Castle Roland


by Eric Aune


Chapter 42

Published: 10 Apr 14

Gabe had studied the Google Earth images of the surrounding area. He had made note of the GPS coordinates of locations that he planned to use as waypoints on the hike into where he could observe the property. He had found some little used roads near the Frederick County Landfill. One of the roads ended about half a mile from The Facility as the crow flies. From there they would hike in over the low ridge and through the forest to where they could observe the place. He planned to go early in the morning and then spend the day and part of the evening to observe everything and get an idea of what the people at the place did during the day and evening. Get an idea of any guard patrols, etc.

Early the next morning before everyone got up Gabe, George, Luke and Rob from Mac’s team got into Rob’s Jeep and they drove off. They went into Winchester and then south until they could strike the roads that would lead them to the landfill. Rob drove and Gabe navigated using a GPS unit. They passed a few scattered homes as they made their way to and then along the edge of the landfill property until they came to where the road ended. They parked the Jeep so that it was not readily seen and grabbed their packs out of the back and took off in the direction of the property.

They had to cross a stream and then they were climbing up the low ridge behind the property. They moved cautiously, just in case there were any guard patrols in the area. They struck a narrow dirt road that seemed to head in the direction of the place. After a quick conference they crossed it and headed toward the back of the place, just in case they sent any guard patrols on the road. From the map they had printed out, they saw that the road was probably the one that entered the forest next to the smaller building at the back of the property. They crossed the road and continued on. When they got to the crest, they were able to get a glimpse into the property through the trees. They could see some guards moving around. Rob and Gabe settled in to watch from there, while George and Luke snuck closer.

George and Luke made their way very slowly down the slope, moving carefully from shadow to shadow through the trees until they came to the fence that bordered the property. They stayed back away from the fence as they moved along it. As they paralleled it, they saw occasional keep out signs that warned of the fence being electrified. They also looked for any sensor equipment, cameras, movement sensors, etc. They split up, Luke settled down at one location where he could sit and observe most of the grounds.

George continued along the fence line, looking for any blind spots and seeing if he could see anything of importance, especially any sign of Josh. One thing they did observe was that the place looked like a horse farm. There were fenced in fields that had horses in them. It made sense for them to hide themselves as a horse farm, so that they blended in with the surrounding properties. George was able to make his way all around the back of the property and around one side. Because there was a narrow finger of trees that ran parallel to the north end of the property, he was able to go all the way out to Salem Church road. He took some pictures of the front of the property. In the main area in front there was a corral with various horse jumping obstacles and beyond that he could see the guarded entrance. He wished he could get closer, but he thought he would stand out as not being from around here if he tried. Everyone probably knew everyone else in the area. So he stayed in the trees. After getting what pictures he could from this side he backtracked and made his way back to Luke. He related what he had seen and after a short break to eat a little something, he went in the other direction.

Up on top, Gabe and Rob looked through high powered binoculars at the property. They saw people driving into the property and parking over near the building on the north side that had been labeled offices. It looked something like a big country home. As they day wore on, they saw that there were several electric golf carts that were used to travel around the property. They also saw another place that looked like another big country home near the front side and to the south of the property was another building used by the GRA. They figured it was the security building from the plans as they saw that the security people seemed to come and go from that house most often. They also saw the people who tended to the horses on the property also came and went from that house. Gabe made notes on the map that he had with him. Making labels of the buildings that they observed appeared to be a part of the whole facility. Anyone that didn’t or couldn’t look closely would see a horse farm, not a guarded lab. Except for the guards at the gate, none of them wore a uniform. They were dressed like farm hands, but it was the way they moved and watched, told Gabe that they were much more. When he and Rob talked it was always in low voices, so that they couldn’t be heard.

After his break, George continued his search in the other direction. He soon came near the small building at the back of the property. He was very quiet around it, in case there was anyone nearby. Not a lot of people came in and out, but he did take a lot of pictures of the people and the building itself before moving along. He had to cross the narrow dirt road that left the property next to the building. He was able to continue until he came to the fence of the neighboring property. After taking more pictures, he retraced his steps to join up with Luke. They then settled in until it was nightfall to see how security was handled at night compared to the daytime.

Josh felt someone shake his shoulder.

"Wake up kid."

Josh blinked his eyes and tried to look around. He slowly tried to move around and it took him a little while to focus, and even then he still felt a little fuzzy headed. He felt a pull and saw the ever present IV bag. The bag brought another need to his attention. He really needed to pee. There was a hard looking man standing over him. He looked like one of those guys from the other place. He knew he was not at the same place that he had been the day before, or was it the day before that or, he had no idea what day it was. The guy reached down and pulled on his arm.

"C’mon kid. I haven’t got all day."

Josh slowly started to move and felt a twinge in his hip. That brought back memories of the day before. He had been poked and prodded. Blood drawn, hair pulled out of his head, some patches of skin removed. He was put into a couple of machines to get some brain imaging done. They had put a needle into his lower back and some fluid was taken out of his spine. That was the worst, because it caused him to get a bad headache. At least he thought that had been the worst, until the doctor put a big long needle into his hip. That hurt a lot and made him cry out in pain a little when he felt it dig into his hip bone. They did that several times. As he moved now, he put his hand down to his hip and winced when he felt the pain that was still there. The man put his hand under Josh’s arm and pulled him up.

"Grab the pole. Let’s go."

The man gave him a little push. Josh felt the man’s hand on his bare back and realized he was wearing one of those hospital gowns that were open in the back. He reached around and tried to close the back because he could feel a breeze back there and he knew he wasn’t wearing anything underneath it. The man behind him snorted and pushed him again. He looked around and glared at the man. He scowled back and Josh turned away from the mean look on the man’s face. They went out the door of the room he was in and down the hall. The place was very sterile looking. Even a hospital looked more welcoming than this place. He saw that the door he was being led to had a restroom sign on it. The man pushed him to the door. Josh entered with the guard for that was obviously what the man was, right behind him. The man stationed himself at the door. Josh went into one of the stalls, pulling the IV pole behind him and sat down. The short walk made him dizzy and made his hip hurt where they had stuck him with that huge needle. When he was done, he came out of the stall and went to the sink to wash his hands. He looked in the mirror and he looked a little pale and his hair was sticking out everywhere. A severe case of bed head. He could see the guard standing at the door with his arms folded and scowling at Josh. When he was finished, the guard held the door open and gestured for him to leave the room. Once again he was guided back to the room he had been in. The guard closed and locked the door behind him. Josh looked around the room. There was a bed, but nothing else in the small room.

Josh didn’t know what to do, but just lay back down. A few minutes later the lock clicked and the door was open. Another guard pushed a tray into the room. On it was some food. Behind the man was the first guard. The second guard left the room while the first guard leaned against the closed door.


Josh looked at the man for a moment before picking up a plastic fork and cut into the pancakes. It wasn’t a great meal, but he was hungry enough not to care. There was sausage with it and a glass of apple juice to drink. When he was done, the guard pulled the cart away and left the room. Josh was left alone again. He lay back on the bed and soon he dozed off again.

Josh came awake when the door to his room opened. The guard was back and with him was another person he recognized, Marcus Kelly.

"Hello Joshua. We have some questions for you. Please come with us."

"I don’t want to answer questions. I want to go home. I don’t care who you are, you kidnapped me from my home."

Marcus moved quickly and backhanded him. He grabbed him be the hair and pulled him up. "Listen you little shit. We just reclaimed our property. You were stolen from us. Now you’re back where you belong."

He pushed him back and the guard came over to Josh to pull him to his feet. The guard kept his grip on Josh’s upper arm. Marcus walked behind them. They went down the hall to what a appeared to be a well-appointed conference room. It had a good sized table and with several comfortable chairs. There was also a sideboard and small refrigerator along one wall of the room. There was a white board on one wall and a screen at the opposite wall from the entrance. Seated in the chairs were the older doctor guy that had done all the tests on Josh and another guy who was younger man who had a computer in front of him. Hank Archer was sitting on one side of the table. The guard pushed Josh into a chair and then stood back. Marcus sat near Hank.

"Good afternoon Joshua. You look well. Jim, get Joshua something to drink from the fridge."

The young guy got up and grabbed a can of coke for Josh, opened it and put it down in front of him before returning to his place at the computer. Josh ignored the can.

"Well, I’m sure you will be thirsty. So to get to the reason we are here, we are going to ask you some questions and you would do well to answer them."

"And then I can go home?"

Hank shared a little chuckle with Marcus. "No. This is your home now. Remember that I told you that you belong to us. We put up the money that helped bring you about and you were illegally removed without our permission. We have just reclaimed our property."

"I’m not anyone’s property!"

Josh missed the nod from Hank and he suddenly found himself on the floor where he ended up after the guard and hit him. The guard reached down and pulled him up from the ground and threw him into the chair. Josh had to shake his head a few times to clear it. That plus the drugs being delivered through the IV bag that kept him fuzzy headed made it hard for him to concentrate for a few minutes. He could hear other conversations going on around him, but couldn’t make out the words.

Once Hank saw that he was back with them, he gave him a fake smile. "Let’s start again. I’ll do the introductions. You already know myself and Marcus here. This is Doctor Merrick, he oversees what we do here. Jim is taking notes for us and recording this interview. So let’s begin. If you decide not to answer, your guard, Lloyd will be glad to encourage you. Won’t you Lloyd?"

"Yes sir, Mister Archer."

Josh glanced at the guard who just stared down at him.

"Please tell us your full name."

"Joshua Eric Barrett Stuart."

"Very good and how old are you?"


"We’ve looked through your school records and they are impressive. You are obviously intelligent. We know you recognized myself and Marcus."

"I’ve never seen you before."

"Come now Joshua. Both of us have seen the recognition on your face when you heard our names. Don’t lie."

"You’re wrong, I don’t know you."

"Have it your way. What has your uncle told you about the GRA?"

"I....I don’t know what that is."

"Of course you do. I’m sure your uncle told you all about it. How else would he just happen to be in the town where you lived when your dad killed himself after he shot you? We’ll leave that for now. Since we’re talking about that, why did your dad shoot you?"

"’t know."

"Oh come on Joshua, people don’t shoot their kids for no reason."

Josh had tears in his eyes by this time.

"I don’t know why. He just shot me."

"Hmm, just out of the blue, he shot you for no reason and then he shot himself?"

Josh nodded as he looked down at his lap. Hank looked at him silently for a few moments.

"Jim, go get the equipment."

Jim nodded and left the room. Hank, Marcus and Alistair moved back out of earshot and began to converse in low voices. Josh couldn’t hear anything. When Jim returned he had a bag that looked like a computer bag in his hand. He opened it and he attached a small box like thing to his computer with a USB cable. He then attached a few other things to the box. He came over to Josh and put a blood pressure cuff on his arm, two other wire tube kind of things went around his chest and then two other things were attached to a couple of his fingers. Jim then sat back down in front of his computer and entered some commands. When he was satisfied that everything was correct he nodded to Hank.

"Good, now let’s try this again."

Hank again asked his full name and age. Where he lived and went to school. Jim nodded to let him know that he was getting clear readings.

"Okay. What do you know about the GRA?"

"Nothing. I told you I don’t know what that means."

"Have you ever heard of the Hunt Laboratory?"


"Do you know someone named Brett MacLeod?"


The three men gathered around Jim’s computer and talked quietly as Jim pointed at the screen. Hank straightened up and went back over to his chair.

"We know you’re lying. This is a polygraph, or lie detector and it is telling us that you are lying. I want the truth."

"I’m not lying. I’m telling you the truth. I don’t know what GRA means, I’ve never heard of Hunt whatever and I don’t know any Brett guy. There is a guy at school named Brett that I kinda know, but that doesn’t sound like his last name. If that thing is saying I’m lying maybe it’s defective or maybe it’s because I’ve been kidnapped from my home."

