The abandon hanger housed an ultra modern research facility. The team met once again with General Bob Carter (yes, he had a name!), who explained that the investigation was being handled by one of the men in black she had met. The man was actually a director for the famed Skunkworks, an officially unknown arm of the military research division. All agreed that a meeting with Uncle Henry would be a good place to start. Although officially a military operation, Ken Barker from Skunkworks would make every resource available to Mysteries Inc that they requested.
Velma looked out the window. It was daybreak. "Guess it's not the first time I missed a night's sleep", she though to herself.
Henry was quite sedated when Velma entered the room, but he still recognized his niece.
"Finally, ..... someone........ who will understand ...... what I've been trying ...... to say...."
She walked up to his bed and put her hand on his head. "Uncle Henry?", she said as he drifted off to sleep.
"Oh great!", Fred said, "He picks NOW to fall asleep!" Velma looked over to Fred and smiled.
"Shussh! It makes sense, he was so relieved that he relaxed and drifted off. We'll all catch a bite to eat and drop back in on him in a few hours."
Scooby and Shaggy's eyes opened wide and their jaws dropped! This was no military mess hall, it looked more like a high dollar buffet!
Scooby looked back to Shaggy.
This was one area the two best friends disagreed on. If Shaggy was going to be a veggie-head, at least he could keep it to himself! Scooby looked over at the 10 pound tray of macaroni and cheese Shaggy had in front of him... "Raa, Right!" he answered sarcastically!
At a table with a more modest food collection sat Fred, Velma, Daphne, and Ken Barker.
Velma looked to Ken and asked, "The stuff my uncle had been babbling about, do you remember anything he was saying?"
Ken thought for a moment. "He would say 'no matter' and then look frustrated and say 'no time' Then he would look more frustrated and repeat the whole thing."
Daphne squinted her eyes a bit and then turned to Velma. "Maybe he meant 'No .. Matter' in the scientific term."
Velma nodded her head. "Right Daphne! No matter and no time would be connected. Did he ever say anything about the twins?"
Daphne looked puzzled. As far as she knew there were no twins in Velma's family.
Ken spoke up. "Yes, he did. he said 'the twins' several times."
Fred looked puzzled and turned to Velma. "Are you guys trying to talk in code? Clue me in, please!"
Velma took a deep breath. "OK, Matter and mass, or weight as you would call it, directly effects time. If you had a pair of twin brothers and one lived on earth, which is rather heavy, and the other went into outer space and far away from anything heavy, and the two met up 40 years later, the twin on earth would be older then the twin that lived in space!"
Fred nodded his head. "I remember something about this from physics class."
Velma continued, "The heavier something is, the faster time moves around it. Conversely, if there were no mass at all, time would stand still! No matter, no time!"
Ken looked over at her. "It would be hard to get away from matter here on earth! I don't see how this helps...."
Having demolished the buffet, Scooby and Shaggy headed out for a short walk. "Hey, Scoob, lets find the flying saucer!"
Shaggy ran over to a nearby shed and opened the door. In the shed were several gardening tools and a broom. "Nothing in this shed!"
Scooby ran ahead to another small building with a door on it and opened it up. Shaggy ran over. In it was a small tractor and a cart. "Rothing!"
Now it was Shaggy's turn. He ran to the next door and opened it. The room was empty except for a silver steamer trunk in the far corner. "Darn! No UFO!"
Next Scooby ran over to a larger wooden shed, he opened the door. In front of him was a five foot green man with large fangs, glowing eyes, and small antenna protruding from his head. Scooby closed the door. "Rust a Railian.."
Shaggy walked over, "Ha Scoob! Just an Alien! Good one old buddy!" He opened the door..
"ALIEN!", he screamed at the top of his lungs and the two bolted off at a high rate of speed with the green monster in pursuit!
Velma, Fred, Daphne, and Ken were still in the cafeteria discussing Velma's uncle. "Can you remember anything else?"
Ken rubbed his cheek. "Often you uncle would make a circular motion with his finger, then stop and move it in the opposite direction." Velma sat back in her chair and went into deep thought.
Daphne happened to glance out the window and catch a glimpse of Scooby and Shaggy running for their lives being chased by a five foot green monster.
"Ah... Fred....", She said...
Velma snapped her fingers! "Jinkies! That's it! All matter is actually composed of subatomic particles that are basically small whirlwinds of energy called quirks. The energy moves so fast that it actually produces mass! All of these quirks rotate in the same direction, this is called polarity...."
Daphne's focus was still on the window. She reached her arm out and pointed as Shaggy and Scooby ran past again....
