the next thing I know she handed me the file. “So far, its all we’ve got. Do you have any idea of the number of abductions we get on a daily basis. Then their man power cuts, and what have you. It all makes for an increasing pile of work.” I mumbled my “yeah, I can relate” reply, and poured myself over the file. It contained the usually information such as age, hair colour, address, etc.
nothing out of the ordinary really. I was just about to hand back and thank her when something caught my eye. It seemed that the last reported citing of Tammy the police had was one of in a red pick-up parked outside the local 7-eleven. To our knowledge the last time anyone had seen Tammy was when she was at work. I handed back the file and asked “It says here the last time she was seen was at 7-eleven.” “Yeah.
One of the workers saw her sitting in the passenger seat of the truck. He thought it odd that the girl was sitting with the windows up when it was such a hot day outside.” Windows up eh? Could indicate the driver of the truck didn’t want Tammy making a scene of anything. I’d tell my friends about this info later. “Thanks for all your help” I said. “Before I go, do you have a business card I could have? I’ll be in town for a while longer and if I find anything out I’ll give you a call”. “Sure, here you go”.
“Thanks.” “You’re quite welcome” she replied. From there she dove back into the files piled up on her desk. * * * * * Jen and Dave arrived at the Hall of records shortly after four. Upon entering the building, they noticed that was close to empty. “I guess not many people care about history” Dave remarked. They made their way down the hall into a room containing the computer catalogs.
Dave having the more experience with computer systems sat down. The main screen presented him with many choices. “Let’s see” Dave began. “What do you say we pick name search.” “Sounds good to me” replied Jen. The question was a rhetorical one, although Jen must have felt compelled to answer.
Dave typed in “Proton” where it asked for last name and pressed return. The next display on the screen contained a listing of five people with the last name of Proton. Not know the first name of the Proton’s who own Compu-Tech, Dave decided to print out the information on all of them. Returning to the main screen, the next choice was a business inquiring. Dave typed in “Compu-Tech” and was greeted with a screen showing all of the information about the business.
A print-out of this information was also obtained. “Well, I guess that’s about it eh?” said Dave. “Should we find out any thing else while we’re here?” Na. We can always come back if we have to” replied Jen. * * * * * Pete walked in to Compu-Tech and walked around for a while. Looking at the various IBM computers that were on display. After a while, an older looking gentleman approached him. The name on the clerks tag read “Rajiv”.
“May I help you” he asked. “Yeah, I’m heading off to university next year and was interested in buying a computer. What can you tell me about them?” From there the man started spouting off information of megahertz, memory, and everything under the Sun. Pete was quite bored with the information being thrown at him. He already owned a computer and knew everything the sales clerk was telling him.
None the less, he put up with it and let him finish. “Ok, so this one here is a 386, right?” asked Pete. “Correct” replied the salesman. “Hmm, I’m kind of torn between the 386 and 486. A friend of mine Tammy Contenda works here.
Is she around? I love to hear what she has to say on this issue” Pete said. Looking a little flustered and nervous the man replied “Tammy hasn’t been in to work since Saturday. I was under the impression she had gone missing. Hadn’t you heard?” “No, I hadn’t heard.” Replied Pete. “Do you know anything about it?” “Nothing. Now look.
The police have already been in here asking me questions and everything. Just what’s your connection to her?” asked the clerk. It was obvious form his reaction and tension that something was bothering him. Pete decided to play it cool. “Nothing, we’re just friends. Anyway, thanks for the information on the computers.
I’ll get back to you”. With that he shook the clerks hand and left the store. Driving home, Pete couldn’t help shake the feeling that the clerk knew something which he wasn’t letting on to. * * * * * Thursday and our meeting came before I knew what had happened. Suddenly everyone came running in to my basement.
After the usual round of pleasantries were sorted out, we sat down to business. “Hey dudes, check this out” echoed Tim. “These cats, the Protons’ are heavily into debt. Check out the mortgage the have on their pad. There’s also this problemo of all the computer surplus they have on hand at the stores”. Whenever Tim started talking, I always had the shivers. Something about his surfer persona bothered me. I think it was the fact he actually look like a surfer. The long blonde hair, the air headish attitude, everything.
