In all my life, I have only ever seen a great dragon once and I intend to keep it that way. Nevertheless, I’m involved in the affairs of dragons now.
Part of this is the fact that I need to come up with enough money to pay for someone to care for Melissa. She cannot be left alone and on bad days, she needs constant looking after. I tried, but this is not something one person alone can do. We’ve talked about moving, but we’ve both lived in Seattle all our lives and we won’t take root anywhere else now. So money’s the rational explanation, but I’m also curious. Morbidly so, probably, but I never could leave a secret alone.
It all started harmless enough. Fiach entroduced me to a friend of his, Rosìn. I told Fiach about my money problems – not something I usually talk about, but that kid knows how to listen. Rosìn said she might have a job for me, at a detective agency. Tyrell Agency, never heard of it. But they needed a magical consultant and I came with a lifetime experience as a forensics expert, so I agreed. Rosìn isn’t quite the little librarian she tries to pass herself off as – her magic is more powerful than mine and I’m reasonably sure that she is also the person behind Tyrell.
The branch of Tyrell here in Seattle (I don’t think there are others, whatever their website says) consists of an alcoholic ex-ex- Knight Errant and ex- Hard Corps Lieutenant, Roger Kowalski, and his partner in more sense than one, Babsie. They’ve been investigating a series of arsons plus murders at talismongers. We did a bit of digging and all the shops were probably selling dragon telesma. That has always been risky, but now it seems to have become deadly. Wanda tells me that similar arsons have happened not only in the rest of the UCAS, but also in Europe. Most talisleggers who ever had something to do with selling dragon body parts have gone to ground.
The first crime scene was too fresh to do anything magical there, but the one at the Renton Mall was old enough to enter safely. Babsie went in, with a little help from a spirit of mine, and grabbed some containers I pointed out to her and the glasses of the shopkeeper. The containers were used to store illegal or at the very least questionable reagants: fairy dust and testicles from awakened raccoons. The glasses were a break-through for us, after we got them to a psychometry expert. They got us the description and a picture of the drake responsible for this murder and, we’re fairly sure, the others.
He said to the shopkeeper that he was seeking revenge for Pyridian, a young dragon from Scotland who came to North America with his sibling. It seems he did not find good fortune here. The picture was good enough for me to send a spirit to search for him, while I went on a little hike up in the Cascades foothills to make myself a bit harder to find. Albert didn’t find the drake, but he did find a dying man, another private detective who had followed the drake here from California. He gave me his room number and the code for his safe and Babsie and Kowalski went to get his notes while I waited for Doc Wagon to show up. Mike survived and we got his notes, but only just. There’s a chance that the drake’s people have seen the agency’s car and maybe both Kowalski and Babsie. But so far we’re still alive.
Mike’s notes mention a couple of names for the runners the drake hired and a talismonger import/export firm named Virgin Mana. Wanda has met their people before, coming to her place to recruit talisleggers. I get the impression she was not kind when she discovered this. She also pointed me in the direction of the Cocoon as a place to investigate. It never had a very good reputation, but these days it’s even worse. We’ll see what we can find out there.
It feels quite good to work like this again. Not just as a freak, hired because it needs to be done, with everyone treating me like I’m little better than the criminals I’m hired to find.. Babsie at least is more curious than anything and doesn’t hold much prejudice. A rare thing.