Chapter 13 Tired
I was tired. It was 3:30 in the morning. I had two leads to follow up on tomorrow. I texted Shaman with the name of the printer and the location of the old church. I headed back to the truck. I avoided the toll road. I decided to settle in the front seat and grab some sleep.
I had heard Pastor recommend this years ago. Rehearse the day with God as you fall asleep. What a day! The drive to the Speakeasy. West Seattle. The one minute bible studies called for a prayer for the recipients. The visit to CHAZ. The Antifa kid and the toll collector. Monopoly. Shaman and Joan. Their kids. Keith. The King of CHAZ. Gotja. White privilege. Oh God.
I woke up before 7:00. I threw some aftershave on and shaved as I drove downtown to the printing place. The impact of the rioting was here to be seen. Lots of boarded up windows. The printer had boarded up windows on each side of it, yet he seemed open for business. Lights on inside. Opens at 8:00. I drove down to the waterfront and changed into some nicer clothes.
I walked in a little past 8:00. There was a wall with an upper half of glass that separated the machines from the front office. You could tell that the final touches had not been added to eliminate all evidence of this place being disturbed by the rioting, but they were close.
“May I help you?”
Honesty works, so I laid it out to her. She let me know that a young man had come and asked to talk with someone in the IT group. That was yesterday morning. She wasn’t sure who he talked to upstairs. She told me she would ring me up, I gave her my name and I headed for the elevator, 2nd floor.
I came into a room full of computers with about 5 guys working. It seemed like a lot of fire power for a printing outfit. The atmosphere was intense, these guys were intense, no fun going on here. Serious business. One guy looked up. He asked me to step into a conference room connected to the computer room. He followed me in.
Yes, a young man did talk with him yesterday. He described Keith as slightly off kilter. Keith was convinced that the print shop was somehow involved with Antifa and CHAZ.
“Frankly, I have seen it before, the hacker comes across some stray communications and begins to put two and two together and shazam – one worldwide conspiracy and you are the only one who knows about it.”
“I tried to talk him out of it, but I don’t think I convinced him. I asked him to show me what he had, and he went all paranoid on me and left.”
“I’m sorry, is he a friend of yours?”
“He is the son of a friend and he has disappeared.”
“How did you know to come here?”
“I talked with a friend of his, a hacker named Gotja.”
“Is Gotja still around? I worked with him at Microsoft. When they finally had enough of his conspiracy theories, they showed him the door. If Keith hooked up with him no telling what they came up with. The sky is the limit.”
“How can I help you at this point?”
I apologized for the trouble and told him I was sure Keith would show up. I was just trying to help my friend. I thanked him.
“What was your name again?”
“Jack.” And no more for now.
I walked back into the workroom. Still intense. Why? To the elevator and back through the front office.
The secretary asked if everything went well, I hesitated, and she said if I need anymore information please call and gave me a card.
I went back to the truck. What was a guy who worked for Microsoft doing working for a small-time printer? You know what I am feeling.
On the back of the card these words were written: “the troll at 5:00”.