Tag Archives: Moonrise

Moonrise CH08 – Demonstration

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Anne ignored the profanity showered upon her by angry drivers. Ahead, there was a cluster of people on the playground forming a wall with their bodies. She pushed through mothers clutching their children and covering their eyes while tears shimmered in their bulging sockets. They weren’t running, but how could they? It was hard to avert your eyes from the extraordinary, especially when it was also abiding you to stay. It was not a matter of will. Bree had her playthings, and they did as she commanded.

Anne looked at them. Frozen. Flailing. Fragile. Her heart raced with the same adrenaline she got the infinitesimal moment before she died and when she was reborn. Her brain latched on that moment as if it knew something was amiss and tried to protect her psyche. More than one super had suggested that that bit of consciousness; that moment of understanding; was what made Anne who she was. They bandied about words like insane, and crazy, but they couldn’t possibly understand that singular moment in time. It was as if she could understand the nature of life itself.

Bree wasn’t letting any of the bystanders go anywhere. Their eyes were wide and they could only stand and watch the horror show. They were the testament to Bree’s power.

Anne escaped the paralyzed circle and stood in the middle of it surveying the scene.

A little boy had his hand wrapped around one of Bree’s carefully braided ponytails seemingly trying to yank it down. Bree insisted that Anne painstakingly style her hair before they left Globe’s compound. Anne wanted to be away from Globe as soon as she could, but Bree insisted. The boy’s left foot was set firmly in the gravel, and his right leg was bent at the knee just at the moment as he was running past Bree with his innocent childish prank in mind.

Anne knelt at a safe distance as the respect of the little girl slammed her bravado to nothing yet again as it always did when Bree was angry, or Bree was upset, or Bree didn’t like something. Anne cursed at herself for dismissing any of Bree’s wishes. She spoke softly but knew that in a moment she would have to listen and obey. If only she could appeal to the child’s humanity before it was too late.

“Bree, honey, what happened?”

“He tried to take kitty from me. No one treats Puss like that.”

Bree’s eyes darted to somewhere behind Anne. Anne turned to see the stuffed kitten lying on its side, dirtier than it had ever been. It was a pitiful sight ready to upset any child. But Bree was no ordinary child. Anne shivered as she remembered the flock of birds writhing on the ground at the cabin in the woods – their eyes burned away; beaks open in a wordless chorus.

“I’m sure he didn’t mean to hurt Puss, Bree. How about you let him go, and we can take care of kitty together.”

Bree shook her head in defiance. She reached with her thin arm and peeled the boy’s fingers from her hair freeing her disheveled ponytail. The boy’s fingers bent like they were made from clay. His face was heavily distorted. His existence was being questioned by Bree’s power: his past, present and future visible in painful grimaces. They were colliding to grind his bones to dust. Anne hadn’t witnessed anything like this before, but then again she wasn’t really familiar with the girl’s power to begin with. She tread carefully when dealing directly with Princess Bree. This seemed like a whole new level, or maybe it was just an outraged little girl.
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Moonrise CH09 – Red Herring

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“You can open your eyes now, Aunty Anne.”

Anne did what she was told. Doing anything else when Bree was concerned was not wise. Anne’s eyes cleared from the consuming darkness and a faint bluish light shone against them, making her squint. It wasn’t as difficult as she had imagined it, regaining her sight from velvety black to the vibrant light of day. It felt like nothing more than the blink of an eye. Perhaps it was, Anne thought. Bree stood in front of Anne, her hands clasped behind her back and a pristine pink ballerina shoe dug in the dirt while she waited for Anne to compose herself.

The pair stood outside the circle of outstretched limbs and silent children. Anne hadn’t felt like she moved, but it was apparent that someone or something had moved her out of harm’s way. Anne’s gaze was locked on the asymmetry that the frozen people represented. To her astonishment, she found that they were motionless in their agony. Anne slowly approached the tangled forms of Bree’s victims and stared. She steadied herself to find solid ground and solid evidence that Bree had annihilated these people without so much as a thought. Had she actually murdered them all? Anne could only presume that that was their fate by the amount of pain and shock written on their contorted faces. Why were they frozen? Bree did this before at Major Globe’s compound, but Bree had to touch her parents to make them her playthings. The scope of this was unlike anything Anne had seen. On instinct, Anne reached out to take Bree’s hand.

