A/N... Hi everyone! I had a request to post this story from SVUfanfiction. This is a multi-chapter SVU story that was written 5 years before Hurricane Sandy. In 2007, as a research interest, I started looking into the possibility of a hurricane hitting New York. It's actually a 70-90 year storm and the last one was in 1938. That of course, gave me the idea for a fanfic starring the SVU crew. This story begins on the 70th anniversary of that 1938 storm. My research was still a little ways off from being published when Sandy hit. When I wrote it, I knew a storm like Sandy would happen some day, I just hoped and prayed it wouldn't turn out as it did. My heart goes out to everyone affected by it.
EO pairing, of course. Most of the chapters are K, but...I'll warn you when it's time. ;)
Starts of with some background, story development and such, and takes off. :)
"Summer has come and past,
the innocent can never last,
wake me up, when September ends…"
11:12 pm, Sunday, September 21, 2008
Upper Manhattan, NY
"….Residents along the Georgia coast have been evacuated pending the landfall of Hurricane Lilith. We'll bring you further updates out of the National Hurricane Center as they become available.
1010 WINS news time 11:12. This is 1010 WINS Accu-Weather forecast. Overnight, clear, the low will be in the 50s. Tomorrow, mostly sunny and continued unseasonably warm, high once again near 80.
The National Weather Service is continuing to watch a low pressure system carrying the remnants of Tropical Storm Eachann as it moves southwest from the coast of Maine. Small craft advisories may be in affect for the New England coast by the end of the week.
Currently, it is 58 degrees, winds out of the south at 5 to 10 mph.
The Accu-Weather watch never stops. 1010 WINS news time 11:13. 1010 WINS, you give us 22 minutes, we'll give you the world…"
Fin shut off the radio. He took the last bite of his sandwich, then tossed the wrapper into the bag that sat on the passenger seat next to him.
As he swallowed the last bite, he picked up the CB. "Elliot, I'm on now if you want to go grab a few winks at the crib."
"Copy, Fin. Thanks," Elliot's voice came through over the speaker.
Seconds later. "Where's Lake? He's not catching with you tonight?" Elliot asked.
"Nah," Fin laughed. "Cap's got him on desk for the next few days cause that back pain medication he's on makes him loopy."
"More loopy than usual?" Elliot joked. "Night, Fin. Catch you back at the house tomorrow."
"Night, Elliot." Fin tossed the CB down in the passenger seat next to him. He sat back and watched as Elliot's car pulled out from a spot a block away, made a U-turn, and drove past him. He reclined back in his seat a bit and resumed his watch.
A few blocks up the street, a man peered out behind cream-colored drapes to watch the street traffic below.
The street light just outside his third floor apartment window cast a hazy shadow that obscured his view of anyone who happened to pass by. He slumped back in his recliner and turned his attention back to the evening news.
Three small children lay side by side on the large gray, shag rug before him, fast asleep.
Two Days Earlier…
The SVU had received a report of a missing child, a 6 year old by the name of Kaleb Knight who was last seen at the school playground.
Their only lead was Sien Varick, an unemployed computer programmer once accused of selling child pornography, who was spotted near the playground just before Kaleb disappeared. Varick said he didn't know Kaleb, he refused to answer questions when stopped by a uniformed police officer and furthermore, he could not provide a valid explanation for why he was at the school.
He was ID'ed by one of the teachers who said Varick was their neighbor. The teacher reported that she saw him near the playground a few days before. Each time she tried to approach him, he took off walking at a swift pace away from the school.
The SVU spoke to Kaleb's mother, Rita Knight. Rita, a single parent, was too distressed over the news of her missing son, to offer much information. Olivia sat with her for several hours, hoping to settle her down enough to find out if she had any information which would help them find her son. Munch and Fin spoke to the teacher who identified Varick while Elliot and Lake looked further into Varick's background.
The detectives kept watch on Varick's routine for any suspicious behavior. In addition, they spoke to friends, neighbors, the school, and family members. Unfortunately, most of Kaleb's family didn't live in the area. With few leads, the SVU felt like they had hit a dead end.
7:45 am, Monday, September 22, 2008
The next morning, Olivia entered the precinct.
As she walked toward her desk, she gazed momentarily around the bullpen, which was sparsely occupied by her overworked colleagues. Their fatigued expressions and slouching postures all practically mirrored one another as each one considered heading out for their second or third cup of coffee.
