Henry Wood: Edge of Understanding Ch 40 pt 1

“I think it is going to be cooler today,” Associate 3 said, driving with his arm out of the window.

Associate 2 was looking over the plans they had meticulously crafted the night before and didn’t answer.  They had packed the tools of their trade and were ready for a tidy plan execution and extraction.

“Damn, it’s still there,” Associate 3 said as he pulled up behind the car from the night before.

They had talked about the car and decided it was as Palmeroy had suggested…nothing.  Now they were forced to consider the possibility that there was something else going on.  “Stay in the car,” Associate 2 said, getting out and added, “Keep an eye on the road.”

2 put on a pair of thing white gloves and put his hand on the hood.  It was cool to the touch.  “It’s been here all night.”  The glove compartment was empty, not even a registration.  He pulled out his notepad and jotted the plate number down.  The ash tray had Lucky strike butts in it.  Associate 2 moved to the trunk and deftly picked the lock.  The trunk didn’t tell him anything, so he closed it and gave one more walk around.

He bent down and looked at the footprints next to the driver’s side door.  There were only two, but he could tell the person had been wearing boots.  They looked liked a standard military issue, but he couldn’t be sure.  What he was sure of, this car didn’t belong here, and the owner wasn’t some kid out for a joy ride with his girl.  It was too clean.  He got back in the car with 3.

“Well?”

“I don’t like it.”

“You think the enclave sent a backup?”

“Without telling us…no, and how would they know about Mr. Palmeroy’s plan.  He called us and we haven’t reported in since we spoke with the director.  He expects us to finish this on our own.”

“If it isn’t a backup then what in the Sam Hill is going on?”

Associate 2 didn’t answer, because he didn’t want to say what he was thinking.  They haven’t sent a backup…they’ve sent a cleanup team. He said, “Keep going, find another spot,” when 3 had arrived at the spot they’d parked the night before.

“I’ll circle around and see if we can find something on the other side of the estate.”  He drove for thirty more minutes before finding a suitable spot.  They didn’t need to talk and each man gathered up brush and branches to hide the car.  Associate 2 sensed that 3 had arrived at the same conclusion about the other car.  He hoped he was wrong.  If he wasn’t, his years of dedicated service to the Enclave, were coming to an end, and possibly his life as well.  It was a shattering thought.

Associate 3, sensing something needed to be said, “I don’t think the director would turn on us.  There are explanations we haven’t thought of, so I’m cautious, but not worried.”

“You keep talking like that and I may be reporting to you soon.  You make a good point.  Let’s do our job and let our training and wits win the day.”

They grabbed their gear and made for the wall they would scale to get onto the massive property.