FIRE ESCAPE First Draft Update for 6/13/18: Who’s that Lady?

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“What the hell are you doing, Jake?!?” Jill was super accusatory–as though I should somehow know what I was doing in the hologram when I clearly wasn’t doing it yet.

“Obviously, Jill–that was something I haven’t done yet.”

Just then, an ambulance arrived outside the coffee house and in minutes had taken Tedesko’s body and laptop from the scene.

“Lighten up, kid–you’re brother clearly hasn’t done this already, er, yet.”

“Well, clearly, I am going to do it,” I said.

“It does look like she was in need of rescuing,” KJ said.

“How so?” Kate asked, adding, “You think all women are in need of rescuing.”

“Aw, come on!  That was once!”

“KIDS,” Dot said, loudly.

“Seriously–she was probably one of the other members of the HNT.”

“HNT?” Jill sounded unimpressed.

“Yeah, the Human Negotiation Team!” KJ explained.

“Makes sense,” I said, shrugging.

“She was there in the coffee house for a secret meeting with our guy Teddy Ted.  They were instant messaging back and forth and not talking out loud because, DUH.”

Jim nodded his head to one side.  “So, if we spin that footage back, maybe we can look at what was on her tablet and see what they were talking about.”

“Good idea!” Jill said.  “Jim, KJ, good work.”

“Thanks!” KJ smiled softly.

“Let’s just hope we c-c-can actually see something useful,” Jim said.  “Here’s the footage again.”

We watched as the room around us jumped back in time to the minutes before the shadow enveloped the back row of tables.  We moved around to see what the lady was typing on her tablet, only to see that she was actually looking at a lingerie website.

“Oh, hello!” KJ said.  

“Dude,” I said so flatly that KJ was instantly apologetic.

“Sorry.”

“Look–she’s switching to another app,” Jim said.

“That’s the chat app,” I said.

“Looks like the Signal app,” KJ said, adding: “It’s Ed Snowden’s favorite.”

“Uh-huh,” I said, focused on what she was typing. The message was: “Do you think anyone else knows?”

We looked over to Tedesko.  Jim pointed at Ted’s fingers.  “Look at what he’s typing.”

“Oh good idea, Jim!” KJ said.  

“Word.  Or we could just wait for it to pop up over here,” Kate said.  I shrugged as KJ was reading out the letters as Ted typed them.

“Kage, we’re just gonna wait,” I said.  KJ groaned and stopped.  Then the message popped up on the lady’s tablet.  

“What’s it say?” KJ asked.

“I was worried for a time, but I think my secret is safe for now.  Just you and I know.”

The tablet lady started to type her reply.  I read it as it appeared in the app. “I would be very careful.  I’m worried about you, Ted.”

“Thanks, but I can take care of myself.”

The lights began to dim.

“Jim, you can’t crank up the brightness on this footage can you?”

“I can, but would it help?”

“No chance. Those shadow generators are hard core,” Dot said.  “They emit a field that refracts all photons of light inside of the field in on themselves so zero light can escape.  Even the best software can’t enhance light that isn’t there.”

“Damn it,” I said, backing away from the shadowed area of the hologram.  “I better go get her, then, right?”

“Sure looks like it, kid.” Dot always had the habit of sticking a pin in it.