Chief was having a phone conversation when Mae and I entered his office. The familiar smell of burnt woods and cinnamon had made its way to my senses, all the while letting my eyes wander around the exact replica of the Victorian era parlor.
From the intricate mixture of patterns of the damask wallpaper that adorned his office, to the lazy couches that emit an aura of sophistication, one couldn't even tell that this was an office of a highly trained Detective. Thus from my unbiased analysis, Chief hold finer arts with such a high regard, and unsubtly showing off his wealth.
Chief ended his call with a grim expression on his face and a rigid shoulders. It was not hard to guess that it wasn't a pleasant evening for him. I threw a side glance at Mae, who stood with me by the door in silence, waiting for him to acknowledge us. That's the moment I felt Mae's hand pulled my sleeve. She also must have noticed the distant look on Chief's face and acted on instinct. Although pulling my sleeve was a lame way of urging me to do something.
I cleared my throat. "Problem in paradise? " I jokingly asked.
He was slightly startled and confused by our presence before his eyes lit up in recognition as to why we were here.
I moved my way towards the lazy couch across him and showed the note that Sanders had left, in the air. Mae amusingly followed behind.
"Ah, yes. Of course, " A lope-sided grin was forming its way. "I guess I must have forgotten about it in the process. " I heard him muttered before standing up.
He took a clear folder and what I could make out as a flash drive from the drawer where he mostly kept the controversially confidential paperwork.
Chief handed the folder to me while giving me a stern look.
"Don't open it unless I say so. "
I smirked. Ah, memories. Sometimes, I thought of you as a curse in disguise. I clucked my tongue. Back when I was on my second year in this department –which was three years ago, I was assigned in South Korea to back up the then Intel of FBI– Travis Sanders on carrying out the information that we gathered from Pyongyang to Bucheon where we were supposed to meet the South Korean President. I was on my way out of a sea food market when I accidentally tripped over a small block of ice that literally came out of no-where. Little did I know that the innocent little silver pin that was clasped on that folder was not so innocent at all. It activated a semi-tracking device on the folder that I was holding. How in the world did I know?
No sweat actually, the folder just exploded together with the vital information that it carried. I thought I was minutes away from witnessing the spark of the third world war. Luckily, the folder was a big part of a dark twisted joke. Bottomline, Chief thought my tripping over a block of ice, was of pure fantasy.
I brought back my attention to present. Chief handed the flash drive to Mae and went back to his seat.
"Miss Nadorez," he started, pertaining to the petite brunette across me.
"The CIA got a tip that Carlos Miguel came back to life and was planning on taking the drug cartel across the Central America. We don't know this for sure, but Rafael managed to steal an encrypted data from the black market. I assume that this is a new tactic for them to spread their message without getting noticed by our Intel or the satellites. "
"Surely Rafa knows how to decode an encrypted data. " Mae drily said,
"Unless he poured litres of Jack Daniels on his system to which I am doubtful of. " She added in a bored tone.
Chief chuckled. "I insisted that I need another exceptional person to help him. I need to compare the results and I need it as soon as possible. Miguel must have a talented person working under him, because Rafael was having a hard time configuring the data. "
Something flashed on Mae's eyes.
"Okay, I'm on it." She replied, already making large strides towards the doors.
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