Unnamed Journal 7 - Page 19

Alpha Biotechnical Solutions By Alfred Underhill A lue Ford Fusion pulled up in front of the suburban house. A man in a grey tweed suit and dark sunglasses emerged from the car. He stood for a moment with the driver side door open sorting through papers on the roof, reaching back inside periodically to replace some documents with others. Once he seemed satisfied by the stack, he placed it on his clipboard. The man looked at the house in front of him, then slowly turned around in a complete circle. His expression seemed to say, "completely average" in response to the subdivision around him. He went through the gate in the fence, walked up to the front door, and pressed the doorbell. The grey suited one heard a small dog barking on the other side of the door. There was a slight scuffle and calls of, "Talbot! Talbot! Get down! Down! Go to your home!" The barking stopped, the deadbolt unlatched, and the door opened. A fair haired woman in her thirties greeted him. She looked like an average suburban mom, thought the man in the grey suit, yet he was taken aback by her uncanny likeness to the client. Well, that answers that question, he thought. "Good afternoon, ma'am," he said. "Hello." "Are you Miriam P. Hollinger?" "Yes," she said, her eyes darting to the clipboard, to the car, down the street. "What's this about? If you're selling something we're really not interested. Also, my kids will be getting home in about 10 minutes." "I won't take much of your time, Mrs. Hollinger. May I come in for a moment?" "What is this about?" "In the interest of privacy, I think it would be best if I explained inside." He said with a shallow smile. Mrs. Hollinger stood staring at him for a moment before motioning for him to step inside. He entered and the door closed behind him. She showed him to the sitting room where they sat opposite one another, the glass coffee table between them. "My name is Christopher Johnson," said the man in the grey suit as he removed his sunglasses. Mr. Johnson placed the clipboard on the coffee table. "I represent Alpha Biotechnical Solutions. I don't suppose you've heard of us? "No." "That's unsurprising," he said smirking, "discretion is one of our many services. For the sake of brevity, let's just say we serve a very...niche market. Our products tend to be one of a kind, as are our clients." "Look, Christopher? I told you that we're really not interested in buying anything. Now if you don't mind, I'd like you to be gone before my children get home." Mrs. Hollinger was getting flush, her tone sharp. "I'll be gone in a moment, ma'am. This isn't a sales call: it's a write off; a release." He picked up the clipboard and pulled the stack of papers and pamphlets free from it. He separated the top six sheets of paper and put them onto the clipboard. Mr. Johnson handed it to her. "If you could sign and initial where indicated. The carbon copy underneath is yours to keep." "I don't understand what I'm signing," Mrs. Hollinger said. "What is this about?" "Everything you need to know is in these documents, which you should read at your leisure," he motioned to the papers and pamphlets on the coffee table. "You're clearly pressed for time, and I wouldn't want to interfere with your kids' after school routine. Your signature is really just a formality anyway, but we at ABS like to do our due diligence." "I'm not comfortable with this," said Mrs. Hollinger looking up from the clipboard, "I'm not sure what these forms are referring to. I'm wondering if I ought to talk to my husband