Inside the condo, he threw the books onto the island in the kitchen and dropped the small baggie from Trevor next to them. Closer to the sink, he set down the bag of gadgets. For his own comfort, he stripped out of his dirty clothes and took a brief shower.
Illuminated blue numbers dictated his every step. Nothing broke his concentration, nothing interrupted the mechanical rhythm he’d created to keep himself aware.
If he were judging by the last time, he had almost three hours to go. It would still be cutting it close, he thought, but what choice did he really have?
In the kitchen, he laid out the emergency supplies he kept in the cabinet in the bathroom: gauze, medical tape, a scalpel, a needle and some stitching thread, rubbing alcohol, and a bottle of bourbon. He cracked open the sub-dermal tracking device and poured over the information pamphlet. It seemed simple enough, and after a few swigs of bourbon right from the bottle, he felt more prepared. He tore into the plastic absurdities that qualified as packaging and read the necessary documents before gathering it all up in a garbage bag.
Still, he had one more thing he wanted to do, before he began.
Graeme was no novice when it came to recreational drugs, but it had been a long time since he’d gotten any speed and, like anyone that had stepped outside of heavy drug use and was suddenly leering back in through the doorway, he was hesitant to go over-board. He wanted to stay awake longer, to maintain his consciousness beyond his previously established limits, not lose his mind.
With care, he shook a little out onto the counter and formed a few lines.
It’s like tearing off a band-aid, he told himself, and took the first hit.
Outside, he attached the vehicle tracker to the underside of his front bumper, tucked back as far as he could get it. Once he’d taken out the trash and cleaned up as much evidence of his scheming as he could, he synced his new devices with his laptop and began hiding things in his condo. Already, his muscles vibrated with energy. Bolting from one room to another, his eyes sought out the best hiding places and calculated the likelihood that they would serve their purpose in seconds. Only when he was certain that the high was fully kicking in did he return to the kitchen.
With cotton balls, he swabbed clean a hard-to-see part of his upper arm, a few inches over the elbow, nearly in the middle of his tricep; then, he sliced into his flesh with the scalpel, making sure to dig into the muscle beneath. Blood pooled over the wound and dripped down off his elbow into the sink. GPS tracker clasped firmly between his fingers, he grit his teeth against the foreignness of a strange object moving through his body and slipped the pill-sized device into the fresh wound.
There was no pain. He only felt discomfort, and stiffness, and the dull aches of fading wounds. He took a few more swigs of bourbon and prepared himself for the back-up GPS device.