Thursday, June 21, 2018

Page 1838

Hector was glad to see that the man could laugh in these circumstances. Then again, doctors were probably pretty accustomed to stress, he figured.

I like this guy,’ said Garovel. ‘Ask him if he wants to come work for you.

Hector had to consciously keep his face still. ‘What?!

What, you can ask Leo to work for you, but this doctor is a bridge too far?

He JUST said that he his current job.

You could still ASK.

No, Garovel.’

Bah.

“Ah, well, I suppose I should be going now,” said Dr. Carlyle. “Is there anything else I can do for you before I go? Questions? Concerns?”

“Oh. Um. I’d like to take a look at Mr. Lang’s belongings, if you wouldn’t mind.”

“Mm. Given everything else that I’m not supposed to be doing for you, I guess one more thing wouldn’t hurt. This way.”

The doctor led Hector to Mr. Lang’s room, which was different from the one that they had originally taken the man to. This one looked a bit more comfortable, and that had him hooked up to all sorts of different machines.

Mr. Lang’s clothes were in folded pile on the chair in the corner. Before sorting through them, Hector materialized some coatings for his fingertips so as not to contaminate any potential evidence with his fingerprints. The last thing he needed was the police making him a suspect.

Dr. Carlyle just watched. The doctor didn’t have to stay, Hector thought, but maybe he was still a little worried about leaving Hector alone with the guy.

It didn’t matter.

Hector found the financial note that Garovel had mentioned earlier, though he couldn’t really make heads or tails of it. He knew someone who might be able to, though, and decided to take a picture of it with his phone. Then he took pictures of everything else, including the unconscious Mr. Lang.

“Where’s the drink?” asked Hector at length, noticing its absence.

“It was a hazardous material, so we had to contain it,” said Dr. Carlyle. “We haven’t disposed of it yet, however, since it is evidence. I can take you take you to it, if you want.”

Hector took him up on that offer, but it didn’t prove particularly illuminating. He made sure to get a picture of the poisoned drink just in case, but there wasn’t much to see. It was just a simple metal canteen, featureless and pretty nondescript. Dr. Carlyle didn’t think that they would be able to trace the poison back to the either the distributor or manufacturer, either.

From there, Hector’s hospital visit drew to a close, and he left. It felt a bit strange, just leaving like that, but he didn’t actually know Mr. Lang, and the hospital had placed security on his room, so Hector didn’t see much point in sticking around. According to Dr. Carlyle, Mr. Lang’s family was currently out of the country and so wouldn’t be here until tomorrow.

Hector was still trying to decide if it was worth coming back in order to talk to them. If they’d been out of the country, they made for pretty poor suspects, and he didn’t want to make things even more difficult for them, either.

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Page 1837

((Triple Wednesday -- Page 3 of 3))
Hector wasn’t sure what to say say to that. Being famous sure was fucking weird.

The doctor reached into his lab coat and pulled out a folded up paper. “Here’s a copy of my preliminary assessment.”

Hector took it and looked it over, though he wasn’t quite sure what to make of it.

“It’s still too early to say for sure,” said Dr. Carlyle, “but... there is unfortunately a very real possibility that the patient will never wake up.”

Hector blinked. “Why?”

“The damage done to his brain and nervous system may not have been fatal, but it would not be strange if he remains comatose. As I said, it’s still too early to tell. He may wake up. He may not.”

“...Do you know what caused this?” said Hector.

“We do,” said the doctor. “We identified the alcoholic drink in his possession as containing a lethal dose of potassium cyanide.”

Hector’s head reared back a little. “Cyanide...?” Now there was a scary word.

“It is safe to say that if you had not gotten him here as quickly as you did, he would be dead.”

Holy shit.

So someone really did try to kill the guy.

He needed information. Hector asked the doctor for details regarding the man’s identity, and the doctor obliged, producing a folder from his lab coat with everything the hospital knew about the man.

Jeremy Lang. Thirty-seven years old. Employed as an Administrative Assistant in the Human Resources Department at Lindhold & Barter.

