In this chapter, there is an easter egg to the Zion trilogy.
Connery shut the door to their bedroom as the others sat on their bunks. They had finished their lunch and were going to finish their discussion in their room. Connery bent down and pulled his suitcase out from under the bed. He climbed up into the top bunk and opened his suitcase. He pulled out the rest of the letter from ‘Grandpa’ and leafed through it until he found what he was looking for. He began reading through fsutopia‘s reports.
He quickly glanced over at Smith. She was lying casually on the other top bunk on her right side. Her eyes were riveted on her iPad. The dull blue light shone on her face, illuminating her eyes. He had planted a minuscule video camera on the other side of their door that live-streamed the footage to their computers. He had Smith and Cooper watching the footage on their computers to make sure no-one was listening in or was around.
He only needed one to keep an electronic eye on them, but he decided to have two. He wanted to test something, or rather someone. Yvette Smith. His mind went over the heated words between them back in the hotel.
“I don’t know how those people got there or why, but you better watch it.”
His forehead crinkled as he stroked his chin. She should not have spoken to him like that. She had become defensive when she caught the implication that one of them could be a mole. Unless Smith was just angry that she and the others had not done their job properly. Connery frowned slightly as he remembered their dossiers. They were one of the best and most thorough. How did they miss them? Unless they were invisible somehow. But, he still was not sure about Smith.
Which brought him back to the test. He trusted Cooper. He knew that she would say when someone was there listening in or going to enter. He glanced down to his left hand, absentmindedly lightly brushing one of his fingers, wishing it still had the ring on. Connery knew he could trust Cooper, but he wanted to test Smith. He knew that with Cooper watching as well, Smith would most likely warn them. But he wanted to be sure. And sure of something else as well.
Connery went back to reading the reports. He raised his eyebrows, stroking his chin. He cleared his throat to grab everybody’s attention. “According to fsutopia‘s reports, he had found some confirmation of the rumours of the toxins – a liquefied concoction of water hemlock and deadly nightshade with Ricin, some bacterium called Clostridium botulinum, tetradotoxin, and cyanide,” out of the corner of his eye, he saw Washington pull out his laptop and start typing something. “Don’t bother,” Connery told him, looking down at Washington, guessing that he was going to research the poisons. “Grandpa gave us the science papers explaing what they are and can do.” Washington nodded, confirming Connery’s suspicion, and shut down his laptop. “Anyway,” Connery continued, “there were rumours that they would be unleashed on Berlin in the form of rain. But, fsutopia has stated quite clearly that that isn’t true, but did not say what it was really going to be used for. There really isn’t much in these reports.”
“What about those science papers?” Lincoln asked. Connery handed them to him and then discreetly glanced down at his phone that lay on the bed next to him. Good. No activity. Back at the library, while the others were in the toilets, he had planted a bug in the others electronics so as to keep track of their movements and activity. All records of everything was sent to his phone. That way, he would be able to know if any of them were moles. Thankfully, nothing was leaked and there was no contact with anybody suspicious.
He heard Cooper gasp and sit up quickly in the bunk below him, only to bump her head on the bottom of his bunk. “What is it, Maria?” he asked.
“Is there a TV here?” she asked.
“No,” Connery and the others replied simultaneously after searching for a few seconds. “Why?” Connery asked, leaning over the side of his bed and looking at Cooper. She was staring at her laptop screen with a worried expression on her face.
“It’s front-page news on all major news companies!” she said, trying to keep her voice calm. “Dammit,” she muttered to herself.
“What?” Connery demanded.
“There’s an article on Fox news of the Hotel Belvédère du Rayon Vert. Local authorities have been investigating the site. They have reportedly named five suspects for the “attack” on the hotel,” Cooper said. Dread settled in Connery’s gut. “The suspects are James Connery, a British lab technician and scientist; Maria Cooper, the granddaughter of the Italian Prime Minister; Yvette Smith; Scott Lincoln, who is reported to be an American chemist, and Reynard Washington, an Australia Math teacher,” Cooper read out quietly. “The authorities are reported to have a man-hunt out for the five suspects.”
“What about the other people at the hotel?” Smith asked. “Did they mention anything about them?”
There was a pause as Cooper reread the article. “No. The chief of police have stated that according to a forensic expert, there was only us.”
