Intelligence Gathering, Part 2

BATLOG April 17

The goons who profit by the calm of night gloat over their successes. Those who earn, suffer while those who take revel in their ease. This night, I invest myself in a plan to reap a harvest of terrorists. Somewhere along this string I will begin to pull on tonight, I will find the perpetrators of the poisoning. The murderers of 100’s of 1000’s will turn up. It may take a while. I have the time. I am relentless.

It is time we got a leg-up on the intelligence available from PRIMUS. We are forced to retrieve the data sticks from J. Cranton Lawless by more straightforward means than the intended “abuse” of Julia’s trust. J. Cranton is in Los Angeles trying to accomplish his entire career in one night and therefore is not in town to host the soiree tonight for Rachel’s 15th birthday party. “Mother” is not inviting J. Cranton’s crowd. Translation: Marc doesn’t have a way in.

Enough of that. The Lawless’ Manor is lit up in several ways. The lightening storm tonight is impressive, and all the inside lights are on for the festivities. That means all the “staff” still on hand will be night blind, and the weather will have them interested in staying dry more than alert. It is a break we need. The manor is located in a ritzy residential neighborhood, no high buildings or towers or even a utility line to use for access. I could go in by ground, but tonight offers an irrefutable opportunity for Blackwing. His flight will easily overcome the access problems and he can use the practice defeating security systems. He will be up against the best tonight.

I watch him glide toward the rooftop in a steep descent, using the darkness directly above the roof contrasting with the light flooding out of all the windows to his advantage. He floats over the roof and heads for J. Cranton’s office and bedroom. Counting on slow movement and the intense lightening to foil visual observation equipment, he glides over the edge of the roof and lands against the side of the house next to the window to the bedroom. Now school begins. He is wearing a video headset which lets me see what he is doing every step of the way.

[Clinging to the wall next to a window]

Too bad I can’t crash the party downstairs! Julia is snockered as usual, but the birthday girl is just one year younger than I am. And talk about a babe! Wow. Other stuff needs to be done tonight though. Not sure why The BAT isn’t doing this himself, but hey, now is my chance to show him! I have to get three data sticks from old man Lawless’ closet. Should be a cakewalk. The sliding glass door into his bedroom is protected by monitored systems, but there is an adjacent window that is not alarmed. It is a common money saving tactic. Most burglars leave the easy way, through the door and give themselves away. Doing that here could easily mean death! Trust me on that one! I enter the window after slipping the lock open with a flat shiv. Shamefully easy. I stick to the walls and head for the closet, careful not to move fast. I would rather walk the ceiling with these cool static cling boot soles, but BAT says they might expect that since the Spider is so fond of walking on ceilings. On the walls I have to watch for alarms on paintings and stuff that might be guarding wall-safes, but I can handle it. Have to make sure I don’t scuff anything though, if they spot it, it will blow our cool route. Let ’em keep watching the ceilings!

I reach for the closet door but “Big Brother” horns in telling me to stop. What did I do wrong now? The BAT says I need to examine the hinges holding the door. Come on! They’re hinges for crying out loud! Ok, whatever. I ease up to one of the hinges and examine it. There are fancy bulbous decorations on the ends of the hinge pins but so what? He has money to burn!

“Have a closer look,” the Bat says in my ear. What-EVER! I use my stashed UV goggles so I can see more detail and ease over to those vicious looking hinge pins. There are depressions on the sides of the top decoration on each hinge. I switch to IR goggles and watch closely. Three red pulses fire asynchronously crossing the closet door from the depressions to the door jamb on the other side of the closet. Switching back to the UV goggles, I see depressions in the door jamb too. His closet is alarmed now! Must have gotten cautious when “someone” burglarized his office a few days ago. I have to be careful, PRIMUS is not incompetent. I haven’t got all night.

I anticipated new alarms and came prepared for them. There are three infrared pulse sensors guarding the door. Clever. Pulses only fire momentarily and are not detectable by sprays and goggles unless you watch carefully for a few moments. In this case, a pulse every 15 seconds. Good. I set up fiber optic cords on small mounts fixed to the door frame to carry the signal around the door itself. The pulses will still be transmitted and received, they just won’t go over the doorway where I will be. I prepare the three cords on pivoted mounts so that I can move both ends into the optical line at the same time while the pulse is off. Set up takes almost 5 minutes. The ends of the cord have to be almost exactly perpendicular to the sensors or the pulse won’t be relayed. Then I have to pivot the cords into position between pulses, waiting the 15 seconds between each set. Another minute burned. Now I have to carefully open the door so that I do not disturb the cords. Once in the closet, retrieving the data sticks is easy. Two shoe heels and one badge clip. I replace the original layers of heel The BAT sent me in here with. After I close the door I retrieve my cords and mounts, can’t leave anything behind. Another 3 minutes gone.

Out the window I go. Resetting the lock is tougher than it seems. High strength duct tape slid through the available gap and pressed firmly onto the lock handle affords me a way to pull it shut again. Keep pulling until the tape comes off the handle. A close check to make sure I didn’t leave any tape on the handle and I am on my way. I am exhausted. How anyone can do this kind of work and have to worry about what they are standing on too is way past me!

[On a rooftop two houses away, in the rain]

I have to be more cautious in the future, while I was busy monitoring Blackwing’s work inside, my work outside was being monitored. It seems the birthday girl slipped away from the party downstairs and decided to watch the storm. Whatever the case, she is now watching me, with binoculars. Blast! Sloppy work, getting caught by a kid!

2 thoughts on “Intelligence Gathering, Part 2”

  1. Pingback: Tracy Glastrong
    1. Thank you for leaving your thoughts. I appreciate hearing from my readers. May I ask what it was specifically about this article you appreciated most?

      As you can imagine, writing and editing to produce a good, readable story takes time. Then it has to be illustrated. There is more content coming, thank you for your patience!

      The Editor

Leave a Reply