24: The Infiltration of 116E

24: The Infiltration Of 116E WOE.BEGONE

SUMMARY:

For the season finale, Mike is back in Oldbrush Valley and it’s time to pull off the Ultimate Heist. But please don’t call it a heist. Any time something has been called a heist it’s only ever resulted in pain.

TRANSCRIPT:

EPISODE 24: INFILTRATION OF 116E

[Hey guys. Thanks for making it to the season finale. Finales don’t mean much for this show since we’ll be back in 2 weeks, but thanks all the same. In patreon news, episode 3 of the spinoff podcast, The Diary of Aliza Schultz just went live for all patrons and we recently launched a bonus feature that is just the sound of my cat interrupting me during recording called Cat Clips for $5 patrons. Go to patreon.com/woe_begone to enjoy those perks. Thanks to my 10 newest patrons: SRaye96, JMaths, Lucia Dubra, Julia Bambach, BertBert, Charlie Kinninmonth, Mark Harris, Lekha Shupeck, Nora V, and CeCe Byrnes for supporting the show. Enjoy.]

  As you can imagine, the past few weeks have been incredibly tough. I always say something to the effect of “I wasn’t my best self” while trying to own up to my failures. It’s a phrase that shows awareness that what happened should be below my own expectations and that acting that way is not an inevitability of being myself. It is a good phrase to use while atoning, especially if you actually believe what you are saying. To say that I haven’t been my best self recently is a profound understatement. I have been in complete meltdown mode for so long that from my current vantage point, it seems like a miracle that no one died who wasn’t supposed to. I would careen off of a clip, only to find myself going over another cliff directly after that.

Let’s talk about that, by the way. WOE.BEGONE chose one of the lowest points in my life and decided that time would be a fantastic opportunity to send me back to the night that I completed the fourth challenge and for me to put the gears in motion for the challenge to get done. I had suspected that it was me that appeared that night in the cabin to convince Matt, but I had thought that it would be because I had won or had some ability to do it on my own in some way. As you are likely aware, Mike is a little loser weasel boy so of course I didn’t travel back to that night on my Mike Walters Victory Tour. I got sent back on the Mike Walters Cruel and Unusual Express. I don’t get to quit playing and I don’t get to win. What a game. 

It turns out that it is difficult to convince someone to allow themselves to die. Let’s examine a thought experiment. Would you like to die? I bet some of you in the audience said “no.” Fascinating. It turns out that our brains will freak out and do anything and everything it can do to prevent death. I actually did a monologue about this on the show before, in episode 5. “Just. Don’t. Die.” Remember that? It turns out that being made aware of time travel technology doesn’t make someone much more willing to die. I was met with an enormous amount of skepticism by Matt. The first time. And the second time. And the third time. Every time that my cameo appearance didn’t make the situation turn out like it did in my memory, I was given around 12 hours to recoup from the experience and then sent right back into the field. This happened 21 times. 

The first time felt like a relief, at least until I actually started trying to convince Matt. I was finally at the night where it happened and I could explain to Matt what was going on. See, Matt? It’s all true. I’ve been dead a few times myself. Sure, it sucks, but it’s the reason you are alive at all. We are on the precipice of something amazing if we can just hang in there for a little while longer. Then, mid-explanation, he hit me in the head with the butt of his sawed-off shotgun. He was not buying it. 

Just a quick aside, but I looked it up to see if there was a word for it that wasn’t “pistol whip” since he wasn’t using a pistol and it turns out that the term for it is “buttstroke.” “Buttstroke” is too beautiful of a word to be left out of this piece. It is especially beautiful because its meaning ensures that it will only ever see usage in the most serious of conversations. Matt buttstroked me in the face. Buttstriked? I was buttstricken? My word processor did not underline any of those terms. What is going on!? 

I snapped when I was interrogated in my cabin and left my post at O.V.E.R. So, whatever happened that night when I was buttstricken by Matt requires a new terminology.  I plunged into a depth that I could not previously fathom. I was no longer quiet and weak and tired. I was reinvigorated by the sheer scope of my anger. Not just at Matt, obviously, but he was the target. My compassion completely evaporated. This was the beginning of my indelible need to destroy Matt. I was not being my best self that evening. 

