Though dazed, Jonathan looked out the window as the world sped by him. From the backseat he could the picture ID hanging from the dashboard in front of the glove compartment. The name on it was ‘Josiah Locke’. His smell was similar to his facial expression – sour. Locke had taken off his coat and threw it over Marnee and picked her up off of Jonathan. Seconds later – or at least it seemed that way, he was in the man’s arms being carried aloft and set into the cab.
“Who…who are you?” he asked. The man driving kept mumbling to himself and forcefully pointed to the ID. His host wasn’t really in the talking mood. It was almost as if he was talking on a cell phone. He closed his eyes and let the darkness take him. The hum of the cabs engine lulled him into sleep…
The feeling of choking…
He bolted upright. He was on the floor. The cold concrete and water were shocks to his senses. He could smell a stale cigar burring. Jonathan began to shiver. “What relation do you have to Day Watch officer Luther Kine?” said a male voice.
“Wha…I…what’s going on? Where am I? Am I…” he said before he felt a sharp pain of a boot to his back. “FUCK! MOTHERFUCKER! Why are you FUCKING KICKING ME! WHO ARE YOU?!” he painfully yelled.
“Answer the question slacker…do-you-know-Luther-Kine?” said a different male voice. Each part of the question was accented with a kick to his ribs.
“Fuck all of you…I know my rights…give me my goddamn phone call…I don’t know who the hell you people think,” he said before he felt a blow to the face.
He spat out and realized that his face was in a black sack. The blood and saliva sprayed in the bag and back onto his face. He could feel his heart racing. He was going to get beaten to death. He almost wished the demon had killed him.
“We don’t have time for this – hand me the tools Ricky,” said the original speaker. Suddenly he heard a large click and something sliding – a door maybe?
“STOP THIS AT ONCE!” said a large booming voice. “Were you ORDERED to interrogate a guest? For fuck’s sake he just opened his eyes! This isn’t fucking Cambodia Phirun! Hope to your God that he isn’t too fucked up to speak with the Boss!”
There was a terse reply and the sound a deep rumbling growl followed by a crackle of something that sounded like electricity. Jonathan began to wonder what he had done to God or the government or why there was an animal in the room during and interrogation. Jonathan felt himself being picked up off the ground.
He felt the hood being untied from his neck and eventually taken off. The light painfully rushed into his face followed by that sour smell – it was Josiah. He started into Jonathan’s face. “No…no concussion. Bruises that will be a bitch for a while. Need to clean your face though,” he said as used a cold wet cloth against Jonathan’s face. “Come on – we’re going to get you away from these meatheads. I’m sorry – they thought you were responsible for Sava’s condition.”
Despite the pain and his dazed condition – Jonathan gave a questioning look and then fired off his questions, “Who is Sava? What happened to Marnee? Where the hell am I, and who are you?”
Josiah raised an eyebrow, “Who is Sava? She’s the woman who pulled you out of the Gloom dumbass. Who is Marn…oooh…Marnee?” He paused and thought for a second and realization hit him, “I’m sorry. Savannah…or Sava as I call her for short, is the woman you know as Marnee. I was wondering what name she was using when she hit the schools. Marnee…Marnee – such an odd name. Alright, enough of this chit chat. It is time for you to see the Section Head. As for me – I am just Locke. I do a bit of driving for the Watch.” He led Jonathan by the shoulder and down the hall. Still weak and at this point, Locke guided him down the hall and out of the concrete room.
Oddly enough, he recognized that Locke spoke with an accent. It was foreign – maybe European. He had the New York Cabbie persona down. He shook his head and wondered if he was going insane. His mind raced through the last few hours as he was trying to get his bearings on the situation. Marnee-Savannah…where was she? Where was he? It looked like he was in an office building somewhere. He could see the lights. It was downtown from what it looked like. All around him there were people at terminals typing away. He passed various conference rooms until they got to the elevator.
Josiah hit the last button at the top – 40. They were on the 25th floor. The music chimed softly as they shot upwards. They said nothing to one another as elevator ascended. Once the doors opened – the standard office atmosphere had changed. There was a very comfortable rustic feel to the floor. Earth tones matched the comfortable furniture. In the center of the floor was a huge atrium. As they approached, Jonathan saw the open night sky above him. Beneath the atrium was a woman at a desk. The desk had a few worn manila folders and a desk light. She was drinking something warm in one of those old fashioned looking tin cups. The floor sloped downward making her look up at the new arrivals. She nodded and motioned for them to take a seat.
