The shadowy figure emerged, and from our low vantage point on the nearby grass, Violet and I could see what looked like a janitor heading to his vehicle, the only one other than the mail trucks in the lot. I anticipated that we would wait until he was out of sight to make our move, but Violet had other plans! She grabbed a rock, and before I could ask her about what she was doing, she threw it towards the building! I panicked thinking that the man would notice it and retrace the projectile’s steps, but luckily, he used his car faab at the same moment that the stone landed, so her hasty choice didn’t get us discovered! I wondered why she couldn’t have waited to do that, but then I observed that she hadn’t even gotten close to the security camera! I almost had a serious discussion with her about this perceived error, but as the custodian’s lights lit up the entire area, I could see that her stone had landed in the doorway and had kept an entrance open for us! As the guy hovered into the darkness in the road ahead, I complimented Violet, “Nice work!”
Violet remarked, “You sound surprised. You don’t think that I learned some survival skills in the woods?”
I didn’t want to iterate my astonishment at her cleverness so she didn’t get the impression that I had no faith in her skills, ergo, I opted to deliver a witty retort instead, “How many houses were you breaking into, Goldilocks?” She grinned at my quip, and with the boost of confidence that her smile gave me, I picked up a piece of gravel and hurled it at the security camera. I could hear the small tinkle of its minute lens breaking, and just like that, it became safe for us to enter into the post office.
We moved through the hall of offices slowly in case the owners of this property had the foresight to install additional security measures inside the premises, but so far, it didn’t appear as though anyone had thought to do that! “Remind me to use a different facility when I wanna send out important documents,” I kidded.
“Sure, if we live long enough to be able to do that!” Violet jested back to me. “Alright, which one of these computers has the list we need?”
“This one!” I indicated to the largest room in the vicinity, which prompted Violet to stare at me in a doubtful manner. I justified my conjecture, “It’s gotta be the manager’s, I’m sure it’ll have a master copy of everything.” She accepted my logic, so we went into that space.
Much like Doctor Canenta’s office, this one had a ton of file cabinets in addition to a desk, but unlike his layout, these quarters were large enough to house everything without it becoming cramped for the people using it! We tiptoed over to his computer, and I could see that he hadn’t turned it off, so I used the mouse to wake up the monitor. The screen floated in front of us and demanded a password, and Violet frowned as she queried, “Are you a good hacker?”
I responded to her, “Let’s find out.” I typed in one attempt, and it opened up onto the desktop right away!
“How did you do that?” Violet gasped in a skeptical bewilderment.
“You sound surprised!” I echoed her words from earlier. She still seemed suspicious about my expertise in this arena, so I let her know, “They have a list of passwords on a sticky note.”
I pointed to the myriad of reminders hanging on the desk in front of me, and Violet’s face dawned in comprehension. She then commented, “Man, this place is wrought with security hazards!”
As I searched through the folders on the computer, I conversed, “Lucky for us, huh?” I located the correct form, and then I puzzled, “This has a list of zip codes. Which one does the BBN belong in?”
“We can look it up.” Violet took the reins and used an internet search engine to retrieve the information we needed. “There!”
“I’m guessing they won’t mind if we take one of their sticky note papers!” I jotted down the ID number of the truck we needed to go to on a giant wad of this colorful stationary, but before Violet could react to what I conveyed to her….
We both froze when we heard the loud bang of a door opening on the other end of the building! I hastily nabbed the info we obtained before we peeked out to survey the scene. A worker had come in, but thankfully, it wasn’t the owner of the office we were in! Not that this made us completely safer… The woman turned on a machine and began sorting through some envelopes, and while she wasn’t paying attention to this end of the establishment, she could easily have pinpointed us if we chose to move to a different room! I bore a pronounced grimace as I eyeballed the supply room at the end of the hall. We couldn’t complete this phase of the mission without our disguises, but if we actually made it to that area, I feared that we would get caught trying to leave! And I had no clue how long it would take before somebody started to load the trucks! The onset of this operation had gone so smoothly, and now our odds of success didn’t seem so high…
Another person entered into the property and announced,” Hey, Kathy! I brought coffee!” As Kathy went to fetch her drink, Violet and I darted into the supply room!
We found the mail carrier uniforms pretty fast, and while Violet initiated her wardrobe change from the privacy of a large stack of boxes, I tore of my garments out in the open. I assumed that the employees arriving at this hour were primarily stationed in another section, but I dreadfully fretted that an individual would use the backdoor and inevitably chance upon us! I grew so nervous about this possibility that my hands were almost shaking too much to button up my shirt! I was so close to finishing up when…
A man walked in through the door near us! I halted my movements from sheer fright, and for a second, I believed he would pass by without interacting with us, but he doubled back and approached me in the supply room! I was sure that he would declare us in deep trouble, but instead, he gently put his hands on my back and advised me, “Hey buddy, there’s a bathroom down the hall if you need to put your uniform on here!”
“Uh… Thanks, my friend!” I stammered. I felt relieved that he had no intention of turning us in, but I hoped that he wouldn’t prolong our conversation so that Violet and I could continue with our escape out of here!
“No problem! I know what it’s like to be new! If you need anything else, come find me! My name’s Andy!” He showed me his badge on his polo.
I jovially regarded him, “Thanks, Andy!” I prayed that he would leave after this, and once he gave me a supportive pat on the shoulder, he did exit out of our sector! Violet tossed a large hat onto my head, and we nicked a large envelope as we made our way towards the delivery truck lot.
