My application for emergency leave was approved yesterday, so today was spent with my slate in hand, picts queued up so that I could try to follow Daisy’s footsteps and try to see if I could find out anything more about what happened to her. I decided to start in her building, with the clearest screen shot of the robed figures that we could extract from the picter footage. Once again, Maddy was a lifesaver in that regard - don’t ask me where she gained these skills, but it turns out that she’s really very handy with a cogitator and pict capture software. Admittedly there’s little you can do with a terrible long-range, low resolution image of a hooded figure, but she did her best, and it at least turned out recognisably human.
I took the shots to Daisy’s building, to try and see if any of her neighbours had noticed anything suspicious in the weeks before she walked out - if there’d been any strange figures hanging around the building, any sighting of hooded persons or anyone odd watching the building or lurking around the foyer. Unfortunately most of them didn’t really seem to want to talk to anyone. I’ve got a pretty good relationship with most of my neighbours, the immediate ones anyway. I know that Mrs Blaxland is a widow for example, she lost her husband to a brain-storm about fifteen years ago, and she’s lived alone with her cat ever since. And I know that Kyra down the hall is going to be turning six next month, and she’s hoping for the fully articulated Knight Titan model with the removable Princeps and the swappable weapons. But Elysian Heights seems to be a different breed of hab block. Only a couple of people knew who Daisy was by name, and those who knew her face knew that she’d gone missing, but nobody seemed to have anything of use to say.
Though having said that, there was one young woman who I spoke to who seemed not to know anything about Daisy, but who said that several weeks before Daisy had even gone missing that she (the young woman) had encountered some very strange sorts at her local shrine. She said that on a couple of occasions when she’d gone to the shrine, she’d run into some of these hooded sorts. They didn’t seem to be brothers of the Ecclesiarchy, she says that while they wore humble brown robes they seemed to bear none of the markings of the Cathedral or the shrine itself, and that they didn’t spreak while sitting in the pews. She says they sat there, just sitting and watching, and that she encountered them on three separate occasions, then just as suddenly as they had shown up, they were gone again.
Now Daisy didn’t attend the shrine that this girl did, but still. It shows these folks have been lurking around for a while, wathing people. It’s not out of the realm of possibility that they saw her somewhere else, and picked her for a target after they did. It’s still not clear, but again, it’s a start.
So once I’d washed out all of my potential leads at Daisy’s old hab, I figured I should probably get out and start canvassing the area whre she went missing. I figured that what little questioning the Magistrers did would likely have focus on the main streets around the area… and I wasn’t about to waste my time and theirs, rehashing the same information over again. Especially now that several weeks have passed. But I figured that the Magisters might not have checked the alley she went walking down before she disappared off of the camera.
I was right. But it wasn’t easy. Once again, many were reluctant to speak to me, for a range of obvious and not so obvious reasons. The alley is not well-populated as these sorts of things go, with most of the businesses that occupy the area being small, private offices that aren’t open to the public. And with the alley being a transit route for transports heading to the cargo lift, there’s not really much place for vagrants and the homeless to linger, so there was no help there.
And once again, it wasn’t Daisy herself who proved to the most important hint, it was these strangers in the robes. Just as I was despairing another dead end, I finally was granted His blessing in the form of the receptionist of a private shipping firm that had an office much further down the alley toward the lift. The young woman was uncommonly chatty - clearly very bored in this off-street office - and after telling me that she didn’t know anything about Daisy, when I brought up the issue of the strange, robed people she suddenoy seemed to be a wellspring of information.
It turns out that while she hadn’t been in to work on the day Daisy had disappeared (that being one of the days she’d taken off to visit her grandmama for her birthday, so she informed me), she had seen the strange robed people on more than one occasion. She said that she thought they were members of cult or something, that they would come up on the cargo lift every few days, two to four of them, all clad in the same robes, and that while they would come up in those quads or pairs, they would always return with quiet groups of men and women following along behind. I asked her what made her think that these people were part of a cult, and she said not only did they wear these robes, but that under the hoods she’d noticed when passing them on occasion that even though the were clearly different people - and that some were clearly even women - they were all to a person completely shaven-headed.
So we’ve got some weird, robe-wearing, shaved head cultists snagging people from the street and dragging them off down in the lifts to… Throne knows where. The reception girl said she’d last seen them a few days ago, so if I returned tomorrow or the day after, I might be able to get a better look at them, and maybe find out a bit more about where they’re taking people… and hopefully that might lead me to Daisy.
I don’t think I’m going to tell mum or Maddy. It would only worry them.
Thought for the Day: Timidity begets Indecision; Indecision begets Treachery.
(@the-fluffy-underbelly An actual in-character entry for OC week. This is the journal as a whole, Rewalt Mason’s personal journal as he just tries to get on with his life in the forty-second millennium. ~V)