The Psychic Warrior

By Donald Sullivan

    Al Rice leaned back in his seat and relaxed.  Two more hours, and his flight would arrive in Albuquerque.  He was dozing off when a voice startled him.

     “Jerry’s gonna be surprised when he sees how much weight I’ve lost.”

    He turned his head and looked at the young woman sitting next to him, for he was sure that she was the source of the voice.  “Did you...”

    The woman was leaning back in her seat with her eyes closed.  Her eyes snapped open and she turned to look at him.  “Excuse me.  Were you talking to me?”

    “Sorry,” he said.  “I was just thinking out loud.”

    Another voice popped into his head.  “Dammit.  I shoulda landed that contract.  I’ll catch hell from old Clayborn.”   This time, the voice came from the heavyset man sitting across the aisle, who was also leaning back with his eyes closed.  It then dawned on Al what was happening; he had somehow lost control of his psychic powers.

    Since he had first learned of and developed his psychic powers, Al had learned to control them from the start.  He could turn his telepathy on and off at will.  And a good thing, too, for he had no desire to hear the secret thoughts of others.  More voices began to filter into Al’s mind, and moments later it was a babble of voices.

    It was like a school cafeteria with all the kids talking at once.  He caught bits and snatches of thoughts.  “...gotta remember to tell aunt Laura...Wotta helluva hangover...stewardess got a nice butt...Willie finally got himself in jail...”

    When Al looked around, everyone he saw was either napping, resting, or reading.  His mind was reeling from the incessant chatter.  Try as he might, he could not stop it.  He squeezed his eyes shut and covered his ears with the palms of his hands, but the chatter in his head did not stop.

    He felt a hand gently touching his wrist, and looked up to see the flight attendant.  Her face showed concern.  “Is something wrong, sir?”

    “No.  Thank you,” he managed.  “I’ll be all right.”

    Suddenly, the chatter stopped.  He sighed in relief and smiled.  “I’m fine now.  Just a cramp, I think.”

    He was normal now, but he sensed that something had taken place in his mind.  There had been a new development concerning his psychic abilities, but he had no inkling of what it might have been.  Again, he leaned back in his seat, relaxed, and closed his eyes.  He probed into his inner mind, trying to learn what had happened.  He found nothing.


    Upon arriving at the airport, Al looked for Sue Hammond, a UFO investigator from CAPS--Council for Aerial Phenomena Studies.  He spotted the petite brunette waiting for him near the gate.  They left the airport and headed directly to CAPS headquarters.

    “Tom Vickers, our benefactor, won’t be able to come to CAPS for the gathering in your honor, but he did send us a DVD,” she said.  “You’ll like the living quarters that Tom has provided for us at CAPS.  Like home.  Rooms with TV, fridge, stove, the works.  I think you’ll enjoy your stay here.  How was the trip?”

    “Except for a strange experience during the flight, it was routine.”  He explained to her about the temporary loss of control of his psychic powers.

    “That’s odd,” she said. “But you know, I’ve reached the point where I’m not surprised at anything that happens anymore.  What with all the weird experiences and encounters we’ve had with space aliens, I’m prepared for just about anything now.”

    “You can say that again,” said Al.  “It’s kind of hard to believe that only a week ago I was minding my own business, running my bait and tackle shop down in Florida.”

    “And since then,” said Sue, “you’ve been abducted by the Zenin, worked with us at CAPS, and you’ve used your  psychic powers to single handedly chase two fleets of space invaders from our solar system.”

    “Not exactly single handed,” he said.  “If the Zenin hadn’t unlocked my psychic powers, it couldn’t have happened.  And I didn’t chase the Rylls and Dorions out; I just tricked them into leaving.”

    The powers in his mind that the Zenin had unlocked were telepathy and the ability to control the minds of others through telepathic hypnosis.  What, he wondered, was the new power that had developed in his mind during the flight?  Or was the whole incident merely his imagination?       


    The Council for Aerial Phenomena Studies was not actually located in Albuquerque.  Their headquarters was a few miles north of the city, a nondescript building located in a secluded area between Route 85 and the Rio Grande.

    In addition to Sue, there were three other UFOlogists assigned to CAPS.  Sue introduced Al to the others.  There was Tony Corral, a lean, wiry Navajo who supervised the group, John Bullard, a large, burly man who always looked as if he were ready to break out in laughter, and Roberto Gomez, a Mexican-American from Texas, who called himself a “Tex Mex.”  Tom Vickers, a Texas Billionaire who financed the group, wanted to attend the gathering to honor Al for his incredible achievement, but was unable to attend.

    The group seated themselves in front of the TV as Tony inserted the DVD that Vickers had sent him.  The TV flickered, and the image of Vickers appeared on the screen.  The Billionaire began talking in his typical down home fashion.

    “To all of you, and especially to Al, I send my regrets that I couldn’t make it to Albuquerque.  Al, I want you to know how much I, and all the folks at CAPS, appreciate what you have done.   From Tom’s reports, I know that CAPS was contacted by a group of aliens known as the Rylls.  The Rylls claimed to be our friends, and that they were here to protect us from the Dorions.

    “I might add here that I was finding all this stuff about aliens hard to believe, but Tony arranged for me to meet the Ryll called Nor-dinn face to face.”  He chuckled.  “I didn’t have any doubts after that.   

    “Well, it turns out that the danged Rylls weren’t our friends after all, but were at war with the Dorions--with the winner taking all, which was control of Earth’s minerals.  Then this third group came on the scene who called themselves the Zenin.  The Zenin were much more powerful than the Rylls or Dorions, and were sympathetic to Earth.  But Zenin law prevented them from interfering with other cultures.  And that’s where you came in, Al.

    “The Zenin discovered that you were one of less than a dozen people on the entire planet of Earth with Zenin-like psychic powers.  They abducted you and unlocked your powers.  If I understand it correctly, the Zenin did this because they hoped you’d use your powers for nothing more than to discover that the danged Rylls were tricking us, and they figured you’d  reveal this Ryll trickery to CAPS.

    “The Zenin knew that Earth couldn’t stop the Rylls or Dorions, but they hoped that Earth governments might have time to form an underground resistance to harass the aliens after the invasion.  Al, your powers were greater than even the Zenin realized, and you used those powers to trick the Rylls and Dorions into leaving.

    “It’s a good thing you did, too.”  Vickers chuckled dryly.  “Can you imagine what would’ve happened if CAPS had tried to warn the world of an impending space alien invasion?   Of course, any fool knows they would’ve ridiculed us and called us nuts.”

    “And for that same reason, Al, it’s a dang shame that we can’t tell the world what you’ve done.  But I sure as heck know, and I don’t have the words to express my appreciation to you.  And Al, it’s my hope that you’ll join us at CAPS.  I know that I speak for Tony, Sue, Roberto, and John when I say that we need you.  I truly hope you’ll think it over.  Bye to all of you, and good luck.”

    The screen went blank, and Tony cut off the TV.

    “Well, you heard the man,” said Tony.  “He’s right when he says he speaks for all of us.  As far as I’m concerned, I hope you’ve already decided to come aboard.

    Al laughed.  “whoa, not so fast.  I’ll need time to think it over.  And besides, I can’t just walk away from my bait, tackle, and boat rental business in Florida.”

    “I’ll bring this up to Tom,” said Tony.  “I’m betting he’ll buy your business.  But for now, let’s break out the beer.”  
Roberto put a couple of frozen Digiorno’s pizzas in the oven, and before long the tantalizing aroma was permeating the room.


    Al had been on the payroll at CAPS for less than a month when reports came in of a UFO sighting in central Florida.  The sighting was at, of all places, Lake Lorene, where Al had operated his bait and tackle shop.  The standard procedure for reported sightings called for a meeting of CAPS personnel to determine if the reported sighting was worth investigating.  
Roberto and Tony were out; Roberto was investigating a reported sighting in Nevada, and Tony was investigating one in Virginia.  Sue, second in command, called Al and John to the meeting and explained the reported sightings.

    “The disc was reported hovering near the lake,” she said, “and it was emitting a pulsating orange glow.  Is everybody thinking what I’m thinking?”

    “That’s interesting,” said John.  “If the sighting proves genuine, that would describe a Ryll ship, and if it is, it could only mean that the Rylls have discovered that they were victims of Al’s trickery.”

