Excerpt - Psy-V by LM David
At the end of a long hall, his escort held up a hand to stop Adams. He rapped twice on a mahogany door before opening it without waiting for the requisite acknowledgement, and then stepped aside. Offering the man a disconcerted look, Adams entered alone.
The room was spacious, furniture typical for a CEO with expensive taste. What stood out most were framed certificates and gold-framed placards covering the majority of wall space. It was enough to impress the NSA agent.
Adams turned his attention to a small gentleman seated behind an oak wood desk. The man was average looking, clean shaven, and except for his strawberry-blond hair pulled back in a ponytail, you’d never give him a second glance. While he spoke on a white cordless phone, he lifted a hand and gestured for Adams to approach. As he did, the agent turned his attention to an individual standing behind the desk. He stood six-foot-one easily. He wore a dark, tailor made suit that made him look like a GQ model. His brownish red hair had a stylish cut, brushing his shoulders. At the moment, the man stood in front of a large, white mini-blind covered window, staring out at the night.
Was he the other CEO of the Project? The partner Adams had yet to meet?
Finishing his call, Lucas Albright, the architect behind Bio-Genetics Labs, gave the agent an easy smile as he rose from his chair.
“Albright,” Adams offered.
“Adams—thanks for coming.” The two shook hands.
“Your tour guide didn’t offer a ‘no’ option.”
“I apologize for that …” his words trailed.
“There’s no need for that.” The agent downplayed the situation. “Can I ask before we begin if this is a sit down happy moment, or are you going to crap shoot an otherwise enjoyable evening?”
The man at the window grunted, looking at the agent without saying a word.
“Dr. Edward Parks, my partner.” Lucas gestured to the man behind him before lowering himself into his chair. Scowling, Parks turned his eyes back to the window. “He handles research and development.”
Adams gave the man a silent look. He knew little about Parks other than the man had an excellent reputation in the scientific community. With the frosty reception he’d given Adams, the agent wasn’t sure it was an auspicious honor to finally be introduced to the man.
“Please, sit,” Lucas offered. The agent sat in a dark-brown leather chair that faced the desk. “Edward—you want to handle this?”
The self-absorbed man seemed not to pay attention to Lucas or his entreaty. Finally, Edward regarded Adams with a flat stare, stuffing his hands into his pants pockets. His expression reflected an internal struggle as if he were trying to formulate his thoughts.
“The Project,” Edward began in a reserved voice, “hit a … snag.”
Adams looked to Lucas for explanation. When none issued, he looked back at Parks. “Snag?”
“The test subjects,” he cleared his throat, “… escaped.”