Ch 4 Alice’s Birth

Rob and Kim Reynolds’ home
Bethesda, Maryland USA
Early morning of May 17, 1999

“Rob, wakeup!  It’s time.  Ooh!”  Kim had started to sit up but she had lain back again.

“Heh!”  He paused a moment as he looked over at his wife.  Even in the near dark, he could see her going through another contraction.  The baby would be early.  “I’ll get mom and dad up then I’ll get dressed.”  He got up and headed towards the door.

“Hurry!  She is in a hurry unlike the boys.”  Kim got up and put on a robe and slippers.  She went and sat in the chair next to her bag.

Rob returned.  “Mom will be ready in a couple of minutes.”  He went over and kissed Kim, before he started to dress.  “Your folks are going to miss this birth.  I wonder if they will start the experiment with the windows or rush over to see their new granddaughter.

“Mom will check out the initial windows before she comes.  After missing the birth there is no need to rush.”

Rob laughed as he finished dressing.  Grabbing the bag, he headed out the door.

Kim got up and headed for the door where she met Rob’s mother Beth.  “Alice Elizabeth is in a hurry.”  Kim told her.

“Well, that is like you mother.”  Beth replied.

As she helped her daughter-in-law to the car, Beth thoughts were about meeting Kim’s mother, Alice, at the University of Edinburgh when she had been an exchange professor.  Beth had been the hotshot female mathematics wiz.  When she had got to Edinburgh, she found Alice, an undergraduate student, who pressed her and all the other professors there to keep up with her.  She had been like a whirlwind going through graduate mathematics course while still acing the undergraduate required courses.  When she made up her mind to do something, there was no holding her back.  Beth, the American exchange professor had been the only woman there that came close to her level.  They discussed mathematics, then men, and soon everything, as they became friends.  Years later, Professor Dame Alice Farwell Maclaren did an exchange at SMU where Beth taught.  She had brought her husband Jess and their teenage daughters Marie and Kim.  Rob had been smitten by Kim.  She had not been the little girl that he remembered from earlier visits.  Kim had been in love with him for years.  They began a long-range romance though they held off getting married until Kim was out of medical school.

They entered the car and headed to Holy Cross Hospital.  It was a fifteen-minute drive but Kim had shown signs that they might not make it to the hospital.  They made it, but the resident knowingly whisked Kim into a birthing room.

Once there, the urgency abated a little.  Rob and Beth had started to relax.  Maybe Dr Linda Klemanski would be able to make it.  Ten minutes later, the doctor arrived.

“Well this girl is not as patient as her brothers.”  Linda commented as she started to examine Kim.  “She did not wait for your mother.”

“Mom’s here!”  Kim replied between contractions.

Beth looked at Rob, who shrugged.  Kim was not one to make wild statements.

The doctor called for the nurses and soon everyone was thinking only of the birth of little Alice Elizabeth.

Later, Beth followed Linda from the room.  Linda turned to Beth and asked, “Where is Dame Alice?  She did not miss her other grandchildren’s’ births.”

“She and Jess weren’t scheduled to leave until tomorrow.  The boys were right on schedule, so they were expecting to have plenty of time.”  There was a ringing from her pocket.  “Excuse me.”  “Hello.  Marie!  What’s wrong.”  Pause.  “NO!”  A much longer pause.  “We are at the hospital.  Alice Elizabeth was just born.  Yes, three days early.  They are both fine.”  Linda was staring at Beth.   Something was wrong.   “No, she was in labor so she didn’t say anything about your mother dying.  She did say that your mother was here.  I don’t know.  Doctor Klemanski is right here.  I will discuss it with her.  Go take care of your father.  Give him our love.”  She turned off the phone and looked at Linda.

“Alice was electrocuted.  It was while Kim was in labor.  Marie was expecting Kim to have sensed something.  What did she mean by her mother was here?”

