Michael took a few moments to clear his head before his next appointment. It had been really hard to keep focused on work these last few days. Mitch
had given him plenty to think about and no matter how hard he tried, he couldn’t stop thinking about Sarah. He reached into his desk drawer and
pulled out a bottle of whiskey. He opened it up and took a big swig, not even bothering to use a glass. This was his last appointment of the day, as
soon as it was done, he would meet up with Mitch and see how their plan was going. That would make him feel better, some action. He never was one to
sit around and wait for things.
Mrs. Trench knocked on his door and poked her head in. “Your last appointment is here, Michael. Do you want me to send him in?” Michael lowered
his head for a moment and tried to get centered before he replied. After a moment, he looked up and shook his head yes. The sooner he got this done,
the sooner he could meet with Mitch. That was the only thing on his mind right then, meeting with Mitch and saving his wife.
Michael looked up as Mrs. Trench opened the door. A young man walked through with a small package in his hand, great, another student looking for an
internship. Michael was just about to dismiss the lad when he stepped forward and held the package out for Michael to take. Unsure of what to do,
Michael grabbed the package and looked up questioningly at the boy.
“That is a gift from a friend. This friend wishes to remain anonymous, but is a friend just the same.” The boy moved his way around the desk and
took a spot right next to Michael. “The gift comes with a message that I am supposed to give to you verbally. I will only say the message once, and
because of its importance, your friend asks that you have paper and pencil ready in order to write it down. Once you write it down, you are supposed
to memorize the message and then destroy it. The message is important because without the message, you will not be able to use the gift. Do you
understand these instructions Michael?”
Michael nodded his head in affirmation and grabbed a pen and some paper from his desk. He scribbled down the message word for word as the boy relayed
it, and as soon as it was given, the boy left. Michael stared at the message he had written down and then looked at the package sitting on his desk.
He had no idea who would give him this, and after a moment decided that he would take the box and message with him to show Mitch, maybe he would know
what to do.
He put the message into his right shirt pocket and grabbed the package off the desk. Heading out the door, he saw Mrs. Trench messing with a pen as he
said his goodbyes and walked out the door.
Mrs. Trench was standing outside Michael’s office. She had left the door slightly a jar so she would be able to hear what was said. She hated spying
on him like this, he had been her boss for several years now and he had been a good one. But the Bauyer institute had made her an offer that she just
couldn’t refuse and when it came right down to it, family comes first. Her son had been in The Program for a few years now under the prisoner
rehabilitation act. When they approached her and told her they could get him an early release, she had no choice but to say yes. He wasn’t supposed
to be released for ten more years, but they said if she did this one little thing, they could have him out in six months. And that was all it took to
get her to agree.
She grabbed a pen and piece of paper when the kid told Michael to do so and tried to hear what he was saying as he relayed the message, but was only
able to catch a few words. She noticed the pen she was using had the Bauyer institute symbol on it, which she thought was ironic. Did she mistakenly
take one of their pens when she met with them the last time? No, she hadn’t needed to write anything down. They must have planted it there. She
unscrewed the cap and saw a small device set firmly inside the spring. They were spying on her, she should have known. Not exactly sure what to do
with it, she screws the top of the pen back on and sets it back in the holder.
After Michael leaves, she picks up the phone and dials the number they had given her when she first agreed to spy for Bauyer.
“Hello, Mr. Tysdale, this is Gloria and I have something to report” The man’s voice on the other end was always muffled, you couldn’t really
tell if he was young, old, or anything about him. Gloria always wondered if he used something to make it that way. And he always spoke as little as
possible, which made making the phone calls even more uncomfortable then they already were.
“Report” Is all he said. Gloria takes a second to gather her thoughts. There was always a moment of reluctance before she said anything, and as
soon as she had enough nerve, she proceeded.
“I don’t have much to report, couldn’t hear the whole thing. A boy came and dropped off a package. He gave Michael a message verbally and I was
only able to catch a few words. The words were: ATS, code, and mailbox. That is all I have.” Gloria knew that the man wouldn’t say anything
further. He never said thank you or alright, or anything at all after she reported in. And after a few seconds all she heard was dial tone. It
didn’t matter though, all she had to do was wait six more months and her son would be free. She would take him and leave this town, go somewhere and
start fresh. No more spying, no more reporting, a brand new life for her and her boy.
She reaches into the fridge and grabs a bottle of water, for some reason, that is all she wanted to drink lately. She didn’t know why as she usually
would drink soda or juice. Although they were advertising it more on TV lately, maybe it was all that subliminal messaging stuff those people on her
website are always talking about. It didn’t matter, it was better for her to drink water then pop. She would have to start a thread about it though,
just in case it was some big conspiracy. They loved talking about things like that on there. And it was her favorite way to wind down after a hard day
If only she could post what she really was doing on there, then maybe they would notice her a little more. She takes a moment to think about all the
stars and flags she would get. No, they wouldn’t believe it anyways. It’s always “Pics or it didn’t happen” or “I think you need to
unplug for a little while”
Maybe she would start a thread anyways, she could always put it in the short stories section, no one reads that forum much anyways. And she should
definitely try to document what’s going on, you know, in case they try to off her or something, and then at least there would be some reference to
Before she leaves, she grabs the pen from out of the holder and puts it in her purse. She would put it the microwave and nuke it when she got home.
That’s what they said to do for the RFID chips on the website, maybe it would work on this too. Either way, she would have proof that what she said
was true when she posted her thread. She might even take a picture or two and post those up as well. That would definitely get her some stars and
Gloria locks up and starts her three block walk home. Thoughts of her boy, the Bauyer institute, and the website she visits occupying her mind.