I hate my actioneer business suit, especially today. I’m sitting at the back trying to avoid notice.
The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters. He restores my soul…
Flashback to October 16, 2072 22:47
“An alarm is going off”, I hear Hirito’s voice say through the commlink.
“Damn, quick get that door unlocked Sitara”, I say.
My attention focuses back on the sermon.
…Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever.
It seems that no matter how religious we are in life, in death we seem to seek it.
Flashback to October 16, 2052 21:45
“Grand-father, why do people die?”, I ask looking up at my grand-father as he was tucking me into bed.
“Well Mitchell, one day, the Navajo people placed an animal hide in water. If it did not sink, then no one would ever die. However, if the hide sank into the water, then death would be part of life. They did not watch the hide, but turned away from it instead. While their backs were turned, a coyote threw some rocks on top of the hide and it sank.”, said my Grand-father. My grand-father had been a big strong man in his prime but now was dying of cancer.
“I don’t want you to die, Grampa.”, I said as tears rolled down my cheek.
We are at the grave, I’m standing next to a tree somewhat back from the main gathering. They are in the midst of folding the flag. Ashley lays it on top of the coffin and walks back holding Connor’s hand to stand beside her mother.
Flashback to October 16, 2072 22:48
I walk through the main storage area of the warehouse, barely registering the 2 dead men. I run across to the smaller storage room and open the door with my gun in hand.
Blood on the wall. Dwayne on the ground.
Carlito comes up to where I’m standing by the tree.
“I’m glad you came Maz. Monica is too not that she’d say it.”, he shakes my hand.
“Mazula needs to talk to you, he wants to make things right but he doesn’t know how. He can at least give you the details he knows. Tomorrow, breakfast at Sound View Cafe.”, I say.
Flashback to October 16, 2072 22:49
My hands are covered in blood, there is nothing I can do for Dwayne except pray. I’ve called DocWagon and hope that they will be able to bring him back. The warehouse is empty except for the team.
“Woo hoo!”, I hear Hirito shout in the background.
“What the frag! Someone shoot Hirito please!”, I yell. The rest of the group heads back to the main part of the warehouse, most likely just to get away from me.
“I’ve got to go Carlito, I can’t take the 21 gun salut, I’m hearing enough gun fire. I’ll stop by the hall to give Monica my condolences.”, I say as I start to walk back to my bike.
Flashback to October 16, 2072 23:05
I walk into my apartment and find Joshua huddled in the corner.
“Hey Joshua, I didn’t mean to scare the crap out of you but you need to watch out. There is someone trying to kill elves in Seattle.”, I say as I remove my blood soaked T-shirt. I wash my hands and face to remove the blood.
“Yeah, sure.”, he says. I don’t think he believes me.
“Seriously, some chubby elf raped the daughter of the Aztlan ambassador and someone has been plotting revenge.”, I say.
Joshua goes dead white. He was the one responsible? I think to myself. And I saved him. Do I shoot him now or wait to ask Wolfe to get me confirmation? If I could only trade Joshua’s blood for Dwayne’s…
I make it to the hall, Carlito has seen to it that he and Martinez are blocking the view from the reception area to the receiving line. As the last person goes in the hall, Monica and the kids follow with Dwayne’s parents. Carlito motions to Monica and she turns to see me stepping in the door.
“You have my deepest sympathy on your loss. He was my dearest friend and will be sorely missed.”, I say as tears roll down my cheeks. I fall to my knees and Monica takes my hand.
“I should have done more. I will do more even though it is too late. I take the blame for what happened. I should have known.”, I say.