The Fire Inside, Part I


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Scene Title The Fire Inside, Part I
Synopsis Shedda Dinu's leadership enacts a plan decades in the works.
Date April 26, 2019

Two story tall windows overlook the nighttime skyline of Rochester.

Behind thick glass, the chill of the night air is kept at bay and the warmth of the dim illumination of a stone-walled office is kept in. The noise of the city does not persist in here, just the soft and rich notes of jazz music performed by Thelonious Monk emitting from an old record player plugged in by the window. The deep pluck of a stand up bass, the timbre of a clarinet, the staccato rhythm of the genre are all pulled together to echo off of the high, vaulted ceilings of this penthouse space. It is both luxurious and plain, like the modest but awe-inspiring home of a Benedictine monk. Yet there are no men of God in this house tonight, but rather two devils set about signing a contract of subtle, Faustian intent.

Seated at an antique writing desk, Antonio Garza finishes the last flourishes of his signature on a legal document. He smiles, fondly, and lifts the crisp paper up to breathe against the ink and ensure it dries. But his eyes shift focus from the paper, over to the broad shadow diffusely cast against the nearby wall. "It's done…" Garza says with a rich appreciation for the situation, pivoting in his chair to look over to the tall and broad-shouldered mountain of a man casting that shadow.

"Antonio Garza is now officially an American Citizen."

The Times Square Building

Rochester, New York

April 26


Arms crossed over his chest, Jaiden Mortlock looks down at the contract as Garza folds it and stuffs it into an envelope and licks it shut. He meanders away from the writing desk, turning his attention to the oak table across the room, to the collection of surveillance photographs, legal documents, and blueprints arranged in discrete groups. "Congratulations," sounds a bit hollow coming from Jaiden. He looks away from the documents and back over to Garza. "Are these assignments final?"

The question prompts Garza to his feet from the desk, leaving the envelope on its own for now. "Do you see something that needs rearrangement?" Garza asks on his way over, tucking his hands into the pockets of his slacks. Jaiden looks back to the dossiers and photographs, then to handwritten cards with code names written on them. "Why are you activating Telal and sending him after the doctor?" Jaiden asks, stepping closer to the table when Garza comes up, picking up the photograph of the man designated as Telal; a square-jawed stern-browed jarhead.

"Because," Garza says, taking the photograph from Jaiden, "that directive came from Adam." The name elicits a crease of Jaiden's brows and a downward curve of his lips into a frown. "He's the best man for the job, wouldn't you agree?"

Jaiden doesn't.

"Why not send Pulhu himself," Jaiden asks, invoking more code names. Garza shakes his head.

"He's too old. Even with his ability, I'd need to send reinforcements with him. The more people we send, the more risk of someone getting caught." Garza sets the photograph of Telal back down atop a stack of papers. "Telal is a double-edged sword. We no longer require him to be seated in his assignment, but we also have no need to pull him out if this works accordingly. If he's caught, the chaos it will cause will deflect from our immediate activities for a while."

"But if he's caught they'll eventually figure out how to pull something out of his head," Jaiden insists, frustratedly. "We can't risk losing the doctor and him and exposing ourselves." Garza's brows furrow, first in confusion and then in understanding and serene calm. He lays a hand on Jaiden's shoulder, gently, and shakes his head.

"Badur," more code names, this time from Garza. But it's Jaiden's, meant to evoke a sense of urgency and importance to what comes next. "What makes you think that we intend to stay in the shadows any longer?" The question sets Jaiden's jaw square, and he looks down to the photocopied blueprints on the table, then back up to Garza. "Once this mission is complete, there will be a trail. Someone will know something. There are no perfect secrets in this world, there are no guaranteed escapes."

Letting the hand fall away from Jaiden's shoulder, Garza offers the larger man a mild smile. "Once we've done this…" Garza's words make Jaiden look back down at the table again, to the plans set at the center of the piles of documents and dossiers. Plans for a machine, elaborate and depicted in a blow-out of each and every fine component.

"Everything will be flushed out…"

A missile.

"…into the light."

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