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Server time: 2019-04-22, 01:15

The Marshal


"The Past Is A Statement. The Future Is A Question."

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    United States

Everything posted by The Marshal

  1. The Marshal

    Skin Mask Questions

    Just make it where the skin mask places you as KOSable. Problem solved. Wear it if you feel like riding the dangerzone or something, but I know if I was in this situation irl and somebody is wearing a Texas Chainsaw Massacre human face mask, I'm blowing their brains out no questions asked because the only person who wears human skin as an accessory is going to be a crazy killer. also @Mademoiselle you can't weld flesh to flesh. Not 'permanently' or rendering the person helpless to remove it. Superglue is the closest you'd get, which solvent would be an easy solution.
  2. The Marshal

    [Game] Corrupt a wish

    granted, but you get banned the same day they return. I wish I could read people's minds and intentions.
  3. The Marshal

    [GAME] How famous is the person above you?

    Oldtimer 9/10
  4. The Marshal

    Guess who the next person to post below you will be.

    nope Burgz
  5. The Marshal

    [Game]Rate The Persons Avatar Above you

    10/10 Feels trippy, and interesting. Creative for sure.
  6. The Marshal


  7. The Marshal


  8. The Marshal

    The Marshal


    Artwork by @Mischief

    (She's currently accepting commissions, if you have some art that needs done.)

    1. Raptor



  9. The Marshal

    Mass-unban and a separate whitelist for Mod.

    I’m not against an unban wave. I actually support it. If those people don’t come back, they don’t come back. If they do, there’s a chance to revitalize the community and revive the roleplay. Dont get me wrong, the people saying ‘no’ certainly have valid points and concerns, however in my opinion the result is worth the risk, even if minor damage control is required. Revoke their white lists, make them reapply, start them off at 20 points for 90 days. The world was built on risk. Rolle took a risk when he opened this server and put money into it. That risk paid off. I took a risk quitting one job to go to another, that risk paid off. Those were real life choices with real consequences, be it financial or whatever. This is a fucking game, if someone comes back and shoots you for not liking a nugget, get over it. Staff will clean up the messes in time as they always have and those that jumped on wagons before who actually care to mind themselves will help inject more life into this place.
  10. The Marshal

    I Will Find You [Open Frequency]

    *The radio beeps in his damp hands as he thinks back on what Emmrich had told him about the woman.* *The transmission cuts out.*
  11. The Marshal

    Falling Stars [John Waters]

    “How long?” Diane asks as she watches Mr. Dalca work. “Two hours? Maybe less, depends on how badly the bearing is shot, if I need to replace the whole thing or just a partial. “Alright…..can’t be helped I guess.” Diane sighs, standing up and moving away from the floor access to the generator below. She headed back to the upper deck where Andreea and John are sitting, frowning slightly as she watched Andreea, sitting beside John, laugh at something he said and then reach over and pat his knee, her hand lingering for a moment. Glancing at John she notices his lack of response to this, oblivious to the girls attempts to blatantly flirt with him. A slight smile touches her lips as she watches him lift his gaze to hers, his expression changing from one of mild amusement with his conversational partner to something more intimate as he gazes at her, she smiles more openly at him and finally steps away from the galley stairs. His gaze turns questioning as she moves to sit across from the pair, their boat at anchor among a large number of like ships. Sitting back in her seat, crossing her legs and spreading her arms wide to lay them across the backs of the cushions. “Two hours or less, he needs to gain access to it first to see how much work is entailed. Either way we’re here for awhile.” “Good that means we can talk some more John….I can call you John right? Dad does…” Andreea interrupted, her gaze trying to catch John’s as he cast a somewhat curious look back in her direction before looking towards the galley hatch. “Uh...yeah sure…..I guess. There’s no way he can speed this up? It’s one thing to be sitting here at night but….” John started, looking back at Diane. “He know’s what he’s doing John, don’t interrupt or get in the way. You wouldn’t want him to start questioning you on how to handle your gun now would you?” she comments, a small twitch appearing on her lips at the sudden look of irritation on his face at the thought. “Fine...fine….” “OH yes….daddy has always been really good with boats. I keep telling him though we need a bigger one. This one is growing so small. It was good for when I was little but there isn’t much room to spread around on it anymore, I’m so much older now.” Diane glanced at the young woman, watching as she untied the front of her cover up and slipped it from her shoulders as John turned to look at her in confusion at her statement. She let the cover up slip from her bare shoulders revealing the halter top she was wearing, trying her best to keep John looking at her that Diane almost laughed aloud as he looked back at her, giving Diane a bewildered expression. Rolling her eyes for a moment then crossing her own arms, rewarded with a flicker in John’s gaze downward she smiles over at the younger woman, a pouting expression starting to appear on the girl's face as John continued to not pick up on her flirtations. “Oh yes….I know my Daddy….by the time we kids were eighteen he was saying he needed to buy us each our own yacht. Told us all if we developed big enough ego’s we’d need something that large to carry them around in. Daddy did so spoil us….” her tone deliberately flippant and sounding completely self-absorbed, Diane looked at John as his expression changed. He was now looking at her as if she’d gone off the deep end. She fought hard to keep from laughing, as the young woman finally looked at Diane and asked, her tone less pleasant than when she was addressing John. “Oh you had a boat growing up?” “Yes dear, we did…” “I’m sure they didn’t make boats like this one way back then……” Andreea started. Her smile freezing on her face, she looked the younger woman over for a moment, noting the eyes gleaming in triumph at the blow. “You're right, they didn’t…...back then they weren’t as mass produced as they are today, you actually had to spend a small fortune unlike today where any man can get a bank loan and own a boat.” Diane looked at John for a moment, his gaze narrowing on her, already picking up on her mood and trying to give her a warning, she ignored it. She glanced at the younger woman, fury now evident in her gaze as she opened and closed her mouth several times before finally gazing past Diane’s shoulder. “That’s the type of boat Daddy promised we’d get next.” she managed to finally cry out, lifting her hand and pointing at a large yacht cruising into the small bay. Diane watched John’s head snap up to look past her, she half turned in her seat for a moment seeing the Yacht moving swiftly through the water, she and John slid from their seats and hit the deck at almost the same moment. Diane reached out and grabbed Andreea by the wrist, hissing at her to get down as a second boat appeared around peninsula. “Get the fuck down!” Andreea looked about to protest then seeing the pair already on the deck she also slid down, realizing at the last moment the danger they were in. As the trio watched the yacht, cruising at high speed, it was making for the shore and the nearby pier, unfortunately the cutter behind it was gaining and once clear of the peninsula guns on board began firing, their trail visible in the water as the bullets cut through it. A few seconds later, a larger gun fired, missing the speeding yacht by the barest of margins on the first shot, sending up a huge splash of water at the larger calibre. The second shot didn’t miss. It tore into the yacht, ripping it open and sending it listing badly as it began to take on water through it’s shattered hull. The smaller guns continued to fire, the people on board trying to flee to the water to escape but being mowed down mercilessly. The trio stayed low and eventually managed to open the hatch and escape down into the galley, watching the cutter finish the yacht through the portholes there. John secured the hatch and Diane got Mr. Dalca’s attention, getting him above deck to comfort his daughter as they all sat in the galley, watching as the cutter cruised slowly through the wreckage, an occasional shot sounding as the passengers were finished off. The yacht itself steadily sank below the surface, and after cruising around for a little while, the cutter began to make a slow pass of the other ships anchored nearby, slowly and deliberately checking each one out. Everyone remained quiet and did not move as it got closer and closer to their location, pausing here and there, it’s engines cutting back then powering back up to pick up speed. The wake of the cutter sent their boat bobbing in the water as it passed, Mr. Dalca covering his daughter's mouth as she opened it to scream in fear. They waited some more as the cutter cruised the small bay a couple more times then abruptly changed course and revved the engines up, heading back out to open water. “How soon…” John whispered, still trying to keep their noise level low. “Not long…..I’ll have it fixed as fast as I can.” “Good…..we can’t stay here.” “Agreed.” The story continues, after almost a year of waiting. There's a lot to cover now.
  12. The Marshal

    The Marshal


    1. DatBlueWolf



      Welp, he's got a 1911 on him. Dibs.

    2. Chief



    3. Combat Logo

      Combat Logo

      It's the return of the shadow ranger!

  13. The Marshal

    The Marshal

    *The winds shift, almost unsteadily, as something that departed long ago looms in the background, waiting. Maybe debating....*


    1. Stradic


      The Marshal returns.


      Welcome back mate.

    2. ItzThatcher


      Well well well... Haven't seen this mate in some time. Good to see you back around.

  14. The Marshal

    New to RP cant wait to play.

    Welcome! I have a background in physical forensics myself, specially in ballistics and blood spatter analysis. Careful. This place will suck you in! lol
  15. The Marshal

    Let's switch to Discord

    I use discord. For text chat among co-workers within the Sheriff's Office. TEXT CHAT. ONLY. I don't use voice. I don't like it. I don't want it. If we switch to discord, you'll never see me, I'll be in another Teamspeak with my friends chatting while I RP. Ciao
  16. The Marshal

    Killers Looking for Victims [Permadeaths Only]

    STATUS: ACTIVE KILLER'S NAME: John Waters CHARACTER PAGE: Click Here TYPE OF KILLER: A lawman ready to protect the public. DYNAMIC/PLANNED/BOTH: BOTH AVAILABILITY (SERVER TIME & DAYS): Weekends, weekdays after 12:00 NOTES (OPTIONAL): John is a killer of killers and negative karma characters. He's here for those who lived or fought against the law, and want to go out that way. Are you a killer, a kidnapper, a torturer, a rapist, or done some sort of unspeakable things? Here's the option for you. There's criteria, though. John won't straight kill people without reason, he's a very moral person. For now. A U.S. Federal Marshal that still believes in the good of law, someone who's sleight of word is almost as good as his sleight of hand on the draw. Expect conversation, a discussion, an exploration of what caused you to do the things you did. He'll decide what to do with you after that. I'm very easy going on the planning part, feel free to PM me and we'll see what it is you want served up, as long as it makes sense.
  17. The Marshal

    [Discussion Thread] Killers Looking for Victims.