On the first night, after he buttstroked me, I kept talking until he slipped up and then I stole the gun from him, at which point I severely reduced the recognizability of his face via buttstroke and then made a run for it, gun in hand. The gun did not return with me to the present, though. I don’t think that I killed him that night, but I definitely did on the next night. The second night saw the use of the other side of the gun but had a different outcome. I… let’s say “face…struck” him with the gun and made a run for it. This time, there wasn’t anyone to come after me except for other me, so I wasn’t running for my safety. I guess I was trying to physically distance myself from the situation. Navigating this situation was difficult for me, to say the least. This attempt also proved to me that present me couldn’t complete the fourth challenge for past me. It had to be something that he did on his own. Seeing no end in sight with the way that these missions were going, I tried to center myself and figure out what to do to actually get it done in between the second and third attempts. 

The third attempt actually went pretty well! At least, considering how abysmally the first two went. Everyone was alive by the end of the interaction. The place actually looked a lot like I remembered it looking when it happened to me the first time. No one was buttstricken, but Matt did end up with a black eye. I thought that it went really well right after doing it. I handled myself so much better than the first two times and left Matt’s house looking like it did when I was there on the original night. Even little eccentricities that I remembered about the original night occurred by happenstance. I cannot adequately convey how crestfallen I was to find myself back there without warning for attempt number four. It was always without warning, by the way. I was drunk and in my boxers for attempt number three. 

Things become a blur after number four or so. They go mostly the same, with me trying to piece together exactly what to say in order to get it to look more and more like the original night. Number eight, I was naked and in the shower when they transported me. Number fifteen, Matt killed the past version of me, which I guess means that I died and was resuscitated for a third time? Attempt number 21 didn’t even feel that special. It had become cold and clinical at that point. Just doing a job. Even the fiery hatred had subsided and what was left was drudgery. It doesn’t even make for a good story, really. I got in there, did my job, and got out. The time loop finally justifies itself. Maybe WOE.BEGONE will leave me alone for 5 minutes.

I’ve stopped trying to keep track of the way this all works. I don’t know why I didn’t run into the other iterations of myself that were sent back to that night. I don’t know why I didn’t instantly die when the past version of myself died. The thing about time travel is things can justify themselves in reverse. The cause can precede the effect and there is no telling how far in the future the cause came from. And I don’t have to understand it to use it, especially now when I’m not the one pulling the levers. That’s what makes the notion of time travel so alluring in the first place. 

And the allure is why, despite the tortures that I have learned to rattle off on a whim: [quickly] bear attack, shot by Melissa, shocked nearly to death by mysterious boulders, knife in hand, 21 nights at Matt’s house: I could not resist returning to O.V.E.R. to get back to work. This is WOE.BEGONE. 

[Intro music plays.]

Everything at Oldbrush Valley Energy and Resources was exactly as I had left it, including my cabin, which was a total disaster area. I hadn’t cleaned up at all the night that I left, so my personal belongings were still strewn messily across the entire cabin. My original time at O.V.E.R. and even the incident that resulted in my cabin getting trashed felt like a lifetime ago. That was me? That was Mike Walters that did those things? It felt so foreign, like when you’re with people who knew you as a small child and they tell you a story about something that you supposedly did. I remember when you were this… injured. 

Let’s catalogue my injuries real quick. When I left, my back was healing from the bear attack, the bullet wound was healing from when Marissa shot me, and I had just been beaten and stabbed. I had to walk with a cane for awhile after I left, but I didn’t need it now that I was back. My back was about as good as it was ever going to get, meaning scarred severely but not causing me daily duress. Same with the bullet wound. It’ll be fine. Dudes dig scars. My ankle was broken but it healed faster than I thought it would. I still didn’t have a tight grip in my stabbed-through hand, but it was getting better all the time. Mike Walters was on the mend. 

“Mike, you look tough as nails,” Hunter said the first time he saw me back. 

“That’s a nice way to say that I look like shit,” I replied. 

“No, I like it. The beard, the shaved head. It’s a good look for you,” he said. I hadn’t shaved or trimmed or done anything to my beard since I left. I did take to shaving my head, mostly because I didn’t want to deal with it anymore. I think my head is too lumpy to pull off the look. 

“Did anything interesting happen while I was gone?” I asked him. 

“Hmm… nope. Not that I can think of. People spreading rumors about why you left is the most interesting thing, “ he said. 

