The Great Search, Part Twelve

Continued from Part Eleven

Junior stood outside Zach Wallace’s down-town New York office. Junior picked up his cell phone. The caller ID indicated it was Grandpa.

“Hey, Junior, how goes it?”

“Just finished filling out the property loss forms for the Justicemobile, and I’m headed to see Zach Wallace. How are you?”

“Hospital food is awful. They say I’ve got a couple cracked ribs, so I’m gonna take it easy, and come back tomorrow.”

“Grandpa, are you crazy?”

“Hey, we’re on a cell phone, use Captain.”

“Okay, Captain, are you crazy?”

“Nah, we heal quick. Check under your bandages. You’ll find your wounds are gone.”

“I found that out this morning.”

“I’ll be good as new tomorrow morning. At least good enough to keep up with the rookie.” Captain Justice slurped some liquid. “The reason I called is that Sariah Miller thinks Janus knows where the Sword is.”

Junior clucked his tongue. “I could buy that. But what does she base it on?”

“She believes he was lying when he said the Sword was dead.”

“That wouldn’t hold up in court.”

“We’re not getting a search warrant. If I’ve learned anything, its to never discount woman’s intuition.”

“Let me check with Zach and see if he can give us something more concrete.”

After the usual pleasantries, Junior hung up and walked into the plush office with, “Zachary Wallace, Consultant” on the door in gold block letters. Junior strode past a couple of Wallace’s assistants and got in the elevator.

On the third floor, Junior got out and walk-ed down a posh hall to the door marked, “Zach Wallace. Private.”

Junior knocked.

“Come on in.”

Junior walked in. Zach sat behind the desk, dressed to the nines in a three piece suit with his hair held back in a tidy ponytail and his goatee well-trimmed. The Aussie stood and extended his hand. “Gooday, Commander Junior. Can I get you somethin’ to wet your whistle?”

“No, thank you.” Anything he was served here would lead to another plastic container in the landfills of New York City. “What have you got for me?”

“Dr. Squall has been dead for six months?”

“That appears to be the case.”

“He’s a very active user of online banking for a dead man. His account has about two sign ins per month to use bill pay. That’s how the landscaper got paid, ditto the water, heating bill, credit card, and alimony.”

“So you think he’s alive?”

“Nah, mate. He’s dead all right. All normal living expenses are absent, from groceries to pet-rol. Until six months ago, everything came out of this account.”

“So someone’s signing into online banking for him. What about it?”

“Didja know you can’t pay property taxes with bill pay?”

Why would a college student care? “No.”

“Somebody paid his property taxes for him, a Mr. Lucien Markum. When I pull the logs for this fella’s online banking, the IP comes from an address outside Boston owned by Mr. Lucien Markum.”

“You got the address?”

“Right here, mate.”

Junior took the paper. “The foundation will cut your check.”

Zach shook his head. “On the house. Your dad’s a good bloke. I hope you bring him back.”

“Me too, Zach.”