As she sat down with the chip in her hands, the windows clattered and the screens were put down. “Leave the lights on, John. I’ll put them out when I leave”, said Evlyn.
Her phone rang, “Listen, Evlyn” said a very familiar voice. She was frustrated, as she was disrupted at the moment when she was finally going to make out the truth. “Yes, Sean?”
“Don’t open the contents of the chip, they’re there!” She turned white, but then, she was a brave woman, who had escaped the claws of death, many times, in the struggle to find the truth.
The life of a journalist isn’t easy, and the one 1of the journalist entangled in the world of crime becomes just the more difficult.
“So, what do I do now?”
“Try to get out of your office through the backyard, and take the disc with you. Wait for me to call, and I’ll tell you where to come.”
Sean had called from a public phone, she noticed, but there if there were time to wonder, she wouldn’t be running.
She heard the squeak of wet boots, she knew it was them. However hard you try to remain silent, wet shoes always favor the enemy.
She dumped the disc into her bag and ran. Switched the lights off, for it will buy her time to escape, walked by the wall.
In the desert of darkness, she found an oasis. The beam of moonlight led her to the backyard. She sneaked into the garage and the phone rang. She knew it was Sean. “Yes, Sean. I’m out. Where do I come?”
There was a pause.
“Uh, Yes. Listen. Where are you?”
“In the garage.”
“Now, don’t speak. Just listen. To your right, is the cathedral. Go there, and enter the moor behind it. Then, to the third building from the left.”
“Shh. Act smart.”
She didn’t know what he meant, but she started her journey. It wasn’t a long one, but breathtaking for sure.
It was dark and wasn’t a good area either, but she walked. She sensed men looking for her like bloodhounds. The heel of her sandal stuck in a hole, and whoosh! Now, the crack was heard and she had to run. Through the dark moor she ran, and none knew the moor better than her. She managed to reach the third building and rang the bell.
Suddenly, something struck her mind. She opened her phone, and
“Sorry, I can’t call. Go to your left,
And don’t let yourself towards
the cathedral moor. We’re
coming. We’ll get you.
The door opened, and the face she saw was the one she was searching for, but now, this meant death.
It is said that in the worst moments of life, the memories which led to the worst spark up. For Evlyn, the world had somewhat paused.
As the worn out door was squeaking open, she remembered things, things which made her reach where she stood.
Evlyn was one of those journalists who worked for none, but the public and themselves. She was said to be able to smell crime, and she had played spy and dug out the deepest and widespread roots of various crime trees.
It was the nineteenth of September, when Evlyn learnt about Sean Baltimore. He was an archaeologist who had recently discovered a cave. Big deal? No, only if it wasn’t in the middle of the city, and yet unseen. Neither was it modern, the test results positively identified the remains to be a couple of centuries old, at least.
It was the first time, that Evlyn decided to interview someone, not to ruin him, but to talk. Luckily, it was the same day, that the interview was held. And the interview wasn’t recorded, for what she needed was a conversation, not records.
“Hello Mr. Baltimore, I’m glad you accepted this interview.”
“My pleasure, Miss Archer. I’m a real fan of yours!”
“Anyways, we’re here to talk about the cave, aren’t we?”
“Yup. Go on”
And the conversation went on. The cave was in midst of the city, but out of sight, of course.
There was a manhole in midst of the central market , which was never opened.
“So, how did you find it. I’m sure you didn’t go opening the manhole” Evlyn chuckled.
“Oh, I did! I mean… After we discovered that it wasn’t a dirty manhole after all.”
“And I see the story coming”
“Yes, I was on my project of highlighting the difference that has come in Bernistonne since Man eaters to men. So I rolled out with my team to the central market, what better place to begin with! Reaching there, we didn’t realize that we were on the verge of something big, really big.
The crowd there stood baffled at something, someone had fallen into a pit, or a well – built manhole, rather. We found the cave, then accidentally, trying to save Stan. Since then, Stan has also been with us, he’s quite the man to be in an archaeological research team.”
wasn’t the manhole ever opened before? That’s strange!”
“Even better, it didn’t exist earlier.”
“The mud there is at least a couple of centuries old, but we could t find any wall art as such, to attribute the cave to some period or community”
“Thank you, Mr. Baltimore. You’ve really impressed me with this mystery.”
And this was the beginning of the building of a duo, a duo that had entered the maze of crime, a den, where the only way out was to walk through it, fighting against all it threw at them.
Weeks passed, and the bond Sean and Eve shared had already become stronger. It wasn’t love, but the sharing of the same curious, daring nature, and an immature urge to find closure.
“Hey Sean! Where are we on the cave? “
“Where we were, exactly there”
“I was thinking… Can we go to the site together today? If that’s not a problem?”
“That’s a great idea.”
“And?” She knew something was bothering him.
“Nothing, it’s okay to break some rules. I’ll arrange the card for you.”
Evlyn was a biker, and Sean was more of a car person. She picked him up from his place and they left. She couldn’t wait to reach there, to actually see what it was.
She parked the bike, and took a deep breath. For Sean , this was his daily, but for her, it was a dream, a story, a mystery.
They entered, a score of people hovering around, studying the walls, and the sand, and the stones, and the ants.
“Guys!” Gaston yelled.
Gaston was the paleontologist in their team. He had set up his mini lab in the cave itself. He often joked, “If this place were to be sold, I’ll set my lab here. This place has perfect partitions…”
But this time he had something better to say.
“Where did that paper come from, and who’s Veronica?” asked Sean, looking at the wet chip, probably soaked in acid lying near the microscope.
“I don’t know who she is, but I can tell you this for sure, the chip came from a granule of sand.”
“But I checked the whole place, but got nothing of this sort”
“That is because it was just made. I mean the granule reacted with boric acid to give this chip.”
And as they checked further, many of the granules reacted to give a name, and each, a different one. From traditional Indian names, to names of Greek gods, to modern Hollywood names.
Who were these people? Or were they even people? Were these some kind of codes? They were stuck. They didn’t know it was danger, but they had an unsolved mystery in front of them, one which they had to solve.