Lachlan had gained a whole new outlook on life, after realizing the woman he had once loved wasn’t lying to him, was in fact being the one hunted. It restored his fate in good things. Something he had been struggling with since he had believed Irene had used him to get away with murder. He was thankful that he could call her his friend now. He had made it a personal mission to keep her safe from harm. He knew well how much of her past had affected her, yet she had been strong through it all. It was something not many could do. She would probably cast some kind of spell on him, if she knew he was still protecting her from afar. Such a strange relationship to have, he mused in his own mind before the beeping from his computer drew his attention back to it. He had almost completely forgotten he was on the trail of someone who seemed to be hacking their way through the Evermore Security System.

Cracking his knuckles, his fingers got to work, clacking away on the keyboard as the darkness of the room around him gave the Therian a sense of calm and control. This and his job in the ECPD is what gave him relaxation. Since fighting had become an utterly mute point for him. The dulling of his pain had come to a point that he could no longer feel the hits. For some that may sound great yet for him, it was terrifying. As his eyes stayed glued to the screen he gave a gentle hum out for a moment. He hadn’t seen this userhandle before, was this a new hacker on the scene? As Lachlan threw up more and more blocks he could sense that the Hacker known as DARK0N3 was growing annoyed. It was a thrill of a chase that gave Lachlan a smirk on his face, though the smirk quickly faded when another hacker entered in the game. This one seeming to be not only blocking DARK0N3 but himself also. “What in the fuck.” he muttered out as he clacked away on the keyboard.

Lachlan groaned out as this new player seemed to be placing blocks around him keeping him from tracking DARKoN3 location. “Who the hell are you!” he felt the annoyance rise in his blood. S3R3N1TY was this DARK0N3 helper? Maybe they would be so busy blocking him that they wouldn’t notice if he penpointed their location so he shifted gears and worked on a backdoor to get S3R3N1TY location. As he worked on that he still tried to throw up walls for DARKoN3. Finding S3R3N1TY location itself wasn’t hard, he wrote down the Longitude and latitude down. See it was in Evermore itself, which was surprising some. Closing his laptop and placing it in his bag he rose from his home office desk and made his way to his car. The night air was cold and refreshing as he took the deepest of breaths to fill his lungs. Placing his gun in its holster before he started his car making his way to the location.

As he pulled up to S3R3N1TY house it wasn’t what he overly expected. His eyes scanned for a moment before he got out and made his way to the door, making sure when he knocked not to knock too hard, after all couldn’t quite explain to whomever was beyond the door why it busted off the hinges. When the door opened his eyes met that of a blonde woman whom he had met in passing. His eyes blinked rapidly as confusion crossed his face. “Serenity?” He asked with a slight tremble in his voice trying to process and understand. How the leader of the humans was a hacker, he was more than sure now he didn’t have the full picture.

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It had been weeks of this same game. The hacker was a good one, able to block everyone from accessing his machine, no trace of his address, no name, no identity. The only reason she knew of him was because of the havoc he had been causing around the web, leaking personal information of those who tried to oppose him, reaching into systems he had no place in looking into. No government agency had claimed him and no hacker group had claimed responsibility for the information he stole which told her this… DARK0N3 was a lone wolf. What concerned her most was his seeming fascination with Evermore city. Her city. Her home.

Every night after she got home from the office she was here, laptop sat in front of her, typing away as she tried to decipher the person she was dealing with they were good but she was often better, managing to track when someone reported a breach on online forums and then decipher the code being used to track a pattern. Whoever this person was, they were dangerous, they had targeted the organization more than once but their security was practically unbreakable, as a government agency they couldn’t afford for a single leak, but smaller corporations had their schematics stolen, their personal data read and their systems overloaded.

Whoever this was, they wanted to hurt those who were involved with protecting the city and honestly, that worried her. She had been putting on a full-on blocker to anything which traced back to the DARK0N3, her actions causing complaints from others in the community who were unable to do the same. She had used her hexagon satellite to perform the high-level block but she hadn’t expected anyone to try and breach her methods. When she spotted someone had managed to find a backdoor into it she pressed her lips together “Oh frack” she commented in a frustrated tone.

She had to hope whoever it was, was simply a pissed off hacker also tracking DARK0N3 and not the man himself. She felt chills the moment she heard a knock at the door. She picked up her diamond-edged knife she had been give for her protection, holding it tightly in her grip as she edged closer towards the door. The moment she opened it she stared down the male on the doorstep and the moment he said her hacker name she glared harshly at him “Keep your voice down before the neighbors hear” she scolded him “So you’re the one who hacked into my hexagon satellite hmm? Kinda impressive but you’re insane for coming here” she did after all, have an entire organization at her calling, with one touch of a button.