Fred and Ken were focused on Velma as she continued. "If you could somehow get these little gyroscopes of energy to rotate in the opposite direction, you could possibly cancel out the effect of the surrounding matter...."
For a third time, Daphne watched in horror as Shaggy and Scooby ran past!
"FRED!" She screamed!
Ken and Fred looked out the window and saw the three characters running around. Ken chuckled!
"That's Private Kendle. He likes to chase visitors around dressed as an alien, you know, the old Area 51 legend.... Do you want me to stop him?"
Fred thought for a second. "Well, they had a big breakfast, maybe they need the exercise!"
Velma approached the bed and watched as her Uncle Henry's eyes opened. She could see he became excited and wanted to tell her something. "No matter, no time, they know how! Must stop..."
Velma interrupted him by putting her hand on his arm and smiling. "I understand", she said, "Without matter there is no time. Somehow, they figured out how to reverse the polarity of matter for a small amount of time, and therefore stop gravity and time.."
His eyes grew wide. "Exactly!", he said. He seemed to calm down knowing that Velma understood what he was trying to say.
Ken Barker approached the bed. "But how?", he said.
Uncle Henry rolled his eyes as if to shrug. "Don't know...", he sighed.
Velma could tell that her uncle's mind was working fine, but the drugs they gave him had somehow wrecked his ability to speak.
"OK, we don't know how they are doing it, but how much power would it theoretically take to achieve something like that?"
Her uncle blinked his eyes several times as he tried to work it out. He turned to her and spoke,
"One..... hundred..... gigawatts.... per...... square..... foot... .... ...... about...."
The room was silent for about a minute. Ken spoke first. "That much power would make it impractical to use as a weapon. Setting it up would be too obvious."
Uncle Henry began shaking his head. "No.... no..... no.... no.... zero point... zero point!"
Velma leaned back in her chair at the side of the bed.
"What he's trying to say is that by using the principles of Zero Point Force, the device could be pre-charged in such a way that it could be used at a later date."
Uncle Henry shook his head 'yes'.
"This is very troubling", Ken said, "This abandoned factory they set up at used to be an aluminum processing plant. There was a lot of electrical lines running there."
"I think it's time I got a look at this place!"
The Mystery Machine rolled up towards the gate. Velma, Freddy, Daphne, and Ken were aboard. Shaggy and Scooby were still running for their lives when they spotted their safe haven, and made a run for the van. Daphne opened the door for them.
"Alien! --pant--pant--- We're being chased by a nine foot alien!", Shaggy belted out as he climbed into the van.
Velma turned around and smiled. "Nine feet, eh? Sure......"
As Freddy drove out the gate, Scooby and Shaggy did their best to explain how it was going to kill and eat them. In each sentence the alien seemed to grow larger.
About two hours out into the desert, Freddy could see the old factory and warehouse come into view. The area was surrounded by fencing that had been put up by the military to secure the scene. Velma observed the large transmission towers and power lines leading to the site. "I see what you mean about power.", she said. As they grew closer, Freddy spoke up. "
OK, gang, we need a plan. Velma, you and Ken check out the equipment. Daphne and I will look for clues as to who these people may have been. Shaggy, you and Scooby look over the grounds outside to see if there are any tire tracks from them leaving."
Ken cleared his throat. "I don't mean to bud in on how you investigate, but we've had so many vehicles here in the last week that I doubt any tire tracks are left."
Velma looked over to Fred. "I think he's right. Perhaps we should modify the split up. You and I could investigate the equipment and Daphne, Scooby, and Shaggy could look for clues. That will keep Ken free to help out where needed."
"ok", Freddy moaned.
As the colorful van approached the gate, a swarm of MP's clustered to it. Ken spoke to the captain in charge, and the others opened the gate. The van drove up to the main building and came to a halt. Daphne was the first to climb out. She looked at the building and gasped.
"This place is still standing? I don't see how!"
This gave Ken his cue. "Be careful, this place could be very dangerous. It is not structurally sound."
Ken, who was about one hundred feet behind them, yelled back, "The main transformers that used to feed the electric blast furnace." With a bit of a smirk, Velma said "Figures!", under her breath.
"Velma", Freddy said in a low voice as not to be heard by anyone else, "Something's bothering me. If the terrorists were tipped off, that means someone at the base is a spy. And, that's the best case scenario."
Velma nodded her head to let Fred know she had heard. She was busy examining the large copper rings. Close up, she could see they were not solid copper but actually a coil of flat copper plate with alternating layers of insulation.
