Thursday 29 August 2013

Magic Falls Part 26

“This changes everything”

“I know.”

“Sir, with all due respect, I don’t think you’ve taken all the potential consequences into account.”

“Ellis, save me your ‘all due respect’ patronisation.”

“That’s not how I – “

“Save it. I’ve considered the possibilities. I’m not convinced of what you’ve presented me.”

Ellis opened the file which was on the Director’s desk. “Sir, he’s passed all the tests. Blind tests. He’s….he’s the real deal.”

The Director looked down at the file. “He was an entertainer,” he said for what was feeling like the hundredth time. “We went through all this back in the seventies and eighties in Israel with Uri Geller. He comes in, does a load of supposed tests. But they’re basically the same things that he did on his stage show. Do you know what that means?”

“It means – “

“It means that he came in, did his illusions and for some unknown reason, the higher ups in Mossad decided to clap their hands like they were watching a clown make balloon animals and convince themselves that he was the real deal.”

“Sir, he found a murderer. A real case, from a guy that just went to one of his shows.”

“Well, then, he must be a psychic, mustn’t he? There can’t possibly be any other explanation.”

“Sir, I know it seems unlikely, but…”

“People confess to crimes, Ellis. Every day. Sometimes, it eats away at them.  If he wanted it to come out, then, say, he knew Smith somehow, then the two of them concoct it together. He confesses as publicly as he wants, gets all the notoriety and Smith becomes the world’s greatest psychic. Does that sound possible to you?”

Ellis went to speak, then hesitated. “It’s possible, yes.”

“And that’s just off the top of my head. However he did it, he’s an illusionist. That’s what he does. He lies and makes people believe it.”

“Sir, maybe if you see one of the tests yourself?”  Director Gillen glared at the younger officer, who pushed the point. “You’ll see what I mean. Any test you want. If he’s real…and we believe that he is… the strategic advantage this gives us…. I honestly don’t even know how to begin.”

The Director, after a few moments of irritation, flipped through the file.

“What’s he been doing? Correctly guessing pictures, things like that?”

“And telling people things that they haven’t told him. But that’s just for - ”

“This is sounding like it bears an astonishing similarity to a stage show.”

“So, a double blind then. We’ll go out of our way to trick him.”

The Director sat back in his chair, looking open to suggestion for the first time. “How?”

“Write something on a piece of paper. Seal it in an envelope. Don’t tell me what it is.”

“This is sounding like a magic trick.”

Frustrated, Ellis tried not to snap. “I know it does, but that’s what we’re talking about here. Someone actually doing something that most think is an illusion. You give me the envelope, and we go in together to see him. I won’t know what’s in it, nor will he have any influence over it. I'm not trying to get you to believe him entirely on the basis of that, but at least let us show you more verifications afterwards.”

“What you described - that’s not quite a double blind.”

“Well, no, but… you have to admit, it’s not giving him anything to work with. He doesn’t get to influence what went in, and he’s got nothing to read off me either. He doesn’t get to ask any questions, and he only gets one shot at it.”

Slowly, the Director nodded. “If he can tell me what’s in it then, I’ll consider that there may be something to this. But if this turns out to be a waste of my time…”

“Please, sir. Just five minutes of your time.” Ellis took a piece of paper from the printer and handed it to the Director. “Write something – anything – and then we’ll go straight down. We have him restrained.”

“Why is he restrained?”

“Some of the staff don’t want him going close to them. Military secrets and psychics are not a good combination.”

The Director closed his eyes. “I’m working in a madhouse,” he said, but he took a pen. “Turn around.”
Ellis did so, as the Director wrote something down without hesitation. He then took an envelope out of his desk drawer, folded the paper and inserted it, and then sealed the envelope.

“Here you go,” he said, handing Ellis the envelope.  “Let’s go and talk to our guest.”

Silently, the two men walked down the corridor, and then through a snaking series of corridors and stairs. Security personnel snapped to attention as they passed.

After a while, they were deep in the bowels of the building, heading towards a series of cells that very few people in the country knew existed. Very few people in the government or military either for that matter.

Ellis walked to the cell, barely big enough to hold a small bed and a chair. The guards outside opened the door. The two men strode through.

“Good afternoon, Mister – “ Ellis began, but he was cut off.

The man restrained in the chair interrupted him, even though he kept staring an angry hole in the ground. 

“Officer, hello, but I believe I need to speak to your boss. Director Gillen, the name you’ve written in that envelope is Julia. It was the name you chose for your daughter, if your wife hadn’t miscarried. You’ve never told anybody that, and since she died four years ago, it seems a little unlikely that she told me.”

The Director’s blood drained from his face, and his jaw dropped. “I….Jesus Christ.”

“No. Shane Smith.” He lifted his head up to look right into the director’s eyes. “Now, can you untie me, please?”

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