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"Let's say that I manipulate certain things. Provide things for people." Sisyphus fished for a cigarette in the paper sided pack jutting slightly from his shirt pocket. He managed to extract and light one, smiling at Monica and Eugene the entire time. "You really think Caplea knows the difference between NCIS and any other shit off the street? The man never even asked to see a badge. However it would not surprise me if those idiots were currently sitting around trying to track down who did go to PSD at North Island."
"This is illegal. I could arrest you now for tampering with evidence and obstruction of justice." Eugene eyed Sisyphus heavily, trying to extract some measure of emotion from the man. The plan failed and Sisyphus calmly stared back at Eugene.
"You can't, and you won't arrest me. You know as well as I do, that NCIS would have wound up destroying those files to protect their own agenda. They're nothing more than the Gestapo in JC Penny suits." Sisyphus stated flatly. "Look, this is becoming unproductive. I am going to need to leave soon."
"You're not going anywhere if we arrest you." Berevnova threatened.
"Let me ask you a question, Agent Berevnova. You can feel free to get in on this one yourself there, Agent Orange." Sisyphus paused for dramatic effect, noting that he had managed to severely annoy both agents at the same time. "If I can slip on and off of a military base, convince and cajole people into thinking that they're talking to someone legitimate and then verify my own validity over a phone?"
"Wait." Eugene suddenly chuckles in disbelief and shakes his head. "Are you telling me you're the one that Caplea thought had called him? This is why he thought I was from the San Diego and not Los Angeles FBI offices?"
"You know how hard it would be for me to set that up? Who do you think I am Agent Orange, Batman or something? Whatever." Sisyphus said quickly in a patronizing tone. "I obtained sensitive personnel data, avoided and then contacted you, find out where you are and monitor practically every move that you make. Do you really think you're going to keep me in custody? Moreover than that, I am obviously not self-employed so do you think my employer is going to allow the FBI to do something so stupid as to arrest me?"
"Who do you represent?" Berevnova asked.
"Same as you." Came the reply.
"The bureau?" Eugene responded.
"Nope. The government however. Let's just leave it at that." Sisyphus stared at the two of them. His eyes had turned from expressing humor mixed with contempt to a cold, almost sinister, precision. "I am going to tell you one more thing, agents. Cleary, before he died, was up to his neck. Missile technician, the Navy's equivalent of nuclear weapons engineers. Only neat thing about him, he was so good at it that they were sending him to all sorts of other schools. Such as how to run around with the SEALs and take weapons apart for them. Cleary was a special case, a very special one. Took a bit of work to break his brain the way that they did after the accident."
"I hope that's some sort of a joke." Berevnova said.
"Who do you think taught the man to do what he did? Hmm, let's all think about this for a second. We teach him to do all of this crap and someone pulls a political stunt destroying a resource that the Navy spent a considerable amount of time and effort training. Roughly three years worth of training and schools alone without mentioning his practical on the job training, and a ballpark figure of two point five million dollars. Do you really think we're going to let an asset like that run around without any kind of supervision? After what happened to him and what was then done to him? Especially when you take into consideration what it is that Ghost is walking around with in his head. No agent, it is not some kind of joke." Staring at the two agents with a certain cynical intensity, Sisyphus paused briefly as the first couple of the evening drifted by laughing and discussing a bar two blocks away.
"I will tell you this, the people that I represent didn't even go near Ghost while he was working on what's on that disk there. They let him run because they knew if he pulled it off and managed to get out that they could probably bring him back into the fold, so to speak." Sisyphus had again turned deadly serious and had been speaking in a tone of voice that probably could have frozen water. He reached into his shirt pocket again and this time produced a small yellow square of paper, which he slid across the table to Eugene. "On that there is an e-mail address. All you need to do is send one piece and once piece only, of e-mail with the name Sisyphus in the subject line. After you do as much I will meet you here five hours later, unless I respond with different instructions, which you can probably bet on. Once meetings are set the time and the place are non-negotiable. I will warn you, after I walk away from this table do not attempt to follow me, or acquire more information from me than what I have provided."
"Is there some way that we can validate the information that you've given us or are we to believe what we are told and nothing more?" Eugene glanced at Berevnova who was nodding in agreement.
"Yes. Your investigation after this is going to refocus on the allegations of computer fraud at the squadron. You will do what you have to, however this phase of your investigation is concluded. If you want validation, call Karl. He's someone I think you'll be a little less apprehensive about taking instructions from." With that Sisyphus stood up, collected the dead paper bag and walked around the corner out of sight.
"Well that was interesting." Monica said. "What now?"
"I'm going to call Karl." Eugene pulled a cellular phone from one pocket, turned it on and began punching numbers on its face.
"Thought we weren't supposed to bring phones." Berevnova said.
"Yeah, having a real problem following simple instructions recently." Eugene smiled and cleared his throat. "Karl, yes, this is Eugene. We're still in San Diego. Just had a very interesting conversation with Mitchell Fredrick, yeah, we found him. Or more accurately he found us, very talented man."
"That was Fredrick?" Berevnova said, dumbfounded.
"Yes, I understand. Okay Karl." Eugene folded the phone shut, turned it off and slid it back into his pocket.
"We just let a suspect walk away?" Berevnova said, still dumbfounded.
"Yes. We did. Or at least I did." Eugene went slack in his chair, lolling his head back and staring at the darkening sky. Streetlights had begun to wink on in the downtown area. He sat back up in his chair again and looked seriously at Berevnova. "We have much larger problems than that."
"Which are?"
"Karl sent Fredrick to meet us." Eugene shook his head in defeat and stared at the pavement. All of this had no real explanation, no sense to it at all. "He knew. One of the guys on the computer team actually contacted Fredrick, referred him to Karl and that was that. Karl also said that we're going to, quote, go through the motions, unquote, to finish this up when we get back to the office. It appears that external pressure is being rather effectively applied and I personally do not want to find out where it's coming from."
"Who is who here?" Berevnova scoffed. "Are you are you not running this investigation?"
"I suppose I'm not." Karl laughed at her tone. "Do you know who is running it?"
"At the moment David Mc Keegan, or Ghost, or whoever the hell he is."

The END is NIGH: Part 9: Endrun and Eighteen

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