“Come on,” Anne whispered, “we need to get you out of here before anyone sees this.”

Bree emitted a tiny giggle and slipped out of Anne’s reach. To her it was a game, as playful as ever. “No need, silly. Silas will take care of everything, won’t you Silas?”

Anne turned and saw through squinted eyes a thin man who made his way through the frozen crowd. He wore a dark baseball cap, dark green parka, and shiny black combat boots. He was taller than Anne – which was saying something, because Anne was not a short woman. A boyish charm was plastered on his face, and his gray eyes smiled at her.

“You did this?” Anne demanded.

He shrugged, non-committal. “The killing? No. But stopping time was all me.”

Anne sneered and tried to shield Bree from the carnage.

“They’re all dead and frozen in time,” Silas Replied. “There’s no need to play the protector now.”

Anne smiled. She decided to test Silas. “That’s improbable.”

Silas clapped his hands. “Once you eliminate the impossible, whatever remains, no matter how improbable, must be the truth.” He waggled his eyebrows. “Or so the saying goes. Since we’re the only three people moving freely about, and neither you nor the little princess there possess a power that could do that, I guess that only leaves me.” He paused. “I’ll admit that seeing Bree’s power has proven rather … fascinating.”

Frightening, you mean, Anne wanted to say. She witnessed the events that happened in the cabin along the Canadian border.
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Moonrise CH10 – The Patsy

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I skipped a week with Mental State because I had a lot of stuff going on Friday. I did work two prompts into today’s edition of Moonrise: Inspiration Monday & #3WW. Also, to celebrate Independence Day, this is a double-length chapter at 2016 words!

* * *

Anne followed Silas as he walked to a nearby bench occupied by a seemingly napping middle-aged man. The man had a newspaper folded on his lap open to the daily crossword puzzle. A cup of coffee sat beside him; the time dilation captured it still steaming.

“Not suspicious at all,” Silas muttered the kind insult. “Poor lad.”

“Who is this?” Anne asked behind over Silas’ shoulder.

“Our scapegoat of course. We can’t have you and Bree at the center of all this terror and fear.”

Silas pushed away the newspaper, grabbed the man by the arm, picked him up and threw his body like a satchel over one shoulder. Then he started back toward the crowd.

“He will wake up to be the most famous man in the good ole U.S. of A. Today, everyone will learn what he did, know his name and memorize his face. What glorious infamy, eh? Though it will be short-lived. I’m afraid that I envy him just a little.” Silas emphasized the word by holding his thumb and forefinger an inch apart.

Anne grabbed Silas’ fingers and fixed him with a steel gaze. “I can’t see how Major Globe is on board with this with Bree so close to it all.”

Silas clicked his tongue at her action but didn’t try to pull away from Anne’s stern grip.

Perhaps Globe had warned him not to try such frivolities with an enraged Anne, she thought.

Instead of escalating as Anne had expected, Silas calmly answered her.

“Perhaps you missed the Major’s speech.” He raised his eyebrows in mock concern. “You should head straight to youtube and check it out. It should have about a bazillion views now and be on every news channel. I hear they’re even translating it into different languages so no one’s left out of the message.”

“I heard it loud and clear,” Anne snapped. I just don’t want to believe he would fall this low as to use children for his ludicrous plans, Anne thought to herself.

Silas nodded. “Then you understand. The Major was very particular about such outbursts. They call these people ‘Supers.’ They’re very dangerous aren’t they? They’re trying to tear this city apart, and the uprising has just begun. These are merely their casualties.”
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Moonrise CH11 – Allies and Adversaries

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1100 words and I used prompts from Inspiration Monday & #3WW.

* * *

“Whom did you talk to?” Andy asked spinning on his chair to face Massey and Joaquin. Behind him, his computer screen showed repeats of the Major Globe speech. Every outlet wanted to be in on what appeared to be an historical event. The view counter kept increasing – thousands, hundreds of thousands, millions – it didn’t seem to slow or stop everyone was addicted.

