By Cindy and Walt
For Eddie the day began with a shower while May continued to sleep through the sound of running water. She also slept through the sound of his rummaging around his back pack for clean clothes.
Eddie: If we hope to get home by noon, you are going to have to vacate the bed and occupy the bathroom. You aren’t exactly a model of efficiency are you now?
May: (eyes still closed) No, but the results are worth it.
Eddie: You got me there. I don’t dare dispute that. But you still have to begin. I am going to walk across to the restaurant for coffee. You can join me when you are ready.
May: You are not going to be the gentleman and bring coffee back for me?
Eddie: May honey, I can drink three cups, before you finish in the shower.
May: I like that.
May: The May Honey.
Eddie: (obviously embarrassed) That was a fatherly honey.
May: Boss, I’m just pulling your chain.
Wes and Salina began their day in an only slightly different manner. Salina was up and dressed without a shower. She and Wes began a power walk since the neighborhood with the downtown B&B was much safer than her neighborhood at home.
They returned showered, dressed, and made it into the restaurant just about the same time May entered the restaurant in the parking lot of the Motel 8.
Wes and Salina had a few more miles to navigate in order to get home, but Wes was a much faster driver. They both ate slowly but efficiently. They were ready to leave in well under an hour.
Mike was awake and walking around the garage. He saw his new scooter, his mothers mid size sedan, and his bike with the bent front wheel. He knew the old adage was true. He knew he had to get back on after his fall, but he was not going to get back on that bike. He had until noon, so he was going shopping for a new bike.
After he ate breakfast with his mother, he rode the scooter to work. When he arrived, he logged his personal tablet into the office WiFi, then began researching Craig’s List for a bicycle. What he looked for was one either close to his house in the suburbs or a bike close to the office.
The one he found was a 12 speed road bike that the owner claimed had been garage stored at his father’s house college. Well over ten years. When his parents had demanded he clean out his personal items, he carried the bike to his downtown apartment. It finally became obvious he would never ride it again.
Mike was up to riding his old bike ten miles, so he figured he could get the bike from downtown to his house about fifteen miles away. He might have to stop for a coke break, but he should be able to do it. He could get one of the guys to drive him to the seller’s apartment after work. His best guess was two hours to get it home the fifteen miles. That was with a lot of stop and go. He also had no idea how his injuries would affect him.
Since no one was about the office, and everyone was paranoid about the phones, he just left. He rode the scooter over to take a look. The bike was nothing special but clean and it was for sale. It also had the advantage of being in the right area, so Mike bought it.
The owner was in such a tizzy for the sale to go through he put the bike in his SUV and followed Mike to his house. Mike rolled it into the garage, paid the man then rode his scooter back to work. Even after all that shucking and jiving he got back to work before anyone arrived from their road trips. Lucille had called with a message for him to return the call.
Mike: Lucille what can I do for you.
Lucille: Where were you? We have agents in the field and you should be at your desk. You are our relay point.
Mike: Lucille they are both on the road driving. No one trusts our network so they are out of contact.
Lucille: Yeah I get that. You still need to stay around your desk in case of an emergency.
Mike: I had the ghost cell phone with me. I wasn’t out of touch. It is what we all are using to communicate.
Lucille: This is not up for discussion. Be at your desk from 8:30 till 5:00. Do you understand?
Mike: Yes Ma’am, I get it.
Lucille: Good have them call me when they are all assembled. We need to have a meeting. By the way, that was good work you did on compiling a probable location for Rose Seabold.
Mike: I’m almost 100% sure she is there.
Lucille: Just so you know that information is very sensitive. After what happened to you, you should realize that her life could be in danger. We need to get to her and get her into protective custody before the bad guys do.
Mike: Looked at his computer and had a fleeting thought. What if we are the bad guys? He had no idea what his information was going to be used for. He hadn’t even considered that the information might go to the wrong people. Shit, he needed to talk to Wes badly.
He spent the small amount of morning left worrying about what he had done. He realized then that the NSA had computers that could have done the same things he had done, if they had been looking. If it were a race they would have already won. The only explanation was that the NSA was not on the case.
So was it the legendary Wilson, the hacker for Swamp Dog? He wouldn’t need to hack her would he? More questions without answers. Mike needed to talk to Wes, and maybe even the boss to decide on his next move. He put his personal tablet online using the office WiFi. He figured it was okay since all he wanted was to play a game. He played a combat game which most likely would have turned Wes’ stomach. Well, not that so much as it most likely would have infuriated him.