    Well, like he said, you don't need to involve yourself in the scripting if you dont want. I'm down for this, I like the idea. Hell, I might even add in Deputy Marshal Waters as kinda a 'good guy' of killers for people who have negative karma characters. Considering he had a kill count of somewhere in the high 70's last lore, mostly people who threatened him or his group.
  18. The Marshal

    Falling Stars [John Waters]

    It was a couple of evenings later, anchored among a few abandoned boats that they had a visitor. It was near dawn and as John and Diane were in their aft cabin, laying there talking when they heard a noise then felt the boat shift slightly. Tensing for a moment then slipping from the bunk John quietly dressed and grabbed his weapon, signaling for Diane to stay when she attempted to also slip from the bunk he quietly eased the door open a crack as the sound of someone moving on the deck could be heard above them. The hatch to the galley opened and someone came quietly down the stairs they didn’t see him step from the cabin swiftly and silently. The first indication they were not alone on board was when the cool muzzle of the gun pressed against the back of their head, slightly above the ear. “You’re going to raise those hands where I can see them and then slowly turn around to face those stairs.” John ordered, his voice low and menacing. The visitor did as ordered and as John slipped around him, spotting Diane as she appeared at the door, one of his shirts pulled on, her gun in hand as she raised it as well. “Now, I’m going to go up these stairs and you’re going to follow, you reach for anything, she shoots you, you try anything to her I’ll shoot you, got it? Their visitor, now clearly visible, was a younger man, soaked from his swim, nodded and carefully started to make his way up the stairs following John up. As they gained the deck, he nodded for Diane to remain below, shifting slightly to look back at her. That was when a piece of the wall by the galley entrance exploded and the crack of a rifle came with it. Grabbing the visitor and using him as a shield he quickly scanned the shore, knowing from where the bullet impacted that that was where it had come from. Raising his voice to be carried across the water John called out, “Step out, NOW, Rifle pointed down at the ground!” He yelled forcefully. “You can try that shot again, but you’ll either kill your friend or miss entirely, judging by your poor marksmanship! Throw the gun in the water.” “You or the gun, boy. Which ones taking a swim?” (When the shooter hesitates, alluding John will shoot him and he sleeps with the fish) There is only a few moments of hesitation before a figure steps from the shadows on shore, rifle pointed down, the person does as instructed walking towards the waterline and throwing the rifle far out into the surf. Pushing the wet man towards the side, John is about to instruct him to leave the boat when Diane catches his attention with a hushed voice. “John, down the coast.” Letting his eyes move in the direction indicated he tenses for a moment, thinking another shooter is appearing, but curses a moment before placing a hand on the visitors back and shoving him into the water, calling out as he does. “You had better swim straight for shore before those things, drawn by your friends gunfire, catch up to you.” he indicates the direction with a wave of his pistol, along the shore multiple infected are now appearing, moving directly towards the location of the person standing there, their arms now waving frantically for a few moments before he turns and takes off back into the trees. Diane hurries up to the deck, more fully dressed, getting the motor started and lifting the anchor, their position no longer safe. As the boat builds a little speed John can see the visitor finally making shore, his legs unsteady as he tries to gain his footing, the infected almost upon him. He then heads for the treeline. The last thing they see is the infected following the movement, then a scream carried across the water as someone falls victim to them.
  19. The Marshal

    Falling Stars [John Waters]

    As time passed the kid began to get sicker and sicker, his parents both fretted that he had somehow gotten his wound infected. Diane and John were loath to break the news of what they suspected was happening. Mihaela was constantly in attendance to her son, Diane tried to draw her away, telling her it might be in her best interest to rest, take some time for herself. She didn’t want to tell her that if her son was infected with this virus that had been spoken off in the news they didn’t know how it was transmitted. The pair had taken to spending a lot of time above deck, hoping it wasn’t airborne. John revealed to Diane that when he’d treated Andrei he’d noticed that the wound was actually a bite, so there was the possibility that was fluid based. They didn’t know and that was the scariest part. How long did they have, how was it transmitted, what could they expect. So many things. They were surprised the one morning to find the boy up on deck, his mother saying he needed sun and fresh air, that it would help. John could see the boy was barely responsive, his pallor less natural. John and Diane exchanged a look and an unspoken acknowledgement was set, one of them at all times would have to keep an eye on him. It was later that day that the kid took a turn for the worse, his mother calling out that she thought he’d stopped breathing. As John made his way from the bow to the aft seating area, Mihaela was becoming more hysterical. Alin was trying to draw her away, Diane was below keeping Andreea from coming above. The panicked suddenly stopped as Mihaela cried out in relief that he was ok. John, his hand on his holster was about to breath his own sigh when the air was pierced with Mihaela’s scream of pain. John rushed forward to see the woman's cradling her arm to her body, the other she was using to pin her son to her side, he was moving erratically, thrashing slightly. “Mihaela…..” Diane called, having rushed to the deck at hearing the woman scream. “Mihaela, move away please.” she asked again. “Please my dear….come to me…..Andrei...something is wrong.” Mihaela used more of her body to block her son from the others, her face showing her reluctance and her resolve. “No…...if I move….he’ll die. I watched the reports...I know what you're all thinking.” she shook her head, her eyes showing her remorse as she cradled her arm to her body. “Mrs. Dalca….your son is sick. He’s beyond what we can do….he’s already attacked you.” John cautioned, his hand still on his holster. She looked up at John on the upper deck, then down at Diane. “You don’t have children do you? Either of you? You don’t know what it’s like. Nine months I carried him, I suffered through morning sickness, the aches and pains, all the discomfort. I was rewarded by feeling him grow, the flutters there that told me he was real. After the labour and delivery which was an experience in itself there were the feedings, the getting up at all hours. It’s a trade off. Was it worth it? Yes….oh yes. Holding this small miracle for the first time, waiting for that first smile. The first time he looks at you and see’s you. The first smile. You watch the personality develop. You see when he recognizes voices, some he likes others are strange. You love him and he loves you unconditionally.” “Mihaela….is it even him anymore?” John heard Alin ask, the voice was thick with pent up emotion. She looked at her husband, her body still blocking the others as the boy started to struggle more, tried to move around her. “I don’t know Alin….I only know I brought him into the world….and whatever has taken him….I am sure to have it to. They watched for a moment in some confusion as she moved the body and herself in between the two helm positions, keeping him behind her. “Mihaela...you don’t know that…..please.” As John and Diane watched, she looked up at her husband and gave him a small smile. “I am sorry Alin, but this has to be…..keep Andreea safe. I love you both.” Then, before anyone could react, she turned, flung her arms around Andrei and pushed forward, taking them both over the stern, hitting the water. Alin rushed forward, intent on rescue, John was by his side trying to talk to him, reason with him, his face showing some of the shock he must be feeling as what he’d just witnessed. Diane turned back to the galley to see Andreea, her face pale, tears streaming down her face, her hands over her mouth as she sobbed. “Am I just suppose to let them go?” Alin snapped at John. “She knew what she was doing….she was right. She was saving you and Andreea.” John placated, his voice low and understanding. “She needs you….Andreea does...she needs her father.” Alin was torn for a few moments, the realization of what had happened sinking in, his body shrunk in defeat as he turned and headed for the galley where he daughter was waiting. Andreea threw herself into his arms as he finished with the last step, her sobs loud and uncontrolled. Diane slipped past the pair and headed up to the deck to give them privacy. As she stepped close to John, she looked up into his face and saw the remorse there. Without a second through she threw herself into his arms and let go all the grief she felt, not only for Alin and Mihaela, but for her parents and siblings, for all those she knew. John held her close and let her cry, soothing her by stroking small circles on her back, reaching up and smoothing down her hair as he laid his cheek atop her head. It wasn’t long before he sat down and pulled her into his lap, still comforting her. They remained that way for a good long time.
  20. The Marshal

    Falling Stars [John Waters]

