|The Lost Child
Author: Torie46 PM
When the next "Person of Interest" is Finch's sister-in-law and it turns fatal, Finch is stuck raising his 13-year-old niece. The rating has changed on account of the violence, but that is pretty much why my rating changed.Rated: Fiction T - English - Family - H. Finch - Chapters: 25 - Words: 45,650 - Reviews: 45 - Favs: 15 - Follows: 25 - Updated: 04-28-13 - Published: 12-17-11 - id: 7646232
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
hapter 22- Stakeout and the Fundraiser
Brandi shivered in the cold car, pulling her dark green coat tighter around her and blowing on her cold fingers. Dad looked back at her and taking her hands in his he rubbed her hands briskly. I'm sorry we can't turn the car on, Brandi," Reese said gently. Reese said he liked kids and Brandi was no exception. Considering that he knew how to kill, Brandi, at first, found that a little hard to believe. But then she remembered that her mother knew how to use a gun and also O.B. and they liked kids.
"It's okay, Mr. John. I might get pneumonia, but it beats staying in a place that scares me to death at night. I'm not so scared with you and Dad there, but I hate being by myself at night in a very big place," Brandi said, laying her head on her father's shoulder as he rubbed her hands methodically. The gentle touch made her as sleepy as if he was rubbing her head and neck.
"This coming from a girl who lived ten years of her life in Queens," Reese said dryly.
"Not funny," Brandi said as they saw Powell with his son at the kitchen table.
"He's gotten good at leading two lives," Reese observed.
"Unfortunately they're on a collision course. Brandi, hand me that bag by your feet," Dad ordered. Brandi picked up the bag and handed it to her father. Dad pulled a cannister of Pringles out of the bag.
"Hungry already, Finch?" Reese asked in amusement.
"No. And if I was it wouldn't be for something with disodium inosinate," Dad said, reading the label before emptying the can into the bag. "The can is made of aluminum. It's dimensions are perfect for capturing Wi-Fi radio waves. Okay. Point this at the house," Dad said, putting something in the cannister and handing it to Reese.
Brandi looked at her father's open laptop that he had brought with him. "Uh, Daddy, is this it?" Brandi asked as information scrolled up the screen.
" home Wi-FI network has a WPA password protection," Dad said, typing furiously.
"Can you crack it?" Reese asked.
"Just did. Spends a lot of time on political websites, blogging about a congressman, Michael Delancey. Not a big fan of the congressman. This is interesting. Here's a big file encrypted," Dad said as Powell's cell phone rang and the information showed up on Reese's phone.
"I'm gonna have to take this. I'll be right back," Powell said to his wife and got up from the table. "Hello?"
"Mr. Powell?" A man's voice came over the line. "This is the Work Time Temp Agency. You called us a couple of weeks ago about an event staff posistion."
"Uh-huh," Powell grunted in the affirmative.
"We have a two-day job placement for you if you're still available," the man said.
"Absolutely yes," Powell agreed.
"They need you there at 12:30," the man said.
"That sounds great. Thank you very much," Powell said, hanging up the phone.
"Looks like Powell's fortunes may be turning around," Reese said quietly.
"I hope so. But we still don't know why the machine gave us his number," Dad said grimly.
"Why don't we ask Detective Carter to run a background check?" Brandi asked, the two men turning to look at her.
"I like the way you think, Brandi," Reese said dryly
"Funny. That's what my Uncle O.B. used to say," Brandi said as Reese handed her the phone.
Brandi dialed the number. "Hello?" Detective Carter's voice came over the line.
"Detective Carter, this is Brandi Finch. We need you to run a background on somebody. His name is Scott Powell and he lives in New Rochelle and we don't have any information on him. Nothing airtight and solid, that is," Brandi said, feeling like the idiot that wouldn't shut up.
"So, like your uncle and John, you just think runnin' a background is that easy?" Carter asked skeptically.
"Please? I wouldn't ask if it wasn't important," Brandi said.
"okay, but I think it's a bad idea for your uncle and John to involve a 13-year-old girl in what they do," Carter said before she disconnected.
"Well?" Reese asked.
