A Tough Nut to Crack
Why did I ever think that something involving Sandburg and his brother could possibly go as planned? I really should have known better. That is the thought that keeps going through my mind as Blair and I go over the files we have managed to assemble. We've been studying them for hours now and I can't help but shake my head in total disbelief. There are some interesting tidbits here, that's for sure, but it's what isn't here that draws my attention. That is the part I find to be the most disturbing one and the one that is bound to make Blair's decision that much harder.
The truth is that his brother's story is nothing short of unbelievable. In some aspects it's so much like Blair's that I am tempted to double-check to make sure the name in the files hasn't accidentally been changed. Even the basic information makes for some rather interesting reading. It is... unconventional, to say the least.
The man was actually born in Egypt and he spent most of his early years there... up until his parents were killed. After that he spent the next eight years bouncing around the system without anything remotely resembling a permanent home due to the fact that his grandfather refused to take custody of him. When he was sixteen he started college --studying archeology and anthropology among other things-- where he was regarded as pretty much a wiz kid until he was laughed out of academia due to his theories, theories that include concepts such as the fact that the pyramids are much older than anyone thinks and that they were actually built by aliens.
In other words, Sandburg's brother was laughed out of academia for daring to suggest something that would have been more at home with what one would expect to find among those who believe in alien abductions and little green men than with what one would expect to find in a respectable scientific journal. Up until that point the similarities between the man's life and Sandburg's are nothing short of amazing... but still, there is nothing in there that can actually be described as disturbing. It's what comes afterwards that bothers me.
After he first published his theories he vanished for a year... and when I say vanished I do mean without a trace, as in can't find even a credit card transaction to his name. From what we've been able to find for a whole year the man didn't even buy a pack of gum and then, without any apparent explanation, suddenly he was back, living in Colorado and working for the Air Force in something having to do with deep space telemetry or some other such scientific mouthful... and that's where the real problem lies as far as I'm concerned.
For years now Sandburg and I have been trying to slip under the radar of a number of shadow organizations belonging to our government, organizations with alphabet soup names and safe-sounding cover stories... and somehow I get the feeling that we may have accidentally stepped right into the screen of one of them. Unfortunately now it's too late for us to do anything about it. The only thing we can possibly hope to do is to try and find what's behind door number one before it opens and swallows us whole.
That is what Sandburg and I have been trying to figure out today... especially because there is something about this deep space telemetry story that doesn't really add up, starting with the level of security in that place and moving on to some of the characters involved. We've tried our usual contacts and the fact is that they havent panned out. That is not a comforting thought, not by a long shot. One thing we've learned over the years is that if Kelso can't crack it then whatever it is, it's bound to be big.
Of course, the fact that our search hasn't gone anywhere near as well as we would have liked it to go doesn't mean that it's been completely useless either. We have managed to gather a fair amount of information about Sandburg's brother and in that regard it can even be described as a success... it's what's attached to that brother that worries us, especially the fact that in the few files we've been able to find concerning whatever the man happens to be working on, there is one name that keeps popping up, one Colonel Jonathan "Jack" O'Neill who I suspect knows about as much about deep space telemetry as I do. The man is special forces and he is most definitely not someone you are likely to find babysitting a telescope.
In other words, our little search has left us with more questions than answers, in fact it's left us with more questions than we had to begin with and there is a very real possibility that it may even have left us exposed. When we started this we did so as we would any background check. It is something we've done a million times before and it wasn't until we realized that we were probably stepping on some fairly sensitive military toes that we chose a more subtle approach... unfortunately, if the security of the systems in that place is anything to go by, then it was already too late.