Lachlan was in shock staring at the blonde though mostly because he knew her. Well not knew, knew her. He saw the photos of her on Orion’s desk and met her with a hello. He wasn’t one to commit a face to memory but he figured that the alpha girlfriend at the time was one, he should know.  So the fact they were standing face to face in that moment just made his brain scream at him. He cleared his throat as she glared at him. She had a gaze that could cut anyone down a foot. “Forgive me, Sariah.” He recalled the name from the depths of his memory.

He shifted from one foot to the other, the realization that dawned on him later then he would care to admit was that she probably thought he was DARK0N3. He cleared his throat and gave a smile. “I believe we have a misunderstanding. I am going to reach into my pocket. Feel free to protect yourself how you wish. But I am reaching for my badge.” He said as he reached into his jacket pocket and pulled out his badge. “My name is Lachlan Remington, I work for Evermore PD, in a special unit that is meant to protect data and information of the people in Evermore.”

He held out the badge so if she wished to take it from him she could. “I came here because I was Lock and Key (L0CK&K3Y). I  have been trying to spend months…” He paused for a moment before looking around from where he stood in her entry way. “Listen I think we should talk about this inside more than out here where your neighbors could hear. I need your help.” He admitted as he turned his gaze back to her. His hands moving to his pockets for a moment. “I had planned on coming to see you soon for another reason anyways.” 

He shifted back on his feet rocking. “Since Orion left, I have taken over, I figured it was something we should talk about.” He said quietly for a moment. “Figured I should properly introduce myself.” The dark eyes of the male never left her eyes as moved to lift up his shirt showing the Therin mark on his left pectoral. Oh what a sight this would be for any passerbys.

Sariah was naturally guarded nowadays, she had seen enough awful things happen in her life to immediately be suspicious of people. She gave him a stern gaze which spoke her distaste for the fact he had shown up here and partly in her anger for not protecting her own system well enough, it had been a pretty bad slip up on her part. She reached for her phone and held it in her hand, if he tried anything stupid she was a touch of a button away from calling for backup but she allowed him to retrieve his badge before she inspected “ECPD” she spoke bluntly “Ben could have given me a damn warning before sending someone here” it checked out though and she relaxed a little.

It was a little different now, she had worked closely with the ECPD for a while now, they helped to support the organization’s goals and projects where necessary and provided security for their agents too “My help? You do realize you’ve just shown up at my place, completely without assignment....” she was looking back at him like he was a crazy person because honestly he was acting like one. But she did recognize his hacker name and it made her realize that he knew about her...grey area activities. She folded her arms but then he nodded slightly placing her phone back in her pocket “Fine...but don’t expect me to make you coffee” she responded before stepping back and letting him follow her inside.

Hearing Orion’s name visibly stirred her and she locked down at the floor almost immediately before shaking her head slightly, it was still sore for her “Wait...you’re the new ambassador?” she raised her brows, trying to process all the new information he had been feeding her and then without warning he took off his shirt, which she knew was to prove his place in the pack but equally made her frown “You really need to work on your introductions, if I was a less patient person I’d be calling someone to escort you out of here” she commented bluntly and sighed “You said you needed help with something?” she was still standing, hovering around because she didn’t want to settle down until this all set in a little more.

As Lachlan reached for his badge he watched her with his dark eyes. It was clear she was a woman who could control any situation. So he knew that he had to be careful about things, as she inspected the badge. “Ben, hell no one knew I was coming here. I didn’t tell anyone, since everyone in my unit was already home for the night.” He gave a slight chuckle from his lips as he reached up rubbing his head softly. “Pretty dumb of me actually it was clear I hadn’t thought that part through. So I am sorry for scaring you if I did.” He said softly, noticing that she seemed to relax slightly.

Lachlan gave a gentle nod of his head as she looked to him like he was a crazy person. “I know I have shown up on your door without an assignment, but if I show you what information I have. Maybe we can figure out who this guy is.” He said lowly but as it came to her eyes that she knew his hacker name things seemed to at least reach a more friendly interaction. As she stepped aside Lachlan moved through the door ducking his head in the doorway since he was six foot eight most doorways were too short. Once inside his eyes scanned her home, mainly out of curiosity since he wondered how the genius that was Sariah lived. It was far less lab like then he was picturing.

