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Bettmann munched on his latest mouthful as his eyes scanned the report's subject line. "'Attempted Seduction.' I'm flattered."

"You should be, and so should the guy this hot little number tried to seduce." Peters pointed out a security camera shot of Svetlana on the top page of the report, a shot of the late teenish woman in a tight white blouse and a black skirt.

Bettmann wiped with his napkin. "So why is this being reported?"

"Exactly the question I was asking." Peters leaned close to his colleague. "It just so happens that the First Daughter's the one who reported it to the SCP. She sent one of her princess playhead buddies off after this woman, and found her taking off in a sports car with another guy."

Bettmann started to shove the remnants of his lunch back into the sack he had carried from the cafeteria. "So what matches came up?"

"Matches?" Peters stood erect. "There's no need for matches. This girl's a Colony Groupie." At Bettmann's look of non- comprehension, he leaned forward again. "She likes to fuck guys headed into Outer Space. She's a space cadet looking for kindred spirits." He rose again and chuckled at his own wit. "We've got more than one of 'em on file." With that, Peters spun around and returned to his own office.

Bettmann brushed at a corner of his mouth with the napkin, then tossed the refuse of his lunch into the wastebasket beneath his desk. He looked at each page of the report, at the images of Svetlana, of Matthew Katzberg, of the Porsche captured by a parking lot security camera, and saw that the three images didn't add up.

Chapter III

"Yep, she's the one."

First Star by W.R. Hammons:

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