Master PC – Mind Magi
Part One – The Mind Magi Council
Chapter Eight – Agents and An Aggressor
The lobby of the hotel seemed brighter than it had when I left that morning. It could have been the light heart I felt, the song in my head. It certainly wasn’t because of the two men in suits approaching me.
“Mr. Setton, we would like a word with you.”
I stopped, looking at them. “Who are you?
Both of them reached into their jackets and pulled out wallets. Holding them open, I saw the FBI logo on both IDs. “I am Special Agent Conway and this is Special Agent Ellison. If you would come with us, we have some questions we would like to ask you.”
“I won’t agree to anything until you tell me what this is about.” I was worried that Agent Davis had maybe said something about me she shouldn’t have or, worse, Agent Marks somehow remembered everything that I had changed in his memories.
“We cannot discuss this matter here. We have a private room reserved here in the hotel. Again, we only have some questions.” They put away their wallets and I could see the hand grips of their weapons. I really didn’t like it.
Renée was still at the coffee shop. I thought to her, ~Hate to break the mood Lover, but two FBI agents want to talk to me.~
~Have they told you why?~
~Can you tell if they’re lying?~
~Not as far as I can tell now. I’ll go with them and play it by ear. If you don’t hear from me in the next few minutes, get to Erin and Chloe and get out of here.~
~I don’t like it, but okay.~ Renée knew that I could take care of myself. She also knew that I wasn’t infallible.
Agent Conway continued to talk in a relaxed tone that suggested he was only doing what he was supposed to, but Agent Ellison was stone cold and silent. He wore the cliché sunglasses even inside the hotel. I looked back at Conway. His eyes looked hazel but could have passed for green. I wasn’t sure if I could trust either of them because this may have been some kind of toned down “good cop/bad cop” routine for public viewing.
Worst-case scenario, they had someone waiting in the room who would either drug me or worse once we went in. Otherwise it could be just as Agent Conway was saying, simply them wanting to ask me some private questions.
My adrenaline was beginning to pump. I was getting ready for a fight, but instead I steadied my nerves. The FBI wasn’t any worse than normal police. They didn’t do the whole ‘bag-n-grab’ bit seen in movies.
I nodded to Agent Conway. “Lead the way,” I said with a surprisingly steady tone.
He turned and started walking to where the private rooms were. Agent Ellison watched me as I started to follow. Apparently he was going to take up the rear. That made me nervous again. I glanced around, looking for signs of other agents who may have anticipated my reluctance. I didn’t see anything but that didn’t mean they didn’t have something else planned. All the memories of tactics and training I had gotten from Agent Davis told me that there were more ways than force to get what they wanted. Again, it was my paranoia driving the ideas. Movies can be so misleading.
Agent Conway stopped and opened the door. I moved through it expecting to fight off whoever was waiting but was relieved to find no one else there.
The Agents came in but before Conway closed the door he asked, “Would you like anything to drink Mr. Setton?”
“No, thank you. I’m fine. Could you now tell me what this is about?”
Agent Ellison went to the corner of the room and stood there like some kind of proverbial badass. Agent Conway held out a hand, inviting me to sit down as he took a seat.
I took the seat he indicated. I was facing the door and both agents. I didn’t see any way anyone could surprise me. I let Renée know we where we were and that it looked like everything was going just as they had said it would.
“Mr. Setton, you do recall some months ago your participation in the capture and testimony of Victoria Lasarge?”
“Of course.” I wasn’t going to tell them that I had just spoken with her father about that very thing earlier.
“This morning at approximately nine A.M. Eastern time, she escaped from the maximum security facility she was detained in. We feel she might come after you or anyone close to you to exact revenge.”
That made some sense and didn’t. Victoria had actually felt remorse over what she had done. If anything, I was more concerned with her former Vikkor personality resurfacing and remembering the Master PC program. If that happened she could do more than exact revenge on just me and mine. “How did she escape?”
“We’re not exactly sure. Normally I wouldn’t be allowed to tell you, but from what Agent Davis told us, you could be very useful in her capture again. As far as we know, she just disappeared. Nothing was damaged, nothing was out of place. She simply wasn’t in her room when they had morning role call.”
“Is it possible she might have slipped out through a pipe or some back room that had a bad lock or anything?” I was hoping for a mundane escape, something the FBI could handle.
Agent Conway shook his head. “The guards were very thorough about their checks. If either of those were the case, we would be on her trail now and not asking you for your help or to have you go into hiding.”
“If I’m in hiding, how would I help find and capture her?”
Agent Conway just looked at me. “You may have come highly recommended by Agent Davis, but I cannot actually use you to find Ms. Lasarge. I’ve looked into your records and you’ve done nothing more significant than graduate high school. You have to understand my position. Ms. Lasarge is considered extremely dangerous and I cannot put you in that kind of risk.”
“It’s not just me that is in danger. It’s everyone. Did they ever tell you what those dangerous chemicals were?”
“No. There was no need. I know what Anthrax can do…”
I cut him off. “It wasn’t Anthrax.”
Again he just looked at me. I could tell this was his blank stare, but I could still feel his doubt of what I knew.
“It was a virus, Agent Conway, a virus that could kill a man in minutes. A highly contagious virus specifically designed to kill all men, and I mean that literally. All Men! She has had a lot of trauma and had been seeking revenge, but the focus of that was the male gender, not just the specific men who had hurt her. If she has the opportunity to make that virus again, and she is intelligent enough to have memorized the components, then you, me, Agent Ellison over there and all other men are all in the very real danger of being dead even if no where near this woman.”
I sat back hoping that something I said would sink in. Conway continued to give me a blank look, but I could tell by his eyes that he was worried.
“She was intelligent. We were told that. However, this still doesn’t explain how she escaped or where she is. Nor does this increase my belief that you would be any real help to us.”
