Sorry this took so long! My computer was literally stolen when my house was broken into. Everything was gone! EVERYTHING! I was so sad…but now I have a new computer and things are back on track so YAY!
Anyway, this is part two of Hubert and Hoyden's adventures…I hope you enjoy it!
The hands of the large clock slide effortlessly over the surface as Hubert sat effortlessly in the waiting room. The line leading up to the front desk wound around the small area twice, and he was willing to bet that by the time he would make it to the front, he'd be filing for a hip replacement and asking where his retirement money was. Certainly there had to be a more effective approach. A plan that would give instant results. Waiting was elementary.
"Sir? Can I help you?"
Hubert looked up into the face of a young brunette secretary with red framed glasses and a clipboard that looked heavier than his field pack. Hubert quickly realized that since no one was in the uncomfortable chairs around him, the woman must be speaking to him. Hubert was not used to women approaching him, especially when he wasn't even making any special effort. It had passed his mind once that he could simply be just that attractive. It was a thought that was quickly dismissed; she looked like she would rather be chewing on barbed wire.
"Ah…" Hubert looked around, trying to come up with an answer to her question. His original plan of running a law suit against Hoyden had been abruptly de-railed when Hoyden had decided to take a stealthier route through the back. Now Hubert was alone and facing down a bespectacled, clipboard-wielding secretary who seemed nice and pretty but most likely had the combat skills of the devil. (Hubert had not personally met Satan, but he had always assumed that he would be a very skilled fighter. After all, how would he command the dead if he couldn't kick them in the face when they start acting up and doing dead man activities?) Be that as it may, Hubert decided to go with his gut instinct.
"You can help me. I am, in fact, here for my four o'clock appointment." Hubert pointed to the clock above the desk. "I was waiting until it was exactly four before I came up, because I appreciate punctuality."
"Mmmhm. Well, ah, let me just check you in here and I'll direct you to your correct floor." The secretary turned on a sharp heel and walked back to her desk. Hubert paused on the other side, taking a moment to lift up what looked like a small ceramic statue of a peach being stabbed with a stick and to steal a small mint from her bowl before looking back up at her. He was met with a slightly miffed stare.
"Oh. I apologize. I thought the mints were for everyone because they were on the counter in a bowl and that normally indicates that the item in the bowl is free game. And I always like to eat mints when I see them, because really you never know which mint will be your last! If it's any consolation I'll be very satisfied if this is the last mint I ingest. It was delightful," Hubert said, nodded empathetically and leaning against the counter, leaving the standard pause in his conversation that should have solicited an answer from the secretary, or at least some acknowledgement.
"This…isn't about a mint, sir. This is about you being our four o'clock." The secretary lowered her glasses and Hubert stood up straight. He was an expert in the study of the over-the-glasses look and he knew for a fact that this look was trouble for someone. His heighted senses confirmed that she was indeed directing this look at him. The only possible conclusion was that he was the one in trouble. "Are you to tell me that you are actually Mrs. Lewis?"
Hubert blinked, aghast at his slip in common sense. Of course! Women schedule appointments too! In his expert hindsight vision, he realized that in reality there was a 50/50 chance of the four o'clock being a woman, and now, low and behold, his cover was blown. Before he could open his mouth to offer an entirely explanation, the secretary had already buzzed for security.
"Look here, sir. You have no idea how many low life people come in here trying to rip off these poor people trying to get on with their lives after disaster such as divorce or a fire or an earthquake! I will not tolerate it!"
"Excuse me? Low life? Miss, sticks and stones may break my bones. I am not here to rip anyone off, and I am not here for you to tolerate! I will not submit to this treatment!" Hubert frowned, looking pointedly away and up and crossing his arms. "And by the way, your mints were disgusting."
The secretary snarled, pulling her glasses off before angrily shoving them back on her face. "Security will be here shortly to escort you from the building!"
Hubert stood mouth agape. It was conceivable that he had overestimated his skills at entering a facility and getting past the front desk. If he attempted to run now, he'd only cause attraction to himself, and not the positive kind. So he decided to sit himself down in the same place as he was before, holding his hands up in the universal "I give" sign. Hopefully, the security guard would just drop him off outside and no one would find out about his failed infiltration. Hubert looked around quickly, trying to gain any last minute information that could help him.
