AQ – 03 – Clearing Your Head Before a Space Walk

Jonathan was over seeing the production line as ten former members of Al Qaeda were busy sewing.  They were working to create essentially a space suit.  It was extremely ad hoc and currently their primary goal was to insulate it as thoroughly as possible.

If they could make this work, Jonathan would be zipped into a space suit that had no legs.  It would look like a large air tight sleeping bag with two arms and no head.  The material was translucent and this would be the only aid to visibility.

He would have to get in the suit and go hand over hand in the dark to the opposite side and then lever open the door. He would then have to get the distant air lock open, the the module powered up, oxygen flowing and heat working.  This all had to happen in less than twenty-three minutes.

They had not found any space suits, however they had found several emergency oxygen systems, which they were able to cannibalize.  They had taken liners from the deep sleep tanks to create the space suit sleeping bag, iv needles used for sewing with the threat run all the way through the needle and folded over.  The first aid kit had yielded a form of space super glue which they were then administering to the thread lines to further seal the seam.

The sleep liners had tubes designed to maintain heat and circulation.  It was somewhat difficult to remove the actual heater itself and rig it to a battery.  There were some relatively sharp and jagged edges on the heater and these had been covered in tape to prevent them from scraping the suit bag and cutting a hole in the suit.

For the last day and a half Jonathan had practiced breathing through the spare emergency systems and walking hand over hand from what he thought of as the ceiling for three hundred forty paces.  He could do it in as little as seven minutes, but that used up an excessive amount of air, leaving him with only another three minutes of air.  If he forced himself to go slower, he could complete the movement in fourteen minutes and have nine to ten minutes of air left.

The big problem was the size of the oxygen system.  It was huge and awkward.  He would have liked to simply pack a couple extras to use when he got to the other side, but they were too large and awkward.  One would fit in the suit and that was it.  He could drag or trail another on a tether, but there was no telling what that might get tangled in as he went out the door or once outside.  With his limited visibility, lack of gloves and imperfect suit it was too big a risk. Bad enough that he had no safety tether to keep him secured to the space ship.

This was really a do or die situation.  He needed to go today.  He was rapidly losing energy.  They had each reconnected themselves to intravenous tubes, but the solution was too thin. It was designed for a person in hibernation not a person awake, active and metabolizing nutrients at a normal rate.

He watched as the final stitching on the arm was glued into place, and then moved back to the portal.

“Give me ten minutes and then I will go,” he said.  He wanted one last look at the framework.  He wanted to capture the most accurate visualization that he could before he went out into the dark.  He could just barely see the ship on the other side.  Once outside though his own body would block the little bit of light and he would move further and further into darkness, shading the only light that existed this far out in space.

He could not tell where they were in space.  The port hole had no view of the sun, any planets or anything other than stars.  In some ways he felt, hoped and guessed that this was good.  If for example the space ship were in a degenerating orbit heading towards the sun, going out the portal door in a less than adequate space suit could mean sudden searing death.  In reality they had no idea if they were heading on the outward bound part of the trip around the solar system or returning from it, or some other random condition.  This space walk was going to be a huge gamble, but they didn’t have much of a choice.  Die slow or die fast, but slow was just about as fast as fast and fast wasn’t that much faster than slow.

He stared at the handholds. He counted each of them, imagining grabbing them one hand at a time.  One sack like mitten hold at a time.

“Are you ready?” Osama had come up from behind him.

The hairs stood up on the back of Jonathan’s neck.  He almost felt like Osama was trying to sweet talk him.  They were all horny as hell from being in deep sleep for however long and their hormones were out of control.  Jonathan realized that he had accounted for everything that could be controlled or practiced but he hadn’t done anything about his hormones.

“Not quite.  I need an extra five minutes and I need your help.  Follow me.”

Jonathan hand walked past Osama and headed for the back module.  Osama followed.

After they entered, Jonathan shut the door, but did not engage the airlock.  The other Al Qaeda members would soon move into this space to await Jonathan’s all clear.  When Jonathan went out the air lock the oxygen from the hibernation cargo area would be gone and everyone else had to remain in the last area with air in it.

