Heidi, Geek Girl Detective

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Chapter 10: Retreat

I didn’t recognize the pink-streaked haired woman but I recognized Peter’s hand. Who else’s hand would it be? He squeezed her butt the same silly way he used to squeeze mine. At least back when we first got together.

What the hell was going on here?

She leaned back out, smiled and then happily bobbed down the stairs. She had that freshly fucked look of satisfaction on her face. Lord knows, I hadn’t felt that way in a while. Out of reflex, I flattened against the dumpster and hid from her view. She got into a white pickup truck. The engine turned over and she backed out without even looking.

I stood there for some time staring at the empty parking space. I really didn’t know for how long. I didn’t even know what I was thinking or what I was supposed to think. I really didn’t have the energy to deal with this. What was I supposed to do next?

My attention was jerked awake when my neighbor pulled his Honda into the spot created by streaky-blondie. He got out of his car and trudged to his apartment. I guessed I should have moved my car when Peter’s little friend left but I missed my chance. Who was she anyway? I wonder if she was someone from work. No, he had only been there a week or so. More likely she was one of those band-sluts who hung around at the bars where he played. Practicing at a friend’s house. I understood now.

I looked up the stairs at my apartment door. I needed to go up there. My feet dragged my body up the stairs. I stared at the door for a moment and thought about going inside. There wasn’t much emotion left in me. Maybe curiosity? No, the need to know. With me, I always needed to know. What did he think he was doing? I unlocked the door and stepped into the apartment.

Warm steam was in the air. I closed the door and walked into the living room. Tinkering noises came from the bathroom. I waited. Peter poked his wet head out from the bathroom door. Towel wrapped around his waist, he half-stepped into the hallway, dripping all over the carpet. After a few seconds of thinking, he said, “Oh hey, I thought you were working late.”

He retracted back into the bathroom. I said nothing and sat down at our plastic kitchen table. I put my laptop case down and laid my hands on top of it. Then I sat and stared into space some more. I didn’t know if I was in shock or just looking for a part of me to get angry or sad. Maybe I just assumed all the wrong things and this was nothing.

I heard the hair dryer start up and run for a bit. Then it stopped. More time passed and Peter emerged from the bathroom, significantly drier but still just wearing only a towel. He greeted me with a generic “So how was your day?”

“Fine,” I heard myself say.

He nodded and went off to the bedroom. I heard the clunking of drawers. I waited.

Peter emerged in fresh jeans and a worn t-shirt. “Why are you still sitting at the kitchen table?”

I shrugged.

“Okay, you’re mad at me.”

I shrugged again.

He finally took the goddamned hint and sat down at the table across from me. He reached for my hands but I jerked them back and cradled my arms. He looked slightly wounded. “Whatever I’ve done, I’m sorry.”

I looked at him. “And just what have you done?”

A plume of anger and guilt wafted over his face. He leaned back in the chair and exhaled. “Okay...”

I stared at nothing at in particular.

“Babe? If you don’t talk to me, I can’t...oh forget it, I can’t deal with you when you’re like this.” He pushed himself away from the table and got up. I was still staring into space. He was walking down the hall when I whispered, “You had a visitor today.”

Peter stopped mid-stride and turned his head over his shoulder to look at me. “What?”

I studied his eyes, his shoulders, his back. I really didn’t know the truth for sure, but really, I did. By now he had to have realized that I knew. He was just too fucking cowardly to admit it. I guess I shouldn’t have expected him to be a man about it. “Heidi, what did you say?”

He turned the rest of his body to face me. I repeated the question, “You had a visitor.” All emotion was scraped from my words.

“Huh? Why do you ask that?”

“It wasn’t a question.” I said slowly, “It was a statement.”

Realization began for him at the eyebrows, which twitched once. Twice. I’m sure it wasn’t the realization that he’d been caught. He should have already known he was caught the second I walked through the door. It was realization that he had to deal with this now. Maybe he expected me to ignore it. Or pretend it didn’t happen. I might have in the past, but that Heidi was dead. Meet the new Heidi.

“Babe? I don’t know what you think—-”

“Who.” I corrected him, “I don’t know who.” I felt the canvas of my laptop case tighten against my fingernails. “Who was she, Peter? The girl who just left the apartment.”

