Back in Jack’s apartment, I wasn’t feeling so great. Oh, I got the answer I wanted and it was exactly what I’d thought it would be. Thing is, I felt sorry for Thompson, Lisa and even Jack but no matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t see a ‘happy ending’ possibility for this mess. Worse, I was gonna be the bearer of the bad news – I would have rather retaken Logic 101, or eaten glass, both being equally rotten choices.
I parked on Jack’s sofa next to Nyota. Tresmayne was in the chair to my right. Thompson was on the floor manning fuor laptops he’d spread out on the coffee table. They were ignoring me while Jack was getting snacks from his kitchen.
Jack was trying to find a place for the chips on the crowded coffee table while Thompson tried to explain the back hacking thing to Tresmayne. Nyota seemed halfway interested but I’m sure she was just being polite. I sank deeper into my funk as the conversation floated around me.
“So, you followed this IP thing back to its original source?” Tresmayne was asking.
“Er, more or less.” Thompson admitted, probably while also admitting defeat in the explaining the geek stuff as well.
“How can you be so certain?” Nyota asked.
“Each layer has enough to make it look genuine to the casual observer.” Thompson explained. I wondered idly who would actually casually observe an IP anyway but he continued before I could ponder the ramifications. “But a genuine account will have far more detail. I’ve hunted through dozens. Only this one has all the elements – it’s either the most incredible honey pot I’ve ever seen, or it’s the real deal.”
“The credit cards check out?” Jack asked, seating himself on the armchair opposite Tresmayne.
Thompson nodded, “Yeah, that was good thinking. All the other dummy accounts had fake credit cards but this one the cards are legit. I went in through Buyembay and found a vendor he’d purchased from. That guy’s security was weak – it was a cinch to find the payments. The cards were legit.”
“What did he buy?” Nyota inquired.
“Weird stuff. The vendor sells WWII surplus. This dude must love WWII – he bought more than a half dozen bayonets.”
That got my interest, “Say what?”
Thompson nodded at me, “A half dozen or more bayonets, Madame. All were certified as having been in at least one battle.”
Jack looked at me. “Why would…”
I was too busy with Thompson. “Could you get something on his buying habits?”
He shrugged, “Of course, Madame, but why…”
Jack interrupted, “You think it has something to do with Arnie?”
I nodded, “I think he’s looking for Arnie.”
“Who is Arnie?” Nyota poked me gently in the ribs to get my attention.
“Arnie was Mr Jenkin’s bayonet.” I told her.
“The first victim? I don’t understand. Why would he want such a thing?”
“To use the connection.” Tresmayne answered, “He has a singer. That’s what you’re thinking, isn’t it Mistress Crystal?”
I nodded slowly, “Yes…”
Jack told me later that I’d turned pale as a sheet. I guess that’s why he thought he needed to lighten the mood. But seriously, why is it that no matter how old they get, men always think the best way to get a girl’s attention is to do something stupid? Jack’s idiotic solution was to throw a pillow at me. I batted it aside easily. Men!