Nov. 1st, 2009

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Crawford retreated to his office, shutting the door with a quiet click. He went through his usual beginning of the day routine - scanning stock reports and the relevant bits of world news, acts of habitual confirmation. While skimming through his various email accounts he pulled two suspicious trolls and forwarded them to Nagi. It was usually just a fluke - a mistyped email address by a housewife in Missouri or a lazy customer service rep out of India. Crawford was incapable of letting his guard down even for something so seemingly superfluous though. They would both need to be traced – just to be sure.

He turned his attention to the disk, again pulling up the sound analysis program and beginning a more thorough scan of its contents. He double checked that the speakers were still unplugged before he clicked play.

Several hours of gutting the soundtrack revealed a most interesting detail. One he wouldn't have ventured a guess at. A small smirk crossed his lips as he saved and encrypted his notes on the matter. Johnson had inadvertently tipped, at least, part of his hand.

It was nearly lunchtime and again he was nearly starving. Such an odd side effect for a mental talent. Usually it was the physical talents that displayed the vastly increased metabolisms. Both he and Schuldig suffered from it to varying degrees at times though his own battle with it always involved a power spike of some sort. But even as hunger nagged at him, he couldn’t forestall the next task at hand any longer.

He clicked the remote and the window shades obediently crawled closed. He let himself get comfortable in his chair. With half a shake of his head, he momentarily cursed his own apprehensivness. It was his own head for gods sake. There was no room for doubt.

He pictured Tot as he remembered her most clearly – the wide eyed look of shock on her clueless face as she raced up the steps to her death, lifeless eyes staring up at Nagi like a broken doll, pigtails limp as they draped over his arms. Slowly he let the image call the relevant visions foreward. It had been a long time but he was certain the girl did somehow survive that night. Several hazy snippets of the blue haired girl emerged – but all he could sense were images of today and today alone. A small quirk of smirk creased his lips as he let the image guide him deeper until he found what it was he was looking for.

He had a time and a place and the disgusting flavor and scent of cotton candy ice cream assaulting his senses.

With a satisfied grin he headed for Farfarello’s room.

With a single knock on the Irishman’s door, he pushed it open just a bit and called in.

“We leave in half an hour. This will be… casual.” The sound of amusement in his voice was clear - to anyone in this household, at least.


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The Black Cross

September 2010

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