Mark tried to keep his mind on how he’d use his acumen with IT support in San Francisco to help the government stop the cartel. The briefing had been a blur–something about continuing business and keeping tabs on suspicious characters. Like the one following him. Mark assumed he was being followed, and suspected it was an Agency or NSA man keeping tabs until he landed; but when Mark got into a cab from the airport, the man was still following. In fact, he got into another cab.
The airport was southeast of San Francisco near the bay, so Mark had time. “I’ll fix you,” he muttered, ordering an Uber from his smartphone and getting into it after paying the cabby near a Starbucks.
Mark slid in: “Take me to–” then realized it was one of those automatic Ubers that had no driver–hadn’t San Fran discontinued them? He exhaled words not fit for publication and tried to stop the vehicle, but couldn’t. The same man in the cab was still following.
Mark made it to a building several blocks from his offices providing IT support in San Francisco; jumped into a crowd, tried to blend in. For a moment he thought he’d succeeded. Then he saw that same angry bald head coming for him through the horde.
Mark looked around–an elevator was traversing a skyscraper he happened to know was a popular attraction. The elevator went all the way to the top, you could walk around and see for miles. Mark jogged to it and entered as it came to the ground floor.
“I don’t even get back to planning IT support in San Francisco, I’m getting chased,” Mark mumbled. “Concentrate. Haven’t been to D.C., haven’t met the president, I’m just a guy offering IT from one of the most independent, affordable options in the area, OneClick Solutions Group. We offer:
• Business Continuity Planning
• Flat-Fee Managed IT
• Cloud and Hosted Services
• Apple Support
• Desktop, PC, and Server Support
…and much more…”
DING! The elevator was at the roof.
The Heights Of Secrecy
There was a touristy area with binoculars near an AC unit across the roof. Mark ran, barely managing to duck behind the unit when his pursuer arrived from the other elevator. Mark grabbed his gun.
No one else was on the roof at that moment. And the man had a gun of his own. He looked irritated. First he checked behind the elevators, then ran over to the binoculars, then jogged past Mark and the AC unit.
Mark tripped him and jumped on the man from behind, dealing a heavy blow with the butt of the gun. The man made a squawking sound, his body convulsed, and he was relatively still. Mark dragged him over to an edge of the building and flopped his torso over, hanging onto his legs. This produced enough adrenaline to wake his pursuer up, as Mark yelled: “WHO ARE YOU!”
“Drake Bannon!” Yelled the man, eyes wide, arms flailing into nothingness forty-eight floors high.
“WHO DO YOU WORK FOR!”
“The Orb–I’ve said too much!” Suddenly the man seemed to wake up.
Something went wrong in the man’s eyes, he started to convulse, and to giggle, then he pushed Mark backward and careened head-over-heels down the building, shrieking all the while.