Thursday, September 21, 2017

The Package.

"Right so lets go through it all over again Mr Rosenkitten!"
"Right from the top?"
"Yes Please,"
"And it's Rosenkvitten, not kitten please."
"Yes please, right  from the beginning."
"So it's a business,"
"The boxes,"
"Yes the boxes, lockers, mail boxes. I've got boxes from big business like Gung-Ho, you know the purple ones. You buy something from their website and if for some reason you don't want it sent to your prehab address you nominate this block here. This ones called Betty for some reason. Ken, the Gung-Ho guy, I've known Ken for years now. Well Ken turns up probably every other day, in that big old clapped out purple hover van of his. Gung-Ho emblazoned down the side in the garish font they use. Well it's never just Ken, he always has some kid with him. The kids don't seem to last long so I never really get to know their names, but Ken, like I said, known him for years. One of them brings the stuff in, the other watches the van. Can't leave the van alone especially not in this sort of neighbourhood. Well the punter either leaves a package or is picking one up. Their given a code, one of the lockers opens up and they either deposit something or pick something up. I don't ask, I have a reputation for being discreet. Ken comes along and empties all the lockers puts them in the van then the kid comes in and fills them with the deliveries, Ken and the kid have special codes for that. Then the punters pick their stuff up later once notified over the mesh."
"So the package was in the Gung-Ho lockers? They should be able to provide a traceable log then?"
"They would be able to if the thing was in one of their lockers."
"It wasn't in one of the Gung-Ho lockers then?"
"A few years back I branched out with my own boxes. You know address of convenience. You see the grey boxes next to the purple ones, those are mine. You rent them on a monthly basis. I don't ask too many questions, they're not big enough for anything really dangerous, a small package, letters. as I say address of convenience. See this unit isn't like the rest of the prehabs in the block. It's an ex security transport crate. One of the split ones with extra protection to the inside half"
"So you have more boxes inside the other half??"
"Don't be stupid. I had them plumb the thing up like a prehab, water, electric, comms. I live in the other half. Safest prehab in the block. But there's some not so lucky. Slipped through the cracks. Look between the blocks, behind the main streets. You find the cardboard city. The dispossessed, the homeless. Now they can't get medical benefits, official documents etc without a proper address. Some of them have a few valuables they want to keep safe, can't leave them on the streets. So I rents boxes to a few of them. They can leave stuff in them, or even use them as postal addresses, all sorts"
"So it was one of them?"
"This is what I was trying to tell you. I rented a box to a Mr Smith, scruffy, down on his luck. Only the boxes are DNA keyed to customer. Makes them more secure. Personal. Once the key is matched only they can use it"
"So it was Mr Smith who had the package?"
"No not that Mr Smith. Another one!"
"Sorry you're loosing me again."
"I rented the box to one of the homeless guys. He had all the right documentation, ID etc, for Mr Smith."
"You check it on presentation?"
"No I don't need to, it's all scanned as you come in. That slightly oversized door frame does all the works, all the frequencies plus infra and hi-sec. So you can't bring in dodgy cards, or or use hookey ID chips. So as far as I knew Mr Smith was on the level."
"So it was Mr Smith that had the package then"
"Look I don't remember him actually bringing anything in apart from the first time. it was just documents from what I could see."
"So when did the package arrive"
"That's the thing. All I remember is the smell. fishy. I asked Ken to check all his lockers but he said there was nothing in his. He cleans them out every month, disinfects them and all. Very professional, very hygienic.
It's just that about a month later some different homeless guy comes in and presents the lot again."
"Mr Smiths cards, and the key. Says he's an nephew, and his uncle has died, and gone and left him the lot. Not actually that much but the documents and the key. Say's it took him a bit of time to track down what the key belonged to."
"But the door would have warned you?"
"Yes the thing is wired real time into local law enforcement channels, partly for my protection but for the customers as well."
"Please spare me the sales pitch. Go on"
"Well that was it, Mr Smith junior presents the key, it's scanned as clean so I can only take his word for it. If he was lying then the cards at least would be all over the mesh as dodgy, but they had scanned clean. So I reset the key and he went straight to the locker and pulled out the box."
"That's when you saw it?"
"Well yes it sort of flopped out of the top. I don't think he realised I saw it."
"The tentacle?"
"Yes, that's when I gave the station a call, because of the news bulletins all over everything the other day. The Ceph kid."
"But did you actually see it?"
"Damn all you've really given me is the dead homeless guy murdered round the corner may, or may not, have been called Smith, but it's unlikely, and another homeless guy is now the same Mr Smith, and I’m no closer to the missing seph meta kid, or what these people want with her."
"Look Mr Rosenkitten I'm not even sure whether to thank you or just charge you with wasting police time."
"It's Rosenkvitten, and I thought there was some sort of reward."
"So far you've given me two bits of undistinguishable vid and the possibility that the kids in the cardboard city. Not a lot to go on. The kid could be light years away by now, or some ones lunch. I'll be in touch, we may work out some creds for the time."
With that the officer left and I haven't seen him since.


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