"Who is William Clarkson? Senator Clarkson's only child from his first marriage, Billy Clarkson, as he is known to friends, had been previously notable only for his absence in his father's presidential campaign. No longer. At a private reception last night for the Senator in suburban Richmond Virginia, William Clarkson was found unconscious on the floor of a bathroom with a knife in his abdomen. No suspects have been named. A spokesman for the FBI termed the investigation as 'ongoing'. William was a 2006 graduate of Carnegie Mellon university, majoring in computer science. The young Clarkson was described by former classmates as 'brilliant but erratic' and also as a 'ladies man'. Since graduation he has stayed out of the public eye: he was a minor player in a Silicon Valley start-up, he dabbled in commodity futures, and was evidently involved in the operation of an on-line role-playing game. We've learned that he had returned to the United States just the day before the incident, entering the country with a replacement passport. It is not known at this time where he had been, but his return flight was via Icelandair."
Molly looked at Billy's picture in the graphic beside the news anchor. The resemblance to Sean was remarkable. She had often wondered why Sean never talked about has college days, even when she had pressed him on the issue. She looked at Mrs. Robinson, who evidently knew a lot about the connection between the two men. Molly and Mrs. R had gone into a "media bar" near Seattle's Pioneer Square where one could watch three news channels while getting wasted at the same time. The clientele were mostly intense men—news junkies who couldn't be out of the cycle even while relaxing.
"Have you figured it out yet, Molly?" Mrs. Robinson was texting while she spoke. "The stiff in the morgue is Billy, and Sean is evidently in the hospital in Virgina. What I can't figure out is why he made the switch. There must have been a compelling reason for him to go underground. Let's compare timelines. When did you last have contact with him?"
"It was the 4th, in the morning."
"That was when I got the last email from him as well. He was to meet Billy later that day. Billy was killed just after midnight, the 5th.. That would have been 5 p.m. here, still the 4th."
"And I was picked up by the FBI around 8PM for questioning."
"Molly, were there cameras, or mirrors in the interrogation room?"
"Yes, there was a large mirror, I remember looking at myself when I was crying."
"They were threatening you, yes, with prison?"
"If the Embassy had already gotten to Sean and made him watch your interrogation, he may have gone along with a plan, I don't know exactly what plan, or who is behind it, but I do know that Billy was involved in some heavy stuff."
"And now I'm involved."
"Sorry, Molly. Sorry that this thing has spiraled out of control, We'll keep you covered. I've already messaged the coroner to get the dental records of Billy and Sean from their old university. Once the press gets a hold of those results the story will explode and we should be able to get Sean back."
Molly's phone began to buzz. She looked at the screen and frowned.
"I don't recognize the number. Should I pick up?"
"If it's anyone you don't know, just say 'wrong number'."
"Hello?" Molly listened for a few seconds then said "Yes" and began to shake.
She mouthed "It's Sean" to Mrs. Robinson and began to cry.