She realized her partner was already there when she caught the scent of Elliot's cologne, aftershave, soap or some combination of the three, that lingered in the air above their desks.
Somehow, no matter what was happening with either of them, she always felt some comfort by his presence. They had a great rapport as partners, and had always been the best of friends.
They were close, but recently things started to change for Elliot and almost by default, for both of them. Despite the fact that Elliot was back with Kathy and they had a new baby, he was rarely home. He spent most nights in the crib, even when they weren't working a case. Whenever Olivia would ask about Kathy, Elliot would respond with either a grunt, or "oh, fine." Any further probing and he became more irritable. Answers were shorter, and avoidance of such topics more deliberate.
He often mentioned his kids; they were his world. But while his voice reflected the same love and pride he'd always felt, there was something new in his eyes whenever their names were mentioned. Something distant.
As long as the conversation didn't involve Kathy or life in the Stabler home, they were golden.
They ate meals together more often and even seemed to talk, laugh and joke more than they did when they first began working together. Elliot was generally in much better spirits. Although she was surprised by the change in his attitude toward her, she loved this side of him.
Although they still clashed occasionally over a victim's story, they generally got along better these days, than they ever had.
Olivia knew that she had more trust in Elliot Stabler than in anyone else. The more they talked, even bringing up more details about their lives before they met, the stronger that trust became.
One night they had dinner after work, and as he was about to drop her off at her apartment, she asked him to come inside for a few minutes. She decided she was ready to talk to him about what had happened in the basement at Sealview.
Over drinks, Olivia filled him in. Elliot already knew that something happened at Sealview, but figured he'd be hard-pressed to get Olivia to open up about it before she was ready.
When he got the story from her, the news hit him like a knife stabbing him in the gut. Elliot knew it took a lot for her to talk about it, so he tried not to let it show as he listened.
But she could read him instantly. It was why they worked so well as partners. It was why, according to a psychological test, they were 'too close.'
Olivia noticed that he clenched his upper body the entire time he listened. Finally unable to stay seated, he stood up and paced the living room floor.
At one point, Elliot turned toward her and as she caught a glimpse of what he tried to suppress, she lost the battle to tears. This time, Elliot was right there to lend a supportive shoulder.
Elliot was the longest relationship she'd ever had with a man, and the greatest she could have ever hoped for.
Olivia sat her own things down and fired-up the computer. She removed a tea packet from her top desk drawer and dropped it into a mug sitting on the corner of her desk. The mug was a birthday gift Munch gave her a few years ago. It was black with white question marks and letters that read, "Question Everything." It was so much like him that having it reminded her of Munch. She missed the guy. Shortly after Lake arrived, Munch was assigned other duties by One PP, so she began to see him less and less.
Just as she was about to get some water for her tea, her partner appeared.
"Morning, Liv," Elliot said warmly as he passed by her chair. He paused to place a cup from the corner bakery on the desk in front of her and then made his way to his own desk.
"Hey, El. What's this?" Olivia asked, examining the cup when she realized it wasn't coffee or tea. She lifted the cup to her nose and caught the scent of cinnamon through the small opening in the lid.
"It's Chai Tea with nutmeg. Try it. You'll like it, I promise," he said assuredly.
She took a sip. "Wow, this is good," Olivia remarked.
Elliot raised his eyebrows once as he tossed her his characteristic grin. He sank down in his desk chair and grabbed the file directly in front of him.
"Hey, El, thanks for going solo last night. Rita Knight was having a tough time getting through the night, worrying about Kaleb. She needed someone there."
"Is she doing any better?" he asked, as he booted up his computer and sifted through his desk drawer for a pen.
"She's talking a little more, but she panics whenever the phone rings, thinking it's bad news."
"Anyone coming to stay with her?"
"Yeah, a sister that'll be flying in tonight. Oh…I don't suppose you or Fin had any luck last night at Varick's apartment?" she asked.
He slowly released a deep breath. "I didn't. Varick never left. Fin is still sacked out in the crib but I don't think he did either."
"Varick's suspicious," she commented. "I don't think he's responsible."
"He may have something else to hide, who knows." Elliot shrugged as he flipped open his file and discovered some notes recently added by Cragen.
Olivia picked up her Chai Tea with both hands and took another sip. She savored the taste and wondered if this would replace her morning tea.
She looked across her desk at Elliot as she continued to take short sips.
