Monday Evening; Wonder-Tech Tower
DL had even called in Massacre for this. I wasn’t a fan of that choice, but it wasn’t my show, either. After I had laid out everything I knew, “I’m to bring the prototype for the charger to this address. I’m guessing that’s where they are keeping the core.”
John was leaning up against his workbench. “Do you think this is two dissenters from the army going AWOL or do you think the general is in the know, too?”
It was tough to say. My gut told me the government was always involved in such things, yet General Whisant seemed too level to get involved with a plan to blow up an entire city. Haphazardly, “If I was to make an educated guess, I think Esposito and Pabon are rogues on their own. This feels too much like an extremist attack, not a government sanctioned op.”
“I agree.” Wonderton turned to PJ, “We’re going to let Jericho steal and deliver the prototype to them. You and I will act as his backup. As soon as he delivers it, we pull him out and take the rangers head on.”
“These two are just regular soldiers, so it shouldn’t be too much trouble, right?”
He shrugged at my question. “It is tough to say, Jericho. I get the feeling there’s more to Esposito and Pabon than we realize.”
“John,” PJ spoke up. “Not to add to this, but we should probably go out and see if we can find that Cieslik kid. The local Leo’s aren’t having any luck.”
Wonderton rubbed his temples. “You’re right. Plus he was my employee and a good guy. Let’s suit up. Jericho, you sticking around to stay on comms?”
I had nothing else really to do and secretly, I was beginning to enjoy the work. “Yeah why not? Plus, if you don’t mind, I’ll look at some of your other gear and see what I can do.”
He picked up the Lion Claw. “I don’t think that’s a bad idea. This turned out fantastic.”
It didn’t take long for the two of them to get ready and hit the streets. The moment they were gone, I routed everything to my tablet and took the elevator to R and D. I wanted to see this charger that had everyone so jazzed up. The offices were locked, but that was no problem. A quick burst of polarity quickly unlocked the floor, giving me access to everything.
I figured Jenkins kept his most top secret work in the back lab and sure enough the charger prototype was there, under a glass housing. I was quite surprised to see a man like Jenkins come up with something so advanced. He didn’t seem capable. I manipulated the key lock pad and the housing lifted up, giving me access to the prototype.
Upon inspecting it, “Phil, how could you overlook that?” He had crossed the positive and negative intake wires. I grabbed the stabilized tweezers from the table and made the change. When he fired that thing up tomorrow, it was going to work like a dream.
My eyes drifted around the room, seeing all the exotic trinkets Jenkins was up to. Wonder-Tech was mostly a cell phone manufacturer with dabbling in other ventures. Some of the things Jenkins was developing seemed way off base. But before I could investigate, I got buzzed in by DL. “Jericho, we have a potential lead.”
How could that be? Acting cool, “What’s up? Do you need me to look into something?”
“Can you pull up a residential security camera that is adjacent to the Cieslik residence? Police didn’t notice the owner of the house had one, but I did.”
Swallowing hard, “Yeah, send me the address.”
A few seconds later, the address popped up on my phone and I entered it in. The security company had a pretty flimsy firewall to keep hackers out, so I was in without a problem. I scrolled through the footage on my tablet to the night in question. You could clearly see Cieslik get out of his car with his wife and then stumble around as she entered the house. A figured then rushed him and subdued him. From the vantage point I had, you could almost say it looked as if Cieslik got tased.
And that’s the story I was going to go with. “An unknown assailant appears to surprise him and used a taser on him.”
“A taser,” DL mumbled. “That reeks of military. Why would Esposito or Pabon abduct the guy that was working for them? Maybe Erin had a change of heart?”
There was a change all right, from living to dead. “The only way to find out is to confront them. Maybe we should go to the address tonight?”
“No.” He sounded sure in his answer. “They might not even be there. We have a plan and it’s a solid one. Even though I don’t like the idea of you going into the field, let’s not deviate this late in the game.”
With nothing left to do, we shut down the comms. I went back upstairs and was getting ready to call it a night when I got the hankering to do something. There was a pair of old goggles setting on a shelf above the workbench. They’d look as if they’d seen a lot of battles; scratches and chipped paint covered them.
I flicked the toggle switch to on and the eyes flashed for a minute before shutting off. I figured these weren’t going to be getting any use, so I put them in my bag. I kept a pretty bare bones apartment, but I had enough tools to mess around with these and see if I could bring them back to life. Plus, it’d keep my mind going until tomorrow. With a new project in hand, I flicked the power switch to the secret room off and headed on home.
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