Through The Ascension room

Alexander's obscure yet routine life is about to unravel before his very eyes after being 'selected' to join a secret society involved with time travel, Alex will be forced to uncover his true purpose and his ties to the dark secrets that await him, through the ascension room... past will encounter present, destinies will be fulfilled, and time and space as you know it may be changed forever...

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2. Chapter Two

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*****Thank you for continuing your reading of this story. Please make sure you leave me a comment to let me know what you thought of the story thus far. I would greatly appreciate it and it would help shape the chapters to come! Enjoy****

 

CHAPTER TWO

 

I continue thumbing through Rick's wallet where I find a couple of 20's, a 10, two 5's, and a few 1's. This will buy me dinner and some traveling gas, but won't even come close to giving me a stay at this motel (even though it surely looks like it should be free at this point to any brave souls courageous enough to stick it out here a whole night).

I decide to put a 20 to gas before I eat so that I have the ability for a quick getaway. You never know when you'll need a fast escape. I pull the bike into the blinking vortex that is the gas station and begin fueling. This place gives me the chills, and I again contemplate just driving on through and never looking back. Maybe I'll fill up here. Get some food that will give me enough energy to continue to a more welcoming place. It's funny, I never would have guessed a place along the coastline would be this dumpy.  I always figured beach towns to be a little more kept together, with sand debris littering the streets maybe, but not plastic wrappers and beer bottles.

I click the nozzle releasing it from the tank of my bike. I go inside to pay the cashier who absent-mindedly takes my money, refusing to pull his eyes off of the magazine he is “reading”. I pull a snickers bar off the rack as I leave, just despite the man. I make my way over to the diner ready to eat some food and cease this intense chaos happening in my stomach.

I walk into the diner and am immediately overwhelmed by the mixture of pleasant smells filling my nose. I am promptly greeted by a waitress who seems to stand out from the rest of this towns inhabitants. She's smiling at me as she greets me, which feels nice being the first real authentic human interaction I've had in a while (the gas station clerk not counting for obvious reasons). She seats me at a window table and hands me a menu. All the selections look so good and I can feel my stomach doing flips over every item pictured in the menu. I settle for a double bacon burger, onion rings and fries, a tall soda and a slice of cherry and apple pie. I figured I might as well use up the rest of the money I had (which I just about do).

The waitress begins to bring out the items of my order, the soda first. I am so thirsty that I down the whole cup by the time she brings out my plate of burger and fries. She leaves with my cup in her hand and a swing in her step. She couldn't be more than 18. Maybe 20 tops. She's cute, and I can't help but feel drawn to her. I wonder if she's into motorcycle riding 16 year old bad boys...

Before I finish my thought she's back with my side order of onion rings and my refilled soda. She places them down strategically around my other plate of food and then it came. The thing I can never seem to outrun. The questions. No matter where I am or who it is asking, it always happens. Like a 16 year old boy can't just walk into a deserted diner at 2 in the morning without being pummeled in the hot seat. Although the questions are always annoying, I don't mind it so much coming from her.

"So where you from sweetheart?" She asks.

"Phoenix. Phoenix, Arizona." I answer in between bites. My town of origin changes periodically. I choose places far enough away that the local residents of whatever small town I'm in, so they won't have enough knowledge of the town to catch me in my lie, and a place that is fairly well know as to not invite the attempts at describing my town and pinpointing it for them on a map.

"Phoenix you say. Huh, I have an uncle who lives out there."

GREAT, here they come.

"Whereat exactly in Phoenix?" She probes.

I know she isn't trying to be annoying, and to anyone else this would be a welcomed conversation.

"On the outskirts of town, in a smaller community." 9 out of 10 times this response works and throws them off my scent.

"Oh no way! Buckeye or Wittmann? My uncle was the sheriff of Wittmann for over thirty years." A smile opens up in her face as she shifts her weight onto her other foot, signaling she's in this for the long haul.