Fred continued, "This area 51, it is a research center. What if it is actually a group of scientists that work at the facility? And the worst case scenario: What if this whole thing is a scam and this is a military project? Maybe they need one or two key pieces of information from your uncle to complete the project."
Velma ran her hand along the copper ring she was looking at. The whole assembly looked like a work of precision engineering. Not something that was assembled by a band of terrorists in the desert.
"My uncle did seem a little over medicated. That has been bothering me. Still, why would they go to such trouble to assemble this thing out here?"
Freddy glanced over to make sure Ken was still a good distance away. "Could be the power. This place was already wired for a huge amount of electricity, far more then the base. Also, they may have wanted to keep it at a safe distance in case something went wrong."
Velma could see that Ken was now working his way over to them. "We need to get the gang together in private and talk this through..", she added.
Ken walked over to the ring. "Well, what do you make of it?"
Velma looked at the racks of equipment and then back at Ken. "Could you contact the utilities for this area? See if they have noticed any unexplained power loss on their grid. I assume they were able to reconnect these transmission towers at some power substation. I also assume you guys have since shut it down."
Ken nodded, "Yes, it was connected at a substation about 10 miles from here and we had it shut down the same day we made the raid."
Velma eyed up the six rings. They were almost in perfect alignment, spaced about three feet from each other.
"I think they used this rig to charge whatever it was up. If the utilities can calculate how much power may be missing, we might be able to get an idea of how large and destructive this thing might be."
Scooby had his nose to the ground looking at the center of the building. Shaggy bent down next to him. "What'd you find good buddy?"
Shaggy didn't need an answer, he could see it too. From Scooby's vantage point he could see some slight drag marks that led across the floor from where Velma was to where Scooby's nose was. (About two hundred feet in length.) Daphne saw it too. She looked behind her and saw a large sliding door in the side of the building. She walked over to a point about half way between Scooby and the door.
"If they loaded something on a truck, it would have been parked about where I'm standing."
Scooby and Shaggy joined her and all closely inspected the ground around them. "Rier Racks!", Scooby said, pointing to an area on the floor.
Daphne looked at the area. "Big tires too... Like a military truck...."
Shaggy opened the door and the three of them followed the tracks out the door. The tracks led to an area about forty feet outside, where they blended in with all the other marks vehicles had made. "End of the trail", she said.
Something caught Daphne's eye and she walked over to the coiled barbwire fence.
"What is it Daph?", Shaggy yelled over as he approached. Daphne was looking at one of the stakes that held the barbwire in place.
"They said they secured this place about two weeks ago, yet there are no fresh hammer marks on this stake. In fact, the barbwire and the stakes look like they have been here for months!
With Ken off researching the utilities, the gang each grabbed a bottle of water, and headed off to 'hang out' in the Mystery Machine. At least, that is what they told Ken. Inside, Velma turned on the radio to make some noise. In the back, she opened up a case and got out her RF spectrum analyzer. After a few simple tests, she felt free to speak.
"OK, guys, doesn't look like the Mystery Machine is bugged, but we have big problems!"
Each related their own concerns about what they had found. Freddy summed the meeting up.
"We don't know who we can trust. This whole thing may be just as they presented it to be, but if not, the implications are huge! Velma, be as helpful as you can be, but try not to give anyone any theoretical advice on how this stuff actually works."
"Right Fred.", she replied.
Fred continued. "Daphne, if you or Shaggy or Scooby find any more clues, don't let on. We need to figure out a safe way of talking to each other."
Shaggy looked at Scooby. "Like, what if we write each other notes on the back of Scooby snacks, then eat them when we're done reading them!"
"Yuck!", Velma replied, "But its as good as anything I could come up with!" .... A knocking at the back door of the Mystery Machine ended the conversation.
Velma was impressed with the amount of research Ken had got done. She paged through the fax sheets looking at all the energy use data the utility had sent over.
"You can clearly see where the 'unexplained' drainage started, stopped, then restarted. When was the earthquake?"
Ken leaned over the table. He pointed to the chart. "About there."
Velma began copying numbers off the page and putting them in a table she was writing at the bottom.
"The drain abruptly stops at that point, and then restarts here... Like it went off by accident."
Ken asked, "Do you think it reached it's capacity?"
Velma shrugged. "I don't even know what 'it' is, so I have no way of knowing that one. Here is some good news, my best guess is that they had put about eight or nine gigawatts into it when it went off, and only about three after it went off and before the raid. That's enough to shake a few roofs, but no where near the one hundred gigawatts needed to turn off gravity for a one square foot area... "
Ken smiled. "So they would need to start charging it up again somewhere if they wanted to use it as a weapon!"
