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Meeting Old Friends
Connor listened quietly. Oh yeah, he had a theory alright. The guy's arm practically screamed it. But in true MIB form, they were already casting it in mundane human terms. He didn't blame them, not really. He really was ok with this aspect of their work. Clearly, these creatures were out and about and most people didn't have any clue. More to the point, most people were stupid about what they could not understand.

He'd long believed that every 10 persons who were added to a group diminished its total IQ by about the same number of points. He was not one who believed in secrecy, on the whole. But some things were just too terrifying for most people to even consider.

He looked over at Jensen pointedly- they had all face an Ijiraq together- and then looked back at the cop and the girl. He wasn't going to parrot what the man said, it would feel too stupid to repeat. And yet he felt he should add something.

He snorted. "Magic. Is that the new explanation the cops are giving now? First DV and now this?"
He looked down at body and his feigned mirth dried up. The man was dead. He'd died as hard as it was possible to die. The memory of screams came to him for a moment and he swallowed his sudden stab of grief. No. There are worse ways to die.

He dropped his head, suddenly feeling the emptiness threaten to overwhelm him. He seemed to see through the body now. God, what was going on? Nothing was normal. He felt an ache for the old days. A stray memory of driving with Hayden, the windows down and circulating the warm air, music on the radio barely audible. Hayden looked over at him smiling and went back to the book he was reading. Connor felt the hurt like a knife wound. He would give anything to have things be normal again.

His eyes focused again on the body, the iron tang of blood still in the air. That man had been a boy at one time, had a family. He didn't deserve this. He looked at the man with the tattoo again. God forgive him, but they were needed. With these things around, they were necessary. If only....he left the thought unfinished.

He looked at Jensen with a question in his eyes. You wanna stay? Connor wouldn't leave his friend alone.
The lady was okay, Jensen was glad for it, but there was little comfort for him to draw upon. Connor confronted the policeman, which Jensen thought was unwise. He remained quiet and found his gaze had fallen to the poor soul over whom they argued.

The energy of before drained from his limbs as Jensen turned away from the dead man, but it was too late. He hurried away and found a trashcan to empty his stomach into. He was little better once he lifted his head again, but he didn't return to the remaining people. He wiped his face and snagged a bottle of water someone left unopened on the table just to rinse out his mouth.

The room grew warm, crushing him. He had to abandon the others in search of fresh air.
Dorian sighed as the doctor called him out on his explanation. It was much more difficult to lie to the bystanders when they were more knowledgable than he was. But Martin's explanation prompted more questions than he'd like. He addressed the man who really should be elsewhere now. "I never said anything about magic. And as far as I'm aware, no one else in the CCDPD has ever claimed to such things as magic. There is always an explanation."

Dorian turned to the doctor. "No, I am not the doctor. But I'm also very unsure of what just happened here."
The vaguely familiar man, now that he had a chance to see him closer, turned tail and found the contents of his stomach on the outside. Death did that to people, and the stench of sulphur probably didn't help any, though it was a bare lingering of scent now, the hell hound was gone.

Dorian insisted again. "I would like all of you all to kindly find your way out of my crime scene now."
He started to usher each of them away from the corpse, "If you all don't mind your statements at the precinct would be of great help. We'll get to the bottom of this matter quickly."
Jensen stumbled outside, and the cold air slapped him across the face. He shoved his way past the people standing around and found his motorcycle exactly as he left it. He tossed his coat across the seat and leant his weight upon the bike. His mind raced to understand the violence of what he'd witnessed. He jumped when someone touched him on the shoulder. It was Charlie.

"Told you not to go back inside,"
his voice was grim, but he tried to cut the mood with a joke. Jensen didn't laugh. The wind was cutting through his shirt, chilling his skin where he'd previously sweat through the cloth.

"There was nothing I could do. He was already gone,"
he explained as he pulled the jacket back on, zipping it up high on his throat. He straddled the bike, looking up at Charlie.

"There was nothing any of us could have done,"
he replied as he crossed his arms, but Jensen only shook his head.

