"Moon Reyes" (below) is a sequel to X-Seven. "Moon Reyes" is still under construction. Feel free to join in.
September 11, 2001 Edit
Gary Seven passes through the security check point for United Airlines at Newark International Airport. He walks a short distance past the check point, stops, and turns around. He leans against the wall and pretends to read the flight information on his ticket for Flight 93 to San Francisco, but he is watching other passengers go through the metal detector and he can see the video monitor for the x-ray screen of carry-on luggage.
Two men passing through the check point are flagged by the supervisor, who takes them to the side of the check point. As the security supervisor waves a metal detector over them he asks, “Gentlemen, what is your destination?”
One of the passengers, Ziad Jarrah, replies, “San Francisco.”
The supervisor can see that Jarrah is sweating. He asks, “Do you have a passport? Where were you born?”
Jarrah hands the security officer his new passport, the one without travel stamps for places like Afghanistan in the Mideast. The check point supervisor thumbs through the passport then hands it back. “Have a nice trip, Mr. Jarrah.”
Gary follows Jarrah and the other hijacker to the waiting area near the gate for Flight 93. Gary takes up a position where he can watch Jarrah and scan for additional hijackers. He sees a ticket agent speak into a microphone, “Due to heavy flight traffic, United Flight 93 will board after our planned departure time. Make yourselves comfortable here in the lounge for another half hour. Arrival time in San Francisco will still be close to the scheduled time. United Flight 93 will board late, starting in about one half hour.”
Gary suddenly realizes that Rupert is standing beside him. Gary turns to Rupert, tries not to sound perturbed, and says, “Hello, Rupert.”
Rupert nods. “Hello, Gary. You might as well cash in your ticket, you are not catching this flight.”
Gary wonders just how much Rupert knows. “I’m holding a ticket for a friend, I have no intention of flying today.”
Rupert says, “Wise choice. This is not a good day to fly in a plane.” He adds with a sneer, “But any day would be a good day for you to fly home.”
Gary decides he might as well try to find out what Rupert knows, since it is probably more than Gary knows. “So what is going on today? I’m working in the dark.”
Rupert says, “You know enough to interfere, as usual. My brothers have already intercepted Roberta in Boston and Isis in Washington. Your role in this day is over.”
Gary complains, “You are a real cold fish, Rupert. How can you allow innocent people to suffer for your misguided fanaticism?”
Rupert shrugs, “I take no joy in the suffering, but you know the rules.”
Gary is very bitter. “I know your rules; they are wrong.”
Rupert chuckles, “You’ve had a good run, Gary. Why not retire? One of these days I’ll put you out of business. Why not bow out while you are ahead?”
“It’s a chance I have to take.” Gary notices Jarrah make eye contact across the lounge area with two other passengers. “For now you have System Authority on your side, but how much longer can you hide on the Moon? The age of Observation is ending.”
Rupert follows the line of Gary’s sight. “Observation never ends. When the Moon base is closed, we will have new means of carrying out Observations.”
Gary knows that one of these new methods will be increased reliance on robotic devices and less use of human Observers on Earth. Just as Gary thinks about robots, he sees the robot he has been waiting for. The robot is wearing an airport maintenance uniform. Knowing that Rupert is watching him closely, Gary does not look directly at the robot. Out of the corner of his eye, Gary sees the robot enter the Men’s room. He has no need to look or even speak the robot; they have been in frequent radio contact for the past three days, ever since Gary first learned that this would be the day of four hijackings by Al-Qaeda. Gary asks, “How did you know to look for me here?”
Rupert grins, “Lucky guess. I know how you think, Gary. I knew you would have to try to do something to stop what is happening today.”
Gary asks, “What is happening today? I only learned of the plot three days ago and I have not been able to learn many details.”
The ticket agent uses the loud speaker system again. “Flight 93 to San Francisco now boarding. All rows can now board.”
Rupert shakes his head, “Sorry, but you’ll just have to watch along with the rest of the world. This day has been in the works for years. Relax. There is nothing you can do now.”
Gary suggests, “One phone call is all it would take.”
Rupert offers a challenge, “Go for it, Gary. Leave a public trail of your Interference. You’ll get your ass kicked out-system so fast that I won’t even have time to say goodbye.”
Gary knows that Rupert is correct about that. He speaks with disgust and bitterness, “You win this one, Rupert. Another badge of honor.” Gary turns away from Rupert and goes into the men’s room. The robot is waiting just inside, now dressed in conventional street clothes. Gary hands his ticket to the robot. The robot leaves the Men’s room and gets into the short line of passengers going through the gate to board Flight 93.
When Gary comes out of the men’s room, he ignores the fact that Rupert follows him out of the terminal. Gary decides that he can now risk breaking radio silence between himself and the rest of his team. He uses his built-in radio to contact Isis and confirms that both Isis and Roberta were intercepted by Rupert’s brothers. Roberta had been unable to pass tickets to the robot who was to have been on United Airlines Flight 175, but the robot on American Flight 11 has already reported that that flight had been hijacked and was changing course over the state of New York. Gary suddenly thinks of the 1993 World Trade Center bombing. Updates from the robot on Flight 11 track the flight to New York City. One last time, Gary thinks about calling NORAD. Would it be worth being removed from Earth in order to stop mass murder?
Gary is driving away from the airport and towards Manhattan when the radio channel to the robot on Flight 11 goes dead. A few minutes later, Isis sends, “Turn on your car radio. The WTC was hit.”
Gary transmits the information to the two remaining robots on Flights 77 and 93, “Flight 11 was crashed into the World Trade Center. Take all possible actions to protect human life.” As if they would do otherwise, even without that order. Gary curses in frustration at his helplessness. Gary mutters, “Good work, Rupert.”
end of teaser
Continue to: Chapter 1
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