Chasing the Dark Star

Only Half That Matters

"Only Half That matters"

"Dammit, Chang. What did you do now?" Mako grumbled to himself as he climbed through the blown out hatch of the life pod. He took one last look at the woman as she turned and left, her coat rustling in the new wind. He felt another shiver down his spine as her thought of her eyes: a pale green that had seen more than he could imagine. Private Sector, she could kill me and toss me aide like a toy and no one would bat an eye. He shook his head and dropped a foot to the roof of the pod. Glass crunched and he took a moment to shine a light around the pod. The whole thing was a wreck: from the man hanging from the chair the the busted and burnt electrical panels. He stepped over wrenched metal to reach the busted control panel, and the man hanging from his seat. His uniform was torn, burnt and bloody. Its original color hard to discern. Over the time he spent hanging there the blood had drained slowly drained from his body, pooling below him. Mako made sure to avoid the pool of crimson as he moved the mans arm, looking at the logo on his shoulder. It was stiff and his skin was pale and discolored.

"What do we got?" Mako turned and saw another detective shine a flashlight around the pod. He was bald and young, dark skinned and new fresh faced, a new addition. Sai, I think. His coat rustled as climbed in. "Why do we have a life pod here? And what's with the dead guy?" Mako motioned him forward and had him shine the light on the logo. "What sort of flower is that?"

"I don't know," Mako pulled a camera from his belt and took a photo, clicking a few buttons. "But I sent it back to HQ, maybe they can figure it out. My question is, what is he doing inside a Future Industries life pod." he switched on the light on the camera and looked at the control panel, recording as he went.

"How do you know it's FI? I thought all Sato ships had super high tech stuff, not this old hunk-a-junk." Mako moved the camera and found what actually killed the man. He put his hand over his mouth and looked away, resisting a small gag. He calmed himself quickly. Just part of the job.

"Looks like part of the control panel exploded and lodged itself in his chest." he turned back to the other detective, panning the camera along the rest of the pod. "My brother is in FICE, he says that they switched out the pods a few years ago for most ships but some of the flight crews kept the old ones. He swears by these things, says they're the safest model they ever made." the other detective knelt down next to the pool of blood, taking a deep breath and groaning as a few more drops of crimson fell from the mans mangled chest.

"Irony at it's finest, killed by a life pod." he laughed at his own joke and stood up, looking over the dead guy. "Any idea what this thing came from? I haven't heard any news about things going wrong space side." Mako had been asking himself the same question, Bolin's ship was supposed to get in that morning. But so were several others.He's fine, calm down. Mako took a deep breath and noticed something on the roof of the pod under his feet. "I think your brother might be wrong about this pod though, this guy didn't make it." Mako knelt down and looked at what he saw. He pulled a glove from his belt and slid it on and wiped a finger in the small black patch.

"Hey Sai, I got something." Sai cursed as he stood and smacked his head off the arm of a seat. Mako rolled the wet powder in his fingers and scanned around with his light. He noticed something under a piece of bent railing and pulled it free.

"What did you find that the others didn't?" Sai said lazily as he stood over Mako, joining his light to Mako's and seeing the splotches of blood.

"Blood, gunpowder and this." Mako held up the half a shotgun shell and showed it to Sai.

"What happened to it?" he asked and Mako looked at it closely. It had been cut in half behind the shot and in front of the powder.

"Someone cut it." Sai knelt down next to him.

"No shit, I mean, why?" Mako looked around again, pulling an evidence baggy from his belt and dropping the shell inside.

"I don't know, maybe we can get prints from it. But there was someone else on this pod." Sai cursed under his breath and fell backwards with a surprised yelp.

"Think it'll match that?" he said, pointing at something and swallowing. Mako saw it then as well, he frowned and lifted it up. It was half a finger.

"Well, this is nice." he spoke quietly as he pointed the camera at the digit. "Darker skin coloration, slender. I think this was cut from a woman's hand." Sai regained his composure and cleared his throat, acting as though he hadn't been startled.

"Looks like it was torn off to me." Mako put the camera back on his belt and had Sai hold his light up to it.

"Look there, the wound is ragged and the bone is smashed, but here," Mako pointed his finger at the other side of the partial digit. "But the rest was cut off." Sai mumbled an agreement as they stood, Mako put the finger in another baggy. "Let's get this stuff back and see whats going on." they made there way back over broken glass from the panel and past wrenched metal and climbed back out the pod into the night air. Mako took a deep breath as he moved from the pod. He stopped one of the other investigators from the forensics team, holding the baggies up to him. "Maybe try to find everything next time." the man scowled and walked away as Sai came up behind him.

"Well, this is going to be a fun one, if they don't start an internal investigation and cut us out. Hey, who was the lady?" Mako squinted at the portable lights being set up around the area.

"Private Sector." he said, a drop of rain landing on his shoulder with a wet thud.

