When CIA systems security specialist Rick Parrish finally loped into Nola Kayes office, he was carrying a single sheet of paper.
What took you so long?! Nola demanded. I told you to come down immediately!
Sorry, he said, pushing up his bottle-bottom glasses on his long nose. I was trying to gather more information for you, but
Just show me what youve got.
Parrish handed her the printout. Its a redaction, but you get the gist.
Nola scanned the page in amazement.
Im still trying to figure out how a hacker got access, Parrish said, but it looks like a delegator spider hijacked one of our search
Forget that! Nola blurted, glancing up from the page. What the hell is the CIA doing with a classified file about pyramids, ancient portals, and engraved symbolons?
Thats what took me so long. I was trying to see what document was being targeted, so I traced the file path. Parrish paused, clearing his throat. This document turns out to be on a partition personally assigned to . . . the CIA director himself.
Nola wheeled, staring in disbelief. Satos boss has a file about the Masonic Pyramid? She knew that the current director, along with many other top CIA executives, was a high-ranking Mason, but Nola could not imagine any of them keeping Masonic secrets on a CIA computer.
Then again, considering what she had witnessed in the last twenty-four hours, anything was possible.
Agent Simkins was lying on his stomach, ensconced in the bushes of Franklin Square. His eyes were trained on the columned entry of the Almas Temple. Nothing. No lights had come on inside, and no one had approached the door. He turned his head and checked on Bellamy. The man was pacing alone in the middle of the park, looking cold. Really cold. Simkins could see him shaking and shivering.
His phone vibrated. It was Sato.
How overdue is our target? she demanded.
Simkins checked his chronograph. Target said twenty minutes. Its been almost forty. Somethings wrong.
Hes not coming, Sato said. Its over.
Simkins knew she was right. Any word from Hartmann?
No, he never checked in from Kalorama Heights. I cant reach him.
Simkins stiffened. If this was true, then something was definitely wrong.
I just called field support, Sato said, and they cant find him either.
Holy shit. Do they have a GPS location on the Escalade?
Yeah. A residential address in Kalorama Heights, Sato said. Gather your men. Were pulling out.
Sato clicked off her phone and gazed out at the majestic skyline of her nations capital. An icy wind whipped through her light jacket, and she wrapped her arms around herself to stay warm. Director Inoue Sato was not a woman who often felt cold . . . or fear. At the moment, however, she was feeling both.