Regular Spelling
Thoughts and observations about language

The Carpenter

When we got to the base of operations, a large stateroom in the embassy, fatigue overwhelmed me so I went to sleep on a couch in the room. It was the middle of the night when I awoke, more than twelve hours later, but everyone else was awake and working there as well, the time difference making it normally when they would be awake back in the United States.

Several portable tables had been put up in the room, with several computers, and everyone was going through papers, looking at photographs, or doing other things to try and sort out the evidence. “So,” I said as I walked up to a board which had a large map of Japan attached to it and several notes tacked on top, “have we figured anything out?”

“You weren’t kidding about the time asleep,” Mr. Raynor said in surprise. “Well, we’ve identified all of the components of the bomb. Most of them are fairly common, or at least somewhat easy to get a hold of.” He picked up a stack of photographs, and began to attach them to the board. “The only thing that would have been more than trivial to get was the container that was used to hold the Uranium - or whatever was stored in it, Uranium’s the only thing I could think of that could be that hot, though – was a container designed to hold radioactive material used in medical testing equipment.”

He pointed it out to me in the pictures, and I took a look at it. Next to the large radiation symbol was a smaller symbol, a business logo from the look of it, but I couldn’t tell clearly enough what it was in that photograph. “Is there a bigger version of this logo?” I asked, and someone handed me a printout. I dropped it in disbelief.

“No way,” I said quietly, and went over to my briefcase.               

“What is it?” Mr. Raynor asked, as I began shuffling through papers I had saved to pull out a small book I had brought with me, holding the emblems used by several well-known witches and warlocks from my time. I began to flip through it, until I came to a page. It had the same infinity symbol design as was the centerpiece of that medical company’s logo.

“It can’t be,” I said in a whisper. “The Carpenter.”

Everyone stopped, and looked at me, and I turned around to them. “Quickly,” I said, “search your records for a woman named Medea. Like the woman from Greek mythology.”

One of the new agents started typing on a computer, and then stopped. “Last name?”

I shook my head. “No specific last name, she changes for whichever language she’s speaking. Medea Carpenter it would be in English. Medea Zimmerman in German.”

Mr. Raynor walked over and looked at the book, while the agent began the search. “The name doesn’t sound familiar to me, who is this Medea? A witch from your time?”

“Not just from my time,” I said, furrowing my brow. “When I said like the woman from Greek mythology, I wasn’t just using it as an example. There are some who believe that actually was her.

“She’s an enigma. Rumors about her abound. Some say you can cut off her arm, and she will grow a new one. Others say you can cut off her arm, and the rest of the body will turn to dust and a new body will grow from the arm. Others say you could cut off her head, bury it miles away, and her body will go get the head, put it back where it belongs, and the wound vanish.

"But regardless of rumors about her powers, or whatever Objects she has that gives her these abilities, she is above all else one thing: a terrorist. She is pure chaos, there is no sense of good or evil with her. She will do anything -and I mean anything – to amuse herself.

“There’s no doubt. Medea has to be the one behind this all.” After I spoke, the agent who was searching let out a low whistle, and we walked over to see what the agent found.

“This is insane,” she said, showing pages of information on her screen. “If we take every instance of ‘Medea’ and a word that translates into ‘Carpenter’ from the database, and trace out all companies and shells registered or connected to any of them, things just make no sense. Wanted for drug trafficking in South America, and then a huge donator to our D.A.R.E. program.  Leader of a group in the Mediterranean that does sex slave trading, and then founder of a shelter in France for women who escaped from that very situation. Just one contradiction after another, this can’t be right.”

“No,” I said, shaking my head. “That’s exactly right. That’s the way she works. What about here? I am betting she has residency here in Japan, since this is where she chose to do it.”

“Hold it,” Mr. Raynor said. “How can we even be sure that she is the one involved? It seems like you’re just jumping to conclusions.”

I turned to the agent working on the computer. “Bring up the logos of every single company she is affiliated with.” She typed in several commands, and a number of different logos showed up on the screen. A good number of them had the same infinity symbol design, and Mr. Raynor’s jaw just dropped.  One in particular caught my eye, though, and I pointed to it to have the agent expand it.

The logo was the infinity symbol in the center, above it a sun containing the astrological symbol of Saturn, and below it a model of an atom and several specks below it. “What is this company?”

The agent typed a few commands in. “A nuclear physics research company in Europe, it says.”

I pointed at the sun in the logo. “Do you know what that symbol means?”

“Uhh,” Mr. Raynor said, drawing it out as he thought. “The sun? Saturn?”

“No,” I said, frowning. “The sun is the alchemical symbol for Gold,  and the astronomical symbol of Saturn is the alchemical symbol for Lead. Classic alchemy was most symbolized by the goal of turning lead into gold.” I pointed down to the bottom of the symbol. “And that is how, below it. Alpha and Beta radioactive particles. This company is symbolizing alchemical synthesis through modern physical means.”

“Wait,” the woman with the glasses said, as she looked closer. “Nuclear Alchemy? That’s insane.”

“What about the company with that medical container? Is that connected to Medea?”

The agent closed out the logos, and did some more searches. “Yes,” she said grimly. “She’s listed as a primary investor of one of the venture capital companies that provides funding to that medical company.”

Mr. Raynor turned around, and slammed his fist into the wall. “How could we have missed this?”

“She’s good at hiding,” I said simply. “It’s very likely she’s killed or bought off people that have made the connection.”

He continued leaning against the wall, and waved back to the agent. “Do a search. See what you can find for her here.”

Our Japanese correspondent from the Ministry of Information did the search himself, on a computer of his own. “One match,” he said in thickly accented English. “’Mokkou Medea’, lives in a small town on the west end of Honshu.”

“’Mokkou’, does that mean ‘Carpenter’?”

“It’s not the usual way it would be pronounced with the way it’s written,” he said, “but yes. She owns a warehouse in Osaka, and a small convenience store in the town she is living.”

“That must be the warehouse the man was taken to,” I said, heading toward the door. “She’s probably there now, cleaning out whatever she had there in case we traced it to her. Let’s go.”

The others nodded, and we all got prepared to leave. “I will get police to surround the building,” our correspondent said, “and to her house in her home town.” He then began to make phone calls, and we left the room to head toward the cars. 


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