To A Brighter Future


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Scene Title To a Brighter Future
Synopsis For Colette Demsky and Kaylee Sumter, earning a badge is more than an accomplishment, it's a promise of something brighter.
Date March 18, 2019 — April 29, 2019

The sun is warmer than the air, the breeze is crisp and invigorating.

Under early springtime sun, the sharp call of a whistle can be heard a great distance. “Time!” Two dozen men and women in matching gray and blue sweats all cease routines of cardio exercises, sneakers scuffing across the patchy astroturf underfoot. The high walls of a ruined baseball stadium rise up around them, filled with demolished bleachers and torn up seats. Lights hang at crooked angles, VIP boxes are blown out and windowless. The stadium rests just outside of the Safe Zone’s northeastern border, but the stadium’s wide open space makes it perfect for exercises such as this.

Walking over to a table lined with water bottles, NYPD cadet Colette Demsky grabs one bottle and a towel as well, wiping sweat from her brow and hastily pulling the cap off the water, downing it in thirsty gulps. The other cadets around her are in various states of distress after thirty minutes of hard exercise, but this is one instance where the life of a Hound prepared someone for the real world, and not for some militaristic meat-grinder. This was the third straight week of physical training for the NYPD, and Colette is leaning fully into it.

“Break for thirty!” The trainer shouts, “We’ll reconvene for the obstacle course!” Which he points to down the field, an arrangement of toppled tires and trenches, of climbing bars and walls intended to be climbed by an un-knotted rope. The NYPD’s training facility was destroyed during the war, but that didn’t stop them from repurposing other still-intact parts of New York to make ends meet.

Nearly finished with her water, Colette stops when she sees — senses — someone approaching from the ground-level entrance to the field. Blonde hair, tall, familiar.

It’s Kaylee.

Ruins of Citi Field

Ruins of Queens

March 18th


There was no covering the nervousness of the telepath as she steps out of the shadows and onto the field, eyes narrowing against the sunlight. By her dress, Kaylee wasn’t here on Raytech business. Not in jeans and her old brown leather jacket. Colette knows the one.

A hand lifts to shade her sensitive blue eyes against the harsh rays as Kaylee takes a moment to look up and around the stadium. Much like anyone she could remember what it looked like in its heyday. She might also be avoiding looking at Colette. Maybe a little. Kaylee knew she would be there, a tidbit offered up by her new boss. She hadn’t told the younger woman.

Kaylee should have, she knows that.

Not that she’s avoiding it, mainly collecting herself; because, When Kaylee looks out on the field again, the shading hand is lifted in sheepish greeting to Colette, the smile equally so. Now that her friend has been spotted, the telepath angles her path of travel. Colette was a far less intimidating target than the instructor and a familiar face.

“Hey,” Kaylee offers softly. “I heard you might be here.” The telepath looks tired, but also an edge of nervous excitement to her, shifting from one foot to another. Everyone on the field looked so young to her and here she was a mother of three kids, nearing forty, starting something so new. Of course, for all they knew she was only a year or two into thirty.

Kaylee was happy to overlook that and let them think that.

Colette was happy to disregard any personal space Kaylee might have. She crosses the distance between herself and the telepath in a heartbeat, throwing her arms around the taller woman and laughing. “Holy shit, haha, holy shit! Kaylee!” Her smile is broad and enthusiastic, operating off of the endorphin high of exercise and the outdoors.

“What the heck are you doing here?” Colette asks with a bright smile. “I'm— how'd you even know how to find me?” Because Colette assumes Kaylee is here to see her.

There is a quiet chuckle in the back of Kaylee’s throat as she ends up wrapped in that hug. With no hesitation, the telepath curls her own arms around the smaller woman and hugs her tight. “God, it’s good to see you,” her breaths out, before leaning away where she can get a good look at Colette.

Very aware where they are, Kaylee sends a worried glance out at the others on the field and reluctantly steps back. “Actually,” she starts turning her attention back to Colette, “the Commissioner told me you joined. I wasn’t sure you’d be here, but I had hoped.”

