Charlie Fontaine has 185 IQ, and was recruited to work for C.S.I.S (Canadian Secret Intelligence Service) when he was just 15 years old in 1987. They told him he could do whatever he wanted, even studying U.F.O.s. Now, in 2014 his security clearance gains him entry into a “breakaway civilization” of secret societies who live underground…
Charlie never thought he would see the man again.
In all the 27 years since he was in the agency, he had never seen him, or his younger partner. In the beginning of his career heralded by this man, he naturally expected to see him. But soon after he met other men who were higher up and opened more doors down into the rabbit hole.
Agent 1-S, his “handler,” who had guided him for more than a decade now, stood up and came over to him in the dark room.
Charlie hated all the theatricality of the occasion—but he dared not show that. He had to respect it. At this level, this is how they did things. “They.” The people he had yet to meet. But who had always been there, he knew.
Mr. Melaga was a fine teacher, liberating fellow, kind and forgiving with his students—as long as they earned a reputation with him and did an honest job of schoolwork. Charlie liked him immensely. He liked how the old man would, after asking a casual question in a lecture, just seemingly-randomly point to anyone and say their name requiring them to answer it to the class.
Charlie, sat in the back and was a less likely target for that kind of performance. He didn’t mind the shock of it when it rarely happened to him, and he never felt interrogated. Mr. Melega had a way about him, and if you didn’t know the answer, he’d quickly recognize that and point and ask someone else. He never made anyone feel bad about failing. Charlie could always see what the man was doing, and even though he didn’t care for Geography, he loved to watch him do his thing—and appreciated how boring over the years it must have been for the high-school teacher.
Brad, who sat next to him yawned and said under his breath to him, “I’m bored.”
“Me too,” Charlie said.
“You’re not bored. You don’t look bored.”
Charlie never stopped listening to the teacher and kept his face front. “Pay attention and you’ll get your credit.”
Suddenly Mr. Jellenck came into the room from the front, he didn’t even knock. He was Charlie’s guidance councillor the same one his sisters had had eight and twelve years before.
The tall thin antennae-eared man seemed more nervous than usual, considerably.
As Mr. Melega stopped to look at him, and offered a quizzical expression, Charlie saw the councilor look quickly around the room to the back and find his eyes.
My dad’s dead, he thought immediately.
It was a perfectly rational thought. He’d lost his mother when he was ten. He’d been there in the morning—thanksgiving day in fact, a holiday from school—when he awoke to the sound of his father gently slapping his mother’s face and saying her name over and over “Mary-Lue, Mary-Lue, Mary-Lue…?” From his bedroom he could hear the scene happening and he knew that his mother was dead. The sound tack from that October morning would haunted him still.
“Charlie?” Mr Jeleneck said. His voice was stronger than usual. And Charlie feared the worst.
Without a word Charlie stood up, and feeling numb, simply slid out of the back row and came to the door to meet him.
Jeleneck put an hand on his shoulder and quickly took him outside accidentally slamming the door behind him.
“Charlie, is your dad at work?”
He didn’t know how to respond, he was thinking his dad was dead somehow.
“Is he okay?”
Jeleneck seemed to immediately understand—he had been Charlie’s own sister’s councilor when his mother had died in 1982. They had been in high-school, he was still at St. Theresa’s grade school.
“No, no son, your dad’s okay, he’s fine—it’s just he’s at work right. We should call him.”
“Well, Charlie there’s some people here to see you from the government.”
Charlie was completely perplexed. “The government?”
“Apparently. I mean, yes. They say they are from the government.”
“Am I in trouble?” Charlie couldn’t imagine why.
“No, no, you’re not in trouble. You didn’t do any—well, it’s just that… We should call your dad.”
Charlie was afraid and confused, “Okay”.
Mr. Jelenek put his long bony arm around him and whisked him down the corridor.
“But I don’t understand, am I in trouble?” he asked
“No. You didn’t do anything. It’s just that…” The man was so disturbed he was tripping over his long legs and old big shoes and was catching the back of Charlie’s head with his elbow as they made their way.