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"Maybe we should be out looking for Darius instead," Dexter said.

Wraith poured herself a glass of wine. "He can handle himself. You never really believed that, did you?"

"It's the cop in me," he replied, a self-conscious shrug. 

Callan entered with a large cardboard box, placed it on the couch. Wraith had charged the suite to the media conglomerate she was currently under contract with. They thought she was working on a story about the latest Big Pharma scandal - a rash of medicines proving toxic after they hit the market. Maybe I am; maybe it's all connected, she thought.

Callan said, "I told the girl at the print shop that I was working on my Ph.D thesis and needed a hardcopy backup. Hm, maybe I am; I could probably get a doctorate out of trying to explain Max."

Wraith noted the similar phrasing: 'maybe I am'. This kind of thing tended to happen when Max was involved.

"Is this so we can't get hacked while we're researching?" Dexter asked.

"In part," Callan said as he started to unpack the file folders from the box, arranging them on the coffee table. "There's a different magic to paper too."

It is like a spell of sorts, Wraith thought, taking a sip of wine.

All the blog posts, all the letters and emails, all the writing by the man they knew as Max Cube that they could get their hands on. This was phase one; the next step would be to hit up all of their contacts for relevant police reports, psychiatric files, military records and so on. That, however, was a move that wouldn't go unnoticed.

Dexter watched Callan laying out the documents. "The hardest part is going to be figuring out what are journal entries, what are essays, what are short stories and what are delusions..."