Cooper could not sleep.
He felt frustrated that he couldn’t sleep, after all, he was bored. That’s what happened when things became too routine and his life had become so routine it was in a rut. Since June when Team Coop (he was the only one that called them that, everyone else still referred to them as Luck’s Team) apprehended not only one of the most notorious terrorist masterminds known simply as The Sheik but also one of the world’s most dangerous assassins known simply as Donovan, his team worked non-stop catching all sorts of known baddies. With each successful mission, the team seemed to level up. Each nefarious person they caught was a little worse than the previous one. Ant and Al were aware of the caliber of their missions, novice Malone sensed the intensity of each succeeding mission, but Cooper could not care less. His focus had rested solely on finding the man who murdered his mother. After each successful mission, he expected the next one would be to chase the man who killed his mom. But Ant said that wasn’t how it worked. So, for now, Cooper did what was asked of him but his mind often drifted to his mom’s case when other matters didn’t occupy it.
For a month, every available night he had at home he spent scouring over records he had taken the liberty of liberating from a government file. He found them when he was sent to a government building to retrieve some archives Ant requested. He couldn’t help if the agent who let him into the file room had actually left him alone for over an hour. Ant had sent him into the room with a specific agenda. Cooper walked out with the files Ant expected in his hand and his mother’s files tucked in his shirt. It didn’t take long for him to have them memorized.
Here’s what he knew so far.
His mom’s brother, Tony Layton, a decorated war veteran was working undercover for the LA police department trying to uncover up some kind of drug ring. Through his job, he had somehow come in contact with a miracle pill known as The Samson Pill. The particulars of his work was, of course, redacted in the file. But that was the gist of what Cooper had figured out. Plus, he was able to draw on his own experience because he knew that he himself had found the Samson Pill when he was eight and accidentally had ingested it. He often regretted finding that pill but he figured the time had come for it to be useful. The pill would help him find his mom’s murderer and bring justice to that person Cooper now referred to as his nemesis. The only person he any of his findings to was Malone. He was pretty sure if he used the word nemesis around Al she would have mocked him mercilessly. And since Ant had trusted him to retrieve only certain files there was no way Cooper could let him know what he had found.
So, he knew about the pill and had found out what he could about it. Created by someone named Henry Buttlefeld who intended to use it on himself but apparently was never given the chance. Whatever motive Henry had for it others saw it as a weapon. While neither Cooper or Ant discussed the fact that each knew that Cooper had, in fact, swallowed the pill there was an unspoken understanding between the two. Based on certain things Ant said Cooper was sure the agent was aware of the pill’s fate. But following Ant’s lead, Cooper didn’t talk about it. He understood the pill was in high demand and according to Ant, if anyone knew that Cooper had ingested it, they would come after him to replicate it. After Ant shared that with Cooper, he decided it would be best not to let anyone else know about the fate of the pill.
The one thing that Cooper could not figure out was his uncle. After his mom’s death, his dad had put all her photo albums away. He said it was too painful. While his dad had mentioned his uncle maybe once or twice, he was not somebody that was ever brought up. Cooper didn’t even know what his uncle looked like. All he knew was his name, Tony Layton. The temptation was too much when Cooper hacked into a government database for a mission and so he did a little extra snooping, but still couldn’t find his uncle. No driver’s license photo. No record. Nothing. It was as if Tony Layton never existed.
The only thing he was able to find was a short newspaper article detailing his uncle’s death. He was attempting to bring down a local drug dealer when he was shot and his body fell into the river. His body was never recovered. Before she died, Cooper’s mom had told him that her brother died a hero. That was it. That was all Cooper had to go on. But how did his uncle, who worked in local law enforcement, come in contact with something like the Samson Pill? Something didn’t add up.
Cooper was used to lining things up and then finding a workable solution. Now, the biggest mystery of his life was in view and he couldn’t get it to line up. Something was missing.
So, no, he was not sleeping well at all.
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