James Perry: The Specter
“Who is James Perry?”
James Perry, my mentor and founder of The Psychic Society, was raised knowing one thing: that America was freedom. No other nation was as blessed as the United States of America. No other land had the opportunity, the resources, the people who the US had. We, as a nation, were blessed beyond that of any other, an example for other nations to aspire to.
He told me, once we had found each other, that it was a great lie. That though our country was, in fact, richer than most, we were still just as poisoned as all. With the desire for more and the lust for everything, our covetous nature was the cause for the disparity in our nation.
James wished to destroy the United States and recreate it… He was a bit of a fanatic, of that I am certain. Still, given all I had learned in the time I spent with him, I would follow him anywhere.
James Perry grew up with his twin sister, Jillian, in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. The two lived with their parents on the outskirts of the city, far enough to be close to the old battlefield and really get a glimpse through a soldier’s eyes.
The rolling hills, green and yellow, supporting trees, like toothpicks in clay, and depending on whose eyes you looked through, you might see the sticky, blood-soaked mud and a million discarded body parts. The smell of gun smoke and cannon powder permeated the fog that settled in the early morning. James was the only one to notice these strange sensations. Even his talented sister never admitted to seeing the onslaught that James relayed to me.
But I suppose I’m going too far into the past. The point is that James was a very intuitive boy who saw the world differently than all the rest. Growing up was hard for him. He spent a decade separating alive people from dead people and then another half-decade trying to separate alive ideals from dead ones.
After graduating from high school with honors, James Perry went on to a private university where he studied English and writing as a double major. He won some awards in fiction and was hoping, upon graduation, he would find a job at a local publishing company.
The economy tanked. The government created new bills that hindered businesses from hiring. Change ran rampant through America. The idea that education was the ticket to prosperity deflated in James’s mind as well as others who graduated and worked hard to get that diploma.
James got involved. He called his elected officials, read up on new policies, he did all of this while working part-time at a fast-food restaurant, part-time at a library and part-time at a coin-operated laundromat.
Every single person he talked to told him “to be patient” or, on the opposite side, “your generation is too entitled; nothing is handed to you, you have to work hard to get anywhere. Just cause you have a degree doesn’t mean you’re worth forty grand a year…”
‘But everyone told me after I got my degree, I would get a good job…’ James thought.
As time went by, and he applied to job after job, he secured some unpaid internships with companies and even got some temporary contract positions, but nothing ever stuck.
He was 27 when he decided to let his bitterness take over and that was when he became The Specter.
After meeting a mysterious man in a parking garage, James became obsessed with the American Ideal. He researched ESP and ways to enhance his abilities. Eventually, he became The Specter you’re looking for.
“Hold up!” said Boyd, “You skipped over a lot of details there.”
“They are not important,” said Kurt.
“I say they are,” said Boyd, “Since you’re so smart, who was the mysterious man in the parking garage?”
“And how did he enhance his, so-called, ESP?” said Jessup, “If there is such a thing.”
“This guy is crazy,” said Hinkley, “Can we even take him seriously?”
“The mysterious man is not important,” said Kurt, “I’ll tell you about the enhancements later. It is not the time for that explanation. If I may continue?”
As I have given you a partial understanding of who James was, I feel it is time to talk about the goal. James waited three years, planning his strategy and preparing himself for the inevitable assault on the true enemy, a conglomerate of the wealthiest individuals and politicians, who have been systematically crippling the American economy because of their own greed.
“Now that is the biggest pile of shit I’ve heard tonight,” said Boyd.
“You mean to tell me your group of terrorist killed innocent people because of some stupid conspiracy theory?” said Jessup.
“You keep interrupting me,” said Kurt, unabashed by their unbelief, “Do you want to hear the story or not?”
As it has been recorded in our minds, the minds of the society, day 1 of The Psychic Society began on a sunny afternoon in Washington DC. Three important individuals were about to meet. The location: the DC Hilton, the players: Senator Mitchell Davis, Senator Raymond Garvin, and the CEO of Stantz and Lee Finance, Mr Edward Burr.
Burr got as far as he did in his company due to his cutthroat nature and ability to keep secrets. As you may know, during every presidential campaign, Stantz and Lee Finance contribute a substantial amount to both campaigns, both republicans and democrats. The reason is simple: to garner the favor of the winning candidate, or rather to sway the candidate in any way they choose.
This is how it has been done for decades…
Burr is a frontman. Stantz and Lee is only one of many companies that is owned by a unique group of individuals who are the richest in the world, not just the US, but all over the world.
Republican candidate Senator Davis was late. Burr and Senator Garvin sat idly in Burr’s suite. Only one light was on, a small table lamp next to a king-sized bed. It sat next to a large window, which would have had a view had it not been covered by the blinds and a large sheet.
Burr, as I’m sure you remember from the myriad of photos of him, is a middle-aged, financial expert with a whitened smile that almost glows in the dark. His blue eyes give off an air of confidence and knowledge, as brilliant a con man as there ever was.
Senator Garvin is an older gentleman, African-American, white beard, old, brown eyes, the kind that are too deep and murky to see to the bottom. An expert in keeping secrets, Garvin supported many bills that his voters would have abhorred, all for the sake of being a presidential pic.
Davis was no better. An award-winning smile that conveyed honesty and humility but which covered up an inner monster of hate and pride. He only cared about his family in the long run. A kickback here and a kickback there to make sure his good-for-nothing sons received their rightful places at Harvard law… He pulls up in a new, black Maserati Ghibli, a present from the American people who can barely afford their mandatory healthcare.
He jumps out of the car, whistling a happy tune, jovially swinging his keys on his fingers with a flourish of a man who just received a decent blow. He asked the Hilton desk clerk for Burr’s room and then ascends the elevator to the 10th floor and proceeds to room 1013, and with a spring in his step, he tap, tap, taps on the door.
