Thursday, July 28, 2011


I am so tired right now.

The last few weeks were spent attempting to expand our smallish knowledge base. We had names and numbers, so spent a lot of time feeling creepy as we snooped for the backgrounds of the kids. Felt significantly less creepy looking for the beneficiaries of the money that Dande handed out like candy. Still, within this town, there aren't that many leads to pick up from. And though I am good at paperwork, I am less-good at being a detective. I'm good at presenting cases to groups, but not so much at talking to people-people. My roommate was a lot better at talking to normal people than I was, and would have probably hit me for using the phrase "normal people." But I digress. I am-- not bad at investigating, but incompetent in the field of detecting. Also, as it turns out, the field of subtlety.

We had information about the kids, and about the kinds of people being paid off by Diende. We had no idea what to do with it. We can't storm Dande because there are, well, two of us, we can't alert the police because they're corrupt and we can't contact allies because we don't have any. I had no clue what I was really doing and was retracting into my "It's hopeless" state of mind. Of course everything to do with the MONSTER is hopeless, I know that. But more hopeless than usual, if that makes sense. Then yesterday, as I was walking out of the door of the hovel we're staying in, a woman walked up to me and punched me in the face.

She yelled something in French. I yelled something in vulgarity. Simone ran out yelling something in Franglais. I think she went drinking somewhere last night.

Anyway, according to Simone, the conversation started with her asking what the hell the woman was doing. The woman replied that she was punching me. Simone asked why, and the woman said we were stalking her son, and that he'd disappeared, and it was all our fault. Eventually Simone managed to get the woman to stop being angry with us and told her that we were trying to help, and that even though I was a dick I didn't deserve to be punched. I was, of course, watching this in complete confusion. The confusion was intensified as the woman started laughing, slightly hysterically, and held out her hand to help me up. Somehow she and Simone and I ended up sitting on the carpet in our semi-permanent pit of a home, talking almost normally, with Simone acting as translator.

Her name's Ibola, and when asked why and how she found us, she said she asked for the people who were stalking her son. That's why she hit me-- her son went missing, and two foreigners were wandering around talking to people about him. I have no idea how Simone calmed her down and convinced her we weren't villainous so easily. A loved one of mine goes missing and it takes years to calm me down god-fucking-dammit. Sorry. Anyway, we talked to her for a bit. She thought it was us that'd kidnapped the kids but realized that there are only two of us and as I mentioned above, we can do nothing. So her suspicions snapped back to Dande. She's been insisting that the kids are kidnapped for a while, but nobody's believes her. She told us that she knows a guy in the town the kids were being taken to and he never saw them arrive. Nobody else thinks there's anything suspicious.

This day has been confusing. We have a plan now, though. Ibola's sister has two kids, and she's signed them both up for the medical thing. Ibola tried to dissuade her sister but they're not on good terms. At least now we have a lead.

Ibola swears that her kid is still alive. She'd know if he wasn't.

I wish there was some sort of psychic connection between one and ones loved ones.

This entry got off track a lot. Gist of it is, we might be able to save the kids. Yay.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

DROC: A Summary

I'm not sure how to start.

Blogger seemed like a good idea before. It was a way for me to keep track of Victims and Perpetrators, to gather news, to build up the Evidence. A way of checking in on the world beneath and making sure my investigations are grounded in the current, in reality. It's not just a tool anymore, not so much about the investigation but about sharing results.  The world's like a wilderness full of people who can't tell that they're lost, and when you find the people who are lost you have to cling to them. Rambling start, but will update more often.

We asked around for more information about the papers we'd gathered from Dande. Nothing was forthcoming. The papers we had nicked were conglomerative, amalgamated, with no names, just statistics. There was a sheaf of financial papers as well, and that was a bit more useful. There was a money trail, there's always a money trail, even if it's covered up by blood and corruption. We found out that several doctors had been paid off in the area, and figured that it was our first clue. We went to visit the local doctor, Doctor Steven Williams, a guy shipped in by an aid org that stayed in the region because he could charge way too much money for his services.

We went to visit one of the doctors at his office. Simone went in for a chat with the man himself, while I went to go rifle through his financial records. After a bit of snooping I found out that 12 kids were checked in at the same time, but there fees were paid for from the same source, the same amount as had been paid in Dande's records. On his desk was an envelope with another cheque for about the same amount of money. I made some notes, put everything back where I found it, and went outside to wait for Simone.

She added some more pieces to the puzzle. Simone had posed as a business women interested in Dande and the money that could be made from them. Williams had been drinking and was in a talkative mood, more than happy to brag about the money to be made from the local aid organizations, particularly the corrupt ones. Dande's offer had been pitched to him as a quick moneymaking scheme. According to Williams, Dande was manufacturing a drug to a plague that didn't actually exist, and they needed people to be diagnosed with the disease to be able to market the drug. So William's was paid to diagnose twelve kids with the manufactured sickness that Dande could take them to the manufactured cure. The kids names were on his records, but we didn't have addresses.

We've asked around, and they're all gone. But there are other kids on the books.

I just have to wonder how they're going to keep people from finding out about this. 12 kids went missing-- even somewhere as distant as here, that's going to cause a fuss.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Will Update Later

Internet is really patchy, currently really busy.

We lost the kids.