“I almost went out on the space walk without preparing properly.  If I had gone, we would all be dead.  I neglected one critical thing in my preparation and I need to fix that now.” Jonathan said.

“What did you neglect?” Osama asked.

“I almost went out without clearing my head.  I’m not thinking entirely clearly due to the build up of hormones. I’m no doctor, but I’d have to guess that we have been asleep for at least ten years.  I’ve got to clear the pipes, clear my mind and there is only one way to do that if I am to be mentally sharp out there.” Jonathan said as he allowed himself to drift towards Osama.  “You are going to have to help me with this.”

With those last words, Jonathan saw fear in Osama’s eyes for the first time.  Jonathan didn’t give a fuck at this point, but Osama sure was going to, and he reached out grasped Osama’s shoulder and pushed Osama’s head down towards Jonathan’s bulging unitard.

Ten minutes later Jonathan felt a whole lot better.  They emerged from the compartment and Jonathan climbed into space suit sleeping bag.  The remaining members of Al Qaeda sewed him in the final bit and glued the seams.  They waited three minutes for the glue to dry and then moved him towards the lock.

He told them, “I will count to one hundred fifty and then open the lock. You need to be in the other room before that happens.  I will not be able to see you.”

To emphasize his point, he started counting, “One, two, three…”

He could hear noises and grunts of encouragement as they shuffled away from him.  He interrupted his count at forty-five to laugh at the memory of the looks on the faces of the men as he and Osama came out of the room.  One of them had noticed that  Jonathan no longer had a boner.  Without a word said, the knowledge seemed to pass from man to man, each still stuck with their own out of control hormones unchecked by the aid of the leader of Al Qaeda, who himself looked slightly better nourished than he had twelve minutes earlier.

He resumed his count, and even  sped up a bit.  He did need Al Qaeda to survive this trip, but he wasn’t above being a little reckless with their fate.  He had not entirely committed to not killing them all immediately as opposed to totally screwing them over first.

Finally, he said, “one hundred thirty-nine, one hundred forty… Ah Fuck it.” And opened the air lock.

Air sucked out of the pressurized room and pulled at him a bit, but he held steady.  It didn’t take long and then he was out the door.  He turned briefly to shut the door and re-initiate the lock.  Then reached out for his first hand hold.  It was about 6 inches past his reach.

“Shit” he mumbled and then checked himself so as not to increase his heart rate.

He simply pushed off and up. He was in free floating space for less than a second before his hand came in  contact with the bar, but instead of grabbing it.  His hand slipped off.

He flung his other hand at it and his first hand too and manage to grasp both hands around the bar together holding his own hands.

These bars were cold and slippery through the suit mittens!

He calmed himself down and focused on getting his bearings back again.

He took a few seconds to learn how to secure his hand to the bar.  It was cold but not impossible.

He reached out to proceed and his hand hit a wall.

“Shit” he said.  He had gotten turned around during the fumbling around.

He stopped, took another deep breath and started out going the right way.

He was moving at a decent and regular pace.  He had at least thirty-three more bars to go.  His hands were moving but were starting to feel numb.  He could not feel his toes nor feet at all.  There was no gauge for the oxygen tank.  He had no idea how much time had gone by.  He simply kept moving. Three times he had lost his grip and had to stop, pull himself up one handed and try again.

He had two hand holds to go, reached out and hit his hand against another wall.  He was there!

He couldn’t stop himself from taking a big breath.  He visualized where the lock should be.  He reached  out and it wasn’t there.  He remembered that when he first reached up he could not reach the bars from the other door.  Maybe the lever here was also just out of reach.  He was almost completely in the dark now and couldn’t see anything through the opaque lining of the bag.

He kept reaching and fumbling and came up with nothing.  He was almost in a panic when he felt a bit of the door jam. That brought him back.  He traced it up until he found the corner of the door.  That was  the corner on the right and the handle for the air lock was on the right.  He reached down but could not feel it.  He tried to flex his body up so that his feet might scrape the area where the lock handle was. His feet were far too numb though to feel anything.

