Author Topic: Bloody Retail (MA15+)  (Read 1239 times)

ExtraterrestrialGuy

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Re: Bloody Retail (MA15+)
« Reply #30 on: September 29, 2017, 10:33:36 PM »
Thanks.

The next two episodes will be returning to the main story.

ExtraterrestrialGuy

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Re: Bloody Retail (MA15+)
« Reply #31 on: October 09, 2017, 02:49:15 AM »
EPISODE 11
       POPULAR GIRLS

“Penelope Penguin!”
     Hearing her real name took some adjustment. Evangeline had only been undercover for a few months, but it had felt like a lifetime. Working in retail had that effect. She turned away from her locker and faced the voice.
     A blonde woman in a tight suit smiled. She was surrounded by her posse of equally attractive women.
     Evangeline, in simple business dress, couldn't help feeling flustered. “Kelly Kingfisher.”
     The woman laughed mockingly. Her posse laughed too. “I'm surprised to see you! Weren't you put under 'deep cover' on some misper case?”
     “My boss pulled me out for this conference.”
Kingfisher smiled. “Hm. This inter-agency cooperation conference would do you some good. What happened on our last assignment together?”
     Evangeline didn't rise to it.
     Kingfisher continued anyway, wagging a finger against her chin. “Ah yes. You, an intelligence officer, with no law enforcement powers, killed my suspect. And you didn't get sacked? You must have friends in high places.”
     Evangeline hated this story being brought up. Kingfisher was a warranted National Crime Agency officer, given powers to arrest her suspects. She always rubbed that in. In some ways, despite hating their fancy dress codes, Evangeline wanted to be one of them. To have the powers and the attention of senior ministers. To be one of the popular girls.
     “I suppose not too much has changed, has it?” Kingfisher continued. “In school you weren't the smartest. MI5 is the right place for you, sweetie.” The posse laughed on cue.
     She remembered the school yard bullying, the childish games and the bathroom swirlies. She knew she never had as much potential as Kingfisher. Frustratingly, Kingfisher knew that too. Evangeline felt a desire to impress her. There was only one thing Evangeline was better at than Kingfisher: killing, which she did for half a decade after graduating. She didn't give in to Kingfisher's intelligence-gathering tactics, though. Some things were best left a secret. “We can't all be as good as you, dear.” She slammed her locker shut.
      “Are you going already? I wanted to know more about your exciting missing persons case!”
      Evangeline held back a smile. Her investigation was much bigger than that. She was onto a serial killer. She thought hard for a second. Perhaps this was her way in to the NCA. She could strike a deal of sorts to move the investigation over to them. “If you're interested, I could brief you. I'm free this evening.”
      Kingfisher pushed a hand against Evangeline and exaggerated a laugh. “Oh, good heavens, no! I have real work to do!” Her posse laughed with her and they moved on.

