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“Miss Manchester, this is Kate Robinson and this is KJ Park,” I said.
She didn’t say anything, just nodding, as I continued.
“We know who you are and what you are a part of. We believe your life is in danger.”
“I already know that. Where are we going? Where are you taking me?”
“You already know?”
“Yes, of course. You don’t sign up to be a member of a negotiating team whose sole purpose is to find peace with an invading force.”
“Word. Fair enough, Miss Manchester,” Kate said.
“Ms. Manchester is fine,” she said, adding: “I’ll ask again: what is our destination?”
“A safe place.”
I had the Lyft driver drop us litterally on the side of the road about a quarter mile south of the old arched driveway that leads into Fort Tryon Park. I used to hide there when hanging out on the fire escape of our apartment wasn’t enough.
It was one of the most secluded parts of the park if not the most secluded.
We had to jump the concrete divider separating the road from the grass. We walked along it up to the entrance to the arched driveway.
“You should say something to her, man! Make sure she knows we’re not trying to kill her,” KJ said as we walked.
“Ms. Manchester, I really appreciate you trusting us.”
“No problem–I am prepared if this turns into some sort of ambush.”
“Oh… that won’t be necessary. We’re just on a fact finding mission,” I said, sounding as ‘professional CIA’ as I could. We got about halfway up the drive way and stopped.
“And what facts can I help you with?”
“Well, first, we’re curious if you or the other members of the human negotiating team are aware that your team has been infiltrated by your, is ‘enemy’ the right word for them?”
“The next question will be determined by your answer to the first question.”
“I am aware, but it seems like the infiltration has been put to a stop. With the… apparent death of my colleague, State Senator Tedesko.”
“It does seem that way, but we’ve run into quite a few surprises on this… mission,” I said.
“Uh-huh,” KJ said nodding.
“The question I have for you is simple: how do you know I’m not a Double-O?”
I think all three of us were thrown off guard by that question. To be honest, I was speechless.