A valued partnership

“There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.”

Maya Angelou

Date:               Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Time:              1050 hours

Location:        Honolulu International Airport

                        Hawaii, USA

Qantas flight QF74045 flying from Sydney to Honolulu landed ten minutes ahead of schedule. As he walked off the plane, Julius immediately turned his phone on. Dozens of messages came flooding in. There was only one voice that he wanted to hear; only one voice could rescue him from this feeling of despair . . . Mel’s voice.

The phone started ringing even before the messages stopped coming through. Julius looked at the phone half expecting it to be Mel. It wasn’t. Business as usual. Just once it would be nice to receive a call from a friend that he wasn’t doing business with. That wasn’t likely though because no such creature existed.

Finally, the phone stopped ringing. Julius immediately dialed Mel’s number.

‘Hi, you’ve reached the number of Melanie Stuart. Please leave a message after the tone and I’ll get back to you . . . beep.’

Julius listened to every single word, he missed her voice that much.

‘Mel, don’t leave. Whatever the reason you’re resigning for, I’m sure we can work something out. You don’t . . .’

Julius was cut off. Damned message services. He was certain that he’d sound desperate when she listened to it.

The phone rang. A number he didn’t know. Maybe Mel lost her phone?

‘Hello, Hi. No, sorry, I missed my flight and I’m still in Australia. Next week maybe,’ and hung up. He dialed Mel again, but no luck. He’d try Mel again later.

The Qantas enquiries desk was busy. Fortunately, Julius was recognized by the Manager, who came out from behind the counter.

‘Hello Mr. Ryan, can I help you in any way?’

Julius remembered this man as being particularly helpful with a luggage issue several years ago. His name tag was still needed though.

‘Hi Greg, I just arrived from Sydney. I was sitting next to a gentleman by the name of Evan Armstrong . . .’

‘He’s at the Medical Corner Airport Mr. Ryan,’ interrupted Greg. ‘Will you be wanting to go and visit Mr. Armstrong there?’

‘Yes, I think I’ll head straight over there now,’ replied Julius.

‘Walk with me and I’ll get our courtesy driver to take you there if you like. Have you collected your luggage?’

‘That would be appreciated, and no, I haven’t collected my luggage yet.’

‘I’ll take care of that for you Mr. Ryan. Where would you like me to send it?’

‘I’m staying at the Trump International,’ admitted Julius. By way of an excuse he added, ‘I booked before the election.’

‘That’s not a problem,’ said Greg grinning. ‘I’ll have yours and Mr. Armstrong’s luggage delivered there shortly.’

‘No, no Greg, just mine please. I don’t know Mr. Armstrong that well,’ Julius protested.

‘Mr. Armstrong is staying at the Trump International also,’ said Greg. ‘We already have instructions to send his luggage there. Is there a problem? The hotel has been advised of Mr. Armstrong’s situation and they’re happy to hold it for him until it’s needed.’

‘When did Mr. Armstrong ask you to have his luggage sent there?’

‘We received the instruction from Mr. Armstrong as he departed the flight I believe.’

‘Greg, is there any way that Mr. Armstrong could’ve been deliberately seated next to me without my knowledge?’ Julius was getting suspicious now. ‘I mean, is there any way he could have somehow arranged for us to be sitting together? Not on this leg Greg, but we sat together on a domestic leg, Adelaide to Sydney, yesterday.’

‘I wouldn’t have thought so Mr. Ryan, not under any circumstances. It’s against airline policy. But I’ll check into it if you like?’

‘Greg, please do. My . . .’ Julius was about to assign the task to Mel, but that wasn’t an option now. He handed Greg a card. ‘My number Greg. Can you please give me a call if you find out anything?’

Greg took the card and responded with his own.

‘My personal phone number is on this card Mr. Ryan, you may call it at any time,’ said Greg opening the car door for Julius, then speaking to the driver. ‘Medical Corner please Geoff.’

‘Thanks again Greg,’ said Julius, genuinely grateful for Greg’s exemplary service again.

‘I hope Mr. Armstrong is okay,’ said Greg. ‘Thank you for flying Qantas.’

As the Qantas courtesy vehicle quickly accelerated away from the curb having found a gap in the heavy traffic leaving the airport, Greg heard the screech of tires as somebody accelerated too quickly on the slippery concrete driveway. He turned to see an innocuous black SUV with dark tinted windows aggressively maneuver through traffic to fall into position behind the departing vehicle with Julius Ryan aboard. Greg made a mental note.

Bringing together the pieces of the mystery.

 Date:               Saturday, February 22, 2017

Time:              1058 hours

 Location:        Honolulu Domestic Airport

                        Hawaii USA

The Hawaiian Airlines HA101 flight from Los Angeles to Honolulu landed right on time at 10.55am. Mel had only a couple of minutes before Julius’s flight was due to land. She would grab her luggage, race over to the International Qantas gate, and meet Julius coming through. He’d be smiling and happy and she would race into his embrace and they’d be together for ever more. That was the fantasy anyway . . .

‘Flying economy sucks,’ Mel said to no one as she stood impatiently in the crowded center aisle waiting for the opportunity to move.

Ever since being promoted to the position of Julius Ryan’s Personal Assistant, Mel had only known Business Class, or First Class when traveling with “Caesar” himself. But this trip wasn’t business, and the costs were coming out of her own pocket. She grabbed her luggage and raced over to the international Qantas gate as fast as her legs would carry her.

Looking up at the flight information screens, Mel was surprised to see that Julius had landed five minutes before her. The priority boarding offered to First Class travelers meant that Julius would probably be checking into his luxury hotel suite by now. Mel had booked a standard room at the Trump International for herself, which still cost half a week’s pay for the two nights.