Evangeline rushed into her hotel room and threw her bag on the bed. She whispered to herself furiously, tapping at her laptop.
     “Kingfisher, Kelly,” read a file name.
     Few things could aggravate Evangeline on such an existential level, but this dog of female orientation did the job. Unable to find any dirt, she slammed her laptop shut and chucked it at the wall. She dropped face-down into a pillow and screamed. She needed payback. Retribution.
     A knock at the door.
     She wasn't expecting visitors. She reached into her bag and felt for her Glock. “Who is it?” she asked sternly.
     “Erm, you don't know me, miss. M-My name's Bob. Er, Bob Bee.”
     She opened the door slightly, poking an eye through. “What do you want?”
     Before her stood a young, short man with an unfortunate hairline. His glasses were too big for his skinny face and his jacket sleeves were too long. He held a tablet. “I'm with the NCA. I need to tell you something.”
     Evangeline gripped her gun tightly.
     “Miss Penguin. It's about Kingfisher.”
     Evangeline squinted. “What about her?”
     “Let me in,” he said assertively. “Er, please?” Almost assertively.
     Evangeline nodded and opened the door wide. After he walked through, she slammed it shut and aimed her gun at him.
     He jumped and dropped his tablet. “Oh! Please! No!”
     She didn't care that he could see her gun. He seemed the type to be easily coerced into silence. “Don't try anything funny. Take your jacket off and sit down.”
     He obeyed, removing his jacket to reveal an unsightly t shirt.
     “Out with it.”
     “I know about you and her. Your last op. You shot Mr M.J., the drug boss.”
     “Everyone knows that.”
     “Nobody knows this.” He slowly nudged the fallen tablet with his foot.
     She spared a hand and reached down for it.
     “Password's BIRD,” he mentioned. “If you get it wrong the device self-destructs.”
     She nodded.
     The screen displayed a top secret report on Mr M.J.'s employment with the NCA.
     “I shot an NCA officer?”
     “Not exactly.” He leaned over awkwardly and fumbled with the screen. “He was enlisted as an agent by Kingfisher. The whole thing was a ruse to further her career. There were never any drugs.”
     “How did you get this?” She raised the gun when he didn't respond.
     He held his hands up. “Please, I'm just a junior analyst. I came across these by mistake, honest!”
     Evangeline tucked her gun in her waistband and paced across the room. If he knew this about Kingfisher, what kind of digging had he done into 'Penelope Penguin?' “Why would you come to me with this?”
     “I work in her department. She's a Machiavellian, megalomaniacal monster!”
     Evangeline smiled. An apt description.
     “It's not just me. There's a few of us who can't stand by her any more. How do we know if any of our work is genuine?”
     “Of course, dear. But, why me?”
     “I figured you'd have an axe to grind. You're intelligence. Build a case against her. Get her out.”
     She wasn't convinced that Bob Bee hadn't dug into her background, but she was confident he hadn't found anything. After all, Kingfisher had probably tried before. If worse came to worst, he could be eliminated easily. “Mr Bee, would you be able to pull some strings over at the NCA if I did this for you?”
     He pushed his glasses back up his nose and snorted. “To an extent. What were you thinking?”
     “I wouldn't mind Miss Kingfisher's job.” 

Day two of the conference was almost over. Bored employees from the various intelligence services moved through the convention centre to their next seminars.
     Evangeline stood atop a balcony, eyeing the movements of Kingfisher. Her plan was clear. She was going to isolate her and get as much information as she could about Mr M.J.
     Kingfisher broke from her posse and headed towards the ladies' lavatory.
     Evangeline rushed down the crowded staircase and approached the lavatory. Her heart pounded with the nerves. She didn't mind confrontation, but this felt much bigger. Her career was on the line. She straightened her posture, entered confidently and scanned the lavatory.
     Kingfisher stood against a sink, looking at her reflection in the mirror. She smiled at Evangeline's reflection. “Good afternoon.”
     Evangeline took a few steps forwards and folded her arms.
     Before she could start, the door behind her opened and NCA officers surrounded them.

Taken by surprise, Evangeline widened her stance and prepared for a fight. She glanced around to make sure she was safe before looking back at Kingfisher's reflection. “I know everything about Mr M.J.”
     “I know you do. Bob Bee paid you a visit last night. Who do you think put him up to it? I just wanted to see if you had the balls.”
     Spies, thought Evangeline in disgust, aware of the irony. “What do you want, then?”
     Kingfisher turned around and smiled as she approached Evangeline. “Be a dear and kill him for me.”
     Evangeline laughed at the notion. This was clearly a set up. “Why would I do that?”
     “I want you to prove yourself to me.” Her smile grew sweeter and she placed her hands against Evangeline's shoulders.  “I want you on my team.”
     Evangeline couldn't hide her excitement. “At the NCA?!”
     “Of course! You know, what? Bring your investigation over. We can help. Build your credibility. You'll be running your own team in no time.”
     Evangeline tried to stay rational, but the prospect was too exciting. Not only had she been validated by Kingfisher, she had a sure spot in the NCA. The word of Kingfisher was much safer than that of a junior analyst. Even if she discredited Kingfisher, he couldn't guarantee her a job as she could. Evangeline smiled. “When and where?”