"Buckeye." I respond returning to my food, hoping the short direct response was enough to give her the hint.

A short pause later, "Alright now, you enjoy your food and I’ll be right out with your pies, and let me know if you got anything else you need. Just give me a holler." She must have caught onto my hints. Unscathed however, by my antisocial jabs. She walks away as chipper as ever with that same swing in her step. Her absence from the table side leaves only her scent behind, sweet perfume and spearmint gum.

As I ferociously work on demolishing the food before me, the bell hanging just low enough in front of the front door lets loose a jingle signaling an arrival. It was two men dressed heavily in clothes and hoods. Instantly a sense of chills runs over me. They make their way to a table just outside of earshot. But I can see them without craning my neck making it not obvious I'm spying on them.

The young waitress skips over to them as they sit down. The one orders a coffee, the other nothing. They seem to be waiting for something. Low somber faces. Fixed, unbreakable gazes. No doubt in my mind they mean business. Question is, what kind of business? The waitress walks out with a coffee mug in one hand and balancing two small plates on the other. My pies. My mouth waters at the thought of the tart, sweet fruit pies. I make one last haul at clearing the rest of my food off the table before she gets here and I succeed.

"Boy we were hungry weren't we Phoenix boy?" She switches out the food plates. Empty plate to her arms and the pie plates on the table in front of me.

"Yes, a very long day." I answer back almost instinctively. Something about this girl draws me out of my introverted shell and my hands start to get clammy and chilly. "I've been working my way up the coast, stopping here and there enjoying the sights."

"Oh how neat. You know, I've always wanted to just pack up and go travel the world. See Rome, Italy. Backpack in the Alps, go on an African safari. I love zebras. I would die to see one in person." Her voice is soothing and exciting at the same time. Normally I'm not very good at conversation (especially with girls) but I seem to be doing pretty well now.

"I hear Italy is beautiful this time of year." I lie to try to continue the conversation and her interest in it and maybe even in me.

"You don't say, we'll maybe someday. Until then I'm stuck here." She gives a waving gesture to the diner around us and for the first time I take in the look of the interior. Up until now my focus has been on the food and the waitress.

Wallpaper was peeling off the walls everywhere. Dark scuff marks spotted the walkway carpet and dented, scratched furniture lines those walkways. My heart sinks for a moment and all I want to do is swoop her up off her feet and take her away. Far far away from this dump.

A surge of adrenaline and confidence floods though me, "maybe I can take you sometime." Short, sweet and to the point. Nice one, 'Alexander the great'. Her eyes fixate on me as if to study me. The corners of her lips begin to move up the sides of her face.

"I'm Abrigail. Abrigail Lynton. My friends usually call me Aubri." She extends her free arm out to me shooting a fresh whiff of her sweet perfume at me.

My cheeks flush with red and my heart pounds incessantly against the inside of my chest. I accept her invitation to touch without any question. Our hands slide into a locked positions where my fingers wrap underneath the soft skin of her hand. I don't want this moment to end as she gently nods our hand together in place.

"Alexander Briggs, but all my friends call me Alex." I lie (about the all my friends part). She turns her head slightly on its side as her smile grows bigger and a flop of her hazelnut hair falls over her shoulder.

"We'll Alex, why not start a little closer to home hmm?" She says holding her slender frame with such poise, slowly raising her eyebrows and leaning in. I've never been to good with social cues but I'm pretty sure this one means she is waiting for an invitation to go out.

"We'll, you work tomorrow?" I ask.

"Noon to 5."

"We'll ill pick you up at five then. Here. Tomorrow night." I say with more confidence than I knew I had.

She props herself back upright and straightens her hair behind her shoulders, "it's a date Alex Briggs."