Mel was terrified of confronting Julius with her feelings, even more terrified than that morning in Jakarta. Mel knew Julius better than any person on Earth, yet she had absolutely no idea at all how he felt about her outside of business parameters. Often, she’d pray in church, pray that Julius might see her in a different light. Those prayers were answered, but not in the way that she’d asked.

“God helps those that help themselves” was the subject of the sermon on Christmas day. Mel understood perfectly, God moved in strange ways. If she wanted Julius, she’d have to find the strength to tell him the truth about her feelings. She’d waited nine whole years for him to come to his senses. Well, time to put him in the picture.

Pulling up at the Trump International, Mel nearly paid the driver with her company credit card. She put it back into her wallet and took out cash instead. The driver wasn’t exactly impressed with the tip.

‘Can you please tell me if Julius Ryan has checked in yet?’ Mel asked at the imposing front desk. ‘I’m Mr. Ryan’s Personal Assistant. Melanie Stuart, my name should appear on your booking somewhere.’

The desk clerk went to his computer and checked. ‘Yes, I have the booking in front of me Ms. Stuart. Mr. Ryan hasn’t checked in yet, but his luggage arrived a couple of minutes ago so I imagine he can’t be too far off.’

Mel checked into her room and made good use of her time. She showered and changed outfits, worked miracles with her hair and makeup, and rehearsed what she was going to say. She had what she wanted to say completely worked out. Short, to the point, but would leave no doubt about where her feelings lay. She would leave nothing open to interpretation. Julius would have no doubt about what she felt towards him by the time she had delivered this speech.

“Life is short, too short to waste. I have needs Julius, and I can’t get them from Ryan Strategic. Working for you has been the best years of my life, but life has so much more to offer.

I’m 32 years old, and I haven’t had a real boyfriend in ten years. Do you know why Julius? You’re the reason, that’s why. I’m not saying you work me too hard or too long. What I’m saying is that ever since that time in Jakarta, that amazing day in Jakarta, ever since that kiss, I’ve been in love with you. I don’t think you’ve ever realized it so now I’m telling you straight.

I’m not working for you anymore. I need a partner in life, someone to come home to, confide in, to share my life and my bed with. Someone to start a family with. Do you want the job or not?” . . . No point beating about the bush.

Mel reached for her phone to turn it on, but changed her mind. Julius would definitely be trying to call her. Let him wait. Why ruin the surprise? Mel was kidding herself. The real reason she wouldn’t turn on the phone was that she was terrified of speaking with him before she’d a chance to speak her mind. When they next spoke, it would be face to face she imagined.

She dialed room service. ‘Can you send up a bottle of Johnny Walker Black Label and some ice please?’

While waiting for the scotch to arrive, Mel checked her emails. She read the email from Julius, then she saw that some additional information had been sent from the office. Some interesting facts about Mr. Evan Armstrong had come to light. Some very interesting information indeed. She decided to investigate further in case Julius was at risk of being duped.

‘ “Amazing” huh?’ Mel said out loud, quoting Julius from his last email. ‘We’ll see about that.’

Date:               Saturday, February 22, 2017

Time:              1112 hours

 Location:        Medical Corner Airport

                        Honolulu Hawaii, USA

‘Mr. Armstrong is with the doctor right now. His condition is being assessed and as soon as I can, I’ll update you sir,’ said the harassed triage nurse at the admissions counter. She handed Julius a form and a pen. ‘Please fill in this card and then take a seat. Your name will be called as soon as we know anything.’

‘Please, if it’s possible, can you inform Mr. Armstrong that I’m here?’

The nurse agreed, but didn’t seem to take any action. Julius decided the only option was to fill in the card, sit down and wait. He reached for the phone and turned it on. He needed Mel to hold off the barrage of incoming contact of various sorts. He wasn’t in the frame of mind to tackle anything until he had some sleep, and also until he knew how Evan was faring.

‘Hi, you’ve reached the number of Melanie Stuart. Please leave a message after the tone and I’ll get back to you . . . beep.’

Julius hung up without leaving a message. He had listened to the entire recording again just to hear her voice. It was reassuring somehow. He actually thought about ringing it again.

‘Excuse me, are you with Mr. Armstrong?’ The doctor had surprised Julius who was in deep reflection. He hadn’t even started filling out the card yet.

‘Julius Ryan,’ said Julius standing up and shaking the doctor’s hand. ‘How is Mr. Armstrong doing?’

‘Mr. Armstrong has experienced chronic heart failure. He’s alive and has been stabilized, but he’s in a critical condition. We’re sending him to Kaiser Permanente Moanalua Medical Center for emergency surgery.’

Julius walked out of the medical center to gather his thoughts. He couldn’t abandon Evan. The act of giving Julius the information about his encounter with aliens was the reason that Evan’s life was now in jeopardy. He’d gifted Julius with that information. Julius decided he’d do everything that he could for this man.

Deciding that he’d go to the Kaiser Permanente Moanalua Medical Center and await an outcome, Julius also decided he first needed to check in to his hotel room and freshen up. He quickly tried Mel’s number once more. It was still off. Had she already started her new job? Had he done something to offend her?

Date:               Wednesday, February 22, 2017

 Time:              1227 hours

 Location:        Trump International Hotel

                        Honolulu Hawaii USA

Julius used the hotel phone in his suite to call the hospital and check on Evan’s condition. Evan was in surgery; they couldn’t say for how long. There’d be time for a shower and a change of clothes. He only lay down for an instant . . . Julius hadn’t slept a minute in more than 20 hours.

After four “healthy” glasses of Johnny Walker Black Label with ice, Mel felt that she was as ready as she’d ever be.

‘Could you please tell me if Mr. Ryan has checked in yet?’