He laughed as if it was some silly little thing. Peter had obviously failed Drama 101. It wasn’t so much that his laugh was forced and shallow. It was his whole body. It had tensed up. Tensed for a fight. Good.

“Oh? Is this really not a big deal? I guess I’m just imagining things huh? Silly old Heidi.”

He began a smile and started a snappy comeback but I struck again before he could say anything. “I’m just imagining things. Probably because I’ve been working so hard. Working so hard to support your loser ass.”

His sank back into the chair, hands raised in surrender. Come on, Petey, you can’t go down that easily. I wanted to make this last.

He cracked his neck with a dip of his head. “You think I’m a loser. You’re always implying I’m a loser. I try to get a job and still you look at me...look at me like that.”

“So you go find someone who’ll stroke you the way you wanna be stroked, huh?”

He straightened his shoulders. Yeah, he was ready. “Maybe I found someone who’d give me a little respect. Someone who doesn’t work all the time. Someone who appreciates my music.”

He paused a second for a breath and continued, “Someone who isn’t so obsessed with her fucking job.”

Good, he’d admitted it. “Someone who likes to sneak around with you for a quickie? Yeah, that’s a real catch.”

“It was just a few times, I was planning to tell you about it. Hell, I thought you were doing the same thing down at that stupid bank of yours.”

“Yeah, yeah. Whatever you want to tell yourself.”

“Look, I tried to love you...” His voice was starting to get ragged but he kept going, “I try to get close to you, you pull away. I try to do couple-things and you talk about work. I don’t know what you want.”

I felt an itch on my cheek. I lifted my hand to scratch it and felt wetness. Tears.

Peter continued his press, “We’re at a dead-end here. I know what I want. Do you? You want to be the big queen bee at that bank. I’m just a leftover. This is not what I signed on for.”

“I’m sorry Peter.” The words came out rough. I was struggling over the growing lump in my throat. My vision was blurring to whiteness. My glasses were fogging up. I stood up from the table for more space. “I didn’t realize I was supposed to center my life around you.”

I didn’t know what to say so I ran to the bedroom.

He didn’t follow.

———

I don’t know how many minutes passed as I sat on the edge of my bed. More tears rolled down my cheek but I tightened my face to hold in the sobs. I was not going to lose it. Not now, not here.

I pushed off my work shoes and flung them across the room. One of the shoes rebounded off the white bedroom wall and left a dark streak.

Looking over into the corner, I spotted my overnight bag, still half-unpacked from the banking conference in Chicago. God, that was over two months ago. I’d been too busy to finish unpacking it. Too busy for a lot of things.

I needed to rest and think. I looked over at the disheveled covers and rumpled pillows. No way I was going to sleep in the same bed that he and that person used. Disgusting. I didn’t even want a hint of a chance to even smell it.

I grabbed my overnight bag, jammed in a shirt, a pair of jeans, some underwear. I slipped on more comfy pair of shoes and slung the bag.

As I walked back into the living room, I found Peter still sitting at the dining room table. He had a vacant look on his face, neither angry nor sad.

I grabbed my laptop case and keys. He said nothing. I opened the front door and put a foot out the door.

Then I turned back to fire a parting shot. “You know why my job is more important than a washout like you?”

The vacant look remained, only his eyes moved to focus on me. I snarled the answer for him. “Because my career has a future.”

The look on his face registered the insult as I slammed the door.

———

I really didn’t have anywhere to go, so I just drove.

I tried to think of somewhere I could crash at, but none came to mind. I had gotten so caught up in nesting with Peter that I lost track of most of my friends. Fruit Cup Boy was not an option, yeesh. Now everyone I was close to was either a friend of Peter’s or at PRB. Actually the only person I was close to at PRB was Rubin. No way I’d come crying to him.

As I rolled through West Seattle, I passed Fauntleroy and thought of Alexy. He seemed like a nice guy, I’m sorry I didn’t get to know him better. What was I saying? He was a crook.

Crook or not, he didn’t deserve to be murdered and dumped on the side of the road. I pushed it out of my mind and turned down Fauntleroy. I passed Le Voleur coffee. Why not?

I pulled in and parked in the same spot as before. I stared blankly to where Alexy had parked. His crazy driving… now that should have been the death of him.