Hank slammed his hand down.

"I will get the truth from you no matter how long it takes. Alistair, do we have any sodium thiopental?"

"No. It’s not something we have any need of normally."

"Okay, see what you need to do about getting some as soon as possible. You have the other equipment?"

Alistair nodded.

"Very good. Jim, unhook him and we’ll try another method."

Jim quickly got everything unhooked and put away. The guard grabbed Josh and jerked him out of the chair. They left the room and went through several hallways until they emerged outside. Alistair unhooked the IV bag from the pole and handed it to the guard. They walked over to one of the electric carts parked nearby. The one they used was a larger utilitarian one that could carry four adults and had something like a truck bed in back. Josh and the guard got in back, while the others got in front. Josh was squinting in the bright light and looked around. Nothing seemed familiar at all. He saw the huge building that he had been in, and he saw some horses in some fenced in pastures. There were a lot of trees around the edge of the property and he saw other guys walking around. A couple of them had dogs with them and Josh saw that they wore pistols on the belts. Alistair started it and headed to another building that was in the back of the property.

Josh saw the building was near a forest. They stopped and the guard pulled Josh out and the five of them went into the smaller building. Archer pulled a card out of his suit jacket and held it up in front of a small device by the door and there was a click. He pushed the door open and Josh was taken to a room that had padding on the walls and no windows. There were a few chairs in it and some cabinets and drawers on one wall, there was also some sort of electronic equipment near the middle chair and it had a bunch of wires coming out of it. The middle chair had some thick Velcro straps on the arms and legs. The guard pushed Josh into it. Alistair removed the IV and then the guard grabbed the hospital gown that Josh as wearing and with a quick yank he stripped it off so that Josh was naked. He then began to strap him into the chair. Josh tried to struggle, but he still felt weak and one hard slap from the guard convinced him that there was nothing he could do to stop them. He now had tears of anger, fear, and embarrassment running down his face. It did not seem to affect the men at all. The guard sneered at him as he worked. Once he was completely strapped in, Alistair approached him with several wires in his hand and some straps of various sizes. With the guard helping him he put one wide strap around Josh’s chest. He spent a few moments adjusting it until Josh could feel something that felt like cold metal against his nipples. Another strap went around each lower arm and then around each calf. He could feel a round metal disk against his skin underneath each of the straps. Once Alistair was satisfied with the straps, he snapped wires to a metal snap on the straps. Josh began to get even more scared as he sat their completely exposed to these men.

Hank stepped forward. "Okay Joshua, I’m going to ask you some questions and I want to hear some truth from you. If you don’t give me the answers that I want, then there will be consequences. Do you understand?"

"What do you want? I’ve already told you the truth."

"Ah, but you haven’t been very honest. Alistair, please let Joshua know what will happen if he lies."

Josh looked over to where the older man in the doctor coat was standing by the device. Alistair made an adjustment on the device and then pushed in a button for a second or two. Josh went stiff against the straps that held him down and a surprised yelp came from his lips. The pain went away and he was left panting.

Hank smiled at him. "Now, let’s begin. Have you heard of the GRA?"

"I told you no."

Hank nodded to Alistair and Josh again stiffened as the shock hit him for a few seconds. This time he screamed. The electricity was turned off.

"Not so pleasant, and you have all the power to stop this, just answer the question. Have you heard of the GRA?"

"I don’t know what that means?"

He was shocked again, this time a little longer and he was whimpering a little. The worse pain was the one that he got from his chest. The metal discs on the inside of the strap that was against his nipples sent the shock into the sensitive tissue. He whimpered when they turned it off.

"Have you heard of the GRA?"

Josh nodded.

"Speak up boy."


"Very good, now that wasn’t so hard. Next question. Who told you, your uncle?"


Hank nodded and Josh was shocked again. When it stopped he was crying now.

"Who told you?"

