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13 days ago
I tried balancing my likes, thanks and laughs- they called me a madman.
4 mos ago
We should set the clocks back a half hour then never touch them again.
4 mos ago
We dumped your tea and kept our guns.
4 mos ago
It's quality over quantity. A good writer can say a lot with a few words.
5 mos ago
Don't give up on your dreams, keep sleeping.


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Paige Kennedy & Milo Ventri

Paige swifty stepped into the front seat tossing her bag and pulling the door closed firmly behind her while Milo likewise did the same in the passenger cabin. She had rode in a helicopter before and paid little attention to Marlin’s safety briefing as she first fastened her restraints and adjusted the headset mic as if she owned the helicopter. The Daedalus fleet was significantly more posh than the smaller, utilitarian ones used by the Florida Highway Patrol. The heat was running nicely and felt good against her exposed legs that were chilled after crossing the open air of the football field. The English girl was at least prompt as she continued to speak and the rotors quickly picked up overhead pulling them off the manicured turf before they were easily clearing the cheap seats of the stadium and the high nightlights.

God she likes to talk…Paige thought sorting through her bag and still listening passively in the background as Marlin mentioned something about “flying low” and “unofficial training” which seemed more than a little unprofessional, but her regular stoic expression remained unchanged. Finding her phone, she looked for a saved link from the FAA that displayed air traffic around Sol City and over the coast towards their filed destination. Turning the phone in her hand as the cityscape moved outside the windscreen, she flipped and zoomed the map adjusting the settings until she found what she was looking for: a single flight, departing from the river moving west. The tail number was registered to an amphibious aircraft and a private owner. She screenshot the information and glanced up briefly.

There was no novelty in flight to Paige, it was strictly transportation, just a faster and more convenient method. It seemed like Marlin really enjoyed it and had probably seen a few too many movies the way she spoke so dramatically and assumed there was going to be some element of imminent danger where they were going. Catalina Island was still publicly accessible, though rarely visited and Paige was confident the people they were after would have no idea they were coming. What happened after that could go several different ways, but Marlin would be long gone by then. Her eyes scanned the city as it passed by and they picked up some altitude against a light jostle of turbulence. She couldn’t care less about bridesmaids dresses or English weddings. The faster Marlin was gone, the better.

What was a surprise was the girl’s sudden question about Bob. Paige looked ahead considering her words as Marlin spoke. In all honesty, with the Giancana case in full-swing, she hadn’t gone back to Bob’s file in several days to catch up on what Lupe and his band of delinquents were up to since their handler was behind bars. “Yes…” She said as some of the memories of the night played in her mind. “He was holed up downtown,” She turned and her expression lightened some at the comedy of it all knowing she couldn’t tell everything. “...In the Ritz” She added with some sarcastic amusement and a slight flair of her eyebrows. “I checked a few leads and we got a good tip on when we could grab him and it worked out. Things usually don’t go that smooth, but it was a good catch.” She thought about the others. Bob had spilled on a certain ill-fated soiree the posse had been involved in around the town of Cabo San Lucas. “The rest of them have been laying low for a while, you may not ever see them again.” Her momentary eye-to-eye glance with Marlin carried the full weight of the information she held back. “...but even if you do, they’re in some deep shit either way.”

Milo observed casually from the back. He had nothing to say to Marlin. He was done with their family, but what was amusing was watching Paige use them for her schemes. For all the years that he had known her, he knew she could be the most cold and calculating woman on the planet one moment and the next turn on her southern charms with a wink and a country-girl accent. Whatever it took to get what she wanted. She made acquaintance with Marlin for her own convenience, not from any sense of friendship. If some other pilot just happened to have been on the field, she would have talked her way into it all the same.

