Chapter 1: Unnatural Night
The night was still, a little too still to be comfortable and beautiful. It had an eeriness that screamed foreboding, but only those who wanted to believe and who had seen the unthinkable would see this night as such. No sounds filled the night. No clouds passed over the bright moon, and yet to anyone else it would have been a beautifully, peaceful night. The stars were like thousands of childlike eyes, twinkling down from a black velvet sky. Even the small subtleties of nature seemed to be absent, making the night unfamiliar and out of this world.
Abigail Ventallo sat in her car, in the dark, staring at the sky and wondering when the rest of the world would see what she could see, or imagine what she had imagined. She was a quiet young woman but she worked very hard, feeling that she had more to prove than most. She believed she knew how to make her own way in a man's world but there were aspects of her own life that were unbelievable to most. She needed to prove to herself that there was a reason to believe and that reason had been around for hundreds of years.
On the seat beside her was a stack of file folders, photographs, news paper clipping, journal articles and loose sheets of paper, some with drawings on them, some with writing on them and many of them stained with coffee and other unknown substances. Her camera rested on the top of the seemingly miss matched stack. It was like a world of questions rode in her passenger seat. Everything that she believed defined her was in that pile, and yet she paid it little attention at that moment. It wasn't what she was looking for, but it was what she was sure she had already found.
The silent stillness was more intriguing at this particular moment in her life. The high stress, high impact of her career forced her as far away from the lights and the sounds of the city as she could get. How much death and blood could one young soul take? The day had been particularly hard on her. She had watched as weeks of surveillance crumbled to the impatience of her superiors and as such she watched, tears rolling down her cheeks, as the innocent were killed and the children cried. Now she saw the promise that those eyes once had held in the stars high above her.
A tap on the window startled her out of her trance like state. In mere moments her world of questions was dashed onto the floor and a man took the seat beside her.
"Abby, do you ever actually go home?" he asked as the silence in the car grew between them, "I somehow knew I would find you out here."
"I didn't even see you pull up," Abby said distractedly.
"I'm not surprised," He said with a sarcastic laugh, "you only see what you are looking for and the rest of the world passes you by."
"And you notice everything," Abby stated.
"I have to, or I would never find you among the mysteries and secret hiding places you have established for yourself," he said with a tone of discontent.
"You checked my office first, I assume Will, before you came all the way out here," she stated.
"Well yeah, you never seem to leave there either," he said, "you'll always be in one of two places. The office or this field, never anywhere else; unless you are at home, and then something is really wrong," he added. "You have always been really good at leaving your breadcrumb trail."
"I have my office and my car and the wide open spaces I long for. Why would I want to be at home?" she asked. "And if I really didn't want to be found, I have ways of disappearing."
"Oh don't I know it," Will sighed. "Why, for once, can't you just be like everyone else? Go home, take a bath, read a book or watch a romcom. Why can't you just look for comfort and security?" he asked with a laugh, "or at least some down time and rest, you look like crap!"
"That is what I have worked for," she said seriously. "And if I look like crap, then I won't get looked at by the perverts and sexually frustrated chauvinist pigs that fill my department."
"Work is your comfort and your rest? I find that hard to believe," he said, "after what happened today, I don't think you will be finding much comfort in being at work. You were so pissed."
"You're right," she said with a sigh, "I had to get away. I couldn't stay in the city after that."
"I understand. Maybe you should take some time off and get away for a while," he said as he tried to look at her through the darkness.
"I can't," she said with a sigh, "my work is never done."
"Who are you, superman?" he asked and rolled his eyes. The silence fell between them again.
"What have you come up with?" she asked after a long time of staring blankly out the window.
"I really don't know what you want me to find," he answered, "so I don't think I have found anything."
"Well you would have had to have found something or you wouldn't have had any reason to come out here," she said.
"Maybe I was worried about you. Maybe we have worked together long enough now that I have started to care about you," he said, and then added, "There is a solid case against him," he said handing her a folder, "but there are a few loop holes you could try and exploit."
"Alright, and what are they?" she asked.
"Absolute and irrefutable prove," he answered.
"Oh," she said.
"I don't think you really understand just how impossible this seems," he said as he grabbed her arm, "you have to prove everything that he lost his job and reputation over were relevant. Everything the government and military has covered up to get him under control. Do you understand what I am telling you? You have to step into his shoes and the consequence of that will be that they will silence you too, if you get too close."
"But you believe that the truth is out there and that I can prove it, right?" she asked as she shifted in her seat.
"I can't say that a lot of what is in those files isn't proof enough, but it wasn't enough then and it won't be enough now. At least not to stand up in a military court," he said.
Once again a long silence fell between them. Finally Abigail opened her door and stepped out into the still blackness of the night.
"Where are you going?" Will asked.
"For a walk," she answered with a sigh.
"Abigail, I know you don't want to hear this but you have to let this go. You need to find a life and make it for yourself. Stop. Just stop searching for little green men," he said as he rushed after her.
"Will, look, I have a life and I don't want you to feel like I am bringing you down with me. You can walk away any time you want. I just can't give up when I know I am so close," she said.
"You just feel like you have something to prove and no one else matters," he said angrily.
"Maybe I do," she yelled into the silent night.
Suddenly the ground began to shake and the sky lit up in a burning flash.
"What is going on?" Will yelled and drew his own weapon, aiming it at nothing and everything around him.
"This is the proof I am looking for!" Abigail yelled over the thundering wind that rushed all around them.