After making several calls, he was a little taken aback at how difficult it was to be taken seriously. He was told that all the reporters had gone home for the night but ‘someone would call in a few days’. He was flabbergasted at the ‘paranoid lunatic with a scoop’ attitude that he got from the night editor. Reluctantly he gave his cell phone number and hung up.
Both detectives couldn’t help but notice how odd the Sargent acted toward them the next morning. He took an uncommon interest in all of their actions. In the past, they might go for several days without even seeing him at the station. Now he was practically parked at their desks! It was unnerving; and they were not the only ones to notice his unusual behavior.
“Why has he crawled up your keysters?”; A patrolman inquired.
“I have no idea.”; Dave responded dismissively.
“I think we are being evaluated for our yearly raise”; Harry winked. His quick follow-up added greater believability to the bluff. The patrolman finally seemed satisfied with that explanation and shuffled on down the hallway.
About 10:45 AM, a twentysomething lady came in to headquarters and personally asked for ‘Detective Emerson’. He introduced himself and asked how he could assist her. She suggested they should go someplace a little more ‘private’ to talk. Harry was already very nervous and eyed her with cautious suspicion. He finally asked what it was in regard to.
“Project Prometheus”; She whispered. He almost swallowed his tongue! Did she intend to bribe him for his silence or put a lead slug in his chest?
Harry excused himself and hoped his partner would be able to make up a believable excuse to the sarge for his hasty departure. The young lady didn’t say anything until they were both outside. Harry learned a long ago that it was good detective strategy to keep quiet and allow the other person to do most of the talking. Once they were out of earshot, she introduced herself as Shannon Beavers; a reporter for USA Today.
“Wait a minute! I just called last night. How could you get here so fast? I didn’t even give the night editor the name of this town. All I gave him was my cell phone number. He acted like I was some sort of tin foil crackpot; so it doesn’t make sense that you would hop aboard a plane and come here without calling me first! Why should I believe you are who you say you are?”; He demanded.
“Do you have 50¢?”; She demanded. They made their way over to a nearby newspaper dispenser and retrieved a copy of the paper. She turned the pages to show her picture and byline. Harry smiled with relief after seeing her reassuring proof.
“The reason I came to see you this morning is because I received a very compelling letter from Mr. Gruber last week. Apparently he mailed it the morning before his death. Here, take a look.” She handed Harry the letter and he read it with great interest.