Unfortunately, the security guard moved faster than Hubert had anticipated. He saw the emergency exit door open, and a shorter man approaching in a standard blue uniform, with a hat lowered in front of his eyes. But there was no mistaking the sharp Spanish features and the uncertain, cautious gait. By god, Hoyden had managed to inject himself into the bowls of the building and Hubert hadn't even been able to get past the front desk? How unfair. Hubert had been the one to push Hoyden to even pursue this supposed case, and yet he was the one succeeding?
"Sir, come with me please," Hoyden said with his awkwardly disguised voice that Hubert couldn't help but smile at. Hoyden stared at him, maintaining his composure despite the grin he was getting in response. "Do you find something funny, sir?"
Hubert shook his head; swallowing his smile and raising his hands up like a defeated wrestler. "No no, nothing at all. I apologize. Though, for the record, your secretaries have a tendency to over-react. I wasn't causing anyone harm, I only had a mint."
"I'm sure you did sir, come with me." Hoyden grabbed Hubert's arm and looked over at the secretary with a slight nod, assuring her that the wayward, tall, pale male would be taken care of in a proper manner. Hubert gamely followed along, walking slowly and casually to avoid bringing any further attention to himself. Luckily most people were busy with their own problems, as most of the world was.
As soon as the two men rounded the corner, Hoyden pulled Hubert aside, motioning him into a dark room and closing the door behind him.
"Hoyden I really hope you have a light on you, otherwise this could get awkward. Especially if someone saw us go in here…this just screams of some sort of inconsentual abuse. I can see headlines now. Helpless victim of security guard to be-"
The lights abruptly flipped on, revealing a concrete staircase that looked like it belonged in a dungeon rather than a defense attorney's office building. Hoyden pulled off his cap, glaring a Hubert with a tired expression.
"What in the hell were you doing? I swear you're the most incompetent…HOW do you get security called on you within the first five minutes?"
"Well!" Hubert scoffed, expertly hiding his own embarrassment at messing up so badly. "It's not my fault that the secretary had it in for me. And how is it that you held out on me with that uniform? If you had only kept me informed, this whole situation could have been avoided. I tell you, I am a very stealthy man. I'm like the invisible man, when I hit that stealth switch not even a blood hound can sniff me out."
Hoyden stared at him for a long moment before sighing. "Okay. Well it's not like I planned the whole guard thing. I found a back door to their office and there was a uniform in one of the lockers…it wasn't too hard to open. And besides, it all worked out for the better right? I mean, we can just tell people we planned it this way and we're just that good right?"
Hubert thought. It was rather coincidental that Hubert had gotten in trouble and had security called on him, and that Hoyden was already in the suit and was the one to answer the call when it came in. Perhaps to General Hawk and the rest of the team, it would appear as if they had planned it out that way. And no matter what anyone said, Hubert was always up for a little fudging of the truth.
"Hoyden you're made of genius. Now, about this staircase. I'll admit, it looks like a great place to have a secret meeting, but it also looks as if some half-jawed brittle woman will descend the stairs and take us both to the eight level of hell."
"I thought there were only seven levels."
"You thought wrong. The eighth level involves track nine on Britney Spears's new album and a box of expired chocolates. You do the math, my friend. Now, about the staircase."
Hoyden turned around to lock the door behind him and straightened his security jacket. "Well when I went in through the back, I caught a glimpse of the security feed in the office. Those ice cream men went down into this room with the boxes. I watched all the screens but there doesn't seem to be any feeds down in this area. I also checked the schematics, this level isn't on them."
"Hoyden, I'm going to ask you to stop making me look bad, because if this continues I will no longer be able to go with you on our fun adventures. I will not risk looking like Megan Fox in Transformers."
"Megan Fox. The eye candy. I mean really what other purpose did she serve? And how is it that you got into that office without anyone noticing?"
