8:07 AM

The Captain looked at Dickinson with a strange combinatation of nonchalance and anger as he told his story. When he was finished, he sucked in a deep breath and exhaled through his nose. "And then I was woken up by your phone call earlier."

Garcia tapped his foot on the ground. "You broke a lot of laws yesterday, son. I'm not going to call you out on it, but remember that if we get evidence illegally, it's not going to be admissable in court. In other words, we have to bring him down the right way, or not at all."

Dickinson nodded in understanding.

"Great, now what's your opinion on this ... Tate woman's death." He looked down on her body.

Scratching his arm, the detective answered. "I don't know what to say. She only had a possible indirect connection with the murders. Why would he risk getting caught by killling someone who knew little or nothing about him? It doesn't make any sense."

"Murder doesn't have to make sense, Dickinson. It just is." Garcia looked alomst ... Sad. That was an unusual emotion for someone like him. "You know I've been doing this since before you were born, son. I've seen more deaths, more injuries, and more criminals getting away than I can count. I've handed the flag over to a lot of wives, children, parents, and siblings. The most recent one was ... Shit, here I go again." He stood up as straight as he could and looked down into Dickinson's eyes. "This is going to be my last case, son. I'm getting way too old for this, I just want to retire and rest for my last ten or fifteen years. Lord knows I've deserved it."

This shocked Dickinson, as it would have shocked any person who knew Garcia very well. He was not a man to admit weakness, old age, or fatigue. The fact that he did caused his subordinate to pinch himself. Okay, so I'm not dreaming. This is really happening.

The now very old looking man continued. "But I digress, the point is that we are going to catch the Gemini Killer, whether he killed this woman or not. You stay here, I'm going to talk with Hughes."

"You don't have to go anywhere." Hughes said as he entered the room, much how Dickinson had minutes before. "Hughes has evidence of our killer, possibly enough to convict." He smirked with the thought of putting the chubby, cynical Eugene behind bars.

"Oh really?" Dickinson asked, preparing for a scuffle. "What is this evidence?"


? ? ?

The man's head hurt. Blood was running down his brow and into his eye, blinding him. He would have wiped the blood out, but he was in too much pain. Breathing was like getting fingernails torn out. Moving was like biting into a razor blade. The soft ground that he had been walking on when the black fog encompassed the world had been replaced by hard, gray concrete. The black, unending sky had been replaced by a dull gray, like it was raining.

There was a dull noise. Dull, but constant. His throat was vibrating, he might have been screaming, but it was hard to be sure. There was a loud screeching sound. Bells. No, sirens. What were sirens doing here? Where did they come from? Why were they lifting him up? He was just starting to feel the pain fade away.

The man felt himself being lifted up, and the world went from gray to white.


8:09 AM

Amber knew that Alex had told her to stay in the car. She knew that he had said it to keep her safe, but she knew it wasn't really any safer in here, behind glass and leather, than it was outside, surrounded by police officers who were running to and fro in the parking lot.

She knew she had been told to stay in the car, but she needed fresh air.

The woman began her walk around the parking lot. I'll just do one lap, just to stretch my legs. Trying to keep her mind on the exercise was difficult. Trying to keep her mind on anything but her sister had been difficult.

Bethany and Amber had never been typical twin sisters. They hadn't ever really been that close, even as children. They didn't have to share a room after they turned four years old. Bethany had been thrilled to be able to sleep in her own space. Amber had pretended to feel ecstatic as well.

Maybe if I had objected, things would have worked out differently. Stepping on a butterfly, and all that.

It had taken Amber a long time to get used to sleeping by herself. She had tossed and turned for hours until she fell asleep the first night. When they got older, they drifted even further apart. They had never had the same group of friends, Bethany had always been the more outgoing one of the two, so she was surrouded by other people quite a bit. She wasn't happy with that either.

One night, when they were teenagers, she confided her thought on it to her sister. "I might act differently, but I really wish they would leave me alone once in a while. You know, even I want some privacy now and again." Amber hadn't responded. Then again, she rarely expressed her opinions on her sister's strange thoughts.

