The ship had a soft lighting to it; Alexa’s eyes gleamed as she gazed upon it. “It’s beautiful...” She had never been on a cruise ship, she was astounded.
The pilot of the helicopter looked back at Alexa, “Just remember why you guys are here.”
A thick accented voice arose from behind Alexa. “Not for the cruise.”
Alexa crossed her arms and blew a strand of her brown hair from her face, rolling her eyes. “Parker, can’t I just enjoy myself a little?”
“Maybe after our mission.” Parker said as he let the rope down from the helicopter. He slung his rifle over his shoulder and glanced back at Alexa, “After you...”
Alexa grabbed the rope and stepped off of the helicopter, which now hovered above the ship. The blades sent droplets of water rising from the ocean below.
Parker waited until Alexa’s boots touched the ground. “Thanks for the lift Barry.” He grasped the rope and stepped off.
The pilot smiled and waved down at Parker. As soon as Parker hit the deck, he waved back and retracted the rope. The helicopter spun back and slowly disappeared into the dark sky.
The only sounds were the waves crashing against the side of the ship and the sound of heavy footsteps on the deck.
Alexa yawned, “I hate late-night missions.” Parker walked ahead of her to a vent and pulled his knife out, removing the cover.
“Has there ever been another kind?” Parker smiled and climbed into the vent, Alexa followed close behind.
The concrete hallway was desolate, not the slightest sound protruding from the vast space. There was a metallic clang as the vent cover from the ceiling crashed to the floor. Parker hopped down and readied his rifle. Alexa came down next, her pistol in her right hand.
...I mean agents need sleep, right?” Alexa had been complaining about the same topic all this time.
“Sure.” Parker continued forward, ignoring her.
Alexa shot a glare at Parker and rolled her eyes, “Sure?” She scoffed, “What the hell is that supposed to mean?” Her brown eyes shifted from him to the door ahead.
“Look it up.” Parker said crossly, he heard a soft creak and tried to listen.
Alexa crossed her arms and shook her head, “Rude...”
Parker slowly opened the door ahead of them, “Annoying...” Alexa heard this and gave him a look of disgust.
“Annoying??” She holstered her pistol. “The only thing annoying are your responses!”
Parker waited for her to stop, he looked at her and sighed.
“On top of that...” She started.
“Just get in here.” He interrupted. She was about to speak again, but reluctantly kept her mouth shut.
They looked around. Behind the door was another small hallway, but at the end was a single door. Parker examined the door; the metal exterior had a slight rusting factor.
“So what the heck are you still doing, working still?” Alexa was already back to yapping.
Parker sighed and opened the metal door, the hinges about ready to give in. The room was dimly lit, the only light source being the lamp on the nightstand. Alexa was right behind Parker.
“You still haven’t answered my question, Parker.” Alexa protested as she walked to a wooden cabinet on the right side of the bed.
“It’s irrelevant and holds no importance to the mission.” He shot back.
Alexa shook her head and opened the closet. “It is very important to the case!” Without this job, there would not be a case!”
Parker looked at the pictures that were hung along the wall. The people in the photographs seemed happy, despite the fact that their once luxurious cruise had turned to disaster. A small framed picture caught Parker’s attention, a fairly aged woman. She had to have been at least thirty; her brown hair barely touched her shoulders. Alexa closed the closet door, just an array of tacky clothing, nothing significant. Something shattered behind her causing her to spin around, her pistol aimed straight ahead.
“Parker... What’s wrong?” She lowered her weapon and walked over slowly. Parker had a picture in his hand, the broken shards of glass caused blood to run down his wrist. “Parker...” Alexa grabbed his arm softly. “Talk to me Parker...”
He felt nothing. No pain, no emotion at all. It was her, this case. It was all fake. Whoever killed hundreds of people on a once vibrant cruise ship, knew Parker and his team were aboard. That wasn’t the problem. This picture... Parker was shocked at how the killer had this picture. She was all he ever thought about.
A day Parker wished he could do over.