Princess Tutu Fan Fiction ❯ The Madrigal: Princess Tutu and the Secret Six II ❯ Chapter 13
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Once the police began their investigation, Ahiru and Rue still were smarting over the pendants. They stood outside, still at a loss. That was when Elly came up from behind and dangled them in front of their faces. “Looking for these?” she asked.
The girls squealed in joy, and they snatched them quickly. They thanked Elly profusely as the put them on, and then Elly produced the picture frame. “I thought this might hold some value for you, so, here you go,” she said, handing it over. “How did you do that?” asked Rue.
“Well…just know that what I have done I will not be doing again,” answered Elly, “I'll leave superhero work to the superheroes.”
“That sounds like and odd answer,” probed Fakir, but Ahiru then said, “And that is all you need to know.”
Rachel then chimed in and said knowingly, “However, if you did have some kind of super powers, the world could benefit from that.”
“Sorry, I'm retired,” said Elly, and started to walk with the others, Uzzura still with Nana now not having anywhere to go. However, Rachel was not so easily put off. She started to talk directly into her head and said, “What is your problem?”
She wheeled around to look at Rachel, but all she did was just look at her. She looked forward again, and again she heard Rachel say, “You're being pretty selfish, if you ask me.”
Now Elly knew what was going on. She just looked forward and acted like she did not hear anything. This did not work. “You can stop with the act, because I know you can hear me,” said Rachel, “What I am doing you can do. Let me tell you: you can run from this, but it will hunt you down. Like it or not, you are in the world of supers, so you had better get used to it. You WILL have to use your abilities sooner or later.”
Elly just kept walking.
As that was going on, a certain Johnny White Wolf was receiving a communication on his computer. He clicked on the inbox, and it was a contact from Oracle. He then went to the spot where he could communicate with her, and hoped there was good news. “Magpie here,” said Johnny, “What do you have?”
“I have something that may interest you,” she responded, “It took me some time and research, and believe me, it was not easy. There is no criminal record on someone like described, nor is there any indication that someone like that has ever been arrested. However, I cross referenced all this with people who have disorders, and I have someone who had been institutionalized for about two years. They have his picture and name, but they have nothing else that they were permitted to share. If I were to try, that would cross over into a criminal act, and it would be hard to justify probable cause, considering where I got this from. I'm sending you the dossier now.”
It hit his mailbox, and he thanked her for the information, “Thank you: I know it's not much, but believe me, I can get somewhere with this.”
He then opened the file and printed out the information. Once that was done, he got up and went to the kitchen for a cup of coffee. After turning on some Bach, he sat on his couch, sipped his coffee, and went over what he had. In the file was a picture that looked like a perfect copy of the police sketch. He set that down and picked up the personal file. The man's name was Gilbert Brooks, and he was about 22 years old at the time this had been made. The last entries were set in about three years after his release. It had been about three years, so this would put the suspect at about 27 years of age—about what was described by the White Swan. He then began to look at what put him in there. He was bipolar, but he had done some things before they found this out, this being what put him in the institute to begin with. Once in, they discovered his condition, and they put him on the proper medication. He seemed to progress well enough the more he took it and received counseling. Once they figured that he was no longer a menace to himself or others, they released him. This was all that was mentioned. He knew there had to be more. He saw that it was an institute from the west coast, so that made things a bit easier to trace from there. He took up his coffee and went to his computer. He then went into the directory for the town from which this Brooks hailed, and looked up his last name. Because it was a small town, there was not much of a list, but there were still about 23 names to go through. He printed up that list, came back out, grabbed his coffee again, and the phone. He then sat in his easy chair and started to make some calls.
As they were walking along, they were passing by a restaurant that had an au fresco area, and Rue spotted someone she knew from the company. She was sitting with a handsome bearded man enjoying a dinner. “Hi Rue!” exclaimed the woman, and Rue returned the greeting, “How have you been, Gretchen?”
They continued to exchange pleasantries, and Rue asked, “I'm sorry, I didn't get your name.”
“Brooks Gilman,” he said, smiling as he stood and shook her hand. “I assume that you two work together?”
“Pretty sharp there,” said Rue, being a touch sarcastic, but not rude.
“I should have pegged you as a dancer the moment I spotted you,” Brooks returned with a warm smile, “Are you all dancers?”
“We're the Pas De Six,” said Billy.
“Oh, that's right…Strut Your Stuff!” he said, “I loved your performances. You must be the one they call Duck!”
“That's me!” Ahiru said gleefully, to which he said, “I bet you have to beat them off with a stick!”
“Not really,” Ahiru responded, “That's what Billy's for anyway.”
She nudged him and he just played like he was annoyed. As they talked, Mytho started to stare at the man. He did not notice it as much, but now the man's thoughts were screaming, and they were not clean ones at that. The more Ahiru spoke, the worse it got, and it was amplified more by his wife. He looked closely, and managed to see the mole on his right cheek underneath the beard. Mytho walked up to Rue and managed to get her away. He said quietly and seriously, “It's him.”
Rue stared at him, and then stared at Gretchen, and said, “Are you sure?”
“You know I am seldom wrong, Liebling,” responded Mytho.
She wheeled back around and got a close look at the man. She began to become angry, but Mytho squeezed her arm, saying, “We cannot act now, but we can get Gretchen away.”
Rue went up and said, “Um…Can I have a word with you Gretchen?”
She excused herself and Rue took her out of earshot. She then said, “That's that killer!”
Gretchen looked aggravated at her, and she said, “That is no killer! He has a beard, and the killer does not!”
“The beard is not that old,” said Rue, “And besides, that mole on his right cheek tells me something. Look at his hands while you're at it.”
Angry, she marched back over, and then stood still as she saw the mole, and noticed the small bits of frayed skin on his fingertips. She went back, and said, “I'm sorry for yelling at you!”
“It's okay,” said Rue, “When did you meet him?”
“It was a couple of days ago,” responded Gretchen.
“Get away while you can!”
In the meantime, Mytho was subtly spreading word that they had their killer. However, they could not jump him like that, nor could they change in front of him. Gretchen came up and said, “That's right! I'm so sorry Brooks, Rue reminded me of a special rehearsal, and I have to get to it. Maybe we can get together tomorrow?”
“Perhaps,” said the man, “I'll give you a call?”
“That would be fine,” said Gretchen, and the two went on as if they were heading to the studio. Fakir and Mytho went with them to complete the illusion. This Brooks paid the bill and started to go on. It was at this point that Rachel said to Elly right into her head, “Tail him…in your way!”
Elly then spun around and said, “That man is a killer! You have to be crazy!”
Rachel then said frantically, “People have died because of him! If you don't go, you'll have their blood on your hands!”
Elly wanted to snap back, but what Rachel had said made sense. She huffed and went after him. That caught Ahiru's attention. “What is she doing,” and Ahiru went around the corner to see, but Elly was gone. All she saw was the back of the man's head. While Elly followed, Rachel said, “All you need to do is find out where he has been staying and then report back to us.”
Elly followed the man for about six blocks before he entered a subway. Since she could not be seen, she slipped right by and into the train with him. However, there was a hard press, and she found it hard to keep an eye out for him. She stayed near the door, and others found it odd that there was a gap in the people in front of the door. However, no one seemed to be able to get closer. Of course, this began to crush Elly, but she could not let out a groan for fear of breaking concentration and just appearing before everyone. Once the train stopped she was shoved out, and she was caught in the press. She followed him up the stairs as best she could, but once she was up top, he was gone. It was a poor part of town, and there seemed to be many abandoned buildings. He could be in any one of them. She cursed under her breath and caught up with the others.
Once she got back to the apartment, Elly reported back to them, and they said that they would pass it on. With exceptions, the others were amazed that she was able to tail him for that long, and wondered why she pulled such a dangerous stunt. She then turned to Rachel and said, “Yeah, why DID I do that?”
Rachel said, “We'll talk later.”
“No, we need to talk now,” said Elly, “Because I told you, I am not one for this superhero stuff! I'm sorry, but I am not one for keeping secrets with my friends.”
With that, she said, “I'll show you how I did it!” and she seemed to disappear right in front of them. She had not really disappeared, but to them, she had. However, Mytho said, “I can still see your emotions.”
