Chapter 51

The next morning came and so did breakfast, Ray was looking haggard as Maya sat down with her first cup of joe, his eyes were sunken and he was almost falling asleep over his breakfast sandwich. Maya poked him as she sat down next to him.

“Hey,” she said. “You doing okay?”

“All good.” He said sitting up straight and picking up his food, again. “I just pulled an all nighter perfecting some servos to make Herman’s screen automatic. He’s almost done, so hopefully we won’t have yesterday happen again.” Leo glared at him. 

“I’m still the best in the business.” She glared as she dished eggs onto an english muffin with cheese and sausage, she handed the plate to Maya. “No one could have done what I did and kept their location a secret.”

“No one is doubting that!” Maya consoled her sister and doused her sandwich in siracha. “It’s just Herman would have made the whole process easier. And we wouldn’t have to fly to Germany.”

“Right.” Alex said, sitting down with her own sandwich and a large bowl of fruit salad, which she passed around the table. “We need to figure that out. How the hell are we gonna get into that facility? And do we think that David could be held there?”

“The chances of that are slim.” Leo said, finally sitting down with her own breakfast and coffee. “I would expect him to be with Piwitti. I doubt she would let such a prize out of her sight for too long.”

“Where does Piwitti stay?” Alex was getting all to curious for someone who said they didn’t want to endanger the rest of her friends.

“Probably Seattle.” Leo shrugged. “That seems to be where most of her calls are made and where her travel arrangements always return.”

“You are a fantastic stalker.” Sam grinned.

“I know.” Leo grinned, sipping her coffee.

“So Piwitti is in Seattle,” Alex was grinning. “And we need to break into a facility that has exceptional records. Why not that one?”

“Because it’s crazy.” Sam had his mouth full as he spoke. “That place is bound to be heavily guarded if they still have David and Piwitti is in residence. It’ll be harder to get into than East Berlin, that’s for sure.”

“We can’t even try? Not for David?” Alex was tearing up, again. 

“Alex,” Ray reached over and touched her hand. “We shouldn’t save him this way. Diving in like seal team six will only endanger all of us. We need to be better than that.”

“Well…” Leo interrupted.

“Oh!” Ray almost shouted, the first time that Maya had seen him loose his temper. “I just talked her off the ledge. Come one now!”

“I know!” Leo was on her phone, scrolling as she chewed. “I’m just looking up basic information for IJS in the Seattle area. The psychology division, which Piwitti is the head of, is located about three blocks away from Administration and Records, which is where we need to be for the records. We could divide and conquer.”

“That sounds sensible!” Alex perked up.

“The trick is getting into the country.” Leo said. “We had enough trouble getting in here, as it is.”

“Divide and conquer, there, as well?” Maya pitched in. Alex wanted David out of captivity, so she was going to do her best to help that happen.

“No,” Ray stood up in protest. “This is really bad idea. We came to Russia to be safe, to be out of the way of the IJS, and now you want to head back into the lions den?”

“Yeah.” Sam nodded, sipping his coffee with a smile. “I think they do.”

“You girls are all on drugs.” Ray sat down and put his head in his hands. “I need more sleep if I’m going to deal with this.”

“That’s fine.” Leo said. “We have a few days to prep. We can get back to the states without much hitch, depending on which airports we fly in and out of. We will avoid the major ones; LAX, Heathrow, SEA-TAC and the like. But we can do it if we’re smart. We can’t travel in sibling pairs. So, Alex and Sam, Ray and Maya, and then I’ll go by myself.” She was typing on her phone, probably ordering the tickets as she spoke.

“I don’t like that.” Sam shook his head. “I’d rather be with you.”

“They’ll be looking for that.” Leo patted his hand. “If you travel with Alex, it’ll be easier. We may also need temporary disguises.”

“Wigs?” Sam was horrified. “Don’t make me wear a wig, please.”

“Hats at least.” Leo said. “And we have to make sure our clothes are not what we normally wear.”

“This seems like common sense, to me.” Alex nodded. “But how are we going to break in? I’m thinking if we split, we need to make sure our skills are spilt equally.”

“Agreed.” Maya nodded, she was liking Alex taking leadership and figuring it out. Her training was actually kicking in, and she didn’t even know it.

“Well,” Leo shrugged. “The administration building shouldn’t be that hard to get into. I can do that myself, just like I did in Anchorage. You guys may need all the help you can get.”

“I don’t like that either.” Sam said. 

“Well,” Leo patted his hand again. “You can get over it. Alex is a good fighter, but there’s no guarantee those tactile memories will surface. So she will need back up, that means you. Maya is good and Ray…”

“I’m good.” Ray perked up. “I’ve never got professional training, but I’m good.”

“Ray,” Sam shook his head. “Can you do me a favor and go with Leo? Four in one place and one in another isn’t split enough. And poorly trained backup is better than no back up at all.”

“Oh gee thanks.” Ray rolled his eyes. “That doesn’t feel like the fat kid getting picked last for kickball at all.”

“That’s not what I meant!” Sam said quickly, putting his hands up. “Okay. Maybe it’s a little what I meant. But I really do want her to have back-up for this thing.”

“Fine.” Ray crossed his arms. “And here I was going to fix your helmet.”

“Wait, what?”

“Okay, Ray with me and the rest of you go with Alex.” Leo glossed over Sam who was still freaking out about his helmet getting fixed.

“How are you going to break into administration?” Maya asked. “There’s no way that the same trick will work twice.”

“You’d be surprised.” Leo smiled. “It won’t be exactly the same con, but very close. I’ll be posing as a private contractor, we will use the badge from the last time and make another one for Ray. Ray will be shadowing me for a school project or something.”

“That doesn’t sound like it will work at all.” Ray looked disbelieving. 

“Again, you’d be surprised.” Leo said. “How do you think you’ll get in?”

“I’ll have to see some public access floor plans.” Alex said with steepled fingers. “How long do you think we have to plan this thing?”

“I wouldn’t want to sit too long. But we can take our time with this.”

“So,” Alex grinned. “Three days?”

“Sure.”

Zoe FleischerComment