The Next Day: Starbucks, Bay Street & Grosvenor Street
Laura sat alone, checking her phone. Nothing. Just the usual rumour mill going full tilt. Names of potential wildcard candidates. Who’s being fired, who’s being hired. Potential lawsuits. Missing money. ‘Typical’, she thought.
Author’s Note: This is a work of satirical fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events, locales, and incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.
The Liberal Party was a sitting duck, and for the first time in her life she felt a shudder of powerlessness. ‘They won’t even see it coming’, she worried. If only there was someone she could get a lead from. Even a hint or clue. The trouble, of course, was that there was no one left to trust.
The News Alert notification on her phone appeared abruptly, like a sign from God. “News Alert: Veteran PC MPP Not Seen in 48 Hours”. “Bingo”, muttered Laura.
Monday. There were 50 reporters, with cameras, audio recorders huddling outside Fedeli’s Queen’s Park office. Some, the more veteran journalists, even held notebooks and pencils. He wasn’t expected to say anything. It didn’t matter. Whatever he said, they would hang onto every word and report it.
The news media was desperate for the story of a lifetime.
Vic opened the door of his office to face the press waiting outside. Just routine he thought. Questions about policy and process. And rumours he wouldn’t comment on. All routine. He just had one nagging thought: ‘Where the heck is Jim?”.
Jim sat alone at the small desk, starting at the desktop console. ‘Could everything be done from here?’, he wondered.
To him the apple computer looked so small, and insignificant. But he didn’t fully understand the power of cloud-based networks and how blockchain processing can be used to bypass firewalls and guess secure passwords. That’s what he relied on the young kids in Caucus Services for.
He tapped the spacebar and glanced at the password prompt. “v e X a t i o n”, he typed. He double clicked on the single .exe file on the desktop screen. Jim sat backed as the program started a multitude of brute-force attacks that simply fired an endless stream of passwords at dozens of computer systems until they found the right code to break in.
Jim knew this would take up to 36 hours. But he wouldn’t dare leave the desk. Jim reached into his book bag and pulled out his yellow thermos of coffee and the banana-chocolate chip muffin he bought in the legislative cafeteria yesterday. Friday seemed like a lifetime ago, he thought.
“The members trust you”, said David to Rusty. “That’s why we need you to be as visible as possible”.
Rusty knew this wouldn’t be an easy sell. Especially if they knew the real truth.
“You guys did this in 1995”, reminded Katie. “Just a solid, no-nonsense campaign”. “Actually,” corrected Rusty, “It was common sense”. Katie sat back. She knew Rusty was right. She and Gerald would just have to trust Mike and Rusty to do the right thing.
Katie smiled to herself, pleased with her unintended pun.
Mike and Guy lounged in the executive break room, sipping coffee, high up in the glass-covered Metcalfe Street office tower.
“Is it me, or does this just seem too easy?”, asked Mike.
“Did you hear about Monte running?”, asked Guy, ignoring Mike’s rhetorical question.
“Yes, all part of the plan”, Mike calmly answered.
“The Doug Ford gaffes?”.
“All part of the plan.”
“Scott Moe in Saskatchewan?”
“Part of the plan”.
“Raitt staying put?”
“The Plan!”, Guy and Mike both said, in unison. Mike opened another pack of Sweet-n-Low, and gently shook the white powder into his coffee.
Now Laura had a clearer picture of what was happening. She just had to find Jim McDougalson, the Tory MPP, before it was too late.
In her mind she imagined the worst-case scenario. Re-written Orders-In-Council. Amended Supply Measures. False Public Appointments. Tampered Hansard transcripts. Not to mention, the possibility of exposed text messages and emails. They would control everything. And they would correctly anticipate every move.
And she knew why. She always knew the motive. But no-one would believe her if she said anything. Even she didn’t want to believe it. The truth was too horrible. She loathed Brian for this.
Justin nervously looked out the window of the Challenger jet, which by now was 42,000 ft. over Newfoundland, headed due east.
For days he resisted phoning him. But he had to. He was nervous. And he knew it meant speaking to the one man he was truly afraid of. He clicked a couple keys on the jet plane’s satellite phone.
“Yes”, said the baritone voice.
“I just don’t see how this will work, and I…,” expressed an anxious Justin.
“You’re not to call me about this!” Brian replied, interrupting him.
“But I’m worried about the public finding out.”
“This isn’t just about you. It’s also about your sister”. And with that, Brian ended the call.
To be continued…Back to Chapter 2
© Mike Chopowick – Toronto, January 28, 2018