She began the hunt with a return address, which of course lead back to hotmail where she had first found the subject. She had tried e-mailing back, but the subject refused any solicitations from her. Additionally, the whole operation was operating on a shared web server, and she had no idea if the physical address Whois had given her would actually lead to anything, so instead she called. A creaky and weary voice answered the phone. She had been doing this long enough to know the man on the other line was not her target, but she talked to him anyway and he eventually mentioned renting out webspace to other users at steep discounts. She now knew she was dealing with an entirely different type of scum. She made tentative plans to host a site on the man’s web server and then she went down to the office and reported his address as a possible site. The other’s in the office gathered around and discussed their day, two found in an Indian pc bar, another waiting in line at customs in Cambodia. Her target had been located in Cuba.
The promenade around the house had worn down into the sea and low waves crashed over the beach. A group of kids out in the bay played with nurse sharks as she passed row after row of faded brick houses. Eventually she found the door, but as she expected someone else lived there. The couple at the house were quite nice, she sat down with a seven foot tall basketball star and her husband a smallish engineer at the local motorcycle repair place. The two had never seen or heard of the target, they did however know the former occupant and after a few coffees, she retreated to the street with a new address in hand.
The car the UN gave her broke down after a few days, she walked on foot and then waited at car share sites till she had trekked half the island. The house was instantly noticeable as a slum dwelling. Kids ran around outside while inside hundreds of children managed web servers. Kids poured out of closets, some at ten wasted with the onsets of HIV. She quietly spoke to a few kids around the house, they rushed up with trinkets, little island momentos, she bought a few. Inside the house she could see them sorting emails, working through excel sheets, and working on ad copy, at ten years old a few of the girls could speak English better than she could. Groups of children sat around typing on ancient keyboards, long since dilapidated, her own roll of smart phone sitting in her pocket began to beep. She pulled it out and answered a few calls, then she showed the boss where she was, the government would be by in a few days. She took a few of the ones that could speak English by the hand and led them out of the house. She told them to tell the others that their parents wouldn’t be coming home, but they needed to stay there until the UN people come. She also asked about the man, one of the kids managed to draw him, the usual suspect, she clicked a copy to hq.