Crosscurrents – Chapter 5
Hacker Gary McCracken reunites with his old retired computer teacher — The Oracle — to uncover government secrets while being pursued by young FBI Agent Lily Weeten.
Chapter 5 – Six Of A Kind
(FBI agents Lily Weeten & Dick Reilly are sitting in their black Crown Victoria at the meeting point Lily left on the recorded message wanted hacker Gary McCracken was to call..)
DICK: You sure McCracken’s coming?
LILY: Somebody contacted the recording with our location. With the specific information we left on the conspiracy forums I can’t imagine anyone but McCracken calling that number. Nobody else has even heard of Project Solar Warden.
DICK: Why this abandoned warehouse on the docks as a meeting point?
LILY: Conspiracy nuts always imagine stuff like this going down on the docks as a thick fog rolls in.
DICK: It’s a perfectly clear day. Hell, it’s practically balmy.
LILY: Close enough.
DICK: Did you bring snacks?
(Gary McCracken, Lennie Triskett and his seeing-eye dog Solo are driving towards their agreed-upon destination..)
LENNIE: You sure these people have information on your Project Solar Warden?
GARY: That’s what they said on my conspiracy forum, UnsealedTruthsGarfield.net.
(Lennie gives Gary an odd look..)
GARY: The ‘Garfield’ will throw off any government operatives who come across the URL.
(Dick is snoring loudly in the drivers seat when a car approaches theirs on the dock and Lily shakes her partner awake..)
(The door opens and a short redheaded young man with a notebook approaches the tinted Crown Vic smiling. Lily furrows her brow down at the photo ID of Gary..)
LILY: That’s not McCracken.
DICK: Looks like a computer nerd to me. Maybe it’s your ‘Oracle’.
LILY: The Oracle is your age.
(Lily steps out of the car and Jim Ritz holds out his hand with a grin..)
RITZ: Jim Ritz, tech blogger for the Washington Post.
LILY: You’re the one who responded to our forum post.
RITZ: Yes, I was interviewing a source on some leaked government information when he began going on about alien technology and a ‘Project Solar Warden’. I was about to give up on the story entirely as the ramblings of a madman when I Googled the project and your forum post came up.
LILY: You’ve been in touch with Gary McCracken?
RITZ: (smug grin) Ma’am, we both know I’m not allowed to reveal my sources.
(Dick tackles Jim Ritz to the ground and shoves his glock in the blogger’s mouth..)
DICK: Where’s the perp, punk!
(Lily pushes her partner off Ritz and helps him back to his feet..)
RITZ: That is assault! That is assault with a deadly weapon! I will contact–
(Dick flashes his badge with a sneer..)
DICK: The authorities?
RITZ: FBI? What’s going on here.
LILY: James, Mr. McCracken has uncovered some top secret military files. We just need to speak with him.
RITZ: So all that alien crap was real.
LILY: No, we just posted that to draw him out into the open. Feed into his delusion. Clearly it didn’t work. If you have any information on his whereabouts at all.
RITZ: The last time I saw them was in the women’s bathing suit section of a Filene’s Basement in D.C..
RITZ: His choice. I thought it was strange.
LILY: You said ‘them’. Was Mr. McCracken with someone?
RITZ: Yes, an older man. With a dog.
LILY: (eyes light up) Was this older man perhaps blind?
RITZ: Well, that would explain the dog.
(Lily grabs Dick’s arm excitedly..)
LILY: The Oracle.
RITZ: I don’t..wear women’s bathing suits.
DICK: Ain’t illegal, son.
(Gary, Lennie & Solo are walking through a West Virginia cornfield..)
LENNIE: Where are these people?
GARY: (checking a compass app on his phone) These are the coordinates they gave me.
(A rustling behind the hackers reveals a stern, heavy-jowled older man in a pea coat..)
YUSEV: Mr. McCracken.
GARY: (spins around) How’d you know my name?
(Lennie spins around in a circle slapping his hands against corn stalks as Solo chases his tail..)
LENNIE: Where is he? This cornfield’s got me all screwed up.
GARY: Just follow his voice. Haven’t you been blind for a while now?
YUSEV: I am Yusev Gregovich, top military adviser for the government of the great country of Russia.
LENNIE: Oh boy.
YUSEV: I am a great fan of your work, Gary McCracken. Our government could use a man with your skills. I know your government is pursuing you. It is only a matter of time before they catch you. Come with me and you and your father–
LENNIE: Just a friend.
YUSEV: –you and your partner–
LENNIE: Just a friend!
YUSEV: –can live out the rest of your lives in comfort and security in the bosom of Mother Russia.
GARY: So you have no new information on Project Solar Warden.
LENNIE: Not the top priority right now, Gar.
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