The Case of the Broken Solvent Recycler

The day was pretty normal. No business, and my bills were piling up. I entered a standard query into my tablet and waited for the search response. The network was slow, and the advertisers targeted my alter ego with side panel adverts. I was beginning to think I'd have to eat beans tonight when I heard a knock at the office door.

I yelled out in my best drawl, "The door is open. Come in."

The dame at the door was wearing cowboy boots, tight fitting jeans, and a T that didn't hide any of her other qualities. She introduced herself as Ms M. No last name.

"I have a job for you," she purred. How could I refuse? I took the job. A man has to eat, you know.

"Meet me at the front of the MacKenzie Lab Building on University Avenue," she said, "at Eleven." Her tone hinted I wouldn't want to be late. "AM she detailed". She winked and added, "Maybe we could help each other out." With that, she stepped out of the office, and was gone. I could hear her footsteps fading down the hallway outside my office.

For a moment, I just sat there. I wondered if I should take the job. My will took over, bills were piling up, and this was what I do. I queried my tablet for the address she gave me. It took a few seconds for the map coordinates to trace out on the display. I grabbed my hat and locked the office door.

I arrived at the lab. She was waiting. She reached into her breast pocket and produced a pass key. She swiped the reader and we were in. The laboratory was vast. Seven floors of highly trained staff who analyzed tissue and sera. I knew I was out of my league, but I kept my composure.

We went to the lift. Security was tight. There were cameras trained on every elevator door. I knew those cameras fed their images directly to the security offices of Paladin Security. I would have to look professional.

The lift stopped at the seventh floor. We exited the elevator and turned to the right down a long hallway. There were doors on each side of the corridor. We stopped by a coat rack.

Ms M stated in a matter of fact tone, "You'll have to wear a lab coat. Lab protocol requires you to wear one while you are in the laboratory area."

I looked a bit closer at the coat rack. It held a large number of lab coats. I had to select one that fit. I chose a size 40 and put it on. I caught her looking at me from the corner of my eye. I guess I met her approval. If I played my cards right, maybe I wouldn't be eating dinner alone tonight.

She unlocked a side door and went in. I caught sight of the name plate on the door, "Specimen Storage." Creepy.

I followed her in. The room was true to its name. It was full of specimens sealed in sample containers. I tried to avoid touching any of the containers, and step around them to see what else was in the room.

At the far end of the room were a set of devices. Solvent Recyclers! I'd heard about those on the Vids! I followed Ms M with NoLastName to the end of the room. She scanned the equipment indicators with a practiced eye and set to her own work. I was left wondering what to do.

She caught my eye and pointed to one of the recyclers and said, "That one has a broken pump fitting. Can it be fixed?"

I looked where she was pointing. Sure enough, I could see the recycler hadn't been used in a while. A quick look at the pump assembly revealed a broken CPC FitQuick connector. Pretty simple fix. I didn't want to make it appear too simple. I wish people wouldn't wait so long before calling in the professionals! Uh, that would be Me, of course.

I queried the portable tablet built into my phone. The search query returned the result I suspected. "Colder Products Company, HFC12 NSF Series, Part #: 60500, 3/8 NPT Valved Coupling Insert (HFCD24612 NSF)." I cross-referenced the query result with the online catalogue at Fisher Scientific to get an order number and a price. Hmmm.

The FisherSci App returned the order information I was looking for. "Coupler Insert Pk/10, Part Number: HFCD24612, Cost: $169.26." That was about $17 full credits per coupler insert. Not cheap. I hope Ms M wouldn't balk at the price.

I pictured a Supply and Demand Curve with this baby at the intersection point. My mind got distracted and overlaid my client, Ms M, along the curve. She was smiling. I was starting to like this. I smiled back.

I was about to wave, when a voice broke through my day dream, "Are you okay?"

"What?" I stammered. Reality rules. "Uh, yes! I have the information you need."

I combined the details from the two companies and transferred the order information to her smart phone. I hoped she liked it. I included an offer for my company to complete the repair. It never hurts to forward a plug for your own company.

She looked over the information and said, "I think we can do business, Mr Coal."

We washed our hands before leaving the lab. I returned the lab coat to the coat rack, and Ms M accompanied me to the elevator.

As the elevator door closed she remarked, "When you're finished this task, I have another job for you. If you are interested."

I guess she did like what she saw!