I walked in and ordered a large mocha from the oh-so perky barista. She fussed with a machine a bit, grunting with effort. Her grimace faded into an apologetic smile. “Sorry, it’s not pulling the shots correctly tonight.” She flipped a steaming discus of compacted espresso into the wastebasket. She was a perfectionist. And naive. Work your ass off for nothing, people don’t care. Boyfriends sure don’t give a shit. Nobody who was supposed to care ever did.

A few loud clacks and she began brewing the second attempt. The hissing of the steam echoed how I felt inside. Peter, how could you do that to me? Stupid selfish prick.

“Here you go, sorry it took so long.” I looked up and saw her sparkling cherubic face. The paper cup of steaming mocha was waiting on the counter. “Oh, thanks” I added, “keep the change.” I tossed her a five. Someone should reward her efforts.

I took a sip and the warm chocolate did its magic. It was worth the wait-- this was a good mocha. It helped blunt the chill draining into my heart.

I stepped out onto the sidewalk and stared at nothing. What happened to the two other guys with Alexy? The bullet-headed one and that guy with the scar on his hand. Tracy said the office was torn apart but there were no bodies. I wondered if those two are going to turn up like Alexy did. Heck, they might have already died and no one had come forth to identify them. If it wasn’t for the cell-phone, Alexy might have remained unidentified for quite some time.

What about that suspicious mailbox with all those high-end copiers? If the feds raided them, I wonder if they found anything. Tracy wasn’t going to share that information with me. She probably still hadn’t decided which side I was on. Not that I blamed her.

Didn’t that mailbox guy say that Alicia’s husband closed the box? Since it obviously wasn’t her husband, I wonder who it was. An FBI agent? Nah, that didn’t make sense. Hey, if the FBI was watching the site, they might have gotten a picture of him. I added that to the list of things that I’d ask Tracy which she’d never answer. My sweet drink was almost gone. I’d been gulping it down. I chucked the empty cup into the garbage and got back into my car. I needed more distance from this place, from Peter. I headed down toward the water and Lincoln Park.

The sun hadn’t gone done yet. A lot of people were still returning home from work. Afternoon traffic was starting to relent, but the roads were not peaceful enough to suit my mood. I cruised down to the park and looked out over the Sound. I caught myself almost smacking into a mini-traffic jam ahead. An accident? I saw a long row of cars lined up alongside the road for the Fauntleroy ferry. The docks were at the end of Lincoln Park. With nothing better to do, I figured I might as well go for a ferry ride. Now that was distance. I pulled my car into the line, which inched along at a steady pace.

After a dozen minutes or so, it was my turn and I pulled up to the main terminal entrance. In a snappy but monotone voice, the tollbooth guy asked me something. My usual response of “huh” made him repeat himself, which he seemed to find annoying.

“Vashon or Southworth?”

Where was I headed? Vashon’s boring. “Southworth” and I handed him a fifty. I still had all that money from Alexy. I heard grunts from the car in line behind me as the tollbooth guy made change. He handed back a stack of bills and told me to go to the far left lane. I joined the herd of cars moving into the dark maw of the ferry.

As soon as the Jetta came to a rest, I killed the engine and exited. I climbed up the metal stairs, all the way to the upper decks. I needed thinking space. I went to the bow of the ship and leaned on the railing.

Facing the dark waters in the fading sunlight, I became lost in the ocean and distant islands. The deck rumbled as the engines revved up. The islands inched closer and I looked over my shoulder to watch West Seattle move away from me. I told it “Goodbye” and thought of Peter. What was he doing now? Did he call Streaky-hair Slut and tell her that the girlfriend spotted her leaving the apartment? Maybe he was telling her that it’s over between them. Hah, after that last blow up, he was probably trying to find out if he could crash at her place. I felt an empty ache in the pit of my stomach. I pushed it down with a grunt. I needed to sustain this anger and not give in to the sadness. He didn’t deserve my tears.

Maybe this was the plan? Maybe he was planning to string me along as long as he could, then dump me for her. The ache in my stomach hit again. I pushed it down again but it didn’t go away. Suddenly the roar of the engines was so loud. The deck of the ship was swaying back and forth ever so slightly.

Oh God.

I barely made it to the nearby garbage can before it all came up. The acrid tang of bile and chocolate mixed in my mouth and burned my nose. I hung onto the rim of the can for balance and slumped my head as I fought bone-cracking heaves. There wasn’t much in my stomach except mocha anyway.

