Gold, Chapter Twenty-Two

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“You guys both look like shit,” said Stan.  “Up late at the bicycle polo tournament?  Playing four square at House of Air?”

“Not exactly,” said Stephanie, holding her double expresso close to her mouth.

“The polo tourney was last week,” croaked Jordan, who was half sprawled on the conference table his head resting on an outstretched arm. 

“What then?  Neither of you were on the night shift,” said Stan.  “And sit-up, Jordan!  This isn’t naptime at kindergarten.”

Jordan rearranged himself in a slump on his ball chair, resembling a large marionette whose strings had broken.

“We did something…unorthodox,” said Stephanie, draining her coffee and placing the cup down.  She reached into her canvass bag, pulled out a baggie with a black object inside, and placed it on the table. “We retrieved what we believe is a personal object of Mr. Randall’s from the subject site.”

“What? You did what?” Stan reached over and took the baggie, peering at its contents through the clear plastic.  “What’s this, eyeglasses?”

Jordan straightened up. “Specs from the host, we think.  Taken from the source.  From the basement to your table.”

Stan grimaced, placed the baggie carefully on the table, and turned to Stephanie. “What is this, and where did you get it?”

“I don’t think we need to get into the details at this juncture,” Stephanie replied. “Suffice it to say that we retrieved this object from the site, and believe it may have belonged to John Randall. I haven’t examined it, but given its personal nature it may have traces of hair or skin.”

Stan puffed up his checks and blew out, as if to diffuse a bomb that was his head.  He looked at Jordan and Stephanie with narrow eyes.  “Okay.  This is clearly my fault.  I should never have put the into play.  We need to shut this down, go back to our original purchase strategy…Stephanie, retrieve the from where ever it is.”  Stan got up, and strode towards the door.

“What do we do with this?” yelped Jordan, holding up the glasses.  “Find someone who fits the prescription?  Actually, that’d be a fun game, kind of a Cinderella search,” he lowered his voice “Vision quest, the virtual game that puts eyes on you!”

Stan turned and stared at him for a few beats, then swiveled to Stephanie.  “Give it to the lab, have them test it, let me know the results” he said, and strode from the conference room.

“What a grump he is,” said Jordan.  “It’s not like we risked our lives to find the Holy Grail of biotech…”

“Shut-up,” said Stephanie, who placed the glasses back in her bag, and followed Stan out the door.

Each month the View publishes a chapter from Gold, a serialized tale of politics, capitalism, and corruption in San Francisco.  Previous chapters can be found on the paper’s website,  Advertisers or supporters interested in sponsoring future installations, or publishing the final manuscript, should contact