The others, however, were stunned at what they had witnessed, and she came back, saying, “Did it not ever occur to you why that Raven woman seemed to disappear when we got here? Did anyone see Rachel with us when we left that night?”
Rachel was shaking her head back and forth, but Elly said, “Look, don't you think you can trust them with the fact that you are the Raven, and Duck is really Princess Tutu?”
Nana looked in amazement at Rachel, and said, “You too are a superhero?”
Since she had done this without hesitation before the others, Mytho figured that, to keep peace, he had to say something. He then said, “You are right—there should be no secret amongst friends, because, except for Nana, we are all supers. We are the Secret Six.”
Elly was now amazed by this, and she said, “Why didn't you guys clobber the bum?”
“We could not risk exposing ourselves to the public,” said Rue, “Believe me, I wish I could have done something. You were the only one that could, and we thank you for at least giving us what you did. More than likely, Raven and I will be checking it out later. Thank you for what you did do.”
Now Nana's jaw was on the floor. “No wonder I always feel safe around you!” she exclaimed, “How many others know about you?”
“Only a select few,” said Ahiru, “And you now are one of them.”
Fakir then said, “Now that you know, will you join us? You have abilities that could benefit all.”
“Like I said before,” said Elly, “I am not cut out for this. Please, I just got my life going again, and I don't want to chance losing it all again. I just want the normal life I always desired.”
“I don't think `normal' is an option anymore, Elly,” said Mary, “That ended the day you gained your abilities.”
Rachel then added, “Elly, no matter how hard you try, you cannot run from this. Fate has a way of putting you into situations where you must use your gifts. I say, if that is the case, then it is better that you do so actively before you find yourself in a situation where you are forced to, it costs someone, or you find yourself a prisoner of someone or something that could exploit you for evil and/or wrong purposes. I would think long and hard about what you are contemplating.”
Elly just sat down as Rachel transformed into Raven and said, “And now it is time for those who need to get back to do so. Rue, I'll be back shortly.”
With that, the school bound ones disappeared with Raven and the others wondered if what just happened was the right thing to have happened. While Rue awaited Raven, she was on the phone to the police to report what had happened that afternoon.
By this point in the evening, Johnny was down to the last handful of numbers, and he called one that seemed to have potential. “Hello?” came the reply, and he then said, “Hello, I am with the committee putting together our tenth year class reunion that is coming up soon, and it seems that Gilbert Brooks has turned up one of our missing in action, and I just wanted to see if he was there, or where he has gone so we can contact him.”
A distraught voice came from the other end, “He's not here.”
It was not a voice that said that they did not want to talk, but it was a voice that sounded like it had fielded questions of this nature for some time, and it did not really want to answer another, but the voice also knew it had to. The voice said, “He's been missing for about a year and a half now, and if you can find him, could you let us know?”
He disengaged from the phone call politely, and he was happy that he had gotten this lead. The next thing he had to do was get there and do some investigating himself. He wanted to ask questions, but the way that he had introduced himself would have prevented such questions as being awkward. They would have hung up, or at least turtled up had he asked too many questions. He then went on line and started to book a flight for that town to see what he could find out himself.
Later on, Raven and Princess Claire went to that part of the town with the White Knight. With his empathic abilities they might be able to pinpoint him and then take him down. As they traveled the neighborhood, however, they were able to find nothing. Yet, one thing that can work for superheroes happened here—dumb luck. They entered one abandoned building that seemed to have more people living in it than it should have, and searched some rooms. They then stumbled on one apartment that looked like it had been lived, in, but whoever had been there was already gone. There were no furnishings, and the walls were a bare white with flaking paint all around. It was a small place, looking like a one room with a bath studio apartment that had long since been neglected by the landlord, and who had not been able to unload that land. There was little to suggest, in fact, that there was anyone that had been there. The only indication was the stench form the bathroom that someone had been relieving his or herself in a bathroom that did not function any longer. Indeed, as they entered, there was a mess in the toilet, and they wondered how this person could have tolerated the smell. As Mytho started to scan around with his flashlight, he caught a glint of metal. He passed over it a couple of times to get a bead on it, approached it, and then put on a rubber glove, pulled out a plastic bag, got out some tweezers, picked up the blade, and put it into the bag. He then set that into an empty pouch. He then said, “If this was what I think it was, then what is on here would make the forensics people ecstatic! Let's get this to the police.”
