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Reads: 214

The man on the other side of the glass perplexed him. He was shorter in height, had a stocky body type but lean. Disheveled dirty blonde hair covered his face, matching an equally out of control beard.  In all his years working for the government, special agent Reinhart had been witness to many strange events. In his line of work, strange was a relative term. But this time it was different. The man sitting on the other side of the one way glass window was an enigma. He had not spoken since taken into custody. Reinhart stood quietly, gazing intently at the individual. While he knew it was impossible, Reinhart couldn't help but feel as though the man sitting before him was analyzing HIM. He brushed off the ludicrous notion, no one can see through one way windows. He straightened his suit coat, and with a nod to the guard opened the door into the room and walked in. It was a standard set up, stainless steel table, two chairs on opposite ends facing each other. The room was devoid of any defining characteristics, say for the one way window that Reinhart had, until moments ago, been positioned behind. He walked briskly to the unoccupied chair, its brother containing their mysterious guest, along with a shiny pair of government issue handcuffs secured around his wrists. As Reinhart sat, he set the folder he had brought with him on the table, the red markings on the front clearly indicating its confidential nature. The man opposite Reinhart remained unphased. In fact, he showed no acknowledgement of Reinharts’ presence at all. Reinhart spoke.

 

“Since you haven't given me a name to work with, lets go ahead and call you charlie shall we? Anyways charlie, why don't we start with some good old fashioned sharing. I’m Special Agent Reinhart, during your stay with us you can pretty much assume im God. How this situation progresses is entirely up to you. So why don't you take this opportunity to make it easier on yourself and let us know what you know.”

 

The man, “charlie”, did not speak. He did, however, gaze intently at  Reinhart.

 

“ Let me explain  the gravity of your situation charlie, at approximately 0400, US naval forces were doing a routine training exercise. While doing so, their radar cut out, and you and your vessel nearly caused a collision with a arleigh burke class destroyer. If that wasn't bad enough, upon boarding your vessel, which was in restricted waters, you incapacitated several United States Naval personnel. Now, besides committing a hostile act in United States sovereign waters, your vessels sudden undetected appearance is a clear security concern. “

 

“Also”, Reinhart said,” There is the minor problem that your ship can’t be the ship it claims. The USS Cyclops has been MIA for over 100 years, all 306 crewman lost. Now, i don't know what kind of joke this is but i expect some answers.”

 

The last statement had gotten charlies attention.

 

“That's impossible, now cut the charade. I don't have any usable intel you german bastards, If you have some spare U boat schematics I’ll consider your surrender though”.

 

Reinhart paused, momentarily confused. Germans? U-boats? Germany was a current US ally, and U-boats had been defunct for half a century. Studying US history was a pastime Reinhart quite enjoyed. Reinhart ignored charlies statement for the moment and moved on.

 

“How did you acquire the vessel on which you were discovered”

 

“Acquire? What kind of bull shit is this.”

 

Charlie seemed a little more vocal now, Something he said must have ruffled his feathers Reinhart thought.

 

“I ask again, how did you acquire..”

“I didn't ACQUIRE anything, the USS Cyclops was my posting. My ship. As in my duty station. And as a US sailor i'm not going to give you krauts anything.”

 

Reinhart paused. This man was clearly lying. Although for the life of him, Reinhart couldn't detect a trace of deceit. He had to be one hell of a liar he acknowledged. But if he was going to catch him in his lie, perhaps maneuver him into giving away who he really was and what his real intentions were, it might play better if he switched gears and let the man's story run its course.

 

“If what you say is true, then giving me your name wouldn't hurt. Surely that is not classified material,” Reinhart chuckled.

 

“Charlie” scowled. He seemed to work over his options in his mind, finally coming to some unseen conclusion.

“My name is Chris Michaels, Gunner's Mate 3rd class, assigned to the USS Cyclops. “

 

“ There, that wasn't too hard was it? Now we’re getting somewhere”.

 

Suddenly Reinharts phone rang, excusing himself from the room, he answered the call. The news was disturbing to say the least. The shipyard that the faux USS cyclops had been towed too was under lock and key. A secure naval facility. As the call progressed, Reinharts mood morphed from curiosity to disbelief to dread. Almost as soon as the call ended another agent entered carrying what looked like very old tattered papers. Handing them to Reinhart, he glanced down, a trickling sensation of disbelief ran down his spine. Reinhart had been witness to many strange things during his time working for the government. But this. This was different.

As soon as the Cyclops, with Michaels on board, had been secured, the US government had pulled all available files on the ship. Even though it was almost certainly a fake, having all the information is always a good idea. A team of analysts, scientists, and who knows what else had been reading up on and studying this oddity while Reinhart interviewed the single man found aboard. Somewhere, someone managed to find the old tattered crew mannafest and each crewmans individual record. The paper handed to Reinhart complicated the situation, unfortunately, the call previously received before being handed the paper made the situation far far worse. Reinhart walked briskly back into the room with michaels.  

 

“Chris, what i have here is your personnel file. Dated 1911. It would seem that the story you're telling me is true.”

 

“Wow thanks, do i get a prize”

 

“Chris, what year is it”

 

“What year? Youve got to be kidding me. 1919 at least, maybe 1920, i've been out of communication for awhile after…”

 

Michaels stopped abruptly.

 

“After what”

 

“It doesn't matter”

 

“Listen michaels i'm going to  be straight with you. We aren't germans, this isn't 1918,19, or even 20. The year is 2019. The USS Cyclops went missing in 1918, disappeared without a trace. It was counted as the greatest naval loss off life not related to combat. The only reason i'm now inclined to believe you is that i have your face on a 100 year old crew manifest, and i have just received a call telling me that everyone on and around the Cyclops is now dead. Considering the odd things surrounding you and that ships appearance, its history, and the lack of other crewman i'm inclined to believe whatever mutilated those soldiers came here on the Cyclops. If you don't believe me take a look at this”.

 

Reinhart tossed him the smartphone, michaels caught it with astonishing speed. His look of incomprehension made Reinhart laugh despite the graveness of the currently developing situation at the shipyard. Michaels looked stunned.

 

“Look, we aren't the enemy. But i need to know if you have any information on whats on that ship.”

Michaels face hardened.

 

“Them”.

 

“Them? I'm going to need more information than one word. Whatever killed those men did so with prejudice. Im told it was brutal. Containment of this foreign entity is necessary to ensure the safety of the civilians only a few miles away. “

 

“I didn't think there were any left onboard, stealthy bastards. If they are there, it's probably only one. For now.  They're fast, ruthless, and smart as shit.. If it hasn't left the ship yet it was just testing the waters. Looking for me no doubt. “

 


Submitted: March 05, 2019

© Copyright 2022 Chris Micheals. All rights reserved.

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