“Find anything?” Sam asked.
“Not yet,” she replied. “You?”
“I don’t know, maybe?” Sam said. “Take a look at this.”
Frederica came over. Sam held up a framed photo of a man and a woman, middle-aged. The man stood dressed in white, with salt-and-pepper hair, slicked back. The woman sat beside him and bore a striking resemblance to Jeannette, all red hair and freckles.
“Parents, maybe?” Frederica suggested.
“Probably a safe guess,” Sam said.
They grabbed their phone and took a picture of the photo. Frederica did the same. Looking into the parents might point them in the right direction if they came up empty here.
Sam’s phone buzzed.
“That was Magh,” they said. “She doesn’t recognize Jeannette from her colony but adds that she was a child at the time and didn’t know everybody. Also, there were apparently a few species of shapeshifters living among them who are able to take human form. Wow, this girl is way more talkative in text.”
“Wait until she gets to know you better,” Frederica said. “She’ll really start opening up.”
“I’m looking forward to it.”
They set the photo down on the desk while Frederica returned to the bookshelf. As she put the Asimov back, she noticed a small fingerprint scanner tucked away at the back of the shelf. She reached her mind out to it and something clicked.
The bookshelf slid aside, revealing a small workshop behind the wall. A metal arm sat on a table surrounded by tools and mechanical parts, and in the corner she spotted what looked like a charging station for an electric car.
None of this looked particularly out of place at a robotics company, so why was it hidden?
Before she could look for an answer to that question, she heard a beep as the office door unlocked. Frederica kicked into super-speed instinctively. She reactivated the hidden door, ran across the room, grabbed Sam, pulled them behind a pillar, and turned them both invisible.