01 April 2011

"Fools for Love"

By Curtis C. Chen

"I need to speak to her. Now," Rebecca said.

The doctor shook his head. "Look, Miss Sachs—"

"Special Agent Sachs."

"Miss Cargill is very weak. We're lucky she didn't lose consciousness during delivery. You can arrest her tomorrow."

"I don't want her, I want the father. He's a fugitive. She may know where he's going, and we need to catch him before he crosses a border."

The doctor hesitated. "Nurse Lemperson will accompany you."


Lemperson led the way into April Cargill's darkened room. Rebecca couldn't help noticing how young this girl was—just like all the others.

Having her baby taken away from her was going to be a tremendous shock, but she'd have the rest of her life to get over it. Rebecca tried to convince herself that would be enough.

She shook April's arm gently. "Miss Cargill?"

April opened her eyes. Rebecca held up her FBI badge. "I need to ask you about Charles Risznowski."

April smiled. "Is he here?" Lemperson shook her head. "I wish he could see our baby."

"Did he tell you he was coming back?" Rebecca asked.

"Oh, no," April shook her head. "He was clear about that from the beginning. I just hoped—wow. I'm really dizzy. Is that normal?"

"Just keep your head still," Lemperson said. "It'll pass."

That's what you get for incubating a half-alien baby, Rebecca thought. "April. Did Charles say where he was going? How he was planning to travel? Airplane? Train?"

"No. Is he in some kind of trouble?"

"He may have information pertaining to a matter of national security." Rebecca leaned forward. "It's very important that we find him. And we can give him the good news about your baby. It's a boy, right?"

"Yeah," April said, smiling as if the world were a beautiful place. "I'm naming him Charlie."

Rebecca forced herself to smile. "That's a good name."

"I'm sorry," April said. "Charles never said anything specific about where he was going. But it sounded like it was going to be a long trip. He said he needed money."

Of course he did. "How much did you give him?"

"I didn't have any cash handy," April said, "so I just gave him my debit card and PIN number."

Rebecca contained her excitement, calmly patted April's hand, and stood up slowly. "Thank you, April. Get some rest."

She nodded at Lemperson, walked out of the room, and ran to the elevators, dialing her phone.

"Center, Sachs," Rebecca said. "I need live tracking on all bank and credit card activity for April Cargill." Rebecca stepped inside an elevator and pressed the lobby button.

"Risznowski's using her accounts?" said the voice on the phone.

"Yeah. With any luck, he'll lead us to his buddies before they skip this dimension. And listen," Rebecca said as the doors closed, "the mother's not going anywhere. Wait twenty-four hours to take the baby. Hospital staff's already suspicious, and we don't want to cause a scene."

"Delay extraction? Are you sure?"

Rebecca closed her eyes and saw April's innocent, trusting smile. "I'm sure."


Photo: Newborn Life by Roger Penguino, January, 2010