"Well, she said she'd do it, but she thinks it's a bad idea that you and Dad involved me in it," Brandi said, handing the phone to her father.
"I've often thought that myself. What kind of life am I giving you? As your father, I shouldn't be putting you in danger," Dad said, gripping her hand in his again and rubbing it gently with his fingers.
"I'm not complaining. I've never had this much adventure or excitement outside of a suspense novel, not even in Queens with some doorknob across the street shooting off a gun and a grenade launcher," Brandi said with a yawn.
"Tired?" Reese asked.
"A little. I think I grabbed a twenty-minute nap between the time Dad went to get lunch and now," Brandi said as Reese turned on the car.
"I need to look up something at the library and then we can go home and you can go to bed," Dad said, cupping her face gently.
The next day Finch, Reese, and Brandi were sitting in Finch's car when the phone rang. Finch answered it. "Detective," Finch said.
"I looked up your guy. Nothing but a couple of traffic tickets and an application for a firearms license for a rifle. Otherwise he's clean," Carter said
"I see. Okay, thank you," Finch said. Judging by the stricken look on Brandi's face and the fisted small hand on his shoulder, she looked upset. As upset as he felt.
"Should I be worried about this guy?" Carter asked.
"That's what we're trying to determine, Detective," Finch said, before hanging up the phone. "That file from Powell's computer, it was a PGP-encrypted anonymous e-mail account. All these e-mails are addressed to Congressman Delancey's office," Finch said, looking from his laptop to the busy street.
"The same congressman that Powell had a beef with," Reese said as they looked to a huge hotel that had election posters of Delancey.
"Delancey pushed for the budgetary cutbacks that prompted the city layoffs," Finch said.
"He cost Powell his job," Reese said as Powell got out of his truck and walked to the hotel. "So, why would Powell be working a fundraiser for Delancy?" Reese mused.
"Maybe his need his need of money is more than hating Delancey?" Brandi suggested.
"Not possible. Does he own any registered weapons?" Reese asked.
"Carter said he applied for a firearms license, a rifle. These are death threats, Mr. Reese. Powell's not here for a job," Finch said in shock as he read one of Powell's e-mails.
"He's going to assassinate Delancey," Reese said, his face grim as he got out of the car.
"Hey, wait up!" Brandi shouted, opening the car door and following Reese to Finch's dismay.
"Brandi, what are you doing?" Reese asked as Brandi caught up to him.
"Helping you. What's it look like?" Brandi asked, resisting the urge to roll her eyes.
"Your father is not going to like this," Reese said as they went to the entrance.
"Indeed, I'm not. Brandilyn, what are you doing?" her father asked, his stiff voice coming through the feed in her glasses.
"Helping Mr. John. Powell moves pretty fast, considering he's carrying that gun bag," Brandi noted, huffing like boilers she had seen in old movies.
"Brandilyn Jane Finch, come back to the car, please," Dad ordered.
"Wait. Mr. John, is he doing what I think he's doing?" Brandi asked as Powell went into the building.
"Pretty much. Brandi, you don't have to help me," Reese said.
"Yes I do. C'mon. Let's help someone," Brandi said, running to the entrance, Reese behind her. They entered the hotel, looking around.
"Mr. Reese, did you get Powell? We need to get to him before he gets to the congressman," Dad said over the feed.
Brandi pulled on Reese's sleeve and pointed to Powell going into the door for employees. "We see him, Dad," Brandi said, biting the inside of her cheek as they went to the door.
"Sir, you and the young lady need to come through the main line. Thanks," a brusque man with a black suit said to Reese and Brandi before walking away.
"We've got a problem, Finch. Powell's already inside," Reese said. Brandi looked as her father limped into the building and to them. He placed a hand firmly on the back of her neck.
"We should probably get in there. Brandilyn, you're coming with me," Dad said stiffly, his fingers tightening like steel bands.
After removing their cell phones, Brandi, Reese, and Dad walked through the line. "You stay close to the congressman. Keep your eyes open and be ready to move," Reese whispered.
"Move? If somebody starts shooting, what exactly do you expect us to do?" Dad asked in exasperation.
