Monitor 3 - Summary
Individual and group preference for game type provides indicators of strength bias. Biases naturally assist predetermining associative preference. Corollary indications of facility inside rule structure inform monitors about capacity and precedence. Observational suitability is indicated in both group and individual by extension or contraction of game parameters.
Study facilitates behavioral prediction by minimizing subjectivity and participant contact with monitors. Pragmatic application of game structures extremely effective when utilized to stimulate developmental direction, although consequential attributions monitored must be maintained outside participant purview for maximum effectiveness.
Monitor 3 sorted intention effectiveness variable. Memorial facility trauma affected enhancing deviation. Monitor advised idiosyncratic effectiveness limitations. Monitor advised awareness deficiency. Monitor advised periodic assembly inculcation.
I was irritated. Someone on the ship had stolen my notebook.
There was really nothing in it a run of the mill sailor could use or even understand. But there might be plenty an intelligence officer might notice as slightly irregular. Why would someone like me be writing something like this? I was already anticipating the questions. What does this comment mean? Who are you working for?
Who am I working for? It is necessary to stop inventing possible scenarios and start inventing very necessary contingency plans. Marga warned me about my predilection for record keeping and now her glee would be insufferable. But her ability to invent ridiculous explanations was quite comforting. Explanations were always better than something messy like memory alteration.
I am running through alternate explanations for the notebook’s disappearance while one of my fellow sailors is tapping me on the shoulder, “Beer tonight? What’s up? You look like you’ve lost something.”
Pauley. I lean casually against a second tier bunk straightening a blanket while my hearing is telling me quite accurately that this sailor is the monkey who took my notebook. What does he want? Pauley didn’t do much original thinking and our contacts were usually limited to his nearly daily attempts at converting me to his current metaphysical system.
“I never drink beer but I’m thinking of making a change. Someone took my notebook.”
“Gee, that’s too bad. Maybe a beer will help ya feel better.”
Too bad we are forbidden extreme violence. I take a breath to calm myself. He is willing to return the notebook for some price. He doesn’t know how alcohol affects us and interpreting the information in the notebook is beyond him; he may have already given the notebook to an officer or at least someone with analytical ability.
“What the hell. A beer might do the trick.”
“That’s what I say! Mr. Charnov told me there was a great place downtown.”
I certainly did not expect this clear a piece of information. Lieutenant Charnov! He’d given or shown the notebook to the operations officer. What an enterprising lad and what interesting company he’s keeping. I study his vague blue eyes wondering if it was instinct?
“Well, if Lt. Charnov says it’s a great place…” I need to tread carefully, ”uh … you and Charnov good friends?”
“No, no, no! I just…he just told me there was a good place to get a beer.” He knows I know something.
“Doesn’t matter. Let’s go, this notebook thing has me bugged. Where are we going?”
“Old Heidelberg. Sounds like a good beer place, huh?”
“Yeah! Great!” My enthusiasm is quite real. Old Heidelberg and our lovely Marga. Did I get lucky or is this some kind of set-up? Charnov apparently has suspicions and it is better to assume he plans a confrontation. I know I mentioned Old Heidelberg in the notebook, but not Marga.
“Quarter to nine?”
“Quarter to nine! Why so late? I’m off in ten, no, five minutes.”
“Mr. Charnov said he could meet us, but it wouldn’t be till at least nine.” So he needs time to set something up. What?
“Oh! So we’re meeting Lt. Charnov! You didn’t say that.”
“Yeah. … uh … He said he could meet us at nine.” So … the intrepid Charnov would be there much earlier.
“Okay. So I’ll see you there at quarter to nine.”
“NO! I mean, no…I mean…is it all right if I hang out with ya till then?”
“Pauly…what’s up? Is something wrong?” Charnov has warned him about something, what?
“No. I just want to hang out…I haven’t got anything to do really.”
Pauly must have been told to keep me in sight or occupied, that was obvious, but Charnov couldn’t know, at least entirely, what he was up against and probably wanted to arrange some sort of backup assistance. I would have enjoyed seeing that conversation. Charnov’s mind was usually on mundane problems like ship handling and his wife’s pregnancy. This wasn’t in his league at all so who would he enlist? The notebook itself might be enough to interest ONI, but its origins would certainly stretch Charnov’s credibility with them.
I could have acted more swiftly alone but it was clear now I had to keep Pauly with me, if only for Pauly’s sake, at least until I could prepare Marga and myself.
“Pauly…isn’t hanging out with Lt. Charnov some kind of fraternization? I mean, shouldn’t we be, like, pretending to run into him?” Nothing like enlisting Pauly’s assistance by displaying a little ignorance.