    As had become a nightly custom, John was waiting on the rooftop lounge area, normally Diane was with him as they took in the city. They’d watched as the active night life had dwindled down to the point where the streets were deserted. He heard Diane coming up the steps, a smile coming to him as he remembered the scene in the lobby when they’d arrived with the family the other day. The manager, John swore, had broken out in tears and effusively thanked John and Diane. She had, in typical Diane fashion, maneuvered the man into running around doing errands, fetching ice from the kitchens while she saw the family back up to their room. He heard something hit the table surface behind him then the next thing he knew he could smell her light perfume as a warm hand settled on his shoulder prompting him to push off from the railing and turn towards her, reaching out and pulling her into his arms as she wrapped her arms around him, stretching up to give him a quick kiss. “How are they today?” he asked quietly, knowing she had visited with them again. “He’s healing well, still sore but doing much better.” They stood there for a few minutes quietly. Just glad to be there with each other. Their peaceful time however, was interrupted by the distant sound of gunfire. They had been hearing it more often lately, it was expected that Martial law was to be announced at any moment. “We have to get out of here John.” Diane said softly as she pulled back slightly to look up at him. “I know….it’s just….our options are limited.” he replied, his frustration apparent. “I think I may have come up with something…” she announced, a little hesitant. John pulled back a little more, gazing down at her worried face, waiting expectantly. Diane sighed, then pulled free of his arms, going over to the table and picking something up from it, a pair of binoculars. She held them up to her eyes after turning to face the marina down the road, she paused for a few moments then handed the binoculars over to him. “Over there, far pier, second berth from the end, where the big boats are.” she pointed in the direction as John lifted the binoculars up to gaze where she directed. “See it?” she asked. “Yeah, I think, why am I looking at it?” he asked, focusing on what appeared to be a sailboat. “That’s the forty six footer that the family owns, the Trustworthy they call it.” He peered at the sailboat a moment longer before lowering the binoculars and looking back at Diane. “I have a theory….” she started. He waited a moment longer, knowing she’d supply the details. “The report that we heard this afternoon, that the sickness that was spreading, they alluded to it being in the city….” he nodded affirmative but remained silent. “It’s not confirmed yet, but I suspect it might be true, it fits the pattern. Anyways…...I figure all of this is like a wave...anything in front of it is at extreme risk, but if we could get behind it…...it would be considerable safer.” “Makes sense…..” “Tomorrow, after the tide comes in, the Dalca family plan to board their boat and head back home, Romania, taking an eastern route. Now, Mr. Dalca is still recovering, it’ll be a bit of an effort for him to manage that boat, but I do have experience sailing and can lend a hand. They’ve offered us a cabin, since it has three, and passage as far east as we wish to go. It’ll take us behind this wave hopefully. From there we can follow it and as things calm down and get back to normal we’ll be able to find a way back to the states.” “Sounds good but what about running into some of the various military boats out there cruising and forcing back or even sinking some of the boats out there.” John replied, concerned. “Mr. Dalca informed me that if we travel as close to the shore as we can, using some of the many islands between here and there as cover, that we should be good. We could ‘play dead’ in the water if need be, dropping the sails and acting like just another anchored or abandoned boat. Only problem is is that it’s going to take an awfully long time to get there as the sailboats maximum speed is usually around five maybe six knots.” “Anything else I should know?” John asked, impressed and slightly amused, of course Diane would have experience with sailing boats, she at times continually surprised him. Diane turned back to the table and grabbed the bag on the surface. “I hope you don’t get seasick…” she paused, then reached in the bag and pulled out a pair of canvas shoes. “These should fit you…..sorry, but there is NO way you’re going to be able to keep your feet walking on deck in those boots.” she tossed the shoes to him which he easily snatched then looked at a little closer. “Even my size…” he commented, looking at them. “Yeah well…..I mean I stared at the bottom of those boots of yours fairly often enough each and every time you propped them up on your desk when you were feeling smug. So of course I’d have eventually figured out your shoe size.” John laughed and moved back over beside her, slipping his free arm around her as the pair headed back to the stairs. __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ They all met in the hotel lobby the next morning, the tide already coming in. The hotel manager was upset at the prospect of losing more people, but Diane pulled him aside and assured him it was no reflection upon him or his hotel that they were leaving. The city was getting increasingly unsafe and that he should probably close up the hotel and get the rest of those there to safety as well. She would hate to see him get hurt. The little man seem flustered at the attention Diane was giving him, blushing as she smiled and built him up. He asked if he could help them to their boat but Diane assured him they’d be ok, and that when time permitted and all this settled down she would come back for another visit. Gathering up the bags she and John had assembled and helping the family with their things, although they’d warned them to bring only what they needed, the began the short trek down the street to the nearby marina. It was decided that John keep his hands free, being the better shot of the pair, they cautiously started making their way down to the marina. John and Diane weren’t saying anything to the family but they were very aware that early in the morning they’d heard gunshots, extremely close and from the sounds of it, more than one type of gun. Something major had gone down, but whoever it was, did they just pass through or were they still in the area? They hit the pier in relative safety, starting to head down the dock towards the Trustworthy. John could literally feel the hairs at the nap of his neck prickling in awareness. Someone was watching them, he would bet money on it. He brought up the rear, hand on his service weapon as he kept scanning the nearby buildings and boats, half expecting someone to jump out at them. As they reached the berth of the Trustworthy everyone started to scramble inside, stowing the things brought. The kids vanished below deck with their mom to start prepping the boat for travel, John was relieved to know it wouldn’t take much longer and Mr. Dalca, when he’d first arrived, made sure the boat was restocked and resupplied. Sure it had water reclamation system but other things were also needed for any extended stay on the water. Fuel was also needed for the small maneuvering engine used for the fine steerage needed to pull a vessel this size into as snug a slip as which it was currently sitting. As he keep a half eye down the dock, he watched as Diane helped with freeing the sails from their coverings so they could be raised or lowered as needed, she also hopped around to check on lines needed to hoist the sails and keep tension to them. He hadn’t realized he was watching her a little too closely until something prompted him to suddenly look down the dock. Maybe it was the sound of their heels hitting the wood from the concrete, maybe it was the wind carrying the sound of their movement. Whatever it was it instantly had him drawing his service weapon and holding it down at his side. The movement was mostly concealed by the angle of his body to them, so he kept it low and waited it see what would happen. Diane watched the group of people coming down the pier towards John, he already had his weapon out and down at his side. The group approaching appeared to be carrying various weapons. She spotted a bat, a pipe and other blunt instruments, any of which could do serious harm. She hurriedly untied the front mooring line then scrambled towards the other one to the aft, working at it furiously as Mr. Dalca informed her under his breath that he was preparing to the start the motor. They were going to have to move as quickly as possible, for the people coming towards them now looked ready for trouble. John watched the others approach, there appeared but a total of six. Of those six there were perhaps only two he was most concerned with. These two stared down the dock directly at him, weapons out, expressions malicious and intent. The other four looked around nervously, their insecurities apparent. Those he classified as followers, scared to be by themselves, more afraid though of the two other guys. Heaving a bit of a sigh, John picked a spot on the dock and as soon as the group reached it he called out, his voice firm and authoritative. “That’s far enough, state what you want and be on your way.” “You beat us to the boat, we’re taking it.” the obvious leader sneered. “Oh? I take it then you folks all know how to sail then?” “A few of us do, yeah….we’re getting out of here and you’re going to move away from that boat before I come over there and smash those kneecaps of yours to pieces.” John stood there for a moment, gazing at the group as if giving what they said serious consideration, he gazed over at Diane for a moment, her quick nod telling him they were ready to go. “Tell you what I’m going to do….” he paused for a moment, lifting his free hand and pointing two fingers down towards the dock and making a quick circular motion. “I’m going to let you turn around and walk away from this. Take a moment to ponder the consequences of ignoring that generosity.” he emphasized this point by turning slightly and allowing the weapon in his hands to be seen, still pointed at the dock. The second man sneered at John and pointed the piece of pipe in his hand at him. “I see the badge on your belt, you won’t do shit…….” he took a couple of steps forward. “I’m not going to tell you again. Not another step.” John ordered, his voice growing low, the warning in his tone very evident. “Fuck you law man…..you’ve got rules…..” he turned to address the others “He can’t do shit….” “Rules?” John remarked, watching the rest of them grow more confident, knowing he would have to do something extreme to make them leave. “Let’s not preach about rules when you don’t follow them yourself. I’ve told you, not one more step.” The man gave a smug grin, taking another step forward. THOMP! The gun in his hand suddenly exploded in noise as he fired a shot, the weapon raised faster than one could react to, hitting the ignorant man in the lower calf, the scream of pain as he collapsed to the dock as the others stared in shock. “Told you...” “You shot me! You fucking shot me!” The man screamed in agony. “Walk it off.” John calmly stepped off the dock and onto the boat, keeping an eye on the group as they huddled around their injured friend, scooping him up and heading back down the dock. He had to grab hold of one of the safety lines along the sides to keep upright as the boat lurched and bucked as the motor throttled up and began to move forward, then a few seconds later, seemed to twist and turn as it cleared the berth and headed for the Marina opening. He managed to get his service weapon back into it’s holster before the boat lurched again and seemed to twist as it changed direction once past the marina opening. “Diane!” he called. “Shoes are on the seat there, warned you.” her voice called over the wind as she prepared to hoist the sail when Mr. Dalca called for it, as he was shutting the diesel motor down and measuring the wind direction. John lowered himself to the nearest seat, replacing his boots with the canvas deck shoes she had provided him with last night. As he finished stowing his boots he heard the snap of cloth and suddenly the boat seemed to leap forward as it caught the wind and began to increase speed rapidly. The deck tilted at an angle as the wind pushed the boat along. It took John a few moments to adjust but soon he breathed a sigh of relief and headed back up to the sitting area at the aft