This envelope however was somehow different to him. There was more to it than the appearance of blood, something more prominent than anything he had ever seen before. And the impulse, driving his hand to reach out and pluck it from the stack, was more disconcerting than anything. Breaking protocol, which was to inspect the item from all angles, in case there was any signs of tear, and then follow biohazard standards to contain it, was unlike him. The envelope was light in weight, which meant the chances of having it contain a body part were slim, but the presence of blood meant anything from HIV to Hepatitis C. And yet he did not seem to mind. He opened the envelope and looked inside, pulling from it a small piece of papyrus. His fingertips carefully unraveled the stained parchment, the glyphs contained a message he could not decipher; but, its words still spoke to him. He moved the envelope up close to his mouth. It smelled sweet, like the honeysuckle trees that grew in his backyard as a kid. His impulse drove his ambition to taste the sweetness consuming his senses, overcome by a force outside himself that was neither friend nor foe. His tongue tasted the envelope, the bloodstain soaked into his tongue like a sponge to water, the color of his eyes now ink-like as the spirit within took control.
He sat still as he observed the mail room, the swathe of envelopes, the smell of pencil shavings and old discarded ink toner, smells that the old body had long become accustomed to were now new and fresh to its senses. He carefully placed the parchment back inside the envelope, and the placed it inside his back pocket. The rest of the morning would be spent observing, utilizing the computer on the desk as well as the variety of news sites the Internet homepage offered. He searched for clues, though nothing ever caught his fancy. Then, a thought passed through his mind. "This place...it is important, yes?" He listened to the soul trapped inside. He then got up and opened the door. The hall was lifeless. "Show me." He said.
Jack Jefferson sat in his bunkered office, his eyes focused hard on the television monitor, his heart heavy and his shoulders burdened by a decade long war in the middle east. This was an election year, and the polls were dipping in favor of the competition, a senator from Utah who had been riding a wave of success this past year, capitalizing on the ongoing war and the lack of approach with current administration. The economy was in the shitter. Health care was a running joke, even within his own party, and that mess in Arizona some years back had nearly crippled his legacy. He did not want to admit it to himself, but, if he was going to win another election, he needed nothing short of a miracle. And that was when the door opened. Standing inside the doorway was Alan, his personal escort. He walked in and sat in the chair in front of the desk and looked worriedly at him.
"What is it Alan?"
"There is someone here to see you, sir. A...person of interest."
Alan was sweating. This rattled Jack who started to reach for the panic button beneath his desk.
"All right. Where is this, person of interest?"
"The alarms have been disabled sir. There is no reason to be afraid. He...doesn't wish to harm anyone."
The young man entered. Jack wanted to rise, but felt compelled to remain seated. His heart began to race in his chest, the closer the young man came, and he wanted to call for help but could not find his voice.
"I'm sorry to disturb you. I do not have much time to answer all of the questions you are storing in your mind, so I needed to improvise a little. I also had to defend myself from a few armed men Alan was directing outside. I believe they will live, but it really depends on how long you retain me here. I only need a few minutes of your time, if you could be so kind."
"What is all this about!"
"I shall cut to the chase. There are approximately five hundred and forty million people living in your country and of those people about twenty who know the truth about the state of things. For example, the man who floods the airwaves, pretending to be the President, is in fact a mouthpiece for a much deeper, more complex, pyramid of Weavers of whom you are a part of. Shall I continue?"
"Clearly you are a madman. Alan, how did this man-"
"In 1947, a news article was published about a mysterious crash in Roswell New Mexico. At the time, it was explained that a weather balloon was the object that had so many people up in arms; however, a man named Arthur McMurtry was given an audience with President Kennedy, who was later assassinated-"
"Enough. Who the hell are you?"
"Truth, Jack. The one and only truth. What you need to do at this time however is listen very carefully at what I am about to tell you."
"Truth? This is preposterous! Alan, removed this man now!"
