May 17, Somewhere in South Carolina, 7:24 AM
The crisply cool water of the creek soothingly chuckled among the rocks on a late spring morning. The dense verge of forest on the opposite bank was teeming with song birds, their voices adding to the relaxing splendor of the location. Above the creek ran an old steel truss bridge, only a few beams still maintaining a couple of stained, faded flecks of pale blue paint, the rest the slightly mottled, dusty rust-red. Duncan was hunched next to the stream, flexing his fingers in the water, wincing slightly as the water bit into the abraded bark of his skin. Wringing his hands together, he made sure he hadn't broken any bones, before slowly rising and shaking the water from his hands. Closing his eyes, he saw the distorted face of what was a man; and grimaced. It wasn't the first man he had nearly killed, he kept trying to remind himself that they were traffickers, of humans and deltas. Everyone from kids, to any Delta with a power they could sell, were they really human?
"Murderer." It fell from his lips with weighted breath as he crouched, bringing his hands to his temples. He likely was. The gurgling gasps of agonal breathing...He could hear it, echoing in his mind. He could see the room, the single dim light bulb, the child with sunken eyes, malnourished, yet so despondent, they didn't even seem to react to what they witnessed. There were three others he found in the chaos that came next. He left the two he escaped with outside of a hospital, and took off.
Electronic chirping pulled him out of his own head. He retrieved the phone from the pocket of his jacket, to watch it shut off from low power. A deep breath dragged in, shuddering, before he released it. "Need to move," whispering to himself, helped to motivate his mind. Rising, Duncan pocketed his phone, and looked over the serene view one last time, hoping previous night wouldn't tarnish this memory. Turning, his heavy boots tearing up some of the dew-wet grass, and sandy soil, as he climbed the embankment back to the road, where his beat up International waited. He paused to check the rear bench, clean. The bloody rag was now floating down the stream to wherever it may end up. He rounded the front of the large truck, and climbed into the driver's seat, the door slammed closed, with a bit of a rattle. The engine fired with the raucous clatter of an old diesel, and he pulled away. Heading south.
Following the last things he had coaxed the man to say, "Radko. Charity Beach."
June 11, Charity Beach, Noon
Duncan was still unsure exactly what he felt about Florida, the heat and humidity were strange, though the intense sunlight did make him feel more...alive somehow. He wasn't sure if he really photosynthesized anything, but he did feel like the bright sun invigorated him much more than normal, back home in Alaska. Still, he reclined on the bench, overlooking the beach from the boardwalk, his head exposed, with the dull brown scale-like bark-skin soaking in the sun, his dull yellowish-green hair, close cropped, shaven on the sides. He wore simple clothing, the lightweight, long sleeved hooded shirt of light grey, and a pair of durable blue jeans, over work-worn steel-toe boots. He took a sip of the bottled water he carried, and watched the people below. He was genuinely curious what this festival was going to be like, and torn between hoping nothing would happen, or that some idiot would decide that tonight was the perfect time to abduct another child, so he could have another chance of getting another lead.