Leaning forward a bit, a familiar look of mischief in Kaylee’s eyes, she says quietly, “I was asked to join Scout.” Straightening, she puts arms out… like look at her now. But what was her answer?

“And , I said yes.”

There is a gush of excitement under those words. Along with a healthy dose of ‘wtf am I doing?’ and a dash of ‘I’m totally going to fail’ thrown in. All of those emotions wrapped up in those three words

“I’m here to meet with the instructor and get my schedule.” Kaylee searches the field for a someone who might look like and instructor. “Think you could introduce me?” she asks, a glance to her friend out of the corner of her eye.

At first Colette looks like she doesn’t believe her, just looking at Kaylee with a crease between her brows and a lopsided smile, waiting for the punchline. But then the pieces start to slot into place: a former Ferrymen, a telepath. There’s an asset there, one that makes sense in SCOUT, but still the more Colette looks up at Kaylee the more incongruent that idea becomes until finally she splutters out a laugh and shakes her head.

Ohmygod,” comes in a single slur from Colette. She shrugs herself out of the gentle grip of hands at her arms and re-launches her offensive, wrapping her arms around Kaylee’s midsection and laughing, then just hoists the blonde off of her feet and spins her around a short swing. By the time Colette’s setting Kaylee back down she’s beaming, staring up at her and looking elated. “Are you for fuckin’ real? You’re for fuckin’ real. Oh my God!

Colette is defined by her anxious and elated laughter in this moment, stepping back to really get a good look at Kaylee, hands on her shoulders and eyes wide. “Oh my God, yeah uh… David Mott is our instructor for field exercises. I— he said there were a couple of people that would be showing up today, but I didn’t know one of them would be SCOUT material!” She’s practically shouting.

Considering how tall Kaylee is and how short Colette is, there is a laughing yelp of surprise as she’s picked up and swung around. Holding on to the other woman in a tight hug like her life depended on it, making sure she isn’t drop. If she is going to go down, she’ll take the other woman with her. Luckily it doesn’t happen and by time Kaylee’s set down, the telepath’s smile is bright and cheeks flushed red from either embarrassment or exhilaration. Maybe both. “I am for very fucking real,” she gasps out breathlessly. “We get to investigate things together again, just like the old days… except… legally this time.”

Kaylee presses her hand to a warm and red cheek as Colette practically shouts her status out, looking out shyly at the other people on the field. “Glad you are doing this too,” she admits. “I’m a little scared. Nice to have someone who understand me… ” what she is, too. “With you and Liz by me, I feel like I can do this.”

A nervous look goes out to the recruits, before Kaylee reveals where her anxiety is coming from. “Not a lot of people like a telepath.”

“I do,” is Colette’s immediate response, hooking one of her arms around one of Kaylee’s.

“And I’ll fight the rest of them.”

Jackson Heights

NYC Safe Zone

April 5th


Booted feet creak across a hardwood floor.

But there’s only disturbed dust, no boot, no person attached to it.

The hollowed out townhouse has seen better days. Its hardwood floor is scuffed and stained by pockmarks of paint, windows are blown out and glass long since gone. There’s a fireplace in what was once a living room, cleaned out of ashes and mantle decorations. Morning sunlight spills through the windows, catching particles of dust in the air. The light bends around someone sight unseen, crouched in the room, still.


No one can see the gun Colette Demsky is holding, no one can see where she’s positioned herself in the room. She can feel her own breath pushing against her face where her mask covers her mouth, she can hear her breathing in her ears thanks to how the helmet encloses her personal environment. She can hear footsteps coming, she can see around the corner.

Colette raises her sidearm, inhaling.

Whoever she sees is moving carefully and with a certain amount of grace. Unfortunately, eyes are lost behind the bent brim of a NYPD ball cap and face obscured behind the mask. The name tag across the trainee shirt is in shadows of their bent form. Who was this? Except for a couple of dots of colorful paint from close calls, Colette’s target hasn’t been touched yet.