It was a dark night.
     Evangeline felt a sick twang of nostalgia as she stalked her victim, knife in hand. Dressed in simple black sportswear, she twisted between cars and alleys as she followed her target.
     Bob Bee shifted nervously as he unlocked his car door.
     This was her chance. She had to kill him before he drove away. Evangeline looked around the quiet road to ensure nobody was watching. Satisfied, she kept low, jogged across and opened a back door.
     Bob Bee gasped as she threw one arm around his chest and held a knife to his throat with the other.
     “Please,” he croaked. “I'm... a nobody!” 
     Evangeline ignored his voice and let her surroundings fade away. There were only three of them in the car. Herself, Bob Bee and the killing blade. She felt the texture of his skin through it, considered the force she would use and prepared to make for her escape route. Evangeline breathed in, seconds away from the assassination. Her knife hand shook.
     Bob Bee was holding his breath now.
     She thought of the people she had killed in service of her country. The man who intercepted classified transmissions. The touched ecoterrorist that claimed to have met aliens.  Dangerous people. Bob Bee wasn't dangerous. This kill wasn't for her Majesty's government or the public. It was for Kingfisher.
     Bob Bee stayed completely still.
     Evangeline felt a hot tear run down her cheek. She couldn't do it. Her hands loosened and she leant back in her seat.
     A long pause.
     “I'm sorry,” she sobbed.
     “Was... it Kingfisher?” he gasped between breaths, stroking his neck.
     She composed herself. “Pack your things. Don't show up at the conference tomorrow. I'll arrange a safe place for you.”
     “But... My job!” he protested, as if being alive wasn't enough.

Evangeline sat on her bed and panicked. Kingfisher would find out that she hadn't killed Bob Bee. She could be the next target.
     A text message alert beeped on her phone.
    She had to get herself out of London. It wasn't safe. Odso wasn't either. Evangeline's safe house would be her only option. She sighed when she remembered she had to take care of Bob Bee. Her escape plans would have to wait until he was safe. That had to wait until the next day, though. She had to rest first.
     “Disappointed. >:[,” read the text message from the unknown number.
     Evangeline considered replying, but couldn't muster up the energy. She was exhausted. Evangeline picked up Bob Bee's tablet from her bag and spun a pen around her hand as she entered his password carefully. She didn't want her only piece of evidence to self-destruct on her.
     The curtains twitched.
     Evangeline paused and narrowed her eyes. She didn't recall leaving her window open.
     Creak.
     It could have been the wind... Or something else.
     Evangeline reached into her bag and drew her gun. She slipped quietly off the bed and sneaked over to the curtains. She pulled the trigger.
     The curtains fluttered violently.
     She rushed through and swung her gun.
     There was nobody there.
     She checked outside the window.
     Nothing, aside from the ten storey drop.
     “Stupid,” she whispered to herself. No doubt, somebody was going to report the gunshot.
     Smack.
     A fist knocked her gun away and she found herself slung to the ground.
     A man in black grabbed her ankles.
     Evangeline grunted and kicked the man in the groin. When he let go, she scrambled forwards, scouring the floor for her gun. Unable to find it in time, she reached a hand up over the bed and felt for her knife.
     His approaching shadow towered over her.
     She felt something small in her fingertips, barely in reach.
     Hands grabbed her waist and twisted her to face him.
     She gasped and spun the pen around her hand into a better grip. She yelled and thrust it into his eye.
     He shrieked and staggered backwards.
     She rushed up to him and kicked him in the chest, sending him through the open window and down the ten storeys.
     They'd come for her. Bob Bee was in danger.
     Evangeline put on her coat, stuffed the tablet into her bag and held the gun in her pocket. She rushed down the stairs, out of the hotel and phoned Bob Bee.
     “Hello?” came a nervous voice.
     “It's me,” she said.
     “Why are you calling me on this number?”
     “You're not safe. Where are you?”
     “I'm at my hotel. I was just leaving.”
     “Meet me at the entrance. Stay where it's busy.”

