Chapter 8 of Sleeper Cell

Agent Brown sat transfixed on the couch unable to move. The man had long since disappeared from her living but she remained seated. Clutching the silly manila envelope, she hadn’t dared to open. His mission accomplished, he’d returned to whatever hole he’d escaped from but the havoc he’d created inside her remained. She knew she had to read the envelope and follow the instructions or face the consequences but she couldn’t force herself to move.

Through the curtains, another day was slowly dawning. Soon she would have to get ready for work. Work. The thing she had lived for, enjoyed, prided herself in, had become a burden. Taking a deep breath with trembling fingers she opened the envelope and read the single sheet of paper. There were only a few lines but those few lines sent her mind reeling with implications.

Her parents had warned her about working for the government. Had told her that governments were only interested in working to preserve their own best interest at the possible detriment of their own citizens if those interests ever clashed. For the first time in her life she openly acknowledged her parents had been right. Lethargically, she dressed for the day without bothering to shower again.

For the first time in her life she admitted she’d made a mistake. She regretted the day she’d ever met Dr. Loveitt. She regretted the job that was now proving too good to be true. She now hated the man who’d once been a mentor and dear friend. She was glad someone had put a bullet in his head.

Agent Brown pulled up at the apartment and sat for several minutes to ensure she hadn’t been tailed. She’d seen the news. The Director and his wife were dead. She now knew beyond any shadow of a doubt that wasn’t an accident and most certainly wasn’t because of some rivalry between government agencies. Quickly she grabbed her bag and entered the building through the worker’s entrance.

The maintanance man eyed her with suspicion but demeaning it not worth the time or energy, continued on with his work. She opted to take the stairs. Hidden from the view of the receptionist and clerk in the front office, she jogged to the stairwell. She knew that the cameras were placed on the even level floors and if by chance she ran into a coworker or an agent on rounds she had an excuse. She wanted to check the apartment for any possible files left behind. Since the death of Dr. Loveitt she hadn’t been to the apartment and The Director had all-but demanded she pay the visit. Now she was, although she doubted he’d be happy if he knew why.

Once inside the apartment she released the breath she’d been holding. She set about her work quickly. She ignored the urge within her to fix the upended books, correct and chop the discarded pillows, straighten the drapes that weren’t properly secured in their latches. Dr. Loveitt’s wife had loved those drapes. Had specifically chosen those latches to create that soft “draping” effect. She had loved the way they framed the windows…she shook her head. None of that mattered now. The Loveitt’s were gone.

Her work completed, she now dared to go into the bedroom. She stood by the window, close to the bed and looked out. She saw the other high rise buildings. Shiny and bright, they stood as a testament to man’s achievement and ingenuity. She also knew it was the last thing her boss ever saw. The tears she’d never given a chance to fall now spilled over the rims of tired eyes. Sinking to her knees she sobbed.

An hour later she retraced her footsteps with one small deviation. She straighten the books on the bookshelf and with a final glance around the room, left. From his station in the opposing building he lowered the high powered rifle and smiled with satisfaction. He would’ve felt bad if he’d had to soil that nice plush carpeting again. He turned on his ear piece, “Agent Brown has left the apartment and is on the move. She delivered the package.”