Paul felt the adrenaline enter his veins as a car sped right towards him. He was sitting in his car at a stop light, there was nowhere to go. As the car got closer, he felt the rush of adrenaline intensify. Time felt as if it had stopped and left him here to watch as his life was shattered. The man in the other car had a look of anger on his face. He was staring right into Paul’s eyes. The last thing that went through Pauls mind before impact was how much he loved his family.
Paul woke in a dark van with a well-dressed man at his side. The man had an intense look on his face that did not look friendly at all. Paul was surprised to see the side of the man’s face riddled with deep scars when he turned to talk. They were not scars like those obtained from a clean cut. They were gnarled scars that left his face full of high ridges and deep valleys as if strips of flesh had been removed from his face.
“You’re going to feel a bit sore for a while.” The man said in a scary calm voice. “You were in a car accident, and we scooped you from the car wreck before EMS arrived on scene. We were following you when a car sped into the side of your vehicle. Drivers these days, they have no respect for other people.”
“Wait…. the wreck!” said Paul, maintaining as much cool as he could muster. “Why would you take me from the scene, and……. following me? Please let me out, I would like to go back and make sure everything is put in order.”
“I am afraid that’s simply not an option. You’re going to be coming with me, I am under strict orders,” The man said In a more commanding tone.
“I need to go back now! I’m not willing to go anywhere with you!” Paul said choking out fear.
“YOU HAVE NO CHOICE!” The man screamed. He proceeded to pull a silenced handgun from his side and put it right in Paul’s face. “You had your chance to do this the easy way, now you will do it at gun point.”
“H-had my chance? I only asked once; please tell me what we are doing. I have a family to go back to. Please tell me what you want from me.” Paul stammered his entire body shaking in fear. The adrenaline now coursing through his veins again caused time to slow slightly. His mind was racing trying to figure a way out of the situation.
The man began to talk in a frustrated slur of words. Paul had to work hard to focus on what he was saying.
“There will be time to ask questions, but now you will shut your mouth. I have had enough useless talk.” And with those last words, the Man stopped talking and pulled the gun away slightly, while keeping it carefully pointed at Paul.
Paul thought as hard as he could, time seemed to be standing still as his mind raced through the possible routes of escape. No route of escape presented itself to him; he was in a hopeless situation. He began to race through his life trying to figure why someone would want to have him abducted. He once had gambling debts, but those had been paid long ago. In college, he had played sports and not had much time to get into any real trouble. There was no logical reason for him to be abducted.
After over six hours, the van began to slow. They were in a field with only a single large barn in sight. The extreme flat terrain told him that they were somewhere in Eastern Montana, far from anything resembling the mountainous terrain from their starting destination in Colorado.
“Let’s go, and don’t try anything dumb. It’s about twenty miles to the next town.” With that, the man stuck the gun in his back and made him walk towards the massive barn.
The side door on the barn flew open and a man of very small stature came running out. In an excited and stuttering squeaky voice, he said, “A-a-gent 2 m-madam A is v-very u-upset with you.”
The little man disappeared with as much haste as he had appeared. The man in the suit, Agent 2 Paul thought he was called, was visibly upset at the brief appearance of the little man.
“Get inside and don’t say a word.” Agent 2 said jabbing the muzzle of the gun sharply into Paul’s sore ribs, his frustration was very apparent.
Upon entering the barn, Paul expected the dim lighting and slightly musty smell of most barns. He was met with quite a different scene inside this barn. The barn was very well lit and had a concrete floor that looked to be kept in perfect condition. The first thing that met the eye was the giant cargo plane that sat neatly in the middle of the barn. The plane was gigantic and nearly touched the top of the barn. The wings looked to be resting against the walls at the tips. To the back corner of the barn was another door. The short man was just disappearing into that door as the door behind them slammed closed.
“Go through the door back there and sit in the chair to your right as you enter.” Agent 2 said, clearly trying to control his anger. “Madam A will be waiting for you. I would suggest you not say a word until spoken to.”
Agent 2 escorted Paul to the door and disappeared into a small room nearby. Paul stood contemplating what to do for the next few seconds, as he began to feel the adrenaline pumping through his body. He could run for it, maybe make it outside, but then what? He did not know what to expect behind this door, maybe he could take this woman and use her as a hostage to get out. Even Agent 2 seemed to fear her, or at least, respected her very much. Paul decided to go through with this plan to turn the tables and capture his captor.
Upon entering the room, Paul was surprised to see the woman sitting behind the desk. He expected to find a well-dressed woman with a very commanding presence, but instead he found himself looking at a very odd young woman. She was about average height, and must have weighed about 130 lbs by Paul’s calculations. She did not even look up from the desk as Paul entered. Her hair was tied up directly on top of her head with what looked like a shred of a flower patterned tapestry from the 60’s. Her hair was falling like a fountain all around her head, In the front, she had tucked it behind her ears to leave her face exposed. On the bridge of her nose sat a thick framed pair of blue glasses. She wore a turtle neck shirt that was hot pink and slightly baggy around her body.
