Saturday morning passed with little incident. Just as he'd promised, Carson took a long walk through the tunnels of Ithaca. It was quite beautiful, the pale orange light shining on the translucent white salt tunnels. Goldie was mostly silent.
Carson passed a bookstore, and Goldie internally smiled. Curious, he went inside. What's this place?
It's her favorite bookstore, Goldie replied. I'm not much into books, but she is…
Then it hit him. It felt like a pressing presence, a throbbing headache. He stiffened. What's happening? he thought.
Carson, I give you this body, Glace's voice spoke in his mind. Now you know what to do. Give me Goldie back!
"What?" he asked out loud. Well, no. She's my friend, now!
That's funny, Glace scoffed. You know, it's such a shame that I'm like one of them. I know she's not gone. Sometimes, I would know where she was, and that was part of the fun. We were the perfect team. This isn't the first time I lost her, and it's not going to be last time I have her.
Um… Carson's mind went blank. Give me a moment, will you?
I can still feel her, feel you, you know, Glace informed him. You're at my favorite bookstore in Ithaca.
How? Carson asked, sitting down on a bench. He felt Goldie hum with excitement. Goldie, you miss her, he realized.
It's your call, David, Glace said. Your life.
The door opened and a small woman with snowflake earrings and a white blazer walked in. Her cat-ear headband sat atop messy black hair, and her frosty blue eyes were bloodshot, tired. Her Glock sat in its holster at her hip.
"She's outside, the poor little girl. She just turned twenty," Glace said.
Whatever you do, David, do it now, Goldie cringed.
"Wait," Carson said, thinking on what Goldie had said in New York. "Only if you agree to change, to come with me."
"What?" Glace hissed. "You know, I just killed someone. If you don't give me my girlfriend, I'll just kill you, too."
Yeah, Goldie whispered. She could, but she's still a little soft on the inside. Especially when she has me.
"Yeah, or you could be a better person. With Goldie by your side."
The hostility in Glace's eyes melted a few degrees. "You'll do that for her?"
"I'll do anything for her," Carson assured. "Like I said, she's my best friend."
"Okay," Glace nodded. "I'll do it."
I told you she's a softie, Goldie said. David, you'll introduce the new me to that cute girl, right?
Yes. "Glace, I give you Goldie Rose," Carson said, holding his hand out. She was a summer breeze, a dash of madness, and the bliss of childhood innocence. Her rose pendant sparkled as she walked outside and found Glace's victim.
Glace's eyes lit up. "Thank you, Officer, for everything," she said quietly.
A dark-haired woman with lavender eyes walked into the bookstore with a demeanor Carson couldn't miss.
"Hey David, look at me!"
"Goldie! Oh my God, not such a blonde anymore," Carson laughed.
Glace smiled. "How do you feel, Firecracker?"
"Like I got shot in the throat," Goldie said, massaging her neck. "Other than that, all good."
"Hey, what do you think about meeting my boss tomorrow?" Carson asked.
"What?" Glace demanded. "I know I said–"
"Yeah!" Goldie exclaimed.
"Okay, whatever you say," Glace shrugged.
Carson smiled. "How does lunch sound? Salt Lake Bar & Grill."
"That sounds awesome," Goldie said. "Fauny, you're going to love her so much!"
"Fine," Glace said. "Let's go."
As soon as he got home, Carson called Allison. She was on duty that day, so she picked up almost immediately. "What up, David?" she asked.
"Remember my first?" Carson started. "The one I went to Ephemera for?"
"The missing Rose? Yes," Allison replied.
"Her girlfriend found me and took her," Carson said.
"Oh my God. I'm so sorry," Allison said.
"…And I want to help them," Carson said.
"Help them? Why? How?"
"I owe Goldie a lot," Carson explained. "And I think the Ephemera might be able to change them."
"Carson, the Ephemera only accepts TKCs," Allison said.
"I know. But wouldn't it be awesome if the Ithaca Babylon Area got a few consulting detectives that intimately knew the mind of Time Killers?"
"Because they are Time Killers? I don't know…"
"Please, give them a chance," Carson said. "I owe Goldie so much. Lunch tomorrow, on me."
"Okay. We'll see."
"Thank you." Carson hung up without saying goodbye if only to appeal to Allison's good side.
Goldie and Glace were already at the Salt Lake Bar & Grill when Carson got there. The new Goldie wore an olive green jacket and black jeans with her rose pendant. Her new smile was almost more blinding before.
When Allison arrived at the stroke of twelve, right on time. She made her way to the table, her blonde hair in a low ponytail. "Hi, I'm Allison, but you can call me Tex," Allison said, sitting down. "So, I hear Carson wants to set you up with the TKCs."
"Yeah," Goldie said. "We would love that. Oh, I'm Goldie, and this is my girlfriend Glace." Glace nodded behind her glass of ice water.
Allison smiled. "Great. I have heard so much about you. And I believe you might have met me before, Goldie. It's a pleasure finally meeting you."
"The pleasure's all mine," Goldie laughed.
Carson smiled. "See? Told you they're awesome."
Glace snorted. "And I've heard so much about you… Tex. Tell us, how can you... help?"
"I'm so glad you asked," Allison said. "I might have a consulting position for a case on…"ns 22.214.171.124da2