The Wrong Type of Redemption

38 Manic Monday, Ten P.M.


38: Manic Monday, Ten P.M.

When the taxi stopped at the fancy side of Miami, Jerry frowned. The luxury high-rise apartment building was not something Jerry thought a truck driver could afford… “Old man…where did you get the money for-“

“Let’s go inside first.” His father murmured paying the driver in cash.

Jerry got out first grabbing his bags.

They both walked to the front where Philip used a key fob to open the door. After it slid open the security guard nodded at Philip in greeting. Philip spoke before heading to the elevator.

When they got onto the elevator his father hit P on the elevator controls.

“P?” Jerry nearly wet his pants. P meant penthouse right? Why the hell would they be in a penthouse apartment. “P?” He repeated to Philip who smirked. “It’s supposed to just be a one-bedroom, old man.” Jerry growled.

His father chuckled.

Grumbling, Jerry looked at the mirror on the back of the elevator, lined it chrome. He went from an apartment where anyone could walk off the street to enter the building to a place that had security guards. “You’ve got some explaining to do, Philip.”

The man only nodded.

When the door opened, he walked out into a hall were only five doors sat on a long hallway. Philip went to a door that read “P5” waved his key fob and the door unlocked.

“You first.” His father stepped aside.

Jerry frowned, turned the knob, and opened. Gripping the strap of his backpack, he walked into a short pale gray hallway to stop at a semi closed kitchen with an large archway opening out to a dinning area. In the kitchen, was hanging pot and pans like a real chef’s kitchen. A mix of steel, granite, and wood made for an interesting combination. While it looked expensive it also seemed welcoming. He walked to the dinning area that had a wood table with four chairs. He followed the dinning room to pass the entry hallway to the living room where a huge brown leather couch sat in front a big screen TV. He followed the back of the couch to a longer hallway. There were three doors on the hall. One led to a large bathroom with a large shower. The second led to a spacious bedroom that faced out to view the city. The bed was a California king with a small sitting area and a large walk-in closet. Attached was a bathroom out of some rich magazine — large shower, separate large Jacuzzi tub, and a long counter with two sinks.

Shaking his head at the luxury, he kept walking, heading back out the room to the hallway. He went to the last bedroom that was turned into a computer lab. One large workstation sat on a desk with several large screens mounted on the wall. Large speakers were attached. Jerry nearly lost his mind at the upscale equipment. He could nearly rule the world from that spot.

“I bought all of this before I found out about the hacking…” His father sounded slightly disapproving

Jerry shrugged. “I blame my lack of digital morality to my genetic make-up a.k.a. I was born this way.”

“Uh, huh.” His father narrowed his eyes. “Sounds suspiciously like nerd bullshit.”

Pretty much. “So… How the hell are you able to afford all this? Because I know how much this setup costs.” He pointed to the over ten-thousand-dollar computer office.

“You don’t think a truck driver can afford this? I did mention I drive independently right?”

“Don’t insult my intelligence.”

“I’m not lying…but I didn’t tell you all of it.” His father blew out a breath walking out of the office.

Jerry followed the man to the living room where Philip sat on the couch, then patted the seat beside him. Jerry flopped down on his new couch trying not to think how cool it was to have a big couch in such a spacious living room. He turned his hips, sliding a thigh up higher on the seat to face his father, giving him his full attention.

“I drive…disposal trucks. It’s how I got rid of that body so fast.”

“Disposal? I’m guessing you’re not talking ordinary garbage trucks.” Then Jerry remembered something. “You told me before you were in waste disposal before you met mom. Same thing?”

“No…Yes… Hm.” He grunted and scrubbed a hand over his face. “Before your mom, I cleaned up after assassins, gangsters, and other people who were making illegal messes. Disposing bodies, cleaning up blood and gore…” He sighed. “Now I just drive trucks that dispose of that waste material. Sometimes I just deliver the cleaning products used to clean up the scene of the crime.”

Jerry’s eyebrow rose. “Cleaning products? More than bleach?”

“Strong acids or bases, depending on what is requested. And because they are hazardous and illegal materials, without certifications and permits I have to be careful to avoid detection or questions…” His father took in a deep breath. “It pays extremely well.”

“Obviously. And you do this for uncle?”

“No. A friend.”


He chuckled. “The only thing you need to know is that we help each other out. One hand washes the other. It’s more a partnership.”

“Why not just tell me all of it?”

“Because you’re already deep enough, Glitch. I don’t want you getting deeper. Now tell me what you know about this computer that’s going to have me killing my sister.”

