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User: Pattern Surveillance Officer Jules Stewart

Location: Liverpool Corporate Strata

Verification Rating:

The den took a while to empty, people away in their own realities needed talking around and steering out, people who thought their time was up were thankful to be let off and sent packing, outraged officials and dignitaries, convinced they’d be ridiculed in newspulse, were reassured, some even gave evidence. Not that it helped much, no one saw anything useful nor anyone particularly suspicious, which doesn’t say much, one of the key credentials for entry here is to look suspicious. There were a few reports of people sporting masks but as a hang out for fetishists of all kinds that's hardly surprising.

  Politicians of all shades were ushered out by their aids including the guy who set up Data Power and that old socialist, well if anyone can be called that these days.

  When the space is cleared we can start work. With protective clothing and a surgical mask over my nose and mouth I open door 23. I flick a switch on the wall and a harsh white light illuminates the scene. The space is sparsely furnished with a rusty camp bed that Roberto is sprawled on, its thin mattress covered with a stained sheet. The kind of chair that might be seen in a waiting room is tipped on its side and a low card table has been kicked over on the floor. Next to the table lay the remnants of two broken glasses, an empty bottle, unlabeled and a small ancient wooden box. In gloved hands I pick up the box for closer inspection, undoubtedly the murder weapon. It’s lined with a thin rubber substance, something that cracked as the box was opened, releasing something noxious that the network is sampling for me.

Roberto looks startled and pained, his skin a dark cherry red. I don't need an algorithm to tell me this was cyanide poisoning. The substance must have taken a few minutes to kill him, in which time he thrashed around and trampled on the debris on the floor, bits of broken glass still stuck in the sole of his shoes. Meantime whoever delivered the box departed, or maybe they’d already left. Too bad the glasses are broken we might have known if someone stayed long enough to have a drink, then we might have had finger-prints, the box is clean.

The buttons on Roberto’s white shirt, identical to Fat Peter's, are unmistakably a match for the one found at Otterspool and on closer inspection the top one is missing. He was our man but he's certainly not likely to tell us much now.


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Memory transcript 17.

Room 23 Mondo Strata 2