"That's not true. I can help people like that, and every minute I wait is another minute someone is suffering needlessly."
He powered on the bike, which rumbled in near silence despite the power he sensed churning in the engine. "Do me a favor and tell Connor I'll call him. Really call him this time."
As soon as he pulled the helmet on, the interior warmed his face, but he felt like he deserved the string of winter slapping some sense into him. He turned the setting off.

"Where are you going?"
Charlie asked. Jensen pulled he visor and sounded a voice command for directions overlaid on the interior. In doing so, he answered Charlie's question. "The Guardian hospital complex."
As soon as he said it, a sleek map crossed his line of sight. He backed out and said goodbye to Charlie.

Martin was sure Dorian wanted him to leave too. It made his job easier, if other Atharim weren't around. It made it look more official. He trusted Dorian to do his job. He'd recruited him for this purpose. The rebellious son of a tech tycoon wasn't your typical Atharim nor your typical CCDPD detective. But Dorian had proven himself useful time and time again in Madrid, he expected nothing less of the man here, but only time would tell. His loyalties were about to be tested.

Martin smiled at his friend and nodded, "I'll catch you again some other time. And D, next time don't take so long before you give me a call."

Martin turned to the others, "I do believe the detective here wants us all to leave. Sadly our meals have all be disrupted."
Martin's wallet beeped at him and he glanced down at the message. He grinned as he read the alert. Their first god! Oh how the day looked up, a hell hound he could do nothing about, but now a god? He would have a good day after all it seemed. "And that would be work calling. Enjoy your evening."
Martin gave a small bow to the Doctor. "My apologize from before."
A nod to the fell hero and Martin headed out the door with a gleeful smile on his face - god hunting!
Torri refrained from rolling her eyes. The army perfected the ability to hide her annoyance, although in this case, she didn't exactly need to. Habit, though, kept her expression tight. Martin had a way of getting under her skin. She'd seen magic first hand, and nothing that Michael did resembled the gory scene before her. That wasn't to say he wasn't capable, a chilling thought...the kind that kept her up at night.

She frowned at the exchange, but at least Dorian spoke some sense. "That's right. Everything has an explanation."
Jaw tight, she finished cleaning up and went to gather the things she'd abandoned at the table: a coat, bag and wallet.

She pulled the coat on about the time the biker guy ran for fresh air. She didn't blame him. Even a combat doctor was disturbed by the terror in that man's screams.

She left as well, but had no intention of going to a police station. If they wanted to track her down, they could.

Connor walked slowly and quietly out into the day, lost in thought. All the banter and laughter of earlier was gone. It was to be expected. God, what would it say about him if he didn't stop and take stock when something like that happened. When he lost the ability to empathize.

Sometimes he envied those who were able to set aside their feelings for the moment and focus on the task at hand. His emotional identification with others was a strength. But it was also a weakness. It kept him from being able stop and do what needed to be done.

The memory of Hayden in his bed, burning in pain after the accident. It had nearly paralyzed him into inaction. He dashed the memory away, not wanting to go there. Not now. Lately, as he settled down into his new life, he found himself wishing Hayden was there for him to share it. He would have like Ayden. And Moscow too. He did the math in his head and realized that he would have been 22. Finishing his schooling and interning or something. Or not. His focus had not been so single minded as all that. Who knew what would have happened.

But it would have been nice to see. He wasn't depressed. He wasn't thinking of losing himself or drowning his sorrows. He was passed that. Still...God forgive me the day that goes by with me not remembering my son. Accepting and moving on was one thing. Forgetting something else. wasn't easy.

Charlie was on the phone and when he was done came over to him. He looked shaken. Understandable. "Your buddy said he'd call you. He had to take off." There wasn't much else to say. Connor felt no desire to stay out. Truth was, he just wanted to go home to Ayden right now, to be around her. He knew it was irrational, but the fear that had lanced through him was still there. Fear of losing her as he had Hayden.

"Alright. Hey man, I need to go. I'll text you later, ok?"
He felt bad for blowing Charlie off but the guy was a big boy. He just had to go home.

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