"The guns," Detective Molly Smith says as she scans police reports on her tablet. Joe Blisflix stares through the windshield. They're sitting in an unmarked police car on Leavenworth. A few blocks to the west, Tim Rist is walking north on Gough, toward the Marina.
"What guns?", Blisflix asks after a long pause.
"Where does he get 'em?", Smith asks, still scanning her tablet. "Four victims, four guns."
"Good question," Blisflix says. "Tomorrow why don't you start canvassing the local gun shops?"
"Nah," says Smith. "He didn't buy the guns."
"If he didn't buy the guns," Blisflix asks, "where'd he get 'em?"
Smith keeps scrolling her tablet. "That's a damn good question," she says.
Blisflix looks up and down Leavenworth. No cars, no people, nothing moving at all. Odd, he thinks, even for 2 a.m. on a Tuesday morning.
"Tell me this isn't an inside job," says Smith, still reading her tablet. "He's on the network, and he's got a stash of confiscated guns."
Blisflix shifts in the driver's seat as Smith continues. "He's all over town, nobody sees him, doesn't leave a footprint. He's a ghost."
Smith sits up and looks out the windshield. "You think they even want us to catch this guy? Maybe they'd like to put him on the payroll."
"The network guy said no intrusions," Blisflix says.
"What?", Smith asks.
"You said he's on the network. IT guy says 'no'."
"IT guy wouldn't know if his ass was intruded," Smith says as she reads her tablet. She looks up suddenly. "Maybe we could set a trap."
"Who?", Villa Lobos asks like he can't believe his ears. In front of his desk sit Smith and Blisflix, red-eyed after the midnight shift.
"Cece Khouri is her name," Smith answers. "Cecelia, that is. She knows a lot about hacking."
Villa Lobos looks at Blisflix. He shrugs back. "We're being hacked?", Villa Lobos asks Smith.
"He's on our network, yes," she answers, then adds "I believe."
Villa Lobos grabs his coffee. He looks back at Blisflix. "You said the IT guy--"
"No intrusions," Blisflix interrupts.
Smith sits still. "He's there," she says.
"You want to let this student tap our computers?", Villa Lobos asks Smith.
"She knows what to look for," Smith replies. "She knows them. But she won't work with our people. She doesn't even want us to know what she's up to."
Villa Lobos looks at Blisflix. "Why not?", Blisflix says without waiting for Villa Lobos to ask her.
Villa Lobos turns back to Smith. "What are we paying her?", he asks.
"Nothing," Smith replies. "She wants to get him."
"What is she," Villa Lobos asks, "an anti-vigilante vigilante?"
"Not so much," Smith says. "I think it's more like, he violated some hacker ethic or something."
Villa Lobos tries to drink from his empty coffee cup. "How do you know this Khoury?", he asks Smith.
"Through my son," she replies. "Cece tutored him."
"That's it?", Villa Lobos asks.
Smith sits up in her chair. "She's a mentor of sorts for my son," she says. "We've become acquainted. I asked her about the network stuff. Cece knew right off who I was talking about. She said he can get into our network undetected without breaking a sweat."
"Then I bet she got on our network without breaking a sweat," says Villa Lobos. Smith nods.
"Remind me to delete my email,"says Blisflix.
Part 10: Cece
Part 1: Tim
Part 2: Three's a Problem
Part 3: Ninth Avenue
Part 4: Peru Avenue
Part 5: Toast
Part 6: Mrs. Pellegrini
Part 7: Charlie
Part 8: 2D
Part 9: Smith
Part 10: Cece
Part 11: Quarter Moon
Part 12: Interview
Part 13: Mieke
Part 14: 2D Ex
Part 15: Logs
Part 16: Steiner
Part 17: Number Five
Part 18: Cold
Part 19: Intern
Part 20: Coffee
Part 21: Sloth
Part 22: Tennessee Street
Part 23: Error-correcting Code
Part 24: Villa Lobos
Part 25: Entrance
Part 26: Cloak
Part 27: Meeting
Part 28: Fog
Part 29: Bootle
Copyright 2014-2017 - Dennis Richard O'Reilly - all rights reserved