I wondered if I was talking to Innocent Hunter, the version of Hunter that doesn’t know what is going on. Marissa had taken one of the Hunters hostage in order to see if there were actually two of him (surprise! There was) and I was curious to see if it was Innocent Hunter or not. Innocent Hunter probably wouldn’t lie about what happened to him, since he wouldn’t have the context to know what was going on. Marissa probably would’ve been fired by now if she had kidnapped him. 

“I guess it stays quiet around here. What were people saying about me?” I asked. 

“Well, someone got up the nerve to peek in the window of your cabin and saw all your stuff was scattered all over the place. Charlie said that you had been meeting with some strange people right before you left and she was worried that you got yourself into trouble. We thought that maybe some people from your past had come to hunt you down,” he said. 

“Not exactly,” I said. It was more likely that people from my future had come to hunt me down, but I didn’t tell him that. “Thanks for being worried about me. It makes me feel special. Anything else?”

“Yeah, umm… I’m… getting promoted,” he said. A grin that he was heretofore barely managing to conceal crept across his face. “Tier 2 security.”

“Holy crap, Hunter! That’s great. You’re going to be working inside the Tier 2 gate?” I asked. 

“Yep. I’m excited… and nervous. I don’t know how much I’ll get to see all of you guys, though,” he said.

“Hopefully you’ll still get to see us. The other Tier 2s don’t come out here very much,” I said. This was good. Innocent Hunter was moving inside the gate. My relationship with Hunter was the strongest friendship that I had cultivated since I started working at O.V.E.R. and he was getting closer to the juicy exciting bits of the valley that were sectioned off from me. Out of all of my newfound friendships, Hunter was also the easiest to push over. That didn’t come out right. I could use Hunter to get info about Tier 2 and maybe even get a shot at going inside. It had become abundantly clear that getting inside of Tier 2 was vital to my overall mission. 

“Put in a good word for me, will ya?” I said. It was a pleasantry, but also I meant it more intensely than I was letting on. Please, Hunter, please get me into Tier 2. What a victory that would be for me. “Is anyone else going in with you? No offense, but if anyone was getting promoted, I would think that it would be Marissa.”

“I think Marissa is too important out here. They have to have good security in Tier 1, too,” he said.

“I suppose so. I hope they’re paying her what she is worth,” I added. 

This was huge. The idea of Hunter being on the inside sent my mind in so many directions at once. Maybe he could get me promoted, too. Maybe I could trick him into letting me inside. Maybe he could feed me info. Maybe Tier 2 security has some rudimentary access to time travel that they use to do their jobs. I liked that idea a lot. Like, imagine a phone app that has the most basic features of WOE.BEGONE integrated into it that relays with whatever supercomputer that WOE.BEGONE is using. It would allow them to go back and prevent any slip ups that might happen that they catch after the fact. They could restrict the feature set so that nobody gets to do anything too fun with it, but it would still be an enormously powerful tool. 

So, I guess that one of the big questions I could ask is: will Hunter get his hands on something that will allow him to disappear the bear for me? That would make sense, but it would also put the final nail in the “Mike Walters lives happily ever after” coffin. Not that there aren’t enough nails to keep it shut for eternity already. I’m getting much too far ahead of myself with speculation. 

Speaking of Tier 2 and people who are too good at their jobs to get promoted, the next person that I made a point to see was Marissa Ng, the only person besides Mystery Hunter that had any idea what I was doing out here and what was going on in there. Her jovial “Mikey! Hey!” was immediately soured when I brought up Hunter’s promotion. 

“It’s bullshit. It’s bullshit!” she said. And to think that we made it this far into an episode of WOE.BEGONE with no swearing. Inconceivable. 

“I’m jealous, too. I just know that there is some important stuff he is going to get his hands on and he won’t know what to do with it,” I said. 

“I wasn’t even thinking about that. I work so much harder than that guy. Why does he get promoted and I don’t?” she asked. 

“Well, he’s been here longer. And I bet he butts heads with people far less often. He’s less prickly than either of us. Not to mention there are at least two of him, that’s probably a selling point. Do you think both of them get a paycheck?” I said. 

“He’s been reporting to a building on my route for training for the past week. It makes me so mad to see him go in there,” she said. 

“It’s uncouth to begrudge someone their success, Marissa. He isn’t the one who denied you a promotion, it was management. Show solidarity with your fellow worker. Wow, I actually sounded wise there for a second,” I said. “Wait, you know where he is training for Tier 2?” I asked. 

“Yeah, we drove right past it that night that you used me for info, fuck you very much Mikey boy,” she said. Her tone was half-serious. 

