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Chapter 5

see disclaimer chapter 1

"What do you mean, you have no idea where she is?" a man screamed as he paced the floor of the small building.  It had been four days since the incident and this man had been hanging around all day, yelling and pacing and being a royal pain in the ass.  The sheriff sat back in his chair and fixed his gaze on the near hysterical man.

"Sir, I don't know how to say this any other way...she's practically vanished.  All her belongings are gone, all her accounts are closed.  The only lead we had was that note, and it wasn't even really a lead."  The sheriff was becoming increasingly irritated as he explained the circumstances one more time.  "I can't do anything without some sort of criminal charge.  You have nothing on her, so you're shit out of luck buddy."  The man stopped pacing for a moment and turned, slamming his hands onto the sheriff's desk.

"Don't you know who I am?" the man said indignantly.  "How dare you talk to me like that!"

The sheriff snapped back his answer.  "I know who you are, and I do dare talk to you that way.  Sonja did nothing wrong, so why can't you people just leave her alone?"

The man started to say something else, but he was cut off as the door to the office opened and a tall, dashingly handsome man walked through.

"For goodness sake Jonathan, I can hear you half a block away," the man said as he moved across the room.  The newcomer stuck his hand out to the sheriff, who begrudgingly accepted it and gestured for the man to sit.

"Thank you, Sheriff Bennett, for agreeing to talk to me.  Never mind Jonathan, he gets a bit touchy now and then.  I'm George Hays," the man said.  The sheriff gave him a withering look.

"I know who you are," he said. "What, you think us small town people don't watch movies or something?  And by the way, your manager here is being a real pain in my side. I'd appreciate it if you told him to bug off."

George seemed a bit taken aback at the gruffness in the sheriff's voice but nonetheless made motions for a bristling Jonathan to leave the room, which he did after casting one more indignant look.

"So, what exactly do you want to know that I haven't already told your go-fer boy there?" the sheriff asked as the door closed.

George leaned forward in his chair, putting his hands on his knees, giving the sheriff an earnest gaze. The man's penetrating eyes were tired and haunted.

"Please, I just want to know how I can find her, any information would be helpful, there's got to be something," George pleaded.  The sheriff hesitated, then finally nodded his head slowly.

"What do you want to know?"

"Well, first of all, who exactly was she?" George asked.  The sheriff felt much better talking to this man as opposed to the brash Jonathan and suddenly understood why virtually every person in America was so taken with this king of the silver screen.

Eventually the sheriff answered every question George asked about Sonja.  What her job was, when she had gotten there, and, most importantly, what the community thought of her.  The sheriff even told George about how Sonja had helped his family the same morning of the accident.

"My wife was awfully scared Abbey had come down with something terrible, but Sonja had it all squared away in no time.  She was always there for all of us, even on Sunday mornings," the sheriff said, smiling at the memory. George sat back again and rubbed his face.

"Did you ever have any idea she was a mutant?"  The sheriff's eyes grew large.

"Of course not!" he said.  "She never did anything before like she did to you." George looked at the sheriff.

"She never tried to heal anyone else, ever?"

"Nope, never" Bennett said as he leaned forward.  "Seems to me like she thought she was sacrificing everything for you, letting all of us find out like this, then running like a scared rabbit."  George hung his head down.

"Yeah, seems that way to me, too."  He looked up, searching the sheriff's eyes.

"I just want to thank her for saving my life," George said.  The sheriff looked at him hard.

"I understand that.  But don't you think we want her back too?" the sheriff said. "Makes no difference to most of us that she's not normal.  She was who she was, weird powers or not."  George nodded at the man's words.

"What about all her belongings?  What's happened to them?" George asked.  The sheriff scratched his chin and pursed his lips.

"Everything's all been taken care of, very mysterious, and right quick too.  Some company out of New York is selling her car and house, settling all her accounts. Their lips are sealed up tightern a drum," the sheriff continued.  "The animals were given to her neighbors, just like she asked in the note."  George's head snapped back.

"What note?"  The sheriff looked at him quizzically.

"Well, the note she left. Your go-fer boy came by, asked me almost all the same questions and picked up a copy about two days ago, just after the reporters were here."

George winced at the memory of the throngs of news crews that had shown up as soon as the story had leaked.  Millions of people all across the nation now knew that a mutant had saved the life of the famous George Hays.  One of the camera men had even gotten shots of George when he was wounded and after the woman had healed him, but the woman's back had always been to the photographer. They didn't have a clear picture of her.

Luckily, the sheriff and all of his deputies had sealed up the house and the town had refused to yield any information to the press, except that quite a few of them were worried about her.  He was sure that if her picture had gotten out she would never be seen again with all the anti-mutant propaganda floating around.  Not that they had a chance of finding her now.  From all appearances, this woman was a pro at disappearing.  George looked over his shoulder.

"Jonathan!" he yelled loudly.  The harried man sheepishly came back into the office, slightly embarrassed for being found listening at the door.

"Yes, George?"

"Do you remember Sheriff Bennett here giving you a copy of a note the woman left?"

"No sir.  Why?  Am I supposed to have it?" Jonathan asked.  George looked back over at Bennett.

"Well, I'm just sure I gave it to him.  I also told him about Sonja's horse missing, and that New York company taking care of everything."  George looked back at Jonathan, who was shaking his head vehemently.

"Never happened, at least not to me."

"Sure it did!" the sheriff said, becoming agitated at the round-about conversation. "You were talking to the crews, then about 15 minutes later you came in here asking all the same questions George here was.  You had some weird, shortish man with you...come to think of it, you said it was your assistant.  Odd ball that guy was, kinda greenish looking."

"I tell you, it wasn't me!" Jonathan yelled in his defense.  "I left the crews and went right back to the hotel.  And what do you mean, short green guy? I don't have an assistant, much less a little green one."  George's eyes grew wide, as did the sheriff's.

"You mean it wasn't you?" George asked.  Jonathan shook his head. They paused, looking at each other.

"I swear, he sounded and looked exactly like you," the sheriff said.

Chapter 6

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