Unnamed Journal Volume 3, Issue 3 - Page 9

Ulysses and the Fugitive by Alfred Underhill Chapter 8 - The First Night of Burning Man he report sat in the passenger seat. He'd already read its contents a half-dozen times, yet he still shot it an apprehensive look. He sat in his car in the CIA headquarters' parking lot. He'd just assumed it was another practical joke when he received the dossier, but when the head of DHS requested a meeting he knew it was real. T Absently brushing the side of his buzz-cut head, he ran through the details: 1. NORAD confirmed the sighting of a UFO above the California desert; 2. A similar object was seen minutes later in South East Asia; 3. 48 hours later, several similar looking objects were seen hovering above the Nevada desert. He looked at his watch and exhaled slowly. It was time. He threw the report into a folder and put it in his laptop bag. It had been a few years since he'd been inside this building. Outside the headquarters looked the same as he remembered it, yet inside, the CIA had apparently redecorated. Good for them, I guess, he mused. He walked to the front desk and checked-in, then waited to be called. He didn't have to wait long. "Special Agent O'Flannery?" "Yes," he said, standing up to shake hands. "Maura DePace, pleasure to meet you. Please follow me." "Yes, ma'am." Ms. DePace lead him to an elevator. They ascended several floors, then she lead him down a handful of bland hallways toward a conference room. She swiped her fob to unlock the door and held it open so he could enter. "Jonathon O'Flannery. How have you been?" The head of DHS stood as O'Flannery entered the room. The two men shook hands, then he was introduced to the rest of the attendees. With the exception of a lone NASA scientist, all of the assembled company worked for three-letter agencies or a branch of the military. After the introductions, he took a seat at the conference table. "You've read the report?" "Yes, sir. Several times. To be frank, I thought it was bullshit until you called this meeting." Everyone laughed or smiled at his candor. "No doubt, no doubt," said the director. "We do get stuff like this from time to time. Usually it's just some under- slept pilot or a classified test flight. That sort of thing." The director sipped at his water. "So, what are we looking at this time? More importantly, do we know who we're de aling with?" O'Flannery asked. He