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The first actual police work Samantha had done in a year, and everyone was trying to sweep it under the rug as possible. Both the Captain and Hiegle had their arms crossed on the opposite side of the large desk where she sat. It was the vision of a scolding headmaster.

"Detective Hiegle did make it clear to return at once did he not?"

"And I did, we already had the girl captive when Briars checked in."

"I believe my exact words were 'drop everything and get your asses back to the precinct" Samantha glared at Dan.

"Well I wasn't the one you were speaking to was I?"

The captain cut them both off before anything could escalate. "I don't have the time or patience to deal with this. Cut the girl lose officer Wiles and report to town hall 800 hours tomorrow morning."

Samantha stood to try and stop him as he made his way to open the door of his office.

"With all due respect sir, I think that would be a mistake. She was with the para, she claims to have worked with him before."

"She's a teenage sewer rat who would sell her own mother to keep out of trouble." Dan cut in again. Samantha moved aside to let him pass her, but of course he stood still.

"Sir, may we speak in private" She moved in front of the Captain, forcing him to make eye contact with her. After a moment, and a labored sigh, he nodded Dan out of his office.

"Thank you."

"Make this worth my time Wiles"

Samantha swallowed, she'd hoped to not reveal what she knew so soon; at least not until she was sure. "I believe Holly Farstel to be a parahuman."

Whatever influence she'd had to dismiss Hiegle had evaporated. "Do you have any evidence? Did you see anything?"

"No. I just- I feel like if we let this one go we're going to regret it later."

The captain sighed again, "What I will regret, is giving Lorne more reason to pull their lobbying with government officials. In case you haven't noticed officer, the city has been on the brink ever since the tower fell, and it is all too quickly coming to a head, and it is us who will be taking the blame if things go anymore sideways. No, I don't think I will regret saving resources that could be spent searching for the literal abomination that was set loose this afternoon."

Samantha, bit back her objection and gave a stiff nod. She knew well enough that her fight was lost.

"Good. We want you at the City Hall clinic tomorrow, 8am, dress blues. Smile, look friendly, there will be pictures."

He stepped outside and closed the door behind him, leaving Samantha alone in his office; a child put in time-out the think about their actions. The desk was a mess, strewn with paper. The captain was old fashioned, one of the few that prefered to keep physical files on hand. None of the ones Samantha could see seemed of any interest, and she wasn't about to snoop around. She peered through the blinds just as the door leading to the interrogation rooms opened. Briars stepped out leading Holly.

Samantha quietly stepped outside the door surveying for either Hiegle or the Captain. With neither in sight she approached her partner.

"I'm going home for today"

"I heard, they're sending me out with Jefferson, everything okay?" The genuine worry in her voice almost made Samantha smile, if she wasnt so focused on slipping a folded piece of paper into the teenager's hand unnoticed.

"Yeah fine, they're just giving my some busy PR work at town hall, just wanted to say good bye."

"Okay, well goodbye." Briars replied, slightly confused. Samantha nodded and turned away, barely let her eyes fall on Holley, before leaving the precinct.
It took about two days for Samantha to question her discussion to work with detective Hiegel. She didn't typically allow herself regrets; staying with the same man for fifteen years wasn't done without learning a good deal of forgiveness and a general go-with-the-flow attitude. But the flow began pulling her in too many different directions at once, and Samantha felt herself wearing thin. It of course didn't help when her new boss seemed to be going out of his way to make her life miserable.

"You know I'm not in today."

"Look, we're stretched thin. Not many people I can trust with a para-hunt. But if you don't want in I can call another precinct..."

"No, damn it-" She raised her voice to be heard over the baby that had suddenly gone from sleeping to hysterical in her arms. "I'll be at precinct in twenty minutes"

"Briars is already on her way to you." She could hear the self-satisfaction in his voice above the wailing and through the phone, it was borderline impressive. Samantha closed her eyes and threw the phone on the bed for a better hold on Brady whom she began to bounce gently.

"Everything okay in here?" Joseph was standing in the doorway, all surprise and concern.

"I'm fine." She tired to give a reassuring smile as Brady's shrieks subsided to quiet whimpers. "We're both fine."

Her husband came closer and peered down at their son. "But he never cries with you."

"I think he appreciates what a P.O.S. mommy's boss is, don't you darling?" She kissed the top of Brady's head before handing him to Joseph almost absently.

"You're leaving then." It wasn't a question, and there was more than a slight edge of bitterness in his tone that made Samantha feel about a foot tall.

"Emergency meeting, they need a debrief with the city about some para activities." Samantha moved for the bathroom trying to put some distance between herself and her husband.

"I thought the whole point of this new job was that you wouldn't need to rush off like this."

He'd followed her to the bathroom, she kept her eyes focused on the mirror, tying her hair in a regulation plait.

"Well, its more specialized now. You know how it is, hundreds of suits in the streets but there are only a couple liaisons." The silence that followed her half-truth weighed too heavy to leave well alone. "My ride will be here any minute."

She moved passed him to the hallway without daring to look at his face. Staying with the same man for fifteen years made it harder to keep secrets from him.

"Okay. Love you Sam. I'll have dinner ready when you get back."

"I love you too" She turned to smile back at him, relieved at being able to give at least one whole truth, and took two steps back to kiss him before rushing to the front door. "I want Lang's!" Were her final words, just as the unmarked police car pulled to their front door.

--

"What the damage?"

Briars looked at Samantha, who was still strapping on her gear, and tossed a datapad onto the dashboard and hitting the holograph button.

Samantha squinted, trying to differentiate the text in front of the moving scenery behind the windshield.

"I get dragged out for a couple of measly phones?"

"No, that was a few hours ago. Same girl was seen meeting - fighting?" She shook her head "who cares, she was with a para before they both disappeared."

