The FATOFF Conspiracy

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Chapter 19

Digger ran into Phebe in the corridor not far from the converted office they used as a dorm facility.

“What do you think?” he asked.

“The girl?”

“Yes, Cindy. What do you think?”

“She seems too fat to have the gene variant,” Phebe said. “But she is interested in your little show. And Jacob is practically falling over himself trying to please her.”

“Hmm. Her mother’s death…”

“We’re not sure if Subject #2 was her mother,” Phebe countered. “You know how identities get shuffled in such cases.”

“Jacob seems pretty sure,” Digger said, but he was frowning. “We’ll just ask her to give a blood sample.”

“I don’t have access to a DNA sequencer anymore, remember?”

“It would still be good to have a sample,” Digger said. “We could at least determine her blood type, which might eliminate her as a possible daughter.”

“We can do that,” Phebe agreed. “Does the girl suspect anything?”

“Jacob promised me that it never came up in their conversations.”

“Her mother dies under strange circumstances. Her dad dies as well. She gets a set of the F.A.T.O.F.F. papers on the same day that her stepmother shows up at her C.O.F.E. office. She’s forced to give up her papers. She’s taken off tits permanently. And—after all that—the girl still thinks it’s all some kind of cosmic coincidence?”

“Well, when you put it that way…”

Phebe rendered her judgment. “She doesn’t strike me as very bright.”

“Or it might be misdirection,” Digger countered. “Her whole world was set up to keep her from taking notice of things like that.”

“If you say so.” Phebe didn’t sound convinced. “Look, I’ve got work to do. Go show those two lovebirds around. If nothing else, we’ll have another person gathering info for us.”

“Don’t be so negative, Pheebs.”

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