No Way to Die
questions in a conversational, low-key manner that gives nothing away. It’s as if she’s just having a conversation while waiting for the interview to start. Sometimes, people are surprised when she thanks them and wraps things up. They’ll say to her, “What about the interview? Don’t you want to interview me?”—not knowing that she’d been doing just that the whole time. Like I said, she’s smooth.
    Kenny, on the other hand, was an unknown. In the office, he has a tendency to be something of a loose cannon—we’re never quite sure what he’s going to say. His comments have, on occasion, tended to show—how should I put it—a little immaturity?As a result, Toni and I usually cringe at the thought of turning Kenny loose on the public. We’ve been afraid to bring him to important meetings. Now, I needed him, and whether he could come through for us, I was about to find out, one way or the other. Would he be his same goofy self in “public”—in a real-life interview? Would he blurt out something we’d prefer our subject didn’t know? Or would he be in control enough to shift gears and step up his game? Truth be told, I didn’t know. Best I could do was give him a little briefing before we met with Holly.
    We crossed the 520 floating bridge and headed east for Redmond. During rush hour, the sixteen-mile trip to Redmond could take upwards of two hours. At one thirty in the afternoon, though, traffic was light, and I figured it would only take twenty-five minutes or so to reach the ACS office. Soon, we passed Marymoor Park on our right. I exited at Redmond Way and turned left. Moments later, I pulled into the office park in which the ACS office was located. It was 1:55.
    One minute later, Kenny drove up. I walked him through the game plan and asked him to be careful not to give anything up. He said he understood. Hopefully, he’d remember all the way through the meeting.
    * * * *
    We walked into the ACS office as a group. I told the receptionist who we were and that we had an appointment with Holly Kenworth. She directed us to three white resin patio chairs and asked us to wait while she disappeared through a doorway. A tall plastic plant sat by itself in a corner.
    “They don’t waste much money on foo-foo things like chairs and furniture, do they,” I said quietly to Toni.
    “You got that right,” she whispered. “It’s like ‘shabby chic’ without the chic.”
    There were a half-dozen framed black-and-white portraits on the walls. “You recognize any of those guys?” I asked.
    “That one over there is Isaac Newton,” Kenny said, pointing toward a man with long, curly hair.
    “And that one’s Einstein, obviously,” he said.
    “Who’s that one?” Toni asked, pointing to the next photo.
    He stared at it for a few moments. “I have no idea,” he said.
    “That’s Claude Shannon,” said a voice from behind us.
    We turned and saw a pretty young woman standing in the doorway.
    “I’m Holly Kenworth,” she said. She walked over to us. She had striking red hair and light blue eyes. She was dressed in blue jeans and a Stanford University sweatshirt. She was younger than I expected—Katherine said she was in her early thirties, but she looked to be in her mid-twenties to me.
    “Hello, Holly,” I said, standing and stepping forward to shake her hand. “I’m Danny Logan. I think John Ogden called about us.”
    “He did,” she said.
    I introduced Toni and Kenny.
    “Kenny Hale,” Holly said slowly, mulling the name over. “I’ve heard that name. Where’ve I heard it before?”
    “I’m not sure,” Kenny said. “I do some consulting work for some of the companies around here, mostly security related things—firewalls, access control, that sort of stuff.”
    “That’s probably it,” she said, smiling. “A little bit related to what we do.”
    She turned back to me. “Thomas respected the work of the pioneers in our field, so he had portraits put up here in the lobby and

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