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Chapter One
Chapter Two
Chapter Three
Chapter Four



A couple of days after meeting Gwen and seeing the crime scene for the first time, Shawn was there again with Alan. It had been decided to use this site for two reasons. It would impress on the buyers that, yes, this place is now ours and Gwen could set up some cameras in discreet areas to monitor the exchange.

Shawn wore one of his collared shirts—actually pressed—tucked in his jeans. He had to make some sort of effort to look the part of a black marketer-wannabe. Alan was also dressed in a collared shirt, though his had an iconic logo, and designer pants—or slacks as something that price should be called. He was here as Alan’s trainee, learning the ropes, so he was perfectly within his right to be wary. It had also been decided that he would be American. Alan had commented on his trouble with accents and Rhys had found clips from Explosion Gigantesca de Romance online. After wiping tears from their eyes, they agreed with Alan.

They wouldn’t even let him have a cool undercover name. “If I call you and you forget to answer to it, that would make them suspicious.”

Shawn saw headlights and knew they were coming. “They’re here.”

“Right. When they get here, you stand behind me.”

“What? Was that in the script?”

“No, but it’s in character for the both of us.”

“Fine.”

The two men that entered the shop both looked like they were dressing for a part. They wanted people to think they were “street” when they were obviously more Wall Street. They went a bit overboard on the gold chains and the unlaced high-tops were passé. At least they didn’t have their pants halfway down their asses.

The taller of the two—6’3”, 210 pounds, short dark hair, brown eyes, broken nose—was definitely the muscle. The other—6’1”, 190 pounds, short light brown hair, hazel eyes—came across the more dangerous of the two.

He walked straight up to Alan. “You are the one taking over from David?” in asked in a voice that didn’t seem to match his outfit. Well, clothes were easier to slip into than accents.”

“Yeah, that’s me,” Alan said, disproving that theory. The man slipped into accents like a comfortable t-shirt. “You’re a long way from home, Mr. …”

“Smith. As are you, Mr. …”

“Jones,” Alan answered. “You go where the opportunities are.”

Shawn could tell the accents were from different areas of the UK, but as to what those regions were and their distance from Cardiff, he had no idea.

“Do you have anything in mind or do you just want to see samples?”

“I think a sample will suffice to see if we can do business together.”

“Shawn, get the samples we brought.”

“Yes, sir,” Shawn replied, trying to sound eager. He went behind the counter and lifted the crate they had found in David’s inventory. He carried it around and placed it on a small table they had cleared for just that purpose. He stepped back to watch.

Alan also stepped away, hands behind his back.

Smith pulled out a device and used it to take readings like Gwen had done. It beeped and small green lights flashed. “It has a deal of power left and is in good condition. Have you tested it yet?”

“We haven’t had a chance. The kid hasn’t worked up the nerve. Don’t want to fry his brain if he can’t concentrate.”

Shawn didn’t have to fake his surprise face.

“That is a possibility when one isn’t telepathic,” Smith agreed. “And when one is,” his hands moved expertly across the dials, “certain settings can immobilize.”

Smith flicked one last switch. Alan grabbed his head in agony, a scream tore from his throat and he fell to the floor.

Shawn dropped to his knees beside Alan, reminding himself not to use Alan’s name. “Are you okay?” he asked in a panicked voice. He turned to Smith. “What happened? What did you do?”

“Nothing to worry about, boy.” Smith nodded and his trained gorilla pistol-whipped Shawn and he fell to the ground. Before he blacked out, he was kicked in the ribs. He then saw the man lift Alan and carry his limp body from the building.

*

“Shawn? Shawn, you okay, mate?” Gus asked in a British accent.

Shawn groaned. “Gus, ‘m fine. Go ‘way.”

“Shawn, it’s Rhys. You need to tell me what happened to Alan.”

The names finally burst through the fog and Shawn remembered. He opened his eyes to see two men looking at him with concern. Well, it became two when everything stopped spinning and focused. “Rhys, Andy, they took Alan.” He sat up and winced at the pain in his chest.

“Are you okay?” Andy asked as they helped him stand.

“Probably just bruised.” Shawn looked to Rhys. “Get Gwen on the phone. I need to tell you all what happened and I don’t want to repeat it.”

Rhys got Gwen on speed dial. “Gwen, love. Yeah, he’s fine. He wants to talk to you.” He put the phone on speaker.

“Shawn, what happened? Are you all right?”

“Just some bruised ribs, I’m okay.”

“Shawn, you were pistol-whipped.”

“Gwen, can we just put my health aside for a minute? I have to tell you something and I don’t think you’ll like what I have to say.”

He told them his impressions of the men and the fact that Alan said they were far from home. “They also had a device like yours for testing alienicity. I’m talking just like, not similar.”

“They scrounge alien tech. Mine isn’t the only one.”

“He knew how to set the frequency to where it would affect telepaths.”

“They knew Alan was telepathic,” said Rhys.

“Wha’? How?” Andy was a bit behind the conversation.
“You’re right, Shawn, I do not like where this leads. Only Torchwood and UNIT know about Alan and UNIT wouldn’t go about getting alien tech by subterfuge.”

Shawn swayed a little.

“Gwen, we’ll be taking Shawn to A&E. He’s barely standing,” Rhys told her.

“Good. I’ll see if I can identify the men from the footage we have. Bye, love.”

“I can wait until we get Alan before going to the hospital.” Shawn made himself stand up straight. “They’re gonna treat him like any piece of technology and sell him to the highest bidder.” He headed for the door and his legs buckled. Andy and Rhys were there. “Maybe a little side trip couldn’t hurt.”

Six

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