A_Boy_Named_Sue: its a good hting ur still alive cuz now I can KILLLLLLLLL YOOOOOOOOOOU!
PerilousPennyPine: Aw, I missed you too.
A_Boy_Named_Sue: Anders is PISSSSSSSSSSED at u adn so am i
PerilousPennyPine: Look, I've said I'm sorry.
A_Boy_Named_Sue: wht teh blue hlel where u THINKIGN?
A_Boy_Named_Sue: I havn't breathed since u left htat msg.
PerilousPennyPine: I know! I'm sorry! Flat tire on the road into Winnipeg after leaving Varco Lake.
PerilousPennyPine: And if you want to talk about a woman panicking at the side of the road because of a flat tire? Me. All me. I thought someone shot my tire out to stop me, and my number was up. Turns out it was a regular old roofing nail, and I was so relieved I fell down and cried on the side of the road.
A_Boy_Named_Sue: What teh hell were you thinkign, goign up to VL like htat?
PerilousPennyPine: I'll tell you what I was thinking.
PerilousPennyPine: Gil Burton called up me the second I landed in Edmonton and I'd left the airport. He said you were right about Wyrd scrapping the budget for quarantine, and he was worried sick that something was about to happen to Ishmael if we didn't do something to pull him out of there ASAP.
PerilousPennyPine: Actually, he told me he was more worried about that Dr. Eva Foster woman - the researcher that the Padre scratched and cross-infected? He says that she was working on research extremely valuable to Wyrd and that she was on the verge of a massive breakthrough, and he wanted to get her out.
PerilousPennyPine: He figured if he could find a reason to send a search and rescue party to get Ishmael out, maybe they could grab Dr. Foster at the same time.
A_Boy_Named_Sue: That still doesn't explain why you WENT TO VARCO LAKE!!!!
PerilousPennyPine: Are you done?
PerilousPennyPine: Good. Hear me out.
PerilousPennyPine: You said you saw Dr. Burton once.
A_Boy_Named_Sue: Yeah, so what?
PerilousPennyPine: His MS is so bad these days that he can't get out of Varco Lake. He doesn't have the luxury of going down to the local variety store to buy a new prepaid phone. Everything he does online, he has to do through the monitored Wyrd servers. He took a big enough risk calling my phone to ask me to come up there.
A_Boy_Named_Sue: Yes, but everybody who wants Ishmeal dead is at Varco Lake! And everyone who wants Ihsmael dead wants his ALLIES dead, too! And there all concentrated in 1 big clump at Varco Lake! Where they can walk around in fur and fangs like ALL THE TIME.
A_Boy_Named_Sue: I haven't slept since Friday! Damn it!
PerilousPennyPine: Dude, it's not that bad, all right?
PerilousPennyPine: I'm touched that you were worried, but damn it, I've been a field ops agent for fourteen and a half years. I wouldn't last that long - and still human - if I didn't know how to handle myself.
A_Boy_Named_Sue: You could have at least called from there to tell me you were still in one piece.
PerilousPennyPine: No reception for that carrier up there.
PerilousPennyPine: It's literally the dead centre of the country, horizontally and vertically. There are practically no cell towers up there.
PerilousPennyPine: Trust me, if I could have called you, I would have.
PerilousPennyPine: If I trusted the Wyrd landline, I would have called you. If I could trust the Wyrd servers, I would have Skyped you or messaged you or something! Anything.
PerilousPennyPine: Never mind. Do you want to hear my news or not?
A_Boy_Named_Sue: What I want is to throttle you. What I need is news.
PerilousPennyPine: Then I'll give you what you need.
A_Boy_Named_Sue: Then do it!
PerilousPennyPine: I never got to talk to Gil Burton.
PerilousPennyPine: I talked to Angie Burley instead.
PerilousPennyPine: There were like three other guys following me around, just watching me and getting closer and closer all the time, like they meant to grab me or something. So Angie runs downstairs and says "There you are! You're late. Come into my office."
PerilousPennyPine: I go up to her office and I'm like...shit...what do I say? I suck at making things up on the spot. I should be better at this.
PerilousPennyPine: So I tell her that I had a call from someone asking me to come to Varco Lake and investigate a problem with the Wyrd Intranet. She asks me what. So I pull the biggest, scariest lie straight out of my ass and say "Someone has hacked the archives."
A_Boy_Named_Sue: WTF!!!!!!1!!!! Again!!!!!!!
PerilousPennyPine: Dude, seriously, chill. If you're popping a vein now, you're going to burst an aorta by the time I get to the end of my story.
A_Boy_Named_Sue: God! Damn! It!
PerilousPennyPine: So I tell her, "I think someone hacked the archives a couple of weeks ago and made a copy onto a private drive."
PerilousPennyPine: And then she says, "Whoa...you know about that?"
PerilousPennyPine: So now I'm stuck and I have to keep making shit up as I go along. I keep it general, like, "Yeah, I think there was a whole block of information about this safe house or quarantine or something, total copy and paste onto a private drive...?"
