The return to NASA for Doug was a strange morning for him as he was fighting his logic that maybe Daniel Phoenix was right all along. That there are some unexplained events in the world that could be written off with such ease. He was in a reporting room with a number of other workers. He was chief in the area of research, photography, and engineering when the meeting was coming to a close he was given a dozen or so photographic to edit and enhance for publication.

“Just these ones for the Monday deadline sir?” he asked his boss.

“Good I can do these. Are these recent ones?” Doug asked him.

“Some of them are and some different areas that we have captured,” he answered.

Doug nodded and took a few steps towards the door when he saw one of the images that were similar to the skies of somewhere he had seen before. In the past he would not question it but nowadays things were different in Doug’s mind.

“This image where was this taken?” he asked.

His boss held the image and took it up at the light in the room to get a better read of it, “Somewhere in Los Angela one of our people took.”

Doug remembered the case that Daniel was working on based on the reports he gave him. He wondered if there was a connection but couldn’t expose himself to his boss by hiring Daniel again behind his back.

“That mark in the air in the photo. Doesn’t that send a red flag? Did anyone look further into that one?” he asked.

His boss turned to him with a grin and pointed at the mark, “There’s nothing there so if there’s something that doesn’t belong than we Photoshop it out.”

“That’s not entirely right to do sir,” Doug questioned his boss.

“That’s the policy Doug, we don’t get people excited. It’s no one’s business what things we might see. Everything is explainable,” his boss answered.

Doug back stepped from his questioning and nodded, “I’ll get these done in the afternoon.” He left the room with the photos in hand.

He had come to understand the many times that Daniel had faced non-believers and the wall of people who didn’t want information to leak out. Still there was a part of him that didn’t believe in the UFO’s. While the event of the Men in Black did question his own theories he was still mainly sure about his thoughts. However as time went on he felt his theories were about to change and he didn’t know how to accept it. He came back to his office and saw Geoff busily working the photocopy machine when he thought of Daniel and where he was.

“Where is that kid?” I don’t want him doing something stupid like that grave digging,” he said to himself. He returned to his seat and had a slip of coca in thought about the past few weeks and what it meant for him and the future.

 

Footsteps were moving along the ground at a slow pace along deserted plains out in the Great Salt Lake Desert. The figure turned around to reveal it was Daniel Phoenix who had been missing for a couple weeks away from his friends in Doug and Jack. He appeared in jeans and a black shirt with an unshaven face. In the long distance he watched over his car that he left behind as he walked along the harsh heat of the sun towards the unknown. He was tired looking on his face from the last few days of traveling the areas and further researching on the objects he had found with Jack but he wasn’t getting the positives result he had been receiving since his return to NASA. The sun continued to come down hard on him as he stood for a moment and felt something not right from behind him. He heard a car driving towards him and he looked up to the skies almost if he knew this was all in the planning and removed his gun from his pocket and checked to see if the bullets were there and it was working well. With both arms out with the gun in one hand he brought them together again and placed the gun in his pocket again and turned around to see the car.

The car was unmarked and was black just like the one that Doug told him in his encounter at the beach. Two figures were walking towards Daniel in the middle of nowhere dressed in black, wearing black ties, and the black hats. Phoenix stood tall and firm eyeing down the Men in Black as they approached him. The figures stopped in front of him and there was a haunting silence for a few moments. Time had stood still for this event to happen. Daniel stayed his ground in front of them not saying a word to them. For the first time he was not doing the investigating, he was the one who was investigated.

“Mr. Phoenix. Have you been digging lately in areas that don’t belong to you?” asked the first figure.

“It took me a while to get you two to find me. I had to dance around half the country to find you the real Men in Black that is. Tell me do you work for the government?” Daniel asked.

“We paid a visit to your boss and we know your investigation will be shutting down real quick. We work for those who don’t want the truth to be told. Where are the objects, the skull and the warhead?” asked the second man.

“They are safe and away from harm. You’re going to demand that I either hand them over or destroy them. Which one do you prefer?” Daniel fired back another question with a slight shake in his right hand.

“Destroyed is preferred. We know all about you Phoenix. About your own past as a UFO researcher since you was a child. Your own family had a connection with UFO’s too with sightings. You are a special one Phoenix and you should keep that intact,” the first man replied.

Daniel eyed the second man with the cold looking hands and thought about the line about his family’s history with UFO’, “My grandfather you are talking about. He had a common sighting but to your surprise that is not the reason why I started this. Someone is hiding what the public should know and I don’t like that. I expect better from a democracy. What if I don’t destroy the objects? That would really hurt my findings,” Daniel asked.

“We would take care of you in the ultimate fashion.”

Daniel nodded to the Men in Black, “Fair enough. That’s what you do.” He looked around the area and turned his body to the south.

“Dugway Proving Ground. I’m kind of surprised of all the places I would meet you would be here. But as we both know what goes on within walls is not what the eye sees or hears. Are we also protecting something here as well as a common threat?” Daniel questioned them again.

“You destroy the objects and we won’t see you again. If you don’t you will see again for one last time,” said the second man.

The two men turned around and started to walk away from Daniel Phoenix. The sun was going down as dust was beginning for the night. Something caught the eye of the UFO researcher as he took a few steps back when a white glow in the sky appeared high near the Men in Black’s car. The two men looked up at the sky as well and one of them turned their heads towards Daniel tinting his hat to him. Daniel wasn’t sure if the Men in Black knew of the craft in the air if they were actually part of the crew of the UFO. Daniel turned around to face the Dugway Proving Ground off in the distance which would take a number of hours on foot. He turned back and the Men in Black were gone as well as the car. The same story as Doug’s.  The UFO moved closer towards Daniel and a bright light flashed along the ground. Daniel stumbled backwards away from the beam of light. He ran across the desert as the beam of light continued to search the grounds for something or someone. Suddenly the light fixed on Daniel and he tripped over his legs and bashed his head on the hard dirt. He got on knees with blood dripping on his head and pulled out his gun and turned it and aimed it at the UFO light. The craft hovered around him from high in the sky.

“What do you want from me? Tell me the truth. Just tell me the truth!” Daniel shouted out.

The gun’s aim was shaking with drips of blood from the head when his hand started to shake more with the movement of the craft. It was moving around in an odd fashion almost in a state of panic. His eyes widen in horror as he was making the connections during his investigations since returning to NASA.

“This can’t be same craft that Mary. It just can’t. How would they know to find me here? How would they know the connections?” he asked himself.

The craft had a sense it was there for too long and in a second bolted away from the area leaving Daniel alone in the desert. He sat down on the hard desert floor and placed the gun on the ground next to him. The task he felt was massive to complete all by himself and he knew that the Phoenix Connectors would have to help him if he had any chance of continuing his work. For him he felt he was successful. He had grabbed the attention of the Men in Black and took the heat off his boss and friends. However another spotlight fell on him, an unexpected one and it only raised more questions than it answered. He slightly turned to still his car in the far distance like spot on the horizon and his phone battery was dead when he removed it from his pocket. For Daniel Phoenix, the work ad only just begun and now he was choosing to take the dark path that many have not crossed. He would begin his work truly to uncover the mystery of the Aliens, the UFO’s and all the cases all between. The question was, where would he begin?