How obvious is a black hat

Story written by ericShaneB on Sunday 22, July 2018

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Si fi mystery. What if an alien race has been influencing Earth for 10,000 years. What if it was done quiety without any earthling being involved. This story introduces the dilemma and a plan to make an Earthling an ally to help one alien race against another to address what we see as good and evil.

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He stood silent, staring out the archway of his living compartment chewing softly on his lower lip. He thought to himself, how obvious is a black hat? “It’s as obvious as a white hat,” she said standing behind him. “You have the intent to succeed at any cost what does it matter?” He looked back at her. He liked the new visual upgrade. She stood looking his way. No expression, no humanity. He turned back to his view. Mythology worked today, but legends were easier to create eight thousand years ago. There was more clarity between good and evil then. Using social media and the internet wasn’t working as well as he hoped it would. With the intelligence of today, self-proclaimed Gods were not an issue. The propaganda in corporations and government however was. It is a never-ending mind game, a war. In early times there were stories, now myths. “The Odyssey” and “lliad” were Homer's effort as the first Controller. In the battle between Mice and Frogs who were the vermin, who were the frogs, and who is the snake? There were no fabled stories mired in analogies and drama. It was a different world today. Superior insights again may be the answer. This is what the “ally” plan would encompass. Still, he speculated, how obvious is a black hat? At 35 his short dark wavy hair already showed touches of gray. The added worry in his role contributed to why he has lived so much longer than those Controllers before him. I am not so different he thought to himself. Perhaps he was careful or maybe he is just lucky. There were so many details to consider as Controller of Earth. Ten thousand years was a long, long time ago but it might as well be yesterday since today we are still trying to recover the dimensional technology. As the first Controller Homer's ideas in his creation of myths were the right solution then. As Controller now there had to be something more. The gray in his wavy hair was a sign that the Government would not beat him. His determination was in the details. He stood straight and tall between the two marble-columned archways outside his living compartment thinking of all the details. The city before him was that of heroes. The bronze statuettes perched atop pyramid-shaped buildings portrayed past Controllers. Their gaze of protection was blocked by majestically flapping curtains. In the wind, the silk interwoven gold threads danced and were the doors that blocked his entryway. The interior inside his living compartment was classic and comfortable but outside on the balcony, he did his best thinking. He turned away from the golden city below him and came in seemingly unconcerned about the details or himself. He walked straight through the woman who stood in front of the doorway. She turned around as quickly as he did and faced him. The suspicions he sensed were always going to be there around his plans. The efforts of those before him did not matter now, at least not to him. He still had to manipulate a cultural change or steer it in a right direction. It would take more than myths, literature, propaganda or simple government influence. This time it would take an ally, one of the Earthlings. Inside his compartment, there were mountains of research paperwork lying about in neatly organized stacks, more details. He stopped over one of the papers and read the document to himself then again and once again. His passions for planning created the ‘what ifs’ he faced. Some viable, some not so viable but he knew they could all be a killer. Again he read the document and then moved to the next stack. The woman followed him. The ’what ifs’ he faced were questions that had to be answered, details within his plight. Among the twelve world Controllers, he was controlling the most dangerous and most important dimensional Planet of all them. It was a war on Earth. He had to stick to a simple philosophy; reality was unavoidable, just like the truth. The reality was how one made it though. He knew that, so he had to plan. He walked back to the document he had read four times already and read it once again. The reality of twelve-dimensional worlds was his to believe. The questions and details were as well, would those on Earth learn to believe and commit themselves as I? His faith was his affirmation. He groped with heavy eyes over technical manuals and stacks of shiny gold educational disks he had collected and set neatly on a large ocular desk. They were strewed about in perfectly straight an even lines, color-coded with notes depicting particulars about each collection. His eyes squinted and brow dropped with each thought. He created his plans upon plans by rendering a notion more precise, it was faith, faith via the addition of differentiating characteristics he held dear. His glance of determination was a look he portrayed most of the time. The technical manuals and gold educational disks were all part of the elements that would in hope, stifle all of the ‘what ifs’. His glare stopped at an I.D. Badge. In large black print, the word CIA laid visible. It was his place