Anna, part 20

Bob was staring at the terminal screen.

“This is not supposed to be possible.”

“Exactly!” Alec said. “That’s probably the biggest clue we have about what might be going on.”

Just then the doorbell rang. “Maybe it’s Anna,” Bob grinned.

“At this point,” Jill added, “I am pretty sure that nothing would surprise me.”

Bob went to answer it. A moment later he came back. “Jill, some guy named Gene is here to see you.”

Jill just stared at her advisor for a long moment. “OK,” she said quietly, “I stand corrected.”

“I guess you can come in,” Bob called out, and Gene stepped into the room.

“How did you find me?” Jill asked.

Gene shrugged. “When I saw what happened to your lab, I just started looking for all the other places you might be, one by one. Eventually I got around to your advisor’s place.”

“I’m surprised whoever set the fire didn’t think of that,” Alec said.

“Maybe they don’t think there’s a problem anymore. That fire looked pretty thorough. I’m Gene, by the way.”

“Peas or Lees?” Alec asked.

Gene looked blank.

“Sorry,” Jill said, “that’s Alec-speak. “He means as in ‘genes’ or ‘jeans’.”

“Oh, I see,” Gene grinned, “Definitely peas. Jill and I are two peas in a pod.”

“I don’t know,” Jill said, “if you’re really my type.”

Gene shrugged, “Maybe something just gets lost in the translation. Pardon the expression.”

“OK,” Bob said, “it’s obvious you two know each other. Do you have a last name?”

“Billington.”

“Wait,” Alec said, “you’re Gene Billington? The Gene Billington?”

“Well, um, yeah. Guess I am.”

Bob looked surprised. “Is he famous for something?”

“This man,” Alec explained, “is the inventor of Edible Monopoly.”

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