That was was one hell of a job title, Hector thought.

“I hope you find your culprit,” said Dr. Carlyle. “Now, if you’ll excuse me.” He turned to leave.

“Will you call me if he wakes up?” said Hector, pulling out his phone. “Or if there are any other developments?”

The doctor’s expression became strained. “I... suppose I could. It wouldn’t really be proper, since you’re not with the police or listed as one of his emergency contacts, but... you are a lord. And a national hero. Conventional rules don’t really apply to you, I guess.”

Hector was speechless and embarrassed.

Dr. Carlyle smirked. “You’ll use your status to protect me if I get in trouble for this, won’t you?”

“Er. Sure.”

“That answer does not fill me with confidence, milord.” Dr. Carlyle adjusted his glasses and smiled. “Stressful as it sometimes is, I do like this job and would prefer not to lose it. It pays very well, and my wife loves spending money.”

Hector couldn’t help but breathe half a laugh. The man wanted confidence from him, huh?

Alright.

“...I promise you will have my protection,” said Hector.

“That’s better. Thank you.” The doctor pulled out his phone as well.

They exchanged numbers.

Dr. Carlyle smirked another time as he eyed his phone. “I imagine there are plenty of journalists who would love to get their hands on this, eh? How much do you think I could get for it?”

“Do that and you’re dead to me,” said Hector flatly.

The man just laughed.

Page 1836

((Triple Wednesday -- Page 2 of 3))
“I’ll--I’ll, er, I’ll let the doctors know,” she said. “They’ll figure it out. You don’t need to do anything else. Believe me. It’s good enough that you got him here as quickly as you did.”

Hector just frowned at her, but he supposed she had a point. The doctors would probably have a better idea of what clues to look for, as well.

He wasn’t ready to give up, though. “Well, uh... when the doctors are done with his clothes, I’d still like to examine them, myself. If you don’t mind.”

“Ah, uh, o-okay. Very well. Erm. M’lord.”

Oi, that looked awkward for her. She seemed like she wanted to be just about anywhere but here, right about now.

He wondered if there was anything he could to do help put her at ease. That was the kind of thing a lord was supposed to be able to do, right?

“Ah--by the way,” said Hector, “I never caught your name.”

“Oh. Um. It’s Jenna. Jenna Brandt.”

His body resisted, but he forced himself to extend a hand toward her. “It’s... a pleasure to meet you.”

She looked about as reluctant as he felt, but she took the hand nonetheless and shook it. “Th-thank you, m’lord.”

He tried to give her a smile but only managed to press his lips together flatly. Eh, maybe that was more appropriate, anyway, considering the circumstances.

After that, she excused herself, and Hector was alone again.

He breathed a sigh of relief and sat back down. He didn’t know if ask her name and shaking her hand had actually made her feel better or not, but it was pretty much all he had been able to think of.

Why, he wondered?

Hmm, maybe because that was what Garovel had instructed him to back at Warrenhold with those two Rainlord cooks. The husband and wife. What were their names? Agh, so many names to keep track of.

But yeah, that was probably the reason.

Oh well. Whatever.

The wait continued for a while longer, and Hector ended up meditating to pass the time. He wasn’t sure how much time had passed when Dr. Carlyle entered the room, looking more disheveled than before.

Garovel followed him in.

“I understand that you bear no relation to the patient?” said the doctor. It wasn’t actually a question, but he posed it like one.

Hector sat up straighter. “That’s right...”

The doctor nodded. “In that case, I’m not supposed to share information regarding his treatment with you.”

Hector merely returned a blank expression. Then what he hell had he been waiting here for?

“However,” the doctor said slowly, “these are... extenuating circumstances, I suppose.”

“What do you mean?” said Hector.

“Well... would I be correct in thinking that you are investigating this man in some way?”

“...Yes.”

“Then... normally, this information would only be shared with the police, but you’re... well, you’re you, aren’t you?”