Two guards at the gate holstered their weapons and waved the car through after returning Bruno’s credentials. Bruno had been a part of Interpol for years, as well as a dear friend to Quip and his family. Showing the first signs of aging with greying hair and a bit of a paunch, he still carried himself like a confident man who could fight the good fight. Bruno parked, then reset his treasured fedora on his head before speaking to his passengers.
“This is not going to be received well inside, so we’ll need to act quickly, Jacob. Are you ready, Granger?”
A nervous but determined Granger only nodded his head as he mentally went through the necessary steps. Volunteering for this role, he’d insisted he be allowed to help free his father. Granger almost wished someone had talked him out of it. He muttered, “It really sucks to be me right now.”
Bruno quietly implored, “Why can’t we just use the regular judicial process by posting bail? I’ll probably get suspended or implicated in this fiasco.”
Jacob coolly replied, “Bruno, no one accused of AI supercomputer crimes has ever gone to trial in Europe because they haven’t made it that far. Either we do this, or my friend and your near brother won’t ever be seen again. I already know Granger’s vote. If you back out now, we can’t do the extraction. Just let me be the slimy lawyer as planned.”
Jacob fidgeted with his briefcase prop and checked the contents to touch yet again the transfer papers. They glanced to one another, providing encouragement as they got out of the car. Gathered behind the car, they proceeded to walk toward the facility. Jacob quietly reassured them, “Showtime.”
Bruno’s Interpol credentials got them through the first checkpoint without issue. At the secondary checkpoint, they ran into some resistance from the head jailer, Gustav Dorland, for their target cellblock. His bulk and attitude defined Dorland as a longtime bully who knew how to stand up to anyone, a key attribute to one in charge of so many criminals and thugs. Their research had identified this gatekeeper as their biggest problem to overcome. Bruno calmly returned his Interpol credentials to the inside pocket of his London Fog overcoat as they waited.
Dorland’s grey eyes suspiciously reviewed the transfer documents. He curled his lip and barked, “I have no instructions advising me that this prisoner is to be transferred to the next district.”
Jacob, into his new oily persona of a criminal defense attorney, curled his lip into a sneer while offering to shake the man’s hand. “Monsieur Dorland, you know that in these antiquated systems no communications come through as quickly as they are issued. That’s why I brought a court order with me as my proof point. For your own peace of mind, please log into your system and verify what must be waiting for you electronically.”
Jacob gently guided Granger out of the way so the burly man could type his login and password for system access. After mistyping his credentials, Dorland snarled again and demanded, “What’s this adolescent doing here? We have no field trips in my cellblock.”
Still projecting his false, grinning persona, Jacob replied, “The court was generous and allowed the young man to have at least the travel time to the next facility to be with his only surviving parent. I’m sure you would understand, if your mama was gone and papa incarcerated.”
Jacob nodded perceptively while Granger looked distraught and ready to let tears spill from his blue eyes. Gently clasping the man’s arm, Granger implored, “Monsieur Dorland, please let me have my papa! I don’t understand any of this, but please let me see him as the court agreed. I may never see him again after his trial.”
Granger’s sincere plea touched something deep inside Dorland. He pointed to Jacob and Bruno. “You two stay there. I’ll look one more time.”
Granger sniffed and backed away but remained close enough to watch the login keystrokes.
Obviously annoyed, Dorland turned back around and stated, “It’s not there. Damn systems never keep up with real-time actions. Let me see your court order again.”
Irked with his conflicting emotions, he logged out and barked, “Let’s go get your criminal. Kid, you stay here. I don’t want you exposed to what is housed in here anymore than you already have been. Bruno, bring your slimy lawyer along. I’ll handle this myself.”
Then Dorland fixated on Jacob and drilled, “I didn’t see no ID or letters of introduction. What firm you with?”
Maintaining his attorney persona, Jacob offered his card and proudly stated, “Wiley E. Purloin of the Cheatham, Pilferus, and Pocketum Law Firm.”
Not quite believing, yet not prepared to argue further, Dorland grunted, and they marched through the door.
As soon as they were out of sight, Granger swiftly moved to the keyboard and invoked his practiced craft of hacker, promptly logging into the system with Dorland’s credentials. He quickly located the hallway cameras and set them into a looping program that he had uploaded to the cellblock PC. Their escape was timed to 20 minutes. Granger quickly edited the visitor logging program and carefully eliminated their arrival times into oblivion. Finally, he accessed the auditing program and removed all trace of them as visitors.
Realizing the time was almost up, Granger quickly refreshed his tearful act with a few eye drops to maintain his performance to Dorland. He smiled internally at his highly developed social engineering expertise.
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