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page six

But what of Luuna's claims of a Galactic Brotherhood that will save mankind, and the Soul Evolution deemed necessary to this end? Is this not a beacon to the unhinged and eccentric? Sally Spenser laughs.

“Are you calling us crazy? Listen, I hear it every day. But I've seen Luuna's predictions and teachings borne out every day. We have cured tendencies, addictions, phobias and obsessions. Yes, we have people who could be described as 'unhinged' pass our doors; it's an unfortunate circumstance of our association with what you gentlemen call 'Flying Saucers'. We've all heard the nutty 'contactee' stories of Adamski and his kind, people who claim to have ridden in saucers to planets of nudists and such. This appeals to certain individuals, it's true, and they do come to us. But when they leave they are full of peace and ready to face real life. They've gained perspective through their studies here. For the record, by the way, we remain fully clothed at all times.”

from, 'Good News from the Saucer-Men of Mount Shasta?' (Time Magazine, 8/24/59)

'Where is the Gallifreyan?' the giant floating turban-head silkily boomed, ' I demand his presence!'

Got your attention there, didn't I? Truth is, I wasn't sure I could bring myself to write 'giant floating turban-head', but there it is. Twice.

I'd hustled up the stairs and taken the turn at top to see another short corridor, a door set halfway down. Behind and below I heard the latch click and steady steps ascending. The door was unlocked and I slipped through. 

I sensed a huge space, perhaps the entire third floor, but it was too dark to see. I felt my way along a wall, feeling curtains and columns. Then a spray of soft, greenish light erupted from the floor in the middle. It revealed a double row of cots, surrounded by strange machinery, stretching into the dim distance. The light spun and coalesced into a bizarre, impossible shape. Fully two meters high, half of that turban, under-lit and leering like a camp hypnotist, a giant floating head dramatically widened his eyes at me. 

'You are not meant to be here! There are to be no females in this place! You-- Ah, look who is in your mind!'

For the life of me, I wasn't scared in the least, not even when an invisible hand lifted me from the floor. It was too ridiculous. The face drifted closer. A pinwheeling vortex appeared in each eye.

'Where is he? Tell me!' he bellowed.

'Quiet, you, you head! He's right behind me and I'm trying to hide, here!' I said, 'Keep it down! And cut it out with that eye thing!'

'Fear not, little unimpressed one! I speak only to your mind! Jack Kraft cannot hear me! Jack Kraft is not the one I seek!'

Oh. Big Head wanted the Doctor, then.

'Yes! Yes! I seek the Doctor! Where is the Gallifreyan? I demand his presence!' He drew me close. I was wondering if it would be worthwhile to pop him in his giant nose when the lights came on.

'Hey ya, Smokey,' said Jack Kraft, nodding to the head, 'seen a kid running around up here? Girl kid?'

'Hello, Jack Kraft. No, I have seen no one.'

A voice in my head said: 'Do not speak, stripling! The powers of my mind cloak you from his sight!'

'Hey, that's new,' said Jack, 'Throwing your voice now? You sound like a radio guy. All the hits, all the time, huh?'

'Thank you for the compliment. I am merely fatigued, is all. The psychic waters are turbulent, of late. It is less taxing if I excite the air molecules and allow you to hear me.'

'Well, it's a swell trick. The boys will be here in a minute, right on schedule. You haven't been waiting long, I hope.'

'Thank you, Jack Kraft, but I have just arrived. Will Luuna be joining us today?'

Jack sat on one of the cots and lit a cigarette. 'Um, Luuna left the building today, if you get me, just like you said might happen. I'm thinking we might have to close up shop, soon.'

'He has forgotten you,' the voice informed me, 'and Luuna's absence assures your safety.'

'He looks sad,' I thought back.

'Smokey,' said Jack, 'you listening? If you're that tired, you won't have any trouble doing your thing, will you? We can wait a while, if you want. Her Battiness doesn't need to know.'

'Trouble yourself not, my mortal friend. As has been long agreed, so shall it be done. Hark! They approach!'


(Hush, little fleshy one!)

(Who you calling fleshy?)

Jack ground out his smoke, kicked the butt under a cot and waved way the smoke. The three weirdos came in. They were chattering excitedly.

'Welcome back, boys. Hope you had a good time today.'

The three assured him they had.

'You have an excellent planet, sir!'

'Well, that's swell. We like it fine, ourselves. Okay boys, you know the rules. Turn out your pockets... good. Now, Smokey there will scan you to see if you left any evidence of your visit behind...'

The one called Cap warily eyed Smokey. 'I resent having my mind invaded by this... thing.'

'You signed the contract.'

'There are those who would be very interested to know that there is a surviving Lemurian, you know. Very interested.'

Smokey glowed a bit redder and moved toward him. Jack waved him back.

'You also signed a confidentiality agreement. So did he, sort of. C'mon, kid, stick to the deal, or do you want him mad at you?'

Cap glanced skeptically at the glowering, now-flaming head.

'No...a deal's a deal. Look into my mind, spirit, if you must.'

'I have done so already, insolent one. All is in readiness for the travellers to depart, Jack Kraft.'

'Thanks, Smokey. Flame off, will ya? Get in your assigned cots, boys, and put your helmets on. Just relax, and say 'howdy' to planet Sto for me.'

Jack went to a bank of switches near the door. Soft, ethereal sounds began to play. He  placed a stick of incense in a holder on each cot. My nose began to tickle. I saw lights pulsing behind the helmet visors. He attached a lead from each helmet to the apparatus by each cot. He hit a final switch, I heard an eerie fanfare and a steady beeping. The three convulsed for a moment, then lay still. Jack cracked his knuckles and looked at his watch.

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