His feet did kick something though as his body flexed too far and went way to the right.  He remember that there was a bar that ran parallel to the door about two feet to the right of it.  He had felt it or kicked it with his feet.  The bar did not extend up high enough to be in reaching distance.

He didn’t even think at the point just acted as  he lunged for the bar.  His right hand actually slid flat along the wall and beneath the bar wedging his hand with the back of the hand against the bar.  Unfortunately he was physically moving too fast and his body wrenched further and his hand caught in the bar stopped him.

It hurt like hell has his hand twisted too far.  It didn’t feel broken, but something was not right.  He screamed but had the presence of mind to grab the bar with his left hand.

He took a deep breath and pulled his injured hand out.  He could flex his fingers but didn’t trust putting much weight or force on the hand.

In space not a lot of force was needed.  He switched hands and gripped the bar with his right hand now.  He felt around with his left and after what felt like five minutes found the air lock lever.  He pulled it out and twisted it clock wise.  He could hear a clunk and the door popped outward and slid away from him.

The door was open!

He pulled himself up and in, which was extremely awkward. He inched his way up the door jam and found the lever to close the door from the inside.  He twisted it and pushed it in and the door started to shut, lights came to life.  He could just make out the instructions to initiate oxygen and start the life support system.  He opened the panel, twisted the nob for oxygen and punched the button for the other systems.

He let go then and floated into the room while pulling his arms out of the sleeping bag arms.  He reached down to his unitard and pulled out a metal fragment from one of the sleeping chambers.  He then waited and breathed slowly.  He did not know how long it would take for oxygen to flow nor for the heat to kick in.  Eventually he started to feel sleepy and realized that he was running out of air in his space suit bag.  He was breathing in a panting way, very shallow and relatively quick.

With the last of his energy, he sliced through the inner three bags.  He couldn’t quite get through the final bag at first, then managed to cut a slid up as high as his chin before he blacked out.

Continue to Next Chapter - AQ – 04 – First Food, Air Second

AL QAEDA IN SPAAAAACCCCE!

This week, I'm working to expand and really blow out a sub plot around the concept of Al Qaeda in Space.  I've written about the genesis for this idea on the blog a few times.  The chapters that follow will be edited into the book in some form or fashion, but will be separate from the ongoing news reports that occur in Peter3d Out itself.

I'm publishing them here so that you can follow the travails of Al Qaeda, held in Guantanamo Bay for almost 20 years and then shipped into space in deep sleep for what should have been 50 years...

Premise 

In 2020 the US is under pressure from the UN and the world. They decide to finally close down Guantanamo Bay but still can not decide what to do with the prisoners. So they do what any political body will always do when given the choice...

They kick the can down the road.

Except the can is a SpaceZ rocket and,

the road is a 50 year orbit path around the outer sphere of the solar system.

Unfortunately in 2069, a year before the can is schedule to return, Al Qaeda wakes up from their deep sleep stasis.

And Jonathan Scott, an actual rocket scientist who was detained as a non combatant in Afghanistan after he had been kidnapped by Pakistani intelligence and forced to work on their nuclear projects, is then wrongfully detained by US forces.

Johnathan is Gay and awakes to find himself stuck in a space ship with 72 Al Qaeda labeled combatants, some viscious, some not so much, some smart some stupid, but all virgins to Jonathan.

He now has to work with Al Qaeda to stay alive and get their ship back to Earth!

017 – Manhood Revitalization Services

version 1.1

Brad really couldn't get out of Jenny's place fast enough. He wasn't physically rushing, and there was nothing strained in his departure. He was simply hyper aware of her presence.

He was walking a fine line on this case already. If things got any more personal, he might have to request reassignment. It would not be the first time. In fact it was expected in cases where the parties involved had too great of a connection with an investigator. So far he was within the realm of ethically acceptable, but he did have to resist giving Jenny a hug and offering her consolation and . . . 'Fuck I've got to be careful." he muttered.

He arrived back at his home at 9:40 PM. He hit the can, grabbed a drink from the fridge and quickly scrolled through the news headlines first.

