M.a.i.n.e. Frame PC II
by Sam Lakes
Copyright © 2006 All Rights Reserved
Kevin Mitchell exited the Customs and Immigration at London’s Heathrow. As he stood there looking at the scene someone tapped him on the shoulder.
“Excuse me, sir. ‘ave you seen a young American boy with blonde hair and blue eyes that looks like a geekoid?” he said in a strong English accent.
Kevin turned and laughed as he recognized Arbor Maine. “Arb! Great to see you” he said giving Arbor a hug. “Damn good accent! Where’s your brother?”
“He’s erasing your entry into the UK. In fact, he’s hidden any and all records of you. You don’t exist and have never existed. He’ll meet us at the bus stop.”
The two walked out of the airport and waited at the bus stop.
A number 11 bus arrived and Arbor led the way on to the bus, up the stairs.
As the bus pulled away a black haired boy with blue eyes ran and jumped on the bus and ran up the stairs and jumped on the back of Kevin Mitchell and wrapped his feet around Kevin’s waist.
“Hey! Hotshot! You made enough noise coming up those stairs!” laughed Kevin.
“Damn! And I thought I’d surprise you! So, Bud, how was your flight?” said Colt as he slid down off Kevin’s back.
“Not as adventurous as yours” smiled Kevin, as Arb sat down and Colt sat in the seat in front of them but turned facing them.
“God, it’s good to see you. We’ve moved out of London. We found a cottage in a little town called Lingfield. It’s famous for its race track and that’s about it. We can go by train from Victoria Station or rent a car. If we rent a car the transaction will be morphed.”
“Changed from your name to that of Peter Johns, of Wimbley. Arbor’s told you I’m sure that you no longer exist.”
“Yes, but why?”
“Because” said Colt.
“That’s no answer.”
“Because I don’t want you hurt and for security” Colt said “You were almost killed because of me and what I invented. So was Dad and Arbor.” Colt had to force back the tears still “And Alan and Keith died…” His bottom lip began to quiver a bit and he bit down on it “It still hurts, Kev, everyday. I still miss him so much. It’s been over a year and it still hurts…” A few tears managed their way out, and Colt quickly wiped them away.
“I know” Kevin placed his hand on Colt’s shoulder, “and I wish I could take away the pain. I wish I could bring him back for both of you, but anyway all right I don’t exist. So what mischief have you two been up to?”
“Moi? Me? Never!” Arbor said, forcing himself to laugh. “Any wrong doings have been done, not by me, but le geekoid!”
Colt forced a smiled. “Yeah, right le fagot!”
“Yeah, who dyed his hair?”
“It was Mary. And she was a very busy piece o’crumpet” responded Colt “Besides now I could pass for being Irish and I’m managing to speak quite well with an Irish accent. The Irish sorta have a sing-songiness in their voice and speak from the back of their throats. I find it a very cheerful accent. Don’t you?” Colt said in a near perfect Irish accent. “The name is Jamie O’Neal and I come from Dublin.”
“Yes, Jamie and I were at a pub last night getting a bit of nosh - Bangers ‘n Mash and several of the Irish gents took him as their own. They said they thought he was Georgie Collingworth and it took them a long time to believe that he wasn’t. Oh, how dreadfully rude of me, Charles Ford-Wilson. You may address me a Charlie” said Arbor in his rather upper class English accent.
“Well, I’m pleased to meet you, lads. Raven McDonald from Sydney” said Kevin in a perfect Australian accent.
“Blimey, do you know Crocidile Dundee?” laughed Arbor.
“As a matter of fact, I do mate. He and I was in the outback for six weeks wrestlin’ crocs!”
Colt laughed. “So, Raven loony, car or train?”
“Let’s start with train we can rent a car from nearby East Grinstead or Tunbridege Wells.”
The ride to Lingfield took a little over an hour and the three joked and laughed the whole way each speaking only in their chosen accent. Despite the apparent jovialness each was keenly aware of those around them and took steps to ensure their safety.
The walk from the train station was about five minutes, the cottage being in the back of a meeting hall and pub. It was definitely the English countryside, quiet and peaceful. The cottage had two rooms and a bathroom upstairs and a living room/bedroom kitchen and dinning room downstairs. The two boys occupied the upstairs rooms and Kevin had the downstairs living room/bedroom.
“Raven, how about talking Paul into buying us three motorcycles? It would make it a lot easier to get around” suggested Colt.
“Yeah!” exclaimed Arbor completely out of character. Then realizing it immediately popped back into character saying “Oh, yes! Smashing idea! Yes. Mmm.”
