* * *
Major Jacob Globe, who preferred Doctor over Major, watched the live body cam footage from his Special Weapons and Tactics team. The stream wasn’t secured by technology, but by a super whose power involved the electrical manipulation of data. The young girl was one of the notorious and most feared hackers in many years. In a world ruled by information, those that could control those little ones and zeroes controlled it all.
Now that the young woman had been brought into the fold of Globe’s new organization, she was free to tap into her powers. He insisted on a rigorous training schedule to mold her into the perfect stealth hacker. One of his supers implanted memories into her mind that compelled her to be loyal to Globe.
Another super painstakingly hid what was done to the young woman, and yet another made sure she slept peacefully at night, sleeping in a clean room devoid of any electronics or even electricity for that matter.
Globe sighed. He was weary from all the subterfuge, and he hated being constantly reminded that he had to rely on them to move his agenda forward. He was an anxiety hurricane. He rarely referred to his hacker by her old number, 337, but by a name that he liked, and had its history implanted into her mind. Yes, he had great plans for the radiant girl called Sindi.
He had no qualms about using the supers for his own purposes. Still, he wouldn’t admit it to anyone, but the events of the last few days left him a little queasy. He recited the old adage like a mantra: To make an omelet, you had to crack a few eggs.
He smiled. No doubt if Anne were there she would berate him for saying it wrong, or regale him with some long boring story about how the saying had been corrupted over the years and was originally this or that. Globe exhaled. That woman is trying on so many levels, he thought.
He saw the dejected police detective burrow a finger into Batiste’s chest just below the spy cam. Globe smiled at the detective’s response when Batiste slapped the finger away. As Batiste turned to issue orders, Globe pressed a few keys on his keyboard. The screen switched from the operation in Madison Park to the lab hidden under so may layers of concrete, if the world ended tomorrow, the lab and cockroaches would be the only survivors.
The origin of all his newfound success lay on two gurneys. Peter and Kristof were still ensconced in wires, sensors, IVs and other medical apparatus, but the list of those who had access to them kept getting bigger and bigger. Globe sighed again.
Denisha’s pleasant face filled the monitor after Globe entered another key sequence into his keyboard. She wasn’t aware that Globe had extricated himself and the entire organization from the purview of the Army. He was satisfied with that arrangement, even if he had to handle Denisha’s father with kid gloves. He hoped that that leverage was something he didn’t need to use. He rather liked Densha.
A chirp on the telephone perched on his desk drew his attention from the lovely features of his overpaid secretary.
“Doctor Globe,” her lips silently formed the words on the monitor, and he heard them in syncopation over the telephone on his desk.
“Go ahead, Denisha,” Globe replied pressing a button on the device. He had an inkling as to what she was going to say. On the monitor, a shadow fell across her desk.
“Silas is here, and he insists on speaking with you right away.”
“Send him in, Denisha.”
In the monitor, Denisha motioned, and Silas walked past her desk.
The door to Globe’s office opened and Silas stepped through. He seemed to pause for a moment and then awkwardly closed the door behind him. Several lumbering steps led him to Globe’s desk. Globe saw that his eyes were devoid of life and sighed for the third time in only a few minutes.
Silas cocked his head to one side and declared, “Her Majesty, Princess Bree, and her entourage have arrived.” Silas concluded his announcement with a giggle that had no business emanating from the dapper man.
“Bree,” Globe replied, “please release Silas.”
Silas looked up and pouted. “Meanie,” he declared, and he seemed to slump from a trance.
Silas recovered, looked around Globe’s office, and scowled. “I wish she wouldn’t do that,” he hissed, remnants of disorientation evident on his face.
Globe held back another sigh. No matter how much power he accumulated; no matter how many hash marks he placed in the win column, he would forever play second fiddle to the likes of Anne and Bree. Being at the whim on an eleven-year-old infuriated him more than he could let anyone know. It was a situation he hoped to resolve sooner, rather than later.
* * *
Joaquin’s face was glued to the tinted rear window of the police cruiser and watched as a group of black clothed; heavily armed men faced the gathering crowd. He couldn’t hear what they said, but whatever it was, it worked, and the bystanders slowly dispersed. Soon enough Massey emerged from the thinning sea of people and crossed the street to where the car was parked. He looked pissed.
Climbing into the driver’s seat, Massey rubbed his tired-looking eyes with the tips of his fingers.
“What happened out there?” Joaquin inquired.
Massey adjusted the rearview mirror and regarded Joaquin’s reflection. “Major Globe’s people. No doubt he put them on the case to slow things down. Anne tried to warn us about this.”
“What are we going to do?” Joaquin demanded. He wanted to say what are you going to do because he had the vigilante idea at the tip of his tongue, but recovered before he could blurt it out.
Massey went silent with his hands on the wheel, knuckles white, and his jaw working back and forth as he ground his teeth. Joaquin could hear the steering wheel’s leather sound its protest under his tightening grip. He had half-expected Massey to have an answer or to ask him about any ideas.
“I don’t know,” Massey finally spoke and started the car. “But we need to find a way to contact Anne and fast.”
Next: Son of a Glitch