She turns and walks away. I watch her disappear into the back kitchen area. Excitement smoothes over me and I feel lighter as if I am floating away. Higher and higher, until my legs actually hit the underside of the diner table disturbing the restful sleep of my silverware sending them into a noisy, dancing frenzy. I fall back down plopping into my seat with a THUD.

What is going on?  I think to myself as the two men at the table down from mine shoot a glance at me (There is something very strange about the men and I can't put my finger on it).

How is that possible? Was I actually floating? Levitating?

I try to shake it from my mind, at least for the time being, and assure myself I'd get around to figuring it out as soon as possible.

I can make out almost everything they are say though I can't actually hear them. Being alone for most of my life and never really engaging in a whole lot of actual socializing, I've gotten pretty good at reading lips. It's one of my special gifts.

I make out what they are saying and a lot of it has to do with 'the drop' and 'the cargo'. They mention 'the money' and then I'm hooked. They must be drug dealers about to make 'the drop' of 'the cargo' for the payment of 'the money'. This would be a big, undoubtedly dangerous, pull for me if I can pull it off. Besides I need some money if I'm going to take Aubri out tomorrow night. I want to make it big and exciting for her and I'm sure this could guarantee that for me.

Just then the two men start to get up and move towards the door after flopping a couple of bills onto the table. I follow in suite laying down all the bills I had left, which would amount to about a $6 tip. I get up and move towards the door. I take one more look back towards the kitchen area hoping to catch a glimpse of Aubri before I go. The bell above the door jingles its tune and I smack shoulders with some guy walking in. I stumble, catch my balance and watch as the man walks into the seating area and take a seat facing away from me. I look back towards the kitchen standing in the doorway, but I don’t see her. I feel bad leaving the diner like this without even seeing her before I go, but I figure it'll be worth it in the end.

I follow the two men out of the diner and take a right to go around the back-way to my bike, while keeping an eye on their position as to not lose them. I slip on the gloves and return the black enclosure to my head. Kick up the stand and turn over the engine. It starts with a grunt. I give it a slight pat. I can see the men getting into their slender black car that I can't quite make out the model of. They pull out of the parking lot and I follow keeping my lights off and a safe distance between them and me.

I try to maintain that safe distance, but it’s tough this late at night with no other cars around as buffers. I'm a sitting duck if I'm had. Luckily they don't go too far. Roughly three blocks away towards the ocean is a large shipment warehouses attached to a boating dock. I park my bike outside of the complex as to stay as hidden as I can. I take a deep breath of the ocean air and make the distinction that the fresher and closer to the source the sea air is, the better it smells. Maybe I could get use to a place like this, finally settle down. Living life on the run takes its toll and if someone was truly following me, I think they would have caught up to me by now. One more deep breath to clear my head.

I make my way into the compound surrounded by a worn chain linked fence breached in more places than one. I choose the hole closest to my bike and head to the warehouse in which the two men walked into. Around the building are an assortment of nice cars from Cadillacs to Escalades. I decide it isn't wise to go in through the same door as the rest of them so I sneak around to the back side of the warehouse trying to find another entry route. A couple of locked doors and a window.

The window is just out of my height range but I pull a crate over that gives me the height I need. Moving the crate displaces a group of seagulls sending them into a swooping frenzy. I duck to avoid there flapping wings and hold still waiting to find out if the men inside have heard the commotion. I hear no sign of movement, meaning they haven't either. I reach up to test if the window is unlocked and it is. I pull myself up and through the window as quietly as possible. Scaling the inside wall, luckily reaching another primly placed crate where I crouch onto it, scanning the room in its entirety.

Stacks and stacks of crates give the room a maze-like feeling. I work my way down off of the crates and move around to the other side of the room where I see them gathered. Standing around in two semi-circles of six and six. The two men I tailed now sided with four other guys. A briefcase lay opened behind the one semi-circle placing it between me and them. Perfect. This will be quick and easy and I’ll be on my way to an awesome date with Aubri. All I need are two, maybe three stacks from that briefcase and I'm set for months, maybe even years.

