Thursday, September 28, 2006
It's nice to actually know detectives
Carlos doesn't have much time to help me out on this, but Gertie does. Some day - some fairly soon day, I imagine - Gertie is going to be a great investigator. She's on track to finish up her criminology degree this spring, and I wouldn't be surprised if she winds up going straight to Quantico after that. She's smart, observant, and makes connections quick, and she'll probably get a nice letter of recommendation from Agents Jones and Lowen. Still, she could probably use a little more time in a job a little more... well, I don't want to wish for my friend and roommate to be in danger, but "campus police" isn't exactly primo work experience. Sure, it's for Harvard, but I imagine anybody looking at her résumé will look at that as just writing parking tickets for new BMWs rather than old Fords.
It's not, of course - I'm always surprised when I hear she had to face down some guy while escorting a student back to the dorms after dark; she's not that big and doesn't carry a gun - but, hey, how much respect did you have for the campus cops when you were in college?
I think she sees helping out with the whole body-mind-exchange affair as a way to stand out once she moves on, and I can't blame her - something like this lands in your lap, you'd be a fool not to take advantage of it. But I'm a little more cautious about how much I go poking around then her. She doesn't really have a lot of experience with the "people die" end of it, either in terms of the dead body of a former lover at your feet or accepting that the person you remember knowing or being doesn't really exist any more. I do. I don't have as many nightmares about it as I used to, but they come occasionally.
(That's not to discount her part on the night Korpin killed his original body; just that it wasn't as personal to her as it was to me)
As a result, she's a little impatient about my reticence to talk with "Amy Sanada". She sees it as a chance to gain information no matter who Amy actually is; I see a good chance that Amy has either Korpin or some friend/ally of his in her head, and both situations represent people I don't want to deal with overmuch. This frustrates Gertie, because she figures that the only way we're going to learn anything is by confronting her. I apparently have more patience than she does; I figure that Amy couldn't have disappeared for a few months - or, more importantly, returned - without leaving some kind of trace we can look up. It's not data we have a lot of access to ourselves, unfortunately, but there's got to be something - a mention in her local paper when she came home, for instance - that can give us enough information for me to feel comfortable being more direct.
Gertie gets that, but she wants to be more active. So she's been keeping an eye on Miss Sanada. Not in a stalker way, just paying more attention when their paths cross on campus, keeping watch on her dorm in particular. I have to admit, based on what she told me tonight, It seems to be paying off, at least a little.
She was escorting a freshman back to her dorm, which happened to be connected to Amy's, and while using the restroom she heard a noise downstairs. She went down to investigate, but didn't call backup because, honestly, if it had been any other dorm, she would have assumed it was a student doing laundry despite the late hour. But it was Amy's, so she got nosy. Good thing, too - it wasn't coming from a laundry room, but an electrical one; she saw a guy in there with the phone box open.
She got suspicious, beause she hadn't seen any scheduled maintenance on the day's schedule, and she knows what Verizon's work clothes look like. That's when her walkie talkie chose to squawk, the guy looked up, and he was running before she got a good look at them. She called for backup, but by the time she caught up, he was gone.
Gertie saw something in the box that she thinks was a bug - tiny, little antenna, attached to a stripped bit of wire. No way for her to know whether that was Amy's phone line or not, but it's not a big leap to figure that there's someone else interested in her.