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Old 09-16-2007, 06:02 AM   #261
Agemegos
 
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Location: Oz
Default Conversations with Dme. Imogen Pucca

Lethe (to Thórrson)
Very well, sir.
Lethe (to receptionist)
This is Special Agent Lethe, Department of Justice. My superior would like to speak to Imogen Pucca, concerning serious crimes against Imperial law. This matter has priority over anything she may be busy with right now.


Pucca's LAI receptionist (to Lethe)
I'm terribly sorry, sir, but Dme. Imogen is not available.


Lethe (to receptionist)
Make her available. Should you refuse to cooperate, I will have to record that. Please do not complicate matters unnecessarily.
Pucca's LAI receptionist (to Lethe)
This is a public safety emergency? I shall put you through to her suite at the Barbican Hotel.


Lethe
I thought as much. Thank you.
There is some delay before Dme. Imogen comes to the 'phone, and by the time it is done Thórrson is landing the aircar in the jacaranda-carpeted square outside Le Nôtre Research's offices. She proves to have a voice going reedy with age, and a remarkably peevish expression.

Dme. Imogen Pucca
Agent Lethe? Department of Justice? What is this about? Has something terrible happened?


Lethe
Please hold the line for Inspector Thórrson.
Lethe passes the call off to Thórrson as they climb out of the aircar, and strolls to the café to join Ashbless and Ishikawa. Thórrson makes for the doorway to the offices, where Naiooka is waiting. He starts his conversation with Pucca as he walks.

Dme. Imogen Pucca
Inspector Thórrson? Inspector Thórrson? I am afraid that this is most confusing. I don't have the slightest idea what you can be calling about.


Thórrson
Madame, I am sorry to have to tell you that their has been a tragedy. One of the employees of Le Nôtre Research has been attacked and killed.
Pucca
Oh! How terrible! What an outrage! I hope it was no-one I know.
Thórrson
The young man's next of kin have not been notified, but since they are in Tau Ceti I must suppose that you, as the Chairman of the Executors of his sponsor, stand in loco parentis. It was David Legspinner Wong.
Pucca
Legspinner? What a peculiar name! I feel sure I would have remembered it if we had met.

Oh dear! How upsetting! How was he killed? By whom? When?

I suppose that you need contact details for his people. You may have them from our personnel records process. I shall transmit instructions to the secetariat that they be released to you.
Thórrson
. . .
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Last edited by Agemegos; 09-16-2007 at 07:19 AM.
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Old 09-16-2007, 06:51 AM   #262
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Default The outdoor café in the square with the jacarandas {Ashbless, Ishikawa, Lethe}

Ashbless flies in her usual dashing style to the square in South Anacreon where Le Nôtre Research has its dummy offices, and lands directly in a parking-space meant for a ground car. The wash of her jets sends a wave of purple flowers skittering in all directions, and languid coffee-sipping contributors turn their heads to note the unaccustomed whine of the turbines, the ostentatious white-and-crimson livery of the DoJ aircar.

Disembarking, and removing their respirators, Ashbless and Ishikawa are forcibly reminded by the lunching contributors around them that it has been four hours since they made and early start, and that neither of them has had breakfast. They make for a table under the trees, but Naiooka redirects them to a spot under the awning, where they can sit with their backs to a shop-front. They study the menu and punch in their orders. Presently the waiting robot brings their coffees. Ishikawa takes a first sip and then turns to soft-soaping Judge Gudunov over the phone.

Thórrson lands in a sedater manner, and makes for the entrance to the office level, where Naiooka is waiting for him. He is talking on he wearable phone.

Naiooka (to Ashbless)
Keep your head up, Ma'am.
Thórrson and Naiooka go inside.

