I set up my computer and as I was getting ready to pull up the numbers to explore I had a message waiting from Sage.
tWT: Open the tracking program. You should go here next.
I typed a response quickly.
N: Thanks. Why?
I opened up the program and found the little blip on the screen. The location wasn’t far from Sage actually.
Sage replied a little too quickly. Had he been up all night?
tWT: I tracked the signature of the stick hacks to an IP address which happens to match one of the locations on your phone list.
N: Wow. Awesome. Thanks. This is our hacker?
tWT: Most likely. The signal is strong right now and I’m monitoring the stream. She’s working right now and I’m trying to block whatever she is. It’s kinda fun. You should get moving.
N: Aye, aye, captain.
And I did just that. I could call Tony for back up. And I did think about it up until the point that Walker and Harvard walked into the fishbowl.
“Hey boss.” Walker said.
“Boss?” I asked.
Walker just laughed. “Where you off to?”
“To hunt a hacker.”
“How are you hunting a hacker?” Simon asked.
“Well see.” I said, “I’m gonna walk out this room with my phone and there is this little blippy dot thing on it and I’m going to walk to it and hopefully it won’t move so I can just nab it/her/him, whatever and bring them in to pay for their crimes. Or get them to work for me either which way.” I grinned at him then walked out of the fishbowl.
The door didn’t close behind me and I heard footsteps behind me. “You need back up?” Walker asked.
I shrugged. “Totally up to you. It’s my way or the highway though.” I glanced back at him and saw Simon walking the other direction. “I guess he didn’t want to be hunting with the half human.”
Walker laughed. “More like he didn’t want to be in the real world with a gay man. Something about getting the wrong idea.”
“Yeah I’m going to jump his bones in the streets.”
Walker laughed again. “It wasn’t like that. Simon has a soft spot for guys like you. He’s afraid you’ll bring it out in him and he already hates you and he wants it to stay that way.”
“Ah. In other words, he’s gay and doesn’t want to like me.” I grinned, “Got it.”
“You aren’t going to make him uncomfortable. Are you?” Walker said as he caught up with me in the stair well.
“Never, wouldn’t even dream of it.”
“Aw, Fuck!” Walker groaned.
“I won’t do anything. Honest. Though if I slip it’s your fault.” I grinned.
“So how we gonna do this?” Walker asked eagerly. He was just a kid waiting to do whatever. It surprised me to no end how exuberant he was to work with me. Most people kinda shied away and went the other way like Simon, but not Walker. Made me wonder where he was from.
“I don’t know yet. Depends on the building and where she’s at when we get there. Right now she’s in Hell’s Kitchen which means I don’t need permission to walk around, but she crosses an invisible line into pack territory then I’ll have to make some calls. So we are going to wing it for now.” I said honestly.
“Sounds good. And I assume this is a no kill mission?” Walker asked without sounding judgemental.
“That’s right. We need to know what she knows and maybe we can stop the stock markets from crashing or find her boss or whatever is doing the leading of this bullshit. I’m hoping it’s just a faction inside the Last Phoenix, but if it’s the whole organization then we might need some dragon intervention.”
“And you can do that?”
“Do what?” I asked.
“Just ask for the help of the dragons?”
I shrugged. “I can ask. I have friends who can ask if they don’t want to listen to me.”
“You mean like Il Cane.”
“She’s one yes.”
“You mean you know more?”
I sighed. “I’m friends with the Lone Wolf Pack leader, I’m a phone call away from the Manhattan Pack leader, I’m in okay with M&V which are the front house for CCB funding. And friends with the Prince of New York.”
“That’s a vampire right?”
I nodded, “Yeah, Il Cane’s son.”
“Long stories.” I said.
“Maybe one day you can tell me?” Walker asked a little wide eyed and star struck. And it was a little weird.
My phone started making noise. It wasn’t a text or an app. It was Sage playing loud music on his end to get my attention. I pulled the bluetooth headset out of my pocket and popped in an earbud and turned them on. “What’s Up?” I asked.
“She’s hacking something right now. I’m trying to interfere. I think they are trying to take down the Stock Exchange Firewalls now. They got a bit to go, and their defenses are good, but I’m gonna help them out.”
I laughed. “The Wicked Truth being good? That’s not very wicked of you.”
Sage giggled. “It’s so you. See what you do to me.”
“Good luck, Keep her busy and we’ll get her as fast as we can.”
“She’s not the only one.” Sage added.
“You got locations on them?” I asked.
“They aren’t in New York. I’m DDOSing them so hopefully that will keep them busy for a while. It’s kinda fun.”
I rolled my eyes. The things Sage thought was fun weren’t always fun.