The days passed like wind through the trees. Each one saw her visiting Bonaccelli's's Genuine New York Style Pizza for lunch and with each sitting, a
kind of calm and contentedness washed over her. She didn't understand it but it was there.
One day, she decided she was going to research that email that had appeared on her screen. The system picked out words and phrases that then culled
them from the billions of digital messages sent each and everyday around the world. And it took a while because sometimes, older files simply
disappeared. But after a long effort, she found it. What was it about this email that caused it to be snagged for review? She knew she had to have
seen it the first time but... why didn't she remember it?
Our new national security state pegged words like, 'bomb', 'gun' and 'cell'. But it also hooked on ones like 'American', 'patriot' and 'flag'.
Combinations of any of a million others raised more flags. But... ''Hi Jenny! How's your day going? I'll meet you at that pizza place about a block
away from your parking deck. See ya there!', didn't have any of those key words she was normally used to seeing.
Opening the file, she clicked the button that would highlight the word, or words, that had attracted the attention. There were only two and when she
saw them, it came back to her and she about fainted.
'Jenny' and 'pizza' were the ones and the notation indicated that they had been pulled as a pair. In other words, the two used together in a single
message tweaked something in the system.
"Mrs. Peabody? Do you have a minute?"
"Yes dear, what can I do for you?"
"This is a flagger from about ten days ago. I was wondering if you could explain why this ended up on my screen."
Handing Glenda Peabody a printout of the document in question, there was a brief silence.
"Ms. Riggs, this came to YOUR screen?"
"Yes ma'am, it did and I couldn't figure out why. I've just never seen those words as flag material before."
Another moment passed as the supervisor examined the print while at the same time, clicking through items on her own computer screen.
"Jenny, let me research this a bit and I'll get back to you."
"Thank you Mrs. Peabody."
The rest of the day was fairly uneventful. Email after email from people she had never known passed before her, containing what now seemed like the
most ridiculous flaggings. About 30 minutes before the end of her shift, she got a message to report to Mr. Brody's office, ASAP.
Upon entering his office, she noted that Peabody as well as two men she had never seen before, were awaiting her arrival.
Brody began, "Ms. Riggs, you received this flag-review the first time about ten days ago. Is that correct?"
"Yes sir, I did."
"And upon reviewing, you noted that the highlighted text was 'Jenny' and 'pizza', is that right?"
"Well sir, I know I did but it had been a long day so I just forwarded it up to Repass for another look."
Brody glances at Peabody and then goes on...
"And on that same day you saw the name 'Jenny' and the word 'pizza' redlined, you walked a block and a half to a pizza parlor and had lunch?"
"And you have gone there almost every day at lunch since?"
"Yes... how did you know that?"
Another eyeshot between Brody and Peabody...
"Ms. Riggs, I'll need you to accompany these two gentleman to the security examination room. Please don't worry, it's just standard procedure."
With that, the two males take Jenny by each arm and leave the room. She can be heard crying as they slowly go down the hall for other areas in the
Brody looks at Mrs. Peabody and adds, "Don't worry, she'll be fine. A month or two in psyche rehab will get her squared away. Just make sure you have
a cover story for any friends or relatives until she gets fixed."
"Yes sir, will do."
"Oh, by the way... would you care for some lunch? The agency has a great little pizza place just down the street..."
edit on 12-7-2013 by
redoubt because: typo correct