A day of surprises11 Aug 2018
Today has been all kinds of odd. Surprises seem to have been following me around all over the place, but then also the exact opposite of surprises too…
We met with Freddy again to wrap up the piano job and kick off the new one. A lot of stuff happened… some of the details are a bit fuzzy but this is what I can remember:
- Surprise: payment in full. Sure, the money was always going to be there as promised. Wasn’t expecting the flowcharts until after this job.
- Not surprise: charts were just generic flowchart shapes. Freddy is just that kind of guy.
- Surprise: Freddy’s timing slip. A fraction of a second between full window shade and projector display? Anyone else I would have ignored it but Freddy is all about the precision.
- Not surprise: Freddy exploded when I made a comment about it. He did a pretty good job of hiding his displeasure, but there was a loud crunch and a crystal ornament mysteriously disappeared from his desk before the lights came back.
- Surprise: this job is… WTF? Make sure a pregnant lady doesn’t give birth inside the city, by whatever means necessary. We’re unlikely to be able to convince her to take a holiday, so we’ll likely be kidnapping her… or something more permanent. I find myself glad that the demo team from the piano job didn’t win. For added awesome, this is all related to some obscure religion that Freddy wouldn’t even tell us about.
- Not surprise: Freddy hates me. Well, I do keep pushing his buttons. Blowing that kiss at him on the way out with Citrine may have been a little much, but it was worth it to see him just about flip the table in anger.
- Surprise: Freddy respects me. I think. When I pulled out a notebook and checked an item off an imaginary list he subsided immediately with a look of understanding and admiration. He still hates me, but this could be a good business relationship to hang on to if all of this stuff works out.
- Not surprise: Citrine reprising her role as the practical one. Freddy was almost… emotional about this whole thing, but Citrine gave us a just-the-facts briefing which was exactly that. Brief, and just the facts.
- Surprise: Citrine has a sense of humour. We were joking around with Lily - we’re never going to let her forget about piano day, and she’s such an easy target. Citrine dropped an epic snark-bomb on her way out of the meeting, which surprised everyone. Except Lily. Totally oblivious.
We did a bit of digging, and found some more surprises. The religion in question appears to be a cult of some ancient Mesopotamian god named Humbaba. The woman is 10 months pregnant, and the listed due date is 3 months away. The cult seems to be using a local Methodist church as a front for all kinds of stuff. There hasn’t been a lot of trading in Mesopotamian artefacts but there have been a hell of a lot being moved around here in Sydney.
We had enough information to start doing some actual work. I could see Morgan was ready to get going, and I was about to suggest something before Lily piped up to say she needed to go talk to someone about all this. Surprisingly Morgan didn’t object to the delay - they did look a little annoyed though. I wasn’t going to suggest we split up after last time Lily was left alone though, so we all made a detour.
We met Lily’s friend (Zak? Sak? Lily seemed to swap names at the drop off a hat) in a rather surprising restaurant. French food (mostly), Korean decor, and Japanese staff… although I have a sneaking suspicion that they were all Zak/Sak. Also, everything seemed to be consistently a few centimetres from where you expect it to be. I adjusted easily enough but everyone else just ended up looking like idiots every time they reached for something.
Sak/Zak was extremely cryptic with their responses to Lily’s questions, and I got a little bored and stopped paying attention - I may have been distracted by playing with the perception effects. I apparently missed something deep and meaningful and super useful, but something about this place seemed to make me lose my focus. Or maybe I’m just that distracted all the time. I just wanted to get out of this place and go do the next thing.