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Tea for Two
I woke. I was never really asleep
anyways, considering that I had been hit with the butt of a rifle I was probably
unconscious. I tried to remember my dream, but the pain in my forehead made
sure I didn’t succeed.
So instead I concentrated on where I was. The room
was Victorian, and had thick shag carpeting that rose up to meet my ankles.
Actually, I was surprised that even after I'd insulted White and taken a shot
at him that he didn’t torture me and stuff me in a port-o-potty or something.
I sat up, producing another wave of pain.
"So you’re up." I gasped,
looking around the room for the person who had spoken. I found her sitting on a
chair twenty feet from my bed.
"You have a meeting with Mr. White today, you
won’t want to miss it." The woman spat.
I massaged my forehead. "So where
am I?" I questioned.
The woman laughed and pointed to a pile of clothes
lying on the floor. "Get dressed and I will escort you to the grounds." She
smiled a fake, toothy smile and left the room.
I only now noticed that I was
no longer wearing my stealth clothes, instead a robe was tied around me--hugging
my skin. I got up from the bed. The pain was almost unbearable. Each step
brought a new wave of pain--like a steady beat played on a drum.
floor there were two piles of clothes, one I recognized as my stealth suit. But
the other pile was a top-of-the-line brand new tuxedo--no doubt this is the suit
that White wanted me to wear. Hastily I put on the tuxedo and headed out of the
"You look very nice in that suit." Suddenly the woman who had woken
me up had appeared right in front of me, and was now admiring my suit. She
gestured with her hand.
"Right this way sir."
Before I could protest,
she had grabbed me by the hand and was now leading me toward the east wing of
the house. We went through a closed door, a deserted corridor, and through a
screen door. Soon I had grown nauseous and was thankful when the woman stopped.
"Mr. White will see you soon." She smiled another one of her otherworldly
smiles and left me alone.
I sighed and looked out to the huge garden that
now engulfed me. There were multiple walkways, with dozens of tiny garden
lights lining the sides. Hundreds of different plants and trees covered my view
of the other end of the garden.
But I’m not here to look at gardens I
silently notified myself, and began looking around for any ways to escape
from--wherever I was and contact the CIA. But of course, I found none. So
instead I decided to try to navigate through the endless garden. So I quickly
took one of the dozen or so paths and followed it. Now when I said that the
garden was huge, that was the largest understatement of all time. The garden
was--at the very least--gigantic, hulking, towering, galactic, and in the
dictionary of a first-grader, very big.
After a very long time walking
through the garden I pushed past a pile of Poplar trees and into a large, cement
floored clearing. Nothing was in the clearing except a small, round table in
the very center. This, I assumed, is where White wanted his little "chat". I
made a move to go to the table but stopped. I had heard voices--or so I had
thought because as soon as I strained my ears to hear them again, they were
gone. But that didn’t discourage me, I crept along the bushes trying to figure
out where the voices had come from. Finally, after two times of creeping around
the clearing I could hear the voices coming nearer. Although the voices were
far away, I could still hear bits and pieces of the conversation.
"Yes.....payment.....soon......Striker.....revenge." Then I could hear the
other voice say. "Payment?......soon?.....revenge.....project striker......the
Unites States?" A laugh.
Suddenly I wanted to know what project Striker was
and what it had to do with the U.S. I wanted so badly to get closer and hear
the entire conversation but I suddenly noticed the voices getting closer and one
voice saying, "We will meet again in an hour, goodbye." Then there was a
rustling about five feet away and footsteps told me that someone--most likely
White--was coming my way. Quickly I got up and bolted toward the table, then I
sat down panting heavily. Seconds later White stepped out from the rows of
bushes and sat down opposite me.
Once he sat down, he ushered into the
bushes and a French maid appeared carrying a polished silver tray of tea cups
and tea. She quickly set it down on the table and scampered away, her
high-heeled boots sounding like gunshots on the cement floor. White poured
himself a cup of tea and began to take long sips from the cup. I smiled back at
him, poured a cup of tea, and put it to my lips. In return, I made long fake
slurping sounds. I hadn’t drunk any tea, in case the man had poisoned it.
He stopped drinking and looked at me. An eerie expression--like a cross
between anger and joy--was glued to his face.
"So" He said in a delighted
voice. "So....how much do you know?" I looked at him for a moment and pondered
on the question before answering.
"I know enough to get you locked up until
your skin rots on its bones." I lied. Actually I didn’t know enough to put him
in jail for five minutes, let alone a lifetime.
He laughed. I could feel
the color draining from my face as if someone had just pulled a plug. I knew
the laugh, the very same laugh had been on the cell phone message. I now had
enough information to put him in jail for twenty years--maybe more.
don’t know who you’re messing with Stem," He said with a sneer. "That
organization you work with can’t touch me," He chuckled. "nor can the police."
He snapped his fingers and two muscled bodyguards emerged from the bushes.
One bodyguard put his arm around my neck and pulled. The other bodyguard
held down my legs so I could not thrash and kick. White smiled like a boy on
"And do you know why they can’t get near me?" I couldn’t speak
even if I had wanted to. The arm grew tighter around my neck, surely the bone
would soon collapse under the pressure. White glanced at me. Then he sighed
and flicked his fingers. Instantly, the bodyguard released his grip.
"Now," White took a swig of the tea. "please answer my question." I
frowned and collected all the saliva in my throat, hauled back, and spit. The
sickening ball of phlegm landed between White’s eyes. He casually brought up a
handkerchief and wiped the thing from his face.
"You’re going to wish you
hadn’t done that." He said with a smile.
"Oh really, and why is this?"
He clicked his fingers and the two bodyguards held me down again. "Because I
was hoping not to kill you, but you have left me no choice." He clicked his
fingers again and the bodyguard holding my legs pulled a needle from his utility
belt and ejected a tranquilizer before I could fight back. I groaned....and the
world went black.
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