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[personal profile] puffy_wuffy
[2010.11.23][1724][38733]
Hare’s first pay check was handed to him a week after he started at Kobbe’s.  
After much discussion amongst the Harolds, Hare deposited the check at a local bank in Harold’s account.  By using Harold’s card, he was able to walk out to the ATM and dispense cash.  This was a boon in many ways.  Now instead of spending Harold’s pension money, Hare could spend his own money, money he earned and could use as he wanted.
Luckily, he didn’t go crazy with the money.  However, he did finally get a pay as you go cell phone from the strip mall’s local wireless company.  It was the most basic plan, but it also allowed him to have a contact with the school so that he could take care of Rold.  It seemed that every day Hare spent in the store, even if only for a few hours, a door within him was opening to little bit by little bit to include the rest of the world.  Strangers didn’t seem so strange:  if anything, people were more similar than they were different.

Geraldine Jones’ first acts after becoming the CEO of the Company was to officially ensure that everyone knew that she was the new figurehead with all of the communication that entailed.  Emails and press releases were sent; speeches were given  Her main focus was that she, in fact, had not been chosen as the heir, but that business would go on as usual, with a larger drive on adapting well as the world around their products, services and visions changed:  words which she tried to imbue with actual meaning if not all of her years of faithful work.
In the back of her mind, there was unfinished business to take care of as she made proclamations and attended meetings.  The smile that she used daily felt plastered upon her face like a mask, something she could only get rid of after hours.  Still, she had readied herself for the slow and steady petrification of her soul:  things would only get worse not better.  The day she felt that she could not spend another ten years pursuing a goal with uncertain rewards would be the day she would have to quit.  
Today was a day when she could set a bit of unfinished business against another piece of unpleasantness.  If she was truly fortunate, nothing terrible would happen.  In the best case scenario, one would solve the other.  In her hand, she held a folder with papers in it.  She loved folders:  they are a way to group papers together.  Papers can hold quite a bit of information.  Although electronic transmissions are a quick and easy way to move large chunks of information, they were not immediately useful.  You can take paper and read it;  you can draw on paper and mark up the important words as you desired.  In the end, what mattered was what you did with the information, and the paper was always accessible without the need of an outlet.  Unlike electronic transmissions, paper was harder to intercept, and easier to destroy at a moment’s notice.
Glancing at her wristwatch, an expensive gift from a board member, she noticed that Duncan was not yet there.  Granted, it was five minutes from the time they had arranged for him to arrive, but it showed a lack of enthusiasm, or perhaps a poor ability in planning.  These were things she knew about him beforehand, but had hoped would change with time.  Now was clearly not the time.
She opened her email, setting aside the folder for the moment, and caught up with some of her required reading.  Her email was a special feed, one in which all emails from all inboxes she deemed worthy of watching were fed to hers.  Currently, she added a filter which only picked out emails which carried certain key words.  It made for an interesting way to pass the time.
A knock on her open door startled her.  Duncan Kerr, once the CEO, stood in the doorway, a bit more bedraggled than the last time she had seen him.  She closed her email application and stood to greet him.  Were he her superior, she would have greeted him with a handshake and a tiny prepared speech.  Were he on the same level as she, perhaps a CEO from another company, she would have offered him a drink or to take a seat.
“I suppose you had a hard time getting in?”  She mused.
“No, no, it was fine,”  tight-lipped, Duncan shrugged.  “I didn’t realize that my identification card had been deactivated.  I didn’t time it right.”
“I suppose you didn’t.”  Geraldine allowed her smile to reach her eyes.  “Please come in.”  As Duncan moved into her office, she shut the door behind him.  Perching in her chair, she waited for him to sit opposite of her.  When he didn’t, she pointed to the chair and murmured, “Please sit.”
He sat stiffly, hyperaware of everything around him.
“Duncan, I brought you back to clean some things up.”  She shifted the folder on her desk towards him.  “Starting with that file.”
The folder had the words “Doctor Harold Smith” written on it.  He hefted the folder, then opened it.  “What is this?”
“Read it, then tell me what it is.”  She patiently stared at him as he read.  When he closed the file again, ten minutes later, she leaned forward.  “What is it, Duncan?”
“I think I remember some of this,”  He stated in wonderment.  “You had found human matter in this doctor we had fired’s lab after he left.”
“Close enough.”
“So you didn’t destroy the evidence.”
“No.”  Geraldine held his gaze.  “In fact, I’m going to use you to figure out what happened.”
“How am I supposed to figure all of this out?”
“The same way I used to.”  She steepled her hands and leaned back in her chair.  “I’m busy with all of the duties of the CEO, but I don’t want this to fall by the wayside.  There will be more projects like this if you succeed.  Think of yourself as my assistant.  You would get the same pay I got, with the same benefits I did for so long.”  She decided to use Ducan’s morose silence to her advantage.  “How has the job search been for you lately?”  As that missile hit home, she fired another.  “Your father owned this company before you did.  His father before him and so on for four generations.  I think it would be a shame if this was lost to your family.”  She gestured all around her.  “Don’t you?”