Just as the target steps out from behind the corner, the figure turns and the gun comes up… While the impact isn’t seen, Colette feels the two paintballs hit. Double tap. While they were told time and again they couldn’t kill, they still get to learn the basics.

«Dead, Demsky.»

Colette knows who it is by that sing-songy mental voice even before Kaylee pulls off her mask. After one last mental check it is left to hang around her neck. “Finally got you.” She gives a little dance in a circle, so proud of herself. Kaylee could still hear the groans of the others the first time they did this. Everyone knew what she was and what that meant. Kaylee had let it roll off her back, with a mischievous smile on her lips. She had lost, missing her first target. Cause while she could find people, shooting them was another thing. After that it was open season on the telepath.

The amount of work that the telepath had to put in to get to this moment. The amount of time and patience so many friends put in helping her.

It was a lot.

The splotches of paint hang in the air on an unseen surface. But with a flutter of laughter, Colette becomes visible, pulling off her facemask and helmet, lifting up her goggles over her brow and into the messy fringe of her dark bangs. “Well goddamn,” she says with a broad, bright smile. “Look at you, Miss Rambo.” Helmet in one hand, Colette walks over and slaps Kaylee on the shoulder, then hooks an arm around her waist.

There’s a whistle blast from outside, signaling the event is over and time is up. “C’mon, let’s get out of this gear, pile in the van, and head back and hit the showers. Then,” she points a gloved finger up to Kaylee, “I’m takin’ you out to lunch.”

The telepath practically vibrates with excitement at finally winning a match. “You should have seen that smug jerk Sanders’ face when two paintballs hit him right in the goggles.” She brings up the gun like she was sighting down the guy. “Pop! Pop!” Kaylee laughs. To be honest, she had been surprised she did that too. “I can’t wait to tell Luther and everyone. For awhile there, I wasn’t sure it was going to click.” If it hadn’t been for the visions, she might have given up long ago.

As they walk, Kaylee throws arms around Colette and hugs her. “Oh my god, that feels so great.” Letting go, she yanks the ball cap off her head, letting blonde curl loose. Scratching fingers through her sweat dampened hair, she nods, “I could eat, for sure. So I will take you up on that.” Her appetite was always fierce.

“That's what she said,” Colette quickly blurts lit with a laugh as she makes her way out of the building.

It was feeling just like old times.

Jackson’s Bar & Grill

Red Hook

April 12th


Jackson’s isn't a great pub, but the Safe Zone doesn't really have great pubs anymore. The atmosphere is warm enough, with plenty of exposed brick and dim lighting coming through the high windows of the basement establishment. There's only a few dozen people in at this hour, and the music is kept low, making the place fine for prolonged conversations.

Watching their waitress depart after taking their orders, Colette turns a look over to Kaylee and smiles across the booth at her. “So, you're doing pretty excellent at this. I had a jump start from the paramilitary stuff, but… honest t’god, it feels like you were born for this.”

It had been a long process, especially for Kaylee. Trying to catch up in the program, blow through exams the remainder of the academy cadets had done weeks and months prior. But Colette had been there every step of the way to be reassuring. To be supportive. Not that Kaylee needed it much.

“How’s Richard taking it?” Colette asks, a bit uncertainty.

Using the straw to mess with the ice cube in her soda, Kaylee gives a bit of a smirk at the compliment, even if she is watching the ice swirl around in the glass. She’s been a bit distracted lately, quieter. “Born into it?” Tired eyes finally lift to the look at the woman across from her, a single blonde brow lifting. “I think my father just turned over in his grave.” he preferred his daughter safe. “And you haven’t seen everything I’ve been doing to get here,” she points out. “Every spare minute I can find. I might have hid in the bath one night to steal some quiet time.” These moments of her doing nothing were pretty rare, but it was good to have friends who forced her to relax a little.

