Thanks to the wonderful readers who have been supportive in this fandom. I appreciate your encouragement. This story is in response to a writers challenge for October (sci-fi / supernatural). While this sci-fi is probably derivative of everything I've ever seen or read that has anything to do with supernatural, the challenge is to keep the character actions and reactions true. I also have had interests in Asian culture, so wanted to add an element of Eastern mysticism to the fiction. All of this is completely made up and has no roots in anything real.
Disclaimer: SOSF and its characters are by no means owned by me. No profit is made. All is done for fun and skill development.
Dark Winds, Part 1
Mike Stone opened the rooftop doorway and found the lone figure he was seeking. He had to get as close as he could to the edge of the ten story building without scaring the jumper. He slowed his pace, careful not to frighten the young woman who stood precariously on top of the raised ledge. As if being on the edge wasn't enough, the winds were particularly cold and gusty on this overcast October day. As petite as the young woman appeared, it would take little more from the elements to send her over.
Normally, jumpers faced the street as the contemplated their next, and quite possibly final, step. This young Asian woman stood with her heels at the edge and stared directly back at Mike. The Lieutenant froze. She was just a girl; slight with long dark hair. Mike put her as late teens or early twenties. His mind quickly flashed to his own daughter, and for a split second he wondered how a young woman could be in such dire straights at this stage of her life. He had to stop thinking about the `why' of the situation and figure out how he was going to talk her down. He knew he needed to focus.
His partner, Inspector Steve Keller, was behind him, but then carefully stepped to the side to allow for the girl to focus solely on Stone. His boss would be the one to try to talk her down. If she listened and did what Mike said, she'd quickly take his hand and climb down from the ledge. Hopefully she was in a mindset to where she could comprehend. If she were on drugs or otherwise disturbed, the effort would be futile. If she resisted, Mike would do all that he could to divert her attention until Steve could grab her and pull her down.
"Miss…I'm Lieutenant Mike Stone. It's awfully dangerous where you are right now. Please step down from that ledge."
"M`h'hóu dihm ngóh!" (don`t touch me!)
"I'm sorry, miss. I don't understand." Mike inched closer to the young woman. Her eyes grew wider in fear. He reached his hand slowly to her and tried to smile. If she couldn't understand English, perhaps she could tell that he meant no harm.
"M`h'hóu dihm ngóh!" (don`t touch me!)
He displayed his badge thinking she might figure out he was a police officer. She inched back; her heels were over the edge now.
Steve was to the side, hunched down. She looked at Mike with such fear that she didn't appear to notice the young man. Mike saw that Steve was crawling closer to the raised ledge. He hoped they had another option beside Steve making a one shot attempt at grabbing her before she jumped, but given the way she was responding, it was an unfortunate possibility.
"Miss…qing." Mike surmised the young woman spoke some form of Chinese. His words and phrases were limited, but he knew `qing' meant `please'. "Come with me, qing," he said as he motioned his hand.
The young woman took another small step back and started to lose her balance on the ledge. This was the only sign Steve needed as he sprang to the ledge with the plan of pulling her towards him. He grabbed around her waist, but she instead stepped back and tried to push him away.
"No!" Steve shouted as she toppled over the side. He fell forward hard against the top of the ledge in his attempt to clutch any part of her he could grab. Realizing he still had a hold, he looked down and saw that he held her right forearm with both hands.
It was at least something. But as gravity played a game of tug of war, the detective felt her weight being pulled to the ground below. He could feel the pain in his ribs as they pressed against the raised ledge. As she became heavier to hold, his midsection scraped against the uneven surface.
Mike was only two seconds behind him. He ran over and tried to help his partner gain control of the fallen girl. At that angle, he could not reach the young woman. To his surprise, he saw that while Steve had a strong hold of her forearm, she was fighting him by trying to break the hold with her free hand. The more she fought, the further she would slip. Steve tried to reposition himself in order to gain leverage but in doing so only shifted his center of balance. Mike soon became aware that Steve was putting himself at risk for toppling over the side as well.
With one last scream and one wild swing, the young woman inserted her nails into Steve's wrist and clawed violently. The pain was intense and his blood began to flow. Steve caught the eyes of the young woman as they turned abruptly dark. He felt a quick tug and then saw the look of horror on her face as she broke his hold and fell nearly one hundred feet.
Both detectives stood speechless and slack jawed as she hit the ground. The small crowd which had gathered below dispersed quickly as the body fell. A lone uniformed policeman rushed over to the girl's body and shook his head at the detectives. It was unnecessary, but at least confirmed what they knew. She was killed immediately.
Mike's attention turned to his partner, who was still bent unsteadlily over the ledge as if he were continuing to hold the girl. Quickly, he grabbed him around his shoulders and pulled him back over the ledge. "Come on," Mike said under his breath.
Feeling a bit dizzy, Steve slowly lowered himself into a sitting position with his back against the ledge. "You okay? Take a deep breath." Mike said as he tried to regain control over the situation.
A slight nod was returned with a cracked voice. "I'm all right."
Mike hunched down and looked his partner in the eyes. "We did all we could."
"I know," was the quiet response. "She fought me."
Mike nodded as he stood back up. "Let`s get back downstairs. Can you make it?" He wanted to get Steve and himself off the rooftop immediately.
"I'm fine, really." Steve allowed for Mike to help him stand by offering his hand, unaware that it was completely covered in blood.
"What happened? You're bleeding all over the place." Mike only then saw the damage to his wrist.
"It must have been her nails; they were like claws. I told you she fought me."
"Looks like she nicked a vein or two," Mike said as he examined the area further. He reached into his pocket and pulled out a clean handkerchief. "Hang on, Buddy boy. Let me tie this around your wrist to stop the bleeding until we get downstairs. We need to get you to a doctor."
"I'll be…" Steve began as he cradled his wrapped wrist against his midsection. He winced as he started to walk.
"I know, you'll be fine. We'll have them look at your ribs, too. I saw how you landed when you hit the ledge."
Steve nodded in agreement and then thought of the girl. "I don't understand, Mike. Why did she fight like that? And what did she say to you?"
"I don't know; I couldn't understand her. I think she was speaking Chinese. As for why, we'll have the Medical Examiner look and see what he can find. Drugs, maybe?"
The two men walked back inside to the top floor's elevator. As the doors open, they entered and rode down quietly. Steve sighed and leaned back against the wall. He felt nauseas, but suppressed the urge to react in front of Mike. Instead, he silently attributed it to the stress he just went through. As a light sweat broke out on his face, he was beginning to feel odd. It didn't make sense, and deep down he knew something wasn't right.