IT IS THE TUESDAY OF HER LAST WEEK. JANNET HAS JUST CONCLUDED SEVERAL consultation sessions today. She has a long conversation with Sara Jean. Sara Jean has reported that the Deckers’ videos of conversations and videos of training sessions, along with numerous other miscellaneous photographs, of Jannet, which had appeared unauthorized on the siblings’ website, have been removed. The Deckers also wanted to contact Jannet directly but they have reported that the phone number and e-mail address, for Jannet, had been cancelled. They complained that Jannet was intentionally avoiding them. Sara Jean responded ‘no comment’ to all of the Deckers’ inquiries.
Jannet had secretly changed her phone number and obtained a new e-mail address, with no forwarding protocol, without notifying anyone except Sara Jean, Becka, Madelynn and her two close friends, and of course, Mari Belen. A few members of the internal PAG team also have Jannet’s contact information. Jannet purposefully does not have a website, blog-site, or any social media accounts.
Sara Jean and Jannet continue their discussion by changing the topic to the consultation schedule. Just then, Jannet’s attention is diverted as she hears a key card releasing the lock on the door of her apartment hotel. Consequently, three police investigators soundlessly march into her room.
“Doesn’t anybody knock before entering a room, in Spain?” Sara Jean challenges as she suddenly notices that Jannet is surrounded by police. Of course, there are introductions all around. Umberto and Carlos Jon exchanges low whispers in Spanish about Sara Jean’s resemblance to the actress Blake Lively. Soon after, Sara Jean offers a quick goodbye and she disappears from the wall monitor screen.
Jannet naturally gravitates towards Mari Belen, as one would expect, but the woman puts up a stop-sign hand gesture, which indicates that this is official business.
The official business takes the four, by car, to a miserable street tucked away in the La Lavídes neighborhood within the larger Embajadores sector, of Madrid; the sector that Jannet also resides in. The automobile parks and the four walk towards a battered building which is the site of a crime scene of a newly acquired cold case. A few houses just prior to their destination, Jannet comes to a complete stop.
“Is that the house there? She points with a wavering hand. “I cannot go in there. Sorry, but I just can’t.”
“What if we go inside and return with an object or two? We could present it to you for feedback?” Carlos Jon helpfully suggests.
“No, I can’t do it!” Jannet morphs into a quite realistic statue-like figure. In fact, she becomes almost as solid as a marble statue.
“Hay sugerencias?” Umberto offers and the three investigators looks with anticipation toward the now seemingly stony and now seemingly unmovable woman.
Jannet softens. Then she reflects for a moment and carefully speaks. “Ok, I have an idea but you will not like it.”
After a considerable pause from Jannet, she speaks and she presents an uncommon option. “We will stand facing each other in a circle and I will generate a process which will allow us to project into that building.”
“But we can walk into that building by ourselves, so why would we need to be projected.” Carlos Jon questions, he has a confused look upon his face.
“The projection will be a holographic one, your bodies will remain here, and the projection destination will be into that space but into a different time frame. The time frame will be when the crime scene was fresh, after the crime event and before the arrival of the first police responders and other investigators.” The three investigators suddenly begin to look unhinged, due to the unusual nature of proposal.
“So, would you like to proceed?”
“Let’s do it.” Nervously, Carlos Jon answers for everyone assembled.
“Ok, now for the advisory. Your body and mind will experience a great amount of disorientation although technically your corporeal self will remain here. Ignore the disorientation but instead focus on your field work. You are examining a crime scene, so conduct your normal investigative techniques. Do not remove anything from the crime scene and generally it is ok to look but not to touch. Additionally, I have never tried this before, my internal self merely suggested the possibility to me, and therefore I do not know how long I can maintain myself and the projection protocol, probably only several minutes at most.”
Jannet waits. “Questions?” Jannet waits again and there are no questions. “Ok, there is no need to join hands but please form a circle, and we will remain right here in the open and on this sidewalk. And now for another advisory: when we finally return to ourselves, do not attend to me first but rather it is necessary for all of you to establish contact with a grounding element. In order to accomplish that, please lay down on the ground or the grass near us and also drink some water, and I have a water bottle in my backpack that can be utilized.”
