(copyright 2017. All rights reserved)
Eladio noted Cynthia Teal’s short, blond, round form coming up the hallway to Hydro as he stepped through the hatch.
“Cynthia, may we speak for a moment?”
“Did I do something wrong?”
Always so worried. Never have I received a bad report. Your fear is what? “I am unaware. I wished to ask at what time you left the lab last night.”
“I think it was twenty-one-hundred. Why?”
“Who remained?” Eladio asked, ignoring Cindy’s question.
” Granger was still at his station.”
“And Mr. Han?”
“L.S. and I left … at the same time.”
You were going to say what? Together? You are uncomfortable with that why?
“So you and Mr. Han both left at twenty-one-hundred, and Mr. Granger was still working?”
“Yeah…. What’s up? Why are you asking?”
“Mr. Granger failed to arrive this morning. Have you any idea whether he planned to do anything after he finished?”
“No, he was pretty intent on whatever he was doing. Didn’t even say goodbye to L.S. or me. Is he okay?”
“Well, he is absent for his shift, so….” Eladio let that hang.
“Yeah, that’s not like him. Like I said, he was very into whatever he was doing.”
“Do you know on what he worked?”
“No, he wasn’t talkative. Besides, he didn’t really share with the … people beneath him.”
“Did he seem … bothered by the storm?” Perhaps he wished to take a walk outside?
“No, just totally head down. Very focused. Usually, when he’s ready to blow, he gets real fidgety, know what I mean?”
Eladio nodded, even though he didn’t really. Fidgety how? He didn’t have enough contact with Granger to know what fidgety would look like on him.
“Do you know where I would find Mr. Han?”
“Um … try the cafeteria?”
There, again. Cynthia self-editing. “Thank you, I shall.”
Eladio left Cindy at Hydro, crossed through Dorm-B, and entered the now mostly empty cafeteria. Han Lu Xiang sat at a table alone, having something to eat.
“Hey, boss. What’s up? Wanna’ cuppa’?”
Ah, Mr. Han, always ready to share food, drink, and gossip.
“Mr. Han, you were in the lab last night, yes?”
“Everybody call me L.S. Yes, until twenty-one o’clock, I think that is right. Near then anyway.”
“Were you the last to leave?”
“Cindy and I leaved together. Granger still bangin’ away, though.”
“You spoke to him?”
“No. You know Granger. Not so friendly, especially when he busy. Why you asking?”
“He didn’t show up this morning.”
“He OK? He been working very hard, I think so. He melt down?”
“I couldn’t say. I only know he wasn’t on shift.”
“He seem alright, just, you know, into it.”
“I see. Well, thank you, Mr. Han.”
“Please, call me L.S. Need help looking for him?”
“No, I have that covered.”