The officers took me to the top of the Blue Stark, which is where main controls and law enforcement services are located. I was sitting in a chair with my back against the main control panel of the station. I had heard that there was a power outage in the police dorm a level down, I think. I held my drink, fiddling with my sippy lid with anxiety, and waited for the man in front of me to stop looking at my profile. Chief Brian Pierce was a square, not in a slang where I came from, but his overall physical shape. Pierce was one of those angry flat top muscle-guys with the graying hair at his temples, and was usually seen smoking a cigarette. Brian Pierce was also a criminal from before I was born. From what I understand, he was going to go into the manufacturing business when he was twenty, but was sidetracked by the mafia. He was sent to prison for multiple accounts of murder, but he was never given a life sentence in prison with no parole available, which angered everyone. He fled to Miami where he began his own criminal empire with weapons, stolen vehicles, and anything else. He learned that his mafia buddies from before got him in jail in the first place and he took revenge with voluntary manslaughter and spent several years in prison. He got out soon afterward by the help of a bail, and claimed that he was sick of crime. He then became a cop, moving up to the chief of the Blue Starks police force. Pierce shook his head at the paper he was reading. “I don’t understand Elasticity. Either for shock, sex, sports, or the thrill of it.” he said in a voice similar to Lawrence Tierney’s whom I watched back in Missouri. He had that sort of rough voice that said he was a heavy scotch drinker, and smoked a pack or two a day. 1

Pierce ruffled the paper in his hand. “Whatever happened to football and shit? This Snap Race crap is for queers and women,” he said. I was quiet. I had the feeling that I was in trouble… Pierce finished looking over my profile and switched over to me. “Recent alerts say that plans and data for the Janus have surfaced as of recently. We have tracked them down to one person, you. We would like them back, if you please.” he said. The Janus, where have I heard that? I shook my head in confusion. “I don’t know what you mean.” I said. I really didn’t. Pierce sneered and held his hands out in confusion. “What do you mean you don’t know what I mean? You were at Sam Campbell’s shop just fifteen minutes ago. All our scans for an AC18 reaction blipped and showed us that you had the blueprints,” he said. I quickly leaned against the back of my seat, like Pierces words were a strong wind. I shifted my eyes around in thought. AC18 is a modified Heelotant Spell used to transfer plans and important information. Extracting data from an Elastition with AC18 means a blood transfusion that evolves a laser and the offshoot that one won’t heal, depending on the Elastition. I have no idea how I would react, and I don’t want to know! I put my hand on my head and then looked at Pierce. “What happened? How can I ‘give’ them to you? What is going on?” I asked. Pierce snorted and stood up. “Don’t be cute, you should know what happened. You’re working with Sam. Give me the Janus data, or we will forcibly extract it from you!” he yelled loosing his patience. I almost was swept to tears. I bit my lip and clutched my drink, scared to death from the thought of 2

extraction. I felt tears start to roll down my cheeks, and I fought myself from all and out bawling. Pierce stared at me, waiting for a response, though he seemed to force himself to cool down. I almost lost my nerve, but if I let one tear escape, then I’ll be sobbing all over the table. Pierce sighed and spoke calmly. “You know, I’m leaning toward the fact that you’re an innocent victim…Sam will still try to go after you. He has tried this once before, and left the former victim with the plans… Now they are floating in space, dead and unfound.” He said calmly. I was still quiet and tried my best not to cry. I stopped myself from thumbing my drink lid; I didn’t want to loose any, despite whats going on. After a minute of silence, and a cold hard stare, Pierce snapped his fingers. Two cops came up to me and attempted to lift me from my chair by my upper arms. I started to loose it… I didn’t want to go into surgery! Pierce covered his eyes and spoke calmly. “Ok, look. We don’t have a Hudson Crystal but…” I interrupted him with my horror breaking its gate and taking over. “NO! I don’t have what you’re looking for! I… “ I tried to escape and I accidentally threw my drink in the air. One cop tried to catch it, but it was out of his reach. He ended up simply unscrewing the top using his fingertips and lilac slush got all over the main controls. Suddenly, something odd happened. The control panel sparked up and I felt my stomach turn over… in a different way then before... At first, I thought it was the butterflies in my stomach. Before I could figure out why I felt this way I saw that the


gravity died and the Diclose Cillme stopped being distributed. “Oh…” I muttered in freefall, more confused then frightened now. The cops pushed me away toward the wall, they and Chief Pierce attempted to fiddle with the control panel and frantically fix the problem. I watched them bicker for a minute, not sure what to do, then when Pierce looked at me, I had a single thought… RUN! Pierce pointed right at me and yelled, but I was deaf from shock and disorientation. I looked at the exit door across the room, and back at Pierce. He was coming at me. I stretched over to the door as fast as I could, but Pierce held my leg and squeezed it. I took something out of my pocket and, totally on impulse, got him with some pepper spray from a good distance. “Ahhh, shit, shit, shit!” I didn’t stay around to hear Pierce cuss more; I opened the door and quickly floated off into the hall and freedom. “Good job Fran! You are now charged for property damage, stolen goods, hit and run, and assault on an officer! You got four charges in one hour; you’ll get out of this one like its 1st grade math class!” I scolded. I had caused a power failure here, which I learned due to the newfound dimness. At least I have my natural glow to lead the way, and breathable air from the plants on the walls. I searched for an escape route. The whole floor was a thirty-meter circle, top floor. Right in the center is a courtyard. It’s not much of one, but it is a courtyard. On this floor, it is just a waist high circular glass wall. It leads down to the very bottom of the Blue Stark and it’s considered a cheap elevator; it’s weightless inside due to safety reasons. I flew right for the center and looked on all sides to see of anyone was after me. I saw some people float by quickly, but none paid me any mind. I bit my lip and looked down. 4

“…banzai…” I muttered and went in headfirst. I grabbed the ceiling of the next floor and pushed myself down. I passed by several floors and saw cops, helpers, and nurses aiding the citizens in this power failure. I stopped at deck twenty-three, Haruna’s dorm room floor, and got my backpack. Haruna was nowhere to be seen inside her room, so I left to the hanger on the bottom of the station. The hanger was deserted, but the halls just outside were not. I brushed by several people on the way, slightly flattening, and squishing myself to slip past faster in an extreme living version of the Snap Race training that Jun and I had. Fortunately, I hovered nearby the ceiling with help and aid from my Hiyou Enerugiitai. I was almost to the hanger entrance and realized what I was doing… I didn’t know just what I was doing! I didn’t stop though; I just kept going and planned this out as I went. I went toward my Nagare to avoid being caught, and then I thought... I’ll go back to Michigan and hide where...! No! That’s where they will look first. I am going to hide somewhere else and find another way to get this junk out of my body! I entered the hanger and checked for some goons that might be after me, fortunately, there were none. I didn’t have time to be polite, so I just stretched my arms over to my Nagare. It was forty meters away, and in visual range. I pulled myself over to the closest door to the side. I hastily punched in the code and got it wrong three times, though at the forth try, it opened. I took my backpack off and spun over to the cockpit where I started my ship up, avoided the robot arms, and got the hell out of there!