Jake awoke in the passenger seat of Mr. Smith’s car. It was dark, and he was very groggy. He had no idea how long they’d been driving, or even where they were.
“What time – is it?” He was confused, and already angry.
“Where are we? I don’t remember getting into your car.” Jake didn’t trust Mr. Smith, not for a second. He decided he’d take his chances with the unknown, and jump out of the car as soon as it slowed.
Mr. Smith smiled, but kept his eyes on the road.
“I was starting to think I’d given you too much. And I didn’t bring a shovel.”
“You drugged me?!”
“You left me no choice.”
Jake tried the door. It wouldn’t open.
“Where are we?!” Jake demanded, again.
“Sit still, Jake. You’re not going anywhere, and if you struggle, you’re gonna get us both killed.”
“You have no right to kidnap me.” Jake’s voice was smooth and calm now.
“Listen Jake, I have no intention of hurting you, but I am running out of time here. Once you’ve served your purpose, you are free to go.”
Jake waited for Mr. Smith to continue.
“This block of the Plant has been closed for years. There are cameras, but they aren’t monitored regularly. You should be fine to scale the fence and get in and out.”
“You’ll have exactly 10 minutes. Then the building will explode.”
“You expect me to believe that?” Jake snickered. He was starting to think Mr. Smith was really nuts.
“Why should I do this? What am I even looking for?”
“My old office is at the end of the hall on the third floor. When I was escorted out, I wasn’t allowed to remove anything.”
“What does that have to do with me?”
“I told you. You are going to get it back. Listen to me so you don’t make any mistakes. You get one chance at this.”
“Right,” Jake grunted, “because the building is going to explode.” Jake was wondering if he would actually be able to make a break for it; with his life intact.
“My middle drawer has a false bottom. Here are the keys. The big one is the main door. The smaller one is for my desk. The scanner has been deactivated so you won’t need an ID card. My office door is locked, just kick it in.
“What I am looking for? Why would it still be there?”
“An envelope and a DVD. If they had found it, I’d know.”
Looking around, Jake didn’t see anywhere to run. It was dark, there was no one around; he didn’t even know what time it was.
“You’ll need these.” Mr. Smith handed Jake what looked like a mechanic’s coveralls, made with really thick fabric; and a pair of work gloves.
“Not me. Not for an electric fence.”
Mr. Smith pointed with his flashlight.
Jake didn’t say a word as he reluctantly took the flashlight.
“There’s one more thing. When they put out the fire, they’ll find a body. His dental records will match yours. You’ll be free. No one will be looking for you anymore, and I never want to see you again. If you ever speak of this, Cynthia will pay for it, with her life.”
“What? Who? How did you-?”
“The first guy who was supposed to get my stuff back. See you in 10.”
Mr. Smith got back in his car, and Jake walked to the fence. He easily jumped up three feet, and climbed the other six feet very carefully, making it over without a scratch. His heart was racing. Mr. Smith is a killer. Or is he? How could he change Jake’s dental records?
He pointed his light at the building only for a moment, then walked to the door in the dark. He considered walking around the building and taking off. It was Cynthia that changed his mind. Mr. Smith had threatened her life once before, and Jake had vowed to keep her safe.
The building was easy to navigate, and Jake found Mr. Smith’s office quickly. It wasn’t locked, probably because it was empty, save for an old desk. And sure enough, the envelope and DVD were right where Mr. Smith said they would be, though Jake had to destroy the drawer to get at them.
There was only one piece of paper in the envelope; it had a 6-digit number on it. A code for something? Perhaps what was on the DVD.
Since being struck by lightning; Jake could control electrical currents; he could run faster, and jump much higher than the average person; but he didn’t have a photographic memory. There was no computer here to pop the disc into. Grabbing a pen from the top drawer, and scribbling to make sure it worked, Jake pulled down his pants and wrote the number on the inside of his thigh.
Suddenly he heard a faint beeping, and realized that Mr. Smith was serious about the bomb. Jake turned off his flashlight, put the envelope and disc in his back pocket and started to run before his eyes had fully adjusted to the dark.
Racing down the hall, Jake was alarmed to hear the elevator door in the lobby open. He turned, ready to knock Mr. Smith in the head; but no one came out. Jake’s heart was pounding so hard he could hear it in his ears! It felt like slow motion as he approached the elevator to look inside. With only his flashlight, Jake could see a man slumped in the corner on the floor. He didn’t need any more light to know that the man was dead.