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Sunday, August 26, 2012

Metallic Heart - Chapter 28

 
 Although I was receiving so many mourning responses over Frida’s death, I knew that the best way to get to the bottom of all the going-ons in Lunar Lakes was to continue with my investigation.
 
 I approached Lily and Martin’s home, knowing that this would be my toughest line of questioning yet.  How would I get Lily to admit it if she was actually in the president’s office the day of his murder?  And if she was not, who would I question next?
 
 I knocked on the door and Lily came from around the corner, not looking any different than she usually looked.  But then again, what does a potential murder suspect usually look like?  At that moment, I realized how inadequate I really was to conduct this investigation.
 
 Lily greeted me and after I alerted her that I wanted to speak with her, she directed me downstairs so that we could have some privacy.
 
 I was not really sure how to begin, so I hesitated for a moment searching my thought system for a way to begin my questioning. 
I decided to start with small talk, “How have you been Lily?”
“I should be asking you that now that you suddenly have so much responsibility.  What brings you here? Can I get you anything…oil, scrap metal…anything?”
I saw my lead in, “No thanks. But speaking of new responsibilities, I have taken it upon myself to investigate President Aron’s death.” After I said it, I observed Lily’s reaction closely…but there was nothing in her demeanor to indicate that she was guilty of anything.


“Oh, yes…how is it going?” She asked.

“Well, I ran across something very interesting about the way President Aron died.  His body positioning supported the fact that he may have been caught off guard by someone he was having a casual conversation with…someone he was very close to.”


Other than a slightly saddened response, Lily’s expression did not change much.  “Really? Who?”

“Well…I have been asking that same question and for some reason…all evidence points in your direction.”


There was still not much of a change in Lily’s expression as she responded.  “It is true that
Aron and I had gotten closer, but-”
“Close enough to share an emotional exchange?”  I interrupted.
For the first time, Lily showed a response.  But it was not guilt…it was shame. 


She dropped her head.  “You know about that?”

I was angered that Priscilla’s revelation was actually true.  “So you do not deny it?  Lily, how did it happen?  Both you and President Aron are both connected to bot mates.  That connection is unable to be broken.  How could you possibly have connected with him in an emotional exchange?”
“I do not know…” Lily began.
“I have been getting a lot of strange commands lately.  I cannot control them and at times they take over my response system and even my memory.”
These were virus symptoms and I knew that as a scientist, Lily would know that.  I wanted to be sure that she was not just saying these things to excuse her behavior or as an excuse for murder. 


I did not let up, “How can I be sure that you are not lying to me?  If you have a virus, why would you hide it and not let anyone know?”

“I could not let anyone know.  Ardis, I am a scientist.  If Chas or any of the others in the lab knew, I would definitely lose my position.  We cannot have a virus infected scientist running around in the lab.”
“Yet you are,” I pointed out, allowing the anger to sting along with my words.
Ardis…please!  You cannot tell Chas.  I have been researching ways to deal with this myself.  If you tell him…then it is over for me.”
Deep inside, I believed her.  At the same time, something else occurred to me.  What if others in the lab besides Lily is infected?  Maybe Chas did pass along a virus by accident.  Maybe the virus is loose in the labs.
“Lily,  I will not tell Chas, but I know of someone who could help you.”
“Who?”  She asked.


“I need you to meet me at
Noella’s tomorrow morning.”
Noella? No…you know how much she hates me.”


“It is the only way.  We need to know what is going on with your system and it may help us understand what happened to President
Aron.”
Suddenly Lily was on the defensive.  “Are you implying that I had something to do with Aron’s death?”
“Can you say with 100% certainty that you did not?”  I asked seriously.
“Well…no.  I cannot even recall anything that happened that morning.”


“Then you need to be at
Noella’s at seven tomorrow morning.”
Ardis, can she really help me?  Does she really have a fix?”
“Trust me”, was the only answer I gave.
“I guess I will have to,” she said with an unsure, yet hopeful smile on her face.  “See you tomorrow.”


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