As he watched the city go by beneath them, he thought about what it was he had gotten himself into, about Paige and about Ana as well. Feeling the weight of his partially disassembled rifle in the bag at his feet he let his mind wonder. The two of them were so different. Only a few months ago he never would have dreamed in his wildest imaginations that he would be with Paige. Maybe it was his own sense of adventure that lured him. She was always into something exciting and it was like watching a wildfire blaze out of control across a dry forest, mesmerizing; while Ana had been the image of class: quiet, beautiful and unpretentious like a sunset over the ocean and equally as captivating. If for some reason he didn’t come back from the island he felt lucky for having known both of them.

He crossed his leg over for a moment as if he were on a regular flight watching Paige talking from the cockpit in silence as the mic was off. She assured him that if things went badly, he only needed to worry about shooting straight and she would handle the details. His own sense of justice was starving for closure. He remembered how they had nearly killed her and it was only luck that she survived. The memories of the night passed behind his eyes as the tide fell on the beach below them.

Paige Kennedy & Milo Ventri

Paige immediately set about checking Agent Barrett’s pockets as quickly as possible though she couldn’t help but smile some at Milo’s appearance and absolute perfect timing. The other man was getting away and they had to move if they were going to catch him. She dumped the contents of his wallet scanning frantically for any clue to his presence behind the sealed door, but finding little other than credit cards, IDs and a few pictures of his children. However, she did pocket the key card he’d apparently used to get inside.

Milo watched carefully, “How is it that the key cards are working?” He said. “I thought the power was out?” He looked around the dark hallway then glanced over into the field at the parked helicopters.

Paige straightened up momentarily at the realization and the moment replayed in her mind. The man she was after used a card, she’d seen it herself and door opened obediently. It was possible the facility was on a backup generator or something similar, but the counter staff had to manually open the security system for her to get through. “Oh my God,” She looked at the card in her hand then at Barrett. “We’ve gotta get out of here.” She stuffed the card in her bag and started to get up, but again hesitated.

“Yea, I guess you didn’t get my text?” Milo checked his watch. He had a bag slung over his other shoulder that had become slightly off-balance from dispensing of Agent Barrett and he adjusted it slightly. The weight of it was evident. “Seaplane just landed in the river.”

Her mind was racing as her hands, very carefully using a t-shirt from her bag, took Barrett’s sidearm and cycled the action ejecting one bullet on to the floor.

“What are you doing?” Milo asked.

“Insurance.” She kept her fingers covered from touching directly onto the casing and deposited it into her bag before putting the gun back in his holster. Barrett groaned slightly, beginning to regain consciousness. “How did you get in here on this side?” Gathering her things back together, she rose to her feet and looked Milo hard in the eye.

“Guy came out the side, bookin’ it. I caught the door before it closed.” Milo said. His glance narrowed slightly back at her. Her piercing stares had no effect on him. He’d been on the receiving end enough times to build up a sort of tolerance for it. “...Why?”

“What was he wearing?”

“Gym clothes, I dunno…” He scratched at his beard some knowing she wanted a more thorough description and certainly not, I don’t know, however Paige’s line of questioning became rapidly apparent: “That was our guy wasn’t it? …Shit... He growled shaking his head and clenching a fist, continuing to curse at himself within his own thoughts.

“We’ll never catch him now,” Paige said and looked back down at the helicopters on the field. “But we know where he’s going.”

Paige Kennedy

The message wasn’t from Milo and neither was it anything she expected, but popped right up as her phone obediently unlocked; just two images: a pair of black shorts and a gray shirt, what looked like men’s gym clothes. Paige’s brow furrowed slightly. She still had a Delta City area code and wrong numbers were not at all common for her in Sol City. Her lips twisted slightly in annoyance, but as she looked up briefly she saw it. The very same clothes as the image. They were on a wiry framed man. He looked about middle-age with short hair and had ears that were distinct, cauliflowered like a boxer. She could only catch a few glances as people passed between them across the lobby. He carried a bag over shoulder and was moving away from her quickly. Raising back up to her feet she watched him swiftly access a secured door where he casually swiped a magnetic card and moved along.

