Detective Hermann Flemming walks past through the patrol cars and police line and enters the alley. A number of officers are already there and the forensic team has begun to examine the crime scene. Flemming goes to one of the forensic scientists.
“What do we got?” he asks. The scientist turns to him.
“Detective Flemming… well, this body appeared to have suffered extensive blunt trauma to the head and the neck is broken. The wrist is also fractured.” He looks up towards the roofs above the alley. “Initial theory is that there might have been a struggle on the roof. The subject appears to have tried to defend himself with one arm raised to defend against a club of some sort that shattered the wrist. He then fell head first and died on impact.”
“Did you find a weapon?”
Flemming ponders on the details for a moment. He looks around the alley and his eyes fall upon the other body in the scene.
“What about that one?” Flemming gestures to it.
“This one is a more interesting case. From the looks of it, the subject suffered severe burns throughout his body.” Flemming sees numerous burns covering the corpse. “We can’t get anything more until the results of an autopsy comes in.”
“Let me hear it as soon as you got something.”
Flemming moves towards the other parts of the alley. It’s completely enclosed, and the only exit appears to be the one he came through. Running up one side of a building is a fire escape with the ladder at bottom raised up. Flemming looks up to the roof it goes up to. Exiting the alley, he goes over to the office building with the fire escape and enters.
“Good morning. Welcome to Finnegan Real Estate,” greets a portly man. “How may I help you?”
“Good morning. I’m Detective Flemming,” he flashes his badge at the man. “I’m here to investigate the murder that took place here. You were the one that found the bodies and called us, is that correct?”
“Yes! I was opening up the office this morning when I first saw them. Didn’t recognize them at first when they are on the ground. I just thought it was just something someone dumped there, so I went in and didn’t think anything about it. There was this bunch of punks that usually come around here at noon, generally causing a disturbance for the people around here. I’ve gotten into the habit of driving them away everyday. Otherwise, they’ll hang around all day. So when I went there a while ago, I found it really strange when it was all quiet. That was when I recognize them.”
As Finnegan was talking, Detective Flemming takes out a notepad and jots down on it. “You said that they usually hang around here?” When Finnegan confirms it, he asks. "If you don’t mind, I’d like you to come down to the station later to help identify the bodies.
“It’s been slow… I suppose I can close up early.”
Flemming puts away the notepad. “One more thing, I need to see your roof.”
“The roof? Of course. Come this way.”
Finnegan leads the detective to the stairs. They climb a few flights until the stairs end at a door. Flemming takes notice of the paint that flakes from the side of the door as Finnegan unlocks and opens it.
Coming out onto the roof, Flemming squints from the glare of the sunlight. Dirt covers the surface under their feet. He walks across the roof towards the fire escape. His steps leave tracks through the dirt. He lays his hand on the guard rails and peers over the edge of the roof. The alley looms below him. He can see no marks of any possible impact of something on the edges of the roof.
When Flemming takes his hand off the guard rails, some dirt came off with it. He glances down at the dirt, which he rubs between his fingers. His eyes sweeps the guard rails for any clues and continues around the roof. But other than the marks he left behind, there’s no sign of any person having been anywhere here recently. Flemming wonders about the validity of a struggle in the roof.
What could have happened here? Flemming thought. Figuring that there’s nothing to see around here, he turns and walks back towards Finnegan.
“Did you find anything?” Finnegan asks.
Finnegan studies the detective as he passes by him. From the lack of expression on Flemming’s face, it looks like he’s not going to comment on this any further. They head back down and leave the building.
While waiting for Finnegan to close up, the detective ponders on what he should do next inside his car. Flemming watches as the officers cart the bodies away. He needs to gather more pieces of the puzzle, but the autopsy results will take a few days. He’ll have to start with the identity of the bodies first.
Detective Flemming drove to the police station with Finnegan following behind him. They park their cars in the lot and then Flemming leads the way to the morgue. The bodies of the two murder victims were laid on a table. He motions Finnegan closer.
“This is their leader. Name’s Vincent,” Finnegan declares after a cursory glance.
“I don’t know. A lot of people know him though, so there should be someone who knows if you ask around.”
Finnegan moves over to the other one. “This one… is…” He pauses, trying to figure it out. The body is almost covered in burns, making it difficult to identify. After mulling it over, he suddenly blurts out.
“Ah! This is that guy, Marcos! Last name… Nathaniel!” He finishes proudly.
“Are you sure?”
“Absolutely sure. His face is badly burnt, but I know that piercing anywhere.” Finnegan points to a piercing at one side of the head that goes through the skull. It’s connected by a chain to his earring. “He’s the only one that has that kind.”
