The old place was faint with familiar smells, even after 20 years.
Nick Andrews had stopped by numerous times since his youth and the passing of his parents, the more recent visits being more frequent and on business, rather than family matters.
There was a large, singular room in the center of the house's first floor, about the size of a walk-in closet. After relocking the back door, he had closed and locked the main entrance to this giant windowless room from the kitchen. Along one wall stood a small cot, a round cafe table with a lantern on it, and an old but reliable safe, about two feet square, that had belonged to his father. Lighting a match in the pitch black, Andrews closed on and lit the lantern, then set his briefcase on the table, out of which he took a WIFI hotspot and IPad mini.
Nick set to work on the hotspot first, as there was likely no service of quality on the carrier's network out this far, but by the time his mods to some jumper pins and SIM cards were changed, he had five bars - full scale - on the new band of restricted frequencies the anonymous device now utilized.
A quick visit to some newspaper websites brought ominous headlines, even as the strange hotspot drew attention of its own:
UNEXPLAINED MASS DISAPPEARANCES
ABDUCTEES MAY NUMBER IN THOUSANDS
SEVEN STATES HUNT MISSING
MANY FEARED DEAD AS FEDS EYE MARTIAL LAW
High in geosynchronous orbit, a surveillance satellite tracked the faint digital signal from central Minnesota.
Nick turned off the transponder and moved to the safe. Inside were two absolutely ancient books and a much more recent drafting based on what the books contained. Andrews never met Edward Leidschalmann or Nikola Tesla, but these notebooks had contributed greatly to his work on the more recent & frequent visits made here. Now it was time to check the fruits of his labor.
Nick set the volumes and draft on top of the safe, closed it up, then after repacking the Samsonite, placed it and the volumes under the cot, being careful to see to it they made contact with the cross-legs of the frame. He retrieved the duffle from the kitchen and leaned it against the foot of the cot. Finally, he laid down on it himself, reached over and touched the cold plaster of the nearby wall.
He felt around on the surface until he found the warm spot that signified the transit point, and thumped it once.
At about the same time a severely-equipped megavan from Homeland Security rolled by infront of the old farmhouse, Nick Andrews & his accessory-laden cot materialized thirty feet below in a natural cavern leaving them all behind.
One year ago
50 minutes ago