“Yeah I am the new Ambassador and alpha of alpha’s.” Lachlan said with a heavy sigh it was a spot he never thought he would be good enough for. People looked at him, and not wanting to let them down he let his shirt fall down back into place as he nodded towards her, “Get to the point kind of woman I can respect that.” He said as he reached into his pocket for his phone. It was a larger phone that had dual screens. As he opened it he pulled up a file and handed it towards her. It showed every hacking attempt of the DARK0N3 over the last three months. “It seems this threat is one we have in common, they kept trying to break into your research files, along with police evidence. The secret evidence of the supernatural world around us. I want help finding this person and figuring out what they want before they actually make it into our systems. I want to protect Evermore and its people.”

The human ambassador had seen and been through a lot by now, situations where people showed up at her door unannounced were a little off putting but nothing really scared her anymore because she had learned to take care of her. “Not your finest moment but we all do crazy things when we’re scared” she picked up on the way he was acting irrationally and put two and two together, something was concerning him and for him to seek her out without even knowing her, it must be important. “I’m okay, I’m sure you’ll believe me when I say I’ve had worse surprises” she commented in an honest tone.

When he mentioned who this guy was she shuffled on the spot. So this was about DARK0N3. He had been essentially bringing havoc to the online space. All of his attempts to access systems seemed to be targeted at Evermore corporations and services. She was pretty sure whoever they were, they were trying to uncover the secrets of the city and expose them with solid proof. As the head of the organization it was her responsibility to make sure that never happened “Right” she spoke softly “Though if you think that’s going to be easy you’re even crazier than he is” she commented in a soft voice as she closed the door behind them and headed inside.

“I’m not sure whether to say congratulations or condolences honestly” she responded as she offered a half smile. If that was the case then they were certainly going to be seeing more of each other, it would be wise for them to get to know one another upfront. She laughed when he pointed out she was direct “It’s not like we actually have time to waste anymore, everything is an emergency” she shrugged her shoulders, the city was in danger on many fronts and the work never really seemed to stop. She took the phone he offered and studied it for a moment before sighing softly “Honestly it seems like it’s only a matter of time at this point, he’s got the power to DDoS us if he doesn’t get his way” she bit her lip for a moment “Maybe a honey trap would work...no doubt he uses a VPN but and IP would be better than nothing, at the very least we can get him shut down temporarily” she pressed her lips together “But getting him to take the bait is gonna be easier said than done” most hackers knew how to spot a trap after all.

Lachlan glanced at her for a moment before letting a heavy laugh through his lips for a moment. “I will add it to my list of not finest moments.” He reached his hand up to run over his head softly. “Though I guess you are right we are all bound to not think things through when we are scared.” he muttered out his mind drifting to how he had almost been too late to save Irene from the woman hellbent to ruin her. This hacker was just the straw that broke the camel's back. His eyes flicked around taking everything in like he always did walking into a new place. After all, the paranoid nature of being in a gang, then FBI, then ECPD was always there. “I have had worse surprises also, so I guess that is reassuring in a way.” He commented back with a soft tone. Trying now to be very aware of his voice so he didn’t sound too harsh.

Lachlan couldn’t help the laugh that came to her lips as she expressed how he was crazy if he thought it would be easy taking this person or very well persons down. “Nah I know very well it won’t be easy but two brains on it, two rather intelligent brains have to find hole. After all I had been chasing you both through the system.” He said as he followed with a respectful distance to where she wished to talk. “DARK0N3 is bloody good though, I haven’t came across someone as good as them in a long time.” He muttered gently to himself but also outloud so she could hear him.

“Maybe both?” he spoke gently with a half smile in return. It was a lot on anyone’s shoulders. Yet he was more than okay carrying the weight as he knew that it was for the benefit of the city. He listened to the song of her laugh and gave a chuckle himself as he nodded his head for a moment. “Can’t remember the last time things were not an emergency.” he agreed as he looked towards her for a long moment. “How about we work on this honey trap together? We could meet up at the station, I have FBI resources I can reach out to. Maybe it could make the bait too sweet not to take?” He thought about it for a moment as he ran his fingers along his chin softly. Thinking on who he could reach out too.

She chuckled under her breath when he agreed it wasn’t his finest moment “Oh there’s a whole list huh? I try not to remember all of mine or record any evidence they exist” people could be prideful and didn’t need constant reminders of their mistakes after all, especially when they were prone to making a lot of them. “Irrationality they call it, we don’t think things through and we just..act...no matter how crazy” everyone was guilty of it and when someone got in that state of mind it was almost impossible to pull them out again.