“All right then.” They exit the morgue. Outside, the detective turns and shakes Finnegan’s hand. “Thank you very much for your help.”
“It’s my pleasure to help. I hope you find the criminal.”
Flemming heads to his office. He’s going to need to research the backgrounds of the victims, as well whoever they know or who knows them. It’s not much, but it’s a start.
“Look, look. Isn’t this a cute hat?” Charlene picks out a hat from a clothes stand and shows it her friends.
“Oh, that is cute,” Juni tries it out and looks at a mirror. “Doesn’t suit me though.”
“Oooooooooh,” Charlene giggles as she finds a derby hat hidden underneath a pile. She puts it on her head. “How about this one.”
Juni laughs. “Is that for real? I thought only clowns have that hat.”
“Peasants have no sense of fashion.” Charlene sniffs in mock indignation, making Juni laugh even harder. She prances around in an exaggerated model’s walk until she breaks down and joins Juni in her laughter. After putting the hat back in the pile, they move away from the clothing boutique to other parts of the shopping district.
Kreszenz follows after the two. Over the past week, Juni have become close to them. They would spend their free time together during and after school. Sometimes, they’ll talk about the past. Other times, they’ll just hang out and enjoy each other’s company. Just the typical life of a group of friends.
That’s all there is to it.
Yet, somehow, Kreszenz feels that’s there’s still more to it than that. Whenever Juni would talk about that their past lives, Kreszenz feels… odd. It’s like… like…
Like being told the truth and lied to at the same time.
That’s the best way she can describe it. She’s not sure why that is, but it just seems that they’re not being told everything upfront. But there’s nothing she can do about it because try as she might, she can’t remember anything about it. She might as well be trying to remember a dream.
Or a nightmare.
At that moment, Juni’s phone rings. She takes it out of her pocket and answers it.
“It’s my mother,” Juni tells them. She excuses herself and moves a short distance away for privacy. Charlene smiles at the now-familiar sight. They’ve gotten to know that part of Juni quite well.
“Isn’t it nice how good the relationship Juni has with her mother?” Charlene says.
“Yeah,” Kreszenz replies half-heartedly. This made Charlene look at her. She immediately recognizes the troubled face of her friend
“Please tell me,” Charlene holds Kreszenz hands earnestly. “If it’s something I can help with, about Juni or anything else… but even if I can’t, maybe talking about it might help.” She squeezes her hands. “So please, tell me.”
Kreszenz is taken aback at Charlene’s reaction. “What… why do you think it’s about Juni?”
“You’ve been acting differently ever since we met her.” Charlene looks up to her. “I know you don’t easily complain. Please tell me. At least you don’t have to worry about it alone.” Looking at Charlene’s soulful eyes, Kreszenz feels that she can’t hide her misgivings anymore.
“It’s just… I don’t know. I just can’t feel good about being around her.” Kreszenz shakes her head. “I’m not sure why. Maybe it’s because she remembers more about us than we do.”
Charlene think about it for a while. “I… don’t know if Juni is telling us everything,” She slowly answers. “But… I think she has her reasons not to tell us everything. Maybe there are things we are better off without… not remembering.” She plays with Kreszenz’s fingers. “If I was the one who remember everything… I wouldn’t want you to remember the bad things that happened, only the good things.”
Kreszenz remains quiet after Charlene said her piece. She digests what she said, then sighs. “You’re right. That’s probably it. I guess that’s just me worrying too much over nothing,” She smiles at Charlene. “Thank you.”
“It’s not nothing. I’m glad you can tell me how you really feel.” Charlene smiles back. “I’m really glad.”
“One thing I’m wondering about…” Kreszenz muses. “…is when did you get so smart?”
“Hey!” Charlene cries in mock indignation. “I’ll have you know that you’re looking at a world-class genius.”
They laugh and close it by hugging each other. Then Charlene turns back to Juni. Or at least, where she was just standing a moment ago. There is only a food vendor in sight now.
“Hey, where’s Juni?”
Researching the background of the victims leads Flemming to this part of the neighborhood where the murder victims lived. Gathering information about the two wasn’t difficult. They have a long criminal record of petty crimes. They were an infamous pair and everyone knows about them. But it appears that no one knows about what happened to them, nor do they care. The people around there have gotten so used to the commotions that they cause that they probably wouldn’t have given it much thought even if they might have noticed something. He doesn’t expect to get much cooperation from them.
