Atlantic Bridge -2-
June 6th 2062, Kittery, Maine.
The Heli Jet disgorged its human cargo, taking off into the hazy blue skies of Maine again almost immediately. The Five men ran quickly into the innocuous looking gunmetal grey aircraft hanger. Once inside, they were met by a barrel-chested, tight-lipped marine who gave them a curt nod before ushering them into a stainless steel elevator in the corner of the hanger. With a barely audible whoosh they proceeded to drop 2 miles down into the bedrock.
Seconds later, the doors opened and a brightly lit corridor greeted them. It looked to go on for miles. They were ushered into a nearby conference room, and the marine, evidently well-briefed, announced them:
“General Sir George Lacey, UK Commander-in-chief, Armed Forces,
Lieutenant Commander Ben Tobias, His Majesty’s Royal Navy,
Sir Robert Westing , Universal Civil Engineers Chief Executive,
Daniel Rawlings, Chairman of the Board, Structural Solutions, UK,
and finally, Mr. Marius Cassel, CBE, B.A. Frcs. Institute of International Architects.”
The group exchanged pleasantries with their American counterparts, Cal Mooney of Buildcorp, Inc., Dexter Johnson of Statewide Corporate and Structural, and Bert Dwyer, C.O. of Polyflex Industries.
The meeting was chaired by the U.S. Strategic Commander General Thomas Alberstein, assisted by his Lieutenant, Edwin Newsome.
The USSC wasted no time. “Gentlemen, I hope we have managed to arrange this meet as speedily as you would have liked, now what in the blazes is so damned important that’s its got me running up to Maine like I’ve got a fire in my ass?”
“Your turn of phrase is as entertaining as ever, General Alberstein, “ said Sir George Lacey. “Ben, can you outline for the good general here our doomsday scenario?”
For the next five minutes, Ben Tobias painted a gloomy picture, the build up of terrorist battalions in Normandy and Brittany, the discovery of covert fundamentalist operations in US and UK territories in the Caribbean, and the continuing call from the ruling Bin Laden family to the muslim community of Great Britain to distance itself from the population, and pave the way for “Shariah Law’s full implementation in spiritually Islamic Britain”. By the time he sat down, an air of depression had filled the room.
“Okay”, said Alberstein, “Now you’ve improved my mood, what’s your point, I’m damn sure you didn’t need to come all this way to tell me how deep the shit is.”
“Indeed not, Thomas, “ said Sir George patiently, “and I should now like to ask Mr. Marius Cassel to share his thoughts with us.”
Marius Cassel stood. An unassuming man, around 1.75m, short salt and pepper hair, and steel rimmed glasses, he was a fit 52, and was the product of a German father and Polish mother. He grew up in Ambialet, a beautiful town shoehorned into the sheer rock that rose out of the River Tarn, in southern France. It was a wonderful place to grow up in, the green river flowing by, caressing the golden sand banks that occasionally peeked above the surface. Ancient, rough-hewn steps found their way down the rocks to a riverside path which Marius spent hours wandering along. A church nestled between the jagged outcrops above the village, but high on the next rock looking down over all of Ambialet, was the Monastery. The Monastery was a source of wonder to the young Marius. How had it been constructed, in such a seemingly inaccessible place? The small town was full of such things to pique a young boy’s curiosity. A tunnel, through the rock itself, served to link the sections of Ambialet, as it struggled against nature to create a community on, above and between the jagged rocks, and an old stone bridge spanned the widening Tarn, as it swept by the town in an imperious arc. The walls of Ambialet seemed to merge as one with the natural rock as it plunged down into the river, giving the Southern aspect of the town the impression of a fortress. Marius’ interest in Architecture had begun at the age of 5, when his mother used to take him on trips to visit the worlds’ great cathedrals. She was a fanatical Catholic, but the religion made little impression on the young Marius. It was the gods who had built these wonderful places that he wanted to worship, better still, emulate, and with an I.Q. that was off the scale, and a wealthy family to fund his education, he went on to do just that. Living in Ambialet until he left school, the family then relocated to Chartres, with Marius opting to study in Oxford. After leaving University at the age of 22, he returned to his family home in Chartres to find his parents murdered, and the magnificent Cathedral razed to the ground by fundamentalists. Public executions were taking place daily amidst the ruins of that once mighty edifice, as weeping Catholics and Protestants alike were tortured for their beliefs. Marius had fled in horror, and found sanctuary in England. He now lived in a small cottage just outside Canterbury, with a view of the cathedral, where he could look upon that wonderful building and try and soothe the memory of the past….
© Kev Moore 2008 All Rights Reserved