00340415

“Looks like a Dove. Highlighted by white, even. Shadow against light.”

“Could be could be,” he relented. Spider. They’d found him! Carrcassonnee was overjoyed.

“Can I… see him again now? Now again him see… I can?”

—–

“Well I’ll just wait upstairs while you finish speaking with each other,” said Jamie, walking away and highlighting Sign.

The footsteps on the stairs ended and the footsteps on the top floor began. Roberts was more free to talk about what Tessa needed to know. She’d already apologized about before. She said it was the town and the lag there, made her appear… less clever than she was. Roberts actually meant Tessa here but Tessa thought she meant herself (Roberts). There was just that difference between the two. Now at least the difference is clear, because we weren’t in Cable Isle any longer but back in Towerboro. Which office was the branch of the other didn’t really matter. That would be revealed soon enough. I would assume (the branch is) here without knowing more, but I’m about as clueless as Tessa in the moment. We better get to their dialog.

“I’m sorry about before, Tessa. It was the lag and the town.”

“Yes, you said that before.”

“I was just checking to see if you were listening. Sometimes people don’t when I speak, but maybe I’m just use to Cable Isle and its issues. Maybe here will be different.”

So just listening in, it appears that there is only one Roberts and Franklin investigating firm and it has moved from there to here. Back to the interaction.

“I’m listening,” said Tessa, trying to do this simple action. All I need, she thought, is to wake up, not sleepwalk all the time. That’s what Roberts desires.

“Let’s just enjoy the here and now for a moment, shall we?” Roberts kept silent. Tessa kept silent. Roberts reengaged eye contact. “*Now*.”

A blue Martian appeared. “Who’s that, Roberts?”

“Laura, please,” requested the psychic-detective. “And that, my friend, is an Observer.”

“Hmmm. What is she observing?”

“You,” came the quick reply. Silence again. Tessa was trying to think of a next step — what Roberts wanted from her again. She was trying to be mindful. Roberts — Laura — was patient, she knew. There was something here to be revealed, she picked up, and not just the Observer. There was another *thing* involved, a (she gleaned) thing that is not what it seems. An animal! She said this aloud.

“Good. What kind of animal?”

“She immediately thought, dog, but discarded it as too easy, not trusting her gut reaction. Her thoughts drifted to horse. She could just guess aloud. “Horse,” she said.

“Mmmm, not quite,” spoke Roberts, face remaining neutral.

Alligator? she thought. “Alligator.”

“Again: not quite.”

Spider came to mind but she broadened it as insect. “Insect.”

“Yes.”

Tessa was pleased, thinking that was the end of the game. But then Roberts continued. “And?”

“Something else besides an insect?” Tessa tried to clarify.

Roberts gave up the game, opened the door with her mind.

“A… dog?” It was the first thing that came to mind and then it was the last thing that came to mind. Funny how things work that way.

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