However, there appears to be one person who regularly associates with them. While asking the families of the victims, one of them mentioned about vaguely remembering another who is with them. A search through an album of recently taken photos revealed a photo a person beside the two men.
“Do you know this person?” Flemming asks for what seems like the hundredth time. He holds a picture of a man with the two murdered victims.
“No, I don’t know him,” comes the answer for what seems like the hundredth time.
Unfortunately, he seems to be all but unknown. Unlike the other two, he is relatively inconspicuous. When mentioned with the picture, people who knew them do recall him as someone who follows the victims around. No one knows who he is though. He doesn’t have any criminal record to speak off. All indication points out that he is simply a follower. It’ll be difficult for Flemming if he can’t even get a name.
His roaming brings him to a convenience store. He decides to take a break from his search and goes in. Inside he buys a hot dog and soda from a petite lady behind the counter. She appears to be the owner of the store. As an afterthought, he takes out the picture of the man to show it to her and asks about him.
“Oh, I know that man,” she says.
Finally, Flemming thought. “Can you tell me where he is?”
“I don’t know where he is right now. I actually don’t know much about him at all,” she admits. “He just comes in and delivers my orders once a week.”
“Can you tell me what company he works for?”
“I order from the Matton Food Co. I think I have their address.” The lady opens a drawer and rifles through it. She finds and takes out a card. “Here. This is their business card.”
The detective takes the card and thanks her for her help. He walks back to his car with food items in hand. A quick glance at the card shows an address that he recognizes where it is.
After quickly gulping down his hot dog and soda, he drives towards the location. Eventually, he arrives at a shipping/receiving station behind a warehouse. A small sign at the side is marked with its name. Flemming gets out of his car and walks up to the where a several men are unloading a truck. One of them notices him and comes.
“What can I do for you?” he asks.
“I’m looking for this man.” Flemming hands over the picture.
“Yeah, that’s Luke. He comes here for work. He hasn’t been here lately though. Usually, he come right around this time… oh, there he is.” The supervisor points to a man down the street coming towards them. Flemming turns and spots him. Luke, in turn sees him. He immediately turns and flees.
“Hey, wait… Stop!” Flemming calls for back up and takes off running after him.
“Yes, mother? I’m all right… I’m with Charlene and Kreszenz… Yes, I’ve done the preparations… Yes, I’ll pick up the graduation gown… No, I’m not hurt…” This goes on with Juni having to repeat what she just said in different ways to reassure her mother.
Once that’s done, Juni hangs up and sighs. She understands her mother’s concern for her, and appreciates it more than anyone might think. It does become bothersome though, especially when she does it everyday.
Juni puts her cell phone away. When she looks up, she suddenly gets a glimpse of a familiar face through the crowd. There’s a pause as she ponders uncertainly whether she saw what she thought she saw.
It can’t be.
Juni start walking quickly and makes her way through the sidewalks heading towards where she caught the sight. When she reaches that point, she looks around and gets another glimpse of a familiar face, causing her to break into a jog.
Juni resists the urge to go any faster than the speed she’s going now. It wouldn’t be good to attract attention if she starts sprinting at high-speed. Eventually, she catches up to them. She slows down and approaches cautiously until all the people around her have cleared. That’s when she realizes what’s happening.
Their chase leads them through the shopping district. Luke is weaving through clusters of people wandering about with Flemming hot behind him. After a few minutes, Luke turns into an alley. The detective turns that same corner and sees his target trying to scale a fence. Flemming immediately catches up to him and pulls him down.
“It wasn’t me!” Luke screams as he struggles to break free. “I didn’t do it!”
Flemming slams him to the ground. “Didn’t do what?”
“I didn’t… I didn’t kill them,” Luke gasps out.
“So you know something about the murder.” Flemming keeps him pinned as he reaches for his handcuffs. "Why don’t you tell me what you know about the murder?
When Luke remains silent, Flemming cuffs his hands behind him. “Nothing to say?”
“You won’t believe me,” Luke starts struggling again. The detective has to drag him forcefully out of the alley. When they reach the sidewalks, Luke resigns himself and goes along with the detective. People stare as they head back to Flemming’s car. Flemming opens a door and Luke turns to the side so that he can get in. That’s when he sees someone whose face is burned into his mind.
“That’s her! That’s her!” He blurts out suddenly. His eyes bulge as if he is seeing his nightmare come to life.
“What?” Flemming is startled by his outburst.
There… over there!" Luke stares straight at Juni. Flemming turns to follow his eyes. The only one he sees in that direction is an auburn-haired girl standing a short distance away looking back at them. He turns back to Luke to check again, but he is clearly looking straight at her.
