Come El or High Water
Copyright© 2010 by Ol'Mac
WEDNESDAY 7:30 A. M. CST News Stand, Chicago, IL
As Mike was finishing up with the morning rush he started mulling over who to use as the delivery person for the hard evidence packet that Mark needed.
Thinking that it might be better to get everyone's input on this, he checked availability with the crew and then initiated a Mage comm conference call. Once everyone was on line, a lot of options were tossed around. About five minutes into this round robin, Tina piped up with, 'Hey, what about me guys? I mean, I'm probably the last thing they'll expect as a contact, right?'
Quite a few humms came back over the net at that point and then Mike asked, 'You sure, Hon? I don't want to put you in harms way and it's an absolute zoo out there right now.'
'Well, the only safer way to do this would be a 'dead drop', but then you'd have to monitor the drop sight until the pick up happened, ' responded Tina.
'Yeah, but then the only thing at risk would be the data, not one of us, ' sent back Mike
'Us?' Tina chirped, then shot off to Ella, 'Hey, hear that? He said, US!'
'Well, duh! You think we invite just anyone to be part of The Posse? Of course you're part of us, you silly goose, ' came Ella's reply.
A single sniff came over the network and then Tina's mind sent, 'Mike please, I need to do this. I've never been useful till now. Please?'
Recognizing a no-win when he saw one, Mike sent, 'OK, but this needs to be a group decision. Please indicate your votes now.'
The vote was unanimous, Tina was elated and Mike was scared spit-less. He then sent, 'OK kiddo, it's all yours, ' then sent her the who, how and where for her mission.
He also sent a sideband squirt to Rick and Stan, 'Meet me on channel 7.'
'Guys I want you to fly cover for this. Stan, can you take high ground?' Mike asked.
'Sure compadre, no problemo, ' Stan beamed back.
'Rick, I want you to stick to her like white on rice, OK?' Mike sent.
'No problem, Pard. She'll never know I was there and if I catch anything funny ... bang, it's freeze lock time!' Rick replied, as he slipped into guardian mode.
Breathing a sigh Mike sent, 'Thanks guys. You have no idea how much this helps.'
Figuring the meet had gone long enough for Mark to be up and about Mike contacted him and sent, 'Hey Mark. You up yet bud?'
A slightly groggy, 'Hey Mike, ' came back followed by, 'hang on a sec bud. Let me brew some eye opener. I was up till 5:30 this morning culling data points; I'll give you a yell in a second.'
Ten minutes later a, 'What's up bud?' sounded in Mike's head.
'Hey Mark, we have that data you needed and it's ready for pick up.' Mike responded, then added the when, where and how.
'Great, I'll contact Stanley and make sure they're ready for the hand off, ' replied Mark.
'One more thing bud. The delivery is being flown by one of ours and it's literally a first for this one. I probably don't have to tell you how terrified I am to let this happen?' Mike sent.
'Not to worry. Stanley and Mitch will walk your agent through it. But I do know what you mean. First time I sent Stanley out, I didn't sleep for two days. They're not just agents you know, they're family.' Mark replied.
Not five minutes later Stanley's cell sounded. "Team One," was the response. Two minutes later came, "Understood, with kid gloves."
"Hey Mitch, up and at'em bucky. Welcome to another wonderful day in the silent service." Stanley quipped.
From under a pillow came a moan and then, "Ah Ma, just another five minutes, OK? And when did we start flying a submarine?"
"Oh, and you haven't even heard the very best part yet. We get to walk a newbie through their very first field run. Isn't that special?" Stanley tossed out.