“No one,” the detective answered cursing under his breath at the private number Anne had called him from. He had to find her on his own terms; he couldn’t let her play him again. His memories were of the wasteful time he spent with her in that bar on a lonely night. He cursed himself for not learning how to use the smartphone while it was gathering dust in his drawer that his daughter, Denisha, had given him for his birthday. He needed to do a call trace without having to involve the tech guys at the station. He eyed Andy from the corner of his eye; if he could, he would avoid asking him as well.

The fewer people that knew about his conversation with Anne the better, he thought with a conviction that not only protected his job, but possibly his life.

“Sure sounded important,” Andy insisted. “Did this person say anything about why Doctor Globe is doing all this?” Andy asked his throat dry again.

Before Massey could answer, Joaquin raised his voice. “Hey, how come I’m still Hero Two?

Andy turned to face Joaquin; the thoughts in his head were obvious on his face. Massey almost agreed with Andy’s unspoken thought: Joaquin still looked like a street thug even under the shirt, pants and tie façade.

Andy’s neck tensed and he tilted his head as if he were listening to a voice on the phone. Whatever it was that he was hearing, he didn’t care for it. He grimaced, and it was time for Massey to diffuse the situation before the two escalated.

“Now’s not the time for that Joaquin,” Massey said still angrily staring at his phone. He would periodically press the small pictures on the screen hoping he could work it. Icons, he reminded himself. He felt silly for not knowing the most basic tenets of the technology.

“I discovered you second to Kristof,” Andy said disregarding Massey’s incessant grumbling over his smartphone, and attempts to steer the conversation away from difficult topics. “You were harder to trace than he was, at first that is. I had you pinned down as a villain. Still do.” Andy’s eyes glimmered.

“What the fuck man, Kristof was the whack job, not me!”

“You did murder some people while you were,” Andy raised his fingers into air quotes, “exploring your power.”

Joaquin frowned and leaned toward Andy.
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Moonrise CH12 – Hot and Cold

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Andy Kitz was following the feed on his laptop sitting in the passenger seat of Massey’s car. None of the three men talked to each other, and Massey made quick calls to his partner to receive updates.

Heat was still flaming inside Joaquin’s body turning his gut to molten lava. Heat boiled inside of him in Andy’s apartment after that news feed had started. His palms had been so warm he left sweat stains on his jeans as he tried to rub the heat off. He had slumped back down in his chair while Massey had paced around talking on the phone before they all left the tiny apartment. That had been the second time today that Joaquin had sat in a chair in another situation he didn’t have control over nor could channel his anger toward. He had grabbed at the side of the chair to steady himself and hoped he wouldn’t break it. He didn’t relish another telling off by Massey for making another mess. But it had been difficult to stand still and even though his body had been restless his eyes had stayed glued to Andy’s computer screen.

An anxious reporter had popped up on the screen and gestured at the yellow police tape that was now closing off a crime scene at a local park. The title of the feed had read 17 mysteriously dead at a local park, then soon after they had left the apartment, Andy had informed them that it had changed to 37 year old man arrested at the scene of the crime.

By the time they arrived, the media had chosen their winning title, one that focused on the scarier news, the only news that truly mattered: Massacre at Madison Park: Superpowered man suspected in the deaths of seven children. The saying was alive and well in Seattle: If it bleeds, it leads.

All new headlines had to take Massacre at Madison Park into account. Each outlet fell into step, and there was no longer a chance to report on anything else. Once again, the media had made the sensational headline stick, and no one could even thing about anything other than the massacre. With the absence of new findings, the news outlets took to quoting each other and attempting to one-up one another with more and more grisly photos of the scene. Their insistence that the content they would be showing was not appropriate for all viewers was a sham. They vied for more pairs of eyes on their breaking news; more clicks on their websites, and would do whatever they needed to do to secure their place at the top of the heap of vultures. They were no longer interested in reporting the facts, merely more and more sensationalism.

