Episode 7, Installment 1 - by J Sherer

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SUMMARY: Episode 7, Installment 1

Recap of last week's episode...

- Installment 6.1
o Back at headquarters during the debrief Hector explodes on his team from worry and lack of sleep.
o Jessica reveals that she was able to capture a piece of XLS data that mentions the Exodus Project, which intended to transport a large portion of the earth's population to another planet.

- Installment 6.2
o Kline travels back to Russia in 2019 to meet with Rustam Egorov, an arms dealer in possession of spider nukes that the XLS intends to purchase.
o Rustam refuses to sell the nukes to Kline and has two of his henchmen approach Kline outside the restaurant. Kline shoots them both.

Shadow Phase
Episode 7: Dreams

Installment 7.1

"Think this was the XLS?" Sam's voice was barely audible through the earpiece. They couldn't afford to speak any louder. The search parties were getting too close.

Jessica leaned back against the cold stone of the skyscraper wall and grimaced. Searchlights rebounded back and forth along the alleyway, and the gruff shouts of the KGB grew closer. She peeked her head around the corner of the building and watched one of the soldiers kick a homeless bum down to the ground and slam the butt of a rifle into the helpless man's skull. The pitiable figure crumpled into the snow and whimpered. Russia was no better off in 2019 than it had been during the Cold War. Beyond the homeless man, farther along the main thoroughfare, a circle of soldiers stood in front of a lavish restaurant. In the middle of the icy street outside the restaurant, the two Russian men lay sprawled out on the pavement.

"I don't know," Jessica whispered. She watched the soldiers brandish their semiautomatic weapons as they sauntered down the street searching for witnesses and possible suspects. Then something else caught her eye. The restaurant doors opened to reveal a rotund man in a large coat. He glanced at the two dead bodies before tightening his jacket and sauntering toward a luxury sedan waiting for him at the curb. As he passed, two of the soldiers nodded in respect. Jessica moved slightly farther out from behind the corner of the skyscraper and adjusted her eyepiece. She zoomed in on the man getting into the luxury sedan.

"Who's that?" asked Sam. His vantage point atop a building down the street was too far from the scene to get a good read from his equipment.

The personal computer unit buzzed for a moment before the face recognition software formalized a report. "Rustam Egorov, an arms dealer."

"Arms dealer. Think that's why the XLS is here?"

"Who knows-" Jessica was about to duck back into the shadows of the skyscraper when a bright white light blinded her. Disengaging the ocular enhancers, she dove back for cover. Too late. Several of the soldiers shouted, barking harsh orders. Bullets pinged off the skyscraper wall. Jessica's heart rate spiked as she bolted toward the end of the alleyway.

"Get back! I've been compromised!" she said to Sam, making a quick turn.

She slid around the next corner and stopped suddenly.

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