Charlie stood behind Haley. She leaned forward concentrating on the monitor. The date/time stamp rolled forward on an empty hallway. A shadow eased into view. It moved slowly, creeping forward from head to feet finally followed by a tall figure who kept his face turned from view.
“That’s him. That’s the guy I saw. Give it a minute and you’ll see me go inside Angel’s room.”
Charlie focused instead on what the man held in his hand. It was a cell phone. “Can you zoom in on that?”
“Dude, we’re not CSI. I can zoom in, but the pixels won’t change for you. It’ll zoom in on a blur.” The guard was a glorified security officer paid mostly to sit in a tiny room with a wall full of monitors and visually identify possible threats. He was one of three who occupied this room in uniform on shifts ordered to be back up only when called for and only called when everyone else on “patrol” were busy.
“Fine. Make a copy of this and send it here.” Charlie handed his card with Jackson’s info handwritten on the back. “Can you at least see where he went?”
“That I can do.” His fingers flew over the keyboard, two monitors flickered. One move fast, capturing the path the guy took to the exit. The other showed a smoother, slowed down version of the exodus. “I can also include footage of the girl taking down John and David for future entertainment purposes.” He grinned, apparently gaining personal merriment from his coworkers’ failure.
“Sure,” said Charlie, kind of getting a kick out of it himself briefly, “but don’t tell admin you’re making a copy for yourself.”
“Never, dude.” And his fingers flew faster over the keyboard, clicking in the dark room. Charlie saw the reflection of the guard’s face in the monitors and grinned tightly. Yeah, the FBI can’t train a sense of humor from the rare few who rail against conformity.
Therefore, Charlie got a uniform video from the time he’d brought Angel in the emergency room doors until he went to her room after visiting the dead body.
All they saw was the one figure passing through the hallway and much later guiding her to the stairs. There might have been a brief struggle until the door slid shut, but the camera angle showed nothing but the guy pushing open the door with one hand and a second later his other hand reaching up.
The floor above, where he ended up dead was under renovation. The cameras there were unplugged, ready for repositioning. So there was nothing that showed how the guy died. They did, however, see which door Angel exited when she left the hospital with the duffel bag and wearing Charlie’s coat.
So sending these recordings to Jackson would give him a starting point. Maybe, with any luck at all, Jackson would find some cameras somewhere that had picked her up and would give them if not a current location, at least a direction she might have gone and if she were alone or with someone, in danger or just wandering the streets.
But that would take time.
Haley turned to him. “Look, I’ll buy breakfast on two conditions.”
“Negotiating before dawn?”
“I’ve been up for two days, Charlie. You’re lucky to get an hour of my time right now.”
“OK. What do you want?”
“I want…for you to go home and get some sleep while you’re waiting for those guys downstairs to wake up and your guy at the bureau to pull some feed of this…Angel…walking the streets.”
“And the second condition.”
“I want to know what you know about this girl and what I should be keeping a look out for on tomorrow night’s shift. ‘Cause, Charlie, I really don’t think this hospital is in the clear.”
“Why would you think that? She’s not here anymore.”
“That thing the doc took out of her hand. If it is a tracking device, this is the last place she would have been located. And the dead guy didn’t report back with or without the girl. Someone’s going to come looking again.”
Charlie nodded with more than just agreement. He had an idea.