Chapter 10 .Easy dropping
Two streets over from Jake’s place two men sat playing cards as they glanced at the monitors. The house had been for sale only a week earlier. Now it was a base of operation for a rather odd crowd. The house was chosen because of its proximity to their targets. The leader of the team was Jack, a retired FBI agent. With him he had four other men and two women. All assigned to keep track of Jake. They had his house bugged for sounds and video. His phones were tapped. Even his cell had been cloned and intercepted. The computer geeks back at the company watched his every move over the internet. Each of his and the girls cars had tracking devices carefully hidden on them. This allowed them to be followed from a great distance. The team wasn’t strictly needed so close, the devices inside could transmit live or record to a small hard drive and then transmit. The brass had made the decision though so there they were. Jack was listening to the recorded conversation again. He turned and said “clear out” without a word the two other men dropped the cards and headed out of the room. Jack picked up his cell phone and speed dialed the office. As he did so he entered the VPN for his company and sent both recorded conversations to main sever.
“Yes, report” came the voice on the other end.
“Two voice files on the sever. Both conversations were with Keith White. I think he is trying to get the keys sir.” The phone was silent for several seconds.
“Ok standby I will review the files and get back to you.” The phone went dead.
Jack looked at the phone for a minute then set it down and grabbed a headset. “Mobile this home”
“Home mobile go.” A voice replied.
“You have them?” Jack asked.
“Yea they are heading down the 101 now.”
“Ok stay back and let me know where they land.”
“Home out.” He took off the headset and rubbed his eyes.
New York Office
Carl and Ben leaned forward on the desk listening to the last of the recording. “ he is definitely trying to get the keys Carl”
“I know” he replied with a long pause. “The real question is what do we do about it?”
“What? Are you kidding me we kill the bastard and his little tart. That is what we do about it.”
“I’m not sure that is necessary Ben. We could just intercept the keys in transit and he is still stuck with nothing.”
“Nothing?” Ben half screamed. “Let us recount what he has done. First, he got a laptop we thought destroyed. Second he not only cracked the security but he also was able to ascertain that there was some sort of database on it. Third, he was able to track Leon back to us. Forth, he knows there is a key somewhere and is in the process of trying to get it. Fifth, He is getting more interested not less. Do you really think he will just give up if he doesn’t get the keys? Can we afford to take the chance that he won’t?”
“I understand what you’re saying Ben. I also understand the situation. I am just not sure yet.”
“At the very least we need to destroy his files and maybe his house. Let me call Jack and have him do that at the minimum?” Ben was almost pleading.
“Look if we take any action like that the situation becomes compounded by the police.”
Ben let out a half laugh as he said, “Jack and his team are professionals if they can’t do it without leaving a trail they wouldn’t work for us.”
“You are missing the point. Step back and calm down and listen to me for a minute. I have this guys file. The full file. He was a US Army Ranger Ben. His commanders called him a creative thinker.”
“So those guys are a dime a dozen.” Ben interrupted.
“Not like him they’re not. Listen he was in several conflicts, has been wounded in the line of duty, volunteered for a long range reconnaissance patrol during desert storm. While on a mission inside Iraq, the hover craft assigned to pick him up took small arms fire they were all severely pinned down just as they were calling for an extraction he takes a look at the engine. Seems one of the shots had severed the main fuel line. Without a blink he grabs a pen from his pocket tears it apart. Then cuts the hose clean and shove the two ends of the hose over the pen and yell get this thing moving. They start it up and away they go extraction team met them in route back to the ship.”
“So what they guy is a good mechanic.”
“No he can’t even change his own oil. According to his team mates they had all pitched in to change the water pump in his car because he couldn’t do it. So what’s different from changing a water pump and fixing a fuel line? Situation that’s all. To quote his CO at the time “when the shit hits the fan Lt. Hammond is one of the fastest thinking and acting individuals I have ever seen.” Because of the way he fixed that little problem all of the navy’s hover craft now have a specially made plastic tube to fixed broken fuel lines it looks like the front end of two ball point pens stuck together. He received two awards for that by the way one from the army and one from the navy for saving navy personnel and equipment from falling into the enemy’s hands. This guy is no joke. He could have gone along way with the army. When it comes to computer he has been programming since he was a kid. He knows his stuff. He joined the army after being investigated by the FBI for hacking. No charges filed but he was the main suspect in several cases. If we decide to hit this guy we have to make sure it happens right and the first time, otherwise we could have a real shit storm on our hands.”
“Ok.” Ben thought for a moment “you want me to bring in a cloud?”
“I am almost afraid to ask. What is a cloud?”
“It’s a code word for a freelancer. A real specialist. They float in do their job and float out but with nothing that can be tracked to anyone. You know like a bolt of lightning from god.”
Carl looked at Ben for second then let a full hearted chuckle. “You spooks really make me laugh.” His face took on a very serious look and he asked, “I don’t think that is necessary. Here is what we are going to do though. We hit this Keith White and intercept the data. Exchange the disk for some BS stuff I am sure the guys down stairs can come up with a few harmless disks. Get right on this if we can I would like to get it before it reaches his place but that might be hard to do.”
“Depends on how it is shipped really. If the guys sends it UPS or FedEx then there isn’t a problem we get the tracking number as soon as it is on the truck we pop it and exchange packages. But if he sends it US postal service we can’t do that.”
“Why is that?”
“Simply the US postal service has no real organization when it comes to tracking packages they are like any other letter they just fall into the mix.”
“Ok. Make the call.” Carl said as he rose and left the office. “I need to call up stream and inform some people of what is going on.”
Santa Rosa Safe House
Jack’s phone wasn’t even done ringing before he answered with a simple “Yes” he listened for several seconds said yes three times and hung up. This job just got a little more complicated. Not a lot but a little now they had to tap a phone in another house and business. Then they had to listen in and intercept a package. To make it a little more interesting they had to get the data from New York and make the CDs before they could make the exchange. Jack let a smile cross his face he loved his job it was never dull.
Jack’s team was great. They had tapped both the home and office lines in record time he thought. Then he remembered how simple it was now. All his guys really had to do was pop a junction box place a couple leads and hit a button to pull up the number of the line they had then find the right one and attach 2 more leads and close the box. But it was done. There were two annoyances with it though. First if Keith had made the call last night before they had the taps in place they were screwed. Second he had to dispatch a mobile unit to a retransmit distance from each house until he could get more men this left him a bit short handed. Well the men should be here within 6 hours. That was good news at least. But like things so often did the bridges started to crumble the next day