“What?” Midge sputtered in disbelief. “Strathmore claims our data is wrong?”
Brinkerhoff nodded and hung up the phone.
“Strathmore denied that TRANSLTR’s been stuck on one file for eighteen hours?”
“He was quite pleasant about the whole thing.” Brinkerhoff beamed, pleased with himself for surviving the phone call. “He assured me TRANSLTR was working fine. Said it was breaking codes every six minutes even as we speak. Thanked me for checking up on him.”
“He’s lying,” Midge snapped. “I’ve been running these Crypto stats for two years. The data is never wrong.”
“First time for everything,” he said casually.
She shot him a disapproving look. “I run all data twice.”
“Well . . . you know what they say about computers. When they screw up, at least they’re consistent about it.”
Midge spun and faced him. “This isn’t funny, Chad! The DDO just told a blatant lie to the director’s office. I want to know why!”
Brinkerhoff suddenly wished he hadn’t called her back in. Strathmore’s phone call had set her off. Ever since Skipjack, whenever Midge had a sense that something suspicious was going on, she made an eerie transition from flirt to fiend. There was no stopping her until she sorted it out.
“Midge, it is possible our data is off,” Brinkerhoff said firmly. “I mean, think about it‑a file that ties up TRANSLTR for eighteen hours? It’s unheard of. Go home. It’s late.”
She gave him a haughty look and tossed the report on the counter. “I trust the data. Instinct says it’s right.”
Brinkerhoff frowned. Not even the director questioned Midge Milken’s instincts anymore‑she had an uncanny habit of always being right.
“Something’s up,” she declared. “And I intend to find out what it is.”