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(Catch up, here)

I’m standing out here, on the corner of Grove and 11th, and I’m cold. Gene told us what to do. I said I was okay with it, but mostly I’m not. What if I can’t lie to whoever comes? I shrug that thought off like molting a second skin. Thinking that way will only make things worse. It’s dark out. The stars are bright in the sky and for a second I feel completely alone. Not exactly the best feeling to be experiencing. Especially in a situation like this. This is the plan: I call my contact at the organization. Tell them I have news about my project. I don’t feel safe talking about it over the phone, though. Have them meet me here. Then….Gene was a little vague on the next part. He used the word improvisation a lot. I didn’t like that. He told me I didn’t have to. I had to do and say whatever it took to get the organization to believe I still hadn’t caught up with Grampy. I had to be careful, because they were wily Grampy had said. They’ll spin words in such a way that I may get confused and divulge information I didn’t mean too. Great. I hug my body tighter. It’s getting cold. They should be here by now. Then the shadows start to shift, and out spill two tall men dressed all in black. They wear high-collared trench coats cinched at the waist and hats straight out of a 40’s mobster movie. That doesn’t make me feel any better. I take a deep breath. Time to dig deep and pull out my junior high theatre class lessons; dust them off a bit. “Took you long enough,” I say as they saunter up. “I don’t believe you’re the one giving the orders,” the taller one on the left says. “No, I’m not, but I’m the one in the middle of a project, and you making me wait could cost me the deal.” The one on the right lets out a low chuckle. “Spunky,” he says. “Just like Abel.” “How do you know about my project?” I ask, stiffening slightly. No one is supposed to know about an individual’s project except their direct superior and the Head Honcho. “Toots,” the one on the right says, “A project this big, everyone’s gonna know about it.” I play dumb, stalling. “What do you mean a project this big? I’m finding my grandfather to make sure he’s safe. Bring him back to Emerald Isle.” “Sure, sure,” the one on the left says. “And the moon is made of green cheese.” “Then what’s the real reason the organization wants me to find him?” “He has something the organization wants. And when he disappeared they was that he did, it made the organization nervous. They want to bring him back, get what’s theirs and make sure this never happens again.” I don’t like the way he says that last part. “So, the million dollar question: Have you found Abel yet?”

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