“And Richard? Surprisingly well,” she says a touch blandly, though she looks highly amused. “He accepted my terms of my departure without even really looking at that.” Kaylee shakes her head and starts stirring the soda again. “Told me he was impressed I lasted this long, but also mentioned something about it being part of his plan to take over the world.” That last was clearly a joke.

Leaving the straw in the glass, Kaylee leans back and spreads her hands slowly. “Either way, I still own part of the company, but free to pursue this career as far as it will take me.”

Colette smiles, nodding as she eagerly listens. The waitress comes back between the end of Kaylee’s explanation and Colette’s response, depositing their drinks and departing again. Colette slides her beer over, thumbnail picking at the label at the neck. “I’m so glad,” she says quietly, “I was worried he’d be pissed that you weren’t gonna’ be behind a desk anymore. You know how he is,” or so she surmises.

“Tamara and Tasha are… really supportive of this.” Colette says quietly, smiling down at the table. “I had… kind of a meltdown last year, right before Wolfhound flew out with the US military to take on Humanis First. I was sick to my stomach with nerves… I— ” Colette laughs, shaking her head. “I actually drove down all the way from Rochester to see Joseph and get his advice on what to do. He… he gave me a vision, and I pretty much drove straight home in the rain with my mind made up.”

Teeth toying at her bottom lip, Colette furrows her brows and looks back up to Kaylee. “So, what’s Joseph think of all of this, anyway? I mean with the kids and everything, did you get a vision about this, or…”

Colette doesn’t know — couldn’t know — how complicated the answer to that is.

The server is given a soft thank you as empty soda is replaced with a full one, Kaylee tucks her straw into it, but doesn’t take a drink. As the subject turns to spouses, the telepath becomes increasingly uncomfortable. There is a smile for Colette’s… wives? But is slides away when the subject turns to Joseph. Kaylee looks away and down at her drink, but uncertainty is there. “He’s Joseph, he is always supportive.” Always. “It’s who he is. The kids…. The kids are confused wondering why I don't want to work with their cool aunt and uncles.” There is a quick glance up and a bit of a smile.

“And no… it wasn’t… well… it kinda was a vision,” Kaylee sighs a little, but ends up with a chuckle. “Was part of it. It’s a complicated story, but if you want to hear it, I should ask you…” Kaylee leans forward and asks softly, “What do you know about multiple timelines? And do you believe they exist?” It was a very important part of why she was there after all.

“I didn’t, but…” Colette slouches forward and shakes her head. “I saw some shit in Alaska, stuff I didn’t understand when… when they had me hooked up t’that machine.” She closes her eyes, an affectation she’s been unable to shake no matter how long she’s seen the world differently. “Nicole told me some stuff… stuff I don’t think I’m even supposed t’fucking know about Magnes and Elisabeth and…” She sighs, looking down at the table. “That weird hallucination I had, too. So…”

Colette is quiet for a moment, then slowly looks up at Kaylee. “What’s any of this got t’do with that weird-ass shit? Don’t tell me you’re some sort’f pod-person Bizarro Kaylee and I’m here about t’pour y heart out t’some relative stranger!” She laughs, but there’s a thread of nervousness in Colette as she says that, shaking her head and looking down at her drink.

There is an amused huff and Colette gets a non-verbal ‘really?’ “Pod person? I think Tamara and Tasha need to limit your late night viewing,” Kaylee teases. “No. I’m not a pod person, I am very much me, so spill away.”

With a glance around them mentally to make sure no one is listening, Kaylee does admit quietly, “But I did get assaulted with plenty of those ‘hallucinations’” there is even air quotes. “One was me chasing after these bad guys as a NYPD detective. I had several visions of her life, actually. That version of me felt like the best version of myself.” It was weird to admit it. A long finger draws down the condensation of the glass, taking her attention off Colette.

“So when Donovan asked me to join, I didn’t hesitate.” The telepath’s attention drifts back across to her friend, a smile on her lips, “I figured I’d give it a try and see if it might be my true calling, if there is such a thing. Get back to protecting people who can’t protect themselves, kinda like the old days,” except legally, “and get out of Richard’s shadow.” No pun intended. Okay. Maybe a little.

