The Bible Runner: Chapter 2

Chapter Two

At 6 foot 11 inches and with each of his limbs having the approximate thickness of a healthy tree trunk Winston brought a whole new dimension to intimidation. He hadn’t changed much from an exterior perspective, his face still looked as if the third world war of acne has scarred it with a battlefield of pockmarks. His light brown eyes were still hidden under a protruding brow; his hair was still swept back. Those hands looked like they could still swallow my head and crush it to a pulp. Then he smiled and I let out a breath I’d forgotten I’d inhaled, it felt like I’d been holding it rather too long. And then he spoke as he shook my hand, Luther Vandross would be impressed, as would James Earl Jones.

“Damian. It’s been far to long an absence.”

“Winston. Wow, of all the people that was running through my head-.”

“I didn’t expect to need your help tonight, but it is nice to see you again.”

My mind skipped a few beats, and apparently Winston was content with giving me a few moments. Most of the time Winston was finding people for others, he worked hard to reunite families, was he asking for my help to find someone?

“Ditto, how can I help you?”

“I’m trying to find an old friend of ours who’s gone missing, I’m pretty sure she’s landed here in the City of Angels. Her path however has run cold and I thought I’d turn to you as an expert on the area.”

My pulse began to race, I was obligated to help, in fact it would take my mind off both the nightmares and loosing AMS, however I hated having to find lost friends.

“Who is it?”

He responded by sitting down and sliding a small black file across the small table situated between us. Sitting down I picked up the file and a shiver of anticipation raced up my spine. Flipping it open I felt my throat run dry, my eyes acknowledged her picture but my mind rebelled against the implications.

“Is she on the run?”

“Yes.”

“And you’re certain she landed here? In town?”

“As certain as I can be without knowing for sure.”

“GPF related?”

“I pray to God that it’s not, but you’re going to need to be fast and discrete.”

“Assuming it is then.”

Winston nodded, and I waved off Lindell who had just arrived with that second bloody bottle of Guinness. Both Winston and I batted sentences off one another for the next few minutes but I didn’t get much more information because he had very little of it to give me. She’d search me out that much was for certain, heck we’d probably end up running into each other, but Los Angeles was still a large city. It was in fact quite the perfect place to loose oneself.

“Jordan,” I muttered to myself.

“You can find her?”

“I won’t sleep until I do.”

Winston laughed a low roll of wonderful sound.

“Don’t make promises you can’t keep ‘cause you’re about ready to keel over.”

“That’s cruel.”

Standing he extended his hand and I shook it again, his mountain like presence enclosed me in a hug that would’ve turned most mortals to jelly.

“Get some sleep and be careful.”

“I will.”

“I left my card on the table, stay in touch, and good luck.”

With that he left me to ponder things over, before long I pondered myself to sleep.

***

When I woke up it took me a few moments to realize exactly where I was, and it annoyed me that I couldn’t remember how I got there. Gathering myself to a seated position I looked around my bedroom, if there had been damage I couldn’t see any. The television was on the far side of the room still on top of the chest of drawers, I wanted it on, which meant I had to find the remote control. Searching through the sheets on my bed proved fruitless so I leaned over the side looking into my remote’s second favorite hiding place. Back under the bed I saw the tell tale glow of it’s volume buttons and I snatched it from the darkness, I did my best not to think of what else might be lost under there. Pressing the button I flopped back onto the pillows; my head was threatening to crack apart at the seams I desperately needed coffee.

“-6.2 magnitude earthquake whose epicenter was pretty much directly under Century City revealed yet another new fault line, it’s also the most significant quake since The Big One. In our top news story GPF authorities are on high alert today and want you to be also, apparently Jordan Davis, more commonly known as…EagleOne421…a high ranking member of the Christian Underground has been tracked to the Los Angeles area.”

Watching the file footage my body corrected my earlier assumption, it did not need coffee, what it needed was simply adrenaline. Getting out of bed I walked over to my closet door and fastened the anklets, and then grabbed the resistance handles. The last bloody thing we need around here is heat on the CU I thought as my muscles screamed at me for starting my workout session.

“Authorities have reason to believe that she might try and make contact with known or unknown allies in the area. For now these people are being given a chance to offer their opinions on their own terms with no fear of institutionalization.”

“Uh huh,” I managed no wanting to waste valuable energy in talking back to news anchors.

“Authorities want to be perfectly clear that this is only a twenty-four hour grace period, after which a warrant will as usual NOT be needed.”

“And to think this all…started…with the bloody Patriot Act.”

The pulley systems and cables performed admirably producing the resistance my body craved as I moved up the level of intensity. Boy did it feel good to be working out at home, it had been a couple of weeks, and I’d certainly need to get more milk. Commercials came on and one was for the new Mustang Hybrid called the Stallion, I’d been putting off getting a new set of wheels for quite some time, but I had plenty of cash on hand and in the bank. That and my current ride was pan caked in what used to be the complex’s parking garage, so as I worked my lats I also allowed the commercial to try and woo me.

My phone rang, and since I hadn’t thought to change it the machine picked up immediately.

“Damian are you there…pick up!”

Snatching the phone off its stand I worried that someone had heard, my paranoia was greater than my faith. Even if someone had heard it was just a panicked woman calling me that was all, no reason for anyone to assume a bloody thing.

“Hold on and take a breath, you’re going so fast you’re gonna run out of oxygen.”

There was silence over the line, except for the pacing of footsteps; they seemed to be crossing through water. Finally she came back on the line.

“Thank God you’re there.”

“Right, right. Want to tell me what’s going on? Why you’ve crashed in L.A. with all the subtlety of a bomb going off.”

“I didn’t mean to-“

“That doesn’t matter, your news is bigger than the 6.2 and the file footage-“

“They had file footage!”

“Yes they had file footage, more like a montage of your greatest hits. There’s no way you can claim that this is normal so spill the beans.”

“I can’t.”

“You can indeed-“

“Over the phone, I can’t tell you over the phone. Come out to The Eleven tonight after curfew. I swear I’ll tell you all I can.”

“All you can? I need to know everything.”

“Maybe, maybe not. Be at The Eleven at eleven.”

“Fine. You have a headset?”

“Yes.”

“Have it set on two just in case.”

“Fine, Eleven at eleven.”

The blessed dial tone drilled through into my subconscious I couldn’t believe that she’d hung up on me; I was however glad we were off the phone. Glancing at my watch I noticed I had slept through most of the day, it was already 6 P.M., I needed to pack up my kit and get moving. Black would be my color of choice tonight as it was most nights, dress like a thief, to steal like a thief. Pulling on a black shirt I pulled out my low light pack from under the bed, and did a check of the contents. The last thing I wanted to do was get to The Eleven and find out I was missing some key piece of equipment. Each item had a pocket and each pocket was for a specific item, it had to be where you needed it or when you needed it you couldn’t use it. These days that meant the difference between survival and solitary or worse. Christians are not criminals, but we’re treated as such.

The 14 gig flash drive is perhaps the most important part of my kit; every single file on it is encrypted. The GPF would love to get their hands on it that’s for certain; given enough time on their supercomputers they would probably be able to crack it open. Just thinking about the consequences of that makes me sick; I rotate 7 that look the same. Sometimes the best way to protect something is to make sure there’s a decoy on hand at all times.

Inside my pack I also carry a small netbook with power cord, a change of clothes, trail mix, power bars, bottled water and a small first aid kit. Basically it’s a portable earthquake bag with a few modifications. Before I go out I make certain that everything is accounted for, once again the last thing you want is to not find something when you desperately need it. Zipping up my kit I placed it on the foot of my bed and picked up my Bible, opening it to the bookmark put me at Luke chapter 12 and my eyes were drawn to verse 15:

15 Then He said to them, “Beware, and be on your guard against every form of greed; for not even when one has an abundance does his life consist of his possessions.”

“That’s why the majority of my treasures are in Heaven,” I muttered out loud.

Closing my Bible again I slid it carefully into one of the external pockets of my pack, hopefully I’d still hold onto it for a while, if not I’d have one to burn to get out of a tight spot. My kit all sorted I walked into the small kitchen and opened the fridge; there was a bottle of milk that I had my suspicions about. Taking it out I carefully unscrewed the lid and took a cautious sniff, not curdled enough to be cottage cheese. Screwing the top back on I went for a Dr. Pepper instead grabbing it after replacing the milk, besides I’d need the caffeine it could be a very long night. Just in case I pocketed a couple of those tiny energy drinks, the ones that work far better than Rockstar Overdrive.

The battery powered clock over the folding table edged around to 8 P.M. it was about time to get on the move again. Someday soon I would run out of luck, and then I’d get an express ticket to Heaven punched by a bullet through the head. Least I pray it’s something that fast, if the GPF keep me for information than the reunion will have to wait a little longer.

Walking past my bed I slung on my kit, settled it nicely for long-term comfort and ease of movement. Fastening the snaps and looking round my apartment I wondered about two things; first of all, when would I be back? And secondly how would this face to face with Jordan go? Slipping quietly into the hallway I tugged my apartment door softly closed and left down the hall, I had just two hours to get to The Eleven. The way these last 24 hours had gone I’d probably need each and every second.

To Be Continued…

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