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Black Brick – Chapter Twenty Nine

This week’s episode features Chapter Twenty Nine of Black Brick. Here is an excerpt from the show:

Taking a deep breath, I let it out and checked the hidden camera on the pen in my shirt pocket. I was outside of Peck’s class, and my insides were churning with fear and trepidation. Shannon would be on the other side, playing the part of my shell-shocked ex-girlfriend Jessica.

I touched the fire alarm panel.

Kris would be there as well. She was so confident that I would do her bidding. Hopefully, today would disabuse her of that notion. Thor would probably be in attendance too, I still didn’t know if he somehow fit into all of this or not. I just wanted to make sure he had left before I went in.

Looking around to make sure the way was clear; I broke the glass that protected the fire alarm with my elbow and pulled down on the lever. A moment later, the alarm sounded, and lights started flashing. It took several seconds before students began to empty out of the classroom doors.

Leaning up against the wall by the door, I kept my eyes peeled for whoever would come through the exit first. Depending on who it was, I’d have to react quickly if they recognized me.

My guess was that Kris or Thor would be the first person I’d spot as the students evacuated the classroom. Shannon sat in the back and would be coming out last, and I was counting on Peck waiting to make sure the room cleared successfully.

As people began to file out, I pulled the ball cap that I was wearing down a little lower. In all the confusion, nobody seemed to notice me.

I was relieved when Thor walked out the door, chatting amiably with another girl from the class. He looked my way, but his eyes went right on past. One day, I’d have to solve the puzzle he posed, but not today.

When Kris came out, I ducked my head a little and hoped that she wouldn’t notice me. One of the major flaws in my plan was the fact that she’d seen me since I’d changed appearances. That’s why I was sporting a ball cap today.

Despite my efforts, she noticed me right away.


Black Brick – Chapter Twenty Nine was originally published on DAN DECKER

Black Brick – Chapter Twenty Eight

This week’s episode features Chapter Twenty Eight of Black Brick. Here is an excerpt from the show:

It was idiotic to return to Kingstone University so soon after everything had gone down. Leaving the country and never returning would have been the smart thing to do. Moving to an obscure part of the U.S. and living in the woods, would have been better. But returning, hoping to find answers or a way to set things right, was not the brightest idea.

I had been used, and I wasn’t going to let Beltran get away with it. In order to do that, I needed to find Kris. If she didn’t work for the government, she might be the only friend in the world that I had right now.

It had been almost two weeks since the assassination of Lane Vargo, and I was certain that classes should have returned to normal by now. I timed my arrival at the George Washington building to coincide with the end of Peck’s history class. As I waited for the class to end, I looked around, expecting to see police officers or easily recognizable government men swarming all over the place, but instead, I found things to be pretty much normal.

I sat on a bench, pulled out my tablet and turned it on but only pretended to use it while I kept an eye on the door to the classroom.

Thor passed by chatting with several people. I’d never paid much attention to the little runt, but with the warmer weather, he wasn’t wearing a coat, and I realized now he was in good shape and had an air of confidence about him that I hadn’t noticed before. Was his interest in me a coincidence or something more?

Did he work with Kris? Was he a federal agent? As Thor disappeared, I wondered if I’d underestimated the little man. I should have been more careful about brushing him off all those times he’d tried to befriend me.

Shannon passed but didn’t recognize me. It made me glad that my disguise was thorough, but it was tough seeing her again, and I had to refrain from staring. I was reminded of all the time we’d spent together, and I had to suppress my desire to chase after and confront her.

Black Brick – Chapter Twenty Eight was originally published on DAN DECKER

Black Brick – Chapter Twenty Seven

This week’s episode features Chapter Twenty Seven of Black Brick. Here is an excerpt from the show:

It was a bright sunny day, but the wind was cold and biting. I zipped up my jacket, wishing that I had a full coat. I was planning to be outside most of the day and already felt the chill creeping in, that wasn’t a good sign.

I didn’t know how long it would be before the authorities would know everything about me, but I figured Beltran would help the process along.

After my escape from the hotel, I’d purchased an airline ticket to southern Florida using my phone and Sam Chever credit card. Afterward, I destroyed the phone and trashed the credit card. That would hopefully throw the police off my scent long enough to figure out what I was going to do. Next, I’d found a small dingy motel and slept for almost ten hours before waking to my new world.

After checking several news websites to make sure that my picture wasn’t being splashed all over the internet, I’d gone shopping using a debit card from an account I’d set up in secret a long time ago. Among other things, I’d purchased black hair dye, makeup, a tablet, and multiple disposable cell phones.

I ducked into a coffee shop, placed an order and took a table at the back facing the door. The place had a decent crowd, but there were still several empty tables. I had a few seconds of panic when I noticed a blonde woman with her back towards me that looked remarkably like Shannon.

Doing my best not to stare, I kept my eye on her until she turned enough for me to see her face and determined it was somebody else.

So far, I hadn’t been able to process Shannon’s betrayal. Because I’d been hoping for reconciliation with her, she’d been able to play me like a fiddle and kept me from picking up any clues about what she was planning to do.

Closing my eyes, I tried to clear my mind and free myself of the hurt. It didn’t work. I suspected it would be a long time before it would heal.

I unfolded a newspaper that I’d purchased earlier in the day and read the main story about Vargo’s assassination. They didn’t have a name or picture for me yet, but it was just a matter of time. I was halfway down the page when I froze and had to keep from looking around warily.

Lane Vargo, in addition to being CEO of Diggon, was also the brother of U.S. Senator, Sandra Vargo Mcculloch. How had I missed that? How many real government agents would be flown in to investigate? How many police would be assigned to the case? This wasn’t going away anytime soon.

Black Brick – Chapter Twenty Seven was originally published on DAN DECKER

Black Brick – Chapter Twenty Six

This week’s episode features Chapter Twenty Six of Black Brick. Here is an excerpt from the show:

Half an hour later, Shannon and I were walking towards a downtown hotel that was next to Martinez’s location. We were going to provide backup while Beltran went in after him. Because of the gravity of our mission and the fact that all the other teams were out on assignment, Beltran had recruited several Black Brick analysts to accompany them as well.

I wondered if Cherry and Tom were with Beltran, or providing backup somewhere else, Beltran hadn’t been clear on what their role was going to be and I hadn’t thought to ask until it was too late.

Beltran seemed to think that having four analysts at his back made up for their collective lack of experience and training.

The analysts knew how to work their guns and occasionally went into the field, but they weren’t ideal companions for a mission like this. If we really did have connections to local police, the FBI, or any other government organizations, wouldn’t Beltran have preferred to have their personnel on hand rather than barely trained analysts who might freeze when the gunfire starts?

As I thought about the past couple of weeks, other inconsistencies began to jump out at me. Beltran had never been able to get us the police file for Bruce Andrews’ murder. Other times, he’d had no problem getting useful information from police. Was that just because he had contacts in some precincts but not others?

Shannon walked slightly ahead of me, pulling her luggage with one hand. The setting sun cast her face into shadow.

Since I was going to quit soon anyway, I decided to take a risk and open up to her. She could be quite levelheaded when the occasion called for it, and I needed to bounce some of my questions off somebody else, or I was going to go crazy.  Speaking quietly, I floated by her my theory that Martinez’s defection had been intentionally planned as part of our final test.

“You’re an idiot,” Shannon said, but I could tell there was something she wasn’t saying.

Black Brick – Chapter Twenty Six was originally published on DAN DECKER