At the sound of a car in the parking deck, he killed the game. Mike didn’t kill the connection to the net. He went instead to the weather channel’s forecast. The warming and sunshine was all over the screen when Wes and Salina entered the office.
Mike: Welcome home you two.
Salina: Thank you Mike. Now drop your pants.
Mike: I didn’t realize you cared.
It had been a gamble. Wes would either smile or knock hell out of him. He was doubly happy to see Wes smile. He was happy to see Salina Smile as well, but to a lesser degree. She smiled because Mike had changed so much in the last month. One could see his confidence grow with the start of every new day.
Wes: We have a message for you from the waitress at the cafe. She said to tell you she misses you and you are still the best she ever had.
Mike: You are kidding, right?
Salina: Yes, we are kidding. We told her our friend Mike said hello. She asked who, so I had to say the chubby geek with the Yankee accent. She replied, ‘oh him.’ (Mike looked crush so she went on). Geese Mike I was kidding again. She said to say hi for her and she hoped you would come again soon.
Wes: I think she has some new tricks to teach you.
Mike: Okay, that’s enough.
Salina: I wasn’t kidding about dropping your pants. I want to see how that knee looks. (After she cleaned and redressed it.) Not bad, but you probably would heal faster if you stayed off that scooter.
Mike: So you are saying I shouldn’t ride that new bike I bought.
Salina: Let your feelings guide you, but a few days off both of them couldn’t hurt.
Wes took the company car out to McDonalds to load up on salads and chicken nuggets. Since they have pretty good coffee, he also loaded up on that as well.
While he was gone Eddie and May came in. May had a very happy and contented look. Mike was sure it didn’t mean that she had sex with the boss, so he wondered who she did have sex with, or what else could make her glow.
Eddie: Mike how is the leg?
Mike: It’s doing fine boss. I even bought another bike.
Eddie: Take it easy, we don’t want a repeat of the last accident.
Mike: Right boss. (Then to May) Why are you looking so happy and contented?
May: When you travel with the boss, you get a lot of sleep. No bars and home by 9 PM. Next time I’m taking my car.
Mike waited until Wes came back, then had the pre-Lucille meeting.
Mike: I followed all the leads you guys gave me and I found her. At least everything points to her.
Eddie: That’s great so why do you look so worried. Do you think she is going to fight?
Mike: I would hate to think that the people who ran me off the road are the ones who are really pulling our strings, but they may be. If they are, I have given Lucille almost all the information they will need to find her.
Wes: What do you mean almost all?
Mike: She demanded that I give her all the information and she is your boss, boss so I couldn’t say no. I did sorta transpose the coordinates of the land Rose purchased. After she gives you the show and tell, I’ll give you the correct coordinates. If you are convinced Lucille or her boss are not the ones trying to harm her then I trust your judgment more than mine.
Eddie: Okay give me fifteen minutes to think, then call her and tell her we are ready for the lecture. While we wait for her lets all check our Wills.
Eddie’s last word should have warned them. He was seriously thinking of double crossing the committee. If there was even a hint that Rose might be in danger, he would personally help put her ass in the wind, yet again.
Mike called Lucille since he had been instructed to do so. He just didn’t do it as soon as the field people showed up.
The briefing began at 3 PM with Lucille standing in front of the five of them.
Lucille: Here is what we know. Iris Martin bought 115 acres of wilderness in Maine’s interior great northern woods. I checked the satellite view of the property and can’t tell she has done anything with it. She may or may not be living there. It’s pretty wild for a woman alone.
What she didn’t say was that the view was of the wrong piece of property. The reason she didn’t mention it was she didn’t know it.
Lucille: So now the question is, what do we do next?
Eddie: What makes you assume she is alone?
Lucille: If she is living with anyone it would be the first time.
Eddie: True, but it is also the first time she was gone, not just under the radar, but off the grid as well.
Lucille: It is a total change in her operational methodology.
Wes: We haven’t tied her to any wrong doing. All we have is that she was a bodyguard once for Church Camp.
Eddie: Mike, have we been able to come up with her connections with the police back in the day.