Lethe strolls over to Ashbless's table and orders breakfast. Ashbless draws from her bodice the memory module she found in the locker at Hesiod Health, and passes it to Lethe. It is an array of sixteen optical memory slugs, with a spine of high-speed data cables meticulously cut to length. Its jack is made for the processor direct slot on a a modern and evidently powerful parallel—it will not fit any of the adapters in Lethe's superhacker. In Lethe's opinion is the second-level cache of a powerful 'frame. This is good and bad. The contents are unlikely to be compressed or encrypted. On the other hand, the contents are likely to be machine-executable code and data formatted for processing, without helpful layout, headers, etc. There is an awful lot of it, and Lethe doesn't know what OS the frame was running, let alone what custom code it was executing.

On the other hand, there is a serial number that can be checked. Lethe turns it up on the mirror of TauCNet. The memory module turns out to have been installed in a JAHVE 9 superframe in 609, which was imported to Cockaigne by Le Nôtre Research in 610. There is a set of GPS co-ordinates for delivery listed on the manifest for the ship which brought it. The co-ordinates are about fifty kilometres north of here, in the hills north of North Anacreon.
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Old 09-16-2007, 07:08 AM   #263
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Default Back at Le Nôtre Research {Naiooka, Thórrson}

Back at the offices of Le Nótre Research, Thórrson and Naiooka find things just as they left them. The forensics bots are still busying away, and they realise that their whole dash to 528 North, the rescue, and return have taken less than quarter of an hour.

Directly Thórrson has finished his chat with Dme. Imogen Pucca, Naiooka wants a few words.

Naiooka
Permission to speak freely, sir?
Thórrson
. . .
Naiooka
My orders are that if this investigation gets dangerous I should try to get you and your people out of it, sir. It has got dangerous.
Thórrson
. . .
Naiooka
Well, sir, if it's important enough to make it worth facing danger, sir, then that is that. If the senior officers who want you kept safe could order you in from the field they wouldn't have let you out in the first place. Can I at least ask you for brief me on what is going on. I can protect you better if i know what is going on, sir.
Thórrson
. . .
Naiooka
One more thing, sir. About splitting up….
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Last edited by Agemegos; 09-20-2007 at 03:35 AM.
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Old 09-16-2007, 11:02 AM   #264
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Default Re: Conversations with Dme. Imogen Pucca

Quote:
Originally Posted by Agemegos
Pucca
Legspinner? What a peculiar name! I feel sure I would have remembered it if we had met.

Oh dear! How upsetting! How was he killed? By whom? When?

I suppose that you need contact details for his people. You may have them from our personnel records process. I shall transmit instructions to the secetariat that they be released to you.
Thórrson (with a heavy gravity)
Legspinner was murdered with a stunner at short range this morning. Execution-style. We're still in the early stages of our investigation, so we don't know much yet, but we think that Legspinner might have come into contact with some dangerous people through his work. When we came to your offices, it looked like someone had destroyed your 'frame, maybe looking for something there. Legspinner was also searched before he was killed, so maybe whomever killed him was after something, but we don't know what it could be yet.

Since he doesn't appear to have any ties here except your company, we have hopes that we might find some clues about who killed him in your records. Lists of clients, financial data, transaction records, etc. The more access we have, the more likely it is we can find out who murdered him.

Whatever it was he was killed for, we think that his murderers didn't find it. So anyone with any connections to him might be in danger, and that includes anyone who worked for the same company. I'm going to need all the help you can give me, before someone else is killed.
How truthful is she being? Is her surprise genuine? Does she sound rehearsed or coached?
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Old 09-16-2007, 11:31 AM   #265
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Default Re: Back at Le Nôtre Research {Naiooka, Thórrson}

Quote:
Originally Posted by Agemegos
Back at the offices of Le Nótre Research, Thórrson and Naiooka find things just as they left them. The forensics bots are still busying away, and they realise that their whole dash to 528 North, the rescue, and return have taken less than quarter of an hour.