of the boat. “BOOM” Mr. Dalca called out, and John made sure he ducked as the boom swung around as they eased into their direction of travel and set the sails to capture the most wind possible. As he settled down into one of the seats, he looked over at the coast as the sped by and frowned. Smoke could be seen rising up from several areas near the shore and further inland. Some places showed cars lined up and not moving, probably abandoned and had been like that for days. Gunshots could be heard across the water. Andrei popped his head up from the hatch leading below, calling out to his father in Romanian. “Au facut-o. Au declarat maresalul legea. Boala este în oraş. Oamenii sunt razvratita. Radioul a spus mort sunt de mers pe jos.” “- Vorbeşti serios?” he father replied “Asta este ceea ce am auzit dar acolo era mult mai static” “Multumesc, păstraţi asculta.” “Da Tata.” After listening to the conversation and watching the play of emotions across Mr. Dalca’s face, John finally asked. “What did he say Mr. Dalca?” “Alin, please call me Alin. We are going to be on the same boat for a good while.” he paused for a moment before speaking. “It is as we feared, they have declared martial law. People are rioting, the sickness was confirmed to be in the city.” he paused for a moment, his expression confused. “Was there anything more?” John prompted “Not really...something preposterous….about something walking around. Speculation, fearmongering is my guess. Something to keep the people inside.” John nodded, the idea of using fear tactics as a way to control a population not uncommon. They spent the rest of the day travelling the coast, catching glimpses here and there of the havoc taking place. At one point John was convinced that someone from shore had taken a few shots towards them. Nothing landed of course but he hated the idea of worrying about trouble coming from both the shore and further out on the water. They hadn’t seen any sign of Military patrols, Alin was hoping that since they were staying so close to the shore, avoiding the shipping lanes, that they would remain unnoticed for a majority of the time. They made some good time, the weather cooperating, the signs of the struggles on land becoming less as they continued on. John and Diane were shown where the Temple of Poseidon was as they passed by, they soon found themselves shielded for awhile by the Island of Makronisos, lessening the tension of being discovered. They saw no other boats on the water, many were probably heading towards the deeper waters for safety instead of hugging the shoreline as they were. Not many boats had the equipment this one did, and the depth was routinely monitored as travelled. Out of everything though it was the navigation of Alin that saw them through the day, having sailed these coastal waters for years. As the sun was making it’s way towards the horizon they arrived at where they would weigh anchor for the night. As the sails came down and the anchor dropped Alin said they were near Daskalio, a few boats were at anchor around the area, lending a little credence to their ‘abandoned boat’ aura they hoped would disguise them throughout the night. Alin and his family moved down to the living area to rest and relax before retiring for the night. Diane disappeared below for a little then returned just as the sun had disappeared below the horizon to join John where he was standing by the aft seating area, binoculars in hand and raised as he scanned the shoreline, looking for any activity. “Anything?” she asks quietly It becomes routine that John keeps watch on and off through the night, the first part usually accompanied by Diane as they sit together out on deck, listening to the family below prepare for their night. After a couple of hours they’d head below and go to the cabin given to them, John usually leaving Diane fast asleep, reluctant at times to leave her there but wanting to make sure they were safe. Diane offered more than once to spot him at watch but he’d always tell her she was more needed during the day to help sail so she needed the rest. He was getting to be proficient at sailing as well as Diane and Mr. Dalca showed him the ropes. They had been as sea for a week when Mr. Dalca announced they needed to make a stop, the fuel reserves starting to bother him and knowing the route he knew there was only so many places to stop for the diesel to run the generators and equipment. They could probably continue for a good while yet, being even more strict in the rationing but he was of the mentality better to have and not need, then to need and not have. Mr. Dalca informed John they were nearing the small town of Limnionas, it was sparsely populated and had a pull in dock for boaters requiring a refuel. The town, if it had been evacuated, might also hold supplies such as food and anything else they could think off. They had already agreed that large cities and towns with their denser population would only be stopped at for the direst of emergencies. It was midafternoon when the reached the dock, it was fairly large, a small pumping station was sitting on the end, lines leading back to several large fuel storage containers. Mr. Dalca explained that normally you pumped out what you needed via a hand pump, it would measure the volume passing through and you’d take that number to the small payment kiosk sitting at the end with the pump and pay for your fuel. As they approached, however, they were keenly aware of the lack of people in the area. Not to far distant from the pumps and fuel tanks was a small repair shop and convenience store down one way, the other way held a beachfront restaurant. The umbrella’s at the tables there were still up, but even from where they were you could several tables and chairs knocked over, other things lay upon the ground. There was abandoned coolers and other items along the beach on both sides. What had happened here had caught people by surprise. That was pretty evident. Diane and John decided to head towards the repair shop and store, Alin wanting to come with them, Mihaela and Andreea were to go to the restaurant, Alin would pump the fuel they needed. When they separated at the end of the dock, Andreea protested going off with her mother, wanting instead to accompany the others. Diane watched as she argued with her mother, casting a few glances at John from beneath her lashes. She frowned as she noticed the action, then looked more closely at what the girl was wearing. A tight fitting halter top that didn’t quiet cover her midriff and a pair of white cotton shorts that clung to her curse. As she lowered her gaze and saw the strappy sandals she let out a minor curse that earned her a confused look from John. Her only response to him was to tell him she’d talk to him later. They finally separated, the girl marching behind her mother, a pout on her lips as she cast a couple of glances back towards John. Diane shook her head and followed John and Andrei down to the repair shop. John checked the building and made sure it was clear first before telling the others it was ok to search. They found a few extra things Alin had asked them to keep an eye out for but not all and soon headed over to the convenience store. They waited again for John to clear it, and once again they went inside and searched. A lot of things had been cleared out but they still managed to scavenge some supplies in the back room. They loaded up several grocery bags, and headed back out towards the boat. Alin was excited to have some snacks, all of the things a young guy like him would be craving. He was digging in a bag looking for one of them when he looked up and spotted his sister and mother coming back from the restaurant. He started waving the package in the air above his head as he called out for his sister, then picked up his feet and ran towards them. As he passed the repair shop he skidded to a halt, looking to his right. They heard him call out, “Hey it looks like the Mechanic, he might know where some more of the things Dad wants are.” he dropped his bag and before either could protest dashed down the side of the building out of sight. “Andrei!” John yelled, then cursed under his breath. “John?” Diane asked, a little confused. “Shit...the guy might not like finding out we ransacked his place, might give the kid some grief, come on.” setting down their bags they dashed after the boy. When they reached the rear of the building they found a large parking area surrounded by a chain link fence, a double gate lay open allowing easy access. They entered the yard to find Andrei standing in the middle of the gravelled area, looking around and calling out for the mechanic. Boats of all sizes lay on trailers about the yard, some cars and trucks too were parked in the area. He was looking around but eventually spotted the pair by the gate. “He was just here….” Andrei stated, somewhat bewildered. He took a couple steps to a large boat. John and Diane stood in place. They had noticed as soon as they’d come around back something here wasn’t right. It was the smell that gave it away. A smell they’d come across a few times in the line of duty. Decay…..the rotting of flesh. “Andrei…..Andrei...come here.” Diane called and John unholstered his service weapon. She’d raised her hands and beckoned him over. Andrei took a couple more steps towards the boat then turned to look at Diane, he opened his mouth to say something when something large flew out from beside the boat and grabbed him, taking him to the ground. The boy screamed in pain as the thing tore at him. John raised his weapon and the first opportunity he had discharged it. The first bullet spun the upper body of the attacker around, the second threw it backwards as the momentum carried the body around. Andrei lay on the ground, moaning in pain and grabbing at a bleeding wound where his neck and shoulder connected. John was at his side in a moment, directing Diane after a quick look to find him some bandaging, cloth, towel, rag, anything clean. She tried the backdoor to the repair shop and found it opening, quickly locating and bringing him what he’d asked for, as well as a first aid kit she’d seen hanging on the wall. It was long before they were joined by the others, Alin helping his son to his feet then between mother and father then helped take the shaken boy back to the boat, Andreea following reluctantly behind. Taking a few moments they looked around the yard, finding a decomposing body further in, then went back to the body of the mechanic, they only assumed him to be one, due to the coveralls it wore. The pair crouched beside the body, examining the body, noting the changes in it, the inhuman qualities it now possessed. “What the hell……” Diane whispered, maintaining a distance as she looked. John was getting a closer examination having found a mask and pair of gloves in the first aid kit. “You think this is the sickness they were talking of?” she asked as she watched John. “I have no clue, they didn’t give many details.” John answered, distracted. He was a couple more moment before he stepped away then removed the gloves and mask, trashing both. As they were standing there about to discuss what their options were sound could be heard behind the stuff in the fenced in yard. They both looked that way and headed to take a peek. On the other side they saw a couple more figures much like the mechanic. “Where’d they come from?” “I don’t know…..but let’s get out of here. More may be coming…..”John ushered Diane back the way they’d come and grabbing their things headed for the boat. They checked in to see how Andrei was doing, his mother was tending to him but he was resting quietly at the moment. The boat pushed away from the dock and as they made sail they peered back at the beach, more of those things were there now, wandering and making the oddest sounds. “I feel like I wandered into some sort of horror movie.” Diane mumbled as she watched the beach alongside John, unconsciously taking a step closer to him. She looked up at him and noticed the set of his jaw. “What is it?” she asked, knowing that look. Heaving a sigh he looked down at her for a moment, then slipped an arm around her waist as he leaned down a little. “I can’t help but thinking of the one thing all those reports mentioned….” he said, low enough only for her to hear. She looked at him expectantly. He paused for a moment, she saw the hesitation in his eyes before he finally let out another heavy sigh. ‘Highly contagious…….and we may have brought it on board.” They both turned their heads to look back and down at the nearby hatch.
  21. The Marshal

