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“Is this man’s life worth the information you’re getting, Andrew?” Dolci paced back and forth across Churchill’s office. Churchill had never seen him so exercised.

“It’s under control, Cliff. He’s fine.”

“You call cardiac arrest fine? His body’s becoming unstable. The longer he stays out, the worse it gets.”

“Ask him yourself. He’s willing to continue.”

“Then he’s crazy or he doesn’t understand the risks.”

Churchill actually did wonder why West continued. What was so important to him? Was it as simple as the money? “Whatever his reasons are, Cliff, what about the science? Did you ever expect you’d be working on something so revolutionary?”

“The science? Please don’t blow smoke up my ass. It’s not about science; it’s about money. How much is enough, Andrew? When do you stop and claim victory?”

“Just a few more days. There’s almost enough to pay off the investors.”

“I hope there’s enough left over to buy back your soul.”

Two days after Ethan’s midnight meeting with Ted he made sure he sat in the quadrangle during lunch hour. It didn’t take long for Angie to lumber over and settle into the grass under Ethan’s favorite tree.

“Ethan, what’s happening to you? I’m hearing all kinds of rumors.”

“Less dangerous if you don’t know. Eventually Churchill will squeeze you.”

“Dangerous?” She looked bewildered.

“Yes. Churchill is a snake. Did you know anything about me before that time you were called in on the code?”


“You know a guy named Ted Buckner?”

Her face twisted. “That creep?”

“Yeah, well, imagine him with a soldering iron and me having something he wants.”

Her eyes flashed. “What did they do to you?”

Ethan pulled up the left side of his sweater to show her the livid scars that puckered across his ribs.

“This is outrageous. I’m calling the police.”

“Whoa. I’m cooperating with them now. I know what I’m doing, so don’t worry about me. But I do need your help on one thing.” Ethan pulled up his pant leg a few inches and extracted a digital chip out of his sock. “I need you to get this out of here. To the FBI. But not until I say so. Will you do that?”

“What’s on the chip?”

“I recorded a message on it along with transfers of surveillance videos from the lab. Very incriminating for Churchill.”

In her anger at Churchill, she reached for the chip.

“No. No.” Too late. Angie already had the chip in her hand. “Set it on the ground.” Ethan glanced around casually. “Someone could be watching. You don’t want to be seen taking something from me.”


“I’ll go. You pick up the chip after I leave. Palm it and get it into your pocket before you stand up. Then put it somewhere safe. Not at home. If Churchill gets suspicious, he might have your place searched.”

“What in God’s name is going on?”

“I’ll tell you later. First get that recording out of here.”

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