At eleven-thirty, with two hours left in his shift, he settled in his janitor’s closet with the latest Spider-Man comic, half an hour earlier than usual. Sweet. Two hours to spend rescuing Mary Jane, then off home to bed, and he didn’t get started until a quarter past five. That was the best part of this job. No one stood over him, cracking the whip if he wasn’t working his whole shift. So long as he got their storage facility squeaky clean, the FBI was happy.
Still, he had left the door open wide enough to view the entrance, just in case.
From the corner of his eye, Dave spotted Agent Polk coming. Dave stood, grabbed his broom, then went out and began sweeping the already-swept floor.
Behind Polk came an agent who looked like he’d just graduated from the academy and another whose hairline had retreated even farther back than Polk’s. The strangers carried a rod that was slid through the center of a blood-caked metal cylinder.
“You absolutely sure this will be secure here?” said the bald agent. “I still say it’d be safer in DC.”
“Don’t worry,” said Polk, “the director figured the last place the terrorist would look for an item from Albuquerque is a small town in Washington State.”
“The odd thing is that the boys in the lab say it’s just a cylinder.”
The young agent spoke up. “Why didn’t you have them study it more?”
“We didn’t want it out in the open.” The bald agent glanced at Dave then glared at Polk. “Why didn’t you get this guy out?”
Polk laughed. “Dave’s not a problem. I’ve known him twelve years. He’s loyal. And even if he said anything, nobody would believe him; he’s got a wild imagination.”
Polk lowered his voice. “The guy wears Spider-man underwear and uses an X-men lunch box.”
At least he had an imagination! Polk lived his entire life in a suit. That guy could use a few X-men comics.
The other agent sighed. “Okay.”
Polk grabbed the young agent’s end of the rod and yanked the cylinder free. Above cries of protest, he handed it to Dave. “We need to pack this. Can you wash it off?”
“Sure thing.” Dave carried the blood-stained cylinder into his closet. No worries about contaminating evidence; they didn’t store that sorta thing here.
At the sink, he shifted the cylinder into one hand and turned the water on. He picked up a scrub brush and maneuvered it towards the end. It grew to the exact size of his arm and slid up onto it.
Dave screamed, “Get off!”
The cylinder released its grip and splashed into the sink.
When he returned with the cleaned cylinder, Polk was alone. He waved at a packing crate on the table. “All right, Dave, just put it in the crate.”
Dave did. Agent Polk snapped off some pictures before sealing the crate. They placed it in the vault with the top secret stuff. They had everything in here but Bigfoot, the Roswell spacecraft, and Captain America’s remains. “There you go, Agent Polk. I’ll get back to cleaning.”
“Dave, say, would you like to go out for a drink?”
Since when did Polk drink? Dave stared at his watch and then at Polk. “No, thanks. My wife would kill me.”
Polk grunted. On his way out, he flipped out his cell phone and speed dialed someone. “Hey, want to get a drink?”
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