He pulled out his cell phone and made a call. Freddy leaned over Velma's shoulder. "not so much info!", he whispered.
Velma chuckled, "Nothing that's not already known."
Ken finished up his call and came back to the table. "I've put out an alert for all agencies to be on the lookout for unexplained power leakage in the grid nationwide."
Daphne took the moment to catch Ken off guard.
"So, did you guys put all this barbwire up when you secured the site?"
Ken was caught off guard. "Ah... Er... No, a lot of it was already up when we arrived. We added some. It all appears to be military issue so we are researching where it may have come from."
His cell phone rang, and he stepped away from the table.
Fred turned to Daphne.
"Good one! He does seem to be giving all the right answers though, so maybe he is on the level."
Velma leaned over to Fred. "He was pleasantly surprised that the thing doesn't have much of a charge. It seemed sincere."
"I'm sorry, that was a call from the general. I'm afraid I have to take another course back to base and you will all have to go back without me. Do you think you can navigate it?"
"Yes sir.", Freddy replied.
As the van left the gate, Velma used her meter to check for any bugs. "We are in the clear!", she announced. Daphne took a deep breath and then let it out. "That was a lucky break! It will give us at least two hours alone without raising suspicions!"
Shaggy reached in his pocket and pulled out a small metal object.
"Like I found this in there too! It was over by the tire tracks in the warehouse."
Daphne took the object from Shaggy and closely examined it. "Another cufflink. This one is different though... I got a good look at the cufflinks Ken was wearing and they were the same as the one Fred found in the alley."
Fred pondered the data for awhile. "Well.... The simple conclusion would be that Velma's abductors and Ken work in the same branch of service, which we already knew. But, someone who was in the warehouse is from a different branch. .... How come Ken doesn't have a rank, doesn't everyone in the military have a rank?"
Velma quietly digested all of the information as Daphne handed her the cufflink. "So, maybe the military does not want to share everything that's going on with its civilian partner...."
Fred looked at the road in front of him. It was straight as far as
the eye could see. "Boy, this road is boring.
"Good question. It would have to be some type of high density matter like lead or gold, and it would have to be suspended in some form of frame, encased in a super reflective assembly. The whole thing may be no larger then a steamer trunk."
"Wow, Like we saw a steamer trunk back when the alien was chasing us!"
Velma perked up. "What did it look like?"
Shaggy scratched his chin. "It was about nine feet tall, all sorts of green and had glowing eyes!" "Rantana!", Scooby added. "Yea, it had antenna sticking out of it's head and BIG fangs and..."
"NOT THE ALIEN, THE STEAMER TRUNK!", Fred, Daphne, and Velma yelled in unison!
"Oh, ...... it was silver and about three feet long and two feet high."
Velma's eyes grew wide. "That could be it! Where did you find this?"
Shaggy scratched his head. "I don't remember. We were running all over the place and when into so many sheds and buildings.... Like, ... I think ... it might have been a building near a wooden shed. It was the only thing in it."
Freddy turned to Velma. "Wouldn't they have had it under lock and key?"
"Not necessarily. It's called 'hide in plain sight' A locked room would draw more attention then a plain looking shed or building with an old steamer trunk in it."
Daphne looked worried. "What are the dangers to opening it if we find it, after all, doesn't it have three giga-whatevers in it?"
"There would be some dangers, especially if the reflective surfaces were disturbed. Burns, small explosions, electrocution, it's risky. The best thing to do would be to set it off. That would result in a minor time disturbance and some slightly disruptive gravity waves."
Freddy turned his head around. "What if there's a whole lot more charge in it then we think?"
"I guess it might level the whole base and we would be squished under falling debris."
Daphne's eyes grew wide. "Ohhhhh Keeeeee, Lets NOT set it off then!"
Freddy shook his head. "There's even a bigger question. If this is our own government, who do we turn to with this information? How do we stop this new weapon from being developed, and should we even stop them?"
All sat quietly. There were no easy answers.
"I don't think this is on the up-and-up.", Velma said, "If so, they would have simply asked my Uncle Henry for help. This is some renegade fraction, or maybe real terrorists. We need to get my uncle's advice. He knows the good players from the bad in the military. The trick is getting him away to a place where we can talk to him, and him getting the ability to talk back! We need a plan..... umm.... Fred? ... anytime now..."
"Fred, you're the guy that always comes up with our plan! What's the plan?"