Note: Part 6 and this part were originally one chapter,
but it got so big I decided to split it up. That's the odd
reason why this chapter starts with an interlude.
On the Beat
*Know your enemy*
He knew her, inside out. Had observed her, watched every
step she took, followed her everywhere. He had overheard her
conversations, had assessed her speed, power and intelligence.
He needed to be able to predict her actions, to read her thoughts
before she thought them. He smirked inwardly as he watched
the Detective sitting next to his Co-conspirator, obviously
bored by the Russian's gabbling and his unskilled attempt
at flirting. She got up and started to wander aimlessly, sipping
at her drink from time to time, watching the various creatures
of the night that the wind had blown here, to their refuge.
She wouldn't let them entangle her in their enraptured dance
of escape, their flight to a place where they were accepted,
one among many. But Xandra wasn't one for escape, had never
been. Had always taken her stand, even in situations desperate
enough to drive a good person insane.
She remained observer, not noticing that she was observed
herself. While her eyes wandered over legion faces, her mind
shut out the alien impressions, her thoughts turned inwardly
and her face closed up. In this second she was gone for Remy
LeBeau. As much as he had been convinced before that he knew
her, she confused him now, where he had read her like a book,
was now a blur, as facts considered impressions and opinions
seemed illogical, even ridiculous now. There was a part about
her that was out of his reach, closed up, secured from him.
In this moment, he craved to touch her, pull her close and
suck in her very essence, drown in theses sea green eyes,
merge with her. Know her inside out.
An instant before his hand could touch her hair, the thief
pulled back, cursing himself for his own dumbness. She was
the enemy! What had he been thinking? But Remy knew way too
well what he had been thinking. He wanted to ... to know the
enemy, he convinced himself. But what was it about her that
captured him so much?
~end Interlude 1
Xandra spun around, but there was no one to be seen. Confused,
the frowned, sure that she had felt someone close behind her.
She shrugged the thought off, then looked at her surroundings
again. She was at a calmer part of the club, that didn't seem
as freaky as the rest, more the kind of evening entertainment
a first league underground boss would prefer. Expensive furniture,
noble curtains and ... a door at the opposite wall that seemed
way too interesting to not be examined.
The Detective slowly stepped closer, careful to not make
any unnecessary noise, extending her - for some odd reason
- trembling hands. Inches over the doorknob, someone cleared
his throat behind her.
"Sorry, ma'am, but this is a private room, please return
to the public area." The blonde looked like the model of all
British butlers. Dignified and with an air of arrogance, as
if he would possess the club. But before Xandra could show
him her badge and say that she didn't give a damn about private
room or not, Kitty appeared from the public area, sighing
relieved as she saw her.
"Ah, there you are. Come on, quick, I have news ... oh, hi
Warren. Bye Warren."
Butler Warren only lifted an eyebrow as Kitty dragged the
Detective with her.
"One of my sources mailed back" Kitty whispered conspirationally
as the two women crossed the dance floor. "He has seen a man
that COULD be our mysterious villain. He gave me the address
of the motel he's checked in and a possible alias."
Xandra grinned at her friend.
"Good work, Watson."
"No prob, Sherlock." Kitty smiled back. "So, are we going?"
"I am going, Kitty. You go home and keep a low profile."
"No 'but'. This is serious. Ah don't want anything ta happen
ta ya. Please, this is police work. Ya did your part, now
it's mah turn."
The Detective turned around and left the club without another
word, leaving behind a hacker with a very bad conscience.
He was the best thief in the world. That was a matter of
fact to him. Some of his colleagues called him overconfident.
His father and his brother certainly did. But they didn't
understand that there was a difference between being overconfident
and risking everything to be the best. He DID care what happened
to him, and in an odd sense, this was the reason he embraced
every challenge with a song in his heart. He wasn't an action
junkie, he planned very precisely, ruling out every possible
risk. THAT was the challenge, beating the risk, not the pinch
itself. Evaluate, then minimize the risk and then, when everything
had turned out the way he had predicted, look at his handiwork
in a moment of stillness, with the satisfaction and pride
of an artist who had finally finished a very complex painting.
These were the seldom moments his restless soul was at peace,
eased down in the knowledge that he had proven once again
that there was something he was really good - best! - at.
Admittedly, the adrenaline rush wasn't bad either. Driving
both his body and mind to the extreme, the tension when waiting
for the right moment to strike, the thrill during the execution,
the concentration when working after his timetable on the
dot. That made life worth living. And what better price to
gamble with fate for, than a moment of peace for someone who
has been tossed around by an ever-changing wind all his life,
a moment of control.
Shaking off the thought, he focussed on where the wind had
blown him this time.
~end Interlude 2
New York. Far from Manhattan. Far from the Statue of Liberty.
Rather close to the dirt. Close to the smell. Very close to
the police sirens, that belonged as much to the sounds of
the night in this area as did the gunshots and screams.
A filthy motel. One of those where people go who don't want
to be found, want to be left alone.
A beautiful woman. Her black leather jacket little protection
against the cold the night brought, thus only reluctantly
removing her hands from her pockets to open the door of the
motel, hurrying to close the door behind her.
"Detective Thorne, NYPD."
Xandra flashed her badge at the old wrench, who didn't even
bother to look at it and, obviously used to the procedure,
already opened the guestbook. The she looked at the young
Detective, eyes narrowed.
Xandra motioned the 'concierge' to pass on the book and skipped
through the filthy pages herself, frowning. When she had found
her suspect, she closed the book and handed it back.
The old woman nodded silently, got the key and motioned Xandra
to follow her up the cracking stairs. In front of the door,
the woman took her time with the key, then after Xandra had
motioned her to step aside, shuffled out of the Detectives
Not bothering with a knock or another announcement, she entered
the room carefully, the safety catch of her gun released,
to find ... nothing. The habitant of the shabby room was gone.
Obviously, he hadn't bothered to use the door, Xandra thought
as she noticed the open window. She hurried to the opening
to see nothing beyond, only a narrow sill. Looking up, she
saw a movement, someone pulling up onto the roof.
Determined, the Detective climbed out of the window herself
and followed him up to the roof. When she saw the figure only
a few steps ahead of her, she thought him trapped. Until he
leapt to the roof of the opposite building and slid down the
fire escape. Once he reached the ground, he took off down
the street. Anticipating what he was doing, Xandra ran to
the fire escape, slid down, and ran down the street after
him. Traffic was stopped and he jumped on top of car, ran
across the top and rolled into an alley way. He hurried to
a fence climbed up and over and kept running, he was heading
for the docks on the East River.
The world slowly blended out. There was only the target and
the way. Run. Breathe. Don't think. Thinking causes fear.
Thinking about unsolved homicides. Thinking about your walkie-talkie
that lies neatly in the top drawer of your closet, no help
available. Don't think. Breathe. Trust your instincts. Feel
the adrenaline rush. Use it to match the inhuman speed of
the figure in front of you. Breathe. Don't stumble. Too late
... now, your gun ... breathe...
"Freeze" Xandra yelled, lying on the floor, her gun aimed
at the suspect. Trying to catch her breath, she pushed herself
up again, never taking her eyes - or her gun - from the huge
"Okay, sucker, show me your ugly face!"
The Detective's triumphant grin faded into shock when she
saw the man's smug one as he turned.
"Hello, Xandra ... missed me?"
Continued in Chapter
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