“Are you telling me that the one who murdered those two men is a young girl?” Flemming stares at him in disbelief. "You’re right, I don’t believe you.
“It’s her!” Luke insists The commotion he’s causing is starting to attract attention. People turn to look at them.
“No… you stay away from me. Stay away!” Luke frantically tries to get away from. Flemming has to haul him off his feet to keep him from escaping.
“Get in there!” Flemming shoves inside the car and slams the door behind him. Luke’s futile screams continuous muffled in the car as Flemming turns to Juni.
“Sorry about that, miss,” Flemming apologizes to her.
“Is he all right?” The girl glances past him to try and see Luke in the backseat of the police car.
“Oh, don’t mind him,” Flemming waves it off. “We’re just going to ask him some questions.”
“Are you going to let him go afterwards?”
“Well, that depends on what we find.” Flemming shrugs. Then he looks to study her closely. “Are you a friend of his?”
“No.” She shakes her head. “We just met somewhere.”
“I see. We’ll be off then.” He turns and gets in his car. As he drives, he notices the girl’s intense stare at the rear view mirror. It gives him an uneasy feeling that continues long after she is out of sight.
Juni continuous to look hard at the car as it pulls away. She was careless. It was a mistake to let him go. This loose end needs to be dealt with. Otherwise, the police will tie her in to those two men she killed.
“Ah! There you are!” Charlene cries out. Juni is startled and whirls around to see her two friends running up to her. Charlene stops in a huff in front of her.
“We looked all over for you.”
“Oh… I had to buy something for my mother,” Juni lies. “That was why she called.”
“Oh, okay. But why didn’t you call us first? We would have gone with you.” Charlene wonders.
“It seems so out of the way that I didn’t want to bother you.”
“Don’t be silly. You know that it wouldn’t be a bother for us,” Charlene admonishes.
“See?” Charlene turns back to her.
“Ah… you’re right.” Juni smiles.
“Now then,” Charlene claps her hands. “Where should we go next?”
“Um, since we’re here, how about we go over to the Lantern?” Juni suggests. She refers to a section of the shopping district that is lit by a very large and bright lamp post at the center of a food court. “I heard some famous magician is going to be performing there today.”
“Great! Let’s go!” Charlene leads the way and Juni follows right after her. Kreszenz made no move as
“Juni…” Kreszenz start to say, but stops herself.
“Hmm?” Juni turns to her questioningly. Kreszenz hesitates, then pushes herself to finish what she wanted to ask.
"What were you looking before… that person who drove away?
“Ah, it was nothing.” Juni replies. “I thought it was someone I knew, but I was mistaken.”
“Okay,” Kreszenz didn’t push it any further, although she looks unconvinced. She follows suit and catches up with Charlene.
Juni’s thoughts return to that man. He’ll most likely face a judge within 24 hours. She’ll have to deal with this quickly.
“Come on, Luke,” Flemming leans forward on the other side of the table. “just tell us what really happened.”
“I just told you,” Luke replies sullenly.
“About that girl who managed to kill two grown men in just a few seconds with superpowers?” Flemming shakes his head “You expect us to believe that?”
“I am telling the truth!” Luke snaps back. He sinks back into silence. He doesn’t respond when Flemming tries to continue, so the detective sighs and leaves him in the room.
Flemming has been questioning Luke since he was taken in, but no matter how much he pressures him, it just keeps coming back to that girl he saw. Luke continues to insist on his story. He is starting to think he’s telling the truth. The detective sits down and leans back wearily against his chair. An officer stops by Hermann’s desk.
“Hermann, I got the info on that girl you had me look up,” he says. He drops off a folder, then leaves to go back to his work.
Flemming picks up the folders and scans through the papers. He had someone look up the background while he was questioning Luke. The first few pages revealed nothing unusual to note. Her name, age, family, and the school she goes to…
Something catches his eye. Flemming sits up and starts reading more intently. It seems she’s one of the girls that disappeared. He wasn’t on the case before, so he has no knowledge about the ones who vanished. What he does know is that a number of girls who have disappeared in different parts of Europe suddenly reappeared at the same time after a meteor shower. And one of them is this girl.
Flemming leans back thoughtfully. It could be just a coincidence… No, he surmises. He remembers the girl asking about Luke. That can’t be coincidence. For reasons not yet known to him, she’s involved somehow. Flemming grabs his coat.
“I’m heading out.” Flemming tells his supervisor. “I think I got a possible lead on the case.”
