Light of the Mind
Disclaimer: - The First Wave Title and Characters are the copyright of First Wave Productions in association with Pearson TV. The characters of Cade Foster, Crazy Eddie, Joshua, Hannah and the Gua are the property of Chris Brancato, Larry Sugar and Francis Ford Coppola. Everything else belongs to me! AMcS (April 2000)
Elizabeth Baker got out of her car. Her cellphone started to ring. She answered it. All she could hear on the other end was static and then a voice. "You will die". Liz immediately hung up the phone. As an investigative journalist she was used to getting phone calls like that. It still unnerved her though. As she walked up her apartment building she got the strange feeling that someone was watching her. She turned around but could see no one. When she got to the door of her apartment she saw that it was open. She ran in and found that her apartment had been ransacked. She called the police but they discovered that nothing had been taken.
Quatrain 23, Century 5
"The Maiden of Fair Beauty seeks to reason, the planners corrupt of the high authority, before the light of the mind turns to dark."
A Previous Quatrain had referred to Elizabeth Baker as The Fair Maiden. Eddie and I believed that this quatrain meant that Liz might be in danger. I hadn't heard from Liz since she moved to Idaho to start a new job. I helped her investigate her father's death. We became close. It was the first time I had felt like that since Hannah died. If 1 couldn't prevent what had happened to Hannah maybe I could prevent something happening to Liz and somehow make a life together when this was over. Live a normal life. How could I think about living a normal life now? I have been on the run for over a year now from the authorities and the aliens. I decided to email Liz. Told her we were just passing through.
Elizabeth Baker moved to Rellando, Idaho to take up a new position and maybe start her life over. After all that happened in the past year she felt she needed to get away. She sat at her desk and looked at the file she had just printed out. Liz was working on a story with the Rellando Herald in Idaho that would blow the lid off the Planning Commission in City Hall. She discovered that the local politicians were taking cash from businessmen to have land rezoned. This file would have to be put under lock and key. If anyone connected to this saw it before it was published there would be hell to pay. She put it in her brief case and locked it. She accessed her e-mail and heard the familiar ping which told her she had new mail. She smiled when she saw who it was from.
Just passing through your neck of the woods. Drop by. Just follow the bad cooking smell….!
Cade and Eddie"
She had not heard from Cade Foster since she moved out here. She knew he was still on the run as she regularly read his journals in The Paranoid Times on the Internet.
She posted a reply
It's good to hear from you. If it is a hot meal you are after come by any time after 7. I live 4500 Wellington Avenue. Apartment 3.
There was a knock on her office door. Her boss, Catherine Denny came in.
"Liz, I just wanted to remind that the story you were working on, the corruption one, needs to be filed downtown before the end of the week"
"I have it printed out, it is on a disc and there is a backup. The print out is in my briefcase. I was going to look over it tonight before I filed it on Thursday."
"Well just remember that it is a very confidential document. Nobody else must see it until it is published"
"I will" she said. She wondered about this story and if the aliens were behind it. Maybe she should talk to Cade and Eddie about it. She picked up her briefcase, turned off her computer and locked her office door.
As she drove through town she looked through her rearview mirror and saw the same black sedan that seemed to be following her over the last month. It made her uneasy along with the other strange things that were happening. Her apartment had been broken into and she was getting strange phone calls. "I am getting as bad as Eddie, I am just imagining it all!" she thought to herself as she turned a corner and the other car went straight ahead.
As she was taking her casserole out of the oven the doorbell rang bang on seven. She opened and saw Eddie and Cade standing there.
"Hey, you guys." She let them in. "I see you shaved for the occasion" she said to Eddie giving him a hug as he gave her a bottle of wine.
She and Cade looked at each other. He smiled "You look great".
"So do you. In need of a hair cut". She smiled ruffling his hair.
He took her in his arms and hugged her. Cade felt all the familiar feelings flooding back as he did.
"Well let me show you around" She said taking them through all the rooms.
"So how is work?" Cade asked looking at a crystal ornament over the fireplace. He picked it up and read the inscription.
It read "Awarded to Elizabeth J Baker for Achievement and Excellence in Journalism".
"It's going really well," she said. "I just finished a very big story today, 6 weeks of investigation. I have to file it downtown on Thursday. It will blow the lid off the Planning Commission in City Hall". Cade and Eddie looked at each other.