Linda was a little shocked by this also.  She had met Dame Alice when Jason, Kim’s oldest son, was born.  They had hit it off right away.  Not the famous egghead that some might expect, but a loving grandmother, who had a smile for everyone she met.  Linda’s son, Jeff had been trying to decide which graduate school to go to for his PhD in Mathematics.  When Dame Alice had found this out, she had Jeff come over to the Kim’s house to talk with Beth and her.  Jeff had said that the questioning that the two of them gave him about mathematics had brought out things that he had not even knew he had known.  They had found out what he knew and then had found out what his interests were.  MIT had been only a dream for Jeff but with their encouragement and letters of recommendations, he had gotten a scholarship.  After graduation, he had gotten a great job again with Dame Alice’s help.

“How did she get electrocuted?”

“She and Jess were working on the window.”  Beth realized that Linda should not hear about the windows to another world.  “Water and electricity.  Marie said that she was killed instantly.  Marie’s best friend Sue was the EMT that tried to revive her.  How and when am I going to tell Kim?”

Linda had shaken her head.  She had been amazed at how smart people could forget about mixing water and electricity.  “I think you should wait a little while.  Let Kim enjoy her new daughter a while before you tell her.  Let us go and get something to eat before Kim sees us and we give it away.”

Later back in the birthing room, when Rob went to the bathroom, Kim looked down at her feeding daughter.  “Mother, what happened?  Why are you here?”

Later in the morning, Tom and Beth Reynolds were in the room with their new granddaughter and her parents.  Beth cell phone rang again.  She saw that it was Marie.  She grabbed Tom’s hand and exited the room.

“Marie, how are you and your father holding up.  That’s good to have a lot of family with you.”  She paused.  “Your father and grandmother will be here tomorrow.  They need to talk to Kim and see baby Alice?  What’is going on?  Baby Alice is Alice.  How could that be?  Your grandmother will explain?  Well I haven’t felt it was time to tell you sister yet.  She so happy but she’s quiet, like she gets when she’s thinking hard.  What flight are they arriving on?  A private plane with your Uncle Will and his family.  They’ll come right to the hospital.  OK, we will be waiting for them.  I hope Edna has a good story, because this is very hard to believe.  W’ill give her your love.  You’re all in our prayers.”  Beth hung up and looked at her husband.

“They think Alice soul has gone to baby Alice.  Jess and Alice’s mother Edna are flying over on a private jet with Will Maclaren and his family.”

“Yes, Andy said that his sister and Will would be picking up the shipment of power controllers after they attended the twins graduation.  Ian had them use the jet.”

“It is nice to have a family jet.”  Beth jokes.

“Oh, I think the family use is secondary, they want those controllers as fast as they can.  They paid a fifty percent premium to get the rush order.  TDI and S-I also put in additional orders.  I’m going to have to go over to TDI when we get back and have Brad show me what they have working.”  Brad was their daughter Lynn’s husband.  His family owned Trail Drive Industries (TDI), which was one of the three companies building the AJ Power Generators.  Tom thought about how the controllers for the generators had recently gotten him promoted to senior vice president at TI.  They were biggest product that Jess had licensed to TI.  Little had the company realized just how big this controller would be.  The same controller was also used in the windows generator.  Rob had worked five months with Jess to get both functions in the same silicon.  The TI board would be surprised when they found out what a little recoding would allow the controllers to do.

“What is this about Alice’s soul?”

“Marie says that when Dame Alice died right as Alice Elizabeth was born, that her soul went to Alice Elizabeth.”  Beth said with a confused look on her face.  “She says that her grandmother Edna knows what happened.  That it isn’t the first time.  She’s coming over to talk to Kim about it.  Now I’ve got to tell Kim about her mother.”

They re-entered the room and closed the door behind them.  Kim was staring at the baby.  Beth walked over to Kim as Tom walked over to his son and put his arm around his shoulders.  “Kim, you mother died early this morning.  Marie is with your dad.”

“I know.  Dad is using the work on the windows to mask his loss.”  Kim glanced up from the baby.

Beth glanced at Tom who raised an eyebrow.  They had learned to accept that their daughter-in-law had a sense of knowing about her family.  She knew when the boys got hurt even when she was a work.  “Yes.  He and your grandmother Edna will be here tomorrow.  She has something to tell you.”

“About Alice”  Kim responded as she looks down at her daughter who was also her mother.

