Syndicate Files: The Doctor - Part 6

((Co-written by Ciarente. Part 5 Here))

I told Cariot I needed to go meet a contact about getting the Serps off our back. Managed to get my coat on without ripping any of the stitches. I'd lost my stun-stick in the tussle somewhere, but if I needed it, it probably wouldn't help.

I made my way back to Cariot's neighbourhood. Carefully. Found the laundry, circled it a couple times, but it didn't look like there was anyone watching it. Like One-eye had said, they thought they got what they needed.

The laundry looked like a thriving enterprise. That's the thing about poverty, right down where it hurt. You can't afford to live somewhere with a stove, you have to pay extra for take-away. Can't afford somewhere with a laundry in the building, you have to pay someone else to wash your clothes. And then haul 'em home and string 'em whereever you can, hoping they'd dry before someone even poorer stole them.

For enough syn the proprietor was willing to hand over Cariot's unwashed clothes. Blood still on them. I bundled them up and got out of the area as fast as I could. Then I called Auvy, explained what I needed, told her it was urgent.

I met Auvy at a greasy spoon too small to have a name, wedged between a drycleaner's and a place that sold life insurance. I know which one I'd invest in, in Syndicate.

She was dressed in a plain blue top and a black skirt that almost managed to not show off her legs - and she'd done something to her hair, it was dark, held in a simple ponytail. It was the closest to unremarkable I'd ever seen her - which meant she stood out in that diner like a Titan in Empire space.

I sat down and she smiled, "Heard you've been running around back alleys with some woman. Her husband must be important. There was someone around asking questions about you."

I started to slide the clothes over to her, but at that, I paused, "Maybe I should-"

"Don't be silly, Rory. I can take care of myself. You've obviously got your hands full just looking after yourself, you look terrible." She reached out and grabbed the bundle, stuffing it into an oversized purse, "I'll get these analysed."

"Thanks Auvy."

She smiled, "Can't say I never did anything for you."

She got up and disappeared into the flow of people. I headed back to the safe house.

When I got there, Cariot was gone.

I'd gotten too close, and forgotten: she still had a habit to feed.

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