    “Good Lord, I hope not!” Sue exclaimed.  “If they’ve discovered that there’s no powerful Zenin fleet to deter them, as Al led them to believe with his telepathic hypnosis, then there’s no way we can stop them.”

    Al spoke up.  “But why only one ship?  If the Rylls figured out that I tricked them, and realized there’s no Zenin fleet here, wouldn’t they have brought their whole fleet back to invade Earth?  They could take over Earth without opposition from their enemy, the Dorions.  If it is a Ryll ship, I think it’s a scout ship sent back to check on the situation here.”

    “Sounds logical,” said John.  “If the scout ship finds no evidence of the Zenin fleet, they’ll notify their fleet to return here to invade.”

    “Yes,” Sue agreed, “but it seems to me they would be taking a big risk.  They have no way of knowing for certain that Al was pulling a scam.  They must surely be concerned that the Zenin might capture their scout ship and interrogate the crew.”

    “You’re right,” said Al.  “They’ve probably taken measures to prevent capture.  I’d guess that they plan to destroy their ship rather than fall into the hands of the barbaric Zenin.”

    “That makes sense,” Sue observed.  “And that’s ironic.  The Zenin are in reality a powerful but peaceful race, but you convinced the Rylls and Dorions that the Zenin are an unholy menace bent on conquering the galaxy.”  She sighed.  “But I hope we’re wrong about this being a Ryll ship, because if it is we’re in deep trouble.”

    “I hope we’re wrong, too,” said John, “but it bothers me that the ship was sighted at Lake Lorene.  What the hell would it be doing there?”

    “Good question,” said Al.  “If that really is a Ryll scout ship, then it’s my guess they’re looking for me.    Orr-pon, the intelligence officer, knew that I was tricking them.  I was unable to bring Orr-pon under my hypnotic spell; something in his mind blocks hypnosis--not even the powerful Zenin-like hypnosis fazes him.

    “He tried to warn the others, but my spell worked so well on them that they ignored him.  He was pretty upset.  I’d guess that he persuaded the commander to let him come back to check things out.”

    Sue’s eyes widened.  “Do you think he may have contacted them already and told them there's no sign of the Zenin fleet in the solar system?”

    “Maybe,” said Al, “but I think he wants to be certain so that he can convince the commander before he contacts them, and I suspect that he plans to do that by taking me back and forcing me to confess that I tricked them.”

    “He was pretty upset with you, Al,” Sue observed.  “He’s probably thinking revenge, too.”

    Al nodded in agreement.  “That, and he’s also curious to know how I managed to trick the others.  Neither the Rylls or Dorions learned of my psychic powers.  Orr-pon is probably curious as the devil to learn what I did.”

    John stood up.  “We’d better get the hell away from here.  Al, If that is Orr-pon, when he learns that you’re not at the lake, he’s going to come here looking for you.”

    But John’s words came too late.  In the next instant, the door flew open and several Rylls burst into the room.  Before Al could react, he felt a painful shock and blacked out.


    When Al regained consciousness, he found himself lying on the floor of a small cell, bare of any furnishings except a bunk attached to the wall.  The bunk was too small to accommodate his five-foot-ten frame.  The room was about five feet square and five feet in height--obviously a brig built for Rylls who broke the rules--or perhaps for captured Dorions.  The door was of metallic bars, and a Ryll guard stood outside.   The guard was in standard Ryll uniform except that he wore a metallic headband.  He was armed with something that looked more potent than the stunner the Rylls had used to capture him.  The guard’s sidearm was probably meant to kill.

    Al immediately tried to probe the mind of the guard, but was surprised when he found that the guard’s mind was blocked from his probe.  The guard turned and stepped aside, and another Ryll appeared.  Orr-pon!   The intelligence officer was glaring at Al through his large, oval, glassy black eyes.

    “Your scheme failed, Al Rice.”  The thought was projected into Al’s mind.  “You seem surprised that I know you are telepathic.  I am an intelligence officer; it is my business to learn such things.  From the way you controlled the minds of the others, I deduced that it could only have been done through telepathy.  I suspect that you are capable of planting false memories into your own mind, and that is the way you deceived them into believing in this mythical Zenin force, supposedly preparing to attack our fleet.”

