Chase | Development 10

Chase | Development 10


Chase couldn’t return to the police station. After he and Agent X had stolen one of Chief Dart’s cop cars, they wouldn’t be welcomed with open arms. Chase couldn’t go back to his apartment, either. He didn’t have the proper medical supplies, and he didn’t trust himself with bullet removal, especially if the bullet was some fancy fish-hook-poison-dipped bullet that Triumphia probably made in bulk. Chase could only think of one place to take Agent X. His fingers twitched as he pushed the call button on his phone, trying to ignore Agent X’s arched eyebrow. As the phone rang, he prayed it would go to voicemail.

“Hey, it’s Helen! What’s up?” 

Chase imagined Helen holding a wooden spoon, making stir fry, as her curly brown hair went frizzy in the steam. Or maybe she was working overtime at the office, typing out today’s notes. It had been months since they talked, but it was nice to hear her voice.

“Helen, can you do me a favor? My friend is in trouble,” said Chase. It felt strange to call Braya a friend when they had known each other for less than eight hours. He didn’t know what to call her, or if he could trust her… but he didn’t feel right letting her fend for herself.

“Lucky you, I’m still at work,” said Helen. “Stop by whenever.”

Chase thanked her and ended the call. He had missed Helen’s open, nurturing personality. They’d grown up together in Garland Grove, and while most kids at school avoided Chase after they heard what happened to his father, Helen ate lunch with him every day. When Helen went to medical school and Chase went to police training, they’d lost contact, but then Chase got injured on the job and Helen had been the one to patch him up. For the first time, Chase noticed her glowing smile and the casual, confident way Helen wore her clothes. She was clever, and helped him out with several cases. Chase finally admitted to himself that he had a crush.

Unfortunately, when Chase mustered the courage to ask Helen out, she gave him a look of pity and said she was engaged. Chase wanted to crawl into bed and never leave. He wondered why Helen never brought up her fiance… unless she HAD, and Chase was busy thinking about his vendetta against Sebastian. This was four months ago, and Chase was so embarrassed that he hadn’t replied to any of Helen’s messages.

Now, Chase needed a confidante, and he trusted Helen more than he trusted anyone. Before yesterday, Chase had never even HEARD of Triumphia. You would think a tyrannical military regime would reach the news outlets, but apparently not. If Sebastian and Agent X were part of this network of corruption, Chase needed to get caught up to speed, and Helen had connections in the streets. She heard things. And she was a great judge of character.

Chase and Braya borrowed one of Sebastian’s limousines and headed to Helen’s clinic. The silence was deafening. After a long, exhausting trip, neither of them wanted to rehash the day’s events. When they arrived, Helen unlocked the door. She had large purple bags under her eyes, but otherwise she looked great. Chase had so many questions about how she was, but those questions would have to wait. 

Helen sat Agent X down and began disinfecting the wound, asking, “How’d you get shot?”

Agent X didn’t even flinch. “Family issues,” she said, gazing at the colorful posters on the wall.

“Must be a fun family. My name is Helen, what’s yours?”

Chase immediately perked up, curious how Agent X would respond. “I prefer the name Braya,” she said emotionlessly.

Chase respected that Braya would try to separate herself from the Malum soldiers. He himself would never go by Agent C. It sounded… cold. He wondered how Braya had chosen her name.

Helen shot the wound with local anesthetic, waited a few minutes, and went in with an arthroscopic shaver. Braya looked at it with mild fascination. Chase wasn’t usually squeamish, but he took his cue to leave.

“Listen, Helen,” said Chase as he walked out the door, “we’ve been mixed up in some bad stuff, and I don't want to put you in danger. But Braya and I owe you one. If you need anything…”

Helen nodded. “I’ll reach out. I’ve missed you, Chase.”

Chase swallowed the awkward lump in his throat and swept out the door.

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