An Interview with Mr. Black

An Interview with Mr. Black

A Story by StarNinja
"

Post mission debriefing. Subject Jacobs. Operation Shangri-la. Protocol- Standard. Classification- Standard. Clearance- Black 32.

"

“Stay with me, Jacobs,” said Mr. Black in a calm tone.

“I told you everything. Let me go.”

“You’ll leave when the debriefing is over.”

“We’ve been here for hours, and I’ve told you everything!” screamed Jacobs.

“There are still some key details missing. Let’s go over it one more time.”

Mr. Black shuffled the files around on the desk. His fingers were long and slender and his hands worked in quick, precise movements. Jacobs could barely make out the man’s features in the low light. Something about him was wrong, but Jacobs couldn’t figure out what it was.

“I don’t wanna f*****g do this anymore,” he mumbled.

“Relax, Jacobs. We’re almost through here. Start from the beginning.”

“I… we were flown into the hot zone…”

“Before that. When were you assigned to the mission?”

“I don’t know, a few days ago. I don’t even know what day it is now.”

“It’s Thursday. Who assigned you the mission?”

“I don’t know. It went through a whole bunch of people before it got to me.”

“Who assigned it, Jacobs?”

“I don’t know! My C.O. told me about it the day before I left for it.”

“Your commanding officer is Captain Groves. He received the order from Colonel Archer. Neither of them assigned it. You met the man who assigned it during the mission brief. Go over it again.”

“I… there were a bunch of us there. Guys from all the branches. Green Berets, Navy Seals, Army Rangers, even foreign military, SAS and some guys from the French Foreign Legion. They sat us in a room and…”

“Who is ‘they’?” asked Mr. Black.

“I don’t f*****g know, okay? There were some guys in suits, one guy in a lab coat who explained some things about geology or some s**t, I don’t know.”

“Any older gentlemen?”

“There were a bunch of old guys there. What the f**k are you doing here, huh? Why is this so important?”

“It’s very important. Tell me about Colonel Richard.”

“Who? There wasn’t any… wait. There was one guy. He was dressed like a colonel, but he didn’t look like a military man. His grooming was wrong, his stance was wrong…”

“Very observant,” said Mr. Black. “You’re right, he wasn’t military. He authorized the mission and handpicked everyone who was assigned to it. What did he look like?”

“I don’t remember,” said Jacobs.

“Try. We’re running out of time.”

“He… he looked like a cookie cutter Army Officer. Like an extra for a war film. He had a grey mustache, um, Caucasian and blue eyes I think.”

“Anything else?”

“No.”

Mr. Black checked his watch and sighed.

“All right. Take me through the mission.”

“I told about the mission two times already. Nothing’s changed. I don’t want to go over it again.”

“Perhaps you’ll remember something different.”

“Nothing’s different, god damn it!”

“One more time, Jacobs.”

“It was a mess. They didn’t tell us anything. They didn’t tell us what was down there.”

“They told you what you needed to know. It was a rescue mission. Get in, get out.”

“They could have told us about… they could have warned us...”

“They couldn’t. That would have been a breach of protocol.”

“Everyone’s dead! Every… one… is… dead!”

“Focus, Jacobs. The mission. Tell us about the mission. You were flown into the hot zone. Tibet. You went in low and dark.”

“Low. Heh. We were in the f*****g mountains, and I never had any high altitude combat training. It was obvious that we were all picked at the last minute.”

“They dropped you off. What happened?”

“We were in the temple courtyard. It was almost complete white out, but we got our bearings and secured it. Griffin led our team in, Reyes secured the rear. It was dark in there. Not dark like there was no light but, dark like… I don’t know. It was all wrong.”

“Did you notice anything unusual about the temple?”

“I wasn’t paying attention to the temple, I was focused on the mission.”

“Do you remember anything about the temple itself?”

“There were pictures on the walls. A lot of broken pottery.”

“What were the pictures of?” asked Mr. Black as he took his pen out.

“Pictures of people. Pictures of animals, symbols. It’s hazy.”

“Anything specific?”

“I think… I think I remember one picture. A woman, holding her kid.”

“Was the child upside down?”

“Maybe. Why do you care about that?”

“These details are crucial. Was the baby upside down?”

“I don’t remember.”

“Was the woman smashing the child onto a sharp stone?”