“But there were others there! They were attacking us! We’re not guilty of anything!” Washington ranted, climbing out of his bunk and pacing on the floor. Connery watched him silently. Connery suddenly realized why there was no reported evidence of anyone else being there. Washington suddenly stopped in his tracks and looked at Connery. Connery realized that he had come to the same realization. “The others must have wiped away any evidence of themselves being there,” Washington stated quietly.
Connery nodded. “We’ve been framed.”
Berlin Central Station, Berlin, Germany
The man who had bumped into Yvette Smith exited the train and frantically looked around the platform. He could barely see move in the mad rush of people. Where are they? He had listened into their conversation in their cabin as they had planned on what they were going to do once they arrived in Berlin. While they had been having lunch right after they boarded the bullet train, he had slipped into their cabin and planted an undetectable minuscule camera and microphone to listen in. Though, he was wondered how the hell they planned to move about Berlin without someone reporting them to the police.
He had seen them exit their cabin, but soon lost them in the crowd of passengers on the train. Where are they?! It would be his life if he lost track of them now. He pushed his way through the crowds, constantly looking around, trying to catch a glimpse of one of them.
Unable to find them on the platforms, he stepped onto an escalator. Holding onto the side as he traveled down the escalator, he looked around…then frowned. He saw an olive-skinned woman just stepping off the escalator and heading for the exit. She was wearing a thick woolen jacket, cap and scarf. There was something familiar about her…
As if feeling his gaze on her, the woman looked over her shoulder. She was wearing black Aviator glasses and was hunched over a little. He then realized that she had stopped and was looking at a map of the station. She lifted her glasses up a little, studying the map. She had green eyes. Yvette, he realized. He quickly stepped off the escalator and went over to a newspaper stand and picked up a newspaper, while keeping an eye on Smith. She put her glasses back on and headed off in the direction of the exit. He looked around, but could not spot the others. But they might be in disguise, like Smith. Clever, he thought. That way they would not be spotted by the law.
He quickly went into the Mens and pulled out his phone, dialing a number.
“Hello?” a heavily accented voice answered.
“Agent Ramirez. 8-6-3-1-1-0-2,” Ramirez replied, giving his private identification number. There was a pause as the person on the other end cross-checked his identification number.
“Hello, Ramirez. What is your request?”
“Get me the Alpha.”
“Hold on one second, please,” the man said as he connected him to another line.
The Alpha knocked on a door. “Come in,” a female voice ordered. The Alpha entered the room, shutting the door behind him. An older woman was sitting at a desk. She had greying hair and was wearing a monocle.
“Hello, Kefáli,” he greeted.
She looked at him. “What is it, Kubica?” she asked. “Any reports from my son?”
Kubica sat down on a chair near the desk. “Yes, there are. Your son, Charles E. Ville, has reported that he has struck a deal with the Collins and Owens,” he told her.
“Great! Anything else?”
“Ramirez has reported that they have arrived in Berlin. They know that there is a man-hunt for them. He says they are under disguise. He says that they are planning on going to the bank and fsutopia‘s apartment. They also read through the reports sent by fsutopia.”
Kefáli leaned forward. “What did fsutopia say in the reports?”
Kubica shrugged. “Nothing really that will incriminate us,” he assured her. “But Ramirez said that the man who had read out the reports was not being fully honest about the contents with his teammates. Ramirez had planted a camera in their cabin and was able to read the papers through the camera. For some reason, Connery was not being honest about the content.”
Kefáli frowned. “Interesting. He must have found the camera and microphone,” she thought out loud.
“If so, why did he read the papers in full view of the camera?” Kubica pointed out. She nodded slowly as she considered that point.
“Did Ramirez say what was on the papers?” Kefáli enquired.
“Yes. He said that there was a brief mention of Leibniz Gemeinschaft, which is a research institute for the Leibniz Association, which studies natural science, engineering, and ecology, to economics, other social sciences, spatial science, and humanities,” Kubica replied. “According to the reports, fsutopia had been in contact with one of the people working there – a Dr. Mueller. But what I can’t understand is, why hasn’t OMEGA-3 looked into this institution or investigated this Mueller with regards to fsutopia‘s disappearance?”
“Strange, indeed,” Kefáli mused. “Tell Ramirez to find those agents and to make sure they never leave Berlin alive.”
Did you spot the easter egg?
If not, the easter egg is Charles E. Ville, one of the main villains in the trilogy.
And in case anyone is wondering, Kefáli is Greek for ‘Head’.
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