TWO WEEKS POST-EVENT
“Now for anybody who’s been sealed up in a cave or a locked room in a government lab for the past week, let me bring you up to date. First, I’m situated just outside of Enchanted Rock State Park in sunny South Texas, west of Austin and north of San Antonio. There was a big – 6.0 on the scale – earthquake here last week. Folks said Enchanted Rock, which is a big old hunk of pink – yes, I said pink – granite sticking up out of the ground, vibrated like a tuning fork.”
“So, first off, what caught everybody’s attention was the fact that even though two big cities were right nearby, they didn’t catch any of it. Totally unnatural! Scientists headed here, and so did first responders as soon as all the 9-1-1 calls started about people getting injured because they got shook off the mountain when the quake hit. Then word about missing folk started coming in. Some busload of school kids on a field trip couldn’t find everybody that got off there.”
He peered at the screen. “Hey, is that somebody rooting around in the brush wearing a hazmat suit? Let’s see if I can give you a closer look!” He directed the drone higher and closer to the activity. He decided to continue the monologue. “Other folk disappeared for a little bit, then showed up all changed. Changed as in clothes – some looked like they just walked out of the wild West frontier, and changed as in insisting they were somebody else and acting real confused about what was going on. travelers”
He zoomed the camera on the drone to get a close-up of the people on the ground. “Looky here, those are hazmat suits. What are they waving around down there? There’s a metal detector for sure, there, and I do believe that’s a bomb-sniffing dog. Poor thing, I hope they’re giving it plenty of water and rest. South Texas in the spring is a hot summer elsewhere!”
His eyes gleamed. “See these guys here? They belong to one of those agencies that don’t go by the alphabet. FBI, CIA, DHS, them and all those other agencies – and the military – they’re insisting they don’t have anything to do with these guys. These shady fellows showed up soon as the stories started hitting the Internet from the witnesses. Kicked out the locals, then the Texas Rangers when those lawmen showed up to find out why the locals were pushed out, and then the FBI when the Rangers complained. Somebody pulled some serious strings, folks. They got rid of the press, the law, then set up a perimeter – which I’m outside of, thank you. Then the witnesses started disappearing. Especially the folks who came back different. Those school kids? They got to go home, but the teachers didn’t. My sources tell me the parents of those kids they can’t find have disappeared, too.”
Tom raised his eyebrows. “Looks like they noticed my drone, folks. Just look how excited they are! I do believe they’re trying to hide some equipment there – what do you figure that is, for sampling air and water, maybe? Dirt, too, of course. Definitely something shady going on! Oops, looks like one of them got some orders to shoot me down!” He worked the controls, but the man with the rifle had good aim, and the video from the drone went blank after it sank to the earth.