Each new headline reinforced the fear that Seattle denizens suddenly felt: A 37-year old man, identified as Miles Jensen had disappeared from his workplace without a word to anyone and had allegedly strolled down to Madison Park located a few block away. Mr. Jensen was in possession of inhuman abilities, to which he confessed, but that information up to this point had been unknown to anyone else. One of the reporters on the scene had overheard the unsubstantiated rumor in a conversation between two uniformed officers and had reported it as fact.

The man already labeled as The Madison Butcher by some online news websites had approached the playground upon which at the time a total of seven children had been playing while their politically correct family unit supervisors had sat watching and chatting, unaware of the pending terror. A terror that had only recently been revealed by one Jacob Globe, champion to all non-supers in his valiant attempt to blow the whistle on the government supers programs; or so the press portrayed the former military man.
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Moonrise CH13 – The Vigilante Case

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[1044 words | Inspiration Monday & #3WW]

* * *

Arriving at Madison Park, Massey told Joaquin to stay put in the car along with Andy. He made haste and Joaquin saw him slip underneath the yellow line of police tape. Then he was gone, absorbed by the crowd of bystanders and journalists. Doom merchants, Joaquin thought watching the journalists photograph the scene from every angle. For convenience, Joaquin was sitting in the backseat, and no one was going to bat an eye at him just now. He had to convince himself he was just playing a part, and people who would look at the police car would see just another thug. He had to know better than that. He wasn’t that person anymore.

Andy whistled low from the front passenger seat, and the harmonious sound broke Joaquin from his bubbling thoughts. “There certainly is a lot of attention on this one,” Andy declared. “Crazy shit huh? That Doctor Globe guy makes a speech warning us how dangerous you supers are, and whaddayaknow, soon enough, BAM,” Andy clapped his hands suddenly, and it made Joaquin wince, “there’s a fatal massacre and a super is blamed for it. What’re the fucking odds?” Andy raised his eyebrows and nodded conspiratorially toward Joaquin.

Joaquin bit his tongue and pretended not to hear Andy’s question.

“I tell you what, Joaquin, I’m gonna pop out of this here paddy wagon and see what the fuss is all about. You stay here and guard the car yeah?”

Joaquin wished he could reach from the back seat and grab Andy by the neck. There was something messed up with the guy and the way he talked about supers. As if he knew anything about the powers and what they meant to people like Joaquin. The constant need to prove ones self-righteous and that those powers weren’t wasted on a petty thug from the Seattle projects. Joaquin knew that he was so much more than that punk kid who stabbed a man on a rainy night to get a few bucks from his wallet. He would be better than the bumbling idiot who left destruction in his wake. Destruction so obvious, that an old-ass police detective tracked him down and turned him into some sort of sidekick. I ain’t nobody’s sidekick, Joaquin thought and realized that Andy was staring at him, waiting for a response.

“Whatchu so excited ’bout?” Joaquin sputtered, “You heard them kids got killed, right? Plus, Massey said ‘you stay put.’”

Andy smiled and met Joaquin’s eyes. “I didn’t know your moral compass pointed that way, Joaquin. I’m thrilled to know that it does.” He crossed his arms over his scrawny chest and nodded. “And you needn’t worry about me ’cause I have this.” Andy reached into his inner jacket pocket and flashed Joaquin a press card with his name and picture on it.

“Man, that shit’s so fake!” Joaquin exclaimed.

Andy grinned from the front of the cruiser. He turned to sit in the seat properly, and after he had adjusted the rearview mirror, he regarded Joaquin’s reflection. “Yeah, but they don’t know that.” He gave Joaquin a small salute, a gaping smile, opened the door, and stepped out.
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Moonrise CH14 – Crime Scene Investigations

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[1035 words – Inspiration Monday | #3WW | Sunday Scribblings2 | Terribleminds]

Detective Frank Massey reckoned this was his slowest walk toward a crime scene. He dabbed his forehead from the icky sweat building on his skin. The last of the ambulances were just rolling away down the street. Massey respectfully waited until their sirens died away within the traffic. He sighed he steeled himself to what was to come. Up front, cameras flashed as the crime scene investigators took photos of the site of the massacre. Massey refused to call it the Madison Park Massacre, but he had no doubt that that title would live in infamy until some other scandal rallied the attention of the sheeple. Flashes of light from the screaming bunch of reporters coalesced with the CSI ones making Massey walk through a white-lighted field of blindness.

