Friday, February 10, 2023

Heller and Shannon: Evasive action

“I want to ask you a few questions about your last girlfriend” Shannon said.

Is there a sentence anybody dreads more? Every failed relationship haunts us like the clanging chains of Christmas Past.

“What do you want to know?” Heller asked, warily.

He prayed it was NOT a breakdown of all the reasons why it didn’t work out. He was still in a muddle about much of it and wasn’t a smooth-talker by nature.

“What are the chances of me running into Stephanie around here?” Shannon asked.

Thank God she asked an easy one. “That would be about a zero-percent chance” Heller said.

“Was she from around here?” Shannon asked.

“Sort of but not really. She went to Waverly High School just west of Lansing” Heller said.

That was a relief. From Shannon’s perspective Stephanie was less likely to come out to the ass-end of Ionia county if all of her buddies were in Lansing.

“Where is she now?” Shannon asked.

“She wanted a carreer in law-enforcement. Last I knew she was applying to the FBI and the ATF (Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms). Said she wanted excitement...and a pension.” Heller said.

“Last I knew she had moved to Saline down by Ann Arbor and was talking of moving to Maryland” Heller said.

“Why the sudden interest in Stephanie?” he asked.

Shannon scrunched up her nose, a habit she had when she was picking a path through the landmines.

“Do you remember that “catfishing” project I was working on?” Shannon asked.

Of course Heller remembered. Shannon talked about it every damned night. “Yeah, I do” he said.

“It is blowing up on me” Shannon admitted. “I am getting all kinds of people who run big businesses and high level executives in the State government falling over themselves to get to know “Anita”” Shannon said.

Heller cocked an eyebrow. “I thought that was the whole idea.”

“Well, it is. But I didn’t think it would work. These are powerful people. These are people that could hurt you or hurt me and it wouldn’t bother them any more than stepping on a bug” Shannon said.

“And you were thinking….” Heller helped her along.

“I found Stephanie’s student ID in the junk drawer in the kitchen. It is expired. I was thinking that maybe I should go to a different library and sign in as Stephanie…” Shannon said. Listening to herself it sounded lame and melodramatic.

“Do it” Heller said.

Heller had his faults. Lots of them. But nobody had ever accused him of being indecisive.

“Stephanie left it behind. I could have put it in the trash beside the road and raccoons could have torn the bags open. Anybody could have found it and used it. If she didn’t care enough to keep track of it or destroy it when she was done with it, then it means she don’t care” Heller said.

“Whatever happens, its on her.”


Shannon didn’t go to the Ionia Public Library after work the next day.

She went to Lake Odessa, a small farming and resort community. She held her breath when she handed over Stephanie’s old ID. It had expired and Stephanie’s hair was much shorter and much redder than Shannon’s.

The librarian didn’t even look at Shannon. She wrote Stephanie’s name into the log-book and asked Shannon if she needed any help logging into the computer.

Shannon (aka Stephanie) said “I think I can handle it but I would come up here if I run into any problems.”

The librarian, who seemed very interested in the social media on her computer screen said “The password is Go_Vikings. We change it every month so you will have to check back in...although it will probably be Go_Packers and Go_Lions the month after that, but I never told you that.”

Shannon/Stephanie thanked the librarian and logged into the computer.

Anita had 24 more requests for “connections”.


  1. Hmm. I suspected this day would come. I am having interesting thoughts (a good internal discussion) about using someone else's ID to cover your tracks.

    Perhaps Shannon did not think of the end game as well as she might of. And Stephanie's ID, at some point, could be tied back to Heller (and thus Shannon - it happened in reverse once already).

  2. Oh man. At least she went to a different city. I'd probably find a loose brick to hide it behind near the library. And wipe it down after I use it. Gravy..... I got a bit puckered reading that.

  3. After the *** you have Stephanie going to library not Shannon. Love the story line.

    1. Operator error on the part of the author. Good catch. Thanks.

  4. Maybe a typo? "Stephanie didn’t go to the Ionia Public Library..." Should this read Shannon instead? Could be a good time for Shannon to learn about using a Virtual Private Network (VPN) to hide her virtual "footprints"... I don't think that I'd risk using an ID that belonged to someone that works in Law Enforcement - it's one of those Low Frequency, High Risk type of events - the outcome of which can rain hellfire down on one. It made me think of the old saying - "Hell hath no fury like that of a woman scorned." Especially if she has the resources of a Federal Law Enforcement agency at her fingertips.

  5. Chekhov's gun! I've been waiting to see how this ID was going to show up!

    1. I never knew that term. I learned something new!! thank you!

  6. From reading the previous comments I agree a Policewoman scorned ID is an exciting way to get in serious trouble.

    Often, it's better to live a happy life to spite the C'diff's of the world.

  7. Might be a good idea to fabricate an entirely faux ID for an imaginary person...just like a mail-in ballot from MI, WI, AZ, PA, GA, CA, OR...

  8. Faux ID is nice but when an angry Fed Agency woman is looking up who's messing with her in a sex catfish effort the source of the internet traffic will be found AH, Local?

    A sexual catfishing *might* be career damaging?

    When motivated Feds can be quite effective. BTW I notice every so often a NEW Improved Anonymous TOR, VPN, Gab style system occurs AS the older ones are Proven to be Compromised by Feds and 3 letter agencies.

    Who developed the internet? The US Military sponsored it to allow communications during a nuclear attack, bypassing damaged links and so on.

    Who sponsors or owns the most powerful supercomputers in the world? US Military et al.

    et al.
    [ˌed ˈäl, ed ˈal]
    and others

    How do you have a secure communication with your PC when your observers have super computers. Raw processing power matters IF you are "Interesting" to them.

    Sometimes living a good life is the best revenge for scummy folks like C'Diff.

  9. Big mistake for Stephanie to use any ID that can be tracked back to any name connected to Heller or herself. Should be using several different totally different fake IDs with names picked at random.

    Fake credentials that will pass inspection by a librarian are fairly cheap and can be obtained almost anywhere. They don't need to be very good.

    And she should be using several different locations for her activities, each one using a different ID from her set. Might be a good idea to modify her appearance for each location too.

    If she does manage to hook someone with her catfish scheme, she had better have a quick, lethal sting and immediate blowoff. Then she had better trash all of the fake IDs and go silent.

    If Feds get involved, her online locations and fake IDs will be compromised within hours and surveillance teams active on site within a week. Best for her not to ever go back to any of the locations after the sting.

    If it is a "private matter", those contractors will take longer to compromise the IDs and locations. Maybe a month or so. They will still get most of them. They won't be as restrained as the Feds in chasing leads to the perpetrators.

    Neither group may be able to find Stephanie if she is careful.

    Of course, Feds and private contractors could get into serious conflict when one of the names they both have turns out to be a Federal Agent and the contractors push a little too hard on that lead.

    Stephanie is moving into a harsh new environment for which she has neither training nor experience. She had better be a really fast learner.


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