Mel was on the phone to the desk clerk. Her voice was slurred a little.

‘Yes Ms. Stuart, Mr. Ryan arrived only about 15 minutes ago. Would you like me to put a call through? . . . Oh, Mr. Ryan is actually on a call at the moment sorry,’ corrected the front desk clerk.

‘Am I able to just turn up to his room? My name is on the booking, I’m his Personal Assistant Mel, Melanie Stuart,’ said Mel trying not to sound like a stalker.

‘I can issue you with a floor pass Ms. Stuart, but I’d need permission from Mr. Ryan before giving you a room pass,’ said the clerk. ‘Would that be sufficient for now?’

‘Perfect,’ said Mel. ‘I’ll come down in a few minutes to get it.’

‘Not a problem Ms. Stuart. Concierge can deliver it to your room if you prefer?’

‘No thanks, I’m in a hurry,’ she lied. The truth was that the size of the tips expected here were out of the question whilst facing unemployment. ‘I’ll be right down.’

Mel’s research into Evan Armstrong wasn’t yet complete, however, fortified with five or six scotch on the rocks, she printed out what she had and made her way to Julius’s suite, 15 floors above her own.

As she got into the packed elevator, she began to rehearse in her mind what she was about to say to Julius. There was plenty of time, the elevator seemed to stop on nearly every floor to let someone off. Mel started to feel the aggression and confidence she needed coming to the fore. She was going to do this no matter what.

‘Do you want the job or not?’ she said out loud before realizing she wasn’t alone.

‘That depends on what you are offering,’ said a tall handsome “European type” standing just behind her and to the right. His smile would melt any girl’s knees thought Mel.

‘Oh, sorry,’ said Mel slightly embarrassed. ‘Thinking about stuff and forgot where I was.’ She rushed a little too fast out through the elevator doors to have been gracious.

‘Twenty nine oh four,’ she heard just before the elevator doors shut. ‘Call me.’

‘Yup!’ said Mel, ‘Julius better appreciate what I’m offering or I’ll be bouncing there rather than off the pavement below.’ It was the alcohol talking now, but Mel was feeling pretty damned confident so, “all good”.

There it was, 2702. She didn’t hesitate, she knocked loudly. Too loudly. There was no answer though. She waited for several minutes in case Julius was in the shower, Julius was notorious for lightning quick showers. What more could a woman want than a man with minimal need for the bathroom?

She knocked again, a little less aggressively this time. Still no answer.

‘The European sex God?’ Mel posed the question to herself. ‘Or the scotch?’ She chose the scotch. No contest really, but it’s nice to fantasize sometimes.

Mel went back to her room to dig up some more dirt on Evan Armstrong, and maybe have one more drink. She hoped that Julius wasn’t being foolishly drawn into some sort of scam.

Date:               Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Time:              1645 hours

 Location:        Trump International Hotel

                        Honolulu Hawaii USA

Julius’s phone was still off, and he wasn’t answering the phone in his room. Mel was getting frustrated and didn’t want any more to drink. She decided to email him.

Opening her email account, Mel expected to be inundated with requests from Julius. There was nothing new there. Reluctantly, she turned on her own phone in case Julius was trying to call her from some other number. There had been no missed calls from Julius for more than four hours, and no unusual numbers had attempted contact either.

Evan Armstrong has something to do with this, she was positive.

From:             Melanie Stuart

To:                  Julius Ryan

Date:               Feb 22 2017 16:55

Subject:          Evan Armstrong is bad news!

Julius,

Sorry about being out of touch, I’ll explain when I see you.

New information has come to light about Evan Armstrong that I think you should be taking into consideration if you’re planning any type of activity/venture with him.

1964: Drummed out of the Air Force for theft and destruction of top secret government documents from a CIA facility. Not charged ONLY because of his distinguished service record.

1964/5: Admitted for psychiatric care, thought to have been brought on by extreme alcoholism.

From 1964, right up to as recent as 1991, Mr. Armstrong has been in constant trouble with alcohol and the law. He’s managed to buy his way out of trouble mostly, but has only avoided jail in 1965 by attending regular A.A. meetings and a Florida rehabilitation clinic.

1994: Sacked from the UN for unauthorized actions in Rwanda. UN authorities believe he may have inadvertently assisted perpetrators of genocide.

Lots of other stuff too but still waiting on info to come in. Will keep you posted.

Julius, where are you? My phone is on now, please call me at any hour. I need to speak to you. Are you still in Honolulu?

Mel

From:             Julius Ryan

To:                  Melanie Stuart

Date:               Feb 22 2017 17:06

Subject:          Evan Armstrong is bad news!

Hi,

Thought I’d lost you already. Yes, we need to talk. Have I done something really stupid? Please don’t leave, I’m sure we can work things out. Would you like your own full time assistant? A Minnie Mel??

Evan is in hospital, heart failure. Your research fits well with stuff he’s told me, except about being drummed out of the Air Force??? If you can easily get your hands on anything further there, I’d be most interested. Nothing sinister with any of the other information you discovered, I’m quite positive. Good work BTW. It’s not necessary to pursue as we’re not doing anything together. He is almost certainly dying.

I’ll call you from the hospital a little later. Sorry about all the “out of hours” requests earlier. If possible, I want to speak with Evan and see if there’s anything I can do for him. At least he should know that I’m around if he needs me.

Hey, you called me Julius? Is that good? Or less than good?

Caesar

From:             Melanie Stuart

To:                  Julius Ryan

Date:               Feb 22 2017 17:10

Subject:          Evan Armstrong is bad news!

If you prefer Caesar that’s fine.

Can you email me when you get back to your hotel room please? Don’t call, just email me. I’ll explain later.

Very important! Don’t call. Email. When you get back to your hotel room. Not before. Got it?

