Part 3: Chapter 13: Hunt

I left Blue with Emile and Scott. Before leaving, I instructed them to wipe all knowledge of what they had been doing in Blue. We could only go on with the bare-bones of our memories and the skills that we had learnt inside Stasis. Scott linked us all together with his ingenious mind link and we were away to track down Patrick.

Stasis was huge, bigger than the world outside. We could be searching for a considerable length of time, or we could track Patrick down in a matter of days. We all knew this and were prepared for the long slog.

My plan for locating Patrick was based on what I thought was a rational line of reasoning. We were going to crossover to zones and try to identify a pattern in the social networks and the way that people had been placed. I was placing plenty of faith that perhaps EricToo had somehow influenced the distribution of networks that would have a hidden path to Patrick’s location.

I was placing faith that EricToo had some prior knowledge regarding Patrick and the way that he operated without necessarily directly associating it with his intentions.

I had chosen Emile to come with me because of his links with Patrick. In truth, I would have preferred to have had Jennifer along. All along I was hoping that Jennifer and Cara would find us somehow. Hoping that they had not been located by Patrick.

As we traversed from network to network, we analysed the people within them and looked for close associations of interests. Initially, we could find no discernible links between them, but once we had travelled beyond the neighbouring zones and a further layer out from there, patterns began to emerge within the networks and those that they linked to at crossover points.

Scott was vital in crunching the numbers for this. Retaining our link during our daily routines of observing people and how they interacted, what they did, what they talked about and what they had created during their time in Stasis. Coupled with regular updates from EricToo, a pattern began to emerge after nearly two months of searching.

Beyond the initial padding around Blue, there were definable zones of networks. Some were strongly focussed on one particular primary interest, whilst some had no singular primary area and had two or three definite interests that could all be primary.

Scott had taken all this data and shown us where there were hot and cold zones based on primary interests. He overlaid this with secondary and tertiarys where relevant.

Over on this side,” he started highlighting zones on the Stasis West of Blue, “the primary focus is on entertainment of various kinds – music, film, sports. Generally, recreation and pastimes Towards the Stasis North of Blue, this starts moving towards the more commercial aspects of recreation which in turn merges into a commercial political hub towards the North East. Whereas in the South, the boundary with the recreation area sees more outdoor based activities that then lead into psuedo-military recreation before moving into military interests. In the South East, this becomes more of a military political grouping. The circle is complete when these two come together in the East with a military, commercial and political zone.

It is somewhere in this area that I feel that we will find Patrick and his associates.”

After closely studying Scott’s findings, I really could not find any fault with the results and I agreed that it would be somewhere in the East that we would find Patrick and his cohorts. But I wasn’t the expert on Patrick in our group.

Emile, what do you think? And how should we make our approach?”

He took a few seconds to muse over his reply. “I’m in agreement. I think that there is a definitive pathway that will lead to Patrick in the East. Naturally, we would have to correct our actual direction at every opportunity by honing in on more specific areas.

But this is where we will have to be most careful. I’m positive that Patrick will be on the lookout for us from quite a distance away.”

I know. I’m counting on it.”

Emile and Scott were shocked into a silent reply. Understandable, given the covert nature of what we had undertaken thus far. I had given this great thought during the last two months and every scenario that I had played out in my head came to the same conclusion. Get to know your enemy. It was the ultimate form of infiltration in this world.

But this is where I must insist that I go on alone. I hope that the reasons for this will eventually become clear, but this is the only way that I can confront Patrick. Once you are gone, I will once again wipe my memory. Not just of the way that we speculated on Patrick’s location, but also the way back to Blue and everything about it.”

I can see your logic behind this, but I really think you need someone to come along with you.”

I’m sorry Emile, I really don’t think that you would be safe given that in Patrick’s eyes you betrayed him. It is entirely likely that Patrick will have devised a way to actually make you feel pain in here. I’m prepared for this and I am the only one that should suffer it.

I have programmed the car to take you back to Blue without stopping. Once it starts, you will be locked in. I will not carry on until the car sends a signal that you are back. Do not try to hack the car as you will only be wasting your time as I have heavily encrypted the coding to only accept a code that I hold within me.

I only have one instruction for you both. There must be no more contact with me, but I want to be contacted at a point in the future.”

When?”

You’ll know.”

Without any further protest, they got inside the car and returned to Blue. I received a notification twelve hours later that they had both returned to Blue. With the exception of Patrick’s location and a few of the coding sequences that I had worked on, I eradicated every single memory of Stasis since the mass transition and headed towards my goal.

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