Previously Later on Final Destination: An informant, killed in a bar somewhere in Rio, Brazil. Always more s**t to do.
Stan hopped into the cab, the one with gas cover missing as instructed. The driver nodded back to him. “Where to?” He shouted back at Stan.
“Whichever theater is still playing Titanic.” Stan recited as he was told, closing the door behind him.
“James Cameron really is beating the horse dead.” The driver responded, stepping on the gas and causing the cab to squeal off. “Did you even check to see if you were being followed?” The driver leaned back to him.
“No, I just…” Stan stumbled his words.
“No matter. We have some errands to run before we go.”
“Go where?” he asked, trying to hold himself still in the seat while the driver swerved back and forth through traffic.
“Do you have a significant other?” He looked back at Stan in the rear view mirror.
“I do, yes, her name is-”
“Doesn’t matter. I just need to inform you that you’ve just won an all expenses paid trip to Rio De Janeiro, Brazil with her. We’re going to pick her up right now, so you can pack your things, then head straight for the airport. Got it?”
“Oh, I almost forgot. Do you own a tuxedo?” He interrupted once again.
“I have this nice sport coat.”
“No, no, no. We’ll have to stop by a place and get you one before we go. It’s like, a necessity. Don’t worry, it’s all on his dime. Hmm, it might be better if you call your girl up and give her a head start. Women, right?” The driver snorted.
Stan fumbled with his phone, pulling up Stacey’s number. He knew what her response would be, “Stan, how did it end up like this?”
The fire hose blasted Stan, sending him reeling backwards, almost tripping and falling onto the pavestones. The water finally ceased. Stan could feel the liquid pooling at the back of his brain, the smell of chlorine flooding his sinuses. He coughed and snorted, blowing water of his nose. The smell of refuse was still covering his entirety.
The black suits surrounded him once again. He could see them turning their noses up at him. One of them spoke into his earpiece in the stereotypical way. “Yeah, he still smells like crap. Do we really have to take him in?”
Stan made eye contact with him, watching as he nodded his head. “Okay, you’re coming with us.” Several of the men grabbed him under the arms, as he still dripped water from every inch of the clothes that clung to him.
A packet containing a foil space blanket was thrown at him. He pulled it out and wrapped himself in it, and was promptly thrown into the back of a limo. A few of the suited men followed in after him, entrapping him between them.
“Since you found the secret entrance, and thus broke it, we have to have it guarded now. That makes it conspicuous, which completely defeats the purpose of a secret entrance. Do you understand?”
Stan nodded his head emphatically in agreement.
“Only one of those devices exists, well, existed, in this world. In order to build a new one, we need the design, which is hidden in a very secret place. A place that would deter the type of people who would want to access such a secret entrance.”
“What?” Stan sputtered.
“You can figure it out. We’re sending you there, after all, to try and fix this mistake. Or else.”
Stan gulped. He saw one of the suited men fishing inside of his dark jacket. This is not how he wanted his day to end up.
Stan saw the glistening, but it was out of reach. The brand new ring was at the bottom of a storm drain, right here in the middle of St. Peter’s Square, right in front of the Vatican. Stan looked around. Everyone around was focused at taking pictures of the Roman Architecture.
The grate down into the sewer was ornate and pristine. Stan ripped it out of the ground with the least amount of grace he could muster. The drop only looked about to be three feet, he could easily make it down and back up without being noticed.
As he slipped down, his feet reached out for the bottom, but there was nothing but cold water below his ankles. “I hope this water isn’t what I think it is.” He took a deep breath, and let go of the edges of the drain.
As his feet hit the bottom of the sewer pipe, rank water splashed up on him. With the corner of his eye, he saw the water rise up on the ledge, taking the ring with it. The tunnel was low, but easy enough for him to wade through. He went off after the ring; hands in water trying to feel for it. His hand brushed up against it, but it kept tumbling off down the pipe carried by the current.
He could see a grate in front of him, blocking the way. If it didn’t catch the ring, he would be out of luck. His cold arms and legs continued to trudge through the water, sending shivers up his spine.
Nearly running into the gate, Stan caught himself. He felt the ring in his grasp, held on by a bit of sludge. He pulled, but it kept slipping out of his hands. Getting his pinky around it, he pulled hard. Something gave way. The water started to drain from around him, and the ground shook.
“This was supposed to be the perfect day. How did it end up like this?”
Stan stared at the vast variety of jewelry underneath the glass, each posed carefully on a nice piece of velvet. He quietly weighed his decisions.
“Is there anything you would like help with, sir?” The dark-haird lady behind the counter spoke in a pleasant Italian accent.
“Well, I was going to propose to my girlfriend tonight, but I still haven’t gotten a ring.”
“Well, that’s wonderful.” She cheered. “Do you have any plans for it?”
“Yes, I do in fact.” Stan explained; elated. “I can already picture exactly how it’s going to end up.” he smiled at her.