Several hours later their plane landed in the middle of an empty field in Mexico. Aside from Captain Arousing’s outburst and Bill’s two near-death experiences, the flight had been relatively uneventful.
“Odd, I would’ve expected to land in an airport or something,” John remarked as the plane slowly came to a stop.
“Attention all passengers, this is your captain, Captain Arousing. We have to land in the middle of this field because I’ve forgotten where the airport is. That is all,” said Captain Arousing.
John and Bill left the plane and looked around at their barren surroundings.
“You wouldn’t happen to know where we are, would you Bill?” asked John. “Wait – don’t answer that. I don’t even know why I asked.”
The sky was clear, completely cloudless. The landscape was unusually flat, and there was no vegetation save the tumbleweeds, which intermittently passed by.
Bill, of course, thought they wanted to play, so he chased after them, but he always grew bored before he could catch up.
They walked for hours, the sun growing steadily hotter. John had a pair of sunglasses, but for Bill, the glare was hard to bear. Hey, that rhymed!
Around midday, John noticed that Captain Arousing was following them and, indeed, had been doing so the whole time.
“Can I help you?” he asked, suspicious.
“I just thought I’d give you my card, in case, you know, you wanna hang out or something,” replied the captain, handing John a pale lavender business card.
John hesitantly took the card and, without reading it, slipped it into his coat pocket, intending to discard it as soon as possible. He began walking a bit faster, and Bill – predictably – followed.
They walked for another hour or so before finally reaching a city, which neither John nor Bill could identify.
“I just realized something, Bill,” said John. “Shamus never told us who is contact was, or where to find him.”
Bill looked around for a minute and pointed at a tall, wiry man whose face was obscured by a large sombrero. He was leaning against a building and reading a newspaper.
“Maybe that’s him!” he suggested.
“Oh, don’t be ridiculous. Of all the people in this country, what are the odds that –”
“Hello,” said the man, walking up to John and Bill. “I am Sanchez, Shamus Flanagan’s contact. Welcome to Mexico."
John gaped open-mouthed at Sanchez, then shook his head, regaining his composure. He looked over at Bill, who was now happily pretending to be an airplane. Turning back to Sanchez, he noticed that the man’s eyes seemed to burn with a furious intensity. Clearly, this was not someone to be crossed.
“Uh, hi, Sanchez. I’m John Morgan,” said John, holding out his hand for Sanchez to shake.
“I know who you are, Mr. Morgan. And I know why you have come. I have much to explain. Follow me,” said Sanchez, ignoring John’s hand.
“Sanchez...does not care.”
John and Bill followed Sanchez through the busy streets of whichever city they were in (they never did bother to find out) for about an hour. They were very tired of walking. Sanchez didn’t come across as a physically powerful man, but as he walked through the crowd, people got out of his way.
They moved in silence, John and Bill being unsure of what to say to Sanchez and too worried about offending him to converse with each other.
At length they came to a nondescript brick building, into which Sanchez led them. They followed him into a plain room with little furniture. He locked the door and sat down behind a practical-looking desk.
“Before we begin, I must ask you something. Rest assured that whatever is said in this room shall remain in this room,” said Sanchez.
“Go on,” replied John.
“Do you find me attractive? I mean, in a platonic way,” asked Sanchez.
“Umm…sure,” answered John cautiously. “But only if that’s the answer you wanted.”
“Excellent. Now, we may proceed. As you are both aware, Josiah Malum is plotting to – well, you know what he’s plotting, so I won’t bother saying it; that would just be a waste of time. And we do not have time to waste. So, you are also aware that he is hunting you down with great vengeance and furious anger; and that, my friends, is why you have come to me.”
“Right,” said John. “But who are you?”
“I am a member of an ancient organization created to defeat evil whenever convenient: the Noble Brotherhood of Altruism – NBA for short,” said Sanchez.
“But isn’t there already a – ”
“Yes, our lawyers are still working on that. Anyway, I’m one of its leaders. So is Shamus. We are, in fact, the only two leaders. As you’ve probably inferred, we, the adversaries of evil, have been rather busy since Josiah Malum was appointed. It is getting late. I’ll explain more tomorrow. For now, you should get some sleep.”
“But there are no beds,” noticed John.
“I knew I was forgetting something. Goodnight.”
Sanchez left the room, locking the door behind him.