An older woman with long white hair approached me with a look of concern. I was so dizzy that I couldn’t lift my head. Instead, I found myself staring at the middle of her heavy yellow windbreaker. I waved her off and slid my glasses into my pocket. I teetered there for a second and then I felt her reassuring grip on my arm. She helped me trudge over to a bench. With a look of genuine concern, she asked “Are you sure you’re okay?”

I waved her off again. This time she noticed my expression and left. I buried my face in my hands and let the sobs swallow me whole.

———

The ferry whistle let out two loud bleats. Was it time to go? I stood and saw that we were docking at Vashon Island—not my stop. I sat back down and wiped the tears off my face with my sleeve. I felt nauseous and tired. I needed a quiet home to return to. As the ferry twisted into the Vashon docks, I walked over to the rail and stared down at the cold waters. I’d never been suicidal, but today I could understand those that felt that way. Where did Alicia go on her last day? How doped up was she when she went into the water? I wondered if she felt this alone. She didn’t have anyone to confide in either—not even her mother. What did her office worker say? She called someone on that last day. Who? And he said that she thanked whoever it was. Was it a friend?

I still wish I had a friend I could talk to about this. Peter used to be my friend for these kinds of things. Why didn’t I talk to him about Alicia? Would that have made a difference? Probably not. Damnit, I can’t believe I paid the rent and I was the one who left. What has happened to me? Reminder to self: kick Peter out of my place when I got back. He can go live with his little tramp.

The ferry engines idled with a deep putter as the cars rumbled off onto the dock. I pushed my way through the heavy doors into the interior of the ferry. I needed to get a soda or something to wash my mouth out. I walked back toward the galley, past the rows of plastic chairs filled with bored passengers. The wet heavy smell of stale coffee and old hot-dogs was heavy in the air. Ugh. I spotted a few vending machines and quickly slipped a dollar in and retrieved a root beer. Then I retreated back outside, away from the wretched food smells.

The floor lurched as the ferry backed out of the dock to begin the final leg of the trip to Southworth. Still wobbly, I nearly flopped face first onto the deck. I did spill root beer over my hand but at least I stayed on my feet. I sat back down at my bench outside and leaned back. Where the heck was I going? Since I drove my car onboard, I couldn’t just sit there and ride back and forth all night. Though right now, nothing sounded better.

I supposed I could find a motel or something on that side of the water. Maybe if I got lucky, I could find a cute little bed and breakfast to sleep in. I’d just put it on my credit card. Another handful wouldn’t really make much of a difference in the mountain of debt. Too bad you’re dead, Alexy, I needed more side-money. Despite what Tracy thought, I could have made a great gangster techie. Gangsta-tech. Sounded like a new kind of music.

If I wanted to be a gangster techie, I’d need to find a new customer. Actually, where did Alexy’s two creepy friends go? If they weren’t dead, then they could be in hiding. What if they’re looking for me right now? I took a sip of the root beer and swished it around my mouth, washing away the bitterness. Nah, didn’t track. Why would they want to kill me? They were recruiting me.

What about that Internet provider they were using: Glenda.net? Yes, and they had their offices up in Victoria. Things kept pointing up to Canada. Now I knew where I was going.

———

From Southworth, it was an hour and half drive up the peninsula to Port Angeles. As I navigated the light traffic, I mapped out my course. From Port Angeles I needed to take another ferry then I would I be across the border in Victoria. Of course, if I was wrong and they were looking to kill me, I’d be driving right to them. Well, it wasn’t like my life was worth a whole lot at that moment anyway.

I considered telling Tracy about this little trip. Of course, I didn’t think the FBI could do anything to investigate. Even if I could convince her, she’d probably want to talk to the Mounties and probably do paperwork up the wazoo. It sounded like just getting the evidence from that bust was hard enough for her to deal with. No wonder criminals never get caught. It’d be just so much easier to skip the courts and administer some street-justice. Rubin. Rubin said that. Did he know about Glenda.net? Dragoon had to have known about the hole, or at least Roger did. But Rubin? How did he feel about this? It must totally rankle him that this was going on. Just like the broken criminal justice system he was frustrated with. Whoa. I didn’t want to think those thoughts. He was the only one I really trusted at that insane asylum. I wondered if he’d gone home yet. It was nearing seven o’clock, but sometimes he stayed late. I snagged my cell phone and despite better wisdom, I called as I drove.