in a foreign society. The social efforts he made were of special interests of the United States Government but he had his own agenda of social efforts, which were the secret plans approved by his world Government. There were certain things he understood from his experiences on Earth. A plan can never be over analyzed— all of what destroys the positive lie in wait— all elements are thus factors, so success is ignored only when the drive eschews the under-achiever. He knew he had to achieve where he could, his future and Earths depended upon it. He adjusted his robe and sat down in a large strangely shaped swivel chair. “What do you think. He asked the woman?” “I don’t understand the questions, she said. The chair was an unusual material feathering up as his hands touched the arms. When he moved his fingers his touch generated heat throughout the chair. Details, details, details, he thought slowly leaning back. The chair encompassed his body completely— hugging him there. His thoughts suddenly cleared like always in the strange unearthly chair. Both his hands cupped his chin and they slowly slipped up his face to the back of his head. His glare returned. With fingers tight in his hair he closed his eyes in a meditative fashion— and paused for a very long tenuous moment. The collections upon his desk were all preparations for an Earth ally. His lips curled in, creating a somewhat smirk. What did his future hold? He took a long deep methodical breath, scratched his chin and stretched both hands high in the early morning air. He knew that all was not well. All those ‘what ifs’ would eventually need to be solved. The reality was though; he could not do it alone. The ‘what ifs’, were the variables which would play havoc upon his plans. People were the variables. Knowing their plans and whereabouts kept his plans in check. He knew he could not slack off, but had to stay on top of them, and their schemes. One slip up could be his end but that is why he meticulously planned everything out. It was going to be ‘time’; time he figured which was going to be the real factor that would distill his ability to succeed. He had to plan within it, just like everyone else; time could not be controlled. He knew that. The first order was to win the debate, or there would be no ally. Sure the first two parts of the debate went as planned but the final part was ahead of him. The three stages of political action on Targon worked in ensuring the right choices were made but the process could also derail his plan because of those opposed to the idea. The preparation was the key and preparation he could easily boast as something he did well. He had to wonder if it was enough though. He leaned forward in his chair and glanced over some of the loose papers on his desk. One was marked FBI. Which of them could be trusted, he asked himself? His eyes took a configurative glance upward. An agent code-named T-Square came to mind. He knew nothing of the TWELVE worlds involved, but he was digging and digging deeper and not giving up. It was something he approved of. He again searched. If he had the information about the Nobalks and how they were spreading their culture then maybe he would be closer to solving his FBI case file. The question was still there, could T-Square be useful on his side. He knew it could only happen if the people of the community’s world government let it happen. The problem is that it was his world dimension that created the means for people on the other worlds to be a threat. He understood that an invasion occurring on Targon had shadowed his people in fear for centuries. The paranoia may work against him in the debate, which was one of the ‘what ifs’. He knew that with the dimensional packs the Nobalks worked to influence the Earthlings in their way of life. How long could the Targonian way hold them off? Who could be trusted? Failure loomed for centuries in his government's attempts to stop the Nobalks completely. Now the Controllers of the Controlling Twelve have my plan, he thought. As a Controller in the government and in charge of the Earth sector he knew how besieging the responsibility was; the reality is though, the seed has been planted. A change in the Controller’s practices was imminent. It was a change in the Targonian way. He slipped out from his chair pulling off the silk robe he wore and put his Earthling clothes on. He had a few hours before the next debate. As a Controller, he had duties on Earth, and those duties included a place where he could make inside changes and control the inevitable. The inside position he held was on the government I.D. Which he placed smoothly into his shirt pocket? Over the shirt, he put a vest on. What was’ not seen was the miniature high-tech components buried deep inside the vest. A leather-like band was already strapped to his forearm. Its three buttons were gleaming gems. The culture of Nobalk must not grow. The man knew that, because reality was his culture could not exist in such a backward way. He also knew that the odds were against him, and his hard thought out plan. Mystery Government Agent Tim Tuttle stood outside the building waiting for Stagger Smith to show. He was in a position where he couldn’t be seen. Suddenly the shrubbery that helped hide him shook. The branches snapped as a man walked through them just twenty feet away. The mysterious man came out of nowhere from within the bushes. Perplexed by his involvement Tim was surprised to see him here. How was Central Intelligence