It was a nice day in Cambridge for near December. It occurred to Fenno that the global warming thing wasn’t all bad. He took a drag on his cigarette. There was something about the man sitting next to him that soured the taste of the cigarette for Fenno. This guy reeked of … evil.
“So, Fenno, how much is it going to cost us? Can you do the thing?” asked the man in the trench coat. The voice almost sounded Romanian, but it was closer to the ambiguous, multi-ethnic accent of all European terrorists in ’80s movies. It made Fenno feel cold.
“One-point-five million!” said Fenno. He knew they were good for it. It was just a question of how badly they wanted the deed done, and Fenno knew that he was the only one who could do it.
“You’ll get what you want, Fenno. Money is no object.” The man popped open his briefcase and removed a small vial. “We only need one drop, Fenno, and you’ll get the money. Call this number when you have it.”
The man got up and walked away, leaving Fenno alone on his bench by the Charles. He looked at the piece of paper that the man had left him. 702-497-9186. Immediately memorizing it, he lit it on fire and tossed the ashes over his shoulder. Pocketing the vial, he turned and ran back towards campus.
Fenno looked at his watch as he entered campus. There wasn’t much time. He had to locate the target quickly. Fenno headed for Austin Hall. As he entered he saw Charlie Nesson and several white male students looking officious. Though it was obviously Nesson, and the students were all obviously blond and white, Fenno was confused by the fact that they were all wearing blackface.
“What the hell are you doing?” asked Fenno.
“We’re parodying racists, Fenno. Isn’t it obvious?” said Nesson. He was smiling in the way that only those with disastrously high IQs can.
“But I thought the whole point was that blackface was inherently racist?”
“Indeed, Fenno. Indeed. However at this moment I am actually playing Hitler playing Al Warren playing Charles Ogletree, so I am not the racist.” said Nesson.
“That’s the question, isn’t it?” said Nesson. Fenno grabbed him by the shoulders and gave him a shake.
“Listen, I must find Clark. Do you know how to find Bob Clark?”
“Yes. Find COLO, find Clark,” said Nesson. Fenno watched as Nesson’s presence disappeared from his body right in front of him. He dropped the limp, sleeping body and ran out of Austin. He had to find COLO, but where would it be? Fenno looked in the sky and it hit him. He ran towards Hauser.
As Fenno entered the building, smiling men in Haz-Mat suits greeted him.
“Welcome to Hauser Hall! We’d just like to remind you that the air quality here has been rated at the ‘Russian-prison’ level. Enter at your own risk!” Fenno pushed the men out of his way and walked to the elevator. He pushed the button and waited. Several hours later the elevator arrived, and Fenno stepped in. He didn’t press a button. The door closed, and, after Fenno was completely still for a moment, the elevator began a high-speed trip down. It arrived at its destination and the doors opened on an opulent board room. The table was circular, and in the center sat Dean Robert Clark. Surrounding him were the seven faces of COLO! Elena Kagan jumped out of her seat and ran towards Fenno.
“How did you find us here?” she yelled. Her tone was demanding in a way that made Fenno feel that he had to answer. It was heavily … socratic.
“It was easy once I thought about it. If I wanted to get a law school community out of a city really fast, and I didn’t want to risk a Tom Clancy-esque reactor accident, how would I do it? Begin to infect the buildings with ‘toxic mold’!” said Fenno. The members of COLO nodded in appreciation of Fenno’s intellect. Hal Jackson looked angry.
“But how did you know how to get into the COROBORO?” asked Jackson.
“Well, that was just a guess, but I reasoned that no modern elevator could really be as slow as the one in this building pretends to be, so it only made sense that the lag time was actually just a front for the time it take the elevator to get back from a secret underground bunker,” said Fenno. Again, the members of COLO nodded approvingly.
“Well, Fenno,” said Clark. “What do you want. A position on COLO? I think there might be a place for a man with your deductive reasoning skills. How does ‘Assistant Dean of Assistant Deandom’ sound?” said a smiling Clark. Fenno nodded. This was too easy.
“I accept,” said Fenno. “Can we shake on it?”
He outstretched his hand and, as Clark extended his, he jabbed him with the hypodermic vial. It immediately filled with Clark’s blood. Fenno ran back into the elevator and pressed the “door close” button. It slammed shut before anyone could stop him and shot up to the first floor. Fenno pulled out his cell phone and called the number as he ran out of the building.
“This is Fenno. I have it!” he yelled.
“Meet us at the Harvard boathouse,” said a woman’s voice. Fenno dropped the phone and ran towards the river. He got there and a large boat with the word CLONAID on the back was at the dock. Fenno ran on and handed the man in the trench coat the vial. All of the Raelians on the boat began clapping as the man held up the vial of blood in triumph. He handed Fenno a briefcase.
“So, now you can clone Clark and replace him with one raised over three weeks in a liberal think tank?” asked Fenno. The trench coated man exchanged a knowing glance with the Raelian next to him.
“There’s been a change of plan, Fenno,” said the man. Kagan walked out of the back of the boat and took the vial. She put it in a case which had several other vials in it. One was labeled Summers. Another said Fried. Yet another was labeled Ashcroft. Fenno was confused.
“Kagan? A Raelian? But, she was with COLO?” said Fenno.
“Yes,” said Kagan. “The Committee On Locational Options and CLONAID were able to find some common ground. They wanted to make a clone, we had the money and the need to combine the DNA of enough great leaders to make one fit to lead the new, greater law school in Allston. We’re calling it COLO Commander!”
“But, that’s from an episode of G.I. JOE! And it makes no sense!” screamed Fenno. Everyone around him laughed.
“Life is not a cartoon! It is not a comic book …” said Fenno. He wasn’t even sure if he believed himself.