Haven: Part Two- Achilles Inception/Argo
The following story is a four-part series about an ordinary guy named Jason A. Sileski and
his search for a shelter – a safe place- a haven.
To read part 1, click here
Trains make a lot of noise. The slamming of doors, the wheels on the tracks, even the wind passing by. Something I’ve realized is that people are unusually quiet on trains, but for some reason even their lack of sound is even louder than the rest. Above all this noise, was something that drowned it out. An idea, that had been bouncing around in my head since I woke up this morning, and had been bouncing around every morning, all day long, for years. Jason Sileski will die. Five years ago he ruined my life and now he would pay.
Sometimes I doubt myself and that bothers me. It’s like there is a voice in my head that questions me all the time.
-Where are you going?
To the New York Police Department.
You know why.
-Well why don’t we go over them. Hmm? Get all your thoughts sorted out.
I know why I am here.
-Yeah I know, but lets imagine this is being turned into abook or something. Explain it to the audiece.
Fine. There was a process that a psychologist taught me to recall the past very clearly. What was it again?
He said to breath in the past, and breath out the present. Repeating that should bring me back to when it all started.
I started to take deep breaths. I used to do this quite a bit to recall details. Slowly, it was as if I was traveling back in time.
I looked at the clock above the markerboard that was hanging on the north-side of the room. It was 1:06 with the second hand just reaching the 9. I was sitting on the right side of a long meeting table and a slightly awkward young adult named Andrew was giving a presentation on the latest project.
“So as you can see, this new experimental chip program is the best way to transfer information. Yes, I know, It is a little old fashioned to bring info in a physical copy like this when things such as the cloud exist, but no thief can break into a vault they do not know of.”
He paused when he saw his supervisor’s hand up. “Yes, sir?”
“Though I know how this works…I want everyone else to understand. What do you mean ‘A vault they do not know of’?”
“Well, the chip would be implanted into the arm of what we call a ‘Carrier’ and because of how little metal is used, it could pass through even the best of metal detectors, and if a machine can’t find it, how could a human?” He had rehearsed his lines; I could tell. Andrew doesn’t say very many witty phrases. The leader of my department, a man named Randall Eviks, stood, turned to Andrew’s supervisor, and asked:
“Peter, I’m wondering, who did you have in mind as the first carrier?”
“We were thinking,” said Peter as his eyes turned to me, “You’re best worker, Erik Barcley.” He smiled a smile that would have put a hyena to shame.
“You up for it?” he asked me in front of everyone present.
“Um…” I stammered.
I didn’t turn my eyes from Peter but I knew that Randall’s eyes were burning the side of my head. If I turned I knew his expression would say no.
“Sure,” I said. “When do I go to get the implant?”
“I can have Andrew set it up remotely and have you down in fifteen minutes. I just want to go over a few details in my office.”
I nodded and followed him out of the room, and into his office.
“Please sit.” he said as his sat at his desk. The room was medium-sized and the walls were gray.
“So what are these details you were talking about?”
“Well the plan is to have you get the chip implanted into your arm. After that, all you have to do is get to the headquarters in Washington state. There they have an Extractor who will do just like the name implies, extract the chip from your arm. Then you can come back here and continue as normal.”
“Sounds pretty simple.”
“Good. It should be.” He replied.
I turned my head and saw a painting that stole every bit of happiness that was residing in me at that moment. It showed a man holding a sphere on his back that was much bigger than he was. Though the man was muscular, he was noticeably struggling from the weight pressing from above. He was on one knee like a knight, and his eyes and jaw were tightened from pain as if he had been holding this great mass for a thousand years.
“What?” I asked.
“I said Atlas Telamon.” He said pointing to the painting.
“It means Enduring Atlas. Do you know anything of Greek Mythology?”
“No, fake stories never interested me.”
“Well I don’t believe in them, but lessons can be learned from them.”
“Yeah like what?”
“Many stories carry the theme that choices have consequences, such as this one. The story goes that when there was a grand war between The Olympians and The Titans, Atlas, along with his brother, joined the Titans. When the Titans were defeated, Zeus forced Atlas to hold the earth up in space.”
He paused.” You see Erik, everyone must pay for what they do.”
At that moment Peter’s phone started beeping. He pressed a button and Andrew’s voice played from the speaker on the desk phone.
“Sir, I have to go check another machine, but Mr. Barcley can do the implant process himself. All he needs to do is go to Workroom A and there will be the implantation device in the middle on a table. it looks like a cylindrical tower, and has a blinking red light on it. Tell him he should put his arm through the opening until it presses the button, but be careful not you press it with your hand, it hurts like crazy. It should implant on the top-middle of your forearm.It will sting a little but make sure he leaves his arm there for a bit after the implant is complete. Once complete, the machine will spray a sealant onto his arm to stop the bleeding.”
“Thank you Andrew, you’ve done good work.”
With that he pressed a button and turned to me. “Alright, you heard all the instructions hopefully; I couldn’t repeat them if I tried.”
I smiled and nodded.
“I did hear them. Thank you sir, for this opportunity.”
“No problem son. Now get down there.”
I got up and walked down the hall to the elevator. After the doors opened and I got in and-
This is where it happens right?
Yes it is, now can you be quiet!
Wait so this is when-
Yes now please shut-up.
What? We both know what’s going to happen.
Yes, but they don’t.
This “Audience” you told me to explain this to.
Ah, so now you’re getting the hang of it
Yes now please-
The doors opened, followed by a sudden impact, then I was laying on the floor. I had been slammed into by something…or someone. I sat up and rubbed my back.