“Better make it quick. We don’t have enough on Luke yet. We’re going to have a lawyer meet with Luke and have him face the judge soon. We won’t be able to detain him any longer if we don’t get any concrete evidence.”
“I’ll keep it in mind.”
Flemming drives towards the home of Juni. When he reaches it, he goes up to the front step of her house. The Househelp met him at the door and lets him in after a few minutes. He is lead to a living room where the parents of the girl are waiting.
“Good evening, Detective Flemming.” Juni’s father greets him. “How may I help you?”
“Good evening, sir, madame. Is Juni here”
“Why? Did something happened with Juni?” her mother immediately has a worried expression on her face.
“Ah, no. I just want to ask her a few questions about the murder that took place a week ago.” Flemming immediately realizes that he shouldn’t have said that when he sees her face suddenly become very distressed.
“My daughter’s involved in a murder?”
“No, I’m not saying that”
"Juni’s such a quiet child. She is obedient, and kind-hearted.
"I’m sure she is, but
“She would never do anything wrong. Never!”
Her husband has to take a few minutes to calm her down. He turns to the detective
“She isn’t here,” he says.
“Did you know where she went?” asks the detective.
“No, she didn’t say.”
“I see. I’d like you to call me when she comes home.” Flemming tells her his phone number and leaves. The detective returns to the station disappointed. He was hoping that he might be able to at least get something that they can use as a case. He gets ready to tell his superior the bad news. But as he enters the station, he notices a commotion in the station.
“What’s going on?” Flemming asks the closest one to him, who just shrugs. Their supervisor walks up to him.
“There’s a problem, Hermann,” his supervisor says. “The suspect is gone.”
Kreszenz is hanging out at Charlene’s house. She is curled up on a bean bag chair as she watches a show. In the kitchen, Charlene is preparing some snacks for them in kitchen.
“Hey, Kreszenz,” Charlene calls out. “Do you want chips or some leftover pizza?”
“Pizza!” Kreszenz calls back.
Charlene comes in bringing the pizza on plates and soda. Kreszenz thanks her and they settle down. They watch quietly until the show ends. The broadcast then turns to a news report on a suspect in a murder that have escaped.
“How scary. I didn’t know there are people like that around here,” Charlene comments. She takes the remote to switch it to some other channel when Kreszenz suddenly stops her. She looks at Kreszenz curiously as she watches it intently.
That guy. Kreszenz leans forward. Recognizing him as the one that Juni was looking at earlier that day, she listens intently. The man is said to be the prime suspect in the murder of two men last week. He is scheduled to have a hearing tomorrow when he is found missing from his cell. The police are currently searching for him, believing that he might have an accomplice.
He’s a criminal. Kreszenz falls back as she sinks into deep thought. She correctly assumed that he was being taken away. But what relation he has with Juni, she doesn’t know. What does Juni have to with guy involved in a murder.
Kreszenz pauses as she considers the last word from that thought.
Kreszenz feels a headache coming. It gets stronger, then something begins to budge in her mind. She starts remembering scraps of thought, vague at first but which grows steadily clearer.
Bypassing security measures.
Charlene notices how pale Kreszenz’s face have become. “Are you all right?” she asks.
HIA-107 setup complete. Initializing mode 434
The images are coming in faster. Girls in dark blue uniform… operations… a man floating amidst flames…
Designated Code Name: Marz
A sudden flash of memory strikes her, then everything suddenly makes sense. With it is an inevitable realization. She remembers now. Who they are… what they are. Kreszenz goes down on her knees. She feels sick to her stomach. She puts a hand to her mouth to keep herself from throwing up.
“Kreszenz!?” Charlene rushes over to her side. “What’s wrong?”
Kreszenz can only shake her head. What can she say? What can she tell her?
“Tell me what’s wrong,” Charlene pleads.
Hearing her voice, Kreszenz feels like crying. She wants to say it, to let it all out. She wants to confess everything she’s done, what they’ve done. She wants her to say that everything will be all right. She couldn’t bear this alone.
If I was the one who remember everything… I wouldn’t want you to remember the bad things that happened, only the good things.
No, Kreszenz realizes. The reality of it hits her. She can’t tell her. She can’t let her friend remember, any of it. If Charlene remembers, if the memory of what they’ve done comes back, then the innocence would be lost. It will surely destroy her. This a burden she’ll be bearing alone.
This brings a cloud of despair over her. There is no one else she can tell, no one she knows that will believe her. For those that might, how would they react, knowing she was killer? There is no comfort she can expect from them, only judgement. Perhaps that might be what she deserves, but not Charlene. No matter what happens, she can’t let her friend suffer along with her.