From:             Julius Ryan

To:                  Melanie Stuart

Date:               Feb 22 2017 17:11

Subject:          Evan Armstrong is bad news!

Are you in trouble? Why can’t I call?

From:             Melanie Stuart

To:                  Julius Ryan

Date:               Feb 22 2017 17:11

Subject:          Evan Armstrong is bad news!

I’m fine. Please, just this once. Humor me okay?

Mel looked at the room service menu. She’d consumed a little too much alcohol and she needed to get some food into her stomach pretty soon. She did something she hadn’t done in a very long time . . . she also read the prices.

‘They’re crazy if they think I’m going to pay that much for a burger,’ said Mel aloud. ‘I think we’ll be dining out tonight.’

As she got into the packed elevator, tall, dark and European was standing at the back. He was trying to gain her attention. Mel turned to face him.

‘Yes, I remember, twenty nine oh four. Call you.’

There were a few raised eyebrows in that elevator that afternoon.

Date:               Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Time:              1748 hours

Location:        Kaiser Permanente Moanalua Medical Center

                        Honolulu, Hawaii, USA

‘Mr. Ryan, my name is Doctor Richards.’ said Dr. Richards indicating for Julius to take a seat away from the waiting area that offered privacy.

‘How is he doctor?’ asked Julius earnestly.

‘I’m afraid that there’s not much we can do. We’re unable to operate. Mr. Armstrong urgently needs a new heart, but he’s in no condition to receive one unfortunately. He’s dying.’

This doctor didn’t waste words.

‘Am I able to see him at all?’

‘Not at this time,’ said Dr. Richards. ‘He won’t be able to see anybody tonight. I suggest you go home for now, and come back in the morning. By then we’ll know if he’s strong enough to receive visitors.’

‘Thank you doctor, I’m staying close by. Can I please leave a message, should he wake, that I’ll be by in the morning?’ asked Julius.

‘Yes of course,’ said the doctor now looking at the visitor information details Julius had provided. ‘Were you traveling with Mr. Armstrong?’

‘Yes.’

‘We’ve discovered that Mr. Armstrong’s condition was well known to him. He was under full time care at a private Australian clinic when he decided to leave against all advice. He shouldn’t have been flying, and he most certainly shouldn’t have been drinking. The journey was almost certainly always going to kill him.’

‘I didn’t know,’ said Julius truthfully. ‘We only recently got to know each other on flights from Adelaide to Sydney, and then to here.’

‘Do you know if his family have been contacted? Or do you know how to contact them?’ asked Dr. Richards.

‘No, but I’ll try to do so,’ said Julius. ‘It would help to know where he was being cared for in Australia. They should be able to help me contact his family.’

‘Bethesda Hospital,’ said Doctor Richards showing Julius the sheet containing Evan’s details. ‘Bethesda is in Perth, Western Australia.’

‘Perth?’ Julius was confused. Perth was much more than a thousand miles west of Adelaide where he’d assumed Evan to be visiting his family.

From:             Julius Ryan

To:                  Melanie Stuart

Date:               Feb 22 2017 18:02

Subject:          Please track down Evan family if possible

Evan is dying. His family should be informed. He was in private full time care at Bethesda Hospital, Perth Australia. I’m on my way back after I catch a meal somewhere. I’ll advise you when I arrive at the hotel as ordered.

Caesar

Date:               Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Time:              1955 hours

Location:        Trump International Hotel

                        Honolulu, Hawaii, USA

Mel ran to catch the elevator doors before they closed. It was a clumsy effort as she was still feeling the effects of the alcohol. She wanted to yell “hold the doors!”, but a mouth full of food prevented her. She made it, but only thanks to the assistance of someone inside holding the door open.

As he walked into the hotel foyer, Julius saw a very attractive woman leaving a trail of spilt Coke across the floor as she raced for the elevator. He laughed inwardly; this sort of behavior would never have been allowed before the election. Julius thought there was something reassuringly familiar about the woman.

Mel got out at the 12th floor and made her way to her room. Walking into the bathroom with a mouth full of fries, she looked into the mirror and hardly recognized the person she saw. Her hair was a mess, the dress all twisted out of shape and her makeup could have been put on by a child. She decided to shower and create a fresh new look.

From:             Julius Ryan

To:                  Melanie Stuart

Date:               Feb 22 2017 20:03

Subject:          I’m Back

Any luck tracking down Evan’s family?

Room service left a bottle of scotch and a bucket of ice in my room. Your doing? Great timing, I’m feeling a little down about the Evan situation. You’re invaluable. Did you know?

From:             Melanie Stuart

To:                  Julius Ryan

Date:               Feb 22 2017 20:04

Subject:          I’m Back

Had some things to do but I’ll get onto Hospital/Evan’s family now. Yes, I ordered the scotch. Thought you might need it.

Important! Do not leave the hotel without telling me. I’ll explain later. All good.

The trap was in place. All that was needed was to put the bait in place. She’d make the bait as alluring as possible.

Mel flicked off an email to the Bethesda Hospital notifying them of Evan’s circumstances, offering both hers and Julius’s contact details. That done, more important matters needed attending to. A fresh scotch on the rocks. As she poured herself a drink, she again began rehearsing her lines.

From:             Melanie Stuart

To:                  Julius Ryan

Date:               Feb 22 2017 21:54

Subject:          Evan’s family contacted

Evan’s family have been given the Kaiser Permanente Moanalua Medical Center details, as well as both of our contact phone numbers and also my email. The Bethesda hospital wouldn’t give out the family’s contact information. However, I did make an offer to assist with any funeral and/or travel arrangements and that has been forwarded on to the family. I also offered condolences on your behalf, and requested their contact details be emailed to me.

