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Alex watched the apartment building’s front doors with the wandering mind that came with years of practice.  The building had a back door, but it was chained shut, in violation of the fire code.

All he wanted was for his target to leave the building so he could search his apartment.  Well, he wanted his target to leave the building, and a good cup of tea.  And sex.  Maybe a burger.  He considered that he wanted a lot of things right now, and none of them involved the ceaseless watching of set of safety-glass double doors in a run-down neighborhood in Boise, Idaho.

But his target was in there, enjoying the company of a woman of dubious repute, as he had been for the last two hours.  Dr. Siemons was a security risk for that alone, and his habit of taking paperwork home from his desk at the CIA didn’t improve Alex’s opinion of him.

Alex’s cell phone buzzed against his left hip with all the stealth of an overweight burglar.  He pulled it out, holding it up so he could read the backlit screen as it framed in one side of the doors, like a poorly designed video game display.

“EYES-ONLY. Bio-agent released. Scenario Z. Spreading rapidly from DC area.”

Dr. Siemons could screw himself into oblivion, and probably would.  This was much more important.

Marita looked up at her assistant as she set a note on the table before her.  The young girl looked rattled, and indeed something important must have happened for her to interrupt this meeting, even as discreetly as this.  She looked down at the note, excused herself, and stalked out of the room.  She started down the hall to her office, but found the target of her wrath much closer - right outside the door.

“You know you could compromise my position by coming here.”

“It won’t matter in about six hours.  We’re leaving - do you need anything from your office?”

Her expression set, “It’s happening so soon?  I thought we had at least three more years.”

“It’s not colonization.  It’s our own propensity for destroying our ourselves.  I got a text message earlier from counter-terrorism - it’s Scenario Z, starting in DC.”

She stared at him, then started down the hallway to her office, “How long’s it been?”

“1 hour, 24 minutes since I was notified.  Nothing’s hit the news yet.”

“I’m surprised they’re suppressing it.”

“Me too, but they are.  And doing a good job.”

“Where are we going?”

“I’ve got the perfect spot.  Have for years.”

“You planned ahead for Scenario Z?”

“I expanded my plan for Scenario C.”  He was silent the rest of the walk to her office, and waited outside while she went in to gather a few things.  She called her assistant, and told her that there was a family emergency that couldn’t wait - there was no sense burning bridges with her irresponsibility if the situation could be gotten under control.

He continued to be uncharacteristically silent until they were in the parking garage.  He led her to an old Mercedes, and unlocked her door for her.  “I’ve never seen this car before,” she commented.

“I stole it from a big-wig judge on my way into the city.  I thought the bullet-proof glass might come in handy.”

Marita hid a smile as she got into the car, “Who decided they hate us enough to start it?”

He shut his door and started the car.  It purred to life, reassuring her that the car was well-maintained.  He awkwardly hit a button on the door-handle with a finger of his left hand, locking the doors, “No word.  The way they’re suppressing it, I wouldn’t be surprised if it were a mistake on our part.”

Marita shook her head, “I don’t think so.  We don’t have any labs in DC.”

“Not that you and I know of.  Doesn’t matter anyway - you can’t put the djinn back in the bottle.  Is there anything you need from home?  I don’t think we’re going to want to get back into the city afterwards.”

“I need about 15 minutes to get everything I need.”

He abandoned his usual cautious driving, and had them there in less than 10 minutes - a record for even a New York cabbie.  He came upstairs with her, taking the time in the elevator to ask what he could pack for her.  He knew what he wanted but he wouldn’t have come back for it on his own.

Step 1. Serve
Step 2. Resist from Within

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