Author's note: The second part to Officer Carson's adventure has finally arrived. In some ways, it's more an end for him than anything, but enough with the spoilers. Enjoy the chapter!


Two Hundred Forty

Carson spun wildly, pointing his gun at the sound. A black haired girl with a cat ear head band and snowflake earrings pointed a Glock at his head.

"I know my girlfriend said we welcomed party crashers," the cat-eared girl said. She had a high-pitched nasally voice. "But you're not just some party crasher, are you?"

The sliver-eyed girl stepped up. "Now, Glace, don't be so rude to our guest," Goldie Rose said. She was the one with the bright cheery voice. "Now, Mr.…" Goldie looked at Carson expectantly.

"The name's Carson," he responded.

"Mr. Carson, join us for a drink," Goldie continued, grabbing a glass. "Fauny dear, I'll grab the rum. Entertain our guest." Glace hissed, watching Goldie disappear into an adjacent room.

Carson frowned, lowering his gun. "Are you turning yourselves in?" he asked. He reached for his handheld.

Glace shrugged. "No. I guess we're inviting you to hang out with us. She's a bit much sometimes, but we're just among friends here." Even with her pretend apathy, every word sounded genuine and sincere. It all made Carson feel uneasy, and the intense, learned classical music floating in the background surely didn't help dispel his sense of implicit complacency.

Suddenly, a piercing shriek of glass shattering erupted from the other room. In one quick, panicked motion, Carson turned, got up, and pointed his gun at the sound. He plainly tripped on the rug, the event of a genuine accident. He held the trigger of his S-24 too tightly, result of genuine misfortune. He had failed to secure the gun's safety completely, the child of genuine carelessness.

And he shot the girl with the rose necklace standing in the doorway, the girl who merely dropped a glass of rum.

Blood soaked through Goldie's red hoodie, and her icy blue eyes dulled. She fell too fast, too autonomously to have survived. The girl lay on the floor, bleeding out, too much wet spreading on her chest.

"Goldie!" Glace screamed. "Goldie Rose! No, please, no!"

Carson stepped back, shocked. "I'm so sorry," he whispered.

Glace glared at Carson, enraged. Her blue eyes almost felt frosty. "Claim it," she shouted. "Claim her!"

Carson looked around, surprised. "Take her?" he asked.

Glace pointed at Goldie's body. At the same moment, Carson noticed that there were two Goldies. One was standing up above the other one, looking around. It took Carson a second to realize that the standing Goldie was staring at him. Take me, she seemed to say. Take me, my new master.

Confused, Carson reached out towards Goldie's figure; all the while Glace radiated with unwavering cold. Goldie's blonde hair shined and she crossed the distance between her and Carson faster than seemed possible. Up close, Carson could see that this Goldie was indeed a shade, a spirit, a ghost. He shivered, but Goldie's ghost only smiled.

Then she joined him.

It felt like a summer breeze, a dash of madness, and the bliss of childhood innocence. And time. So much time. Immediately, Carson felt the momentous opportunity of Goldie's two hundred forty years.

As soon as this change occurred, Glace stopped glaring. "Mr. Carson, you're one of us now," she said. "Welcome to being a Time Thief."

Carson pushed down all his feeling of glee. "No," he insisted. "I am not a Time Killer."

"You have her," Glace said. "I saw it on your face. I know you felt it. She had more than two hundred years."

"Two hundred forty," Carson whispered before he caught himself. "I cannot. I'm not one of you. I'm a Catcher. A Time Killer Catcher."

Glace shook her head. "Not anymore."

Carson ran towards the stairs. "Keep this a secret," he said. "I won't take you. I won't turn you in. Just please." He stopped at the bottom of the stairs. "Don't tell anyone."

"I won't rat you out," Glace said finally. "I mean, you are one of us, regardless…"

"I'm…" Carson stopped, turning to look one last time at Glace. She formed a thin smile, and then looked at her dead friend. Her face fell slightly, and Carson turned to go up the stairs as Glace walked to collect Goldie's body.

Carson walked up the stairs lighter and heavier. He heard soft crying behind him, but he continued up the stairs, down the hallway, through the door, down the tunnels. He would be hunted for sure. But for now, covering up was more important.