    Falling Stars [John Waters]

    Over the next few days, she and John ranged out from the hotel on occasion, looking for information on available transport and stopping at a store here and there to purchase items they might very well end up needed in the event that the tension that was covering the city like a thick fog broke. People were leaving the city, heading heavens knew where. The spread of the sickness mentioned on the television was frightening. They were beginning to find fewer and fewer stores open, the owners of the places they did enter giving them wary, suspicious looks instead of the customary friendly ones they had seen previously. They didn’t want to be there, only obligation to pay their bills kept some of them open. The hotel itself was finding it hard to run, a lot of the staff not coming in to work. The Chef and a few of the kitchen staff resided at the hotel, the Chef being a seasonal hosting trying to promote visitors with his popularity. She and John were currently in an electronics store, purchasing a pair of walkie talkies and some type of satellite phone as part of the emergency gear they were assembling. When he was satisfied with his selections they headed to the counter. She held out her credit card, the clerk already starting to shake his head, but once seeing what type of card he just smiled and completed the transaction using a very old imprint machine, the type of card guaranteed they’d get their money when things settled down, if it ever did. They had already stopped and gotten a cash advance against the card, for those places that didn’t have one of those old machines and carbon slips on hand, since regular bank accounts at this time seemed unavailable, but the card by itself was recognized by the individual banks and the money willingly supplied. This was all directly related to what appeared to be the continual breaking down of many communications systems, unable to handle the emergency loads that were now being placed upon it by literally billions of people. She was extremely grateful that her father had insisted she carry one of these unlimited cards, at the time she’d argued with him, but he’d won her over with the ‘in care of emergency’ argument. Well things appeared to be at an emergency level now and not appearing to get better any time soon. The pair had already witnessed an instance of the panic that was beginning to settle in, one of their first stops had been to a Military surplus store where John had loaded them up with all sorts of things including the dreaded M.R.E’s he always had on hand. Upon seeing her nose wrinkle at some of the labels he’d just smiled and leaned over to kiss her, teasing her that she probably wouldn’t have to eat them anyways, but if she did they’d grow on her. Diane had just smiled at him after the kiss, forgetting all about her distaste for the things simply due to the new intimacy they shared. She found herself wondering at times if she was in some continual dreamstate. Half nightmare, Half fantasy fulfillment. So at times she felt herself just wanting to wake up, other times she never wanted to. Reality reared its ugly head shortly afterwards as they’d headed back to the hotel. A mob of people had been gathered at the entrance of a local grocers. People were yelling and screaming to be let inside. A patrolman on his own was desperately trying to calm the crowd, to have them line up in an orderly fashion as the store owner was not going to let a whole mob in, only a few at a time. People were being assured that purchases were be rationed but no one was apparently listening. When John and Diane had walked up, the look of relief on the Patrolman’s face had almost been comedic when he’d spotted the guns at their hips and the badges at their waists. Although not what they usually did for work, they gave the Patrolman a hand. The crowd really wasn’t that large and all it took really was for John to raise a hand and in that tone she knew so well as being his ‘Listen to me NOW’ voice, he got the crowd to quiet and listen to the Patrolman. They had hung around for a few more minutes to make sure the crowd had settled, then upon receiving the gratitude of the Patrolman they asked him a few questions away from the crowd, he was only to happy to provide them with what he knew. The city was emptying, people were heading north as apparently the sickness that was so predominant in the news hadn’t made an appearance up there yet, but it was only a matter of time. Martial law was on the cusp of being announced. Every land route out of the city was being clogged by traffic as vehicles headed out only to run into Military checkpoints. Anyone showing signs of sickness was being quarantined. A few small riots had broken out in some of the more disreputable areas of the city, policing forces were spread extremely thin. Airports were shut down, Military ships were cruising many of the waterways, cruise ships and ferries not being allowed to leave, International freighters forced to remain docked or turned back, boarding any and all local craft when called for, sinking any that tried to run. It was a military blockade that was unknowingly causing more and more panic to grip the residents. The hotel had been emptying out, not only of guests but of staff as well. The manager himself was manning the desk as John and Diane were heading out again. Not many of their counterparts who’d attended the conference were left, even the pair from Boston had vanished, presumably to head north as others had and try to grab a flight out from there. The probability of them succeeding was extremely low. The few reports that they were still managing to get were of other countries to the north were already preparing for the worst, many adopting no travel regulations to reduce any spread. As they were heading towards the door to make another survey of the area and look for anything they might need if things continued to get bad, they were hailed from the desk by the manager. He was already rounding the polished counter to come to their sides, his expression both worried and relieved at the same time. His gaze didn’t even flicker to the service weapons on their hips as by now he was used to seeing them, and grateful to have the pair of them remaining here and perhaps helping to sooth the other guests about their safety knowing enforcement officials of some type where residing there actively about the area, armed. “Marshals!, Marshals! A moment if you please….I must ask a favor….oh please say you’ll help, I’ve been worried about what to do for the past hour.” Diane turned and gave the smaller man a reassuring smile while she heard a small hiss of irritation coming from John as he stopped with her to wait for the smaller man’s approach. “How can we help you Mr. Alexopoulos?” Diane asked, nearly losing her balance as the overly emotional man grabbed her hands and looking up at her imploringly. “Marshal Thomas my dear lady, I’m worried so very worried….I fear I have allowed lambs to be lead to the slaughter. I should never have let them leave, but they were so sure they would be back quickly. Convinced me they did that their errand was dire and they could no longer wait. You must help me in bringing them back. Oh dear, this will never do if they are to die while still guests here at the Poseidon, please..please my dear...would you be ever so kind as to find them?” Diane smiled at him reassuringly as she freed one hand, using it to pat the hands that still gripped her other one while trying to work that hand free as well. A small cough was the only indication she got that John found the man’s overly effusive speech annoying. “Marshal Thomas, it’s the Dalca family, they’ve been guests here for awhile….arrived shortly before you and the others arrived for the convention. I warned them not to but they insisted...you see….I tried to stop.” “Calm down please Mr. Alexopoulos…..now what is the problem with the, Dalca you said?, family, what did they do.” The manager finally released her other hand and began to wring his fretfully again, looking over Diane’s shoulder to the quiet figure of John, then back again. He was extremely agitated but from the sudden paling of his skin and the very visible gulp he took, John had obviously given him one of his ‘hurry it up I don’t have time for it’ looks. Often mistaken by those who didn’t know him as a, ‘why am I not killing you look’. It was kind of extreme but John could be very intense at times Diane had learned a long time ago. “Their oldest, apparently she needed some kind of medication, they had dropped off a prescription when they arrived but hadn’t picked it up yet, but now they need to get those medications for her. They took it upon themselves to go get them, but haven’t returned yet. So much trouble on the streets, in the news….they are good customers, I see them once a year, I would hate were anything to happen to them.” Diane had to resist the temptation to roll her eyes at the man’s overly dramatic story, instead she gave him a reassuring smile and asked if he knew where they went specifically. He supplied them with what he could and soon the pair left the hotel headed in the same direction the family had taken earlier. They arrived at the small pharmacy, cautiously entering through the door, John, with his greater height reached up to grab hold of the small bells hanging there that would normally signal the opening of the door. He kept hold of them and kept them silent long enough for the pair to enter. Even as they made their entry they could hear raised voices coming from towards the back of the place. Moving cautiously through it, using the aisles as cover, the slowly rounded the last one to take in a scene before them that was too common when law enforcement was known to be slow in responding or lacking completely. A pair of men was holding the place up, demanding drugs from those behind the counter while threatening a family of four on the customer side. The father of the family already looked like he’d taken a couple of hits from the bat being wielded aggressively from the one shouting the demands, cradling his arm, half prone on the floor, still trying to shield his family. “...last fucking time….hand the shit and money over or the next fucking hit is right to his head...I’ll kill this bastard!!” John had heard enough and using his long strides to his advantage he came up quickly behind the bat wielder as the man raised the bat to strike again, reached up with his left and grabbed the bat, giving it a solid yank from behind. The crook, taken off guard and having a firm grip was instantly spun around, facing the right hook coming straight at him as John’s fist came at him in a well placed blow. The effect was immediate as the now unconscious crook crumpled to the ground probably not even knowing what hit him. John’s next move was to lower his right hand, quickly pulling his gun and extending his arm out to point his firearm at the other would-be crook, who froze. John angled the barrel of his gun down in a shaking motion silently, tilting his head. The teen slowly put his hands up, lowering himself to the floor, shooting a glance over at his unresponsive accomplice. John spun the bat around, extending the handle in the direction of the person behind the counter, setting the bat down on the countertop, his eyes scanning the furthest corners of the store for any more ‘threats’. “You know… back in my day, you pull something like this, this idiotic, you get something back. You play stupid games, you win stupid prizes.” He turned his head behind him to glance at the family, his eyes darting over them and matching the description that the small man at the hotel had given them. “Mr. Dalca, do you feel up to dispensing said prize? You look like a man that might know his way around a batting cage or two.” Mr. Dalca gave John a surprised look, then glanced at the teen on the floor for a moment before shaking his head, still cradling his arm. From his expression you could tell he wanted to exact some revenge but he wasn’t about to be reduced to the teens level. That, however, did not stop his son, a boy probably just slightly younger than the one on the floor, pushed himself past the others, reaching for the bat. His expression conveying all the pent up anger and frustration he’d been experiencing from the ordeal. “Andrei! No….” his father barked as he stared at his son, his expression pained but firm. “You are better than that….besides your mother is already distressed, you would perhaps cause her no end of grief if you were to attack him.” he finished scolding. The young man glanced back at his father, his face still showing his fury but resignation soon passed across it as he turned to look at his mother who was now on the floor beside her husband, Diane on the other side as the pair checked the man’s injuries. He finally turned back to the kneeling teen and gave him a contemptuous look before speaking. “You’re right….he is not worth the energy.” and with that final look he turned back and set the bat back down on the counter and went to help assist his dad. John looked at the individual behind the counter, his elbow tucked in at his side with the pistol still leveled at the kid on the ground. “You wanting to do anything about these two, see if you can get some police down here?” He asked, shrugging a bit. The pharmacist looked at John then at the kneeling kid, the other one starting to groan as he slowly started to come around. He looked back at John and replied, “Phones all jammed Sir, I have no way of contacting them. The news….many aren’t available. If you take them out, I...close until it becomes safe again.” the older man said in halting english. John looked down at the kid that he hadn’t clocked upside the head. “Scoop up your girlfriend and get the fuck out of here, I don’t have eyes for either of you two tonight.” He scowled. “Do NOT let me catch you near this block again.” The kid moved to his friends side and started to shake him, trying to get him to rouse enough to get to his feet. He continually glanced up at John who was still standing over the pair of them, almost as if he expected him to jump on them and attack them. It didn’t take long before he was dragging his friend to his feet and half carried him to the door, still casting glances back at John as his friend started muttering about being hit by a truck. They were soon out of the building, followed to the door by John, and hurriedly vanished from sight. He secured the door and returned to the others in the back of the building, looking over at Diane who had gotten to her feet and was holding something in her hand, talking furiously to the mother and father, who was standing at his wifes side. “...this?.....You risked coming here for this?!.....What the hell!” she glanced over at the older child, a girl of about seventeen years of age. “Did you honestly put your parents through all of this for this!!...” she demanded. “If they had come when I first asked it would have been ok…” the girl retorted, her expression petulant and surly. “I needed it! I had run out!!.” “Dear lord in heaven save me from a vain friggin teenaged girl!” Dianed mumbled as she looked towards the roof for a moment then back at the girl. “Of all the goddamn selfish shit…..your dad is hurt…...your mom upset…...your brother was ready to clock another kid, thank heaven he showed more damn maturity then you. I can’t believe this shit!!” she held the bag out to the girl abruptly as she glared. “Take it...go on and fucking TAKE IT! You nearly lost your family for your damn vanity, but HEY, at least you’ll have pretty skin.” “You don’t understand...your fucking old.” the girl replied, angry at Diane but snatching the bag away. “Andreea!” her mother and father seemed to shout in unison. She turned to her parents, her expression and tone belligerent, “But it’s TRUE, she is! She can’t understand….” “Quiet…” her father barked, giving Diane an apologetic look as he tried to rein in his daughter. John decided to step in, his movement drawing Diane’s gaze, he jerked his chin in direction of the father, a question in his eyes as he re holstered his service weapon. “His arm doesn’t appear broken thank god, but he’s going to be pretty sore for a couple of days, the Pharmacist provided some pain medication for him but he could do with some ice and heat therapy.” “Right, back to the hotel then.” he announced, defusing the situation as he and Diane rounded up the family and escorted them back to the hotel.
  22. The Marshal

