Read an Excerpt
Dannen Garnier pulled up into a parking zone across the street from 421 West Raven Road.
The area was one of the older neighborhoods and slowly going to seed. It was almost genteel the way the old buildings were slowly becoming dilapidated, like a lot of their older inhabitants.
He stayed in his squad car and pulled out his hand unit, reviewing the case notes. It hadn't been his case to start with. A simple robbery of one Edith Hansen in apartment 212 of 421 West Raven. The thief had gotten away with some nice stuff, most of it vintage, and had stopped to take the time to trash the place, which had woken Mrs. Hansen up and allowed her to catch a glimpse of the guy.
One of the other tenants at 421 had robbery priors and the detectives on the case had dragged the guy downtown for an interrogation. No, an interview. They were supposed to call them interviews now, no matter who they were talking to. Dannen rolled his eyes. He hated politics and hiding behind pseudonyms and fancy words. You interviewed a victim, you interrogated a suspect. It sucked that the pencil pushers didn't get there was a difference.
Anyway, this thief, one Derek Breller, had pointed the finger at another tenant. Dannen didn't have a name, just apartment 520, the other end of the hall from Breller. Apparently someone fitting the thief's description, which also fit Breller, had come and gone from the place around the time of the robbery. The case officer's notes didn't specify what Breller himself had been doing up at four am, looking out his door, but Dannen imagined the guy would have any number of excuses.
He was on the case because apparently Breller thought theguy going into 520 was 'hinky'. Dannen snorted. He'd like to know how anyone could see 'hinky' from the other end of a dark hall at four in the morning. And even if the tenant was extra-normal, that didn't automatically make him bad. Bigotry of that sort though was often shared, one of the reasons the Protectors had a special unit to deal with anything tagged extra-normal.
Dannen figured the officers on the case would have better luck 'interviewing' known fences and keeping their eyes on them to find whoever had pulled this one off. The stuff taken was just old enough to need a specialized fence to get rid of it.
He pocketed his hand unit, put on his hat and got out, hitting the locking mechanism on his belt before heading across to the double doors of 421. A sign above them proclaimed the apartment complex to be the Black Feather Arms and Dannen couldn't help but smile. He missed the old habit of naming buildings. It was one of the things that gave them the character that was lacking in the modern glass high-rises.
He let himself in with his universal pass and took the stairs up to the fifth floor. Using the stairwell gave him an opportunity to check out the thief's most likely route of escape. Only a fool would use the elevator for something like that. He didn't find anything, but the stairwell opened up to Breller's end of the hall, which allowed him to gauge how well the man might have seen someone at the far end.
He snorted again. Not well at all. Breller had definitely been throwing suspicion away from himself, which in Dannen's eyes made the man look guilty. Still, he'd follow up on the lead, just to tie it off.
As he approached the door to 520 he felt it.
Now, Dannen didn't have extra-normal powers himself, but there was a certain vibe that such powers left behind, almost like a signature, a slight vibration in the air that always made the hair on his skin stand up.
And it was standing up now.
So, their thief or not, someone in 520 was an extra-normal.
He knocked on the door.
"Yeah?" a voice yelled from the other side. "Who is it?"