Inevitable; sure to occur, happen, or come; unalterable.
There are some things in life you just can’t control. For instance; a power outage in the middle of the night resetting your alarm clock when you needed to get up for work the next morning, or a perfectly good hot cup of coffee getting spilled all over you after entering said work late, burning your skin and ruining your coat. Of course, those things can be dealt with; calling in and letting your higher-ups know you’ll be running behind, applying medicine to the burn and buying new clothes.
I was okay with those things, even if they made me dread the day, however, I was unprepared for this curveball. Out of everything that’s been thrown at me in life, I’ve been able to handle it just fine. But everyone has a limit.
Mine was an eighteen-year-old girl named Quiorra Novak.
It started when we got a call from NASA. Yes, NASA. Apparently, it was easier for this girl to hack into their satellites than it was for the guy in charge of said satellites to find her location. When they did finally pinpoint her location, they sent us the coordinates since she was nearest to our Department in Baltimore. And of course, being the newest Detective at the Station, I got stuck with the job.
I remember how odd I felt when I first met Quiorra. I snuck onto her boat with my gun in hand, expecting either a Middle-aged Nerd trying to get information to sell for money or a rejected Lunatic Scientist trying to get himself into the system. What did I get? A girl living on a boat by herself, looking as if she’s never worked a day in her life.
I had jumped down the hatch, pointing my gun at the person I would have to arrest, only to make eye contact with her as she sat in her chair. Half of the boat looked like a whole computer store got stuffed and squished together in order to fit in the small space.
I blinked, and the blue bubble from her gum blew until there was a pop.
“Can I help you?”
Her tone made me frown, as she clearly didn’t care whether she could help me or not. Granted, I was pointing a gun at her. Slowly I put my gun back into my belt clip, giving her a wary look.
“Maybe you can. I have good reason to believe you hacked into some sensitive information.”
Her bored expression didn’t change, but her brow did raise slightly, almost as if she was amused.
“Oh, did NASA finally find my location?”
I blinked again, dumbfounded that not only did she admit what she did, she even sounded disappointed that it had taken this long.
She sighed, sliding back in her chair, talking more to herself than to me.
“Three of their satellites with three different code styles over a month ago in order to give me a challenge and now they crack one of them?”
She looked towards me, rolling her eyes.
“Let me guess, they couldn’t even give you my name, right? They probably just sent you some coordinates when they finally pinpointed my location and gave up on the rest. Buzzkills.”
I almost couldn’t believe what I was hearing.
“Wait, wait, wait, you hacked into NASA satellites just to challenge yourself? What about the sensitive information, you’re not going to exploit it for any personal gain?”
Another bubble popped before she answered, giving me a look like I was stupid.
“Why would I waste my time on something like that?”
I stared at her a minute.
“What do you think?”
My eyebrow was starting to twitch, amazed by the amount of sarcasm one girl could ooze. I heaved a frustrated sigh.
“Either way Missy, you’re going to have to come with me.”
She gave a disgruntled look.
“Ew, why Ginger?”
I merely pulled out my badge, ignoring the nickname.
“Because you’re under arrest.”
She raised a brow.
“What, did they press charges? They couldn’t even find out what my name is.”
“Anyways you can’t even prove that it was me.”
I narrowed my eyes.
“You...just admitted to me that it was you.”
She crossed her arms.
“But, you can’t prove that.”
I pointed to the floor.
“I can prove this is where you live.”
I raised a brow, growing frustrated.
“Yes, I can. I have this thing called authority. Which I can use to get something else called information from the Owner of this Marina.”
She started looking at her nails as if this situation didn’t apply to her.
“The Owner of this Marina lives elsewhere, in the kind of place that doesn’t have cell phone reception and anyways this boat is under my parents' name, not mine. Which you also will not be able to find out considering as you can imagine, being the kind of person I am, I make sure that those kinds of things get ′covered up’.”
My eye started to twitch, I had a feeling that even if I did demand to see things like a boating license or registration she’d give me the whole ‘my-parents-have-it’ speech. I groaned.