“What?” Jerry gawked. “Your sister?”

His father just glared as if he was serious about killing the woman.

Jerry’s mind began adding it up. “The thing she wanted you to help her find…was…the computer. Shit…shit, shit.”

“And I’m going to kill her.”

“Wait…she may have not known I’m the person who has it.”


“So maybe we can negotiate.”

His father chuckled rubbing his hands over his face. “Do you know what’s on that computer?”


“I don’t know either, but she killed those people you knew, to get it. The man she sent was tracking that computer and erasing evidence of it as he went. He likely told her or someone in her organization where his next steps lead so if anything happened to him, they could pick up where he left off. It won’t be long before they send someone else…or contact you when they realize you’re under my protection.”

Jerry jumped to his feet. “Mia…did they…did they kill her? Is that how they found me?” Panic and heartache began to weigh on his chest.

When his father didn’t answer, Jerry’s heart sunk.

“Oh…” Jerry tried to breath back the sorrow.

“I’m not sure, Glitch…but I’m not going to lie and say she’s fine.”

Jerry pulled out his phone and immediately did a news search for her name. But nothing recent pulled up. Some relief entered him but it wasn’t much seeing as none of his emails or phone calls to her had been returned.

“Ivan’s sending some people here to guard you until we get this all sorted out so, our best bet is to stay put until-“

Jerry snorted derision, grabbed his laptop bag and heading to his new computer room. “If Mia’s dead, I want to know why.”

“Glitch, I don’t want you in harm’s way.” His father followed. “Let me and Ivan-“

“You never said she would negotiate. Which means she won’t. If I’m in the middle of this war, I’m fighting. First thing’s first, tell me where your sister’s located exactly in Russia.”
He set up his laptop and the illegal laptop on his new desk. He powered up the workstation and began hooking cables together. He setup the new internet connection, double checked firewalls, and modified settings. Then he added his own personal touch to strengthen security.

His father stood over his shoulder quietly watching as Jerry worked into the night finishing setting things up and tweaking it until it was how he liked it. By morning, he had the decryption program he’d been working on fixed, modified, and upgraded for stability as his father took his empty cup of coffee away. He could have had the program operational sooner if he wasn’t sexing his father over the last week.

Minutes later, his father came back into the room and sat next to Jerry’s desk looking concerned.

“What does that look like to you?” Jerry asked pointing to one of the large screens as he typed working on a different screen.

His father wheeled the swivel chair to bump next to Jerry’s chair and focused on the screen. “Electronic bank transaction numbers.”

Jerry nodded as he continued working. “And that…”

“Codes…of some kind.”

“Password codes, security codes. This is a list of Pentagon codes. That one is Kremlin codes. Gabriel Walthour… Ivan Voronin… Khalid Ussan… Selina Azevedo…” He kept pulling up lists of codes and security passwords of governments and high profile companies. “This computer is a hacker’s wet dream. The software on it has been used to data mine passwords and codes. It even updates the nuclear launch codes of five different countries as the governments update them. The owner of this computer…possibly your sister, is selling this information to the highest bidders. Not just companies and governments, but organizations I’ve never heard of. And that’s just the first program I could unlock. I still have two more…”

His father cursed.

“Whoever originally stole this computer, initiated some kind of lock-down fail-safe trying to get into it. Idiots didn’t know what they were doing.” It took Jerry unlocking the programs to realize they weren’t originally locked. The intricate design of the programs made it security sensitive to any possible hacking or manipulation. Jerry guessed that the only reason that the computer didn’t automatically erase all files was either because the original programmer never got to that part of the program or they were arrogant to believe no one could crack the lock-down. He explained all of that to his father and finished by saying, “With the first program open to us, I can unlock the rest. It’s all a matter of hours.” He turned to his father and smiled.

His father nodded. “We can’t negotiate with this.”

“Why not?”

“If she knows you know, sooner or later, she’ll come for you.”

“Then what do you suggest?” Jerry asked seeing the resolution in his father’s hard jaw and penetrating eyes.

“We go to her. Get some sleep.” He ruffled Jerry’s hair.

Jerry frowned. “Go to her?”

“Sleep, Glitch. You need your rest before you start on the next program.”

Jerry nodded then paused realizing his father wanted him to learn more, illegal or not. “You don’t sound disappointed that I know how to do this stuff.”

“I have no room to criticize, though I do want you safe…so I’ll have to work harder to make that happen. Now get your ass to bed.” He winked, before leaving the office.    


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