Back in the garage, Stephen and Alex were starting to get used to the musky, dank feel of the old room and the man who lived there. They had spent the last two days going over their plans again and again. When Stephen’s phone rang, the combination of sleep depravity, caffeine and adrenaline caused all three men to jump at the noise. Stephen gave a small pump of his fist when he looked at the caller ID and saw that it was Reggie. After a brief conversation with very few words from Stephen, he hung up and rejoined the other two.
“That was quick. He has been following a cyber trail on all four of them since I gave him the names. They each had their own business and errands that they took care of, but nothing out of the ordinary according to the records that they found online. But yesterday, all four men had rental cars booked in their names. Reggie said it would have been a lot easier had they used air travel since then we would know their destination, but he had a backup plan.”
Stephen took down a dusty old map that Anthony had pinned to a cork board on the wall and placed it on the table.
“All four of these men live in different parts of the country. James Ellison, the tech guy from San Francisco. Marcus Matthews, pharmaceuticals from Chicago. Will O’Brien, military contractor from Washington, D.C. Lynn Peterson, Oil and Gas from Houston. Unfortunately, like I said, they all rented cars, so their destination could be anywhere. But any good private detective agency has contacts everywhere, and Reggie is one of the best. A few phone calls and couple of $100’s to some rental car companies and they were able to get tracking devices on each car. And surprise, surprise, each car ended up in the same place, a suburb right outside Denver. Each man then checked into different hotels in that same town using their credit cards again. Reggie was able to get a couple of his guys there pretty quickly. They have names and photos of each man, so they should be able to find them soon. They’ve been instructed to keep their distance and observe everything they can, then report back to Reggie what they find at the end of each day.”
“Oh, wow. This is really happening”, said Alex. “I know these guys are all acquaintances, but what other explanation would there be for all of them to be in a small town like that?”
Anthony was on the edge of his seat, elbows firmly on the table. He had been working towards this moment for so long, he didn’t know if he ever truly believed that he would get this close.
“We’re so close. I just know it. But I’ve got a question.”
Alex replied, “I’ve got a million questions, Anthony. What particular one are you talking about?”
“Well, the plan so far has worked. We know where they are. Now what? Kidnap them and ask them to pretty please tell us about their secret ancient organization?”
“I’ve thought about that”, Alex answered. “The way I see it, once these guys are in, there’s no turning back, right? But if what Nasir overheard was true, the part about ‘replacements’, then this meeting outside Denver is more than likely about some type of transition that is about to take place.”
Stephen looked at his friend in confusion. “What are you getting at?”
“Okay, I get it once they are in. They get exposed to this secrecy, power and money and it’s intoxicating. I can’t imagine what that would feel like, but I can imagine if I was in a group like that, it would be impossible to get me to turn my back on them. But imagine if you were a new recruit. Some guy that you’ve never met starts telling you about an ancient group that is secretly controlling the history of the world and wants you to join them. I don’t know about you, but I would need some convincing. But at the same time, the group has to make their approach at some point to their prospective new members. I believe that’s our best chance.”
A light finally clicked on for Anthony. “Yes! We keep an eye on these men, wait and see if they make any new friends over the next few weeks, then we make an approach of our own. I like it!”
Stephen wasn’t so sure. “Yeah, but why would anyone choose our side over joining a group that’s offering them unimaginable power and wealth?”
“It won’t be easy. I’m sure they’ve done their homework on their recruits, and will have a pretty good idea that their choices will say yes. But there are two types of people in the world. There are the people who will do whatever it takes to make it to the top in life. They want to join the most prestigious country clubs, attend the best parties and wouldn’t hesitate to join a group that is offering what ‘The Keepers’ can offer them. But then there are people like us. Pains in the butt who want nothing more than to blow up the plans of that first group. We just need to find one of our own among their recruits.”
Stephen still wasn’t sold, but he knew this was their only chance.
“Alright. I guess we have a plan then.”