The Case of Den Lee and the Japanese Dolls

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Vince sat next to Ayer, who was standing with his face buried in his hands as if he was about to burst into tears, and waited for him to come down before starting to speak: "Look, Ayer, here's the deal - we really like some of your ideas. And we really want to help you. But in order to do that we have to be assured that you know what you are doing. And at the moment we are not, and cannot be, simply because we don't know anything about you. Because, Ayer, as hard it is for me to admit it, your remark was absolutely correct - the data from your file tells us nothing about who you are and how the hell have you gained the experience that you have. So currently your persona constitutes one more unknown term in our equation, and believe me when I say that we have enough of those already."

"But I have nothing to hide," Ayer said, "Nothing."

"Then tell us. Tell us how you became what you are."

In a future where crimes are usually rare and predictable, and the police forces rely on sophisticated algorithms for crime investigation, the famous institution of Scotland Yard is reduced to a simple IT organization. Everything works great, until a couple of elaborate crimes prove impossible to solve by the Yard's computerized process and force its CEO Vincent Cooper to seek help from places that he wouldn't otherwise consider.

Together with his partner, Jane Marthello, Vince recruits Ayer Cadman - a lone Low Tek, from the rundown part of the city, who had spent his life practicing the lost art of crime-solving the way they did it in the old days. And it looks like Ayer is onto something.

Is it true, what everybody thinks, that a murder is something that just cannot happen at this day and age? Or does the fate of the whole city rest on the shoulders of one shy and awkward-looking boy, whom no one knows anything about?

This novella is work in progress. New chapters will be published regularly. If you find some errors in it, or you want to tell me how great it is, you can mail me. If you want to see it finished sooner, consider sending me a tip.

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