Sleeping Giants (Themis Files #1)(9)

—We have teams that can handle the recovery. I will see about finding you some pilots.

—We’ll also need a bigger room if this works.

—How big?

—Well, if the proportions are normal, or human, he, or she, would be over two hundred feet tall. We’ll need a warehouse even if we lay her on the ground.

—You still believe it is a girl?

—More than ever.

FILE NO. 009


Location: Fort Campbell Army Base, Kentucky

—You again. What do you want now?

—I only want to ask you a few simple questions.

—What if I don’t want to answer?

—You are free to leave whenever you want, but it would be wise of you to stay.

—Why do I feel like this is a test?

—Because you are very perceptive. I am initiating a project to which you might be able to contribute, in one manner or another. You have, on the one hand, witnessed certain events and demonstrated certain skills that might give you a significant advantage over other potential candidates. On the other hand, your impulsive nature and your inability to work well with others are of concern to me, as they are to your superiors. With your permission, I would like to ask you a few simple questions and for you to answer them honestly. Is that something you feel you can do?

—Answer questions? Isn’t that what I’ve been doing already?

—I was not questioning your ability to answer questions. You have already shown great skills at eluding any inquiry of a personal nature by answering with another question. I am asking whether you believe you are able to answer honestly.

—Does it matter if I’m not?

—It certainly matters if you entertain any hope of being selected for this project.

—You’ve already called me impulsive and unable to work well with others. It sounds as if you have a pretty good idea of what you think of me.

—Let me present this to you in another way. Let us assume that I already know you are not suited for whatever task I have in mind, and that I have purposely chosen to fly here and waste several hours of my time for no other reason than to make your life a bit more miserable. Under this scenario, it would seem preferable for you to get through these questions as fast as you can so that you may return to whatever it is you do, now that you can no longer fly helicopters. I might also not be a complete imbecile and have a genuine interest in your answers. Either way, you have ten seconds to answer each question. Are you ready?


—What are your three worst qualities?

—My three…Last we met you called me—what was it?—obdurate, volatile, irascible. I guess that’s three. I’m also vindictive, and I never forget anything. How many is that?

—What are three qualities you admire in others?

—Loyalty. Honesty. Courage.

—OK. You must answer the following statements with true or false. First one: You trust reason rather than feelings.

—You want me to answer that with true or false? It’s a bogus question. I know you want me to answer true, but sometimes you need to listen to your gut.

—Then it sounds like your answer should be false.

—But if I say false, you’ll think I’m an emotional time bomb.

—I might already be thinking that. I might also think you are completely heartless. You still need to answer with true or false.


—You often think about mankind and its place in the universe.

—I do.

—So your answer is true?


—You feel at ease in a crowd.


—You are usually the first to react to an unexpected event, like an accident.

—Hmmm…True. I guess.

—You like to assume responsibility for something.


—In a social event, you position yourself in the center of the room, rather than on the sides.

—That’s an interesting one. I can’t remember the last time I was at a social event.

—Let me repeat the question. In a social event, you position yourself in the center of the room, rather than on the sides.

—I don’t think I do. No…False.

—You have difficulty expressing your feelings.

—That’s another bogus question. It depends on the feeling. I have no problem expressing anger. I don’t think many people do. I could say the same about joy, gratitude, frustration, amazement. Things like love, fear, shame, desire, helplessness, now that’s another story.

—That is a very well considered answer to a completely different question. Now please answer this one with true or false.

—But I can’t. I just told you there is more than one answer.

—This is unfortunate because this is a true or false question. Average it out. Do you have difficulty expressing your feelings?

—Yes…or true! My answer is true!

—There is no need to get angry.

—I’m not angry.

—If you say so. You have a problem with authority.

—You don’t need a test to figure that one out.

—It is a question. It is part of the test.

—Oh. True…What? You’re surprised? I know, now you’ll ask me why someone with authority issues would choose a career in the military.

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