Outcome of Chapter 15 Plot Hinge: A reference to “mothers” was not trending worldwide on Twitter at 4 pm EST on May 13th. As a result, the Panama Crew will be able to find a clue to where Isabella has gone with the journal and microchip. Remember, the journal and microchip contains clues as to the whereabouts of the lost golden city of Ma’chavu. However, what Isabella doesn’t realize is that there is a third piece to the puzzle that she is missing: the decoder.
Darius Mack, the Panama Crew’s resident hacker, tapped furiously on the computer they had found in Isabella’s “mother’s” office. He shook his head, attempting to shake off the lingering effects of the gas.
“Anything?” Agent Isaiah asked.
“Gimme a minute,” Darius replied. “They’ve scrubbed it down pretty good.”
“Keep me posted,” Isaiah said angrily, exiting the room.
Darius gave a sidelong look at Agent McCrudden who was busy going through a filing cabinet. “Wow,” she said. “You ever see the boss this upset?” Darius never had. They’d been on missions that had gone sideways before but Darius had never seen Isaiah lose his cool like he did after they all woke up.
Another reason he needed to find a clue, he thought as he turned his attention back to the computer.
Ten minutes later Darius burst through the double doors into the living where the rest of the crew waited. “Tokyo, Japan!” he exclaimed. Darius had found a near-unrecoverable message Isabella had sent to a contact in Japan. Though corrupted, the message clearly indicated that she was taking the journal and microchip to one of her dealers there. “They’re headed to Tokyo.”
“Well,” Agent Isaiah said, “then so are we.”
Apparently when Agent Isaiah said “then so are we” that didn’t include Will. That suited him just fine. With the stupid microchip out of his shoulder, Will assumed the next flight he took would be back home. Nope.
“Out of the question,” Isaiah had told him. “The Windigos still think you have File 92. If you go home, Mr. Dalton, they’ll be waiting.”
So instead of getting to go home, Will now sat twiddling his thumbs in a safe house in Albuquerque, New Mexico of all places. The cramped apartment made Tina’s ex-boyfriend’s look luxurious. At least he had company. Tina and Coyote Jack had also been exiled with Will. Tina, for the same reasons Will was here, as well as to look after Coyote Jack who still needed constant care to treat his gunshot wound.
If there was any silver lining to the situation it was that Will was finally able to change his clothes. He already felt grossly inadequate in the company of hardened soldiers, spies and secret agents like the Panama Crew. Wearing a tight t-shirt with a dancing crocodile and monkey on it wasn’t helping.
Will peeked out the window. He couldn’t see her but he knew Agent McCrudden was in one of the apartments across the street, keeping a close eye on things in case the Windigos came a-knocking. Will wasn’t sure if he felt more or less safe with a sniper rifle constantly pointed their way.
Will heard the bedroom door click shut. He turned to see Tina coming from changing Coyote Jack’s bandages. “How’s he doing?”
“He’s a big baby,” Tina said, joining Will at the window. “Men are ten times worse patients than women.
“Now how are you doing?” she asked, taking Will’s chin in her hand inspecting his face. The injuries he’d suffered at the hands of Dr. MacGregor in Buenos Aires were starting to fade. “You’re going to have a nasty scar from this one,” Tina said, gently touching the gash on his temple from when Agent Isaiah had forced their car off the road.
Will’s heart started to race. Tina was just a few inches from his face, trying to get a decent look at Will’s wounds in the dim light. Will took Tina’s hand in his and their eyes met. Will’s lips slowly moved toward Tina’s.
The sound of broken glass interrupted the moment. Startled, Will looked to the window and saw a bullet hole in the glass. Given its position, it must have narrowly missed Will and Tina, passing instead between their heads.
Will shoved Tina hard, pushing her away from the window and dove to the ground as three more shots fired through the glass. Why is she trying to kill us? Will thought. Looking up, however, Will saw Agent McCrudden’s true target.
The door to the apartment was ajar and Isabella Medora stood there firing her own gun back through the window. Diving out of McCrudden’s crosshairs, Isabella did a quick roll across the small living room, reloading her gun in one fluid swoop. Grabbing Tina from behind, Isabella held her in front of her with the gun to Tina’s head.
Tina looked ready to explode with rage. “Izzie, you dirty little—”
“Enough!” Isabella shouted, tightening her arm around Tina’s throat and choking off her words. “You,” she said, pointing the gun momentarily at Will while keeping a safe distance from the window. “The decoder. Where is it?”
Will put his hands up. “Are you insane Isabella? Exactly whose side are you on?”
“The decoder, Will!” Isabella shouted, a crazed look in her eyes. “Now!”
“I don’t have it!” Will said. “Isabella. I swear. Everything’s on that chip Isaiah dug out of me.”
“The chip’s encrypted, Will,” Isabella said while Tina muttered profanities in German. “It’s useless without the decoder and we both know you have it.”
Will suddenly remembered the letter that had fallen out of Agent Isaiah’s pocket.
WILLIAM DALTON HAS ANSWERS
IS CARRYING DECODER
“The note’s wrong, Isabella!” Will pleaded. “Just let Tina go and we’ll figure this out.”
Isabella ignored him. “Downstairs,” she said. “Now. Before your little sniper friend gets here.”
Using Tina and Will as human shields, Isabella slowly backed out of the apartment with her two hostages.
“You’ll never get out of here,” Will said as they headed down the stairs. “By now Coyote Jack’s called in reinforcements.”
“Coyote Jack?” Isabella said with a laugh. “Who do you think called me?”
Will’s heart sank.
“And besides,” Isabella continued, “Last I checked, Donnie and his crew of traitors are tied up in Japan chasing that clue I left for them.”
It’s up to Agent McCrudden then, Will thought. He just hoped she was able to get to them in time.
Plot Hinge: Solar Eclipse
On Sunday, May 20th, a rare solar eclipse will be happening. One of the places it will be most visible is Albuquerque, New Mexico, where Will and Tina happen to be. With such a rare event happening, the streets outside the safe house may be quite congested with sky-watchers.
- If on May 20th at 6:30 pm MDT in Albuquerque, New Mexico, the skies are clear (according to www.theweathernetwork.com), the streets will be very congested with people out to watch the eclipse. As such, Agent McCrudden won’t be able to get to Isabella and the others in time. Isabella will escape with her hostages.
- If it is cloudy however, then the streets won’t be as busy and Agent McCrudden will be able to catch up with Isabella and prevent her from escaping with Will and Tina.
Chapter 17 goes live on May 24th! How do you like the story so far? Feel free to leave comments below or email me your thoughts, questions and ideas. And if you haven’t already, be sure to subscribe in the top right of the screen to receive email notifications whenever a new chapter is posted.