5Mature

Pub 67 was on the opposite side of London, nearly a forty-minute drive from the motel.  If there was anyone who could really help me out in this situation, it was Sam Vancouver.  We’d spent time together as undercover agents in various foreign countries, namely China and South Korea.  We were usually on the receiving end of human trafficking ‘railways’ coming from North Korea.  Together, with our American and Canadian counterparts, Victor and I saved many North Korean men and women from traffickers and mobsters.  It was very high-risk work; not only for us, but also for our home countries.  Our operation ended in Seoul, where we were nearly uncovered by the Korean Mafia, or the ‘Ggangpae.’  I hadn’t seen Sam since we were recalled to the UK, but we always agreed to meet at Pub 67 if anything noteworthy arrived on either of our radars.  

As I reflected on our past expeditions together, it occurred to me that perhaps it wasn’t coincidence that Sam was calling me tonight.

What if he knows about the sixteen hackers?  Maybe he has more information on who they are and who they’re working for.  No!  I need to leave.  Sam can provide cover for me should the mafia or my family come looking.  

I breathed heavily as I drove over the River Thames.  It was a stressful existence working in the family business.  Though I was in my home country, I was still killing people.  Innocent people.  The more I thought about it, the more I craved to be exiled from my father’s company.  

I’ve had more than my fair share of violence.  It’s time to clock out.

                                                                      _______

“Does he think he can just clock out? He is an executive of my company!”

Claus Cordaro was not amused as he looked over the disheveled motel room.  He kicked a can of cola across the room in frustration.

“See if he left anything behind.”  He gestured frustratedly at Grant.

The son grunted and began stripping each bed of their sheets.  Claus walked through the debris and into the lavatory.  

What on earth is he thinking?  Even if he leaves the UK unnoticed, someone is bound to find him.  Plenty of crime lords would gladly have his head for the things he’s done abroad.  I hope he’s not idiotic enough to find his friend from Special Forces.  

“Dad, I found something.” 

“What is it?”

“His phone.”

Claus plodded back into the main room.  “Disarmed?”

“To an extent, but I can fix it.  I may be able to re-track the last couple of calls he’s made.”

“Do it fast.”

Claus leaned over his son’s shoulder with a scowl on his face.  

“Was there any evidence that the hackers were successful?”

Grant shook his head, “No.  Everything seemed normal when I checked in with Cynthia.  It’s possible they lifted a few files from our fringe computers, but the mainframe was untouched.” 

His father scoffed, “You don’t know that for sure.”

Grant sighed, “No, but then again, I’m the only one who’s been doing anything for this damn company lately.”

“If it wasn’t for me, there wouldn’t be any company!” 

“Well, let’s just hope it’s not too late... there, got it.”

Grant turned on Victor’s phone and scrolled through latest calls and messages.  

“Nothing out of the ordinary, but the last call was an unknown number.”  Grant typed furiously on the keypad, “I can decode it, and probably trace the phone that made the call.”

“Do it in the car; let’s not waste any more time.”

The End

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