She didn’t think, just reacted, feeling for her star inside her bag. She produced it quickly as she rambled up to the reception counter at the center of the lobby. People regarded her frantic pace strangely and the staff that were calmly chatting looked on her at first with a sort of childish amusement. “Can I help you?”

“Open that door.” She commanded flatly and nodding where the man had just slipped away.

“I’m sorry that door is for staf-”

“Open the Goddamn door!” Paige growled back through her teeth, green eyes blazing beneath her cap and cutting off the woman. She slapped her leather badge holder on the counter top showing the silver star to all who had taken notice. “Please.

The receptionist looked dumbfounded and slightly embarrassed, but very quietly tapped a few commands into her keyboard. Paige didn’t bother to look back as she took off for the door and only caught a fleeting glimpse of one of the staff picking up the phone as she shot through the newly unlocked doorway. It occurred to her that “GD” was probably not the best choice of words immediately after submitting a prayer to the Almighty, but her mind was focused again. She was moving. He couldn’t have got that far in only a few seconds. Her thoughts raced. The corridor ahead was long with various sports offices along the side. Considering the man’s pace, she was sure he wouldn’t likely be stopping and she was somewhere between a healthy jog and a sprint as her running shoes patted against the firm office carpet. She was still carrying her badge in one hand while her bag bounced along behind and she was again glad for changing clothes.

Windows lined the opposing side of the corridor viewing the football field below and again she felt her anticipation screaming that she was on the right track. There were two Daedalus helicopters parked along midfield, rotors drooping gently at rest. If one of them was Marlin then her luck was soaring again. She glanced, midstride, partly watching where she was going as a corner approached and partly seeing a couple people talking next to the machines on the field. One was female, definitely blonde. YES! Her thoughts screamed as she rounded the corner... and ran face first into a black and white suit-clad figure. For a split second she only caught the flash of a red tie directly in front of her eyes as she heard the wind knocked out of him and she hit the floor. Her eyes instantly shot back towards the obstacle and the heavy set figure that did not likewise topple over; finding the less than imposing, overweight yet barrier-like figure of FBI Agent Barrett.

“Gah! What the hell!” He roared nearly losing his glasses. Pushing the frames firmly back up his wrinkled nose, his other hand instinctively gripped his sidearm as he regained his bearings.

Paige knew she was fast, but not fast enough to pull her own gun from her bag- It was first her first reaction as well, but he had her dead to rights. She got up slowly, feeling her pulse slamming through her veins as his hand rested on the grip and he recognized her.

“Well, isn’t this just perfect timing Marshal Kennedy.” His hand didn’t move from the pistol. “I was just about to call Chief Deputy Sterling to put a BOLO out on you, but this will save me the trouble.”

“For what?” Paige snarled. She stood defensively in a staggered stance with her hands at her sides. He wasn’t going to take her in. If he pulled on her, she was just going to kick his ass. She never believed in the twenty-one foot rule, but was willing to bet her life on being able to put a fifty year old man on the ground before he could clear his holster.

He grinned through coffee and cigarette stained teeth. “I have the video of you collaborating with Shannon Giancana to set up Elvin Santos’ murder. I knew you were dirty, Marshal, and I’m going to prove it. You may have got away with it in Delta City, but not here.”

That was it. Paige wasn’t sure, down deep at the molecular level, maybe somewhere atomic or even smaller, where the first audio-neural receptor received the words out of Barrett’s disgusting face, but that was where the fire ignited inside her soul, exploded down her arm into a clenched fist that was programmed and aimed directly at the man’s sweaty nose, but before she could unload, Barrett hit the floor face first before her in a heap.

Milo glanced down at the unconscious body between them and rubbed his forearm slightly, then looked up at Paige’s outfit quizzically. ”Guess they cancelled Sweatin’ to the Oldies, huh?”