“Well, yeah…that’s what h…I was thinking. So maybe we should just arrive later or something.” Charnov was doing all the thinking. His problem was he couldn’t do the improvising.
“I’ve got an idea. We’ll go have dinner then get a beer.” I didn’t say where and Pauly would be only too glad it was so easy to follow Charnov’s instructions.
Pauly paid absolutely no attention to our route and chattered away about his conversion and redemption until we reached our destination.
“But isn’t this … this is Old Heidelberg! I mean…didn’t you say we’d eat first?”
An Italian restaurant across the street from Heidelberg was my ultimate destination where I could watch for Charnov and anyone accompanying him. It was also necessary to let Pauly think I had been dissuaded from my original plan.
“It’s okay Pauly. They have food here and it isn’t bad really, as long as you like German food. We’ll just take our time eating and then when Mr. Charnov gets here, we’ll have that beer. Or,” I say with much ingenuous persuasion, “we can have one early and not tell him.”
“Umm … uh … I don’t like German food. Can we go somewhere else?” Charnov must have known Pauly was a poor choice for this, but knowledge of the notebook would have made him the only choice. The problem was either getting the notebook returned, destroying it, or worst choice, altering or adjusting the memories of Charnov, Pauly and possibly whoever Charnov had called on to intervene in the scenario. That would be a lot of adjustment.
“Don’t like German food? I thought you were German. What about that place over there? Looks like a nice Italian place. Italian Pasta di Mama. Whaddya think?”
“Uh…I don’t know…”
“Come on. It’s close and I really like Italian food.”
“Good. Didn’t want red cabbage anyway.”
The street was nearly empty of traffic so I simply walked across to the Italian restaurant. Pauly however, walked the extra distance to cross with the light. He really wanted to use up some time, or Charnov wanted him to use up some time.
When he finally reached the restaurant’s door I chided him, “Pauly, you surprise me. I thought a country boy like you would just jaywalk.”
I could see he was having some sort of internal battle. Ripples of tiny muscles stirred underneath the skin of his face and his rather blank blue eyes were shifting restlessly back and forth. “Pauly,” I knew my tone of confidence would act as a relief valve, “whatever it is, you can tell me.”
He really looked frightened and I felt an inner gathering of strength forming. “I found your notebook and I gave it to Mr. Charnov.”
This I didn’t expect so soon. I laughed. “You mean all this intrigue has been because you gave my notebook to Lt. Charnov? Pauly, why did you take it in the first place? It can’t have been very good reading; it isn’t even a finished work.”
“Yes. I’m trying, you know…not very successfully, to write a novel.” This would certainly get back to Charnov and his assistants and it would be incredibly difficult to dispute.
Pauly looked relieved but there was still some unrelieved tension. “Come on,” I said, “what else?”
“What was all that…writing?”
“Yeah, that weird writing.”
“Oh! I suppose you mean my “secret” language. Just an invention of mine, an invented language, Pauly, made up.”
“Lt. Charnov said it might be Russian.” Now I knew Charnov didn’t want Pauly around for our “meeting”; Charnov couldn’t possibly think it was Russian.
“Did he say he thought it “might” be Russian, or did he say something else?” Did Pauly perceive my momentary panic? I couldn’t see Charnov using Pauly as a shield, but whomever he brought with him might not have such charitable thoughts.
“Well I don’t remember exactly, but it doesn’t matter does it?” Close Pauly, very close.
“No, it doesn’t matter. You ready to eat?”
I chose a table by a window next to the street. Pauly seemed content and chattered away about a bible class he was taking shipboard. The class seemed to involve a number of the men and a couple of women who were not really spiritually involved. “Why are they doing it then?”
“I think it must be that god brought them there to show them the truth.”
“Do you think that’s going to happen?”
“I hope so. God has mysterious ways.”
“Pauly, how has God helped you?”
“He got me in the Navy.”
“Really? How so?”
“He got me out of a jail sentence and led me in his path to the Navy. He can help you too.”
“I like to think he already has Pauly.”
“Well, you have to accept Jesus Christ as your personal savior.”
A dark sedan pulled to a stop on the other side of the street and two military types got out and walked away from the entrance of Old Heidelberg and began watching the street and conversing. It was too far to lip-read, but I could surmise what they might be saying.
I returned my attention to Pauly. “I am glad god helps you.”
I could see emotion rising in his eyes. “God can help you too.”
“I think perhaps he will when he sees fit, don’t you?”
“You could come to our bible study class.”
“Thank you Pauly, that’s very kind of you.”
“Really. You could come to class and become holy.”
“Yes, I understand.” As Pauly continued to chatter, I watched Charnov arrive across the street almost directly in front of Old Heidelberg in his small brown car. Whoever he’d convinced to help wasn’t paying for this.
