Note: This is my response to the Daily Prompt for 1/11/2013 of the Scribbler’s January Writing Contest. Please read and comment, telling me what you think!
Create a new and modern day Area 51 and the reasons for it’s existence…
Today’s Genre is Sci-Fi
Bert Simmons waited impatiently at the front gate as the quartet of serious looking fatigue clad young men toting M-16 rifles continued to keep their eyes glued on him as they awaited a reply from their radio. Bert snapped his arm up to review the numbers on his watch and caught a flurry of movement from in front of him as the team of soldiers scrambled to react to what they assumed was a hostile movement on his part.
The leader of the group barked an order that caused all of the others to lower the tips of their weapons slightly. Simmons stifled a curse with the realization that these trigger happy “jar heads” were strung so tight that any innocuos quirk could send him to the six foot lumber. What in the world was behind the fence of Area 63? He knew 51 was for Aliens, 59 for recovering Hollywood child stars and 62 for presidential mistresses. This new facility had the strictest security of all. He had been under a background check for six months before he even knew it.
Bert coiuld see a cloud of dust comming from one of the main buildings what seemed a mile away. He knew better than to approach the guard shack to inquire if there was someone coming for him. He relaxed and settled on the hood of his BMW roadster to wait. He could feel the beads of sweat formning, which just added the cherry on top of this crazy adventure.
The gun toters seemed to immediately relax as a small olive green jeep rolled into sight. The young woman occupying the jeep flashed a winning smile all of the young men apparently found disarming, because they kept their attention focused squarely on her. Bert felt like he could easily walk in the gate now, but waited for some signal before doing so.
“Mr. Simmons, I apologize for your wait. Please follow me,” The young woman said as she stood in the jeep and motioned for him to approach.
Bert could see the envy in the soldier’s eyes when he passed. He expected each of these men desired for this beauty to say the same words to them. When he traveled far enough to get a good view there was the immeidate feeling he knew this young woman very well. Even with mirrored sunglasses shielding her eys, there was just something he could not get past that reminded him of an earlier encounter.
The ride back to the main group of structures supplied no answer to Bert’s question about the driver. He was a bit surprised the young woman offered no name, but figured all that would come soon enough. He surveyed the various buildings, looking for signs of other people, but there was none to see. The compound certainly did not look deserted, however as there were definitely signs people lived here.
“I hope you are open-minded,” the young girl said as the jeep rolled to a stop.
For the first time, Bert was able to see the placards above the door of each building. There were several doors , each with a series of letters that were immediately telling. Each placard had the intials of a television network. There was NBC, CBS, ABC, FOX, and many more. The young woman noticed the look of understanding yet consternation Bert did not try to conceal.
“You want to explain this?”
“I can, but remember I need an open mind.” The young woman led him to the door of the NBC building, where they saw a group of people collected in neat rows and watching a video presentation. There were flashes of scenes from “The Voice” and “The Biggest Loser” among the few moments Bert saw before he felt a small hand gently cup his arm and lead him toward a set of offices.
“I understand you are here to determine if we deserve to continue receiving funding,” the young woman said, sitting at a large wooden desk while gesturing toward one of the plush chairs that flanked her position. Bert slid onto the seat while wondering if she would ever reveal her name.
“That is correct.”
“Mr. Simmons, do you enjoy reality television?”
“I’m sorry?” bert replied, not seeing any connection.
“We are contracted by all the television networks that include reality programming to identify, select and “train” the contestants for these specific programs. You know not just anyone is the right material for this type of “special programming.” For the second time the young women used both hands to make the air quotes sumbol just as she did when she said “train”.
“Are you kidding me?” Bert replied, slowly standing. His incredulous expression perfectly mirrored the reaction welling up inside. He ambled over to the window and took in the various designations for the three dozen channels represented here.
I am quite serious,” the woman replied, with no expression less than serious on her face.
“The world has gone mad after all,” Bert uttered beofre covering his eyes with his hand.