Logs:The Haunting of Pan pt 2 (or: Must do research!)

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The Haunting of Pan pt 2 (or: Must do research!)

Characters: Pan, with Lysander as storyteller
Date: 2019-10-19
Summary: In which we find out what Pan snacks on while using their Google Fu.
Disclaimers: {{{disclaimers}}}

The normal power of Google Fu gets Pan the story of Malik Miles, born in the year 2000 and passed in spring of 2019. His memorial page is full of people posting stories about him, love for him. His little sister posts in adorable seven-year-old speak about how he called her "Princess" and came to her school play, just like her father would have had he been alive. His little brothers don't have much to say, but there are photos of him on the basketball court with them. His girlfriend posted: My heart is broken.

A bit of digging turns up the news story. On the evening of March 12th, 2019, Malik was walking home from work when he took a detour into an alley. There, he was attacked by an unknown assailant, his phone, watch, and wallet taken, and was stabbed in the stomach. Despite the injury, he made his way home on foot and his family got him to the hospital. There he died of complications of the wound. His family is devastated, his community in pain, and all the usual impact statements follow.

Deeper digging than most people think to do reveals a thread on Nextdoor in Malik's neighborhood:

       Some kids stabbed Malik in the alley behind his job. Control your damn children! We're heading for the hospital, Shelley's watching the kids and anybody tries anything is gonna get a face full of lead tonight, I have no patience left for this shit!

A day later, in a more public post that has been shared around the neighborhood:

       All y'all know Malik. He came home last night bleeding. Some punks stole his phone and wallet and stabbed my boy. If ANY OF YOU know who did this, come forward. My son is dead. We're still trying to understand why.

The Nextdoor site is a wealth of information, honestly:

       Got Dr. Brown to take a look at Malik's body. He said they didn't have to cut that deep. He said a lot of things. Any of you know a lawyer? That doctor Jonas killed my boy and I'm taking it to court.

The thread continues with encouragement and sympathy.

If this were a P.I. novel, a cigarette would be smoking in an ashtray, burned down to nothing. Pan doesn't like fire, though. There'd be bourbon in a tumbler and a bottle mostly empty. Pan doesn't like throwing up. Do you know what a vampire can enjoy without throwing up or lighting fires or needing to eat a human? NOT MUCH.

There is a glass, though, next to Pan. It's mostly empty. It is stained in crimson. There are four cardboard pet carrying cases empty near the computer, and Pan's trash can is filled with--well. We're not going to go there. Let's just say PetCo is missing some guinea pigs and leave it at that. Pan has Focus Snacks.

Those focus snacks have done their duty, because a night and a half of INTENSE FOCUSED GOOGLING and pouring through records and actually SUBSCRIBING TO A NEWSPAPER FOR A MONTH have hit paydirt. The watch itself, having reappeared on their nightstand, is now beside the keyboard where Pan can keep an eye on it.

While Pan looks into Dr. Abraham Jonas.

This, fortunately, is not a PI novel. If it were, there'd be a femme fatale with a revolver on her way here right now. Instead there's only Malik's mother, ready to shoot anyone who messes with her family again.

Dr. Abraham Jones maintains a LinkedIn with his updated resume. Trauma surgeon, lots of education, a smiling face in scrubs and a hat covered in cartoon pirate skulls, he /looks/ perfectly friendly and warm and nice.

He's worked up in New York, then down the cast coast in New Jersey, Virginia, North Carolina... you get the drift. After Florida, he skipped Alabama and Mississippi and ended up in Louisiana. Each hospital kept him around two years, which is perfectly acceptable for a career-minded doctor, except... his moves have been lateral, not vertical. But anyhow. Career choices aside, he seems like a nice guy - his bio is full of praise for his fellow doctors, casual talk about charity and giving back, descriptions of the friendships he's maintained with his patients, and so on. He's got a picture of himself from a few years back with a team of doctors and nurses, his arms flung around the people nearest to him and his gold watch glinting in the sun as he beams at the camera.

Pan brushes off some more willpower.

Every millenial who's ever MST3K'ed a hacking movie knows that when you want information, you don't 'crack the IRS d-base' or 'hack the Gibson'. You target the weakest link. The dumbass fucking Boomers who are the source of all PEBCAK errors. For a vampire who meets someone in a bar at night, this is usually very easy. For a vampire who needs to talk to someone on the phone during the day? More difficult.

