Chapter 3: We're Not AloneMature

Second Chances

Chapter 3

"We're Not Alone"

In Brooklyn, New York, many crowd the streets with rush hour traffic. It must have been well past noon, and one would have to be a fool to expect to get far unless on foot. Ironically enough, a single N.Y.P.D patrol car, is making this feat look fairly easy. The trick was simple, if the lights flash and you hear the siren, move!

Control.

Even if it wasn't much, it was still important to him. It was a perk, and a perk that Officer Brian Baxter always takes advantage of. It gets him to work on time. It gets him home in no time. Even at the expense of others, it's always his control over the public as a law enforcer that always proves to be the most beneficial.

Officer Ethan Wyatt is riding shotgun, and he doesn't agree with Baxter's methods at all, and up until now he still refuses to speak. He keeps to himself, similar to Kori, who is still sleeping in the back seat.

Kori's head tilts to the side. She frowns, and whimpers in her sleep. Her eyes flutter awake and she is now in a large room with hardwood floors. She is not alone. In front of her is a large black ball, almost half her size. To her right there is a balcony, and outside there is an amazing view of the Brooklyn Bridge and far out in the distance the Statue of Liberty can also be seen.

She's confused.

Why is she here?

The black ball comes to life, making a loud mechanical hum. Three red lasers shoot out from the ball. Kori flinches, stumbles backward, and shields herself from them. Nothing happens, and she lowers her guard. The lasers stop just short of hitting her and concentrate on materializing something in.

To her surprise that something, isn't just something; it's someone. It's Miles.

He isn't happy to see his sister. He shakes his head and points at the door. "Why are you here?" He demands, "GO HOME!"

Kori shakes her head, "I'm not going anywhere until you tell me what the hell is going on!"

Another laser shoots out from the ball and hits Miles in the back. He looks down at the hole in the center of his chest and back at Kori. He reaches out for her. "Kori!" he shouts, and immediately bursts into flames.

Officer Brian Baxter tunes the radio and it screeches in protest.

Kori awakens in a cold sweat and sees Ethan Wyatt staring back at her. He has a look of concern on his face. "Are you alright?" He asks.

She catches her breath, and frowns back at him.

"Hey, what's with that look?" Ethan asks, and Brian shushes him and turns the volume up on the radio.

"I just have a question for all our listeners. Is anyone out there following the Lechaunce Case?"

The voice was instantly recognizable. It was Angie Rios! Her voice was well renown and loved by the many avid listeners who tune into her radio show. It was the New York Rios' Radio Show! It had a catchy title; it flicked well off the tongue.

"What she means is-did any of yawls catch Hannibal Lector on TV?" Her Co-Host, Bobbie reiterates. "I know I did."

Angie Rios laughs, "So you finally got around to getting your cable put back on?"

"So you finally got around to getting your cable put back on?" Bobbie repeats, making his voice sound as if he were inhaling helium.

"Aww, I'm sorry Bobbie baby, but I couldn't resist! But all joking aside, I really couldn't help but find myself screaming at my TV last night!"

"The verdict on that case was ridiculous!" Bobbie shouts. "Only in New York can a guy barbeque his whole family, eat them and then get off as just being crazy - I mean that's CRAZY!"

"Well they say he's going to an asylum so he can get the help he needs."

"The help he needs? What he needs is a comfortable chair - you know the one's that fry you if you sit down in them too long?"

"Don't you mean an electric chair?"

"Yeah, yeah! That's the one!" says Bobbie. "I for one still believe in the old American way. Way back when we weren't afraid to fry or nuke a sucker for the hell of it - AND especially when they deserve it!"

"If you keep talking like that I'm sure it won't be long before you take your own trip to an asylum." Angie Rios continues. "Up next, we have an update on everyone's favorite Zoo Monkey-"

"Mo-Mo!" They shout in unison.

Bobbie then adds, "Mo-Mo's gotten into trouble y'all. She's a biter, a feces thrower and a certified outbreak monkey on the loose!"