The men in the half circles are clearly in business mode, engaged in transaction details. With a quick scan I see that they are all sporting semiautomatic rifles. It ups the stakes a little more and gives me a moment of doubt. I assure myself that this will be an easy pull as long as I do it with their backs turned to me. In and out. Done. I ready myself for the pull and hold my hands out again focusing on the target. The Briefcase. Then the Money. Stacks and stacks of it.

I wrap my mind around three of the bundles easily holding $8,000 each. I open my eyes to see ripples of air pulsating from my body distorting my vision. I try to not panic, and contemplate dropping the money and just running out of there. I calm myself down and try to focus this strange anomaly originating from my body.  What is going on with me? I can't seem to control it and it continues to ripple out making this pull all the more harder. I just hope that one of the men doesn't wise up and look to see this pulsating boy taking money from their briefcase. To my surprise there seems to be some kind of disagreement between the two gangs and a verbal dispute has arisen helping cover up the scene I was putting on.

Again I try to focus this energy coming from my body but can't seem to do so. I feel helpless to the situation and I just know they are going to spot me any minute. I feel the money start to slip from my conscious grip as it inches closer to me. Inch by inch it comes. Almost there. Almost there. Just a little closer now...

The pulsing begins to throw off my balance. Then the flood gates opened up. A large pulse booms from my body scattering the crates around the room like they were toy blocks. I’m thrown off of my feet and slam on the hard, stained concrete floor. I drop the money a few feet from my position as the briefcase of money is thrown into the back of one of the men. Startled and confused as to want just happened the men are in a dazed state (not unlike myself at this point) and I see this as the only opportunity to finish the job. So I hop to my feet and take a leap out of my hiding place. I make a dash sprint to the money laying, taunting me on the ground. I wrap my fingers around the bills and...

"Hey! You! What you think you're doing?"

I lift my eyes to see a dozen or so guns trained on me as the men begin to all scream orders and profanity at me. Guns shaking but nevertheless pointed right at me. The whole scene is unnerving and the men look as if they are all just about to explode, and unravel all over me. My feet feel like they are literally weighed to the ground as if some force of gravity is pulling me down into the concrete. Deeper and deeper sinking into my unmoving position.

Stupidly I put my hands up to signal surrender, only unintentionally waving the money for them all to see.  Great thinking 'Alexander the not-so-great'.

And just like that a rifle is fired without warning and I'm mere split seconds away from biting the bullet and dropping dead here in this abandoned warehouse. Instinctively I raised my hands to cover my face (because we all know that bullets can't penetrate hands right?). In that moment I saw milliseconds stretched into years, seconds into decades. And the pulsating starts again. The first shot was followed by an intense barrage of bullets that filled the warehouse with echoing chaos. The pulsing grows stronger and stronger. The ear piercing clatter of gunfire increasing, louder and louder, then suddenly replaced by silence. Erie dark silence. I open my eyes to see the ripples generating from my body slowly cease.

Where the men were standing I could now see only a pile of lifeless bodies, buckled at the knees all flopped over in weird, unsettling positions. Red with blood. Nausea sets in quickly as I lean over to let loose the double bacon burger. I had never seen a dead body before, let alone, 12 of them. 12 dead bodies caused by what? By me? But how? What did I do?

I see the walls behind the men pocketed with bullet holes and splintering wood. My head begins to swirl first slowly, then increasingly more rapid and violent as the situation starts to settle itself in my mind. I feel light again and am immediately afraid I'm going to float right out of the warehouse roof, and into space where I'll suffocate to death (which seems desirable at this point).

My feet break connection with the ground and my head swims in circles, around and around and around. The piercing sounds of police sirens echo in the near distance. They grow louder until I can see beams of red and blue light dance through the bullet holes in the warehouses walls.

I close my eyes, tip over and fall unconsciously to the ground.

--End of Chapter Two—

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