She wasn’t completely dismissing his ideas right now because she had experienced the havoc this guy had been reaping online and it bothered her, it bothered her because all of his tactics seemed to be focused around Evermore which made it her business to want to knowing exactly what he was up to and why he was targeting important organizations in the city “Well maybe we could figure out how to get a lead on him but...someone like this is dangerous, if he gets a single inkling we’ve figured him out…” she shook her head slightly, it wasn’t her backing out because she wasn’t that type of person but she was warning him that this could be a dangerous feat for both of them to take on “Too good, which makes me think he’s not working alone...no single hacker has that kind of equipment” unless they were a billionaire she supposed.

Her expression softened a little when he said perhaps both were appropriate reactions when it came to his role as the therianthrope ambassador “Well our two factions have always been close with one another...I hope we can continue that” she nodded slightly, therians helped protect humans, humans helped to protect their supernatural secret and ensure they could live their lives without being hunted or exposed. She offered a half smile when he spoke his feelings about the constant state of emergency in Evermore “We live in a supernatural world, normal went out the window a long time ago” she pressed her lips together when he asked if she would team up on creating the trap “We’d need someone to publicize that important information is getting transferred...somewhere low key but well placed enough to get his attention...it needs to be tempting” which meant it probably needed to be real, which was risky she would admit.

Lachlan’s finger move to tab the side of his head for a moment. “The list lives in here, so not any recorded evidence of them existing past the nights I can’t sleep and stare at the ceiling.” He gave a weak laugh at the truth that just left his lips as he spoke. If it wasn’t for the fact he forgot where he took his shoes off the night before he would think he had an eidetic memory. As he focused back on her dropping his hand from his head he gave a gentle nod of his head, “Yes Irrationality.” He would admit he often was one to think most things through, so it was rare for him to be such a way.

“I am sure if we put together our brain powers we will be able to figure out something. After all, I know you are of the most brilliant women around this city.” He said with a soft smile on his lips before he ran his hand over his face slowly with a nod of his head. “This is true, which is going to be hard since he knows that there are people actively tracking and blocking him from whatever he is trying to do.” They would have to have a plan so airtight no surprises could catch them off guard, which would be rather hard to do. “No single hacker has that equipment unless you are a billionaire, or like me. Since my job is cybersecurity speciality I have been granted things many hackers would dream of.” He muttered as he kept rubbing his face. Not overly concerned with danger when himself but since Sariah was involved he wouldn’t be as reckless as he was being by showing up on her doorstep.

His eyes returned to her and he gave a slight smile to her softened expression towards him. “I would like them to continue being close. I hope I can prove as good a leader as those before me.” He had deep love for humans since his adoptive parents were human and lost their lives at the hands of other supernatural beings. A chuckle passed his lips, one he didn’t overly mean to leave but it was true, what was normal even in a supernatural world. “I suppose you are right.” He gave a gentle nod of his head, “The department has people that can publicize the information, or a reporter who would leak the information easy enough. When it comes to the temptation though, that we need to set up and have it be real enough it doesn’t look like a trap. Which is scary enough, they have been interested in the real files behind crimes in and around Evermore. Access could be given, with the transfer of the information going to a more secure site.”

She pulled a face when he said his list lived in his mind “Yikes, that sounds heavy” she commented in a soft voice and grinned slightly “Though it sounds like the ceiling is a pretty good therapist” she chided and smiled, she tried not to think too much about the decisions she made and whether they were right or not. If she spent too much time hanging on those things she would quickly fall down the rabbit hole that connected them all together. “Sometimes irrationality can be a good thing, certainly means we’ll never give up” strongly linked to stubbornness she supposed.

She couldn’t help the wry smile that appeared on her lips when he complimented her “Flattery will get you nowhere” she teased with an amused grin but he wasn’t wrong, she was one of the top skilled hackers in the city and thanks to the organization she had the means to be able to do things others could only dream of. “Yeah his guard is up...though if I know anything about cybercriminals like him, it’s that their ego tends to get the better of them eventually” then they would slip up and that was the time to strike. She pressed her lips together wondering how he had built up such an arsenal “Hackers like this usually start with the petty theft types and build their way up...prove their worth and gain a following” and that is where their ego starts to build.

