“Back in highschool I had two classmates, Ben and Bea. They were killed in a head on collision the night after our graduation. At the time the police thought they had taken a wrong turn and ended up going in the wrong direction down the highway, but that never made any sense because Ben drove that stretch of road every day for several years. Then the theory was they had a suicide pact, but that also made no sense because they were eloping to Vegas that night. They had a booking with a chapel and everything.”
Maiken is surprised when her throat clenches up as she tells the story. Even though it was a long time ago and she thought she had dealt with it, it seems she still has unresolved issues around everything that happened back then.
“After they died, Ben’s family gave me a card he had written to me that same night or maybe the day before. It was a weird letter, sounding nothing like him, and he signed it with ‘Long Live Luna’ which at the time meant nothing to me but now means a lot to a lot of people.”
The Sentry is jotting something down on a notepad while listening.
“Long Live Luna. Right. That’s an old call sign for the Lunatics before they became the Lunatics. Please, continue.”
The two Sentry behind her relax as they realize she now has his attention again. Maiken decides to come clean in the hopes it’ll at least get Michael into exposure treatment.
“The day Julia disappeared, she and Michael were running away.”
The Sentry raises his eyebrows and looks at her, surprised.
“Running away? From what?”
“I’m still not sure,” Maiken responds truthfully. “Julia got spooked by some random event that happened at Kenneth’s work and decided they needed to skip town immediately. Michael said something about her meeting up with someone in Coquitlam and getting a phone from them. Then she called a long lost lover overseas but that went nowhere. Kenneth called him to confirm but got no meaningful information from him.”
“So far you’re corroborating what the suspect has told us. What is it that makes you think he, as you put it, is not Michael Chopade?”
“When he came to us after Julia disappeared, he was acting very … outside himself. It’s hard to explain. He was different. Of course everyone would be stressed out if their spouse went missing, but he was acting like a different person all together.”
“In what way?”
“I don’t know exactly. It was just … weird. He was paranoid and confused and not the task oriented person he normally is when he’s stressed.”
“This is all very subjective and circumstantial Mrs. Valen…”
She’s losing him again.
“The thing is he had this distant look in his eyes. He still has it. I just didn’t recognize it until today when I met him. He has the same look in his eyes that Ben did right before he was killed. Like he is looking at someone standing behind you.”