“Then let me show you what my help involves,” I said as I stood up.
Agent Conway stood up too, certain that I was going to do something stupid. It wasn’t me he had to worry about.
So upset that he didn’t have any faith in what Agent Davis had told him and the fact that Vikkor had escaped from prison, my adrenaline was pumping more than adequately for me to cross the room and put Agent Ellison to sleep before Agent Conway to get out any warning to stop me.
By the time Conway had said something, but was still looking at where I had been sitting, I was standing next to him with a hand on his arm.
“Agent Conway. You have to understand that my involvement is almost a must.”
He was startled to find me next to him rather than still across the table. He looked past me and noticed Agent Ellison on the floor. “What did you do?” Conway asked as he pushed past me and went to check on Ellison.
“I put him to sleep, that’s all. He’ll wake up in a bit as if he had just had a nice nap.”
Agent Conway looked back at me after confirming that his partner was merely sleeping. “How…”
“It doesn’t matter. You’ve done your job. I know now. Thank you.” I turned to leave.
“Wait!” Conway called. I stopped and turned back to him. “If you can do this…” he was still shocked at what happened, “then maybe I was wrong.”
“Did Agent Davis tell you how I helped her?”
“No, and when I asked she refused to answer. Something about a promise to you.”
“Exactly. And I am now going to hold you to the same Agent Conway. You and your partner.”
He looked down at Ellison again. “You could have killed him. You could have killed me.” The realization of what kind of danger they were in around me started to hit home. “If you had to help capture Victoria Lasarge before, I don’t know how we’ll do it again without your help.”
I nodded. “I don’t kill people Agent Conway. I don’t feel the need to. Not even with someone who might come around seeking revenge, because there are worse things than death.”
Conway swallowed audibly. He had been a cool and collected Special Agent when we met. Now I was the calm one and he was shaking like a leaf.
“I can help you but I need to make some arrangements first. Some people I live with could also be in danger. I need to contact them and have them go into hiding. We had arranged this already just in case something like this ever happened.”
Conway nodded. “How do I contact you?”
I pulled out one of my business cards. “Got a pen?”
I had left my cell number with the agents and walked out.
~Ral, what did the agents want?~ Renée asked.
~To ask for my help. It turns out that Vikkor has escaped from prison.~
I got no response back from Renée for a minute. Finally, she asked, ~Did they say how she escaped?~
~All they know is that she wasn’t in her room for morning role call this morning. There was no obvious signs of a break out or anything.~
~How’s that possible? She’s not allowed a personal computer or laptop.~ She was thinking of Vikkor’s use of Master PC. That woman had been extremely skilled with that software.
~There’s also the fact that I had removed all memories of the program from her. If she remembered something or her Vikkor persona gained control again, she could very well be on her way back to Texas.~
~I’ll call the store and have everyone hide. Is it possible she would know you are here in New York?~
~I seriously doubt that. She might know her father is here and if he called the facility right after our conversation she might have put it together.~
~When did they say she went missing?~
~Nine A.M. this morning.~
~But that was before you talked to Lord Lasarge. He wouldn’t have found out about her escape yet.~
~Unless what we saw was a front and he somehow arranged to help her.~
~Get to Erin and Chloe. They need to know what’s happening.~
I could get to them faster than riding the elevator, but during my mental discussion with Renée, I had already arrived. I focused on Erin. She had I had shared that same telepathic aspect to our bond longer than any of my other girls. The problem was, she wasn’t responding. I didn’t feel anything wrong from her, it was like she was asleep.
I knew Erin and Chloe would be wound up while waiting for me. Something was wrong. The alert of Vikkor’s escape had me on my toes. I opened the door to my suite and moved across the room. To anyone else it would have been like the door just opened of its own accord. To me, it was like walking into the room while time was frozen. I was moving that fast.
Erin and Chloe were lying on the floor as if they had fallen wherever they stood. There was a young woman standing next to the door wearing what amounted to a cat suit. Her dark brown hair was pulled back tight. She looked no more than twenty and had a slight tan. Her face was pretty but not one I recognized. I couldn’t see her eyes very clearly from across the room, but I had a feeling there would be opportunities for it in a moment. She could have passed for any college student but she was in my apartment.
What I found most strange was that her hands, feet and face were all bare. I couldn’t understand why she hadn’t completely concealed her body because she would easily leave prints on anything she touched, and I would recognize her too. She had a face I wouldn’t forget. Not only because she was pretty, but also because she had attacked those I had sworn to protect.
I slowed down across from her, with enough distance between us that I would see her coming long before she took a step. “Who are you?”
She looked around and found me. “You! Now I’ll show them… I am worthy!” I had no more than noted the lack of any accent and she had stepped to launch herself at me.
Ready for her move, I simply stepped aside and watched her slow progress through the air. When she landed and turned, I was standing where she had started.
“Tell me who you are and I’ll go easy on you,” I warned.
Again she came at me, not jumping this time. She was faster than anyone I had met before, but my own speed still exceeded hers. She came at me with open hands, as if she were going to swipe at me with her nails.
Having moved around her already, I looked closer. There was nothing odd about her skin or nails, so I wasn’t sure what she could do. Knowing some martial arts my self, I didn’t recognize the attack so I had to assume she merely wanted to touch me. I could keep her from doing that, but the problem was I needed to touch her to command her to sleep.
She turned slowly, looking for me. I kept moving around the room and chose to come up behind her. Apparently she expected this and spun. I noticed the move happening and ducked under her wide spread arms. In the same motion, I grabbed one of her covered ankles and pulled the foot out from under her. Immediately I let go. She fell to the floor and was stunned.
I put a finger to her temple and commanded, “Sleep!”
Instantly she collapsed.