The homicide detective, Joe Harris, wore a long coat that dusted the tops of well-shined shoes as he strode into the crime scene like a man on a mission. A dark fedora shaded his features, allowing only a tight-lipped expression to be discernible. He examined the bodies with narrow eyes before flicking his gaze to the corner where Michael and I were detained as witnesses. “Did you see the killer?”
His voice held the ruthless undertones of a man familiar with death. A glimmer of recollection surfaced in my mind, bringing to life a man near and dear to my heart. My mentor and protector used to speak like that.
“Hartford,” I replied, lost in my memories. Michael looked at me with a raised eyebrow, noting my misstatement. No point in correcting it. “Cera Hartford,” I said. “I didn’t see who opened fire.”
He cocked his head to gain a better viewpoint. “Interesting accent you have there, doll. Where did you say you’re from?” Though his tone had lightened, I could tell he was fishing for information.
I doubted he would believe me if I said I was from another world, here searching for a cure to my dad’s condition. My companions and I arrived two days prior and I secured employment with Frankie to pay for supply replenishment while the others scoured health records. Everything here was pen and paper, spread out over numerous locations, making data mining a slow process. We would not leave until every possible venue was searched.