, , ,

It was a good few weeks before I could find a lead on what Delilah had said.  With classes in full swing and my job wanting my attention otherwise, it was a wonder that I made it down in the area to investigate that Friday morning.  I was wandering downtown, trying to find the building, when I spotted that Carlos guy come out of a donut shop.  It was the same one alright, he had the same scar on his cheek and glare to him.

I followed him from the shop, staying not too close on the crowded sidewalk, to a small park near the old Bank of America building.  There, he met a woman and gave her a coffee.  I hid behind a tree as to not be seen and strained to hear the conversation.

“You sure you want to meet out in the open like this boss?” Carlos asked, looking nervous as they sat down on the park bench.

“As far as anyone knows, I’m here meeting a friend for coffee,” She said and took a sip off her cup.  “The local gangs are too afraid of my influence and the cops don’t know where to start looking, so I can relax for now.”

“But that one vigilante–”

“Oh?  Like one woman dressed up like a hussy can stop me?  You’ve got better things to do with my time than spout that ridiculous story about a catgirl with a gold staff.”

Carlos sighed.  “Fine, but I’m warning you, Ms Innis, trouble could be coming our way if we ignore it…”

After a minute she shook her head.  “I’ll beef up security then.  Now, how is the product flow doing in Oakland?”

“Quite well, we’ve got some Vietnamese stock headed up to Portland, since our guys up there have demanded a few fresh ones, but most of them are staying in the Bay Area.  Profits are through the roof, and an ambassador from the local Japanese family wishes to meet with you to discuss business arrangements.”

“Good, but tell them my schedule is blocked next week for a business trip to Rio, so we’ll have to allot time after that.  Entech has been really busy since we have licensed the new nanotech to Dowline.”  She looked at her watch.  “I do believe I need to get back to the office, I’ve got a meeting in ten minutes.  Care to escort me?”

“With pleasure.”

The two walked side by side off towards the Triple Five, and I was barely able to snap a picture of them with my phone before they crossed the street.  I did get a good shot though, as Innis had turned her head towards my direction when I was taking the shot.  I hope she thought I was a tourist taking a picture of the Triple Five, because she didn’t pause after that.

Walking back through the park, I was inputting what I’d overheard into my phone when I noticed a hawk.  Normally I wouldn’t mention something like this, but it seemed to like me, as it followed me through the park and towards my area of town.  I ignored it most of the time, but what was odd was that it seemed to give me an unimpressed look.

After class let out that day, I went to the library and thankfully found a computer to use to do my research on what had been said.  With a good bit of Google-fu, I found Entech’s website and cross-referenced the picture I took to their about page and found that Ms. Innis was in fact Claire Innis, the current CEO of Entech and one of the highest ranking women in the city’s tech industry.  To think someone so powerful would stoop so low as to traffic women for the sex trade was unconscionable.  I had to get evidence to her crime–and soon–before any more innocents were hurt.

That’s when I spotted a public tour of the office and lab was being held in two weeks.  It was a perfect opportunity to sneak in and find incriminating files to her side business.  I marked down the date and RSVP number before heading out, that hawk giving me the stink eye from a copse of trees across from the library.  I didn’t care at that moment, because I had both a date and a mission to prepare for.