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Date Posted: 10:16:24 01/17/06 Tue
Author: Lark
Subject: Part IX, The Gauntlet
In reply to: Lark 's message, "Fresh meat -- er... um... a Fresh Piece" on 18:07:01 05/25/04 Tue

"What do you know about that box?" Pez asked in the elevator after they left Mr. Han's room.

"Dunno much, really, Pez, what did you see?" Gabe countered.

Sara looked at him somewhat annoyed, she wanted an answer, not more questions. She sighed, and described both visions. Gabe was a little surprised at the clarity, especially about Cao Pi, who had killed rather surreptitiously at least one of his siblings in his bid for power, and his association with General Yi: Sima Yi, Gabe related, had died before Cao Pi became emperor, although his actions had paved the way for his grandson, Sima Yan to form the Jin dynasty. Gabe offered to do a little more digging, but as the doors to the elevator opened, there, surprisingly, was Bruno Dante: "I see you have him already, huh?" Dante's tone was decidedly sardonic.

"Yes, sir," Sara responded in her best professional voice. "Only, sir, it seems until last night the box was in the possession of a patient here in the hospital who was beaten pretty badly, at the same time Mr. Bowman was lecturing. Mr. Han is currently in critical condition -- do you speak Chinese, sir? His wife speaks no English, I had no luck speaking with her."

Dante glared at Sara. She'd beaten him to the punch and he had no quick response. "Your partner's off for a few days, but he's in the city, right?" Sara nodded, hoping her face gave nothing away. "Well, we'll see if he can come in, or we might have to call another precinct for someone fluent. You," he directed at Gabe, "stay where we can find you, got it?" Gabe replied in the affirmative.

After a moment's pause, Dante punched the button to the elevator to go up again, and Sara took Gabe's elbow, pushing him away, but after the doors closed behind Bruno, they watched the numbers climb to the 5th floor, six floors below Mr. Han, and then start back down again. Sara pushed Gabe out the door quickly, hoping it was someone else coming down, not Dante.

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