Living Outside The Box Born-Again Techo-Geek Renaissance Man


Novel Excerpt, Scene from Chapter 11

The feeling that had settled in Mike's gut was unlike anything he'd felt before. It sank into his stomach like a stone weight, almost to the point of dragging him down physically. Even though there was little chance the plan wouldn't work, it did nothing to calm his nerves.

"Okay," Mike said, drawing in a long breath and letting it out slowly. "Here's what we're going to do." He tried to collect his thoughts, though the talk was really only a benefit to Bob. Petty already knew most of the plan, and Thad didn't care as long as someone told him what to do.

"You've kept us waiting," Bob said impatiently. "Could you get to it?"

"I know, I'm sorry. I guess it took me a while to figure out what we could actually get away with."

"It's fine," Petty added. "Just walk us through it."

"Right." Mike cleared his throat for emphasis. "We've already got the tracker on Agent Simon's car. Thad's remote unit will allow us to disable it when necessary."

Thad nodded in agreement.

"The easy part will be getting them to follow us to where the setup will happen. The hard part," Mike said more slowly, "will be to get them to see what we want them to see. There will, of course, be a thorough police forensics investigation afterwards, but we've accounted for that."

Petty shot him a wink, to which Mike smiled.

"Are you sure you've planned out the switch well enough?" Bob asked. "Do you have some sort of diagram or map? I don't feel comfortable with this unless I can see how it works out on paper."

"Fair enough," Mike said. "For now, it's going to simply be a fake accident, and nobody will be the wiser."

"If you say so," Bob said. "I still think it's risky."

"It is," Mike said with some hesitation. "If we didn't do it this way, there would be no way to get the feds off our tail for good." His lip turned down in a half-frown. "There's no other way."

He placed a large folded sheet of paper on the table and grinned. "There you go," he said to Bob, "I figured you'd want to see it. All the points are there, everything is accounted for."

For a minute or two Bob examined the drawing, scrutinizing every line and number. Finally, he looked up at Mike and raised an eyebrow. "Are you sure you want to do it here?" He shook his head. "That's a long ways, man."

"I know," Mike admitted. "It's very risky. But I know we can do this."

Bob chewed his lip in thought, until he finally threw up his hands. "Fine," he said. "I don't like it, though."

"I figured you wouldn't," Petty said with a chuckle. "I know how much you hate water."

"Absolutely!" Bob shot back. "You know I can't stand swimming."

Mike turned to Thad, who had remained unusually silent up to that point, and asked, "What do you think?"

A huge grin came over Thad's face. "I say, mate, it's bloody brilliant!"

"Thanks," Mike said with a nod.

"I'm with Robert, though, I don't think it'll fool them."

"Oh, come on!" Mike insisted. "It'll work, trust me!"

"What makes you think so?" Bob asked.

"Because," Petty interrupted, "we've got the feds on our side this time!"

It took a few seconds before the look of shock faded from Bob and Thad's faces.

"Come again?" Thad asked.

"The feds know about it," Mike answered. "In fact, they helped me come up with part of it."

"Absolutely not!" Bob shouted as he stood up, knocking the table to the side. "You can't trust them!"

"I know," Mike said, holding his hands up. "Just hear me out."

"Ah, you little devil, you!" Thad said, his grin returning. "You figured on that all along, didn't you?"

"Absolutely," Mike said with a nod. "I may be crazy, but I'm not stupid!"

"Well, then," Petty said with an audible sigh of relief, "the only thing left to figure out is who's vehicle we'll use to make it happen."

"The van would have room for all the equipment we'd need," Bob observed.

"I know," Mike answered. "That's why we're going to use Pettys' Cuda instead.

The last thing Petty remembered was the room going dark and spinning, and then everything went black.

Posted by Jeff Hendricks

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