in honor of the new year.

There had been no reason for him to be at the New Year’s Eve celebration—not that he hadn’t found a reason to be there when the clock struck midnight and the festivities went from tolerable to panicked, drugged out concert goers caught in the midst of something that was likely much deeper than a one-time murder in a crowded space. It might not have been so obvious, certainly not if the news was claiming it was an isolated incident, but there was something troubling about it all from the venue to the circumstances to the fact two doctors on scene, Kang included, couldn’t do anything to revive, let alone stabilize, Henry Styme.

His part in any investigation had only to do with the statements he had made following the attack, when the crowd had dispersed in some fashion, everyone racing out as soon as they had been able, creating more of a panic that he supposed there might have been if the vast majority of people hadn’t imbibed in drugs and alcohol—but then again, he supposed that might have been giving everyone the benefit of the doubt. Someone had died. People were scared. Not everyone dealt with the potential of it on a semi-regular basis. Not everyone felt so desensitized, and especially not under some sort of emotional thrall.

What came of this, he couldn’t say. He couldn’t speculate nor did he need to, taking refuge in Winlock Park rather than making the trek to Lowtown when transit lines were bound to be crowded and the hysteria of a sudden homicide was still echoing through the streets. It was easy to shut it out then, Kang on one side of the door with the peace and quiet of his relatively unused apartment and everything else behind him on the other side; and his focus diverted to cleaning up, washing away the grime he felt clinging to his clothes and his skin, synthetic and organic alike, and settling back into something far more commonplace even if being in such a familiar location felt strangely foreign. It was his, the rental agreement was in his name, his belongings were there, but it felt hollow, not at all the feeling he would have liked on such an evening.

No, it was certainly not the way to spend New Year’s Eve, and if it was a herald of the year to come, Kang had his doubts that 2656 would be the shining reprieve from the troubles of the prior as many tended to see it as. A fresh slate as it might have been, it didn’t feel that way—not with such a tragic start.