Juni A glimmer of hope shine through. She forgot that there’s another who also remember
Kreszenz gets up shakily. Charlene help her up. She continuous to hold her up for support in case she collapses again.
“Are you… okay?” Charlene asks hesitatingly.
“Yes, I’m fine.” Kreszenz forces a smile. “I just felt… dizzy, for a moment. I’m fine now.”
It’s obvious to Charlene that she’s far from fine, but Kreszenz pushes past her and heads for the door.
“Where are you going?” Charlene stares at her friend worriedly.
“I’m going home,” Kreszenz answers. She opens the door and goes out.
“I’ll come with you.”
“No, really, I’m fine,” Kreszenz insists from the doorway. “I’ll see you tomorrow.” She says before closing the door.
“Wait!” Charlene grabs her coat, then rushes out. But when she gets outside, only empty streets greet her.
There was a thump as the body of Luke is dropped on the roof. Juni looks over her shoulder at the commotion occurring behind her. Police officers are milling about as they try to comprehend what occurred. It was easy enough for Juni to infiltrate the police station, especially when one can teleport through the walls.
Reaching below some ventilation pipes, she takes out a plastic tarp she hid there beforehand. Juni spreads it over the roof and lays the body on one side. She folds over the corners to each side of her over the head and feet of the body, then rolls it up until it was completely wrapped up in the tarp. Once that’s done, she waits for the police cars to leave and the rest to settle down a bit before she moves from her position.
Juni lifts up and carries the body over her shoulder. She peeks down to the streets from the rooftop to scout for any people that might see her before leaping to the next. She repeats the motion on the next one. Like this, she heads towards the direction of the river.
The ex-Doll didn’t let her guard down for even one second. Experience shows that anything could happen It is only when the river is within sight does she even begin to ease her tense muscles.
Almost there, Juni thought. A cool breeze coming from the river feels so relaxing. Once the body is taken care of, the police will most likely assume that he escaped somehow and won’t be looking for a killer. She’ll be able to return to her life without problems. Juni takes a step, then pauses.
Juni stands motionless. She cocks her head as if she’s trying to hear something. After a few moments, she slowly starts advancing again. Probably just something blown by the wind, is what she’s thinking.
Then it came again. Juni quickly puts the body out of immediate sight. This time there’s no mistaking it. She can sense that something is coming her way. Something with considerable strength, and that in some way gives her a sense of nostalgia. The possibilities are that the police have a member or have employed a person of significant ability. Or worse, it’s a government agent.
Juni immediately hides in the shadows of a corner and waits quietly. The sound of shoes touching down on the roof signals the arrival of someone. Footsteps slowly sound out, and stops. It picks up again after a while. It sounds like it is coming closer to where Juni is hiding. There’s no doubt about it. This one is clearly after her, and is somehow on her trail. Running away is useless. She’ll have to eliminate this obstacle.
Juni readies herself and carefully peers from her position to where the hunter is. She can see that the figure is that of a female. She is wearing casual clothes, and not that of any kind of uniform or suit which an agent might wear. Clouds pass overhead to let some moonlight through and Juni can now see her face clearly.
Kreszenz? Juni is stunned to see her there. She doesn’t know of any reason Kreszenz would be up on the rooftops, much less why she is pursuing her. How is not a question, as Juni can feel the familiar sensation of Psycho Power radiating from her. But if the Psycho Power in Kreszenz is reawakened, then that could only mean one thing…
Juni steps out. Kreszenz immediately sees her and comes close. Juni doesn’t think she is hostile, but keeps her guard up.
“I found you,” Kreszenz says. The expression that can be seen on her face is mixed, but the closest it appears to be is apprehension. What Juni is feeling from her is tinged with negative emotions like fear, anxiety, and despair. There’s no sense of any aggressive intent, however.
“Do you… remember?” she asks. Kreszenz nods to confirm it.
“I…” Kreszenz starts to say, but it gets caught in her throat. She has many things she wants to talk about with her, but none will come out though. She doesn’t usually talk directly to Juni so now that the opportunity presents itself, she doesn’t know how to start. An awkward silence falls over as Kreszenz fumbles for words.
“Why… did you come to me?” Juni finally speaks up after a while.
“Because you’re… because you also remember,” Kreszenz replies, encouraged by Juni taking the lead.
“What about Charlene?”
Kreszenz shakes her head. “She still doesn’t remember.”
This made Juni pause. “Didn’t you tell her?”
“No.” Kreszenz turns away. “For the same reason that you didn’t tell us everything.”
