This is Chapter Three in ‘The Traitor Series’. Haven’t read Chapter Two? Forgot what happened? Read it again by clicking here!
As Cross and Ellis approached the Intelligence Room, a man approached the two. He donned a similar suit as Cross’s and only differed in the choice of tie.
“Michael Weiss, sir,” he introduced himself holding out his right hand to the SAC. The SAC shook his hand and walked into the room. Cross and Weiss followed him.
“Jacob Cross,” Cross introduced himself to Weiss. They shook hands and Weiss gently nodded his head in respect.
The trio was getting to a huge desk in the middle of the room. The desk looked like it was made of premium quality wood, though it didn’t look like one of those ancient pieces. It was roughly a square and easily four feet on both sides. There were two telephones in the middle of the table and four large television screens hung from the ceiling directly above the table. The screens were at ninety degree angles to one another and therefore allowed people from every corner of the room to see what was being shown without having to come over to one screen. Cross noticed there was a medium sized pen stand in the middle of the table with pens and pencils of all sorts. Other than the telephones and the pen stand, the table was relatively empty, with a few sheets of paper stacked in four arguably neat piles. The table had two seats on each side for a total of eight occupants. Cross noticed the grey carpeting on the floor and it reminded him of those corporate offices and law firms with authoritative surnames on their calling cards, slickly dressed individuals shuffling busily in their corridors, having the least amount of concern for the carpets their firm had probably spent thousands of dollars on.
As it turned out, they weren’t heading to the the big table in the centre but another table that was on the far side of the room. This was considerably big and it was longer than it was broad. The far side of the room had floor-to-ceiling windows and this desk was placed directly in front of these windows and it provided a great view for the desk’s occupants. It had six large desktops aligned on it one next to the other. The big computers were being manned by an agent each. The agent sitting in front of the third computer from the left swiveled his chair around and motioned to the SAC who understood that was where he had to go. The agent was lean and even in his seated position he could easily be made out to be quite tall. He wore black-rimmed spectacles and had thick, short brown hair that had been gelled and gently spiked. A label on his desktop proclaimed his name to be ‘The Shermanator’.
As soon as the SAC got to the desk, the Terminator-rip off explained the situation to him. “Sir, one of the two guys that killed our agents that day outside the factory tried strangling one of the agents before he decided to get it over with and shot them both. We picked up a print from the agent’s neck which we ran and found a match under a Marco Driscoll Poole. Quite an extravagant name, if you ask me.” Cross scoffed and looked at the label on the computer again. “We picked up a transaction from an ATM about 140 miles from the Mexican Border around San Antonio about half an hour back. He’s sloppy and the two are probably together, though its not as likely as we would like it to be. We alerted Border Security.”
“Good work.” The SAC chuckled satisfactorily and rubbed his palm together. “We’ve got the dirt bags, haven’t we?” he asked the agent rhetorically. His mind was already beginning to move on from what happened to Wesley and he heartily thumped Cross on the back. He came back from his elation in a few seconds.
“How far from the position of the transaction are our closest agents?” he asked the same agent, who turned to his monitor and started typing away. In a few moments the map on the screen slowly zoomed out until it showed a map of the rest of San Antonio. It then placed a virtual ‘pin’ on the FBI’s Field Office off San Antonio’s University Heights Boulevard. The computer finally measured the distance between the Field Office and the ATM where the trail was picked up and between the Field Office and Mexico’s closest border crossing. The agent quickly swiveled around and said, “27 miles to the ATM and 154 miles to the Juarez-Lincoln.”
Miles Ellis scratched his chin for a few moments and then he started pacing slowly towards his left. Cross and Weiss looked expectantly at him. The Shermanator, however, just smiled as if he knew what was coming. Expecting another one of those booming orders, all the other agents at the desk had also stopped working and were all half-swiveled towards the SAC.
Suddenly Ellis stopped pacing, came and stood right behind our poor man’s Schwarzenegger and announced with authority, “I want three agents at the ATM, two at the border crossing and three as back-up. I want the San Antonio Police alerted and given the description of our man Poole.” The agent had already swiveled back to his computer screen and was typing away and along with him, all the other agents began working too. One clicked a button on the Bluetooth headset on his right ear, dialed a number on his keypad and started speaking to the San Antonio Police. Ellis continued, “Tell them to deploy police officers on all major streets of the city and tell them to stay sharp, follow protocol and keep it quiet. No barricading, no gunfire; all police and agents stay in their cars. Alternate a few police officers to go without the uniform. All communication goes through this room and the one at San Antonio. Setup a secure line for our agents. And get me all the camera feeds you can from around the ATM and the rest of San Antonio. I want these bastards in a box by dinner.”
Ellis turned to Cross and Weiss who were standing in exactly the same position as they were before the SAC gave his orders. Ellis shrugged and said, “All we can do now is watch.”
Weiss looked to his right and pointed at the wall in that direction. It had a huge blue soft board that began just beside the door through which they had come in earlier and ended just before the big long desk to whose occupants the SAC had given instructions merely a minute ago. The board had tons of pictures pinned to it, some of people, some of places and others of obscure objects that on first glance would look out of place even to the best agent.
“What is all that?” Weiss finally asked.
“That, is our Evidence Board. It is updated with images, information, facts, theories, leads and everything in between to keep everybody in this room up to speed with the case at hand,” Ellis filled him in. “Go have a look. Though its nothing you haven’t seen in the case file already.”
Weiss was very intrigued with the authority and plain awesomeness the whole scene spelled out. Not a fan boy, he thought and walked over to the Board and looked around the busy room on his way. Cross crossed his arms across his chest, cleared his throat and looked straight out the huge window behind the long desk.
Ellis caught Cross’s expression and shot a teasing grin at him. “What? I..” Cross inquired with the face of a self-professed mature sixteen year old trying to not cringe at younger kids. “Yeah, yeah, I get it.” Ellis said, motioning Cross with his palm, to stop. “Its not all that lame, though. And don’t forget you’re working with him on this case.” Cross nodded.
The agent, who talked to the San Antonio Police earlier, informed Ellis that they were deploying their best officers on the major streets. The agent also presented the San Antonio Police’s offer of having a helicopter do rounds over the city, which Ellis instantly shot down because he didn’t want to arouse any undue suspicion from anybody.
“ATM agents are two minutes out and backup is in place on a small dirt trail off 281, not two minutes from the ATM. Agents are en route to the Juarez-Lincoln, ETA an hour and half,” The Shermanator informed.
The agent, who spoke to the police, spoke up again, saying that Border Security had begun thoroughly screening every vehicle.
The Shermanator suddenly perked up.
Chapter Four is out now! Waiting to know what happens next? Click here to go read Chapter Four.