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Chapter 3 — The Director

The Director reread the message. A call tonight, he thought. This doesn’t bode well. He felt a twinge deep in his gut.

He knew Tyler was Aidan’s only close connection—an emotional outlet which seemed to help stabilize Aidan. But, their relationship seemed less useful with each passing day.

In fact, he thought, the last call between the brothers, two months ago, left Aidan agitated. Adding to the uncertainty, Aidan seems to be diving into paranoia again. I wonder if his workload is too high. On the other hand, these conversations have proven critical to monitoring Aidan’s mental and emotional state. His talking to his cat doesn’t reveal enough. His brother stirs deeper thoughts.

I’ll let them have their call, he decided.

And allow Tyler to live—for now.

He called Agent Faust. “Mr. Blackwood will have a call with his brother tonight. I want every word. Send me the full recording as soon as their call ends.”

“Got it. What time?”

“After he gets home. Follow him as usual. Take a van and a partner. Have StingRay attempting interception from the moment he leaves work. Don’t miss a word. Your job is on the line.” More accurately, Faust’s life is on the line, he thought. You can’t just fire someone from a job like his.

“Acknowledged.”

“Carry on.” The Director hung up.

For a moment, he pondered Aidan’s savant-like abilities. Beyond anything he had ever seen. His elite hacking team couldn’t best Aidan. And they’d tried. Many times.

He needed Aidan on board with full allegiance. Such a conversion seemed impossible on the surface. But, the human mind is wonderfully elastic. With enough coercion—and intense, calculated pain—such exquisitely beautiful changes can be wrought. Maybe it was time. If not, it was close.