|Edit 2. (add. dialog)
The Joanna File Part 3: Alternate Shadow Life
Isolation clotted the breeze that drifted through the open window. It seemed as though even the world had no longer wanted to thrive. Driving almost a full day, through 2 and a half states, and seeing but a few cars. The world was just a shadow of itself. “We are almost there. Ciudad de la Muerte is just a few miles away.”
“What happened back there?” Her voice was clear and affected Travis in a strange way. Should he explain everything to them? They would become apart of their situation. If they chose not to except, they would have to be eliminated, even the cop.
“We are different. What you saw back there. What you felt. It is all apart of something we are trying to find answers for. The Worra you saw was infected and was trying to harvest your organs. Then possess your soul. Joanna has the same ability except she only inhabits a person’s consciousness. Or can be programmed to be someone else completely new entirely. A copy.” Travis glanced in the rearview. He locked eyes with Tere a moment then returned his eyes to the road. “I have the ability to hear through buildings and also hear long distance and hypnotize people with my voice. Not just by suggestion but just saying anything and having them do it. The only reason I am telling you this is because whatever happened back there was supposed to happen. We were meant to help you. Joanna was practically ripped through time and connected with you almost before she even knew how to control herself. If you decide this life is not for you. Being against the system. Seeing what is wrong and fighting to right it.” Travis had pulled the car down a desolate road. Not a single building, car, or city light in sight. He turned off the engine. “Then I have a choice to make.” Travis made the ominous choice very clear. He turned to Tere. Detective Parlane spoke up.
“You may think you know how its done but let me tell you something. No one threatens me. No one. Got that? I decide who, what, where and when things happen in my life. I only want one thing to happen right now! To get to whoever is causing the deaths of these women I am finding in my city. Be it man or creature. It is going to end.” Detective Parlane put a protective arm around Tere and hugged her close. “For some reason I saw her in a vision. I may have some unknown powers of my own. We are in this together. We fight as one.” Tere rested her head on Parlane’s shoulder.
“The only thing that needs to happen now is to get on the right track. We need help.” Tere looked up. Travis smiled.
“Parlane, do you have access extra firearms and body armor?”
“I can see about getting someone to help.” Parlane answered.
“Then we have the start of Operation Swoop and Scoop. We have to execute this without flaw. We can plan as we go and any questions can be ironed out. This will happen. The time is now.” Travis got back on the road. Leading to the City of the Dead and a promise to give those a chance to take back their lives. To rectify what they did not have a moral choice in making. They are not criminals, soldiers, or programmable machines. What the Organization sought out to make them. Even with their differences. They were human first. They were going to fight to remain free.
The flames of dusk burned the sky leaving a trail of smoky clouds. Tere did not know why but she felt secure with Detective Parlane next to her. He had to be at least 20 years older than her, still, she felt like there was an unspoken connection drawing them together. He would steal glances and Tere would feel his look on her like a feather light caress. She was so anxious but then she would remember Parlane’s gentle presence. He was a giant compare to her slight frame and yet he had the ability to handle Tere as though she were made of glass. He was a mystery to her.
Detective Parlane could sense Tere was thinking about something. Him maybe. She hadn’t really spoken to him. She rested a lot. He would cradle her against him. Feeling her tremble would set off an alarm in Parlane. He would rub her arm and whisper comforting words while she slept. Just barely stepping into womanhood and yet there was a maturity, a strength, Parlane rarely saw in adults twice her age. This girl had something in her that fascinated and frightened Parlane. He was a lawman and he knew the consequences of pursuing any sort of intimate relations with a girl Tere’s age. He hadn’t even felt a flutter of heat between them when she was lying on the ground after the chaos in the hotel room. But there was a spark. An instant protective feeling that sprung up the moment Parlane looked into her eyes. After spending nearly 24 hours with her either draped across his lap or cuddled next to his side Parlane had to physically struggle to keep his intentions therapeutic. He was no seducer. He wanted to find out why this girl was in his life and keep his raw emotions in check. “My home is just up the way. I’ll give you directions.” Parlane never got the feeling these people were a danger. Though they could be murderous psychopaths, he took his chances. When they pulled up to the driveway Parlane was the first to the front door. He accessed the group. No one looked ready to attacked him. They all looked down right ready to fall over if pushed. Parlane dug into his pocket and retrieved a key card. He upgraded his security and preferred a slide lock to a turn key.
Once everyone was inside Parlane explained the situation. “We can just head to bed now and plan for the Operation in the AM. If anyone wants to eat there is plenty of food to fix in the fridge. The Insta-Fix is in the pantry and all you add is water. There are 2 bedrooms and a half bath downstairs. I’ll be upstairs if you need me.” Parlane walked to the hall closet. He opened it and pulled a black metal box off the shelf. The dialed in a combination and the box hissed open. He turned the box so everyone could look inside. “This just gives you an idea of what we will be handling tomorrow.” Parlane grasped the thin metal object that quickly formed to his hand. He tapped his fingers and there was a holographic picture of a .44 Magnum revolver. He tapped again the revolver morphed into an semi-automatic. “These aren’t armed but with a little practice you’ll be able to pull up the gun fully loaded. Still, there are other weapons at my disposal.” Parlane disengaged the metal object from his grip and replaced it back in the box. “The only reason I feel in need to help you is to keep her safe.” Parlane gave Tere a look that struck her with a force. “:Let’s get to bed. We can finish this in the morning.”