Officer Ethan's reaches for the radio, turning it down. Another hand smacks it away, and it belongs to Officer Baxter. Ethan holds his sore hand and glares back at him. Baxter's skin was that of bronze, and his head was fully shaven, all except for his facial hair that consisted of nothing more than a connected mustache and goatee.

They were polar opposites. Ethan was significantly lighter, being Caucasian, and his uniform was over pressed, in comparison to Officer Baxter's that was unkempt. Ethan's hair was black and unruly with bangs that fell over his brow and unlike Baxter's facial hair, his was clean shaven.

Officer Baxter laughs. "So, you must be the new guy?" His eyes fall back on the road, frowning in thought. "Ethan, right?"

"Right."

"I'm Brian Baxter, but you can just call me Brian."

"Okay, Brian. It's been three weeks since I transferred from the academy, and other than issuing a few traffic citations, I've just been running errands around the office." Ethan broke his gaze, looking back at the view outside his window. "With this assignment, I figured I'd fit in, so what gave me away this time?"

"You look like your Momma dressed you up for work, Rookie."

Ethan rolls his eyes, "Sure it wasn't yours?"

Brian laughs and stops abruptly, "My Momma would've told your ASS not to touch my radio."

Ethan opens his mouth, but Kori interrupts. She shouts, "I'm hungry, I'm thirsty, and I have to pee!"

Ethan arches a brow, "All three?" he asks.

"All three."

Ethan looks at Brian, and Brian says, "We're not stopping."

"The hell we aren't, stop the damn car!" Kori shouts, kicking at the caged window; it was the only thing separating her from the men she desperately desires to kick in the unmentionables.

Ethan rubs his sore temples, "Look, let's just stop for a moment or two." He suggests.

Brian shakes his head, turning on the car's siren. "We stop and we waste time. We waste time, and we sit longer in traffic." He pauses to cut in front of two more cars; however, one of them doesn't budge. He frowns and rolls down his window. "Move it or I'm going to shove this citation so far up your ass, you'll piss out your court date!" He shouts, persuading the car to allow him to pass in front. Brian then looks back at Ethan. "What?" he asks, rolling his window back up.

Kori kicks the cage once more, "Stop the goddamn car!"

"You keep that up, and I'll really stop this car!" Brian warns.

Kori kicks it again, just to spite him.

"Look, her house is just around the corner," Ethan reasons, pointing toward a nearby Chinese food restaurant. "Let's just stop for a minute and order some take-out, so she can use the bathroom - and that's it. Problem solved."

Brian sighs, finally giving in. "Alright, okay, but I want some damn shrimps with lobster sauce."

"Anything else?" he asks.

"Did I say anything else?"

"Okay, okay…I got it. No need to shout, Mr. Grumpy."

"Damn Rookies," Brian mutters under his breath, stopping the car in front of Ancient Chinese Secret, in which was known to be top of the line as far as Chinese food was concerned.

Ethan shook his head. He was first to exit the vehicle.

"Don't slam my door!" Brian shouts, causing Ethan to roll his eyes as he gently shut the door.

Kori was next to exit. She didn't care much for Brian, or his door, and unlike Ethan, she made sure to slam hers.

"Hey! What did I just say?" Brian shouts, banging his dashboard with his fist.

He sighs when they enter the restaurant, and turns to his left and a man jingles a tin can outside his window. The stranger smiles back at him with a toothless grin. The man was obviously homeless, looking for a spare buck or two. Baxter grimaces and rolls down his window.

"You do know that's illegal, right?" Brian asks.

However, the beggar persists. "Pity the homeless; Oscar has nothing to fill his belly!"

"Get lost, scram!" Brian shouts, shooing him away. "You and Oscar."

"Pity the homeless!" The beggar cries, jingling his tin can once again.

The combination of the begging and the jingling of the beggar's can of coins were trying Brian's patience. "Here, take it!" He shouts, grabbing an assortment of coins from his ash tray, and chucking them out the window.

