QBS ArchAngel Over Japan – 17 hours before meeting
John walked towards Bethany Anne’s suite, the hairs on the back of his neck standing up.
Gabrielle had mentioned she hadn’t seen or spoken with Bethany Anne for at least a few hours, thinking she was with him or one of the other guys. John confirmed she wasn’t with any of them. The last time anyone had seen her, she was walking into her suite with Ashur, an apple, and a pile of mail that had come up on the last transport.
Curious, but only a little concerned, John asked ArchAngel if Bethany Anne was asleep, but he was informed she wasn’t. ArchAngel said she didn’t know where Bethany Anne was at the moment.
That could only mean two things. Bethany Anne wasn’t on the ship or had explicitly told ArchAngel not to let anyone know where she was.
John entered and walked through the outer suite, through her outer meeting room and finally knocked on Bethany Anne’s bedroom door.
John grimaced and knocked harder. He received nothing twice. John called out, “ArchAngel; this is John Grimes.”
ArchAngel replied, “Yes, I recognize you, John. There was no need to tell me who you are.”
“There is this time,” John grumped, “ArchAngel, by my right as a Queen’s Bitch, I am implementing Queen’s Permission to enter her suite.”
“Approved, John,” the voice replied, and John could hear the suite locks disengage. All seven of them.
He opened the door a few inches, “Bethany Anne?” He heard nothing and opened it further, “BA? Boss?”
The suite was empty.
John noticed her bed was made and stepped around to her personal closet. It was closed and locked.
Fuck, he thought.
John looked up, his eyes closed, thank God a migraine wasn’t possible. “ArchAngel, Please unlock this door – I promise not to step foot into the room.”
“You know she isn’t in there, John,” ArchAngel responded.
“Yes, I just need to see what she took with her,” John answered, and the door unlocked. This was much better than the rooms in the Florida house where no one could open the door from the outside. Here, ArchAngel could open and close, lock and unlock all doors. He pulled the door open, and the lights came on, and he peered around her closet.
Her pistols, leather pants, and her protective chest piece were missing. Her Katana was on it’s stand. John turned, stopped and then looked back. Her shorter wakizashi was missing.
So, it was probably humans, not Forsaken.
John closed the door, “Thank you ArchAngel.” He heard the doors lock behind him and turned to her master suite bath. It, like all of her rooms, was huge. He stepped in and noticed an envelope, and a piece of notebook paper with writing.
John stepped over to her sink area, triple wide with two sinks and a large area between for makeup and other stuff. John figured it was a bit much. Bethany Anne rarely wore more than a little blush and maybe some lipstick.
He read the note, written in blue crayon in a child’s handwriting.
I’m not sure you can help, but my father is in trouble. My mother was taken by bad people who hurt her, and then hurt my dad.
They want him to help them because he works on science and they want something. They made him promise not to tell the police.
Since he can’t tell anyone, and I can’t tell them either, I thought maybe someone powerful like you could help my mom and my dad.
If not, I understand. I know you are pretty busy with your ships and stuff.
Thank you for listening,
p.s., I love your last name, it is the same as my first name.”
John could see the smearing where Bethany Anne’s tear must have soaked into the page. He shook his head, grabbed the letter’s envelope with the address and started walking out of her suite.
John now knew the approximate where and the why now he had to figure out the what to do about it.
He reached up to hold down the small microphone’s call button on his collar, “This is John, our Queen is AWOL.”