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Thursday, January 1

Convergence: Part 1 – Santini Residence

"I can't believe something just ripped out the engine without us hearing anything," said Hammer in exasperation.

Guppy looked around, eyes wide. "Do you hear that?"

"Hear what?" asked Jim-Bean.

"Music. Classical music."

Across the street, music swelled, faded, and swelled. It was Beethoven. The front door to the house, identified as SANTINI, was ajar.

The agents made their way over to the Santini house.

Inside, a light was on in the study, to the left of the foyer. Milky luminescence spilled out of the open study doors, across the oak-floored foyer, to the brink of the dark living room.

"I think that's…Beethoven," said Guppy. "The Third Symphony, Eroica."

The symphony reached its stirring conclusion, and when the last note faded, no new music began.

"Guess the stereo shut itself off," said Hammer.

There was light in the study, but the other windows were flat, black, and shiny. Someone could be standing just beyond any of those panes of glass, cloaked in shadow, seeing but unseen.

Hammer made his way into the foyer. The other agents followed.

The room through the open door on the left was deserted. Two lamps cast warm golden light into every corner of the study.

To the right, the living room was draped with shadows as thick as densely woven black hunting. At the far end, a few splinters of light gleamed at the edges and at the bottom of a set of doors that closed off the dining room, but that meager glow did nothing to dispel the gloom on this side.

Hammer found a wall switch that turned on a lamp, revealing the unoccupied living room.

He crossed to the living room, which was furnished with comfortable beige sofas and elegant, emerald-green Queen Anne wing chairs. The stereo and CD player were nestled inconspicuously in a corner wall unit. That's where the music was coming from.

"Guess the Santinis went out and left it playing," said Guppy.

"Sure," said Jim-Bean. [MORE]

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posted by Michael Tresca at 8:21 AM


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