And Oscar the bum was gone.

Where did he go?

He was probably scavenging the ground for coins, but this didn't matter to Brian. The peace and quiet was a relief for Brian. With Kori and Ethan in the restaurant, and the bum gone, Brian could FINALLY relax. He sighs, closing his eyes and rubbing his sore temple; he loves the soothing sensation.

Squeak! Squeak! Squeak!

Brian reopens his eyes in response to a sound he could only compare to that of nails on a chalk board. Oscar the bum smiles back at Brian through his window shield, continuing to wipe – no, smear his window shield with a dingy rag. The bum must have felt as if he owed this to Brian, and Brian could only grimace as he saw Oscar spit and wipe away at his window once again.

"What the – G-GET OFF MY CAR!" Brian hollers, opening his door. He grabs Oscar by the collar, and throws him off the hood of the car.

"Oscar's back, his hip!" He screams, hugging himself in pain. "It's all broken!"

Brian palms his face, and turns to see a crowd forming.

A door opens and Detective Kinsley enters the autopsy room. She places a hand over her mouth and swallows the bile forming in the back of her throat. The smell of the morgue is nauseating, and she tries not to vomit.

"This must be your first time?" she hears someone ask, and searches for the source. A short old man smiles at her and focuses back on the corpse in front of him. "You sort of get used to it after awhile."

"Doctor Jensen."

"And you must be, Rebecca?"

"Yes, and I assume Lieutenant Tomoko made you aware of why I am here?"

"Yes, yes, of course." He responds, nodding, but never taking his eyes off his work.

He shakes his head and Rebecca arrives at his side. On the gurney, a brunette girl, no older than 6 stares back; her expression is blank and devoid of all life. Rebecca gasps and looks at Dr. Jensen, confirming that her eyes are not deceiving her, and this was indeed a little girl that lay dead before them.

"Horrible, isn't it?"

"Horrible," Rebecca shakes her head. "No, that can't describe this. It just doesn't do it justice if you ask me."

"I agree. It does always concern me to see those younger pass on before me," He sighs and places a hand over the girl's eyes, closing them. He strokes the girl's hair, and smiles back at Rebecca.

"If you don't mind me asking, how did she-"

"Drowned." Dr. Jensen interrupts, and covers the corpse. "Poor McKenzie was left unattended by her family for a moment too long."

"What kind of parent leaves a child to drown?"

"Quite a few, unfortunately. You sort of get used to it after awhile." He reminds her, and wheels the McKenzie away. "However, you're not here to talk about McKenzie. You're here for a fate much grimer than that."

"Miles Kramer." Rebecca whispers, frowning. "I read and compiled his report." She shakes her head. "Multiple gunshot wounds. Five in total. The victim was then set on fire and left to burn. All a bit much if you ask me."

"Well done, Detective Kinsley," says Doctor Jensen, and he wheels out another gurney. "But surely you knew there was more to this gruesome murder than meets the eye."

"How does a man set himself on fire without gasoline, a lighter, matches or anything else flammable in the middle of a downpour? " Rebecca crosses her arms and looks at the covered corpse. "It just doesn't add up."

"Spontaneous Human Combustion." He states, removing the sheet from Miles' corpse. "This man was not set on fire. He erupted into flames."

Rebecca grimaces at the sight of Miles' charred remains. "You can't be serious." She responds, and rubs her temple. "Tomoko said that you had something substantial to add to the case." She gestures toward the corpse. "This is far from substantial."

Rebecca sighs.

It was a waste of time coming here.

She turns to leave. "Wait" Doctor Jensen calls out, stopping her in her tracks. "I've done my research, Detective, I assure you. There have been 200 instances of this in the past 300 years. All unexplainable."

"Doctor—"

"This one, I can explain." His gloved hands force open Miles' mouth. His teeth are sharp and pointy. "This man is not normal. This man is not human."

