“I can’t say that I do either, but we have the intersection and there are only four possible choices, well figure it out,” 2 said confidently.
“Don’t you remember the course on emergency check-ins?”
“No. And why is this an emergency?”
“It really isn’t, but as far as we’re concerned, but that is where the Director told us to go.”
3 considered this for a half block and then asked, “Are you sure it’s safe?”
“Since we’ve been partners I’ve always been able to count on you to give it to me straight without any sugar coating. It’s been a rough week and I’ve never liked that quality in you.”
Associate 2 smiled.
Three of the buildings on the corner had brass plates with the dates of their construction. The first one read “1908,” but it wasn’t the date that was of interest to 2, it was the screws that held it in place. They were typical flat head screws and he was looking for something a-typical. 3 had no idea what they were looking for and didn’t ask. The next building was no different, in that 2 scanned the plate and moved on. 3 followed.
“See here, the screws?”
Three looked at them, “I’ve never seen anything like it. Who has a screwdriver with a “Y” tip?”
“Okay, so this is the building. It looks to be about dozen stories high. What’s next?”
“We figure out the office number.”
Three showed very little interest in being given an Emergency Check-in tutorial, in part, because he knew how much 2 loved giving them.
2 continued, “The top left screw indicates the floor. The tail of the ‘Y’ points to a clock number, which corresponds to the floor.”
3 leaned in, “7th floor, got it.”
“So, what is the office number?”
“You are very annoying. It looks like 718.”
“Listen, you need to buck up, I have no idea how this is going to go. The attitude stays here,” he said in a tone that 3 didn’t question.
“Sorry. Let’s go. Do we drink the tea, if they offer?”
“I’ll drink first, you pretend. If I fall off my chair, do your best to throttle the Director. After that, well, you’ll be shot, but it’ll make Enclave history.”
“Yeah, but I am the asshole who let you take the first drink.”
“I know,” 2 said, smiling.
They took the elevator to the seventh floor and got out. There were offices lining both sides of the hallway, but all the numbers were odd. On their immediate left was 701 and across from it 703. This went all the way to the end of the hall when it finished with 717 and 719.
“Maybe the screw has been turned and it is one of these?”
2 didn’t think so, but saw no harm in trying the knobs. Neither one opened, and then he chuckled. “I think we have found the door.” He ran his hand under the edge of the credenza and found a small button. The end of the hallway swung open. They walked through into a small room with a single door. The brass plate read, “718”
“Do we knock?” 3 asked.
2 used the traditional knock and a metallic clicking sound let them know it was okay to enter. The next room contained two door, one with a sign, “Emergency Exit” and the other “Emergency Check-In”, they turned to the right. This door led to a long hall that seemed to head all the way back to where 703 had been. Obviously, the entire floor was the Enclave’s. 2 knocked on the last door, which had a brass plate that read “The Director”
The Director sat behind a desk made of concrete. The room was entirely concrete and had blue lighting that ran around the room. On the right side of the room, there was a large obelisk that highlighted the fact that the ceiling was 16 feet high.
“Gentlemen, please have a seat.”