The Valencia Florida Retirement Community administration has also been advised of Evan’s condition. They’re notifying residents known to Evan and they’ve organized flowers and cards be made available for the residents to send.

I’ve arranged for an assortment of flowers, an appropriate card from you and some light reading material to be sent to Evan’s room. The Kaiser Permanente Moanalua Medical Center is in contact with Evan’s family, and also the Bethesda Hospital in Perth.

Evan’s luggage has been sent from the Trump International to the medical center. The hotel has been advised of his circumstances.

Did I miss anything?

Are you in your hotel room ATM? I have something being delivered to you there shortly. I’d prefer you to receive it personally if at all possible.

From:             Julius Ryan

To:                  Melanie Stuart

Date:               Feb 22 2017 22:03

Subject:          Evan’s family contacted

Well done as usual Mel. Thank you.

I’m in my room, but I was about to turn in. What on Earth gets delivered at this time of night? Don’t worry, I shall stay up until whatever it is that you’ve sent me arrives.

Mel quickly downed a couple of very strong scotches. Never in her whole life had she been so nervous. She practiced the speech that she’d prepared for the occasion.

Looking at the bathroom mirror, she liked what she saw. Her hair was slightly ruffled, as if to give the impression that she hadn’t gone to too much trouble. The red Faviana designer dress hugged her naturally feminine but slim figure. Underneath she wore Agent Provocateur lingerie, some of which discreetly peeked out below the neck. The stockings and high heels could only be described as stunning. The pearl necklace had been a gift from Julius long ago, so too the gold watch and bracelet. She dabbed on some Clive Christian No. 1 perfume. She was ready.

There was a knock on Mel’s door, she’d been expecting it though. The Dom Perignon champagne had arrived right on cue. Hang the expense.

Mel stood outside Julius’s room, champagne in hand, knees trembling. She quickly used a breath spray to mask the scent of alcohol as she rehearsed her lines for the final time. Taking a deep breath, she knocked.

Julius opened the door before she had finished knocking, catching her completely by surprise. He was in his pajamas, with a glass of scotch and ice in one hand.

‘Mel?’

Mel stood there. Her mouth slightly open, but nothing would come out.

‘When did you arrive?’ asked Julius surprised and confused.

Years from now, when re-telling the events of this evening to friends, Mel would absolutely deny Julius’s version of events. She’d claim that Julius was embellishing, that she’d merely coughed a little to clear her throat. The fact is though, she burped. In her defense, it was a very quiet, lady-like type burp, but she did burp.

The speech she’d practiced for three days and more than four thousand miles was now completely thrown out the window. Mel needed to recover from a horrible start. She looked up at Julius and said smiling radiantly . . . ‘Hi Caesar.’

Mel wrapped her arms around Julius’s neck and kissed him. That kiss in Jakarta had nothing on this. At least with the re-telling of this part of the story, they would always both agree.

Date:                           Thursday, February 23, 2017

Time:                          0615 hours

Location:                    Suite 2702 Trump International Hotel

                                    Honolulu, Hawaii, USA

They were not a well-practiced set of moves, but Mel knew them well enough. Very slowly and quietly, she removed the covers and gently got out of the bed, careful not to disturb the man still asleep on the other side. Naked, she quietly felt around the floor for her clothes and shoes in the darkened room. Once they were in her possession, she snuck over to the bathroom making sure not to disturb the collateral damage strewn about the place lest she reveal her movements.

At this point, Mel would normally get dressed, tidy her appearance, and sneak out the front door. ‘The walk of shame,’ she giggled to herself. What had she been thinking last summer with that IT professional from France. He didn’t speak a word of English, and she hadn’t cared at the time. She looked a mess the next morning trying to hail a taxi. The driver gave her a smug “knowing” smile. ‘Never again,’ she swore not loud enough to be heard.

This encounter would be different. Mel entered the bathroom, then shut and locked the door silently. Only after putting a towel along the bottom of the door to mask escaping light and sound did she turn on the light to look in the mirror.

‘Oh my God where did all these bruises come from?’ she said to herself turning side to side to view the damage whilst pretending she had no idea how they got there. Then she laughed as she remembered the hilarious events of the previous night. The sex had been incredible, equal to any fantasy, but maybe just a little in need of some practice with coordination. They’d broken a lamp and possibly the bedside table, and there wasn’t a single piece of furniture left in place. It was everything she had hoped for and a lot, lot more.

Julius wasn’t yet ready to have her “morning face” revealed to him. Mel luxuriated in a hot shower and then set about the task of creating the look that she wanted embedded in Julius’s memory of their first time waking up together.

Hair, teeth, breath, makeup, eyes, deodorant and a touch of perfume all taken care of, she was looking, smelling and feeling as good as she could considering the side effects from a night of indulgent sex, sin and debauchery. Mel turned the light off and quietly opened the bathroom door. She carefully hung up her clothes so they would present well later, and then snuck back under the covers still naked.

Julius was breathing steadily, completely unaware.

Mission accomplished, thought Mel. Total deception has been achieved.

Or so she thought.

Julius suddenly sat bolt upright and looked at her, feigning anger. ‘Finally! I thought you were going be stuck in there forever!’

Julius was enjoying himself. Rarely had he ever been able to catch Mel out with one of her clever little deceptions.

‘I couldn’t wait any longer so I ordered on behalf of us both. Cereal, fruit, toast, croissants, scrambled eggs and crispy bacon, coffee and orange juice, and the newspapers. Does that meet your expectations Miss Stuart?’

‘Barely,’ she replied sounding less than pleased with herself. ‘What happened to the hash browns and pancakes?’

Mel put her arms around Julius’s neck and kissed him passionately. There would be just enough time if they hurried. Too bad if there wasn’t.

There wasn’t.

