Jivaja: Chapter Eleven – Part Three

 

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Welcome to Free Fiction Friday! Every week, I’ll be posting a scene or two (in order, of course!) from my book, Jivaja. If you want to read along, just come on back every Friday!

Some scenes will be shorter, several hundred words. Some will be a thousand or more. Read them in order though, otherwise none of this will make sense!

Follow along as Mecca, a young woman with a Gift for manipulating human life force, runs head-first into a shadowy vampire-like society that discovers her power and wants to use her.

If you missed any parts, head over to the Jivaja Table of Contents to get caught up!

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Chapter Eleven – David, Part Three

 

Two hours later, David had looked through the files and programs on the hard drive and found them to all be business related, from a common accounting program, down to interoffice memos. They all pertained to the running of the import-export business. Nothing about kidnappings, college girls, or death in a parking lot. He wanted to put his fist through the damned monitor. Any of them.

He did find several e-mails from Emilia Laos to someone named Thomas, who seemed to be the person in charge of running the business. All her communications were directives about how to deal with the customs officials, where a particular delivery should be made, when to acquire specific pieces of artwork. He could find nothing that hinted at where Mecca might be.

David leaned back in the chair and closed his eyes, rubbing the bridge of his nose with two fingers. It didn’t help. There had to be something to discover, some way to find Emilia Laos. When he opened his eyes, the e-mail on the desktop caught his attention again. He found the text itself trivial, but he looked at the e-mail address associated with Emilia Laos.

“Sara?”

“Hmm?” She’d spent the entire time tacking on her own keyboard, sometimes humming along with the music in the background.

“The header of e-mails can tell us where they came from, right?”

“Yeah, usually. It’s got the originating Internet address unless the sender sets it as something else.”

“Can you find a geographic location based on that?”

She turned her chair around to face him. “Not directly. And it really depends on whether the e-mail comes from their Internet service provider or whether it’s from an e-mail service, like Yahoo! or Gmail.”

“I doubt she would use a service. I think she’s too much of a control freak for that. Besides, the e-mail address looks like it’s from her business.”

“Maybe she has her own mail server then. That could make things easier.” She rolled over to him and looked at the screen, then reached for his mouse. “May I?”

When he withdrew his hand, she took over, clicking here and scrolling there until she had the full header of the e-mail. She pointed to a group of numbers sandwiched in among symbols and letters.

“That’s the sender’s IP address. The same way longitude and latitude can find you an exact place on a map, an IP address can find an exact machine on the Internet. Every computer connected to the net is assigned an IP address, either permanently or temporarily. If she’s got her own server, it’s could be a static IP.”

She opened a web browser and pulled up a search page. Watching her sure-handedness, he realized that, though he liked to play with technology and computer security, he didn’t really know anything. He could buy all the password breaking programs he wanted; he could play his little hacking games, but he’d never be as adept at the Internet and computer security as Sara.

She keyed in the IP address and several lines of information came up, including the name and contact information of a company called Speedy DSL.

“And there’s the ISP,” Sara said, leaning back. “They’ll have a record of who has what IP address.”

“How do we get a location?”

“This is where it gets fun.” She shot him a lopsided grin. “Well, fun for me. It may not really be fun for other people.” And with that, she clicked and tapped at a speed that David could barely follow.

“What’s your daughter’s name?” she asked.

David looked from the screen to Sara. “You need that to find the location?”

Sara stopped and looked at him like he was an idiot. “No. I’m curious.”

“Oh.” And now he felt like an idiot. “Her name is Mecca.”

“That’s pretty.” Sara went back to typing.

“Thank you.”

An awkward almost-silence settled over them, the only sound the clacking of her keys. David tried to follow what she was doing, but had been lost within a minute. He finished off his cold coffee. He still hated involving Sara, but he’d been honest when he’d said he was glad he went to her. She’d proved even more resourceful than he’d thought.

“Can I ask you a question?” she said, still looking at the monitor.

“Shoot.”

“Who’s got your daughter?”

David couldn’t answer right away. He found a hitch in his throat that he had to swallow down. He couldn’t tell her the complete truth anyway, but he owed her some measure of it.

'Who’s got your daughter?' David couldn’t answer right away. He found a hitch in his throat that he had to swallow down. He couldn’t tell her the complete truth anyway, but he owed her some measure of it. #Jivaja Click To Tweet

“There are people who think she did something, and they kidnapped her. I don’t know exactly why. She’s still alive—or she was this morning—but also I don’t know what they plan to do with her.”

“And you don’t want the cops involved.”

“No.”

Sara nodded and though she didn’t say anything more, he knew she must have had a million questions.

“I don’t want to tell you too much. I’ve already put you in danger just being here.”

Disappointment flashed across her features for a moment, and she shrugged this time.

A wall went up between them. “Play it how you like.”


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