A Word of Caution

Welcome to the realm of the Unseelie Court. Feel free to wander and browse, but know that the content you will find here is not for the faint of heart. The visions portrayed are often darkly erotic, even disturbing, and should be traversed only by those with the appropriate character and mental age.

You have been warned.



Chapter 5 – Mule

“The third sweep just checked in. Zilch.” Special Agent D. Kinter set a large cup of syrupy soda on the desk for another man in a dark suit, who cursed. A wall of mall surveillance monitors quietly recorded ten-thousand people behind him.

“She’s not going to like that…”

“Like what, Hess?” Asked a tall brunette as she enter the room, her eyes focussed on the folder in her hands.

“No dice on the third search sweep.”

She set down the folder and looked at the large black man standing in the doorway. “You disappoint me, Kinter. I hired you to find me that data.”

“I can’t find what isn’t there, Miss Grain. This place is a sieve. I can tell you exactly how many rats live in the six miles of plumbing within this mall, but there are just too many ways that drive could have slipped out of our grasp before we closed the perimeter.”


“Reality.” He returned.

She sighed, thinking. “And you’re sure you tracked him through the whole time he was here in the mall?”

“There were a total of seventeen minutes out of the security cameras,” said the man behind the desk, “but we know exactly where he was during those times and have deconstructed every possible scenario for hiding the device. It isn’t there.”

She tapped the top of the desk with her nails.

“Alright, assuming that your boys were as thorough with the impact site, we can assume that he somehow hid the data while still on camera.”

“We’ve already gone over every…”

“Yes, yes, I know. But nothing just disappears, Kinter. That flash drive went somewhere. We just have to figure out how. Move over, Hess.”

Ten minutes later, Kinter and the woman were still reviewing video feeds collected by the mall security cameras.

“No, skip to the next one… There was no one near him here.” She suggested.

“I don’t see the point. We already searched these areas.”

“Ah, Agent Kinter, you assume too much.”

“How so?”

“Well, since you did not find the device on the late doctor’s person, you assume that he hid it somewhere in the mall before being so pointlessly shot dead by your men.”

“Technically, they didn’t kill him. Their aim is better than that…”

“Yes, yes, but they need not have shot him at all, and in doing so, they precluded our ability to simply ask the man what he did with the data using the normal techniques. As it is, it took us twenty precious minutes just to separate what was left of his head from the mangled roof of the SUV; a process that ultimately provided us only with the information that he had relinquished the device prior to inconveniently mixing his grey matter with that of the car. The question is when, exactly, did he ditch it.”

“And you’re sure he didn’t simply destroy the thing?”

“Oh no, Agent Kinter. Doctor Mason would never do that. He spent the better part of the last eight years working on that project. It was the culmination of his life’s endeavors, and frankly, an exquisite work of art. He wanted it to be seen, or heard in this case. No,” she continued, staring at a frozen video frame of the man in question, “he would never willingly destroy it. But, he was desperate… And he knew he wasn’t going to get out of the mall alive. Hmm… Go back to when he entered the parking structure.”

The one called Hess, turned a large knob and the video playback scrolled backwards quickly. The man released the control, which snapped back to center, and the video started playing normally again. On the screen in front of them was the top level of the parking garage. There was no one in sight, and no activity. The image was barely discernible from a still image save for a constantly changing bar of time-code near he bottom. Finally, there was movement in one corner as a small maintenance door opened on the side of an elevator shaft. A short, slightly balding man stepped from inside the structure, and dusted himself off. He looked nervous, even jumpy.

Finally, the man started to walk toward one side of the lot, passing cars, but approaching none of them. He was nearly to the far side of the lot when he abruptly changed directions.

“Stop! There…”

“I didn’t see him drop anything.” Said Hess.

The woman squinted at the screen. “No, but something just got his attention. He purposely altered course.”

“Maybe,” Agreed Agent Kinter, “but he could have just changed directions to get to the edge. Perhaps he thought he could climb down or something.”

“Step it forward, half speed.” She requested. “What’s got your interest, Doctor?…” In slow motion, the man in the video moved over between two cars, passing between them as he moved to another row, finally stopping with him looking out over the valley, his hands at his sides and a four story drop directly in front of him.

“Gotcha.” Said the brunette, her eyes twinkling.

Hess frowned. “Huh? Where?”

“The doctor was tense, even aggravated, for the entire time we were tracking him, right up until he was standing by that wall. There he was relaxed… resigned.”

“Maybe he just finally realized he was trapped?” Suggested Hess.

“No, she’s right.” Said Agent Kinter, staring at the image on the screen. “He already knew we had him, but his demeanor changed between the time he crossed that row of cars and when we shot him.”

The woman reached out and took the shuttle control, scrolling backwards so she could watch the scene again, frame by frame. Just as the Doctor started to move between the cars, she froze it.

“There it is.”

The large black man leaned forward, trying to see what the woman had noticed that he had not.

“I don’t…”

“His hand, Agent Kinter, his hand.”

He and the other man crowded even closer.

“Maybe… That car window?”

“Yes.” She nodded, smiling.

“He offloaded the flash drive into a random stranger’s car?” Asked Hess. “Why would he do that?”

She was grinning. She moved the frame forward one more time. It was hard to see, but there was the briefest glint of sunlight from just beyond the window.

“I’ll be damned…” Whispered Kinter.

Turning the knob all the way forward, she watched events unfold at three times normal speed, the man standing at the edge of the park lot, the search agents bursting from the stairwell, guns drawn. There was a somewhat comical feel to the way he then tipped in high speed, like a toy soldier over the low wall to his death below. Minutes passed in seconds as other agents arrived, then the police. Cars left the parking lot as mall patrons finished their shopping, oblivious to the tragedy that had occurred. They were questioned briefly and then sent on their way. Finally, the owner of the suspect car arrived, spoke for a moment with one of the police, then got into his vehicle and pulled out. She stopped the video when she could clearly see the face and license plate of the driver.

“A blind mule…” He said, impressed.

“Get me that car, Agent Kinter… And its driver. Do try not to kill him this time, if you please. I’d like to ask him a few questions.”

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