David O Millman, Agent, looks down at the box that has been dumped at his feet. He’s picked up the parcel at a local combination bowling alley, bar and post office that he uses for anonymous deliveries.
He lifts the box and walks out with it. It’s not very heavy, probably mostly digital stuff and not a lot of paper. He loads it onto the back of his folding bicycle and pedals off to the nearest appropriate space to take a look.
That space turns out to be a small square between two buildings, consisting of a circular path and a series of tables with chess boards printed on them. Several of the tables are the sites for current chess games, but the rest are unoccupied. Agent Millman chooses one and has a seat.
He pries the top off the box. It’s as he thought, not a lot of paper and mostly digital drives. He picks one up and looks at the side of it. It’s printed with a logo and the words, “Vertical Industries.”
The few papers that are in the box appear to be documents pertaining to recent experiments, some of which were successful and others which failed. He scans for fatalities but does not see any listed. So this is not a murder or a wrongful death situation, it would appear.
“So, what am I supposed to be investigating?” Millman says to no one. A thin man at a nearby table moves his chess piece as his much rounder friend watches.
Around the corner he hears voices, people yelling. Somebody has abandoned a white van right in the middle of the intersection. There’s yellow dust floating around it, and the guys who are supposed to be driving look to be out cold. Several people get out of their vehicles and begin pushing the van to the side, holding shirts over their faces to keep from getting knocked out by the fumes. The van’s rear doors flop around.
The investigation from EarthAdmin will have to wait until Millman can get back to his apartment, or Mr. Green’s apartment really, to read the digital stuff and find out what Vertical Technologies has to do with anything.
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