"You'll think of something, Finch," Reese said walking away. Dad and Brandi walked around, conversations buzzing.
"Uh, Daddy, what are we looking for down here?" Brandi asked nervously. It was times like this that she knew that Dad was put out with her. He hadn't raised a hand to her since the time he had slapped her and he was Uncle Harold then, but Brandi didn't doubt he would again if he got angry enough.
"Do not talk to me right now. I am still very angry that you disobeyed me. Is obeying me really that hard for you, Brandilyn?" Dad asked sharply. He sounded like a father who expected more and for her to behave better. Brandi felt tears come to her eyes at the sting of the rebuke.
"Sorry, I'm not what you wanted, Dad," Brandi said miserably as they sat down at a table. Dad raised her chin slightly, his eyes softening.
"I didn't say that. It would hurt me if anything happened to you," Dad said as Reese's voice came over the feed.
"Powell must be downstairs with the staff. Are you and Brandi with Delancey?" Reese asked.
"Close by," Dad said as a congressman talking to a senator came over the feed.
"Listen, Mike, uh, as long as I've got you, let me ask you a favor. Back off the rhetoric, understand? Calling out certain large donors makes for great stumping, but it also makes people uncomfortable," the senator said.
"By "People" you mean you?" Delancey asked accusingly.
"Just keep it in mind, Congressman. We want you to have a long, long career," the senator said.
"Okay. That sounded threatening," Brandi said. Her father nodded as he touched his cell phone internet tracker.
"Listen, this is odd. Those threatening e-mails Powell sent to the congressman, they're being flagged by my system," Dad said.
"Ladies and gentlemen, we'd like you to please take your seats," the host said as a man came up to the microphone.
"Ladies and gentlemen, thank you for joining us this afternoon. I'm Pete Matheson. You know, a few years back, my friend and business partner came to me and said, "Hey, I'm thinking of running for office," Matheson said.
"The guy's a blowhard, Dad," Brandi whispered to her father.
"A lot of politicians are, Brandi. Shh!" Dad whispered back softly, massaging her hand gently with his.
"-popular, I think we can all agree they have always been-" Matheson continued.
"The IP addressed match, but there are some big discrepancies in the TTL values. And the headers are failing to authenticate," Dad said.
"What are you getting at, Finch?" Reese asked.
"Those anonymous e-mails didn't originate in Powell's laptop. They were copied onto it from a remote location," Dad said.
"Finch, I am more interested in finding the guy with the gun than I am in fixing his computer," Reese said in exasperation as Matheson introduced Delancey.
"Thank you. Thank you for coming. And thank you," Delancey said, amidst cheers and shaking Matheson's hand.
"I think the system's being hacked. Mr. Reese?" Dad asked in a sharp whisper after a few seconds of silence.
"You know-" Delancey started to say as Reese gave a grunt over the feed.
"Mr. Reese?" Dad asked.
"Confetti," Reese said flatly.
"I think Powell's being set up," Dad said as a gunshot went off, hitting Delancey and causing him to fall. Loud screams filled the air. Brandi felt her father's arms wrap around her shoulders, pressing her head to his chest.
"There he is! Up there!" A woman shouted. They all looked to the balcony. Powell stood there, looking stunned.
"I the balcony!" A man yelled as a pitch light focused on Powell and he raised his hands slowly, looking like a deer caught in the headlights.
Brandi saw Reese run towards the exit. "Mr. John, wait!" Brandi shouted, breaking out of her father's tight embrace.
"Brandi!" Her father's voice sounded like it came out of a tunnel as she ran after Reese. Reese stopped and looked around, Brandi stopping and panting heavily next to him.
Reese and Brandi turned back and walked to Dad, who limped to them. "I can't tell how badly the congressman's wounded," Dad said, wrapping an arm around Brandi's shoulders.
"Yeah, I lost the real shooter. The e-mails, the job. Powell was set up," Reese said as they watched Powell go by, dragged in handcuffs by cops, protesting his innocence.
"It wasn't me. I didn't do anything. Why won't you listen to me?" Powell complained.
"The question is, by who?" Reese asked as they put Powell in a police car and drove away.