The little twerp was proving to be a real problem. Marcos knew what he had to do. He dialed the Mastermind (at least that’s what they called the man who pulled the strings).
“Brevity is a virtue, my friend,” The Mastermind said, calmly. “In other words, I don’t have all day.”
“The kid is proving to be a bigger problem than we expected.”
“That’s irrelevant. Have you contacted Reeves?”
“That’s what I’m trying to explain. The kid has some sort of man-crush on Jack Bauer.”
“No, sir. The character he plays on the show 24. The thing is his father thought the call was a joke.”
“You must remind him of the gravity of the situation.”
“He won’t answer his phone.”
“Time’s money. Be assured, your incompetance has been noted. Send a ransom note, idiot. Just make sure it’s persuasive. Or I will replace you, Marcos. And you do know what that means.”
Jason eavesdropped on the conversation and eagerly awaited what was to come. He already knew how he’d escape.
“Randall!” his mother called from the top of the stairs. “Arnold is here to see you.”
“Don’t turn on the light!” Randall shouted. His mother flipped a switch and the basement went dark once more, save for the light from the computer monitors.
“I don’t know why you don’t just go play outside. You’ll go blind sitting in the dark all day.”
Randall shook his head and muttered, “Division…”
Arnold ambled down the stairs, each step groaning under his feet.
“Edgar,” Randall chided him, “you’re late.”
“I told you,” Arnold retorted, “I’m Milo, not Edgar.”
“You’re too fat to be Milo.”
“And you’re too stupid to be Tony.” Arnold plopped down in front of one of the computers. “Where’s Jack?”
“He was following a lead on the Sarin gas,” Randall said, “but he hasn’t checked in yet.”
Randall leaned over Arnold’s shoulder and put in a few keystrokes, bringing up Jason’s Twitter page. The last message was four hours old. “That’s not like him,” Randall said, “and I’m getting hungry.”