Carson spun wildly, pointing his gun at the sound. A black haired girl with a cat ear head band and snowflake earrings pointed a Glock at his head.

"I know my girlfriend said we welcomed party crashers," the cat-eared girl said. She had a high-pitched nasally voice. "But you're not just some party crasher, are you?"

The sliver-eyed girl stepped up. "Now, Glace, don't be so rude to our guest," Goldie Rose said. She was the one with the bright cheery voice. "Now, Mr.…" Goldie looked at Carson expectantly.

"The name's Carson," he responded.

"Mr. Carson, join us for a drink," Goldie continued, grabbing a glass. "Fauny dear, I'll grab the rum. Entertain our guest." Glace hissed, watching Goldie disappear into an adjacent room.

Carson frowned, lowering his gun. "Are you turning yourselves in?" he asked. He reached for his handheld.

Glace shrugged. "No. I guess we're inviting you to hang out with us. She's a bit much sometimes, but we're just among friends here." Even with her pretend apathy, every word sounded genuine and sincere. It all made Carson feel uneasy, and the intense, learned classical music floating in the background surely didn't help dispel his sense of implicit complacency.

Suddenly, a piercing shriek of glass shattering erupted from the other room. In one quick, panicked motion, Carson turned, got up, and pointed his gun at the sound. He plainly tripped on the rug, the event of a genuine accident. He held the trigger of his S-24 too tightly, result of genuine misfortune. He had failed to secure the gun's safety completely, the child of genuine carelessness.

And he shot the girl with the rose necklace standing in the doorway, the girl who merely dropped a glass of rum.

Blood soaked through Goldie's red hoodie, and her icy blue eyes dulled. She fell too fast, too autonomously to have survived. The girl lay on the floor, bleeding out, too much wet spreading on her chest.

"Goldie!" Glace screamed. "Goldie Rose! No, please, no!"

Carson stepped back, shocked. "I'm so sorry," he whispered.

Glace glared at Carson, enraged. Her blue eyes almost felt frosty. "Claim it," she shouted. "Claim her!"

Carson looked around, surprised. "Take her?" he asked.

Glace pointed at Goldie's body. At the same moment, Carson noticed that there were two Goldies. One was standing up above the other one, looking around. It took Carson a second to realize that the standing Goldie was staring at him. Take me, she seemed to say. Take me, my new master.

Confused, Carson reached out towards Goldie's figure; all the while Glace radiated with unwavering cold. Goldie's blonde hair shined and she crossed the distance between her and Carson faster than seemed possible. Up close, Carson could see that this Goldie was indeed a shade, a spirit, a ghost. He shivered, but Goldie's ghost only smiled.

Then she joined him.

It felt like a summer breeze, a dash of madness, and the bliss of childhood innocence. And time. So much time. Immediately, Carson felt the momentous opportunity of Goldie's two hundred forty years.

As soon as this change occurred, Glace stopped glaring. "Mr. Carson, you're one of us now," she said. "Welcome to being a Time Thief."

Carson pushed down all his feeling of glee. "No," he insisted. "I am not a Time Killer."

"You have her," Glace said. "I saw it on your face. I know you felt it. She had more than two hundred years."

"Two hundred forty," Carson whispered before he caught himself. "I cannot. I'm not one of you. I'm a Catcher. A Time Killer Catcher."

Glace shook her head. "Not anymore."

Carson ran towards the stairs. "Keep this a secret," he said. "I won't take you. I won't turn you in. Just please." He stopped at the bottom of the stairs. "Don't tell anyone."

"I won't rat you out," Glace said finally. "I mean, you are one of us, regardless…"

"I'm…" Carson stopped, turning to look one last time at Glace. She formed a thin smile, and then looked at her dead friend. Her face fell slightly, and Carson turned to go up the stairs as Glace walked to collect Goldie's body.

Carson walked up the stairs lighter and heavier. He heard soft crying behind him, but he continued up the stairs, down the hallway, through the door, down the tunnels. He would be hunted for sure. But for now, covering up was more important.


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