"Al Qaeda Prisoners Awoke 1 year Ahead of Schedule"

Prisoners on the space ship circling the solar system apparently awoke 50 weeks ago, or 1 year ahead of their anticipated potential landing date.

It is unknown why they awoke out of their hibernation early. Scientists are scrambling to figure out what could have caused this and how or if they might have survived in a space ship with minimal support for this extended period of time.

There was a hydroponics module on the space craft, an independent scientific test designed to grow manna, a type of glucose rich algae based material that some scientists believe was used by ancient Hebrews that wandered the desert with Moses after fleeing an ancient Egyptian Pharaoh Horemheb, who had succeeded Pharaoh Tutankhamun. It is likely that the manna machine was stolen from the Egyptians of the time.

A manna machine discovered 900 feet below ground in Nova Scotia in 2030 was reverse engineered and sent on this space ship to test its capability to progressively generate more nutritional food stuffs over a 50 year period in the confines of space.

"The world is just too fucking weird sometimes." Rubenz said aloud. Then he toggled over to check his account balance.

Today's Earnings $53,254.43

Account Balance $53, 290.78

"Fuck Yeah!" Brad said aloud as he saw the bounce in his income.

It was probably from whatever viral video craze was taking place after his p3nis fuck up. Brad wasn't really embarrassed by much, especially when he might be able to retire early because of it. He did like being a detective and hoped that wouldn't get fucked up, at least not before he could help Jenny.

Jesus stole my Sk8board started playing on his cell phone.

"This is Detective Rubenz."

"Detective, I'm connecting you with Dr Razel Tulley at Walter Reed Medical Center Research and Development Unit." the automated voice said.

"Hello, this is Colonel Tulley, may I ask whom I'm speaking. Please also state your credentials and security key?" stated an extremely sultry voice with an even more authoritative tone.

"Certainly, this is Detective Brad Rubenz, Atlanta Metro Police, my security key is Java Hector Java Eight Tree Symmetrical Four Seven Eight." stated Rubenz mechanically.

"Confirmation received. How can I be of assistance Detective?"

“I need your assistance with some background information relating to a homicide investigation. A local distributor of prosthetic devices named Terrence McBoyd was murdered in his warehouse earlier this evening." Rubenz said.

"Terrence, Terry McBoyd was murdered?" Colonel Tulley stated.

"Yes Doctor, I mean Colonel, um how exactly do you prefer to be addressed?” Asked Rubenz.

"Colonel Tulley or Colonel will be fine Detective Rubenz."

"Certainly. Given your initial response, I take it you were aware of or possibly knew Terrence McBoyd? What if any type of relationship did you have with the deceased?"

"My company, Haifan Incorporated, works in a joint venture with the research department of Walter Reed Medical Center. Our joint venture licensed the rights to manufacture and distribute prosthetic devices worldwide. In essence Terry McBoyd managed the exclusive license."

"How exactly is your company partnered with Walter Reed in relation to this license?" Rubenz asked.

"I do want to cooperate but I am unable to be specific for legal reasons. Let us just say that my company and Walter Reed Medical Center share portions of the rights to the patents surrounding the prosthetics licensed to McBoyd." stated Tulley.

"Are you trying to say that this is some sort of national security issue or a legal non disclosure agreement. I assume it is not patient confidentiality... "

"I can say that It is one part national security and one part legal, but I will cooperate within the bounds that are allowed me." Tulley confirmed

"Understood. Are you familiar then with Mr McBoyd's , uh. level of internet fame?" asked Rubenz.

"No, I'm afraid I am not."

"Mr. McBoyd was apparently known as the King of the Whack Jobs. Can I assume that you know what a 'Whack Job' is? After all, we're talking about one of your um, inventions Colonel?"

"Yes, I am aware of the meaning of the slang term 'Whack Job'." Colonel Tulley stated with a glint in her eye that could easily be a smile of humor, or an inviting, faux tell conjured on demand to pull her feeble minded prey in for the kill. Rubenz had a feeling that she could have made a great actor a hundred years ago.

