Inside Myth's lab he found the petite, spritely girl had donned a lab coat which trailed down to her knees. She stood behind a shiny, stainless steel table, built to accommodate her height, but clearly adjustable. It was below Taylor's waist, but just under her chest.
“Are you OK?“ Taylor asked, remembering his thoughts about Myth wanting to go to the party and why.
She didn't look up from the gadget, dissected out on the table that she was trying to reassemble with a pair of delicate forceps and a needle-tipped solder gun. A thin stream of smoke curled up from the guts of the gadget and circled playfully around her face, fogging up the left lens of her glasses.
“I'm fine.“ Myth said, somewhat grumbly.
Taylor sighed. “You don't sound fine. I know what's bothering you.“ He saw what she was working on clearer now, she was doctoring an iPhone 6. “Is that for me?“ he said suddenly remembering why Izzy had sent him in the first place.
“Eh? Oh. Yeah. Izzy said you needed a phone.“ Myth said, “And there's nothing you can do about what's bothering me, Taylor, so please don't bother.“
He couldn't help but feel she was right, there wasn't anything he could do. Winston would listen to him if he tried to talk Myth up, but it wouldn't make Winston like the girl. Besides, Taylor knew Winston was very caught up with Agent Alexander. He actually talked like he had a chance with the severely pretty NSA agent.
“Yeah, I guess not. But I'm your friend and I wanted you to know that.“ Taylor said, trying to sound reassuring.
Myth cracked a little smile, looking up from what she was doing and more smoke curled around her face, it was eerie. "I know we're friends, T.“ She said, “T” much as Winston would have only with sarcasm. She giggled a bit. Taylor did the same.
“True. I wish things were different for both of us, but maybe it's better we don't get what we want, maybe if we did we might not have so much to look forward to.“
“That's bullshit and you know it Taylor. Neither of us would feel that way.“ Myth replied. Taylor had never spoken of his feelings for Izzy to Myth, but somehow she knew.
Maybe it was part of such feelings that you could spot them easily in others. And she was right. It was bullshit and he did know it. He had strong feelings for Izzy, but he would never be the kind of person whose life would revolve entirely around such feelings. If next year or the year after he happened to be dating Izzy, it would magnify Taylor's other goals and desires, not stall them.
Something lifted from Myth, she grabbed a cloth and wiped at the accumulated fog on her glasses and gently with the other end of the cloth on her eyes. She leaned back down and expertly popped the two remaining outer pieces of the iPhone together with a hard click. “There!“ she exclaimed.
“What all can it do? You know besides iPhone stuff?“ Taylor said his hands literally itching to play with it.
“Right now? Nothing.“ Myth said snickering. “But when I've loaded the new OS on it, it will be able to transmit on IR and RF frequencies, red/blue laser, and even remote magnetic striping. A hacker's Swiss army phone!“ She held the device up and pointed to a little quarter inch wide strip near the bottom on the back of the iPhone which was a different color than the otherwise slick metal backing.
“You can magnetize cards with it!“
Taylor was blown away. In his hands, and maybe Winston's and definitely someone like Philomena this iPhone would be very dangerous. Myth plugged into one of the two computers in the lab and pressed a few buttons on the computer's keyboard. “Give it about two minutes and then it's yours.“ she said cheerily. “I'd been working on this design for weeks, for you.”
“Myth, seriously, I don't know how to thank you.“
She blinked uncertainly. “Don't thank me. It was Izzy's idea. She said you'd need something. I just designed it.“ She shrugged. Taylor looked away, the surging feeling of pleasure of knowing Izzy had thought of him, had gotten Myth to give build an iPhone for him must have been plain on his face. He would feel guilty if Myth saw that look on his face.
“So, great, you're really OK then?“ Taylor said, looking around the lab, anywhere but at Myth.
Myth tutted impatiently. “Yes! Geez. OK. It's done. Here ya go. I gotta get this stuff in order. See ya later, T.“
She snickered and waved him off. Taylor walked out into the hallway and nearly ran smack into Sue-Ann.
“What are you doing Taylor?“ Sue-Ann said, an exquisitely shaped eyebrow arched.
Taylor swallowed, sure somehow Sue-Ann knew everything he had just been saying with Myth. More: that she even knew everything he was thinking at that moment.
“I was just checking on Myth, she was a bit sad, you know because the Society is done. I thought she might need help with her lab.“
Sue-Ann harrumphed. “Of course. Well, I trust that she's fine now?“ She didn't wait for an answer. “Great. You should be going now, shouldn't you?“ She seemed a bit distracted, maybe even nervous, her stare as intense ever.
“Um. Yeah. I'm going. Thanks. Um. Yeah. See ya, Sue-Ann.“ Taylor mumbled. She had already moved on, apparently put Taylor out of her mind that quickly. She disappeared into a little side room between Myth's lab and the HQ, off the hallway. Where Taylor thought Mrs. Jones kept a small study. Taylor hustled back into the HQ.
Winston still hung around the HQ, typing away before looking up and staring for longer moments at the monitor in front of him. Lou and Izzy were not around, although either girl could still be elsewhere in the mansion.
Mrs. Jones trundled into the HQ shortly after Taylor and promptly began to hustle the boys out.
“On Miss Thing's orders, sorry, boys.“ Mrs. Jones said with a wink, although whether she meant Isabel or Sue-Ann, Taylor had no idea. She called down the hallway for Myth, who came out, still in her white lab coat, pockets and backpack bulging, a sad wistful expression on her face. She only just got her lab and now she was being kept from it. That sucks.
Mrs. Jones followed behind them as they left the HQ and shut the doors, swiped a plastic card in front of an innocuous looking panel causing a barely audible click. “Not that it does any good, but you know how those broads are...“ she said barely under her breath, definitely loud enough both Winston and Myth heard. Mrs. Jones apparently knew as well as they did any of the three of them could get back in that room any time they wanted, as long as they were already inside the mansion. And of course Winston could without even that. Together, there was really no way she or either of the other women could keep the Society members out.
Taylor frequently found himself underestimating how smart and ballsy Mrs. Jones is, she tended to be so low-key, what June Zachary would call earthy he would lose sight of the fact she was extremely clever and quite observant. Mrs. Jones looked from face to face and concern shone in hers for a moment before she smiled, a mischievous smile which would have been appropriate for someone half her age. Still fit it her well.
Mrs. Jones dangled the key card in front of the three teens and said, “Well. Now you all get going. I won't be bothering to check up on this room for the next few weeks, since the old broads will be off in Europe and elsewhere,“ She waved the card again, “so, I'm going to put this card in the knickknack drawer in the kitchen where it belongs, if you could be so kind as to let Izzy know?“ She reached out with a bony hand and pinched Winston's cheek, hard. “Now that's a good, handsome boy. You all be safe getting home, OK?“ She giggled in a very girlish fashion and trundled off towards the kitchen.
It seemed they weren't really going to have to give up the HQ after all.