A note from me: Yes, there is more Foreigner! Nothing in the way this story is structured was planned ahead of time, so I am still figuring out how to present it. It would have been better to initially present the first 7 chapters as “Part 1” or a prologue. But it’s not like an optional prologue. Are prologues usually optional? Anyway, thank you for continuing this journey with me. Unfortunately the story has still been copied and pasted in too many various text editors, so off to code I go 🙂 Enjoy!
WARNING This chapter contains obscenity, and is not work or child safe.
“Benjamin Taggart, a local fisherman in the small city of Pittenweem, Scotland, has become a household name for many over the last few days. But we just received this footage showing that Mr. Taggart was last seen running madly along the beach, holding a bundle believed to be the alleged creature which he was supposed to reveal to the public…”
“OK, today for our Weird News, we go to a crazy video posted this morning, which has gained over 3,000 views on Youtube. Apparently this man is supposed to have discovered some kind of creature, I don’t know have you heard about this, Ted?”
The other man laughs. “Ah, I saw a little blip about it somewhere. It didn’t really catch on, but some people think he found an alien–”
“From outer space?” The first man interrupts incredulously.
“From outer space!” His co-anchor confirms, and continues, “–Discovered… ah… washed up on the beach by this man in Scotland.”
“Well, that is hilarious, but even more hilarious is the fact that he apparently went mad and was caught on film running across the beach holding… something. Looks like some rolled up clothing or a blanket or something. And the last thing you see is him running out into the water.”
“You know, Ted, anyone with any sense knew this whole thing was a hoax. And this just proves it. It’s just another kid trapped in a flying saucer: It’s people trying to get attention on the internet. I feel bad for all those X Files buffs who –” The man starts laughing again, “–will be sorely disappointed!” They both laugh together and the television clicks off.
The man holding the remote continues to stare at the television. He is short and stalky, though well-built, with a square forehead and square jaw. Usually pristine, his short dark hair looks ruffled and his tie is sloppily tucked into a white button-up shirt covered in wrinkles and creases. His lop-sided shiny metal nametag reads “W. Blake.”
The other man in the office sits in a rolling chair, leaned forward with his head in his hands, looking similarly tired and distraught. His light-colored ginger hair is sprawled atop a comically long face. He looks up, not making eye contact with the shorter man or the television, but stares off into space. His almond- shaped green eyes are bloodshot and accentuated with dark circles. His name tag reads “I. Martin.”
“Shit,” The first man says, finally lowering his arm, tossing the remote into a mess of papers.
They both sit in silence for several minutes. The office, usually decently chic and neatly arranged, is currently covered in disarray. Papers cover the two desks and many have migrated to the floor. Some lay intact, while others have been stamped with shoe prints or rolled up under the wheel of one of their erganomical wire-mesh computer chairs.
“This could be a lot worse,” Martin offers, obviously trying to ease his partner’s rage.
“We can’t tell anyone,” Blake says, “No matter what happens, we absolutely can’t tell anyone.” There is a note of panic in his voice.
“Wulfric, relax. No one believes this guy,” The red haired man replies tiredly.
“No!” The other man yells, banging his fist on the desk, “I will not relax! There is no solution! This is a catastrophe! Best case scenario: We are out of a job!”
Martin looks at him darkly.
“Panicking is not going to help. Come on… sit down.” He turns in his chair and reaches for the mini-fridge, popping the door open, “Have a beer.”
Hours later, as the setting sun casts a blazing yellow sheath of light across the office, the two of them are kicking back a couple beers. Martin has his feet propped up on his desk.
They try to keep conversation casual and off-topic, but that only lasts for so long.
“Seriously, pretty soon this will all just disappear, man, and nothing will come of it,” Martin says, as Blake starts exclaiming expletives and becoming pessimistic again.
Somehow this upsets Blake rather than calming him.
“What about the reports, MAN. What about the God-Damned research grants!”
“It flopped,” his partner says, with a dramatic shrug, “It’s gone. It didn’t work. Big deal.”
Blake huffs loudly and, after a moment, calms down. His wide gray eyes look at the floor, wild anger replaced with despair. His expression is unfitting on such a masculine face, such an otherwise professional appearance.
“Ok,” he say, “Let’s go home.” As they leave, his hand lingers on the desk for a moment, brushing over a report sitting serenly among the chaos. Under the transparent cover, the front page is broadly titled “A New Brain: A New World.”