08-25-2012, 09:39 PM
Boone walked out of the kitchen and into a service corridor, looking around carefully for any sign of security. The hallway was empty. So far, so good. He strolled casually down the corridor, not looking up at the black bubbled security cameras overhead--to do so would be to invite suspicion and the certanity of arrest. But no one accosted him as he went. It had been a smart move to stuff his hair under his cap, or he would have been dead in the water if someone, especially that big goon of a security chief, recognized him.
He found the entrance into the lobby right at the end of the corridor. He pushed open the heavy metal door and stepped into the plush interior of the lobby. All around him, people walked about, some slowly, taking in the ambience of the luxurious surroundings, while others moved briskly, hurrying to their destinations. Among them, hotel staff hauled luggage of varying shapes and sizes on gleaming brass carts to and from the main entrance to be loaded or unloaded into or out of the waiting cars and taxis outside. No one, however, took notice of Boone in his apron and cap, carrying his dishpan. As far as they were concerned, he was just another lowly hotel employee doing his job.
Trying to be as unobtrusive as possible, Boone made his way to the exhibit in the main ballroom. Once there, he looked around for any sign of Buzz. No one was there. The ballroom was dark and empty--even the audio technicians had gone. Disappointed but not discouraged, Boone turned around and walked away. Maybe Aldrin was in the casino or something.
He went back into the lobby. Dozens of faces passed him by, but not one of them belonged to Buzz Aldrin. Boone decided to check the casino level, so he stepped onto the escalator leading up to it. Again, no one paid him any mind; everyone totally ignored him. Boone congratulated himself on the brilliance of his makeshift disguise. His stolen apron and cap seemed to give him full access to the whole hotel. So long as he kept his head down and his movements casual, he could avoid detection from the eyes in the sky.
The casino level loomed into view. He could hear the chiming of the slots and the murmurs of the gamblers--and it was swarming with blue jacketed security guards. Any one of them could recognize him and bust him on the spot. Boone thought of concealing his face with the dishpan, but that would have been too obvious. No, the sensible thing to do was to keep acting casual, like he had been working in the hotel his whole life. If asked, he would simply state that he was sent to pick up any dirty dishes and glasses to take to the dishroom. That seemed plausible enough.
Boone walked into the casino, picking up an empty cocktail glass here, a small buffet plate there, and placing them in his dishpan, all the while keeping an eye out for Buzz Aldrin. He knew what he looked like from the dozens of photos he had stashed in his files: round head, white hair, blue eyes. He wouldn't be difficult to spot, even in a crowded casino.
There! Over by the snack table stood his quarry. Buzz Aldrin, the biggest charlatan in American history, was helping himself to shrimp cocktail. Boone fought the urge to rush forward and denounce him loudly to the public--that would get him tossed in jail for sure, or at least punched in the face like that other guy he had heard about on YouTube. No, he had to be discreet, subtle, cunning. He had to be--
A sharp jab on his shoulder blade and a curt "Hey, you!" startled him. Instinctively, he turned around and saw a security guard (a young black guy he hadn't seen before, luckily) standing before him. Boone looked at him in surprise, fighing back his initial panic. "Ain't you supposed to be in the dish room, buddy?" the guard asked.
Boone took a deep breath. His disguise had protected him again. "Uh, I was sent up here to clean up," he explained as calmly as he could.
"What the hell you mean, you were sent here to clean up?" the guard demanded. "That's the wait staff's job, not yours! You get back to the dishroom where you belong before I report you!"
"Okay, okay, fine," Boone said, beating a hasty retreat back to the escalator, but the guard stopped him again. "Where you going?" he asked again.
"Uh, back to the dishroom," Boone replied innocently, "just like you told me to."
"You're supposed to take the service elevator!" the guard snapped, pointing to the rear of the casino. "The escalator's for guests only! What is this, you're first day on the job or something?"
"Well, gee," Boone retorted, shrugging. "Sorreeeee!"
The guard left, shaking his head in bewilderment. Boone waited until he was out of sight and resumed stalking his prey. But it was too late--Aldrin had disappeared from the buffet table. In fact, he had disappeared from the casino altogether. Mentally dammning the security guard who had detained him, Boone stormed toward the service elevator, setting aside the dishpan on a nearby tray jack, and returned to the kitchen area. Once there, he strode to the exit at the other end of the service corridor, stripping off his disguise as he went. With one angry push of the door, he was outside of the hotel, right where he started. Unfortunately for Boone, the door he had opened was an emergency exit and had triggered an alarm in the surveillance room. His image, sansdisguise, had been caught on tape and stored into the hotel's computer records for future reference.
None of this mattered to Boone Morris, however. Infuriated over his thwarted attempt to confront Buzz Aldrin, he drove his battered Chevy van back home to reassess his situation. One way or another, he vowed, he would come face to face with that big phony Aldrin and make him confess once and for all his forty year long deceit of the American people. He may had lost the battle, but he was going to win the war. He just needed a better plan, that's all.
When he arrived home, however, it looked as if his mother had made plans for him. The minute he turned into the cracked concrete driveway, he spotted his belongings piled up on the weedy, dry front lawn: his clothing was bundled into two large cardboard cartons, his books were piled in an old trunk, and his computer monitor was sitting on top of it all.
At first shocked, then dejected, then furious, he stormed up to the front door and tried to open it, but found it locked. Boone began to pound furiously on the shabby wooden door, shouting, "Ma? Ma! Open up! Lemme in!"
The door did open, but only about eight inches, limited by the brass chain that secured it. His mother Melody's face peered out from inside the house. "Go away, Boone," she said evenly, "you don't live here anymore."
Boone was dumbfounded. "What the hell do you mean I don't live here anymore?" he demanded. "This is my home, too, you know!"
"I warned you, Boone," Melody said, still calm and cool. "I gave you a week to find a job and pay your share of the rent, but you didn't listen. You went on and on and on with your crazy ideas about NASA and the rest of your conspiracy theories, not even bothering to make something of yourself. So, now I'm evicting you. From now on, you're on your own."
Boone was about to make a protest of some sort, but the wooden door closed in his face. He heard the brass deadbolt sliding into place, confirmation of his exile from the family home. He slammed his fist on the siding of the house, causing the flimsy metal mailbox to fall from its moorings and clatter to the stoop. He was alone, with nowhere to go.
Then he turned around to see an even greater humiliation: some dirty-shirted bum had boosted his computer terminal and was at that moment shoving it into the rear of a battered yellow Chevette, along with the keyboard and the monitor. Furious at this latest outrage, Boone dashed toward the Chevette, shouting, "Hey! Gimme back my computer!", but it was too late--the bum had slammed the hatch door shut and was ducking into the driver's seat. Boone caught up with the guy just as he slammed the car door and started the engine. He hammered on the roof, demanding the son of a (bleep) return his precious PC, but all he got in reply was a smug grin and an extended middle finger as the bum drove away, leaving a cursing, raving Boone Morris in his wake.