Chapter 28

When Liz returned to HQ, she grabbed a cup of bad coffee and she sat down at her desk and started filling out her report.

She started by reviewing her notes and putting them into chronological order. It took her an hour to enter a summary of everything into the report on her laptop. She went back through the report to add a few additional details and observations. She wasn’t responsible for the NASA team, but she noted that they had collected and contained the device and insured that it hadn’t leaked radiation, and that they were now driving back to Pasadena. She noted her belief that there might be two perpetrators, but was unsure of the role of the second person.

As she was reviewing them one last time, she verified the phone numbers that Conner had given her, both of which were likely burner phones and probably no longer being used. Then it struck her that one actually looks familiar. Was it an informant’s number? She searched the confidential informant database, but nothing matched. Was it from another case?  She searched the case database for current cases and a recent case appeared to be a perfect match. She double-clicked the case, noticing it was hers from earlier this week. It was the number from the bank robbery witnesses. It was Brian’s.

“What the hell!” she said aloud.

Clark looked up from his desk across the room. “What’s wrong?” he asked. “Did you find something?”

“Uh, no,” she said. “I just accidentally deleted part of my report.”

“Oh, yeah,” he said nodding “I hate it when that happens. Did you try the undo?”

“Yeah,” she said, “That fixed it. Thanks.”

“Yeah, no problem,” he said and returned to his report.

Liz opened the report from tonight and scrolled down to the phone numbers. She changed the last digit to a zero for the phone number that matched.  She would change it back again, but not until she dragged Brian in for questioning.

She logged out of her laptop and closed it. She shoved it into a backpack and stood up. “I’m outta here,” she said to Clark.

“Oh, ok,”  he said, looking up. “Have a good one.”

“Yeah, you too.”  She looked at the time on her phone. It was 2:15 in the morning. She called Susan as she walked out of the office.

Susan’s phone rang and was about to roll over to voicemail when she answered. “Hello, is everything OK,” she asked.

“Hell no!” she replied. “We have a helluva big problem!”

“What is it?” Susan asked.

“Your boyfriend tried to steal a nuclear device,” Liz replied.

“What?!” she replied. “What are you talking about?”

“You didn’t see the news? The bird man of New York.”

“I heard about it and saw the video online. What about it?” she asked.

“I’m 99% sure that it’s Brian,” she said.

“No way!” she said.

“Why, were you with him? The bird man once used the same number we used to track him down!” Liz said.

“What! Are you sure?” Susan asked.

“Yes, I’m positive,” she replied. “There is no way that a burner number was recirculated that fast. Susan, if they found out that I know this and didn’t do anything about it, I’m going to lose my job. I could go to jail.”

“There has to be some kind of mixup,” she said.

“There is such a slim chance that I’m mistaken, but it would be such a low probability of coincidence that I have to believe it was him.” She continued “I have to bring him in. I can’t ignore this, no matter how you feel.”

“I just can’t believe it’s him,” Susan said. “I know in my heart that he’s a good guy.”

“You can’t know that. He’s up to something. There is just too much shit happening around this guy,” she said. “If you keep hanging out with him, he’s going to bring you down. And I can’t afford to let him bring me down.”

“Why would he do this?” Susan asked.

“I don’t know, but I need to get the answer,” she replied. “Where does he live, I need to speak to him.”

“Let me talk to him,” Susan said. “I’ll find out and arrange a meeting for tomorrow.”

“No, we’re past that point,” she said. “I need to speak with him first thing.”

“Why?” she asked. “Does anyone else know about this?”

“Not yet,” she answered. “But it won’t be long and there is a lot of attention on the events this evening. Homeland Security will probably take over the case.”

“Ok, I’ll speak to him and arrange a meeting,” she said.

“Ok, do it first thing,” Liz said. “I’m not going down for this! We’re friends and I trust you, but please don’t let me down.”

“I won’t,” Susan replied. “I promise.”

Continue to Chapter 29
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