“I’ll see what I can do, mates.” Three days later Colt was racing Arbor to East Grinstead on his used Honda NightHawk. Arbor let him win, basically because colt was hitting 80 and showed no signs of letting Arbor win. Colt drove up London Road to High Street. Then realizing he’d passed the post office turned around, went back and turned right at the post office and then up the street to the parking lot across from the local cinema, where Arbor was waiting.
“Jamie, you’re fucking crazy! You’ll kill yourself trying to do a ton” scolded Arbor.
“Look, Charlie, I can handle it. I was born for speed! Anyway, I would have beat you, but I forgot to turn at the post office. I’m goin’ up to W.H. Smith’s” he said, looking back at Arbor and walking into someone, knocking them down and falling over them. He glowered at him as he realized half the eggs lay broken on the sidewalk and Colt’s fall had been cushioned by a now flat loaf of bread.
Colt blinked his eyes and stared at him for a few seconds then spoke. “I’m terribly sorry. Are you alright?”
“Oh. I’m sorry. Really! Here let me help you up.”
They both looked at each other for several moments neither saying a word. Colt couldn’t believe how good looking he was. He was positively georgeous! He couldn’t stop looking at him, and thinking how beautiful he was.
“I’m sorry. Are you alright?” he asked.
“I’ll replace everything that’s broken. It was my fault. I wasn’t looking where I was going.”
“Nor I or I would have stepped aside” he smiled.
His heart melted as he spoke and he looked into his hazel colored eyes.
“Jamie O’Neal” he managed to say and then slightly blushed.
The boy saw the blush and smiled again, then introduced himself “Darryl Cartwright” and then for some unknown reason also blushed.
Colt turned his attention to the groceries and started to salvage what he could. Darryl kneeled down and started to help. Colt reached for the butter at almost the same time as Darryl, but his hand got there first and his hand gently grabbed Darryl’s hand. Colt held his hand for a split second blushed again and said “Oops!” Darryl smiled and put the butter in the bag.
“It looks like the bread and the eggs are a wipe-out” Colt said.
“Yes. Well, I got the eggs at Sainsbury and the bread just up the road from there.”
“Here. I’ll carry and you lead the way and I’ll try not to fall over you.” Colt smiled and looked back towards Arbor who gave him a thumbs up. Darryl looked and saw Arbor.
“That’s my friend, Charlie.”
Darryl waved and called out “Hi, Charlie.” Then he said to Colt “Well, Jamie, let’s go.” And they walked up the street.
“You’re not English, are you?” Colt asked.
“Actually, I am, but I lived in New York City and Los Angeles for three years. My father worked for an American company.”
Darryl suddenly looked sad and turned his face away from Colt. After he got his emotions under control, and he said “He was killed in an auto accident six months ago.”
Colt wanted to grab him and hold him because he knew the pain Darryl was feeling. He wanted to say “I know how you feel I lost my father too”, but instead he just said “Oh. I’m sorry.”
Darryl saw the sadness in Colt’s eyes as he thought of Keith. He wanted to ask, but this was not the time or place. In any case the twinkle returned to his eyes and he couldn’t help, but smile. Something about his new acquaintance made him feel happy. “Did you want to stop at W.H. Smith’s?” he inquired.
“No. I’ll stop by later. Let’s get the eggs and bread”
After Colt purchased a new loaf of bread and two fresh jelly doughnuts they walked back down London Road each carrying a couple of bags of groceries and each munching on a jelly doughnut. When they arrived back at the collision point Colt asked “Do you live far from here?”
“No. Not too far. I think I can manage from here if you need to be going. I appreciate you help.”
“No, I was just wondering if I could help carry these to your home and then uh, perhaps we could come back and go to a movie.”
“I’d love to, but I promised a friend of mine I’d help him this afternoon” he responded as he remembered a prior commitment. Darryl saw the disappointment on Colt’s face and added “But how about this evening?”
Colt’s face brightened up as he enthusiastically said “That would be terrific! I’ll help you carry these home and then I’ll pick you up this evening on my motor bike, and if you’d like, I could pick you up early and we could go to dinner and then to the movie.”
“Okay, pick me up at six o’clock” he smiled.
At four o’clock Arbor finally caught up with Colt in W.H.Smith’s. “Jamie, ready to go?”
“Go where?” replied Colt.
“Hello? Ever heard of London? I’ve spent half the day getting set up. You know operation tabloid?”
“Shit! I forgot! I made a date with Darryl.”
