Soul Identity - Prologue

The younger and cuter of the airport security ladies glanced down at my license. "Nice smile."

I put on an identical one as she looked up at me.

Her eyes narrowed and she swiped another look. "Just a second." She thumbed the microphone on her left shoulder. "I've got Waverly here at the head of the line."

I put away the smile and tried a look of exasperation. "Is there a problem? My flight leaves in thirty minutes."

"Just a minute, sir. They're getting ready for you."

I raised my eyebrows. "Ready for me?"

She frowned. "Nice try." She thumbed the mike again. "Tell me when."

Her radio beeped, and a man's voice came on. "We need another minute."

"Let me know." She put a little pout on her lips. "You almost snuck by me with that smile."

I sighed. "At least I have no carry-on."

She checked me out and raised her eyebrows. "You have almost nothing on."

"It saves time, with all the special treatment I get."

Her radio squawked. "Send Mr. Waverly to the left line."

She pointed. "Over there. You know the drill."

I nodded. "Can I have my papers back?"

She held them out. "You won't make it through. Not this time." This with a stern expression.

"We'll see." I tugged the papers free of her grasp and headed to the left, toward the big man in the black and white uniform. I handed him my papers. "Hey, Fred, good to see you again."

He frowned at me. "I wish I could say the same. Where are we going, Mr. Waverly?" He looked at my ticket. "Chicago? Dressed like that?"

"I hear there's a heat wave."

He scratched his head. "Nobody flies on Sunday morning from Baltimore to Chicago wearing flip flops, a muscle shirt, and a bathing suit."

"Just trying to make your job easier. Can we get started? My flight's leaving soon."

He leaned toward me and dropped his voice to a whisper. "We're gonna get you today, Mr. Waverly."

"We'll see." I took my cell phone and wallet out of my pockets and handed them over. "This is all I'm carrying."

He put my items in a tray and handed me my ticket. He pointed to the detector. "Keep them shoes on and walk on through. I'm right behind."

I headed through the detector. No beeps.

Fred grabbed a portable wand. "Hold out your arms, please."

I held them out. No beeps.

Fred aimed the wand at his watch and got a big beep. He pointed at a chair. "Sit down, Mr. Waverly."

I sat. Fred wanded my feet. He took my flip flops and bent them in half. "You hiding anything in these?"

"They're flip flops."

"All the same, I gotta be sure. Sit tight." He stood up, took them to the machine, and ran them through.

The two x-ray attendants huddled over their monitor and whispered to each other. They straightened up when Fred came over. "Nothing, sir."

"Would you bet your jobs on it?"

They both gulped, rechecked their screen, then nodded.

Fred picked up my phone, wallet, and shoes. "Lemme hand-check these. Mr. Waverly, come and watch."

I watched. Fred swabbed everything and ran the gauze through the spectrometer. "Clear."

I smiled. "Nice to know I'm clean. You done?"

"I'm gonna tear everything apart."

"Knock yourself out."

He popped the back off the phone and pulled out the battery. Then he opened my wallet. "You don't have much in here, Mr. Waverly. No pictures, no credit cards. Just a twenty dollar bill."

"I told you. I'm making your job easy."

"Easy would be if you gave up the goods."

I shrugged. "You think that just maybe I'm flying to Chicago?"

"And maybe I'm Superman, moonlighting as a TSA employee. Don't worry. We'll get you."

"So you keep telling me."

Fred reassembled the phone. He handed it to me. "Call somebody."

I dialed, held it to my ear, and then handed it back. "It's for you."

Fred took the phone. "Hello?" He glared at me. "Yes, ma'am, it's Scott Waverly's phone…no, he's clean…I'm sure." He nodded. "Of course you can." He hung up.

"Now can I go?"

He laughed. "You had to be a smart ass and call my boss. Now she's gonna check you out herself. Have a seat."

"Hope she hurries."

Two minutes later, the door behind Fred opened, and Jane Watson, a tall and shapely forty-something brunette, wearing a uniform identical to Fred's but filled out so much better, walked out, looked around, and came over to me. "Mr. Waverly. How nice to see you again."

I smiled. "Now say it like you mean it, Jane."

"I do mean it. I've been wondering all week if you'd be dropping by." Then she frowned. "You're not getting anything by me, Scott. Not on my watch."

"We'll see." I stood up and held out my arms. "Come and get me."

Fred held out the wand, but she waved him away. "I'm doing him manually."

"Lucky me," I said. "Can we go behind the screen? I don't want to get your other passengers jealous of my free massage."

Jane shook her head. "Fred needs to watch and learn."

"Your call." I turned around. "Start with the back first—I have a couple knots that need working out."

"Very funny." Her hands squeezed me up and under each arm, across my shoulders, and then down my back.

"Easy, Jane. People are watching."

"It's for their protection." She ran her hands over my butt, lingered for a minute, and then squeezed her way down each leg. She lifted each foot and checked between my toes. Then she patted me on the shoulder. "Turn around, please."

"I didn't know you were allowed to check my bare skin," I said.

"I do what I need to protect my country." She felt my neck, chest, and abdomen. Then she looked down at my bathing suit.

I stepped back. "Don't ask me to take it off, I've got nothing on underneath."

"My lucky day." She patted my waist, then stepped up close against me and shoved her hands down my pants while she looked me in the eye.

