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Friday, January 28, 2022

F³ Detective by Phone

             I gave my temples a quick, ten-second massage before taking the phone off hold.

            “This is Matt,” I said.

            “About fucking time!” said a male voice that could only be Jack Dailey.

            “Kate?” I asked.

            “Yeah, I’m here. Shut up, Jack!”

            “What’s going on?”

            Please don’t be another worldwide emergency.

            “How much do you know about antimatter?”

            “Antimatter? Like on Star Trek?”

            “Nerd!” Jack shouted.

            I pulled my ear away from the receiver and hit the button for the speakerphone.

            “Kate, shut him up or I’m hanging up.”

            I heard a loud slap, and another shout, but it sounded farther away.

            “Yes, like on Star Trek.”

            “I don’t know. It makes the ship go. Matter and antimatter annihilate each other to make energy. What else is there to know?”

            “Apparently a lot. Reilly is shooting positronic lightning.”

            “And you’re calling me because?”

            “We’re out of science officers on the Enterprise. Why do you think? We need ideas.”

            I held up my hands in surrender, then felt silly because she couldn’t see that. “All right, I’m sorry. Okay, so let’s run through the obvious supernatural stuff. Been in contact with any kind of supernatural entities?”

            “No,” Reilly said.

            “No,” Kate relayed.

            “I can hear him. How about wizards or other practitioners?”

            “Not that I know of.”

            “Mystical artifacts, possibly cursed.”

            “Again, no.”

            “Made any bargains with the fae?”

            “Who’s Faye?”

            The fae, F-A-E. The fairy folk.”

            “Um, I’ve never met a fairy, so I guess not.”

            “Well, unless you get more info that one of those has taken place, I’m out of ideas.”

            “Is there a way to get rid of it without knowing what caused it?”

            “Beats me. You should probably talk to a scientist or watch a bunch of Trek reruns to see how they solve these things. But I’m pretty sure reversing polarity doesn’t work.”


Friday, January 21, 2022

F³ End of A Quiet Morning

             It was a typical morning in the office, by which I meant I had no clients. This was fine by me because I had a rare rush of them just last week, as if some kind of magic bomb had gone off in Belport making everything just a little screwy. If I was lucky, it wouldn’t be the start of something bigger. I was just finishing up case notes about a lucky quarter. It had reminded me a little of Don Iverson and his strange luck.

            The phone ringing shook me out of the reverie, but I let Jessie answer it while I finished off the last two sentences. I closed the folder, and walked it out to her for filing.

            Jessie kept pulling her ear away from the phone’s receiver as more than one voice shouted on the other end of the line.

            “Please hold,” she said, and clicked the button.

            “Someone named Kate says she needs to talk to you, Boss.”

            “Did you say Kate?” I asked.

            She nodded.

            “And there was shouting, other voices? A man?”

            “Yeah, and they kept swearing the whole time. Who are they?”

            I sighed. “Storm Riders. Go get us a lunch, and stop by the drugstore to get me something for the migraine I’m about to have.”

            Jessie opened her mouth, but I just held up a hand as I headed back into my office.


Friday, January 14, 2022

F³ Consultation

            “Okay, let’s say I buy into your science fiction mumbo-jumbo about antimatter lightning,” Jack said. “How do we fix it?”

            “I look like Spock to you?” Kate said. “I may know about the stuff, but I’m not a physicist.”

            “So, we need a physicist?” I asked.

            “Sure, why not? Or a doctor? Or a wizard, for all I know.”

            “What about that detective guy?” Nat asked.

            “Mark,” Jack said.

            “Mike,” I said.

            “It’s Matt, you morons,” Kate said.

            “Matt and Kate, sitting in a tree,” Jack sang.

            Kate scowled. “You want to get slapped again.” It wasn’t a question. “I’m sure you can lose more fillings,” Kate flexed her hand and took a couple of practice swings.

            “Sheesh, can’t take a joke.”

            “Can we get back on topic? Should we go talk to Matt?” Nat said.

            “You know, we don’t need to actually visit someone to talk to them,” Kate pulled out her phone.

            “K-I-S-S-I-N-G,” Jack whispered out of Kate’s hearing.


Friday, January 7, 2022

F³ Logical Deduction

             “What the hell explodes lightning?” Jack asked.

            “Not lightning,” Nat said. “It just kind of looks like lightning.”

            “Fine, it looks like lightning, and is the opposite cuz it goes around backwards. What the fuck does that even mean.”

            “Anti-lightning?” I suggested.

            “Anti-matter,” Kate said.

            We all turned to look at her.

            “The fuck is that?” Jack asked.

            “What it says, the opposite of matter.”

            Jack looked at me and Nat. “Someone make her make sense, please.”

            “I kinda would like to know more about this, too, Kate.”

            Kate sighed, and it sounded like she said ‘morons’ under her breath, but I couldn’t be sure. “Okay, matter is like protons and electrons to make up atoms. Lightning is electrons because it’s electricity. That’s why it seeks out a positive charge in the ground.”

            “So Reilly is shooting protons?” Nat asked.

            “No, Kate explained. “Protons and electrons have an opposite electric charge, but they’re otherwise not the same. Turns out there are exact mirror images of particles in every way. For protons they’re called anti-protons and for electrons they’re—"

            “Anti-electrons,” Jack said standing tall like he actually knew something.

            “Positrons,” Kate clarified, scowling and shaking her head at Jack.

            “How do you know this?” I asked.

            “I watch Star Trek.”

            “Nerd,” Jack said.

            “Hey, if she’s right, then I’m going to star watching it, too,” I said. “Best explanation we’ve had, so far.”

            Kate held up her hand in a weird salute with thumb outstretched and fingers parted in the center.

            She is a nerd.

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