"Jack. Alan is not here. Focus on what I am saying, I do not have much time."
Jack rose from his seat, pushing it against the wall behind him. He reached for the silent alarm underneath his desk, finding no one would be rushing in. No one would hear his shouts. Not even Alan, who looked off into a space just beyond him.
Jack felt his muscles tense, and then relax. The chair rolled back under him. The young man reached out and placed his hand upon Jack's. He was instantly at ease. Petrified with fear, but clear of mind.
"Some years ago, a terrible tragedy took place in Arizona. I believe you are very familiar with this event, as you and the rest of your Weaver companions went to great lengths to cover up. What you need to know is this. I am not here to expose you, nor do I have much interest in your overall plans for the people of this planet. I am here to retain what is rightfully my own. What you and the Weavers do is no different than what those, far more powerful than you have been doing since the dawn of time. So I offer you a message. I offer you all a message, for I know you are all connected just as I am connected. They know. They know you are here, and they are not happy. You can leave peacefully, or you can leave through the Void. The choice is yours to make."
"You want to know what I think? I think you're crazy as a loon, but with less imagination. I think you are one man, trying to throw a cog into the wheel of progress, because you think you have some kind of evidence to support your insane views. I think you going to spend a very long time inside a cell, perhaps padded, if you're lucky."
"Shame. I truly thought you were different. Smoke and mirrors aside, let me share something with you."
The young man reached across the length of the desk and gripped Jack's forehead with his long slender fingers.
The world fell into total darkness.
The vision was powerful, piercing through his thoughts like buckshot, penetrating the very foundation of his soul. It spoke to him in a voice he could not understand, numbers and symbols broken down to their variables, their syllables spreading out across his soul like an exploding star, devouring his humanity, reducing him into what he could only later recall as feeling. He felt as though he were riding a comet across the universe, painted in darkness, but engulfed in an array of colors that were filled with a billion voices, all speaking to him in a billion languages, with a billion more angry faces mocking him. At the tail end of this comet-like theme ride was the mouth of oblivion, a black hole that slowly devoured the colors, the voices and the faces, which he now understood were not angry with him, but pleading with him to save them from damnation.
When Jack opened his eyes again, he was alone. Calm, but shaken to his core. Inside the silence of the office, the image of the universe being swallowed by the darkness remained with him. Suddenly his world was a lot smaller than it had been before. He could not help but think maybe he was dreaming, after all, he was alone. That must be it. It was all just a strange stress-induced dream. Then he noticed the papyrus on the desk. The parchment contained a date, along with a message. It read, "Rapture is among you."
Jack crumpled the message in the palm of his hand. Alan burst in through the door, his face mortified, sweat dripped from every pore. He approached the monitor and switched it on. When jack saw the smoldering building, the message, as well as his visitor, started to come together. And then the heat from the blast engulfed the fortified office in flames. The message has been received.
The events of that day played out on televisions across the planet. The shock and awe of it forever embedded itself into the hearts and minds of everyone, but the true purpose of its evil ways were known by only nineteen Weavers.
In a small hotel room on the island of Crete, a phone rings late into the afternoon.
"I'm sleeping." A voice answers.
"Turn on the news."
" Any of them."
A shadow rose from its bed. The screen showed a smoldering building, seconds before its collapse, followed by a second Skyscraper. Then the image of the American Pentagon came on.
"Jesus. What the hell happened?"
"They say it was a terrorist attack."
"What do you say it was?"
"Funny. What about Jack?"
"Jack...is dead. It's like they knew exactly where to strike. The country is up in arms, people are shouting for war, and I have not heard from another Weaver since it happened, which is why I called you."
"Fuck. I will make some calls. Keep with the terrorist angle, for now. perhaps we can spin this to our advantage."
"Uh, there is one more thing...without Jack, there is no driver, which makes me...you know...official."
"Then go do your job. I will handle this background noise. Good luck, George."
"You mean, Mister President." He said, unable to hold back the chuckle.