Unsupervised. Unchaperoned.

Down toward the end, he stopped at the door leading into surveillance and peered through the glass.

Someone sat at the console scrolling through the camera feeds—mostly shots of people tossing and turning and f**king in their beds, bodies indistinct through the glow of night vision.

He swiped Marcus’s keycard.

The door unlocked.

He stepped inside.

The man at the console swiveled around in his chair.


Head of surveillance.

The last guy Ethan was hoping to find at the controls.

“Sheriff.” There was a note of alarm in Ted’s voice. “I didn’t know you were dropping by.”


“Yeah, I didn’t put this one on the schedule.”

Ethan moved toward the wall of screens as the door closed after him.

He said, “Show me your hands.”

“I don’t understand.”

“You don’t understand what ‘show me your hands’ means, Ted?”

Ethan took out the knife.

Ted slowly raised his hands.

The room smelled of stale coffee.

Ethan said, “Anyone next door?”

“Two guys,” Ted said.

“Any reason to expect your techs might make a surprise visit?”

“I don’t think so. They typically keep their noses to the grindstone.”

“Let’s hope so for everyone’s health and safety.”

Ethan eased down into the chair next to Ted’s. The man’s hands shook and this gave Ethan a small push of relief. If he was afraid, he could be controlled. The lenses in the man’s glasses were as big as windows and the large, dilated pupils behind them looked bleary and fried.

“You been up all night, Ted?”


“How long until you’re off shift? And please understand that lying to me about this is the last thing you want to do.”

Ted rotated his wrist so he could see the face of his watch.

“Thirty-four minutes.”

“Are you scared, Ted?”

The man nodded slowly.

“That’s good. You should be scared.”

“Why are you doing this, Sheriff?”

“To get some answers. You can put your hands on your lap, Ted.”

The man wiped his brow on his shirtsleeves and placed his palms flat against his cotton pants.

“I just want to make something very clear,” Ethan said.


“I don’t know if you have an alarm in here, some sneaky way of notifying people you’re in trouble. But if that happens, if you make that mistake, I will kill you.”

“I understand.”

“I don’t care if thirty armed guards show up outside that door. If it opens, I’m assuming you called someone, and the last thing I do before I’m taken down is cut your throat.”


“I don’t want that to happen, Ted.”

“Me either.”

“That’s up to you. Now let’s go to work. Wipe the screens of the current video feeds.”

Ted turned slowly in his chair and faced the console.

He tapped at a panel and the twenty-five screens went dark.

“First things first,” Ethan said. “I assume there’s a live camera feed of the Level Two corridor right outside that door?”

“There can be.”

“Bring it up and put it on that monitor in the top right corner.”

A long shot of the Level 2 corridor appeared—empty.

“Now I want to see where Pilcher is.”

“He isn’t chipped.”

“Of course he isn’t. Are there cameras in his residence or his office?”


“Does that seem right to you?”

“I don’t know.”

“How about his number two? Where’s Pam, or is she off the radar too?”

“Nope, we should be able to locate her.”

A screen in the upper left-hand corner flashed to life.

Ted said, “There she is.”

It was a shot of the gym from a camera in the corner.

A room filled with exercise bikes, treadmills, free weights.

The place was empty except for one woman in the center of the frame, doing effortless-looking pull-ups on a bar.

“You just keyed off her microchip?”

“That’s right. What’s this all about, Ethan?”

Ethan glanced over at the feed of the Level 2 corridor.

Still empty.

Said, “You got a camera down at the entrance to the tunnel?”

Ted’s fingers went to work.

The tunnel appeared.

Marcus was sitting up on the concrete, his head hung between his legs.

“Who’s that?” Ted asked.

“That was my escort.”

“What happened to him?”

“He pulled a gun on me.”

Marcus was trying to stand. He made it onto his feet, but his legs suddenly buckled, and he sat back down on the road.

“Let me ask you something, Ted.”

“What’s that?”

“What’d you do before Pilcher brought you on board?”

“When I met him, my wife had been dead a year. I was homeless, drinking myself to death. He used to volunteer at the shelter where I sometimes stayed.”

“So you met him while he was serving you soup?”

“That’s right. He helped me clean up. I’d be dead if he hadn’t come into my life. No doubt in my mind.”

“So you believe he’s above suspicion? Can do no wrong?”

“Did you hear me say that, Sheriff?”

Up on the screens, Marcus was standing now, attempting to take a wobbling step up the tunnel.

“Ted, last time I was here, you showed me how you could track a microchip. See where someone had been.”


“I assume that’s not possible with Pilcher?”


“How about Pam?”

Ted turned in his chair.


Marcus was stumbling up the tunnel now.

“Just do it.”

“What date range?”

“I want to see where she went three nights ago.”

All the screens turned dark.

They merged into a single aerial overview of Wayward Pines, and a red blip appeared overtop of the mountain south of town.

“What’s that location?” Ethan asked.

“The superstructure.”

“Can you push in?”

“Yeah, but it’s just going to zoom in on trees on the mountainside. We have a highly developed aerial grid over town, but not over this complex.”