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denylistianto > Eileen Reed - Ground Zero > Part 23
"Don't thank me," Eileen said. "This was another lead that I've followed down to the proverbial blank wall. Should something break on this case, however, that points your direction, all the huevos in the world won't keep you out of jail."

"Yes, ma'am," Procell said, his voice light and dizzy with relief. "You won't. I mean, it won't. I promise. I swear it."

"I'm going to have to be going," Eileen said. She balled up her napkin and tossed it on the table. "I really appreciate the breakfast. If you think of anything-"

"I'll call," Procell said eagerly.

"Don't try anything, all right?" Eileen said sternly. "If your conspiracy group Y isn't out there, you know we have Mr. X. Or Miss X. Whoever it was, they killed Art."

"Yes, ma'am," Procell said, trying to look sober but failing. He was euphoric. Eileen felt chilled again as she walked to the door. Procell looked like a victim. The Gamers looked as if they were all marked for death.

22.

The Pentagon.

"What's going on?" Lucy asked Mills. They were in one of the briefing rooms at the Pentagon, the one that was set up like a small movie theater. They'd been escorted there by a Navy lieutenant and asked to wait. That was an hour before. Lucy itched to be back at her computer, finding out more about Muallah.

"I don't know. The Chief told me I had to come over here, and bring you. He said he'd be with us but he's got something too hot to leave. I hope I'm not in trouble."

Lucy smiled wryly. What a total a.s.shole Mills was.

"You want some cookies? I have to eat or I'm going to be sick again."

"No," Mills said nervously. Then he glanced over at her as she opened a package of chocolate-chip cookies. "Well, maybe one," he said.

The cookies made them both feel better, but the sugar increased Mills's nervousness. Lucy stretched out in the comfortable chair and closed her eyes so she wouldn't have to look at him.

"This has to do with the Missile Defense homicides, I'm sure of it," he said.

"You've been pus.h.i.+ng me pretty hard on it," Lucy said, her eyes still closed. "Did you know Fouad Muallah has a master's degree?"

"The guy you think killed Tabor in Paris?"

"Yes," Lucy said, pressing her lips together to keep back a sigh. "He did his thesis on an eighth-century Islamic poet, who was supposed to be some sort of Arab Nostradamus or something."

"I wonder why they wanted to see us here at the Pentagon," Mills said worriedly.

"So this terrorist was interested in the Missile Defense system," Lucy continued, wis.h.i.+ng she were talking to anyone but Mills. "Why? Why would anyone at less than a governmental level want access to that information? Missile defense isn't a terrorist kind of thing. You can't use it to bomb someone, or threaten someone. So why was he so interested?"

"I haven't done anything wrong," Mills said.

"I'm sure you haven't," Lucy said soothingly, suppressing another sigh.

"I decided to give you the homici

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