None the less, he was right. “What are you suggesting then Tim? That the Proton’s kidnapped Tammy for ransom?” asked Jen. “Uh, no way dudette. I was just making a causal observation. Chill out will ya?” “I’d have to agree with Tim on this one” I began. “So what do you propose then, McDuff?” asked Pete. I sat in silence for a while trying to think.
Things had become so clouded all of a sudden. Issues with Jen and I were still tense. “I think we should head down to Compu-Tech and see if we can talk to the Proton’s. Maybe they’ll crack under pressure and say more than they should. Comments?” Everyone sat and nodded in silence.
“Good, then its agreed. I propose that Pete and Dave be the ones to go in the store and talk with them. Dave is already known to be with Tammy, so the owners will not be curious is Dave goes in there asking question. Pete, I just want you to look for anything suspicious. Ok?” Both Dave and Pete nodded. “Hey, I was talking with Tammy’s folks last night” began Dave “and they told they found a computer disk in her room when they were looking for clues as to where she may have gone.” “Well bring that sucker in here.
It may have valuable stuff on it!” I replied. From here the meeting deteriorated. We decided to order in some pizza and sit around & shoot the shit. I tended to keep my distance from Jen as she did from me. It seems that when she shot me down for the prom I was more hurt than I realized.
* * * * * Monday afternoon we met at my place and went down to Compu- Tech. After fifteen minutes Dave and Pete came out. Both had defeated looks on their faces. “Nothing they said” as they entered the car. “What happened dudes? No wave action or what?” said Tim.
“Naw, the Protons have taken off for an unspecified amount of time. It appears that this Rajiv guy is going to be running things until they return.” “Did he mentioned why they’d be returning?” “Naw, the guy said nothing. Then he tried to sell us some computer. Dave and I spent the entire fifteen minutes trying to leave the bloody place.” “Hey” said Dave. “I have that disk from Tammy’s place back at my own. Why don’t we go get it and take it over to Pete’s.
Maybe there’s something on it we can use”. Shortly the six of us were al crowded around Pete’s computer as he drew up a directory on his disk drive. “Nothing here but a bunch of lotus 1-2-3 files” said Pete. “Dude, do you have Lotus” asked Tim. “Yeah. I suppose I could load them in to the computer and see what they’re all about.” A few whirls of Pete’s hard disk brought up the Lotus program and in a short while we were starring face to face with the Lotus files from the disk dave obtained from Tammy’s folks. “Hey, do you realize what this is” I screamed out.
“A bunch of meaningless numbers?” “Naw, this is the financial report for the company. This is the stuff we were original after. And look at this. Looking at these files shows their company is making major bucks. Yet when we looked at their government records, it showed they were loosing money. My fellow Renegades, I think we’ve found what we were after.” * * * * * I think everyone felt better now that we knew the Protons were behind Tammy’s appearance.
We all agreed that Tammy must have discovered the Protons were taking money off the top of their company and falsifying their tax records. Scared that Tammy would expose them, they decided to get rid of her. This news did not sit well with Dave. He was still pretty upset over her disappearance, and knowing her life may be in danger did not quell his nerves. However it was decided to call it night.
Tomorrow we’d hold an emergency meeting of the Renegades to figure out what to do. At 4pm sharp everyone arrived at my place. “Ok, we know the Proton’s are behind this” I began. “Now the question is what to do from here. Ideas?” “Like, lets take this to the police cat.” remarked Tim.
“And what? Tell them a bunch of 17 year olds know who kidnapped Tammy Contenda. Do you honestly think they’d believe us?” A chorus of “no’s” went around the room. Tim could be heard letting out a muffled “bummer” in the background. Suddenly Jen stood up. “I have a plan” she boldly said. We listened to her idea, and after and hour of hammering out the details, we knew exactly what we were going to do. The plan went something like this.
I was to call Compu-Tech and tell them I knew all about their plot involving Tammy. From there I’d tell them if they valued their business, they should meet me Friday night behind the local A&P. Even though Rajiv told us they were on vacation …