The S.C.P.C. (Ch. 6)

Image by lanier67 via Flickr

Stephen asked Katie where the center was, and Katie replied, “It’s Downtown, sort of. Kind of on the edge of Downtown. It’s not far, really. You’ll see.”

Stephen nodded his understanding, and they got on their bikes. Katie was right. It took about fifteen minutes to where they stopped, although it said the name of some big hotel above the entrance.

Katie said,”We get off our bikes here, but we bring them with us around the back.”

Stephen played along, so they went down the alley on the side of the building.  About halfway down, Katie did something that Stephen didn’t expect.  For some reason, there were two water faucets right next to each other on the building about halfway down the alley. Katie stopped when they came to them, reached out to the one one the left, and gave a turn to the right, and just as quickly, a turn to the left.  Stephen noticed that not a drop of water came out of that faucet.

“Okay, c’mon,” Katie said, and they kept walking.

When they got to the back of the building, Katie instructed Stephen to watch her, then do the same. Katie walked into the corner, opposite the building, and she lined up her bike with the edges of a metal platform. No sooner did she stop moving then the platform began to descend. This made Stephen a little nervous because he knew that once Katie was gone, he was on his own.  He thought for a moment of asking her if he needed to go back and turn the faucet again, but just when he was about to ask, she was gone!

Stephen stood there for a few seconds, then decided he better move, so he got himself and his bike up on the platform, positioning himself as close to how Katie had done as he could, and, sure enough, as soon as he stopped moving, the platform moved down.  When the platform sunk below the ground, Stephen heard a strange noise and noticed the sound of the motor for the platform had ceased.  It lowered for several moments, then silently came to a stop. Stephen had been in the dark for the trip down, but now that he reached the bottom, bright lightscame on overhead. With the lights on, Stephen could tell that some type of enclosure had risen from the floor below. The enclosure was solid black, surrounding the platform completely on all sides, reaching about ten feet from the floor, and provided the bright lights that were making Stephen squint his eyes.  He stood there under white lights for a minute, then the colors changed.  There was red, blue, green and orange, interspersed by a long minute of darkness.

Stephen searched his mind for any clue he had for what was going on, but the experience was such a shock that his mind was a blank. The lights went back to white, and then a voice came on what Stephen figured must be an intercom.  Stephen looked up in search of a speaker but couldn’t find one.  Finally he paid attention to the voice itself.It was a calm voice, with a friendly manner.  It was a male voice, and he knew Stephen’s name!

“Stephen, we apologize for the uncomfortable circumstance that you are in right now.  Unfortunately, we must take precautions before we allow anyone to enter our building.  The vessel you see around you serves two main purposes: to keep you safe, and to allow us to scan you for abilities that you may possess that are of interest to our organization.  It is only upon discovering these abilities that we feel it is safe for you and for us to allow you to enter these doors. So, we need to come to terms.  Katie has told us that you hear music and you get very complex ideas and solutions to complex problems.  Is this all true?”

“Stephen said, “Yes, what Katie said is all true, but I can’t control it nor do I know of any way of triggering my abilities to work.  It happens, just, anytime.”

“Well every now and then we do make an exception for a student with at least strong rumors of extraordinary abilities, a verbal consent and a willing sponsor.  We have received back several commentsfrom various credible sources about your abilities, obviously far from developed or honed to any real power, but, nonetheless, still strong.  Also, Katie has already volunteered to serve as a helper to you who will show you the ropes and be you teammate as you search your self, struggle to find the s0urce and direction of your powers, and eventually to shape  those powers into something that you can use to help yourself, your teammates and the greater humanity. You must understand that our permission to allow you in our facility is contingent on your attitude, behavior, and, most importantly, respect for the center and those that come and go in it.  And the first rule is: Do not tell anyone about the center without first having approval from the center.  This is simply to protect those who come here and so that they will feel safe to continue to do so.

Stephen sensed it was his turn to speak.  He said, “I promise to keep a good attitude, behaviour and respect for everyone in the center and for the center itself.  And I promise to do my best to find the source of my abilities and cooperate with my sp0nsor and my teammates, whomever they are, in a proper manner  that is appropriate to whatever rules the leaders of the center have set down for the good of all.

There was a brief silence, and then the door in the enclosure began to open…