The process begins, the four individuals create a loose circle. Jannet swiftly fugues into a trance and for one minute it appears that nothing has occurred. The four are still standing numbly in a small circle. It is then that Umberto displays a startled expression on his face. The four are standing inside of the building. It is their holographic projections inside the building. Instantly a huge wave of psycho/physical disequilibrium sets in. The group reconstitutes onto the sideway in a shaky condition.
After a few minutes of desperate breathing, the process begins again. This time, once their holographs are inside the building, which is located in the past, the three police persons stoically and stubbornly maintain their focus and begin their investigative tasks.
The three investigators separate and being to look throughout the various rooms, one person goes up a flight, one person goes down into the basement, and the third person explores the rooms on the main floor. The holographic projection of Jannet remain in its initial landing spot, with arms slightly spreading to the side of her body, in trance.
Umberto notifies his two police colleagues, via their cell phone intercoms, that their phones do seems to record their spoken words however the phones do not seem to make visual records. There is one human body, in the basement area, which appears to be in a pre-rigor state. The three have studied crime photos of the cold case but this in-person tour is proving to be more valuable and elucidating.
After nine and half minutes the holographic projection of Jannet quivers, in the main room, and this sends a series of shock waves radiating towards the three investigators. They hurriedly make their way back to Jannet and they create an informal circle. An instant later, they are aware of the out of doors environment again.
Outside on the sidewalk, a small crowd of curious onlookers have gathered. This is because there are four individuals standing immobilized in a circle, partially blocking a residential sidewalk. Mari Belen immediately flashes her police badge and the onlookers quickly disperse. The three investigators clumsily walk a few feet to a broad grassy strip of earth between the sidewalk and the street and they lie down. Jannet has gracefully descended onto the concrete sidewalk because she has passed out.
After a subsequent three or four minutes, another crowd of onlookers have gathered to stare at four individuals lying down on the grass or on the sidewalk. Umberto ascends, flashes his badge and the new group of onlookers disperse. He retrieves Jannet. He is unsteady but he carries her to the unmarked police vehicle, which is very close and he carefully places her horizontally in the back seat of the car. He checks her pulse and surmises that she is in a light coma state. He finds the water bottle and returns to a wobbly Mari Belen and Carlos Jon. He forces a drink of water onto the two of them and then he takes a long pull of water himself. And then, within a few more minutes, everyone clumsily piles into the car, Mari Belen cradles a comatose Jannet in the back seat, and the vehicle returns hastily to Calle Miguel Angel.
Umberto had checked Jannet’s pulse before departing the crime scene, it was quite slow. But now they are back in their offices. Jannet is pushed into the police offices, via a wheelchair; there are a few of them in a closet behind the main entry desk for emergencies; and Umberto checks her pulse again. This time, her pulse is faster and closer to the normal range. He wakes her up and pushes her to walk about the cold case unit police room, the familiar situation room. An administrative assistant brings her coffee with cream and walks with her. Soon she is walking on her own. Another administrative assistant brings her a pan dulce to ingest. Jannet registers a funny feeling about one of the assistants but she is not sure which one and she is not sure about the nature of the funny feeling. She walks solo for another 10 or 15 minutes and then drops onto a couch and begins to read a magazine. She notices, to her surprise, that there are now a few very recent American magazines available. Around her, there is a swirl of frenzied activity.
Jannet overhears little snippets of information about the results of their police excursion into the past, as it relates to the cold case investigation. Mainly she overhears that it was a very worthwhile excursion.
Otherwise during Jannet’s final week in Madrid, there is little change. Mari Belen maintains her regular schedule and Jannet maintains her regular routines. There is a family gathering in Madrid a few days before Jannet’s departure, and Mari Belen’s parents and her brother with his family drive up from Toledo.
During that final week, Jannet makes an interesting discovery. In the middle of that week, she decides to make one last visit to Real Jardin Botánico. She braves the on again and off again rain showers, of this particular day, to have one last visit to the city gardens and she thoroughly enjoys the misty and mysterious atmospheric conditions. While walking the gardens, she finds herself engaging in a long conversation with a tour guide; she surmises that he probably wants to practice his English. He encourages her to visit the nearby CaixaForum Madrid. Jannet has been on mission to visit and to get to know some of the numerous museums and art galleries during each of her visits to Spain, although she still has yet to make a visit to the world famous Museo del Prado.
The CaixaForum Museum is indeed near to the botanical gardens. The exterior of this museum has an initial powerful effect on the woman. It features an overall post-modern design with a striking façade, on the very top floors, covered in cast-iron. Adjacent to it, is a house with a gigantic vertical vegetative greenery that soars contiguously several stories high. Jannet has a spontaneously psycho/physical reaction to this massive juxtaposition, of the two buildings, with the holographic manifestation of lattice-type green net that begins to float about her. She quickly looks around, in order to see if anyone else can observe it and she does confirm that no one is observing anything out-of-the-ordinary concerning herself. She then eagerly walks towards the entrance of the museum.
Mari Belen maintains a small social circle by choice especially since she is prone to occasional periods of very long and intense work weeks. Her sister, Margarita, and her nieces are number one in her social circle. She has been closely involved in their lives for years and they interact with each other nearly every day. Lara and Lavina do consider Mari Belen to be a second parent. Mari Belen socializes, of course, with close relatives in Toledo; and with work colleagues and their partners. She maintains a connection to the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, her alma-mater; attending sporting events, lectures, concerts, and occasional alumni events on campus. She continues to stay connected with some of her old friends from her university days but she tries to steer clear of the professional competitiveness and social climbing tendencies of some of the more prominent alumni members.
By chance, Mari Belen and Jannet nearly collide into two of Mari Belen’s alumni acquaintances. Mari Belen and Jannet have been walking several blocks, because of the lack of available nearby parking, to the house of Mari Belen’s sister and nieces; they are going to attend an informal farewell dinner. The house is due west of El Hospital Universitario Gregorio Marañón, between the hospital complex and Parque Del Retiro; Jannet has had a previous medical stay at the hospital. Introductions are negotiated between the four women and an innocuous conversation ensues. The two alumni women seem to be wearing quite expensive Carolina Herrera dresses and soaring hi-heels. Mari Belen and Jannet are clothed in their familiar, though quality, dark clothing. Mari Belen is in all black and Jannet is wearing dark blue and gray; they both are sporting dark slender flat boots. Jannet is simply introduced as a friend and she then proceeds to remain silent and merely listens to the conversation. Soon however, Jannet becomes a bit distracted. She does notice that during the course of the conversation, which is conducted in Spanish at a bullet-train speed, that holographic text, in English, is suspended in front of the two university alumni women. She has not asked for translation protocol but it has appeared anyway. Then suddenly Jannet realizes that holographic translated text is not about what the two alumni women are saying but about what they are thinking. Some of the holographic text reads, ‘Is that her friend or her girlfriend? And how young is she? And she looks like a teenaged American.’ The actual conversation ends within a few minutes with a non-committal promise from Mari Belen that she would attend an elegant alumni fundraiser next week; and of course Jannet is invited, as well.
Mari Belen and Jannet continue with their walk to Margarita’s house. “They were thinking something different than what they were talking about, yes?” Mari Belen had picked up some visual cues from the alumni women.
“Do you want me to tell you what they were thinking? I rather not but I will tell you if you want me to.” Jannet sighs. “By the way, I read their minds accidentally and not on purpose.”
“Do not bother because I do not want to know what they were thinking. Those women are extreme social-climbers and they are infamous gossips. And we have better things to do and better people to do it with.” Meanwhile they have now arrived to Margarita’s apartment building. Waiting in the lobby, with smiles, are the nieces Lara and Lavina.
On the final day, in Madrid, the two women begin the day normally. They are both up by 7.00 am and they have a small breakfast, coffee, and thoughtful conversation in Mari Belen’s apartment. This is a comfortable morning ritual for both women as they start their day. Mari Belen declines to take Jannet to the Adolfo Suárez airport and she offers instead an understated goodbye and a close embrace. She departs for the police offices. As she drives, she experiences a considerable amount of irritation at the length of Jannet’s return stay to the states; she begins to formulate a plan.
A few hours later, at the apartment hotel, Jannet is waiting in the lobby, with baggage, for the van to the airport. She has carefully and thoroughly searched her apartment hotel rooms for any lingering personal items. She has already made a return reservation, with Adaluz, the manager. That reservation will be for middle of July, and several weeks from now.