How Old are You?
As promised, the Group of Eight returned after no more than ten or fifteen minutes. Their leader sat next to me once again and spoke.
“Thank you for not attempting to leave the building while we were in the next room. We realize that you must be as confused as we are regarding how you arrived here in Our Destiny.
“We searched the database of all five hundred eighty five residents of the planet, and you are not one of them. However, we believe we may have found you in a database of people who lived on the planet in the past. Tell, us, Tammy, how old are you?”
“Twenty three. Why?”
“Hmmm. According to our calculations you should be much older than that. How can that be?”
“Your computer has a list of everyone who was alive before all but five hundred eighty five died?”
“Yes, but you should be much older.”
“Simple. Your computer found my mother. I’m Tamara Lynn. She was Lynn Tamara. People told us we looked like twins, not mother and daughter. People were always getting us mixed up, including the government.”
“Our facial recognition software is very accurate. It doesn’t make mistakes.”
“Well it did this time. If mom was still alive, you could check it out, but apparently she isn’t, according to what you’ve told me.”
“According to our database, neither you nor your mother is alive.”
“Well, it’s wrong on two points, who I am and whether or not I’m alive. If you can accept that I’m alive, then maybe you should also accept who I am.”
Their database was wrong on only one thing, whether or not I was alive. I was not about to explain why I was more than a generation younger than I should have been.
“Even if you are Tamara Lynn, you should be older than twenty three.”
“Well what can I say? I know how old I am. Your computer is wrong. Tell me, do I look older than twenty three?”
“Actually, I’d say no,” replied the leader.
“There you go then. I’m alive, and your database is screwed.”
“Highly irregular.” replied the leader. “We have found no other errors.”
“Of course not. If you’re checking up on people who are dead, who is going to contradict what the database says? They’re all dead.”
My screwy logic somehow seemed to make sense to the Eight and we moved on to what they planned to do with me.
An Offer I Can’t Refuse
“We have decided to make you an offer,” the leader stated flatly. “If what you tell us is all true, you should already be dead. Even if you were underground for an extended period of time, when you emerged you should have died. We would like to observe you and possibly test you to see what there is about you that is preventing you from dying.
“However, you must agree to never leave this building or attempt to contact anyone outside this building while you are undergoing observation and testing. If you do, we cannot guarantee your safety.”
Guess I’m going to be their little secret. Who are they trying to hide me from? I wonder what they have planned for me.
“You’re telling me that someone out there is going to kill me if I leave?”
“We’re simply telling you that you may not be safe outside this building. Inside the building we can keep you safe.”
“O.k., I accept your kind offer, but how are you going to explain me wandering through your little town here?”
“We already have. Apparently a very confused young female took the wrong shuttle and ended up in Our Destiny rather than in her intended destination, but found her way to where she needed to go. Our explanation was accepted without question.”
The Supreme Council
“What do the eight of you call yourselves?”
“You’re asking our names?”
“I’d like to know that too, but I’m asking if this group has a name.”
“We’re the Supreme Council, the government of the planet.”
“Is that an actual job, or just some sort of honorary title?”
Apparently I had found a sore spot, kind of like asking someone who just received a job promotion if they had only been given a new title, or new responsibilities accompanied by an increase in pay.
“Of course it’s an actual job,” the leader indignantly replied. “We’re the government and this building is the headquarters of the government.”
“So who’s the guy over you?”
“No one is over us. We’re the government.”
Yeah, right. They’re the show for show and tell. Someone else is really pulling the strings and they’re not planning to tell him about me. Not yet anyway.
“Sorry, I didn’t mean to imply anything. You have to realize that I don’t know anything about what’s happening on earth now. You do still call the planet earth, right?”
“Yes, we still call it earth, although we’ve heard rumors that some people would like to change the name.”
Rumors? Some people? If these guys are in charge wouldn’t they be the ones who would change the name?
“So I agree to stay here and not make my presence known to anyone else while you watch me to see if I’m going to die. If you guys are the government and you plan to keep me under wraps, how do you plan to run medical tests on me without taking me somewhere?”
“That is possible. But first, we’ll just be observing you.”
“To see if I die?”
“And when I don’t?”
“We will investigate further.”
“Where do I stay?”
“We have an apartment for guests. It is rarely used. No one is scheduled to be in there for the next several months. You will stay there, and dine with us.”
“Does anyone else ever come to this building?”
“Occasionally. When that happens, you will stay in your apartment.”
“So I won’t infect your guests?”
“That would be most unfortunate.”
Friend or Foe?
They really don’t want anyone to know I’m here. Why? Are they the friends the man on the rock said I would find? I think they may be.
“We’ll figure this out together, won’t we?” I asked.
“We’re hoping we will, and we’re asking for your cooperation. Please trust us. We will take care of you. We’d like to get to the root of all of this.”
“All of this?”
“Yes. Who you are, how you got here and how you’ve managed to stay alive. This could all be very important to the future of everyone on earth.”
“All five hundred eighty five of you?”
“All five hundred eighty six of us.”
“I get the feeling that there’s someone out there who will kill me if they find out I exist.”
“We won’t allow that to happen.”
He just acknowledged that there is someone out there who will try to kill me if they find out I’m here. But they’re willing to risk hiding me. They must be afraid of him, whoever he is. Maybe they think I can somehow help them overpower him. Can I? Who is he? The boogeyman?