No Day 18 or 19 writing. Today was my 20th Wedding Anniversary. Woot! Got home early tonight and slammed down some words to paper before calling it a night. Enjoy!



Caldwell knocked on the door. A high, feminine voice called from behind the door,”Come in.”

“Hey boss,” Caldwell said as he let himself in and then closed the door before taking a seat.

“What can I do for you Caldwell?” Mira Etter asked without looking away from her computer screen. Caldwell liked Mira for the most part. The woman was what one would call ‘handsome’, with her European looks and shoulder length blond hair. She was a bit on the pudgy side for Caldwell’s taste, but when he didn’t think of her as the opposite sex, he appreciated she was fair as a boss.

“Can you define for me again the purpose of the anti-terrorist unit?” He knew this would get her attention and it did as she stopped her typing and turned to look at him.

“What is it now? Got another box of case files you printed off, meaning we’ll be stuck in your desk for another few months?”

“Actually, San Jose PD asked for some help on an issue. It’s strange, but I don’t know that it’s ours, let alone any terrorism is involved. Really, terrorism is the use of violence for political reasons. I have none of that here.”

“Yet,” she said and smiled.

“There may never be a ‘yet’. I’m just concerned about spinning wheels when, yes I do have a box of cases I’ve printed out sitting on my desk.” Caldwell wasn’t sure he was getting his issue across her to. Mira sat back in her chair.

“Why don’t you really want to do this case? From what I read in the agent logs, you got to get out of the office for a few hours. Is there any threat to the public safety?”

“I don’t know…yet.” He didn’t like having to admit it. “What I think I’m trying to say is, I’d not make this a priority but someone from A.S.E.R.T. put in a request for us to check out one of their local scientists. It may or may not be related, but the surface items suggest they very may be.”

“Darn academics. Think just because they are a global policy maker that they give order to the FBI. Tell him to go jump off the golden gate.” Caldwell looked at her, before shrugging.

“What? What is it?” Mira asked.

“I wouldn’t have thought there was any connection except that the event in San Jose is a real strange one.” She was about to ask for details but Caldwell held up his hand to stall her. “Too much to go into just yet. But once A.S.E.R.T. sent me this video file to my email, then it made the weirdness of San Jose and the weirdness of their request turn into one bigger connected piece of weirdness.” As he said this he produced his tablet he had carried in with him. He turned the screen toward Mira and played the video.

“What is that? Some kind of special effect making that pink ball float there in the air?”

“Keep watching,” he said. A few minutes later Caldwell turned off the video and waited. Mira was deep in thought.

“That doesn’t look like terrorist activity, but it is darn strange, if it’s real.”

“If it is real, its for certain strange, but not necessarily terrorist worthy.”

“Give me the quick and dirty on the San Jose issue.” He let her know about his trip out there, the circle, his findings and the lab report.

“So no bomb to speak of, but if this is reall, then it can do some damage, even if only in a ten foot radius like in San Jose,” she said. “Okay, make this a priority and dig up what you can to see if we keep it or punt to another department.” Caldwell was not sure if he was relieved or not to find out his boss supported him continuing on this case.

“I’ll look into it. Okay if I take Hooper with me for a few hours?” Mira had already turned back to her computer and was typing away again.

“Sure. sure.” Caldwell let himself out of her office. She may be fair, but she too often made him feel like she didn’t care. It was probably a difference between those managers who want to be involved in the details and those, like Mira Etter, who didn’t care as long as the work got done. Pausing to consider this, he nodded to himself. He could live with that.

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