By: Laurann Dohner

“The dust isn’t harmful.” Bluebird began gathering the dirty uniforms. “At least that’s what Trey said. It’s mostly debris from part of the building collapsing. He said new buildings don’t have poisonous materials.”

“Good to know.” Snow sneezed again. “But I was talking about the smoke from the fire.”

“Oh.” She paused, her arms still full. “I’ll get more clothing from Supply.” She spun and rushed away.

Rusty entered next. “Is everyone well?”

“Only some cuts and bruises,” Flame answered. “We didn’t lose anyone.”

Darkness stepped forward, drawing her attention. “I told you to stay with the prisoner.”

“She’s locked in interrogation room three. It’s the farthest corner from the damage. She wasn’t carrying anything in her clothing. I checked and tagged it as evidence. She wants water. Is it okay to give her some?”

“Yes. Go stand guard. I’ll be there in a moment.” He sat, debating whether he should put his boots back on. They were coated with white powder. He stood. “Fuck it.”

“Excuse me?” Snow was dressing, too, but paused and looked up.

“I’m going to talk to our prisoner like this.”

“You’re going to interview a suspect barefoot and out of uniform?” Flame’s eyebrows rose.

Darkness pointed to where the dressing rooms for the males had been. “If you want to go in there where the ceiling lights crashed into the metal lockers and risk being electrocuted to retrieve my spares, go right ahead. I don’t have time to rush home first either. We need answers. We were attacked.”

Flame closed his mouth and nodded sharply.

“Do you want help?” Flirt moved forward, already changed from his uniform to running clothes. “Two of us may intimidate the male more.”

“It’s a female.” Darkness strode forward. “I’ll handle this alone.”

“I didn’t think you interrogated females. I’d like to volunteer to do it.” Snow was putting on his shirt.

“I’ll make an exception this time. I saw what she did. She’s well trained and a soldier isn’t just any female. They are far more dangerous.”

“I’d really like to interview her,” Snow persisted.


Darkness didn’t wait around any longer for more conversation. He needed answers and he would get them, regardless of what he had to do. Rage simmered as he maneuvered through the building. Every Species had heard the news and rushed to duty. He passed them, feeling a little pride at the unity and calm they showed under the circumstances.

He paused outside the door of the interrogation room and it sank in that he’d have to go in there and do whatever it took to make the female talk. Homeland had been attacked and it could have cost a lot of Species lives. He’d been on his way to take out the driver of that van but admitted it probably would have cost his own life attempting it. He’d leapt from the top of the wall to the roof of the security building once it became clear their bullets were useless. The female had done his job instead.

Why? Her tactics had been clean, too precise. She had skills that she should not possess. He’d have been hard-pressed to do what she had. He spun and stormed over to the phone. Security picked up on the second ring.

“Tell me everything you’ve learned about the female in holding.”

He listened, his rage building. He needed to stop thinking of her as a female. She was a threat. He needed to remember that. Normal tactics wouldn’t work. He’d have to outsmart her and keep her off guard. A plan formed and he took a few calming breaths. Anger was the last thing he needed to use against someone with her probable background.

* * * * *

Kat kept her eyes closed and tried to ignore the chilly air. Adrenaline had left her emotionally drained. It was a normal reaction under the tense circumstances. She’d just faced death, had taken the life of the driver she’d shot and probably his accomplices. That’s at least two dead for sure. The one hanging out of the back of that van was burnt toast.

She flinched at the food comparison her mind came up with and shifted her weight on the metal chair. It wasn’t helping her get any warmer. She debated pacing the room but decided against it. The risk of incurring more suspicion from the NSO would be higher if she failed to act the role of the frightened, timid mouse. That’s what they would expect and that’s what she needed to give them if she had any chance of recovering her undercover persona.

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