Paige Kennedy

Paige wasn’t entirely sure why she was headed to the Luna Sports Facility other than when she heard it on the scanner earlier next to Club Aether, her instincts simply told her GO and her gut feeling seldom ever let her down. The small light bar on the dash of her BMW scattered the traffic for the most part and she made it to the expansive parking lot of LSF only catching a few glimpses of the smoking MODUS building along the way. Elvin was dead and his office was on fire, but it would have to be dealt with later. Sol City Fire & Rescue wouldn’t be letting anyone near an active blaze. Her frustration mounted. The whole morning felt like they had been set completely back to zero and she gritted her teeth furiously at the thought. Nothing Shannon said had been true, but the fact that CT had unknowingly seemed to verify it was even more unsettling. She stopped to text Milo where she was and flung the door open letting the heat of the interior clash against the cool morning again.

Staring at the massive facility, she stopped in her tracks momentarily before closing the door. The parking lot was still mostly full and people were chatting outside, coming and going, even making light of the situation. In spite of the morning she was having, it was interesting to remember that to the average citizen, things still weren’t that off-kilter: There was a fire in a high-rise and an unfortunate gas ignition at The Run had exploded overnight. Fires happened and gas exploded- Power outages happened. It was still Friday and people were glad for the weekend, everything else be damned. Paige glanced back inside the car at her gym bag and then back towards the entrance. Her instincts again tickled at her subconscious. The bright yellow lettering on her blue Marshal’s jacket would make her arrival evident along with her standard brash entrance. Her lips twitched in consideration, playing out the possibilities in her head before she tossed her jacket in the trunk, tucked her gun and badge in her gym bag and set off.

Not wanting to go through the main entryway, she found what she was looking for in a local contractor working to restore the outage. A service-van was parked on the curb outside an emergency exit and the technician had propped open the door with a cone saving the trouble of having to continually unlock the mechanical handle. Her intuition was forming a clearer picture and she was sure she was being followed as she swiftly ducked through the open door unseen.

The corridor inside was dimly lit in a blue-gray wash of light from backup power. Still, she could hear the sound of conversation from the lobby echoing through the walls. The area she entered was not a part of the regular facility, but reserved for the professional sports teams. She crept carefully along the wall passing various posters and placards displaying the Sol City Angels football team that she so loathed until she found a women’s restroom and checked over her shoulder before going inside using the light of her cellphone.

Reemerging a few moments later Paige’s glance was partially concealed under the brim of a weathered Florida baseball cap. The rest of her ensemble blended in nicely with those congregating in the lobby: A black form-fitting tank top, some olive drab shorts and high-socks that matched the hat with black sneakers. She ran a hand through her ponytail tucked through the cap and put her phone against her face as she walked though there was no call on the line. The lobby was in a fairly jovial attitude, much like the outside and with the power outage the smoothie bar was giving away the entire stock for free before it spoiled. With the outage it seemed the management hadn’t even attempted to vacate the building, but were merely just trying to wait it out like everyone else. Scanning, she walked on between small gatherings and others making calls or simply hanging out. The sound of free-weights clanging from the gym amidst more chatter could even be heard with the regular ambient music silenced. The great skylights of the lobby made visibility at least somewhat workable though the realization that was catching up with her finally brought her to a stop and she leaned against the wall dropping her bag and sliding down to the floor.

The trail was cold…

She didn’t know what or who she was looking for and felt stupid for changing her clothes just to blend into the crowd. Her senses felt scrambled, like a bloodhound that had lost the scent and she felt it was the fact that she didn't know what do that she was really running from and not some unknown pursuer. There were no leads and nowhere to go. While she sat alone watching everyone moving about so careless and oblivious, Nikki and his thugs were likely laughing at the whole Marshal Service operation and her especially. It was supposed to be her big opportunity, her big score and instead the whole day had been a complete disaster just like everyone else that attempted to tackle the Giancana file. She felt exactly as she had when they told her she was being reassigned from Delta to Sol City: Completely Defeated. She hung her head. Goddamnit Paige, you fucking dumbass. She thought. Her mind was blank as she stared ahead at the carpet, cursing herself silently. Different faces passed through her mind: Milo, Sio, her fellow Marshals- She didn’t want to show her face back at the office and she thought about how the others would view her failure. No one would say anything openly, but it would just be there like a wet blanket on her career right next to being transferred from her home and in the din of a moment she hated herself. An image of her father drifted behind her eyes and as she thought about him, did something she hadn’t done in years.

