Hi to all. Sorry to be so late getting back to the PARTY! I’ll post one more secondary, but interesting character then I’ve got a special interview with Captain Curtis I think you’ll find enlightening.
Meet Meredith Simon, F.B.I. – A constant pain in everyone’s ……
Jessica didn’t sleep well. In the morning, she woke tired. The dream remained with her. Too unsettled to eat, she skipped breakfast and drove to the dig.
What waited at the dig site didn’t improve her mood. It seemed a leak of information had been discovered, and another branch of government called in to handle the problem.
Agent Meredith Simon of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, a federal officer specializing in archaeological projects, awaited Jessica’s arrival with a multitude of trivial questions.
General Grill made the introductions. Jessica greeted her amiably and conducted her on a tour of the site. She answered her questions, but developed an immediate dislike for the woman. Ms. Simon was a couple of years older and attempted to assume a superior attitude.
“Will you be staying on site, Ms. Simon?” Jessica arched an eyebrow, looking down at the woman who was a slightly shorter.
“No, I’ll be in town, Ms. Carter.” Her tone authoritative, she handed Jessica a white business card embossed with a blue F.B.I. icon, her name, and her cell phone number. “Please call me if anything should occur. Which brings up the question about your visitor last evening?”
“You didn’t know this man?” Ms. Simon smoothed her windblown dark brown hair away from her well made up black-brown eyes.
“No, and I’ll fill out the forms this morning.”
“Please, see that I get a copy.”
Jessica found Ms. Simon’s tone demanding and irritating. She took her attitude in stride, letting the woman know her approach had little effect.
“I’m sure Captain Curtis’ aide will provide you with the proper copies.” Jessica’s tone was dry. Important matters on her mind took precedence over filling out forms for the F.B.I. Her emotions were unsettled enough from the visitor though she wouldn’t show it. Still holding Ms. Simon’s stare, Jessica folded the form, stuffed it with her card into her breast pocket, buttoned it closed, and then turned and walked away to attend to more significant concerns.
* * * *
The F.B.I. agent presented a daily source of irritation to everyone at the dig site.
“Ms. Simon, if you’d like, I can use help inside the pyramid…” Jessica offered. Since the woman insisted on being her shadow, she might as well help.
“No, thank you. I’m an F.B.I. agent. I don’t play in the dirt.” Ms. Simon declined Jessica’s offer insultingly. Contrary to what General Grill alleged, the agent’s knowledge of archaeology was limited.
“Okay…in that case, since you need the expertise, I can lend you several books on the subject.”
“Thank you, no.” She persisted in demonstrating her contempt for their project.
Jessica shrugged and continued her job of cataloging and documenting their finds, along with the pyramid’s many irregularities. She answered Ms. Simon’s questions as she did a freshman student, not caring her approach irritated Ms. Simon. Jessica’s time was too valuable to waste bolstering the woman’s ego. As far as Jessica knew, there were no security leaks, not from this end. She saw few outside people. The woman’s efforts would be better spent elsewhere.
Jessica retained her habit to take daily bike rides that averaged twenty miles or more, out and back on the levy trail. Ms. Simon attempted to put an end to these.
“If you’re concerned I am talking to someone, you’re welcome to get a bike and ride with me.” Jessica politely challenged.
“Very well, I will,” Ms. Simon accepted.
Waiting next to a new bicycle she purchased at a local department store earlier in the day, Ms. Simon joined Jessica that afternoon when Jessica mounted her Cannondale for her usual ride. Conversation was stilted and soon it was clear Ms. Simon wasn’t a cyclist when, after the first five miles, she had to stop.
“You haven’t done this much, have you?” Jessica hid her amusement.
“No.” Ms. Simon was piqued. “I run five miles, three times a week, but since coming to Florida, I haven’t had time and I don’t like the climate.” She gasped, trying to catch her breath, unaccustomed to the heat and humidity.
“Okay, let’s go back.” Jessica turned around. “When we get back to camp, I’ll take you to the bike shop, and you can get a pair of padded shorts and a jersey. That way you’ll be cooler tomorrow. And you never start a ride without a water bottle. You can pick up one of those too.”
“Tomorrow? There will be no ride tomorrow!”
“Oh? You’re not going to ride with me?” Jessica replied in her best-disappointed voice, but her mocking smile betrayed her.
“You aren’t going to ride either,” Ms. Simon stated firmly.
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