Hard Boiled – Episode One: A New Day 1.66

silvatarJenna slipped into the busy corridor that connected the main floor of Strategoi with the high clearance area. After five years, it still felt weird to be able to pass through doors usually barred to people like her – people who were nothing more than cops who were good at their job were. Last night had gone well, and though the planned had changed slightly, it still had merit – more so as she knew her organization would be able to track Begnini, and possibly find the ties between him, the Organization and the local police. Corrupt police were always present, but stamping them was a personal pleasure she allowed herself when she could.

Bug’s “lab” was enormous, and hosted the top R&D computer designs. He was a sixteen-year-old kid they pulled out off of the street after he successfully hacked into Strategoi’s computers – twice. Finding Strategoi on records was hard enough, but hacking into their secure mainframe was supposed to be impossible.

“Morning Bug.” Jenna walked over to the console where the gangly teen sat. “Michael said you’d have some more information from me. The downloads came out alright?”

Bug looked up, mischief in his eyes. “Promise me you’ll go to a concert with me, and I’ll give you the intel.”

Jenna laughed. It was a dance she’d become familiar with over the past few weeks. Bug hit on her, she rebuffed, he acted offended – and then gave her the information. It was familiar, fun and she decided to throw it for a loop. “Okay. Saturday, right?”

Bug retorted, “You know the deal….” He stopped, stuttering, “What? But…” Flustered, he stared at the woman. “Do you mean it?”

Jenna’s smile grew wider. “Yup. Why not? It’ll be fun. I won’t even ask what the concert is until we get there…” Walking over towards his console, she leaned easily against it. “So, what ya got for me?”

Bug continued staring a moment before shaking his head. “Yeah..yeah.” He turned, his fingers flying across the keyboard. Pictures flew up over the room, as freeze frames from the last few nights were highlighted. The first one highlighted a high rise. “You were right….The girlfriend thief does have a mortal identity. You were lucky Bluewolf went back to her place.” He zoomed in on a picture of Fox. “Man, Kardiac has ALL the fun..”

Jenna’s hand cuffed the back of the young man’s head. “Bug. Mission. Get your head out of her chest.”

Bug shook his head, grinning wildly. “You’re just jealous.”

Jenna glowered, warning, “Bug….”

“Okay, okay. Sheesh. No fun.” His fingers zoomed in on Fox. “Real name – Vivian Green. Alias Fox. Grew up on the West Coast – LA to be precise. Dad owned a high end security firm. She seemed to get bored at the University.” Her grade reports flew up on the screen, “But still remained close with family. The LA times was spun onto the screen, headlines leading ‘LOCAL COMPANY DECLARES BANKRUPTCY’. History suggests this is what developed her Fox persona after this. She moved east and is well known for her skills in such cities as Atlanta, Savannah, Charleston and Atlantic City. Good thief, quick, martial artist.”

She nodded, pacing around the room as she scanned the data. “What about Kardiac? How’d the video feed come out?”

Bug chuckled. “Not ONLY does he score one of the hottest superheroes out there, but the man emits some sort of EMP field or something. Even placed where it was, the video feed was shot. You got nothing.” Digital readouts on the screen showed film running, but against Grey snow. “The verbal feed got messed with too. It’s really fascinating. If you can somehow manage to bring him in for some tests, I’m pretty sure I could whip up some wicked devices to prevent anyone from spying on you. You’d be practically invisible! I mean, think…”

Jenna interrupted, “Bug, my mission is NOT to make Kardiac into some guinea pig for your toys. I’ll keep this little talent in mind. His real identity isn’t important to the mission, unless it puts others in danger.” She paced back and forth. “Log into his file the fact that his power is metahuman in origin, and his line does gray. From what I’ve observed, I wouldn’t put it past him to kill a man under extreme circumstances.”

Bug smirked, “Can I just cut and paste the note in your file?”

Jenna cuffed the boy gently again. “Next?”

Bug winces, “Hey! Quit it….” He grumbled as the screen filled with an archeological dig. “Kay is being watched by Agents Striker and Whit. Whit has been ordered to never leave Kay’s side, while Striker is serving more as reconnaissance. Bluewolf’s girlfriend is safe. If something happens, we’ll be the first to know.”

Jenna nodded. “So that leaves everything as tidy as they can be for this little soiree. Can you get me inside, if I’m needed?” Bug nodded. “And I’ve already tagged taser shots for the crossbow, should it become necessary.”

Bug looked surprised. “You’re actually staying Silhouette for this?”

Jenna nodded. “The ultimate objective is to get Bluewolf and Kardiac out, and us in more. If I can get voice patterns on the director, and if we can trace the police ties, we might have a way in. Oh, and tell your people to keep an ear out. When Kardiac comes back, the Organization will set up another hit. We need to maintain security.” She pushed off of the console she was leaning against and walked towards the door. “Right. So…Saturday night. Leather pants, you’ll pick me up at six?” Bug’s eyes became his namesake. “I’ll see you then.” She chuckled, and as she left the young teen shouted, “Make them tight!”

“You really shouldn’t be playing with Bug like that.” The voice was deep, smooth and way too familiar. Jenna squashed her reflex to smile. She was still mad at him.

Turning, she inquired, “Aren’t you a bit out of your woods, Michael?”

“Ouch. The Ice queen cometh.” Michael took a few steps back. “I’m in town for a meeting. I have to brief a team with one of the new items coming out of R&D.” His voice softened as he continued, “Look, I didn’t come to antagonize you. I’ll stay out of your way.” He shoved his hands into his slacks.

She licked her lips and sighed. “I just…”

“I know..I’m a telepath, remember?” He reached out to touch her face lightly. Caressing her cheek, he murmured, “I’ll wait…and I’ll think about what you said in Washington.” Leaning down, his lips brushed her quietly before he turned and walked towards the conference rooms.

Jenna waited a moment, eyes closing. His scent still hung around her like the smell of rain in the spring. She hung her head, taking a deep breath. I hate it when he does that. So smooth, and easy – but I can’t be what he wants me to be. Sighing, she opened her phone and dialed. “Wolf, Silhouette here. Ready when you are…”


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