“Do you think that you could sneak us into that building? It’s in Tier 1 after all. Can you get in?” I asked. 

“I think so? I don’t think that the door is locked during the day, but I think there is a front desk that they won’t let you past. I haven’t been in. I could give it a look if you want. What are you looking for?”

”I think that Hunter being at least two different people is related to his promotion to Tier 2. I want to know if Tier 2 are given some sort of device that creates that effect. If they are training him, then they might be training him to use a device of that sort. And if they are training him on a device like that, then it might be housed inside of the building,” I said. 

“Oh, I get it. It’ll be the heist of the century,” she said. 

“No, I don’t do heists anymore. Heists have never turned out well for me,” I said. “Plus, I don’t even know if this device exists. But if it does exist, there will definitely be some way to ensure that it is accounted for. I don’t think we would be able to leave the premises without getting caught. So, getting in after hours to poke around should be the principle mission, I think. Whatever is in there is worth checking out.”

“I’m on it boss,” Marissa said.

“Ew, that’s even worse than calling me Mikey,” I said. 

“Whatever you say, Mikey,” she said. 

The next few days consisted of my favorite part of any WOE.BEGONE related mission: cautiously scoping out a location and the people inside of it across several days. It’s like watching paint dry combined with exhausting and dangerous work. At least no one had to die this time around. 

It turns out that the door wasn’t locked during the day and was accessible to all Tier 1 security. I let Marissa do the bulk of the work on figuring out how we were going to get in there during her night shift, but in the meantime I did some work of my own. It was time for the classic Mike Walters charm offensive. 

The day after my conversation with Marissa, I wandered into the building, looking confused. In front of me was a spacious waiting room with a receptionist’s desk in front of it. There were doors on either side of the desk leading further into the building, which were closed. There was a big landscape painting over the chairs in the waiting area. There was a blond… uh… let’s just rip the bandaid off right at the start here. There was a blond twink manning the reception desk. You all know what I mean when I say that. I don’t have to describe all of the qualities that make someone a twink. You know, I know. Blond twink at the desk. 

“Is this… 113E?” I asked, like a student on the first of classes. I looked down at a notebook that had a false set of handwritten instructions, telling me to go to 113E. 

“Other side of the street,” he said, without looking up from his computer. 

“Oh,” I said. “Then this is…?” 

“116E. Center for Security Interfacing. Do you have any business here, sir?” he asked. 

“No, no. Just curious. I’m Mike, by the way,” I said.

“Edgar,” he replied, finally looking up and catching my gaze. “Are you Tier 2?” he asked.

“Tier 1, unfortunately,” I said. “Wait, do I need access to be here?”

“Only past those doors. Sorry, hope that helps,” Edgar said. 

“Yeah, no. Yeah. It does. Thanks. Be seeing you,” I said. 

“See ya,” he replied. 

And now the real fun could begin. I had an in over at 116E, Edgar. All I had to do now was to seek him out, act like I had just run into him by accident, and turn him into an ally, at which point I could manipulate him into giving me information about the building. Delightfully devilish, Mike. I’m sure one day I will make a friend, not under false pretenses but today is not that day. 

It actually turned out to be really easy to make friends with Edgar. Much to my amusement, I stalked him to my favorite diner. Since I go there enough that the workers know my name, it was trivial to make it look like me being there was just a happy coincidence. Of course, I asked if I could sit with him, something that I would never do to an actual acquaintance, but he didn’t know that. I told him that he had to try the biscuits and gravy if he hadn’t yet and he told me that he was gluten intolerant. Not the best start, but we bonded over musicals. Our tastes were fairly different on the subject, but I can pretend to be enthusiastic about Into the Woods long enough to make it through a conversation. It’s not that bad, I just think there are better musicals to get excited about. Actually, his enthusiasm made me like it more than I had before. Not the movie, though. That was garbage. We both had fun tearing it down together. 

Edgar explained to me that 116E is an interfacing point between Tiers 1 and 2, where business that goes from one side to the other can be done securely. The back of the building actually opens up on the other side of the gate. This means, if you can make it through 116E, you will actually be inside of Tier 2. This way, documents, instructions, people, etc could move from one area to another with both ease and security, without causing a lot of traffic at the main gate. This was probably true of other buildings on the border of Tier 2, as well. Hunter was actually going inside of Tier 2 for his training. 

