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One billion credits were withdrawn and redistributed to several hundred former Rackham Capital Investments employees who had been previously denied company pensions. Financial journalist Bryanna Blanco of the Federal Times commented that the hack's purpose was apparently to reclaim the one billion credit prize that Rackham obtained from the Federal Grand Lottery in August.

Rackham himself was not present for the vote, as he had taken a leave of absence to grieve for Salazar. Insiders speculated that Gavaris' rapid rise was part of a plot by the board of directors to oust Rackham from control of his own company. Although authorities did not rule O'Shea's death as suspicious and also declined to investigate Gavaris and Rackham, Bryanna Blanco asserted that the emerging corporate power struggle resembled two pirate captains vying for dominance.

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The Federal Intelligence Agency finally opened an investigation into the executives' deaths and the activities of Rackham Capital Investments on April 4, and the Federal Times agreed to cooperate by sharing their files. The RCI power struggle concluded on April 20, , when Taja Gavaris and her loyalists resigned their positions and emigrated from Federal space. They also waived their final salaries and bonuses, which amounted to over million credits. I raise the subject because Dean Ing is one of those. From my viewpoint it seems he can do anything with his hands.

The Rackham Files

He designs and builds cars and planes and other tools, sometimes to leave a clean environment, sometimes to win races, sometimes—as in the Rackham stories—to weave a plausible near-future. I'm not one of these myself: not good with my hands. I sometimes wonder if people like Dean Ing know how I see them. A better model might be Dr. Zarkhov from the Flash Gordon comic strip. He knows enough about anything to make the tool that fits. This tool building talent is the most human of traits, but some of us have more of it than others.

He's a muscular guy, not spectacularly tall, who weighs no more than he should. In this respect he's quite different from his character Rackham. But Rackham is another Zarkhov: he can make a tool on the spot. The difference is that you will understand the tool. You'll be able to make it yourself.

The Rackham stories date from the Cold War. That's okay. The laws of physics and engineering haven't changed. My favorite of his novels is Soft Targets. If I tried to describe the premise, you wouldn't believe me. It's up-to-the-minute relevant. I just can't quite believe it would work. Dana would frown because she revered conventional wisdom.

I'd always chuckle, because I thought Quent was kidding.

The Rackham files, Dean Ing

But that was years ago, and I was older then. I mean, I thought I knew it all. I went on to become one, until I got fed up with the cold war between guys on the take and guys in Internal Affairs, both sides angling for recruits. I tried hard to avoid getting their crap on my size thirteen brogans while I lost track of Dana, saw Quent infrequently, and served the City of Oakland's plainclothes detail in the name of public safety.

Brothers Grimm

So much for stepping carefully in such a barnyard. At least I got out with honor after a few years, and I still had contacts around Oakland on both sides of the law. Make that several sides; and to an investigator that's worth more than diamonds. It would've taken a better man than Harve Rackham to let those contacts go to waste, which is why I became the private kind of investigator, aka gumshoe, peeper, or just plain Rackham, P.

Early success can destroy you faster than a palmed ice pick, especially if it comes through luck you thought was skill. A year into my new career, I talked my way into a seam job—a kidnapping within a disintegrating family. The kidnapped boy's father, a Sunnyvale software genius, wanted the kid back badly enough to throw serious money at his problem. After a few days of frustration, I shot my big mouth off about it to my sister's husband, Ernie.

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It was a lucky shot, though. I'd picked up a rumor that the physicist had been playing footsie with the boy's vanished mother. The physicist had a Quebecois accent, Ernie recalled, and had spoken longingly about a teaching career. The man had already given notice at NASA without a forwarding address.

The Project Gutenberg eBook of A Christmas Carol, by Charles Dickens.

He was Catholic. A little digging told me that might place him at the University of Montreal, a Catholic school which gives instruction in French. I caught a Boeing and got there before he did, and guess who was waiting with her five-year-old boy in the Montreal apartment the physicist had leased. I knew better than to dig very far into the reasons why Mama took Kiddie and left Papa. If this file is freely licensed, but otherwise unsuitable for Commons e. You cannot overwrite this file.

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