Thursday, January 19, 2012

Chapter Fifty-four

Porto, Portugal

Mike stood at the entry to the alley behind the insurance company scanning the dark for intruders.  I watched the building’s windows for sudden light or noise.
Angus took a swipe card with an attached cable and stroked it through the entry door lock.  The cable ran to his touch-screen phone.  The screen lit his craggy face while he tapped with his large fingers.  CLICK. The door opened. 
Mike looked at Angus.  Angus nodded and Mike backed quietly to the door still scanning the alleyway.  Angus entered the building and scanned the interior.  I followed Mike in and the door clicked behind us. So far, so good.
Mike holstered his pistol and worked in tandem with Angus, using a quiet cordless drill to remove the cover from the alarm keypad.  When it was open Angus attached alligator clips to points inside the panel,  then re-engaged his touch-screen phone.
Man, I really need to get one of these iPhones!
The heat kicked on and ducts moaned as warm air pulsed through the building.  I looked at the alarm panel and Angus’ face.  He smiled as two lights blinked green then stayed lit.  He removed the clips and placed the device back into his waist-pack.
Mike’s red-filtered flashlight illuminated the laminated floor plan we had studied.  He motioned with his finger, as a last minute reminder, and we set off.
I followed as they moved down the silent corridors.  Each time they came to an intersection or corner they “sliced” the angles with their drawn pistols and performed a silent ballet choreographed by years of operations.  I marveled at their ability to communicate with gestures, silent arm touches or pats on the back.
We reached the intended room and the expected security keypad.  Angus and Mike repeated their entry technique.  The keypad blinked green, then stayed lit with the same touch-screen magic.
We entered the room to the hum of servers and dim glow of a flat-screen monitor on screen-save.  I removed the server diagram from my waist pack.  How Angus got this is beyond me!
Mikes’ red light played over the diagram I held as Angus and Mike traced their fingers across and wordlessly pointed at the various machines.  They settled on the intended machine and pointed it out.  I took the flashlight from Mike while Angus spread his tools out on a towel he had removed from his waist pack.  They began the work.
CLING. A screwdriver clinked as it rolled across the floor.  We all held still and held our breath. 
Mike scrambled for the tool and they resumed their work.  Angus wiped a small bead of sweat off his brow with his sleeve.  Mike’s face contorted with concentration.  I felt myself biting my bottom lip in an effort to aid them. But for this, they didn’t need me.
Angus stood and displayed a small metal box.  He gave a thumbs-up sign and smiled in the dim red light.  Mike rolled the tools into the towel while Angus slipped the box into his pack.  I turned to go out the door and slammed to a halt.
The keypad lights were no longer green.  They were blinking red.
Angus and Mike stared at the blinking red lights. 
At the same time we all ran for the back door.


  1. Not sure who/what pointed me to your pages this morning.. But I am very glad they did... I have read all chapters you have posted, and I must say I am very impressed and wanting more! I look forward to your continuing posts, and to a publish date so I can buy a hard copy (or e-copy)
    Thank you for your work,

  2. man oh man I am hoping Harry is a book reviewer for a major publication :) thanks Harry!