Bob Bee had done as instructed, standing next to the hotel's doorman. He made towards her, but a doorman grabbed his arm.
     Evangeline burst out of her car and rushed towards them. She had to save him.
     With his free hand, the doorman reached into his secret pocket.
     Evangeline drew her gun and held it up as she approached, but didn't fire. She couldn't risk harming Bob Bee.
     The doorman quickly produced a knife and held it to Bob Bee's throat. “Get back in your car, Penguin.”
     “Don't leave me!” squealed Bob Bee.
     Another man in black approached the scene.
     Evangeline couldn't risk the shot. She couldn't approach the doorman fast enough for hand-to-hand. She was outnumbered, too. She lowered her gun and took a few steps back. “Fine, but I've got something for Kingfisher.” She removed her bag and produced Bob Bee's tablet.
     Bob Bee's eyes widened and he shook his head furiously. 
     Evangeline ignored him.
     The doorman nodded and the man in black moved towards Evangeline, one hand extended. He snatched the tablet and inspected it.
     “Password is BOOM.” She took a few large steps backwards.
     The man in black shrugged and tapped the tablet.
     Boom.
     The man in black fell backwards. Smoke spread across the street.
     Evangeline ignored his moans as she rushed towards the doorman.
     Somebody grabbed hold of her.
     Bob Bee.
     She pushed him aside and aimed at the running doorman, but spared him. “Get in the car, Bob.”

The cabin, her cabin, was simple. It had a well for water and there was a small village nearby for food.
     “How long do I have to stay here?” Bob Bee hadn't looked her in the eyes since the rescue.
     “However long it takes me to get Kingfisher.” Evangeline tried to make eye contact, but he shifted uncomfortably.
     “You destroyed the only evidence we had on her.”
     Evangeline knew that. It complicated things. She shrugged. “I have you as a witness.”
     “Are you going to kill her?”
     Evangeline had spent the night's drive thinking that through. She could kill her and be done with it, but that wouldn't get her a job at the NCA. She had to remove Kingfisher legitimately. She had to prove herself as an investigator. Compared to that, killing seemed overrated. “Not yet.”
     Bob Bee sighed and left the car. He peered through the window. “Stay safe, Miss Penguin.”
     “You too, Mr Bee.”

It was the last day of the conference. Kingfisher seemed on edge. She was right to be.
     Evangeline had stalked her all day. She made sure they were truly alone when she popped out behind a plant and forced Kingfisher into the mens' lavatory. She grabbed hold of her blonde hair, shoved her pretty face into the toilet boil and flushed a few times.
     Kingfisher gasped for air.
     It felt good to be on the other side. She felt less insecure. “I know everything. I have the documents. If you ever come near Bob Bee or myself again, I'll finish your career.”
     Kingfisher sobbed and nodded.

***

Somehow, the dreary-looking prison-turned-shop was a welcoming sight.
     The intelligence community may have been hostile to her, but down here she was a normal girl doing normal work. Perhaps a whole life of this wouldn't be too bad. Peaceful.
     An agonised scream interrupted the morning calm.
     Evangeline followed the sound. She rushed around the building and towards the warehouse.
     Gareth snarled, standing over a dead body and a bloody puddle.
« Last Edit: October 09, 2017, 02:56:46 AM by ExtraterrestrialGuy »

ExtraterrestrialGuy

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Re: Bloody Retail (MA15+)
« Reply #32 on: October 15, 2017, 02:39:06 AM »
EPISODE 12
       BLOODY RETAIL

Rain pounded the car park. Behind Odso, outside the warehouse, the ground was covered in blood. So was Gareth. He held a scalpel out towards Evangeline, taunting her.
     Despite the horrifying spectacle, Evangeline did her best to stay calm. She had the evidence she needed to nail Gareth and end her investigation. She could have called the police, but she was confident in disarming Gareth herself. She raised her gun at Gareth and moved forwards slowly. “Drop the knife,” she ordered calmly.
     Gareth obeyed with a smile. He held his hands up too. “I fishing knew it. You're a copper.”
     Evangeline didn't respond. She ordered him to stand against the wall. When he obeyed, she stepped around the body and tucked her gun in her waistband. She reached for the pair of handcuffs in her bag and slammed one side against Gareth's wrist.
     Before she could apply the other side, Gareth roared and kicked himself away from the wall. They both splashed into the bloody puddle.
     Evangeline felt numb after the fall. Her head throbbed. Her vision faded.

