Chapter 14

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"Alright, Zac, where do we go from here?" I sighed, leaning back in the office chair I had pulled up to his little cubicle. Zac was twirling a pen in his hand, deep in thought. I could tell even past his dark long hair and the thick glasses that his brown eyes were knitted in concentration.

"Maybe... we try and contact AISE again. Ask them if they have any leads on her whereabouts."

"That's shit and you know it. They'll lie, they not into cooperating with us."

"Yeah, I know. Sorry, I can do better than that," He sighed and turned to his computer, wiggling the mouse. "I'll pull up surveillance footage from around town and run her face through a recognition program. Maybe she's been spotted somewhere."

As his screen lit up, I saw his background photo of a girl with banging blue hair, wearing nothing but lacy black underwear. She was bouncing up and down on a bed, the photo being snapped while she was hovering mid-air. "Who's she?"

"My girlfriend. Hot, right?" Zac grinned as he pulled up a black box and started hacking his way through to what we wanted.

"Yeah," I agreed. Blue hair wasn't my taste, but she was cute alright. Skinny, happy, and somehow emo if we judged by her dark makeup, but that grin did something to counterbalance it. I found it hard to see how Zac with his baggy clothes, long greasy hair, beanie and glasses landed a girl like her. Not that appearance mattered, it was just my experience that people usually fell for the handsome one first. Zac was... well maybe if he did something about the hair and exchanged the baggy T-shirt that said 'Come to the nerds side, we have Pi!' with a plain white one, he wouldn't look half bad.

Giving a makeover to your tech guy. Yeah, that's really your priorities right now.

I sighed at myself and rubbed my face. The snippy voice in my head was annoying, but right. Who cared what he wore anyway? If he was happy and content, he could wear a batman suit to work for all I cared.

"I might have something," Zac said and frowned, tapping a few keys on his keyboard. He zoomed in on a photo. "That could be her right there, taking a trip to the pharmacy. Recognition program estimates 86% alikeness to the headshot we got of her."

He brought a somewhat blurry surveillance still-pic up from a pharmacy downtown where you could just make out the shape of her face. She was paying the pharmacist in cash, paying for something I couldn't make out. "Do you think you can clear up the imagine to maybe get a read on what she's buying?"

"I can give it a try, but I wouldn't hold my breath for it," He said, tapping away a little more. "These are low grade surveillance cameras, their pixelations are absolute shit. It would be easier to head down to the pharmacy with a photo of her and ask a few questions."

"Right, I might just do that." I said. "Not like I have better things to do. Thanks Zac, I'll catch you later. Call me if you find anything new."

"Hey, uh... Camila?" He called as I turned to leave. I looked back and saw him fiddling with his pen again. "You should know that... there could be a mole inside the CIA."

I stared for a moment, then walked back and crossed my arms. "What?"

He stopped twirling the pen and instead clenched it in his hand. "I noticed some funny business on one of the servers the other day. Someone were tampering with some files. I'm not saying whoever did it was on the bad team, I'm just saying it wasn't cleared or coming as an order from upstairs. The files were being altered."

"What files?"

"Lauren's. Small snips of information about her were being cut. Nothing big, but I think that's how they want to start out. You know, slow, discrete. It's likely they were trying to make it easier for her to slip out of the country."

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