“Where are the others?” she asked, just to break the silence more than anything.
“Ken’s on deliveries and Ryu’s at the harbor.”
“Not practicing today then?”
“Racetrack doesn’t open ‘til 10, I’m just passing time here, checking out this Hikaru Himura that cropped up. You know, it really does look promising.”
“No need now. Hakase confessed to everything.”
“Oh, right,” Joe was about to continue with what he was doing, then her words struck home. “Wait he confessed? What’s that supposed to mean?”
“Use your head, he’s Jinpei’s father.” Jun began to recite the story as she had heard it in Nambu’s office. Joe listened in stunned silence. “I felt a bit awkward listening in, so I’ve left them to it, gave them some quality time together,” she finished at last.
“Well who’d have thought it… he would be the last person I’d suspect. And with a student too.”Joe’s demeanor was full of mirth at the thought of the strict disciplinarian having a checkered past.
“It’s nothing to joke about Joe.” Jun admonished.
“You’re telling me, we all know how Nambu loves his secrets.” He sat back in his chair, “if that little squirt was a pain before, he’s going to be impossible now he knows he’s the boss’ son.”
“And that’s precisely why Hakase has kept it concealed all this time. He said himself he didn’t want it to look like Jinpei was getting preferential treatment.
“He’s got a point there. It would be easy to think he’d only got his place on the team because of his relationship to Nambu.”
“Do you think Nambu would do that?”
“Sure he would, how else could you explain how Jinpei is so much younger than the rest of us? Do we have a name for his mother then?”
“Yeah, it’s Mai Himura.”
“But that’s who I was looking up.” Joe exclaimed, “I thought I was on to something. Want to know something interesting?”
“What’s that then?”
“Just look who she works for.” He turned the monitor around so she could see. Joe was on Mai’s social network page.
“Tamir Landau!” Jun smiled. “Does it say in what capacity?”
“Nope, she could be a secretary, or business partner, her posts don’t give us any real clues either, where she mentions work, it’s just the usual ‘had the worst day ever….’ sort of thing.”
“Could it be relevant?”
Joe shrugged, noncommittally, “I suppose not, I’ve already eliminated any connection to Galactor, although I guess it explains why he came to track Jinpei down though.”
“Is he on the site too?”
“Yeah, but I think his settings are private. I can get some info, but nothing we don’t already know. No posts though.”
“I could hack into it?”
“Worth a try, it’s preferable to sending him a request at this stage.”
Jun set to work, and within a minute had what she was looking for. “See that?”
“Can’t say much at the moment, but I think I’m on the verge of making a special lady’s dream come true…” Joe read. “Posted yesterday, not long after he’d left here.” When Jun clicked on the responses, he continued:
“Oh R U proposing? Heart, heart, heart.”
“Ah, that would be telling, wink”
“bout time u made an honest woman ov her, grin”
“alas, her heart belongs to another, sad face. seriously folks, I’m just doing a favor as her leaving gift… it’s just gone better than I’d hoped.”
More comments followed, but nothing of interest to the two of them.
“What do you make of that then?” Jun looked at him, curiosity written all over her face.
“Could be referring to Jinpei, I suppose.” Joe agreed. “Finally locating a long lost child would be a dream come true for most mothers.”
“So he knew he had the right boy then. Oh, by the way, I don’t suppose you could cover Jinpei’s shifts at the J today? I think he’s going to need some time to come to terms with all this.”
“And so the nightmare begins”
Jinpei watched the testing process every step of the way. At first, the laboratory staff objected to his presence, but when Nambu overruled her, asking politely to indulge the lad ‘just this once’ she complied with his seemingly odd requests. Each sample was to be tested from scratch, and not just have their previous results pulled from their files.
Jinpei had also insisted a third sample should be tested and compared with both specimens. That was something the scientist understood, and submitted a sample of her own, then proceeded to talk Jinpei through each step of the process, as he took all the information in, totally fascinated. Only when the results came through did the truth of the situation dawn on her.
“What does it say?” Jinpei looked eagerly over her shoulder, but all he saw was rows of numbers accompanying incomprehensible words.
“Well,” she looked nervously across at Nambu, who simply nodded for her to continue. “It’s revealing that you’re Nambu Hakase’s son.”
