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"After reports of shots being fired, a mysterious dome has appeared over the Musetunes Festival grounds in Pellora. Witnesses fleeing the scene have reported police running towards the shots and trying to contain the gunman. We go live now to Dani who is flying over the festival grounds in YGN 7's news helicopter. Dani? "

-Terri Banner, YGN 7 news

"Get Agent Daniels," Wes ordered the other agents, deep red dripping down his arm, "and someone find Leonger."

Two agents held the Doctor between them, his wrists tied tight behind him. He'd shot Wes. And for that I was pissed.

But...with the way he lived and played under the radar and now suddenly giving up relatively without a fight? It didn't make sense. And I didn't have time to play his games.

I gripped his collar tight in one hand and jerked him forward. "It's not a bomb," I narrowed my eyes. As I said it, I knew it to be true. The Doctor was dedicated to his craft, yes, but he would not give his life up for it. Not if he felt there was still more he could do for his cause. Not if there were still more experiments, more influence he could have on the Aces in the city. "What did you do?"

Something flashed behind his eyes, his mouth quirking at the corner. "Why don't you wait and find out?"

My fist shot out in a tight arc. The Doctor jerked to the side, but the agents kept him from falling completely over. A sharp pain radiated up my broken arm as I jostled it. "What is it?" I'd used all of Brayden's ability up and now needed to focus on pulling Wes' up to repair my arm. I had nothing to influence him to start talking. All I had was Wes' ability that never seemed to disappear, what remained of Marlee's force field ability, and Agent Daniel's augmenting ability.

If it wasn't a bomb, I thought, what else caused destruction? What else helped him get closer to his misconceived idea that every Ace needed an ability—


"Wes, clear this area now." I whipped back around to face my mate. "It's not a bomb, it's the drug. The devices are wired to—"

Wes was already on the same page, "—release it as a gas into the air."

"If it gets out—" My mind whirled with the potential results. A chemical gas leak was a danger to the people and the environment. It would seep into the soil. With the bay right here next to the festival the water, if contaminated, would carry into the wildlife and feed into the runoff the water-filtering plants used to provide running water to the city.

"Someone get Leonger on the phone!" Wes barked, then pointed to the Doctor, "And get that piece of trash out of here."

Only once the agents began pulling the Doctor away did he start to fight. His eyes were wide—no doubt with worry that we'd discovered what the devices do. This sick bastard wanted to watch the ensuing chaos—see who lived and died—it would've been the ultimate experiment.

Agent Daniels jogged over, "you called?"

At the exact same moment, a few meters away, the device in the ground gave a long, loud beep. A toothpick-like metal device ascended from the top of the needle.

Oh, Creator.

"Get out of here!" I hissed at Wes, "Get them all out of here!"


"We'll contain it," I told him quickly, "before it contaminates the water supply."

He hesitated, no more than a moment, but in Wes' world, a moment's hesitation was an eternity. Worry and fear tainted his expression. Then finally, his lips thinned and he nodded. His hands were rough but warm as he cupped my cheeks. "Be careful," he said and pressed a kiss to my forehead.

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