Rob was very confused.  “Mom, what happened to Alice?”

Beth tells them what Marie told her, “They were checking out Alice’s calculation for the windows.  Water from a lake poured through the window and electrocuted Alice.  Jess was not affected.  He shut off the power and hit the house alarm.  The police and EMTs responded.  They couldn’t revive her.”

“I think that they had a couple of successes before the one that killed her.”  Kim commented.  “I could feel the joy that they had at the first window and then a lesser one later.  Then both of their shock.  Dad’s fear and then grief.  Mom had pain and then a sudden release.  Then she was here.”  She kisses her daughter.  “Alice had felt like mom all along.  Like a faint echo.  Now she is whole.”

Beth sat down on the edge of the bed.  “This is a little confusing.  Did it feel the same with the boys?”

Kim looked at her mother-in-law.  “No, they were themselves from the start.  Alice just seems to feel older.  Like she has been here before.”

There was quiet for several minutes.  Each tried to digest this news and put it into their personal perspective of the world.

Rob was the first to come out of it.  He bent down and kissed his wife and then his daughter’s forehead.  “If I didn’t know how you tracked the boys, I would’ve a harder time with this.”

Kim laughed.  “You have been picking it up also.  I think it’s a learnable skill.  You sense me reacting and it cues you in to something that you are feeling.  You learn that one feeling means hurt and another anger that one of the boys is feeling.  I verbalize what I feel, like ‘Jason is hurt’ and you learn.  You’re not as good as the boys but they had it from birth.  You know how Jason can’t play hide and seek with the other kids.  He knows where they are.  He said that it’s like cheating if he plays.”

Tom looked amazed.  “You can learn it.”

“Well, I don’t know if everybody can, but John also learned from Marie.  That’s why we never played cards.  You know too much from the others.  Uncle Will told stories about how he’d play poker when he was in the service.  He’d win a bunch of money and then lose it right back to the same people.  He said it taught him how to track his men better.  Aunt Leslie and her brothers had the ability when he met them.”

“I noticed that you mom, dad, and Will were real close when I first met them.  They seemed to know what the other was doing.”  Beth added.

Kim quickly glanced down at the baby before replying, “Yes, mom said that dad and Will had that growing up.  She said that in some ways they were closer than she and dad.  Something about two sets of identical twins marrying and having sons born on the same day.  There was more but I could never get it out of her.”

“Well it sounds like your grandmother Edna knows more and wants to talk to you.”  Beth added.

Kim returned to staring at the baby, “Yes, I want to talk to her.  She and mom had secrets that they never would tell us.”

“Oh.  Marie said that they had a present for you.  Water wasn’t the only thing that came through the window.  There was a fish also.  They are bringing a piece for you to examine.”

“Other world DNA!”  The announcement had broken Kim out of her obsession with the baby.  She was much more alive as she considered what she would do.  “I’ll have to go back to the lab early.  Beth, can you stay through next week?  I want to leave Alice in your care while I go into the lab.  I think that Friday, no Thursday that I could be ready.  I need to talk to Linda about getting a release to go back to work.”  Kim had been clearly excited.  The concern that she had for her mother/daughter had now taken second place to her professional curiosity.  She was a researcher at the National Human Genome Research Institute in Bethesda.  She had specialized in similarities in genes between species when getting her Doctor of Medicine.  While her sister Marie had followed in the steps of her mother in mathematics, she had taken after her Aunt Marge whom did allergy research at the university hospital in Edinburgh.

“Of course Kim.”  Beth had been happy to see that her mother’s death was not upsetting her.  If you knew that the soul moved on at death then maybe death was not such a dreaded thing.

“This is going to take awhile to get used to.”  Rob said as he took his daughter from Kim.