Directly Thórrson has finished his chat with Dme. Imogen Pucca, Naiooka wants a few words.
Naiooka
Permission to speak freely, sir?
Thórrson
You wouldn't be much use to me if you couldn't, Corp.
Naiooka
My orders are that if this investigation gets dangerous I should try to get you and your people out of it, sir. I has got dangerous.
Thórrson
I don't deny that there could be danger. But there's a hell of a lot worse that could happen here than our backsides getting sizzled a bit.
Naiooka
Well, sir, if it's important enough to make it worth facing danger, sir, then that is that. If the senior officers who want you kept safe could order you in from the field they wouldn't have let you out in the first place. Can I at least ask you for brief me on what is going on. I can protect you better if i know what is going on, sir.
Thórrson (while gathering up his evidence kit)
That I can do, Corp. I'll brief you in the car. Give you everything I've got and then we can both be puzzled and vaguely terrified.
Naiooka
One more thing, sir. About splitting up….
Thórrson
I know. That doesn't exactly make your job any easier. But we'd be hard pressed to fit into one aircar and still have room to work. At least I can try to make sure that our cars stick together from now on.
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Old 09-16-2007, 11:56 AM   #266
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Default Re: The outdoor café in the square with the jacarandas {Ashbless, Ishikawa, Lethe}

Quote:
Originally Posted by Agemegos
On the other hand, there is a serial number that can be checked. Lethe turns it up on the mirror of TauCNet. The memory module turns out to have been installed in a JAHVE 9 superframe in 609, which was imported to Cockaigne by Le Nôtre Research in 610. There is a set of GPS co-ordinates for delivery listed on the manifest for the ship which brought it. The co-ordinates are about fifty kilometres north of here, in the hills north of North Anacreon.
Ashbless pulls the co-ordinates up on the local equivalent of Google Earth, the phone book, and the like, and has her pocket computer fill out a warrant application for her. Is this a listed le Nôtre Research facility? What else can she find out about the place?

Ashbless:

Athene, get our friendly judge to add this facility to the previous one for Le Nôtre Research. I think it's going to be our next stop.

(to Thórrson, over the phone)

Kemal, we've traced the delivery location of the computer our memory came from. It's, not surprisingly, a machine owned by Le Nôtre, delivered about 50 klicks north of here. Athene is working on a warrant. Shall I order you lunch, or will we head there directly?


Last edited by dscheidt; 09-16-2007 at 11:56 AM. Reason: formating!
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Old 09-16-2007, 12:03 PM   #267
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Default Back at Le Nôtre Research {Naiooka, Thórrson}

Quote:
Originally Posted by dscheidt
Ashbless (to Thórrson, over the phone)
Kemal, we've traced the delivery location of the computer our memory came from. It's, not surprisingly, a machine owned by Le Nôtre, delivered about 50 klicks north of here. Athene is working on a warrant. Shall I order you lunch, or will we head there directly?
Thórrson (over 'netlink)
Just order me a cup of coffee, I've got sandwiches in the car. Good work, both of you.
Thórrson looks to Naiooka as they finish packing the evidence kit and sealing the offices.

Thórrson (to Naiooka)
How 'bout you, Corp? Want anything to eat from the café downstairs? It's local fabrifood, of course, but it fills the belly.

Or if you want, I've got bacon sandwiches in the car. Still fabricated, but at least only the incredients are, so they feel a little closer to real food. I made them just the way bacon sandwiches are supposed to be. You can hardly see the lettuce for all the thick slabs of pork.
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Last edited by Icelander; 09-17-2007 at 05:51 AM.
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Old 09-16-2007, 04:39 PM   #268
Agemegos
 
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Default Re: Conversations with Dme. Imogen Pucca

Quote:
Originally Posted by Icelander
Thórrson (with a heavy gravity)
Legspinner was murdered with a stunner at short range this morning. Execution-style. We're still in the early stages of our investigation, so we don't know much yet, but we think that Legspinner might have come into contact with some dangerous people through his work. When we came to your offices, it looked like someone had destroyed your 'frame, maybe looking for something there. Legspinner was also searched before he was killed, so maybe whomever killed him was after something, but we don't know what it could be yet.