Rebecca Kinsley looks around, allowing a dopey grin to grace her features. She raises her hands, "Alright Neville, Tomoko, you got me." She giggles and wipes a tear from her eyes. "You guys can all come out of hiding now! The joke is on me!"

"Detective—"

"You even got the creepy mortician in on the gag, I'm impressed!"

"This isn't some joke, Detective!"

"Are we done here? Because I'm leaving."

"If you leave now, what will you have to report?"

"Oh, I don't know…you're insane!"

Doctor Jensen chuckles, and then stops abruptly. He stares at her, looking almost as if he were never more serious about anything ever before. "I have more to show you."

He looks over Rebecca's shoulder and at the microscope behind her. He smiles. "Before you leave, I would like you to look into that microscope."

"Fine!" Rebecca shouts, "I'll humor you, but if you start telling me that aliens exist and are plotting to take over the world, I'm hightailing it out of here quicker than you can say, we're not alone!"

Doctor Jensen points at the microscope once again, and Rebecca turns to face it. She shakes her head, realizing once again how ridiculous this all sounds. She reaches the microscope and leans over to peer inside. The slide is blurry, so she adjusts knob on the side for clarity.

She sighs, laughing, "These are just ordinary blood cells."

What else were you expecting, Rebecca? A little green Martian man?

She hears movement and rustling behind her and Doctor Jensen is at her side. She tries to step away from the microscope, but Doctor Jensen places a hand on her back, stopping her.

"That was McKenzie's blood." He explains, and replaces the slide on the microscope with another. "Here is Miles Kramer's."

On the slide she sees dried blood cells, similar to the ones on McKenzie's slide. There is a noticeable difference. Most of the cells were worse for wear. There are a series of chunks and tiny holes taken out of each of the cells. She increases the magnification.

"Detective, what do you see?"

She sees little microscopic insects. No, machines! None of them are moving. They are no longer active. Some are burnt and others are not. However, all of them are suspended in the act of eating the blood cells. He wasn't human! He was under control! It was an infestation! These insects, these microscopic machines, these nanites are, or were eating him alive from the inside!

"Detective, what do you see?"

Rebecca steps away from the microscope, and her expression is unreadable. She looks at Doctor Jensen and he smiles back at her. "We're not alone Detective."

The doors to Ancient Chinese Secret, a Chinese food restaurant, open, and Kori Kramer and Ethan Wyatt enter. There's a man inside wearing a pinstriped suit with a matching fedora and white dress shoes. He is standing and shouting at the shop owner. As he turns to leave he shouts, "Either you close down or you'll be sorry!"

He bumps into Ethan and Ethan stops him in his tracks. "Hey, Pops!" he shouts, waving at the owner. "Is Mr. Clown Shoes over here bothering you?"

Kori Kramer palms her face.

He really was a Rookie…

"Clown Shoes?" the man shouts, "Do you have any idea who I am?"

"Let him go Officer, he was just leaving." The Owner replies, smiling.

Ethan lets the man pass and he quickly leaves out of the restaurant. Ethan places a hand on the back of his own head, and scratches it. "Who was that guy anyways?" he asks.

Besides the Chinese owner, his spouse and his daughter, Kori and Ethan see that there are three other men enjoying their meals. Each of them sits by themselves. Two are wearing suits and one is wearing casual attire. One of the men dressed in a suit and tie has a buzz cut with a 5 o'clock shadow.

He looks familiar to Kori. She eyes him closely. He lowers the paper he is reading and wipes his mouth with a napkin. "That's Don Shibondi." He answers, staring at Kori and Ethan behind his dark shades. "He's a very wealthy man in New York." He smiles, "Apparently, he wants to add this shop to his collection of real estate."

"Hey Pops, don't let that bastard run you out of here!" The man dressed in casual attire shouts, allowing small bits of food to fly out of his mouth. "He has no right!"

