Case 167           Memory Archive              Map                                        Timeline

User: Pattern Surveillance Officer Jules Stewart

Location: Liverpool Corporate Strata

Verification Rating:

I’m just about to request access to Loretta’s cube as we approach it when the network returns a query. This is no longer the cube of resident BY30984 Loretta Parkes. It seems Loretta has had an improvement in status and has moved to a cube on strata twelve.

  As we make our way up to twelve Fat Peter asks, ‘If Estelle knew the truth about Jet why not confront her?’

  ‘She knew she’d never get the better of Jet. The only person she thought could make her pay was Roberto. And he could also get her away and keep her away from Jet’s reach.’

  ‘So he blackmailed Jet but he didn’t get the better of her.’

  ‘Precisely and as soon as he contacted her jet knew exactly what had happened to Estelle. But I wonder if she wanted me to find her before or after her contact with Roberto?’

  Loretta is surprised by our visit as she opens the door but this is quickly surpassed by pride in her change of circumstance.

  ‘Can you believe it?’ she asks, ‘I always knew I’d get on with Jet when Estelle told me about her, knew it, and so when I sent a message to her office and offered help I wasn’t at all surprised that she asked to meet me. And I’ve hardly done anything to help but Jet has helped me loads. I have a creative job now at Laughing Boy and this cube. Loads more space. And cool, so cool’ She can hardly contain herself, pacing around the space with arms outstretched.

  ‘So what did you do for jet?’ I ask

  ‘Just asked around friends and reported back to Jet what I knew – which wasn’t much.’

  ‘Like what?’

  She thinks for a moment, ‘that I'd been to visit Peta, she's still pissed off with me about the bonanza, but that was not my fault – I asked Peta about what happened when they went down to street level, if Estelle spoke to anyone in particular – said she’d already told Jet about an old woman in a place called lakeside but she’d been blamed for letting Estelle talk to people, she went on and on about Estelle – you know what she’s like – as if I was going to bitch about my best friend with her.’

  ‘Did you contact Roberto for Jet?’

  ‘No – she asked about him – if I knew him – like I told you he gives me the creeps.’

  ‘You didn’t visit him for her then?’

  ‘Of course not. In fact I’ve not been anywhere for a few days - I've been unwell since I moved. I think it's the relief, you know. I've been stressed for so long, about hanging on to my job, my cube, my life. Not to have to worry now is just fantastic.’

  ‘Dizzy, vomiting?’ I ask.

  ‘Yeah – maybe its the water, kind of different up here, more filtered, Jet offered me a memory remedy she had, said it came all the way from china, didn't help much and this is weird – I’ve been a little confused – like I lost a day. And nothing there in my memory store. I've never had any data corruption before.’

  I bend down and run my hand on a patch of floor – the blue vinyl covering has a line scratched in it. As if something or someone were dragged across it.

  Loretta notices and says, ‘I have no idea how that got there,’ adding quickly, 'they'll not kick me out for that will they?'

  ‘Can I look at your shoes?’

  ‘Be my guest, take your pick,’ she says, indicating a low shelf with three pairs on. I select bright red high stalks and flip them over to look at the sole. Light flashes as I turn the shoe and shards of glass catch the light. I explain about Roberto and watch her face carefully. Her mouth falling open and eyes widening. The surprise and utter terror of Loretta’s response to this news seems authentic. I believe that she knew, or remembered, nothing of this, but I suspect that Loretta’s shoes with or without her knowledge were somehow involved.

 We leave her and her footwear in the company of fellow officers to investigate further while we head down to street level to find Ruth Johnson.



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Strata News

Memory transcript 22.

Everton Heights, Strata 5