Going home after everything she’s dealt with in recent weeks feels amazing. That isn’t to say everything’s immediately better. Reaching her bedroom on the second floor of the house proves painful so Marco sets her up on the couch. Not what she was hoping for when going home but he wrapped the cushions in a set of her sheets so she feels a little more at home. The first night he sleeps in the recliner next to it but after that she assures him he can sleep in their bed. No reason he shouldn’t get a good night’s sleep because she can’t be there. He reluctantly agreed.
The transition home’s made a lot easier by her decision to give up being a vigilante. Despite the kind words from George Stephan, she knows she’s making the right decision. If she wants to protect people she’s better doing it in court. The remains of her costume and gear are stashed in the closet in the garage. Marco’s eyes go wide when he sees how much she has, especially when he sees her giant box of grenades. He doesn’t say much though as they lug it all into the closet. Her body suit was mostly destroyed when she was shot and a replacement hasn’t come yet but her gloves, mask, boots and her trenchcoat are piled on top of the boxes.
Returning to work’s a little more difficult. Her bosses haven’t forgotten how quickly she returned from her other recent injury and they push her to take all the time she needs. They don’t like hearing that she’s already done so and she’s ready to get back. Already her head’s spinning with thoughts of her coworkers poaching her best cases.
She has a penchant for winning though and two days after returning home she’s back on the highway into the city. After their latest conference call the partners said they’d consider letting her return to work today if she takes it easy and stays out of court for at least a little longer. When they never called her back to provide a final decision she took it as approval.
Walking through the lobby three people stop her to ask how she’s feeling. She grumbles that she’ll be fine once she gets her coffee and manages to get to the elevator without causing a major incident. When she reaches the third floor her assistant’s waiting for her with a cup of coffee which she knows will be made exactly the way she likes it. He’s the only person here she bothered to inform about her return today. The only reason he got to know was because someone had to schedule her appointments. She agreed not to go to court yet but that doesn’t mean she’s going to sit around reading case files all day.
That is how she spends her morning though. Sipping coffee and reading up on her cases. She has to go to several other lawyers’ offices and practically threaten them to get her cases back but they all give in. That leaves her with weeks of notes to review.
Her first meeting of the day’s with Edgar Juatco, a man she believes is wrongfully accused of being an accessory in a gang murder. He used to be a member of the gang but he’s been out for years and has a strong alibi which the district attorney hasn’t been able to poke holes in. He’s the one who provided the tip that led to all of this happening. She tried to use the information to work out a plea deal but when she found no deal was coming she took matters into her own hands.
Edgar walks into her office wearing the same suit he wears to court. He looks good, every hair in place. There’s a sad look on his face though and his tie’s been slightly loosened. She starts to stand to greet him but he puts a hand up. “No need for that Ms. Wallace. I heard about what happened, take it easy. Glad to see you’re looking good. How you feeling?”
Gritting her teeth, Kalenia offers a hand to Edgar which he quickly takes. “I’m good.” She nods a few times, trying to make sure she believes it. “For someone who got shot I’m actually really good. What did you hear.”
Sitting in the chair across from her, Edgar unbuttons his suit jacket so he can stretch out. She can smell a faint aroma of marijuana on him. “Not a whole lot I guess. You were at that casino gambling when things went down and a bunch of people got shot. Took one right to the gut. Told my friends my lawyer was there but she was too tough to take out.”
She smiles and pushes her hair back. “That’s sweet. I got really lucky though. Another reason to try and stop this vigilante act.”
“I’m with you on that. They’re the reason I’m wearing this suit.”
Looking him over, she notices he’s even wearing his dress shoes. He’s never felt the need to dress up to meet here at the office. He’s shown up in wife beaters before. “What do you mean? I figured you got confused and thought we were going to court today.”
He shakes his head, looking down at the ground. “No, nothing like that. A friend of mine, good guy, was one of the people who worked security at that thing I told you about. Some vigilante showed up and took his ass out. Just came from the funeral. Pretty torn up about it. Keep thinking if I was there to watch his back maybe he’d still be here. Or even if I hadn’t been selfish and I let the cops have the tip without letting me off, you know?”
The blood runs out of her face. “I’m so sorry about your friend. If you’d been there though you’d likely have been another victim. You’ve gone straight. Stick to that.”
He shoves his hands in his pockets. “Know you’re right but between the charges and now this, feels like I’m never going to do enough to get clean.”
“Look at me.” He does. “You are doing plenty. You are going to beat this thing. You have the best lawyer in the city in your corner. Me. A bullet didn’t keep me down, partially because I needed to come back here and defend you. So you don’t get to give up, alright?”
He looks up at her, his eyes wide. “If I’m not giving up then we need to see about another option. I still want a plea bargain and I was offered another job.”
She takes a deep breath and puts her hands behind her neck. “What sort of job?”
“Similar to the last one. They’re desperate to get some stuff out of town apparently, after what went down at the casino, selling to people they shouldn’t be, people who they haven’t properly vetted so they need a lot of security. It’s even more dangerous for me to give this meeting up than the last one though. They might connect that I was offered both gigs and I have a reason to want to cut a deal. Even with the guilt from last time I can’t give this one up if they won’t cut a deal.”
Kalenia starts digging through the piles of junk scattered on her desk. At the best of times her office can be described as organized chaos but today it’s worse than normal. In her absence others had no clue where to put anything so anything and everything was piled wherever it fit. There’s all sort of mail, files, requests, documents. She finally finds a notebook and tosses it across the desk. “Write down anything you know. I want to go into negotiations with every bit of information. We have a trump card. Your last info was good and I can prove it from the stuff you filled out then. This time they’re going to take you more seriously. If this is a big deal there’s a good chance they’ll drop the charges. They’re losing anyway.”
He grabs the notebook off the desk and takes a pen she offers. “So names, date, time, location, all that?” She nods. He opens the notebook but when he does so an envelope falls out and falls to the ground. He picks it up and looks it over. “Guess this is yours? No addresses or anything on it.”
Taking the envelope from him, Kalenia looks it over. It’s sealed but there’s no return address or even her address on it. Not even a name. It feels like there’s something in it though. Did one of the partners leave it here? She hesitates to open it but after patting it down from end to end all she can feel is paper. While Edgar writes, she opens it, trying not to make it seem like a big deal. There’s a single piece of lined notebook paper folded up inside. She sets the envelope down and pulls the paper out.
The three folds come undone and she sees there’s no handwriting. Whoever left this here went with the old serial killer method of cutting letters out of magazines. The note’s short but it gets the point across.
I know who you are Dynamo. If you don’t want others to know, I suggest you play ball. I’ll be in touch with more demands soon. Ciao.