Maybe if I spoke more often rather than just listening, things would have turned out a lot differently.

Around that same time, Amber had found the one thing she had that her twin didn't: Musical talent. Just out of curiousity, she had tried joining the school band as a pianist. By no means was she a genius, but learning to play was, to her, like learning to walk. Simple once you get over the initial hump. Bethany had never expressed any jealousy at her ability, but she easily could have hidden her feelings.

Maybe if I ... No. I will not regret being good at piano. That's the one great thing I've been able to achieve in my life, it helped me get over the deaths of Mom and Dad, and then it helped me quit smoking.

Both of the girls had moved out when they were eighteen. Bethany went to law school, and Amber was lucky enough to get a job in an orchestra. They occasionally spoke on the phone and had dinner together with their parents, but all in all, they weren't sisters so much as they were aquantinces. There was a brief period after their mother died when they became much better friends than they had ever been, but that period faded ito the wind. A similiar, much briefer, period came when their father died.

In the end, we just didn't click.

Amber was so absorbed in her thoughts that she accidentally walked directly into another person with enough force to fall on her back. "Oof!" She exclaimed as she snapped back to reality. I must have lapped the parking lot at least three times.

The person she bumped into was a woman who looked like she was in her sixties. And rather than going soft with age, this woman seemed to have gotten stronger with the years. She didn't have the layer of fat that is found on quite a few people her age, nor was she unhealthily thin. Instead, she was covered in a layer of muscle like a mountain climber half her age. In fact, other than the crow's feet around her eyes and her snow white hair, she could have been half her age.

"Are you alright, hon?" She asked, squatting next to the fallen woman.

Amber snapped out of her daze. "Yes, yes I'm fine. Sorry I bumped into you, ma'am I was ... Elsewhere." She pushed herself to her feet.

"Oh it's fine, don't you worry about it. Have a nice day." She waved with her right hand and walked across the street. As she walked away, Amber noticed that her left arm, rather than ending in a hand, there was a rounded stump of pink skin.


8:11 AM

Garcia, Hughes, Dickinson, and the Mouse Man all listened to the audio recording once, twice, three times, four times. They wanted to make sure that they didn't miss a single detail.

After the fifth time they watched it. The Mouse Man finally spoke up. "So are we going to show this recording to anybody else?"

"Hold on a minute, Stark." Garcia responded. "I thought you said that all of the records on the network that was connected to this computer were completely erased."

"I thought that they were, but I guess the virus that was used had a few flaws." Stark smiled and leaned up against the wall.

Dickinson was acting very skeptical. It all seemed way too convenient. A virus clears out the entire memory except for the one bit that they needed to make an arrest? They weren't that lucky. "How did you find this recording?" He asked.

"Well I didn't." Stark Said, standing up straight again. He pointed across the room to Hughes. "He's the one that was able to find the data, as corrupted as it is. If you're going to praise someone, praise him."

Both the Captain and the other detective looked over at Hughes blankly. After a tense few seconds of silence, Garcia broke it. "I ... Well ... That's quite a lucky break that you were here. Good job. Do you want the honors of arresting that son of a bitch down the hall?"

Hughes contemplated that for a moment. "Why not? At least this isn't related to ... That guy." He walked out the door. Garcia pushed Stark out behind him and closed the door.

"Okay, Dickinson, I know exactly what you're about to say." Garcia began. "And I understand suspicion here, but you're going to drop it. Understand?" His tone brooked absolutely no argument.

Dickinson ignored his tone. "Captain- Sir, this is way too fortuitous, we can't let this one slide, that recording sounded chopped up and-"

"Son. Drop. It. I can't even pretend to understand why you would think Hughes is the Gemini Killer, but now you're saying that he killed some random woman in cold blood? Get out of here, you can object to him arresting Eugene all you want, but keep your mouth shut about the rest." He pointed to the door.

The other man left, looking meek. Inside, however, he was leaping with satisfaction. He said I could interfere with the arrest. Even if I'm ot going to do that, it means he's starting to see my point of view. I'm so close, it's almost painful.