Chapter 10Disclaimer: See previous chapters.
“Mac, this was Lindsay,” Danny turned to his superior.
“She better not be calling me to just to ask what’s up,” Mac said, flatly. “There’s a time and place for everything, and now-“
“She and Josephine found some more information about the failed Australian show – about its’ would-be host, more precisely,” Danny pressed-on, carefully.
“I’m listening,” Mac straightened up and looked Danny right in the eye. “But try to be concise, would you?”
“The man had a contract to work here, it seems. It also seems that he was something of Jack of all trades,” Danny began to carefully speak, aware that Don began to listen-in as well. “He was one of the lesser scientists here, but began to be involved with the PR as well.”
“He wasn’t very liked, important, or popular here. Contract or not, there were rumours that he was going to be let go – he just wasn’t-“
“We get it,” Don said, joining the other two. “Australia was his last chance, right?”
“Pretty much so, yes,” Danny nodded. “Here’s the thing. He was – nominally – supporter of Rachel Straw in the whole trustee feud situation.”
“She was the one who got him the Australia thing, right?”
“Yeah, she and the PR agent, Olympia.”
“So where did Ruth Limo come into it?” Mac said thoughtfully. “Danny, wait, let me think. She was opposing this situation simply because it was Rachel Straw’s idea, correct? Therefore, why was she killed alongside Rachel and Olympia Silver?”
“What makes you think that there is a connection?” Don roes to the challenge. “I mean, this is an animal we’re dealing with, here.”
“Yes, but someone is managing the animal, otherwise it probably would not have survived in this city...or it would’ve been captured and sent to the zoo or back home,” Mac replied, calmly. “This didn’t happen, so someone is taking care of the lizard...and it’s probably in the lower levels of the museum. Don, how’s the search coming? Incidentally, the warrant angle has been taken care of?”
“Of course,” Don nodded, and stiffened. “Mac, something’s wrong...”* * *Some time earlier...
The knock on the door caught the foursome by surprise. Carefully, trying to position herself before the door and the long-bladed sword that was lying on the bed, Courtney opened it. “Faith! Gigi! Who’re your friends?! And... Is that an owl?”
“I’m guessing,” Giles said hurriedly, before Genevieve could launch “Don’t call me Gigi” speech, “that one of these ladies has a solution of some sort?”
“Exactly,” Faith nodded. “An e’enathie
, to be exact.”
?” Giles repeated incredulously. “The harpies tend to be very...strident with their pets and companions. How much has it cost us?”
“Will cost you, Watcher, in the future-slash-present tense,” the elder harpy (with the bicoloured hair) spoke for the first time. “Plus an explanation, why do you need it?”
“For its natural abilities, of course,” Giles replied. “A spectral monster that had gained flesh is haunting the museum of Natural History, and we need to exorcise it. However, there will be innocent people involved. We need to get them out of the way...and I admit that the charming song of an e’enathie is quite appropriate.”
The two harpies exchanged looks. “Do you really think that you can achieve something like that, Watcher-man? Better acolytes than you have tried to achieve such a feat in times past, they failed.”
“Perhaps,” Giles nodded, while Oz slipped a small green gem into his kit out of the harpies’ points of view, “but now there’re only us. For how much are you willing to loan your pet?”
“Hundred bucks per hour.”
“Done. Will you take card or check?”
The two harpies just exchanged thoughtful looks.* * *Now...
The drowsiness hit the various people – police officers, crime scene investigators, ER physicians, museum staff – all at once. It came at an almost audible level, but it hid in the rustle of the leaves that had remained on the trees that grew outside, through the humming of the building’s air conditioning/heating system, through the rays of the setting sun (it had almost vanished behind the city’s horizon, but the sky above was still illuminated somewhat by it) and through the deepening silence of the evening.
“No, no, no, no,” Don shook his head, trying to clear his thoughts, “this is wrong, this isn’t right, this is-“ he fell the museum’s floor hard, fast asleep.
“Showtime,” Genevieve turned to Giles, as they had observed the e’enathie’s work from their external observation point, “right?”
Giles just nodded.To be continued...