Carter Mah

January 8, 2022

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Money Problems

Kryptomon — Koa’s Log #7

Money Problems

“FOUR… THREE…TWO…ONE!”, the crowd chanted in sync as all eyes turned towards the projection of a clock high above the night sky.


Whoops of excitement and the clink of glasses filled the opulent ballroom, the crowd toasting the new year with bottles of champagne. But a normal crowd this was not, a difference I felt all too keenly as soon as Eva and I arrived at the Keystone Bank’s new year celebration.

Those glasses of champagne being handed out? The waiters were sure to remind everyone how all 50 bottles were sponsored by one of the guests, a generous donation at $10,000 a bottle. A Rolex or three, the collection of sports cars with names I can’t pronounce lining the driveway and it was clear that this was a party for members of society who regularly came into contact with the upper echelons of the Keystone Bank.

Eva looked amazing, dressed up in a red dress that really brought out the color of her eyes. No stranger to the trappings of high society, Eva blended in like a fish in water, fielding questions and somehow keeping me from saying anything stupid the whole night.

“Just smile and think about the grant we need. I don’t like this any more than you do but you need to find Embie and the lab could desperately use an upgrade, so suck it up!” I remember her mouthing to me without ever losing that megawatt smile that seemed permanently affixed to her face.

“Hey you’re the one that wanted to play James Bond and come tonight!” I fired back.

“It’s not like we had any better leads. The bank started pulling our funding and this was our only chance at finding out why. So smile, start mingling and maybe someone in this crowd will be able to explain why we’ve lost more than 40% of the grant.”

I sighed. She was right of course, but there was just something about the pretentiousness of it all, the dagger hiding behind every smile that made me wish I was back at the lab and working on the pink serum. But Embie’s been missing for over two months now and if this party is what it took to get me closer to solving the pink serum and finding Embie, then that’s what I’ll do.

                                          .  .  .

Three…excruciating… hours later, we had our answer.

                                          .  .  .

A Plan of Attack

“It’s just not possible!” Eva exclaimed hotly, stuffing three French fries into her mouth at the same time, all semblance of the social butterfly that brushed shoulders with society’s finest nary an hour ago completely gone. “There were no reported hatchings of Kryptomon before us, so how could they have progressed so far, so quickly?”

“It’s not impossible,” I replied, “and keep your voice down!”. The McDonalds was packed with children running amok and a few tired looking parents taking a break at nearby tables. Not that I expected any of them to be secret spies attempting to listen in on our conversation, but in the world of Kryptomon research with stakes as high as ours, one can never be too sure.

“It’s possible that they had a better team and were better equipped. We lost most of the lab when the fire happened and research has slowed because of it.” I continued.

“But man-made serum?” Eva interjected. “We don’t even understand what the pink serum is, never mind being able to reproduce it on a consistent basis!”

I paused, my retort about Diabaté’s team simply being better funded dying in my throat. Unless the Kryptomons had hatched for Diabaté before they did for us, it was… unlikely that anyone could have discovered the pink moon serum and devised a method of creating it so quickly.

“There’s only one way to find out” Eva said with finality. Crossing her arms and leaning back in her seat, “we’ve got to go see for ourselves how this Diabaté’s managed to do it.”

I sighed, knowing it would have come to this eventually. As incredulous as it sounded, corporate espionage was part of the game we played when we stepped into the role of Kryptomon researchers.

“To Africa then?” I asked, leaning back in my own seat while meeting her already grinning eyes.

“To Africa we go”.

Carter Mah

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