The car arrived promptly at 9:31. It was unlike the vehicle Maxwell had expected -- nothing ostentatious, a three-year-old, maroon Lexus that would easily blend in with traffic as it brought him to his destination. The car eased to a curbside stop three feet in front of him, and when the door opened, Maxwell almost expected to see three-hundred-pound Shwarzenegger clones packing lasers in their Armani suits. Instead there were only three passengers, and none of them looked over two hundred pounds.
Maxwell was unsure of why this made him feel better, but it did. He climbed into the backseat with barely a nod to the man who would sit next to him for the duration of the ride and flapped his collar with great amounts of visible irritation, "All right, I'm here. Let's talk."
The driver was a fifty year-old Latino with sharp brown eyes that pierced Maxwell in the rearview. As the man put the car into DRIVE and pulled away from the curb, he said to Maxwell, "You don't talk to us. We'll bring you to where you need to go. Small talk only."
Maxwell scratched his chin, "Okay, where are we going?"
The Latino driver gave a slight shake of his head, "Can't tell you, man."
Maxwell scowled. He disliked lacking the information he felt he deserved, "Can you tell me the name of the man I'm meeting?"
Another shake of the head in the rearview, "Nope. Just relax."
Maxwell rubbed one hand along his forehead, at his hairline, in an effort to squelch the frustration migraine that was building inside his noggin, "Well, what can you tell me?"
"Only that this won't hurt a bit, and that you shouldn't fight it."
The man seated next to Maxwell in the backseat produced a syringe from an inside pocket of his coat and leaned into him. Before Maxwell could resist, the man had moved into position and pricked the needle into Maxwell's neck, where some sort of fluid was released into his bloodstream with a trembling burn. Blackness instantly crept into Maxwell's vision.
From the front seat, the driver said, "Nighty-night" just before the black became all-encompassing and Maxwell fell into it.