“Sit, I’ll be with you momentarily.” The odd woman said in a voice so calm and soothing that Paul thought for a moment that he could have been at a doctor’s office, or bank.
Paul sat and started to observe the room that was as odd as the woman sitting in it. Each wall had been painted a different color, red, yellow, blue, and Green. On the walls were many paintings that all carried the same unique style. It looked as if someone had created magnificent landscapes, using only bright colors. Paul almost forgot his situation as he gazed into each painting even recognizing the mountain ranges in some of them.
“They’re magnificent aren’t they? My name is Madam Adlersflügel, but call me Madam A.” the woman said now standing a few feet from Paul.
Paul almost fell out of his seat as he had not seen her get up to come across the room. He stood, and began to re-run his plan through his mind. Now was the moment to act, and he knew he must do it quickly. The familiar adrenaline came rushing into his veins and time began to slow. He lurched forward to grab Madam A’s wrists and try to subdue her, but as he shot forward she was gone. He felt a gentle push from behind that was enough to topple him forward onto the floor.
“I really had hoped that we could do things a bit more civil than this, but I suppose Agent 2 ruined that chance.” She said now behind him.
Paul looked up at this strange woman wide eyed, “How…..you were right in front-”
“How is not important, why is the important part of this situation,” She said in a voice as calm as ever. “Now get up and sit back down, we have matters to discuss.”
As Paul got up from the floor, he noticed that Madam A was back in her chair in the blink of an eye. He thought his mind must have played a trick on him, what he saw was not possible.
Picking himself off the floor, Paul mumbled “How… you move faster than I can even think.”
“Yes, in a way I’m moving very fast, and no, not faster than you can think.” Madam A said calmly. “You’re the only other person in the world that can think as fast as I move, and I believe you can move this fast as well.”
Paul almost let out a full blown laugh but tried coughing to cover it as up he said, “You must be mistaken, I’m just a normal person, I have a normal life with a normal family, one that I would really like to go back to.” Despite Paul’s best effort, he just about started to cry.
“I know full well that you’re capable of moving fast, I have been watching you with very careful scrutiny. It has been years of watching and evaluating, measuring your speed in high-stress moments.” Madam A said with a giddy type excitement in her voice. “Think of your days playing college football, how do you think you seemed to get through piles of tacklers with ease. The NFL recruited you, but you turned them down. You wanted to study science and become a neural surgeon. They called you a fool and said you could have been the best running back to ever play the game. I know how you think, it was simply too easy, you wanted a challenge in life.”
“How long have you been …Studying me?” Paul almost shouted in an attempt to suppress the emotion now welling up inside of him.
“It’s been at least ten years now and that’s why I am so upset with Agent 2.” She seemed to just be remembering that she was upset with someone as the words came out of her mouth.
Leaning forward Madam A spoke into a microphone that Paul had only just now noticed.
“Cromwell! Please come to my office,” Her voice echoed across the entire barn as she spoke. “We have an urgent matter to discuss.” She finished and looked at me as if I was supposed to have something to say.
“Why have you taken me away from my family?” Paul asked taking care to not add the frustration he felt into his voice.
“You’re being recruited to help fight a war, one that has been going on far longer than you and I have existed.” Madam A spoke as if everyone should know this as a fact. “It is a war that not all people see, mostly because they do not want to see it. More important than the lack of people seeing this war is the fact that you are going to be right in the center of it. You are being sought after by both sides of this war. I am not the only one that has been observing you. There has been another group observing you, one that will exploit your weakness and make it look appealing to you. In the end, the other group will use you and then kill you.” She finished just as the little man from outside appeared.
“Cromwell, please prepare the plane for a flight, it will be a short training flight. We won’t be in the air for more than a few hours I would guess.” Madam A added hastily.
“Yes mam, I will start the preparations right away.” Cromwell was halfway out the door before all the words had ever even left his mouth.
Paul was very frustrated with the lack of answers he was getting. He stood waiting for madam A to make a move. He realized that she had no intention of making a move when she turned her back to him and began to gaze at a painting as if it were a window. Paul stood gathering his remaining courage to make a last attempt to leave.
“If I’m so important to this war that you say is going on, then why have I never heard of it? More important why is it that you have all of a sudden decided now was the time to pull me into it? Ten years ago, when you started watching me, I would have taken this as a grand opportunity. You waited too long, I am settled into a career now and have a family that I love very much. Either kill me or let me walk out and leave me alone.” With that, Paul opened the door and walked out.
Paul had only gotten two steps into the barn before he felt a sharp sting in the side of his neck. He tried his best to turn his head and see who had hit him, but his eyes fell closed and his world went dark.