The Price of Entanglement - Chapter 11, pt. 2

Transient

Heat seemed to ebb and flow through her as she lay in recovery. They’d been met outside by Nickolaus & Midori, the next-most green members of the department next to Jo herself. They’d gotten them back to HQ and out of their now-radioactive clothing and into clean outfits, as well as assisted them through a more thorough decontamination than the tabs could provide.

Dunn had debriefed them, a process that lasted about half an hour but felt at least four times as long. He’d questioned them separately; they hadn’t had the chance to talk to one another beforehand, but they’d independently arrived at the conclusion that their respective … visions, for lack of a better word, were private, and so they’d both left any mention of them out of their reports.

It was strange, Jo thought; just seeing an image of a guy out of time could evoke such a connection in her. She didn’t know who he was, beyond her initial conviction that he was tied to that other one somehow, that Archerd. Yet watching him conduct his … his …

Investigation. That’s what he was doing. Some sort of investigation of his own, in his time. The bones he’d been so intent on had been a dead giveaway, she supposed. Had someone died down there, then? She mentally filed the question away for a later investigation of her own.

How was it that he was able to see her? How could see see him, for that matter? It had happened with Archerd, too; to an even greater extent, come to think of it. She’d come into physical contact with Archerd, hadn’t she? So she couldn’t just be seeing things.

And Mike, too. They’d been quiet on the way back to HQ, and he hadn’t said what he’d seen, but it must have been something, and she hadn’t seen a hint of it. Had he seen something, or someone, just as she had been? A longing awakened within her at the thought; not of anything sexual in nature, nor even romantic, but simply for someone she could talk to about it. Quinn was open-minded as well as open to talking about what she’d been seeing, but his understanding could only go so far. He hadn’t experienced it. He didn’t know.

If Mike had, though …

Her thoughts were interupted by Midori bearing water. The tall, pretty, athletic Japanese girl handed her a green glass. “You’re to drink this,” she said, somewhat more severely than Jo thought was strictly necessary. “Boss’s orders.” She grinned. “It’s my hide if you don’t, so I’m going to stand right here and stare you down until you do.”

It was no idle threat. Midori’s eyes were an intense emerald banded around the edges with blue, and she could win staring contests against cats. It didn’t matter if you were old or young, male or female, naive or jaded, her air of command and those eyes ensured few could stand up to her. Jo drank the water. The banks of fires inside her started burning lower, reducing the waves of heat passing through her.