I should've known better. None of these people know a damn thing.
Mitch Weinrank hunkered down in the rain, at the edge of Rho sector, surrounded by strangers trying to make sense of what they'd been through during the last day. He sat up when they mentioned 9th Squad, and listened for word about Brogan. Nothing—no one knew anything about the mysterious 'dead cyborg', not even by association with his 'widow' in Epsilon sector. He thought maybe someone would have heard about the incident that got her transferred. Everyone in his sector was talking about the rookie she punched for weeks afterwards. Weinrank supposed he'd had it coming.
Hell, I just wanted her to check it out, maybe go over to X-SWAT and talk to someone. I wonder where she is now? Did she volunteer to fight the invaders, too, or is she down in Chinatown, seeing to business as usual? That would be just like her, especially if she saw who that e-mail was from. Paige Weinrank-Brogan is one stubborn old lady.
Weinrank had done some checking of his own when he found out Brogan might not be dead. Messages sent to his bomb squad account didn't bounce back, but they never got replies either. They just...vanished into the system. The first official record Weinrank found of Brogan's existence was in the minutes of an Angelus Council meeting. Brogan spoke at the meeting, and was recognized as "the first dead man ever to address the Council." This had to be Hart's idea of a sick joke—if Brogan was dead, the Council wouldn't really let him speak, would they? Was X-SWAT practicing necromancy, bringing dead cops back to life, or had Brogan never really died?
Now things had gotten even stranger. For the last few days, Brogan's face had been 'cast all over Angelus, as an Enemy of the State. He looked horrible—his face was burned beyond recognition. Who was this man, and why was he in so much trouble? Weinrank received an answer, of sorts, just as the invaders were landing, but it still left him with some big questions unanswered.
Weinrank unfolded the print-out of Brogan's last message once more, and tried to make sense of it. Hart. Cadbury. X-SWAT. Invasion. Enochians. Internal Affairs. Treason. Enemy of the State. It all looked absolutely insane, yet every word had turned out to be true, as far as he could tell. And it had come from Brogan's old bomb squad computer account. It hadn't taken long for someone to forward the message to Mitch, hoping to get a rise out of him. He hadn't bothered to reply—he printed a copy and left the Vehicular Forensics lab to head for the docks, eventually ending up...here.
Fighting along with all these people. He looked at the print-out again, and wondered if he should show it to anyone else.
Screw it. Grayson's X-SWAT, he's already seen this, and he's not in a helpful mood. Nobody else here knows jack.
Weinrank folded up the print-out and put it away. He had very mixed feelings about the day. He had answered the call to defend Angelus, and he'd lived to tell about it. On the other hand, he'd probably lost his job, and he really hadn't made a good accounting of himself in the fight. Mitch was a technician, not a soldier! Most important, he was more certain than ever that Brogan was alive, and involved in all these events, somehow. But he still had a lot of questions.
What the hell have they done to you? Where are you now? Why haven't you contacted us? And what on Earth have you gotten mixed up in, Dad?