Pops, the owner shakes his head. "He's wasting his time trying to intimidate me with all these threats." As soon as he finishes speaking, he winces, clutching his chest.

"Hey, are you alright, Pops?" Ethan asks with concern evident in his voice.

"I'll be fine," He breathes deeply; "It's just this old weak heart of mine." He explains.

His 8 year old daughter runs to his side. She has a bottle of pills. She hands him the medicine. "Papa you forgot to take your pills!" she reminds him.

The man smiles warmly at her, and runs a hand through her hair, ruffling it. "That'll do sweetheart, now go help your mother with the noodles." he states and heads to the restroom.

The other man wearing a suit, minus the tie, runs a hand through his short black hair. His phone vibrates. He looks at it with curiosity and reads the text…

Zerojii,

Nobody makes a fool out of me! I want to you to kill that bastard and burn his shop to the ground.

I am wiring the money into your account now.

Zerojii smiles and closes the text as the husky man in casual attire approaches him.

"Can you believe that bully? Coming in here and giving that poor man a hard time?"

Loud slurps are heard as Zerojii finishes his bowl of noodles. He then reclines, looking quite satisfied with his meal. He wipes his mouth. "People these days just don't know anything about honor or respect," he replies disdainfully.

The man nods understandingly. "He's no good – a no good snake in the grass if you ask me. Asking these poor old folks to close shop and hit the road!"

"Why would anyone want to close down such a great place?

"This udon," Zerojii begins, motioning toward his bowl, "was absolutely amazing. Out of this world, actually. I honestly can't see why anyone would want to get rid of a quality restaurant like this."

"Greed'll do that to you," answers the other man reading his newspaper.

The man beside Zerojii nods once again. "Yeah, I hear he wants to turn this place into a casino, but money isn't everything." He points his chopsticks at Zerojii. "This shop here is well worth keeping around!"

The owner's wife bows, "Thank you, we do try our best!" she states humbly.

"Speaking of food, Joe's hungry," the husky man in casual attire announces as he scratches his head sheepishly, "can I have seconds?"

"I'll take another bowl too," states the man reading the newspaper.

Ethan rubs his stomach, and it growls in response to his touch. "I could go for bowl of Ramen myself…" He looks over at Kori. "What about you?"

Kori nods, blushing as she hears her own stomach growl as well.

They both approach the counter and Ethan rubs his chin. "What did Brian say he wanted me to get him again?"

"You're asking me like I care." She looks around for the restroom and finds it. "I'll be in the restroom."

Ethan looks at the owner's wife and smiles despite Kori's attitude. "You'll have to excuse her," He states, "She's been through a lot."

The owner's wife smiles warmly back at him. "I'm sure you'll take good care of her, Officer." She turns and hands her daughter two bowls of ramen on a platter. She then pats her daughter on the head, receiving a toothy grin, and she sends her on her way toward the customers.

In the small restaurant there are two rows of tables with three tables in each. Zerojii is sitting at the second table in the right row, behind him; Joe goes back to sit back at the last table on the right and at the first table on the left sits the man reading his newspaper.

The little girl makes a mental note to stop at the first table on her left, skip Zerojii's table and head to the husky man's table all the way in the back.

Simple enough, right?

She approaches the man who had stopped reading his newspaper to watch Kori head into the restroom. She places the platter on the table and he looks down at her. He smiles as she sways her arms innocently. He reaches into his pocket for something, and when his hand returns he places a dollar on the table, sliding it in her direction.

The girl's expression immediately broadens. She grabs the dollar and holds it high in the air. "Wow! A whole dollar!" the girl shouts. She then blushes, remembering her manners and bows to him. With her head still bowed she states, "Thanks Mister."

"You're welcome little lady." He replies with a smile. He eyes the two bowls of ramen, searching for his order. He spots it and grabs the bowl on the left. With it now in his hands he mumbles, "This one seems to be mine."

