She had the feeling that she was missing something. Not with Wu, although he had been tougher and less forthcoming than she had hoped. But what, then? It was like when you try to scratch an itch and it doesn't work, as if the itch has moved, hiding from your fingernails. It was like that. She didn't like it.
Striding back to the UNN floater with Shawn, she picked at the scab of memory, trying to uncover the bleeding truth. What was her subconscious trying to tell her?
Some days were like this. The routine of sprint, confront, probe and pry was the outer fold of her life. Open it like one of those obsolete paper books, however, and you could sometimes find an inner meaning, a hidden significance. But the only way she ever knew that there was any more to find was this mental itch that fled from her self-scrutiny to lead her where she needed to go. Like she already knew the answer, was concealing it from herself, and the itch was her inner detective worrying the snarled tangle of details to tease out that one strand that led to a more useful interpretation of events.
Shawn opened the door of the floater for her as usual. She had given up hoping he was gay, but Shawn had never given up hoping she wasn't. She sighed. Men! Her life was complicated enough without fending off her own videographer. Maybe I should put on some weight. Would that turn him off?
“You're awfully quiet,” he remarked
She was about to snap a retort but held her tongue. “Mad at myself. I missed something back there. I hate that. Now I won't sleep until I figure it out.”
“Missed something with Wu? I thought you covered all the bases.”
“Not Wu,” she said, watching the passengers exit the airport. “Something else. It's driving me crazy.”
“Hey, not to worry. I got some great empathy footage before you interviewed Wu. That guy ramming through the crowd to get to his wife, the blonde one. Emotional reunions like that always play well.”
Florence snapped her fingers. “That's it! Do you still have the footage from the interviews at the Asklepeion?”
“Of course not,” he said. “I uploaded that hours ago. But I can pull it down from the network server if you need to check something.”
“Get it. I need to check something.”
While Shawn tapped out the request on the floater's screen, she was already wondering if she was imagining it. Was there a connection? She shook her head. Skepticism was a given in her job...but too many self-doubts would only slow her down.
“Here it is. Any idea how far down you want to scroll it?”
“Start at the beginning, and put up a side-by side with the reunion footage,” she told him. “If my memory is right, you'll see a match.”
“You're right!” he exclaimed. “The first guy you talked to was mister out-of-my-way at the airport. How'd you know?”
She didn't answer that. “Look at the woman next to him. It's the same blonde.” She exhaled. “Now scroll back a little on the reunion.”
They both watched as Dr. Wu helped her through the doorway, then withdrew as the curly-haired man pushed his way through the crowd and took her from Wu.
“What we have here,” said Florence. “Is too many clues. Not even a challenge. This guy knows her. Wu knows her. They were both at the Asklepeion, and Wu's been offered a job there. Whoever this couple is, they're involved in the PanGames cover-up.”
“Slow down,” Shawn objected. “What cover-up? PanGames is loving all the publicity – it's boosted their subscriber base big time!”
“They know more than they're telling everyone,” Florence insisted. “And curly and blondie here are definitely in on it.”
“How do you know that? She's probably just a patient of Wu's.”
He re-ran the video and they watched again as the man knocked people aside like a bowling ball rolling through tall grass. “He was right next to her at the Asklepeion,” said Florence. “So why is he acting like he hasn't seen her for years?” She smelled a story.
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