The Detective Agency. Lucrative business. Citizens forever curious about each the other’s secrets.
Agency’s most famous failure: Losing Our Sons and Daughters (LOSD). Case: Infamous disappearance of a minor (name withheld), dubbed “The Missing Girl.” Major source of income for The Agency hunting down and finding Missing Young. Access high levels of Pyramid. But no, but no. She is not found. The Detective Agency knew everything about everyone except The Missing Girl.
Gray suits guns. Detectives tracked found: cheating husbands, wayward wives; frauds; evaders; kidnappers; rapists; all manner Viral Deviants. Pyramid Database technologies invaluable.
Decades The Agency tracked retrieved thousands Missing Young. But still. Most prominent case unsolved.
Not competition with police. Contrary. The Agency complemented cop services. Police cannot possibly handle all cases Citizens demanded solved.
Moneyed went The Agency. Connections. Confidential until solved. Executives, politicians eager out litigious spouses, opponents. Wealth Citizens lost property, loved ones, no time for Police. Important Citizens summoned The Agency for closure, satisfaction.
High profile pro bono: publicity.
Corporations sought unsavory about rivals. Evil The Agency hunt and find. Footage and photographs came with the package. Murders, robberies, abductions unsolved by The Police referred The Agency.
The Agent talked trade, patted his gun, said, “For those with cash to spend we bring closure.”
“Do you, on occasion, serve as judge, jury, executioner?” I asked.
“Of course not,” The Agent winked. “We bring perpetrators to The Police. It’s a jungle here. Out there. A jungle of motives like vines. People want truth. Codification. They come to the Agency confused, looking for facts. We sort through the overgrowth of information regarding motives and human interaction.
“We mold hard data to digestible narratives. We sift through mud and sand for nuggets of…we are primarily fact collectors. Like journalists, only we don’t report to the public, but to our clients. And The Authorities.”
“Why do you carry such large guns?” I asked.
“It’s a grim business. Not all computer work. We deal with criminals, some violent, some not, but all of them desperate, in one way or another. We hunt desperate prey. People have secrets. Sometimes these secrets are the most valuable property they own. We come to take away their secrets. This makes them unhappy. Often the loss of secrets means loss of money, time, freedom. To keep their secrets, some of these folks would gladly kill us dead. But it’s interesting work, and the money’s quite good.”