She smiled softly “I’d like that” she agreed, of course, it was going to be different than with Orion but she had a lot of respect for their therians and their protective and family-like nature, it was comforting for her to know that not all species thought themselves above humans. “As long as the leak isn’t so obvious that it drives him to stay as far away from it as possible, I have a few contacts at Evermore Daily, maybe something on a blog would work” posted out on the web it’s likely that information relating to Evermore would be on this guy’s radar and therefore he would pick out the keywords “I guess I should get my coat huh?” they weren’t going to be able to set up any realistic transfer from her laptop after all.

“Problem with remembering everything.” He muttered back as he took in her face for a moment. Not wishing to go so deep into his own personal issues with a woman he had known for a time for the first time in the flesh. “Yes, the ceiling holds many of my tales that are stuck in my brain.” He chuckled softly before, “Never give up, never surrender.” he repeated  the galaxy quest motto as if it was second nature to quote movies.

“It was more so me speaking the truth then flattering but noted.” He teased back yet they both knew he wasn’t wrong. They both were pleased with resources that gifted them abilities to do things others dream of. His brow peaked as she spoke on how this hacker had an ego and how it grows from seeds of petty beginnings. Something he knew well in his youth. It caused a smirk to his lips, “Oh I know that better than most.” He likes to think his ego isn’t as large as it once was.

Being able to keep the alliance intact in Orion’s leaving was something he was thankful for. Since he knew he was not as charming as the prior leader. As he gave a gentle nod to his head. “I am sure using sources in the Evermore Daily would be good at letting the hook lay in the open and see if he takes the bite. Looks more realistic coming from the blogverse that the police and uppers of the city have no control over.” 

Lachlan eyes moved to his arms as he wasn’t wearing a coat forgetting the winter months were raging outside. “That would be a much smarter idea then what I did.” He chuckled as he moved back towards the door. “I will wait in my car.” He stated so she could ready herself alone. He slipped out and into his vehicle where he looked to his phone for a moment to see if anything had come up on the Irene look alike while he waited.

“It’s that or the shower curtain I suppose” she joked with a lighthearted tone when he mentioned how the ceiling held many of his secrets, everyone needed time to reflect and that was best done when alone and relaxed..or as relaxed as you could be with things plaguing your mind. She giggled catching the reference he used when quoting “I was never much of a quitter anyway” she commented with a wry smile, he seemed relatable.

She nodded slightly when he said he knew better than most “In the end, an ego tends to be someone’s downfall, because eventually they’re going to reach for something out of their grasp” and with any luck, get caught with their hand in the honey trap, so to speak. “Plus some of those bloggers appear shady enough to actually sell their soul for scraps of news, they’re not going to expect them to be working with the police” honestly it was going to take some swing from her side to get Elena to permit it anyway.

“Impulse goes faster than common sense huh?” she could relate, sometimes when her mind was deeply focused on something she would entirely forget about things which could be seen as necessary or ‘a given’ she nodded when he said he would wait before getting to her feet and grabbing the things she would need which were scattered around the house, bag, phone, keys, purse, laptop. It had been a few minutes until she finally shrugged on her coat and headed out, locking the door behind her and approaching the car parked outside. She went around and climbed into the passenger side and made herself comfortable.

It was a pretty nice car she noted as she closed the door behind her “So is this car a job perk or something you picked out for yourself?” she questioned curiously.

Cut front the same cloth they seem to be, Lachlan thought to himself as he reflected on her statements. They both had been through a lot, yet he felt he held on to it more then she would. Though when seeking revenge holding on to the past was what drove him. It was true though, he wasn’t 

His mind was wondering how he didn’t think upon using bloggers to lay a trap of his own. Yet he had never been good when it came to people and others. So convincing a blogger would have fallen flat he was sure. As she climbed in, his focus turned to her for the brief moment before he let out a chuckle, tossing the car into drive and popping a U turn. “No this car I bought, but my van, my baby who I am sure is much more impressive was.” He smirked at the thought. “Maybe I can show you some day.” 

He drove fast through the city back to the police station in a blink of an eye. He pulled around back so no one would see them walk in together. Being mindful there eyes everywhere in Evermore, and was the one often watching them. “Alright so the things I am about to show you are extremely classified that they even exist. So I am trusting you to keep the ECPD secret lair your secret, also.” He said as he got out and walked around to her side to open it for her. Holding his hand out for her to take. Once they had made their way inside of the police station He led her to the stairs to the basement.

Once there he opened the door to a room filled with computers and tech that many would dream of. He moved to his desk and placed his hand on his chair. “So what do you think?” He asked, arching his brow at her.

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