Chapter 6

Astrid and Cisco accompanied Eddie to CCPD. Over the past few months it had received a few upgrades. Astrid froze in her tracks as she saw the elevator. Cisco, understanding why, put his arm around her supportively, and suggested to Eddie that they take the stairs.

"Oh, I apologize," Eddie said truthfully as he lead them to the staircase instead. "CCPD suffered some severe damages when the meteors hit. Thankfully the military took most of the rock away and assisted with the cleanup. I understand your hesitation with the elevators, though I assure you for next time, the elevators are as good as new."

"Noted!' Astrid told him. They walked up the stairs. Of all the years that she had worked for the CCPD, she had only ever came up them a small number of times. It was out of pure laziness, of course.

They reached the floor and stepped through the doorway. Once Eddie opened the door, she was welcomed by the site of the bustle of detectives at work at their desks, on the phones or just walking through the office.

In the far corner the television report sounded out over the room. "...Star City vigilante the Arrow has had his work cut out for him, as of late, due to the increase of criminals roaming the streets since the meteor shower..."

"I wonder if your boyfriend knows who the Arrow is," Cisco spoke to Astrid in a tone with undisguised annoyance.

"Ollie and I broke up years ago, Cisco. You know that so just get over it!" Astrid shot back at him.

"Astrid Sutherland! You're here to work I assume! Didn't you just get out of a coma? That's what I call a commitment to the job!" Captain Singh's voice broke in over the loud bustle.

"Actually Captain, she's here to help me with an investigation. We need access to some of the street's camera footage on Helms street. There was an incident with an arsonist... these two are here to give their statements as they were at the scene of the crime."

Captain Singh's face fell. "Oh, that's a shame. Your stand-in is nowhere as good as you were. I hope you get back to work soon." Astrid wasn't sure whether to take that as a compliment or not. she could have sworn that Singh had it out for her.

The truth was that she truly didn't want to be here. Her leg hurt. She had checked it back at the crime scene. Fortunately, there was only a minor burn. Her jeans had minimized the impact to her skin. She wanted to go home to bed. She hadn't been home to her house in... four months?

Her phone rang. It was Caitlin. "Caitlin, Hi! We will be back when we can. There was an incident and we are currently at CCPD." She told her friend.

"Astrid, are you watching the news? People know that you're awake!"

"... Reports of an incident involving an arsonist attack on a police car revealed that the daughter of the late Robert Sutherland, missĀ  Astrid Sutherland, is indeed alive and awake from her coma..." the news reporter spoke.

"Sorry, Caitlin, I'll talk to you later." Astrid ended the call, while Caitlin was in mid-sentence. The next scene on the TV showed street footage of the car exploding, making Captain Singh furious. "What the hell happened there Eddie? How is this already in the hands of the media? A car exploded? Was anyone hurt?!"

Eddie looked at the floor, feeling the grief from the officer that had died at the scene. "Detective Summers died at the scene, Sir..." he replied sadly.

Singh looked at Eddie, "I need an official report as soon as you have one," he told the detective, "I need to inform Miss Summers family." Singh stormed off to his office.

Astrid spotted Joe from across the room, he immediately rushed over. "How are you feeling?" he asked her, concerned for her welfare. "I just saw the news reports. So much for laying low until you gather your bearings."

Astrid noticed detective Thawne's look of embarrassment. It dawned on her. Iris's boyfriend, was indeed this Eddie. Detective Joe West's colleague. Clearly Joe had no idea what was going on. Astrid would not be the one to tell him. She focused on their minds. Their thoughts confirmed that her assumptions were indeed correct.

"I am fine, Joe. Thanks for your concern. But I think I need to assist Eddie with this case." Astrid told him, trying to sound fine. Though in her mind, she knew that she really wasn't.

Eddie led Cisco and Astrid to his desk and they all sat down. Eddie rubbed his temples with his fingers. "Now what happened, Miss Sutherland? You said that if I didn't tie up his fists that he would start a fire. How is that even possible without him holding a lighter?" he asked her.

"I know you saw what he did, Eddie. When your car pulled up. You saw him throw a ball of fire. Didn't you?" Astrid asked him. She had heard his thoughts at the scene, though he had been struggling to comprehend what had happened before his very eyes.

"That is impossible. Don't be ridiculous." Detective Thawn told her, unconvincingly.

"Sounds impossible! But somehow the impossible has become possible today." Astrid was still trying to come to terms with herself being able to read people's thoughts.

She looked away and saw another detective. She tried to probe his mind as she had done so before. Yep, she could read his thoughts too. Astrid could feel another headache coming on. She needed something for it.

Eddie had gone silent, though he was tapping his pen to his desk trying to think. 'This is impossible. I know what I saw, but there must be some trick. He must have had a lighter or a match. But I didn't see anything in his hands when I arrested him. His hands were in tight fists. Yet he made my car explode! This just doesn't make any sense!'

"No it doesn't make sense, does it?" Astrid asked him, forgetting that it had been his mind talking and not his mouth, He looked up at her, puzzled. He shook his head softly. "Look, the two of you are free to go home. I know what happened, I'm just trying to figure out how to do this report."

She looked at Cisco and they both got up to leave. "That meteor seems to be changing people..." Eddie told them, "It's as if people are getting extraordinary abilities because of it..."

Astrid and Cisco didn't respond. They left his desk quietly and made their way towards the staircase. "Cisco, I can't be afraid to go on an elevator, forever." She told her friend and she made her way towards the elevator doors instead, and pressed the call button. They waited for the elevator and once it arrived they walked in. She felt nervous, that the elevator could crash again at any minute. But it didn't.

"He's right about the meteor and its effects on people." Cisco told her. "Today was not the first incident of someone having certain abilities. Caitlin was concerned that you might be somewhat gifted too."

Astrid remained quiet. She didn't want to read Cisco's mind. She would not invade his privacy like that. But she knew what he was thinking without even probing.

"Do you have any abilities, Astrid?" he asked her.

Maybe it was because she couldn't quite understand what was going on with her. Maybe it was because she felt as if she was going crazy. Or maybe she was just not ready to deal with everything that was going on, but she regretted her words, the minute they slipped from her lips.

"No, Cisco. No special abilities. Nothing comes to mind." She lied. He seemed satisfied with that response. But then something crossed her mind. "What about you?" she asked him.

He shook his head and answered, "Nope. Nothing at all. It would be cool though." She knew her friend. He was lying to her. But then, so was she to him. Maybe he couldn't tell her for the same reasons that were plaguing herself. Nonetheless, she refused to probe his mind. She chose to let him keep his lie.

The two of them reached their office in Sutherland Labs to find a team of doctors in Caitlin's medical bay. It had not been this packed in quite some time. Robert Sutherland had designated this floor to Astrid and her friends to try and encourage her to work for him.

At the time that he had decided this, Caitlin and Cisco, being Astrid's close friends were both at the top of their fields, so this meant that they too got their own private floor along with her.

The two of them could hear Caitlin barking orders at the team of doctors. Barry had arrived and was laying in one of the beds, connected to the machines alongside him. Astrid knew that her plans of filling Caitlin in on what happened would have to wait until the floor was clear again.


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