“Can you describe for me in layman's terms why prosthetic devices designed by the government trigger a super orgasm when they are cut off of a person? Is that really a necessary byproduct for a government developed prosthetic?" Rubenz asked.

"Of course, when we first designed the protocol for our prosthetic devices we focused on fingers, arms, feet and legs. The level of sophistication involved in managing these devices as if they were the real thing requires something akin to tactile sensory feedback. In a few of our early devices, we realized that if a device was 'injured' it triggered a sensory perception far stronger than a similar injury might cause.

“If we turned the intensity down during pain events, it turned the volume down across the board in the mind, so that a user could not feel pressure from a slight amount of heat, or the touch from the edge of a piece of paper.

“We couldn't find a way to modulate the extreme without impairing the ability of the device to appropriately sense base level activities. We couldn't subject our patients who had previously endured so much personal trauma already to a level of pain amplified falsely by our devices. So instead of modulating the pain down, we created an inverse of the event. Instead of pain, we opted for pleasure. It was an imperfect design. For prosthetics that did not involve sex organs, the pleasure was not sexual in nature. It was more akin to receiving a quick deep muscle massage.

“Later when we moved into sexual organ prosthetics, we, well we went too quickly. Our test subjects for the early devices seemed like representational examples, but as it turned out they were actually outliers. We were a few years into creating prosthetic P3nises before the situation came to our attention.

“We have not yet found a better alternative to the design dilemma but we are working on it very closely. In medical terms, we look at this as a side effect and not a life or system threatening problem at that.

“I can’t wait to hear the medical disclosure at the end of your future television commercials.” Rubens said dryly. “In fact, from my cursory review of Mr. McBoyd’s business, it would seem that this design issue is actually very good for business. I just visited a warehouse full of millions of P3nises.” Rubenz stated flatly.

“Oh, that was you.” Colonel Tulley said in a suddenly knowing way.

She seemed to blush a bit. Maybe that was the wrong description Rubenz thought. He had this growing feeling that he was misreading her body language, but couldn’t quite figure out why that was. Regardless, he didn’t respond, just let her pregnant-pause extend and grow a bit further, until she continued.

“I believe I saw you on the news a short time ago Detective. However, the volume was down and your face, was, it was slightly obscured.” Colonel Tulley seemed to be regaining her composure and that look of a predator was evident again.

Rubenz feigned slight embarrassment, cleared his throat and said, “Yes, I have also had opportunity to experience your handy work this evening. So tell me have the men of the world actually lost millions of penises. Are prosthetics that much in demand that millions of these items would need to fill a warehouse? I do not seem to recall any news stories to that effect lately?” Rubenz wanted to see how Colonel Tulley would do if she were playing defense. This was supposed to be a basic background discussion, but he sensed there was more to it.

“As the CEO of Haisham Inc and the leader of the project at Walter Reed Medical Center, I can confirm that those devices were not officially licensed. We have already submitted a patent and trademark dispute, and we are taking other steps as called for in our license to the late Mr. McBoyd’s company,” stated Tulley.

“Which company are you going to seek that claim against Colonel?” Rubenz asked again hoping to put her on the defensive. “And how long have you been familiar with More Cox 4 U?” he added as an afterthought.

“Excuse me Detective, we learned of More Cox 4 U Inc tonight from the news following the viral video report featuring yourself. We followed up by performing a due diligence search on the product ID’s on the packing material featured in the video, which led us to More Cox 4 U Inc and from there we traced the company to Mr. McBoyd.”

“Since you are filing licensing claims then, are you saying the P3nises distributed by Terrence McBoyd were black market items, and the man who was supposed to manage your worldwide prosthetic license was found in a warehouse, that we have confirmed he owned and managed directly, filled with blackmarket items?”

“That is our preliminary view,” stated Colonel Tulley.

“As a medical Doctor, Colonel, can I ask you a question about your prosthetics, specifically, what happens when a person wearing a prosthetic expires while the prosthetic is still connected?” asked Rubenz.