"And our little thief forgot to de-chip the phones." Samantha finished as she clasped her helmet in place. A map displayed itself on the inside screen, showing their location and destination. "Whats our info on the para?"

"No a lot, no one got a very good look. Gamma they think, speed related. A couple odd rumors about a guy in a mask, apparently a sort of boogie-man in some parts of the city."

Samantha nodded silently. The little blinking red light marking the phone's location wasn't in the best part of town, and it had stopped moving for longer than she would have liked. She began reading the more detailed report as her partner sped through the worst of the center-city traffic to the quieter south streets.

"Wiles, Briars" The helmet earpiece crackled to life with Dan's voice. "Your guys have been leaving a bit of a blood trail."

Sam toggled the map display on her helmet off and tucked the data-pad away between their seats. "Stop here Briars, I don't want the car tipping them off. Whats the report Dan?"

"We're having a hell of a time getting numbers; was in the sewers. A few reports about some gang violence a bit further back on your route we're still looking into. But you should know that the para is armed with a blade of some sort. I'll send along details as we find them."

"Ready?" Despite herself, Samantha was almost giddy with excitement she hadn't felt since her first few weeks on the force. This was what she'd signed on for.

Her partner nodded without a word, and the two officers left their car locked on the side street and began clearing the surrounding alleyways. It wasn't long until they spotted the couple walking almost leisurely back towards the more populated streets. The seemed rather calm for a pair of thieves and murders, but the strange silhouette of the taller one and a nod from Briars cinched it. Samantha drew her regulation firearm and called out to them.

"MPD, Hands up and turn around!"
Is it that time of year again?
The precinct was in utter chaos when Samantha arrived. The tech division, usually hidden away in their own rooms were spread throughout, grabbing at every computer or data-pad they could find; anything with an internet connection. Normally Samantha would have been curious about how exactly they planned to track down an anonymous source that was apparently able to hit the entire city, instead she was more than a little ticked off that she hadn't been called in to even help. It wasn't as though she and Briars had done anything all day. She unclasped her helmet and made a turn for the change-rooms, only continue, making the turn a full circle before pressing her helmet into her partner's hands.

"Put this on my locker for me? I'll be back in a minute."

Briars gave her a confused look before peering around the corner, taking note of the impatiently waiting Captain, then nodded and took the helmet under her own arm. Samantha mouthed a silent thank you, then made an inconspicuous dash for the elevator.

The detective's floor was notably less chaotic than the lower bull-pen. Undoubtedly it had more to do with the individualized offices and lack of end-of-shift processing line up. Upstairs was too good for public urination cases it seemed. Samantha could swear even the smell was different, but her reverence was quickly dismissed after receiving one too many confused looks at her near-fully uniformed appearance. She slid into Dan Hiegle's office without knocking.

"Captain's looking for you" Samantha's former partner didn't even look up from his desk to great her.

"I forgot how charming you can be." She approached his desk just as he snatched up the data-pad he was reading, keeping its contents just out of her view. "Seems like quite the mess down there, could probably use some help."

Dan placed the pad into a drawer and slammed it shut with much more force than was probably needed. "Formality, Lorne's breathing down our necks but the hack is being shifted off to another precinct. We've got enough on our plate."

Still apparently not enough to share with her though. There wasn't anywhere to sit, Samantha surveyed the room for some hidden chair in a corner. "Seriously do you just hate guests?"

"What do you want Sam?"

She consigned to lean against the desk, Dan obviously hated it, but made no motion other than to fold his arms. "You know what I want. I want my job back."

"It's not my fault you left Sam, and just because you think you're ready to come back-"

"I'm not even talking about the detective job Dan. I just want to be a real cop again, I'm sick of teaching some kid how to do a road-stop."

"I figured you'd like Briars"

He wasn't missing the point, but ignoring it entirely. Samantha retaliated in her own manner by leaning in and batting her eyes. "She's no you Heigle."

Dan scoffed, but at least gave something that could have been, in some universe, construed as a reaction. She'd hit enough buttons, and pushed the issue. "Come on, just one little request to put me on your team. Don't you owe me that?"

"I don't owe you shit."

Bullshit. She could practically feel the guilt radiating off it, buried deep under his eternal aura of smugness. But after working together for almost a decade, she knew conceding to his pride would go further than tugging on heart strings. "Fine. We're even. But I still deserve this."

"Fine." He was abrasive, but even that was far to easy for the Dan she knew. She stared at him for a few brief moments, trying to measure his attitude before realizing.

"You already talked to the captain."

"Yes."

"And?"

"You have to take the PR job on top" Samantha stood up straight again, glanced to the open office door, and did her best to reel herself in. "Do you want to job or not?"

"Why does he want me so bad in the first place?"

"People are scared, ever since the tower they're not sure who to trust. A pretty young mom being the face of the masked police force isn't a bad move."

"Don't flatter me Dan. You're coming out of this an ass in my book either way." And with a bright gold star next to his name in someone else's for doing what the captain had failed to for weeks no doubt.

"You'll take it?"

"Of course I'm going to take it." She turned back to Dan and reached out a gloved hand. "I expect to get some real action here Hiegel."

Dan accept her hand, a small smirk of satisfaction threatening to break his suave facade. "See you in the morning Officer Wiles."
Just going to leave this here I guess...

after they've been purified, they'll be reincarnated into a new body somewhere in the universe, and then you can obviously no longer converse with them since they're alive again.

Now, that's how it normally works. But if a person has "unfinished business", or something that strong ties them to the world, they can continue to linger on as a spirit. I imagine that's what happened with your character's witch friend.


Without the incarnation, this is largely what I had assumed, it's good to know the varying time limits, could make things interesting. I'll mention something about the constriction in the CS, is there anything else about it that needs changing?
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