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   Chapter 3 Not in the job description

The Bite Cleaner By OldManSteve Characters: 11701

Updated: 2018-03-31 17:35


Elk Grove Clinic, 6:30PM

"What did you say your name was?" asked Maddy.

"Montague, Henri, with an i at the end, " said the pepper gray-haired man in the old style black suit.

Maddy checked the database again. "No, I don't think you're in my system."

The man looked up, as if he was searching his memory. He looked at Maddy. "Try Montague, Henry with a y at the end."

Maddy ran a search. "Is your current address in Nevada, Missouri?"

"What? No, that is not me."

"Hmmm, what's your social?" Montague gave her some numbers he thought was his Social Security Number. "Are you a white woman from Nantucket?"

"What? No, wrong number. Sorry, ma'am." He looked through his wallet. "Try this card."

Maddy looked at the worn social security card. Shrugging, she entered the number. "Sir, this says you died at the Pentagon on 9/11."

"What? How? I wasn't even in the US at the time."

Maddy shrugged her shoulders, and pressed the intercom. "We've got a special case."

"Special case or really special?" asked Dr. Camacho.

"Special case."

"Did you just refer to me as special?" asked Montague.

"I'll see the patient now, Maddy."

"Doctor wants to see you, Mr. Special."

"That is my cue to exit stage left. Thank you for your help."

Dr. Camacho looked up at the man and realized he was special. The suit's fuzzy wool and white pattern lines stood out, along with his overall ashen skin and short, pointy hair that was a bit thin near the top. "How can I help you today, Mr…"

"Montague, " said the man as he took his seat. "I'm here for a routine physical."

"What's your insurance company?"

"Barker life and health."

"That's a name I haven't heard of." He pressed the intercom button. "You know a Barker life and health insurance?"

"They went out of business in Oh-six!" replied Maddy.

"They did? No wonder your secretary cannot find my records, " Montague replied. "I suppose I need one to get medical care these days in America?"

"Only for more intensive cases, " explained Dr. Camacho. "If you've got a credit card or cash, but any rate, a routine physical will set you back fifteen dollars. If you don't have the funds-"

"Sorry, doctor, but is paper money still taken? My credit cards have long since expired." He took out two hundred dollar bills and passed it to him.

Dr. Camacho, ever the curious sort, looked at the bill. The print date read 1996. He looked at the other bill. The coloring was a bit worn. He checked the date. It said 1966.

"Yeah...the bank guy might look at me funny, but it's fine. We can make change if you need it."

"Thank you doctor. I notice that you seem aware as to my identity."

Dr. Camacho returned the bills and asked the man, "So how long were you out of the states?"

"I've been living in Costa Rica, Panama, and Belize. Mostly Belize, for the past 25, 30 years. I admit I haven't kept track since the middle 80s."

"We'll cross that bridge when we come to it. Let's have a look, shall we?" asked the doctor as he put on his gloves.

While going through the physical, Reuben thought about the situation. {Clearly this man is not a poser or familiar posing for someone. I can't help him much more than this. I'm not a paperwork faker. I wonder if he knows-}

"Do I have a clean bill of health, doctor?"

"You look remarkably healthy for a man born during the Napoleonic Wars, " said Dr. Camacho. "I can't help you with the magic circuit stuff, since I'm still trying to understand the Shifter Guidebook."

"I helped in the copy-making process. Do you have your copy in the office?"

Dr. Camacho reached into the desk and pulled out a large leather-bound book and handed it to him.

"The days I spent writing each word by hand. We partially industrialized the process. I only wrote chapter 7: Shifter weaknesses." He then softly spun the book to its side. "Oh, Seltzer, how fond of you I was. He was like a brother to me in those wild days of 1855."

"You can tell me more at a later time. As far as your paperwork dilemma goes, I know someone you can talk to. Do you know of the NSA?" explained Dr. Camacho.

"I've heard of the agency but only in news snippets and whispered conversations in Spanish."

"There's someone who works there who handles cases like yours. Would you like to meet her tomorrow?"

"I suppose that, if I want access to my fortune, I am to go through her?"

"Considering you can't remember your SSN, then yes she's pretty much your only hope."

"Certainly, then. Doctor, go ahead and arrange a meeting."

Denny's 24 hour restaurant.

6:00AM

Reuben sat down and looked around. He wondered how Mr. Montague would find him since he didn't live in Elk Grove nor had a phone. He checked his smartphone. Tanya hadn't called in a few days and neither had the NSA contact. He did notice the four messages from insurers asking about the weird injuries he constantly treats and one from his sponsor Folden Medical.

He was about to check them when Montague sat down in the diner in front of him.

"I like this semi-classic americana feel. Don't you?" asked Montague.

"I like the fact that it's open 24 hours, " said Reuben. "My night hours make it hard to do power lunches with colleagues."

"Yes, we shifters are a night people. Much easier to shift away from prying eyes."

"Why did you return to America, and specifically here?"

"I had heard from other shifters in Belize that a conclave had moved here and that humans here were somewhat shifter friendly. They said something about fan fiction and I don't know the rest."