“Our trials and clinical testing did not include testing the devices through the process of the host’s expiration or death. However, as a doctor here at Walter Reed, I have seen far too many soldiers and veterans die, and a few of those included good people that were wearing one of our devices. The device requires a very small amount of energy from the person that wears it to maintain a connection. When a person dies, the processes of the body begin to fail. This includes the micro amounts of electricity that flow through the body. The prosthetic is designed to use more of its own power to maintain connection for a short amount of time. As the electricity inherent in a living person starts to fail, the energy level sometimes pulsates up and down. The swings down, trigger the device to work harder, and the end result is something similar to a repeated suction from the device. Once the prosthetic is removed after such a situation, it can sometimes leave traces of a suction mark on the body, similar to a subcutaneous hematoma caused when the lining of the blood vessels are slightly damaged and blood escapes into the skin. Most people refer to this as a hickey. I cannot say if this occurs with our prosthetics universally nor over what time interval as we usually remove the prosthetics of our patients after they decease and sometimes before if we are treating them here.

A warning light indicator flashed on Brad’s phone indicating that their allotted interview time was almost up.

“Thank you for your time Colonel. I may need to follow up with you as the case continues, although I will endeavor to minimize any distractions possible. I would ask, that if you are aware of any information, even casual considerations, that you feel might be pertinent to the demise of Mr. McBoyd, please feel free to contact me or send them through the formal post interview communications medium. Specifically, I would like to make a final request for a copy of the license agreement that Mr. McBoyd was responsible for prior to his death. I will need it for my investigation and I suspect IP Vice may need to review it as well.”

“Of course detective, I will provide you with any information or assistance that I can,” responded Colonel Tulley who had that predatory look in her eye again.

They signed off, and Rubenz sighed it was going to be a long night. He went to take a shower and think. The crime scene Bots had cleaned him up, but he still felt the need to shower. At the last minute, he detoured and decided to run on his virtual tread mill for a few miles. While he was running he started reviewing the available virtual crime scene, in a cursory inspection to regain a sense of the place and the ordering of the items in the crime scene.

After he determined that he had a good sense of things and he had run for about 50 minutes or about 11k, he then finally headed for the shower to clean up and decompress.

The time was a little after eleven PM. He would need some rest before tomorrow, but there was still some work to be done while the case was very fresh in his mind. He set his alarm for a 45 minute power nap and killed the lights in his bedroom.

Continue to Next Chapter - 018 – Al Qaeda Eunuchs in Space

014 – Al Qaeda in Space

vers 1.1

Brad was headed home and he was exhausted after having to decontaminate. Fortunately, the crime scene Bot’s ability to lift individual layers of evidence also gave them the ability to clean up a mess relatively well.

In reality, Rubenz had actually become a piece of evidence himself. He frowned at this notion as he realized how ridiculous this would look when this case ultimately went to court, not to mention his next review.

Brad was riding back in a common pod. As there was no emergency to respond to now, he did not rate the emergency response pod. He was sitting across from an off duty patrol person, who sat next to what appeared to be a soldier on extended leave maybe even a recently discharged veteran.

Next to him a teenage girl and her grandmother seemed to be wrapped up in a video game. Grandma was apparently much better at first person shooters judging by the curses coming from the granddaughter.

Brad had a lot of follow up work to do, including some interviews with a long list of people. He needed to track down a specialist in prosthetics, he needed to investigate some of the background of this sexual fetish trend, and he needed to dive into the financials of the victim, his company and more.

He touched the side of his own hand held computer which came to life in vivid 3d color visible only to him. The optical illusion of the screen made him forget that he was sitting in this pod and made him feel part of the online landscape.

A.D.D. kicked in and he was instantly pulled into a news update about Al Qaeda in space, this also apparently seemed to be the topic that the patrol person and the soldier were discussing.

Brad started to read a report, refreshing his memory and getting the latest on this event that was likely to cause a lot of trouble both internationally, and maybe locally.

"About 50 years ago in the mid twenties, while the remains of the US government were still being rebuilt and the UN had reached a war crimes stalemate in regards to Al Qaeda and Taliban detainees. For almost two decades fighters picked up around the world and some on the battlefield had been held in various locations around the world where the UN had little sway. Initially, they had kept many of them in Guantanamo Bay Cuba in a US military prison. But after Castro finally passed away and Cuba melted back into a capitalistic economy, the base there fell into question. The prisoners proceeded to move on a musical chair like path from one gray holding area to another."

