~~A Fictional Tale~~ Part 1~~
Having fled the edges of Sheol, and with no time to ponder how close I came to its shores, I changed clothes in my van, and arranged a meeting with my superior, Mrs. Greene.
She prefers to be called Mrs. Greene; although, to my knowledge, she has never married, and Greene is not her real name.
“Hello Rooftop,” she said, as she sat alongside me on the creaky Central Park bench, while I continued to feed, an increasing throng of pigeons, their favorite seeds.
“So sorry to hear that you were shot at. These people are dangerous. You can imagine the scandal we have on our hands right now: a group of rouge and former agents plotting to sell satellite secrets etched on an RFID (radio frequency identification) chip.”
She continued, settling her self on the bench, “The chip was, and is hidden inside a miniature ceramic statue which the thieves then shipped to themselves. Due to a shipping error the package was delivered to a Central Park high rise apartment instead. The culprits were in the midst of identifying the package’s exact location, when we shut down their operation. They got away with only the package’s delivery zip code and the building address.”
“So,” I asked, “What happened to the assailants/thieves?”
Mrs. Greene responded with frustration in her voice,
“Several have been arrested. But, three are in the wind. My guess is that they have been tracking your movements, hoping that you would lead them to the RFID chip. They seem to know our moves before we make them.”
She stood and spoke. Her parting words loosing their volume, amid the fluttering wings of soaring pigeons, “Good luck Rooftop. Text me when the job is done.”
Suddenly I recalled that there was a realty “For Sale” sign on the front of the Central Park high rise in question. I googled the real estate listings for that address, and made an appointment.
To back me up in this my second attempt to enter the building, I decided to enlist my friend, Calico’s assistance.
“This could get dangerous, my friend,” I said to him as we spoke on the phone, “Let us both be very careful. And, thank you.”
Calico arrived outside the Central Park high rise surprisingly quick. His signature scent, Axe Kilo for men, seemed a bit stronger than his usual light touch; perhaps, making up for the unpleasantly pungent rotten banana and gasoline like odor of his favorite gun oil, also prevalent.
He looked oddly nervous, fidgeting with his underarm holster, which is out of character for him.
Now folks, you do not last long in this business, if you fail to notice things that are outside the norm. I made a mental note of my friend’s behavior as we continued forward.
“What’s the unit we’re heddin’ to in that place? Calico asked still fidgeting with his holster. “Do I need to have my piece ready in case there is a threat.”
“Come now my friend,” I said, “It is broad daylight and a residential building, lets try not to get caught armed and risking public safety. My employer dislikes getting me out of jail. Especially since, I am not supposed to exist on the books, as you know. The apartment number is 1630.”
“Okay, okay. But I can’t watch your back, if I gotta tip toe through all dem rules—Now I remember why I got outta dat business you’re in.”
Our plan; to enter the building posing as prospective buyers interested in one of the several units advertised for sale. The local Luxez Realtor I telephoned an hour ago, was prompt. A jovial woman with very expensive shoes clipping elegantly along as we entered the high rise’s gold tinted revolving door.
She waived her arm like a magic wand to Security, who nodded as she glided, not walked, us into the bowels of the building. Her perfume lingering ever so slightly in the air as we wafted along in its wake.
We had run this game before, Calico and I, entering as a couple looking to examine a unit for rent or sale. I would make some excuse to leave the room to do an erase, while Calico chatted up the realtor with an insufferable barrage of questions.
This time, I asked to be excused, “to take some time to ‘meditate’ in the building’s spaces, to see if it had the right ‘energy’ for me.” The realtor was glad to release me to wander, thus leaving only one of us to besiege her with questions.
I stepped out into the hallway towards the elevator, but on a whim, at the last moment, I decided it would be better to take the stairs. I arrived in the room with the pass key I was given and turned off the security on the internal keypad.
The apartment was unfurnished. A host of neatly labelled unopened moving boxes, were stacked in one corner of the large living room. The unit was otherwise empty.
As usual, I donned my extra lightweight disposable full body hazmat suit. I make every effort not to leave my DNA at a job site.
I unfolded the photograph included with my erase package. The RFID chip was hidden inside a small ceramic replica of the Statue of Liberty inside an Amazon Prime delivery box. Loosing no time, I located and opened the box, smashing the statue inside it with my boot heel.
Among the ceramic chards lay the RFID chip. I verified the chip’s authenticity with the secure RFID reader app on my phone. Then, I smashed the chip itself in the same manner as the statue.
Quickly, I placed the RFID’s broken pieces into a small vial of 100% acetone nail polish remover, part of my usual tools of the trade, and closed the lid tightly.
Just then, an ominous feeling washed over me. Something did not feel quite right.
The sound of footsteps shuffling in the hallway drew closer and closer until they were outside the door to the apartment. Then, someone began twisting the door knob, vigorously trying to force it open.
I rushed to the bathroom, poured the acetone and the chip pieces in the toilet bowl and flushed.
Quickly and quietly, I texted Mrs. Greene, erasing the message from my text history as soon as the send was complete.
My text read,
“Coop has been cleaned. Rooftop bird still inside. If the pigeon does not come home to roost in 10 mins – Send Urgent help. Thx“
I took a deep breath, took off my hazmat suit, folded it, and returned it, and the empty nail polish remover bottle to my handbag.
Then, I opened the door.
There, in front of me was Calico, aiming his Colt Combat Elite nine millimeter, at my forehead. With his hand steady, and with steely determination in his voice he said, “I am sorry, I am really sorry, Suede. I need that chip. We know you know where it was hid. Give it to me. Now!”
While he was speaking, the elevator’s doors glided open with a soft thud, and out walked the “Security Guard” I met earlier today at the Receiving door. He reached inside his jacket…
****To be continued in the finale next week