Gordon looked down at the small desk clock at the front of his desk. The old relic tolled 4:45 in it's analog manner. It's old stylings and gold plated hands looked somewhat out of place on the desk that was otherwise cluttered with all of the monitors and digital readouts of a high end security post. It gave his mind a little ease to look down apon it. He felt a kindship with his 10 year aniversary gift, feeling that he to was not quite as modern and flashy as his surroundings. Like the clock, however, he did his job well. 
	Or at least he'd do it well for the next 15 minutes. If he left at exactly 5:00 he'd be able watch the opening kickoff in the train, and be home in time to catch the end of the first quarter. It wasn't every day that San Francisco played Oakland on Monday night football, and he didn't want to miss a single point that the 49ers racked up on the Raiders. Of course that was all contingent on Sam getting to work on time, which was rarely the case.
	"Excuse me"
Gordon looked up to see a man in his mid twenties smiling a sheepish grin at him, as if laughing at himself.
	"What can I do for you sir?"
	"Well".. he paused to chuckle under his breath and gave an expression letting Gordon know that the he was about to explain his own stupidity.
	"I'm not supposed to be in today... which is why I don't have my gateway card, but I realized that I need to..."
	Gordon interrupted him, having heard way to many excuses for people forgetting their gateway cards.
	"It shouldn't be a problem sir, if you'd just put your thumb down on the little green screen there we'll issue you a temporary card with no problems"
	"Oh, well OK then, thank you very much" the man said as he pressed his thumb down on the scanner. The man's image came up on one of the monitors and a card spat out into a small container attached to the desk. As he glanced at the monitor he noticed that the man was a part of the "central" group which was a higher security group. He thought this strange for a moment because he generally tried to remember all of their faces since that group was a bit higher profile and a bit tighter on security. But he certainly didn't know all of them. He reached down into the side container to get the card.
	"I'm Gordon by the way, I don't believe I've met you before"
	The way the mans facial expression changed gave a hint of his familliarity with people questioning him due to his high security clearance.
	"Yes, I'm Henry, I actually work nights, I'm only here because I forgot to do something, but I've certainly heard of you. Sam talks of you as if you were an old general"
	"Well I guess he should since he hasn't been here more than a year"
	"But you've been with us for quite a bit longer than that, haven't you"
	"Going on 12 years now" Gordon said as he handed him the gateway card.
	"Wow, well I hope they need me around that long" the man said with a wink.
	"You have a nice day now" Gordon said with a smile.

	"Dammit Sam, it's about time, you know it's a big game tonight"
	"Yeah, I know, I'm really sorry, I got..."
	"Doesn't matter now, ICS has been at 6 all day, and other than me not knowing your friend Henry from central it's been the same old same old"
	"Ah your slipping Gordo, not only do you not someone in central, but you can't remember names"
	Gordon stopped a few steps away from the front door.
	"And your even forgeting your clock, getting a bit dusty upstairs in your old age eh?"
	Gordon noticed his clock sitting on the desk, he had just been in a rush to see the game, that was all. Then he remembered his question.
	"What do you mean forgetting names?"
	"Well it's just that his name wasn't Henry, or he didn't know me, I don't know a Henry, that's all"
	Gordon was getting frustrated, this discussion was cutting into the game, and wouldn't have been if either Sam had been on time, or could remember his aquainances. 
	"Look in the temp gateway cards log, the most recent one"
	"Yeah, like I said, his name is Paul, but I still don't know him"
	"No not Paul! I know Paul, I said the most recent"
	"Yeah, Paul"
	Gordon was now becoming very aggitated, a year on the job and Sam didn't know how to access a simple log. He walked over to the terminal.
	"I know how to..." Sam didn't finish the statement, he just backed away from the terminal and let Gordon look at the log himself. He began to wonder if Gordon was really getting to old for this job. He had always kidded him about it, but he was getting up there.
	Gordon was becoming bewildered. Paul Arington was the last entry in the log. Paul had come to the security desk for a temp card, but Henry had been the last card issued. These logs were very accurate due to the high security standards for the entire building. 
	"I don't understand why he isn't here" Gordon muttered. He then looked up at the security camera and smiled. 
	"Looks like I found a glitch in the log software"
	"No way" Sam protested, "The logs are never wrong, everything is recorded..."
	"I know, but it looks like we found a glitch of some kind, and I'm sure that Marcus will be very interested to hear of such a thing"
	Interested was an understatement.
	"Heads would roll" Sam chimed in, now he was really interested.
	"Watch this, I'll play back what the camera's saw, and we'll combine that with the log file and show Marcus. Lets see, it must've been around quarter of."
	Gordon started the video survalance playback of the overhead camera at 4:45, and watched in shock as he carried on a conversation, with no-one, and handed a card that wasn't there to no-one. It was exactly what happened, minus Henry and the temp card. Gordon's heart skipped a beat. He felt like he was in a strange dream that made no sense.
	Sam's gut wrenched as he stood there, watching Gordon have a conversation with no one, and hand an imaginary card, to an imaginary man. He never thought that Gordon, or anyone for that matter, could be so dissolusioned. He didn't know what to do. How could he report Gordon, a man who had been here so much longer than he, to his superiors. Gordon took so much pride in his work, and as crushing as this was to Sam, how harsh must it be for Gordon to come to terms with his own crumbling reality. How had no one noticed before, or did everyone know, and Sam was supposed to play along. He knew that couldn't be it, the security here was to important.
	"Have you been drinking, or had any medication today Gordon?"
	He realized after he said it how bad that sounded, but afer all, that was him on the monitor having a conversatin with an invisible man. Gordon sat down. He knew what he saw, but he also knew that the log always recorded who had been issued a temp badge. Never wrong in the 3 years he had used it. He also knew what he was seeing on the camera. A sense of fear crept into him. He had no idea what to do.

