Friday, March 23, 2012
Episode 6: Tea Time Tactics
ForeCross Publishing - London
"What seems to be the problem?" Ethan asked as he entered the office of Quentin Forsythe. His brother, Kevin, was already there standing by the large window staring out at the London skyline. "It's not very often you call for a pow wow."
"I've been concerned about Michela for awhile. Her behavior had been erratic. That's why I've been having people watching her," Quentin said.
"Getting your toes wet in the spy game, Quentin?" Kevin asked.
"Out of necessity, I'm afraid," he answered. "But I did discover something. The Legacy knew something like this might happen."
"Something like what?" Ethan crossed his arms over his chest. He was afraid he already knew what Quentin was referring to.
"One of my sources relayed information to me. Michela has had some sort of mental break. They think it's due to some experiment they did on her years ago. Something called Nightingale."
Ethan sighed. "Do you think it's from one of my father's experiments?"
"Dad would never do that to Michela," Kevin said. "She was like his own daughter."
"Dad experimented on Ian when he was sick. I wouldnt put it past him to do something to Michela."
"I've arranged for you to meet with my contact inside the Legacy. Maybe she can shed light on why this happened to Michela." Quentin handed Ethan a business card for a tea room on the other side of London. "Have an afternoon tea and buscuit on me."
Ethan caught his drift. Speaking about Legacy matters even in his office was dangerous.
"Thanks," Kevin said, swiping the card out of Ethan's hand. "We'll take you up on that. I am feeling a bit parched."
Alison Corday observed Ethan and Kevin leaving ForeCross. Bette Marstan was also waiting in the shadows. She observed Bette for some time while the Fairchild brothers met with Quentin. She was making a newbie mistake. You didn't tail a person that closely.
At the next block Ethan hailed a cab. Bette tried to approach them but Alison ran into her knocking them both to the ground. Bette was new to the Legacy so she wasn't yet familiar with everyone who worked there. Alison opened a secret compartment in side her ring an pricked Bette in the forearm. The substance on the pin took effect in seconds. The ring was pretty old school, but these days sometimes low tech was the best way to go.
Bette slumped against Alison. She smiled at people passing her on the sidewalk. "She's fine," she told them. "Just a little too much wine with lunch."
The people stared at them oddly but kept walking. Most people didn't want to get involved in the lives of strangers.
Alison hailed a cab and shoved Bette inside. She gave the cabbie directions to Bette's flat. When she woke up, she wouldn't remember anything about the last forty-eight hours.
The London Tea Room was a quaint shoppe hidden among a row of brownstones. Mile Ferguson shoved her suitcase under the table with one foot while wiping her tears. The Tea Room was so bustling no one noticed a sad young girl sitting in the corner. The waitress sat a cup of steaming tea in front of her. She thanked the woman and began sipping at the beverage. She watched the crowd and wondered if she had enough money to return to America. She knew too few people in England and wouldn't dare ask anyone from the Ambrose estate to assist her. She hadn't exactly left there on good terms.
Ethan and Kevin Fairchild entered the tea shoppe a few minutes before four. Mila didn't recognize them, but she could hardly keep her eyes from the two rugged men who claimed a booth two tables away from her.
They waved Alison Corday over to them and she quickly joined them.
"What's all the cloak and dagger for? You couldn't have discussed this back at HQ?" Kevin asked.
"We know there's something on the inside. A person? A faction? We don't know. But they're getting to our agents. Phelps and Charlie Christie showed up DOA last week at a London hospital. We have to be very careful who we trust. Someone's coming after us individually."
"Phelps and Christie? They're legends," Ethan said. "If they can get those two, they can get to anyone."
"That's why we're meeting here. You're more vulnerable than any of us. Those nanites may give you cool powers, but they also can drain you to the point of death if we're not careful."
"Plus, he's been hacked once," Kevin said.
"That's not good," Alison said. Those are the types of vulnerabilities they're attacking. Michela thinks she's seventeen because of a screwy flaw in the Nightingale programming."
"We'll need to get back inside Legacy Headquarters and check this out," Ethan said.
"It won't be easy. Chandelor Knight has appointed Liz Hunter as the person in charge. She's even above Fouts. She's put HQ on lockdown."
"Isn't she the kid that Moses extracted from Echelon not long ago? I thought she was sent to deprogramming," Kevin said.
"Yeah, Bellingham Psychiatric Hospital. The Legacy runs it on the DL. That's where we also sent her partner, Marcus," Alison said. "Word is she wants him back in a bad way."