Picture Perfect 94
“There was so much going on I’m not sure. The officer was in the second car. On his own. Constables Evans and Fredericks where in the first car to arrive.”
“All three spoke to each other.” Cameron said. “I … was recording the fire and turned to catch their cars as they pulled up.”
“Hmm. I’ll have to check into this. What did these texts say?”
“I can show you.” Dan stopped his camera and found the pictures from the night before. “I took shots of them to make sure they would be time and date stamped.”
“You always do that when you get texts?” Coster asked.
“Only when I may want more than the cell copy. These called for that.”
“One says ‘wrong people’?” Coster asked. “Who had you been talking to?”
“We’d interviewed David Morrison that afternoon.”
“Oh! His kids are also why I’m here. Security. ‘Chick Frick parking lot at 10.’ That has to be someone who knows the area.”
“Maybe but I found it easily on Google.” Brenda said. “So maybe they did too.”
“We got there late, too. I didn’t get the message until it was almost 10 already.” Dan explained. We didn’t get there until nearly …”
“10:30.” Cameron said.
When they got out of Coster’s car one of the fire department waved him over to the ruins of his cabin.
“We found your suitcase pretty much intact.”
“Right! I had left it in the bathroom so I could take a quick shower.” Dan rooted in his shoulder bag and pulled out the key to the suitcase. “Here.” He handed it to the Fire Marshall. “Nothing in there but a couple of changes of clothes.”
The Fire Marshall opened the suitcase and felt through the layers.
“My vital stuff was on the desk. You know those charred lumps that once were my lap top and cameras. And of course all my recharger cables.”
“Not all!” Cameron said. “I’m pretty sure you left your equipment bag in the remote truck.”
“You sure?” Dan said. “Can we check?”
“Yes. It’s been cleared already.” The Assistant Fire Marshall said. “You can take it off the property in fact.”
“And you can have your clothes as well.” The Fire Marshall shut the suitcase.
“Baxter will be happy. Maybe we can do that last interview.” Cameron man said. “I’ll call and let them know the rest of the cars will be released by afternoon. That’ll save renting replacements.”
Dan quickly checked his equipment bag. All the cables he’d need were there along with his personal tablet.
“Excuse me?” a female voice came from behind him.
He turned around. There was woman with a camera man beside her.
“Stacy Molefski.” She reached out to shake his hand. “CBC. Halifax affiliate. I understand you are Daniel James?”
“We’re covering this story.” She said. “Could we talk with you?”
“Do I really have a choice?”
“Only of your lighting.” Cameron guy said. “We’ll look better over here. Less glare.”
“And you are?” Stacy asked.
“Cameron Davis. Chief camera person for Cold Canada.” Cameron guy introduced himself.
“I see.” she said. “You both witnessed this terrorist act?”
“Oh yes.” Cameron said.” I had my camera running when the big blast scared the crap out of everyone.”
“It’s not for sale. Least ways not by me. Property of Quintex you see.” Cameron shrugged.
“Terrorists?” Dan asked. “You know something we don’t know?”
“We got a call claiming responsibility for this from a middle east group.”
“Isis blew up this obscure little motel in Cape Breton as a part of their plan to dominate the world?” Dan laughed.
“I didn’t say it was Isis.” Stacy said. “You think there was another reason.”
“No. No. That’s as good a theory as any.” Cameron said.
“When did you get this tip?” Dan asked.
“Last night just after the explosion.” Stacy said.
“Does the RCMP also think this might be a terrorist attack?”
“They are looking into it. They are investigating the call and where it came from.”
“So that’s the story? Terrorists attack sleepy costal village!”
“Mr. James.” Constable Evans came around the remote truck.
Dan recognized him as the one who had taken his phone. “Yes! You impounded my phone?”
“That’s right.” Evans replied. “If you’ll come with me.” He placed his hand on Dan’s bicep.
“Of course.” Dan was relived to get away from the CBC reporter. As he accompanied Evans, he overheard her.
“Our interview with Mr. James has been curtailed by the investigating authorities. I have Cameron Hall head of this Quintex remote photography unit ….” Dan felt both the CBC and Cameron’s cameras were focused on him as he walked away.
“What’s going on?” He glanced at Evans colour bar. He hadn’t noticed them the night before as the uniform was stock RCMP issue. The colours designated him as a member of the Intelligence Service. “Was Stacy right about this being a terrorist attack.”
“I’m sorry Mr. James I’m not authorized to tell you anything.”
Dan saw that several of the cabin were untouched by the blast. Evans stopped outside the furthest of them
“Before we continue you’ll have to turn off any and all recording devices you may have on your person.” Dan shut off his Lifend and put it into his shoulder bag.
“Thank you, sir. Do you mind if I make certain you are clean?”
“If you must.”
He took a small, round sensor out of his coat pocket and quickly scanned Dan front and back.
“Thank you again sir. I took your phone and gave it to Inspector Phillips.”
They stopped at cabin 3. I S knocked on the door sharply. It opened a crack. “Mr. James, sir.”
“Thank you Evans. Come in Dan.” Phillips opened the door wider.
Dan went in. Jacks followed him in. Coster was already in the room. He looked from one to the other.
“What is going on?” Dan asked.
“Whom ever sent these texts messages was using a very sophisticated anonymizing program.” Phillips said. “It was that first message that set off monitoring sensors.”
“Meaning?” Dan asked.
“The sending party’s origin point changed with each message so that they appeared to come from different countries and sources. The first text “I know where those children are.” Came from a source of … threat alert.”
“Okay? I’m not sure what all this adds up to. Was the call to the CBC legit?”
“Tracing that was easy. Some bored teens in Halifax picked up the fire department alert. They threw in the terrorist stuff for fun. But we aren’t telling the CBC that, yet.”
“Anything else Evans?” Phillips asked.
“No, sir.” He took Dan’s cell out of a briefcase on the desk. “We are finished with this Mr. James. We kept all the contents intact but did remove the … troubling texts. There was no trojans tagged on them.”
“It’ll need recharging though. Sorry about that.”
“I’m happy to get it back. I felt naked without it.”
‘Someone named Peter will be glad to hear that.” Phillips dropped his stuffy demeanour for a moment.
“Thanks.” Dan’s face reddened.