12 minutes earlier...

A silouette emerged from the towering ICM building as dusk settled in on San Francisco. It was a man wearing a trenchcoat and hat, the stylings of which made him seem as though he had walked straight out of the 1940s. He had a vest on underneath the trenchcoat with a green tie tucked neatly underneath. His given name was Nicolas Koufal, though who exactly had given it to him he was unsure. The corners of his mouth betrayed his mood to the world as they curled up. He couldn't help it, he was as giddy as a school boy who'd just recieved his first kiss. Or more likely in his mind, to a revolutionary who had just planted the first seed of truth, which would hopefully blossom into freedom. 
	It was his first self-laid mission. Not for anything other than his own purposes. He had justified it, planned it, and executed it. He half expected it not to work. What with all the expert anaylysis of his previous missions it made him feel dwarfed, as if he was a pawn incapable of grander vision. But no, he was now a player and a piece. A bishop with a mind of it's own. Though he knew he mustn't get to cocky, this was a very serious game, and you only get to play it once. 
	He thought about the security guard, what was his name... Gordon. He wondered if he'd think he was loosing his mind, or if later they would tell him what had happened. No they'd never do that. The old security guard would end up taking a fall to help protect secrets. A small sacrifice that both sides were willing to make. 
	"He rounded the corner and saw a small drugstore. He was caught up in his enthusiasm, and thought he'd cellebrate with a candy bar. He walked into the small shop. Which seemed quite homey for a city store. He passed a small girl looking at sweedish fish candies as he made his way to the back register. He grabbed a three musketters and layed it down on the counter. Behind it stood an old asian man who's skin seemed more weatherd than his eyes would indicate. He held a pipe in his hand, the other end lightly clasped in his mouth. Though he didn't seem to inhale nor exhale, the tabacco just seemed to slowly smoulder in the bowl of the pipe. It gave off a nostalgic aroma that sent him back to his youth. 
	The corners of his mouth dropped down for a moment as he understood the situation. He had not surveyed the board thouroughly enough, and he found himself out of turn and out of luck. The small grin crept back into his face as he looked up at the man behind the register. 
	"I was six years old, my first trip off of the base. We stopped in at a small drugstore on the way back. I can't remember much of the store, though I'd imagine it looked simillar to this. And there you were, 19 years ago, sitting behind the counter. I'll tell you, those 19 years have been very kind to you"
	"Don't be sour" the old man replied. "If you hadn't been so distracted patting yourself on the back you never would've even come in. Maybe you should've stayed and finished your training" 
	"Ah, there you are Jacob, had trouble seeing your black heart through the pretty face, but it comes through crystal clear in conversation" Nicolas stared down at his three musketeers, and realized that he really wasn't hungry. "Even messing with my stomach these days" he chimed.
	"Just your perception of it, as always. You made it easy on us"
	Jacob was right. With his giddy attitude he had left himself distracted, easily allowing false impetuses to guide his actions.
	"So where is your fire Prometheus?" Jacob sneered. The guise of the Old asian storekeeper had faded away.  Jacob Freeney, a wirey blue eyed man in his 20s leered at him across the counter. Nicholas turned around to see that a woman, not a girl, stood behind him. 
	"I never thought you'd keep such bad company Patricia" he said as he continued to face Jacob.
	"We can still do this the easy way Nick" she said, a hint of hope in her voice.
	This was going to be difficult, but he may be able to do it. He was different. A third man stepped close to his right side, seemingly from nowhere. 
	"Don't be-little me Jacob" Nicholas said as he side-stepped right through the man on his right. He hadn't had time to analyze the interior of the store, but he assumed this area was of strategic importance since Jacob has tried blocking his path to it.	
	"You'll forgive me, there's a long history of over-estimating you that I'm trying to overcome." Jacob replied as he hoped over the counter.
	He saw the smile in Jacobs eyes as he turned to face them both, and suddenly felt a sharp pain in the back of his neck. He had also thought of the possibility that Jacob had put that man there make him move in that direction, but he had to act, and he had chosen poorly. As his vision began to fade he realized that he hadn't been beaten by Jacob. He knew Jacob would've had the opposite strategy, and he had chosen correctly to counter it. But Patricia also knew what Jacob's tendencies were, and she had used Nicholas's knowledge against him...