We passed a couple more postal workers as we went out, and I crossed my fingers that no one would engage with us on the way out. I felt sure that I hadn’t done a sufficient job hiding how jumbled my nerves were at that minute, and I fretted that a lengthy interaction might give our identities away to the wrong person! I had no inkling on whether or not any Fallen were employed in this branch, and even if we didn’t encounter any, our lack of expertise in this industry was bound to give us away! Plus, didn’t they display the most wanted posters in these joints? I took a deep breath and strove to push these qualms out of my mind in order to concentrate, but it was hard to fixate on anything but my rapid pulse! I can’t recall how much time it took to find the vehicle we sought- each step seemed like an hour to me! We hung out behind the truck until the coast was clear, and I beseeched the universe that the assigned driver to this unit wouldn’t head this way during the process! Finally, we were alone, and we hopped in without incident! I truly thought that the hard part was over until…
We heard someone’s whistle coming closer and closer, so we had to swiftly assemble a barricade with the material inside! We achieved that just before the mail carrier opened the cargo door, and as they put in some last minute additions to their load, Violet and I held our breaths and knocked on wood that they couldn’t detect us! When we heard the doors shut again, we breathed a sigh of relief! I began to relax a little until Violet whispered, “There’s no windows in here!”
She was correct, we were completely closed in! In a hushed tone, I asked her, “How are we gonna know when we get there then?” Violet answered by holding her hand up to perform a spell, and my heart sank completely! “Don’t do it!” I plead.
Violet softly told me, “We have no other option! We won’t know where we’re going otherwise!”
I cringed, and as she used her magic, I cringed knowing that it would physically hurt her to do so. I could feel a gentle wind flow in the cabin, so I knew it was over, but I didn’t dare to glance over until I knew she was done reacting to it. I listened to her shuffle slightly, and I assumed that she had briefly writhed in agony, which sent a million jagged pieces to my core! I had a growing care for her, and I loathed these remembrances on how depleted her life source had become! I let my inner aches to burn a renewed and more vigorous motivation to find the Arch Deity, and as we viewed the passing cityscape, I ardently wished that Nicole did turn out to be the one so we could extend Violet’s life!
Several stops later, we beheld our appearance to the BBN studio! My excitement level elevated again, and I couldn’t wait to hear what Nicole had to say! I let myself believe that she could alleviate our woes immediately, especially Violet’s tragic circumstance, and that fervor chased away any angst I harbored over this ordeal! As we road towards the back of the property, I impatiently waited for the mail carrier to hit the brakes so we could finally complete our quest!
The vehicle fluidly lowered to the ground, and I was mildly stunned to see that our mail carrier was Andy! At first, I was glad that we had such a friendly man unwittingly partnering with us because I didn’t think he would get too bent out of shape if he stumbled across us, but then I recalled our exchange in the supply room, and I pondered if that occurrence would make him connect the dots about our deceit! I forced myself to stay optimistic on this regardless of my trepidation- we were so close to our end goal, so I refused to accept failure at this critical juncture! He opened the trunk, and as soon as he ambled over to the property’s mailboxes, we burst out of the vehicle and disappeared from Andy’s sight!
No one followed us, so I gathered that nobody was purvey to our suspect emergence! I spotted some security cameras alongside the structure, so I made sure to move as casually as possible. We initially intended to go to the front entrance, but when we saw a security guard stationed on one of the side doors, we decided to give this accessway a whirl. The gatekeeper here donned some silver sunglasses as well as silvery jewelry, and his clothing had small and subtle rhinestones of the same hue all over them. I couldn’t tell if this signified that he was a Falle nor if those Fallen executives simply wanted to protect one of their subordinates. I didn’t relish dealing with him, but I judged this to be a safer method of entry than the main doors since it had less traffic, so I had no hesitation about taking a shot with him!
The security guard surveyed us thoroughly, and while our presence didn’t seem especially welcomed, he didn’t turn us away either. I confidently fibbed to him, “We’re here to deliver a certified letter to Nicole Avalloch.”
“It takes two people to do that?” the security guard probed.
“She’s in training,” I lied again. I felt that it was a plausible explanation, so I did not hold any concerns about him not permitting us admittance inside. My expectancy of such a daunting scheme coming to a close slowly arose in me… until…
The security guard gruffly spoke into a headset, “We need an escort service at Entrance Two.”
An escort? I wasn’t counting on a chaperone babysitting us for this phase of our plan! I timidly joked, “Wow! You guys really have tight security for a news station!”
“You can never be too careful nowadays!” the security guard coldly stated. An even rougher-looking man joined his comrade’s side, and the door guard instructed, “Take them to Avalloch for a signature.”
“Yes, sir!” the other man brusquely obliged. The gatekeeper stepped aside and created a narrow aisle for Violet and me, which we instantly used before he changed his mind. While we tailed behind this intimidating man through a sterile and practically blank hallway, I wracked my brain to unearth some technique of communicating to Nicole without this overseer catching on to our message. We ceased our footsteps at a door with Nicole’s name etched on it, and the guard barked, “Be quick!” I nodded in compliance, but my alarm heightened at how impossible it seemed for us to pull this off! We went in hoping for a favorable outcome despite our fears, but as we entered into her room, we realized that she wasn’t alone…