A woman with dark brown skin, short straight hair and wearing a purple blazer that screamed 'don't trifle with me' sat down next to Reuben. Reuben slid over to give her elbow room. "We keep meeting like this, doctor. It makes a girl wonder if you ha

ve feelings for her, " the woman said.

Reuben blushed a bit and said, "Nothing of the sort. Just the usual business."

"Good morning. You must be the NSA officer that the kind doctor wanted me to meet, " said Montague. He offered his hand.

"Pleased to meet you. Call me Faviola, please. Wouldn't want the locals to get any ideas."

"Faviola? ~Is your family from Brazil?~" asked Montague in Portuguese.

"~Yes, Mr. Montague. I even speak the family language. ~"

"~I should not be surprised. It takes a sharp mind to work for America's finest.~"

"That's a first. I should enjoy the compliments while they last."

Montague opened his coat and took over several papers from the pocket. Fabiola looked at them and said, "I'm glad at least one of you long lived vampires keeps paperwork. Almost always it's 'I lost it in World War I' or something, "

"I prefer the term 'biter'. I can tell by your tone that you've encountered others like me. I hope my concerns are not a burden, but I do have many problems my long absence has caused."

"Speaking of which, " asked Reuben, "why did you leave the US for so long?"

"I felt like I did everything I wanted to. I made a lot of money on Shell Oil shares and used that to retire to the jungles. I still kick myself for not investing in Microsoft. That's a regret that will last a lifetime."

"I'll have the office make you a new identity and transfer ownership of these assets you gave me by next week, " Fabiola explained. "Just stop by Reuben's clinic around...Thursday or Friday and tell Maddy you're here for the results."

"From the bottom of my long dead heart, I thank you."

"That's supposed to be a compliment, right?" Faviola crossed her arms.

"Yes, yes! Of course!" Reuben quickly said.

"Now what should I invest in these days? My health insurance company went out of business and Shell Oil is probably gone as well."

"No, it's still here. But don't ask me, " replied Reuben. "Damnit Jim. I'm a doctor, not an investment banker."

Montague said, "I am glad someone remembers Star Trek. I saw it on TV once at Hugh Hefner's house. How's the old codger?"

"He's dead, Jim, " replied Faviola and Reuben at the same time.

"Oh. Guess I should not be surprised. But he's a biter like me. How did he die?"

"I don't follow the tabloids, " said Reuben.

"Old age, " said Faviola. "He wasn't on my list of known vampires."

"Then how else but through biter magic did he get a house of beautiful women?"

"That's not my department. But anyway, if you want long lasting companies, there are some always in demand industries. Mostly booze, smokes, and guns, " said Reuben.

Montague looked at him with a strict expression. "I'll have you know that I am a man of dignity. I am assuredly not one of those, " he said the next part with a strong accent and turned up nose, "Southern vampires."

"Car companies have been around a long time, " explained Fabiola. "I could move your assets into automotive ETFs. Everybody needs to drive, right?"

Reuben laughed and said, "Car companies? After the auto industry meltdown in 2008?"

'I'm serious! They're more stable these days than even the overpriced computer companies that are one 16 year old hacker with pimples away from total disaster."

"I fondly recall my first time in a Model T, " explained Montague. "I forgot to lock the door properly and the vehicle took a sharp turn. I went flying out of the noisy contraption and into a thorny bush."

"Always buckle your seatbelt, " said Reuben.

"No seatbelts on the Model T. Better stick to medicine, doctor, " explained Faviola. "Anyway, the breakfast has been fun, doctor, and Mr. Montague." Faviola stood up. "I hope our next interaction is just as pleasant."

After she left, Reuben said, "Be very careful in your dealing with her in the future."

"Why do you say that? She seems very professional yet friendly, " replied Montague. "Certainly more friendly than my fellow sharks on Wall Street in the 80's."

"What do you remember of the National Security Agency?" asked Reuben.

"They spy on foreign governments. Most of the time, when I was in Guatemala, " Montague said as he finished his coffee, "the government officials said many things I took to be drunken myths."

"Are you familiar with the phrase 'deal with the devil'?" he asked in a whisper.

Montague remained calm, but a light began to shine in his eyes. "My good doctor, I attended the first plays of Goethe's Faust many a century ago."

"Yeah...Fabiola's the devil. She will help you out, but ask things of you in the future."

"Why did you have me meet with a threat such as her, then good doctor?"

Reuben looked down, almost in shame. "For starters, I am not a counterfeiter. She's the only human friendly to shifters I know of with the kind of access you need."

"Oh."

"And secondly, she helps my clinic with the shifter community. The shifter conclave doesn't fund my clinic, so I take risks treating them. She sometimes helps with those."

"I sense a 'But'…"

"But the community doesn't like her. She frequently has them take on dangerous assignments. Things they don't like to talk about."

"But like to drink themselves into forgetting. I was like that once, after I lost track of my children."

"What happened to them?"

"Lost to the sands of time. I spent years trying to forget them. Years searching for them. When you're immortal, the cost is time moves on without you." He stood up. "We can talk about my past later. You have done me a great service in my hour of need."

He shook hands with Reuben, then said "I will see about making this conclave help you."

"That's not necessary. Just doing my job." {Really not sure how the medical board is gonna feel about a biter funding my clinic. Or an entire community of them. }

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