1 - Morning Delivery
Chosen Ones Anonymous
Standard disclaimers: The characters from Buffy the Vampire Slayer
belong to Joss (the Great Staker) Whedon, Mutant Enemy, and a whole bunch of people I don't know. The characters from Early Edition
belong to TriStar, CBS Productions and another whole bunch of people that I don't know. The City of Chicago and environs are real, but it is understood by everyone that the Chicago and suburbs in this story is in another reality than the one in ours. I just want to take the characters out for a spin, and promise to return them before curfew, and with a full tank of gas. This is a non-profit operation, and suing would only net you a heavily mortgaged house with a leaky roof.
Buffyverse time: Season 3, between "Band Candy" and "Lover's Walk"Early Edition
time: uncertain. (sorry, I've only seen some of the shows. I now own season 1 on DVD, waiting impatiently for the rest)
Rated PG-13 for violence, mild swearing-----------
The sounds all came one after another, like they did every morning. The radio clicked on, and the cheerful announcer said, "Good morning, Chicago." There was the sound of a newspaper hitting the mat, and the insistent "meow" of a cat that wanted it's breakfast right now, thank you very much.
Gary Hobson rolled out of bed and stumbled to the door. Nothing unusual about that, happened every day. People wake up, they read the paper, they feed the pet, they go to work. But his paper was different. No one else in Chicago got tomorrow's paper today. No one else in Chicago had the responsibility that came with the certain knowledge of the future. Every day spent running around, one step ahead of disaster - if he was lucky. Sometimes he felt like just stepping over the Paper, and going out the door, and having a perfectly ordinary day. He sighed as he opened the door. He couldn't ignore the Paper, and he knew it, so why bother fantasizing about it. The large orange tabby cat brushed by his ankles as it dashed for its food dish.
"Morning, Cat." Gary muttered. He reached down for the newspaper, and froze.
Plastered on the front page on the Sun Times
was his picture, the photos of two women and a police id sketch. A screaming headline proclaimed "Local Businessman, Two Tourists Found Slain." Gary had seen his own death in the paper before, and avoided it, but it was still a shock to see the headline. "I really, really hate this." he thought. He took the paper back to the kitchen table, and sat down to read the article. Local Businessman, Two Tourists Found Slain
Chicago. Tragedy hit the near North Side when Gary Hobson, owner of McGinty's bar and restaurant, and two women from Michigan were found murdered in the alley behind the popular night spot.
According to a distraught Marissa Clark, business partner and friend of the late Mr. Hobson, they were discussing supplies in the kitchen of McGinty's when they heard screams coming from the alleyway. Mr. Hobson sent Ms. Clark to call the police while he went outside to investigate. "Gary is...was always willing to help people," sobbed Ms. Clark.
The police have not revealed the cause of death, but some of the first witnesses at the scene said that all the slain had horrible neck wounds. The police have no suspects. The identities of the two women are being withheld pending notification of the next of kin. From the limited description of the killers, it is apparent that they were wearing masks stated a police spokesperson.
"Meow." said Cat, as it jumped onto the table.
"Cat, I'm having a crisis here. Do you mind?" said Gary.
In response, the cat neatly turned the page of the newspaper with its paw. "Me...ow!" it repeated.
Gary glanced down at page three. There was a picture of a van rammed against a pillar of some kind. The headline proclaimed "Girl Killed in Accident at O'Hare Airport." He scanned the article, and he felt his heart sink. The accident was going to occur in less than two hours. The Cat tilted its head at him, as if to say, "Well?"
Gary didn't quite remember how he got to the el station so quickly, but he had. He jammed himself onto an O'Hare destined train, earning him some dirty looks from other passengers. He fumed and fretted the entire way, as the train had all the usual rush hour problems. At least the car he had squeezed onto had a map of the airport on it. He studied it, trying to figure out the quickest route from the O'Hare el station to the terminal where the fatal accident was waiting to happen.
When the car train pulled into the station he was the first one out of the car. He ran down the concourse, and finally reached the terminal. He scanned the crowds of people milling around the arrivals area. The roadway was packed with taxis, vans, buses and automobiles. He realized he had no idea who he was looking for. The paper did not have a picture of the accident victim, a California high school student who was in Chicago to visit colleges. Damn, damn, damn he raged to himself. Time was running out. OK, Hobson, get a grip he thought to himself. He pulled the newspaper out of his back pocket and studied the photograph again. There had to be some clue, something. He ignored the van, and studied the area around it. The photographer had focused on the van, so the surroundings were fuzzy, but still....there is was, the entrance number, difficult but not impossible to read. He started jogging down the sidewalk. One, two, three, there it was, entrance four. He spotted a teenager standing next to a pillar. The diminutive redhead was reading a pamphlet, not paying attention to her surroundings. OK, all he had to do was go up to her, and ask her the time, or if she knew where something was, or anything, as long as he maneuvered her away from the pillar.
He heard the van before he saw it. There was a squealing of tires, and honking horns. Then he saw the van, hurtling right for the still oblivious teen. He turned his jog into a full out run. Now the girl was looked up, and saw this large stranger running toward her. Before she could do anything, Gary grabbed her and jumped out the way of the van. He twisted in the air so that he would hit the pavement first. They hit the ground with a solid thump and he could hear the van crashing into the into the steel support pillar. He threw up one arm to protect their faces from flying glass.
He looked up into the face of the girl. She was looking very startled, as one might well expect. "You, what?" she sputtered. He lowered his arm, and she turned to look at the accident. She saw the van, its front end wrapped partially around the pillar where she had been standing seconds before. Her fair face turned a rather chalky white. Please don't faint on me thought Gary.
"Er, welcome to Chicago," he said lamely.
End part one.-------------
If this looks oddly familiar to anyone, it is probably because I posted a version of this story to fanfiction.net over a year ago (my very first published fan fic). I edited it a bit before posting it here.