As she scrolled through the messages again, with a more watchful eye, Kya noticed one from Amelia’s sister, and one from another person, Frank B. She clicked on the message from Frank, and the full conversation stream between them was displayed. Her pulse quickened and she saw information about meeting up and the injection. There wasn’t any direct mention of Supers or the Black Market, but Kya could feel that she had found the person that had given Amelia her Supers and potentially caused whatever situation she was in now. A simple question started forming in her mind, and slowly the words came together into a complete and coherent sentence. What if this Frank guy killed Amelia?
The last message from Frank was an address, she burned it into her mind. Either way, Kya knew that she had to find him and confront him and that the longer she waited, the more she might lose her nerve. Beyond that, she knew if he hadn’t killed her friend, then Kya could potentially purchase Supers for herself to help Amelia with whatever situation she was in.
Kya slipped Amelia’s phone into her purse. It felt wrong to take it. She felt a little like she was stealing, but it was also the easiest way, just in case she needed more information from the phone. She made a mental note to get in contact with Amelia’s sister if Frank was a dead end.
It was only half a dozen blocks between Amelia’s apartment and the address in her phone. It lead Kya to a nightclub that had dozens of motorcycles sitting in front of it, even though it was the early afternoon. The sign out front wasn’t turned on, and the stench of alcohol seeped out into the street.
A tingling sensation rushed through her as she tried to focus on the task at hand. The door of the bar seemed farther and farther away from Kya as her steps got shorter each time she put her foot forward to approach. Breaking out in a cold sweat, when she finally reached it, she battled internally to push through the door. The voice inside her mind screamed at her to run away, but she conquered it and entered. Instantly, she was met with a dimly lit pool hall, filled with smoke, and the noise of an aging stereo system. The light of the outside world caused Kya to be the center of attention, and half dozen people looked at her as the door shut behind her. The yellow glow of the ancient light bulbs barely lit the pool tables below them, and the bar was awash in a dark red glow.
Kya walked up to the bar, feeling like she was in over her head. Most of the people had turned back to drinking, shooting pool, or otherwise entertaining themselves, but she still felt like a watchful eye was focused on her, and curious about her intent. It felt like a burning sensation at the back of her neck, and caused her throat to feel tight.
A gruff voice, filled with the rumble of boulders being smashed, came from behind the bar. “What can I help you with, little one?”
Kya turned and was face to face with the bartender, an older gentleman, wearing a tank top that only served to expose his full sleeves of tattoos that climbed from the knuckles of his hands, all the way to his ears. Some looked faded, and others looked fresh. A nearly naked woman of inhuman proportions caught Kya’s eye.
The assessment of the bar keep must have taken too long as he spoke once again, in a louder, but still gravelly voice. “You need something?”
“I’m looking for a Frank?” Kya said, her entire body trembling. She tried to fortify herself, and feign confidence, but she knew her comment had come out as a squeaky question.
“Are you sure?” The bartender responded.
“Sounded like you didn’t know.” He grabbed a glass, opened a bottle and poured it until it was half full. Slamming back the entire half glass full of what Kya assumed was alcohol, the bartender put his hand out on the bar. ”We don’t really ask for names around here.”
Confused at what was happening, and why the bartender had his hand outstretched, Kya spent half of her concentration focused on quieting the voice inside her mind that was telling her to run away and never return. After several tense seconds, she moved from staring at the open hands to the bartender’s face, and finally realized what she needed to do.
Kya opened her purse, and pulled out her bank card. She placed it in the opening on the bar and the bartender grinned slightly. A small display near the opening was glowing, Kya made out the numbers, and saw that a transaction of nearly two hundred dollars was being charged to her account. She felt like she needed a shot of whatever the bartender had drank as the wind was knocked from her sails.
“A nice lady like you could find any kind of Steve she wants.” He said as Kya put her card back into her purse.
“Frank. Frank B.” Kya spat out, feeling her frustration push away any feelings of inadequacy. The near theft of her money caused her to have the guts to speak louder and clearly.
“Right, Frank. He’s not here.”
“Where is he?”
“He will be back. Two days. He’ll sit over there.” The bartender pointed to a round booth in the back corner. A pair of fuzzy dice hung from the small light fixture over the table. “You want me to tell him you came?”
Kya could feel that she was starting to draw attention, and her body was tensing up, preparing for trouble. Her flight instinct was so strong that the muscles in her legs started to twitch as though she was already running. Turning towards the door, she felt she’d accomplished something and needed to leave with the information she had, rather than press her luck.
Back at home, Kya was lying on her bed listening to music with her eyes closed, trying to find a moment of peace, while her feet twitched uncontrollably. She heard noise like a key in the lock. Her eyes snapped open, or someone breaking in the thought had entered her mind uncalled for. Her heart boomed in her ears as she sat up and scanned the room for something she could use as a weapon. She heard the door open and she made herself stand up. She wished that she had a baseball bat or a trophy or something, but the closest thing she could find to a weapon was a shoe. She picked it up, determined that she was going to fight to the last.
She crept to her bedroom door and from it she had a clear line of sight to the front door of the apartment. A man, wearing a gray hoodie, was crouched by the door, opening a large backpack. His hood was pulled over his head and a shadow was covering his face.
Kya stayed in her doorway clutching her shoe, waiting to see what the man would do. Her nose started to run and caused her to sniffle. Pulling back into her room slightly she hoped whomever it was hadn’t heard her. She focused intently and watched as he pulled a small tablet computer out of the bag and lifted his head.
“Why is it so cold in here?” He asked, looking straight at Kya with a grin on his face.
Kya exhaled deeply and started to laugh uncontrollably. “You don’t know how glad I am to see you!”
“You look terrible!” Sam said with an immediate look of concern crossing his face. “Kya, what happened? And why are you holding a shoe?”
Kya dropped the shoe and walked over to Sam. “We should sit down. This will probably take a while.”