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Stories from the Verse
Chapter 121: Brown 148
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“Good morning,” C began. Derek nodded, absently looking out the window.
“This is going to sound absolutely ridiculous, but pack your bags, you’re going back.”
He turned and looked at C. “Back, sir?”
“To Romania. I know you just came from there, and it seems silly to have brought you back to London only to send you back again, but we have a new problem and they want your help.”
“I can’t imagine that they would want my help for anything. I thought most of the people in charge were pretty upset with me.”
“Well, that’s as may be, but in the brief hours that you’ve been gone, they’ve managed to lose the girl.”
“The ambassador’s daughter--what was her name?”
“Sammie--Samantha, actually, but Sammie for short.”
“Right. Anyway, she’s gone missing, and the ambassador thinks you might be able to find her.”
Derek shrugged. “I know the places she and Dorin went. I think they have all of that. I’m not sure what else I can do for them--I never actually followed her, only tracked her electronically.”
“I see. Well, we’re sending you anyway. Maybe you can’t help, but I have confidence in you.
“We believe she decided to go look for the boyfriend--Dorin, you said his name was?” Derek nodded. “Possibly she was grabbed by their agents, as they might think she knows more than we think she does. Maybe she simply stumbled into something she shouldn’t have. Anyway, that’s our working hypothesis--but we are not ignoring the possibility that Williams had an accomplice on the inside. We’ll send you in on one of your other passports--what is the American name?”
“Adams, sir. John David Adams.”
“John Adams. Well, it doesn’t sound very American to me, but it will work. We’ll arrange to send you to the American Embassy, tell them you’re there to help the British government with a classified problem. I can get the Reptile House team there to help you, if you need them. You worked with them before?”
It took Derek a moment to make the connection. “Oh, yes--well, no, not really. They picked me up in Brazil when I arrived and transported me here. I know their faces, and some of their names--not their real names, only one of those because I met his doppelganger in another world. I’m not sure--but of course I’m not sure. I don’t know what will happen when I get to Bucharest, but it can’t hurt to have them available.”
“Very good, then, I’ll tell them.”
“I should probably rig up some sort of alert system so they know to respond to wherever I am if I push the button--and maybe rig a deadman switch on it, so if I’m killed it rings.”
“The call button is a good idea. As far as the deadman switch, if you’re killed I’ll be alerted here, and I can have them respond to your last coordinates swiftly. I will be sure to set up a backup in case I happen to be away from my desk when it happens.
“All right, then, if there’s nothing else?” Derek shrugged and shook his head. “Let’s get you packed and moving.”
There is a behind-the-writings look at the thoughts, influences, and ideas of this chapter, along with twenty other sequential chapters of this novel, in mark Joseph "young" web log entry #265: Versers in Motion. Given a moment, this link should take you directly to the section relevant to this chapter. It may contain spoilers of upcoming chapters.
As to the old stories that have long been here: