Paranoia (106 of 170)

—of —
by Joseph Finder
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Macmillan: Paranoia

Paranoia by Joseph Finder. Copyright 2004 by Joseph Finder.
All Rights Reserved. Sharing not permitted.

Part Six:
Dead Drop

Dead Drop: Drop; hiding place. Tradecraft jargon for a concealed physical location used as a communications cutout between an agent and a courier, case officer or another agent in an agent operation or network.
—The International Dictionary of Intelligence


An early night for me—I got home by nine-thirty, a nervous wreck, needing three days of uninterrupted sleep. Driving away from Trion, I kept replaying that scene with Mordden in my head, trying to figure it all out. I wondered whether he was planning to tell someone, to turn me in. And if not, why not? Would he hold it over my head somehow? I didn't know how to handle it; that was the worst part.

And I found myself fantasizing about my great new bed with the Dux mattress and how I was going to collapse onto it the second I got home. What had my life come to? I was fantasizing about sleep. Pathetic.

Anyway, I couldn't go right to sleep, because I still had work to do. I had to get those Camilletti files out of my hot little hands and over to Meacham and Wyatt. I didn't want to keep these documents around a minute longer than I had to.

So I used the scanner Meacham had provided me, turned them into PDF documents, encrypted them, and secure–e-mailed them through the anonymizer service.

Once I'd done that, I got out the KeyGhost manual, hooked it up to my computer, and started downloading. When I opened the first document, I felt a spasm of irritation—it was a solid block of gibberish. Obviously I'd screwed this up. I looked at it more closely and saw that there actually was a pattern here; maybe I hadn't botched it after all. I could make out Camilletti's name, a series of numbers and letters, and then whole sentences.

Pages and pages of text. Everything the guy had tapped out on his computer that day, and there was a lot.

First things first: I'd captured his password. Six numbers, ending in 82—maybe it was the birth date of one of his kids. Or the date of his marriage. Something like that.

But far more interesting were all the e-mails. Lots of them, full of confidential information about the company, about the acquisition of a company he was overseeing. That company, Delphos, I'd seen in his files. The one that they were preparing to pay a shitload of money in cash and stock for.

There was an exchange of e-mails, marked TRION CONFIDENTIAL, about a secret new method of inventory control they'd put in place a few months ago to combat forgery and piracy, particularly in Asia. Some part of every Trion device, whether it was a phone or a handheld or a medical scanner, was now laser-etched with the Trion logo and a serial number. These micromachined identification marks could only be seen under a microscope: They couldn't be faked, and they proved that the thing was actually made by Trion.

There was a lot of information about chip-fabrication manufacturers in Singapore that Trion had either acquired or had invested heavily in. Interesting—Trion was going into the chip-making business, or at least buying up a stake in it.

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