The phone wakes John McKenzie unkindly. It’s shrill noise cuts through the haze of his self medication and sits him upright.
An automatic movement lifts his hand out and towards his night table, smack into a wall.
“Damn! What the … why is that there!?”
The warm body rolling away from him brings back the evenings activities. This isn’t his bed, not even his building.
He has to roll over the body blocking the cubical exit.
“Damn small space, how did we fit in there together?”
More details of the past few hours flush back as sleep recedes. With a slight smile he chuckles, and reaches for the phone. Not even checking the display, the ring-tone and hour tell him everything he needs to know.
“Irien, I’m not on-call tonight.” No point being nice about it.
“This isn’t a normal problem,” Comes the deep female voice on the other end, “and last I checked I’m your boss. Get your pants on there’s a SingleCab sitting outside, after 5 minutes it’s your dime.”
“SingleCab? I get a quiet ride for this one?”
“We can’t wait for the normal transit time. This ones on the clock.”
“Damn, right.” Grabbing his shirt and pulling it over his head, tie and all. “I just need to grab an elevator.”
Eyes from the other cubicles are looking out at him now. Not too impressed either. His amorous coupling was not exactly quiet, and these people need to be on shift in three hours.
Stepping into his pants, he hitches them up and grabs his shoes, leaving one sock behind. It’s not as important as keeping from getting beaten and less expensive than a cab ride.
The elevator is a little slow, giving him time to finish dressing. He’s almost about convinced himself to go back for the sock when and empty elevator opens before him.
“Lucky, another ride to myself,” muttering he waves his phone at the access panel which turns yellow in response. “Safety override, none team mouth must, ground floor.” The doors are closed and the car’s in motions before he can turn around.
Thirty seconds of bland pop music commercial later he’s on the ground floor heading out the lobby as fast as he can walk while still seeming nonchalant, it wouldn’t do to draw the scrutiny of security when he’s in a hurry.
Closing the door to the SingleCab he rings back Irien, “I’m in transit, what’s the detail?”
“A high profile member of House Guujaaw has been found dead inside the Fuji-Mitsa clan safe zone. Both are blaming the other, neither group is being helpful. It’s only public-relations talking, family boards are staying quiet.”
City streets roll past slowly, as he looks out the windows at the masses of people. standing at the new hire door as the SingleCab pulls out and enters the flow of traffic in between food delivery trolley and a half-full bus.
“And the victims name?”
“Shit, how could that even be? She’s the lead for Guujaaw in the land claim dispute.”
“That’s for you to figure out, isn’t it?”
“And the prime suspect?”
“Now that’s impossible. Standard surveillance coverage should have anyone that high profile under wraps at all times.”
“And yet there it is.”
“Who’s my primary at Fuji-Mitsa?”
“No. Find someone else.”
“These are the cards. No one else on our side has the clearance to the safe zone.”
The cab was clearing the crest of Main Street as it travelled down King’s Way. Looking between the vehicles he got a clear view of Stanley Island Park.
“You know she doesn’t like me. This is only going to make the investigation take twice as long.”
“I’m sure she will be more than professional.”
“You don’t know her like I do.”
“That’s because I’m not a rat bastard.”
The SingleCab turned onto Broadway and jumped into the HOV centre lane. This little engine kicks it up into high gear and the traffic blurs to either side.
John accepts his fate with a sigh, “Okay fine but I’m not going to prorate if this takes longer than normal, a man’s got to have standards.”
“Yes, that’s generally the case.” Irien hangs up and posts the files into his case manager.