As he focuses on eating the girl places the dollar on the platter and picks it up. She then proceeds to make her trip toward Joe's table. Half way there, her dollar slides toward the edge of the platter and falls off. It flutters underneath Zerojii's table. She notices and places the platter halfway on his table and reaches down to grab the bill. When she rises from the floor her elbow hits the side of the platter and accidentally knocks the remaining bowl of ramen into Zerojii's lap.

"AGH!" Zerojii shouts as the hot liquid scalds him.

His outburst draws the attention of the other customers and the owner's wife. They look over to see Zerojii bolt upright pulling the fabric of his trousers away from his crotch, trying to save what nerve endings he could on his precious manhood. The accident causes the girl to cry, but none of this was of Zerojii's concern.

His genitals were of a higher priority at the time.

"Hey, are you going to be alright?" Ethan asks, neglecting to clarify if he was directing this at the crying girl or the man in pain.

The owner's wife attempts to aid him. With a cloth in hand she attempts to clean up the spilled ramen and then glances at Zerojii and his lap. She looks as if she is debating whether or not to clean that as well, but she stops abruptly and looks at him as if she is unsure if she has permission.

"Get the hell out of my way! IT BURNS!" He shouts, as he rushes to the bathroom.

The man reading his newspaper closes it and lays it on the table. "I'm going to go check and see if he's alright."

Kori looks at her reflection in the bathroom mirror, and shakes her head. She looks like shit, and rightfully so. Her hair is a mess, eyes red, and her mascara is ruined. She still feels like crying. Her brother was murdered in cold blood, just hours ago. She figures she's earned the right to look like shit and feel like shit. If that meant more crying, she'd reopen the floodgates in the seclusion of the women's restroom.

Kori splashes water on her face and looks at her expression in the mirror. It's blurry, so she grabs a paper towel and dries her face. She looks at her reflection again, and sighs loudly.

"That dream," She whispers. "It was so real."

She remembers Miles telling her that she didn't belong in that room. She didn't belong in the room with that strange black ball. He was begging her to go home, but that doesn't explain why she was dreaming about a room in an apartment she never had been in before. It also didn't explain why the ball chose to attack Miles.

She can't make sense of it all.

"Why go home?" Kori asks her reflection. "What could possibly be at home?"

Kori's eyes widen.

"I was wondering how long it'd take you to put two and two together." A man's voice calls out to her, and she turns and sees him smile back at her. He takes off his glasses. Kori opens her mouth to scream, but the man shushes her with the click of his berretta.

When did he get in here?

Kori holds up her hands and steps away from the man. "Easy, pal! I don't know what perverted shit you're on, but this is the ladies room!"

"Cut the act, Ms. Kramer. You know where your brother hid the money, and you're going to lead me straight to it."

"Wait you're," Kori remembers the photo of the two suspects following her. She distinctly recalls one of the men from the photos looking exactly like the man in front of her. "You're one of the men that have been following me!"

"So you've noticed." He chuckles, "I guess it can't be helped. I can only pretend to read the same newspaper for so long."

It's Kori's turn to smile. "That means you won't shoot me," she counters, dropping her hands and placing them on her hips. "If I'm dead, you'll never find the money that you're after."

The man's eyes narrow.

"If I were you, I'd walk back to my table, pick up my newspaper, and shove it up my ass!" She suggests with a smirk. "Then maybe, just maybe, I won't scream and have you arrested."

The man lowers his pistol. His head tilts to the side, and he pops his neck. "Unfortunately, you and I are nothing alike."

The door to the restaurant opens and Officer Brian Baxter enters. He surveys the room for a moment and his eyes fall on Ethan, and Brian does not look happy. He makes his way toward Ethan, avoiding the wet portion of the floor that a sign warns him of. He grabs him by the collar. "What the hell is taking so long?"

Officer Ethan places his hands on Brian's and wrestles himself out of his grasp. "Good thing you're here. I couldn't remember what you wanted me to order."

Brian frowns at Ethan and Ethan places his hands up in defense. "Hey, hey, hey! Why are you so mad?"

