Milena had to wash her hands five times before all the blood was gone from her skin and from under her nails. Even then there were flecks of it on her clothing and in her hair, and the smell of it hung in the air. Images of Aaron passed out in a puddle of blood kept flashing before her eyes, and that look in his eyes right before he fainted. He had been so confused by what he had seen. After he had passed out the Dani and Janus helped to carry him upstairs to his bed, and the League doctor took over.
It left Milena with nothing to do but pace the house and wonder what he would remember. She should tell Dani everything right away, but that would also mean telling her that she lost control again.
With her hands clean, Milena splashed some water on her face and tried to push it all away. She tried to let go of how wonderful it had been when her powers ran amok, and she wondered if Aaron would wake up and immediately tell everyone what he had seen.
It was hard to say what scared her most.
Luckily, she heard Dani calling her to from the living room, so she dried off her face and went to see her partners.
“… have to talk to Fineman,” said Dani as Milena entered. “Hey Mills.”
Milena smiled at them both and sat down. None of them seemed suspicious of anything, so she just stayed quiet.
She listened idly while the two of them discussed their next step. Obviously, they had to talk to Aaron. The first step must be to get his side of events. Milena told them the only thing she knew: that he had believed that the assassins were his girlfriend and a good friend.
“They must have been undercover for a while, then,” Janus said. “Very interesting. It suggests that they wanted to gain his trust.”
“So it wasn’t just an assassination. They were spying.” Milena rested her head on her hand. “But so long as we know nothing of him, we can’t tell what they wanted from him.”
“I think it’s time we talked to him,” said Dani.
She jumped out of her seat and led the way up the staircase to the bedroom. They didn’t get far, though. When they got to the door, it was blocked by a sour-looking blonde woman in a tight skirt and glasses.
Sally King wasn’t just a League agent and a very gifted Mind Reader, she was also a doctor and the one who was in charge of Aaron Fineman’s care. Last time Milena saw Sally she was on the council that decided whether she was to be entered into a rehabilitation program or locked away in a cell forever.
Doctor King had not been for rehabilitation.
When she saw them, she shook her head.
“Mr. Fineman will not be interrogated today,” she said.
“Aw, Sal, we really need to know some more about him as soon as possible,” Dani said. “Throw us a bone.”
Sally looked at all of them over the rim of her glasses in a way that would make an evil librarian proud, and then she shook her head again. “First of all, he’s not awake – he’s heavily sedated. Second of all, he was shot. If you want to know anything about him, I recommend using a search engine called FindMan.”
That search engine was one of the most commonplace in the world, and now that she said the name out loud… Milena raised an eyebrow. “Wait, you mean he’s the guy who…?”
“Sharp, Hartfield. Yes, he created it. Look him up.”
“We’ll go take a stab at our assassins instead, then,” Janus said. “Please do tell when Fineman is ready, or if his condition gets worse.”
The doctor agreed with a nod, and then she went into Fineman’s bedroom and locked the door after herself. Milena and her partners stood back on the landing. Janus, who usually took charge of their little group, said that he and Dani would start preparing for interrogation if Milena started looking up their victim.
While she looked up Fineman on a League laptop, she pushed her worries to the back of her mind. It helped that research was one of her few fortes, and on top of that, there was plenty information to look at – his entire life was laid out in newspaper articles, and even the website for his company had quite a bit of writing about him.
He had studied computer science at Greenford University, graduated with average scores, and started his own company at twenty-one: FindMan. The company offered a search engine that was reliable and less plastered with ads than their competitors. Aaron had also been an important player in the SearchCo debacle a couple of years earlier. SearchCo, a rival search engine, had let large corporations pay to get a higher rank in key searches. Along with a couple of journalists, he had been a big part in outing them to the public. FindMan became bigger than ever since that, while SearchCo disappeared. Good motive for sending assassins and spies, perhaps?
Sadly, she saw little about his personal life. There were pictures of him at events, sometimes with a woman on his arm. A local newspaper told her that he dated a rather famous author at some point, but it only lasted for a little over a year.
None of his pictures showed him with the woman that had tried to murder him the night before. It was like she didn’t exist at all.
They had covered their tracks rather well.
In fact, they did it so well that if Milena hadn’t intervened, the only person who could tell them anything would have been dead now.
Author’s note: Hi guys, finally! I added a rather short little chapter to the story. I had more pictures and more ideas for it, but in the end, it’s just a short little exposition chapter, and dragging it out would have been boring.
It’s a good opportunity to introduce Sally King, though. To readers of the old story, she won’t seem familiar. It’s because time travel is a bitch and writing it out means I have to make some decisions. She plays the role that Jackie King played in the old version (somewhat). I couldn’t have Jackie being young and pretty in both Charlotte and Milena’s generations, so I added her mother to this one instead.
Also, if you hadn’t noticed, the name of Aaron’s search engine is a dorky pun on his own last name. He’s dorkiness incarnate.