“Look, Kid, you have to come with me because even though I know you did it, even if I can’t prove it, I can still hold you for three days before the Police Department decides what to do with you. And after I find out your name and prove this is indeed where you live, even if this is in your parent’s name, I’m sure they’d love to know what you’ve been up to.”
She rolled her eyes. She didn’t believe me one bit and I knew it as she stood, both of us climbing out of the boat. I patted the handcuffs attached to my belt.
“Now you’re not going to try anything funny are ya? I can always cuff you.”
She gave a blank stare, blowing another small bubble as she stepped onto the dock, stopping to wait for me to do the same.
“Do I look like I’m stupid enough to try and outrun an older man with a gun and a badge?”
The comment caught me off guard and actually made me laugh.
“No, I suppose not.”
The ride to the Station and the next couple of days were quiet ones. While she stayed at the Station, often picking her confinement cell lock to take coffee from the break room, I was busy trying to find some intel. Everything she had said to me ended up being true, even the Marina Owner living far off the grid, making my job more difficult. Ironically, it was the tattoo on her shoulder that finally gave me a clue. There was a Pub next to the Marina and that’s where she had got it from, it wasn’t long ago and that got me a name. Q. Novak. Even I knew of the Novak family, some seriously rich folk that often made it to the newspaper for one thing or another. Turns out, they had a single daughter named Quiorra. I used some connections to get in contact with them, but they didn’t seem to care one way or the other on what happens to her, which honestly irritated me.
I walked into the Station on the third day with a decision, and after talking it over with the Chief, I went to tell the Girly the great news. As I had thought, I found her in the break room, making the other men uncomfortable as she stole yet another cup of the coffee. After day two of her breaking out of her containment cell, all of us just kind of gave up on trying to keep her there. As long as she didn’t try to leave the building, we honestly didn’t care.
I watched for her reaction, but the only one I got was a raised brow and maybe a hint of amusement in her eyes.
“So, I finally get to be called something other than ‘Girly’ or ‘Kid’. Took you long enough.”
I poured my own cup of coffee.
“You know, you could have just told me your name.”
“And what would the fun be in that Mr. Barreck?”
“Please, Mr. Barreck is my father.”
She raised a brow at me.
“What am I supposed to call you then? David? That’s a little weird if I’m not making fun of you.”
I sipped my coffee, ignoring that last comment.
“How about, Partner?”
I looked at her sideways, grinning after seeing her face scrunched in confusion. It was the first I had seen it turn into something other than boredom.
I nodded, taking another slow sip for dramatic effect. Then I set the cup down, turning to her.
“That’s right, from now on, you are under my supervision. You’ll be working with me as a form of Probation, using those hacking talents of yours to good use.”
She blinked at me, then seemed to have thought it over. After a moment she took another drink of her coffee, a small smile hiding behind her cup.
“Oh, because sitting around a bunch of computer crap in your boat is much different.”
“Does that mean I’ll get a place to put my computer crap around here?”
“So I just stay home until you come and get me for a job?”
“No, you come here every day so I can keep an eye on you.”
“So no tech? What about my cell phone?”
“Your cell has to be on silent, but you can bring it, yes.”
She blew a raspberry.
“Like I said, sounds boring.”
I gave a small smile of victory.
“Better than Jail.”
She sat down in a free chair.
“Is it though?”
I waved a dismissive hand, chuckling.
“Eh, you’ll come to appreciate your time here.”
I glanced at the coffee machine.
“Although, you may have to dial back on the caffeine.”
She gave me a disgusted look like I just asked her to throw a puppy over-bored her boat.
I gave an amused look.
“Because we can’t afford you going through a five-pound bag every day, that’s why.”
“You David Barreck, are just full of disappointing facts today.”
I gave a hearty laugh.
“That just gives you more reason to look forward to tomorrow, right?”
She only stared at me as I laughed at my own joke.
From then on our inevitable partnership steadily grew into a friendship that I found irreplaceable. I stayed in charge and most of the time in control while Quiorra stayed unpredictable and most of the time unmanageable. That made us a good team, though incomprehensible to a lot of the other people in the Department.
In the end, I’m glad to have been given the chance to know Quiorra Novak, now my Partner and my Friend.
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