“Are you sure?”
“Look right here, it’s telling me there’s a 99.3% probability, if you compare that to my results you can clearly see it’s indisputable.” She turned to Nambu, “should I add these results to your files, sir?”
“I’ll do that, just send them to me via e mail.”
“Yes sir, and would you like a printout?” She asked Jinpei, sending the documents to the printer in anticipation of a positive response. “Is there anything else?”
“Umm, would you test my mother’s DNA too, if I got a sample?”
“Sure.” She smiled, getting him a fresh swab pack, “Have you met your mother then?”
“Not yet, but I hope to soon.”
“Oh, well I wish you luck,” she presented him with the swab and printouts. “I hope it all goes well for you.”
Jinpei had the biggest grin on his face. “Me too, thank you.”
“And I’ll thank you too.” Nambu stepped forward to shake her hand, “and it goes without saying that what you’ve discovered today won’t become this lunchtime’s canteen gossip.”
“Yes sir, but it will become common knowledge sooner or later.”
“I know, just not yet, understand?”
“I won’t say a word until I hear it on the grapevine.”
After a couple of days without any news from his mother, Jinpei started to get impatient.
“Why won’t she call?” he asked Nambu for the umpteenth time since the doctor had left his message. “I thought she wanted to meet up.”
“I really don’t know, Jinpei,” Nambu would tell him time after time. “I might be good at a lot of things, but mindreading isn’t one of them.”
The team had come to terms with the revelation by now, and soon debunked Joe’s theory of any special treatment Jinpei might have had. As Ken was quick to comment when hearing the news, Jinpei had proved himself worthy of his place on the team many times over, regardless of Nambu’s motives for including him. Ryu sympathized with Joe, but as he pointed out, there couldn’t be anything left for Nambu to hide, a sentiment that Joe seriously doubted.
“Phone her again, please.”
“Ok, but this will be the last time, understand? I’m going to put the onus on her to make the next move, then we’ll know if she really is interested in a reconciliation.”
Nambu put the phone on speaker, and then called Landau’s number. He wanted to be sure Jinpei knew exactly how both sides of the conversation went. The phone was picked up after a couple of rings, and a female voice spoke.
“Tamir Landau’s office, how can I help?”
“Kozaburo Nambu here, who am I speaking to please?” Nambu had seen Jinpei’s eyes brighten and knew exactly what he was thinking.
“My apologies Mr. Nambu, my name is Chou, I’m Mr. Landau’s personal assistant. So what can I do for you today?” The look of disappointment that replaced the hope on Jinpei’s face confirmed his suspicions.
“I was wondering if you could connect me to Mr. Landau please.”
“I’m sorry, he’s out of the office at the moment, if you can give me a contact number, I’ll see he gets back to you as soon as he returns.”
Nambu rattled off a couple of numbers, then waited while she repeated them back to him.
“And could you please give me your reason for calling?”
“Hikaru Himura.” There was a pause from the other end of the line, quickly followed by the sound of paper being shuffled about.
“Can you please hold for a minute, Mr. Nambu? I’m just going to contact Mr. Landau on his cell.” The tinny sound of greensleeves came down the line, and Nambu lent back in his chair, his arms crossed in front of his chest.
“You thought that secretary was your mother, didn’t you.”
“Well, Joe told me she works for him.”
“How would Joe know that?”
“Social network site. He looked her up.”
“Social network? Can you find it for me?”
“Yeah, it’s easy, you don’t even have to hack in.” Jinpei went around to Nambu’s side of the desk and brought up the relevant page. “See, everything she posts is on here, and if you click here, you find all the information she shares with her friends, although it’s pretty basic.” He clicked, and Mai’s info page came up. “It says she’s female, is single, lives here in Utoland and works for Tamir Landau.”
“I see.” Nambu began scrolling through the woman’s profile, until the tinny muzak stopped, and Chou returned to the phone.
“Mr. Landau will be calling you himself in about 5 minutes. Will that be convenient?”
“That will be fine, thank you.” Nambu ended the call, then went through the various pages of the social networking site. It gave him a better insight into the woman his former lover had become, and helped them both prepare for the inevitable moment when they would all meet up again.