He may have sensed her looking in his direction because he glanced up from the paper in his hand directly to his partner. A glint instantly appeared in his eyes as he read her expression.
"Thanks," she mouthed to him, still holding the cup.
Another characteristic grin slowly surfaced. "Anytime, Liv."
The Morrissey children; 6-year old twins Eagan and Emery, and their 5-year old sister Alina, never arrived to school that morning.
The school contacted Wanda Turner, the Morrissey's babysitter, shortly after 9:00 am, when they discovered all three children were absent. Wanda, who had been watching the kids while their parents were away on business, reported that each morning, she got them ready and they all left the house a little after 8:00 am. At noon, she would pick up Alina from kindergarten, and then pick up the boys when school let out that afternoon.
Wanda stated that she got them to school grounds that morning, and although they were running late, she insisted that they had arrived.
"Okay gang, we've got amber alerts issued on three children all named Morrissey," Don Cragen briefed his detectives. He filled them in on the children, the babysitter and how they were discovered missing.
"The twin boys are classmates with Kaleb Knight, and the little girl is in kindergarten," Cragen added.
"The perp probably grabbed the kids on the way to school. If it's the same one that grabbed Kaleb, then he's probably hanging out before or after school waiting for these kids," Elliot surmised.
"Where do they live?" Munch asked.
Cragen handed him a sheet of paper with names and addresses. Munch grabbed a pen off of Fin's desk, and marked Xs on the map where the school was located and where the children lived. "The Morrisseys are about six blocks away from the school, another three blocks east from the Knights, and it's not a straight-shot from any location," he told the other detectives. "It's hard to say if the perp randomly picked up these kids or targeted them specifically," he said, as he traced the routes with the pen cap.
"Where are their parents?" Olivia asked.
"Jack and Ella Morrissey were at a business conference in Dallas, and should be flying in this afternoon. When they arrive they'll come straight here and I'll speak with them," Cragen replied.
"While Chester is riding the desk, John, go with Fin. I'll need you two to find out what else Wanda knows or is not telling us. Then go canvas the neighborhood. Talk to anyone who might have seen them that morning. Elliot, Olivia, go talk to the school, the teacher and see if they noticed anyone hanging around the grounds lately or if one of the kids mentioned something. Call me if you find out anything; that way I'll have more to tell the Morrisseys when they arrive. Good luck."
10:45am - Upper Manhattan, NY
Elliot drove himself and Olivia to Tyler Elementary School. Traffic was still heavy at that time of morning. It was already over 70 degrees outside and inside the car it felt ever warmer. When he couldn't get the AC to work, Elliot peeled his jacket off and tossed it into the backseat.
As he drove, Elliot glanced over at his partner. He wanted to tell her about something that had come up recently. He knew she'd be sympathetic and supportive. Whenever he got ready to start the conversation, something would always come up-one of them would get a call or something else was suddenly more pressing.
Moments later they arrived at Tyler Elementary. They entered the school, showed their badges to the administrative secretary and asked to speak to the principal. Once they finished up with a few routine questions for the principal, they were escorted to the classroom where the first grade teacher sat alone at her desk writing in a notebook. In a classroom across the hall, a video was shown to about 40-50 children, who sat on the floor while two teachers kept order. The sounds from the video poured out through the open door and echoed in the hallways.
Olivia opened the door to the classroom, holding it for Elliot to pass through before stepping inside. A young woman in her mid-twenties sat at the teacher's desk. She wore a bright red skirt and a red and gray top. Her golden hair was pulled back from her face in a loose ponytail with a matching red Scrunchie.
"Hi, Moriah Sentik? We're Detectives Benson and Stabler of the Manhattan Special Victims Unit. We were wondering if we could ask you a few questions regarding Kaleb Knight, and Emery and Eagan Morrissey?" Olivia asked.
"Yes, Detectives, come on in." Moriah smiled, as she closed her notebook and placed the pen she was using into a ceramic holder that appeared to have been made by one of her students.
Moriah turned her chair around slightly to face the Elliot and Olivia, who stopped midway between her desk and the door. They leaned against the recently scrubbed chalkboard.
"They are great kids and I'll help in any way I can. I enjoy having them in my class, and I hate to think that they are out there, scared, hurt or….worse," she responded somberly.
"Do you recall anything different about their behavior over the past few days? You know, have they mentioned anything unusual-any problems at home, maybe someone bothering them?" Elliot prompted her.
