It was noon the next day and in spite of Shattuck not sleeping more than two hours in the last twenty-four, not much progress had been made on follow-up for his story on Douglas. The vid he made yesterday was aired on the six o’clock and the ten o’clock. It got picked up by the Associated News NET (ANNET) and ran for an additional four airings, but had been pushed to the end of the broadcasts by the two a.m. news feed and dropped by four. It was dead air now. The story would be stored in ANNET data base for reference, but it wouldn’t make Shattuck anymore credits for his stake.
Usually something so graphic would have a better run, but then who was Douglas? No one seemed to know and it turned out no one cared either – at least not enough to keep the vid on the U.N. If only there were another similar killing then Shattuck could put a ‘serial’ spin on it, or if there were grieving relatives. This story had neither. The landlady/mistress had chosen not to talk to him. That would have been good for extending the run at least one more air time especially if there were some tears involved, but it was a no go. She hadn’t left her apartment since Wade’s man Tommy escorted her away from the scene prior to Shattuck’s arrival yesterday.
Shattuck had prowled the N.E.T. all night for background information on Douglas. First, he checked the mercenary’s records with the Galactic Officials. There wasn’t much there – a trial years ago where he was a witness, but the records from the trial were sealed. That might be something if he could get them opened, but that would take days. He needed something now!
There was a stint with the forces helping during the Helavite War, but that was not any news, every mercenary, and half the verse, had helped in eradicating that menace. Nothing else of interest.
Shattuck was blocked again when he checked to see if he could track the man and his past associates based on his missions. He discovered Douglas never owned a ship of his own. You couldn’t track his past activity via ship records. Shattuck wasted an inordinate amount of time searching crew records and finally found Douglas. He was a member of the crew of a ship owned by another mercenary named Ezekiel Watts. Shattuck tracked Watts to a small moon in the Rigil System. He tried to contact the man, but failed. No answer.
He was coming up empty at every turn. If he didn’t hit pay dirt soon, he would have to drop this one and move on. He couldn’t be wasting time sitting in his cruiser up to his elbows in GCP when there were stories to be told.