‘So, you see darling,’ Julius had given Mel a very quick brief, the short version, as to what had transpired over the flights from Adelaide to Honolulu, and also what Doctor Richards had told him. ‘He must’ve known what he was doing. Evan has in effect committed suicide by his actions of revealing the alien existence to me, and also by undertaking such a long journey.’

Mel only heard one word, the most important thing Julius had said to her ever, he called her “darling”. It was the first time either of them had used an intimate pet name for the other. She wondered what she would call him, and then decided then and there that there was only one name she would ever call him by other than his real name . . . “Caesar”.

‘How do you know that what Evan told you is the truth?’ asked Mel trying to sound open minded. ‘How about I spend this morning checking up on the facts of Evan’s story while you go to the hospital and visit with him. I don’t think you should let the poor man die alone.’

‘You read my mind,’ said Julius finishing his breakfast and dashing for the bathroom while yelling from room to room. ‘Thanks Mel for being so reasonable about me running off like this.’

‘I can make use of the time to pack up my room. That’s assuming that you still want me moving in.’

Mel suddenly felt apprehensive. She should have waited for Julius to say something first. She wished she hadn’t said anything when Julius stuck his head out of the bathroom.

‘That’s right,’ said Julius ominously, recalling the conversation of the previous night. His expression was one of concern. ‘Look Mel, ahh sometimes, well, men say things . . .’

Mel’s heart literally stopped.

‘Just kidding! Move in. I love the idea,’ said Julius grinning widely.

‘It’s okay,’ said Mel pretending to be annoyed with him. ‘You love to chase aliens, I get it. I actually knew that before today you know. You should go and play alien with your little friend, I’ll be okay here . . . alone . . . making the biggest move of my life.’

Julius raced out of the bathroom and kissed her.

‘Are you telling me you’ve got even bigger moves than the one you put on me last night???

‘Very funny,’ said Mel throwing the first thing that came to hand at him . . . a pillow. ‘Go!’

From:             Ellen Armstrong

To:                  Melanie Stuart

Date:               Feb 22 2017 23:13

Subject:          Evan Armstrong

Dear Melanie,

Thank you so much for all that you’ve done for Evan, both you and Mr. Ryan. John and I are glad that he’s with such good friends at this difficult time. He is very fortunate. We had no idea at all that Evan knew Mr. Ryan.

We’ve tried to speak with Evan, but up to the time of sending this email, he hasn’t been strong enough to take our calls. Thank you for the contacts you sent, I’ve organized flowers and cards, they should arrive in the morning.

John and I are not well enough to travel as far as Hawaii unfortunately. Neither was Evan to tell the truth. We can’t imagine what was so important that he left his only family here in Perth, to undertake such a journey that he knew would kill him in the end. If you’re able to enlighten us on that subject, we’d very much like to know.

Only yesterday, John and I went on our weekly excursion to visit Evan at Bethesda Hospital. We couldn’t believe it when they told us he’d checked himself out. We had absolutely no idea at all, and we had no idea where he’d go.

Doctors there have informed us that Evan has hours, or at best days to live. One final favor if we might impose please. As we’re unable to speak with Evan, if the opportunity presents itself, could you please ask Evan about what he wants us to do about funeral arrangements?

In the absence of any direction from Evan, we want to fly him back to Australia for a proper ceremony and burial. Even though Evan lived the greater part of his life in America, he’s spent most of the past seven years here in Perth with his only family. In that time, we’ve become very close (again).

Thank you so much Melanie, and please make sure Mr. Ryan knows how much we appreciate what he’s doing also.

John and Ellen Armstrong.

From:             Melanie Stuart

To:                  Ellen Armstrong

Date:               Feb 23 2017 08:19

Subject:          Evan Armstrong

BCC:              Julius Ryan

Hello John and Ellen,

Thank you for getting in touch. We had hoped that you would. Please know that both Julius and I offer our deepest sympathies for what has transpired.

Julius (Mr. Ryan prefers to be known as Julius) is with Evan as I write this. He’s instructed me to assure you that Evan will have the very best care and attention to his needs and comfort that it is possible to provide. Any input you might have in that regard is welcome.

Julius has asked that you please allow us the opportunity to take care of all of Evan’s final needs here in Hawaii on your behalf. Attached you will find a legal document authorizing Julius to act on behalf of Evan’s family in matters relating to hospital and funeral arrangements only. If you’re happy to have us handle matters please sign and return the document, and also advise us of any instructions you might have.

I’ve forwarded your email to Julius, and I’ve requested that he discuss the arrangements with Evan at the earliest opportunity. Whatever it is that Evan requests, we’ll both keep you informed at all times.

Please do not concern yourselves with Evan’s transport to Perth or the organization of any funeral arrangements here in Hawaii. Whatever the outcome requested by Evan, it’s a much simpler task for me to make the arrangements on your behalf. Julius has absolutely insisted that all costs be borne by him, he holds Evan in very high esteem.

I’ll ask Julius to assist Evan to make a call to you. Evan rested well during the night we were informed, so it should be achievable sometime soon. Do not hesitate to ask for anything that assists you or Evan through this difficult time. Julius has instructed me to do everything possible in that regard.

As to the question of why Evan traveled when it was against all medical advice? All that I can say is that the time Evan spent with Julius was immensely valuable to both men. At a later time, when I have the full story, I’ll get back in touch to tell you what I’ve learned.

Julius was not aware of Evan’s medical condition unfortunately. If he had been, he would have insisted on Evan staying put. Whatever it was that Evan communicated to Julius, it must’ve had enormous significance. Julius has been profoundly impacted by this final time spent with Evan.

