Chapter Two: The Man Behind The Mask
Zach Penfold, editor of newspaper, What Badge Week, wanted just one thing at his weekly news round up. ‘Who’s the man behind the mask? Who is IDentiman?’
Top news’ reporter, Susan ‘Scoop’ Shapiro huffed and provided the only answer they had, ‘At the moment, Zach, we have no idea.’ Susan felt annoyed, she wasn’t used to not having all of the answers.
IDentiman was a hero in the events industry, he was always around when there was a badging blunder, just recently he had single handedly saved MEXPO using his badging software.
‘Well find out now’ cried Penfold. ‘In fact find out sooner than now. Get down to International Confex. All the big conference hitters will be there and he is bound to be among them. Get me some news and get it fast!’
As Susan was on her way, Mallory Flowers was putting the finishing touches to Inside Edge’s stand at Confex. Flowers had started at the badge production company a year earlier as an intern and had stepped up the ladder slightly to become the junior software developer. Yet Mallory was no one’s idea of dynamic.
He was quiet, diligent and thoughtful and despite his height of over six feet he walked with a slight stoop that many thought was to do with his poor eyesight as he wore heavy, black-framed glasses.
The faded T-shirts he invariably wore showed off muscular arms that he said he developed rock climbing with his late father. He now lived at home with his mother, cycled into work every day and was rarely seen without his rucksack. Mallory wasn’t a front of house type of guy but he was needed for technical support, the rest of his team had abandoned him upon his arrival for their morning coffee break.
Susan Shapiro approached the Inside Edge trade stand as Mallory banged his head hard on the way up having just secured various plugs into the electricity circuit. ‘Ow’ said Susan as she gave Mallory her card before asking, ‘Have you ever come across IDentiman?’ at Mallorys shocked expression she said ‘You’re a badging company right? IDentiman is a badging hero, you must know of him?’
‘Oh yeah’ said Mallory looking relieved, ‘but, I am not really the person to talk to, you need to speak to my boss. She’s around here somewhere, probably getting her morning coffee.’
An announcement over the speakers got Susan’s attention, ‘Delegates wanting to join the IDentiman seminar ‘Creative and Innovative badging’ should go to the Keynote Theatre.’ Susan whipped out her floorplan and found the quickest route to the Seminar, ‘Thanks for the help kid’ she said waving as she walked away.
An hour later, Susan passed Mallory’s stand again. ‘That was great,’ she said, ‘but IDentiman would not give us anything about who he is or why he wears the mask. He dashed off as soon as the seminar finished! Did you see him?’
‘No’ said, Mallory sadly, ‘I’m afraid I was called back to the stand urgently and missed it.’ Susan looked at the group of Inside Edge employees who were chatting among themselves in boredom, she thought it odd that Mallory would be called back so urgently.
Susan looked at Mallory’s aged trainers, faded jeans and tee shirt then noticed a large blue watch on his right wrist that had started to glow.
‘Sorry,’ said Mallory glancing at his wrist, ‘I have an urgent call to attend to,’ and made for the door.
‘Surely not,’ thought Susan watching his stooped figure exit the hall. ‘Surely not.’