As usual, please read the chapter first.
The investigation is back. The story has a direction. This isn't filler. Rose and Elena have a lead - one Donna Lund. So, where is she? Or, to phrase it better, why did I send Donna to church? I had remembered that the US is, overall, more faith-based than Soviet Canuckistan, with a higher percentage of church attendees. Plus, and this is more retroactive than anything else, it hints that Lund might not be 100% on board with Sexton's plot.
The one-sided telephone conversation was me playing around with the scene. I wanted to see if I could write a phone conversation where only half could be heard while still providing the information I wanted to the reader. Only you, the reader, can tell me if I was successful. The trick, if successful, can really only be used once in a story. More often, and it becomes noticeable and gimmicky. I tried this because of too many TV shows where the on screen character would just repeat what the other person on the phone said. That's not a conversation.
For the record, Amber's end is essentially her catching Rose up on the online searches. then throwing odd ideas out. One that Rose comments on was the idea of Sexton hiding at a store's grand opening sale. Amber's logic was that no one would expect him to hide at one. It is hard to argue with that sort of leap in logic.
Back to finding Lund, Rose has no problems lying to the church volunteer. Rose was a spy; to paraphrase Tony Stark in Marvel's The Avengers, "[S]he lies. [S]he gets paid to lie." She wouldn't have been a good spy if she had problems lying. At the same time, she is religious, at least enough to pay homage on entering the church. Lund isn't expecting anything - she is out of the loop - and is surprised by Rose, who might not want to kill her, but is more than willing to shoot Donna in the leg if necessary.
Amber, meanwhile, has cabin fever. She really hates being cooped up. She also really hates not having her morning coffee, her breakfast coffee, her morning break coffee, her second breakfast coffee; Hobbits don't eat as much as Amber drinks coffee. Allison really does need to get away from Amber.
The last scene, I managed to work in a title drop. Elena's explanation, the snake eating its tail, is accurate enough. It's a remnant of the story's origin as a Shadowrun idea. An ouroboros run, also known as a tail-chaser, is meant to show that a document is important enough for someone to steal by having a shadowrunning team steal it. The goal is to prove a document is real, especially when it isn't.
The HMCS Ottawa was in the Middle East at the time of writing. The ship was once involved in Operation APOLLO and may have been there in support of Operation ATHENA. Please note that I did not use either operation name in the story; I was on contract at the Department of National Defense in 2006 and made sure to separate what I could find through public searches from what I knew from work. The Ottawa's location was up on a publically available site, though lacking details, but photos were available. The Canadian appetite for supporting ongoing operations in Khandahar, Afghanistan, was souring. The Canadian public does support the Canadian Forces, but some of that support is making sure that the troops are making a positive difference for the sacrifices. A friendly fire incident known as the Tamak Farm incident didn't help; an American Air Force pilot dropped a bomb on soldiers with the Princess Patricia's Light Infantry on a night firing exercise, killing four and wounding eight more. Elena is referring to this incident.
Tomorrow, digging into expense reports.
Saturday, at Musehack, Smokey and the Bandit.
Coming soon, some more gaming material and NaNo Prep 2014. (What?)