11 Jun 67%
It wasn’t an alien. Or at least he didn’t exhibit any visible signs of being one – let’s not abandon all hope yet. Alien would be way cooler, so let’s keep our options open. There was a man in the photo, dressed in woodland camo pants and a matching jacket.
As soon as I got the photo, I enabled the video feed. He was standing close to the barrier, looking around. In his hand he was holding a rectangular case. He sported sunglasses and a red beard, so I couldn’t make out much of his facial features. Apparently satisfied with his privacy, he reached into his pocket and took out something that glinted like metal in the sun, although I could not tell what it was on my phone’s display. He held it in front of him and walked through the barrier. Just like that – his shape became blurry, then transparent, then disappeared completely, all in a matter of seconds. Cool! And I had that recorded! Not that anyone would believe me if I shared that video. It’s so easy to create “deep fake” videos now that nobody would take it seriously. I needed more. No, I wanted more. So I decided to drive there and investigate… and then realized that this decision was made while I was already locking the door on my way to the car. If that man comes out I could try and carefully follow him wherever he would be going after visiting the hidden area. If he got there in a car, I could get his license place number and see if I can find out who it’s registered to. After a huge government data breach last year, tracing someone’s name and address by the plate number was trivial, if you knew where to look. Most government databases could be obtained for a few bucks on DarkNet servers.
I ran to my car and drove away, switching to manual control and driving aggressively. I was burning manual driving quota of my insurance at a scary rate, exacerbated by acceleration rate and hard braking. I really wanted to get there as soon as possible, hopefully without getting the police involved on the way. My phone projected its screen to the car’s central console as soon as I drove away, so I could keep an eye on the anomaly (which is what I decided to call it, as it sounded way better than the lame “invisible wall”). I was lucky – the visitor hadn’t left by the time I reached the farm and safely parked some distance away along the main road. Just far enough to see an old black truck with rusted-out wheel arches parked next to the abandoned farmhouse. I zoomed in with my phone’s tiny lens and got the picture good enough to see his license plate. I decided to wait another 30 minutes for the man to return. Then I’d reevaluate my options.
After about ten minutes he walked out. I saw him on my video feed first, appearing as if out of thin air, then with my naked eyes, as he got to his car and slowly drove away, accelerating as he turned south on the main road. There wasn’t much traffic yet, so I let him gain as much distance as I dared, and then drove off to follow him. “I’m in business!” I thought triumphantly. All the waiting for the last three days had finally come to an end, and pure adrenaline was coursing through my veins, heart rate spiking and blood thumping in my ears.
I was thinking through my action plan while driving along. I can follow this guy, see where he lives and works, trace his license plate, scan his social media and tax returns (yes, that data breach was massive), learn all I can about him and try to figure out what he has to do with the anomaly.
He might be working for a scientific research establishment of some kind, in which case I could carefully approach him, maybe buy him a beer and hope to get some explanations. Or maybe the government – then I’d have to be extra careful. Or even military (run away!). Although neither he nor his truck didn’t quite look right for any of those options, it may be a disguise employed in order to blend in with the country folk, which would only be adding to the mystery. And I’m a big fan of mysteries.
It seemed that things were going well.
Until they weren’t.