Chapter 21

Rachel stormed out of the library, mostly for show, just to make sure that no one slowed her down with stupid questions about was she feeling well. She stamped to her car, slammed the door shut, and by the time she tire squealed out of the parking lot she was laughing to herself about how absurd she must have looked. She just needed to collect her thoughts, so to maintain a façade of frustration and anger served no purpose now that she was alone.

Stupid Carlton. That was the real problem. But not really, since he was totally clueless about what was going on. She drove carefully home, checking frequently for the plain sedan that was tailing her. Her body-guard, she rolled her eyes. She was involved is some highly sensitive work for the military so there were always people watching to make sure she was doing what she was supposed to do.

Stupid, stupid Carlton. Idiot. But that was rather harsh since he was really just a pawn in an over-sized game of chess. She had to keep him on track to make sure the computer system was fully ready for the start of the international linguistics symposium that started Wednesday morning. He better have everything ready or his ass was on the line.

Stupid, stupid, stupid Carlton. Moron! But that was totally unfair since he was just doing his job, and hers was the ass on the line. He had no idea that he had just built the brain for a secret military counter intelligence facility. He had no clue that the international symposium was just a ruse to make the installation seem legit.

She arrived at her rented town house and went inside. The plain sedan saw her go in. She would have to report right away, and she hadn’t quite got her story straight yet. She was regretting giving a top-secret classified thumb drive to a dumbass like Carlton, poor guy, and she wasn’t sure what the reaction from up top would be. She could lie about it. Tempting, but the words of her Pastor rang in her head, “There are no liars in heaven!”

She picked up her secure phone to call in and took a deep breath. Remember Rachel, she told herself. After Friday none of this will matter anyway. Stupid Carlton.

She dialed the phone, gave her clearance code, and asked to be connected with Agent Smith.

It turned out to be easier than she thought. Agent Smith already knew about how she stormed out of the library. Thankfully her misogynistic security detail had put the incident down to “women’s problems,” so she rode that story all the way to the end of the call. Always be a bitch when you have the chance to.

She went upstairs to her bedroom and turned on the TV, the radio, an oscillating fan and the shower. She peeled off her dress and hose as she did, and made her way to the walk-in closet. She had a plan for Friday, and she wanted to check her kit.

Rachel had not registered for World Monetary Union or received her tattoo yet. She had put it off and put it off with excuse after excuse. Time was running out. She had convinced Agent Smith and the higher-ups that she would take the last appointment on Friday afternoon, as soon as the linguistics symposium was over. She was a government agent with high level security clearance so compliance was expected, but Rachel was also a Christian. She had convinced the higher-ups that this was a good cover, since anyone who had known her in the past knew that she was a devout church goer. They were worried that she was just stalling and that she was going to try to do something to avoid her registration appointment on Friday.

Rachel searched the back of the closet and pulled out a slinky looking black garment. It was very heavy for its size because it was not fabric, but a finely woven Kevlar body armour. It was a tight squeeze but she got into it, like a wet suit with short sleeves and cut off above the knees. It would be quite hidden underneath a pant suit or any of the dresses that she normally wore. It was the best protection money could buy that could be concealed under a party frock. Next came a combination of guns and knives. Three guns and six knives to be exact. Two small pistols were in a cross-draw holster on her hips, with extra ammo clips. Then another pistol with a bit more heft in a shoulder holster. There were six throwing knives in a pouch across her belly. It was uncomfortable and hot. She figured on wearing go-go boots instead of heels, to conceal another knife or two and for traction if she had to run or climb. There were a few other accessories that she added, perusing herself in the full length mirror as she did.

By the time she was done she was ready for fight or flight, and she looked herself in the eye and vowed that she would escape on Friday, or die trying.

And then there was that stupid Carlton. She laughed out loud.

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