Duncan: Out Of Exile – Chapter 10
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I returned to the library and found Max still waiting patiently. I asked him if he’d like a bottle of water from the cooler in the lobby, I brought one back to Sarah as well, who looked like she might cry from the gesture.
“I wish all my patrons were as well-mannered as you, young man.”
I told her it pleased me to do it.
We were interrupted by Dan’s return. He looked grim; he motioned for me to join them and sliced the seal open with his knife. Once seated, he sat facing us still looking very dour.
“Okay, what I’m going to tell you does not leave this room. If either of you tells a soul you’ll be up for Guantanamo water sports before you know where you are.”
“Duncan, your Mom was doing something very special for the folks at Langley. This John Worrell that appeared on the screen was the head of the program that she worked for. She was collecting data on a Chinese national that worked at the company and was passing critical and sensitive material to a handler.”
“Your Mom Identified her and collected evidence enough to crush their whole operation. That information is missing, and I need you to help me figure out where it might be.”
“The agency mistakenly thought that you died in the crash as well. When they discovered your mother had been killed, they searched your home and it was a thorough search. Most of your furniture was destroyed in the process. We can talk about the rest of the stuff later, okay?”
I sat there stunned as he told me how my mom had been a spy and broke a major spy ring of the Chinese. It was overwhelming to say the least.
“What do you need me to do; I want to help finish her last assignment. She must have thought it was important or she wouldn’t have moved us here.”
Do you have any ideas about where she might have stored the evidence?” Dan asked.
I thought about the cryptic message she gave me about the passwords. “My mustache!” I yelped loudly enough to startle Max. “Do you have my mom’s key ring?” Sure enough, the flat black key that I thought looked like Hitler’s mustache was still there. I removed it from the ring and asked Dan if he could tell which bank it belonged to by the numbers on the key. I told him about the day I signed a little card in front of a man in our living room. He put a little ink stamp on the card and on a sheet of paper that my mom signed as my parent. I know now that the man was a notary and the card was to gain access to a safety deposit box.
A few days later, she showed me the key and I started clowning with it and doing a bad impression of first, Hitler as a gay man and then Chaplin from the silent films like The Tramp, and generally being goofy. The anodized black key did resemble a mustache even now and I held it under my nose and did an effeminate Nazi salute and “Heil me!” But it just made me want to cry.
Dan sensed this, reached for my hand and squeezed it. “I’ll get on it and we’ll find out where it goes. It’s probably local. So now, Max and I are going to deactivate this device so it doesn’t eat itself. I have a procedure for you to read Max, and I’ll do the input. The less you see of the screen on this, the better off you are.”
Max looked concerned. “It sounds like we’re up to our necks in shit.”
Dan grinned back at him and quipped, “Deeper.”
Dan looked my way, “Max and I will take this to the FBI office for them to take custody. Mr. Worrell told me he would like to speak to you once this is all done. He says you’ve been instrumental in retrieving information they thought was lost. Ken and Gabe should be back soon and your doctor walked by while we were talking, so why don’t you go ahead and check with her and get your dinner. I’ll see you when we get back, okay?”
“Okay Dan, I’ll be here unless Sarah wants to go dancing.” They both laughed and I got up to leave. Max stood up and hugged me and then Dan did the same.
I went out and talked to Sarah. “Dr. Chandler was by looking for you,” she offered. “I think you’ll find her at one of the listening stations.”
I thanked her and went back to where I had found Lyka.
Dr. Chandler was in the same chair that Lyka had occupied earlier, adopting the same eyes-closed posture as she listened to Sull’aria from La nozze di Figaro. She had a beatific smile and was obviously lost in the music. I fully understand, it’s a beautiful song. (Go ahead, pop over to YouTube, and have a listen, this will all be here when you return.)
When the music ended, she opened her eyes sleepily and gave me a warm smile, “Thanks for waiting until it finished, it’s so lovely. How are you doing, Duncan?”
I told her as much as I could about the afternoon. I told her about Lyka, not the part about jerking him off in the restroom, only about how cool he is and how much I liked him already.
“Yes, I heard you visited his floor today, the Duty Nurse was very impressed that you seemed to know what Michael needed and that you weren’t meant to be on that floor. I’ve fixed that by the way, you can access any floor that patients are allowed including Michael’s. As you know, he went a little long without his pain meds so he’s recuperating. That’s not privileged because you already knew. The whole Ortho staff is keen to get him well enough to leave; his mother is a very forceful woman,” She informed me.
I laughed a little, “Gabe? Yeah you could say that. But then you could say that Ghengis Khan was a type A personality, Johnny Cochran would walk the other way if he was opposing her in court,” I opined, “I mean if he wasn’t quite so dead. His practice has really slowed down since that happened.” Dr. Chandler gave a very unladylike nerd snort and burst into laughter.
“C’mon Doc, it wasn’t that funny.”
She gave a demi-snort and said, “Coming from a twelve- year-old, it sure as hell is. I’m really going to miss you when you leave tomorrow.”
I smiled back and said, “I’ll miss you too, Doc.”
She reached out and touched my hand, “Call me Karen,” she said simply. A few moments passed and I asked if I could talk to her about Jerry.
I blushed as I told her about his interesting wake up service and asked if it was going to cause him problems. “I’m just worried he might do it to someone who would hurt him or force him into other stuff.”
Dr. Chandler thanked me for telling her and asked if I had any issues with what Jerry had done.
I told her I was okay, I had set Jerry straight and told him that he should stay with boys his own age and I told him why.
“And how about you and Michael, any hope there?” She asked. “Maybe, but he lives in Genoa so I’ll probably never see him again after I leave here. But he’s very cool.”
She smiled warmly and said, “I’m so sorry, that’s too bad but wow, Genoa? That’s a nice place to live.”
“It sure sounds nice,” I agreed. “But I’ve never been to Italy.”
She stood and said, “Well I have to go prepare the paperwork for your release, but don’t leave without seeing me.” She bent forward and kissed my cheek. “You’re not my patient anymore, I can do that now.” She walked toward the desk waving at me over her shoulder.