I find this piece a bit rough, but it serves good as a quick installment and a refresh to the Steve Merritt universe ( can’t believe I’m calling it like that lol).
A black Range Rover pulled across the street from a diner in Manhattan.
There were few customers in, talking quietly, eating their breakfast or watching the news report on the TV set above the bar. As Jaquel walked inside the live broadcast about the assassination of senator Steven Merritt last night had just begun. The volume was turned up.
“Many statements have been made, but it’s yet to be revealed whether the FBI has a suspect for the murder of senator Merritt. The President of the United States of America….”
Jaquel sat on the last table and ordered coffee. He blocked the voice of the reporter and took a sip. It was still too hot and it burned his tongue and throat, but Jaquel didn’t flinch. Strong, black, two sugars, just the way he liked to drink it, in this same diner, two years from now. Jaquel put the cup back down and reached his inner pocket for the tracker device. A small gift he had brought with him.
The red dot was still moving. Judging from the map it was now headed west towards the furthest and most remote neighborhoods of the district and soon stopped at an unmarked area which Jaquel then identified as a frozen construction site back in 2016, owned by Prime Ind. He found no information regarding building plans or names associated with the project. He scowled. This was an odd place for the Presidential car to be stopping at. Jaquel waited. The dot didn’t move for a few minutes. Then it took off.
He sat back. Something wasn’t right.
“Son of a bitch”
Phase 2 of his assignment had to be postponed. The tracking bug which Jaquel had planted on the Presidents assistant showed they were moving back into the city and not flying towards the phantom factory of Prime Ind. located in Nevada as previously presumed.
Jaquel checked his watch. He clicked the screen and chose a different option. A countdown was set – 2 minutes.
Jaquel rose and slowly walked towards the rest rooms. Midway when he made sure no one is watching him, he turned on heels and went behind the counter, pushing the doors of the kitchen.
The cook gave him a glance, but Jaquel returned him a cold stare and the man had wit enough to understand Jaquel’s business was none of his.
Jaquel looked around searching for the perfect place. The kitchen wasn’t big enough, but he spotted a small metal table. He pushed aside what was on it and took out his phone, placing it on the table. He took off the watch from his wrist, then unhooked the screen from the straps and placed it upon the screen of his phone. There was a quiet agreement, a gentle buzz from the phone that led Jaquel to believe a relatively stable connection was made. A white field appeared on the screen. Jaquel wrote a code, his eyes never leaving the countdown – the digital blue numbers were reaching the final fifteen.
Jaquel waited. The countdown hit zero. The buzzing sound got louder by the second. The room vibrated and a transparent hole started ripping in the middle of the kitchen, quickly growing in size. The objects behind it took unnatural forms, bending, deforming.
Two men came rushing into the kitchen only to stop at the entrance, guns pointed, eyes staring wide. Jaquel recognized them from the diner- they were sitting two tables from him.
He took a step back, they took a stronger grip on their guns. Before the hole pulled him, consuming him and the bridge through time closed, the shorter one fired a shot that reached where Jaquel was standing too late and the bullet dug into the wall. Jaquel was no longer there.
“Sir? You’ve wanted to see me?”
The President stood with his hands behind his back facing the window and watching over Manhattan.
“I understand you have vital news for me Erik.”
He turned around meeting the head of his science division.
The other man nodded.
“It was confirmed sir; we have been infiltrated by agents, most likely sent from the future judging on the technology used. The responsibility of Steven Merritt’s assassination is theirs according to the amount of glitches around his body. Pieces of ripped matter were located in an alley downtown. The jump they performed was close to be unsuccessful, and time within the perimeter seems to be speeding by 2.8 seconds. A team was sent to fix the problem.”
“I see” was all the President said.
So, they were still experimenting with time travel; so was he. But it angered him that they had managed to find a solution and perform a jump. The future was now unstable, unknown and that needed to be fixed. He couldn’t let anyone control his world. After Merritt’s screw up, it was time for him to take things in his hands and pay a visit to Prime Industries.
There was a knock on the door. An agent walked in.
“Did you catch him?”
“No sir. He escaped. He must have realized we were playing him. His people retrieved him before we could act…There’s one more thing sir.”
The President raised an eyebrow.
“The link is still active, although it may break any minute. The bridge is not fully closed.”
The President stepped closer.
“Can he be traced to the exact location of his arrival in the future?”
The question was directed to Erik.
“And be followed?”
“I believe so sir”.
“Get on with it. I want results”.
The agent and the head of the science division nodded and walked out.
The President went back to his view and closed his eyes enjoying the feeling of being one step ahead, one step closer.
“Be sure to take that agent and his employer out of the picture”.
A figure came out of the shadow, a cigarette burning between his lips. His hand rested upon a gun.
“As you command Mr. President”.
To be continued…