MME Gulfstream jet over the Atlantic Ocean
The morning of May 18, 1999

The plane leveled off as the pilot turned off the seat belt lights.  Will pressed the “DO NOT DISTURB” button on the wall control panel.  From his briefcase, he removed an electronic bug detector.  As the head of MME security, he was very familiar with corporate espionage.  He checked out the cabin and the lavatory, while the family stuck to small talk or got refreshments.  The pilots, who were part of his security team, had checked the plane out before hand but he always did his own scan when the plans for the new worlds were to be discussed.  Will felt the best way to protect the corporate executives, many of who were his wife’s family, was to combine security and piloting.  The pilots had been officers of the combat support squadron based at Townsville where MME was headquartered.  They had experience supporting the Australian Special Air Service Regiment (ASAS).

Will returned to his seat.  “All clear.  Edna.  Jess.  The pilots will stay in the cockpit.  We are free to talk.”

“Edna, why don’t you start.  Speak up so we all can hear.”  He smiled at Edna.  Her mother had been the midwife that helped deliver Jess and himself.  Edna had been a young nurse that though pregnant with Alice had helped her mother with the deliveries.  Their families had also been neighbors.  Alice, Jess, and he had gone through school together.  Alice had chosen Jess, the more studious of the two.  He had been more into sports and outdoor things, though neither had excelled more than the other in either until they got to university where they had gotten to chose what they studied.  He had gone to Sandhurst, while Alice and Jess were at Edinburgh.  On an SAS training assignment, he had met the Macphater brothers who were in the ASAS.  They introduced him to their sister, Leslie.  They had hit it off right.  In her, he had found a mate such as Jess had with Alice.

“Well two things that I want to tell you.  One about Alice and one about you twins of different parents.”  Edna said looking at Jess and Will.  “You are more alike than Brenda and Mary.”  She smiled at the twins.  “Alice and I often talked about how you two seemed to be copies of the same person.  We never figured what that meant.  I remember when you two were born, mother was insistent on marking both of you so that you would not be mixed up.  She normally could just sense which twin was which.  Your parents would like to play that game with people.  They would dress the same and try to confuse people at parties.  Mother and I could tell them apart without looking.  After a couple of times, they quit trying to pull it on us.  You never got the tags.  Those birthmarks were enough while you were babes.”  Jess and Will started to flush.  “When you got older, your individual personalities had developed so that it was now obvious to us who was who.”

Leslie laughed at the look on Jess’s and Will’s faces.  She knew about Will’s birthmark.  She assumed that Jess’s was on the left side to go with his left handedness.  “Grandmother said something like that when she met Jess at our wedding.  She remarked how they were spirits that had split in two.  Her people have some beliefs that may fit in with what you have been saying.”

“Yes they were one of the better sources that I found.  I did a lot of research on this after Alice was born.  I did not have anyone to explain things to me.  I want to help Kim out with what I have learned and what I was able to get from Alice.”

“Alice knew about her soul being able to do this?  She remembered being her great-grandmother Alice?”  Jess asked.

“She learned about it from me, but it explained many of the feelings and dreams that she had during her life.  She did not remember her life like you and I remember something that happened years ago.  A place or a person would be familiar but older.  She was not born knowing how to speak or count.  She learned them just like you and I did, but her moral compass was already set.  She did not get into mischief like ordinary kids.  When she did things, which I felt she should not, it was because of a difference of opinions.  By the second year of school, she had learned to talk things over with me.  That is not the behavior of most children.  She helped to install the same type of attitude in her sister and brother.”

“So you think that Aunt Alice is now Kim’s daughter?” asked Brenda.

“Yes.  That it is what Beth reported that Kim is feeling.  One of the reasons I am going is to confirm what I felt with my grandmother and my daughter matches my great granddaughter.  That others feel it and that I have been right all these years will be a relief.  Additionally I know how I felt at the time of Alice’s birth.  I do not want Kim to go through what I did.”

Robert spoke up.  “So your family can feel people just like we can.  I have felt weird at times thinking that we were different from everyone else.”

“No your family is not.  And neither is mine.  Marie and Kim have both spoken of how their husbands have learned this from them.  So either it is teachable or they picked husbands that they unconsciously knew could learn this.”

“That is good to know.”  Brenda had a smile on her face.  “It will be something to look for in a guy.”  They all laughed.

“Edna, ready to actively join the conspiracy?”  Jess switched the topic.  He wanted to think about this soul migration more before discussing it any more.