involved in his case? A bigger question was why were they interested in Stagger Smith and those inside the building? Tim quietly slipped from where he was to get a better look. He maneuvered up and around the bushes behind the mysterious man. At the shrubberies end, he swiftly and stealthily emerged. Upon entering the opening he did a complete three-sixty with his eyes and ears. The mysterious man was gone. Back and forth he turned his head quickly in amazement. Tuttle put his hands on his hips and looked down for tracks in the moist grasses around him. With tight glances, he skirted the edges for footprints, on and off the pavement. Absolutely nothing was in sight, but it was hard to see in the early morning darkness Tim assured himself. He let out a deep sigh, chagrined and just stood there. Troubled by certain failures in the case he reverted back o past regrets. The secret military missions he once undertook were on his mind. It didn’t take a high level of experience to realize it wasn’t normal to lie around in concealment and lurk unless you were up to something. The man from Central Intelligence was esoteric in every way. It wasn’t what Tim saw him do but rather what he didn’t. It emphasized an effort to find him now and confront him. Tim Tuttle knew failure laid in the self-serving intentions men used to manipulate with. In this case, the criminals surrounded him. I am controlled only by the litigation of policy he thought to himself. There was a principle in that, embracing something noble and setting things right created something special about him. He could not avoid the feeling of manipulation though… but by who? Tim’s philosophy told him that it was hard to transcend evil. Tim did everything he could to do just that though. He felt that from his past, a change of ways was a change of habits. It was no easier avoiding evil today than it was doing it. The manipulation of the establishment is what controlled movement— controlled his. Once he was part of those malevolent missions. His action justified only by the fact that he was military and they were missions. His actions though had slowly killed his soul. That's why he chose to leave the CIA. What am I missing, why can’t I figure out what’s going on here? The parameters assigned from Washington were clear on the kidnappings. I need to connect the why, who and where’s of the case. Falling to one knee he outlined the possibilities and examined every inch in a forty-yard radius with his eyes. The man from Central Intelligence was nowhere to be found. He was good real good. He scrutinized everything around him forgetting the practices that once consumed him. Being in charge, his alacritous approach assured success. He was out to create good where there was bad; how else could he make amends for those things he had done in his past. All these feelings were held inside. With a stern face, immutable from emotion, Tim carefully checked between the houses and cars. He had to use what early morning sunlight was available. In the light, he moved with an aggressive pace in the direction he believed the man to be. He knew, in some way, he must re-establish his trace. He had to be the missing key. The streetlights were lit illuminating what it could under its umbrella. Some porch and yard lamps helped too in making a search possible. Early morning moisture hung thickly on cars glowing from that light. The new day was waking all around but not fast enough in giving him clear light. Throughout the East Coast and Virginia Beach, the day awoke. The more he looked the more it seemed that darkness lingered. Every once in a while lights would click on within the houses he passed, causing him to turn, and check for danger. It was clear that people were beginning to wake from their nightly slumber. His practicality and common sense assured him of many things. One of those things was in knowing the agents’ assigned from DC were awake and on their surveillance. He knew he needed a team effort of nothing less than a hundred and ten percent, which his agents gave him. Tim was concerned about his effort though. If it weren't for the original tale of Stagger Smith Tim would have never of found the mysterious men and CIA interest. There must be an element here that would offer some closure or sense to the missing people. The trace on the enigmatic CIA man had caused him to question his own guidance. Through the streets he quickly walked taking specific note in what he could, searching for answers. He needed to regain control of his leadership. That was important and not so easy to do when things were not going his way. He counted on his experience and expected it to cue him in on the whereabouts of the elusive men he attempted to tail. It was all an abashment though because there was nothing to show for his effort. With an extended yawn, he quickened his pace and bellowed silent frustration. It was time to count his chips. He knew that being a good detective was being keen to the environment. Absorbing all that one could around him was doing it by the book. From his experience, he knew what to discern as that of substance. The importance of those elements no matter what they were, were depicted in detail and listed as pros and cons within his head. He knew that the result of these things could be factors, which could unlock the mysteries he faced. It was all about maintaining control and not falling victim to manipulation. The elements he noticed provided no clues to the man's whereabouts. Checking his