“Hey, ol’chap, I’m sorry, but you’ll have to cancel the date. They go to press tonight and if we don’t carry through then their going to think we’re wimps and, we’ll have to wait another week.”
“Okay. Okay.” When they arrived at Darryl’s home Colt knocked on the door, but no one answered so he scribbled a note for him and slid it in between the door and the door jam.
Everet Doodles, Senior V-P for Security was addressing the other executives “The access control records show reporter John Williams, Jr. entered the building at 18:59:34 (6:59:34pm). The hidden video camera showed two teenage boys entering the door. One of the teenagers was carrying a case which looked like a laptop computer case.”
“The access control log showed that was as far as they went. There were no records of going in the elevator nor of anyone using any of the other 125 security points. According to the log John Williams, Jr. also left the building at 19:00:34. The video tape from the hidden camera did not show John Williams, Jr or the two boys leaving the building.”
“No payment greater than twenty-five pounds exists in the system for any freelance photographer. Jonia Benito complained that he was supposed to be paid five thousand pounds for his photographs of Brad Pitt and Angela Jolie. A payment of four thousand nine hundred and seventy-five pounds was paid to an African leper colony. From this we found a total of over seventy-five thousand pounds paid to various non-profit organizations which should have gone to these photographers.”
“As for the original extortion letter to the Managing Editor, we have no further data, except that we suspect that the perpetrators are a couple of American teenagers, who two weeks ago were anonymous heroes. We’ve circulated a description of them and an enhancement of the picture taken of them by our hidden camera to every news stand. We are offering a twenty-five thousand pound reward for information leading to their arrest.”
“Arrest? Is that wise if they were heroes?” asked Bloomberg.
“Depending on their cooperation with us we may or may not press charges, sir”
“Raven, me lad! Did you know, Jamie has an American twin?” asked John Pitts.
“Blimey, an American twin, you say!” replied Kevin
“Yes, look at this” said John Pitts handing Colt a flyer with a photo of him and Arbor.
Kevin was surprised. “An American! Trust and American to get himself photographed. They must be real stupid! You know what I mean?”
“Aye, like Forrest Gump character, you know “Stupid is…”
“Please, John, spare me the Yankee phases!” Kevin interrupted cheerfully “Can I get a copy of this to show Jamie, should get a real laugh!”
“Ta! See ya later!” said Kevin on his way out of the store.
“Colt! Arbor!” called Kevin as he entered the cottage and ran up the stairs.
Both boys came out of their rooms in to the hallway.
“Sup?” asked Colt.
“They are on to you. That’s what’s up!” said Kevin as he handed Colt the flyer.
“So, pack up your stuff and we’re out of here.”
“Now?” asked Colt.
“Yes, now. There’s no time for good-byes, Colt. You’ve been ID’d and they are probably watching his every move in hopes that you’ll show up.”
“I’ll take that risk! I can’t just disappear without…without telling Darryl anything!”
“Colt! I said ‘No’ and I mean it.”
“I mean it too!” he responded and tried to get past. Kevin grabbed his arm.
“Let me go!” ordered Colt.
“Colt, get some fuckin’ sense into that head of yours!” stated Arbor angrily.
“I can’t just leave Darryl … I just can’t!” Colt pleaded.
“Sorry, kid, we can’t risk it. You can call him from Paris tomorrow.”
“That sucks!” cried Colt and he returned to his room and started packing.
Three hours later the three were on a ferry boat heading to Calais, France. Colt watched as the white cliffs of Dover faded in the distance. If Arbor hadn’t taken charge of Nuts he would have tossed the damn computer overboard.
“Hello, you look like you’ve left someone behind” said David O’Shea.
“Yeah” replied Colt as he continued to look at the disappearing landscape.
“Well, she must ‘ave been a real looker”.
Colt nodded his head.
“The name is David O’Shea.”
“Jamie O’Neal” responded Colt.
“A countryman of mine, begorah!” exclaimed David O’Shea.
“Look, I don’t mean to be impolite, but I’m really not interested in making polite conversation and it wasn’t a she it was a he.” responded Colt.
“Do you love him?” asked O’Shea not wanting to end the conversation and having a hidden purpose.
“Then, for god’s sake man, go back to him!”
“It’s not that simple. I can’t.”
“Why does he not like you?”
“I don’t know. I think he does, we never talked about love. We just talked about ourselves, our likes and dislikes. He’s beautiful, a real corker!”
“Look, I’m going to level with you. I know you’re a wanted man. I know you’re name is not Jamie O’Neal! I know there’s a twenty-five thousand pound reward…”
Colt started to move away, but O’Shea grabbed his arm. Colt looked frantically for Kevin.