Josh was crying and couldn’t answer. Alistair shocked him again. When he spoke Hank had to lean in closer to hear him because it was hard to make out through his crying. Josh through sheer force of will came up with a name that wouldn’t hurt his friends.


"So Derrick told you. Hmmm. That does make some sense. What did he tell you about the GRA?"

"No...nothing....ju....just the name?"

Hank nodded and Josh was shocked again.

"I’m not sure you’re telling me the truth. Why did he tell you about us?"

"He did....didn’t. I over....heard him."

Hank perked up a bit. He thought maybe that Derrick was talking about them with some of the other missing scientists. Now they were getting somewhere.

"Who was he talking to Joshua?"


Hank nodded and Alistair hit the button again. Josh screamed again.

"Are you sure? Was there anyone else there?"

Josh shook his head.

"Speak up Joshua. I want to hear you say the answers."

"No. Only....only my mom."

"What were they talking about?"

"I don’t know. I just heard ‘em say GRA."

Hank went over to Marcus and they talked quietly to each other. Hank was nodding when he came back over to Josh.

"How did you recognize Marcus and I?"

"I didn’t."

Hank waved to Alistair and Josh was shocked again. Josh screamed again and his bladder let go, so that he peed all over himself and the chair. He was whimpering when they stopped.

"Please...stop....I don’t know what you want?"

"How did you know our names."

"I....I...heard my par....parents....say them?"

"What did they say about us?"

"I don’t remember. I just heard your names."

Hank nodded and Josh was shocked again. His head lolled forward when they stopped. Hank grabbed Josh’s hair and pulled his head up. Josh was a little glassy eyed. Hank let him go and his head hung forward again.

"I think that’s enough for now Alistair. I don’t want to damage him permanently. How long to get the sodium thiopental?"

"A day or two."

"Okay, get it as fast as you can. For now keep him sedated like we’ve done for the past few days. We’ll continue this when you get it. We’ll probably get better results from the drug then this. If I didn’t want to damage him, I’d continue. Clean him up and get him back to the Lab. Marcus, let’s go to the office."

Hank and Marcus left the building and walked to the building that looked like a large home, like you would find on a horse farm like this. Back in the building, Alistair and the guard got Josh unstrapped. Alistair restarted the IV and injected some more of the mild sedative that they had been using on him since he was taken into the IV bag. They wiped the pee off of him and put the gown back onto him. Because of the torture and the sedative going into him, Josh passed out. The guard picked him up and slung him over his shoulder like a sack of potatoes. Outside he was dumped in the back of the cart and Alistair drove them to the Lab. The guard once again picked him up and carried him into the Lab. Inside he was laid on his bed and left in the locked room.

"Hey, did you see that?"

Gabe looked at Rob beside him. Rob pointed down to where he saw some people going into the building at the back of the property.

"I see a couple of suits walking into that building."

"So you didn’t see the kid going in the building?"

"No. What did he look like?"

"I couldn’t tell much. Brown hair and looked to be a young teenage boy maybe."

"That vaguely fits our missing boy. Keep an eye on the rest of the property; I’m going to try to take some pictures of them when they leave the building."

Gabe kept an eye on the building. Eventually he saw a couple of men in suits leave the building. He brought the camera up and zoomed in on the men and took some pictures as they walked away. He tapped Rob.

"Rob, watch where those two guys go, I’m going to watch the building and try to get a picture of the boy."

Rob nodded and trained is binoculars on the two men as they walked from the smaller building. They made their way across the grounds until they came to the northernmost building that looked like a country house. He nudged Gabe. "They went into the house over there."

Gabe glanced up and nodded when he saw the building that Rob had indicated. He went back to watching the smaller building. Finally he saw someone in a white coat followed by a big guy who had what looked like the boy slung over his shoulder. Gabe took pictures of all of them. He had a very difficult time getting the boy’s face, so he was not certain that he got a good shot. He took pictures of them putting the boy in the back of the cart and the guy in the lab coat driving them back around to what they believed was the front of the large building and then they were lost to sight by the building.

