The first thing I did after Martin was out of sight was to turn the jammer off. Are you guys there? I messaged.
What the fuck is going on.
Someone tried to hit the Senator. I stopped them. That’s all there was.
Did you call the police?
No, I didn’t want to answer a bunch of questions. I did what you wanted. I prevented the assassination.
We would like to know who the assassin worked for, the next message suggested.
Then you should have told me that, I demanded.
Well we got a pretty good image of his face. We should be able to track him down by the end of the day.
Please be careful what you do once you find the identity. We don’t want to blow my cover, I messaged.
“Well head on back to Aster and try to go back to your ordinary life. You will be hearing from us.
Of course I will, I messaged. As far as I was concerned the link was broken.
I left the park and began walking along the route of the race. I found the aid station a mile or so from the park. The table was covered with paper cups of water. There was also a clear trash can filled with used cups.
“Hello, I pulled a muscle in my leg. Do you have a cell phone I could use to call my husband for a ride?” I asked of the college aged girl manning the station.
“Sure,” she replied handing me a simple cell phone. I punched in my own number and waited.
“Hello,” Peter’s voice said.
“Peter it’s me I’m going to be standing in front of the Downtown Decorator Gallery. Pick me up when you can.” I knew about the gallery because I had laid the play before I started the race. I had half a dozen pickup points in mind.
I walked to the Gallery and sat on the steps. I scanned the area carefully, since I was been involved in something which might easily have pissed off some bad people. Hell, it could have pissed off some good people as well. Nobody had any reason to love the senator. I doubted that even his family loved the asshole.
I saw the ugly red car pull to the curb. I looked inside to see if Peter was the only occupant. He had Sylvia sitting beside him in the front seat, so I slipped into the rear.
“So where to?” Peter asked.
“Let’s pack our shit and head home. We did what we were supposed to do. I suggested.
The race is still in progress,” he informed me.
“We can’t catch up, so win or lose we are finished.” What I didn’t mention was that I no long cared, if the Senator was killed.
You better care, the message in my head informed me.
Screw you, I have good reason to believe that the senator is a traitor, I messaged. Then I sat quietly waiting to see what the response would be. Since the case office didn’t deny it, he either knew or suspected it.
What makes you think that, he finally messaged.
The shooter informed me why he was hitting the senator.
I see, I suppose we need to bring some people up to speed, the message from the case officer said.
Thanks for the information. We can stop this at the source, i think.
Good for you, now if we are through I need to get back to my real life.
We are your real life the rest is the pretend life, but yeah we are through.
It was pretty obvious that they had turned the Senator. They were giving him a chance to cooperate. If he tried to double cross the agency, I would probably get to kill him myself. I would not lose a minutes sleep afterwards either.
We drove back to the Diplomat Lodge where I chanced from the running outfit. We quickly loaded the bags for the drive home. We did it so that we could leave DC before anything else happened.
Sylvia still had not spoken. I had no idea what her problem was, so I decided to let her work out whatever she wanted to say, and when she wanted to say it.
We had lunch at a fancy restaurant on the way out of town. I had a very small lunch. My excuse was that I didn’t feel well after the run.
I spent the next five hours in the car with the two of them. Since I had no idea what was going through Sylvia’s mind, I pretended to sleep most of the way home.
When we had the car unloaded I said to Peter. “Why don’t you take off? I’ll drive Sylvia home.”
After the five hour drive, in almost complete silence, he knew something was wrong. He didn’t even answer me, he just looked at Sylvia to be sure she was okay with him leaving, then he left quickly. My guess was that he couldn’t wait to get away from us.
“Okay Sylvia, I guess we need to talk. So while I make coffee, why don’t you tell me what’s on your mind?” With that I began the labor intensive job of making coffee. The coffee had to be strong for me to get much of a taste from it. So I fixed it the old fashioned way. I poured the store bought ground beans into a coffee pot with all the guts removed. Then I boiled the hell out of it.
After it boiled a few minutes I strained it through a paper coffee filter. The resulting coffee was strong as hell. It was also high in taste.
While I worked Sylvia sat at the stainless steel dining table with a look of almost panic on her face. When I had finished with the coffee, I figured she had enough time. “Okay Sylvia spill it.” I demanded. “We need to work through this silent treatment. We need to do it right now.”
“I don’t know what to say,” she replied.
“Does it have something to do with what happened last night?” I asked.
“Of course it does,” she said.