Everything was grey. The walls, the cobwebs, the fleshy skeleton staring at her.
     Panicked and confused, Evangeline zipped her head in all directions as she tried to remember where she was. She tried to stand, but her wrists and ankles were tied together behind her back. Her gun was gone too. She pressed herself upwards against the wall.
     Light hit the small room as the door opened. Gareth entered and smiled.
     Evangeline tried to keep calm. She was most likely in one of the as-of-yet-unfurnished prison cells upstairs. She tried to justify her carelessness. She should have called the police.
     Gareth stroked a scalpel.
     She shook her head slightly. What was done was done. She needed to get out alive, otherwise many more would die. Her priority was cutting her ropes. After that she'd have to overpower Gareth. Perhaps she could kill him. Her fingers flexed around for something sharp.
     There was nothing there.
     She looked at Gareth's scalpel, briefly so as not to alert him to her intentions. How would she get it from him, though? Without her limbs she couldn't disarm him in any way.
     He sat in the far corner of the room, maintaining eye contact.
     Evangeline rolled her head. She had no choice but to talk her way out.

“I never understood people,” continued Gareth. He had been talking for a while. “I'm just a parrot, really. I copy whatever everyone else is saying and doing.”
     She didn't care. “And why is that?”
     Gareth shrugged. “Dunno. Didn't fit in anywhere. Was just easier to do that than go against the grain.”
     Evangeline sighed a little bit too loud.
     He moved slightly, observant. “I'm sure you know what I'm on about?”
     “No.”
     “Come on.” He giggled shallowly. “You're not a real person. You're either damaged, or this is all an act.”
     Evangeline was getting impatient, and uncomfortable. At this point, she'd rather he killed her than continue listening to him. She had to keep trying, though. “Are you going to let me go?”
     He paced. “No, no, no, no, no, no, no, no. That was never going to happen. I'm just thinking of how to kill you.”
     Evangeline felt an itch in her eyebrow. She squirmed slightly. Her training had never prepared her for this. Talking wasn't a strength. “Come on. I'll tell you everything.”
     He became still. “I know. Tronzorf.”
     Her heart sank.
     “I've noticed how you are. You treat everyone else like unpleasant excrement, but you care about her.”
     Evangeline breathed harder. She was getting angry.
     Gareth leant forwards. “I'm going to kill her last. Anu and Dula, they're first. I want to see her run. Then I'll catch her and kill her in front of you.”
     Tears formed. She shook with rage. She screamed loud.
     Gareth smiled and turned towards the door.

Evangeline couldn't help sobbing. She fell to her side and her tears dripped off her cheek. Tronzorf, Anu and Dula were going to die because of her.
     Gareth stopped and turned. “What are you doing?”
     Evangeline held her breath so she could talk. “Don't kill them!”
     “Are you crying?”
     Evangeline tried to focus on his voice. He sounded confused. Had he never seen someone cry before? She let herself speculate for a second. He was a sociopath, but he could be confused and curious. She forced herself to keep crying. She thought about her investigation, how she had failed. Gareth was right. She was broken. Nobody liked her and everybody was out to get her. People like Gareth and Kingfisher. She felt another round of tears.
     Gareth kept watching.
     She was unwanted. Her parents had left her to face childhood and adolescence by herself. She didn't have a home until a group of killers took her in. When they did, she was ready for it. It was all she would ever be good at. She didn't deserve anything else. She gasped involuntarily and shook her head.
     Gareth dropped to his knees and crawled over slowly. “I didn't know other people did that,” he whispered.
     Evangeline blinked and looked up. She didn't move, he was lowering his guard.
     “I've never had any friends before.” He moved in closer.
     She waited for him to get close enough for a headbutt. “I believe you.”
     “Funny.” His head was next to hers now.
     She grunted and thrust her forehead into his nose.
     Gareth moaned and fell back.
     She shuffled over, grasped his fallen scalpel by her fingertips and awkwardly cut away at the rope. Her legs dropped down first. She stumbled as she stood. The rope gave way and her hands swung down. She leant against the wall for a second, letting the blood rush back down her limbs.
     Gareth snarled as he sprung to his feet.
     She screamed, kicked him back down and exited the cell to the main prison hall.
     Above were over a dozen storeys of cells.
     Evangeline had never been there before, but she recognised the door to the hallway that led to the locker room. Thankful that she had made it out of another scrap, she rushed towards it.
     Something with a shrill voice said something and she was knocked aside.
     “Humans?!” called the voice.

