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    Albert had stretched out on top of the table to catch a nap—the cave was lacking in certain organic amenities—his head pillowed on the mounting pile of evidence he had amassed, all of it covered with notes in his meticulous hand. Scott had his own project, one he worked on quietly through the night. Aliese was dead, Vincent crippled: where had their holdings gone? He settled to work with the radio talking to itself quietly in a corner.
    "Beet farming in the Ukraine, today, on 'All Things Considered...'"
    Around dawn the computer beeped quietly to signal that it had finished reconstructing Dr. Lanigan's diary. The sound awakened Albert, who muttered in French as he sat up, rubbing his eyes, then resettled himself into slumber.
    The late doctor had kept a fairly good record of the unfortunate entanglement which had led to her death, Scott discovered as he began examining her journal. She had been approached and seduced by a man she knew as Kevin O'Connell, though in retrospect she suspected it to be an alias. A few days of whirlwind passion had been followed by his casual offer of a large sum of money if she would only make certain that a particular patient was transferred in and then out of her hospital. What harm could it do? She did the deed, and O'Connell disappeared. To her credit, Lanigan had her suspicions and never expected him to stick around; she thought she had been drawn into an insurance scam of some kind, never dreaming of the depth of the plot.
    One other interesting detail appeared: she had had a hobby, photography. It was a habit of hers to carry a small camera around with her and photograph crowds of people, then make up stories about the characters she saw. There was no trace of the stories in the recovered file, they had been kept elsewhere on the computer, but she mentioned in the diary that all she had left of Kevin was that picture she had taken and the story which had come from it.
    Scott mulled this over for a while. If he could get hold of even a single image, he could probably find the man's identity. If the photo still existed, it was probably either at her house, or in the hands of the police. Neither seemed a good option for investigation, especially as it was now light out and her home would probably still be crawling with cops. He paced unhappily and decided to continue with his computer work rather than take the risk of being seen in his investigations of the house.
    Around 8:30 Scott's phone rang.
    "Hello?" he answered.
    "Sphinx here, how are you?"
    "Quite well, yourself?"
    "Not too bad. I got into the office early, I've been correlating some things, something came up that I want you to know about. A pharmaceutical warehouse was broken into last night. Here's a list of the chemicals that were taken, run them by that French doctor and find out if they're what's needed."
     Scott tapped on the table to awaken Albert.
    "Are the following chemicals what's needed to make synthetic memories?" He ran through the list and the amounts.
    "Yes, they are," he told Sphinx. It was enough to make roughly three hundred doses—happy, happy, he thought resignedly.
    "Thought you'd want to know about that. I can give you the address, but I doubt that it will mean anything."
    "Do we still have our friends watching the doors?"
    "Friend, yes. I think they figured out last night when you started having a battle over the city that you weren't here."
    "It was perhaps telling," the robot admitted. "Thank you very much."

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© 1999 Rebecca J. Stevenson