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Stories from the Verse
Chapter 133: Brown 154
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Thus Derek responded to the knock at his door, and was rewarded with Sea Turtle popping into the room.
“We have an address on Dalca,” he said, “and I knew you would want to be part of the planning session from here. Conference room,” he glanced at a wrist watch, “five minutes. Simpkins is already en route.”
“Thanks,” Derek said, glancing up from his laptop. “I’ll be there.”
As Sea Turtle left, Derek took one more look at his screen, thought about it, and closed it. At this point it was probably not going to matter. Out of habit he donned his apron with the darts, looked around the room trying to decide if there was anything else he needed, then decided to bring his laptop with him in case there was something he could do with it there.
He was plugging into the internal network in the conference room when Simpkins arrived; he greeted the security chief and took his seat. Sea Turtle was already there, and Chameleon entered before Derek could ask who else was expected. Sea Turtle apparently decided the chair was his, and began the meeting.
“I think we all understand the problems,” he began. “We have a last known address on Dorin Dalca, and a theory that says Samantha left the embassy to find him and was taken by Romanian operatives. That gives us a lot of holes. We don’t know whether Dalca still lives at that address. We don’t know that Samantha ever found him. Even if she did, we don’t know that she would be there now. Even if she is, we can’t really go in like gangbusters to rescue her--the United States and Great Britain would certainly recognize our actions as legitimate, but the Romanian police would be all over us in a minute.”
After a moment of everyone thinking, Chameleon spoke. “It seems to me,” he said, “that we need to find a way to scope the place out, to determine whether anyone is there, and if so who. But I’m not sure how we do that.”
Derek said, “I guess you guys don’t have drones.”
“What are drones?” Colonel Simpkins asked.
“Hmmm--hard to explain if you don’t have them. They’re essentially remote controlled miniature aircraft, usually with cameras on them. If you had a remote control helicopter with a camera, you could fly it outside the windows of the apartment and get a look inside through the glass--assuming the curtains aren’t drawn.”
“That’s a really brilliant idea,” Simpkins said. “Are we working on anything like that?”
“I’m afraid I don’t actually know,” Derek said. “Let’s just say it’s not my department. I presume you guys don’t have anything like that, either?”
“No,” Sea Turtle answered, “but I would bet that Komodo Dragon would love it. I’ll mention it to him. The parts are probably out there, it just needs someone to put them together.”
“Meanwhile, we need a quicker solution,” Derek said, “and that’s probably me.”
“You?” Simpkins said.
“Well, in a manner of speaking--it’s not exactly me, but someone named Theian Torenu Morach, who is also me, and he’s both more and less than an alias--he has no passport, and he doesn’t exist, and if you were able to find everyone in the world right now he would not be here. But I can become him, and he can do pretty much everything that a good drone could do. I just don’t like the idea of flying around the streets of Bucharest as Morach. I would want someone to come with me, and bring clothes for Derek and Ferris, plus several of my energy drinks.”
“Do you know what he’s talking about?” Simpkins asked Sea Turtle.
“In fact, I do. I’m just not sure that you’re allowed to know.”
“Yeah, I should have thought of that,” Derek said. “But really, who’s going to believe him if he tells?” Sea Turtle shrugged, and Derek continued. “I’m open to other suggestions. Anyone?” There was silence around the table, as everyone seemed to be trying to come up with an alternative. “Then I guess it’s settled. The only real question at this point is who comes with me, and I think, Sea Turtle, that’s for you to decide. I have to go get my things.”
He closed his laptop and disconnected it, then headed for the door. “Send someone for me when you’re ready.”
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 #269: Versers Arrive. 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: