They survived Hurricane Wu Tamika Felipe (WTF) but can they survive what comes after?
Hurricane Wu Tamika Felipe has moved north. Yeah, the storm almost killed Detective Violet Baker, but it also blew some romance her way. Her uptight partner, Dzholh “Joe” Ban!drn actually kissed her.
But there’s no time for any follow-up kissing, much to Vi’s regret. They are hunting something very bad. Something that tried to kill them while they were dirt side during the storm.
And has now escaped up into New Orleans New.
It’s not business as usual, though there is some deja vu in there, when Vi and Joe get sent to a FEMA camp to check out a dead body.
Until that body turns into a trail that might lead to the evil it. Or to its next victim.
Just when Vi thinks things are crapeau enough, the MITSC (Men In Top Secret Color) show up and take over their case. Are they after Joe or the evil it?
Before they can find out, the evil it lures them into a trap.
It’s ‘it’ versus them and it hasn’t lost yet….
“We should split up.” Jack’s voice sounded as calm as if he were talking about picking where to eat lunch. He carefully holstered his hand weapon and picked up his long gun. Checked it for power pack and then assumed a defensive posture.
Clearly he’d been thinking, too. And not about lunch. Which Vi wished she hadn’t missed. She’d even take an MRE right now.
“I concur,” Joe said.
Not a surprise.
“The idea has…merit,” she admitted reluctantly, pretty sure she knew where he was going to go with this. To head him off, she pointed out, “If whoever is after us didn’t see us leave the councilman’s place, they won’t know we picked up these two,” Vi pointed. “That might give us an advantage?” They needed the thin edges of even thin wedges, since that seemed like that’s all they had. “You and I could go one way, these two could go another….”
Joe frowned. Also not a surprise. He was cut out of the heroic mold, and his people still had a “protect the women and children at all costs” code of conduct. The truth was, she and Joe were probably hosed, but it was possible that Benson and Jack could get clear. Tell their sad tale. It was easy to think noble thoughts, much harder to do noble things. Not that she minded Jack and Benson surviving. She just wanted to survive, too, if only to kiss the boy once more. When Joe didn’t speak, she went on making her case like he had objected.
“We could draw pursuit off these two.” She tried to sound, if not enthusiastic, at least wise. “Jack and Benson could make their way to one of the buildings and just lie low until help comes.”
Benson looked horrified. Jack looked like, well, Jack.
“If you followed the lake bed, you could could head for the stadium. Might even get high enough to see something.” Give us some cover fire, she almost said, but it undermined her “they don’t know you’re here” point.
“We won’t leave you,” Benson said stubbornly.
“Well, that’s not your call, now is it? I kind of outrank you.” Vi softened the rank pulling with a smile.
“You won’t stand a chance.” The line of her mouth was mutinous.
“If we stick together, no one will have a chance. Jack’s right about that,” Vi said. “We have to split up. And Joe and I seem to be the problem, the target, if you will. You can be collateral damage, or you can be witnesses for the prosecution.”
There was a short silence.
“Yes, ma’am.” She sounded subdued. As she should.
Funny how quick the “wow, it’s so amazing to be a cop,” turned into “holy freaking crapeau.”
“Joe?” He’d been quiet, even by his standards.
“I believe that Jack and I should attempt to draw off the pursuit, while you and Benson make for the stadium. You can provide us cover when you have achieved the high ground.”
He didn’t seem to mind outing the witnesses. His people were also eminently practical.
“They are after us,” Vi pointed out again.
“It is possible they know were are four, not two. We do not know what they know, why they have not acted.” He blew out his breath. “We must balance our strengths, minimize our weaknesses. You and I both have experience.”
In wallowing around in the mud? He was right about that. And he was hoping she wouldn’t notice he’d put the girls together.
“They’ll be looking for a guy and a girl, Joe.”
He held up a muddy hand. “They are looking for a purple alien and someone with him. In our uniforms were are not gender specific. Identification will require close range. And covered in mud? Even close range will take time. Jack will provide, we can hope, an element of surprise if they do get close enough to ascertain our gender.”
“It is the best configuration for success,” Jack agreed. Maybe he liked the idea of being an element of surprise. Or he was cut out the heroic mold, too.
I don’t want to split up. If she couldn’t whine to Joe, she’d whine to Wynken.
Nor do I, but it does mean that there is also a nanite in each pairing.
But I’m stuck with Benson.
As you noted, her girl crush is on the wane.
Vi had to choke down the chuckle. A nanite with a sense of humor. You’re good—well, people, Wynken. I’m sorry about this, but glad to have you along.
Like you, I would rather go down fighting.
“All right.” Vi had to force the words out through teeth that wanted to clench. There wouldn’t even be a chance for a kiss before parting. Her gaze held Joe’s, hoping he got all she couldn’t say from that look. She wasn’t hopeful he would. He was a guy. And she had evidence he wasn’t fluent in reading looks.
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