She smiled shyly. A look of fondness passed over her face as she thought about each of her three students. "No, not at all. Nothing seemed out of the ordinary. Their behavior has always been good though. Kaleb's mom is a single parent, and she always asks about Kaleb's progress. I hear from her at least once a week. The Morrisseys are very busy and always seem to be out of town, but their kids do very well in school and are well-behaved."
Olivia nodded. "Have you noticed anyone around the children who isn't usually there; for example, someone new in their lives, a friend of the family, any strangers around the playground? Anything unusual for them or any of the other children?" she asked.
Moriah shook her head slowly. As she glanced across the classroom at some of the children's desks, her eyes fell on the second desk from the back of the classroom, closest to the window.
She looked back at them as she spoke. "There is one other student in my class, Andy Morgan, who is a bit more restless than usual lately, but his parents are going through a rather complicated divorce."
She took a sip of ice water out of a coffee mug, jiggling the ice as she sat the mug back down and then continued. "Last week, Andy's father, Greg Morgan, and a friend of Greg's picked up Andy, his older brother Derek and the Morrissey boys from school around noon without telling anyone, following proper procedures, et cetera. The school wound up calling the police when they didn't return that afternoon. Andy's mother Cindy had always called in when her ex-husband was picking up the kids. He did this before when he and Cindy first separated. The Morrissey's babysitter, by the way, defends Greg to the school office, saying it's unfair that he doesn't get to see his boys. The secretary tried to stop him last week, and he got very agitated and started yelling profanities at her. I really don't trust that guy."
"Any idea who this friend of the father was?" Olivia inquired.
"He wasn't a parent of any of the children. But beyond that, I don't know. The secretary might have a record of it," she replied.
Olivia reached into her pocket and removed a business card. "Thanks for your help, Moriah. Here's my card. Please call if you think of anything else," she said.
"I will," she replied as she accepted the card. "Good luck, Detectives. I hope those children are back home soon."
Elliot held the door open for Olivia, and she walked out into the hallway. He followed her and as he released the door, he noticed that Olivia had stopped right where she was and looked down.
A little girl in a white dress, about 6 or 7 years old, stood in the hallway a few feet away from Olivia. She had long, curly red hair and bright, beautiful green eyes. When Elliot stepped out, she began to look back and forth between them in awe.
The little girl was adorable. It was tough to pass her without saying hello.
"Hi. Who are you?" Olivia asked, as she bent down to talk to the little girl.
"I'm Trinetta Guthrie," the girl replied. "And who are you?"
"I'm Olivia and this is my partner Elliot. We're police officers. Nice to meet you Trinetta. That's a very pretty name." Olivia smiled at her.
"Thanks. My mommy said my name means 'little innocent free wind'," she said with pride. Trinetta swayed a little back and forth as she spoke.
"That is pretty!" Olivia replied.
"You're pretty too, Olivia!" Trinetta said with a wide smile.
"Thank you, Trinetta!" Olivia responded. Her eyes lit up.
A voice called out from the room across the hall. "Trinetta! Come back into the classroom, honey."
"That's Ms. Baer," she told them, as she pointed at the open classroom. "I just washed my hands," she announced, proudly and held them up to show Elliot and Olivia. She sighed as she looked at her hands, "and they're still wet." She swiped her hands a few times on the skirt of her dress, to dry them off.
"B'-bye!" Trinetta smiled and waved at them, and then disappeared into the classroom.
Olivia and Elliot waved back and then exchanged a warm smile between them.
They briefly met and spoke to Alina's teacher, Collette Solis, a recent college graduate who was new to teaching, and only taught the AM kindergarten session. She had no reason to suspect anyone of wanting to hurt Alina or her brothers and saw no one suspicious in the vicinity of the school. When they finished, they made their way out the school doors and back toward the car.
Elliot turned to look at her just before he backed the car out. "Hey Liv, do you want to get some lunch before we head back?"
Olivia nodded, and then called Cragen to given him an update.
11:45 am – Shamrock Diner, Midtown Manhattan
Elliot glanced out the window to the left of where they sat. He continued to nibble at a few fries on his plate while Olivia finished up her lunch.
His mind drifted to the conversation he wanted to have with her. Somehow, once again, the timing didn't seem right. Surprisingly, the diner wasn't too busy, but the overly attentive waitress kept showing up and interrupting whatever conversation they started.
He figured he'd get around to it at some point. But he had one other matter that he didn't want to postpone any longer.
