Literally a Game of Cat and Mouse



Scene Title Literally a Game of Cat and Mouse
Synopsis Brady goes to a friend for a favor.
Date February 21, 2018

A noodle bar in Yamagato Park

Sylvester Salvator likes the bright, multicolored lights and thumping electropop of Yamagato Park's club scene. It's the opposite of everything he endures at his day job with SESA: the sterile office fluorescents and repetitive ratta-tat-tat of fingers dropping data into Excel spreadsheets between rustling papers and polished shoots squeaking on polished linoleum floors.

He rolls up his jacket sleeve and glances at the Sylar-brand wristwatch he wears beneath the cuff of his dress shirt, checking the time.


It will be last call, soon, and he's still only halfway through his bowl of ramen noodles swimming in dark, silky pork broth. The smell of black garlic is both fragrant and comforting, the perfect remedy for the winter chill outside. Cold air breezes into the noodle bar every time another customer comes or goes; he regrets not choosing a table closer to the kitchen, but he remembers what they taught him at the academy about knowing his exits.

"Can we wrap this up?" he asks the man seated across from him. "I have a car waiting outside."

Dale Brady, scavenger-for-hire, looking desperately out of place in his worn clothes and greasy hair, spreads his hands. "I dunno what else you want me to say." He scratches at his neck with the tips of his blunt fingers. "Eighteen to twenty. Blonde. Had to be some sorta Class-C animal telepath—"



"Animal empath," Sylvester corrects him around a spoonful of broth. "You said there was a monkey."


"And dogs."

"One monkey, two dogs, some rats." Brady drops his hand back to the table and flattens it against the gleaming metal surface. He studies his warped reflection rather than attempt to meet Sylvester's eyes again and be made to feel small when he easily stands over six and a half feet tall. "Didn't count the rats."

"Didn't read anything I fucking gave you, either," Sylvester replies. He pointedly taps his spoon against the porcelain rim of his bowl. "If you did, you'd know that our case studies of animal telepaths are limited to one type of taxonomic rank, usually a specific class like cats or dogs, but sometimes it's broader— like insects. Have you ever heard of Lucrezia Bennati?"


"Look her up. Bennati, Ruskin, Wenzhuo Zhao, all specialized animal telepaths. Sometimes there's an exception. We had a FRONTLINE officer who was all the different colours of the rainbow, but that's once in a generation. Your mystery girl, the one with the monkey—" He jabs his spoon at Brady. "Animal empath. Different story. Less about control, more about feelings."

"She said she didn't have an ID card," Brady says with a shrug. "All I'm asking is that you run it anyway." He reaches into his coat pocket and produces two broken lengths of plastic zip tie that look comically small and fragile in the meaty palm of his hand. "Wasn't working alone," he adds. "Had some kinda help. Not the monkey."

Sylvester discards his spoon in the bowl. He's not going to finish this, he thinks, and his appetite is shrinking with every additional moment he has to spend at the same table with someone as fragrant as Brady his. He wrinkles his nose. "I'll run it," he agrees. "But this street goes two ways. I had seven PSM pistols lifted off a shipment I'd promised Zyan a few days ago. Syrian import. You find Arrowood and his idiot brother, tell them I want my guns back."

"You want me to find a needle in a haystack." The corners of Brady's mouth tug into a slight frown. He doesn't like the terms of this particular deal; it shows on his weathered face, and in the new tension bringing his shoulders together into a gorilla-like hunch.

"I want you to find seven needles worth about ten thousand dollars on the barn floor after I've swept it, Brady." Sylvester raises his hand, gesturing his waitress for the check. "I'd do it myself if my ex-partner wasn't taking a dirt nap."

Brady rises from the chair, ducking to avoid hitting his head from the neon pink crystal pendant that hangs above his associate's table. "So where do you want me to start?"

"Check Staten Island first," Sylvester suggests. "Whoever stole those pistols will find plenty of buyers at the Crucible this weekend. And I'll tell you what, Brady. You bring me even one gun, or a lead on this that turns into something real I can hold in my hands? I'll run that check on your Class-C animal empath for you. If she's registered, she's in our system.

"Her ID card notwithstanding."

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