    Falling Stars [John Waters]

    Diane was rudely awakened the next morning by the sound of the bedside phone going off. Fighting to open her eyes and push the hair from her face, she reached for it blindly. Slapping around and finding the receiver, bringing it to her ear she mumbled in a sleepy voice. “Hello?” “Good Morning Marshal Thomas, it’s your scheduled wake up call. We’d also like to inform you that management has asked that guests seeking breakfast may join us in the lower restaurant where a buffet will be laid out. Unfortunately at this time we cannot fulfill room service requests. Management would also ask that guests please restrict their movements today and reside within the hotel until some safety concerns within the city had been taken care of. If you have any concerns please address the clerk at the front desk. Thank you Marshal Thomas and have a nice day.” Diane groaned at the overly cheerful voice as she hung the phone back up. She was about to burrow back under the covers when she heard the sound of the shower cutting off. She paused for a moment as memory returned, causing a flush to her cheeks and a slow smile to spread. She rolled to her back, the sheet barely covering her as the door to the bathroom opened and John stepped out, a towel loosely about his waist and another across his shoulders as he used one end to dry his hair. As his eyes met hers a smile appeared matching her own. Her eyes sparkled in mischief as she said to him, “You know that shower in there IS big enough for two….” she let the sentence hang for a moment as she watched him drop the towel end and lean against the doorframe. “Yeah been meaning to ask you, how did you end up with the bigger room of the two?” he inquired. Diane grinned back as she pushed herself into a sitting position, tucking the sheet beneath her arms to hold it in place as she began to look around for her robe. “Ahh it’s a little known secret. It’s called an upgrade. When we checked in I inquired if one was available. You see, hotels if they have larger rooms available that would sit empty during your stay will generally allow you to upgrade, at an additional cost, but usually it’s a helluva lot less then renting the room outright.” “I see..” John replied, shoving off from the wall and moving towards the end of the bed, pausing only for a moment to pick up the remote sitting on the table nearby. He turned and flipped the TV on then settled himself on the end of the bed as Diane grabbed her robe from the nearby chair and slipped quickly into it. Getting out of the bed she walked over to a nearby counter, on top was a coffee machine, one of the ones that brewed up a single cup at a time. She made them each a cup, knowing what John liked after years of having worked with him, then brought it to him as he flipped through the channels, stopping at the news stations to try and pick up on what was currently happening. “We’ll have to go down for anything to eat, room service isn’t available right now. They’re also asking guests to stick to the hotel. Anything coming up on there?” She asked as she moved to the bathroom and prepared to take her own shower. “Something coming in now, hold on. Why don’t you check your phone while I watch this.” John asked, taking a cautious sip of his coffee but keeping his eyes glued to the screen. Diane started to search for her phone, not sure where things had ended up the night before, a lot of it was kind of a blur, other things very fresh and foremost in her mind. A blush crept up her cheeks as she remembered, but kept diligently searching for her phone. After locating it a couple of minutes later, she sat down beside him on the bed, absently crossing her legs, the robe splitting at the thigh and falling to each side. She didn’t notice as she saw the amount of missed texts blinking there awaiting attention on her screen. “Damn, Burry was busy last night….” she grumbled, flipping through text after text, shaking her head as one after another passed across her screen. She paused when she came to a text from her Dad, again he was expressing his worry for her and requesting that she make all effort to come home as quickly as possible. That one was followed by one from her mother, telling her that her Dad was extremely agitated and she worried about his health, and could she please get on the next plane. Diane sighed as she flipped through the last text then opened her newsfeed app. Her screen almost immediately filled up with message after message, updates on the rising situation at some place called ‘Chernarus’. Military Quarantine was mentioned, shooting and fighting increasing at the borders. Travellers and residents alike being turned away. Worse was the news that the sickness they had thought was contained actually wasn’t. It was beginning to spread and move rapidly from location to location. And it was coming their way. Diane was already searching for available flights when she felt John’s eyes upon her, she glanced up to his questioning look. “Nothing available….I even checked for private rentals...from the looks of things...the delays already being announced. Nothing is coming in...and soon nothing is going to be going out. I’m looking at alternatives right now…” Her voice trailed off as she looked back down at her phone. Pausing for only a moment she sent a quick text off to her parents, informing them they were ok, that they would find a way home as soon as they could. She was starting on one to Burry when she felt the bed beside her shift then after a few moments, the door to the room click as it opened. She had glanced up when she’d heard it open, but as she glanced back down at her phone she paused, realizing what she’d just seen, she stared at the door hard for a moment, doubting what she’d seen, thinking she’d imagined it then glanced back down at the floor where a pair of jeans lay discarded. “Did he just…..” Shaking her head, she looked back down at her phone and hit send, but as she watched a message appeared informing her of an error. Frowning again she raised the phone and tried to call overseas, the response was disheartening as the automated message came informing her all circuits were busy. Cursing, she tossed her phone onto the nearby table, then hurried to finish getting ready for the day. John returned a little while later, dressed and carrying his things from his room. She was a little startled by this but didn’t say anything. Things between them had changed, but even she knew that with all that was happening it would simply be safer to share the same room. Without even thinking she’d dressed as she would for work, grabbing jeans and boots, her only concession to the weather was to grab a tank top and slip it on beneath her shirt, leaving the buttons undone. She was debating strapping on her service weapon when she glanced at John and noticed him already wearing his. That settled it for her and she secured her’s to her hip as well.
  23. The Marshal

    Falling Stars [John Waters]

