Finally. Sebastian was done. After months of cramming countless amounts of information into his increasingly overloaded mind, he was through with this stage of his training. He couldn’t wait for all of this to be over with so he could get back to whatever kind of normal life he would have after this. He knew things would never be the same, but at least he wouldn’t be living the double life that he was living now.
He tried to imagine what Alex and Sebastian would say when he got back and told them everything that had happened while he was gone. He was sure they already had plans in place for their next move. After all, this was their lifes’ mission whereas he had only been at this for a few months now.
But, as hard as he tried to avoid it, he also kept thinking about Anna. How would she react when everything came out? He hadn’t exactly lied to her about what he was up to, but he wasn’t very forthcoming either. As passionate as he was about his mission, there was also a part of him that just wanted to forget all of this and just spend more time with her. They had so much fun the other night with his friends. He got approving nods and gestures from his buddies all night long, especially after Anna won the beer chugging contest with Brett. There had to be a way that he could explain everything to her when this was all over. But right now, he had to concentrate on the task at hand.
He and his two partners had all agreed that Sebastian shouldn’t try to communicate by cell phone. No matter how good his anti-tracking software was, it was a risk they couldn’t take. Now as he was driving to their designated meeting area, he began to feel a sense of unease. He hadn’t spoken to either of them in weeks but he had assumed that they were still safe. After the comment that Lynn made about the two of them working from that garage, he checked his app and saw that their beacon was still active and moving. They were either safe or someone had their phones and were using them. Either way he would find out when he got to the meeting spot.
He pulled into the parking lot, walked over to the park bench and reached under it. After a few panicked seconds, he finally found what he was looking for. There was an envelope taped underneath, and he looked around before opening it:
‘Sebastian, hope you find this safely. We are somewhere safe as well, but unfortunately the garage is off limits now, as you probably guessed. Get up and walk towards the administration building on your left. Keep walking until you see a familiar face.’
A & S
He began to do just that. He slipped the letter into his jacket pocket and headed toward the admin building. He scanned the area for any familiar faces, but didn’t see anyone he knew. He stood and looked for several minutes, expecting at any moment to see someone. But there was nothing. He walked in circles a few times, trying not to look too suspicious and was just about to give up. He heard a familiar voice behind him, but not one that he was looking for.
“Sebastian?”, Anna asked confusedly. “What are you doing? You looked lost. I would think you would know your way around this place by now.”
Trying to recover from this surprise encounter, Sebastian replied, “Yeah, right. I was actually meeting someone here. But I guess they forgot.”
“Well, that’s actually good then. You can help me. I’m on yet another campus committee, and I’m trying to move some tables around in the auditorium. Think you can give me a quick hand? It will only take a second.”
He couldn’t think of a good excuse to say no, so after one last look around, he followed her inside. It was dimly lit inside and he lost track of her once inside.
“Anna, where did you go?”
“She had to leave”, came a voice from the dark. “But you’ll see her again soon enough.”
From out of the shadows walked Pete Carmichael. He walked over to a panel and hit a switch that turned on a small row of lights. It was just enough light to see Alex and Stephen sitting in the front row. A confused Sebastian walked over to the three men, taking turns looking back and forth at each man, trying to get a read on the situation.
“Alex, Stephen, are you guys okay?”
“Yeah, Sebastian, we are fine”, Alex answered. “It’s been an eventful few weeks for sure. I’m sure you have a lot to tell us and we definitely have a lot to tell you. This gentleman here, let’s just say he’s a pretty important figure in the group that we are going after. And he is actually here to help us expose them once and for all.”
Sebastian looked even more confused now.
“Yeah, I know. But how did they know?”, Sebastian asked Pete.
To say Alex and Stephen were shocked would have been a massive understatement. But before they could respond, Pete interrupted.
“I could explain everything to you but it would take too long and you wouldn’t believe me. Just know that we have the same goal in mind and that if you really want to pull this off, you’ll need my help. If you want to discuss this in detail later, I will answer all your questions. But for now, time is not on our side. The three of you ride together. Drive to the place we talked about earlier.” He motioned in the direction of Alex and Stephen, who had no choice but to nod in agreement.
“How will you get there?”, Alex asked Pete.
“Don’t worry. I’ll be there. I’m sure you three have a lot to discuss anyway. Now go. We can’t wait much longer.”