“I don’t f*****g remember!”

“What happened next?” asked Mr. Black abruptly. “You moved into the inner temple structure, correct?”

“Yeah, we navigated as best we could. No sign of the first team or the VIP. Radio contact and other equipment started getting buggy. The deeper we went, the weirder it got. We should have gotten out. Damn it, we should of…”

“Keep going. What happened next?”

 

 

* * *

 

 

I was point, Griffin had my back. We were in a small room that might have been a shrine a long time ago.

“Jacobs, check out that corridor,” said Griffin.

I went in, Griffin and two others behind me. It was clear, but I didn’t feel right. I had this feeling like I was missing something. I don’t know what it was that tipped me off. The smell? That was probably it. Musty, and pungent in this cold and dry place. I was real jumpy by that point. Our equipment was all fucked up. Even our lights were starting to flicker. I wanted to get our guys and get out of there. Just, get as far away from there as I could. That’s when Holloway heard something.

I don’t know what I thought it was. It looked like a kid, hunched over and shaking. Griffin shouted the safe word. It didn’t respond. It just sat there. Griffin stepped closer and said the safe word again. It looked up at him. That’s when I saw it. It… I don’t know how to describe it. It looked like, if you made a person out of insect parts. Its eyes were like a fly’s. Shiny, red, multifaceted. It was covered from head to toe with bristles. What I thought was hair on its head was actually two fuzzy antennae, like you see on moths. And its mouth. It was… I don’t even know.

None of us knew what to do. I wanted to shoot it. Griffin tried to radio the find in, but all communication with the outside was gone by then. Holloway approached it.

“Get away from that thing,” said someone. I think it was Freeman.

Holloway wasn’t stupid, he had his gun up, but he wasn’t ready for… I mean, who could have been? I had no idea what to do, and I’ve seen everything. Holloway got real close to it. It reached out to him, like it wanted to get picked up. He hesitated. Then it was on him. I heard him scream, and fired a three shot burst into the f****r, but it didn’t go down. It was tearing Holloway up, going for his face and just tearing it up. Holloway went down and the rest of us started shooting and shooting. It must have gotten hit a dozen times before it finally stopped moving.

 

 

 

* * *

 

 

“Your description of it is quite accurate. What you saw was the young adult form of the entity. I’m surprised you remember that much about it,” said Mr. Black.

“You know what it is. You know what we saw in there. You knew and yet you…”

“I wasn’t the one who sent you in, Jacobs,” said Mr. Black.

“Then that fake colonel did it, I don’t give a s**t. Someone knew what we were getting ourselves into and they didn’t say a f*****g thing!”

“Protocol, Jacobs.”

“F**k you. F**k your protocol!”

“Continue. When did you reach the VIP?”

“That was later. It was just me and Dupont by then. And the VIP… f**k.”

“Keep it together, Jacobs.”

“He was gone. He was…”

 

 

 

* * *

 

We encountered a few more of those… things as we went further in. They got bigger, and stranger. These new ones had wings. But they weren’t normal wings. These wings looked like they weren’t real. Like they didn’t exist in this world. A few guys turned tail and ran, I don’t know what happened to them. I wanted to run too. But I kept going. I don’t know why. I wasn’t really thinking straight. I just had to finish the mission. Just finish the mission. I found a large chamber, like the one mentioned in the briefing. I found the first team. They were all over the place. It was the sickest s**t I’ve ever seen. The smell. That’s what it was before. I heard Dupont retch, but he kept it together. We kept moving. We didn’t bother looking for survivors, because there weren’t any.

I heard someone calling me, and it scared the s**t out of me because they were calling me by name. Dupont didn’t hear it. That should have tipped me off. I went toward the source of the noise. It was coming from the back of the chamber. I called out the safe word. He answered. Then I saw him. The VIP. It looked like he was trapped in the wall, like half of his body had melted into it. He looked pretty calm for someone in his position. I approached carefully. I asked him what the f**k was going on. He smiled and said, “We were trying to acquire something for the United States Government. As you can see, it didn’t turn out too well.”

“What are you talking about? What were you doing in Tibet in the first place?” I asked.

“That’s classified. Here, pull this pin out,” he said, gesturing with his head toward a small metal object on his vest. It looked like a grenade from the future. Small and shiny, even in the dim light.