    The flight to Athens had included two stops along the way, one in New York the next in London before the plane finally arrived. Once it had they grabbed the first cab and headed to the Poseidon Hotel where they checked in and settled in. A meet and greet had been scheduled for that evening so they’d only had a few hours to rest up and refresh before John was knocking on Diane’s door to accompany her down. He was a little surprised to find her not ready to go, as she was usually very punctual. He was about to tease her on this when the worried look on her face made him pause. “What’s wrong?” he asked as he stepped inside while she finished getting ready. “My Dad, keeps texting me about the latest updates from that country where their having that outbreak of flu or something. He’s really worried.” “I’m sure they’ve got it covered. I mean what do they have out there now? World Health, U.N. and a bunch of others assisting. Last I heard Doctors without borders were volunteering help.” “Yeah me too but he’s still worried. Lots of military movement into the area, rumors going on that anyone showing signs of sickness are being isolated and are simply ‘vanishing’.” “Listen I think we’ll be ok here, we’re not going to be here that long, our flights back are already booked. We’ll be fine.” “I know...it’s just that he’s getting up there….his last check up had the Doc worried about his blood pressure.” “Relax...finish doing..whatever you need to do...I’ll be out here waiting.” John hitched his thumb over his shoulder indicating the hall beyond the door. At the meet and greet they met various counterparts from other countries. This also included the pair from Boston holding up the Tech end of their little group. The pair were what one would expect from the Boston office, right down to and including the accents. The pair talked a lot, mentioning the latest in surveillance, specifically some drones they were working with to monitor and get those visual ID’s on suspects to confirm Identities. As the pair continued to talk about it John lifted his glass of whiskey and looked over at Diane, his eyes alight with mischief as he remarked. “I dunno, something to be said about the old fashioned way...still have that black dress tucked in your closet Diane?” “Certainly do John, ready for you to borrow next time you're asked to dress in drag…” Diane responded without missing a beat. John almost burst out laughing as he looked over at the pair from Boston, their eyes appearing to bug out as they listened to the exchange. “Just what kind of people do you have to deal with in that Vegas office of yours.” “Obviously not the type you're used to dealing with.” Diane supplied as she reached out to set her empty glass on a nearby table. “Obviously” the pretty blonde stated as she gave John another glance, this time taking longer and lingering. “So glad you agree…” Diane seemed to bite out, John gave her a quick glance, noting the change in her mood but not sure exactly what had prompted it. All he could feel at the moment as both women looked at each other was a new tension in the air. The night wore on as they meet the representatives from other countries, the beach bar across the road from the hotel an ideal location with it’s open walled concept keeping those inside cool as the breeze came in off the water. After the first night a sort of routine developed, mornings were usually free for doing some tourist sightseeing, afternoons saw the sharing of information and the sales pitches from different companies coming to present their latest in surveillance equipment. Dinner would roll around usually around 7:00pm, usually a laid out buffet. Once everyone was finished, quite a few would make their way across the street to the Hotel’s bar area for guests and locals alike. Diane and John were two who always took advantage of the easy conversation and laid back atmosphere that could be found there in the evenings. The Boston Marshals were also a pair that would follow them over, much to Diane’s distaste. She’d noticed the way the woman of that pair attached herself to John and seemed to hang on him all evening. John, of course, seemed a little oblivious to the woman’s obvious attempts to get him back to her hotel room. They’d only been there a couple of days when Diane had had enough and excused herself from the group while John was away, stating she was going to go take a walk after having had more than her usual amount of wine for the evening. She slipped her sandals from her feet, catching them up by the straps then proceeding walk along the sandy shore. She was ankle deep in water, toes digging into the sand when John found her. “Hey! Want to let a person know the next time you decide to wander off?” John called, keeping his booted feet well out of reach of the incoming waves. “I didn’t wander off, said I was going for a walk. Why are you here?” she tossed back at him, her tone slightly irritated, her speech sounding a little off. “Well I’ve been watching how much you’ve been taking in tonight and I was a little concerned that my inebriated partner might decide to swim home.” John responded, sounding a little irritated himself. “I’m a big girl John, and no where near intoxicated enough to start doing stupid shit. Go back to the beauty pageant wannabe John, I’m sure she’s missing you.” Diane raised her free hand and gestured in a shooing motion, continuing to watch the water washing over her feet and ankles as she dug her toes in. “Just a warning though...she’s married...so she probably just wants a good bed partner while she’s here.” “Diane what are you-” John never got to finish his question because as he watched her head came up, a puzzled look on her face. “Wait….are you a good bed partner? She have some inside information or som-” “Diane….WHAT the hell are you talking about?” John finally barked, genuinely confused as to what she was talking about. “Oh...Boston Barbie back there...she’s been throwing herself at you the last couple of days. Don’t tell me you didn’t notic-....scratch that...of course you didn’t.” Diane paused, shaking her head a little wearily then lifting her left hand and wiggling the ring finger. “You got a married woman panting for you John. Married, yes, look at her ring finger. Tan lines. She claims she was recently divorced but the tan lines are too clear, bet she removed those rings the moment she got off the plane..” Diane seemed to drift off to her own thoughts again as John stood there, shaking his head, wondering what exactly was bothering her. There was something more here then the flirtatious behavior of their fellow Marshal. She suddenly turned and looked at him directly, starting to march back up the beach towards the hotel. “Ok fine, you feel the need to babysit, I’m going back to my room. I’ll see you in the morning.” she tossed back over her shoulder as John stood there and watched her progress, not moving until he saw her cross the street and enter the hotel. Only then did he shake his head and wonder once more about women. The next morning Diane cancelled out some tourist stops they were going to do, she made an appearance at the conference but excused herself at dinner to disappear for the night. The whole thing repeated again the day after. On the third morning John knocked at her door but received no answer. Giving up for the moment he decided to catch her after the conference meetings, when he lost sight of her as everyone milled around at dinner he headed straight for her room. Again no response but this time he was prepared. He’d stopped at the front desk and requested an extra keycard for her room. At first they were going to deny him but he stated in no uncertain terms that if his partner was in trouble and he was unable to access her room he was going to hold them solely responsible. The manager had come along and placated John, telling him there wouldn’t be a problem giving him access, that the hotel was happy to oblige and to please remember to keep them in mind when booking their next convention. When he slipped the card into the door and it gave an audible click he half expected to have the door torn from his hands and an indignant Diane standing before him. Silence greeted him even as he pushed the door wider. A quick scan of the room showed no signs of anyone in the room, he didn’t bother to investigate further inside as the room literally felt…..empty. Frowning he stepped back out into the hall, looking up and down as he secured the door behind him. Where she had gone he had no idea. All he did know was that she hadn’t left the building, he was pretty certain of that. Calling the next available elevator he stepped inside and stared for a moment at the floor panel. He paused for a moment before his eyes fell upon one of the upper buttons. “Roof Top Pool & Lounge” the small sign on it read. He paused for only a half moment then reached out and pressed the button, instantly rewarded as the elevator closed it’s door and began to climb rapidly. The elevator stopped on a floor below the pool and lounge area, a set of stairs in the hall lead upwards and John took those to emerge at one end of the rooftop pool. He looked out across and noticed no one occupying the chairs then proceeded to his left to take a look at the lounge area. A bartender was in attendance, a few people sitting and relaxing at the bar or nearby tables. He didn’t see her there either. He was about to turn and head back to the elevator with something, some instinct, made him look above the bar. Glass surrounded the upper area and through it he could see a sitting area. Glancing back to the far side of the bar he spotted the stairs leading up and briskly headed to them, climbing the stairs quickly. He scanned the area and thought for a moment she wasn’t there, but as he was about to turn and head back down he caught sight of part of a shoe poking out from beside a large lounger. Releasing a slow breath he casually strolled around the area, picking out and settling himself on a cushioned bench seat. Leaning forward he rested his elbows on his knees, lightly lacing his fingers together, then lifted his gaze to her. “What do you want John.” she asked, her gaze on the distant moving lights of the city. John continued to gaze at her, waiting. She wouldn’t flinch, she told herself. She would ignore him and he’d soon grow tired and move off. At some point he would realize she wasn’t going to cooperate. Wouldn’t he? Diane sighed and shifted her weight, uncurling her legs from the chair she had been sitting in, placing her feet back on the floor to slip her sandals back onto her feet. She tugged the light shawl she’d brought with her up onto her bare shoulders and got to her feet, the light linen of her skirt swirling around her legs for a moment as she put some distance between herself and John, moving to stand near the glass railing, setting her hands upon it then leaning forward slightly. “Listen….Diane…….if you’re still upset about Scott.” John started, getting to his feet as well and moving to stand at the rail beside her. She glanced at him for a moment, her expression slightly confused, but clearing at the mention of the name. “Uh….no. That’s done and over with.” she commented, she was about to say more when a chirping noise issued from the phone she’d left sitting on the table beside her chair. Reaching over she quickly picked it up and glanced at the screen, closing her eyes for a moment and letting out a small puff of air in irritation. “Speak of the damn devil, I wish he’d stop….are all you men so dense at times that you can’t pick up on subtle hints a girls no longer interested. I mean, I told him to go find the tallest building and jump off, you think he’d get the idea.” she grumbled as she read the text and promptly deleted it. “He’s still…?” “Oh yes, most definitely…..protesting his innocence, tells me he was framed. Assures me how much he loves me...begs me to give him a chance. All those and more trying to make things right.” Diane returned to the railing, resting her arms against it again as she loosely gripped the phone in her hand. “And before you say it…..I do block his number…..and each damn new one he turns up with. You would think he would realize that the multiple numbers just lends credence to the claims.” “You..must’ve cared for him a great deal…...to let it bother you so much now.” John stated hesitantly. Diane let a rueful laugh escape for a moment before composing herself, looking over at John as he tried to comfort her. She gazed at him for a moment, her expression unreadable before turning back to look out at the water. “Listen….I’ve been meaning to tell you something….confess if you will.” John began, when Diane kept gazing out at the water, he turned his gaze that way to, almost glad to not see her face when he told her what he’d done. “First I want to say, when I met him I tried to like him. But as I saw him more and more, he just seemed to...I don’t know...radiate ‘no good’.” he paused, waiting for her to say something, object in some way as she had about previous guys she’d dated or something along those lines. She remained quiet, waiting. “Diane I felt you needed to know ‘what’ he truly was. I sent you all that information I’d managed to find.” he chanced a glance over at her to see her stiffen, even in profile he could see her face flutter through several emotions. Surprise first, disbelief, then irritation and anger coming in behind. He waited for her to turn and direct it at him. He braced himself but as he watched, her face changed again to sadness, her shoulders slumping in defeat as she finally turned and looked at him. “Why does this not surprise me.” she whispered low to herself. “Diane...listen I know you had to give him up before, but he was no good, seems he changed a lot since high school days, you would-” A bark of bitter laughter caught him off guard, he glanced back up at Diane to see her face had changed again. “Scott is not the one I had to let go....god almighty….I stopped even thinking of him two months after we broke up the first time.” she gave a short laugh of self derisiveness as she turned herself towards him. “If anything….Scott was being used to..by me….if I’m honest with myself, and boy I’ve been honest with myself lately. I don’t even know for sure if I even loved him.” John felt himself being riled up, her answers confusing him, her reactions nothing like he expected when he imagined the moment he told her. So when he responded his voice was laced with anger and frustration. “If you weren’t even sure you loved him, why the hell were you going to marry him?” Diane responded to John’s rising anger with some of her own, irritated he was bringing up things she was already berating herself for. “Because John, I thought I could be happy! I thought I could move on from the one I had to give up! I thought that if I could stop feeling so damn lonely! That I could stop wishing for something I couldn’t have! Do you know how that eats at a person John? How is slowly tears you up inside? How in a matter of seconds you can make the biggest mistake of your life, but you do it anyways because you felt it was for the best? That at the time I felt it was the right thing to do!” John paused a moment as he listened, she was laying her emotions bare here and there had to be something he could do. “Diane…..time and distance help…...they-” “Time and distance….now that’s a joke.” she interrupted, turning away from him again and staring out at the water. “Time and distance...Marvelous idea…. Time...I see him nearly every day…..the distance? One desk over from mine….” she replied quietly. He blinked. His face was unreactive at first, seeming to look right through her as something crossed his mind. Then he flicked his eyes to her face, his brain still processing. His lip twitched as something clicked in his head after a few moments. He leaned forward on the railing, sliding his arms forward against the rail up to his elbows as he leaned forwards, dropping his head, looking down. He felt a sense of guilt, feeling responsible for the turmoil being felt. He went to open his mouth several times, the words not quite finding purchase in the evening air the first few times. Finally, he managed to speak quietly. “How… uhm… How… Shit.” He seemed to be getting frustrated. He looked down, gritting his teeth, then looking up at the night sky, his face turning determined. He sighed. “That’s a two way street… that single desk length…” He paused, hoping the words would weigh in. “That same feeling. It goes… Both ways, Diane…” He took a breath in, looking over at her slowly. Inwardly, he wanted to throw himself off the edge of this roof, cringing inside at finally revealing his feelings after all these years. Diane turned from the rail, her confused gaze coming to rest on him, she opened her mouth to speak but closed it abruptly. Her arms coming up to cross themselves over her midsection, a sign of her insecurity at the moment, as a light blush started to come to her cheeks. She cleared her throat and in a voice just above a whisper, she implored. “John….I….we….this.” she paused again, the blush getting a little deeper as her eyes showed her mind working to try to comprehend. “I need...this to be….completely clear…..what are you saying John.” she finally managed. He was silent for a long moment, having second thoughts. He said this, things changed forever. He liked things the way they were, but… a large part of him wanted more. “I’m saying… that…” He tilted his head, staring out over the oceanside, his jaw hanging for a moment in suspended thought. “That… I haven’t wanted anybody but you for the last five years, and no matter… what I try to do, or who I see… my mind… always comes back around to you, Diane.” He started to look over at her but aborted it, looking back over the water. “And… yes, I know we can’t work together and do… that. But…” He paused, working his jaw. “What if we didn’t? What if I did something… else…?” Diane paused for a moment, her expression clearing and her breath catching as she listened. At his last words her expression clouded for a moment then cleared, her arms uncrossing as she looked down at the phone in her hand, quickly calling something up as she began to talk slowly, glancing up at him. “John…...I made a choice back then….that I have always regretted but stood by it because I felt it was the right thing to do. That choice….” she looked back down at her screen as she continued to talk, her fingers lightly tapping on the screen as she glanced up at him from time to time. “...I still feel was the right thing to do….why? Simple, I couldn’t ask you….to give up something that has been such a large part of your life, the only way of life you know. I also didn’t want to give up being with you every day…...I saw it as the only way to be...close to you...then.” Looking back down at her phone she continues to type something then stops, taking a slow deep breath, hesitating for a moment then pressing firmly once more on the surface. Looking at her watch she mumbles to herself ‘almost lunch time there now..’ then fixes her gaze on John, a small smile appearing as she holds out the phone to John, the text she’d just sent visible, reading ‘Burry….please go to my top desk drawer, right side, inside you will find an envelope with your name on it. Contents are effective immediately from the date of this text.’ “I’ve been doing a lot of consult work for Margret and the charities we’re both a part of, I hit on the idea a while ago of going to work for them full time. It’s not a money job, lord knows I don’t need it, but it does satisfy my need to help. I’d only been hesitating because…..” shrugging her shoulders and making a fluttering motion with her other hand she continues, sounding slightly embarrassed “...because I didn’t want to say goodbye to you.” He looks from the phone to her, leaning in a little to speak lowly. “Maybe… It doesn’t have to be goodbye…” He locked his eyes on hers, trying to convey the meaning. “Maybe we stop pretending…?” He lets the question hang in the air. Her gaze never leaves his as her lips part, she hesitates a moment as her pulse rate jumps, then starts to speak, softly. “I….think that’s a very good….idea.” she moves unconsciously closer to him, never taking her gaze from his, her hand starting to lower the phone just as it erupts in a shrill ringtone, indicating another incoming text. She curses slightly and looks down at it, hesitating then shaking her head as a smile appears on her lips, her gaze returning to John, humor in her eyes as she adds ‘You might want to get your phone…’ but before she can finish John’s phone begins to let him know a text is incoming as well. She looks back down at her phone then holds it out so he can read as he fishes for his own. ‘WTF … Diane…..NO….We’ll fix it….I’m not accepting this!” John pauses for a moment then, after finally freeing his phone, reading the new message, he turns it so she can see the text there. “Dammit John what the hell did you do!!! FIX IT!” John turns the phone back to himself and starts tapping at it slowly, unfamiliar with texting. He presses the send button, then shows her what he sent. ‘Everything is being fixed tonight’ He lowers the phone, looking at her, leaning back on the railing, opening his mouth. “So… No more… this?” He asks, pondering their future beyond this moment. Slips her phone into the pocket at the side of her sundress, her shawl slipping off her bare shoulders to catch at her elbows, she spreads her hands wide and looks around for a moment, then lowers them, looking back at John, she smiles at him and tilts her head slightly. “Just call me Diane Thomas, former U.S. Marshal.” her smile widens at the words as she continues. “Never thought I’d feel this amount of relief…..” she frowns for a moment as she gazes at him…”Your new partner, however…..hopefully you get along with them quicker than we did. The only part I’m hating right now is thinking of who is going to be watching your back.” Her smile turns a little to the shy side as she starts to think of the future, one she hadn’t planned or expected, her next question hesitant, as she looks down at her hands, her fingers clutching and picking at her shawl in a nervous gesture. “Now where does that leave you and me.” “You sure you want the answer to that question?” He said, almost slightly playfully. Her gaze snaps back up to him, her body tensing but as she listens to the tone of voice and looks into his eyes, a smile plays about her lips as she replies, her brow arching, her tone becoming as playful. “Oh, definitely yes.” “Well, it leaves me…” He speaks in a low tone, leaning towards her as he lowered his volume. “Completely done making up excuses.” He stops, less than a foot from her face, looking at her eyes intently, taking a breath in slowly. “What about you…?” Her head tips back as she keeps her eyes locked on his, her lips parting as he leans in, her own body beginning to sway towards him. She replies, her heart rate jumping her voice almost breathless as she says, “Oh no more excuses here….I don’t want to make any more.” His mind thought for a moment of something else to say, but came up short. He noted her subtle motion towards him, and he allowed himself to lean forward the rest of the way, his lips making contact with hers, repeating the very instance from those years ago in front of the bar, pressing back against her gently, his motions slow… As his lips came down on hers, she felt herself surrender to all her pent up feelings, losing herself in his gentle touch, her hands drifting of their own accord to his waist. She felt her body press itself more securely against his as her hands continued their journey to the small of his back and upwards, her arms coming around him to hold him close as she returned his kiss, trying to deepen and prolong this long awaited moment as she held him close.
  24. The Marshal