"Of course she was, how close to the top?" Sai pulled his Jacket over his head and moved under the cover of a nearby building. Mako slowly followed him.

"Pretty close, she had one of those Tower badges."

"Like, the FI Tower, one of those badges?" Mako shook his coat and started walking away form the scene, Sai following him. The rain started to pour, the sounds of the world becoming drowned out as the water landed on everything, the sound of it hitting buildings and signs as shuttles passed and people clamored to see past the security line. Mako shoved through the crowd and turned down a side street to his shuttle.

"Yeah, I'd bet she was ex-SSF too. She had that air about her." Sai laughed for a moment before realizing Mako was serious.

"You mean that, I am going to kill you and dance on your corpse, air?" his laughing stopped as the rain again started hitting him. But Mako seemed to ignore it.

"Yeah, that air. She was looking for Changpu. Said she had some questions for him." he thought to the small man. He didn't know him too well, but knew he was a good guy, even if he was always in trouble.

"He was first on the scene right? Well definitely screams odd." Mako joined the people milling down the street and cut through them to make his way to a garage.

"Yeah, either he did something really stupid, or they aren't telling us the truth." Mako stopped and took a deep breath, turning to Sai and handing him the baggies.

"Take those back for me." his voice was flat and Sai nodded before realizing what had happened. He turned around and saw the news panel and read the headline as it scrolled across the screen. A Future industries cargo vessel, the SSC Turtle Shell, broke apart in orbit only an hour before scheduled docking when it's engine ruptured, an after affect of recent damages from a renovation to the drive core. All hands lost. Sai looked at the ground for a moment, thinking back.

"Oh no, Mako... I'm so sorry." he couldn't find the words to say, his attempts nothing more than a jumbled mess. "Oh... Mako... yeah, I'll take these back." he put his hand to his mouth and Mako didn't move. "Hey, Mako, the numbers are never right, and we know someone else was on that pod, I'm not saying... there was a lot of debris and we haven't gotten to it all. Maybe there are other pods, or some made it too..." Mako turned around and stared him down. He put his hands in his pockets and rolled his shoulder.

"Sai... I'm going to get a drink, tell the Captain I'm going to..." Sai nodded and placed a hand on Mako's shoulder and gave a sad smile.

"I'll cover for you. Just... I'm so sorry." he couldn't find anything else to say. He pretended he didn't see the tears in the corners of his eyes or the slight shake in his shoulders. He patted his shoulder and turned around, making his way out of the alley, ignoring the sound of Mako's fist smashing through the screen. Mako tried not to cry, he tried and almost succeeded, a small sob pulling itself from him. He took a deep breath and regained his composure, pretending that he didn't feel the tears in the corners of his eyes. He took a deep breath and started moving again, his tears hidden by the rain.

"Dammit Bolin..." he stopped when his comm chirped. He tried to ignore it, but decided it would be best if he thought of something else. But he never looked at it, he never looked up from the ground as he climbed into his shuttle and he didn't move as it lifted from the ground, taking him away. "You were supposed to be here." he took deep breaths, the sadness dissipating, being replaced by anger. He shouted and slammed his fist into the controls of the shuttle. It beeped a warning and he hit it again, and again and again. He covered his eyes and felt his comm vibrate in his pocket again. He ignored it, again. The engine whined and the sound of rain hitting the shuttle pushed his thoughts back to when Bolin left. It was Mako's idea, he thought it would be good for Bolin to have stable work to keep him out of trouble. He had kept him safe for so long. He reached into the passenger seat, pulling the scarf into his lap. He ran his thumbs over the worn red fabric and thought of the day he left.

"No, Bolin, you should go."

"Are you sure, I don't know if you'll make it far without me."

"Ha ha. This will be good for you. You'll be safe and you'll be getting paid. And even if you quit after a few years, you'll now some helpful stuff. I wont let us go back to the under city, Bolin, we've come too far."

"I know, but, what about you? You haven't relaxed since mom and dad..."

"I'll be fine Bolin, I'm joining the SSF, or the public division at least. I can help people. And besides, we can talk all the time."

"I... I'll miss you bro."

"Bolin, don't cry. Seriously, I can't handle you crying right now."

Mako smiled, a sad smile as he thought back. The engine whined down as the shuttle landed on the automated pad. The rain continued to pour as he stepped out of the shuttle, wrapping the scarf around his neck. His comm rang again and he ignored it as he jogged across the platform to the bar lift. There was a crowed but he passed through them, ignoring them. He finally made it to a lift and stopped any others from getting on with him, they protested till he showed his badge and gun, then they backed away. The doors shut and he leaned against the side of the lift, trying to ignore the comm ringing in his pocket. After a moment it wasn't hard as the heavy bass from the bar music filled the air. The lift opened and he was nearly deaf in an instant in the wave of people writhing to the music. But it was the bar he went to, planning on losing himself in a bottle.

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