She looked about forty-something with obvious crow’s feet and light graying streaks in her jet-black hair. She was a Native American with strong features and piercing eyes. She looked at Jonathan or rather looked through him. He almost felt like he was being weighed and measured while he sat there. The smell of the contents wafted toward him – coffee. Without a word, she reached into the drawer and pulled out two similar tin cups and a thermos. Pouring the dark contents into each cup, she stood up and came around the desk and hand each a cup. She was a tall woman – perhaps almost most six feet but not quite. She seemed to radiate strength about her. He wanted to start asking questions but weight of her presence made him follow the old adage of eyes open, mouth shut.
Leaning against the front of her desk, “Let me start this by saying I am sorry for your unwarranted interview. Ricky & Phirun are like big brothers to Savannah. They allowed their emotions to cloud their judgment – but you will learn that soon enough. My name is Talia Mankiller – I am the Section Head for the Night Watch here in Phoenix. The man to your left is Josiah Locke, another of our field agents. No doubt you will have lots of questions so let me begin with the following. You are an Other. Just like me and most of the people you have seen in this building. We are something more than just human. Some would call it a blessing or a curse. Personally I see it as neither, but rather a higher calling to something greater. In a time long forgotten, and in a place not here – there two great armies that fought a terrible war. All of them were Others. One half Light and the others Dark. They clashed and nearly brought about the end of the world. Both sides realized that the destruction of the world was not what either had wanted. The Light wanted the world to flourish while the Dark wanted to control it to fashion it to their own designs. However that is just a matter of opinion. Two sides of the same coin.”
She took a sip from the cup and continued, “So to stop the destruction – the Treaty was created. A promise brokered between the two sides to allow for the continued existence of the human race and the Others. From that the Watches were created. The Light Others became the Night Watch and the Dark Others became the Day Watch. By your actions this evening – you not only opened your eyes to a larger world – but have made your choice as well.”
It all sounded so silly, he thought. It was like some sort of short fiction. The whole black and white difference – good and evil it was…
“Actions are simply that – it is the intention that flavors them Mr. Fisher. Never forget that. You threw yourself in front of Sava when Kine was attempting to kill her,” she said. Yet – it wasn’t spoken aloud. She stared at him with those piercing eyes as she was taking another sip. “You were uninitiated when you fell into the Gloom and your actions allowed you create the larger path before you.”
“So what does this mean for me? I mean…I mean,” he looked down into the tin cup. The flooding of images from the fight raced through his head. The lioness…Marnee…Savannah was trying to save him from Kine. Who was Kine and why was he trying to kill him. He remembered during the fight that it shouted that he was ‘HIS’. What the hell did that mean? He took a sip from the cup. Normally he dressed it up with cream and sugar, but with all of this information just tossed at him like some sort of science fiction nonsense made truth, he wished there was something stronger in the cup.
As if to answer both questions, “Sometimes Mr. Fisher – sober truth is best. For now – Locke, take Mr. Fisher to a dorm room. He will need his rest. I have recalled Walling from Los Angeles. He will be here by morning. He is to meet Ms. Hilliker in the morning as well.”
Josiah made a face, “Not Walling. Let me deal with him. Walling will just get him into more trouble. Hell – the man was suspended for the last nine months for the incident in New Mexico.”
She turned her gaze on to him, “My choices are for a reason Locke. Now get our guest a proper room and something to eat. Afterwards – you and I will be discussing another assignment.”
Josiah stood up and sighed. Jonathan looked down at the coffee, and with a single push, he forced the warm fluid down his throat, “Look – I have to ask…who Luther Kine is?”
The Boss regarded him with a slow blink and then turned around toward her desk. She opened up a file folder and produced a black and white photo. She handed to Jonathan who stared at it for a moment, and then his eyes opened wide. He looked up at her and then back down to the picture. He started to form a question and she only raised her hand, “In the morning Mr. Fisher, in the morning.”
Josiah put his hand on Jonathan’s shoulder and turned him around. Another shock reeled in his mind. The image of the man in the picture was step-father. Why was step-father trying to kill him?