“Yes, I thought that there was more going on.  Alice comes up with her adjacent world theory.  The two of you invent the AJ Power Generator, which turns out to be just what is needed for generation of the windows.  You get John’s family, Leslie’s family, and the Smith family, which Kim’s husband’s sister is married into, to build them and they start building equipment that uses the generators.  There was too much purpose going on to miss.  I could tell that there were a lot more going on.”  Edna answered.

“Well, I hope the government isn’t so fast to pick up on it.”  Jess seemed concerned.

“I know when my daughter and her husband, who I have known since birth, are up to something.  Also, I have had years to watch all of you at it.  The government will take a while to understand.  You might want to come clean on the small secrets so they do not go looking too hard.”

Jess smiled at Edna.  “That’s the plan.  John will talk to PM Blake this afternoon.  Ian is talking to PM Hunt tomorrow morning, which will be late evening for us.  That will quietly bring UK and Australia into the know about the other worlds.  We need to bring the US into this.”  She had known and kept quiet even with them not telling her what was going on.  It was past time to get her help.

“Let me talk about why we developed this plan.  When Alice came up with her adjacent world theory, she was concerned about the access to the worlds being restricted to governments just as outer space was.  She and I talked a lot about it.  We felt that man needed access to a new frontier.  Australia is young and vibrant while Europe and even the United States don’t have the same vitality.  Asia and the Middle East are even worse.  We wanted a new world for everyone that wanting to move.  We talked to the girls and their husbands and we talked with Will and Leslie.  It was decided that what we needed was a simple and affordable way to make the windows to another world.

“Alice and Marie went back to the equations and determined what was needed to open a window.  A window like the one that we opened yesterday requires a good amount of power, more than is available in a home.  A window big enough to walk through will require power that could supply a factory.  To be able to drive a small car through would require the power of a major power plant.  Larger enough for a train or a boat would require more than the largest power plant in the world.  One large enough for a ship or airplane would require more power than anyone had every thought of generating.  We thought we were stumped.  When we explained the size problem to the others, Leslie reminded us that in their underground mines that they regularly dealt with moving large heavy loads through small openings.  All we needed was a window that we could walk through.”

“Alice saw that the same equations that gave us the windows provided the answer to our power needs.  The difference of potential between worlds could be tapped for power.  As we designed the power generator prototype, we realized that we had another valuable invention.  The AJ power generators delivered power where it’s needed without the distribution systems that were necessary for electricity and gasoline.  Also, there are no harmful bi-products.”

“You mean no CO2 to cause global warming” Robert had added.

“Once we convert to electric vehicles there will be less CO2 added to the atmosphere, but the long term predictions for climate is ice age not global warming.  What I feel is more important is to get rid of the electrical power grid and the moving of oil, gasoline, LNG, coal, and other bulk quantity shipments for power use, which are more dangerous than any global warming we may have before the next ice age.”

“So we had a power source that would revolutionize the world.  Everyone will want one.  When Rob and I designed the power controller for the AJ power generator, we also made the chip so it can control a window.  You will need separate controllers for each, but they use the same IC.”  No need to tell them what else was added.  “We expected to have almost a million power generators in use before we came forward with the fact that the windows worked and that we had explored and settled on another world.  Governments wouldn’t be able to keep people from going through the windows.  The funniest part was that selling all those power generators would have paid for the exploration.”

“So Alice’s death killed the plan as sure as it killed her.”  Edna had said.

“No!” replied Will.  “And just like her, our plans will live again in another form.  The governments will need us.  Kim and Jess because of the science that only they understand.  MME for the mining equipment, S-I for the new electric ATVs and boats, and Trail Drive for UAVs and larger ATVs.  And that isn’t the only thing that each is designing.  We are picking up 250,000 of the power controllers.  Even for MME that is a big commitment.  We will revolutionize mining.  Not that that is the most important thing.  We have the equipment that’s needed to start exploring a new world.  We’ll be able to cut a deal to come along.  We’ll not be in the driver seat but we’ll be there.”