Scanning the street he seemed to recognize them and walked over to begin talking immediately to the two men. Apparently they weren’t pleased, although whether because Pauly and I were nowhere in view, or because Charnov was late, or wasn’t supposed to engage them was not apparent.
The conversation was short and the two other men left Charnov to enter the restaurant alone. Their posture was slightly more alert and more intentional than I wanted to see.
Did Charnov know about Marga? How? Charnov’s two companions returned to their dark sedan waiting a few parking spaces away from Heidelberg’s door. This was going to be interesting. “Pauly, I just saw Lt. Charnov go into Old Heidelberg.”
“Oh okay.” Pauly was still riding an emotional wave and hadn’t disconnected from the world within. Paying the check I also discovered he had no money.
Crossing the street, I walked directly in front of the car with Charnov’s two friends. One was reading something and the other caught my gaze for the briefest amount of time. He was targeting me, making sure of a face he might need to know later. Pauly again took the long way around, keeping me waiting at the door, ”ya know, I think I forgot something … uh … I think I’ve gotta do something.” The fear had started to play on his face again.
“No Pauly, you wanted to get a beer with me and you are going to get a beer with me.”
“Really, I just remembered…”
“Pauly,” I reproved him, “you wanted to do this and you were the one who gave my notebook to Lieutenant Charnov. I think it is only right that you come and get a beer.”
He was looking really frightened now, but I needed him with me. I gently pushed him ahead of me into the restaurant. Charnov was sitting at a window booth where he could see his waiting companions. Marga was waiting on customers across the restaurant, but she could not help knowing I was there. She also knew how to play this scenario and waited until she “discovered” us.
“Hello, boys!” Her accent was perfect and her enthusiasm was genuine. She loved this game. Charnov had looked up to see whom she was greeting and he didn’t look as happy as Marga when he saw Pauly. I waved at Marga and smiled. I waved enthusiastically and smiled broadly for Charnov also, but his smile and wave didn’t have quite enough energy in them. Turning to Marga, I jabbed a finger at Charnov and mouthed that we were sitting with him. She smiled even more broadly and made a drinking gesture then disappeared into the kitchen.
“Hello Mr. Charnov! Nice to see you off the ship. Is it alright if we join you?”
I had a firm hold on Pauly although I could feel him trying to escape.
“Please feel free,” came a very natural sounding rejoinder. “Hello … Pauly?.” There was a distinct question in the greeting, as though he were trying to remember the name.
“Pauly asked me if I wanted to have a beer tonight because I thought someone had stolen my notebook, but it turns out he gave it to you. So I am relieved all the way around.” I pushed Pauly into the booth trapping him between Charnov and myself. “I was just telling him about my book.”
“Book?” Charnov looked startled.
“Book?” Pauly echoed with a blank stare.
“Yes Pauly. Remember? I told you I’m writing a…”
“Oh Yeah!” he jumped into the sentence, “he’s writing a book!”
“Pauly, why don’t you go order you and Archer a beer?”
“Oh it’s alright, the server is already bringing them,” I gleefully interjected. “This is one of my hangouts, so she knows us … well, she knows me and a couple of the other guys.” Risking Marga’s exposure was calculated. I had to keep Pauly safe, “Not Pauly. I don’t think he’s been here before. Have you?”
Pauly shook his head and looked like he would rather never have heard of Old Heidelberg.
Charnov decided to try a direct approach. “Pauly, I need to talk to Archer alone.” I could see Pauly jump at the chance to leave, but I restrained him to buy time.
“Pauly, tell Lieutenant Charnov what I told you. I’ll be right back.”
Getting up before Charnov could object, I skipped away toward the toilets. Passing through a door from the dining room, I entered a short corridor with three more doors.
I don’t know why but I’ve never gotten used to the variety of symbols they place on “restroom” doors. Over two doors Old Heidelberg had the words Herren and Damen accompanied by cutouts of what are supposed to pass for male and female human figures, although in this case the painted faces looked remarkably similar.
Once inside the corridor, I checked to see if the other door lead into the kitchen. It did. Marga smiled across the room at me. Reentering the corridor I opened the door marked Herren. Stepping into a toilet stall I began swiftly to painfully work my body through the metabolic changes necessary to consume alcohol. I have a moment of panic when I realize I have overcompensated by raising my body temperature about fifteen degrees Celsius above human normal.
In the instant of readjustment, I begin a spontaneous recalling of our original forced landing. Failing engines and shields, a compromised hull and that first blast of frigid air and Antarctic water that so many … so many didn’t survive; there just hadn’t been time to adjust.
