Following the FBI briefing I return to my office, to get the story written and online, adding in the research of the previous day. Turns out Vitae Ltd’s sole owner, Theodore Russell, had a fatal surfing accident two days ago. He is survived by a single heir, his daughter in France. Tessa Frost seems to have left the job of HR troll for Vitae Ltd: the Vitae Ltd website is unresponsive: and the post-conflagration FBI press conference was a somber, sad commemoration of the fire, the tragically dead lab staff, and the three sadly dead security staff who died attempting to rescue them. It was BS straight from the cow, from the people who had seen the gunshot wounds of the raids victims. Biggest cover up since the FBI stated there was no such thing as ‘organised crime’. J. Edgar Hoover would have been proud.
Paul provides two leads: two of the Lab researchers known to the group were not “covered” in the press conference casualty list. Assuming that those mentioned at the conference are either dead or in the G’s hands, that leaves Ralph Laurence and Milo Livingstone. The HR files from Vitae that Paul decrypted gave contact details for both. A call indicated that Laurence had left for the United Kingdom, but Livingstone didn’t answer his phone.
On the way back from the conference, I meet with Tawney for lunch. Perhaps should have had more sleep before going. Turns out, Tawney’s life is going “just great,” there’s this director guy, Asher Locksley, who is directing Tawney in a burlesque show where she’ll probably be doing high kicks looking extremely hot and wearing very very little. Asher is just the bee’s knees, so bloody creative. Obviously a wanker. All I could say in response is that I have joined a social group, which does community service. Man does that suck. I slay the creatures of the night, run from pillar to post, out-gunned and out-spent by the opposition, and I can’t get a date! Why didn’t I say I had joined a gym? That wouldn’t have sounded so pathetic as volunteer community service, and I have a membership card. The only reason she didn’t ask for more details about the “community service” story is it was so boring, why would you make up a story about that? I’m supposed to be smart for God’s sake! Too dumb to breed…
Afterwards, I had to meet up with Sandi to get her firearm off her before investigating Milo Livingstone’s place. Sandi was shopping with her mother who is in town for a surprise visit. Ms Maclaine is younger than I expected, a lot younger, and very tidy. If Ms Maclaine is anything to go by, Sandi will still be looking damned good in her thirties. Ms Maclaine was very nice, I had been expecting someone like Dad: big, looks like they have cleaved a few beasties in their time. Ms Maclaine, from what I saw, must neatly dodge the beasties, and then artfully jab them in the appropriate pressure point.
Got the gun, met up with Dan, cruised over to the Livingstone house. Two massive goons were watching the house, necks as wide as normal people’s thighs. We cruised on by. Told Sam that I didn’t go into the place because it had two big goons staking it out, he didn’t seem impressed, too tired to argue. Called Unit 14. Apparently they were able to escort Milo from his house, the badges probably helped.
Meet up with team (minus Caleb) at TSM to talk with Jack. Bad news first: Jack has cancer, and a great deal of it. Going in for serious treatment near Christmas. Jack didn’t try to make light of it, so I figure it must be bad, even for cancer. We must be prepared to cover for him so he can concentrate on getting better, or at least surviving. I’m scared it might be serious. Good news next: The Academy have given the team a big tick. Our stipends go up to a $1000 a month. I should get some nicer furniture. Or some spellbooks (have a word with Jack).
I brought up Caleb’s reluctance. I would have asked him to his face if he had been there, but he wasn’t! I’m not saying he’s is backing out because he is scared, he has never been anything but courage on two legs, but Caleb is reluctant because of something. More than just the mob, he isn’t even returning my texts.
Dan is wondering if his day job is infringing on his ability to give to the cause. I hope he doesn’t do something rash like quit.
Paul decrypted the remaining files. HR files and Invoicing files very boring, but full of information. Research files deeply scientific, need to send it up to some experts. Paul made multiple copies of the files which was handy. It was handy because Paul gave Cliff one of the copies of the files on a memory stick. At that point the details get hazy, but from what we can piece together from Cliff, a sad story unfolds. Shortly after being given the memory stick, Cliff was ensorceled by a gorgeous blonde (“Gaze into my cleavage”), who took the stick off him, like candy from an ogling baby. Or candy from a baby ogling much bigger candy.
Paul thinks the blonde is most likely Tessa Frost. I’m inclined to agree, but there was the woman who escaped the Lab while we were tied up with the Hell Hounds. She is a loose end if she is not in fact Tessa.
Dan was harassed at work by some entity who was able to chase him from workstation to workstation, through various sign-ons with instant messaging. The entity went by the handle ‘Doris’, and told Dan that Jack was dying. More online hijinks, I’m very worried!