Beth stared out her window. The parrots were in full percussive glory in the eucalyptus and cypress trees of Telegraph Hill. She wanted to strangle each and every one of their petite green feathered necks. Not that she hated parrots, sure she saw the movie and loved the idea, but when they were screaming in unison outside your window for the Nth day, you had to admit, it was quieter without them.
So she did something about it. She walked through Chinatown and found a cheap spot in Asia Mall- hidden from prying eyes and probably off the tax books too. All she needed was some DSL, curtains in front of the window, and extra cash for her neighbors to watch her stuff at night. She wouldn’t be working from home, she’d be working from.. Chinatown. In this mall she had live fish, haute couture from Hong Kong and any type of Chinese herb she could possibly want. Mostly gotten for free from the smells that permeated the walls.
Right after she sealed the rental deal – in a tiny office off Columbus- she headed to the hardware store on Powell and bought some indigo paint to cover up the retail jail atmosphere. That first day she even managed to setup her macbook to run some basic method of operation scans on Interpol, while she painted.
She was a contractor for the SFPD on identity, online, and analysis projects. So far that had meant helping robbery division with serial lookups and isolating videos. But since iMurder she had realized- she kind of had a knack for it. She’d been largely underutilized in the high tech sector doign marketing. This kind of geeky data stuff, that had a humanitarian (albeit legal) rationale was quite up her alley.
This new MO was odd- something about the positioning of the body. Sosa and her had gotten an Irish Coffee over at Buena Vista the other night. His wife worked at William Sonoma next door so it was a convenient place to meet-up. This time, though, they got the cups togo, with little bottles of booze, to sit on the Aquatic Park stairs and stair at the inky bay.
“There’s something consistent about it. You know I’m not technically on the case. This is Mikey’s.”
Beth wondered when they would stop calling him a 10-year-old’s nickname. But there was a lot about the cop culture she didn’t get. “You said it was the hand positioning earlier.”
“Yeah. There’s really not a lot of similarity between the vics except for that outstretched hand, palm up.” He did it as he described it.
“Odd. Like it’s reaching for something? Open like its vulnerable. Beseeching?”
He sipped his coffee. “Not sure.” He passed her the files. “These are the three guys.”
“All men, that’s interesting.”
“Yeah, and yet we don’t know the connector. The thing that brings them together.”
“Well, technically the first guy was Russian Hill. If the border is Mason.”
Beth rolled her eyes “Oh please. Everyone draws those boundaries differently.”
Back at her house, Beth gathered her laptop and water bottle, preparing to head down to Chinatown. She remembered that conversation with Sosa and wondered- if she ran searches on these guys online, the three vics, would they come up with something obvious that the profile & criminal records didn’t? She had been surprised with iMurder how the cops didn’t even Google victims. It’s like they left it up to the journalists to get that “soft” data. Speaking of soft data, she wondered if these three vics were in the social networks (that she knew of). She could run some in-community userame searches, maybe even contact some friends to have them search internally for user email addresses, identities. She’d give it a whirl, after she added a second coat of paint to her work hovel.
Next chapter: Wow, You’re a MicroCelebrity? That’s So Cool. –>