fuck knows, man. They like to keep an upper hand. You know how management is, pops. Always fuckin' with everybody's head. They sit down there and watch the tapes, I guess, and make random checks and that. Old Inspector Higgins his bad self. I guess that's what he does all day. Sits there watching the tapes and jerkin' his wire."
"Watching—you mean they got videotapes?"
"You see the cameras, man. What did you think?"
"I knew they could see, but I never imagined they would be taping with video. What the hell's the point of it all? What do they expect to see or hear?"
"Hey. Go figure. I suppose…employee theft or some shit. I really don't know. I know I could sabotage the shit out of their security systems and they'd never fuckin' know what hit them."
"Yeah? How would you do that?" Trask asked.
"I know some shit about that place, man." Buzz Reid leaned close and whispered conspiratorially, "I know how to get into Security…" Trask just looked at him. "…from above, baby."
"You know where the equipment room is across from those offices like Copy and Purchasing?" Trask nodded. "In the early days that's where the other stairwell was. You could drop a ladder down through the back of the equipment closets and climb right down to the ceiling of the security room, pull the partitions out—" Reid proceeded to detail a break-in somewhere between Topkapi and the Brink's job.
"Judas! I wouldn't have the cojones for that, brother."
"Well, anyway—it could be done easily. Tear all that Big Brother bullshit up, man."
"Is there a way to stop that sort of surveillance? You know—make it so they can't hear what you're saying over the phone or in a private conversation in an office?"
"Sure. In theory, they got every kind of bug jammer you can want—stop any sort of pickup from phone taps to reflection bugs. Cost you a few hundred bucks to get a real good one, but they're available."
"I got to get my ass in gear, man. Anything else?" Reid took a last sip of coffee.
"No. But I may call for more advice."
"Anytime. Whyn't you come out to the house sometime? Party with us."
"Might just do that one of these days. Hey, Buzz, I really do appreciate your time. I'll holler at you again, maybe."
"Sure thing. Good to see you." Reid got up and waved a salute.
Trask took a mouthful of cool coffee and held it for a few seconds, not wanting to swallow.
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B ack at KCM that evening he found a "progress memorandum," as Flynn liked to call them, from The Man himself, telling Trask—in effect—you're letting down, looking for excuses; get your shit together. Not in so many words, but that was the sum of the long memo. He'd have been willing to bet good money that Barb Rose hadn't been sent one. He knew Flynn always checked with Metzger when he was sending memos or whatever, so this was probably a joint venture. He could recall phrases Babaloo had used in various shitty conversations they'd had: "open up the topics" and "start looking for larger themes" were two that echoed.
Specifics? Make-work. Time-consuming legman/legwoman stuff that he found interfered with the more serious business of digging. Stuff Barb should be doing, he felt. And then there was a page on what Flynn called "Factlets," the little stuff that he would use to weave into the nightly commentary that made people think he was a genius. In the middle of a discussion of The Impatient American, and how we wanted instant rewards and instant gratification, Flynn told a shrink guest, "Did you know, on average, we spend three years of our life waiting for traffic lights?" The shrink laughed, called him on it, and he produced the clinical verification off the "top of his head." Trask's work. You couldn't give him too many Factlets, he had a consuming obsession for the damned things, and they were a pain in the butt to find. Once one had exhausted the obvious printed recorded sources they were