A_Boy_Named_Sue: I have no fingernails left. I'm about to start chewing fingerbones. Why are you still ALIVE...?
PerilousPennyPine: Just wait, it gets better.
PerilousPennyPine: So then I tell her I think it's connected to Ishmael's capture and termination. And her face just goes totally slack. "You think Ishmael's been set up?" I tell her I think so. I tell her that the video was leaked to a couple of Wyrd agents - I had to say I got it from Larch, but she'll forgive me later. If not, she'll kill me, and I'd rather her do it, than Jay.
PerilousPennyPine: Anyhow, I tell her I couldn't resist taking a good look at the video, and I told her about the flaw I want to look at.
A_Boy_Named_Sue: Which you haven't even explained to me yet.
PerilousPennyPine: Shadows on a couch. I need someone to analyze the lighting to prove what I'm looking at, but I think that's where we can start.
PerilousPennyPine: Anyhow, I tell her what I know. She brings up the video and asks me to show her. She asks me if I told anyone else. I said I was going to bring it up to Gil Burton, because everyone knows he's good friends with Ishmael, since they were roommates in college and everything, and that I was going to go and talk to him next. She said it was a good idea, but that I should have trusted her enough to go to her first.
PerilousPennyPine: And then - you'll never guess what happens next.
A_Boy_Named_Sue: No, I probably won't!
PerilousPennyPine: She took me over to Abram Haberman's office.
A_Boy_Named_Sue: There goes the aorta.
PerilousPennyPine: She tells him everything.
PerilousPennyPine: That man has the scariest damned poker face in the WORLD, dude. I may have left a little pee in his office.
PerilousPennyPine: He picks up the phone. He calls Harvey. The guy who found the video in the first place.
PerilousPennyPine: Write this date down.
PerilousPennyPine: August 8th, 2008. 08/08/08. Easy date to remember.
A_Boy_Named_Sue: Why is this date important?
PerilousPennyPine: That's the first time the username 1_L0NE_Srvr appeared in that porno chat room. And that's when Wyrd first started wondering about Ishmael's ethics.
A_Boy_Named_Sue: That's the date the first video was posted?
PerilousPennyPine: No, that happened on September 4th, 2009.
A_Boy_Named_Sue: About three months after the first quarter million dollars was transferred from the Wyrd account to the account in San Jose.
PerilousPennyPine: Right. The video was pulled down shortly after that. But then another one went up about six months later, and both Haberman and Burley saw that one. Cruddy camera, lousy lighting, fuzzy picture, the whole nine yards. It wasn't enough to convince them that it was real, so they didn't charge Ishmael with anything.
A_Boy_Named_Sue: Any others?
PerilousPennyPine: Six videos total.
A_Boy_Named_Sue: And 6 quarter million dollar transfers.
PerilousPennyPine: I don't see a coincidence, do you?
A_Boy_Named_Sue: Did you tell them about the transfers?
PerilousPennyPine: No. I was already neck-deep, and until I was safe in Winnipeg, I still thought it might be a trap. So I kept you out of it.
A_Boy_Named_Sue: Thank God, and thank you.
PerilousPennyPine: So after Haberman calls Harvey, he asks me what I need to look into these videos further. I tell him the name of the software, and I ask him if we know anyone who can use it. So he picks up the phone and makes some more calls, all overseas.
A_Boy_Named_Sue: But not to San Jose.
PerilousPennyPine: Not that I could tell. At one point he was speaking in Japanese. Seriously, dude. Old bald-headed, white-bread, suit-jackets-over-turtlenecks, Vote-Conservative-Or-GTFO Captain Fricking Ahab, shooting the shit in flawless Japanese. Certainly explains his collection of katana at the back of his office.
A_Boy_Named_Sue: That is some scary stuff right there.
A_Boy_Named_Sue: I mean, suit jackets over turtlenecks?
PerilousPennyPine: Then he told me he'd get back to me as soon as he could. Told me to stay at Varco Lake overnight - Angie put me up in a room and gave me a beeper in case anyone tried to break in and do whatever.
A_Boy_Named_Sue: Uh...okay, wow...
PerilousPennyPine: I know, right?
PerilousPennyPine: So I get to Winnipeg and I call in like I said I would. And Haberman's got TWO NAMES for me already. Told me to get in touch with them pronto and start working with them by teleconference.
PerilousPennyPine: Dude...he wants us to prove Ishmael is innocent.
PerilousPennyPine: I know, right? I'm speechless too.
A_Boy_Named_Sue: That's not it.
A_Boy_Named_Sue: Does he want us to prove Ishmael is innocent?
A_Boy_Named_Sue: Or confirm Ishmael's guilt, by proving the authenticity of the evidence?
PerilousPennyPine: At this point, honestly? I don't care what his motives are.
PerilousPennyPine: Because I know what I see on this video, and I know I can prove Ishmael innocent.
A_Boy_Named_Sue: There's another way we can test his loyalty to Ishmael.
A_Boy_Named_Sue: I think it's my turn to talk to the old captain.