August 1st, 9 AM
The agent made his way down the familiar halls of the J. Edgar Hoover Building. At first glance, Aidan Scott might strike people as “medium.” Medium height, medium build, medium good looks. It was the second glance that made the difference. His piercing turquoise eyes and thick coal black hair were startling. The agent knew this and had learned to use it to his advantage, so that, at 37, this veteran of the Navy SEALS exhibited the natural confidence he felt. Heading toward his boss’s office, he walked at his usual clip. It was the no-nonsense walk of a man well-trained, of a man who knew what he was about.
Aidan once again pondered why his boss, John Lucius Power, who was so well connected within the Beltway elite, had not climbed into a more prestigious job, one with a more impressive office and staff.
“Ah, my boy, there you are.” Power, an aging, pudgy, well-groomed little man, almost bellowed as his secretary ushered the agent in, “Got your go-bag packed?”
“Always sir,” Aidan replied. It was, after all, a requirement of the job.
“Good.” Power motioned for Aidan to take a seat. “I need you to hightail it to upstate New York. Some guy got himself ritually murdered in some backwater town. I want you to keep an eye on the investigation up there.” Power handed the agent two over-stuffed folders. “There’s a girl involved.”
“When was the murder?”
Aidan flipped through the first folder. “This took a while to collect,” he said, looking for an explanation. He saw that most of the documents had been signed by Power himself.
“That’s the victim,” Power explained. “The other file is on the girl. The parents disappeared 18 years ago. The girl was raised by an aunt. She moved back to New York from Boston last year.”
“Is the girl suspected of the murder?”
Aidan opened the second folder. Nobody collected this much information on someone, he observed to himself, without suspicion of something.
“Doubt it. But she’s hiding something.”
Power leaned back and placed his perfectly manicured hands behind his round balding head. “I need someone I can trust.”
Aidan, whose father had been killed in combat before he was born, knew every word of this oft-repeated speech. Sure fire, this guy wants something off the grid.
Next would be the implication–never directly stated–that, if his agent was loyal, he might even inherit some of the vast Power family fortune along with the influence it brought. Unimpressed, Aidan waited for the speech to end. He worked for Power, not because of any sense of loyalty to the man, nor for the perks that loyalty might bring, but because it afforded him the opportunity to explore something that fascinated him–the Occult. This little known division of the FBI headed by Power investigated occult related crimes.
“So I know I can trust you,” Power continued. “I need to know about that girl. I need to know what she knows, but off the grid. Strictly off the grid, got it?”
Aidan closed the folder and looked at his boss. Working “off the grid” was not unusual in this highly unusual division. It was the vagueness of the assignment that caught Aidan’s attention. He leaned forward, expecting more information. “Of course, sir. So, what do we….”
But before the agent could finish, Power broke in, “And how’s that ex-partner of yours?”
“Doing fine, sir. He just got back from Kenya.”
“Yes, I heard about that. Babysitting that Ambassador’s wild child daughter. He’s back, then?”
Aidan knew Power wasn’t asking about James Cameron out of idle curiosity–he never did. His boss and his ex-partner had drawn blood on more than one occasion. No love lost between them. That was why his ex-partner was his ex-partner. Power had forced him out of the agency.
“Sir, you haven’t given me much to go on. I’m following a murder investigation–unofficially, and I’m investigating some girl, but for what?”
“Read her file. The family had abilities. I want to know if she inherited them. That girl is hiding something–something she got from her parents. I want to know what it is. It may be connected to the murder. Report back anything interesting. Anything at all.” Power stood and offered his hand, “Good luck, son. I’m counting on you.”
As the agent unlocked the door of his shiny black Land Rover, he calculated it would take about five and a half hours to drive from Washington to Buckston, fifty miles up the Hudson from Manhattan. He should arrive at about 2:30, assuming he did not get stopped for speeding.
By Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons