Chapter Five of Sleeper Cell

Angela waited by the bus stop for Justin to turn the corner before following him. The email she’d received from Dr. Loveitt had included a photo of Jason and some  information about him. He’d instructed her to track him down in the event that she didn’t hear back from him, that was three months ago.

She felt nervous. She was no spy, no agent, she was a scientist. A molecular biologist to be specific and chasing down people wasn’t her forte. So far so good, he must have received a letter too because she’d seen him twice at two of the places Dr. Loveitt had told her to visit: the cafe and the bus stop.

He was cute. He’d grown his hair some, the buzz cut had become a faded crew cut. It suited him. The bulky coat he wore did little to hid his build. He’d filled out some compared to the photo currently in the inside pocket of her coat. His skin was lighter, she thought it looked like mocha and ignored her now growling stomach. Perhaps she should’ve gotten something at the café.

She watched walk away from the café and down an alley between two buildings. Not a smart move Jason, who really walks alone in an alley anyway? She had to give him slack, there’s no way he could possibly know the hornets nest his presence alone would stir up.

She watched as two men came out in front of him and then two behind. Suddenly they pounced on Jason and just as soon as they did they were sent flying. Just what exactly was Jason’s relationship with Dr. Loveitt? Why was he so important and where on earth did he learn to fight like that?

Frozen in place by the fierceness of the fighting, she croaked out a gasp as she watched two more men attack Jason from behind and plunge a lethal looking needle into the back of his neck. A few seconds later he slumped over and was promptly dragged into the van.

She leaned back against the brick wall that concealed her. Where were they going to take him? Rubbing her temples she tried to think. The lab! It was a bitter piece of irony as she raced to her car. The question was how was she going to get to him without arousing suspicion and how was she going to get him out? Deciding she’d make it up as she went along, she put the car in drive and peeled out of the parking lot. If Jason was in fact going to the lab she knew she’d have to move quickly.

4729 Hamilton BLVD was an innocuous looking building to most but Angela knew better. The first three levels held regular looking government employees carrying out the everyday business of the government. As she passed through security and swiped her badge, she doubted if most of the people in the building knew that there was a basement level below archives. She also doubted if they knew that, that basement led to another sub-level. Deciding she needed more time to formulate a plan, she opted for the stairs and hoped something better than the idea currently circulating her head would come.

She entered the lab and grabbed her lab coat. She knew her plan depended on her looking as normal as possible. This was just another day at work for her.

“Hey Angela. I didn’t know you were scheduled to work today. I thought you had the day off?” A coworker asked as she passed by.

Fighting to keep her voice casual she said, “Yeah, I know but y’all know I can’t leave well enough alone” her response worked as she hoped and earned her several laughs from her coworkers. “Anything new happen while I was gone?”

Another coworker turned from her desk. “You haven’t heard? They’ve brought in #75. Apparently, he gave them a hard time of it too. A couple of the agents came in nursing black eyes. One of them just came with his arm in a sling”, she said her eyes wide with excitement.

Angela couldn’t hold back her smile. Most of coworkers were workaholics just like her, this was probably the most exciting thing they’d experienced in a while. Who was she kidding, this was the most exciting thing to happen to her in a while too.

She went to her desk and listened carefully as coworkers talked about Jason’s condition as he entered the lab and heard that they’d taken him to the observation room. This did little to calm her jittery nerves. For an agent already in the field, the observation room was the last place you wanted to be. Agents were often sent there for “recalibration”, a nice way of saying that they had the serum readministered which practically wiped out their recent memories and restored them to the docile minions they were supposed to be.

“I think they should all be put down.” A coworker beside her said and earned a cold hard stare from Angela and several coworkers.

“They’re still humans you know. They probably didn’t even know what they were getting into when they were assigned to this division. You know most of the guys that come here hoping to be placed on bases near their families.” Another coworker said, judgment dripping from her voice.

The coworker who’d dared utter the offensive remark said nothing and Angela used that moment of silence to ask if anyone had the blood work for #75.

“Why do you want it?” Her coworker in charge of recording evaluations asked.

“I’m going to have to add it to the other files already logged in the system. Besides, I figure the agent in charge is going to ask for a complete background on the subject.”

Her coworker nodded and began pulling up the file. Angela released the breath she’d been holding.

Five minutes later she stood outside the observation room holding the files. She could hear Agent Brown asking Jason on kinds of questions but his responses were puzzling. He kept using his government name which he shouldn’t know or recall. What’s going on here? What’s wrong with him? She watched him struggling on the table and watched as Agent Brown reached for the needle on the tray. It was now or never. She was going to inject him with the serum. Seeing the fire alarm on the left of the observation door, she lifted the plastic and pulled the handle. Immediately the lights flickered and sprinklers turned on. She heard a shout come from the observation room and without hesitation shoved the door open and lunged at Agent Brown.