Best regards,

Melanie Stuart

Personal Assistant to Julius Ryan

Ryan Strategic 

Date:                           Thursday, February 23, 2017

Time:                          0820 hours

Location:                    Room 1103

                                    Trump International Hotel

                                    Honolulu, Hawaii, USA

The intrigue surrounding Evan Armstrong continues to grow, thought Mel as she started to pack her bags. Late last night, she and Julius had decided that it was entirely appropriate that they move in together. Now that it was finally happening she couldn’t be happier. Neither of them had spoken the “L” word yet, but Mel was confident that it would be out in the open before they left Honolulu.

Contacting the Chicago office of Ryan Strategic, Mel sent instructions for various staff to work on the different elements of Evan’s story, and also some further research into the man Evan Armstrong himself. She could clearly envisage the highly-charged conversations that’d be happening right now around the office coffee machine. Even for Ryan Strategic, these “alien” tasks were highly unusual.

Date:                           Thursday, February 23, 2017

Time:                          1056 hours

 Location:                    Kaiser Permanente Moanalua Medical Center

                                    Honolulu, Hawaii, USA

‘Sit down Julius, sit down please.’ Evan was sitting up in bed now, reading some of the messages he’d received. There was a plastic tube running out of his nose but he was looking better.

‘How are you feeling?’

‘Okay,’ Evan was smiling. ‘Thanks for . . . all of this.’

The room was filled with flowers, cards and several teddy bears from both the United States and Australia. Julius couldn’t help but show surprise.

‘Have doctors spoken to you?’

‘Yes, I’ve been given the bad news if that’s what you mean,’ replied Evan quite accepting of his fate.

‘I really hate to bring this up but there’s the matter of the funeral arrangements,’ said Julius hesitant to bring up the subject with a dying man. ‘I’m in contact with John and Ellen. Well Mel is, she’s here in Honolulu, it’s a long story.’

‘An office romance ahhh.’

Julius ignored the comment.

‘Please let me know your wishes and I’ll see to them personally. If I can help save your family from the ordeal of dealing with bureaucracy and time zones, I’d be pleased to do so. It’s a difficult time for them also.’

Evan revealed to Julius the arrangements that were already in place, he’d somehow been well prepared. Julius took out his laptop and made some notes, ready to pass on to Mel. As he did so, an email arrived from Mel.

From:             Melanie Stuart

To:                  Julius Ryan

Date:               Feb 23 2017 11:04

Subject:          Evan Armstrong credentials check

Hey Caesar,

How’s it going there? Pass on my best etc.

Evan’s story is NOT checking out so far:

  • He does NOT have any family in Adelaide at all. Every relative he has in the world lives in Perth;
  • His trip to Hawaii was unexpected by family. Evan left Perth suddenly, without warning, and against medical advice to fly. It appears that his decision to leave his care in Perth coincides with you posting about returning to the US;
  • Terry Sanchos does NOT exist. At least he’s not the son of Con Sanchos. The oldest Sanchos child at the time was only nine years of age. There may have been a ranch hand named Terry though;
  • The second crash site position you described could NOT have been within the Sanchos property. The property doesn’t extend north at all;
  • The Sanchos ranch was known for raising sheep, NOT cattle. Although it’s possible they owned a small number of cattle;
  • There seems to be no evidence that the Bell X-1 ever carried weapons of the nature you described. Bell Aircraft Corporation ceased operations in 1960. Nothing from Freedom of Information records offers evidence of weapons being mounted on the Bell X-1 either. (Did you know that Chuck Yeager broke the sound barrier in a Bell X-1 in October 1947? Maybe that is how Evan came up with the name of the aircraft??);
  • The weather front of July 5 is not recorded anywhere, yet the July 3 event is clearly mentioned in numerous military and civilian weather records; and
  • Evan was dismissed from the UN, he did NOT resign. It is a matter of public record.

I don’t like to speak ill of the near dead, but please don’t get caught up too deeply in what he’s told you.

Let me know if you need anything. When will I see you? FYI I’m moving in today! You may live to regret it.

A “Greg” called the hotel phone from the Qantas assistance desk. He asked if you could call him at a convenient time on the number he gave you about your luggage. He insisted on dealing with you personally on the matter for some reason and seemed reluctant to talk.

Battered, bruised, exhausted and loving it. More please.

Mel

Julius read the email deciding he would gently confront Evan with some of the things he’d learnt.

‘Okay Evan, it sounds like you’re on top of everything. I’ll let your family know what arrangements you’ve made, if you would like me to that is,’ Julius wanted to change the topic of conversation.

‘Thank you, yes,’ said Evan. ‘I’d appreciate that very much.’

‘Your story needs to be told. But first, I want to pose some difficult questions. Are you up to the task?’

Evan ignored the question.

‘Don’t reveal the aliens Julius. Promise me. It won’t help anyone,’ pleaded Evan. ‘Promise me, please!’

Julius saw that Evan was showing substantial discomfort. Still, he was reluctant to give up ground on the issue.

‘Okay, I promise. But . . .’

Evan cut him off. He was now clearly distressed.

‘Julius, I’m so sorry. Meeting you has been one of the great pleasures of my life,’ Evan paused to catch his breath. ‘In the very short time we’ve known each other, I’d like to think that we’ve become friends.’

‘We are friends Evan. Good friends,’ Julius spoke earnestly. ‘Don’t doubt it, you’ve opened my eyes immeasurably. I’m a different person today because of my time spent with you.’

‘That was always my intention Julius,’ Evan was struggling now. ‘But I need you to know that while the substance of my fears that I’ve communicated to you about the future for mankind are real, the rest I must insist that you accept to be simply a story I made up to hold your interest.

‘I honestly never thought you’d believe my alien story. Consider it as an attempt at breaking the shackles of your existing mind-set as you might say. As a lateral thinker, you more than anybody should understand that.’

Julius did understand Evan’s reasoning, but he wasn’t convinced. Evan was about to speak, but Julius cut him off.

‘Are you saying that you never encountered aliens, not ever?’ Julius was quite dismayed with the turn of the conversation. Could Evan have really duped him so easily? So convincingly? ‘Sorry Evan, I’m not sure I believe you.’

‘Think about it Julius. If there really had been an encounter with aliens, and if the future of the world really rested on my not revealing their existence, do you think I’d really reveal them to you?’

Julius considered the logic of what Evan had just communicated. However, if what Evan had told him was the truth and he felt that he had told Julius too much, that is something you might expect him to say.

‘I wanted you to see what my fears are for the future. Maybe you can influence the outcome. Did you see the future Julius?’ asked Evan. ‘Revealing alien existence will draw the attention of forces I hope you never have to deal with. Please let it go.’

Julius decided then that he didn’t believe Evan at all. There was no doubt in Julius’s mind that Evan’s encounter with aliens was real, but he was concealing something from him; something he feared. He needed to force the truth from Evan while he could. Julius couldn’t imagine a future that included never knowing the truth.

‘Why were you drummed out of the air force?’ asked Julius bluntly, changing tack hoping to provoke the truth.

There was a pause as Evan realized the significance of the question. Julius didn’t mess about. He’d commenced the journey that Evan had started him on in earnest.

‘You’ve been doing your homework I see,’ said Evan. ‘I’m wondering if it’s necessary for you to know too much about that period of my life.’

‘Please answer my question Evan. I won’t allow you to upheave my entire life and simply dump me with the proposition that you made the whole damn thing up. I can’t believe you’ve done anything sinister now that I know you so well,’ said Julius. ‘Please answer my question. Why were you drummed out of the air force?’

‘There are events that occurred back at that time that I’d hoped to avoid the need to tell you about. I’d rather you hear the truth though, than get a false impression from any investigations,’ said Evan closing his eyes as he reluctantly thought back to that sad and tumultuous episode of his life. ‘There are dark forces that must be avoided at all cost. They must never suspect you have knowledge of alien contact Julius. Never.’

‘They?’ asked Julius. ‘Who are you talking about? Who’s “they”??’

Breaking into your thoughts – A message from the author

Theory – Nature is imperfect “by design”

The repetition of “perfect” experiments in “perfect” controlled conditions occasionally deliver an unexplainable result. Aliens believe this observation to be “proof of God” . . . proof that within the seemingly random chaos of the universe, there is the incorporation of an element of design; included to ensure the outcome our universe was created for.

Darwinism is essentially correct, but the inclusion of two alien observations potentially offer more rapid diversification while allowing greater survivability:

  • Nature is deliberately imperfect leads to a much more aggressive random “experimentation” process by evolution;
  • Species are somehow able to attain desirable genetic attributes of non-related species, helping the overall survivability of a diverse ecosystem.

The alien evolutionary journey through the “Spiritual Age” is only in its infancy. However, the aliens have projected a future where all advanced intelligent species will unite at a time of the end of the universe . . . to become “One”. “One” is not the end of the evolutionary ladder, it is merely the next step in an endless process.

The aliens have discovered resonate traces of a previous universe. Ours is not the first or only universe, there may have been an infinite number before us. From this knowledge, aliens believe that God must therefore be the surviving composite entity of the previous universe.

We are close to an eternal existence . . . very, very close indeed. If we make it past Armageddon that is.

Conspiracy – Timeline of secret alien events and interventions

(The alien race encountered at Roswell is referred to as the “Small Aliens”)

60 Million years BC

The Small Aliens destroy their home world.

This is the first race known to have survived the Armageddon event and continue their evolutionary journey through the spiritual age. Their home world completely destroyed, less than a thousand Small Aliens survive, repopulate and build massive space cities to peacefully explore the galaxy.

1.8 Million years BC

The Greys destroy their home world.

Surviving by the same solution as the Small Aliens, several thousand Greys escape the destruction.

600,000 years BC

The Greys discover Earth.

Even though the Greys find our home highly toxic; our gravity impossibly heavy, the Earth is still highly suitable for their needs. They use Earth’s orbit as a base to build huge Space Cities while the majority of their population that reside in our solar system live in a time slowed status as their Space City is in tight, high velocity orbit around our sun;

140,000 years BC

The Greys establish a massive permanent space station in Earth’s orbit.

As their population grows rapidly, the Greys’ need for more and larger Space Cities see them build a massive manufacturing facility in Earth’s orbit. It is clearly visible to the inhabitants of Earth. The Greys believe they are the friends of mankind as they protect, teach and trade with us. They also genetically enhance/improve/advance us.

16,000 years BC

The Small Aliens first encounter Earth and the Greys.

It is the first and only time the “Small Aliens” have found an alien race that has survived the Armageddon event without their assistance. The Small Aliens relate their experiences of the disastrous outcomes with other worlds they’ve been in contact with before the Armageddon event. Both alien races agree to do whatever they can to ensure the survival of mankind;

14,000 years BC

The aliens install their counter-intervention strategy on Earth.

The Greys remove their space station orbiting in full view of Earth. The aliens (both species) commence their counter-intervention strategy that will hopefully counter the Greys’ well-meaning but mistaken intervention;

Around the time of Christ

The aliens leave Earth supposedly to never return.

The “Small Aliens” and the “Greys” both depart Earth orbit and “time”, having installed their counter-intervention strategy and left the only known possible solution for surviving the Armageddon event on Earth for us to find at precisely the time it is needed. It was intended that the aliens would never return to the Earth, but would one day hopefully greet and assist survivors fleeing Earth’s destruction brought about by our own Armageddon event;