“And we have medical experts that they will need.”  Brenda had added.  “Marge is an expert in allergies and Kim in DNA.  Both of those specialties will be needed.  And with three restricted worlds, someone who already knows the secret will be one less to tell.”

“So when were you going to tell me.”  Edna had not gotten over be excluded for so long.

“Edna, Alice and I expected you to want to come with us, but we only told those that were needed to make the preparations.  We planned to tell you after we got back from seeing Kim.”

“You are lucky that they were not giving you things to do without telling you why.  I had lists of books to read, medical training, and combat training.”  Robert looked at his parents.  “They started sneaky at first.  A new gun that was a little bigger than needed for anything we hunt.  First aid training.  Aikido classes.  A knew that there was another reason for this, but they were not scared.  They were excited.  Therefore, I figured that they were going hunting somewhere and that I was going along.  Then they had me read the reports on Aunt Alice’s Adjacent World Theory and they helped me understand her paper on it.  It all came together.  They were planning for us to go to another world.  I asked if that was what all the training was about.  They said yes.  Then they asked if I wanted to go.  Of course I did.  So then, I started advanced training.  Dad had me take some training run by the former SAS guys that are in security.  I was the puppy trailing after them at first but by the end of the training I was holding my own.”

“You ran him through a SAS combat course with former soldiers.”  Edna said shaking her head.

“And he did more than hold his own.  He was number three out of twenty-five.  Jack told me that they were surprised at first that I wanted him to train with them.  In the end they realized that with both Macphater and Maclaren blood that he belonged there.”

The twins looked at their no longer little brother and then each other.  Unknown to the others was their commitment to get the same training that he had.  They knew that where they planned to go that they wanted to be the men’s equal and not someone to be protected.  “Alyca?”  Brenda said to Mary.  Mary laughed.  They knew that if Alyca was not included that they did not want to be anywhere near when she found out that they had gotten the training.

“So how are you going to get the United States onboard?  John has the connections with the PM, so I understand how you got that meeting.  How did your father get a meeting?”  Edna asked.

“MME can get Hunt’s ear.  We are the second biggest company in Australia and number one in foreign exports.  Something that we can help finance and will put Australia on an equal footing with the United States and the United Kingdom will not be hard to sell.” replied Leslie.

“Yes the US will be the one we’ll need to convince.  Sandra Smith Lewis is a congresswomen but she is too junior to have much influence.  TDI and TI don’t have as big of a profile as MME.  We need to have a highly placed friend.”  Jess looked concerned.

They talked for a while but none of them could figure how to get a meeting with the President.

“Well I am going to nap.  I want to be fresh when we meet with Kim and Alice.”  Edna got up and headed for one of the rear seats.”

“Dad, we want to get the same training Robert went through.”  Brenda stated.  The twins were looking at both their parents knowing that both would need to agree.

Robert was laughing.  The twins looked at their brother.  “I told them that you would be asking.”

The girls looked at each other.  This may be easier than they thought or it may be impossible.  They looked at their parents.

“Yes, I am setting up a course.  It will take a while before it’ll be ready.  The trainers for that are a little harder to come by.  I assume that Alyca will want it also.”  Mary shock her head yes.  “Good.  Your mother can tell you what to expect.  She’s helping to plan it since she’ll be taking it with you.”

Both girls looked a little disappointed.  It would not be the same level as what Robert took.

“No, I will not be slowing you down.  It will be a two level course.  I’ll be on the command track.  You two and Alyca will be in the operator track.  We’re going to be putting women in situation that we usually try to keep them out of.  Not all of them will be young.  Some will have experience that we need to have on the front line.  Therefore, we have to teach both young and experienced.  I’ll learn to take command during those times we are sure to encounter.  You’ll learn how to meet the worst that can happen and how to obey commands so we can overcome anything we run into.”  Leslie told her daughters.

The girls realized that the course might be a little more than what they had been expecting.

“Let all rest and think about what we’ve discussed.”  Will reached over and turned off the “DO NOT DISTURB” signs.