"Sounds interesting" Eddie said.
"Yeah, it occurred to me though that there may be some other agenda"
"What do you mean?" asked Cade.
"Well I have a feeling there may be some Gua connections to it."
"Well the aliens have reached the higher levels of power, so it may" Cade said.
"That's what I thought," Liz said. "Will you take a look at it and tell me what you think?" She asked the two men.
"Sure" Eddie said. "I always love a good conspiracy!". Cade and Liz looked at each other and laughed.
She opened her briefcase and handed the file to him.
Suddenly her cellphone rang. She picked it up and walked out into the kitchen. "Number withheld" came up on the screen.
"Hello" she answered. There was silence on the other end.
"Who is this?" she whispered frantically. There was a click on the line. Whoever called her had hung up.
She walked back into the room and went towards the window and pulled the drapes.
"Is everything ok" asked Cade.
"Yeah, do you want a drink?" she said.
Liz went into the office two days later. Cade and Eddie were of the opinion that the Gua may have something to do with the story. She was glad that she told them about the investigation. She went to her office and unlocked the door. When she opened the door she stood still in shock. The office had been ransacked. Her filing cabinets were open and papers strewn over the floor. She ran to her desk and turned on her computer. All the files and emails related to the story she was working on were gone. She took out her discs and discovered that the disc with the story in it was gone. She couldn't believe this had happened. She ran out of the office and went to Catherine's office.
"Catherine, somebody broke in to my office and stole everything related to the case" she exclaimed.
"What?" Catherine ran out of her office to Liz's. "Are all the files gone?"
"Yeah, the backups, the originals, the discs, the emails. Everything".
"Did you have any copies at all" She asked
"I had one but I shredded it after I reorganised it. We should call the police" Liz said.
"That is not a good idea" Catherine said.
"What!" exclaimed Liz
"Liz, would you mind waiting in your office. I will have to discuss this with Andy before we decide on anything" Catherine replied.
Liz watched through her window as Catherine and Andy, who was the paper's managing director, talked in Catherine's office. Catherine called her into her office.
"Liz, we are very concerned about what happened. What has happened is a major breach of contract and the only thing we can do is to terminate the contract you have with us."
"What? You are firing me" Liz exclaimed.
"I'm afraid so" Catherine said. "You have an hour to vacate your office. Joe will see to it that don't take anything belonging to the paper."
"You can't do this"
"I am your boss, you have broken your contract, lost very important documents, need I go on? Now remove your belongings and go"
Liz couldn't believe what had just happened. She moved mechanically as she packed her personal belongings up.
She drove to where Eddie's trailer was. Cade and Eddie were sitting on deck chairs outside the trailer reading some emails that they had received.
"Well don't some people have the life" she said as she got out of her car.
"Hey, how is it going. Did you meet the deadline?" Cade asked.
"No. I got fired instead"
"What!" exclaimed the two men.
"Somebody broke into my office and stole everything related to the case. Catherine fired me because of it" she said.
"You are not serious" Cade said.
"I am very serious. All the documents, files, discs, emails, everything is gone" she said
"What about the files on the hard drive" Eddie asked.
"Gone, it is like they never existed. Whoever did this knew what they were looking for and where to find it. This is the last thing I need…. on top of everything else as well"
"What do you mean?" Cade asked.
Liz looked at the two men.
"Other things have happened since I moved here" she said sitting down.
"What do you mean?" asked Cade
"Ever since I moved out here strange things have been happening. It is like someone has a vendetta against me"
"What kind of things" asked Eddie.
"Well my apartment was broken into, although nothing was taken, the place was ransacked. I know I am being followed. Sometimes when I am out walking, other times in my car. I got speeding tickets even though I wasn't driving that day. Obscene and silent phone calls at home, in the office, on my cell phone."
"Why didn't you say something before?" Cade asked.
"Because I thought it was connected to the case and hoped it would settle down once I finished it" she replied.
"It may be a lot more than you think" Eddie said.
"What do you mean?" asked Liz
"We came across a quatrain that refers to you" Cade started to explain. "It goes "The Maiden of Fair Beauty seeks to reason, the planners corrupt of high authority, before the light of the mind turns to dark". A previous Quatrain referred to the Fair Maiden which is you. As you are an investigative journalist you seek to reason or find answers …."