"Hey Liv, I need to get something out of the car. I'll be right back," he told her. Elliot got up from the table, took his keys out of his pocket and walked out to the car.
Olivia watched him until he passed through the large, double doors at the entrance to the diner. She glanced at the remains of a tuna fish sandwich on her plate and then across to Elliot's plate which once had a roast beef sandwich and a side of french fries. A few fries still remained on his plate. She reached over, took one, dipped it in a tiny saucer of au jus and nibbled on it.
She was on her third fry when he got back to the table. When he saw what she did, he rolled his eyes and grinned.
Elliot sat back down and looked at Olivia as though he had something to tell her. She took a sip of her water and waited as he collected his thoughts.
Finally, he spoke up. "Hey Liv, I have something for you. It's kind of late, but I still want you to have it."
She raised one eyebrow, and a puzzled expression crossed her face. She didn't noticed that he had held something in his lap until he brought his hand up to the table and presented her with a small, gift-wrapped box. The box was wrapped with off-white wrapping paper and a green bow. It was large enough to hold something like thank-you cards or invitations.
She tried to figure out what would prompt such a gesture from him.
Finally, he reminded her.
"Happy Birthday, Liv."
Olivia smiled shyly as she accepted the box from him and placed it to the left of her plate. She wasn't sure if he intended for her to open it right there.
"Last month," he answered for her. "I'm sorry," he remarked, sadly. "We had the Higgins case and then the Keller case went to trial and before I knew it, weeks had passed."
"Elliot…" Olivia rolled her eyes. "Thank you, but it's okay. I'm not big into birthdays anyhow. You should know that," she told him.
"I know," he responded softly. His thoughts drifted to what her childhood birthdays might have been like.
She hadn't received many gifts in her life. Her mother had forgotten her birthday on several occasions and through the years, Olivia learned not to put much importance into it.
When Elliot remembered, it was usually a gift card that was propped up in front of the cup of coffee or tea that he bought for her that morning. It was never a gift-wrapped package that he handed her in person, apologizing for the delay.
"And you've put up with me for 10 years," Elliot added. "You should be getting a medal or hell, maybe a commendation or promotion," he smirked.
She picked up the box. Her fingers brushed over the tiny, raised flowers on the wrapping paper. She felt the folded, taped seams on the edge before letting her hand grasp the bow.
"You like the wrapping?" he asked. "I did it myself this time," he said proudly.
Olivia smiled. The smile got bigger and finally erupted into laughter. Elliot understood. The wrapping job was too good; he never could wrap gifts.
Whenever he shopped for the kids, either the store wrapped it or he'd get Olivia or Kathy to wrap it. Once, Olivia tried to show Elliot and Fin how to tie a bow on a present he got for Kathleen By the time they were done, even Fin could do it. But when Elliot finished, the gift looked about as decorative as if someone had tied a shoelace on a package.
Elliot started to laugh along with her. Mainly it was just because he liked to see her laugh.
Olivia's laughter soon subsided. Finally she said what was on her mind. "I'm sorry, but you don't gift wrap, El!"
"No, not usually. But I figured I'd have to learn at some point. Go on, open it," he said anxiously.
Curious to see what he had for her, she untied the green bow with one light tug on the strand, and then removed the ribbon. Next she slid her finger nail along the seams and lifted up on the folds in the paper until it came off in one sheet. She placed the paper and ribbon on the table. Finally, she opened the box and looked at what he gave her.
She looked up at him, but had no words. Once again the man had managed to surprise her.
It was a sterling silver necklace that had the letters NYPD floating between the two strands.
"I-I love it, El! Thi-this is beautiful, thank you!" Olivia lifted the necklace out of the box and looked at it.
Elliot watched her the entire time, pleased that she responded so favorably to his gift. But he soon turned to look out the window of the diner, as if to collect his thoughts. Olivia noticed that his mood changed suddenly. She put the necklace back in the box, closed the lid and clutched it in her lap.
"El?" She tried to get his attention when he didn't look away from the window for a minute or so.
He turned to look back at her. Noticing her concern, he smiled reassuringly. "You've put up with me for 10 years, and you're still here. And no, I'm not counting the time when you left for computer crimes or that stint with the feds. Although I hated that," he stated, as he thought back to her absence. "Please don't ever do that again," he scolded her, light-heartedly.
She smiled back.