I know this is not the time, but emotion waves roll through my body breaking across those memories and time long past. In my distress time assumes a transparency through which other monitors extend tendrils of assistance using Marga as a lens. Like a gentle rain, comfort washes over me cooling my ka. As swiftly as I’m able, I thank their bonds and release them to gather the inner silence for my coming encounter with Charnov.
When I return, the beers have arrived, but Pauly has gone as predicted.
“Everything okay, Archer? You look a little under the weather.”
Charnov is simultaneously trying to provoke and observe reaction. After all, he is an officer and I am not and that distance has to be maintained, but he is also unsure what kind of creature faces him.
I want badly to reassure him but as a monitor, I cannot let myself be intimidated. I need to let him have his distance while simultaneously gathering and pulling him into more effective alignment. I must gauge every sound and word. “I’m fine. I just had Italian across the street with Pauly. Maybe some of it didn’t sit well. By the way, where is Pauly? I really wanted him to stay.”
“I sent him back to the ship. Oh, and he did tell me about your book. Remarkable tale, I’d say.” He wasn’t immediately trying the intimidation of simply calling me out, but he certainly didn’t buy the novel business.
“Thank you!” I smiled generously, “are you looking for a dedication?”
“Dedication?” He was thrown off momentarily, and the break in his emotion gave me what I needed.
“That little part at the beginning of the book where the author always says this book is for…”
An anger-fear reaction narrowed his eyes slightly, “I don’t think you’re writing a book.” He emotion was feeding itself.
Watching the musculature of his face I saw his fear growing ever so slightly. My responses were elevating his fight reaction. A slight tremor was running around the lateral edges of his lower eyelids. Too much and his emotions would break like a wave, so I answered almost immediately, but pitched as superior to inferior.
“Yes, Lieutenant Ariel Charnov, I am writing a book.” The use of his name caused a fissure in his energy and in our close alignment I suddenly owned his fear and his thoughts pored across the space between us; he had a strange task before him for which he had no precedent or training. He had a life worth living for many reasons. He did not know the nature of this task or where it would lead him. He wanted to do his duty. He was willing but did not want to die. He had lives he cared about for which he wanted to create and share a future and this was the key to his anxiety.
He did not know that knowing this filled me with great sympathy and a certain amount of admiration. “Your wife is pregnant isn’t she?” He did not know his life and those of his progeny were of utmost importance to us, but I had first to build upon his fear and cause it to grow before setting him free.
“How could you know that? How could you know!? I haven’t … I nev… I haven’t told anyone…” He struggled to own himself.
“Oh, don’t you think I must have heard it somewhere?”
“But you couldn’t … I only just found out myself…How could you … how could you know…?”
Together we rode his destabilized spin, “Someone must have told me.” My voice carried no inflection, no expression and his fear increased. Letting our shared cathexis energy progress to locus, I monitored his pulse and the speed in our increased breathing and a faint scratching movement of one of his fingers on the table. “No one could … I don’t see how … I haven’t said …!”
It was time for release, so gently, gently I increased our duality until I murmured, “just a lucky guess then.” Holding our shared center like dance partners, I laughed softly.
Picking up one of the glasses of beer, he leaned back and rubbing the sweat off the glass with his palm he turned his head away then turning his dark eyes back to me.
“Marli…Lt. Marlin told me you seem to know things…he said you told him something about himself…he didn’t…he couldn’t see how you could know.” His fear was rising again but more slowly, our center tightening. Just a little longer. Let him build it himself, “did you see something in communications? I don’t remember anything coming in, but maybe…” Let him soak a moment, he had a delicacy not entirely appropriate in a military man but it produced a certain quality of wholeness missing in most “warriors”.
“Mr. Charnov, sometimes people just make lucky guesses.” That pitch would sort his fear slightly faster and give it a kind of spin to let it unravel gently. He wanted to know his wife would be all right and he thought I could tell him so. He was correct, but always we must set about revealing such knowledge rightly. Gently, we turn together in the inner silence, our shared center slowly revolving toward complete duality.
My people have a saying that a foundling needs a finder. I had a foundling in my hands and his education as well. I had disrupted his purpose, now was the time to remind him. As gently as a lover speaking within, I release him to his separate existence as I murmured, “I think your friends are waiting for you.”
His jerk spilled the beer in his hands. The message sent, Marga arrived.
His response was energetic and minus all doubt, “Thanks, but I really have to be going.”
“I’ll have another,” I said, smiling at Marga. I may as well, I was already prepared.
“You joking. You gonna fall in za shtreet!”
Marga and I watched him knock on the car window telling the men within something. For a moment they argued then came to an agreement. Charnov stood staring after the retreating taillights. He looked back at the restaurant door, hesitated slightly then turned and walked up the street to his car.
Marga returned to my table with another beer and asked, “Move?”
“Adapted. No evasion or delusion.”
“You improve, Finder.”