cell he saw that the battery was drained. That was fine because one of the few remaining phone booths was just ahead. Arriving, he quickly stepped inside. He had to vouch for his practicality. While shadowed within the phone booth the sun still struggled to break the darkness. With a smooth movement of fingers a digital pay phone sang. You could only hear Tim's presence because his outline was all that was visible. Unfortunately, Tim was not aware of the man watching him. “Johnson,” the phone clicked, “This is Tuttle I need a checkup.” His voice was sharp. “Our progress has been consistent,” Vivian Johnson noted quickly. Tim Tuttle went over a long list of mandatory procedures in his head. Systematically, he reviewed them. Where could he be making his mistakes? His mind was knotted, bouncing back and forth from empty solutions. “Consistent in what way, is it that nothing’s changed?” Tim looked for an answer. “Correct sir, nothing’s changed.” Tim shook his head in dismay. He paused— and looked down to think, organizing. The woman only responded to Tim's questions. “I believe this case is moving and changing all about us. We are just missing the intricate connection. There has got to be something more, maybe something out of the news. Tim thought out loud. “What news?” Vivian wondered to Tim's avowal. “It doesn't matter,” Tim assured. “The truth is we stand stagnant with all these singular missing person reports, and just plain mysteries. If you haven't noticed, the people involved here are very arcane, and that baffles me.” The phone vibrated into a short laugh. “Are you kidding you baffled, T-Square himself.” Tim's lips pressed together in dissatisfaction. “You can laugh, I can't,” he hated that nickname. “It is my experience, which should be helping me. You and Cross- are rookies. One basic thing to learn is that you don't lose your man. Tuttle was defensive in his tone. “Coy is good, very good. “It hasn't been an easy trace you know. We lost him too.” Tim frowned in the rookie comparison. “There is something strange about him. No one is that good. One second he was there, just a few steps in front me, then he was gone.” “I am sorry you lost him, sir. I still have a trace on John McNeal! He just went into the karate studio. Cross had followed him in there. He said he had a plan in getting closer.” “Hmm, Tuttle uttered, wondering what that initiative he might be finally taking. “As much as I see him, I don't recognize any connection. What do you see?” Tim contrasted his notes. “Well,” Vivian exalted. “Compared to the other suspects he doesn't match up. He is a person recognized in the area where our other suspects vary. As you know, they either have a criminal record, a mystery or identity, like Barnabas Coy.” “Yes, I'm aware of that. I've been on this case too long already. The two are opposites yet they are very close friends. I need the connection.” “What concerns me most about the case. is my experience. Being new at the agency there seems to be a lot of information missing.” “I am well aware of your experience Johnson, that's why you and Cross are together. The suspects in this organization seem to have an association to current missing. If I'm not mistaken, Missing People is your specialty. “Yes, that's true. I should point out with John McNeal association it does not connect.” Tim could understand her insight. He didn't have an answer. The truth was Johnson’s observation didn't matter, even with all her case experience in missing people. It was going to be his decisions, and insight that would make or break this case. “Follow him anyway, until I give new orders.” Tim was perplexed because she was right there was no connection. It demanded a pragmatic approach. “Yes, sir I'll stay on it.” “I have to get to my cover. I still need to figure out how, or if the business is involved. Call me if you need me. “ “Understood sir, later.” With a click, Johnson was gone. A man watched Tim Tuttle as he came out from within the booth. The mysterious man slipped away in thought, it was about all the ‘what ifs’ he faced. Tim Tuttle was one of them. “All right Barnabas Coy, who are you?” Tim bellowed. The mysterious man turned back with a listening ear. His medium build was allusive his determined gaze was not. When he was in the clear he made a motion with his hand across his leather forearm. In a low synthesized voice, a leather forearm band came to life. “Computer on.” “Yes Computer,” the man said. “Give me the coordinates to Sintois’ karate studio.” “E mark seven, dash twenty-three,” it said His hand again went across the band and then to the vest he was wearing. His deep gaze reflected off the gem-like buttons on his leather band. He began to whistle the tune 'Secret Agent Man' when a twirling colored mist appeared and engulfed him. The mist was a heavy twirling fog that was alive and hungry. The Controller vanished into thin air.

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    Eric, I got lost pretty quickly. For me, too much philosophy without anything happening.
    '... thought to himself, how obvious is a black hat?' when "..." for speech usually '...' for thoughts
    '... social media and the internet... hoped (it)[they] would.'
    'The added worry... why he has lived so much longer...' added worry = longer life? in what world?
    mixing tenses still distracting
    See my previous comment, Eric. You have to cut way down on the explanations. Also, keep the plot linear and stick too it. You need to work from an outline.