Zane’s Log 9/22/2038

Today I figured I’d tell you how the first day went with Kieran as my sidekick. Sidekick, now there’s a term that doesn’t sound at all like what it describes. After learning as many languages as I have, though, one sort of learns to just roll with it, as Katarina might say, but I digress.

Day 1 with Mr. Whine-a-lot

My comm sounds an alert at 7 a.m. Katarina stumbles off to the shower as I get the twins out of bed. The aroma of fresh coffee drifts from the kitchen as the coffee maker starts. As I expect, the twins are already awake and practicing toddler gymnastics in their cribs. They are technically old enough for toddler beds, but we’re both afraid of what might happen if we give them that kind of freedom. As it is, Adrian’s leg is slung over the railing when I walk in the room and I figure it’s a matter of time before he manages an escape one day faster than I can report for morning toddler duty.

Freshly diapered and clothed I set out cereal, add milk, and let them eat, which of course involves wearing as much as they consume. While they’re occupied, I pour a mug of coffee, black, and check the alert. I sigh. I only go in when there’s reason to. No point in hanging around the Judgement Council Headquarters if they’ve no need of me. Unfortunately, they seem to need me every damn day.

Case # 4597: Reported CBM, Victim, male, 42, assaulted, turned into cactus, wallet stolen.

Well, you definitely didn’t see that every day. When Katarina enters the kitchen in a bathroom I set the comm down, kiss her until she wraps her arms around me and leans in. Then I break the kiss, handing her a mug of coffee. “Duty calls.”

She sighs. “It’s too early for duty.”

“Tell that to the guy who got turned into a cactus.”

“A cactus? That’s a first.” She sips her coffee and goes to the fridge to pull out eggs just as Colleen decides she’s done and throws her bowl on the floor.

“We do not throw our bowls on the floor, young miss,” I scold. I bend down to retrieve it and a thunk from the other side lets me know that Adrian has joined his sister’s cereal bowl rebellion. I stand up and glare at them. “No throwing bowls. Just for that, you have to take them to Mommy.”

I lift each out of their highchair. Colleen dutifully picks hers up and patters across the kitchen with it. Adrian makes a break for the living room, but I snag him by his waist. “Oh, now you’ve done it. Now you must be my dish helper.”

He giggles as I haul both him and the bowl up and carry them to the sink. I splash almost as much water on him as I do the bowl, as they were equally sticky. Colleen waves her arms at me. “Up, Dada, up!”

I sit her on the counter as well and clean her up and let them each dry their bowl before setting them back down on the floor, where they each attach themselves to one of Katarina’s legs. She hands me a plate of eggs and toast as she greets the mischief makers. I give her a quick kiss on the cheek. “I’m headed out.”

“Don’t forget Kieran.”

I think maybe my smile turns into a grimace because hers starts to fade. “I’m sure it’ll be fine.” I rush out before I let my apprehension worry her. It’s a quick trip down the hall to pound on Kieran’s door, but he answers before I can even knock.

I frown. “You’re up early.”

He shrugs. “Couldn’t sleep.”

As he doesn’t offer anything else I just nod and lead the way outside where we shift space to the council headquarters to pick up my car. I’m not skilled at shifting space to places I haven’t been and it’s far less exhausting to just drive. Katarina can pop in and out all day long and not feel tired. Doing it a couple times a day is close to my limit before I require a few hours of sleep to recharge. As far as I’ve seen, while Kieran has Katarina’s endurance, like me he isn’t all that skilled at shifting to places he hasn’t been. Actually, from what Kat’s told me, not many Fae are.

My car is a sleek, silver air-capable model. Most people use the AI for flying, but I’ve never even activated it. It’s the only chance I get to keep my skills sharp. It takes us twenty minutes to navigate traffic to the precinct that sent in the CBM report. Kieran complains about the temperature of the car, the lights of the holo ads, the number of people– everything. He’s in his usual sour mood, and I’m dreading having to drag him around all day.

When we reach the precinct, Officer Davis takes me to an interview room. A middle-aged gentlemen with a spiy crew cut sits huddled in a blanket. “Is that the victim?”

“Yep. We called in a Mage to fix him.”

I nod, glad I didn’t have to tackle that, but slightly disappointed I didn’t get to see him as a cactus. Was he like are real cactus or a person that looked like a cactus? Not that it really matters.

Anyway, I’m getting better and better at utilizing magic, but unraveling other people’s work takes a degree of finesse I haven’t quite mastered.

I take out my comm to record the interview as Kieran walks right past me and straight for the victim. The man flinches when Kieran sets a hand on his shoulder. Kieran closes his eyes and no more than two seconds later openes them.

“Got them.”

“Them?”

“Yes!” The man in the blanket says. “I forgot about the second guy that was there. The one that zapped me stuck in my head.”

Kieran heads out the door. “I need to interview him.”

He glances over his shoulder. “Why? His recall is poor and adrenaline is still pumping through him, making that recall even worse. You can take energy readings with your scanner if you want, but it’ll be redundant. I assure you, I have their signatures and I already sense them not far from here.” He turns without waiting for a response and strides down the hall.

“Uhm, Officer Davis, can you?” I point to the victim. I trust the officer to get his statement.

“Sure.” He nods toward the direction Kieran disappeared. “Your new partner’s kinda weird.”

“Tell me about it.” I wave and hurry to catch up with Kieran.

Fifteen minutes later the magik responsible and his non-magik buddy are detained. An hour later I have them booked and carted to appropriate detention facilities. The rest of the day, as cases popped up, Kieran tracks down perpetrators with such speed and skill I wonder why I’m even here.

By the time we head home, my day has been more productive than most weeks and I have a new respect for my brother-in-law. “You’re a damn good tracker.”

Kieran just shrugs, staring out the window at the passing scenery.

I’m used to his sulky moods, so I drive home happy. Once I trust him enough to take cases by himself, Katarina and I might even manage a vacation. My volunteering to work with Kieran now seems like the best idea I’ve had in a really long time.

 

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