"Well maybe they met over the internet. Computer, take me to Nadine McClaren's apartment."

The HUD lights up the flight path. Doc pulls back on the stick. The Python jumps into the air with a sudden jolt.

"Careful! I almost spilled my beer!" Thunderhorse shouts from behind him. He's holding one of Doc's tallboys.

"Hey! That's my beer!"

"Then you should want less to spill it," Thunderhorse retorts. He continues chugging.

Doc rolls his eyes as he eases the throttle forward. He notices a light asking him if he wishes to engage the autopilot. He cancels it, figuring now is a good time to practice flying. Now it tells him to increase speed. He does so.

The flight path leads a very quick jump through the skylanes to the south side of the city. They fly from the highest buildings down towards the mid levels, cruising between the towers just over the fog that obscures the street levels.

Only two minutes later, the Python's computer is instructing Doc to land on the roof of an apartment building. This rooftop parking lot is another stripmall island in the clouds. There's a small grocery store, a chinese caryout, and a pharmacy.

Doc lands the Python with a heavy thump. A few warning alarms scream at him briefly. Doc gets the hatch open. He and Thunderhorse climb out, leaving Mark behind.

They cross the busy parking lot. People cast sidelong glances at the strange pair. Doc himself is rather inconspicuous, but the leather clad giant next to him is a strange sight. Doc makes a mental note: find Thunderhorse something more appropriate to wear in public. They must think he's a masochist and Thunderhorse is his gimp.

In the small arcade between the caryout and the pharmacy is an elevator. Nadine's apartment is on the 15th floor, nine stories down. Unfortunately, the elevator doors won't open without a key.

There's a small video intercom on the wall next to the elevator. Doc hits the button. "Nadine McClaren?" he asks the device. He tells Thunderhorse to stand aside, away from the intercom's small camera.

The video tells him that it's trying to call her. After a couple cycles, it tells him she's activated the intercom, one way viewing. "Who are you?" a woman's voice comes over the com.


ERR said...

I'll let you figure out what Doc has to say to convince her she's the Madonna.

Doc said...


"Ms. McClaren? I'm Dr. Lucas Shaw. I'm a researcher for the Smithsonian Museum. Perhaps you've heard of it? I'd like to ask you a few questions if I may. Have you got a moment?"

With any luck this will get me in the door. Most people will give a Dr. a listen, and a researcher interested in them sounds flattering as most people like to talk about themselves.

Tell Thunderhorse to wait with Mark and make sure no one comes noseing around the ship. I can't take him inside with me. He'll scare the crap out of her!

Tell her a bit about myself and try to put her at ease. Explain that in my research for the museum, she was married and had a son.

It is a son right? I couldn't find the old post that first mentions Alyss Valia. I need a quick write up about what we know about him, e.g. looks, height, weight, background, schooling, military, etc. If I knew this stuff it would be much easier to ask the right questions. I don't know what it is I'm looking to learn. I just need a little more back story before I continue the interview. I don't want to piss of Alyss's mother, because she is my only local leed, and while I speak Russian, I'm not looking forward to going there to track down Alyss's dad.

Get back to me when you get the chance.


ERR said...

Alyss is a woman. I'll post a Q-Net entry about her.