When the run rises, Pan is glad of those guinea pigs, because to ensure they stay awake, they bolster themselves with vitae as strongly as they can. The sun creeps over the horizon and beats viciously upon the blackout curtains and the cardboard duct-taped to the windows, but Pan weathers the assault and stays up. It's a long wait until a surgeon is likely to get into the office. Pan does something they -never- get to do in that time.

They play an MMO while people in the United States are awake. It's glorious. Pan heals like six dungeons and completes all their daily roulettes in FFXIV. Someone compliments their outfit. It's basically living the dream.

Then, the weird, uncomfortable part. They pick up the phone, dial the hospital: "Dr. Abraham Jonas please."

Weird and uncomfortable about summarizes the feel in Pan's apartment once they started looking up this doctor with that watch sitting /right there/, but the time passes and the sun rises and it's not /that/ bad... until they pick up the phone. There's a distinct chill to the air now.

"I'll put you through to his office," chirps the nurse. Click. Buzz. Ring.

"Dr. Jonas's office!" says a bright voice. "This is Nurse Armstrong. How can I help you?" Of course you don't get all the way through on the first try.

"Hi Ms. Armstrong!" Pan has on their most beleaguered, tired, frazzled 'talking to a coworker' voice. They've code-switched to a feminine voice, and let their Midwestern hick come out -juuust- a little so they don't sound particularly bright, especially to non-Midwestern ears. "This is Pam from Human Resources? I'm sorry to bother you," sawree tah bawther yew, "But they're makin' us transfer everybody over to this new database before Christmas? So we can send out the W-2s," dubya-tooooos, "In January like normal without them bein' all late, and well, I dunno why but a BUNCH," BAWNCH, "Of people are missin' home addresses to ship to, do y'all have Dr. Jonas's home address?"

"Oh my gosh," says the nurse, then groans, "this new system is going to literally kill people I'm starting to think, it wastes the doctors' time... all right." Hmm. "Can I maybe call you back? Oh! Wait a moment, just hold the line please..." There's shuffling and fumbling, and then the sound of her speaking to someone - '--address?' And the rumble of a man's voice.

"What--oh, yeah, but--oh okay, I'll--" And then 'Pam' is on holding, straining their ears to listen to someone talk in the background. Acute Hearing: Activate!

"Doctor, HR is saying something about they need your address?"

"Oh, hang on, it's PO Box..."

"No, like your home address, it's for your W2s?"

"Ugh. Government."

"Yeah, something about the new system."

"Yeah, well, I live on a boat, so don't let them give you any trouble." There's the sound of scribbling. "Some HR people don't even get this stuff, they always complain, that's why I have the PO box. Here, tell them that. I need to get to Mrs. Johnson."

"Thank you doctor!" And then the phone rattles loudly. "Pam?" Right in Pan's ear. "I have an address for you, two of them actually. One of them is an LLC in New Jersey, that's for if you can't take the other one, and the other one is a boat. Which do you want?"

"Oh, wow, uh. Uh! I'm just supposed to get the addresses, uhm. I should probably let Mike figure that out? You really don't want to fuck up--oh, uh, pardon me, sorry, uhm. You don't want to make Mike have any reason to. You know. Uh. Be upset with you. So could you give me both, Ms. Armstrong? I'm so sorry, I know this is a hassle for everybody, I hope I didn't make Dr. Jonas mad at you." Pan grabs pen and post-it and prepares to jot down addresses.

"It's fine, Pam, it's all fine, one minute..." Then the nurse rattles off an address in Jersey City for the LLC, which is called 'Mercy Watch'. Then there's the houseboat, which is parked in a specific slip down on the docks. "Was that everything? I'm afraid Dr. Jonas is already with a patient."

"Thanks, Ms. Armstrong. I'll get out of your hair. I've only got like, another..." There's a pause, as if 'Pam' is glancing at an actual number. "Hundred and forty six people to call, honey. I may talk to you again before the day is out for -you-. Thank you so much, have a great day!" *click* Now, to find out everything Pan can about this boat and where it's parked...

...oh. And Mercy Watch, LLC. What is -Mercy Watch LLC-.

Social engineering will get you anywhere in a hospital. The address is good, it leads to a marina and a particular berth for long-term mooring. The LLC appears to be a biomedical futures trading company run by a brokerage in New York, which manages the assets involved. They have a website, but it's full of Lorem Ipsums and a large photograph of a Rolex in the upper right-hand corner. Watch, get it? But at the moment there's nothing there of interest.