Image: This image is in the public domain because it is a screenshot from NASA’s globe software World Wind using a public domain layer, such as Blue Marble, MODIS, Landsat, SRTM, USGS or GLOBE.
Area 51, dreamland, Homey Airport; it has many names. Stationed at the southern shore of Groom Lake, its bed long run dry, Colonel Gregory Masters runs this military base, regarded as firm but fair. A stranger, found in the wreckage of the now world-famous crash, had been held prisoner by Colonel Masters and his men since that fateful day in 1947. This man they codenamed ‘Mogul’, initially thought to be spy perhaps of German or Russian origin was found to be something much, much more.
It seemed like a day like any other, that was until the woman appeared at the base. Colonel Masters knew her face, forgotten but brought up by her appearance that day. She had witnessed the crash and when the soldiers tried to apprehend her, she seemed to disappear into the sandy winds. Today she was back to save the stranger from his fate but why had she waited so long? Why had she allowed them to conduct experiments on him and keep him prisoner? She served as nothing more than a distraction, spooked by the sudden appearance of an unidentified woman in a supposedly unenterable base in a salt flat. She couldn’t have entered without anyone seeing her yet there she was. This shock was enough to get all the guards away from the prisoner long enough for him to get to his senses and escape. Colonel Masters berated his men for their brash actions after discovering that Mogul was missing. He arranged his forces to search for the missing man. Curiously the military personnel had some trouble tracking the escapee, that was until the Colonel had a sudden unexplainable revelation about his whereabouts. The woman had made herself known to her male counterpart just after Colonel Masters had loudly announced his presence.
“Um who are you? What are doing in my house?” Inquired Samantha.
“Me? Well I’m the Woman.” Replied the woman who was dressed in a long white dress adorned with the images of myrtles, roses, doves, sparrows and swans. She had sandals adorned with small red roses and had her hair tied up into a bun.
“The Woman? That’s um quiet a moniker but you might want to narrow that down a little?”
“I am the Woman. Not merely a woman but the Woman.”
“I’m not calling you ‘the Woman’, that’s ridiculous.”
“There was once a time I was known as Astarte.”
“Astarte… right. So now I have a name for you, though I’m sure a fake one. What are you doing here?”
“I am the one who freed your guest.”
Samantha turned to the stranger. “Do you know this woman?”
He shook his head before looking over at the woman. “I have no memory of any woman like this.”
“This is what I was afraid of. Know this we are very close, there is basically no way we could be closer.” Astarte sighed solemnly.
“Then perhaps… you can tell me… who am I?”
“I’m afraid it isn’t that simple. You are going to have to learn that for yourself. In this case words mean nothing, you need to discover who you are for yourself.”
“Then tell me my name? What is my name?”
“What’s in a name? Nothing. Take it from someone who has many. I tell you what we need to do, we need to teach Colonel Masters a lesson.”
“What do you mean?”
Astarte slowly walked over to the door and opened it careful. Seeing the Colonel, she shouted out “Hey you! Yeah you! You want him, he’s here!”
“Are you try to get me killed?” Questioned the stranger from the opening of the door.
“No, I’m trying to make a statement. You broke that high security door, down didn’t you? Come on out here you will be surprised what you can do.”
The stranger made his way out the door towards Astarte.
Samantha terrified and confused out of her mind called out to him. “Are you crazy? That bitch is clearly out of her mind!”
“Oh, honey I am but then all the best people are.”
Colonel Masters approached the stranger pistol in hand, stopping before him, he points the gun at his chest.
“This has gone far enough! Come back with me now and I won’t have to shoot you!”
“Hey, dummy you forget about me?”
Startled the Colonel turns to Astarte with his gun, the stranger smacked it out of the colonel’s hands causing it to clatter against a nearby building. Colonel Masters falls back in shock and fidgets back in fear.
“You are going to regret this! Just you wait!” He shouts clamming to his feet and running back to his troops.
“How did you do that?” Samantha asked joining the pair.
“I… don’t know.” The stranger replied.
Colonel Masters got back to this troops clearly flustered. “Everybody needs to fall back to the base. We are unleashing black project alpha.”
“But sir isn’t that highly experimental? And I thought we weren’t allowed to use it on American soil.” Queried one of the soldiers.
“I gave you an order and you better follow it or so help me god I will have you court marshalled do you understand?”
“Then what are you waiting for? Go!”
The men, obviously startled, proceeded to run back to the base.
“Aren’t you worried about repercussions?” Samantha asked.
“Little bit but what they going to do?” Astarte responded.
“You haven’t pissed off the American Army before now have you?”
“Not recently anyway.”
“Well if half the things the Willow twins say about that place are true then we are in a whole heap of trouble.”
Back at Area 51 the Colonel is holding a syringe, sticking the tip into his arm.
“Sir are you sure you want to do this? We have no idea what it will do to you. At least let one of the men do it.”
“Colonel Gregory Masters gets the job done, whatever it takes.”
He pushes the plunger down and collapses to the floor.
“Sir? Are you alright?”
The Colonel tries to speak but is unable, he starts to contort and twitch. His limbs begin to swell, and his hair begins to grow. His clothes tearing off his body, he was becoming ape-like only much more vicious in appearance.
“Oh my god!”
As the metamorphosis concludes he clambers onto all fours and growls out loudly. The roar causes the door to shatter off its hinges and slide along the floor with the attending solider going along for the ride. The display causes the men who were lined up outside to fall back in fear.
Friday 26th April 6pm UTC: Human Resources 2
Friday 3rd May 6pm BST: Human Resources 2 Reading