    Al was impressed at what Orr-pon had  deduced from his observations.  But the intelligence officer did not indicate that he knew of Al’s telepathic hypnosis capability.

    Orr-pon continued.  “I have not yet learned how you managed to convince everyone but me about the existence of this fictional Zenin force.  That is puzzling, since I read the same memories in your mind that the others did, but I reasoned that our detection system would have picked up any large force hiding in your stellar system.  Yet, I was unable to convince the others of your deception.  You were able to influence them in some way, but I don’t know how.”

    Orr-pon  had come awfully close to guessing Al’s telepathic hypnosis ability.  The Ryll knew that Al was able to influence the minds of the others, but that Orr-pon himself could not be influenced.

    Perhaps, Al thought, the concept of hypnotism might be alien to the Rylls.

    “After reaching our home world, I finally managed to convince the fleet commander to allow me to come back to verify the existence of your Zenin fleet, on the condition that we destroy our ship if we encountered any Zenin   craft--which I was reasonably certain that we would not.  

    “I  also intend to learn how you managed to fool the others.   I worked together with the science officer, and we were able to modify our mind probe device, based on my own mind pattern.   Whatever is in my mind that is able to resist your influence is now in our mind probe.  Everyone aboard this ship is wearing one of these devices, and you will be unable to influence anyone on this ship.”

    So that explained the headband on the guard, and Al’s inability to probe the guard.

    Al projected the thought, “What happened to my friends?”

“We have disposed of one of them.  The male became agitated and troublesome when he was revived, and we vaporized him in the waste disposal chamber.  We still have the female in custody.”

    Humans are merely inferior creatures to the Rylls, Al thought.  They disposed of John as though he were a bothersome insect.  

    “The female is in custody,” said Orr-pon.  “We are prepared to dispose of her if you do not cooperate.”

    “Suppose that your enemies, the Dorions, have also thought to send scouts,” Al ventured.  “They may be on their way here even now.”

    “Perhaps that is your hope.  You would prefer that we return to our previous stalemate situation with neither side daring to attack your world, but that will not be.  After leaving Earth, we surprised the Dorions with a deep space attack.  They were totally unprepared, and we decimated their fleet while our own losses were minimal.

    “We shall now claim Earth and its precious minerals at our leisure.  I have already notified our fleet.  They have left our home world and are on their way here, and they will arrive in three weeks Earth time.”  With that, Orr-pon turned and left.
Al sat down on the bunk.  Resting his elbows on his knees, he leaned forward and held his head in despair.  Orr-pon had him, and there was no way out.  The intelligence officer would be back to interrogate him.  The science officer had found a way to modify their mind probe device to block Al’s telepathic hypnosis; his psychic powers were now useless.

    As added insurance, Orr-pon was holding Sue, and threatened to kill her if Al did not cooperate.  But Al knew that he and Sue were doomed anyway.  As soon as Orr-pon learned what he wanted to know from Al, he would have them both killed.  He and Sue would probably be vaporized as John had been--like so much garbage.

    Al knew there was no way out, but he idly scanned the cell.  The ceiling and walls were bare, but when his eyes scanned the floor, he spotted something shiny--a coin.   It must have fallen from his pocket when they dumped him in here.   As he gazed at the coin and  thought of retrieving it, something happened.  The coin moved.  He didn’t imagine the movement; the coin slid across the floor toward him and came to rest near his right foot.  In wonderment, he reached down and picked up the coin.
Were the Rylls playing games with him, trying to blow his mind?  He held the coin in his hand and studied it.  There was nothing special about it; it looked and felt just like an ordinary quarter.  He looked toward the door at the guard, who now had his back toward him.  Apparently the guard had nothing to do with the weird event.  

    He quietly rose up, hunching over to keep his head from hitting the ceiling, and placed the quarter near the spot where he had first noticed it.  He sat back down on the bunk, and waited to see if there would be a repeat performance.  He gazed at the quarter for a few moments, but nothing happened.  

    He kept gazing at the coin, and in his mind he imagined how it had moved before.  Abruptly, it once again slid across the floor.  On impulse, he held out his hand and imagined the coin jumping into his hand.  To his amazement, it rose from the floor toward his hand, and he reached out and caught it.  The realization hit him; he was now capable of telekinesis!   

