A Deal with the Devil
Posted on Thu Jul 17th, 2014 @ 7:42pm by Zach
Location: Atlanta, Ga
Timeline: April 20th, 2010
Tags: Zach, Atlanta, Donya
Zach threw his duffle bag into the back of a beat up rusty pick up truck driven by Dad. Dad had a young bright smile on his very young face. He nodded as Zach got in and Zach returned a smaller nod. As the truck pulled out the complicated roads and back on to the connector. Zach pulled out his one of kind smart phone and sent a text to Donya.
“In Atlanta, let me know when you want to meet.”
Donya glanced at her granddaughter as she removed her phone to read the text, she nodded at it without replying and got to her feet. Cam was sitting with her daughter and a handful of other students over lunch, their youngest, Lily sitting in her lap half asleep after finishing her meal. If she was going to get away, now was the time. She kept her motions unhurried as she scraped her plate and put it on top of the small stack of dirty dishes then left the dining area. Only then did she return the text, "Caribou Coffee at Ansley Mall, 30 minutes."
She looked like any other old woman, with her bright white hair swept up in a loose bun, her pastel floral shirt, solid cropped pants and cloth shoes would have fit in anywhere. As she stepped into the cool interior of the coffee shop she took off sunglasses that were almost too big for her face revealing pale blue eyes and carefully done makeup. Despite the cane she carried she moved easily through the crowd until she could place her order for an iced coffee and find a seat in the far corner to await Zach.
Just as she got settled her instincts shivered as Zach walked through the parking lot entrance. The room was filled with what could only be described as metro sexuals. While usually bustling with chatter things were still quiet in light of recent events not to far from here. Zach was dressed in blue jeans with a tight royal blue nike t-shirt. Wiry muscles moved even and smoothly. His face was one of utter boredom but his eyes danced quickly around the room until he spotted Donya. His gaze stopped only for a second as he then walked up and paid for a bottle of water. As he walked over he pressed his finger to his ear and then removed what appeared to be a blue tooth ear piece and placed into his pockets.
He plopped down in his chair, “You look good despite the local weather.”
"Not bad for a woman of nearly 90," Donya said, a wry note in her voice, "How was your trip?"
“Tolerable. This place seems very noisey is there a quieter place to be had,” Zach looked around the mostly quiet coffee house.
"It was a common meeting place and if you didn't show up at least I had coffee," Donya said, tipping her cup towards him, "I've arranged a small apartment for you in midtown off of Piedmont and North Ave. We can go there if you like."
Zach shook his head, “Being in the middle of the city is not ideal for me. Come, my resources have been in place for a month now. Let me take to the B&B I am opening up just outside of the 285 perimeter."
Donya nodded, retrieving her cane and getting to her feet, "The apartment can still be a safe house if you needed, bills are paid up for 6 months. Lead the way."
Zach took her out the store side exit and then went around back where there were several boutique style stores. Vintage clothing, antique furniture and a peculiar wig store with very extravagant updos in the display. Waiting for them was a white escalade with tinted windows. He opened the back seat for her on the driver’s side and then went around the other side and joined her. The interior was leather with all the amenities. The driver was an older man with peppered hair.
“The man driving goes by Christmas,” replied Zach. Zach took his customized smartphone and set into a holster set up between the two front chairs. “So, it appears yall left in quiet the fanfare Donya?”
"Nexus had a little ambush planned for us, and tried to catch us unaware. It would have worked if my granddaughter hadn't had contingencies in place, but thankfully we were able to get most of those threatened out of the city. If we'd had more time we might have been able to close down the building without the pyrotechnics but as it stands we got away and they won't be able to use anything we left behind," Donya explained, "I would have preferred something a little more subtle but Cameo felt a show of power was necessary."
Zach let the comment go despite the fact he disagreed and just nodded. The rest of e trip was quiet as Zach passed he time with small talk of catching up. After a fair bit of time they turned up the drive way that had the sign "Grassy Knoll Bed & Breakfast". The building was painted a light blue with yellow cream trim. The long drive way was lined in trees and bushes with gorgeous green grass visible as we'll. the house was designed in the tradition plantation style with a porch wrapping the house with plenty of plush wicker seating. The vehicle pulled up to the front and let the out. Zach gestured to a rock path that led out to a garden so they could talk in private.
"Here is the deal. I will stay in Atlanta for a year. I will maintain total operational control but your team will provide targets for extraction. This location can house up to fifteen with out getting noticed. We have several egress points. After a year I estimate that I will have gotten enough attention that I will have to leave. Also I will make myself available to you and your team as a consult should you also require it. Is this amendable?"
Donya considered his offer for a full minute before nodding, "At this point targets and safe havens is all I can commit to you so it works well. My granddaughter still has complete control over the students so their support will not be available to you." She pulled a very small sat phone from her pocket, "Encrypted sat phone, I'm on speed dial 1, my granddaughter Cameo is on 2, our tech guy on 3. It has a remote kill switch, if I haven't heard from you for more than 30 days I will assume you or the phone has fallen into Nexus hands and fry it."
Zach caught the phone smoothly and quickly hid it away, “I will call you once a week precisely at 1:15 pm on sunday. If I am more than 5 minutes late burn the phone and assume I am compromised. If you need me and my resources let me know. Anything outside of the year will require a contract with the usual fees. Now would you like a tour or do you need my driver to take you somewhere?”
"If he can drop me back at the coffee house, I can walk from there. As for your fee, I have already put the cash value of your usual fee in an escrow account, should you need the funds let me know and I will arrange a drop. At the end of the year, should there be any money left you may decide what to do with it," Donya said, "should you want to keep the remainder I will have it converted to your usual currency."
Zach nodded and recorded the account information. He escorted Donya back to the front of the B&B and had Christmas drive her back to the Starbucks in Ansley Mall. As soon as the white SUV disappeared Bear walked up.
"Take this sat phone and check it out. If it is secure up to our level then get it back to me. Also take some funds out of the card and use it on information resources. I will be in my workshop tonight and I will not be available till morning." Bear only nodded and went to get to work. Zach headed to his private suite to work on a private project of his own.