I sneak up behind her and kiss her on the nape of her neck. My nose picks up her scent, the smell of her shampoo and the fragrance she wears. I reach around and hold her arms, letting my hands caress her until they reach her hands. I take her hands in mine and I feel that magical something that happens whenever we hold hands.
"You know I need to work on this..."
"Yes, but I can't help myself. When it comes to you I can't stay away."
"You think it's easy for me?"
She pulls up her arms and wraps our arms around her. She sighs an audible sigh and even her exhalation inspires me. She feels so good in my arms, I don't ever want to let her go.
I rest my head on her shoulder and her left hand goes up to caress my cheek.
"You need to let me work. We've had a breakthrough. If things keep falling our way, this is going to change everything."
I let her go reluctantly and I know she is working on something that will save lives, and change the future of medicine. Her co-workers,don't show it, but are relieved to see me go and don't enjoy that such personal attention might be brought upon their work. Their thoughts are too noisy in this antiseptic sub-level.
My hand print opens up the biometric door and I make my way back to my office. I barely have time to make myself a cup of decaf and the phone rings. It's Thor.
"We need to meet. I can't make it to Shamballa so I would appreciate if you would take a plane and head up here."
"The sooner the better."
"Okay. I'll be local in your area in about two hours."
I call the airfield and have one of the SDAI Gulfstream jets prepared for a flight and I grab my briefcase, open it and throw in my laptop and some gear. One never quite knows what one is getting into with Thor and so its better to err on the side of over-preparedness.
Before I know it, I'm in the air, wondering what this is all about. Thor's health has been an issue and he doesn't get around as much but, despite this, he still manages to conduct more important national business than the State Department does on any given week.
I pull my handheld Geiger counter out of my briefcase to get a feel of the radiation dosage. I've made a crusade to reduce radiation exposure for all SDAI workers. I've had the plane's passenger compartments fitted with internal radiation shielding - sandwiched lead in a charged membrane. It works well and cuts back typical radiation dosage by thirty to forty percent over unshielded commercial flights. It was developed in Shamballa alongside the improved Rolls-Royce engines, hull design which give this Gulfstream speed in capabilities in excess of mach 1.4 - enough speed to lose most hostile pursuers and get one to where one wants to go fairly quickly. Like a smaller Concorde, it comes in quite handy.
Before long, the pilot informs me we are about to land. She is quite exceptional at her job, and I admit I enjoy flying more when she is doing the flying. It's probably sexist of me to say so, but go ahead castigate me, it's simply the truth.
SDAI keeps a satellite facility with vehicles, planes and what-have-you nearby most major world airports and this one is no exception. A quirky looking armored Mercedes S550 in jet black with a dove grey leather interior greets me. I put my titanium briefcase in the trunk and as I start the car, I realize this car hasn't even been broken in yet - less than 1000 miles on the odometer. I pull out my scrambled cell and place the call.
"Hello Thor, this is Tech1. I'm local. Where do you want to meet?"
"Meet me at the park."
"No problem. Be there in ten minutes."
The park is not a park, but a parking garage in the downtown area. Parking garages are convenient because they conceal vehicles from peeping overhead satellites and the acoustics and environment afford one a greater level of privacy than many locales. We used this one once before as a meeting place sometime back in 2005.
I arrive and head to the 3rd level, halfway to the top. I see Thor's slightly stretched and armored SUV and his driver and security team is the same he's had for five years now, former special ops and quite capable of handling Thor's security. I get out of the car and an over sized door to the SUV slides open. I'm surprised to see, not just Thor, but three others I haven't seen in the same place since December 2008. I look around and just by the cars parked nearby I can see that these others also came here by car. Since some of these folks are under constant surveillance, I can assume this meeting will not last much longer than an hour or two - if that.
"Glad you could join us. We're discussing the future of the Middle East and the United States."
"Good. It's about time."