A single ring and Rubin’s line immediately picked up. I blurted into the phone, “Rubin, it’s Heidi, I met with Tracy today and…” I realized that I heard Rubin talking, totally ignoring me. A message. “…be out of the office until Monday. If you have a pressing emergency, please call the main number and ask for the security department. Otherwise, please leave me a message and I’ll get back to you when I return.”

I clicked off the phone and tossed it onto the passenger seat. Humph. I didn’t realize he was taking the day off. I could take a guess at what he was doing. But I wasn’t going to think about it.

I mean, he was a cop and everything. Those kinds of people are specially trained and psychologically screened and stuff. Uh huh, that’s pretty naïve, even for you, Heidi. Lex Talionis...an eye for an eye. But what did Alicia do that was worthy of death? Or Alexy for that matter? It was just some identity theft and fraud, right? Not like they were really hurting people or anything. Or was there something more?

———

I hit Port Angeles around eleven. It should have been sooner but I got turned around on the highway a few times. Now the pain of Peter’s betrayal had moved from a sharp knife in the back to a throb at the base of my stomach. Or maybe it was hunger. When was the last time I’d eaten? I couldn’t remember.

As I tooled around the darkened sea town of Port Angeles, I remembered the ATM. I quickly found it near the center of town. So Alexy, is this where you did your deposits? I needed to be careful, the same trick could work on me. Any transactions I do will show up in MYZRE and anyone with database access might know where I was or where I was headed. Same deal for my personal PRB credit card, which was the only plastic I had on me.

It was a long shot, but if Rubin or Roger were involved, I’d need the element of surprise. Luckily, I still had just under a hundred bucks in leftover Alexy cash. It had to hold until I got back. A block down the road, I spotted the neon glow of a diner. I pulled my little Jetta into a parking lot full of mud-caked trucks. I glanced over at the restaurant window and spotted a lit sign. Breakfast served anytime. I couldn’t help but smile.

———

No motel would give me a room without using a credit card and I didn’t have enough cash for deposit. So I ended up parking on a back road in a semi-populated residential Port Angeles neighborhood. As I crawled into the backseat, I saw the homeless newspaper with the address scrawled on it. Oh yeah, Rusty’s party—excuse me, celebration—tomorrow night. No matter what happened, I needed to make sure I showed up for that. I couldn’t lose a boyfriend and a promotion in the same week. Funny how Rusty made such a big deal over this project. God knows we didn’t have fancy shmancy parties for every milestone we hit. Heck, when we overhauled the website last year, all we got was a muffin basket to share amongst the entire department.

Maybe this exclusive party was just Rusty and me? He wouldn’t be the first executive to hit on me, thank you very much. At least he’d be a boyfriend who could afford to buy me nice things, like a zippy new Titanium laptop.

Of course, I knew better. The Apollo project was all about covering up the mess in the system. Most importantly, closing the hole that Alicia used to rip us off. It was no shock that Rusty was happy about that. I doubted Rubin was so pleased though. I wondered if he told Tracy to go looking through the computer records. She didn’t seem to be techno-savvy enough to figure that one out on her own.

I pulled an old beach towel over my body and curled up. It was cold and kinda scary to sleep in my car in a strange town, but at this point, it was pretty much par for the course. It was just me and my trusty old Jetta. I slept a few shivery hours.

———

At dawn, I unfolded myself from the back seat. My internal clock got me up on time and I thanked myself for that. It felt like a hamster had slept in my mouth, so my first order of business was to drive to the nearest convenience store. I dashed in and bought a bottle of water, some moist towelettes, a Snickers bar and a big coffee. Mercifully, they had a bathroom, which I took full advantage of. I rinsed my mouth with the bottled water and rubbed my finger over my teeth. Then I gave my face and neck a quick wipe-down with the towelettes. I still felt sticky, so I did the pits as well. Back at the car, I ate the Snickers bar and sucked down the coffee. Ah, the glamorous life of Heidi Hoffman, super-model crime-fighter.

It was still pretty early, but I headed down to the main dock where the boats to Victoria awaited. There was already a small line of cars waiting to drive onto the next car ferry. I’m glad I was there early. It looked like it was first come, first-served. And I needed all the time I could get in BC. Who knows how hard it would be to find Alexy’s cohorts.

