September 15, 2031, 6:00 PM.
He dreamed of nickels and dimes.
Troubling dreams kept Don tossing as he tried to sleep that afternoon. Maybe it was the drugs wearing off from the flight. Maybe it was jet lag. Maybe it was Freidâ€™s murder or the anxiety from everyone in Wakimaâ€™s Shanghai office.
One of the hard things about being a detective was having elevated senses to notice detail and not being able to turn them off. You might notice that somebody had a nervous tick and begin to wonder why he had that tick. Pretty soon you were inside their head trying to figure out literally what made them tick.
That was why CEO Larry Tzu hired him straight out of the Army. â€œPeople rub off on you, Don. You know what they are capable of doing. You even know Iâ€™m going to hire you, donâ€™t you?â€
The problem was that some people were so messed up that it messed you up. Obviously this Pluribus thing had poisoned Freid and whoever killed him.
He remembered what Seldezky had told him before he left. According to his records, it messed up everyone associated with it. There was nothing in the records that actually described what it was, but the company paid a lot of money to keep it quiet. â€œI am a capitalist by training, but even this company took the cake. They spent more on legal fees than research and development after Pluribus. I think it was turning point for them. They worked so hard at doing the wrong thing the right way. Maybe it explains why their country became such a mess. I should not complain. Their management mistakes provided me with this job of cleaning up after them. It was amusing until now. Now people are dying.â€
Don got up and checked his messages. Luisa confirmed a helicopter ride from LAX to Burbank.
There was also a series of anonymous text messages in capital letters.
REMEMBER WHAT HAPPENED LAST TIME.
It shook Don out of his funk. Whenever he was on a case and was told to stay away, it meant he was getting close. It meant he was close to getting answers. Those nickels and dimes in his dreams were adding up. He packed up his gear and headed out.
Copyright 2006 DJ Cline. All rights reserved.