At Baltimore-Washington International, customs in the private planes section of the airport proceeded smoothly even with the security weapons and “hunting” rifles that they declared.  The correspondence with customs that listed all the weapons gave the custom agents numbers to call to verify that the weapons were expected.  Once the serial numbers were checked, they were on their way.  While customs was being squared away, the senior pilot, David Ridgeway, had arranged for the plane to be serviced.

Will drove the first Suburban with Jess navigating from the passenger seat.  Edna, Leslie, Brenda, and Mary sat in the back seats.  They headed to the hospital to see Kim and Alice.  Will had insisted that he, Leslie, and the twins would go armed.  Robert accompanied the pilots.  They and the suitcases including the rest of the weapons were going to Kim’s house.  The pilots planned to stay at a nearby Residence Inn.

White House Washington D.C., USA
May 18, 1999

Presidential Briefing
May 18, 1999
Death of Dame Professor Alice Maclaren

Summary: Alice Maclaren was electrocuted at her home on the morning of May 17, 1999.  News reports state that she was working with her husband Jess on his new “secret” invention.  The source of the water was reported as the fire protection sprinkling system.  No fire was reported.

<The Scotsman, May 18, 1999 – Douglas Richards – obit for Dame Alice Farwell Maclaren>

Maclaren, Dame Alice Farwell

Dame Alice Farwell Maclaren, 54, died of electrocution while conducting an experiment with her husband, Jess.  The cause of death is believed to be a fault in the sprinkler system.  Her son-in-law John Lawrence III said that efforts by EMTs Susan and Edward Douglass, Sgt. James McPherson, and Jess Maclaren had failed to revive Dame Alice.

The source of the water is suspicious.  A fire sprinkling system usually requires a good size fire to set off the water sprinklers.  With no fire reported, the story does not sound right.

Doug Richards of The Scotsman was contacted by an agent posing as a junior staff member of the Washington Post.

He stated that the press had only talked to John Lawrence III, Dame Alice’s son-in-law, Susan Douglass, one of the EMTs, and Sergeant Jim McPherson.  John is a member of the British Parliament.  Susan is Marie Maclaren Lawrence’s best friend.  Sergeant McPherson is stationed at the local police station, which is right across the street from the Maclaren home.  He was the first to arrive on the scene.  The Maclaren home alarm had gone off.

When Mr. Richards was questioned about the lack of fire, he mentioned that John had said he was going to talk to the Prime Minister about safety and an investigation.  We have confirmed that John and his father Sir John Lawrence III (former member of parliament and formerly Secretary for Home Department and Secretary for Trade and Industry) are scheduled to meet with Prime Minister Blake and most of the Cabinet.  General Sir Austin Powers, Chief of the Defence Staff, will also be present.  The meeting was set up on Monday.  The meeting is not about home safety.  Something occurred at the Maclaren home that the British believe affects their security.

Agents are on their way to Edinburgh and Carlisle to investigate.

Any changes in the status of the British military will be reviewed for relevance to the Cabinet meeting this afternoon.

Susan Douglass stated that Alice and Jess Maclaren were planning to fly to Maryland for the birth of their seventh grandchild.

Smythe-Industries (S-I) has a smaller, one person ATV similar to the TDI AJ-100 that the British Army is negotiating a purchase of a thousand units.  Both S-I and TDI have been working on other equipment using the AJ Power Generator.

There are reports that MME is busy developing new equipment.  They have increased their design and manufacturing staff over the last year.  MME has been selling off their mining holdings outside of Australia.  They just completed a deal to sell much of their Australian coalmines and claims.  Their remaining mines are being retrofitted with the new equipment that they have developed.  They have started training classes for the new equipment for all employees, not just the mine employees.  This includes safety classes.  They are giving rifles, shotguns and handguns to all employees that take a company shooting and safety course.  Employees have been encouraged to take vacations at Out of This World Adventures.  They have been offered discounts and special tours.  These changes have been underway for over a year.  MME has placed claims at several sites in the outback, but has not started any development there.  Speculation in Australia is that they have made at least one major strike and they are gearing up to develop it.

We are trying to tie these developments together but there are only speculations that have not gotten anywhere close to a consensus.  The speculations have been included in an accompanying report along with major objections to them.


 Chapter 5


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