It’s a little late, but here’s then next chapter of The Pericles Conspiracy. Don’t forget, the book is available in ebook and trade paperback from Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, Smashwords, or iTunes. Purchasing a copy would definitely help me feel even better, so have at it! 😉
Chapter Thirty – Five
“Well,” Jo said, glancing at Malcolm for support, “that is the question, isn’t it? Your files are gone, as are the backups. No one’s going to take our word for what’s going on, so we’ll have a hell of a time blowing the lid on this thing now.” She paused, looking back at Isaac, then at Becky and Jervis. “Unless you have another copy of the files hanging around somewhere?”
Becky flushed and lowered her eyes, clearly ashamed. “No,” she said. “They’re all gone.”
Jo nodded. “And I expect your mole’s been picked up already. If you recorded from his implant, the meta-data…”
Jervis interrupted her. “No, we were quite thorough in removing all identifying data. As of this morning, he is still quite well, and at work with no one the least bit suspicious of him.”
“That can’t last.”
Jervis shrugged. “You may be surprised.”
Jo pursed her lips, pondering. Maybe the mole could make another recording, or get some other piece of evidence that they could use to take this thing public. It might work.
“I see those wheels turning, girl. Might be you should rethink that plan.”
Jo looked at Isaac askance. “What plan is that?”
He rolled his eyes. “This is not my first rodeo, girl. You’re thinking we can just proceed as before, try to get a press conference going. Maybe with some new piece of evidence or somesuch.” He snorted. “Not going to happen. Before, they didn’t know we had them. But now they know we know, and they’ll be ready for it.”
“So what would you suggest?”
Isaac spread his hands and gave her a knowing smile that did not touch his eyes, and remained silent.
Wonderful. Real helpful.
“Think, girl. What’s the core of the problem?”
Jo frowned. “They’re mistreating the eggs.”
“No. What’s the core of the problem?”
Where was he going with this? Sudden movement from the side brought her gaze to Malcolm, who sat bolt upright in his chair as though he had been poleaxed. His eyes were wide; he looked dumbfounded.
“They’re not returning the eggs home, like the aliens asked us to.”
Isaac’s eyebrows rose high on his head and he pointed at Malcolm in approval. “Precisely. Now,” he settled back into his chair and pulled it close to the table again, “how can we help you?”
“You know where the lab is, and you have a mole who could help us get inside.”
Isaac’s eyes were positively twinkling as he nodded in response to Malcolm’s words.
Malcolm frowned. “But that doesn’t do us any good. We’re stuck here in Quito. Unless you wanted to have your people go it alone?”
Jervis spoke up. “We are quite capable, mate. But I think you’ll want to be there won’t you?”
“Then I don’t see – “
“I have a plane,” Isaac said.
Malcolm blinked, then grinned. “Ok, that takes care of that. It still doesn’t help. Even if we could get them out of the lab…” He trailed off, his eyes growing even wider as he turned to look at Jo.
What he was getting at sunk in, and Jo felt like her stomach had fallen out of her body and struck the floor. He could not be serious.
“The biggest problem I see,” Isaac said, “is transportation off planet. That is beyond my realm of expertise.” He grinned. “Do either of you know a trustworthy pilot?”
And, just like that, the entire caper came together in Jo’s mind.
* * * * *
I hope you enjoyed this chapter of The Pericles Conspiracy. I’ll be back on Tuesday for the next chapter. Of course if you don’t want to bother waiting a couple months to read the rest book, you can always go buy it (it’s available in ebook and trade paperback) from Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, Smashwords, or iTunes.