Chapter 20:

Part 2- Chapter 10

Snowflake and Butterknife

Jessie Kalahon drove ahead of Reynard like a speed demon. He swerved through traffic as if police were not behind him. Luckily Reynard was able to keep pace with him and left his police sirens on.

“Why is he driving so recklessly?” Loric asked, holding tightly to the passenger seat in front of him.

“He can afford to pay the speeding ticket.” Reynard said, spinning the wheel again to one side.

Edwin wasn't used to such high speeds and felt nauseous. The way the snow hit the windshield made him feel like he was flying through space. He held the handle on the door so tightly his knuckles became white.

“He is probably interrogating her.” Loric said. “Making sure to stop her from saying anything incriminating.”

“He already did.” Edwin said, pressing his back to his seat for comfort. “Back at the apartment he gave her some kind of signal to stop her.”

“I noticed.” Reynard said. “He tried to hide it from me which was obvious so I observed it more closely. The girl's face looked terrified.”

“Was I the only one that missed it!” Loric said. “Damnit!”

“We can work on your observation skills later.” Reynard said. “We have two interrogation rooms, I say we split them immediately.”

“Sadie is eighteen, so she doesn't need a guardian there for questioning.” Loric stated.

“Edwin, I want you to take her to the break room once we get them in the interrogation rooms. You try to get anything you can concrete out of her.” Reynard said.

“Of course.” Edwin said.

“You kept up well.” Jessie laughed, climbing out of his sports car. They parked in the lot of Reynards station with a drift. “I gotta applaud you for that one.”

“Used almost all the gas doing it.” Reynard said, crossing the distance to meet the man. “Let's go.”

To say this was the most awkward elevator ride would be an understatement. Sadie hung between Edwin and Jessie, leaning closer to Edwin. Reynard stood shoulder to shoulder with Jessie, who in turn went on and on about some new product he thought Reynard might like. Loric sat in a corner on his own, and Benton just faced forward next to Jessie.

“Sadie, please have a seat over there.” Reynard said, pointing to a bench. “We only have two rooms, so I would like to start with Jessie and Bernard.”

“What?” Jessie said charismatically. “I thought she was a key witness here, shouldn't you question her first. I can wait if you would like.”

Reynard did not entertain the man, instead giving him a light push forward. Jessie began to argue his case, but Reynard had already gotten him into the room. Bernard in the other at Loric’s suggestion. The room felt silent after that. Then, the elevator dinged.

“Gottem boss.” Nova said, pointing a thumb at a blonde man with a large muscles. He removed a jacket to reveal a marking upon his right forearm. It was red and looked odd, like a nozzle of a bottle? Red was the color of an alterationist, they had the ability to alter an object with their powers.

“Loric, Edwin, meet the head of the 7th division, Turi.” Reynard said, approaching the man.

“Well Reynard, it's been a while.” Turi said, shaking Reynard’s hand. “How long has it been? Gotta be that Yeller incident a few years back.”

“I believe so, though I have been by 7th recently, each time you weren't there unfortunately.” Renyard said.

“I was told, Hamid was accommodating I assume?” Turi said.

“Very.” Reynard said.

“So, what we got?” Turi asked, looking around and spotting Sadie. “Girl there, other two in the interrogation rooms?”

“Yep.” Reynard said, facing the doors to the sectioned off rooms. “We can discuss tactics once you get a look at em. Edwin here will be talking with Sadie. We will take Jessie, Nova and Loric, you got Benton. Nova, show Loric how to do things. Met, can you supervise Edwin?”

Turi nodded, then strode towards the rooms with Reynard. Loric and Nova went to the other room and sealed themselves off in the soundproof rooms. Met looked at Edwin who nodded.

“Sadie.” Edwin said, sitting on the bench next to her. “Can we talk over here?” He pointed towards the break room.

Sadie nodded. They entered the room and took a seat next to each other at the round table. Met began to make coffee.

“How do you like yours?” Met asked Sadie.

“Sugar.” Sadie said with a worried smile.

Met smiled back at her then began to brew the coffee.

“Don't worry about Met here, he is a good guy.” Edwin said. Sadie nodded in understanding. “Sadie, you were going to tell me something last night. You said you didn't think you would be free for much longer. Do you remember?”

Sadie nodded. “I did, I just.” She shot a look at Met, who was grabbing some sugar and pouring it into her coffee.

“Sadie, Met wants to protect people, just like me.” Edwin said. “You are safe here.”

Sadie nodded again. “Father said I was safe too, if I didn't leave, if I stayed in my room like a good little girl. He wasn't always like that. When mom died he was sad for so long, but he got better. Then when I developed my powers he flipped. It was like a light switch. He kept me locked away from everyone as much as possible. But yesterday I snuck out, and I heard him talking to someone.” She paused as Met placed a mug in front of her, a shaker of sugar next to the mug. “Thank you.”

“Of course.” Met said with a kind smile. “Please, what did you hear?”

Sadie took a drink, her face showed satisfaction. “What blend did you use?” she asked Met.

Met tilted his head. “Im sorry?”

