Puke was taking his sweet time on the keyboard.
Avengaline Thomas had known Puke for five years. He'd played drums with the band for two of those years. In all that time, she never actually learned his real name. Puke was Puke. She secretly assumed that he has a name like Trevor or Mark. Something that was completely boring and plain. So, when she met him at the Mindless Self Indulgence afterparty in Brooklyn, she called him exactly what she saw him doing.
Puke was a bit of a hacker. Not some Hollywood hacker where green symbols fly by and he plays some version of Tetris where the shapes are "code words" and you line them up in order to "get in" to the system. This was real life. We had just finished dumpster diving behind the police station and lucked out on some hastily written passwords. Now, Puke was trying to use the passwords to elevate his access from the front desk that we got to something that gave him access to national databases.
Avengaline handed him another beer and flopped down on the busted couch. The apartment that they were using was in a building that had been abandoned long ago by the landlord. It was frequented by punks, drug addicts and other undesirables. A local gang had decided to add it to their turf but the punks formed up and defended the place like some kind of fortress ruin. Eventually, a peace settled down where the punks stayed out of the gang's businesses and the gang left the punks the building.
A punk nicknamed professor had set up the building to steal power from the grid. Internet access was beamed in from the local McDonald's. The only bad thing about the place was the water. It was undrinkable and smelled like old socks. When the subway train rolled by, it would disrupt the power sometimes and the lights would dim slightly. To Avengaline, it was home.
It was only three days ago that Avengaline had shown Puke the video of the strange man in the suit talking to some rural police officer. Puke was the one that noticed the the video had to have been recorded by someone. The video was posted to this guy Ace Watson's Youtube page. Most of the videos had Ace doing street magic or performing before a nightclub crowd. Nothing groundbreaking but, there was something different about this video.
There were so many mysteries.
Why was the man in the suit's face blurred? What was the whole thing about criminals being transferred even talking about? The mystery of where the whole thing took place was easily solved.
Check the badge and uniform, look around for similar uniforms, look up the badge number, badda-bing you've got your piggie. This should have been where the answers started up but, instead things got weird. The town had this creepy 50s vibe where it seemed like nobody ever moved in or out of the town. Census records show that the town had no Black, Latino or Asian people in it at all. Furthermore, crime records of the place were nonexistent. The place was frozen in time.
Until the video.
Literally, the records of the place start the moment the video was posted. A couple people indicted for tax evasion, a brutal murder and a home invasion all happen that same day. The next day, the metal processing plant closes it's doors due to "profitability" and most of the town looses their jobs. It's like the video reminded the rest of the world that this place even existed.
So, Avengaline decided to show Puke. He unscrambled most of the face pretty quickly. Apparently, they used an app to scramble the faces but the app used a non-random pattern so if they took a little longer, they could see His face. Instead, Avengaline got an idea.
"Puke, what if we use the voice? Can we search on that? We have a good enough sample."
Puke called her a genius and got to work. The voice sample was cut and strung together and then run through a search engine to narrow it down. Now, with access to the national databases, they were putting a name to the voice.
Small time con artist and general grifter. Apparently, he'd been connected to various schemes that led to the rich losing their money and the funds being directed to charities.
Avengaline smiled and a song was already writing itself in her head.