Operation Stingray                        Part 4 // PG. 1 of 3

     

PART IV.      

 

     “So,” LaFarge said, “what's the plan?”

     He was a big, hefty son of a bitch, with a bushy mustache and a mop of stringy gray hair. Heavy, dark bags sagged under his eyes and he reeked of body odor and wood chips. I have no idea how he was able to ambush me without my smelling him first.

I blinked. “What do you mean? Brian told me to find you. I assumed you had the plan.”

     LaFarge shook his head. “Brian is the brains. I'm just the eye candy. Is he on his way?”

     My eyes sank down to the floor. When I looked up, LaFarge's expression had turned grim. “Damn it,” he said. “I guess that means Phase Two is underway.”

     “Phase Two?”

     “How much did Brian tell you?”

     I told the story of everything that had happened to me: Brian's disappearance, the riot outside the restaurant, Lindsay attacking me, the man in the bowler hat, everything leading up to us meeting in the lighthouse.

     LaFarge shook his head. “Well, you managed to make every stupid mistake you possibly could, but at least you're still alive. Maybe that's why Brian trusted you, because he knew you were lucky. It certainly wasn't because he thought you were smart.”

     I could see why he and Brian got along. “Well if we don't have a plan, then we should at least get out of this lighthouse,” I said.

     “Agreed. I've got a safe house a few hours from here that should do until we figure out our next move. But first--” he reached into his pocket and took out a white pill. He held it out to me. I hesitated. “Don't worry,” he said, “it's a much milder version than the old batches. Won't drive you crazy, for one thing.”

     I swallowed it.

     Walking in cold moonlight, we headed back toward town. LaFarge held a strange device in his hand, a mess of soldered electrical components. He glanced at it from time to time. I looked around nervously as we walked the silent streets.

     “It's okay,” he said, looking down at the device. “The town's clean. Not a single Stingray for a few miles in any direction. And they only have an effective range of a few hundred feet, so we're in the clear for now.”

     “Stingray. Is that what they call the mind control device?”

     “Nothing gets by you, kid.”

     “How do you know so much about it?”

     LaFarge let out a short, bitter laugh. “Because,” he said, “I helped create it.”

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H. K. Reyes

SCIENCE FICTION & HORROR