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Abler Cummings: Playboy turned investigative reporter turned adventurer. He moves in the top social and financial circles. You should know that something about Abler sets me off. I always make an attempt to dressing for the occasion. Abler always puts me to shame. He is generally wearing three or four thousand dollars’ worth of clothes. No matter what the circumstances, he always looks like he just finished a GQ photo shoot. The guy does know how to put on the dog.

No fop. Abler is cool and hard under pressure. He drives a mint condition yellow 1969 GTO with a Hurst shifter and a Big Block 467. A model called ‘The Judge’.

He was born into money. A whole pile of it. His father built a software business that sold to the federal government. His mother was a federal judge. They both died in a plane crash when Abler was in his early twenties. He went wild for a while. Spending money. Chasing women. Then he had a near death experience of his own. Luckily, Anna was around to pull him out. That settled him down and gave her a very valuable ally among the hoi polloi. That was four years ago. Since then, Abler has been very useful. He managed a major part of the Toast of Broadway murder investigation and the breaking of a major criminal syndicate.

One thing sets me off. Abler has a broader view of the battlefield. I always suspect that he knows a lot more about what is going on than I do. When I talk to him, I can tell he’s making complex calculations as I go along. He’s not psychic like Anna but he does have a way of seeing into the heart of things.

Anna is big into culture as I call it. Highbrow stuff. Ballet, opera. Art galleries. Luckily, when she needs an escort, Abler Cummings mostly fills in.

Now, if you’re wondering about Abler’s relationship with Anna, I did in the early years. But I am confident that it never goes beyond the professional. Of course, at their level, the professional and personal tend to blend. As far as I know, their familiarity never has moved beyond just that. My best indicator is Ning. The panther is indifferent to Abler’s presence. Of course, as he is not a certified member of Anna’s family, they never come in contact. But Ning pretty much ignores Abler when he is around.

Roger St. Clair: Roger is an ex-Delta Force master sergeant. He’s been out about five years. After twenty years in the service, he tried the mercenary route and didn’t like it. When Anna met Roger he was hanging out his shingle as a private investigator. It was the only thing that he could think of doing after spending over a year getting shot at in the name of some corrupt dictator. She helped him settled into doing freelance investigative work. Even paid some of his bills during the early months.

At six three and just under two hundred pounds of solid muscle, Roger is an imposing and dangerous man. His hand to hand combat skills are the best I’ve ever seen. Not much on the martial arts side. Certainly not up to Anna’s level. But in a brawl, I’ll take Roger every time. I’ve seen him take down four guys in one fight. He’s also one of the best shots – particularly with a handgun.

At heart, he is still in Delta Force. He likes assignments that bring the possibility of getting shot at. The truth is that Roger shines when things get violent. He has the steadiest hand that I’ve ever come across. I’ll admit it. When push comes to shove and things start to get hot, I fall in behind this guy. He has a razor sharp instinct for approaching danger. This is from a guy who takes pride in being able to take care of himself.

Mary Sullivan: Mary is an ex-NYPD homicide detective. She has exceptional investigative skills and is very well connected within local law enforcement. After a decade and a half on the force, she decided to go out on her own. Set up to do odd jobs for Manhattan homicide. She was good at it and, within a short time, had a list of successful operations under her belt. She is a close friend of Inspector Tann.

Mary’s about five eight with stunning green eyes. Nice figure and a face that can light up when she is closing in on a target. She’s only fair in the self-defense skills but makes up for it with her skill with weapons. All types of weapons. She usually carries a switchblade and I have seen her use it with surgical skills.

I call her ‘green eyes’. She has an Irish temper. I’ve been on the business end of it more than once. She can throw a fit if you piss her off. But she holds it in check when she is working for Anna. Mary idolizes Anna. Anna trusts her as much as anybody within the Omega/Alpha family. I expect that there’s nothing that Anna could ask, that Mary would not immediately deliver on.

Nelson Wayne: How do I describe Nelson Wayne. Try it this way. Take a really big dog. No. A bigger one. Then really piss him off. Chain him to a dog house with no roof. Don’t feed him for a few days. Wake him up in the middle of the night with buckets of ice water. Force him to watch non-stop episodes of Gilligan’s Island. Then send some poor slob in with a rancid bone and tell him to say ‘nice doggy’. You get the picture? Well, Nelson Wayne is the guy who could take in that bone and have the dog rolling over within five minutes. The guy has a jugular instinct. But he also has a subtle side and can connect with almost any living thing without effort. He has not been introduced to the animals at Omega. But they seem to acknowledge his presence differently than they do most folk.

He’s not much to look at. Just over five seven. Near two hundred pounds. Very broad shoulders and arms like hams. His face looks like somebody took a shovel to it. The grin that’s always there tells you he enjoyed the experience. One more thing about Nelson. He has this amazing ability to blend into the background. Anna calls it his chameleon skill.