The Case of the Sensitive Info

It was another Monday morning. The sign on the door said Private Investigator.

But the sign below that said wet paint and I was saying yes to a third cup of coffee.

It was cold and bitter, like a CISO saying they take security seriously.

My partner was out of town looking into a Hollywood murder plot, but that was like a bad threat model – too many actors and no lines of trust –

When a text walked through the door. They looked as if they wanted to blend into a crowd, but they were anything but plain.

They wore sunglasses and a hat with a brim the size of my tab at the local donut shop.

“I’m being blackmailed,” they said. “I don’t know who to trust.”

I’d heard this story before. I knew to be careful about timing my next words.

“I’ve got a public number, but I’m a private eye. I don’t share secrets.”

“It’s very personal. That’s my prime concern.”

“I’ll factor that in,” I said, mentally adding another digit to my usual fee.

“Only a finite field of people can ever know about this.”

“I’ve been thrown curves before. I can be discreet.”

Still, there was hesitation behind those sunglasses, so I added, “It’s secrecy from this point forward.”

They shifted nervously, but I could see we had reached an agreement.

“So,” I said. “Tell me your tale. One bit at a time.”

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