" "Before the light of the mind turns to dark". What does that mean?"
"We are not quite sure yet, but going by what has happened to you it could mean that a psychological unbalance. Someone, probably the Gua, knows you are Max Baker's daughter, and wants your father's files". Cade said. "The aliens have a knack for playing with people's minds. It makes sense then, the aliens want that information. You are not safe here."
"What do I do now?" she asked.
"Stay here with Eddie. I am going to investigate this a little further" Cade said.
"No I am going home. I have stuff to do" Liz said walking towards her car.
"Liz it is too dangerous. Stay here with Eddie" Cade said running after her and grabbing her arm.
"NO." Liz turned to face Cade and he saw that she wasn't going to give in.
"Ok, I'll drive you home. But lock the doors when you get in" he said softly.
"I will try to access your computer at the office and see what I come up with" Eddie said.
Cade drove Liz home. They spoke very little. As they walked up to the Apartment building Cade kept a watchful eye out for anyone hiding in the bushes.
"Just keep the doors locked when you go in" he said.
"Cade…" Liz started to say.
"Thanks" she said.
Cade looked at her and smiled. He stroked her cheek and kissed her lightly on the lips.
"I'll call you later" he said and walked down the pathway.
Liz opened the door and went in. She picked up her laptop and went into her bedroom and began to adjust her resume so she could send it to some newspapers.
Cade put his thief skills into use again as he broke into the newspaper's office. He went to Liz's office. He came across nothing. He then went to Catherine's office and looked through everything. He did not find anything there either.
Liz went into her bathroom and began to brush her hair. She suddenly heard a noise which sounded like something falling over.
"Cade, is that you" She called going out onto the staircase. Someone grabbed her and put a cloth over her nose and her mouth. She tried to struggle but the fumes overcame her and she blacked out.
Liz woke up the following morning. She had a terrible headache. As she opened her eyes she looked around. She was on a bed in a small white room. There was nothing else in the room apart from a door and a window.
"What the hell…" she exclaimed. She got off the bed and walked over to the door. It was locked.
"LET ME OUT OF HERE!" she screamed as she pounded on the door.
Outside the room Catherine Denny watched as Liz grew more and more panicked in the small room. She turned to the man behind her.
"I will give her another half hour and then I will go into her. She has valuable information related to her father's work and to the whereabouts of Subject 117. We need to get that information"
Liz gave up banging on the door. There was nothing she could do. She went back over to the bed and sat on it, hugging her knees to her chest.
Suddenly the door opened. She looked up to see Catherine standing there.
"Catherine, what is going on" she asked.
"I believe you have information related to your father's work. I want it. I also know you are in contact with Cade Foster. I want to know where he is"
Liz looked at the woman standing in front of her. She realized Catherine was an alien.
"I don't know what you are talking about" she said.
"Dear, don't play games with me. We know that you are, should I say, friendly with Foster. Here's the proof." Catherine said throwing a bundle of photos on the bed.
Lyndsay looked at them. They were photos of her and Cade. At the bank in Fincheley. In her car. There was one of the two of them kissing.
"You have an hour to tell me" Catherine said and turned around and went out the door.
Liz could not believe this was happening to her. She tried banging on the door again but to no avail. She sat down on the bed and wondered what to do next.
Cade and Eddie were in the trailer. Eddie could find nothing from Liz's computer. Cade tried calling Liz but he could only get the answering machine.
"There is something wrong, Eddie. She is not picking up" Cade said anxiously.
"Maybe she is gone out" Eddie said.
"Maybe, I am going by her apartment anyway" Cade said. "I will call you if anything is up"
"I am going down to city hall to see if I can find anything about this case she was working on" Eddie said.
Cade arrived at Liz's apartment. He knocked on the door.
"Can I help you?"
Cade turned around and saw a woman in her 40's behind him.
"I was looking for Liz. I am a friend of hers" he replied.
"She took off early this morning" the woman replied.
"Did she say where?" asked Cade.
"No" replied the woman.
Catherine came into the room again. Liz saw the man standing behind her. It was Joshua. He had formed an uneasy alliance with Cade. Maybe he would help her.
"Well" asked Catherine.
