Chapter 34 FINAL

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  • Dedicated to ThanhP

“Hey there, Nole,” the vendor greeted from behind his cart. “It’s been too long!”

“Graham! How’s it going?” Nole replied enthusiastically. Although the man called him from the stand, the smell of the home-style breakfast assortment drew him to the rotating sausage links. Like a kid in a candy store, he pressed stared at the display in salivating awe. “That looks delicious.”

“Sure does,” the man agreed cheerfully. “Now that the water supply is stable, the city’s food is at an all time high. We don’t have to settle for low quality now that Nova’s lucrative water plants are back in business and making money for the city.”

Despite the delicious distraction, Nole was pleased to hear how much better off the city was after Caswell’s unwarranted sewer quarantine was investigated. The officials above the former Chief didn’t take too kindly to his corrupt underground dealings; not to mention his connection with Ryker’s group of undercover mercenaries.

“So business is good?” Nole asked politely, still eying the tantalizing display.

“Sure is! You’d think the success I’ve had was from years of diligent unrest. It’s hard to believe that it’s only been a month since we cleansed the Unit of those traitors. Honestly, those guys did more harm to Nova than the gangs. I’m glad they’ve been apprehended.” Graham lowered the heat on the rotisserie slightly and used skewers to unhook the links.

The sentiment about the Enforcers was actually a common one among most, if not all of the citizens of Nova City. Thanks to Betty’s connections and Asteria’s leadership, leaks to city newspapers set the record straight and identified all of the culprits to what they coined “Nova’s Nightmare”.

Not only was Nole cleared and Caswell reprimanded, but the Paras were also deemed innocent of the fountain vandalism. All charges on Betty and the runners were dropped, and Ryker and his small band of rogues were detained for further questioning. The mayor took a major step in the arrests, once quoted saying that he “never could have imagined such a conspiracy within Nova’s law enforcement” and that he plans on “helping to rebuild not just the Enforcement Unit, but Nova City’s economic infrastructure as well. To his credit, the actions being taken were having noticeable improvements on both the city and the civilians.

“I can’t believe Capt. Maddox turned down the Chief position,” Nole commented truthfully. It was true that when Maddox declined the mayor’s offer of the promotion, everyone, including Nole, was shocked. If not for Maddox keeping the rest of the guiltless Enforcers under control during the ensuing chaos after Caswell’s betrayal was revealed, the entire unit might have fallen apart right then and there.

“Tell me about it,” Graham sighed. “That new Chief seems like a real stand up guy. He’s really helped turn this place around.”

Even though he’d refused the Chief position, Maddox’s recommendation for the new replacement was highly sought after; so much so that when he came up with an outlandish suggestion, the mayor actually went with it. “Quinn was nagging him about his refusal here the other day. He said something about wanting to have an active role in the investigations, instead of sitting behind a desk.”

“Sounds like him,” Nole smirked. “How is Capt. Hadley doing?”

“Better than before.” Graham smiled. “That girl’s something else.”

“I’m glad to here it,” Nole replied. If not for Betty’s expert treatment and transfusion, Capt. Hadley wouldn’t have survived her serious injuries. Unfortunately, Sgt. Bellamy wasn’t as lucky. Ryker’s attack killed him almost instantly, but his death would live on among the unit’s Enforcers.

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