Scene Title Heir
Synopsis er; n. a person inheriting and continuing the legacy of a predecessor.
Date March 27, 2021

A steady rhythm of gunshots ring out through the ruins.

Birds scatter to the sky, departing their roost over the rusted, corrugated metal roof of the All The World's Fish processing plant hanging off the coast of the Hudson River's west bank. Sunken ships litter the waters near the plant and the birds settle on the rusting hulks of these storm-tossed vehicles embedded in the industrial harbor.

More gunshots ring out.

There is no glass on the cannery's windows anymore, instead the broken fragments glitter like stars in the asphalt below, asphalt overgrown with scrub vegetation and littered with windblown trash. Inside the cannery, machinery that has set idle for nearly two decades is coated in thick rust and grime. Stagnant pools of brackish water and damp trash litter the concrete floor. Another cannon-fire sounding gunshot rings out, reverberating off of the metal walls. This time, though, it is followed by a hissed curse.

Jason Mines snaps open the stock of a double barrel shotgun, shaking slug shell casings out onto the floor to litter with others. In front of him is a metal locker with multiple bore holes punched through an armored locking mechanism on the front. A pair of young, crew-cut men beside Mines walk over to the case one he's finished blasting the lock off. One takes a knee and clears the metal parts of the lock away from the container while another sticks a crowbar in the seam and forces it open against the protesting of a magnetic locking mechanism. Mines doesn't help, instead he reloads the shotgun and watches the pair.

As the locker opens, there is a hiss of pressure from hydraulics that would have lifted the six inch thick steel plate lid. Inset within foam padding is an old laptop, a compass, and a 1984 road atlas for the state of New York. Mines' eyes narrow and his lips curl into a frustrated snarl. "Empty it," he says with a quaver in his voice. His two helpers don't quite register the command fast enough and Mines screams. "Empty it!"


Two Hours Later

Weequahic Park Ruins
Ruins of Dayton
New Jersey

March 27th
9:12 am

A 2008 Lincoln towncar is parked just off what was once a footpath through the now overgrown ruins of Weequahic Park. The vehicle's trunk is open, lined with plastic tarps stained with blood. The bodies of two young men lay face down atop one-another in the back. Jason Mines stands by the trunk, pouring gasoline from a metal canister over the bodies. When he's finished with the task, he sets the canister down and notices the approach of a scruffy-looking housecat from the treeline. It sits in silence, watching him for a long moment. Mines steps away from the trunk, watching the cat's eyes follow him.

"The fuck're you looking at?" Mines shouts at the cat from across the muddy way. The hair on the back of his neck rises as he feels someone directly behind him.

"Talking to cats, Jason?"

Mines spins around, startled, until he recognizes the dark-haired woman standing behind him.


"That's a good fucking way to lose your head, Azadi," Mines growls, lowering a shaky hand. Azadi cracks a smile, wrinkling her nose. She brushes past Mines, looking into the trunk at the bodies the way someone might a load of laundry. She then turns her attention up to Mines while the stray cat approaches and brushes up against her leg.

"Contents?" Azadi requests, one gloved hand held out in request. Mines grumbles as he retrieves a stack of belongings from the back of the car: an old laptop, a compass, and a 1984 road atlas. He offers them out to Azadi, who seems surprised that what was inside the case wouldn't fit in the palm of one hand. Her questioning look says enough.

"This is all there was in the case," Mines says as he shoves the items into her hands. "I had them strip the whole fucking thing down, pulled out the padding, nothing. Laptop won't turn on, no markings in the atlas. Compass seems pretty ordinary."

Azadi tucks the atlas and laptop under one arm, turning her attention to the compass. She opens the copper lid, rolling it around in her wrist. "Did you look at it?" She asks without looking at Mines. He shrugs, eyes diverting to the compass as if trying to divine something from it that he didn't notice before. Something about Azadi's tone makes him feel defensive.

"Yeah," Mines says confidently. It's all there: little notches, needle, points one way all the time. "Of course I did."

Azadi smiles, snapping the lid closed before tucking the compass inside her blazer. The cat at her ankles looks at Mines for a moment before returning to nuzzling Azadi's leg. He can't help but feel like he missed something, like the cat called him out on it.

"This isn't exactly easy to split into shares," Mines suggests, motioning to the junk Azadi is now holding.

"No," she agrees. "I suppose it isn't. When you get back into cell phone service, you will find money wired to the account we gave you. You'll want to pull everything out of there within 48 hours or the balance will return to zero."

Mines furrows his brows and asks. "How many zeroes does it have right now?"

"Six," is Azadi's answer, and that's damn well good enough for Mines.

A moment of silence hangs between the two, and Mines feels tense. As a cool breeze winds through the park, he considers Azadi, the cat, the time capsule of junk she's holding. "What's all this got to do with the old man's money?" He finally asks just as Azadi starts to turn away. She hides her smile before looking over her shoulder.


"I know who this shit belonged to." Mines says with a motion of one hand toward Azadi. "I don't care what your terrorist buddies want that all for, but I know it's gotta' do with the money the feds never picked up. Eighty million, give or take, just never manifested. Money doesn't just vanish." Mines suggests. Azadi raises one brow as if to challenge that assertion, but she doesn't vocalize it.

"Why're you asking, Mr. Mines?" Azadi wonders.

Mines rolls his shoulders. "It's a lot of money. You think it's buried, like fucking pirate treasure?" He indicates the compass. The absurdity of it all has Azadi laughing, which makes Mines' stomach turn. She shakes her head, smiling brightly at Mines.

"Jason, you big, dumb, wonderfully talented man." Azadi says with a wink. "This was never about the money."

That answer sits ill-well with Mines. He scrubs a hand over his head, raking fingers through his hair. "Then, what?" He asks. He doesn't normally get personal with his questions. "Damaris, the Zarek look-alike, the fuck does all this shit have to do with everything?" He knows better than to ask, and yet he can't help but.

"Do you really want that answer?" Azadi asks, no longer just looking over her shoulder at Mines. Instead, she turns to face him fully. He feels as though that's something of a challenge, jaw set and shoulders squared against her in response.

"Yeah." Mines answers after a moment of silence between them.

Azadi circles back, leaving the cat on their periphery. She stops beside Mines, looks him up and down, and then lifts her free hand to gently tap his cheek. "Inheritance is so much more than wealth," Azadi says with a squint of her eyes and a wrinkle of her nose. She's patronizing him, but Mines can't help but accept it. Even still, he advances on her and while Azadi holds her ground Mines recognizes a repressed flinch in her expression.

"Please don't fuck with me," Mines says under his breath. He's close enough to Azadi that she can hear it clearly. Their eyes meet and silence hangs over them both for long enough that it becomes awkward.

"Your boss isn't the inheritor of Daniel Linderman's legacy," Azdai says, taking a step back from Mines. At the same time, she reaches inside of her blazer and retrieves a matchbook, handing it out to him. Mines takes it with a pinch of telekientic fingers, unfolds the book, bends back a match and strikes it.

"Then who is?" Mines asks as he throws the match into the open trunk, setting the car ablaze.

"Would you believe me if I told you…" Azdai says, partially lit by the surging flames.

"…that Daniel Linderman had a son?"

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