My Last DayDan Absalonson / Science Fiction
My Last Day
* * * * *
My Last day
Copyright © 2010 by Dan Absalonson
All rights reserved. Without limiting the rights under copyright reserved above, no part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in or introduced into a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form, or by any means (electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise) without the prior written permission of both the copyright owner and the above publisher of this book.
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, brands, media, and incidents are either the product of the author's imagination or are used fictitiously.
* * * * *
Dedicated to my wife Kadi and son Seth, who slumbered as I typed out this story.
* * * * *
My Last Day
* * * * *
My stomach hurt for two reasons. The crook I was waiting to ID was on a delayed flight, and I was on my fourth cup of coffee. Coffee will do that to me when I drink too much, but I've got this problem; I can't pass up a good deal. I mean come on, a refill for a quarter of the price? Who can say no to that? But the extra java wasn't helping my already spent nerves, and once his arrival time had passed, so did my ability to relax.
I wasn't used to working in the field anymore; but I took this beat for a reason. It was my last day on the job, and last chance to get intel on a group I'd been trying to bring down for a long time. If anyone was going to ruin my chance at a strong finish, I wanted it to be me. Besides, an old guy is much less conspicuous then a hardened field agent.
I looked up one more time to the screen displaying the list of flights. There it was, blinking in a menacing red glow; delayed. I could feel my pulse beating in time with the seven bright letters; like when you notice the wipers sync with the music in your aircar. My eyes were just about to attempt the news again, when it stopped. No more blinking, but a new word in calm static green; arrived. Now I could feel my heart speeding up, and as it went into my throat, I mumbled under my breath, "Here we go!"
Muffled voices began to float my way from the grey tunnel beyond the arrival gate. Soon a thick crowd poured out into the terminal, like eager shoppers on Black Friday.
According to a Jay Murdock we arrested the night before; he was supposed to be on this flight wearing a black leather jacket. I was here to see if that was true; and haul the guy in if possible. I had Murdock's phone and car. He was a transporter, whose impersonation I was hoping to pull off. If all went well the criminal would get in when I pulled up, thinking I was whisking him off to a safe house. I tried to look like I was reading the news on my tablet while sneaking looks through the crowd. I was about to give up and take another sip of coffee when I spotted him near the end of the parade. With the click of a button, I had a snapshot of his face. I couldn't make my move until his identity was confirmed in the system.
I left the remains of my tan cooling coffee, and with quick strides made my way to the transport. As I walked, I sent a message to my friend and best field agent Nate. With the photo attached, I requested that it be verified with facial recognition software. I received a message back just as I swung open the transport door.
It's him Matt, verified and all. Move forward as planned.
I jumped in, buckled up, and started the thrusters. While lifting away from the docking bay, I reached for the glove box and pulled out a thin piece of latex. Wrapping it around my neck, I waited for his call. An unfamiliar ring sounded, and I lifted the phone to my ear.
"This is Murdock," I said.
"I'm here, where are you?" a voice barked through the tiny speaker. I hoped the modulator wrapped around my neck was calibrated well enough to fool him.
"I had to park at the waiting dock, since your flight was delayed. I'm on my way."
"Fine, just hurry up. I'm out in the open here!"
I hung up the phone, and pulled the modulator from my neck, thankful that Nate had rigged one up in the car so I wouldn't have to keep using it. No one likes a sweaty neck.
Nate was really into gadgets, so he was thrilled I let him take care of the transport. The modulator he put in would change my voice when I used the communicator to speak to the back seat, which was separated from the front by thick durasteel.
It was a vehicle used to transport questionable people, kind of like a private taxi service for bad guys. It was a dangerous business, but highly profitable. These drivers were highly profitable to us for intel, but we could never get enough evidence on one to make an arrest. Luckily, a guy we had been trailing was caught picking up someone on our wanted list. It turned out this driver had plans with a man I was trying to track down. When we got it out of him who his next pick up was I was glad we had his car waiting for us in the impound. After Nate looked it over, he told me the car's rear compartment was set up so the passengers couldn't see the driver. It was easy to plan what came next. The only way this guy knew who would be picking him up would be from the car and the voice; pretty smart for a criminal transporter to come up with a business model that included his anonymity as part of the deal. You wouldn't want a problem with the kind of people he drove around.
I landed the craft just in front of my guy. One thought burned in my mind; he would tell us everything he knew about his employer. I would make sure of that before hanging up the badge and eating cake at my retirement party tonight.
He was in the back seat in a flash, with a black leather briefcase that matched his coat. Once in the back, I could only see him on a little display screen. It was mounted on the dash and hooked up to a camera in the back seat. As we flew off into the pale morning sky, he watched the cracked street shrinking away through dark tinted windows. In my mind, his chance at escaping had a nice correlation with his view of the street. We didn't talk for a while, but I needed to choose a sky lane, so I activated the vehicle's com.
"I'm going to need a destination."
"Go to the University District, 5004 N. E. 17th Avenue."
"We will be there shortly."
I released the talk button and turned on the com unit in my ear to relayed the message back to Nate.
"I've got location of Holyfield's destination, copy?"
"Have location, copy that, ready to receive."
As I gave the address, my excitement grew exponentially. Usually I was a stickler about radio chatter, but I couldn't help myself.
"This could really be it Nate, on my last day!"
"I know, we're all excited for you here, the decorations around the office look real nice."
"Is that so?"
"Oh yeah Matt, I asked them all if they knew who the party was for, didn't think they'd go to all this trouble for a guy like you."
"Shut up Lowell, are they really decorating the office up?"
He laughed, "they sure are."
"I can't believe it. Ok, enough chatter, I'm slacking in my old age."
"Alright old timer, is that it then?"
I paused, trying to get my bearings, and said, "No. There's more, just give me a second to think through this."
The line was silent.
"Alright listen, I want all active men to move in on that location, and search the place."
"I know what you're thinking, but he's on our wanted list, that should help. See if you can get a search warrant by the time our people get there. I'm going to bring him in, and try to get some information out of him."
"Copy that captain. Balloons and everything, I mean it's really ni..."
"Shut up Nate, get those men moving."
"You got it boss."