Marjorie Turner, happily spending a day at home alone and away from work and family, heard her cell phone ring as she fit a round of afternoon toast in the toaster.  She dug in her purse and retrieved her phone.  “Hello?  Yes, this is she.”  She fidgeted with her feet.  “Oh, no, he moved.  I’m not sure, you could call the realtor, they might know more.  Yes, I don’t know where he is.”  She shrugged.  “I can get the number of the realtor for you, though, hold on.”

Realtors are naturally chatty people, willing to talk your ear off about any subject.  This realtor wore a suit on all days of the year and yammered, rambled, but never stammered.  “Yes, I remember him, his foursquare had a phenomenal amount of space in a good neighborhood.”  Leaning back in his chair, he placed his feet upon his desk.  “Think he mentioned moving somewhere a bit less expensive, another state, I think.”  Sticking a hand over his head, he continued, “I had a talk with a different realtor about what he wanted:  quieter, maybe a three bed or four bed with two bath.  Good for renting out or having over friends and family, you know.  Easy to heat and maintain.”  He scratched his chin.  “He was getting on in years.  These people once they get old enough, can’t navigate stairs.  They need nice neighborhoods too, that sort of thing.  The number of the realtor I sent him to?  Let me go get it.”

Wearing business casual, a young man poked a button on a phone and listened through his headset.  “I have done business with a Harold Smith, hold on.”  Typing a few words into his keyboard, he waited as the computer responded.  “Of course, I remember the house.  pretty rare to see this style built any more.  Tract housing isn’t like it used to be.  It’s rare that people move out of these places.”  He chuckled at his own personal joke.  “Once you’re in, you’re in.”  He hummed under his breath.  “I can get you the address, but I don’t have a phone number.  Nope, no phone number.  Everything was done in person, pretty rare these days.  Do you still want the address?”

Geraldine, busy organizing a set of meeting notes, looked up to find Duncan Kerr breathing heavily in front of her desk.
“I found his address.”
Startled, she could only say, “Whose?”
“Harold Smith.  The doctor who we found the stuff in?”  He passed her a handwritten sheet of paper.  “Here it is.”
She stared at the paper, then picked it up between a forefinger and thumb.  “No phone number, I’m not looking at an email address, I’m not talking to him on the phone.   Didn’t I ask you to get in touch with him?”
He nodded eagerly.
“Does this mean that I am in touch with him?  Have you talked to him?”
His face fell, but righted itself.  “I did manage to find him, though.”
She put the offending paper back down on her desk and rubbed the bridge of her nose.  “It has been two days.  He is one person.  Efficiency is key, Duncan.  Find out how to do things in the least amount of steps.”  Closing her eyes, she pushed her palms together in what could be seen as a gesture of prayer.  “Okay. If I wanted an address, what would be the quickest way to do it.”
“You would hire a private investigator?”
“No,I would run a credit check and a current address should show up.  If not, I would run one again three months later.”  She opened her eyes.  “Now, continue working on this, yourself, until you can talk to him in person.”

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