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In which the dawn looks very dark indeed.



April 12, 1987

    About six thirty that same morning I heard the boat start up. I think I had dozed for a couple of hours, max. I had more than half expected her to go like this, but not so early, and there were two things I wanted to tell her; I took the quick route out the window and caught up easily. The sun was quite firmly up, the light nearly blinding on the water, and it was very nearly warm out. When I landed behind her in the boat Lucky whirled, lightstick already swinging before she realized who it was.
    "Whoah! Jesus, Lucky. It's just me. Don't do that."
    She allowed the weapon to vanish and throttled the engine's growl to a low mumble, slowing the boat to a halt. "Well what did you expect?"
    "I figured you'd hear me coming."
    "You don't make a lot of noise flying."
    "Well, smell me, or something. Look, this isn't going very well." I paused and looked at her, blue eyes tight at the corners, the slight, nervous shifting of muscles, almost like a caged animal. "I wanted to let you know, if you want to do this by yourself, then I understand. I just wanted to let you know that you don't have to." Wondering, as I said it, if this wasn't a stupid thing to do.
    She seemed to spend a while assimilating that. "OK."
    "That's not very communicative."
    She ignored that. "What was the other thing?"
    "I didn't tell you this last night, and I'm sorry. Ellis told me to tell you that was good work yesterday." She didn't say anything. "With the spider, and, um, everything," I added awkwardly.
    She laughed. It wasn't pleasant. "I didn't even do anything. It was you guys who did the work."
    "You did enough."
    "It looked good on the camera."
    "That helped."
    She changed the subject. "You saying you want to come with me?"
    "If you want."
    Another pause. "All right."
    "I'm not dressed." I was still in my pajamas, rust-colored silk with black Chinese dragons embroidered on. Lucky, I noted, has returned to her all-black wardrobe, which doesn't strike me as a good sign.
    "I don't have a lot of time."
    That wasn't strictly true, she was at least an hour early, but I certainly wasn't going to argue with her. "Give me five minutes."
    She seemed to hesitate, but nodded. "I'll meet you on land."
    I flew back, changed into my own usual quasi-uniform, ran a brush through my hair and passed through the living room on my way out. Scott was watching TV, listening to the radio, and reading at the same time.
    "Hey Scott? We're heading to the station. You can use the phone now, right?"
    "Great. Call me if anything comes up. Hopefully this won't take too long." I remembered Promethean and hesitated. Getting him up to speed on the current situation would take a long time; might as well leave it entirely until there was time to do it right. Come to think of it, I wasn't really sure how much Scott himself understood of what was going on; he hadn't asked any questions. Later.
    Lucky was waiting impatiently at Rowes, where so many recent events had taken place. Someone had brought her bike back, but she had apparently decided to walk. I tagged along silently. She had made an effort, the night before; this was the least I could do in return.
    At the station we were greeted with a round of cheers, bringing home with a bit of a shock the fact that very few people knew what had happened at all, let alone the details, even among the police. As far as most of them know, she had taken out two Mafia dons they've been working on for years, as well as facing down the spider the previous day. Reilly was there, suited and somber. I expected him to be upset, if not outright angry, but he was very quiet and... well, nice about everything, as if he had reached his own conclusions about what had happened. There was some interplay between him and Lucky which I didn't quite understand, busy as I was pretending to be somewhere else entirely.

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© 1999 Rebecca J. Stevenson