Things had happened fast: the massacre, the news spreading, and the closing of the crime scene. Massey felt as if he was arriving at something done and over. Massey had baggage and a few nasty ones under his belt, but this tipped the lavish carriage into the ditch. Just minutes after Major Globe’s concerned and heartfelt speech, this had happened. It proved his point, he thought, and Massey wondered whether the major himself hadn’t set it up. But his optimistic soul refused to believe that there could be someone so cruel. He silenced the nagging voice in the back of him mind that laughed at his naiveté.

Patrol officers struggled to keep the crowd further away, but they were in no viewing distance to the playground, so Massey was thankful for that. He hated being shown Facebook posts and Twitter messages with photos from the scene, and he had developed real hatred toward people who tagged themselves not present at the scene. It was all fake condolences and pretend concern these days and Massey couldn’t help but think that that simulation of care was the leading epidemic of modern society. Perhaps that they couldn’t let a crisis go by without making a statement, or without being a part of it. Tragedy was the new mortal gods. Posting how sorry they were didn’t help anyone; it only made them feel better about themselves.

Maybe the years on the force had turned him into a cynic. He shook his head; maybe he was just old fashioned and didn’t understand what a comment section on a social media platform could do for the dead. It only served to turn them into virtual ghosts. No doubt, tomorrow these children would be the poster faces for Jacob Globe’s mayoral campaign. If that had truly been Globe’s idea, to begin with, Massey couldn’t wait to prop a gun to his forehead and watch him being cuffed.

Returning to the present, Massey took a steady breath of the humid air to calm jitters he thought he vanquished years prior and rushed the rest of the distance. Nearing the murder floor he noted that the area was a few degrees lower, casting a chill upon him that prickled his skin. Massey bit his lower lip. The report he glanced at did confirm that Miles Jensen possessed the ability to temper with ice, but the ground surrounding the epicenter of the event didn’t feel just cold… It gave him the notion of something still, stopped, paused. Massey knelt for a closer inspection. There were no blood stains, not a drop anywhere. Usually, when there were this many casualties, the scene was painted with the blood of the victims. The scene he encountered was pristine, and he doubted they’d find DNA evidence different than the victims. There were no peculiar smells either, just the faint scent of fading feminine perfumes. The crime scene guys always debated when and what an olfactory sampling of the air yielded. Not at this crime scene. Massey traced a latex-gloved hand on the ground. There was noticeable discoloration on the entire playground, an almost bluish imprint where the bodies had been. He brushed his finger against it and lifted light-blue residue. He stood up and asked the CSI team whether they had taken samples of it. He wanted to know as soon as possible what it was.
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Joel Cotejar Moonrise art

Hey, Sixteen Sunsets and Moonrise fans! Here is a high-resolution image of the beautiful Joel Cotejar art for Moonrise. The title and frame are removed so you can get your art on. Click on it to embiggen.

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Moonrise CH15 – Takeover

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[1065 words – Prompts: Terribleminds, #3WW, Inspiration Monday, Sunday Scribblings 2 & The Writing Reader]

As Felix backed out of the scene, Massey heard his name being called. He scanned the crowd to find Andy pushing through the journalists, waving his hand at him. Massey cursed under his breath but gestured to the officers to let him under the line.

“I thought I told you to stay in the car and keep an eye on Joaquin.”

“Joaquin’s a big boy he can take care of himself. Besides, I have this.” Andy waved the press pass at his face.

“You do know I can bust you in for impersonating a reporter, right Mr. Kitz?”

Andy smiled at him. “But you won’t, Detective because you need me more than you want to admit. I know you didn’t drag me along all the way here just to sit in a car.”

Massey put his hands akimbo. “How’s that then?”

