Monday, 21 March 2005


Every page in the file had been redacted. Pages and pages with nothing but a word here and there and the rest blacked out. How could one company have that many secrets?

I closed the file folder. No point in proceeding. Whatever I needed to know about Bender's company I would have to dig up myself. Official channels produced squat. Nada.

Bender's side businesses and his mafia connections held little relevance to me. I only wanted to determine the lineage of my fish. All of my detective efforts were focused on learning whether my dusky damselfish had been bred in captivity in Florida, or if she had been stolen from the Caribbean.

I didn't know what I would do with the information. I loved her, as much as it's possible for a man to love a fish. I talked to her every day and I kept fastidious care of her tank. I monitored the ph and salinity religiously. I even kissed the glass after dropping in her food, to show her how much I cared. If Bender or his underlings had ripped her from her family, kidnapped her and forced her into slavery, what would I do?

Could I take her back home? Would she survive in the wild, or had she forgotten how to fend for herself? My stomach flip-flopped imagining the pain of leaving her in an ocean filled with dangerous predators.

The decision would come later. I needed to concentrate on hunting down the facts.

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