Unforeseen Dives – Xa – A War On The Horizon

<< IXb – A Trouble In Paradise

The clean scent of my immediate surrounding welcomed me back to consciousness. I breathed in deep, appreciating every nuance of liveliness in the relatively non-descript perfume. No putrefying corpse. No vomit. No rusty smell of blood. It smelled almost too good to be true.
“If you inhale anymore of it, you’ll blow up.” Rebecca teased.
I mumbled an incomprehensible response and cracked my eyelids. The light, dimmed by my lashes, slowly forced my eyes to adapt. I eventually worked my way up to eyes wide open. The pale ceiling wasn’t a particularly delightful sight but it meant safety which made it as precious as the smell and the softness of the bed beneath me. I turned my head towards the window. The sun silhouetted Rebecca in a couch.
“I’m at the bank.” The realization tempered my humor. My thoughts shied away from the implication of that truth and jumped on the nearest conversational topic. “How did you find me?”
I tried to sit but moving my right arm instantaneously sent a jolt of pain in my shoulder. I fell back against the pillow. Rebecca moved and sat on the small space I managed for her.
“You’re pumped with morphine to dull the pain while you rest. Any physical activity is a bad idea.”
“Thanks for the heads up!” I joked. She rearranged my arm under the covers and tucked me in. She picked up a glass on the side table and offered it to me. I sipped the water and it ran down my throat with a satisfying coldness.
“In a way, I guess you saved yourself.” Becky explained. She touched my arm to beam the sequence of events straight inside my head.
The three telepaths and Nadina had been talking through the aeration system. So the existence of her ex-boyfriend was fresh in Nadina’s mind when I played her. Most of her thoughts while I acted like I snapped had been about how the ex snapped and what subjects led him over the edge. Once decoded the information helped Adams and Carmichael. They pried open the telepath’s mind and gained enough crowbars to repeat the process on his two brothers. From there, the investigation became fairly easy.
“We played connect the dots, basically.” Rebecca summed up once she completed the replay of her memory. The manufacturer signature on the bomb, the telepaths, the man responsible to hire all the hit men, they were all connected somehow once you knew how to track them down.
“I kept concentrating on your mind every time I had a chance,” Becky added. “Despite everything you broadcasted a few useful pieces of information. We narrowed down the region where you were because of the day you saw snow falling.”
“You were able to hear me?”
“Not all the time. But I think your impromptu dives occasionally brought you over their mind shielding drugs or whatnots. I’m not sure how that happened but it did.” Once they knew which cities I could be in, they doubled-check which had been contacted by the key personnel they uncovered with the brothers’ information. The phone numbers were all untraceable, both technologically and psychically, or disconnected but they pointed towards one city in particular.
Then, I spat in the snow.
“You should have seen us, disguised as civilians, trying to spot blood in the snow bank in front of a stone wall with a window.” I saw it through her memories and laughed. That pursuit was a pretty desperate move but it paid off. I wouldn’t be here if it hadn’t.
“I’m sorry about Sean.” I said. Becky’s face disappeared behind the shadow of grief. Her composure returned after a deep breath.
“In a way, I already knew. Or at least I was prepared for it.” She murmured. I wanted to hug her but moving would hurt like hell. I didn’t have the will to endure pain anymore. Picking up on my thought, Becky lied down next to me. “I’ll pull through, if only for the souvenir.” She ran a hand over her belly.
Throughout the day, an irregular stream of coworkers came and went. All the readers brought laurel and meadow cranesbill to celebrate my strength and my unyielding devotion to the community. A selection of “get well soon” flowers accompanied them along with a handful of black roses for the ones we lost. The non-reader FBI agents felt awkward when they walked in empty-handed.
Daniel stopped by at the end of the day. The recent events took their toll on him and he seemed a bit older. Aaron talked in a softer tone than usual. So soft, in fact, he sounded like he was afraid to scare me off my bed.
When the doctor turned off the morphine, I finally dared to contemplate the questions I had pushed to the back of my mind. Just thinking about them and knowing I had to ask was a form of torture. What they implied sufficed to make them almost unbearable but after a week in bed, I was tired of everyone overprotecting me as if the events that didn’t kill me didn’t make me stronger either.
I waited for Becky to be alone with me before I opened the can of worms. People apparently knew my intentions or coincidence just refused to allow that moment to happen. I could prompt dive to find my answers but if no one wanted to tell me, I probably didn’t want to find out without a safety net.
How much had we slowed them down? Since I was here, the menace was still out there. Did we have any new leads? Obviously, the war wasn’t over and my survival was but a battle won. All dark and important questions. But the one I meant to ask first was much more personal and oh so important for my sanity.
Was there any chance to help Casey?

Xb – A War On The Horizon (Finale) >>


About Aheïla

Somewhere in Quebec City, Aheïla works as a Game Design Director by day and writes by night. Known for her blue hair, unyielding dynamism and tasty cooking (quails, anyone?), she’s convinced “prose is the new crack”. She satisfies her addiction daily on The Writeaholic’s Blog and weekly on Games' Bustles View all posts by Aheïla

6 responses to “Unforeseen Dives – Xa – A War On The Horizon

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