Rob glanced at the carbon fiber face of his Black Seal MTM watch. Jennifer had been gone for over two hours. It was only supposed to take forty-five minutes. He sighed and looked at his friend. The blond woman smiled back and shook her head. “It’s too soon, Rob. You know the deadline is three hours,” she said in a cultured British accent.
“No one has ever taken that long!” He rubbed his forehead. He was developing a headache.
“You worry too much. You know she can do this. You wouldn’t have recruited her otherwise.”
“I worry too much? Have you forgotten about Mary?”
She shook her head, curls flying. “No. She was an aberration, remember. There was no way for you to know she was a half.”
A rumble of laughter came from the senior man. “Other than the nihilism, you mean?”
“Nietzsche was a human. Hard to get more nihilistic than him.”
“Okay. Fair point.”
A yellow light began pulsing. A second later, a small siren began to “wheep” softly. A young man hurried up. He carried a tablet computer in his hands and had a hands free communicator in his ear. “Mr. Worthington, we have a problem.”
“What is it, Mr. Stevenson?”
Stevenson swallowed hard. He hated to be the bearer of bad news. Especially the kind like this. “Um, the Walker of Worlds is there. He spoke with Ms. Steel and he knows she has his sword.” As he spoke, Stevenson sidled closer to the door. He didn’t want to be around when Rob blew up.
Rob sighed and ran his fingers through his dark hair. He shook his head, and looked down at the floor. “Just what we don’t need. Now I have to go in.”
The blond woman touched his arm. “You do and she gets disqualified. Those are the rules.”
Rob sighed. “Damn it.” He looked up, but didn’t see the Ops tech. “Stevenson!” he barked.
The young man poked his head cautiously back into the room. “Yes, sir?”
“Give me a sitrep.”
He nodded and tapped the tablet a few times, then pushed his finger towards the 15 foot viewing screen to Rob’s left. Rob and the blond woman turned and watched Carter confront Lilith and Jennifer running off. Rob sighed again. He hated when things went off the rails like this.
“Alright. We will continue to wait. I recommend that we terminate the countdown under the circumstances.”
The blond woman nodded. “Agreed. Mr. Stevenson, make it so.”
The young man tilted his head and tapped again at the tablet. “Done, Director.”