The Darkest Hour pt. 4
Jeff swallowed hard. He didn’t know this woman at all and she already had the jump on him. He knew that he killed her sister for some unknown object on a USB, but it was becoming pretty damn clear that whatever it was, was important. Jeff lifted his hands in submission “Listen, I know I killed your sister, but I don’t know what was on that USB. I never opened it or anything, just simply delivered it for the payment. Now my daughter has nothing to do with this and I would appreciate her not being involved in this.” He felt fear creeping up on him. What if his daughter was already dead? “Relax Jeff, your daughter is perfectly safe. She is at home with her mother. I have a team watching her now and they will keep her safe. What you don’t know is that your employer will no doubt use her against you. He has done it before. What you don’t know is that my sister was a biological chemist. She creates biological weapons and also deactivates these same compounds. What was on the USB was her newest creation. It is a biological chemical that can destroy an entire city in a matter of minutes. She created it and realized it was much too powerful and was on her way to deliver it to me.” She lowered the weapon from Jeff’s face.
Cassandra leaned back and cracked open a window. She removed a pack of Marlboro Lights from her purse, removed a cigarette, and placed it between her lipsticked lips. She lit it and drew in a long deep breath and exhaled. “I don’t want to hurt you or your daughter. But I will be needing that USB. It has a password and encryption on it. They won’t be able to access anything for about 48 hours. You have until then to get it back Jeff.” Jeff sat looking at her. “How will I do that? I don’t even know where their main office is or where they will be.” Cassandra took another pull from her cigarette and let a long wisp of gray smoke leave her mouth and drift out the open window. She reached into her purse and retrieved a small notepad. She flipped it open and tore out the first page and handed it over to Jeff. There was an address on it along with a numbered set of directives with numbers along. “Those are the security codes to get you to where you need to be. Don’t fuck this up, now get out of my car.” She turned away from him and continued to smoke. He opened the door and stepped out onto the snow covered ground. He stepped onto the sidewalk and the two guards entered the vehicle and it drove away. Jeff turned to catch the license plate but it had a dark tinted lens cover so he wasn’t able to get much out of it. “Fuck!” Jeff yelled out. He shook his head and slowly started walking to his truck. What the hell do I do now? He slide his key into the lock and turned it. He didn’t hear the click of the lock opening. He pulled his key back out of the slot and back away from the truck. He knelt down and saw the wires hanging from the explosive devise hidden in the rear fender well. What the hell? He got back to his feet and started glancing around with his peripheral vision. Not to cause alarm. He spotted the black sedan at the nearest intersection parked. No snow on it. Jeff knelt back down out of site and slowly started trotting down the street before standing up and sprinting into the alley way. He heard the car crank up. Jeff found a fire escape and quickly climbed up a few stories as he saw the headlights of the sedan shine off of the snow. He knelt behind a large flower bed. The windows of the car rolled down and he could see the same men that he saw with Jim earlier.
Jeff did not move an inch. The passenger got out and walked around the alley way. He pulled a pistol from his waistband and held it low. He searched the dumpsters, and a few of the dark corners. He glanced up the fire escape and then back to street level. He told the driver to meet him on the other end of the alley. The sedan took off. The armed man continued to tactfully walk down the alley way. Jeff still sat motionless. He was debating on moving down the ladder and attacking but he knew the element of surprise could be compromised at any moment. A cat jumped up from behind a pile of trash and the man fired a shot at it. “Fucking cat” the man uttered. Jeff heard a deep Russian accent. Russian? What the hell? I thought these guys were Americans. Jeff watched the man disappear. His training taught him several things including how bad guys think. He didn’t move.
A few minutes passed and the man returned down the alley, gun still in hand. He continued to walk down the alley way and looked up at the fire escape. Jeff was certain the man was staring at him. The man paused for a moment looking at the flowerbed Jeff was slumped behind. Jeff was looking through the flowers at the man. The man took aim and fired a shot. Jeff heard it slam into the wood of the flower bed. He still didn’t move. The sedan stopped at the end of the alley and the driver yelled something in Russian. The man took off running to the car and jumped in. The car lurched forward spinning its tires in the snow, before disappearing around the corner. Jeff was about to stand up when he saw the spotlight from the police cruiser. The light shined all up and down the alley way and even across the location where Jeff stayed hidden. The cruiser traveled on slowly past the alley. Jeff got up and started down the fire escape and down onto the ground. He pulled out his cell phone and quickly dialed a number. He simply told the person on the other end that he needed a ride to pick him up at the normal spot. Jeff slowly walked out of the alley. It happened suddenly and he was unsure where it even came from.