Things Left Unsaid
As Sean had suspected, a thorough debriefing was the first item on the FBI’s agenda. He and Mary were taken directly from the airport to a ‘safe house’ in Virginia—a tastefully furnished modernist style home situated in a wooded area adjoining the Prince William Forest Park. After a barrage of questions from the agents concerning the couple’s activities in Iceland, the subject turned to The Brotherhood investigation.
“We’ve been investigating the information you gave us in your Seattle deposition,” said the Richmond agent, “As far as we’ve been able to corroborate, it seems to be accurate. We’re almost ready to begin a major operation to break up this ring, both here and in Seattle. We need a few more pieces to fall into place before we can act.”
“Forgive me for being so bold, but may I ask when do you think this might happen?” said Mary, “There are still several people at risk: I’m thinking of Molly and Jo in Seattle, Sean’s aunt in Iowa and, of course, Sean and me.”
“As long as you’re here, you are reasonably safe,” said the agent. “Molly has taken steps to reduce her exposure. Jo is currently in a women’s shelter—the restraining order on her ex is being used as a pretext to disassociate her from The Brotherhood investigation. There has been no further activity detected in Decorah. Concerning the timing, we can’t divulge that information. Off the record, I will say that it will be within the next two weeks.”
“Two flippin’ weeks? The full moon is tomorrow night!” thought Mary.
“Are we being detained?” asked Sean. “We both have obligations in Seattle.”
“No, of course not,” said the agent, “But I would strongly recommend against returning to Seattle at this time. We feel it would be in your best interest that no one knows where you are. That’s why we intercepted you at customs. The flight log will show that you returned to Seattle—there is no record of you flying into Dulles. You’ll have a car at your disposal, there are suggestions for local attractions, shopping, cinemas, et cetera. All we ask is that you sleep here each night, and don’t make any transactions in your names which can be used to trace your location. A suitable amount of spending money is also available—to be repaid, of course. The compound has a perimeter security system, a manned security post at the gatehouse to the community, and a rapid response team is on call 24/7. We’ll be in contact with updates—every day, 4 P.M. You don’t need to worry. Enjoy your stay here, think of this as a vacation. We’ve got things covered.”
Mary was about to speak up about the full moon meeting at The Chamber House but decided against it.
“Either they don’t know what they’re doing, or there’s a lot they aren’t telling us,” thought Mary, “I think we’ve got a date for tomorrow night, n'est-ce pas?”
“I gather that this will be the storm I should fear?” thought Sean.
“Think of it as a family reunion—of a different sort,” thought Mary.
“Do you know a place where we can get some good coffee in the morning?” asked Sean.
“Insomnia in Woodbridge. My son says ‘It’s da bomb’,” said the agent, smiling, “It’s up U.S. 1 a few miles, in a strip mall just off of River Ridge Boulevard. You can’t miss it.”
“Thanks, I’ll make a note of it,” said Sean with a yawn. “If you don’t mind, we’d like to get some sleep, it’s been a long day.”
“Certainly. We’ll be in touch. Good evening.” said the agent.
After the agents had left, Sean and Mary continued to ‘converse’ via their telepathic rings. Sean had his laptop open and was looking at a map of the area.
“Assuming everything here is bugged, we should act as if we’re buying into their plan.” thought Mary, “We can use the Wi-Fi in the coffee shop, ostentatiously to plan our day, but really use it to research our trip to The Chamber House.”
“That’s a good idea.” thought Sean, “The Regelind estate is only about a mile and a half from here. We’re on Joplin Road, and its on Hangman Tree road. If we hike up along Quantico Creek we can reach the chamber house without being seen. Will you be able to get us into it?”
“Yes,” thought Mary, “Oh God, yes.”
The next morning Mary and Sean went out for breakfast at the coffee shop that the agent had suggested. Despite the edgy name, its offerings and atmosphere was undistinguished, especially compared to Seattle. The WiFi connection was good, however, and Mary and Sean silently compared notes on the terrain and the weather for the evening.
“Anyone watching us must think we’re the dullest couple in the world,” thought Mary, “We should say something to each other.”
“I don’t think anyone is paying any attention to us at all,” thought Sean, “But you’re right.”
“Didn’t you say that you wanted to do some shopping?” asked Sean.
“As a matter of fact, I do. I can barely fit into my clothes. I wonder if there is a maternity shop that sells jumpers. Or something in a nice floral print.” said Mary, smiling. “A ninja-styled jumper in a camouflage print, that is,” she thought.
“I think we might have some luck at this REI in Fairfax. It isn’t too far away,” said Sean, pointing to his laptop, “We can take the scenic route back, past Quantico Creek, the car is probably geotagged, but it shouldn’t be too suspicious if we use it for site-seeing,” he thought.
Outside the coffee house, in an unmarked F.B.I. van, one of the two agents listening in to Sean and Mary’s conversation turned to the other and said: “This has got to be the dullest assignment ever. Eavesdropping on two yuppies discussing their plans to go to REI.”
“They haven’t said anything of interest in the last 12 hours. Why would anyone be interested in killing them?” replied the other.
“Not for us to decide. Someone thinks it is important.”
“I say we use our discretionary powers and terminate this operation.”
“Agreed. Let’s file our report and get some sleep. The director said we might be needed again tonight.”