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Chapter 31 – Mad Boon Rising

May 8, 2012

BOOK FOUR – ROARKE

Chapter 31 – “Mad Boon Rising”

October 15, 1973 – New Jersey Turnpike

Braden drove differently when he was in the Northeast. When he was in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Indiana, Ohio and Pennsylvania, the truck moved smoothly without problem, without complaint.

Now, however, he seemed to be pissing off every driver behind him. He refused to break the speed limit, so perhaps that was it. Maybe it wasn’t that he drove differently in New Jersey so much as that he drove the same. He refused to adapt to the driving habits of his fellow travelers.

“Yo! Dips***! We ain’t got all day.”

Maya rolled the window up even though it was unseasonably warm for October. She ignored the Italian man and his girlfriend in the black Firebird with the decals. As they passed she saw what she already knew: Jersey plates.

“So, when we get there Braden, you do the heavy lifting and mechanical repair. Maya, you’re my assistant. Your job is to keep the security from thinking too much about us being there. Charm ’em.”

“You sure this is a good idea, Babe?”

“Maya, he tried to murder his employees. He is doing something illegal with uranium ore. I cannot imagine a more important thing to look into.”

He had second thoughts about that comment.

“Well, almost…”

She laughed and grabbed his hand. He was improving on his speed and recall for the relationship maintenance.

Lun tao!

The Chinese taxi driver shouted loud enough as he passed that the window being closed made no difference.

“Who or what is a ‘Lynn Howe’, Eli?”

“No idea, my large, handsome friend. Don’t worry about it. The guy’s obviously a dickhead.

“So. We all got the plan now? Clear? Claro? Verstehen sie? Y at-il des questions?”

“Not much of a plan, Baby.”

“Oh, where’s the fun if we can’t do some improvisation?”

*****

Same – Lobby of the Roarke Industries Building, New York, New York

“So, yer sayin’ it’s broke?”

“Problem with the card feeder. I’m surprised they haven’t called you. Mr. Roarke is depending on that thing for his trades tomorrow. High priority. If he even finds out the thing has been malfunctioning this long…”

“So… it’s broke?”

The security guard didn’t seem to be getting the finer details. Maybe Eli had overprepped his story…

“Yup,” Braden offered.

The guard looked to Braden and nodded silently. It was as though something had passed between them. A secret society, Eli imagined, the members of which only recognize each other when they see each other and look into each others eyes. A group of individuals quietly working on their master plan to take over the world, unable to be discovered because none knew the identity of the others.

“Elevator five. Thirteenth floor.”

They made their way to the elevator. After pressing the button, Eli and Maya looked to Braden for an explanation.

“He’s a Yankees’ fan. Little pin on his jacket. Sportsfans. I showed him mine,” Braden glanced down at and angled toward the light the pin on his jacket.

“Oh, nice pin!”

“I see…”

So much for the secretive beer drinking Illuminati hypothesis. One day, Eli would have to start paying attention to sports beyond fencing and ice skating. He tended to read the chess matches and skip baseball and football.

The elevator opened. They walked in, half expecting the bottom to drop out. Maya pressed ’13’ and up they went.

“Pretty fast…”

“Yup.”

A musak version of some rock hit was playing as they waited. Coincidentally, it was the same one that was playing in the truck when they first spied Manhattan from Jersey. As the missing lyrics came back to Eli, he tried to push it from his mind. It wasn’t the Apocalypse, just some crime that needed exposing.

All he needed to do was flip through some of Roarke’s computer data cards. Eli had spent enough time in the lab at the U to be able to read the things without having to run them through the feeder to check. There would undoubtedly be some clues as to what Roarke had intended caving in his copper mine where they had secretly discovered uranium, and possibly any other plots this unscrupulous millionaire had brewing.

—–

©2011 Christopher C. Knall

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