It only took a matter of moments for Harper to make her way down from her herpetorium up on the fourth floor of our townhouse/office building. She was wearing her work clothes of jeans, t-shirt, goggles, and gloves which meant she had been milking her cobras. Garth followed her in as a large brooding presence in an expensive suit. The two looked at me querulously as I assumed a pragmatic and mysterious facial expression. Then a few moments later, before my wife and my brother could get around to asking me why I had called them down here, David escorted our visitors in.
Faith was the first to enter. In the light, she was a beautiful brunette woman in her early 20s, who moved like she was on oiled bearings. She wore black leather pants, combat boots, and a battered denim jacket over a black t-shirt. She smirked when she walked into the room and saw Harper perched on the corner of my desk, and gave Garth an acute and obvious once over, licking her lips slightly.
The second woman to enter was another brunette with waist length hair. She was long and lean with a model's figure and was wearing a no-nonsense gray-pinstripe men's styled suit with heels. She scanned the room as though expecting a ninja attack at any second, but when she spotted the floor to ceiling poster from my circus days she broke out in a huge smile.
"Faith! Look at that!"
"I see it Little D. So...Mongo right?"
"That's me, and this is my wife Harper and the mountain in the corner is my brother Garth. He's the other 'Fredrickson' in 'Fredrickson and Fredrickson Investigations'. You are, " I turned to face Faith's companion, "Dawn Summers?"
"Yup, you can consider me like, Faith's minder, " the other brunette snorted dismissively at that statement. Then Miss Summers turned to face Harper, "Are you Doctor Harper Rhys-Whitney?" she asked curiously.
Harper looked surprised, but then nodded, "Oh this is so cool, I read your paper on controlled envenomation therapy as a counteractant towards paralytic states. That research saved a couple of Sla...our friends lives, " Miss Summers responded with a huge smile, all suspicion gone.
"Really?" Harper looked surprised and pleased.
"Oh totally. They got exposed to an odd organo-phosphate with serious cardiac muscle tissue effects, and it was touch and go till I remembered your article. I'll have to tell Marissa and Sadie that I met you, Sadie is really into homemade Thank You cards." Harper smiled back.
Miss Summers turned back to me. "So I did some checking up on you when Faith got back last night. You've got an amazingly interesting background, Dr. R. Fredrickson Ph.D."
I stiffened slightly, "I do? Pray tell Miss Summers."
"Please call me Dawn."
"Only if you two call me Mongo."
"Okay Mongo, and yes you do. Born in Peru County Nebraska in 1951, diagnosed with hypochondroplasia dwarfism at age 3, one sibling, Garth, " she hooked a thumb at aforementioned sibling, " excelled at gymnastics in High School and left home at 16 to join Statler Brothers Circus as an acrobat. Toured with the circus during the season, and used your earnings during the winter to attend Columbia University where you graduated Magna Cum Laud in Criminology. Gained your Doctorate in Criminology at Cornell and began teaching at your alma mater of Columbia after retiring from the circus in 1975, " she had been pacing back and forth as she had been reciting this, but now she stopped and sank into one of the chairs. "And now comes the really curious part. In 1977 a lock down was placed on any and all files dealing with a Robert or Garth Fredrickson by a certain individual at an intelligence agency of the US government. For reasons that I will tell you in a little while I happen to possess a scary-high security clearance and even with that all I was able to find out was that a gentleman named Lippett, placed a 75 year For Future Eyes Only classification on all files pertaining to you and that year.
The very next year, 1978, you and your brother pop up in some diplomatic dispatches from Iran. Apparently the two of you were involved in some sort of political struggle. What happened next is unclear, but the US Diplomatic Intelligence Service appended a notice saying that it had nothing to do with Iranian Revolution as far as they could tell. It also mentioned that SAVAK, the Shah's secret police had a shoot on sight order out on both of you. That order was rescinded in 1980."
At this point I was starting to sweat a little, whoever this Dawn Summers was or worked for, she was terrifyingly thorough and well-connected. My empathic brother was as usual expressionless, Harper looked fascinated, and Faith was apparently ignoring her associate and looking through my bric a brac and memorabilia. Dawn just kept on going.
"Then in 1979 something happened that involved wannabe witches and covens and a comatose little girl. Apparently a satanist cult led by someone named Esobus was responsible. Then stuff quiets down until 1985. And yet another lockdown by that Lippett guy, this time for a 100 year FFEO under something labled a 'Valhalla Priority'. Garth here quits his job with the NYPD and joins you as a private detective. You both vanish from New York for a while and when you return, you start getting cases from all sorts of three letter acronym organizations. You periodically end up working on stuff that gets National Security lockdowns until about three years ago which is when you married your lovely wife.
Obviously you folks can keep a secret and are very very good at what you do."
"I could say the same about you Dawn. Who in the hell do work for? What do you do?"
Dawn flashed another one of her radiant smiles, "We work for a millennia old organization that fights the things that go bump in the night, "She reached into her bag and pulled out a tire iron which she flung at Faith's head. Faith caught it out of the air and smoothly bent it into a horseshoe, "She's a Vampire Slayer, and I'm a Watcher."