I cleared my throat. "I wish we could have cuddled first."

"In your dreams, mister." She looked at Fred. "You were right. He's clean."

Fred nodded. "Now what?"

She frowned. "It seems Mr. Waverly is really just taking a trip to Chicago. Let him go."

Fred handed me my belongings. "You have fifteen minutes. You'll make it if you hurry."

"Thanks." I looked at Jane. "Next time I'll bring flowers."

"Next time drop by on somebody else's shift."

"And let you miss all the fun?" I slipped on the flip flops, walked into the terminal, pulled out my phone, and dialed. "I'm through, Dad," I said when he answered.

"Took you long enough."

"Full body search. You guys ready?"

"Your mother is wandering around. I'll send her over. Keep an eye out."

"Cool." I hung up the phone and headed toward the exit. I stood right before the "Warning: any passengers crossing this line must re-enter through security" sign.

A security guard sat behind the wooden podium. "Busy day?" I asked.

The guard glanced at me and then back at the exit. "Not too busy yet. Sunday mornings are slow until after ten. You going out?"

"No, just waiting." I stepped back, out of his line of sight. I watched my mom walk around the corner on the other side of the exit and head down the hall toward the guard. She wore a white wig and a slightly askew cardigan, and carried a green leather old-style suitcase and a large pink purse.

I pulled out my phone, held it down by my waist, turned on the camera, and started recording. I had to step back to get both the guard and my mother in the screen.

Mom tottered toward the guard, and he waved her back. She took another step and looked at him. "Is this the way to the airplanes?" she shouted.

"No, ma'am."

She brought her purse hand up to her ear. "Excuse me?"

"You have to go through security." The guard pointed behind her.

Mom nodded. "Thank you." But as she turned around, she slipped and fell to the floor with a clatter.

The pink purse went skidding to the far wall, and her green suitcase hit the ground and burst open. A large number of small items spilled out. I saw handkerchiefs, loose papers, and two prescription bottles of medicine. One of the bottles dumped out a handful of pills as it rolled along the floor. Mom lay on her back and let out loud moans.

She had put on quite a show.

The guard got up and ran over. And as he helped her sit up and then repack her suitcase, I focused the camera on her pink purse.

A lunchbox sized package colored the same gray speckled shade as the floor rolled out of the purse. I raised the camera up toward the exit and caught my dad fiddling with a black plastic remote control. I pointed the camera back at the package.

It slid along the floor toward me. When the guard turned around to retrieve the pink purse, the box stopped, and when the guard turned back to my mom, the box came shooting my way. I stepped in front of it.

The guard turned and held his hand out toward me. "Stay back, sir."

I nodded. As he handed the purse to my mom, I bent down, picked up the package, and headed back to the security gate.

I caught Fred's eye. "Where's Jane?"

He used his thumb to point over his shoulder. "In her office. Why aren't you on your plane?"

I headed over to the office and rapped on the door. "Come on in and I'll show you."

"Oh, man." Fred followed me to Jane's door.

Jane opened the door and smiled. "Why Scott, did you come back to congratulate me?" She looked down at the package in my hand, and her smile evaporated.

I pointed inside the office, and Jane stepped aside to let us in. She crossed her arms. "Tell me."

I held out the package. "You're not gonna like it."

"Might as well get it over with." She took the package, turned it over, and spun the wheels that stuck through its underside. "A rolling box?"

I nodded. "It's got a remote control car inside. Open it up. There's Velcro along the edges."

She ripped the side open and pulled out a large and shiny chrome plated pistol. "Dammit." She looked up. "Now tell me how."

I held up my phone. "I filmed it for you."

Fred and Jane watched the replay. I tried not to look too pleased, but still ended up with a big smile on my face.

"You snuck it in the exit." Fred said.

I nodded. "You've focused all your security on the entrance. That exit's your weakest spot, even during the slow times."

"Who's the old lady?" Jane asked.

"My mom. She's wearing a wig."

"And your dad guided the car?"

"They said I've been having all the fun, and they wanted in this time."

She sat down behind the desk and held her head in her hands. "Okay, Mr. Security Consultant, I guess congratulations are in order again." After a minute she sighed. "I'll work on the exit. You'll send me the report?"

"You'll have it next week."

She nodded. "Hey, some guy asked me about you this morning. I told him you were the best."

"You get a card?"

"He wouldn't give it. Twenty-something, dark hair. A little freaky looking."

"Thanks." I paused. "You guys are getting better, you know."

"But not fast enough. Eleven months now and you're still getting through." She dropped the pistol in her drawer.

"You'll get there." I opened the door. "Oh, and Jane?"

She raised her eyebrows.

I winked. "Your massages are getting better too." I stepped outside, but not before I heard Fred burst out laughing.

 
Soul Intent
Excerpt
Reviews

Publisher: NetLeaves
Paperback: 276 pages
ISBN-10: 0979805627
ISBN-13: 9780979805622
Library of Congress
Control Number:
2009907927
Buy "Soul Intent"

Soul Identity

Excerpt
Reviews
Synopsis

Publisher: NetLeaves
Paperback: 268 pages
ISBN-10: 0979805600
ISBN-13: 978-0979805608
Library of Congress
Control Number:
2007932540
Buy "Soul Identity"