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"What have you done?" Rachael Haas demanded from Caitlin. The nurse had color in her cheeks and fire in her eyes. I thought she was going to knock Caitlin across the room, wrestle her to the floor.
"We've done nothing that concerns you," Caitlin said.
Ms. Haas narrowed her eyes first at Caitlin, then at Nicole Torres. "The two of you were in Vanessa's bedroom, weren't you? You just came from there."
Nicole Torres had, by then, put a notary seal beside her name on the document. Ms. Torres, I realized, was a notary public and whatever was on the document was now a done deal.
"My God, you took the Chagall!" Dad's nurse said. "You give it back to me right now! That's private property! Give it back or I'll call the police!"
Caitlin returned the document to her briefcase, which she locked. She stood up and straightened her skirt. She addressed Rachael Haas. "About thirteen years ago, my sister, Vanessa, had my father's will rewritten to suit her own needs. She appropriated all of my father's property without consulting any other family member. Now that my father is back and, with the added consent of my brother, Jordan Grozak, I am taking ownership of the Chagall through a family quorum agreement which the new resurrection laws allow. Wills involving resurrectees can now be overturned, even reversed, with a majority consent of family members of legal age. And neither Vanessa nor you nor the IETS have any say in the matter whatsoever."
I now understood that the valuable Chagall was now in Nicole Torres' briefcase, locked away, safe and sound.
"Vanessa can keep everything else of Dad's money and property," Caitlin said. "But I need the Chagall. I need what it can bring me on the open auction market."
Ms. Torres then added, "We're setting up our own practice of resurrection law downtown. And we need the start-up capital this will bring at auction."
"Which should be about eighty million at Sotheby's," Caitlin said. "To Vanessa, the Chagall was just bedroom decor. To us, it's a chance to run with the big boys in L.A. Resurrection law has unlimited potential."
My father stood up from his ancient chair. "Vanessa, honey, you didn't have to go to all this trouble."
"I'm Caitlin, Daddy. Caitlin," my sister said.
"All right, then, Caitlin. You should have just asked. I would have given it to you."
"No, Daddy. You don't know how Vanessa is and you don't know what the law is like now," Caitlin said. "We needed all of the surviving family members to sign the painting over to us. Without a family quorum, Vanessa's attorneys would eat us alive."
Rachael Haas had, all this time, been looking at me. "Then that's why you're here, isn't it," she said.
I had no idea what she was talking about, but a few seconds later from out in the street came the sound of sirens. Moments later several people came stampeding up the marble staircase. What I thought were police turned out to be a group of young men wearing the distinctive gray and white uniforms of the Institute for Eidetic Transfer Sciences. More nurses.
"Mr. Grozak!" one said to me, elbowing his way into the room. He gently held my arm. "Mr. Grozak, are you all right?"
"Is there any reason I shouldn't be?" I asked, alarmed now.
Rachael Haas turned to Caitlin and she was furious. "You calculating little bitch," she hissed, barely able to bring herself to say the word. "You did all this just to get that painting!"
Caitlin adjusted the trim of her suit and said nothing.
I turned to Dad's nurse. "Just what, exactly, is happening here?" I asked.
Ms. Haas leveled an accusatory finger at Caitlin. "Your sister had you resurrected, Mr. Grozak. You died in South China Sea years go during the war."
One of the newly arrived IETS nurses spoke just then. "We came as fast as we could from the Santa Monica center. You're not supposed to be outside your village without your therapist, Mr. Grozak."
"My therapist? You mean Tommy Carstairs?"
I held up my right hand and flexed its slightly crabbed fingers. "Tommy's helping me with my arthritis. That's why I left the air force in the first place. Couldn't fly."
"No, Mr. Grozak. It's part of resurrection therapy," the young man told me. "Tommy Carstairs is your IETS nurse."
He then turned to my sister. "Someone apparently lured Tommy back to the Azuza office earlier today. Otherwise, he wouldn't have let you out, Mr. Grozak," he said turning to me.
"I'm sorry, Jordan," Caitlin said. "I needed your signature. I needed you alive. I'll drop by sometime. We can do lunch."
My father, who had been standing with his back to the stereo, turned to me. "Vanessa always was the busy one."
"That was Caitlin, Dad. Caitlin."
The band of nurses saw that the situation wasn't as dire as they had been led to believe. The one who held me by the arm said, "We'll wait downstairs until Tommy arrives, Mr. Grozak. If that's all right with you."
I returned to the long couch. I felt light-headed, not quite all there. I felt entirely upside down and I thought I could hear the rush of the South China Sea beneath me.
My sister and Ms. Torres were off. Ms. Haas had disappeared into the bowels of the mansion in her ongoing attempt to locate Vanessa, who was still somewhere in the stratosphere and who was in for a big surprise when she came back to earth.
My father and I were left alone with Mozart. I couldn't have told you what my Dad heard in the music. He just sat there with a dreamy look on his face But I could see why my Dad liked him. Mozart's music always resolved itself with grace, civility and aplomb. Not so some families.
But then, this is the difference between art and life, a lesson I suppose you're never too old — or too dead — to get.