I was alone in the office. Jesse was out at the FIRE Gala, but I was just happy to get away from my racist neighbor. It was barely half past two when Trace stepped into my office, casefiles in hand. The first one gave me a good chuckle. Apparently Elon had removed “legacy verification” from Twitter — meaning the only way to get a blue check now was to give him eight smackeroos a month. Everyone from Jason Alexander to SCOTUSblog was threatening to bounce, someone had impersonated the Big Apple itself, and Elon had footed the bill for LeBron James, Stephen King, and — her?! No way.
I gazed at the smoke detector above me, two rectangular holes where its batteries should be, and flipped to File #2. A writer for The Atlantic named Ed Yong had crossed the line from “journalist” to “activist” in his coverage of “long COVID.” Something about the evidence he used smelled fishy as hell. I put it to the side — this was one for Jesse to handle.
The last file was something else entirely. I took a drag of my cigarette, watching the smoke curl lazily towards the ceiling as I kept reading. An old grandma gets raided by the DEA for traffickin’ human growth hormone. No charges. Turns out what she was pushin’…wasn’t exactly intended for human consumption. Then the FDA busts a lady importing “beauty products” from Hong Kong. Confiscate her cars, her mansions. A spreadsheet she kept shows she moved a whopping $10 million worth of product.
“You think they’re connected?”
“A listener tipped us off. Said her cat needed meds, but they’re illegal. The dame says her vet pointed her towards a Facebook group that could hook her up under the table. I think they’re the missing link. Real secretive, though. Won’t talk to anyone who’s not a buyer, so I sent them an invite, pretending to be —"
Suddenly, the phone rang. A booming voice on the other end spoke. “Your invitation to join FIP Warriors® 5.0 has been accepted.”
I stood up and brushed the flakes of weed off my trenchcoat as Trace unholstered his trusty snubnose revolver and adjusted his fedora.
“Start the car, Trace. Looks like we’re going undercover.”
The backstory on King’s Hand
The results of the legacy checkmark removal
Musk buys Twitter Blue for Stephen King
Ed Yong’s article on Long COVID
The CDC on Long COVID
Evidence is mixed as to whether vaccines reduce the chances or severity of long COVID
Household Pulse survey on Long COVID
Federal Reserve report on Long COVID
Survey about discrimination against those with Long COVID
Jesse’s response to the article
The New Republic: We Might Have Long Covid All Wrong
Stuart Ritchie: Does Long Covid really exist?
Ed Yong’s first article on Long COVID
Jesse responds to an unrelated article by Yong
The Kitty Cartel
The Atlantic’s 2020 piece on black-market cat remdesivir
Business Insider’s article
Robin says she doesn’t get kickbacks
OneZero: Inside a Facebook ‘Dallas Buyers Club’ for Cat Drugs
Cure FIP exposes FIP Warriors
FIP Global Cats
Zen By Cat