“For the 299th time I’ve told you what happened!” exclaimed a young man. Long blond shaggy hair covered his face. He was handcuffed to a table in interview room number 3.
“Tell me again. This time the truth if you will, otherwise we’ll be here all day,” said a fat, bald middle-aged police officer with the nameplate of H. Clyde pinned to his shirt. “What the hell were you doing in our basement safe and how did you get in there?”
“I don’t know. I’m telling you the truth.”
“Again, from the beginning…”
The young man sighed, resting chin on chest. “I’m exhausted. I can’t.” Sweat trickled off his shirt and down his forearms. Officer Clyde turned around to look at the mirror behind him and said “a towel and some water.”
At the door, officer Pincton passed over the requested items to his colleague. “What do you think?” he whispered.
“He’s gotta be a Russian spy,” answered Clyde. “Why else would he be here?”
“The feds are 5 minutes away.”
“It’s about bloody time. Maybe they can get some more info outta this sweaty mess.”
Clyde placed the towel over the young man to stop the dripping. “Here, drink this. We can’t have you passing out on us before the big guns arrive.” Through a straw, the young man emptied his glass in only a few seconds. “Can I have some more?”
“Sure, when you tell me who you’re working for you can have all the water you want.”
“I’m not working for anybody. I don’t even know why I’m here.”
“Yet you were found in our safe – the most secure room in this station. Did you find the hardcopy file you were looking for? Why don’t you just admit it already? You’re a KGB agent and you’ve been busted!”
“KG-what?” he asked, confused.
“Don’t play dumb with me. Now, from the beginning again…”
“I woke up in darkness against a wall,” he began slowly. “Dim, flickering lights above me led left and right down a long narrow hallway that disappeared into the unknown. The floor beneath me felt gritty. I stood to my feet and called out for help, but nobody answered. I took one step to the right and heard a gut-wrenching screech so I bolted the other way. I ran all the way down until I got to a t-section. I heard another screech so I turned left and then right and then left again and that’s when I saw it.”
“What did you see?”
“They’re here,” interrupted Pincton with his sudden knocking.
“Watch him,” said Clyde, leaving the room. Two well-dressed men were waiting at the reception desk. “Gentlemen, I’m detective Clyde. I’ll take you through.”
“Smith and Brown,” said the shorter agent, flashing his badge. “What has he told you?”
“Not much. After 4 hours I can’t even get a name out of him. I was hoping you guys could decipher his story. We have him in room 3 just up ahead.”
Standing in the doorway the agents made a positive I.D on the young man straight away. “It’s him,” said Brown.
“Who is he?” Clyde asked. “I wanna know who broke into my safe!”
“We’ll take it from here detective,” said Smith, “Brown, un-cuff him.”
“Hey wait a minute. You’re not taking him until I get some answers.”
“Step aside Clyde or I’ll have you detained for interfering with a classified case.”
“At least tell me his name.”
“Peter Anthony Cooper,” said Brown as he led the young man out of the room. “But you didn’t hear that from me and we were never here. Understand?”
“Yeah,” nodded Clyde, reluctantly. From his office window he watched them drive away in a black Dodge Charger.
“I left the crossword puzzles for you,” said Pincton, entering the room with a rolled up edition of The Lubbock Star.
“Thanks,” said Clyde, still staring out.
“Don’t worry about it too much. They stuff us around all the time,” said Pincton. “We small town cops aren’t allowed to know. I’m gonna get back to work.”
A few minutes passed before Clyde sat down at his desk and unfolded the newspaper, dated May 22nd 1980. He perused the front page local and international news headlines but none stood out as remotely interesting, nothing as strange as an unknown man appearing in his basement; Ice cream factory melt down on Harris and 8th, Tokyo power grid failure leaves residents in the dark, Jewellery thieves caught red handed, Texas Taxman Taxed.
Rushing back in, Picton’s face was awash with red anxiety. “The FBI agents are here, the real ones!”
Clyde’s jaw dropped. “What?”
The engine of the Dodge Charger purred steady at the red lights. “Smith and Brown,” laughed the taller agent behind the wheel.
“It was all I could think of on the spot. Besides, they bought it,” said his shorter counterpart.
“Yeah they certainly did.”
“Do you think they’ll figure it out?”
“Maybe, but I doubt it.”
The young man in back seat asked calmly “Where are you taking me?”
“Home,” said both agents.
“The next time Goshimogo wants to break through the split screen of level 300, he can fetch his own projections,” said the driver, pushing down on the accelerator as the lights went green.
“He’s just a kid.”
“Need I remind you of the space invaders incidence?”