The Blue Light: Part Twenty-Four

This is the final part of a fiction serial, in 842 words.

Sitting in the small restaurant of his two-star hotel, Roger considered drowning his sorrows by ordering a bottle of Valpolicella to accompany his -probably microwaved- lasagna, then finishing off with a few large glasses of Cognac. But not wanting to face Furlong with a hangover tomorrow, he settled on sparkling water instead.

The car was there after breakfast, and he had steeled himself to expect the worst once he arrived at the clandestine factory complex. The young woman was waiting once again, and he fancied her expression was less sour than it had been yesterday. Repeating the same routine, he followed her up to the door of Furlong’s office and went inside. But the man behind the desk was not Furlong. He was younger, casually dressed, and looked more like one of those people who played computer games. Smiling genially, the man looked up.

“Please take a seat, Roger. My name is Jonathan Spencer, and I will be reviewing the project today”. He reached across the desk and shook hands without standing up. For a long time, he read from a file on the desk in front of him, then sat back and clasped his hands.

“Okay, let’s get on with it. Your subjects had some unexpected reactions to exposure to the beam, to say the least. One man became obsessed with having sex with younger women, and driving around the country to visit random places. It’s worth noting that this was a total change of personality for him. Then his wife was accidentally exposed, resulting in frantic exercise, followed by extra-marital sex with a much younger gym instructor. As a result, she was killed by her husband, who is now serving twelve years for manslaughter, and according to the prison authorities is on suicide watch because of his depression”.

Roger said nothing, so the younger man continued.

“Now the farmer, Inchcape. Run-down farm, and chosen in the hope that the beam would inspire him to increase productivity. But for some reason not clear from your report, the beam extended to the farm of his neighbour. That ignited a fued that had been brewing for years, and they both ended up dead. Then Inchcape’s wife must have been exposed, because she decided to sell her land to a property devoloper and move to Australia. So whatever was grown there before will be replaced by expensive houses. Not looking good so far, is it?”

Spencer stopped for a moment to swig from a plastic bottle of water.

“Next we have a teenage girl whose personality changed, making her into some kind of sex kitten overnight. That destroyed the career of a reliable teacher who is now unemployed, and living in a bedsit flat. I note that she recently accused a delivery driver of asking her to get into his van for sex. Luckily for him, CCTV showed that he was nowhere near the location where she claimed it had happened. What do you say about that, Roger?”

Dry-mouthed, Roger replied. Feeling fortunate that he at least had a reason for that.

“Well, we discovered later that the girl Kirsty was sleeping in her mother’s room. Our intention had been to shake the mother out of her malaise, and get her back to work. We were not to know then that she was sleeping in the smaller room, or passing out on the sofa most nights”.

The man opposite was trying not to laugh out loud, but his shoulders were moving as he failed to control his obvious laughter.

“Let’s move on, Roger. A retired woman, who discovered her sex drive following exposure to the beam. At no time did she think about going back to work. In fact, you seem to have failed to notice that she was a librarian in a town where the library had been closed down. Did you expect her to go to work as a checkout woman at the local supermarket? Come on, the woman is as rich as Croesus. That was never going to happen. Instead, she almost sexed a sad gigolo to death. He has had to have a triple bypass operation, and has sensibly removed himself from the dating site where they met”.

Closing the folder on the desk, he sat shaking his head.

“I don’t think I have ever seen such a catalogue of catastrophe. The only positive is that it gave me a good laugh last night before I had to get up early to drive here”.

A cold feeling crept over Roger’s stomach. This was it, the end of his company. He decided to speak up.

“It falls to me to apologise. The blame is all mine, and if I could go back in time, I would have been far more careful in the choice of subjects. I understand that we will never get a government contract again, and I don’t know what else to say”.

Spencer’s reply left him open-mouthed.

“Not at all, Roger. Why don’t I order some tea? And then we can talk about those military applications you mentioned”.

The End.

52 thoughts on “The Blue Light: Part Twenty-Four

  1. I sort of love that I was out of town and had to read these all together! You have such a creative imagination! I thought the ending was great (unexpected) and I’m blown away by all the story lines you had to envision and write. Extraordinary! Great series Pete, I thoroughly enjoyed this one. Hugs, C

    Liked by 1 person

  2. (1) Isla’s expressions can be both sweet and sour, depending on the amount of money in her offshore account.
    (2) Is Jonathan Spencer a descendant of Henry Spencer? That guy was a royal pain.
    (3a Bad citation: “Spencer stopped for a moment to swig from a plastic bottle of water. It wasn’t until later, after Roger had left his office, that he had Isla bring him a bottle of Valpolicella.”
    (3b) However, instead of Valpolicella, she brought Spencer a bottle of Jim Beam whiskey.
    (4) I think the blue light has already been used by the military on a couple of the world’s leaders.
    (5) Overheard:
    William: “We’re going to cancel the contract. That blue light project is no good.”
    Jonathan: “With an attitude like that, you won’t be here furlong.”

    Note: Thanks for another great serial, Pete. I guess the aliens are off the hook.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. He is indeed related to that same nobleman, (and also Lady Diana Spencer) a man killed fighting on the ‘wrong side’ in the English Civil War. (For the King)
      I didn’t mention that of course, but many ‘aristocrats’ end up in the Secret Service in Britain, hence my use of that surname. 🙂
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I had my phone tapped by the Security Services when I was a Communist Party member and a union official, so that won’t worry me too much, Don. They must have got tired of listening to me calling my mum and her telling me about her pets. 🙂
      Glad you enjoyed the story.
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

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