Chapter 4: Chasing Shadows

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For two nights nothing happened and Janus was convinced that this was a dead end. Maybe little Megan was coming off a Froot Loops high and the mom was just being protective Janus thought. Space travel had always been her main interest. Shadow people and the paranormal had been more of Jonah's specialty. Director Oliver seems to have a very good reason for what he does, but it's hard to know sometimes...

It was the third night at 3:00 am and Janus wakes to a soft humming like a lullaby. It was faint at first and then slightly louder. Monica trying to put her kid back to sleep she surmises. The sound increases as if growing in her head and Janus does not recognize it as the mother's. Janus slides into her jeans and places her 9 millimeter into the back of them. She moves stealthily down the hallway expecting Jonah to be right behind her, but no one is there. Why isn't he here? She began to marvel because his hearing was above what a human's ever could be.

He had told her once that sound waves can be directed and condensed. In his experience in the paranormal, Jonah had believed that this is why only certain people could hear one thing while another cannot. Also, he had noted that the agency has such a device that could perform such a task and one of them is sitting on Director Oliver's desk. Janus's synthetic ears could clearly detect, as she got closer, that this might not be Monica. The door to little Megan's room is open and a dark figure of a woman is standing above her bed facing Janus waiting.

She turns on the lights and the figure is gone as if it was never there at all. I hate this shit! Janus thinks to herself. What the hell does this op have to do with extraterrestrial life? Megan sits up and looks as though she is in a trance, but before she can react, a scream from Monica fills the air like a banshee. While she runs down the hallway Janus yells out for Jonah, but nothing not even the presence of his rushing footsteps.

Monica's door is locked so Janus kicks it open with utter ease and finds the single mother paralyzed and significantly sinking into her mattress as three dark shadows loom above. A loud, buzzing sound fills the air and grows by the moment. She unloads her ammo on the silhouettes that are blacker than the night itself and nothing. Her eyes catch a glimpse of what they really are with the gun flashes. Again Janus flips on a light switch, but the radiance from the bulbs is unusually dim as if struggling to stay on. What the faint illumination does reveal answers her questions as to why she is on this mission. Three beings of extraterrestrial visage stand in front of her behind the bed in the faded, shadowy lit room.

They are not like any other aliens she has encountered. These almost seem demonic in appearance. Their heads are a bulbous, cranial shape throbbing and pulsing away. With black, beady, soulless pupils they stare into her's. Dark, oval markings surround those empty abysmal eyes. They have vulgarly thin bodies with blackened, grey skin and obsidian colored teeth jagged like razors. Janus senses begin to burn and she falls to one knee. The creature on the left has a small, silver device pointing towards her. Another wavy, translucent pulse is fired at her and Janus falls to the ground in a fetal position of sheer agony.

¨Jesus.¨ Monica whispers with all her strength and the cries, ¨Jesus!¨

The horrible fiends grimace in utter disgust at the mere sound of that name and then all three begin firing at Janus. I am A.I. for God's sake! How the hell can this be happening to me?! Her thoughts lament as every fiber is pierced by their weapons. Monica is sinking slowly into the bed inch by inch in complete paralysis. The buzzing sound intensifies greatly. The evil creatures are emotionless displaying neither fear or remorse. Janus internal systems pound her cybernetic brain with warnings of eminent failure. Falling to the ground her blurry vision sees Jonah's large, grey Vans enter the room.

A pulsing strobe light beats the monsters into disorientation. Jonah fires a multi-pronged taser at them and they fade into the darkness behind. Monica screams and vomits as Janus slowly rises.

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