"Are you going to give me the information" Catherine asked.
"No" replied Liz.
"You are very foolish. First of all I am going to show you what happens to people who refuse to cooperate and then I am going to do the same to you" Catherine said. She and Joshua turned to go out of the room.
"I am not afraid of you" Lyndsay said.
Joshua came back into the room. "I would advise you to give her the information, Ms Baker. Catherine has a formidable talent when it comes to getting what she wants".
"Joshua, I know you have helped Cade in the past. You know as well as I do that he is very resourceful. You have to help me." Liz whispered frantically to Joshua.
Joshua looked at her and walked out of the room. A few minutes later he came back in with a cordless telephone.
"Do what you have to do" he said and left the room.
She dialled Eddie's trailer. The answering system was on. Great, she though, the one day I really need to talk to him and he is gone out.
She spoke into the phone.
"Hi. It is Elizabeth. I'm gone away for a few days, I need to unwind a little bit. Can you keep an eye on the cat for me. She will want to be fed and make sure that black tom is not hanging around. Bye". I hope they get the message she thought as Joshua came back into the room and took the phone away.
"Catherine wants to show you something" he said. He took her arm and led her out the door. He brought her into another room. There were 4 seats in the room facing a window. Catherine was sitting in one chair. Beyond the window was another small room. In the middle of the room was a steel chair with wires hanging out of it. A control box with a lever was placed on the back wall.
"Elizabeth I want to show you what happens when people don't cooperate with me" Catherine said. She pressed a button beside the chair. A door opened in the other small room. A man was led in wearing cuffs by two guards. The man was covered in bruises and had numerous wounds. He struggled as the guards strapped him to the chair. Liz recognised him as one of the reporters on the paper. The guards put what looked like electrodes on his temples and left the room.
"What you are about to see is what happens when electricity is forced into someone's brain through the temples. It can be done at very low levels or very high levels. It is a way of getting information. The pain is so intense that the prisoner is almost glad to reveal the information. Other times the prisoner refuses to give in and well the electricity literally fries the brain. Mental institutions call this electric shock treatment" Catherine said.
"This is barbaric" cried Liz.
"Yes but effective. This man will be receiving the full dosage today. Now sit back and watch the show" Catherine said. She pressed the button beside her chair. A man dressed in black walked into the room.
Catherine tapped on the window. The man took the lever in one hand and pulled it down. Liz looked on in horror as the man screamed as the electricity raced towards his brain. Smoke started to come out of the electrodes. Liz felt sick as she could smell the burning flesh. She got up and ran towards the door but finding it locked she turned and vomited into the corner.
"Yes well that is what happens. You will be receiving the same treatment in less than 3 hours time if you don't give me that information. If you do your life will be spared". Catherine said.
"NO, YOU BITCH, YOU CAN'T DO THIS TO ME" Liz screamed as she was taken back to her room by the two guards.
Cade and Eddie came back to the trailer at the same time.
"Did you find anything? Cade asked Eddie.
"No, What about you?
"Liz wasn't there. I spoke to one of the neighbours who said that she took off early this morning"
"Where?" asked Eddie.
"She didn't know" replied Cade.
They both saw the light flashing on the answering machine.
They listened to it. Cade looked puzzled when it finished.
"That's odd, Liz doesn't have a cat. She is allergic to them" he finally said. "play it again". Eddie played it again.
"I am going to analyze the message" Eddie said. He started to hook up the system to the computer.
" People have little idiosyncrasies when they speak. They emphasize some words and not others. The computer should pick up the sound waves from the tape so we will see if there is anything that we have missed from the tape. As he played the tape the computer showed Liz's voice in the form of lines. Eddie watched it carefully. He played the tape again.
"Foster, look here, do you see how the line moves up here, here and here" Eddie pointed to the screen. "Those words should not be emphasized at all. Looks like Liz is trying to tell us something." He played the tape again. "Do you hear that. The G is emphasised here, the U here and the A here. Spells out GUA. The aliens have her, Foster."
"Oh Man. The cat she referred to is her boss Catherine Denny. She is one of the aliens. She must be looking for the information" Cade said looking very worried.
"The black tom must be Joshua. He must be there as well." Eddie said.
"Is there any way you can trace the call" Cade asked.
