When you sorted the namus.gov list by date, April 24th took up eight pages. It was nearly as much as the rest of the database put together. And this was after there’d been nearly a month to sort through all the stray children found in the rubble and shepherded into refugee camps. And to identify bodies.
“Matthew Habashy?” he asked.
“Yes, who is this?” came the voice on the other end of the Tracfone. Before picking one up from Wal-Mart today, Ophiuchus hadn’t even known that cell phones came as cheap as $25.
“I’m calling about the FBSA,” Ophiuchus said.
“I think there’s been a mix-up, this isn’t my work number,” Matthew said.
“I know,” Ophiuchus said. At fbsa.gov, the only numbers listed were general contact numbers, not specific agents. At whitepages.com, you could reliably find the address and phone number of anyone over 30 years old with a name and a city of residence. Now he’d confirmed he worked for the FBSA, Ophiuchus knew he had the right Matthew Habashy.
“Who is this?” Matthew asked.
“I’m looking for missing persons abducted out of Galaxy City by the Hellions,” Ophiuchus said.
“Why didn’t you go through the FBSA?” Matthew asked.
“I’m not a hero,” Ophiuchus said.
Matthew was silent a while. “You still haven’t told me who you are.”
“My name is Ophiuchus,” he said, “and I have an interest in the people the Hellions have been abducting.”
“What kind of an interest?” Matthew asked, “are you with Arachnos?”
“No,” Ophiuchus said, “I’m working independently. I can’t give you any more details than that.”
“I don’t work with, ah, independents,” Matthew said, “you’ll have to get in touch-”
“Do you think Dana will still be there when the FBSA gets around to assigning you a super?” Ophiuchus asked.
Matthew was silent again. Finally he asked “how do you know all this?”
Facebook. “That’s not important,” Ophiuchus said, “what matters is what I don’t know. I don’t know why the Hellions are kidnapping people, and I don’t know where they’re taking them. Until I do, I can’t get any of them back. Do you want Dana back?”
“I do,” Matthew said, “what do you need from me?”