Queen of Angels
unknown visitors to the apartment. For thoroughnesss sake there was also a list of three past occupants of the apartment going back ten years compared with their debris lodged in crevices in the bathroom and in areas not covered by the metabolic carpeting. All evidence still pointed to Goldsmith. Mary turned off the slate. Goldsmith might go to Hispaniola but why would Yardley accept him? Outwardly Hispaniola obeyed the diplomatic formalities; all knew the islands nature but inclined to this outward politeness, providing safe resorts and safe havens for Norths and Souths anxious bourgeoisie. Crime-free Hispaniola itself a crime. Cracks in the federal attitude showing. Flying her there black stylish Mary into the heart of darkness. Darker than Africa that quiet land war and plague emptied last century. Colonel Sir John Yardley sending some of his own foster children to repopulate Nigeria Liberia Angola. Repopulation big business, needs organization and Yardley has a genius for that. If Yardley harbors Goldsmith old friend compatriot and like thinker, the cracks can be split open and federal can rid itself of Yardley and Hispaniola, of the chafing Raphkind promises and treaties. Would that be the maneuver? Mary knew herself to be more than a pawn. She was a knight angling her way into Hispaniola where she might make any of a swastika of moves; lance here take there find violations force a confrontation, executing federal schemes through a lowly pd detective. Perhaps because Colonel Sir John Yardley supplied illegal equipment to the Selectors in America north and south, and the Selectors had become more ambitious, begun to target executives politicians Senators and Congressmen, applying Draconian justice. In the end it might not matter whether Yardley harbored Goldsmith or not. She specked the nation shivering from its damp night of Raphkind, flinging soil and drops of offal around the globe. If Vardley refused her entry, that violated treaties. If she died while in Yardleys care, victim of some grotesque uprising, lie will raise his hands commiserate what can I do they are young and I have only so much power. This for that, action for reaction. Mary gathered up her equipment buckled her belt sealed the seams on her uniform with expert finger touches looked at herself briefly in the cubicle mirror wondered how her melanin deficiency patches were doing ordered the door open and walked long gait steady down the white and gray halls to the research center. She smiled at Ensign J Meskys whom she had met perhaps three times before. Meskys returned Marys ,smile. Long night, sir? Blear blear, Mary said. Please pass my sincere thanks to the criminalists in jag twelve. LAs neighborhoods around the combs had been split as if made of pitchforked glass. They were called jags by pd and those who coordinated transit territories. Jag twelve covered the neighborhoods around the third foot of East Comb One. Done, Meskys said. Will you be leaving your cubicle today? Mary nodded. Im off to make a query at Oversight. Meskys displayed sympathy. No pd enjoyed visits to Oversight Thanks for the hospitality. Silky, Meskys said. Come again. Pd hotel at your disposal, sir. Along Sepulveda century old buildings stretched between patches of central markets and highrise apartments; shopways and shade entertainment, a neighborhood that catered to combs clientele anxious for a touch of risk, still attractive to the therapied; risk without risk, all the truly therapied would want. She walked for a while, enjoying the winter warmth twenty C and climbing perhaps to twenty two, dry cloudless LA City of Angels deep of winter. The air was clear but for an ozone alert. Onshore breeze. She could smell a touch of the distant sea, kelpfarms and salt. Across the street she saw a bar designed to look like a rough scarred concrete block, facade old and decayed, with balfdark neon of a naked woman riding a rocket, nipples red circles flashing dim contrast with bright

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