“Jack, bring me a drink.” Frank yelled meekly from his bed. I went into the kitchen and found his French Press and made him a cup using Death Wish Coffee. He always travels with this in his suitcase. Once he found his bag of Death Wish had been removed from his luggage and he turned right around and flew back home. The manufacturer claims it has 200% more caffeine than typical coffee. This chemical seems to be important to Frank’s ability to wake up. Frank likes his coffee with Demerea sugar and whole cream. When he is in dire need he often drinks the whole cup down like an alcoholic. This was one of those mornings.
“Jack, bring another,” he said after emptying the first cup in about four seconds.
“Yes sir. Do we have anything special to do today?”
“Don’t know. Any good emails?”
“One from Lady Jude, two from your editor, one from that Sir Terrance, one from –“
“Dear Mr. Huntington,
If your current assignment allows you to take a bit of time off I would like to invite you to come see my research lab in Maidstone. Contact my secretary, Mr. Banks at the email below. He will arrange a car for you.
After reading the text I asked my master if he wanted to reply.
“After I shower. Read me off what is known about Lutts’s lab.” Frank started to undress and walk to the shower. As usual I just followed him keeping the normal human buffer distance of four feet.
“It is a big place situated on an old estate of 4000 acres. The lab is underground and west of Len Castle which Sir Terrance often uses as his primary residence. He stays there about 38% of the time which is more than he stays at any of his other four domiciles. Over 130 people work at the lab. It consists of four underground floors and so there really is not much to see from the surface. In fact, the three visible parts are in the same Tudor architectural style of the castle. They look like Castle towers and ramparts.
The lab has been the home to much of Lutts’s work after his initial burst of discoveries made while he was a student at Oxford. The two big discoveries that he was able to commercialize was his cure of cancer and spinal cord repair. It was at the Maidstone Lab that he perfected how to grow a functional human heart from stem cells that would not be rejected by any recipient. That revolutionized treating heart disease because it became the norm to just replace any heart that showed any sign of disease. To date it has earned his subsidiary Cupid Bio Industries over 17 billion dollars. Cupid Bio was the last company he started and in fact there has been no new discoveries from his lab in four years.”
“Interesting. He seems to be in the news all the time, but no new inventions?”
“None and no new patents as well.”
“I wonder if old Sir Tarrance has something new to show me?” I didn’t answer that as I recognized Frank’s talking out loud to himself. He hates it when I used to answer them.
Frank muttered, “That’s enough” and closed the shower door. I went to set out his clothes. I got into the habit of doing that in order to stop Frank from wearing the same clothes two days in a row. After all, I have my professional pride.
When Frank got out he told me to call the secretary and arrange the visit. He ended his directive by saying, “Make it as soon as possible – anything to get me off this damn kidnap story.”
Five minutes later I informed Frank as he sat down to the breakfast I prepared for him I told him a car would be sent to pick him up at 7:00 A.M. next Monday.
“Damn, did you have to have them start so damn early?”
“Sorry Mr. Huntington, but that was the only time offered and it sounded like they offered it as a take it or leave it deal.”
“Hmmm, I hope this doesn’t turn out to be just one of those damn corporate show and tell that they show to every Tom, Dick and Harry or second grade class field trip. That would suck. I would rather keep looking for that damn Princess. Any news on her Jack?
“Not much. The Arch Bishop of Canterbury has asked the faithful to pray for Princess Marianne’s safe return.”
“Fucking good praying will do. What they need is some new leads. No new leads, Jack?”
“None, Sir.” The truth is that there had never been any real clues or leads at all to the story. Mostly just tons upon tons of media speculation. There was nothing found at her royal flat. There was no ransom note or postings on YouTube by any radical groups demanding something for her release. I could understand why Frank was so upset at being put on this assignment. It gets boring repeating rumors generated by the media to keep the public interested until some other news event shifts the fickle focus of the media. According to my studies any news story involving a personality, such as a movie star or singer, will keep the media busy for about 6.5 days. The more famous the individual the longer the press will stay focused on the event. When Princess Diana died the world media kept her story in the forefront for 28 days. When an old starlet dies the average is about 3 days of media focus. The best time to die is during the months of July and August where such news will get an extra day or two due to the low amount of news.
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