Ulysses and the Fugitive 8 wasn't one for long preambles or setups. He wanted to know how much he was going to be asked to do. "We don't know the answer to either of those questions," said the Air Force general. "There hasn't been any chatter about something like this, as far as we can tell," said the NSA analyst. "All we really have is what NORAD gave us and a few eyewitness accounts," said the CIA director, looking O'Flannery in the eyes. "The fact that those pieces of information square with each other piqued our interest. We don't know if this is a fluke, something the Russians or the Chinese are developing, or if this is the beginning of a trend or not. That's why we've asked you to come here today: we want you to investigate. We'd like you to start by traveling to the sighting locations to conduct interviews with the witnesses." O'Flannery nodded. "Very well. I'll begin in Nevada?" "That's the idea. From there, we'll fly you to Seim Reap. You'll have the usual embassy access and the Station Chief will share whatever resources he can." "I'm leaving tonight?" "That's not a problem is it? "No, sir. With our history, I expected as much." "Very good, Jonathan," The director said, sliding him a packet. "Inside you'll find a short list of eyewitnesses as well as a list of contacts if you require assistance." O'Flannery paged through the slim packet. The list of agency and military contacts handily outnumbered the eyewitnesses. He nodded at all of it, then looked at the director, who said, "Your flight is in four hours. We'll update you if there are more incidents like these. Ms. DePace is outside; she'll show you out." "Thank you, sir. I'll be in touch." He stood up and shook hands with everyone present, then walked out of the conference room. * * * O'Flannery hated the desert heat. He went to Las Vegas once on vacation, but this was his first time in Reno. Everywhere in Vegas was air conditioned, and the same was true for Reno, but there was something he just didn't like about this city. The early September heat certainly didn't help, neither did being on a bullshit assignment that would probably net him a big fat goose egg. For his troubles, he could look forward to trading in the stifling dry heat of the desert for the stifling wet heat of the jungle when he got to Cambodia. He grimaced inside his rental car, AC on full blast. O'Flannery flipped through his packet and glanced at the front of the home he'd just left. The witness statements from his first interview were worthless. His second interview, which he'd just finished, had yielded a grainy phone video of some glowing blobs and emphatic statements that the blobs were flying saucers. O'Flannery sighed. His well-trained skeptic's eye just didn't buy it. There was a far more earthly explanation for whatever lay at the center of this phenomena; he just hadn't found it yet. At least he got a copy of the video for his files. It was something he could show his superiors to demonstrate his due diligence. Two down, two to go, he thought.