"Well turns out they have good security everywhere but the security office. That doesn't really come as a surprise does it? I mean the door was open, there was no one in there at the time…I mean it only took me like three minutes to change and then I had a few more minutes to check things out before I got the call to pick up your ridiculous ass."
Hubert smiled a bit and rubbed the back of his neck. "Well, I have to hand it to you, you are indispensible. Now, ice cream men. Down here you say?" Hubert looked down the staircase. It was solid gray cement, all the way down. Hubert could not see the bottom. "Well, we should get moving. And this isn't a good situation. I mean there isn't anywhere to go in the event of, say, the ice cream men returning up the stairs. We'll be caught."
They descended the stairs as quickly as possible, only breaking once when a misstep of Hoyden's sent them both tumbling a few steps. When they had reached the bottom, they were faced with a steel door with a coded lock. Hoyden hummed.
"Well, I guess that's our answer then. How locks away ice cream? This has to be something slimy. We should report back to base and have a team sent in here. Like, you know an actual team who is supposed to be doing this?"
Hubert shook his head, eyeing the coded lock on the door. Based on the type of lock, there were only four digits needed to be entered. Hubert had studied locks in his stint of knowledge collecting and he knew that this particular one would also not use repeating numbers. All in all it would take him very little time to crack it.
"Hoyden, shut up and cover me. I'm going to open the door."
Hoyden blinked and held his arms up exasperatedly. "Cover you how? It's not like we have mountains of space here. If someone comes down those stairs they will see is, it won't matter if I cover you. And how exactly do you plan on opening the door? Don't tell me, you have some sort of enhanced lock senses?"
For once, Hubert was not listening. He was typing in codes, following each number in a sort of tree formation. First number one, didn't work, second number one, works. By the time Hoyden had finished talking, he had the first three numbers.
"As a matter of fact, I do." Hubert found the last number and pushed it in, causing the small blinking red light to flash green as the lock disengaged. "I do take tips in the form of appreciated cheeses and koala stamps. Leave your hats and shoes at the door gents, were going for a ride."
"Did you really just open that door?"
"Yes, that's why it opened, Hoyden."
Hoyden gave him a sour look and shook his head slowly. "That's actually really cool. But I still think we should leave. We don't even have any weapons on us. If we get caught not only will we most likely die but we'll also get kicked out. I don't want to be kicked out, Hubert. Let's go."
But Hubert had already nosed the door open, exposing a chilly room filled with cardboard boxes labeled Blue Ring Ice Cream. Hubert stepped inside; taking note that there was another door on the far side of the room. But first came first, and he motioned Hoyden in and shut the door behind him, bringing a finger to his lips.
"Okay, yeah. Got it. We're whispering." Hoyden nervously bit his lip and knelt by one unopened box, putting his hand on the side. "It's cold. I think it might actually be ice cream…"
"Well, that would be very disappointing if I cracked a code for that. I mean really, who loves ice cream this much?" Hubert popped open the seal on one of the boxes with his thumb, slowly peeling back the tape and opening it.
"See? I told you!" Hoyden said, pulling out an ice cream bar. "All ice cream! Oh wow…this one is dark chocolate raspberry, this is high class stuff." He peeled back the edge of the wrapper and injected the creamy good into his mouth, nodding over to Hubert. "Whatcha got over there?"
"I got something that looks like a whole lot of no good," Hubert swallowed, resisting his urge to scream like a preteen and run back up the stairs. Hoyden peered over into the box and dropped his ice cream on the floor.
"Oh my god, that's a dead guy!"
"Yes! What did you think I meant?"
"Well, Jesus! It's not like 'no good' is a direct translation for 'dead guy'! I thought maybe you only had vanilla ice cream or something!"
Hubert looked around eyeing all the boxes in the room. How many contained dead men? And how many contained ice cream? For once, Hubert wasn't willing to find out.
"I think we should call base now."
"What an excellent idea," A deep, lilting Russian accent made both men freeze. The Baroness raised her weapon, one deadly finger gently squeezing the trigger. "Why don't I phone for you?"
Hope you enjoyed! I'll get the next part up as soon as possible! Enjoy!