would be best to carry on and reaches inside the General’s black folder that lays dormant upon the table and fishes out four wads of thick yet separately identical paperwork.
“Now before I start you are all required to sign this document.”
He deftly slides a wad of papers and a ballpoint pen to each individual in turn then sits.
“What the hell is all this?” Oswain questions breaking the silence.
“I am not signing anything of the sort, just tell us why we are here or we walk out of here.” Mont declares.
Takayo does not say a word but studies the twenty or so sheets diligently, raising her eyebrows slightly as the others speak.
“If you sign the papers then we will tell you why you are here Gentlemen...Ma’am.” It was now the Colonel that spoke causing Oswain and Mont to momentarily freeze and almost lose their footing on the situation for just a brief moment.
“I do not want to sign those and I am going right now.” Mont declares and abruptly stands and heads for the door.
“Mr Mont you do not have the code to the door for one, and I am afraid that you cannot leave until you have signed those documents.” The Colonel spat calmly.
Mont turns back briefly and stands firm. All eyes were now upon him.
“Please Mr Mont you...in fact all of you have seen this facility so you must all sign a non disclosure that is all this is. Also what I am about to tell you the outside world must never ever know of. So, it is imperative that you sign this document...please...” Bald man interjected.
“Come on sit back down, we might as well sign this and hear the man out.” Oswain pushes.
Reluctantly Mont probes his reasoning sanctum and considers a retreat back to his seat is the best option.
Takayo still scrutinising the documents - with an eye as sharp as a Kestrels stalking its prey - lifts her head momentarily as Mont approaches and eases back into his original seat.
“It seems all in order just sign it guys and we can get on with the business of why we’re here.” Takayo announces.
“Thank you Miss Ishiga.” The General and bald man announce in discordant harmony.
The four including Paco - who was given a gentle yet persuasive jab by Takayo - set about signing each of their respective pages in turn. A little over ten minutes later Oswain being the last to sign gathers up his documents, places his pen rather ceremoniously atop them and then sidles back hard into his chair with a slight indignantly triumphant sigh.The bald man stands and gathers each of the documents in turn and then hands them to the Colonel, who in turn inspects each one in a deftly yet thorough manner and then softly feeds them back into his shadowy black folder.
“Thank you.” The bald man offers. “Now may I introduce myself. I am Mason Kemp and I am the civilian head of this facility. The man to my far right is Seamus O’Rigg the Deputy head and security chief of this facility and to my right here is Colonel Myles Charing the military head of this facility.”
Oswain looks a little unsettled and senses the frustration from the group as he purposely clears his throat and seizes the opportunity to interrupt.
“A facility with a Civilian and Military head. Where the hell are we then? What’s this place for?”
Takayo and Mont both voice their approval to Oswains comment. Paco astonishes everyone as he suddenly raises his head, sits bolt upright and manages a faint grunt of approval with arms firmly crossed.
“Let’s move on and all will be explained. Mr Mont you were brought here as you are one of the best if not the best Quantum Theorist on the face of this planet today.”
“Thank you, courteous of you to say so.” Mont agrees.
“And you Miss Ishiga are the head of CERN Geneva and the finest Theoretical Physicist the world has ever known.”
Takayo was never one to be flattered but Mason’s words hit home a little, allowing her lips to falter slightly to one side to form a rather tender but very brief and discreet smirk.
“And Mr Ramero. Only twenty years of age, a brilliant mathematician. Mastered Linear equations at the age of eight, gave credible additional permutations for Beal’s Conjecture, Jacobson’s Conjecture, Manin Conjecture, Fujita Conjecture and the Tate Conjecture at the age of eleven.”
“Jacobson’s I solved but they did not want me to tell.” Paco blabbered - his arms still folded in tight formation.
”He speaks.” Mont whispers as he leans into Oswains ear.
Charing and Seamus never succumbed to their emotive side and sat resolutely stoic as they awaited the continuation of Mason’s speech. Mason stood firm, silently searching for the right answer – then continued.
“If that is so Mr Ramero I promise you I will look into it for you. Now lastly we have you Mr Oswain - the one we are most interested in – a brilliant and innovative particle physicist.”
Oswain shuffles a little in his chair and counters...
“You flatter me Mr Kemp, but I say again why am I...why are we here?”
“As you are all – shall we say – first class geniuse’s, it would not take a genius to work out that this may all have something to do with your required fields in which you work. Particularly your field Miss Ishiga and indeed yours Mr Oswain.”
“So get to the point then.” Takayo interjects, her saint like patience now beginning to crack a tad.
“Mr Oswain you published a groundbreaking theory in July last year did you not?”
At this question Oswain flew back hard into his chair, snapped his head back towards the ceiling and tightly clasped both hands to his now furrowed brow.
“God no please! That was just a theory...Don’t tell me? Please...You...You don’t...” Oswain cried.
“No we do not...Not yet anyway.” Mason returned in anticipation of Oswains question.
“What is this all about? What was the theory?” Mont questioned.
Mason fleetingly ignored Monts questions and glanced towards Takayo.
“Miss Ishiga I belive you wrote a similar theory two years before Mr Oswains - March 1999 – to be exact.”
Takayo looks on curiously and quietly determines where this is heading and it sickens her to realise that her theory was about to be played out.
“Oh my god...Now I get why we’re here.” Takayo mouthed as the realisation and enormity of the moment shook her vilely away from her calm inner self.
“I know what it is. I read them all.” Mouthed Paco.
“What?” Mont pushes.
Oswain released his brow - kicked back further into his chair - then pressed his palms firmly into his thighs causing them to ache and sting. He glanced at Takayo once again, swiftly darting his eyes to the others then announced...
WHAT IS OSWAIN ABOUT TO ANNOUNCE?
JUST WHAT ARE THE 4 INDIVIDUALS BEING ASKED?
AFRAID YOU WILL HAVE TO BUY MY DEBUT NOVEL TO FIND OUT
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All characters contained in these tales are fictitious and any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.