Monday, 9 March 2015

No Longer In Service (Episode 27)

A_Boy_Named_Sue: But I don’t know where else to look!

Anders: Have you any access to the list of field operation missions? Can you find out if she was assigned to a recent k/c/q?

A_Boy_Named_Sue: No, I don’t have access to that!!! And I’m not going to walk over to Burley’s desk and demand it either.

Anders: You seem to have made a good connection with her already.

TheBetterHalf_1919: The boy is right. We can’t exclude the possibility that it was Burley herself who issued a k/c/q to capture Pine. Who else would know where to find Pine?

A_Boy_Named_Sue: This is all my fault.

TheBetterHalf_1919: Or more precisely, what’s to say she’s not in league with the embezzlers and literally sent the girl to her doom?

Anders: My darling heart, I love you when you’re brilliant, but I hate you when you’re right.

A_Boy_Named_Sue: None of this would have ever happened if I hadn’t told her to check the archives.

Anders: Nonsense, boy. None of this would have happened if someone hadn’t tried to bring down Ishmael in the first place. If they hadn’t been so bloody reticent about the entire quarantine affair, none of this would have happened.

TheBetterHalf_1919: If we’re laying blame, perhaps we should include that fellow Dr. Grey, to whom we owe this horrible mutation of lycanthropy.

Anders: Or Wyrd itself. After all, it was the Moldova Incident which has split this organization in twain.

TheBetterHalf_1919: Never mind all this. We could blame everyone and everything – we could blame the moon for all that’s happened to us – but none of that will help us locate Pine.

TheBetterHalf_1919: Sumac, do you have access to all Wyrd financial accounts now?

A_Boy_Named_Sue: I guess…

TheBetterHalf_1919: Including those of Pine?

A_Boy_Named_Sue: I…might?

A_Boy_Named_Sue: Do you know her Wyrd ID?

TheBetterHalf_1919: No, you’ll have to be clever. Do you remember her legal name?

A_Boy_Named_Sue: Penny Stalkingbird?

Anders: Walkingbird.

A_Boy_Named_Sue: Let me see what I can find.

TheBetterHalf_1919: With luck, you should be able to find also a credit card number. Once you have it, I should be able to trace all recent transactions. Any kind of account number should allow me to crack into her financial records.

TheBetterHalf_1919: Ishmael isn’t the only hacker in Wyrd, after all.

Anders: My beloved has been skilled in the art of cheque and credit card fraud since…well, since the invention of cheques and credit cards, I suppose.

TheBetterHalf_1919: Credit cards only, my love. Cheque fraud was a later addition.

Anders: In the meantime, what do we know? Have we heard back from the company that has promised to perform aerial photography for you?

Anders: That area you mentioned before, not far off the Transcanadian Highway. Was she very far from the quarantine site?

TheBetterHalf_1919: To be honest, I’m not very sure.

TheBetterHalf_1919: The Wyndham quarantine is considerably further south-west than the position Sumac has speculated.

Anders: Our friend Sumac may also be incorrect. The Transcanadian Highway is an exceptionally long roadway, even within a single province. All we know is that she could be in a culvert under the road, and that she thinks it was the Transcanadian highway.

TheBetterHalf_1919: You’re not being particularly helpful, dear, nor encouraging.

Anders: Have we been able to trace the last known location of the cell phone Pine was using?

TheBetterHalf_1919: I’ve had someone look into it for me, but they haven’t gotten back to me yet.

TheBetterHalf_1919: Sumac, dear, have you had any luck yet?

Anders: Sumac shows as “away”…He never has been that skilled at multi-tasking.

TheBetterHalf_1919: I’ll give him five minutes, and then I’m calling him.

Anders: “Him” who, dear? Your contact at the cell phone company, or Sumac.

TheBetterHalf_1919: Well, both, I suppose. I don’t see why I can’t carry one two or three conversations simultaneously. Not very much different from my days with the WRNS, now is it?

Anders: Ah, to see you in the old grey wool again. Brings back fond memories. My darling Jennie Wren. I wouldn’t wait so long to call the cell phone fellow.

TheBetterHalf_1919: Right you are. I’m already dialing.

Anders: Sumac, we need you, my boy. Be quick about your business, please.

TheBetterHalf_1919: Getting through to my contact.

Anders: I have my map open. In the meantime, be a dear and find out if her cell phone is “still on the move”. We’ll need to know specifically where the phone was at the time of those two calls, as well as where the cell phone is now, if it has since moved on.

TheBetterHalf_1919: As I recall, Sumac said that it sounded like the cell phone was crushed at the end of that last message.

Anders: Very true. It may no longer be broadcasting. Just the same…

TheBetterHalf_1919: There, we have it.

Anders: And the result is?

TheBetterHalf_1919: Cross-referencing against the map…

TheBetterHalf_1919: Cross-referencing against satellite imagery…

TheBetterHalf_1919: Rather surprising. She’s not at all on the Transcanada Highway.

TheBetterHalf_1919: She’s on the highway between Timmins and Sudbury.

Anders: I see a series of small towns along that highway between Timmins and Sudbury. Perhaps she’s not far from civilization after all.

TheBetterHalf_1919: Yes, it appears she was running of a cell tower very near to this town of Elmbury. There are plenty of roadworks in that area as well, and I have an idea or two of which might have the highest commercial traffic.

Anders: How quickly can you get to an airport? I’ll make sure to have a rental car waiting for you at the airport.

TheBetterHalf_1919: There’s an airport at Sudbury. I should be able to fly in fairly quickly, weather dependent. But first we need to confirm with Sumac that this was her cell phone that she called from.

Anders: Whose phone would she be using, if not her own?

TheBetterHalf_1919: Standard procedure for a field operation. If you are required to take down a target, one of your first tasks, aside from completing a capture, is to strip the target of all means of communication with the outside world. They would have removed her cellphone as quickly as possible.

Anders: True enough, but we haven’t even proven that she was captured on a k/c/q order in the first place.

Anders: For all we know, she was on a standard operation under someone else’s field command.

Anders: Beloved, can we trust any other volunteers to adopt as Agents of Chaos?

TheBetterHalf_1919: If you had asked me a month ago, darling, you know I would have said yes.

TheBetterHalf_1919: But for the sake of curiosity, whom were you suggesting?

Anders: Agent Larch. She is very good friends with Agent Pine, and no good friend of Jay.

TheBetterHalf_1919: A difficult call. A battered wife might be disinclined to file a police report against her own husband. In fact, she might even warn him of impending trouble.

Anders: Beloved, I hate you again.

TheBetterHalf_1919: Yes dear.

TheBetterHalf_1919: Sumac, are you there?

Anders: Call him.

TheBetterHalf_1919: Dialing.

TheBetterHalf_1919: …

TheBetterHalf_1919: Anders, there’s no answer.

Anders: Are you calling his cell phone or his home phone?

TheBetterHalf_1919: His cell phone. It rings four times and goes to voice mail.

Anders: And his home phone number?

TheBetterHalf_1919: I’m getting in the car.

Anders: Why?

TheBetterHalf_1919: There is an automated message advising me that this number is no longer in service.