He put the camera down and picked up his binoculars to watch again and caught sight of a group of small children coming out of the large building and being led out to play in a grassy area near the large building. George and Luke saw the kids as well. Both teams took pictures. The kids were outside for about an hour before they were led back inside the building.

Before it got too dark, George and Luke returned to the other team and they all waited until it was dark and they could see what the difference in the security precautions there were at night compared to the day. They didn’t see too much difference, however they did see that at night many of the guards were armed with either sub machine guns or assault rifles when they patrolled the grounds and they wore dark clothing to make it more difficult to see them. When they were satisfied, they backed off down the hill until they had the hill between them and The Facility before turning on their headlamps and hiking back to the Jeep.

Back at the safe house, Brett came to Sean with a request.

"I was just thinking. Can you find the phone number for Martin Swift, a cell phone or something like that?"

Mac nodded when he heard the request.

"There are probably a lot of Martin Swift’s so let’s narrow it down a little. Wait a minute; it might be in Marcus’ computer files or Hank Archer’s. We’ll start hunting around and let you know what we find out."

Brett nodded and left the room while Mac and Sean got to work. It took them about fifteen minutes, but they found it on Archer’s computer.

Mac called out to Brett. "We got it. It looks like he has an address in Winchester. He has both a landline and cell phone."

Mac handed Brett a printout that listed the address, and both phone numbers. Brett looked at the two numbers and pulled his cell phone out.

"Brett, are you sure?"

"Yeah, I think so."

"He may have changed, especially if he still works for them. It’s been thirteen years."

Brett thought about that for a few moments before shaking his head.

"No, I don’t think so. He warned us and helped us get things set up for the escape. I think we need to try. He didn’t like the orders that they gave him concerning us and the boys. We need to try for any advantage that we can."

" careful."

Brett nodded and punched in the cell phone number. It was answered on the second ring.


"Hello. Is this Mister Martin Swift?"

Marty was sitting in his office going over some guard duty rosters at The Facility when his cell phone rang.

"Yes, this is he. Who is this?"

"A very old friend."

"What old friend? Who is this?"

Brett wasn’t sure what to say for a few minutes before an idea came to him.

"Hello. Who is this?"

"Had any laboratory fires lately?"

Marty was confused for only a moment before he sucked in a surprised breath. He looked at the open door and got up from his desk to close the door. Brett heard nothing for a few moments and then he heard a faint click.

"Not since the Hunt Lab. Who is this?"

"Do you still work for them?"

"Yes. I’m Chief of Security."

"Do you feel the same way as you did then?"

Marty knew what he was talking about.


"Good. We need to talk."

Marty did not have to think about it.


"We’ll let you know. Keep your cell phone on you. We’ll be in contact."

"Who is this?"

"See you later, Marty."

Brett hung up. Mac and Sean looked at him.

"He said he still thinks the same way."

"He could be lying."

"I don’t think so, but that doesn’t mean I’m not going to take precautions. Find out the layout of his house. I want to make sure he doesn’t have any surprises for us. We’re going to go for a visit."

Brett paced for a few minutes before coming to a decision. He left the room and headed to where the others were.

"Hey everyone, I just made contact with Marty Swift. You remember him from Hunt Lab. He helped us then and I’m going to find out what he can do to help us now. We’re going to his house in Winchester and wait for him to come home. I’m going to pose as an old friend in case anyone asks. We’ll have some of Gabe’s men in the van with us, so that if there is a problem they can get us out. I would like Ethan to come with me to pose as my son. The reason for Ethan going is because of his telepathy. I’m having Mac and Sean get an idea of the area around his home and I want a couple of the men to look it over first before we arrive and let us know whether there is a problem or not. If it looks safe we’ll visit. If not, then we know he was lying to me and we can’t count on him to help."

Ethan’s parent’s agreed since they knew Gabe’s men would be there to help in case there was a problem. They were a little nervous, but they had to do anything that they could to get Josh out of there. Brett talked the plan over with Gabe’s men. A short time later Mac came in with some printed pictures. They gathered around them.

