Here’s the final chapter of The Dilemma. I hope you’ve enjoyed the story! If you want to read the whole thing here are the links to Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, and Part 5. Once I have a reliable internet connection I will compile the parts and make one document which will be available on the Writing page of the site. Thanks!
We stepped from the dark recesses of the caverns and tunnels to the chill air of a desert morning. The eastern horizon had just begun to bleed across the rise and fall of the sandstone landscape. I had never seen anything so beautiful.
A small cry of delight behind me made me smile.
“Do you have a signal?” I asked.
“Three bars,” Scott replied in a reverent whisper.
I soaked in the view while Dr. Grayson’s phone clicked and beeped behind me. After a few minutes the pristine landscape was marred by a cloud of dust rising on the horizon. It moved toward us at a rapid pace.
“You about ready?” I asked.
“Almost,” Scott replied. “Are they here already?”
“Well, someone’s coming and I really don’t want to wait around to see who it is.”
“O.k., message had been sent, I just need to run this app and…”
The dark blob beneath the cloud of dust began to take shape. What appeared to be an armored vehicle led a train of what I thought were military jeeps. No, make that hummers, shiny black flashy-rimmed hummers.
“It’s definitely not the good guys.” I said.
“One more minute.”
“We might not have one minute Scotty.”
A head popped out of the passenger window of the lead vehicle, followed by broad shoulders and a rifle, with a scope.
“You’ve got about five seconds.”
“Time to say a prayer.” Scott replied.
The crack of a gunshot rang out in the same instant that my entire body began to tingle.
Then the world disappeared.
When vision returned I blinked several times before my new location registered.
“Good to see you both alive.” Agent Green sat behind the long metal desk in her office, clearly alive and apparently unphased by our sudden appearance.
“Ms. Kenton, the fact that you disobeyed orders is no surprise and fortunately, the end justifies the means.” Annabelle Green shifted her gaze from me to Dr. Grayson. “The fact that you, Dr. Grayson, broke the terms of our contract is a surprise; a most unpleasant one. Would you care to explain yourself?”
One eyebrow cocked as I turned to watch Scott square his shoulders and meet Annabelle’s stare with a look of determination. I had to admit, it felt good to have someone else in the hot seat for a change.
“I decided that I didn’t want my formula to be a cause for global dissension. Science is more important than money, and advancement should not be held back by petty disputes. I leveled the playing field.”
Agent Green smiled a feral looking smile.
“I’m so glad to hear you say that Science is more important than money. That saves us from paying you.”
Scott nodded once and then there was silence.
“Uh, I actually disagree with Dr. Grayson on that point. I firmly believe that money is more important than both science and world peace. I would appreciate if you would transfer the remainder of our agreed upon sum to my account before I leave.”
Amazingly, Agent Green’s eyes narrowed even further.
“You’ll get your money Ms. Kenton. Now, if you’ll both excuse me I have a skype conference with about a dozen angry government officials.”
“Good luck!” I called cheerily as Agent Green departed.
She didn’t even get the satisfaction of slamming the door as it opened and closed automatically.
“What was that all about?” I asked Scott once we were alone.
“That first message I sent when we left the tunnels, that went to a large organization of scientists from around the world. Now they all have the formula for instantaneous travel over great distances.”
A slow smile spread across my face.
“I think I like you Scott Grayson.”
“Why thank you Karen Kenton.” Scott smiled back. “So, what are you going to do now?”
“Well, I’ll have to go into hiding for a while, at least until this tracer wears off. Which reminds me, I need to get this taken out of my arm as well.” I ran a fingertip over the raised bump in my forearm. “After that, who knows?”
“Sounds a bit like my work, you never know what’s going to happen next.”
“And that’s why I love what I do.”