“It was not meant to be found. Not now anyway. Do you have any idea… I mean, the time is not right. It is not right!” He pulled his arm back as if to throw the small object in his palm, yet seemed to think better of it at the last moment and instead let it drop to the desk with a dull thud.

Russell just stood silently as he watched his old friend process the disturbing information. He learned long ago that when Neil McDonald was in a mood, the best course of action was to let him be. A lesson a few others didn’t learn, and consequently were no longer among the living.

“Russell, we are fucked. You know this, right? I don’t know if we even have any options for damage control.” Neil turned to a window overlooking the Olympic size pool in his backyard and watched his young wife swimming laps. Topless as usual.

Turning back to his muted friend, Neil said, “Russell, get Mr. Spaith on the scrambled line, tell him this is urgent and takes precedence over whatever he is currently doing.”

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