“Probably for the best…” is Colette’s quick assessment of Richard’s shadow. It's been hard for her to reconcile the difference between one Richard and another, especially in light of the recent events. She picks a little at the label of her beer, peeling a corner back and leaving patchy, white adhesive and torn paper behind.

“Mine were all…” Colette trails off, looking from the bottle to Kaylee. “Have you ever wondered if some people are like… destined t’be a part of your life, no matter how you live it?” Her dark brows scrunch together. “I… Tamara was always in my visions. No matter what, we were either together, or reuniting. Tasha too, I think.” Her blind eyes dip down to the bottle again. “There was one world… one— whatever. I was married to Tamara, and… and I just bumped in to Tasha and it was like…” Smiling, Colette absently threads a lock of hair behind one ear. “It was like fate.”

When Colette looks back up to Kaylee, her smile has grown. “Have you ever felt like there was somebody you were just meant to be with?” Them, she laughs. “I mean, other'n Joseph.”

There is a slow nod of her head in answer to Colette’s question. “Yeah,” Kaylee comments softly. “I’ve had someone tell me that there is no such thing as fate… but… I don’t know if I believe that. There has to be a common thread somewhere right? In all my visions and in my life, there were a couple of consistent strings that always crossed mine, no matter where I was.”

Yeah, she used a Ray family term.

“One… well, Peter Petrelli was in almost every place my visions visited. Always lovers and he always hurts me.” Go figure. “You were my best friend in another, one. You and Tamara were my family there. Liz was my partner in the NYPD there to.” She purposely avoids mentioning Luther. It was kind of awkward when it comes to him.

“Joseph was only in one place and he was still married to his ex,” Kaylee offers ruefully, “He was even happy with her. I went to his church.” There is a mixture of emotion and her attention falls back on her glass and the ice. “I often wonder… if… that woman hadn’t forced me away from.” Kaylee grimaces and swallows back the nausea. “If I didn’t end up in the Ferry and meeting him, if… I hadn’t…” she trials off, lips pressed tightly together.

Looking up at Colette, Kaylee wonders outloud, “If I hadn’t walked in his life would he have gone back to her? Been happier? No worry if I’m going to end up in an hospital again or if I’m even going to walk through the door again? A normal, calm, happy life.” The telepath looks at her friend like she might have the answer, it’s obviously haunting her. Deeply. “What if all this time, he and I were meant to be with someone else?”

Almost as soon as she says it, Kaylee blinks and then looks away. “Sorry.” A hand covers her eyes, “Shit I’m sorry, Cole. You don’t need me bleeding my troubles all over you. It just…” there is a growing strain in her voice, “It was just a stressful time.” That sounds like an understatement, compared to the demeanor of the woman.

Sighing through her nose, Colette reaches out across the table, forsaking her beer bottle and taking one of Kaylee’s hands in hers. The tattoo on Colette’s forearm is visible, one of birds rising from a forest. “Hey,” she says firmly, giving Kaylee’s hand a squeeze. “I have those same thoughts. When Tasha got shot, I blamed myself. I kept her in the Ferry.” She briefly looks down, then back up again. “But I know— I know that's not my fault. Joseph’s responsible for his life, you're responsible for yours, and as long as you're happy the what-ifs don't matter.”

Colette squeezes Kaylee’s hand again. “I love you,” she says with all the earnesty she can muster, and it's been clear between them for a long time that it isn't strictly platonic. But that Colette understands why it remained that way. “I'm always gonna love you, and be there for you. I'm sorry I… I wasn't. For a long time. An’ m’always gonna best myself up over that. But when you need me? When you've gotta talk?” Colette clutches Kaylee’s hand firmly. “I'm here.”

