Source Point Sequence 10

by Max Saucedo


“I’ll be right out.”

Karen Forrester applied her makeup.  She flipped through the news on her holoprojector. She saw a quick mention of Source Point’s discounted augmentations announcement, before turning off her holoprojector.  She grabbed a case file, and opened her door.

Agent Zhou was standing in the hallway assessing the progress of the investigation.  Almost three weeks had passed and they had only been able to dig up old leads on where their suspect, Damon Wade, had been.  An old warehouse, an abandoned campground and a junkyard he had once worked at.  Nothing tangible.

“Like chasing a ghost,” he fumed, leaning into the doorway just as it opened, colliding with Forrester, and knocking her things to the ground.

As she picked up her mobile, he noticed the flashing message light.

“Are you going to check that?”

Having just woken up less than 30 minutes ago, Forrester hadn’t had a chance to check her phone, but it was odd that someone had left her such a lengthy message, judging by the file size. She hit play.

Zhou was leafing through the case file, not paying attention.  He paused on the third page detailing the time Wade had used an encrypted channel to converse with a Source Point administrator online.  Karen hadn’t been able to pursue the lead, he remembered.  Something about it being an off-site location.  He turned to ask her, only to find her in a state of shock staring at her phone.

“Zhou,” she whispered. “It’s Damon.”


Zhou and Forrester sped to Source Point headquarters.  As they pulled into the structure, they were surprised to find a police barricade.  They flashed their IDs.

“What are these barricades for,” Zhou demanded.

The officer jerked his thumb backwards.

“Bomb went off three blocks away during some anti-tech protest.  Few dead, lots of injured.”

Karen covered her mouth to prevent herself from gagging.

“Where are the protestors then?”

The officer smirked.

“The governor declared a state of emergency and had those people all detained.  They won’t bother you anymore.”

As they headed up the elevator, Zhou pulled out his mobile, an ancient-looking specimen like Forrester’s, and punched in a number, beginning a very intense conversation in Mandarin.

The doors opened and they entered the office.  Zhou, still on the phone while clutching the case file, remained standing by his desk.  Pulling on her virtua gloves, she activated the interface.  Stepping into the cyber world, she placed her phone on a scanner.  It flared a shade of red.

“Joan, I need the last message scanned off this mobile.”

Joan, her personal V.I., nodded and began.

“Is there anything in particular I should be looking for ma’am?”

Forrester shook her head.  “Just scan for any details relating to Damon Wade, his location and such.”

“Understood.  Warning: Priority call incoming from Chairman Faust.”

Faust appeared on the monitor, side-by-side with Joan’s search screen.

“Forrester.  How’s your investigation going?”

“We have several leads sir, including a phone message left by Wade.”

“Really?  He called the office?”

“No sir … he called my house.”

“Did you turn over your phone for evidence analysis?”

“Yes sir,” she answered.  Why was she feeling nervous suddenly?  She wished Zhou was with her.  Faust seemed less critical of him.

“Tell me Karen, did he leave that message before this morning’s bombing?”

Forrester felt a chill run down her spine.

“Yes sir.”

“Play me the message.”

Faust’s eyes were scheming as Zhou, having finished his phone call, quietly stepped beside Forrester whispering, “I have news.”

Joan’s alert flashed as she appeared on screen.

“What do you have Joan,” Forrester asked, careful to mute their conversation to Faust.

“After cross-referencing Dr. Wade’s telemetry from the recording, there are some inconsistencies …”

Before she could finish, Faust spoke up.

“Karen, you and Agent Zhou have linked Dr. Wade to the recent terrorist activity.  A man with a known record for sabotage and espionage now trying to frame us for the bombing.  His mental state, both past and present, and that voicemail all point toward involvement.  I’ll be passing along Wade’s name to the State Department and the Pentagon, maybe Interpol with our recommendation to arrest and detain him.  I want you both to close any loose ends, and seal this case in our files.  Destroy all physical copies and only keep a digital one, Joan.  Congratulations Forrester.  I’ll be sure to pass along a recommendation to the board come promotion time.  And Agent Zhou, another successful case.”  He smiled generously.

“Sir?  We didn’t catch Damon.  He’s still out there.  We don’t know his future plans or anything …”

“Those questions are honestly above your pay grade Karen.  Don’t push this anymore,” Faust said quietly.

Karen was taken aback.  As she stepped forward seething, Zhou grabbed her arm, pulling her back.

“We’ll get it done sir,” Zhou reported, killing the connection.

Forrester swung toward Zhou.

“Why?  So we just sacrifice Wade so he can be hunted down and shot like a dog?”

“That is an unlikely outcome Ms. Forrester.” Joan piped in.  “I was able to identify the time and location of the call.  The call came two weeks ago at Dulles International Airport out of D.C.. Wade could not have possibly been directly involved in the bombing,” she concluded dryly.

“Then where is he?” Forrester demanded.

“Singapore,” Zhou answered.  “And that’s where we’re going.”

Read part nine here.

Read part 11 here.