To say Sebastian was confused would have been a massive understatement. His initial reaction was that they were joking with him. But it didn’t take long by looking at their faces that he knew they were deadly serious. After realizing that they weren’t joking, he still didn’t know how to react. Alex and Stephen had suspected as much, so Alex spoke up next.
“Sebastian, I may have misled you in order to get you here tonight, but you have to know my reasons are sincere.”
“May have?”, Sebastian asked. He took his time looking from Alex to Stephen. “And you. Are you even a journalist?”
“Yes, I am. That part was the truth. Alex and I worked on a story years ago and have been friends ever since. He shared his theory about this a few years back, and we have been working on it in our spare time. I don’t blame you for being upset with both of us right now, but you have to know this. ‘The Keepers’ are real. I was skeptical about them at first too, but recent discoveries and events have proven without a doubt that they are out there.” Stephen looked at Alex before continuing. “Not only do we have evidence of their existence, but we also have reason to believe that they are going to be approaching you in the coming days about joining them.”
Alex and Stephen didn’t say anything for a while, knowing that they had dropped a bomb on their young friend. The fact that he hadn’t already left was a good sign, but the look on his face told them that they had a lot more convincing to do.
“You say you have proof. What proof? And how am I involved?”
Alex hesitated before answering, knowing they were at a point where it was put up or shut up time. They were risking everything by telling him all that they knew, but at the same time, without being completely honest with him from here on out, they would never gain his trust.
So they did just that. They told him everything. They told him about Anthony, the garage and the first decoded message with ‘The Keepers’ names and recruits. Then they told him about Reggie and his crew and how they got their hands on the second list. The list with Sebastian’s name on it. They even told him about their own surveillance outside his apartment.
“So that whole accidental meeting at the bar. That was all planned? Jesus. And I actually thought you wanted to be friends. You’re a pretty good actor professor.”
That remark stung Alex, but he knew he had it coming. While he hated having to lie to the kid, he also knew that it was necessary.
“So you say there was an SUV with two people outside my class building. But that you never actually saw them near my apartment?”, Sebastian asked. “You don’t think it’s possible that you guys are being a little paranoid? I mean, there are SUV’s all over the place if you hadn’t noticed.”
“But it matched the exact description of the SUV that was following Anthony on the interstate.”
“Anthony. You mean the conspiracy nut that you say hadn’t left his house more than a handful of times this decade? And this is also the same guy that you got the original names of these so called ‘Keepers’ from right?”
Alex and Stephen had to admit that wasn’t a strong argument.
“I’m sorry guys. I can tell you two are passionate about this, but this is crazy. Sure it’s fun talking about the possibility of a group like that. But to actually consider that they not only exist, but are going to ask me to join? You can’t possibly expect me to go along with that.” He grabbed his jacket from the couch and headed toward the door. “Honestly guys, this was entertaining. And Alex, maybe I’ll see you around campus or at the bar sometime. Stephen, it was certainly interesting meeting you. But this is too much for me. Good luck.”
With that, their best chance at exposing ‘The Keepers’ to the world walked out the door. They knew convincing Sebastian was going to be a long shot, but hearing him dismiss their proof so quickly was definitely demoralizing. If they were right, then Sebastian was about to come face to face with the reality of ‘The Keepers’ soon enough. They just hoped that they had done enough to persuade him to join the right side.