“Sorry!” I heard a voice say. I looked to where the voice was and saw a blur of blue running down the hall, with a couple security guards running close behind. What in the world? I got up and dusted myself off. Shaking my head I decided to act like nothing happened. Security would take care of it. I walked to a door labeled -Workroom A-. I must be in the right place. I’d only been in this room once before. It was when it was first remodeled. Originally the two workrooms that were on the ground floor, used to be offices, but then in 2012 I believe, they decided to have all offices besides the grounds-keepers, I think his name is Wendell or Benton or something, on other floors besides the ground floor. The room looked a lot different now. Instead of being empty and clean it was filled and technology and it looked like they let a bull run through the room. A small bull, but a bull none-the-less. The room wasn’t completely wrecked, but there were a few machines and instuments that looked hopelessly broken. I looked towards the center of the room and there was the tower. There didn’t seem to be any blinking light, which was odd, there was the opening. I ran over the instructions Andrew had said and then pushed my arm through the opening. I felt my arm hit the button, and I heard a click. Nothing. Nothing happened. I pressed the on button to the machine and it started up. Probably should have checked that first. I pressed my arm through and still nothing happened. A robotic voice said “We’re sorry, but the Implantation Device has not been granted access to give another chip.” Another chip? A security guard walked into the room and pointed a gun at me.
“Please don’t shoot. My name is Erik Barcley and-.”
“Oh I’m sorry Sir.” The security guard said as he put away his gun.
“Peter Garrison sent me down to get the chip from this machine. What happened to it?” His eyes widened.
“Sir, The man who just ran out stole the chip,”
Detective Brooks walked into the room with two steaming cups of coffee.
“So what happened next?” I took a deep breath. Think of the smell, think of the smell. I smelled pine trees and sap. Ah yes, I was in the forest. The forest was a peaceful place, except for when a storm or security was surging through. The first time I had ever been in this forest, I had decided to camp there. I’m not a very outdoors kinda person, I would much rather have spent my long weekend sitting in a comfortable chair, reading and drinking warm tea, but I wanted to try something new. After I had set up my tent and started to fall asleep, I heard thunder and the wind started to pick up. The wind was so strong, that it ripped my tent up from the ground with me in it. I was tossed and turned every-which way and had to use my knife to cut myself out. Once I had escaped, my tent flew off in the air. I smelt smoke and when I turned there was a quick spread fire that seemed like it was chasing. Even running as fast as I could it seemed that the fiery beast would catch me in it’s burning mouth. Lightning struck a tree to my right and it fell right in front of me. I looked to the left, Jackpot, there was a cave. I ran into it and waited out the storm. This time instead of fire or wind, it was men with guns. It seemed that this was a safe place. After the men passed I got out of the cave. I needed to get to a city. I knew there was a small town nearby where Charlie used to live.
“What was in the town?” asked Brooks.
“There was a gas station, a car repair place, a small general store, and the tiniest motel you’ve ever seen.” I watched the security guards from the edge of the woods. They went into the gas-station and I followed. I stood near the glass outside where there was mulch being sold in buckets instead of in bags. The window was open apparently because someone spilt chemicals on the floor that needed to dry out.
“Have you seen this man?” The security asked.
“Uh,” The man behind the counter was an older man and had to take out his glasses. After a minute of careful scrutiny he said no. Upon hearing that, the guards thanked him and started towards the door. I was still wearing my Uniris uniform and if the guards saw me, they would instantly recognize me and all the running would be for not. I ran to the side of the building and hit it. I held in a yelp of pain as I ripped off the outer jacket that would reveal my identity and then remembered the cut in my hand. I decided to look at it. It had started to bleed again. The cut was about half an inch and I could see a little blue under my skin.
“Sir, can we talk to you?” I knew the guards were talking to me, but I tried to ignore it. “Sir?” I started walking towards the auto-repair. I walked into the garage as they kept calling. There was a wrench sitting on the floor and I instantly knew what I would do. The security were whispering to themselves and then shouted “Jason stop!” That was my cue. I picked up the wrench and threw it at the lock that held the garage door open. The men pulled out their guns and started to shoot. Three shots went straight through the door, all of them missed. Knowing that the guards would figure out some way into the small place I ran out a back door and saw my liberation. It didn’t look like much but it was something. There was a blue truck that seemed to have just gotten repaired. I jumped in the back and heard some voices from inside the mechanic’s office
“Well Bill, your car should be fixed up pretty nice.”
“I thank you Samuel. I’ma be heading out.”
“Alright see ya Bill.”
The man who owned the car, Bill, jumped in and started the engine. As he got out on the street, I was able to see the security men running into the same door I had ,not five minutes ago, walked out of. I took a breath, and it seemed like the first full breath I had taken in the past 5 hours. Brooks could apparently see the exhaustion I had.
“We can take a break if you would like.”
“That might be good. What comes next is pretty bad.”
“Alright. Its getting late. Linda should show you to a room. It’s not big but it’s a place to lay your head.”
“Thanks.” At that moment the self-same Linda walked in.
“I’m here to bring you to your room.” I nodded and got up. I turned to the sympathetic from earlier and mentally waved good-bye. We walked down a few hallways. Though I didn’t need to yet, I continued recalling the past. I fell to the ground.
I could smell old wood and fire.
Hear shouts and crying.
“Please I need some people here fast!”
See men in black suits.
“Just hold on Jason. We are bringing you to the hospital.”
And feel my hand pressing on my stomach.
“I’m here Bucko.” Another voice whispered.
Trying to stop the blood.
Then everything went black.