    He recalled the incident on the flight to Albuquerque, when he felt that something new had developed in his psychic abilities.  He had all but forgotten the incident, but now he knew what had happened.  He began to practice with the coin.  He caused it to levitate and hover in midair.  He moved it to the left and to the right.  He pocketed the quarter and concentrated on his watch.  He moved the hands of the watch at will.

    Telekinesis!  Not even  Marl Ki, captain of the Zenin ship, suspected Al had this power.  But discovering  this power would not help him at all if he couldn’t find a way to use it against Orr-pon.   Al sat on the bunk, trying to think of a way to use his new found power against the wily intelligence officer.  But he must be very careful, for if the slightest thing went amiss, Sue’s life would be in peril.  

    At that moment, Orr-pon appeared at the cell door.  “Al Rice, I am ready to learn from you how you managed to fool the other Rylls.  Even the deputy commander of our fleet fell for your deception.  And need I remind you that the woman is in our custody?  If I determine that you lie to me, the woman dies.  

    “To the Ryll, telepathy is commonplace,” said Orr-pon. “We have a spoken language, but we are also able to communicate telepathically.  We view Earth people as “deaf” because they cannot communicate through telepathy.  However, you are an exception.  I am very curious to know why you have this ability when other Earth people do not.  Give me a truthful explanation, Al Rice.”

    Even if he told Orr-pon the truth--that the Zenin had discovered and unlocked the psychic abilities in his mind--the intelligence officer would not believe him, for Orr-pon was convinced that the Zenin did not even exist.  Al had no choice but to tell a convincing lie and hope that Orr-pon would accept it.

    “It’s not true that all Earth people are not telepathic,” Al declared.  “There are a handful of us with psychic abilities, and we have a secret organization.   We choose to keep our abilities secret, because people tend to regard us as freaks, and in the past, some of us have been put to death for witchcraft.  And that is the truth, for I certainly would not risk telling you a lie under the circumstances.”

    Orr-pon continued to stare at him.  Al noticed that the Rylls never seemed to blink.  “The telepaths in this secret organization of yours--how do they come by their ability?”

    “We do not know the answer to that ourselves,” replied Al, “but we do know that all of us had at least one parent who was psychic.”

    “I find what you say is difficult to believe, and I am tempted to kill the woman now.  But I will allow you to prove your story.  If what you say is true,  then you must know all the others in this organization.  Give me the names and locations of two of your members who would be most easy to locate.  If I am able to abduct one of them, and prove to my satisfaction that this member is telepathic, only then will I believe you.”

    Al wrote down on a piece of paper the names and addresses of his deceased grandfather and a deceased uncle, along with directions on how to find them, and gave it to the Ryll.  Al made sure that no one would mistakenly fall into the hands of the Rylls.  He knew that both houses had been demolished--one for a highway, the other for a supermarket.

    “I will wait until it is nightfall in the locations you gave, as it is much easier to abduct your people during darkness.  Al Rice, if you are lying to me, I will find out.”  The Ryll said something to the guard and left.

    Al had experimented with his watch while testing his telekinetic abilities, and because of that, he had no idea what time it was.  Nightfall might come in thirty minutes or eight hours; he didn’t know.  He only knew that he must do something--and fast.  He had the bare sketch of a plan in his mind, but good or bad, he knew he had to try something.  He knew that eventually Orr-pon would have both him and Sue killed, whether he told Orr-pon the truth or not.

    He sat down on the bunk and concentrated on the headband of the guard.  Al caused the headband to rise from the guard’s head.  The guard realized that something was wrong, and his hands went to his head.  But it was too late.  Al probed into the Ryll’s mind and instantly took control with telepathic hypnosis.

    “Orr-pon is actually a Dorion intelligence agent,” he told the guard.  “The being you are guarding in the cell is a friend of the Rylls.  Orr-pon must die by your hand, if not he will do great damage to the Rylls.  When Orr-pon returns, you will wait until his back is turned and then shoot him.   After that, you will release the being in the cell.”  

    It didn’t matter if the guard wore the headband now; he had already been programmed.  But it was important that the guard be wearing the headband when Orr-pon returned, for the intelligence officer must not suspect that anything was amiss.
He would have no trouble in using telepathic hypnosis to control the Rylls now; it was just a matter of levitating their headbands through telekinesis, and he could then enter their minds.  As long as he didn’t run into a large group of Rylls, he should have no trouble.