    New Girl

    inb4 Boston posts. *Waits* Welcome! Keep your fangs about you, you'll need em!
  25. The Marshal

    Falling Stars [John Waters]

    “What do you know about I.F.R.T.T.?” Burry asked, stepping into their office one afternoon. The pair at their desks both gave him a blank look. “I ah what?” John asked, leaning forward onto his desk, his face showing he was wondering if he’d heard correctly. “ I.F.R.T.T…...I mean….International Fugitive Retrieval Tactics and Technologies conference. What do you know of it?” Both continued to give Burry blank stares, never having heard of it before. “Nevermind, you guys are gonna go, represent the Las Vegas’ Marshal’s office. Some fellow Marshals from the Boston offices are going as well on the Tech side. You leave in two weeks.” “Wait...what?? Where??...Burry we have cases.” John interrupted as the older man had turned to leave their office. “Then wrap them up before the two weeks is over...I need you two to be there.” “Where is this conference anyways?” John asked, sounding annoyed at the idea of their work being interrupted for a frivolous conference. “Athens, Greece. All expenses paid by the Department. You’ll be there for two weeks, sharing your experiences on your retrieval techniques, since you two are some of the best we got at the job.” “Burry I don’t think going all the way to Greece is…..” John started but was immediately interrupted by Diane. “We’d love to go. We’re going John.” Diane piped in, her tone suggesting it was going to be useless to argue but John tried anyways. “Diane…” “You OWE me for tossing Paris away. Greece is good. I’ll take Greece.” “Diane...you do remember Paris would have been the airport only…” “It was PARIS John……” “It was the AIRPORT Diane…..” “An airport IN PARIS….” John rolled his eyes and discontinued the argument right there. He long ago learned there were times he wouldn’t win with her. He watched her smiling and being animated as she discussed a few things with Burry, a frown coming to his face as he realized that it had been a long time since he’d seen her so happy and excited. Lately she’d been extremely distracted and almost...melancholy? Needless to say she hadn’t been herself in a long time now and now she was showing a bit of the shine that made Diane unique. “Your frowning…..why?” Diane interrupted his thoughts. “Uh my passport….was trying to think if I’d renewed it…” “You did, when I renewed mine….don’t worry about it.” John looked heavenward for a moment then ran a hand down his face as he leaned back in his chair. He hoped the good mood lasted, but if it didn’t and she seemed to go back to being distracted then maybe the trip would be worth it. If her problem was big enough she’d talk to him in time. They talked about everything, well almost everything, he could think of one thing neither one of them mentioned. Either way she’d talk to him in time….wouldn’t she?
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