At this, they only wished that their own crime lab was ready to go so they could have gone to the police with more. When they arrived at the precinct handling the job, they were joyous to know that the supers were on the case, and the elated to see the blade there. “If he has been shaving off his prints,” said Mytho, “this could have been the tool. He was hiding out in some of the abandoned buildings in the south district, but there is no telling where he is now.”
“That's fine,” said the sergeant on duty, “This is better than we could have hoped.”
He then turned to one of his men and said, “Get this to forensics! Hurry, but be careful with it. If there is skin on there, we need that.”
Back on campus, Ahiru was now trying to talk some sense into Elly. Yuma was curious about this, but she then said that she now knows the secret, and that she has some abilities as well that could aid things. “I told you, my life is what you see on the walls. It is no more than that. Why can't you understand that I just want a normal life?”
“I find it quite nice to do what I do,” said Ahiru.
“How do you find the time for this?” asked Elly.
“You sound just like…” and she stopped, knowing that Yuma did not yet know all the truth, and then said, “…like Princess Claire when we had to coax her out of retirement. Believe me, this is not something you plan in your day. It just, well, happens. It is fulfilling.”
“Yes, and it is dangerous too!” said Elly, “It's not that I am a coward, it's just that…well…it's not for me, that's all. Please stop asking!”
Ahiru then said, “I'm sorry I'm pushing. You have to do what you feel you need to, but I'll tell you what: once you have done a good deed like you did today with your gifts, you are going to find out that it will be harder and harder to avoid using them, because you will find more and more situations coming up where you can help others.”
She gave Elly a big hug, and Elly said, “There is so little difference between you and Tutu: you make it so hard to be angry at you.”
“Just think about it,” said Ahiru, “and remember; you do have powerful friends to help take care of you.”
Meanwhile, in Mary's room, Mai was amazed at the new “resident.” “What is that thing?” asked Mai in amazement. Uzzura did not like that, and shouted, “Uzzura not a thing-zura!”
She then stood their pouting. Mai said, “How did you…what is…I don't…oh—this is so freaky!”
“You sound like Duck,” said Nana. Uzzura then said, “Duck is special-zura. All her friends are…” and Nana scooped her up and covered her mouth, saying, “That is enough out of you!”
Nana then said, “Since you already know about Duck, let's just say that this little one came by the way of one of her adventures. Uzzura was the creation of someone with which she dealt, and we could not just let her run around.”
“Is she a robot?” asked Mai, not knowing what else to call it.
“Honey,” said Mary, “You are looking at the first ever fully functioning artificial intelligence, set in the body of an automaton, but she is not an automaton—she is sentient.”
Uzzura began bouncing the words off her databanks, and then said, “Uzzura not a robot-zura, not a slave-zura. Uzzura is alive-zura—a person-zura.”
She then started to march around the room, hitting her drum, singing about that, and Mai just sat there shaking her head. Mary then said, “Look, you've seen enough about Duck, and you know we of the Pas De Six know about her. Being that we are so close together, it's hard to hide anything from anyone. In any case, you already have seen some odd things, so this should not surprise you.”
“Well, only if she takes care of herself, and behaves,” said Mai, to which Uzzura stopped her song, stuck her right forefinger in her mouth, thought for a moment, and then said, “I'll take care of things-zura! I'll be a good girl, and I'll earn my keep-zura!”
Mai was now starting to see just how human this thing acted, and she surprised herself as she began to look at Uzzura as a little sister. The only thing she could figure to do was to treat her that way. She looked at Uzzura and said, “Okay, you can stay, but only if you do earn your keep, deal?”
She stuck out a hand, and Uzzura took a moment or two to realize that a deal was being made. She then smiled and stuck out her hand as they shook. “Welcome home, little sister,” said Mai, as Uzzura then said, “I have a home-zura!”