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Crisis Call

Simon snapped a few pictures of the dining room.  Baboor had the woman in the living room, Stockard was upstairs with the son.
Simon had been teamed with Karen Stockard and Asha Baboor on a number of assignments. They always got along well and their styles in the field complimented each other. On the drive over today, though, Simon had felt irritated by them both. Their voices, their conversation. Any time they asked him a question, always friendly, always polite, he bristled. They were talking about social stuff - they usually sorted and prepped all the work stuff in the office before leaving - but he felt so disconnected, so out of touch with the world and lives they were chatting about, it was almost painful. He wasn't surprised when they offered to conduct the interviews.

He snapped a few more shots then moved into the kitchen. He could hear Baboor speaking with the woman, her voice gentle, calmly drawing answers from her. The woman started to sound more tense, Baboor shifted her tone slightly to try and keep her grounded. It didn't work; the woman slipped into anger instead. Got defensive.

Suddenly, Simon found himself striding into the living room.

Baboor was sitting on the couch facing the woman who was seated in a chair beside it. Baboor read his posture right away and stood up.

"Who do you think you are?" Simon growled at the woman. Her eyes widened in shock at his tone.

"Agent Light -" Baboor said, trying to cut in.

He didn't stop. "We're here trying to help you and you shut us out? You're lucky Agent Baboor is doing the interview - I'd be smacking the info out of you if you tried that tone with me."

The woman looked terrified and confused, pressed back into the chair, hands clutching the sides.

 Baboor realized that she had to meet his level, even though it meant showing dissonance in front of the woman. "Agent Light! Back into the kitchen right now!"

Stockard appeared at the top of the stairs. The son called down, "Mom, are you ok?"

In his mind Simon was yelling SHUTUP SHUTUP SHEISNOTOK YOUARENOTOK LEAVEMEALONE SHUTUP but he managed to stop the words from coming out. Managed to turn around head back to the other room. Heard Baboor and Stockard speaking to the mother and son.

Simon imagined drawing his pistol, firing randomly into the room, imagined surrendering to violence, the terrible freedom of it. Anything to get him outside, get him out of whatever he was trapped in. His hand rose up before him. He was holding his cellphone, not the pistol. It hadn't rang in days.

"Where are you?" he whispered to it.