Tier 2 guys are a little bit scary, according to Edgar. Buff, stern, uniformed. Sounds like a fun night to me, honestly. It didn’t sound like Hunter, though, so I was concerned that he was going to have trouble adjusting. Edgar said he’s watched a couple of guys from Tier 1 get trained and they always harden up. Being witness to all of this, he said that he’s also seen some strange stuff but couldn’t piece together what was going on. I gave him the “well, it’s a top secret location inside of a top secret location. Of course there’s something weird in there,” schpiel and he agreed. 

My relationship with Edgar changed from stalking to obviously seeking him out within a matter of days. 116E closes at 6pm, so I waited until about 5:30 and walked in. The reception area was empty, except for Edgar. I told him that I was in the area and it didn’t look like he was very busy so I stepped in to say hi. He was happy to see me. He said that he had run out of work to do and was playing solitaire on his computer. We made chitchat for the next half hour. Then, at 6, Edgar said. “You wanna grab dinner? I need to lock up but it will only take a minute.” I agreed and then he went to one of the locked doors on either side of the reception desk, typed 5163845 into a keypad and disappeared behind the door for a few minutes. I quickly put 5163845 into a note on my phone before I could forget it. 

I did it. Just like that. I was in. I couldn’t believe it. All that was left was to get in the front door, which Marissa had been hard at work at solving. She was reliable, surely she had some plan that she was cooking up to get us in. After that, we were golden. I couldn’t believe my luck. And the back door leads directly into Tier 2. We had just been granted access to Tier 2 whenever we wanted. I don’t even remember what Edgar and I talked about at dinner that night. Oh, he said that he doesn’t like being called “Ed” or “Eddy” or references to the cartoon that you inevitably thought of when I said those two nicknames in sequence. Of course, we bonded over this because I bristle any time someone calls me “Michael” or “Mikey” and we jokingly referred to each other by our despised nicknames for the rest of dinner. 

As soon as dinner was over, the Plot to Infiltrate 116E began. Even before I had the door code, Marissa had already made headway with the front door. She had noticed that there was a motion sensor that sat above the door on the inside. I had seen that, too, when Edgar locked up with me still inside. The lock activates at closing, so that only people exiting from the inside can use the door. I’m proud of Marissa. As soon as she discovered the mechanism for the door lock, she immediately started searching for ways to subvert motion sensors, eventually finding a video of a guy spitting whiskey in the space between two doors to a bank lobby to open it by tricking the sensor. These “request to exit” sensors, as they are called,  don’t try to detect a full person, which would be difficult and cause it to sometimes not open when it should. Instead, they detect movement and temperature. That means that any opaque cloud of particles should do the trick. A can of air duster flipped upside down, for instance, will produce a cold white cloud that would trick the sensor into opening. The best part of this is that it wouldn’t set off any security alarm, either. As far as the door knew, it was being opened from someone on the inside who already had sufficient credentials since they were on the credentialed side of the door, not by an outside intruder. 

For all of that talk of heisting, I couldn’t convince Marissa to go inside with me. She told me that she was afraid and that it is much harder for two people to be stealthy than one person, should the need arise. I wasn’t really expecting her to join me, even if she had been considering it. I was still leaving her in the dark about most things. This was my project and she didn’t even know what I was looking for. Our partnership was limited by my inability to trust her and my desire to shield her from what was going on. So, I was shielding her again by not breaking into 116E with her. You’re welcome, Marissa.

Smash cut to the night of. It was a new moon, around midnight. I wore all black. The conditions were right. It was laughably easy to get through the first set of doors. The cloud of air duster worked within seconds. The latch unlocked and I was in. I couldn’t believe how easy it was. I mean, sure, all that did was get me into a waiting room that you don’t even need credentials to be in, but that’s halfway to the destination. I wondered about how many other doors that I had encountered in my life were like that: eager to unlock with even the slightest bit of ingenuity. 

It was dark inside the waiting room, obviously, with only the standby screen from Edgar’s computer and the door’s windows providing any light. That and the glowing keypads, but they weren’t enough to be able to see with. I surveyed the room as best I could to make sure that I was the only person in it. I hadn’t done this the night that I left O.V.E.R. and it resulted in serious injury. I was safe, so far. No one was in the room with me. I even checked under the desk to make sure that no one was hiding under it. I was alone. It was deadly quiet. I walked over to the keypad. 

