Episode 1: Pilot
Blake Hulner pushed through the corn stalks as if he was running from a fire. In his hand, he gripped his sister's and pulled her along. Regina Hulner was doing everything that she could to keep her feet under her as she allowed her brother to pull her along.
At 23, Regina was hoping to find out what her brother had been up to that was taking up his nights. She was bored and had nagged her brother, two years older than she was, to let her join him. He had finally agreed, but the look on Blake's face showed that he was regretting the decision more and more every second.
The corn field was about an hour west of Ames, Iowa. As they pushed deeper into the corn, Regina was becoming incredibly concerned about what her brother had been up to the last few weeks. Late night corn mazes? Deer poaching? Crop circles?
The aimless running continued with Blake randomly declaring how late they were. Finally, they broke through into a clearing.
The clearing could have been a crop circle based on it's size, but it wasn't. The circle of hooded figures and the bonfire were a little more than the aliens tended to leave behind when marking up Iowan fields.
As the broke into the clearing, Blake's hand was suddenly gone from Regina's. She slowed as her brother stepped forward.
Each of the hooded figures was chanting at the fire. There hands were high in the air as if they could amplify the chanting. The words were unintelligible as far as Regina knew, but she didn't know more than English and a little bit of Spanish.
As she slowed, Blake continued toward the circle. When he was almost in line to take his place among the cloaked worshipers, one of them threw back his hood and took large steps toward her brother. As his hood fell down around his shoulders, Regina thought he looked a lot like Donald Sutherland. His white hair was swept back from a high forehead and wrapped around his face to make a well-kept beard and mustache.
"Blake," he said, at first with open arms before his eyes landed on Regina and a scowl flashed across his face. It was only there for a brief moment before it returned to the welcoming smile. Regina hadn't missed it.
"Chairman," Blake returned the greeting and as they approached each other, they hugged and pulled away.
"Blake, who is your friend?" the Chairman never took his eyes off of Blake as he asked.
"This is my sister," Blake answered. "I thought that she might be able to join us this evening." He paused, aware that he might have made a mistake in bringing her. "I hope that I haven't overstepped my bounds."
The Sutherland-looking Chairman nodded slowly. "Well, normally it would be a little late in our preparations to bring anyone new in." He shook his head slowly. "You almost put us in quite the spot, Brother Blake. You're late, and we couldn't have pulled this off without you." The Chairman gestured toward Regina, "Bringing her could have thrown off our balance."
Blake's eyes fell in disappointment. Regina was confused. Her brother had never been one to show his emotions so clearly, but with the Chairman he was very expressive. He wanted this man to know what he was thinking and that he respected his opinion. It was an odd sight.
"Chin up, boy," the Chairman continued. "Tonight is the last night, and another body can't hurt anything. Any other night would have been a problem, but tonight the preparations are complete. We need only turn the key."
Regina wasn't quite sure what was going on but decided not to say anything. The whole situation was freaking her out, but she knew that her brother respected this odd man, and she wasn't going to jeopardize that, so she remained quiet.
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