This is the rough draft of Grub Stage, book 3 in Renegade Agents of A.R.S.A.

And before that, all of that, I had to go visit the company physician so he could try and convince me to get the implants. There was no telling where I’d have to go to find Avery next and I didn’t know how long I’d be away.

Then there was that envelope in my possession. Cory said not to open it, but to just give it to the doctor. He said that would end all the pressure to get the implants. The thing is, though, … some of those implants sound pretty useful. I pulled the slip of paper out of my pocket and looked at it again.

“102 SW A Street,” was scrawled in pencil. Raymond didn’t have the best handwriting, but I was pretty sure this was the right place. It didn’t look like a doctor’s office, though. There was no sign on the door to indicate a doctor in the house. But the number was there, sure enough, crudely scratched in with some sort of sharp point. I began to have misgivings about the implants.

I tried the door, but it was locked. So I knocked and waited. Just as I began to turn away, I heard the deadbolt slide.

A short wrinkled woman opened the door a crack and peered out at me from behind her spectacles. Gray curls wisped rebelliously from her coifed hair.

“Can I help you?” she asked.

“I’m here to see Dr. Marlin,” I said. And then remembered the other thing I was supposed to say. “A.R.S.A. sent me.”

“Oh. Come in, then.” She proceeded to put her weight into opening the door wider before she stepped out of the way.

I glanced either direction down the sidewalk, irrationally pleased no one would have seen me enter.


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