    Al curled up as best he could on the short bunk and tried to rest.  He had done all he could do, and now he could do nothing but wait.


    He was awakened by the sound of Orr-pon’s voice in his head.  Awaken, Al Rice!  You have deceived me, and for that the woman will die.  I have already ordered her death.  And you shall die, too...”

    Orr-pon stopped in mid sentence, grimaced and fell.  The guard holstered his weapon, and then bent down and removed a device from a pouch on Orr-pon’s belt.  He pointed the device at the door. Al heard a click and the door slid open.  “The traitor is dead,” said the guard, “and you are free to go, friend.”

    Al had to hurry, for Orr-pon had acted much faster than Al thought he would in ordering Sue’s death.  He sent a thought to the guard.  “Do you know where the woman is being held?

    “Yes, she is being held in the waste disposal bay located at the end of this hallway.”

    Al ran down the hallway, hoping against hope that her guards had not already carried out the execution.  He reached the door at the end of the hallway.  He was unable to read the strange lettering on the door, but he was sure that this was the waste disposal bay.  

    He saw no knob on the door.  He tried shoving, and then kicking the door, but it would not budge.  Damn!  He would have to go back to find the guard and get him to open the door.  But at that moment the door slid open.  

    Al was met at the door by two guards, and behind them he saw Sue.  Upon seeing Al, both guards went for their weapons.  But Al acted quickly.  He lifted the headbands from both guards, while at the same time taking control of their minds.   “Put away your weapons!  The woman and I are your friends.  You must release her immediately.”

    The two guards obeyed, and Sue ran into his arms.  She embraced him, and he held her tightly.  She was trembling.

    “It’s all right now,” he assured her,  “Orr-pon’s dead.  We’ve got to find the ship’s captain and get him to release us.”  He turned to one of the guards.  “Take us to the captain,” he commanded.  To the other guard he said, “Go about your normal duties.”

    He found the captain in the control room, who was also wearing a headband.  The captain spun around when he entered.  “What is this...”  But Al had control of him before he could finish speaking.

    “The woman and I are your friends.  You must take us back to the point where you picked us up and release us there.  After you have released us, and you are back in space, you will see several Zenin ships approaching on your visual monitor.  You will contact your fleet, which is now on its way to this stellar system, and warn them to turn back.

    “You must explain that your previous message to them was in error, because heretofore you were unaware of the Zenin fleet.  That is because they use an anti-detection system that you cannot penetrate.

    “You will then notify the fleet that you have been spotted and must destroy your ship to avoid capture--and then you will proceed to do so.”


    Al and Sue stood in an open field near the CAPS headquarters building.  Al explained to her what he had commanded the Rylls to do.

    “Do you think the Rylls will actually destroy themselves?” she asked.  “I’ve studied and practiced hypnotism, and I’m convinced that it’s almost impossible to compel someone under hypnosis to do anything that would conflict with ideals such as deeply held religious beliefs or morals, or with instincts such as self preservation.”

    “Telepathic hypnosis is much more powerful than regular hypnosis,” he replied.  “It’s like comparing a pussy cat to a tiger.  And besides, remember that the Rylls were prepared to destroy themselves anyway.  They’ll see images of Zenin ships on their screen.  The images will be only in their minds, but will be very real to them.”

    They held hands as they gazed up at the starry night sky, watching the pulsing orange glow of the departing Ryll ship as it grew smaller and smaller and finally disappeared.

    Moments later, where the Ryll ship had been, a tiny new star appeared in the sky.  Al and Sue continued to watch as the star expanded for a few seconds, and then faded out.

    Sue shivered.  “Let’s go inside; it’s chilly out here.”  Arm in arm, the two of them strolled toward CAPS headquarters.

The End

    Bio for Donald Sulivan: Native Floridian. Retired from US Army and now living with my wife in North Carolina. Love writing, but didn't get serious until after retirement.   Write "4theluv" but have been known to accept money.  No novels as yet, but I'm  turning it over in my mind.  Also love gardening, swimming, hiking, and dogs.