She prayed.

It wasn’t anything reverent or even particularly spiritual, but it felt right and she knew her dad would be glad she had done it. She sat alone watching, thinking about how she could possibly make a living as a private investigator when her phone blinked with a new message on the floor next to her. Thinking it was likely Milo, she swiped her thumb.
@MST3K 4ever

You got plenty of time, go for it. We're gonna do an epilogue after this skip to finish off the chapter.
Coleman St. John

“Yeah, I dance,” Cole replied with a smirk that implied where the rest of his tone was going, “About as well as you say you can relax.” He studied her face cooly for a moment from across the table letting the jab playfully sink in some. He could see her mind drifting off some towards the students as usual. She had a clear tell when they were on her mind. The past few days had her busy taking care of transfers and other drama which usually seemed to revolve around the the same five or six “frequent flyers” as they came to borrow from the police slang. However, he knew how difficult it could be to detach from work and that it was never really possible in either of their respective roles. Looking away from her briefly as the last vestiges of day were officially gone and ambient night lights covered the city, he could sense the familiar, lingering premonition still in the back of his mind. Sometimes it would hang in his consciousness for days, weeks even, a slowly forming picture that never went away until it was satisfied. He’d never told anyone about it, but he’d never met anyone like Kaylee or the other students and staff of the Institute. Somehow it remained hidden from their heightened awareness.

The nature of her question allowed him the opportunity to hide it away in consideration and he rubbed at his stubble a bit listening to the ambient music being played, His expression fell noticeably as the song changed. “God, I hate that song...” He said with a small shake of his head. The feeling in the back of his mind was building with the haunting growl of Layne Staley’s voice connecting down to the pit of his heart like a roiling fire in the distant night. He drank from his own water and glanced around slowly keeping his expression neutral and returning his thoughts to her question. “Tough one though,” He said, thinking. “This sounds like one of your entrance exam questions.” A few names played through his head, all truthful candidates to the prompt, but he wasn’t going to let her off so easy by only mentioning one. In the back of his mind he reached for the biggest contrast he could come up with just to see her reaction. “Carl Sagan probably would be one… and Jesus? Can I say Jesus or is this another trick question?” His smirk returned. “Oh, and Jimmy Buffett too, that would be fun.”

Joel Nicolosi

Joel drove up and parked under the service tent finding Sio waiting. After discovering the wrecked car, they doubled back and took the parkway more directly to the old mill where the team was based. He was mildly irritated they couldn’t finish their practice stage and was really in the zone when they abruptly stopped. If the car had been empty, then they would have picked back up and kept going and in his own private thoughts, Joel had thought about doing it anyway. He’d been around cars his whole life and was uniquely aware of how stupid people could be behind the wheel. More than a few of his creations had met similar ends as the white Bentley, with many of those endings being decidedly more gruesome for their owners. At any rate, they were nearly done with the stage and would have been headed back anyway, so it wasn’t a total loss and he felt like he’d done his civic duty for the year.