Some sort of gigantic goblin-spider hybrid crawled around the prison hall. Its eight legs spanned the entire floor, moving up and down the balconies.
     Evangeline tried her best to make sense of the sight. When that didn't happen, dread overcame her. She held onto the wall and looked towards the exit.
     Its limb stomped down ahead of her and its face leant down. “I warned your friends not to come back here!”
     Evangeline stammered, but made a mental note to ask the others about it. She spotted Gareth moving out of the cell.
     It moved towards him, but kept one leg in front of the exit.
     Evangeline looked up. She could fight the creature or let Gareth distract it and climb upwards.
     Gareth yelled in fear and avoided multiple strikes from the monster's limbs. He ran towards her.
     Evangeline hopped up onto a loose gigantic cobweb, testing its strength. Satisfied that it could hold her, she decided to climb upwards.

Evangeline had climbed a few storeys before taking a look down. The height was dizzying and her arms were growing tired.
     Unfortunately, the monster hadn't killed Gareth yet. Gareth was running around the bottommost floor of the prison, avoiding the monster's limbs.
     Evangeline took a breather and leant over the balcony, surveying the scene. She had to ensure Gareth was stopped before climbing back down. If he got away, the others would be killed.
     The monster looked up, its eight eyes squinting at Evangeline.
     A wave of fright forced her to move once again. She climbed a few more storeys, her muscles pounding as she kept pushing.
     The monster caught up quickly.
     They were on the uppermost floor now. Evangeline scanned for a way out of the building. There weren't any cells on this floor, but a series of offices. She hoped they had windows and rushed towards one.
     The monster growled and jabbed Evangeline with one of its limbs.
     Evangeline collapsed against the balcony fence. She fought the stinging pain in her legs and grabbed hold of a loose cobweb hanging from the ceiling.
     The monster came in for another attack.
     She climbed over the fence and leapt out over the chasm, swinging to the other side of the floor. She grunted as she hit other side's fence hard, but held on tight.
     The monster repositioned its legs and crawled over.
     She rolled over the fence, narrowly missing a jab. She barged through an office door and collapsed against a desk. To her relief, there was a window. However, it was barred.
     The room shook as the monster slammed against the wall. It lashed a leg inside and waved it about frantically.
     Evangeline made for the window and ducked as the leg thrashed through the bars and the glass. She waited for the leg to retract before climbing out.
     The ground was very far away. Winds and rain whipped against the building.
     Evangeline had no choice but to stand in the window, watching as Gareth rushed out of the building. He held Tronzorf by the throat.

It was too late. Evangeline had failed them. She watched helplessly as Dula, Anu and that additional appendage followed them out of the store. They stopped at the same time, as Gareth whipped out another scalpel.
     Evangeline felt her pocket for the scalpel she had stolen. She could either go back, fight the monster and make her way down, or chance it by scaling Odso's exterior.
     The leg lashed out again.
     She screamed as the leg pushed her out of the window. She had no choice now. She wrapped her arms tightly around it, the ground spinning below her, the clouds filling her view.
     The leg pulled backwards into the building.
     She strained as she widened her legs and placed each foot on one side of the window. She pushed against the wall, keeping the leg from retracting. She couldn't hold out for long. She had to get the monster out of the window somehow. Riding it down was the only way to save Tronzorf.