Mike: When the coppers went all national, they destroyed a lot of the local files. It looks like the undercover files of the State and local cops were among them. Nobody was sure what would happen to those files, so they trashed them to protect people like Rose who were no longer active.
Eddie: Then I suggest that Wes and I go talk to Rose.
Wes: It isn’t likely that she will lie down and spread her legs, but it is possible.
Lucille: We don’t have any leverage and it doesn’t look like we ever will. We should probably wait, but I doubt we will ever have enough to force her to talk, or enough for an arrest warrant. So okay go talk to her. Wes how long will it take to mount a rescue mission?
Wes: Rescue mission?
Lucille: Sure I’m worried about her safety aren’t you?
Wes: Now that you mention it, I guess we should make sure she is doing okay. I suppose anything could happen to her. I’ll get started organizing the rescue mission.
Eddie: We are not going in there with a rescue, or an extraction team. There is no creditable evidence that she has done anything illegal or dangerous. Rose Seabold or Iris Martin, she is not a terrorist.
Lucille: I can agree with that, so tell me what you think we should do.
Wes: Okay the boss and I will come up with a cover story. As long it is just the two of us, we can at least get an interview with her.
Lucille: Okay, I’m going back to my office. Just keep me informed.
Eddie: You know we have pinned a lot of hope onto the investigation of Rose Seabold. She might actually have done nothing other than that gig in the Caribbean. We don’t have anyone who says different and we have no hard evidence of anything.
Wes: Maybe we can flip her.
Eddie: You don’t believe that?
Wes: Of course not. So when do we leave?
Eddie: Nothing to be gained by stalling. We might as well get Mike to make the plane reservations.
Mike: So to what destination do you want me to book for the flight?
Eddie: You are the one who knows where she is.
Mike: So do I correct the record I gave Lucille.
Eddie: Let’s just let that one slip through the cracks for now.
Salina went back to the projects to check on her neighbors. When she got to her apartment there was a note tacked on the door.
Elderly lady: Miss Salina, the Manager of the building came looking for you. He told Rosa that you were being forced to move. If you move what will we do.
The note read: The United States Department of Public Health has investigated and is ordering that you cease and desist providing any medical treatment whatsoever on these premises. A copy of this notification is being provided to your parole officer. Expect him to contact you in the near future.
Salina: (into to phone) Wes, what the fuck is going on. (She read him the note).
Wes: I don’t know, but I am sure as hell going to find out. You do what you have to as far as the people go. I will do something.
May went back to her apartment before Salina’s situation was known by the team. She entered it and noticed things out of place. She picked up her phone and dialed the boss’ number.
May: Hi honey. I really need you, could you come over to my place right now?
There was urgency in her voice that convinced Eddie to do it. It took him fifteen minutes to get to her house.
When he knocked on the door she pushed past him and went down the flight of stairs to the street.
May: Someone searched my apartment while we were gone. I feel so violated.
Eddie: How obvious was the search?
Eddie: Did it look as though they were trying to find something or simply leaving you a message. Tossing your place is an easy way of letting you know that you are vulnerable.
May: If that were their intention it worked.
Eddie: If a pro were searching, they would have been in and out without a trace. So obviously they wanted you to know. If they wanted you to know, we need to play along. Call police non-emergency dispatch and let’s get a report made.
May: Nothing was taken.
Eddie: Sure there was, slip that necklace between the cushions of the sofa and report it as taken. I’ll make a call and have your place swept for bugs, both audio and video. They might just want some cheap porno. (Into his burner cell) Wes I need you to bring your bug sweeper to Mays place. After you do her’s then do everyone’s place.
Wes: We got more problems. The public health department shut Salina’s clinic down, and they reported her to her parole officer. It’s going to be midnight before I can get there with sweeper. I’ll call Mike to advise him I’m on the way tonight.
Eddie: I’ll call Lucille and tell her to get a Fed Police crew to sweep her house. You just do May and Mikes places.
Wes: What about your place.
Eddie: Unless they have some really sophisticated shit, I can find them myself. My equipment is down on the farm or I’d sweep May’s place. I’m going to take her to my place. You want me to have her leave a key under the mat?
Wes: Are you shittin’ me?
Eddie: Okay no key. The cops are going to go over it first, so make sure they are gone before you go in.
Eddie and May stayed until the cops left, then drove the over half hour to his mini farm.