His whistling could be heard from inside the room. Garvin chuckled as Burr looked at his watch. Davis was 20 minutes late. They didn’t have time to dilly-dally; time was money, specifically his employer’s money and the longer this meeting took the more suspicious the situation looked to members of the media.
“Stop worrying so much,” said Senator Garvin, “Davis is just in a good mood. Probably got another quicky from one of his interns.”
“Regardless, Senator,” said Burr, “These meetings are very important and should be treated as such.”
Senator Garvin laughed as he watched Mr Burr open the suite door. He gave a smile as he quickly ushered Senator Davis in.
“I apologize,” said Senator Davis with his perfect smile, “I got held up.”
“Which one? Blonde, red, or brunette?” said Senator Garvin, as he laughed at his own joke.
“Gentlemen,” said Mr Burr in the evenest voice he could muster, “If I may, I’m sure you know why both of you are here. One of you will become the next president of the United States. Both of you are going to get full support from Stantz and Lee. To me, it sounds ridiculous, but we all know why that is: the American people are going to vote for whichever one of you they find the most likeable.
“The lesser of two evils,” said Senator Davis, “Is what my mother always said.” He smiled. Senator Garvin laughed.
“The lesser of two evils indeed,” said Mr Burr. He couldn’t help but smile. This is what he dreamed of, to be amongst the top people who made the decisions. To know how the system all worked.
“So, you two will both put up a good ‘fight’ and whoever wins will support Stantz and Lee and all their major, and minor, subsidiaries when it comes to veto or other duties we may come up with. In short, we will help you, you will help us and both parties will be happy.”
“I like that,” said Senator Garvin, “But what about the loser of the election? What happens to him?
“They, too, will be given a certain amount of power, which can be further discussed as the election closes. Right now, I just need you to sign these papers and then we have a deal.”
“Wait,” said Senator Davis, “What else is in this contract?”
“As senators, we know there’s more to a contract than what the salesman says,” said Senator Garvin.
“Oh, nothing you need be made privy to. I have explained in layman’s terms what is in it.”
“That doesn’t mean anything to us,” said Senator Davis. Senator Garvin shook his head.
“Trust in Stantz and Lee, gentlemen. One of you will be President, neither of you will be forgotten.” Mr Burr handed them both a pen. They eagerly signed the contracts and handed them back.
“Excellent. Well, sirs, we should disperse.” He looked back at his watch. “We wouldn’t want to be caught.”
“Washington is a small place,” said Senator Garvin, “No one will think anything of it…”
There was a crack of glass and a wisp of air that split through the sheet over the window. It was a round, that flew through the glass and through the sheet and effortlessly through Senator Garvin’s head.
At first, they didn’t know what happened. His body just fell to the ground like a teetering vase. It wasn’t until the white carpet began to absorb the red, creamy filling of Senator Garvin’s head that either gentleman flinched.
Senator Davis’s smile turned to panic as his eyes planted on the window that now bore a single stream of light, and soon another as the next round sailed through and pierced him, splitting his face giving him an unprofessional cross-eyed stare.
Mr Burr turned at the instant he saw Senator Garvin’s blood and then he dropped to the floor the second he heard the next shot break the glass. He covered the back of his head and waited. For what, he wasn’t sure… the next shot? It felt like five minutes. He looked at his watch. It was only a minute after the senators had signed the documents.
The documents! He had to get those to his employers quick… But did it matter now? Their senators were dead. He looked up at the window. The sheet ballooned with the wind outside, but there was also a shadow on the once sunlit sheet, a human-shaped shadow.
Mr Burr yelped as he saw an elbow break through the window. He crawled as quickly as he could to the door, all the while listening to the shattering glass behind him. He made it to the door and lifted himself onto his knees just in time to be grabbed by the shoulder and flung onto his back.
He knocked his head hard on the carpeted floor and at first didn’t believe what he was seeing. A man, dressed in some black armor-like suit with a hard mask-helmet. The mask face was white with black eyes, dark glass-filled eye holes, slanted devilishly with a wide, sharp tooth smile. In his right hand was an M-24 sniper rifle, Mr Burr didn’t know it at the time, but I assure you that is what it was.
It spoke, raspy, like with a voice-altering mechanism. “Hello, Mr Burr. I understand you work for Stantz and Lee. I’ve been following you for a bit, researching your company, trying to figure out who you work for… and it’s not Stantz or Lee.”
Mr Burr quivered and quaked as he tried to string any coherent line of words together. “Spare me, Burr! I know you don’t know anything. You may be at the top, but there is a bigger fish tank than the one you’re floating in. I’ve done my homework; rest assured, I will take them all down. All of them down and when it’s over, the American people will have their country back. But before that can happen, Mr Burr, you have to die.”
Outside the door, the maid was performing her cleaning duties. She heard a shot coming from room 1013 and so she went to investigate.
“House-keeping?” she called.
There was no reply.
It was silent, like nothing had come from the room at all.
She took her key card and slid it in the door to unlock it. Just as she turned the knob to open it, Mr Burr opened the door.
She gasped as she saw him. “Sorry, sir. I heard a shot. Were you watching a movie?”
Mr Burr smiled. “Ah yes. It was one I have already seen though. I’ll be leaving now, but could you come back later? I have a friend in the bed who had an awful night at the club.” He moved in close to her ear, “Terrible hangover.”
She smiled and nodded and watched as Mr Burr walked down the hall, briefcase in hand, towards the elevator.
She went on to the next room, unbeknownst to her that the real Mr Burr lay dead on the floor, with a nasty, toothy smiley face carved into his cheek.