The Devil You Know: Chapter 9 2

Chapter 9

Thomas didn’t know it, but officials were already on the case. Not cops per se exactly, but authorities of a sort. Mr. Grease had been watching Angela ever since he heard of the untimely death of a good lady. Not great, she’d made mistakes in life, and had in his opinion fallen short in her responsibilities to her son. She did however grow stronger and raised a helluva daughter.

Mr. Grease was supposed to be looking for and gathering information about possible Tier 2 candidates for the project. The original five subjects in the project have, thus far by the standards set by the project leads have, to quote one of the reports he saw, “Met or exceeded all established benchmarks.” Now the manner in which they chose to do that wasn’t a part of the project, and he’d heard rumors of some fairly colorful antics. The only thing that mattered to the directors is that they’d gone head to head with “natural supers” and succeeded as proof of concept.

Mr. Transport and Mr. Numbers had made some very good selection of powered candidates, under the parameters of being powerful and a danger to themselves or others, now they were potentially world-changing powers being honed to a razor edge. Now tier 2 wasn’t so much about raw power, raw power was great if it could be found for tier 2. However the tier 2 mandate was simple, find extraordinarily rare talents that could change a team from simply good, to great.

While Mr. Grease was doing that, the company tended to take a rather dim view of slackers, HR was down right terrifying, he was also keeping track of a protege of sorts and the daughter of a flawed woman who had become a dear friend.

He’d been checking in on Angela the day of the shooting, unobtrusively. Mr. Grease hadn’t gotten to the shooters nest before the man had vacated it. He was however on the scent, and like his protege he suspected the Reverend Walker. Unlike the girl though, he had resources that could if applied carefully be brought to bear on the subject while staying on task of finding prospective powereds.


Skylar’s shoulder checked out fine, and was in fact healed before the paperwork on her release was finished. She’d never been this durable before, or at least when she was in high school knifes had still posed a minor threat. But a bigger change than that perhaps was the way she seemed to be changing socially, inserting her self into Darius’s problems. Really caring about something, for change. It was different, you couldn’t see the difference until you were on the other side of the mirror staring back through. It was the difference between reading about love, honor, or valor and actually experiencing one of them.

She’d wanted to be a hero before because of the glamor, that came with it. Sure it was a tough and often times deadly job but there was a part of her that wanted the attention that went with it. The adoring fans and their love, and of course the glory. Maybe it was because she’d been the youngest, and had simply grown used to the adoration so much she craved it. Maybe a part of it was because her talent let her know exactly what people thought of her and it was by and large positive even the people who didn’t like her their problems were all around how extraordinary she was. But helping Darius (and his sister if she had to) could jeopardize her own goals, and the future she wanted to build for herself. However it didn’t seem to matter, maybe it was because Darius was cute in the way he fought his attraction, or maybe it was because he needed friends and didn’t know it. She didn’t know, but she couldn’t let it go. She could feel herself changing to meet this challenge.

Skylar pondered these changes as she made her way through the layers of hospital bureaucracy, when she was interrupted by a soft but confident voice. “Miss O’Shanessy, Detective Nora Kassidy. If you feel well enough I’d like to take your statement now.”

“Call me Skylar..” She extended her hand to the other woman.

Detective First Class Nora Kassidy was five foot seven, about 125 pounds. Fit in that solid sort of way. Her light cream and mocha colored skin and high cheek bones spoke of descending from multiple heritages all of them striking. She was also young to be such a high-ranking cop. If Skylar hadn’t been interested in Darius for some multitude of ill-defined and less understood reasons Skylar might have flirted. The detective was her other type, sharp, trough, gorgeous and well, ballsy. Skylar’s father had been just a beat cop not because he couldn’t have gone farther, but because he loved his neighborhood, his streets, and the people who lived there but he’d had detective friends and all of them were far older than Detective Kassidy.

“Before we talk Skylar..” she seemed almost coy. “You should know that speaking to me is like being plugged into an infallible lie detector. I always know truth it’s a super talent. It doesn’t mater if it’s a computer or anything else trying to pass a false statement off as fact. I know it’s false.. I might not know what the truth is, but I know when I’m lied to.” And that, is why the marvelous Detective Kassidy is in her position so young Skylar thought. And her little talent may pose a huge problem. Thankfully they are focusing on me as the victim for now. I wouldn’t want Darius answering her questions right now, not yet anyway.

Skylar nodded said, “Fair enough, in the spirit of full disclosure, you should know I’m a telepath so anything you don’t want me to know, don’t think about..”

Consternation crossed the Detective’s features as a quick succession of things she didn’t, couldn’t, or wouldn’t share with Skylar crossed her mind before she could bring them under control. It was a dirty trick. Telling someone not to think about the things they didn’t want to share made them for a time unable to think of anything else. “Fair enough..”, Detective Kassidy gritted out.

Skylar smiled sweetly. Some of the things the Detective had thought of, very interesting. But not germane to this case or any case. “Well I don’t know what I can tell you, I met Darius at a bar he was singing the blues at, and we’d talked, then I took him home with me.” Skylar blushed at how it had sounded but it could have gone down the way she implied it had. And nothing she’d said strictly speaking had been factually false, only the context in which she had implied about the way the encounter had played out was untrue. “I was on campus when I saw him working, and I wanted to say hi. Next thing I knew there was a bruising pain in my shoulder.” Everything Skylar said was true, as far as it went. But what she hadn’t said could fill volumes.

“And you don’t know of anyone who’d want to shoot you? No ex-lovers, maybe a jealous want to be lover?” Her surface thoughts said that she was sure that a treat like Skylar had to have legions of admires.. then she crushed the thought realizing that she was broadcasting too much information, and she was embarrassed about how unprofessional her thoughts were.

Skylar smiled coyly not letting the Detective off the hook, about her thoughts. But not really embarrassed. Keeping Detective Kassidy off-balance would only work in her favor. “No, I don’t know anyone who’d want to shoot me. I’ve kept myself, socially speaking to myself since coming to Landing. Darius was the first man I took home since moving here..” Again all true, Detective Kassidy was asking the wrong questions. Good.

Trying to pen attempted murder, and conspiracy to commit murder on a senatorial candidate and a nationally known if somewhat whacked-out reverend was a tricky business. Right now it was a covert war, deadly but limited in scope. Skylar didn’t doubt that if open accusations without proof started flying things could get a lot more dangerous hella fast.

Nora Kassidy Narrowed her eyes at Skylar, “Do you know anything at all that could help us catch the shooter?”

Exhaling slowly Skylar said, “No Detective I don’t know anything at all about who the shooter is or anything that could help you identify the shooter.” If Detective Kassidy had asked did she know who was behind it she couldn’t have evaded as easily. Because she did have an idea about that. But keeping her questions confined to such a narrow scope had actually left Skylar wiggle room.

The Devil You Know: Chapter 8

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