Area 52: The Feature
BzzzZZZAP! The electric crack of a power-sequence splits through the desert canyon as amateur paranormal investigators Mike Becker, Stuart Foster and Dujuan Hawkins commence the trial- run of their Paranormal Telemetry Module (PTM). Much to the dismay of Sadie Fairfield (Mike's understandably-cynical and fiery girlfriend), the device works, sending them reeling into their paranormal destiny, and confirming a long-anticipated revelation—
We are not alone.
The unbreakable bonds of friendship trace back to their early childhood, when Mike, Stu and Dujuan, stumbling through the woods, come face to face with a kind, extra-terrestrial visitor. However, like three lambs stumbling into a den of wolves, the boys find themselves suddenly entangled in a deadly hunt, pursued by a giant, rabid bat. The Visitor intervenes, saving them from certain peril, and upon departure, leaves them each with a gift—
For Stu, a small, silver case containing three chrome obelisks: antimatter power cells, with the capacity to provide untold amounts of power, once he figures out how to harness it. For Dujuan, a small microchip, destined to become the base of his self-created plasma rifle and stasis technology. And for Mike, the Visitor provides the strangest and most intangible gift of all: Love. This existential, universal connection fuels Mike’s inspiration and inescapable magnetism. These gifts lay the foundations of each boy’s development into manhood, ultimately launching them into their life-long mission to re-establish contact with the Visitor.
Sadie, despite her childhood friendship with the boys, had no contact with the Visitor, thus no elemental drive to consider life outside of our planet. Naturally excelling at her studies, Sadie
made an easy transition into her professional life, taking up with a prestigious law firm after sailing through her Bar exams. In spite of her pragmatic approach to life, the gravity of Mike’s irresistible charm knocked through her cynicism and confirmed what everyone around them already knew: they were built for one another, like two elements falling into balance. But as with any human relationship, equilibrium is fleeting—
As the ever-dreaming writer, Mike’s follow-up manuscript to the impressive success of his first graphic novel series eludes him. Distracted from practicality, yet laser-focused on the pursuit of the paranormal, Mike’s writing, and his future with Sadie, hang in the balance; delaying any longer in asking Sadie’s hand in marriage may prove too late, even as his leadership and uncompromising mission propel his best friends into the excitement of other-worldly adventures.
Stu’s excitement for the paranormal saw him unabashedly turn from the lucrative software industry into the extraordinarily, un-lucrative paranormal investigation industry. With his litany of degrees, Stu’s development of exceptional technology in the field of Ufology can’t be ignored; however, loneliness nibbles at the edges of his heart. Despite his intellect, every attempt to reason and theorize himself a girlfriend falls painfully short.
Dujuan’s stability provides the anchor to the group; the success of his communications company and its hardware provide a financial base on which their paranormal conglomerate can function. However, as the group’s Weapon Specialist, Dujuan’s singular drive to develop his version of the Visitor’s stasis rifle overrides all other life priorities.
Now into their thirties, and with their friendships forever strengthened by the vivid backdrop of their childhood past, Mike, Stu and Dujuan press through the testing phases of their very own Paranormal Telemetry Module (PTM): an approximate recreation of the Visitor’s device from their childhood. Originally designed to locate paranormal entities, they discover the module, instead, acts as a paranormal bug light, attracting the paranormal. Further study of the device reveals the PTM’s staggering capability to punch holes in the dimensional fabric of space/time, inadvertently pulling the paranormal into our dimension. With each manifestation of werewolves, banshees, bigfoots and goblins, their knowledge of the exotic machine increases, leading to the most divine of revelations: given enough power, the PTM will fold time, creating a stabilized wormhole.
The overwhelming and unanticipated success of their invention ultimately attracts the attention of The Compass, a secret government agency, under the watchful eye of Agent Chad Saunders, a school bully from their childhood. But, as destiny would demand, Chad’s history, too, holds a secret: on the same fateful day, his childhood path also crossed with the Visitor’s, sending him through a similar life-journey of obsession and discovery.
As the scope of their paranormal endeavors suddenly slips out of their control, the crew solicit the help of the only source brazen enough to claim paranormal mastery: schlock radio host and self-proclaimed Ufologist, Rex Waters. Working out of his dilapidated desert trailer compound, Rex surrounds himself with a misplaced collection of toys he’s acquired through flagrant lawsuits: a bevy of ATVs, luxury cars, and his own, personal helicopter. He answers the crew’s
call for help, and after a short expose on the PTM’s operations, becomes obsessed with the unit’s capabilities. He’ll stop at nothing to harness its money-making potential, and with the help of his own crew of oblivious cling-ons, scams Mike, Stu and Dujuan to marshal the PTM to his trailer compound.
Sadie softens. Spanning her tightrope between the hard-line cynicism and loving support of Mike’s dreams, Sadie ignores self-preservation and tracks the module to Rex’s compound. She relays the unit’s location just before she’s apprehended by Rex’s goons, sending Mike into a fever pitch—
What begins as a recovery mission for Sadie and the PTM, culminates in a struggle between life and death. As Mike splits from the group to rescue Sadie, Stu and Dujuan find no other way to keep their technology from falling into evil hands; unbeknownst to Rex, they send the PTM into a thermal meltdown. The PTM proves too much for Rex’s technical know-how as an unstable wormhole severs his body in half, and sends his partial carcass back in time. Soon after, the antimatter unit collapses, obliterating Rex’s desert compound in a seething ball of white-hot destruction. The crew narrowly escapes with their lives, when—
Chad Saunders and a dark caravan of Federal Agents arrive and apprehend the friends. Soon, their bonds of friendship will be put to the ultimate test as The Compass force them to supply the antimatter power cells as the missing link to their own similar technology.
To be continued...