Branching out to Brussels
Played on May 26th, 2013
October 18th, 2010
During breakfast there was a news item on the TV, reporting a brutal robbery with murder. The Miami PD were looking for somebody looking like Blue -- they even included a mugshot of him. After the news item was finished, I got a call from Mike. He'd been given the orders to get on the same plane as us, but was alarmed by the fact that one of us was wanted for murder. I tried to calm him down but I was worried myself. In a hurry we disguised Blue, made a new photo and forged a new ID.
Armed with this we arrived at the customs. At one point I thought our game was up when a sniffer dog got awfully interested in Blue, but it didn't escalate. I kept my eyes open for Mike but he deliberately hung back and boarded our Boeing 747 separately. The flight itself was uneventful. We used the time to get Mike up to speed again and I tried to meditate a bit. I felt relatively calm that day but I was afraid that was just superficial. My nerves were still high strung.
Since we arrived around 22h00 local time, we didn't do much before going to bed except get our bearings.
October 19th, 2010
In the early morning we went to the main library and looked for references to the Libre. We didn't find it, but there was an exhibition on Belgian mathematicians in one of the university buildings.
We arrived there and mingled with the public, trying to be inconspicuous. We filed leisurely from exhibit to exhibit, taking our time. I made lots of photographs, even from the obviously unimportant stuff so it wouldn't stand out when I surveilled the Claudan part.
That particular exhibit consisted of two manuscripts and one book. I supressed my anxiety and together with Grace's Latin knowledge I quickly surmised this was, indeed, the Libre. Restraining my excitement I took some more pictures, especially of the surroundings, and walked on. One of the later exhibits had a book with cool formulas by a certain Edward De Witte that looked as if they could tie into the Merzen prime stuff, so my interest there wasn't even feigned.
During lunch we had some lavish sandwiches in something called a "bistro" and I started with sketching out a rough 3D model of the gallery. We devised a plan to forge a new Libre and swap it with the real deal. Nothing really fancy but that could withstand cursory examination. Larry took that upon himself and it took up most of the afternoon.
I came up with a plan to pose as a "hacking" team from my employer, Vigil Security, to test the security of the gallery. Vigil Security had a Benelux branch called "Alert Beveiliging" and while that is impossible to pronounce, it would support our story.
At 18h45 Ed, Larry and Grace left to stake out the gallery, while I finished my 3D model and then (quietly) looked at De Witte's formulas.