Over five thousand years ago, a renegade faction of angels abandoned the spiritual realm and began their inhabitation of earth. Amidst the chaos of a dying world, a lone voice foretold the awakening of a warrior who would bring an end to this evil perpetrated against all of creation.
The young analyst glanced quickly around the room, his eyes darting between the flickering computer screens and scores of other technical personnel. His knee bounced with nervous energy, resonating with the frantic mood pulsing through the communications center. As he waited impatiently, he reached forward and grabbed his coffee mug and took a quick swig. It had gone cold. From a television on the wall to his right came the sound of yet another news reporter trying to present a different perspective on the same story that had dominated the media for more than a week.
"...as ocean levels continue to rise across the globe. This only adding fuel to the already heated environmental debate that is drawing new lines of separation between members on both sides of the aisle. But while some argue over the potential cause of this global catastrophe, others believe that the issues of greatest concern are the ghastly death toll and the millions of displaced people in nearly every country, seeking refuge by moving inland. Already, the burden of supporting these refugees is being seen..."
"What did you want?" sounded a coarse voice from behind.
The analyst jumped, spilling his coffee. He quickly wiped at his wrinkled slacks but the coffee had already soaked in. Giving up, he turned to address his superior. "Have you been watching any of this?"
"I'm well aware of what's happening," the older man said, his eyebrows wrinkling into a scowl. "It's on every news station on the planet. But we still have jobs to do. And yours is to gather data on your target."
"But that's why I called you over here. They're the ones that caused it!" The older man's once impatient body language softened. "Show me."
"Ok-so, I was going over the surface contour data from the satellites when I noticed that the ocean levels were rising faster in the southern hemisphere. And that gave me the idea to run a simulation, comparing the current mapping data to the..."
"Skip to the point, Matthews!"
Setting down his mug, the analyst leaned forward and grabbed hold of the mouse. Frozen on one of the four screens at his workstation was a distorted satellite image. "This is their South American facility," he mumbled to his superior without making eye contact. He pecked a key and un-paused the video footage, the distortion disappearing immediately.
"This is last week," he said. "Watch the atrium roof."
The older man stood with his arms folded, watching the screen.
In the midst of a lush jungle was a compound with high fences topped with razor wire. The interior of the compound had been cleared of all vegetation. At the north end sat an enormous rectangular building with a circular glass roof at its center. A six digit time display showed at the bottom right corner of the screen with the seconds ticking by.
At 10:06:54, the glass roof exploded upward, scattering shards of debris in every direction.
A dark object materialized in the void where the roof had been. When it sprouted wings and began to rise in elevation, it became obvious that it was some sort of bird.
The analyst paused the footage and increased the magnification. "You see this rectangular box on the roof?" he said, pointing to the screen. "It's an air-handler manufactured in Germany. I tracked down the schematics and got dimensions. It measures sixteen feet on its longest side, which..."
"...puts the wingspan at about thirty feet," the older man interrupted. "What the hell are they doing down there?"
"...synthetic biology? Who knows?" replied the analyst, un-pausing the footage. "But watch this."
When the time display read 10:07:22, a geyser of water came bursting through the hole in the roof. The analyst zoomed outward, showing the compound engulfed in water in a matter of seconds.
"The amount of water is just unreal. Check this out," he said, typing in a new time signature. The footage jumped forward a few hours, showing the entire valley flooded.
"Where is all that water coming from?" the older man mumbled.
"I don't know. It's way too much to be an underground river or something. But it stopped," the young man said simply. "Here, look at this." He punched in a new date and the image switched to the present, showing a live feed. He clicked a few times with his mouse and zoomed in again.
"See? The water used to be surging all over this area like it was still coming up from underneath the building. But now the water's calm..." The analyst trailed off as he noticed something new. "Hmm...," he said, clicking the mouse to zoom in even further.
"That's a dive team," the older man said, leaning closer to the screen. "...five of them, and a boat."
"...four," the young man corrected. "What?"
"There are only four divers. The fifth isn't in a wet suit. See how he's swimming away? It looks like they're chasing him."
"Go back!" the older man said. "Show me how he got in the water."
The analyst quickly scrolled the footage backward until everyone disappeared, then played it again. "There's the dive team arriving. They're getting in the water," he mumbled as he carefully moved through the footage. "And there. The other guy just comes up out of the water a half hour later. And there's the dive team coming after him."
The older man squinted, then stood up straight and grabbed the analyst's phone from his desktop. He punched a button and waited for the call to be routed.
The analyst grinned. "Are we going to take him in?"
The older man nodded. "We have six teams in the area on standby. This could be a major breakthrough for us."