Tower of Babel
Author: Isaac Woulms

Chapter 46
Ch.46

Around this time, Grandpa was sitting at a café right off the Interstate. He sat in the corner with a glass of water and a plate of food, but the old man couldn’t eat right now even if he tried. The young girl told the cook it was his birthday so he got a free cheeseburger and fries. She felt sorry for the old man who had been sitting at the café the entire day writing up a stack of papers.

A manila envelope sat on the table full of his work and Chen’s stolen files. Each page he wrote was filled with as much information his old mind could muster from those dark years in Compound 5. The address to the local police station was written in the top right corner of the envelope and the mailbox outside the café’s entrance will be the means of transference.

There was nothing for him to do now but wait. As the sun set over the ridge of mountains in the distance, the scenery gave him the impression that everything was ok in the world. You better be there in the morning, Ben, he thought.

The entrance bell jingled and a young man dressed in a slick suit entered. Perhaps a professional of some sort on a business trip, was the first thought that came to grandpa’s mind. A reflection of his own image displayed in Grandpa’s mind as he thought back to the days when he was young and successful. The young suit smiled and gave him a nod before addressing the waitress. Grandpa could hardly hear the words they exchanged, but the woman sounded like she had a hard time answering the man’s questions.

“Thank you,” was the last word the man said before the waitress retreated to the back room. Alone now, the man approached Mr. Woulms in the corner.

What could this man want with me? Grandpa wondered.

“Is this seat taken?”

“Go ahead,” he said. Definitely not a coincidence.

“Not hungry? I’m starving. Do you mind?”

The old man slid the plate across the table and said, “Start talking. Who are you and what do you want?”

“I want to eat. The hours I work are rough. I’m ordered to eat when I can and go hungry if tasking doesn’t allow it.” The young man grabbed the burger and dug in, shoving a few fries into his mouth between bites. “Sorry,” he said with his mouth full of food. “I usually carry myself with better etiquette than this, but you’re out of bounds I guess.”

The old timer gave the grasshopper time to eat. Grandpa knew that he was at a disadvantage, and if he had to resort to violence, his days of brawling were far over. “Now that you’re done eating, you mind explaining why you’re sitting here with me?”

The suit belched while covering his mouth and patted his stomach in satisfaction. “I’m not sitting here Mr. Woulms. You are actually sitting here by yourself. The young woman that’s taking refuge in the back will forget I ever walked in here to talk to you and the cook never saw me to begin with. Before you jump to conclusions I used the power of legal tender to make all of this happen, no super powers.” The man looked around the table and took a drink from the glass of water. “I’m here to retrieve that envelope you have there. The public does not need to know about the Tower or anything involving Dr. Chen’s Ascension Serum, not yet at least. We have to let things play out to a certain degree before we can hand out what the public needs to know.”

Grandpa placed a hand on the envelope and said, “Were you expecting me to just hand it over?”

“I was actually. If you’re not there in the morning tomorrow, then a few of my men will be, and I’m sure that Ben can’t stop bullets with his mental parlor tricks.”

“How-”

“Do I know so much? Come on and ask something aside from the obvious question.” The young man gently swirled the glass of water around in his hand.

“Why not stop what’s going on in the Tower right now? Whomever you people are must have the capability to do so.”

“We have to prepare. There’s things in this world that wait beyond the veil of time and space to ransack the vulnerable and less than perfect beings of which that is to say of the… sorry, I’m just entertaining you right now. I have a few minutes to kill and it’s been a while since I’ve had a conversation with a member of the general populace.”

Woulms put his elbows on the table and rested his hands atop each other. “Do you enjoy waving your power over my head or is this the way you’ve been trained?”

“Nothing personal old man, I’m just doing my job. On a personal note, I admired your work, without you none of this would be poss- er, whether you realize it or not you’ve saved the world, hopefully.” He reached across the table and slowly dropped his hand over the envelope. “We’re going to document this and continue to keep eyes on you. Feel free to do as you please, but I would suggest against telling anyone about this.”

“Looks like you’ve thought of everything.”

WE have thought of most everything, but you know no one can tell the future.” The man took the envelope and stood. “Have a good life Mr. Woulms.”

Agent Seven-D walked towards the entrance leaving Grandpa lost and confused, but one question stood above the rest. “So by the way you spoke, your saying that Ben will be there tomorrow morning, correct?”

The man reached the door and put his hand on the handle. “We’ve laid down enough plans to cover any possible outcome of the Tower. Ben’s just a small piece of the puzz-” The man tried to walk out as he was finishing the sentence but bumped into the door and dropped the envelope. He scratched his head and read the sign, “Use left side please,” taped on the glass. He picked up the envelope then quickly left the café.

“It’s nice to know that there are only humans involved,” Grandpa said.

 

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