The Keepers

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Chapter 56

Sebastian, still wearing his blindfold in the passenger seat, could finally feel the car come to a stop. When he heard James turn off the engine, he knew they were at their destination.

“You can take that off now”, James said, taking the blindfold and putting it in the middle console of the vehicle. He studied Sebastian for a few moments before continuing.

Sebastian was too busy taking in his surroundings to notice. They were parked in a wooded area just on the edge of an open field. There was a huge silo about fifty yards ahead of them with a small building to the left of it. He didn’t know exactly what he was expecting to see once they arrived at their destination, but this was definitely not it.

“You’re about to enter the first phase of what I call the ‘trust zone’, James said. “You’ll eventually be all the way in, but it will take some time. ‘Baby steps’, you could call it.”

As Sebastian was trying to decipher what he meant by that, James got out of the car to stretch his legs. Sebastian got out as well and waited to follow James’ lead.

“Now, it’s highly unlikely that you’d be able to find your way here on your own. Even if you did, there are at least three tracking stations that you would have to pass to get here. With that being said, we can’t get started with your training without you being here, so consider this your first test.”

James started walking towards the silo without saying another word, so Sebastian had no choice but to follow him. As he did, he searched the area for any type of surveillance or tracking equipment and could see nothing. If James was telling the truth about the tracking stations being all around, then they had done an exceptional job of camouflaging it.

When they first started walking in this direction, for some reason Sebastian assumed that they were going to the little building to the left of the silo. Instead, James walked to the side of the silo, removed a metal plate that was on the side, revealing a digital keypad like nothing Sebastian had ever seen. James entered a series of numbers, then placed his eye near the keypad for a retinal scan. When nothing happened, Sebastian assumed that something had gone wrong, but James stepped to the side about three yards and pressed on the outside of the silo. A hidden door popped open, and James held it open for Sebastian to enter. Seeing no alternative, he walked right in.

It was pitch black inside but he could see tiny green flashing lights against one wall. When James closed the door behind them, he hit a light switch, illuminating the whole inside of the silo. Sebastian had never been inside a silo before, but he doubted that any looked like this. There were rows and rows of servers on two of the walls and on another wall was a table with several monitors sitting on top. In the middle of the room were plain old fashioned metal file cabinets. They seemed completely out of place in here and Sebastian couldn’t help but wonder what was inside.

“Take your time, walk around and get comfortable with the layout. This will be your base of operations from here on out. The little building outside is filled with multiple backup generators. Most of your time will be spent in the outside world, but you can consider this ‘home base’.”

Sebastian did walk around for a few minutes as James checked on some of the monitors and adjusted the thermostat. It didn’t take long to see everything however, as the room was pretty much comprised of computer equipment and file cabinets.

He made his way back to James, who was now sitting at a monitor, which apparently was showing a live video feed of a building’s front door. When he noticed Sebastian walk up, he quickly switched the monitor to something else.

“So, not much to it right?”, asked James. “You’ll get to know the contents of this room soon enough, but not just yet. I just wanted to bring you here and let you get familiar with some of the equipment. During this transition, I’ll still be the acting member here, but you will be assisting me along the way until you are ready to take over. At that point, you will be given access codes, passwords, etc. You’ll get a good feel for how we operate, from getting directives from The Conductor, to carrying out those plans. The day to day work is actually kind of boring. You’ll go to work, go home, go out with friends. But every now and then, when the call comes in, you do your duty. Most big decisions come from The Conductor, but you will be expected to execute your own plans from time to time.”

Sebastian must have looked overwhelmed, because James started laughing and said, “Don’t worry. I know it sounds like a lot. But just remember, you were chosen for a reason. If you weren’t capable of doing this, you would have been weeded out a long time ago. Come here, I’ll show you something.”

Sebastian pulled up a chair and got comfortable, trying to soak up as much information as possible. He couldn’t help but smile. He was in. He was actually in ‘The Keepers’.

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