The hand on hers, pulls Kaylee out of self-pity she was drowning in. Attention shifting to that hand, there was a familiarity to it. Moments remembers when they were both still young. Blue eyes snap up as Colette says those three words. Of course, Kaylee has always known. The smile that forms is gentle and understanding, her other hand moving to rest over the other woman’s.

“I love you, too.” Though it might not be on the same level, but the words ring true. “And, I always will, too.” It was just as unconditional.

Realizing the slight awkwardness of the moment, Kaylee lets her gaze drop to the clasped hands, “You know they say that the mark of true friends is that they can spend years apart, yet come back together like no time has past.” Slender fingers tighten gently around Colette’s. “You might not have always been there, but neither have I. Oh, I tried, but I wasn’t what you needed.” She had recognized it and respected it. “I was thankful for Tamara and Tasha, when I couldn’t be there.” She shifts the other woman’s hand to look at the ring Colette wears. “They were who you needed.”

The smile pulls a bit crooked and Kaylee finally looks up, “Look at us, it feels like no time has passed, yet, everything has changed.” and still was changing, really.

“Yeah…” Colette says quietly, bobbing her head in a slow series of nods. “They really have,” she says softly, looking up from their joined hands. “It’s not like old times.”

The Watchtower

Red Hook, NYC Safe Zone

April 22nd


“It’s not like old times,” Captain Wilson says as he walks through the front doors from the lobby into the ground floor bullpen, “we can’t afford to make the same mistakes of departments past. The war might’ve cost us, but we have the opportunity to build up something better from the ashes.”

The inside of the Watchtower is a love-letter to classical industrial revolution era architecture. Exposed iron beams run from floor to ceiling with their original embellishments proudly maintained. Tall lantern-style hanging lights descend from the ceiling, and yet there is no hustle and bustle of a busy bullpen yet. All of the detective desks are empty, none of the phones are ringing, nothing has come alive yet.

“But that’s why we have new recruits like you both,” Wilson says, turning to look back at Colette and Kaylee. “Two Ferrymen, public heroes. The people of the Safe Zone look up to you, y’know. Now, they might not always show it, and you might not realize it, but it’s true. It doesn’t matter if you have a badge or not, you fought the good fight while the rest of us didn’t even realize there was a war going on.”

Smiling mildly, Wilson looks over to Kaylee. “I’m really happy you decided to join us, Ms. Sumter. I was really pulling for you to say yes when the Commissioner told me he was looking to hire you. I’ve read a lot about you, you’ve got a good head on your shoulders.”

The place was amazing. Kaylee wasn’t into the sleek lines that her brother loved. She liked old. There were lessons hidden in old. Old spoke to her in a way. Hands are tucked into the pockets of her leather jacket, her head tilted back some taking in the architecture as she walks a little past the others.

Wilson gets a glance out of corner of her eye, before looking at him a little more fully. “Depends on who you are asking, I’m sure,” Kaylee comments a touch blandly, in self-depreciation, turning a bit more to look back at Colette. Though at the same time she savors the comment. She was never one to enjoy the idea that she was some hero. The people that fought in the war? People like Colette were heroes, not her.

Not to mention, she was here fresh on the heels of a rather large life changing decision. One that many might think is dumb, but don’t say to her face.

The compliment about her decision is a touch surprising. “You are?” Kaylee seems almost disbelieving. “Not something I’m used to hearing. Normally, people just see the word telepath and nope right out.” With a huff of amusement, she looks out at where they would be working. Just a few months out.

“To be honest, It just felt like…,” Kaylee’s eyes moving over the grouping of desks, remembering a completely different bullpen. “I guess you could say, a calling.”

“That’s how my old partner Myron used to talk about why he joined the force,” Wilson says quietly, though it’s clear there’s a thread of emotion in the way he talks about his old partner. “I’d like to think Myron would’ve liked how this all turned out, how far we’d come, where things had gone… He always wanted to reform the NYPD, make it something to be proud to be a part of again.” Slowing his pace, Wilson turns and looks down at Kaylee, and there’s something tense in his posture.

