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Chapter 83: "Same kind of stuff?"

"We have to do it," Hope told John.  She was sitting at Shane's desk in the concrete bunker.  It was starting to feel as if the walls were closing in on her.

"No," he repeated for about the tenth time.  "We're not getting her involved in this."

Hope grimaced.  John was being so unreasonable.  She was losing track of how many days they had spent testing one password after another.  They had filled five more pads of paper and still kept coming up with nothing.

The one thing they had agreed upon was that Shane would use some combination of letters and numbers that had personal meaning to him.  Of course, that might have been wishful thinking.  If that wasn't the case, they were in serious trouble.

"Look," Hope said.  "If we don't involve her, we're going to run out of ideas.  So unless you have some super-encryption-code-breaking thingamajig handy, what do you propose we do?"  She sat back in her chair.  "Or do you just want to give up on the computer?"

John was leaning against the door and, though not hard enough to do any damage, punched the doorframe in frustration.  "No, I don't want to give up, but I just don't want to give Kimmie anything else to worry about.  She has enough going on right now."

Hope did understand.  Not only did Kim have the transplant surgery scheduled for the following week, but the newswires had reported on a fight sending Phillip Collier to the hospital.  That had even made news in England.  At least the police had declined to press charges.  Hope could see why John did not want to bother Kim with anything else, but they needed more information if they were going to find the password.

Trying reason, Hope said, "I know you don't want to bother Kim with this, but now may be our only time to ask her.  Who knows how long she'll be in the hospital?  Besides, maybe she'll actually appreciate the distraction."

John thumped his fist against the doorframe.  "Fine," he finally said.  "But on one condition.  I make the call and if Kimmie says no, we don't push."

"Fine with me," Hope said. 

John pulled out his cell phone, but then groaned.  Of course there would be no signal down here.  Hope followed him out to the elevator and upstairs.  It was actually beginning to feel normal to start the day by going several hundred feet underground every morning.

They emerged into the sitting room, and Hope took a seat next to the fireplace while John dialed.  He pointed at her.  "No pushing. . . . Hey, Doc."

She waited patiently as John filled Marlena on their situation and caught up on the events in Malibu.  He would tell her anything important.

Finally, John got to the point.  "Hey, is Kimmie with you?"  He paused.  "Hey, Sis, how you doing?"  He listened to her update than said, "Listen, I'm going to put you on speaker so Hope can hear.  We've got something to ask you."

Hope waited for John to switch the phone so she could hear Kim.  He nodded when the speaker was ready.  "Hey, Kimber.  How you doing?"

Kim's voice came through.  She sounded tired and strained, but still upbeat.  "Good.  Finished the last chemo, and Mama and Bo are coming in soon, and Jeannie comes back right after them."

"That's great."  Hope looked at John, who nodded.  She tried to tread carefully, "Kim, we hate to do this, but--"

"But you need some help?"

"Yeah."  Hope knew Kim would be quick on the uptake.  "We're still trying to get into Shane's computer and--"

"--completely striking out," John said. 

Hope gave him a look.  Either she was going to talk or he would.  He got the message and handed her the phone.  "We've tried every combination of names, dates, addresses, you name it -- everything we can think of.  And, well, we thought you might know some things that we don't."

"Such as?"

Hope knew she had to tread carefully.  "Like, I don't know, the first time you met Shane.  Or the day Andrew said his first word.  Nicknames.  Things like that.  Things someone couldn't just get from an ISA file."  She could tell that Kim was also figuring out the type of things that Hope did not want to mention in front of John.

There was a long pause.  "And you want me to write these things down for you?"

Hope looked at John who mouthed the words, "Don't push."  She glared at him.  "You don't have to say what the dates mean, just any dates that you think would have been important to Shane."

There was another pause, before Kim answered.  "Okay, as long as you tell me something."

"Go ahead," Hope said, wondering what Kim might want to know.

"I assume you've been in Shane's communications room there?"

Hope looked at John, who suddenly seemed nervous, before answering, "Yes.  That's where Shane's computer is."

"So you know what's in the communications room?" 

"I guess so," Hope said slowly, uncertain of where this was going.  John gave her a warning glance.

"Are there guns in there?" Kim asked.

John waved his hands quickly.  He mimed something, holding both arms out and bent at right angles and then folded them, bringing his elbows and forearms together.  He did that about three times, before Hope finally covered the speaker and hissed, "What's that supposed to mean?"

"Closet," he whispered.  "Locked."

Ahh, now Hope understood.  She lifted her hand off the phone.  "There are, I think," she said.  "I haven't seen them because they're all locked up."

"Anything else dangerous?" she asked.

Hope pursed her lips as John gesticulated wildly and rapidly shook his head from side to side.  Anything dangerous?  Well, there was the locker labeled "grenades" and the military helicopter looked like it had some missiles on it.  "I don't think so, Kim.  It's mainly just computers, some monitors. . . ."  Okay, giant-sized, multiple monitors.  ". . . And communications equipment."  To most of the major leaders of the free world.  "Nothing particularly unusual.  It's the same kind of stuff Shane probably had in Salem."

John grimaced, rolled his eyes and looked up at the ceiling.  Okay, Hope thought, maybe she had laid it on a bit too thick.

"Obviously, it's a bit more high-tech now," Hope added.

There was silence from the other end.  John leaned forward to the phone.  "Look, Sis, we really have to go take care of something."

"Uh, yeah," Hope added, trying to think of something.  "Hopkins wanted us to . . . um . . . sort through Shane's mail.  Or 'post' as he put it."

That seemed to appease Kim, who said, "Okay.  Thanks."

"So you'll send us that list?" Hope asked.

"Sure.  I'll see what I can come up with today and send what I've got."

Hope grinned at John.  "You're a peach, Kimber.  Take care and we'll talk to you soon."  They said their goodbyes and she clicked the button to terminate the call.

John looked at her like she was from Mars.  "The 'same kind of stuff' he had in Salem?  'Same kind of stuff'?"

"Well I could barely think of what to say while you were waving your arms around like a crazy baboon," Hope snapped back.  "And what was this?"  She mimicked his arm motions, bringing her elbows and forearm together.  "Who in their right mind would look at that and think of a locked closet?"  She formed a C with her left hand and took her right and feigned sticking a key into it and turning it.  "That's how you do 'locked.'"


( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
Dec. 21st, 2010 08:20 pm (UTC)
Great scene! This part:
"Well I could barely think of what to say while you were waving your arms around like a crazy baboon," Hope snapped back. "And what was this?" She mimicked his arm motions, bringing her elbows and forearm together. "Who in their right mind would look at that and think of a locked closet?" She formed a C with her left hand and took her right and feigned sticking a key into it and turning it. "That's how you do 'locked.'"

Actually had me laughing out loud! And of course, I'm sitting at work and reading it.
Dec. 22nd, 2010 01:49 am (UTC)
Sorry for any awkward work moments. I am having some fun pairing Hope and John. I'm glad you enjoyed that scene.
Myrthala Miranda-Guzman
Apr. 4th, 2011 04:38 am (UTC)
Agree,this is hilarious.
Jun. 27th, 2011 02:49 am (UTC)
loving this one. LOL.
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )