Chapter 70

Ray carefully painted a minuscule amount of flux onto the green panel and began to solder the timer unit. All the workings of the panel would stem from this center. The smell of hot solder; copper and fire and just a little ash. It smelled a bit like hot electrical circuits, like something bad was happening behind the sheetrock. Soldering smelled like destruction, when, in reality, creation was happening. 

The timer branched itself into a battery and switch, which applied electrical current to two little prongs that stuck out on the back of the unit. 

Behind him, the others were pulling together their plan, getting disguises and stealing money for trains and planes. Ray wasn’t looking forward to another international flight. 

He tried not to pay them mind, letting his eyes flip along the silver pathways of the circuit, his hands working automatically. He finally looked back and the join had ran. He picked up a small pick and took the excess off. The solder landed on the ceramic mat and he kept going. He slotted a fuse into the line, and kept going. 

A hand landed on his shoulder, snapping him back into reality. He took a deep breath and looked around. It was Alex; she had that look on her face, the “I know you haven’t been paying attention, so I’m going to recap very slowly so I think I keep your attention but in reality it makes you fall asleep mid-sentence and then I roll my eyes at you for drifting off” look.

“Okay,” Alex pulled back from him, concern on her face. “You were all entranced by your work and now you look like I stole the last cookie you were secretly reserving.” 

“That was once,” Ray rolled his eyes. “But you never tried it again.” 

“That’s for damn sure.” Alex nodded. “What’s up? I know I didn’t eat no fucking cookie.”

“No,” He put his hands over his eyes. Ray just wanted to get the conversation over. “What do you need?”

She sat down, pulling a spare chair over. Ray bit his lip, so it was going to be a little while.

“We’ve started to put together a plan to get David. I want to run it by you.” 

“Okay,” Ray nodded. “Shoot.”

“Okay,” Alex clapped her hands together and grinned. “We’re going in through the south entrance…” And she dove in, and he listened and added his input and looked at her. Looked at her for the first time in a while. He'd thought that she was thinking about Maya. 

He had zero problems with that, his sister could be a lesbian if that made her happy. But now she was back on David and he really hoped that she wasn't just running on auto-pilot. He didn't want her to pass up Maya just because of an old habit. 

“What do you think?” She smiles at him in triumph. 

“I think it should be fine.” Ray nodded. “But are you sure you want to go back into the lion’s den? We could just hang here for a while and get a ride to Russia, instead.”

“Oh,” Alex. “I just thought… do you agree with Sam?”

“No!” Ray waved his hands. “Well, a little. I just… want it to be over.”

“Ray,” Alex's voice got hushed. “You do know this will never be over. It can't until we prove that Piwitti framed us…” She paused.

“Have I lost our end goal?”

“Little bit.” Ray noddded.

Zoe FleischerComment