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[IC] Freedom of Information

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Having this conversation--however quietly--right in front of the security team gave Leviathan a whole new reason to be nervous, but if he shared Bonfire's confidence that they wouldn't be overheard, then he was willing to look a little suspicious if it meant preserving their secrets.  He definitely didn't want to get caught in a lie and risk Blackstone; aside from the unpleasantness of prison, the consequences would be extremely dire for Tristan Delacroix. 

 

"I think we should leave out Ph0enix and my little 'trick,'" he hissed back, referring to how he morphed earlier. 

 

Louder and to the officer, he answered, "Been following them all night.  Heard about mAZ from another hacker and decided to take 'em out."  That was certainly true--although Leviathan hoped that the hackers were listening carefully too and would assume he meant their new European friends from Club Mayhem.  The police, too, could perhaps be tricked in the same way; hopefully, hopefully, he and Bonfire wouldn't face any legal difficulties from refusing to give up criminals who didn't really exist.  It wasn't aiding and abetting when there was no actual crime, right?

 

That's right, mAZ--we've got our own connections.  Let them wonder who all we know, what kinds of criminals are passing information to us.  Especially when they ask around and can't figure out who the men from the club are or who they work for--besides Bonfire and me!  Get a little more scared, mAZ; start mistrusting every other scumbag in Freedom City and make some mistakes.  I'll be ready to exploit them when you do.

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GM

 

To that, Bonfire responded with a nod. Which always looked a bit weird considering he didn’t have any neck to speak of. He’d figured out how to spin this, now he just needed to get the officer to believe him. Which didn’t feel that complicated, this entire situation was quite outrageous already.

 

The officer noted down some of what Leviathan had said, and as expected followed up on the hackers. At this point, Bonfire cut in, explaining that he’d gotten contacted by some longtime fans of his who just happened to be hackers as they’d overheard something about mAZ.

 

This then led into a conversation about how many people Bonfire knew, which was perhaps a bit narcisstictic but served its purpose, as it drew attention away from the hackers and thus the Ph0enix question. The questions continued for a while longer, but after probably around 30 minutes, the two were free to go, leaving the airport through the front gate.

 

Once outside, Bonfire stretched. “Well, that went surprisingly well. Sorry it took a while, but I don’t think we have to worry about them pursuing us further. I’ll ping some contacts later on just to be sure though. “

 

“So, what next? Do we hit her up immediately or do we wanna wait until tomorrow? Do we even have a way to contact her directly?”

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"I don't," Leviathan answered gloomily.  He was still brooding about Ph0enix; "I think she betrayed us," he told Bonfire.  "Ph0enix could find your private number and tried digging into both our pasts; there's no way she didn't know that mAZ has super-powered connections.  This was a setup from the start.  She probably wanted to take out two threats at once: we put mAZ away, and then their friends do the same to us.  Well, not if I have anything to say about it.  I want to find her, and then I want to find whatever secret friends mAZ supposedly has."

 

He scratched his snout with a blunt claw.  "Ph0enix won't still be using the same Dark Web site I used to contact her the first time; I'm sure of that.  But, she did email you to start this whole mess, and she called your civilian phone.  Even though she blocked her number, maybe I can still work with that, if we go back to my lair and do a little hacking of our own.  Between my computer and your connections, we might be able to catch her before she slips away.  That's my suggestion."

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Bonfire seemed somewhat surprised at leviathan’s acucsations, if latter was reading his body’s signals correctly. Which wasn’t quite that easy without any facial expression to go on. “Hm, hadn’t considered that before. But now that you mention it, you’ve got a point. One sec….”

 

He took out both of his phones, immediately taking out their batteries. “Probably a bit late for that now, but it might buy us some additional time. If she was tracking the phone, we gotta hurry, so let’s get moving and I’ll get you what you need to work on this.”

 

Roughly 20 minutes later,
Leviathan’s Lair

 

Travelling back to the underwater HQ was simple enough, getting to water form the airport was slightly more difficult than from most of FC, but fortunately it was late enough that running along the streets didn’t cause much of an uproar.

 

“Alright, now let’s see what we … uh, you I guess … can do about this entire thing.”

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"Mostly me," Leviathan agreed; he put a little humor into his voice, even though he remained tense about the situation.  "But if you can access the email that Ph0enix used to contact you, and let me see your phones, then I'll get started."

 

He plopped into the huge captain's chair and began to type.  Tracking down another hacker--one with a head start and perhaps even better skills than himself--wouldn't be easy or straightforward, but Leviathan hoped that he could get a little information from her messages to Bonfire, and then use those scraps to begin his hunt.  Furthermore, he had to find Ph0enix without spooking her, which could be the hardest part. 

 

Will she know by now that we dealt with mAZ?  Has she already gone underground, or fled the city entirely?  Or laid down some other trap that I might be playing right into?  Leviathan growled worriedly to himself, pushed the thoughts aside, and got to work.

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