Lazar's face distorted into a hostile grimace. It was indeed what he expected to hear, but still, he hoped it wouldn't be the case, "What did you just say?" He asked in an aggressive tone without being able to stop himself from raising his voice whereas he had asked Francis a moment earlier to speak quietly.
Francis looked around thinking that someone must have heard Lazar and that he could use the pretext of discretion to push him to calm down. Unfortunately nobody was paying attention to them and he quickly understood that he had no choice but to assume his responsibilities.
Protecting the identity of Lazar was one of the engagements of Francis towards him and Lazar had always been categorical that if they were to leak their collaboration would come to an end.
Although Lazar was one of the people Francis appreciated the most, he was also the person he feared the most. Francis, like many others, had witnessed the beating that Lazar had given to Ben, and several times he had wondered if one day he would use this kind of violence on him.
So when he saw that Lazar was even angrier than he had imagined, Francis couldn't help but shake with all his body. The fear he felt was so intense that even his chair was shaking with him, "S... Some... Someone tried to access your file last night." He finally managed to say after a few stammers.
'Tried?' Lazar gradually regained his calm since the situation was maybe not that bad.
"You mean that the person who did this didn't succeed?" Lazar asked in a more empathetic voice so that Francis would stop being afraid and especially so that he would stop taking ages to answer.
The shaking of Francis subsided when he realized that Lazar was no longer very mad at him and he manages to gather enough courage to speak to him while looking at him, "I was able to figure out in time that someone was trying to get your file and although it took me most of the night, I managed to protect everything." He said while patting his cheeks to try to stay awake.
Now that he had confirmation that his identity was still protected, Lazar was already thinking of counter-attacking, "Have you considered what would happen if the person who did this, or someone else, tried to get my file again?"
"I woke up on my keyboard barely an hour ago, so, sorry but not being late and warning you were the only things my tired brain could focus on." Francis responded annoyed as he rubbed his eyes to try to keep them open.
'I've been busting my ass all night and I don't even get a thank you! Would it kill him to be grateful for once?!' Francis thought full of bitterness. Being the kind of person who needs to know that his efforts are appreciated, the fact that Lazar never supported him was particularly upsetting to him.
"Okay, this may sound stupid, but it might save you a few sleepless nights. Is it possible to change the information in my file?" Lazar asked.
'What?!' Francis stopped rubbing his eyes, lowered his hands and stared at Lazar as if he had instantly lost half the respect he had for him.
"It's possible, but yeah, it's also completely stupid. I managed to hack them, but that doesn't mean everyone in the FBI is retarded. Huh, you really think they're not gonna notice that your file's been altered? By the way, don't think it's impossible for them to find me, if one day they are aware of my visits in their servers, it's game over." Incredible, while he had believed him infallible until now, Lazar had just proved to Francis that he, too, could tell bullshit.
Noticing a smug look that he never thought he would see on Francis, Lazar promptly explained himself to erase it from his face, "If there are no more attempts to access my file, all the better. If there is another one, would it be possible to change my file and blame it on the person trying to get it? This way we could divert the FBI's attention and the person trying to access my file will get wrong informations if he or she succeed."
For a brief moment, Francis thought he heard something stupid again and was about to tell Lazar that it might be better for everyone to stay within their area of expertise, but then his expression became interrogative.
The more he thought about it, the less incoherent the idea of Lazar seemed to him, "Well..." He started to say with a new found humility, "It's going to be complex, but if everything goes right it can work. Since the attempt made by the hacker who wanted your file missed there's no way he's going to try again anytime soon and it gives me enough time to prepare a trap for him."
"No problem then." Lazar replied as he opened the notebook he'd taken out while Maria was still here.
What did this story had to do with Andrew?
Well, a month and a half after Lazar and Francis had this conversation, a new attempt to get Lazar's file happened and Francis took this opportunity to express all his talent.
In addition to modifying Lazar's file and redirecting suspicions to the other hacker, he was also able to track the hacker's employer; Andrew Sullyvan...
If Lazar had only retained the facts that he knew that it was Andrew who was behind the attempt to obtain informations on him and that on top of that he failed, he wouldn't take him very seriously but it would be forgetting a crucial question; How the fuck did he find out about the existence of this file in the first place?!
What was most disturbing about Andrew was his unpredictability, if Lazar preferred to avoid him it wasn't just because he knew he was dangerous, but especially because he couldn't figure out how dangerous he was.
'But now it's a bit late to turn back.' Lazar let go of the doorknob of the room and went to sit opposite Andrew with a barely concealed annoyed expression.
'Let's hope he won't have to force himself for very long.' Amandla thought when she saw that Lazar had discreetly moved his chair back to be a little less close to Andrew.