Ramsden watched from his office as the two feds left. There is no way they could have tied the San Jose hills event to him. I could have been anyone. But he said he had seen the Ecuador video, which means A.S.E.R.T. provided it to him. Cantano for certain. But why call the feds? Why not just block his work through A.S.E.R.T.? Because he had too many allies or at least the Council had no reason to block him. But if the feds are involved and implying things could be dangerous, that could change very fast.

J.J. walked up and leaned in the door. Ramsden could see the others still sitting at their desk, but watching and listening. “So?”

“So,” Ramsden answered still in thought.


“Uh, yeah,” Ramsden snapped back to the present, “They knew it was us last night in the hills. The one doing most of the talking didn’t seem all that surprised by what I told him we were doing.”

“What did you tell them we were doing?”

“I told them the truth, that I was conducting an experiment.”

“There’s got to be some sort of law or city ordinance that we’re in violation of. Are they threatening to shut us down?”

“No not yet. They are going to get a warrant and see if they can requisition my notes and have their techs see if there is something dangerous or not.”

“You told them you don’t have notes, right?” J.J. said with a smile.

“I told them I don’t have notes, which is true. I don’t have my notes any more.” Ramsden stood and walked out into the area so Jude and Silvia could hear better. “I need to find a new location to perform the next phase of the experiment. This last one was obviously more successful as I’m still breathing and standing, unlike Equador.”

“Ram, we aren’t done sorting through the data yet,” Jude said with sagging shoulders.

“And what happened last time almost hurt the rest of us. It’s still not safe. You need to figure out whatever it is you need to figure out and then see what it is we need to do to keep you, us and anyone else safe,” Silvia chimed in.

“No. No. You’re both right. But I can’t wait to be detained by the feds for something they don’t understand. This information is for the scientific community, not the government.”

“What do you mean the government? You just said there weren’t any notes to find,” J.J. asked.

“They may not find the notes now, but whether they eventually do or not, they could detain me and force me to show them what’s what,” Ramsden said as he looked each of them in the eye. They all knew that meant they’d all be out of work or arrested as well.

“I need to get in touch with Mr. Jainukul. He may be able to help,” Ramsden said.

“I don’t know about that guy Ram,” Silvia said. “Call it woman’s intuition or what, but something’s off about the guy. He’s too mysterious.”

“I thought women liked men of mystery,” J.J. said with a slight grin.

Not taking the bait, Silvia continued, “You’ve said it yourself Ram, he just knows things he shouldn’t.”

“But he’s been very helpful,” Jude interjected.

“Let me see if I can get more answers out of him than only hints and clues about the portal. J.J. you want to come with me?”

“You’re not going to call first?” J.J. asked.

“Maybe a surprise visit will do some good all around.” Ramsden said as he stepped back in his office and picked up his cell of his desk, stuffing it in his back pocket.

“Okay. Lets go,” J.J. said as he followed a determined Ramsden out.

*    *    *