Speaking of Alexy’s cohorts, just what the hell was I going to tell them when I got there? Excuse me guys, have you seen a Hispanic ex-cop poking around? No? Thanks, I’ll be on my way. Yeah, that was obviously not going to work. And I was still assuming that Alexy’s own people weren’t the ones who killed him. For all I knew, these Glenda.net guys weren’t even affiliated with Alexy. What did Fruit Cup Boy say? The mafia was really just a bunch of small gangs loosely affiliated with each other, and usually stepping on each other’s toes? Maybe that’s what happened to Alexy.

Fruit Cup Boy, how about I borrow a page from your hacker’s book of tricks? A little social engineering might work. Normal folks would call it bluffing, but hey, hackers like to dress things up. If I assumed that these guys weren’t the ones who did Alexy in, then they may not even know he was dead yet. They wouldn’t suspect that I knew he was already dead. The FBI wasn’t entirely sure it was him until I had confirmed it. Based on that, I could just say that I was looking for him. Heck, I could even tell them that he had sent me. After all, I could be his new computer consultant and that’s how I found out about Glenda.net. He sent me up here to work on something with him. I’d better not mention I worked at the bank though. That would just get me into even more trouble with the FBI. I’d just play the confused female and get a look-see. I’d better work up a story about when I saw him last, though. If they were looking for him, they would probably going to grill me on that. I needed to think out all the angles. Fruit, you’d be so proud.

And if any of my assumptions were wrong…well, I guess I wouldn’t be coming back. Maybe if I got lucky, Peter’d feel guilty. I knew the folks in the office wouldn’t give two hoots. Oh shit, the folks in the office! I grabbed my cell-phone and dialed Warren. Time for more social engineering.

The little bootlick liked to come in early. Not that he did anything but vegetate at his desk, but it looked good to be the first one there. It was seven but he answered on the first ring. “Puget Regional Bank, This is Warren Snyder of Network Services speaking. How can I help you this morning?”

Sheesh. He’d had his Wheaties. I clutched my throat and did my best to sound even more haggard than I felt. “It’s me, Heidi...”

“Ah, good morning. Do you need me to check a system for you?”

“Uh no, I just wanted to let you know I wasn’t feeling well and—-”

“Sorry to hear that. So you’re going to be late coming in this morning? You know we have that Apollo Phase two meeting today at ten.”

Oh shut the hell up. “Well, I don’t know...” The brake lights of the car in front of me flashed red, then it rolled forward. Crap, the line was moving. I glanced into the mirror. There was already a big line of cars behind me as well. I needed to start my car and get going or they’d start honking. Warren, not one to ignore a vacuum of silence, spoke while I was thinking “It’s an important meeting but your health is more important, so—-”

I turned the car over and the Jetta woke up with a cranky growl. Eeep. “Yeah Warren, I understand. I’m driving to the drugstore right now to buy something to help me rest.” I inched the car forward slowly.

“You’re driving when you’re sick? That’s not very safe. I think you should stay home and rest. Let your boyfriend pick up some medicine for you.”

How did Warren know about Peter? Of course, Mr. Gossip knows. I really didn’t need any reminders about that person right now. I stifled my anger with a short cough and squeezed out another lie. “He’s already at work, so it’s just me. I’ll be fine.”

Warren clucked his approval and added, “Alright, I’ll make sure you get the meeting minutes. Do you think you’ll be out for the whole day?”

“Not sure. Definitely going make it to the thing tonight though.”

“What thing?”

Oops. Rusty specifically told me not to talk to other people about the project party. I’m a dunce. Either Warren was a better liar than me or he wasn’t invited. “Never mind. I thought there was a cut-over tonight.”

“No, not until the weekend. I think Mitch had you scheduled for that.”

“Yeah, I’m a little loopy trying to drive and talk at the same time. I’m going to go now.”

“Alright. Get better.” The line went dead with a click. I put the phone down and drove onto my second ferry in two days. So Warren wasn’t invited to Rusty’s party? Good. I wondered if any Dragoon guys were going to be there. I bet who ever showed up to this party would be a representation of the new order of PRB technical services. Probably a major shakeup was in the works. More reason for me to hurry up in Canada and get my ass back to Seattle in the next twelve hours. Nestled into the parking slots below deck on the ferry, I turned off the car and exited. I needed to head to the upper deck. Hopefully there was a place where I could get a map of Victoria. I had no time to waste.

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