She spared a hand and thrust the scalpel in the leg, provoking the monster.
     It screamed and a second leg burst through the wall. And a third. A fourth. Soon, the monster had emerged through the building and its limbs were scaling Odso's wall.
     Evangeline climbed frantically. She made her way to the monster's back and stabbed it repeatedly with the scalpel.
     The monster lost its grip and fell off the building.
     Evangeline held on tight as the concrete car park became larger and larger. Her stomach knotted. Her hair obstructed her view.
     Crash.
     Evangeline was launched forwards, but she didn't know where. She hit something hard and felt the pavement rolling beneath her. Wheezing, she looked up.
     The monster lay dead, its limbs curled upwards. D ick was rushing around, urging the panicked customers to continue shopping. Anu and Dula were running towards her.
     Where were Gareth and Tronzorf?
     Someone grabbed Evangeline.
     She was exhausted and in immense pain. She mustered the strength for one punch, aimed at Gareth's groin.
     He groaned and dropped to his knees.
     Anu and Dula tackled him to the ground.
     Evangeline felt a split second of relief. “Tronzorf?” she gasped, unsure if anyone had heard her. “Where's Tronzorf?”
     “Evangeline?” came her soft voice. Tronzorf emerged from the chaos and embraced her.
     Evangeline's first instinct was to pull away, but she threw an arm around Tronzorf. She tried to think of something appropriate to say. “Did he hurt you?”
     “I am in a satisfactory state, all things considered.” She looked over to the monster and the  two or three dead customers, on whom it had fallen.
     Evangeline nodded and stood. She approached Gareth, was was pinned to the ground by Anu and Dula.
     “Oh my gosh! You killed Enelrach!”
     Evangeline ignored him. She smiled at Gareth. She'd done it. She'd saved the team from his wicked grasp and concluded her investigation.
     Sirens and flashing blue lights filled the car park. A van pulled up and a blonde woman hopped out, flanked by armed NCA officers. They shoved Anu and Dula away and handcuffed Gareth.
     Evangeline ignored her exhaustion and pushed Kelly Kingfisher. “What are you doing?” she hissed. “I told you to stay away!”
     Kingfisher smiled and followed her officers and Gareth back to the van.
     Evangeline stayed close to her.
     “I've been watching you this whole time. Gareth Turnip is a serial killer. That falls under our jurisdiction.”
     Evangeline tried not to sound flustered. “If you take this away from me, I'll leak everything about Mr M.J.”
     “My dear, if you do that I'll tell Gareth you're a spook. With the people he's going to be spending time with, you wouldn't want your details being passed around.”
     Evangeline stopped walking. She couldn't risk it. Once again, she could only count her losses.

***

The kitchen room's light flickered. It was dark outside now. Evangeline, Dula, Anu and Tronzorf sat around the table. They were all silent.
     “Do you think we'll go down as accomplices?” asked Anu.
     “Oh my gosh, no! I'm took young and handsome to go to jail!”
     “Yeah, same.”
     Evangeline ignored them. She was thinking of what she'd do next. They were all fine. They could either stay at Odso or move on. With two failed investigations and Kingfisher on her back, she had nowhere to go.
     “Well, I'm going home.” Dula stood from his seat and waved as he left.
     Evangeline gazed lazily out of the window as he emerged from the building and walked down the car park.
     A flash of brilliant white light dazzled her. She blinked a few times and rushed to the window.
     Dula was gone.

'Odso,' read the bright neon text on the store front. The orange light partially illuminated the checkouts team bleeding out from its side exit, their shadows splayed across the car park.
     The trio searched for their friend. They didn't find him.
     Evangeline felt a sick sense of relief. Gareth was a serial killer, but he hadn't abducted the last checkouts team. Her killer was still out there.
     Tronzorf and Anu looked at her helplessly.
     She considered them. Perhaps Gareth was right and she was a broken person, but that didn't make her life meaningless. These people needed her help. The strange, but endearing girl. The arrogant, but charming man. The customers, too, she supposed. Evangeline looked back at Odso with a refreshed sense of purpose.

End of Volume One.
« Last Edit: October 15, 2017, 02:47:14 AM by ExtraterrestrialGuy »