[Edge1.1.17] Shoot The Mole – Dave Bailey

[Edge1.1.17] Shoot The Mole

“Why did you set a bomb here, Johnny?” Art whispered in horror.

“Everything okay?” Tony’s voice boomed from across the room.

Art turned quickly hiding the phone behind his ear as if he was deep in thought. He smiled and nodded at Tony. The man turned back to what he was doing at the desk with the lawyers.

“I didn’t put there. The same guys that tried to kill us last night did. You gotta get out of there now. But don’t tell Tony or anyone. Just leave. Tell the guards you have to go to the bathroom again and run.”

“No,” Art whispered in horror. He watched the Tony standing by the desk with the three lawyers. Two men and a woman. They would all be dead within the hour. Standing there, discussing something that wouldn’t matter any longer if the bomb went off.

“Look. I can’t let them die. Tell me why I shouldn’t sign the contract. Give me one good reason.”

“Fine,” Johnny replied. “Tell them about the bomb and get them out of there. I’ll call you back. But go, or you are all going to die. Don’t raise suspicions because it’s remotely activated as well. So, if they see you all are leaving before the timer goes off, they can still detonate it.”

“Schmack!” Art whispered.

Art turned toward the group and tried to decide the best way to go about this without making a big deal about it. He walked over to Tony’s side of the table and glanced under it.

“Hey, Tony!” Art said. “Can we go take a look from the view of the roof while they finish up the contract.”

“Sure, Art,” Tony replied. “Just as soon we get this printed off, and you sign it.”

Art leaned forward in Tony’s ear, “We have a serious situation here.”

He pulled Art away from the table so they could talk in private without the lawyers overhearing them.

“Don’t make a big deal, but we’re being watched. If we try to run there’s a bomb that’s remotely activated under the desk. It’s set to go off at noon.” Art said quietly but naturally as if they were just shooting the breeze.

Tony pulled away and looked at him in shock with his eyes open wide. He stared at Art hard for a second to see if he was just pulling his leg or making up another excuse to get out of the room.

When he realized that Art was serious, he turned around and sat down in front of the desk so he could get a better look underneath. He saw the bomb pressed against the inside of the desk, and stood back up.

“Sure, Art,” Tony said loudly. “Why don’t you go up and enjoy that view from the roof. One last look at the world before you become a billionaire.”

Tony motioned to the bodyguards and whispered something in their ear. Art followed them out of the building. The spokesman took Art by the elbow and guided him to the stairwell hurriedly. The other bodyguard took off running down the hall as he spoke into the walkie-talkie.

“What’s your name again?” Art asked. “I’m sorry. I guess I didn’t catch it earlier.”

“Just call me Alpha Four,” the spokesman said curtly. “We take our jobs seriously and don’t use our real names around here.”

The man smiled at him, but it was a strange, eerie sort of smile. There was something off about it. It gave Art a strange feeling in the pit of his stomach. It wasn’t reassuring at all. Art pulled back a bit. He didn’t want to go down the dark stairwell with this man. After all he had been through, Art didn’t know who to trust. There were a million things that could go wrong, and for all he knew, this man might be one of his enemies.

Art finally realized what was bugging him about this whole situation. Everyone was his enemy. Everyone wanted something from him. But any one of them would turn against him if made the wrong decision. He knew that moment was coming soon. He would have to make a decision one way or the other.

But how did he know who to trust? Every one of them seemed to have their own second intentions. Pedro spoke bad about capitalism but wanted to sell his project off. Tony said he wanted to help the sick, but Johnny didn’t trust him. Tony said Johnny worked as a double agent. And then there were the men in the black SUV and the woman in the reception today. Art still didn’t know if they worked with Johnny, or someone else.

If Tony was right and Pedro had spilled the beans about his research, there was no telling how many other companies, underground organizations, or even rogue government agencies would try to get their hands on it. And who knew what evil intentions that had for it.

“So, whose side are you on?” Art asked Alpha Four. “Tony or Johnny?”

Alpha Four didn’t look up or acknowledge the question. Art continued to walk behind him in silence. They rounded the final flight of steps and came up to the door. Alpha Four stepped to the side and Art kept walking to the door. As he reached out for the handle, the bodyguard shoved his hand away and slammed him up against the wall. He cocked his gun at Art’s temple and shoved the back of his forearm tighter against Art’s throat.

“I’m not on Tony’s side or Johnny’s side. But do not sign the contract. I will shoot you personally myself. Tony can’t get his hands on this technology. The man is evil. Pure evil.”

“Okay. Fine.” Art said with his hands raised up at his side, palms forward. “I’ve been hearing that a lot lately, I don’t want to sign the company over to him. But if I don’t someone else will get it and do something bad with it.”

“No, one could do anything worse to it than Tony. Sell it to anyone, but him. Use it yourself. I don’t care what you do with it. But I aim to make sure that Tony doesn’t get his hands on it.”

“What does Tony do that’s so bad,” Art asked in exasperation. “I wish someone just tell me what these people do.”

“They have other government contracts in other places. They’ve been working on cloning, body transplants, and all kind of weird things. He promised to help my brother, and he never came back alive. We got him in a body bag. I found out from Carla that…”

Alpha Four’s head exploded right before Art’s eyes. His body slumped to the floor lifelessly. Art looked up in shock to see Tony walking down the stairs with the other bodyguard in front of him. Alpha Four had been shot by his partner. Art realized he was still holding on to Alpha Four’s arms. He let go and let the man drop to the ground.

Dave Bailey

Dave Bailey started writing short stories when he lived in Brazil to help his students learn English. Now, he lives in Florida again where he continues to write fun and inspiring sci-fi and fantasy fiction stories. You can read his weekly short stories here on his blog. Make sure to join his advanced reading crew so you know when new stories become available >>> https://davebailey.me/go/crew