“We came to get you out of here. Can you move?” I asked, in futility.

“Look at me, son. I’m finished. You still have a chance. Pull the pin, then run.” I shook my head in defeat. We had come all this way, lost all our guys, only to find that it was all for nothing.

“It’s over, let’s get the f**k out of here,” said Dupont with that French accent of his. I reached out to pull the pin. I felt something in my head come undone. I thought the VIP had been stuck in the wall of the chamber. But I noticed the wall didn’t look like part of the cave at all. It had bristles on it. Almost in response the whole thing shuddered. I pulled the pin and ran like I’d never run before. A terrible noise filled my ears and turned my insides to mush. But I didn’t stop running. Nothing would stop me from escaping that temple. Dupont’s screams didn’t even slow me down. Everything after that is a blur. I found my way out. I made it to the extraction point. It was just me. No one else made it. Just me.

 

 

* * *

 

 

 

“The VIP didn’t mention where the item was?” asked Mr. Black.

“No.”

“I see. Your testimony has been most helpful, Jacobs. You will receive a commendation for your actions in Tibet.”

“F**k you. Just get me out of here.”

“One last thing, do you remember what the VIP looked like?”

“I… he had green eyes, and… a big nose. I don’t remember anything else.”

“All right. We’re done here.”

Mr. Black organized the file, rose from his chair and walked out of the room. He walked up a flight of stairs and into a small office. Another agent was waiting for him.

“What do you think?” asked Mr. White as he watched Jacobs on a small TV screen.

“He has nothing else for us. I say we cut him loose.”

“Don’t you think he has potential? He survived a run-in with the Xylanti after all.”

“I read his psyche profile. Very strong possibility he’ll implode before we get much use out of him,” said Mr. Black.

“So, mind wipe?”

“Hmm… Put him down. He’s done enough for his country.”


© 2013 StarNinja



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Featured Review

Wow, now this was pretty frigging good! the ton of dialogue at the start made it really clinatic and i love how it changes pov and goes from complete unadulterated dialogue to flashback from the jacobs guy.
mr.black was so cold and casual it was really quite creepy and that bit about the painting of a baby getting smashed onto a rock was really jarring and so shocking. the description of the creatures was REALLY good and they sound frigging terrifying! lotta mystery in this and i am a huge fan of that!! the end paragraph was brilliant too, very clinical, it's seriously messed up they're gonna kill the guy when they can 'Mid wipe' him, what's that about?
great piece, i really hope you continue this as a book instead of a short story.

Posted 5 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.




Reviews

Very well written! Spooky and dramatic. I was grossed out at your description of the insect boy. I hate giant fly's eyes. Poor Jacobs, though. An unfortunate end to an unfortunate ordeal.

Oh here, caught this: "I don’t even now what day it is now."

Posted 4 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

StarNinja

4 Years Ago

Thanks for the catch, and thanks for the review!
This was a very intriguing piece! I was hooked from the very beginning and wanted to find out what had happened to Jacobs. I liked how switched back and forth between the interview and the mission. That kept it interesting. I liked the ending, too, though I didn't completely understand why they wouldn't mind wipe him. I guess there are negative effects that go with it or it's not always reliable or something. Anyway, nicely done!

Posted 5 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

This was really cool.
It kind of reminded me of The Manchurian Candidate

Posted 5 Years Ago


Wow, now this was pretty frigging good! the ton of dialogue at the start made it really clinatic and i love how it changes pov and goes from complete unadulterated dialogue to flashback from the jacobs guy.
mr.black was so cold and casual it was really quite creepy and that bit about the painting of a baby getting smashed onto a rock was really jarring and so shocking. the description of the creatures was REALLY good and they sound frigging terrifying! lotta mystery in this and i am a huge fan of that!! the end paragraph was brilliant too, very clinical, it's seriously messed up they're gonna kill the guy when they can 'Mid wipe' him, what's that about?
great piece, i really hope you continue this as a book instead of a short story.

Posted 5 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Very clever and well written. I always find your writings very interesting.

Posted 5 Years Ago



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Added on January 21, 2012
Last Updated on March 24, 2013
Tags: Secret, Black, Agent, White, Mission, Soldier, Department, 9, Tibet

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StarNinja
StarNinja

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