A Single Bound 12

“What’re they saying?” she asked.

“Something about a vest?” Aiden asked.

“No,” Max said.  “They’re talking about an investigation.  I’m going to crack the door a little.”

“Wait,” Teri said.  “Are you sure that’s a good idea?”

Max paused with his hand on the knob.  Seconds ticked by, measured by the muted drone of the voices on the other side of the door and the low rumble of the heater behind them.

“I think we should go for it,” Aiden said.

That settled it.  Max took a deep breath and started turning the handle.  Every metallic click and groan made Morgan wince.  The quiet in the storage room and her fear of discovery magnified the sounds to an impossible volume.  She was almost too distracted to notice Aiden’s muscular arm pressed against her shoulder.  Concentrating on that made her less afraid, but it didn’t do anything to help her nervousness.

Light flooded through the cracked door.  The dim light of the auditorium was like a camera flash after the near total darkness of the storage room.  Four eyes pressed against the opening, trying to see.  Morgan had to stand on her toes and press on Teri’s shoulders to get close enough.  Aiden’s head was above hers, and all he had to do was lean over.

When Morgan saw who the voices belonged to, she had to slap a hand over her mouth.  That almost caused her to fall over onto Teri and Max.  Aiden put a hand on her shoulder to help steady her, but for once her mind was completely elsewhere.

Special Agent Taggert was standing there in a crisp suit and tie.  He looked exactly like he had yesterday.  Maybe he hadn’t changed clothes.  The person he was talking to turned so Morgan could see his face, but she’d already recognized him by his trademark dark blue lab coat.  It was Dr. Fiedler, Teri’s chem teacher.

“… have to get back to my classroom, Taggert.  I don’t have time to chat.”

They were speaking loud enough to be heard clearly now that the door was open.

“Would you prefer a formal investigation?” Taggert asked.  “Because that’s the next step.”

“Alright, it was me,” Fiedler said.  “The results were better than I could’ve hoped.”

“What about the anomaly?”

“An intriguing side effect.”

“What you call a side effect, Homeland Security is calling a threat to national security.”

Fiedler waved his hand, brushing away the thought.  “They’re scared of a broken mirror?”

“A broken mirror with three times normal background radiation,” Taggert said.  “And we weren’t able to find the missing pieces, not even traces.”

“How do we know the subjects didn’t walk off with them?”

“They’re kids Fiedler, sometimes I think you forget that a little too easily.”

“You’re in the wrong line of work to have a conscience.  That, and it’s a little late in the game to be developing one.”

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