Bruno sat at a small, wobbly plastic table and stared into his styrafoam cup of surprisingly good coffee. He had already scraped a series of grooves in the sides of the cup with his thumbnail, a nervous tic that he had yet to break. Taking another drink, he did his best to act casual, while his brain hummed along with questions, worries, and more questions.

He was clean, that was something. He had stood for a good 25 minutes under the slightly too hot jets in the locker room, washing off the dirt and dust that sweat had caked onto his skin. He stood under the jets long after he was clean, in that very special sort of shower trance that people rarely acheive somewhere public like a locker room shower. Mercifully, the Y was mostly empty before dawn, and no one bothered him. Now clean and largely refreshed, he tried to think of what to do next.

The bodies, his main evidence and leverage to turn state's wittness, were gone. Someone had to have moved them, someone who knew where they were burried. It could be that one of the higher-ups decided that the lot wasn't a safe place to bury them, and had them moved. Someone might be on to him, or at least to the fact that there was a potential rat in the organization, and might have moved the bodies in an attempt to...what, smoke him out? That didn't make much sense.

Regardless, as far as he saw it, he had two options: try to go to the feds without evidence, or keep doing his job and look for another opportunity. He was sure he hadn't been found out yet. He was still alive, after all. But there was no way he could see the feds giving him wittness protection and plea deals for nothing more than baseless accusations. Hell, the feds had to know almost everyone the Murder Mob had killed, but they had no evidence to make it stick.

Bruno downed his coffee. Evidence. First thing was to see if he could find out where the bodies had gone. If that was a bust, he needed some other sort of hard evidence. Something big, something undeniable, that showed the scope of the entire operation. He'd keep an eye out. But first, he had to call his contact and give him the bad news.


"Can I help you, sir?"

Agent Hastings shook himself a bit, realizing he had been staring off into the middle distance. "Uh, yeah. Number six, no onions," he said, fishing cash out of his pocket. He counted out exact change, and dropped the remaining coins into the water-filled charity coin collection tank on the counter. He made a cursory attempt to catch the coins on the way down with the four-armed rotating platforms, but missed each time. Oh well, no free tacos.

His number was called, he collected his food, and took his plastic tray and 7 packets of Fire sauce over to where his partner was waiting. She had finished her burrito already, and was working on her third refill Diet Pepsi. Adam took the paper off his "Mexican Food" and started coating it in hot sauce. Mina wrinkled her nose.

"Careful, you might get a taco on your hot sauce," she said, shaking some ice free from the bottom of her drink.

"You eat your way, I'll eat mine," Adam responded easily, digging in. "So," he said, around a mouthfull of fast food, "What's going on?"

Mina crunched some ice, and frowned. "Just rumors, but they're pretty interesting ones. I wanted to know if you had heard anything."

"Lay it on me, partner," Adam said. "I assume this is off the record at the moment?"

"It's completely unsubstantiated. But it might turn out to be something," Mina glanced around the resturant, and seemed satisfied. "Rumor is, old man Netecky is on his way out."

"The guy has cancer," Adam shrugged. "We knew it was coming, and so did everyone else in this city. So?"

Mina gave Adam a pointed look. "Supposedly, he's going to announce his successor, and hand over the reigns officially. That's item one."

"And item 'B'?" Adam asked with a grin.

"That's never been funny," Mina said with a sigh. "Number two is, supposedly an undercover agent got found and off-ed. Know anything about that?"

Adam emptied another packet of hot sauce. "Nope. Keane won't tell us anything about any 'operatives he may or may not have'. I figured he'd have someone on the inside, but I've got nothing on them. Captain guaranteed us full cooperation, but apparently that means 'everyone flail around in the dark like always.'"

Mina nodded and spun left and right as far as the little plastic chair would let her, fiddling with the ends of her thin black hair. "Stake outs again?"

Adam grunted an affirmative, his mouth full of Chalupa. He managed to swallow. "Joey was making the rounds in person this morning. Whatever that means. You?"

"Following up on the Kent case," Mina said. "Paternity test inconclusive. What are the odds that I can get a blood sample from Bill himself?"

Adam snorted a little Baja Blast up his nose at that. "Good fucking luck. Maybe if you convinced him you had a miracle cure for lymphoma, and all it would take would be some blood?"

Mina forced a smile and a laugh. "I'm almost positive she's one of his. She has his nose and eyes. And someone went through some trouble to keep her hidden. Might be something of interest."

"Unless you can prove a bunch of murders with a paternity test, I think you're wasting time," said Adam, a bit more shortly than he'd intended. "But, uh, who knows, right?" he scrambled. "There have been weirder breaks in cases before."

Mina stared down into her empty cup. "Yeah, maybe."

"Look, I'm sorry. I've had a dull couple of days, ok? I didn't mean to be-"

"Mean?" Mina asked, dryly.

"Yeah. I'll see if I can find anything out about this dead guy, ok?" Adam said, crumpling up his empty wrapper.

"Thanks," said Mina, standing up and grabbing both their trays. "Stay safe."

Adam nodded. "You too."