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Detective Montoya watched the street while sipping his coffee. A few minutes later he spotted FBI Agent McAllen and waved him over to his table. The two of them made some meaningless small talk over coffee while watching the sidewalk. Both of them had received the same email early that morning. Clearly it was intended to give them little time to prepare. Not surprising. Their contact was already claiming she'd been the target of an assassination attempt. Even with the short lead time they still were able to arrange for over-watch.

For the next quarter hour the only saw a stream of local business workers, a handful of college students, and a boy who was probably skipping high school. Lucky for the boy he had a bigger fish to catch. They were on their second coffees when a text came through on his phone.

'If you can't offer me safe surrender walk away. No hard feelings. Otherwise, order iced mocha and turkey sandwich.'

The drink and sandwich sat at the third seat for only a few seconds when the boy stood and moved over to their table. Pulling his cap off long hair tumbled out.

"Thank you gentlemen. Detective, your department has a good reputation. Agent McAllen, I'm willing to give the FBI a chance. It's simple. I don't want to run, I've never wanted to run."

Montoya stared at the kid's face while McAllen replied, "For someone who never wanted to run you've certainly been doing a good job of it Miss Thompson. Run halfway across the country."

"I handed over PsyMinder, if that bastard hadn't order me to be shot 'resisting arrest' I would have been more than willing to come in and spill everything I know. I didn't ask to be part of her crew, I was kidnapped. And I've got plenty still to talk about."

"I understand why you've called Agent McAllen, but why me? Why not simply walk into his office?"

"I walk in and a few hours later DHS shows up and disappears me. No, I'm surrendering in public. There are over eight security cameras that can see these tables. I've got all of them tapped and a few of my own. If I disappear you'll have copies to pull out and prove that I surrendered peacefully."

Montoya appreciated the way she left unsaid that the same video could be used against McAllen if the FBI tried to make her disappear.

"You were kidnapped, that falls under FBI jurisdiction. If anyone wants to press about later actions, well you've been crossing state lines while you've been on the run so there is a good case that should fall to us as well."

"I realize that there is no friction between agencies," the sly smile she was giving McAllen gave lie to that, "but I can give you something to embarrass the DHS with. I'm sure once the safe houses were raided the Helix's files were seized. I can provide the access keys. I was the best in the group with computers and even if PsyMinder never quite trusted me she did trust that she could terrify me into obedience. By the end I admined everything but her personal archives and she wasn't skilled enough to keep me out of those."

"I assume you want to make a deal."

"Nothing that should be difficult, I pretty much laid it out in my email. My surrender is made public and a statement is issued clearly indicating that I approached the two of you and peacefully offered my surrender. It should also indicate that I'm under the FBIs protection and that I am cooperating. It would be nice if the recordings of that bastard ordering my killing were included to explain why I fled and why I approached you, but I won't demand it."

"That's it, no demand for money or immunity?"

"Can you actually offer me a guarantee of immunity? Out of the Helix I'm the only one left alive. I doubt I'll be allowed to walk away untouched. When I handed them over I'd been hoping for that. Then again I didn't expect a field of craters to be all that was left of them. Kind of hard to put anyone on trail after they catch a Hellfire missile."

"If you're cooperating it's going to make any presecutor who tries to throw the book at a fifteen year old girl look bad. But you're right, you're the only one left to go after."

"I've known I was screwed that way from the moment I first managed to catch my breath. Hell, even when I thought I was just handing them over to be arrested I didn't really believe I'd simply be sent home with a pat on the head. Willing or not I've been involved in too much. Hell, that little incident a month ago came about because I felt some responsibility for Bonpyre's bombs."

"Are you saying you tracked him down while you were on the run?"

"Just a lucky break listening to the radio. But like I said, I can get you into the Helix's files and I suspect that they should help you catch others who are on the loose. I'll do that for the FBI, the prosecutors, anyone but the DHS unless they're willing to publicly admit I ran because their man tried to kill me." She held up a hand when McAllen started to speak, "I know once I unlock them for you they'll get the keys too. I'm not saying not to share the keys with them, just that I won't personally hand the keys over to them."

"I believe we can make a deal. Nothing you've asked for sounds out of line to me. Not even the statement that you're under the FBI's protection. If those files have information on others outside the Helix then I'm sure those individuals won't be happy to hear you are helping. So that will even be a true statement even if we both know we're talking about keeping DHS on a leash."

"How do we want to handle it. Surrender to you? To Montoya so he gets something out of his time too? As long as you and your team are there to make sure I'm handed over to you then I'm fine with that."

"No need to do that on my account. If you're willing to surrender to McAllen then that will save me a fair bit of paperwork."

"Well then, it's your game Agent McAllen."

"I'll call the rest of my team and have a car brought over. As I'm sure you knew when you picked this location the local office is only a few blocks away."

"I figured you'd be more willing to accept a snap offer like this if that was the case."

"We can discuss your statement for the press while we're on the way over. I'll just make the – " McAllens phone chirped while he was still reaching for it. The girl's face blanking for a second right before she swore.

"Bastards have to screw it again. Knew I shouldn't have stopped watching, well time for round two."

"Miss Thompson..."

"Relax, I don't believe either of you planned this. Three, two, well good for a laugh anyway." A crack and screeching of breaks sounded from further down the street.

"What did you do Miss Thompson?"

"You know how they yelled at me for crashing their own drone on their command van?"

"You didn't... surely they're not flying an armed drone over downtown."

"No, my own drone this time. Relax! It's was just a plastic octo-rotor with a camera. Doubt it even put a crack in the windshield, just startled them."

"Tonya. Assaulting a DHS vehicle, even with a toy drone won't help your case."

"All the lights between us and them are red. How close is your car?"

"Two blocks, but if you just caused a traffic jam..."

"Damn... you know, I really think someone should look into making those lights harder to hack. Tell me they're not to the west? Maybe we can run to your car?"

"Probably better to heard straight for – "

"Everyone freeze! DHS Metapower Response!" The shout came from a squad in black ballistic armor jogging up from the west. Hearing more feet pounding the pavement Montoya looked east and saw more armored and heavily armed men coming from that direction as well.

Tonya was tucking her hair back under her hat. Rather than angry as Montoya expected she seemed depressed. "Let's not do anything hasty. Agent McAllen and I both have backup watching."

"I know. I'd been counting on it. I'd hoped someone would spot the idiots before they ruined everything."

"You've negotiated a surrender to the FBI. Even if they have to approach on foot the rest of his team will be here soon."

"Those are battle rifles with grenade launchers. Hell, I'm seeing guys on camera lugging up machine guns. Do you have a SWAT team here Montoya and would they have the balls to tell these guys to leave?"

"Detective Montoya's right, don't be hasty. Getting in a fight will only get you dead and probably bystanders as well."

"I'm not going to fight them like this, I don't want to die. But I won't go with them either. Like I said, I don't want to die." Montoya stared again as she emptied her mocha cup over what was left of her sandwich. "I hope this won't cause you trouble but I'll be going now."

"How, we're surround – " One second he was speaking to the girl, the next moment another girl was standing behind her. Before he could say another word the new girl dropped her hands on Tonya's shoulders and both girls and Tonya's chair disappeared with a soft popping sound.
The mystery girl who shows up at the end was in what was originally planned to be the next part I'd write about Tonya, but every time I've started on that it's frozen up. This is only a rough draft. This will probably be moved to scraps later.
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July 28, 2014
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