5163845. To say that I had that number memorized by this point would be a radical understatement. I had thought of very little else since learning the number. I had sung it to the tune of “Jenny” by Tommy Two Tone. I ate, lived, breathed, and shat 5163845. There was no way that I was going to fumble here and get caught while messing around with the keypad. There was no way that I was going to accidentally set off an alarm because I put the wrong number in by mistake. No, this was happening. This was all going according to plan. 5163845. There is no joke or pratfall here. There is no trying 11 keys only to be caught before I could get anything done. 5163845. I punched in the numbers and the door unlocked. 

I opened the door, stepped inside, and shut the door behind me. It was pitch black. I took out my phone and used its flashlight. It made me vulnerable, but I couldn’t see anything at all, so I didn’t have a choice. I was at the end of a narrow hall that led down into a series of rooms. It opened up at the end to another, larger room in the center. I couldn’t see the far into that room and I couldn’t see where this door and the door on the opposite side of the reception desk met up. It could be possible that the other door leads to a different place entirely and even has a different keypad combination. I filed that away as something to look into later. Tonight, I would only explore this path. 

Most of the doors along the hallway were locked. Some had names on them and appeared to be offices. One door was left open: a meeting room, but it appeared to be completely cleared out. No juicy stuff there. I did try every door handle just to be thorough. All locked. No bins full of time travel gadgets that were free for the taking. Shucks. That’s okay. I wasn’t here for the offices. I was here for the door. I stepped into the room that the hallway opened up into. 

It was a large chamber. The light from my flashlight did not reach the corners or the back  of the room or even appear to be close to it. I didn’t see any other entrances to the room, but I can’t be sure that I searched the whole place thoroughly. The familiar office tiling of the hallway had given way to concrete. It felt more like a warehouse, There was stuff in here, but it was squared away behind locked bays. I didn’t have the tools to break into them, though I desperately wanted to know what was being kept back here. I could only assume that because this was a facility that trained Tier 1 security to transition into Tier 2, that the locked bays contained relevant material to their training. I finally made it to the back of the room and found it: the door. It was one of those big warehouse doors, the kind that semis can back into to drop stuff off. I fumbled around in the dark until I found the switch that makes the door open. Slowly and just as noisily as you might expect an enormous metal door to lift up, it did, the sparse light of Tier 2 peeking under the bottom of the door. I had made it to the other side of the gate. 

As soon as I could fit under the door, I pushed the button to halt the gate. At first, my plan was to push the button to lower it again and slip under, Indiana Jones style, allowing it to close all the way. It would make it look like the gate hadn’t been opened, but then I wouldn’t have any way to get back through. Shimmying under it and leaving it a little bit open would have to do. It was a bit of a squeeze and my body isn’t as good at wriggling under doors as it used to be, but I managed to get through. I did it. I was actually inside of Tier 2. I was where the magic happens. I was one step closer to seeing with my own two eyes the mechanism through which my life had been tinkered with for so long. 

I stood up and immediately my stomach sank. There were two men, only a few yards away from me, facing me. It was like they were waiting for someone to come from the other side of the door. They did not approach me. They just stood there calmly, but they could clearly see me. I couldn’t tell if they could identify me because it was so dark out.  My flashlight was still out. I could see their faces. I hoped the light was bright enough that it prevented them from seeing mine, but I couldn’t be sure. I should’ve worn a balaclava.

In a panic, I squeezed back under the door, rushed over to the controls and pushed the button to lower the door. I could hear their footsteps approaching the door as it closed. As I fled the room, I could hear them rapping on the door in much the same way a police officer might rap on the door of a house that a fugitive was in. I fled out the door and into the night as quickly as possible, barely remembering to shut the Tier 2 door behind me on the way out. I ran out of 116E and kept running until I was safely in my cabin and was sure that I was the only person there. I picked up the cabin landline phone and called Hunter. He answered. “Hey Mike. I was just heading to bed, what’s  up?” he asked. 

“Oh, nothing,” I struggled not to pant into the phone. “Do you know Charlie’s cabin number? I had something I wanted to talk to her about.” He gave me her cabin number. I said thanks and hung up. I didn’t need Charlie’s cabin number. I needed to know if Hunter was in his cabin. I had seen the faces of the men who were waiting for me in Tier 2. The man on the left was Hunter Jeremiah Hartley. The man on the right was Hunter Jeremiah Hartley. 

[End theme plays.] 

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