By Gayle Carline
Jayseen scanned the crowd a third time, her legs straddling the briefcase with her equipment, in case some thief was tempted to take it. One had to be cautious in this business. It had been a long trip and this job was supposed to be a quick one. A movement caught her eye…
A little man hurried toward her, staring, head bobbing and cocking by turns. He wore a grey suit, his rotund tummy arriving before his legs reached their destination.
“Miss J?” he inquired.
Jayseen looked around to see if anyone had heard. Stupid man, in one stroke, he had blown her cover.
“Yes, I have your pictures, sir,” she told him, continuing with the plan.
“We need to talk about the operation,” the little man said.
No, no, no! That was not the correct response! He was ruining everything!
“Get over here, Grunion,” she hissed, then whispered to him, “You are blowing my cover. I’m supposed to be the photographer with your wedding pictures. We’re going to open the briefcase and be looking at wedding pictures over on that bench.”
“It won’t work that way, Miss J,” he said. “There’s been a change of plans.”
Sighing, she picked up the briefcase and they walked over to a green metal bench at the edge of the square. She sat down and opened the case, revealing a number of envelopes. Pulling one out, she tried to continue.
“I think you’ll really like the way these came out,” she told him as she handed him the envelope.
But he didn’t reach out to take it. “No, Miss J.” His voice was firm. “The operative is no longer in the vicinity. We need to relocate.”
“But I just saw him walk into the bank!”
“That wasn’t him. It seems that the enemy is onto our tactics and has begun to plant cybers at various locations. If you’ll do a quick scan with the monitor, you’ll see.”
Pulling out a camera, Jayseen looked through the view and pressed a button. To the people passing by, it seemed that the photographer was taking a picture, but the instrument actually gave her a readout of human and cyber activity within the bank across the street.
“You’re right,” she told Grunion. “Where’s the real one?”
“We need to get to Union Station right away. He’s buying a bus ticket to Jupiter.”
Jayseen closed her briefcase and leapt up. “Then we’ll have to hurry. If he gets on that bus, we’ll never find out where he hid the diamonds.”
Suddenly, a hand grabbed her right arm. She spun around quickly, her left hand swinging to free herself from her captor. Connecting her fist with the man’s jaw, he dropped her arm, but another took his place to hold her back. Pulling and pushing, wriggling and wrestling, she tried to break away, but there were too many of them. Obviously sent by the enemy, they called her name.
“Jayseen, calm down! Just calm down and come with us.”
Now down on the ground, being held captive, a woman’s face appeared before hers. “Jayseen, honey, you need to come back home now. We’ll have some lunch, and you can have some chocolate today, okay?”
Jayseen started to scream something at them when she became aware of the prick of a needle and the world slipped away from her. They loaded her carefully into the ambulance, the woman tucking a blanket around her and sweeping the hair back from her face, wiping the dirt from her cheek.
“What happened this time?” the woman asked the two men who had subdued her patient.
“Sorry, Ms. Farley,” a large man in a white uniform said. “Someone left the back gate open and she walked away. Good thing Mr. Scala from the bank recognized her and called us.”
“We found her sitting on the bench, talking to a pigeon,” the other orderly added, rubbing his jaw.
“All right, I’ll see what I can do about keeping our gates locked.” Ms. Farley stepped up into the back of the ambulance.
“Grunion,” Jayseen mumbled, “Grunion, they’re onto us…”
Ms. Farley stroked the young woman’s forehead. “No, they’re not, Jayseen. The home office rescued you just in time.”