"Mommy! Mommy!" A little girl screams, running to the window. "There's a man in the shiny car!" She points and looks back at her mother. "Is he a bad man?"

"Chloe, no running!" Her mother scolds her, sighing. "You'll cause another accident!"

Ethan looks out the window as well and then back at Brian. "Really? Really? You couldn't resist could you?"

Brian crosses his arms.

"He's a bum Brian. He's a bum."

A feminine scream is heard in the back of the restaurant.

"That sounded like Kori." Brian states, and notices she's not with Ethan. "You let her out of your sight?"

"Only to use the restroom!"

Ethan and Brian immediately draw their guns and rush toward the source of the sound. The sound leads them to a sign directing them toward the exit and the restrooms.

Brian tries the door to the Men's Restroom, but it is locked. He bangs on the door, but gets no response.

"Open the door and come out with your hands up!"

"GET IN HERE GOD DAMMIT! SOMETHING'S WRONG WITH POPS!" Someone shouts from the other side.

"Open the door!" Ethan shouts.

"The door is jammed!"

Brian kicks the door in and aims his gun at Zerojii. Zerojii puts his hands in the air and steps back. He looks down at the owner of the Chinese Restaurant. The man is on his back clutching his heart. He looks deceased.

"What the hell did you do to him?" Brian demands.

"Do to him? Nothing!" Zerojii explains. "Something's wrong with him!"

Suddenly, the door to the Women's Restroom swings open. It hits Ethan in the arm and a man exits, dragging Kori by her hair. Kori sees Ethan and tries to run toward him, but is pulled back by her captor.

"Help, he's one of the men trying to kill me!" She shouts, tugging, pulling and kicking her feet.

The man pulls her toward the rear exit, and his gun presses against the side of her temple. "Stand down," He instructs Ethan and Brian.

"Like hell!" Ethan shouts back, and aims his gun at the man. "Let her go!"

"Stand down, dumb ass!" The man shouts again, and tries for the door.

The door opens and Kori bites the man's arm. This causes the man to relinquish his hold and Ethan shoots him in the shoulder. The man screams out in agony and Kori runs out the door and into the alley.

"Ah, Jesus Christ! You fucking idiot!" The man shouts at Ethan, clutching his bleeding shoulder.

"So says the man with the hole in his shoulder."

"You idiot!" The man shouts again. "I'm undercover you asshole!"

Ethan blinks and looks at Brian.

"You shot a cop? I don't believe it. You're such a damn Rookie!"

"No way!" Ethan denies, shaking his head. "How was I supposed to know he was a cop?"

The man reaches in his shirt, and removes a badge. He winces and raises it for all to see. "Agent Skye Heddwyn, "He reveals. "You let her get away you fucking ass!"

Ethan palms his face, and kneels at Skye's side. Judging by the look on his face, it wouldn't be long before he lost consciousness. "Hey, stay with me! Do you have any idea where she might be headed?" Ethan asks him. "She couldn't have gotten far!"

"She knows, she knows where to find the money." Skye answers. He clutches his shoulder, taking in a sharp breath. "Home. She's headed home."

"I'm going after her!"

Brian looks at Ethan as if he's insane. "Let me get this straight, Rookie. You just shot a cop, and you still want to play cop?" He laughs. "Maybe you should stick to fetching coffee at the precinct."

Ethan shakes his head, and rises to his feet. "I'm not letting her get away."

"Hold on here!" Brian stops him. "Have you forgotten?" He points at Zerojii and the corpse on the ground beside him, "We got a dead guy," he points at Skye, "a soon to be dead guy," he sighs, "and he happens to be a cop that YOU fucking shot!"

Ethan places a hand on Brian's shoulder. "That's why I need you to stay here with them, because you're no Rookie." He responds, showing Brian his radio. "I'll get the girl, and keep you posted."

"You're insane."

A smile forms on Ethan's face as he heads for the door, "Oh and by the way, when this is all said and done, coffee is on me."

