After introducing Shayla to various Techs and the wiz-kids hard at work deciphering the glyphs, I am anxious to try and find out more about her work and the knowledge contained by MIMIR. Jimmy Neutron's eyes were ogling her mercilessly.
"Pleased to meet you!"
"This is a test. How well can you keep a conversation going on two levels?"
"The pleasure is all mine. You have a wonderful facility here."
"I hear you. I can't really say as I don't think I've ever tried."
"We are working on those glyphs right now and Tech1 is being a tyrant about it."
"Oh, how so?"
"So you are a virgin of sorts when it comes to telepathy multitasking"
"Well, our meal breaks have been cut down to 20 minutes from 30 for starters. And he keeps calling me Jimmy Neutron. That alone should be grounds for improper work conditions!"
"I wouldn't say I'm a virgin."
The conversation stops. All eyes look at me, and I realize I spoke aloud what I had meant to transfer mentally. Shayla turns towards me and laughs aloud.
"I think you need more practice big guy!"
"What? What did I miss?"
"Don't worry Jimmy, this is between me and our distinguished guest."
That's just great. Now, I will never hear the end of it."
"Your mind is cute when you're embarrassed."
"Well, then I'll appear cute quite often, when you're around."
One didn't need telepathy to know what was going through Jimmy's mind or the other parts of the team. I forced those thoughts out of my head and refocused on MIMIR. I half-suspect that MIMIR already has this glyph deciphered as well as far more knowledge about this world than we have compiled here in Shamballa. To be precise, I wish we had been integrated with MIMIR sooner, so that any redundancy in research could be avoided.
Clearly an EXOR has now brought these disparate sectors of knowledge together, yet for the first time in a long while, I feel out of the loop - even though I am more in the loop than I've ever been. Its discomforting, to say the least.
"I think we should return to Iran and visit the flame again. I will brief you a bit en route."
"Do you want to fly or shall I warm up a plane?"
"I'll take you onboard my craft. It will be far more convenient."
"Well, I will admit to being curious about the craft and it's abilities."
I put on a flightsuit and pack some survival gear. Entering a hostile nation, one must always take into account the possibility of being shot down. Weapons, ammo,ERGO Drink, Hooah! nutrition bars, etcetera. Our planes are already pre-equipped with such PERCs (Performance Enhancing Ration Components), and I suspect Shayla's craft is equally prepared, but it is SOP (Standard Operating Procedure) to make sure that certain supplies are always present. I also grab a PAQ-10 Thermal imager, targeting system. It can accurately measure targets and base them upon the current GPS location of the imager. An essential tool for calling in airstrikes or positioning spy satellites. Iran is a thoroughly hostile zone to enter and if the place were any more hostile it would be called North Korea and run by Mr.Il.
Fortunately, here there is no waiting for luggage check and I hoist a tote filled with gear over each shoulder.
Shayla's craft is incredible. As I walk up the ramp, I half expect to see GORT onboard.
"Oh, you'll find this craft is well beyond the crude imaginings of Earth's science fiction writers."
I look at the seats and am nonplussed. No harnesses, no seatbelts, even! Before I can even think the thought, Shayla is in my mind with the answer.
"This craft does not need them. The cabin never experiences turbulence or vibration. Trust me."
I keep looking around and realize that MIMIR really uses earth-built alien technology. That this is one of the best kept secrets of the government is obvious. More properly though, almost no one knows about MIMIR except those actually in it. Considering my own clearance had not cleared me to become aware of this until now, I suspect even ODIN only knows bits and pieces and the details are kept.
Shayla sits down and a small holographic console appears in space before her. A console of controls and data is displayed. With a few quick hand gestures, I sense the craft is moving and yet I cannot really feel any vibration only a mental sense of speed.
"What are the specifications of this craft?"
"It is very, very fast. It is very, very quiet."
I hear the mental equivalent of laughter in Shayla's head.
"That's not what I meant. What can this thing do? Surely as its designer you must take a certain pride in its performance."
"Well for one thing, in the time it has taken to have this conversation, it has taken us to Iran.
It is incredible. This is flying saucer level performance and its real. It is magnificent and uses laws of physics we obviously are only beginning to understand.
"How does the craft avoid detection? Speed? Radar evasion? Inquiring minds would like to know."
"Nothing so primitive. This craft generates a field of energy that envelopes all of its component atomic structures. When the generator is active, the atoms become new isotopes of their normal atomic weights, and carry a substantial charge. In this state, the craft meets no resistance from atoms in lower states. Radar, clouds, air and mass pass through the craft or vice-versa depending upon your point of view."
"You mean right now, our atoms have been turned into different isotopes? Is it permanent? Does it leave any side effects?"
"Yes, your eyes grow larger, your skin becomes peach hued and your iris has a spira mirabilis pattern."
I sense her laughter in my mind. It is rich and warm. Her thoughts are sweet, like a bouquet of fresh flowers. I realize how privileged I am to be aware of the things I am and I see the glorious future man has to look forward to when he is ready.
"Do you always think in such grandiose ways? Mankind! The future! Your mind sounds like Doctor Doom's mental journal. SDAI-Tech1, I am going to have to teach you how to enjoy the here and now, and the 'magnificence that engenders the present!'"
More laughter in my mind and more of the sweet essence. Her presence in my mind has already become normal. And to think when I first thought of MIMIR involvement with SDAI, I suspected the chief scientist would be a pompous fifty-something with serious control issues and that we would be batting heads all over the place.
I carefully place mental markers around these thoughts as I think them. She probably knows how much I already like her - and we haven't even been together for 12 hours!
Of course for all I know she has an alien boyfriend back on her homeworld who makes me look like the village idiot.
Or maybe she's an orphan from a world like Krypton, the last of her kind and all alone, battling evil. Suddenly it occurs to me she knew who Doctor Doom was and that she has read comic books.
That makes me feel just a little bit better.