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“Okay, Ms. Oldham,” Mr. Z said, “lets go back into the conference room for your final briefing?”
“Okey dokey!” Lysergic Oldham answered, after she finished inspecting the Paik 923X.
As Z and Lysergic went back into the room, S closed off the garage.
“Have a seat,” Z motioned to Lysergic. Lysergic sat at the end of the table, kicked back in her chair, putting both feet up on the table.
“Make yourself at home!” S sarcastically said.
“Home is where you hang your hat, if I still had a hat!” Lysergic answered.
“Ms. Oldham,” Z began the briefing, “have you ever heard of someone by the name Timothy Edward Friendly?”
“Nope!” Lysergic replied, “should I?”
“Don’t know,” Z replied, “but remember that name. It may be a valuable clue. Okay, here’s the deal. As I’ve mentioned briefly to you before, several weeks ago someone broke into one of our stations and took a book. A very special book. We want that book back! We NEED that book back!”
“Well, what kind of a book is it?” Lysergic asked.
“It’s more like a brown leather journal,” Small replied, as he handed Lysergic a picture of the journal, “with stuff written in it.”
Lysergic glanced at the photo and shrugged, “What kinda stuff?!”
“Notes, graphs, formulas, stuff not for you to be concerned with,” Z continued, “your concern is in finding it and getting it back into our possession! Our intelligence indicated that the book was taken by some persons affiliated with one of the Groog gangs down by the Neuroville section. Which Groog gang, we don’t know! That is what you are to find out!
So you will ride into that section. Your cover will be as a street punk/former Joy Girl, just passing through. You nose around the streets, bars, hang outs, etc..
Find out about this Timothy Edward Friendly. Where he is! Knowing may lead you to where the book is and who has it. Then, with any and all of your resources at hand, retrieve it! Once you have it, you are to use this!”
Z took from his coat pocket a micro-transmitter and handed it to Lysergic.
“Coolio!” Lysergic giggled, “can I download tunes?”
“It’s a one way transmitter,” Z explained, “it has five minutes of power. So use it only when you have the book. After you have retrieved it, you are to transmit, ‘Almighty! Almighty!’ Now say it!”
“Almighty! Almighty!” Lysergic repeated, boringly.
“Then you will immediately go to this area,” Z continued, as he took out a street map of the City and pointed to a vacant field at the border of Neuro Ville sector, “you will stand by while we copter in to retrieve the book! You understand?”
“Yep!” Lysergic answered, while she twirled the ends of her hair.
“PAY ATTENTION, OLDHAM!!!” Z yelled, “or I’ll have Mr. S detonate that device in your shoulder right now! You’re not the first street punk we have sent in. We can see that you won’t be the last!”
“Others have gone after that book?!” Lysergic asked in surprise.
“Yes,” Z answered, “two others before you.”
“What happened?” Lysergic nervously asked.
“Don’t know,” Z replied, “they went in. They never came out!”
“Kinda like a roach motel, huh?” Lysergic wondered.
“Like a what?!” Z asked.
“Never mind,” Lysergic frowned.
“This is no joke, Ms. Oldham,” Z said, “whoever has this book is not playing games. Unlike the others we sent in, you DO have experience dealing with these Groog types. That is why you are even here!”
“Okay,” Lysergic said, “let me ask you a question!”
“Go ahead!” Z replied.
“I know I have no choice in this deal,” Lysergic began, “if I don’t do it, then you’ll send me back to Wacko City, so they can scramble my brain! If I try to run, you’ll de-shoulder me! But what’s in it for me if I succeed? If I get you that damned book?!”
Z nodded, “if you retrieve the book, then when we rendezvous at that vacant lot, as soon as the book is handed over and we confirm it is what we want, then, as I’ve mentioned before, the device implanted in your shoulder will be de-activated. Then you can take the motorcycle and go wherever you want. We’ll erase all of your records. You’ll be free!”
Lysergic nodded with suspicion.
“Any other questions?” Z asked.
Lysergic nodded no.
“All right,” Z stated, as he motioned to Small, who took out a silver attaché from under the table and placed it in front of Lysergic, then opened the case.
Lysergic peered inside to see a .454 Caliber Hellsing Silver Special handgun with laser sight, four ammo clips, a steel wire garrote reel, two blood gutter throwing knives, the thigh belt/holster, and a stash of a money!
“All this for me?” Lysergic asked, “How sweet! You guys shouldn’t have!”
Z nodded, “All for you! So load up!”
Lysergic took out the weapons,
“When’s this road show start!” Lysergic asked.
“Right now!” Z answered.
Next: Chap. Eighteen “Lysergic Through the Rabbit Hole”