The man found a parking spot outside the hospital. When he got out of the car, he took in his surroundings. This was a small hospital, but it was set in such a quiet, wooded area that it almost felt quaint. If you had to live your final days in a hospital, I guess you could do worse than this, he thought to himself.
He found the reception desk and asked directions to the room where he needed to go. Surprisingly he wasn’t asked for ID or any proof that he was related to the patient.
As he walked down the quiet hallway towards the room, he got chills. All his years of hard work and investigating brought him here. He got chill bumps from hearing his own footsteps it was so eerily quiet. When he finally made it to the door, he was almost too frozen to open it. But he wasn’t about to stop now.
He pushed open the door. The old man laying in the bed did not look familiar. But when he heard someone open the door, he turned his head and their eyes met.
Even though neither man had ever seen a picture of the other one, they instantly knew who the other man was.
“Come in”, Pete Carmichael said weakly. “Make yourself comfortable. I’ve been waiting on this for a long time.”
Anthony Joseph walked over to the chair beside the bed and sat down. All he could do was stare down at this man that he had been chasing all of his life. If he had met him when Alex and Stephen did, he would not have believed how much he aged in just a few months. But he felt no pity for the old, dying man laying before him. He just had to see for himself before it was too late.
“So what brings you here Anthony?”, Pete asked. “Come to finish me off? You better hurry.” He tried laughing but breathing was almost impossible now.
“No. Murder is more your thing.”
If the comment bothered Pete he didn’t show it. “I’ll be gone soon enough. When I met your friends I had the body of a fit 30 year old. Now? Not so much. But considering my real age I think I’m looking good.”
“I just came to see you in person before you burn in hell. You call yourself a hero, but we know better.”
“We? Oh, you and Sebastian. How is he? Guess he’s a pretty good swimmer.”
“He’s fine, don’t worry about him. He’s a lot tougher than you can imagine. Smarter too.”
“Oh I know. I chose him remember? It wasn’t a coincidence. That tracking device alone was a thing of beauty. You’re right though. He’ll be fine. Just talk some sense into him. Tell him to forget all this ‘Keeper’ nonsense and get to work developing his project. It really is something else.”
Anthony got up as if to go but stopped short of the door. He turned for one last look at Pete.
“You’re right about that tracking software. It’s amazing. But you misspoke. It’s not just tracking software. It’s antitracking as well. It keeps people and businesses from being able to spy on you and watch your every move.”
“I know”, Pete said. “Like I said, it’s great technology. Wish we had it.”
“Yeah, for example, if you wanted to download files from even the most secure server, no one would ever know. Not a trace would ever be found. You could bring in recording devices and capture everything inside hidden locations. The possibilities are endless. It even works overseas. Anyway, I’m glad I got to finally meet you. It was educational. See you around.”
For the second time in as many months, the only words that Pete could mutter were, “You clever bastard.” He smiled and laid his head back on the pillow and thought to himself:
“Good luck kid.”