Elliot drew his gaze back to the window. His face grew serious once again. "I can't do this job without a good partner, and I'm very fortunate that I've got one." Elliot reached out and put his hand on her shoulder. "I figured it was time for something better than a gift card to B. Dalton and a cup of coffee from the bakery."
Moments later, Elliot paid the tab, and they walked out to the car. When Olivia got inside, she removed the necklace from the box and put it on.
"Thank you so much, El! I really do love it!" she said, when she realized he was watching her.
He grinned. "Happy birthday, Liv," he told her once more.
She used to wonder sometimes if he was trying to put more distance between them. Particularly with all of the rumors around One PP that they were 'too close.'
But in the recent months, he had proven her wrong. While she was still at a loss for a reason why Elliot was working so hard to keep things good between them, she couldn't be happier with what they had.
12:30pm – Office of Captain Don Cragen
Cragen walked into his office and pushed the door closed behind him.
He carried a cup of coffee and a sandwich from the bakery, over to an empty spot on his desk. Momentarily he sat them down and sorted the papers on his desk, clearing a spot for his lunch and other things he needed to attend to.
He moved his lunch closer to him, picked up a small remote control and pushed a red power button which turned on the TV in his office. He kept the volume low as he half-listened to CNN.
He reached his arm down near the floor without looking and retrieved a file he needed.
His desk phone rang just as he was opening the file. "Cragen," he answered.
"Hey Captain," Fin greeted.
"Hi Fin, what have you got?"
"Munch and I just finished talking to Wanda and there's a lot more to her story than what she told police," he began. "She hadn't seen those kids since last night!"
"Yeah, Captain. She told us one lie after another before finally admitting that she didn't know where were as of 8:00 yesterday."
"She claims she fell asleep on the couch, but passed out is more like it. There were a couple of shot glasses sitting underneath the coffee table so she may have even had company," Fin told him.
"What about neighbors, friends houses or anywhere else the kids might have gone?"
"So far, nothing yet. We're still canvassing, I'll let you know if something else turns up."
"Thanks Fin. Good work. The Morrisseys should be here in about an hour so I'll ask them if they can think of other places where the kids may have gone. I'll call if they give me any leads," he replied.
"Thanks, Captain. I'll talk to you later."
Cragen hung up the phone and jotted down some brief notes from the call. As he started to sort through some DD5s from his detectives on a prior case, his eyes slowly drifted up to the TV set. He reached over and pressed his thumb against the volume button on the remote control until he could hear the announcer. He leaned over and rested his elbows on the desk as he listened.
x x x
"The governor of Florida has declared a state of emergency following the damages from Tropical Storm Eachann just one week ago, and now most recently, Hurricane Lilith. FEMA has set up temporary shelters, and Florida Power and Light is working to restore power in Miami and surrounding counties.
The category 2 hurricane is centered just 150 miles east of Jacksonville, Florida. Hurricane warnings are in effect for the Georgia and South Carolina coastlines and watches have recently been issued for North Carolina's Outer Banks.
We will continue to bring you updates on Hurricane Lilith as they become available. And now Jim, back to you."
"Thanks Rod. In our studio we have Kent Rossby, a tropical weather expert, who will tell us more about the path of this hurricane and what we can expect over the next few days."
"Thanks, Jim. Unfortunately, even our early models are showing a potential for major flooding and coastal erosion all along the eastern shore. The hurricane should continue moving due north and it is likely that more evacuations will be in order. The storm is projected to move inland as it reaches the Outer Banks of North Carolina, where it may finally begin to weaken. Tropical Storm warnings may then be issued for the coastal communities as far north as the New England states. Currently Lilith remains a strong Category 2 hurricane.
Additionally, we are watching the remnants of Tropical Storm Eachann, which recently merged with an arctic air mass out of Canada and is now classified as a nor'easter. The system is moving to the southwest, at 15 mph.
The damages combined from both of these extratropical systems, could potentially be devastating and costly for the entire Atlantic coastline."
"Thanks for the update, Kent."
The announcer turned to face the camera. "We'll return in a moment with more coverage on Hurricane Lilith. Stay tuned to CNN."
x x x
Cragen lifted the remote control up to eye level and pushed the power button until the screen turned black. He sat back in his chair, stretched his arms above his head and slowly released a yawn.
He sat up, reached for his cup, and lifting it to his lips, he took a sip. He scribbled a note to make periodic checks on the weather over the next few days, then turned his attention back to the case file in front of him.
Next chapter: Chapter 2 – High Tide