At this point, Juni is dumbfounded. For the same reason she did? Because she couldn’t trust them to not betray her? How is that possible? And how the hell did Kreszenz know about that?
“You did it for us,” Kreszenz says.
“It must have been hard on you, having to keep this all to yourself,” Kreszenz continuous. Juni could only stare at her. “You were alone. There’s no one that you can tell. You had to cope, knowing all the crimes that you have done. Yet, for all of the things you had to go through, you’re still thinking about others.”
Juni just stares at her.
“I’ve had my doubts about you ever since we met. I felt that you were lying to us. I wasn’t able to trust you because of that. But now that I remember, I realize that you were only trying to protect us. The pain of remembering terrible memories.”
It’s quite clear to Juni now after hearing Kreszenz that she is being completely misunderstood. That wasn’t on her mind at all. This made it certain now that there’s no way she could ask her to rejoin as a Doll.
But seeing how Kreszenz just pour her heart out made Juni feel a sense of guilt. She almost feels like telling her about telling her the truth. She reaches out a hand to her shoulder.
Suddenly, Kreszenz moves to embrace her. This surprises Juni and her guard slips. Then for a moment, only a moment, the telepathic link connects their minds, and Kreszenz can see the image in Juni’s mind.
Juni immediately pushes her away. It was only an instant, but that was enough. Kreszenz looks at her with a stunned face.
“Those murders in the news… That was you?” Kreszenz whispers in disbelief.
Juni didn’t reply. She turns to where she placed the body and picks it up. There’s no use in hiding it anymore.
“What are you doing?” Kreszenz asks, looking at the body.
“I’m getting rid of it,” Juni says, driving any doubts from Kreszenz’s mind about what she discovered. She slings it over her shoulder and carries it past Kreszenz. They avoid each other’s eyes.
“Why?” Kreszenz asks as Juni goes by.
“They attacked me,” Juni replies.
“But killing them?!” Kreszenz swirls around. “We’re not Dolls anymore! Why are you doing this?”
Juni didn’t answer and keeps walking away. Kreszenz grabs the body and hangs on to it.
“Why?!” Kreszenz repeats.
Juni stands motionless for a long moment.“You may not think of yourself as one anymore,” Juni says quietly. “But I still do.”
Kreszenz hands slips away from the body as she stares shocked at Juni who starts to walk away again. She is only looking for comfort. She came here looking for a companion that can understand her, expecting for her to help in coping. But she is not expecting this.
“How can you think about going back to that kind of life?” Kreszenz shakes her head unable to comprehend the seeming insanity of it. “We were killers! Did you enjoy being a puppet so much?”
Juni stops again. “To you, our time as Dolls was when you were used to do things by our master.” Juni place a hand over her chest. “But I don’t really care about being used. Whether as a puppet or a killer, it doesn’t matter as long as I can serve him”
“You don’t know what you’re saying,” Kreszenz cries out. “How can you say that you want to serve something like that! M.Bison is the most vile monster in the whole world!”
At that, Juni’s eyes flash with anger and an aura of Psycho Power surges from her. Kreszenz shields herself from the sudden wave. When she opens her eyes, she only catches a glimpse of Juni rushing her before she is sent hurtling back.
“Do… Not… EVER… Speak badly of Sir Bison!” Juni says coldly.
Kreszenz is shaken, but she’s also starting to get angry as well. She can’t resist shooting another barb at her. “I’m sorry. I meant to say that he’s the most despicable demon that ever walked this planet!”
Kreszenz regrets it almost immediately as Juni rushes Kreszenz. The girl becomes overwhelmed as she tries to defend herself. There’s a clear difference between their combat abilities before and after they were Dolls. Only the blind rage that is making Juni swing wildy keeps Kreszenz from getting killed almost immediately.
Kreszenz desperately grabs at the bundle with the body of Luke and tries to use it as a shield. She brings it up as Juni swings for her head. There was a sickening thud when on impact and the sound of bones can be heard cracking. The blow tears it off of Kreszenz’s hands and sends it flying away. The tarp covering it is ripped off as the corpse goes over the end of roof and drops into the streets below.
Flemming drives along, trying to see any signs of the fugitive. He joined in the search for Luke and went to the area not being patrolled yet. They don’t even know how he got out in the first place, but they assume he couldn’t have gotten far.
Something suddenly crashes on the hood of the car. Tires screech as Flemming slams down the brakes. After the car comes into a halt, he gets out and looks at what it is. He immediately recognizes the face of Luke, with whatever is left of the rest of his body. He looks up and sees that someone is up on the roof looking down on him. The person move back out of sight.