“So tell me what you are feeling. I have no idea what the problem is,” I informed her.
“You really don’t understand that I am ashamed of what I did last night,” she said.
“Does it bother you that I had sex with a complete stranger?” I asked. I wasn’t really trying to understand, I trying to get her to see what really happened.
“No, it wasn’t that you did it. It’s what you allowed him to do to you,” she said.
“Sylvia, he didn’t really hurt me. All the tears and whining were exaggerated. I have a very high tolerance for pain.” I said it hoping she wouldn’t realize that I hadn’t really felt anything at all. What he did to me should have been very painful.
“I am ashamed that I didn’t help you,” she admitted.
“You shouldn’t be. I could have stopped him, I just chose not to.” I admitted.
“I took my clothes off for a complete stranger, so that I could watch you have sex,” she said.
“There is nothing to be ashamed of in being a voyeur. It hurts no one. Actually I found it highly erotic.
“Maxine, I couldn’t help what I did. Seeing that man beating you while he had sex with you was so erotic,” she said.
“Don’t worry seeing you do what you did was the best part of the whole experience,” I admitted. “Now don’t worry it changes nothing between us. You don’t ever have to participate in that kind of thing. You didn’t last night and you don’t have to do it again.”
“Fair enough, and you aren’t upset by my lack of interference last night?” she asked.
“Honey, I would have been upset if you had interfered,” I admitted. Not to mention what the controller would have said, I thought.
You got that right, the message in my head said. What happened with that ass is just what we need from you. Well it’s one of the things we need.
“If you are truly not upset, I would like to go home,” she said smiling.
“No problem let me fix a cup of this coffee to go and I’ll drive you,” I agreed. I almost asked if she and Peter were fucking, but I decided that it was none of my business, at least not at that moment.
I put myself in power saver mode, while I turned on the cloaking device I had taken from Martin. It was meant for wireless microphones and probably wifi signals in general, but it seemed to have worked this mornings. Since the controller didn’t mention it, I wondered if losing the signal was all that unusual.
If the jammer truly worked it was going to make my life more complicated but also more interesting. Even in the fake body, I had no desire to be anyones slave. Well not unless it was sexual. even then I wasn’t totally sure.
After I did the analysis I turned the jammer off and went into what was my sleep mode. I just shut down everything which was non essential and vegetated until the sun came up.
I attached the mental computer in my head to the internet. The first thing I noticed was that there were only five more shopping days until Christmas. I knew that I needed to buy my friends presents, so that was my plan for the day.
After reheating the strong coffee, I drove to the sit down. I drove because it was raining. It wasn’t just rain, it was freezing rain. It came down as rain, but turned to ice when it touched anything. It was going to be a mess. Even so, I had things to do. I had put off the shopping way too long.
After I left the Sit Down, I drove to the mall. My walking that day was from store to store. There were some real advantages to being the new me. I could bring up mental images of the people on my list. Then scale the images so that I could tell what clothes would fit them. Even if it were not a perfect fit, I would be close enough. I also had the receipts in case they needed to be returned.
Helen, who had trimmed down, got a fancy sweater from one of the department stores. Jack her husband got one of the new do everything power tools from Sears. Lucas and Julie got a fancy table top convection oven. I knew that they were living together. I had no idea if they would marry or not, nor did I care. There were huge boxes of candy for my casual friends. I bought more than I needed just in case someone showed up.
I drove to the liquor store for presents headed to the Drugstore Townhouse occupants. Money in a gift card for the Timmie the manager of the Cloak and Dagger.
As I was about to leave the mall there was a kiosk selling fruitcakes. The sign read the world’s best fruitcake. I doubted it. I almost stopped to try the free sample before I realized that I wouldn’t know if it was or not. My taste sensors were not that sensitive. I bought a half dozen anyway. I never knew when a fruitcake would come in handy.
The last two real presents were for Sylvia and Peter. I rode by the Preacher’s bike shop. “Are you guys snowed under?” I asked when I met the manager.
“No, things are kind of dead right now,” he replied.
“Do you have a really good bike left?” I asked.
“Do you want a road or mountain bike?” he asked.
“I want a solid bike with a good motor,” I replied.
“Ah I have one that we converted to six speeds. We used the front shifter as a throttle. It’s really quite a good design.”he suggested.
“What’s the price on it?” I asked.
“Two twenty five,” he said.
“Can you make me two of them?” I asked.
“Sure,” he said.
So much for Sylvia and Peter. I thought.