Chapter Twenty-Three

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Today

Doors are closing. Please stand clear.”

“Ahhhh!” Scott yelled, punching his legs down harder and faster than he had ever done before, still a dozen feet from the train as the doors began to close. The flashback to that morning when he’d raced down the platform, seeing his father inside the train as the doors closed just seconds before he got to the train, haunted him.

Not today, he thought, and leapt from the platform and toward the narrowing space between the doors that were closing in from each side.

His right shoulder slammed against the door on the one side and he half-stumbled, half-fell into the train car on his left as the doors sealed shut behind him.

“Geeziz, mister,” a young white male with thick beaded dreadlocks who couldn’t be more than twenty, had been sitting in the bench seat perpendicular to the doors with his bicycle propped in front of him. “I’ve never seen anybody so desperate to catch a train. You almost killed yourself getting on.”

Scott shook his head, slowly gathered himself to his feet.

“If I missed this train,” Scott said looking out the opposite window and spotting Herb and the security guard racing down the platform, “my boss would kill me.”

The young man nodded, seeming to be in agreement with Scott; not realizing, of course, that Scott was speaking in the literal sense.

And with that he walked past the young man and headed up the stairs to the mid-level section. Each GO train was divided into a lower section and upper section with two mid-level sections at the front and back of each train, a combination of a landing area with a small section of seats between them.  It was on these levels where the doors allowing passengers to pass between train cars were.

As Scott reached the mid-level landing area, he saw Herb standing on the platform and glaring at him. There was a scowl of anger on his face, but still that strange glazed look that had come over him not much more than half an hour earlier.  He looked out the opposite window and saw the man in the gray sports coat standing half a dozen yards away on the train platform, glaring at Scott through the window with the same angry look, with that subtle glaze, that Herb had.

As the train pulled away from the station, Scott settled down into a seat in the mid-level section and put his head back for a minute, trying desperately to catch his breath.

He gave himself a minute before pulling off his backpack and pulling out his laptop.

He flipped the top of the laptop open and then dug into the backpack for the hotspot USB stick and stuck it into the side. He waited for the network to pop up then keyed in the passcode allowing him to connect to the cellular network.  Within a few seconds he was back online.

His computer was still on the web browser showing Mike Nottoff’s research into anaesthetic practice to achieve a death meditative state; the process was, essentially, using nanotechnology to produce the same extreme slowing of the heart rate and circular systems that would simulate clinical death while the body lived in in a manner that was not discernable.  It was similar to a Tibetan Buddhism practice known as “Death Meditation” where the body can exist in a state that mimics death, preserving the body’s skin, organs, and central nervous system.

Could that be what they did with Dad, in order to fake his death?

That certainly made sense.

And there was, as Scott and Mr. Prescott had speculated, some deeper reason as to why it would become necessary to fake Lionel Desmond’s death.

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