Shutting the engine down, he and Max stepped out as the crew set to work. Joel took his helmet and Hans restraint off running a hand through his matted hair a few times while giving a quick wink and a smirk to Sio. The cold air felt good against the sweat that accumulated over his face and he rubbed his eyes as she spoke. The team boss told them over the radio about the excitement going on in town and he was glad enough to be miles away from it. He’d come to like the mountains more and more in his time with Rebellion and the prospect of making a move was becoming increasingly more appealing: Clean air, quiet and no drama. All he needed was a south facing cabin and some garage space. However, Sio’s admission that she had nearly been in the midst of the trouble caused his expression to fade some. Empathy wasn’t really one of his strengths and he really didn’t know what to say. She was here with him, distracting the crew with her cooking and looks and that was perfect. There was no need to worry about the rest.

“Yeah, I called it in.” Joel replied nonchalant. “Looked like someone probably had too much to drink and went over the side.” He said. “It happens.” He leaned back and looked at her for a moment not entirely sure if she was trembling from the cold or from genuine fear. Taking her wrist firmly under his driving glove, he placed her hand firmly on his stomach with a lopsided smirk in time for her to feel and audibly hear the grumble of emptiness underneath his driving suit. “I’m so hungry, I don’t care what it is,” He said seeing other members of the crew, including his co-driver listening intently at the prospect of a freshly prepared meal like meerkats peeking over the plain on their hind legs. The team headquarters was comfortably furnished and often staffed by a professional chef, though in Joel’s experience, Sio’s cooking was every bit as good as the pros. “Hope you made enough for the whole class.”

Coleman St. John

The ride down the mountain back into town went smoothly. The exhaust popped and growled with every gear change and the weather was the perfect balance against the heat coming off the engine beneath them as the old cracked pavement flowed beneath them. Kaylee’s grip was firm behind him and she smartly leaned with the turns as he angled the bike over the sidewalls. He couldn’t remember the last time he carried a passenger, but the piercing feeling that spurred in his conscience when she first got on, like the millimeter point of a needle, continued to feel like it was being pushed slowly through his chest. His grip on the handlebars was firm and he knew there was no doubt she could sense it. The wind blew against them and the expanse of the city towards the Pacific flashed by between the trees. He could feel his leather glove crack against the throttle.

The small venue wasn’t much more than a hole in the wall, not far from the Rose Bowl and still at some elevation, affording a comfortable view of the rest of the city spotted by evening lights and the setting sun. In the outlaw fashion, Cole backed up his bike into an open space with the front forks facing back towards the highway. The clientele was fairly middle-class like most of the dirt parking lot: Fords, Chevies, Asian imports and the occasional BMW or Audi convertible. Cole returned a few of the gawking glances the bike drew with a short wave and a modest grin as he helped Kaylee where just for a moment their hands touched. Several old trees folded over the small clubhouse providing shade against the evening sun. The simple banner above the front door read in a weathered old font The Blue Dahlia. Music was already pumping out into the open air and the sound of raucous laughter and jovial Friday night chatter greeted all those that arrived.

Cole let his grin remain somewhat at Kaylee’s question and quick retreat from it. He knew the curiosity was eating her alive. He gave a small shrug and let her hook her arm under his. “Maybe in a little while, let’s see what’s going on in here.”

The band was a local favorite and surprisingly good. A male and female vocalist who both played as well as a bassist and a drummer. They hit a few of the classics and a some originals. The atmosphere was great and Cole had to admit that he was having a pretty good time. Their table, only a few meters away from the band on the back patio, sat beneath one of the large trees that shaded the property and grew up through the wooden decking that was built around it. A combination of strung lights and tiki-torches lit the air as evening took over. Cole leaned back slightly in his chair and balanced himself against the rough bark of the old tree with one hand as the band finished a set and decided to take a break. There hadn’t been a lot of room for conversation against the thrall of guitar riffs and pounding drums. “I have to say, I’m not usually a cover-band person, but this has been a pretty good choice.” He said with some satisfaction. His apprehension from earlier had subsided, but there was another feeling creeping in, one much more familiar. He glanced out over the cityscape for a moment hearing the familiar sound of sirens in the distance, helicopter rotor blades and the regular cadence of flights descending over the mountains from Las Vegas. Someone put on a music stream as the band had a few drinks and relaxed and the volume of conversations rose slightly. “Relax,” He said giving Kaylee’s chair a nudge with a smirk. She was loosening up and having a good time after a couple drinks, but he could tell the students were still on her mind.

