“Has anyone found out yet just how many contracts they have out there on the elf?” Brise was doing something with her feathers as she spoke, stretching each wing forward and holding it in that apparently awkward position for a few minutes each time while she checked each flight feather for security and condition.
“There’s no way to tell.” Calhoun was cleaning his handguns again. There was a drop cloth on the table in front of him and the cloths, solvents, lubricant and tools he needed were neatly arranged around his work area. He sighted down the barrel section of the weapon he was working on. “We can’t tell how many people they contacted or how many took up the offer. It not generally a subject for public discussion and it’s not like there’s a pub or a bar everyone goes to and talks shop.”
“I would imagine that the ones that do talk shop in a pub don’t last very long,” suggested Kaye idly as she knitted, well out of any possible splash range from Calhoun.
“True,” Calhoun smiled but it was a humourless grin. “Talk can make you fatally unpopular with clients, competitors, targets, even partners and associates.”
“Spouses, family, in-laws?” Kaye made that suggestion with a smile of her own.
“Why do you say that?” Brise was grooming a couple of feathers she seemed a little dissatisfied with.
“Oh,” Kaye looked up and continued knitting, “I think-. Amanda volunteered me to help go through the lists of overseas arrivals for oddities, names that looked obviously made up, that sort of thing. There was one name that’s stuck with me - none of us could pick the source for Tupenes.”
Calhoun sharply shifted his full attention to her. “Tupenes is a name with a reputation, in professional circles. Untraceable, unstoppable, varied methods and virtually unknown outside our circles. Which flight or ship was he on?”
Kaye blinked and her hands stopped. “I saw the name at least half a dozen times, both genders, on multiple flights.”
Calhoun whistled admiringly. “So that’s how part of it’s done. Not one person, but a group, maybe a family.” He looked at the work in front of him. “One of you tell Amanda we might have a wolf pack inside the gate while I finish up here?”