White Bone
ministry?”
    The guy smiled self-confidently. “Take off,” he said to Bishoppe. Bishoppe left without a word.
    “How much did you offer?”
    “He told you: twenty thousand to you.”
    “You just got your twenty thousand, mister. Two hundred U.S. Who do you think you’re talking to?”
    “Someone with his pretty face intact. Someone with no broken bones and his equipment in one piece. An additional twenty thousand. No more discussion of money, and if I suspect you’re holding out on me, I’m not going to ask again. Just so you know who
you’re
talking to.”
    The hacker and Knox could see one another in the reflection off the glass of the monitor and Knox liked what he saw. The guy looked away, suggesting the terms were accepted.
    “I think it is the Ministry of Public Works. I cannot prove this.”
    “Seriously?” It slipped out. Knox had expected something sexier. “Public Works.”
    The boy spun around on the wooden stool. “I believe so.”
    “Did you determine a department? A particular office?”
    “No. Public Works. I am guessing.”
    “Do you have a way to know when she’s online? An alarm? A signal? Can you tell me who else, where else, she hacked? Raided. Whatever.”
    “No. Most people, yes, I can tell you all this. I can show you video calls or online order for escort. What I like about Grace Chu, she gave me none of that. She made me work.”
    Knox didn’t understand this techie world at all. Thankfully, Grace had come to it late. In her heart of hearts she believed she was still in Army Intelligence. She viewed accountants, of which she was one, as boring people and wanted nothing to do with that lifestyle.
    “If you know her name, you accessed her hotel account.” The words bubbled up, unbidden. He didn’t like this punk referring to Grace by name. “So you’ve hacked the hotel’s accounts. Many of the hotels, I’m thinking.”
    The punk didn’t contradict him.
    “You can show me her charges. Room service. The dates of her stays.”
    “I can tell you if she bought tampons in the gift shop.”
    “Shut your face.” Knox took a step forward. The kid reeled back. “Her accounts. Now.”
    The guy could type at superhuman speed; Knox waited less than five minutes.
    “Print it out,” Knox ordered. He kept his voice intentionally calm. “Now. I’m going to ask you again. Do you have ways of knowing when she comes online again?”
    The punk didn’t hesitate. “Yes.”
    “I’m going to give you a local number. You will text it, if that happens. If you so much as think she might be online, I’m going to hear about it.”
    “Yes. Okay.”
    “Same thing if anyone attempts to hack the Ministry of Public Works.”
    “I can do that.”
    “If I have questions, I will reach you through the boy, Bishoppe. You’re to consider him me. Do you understand? You get rough with him, you get rough with me. You ignore him, you ignore me. Clear?”
    “Yes.”
    “The people who taught her that? They work for me. Do you understand? I’m telling you that within the hour, they will know you. Your digital fingerprint, or whatever you geeks call it. They will know your equipment. They will know your way. You run, I will find you.”
    “You tell them I will work for them.” The kid didn’t seem the least bit intimidated; his initial wave of panic had worn off.
    Knox collected the printout and stepped toward the door, hearing Bishoppe’s sandals hurry away from the other side. He’d been listening in.
    “You know, I might have recommended you if you weren’t holding back on me,” Knox said. “But you are.” As feeble as it felt, it was worth a try.
    As Knox pulled open the door, the guy called out. “I have messages. The kind they print out and slide under the door.” His finger traced the screen. “Reservation confirmed for Kibera tour. Who the fuck wants to tour Kibera?!” He added as an aside, “People pay for that? Then someone named Radcliffe confirmed a meeting at the Jockey

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