Andy took a few photos, the eloquent machinations of his camera adding nothing to the scene. He turned to face Massey again. With a nebulous wave of his hand, Andy said, “This is something you don’t see every day. I’m willing to bet that these people will be the first of many innocent casualties. We’re witnessing the uprising of something scarier than a mere civil war Detective, and I have the means to help fight it.”

Massey nodded for him to continue.

“I think you forget about my line of work, Detective. My tracking system is very efficient. Anything out of the ordinary that goes out in this city, any possible supers sighting real or fake, I have photographed, recorded and documented. My network is small, but it’s resourceful and capable of tracking supers. If you were to give me Miles Jensen’s file I might be able to scavenge the SuperHub and find out more about him.”

“Can you tell through your ‘SuperHub’ whether Miles was capable of killing these people?” Massey asked, a small hope rising in his voice.

“There’s a good chance, yes. We’ve written an algorithm that can predict the growth of the supers’ power or the opposite: its decline based on their demonstrations throughout the city. If there’s anything on Miles Jensen in there, it’ll help determine whether he did this or he’s innocent.”

Massey counted the possible entry points to the park. There were too many alleys, too many hidden spots. At this hour in the day it was practically empty save for the poor mothers and their children and the occasional joggers. It would be nearly impossible to find Miles on the tapes. It was possible more witnesses were going to come forth, but that could take days.

“I’ll get you the profile and bring it to your place later today.”

“Detective Massey! Detective Massey!” Frank looked up to see Officer Patterson out of breath rushing to keep up with two suited men leading a small envoy of SWAT officers. They were given space and allowed through the yellow tape and the barricades.
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Moonrise CH16 – Frustrating Situations

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[1050 words – Inspiration Monday, Three Word Wednesday, Sunday Scribblings 2]

* * *

Major Jacob Globe, who preferred Doctor over Major, watched the live body cam footage from his Special Weapons and Tactics team. The stream wasn’t secured by technology, but by a super whose power involved the electrical manipulation of data. The young girl was one of the notorious and most feared hackers in many years. In a world ruled by information, those that could control those little ones and zeroes controlled it all.

Now that the young woman had been brought into the fold of Globe’s new organization, she was free to tap into her powers. He insisted on a rigorous training schedule to mold her into the perfect stealth hacker. One of his supers implanted memories into her mind that compelled her to be loyal to Globe.

Another super painstakingly hid what was done to the young woman, and yet another made sure she slept peacefully at night, sleeping in a clean room devoid of any electronics or even electricity for that matter.

Globe sighed. He was weary from all the subterfuge, and he hated being constantly reminded that he had to rely on them to move his agenda forward. He was an anxiety hurricane. He rarely referred to his hacker by her old number, 337, but by a name that he liked, and had its history implanted into her mind. Yes, he had great plans for the radiant girl called Sindi.

He had no qualms about using the supers for his own purposes. Still, he wouldn’t admit it to anyone, but the events of the last few days left him a little queasy. He recited the old adage like a mantra: To make an omelet, you had to crack a few eggs.

He smiled. No doubt if Anne were there she would berate him for saying it wrong, or regale him with some long boring story about how the saying had been corrupted over the years and was originally this or that. Globe exhaled. That woman is trying on so many levels, he thought.

He saw the dejected police detective burrow a finger into Batiste’s chest just below the spy cam. Globe smiled at the detective’s response when Batiste slapped the finger away. As Batiste turned to issue orders, Globe pressed a few keys on his keyboard. The screen switched from the operation in Madison Park to the lab hidden under so may layers of concrete, if the world ended tomorrow, the lab and cockroaches would be the only survivors.

The origin of all his newfound success lay on two gurneys. Peter and Kristof were still ensconced in wires, sensors, IVs and other medical apparatus, but the list of those who had access to them kept getting bigger and bigger. Globe sighed again.

Denisha’s pleasant face filled the monitor after Globe entered another key sequence into his keyboard. She wasn’t aware that Globe had extricated himself and the entire organization from the purview of the Army. He was satisfied with that arrangement, even if he had to handle Denisha’s father with kid gloves. He hoped that that leverage was something he didn’t need to use. He rather liked Densha.
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