Kate had been working on the laptop and memory drive for two days straight now and we’ve got nothing. To think that I got the computer and memory stick back to the office safe was a miracle. Just some minutes into leaving the premises of Hex Tech, I was chased by a black, tinted sedan. That further assured me that the info on the duo was worth killing for. The encryptions on both were very strong and required expertise and time to break. My patience, on the other hand, was starting to wane. Kate had assured me some several minutes ago that within the hour, they should be able to break past the first encryption.
I stood in my office, facing the white board on which all matters, papers and pictures related to the case were pinned together. There was no correlation between any of them.
I had personally interrogated some known associates and former partners of the doctor, even those whom we thought had a score to settle with him, but all to no avail. His 10 year old daughter had been placed in protective custody and has no idea what’s wrong. She’s just been made to believe her father is on another of his trips. My eyes rested on Dr. Hammonds picture, and with a whisper, I asked, who did this to you, doc?
As if the universe was prepared to answer my question, Kate barged into my office.
“Sir. We pulled something off the laptop”
“What about the memory drive?” I asked
“All we know is that it contains audio files. From the format, we’re believing they’re recorded phone calls”
“That’s great progress. So what could you pull off the laptop?”
“Dr. Hammond was working on a compound before he was murdered. A gas of some sort. Dr. Moses is on hold on line 3 to talk to you about it”
“Thank you, Kate. Update me when you find something else”
Kate left the office and I walked over to my desk and punched in #3.
“Detective Larry here. Dr. Moses, talk to me”
“Good afternoon, detective. I’m sorry to tell you that what you’re dealing with is bigger than you might think. Dr. Hammond was working on a gas before his death, and by the information I got from his worksheet, he succeeded”
“What gas, doc?”
“Its called the Xenorocarbide Mutation Gas. Its widely believed among physicians that if there was a possible way to combine the elements Xenon, Carbon and Calcium, we might have a possible cure for cancer. But the thought was discontinued after further researches showed that it could be easily engineered to form a deadly nerve gas”
“So in simpler words, doc”, I started, “you mean we might have a biological weapon in town”
“Yes, Detective, and its a very potent one. It has a very high killing capacity.”
“Thank you, doc. I’ll call you when I need you again”
I broke up the call and sat down in my chair, dejected. First a murder, now its a deadly biological weapon. What next? A terrorist attack?.
Before the sentence played through in my mind, an idea popped into my head fast. I picked up the receiver, dialed Kate’s number and asked her to come see me immediately. She arrived in no time, obviously sensing the urgency in my voice.
“Kate, search all channels. I want you to filter all chatter you receive. The keywords are something about a powerful nerve gas and a terrorist attack. Synchronize with other agencies and ask them to help the search. Coordinate with our undercover agents too, maybe they have a lead on it”
“Would be done, sir”
“And oh, I want results, this time, fast!”
Kate left the room without another word. I checked my watch. 2:57PM. I had to get lunch. Might as well bring some back for the tech guys and Kate.