“Well, that was a bust,” Serena said once they were on the elevator to the lobby.
“Not necessarily,” Tyre responded. “We know something spooked Charley enough that he quit his job last week and sent you that email yesterday.”
“But we don’t even know what the email means.”
Tyre reached for her hand as the elevator doors opened on the lobby floor. “Then I suggest we figure it out.”
Tyre drove them back to West Investigation’s headquarters in Harlem, where they got right to work. At her desk, she pulled up the photo that Charley had attached to his email. Charley was her frequent collaborator and lab partner. They’d worked on a number of school projects together over the two years in grad school and even more projects that were of their own making.
Okay, so what was Charley trying to tell her? It was too much of a stretch to think that Charley's disappearance, her attempted kidnapping and this out of the blue photo were unrelated, but for the life of her she couldn’t figure out what it all meant.
“Come on, Charley. Help me out here. What are you trying to tell me?”
Her work email dinged with an incoming message regarding a case she’d been working on for the past several weeks and a link to a secure site where there were documents she needed to review. But the notice at the end was what really caught her attention. This site is encrypted.
She felt a smile blooming across her face.
“Why are you smiling like that?” Tyre said beside her.
She cocked her head to the side and narrowed her eyes at the screen. “Does this photo look strange to you?”
Tyre shrugged. “Not really.”
She hit several keys on her keyboard, and the photo on the screen pixelated. The two smiling grad students faded away, and in its place: Nation's Capital Bank, Box 1859, Code G3k94240px.
Serena twisted in her chair so that she could look into his eyes. “This is what Charley wanted me to find.”
Tyre scooted his chair closer and peered at her computer screen. “It looks like information for a bank safe-deposit box.”
She looked at him with some confusion. “A safe-deposit box? Don’t they require a key?”
“Not all of them. Not anymore, at least. Some use codes. This way, the bank can be sure there aren’t errant keys floating around out there. There are even some that use fingerprints or eye scans.”
“Every system can be hacked.”
She grinned. “You’re preaching to the choir.”
That elicited a smile from Tyre.
“Let’s go to the bank and see what’s in this box.”
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