Paranoia (142 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 Seven: 76 (Cont'd)

I shook my head, my heart racing. "You really don't want Goddard to know how you learned all the details of their negotiations with Delphos."

"Or maybe you think you can go to the FBI, is that it? Tell them you were a spy-for-hire for Wyatt? Oh, they'll love that. You know how understanding the FBI can be, right? They will squeeze you like a fucking cockroach, and I will deny fucking everything and they'll have no choice but to believe me, and do you know why? Because you are a fucking little con man. You're on record as a hustler, my friend. I fired you from my company when you embezzled from me, and everything's documented."

"Then you're going to have a hard time explaining why everyone at Wyatt recommended me so enthusiastically."

"But no one did, get it? We'd never give a recommendation to a hustler like you. You, compulsive liar that you are, you counterfeited our letterhead to forge your own recommendations when you applied to Trion. Those letters didn't come from us. Paper analysis and forensic document examination will establish that without a doubt. You used a different computer printer, different ink cartridges. You forged signatures, you sick fuck." A pause. "You really think we weren't going to cover our asses?"

I tried to smile back, but I couldn't get the trembling muscles of my mouth to cooperate. "Sorry, that doesn't explain the phone calls from Wyatt executives to Trion," I said. "Anyway, Goddard'll see through it. He knows me."

Wyatt's laugh was more like a bark. "He knows you! That's a scream. Man, you really don't know who you're dealing with, do you? You are in so far over your fucking head. You think anyone's going to believe that our HR department called Trion with glowing recommendations, after we bounced you out on your ass? Well, do a little investigative work, dickwad, and you'll see that every single phone call from our HR department was rerouted. Phone records show they all came from your own apartment. You made all the HR calls yourself, asshole, impersonating your supervisors at Wyatt, making up all those enthusiastic recommendations. You're a sick fuck, man. You're pathological. You made up a whole fucking story about being some big honcho on the Lucid project, which is provably false. You see, asshole, my security people and theirs will get together and compare notes."

My head was spinning slowly, and I felt nauseated.

"And maybe you should check out that secret bank account you're so proud of—the one where you're so sure we've been depositing funds from some offshore account? Why don't you track down the real source of those funds?"

I stared at him.

"That money," Wyatt explained, "was routed directly from several discretionary accounts at Trion. With your goddamned digital fingerprints on it. You stole money from them, same way you stole from us." His eyes bulged. "Your fucking head is in a goddamned jaw trap, you pathetic sack of shit. Next time I see you, you'd better have all the technical specs for Jock Goddard's optical chip, or your life is fucking over. Now get the fuck out of my house."

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