"Here’s the house. It backs up to the elementary school at the end of this cul de sac."

There were several pictures that showed the house and its surroundings. They studied the pictures for a few minutes. Jim pointed at the elementary school.

"A couple of us can pull in over here at the school and make our way from there. It won’t take long to check the place out. Once we’re sure it’s clear, we’ll signal you to go in."

Brett nodded for Jim to continue.

"Let’s go at six. If he’s not there, we’ll wait. If he’s there and everything is clear, we’ll talk to him. Ethan, I’ll want you scanning him. Look for anything that says that he’s going to betray us. Aldo and Patrick, you will be the ones checking the place out. Doc and I will be in the van with you guys. We’ll wait out there in case you need us. Let us know if he’s working with us and the four of us will come up to the door. We’ll go from there. Sound good?"

"Yeah, sounds good. Six works for me."

The men checked out their equipment to make sure it was ready for the meet. They made sure all the radio’s worked.

Marty put the cell phone down on the desk and got up from the desk in his office to stand at the window that looked at the large lab building and horse barn. Behind those doors he had seen some things that he hated, but he’d had no choice. They hadn’t given him any. He turned from the window and left his office.

"Mason, I’m going to the office building to talk to Mister Archer about something. Call me if anything comes up."

"Sure boss."

Marty walked out of the building where the single security people lived. From the outside it looked like a house like many others in the area, but inside were several rooms, a large dining room and kitchen, common room and Marty’s office. It was all to give the appearance that this was just another horse farm in the area. He decided to walk instead of taking one of the carts. He made his way across to the other "house" on the property. It, too, looked like any other large houses in the neighborhood and it was also different. Inside were several offices. Marcus Kelly and Hank Archer’s well appointed offices were in there as was Alistair Merrick.

Part of the house was Alistair’s living area as well. He stayed on the property, to be near his work. Since he was unmarried, he had no problem staying here, especially since he got a chance to live in a very nice place and paid nothing for it. The GRA paid for everything. Alistair lived for his work.

Marty went up the steps and stepped inside. He greeted the security guard just inside and headed to Hank’s office. "Afternoon Beverly. Is Mister Archer in?"

"Not at the moment. Can I help you?"

"No, I’ll wait. I have something to talk to him about."

"Would you like something to drink?"

"That would be nice; it is a bit warm out there today."

Beverly left the room and returned a short time later with a soda in a glass with ice. He took it and nodded his thanks. He sat in one of the chairs. Ten minutes later he heard some steps coming down the hall to the office. He looked up as Hank and Marcus entered the room and stood up.

"Hello Martin."

"Hi Marcus. Good to see you."

"You too. I’ll talk to you in a little while Hank."

"Sure. Well Marty is there something that you need to talk to me about?’

"Yes sir."

"Let’s go in my office."

The two men entered the office and closed the door behind them. They were in there for a few minutes before he and Marty came back out.

"I think that will work Marty. Just tell me what you need and I’ll take care of it."

"Thank you, sir."

Hank went back into his office while Marty left the building. He was heading back to his office when he got a call on his radio.

"Boss, this is Joe."

"Go ahead Joe."

"I thought I saw something flash on the hill behind us?"

"Flash? Like what?"

"Not sure, like a mirror or something?"

"Okay, I’ll check it out. I want to take a walk anyway."

"You want me along?"

"Naw. I got this. You stay where you are. I’ll take a look and then I think I’ll head home."


Marty changed his course to head to the back fence. He kept glancing up to the hill to see if he could see anything as he walked. At the back gate, he took out his key ring and unlocked it. He walked a little ways up the dirt road trying to see if he could detect anything. After a few minutes he didn’t see anything so he turned around and headed back to the gate. He locked it behind him. He took a look once again and then looked toward a trail that led to the left of the road and shook his head. He turned around and resumed walking to his office. Inside he turned off his computer, made sure he had everything and said goodbye to Mason. He got in his car and drove home.

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