August 29, 2010

Billie's Journal

Seattle, day 1
It's been a couple of months since I last posted. We've been keeping a low profile and I barely heard from any of the others for the first month after we escaped from that house.

Not that we haven't been busy. We have been looking for a new place to call home. Zero narrowed the possibilities down to two places and we took a look. First place was an old fire station down in the Barrens. On the plus side that meant we wouldn't have to worry about the cavalry raining on our parade, just the locals. But it was in pretty bad condition and would need a lot of work to be habitable.

The second place was an empty garage in the commercial district down by the docks. Lone Star does come by now and then but that does mean it's safer. Also as most of the places are businesses there's not too many people just wandering around, and most of them go home of an evening. There were also some appartments above the garage that we could use and the clincher, the rent was cheap.

Which is a good thing as I'm broke. Replacing my lost gear wasn't cheap but getting my arm fixed and upgraded really emptied my savings. Hang on let me go back a bit. Last time we all got together Finlay asked me how I managed to get out of that chair. He had tried himself and he's pretty darned strong. I told him that is was like in Edinburgh when I took ill, but this time I let it out and was able to break free.

"Like ze Hulk" chirped Zero with that cute little frenchie accent of hers. I didn't know what she meant so she showed me a clip of some cartoon character that turns green and gets strong when he's angry. I told her that was what it kinda felt like, except the turning green part. She laughed at that and it made me smile too. There ain't enough smiles in this crazy world.

About this time, the padre who had been quietly nursing his drink looks at me and says, "You are awakened. Not a mage, but an adept of some sort."

I ask him if he means like Finlay and he replies "Yes." Well that sure kills the conversation. Later I ask him about magic and cyberware. He tells me that my arm and other enhancements will only limit my magical abilities, not stop them from working. He tells me that he thinks I can boost my strength, ignore pain to some extent, and that my affinity for handguns may be more than just 'natural' talent.

Well, if I can boost my strength with magic it sure explains how I managed to damage my cyberarm. I ask around about getting it upgraded and finally Sheriff comes through with a contact. Frag, I owe that man so much and now I owe him more.

The new arm is a little bulkier and heavier and cost me pretty much all my remaining cred. I had just enough to cover my share of the rent for the new place. Now I need a job.

Checking my mail, I find a message from Aurora. I've pasted it here so I won't lose it.

Aurora's message

Well I was out of the door and halfway to Bellevue before good sense got the better of rage. I managed to pull off the road into a back alley, before collapsing over the bike's handlebars in tears. A couple of hours later, with my tail between my legs, I drove back to the garage.

Seems I had left my mail onscreen 'cause the whole team were sitting up waiting up for me. Zero gave me a friendly hug and Finlay handed me a scotch, the real stuff too. Then we sat down and had a long talk.

I told them how since finding out some of my past in Scotland, I had been doing some digging. Well, Aurora had been doing some digging and had made the link to the hospital here in Seattle and found the trace in their system. I told them that after our last run went bad, I had asked her to keep watch for someone else digging into my past and maybe triggering that trace program. Someone had.

"So what now," Finlay asked, ever practical.

"I could use some help," I whispered in reply.

Seattle, day 3
Zero has spent the last couple of days digging into the hospital database, building on the data Aurora sent through. She did some cross-referencing and found that a doctor still working there had been on duty in E.R. every time a girl had gone missing.

I also did some digging myself, looking at the pictures of all the girls to see if any struck a memory. Only one did. Wilhemina McCullough. An elf, thin and with blonde hair like mine. Her face is younger and a slightly a different shape, but I feel like I'm looking in a mirror when I look at her image.

Zero hacks into the doc's personal files then his home computer. She digs up some dirt: details of an offshore account in the Cayman Islands. Doc Lyman just made prime suspect.

Seattle, day 4
I don't like the plan but it's the best we got. Zero has gotten hold of a nurse's and a nun's outfit and I get to be the nun. We go in separately, Zero as a nurse, Finlay as a visitor and me and the padre as religious support. It mostly works as nobody really bothers us until Finlay runs afoul of the doc's secretary. Only some fast talking and remembering that the doc has a golfing afternoon planned later in the week, convinces her he is on the level.

Finlay and Zero extract the doc, and we load him into the van. The padre casts a spell on him to make him tell the truth and I keep him covered with one of the Kimbers. He spills but its not what we want. He knows nothing about missing girls but has been sending samples of fetal matter from abortions to a bunch of interested parties before destroying them.

Frag, is everyone in Seattle on the take. Seems like it is as the padre then puts the squeeze on the doc for a share of his ill-gotten gains. I had hoped to use him as my man on the inside, but this surprise move blows any chance of that out of the water. When did the padre get so greedy. I know he uses most of it to care for his 'flock', but this guy coulda been useful to me. We drop the doc off and return to the garage.

Seattle, day 5
Combing through the files for any clues, I realise that a lot of the articles on the senator's missing daughter were written by the same guy, Danny Kincaid. I look him up, but my computer skills ain't too good and have to ask Zero for help. She turns up an address quicker than I can draw my piece.

I call the reporter but get reception. I leave my real name, if that is what it is, and tell them its about the senator's daughter. Later I get a call from the man himself. I handle it badly and he tells me he gets a lot of crank calls and asks for some proof, physical proof. I offer to send him the data but he just laughs. He wants hard copy.

I get Zero to print out some of the info for me and swing past his office to drop it off personally.

Seattle, day 6
Seems to have worked. He calls back for a meet. A coffee place near his office. He is an older guy, who still wears suspenders to keep his pants up. His hair is greying and he carries too much weight from working a desk job. He wants to know what my story is. I tell him some, but not all. He seems unwilling to provide me with anything I can use. He still seems to think that I am a loon, either that or a gold-digger after the reward money. And while that money sure would be nice, I am just out for revenge.

Well, only one more lead to go. Green Ronin.

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