The next day by faithful companion throughout this whole ordeal, Chris "Captain Cool", proposed what I thought was a great idea. To accelerate the negotiation process (which may I remind you hadn't even begun yet) he suggested that we too set up an anonymous Hotmail account and send a reply to these Neanderthals. We created the e-mail address firstname.lastname@example.org and proceeded to reply to the original message. The text of the reply, sent by Chris, went like this:
They replied the same morning with the following:
That message was absolutely shocking. Did you notice the atrocious grammar? This confirmed it - we were definitely dealing with inbreeds. They also attached three more photos of the Alien in sadistic poses:
At least these gave us some material to work with. We expectedly investigated and examined every detail in the photographs, but could come up with nothing conclusive. We are convinced that the Statue of Liberty is either a small statuette on the ledge or it is superimposed onto the picture. Either way, it is there to deceive us. It is impossible to place the house outside the car, and the model of the car is an MPV of some sort, probably a Nissan. Unfortunately the car could have belonged to anybody (like the culprit's weekly armpit hair trimmer) so though it was possible to place a few people in the department that owned that particular model of car, it was in no way conclusive.
About this time another suspect had arisen. As it transpired there was a man in the department that had pulled a similar trick before on another unsuspecting individual like myself. He had kidnapped a little stuffed elephant (whom I'm sure elicited the same love from his keeper even though it was far less cuter than Alien) and had sadistically superimposed photos of him into picturesque scenes of places like the Taj Mahal and Amsterdam. This had gone on for weeks. So, obviously, being an expert criminal psychologist I was aware that this man might be involved:
As it transpired I ruled Martin out because some of his replies when brutally interrogated were simply too genuine. Unless of course he anticipated my questions - experience breeds wisdom and Martin had pulled off similar tricks before. But for the time being anyway he was a no-go. I don't think he's smart enough to think up such a plot anyway.
And again I was stuck. During the course of the week Alien's abduction proved to be making it's rounds among the talk of the office. Everyone came round to ask me if I knew anything and every time I burst into a fountain of tears, after which I would suspect the person who asked me because they were probably only asking to appear innocent and to sadistically watch me weep my masculinity away. I was a paranoid wreck, and my life was in the shackles.
Then I got fed-up.