Bill Hammons: Writing and Running in Boulder, Colorado

BILL HAMMONS: WRITING AND RUNNING IN BOULDER, COLORADO
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37


"The airport security guard I believe is a clone is scheduled for duty at Miami International Sunday morning. You're scheduled for Flight Seven-seven-seven from Miami to Moscow, which departs at eight thirty-seven in the morning."

"Tell me something I don't--"

"And what you might know, but probably don't connect with your flight plans, is the fact that the first SCP flight out of Cape Canaveral is scheduled to depart at nine a.m. sharp. Of course, both Colonists will be on that flight."

Korsakova shuddered visibly as the clone of Natalie Arbor broke down sobbing on the screen, after two digitally-composed extras playing Air Force officers informed her that Michelson's character had been "Killed in Action." "Dear God."

"Now you get the picture." Bettmann remained hunkered down in his seat, while his companion sat up straight. "Then I searched your flight's manifest, and saw that it was unusually full, and unusually full of hundreds of New Zealand teenagers who have no records of their existence, other than the fact that they were all born in New Zealand to mothers from the former Soviet bloc, and only returned to New Zealand to obtain passports. All of them, all four hundred and four, are flying into Miami on Saturday, and all supposedly will be flying to Moscow the next morning."

"Why not just tell your colleagues at the CIA?" Korsakova asked above a quivering lip.

"They don't trust me now, and they can't be trusted. If I tell them about the flight, they'll just arrest me if I try to get on it, and they won't try to stop the flight. They won't believe the possibility that a horde of teenagers would try to hijack the plane; they'll just put a few extra air marshals on the flight and leave it at that."

Korsakova now stared resolutely at the screen before them, at the image of Natalie Arbor dressed in black and accepting a tricornered American flag. "And so Agent Brad Bettmann gets to play the hero on Sunday, stopping four hundred hijackers from taking over a jetliner and crashing it into a spacecraft."

"They won't crash it into anything: you don't put four hundred of your own people on a plane if you're gonna do that. No, they have something else in mind, and someone needs to be along for the ride to find out what it is and try to stop it."





































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