Lawrence Marcellus recalls having a conversation with his daughter. They had a typical father and daughter discussion, and the topic had been simple. Lawrence asked what his little princess wanted to be when she grew up. Ironically enough, she never spoke of wanting to be a doctor like her mother. She didn't even desire to follow in the footsteps of her old man – and THAT was a relief!

He watches a group of cheerleaders crowding around one of their own. The huddle disperses as soon as they toss a girl up into the air. Now airborne, she folds her arms across her chest and performs a back flip and lands in the waiting arms of the girls below her.

Lawrence Marcellus feels his lip arch upward, forming a smile. He runs a palm through his sweaty bleach blonde hair and raises his scoped M14 high enough to allow him to lock-in its stand. He crouches.

Location is everything in his line of work. His position, hidden atop the roof of Chance Academy, would only aid him. The school itself couldn't be any more remarkable, towering over the football field at an impressive five stories.

He knows he has the upper hand.

The target is now in clear shot. Through the scope he sees her in detail. She was anywhere between the age of 16 to 18 with long auburn red hair. She has freckles across her cheeks that do very little to hurt her appearance. She is well proportioned with curves in all the right places and her uniform does very little to hide this.

He figures she's popular. Girls like her usually fit that mold or at least during his time they always did. And he couldn't have been more right about anyone. Everyone around her caters to her every need. One hands her a towel, the other a bottle of water, and another engages her in conversation while another tends to her hair. All while this took place, no one thought to help the less pretty brunette who had skinned her knee. No one offers her a hand, a drink of water, not even a bandage to dress the wound.

Lawrence aims the crosshair on red-headed target, reassuring himself that today he would be doing the world a service. It's that thought alone that makes it so much easier to pull the trigger.

Unfortunately, he doesn't take the shot.

Lawrence drops his aim and exhales sharply. "I-I can't!" He shakes head, and dries his brow on his sleeve. "I don't know why, b-but I can't!" he shouts.

Lawrence falls onto his back, wheezing as soon as his back meets the concrete.

He couldn't breathe.

Inhaler.

Where is his inhaler?

He searches, frantically, trying to find the tool on his person that would aid him from his terminal illness. His hand falls on a small bulge in his chest pocket, and he sighs, removing it and raising it to his lips.

He had every reason in the world to pull the trigger, but he couldn't bring himself to do it. It hadn't been a problem in the past, so why now? Why did his feelings, his emotions and his weaknesses have to stop him now?

Lawrence removes the inhaler from his lips, relaxing at the sensation of being able to breathe without irregularity. He raises his hand to shield his gaze from the sun, and smiles.

"I want to be a cheerleader daddy!"

A single tear falls from his cheek, and his smile leaves him. He sits up once again, resuming his aim. Much to his dismay, two of New York's Finest officers approach his target. For a moment they talk, and then they take her into custody. As the two officers lead her off the field, one of them wearing sunglasses looks in Lawrence's direction, and Lawrence hides. And while he hides, for what feels like an eternity, he curses himself for not having the control he so desires.

Lawrence shakes his head, clearing his thoughts. Those events had taken place hours ago.

In his hand he now holds a framed portrait; it's of the very same girl he'd been trying to kill. He throws the photo and it hits a wall, shattering its glass. He turns, scowling at his surroundings. He couldn't recall why he chose to stop in the living room and view this particular photo. He knew he wasn't welcome here. This wasn't his home and he desperately wants to leave, but he can't. The family staring back at him in each of the living room's photos taunts him. They wouldn't allow him to forget why he was here.

Lawrence hears something outside, and he mentally kicks himself for being so careless.

That was twice in one day now.

Lawrence looks outside a window and sees a girl wearing a cheerleading uniform drop down after hopping the backyard fence. He reaches for his sidearm, a silenced 10mm pistol. It clicks as he loads the chamber. He reaches for the back door and opens it.

The End

1 comment about this story Feed