"Already done, my friend" Eddie said giving the printout of the address to Cade who sprinted out of the trailer without saying a word to Eddie. Eddie turned around to the computer screen and started a background check on Catherine.
Liz could not get the picture of the man out of her mind. "Maybe I should give her the information." She thought to herself. "No, I will not give in to them. Cade and Eddie will probably have the message by now and work it out. But if they don't…" Liz didn't want to think about it.
Cade went to the address on the computer printout. It was an old warehouse building with a big fence around it. He went around the back and scaled the fence. He walked around the building and found a small window near to the ground. He took out his cell phone and called Eddie.
"Eddie. It's Foster. I am at the address. It is an old warehouse. Can you find out what it was used for? He asked.
"Apparently it is owned by city hall. There is no other information. I also did a background check on Catherine Denny"
"What did you find" asked Cade.
"Well it only went back as far as 1992. Before that nothing but she is clean as a whistle."
"It figures" Cade said and hung up.
Cade broke the small window and climbed through it. He turned on his flashlight. There was a very bad smell. Like that of burned flesh. He covered his nose. He was in a small corridor with a door at the end. He opened the door slowly. It was another hallway. He heard voices and shut the door again. When the people passed he opened the door again and went out. He walked down the corridor and passed a few doors. He tried some of them but found they were locked. The door at the very end was open though. He could hear Liz.
"I don't know anything" he could hear her say.
"Well you will get the punishment." He heard another voice say. He looked through the door and saw Liz being led to another room by two guards. He could hear her crying. He followed them. He could not believe what he was seeing. Liz was strapped to a chair and had small white electrodes attached to her temples. She was crying loudly. He could see the woman in the room opposite tapping on the window. He could hear the lever being pushed out and Liz crying out in pain. Cade looked around and saw a block of wood on the floor. He picked it up, and threw it at the man at the lever. It knocked him out. Cade then took out his gun and shot the alien and he dissolved. Cade ran into the room and turned the key to stop the shocks being delivered to Liz.
Catherine ran into the room when she saw what was happening. Cade unstrapped Liz from the chair and helped her down. They both stopped when they saw Catherine with a gun.
"Well Cade Foster. You are just the man I am looking for"
"Sorry lady. I am not interested".
He knocked the gun to the floor and pushed Catherine away. Catherine recovered, pushed Cade onto the floor. He fell and hit his head off the side of the chair. Catherine grabbed Liz and started to strangle her. Liz started to choke. Cade grabbed the gun and shot Catherine in the leg. Liz pushed Catherine away and she fell onto the electric chair. Liz collapsed onto the floor beside the control box. Cade reached out and put one of the white pads on Catherine's temple. He looked over at Liz who seemed disorientated.
"PULL THE LEVER" he shouted at her. Liz looked up and reached for the lever and pulled it down to maximum strength. Electricity charged through the wires and hit Catherine full force in the brain. Catherine started to convulse and then dissolved.
Cade went over to Liz and took her in his arms as she shook uncontrollably.
"Lets get out of here" he said.
Cade and Eddie helped Liz move her stuff out of the apartment. She was starting a new job in Ohio.
Eddie put the last box in the trunk of the car.
"Thanks Eddie, you are a good man" she said giving him a hug.
He kissed her cheek and walked towards his car. Cade came out of the apartment.
Liz looked at him and smiled.
"I'll call you when I get to Ohio" she said.
"Take care" he said. They looked at each other. Cade pushed a lock of hair under the hat she wore to hide the bruises from the electrodes and kissed her cheek.
"I'll be in touch" he said.
"Bye" Liz replied.
Liz got into her car and started on the long drive to Ohio.
Cade's Journal entry
"Liz took a job with the Ohio Chronicle in Cincinnati. She said she was tired of freelance work. She also agreed to play a more active part in helping us to expose the alien conspiracy. After I investigate the experiments and post the journals she will do a follow up article. Although it has already been established newspaper editors refuse to allow their newspapers to reach the level of supermarket tabloids she would do it in a way that would direct the readers to The Paranoid Times and the journals. This seems to be the best way to wake people up to the impending battles that lie ahead."
Cade watched as he watched the woman that he cared deeply about drive away. He turned and got into the car beside Eddie. They went in the opposite direction to continue the quest of the "Twice Blessed Man".