DISCLAIMER: DA and all its characters still belong to Eglee, Cameron & Fox, as far as I know. (Shoot, if they were mine, they'd still be on TV and S2 et seq. would have been VERY VERY different!!) Dialogue from the Pilot property of the show and its writers, with thanks to Kyre for her online transcript.

MANY MANY THANKS for hanging in and dropping a line here & there. This has been fun. I'm glad there are so many other Bling fans out there!


Bling watched the security panel as a small shape was traced along the roof, following the expected path to the skylight. The system worked perfectly, he noted in satisfaction. The pre-programmed breach line signaled not an intruder alert, but merely a watch, given the target's size, weight and manner of accessing the glass panel: the system had been "taught" that this was an acceptable combination for roof entry. And the intruder the system had been taught to expect was, to Bling's way of thinking, right on time. Bling felt his mouth quirk upward to realize just how quickly she had come.

As Logan's voice rolled in rich, confident tones from across the penthouse, Bling moved soundlessly to a position in the adjoining hall, hearing first a tiny swish then a soft "thwap" as the end of a rope, one a bit too long for this drop, coiled on the floor. Not even bare moments passed before there was a whisper of movement, a gentle padding of a landing...and the air currents in the hall shifted, ever so faintly. Bling stepped further back to wait, cautious as always, but knowing he wouldn't be needed. Just like the security system, Bling knew this "intruder" would be welcomed–whether Cale would admit it or not.

"...Those responsible are on notice. Their power and privilege will not protect them. They will be held accountable. This has been a Streaming Freedom Video Bulletin via the Eyes Only informant net. Peace. Out."

Max shifted at the room's entrance, all studied casualness:

"See you're back at it... rockin' the boat." After all that's happened...what brings you back, Logan? What demons are pursuing you?

So...she actually did come back... Don't do it, Logan; don't react... "Somebody's got to."

...and he acts just as if he expected me to show up here... "I would have come sooner, but...I didn't..." Is he ready to get back to all this? "How you doin'?"

"Not in any pain...the good and bad news of a blown-out spinal cord." Did she know? When Bling saw her in the hospital, when she told him about Lauren and Sophy--did he tell her? If she knew, and came anyway--what did she think? And if she hadn't known...what did she think?

"I'm sorry."

No, Max, not from you; I don't want you to feel 'sorry' for me, I don't want you to see me any differently than you did before-- however that may have been... "My mother used to say the universe is right on schedule. Everything happens the way it's supposed to."

"You believe that?" So soon? It wasn't that long ago they thought you'd chuck it all. A false alarm, then, huh? Sure...

"I've never been much for trying to figure out why bad things happen. I just know they do. So, the job's trying to figure out how to deal with the consequences..." And I will. But I don't want you watching. It's not pretty. So-- let's move on... "...which you did. Took that son of a bitch out."

So the big guy told him...wonder if he said anything about my being at the hospital. If he did... "Not me personally."

"Well, on account of you Sonrisa didn't get to kill the judge or buy the jury." Don't you see how much you can help? "He's gone, once and for all. It was war, Max, and you won." Try to tell me that it's not an extraordinary feeling, to do such good...

"He had it coming. A friend of mine died on account of him." And look what he did to you...

"Sorry." So he didn't make it. Another victim, now one close to Max. Would it make a difference for her, enough to make her willing to help? "This is for you. Open it." Will she just go ahead and fence it, this time? I know she could use the money. ... Would she like to keep it, or was the only value to her its cash potential? "Turned up on the black market...somehow." Will she know that I'm onto her act at the police station...?

....? ...did he...? "Thanks."

Okay; she can keep a poker face...now let's see if you can. Just...do it-- "I need a favor..."

So that's what it's all about? I can't believe this guy..."You can keep this. I really don't have anyplace to put it."

"I need you to do a little leg work for me..." No, don't look at her! ...Don't ask...

After what just happened, he's going to piss off the government crowd too? That's it...I'm gone. He doesn't know when to stop, does he?

...Just move forward as if she'll say yes...as if she has to..."Joel Solinski..."

Max, move; tell this guy to shove it and blaze, now...

"This guy's got a wife with three kids, an ex-wife with two kids, a mistress, and two girlfriends..."

And I've got my own problems. If he were smart, Logan would realize he does too and be damn glad he's alive to face them....

"The wives get houses, the mistress a condo, and everybody gets a car...all on a harbor master's salary."

I know, I know... "I caught the tail end of your hack. The guy's on the take. He's paid to look the other way while the smugglers deep-six their cargo." So what??

"He's made a fortune...as an accessory to murder." Max...we can do this! Don't you see...?

"Okay, so the guy's a beast. Doesn't mean I gotta get involved." And back on the radar for all sorts of people who would love to find me...

"You are involved. By being alive, you're involved." And by still being alive-- I have to be...

...Oh, please! Max, leave now. NOW. ...I can't believe this guy... "I got my own problems."

Look-- Max... "Look...maybe we got screwed out of living in a time when we could hang out for the afternoon in a cafe someplace wearing $2,000 wristwatches, planning our next vacation, but the world got a whole lot meaner all of a sudden. It wasn't supposed to...but it did. So now it's back to the law of the jungle and there are predators and victims..."

...and at that, Bling drew a deep breath, sighed...and moved, unheard by the pair arguing in the other room, to write Logan a quick note and slip out into the hall and down the elevator. Walking out into the night he stopped on the sidewalk to look up at the stars. One small benefit of the Pulse, he reflected, fewer city lights allowed more of the night sky to be visible, on a rare clear night, such as this one....

With a private smile, Bling drew another deep breath of the sweet night air, hiked his satchel up over his shoulder, and set off for his car. Logan Cale was back, pissed off and wound up, lecturing to a woman who dropped in on him, literally, after three months away, just as if not a day had passed.

Things would be different tomorrow, Bling reflected. From this day on...he was Sancho Panza, and Don Quixote would be back, tilting at windmills. What the hell would Peter made of all of this? Peter–hope you'll be proud of me, man. ...

And Granny? Go talk with Peter, will you? Man's gonna have issues...

The End