"Times have changed but not that much. We can't just bring them back to earth and lock them up again," said the soldier who continued, "but take it from me we can't let them go again either."

"Do you really think some backwards resistance fighter from the turn of the century could keep up with the advances we've made in crime investigation, anti-terrorism, hell even warfare? It has been 15 years since I served in the military myself and even then we were far more advanced than when these Al Qaeda losers were still training on monkey bars." said the cop.

"... the US was losing political favor at an international level. Antarctica and the moon were both bastions of the UN, and the US could not hold them on their own soil or face war crimes charges. No US administration wanted to touch the problem with a ten foot pole. . . . "

"They have a will to fight and fight back unlike what we are used to today. Yes we are technically better, but mentally we are a little softer because our current adversaries are also softer. Everyone knows that the Taliban these days are pretty much just bureaucrats and Al Qaeda is more of a PR firm than a terrorist cell, but give them a fresh infusion of psychopaths with a blood lust and nothing to lose . . . " said the soldier.

"Shit we can practically predict a crime before it happens in most cases today. Plus, we have extensive psychological profiles on these assholes in space. I had to write papers on several of these tools myself in 101 level courses in college. Even if they have the will, they could barely reach down to pull a knife out of their boot before we'd know, let alone cause mass murder." said the police officer.

"...Remnants of the twentieth century NASA program that wanted to salvage some portion of their once sizable budgets dug an old technology out of the vault and offered up a solution. The idea was simple. The prisoners that did not qualify for repatriation, mostly Al Qaeda and various suicide bombers that had failed to detonate would be put into hibernation, a technology not far removed from cryogenics. They would be placed in a space ship and sent into space on an elliptical journey around the solar system."

The officer continued, "many of these guys are going to be pretty docile after being imprisoned for almost two decades on Earth as is. They are not young men any longer."

"That actually is something that makes it even harder for us," said the soldier. "Sure some will be docile, but those will actually serve to hide the dangerous ones even more. During that time they had ample opportunity to cook up new plans and ideas for revenge. Plus some of the political skeletons that were buried in past peace reconciliations will likely be disturbed all over again, unsettling people that for thirty years have come around to our side, but once disturbed might cause trouble again. The original warlords themselves may not be much of a threat here on the ground, but their children and grandchildren have benefited from their payoffs. A lot of people received those old fashioned greenbacks to stop fighting. Even while that money was being used to buy better food, homes and more, they were going home at night and telling and listening to the old stories of battle and glory in the name of Allah. Add into this mix, several thousand heroes of Allah that haven't been around or close to show just how crazy they were or are and their influence today might even be greater than it was when they were at the peak of their training." said the soldier.

"It was a fifty year journey. The decision basically kicked the political can down the road. Once the deed was done, no one could do much about it, but the fifty year game ends in two weeks. Al Qaeda would be returning to Earth and no one knew what to do with them still. No one alive today, really had much skin in the game for the decision made fifty years ago. The US government didn't truly exist in its past form. The world community didn't hold much of a grudge against the US for the mistakes of its predecessors. The former countries of Afghanistan and Pakistan, which were now collections of large feudal city states, did not want the fighters back. They had been continuously at war the entire time, but the fight had changed. Some factions still wanted to have foreign fighters removed from their soil, but the definition had been muddled. There was almost no side in the fight that did not have foreign fighters on their side. The immediate families of the men and women of Al Qaeda in space had all aged and mostly died away. Those that still survived would not acknowledge the connection, even though intelligence reports still had them documented."

In short no one wanted Al Qaeda. Plus, for fifty years parents around the world had turned Al Qaeda members in space into something of a bed time story bogeyman for their children. 'You better eat all of your food or Al Qaeda will fly down from space and blow you up.' 'Don't eat that gluten filled cookie or Al Qaeda himself will hit you with a beam from space and give you a belly ache.' The stories were never very realistic and often times personified the entire group as something of an angry super man or woman depending on the story.