“The coffee.” Sadie said, pointing at her mug. “What blend is it?”

“Oh!” Met said, getting to his feet. He picked up the bag of instant coffee. “Says here it is Robusta.”

“I see.” Sadie said, looking at the coffee. “My mom loved coffee, she used to make Father’s coffee all the time and could make an amazing cup. She had a machine that let her do art in the cup with cream. She taught me a little about it, but not enough to make it like she did, I was still little at the time.” She stared into the brown drink for a long while.

Edwin gave Sadie a moment to reflect in her coffee. He wasn't sure what she could see in the brown drink’s reflection but it seemed to spur her on as her face changed to resolve.

“He was talking about getting rid of me.” Sadie said. “Said I would fetch a good price. After that I made an assumption and ran, I was heard running and he sent people after me.”

Met leaned back in the seat. “Nothing concrete? No names, no places?”

Sadie shook her head from left to right. “I'm sorry.”

“It's not your fault.” Edwin said. “We have a theory that your dad is planning to sell you into a Mageye trafficking ring.”

Sadie didn't look shocked to hear this. “I figured as much, but I didn't want to believe it.”

“We want to bring the ring down.” Edwin said. “But we need a way to find them, so we can take down the whole group at once, so if you can remember anything of importance it will be useful in saving other people like you.”

“Please like me, who will be forced to be sold like a product.” Sadie said, continuing to stare into the coffee. Edwin spotted Reynard and Turi approaching the room. “I didn't see the man’s face, it was too dark. But, what if I could lead you right to them?”

Renyard and Turi stopped abruptly in the doorway. Met was aghast at the implication.

“Sadie, what do you mean?” Edwin asked.

“They are going to do it tonight.” Sadie said. “Dad said he was going to take me out to celebrate my birthday, something he hasn't done in years. I think he is going to take me to be sold tonight. Let them take me, and follow them. Catch my dad in the act please.”

“Sadie, are you sure about that? We can put you into protection here.” Met said. “If you do this you will be in danger.”

“Not as much as the other Mageye like me.” Sadie said. “I was lucky, I saw what happened to those people. Forced into cages for days on barely any food or water. I was lucky to have a room and meals.” She looked up into Edwin’s eyes. “I want to help people, so please, let me do this.”

Edwin turned to Reynard and Turi, the two gave a nod. Edwin swallowed back guilt. “Alright, but once things start to go down I am getting you out of there.”

Sadie smiled. “With my ability I can hide a tracker, not all the time but just during any searches.” Sadie looked at Reynard. “Will that help you all?”

Reynard nodded. “Alright, Benton and Jessie were no good. Didn't give us shit, but this is enough. Turi, get your boys ready for a raid. We're taking these scumbags down.”

“We gotta make this convincing though.” Turi explained. “If they catch on that we know about their plans they will push it off. This is our one shot.”

“Sadie, you will be interrogated by Turi and Nova, they will give you some ideas of how to help cover the story. Edwin, with me.” Reynard said, walking before Edwin had even gotten up.

They entered the monitor room, the screens on and showing different feeds that changed randomly. It was dark in the room, the only light being that of the monitor wall.

“Its weird to be in here without Gema.” Edwin said, looking around.

Reynard put a finger to his lips, then pointed to the ground of Gema’s desk. Edwin spotted Gema with a pillow and sleeping bag snoozing away on the ground.

“She has been working non stop.” Reynard said. “She even has an earpiece in just incase of someone reporting while she is asleep.”

“Why are we in here?” Edwin asked. “Shouldn't we let her rest?”

“I wanted to show you the team you are working with.” Reynard said, looking fondly down at Gema. “Besides, I wanted her to go home, so I'm going to draw on her face.” Edwin heard the sound of a marker cap popping off.

Edwin almost laughed out loud as Reynard drew on Gema. He figured he knew what Reynard was trying to do.

“Will Sim be a part of this team?” Edwin asked.

“Of course.” Reynard said. “Just need a little more time, I want to move him out of my place soon. I found a place for you, he will be your neighbor.”

“I wouldn't mind that.” Edwin said.

“Good cause it wasn't up for debate. I need someone to keep an eye on him.” Reynard said. “He will begin working with us soon, once things have settled with the Devourer case.”

Edwin smiled a genuine smile. He felt a part of this team at that moment, not like some newbie who was finding his footing. He appreciated that.

Edwin felt his resolve tighten in that moment. Sadie needed to be protected, as did his team. They all needed to work to protect people from the darkness of this world. For now, that took the form of capturing these traffickers.

“There is something still bothering me.” Reynard said. “Benton and Sadie both don't have any markings or registration as Mageye’s, I think someone is helping hide them.”

“You think it's the ACO?” Edwin asked.

“Not the ACO, but the group that was helping to hide their members.” Reynard said, finishing the art piece on Gema’s cheek. “And since the Council didn't want us involved in this, I think we can figure out what is going on.”

Edwin swallowed hard. The council, the leaders of the Mageye world, were working against them. Reynard didn't need to say it out loud but it had been made clear, The Council were their enemies.

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