For a moment, it looks like Wilson might move on. But then he makes a noise in the back of his throat and awkwardly looks up to Kaylee. “I need you to know something,” he says in a hushed tone of voice, “when I was doing my research on you, I did see who your biological father was. I don’t…” He stops, not liking how that was going to sound. “I want you to know I don’t hold anything he did against you. Children aren’t their parents.” A sudden wave of anxiety washes over Kaylee. “But you deserve to know…”

Wilson briefly trails off, looking away and scrubbing a hand over his mouth as he searches for the right words. When he finally locks eyes on Kaylee again, he’s steeling himself for the delivery. “Your father, Edward Ray, killed my partner Richard Myron. We were… investigating Tyler Case, some weird disappearances. My boss found Edward, and he got gunned down for it. I know your father died in New Jersey at the Pinehearst building,” and there it becomes clear that Wilson — perhaps mercifully — only has a fraction of the story, “and I don’t hold a grudge. I just… I didn’t want you to find out from someone else.”

Quiet for a moment, Wilson looks down at his feet. Then, softly, he says “If Myron hadn’t died, I probably wouldn’t have had the push t’follow in his footsteps. I might not’ve had the motivation t’pull through after I got shot in the chest chasing a perp in the subway. A lot of things might’ve been different if I hadn’t lost the old man. I’ve had a long time t’think about that…”

Edward, what did you do?

This wasn’t the type of conversation Kaylee ever thought she’d have with her future captain. Wonder shows as he goes on to recount how Edward had touched his life and influenced him. Wilson might find her staring at him with a mixture of emotions, maybe even a touch of horror.

What did her father do indeed?

With a pained grimace, the telepath looks away at the empty precinct. Kaylee doesn’t want to think about how much of a hand Edward had in this. This was her choice not because he manipulated her here.

Kaylee hoped at least.

“Is there anything my father didn’t touch?” Kaylee can’t help, but wonder with a huffed sigh. Flickering a glance at Wilson out of the corner of her eye, apologetic. “I’m sorry about what he did to your partner.” Her father rarely did anything without reason and this felt like there was a reason. Myron might have simply been a string that needed cutting. She, thankfully, spares him these thoughts. “I have a feeling he’d be proud of what you are accomplishing here.” Kaylee inclines her head towards the empty room. Turning a much brighter smile his way. “and I’m glad I get to be a part of it.” It’s the truth.

“Your faith won’t be misplaced, I promise,” Kaylee finally says. A slender hand is offered to Wilson, “And look forward to working with you and making sure you succeed… sir.” There is a touch of mischief when she calls him that.

It takes a moment for Wilson’s expression to shift to something softer, but when it does it doesn’t fade. “I have no doubt you will,” he adds in a grumble. “C’mon, let me show you where your office will be.”

Will be. Of that, he’s certain.

NYPD Avenue X Pistol Qualification Range

Sheepshead Bay, NYC Safe Zone

April 29th


“Oh my god, ok. Uh…”

Normally, Colette is reassuring. But as the last shell casing comes rattling to the ground, she steps in behind Kaylee in the narrow booth of her firing lane, resting a hand on her shoulder and another on the blonde’s forearm, easing her double-handed grip downward. “Let’s…” Colette gingerly moves her hand away from Kaylee’s arm and hits the recall button on the side of the lane, “let’s see what the damage is, huh?”

With a mechanical whirring sound, a small ceiling-mounted track calls back the four foot tall and three foot wide paper silhouette of a human body with concentric rings at head and chest. It becomes abundantly clear that there’s only two holes in the paper, one at the far bottom-right and another bottom center. There’s eight shell casings at Kaylee’s feet.

“Well,” Colette says helpfulls, tugging her headphones off and letting them hook around her neck and waiting for Kaylee to do the same before continuing, “I mean this is… it’s illustrative.” Reaching out, Colette tugs the paper off of the runner and holds it up at her chest. “I think we need to work on your focus, and probably on your emotional state when shooting?”

