As they drove towards Sooke and the spot Brenda Bailey had recommended for interrogating the captured gangster, SMS decided to check in with Cyber.
“hey, just got shot at again,” he texted. “hope things are going more smoothly on your end.”
After a minute or so, Cyber replied. “Fewer bullets over here, yep. Have you told Ian yet?”
“i’m about to, but i wanted to touch base with you first. what does innis have you doing?”
“I hacked into the police communication system, so we’re watching and listening to the investigation at Jovo’s place. The cops are as stumped as Ian is pretending to be.”
“you think he knows more than he’s letting on?”
“Definitely. He was really interested in some random scraps of paper they were going through, but he wouldn’t tell me why. He’s just been jotting stuff down in the back of this little black notebook.”
“his notebook? that’s big. he only writes really important stuff in there.” SMS took a moment to consider how much to say. Sure, Cyber was on his side, but how far did that go. He added, “i’ve been trying to get a look in that notebook for years. i’m sure there’s info about my mom in there.”
“You think that book might have the kind of evidence we’re looking for in it? something incriminating that he can’t worm out of?”
“yeah,” texted SMS. “probably.” And beyond any other evidence, forgetting anything else Innis had ever done, he was sure it would prove that Innis had killed his mother. That was what really mattered to him. “once we’ve gotten through today, that notebook is what we should be trying to get our hands on. but i guess first things first. i’d better check in.”
“Okay,” said Cyber. “Let me know how much info you give him, so I know what I’m safe to say. We don’t want him to know the two of us are communicating.”
“k. i’m going to text him now.” SMS sent off a new message to Innis’s number. “more soldiers, more shots fired,” he said, “but we got our man. learn anything yet?” He waited for a response.
Cyber messaged him first. “Man is he a slow typer,” he said.
“tell me about it,” said SMS.
Innis’s reply finally arrived. “NO NEWS YET BUT WE’RE WORKING ON IT. DID YOU GET ATTACKED BY THE SAME PEOPLE?”
“looked like it,” said SMS. “one of them said something interesting before he died. something about ‘the laurentians.’ does that mean anything?”
Almost instantly, another message from Cyber came in. “What did you just tell him?”
“i mentioned ‘the laurentians,'” said SMS. “it was something one of the soldiers said.”
“He started grumbling to himself and kicked the leg of his desk,” said Cyber. “He’s typing now.”
SMS waited for Innis’s next reply to come in. If Innis knew something about the Laurentians, maybe they’d start to learn some real information about what was going on today.
His ear buzzed with an incoming text. “I DON’T KNOW,” said Innis. “NOT SURE WHAT THAT MEANS. I’LL DO SOME MORE DIGGING.”
SMS frowned. It was a lie, obviously. If Innis had reacted so dramatically that Cyber had noticed, he definitely knew more than he was saying. What was going on?
“he’s hiding something from me,” said SMS to Cyber. “he’s been hiding things from me all day. he’s always played things close to his chest, but this is different.”
“I may have something to do with that,” said Cyber.
“what do you mean?”
“He’s losing trust in you, and that’s partly my fault. I had to find some way to get closer to him, and you were it.”
“what are you saying? have you been telling him i can’t be trusted?”
“Hints and suggestions. Nothing too direct. It started before I knew what your motives were. I could tell you were playing a double game, but at first I thought you were just angling for his job or something. By the time I figured out what you were really after, I’d already been playing this hand too long. Shifting my tactics would’ve given both of us away.”
SMS scowled as he drove. No wonder Innis had slowly been shutting him out of things lately. “you’re playing a dangerous game with my life,” he texted.
“I know,” said Cyber. “I’m sorry. It was the only way I could think of to get close to Ian quickly, and even though it puts you in an awkward spot I think it’ll work for us. The less he trusts you, the more he’s going to trust me, because I’m the one who put the thought in his head.”
“maybe so, but that doesn’t do me much good. i already have random people running around shooting at me out here. i don’t need innis to send bailey or someone after me, too, if he decides i’m a threat.”
“He’s not there yet,” said Cyber. “I’ll warn you if I think you’re in danger from him. But one way or another I don’t think you’re going to have to walk that tightrope for long. Whatever we’re in the middle of today, it’s big. Big enough that even Ian is worried about it. Judging by how hard these ‘Laurentians’ are coming after you, you’re getting close to something really important, maybe even something that could bring Ian down. One way or another, I get the feeling things are coming to a head. We have to be ready to jump on whatever opportunity presents itself.”
“i hope you’re right,” said SMS, “because if you aren’t, you’ll be flushing years of inside work down the toilet, and probably reducing my life expectancy by several decades, too.”
“I know. Hang in there,” said Cyber. “And stay in touch.”