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40 - The Chase is On
Nelson blinked the haze away from his eyes as he listened to the voice on the phone. Next to his hand was the mug of coffee he'd refilled four times already, resting next to a sketch of the item which had caught his interest. He'd drawn a hexagon, in the middle of which was a circle which contained two lines forming an almost right angle, which could have reminded of the letter L. This was the tattoo he'd seen behind Jubilee Hall's ear.
Her personality did not match any rebellious items, such as that tattoo or the sharpening of her ears. That, added to all the things that made Nelson's alarms go off, gave him a nagging little feeling that he'd stumbled into something sinister.
'I gave things some more thought,' said Jim Dawes. 'I think we should research Jubilee Hall a bit more.'
Nelson stifled a yawn, surprised of what he was hearing.
'Yes, Sir,' he repeated, uncomfortably at loss for words.
'Do you have anybody in mind to start an investigation?'
He took a split second to feel disbelief at his luck. The investigation he was going to demand was being served to him. Somehow, Dawes was agreeing with him, for reasons unknown. Throughout his career, Dawes had always been one of the most stubborn men he'd known, and his inflexibility often challenged his position of Director. His interview with the girl must have intrigued him, at least a little. And if that was the case, then he would admit to it, but not at that moment.
'I volunteer,' said Nelson.
'I don't think that-'
Oh, no. If the change of heart was uncharacteristic to Dawes, him opposing Nelson was completely unsurprising. But there was no way in hell that the agent was going to let the opportunity of going after the strange teenager get away from him.
'Sir, it's my lead, so I should be the one to pursue it. Besides, anyone who hasn't spent time with her would probably jump to the wrong conclusions.' Like you did, Sir.
Nelson bit back the comment and took a small pause. No counter-arguments came from the other end of the line, and he continued.
'I'm sure you agree that we need to tread carefully. This is not a typical investigation. And I'd rather not let anybody ruin things before they even begin. I'd rather follow my instincts than to leave this in someone else's hands. I'm certain that I'm not making any unreasonable requests.'
'You are a very good resource to this organization, Steve. If this is a wild goose chase, I will be very displeased to see that you've wasted time.'
'It is not a wild goose chase,' replied Nelson through gritted teeth. 'I'm sure.'
He waited for a small eternity before his Director replied.
'If you're sure...' said Dawes, seeming unconvinced.
'Thank you, Sir,' replied the agent.
He ended the call, and returned his attention to his research.
Save for two strategical fifteen-minute naps, he'd stayed up hunting for information on the picture. All his trails had led to dead ends. But a person like her had to come from somewhere. Something had to have her as the final result.
His attention returned to the drawing of the tattoo. It had to have a meaning, he thought. It had to. It wasn't something teenagers usually got inked. They got angel wings, butterflies, hearts, and chinese letters which meant entirely something else than advertised. On the other hand, thought Nelson, aware that it was a long shot, nobody said Jubilee got the tattoo willingly.
He drained his mug of coffee, rubbed his eyes, and picked up the phone again. A glance at his watch told him there was still plenty of time to achieve something on that Sunday afternoon. He dialed the number and waited.
He was nearing exhaustion, and he knew it, however the investigation he'd started was driving him forward like few other cases had done.
It had better be worth it.
Closing his eyes, he could almost see the shadow looming over Jubilee Hall, the strange veil that he had to push back in order to see who she was, whose she was, and why she was there.
'Yes?' replied a gruff voice at the end of the line.
'I need a favour,' said Nelson. It had to be worth it. And it would be.