Teasing as she is, Colette is smiling through it all. That Kaylee is an awful shot is endearing, though the longer that persists for the worse it will become for her career potential. “I taught a lot of people to shoot during the war, folks who couldn’t even hit the broad side of a barn. This is ok,” Colette says as she looks down at the paper sheet, then back up to Kaylee. “You didn’t hurt anyone,” is a little tongue-in-cheek.

Yet,” Kaylee sighs out, “I didn’t hurt anyone, yet.”

The telepath appreciates the lighthearted comments, but she can’t muster up the same feelings. A despondent look goes to where she laid down the pistol after loosening the death grip she had on it. “And to think this is an improvement too,” Kaylee helpfully points out. “Luther and Bob have been working with me. I won’t tell you what they said that first day.” It wasn’t good… “Bob uses some rather colorful language.”

Snagging the bottom edge, the telepath tries desperately to find a silver lining, even if she looks thoroughly defeated. “Hey… upside.” She points at the hole on the bottom edge. “This would take lot fun out of the perp’s life.” Kind of hard to have a love life with a bullet to the crotch.

The amused smile she managed falls away, swallowed up by the stress and anxiety. The telepath looked on the edge of frustrated tears. She might hide it from the others, but Kaylee doesn’t bother keeping it from Colette. “Shit, I’m starting to wonder if I can pass the weapons quals. I mean.. I’m getting better.” She motions to the paper, “But I am running out of time. I.. I just need to pass.” Getting better will come with more time.

“C’mon, you can do this.” Colette says with a hand firmly on Kaylee’s shoulder. “Look, I dunno who this Bob guy is, but if he says one more bad word about you I’m gonna tell Huruma someone’s being mean t’my friends and I think we all know who walks away from that and straight to therapy.” Smile now firmly crooked, Colette gently takes the firearm from Kaylee and switches places with her in the lane.

“Let’s try something different,” is how Colette frames it, straightening her protective glasses. “You’ve got the basics down. Checking safety, magazine, all that stuff.” Which Colette does as she talks, then stands relaxed in the lane, attaching a new target sheet and hitting the button to send it to the back of the range. “Get in my head,” she says with a tap of her free hand against her temple. “Get in, settle down, and just pay attention. Shooting’s more about mindset than reflexes, so… maybe you can kind of imprint the vibe I’ve got goin’ on inside when I shoot, an’ then you can try’n remember that when you’re here?”

Colette raises one brow, her smile less crooked and now more self-sure. “Just try not t’turn over any dark corners while you’re in there.”

“I should be insulted you have to even say that,” Kaylee comments flatly, but quickly lets it bleed into a smile. Cause, she honestly gets it and can’t hold it against Colette.

“You’re sure?” Kaylee asks a little uncertain, even though she knows the answer, because eyes close after she steps aside for Colette to take her place and settles the headphones back on. Unlike in the past, the telepath doesn’t reach for her. It would be easier, but she wants Colette to be able to fully concentrate. Still, the pressure is there, light, as Kaylee ‘settles in’ and reaches for the stream of information being created.

It is like sticking her head into a river, the mental information engulfing her, leaving a sense of vertigo as Kaylee gets a glimpse of herself from Colette’s eyes. Her features relaxed, almost like there is no one home, only hint of anything is the shifting of eyes under lids.

«Ugh… is //that what I look like when I do this? Not flattering at all. Kinda creepy.» Colette can almost feel the urge to lean closer and get a better look. Merges were like that. «And, keep those thoughts clean, missy, or I just might tattle..//» Spoiler Alert: Kaylee won’t. The jibe is just a good natured tease, affectionate and fun.

«Okay! Let’s do this.»

Smiling, Colette raises the handgun in both hands, adopts a proper firing stance and leans in to the pistol. She breathes in, using as close to an approximation of her eyes field of view as possible. Straight down the sights.


Colette exhales, showing Kaylee the steady breathing rhythm.


Inhale, hold it.


Squeeze the trigger and exhale.

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