The mission seemed pretty straightforward… go in, grab the good Doctor Ingles, and then hightail it out of there. However, some things nagged at the pit of my stomach about this... the good old boys from Down Under calling one of their best teams out of retirement for what would be considered a Code Yellow cake run… the mysterious e-mail to me that cost me five grand worth of equipment… the deletion of my friend Frank Heimdal, the man who supposedly sent me the e-mail about this whole “Archimedes” gig. There was much more to this, but I just couldn’t put my finger on it. I needed to figure things out quickly, because…
“We’re here”, Pariah announced to the group as we passed a highway sign that said:
“Welcome to Aurora, Pennsylvania, Home of Aurora University”.
The knot in the pit of my stomach tripled in size, and the concern blazingly shown upon my face. Alexis leaned over to check on my status.
“Are you alright, Dante?”
“Oh, uh… yeah, I’m fine. Just finishing up this report”, I hesitantly replied.
Alexis looked over my shoulder, as she read the last part of my report to herself:
Once I get back on my feet again, I'll try again... I have to know what “Archimedes” is, because they pissed me off... They basically made me frag about 5 grand worth of equipment in the process of covering my backside, and since good equipment is hard to get a hold of these days, they're going to have to pay for that... one way or another.
We now return you to your regularly scheduled program, and other.
“You know,” Alexis said calmly, “you really should stop with that whole ‘and other’ thing… it gives you away when people put things together”.
I hit the Send button, and the cell modem attached to ‘Camy’… that’s what I named my top of the line laptop computer… did its magic and sent my little note for discreet distribution to the rest of “The Employees” at the Foundation.
Alexis lightly touched my shoulder, knowing my personal investment in this mission’s success. “Frank will be proud of you when we complete this mission. His death won’t be in vain”.
I knew that she was just trying to comfort me, but the attempt failed miserably… it just made me more intent on getting this done and over with so I can get some measure of satisfaction for everything that had happened, and made me think about Frank again.
Frank and I had started playing The Game at the same time, and we went through what would be considered basic training… the introductory training and “Rules of The Game” explanation. Although we went our separate ways for specialized training, we kept in touch and got together to catch a few baseball games live at different stadiums when time, and mission parameters, permitted. Those games were our personal “time out” from The Game, and probably kept us sane to boot.
Pariah pulled the requisitioned van into a dive of what would superficially pass as a motel… some rat-trap at the edge of town and away from curious eyes. As we checked in, the manager gave us an unusual look, but that was probably because there was one beautiful woman checking in with five men.
We made our way to our rooms, where several packages were waiting for us. Within the packages were the items that we had requested for use on this mission that our benefactors had graciously allowed us to use. Also included was a dossier on one Doctor Herbert Ingles so thorough that we knew what times he went to the bathroom in the past week. We studied the dossier completely, trying to figure out any patterns in his lifestyle that would help with this mission… and one popped up.
According to his credit card records, it seemed that the good Doctor liked to rent some motel time every Friday night… the kind of motel that rents by the hour. We decided on a two-pronged attack: While Pariah, Apex and Alexis secured the doctor, Rook, Used and I would get the “Archimedes” file from the lab’s computer at the college.
It was pretty simple… pretty straightforward… by the book… and time for me to have some fun.