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2 . 25 P.M


Derek and Imogen are standing under the manhole lid they had passed through to access the underground. They could see the about four men through the slits in the lid that covered the manhole. They were talking with the old curator. Moments later, a gunshot muffled by a silencer is heard. Imogen gasps.

“Shh-h” Derek covers her mouth. She makes the sign of the cross and prayed silently.

Overhead, the shadow of the men came into view and they could be heard talking inaudibly.

“Do you hear them?” he whispered.

“Yeah, they are saying something about receiving signal from a nearby GPS tracker. Any idea what that means?”

“They are tracking one of us,” he pulls out his phone and downloads a GPS scanner app from GS Tech servers. When the download is completed, he initiates a bug scan and runs the Smartphone over himself and Imogen.

“Give me that,” he points at her cell. She hands it over. He removes the battery and puts it in his back pocket. He runs the phone over her again and finally traced the signal to the gold pendant on her neck. He wraps it round his fingers and is about to yank it off when she stopped him.

“Wait. It’s from my dad, and he warned me never to take it off me, no matter what,” she protested.

“Can’t you see? It would eventually give us away! I would try my best to minimize the damage,” he said trying to convince the teenager who was still clutching the pendant to her chest.

“It contains a picture of my mum; she’s been missing for months and this is all I have to remember her with,” she said breaking into a sob. Derek heaved a sigh and edged closer to her. He lays his hands on her shoulder.

“I’m so sorry about your mother; I know how it feels losing your mother at such a tender age. My mother died too when I was pretty much young,” he said, finally getting her attention.

“How old were you then?” she asked, looking up at him.

“I was five. Train accident killed both my parents. Investigations proved that it was an engine malfunction.”

“Sorry to hear that. Is that why you became a tech engineer?”

He nods his head smiling, “You are a smart girl. I never let it get to me rather I channeled my grief to building and discovering how to make life safer and easier for other people. It wasn’t easy for me but I believed that only the strong-willed could survive with both parents dead. Now that has been the propulsive force that led to my success and I believe that wherever they are, they would be happy. Won’t you love your mother to be happy?” he asked, nudging her playfully.

“Of course I do,” she said, brightening up.

“Then you’ve got to be alive for her and that would be,” he opens his palms, “handing over the necklace,”

She hesitated, taking one last look at it.

“Come on,” he urged her.

She unlatched the necklace and gave it to him.

He studied it carefully. It is a pure golden necklace and the pendant was done with a convex glass, the picture of a woman was in it. She is remarkably beautiful and Derek could hardly get the picture off his mind.

He pulled his ring up to his knuckles and with it, bashes hard on the glass casing until it shatters. He sucked the trickle of blood on his knuckles.

“Aw sorry,”

“It’s nothing,” he said wincing. “You have a pen?”

“Yeah of course,” she said, groping in the pocket of her denim jeans and pulling out a Montblac pen.

“Careful, that’s a Montblac my father, gave me,”

Derek used it to pry out the miniature picture. He found what he was looking for, the small round metallic device. He quickly pulled it out and deactivated it. He hands it over to her.

“No, you can keep it. It’s a gift so don’t lose it,”

“Oh thanks. Okay, we’re good to go. Let’s get out of here before they figure out where we are.”

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