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“Rain was falling in the street.” Bron chimed in, earning him a look of ‘please shut up’ from Nelsa. He shot back one of his own and corrected himself. “It was raining. One too many English classes this semester. Harder to snap out of it than you’d think.” He smiled, hoping the officer taking their statements would pass it off as another drunk frat boy trying to look cool.

“Is there anything else you can remember about last night?” The officer said, glancing between the two.

“Nope, not a thing.” Bron said with a shrug. “I got the hangover to prove it.”

Nelsa coughed and he knew another ‘shut up’ look was heading his way if he kept it up. “Sorry, scratchy throat. I can’t remember much either.”

“If you do or if Mr. Nolsen contacts you, call and ask for detective Munoz.” Nelsa took the card and folded her arms but not before Bron could get a good look at the card. “Lock up tight.”

“Will do.” Nelsa said.

“Nice and tight.” Bron added with a touch more energy that earned him dual looks. The officer looked unimpressed, a good thing in his opinion, but clearly not in Nelsa’s if her wide eyed, ‘just die already,’ look was any clue to go by.

He didn’t get the chance to put his other foot in his mouth. The moment the officer turned his back to them, the door was closed and Nelsa’s hand rested solidly against it. “Rain was falling in the street? Do you have any idea how dated that style of speech is?”

“My research showed it was still acceptable.”

“Not here.”

His head bowed with the dismissal. “I will do better.”

She watched him for a moment, considering whether or not to accept his excuse. He was a decent helper. “Call the others,” she said, walking off, “and tell them it’s time.”

A full bow, with arms crossed and fists at each shoulder, was the only show of acknowledgment. When she was gone, Bron straightened up and rolled his shoulders. The bodies they had to take on were heavy and, he sniffed at a lifted arm, it had a tendency to smell.

He stopped a few feet away in front of a small coffee table that had a lone vase on it. Sliding it to the very edge, he placed his hand in the middle of the table, activating the one way communication.

“Begin phase two. Authorization, Echanbl.” His palm burned but he kept it in place for the full minute the message required. Soon the invasion would be complete. They wouldn’t be forced to hide in the skins of humans or cover up their disappearances. The Cockatrice would rise again and then they’d destroy the Wendigos once and for all.

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