Since he doesn't appear to have any ties here except your company, we have hopes that we might find some clues about who killed him in your records. Lists of clients, financial data, transaction records, etc. The more access we have, the more likely it is we can find out who murdered him.

Whatever it was he was killed for, we think that his murderers didn't find it. So anyone with any connections to him might be in danger, and that includes anyone who worked for the same company. I'm going to need all the help you can give me, before someone else is killed.
Pucca
Merciful heavens! At least I'm safe in the Barbican Hotel: it is on the spaceport enclave. But it's so desperately crowded: you know the hotel is charging perfectly respectable people for camping in the air park!
Thórrson
This morning's murder was on the grounds of the Residence itself, Dme. Imogen….
Pucca
<shrieks>
Revolutionaries! Anarchists! Oh, Inspector, can you send agents to guard my suite? Can you keep me safe in the Residence?
Thórrson
I'll have a word to Security at the Hotel, Madame. If they have the slightest apprehension I can send some bailiffs from the Sheriff's Division.
Pucca
Oh, thank you, Inspector! We're all so apprehensive at this dreadful time. You know that fighting has already broken out in Anacreon. Wouldn't it be better to send agents? And at once?
Thórrson
I know, Madame, I was there. And it is essential for the safety of my agents that we deal with this case immediately. Your help would be most appreciated.
Pucca
Of course, of course! Whatever you want. What can I do to help?
Thórrson
Well first, I need your permission to search Le Nôtre's offices, and to examine its records.
Pucca
Of course. Take everything!
Thórrson
. . .
Quote:
How truthful is she being? Is her surprise genuine? Does she sound rehearsed or coached?
Thórrson's Empathy PCS 28 * (BEF 5 - 1 (phone)) = 116; d% = 45 — QR3. She seems genuine.
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Old 09-16-2007, 04:53 PM   #269
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Default Re: The outdoor café in the square with the jacarandas {Ashbless, Ishikawa, Lethe}

Quote:
Originally Posted by dscheidt
Ashbless pulls the co-ordinates up on the local equivalent of Google Earth, the phone book, and the like, and has her pocket computer fill out a warrant application for her. Is this a listed le Nôtre Research facility? What else can she find out about the place?
It is a contributor 'holiday place' in the forest, in effect a country estate, but officially a station of the Terraformation Authority. Reverse lookup in the records of the Terraformation Authority reveals that it is booked out Dme. Valérie von Bork, and has been for 160 years.

There is no Public Safety monitoring there, but on Imperial Naval Intelligence satellites it show up as a 250-hectare clearing in the forest, with a stream running through it, edged with white, pink, and red flowering shrubs. There are three major buildings and half a dozen minor ones, set in an enormous expanse of formal gardens, a home farm, landing apron. No aircars are visible on the apron by they could be in an adjacent hangar. Gardening robots are visible, but no people.

On IR the whole place is cold. Probably unoccupied. The altitude there is 3,600 m, and though this is mid-Spring it is still pretty chilly up there. None of the rooms are heated, and the power plant is putting out so little waste heat that it must be shut off or on idle.
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Nod head. Get treat.

Last edited by Agemegos; 09-20-2007 at 01:03 AM.
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Old 09-16-2007, 05:37 PM   #270
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Default Re: Conversations with Dme. Imogen Pucca

Quote:
Originally Posted by Agemegos
Pucca
Of course. Take everything!
Thórrson
Thank you very much, Madame. If you'll send us the access protocols, we'll get right to work to try to find these people as soon as possible.
(With a faint smile)
And I deeply regret that I am not able to see to your protection personally, Madame, but this time the needs of the many must come before personal gallantry. Even when one's sense of chivalry is sorely is provoked by such excellent cause.

I'll make sure that the Empire does its best to keep you and everyone else here as safe as we can make you.

It's been a pleasure, Dame Imogen.
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