The Ladies are back in St. Louis proper, and at the Chez Café Coffee Shop and Internet Café, a real place that existed in St. Louis in 2007 but apparently doesn't anymore. There is one in Florida, though, but the Ladies aren't there. Allison's explanation of a Secure Socket Layer (SSL) is good enough for non-technical types like Rose and Elena. Unlike Hollywood productions, finding the location of someone through an IP trace isn't easy. If it were, the number of murdered spammers would be far greater. An IP address will get a provider's name, not necessarily the user's name. Businesses tend to have static IP addresses, so a whois look up will get an address. A unique business is easy to find; a Starbucks or Tim Horton's, not so much. So, Allison should really be getting what she needs then leaving. However, narratively, that's yet another scene whe it's not really needed.
Again, time and tech marched on. Text messaging was relatively new in 2006 and standard today. There's a reason why I didn't change the year in the timestamps; a lot of the technology would need to be updated. Lethal Ladies is just not aging well. The file on the network method does work, though, today, two people can and have shared a Gmail account and communicated through a draft email.
Amber really does need to cut back on her coffee addiction. Rose, though, catches her with a Canadianism, "a double double". Unheard of in the US as of 2008, as per the thread at WordReference, it's exactly as Rose says, coffee, two milk, two sugar. Rose spent a lot of time at Tim Horton's. It's an exercise for the reader to imagine what Amber is getting for herself.
The ship, a Canadian Navy Halifax-class frigate, was chosen specifically because the HMCS Ottawa* is that class. While I was working at the Department of Defense at the time, all the info I found was from the then-publically accessable webpage. It doesn't exist now, but there's a Facebook page instead. Amber recognizes the plans because, as mentioned before, she's a gearhead. She's not just into cars and anime. I had access to posters that showed the general layout of visible portions, thus the main guns and helicopter platform. The rest is me making things up.
After the Ladies split up, Rose calls a contact on the St. Louis police force. The contact was meant to be in the story all along; he just never got a chance because everything up to this point involved activities that would force him to intervene. Amber reveals a little more about her home life and that she really doesn't want her family to worry about her. Probably too late there with her caffeine intake. At the same time, Elena and, of all people, Allison head to a Wal-Mart. The store number was random. Turns out, it's in Hawaii.. Why Wal-Mart? I wanted to place a former spy in the least likely location. Elena's former colleague Sergei does have extracurriculars, some of which will be shown later. He shot high for an opening price. Allison, already out of sorts because she's in a Wal-Mart, is not helping. Elena, however, isn't easily fazed, and manages to get chocolate and her info.
Tomorrow, information is shared and a new plan of action is put into place.
Saturday, over at MuseHack, I will have something. It'll be a surprise, even to me.
Coming up, the last of the NaNoWriMo prep work and a test run.
* Her Majesty's Canadian Ship.