Chapter 15 Page 2 of 3

The orange glow of the cigarette darted downward and then disappeared. He had rubbed it out in an ashtray by his side. With a sigh he rose from the chair in which he had been sitting. His large black shadow moved across the room. He opened the blinds on the window, allowing the moonlight to stream in. He stood and stared out of the window in silence for a moment. There was no moon, but even so I was almost sure I could see a faint reflection from his glistening forehead. He turned and leaned against the window-sill so he could face me.

“I have learned from other sources that Lampley is in custody,” came the quiet and calm voice. “This same source tells me that you seem to be in good standing with the FBI Carl.”

Rudy made it sound as if he was accusing me of unethical behavior. “It was either that or face arrest myself,” I offered. “You know the story, I stopped at your apartment the same day I was released by the FBI,” I reminded him.

“You did not tell me you cut a deal with them,” came the petulent reply.

“So what if I did? I didn’t implicate you in any way. We all want to see this entire matter cleared up. Helping the FBI find the real millwright will clear us all: you, me, Lisa, Lampley, everybody.”

“Why has the FBI arrested Lampley? Why do they have a warrant out for my arrest?”

I didn’t know. This was news to me. Nothing that had been said in the FBI meetings I had attended indicated that Rudy or Lampley were targets of the investigation. I had spent the last 24 hours with the agent spear-heading the investigation and, while the topic of Rudy Levinski had never come up, I could not think of anything he had said or done that would indicate that he was aware that Rudy’s apartment was being raided while I helped the FBI interview bank employees at Bendix. Then I remembered the manner in which the FBI had played Lisa against me. They were nice enough once one got to know them, but they could be ruthless. I would have to keep that in mind. Rudy was right; I had become quite chummy with FBI. Now I resolved not to allow myself to be lulled into complacency.

“What do you want me to do Rudy? I can put in a good word for you if you like, but I hardly think it will help. The FBI isn’t that friendly with me. They are not going to call off an arrest order just because I ask them to.”

Rudy lit another cigarette before answering. He turned and sat down hard in his chair. He sucked in a breath and blew the smoke out slowly and pensively.

“I have some source code,” he said. “I want you to incorporate it into BIF. As you yourself said moments ago Carl, all of us will benefit from a successful outcome to the FBI’s investigation. Like you, I want to help the FBI solve this case. Unlike you, I have not been invited to do so. Therefore, I will help from a distance, operating through you.”

It was not a suggestion; it was an anouncement of a decision that had already been made. I was not at all sure I liked the idea. My newfound friendship with the FBI would not last long if I began harboring suspects and allowing those same suspects to make anonymous changes to source-code under the FBI’s control. What would happen to me if I inadvertantly introduced a virus into FBI computers? OK, so Rudy was not the type of person to unleash a virus… or was he? The day before I would have thought it preposterous that this bulky wimpy European that sat across from me would hide in the shadows of my apartment and strike me from behind. Did I know him as well as I thought? He had been the point-man on the First Chicago EFT-delaying scam. In our first meeting, on the lake-front, he had conceled the truth… as had I of course.

He interrupted my thoughts. “You are wondering if you can trust me.” His tone was not hostile. There was no hint of accusation or indignation. “You have no choice Carl,” he continued softly. “We need to help each other, remember? The situation has not changed as much as you may think. Both you and I have contributed to this problem. You can claim that your intentions were honorable — and I will agree — but the fact remains that you are guilty of tampering with financial banking transactions. Perhaps the FBI has chosen not to press charges at this time… but that is a decision that can be reversed very quickly should you fall out of favor.”

He sighed softly. “As for me, I seem to have fallen out of favor already, but you are in a position to further our cause. I have written several new routines for BIF. I believe they will allow us to specify profiling rules that take into account international transfers. I think we should broaden our investigation.