Mr. Jonas’ graveside funeral was at noon. Although the team didn’t know him well, they all wanted to pay their respects. The cemetery was just a mile out of town. While the service was going on, the ground began to tremble and three things went through everyone’s mind as to what it was. One, someone was digging at the site; two, the BTU excavating equipment was arriving; or three, President-Commander Fattah al-Sisi had approved additional forces to encourage BTU troops to leave.
As they approached the site, they saw it was the third. The Egyptian forces now had BTU forces surrounded and you could see BTU packing up their gear.
“Let’s hope the excavating convoy turns around now also,” said Morrie, who was looking less like a ghoul and more like a scared human.
“That ain’t no joke!” said Bonibel, who was noticing more and more how cute Morrie was.
“Let’s head back to the hotel and change our clothes. I’ll get on the horn to Lt. Shazly and see what the plan is,” said Prof Sadek. “Let’s meet up in the lounge at 2 for a late lunch to discuss.”
June checked in at the front desk to see if there were any messages and learned that there was a message from the U. The test results on “the specimen” were back. The message was marked urgent.
“Oh wow, I’d forgotten all about that mask. Corporal, would you care to join me in my room to hear the results?”
“General, I’d love to.” They both headed for June’s room.
Lok and Miss Martha decided to have an early lunch sent to Miss Martha’s room.
As what was now clear as the two couples headed off together, Jean, Morrie, and Bonibel looked at each other and smiled. Jean said, “I’m heading to my room to call Marty. See you at 2.”
Bonibel said, “Morrie, what do you say we have lunch in the lounge and get to know each other better.”
Morrie locked eyes with Bonibel and thought, wow!
“I’m famished!” he said.
The desk clerk who’d received the message about the mask waited until the team members were gone before going to the back room and listening in with the device that had been planted in June’s room.
Jean got Marty on the second ring. “OK who is going first with their big news?,” asked Jean?
“You go first.”
Jean updated Marty and then it was his turn. “The bug warehouse is open again, but only the examination rooms with access to the databases. The actual specimens are off limits. I chit-chatted with one of the clerks for quite awhile and learned a lot. There may have been things stolen from the collection, and you can guess from which section… 54, which was left a jumbled mess they are working on sorting out and finding out what is missing. Oh, I also learned that their head clerk, a Mr. Luis Gomes, hasn’t been to work in days. She said that Mr. Gomes was last seen the night of the disaster. As Mr. Gomes hasn’t missed a day of work in all of the years he’s worked here, something is not right about it. The warehouse supervisor called his emergency number and his family hasn’t seen him either. His mother called the police, who met her there, and they went in with her key. He wasn’t there and no signs of foul play. Detectives are investigating his disappearance.”
Jean told Marty about the 2pm meeting and said she’d call him later.
What Luis’ mother and police weren’t aware of was Luis’ underground bomb shelter in the back yard. It was there that he, in an increasingly fatigued physical and mental state, curled, sleeping, on a cot. The beast, sprawled on the floor of the shelter and never slept, its mind always reaching…
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