The Plot Thickens

They arrived at the apartment that the dead girl shared.  Her roommate was the one who had reported her missing.  Sometimes, that meant they were the responsible party.  After all, what better way to sway suspicion away from yourself than to be the one to call the authorities?  At the same time, Bugsy doubted that was the case here.  The girl’s roommate was a warden.

He nodded when she opened the door for them.  “Miss Carlisle?” he said, arching his brows.

“Warden Carlisle,” she said, nodding.  As she stepped back to let them into the apartment, her brows furrowed.  “Whatever you’re going to tell me can’t be good.  Agents don’t get involved in simple disappearances.”

“Not typically,” Malcolm admitted.  He sighed.  “Warden Carlisle, I’m Malcolm Smith.  This is Jared Smith.”

Jared nodded.  “Your roommate, Harmony Blair, was found in a local park… in the river.  She appears to have drowned.”

Carlisle cursed softly and then sat down.  She cursed again and looked at them.  “I – I should get you some tea,” she said.

“I’ll do it,” Malcolm said, patting her hand.  “You’ve had a shock.  Just take a moment.”

As he headed off to the kitchen, Jared sat down opposite Carlisle.  “Did Miss Blair have any enemies?” he asked.

She bit off a laugh that held no humor.  “She didn’t, but her father definitely does,” she said.  “He’s Jacob Blair.”

Jared grimaced.  Boss Blair’s daughter had just died – quite probably been murdered.  Someone was going to be in serious trouble when the old man found out.  Someone was liable to get fitted for a pair of cement overshoes and make their bed in the bay when he caught up to them.

Visions of Ophelia

He frowned at the young woman floating face-up in the water.  Evidence said that she had drowned.  In spite of her cause of death, she still looked young and lovely.  Perhaps that was because they’d come onto the scene so quickly.

Shaking his head, he turned to his companion.  “What do we know about her?” he asked.

Mack frowned.  “Her roommate reported her as missing,” he said, looking at his field notebook.  “She was late returning from work.  Co-workers said that she seemed upset when she left.”  He grimaced and added, “A local kid found the body.”

Sighing, Bernie said, “She’s like Ophelia.”  When they all turned to frown at him, he shrugged.  “Like in that play by Shakespeare?  You know, she went a little crazy and ended up falling in a river and drowning.”

Nodding, he looked back at the body.  Then, he turned to the medical examiner.  “We’ve got what we need,” he said.  “You can get her out of there any time you want.”  As she nodded, he turned away.  The question was: had she suffered a tragic accident, killed herself or been murdered.  That was, in fact, what they were there to figure out.

“What’s first?” Bruno asked, his voice soft.

Nodding, he looked around at his team.  “We’ll talk to the roommate,” he said.  He pointed at Mack and Bernie.  “You two, interview the co-workers.”  He turned to the last two members of his team.  “Stay with the body and get whatever evidence the ME finds.”

Once you decide to do right, life is easy – no distractions.

“Why can’t things be just a bit easier?” Chris groused. When Ezra bit off a laugh, he looked up at his companion with a frown. “Something funny about that, Ezra?”

Shrugging, Ezra said, “I just… I realize these assignments aren’t simple. Nothing is ever quite so straightforward as it seems.” He looked thoughtful. “When I was with the Organization – the Underground, if you prefer – I always had to be careful what I said. Would I be caught in a lie? Would someone realize that I was forging artwork? Would I say or do something that would displease my superiors?”

“Yeah,” Chris said, blinking. He nodded. “What’s the point?”

“I just find things a great deal easier – far less worrisome – now that I’m out of that group,” Ezra said. He shrugged. “The only thing I have to ask myself now is, is this the right thing to do?”

A faint smile touched Chris’s lips. He chuckled softly. “That kind of thinking does rather cut through the complexities of life, does it?” he said. Maybe he was so used to working in the system that he was making things harder than they needed to be.

Only purity can’t be seen.

Ezra looked at the water and frowned slightly. It seemed to flow, clear and bright, from the rocks. However, he knew that sometimes water might look perfectly fine and safe, while making you terribly ill. That was true of many things, but it was especially true of water.

He looked over at Devin and frowned. “Is it safe, do you think?” he asked.

Devin stooped beside the stream and lifted a bit of the water in the palm of his hand. He smelled it and then flicked the water away. Shaking his head, he straightened. “Salty,” he said. “We’ll try looking further inland.

As he turned and walked along the bank in an upstream direction, Ezra sighed. He looked out at the sea. They were just a kilometer from the beach. Hopefully, the water would be fresh closer to its source. He spun away and hurried after Devin. He didn’t want to be alone, as well as lost.

Where there’s friendship, but no friends

Keenan looked around at the directors. They all seemed friendly enough, with the exception of Haruko. The problem – if you could call it that – was that he couldn’t see them as anything other than his superiors. They weren’t his superiors anymore, but they had been for so long.

He sighed and shook the thoughts away. He missed working with Bertram. Things had been so much easier when he’d first become an agent. Now, he was the High Commander. Everyone looked to him to lead them.

“Shall we begin?” Keenan said, glancing around at the assembled group. There were scattered nods and Keenan opened his folder. There was work to be done. He could worry about making friends another time.

Waiting In Darkness, Part 5

When they arrived on the scene, they could see that a group of monsters that numbered somewhere near a couple dozen had Chris and Jewel surrounded. Chris was holding them at bay with a shield, but Connor knew there was only so long he could keep that up.


Waiting In Darkness, Part 4

“Each team has a mage of some sort,” Gregory said, his voice soft. He glanced back at Connor and frowned. “Our team has two. Would that just be chance?”

“Not likely,” Connor said, shaking his head. He sighed and leaned back against the wall of the alley they were hiding in at the moment. Giving Gregory a smirk, he said, “Chris is rather protective of me. He worked with my brother a couple years ago and, being twins, expects that we’re rather alike.”


Waiting In Darkness, Part 3

Connor breathed a sigh of relief when he pulled into the garage underneath the Agency tower. He parked his car in its usual space and got out. He locked the vehicle up, all while chewing on his lip nervously. What was going on? Some sort of spell, Chris had said, and he’d mentioned attacks.

Suppressing a shiver, Connor head towards the elevator that would bring him up to the floor where he worked. Hopefully, Chris could explain it to him when he got there. He walked briskly, with his head down, focusing on the task of getting to the elevator.


Waiting In Darkness, Part 2

When Connor stepped outside, the city was as dark as night. His brows furrowed and he looked at his watch. It was only twenty minutes to eleven. “Why is it so dark?” he murmured.

Shaking his head, Connor started down the street towards the lot where he’d parked earlier that morning. His frown deepened when he noticed that the attendant wasn’t in the booth. He knew the lot wasn’t attended at night, but it was the middle of the day – in spite of how dark it was.


Waiting In Darkness, Part 1

Connor watched with wide eyes as the title page scrolled onto the screen. “A Woman Scorned,” it read, in typeface that looked like it dripped blood. Then, there were images of a wedding photograph, which panned out to show the couple arguing.

As the woman threw a vase at the man, a voice said, “After seven years of marriage it had become a love-hate relationship.” The man fled the scene with the slamming of a door.


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