Paige Kennedy

The wind shifted briefly curling the smoke and embers away through the morning sky. It was cold downtown, damn cold. Like the first time she arrived in Sol City fresh out of Florida. Paige leaned against the front of her car wrapped her in heavy blue Marshal’s jacket as police worked the perimeter around the scene. There wasn’t much to do as there wasn’t much left. A pumper truck arrived through the barricades to help bed down the remaining flames. She ran a finger over her lips looking on at what was left of Club Aether. They had heeded her warning and no one was around when the explosion levelled the building. In truth, she wasn’t sure what would happen, but the lead up just kept them in the back of her mind: The fight, the bad press, the arrests, the sales and the offers. One thing was for sure, the demise of the Club was definitely not an accident, but it made no sense. Why would Nikki destroy a building he was just trying to add to list? Elvin wasn’t answering his phone.

Wisps of blonde danced over her eyes burning forward in thought, not focused on anything. He could have poisoned the water or just had the owner killed outright. The Syndicate had the resources. No, he was proving a point. He didn’t really need the property. It was just like Shannon had said, Sol City was his big move, but there was no motion at any of the banks. Paige knew the Club had to be the distraction, but from what? She exhaled a breath of frustration. They were definitely pros. The closer she got to them, the better they seemed at covering their tracks. The files were like tracking a ghost. She felt sorry for Dustynn. The girl didn’t know what was really going on and Paige knew that telling them the extent of their case against the Giancanas would have only put all of them in greater danger. For now they were still alive and that was enough. If Nikki wanted them dead, he wouldn’t just stop at blowing up the building. Her phone buzzed inside her jacket and she dug it out finding a call incoming from Xi.

“Hey, you at the Club still?” Xi said in his regular, unphased monotone.

Paige came out of her thoughts at the sound of his voice. “Yeah, I’m still here, what have you got?” She couldn’t hide the disappointment in her voice at how things were going on the ground and hoped he had good news. It felt like they were starting over from scratch.

“You talked to Santos?” Xi asked.

“No, you got a line on him?”

“Yeah,” Xi replied. There was a short pause in his voice and Paige instinctively knew the news was definitely not good. He sighed a slight breath of exasperation before he continued. “Yeah, staties found his car wrecked over a mountainside out west. Somebody called it in, local race team or somethin’.”

“Shit,” Paige spat. “You’re there aren’t you?” Her glance narrowed. She didn’t feel an ounce of sympathy for Elvin, but she did feel like she was missing a lead that could help them.


There was silence between them for a moment. She wasn’t about to board a chopper and fly out all the way to the mountain range. She would have to concede that one to her partner. Her competitive nature firmly took its stance. There was more coming, she knew it, it had to.

“At first they thought the steering wheel caught him right on the temporal when he went over the side, but if you look close... you can see the knuckle marks.”

Paige’s eyes widened slightly at the scene imagined, “Jesus…” She immediately regretted uttering the broken commandment as if sensing her father’s unapproving glare within earshot and she happened a glance over her shoulder. An officer came around passing out cups of coffee and she took one listening to Xi on the other side of the line and a radio attached to the officer’s lapel as he passed by. “Hold on Xi,” She tucked the phone in the crane of her neck and snatched the radio off the man’s chest while he was still passing, hearing the sound of a familiar name come across the channel. The officer cut her a sharp stare, but she batted her eyelashes enough to disarm his apprehension for a few seconds. “What did they just say?”

Seeing the large, circled star on her jacket, the officer smugly accepted his radio back and asked for a repeat of the last call:

“Power outage reported at Luna Sports Facility”

“I’ll call you back, I’m going to the stadium.”
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