Arabian Nights

Chapter 10: Into the Mancave

Booth went down to the mancave and booted up the little computer. It wasn't connected to the internet. In fact, it's only purpose was to record footage from the video inputs Max had helped him install. He watched himself toss his clothes in the direction of the hamper and go to take a shower and then a grainy Bones entered their room. The sound quality was better than the video.

"Christopher. I am ready to play a game with you." She spoke, it seemed, to no one, to the room, to the universe.

The phone in her hand rang.

"Hello?" Her voice was dispassionate. The next part of their conversation made very little sense to Booth but he listened intently.

"Yes, it took me longer than I would have thought also."

"In all fairness, if you consider that four essential components of a game are a goal, obstacles to that goal, a feedback system, and voluntary participation, the fact that you did not provide me with the goal slowed me down considerably."

"Yes, I suppose one could consider dead bodies feedback, although I object to your definition of voluntary."

"Yes. I am currently volunteering. To play a game that I designed."

"With you, yes."

"Yes, I designed it with you in mind."

"I hope so."

"The game will take place at the Jeffersonian. You may choose the time but it must be today and I must be able to get there before you, for reasons that will become clear when I tell you the goal. I will place a number of obstacles in your path and there will be feedback on how well you are doing in the game. And, of course, it will be voluntary, assuming you take up my challenge."

"The goal is to find the treasure. To be precise, to reach the treasure."

Booth felt sick as he heard those words. He knew, knew what she was going to say next.

"The treasure is me."

"I will expect to see you in 45 minutes then. The game begins when you enter the main doors of the lab."

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