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We parked the chair outside and I showed Lyka in and introduced him to Sarah. I turned to Lyka and told him I had to get in there.”
“I’ll see you in a little while”, Lyka offered hopefully.
I joined the three men in the office and as soon as I closed the door, I picked up the handset of the phone and using my best Groucho said “Hello room service? Send up a larger room.”
“That’s Moira’s kid alright,” declared Ken “I called Moira one Saturday and this guy answered and said, Madame is on the tennis court at the moment, I shall have the footman bring her an extension, do be patient.” Ken tried to suppress a chuckle. “If he had a lower voice I could have bought it.”
I blushed a little; “Mom wasn’t always pleased with my phone antics. But they usually amused her. Don’t get me started on telemarketers.”
Amused smirks surrounded me.
“Ken would you like to clue Duncan in on what’s going on as far as our activities go?” Dan asked.
“Sure, I have a friend who has prepared the documents I need to appear before a judge and demonstrate custody rights, so once we’re done here Max and I will head up to the courthouse and file and then we’ll see a judge in chambers to get a ruling. I understand your Doctor is onboard with our mission and will assist if needed.”
“Sure, Dr. Chandler is cool, she’ll help. Will I get out of here today?” I asked hopefully.
“Possibly but it will take a while to process the paperwork so don’t count on it. But you won’t be going back to detention,” He replied.
I took a moment to wave at Lyka’s Mom through the window. Ken turned around and saw her and said, “Holy shit! Gabe?!” Recognition showed on her face and Ken opened the door. They exchanged incredulous greetings and Ken looked into the room and said; “Do you have a moment guys; I’d like to bring Gabe up to speed and get her take on this whole thing. Gabe approached Sarah who wordlessly passed her a keycard for the adjoining office. Gabe thanked her and then she and Ken went into conference.
Dan said that their excursion to Mom’s employer didn’t turn up anything. They were aware of her death and they allowed Dan and Max to check her desk but there was nothing in it. Her assistant told them that Moira carried everything she needed in her tote with her laptop and that she was very security conscious. She said that even notes she wrote went into the shredder by her desk when she was finished with them.
Max interjected that the laptop wasn’t on the inventory of items retrieved from the car. “It could still be in the car in the impound yard. I’ll go by later and check that out.”
Dan pulled a pawnshop laptop computer out of his bag and plugged in the power supply. “This thing doesn’t have a great battery,” he grumbled. Once the computer had booted he pulled the Oracle out of his case and plugged it in to the USB port. After a short wait three blocks with four spaces each became visible on the screen. “I believe it wants a password,” Dan sighed.
“Actually it looks like it wants three” I corrected, “do you have Mom’s flash drives with you?”
Dan rummaged in his case for a bit and produced them; I seized the one with her letter and plugged it in to the office PC. I brought up the letter and tried very hard to be objective about it, getting emotional now would not help.
“Okay that doesn’t make sense, Hastings is where Harold died in 1066 Ethelred was only king until 1016 but that’s only two four digit numbers and why was she talking about Manga Cartoons, it’s redundant Manga are cartoons, they’re published like comic books or graphic novels in Japan. Americans call everything cartoons but the Japanese are very specific. Oh crap that’s what she meant it’s not Manga Cartoons it’s Magna Carta which means 1215 but what order do we enter them in?” I was basically talking to myself because Max and Dan were lost trying to follow my thought process. Mom was precise though so Manga had to mean something too. Then I remembered, Mangas read right to left because Japanese reads right to left. It was one of those factoids Mom gave me. She spoke and read Japanese, she said she used to work for an outfit where it was an important skill; that made the whole thing come together in my head. I asked Dan how many tries we had to gain access. “One” he said. “Then it will fry itself and the computer it’s connected to.”
I wrote down the password as I wanted it to be entered and explained my reasoning for going in reverse order. So starting with 1215 and finishing with 1016 Dan typed in the dates and pressed enter. No smoke or fire erupted from the computer but Dan said, “aw shit!” On the screen under a circle with an eagle’s head in it, were the words “Classified Material, contact John Worrell with secure comms.” there was a phone number underneath. Dan turned around and said, “Duncan gather up your stuff and step out of the office please, Sorry Max but that goes for you too.”
He turned the laptop’s screen to the wall so it couldn’t be seen and stood up. Then he took something from his case and came out of the office looking grim. He asked me for the keycard and then turned to Max. “Nobody enters that room until I return okay?” You don’t want to know why. Dan placed a foil seal on the door; it had a U.S Marshall’s insignia on it.
He asked Sarah where the security office was and then told me to relax until he got back. He called the security office and identified himself and asked if they had a secure line. He told the guy he needed to receive a Homeland Security briefing and would be right there. Being the biggest hospital around, there was always the possibility that a Senator or the President might need to be treated there so there was a provision for a security detail to set up with secure communications.
Sarah for her part aggressively ignored the fact that a Federal agent had just sealed one of her offices and returned to her computer and typed away like it was an everyday occurrence.
As we were standing there Gabe and Ken emerged from the other office. Gabe grabbed me and held me tight.
“You poor little dear, I’m horrified by the treatment you’ve received and I’m going to rip someone’s head off and make an example of them.”
I could barely breathe but I appreciated her interest.
“Do you think you could have them give my stuff back? They took my backpack with my phone and computer and some other stuff.” I asked.
“I will have the superintendent bring it to you personally if he can still walk when I’m done with him.” She roared like a momma lion. “But meanwhile I’m going to introduce Ken to a very close friend of mine who happens to be a Judge in this city. I plan to cut off a bit of red tape and get you out of here so you can go home with Dan.”
“Thank you Ma’am.”
“Call me Gabe dear, and you’re welcome. If you see Michael will you let him know I’ve been delayed?” She asked.
“I will Gabe,”I assured her, and off she went with Ken trailing behind in her wake. I almost felt sorry for the people at the detention hall, almost.