Day 57

I’m using today’s prompt to continue Day 38 (part 8).

Prompt: A rainy afternoon.


I watch the rain drip outside the house, hands wrapped around a mug of black sludge. I’m lost in thought when I feel the presence of someone behind me, the small display in my eye flashing a warning. Hard to sneak up on someone with this many mods.

“Hey, Dad.”

“Hey, Liz. How is your side?”

I smile, resting my hand over the patch. The medi-gel has been working hard, but it still hurts like a bitch.

“It’s good, Dad. Getting better. I’ll be good as new in another day.”

He nods, hesitating, his brow furrowing. I know he has questions, questions he might not like the answers to, questions about me and my life and this place. I want to set his mind at ease, tell him this isn’t my normal life, that I’m never in real danger, but he’d see through the lies. He always knows when I’m lying.

“Liz, I have to know. I thought you were a detective? What is going on?”

I take a sip of coffee and sigh.

“I am a detective, Dad. The work is… different. I’m a specialist. Can we leave it at that?”

His shoulders sag with the weight of worry.

“I have Johns looking out for me, Dad. He’s a great cop and a good man. I’ll be fine.”

“I suppose nothing I say will stop you.”

I shake my head slowly before wrapping him in a hug, wincing as the wound on my side stretches. He holds me for a moment, kissing my hair like he did so many times when I was a child. We break at the sound of an approaching car. I motion him away from the window, taking my gun out and going to the door.

The car rounds the bend, a cloud of dust preventing me from getting a clear view of the driver. I cycle through view modes, checking infrared and ultraviolet, confirming at the very least that the car isn’t armored. I catch a glimpse of the car as it takes a turn. Johns. Clapping my dad on the shoulder, I tuck the gun into its holster and step outside.

Johns parks the car and steps out, giving me a nod from under his hood.

“New civ car?”

“Yeah. I figure they’re watching the one we took earlier. Got this one off the books. How’s your side?”

“Getting there. I should be right as rain tomorrow.”

“I’ll never get used to that healing factor of yours,” he says as he steps onto the porch, shaking the rain from his jacket.

“Well when you get shot as much as I seem to…” I shrug.

There’s a pause, both of us shifting our weight.

“How is he?” Johns finally asks.

“Better. He’ll be fine once we find my mom.”

“We all will,” he replies with a wry smile.

We make our way back inside, my dad waiting inside the door.

“Mr. Harwall,” Johns says, offering my dad his hand. “I don’t believe we’ve been formally introduced. I am your daughter’s partner on the force, Adrian Johns.”

My dad shakes Johns’ hand, calculating eyes sizing him up. They stay like that, hands firmly grasped, each searching for something on the other’s face.

“Adrian,” my dad finally says. “It’s nice to meet you.”

“Please, call me Johns. I haven’t gone by Adrian since I was a boy.”

I leave them there to talk, for Johns to put my dad’s mind at ease, heading onto the porch. Johns sent me all the files he found at the station. I sit in the rocker, staring out at the drizzle across the countryside. Find us here, Armitech, I think. The rain is a steady background as I parse through the new data.

I’m coming, Mom.


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