But now the real Al Qaeda fighters were going to pass by Earth. If the world failed to pluck them from the sky, these Al Qaeda detainees would go around the solar system again, which seemed very inhumane. The world collectively felt like it had advanced past such barbarism, but it couldn't collectively figure out a solution either.

If they did collect the spacecraft, bring Al Qaeda down to Earth, then what? They couldn't be prosecuted. It was inhumane to hold them on Earth longer, especially if they were allowed to age. From the information they had from the spaceship, all of the sleepers were still in good health and had not aged much, it would be as if they had been asleep for about a month.

"No matter what, we can't just send them back around the solar system to lose another 50 years. That would be adding one crime to another, and they would be that much more out of place in fifty years when they came back around. Besides, there is the emissary issue. We are starting to get more signals from other likely sources of intelligence in space. What happens if some other species come to visit us, and stumble upon Al Qaeda first? Do we want Al Qaeda to make the first impression or alliance with a foreign intelligence? They are more of a threat to Earth in space than they are here living amongst us," said the patrol person in a definitive statement.

They would need physical rehabilitation. Their bone density and muscle mass would need a severe amount of therapy and rebuilding. So they would not be an immediate threat in a physical way, but what about their infective ancient ideas of revenge and terrorism and fighting off foreign invaders from their home land?

"That's just some old superstition that dates back almost 100 years to some silly science fiction movie that was old even to my grandparents. We shouldn't opt for a dangerous bird in the hand to avoid a hypothetical pair in the bush. That analogy only works in reverse when the potential involves reality, not some politically cooked up fear. That's the type of fear that started this war to begin with." said the soldier.

To Brad's ears, the pair seemed to be arguing in circles and he was starting to have a difficult time assessing which side either of the participants were really on.

The world frankly felt that they did not need those old wounds re-infected. There was only so much that science, therapy, re-education, and re-training could do. The Al Qaeda banishment of fifty years ago as terrible as it was, is still one of the few effective punishments to prevent suicide bombers that society has come up with. It deprive a suicide bomber or terrorist of their homeland, of their life (temporarily), of their afterlife and all of its promises for fifty year stretches and the cost benefit analysis that was pitched to a suicide bomber became much more difficult to rationalize.

'Go blow yourself up for the cause, and you will die a martyr in heaven with seventy-two virgins and the best afterlife possible under god. . . .' But that didn't play out very well when modern science could heal almost any wound. That included many suicide bombers post detonation. Science could keep a brain alive if found in tact and put someone's consciousness on deep freeze for fifty years ago blocking them from their heaven.

Furthermore, PR campaigns in a post super digital world were so powerful that any given terrorist organization could barely account for whether or not a suicide bombing had been remotely effective. Digital cover ups stopped them from finding out if the bomb went off. It prevented them from determining if anyone was killed or injured including the bomber. They could barely determine if any property was damaged, destroyed or scratched.

Terror did not work if no one saw the results of terror. With no horrid death and destruction visible, it was as if a tree fell in the forest and no one was there to hear it, talk about it, and no one could find the remnants of the tree at all! No terror, no career path for terrorists.

But these Al Qaeda space travelers had the concept ingrained in their psyche before the super digital revolution. That and they had been imprisoned for fifty to seventy years or more, held captive, in some cases physically tortured, and in all cases severed from their families and friends, who were now probably dead. In short they had yet another axe to grind.

Even with the PR tools of the present, the ever present digital recording devices around the planet would watch them around the clock. If they did find a way to cause damage, it would be sensationalized worse than the hundreds of movies on just such a possible scenario had predicted fictionally, while they were still in space.

It was a big fat mess and Brad was captivated by the story, but he had some work to do. The community pod came to a stop. As he got up, the grandmother snickered and her granddaughter snapped a quick picture of him. Brad stepped out of the car, and could see through the window as the pair started talking. On the screen of the grandmother’s device was a news report and video playing featuring an image of Brad standing in the warehouse with a giant erect phallus on his head.

Continue to Next Chapter - 015 – Another Discovery