“Calm down, lad! I’m not going to hurt you. I want to help! It’s the newspaper that’s offering the bounty and I hate the media. I want to help!”
“That’s a darn good accent you developed. It fooled me. If I hadn’t known who you are I would have thought you came from Dublin.” He smiled and released his hold on the boy.
“Thanks! There’s really nothing you can do for me except just let me disappear.”
“You’re wrong there. I could get you back in England and believe me they would never find you and you could see him again. You two could be together. We could bring that tabloid to its knees!”
Colt thought over the offer. “Why, do you want to help me? What’s in it for you?”
“Sweet revenge! They ruined me Da’s business and his marriage of twenty years. They printed a slanderous story about him and some British whore. The whole story was a lie from beginning to end. Me mum, who was ill, and died after that, then me Da’ fought them with everything he had - it was all a fuckin’ lie and when he’d spent all his money fighting them they planted evidence in our flat that linked him with an IRA bombing and the fuckin’ British arrested him and he died in prison. Do you know what it’s like to loose your parents? I was only fourteen at the time! So, is that reason enough for you?”
“I lost my… never mind. I’ll help you bring the tabloid down, but I don’t want my brother to know he would try and stop me… he’s the logical one. And I have to see Darryl. I have to tell him the truth about me. I don’t hate the British so I’ll do nothing against the government. Is that understood? And once I’m back and safe I’ll work alone! If I get caught then I get caught. I don’t want anyone getting caught with me. And you must guard my backside because there are people after me so I’m told and they’d just as soon murder you as not, to get to me. Are you sure you want to take this on?”
“Aye, Jamie, I do.”
“Good let’s go!”
“Yes! Now!” said Colt as he leapt down some stairs to the lower deck. Colt had seen a rubber dingy strapped to a slide railing. With the speed of a young cheetah he unstrapped the dingy and threw it overboard and without hesitation leaped after the dingy landing in the icy water a mere foot from the dingy within seconds he was in the dingy and unlashed the two paddles as David O’Shea hit the water. Colt rowed over to O’Shea and helped him on board.
“You’re fuckin’ crazy, Rye-Zen!” he laughed.
“Aye, but who’s crazier the leader or the follower? And the name is Patty O’Toole! And by the morrow I’ll have the reddest hair too match me Scottish accent, laddie!” laughed Colt and then laughed again at the surprised face of David O’Shea.
“Whot’s a matter, dona like the Scots, Irishman?” Colt laughed again “I’ll row for a time, and then it’ll be your turn!”
Colt rowed all the way to shore pushing himself the whole way. O’Shea watched him the whole way half in awe as the young boy rowed, and after forty-five minutes he knew the boy must be rowing in pain. He offered to row but Colt told him he was fine. His respect for Colt grew with each stoke. He knew that he would have found the task difficult and would have accepted another’s offer to row. Still there was a problem. The boy did not bring the computer. The computer he needed and was ordered to retrieve at whatever cost.
When they were almost ashore Colt jumped out of the dingy and swam the rest of the way again followed by O’Shea.
“By my calculation the tide and current will take the dingy out to the middle of the channel. Not leaving a trail” said Colt as they got ashore. He felt exhausted.
“You are brilliant! I would never have thought of that! Rye-Zen you are an incredible boy!”
“Perhaps, you didna hear me, I’m Patty O’Toole, I donna know who this Rising person is! Perhaps you’re delirious from your midnight swim!” Colt forced a smile. He was fighting the effects of hypothermia. His body began shivering almost out of control. He wanted to sleep, he was suddenly very exhausted and his arms were so painful he felt like screaming.
O’Shea realized he had to do something so he scooped up the young boy as he collapsed and rushed to a nearby Pub. When they got to the Pub he slapped the boy in the face a few times to bring him around.
“Would you fucking stop slapping me in the face asshole! I want to sleep!” yelled Colt in his own accent.
“Patty! You can’t sleep! You need to walk in here so I can get you a drink! Now come on!” O’Shea said angrily.
Colt fought the tiredness and managed to walk in on his own and took a seat at an empty table. O’Shea fetched two shots of Scotch. “Knock it back, lad” he ordered as he downed his own shot. Colt followed suit. It burned the whole way down and the look on his face caused O’Shea to reel with laughter.
After a minute or so, Colt finally said, “Thanks! I guess I needed that. My arms are killing me and I’m wet!”
O’Shea smiled “You’re a real corker, Patty O’Toole. One of a kind! Well, we best get some lodgings so we can dry out and get some rest.”