see ch 1 for warings, notes, dislcaimer
A/N: Thank you to everyone who has read and reviewed!
Many thanks to Marasmine for her beta skills and assistance.
and a Liar + Chapter 2
Six months later......
"Mr. Merquise, you need to put your own passwords in place before you
leave tonight." The faintly familiar phrase stung Zechs and he turned
quickly so that Heero wouldn't see his expression. Even after several
months of checks and rechecks he still heard David's voice asking that
question. "Zechs?" Heero continued.
"Thank you, Heero. I'll take care of it." Zechs answered without turning
around. Then he took a breath and told himself to get over it. "I appreciate
all you've done to make sure the company computers and information stay
secure. I know it was a lot of extra time and effort." Heero watched him
"No problem, all part of the job. Everything checks out. No tampering,
nothing nasty lurking in the dark." Heero closed his briefcase and prepared
to leave. "Still no trace of your mystery man?" he asked, his tone not
indicating any real interest.
"He disappeared, completely and thoroughly, and since nothing was taken
or damaged the police don't have much interest in pursuing the matter."
Zechs admitted, grudgingly. The police had been strangely uninterested
Zechs had thought. But with out evidence of serious wrongdoing they'd
done their report and gone on their way. Even the insurance company wasn't
terribly concerned, except in seeing that the security was upgraded.
"I've been over and through your files. He seemed to be interested in
a couple of areas that dealt with the construction companies. I can't
find any malware, but that doesn't preclude a keylogger, or slag code,
or a backdoor."
"I don't understand most of that." Zechs shook his head. "Any of it."
"He didn't do any damage, he wasn't interested in stock or financial information
except in the records of a company you don't own anymore and then only
in old files, information almost twenty years old. There were no tags
left in, no way for him to come back in without our knowledge, nothing
left that would take out your system." Heero had explained.
Zechs continued to be confused, puzzled, and most important of all, still
determined to find David; which probably wasn't even his name.
"No sign of him anywhere?" Heero continued as he worked.
"No, there haven't been any reports of anyone matching his description
or M.O. in the States." Zechs answered.
"Have you checked your overseas connections?" Zechs asked.
Heero seemed to hesitate. "Nothing overseas. But there was on odd story
in the States."
Heero paused, again. "Someone hacked into a police computer system and
extracted information about an old crime; someone destroyed records in
a county courthouse. But they were old and nothing important was involved.
The police suspected kids."
"But...?" Zechs could tell there was more.
"It involved the same construction company, the one David was checking
on in your files. The county court house records mentioned them, too."
"Heero, I want you to start researching the construction company, anything
you can find out, anything that fits David's methods, or anyone that fits
his profile. Bill it to the company." Zechs had given up on private detectives.
As far as they were concerned, David Marshall didn't exist.
"And Heero?" Zechs continued. "Look at motorcycles, motocross, riders,
races...it's just a chance. And check for anyone with the same initials.
I don't think he used his real name but maybe the initials were the same."
It was a week later that a well-dressed man without an appointment showed
up at Zechs' office. He showed Zechs' secretary some government credentials
and was ushered into Zechs' office. A slender man with dark hair, and
dark eyes, who exuded an air of danger; a man who wasted no time on pleasantries.
"I understand you're making inquires about David Marshall." The man didn't
ask, it was obvious he knew. And just as obvious that he didn't like it.
"Yes." Zechs saw no reason to lie. "He came here pretending to work for
a security company, spent a week crawling inside my computers, and then
disappeared. I want to know what he wanted, why he was here." And why
he got under my skin, and where he is, and why I still care about where
"You must stop looking for him. If you continue it could make my job much
more difficult. Meddling in my agency's affairs is not a good idea. Call
off your search before you find yourself involved in something you couldn't
begin to handle. You don't want to cause trouble for your friend, Mr.
"Who are you?" Zechs didn't like being threatened, or having his friends
threatened. And threat poured off the sleekly powerful man sitting in
front of him.
"I want you to understand that this is an issue of national security.
David Marshall is a criminal under investigation by the government." This
seemed to be distasteful for the man to say. The word criminal came out
of his mouth like a curse.
"I want you to forget you ever saw him, stop looking for him, and if you
see him," the man handed Zechs a card. "If you see him, call me at this
number and don't approach him." The last words were spoken softly but
Zechs took the card and looked at it. There was only a phone number, no
name, no agency. "Who are you? Whom do you work for."
The man smiled, not a very friendly smile. His dark hair was pulled back
off his face; his eyes were dark and unreadable. "My name is Chang WuFei.
I repeat. Do not approach Mr. Marshall. Call me if you see him or receive
"Why was he here, what did he want from my company. He took nothing, he
didn't do any damage, the information he went through was old and unimportant,
even when it was current." Zechs asked.
Chang stood up, obviously preparing to leave. "You have my number. Don't
hesitate to call, at any time, day or night. If Mr. Marshall attempts
to contact you do not, I repeat, do not, meet with him."
"Is his name really David Marshall?" Zechs couldn't help asking. "I don't
understand any of this. Why won't you give me any information."
"Mr. Merquise, do not attempt to involve yourself in this." Chang stated
quietly. "The man you know as David Marshall is dangerous, being known
as an acquaintance could be dangerous to you, if the wrong people found
you were looking for this man, it could be deadly. Drop it, before you
get hurt, or worse."
Zechs watched as Chang walked out of his office. He was more puzzled than
before, more intent on finding David, or whatever his name was, and demanding
answers. The man he'd taken back to his home, into his bed, wasn't a dangerous
man. He'd felt no threat from him. There was something going on that he
didn't understand and he wanted to know.
He put a call in to his lawyer and then one to Heero. Heero should know
what he was dealing with before he went any further. And he wanted to
know just who this Chang Wufei was and what he had to do with David. He
hadn't given Zechs the impression that he was hunting David; it was more
that he'd seemed protective. And Zechs wanted to know why a man like that
felt the need to warn him away from David.
He didn't know what kind of trouble David was in but he meant to find
out and keep him from getting hurt. And then David owed him an explanation.
He'd trusted him, cared for him, and he was going to have some answers.
Chang Wufei had another thing coming if he thought that tough guy act
could scare Zechs away.
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