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Uno and Fog: Bring Your Friends to Work Day

May 1, 2019

My office at the corporate building in downtown looks out over the water of the ocean.  It is a lovely view and I have my desk situated so that I can look out at it, see the entrance to my office, as well as allowing anyone talking to me at my desk to see it as well.  My desk is cherry wood, as are the chairs.

There is one piece of art, a tasteful impressionist scene of people at the Greensward park that’s edging toward one hundred and fifty years old.  Other executives had pieces emphasizing Norte Corp., views from the roof at night, or shots looking up the skyscraper’s edge into the infinity of blue above it.  One even has a shot of Luminary battling Burning Fury over the skyline at night taken by an amateur photographer that got lucky.

I wasn’t trying to convey power, so much as a love for my city, its history and the people of it.  It was also, or so I am told, a favorite of my mother.  So it is both a tribute to my city and my mother, whom I barely remember.

I had the window blinds shut today, I didn’t care for seeing my reflection, and I had all the lights on as well.  Which seemed odd, since it was a lovely early fall day with nary a cloud in the sky, but no one said anything.

I was also swilling coffee, one of the perks of being on an upper floor was the office coffee was good, I also sent one of the runners to get espresso for everyone that worked immediately under me.  I was known to be a caffeine fiend in the office, the natural result of living two lives.  I avoid the soda though and the vending machine.  A lack of sleep and bad food can lead to putting on weight very quickly, even if I burn it off faster than normal.

A quick message from the floor receptionist flashed on my computer, my two o’clock was here.  Except I had checked my calendar and there had been no two o’clock appointment set.  Send, I thought for a moment then finished, her in.  It had to be Teri.

An attractive but severe looking woman walked into my office, shutting the door behind her. She was as The Fog had described her.  I stood up and extended my hand, “Good to see you, doctor.”

She took my hand, “Call me Sarah.  There’s no point in formalities between us.”  She took in the office quickly, noted the pulled blinds and all the lights being on, but didn’t say anything.

I smiled, “Can I get you anything?”

“Can we cut the pleasantries?”  She asked me.

“I’ve always suspected my father of monitoring my conversations.”  I said carefully.

She raised an eyebrow, “And is he?”

“Not in the usual ways.”  Which I didn’t say was worrisome, but it was.  If he had placed a normal bug, I would have found it easily, it could be through the computer or communications system, but it would have had to be complex, not that he wasn’t above that. I messed with power of everything anyway, out of principle.

“He employs endowed?”  I don’t know why that surprised her, many companies did.

“He does.” And the fact that he seemed to know more about what I did at work told me that he suspected me of being more than normal.

She whispered something and twitched her fingers in an unnatural way, “We should be able to speak freely.”

“Do you have to do special exercises to get your hands to move like that?”

A look of irritation crossed her face, and her body language pulled in tighter, her voice got several degrees cooler.  “Did you call me simply to ask that?”

“No.”  I filled her in on what The Fog and I discovered about the LMSK.  I left out his connection to her.  Some information is good to keep to the chest and I didn’t wholly trust her.

When I had finished, she nodded for a moment.  “You are both resourceful, although it will take more than your call to get the police involved, considering his abilities that might be a good thing.”

“I know, they get tons of tips every day, The Fog has contacts among law enforcement and he will put them in the right direction too.  Its a risk, but it could flush him out and if he’s really doing what you suspect the risk is worth it.”

“I’m surprised he trusts them.”

I shrugged, “I don’t think he trusts anyone completely, but will use people until they prove unreliable.”

“Use.”  She gives me a penetrating look.

“A poor choice of words.”  I smile, but in truth The Fog saw people as either useful, neutral or obstacles in his pursuit of justice.

Sarah nods and then pulls out a small silver knife.  While I would like to say I didn’t immediately go into fight mode that wouldn’t be accurate, but in my defense I had been attacked in the middle of last night.

“What’s that?”

“Anthame.”  As if that explained everything. “Come here.”  I stood up warily and moved toward her.  If she noticed my hesitation, she didn’t show it.  Once I was close, she began moving the knife around my body, humming some unrecognizable words.

As she circled the blade around toward my back, I felt a sudden tugging.  For a second I thought she had actually stabbed me, but the knife was still an inch or two from my suit, it looked like something had stopped it in midair.

Ms. Teri stopped humming and nodded, “Just as I thought.”

“Thought what?” I asked, but she ignored me.  She moved her other arm as if she was coiling a rope around it, but I couldn’t see anything.  I did feel a tugging at my back, then she slashed downward and the tugging stopped.

She jerked he arm she had moments before coiled the invisible rope around hard, the blinds rippled and a little smoky creature, all shadows and oily skin flopped out from the windows on to my carpets.

“What the hell is that?” I exclaimed.

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