“I found Luke. He’s dead!” the detective yells over radio. He quickly gives his location. “There’s someone up on the roof where Luke dropped from. I’m going in.”
Flemming immediately goes up to the door of the building and enters. He is inside an apartment complex with the receptionist being the only person in sight. He shows his badge to the receptionist and starts heading up the stairs. A few flights up puts him at the top floor. He can see the fire escape through a window at the end of the hall. He goes over there and sticks his head out the window. He can see the access ladder to the roof to his left. He climbs through the windows and up the ladder. He takes his gun before climbing over the last few feet and on to the roof.
As soon as the body went over, Juni breaks off her assault and immediately rushes over to the side of the roof. She looks down and sees someone looking back up at her. She recognizes him as the person who arrested her target before. She backs away and starts running towards the direction of the river. A leap puts her immediately on the next roof.
Kreszenz spots the detective coming on to the roof with gun drawn. She immediately moves to knock it away from his hand. He tries to take her down with a tackle, but she didn’t even budge. Even after suffering through Juni’s onslaught, she’s still an enhanced soldier. With inhuman strength, she lifts him up and throws away to the other end of the roof. She rushes over to the side where Juni went.
“Wait!” Kreszenz calls out. “Juni!”
Police sirens sounds like they’re coming closer until they stop below them. Kreszenz looks down to see police officers stepping out of their cars and heading inside the building. It won’t take long until they reach the roof access. Kreszenz looks back up to see Juni’s silhoutte fading into the shadows.
Kreszenz judges the distance between the roof. It’s at least 20 meters across. She moves back for some running space. Another look again at the distance between the rooftops makes her hesitate. Although she knows that it’s possible after watching Juni clear it, she never actually have attempted to jump something like this. She spends much of the time in front of a computer screen.
The uncertain girl hears the sound of the police officers approaching and takes off running. It’s now or never. She steps on the edge of the roof and leaps into the air.
Kreszenz feels like she’s floating. Wind on her face makes her feel giddy. The momentary rush disappears as soon as she realizes that she is getting too low. It wasn’t enough. She’s not going to make it. The edge of the rooftop is just a little out of reach of her outstretched arm before her vision is jarred as she collides against the wall.
It takes a few seconds for Kreszenz to collect herself and realize that she’s not falling. She looks up and sees Juni looking down at her. She grabbed on to her arm as she fell and is now pulling her up over and on solid surface.
Juni helps Kreszenz up on her feet. Before Kreszenz could say a word, she is being pulled along by Juni. Once they are further into the shadows away from the sight of the police officers, Juni turns back to Kreszenz.
“Are you okay?” Juni asks. Kreszenz nods. Juni points ahead. “Keep making your way to the river. The building are close together, so you should be able to get there by yourself. Once you make it there, swim along for about 50 meters to make sure that you’ve lost them.”
Juni turns and walks away.
“Where are you going?” Kreszenz asks.
“I’ll lure them away.” Juni replies. “You go on ahead.”
“Be careful.” Kreszenz calls to her. She watches her back until Juni moves out of her sight. Then, she goes off to do as Juni instructed.
Juni heads back towards where the police are gathering. She moves to where they can see her. Soon enough, a chopper that was called on to the scene is shining it’s spotlight down on her. She stares at it for a moment before dashing away. The chase is on.
Charlene is working on the graduation speech she’ll give at the ceremony tomorrow. She breaks off from the task to close her eyes for a moment and stretch. A sound makes her turn and see a familiar figure on the balcony outside. She immediately gets up and rushes over to open it.
Kreszenz is standing there with her face downcast. Water drips from her to collect into a puddle at her feet. Even though it wasn’t raining, she is soaking wet. Kreszenz stumbles forward and almost falls over if not for Charlene catching her, and starts sobbing in her friend’s arms.
Detective Flemming stands at the paramedic van with a blanket around him. He have an ice bag over a bump on his head. When he came around, the person on the roof have already escaped.
“Did you get her?” Flemming asks one of the officers in the search.
“No sir, we couldn’t stop her. We lost her when she jumped into the river.”
“Damn it!” Flemming slaps a hand down the side of his leg in frustration. He’s not surprised though, after seeing the girl’s superhuman strength. He doubts that there’s anyone that can stop her even if they did find her.
The detective stares out over the water. The events that have happened are overwhelming. Finding the answer to one question has opened up so many more. He doesn’t even know what kind of answers he can expect. And worst of all, somehow, he feels like he is not going to be able to find out what they are.