Episode 1: The Funeral
Bruce Sabre (Connor) American Police Investigator
Richard Eisenberg (David L.) German-American Marine
Troy Miller (alias Thomas Billings) (Trevor) British Nano-scientist/Scavenger
Wednesday, March 11th, 2020 AD
It began at the First Church of Crimson.
The day after his funeral.
Scores of family, admirers, old friends, and co-workers of the late Sabre son filed into the chapel, going down the line giving condolences to James’s large family and mingling with the other guests while everyone arrived for the ceremony.
For the first time in years, the entire Sabre family was together again. James I and Mary, the parents, and their eight children: James II, Henry, Peter, Bruce, Elizabeth, Alexandria, Charlie, and Catherine.
Sad, that the only thing that could bring them together was the death of one of their own.
Catherine, or “Cat” as she was nicknamed by her siblings, was bawling her head off as various friends and family gave their condolences. Cat still didn’t understand the concept of death.
Charlie, the second youngest of the family (Cat was the youngest), had just arrived yesterday in Crimson. He had been in the Congo hunting down a mysterious creature said to live in the swamps there when he heard the news of his brother’s death. Charlie used to be a very shy, nonchalant kid, but he grew out of this personality in college and eventually became an thrill-seeker and big-game hunter.
“So, how was your trip back?” Bruce asked his brother after Cat calmed down.
“It was a blast! There was a terrorist threat on the plane I was on, and the aircraft almost had to land in the middle of the wilderness! It was pretty exciting… Almost as exciting as my wild elephant hunt down in Nigeria! Now that was a chase…”
Mary Sabre was almost as emotional as her daughter Catherine. She sobbed loudly during the whole of the proceedings, to the chagrin of her husband.
“Dad,” Bruce whispered to his father as Mary wept openly. “Aren’t you going to something about Mom?”
James I paused. Then he saw the Eisenberg family, old friends of the Sabre’s, and avoided Bruce’s question by engaging the eldest Eisenberg, Richard, in conversation.
“Ah, Richard!” James said, shaking Richard’s hand. “I haven’t seen you in years!”
“Well, I just got back from the Marine Corps.”
“Ah! How’s your wife?”
“Anya’s doing pretty good, she’s over there getting some punch.”
“And how’s the little Patty doing?”
Richard chuckled. “Well…”
“Still a trouble-maker as usual, huh?” James grinned.
“Yeah,” Richard said, smiling as well. Then he got serious. “I’m sorry for you loss… James was a good friend.”
“Yeah, it’s a very sad thing…” James’s voice was more somber now, and his grin vanished. “A freak accident, drunk drivers. You know how bad the city’s getting… It just seems like Crimson grows worse and worse every year. And there’s not much we can do to stop it.”
After chatting casually for a while, James made his exit.
“I’m going to go talk to the Conners,” he said, seeing a family walk in. “We’ll talk later.”
Richard nodded and James walked away.
Troy Miller rode up to the First Church of Crimson on his crotch rocket, intent on finding someone. He parked his vehicle in front of the chapel and took off his helmet, revealing a bad scar covering half of his face.
It was because of that scar that he was here today.
Bruce Sabre was talking with Grace Conners, a doctor that specialized in cancer research. She was the child of one of the couples in the circle of families that were friends in the wealthy upper class of Crimson. The circle consisted of the Sabres, the Eisenbergs, the Conners, and a couple others.
“Bruce,” Grace said sadly after a few minutes of casual conversation. “I’m so sorry for your loss…”
“It’s been hard, but I’m pulling through…”
Just then a figure in sunglasses and a hat, sporting a nasty scar on his face, tapped Grace on the shoulder and whispered in her ear.
“We need to talk.”
“Who are you sir?” Grace asked incredulously.
“I’m a friend of the late Troy Miller.”
“Wait, Troy Miller?” Bruce said, eying the stranger with suspicion. “The guy who blew up in his house five years ago because he was a mad scientist or something?”
“Yes, yes it is.”
Grace looked at the stranger suspiciously… then reached up and took off his sunglasses.
Her eyes widened.
“Not now!” Troy scolded, taking his glasses back and putting them back on. “Too public. I can’t reveal it here.”
Bruce stared dumbly. “WHAT?”
“Meet me in the alley,” Troy said. Then he left, getting punch on the way out.
“I guess he’s thirsty…” Bruce commented. “Was that the Troy Miller?”
Grace waved him off and followed Troy.