Jordan Tapped His Fingers Against His Chin

Excerpt from the novel Infiltrator icon-external-link-12x12 icon-search-12x12 by S.M. Stirling icon-external-link-12x12 icon-search-12x12

S.M. Stirling's "Infiltrator" book cover. [Formatted]

     Jordan Dyson chewed on his lower lip. The advertisement for a head of security for Cyberdyne was no longer listed. He’d seriously considered applying for the job; he knew that some agents had gone on to lucrative civilian careers in security or related fields. But he liked working for the Bureau. Besides, he probably didn’t have the street cred. His job here was primarily research and he was very, very good at it. But they would probably be looking either for someone who had climbed the corporate ladder, or someone who’d been outrunning bullets and clipping on handcuffs.
     Jordan tapped his fingers against his chin. Of course, he could join the firm in a lesser position. Being in the FBI would definitely be an entrée to Cyberdyne then. The difficulty would be in getting the time; he really did not want to quit. The difficulty would also lie in surviving up to a six-month break in his career.
     But I have to get inside there! It was the only way he could get to know the workings of the place, get to know the people, maybe get into the files that most people didn’t get to see.
     But most important, he needed to be present at Cyberdyne because he was certain, as certain as anyone relying on pure gut instinct could be, that within three months the Connors would find out about Miles’s project starting up again. And then they’d come knocking on Cyberdyne’s doors. Probably with high explosives.
     Jordan sighed. I wonder if I can work out some kind of part-time arrangement?

     Danny pushed his home fries around his plate while he stared into space, apparently unaware that his mother had stopped eating to watch him, as if she knew he had something to say that he didn’t think she’d want to hear.
     Tarissa pursed her lips, then smiled. “You have something on your mind, son?”
     “I’ve been thinking,” he said, with an alacrity that made her blink. It was rare that he was so forthcoming these days. “I think we ought to tell him.”
     Tarissa felt like she’d been punched in the gut. She looked down, fiddled with her napkin for a moment, then folded and dropped it onto the table. She looked at her son’s determined face. “Don’t think I haven’t thought about it, Dan,” she said quietly. “I have—a lot. Especially right after it happened.”
     It suddenly occurred to her that she’d known instantly who and what Dan meant. She tipped her head, considering him. “But I couldn’t think how to make him believe me, honey. Look what happened to Sarah Connor. All that time in Pescadero.” Tarissa shook her head sadly. “Didn’t matter that she was telling the truth. Nobody believed her.”
     Tarissa sat back and let out her breath in a long sigh. She looked across the table at Danny and knew she might as well be looking across the country. She wasn’t reaching him.
     “I don’t want to go to that place,” she said between her teeth. “I freely admit it scares me to death. I saw what it did to that woman.” Tarissa put her hand to her forehead. “If I had told your uncle what happened just after… your father died, I am absolutely certain that I’d have ended up in a straightjacket.”
     Dan nodded. “And I was just a little kid,” he said. “No way could I back up your story.” He leaned forward, his hands reaching out. “But I’m older now! I’m sure he’d believe me now.”
     Tarissa tilted her head, a pained expression on her face.
     “Mom! We have to tell him,” Dan said in measured tones. “This is destroying his life! And if he ever does find the Connors, he’ll destroy them! C’mon, Mom, we’ve got to tell him!”
     God, she thought fondly, he’s so dramatic. But maybe he’s right. Maybe it is time. She sighed. “All right. But I want him here with us when we tell him. I want him to be able to look us in the eye.”
     It might just be the one thing that destroyed their relationship. But Danny was right, this was torturing her brother-in-law and they couldn’t just stand back, knowing the truth, and not try to help. Maybe knowing everything would help.
     Dan nodded solemnly.
     “Good,” he said. “But don’t leave it too long. I’ve got a feeling he might do something drastic, like quit the FBI.”

Leave a Reply