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Hollywood.bomb, Chapter 25

Chapter 25
"I still can’t believe that worked!" Jack roared, startling a couple of MIT students a few tables away.  They glared at him, but he showed his teeth and they quickly returned to their discussion of the relative impacts of Archimedes, Shakespeare, and Sergey Brin on Western civilization.  "When I saw you run into that building, I was sure I was going to have to find another favorite project manager."  He took another long pull of his coffee-colored stout ale.  "In case you were wondering, I would have chosen Miller."

"Thanks, Jack.  It’s good to know I would have been missed," Stephen replied sardonically.  He sipped gently at his own beer, an amber with just a hint of blackberry.  He hadn’t been drinking much lately, since it got in the way of his training.  In the two months since “The Waxed Cheese Event,” as they had taken to calling it, he had started running seriously again.  He knew he’d be watching the Boston Marathon on televis…

Hollywood.bomb, Chapter 24

Chapter 24

This time, Stephen jogged away from Richard’s office, deeper into the CouldBU maze.  If he was running more quickly than before, he told himself that it was because he felt a sense of urgency to bring this crisis to a close, not because he was running away from… anything.  Every sense was alert now, every nerve frayed.  The sight of Mary had shaken him far more than the news reports painting Stu as a mushroom-crazed eco-terrorist, but he had to stay focused.

He rounded a corner just in time to see a flash of green and brown fabric disappearing at the end of the next hallway.  He leapt back and peered around the edge of the wall, but no one else appeared.  Proceeding more cautiously now, he crept past several closed and locked doors, gently trying each handle as he passed.  If someone was in one of those rooms, there was nothing he could do about it, so he chose not to worry about the possibility of leaving another person behind to sneak up on him.  His only path lay forward…

Hollywood.bomb, Chapter 23

Chapter 23
The first dark, rich sip of coffee sharpened Stephen’s senses even as it heightened his sense of urgency.  He pulled his phone out of his pocket and called his voicemail again.  This time, the new message was from Frank.
"Uh, Stephen, I don’t know where the hell you are, but you should be here as soon as physically possible.  It’s not entirely clear what’s going on, but no one can find Stu and Richard has ordered everyone to stay in their offices until further notice.  A VP who actually has windows in her office said that a bunch of police cars are outside, but no one has come in yet to tell us what the big fuss is about.  I can’t think of anything that I might have done lately to set off a manhunt, but this much blue fuzz all over the building is making me tense.  That, and Richard’s incessant screaming.  Get your ass over here, will you?  Or at least call and let us know where you are."  In the background, Stephen heard a keening sound that steadily grew in volu…