The Dilemma continues! Check out the rest of the story by clicking the links to Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3. FYI I changed Agent Annabelle’s last name to Green. It occurred to me after I posted last week that there was a lot of Gray going on (not to worry, there won’t be 50 shades of it)…sorry if there’s any confusion.
A dusty one-lane road twisted along the top of a red-rock canyon, precariously close at times to the stomach-turning drop to my left. I drove, Agent Green rode shot-gun, and an impressive caravan followed. Several more agents in armored vehicles appeared and disappeared around sharp corners that wove around rock walls. One chopper stirred up dust in the rear. Countless invisible eyes marked our progress as well I had no doubt.
My left hand released its grip on the wheel. My fingertips caught a wayward tendril of hair and tucked it back behind an ear.
“Hands. On. The wheel.” Agent Green made the statement sound like a curse. I smiled at her white knuckled grip on the both door and dashboard.
“What’s the matter Annabelle? Don’t you trust me?”
This response earned me a look of pure venom.
I could laugh because despite what both sides believed, I still had the upper hand.
Agent Green had assured me that she had enough men and firepower to hold off anyone who decided to interfere today. I’d been instructed to go in, get Dr. Grayson, and return as quickly as possible. The agents would cover me.
I had a plan of my own.
When I pulled the car over on a patch of bare dirt and stopped, Agent Green narrowed her eyes.
“We’re almost there.” I said, motioning for her to follow as I stepped from the vehicle and walked to the edge of the precipice. “About a mile down there is where we’re headed.”
As I pointed over the edge I noticed Agent Green’s skin tone beginning to match her name. A few more agents had joined us by the time I took the first step onto the narrow, barely-visible foot path which switch-backed down the cliff face. They didn’t have much choice but to follow.
The chopper monitored our progress from a safe distance.
As we approached the entrance to my hideout I heard the whir of chopper blades intensify and glanced up to see two more airborne vehicles approaching fast.
“Good luck.” I yelled to the agents as I ducked inside the narrow entrance.
Gunshots exploded behind me, echoing down the tunnels ahead. I took the second from the right, trying to run as I stooped through the narrow opening.
Eventually the tunnel opened to a well-lit cavern where a wiry middle-aged man sat in a comfortable chair as his fingers danced between several different keyboards.
“Ms. Kenton?” He asked without taking his eyes from the screens.
“Yeah, lucky for you it is. Didn’t I tell you to hide if you saw the alarm?” I turned to the panel on the wall to my left and keyed in the code. The light set into the rock above the entrance stopped flashing.
“Didn’t you tell me you were the only one who knew where to find me?” He finally glanced my way, cocking one already arching eyebrow.
“You would make a terrible spy.” I replied.
“Alright Scott,” I said as I began to gather supplies. “It’s time to move, and fast. Take only what you need. Let’s go.”
Dr. Scott Grayson typed something on each keyboard, the screens simultaneously blanked, and then he picked up a small hand-held device that looked like his phone. He nodded.
“Really? That’s all you need?”
Dr. Grayson help up his phone and smiled.
“This can do everything.”
“Great,” I replied as I slung a pack onto my back. “Program it to get us out of here alive.”
“That, Ms. Kenton, is your job.”
“Yes it is.” I typed a few passwords of my own into the panel on the wall then led Dr. Grayson to the opposite end of the room from where I had entered. Flipping on my headlamp I led the way down one of two tunnels, which soon branched into three more.
I wished the agents well as the doc and I wove through the deep recesses beneath the rock. I had no intention of returning to the shoot-out, but I did hope Agent Green would survive long enough to make good on our deal.
“You’re not claustrophobic are you Scott?”
“A little late to be asking that now isn’t it Ms. Kenton?”
“Please, call me Karen.”
“Are we going to be in here long enough to make that necessary?”
“Yes, we are.”
I heard a long sigh behind me, but no complaints. Maybe this wouldn’t be so bad.