Chapter 3 - No Coffee

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No Coffee

Novel had only just arrived in the office and already his day was ruined. He glared at the flashing device in his hand as if he could scare it into submission. Predictably, that did no work and the message remained annoyingly unchanged on the brightly light mobile screen.

Missed booked flight home. Organising alternative. Will update you when I know more. Can you feed the furball tonight please?

She had promised him that she would be back in the office tomorrow. Now she might not be. He needed her here tomorrow. The office had already descended into chaos without her. Someone had attempted to reorganise the filing system on the computer yesterday – a phonecall confirmed that this had been IT – and now none of his desktop short cuts worked and he could not find a single thing. If Cassie had been here she could have fixed it – made them change it back.

But she was not here and the chaos had continued on. To make it worse, he would have to go and feed that stupid feline on the way home.

Unlocking the screen, he typed out a reply:

The cat will be fed. What is your flight number?

With this information he could at least keep track of her now.

He called HR to let them know that he has authorised an additional day of emergency holiday for Cassie. Then he started reading through the report he had been sent through.

When Novel arrived home – after surviving another ordeal with the cat – he pulled his mobile out from his pocket again. Cassie had sent him through the required flight number and he used this to check details of her flight. Apparently it had landed over an hour ago – perhaps she was still stuck waiting for her luggage?

It was almost time for the mid-week briefing by the time Novel realised something was missing. He check his phone again, there was still no message from Cassie, so the only conclusion was that she was already in the office.... But why had she at not at least apologised?

He stood and walked out of his office. Then he asked the room, "Cassie, can you come to my office please?"

There was no reply except for a few strange looks from the other officers. After meeting the stares, daring them to comment – no-one did – he stepped back inside his office.

His first action was to call the reception to see if they had heard from Cassie – they had not. The HR line was also similarly lacking in information. His gut was telling him that something was seriously off. But it had been feeling like that since Cassie had initially gone off on holiday – so a complete sense of trust could not be completely provided to him gut today.

He pulled his work mobile (only mobile) from his pocket.

"Call Sarah Lucas," he told the phone slowly.

A non-descript silhouette of a person with the words Sarah Lucas appeared on his screen. The word Dialling... quickly followed.

It was answered after a few rings, "How can I help Assistant Chief Inspector?"

"I need you to see if you can trace someone for me please?"

"Yes Sir, who?"

"Do you remember Cassie?" there was an affirmative noise though the speaker, "she was due to return to work today after some delayed flight. I know her plane landed in Northern Ireland, can you access the database to make sure she went through passport control please?"

"Text me the flight number, and her passport number if you have it. Try calling her again – because I'm guessing you haven't yet?"

"I'll do that now."

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