Chapter 9: Unexpected Alliance?
"This is where we found the bodies…"
Lucretia stepped into the living room area and looked down to the markings of the prone figures that had lain there hours before. Lucretia's eyes were a dark shade of colour that day, having forced herself to suppress her emotions. Her face was set into a blank mask. Behind her, she could hear the two agents asking the inspector in charge questions.
"They were shot," Lucretia said out loud.
"Yes, that's what the reports say," the officer confirmed.
"They were sitting on the sofa," Lucretia said, walking around the piece of furniture. "He came from behind. They heard him and turned, but it was too late. He shot them from here."
She stood approximately five feet from the sofa with her arms holding an imaginary shotgun in an effort to reenact the murder scene. She narrowed her eyes and looked at the bloodstains on the TV, walls and floor.
"From this angle, the distance of the blood splatter is achieved," she explained. "Two shots, two shells, a clean kill. Gunshot residue is found around this area so my assumptions are correct. He then escaped through the window."
She walked over to it and bent around to find anything unusual.
"This should be dusted, there could be fingerprints," she told the officer then looked out to the backyard. "I can see footprints."
"That was freaky," Hunter told her. "Have you watched too much CSI or something?"
"Lucretia… have you studied forensics before?" Melrose asked with a frown.
"No, but I have volumes of them in my room along with psychology, literature and law," Lucretia told her. "I always had very odd interests when I was young."
"No wonder L accepted you into the investigation amongst millions of others," Melrose said, looking at the other woman in a new light. "You're as brilliant as he is."
"That isn't true…" Lucretia muttered and looked away. "If I really was as brilliant as he is, we would have found Kira by now…"
"What does L look like anyway?" Hunter raised an eyebrow.
"I'm not in a position to tell you," Lucretia gave him a small smile.
"Alright, alright," Hunter huffed. "Besides, we already have the camera footage to prove the killer was Ryler. All we need is an arrest warrant then we can put him to the chair."
"You are way too enthusiastic about this," Melrose told him.
"Still thinking about my vacation," Hunter said in a singsong voice.
"I know the chief said you were a brilliant officer but can you lay down t on he eccentricities?" Melrose sighed in exasperation.
"All brilliant people are eccentric…" Lucretia chuckled. "That's what I find anyway…"
"Listen to the psychologist, Rosie," Hunter pointed. "Eccentric people are geniuses."
Melrose rolled her eyes at him. They exited the house and Lucretia looked up to her old room.
"My mother always left the balcony door open…" she muttered. "Maybe he went in through there…?"
Lucretia gasped and ran back into the house and up the stairs into her room. She slammed open the door and looked around. Her room was in a complete mess. Drawers were removed from their places, the bed was upturned, and her table was broken… Lucretia spotted something on the wall next to her and she withdrew in disgust. A dead bird hung there, nailed through the eyes to the wall.
"Shit…" she covered her mouth, about ready to gag.
She closed the door to her room and slid down against it, burying her head between her knees. She suddenly remembered something… something she had been repressing all along.
"Hey, there, little girl," he smiled to her.
She paused and looked at him suspiciously while keeping her distance away from him.
"I'll show you a fancy trick, eh?" he said, showing her a pebble in his hand.
Suddenly he threw it up into the trees and there was a loud noise of birds twittering madly. Then two carcasses fell down onto the ground.
"Killing two birds with one stone," the man laughed.
"Oh, what sick thoughts," Lucretia breathed.
"Lucretia, are you alright?" Melrose asked from the top of the stairs with Hunter by her side.
"Yes…" Lucretia said shakily and stood up.
"Did you find something?" Melrose asked, walking over to her.
She opened the door. She and Hunter looked around before noticing the dead bird. Hunter let out an even nastier curse and slammed the door shut.
"What the bloody hell?! What the bloody hell?!" he exclaimed. "That is sick! That is so sick!"
"What is the meaning of this?" Melrose asked.
"It's a sick joke of his," Lucretia explained. "Killing two birds with one stone. He had a talent for that."
"You mean actually…" Hunter paled. "What a guy…"
Lucretia clutched her head and swayed on the spot. She slammed into the wall, gasping for breath. Melrose went over to steady her.
"Are you alright?" she asked. "Don't overexert yourself."
"I'm sorry… it's just… the anxiety and the stress… it's finally taking over me," Lucretia panted.
"You should rest, here," Melrose opened the door to the guest room.
"No… not in the house, never…" Lucretia told her faintly. "Bring me back to the hotel… and get someone to get rid of the ruddy bird… It's an insult to my room."
"Yeah, will do…" Melrose said, helping her over to the stairs.
Hunter shook his head and glanced back at the door to Lucretia's room. With an inward shudder, he followed the other two downstairs.
"Why can't we find him?! Why!" Lucretia pounded her fists on the table in a frustrated rage.
It had been three months since the death of her parents and it looks like Ryler had disappeared off the face of the earth again. Nobody had seen him anywhere and nobody had even heard of him.
"I can't be locked up here, right at this moment, Ryuuzaki will be contacting him now," Lucretia grabbed a fistful of her hair. "Urgh! Why is this happening?!"
"C-Calm down, Lucretia…" Hunter said nervously. "We'll get him for sure, we have all the evidence we need."
"Evidence, yes! Proof, yes! But the criminal? No!" Lucretia exclaimed.
"Ah, damn… she's lost her mind now…" Hunter shook his head.
"I need to know what's happening in Japan! Is Ryuuzaki alright? What are they doing? What about the investigation team?"
"I think you're a tad bit obsessed with that case, dearie, relax, have a vodka," Hunter said.
"How can I relax?" Lucretia shrieked. "I have a criminal hanging over my shoulder, waiting for an opportunity to kill me and I'm cut off from my case!"
"Ah…" Hunter turned at the sound of the door clicking open.
Melrose walked in with a bunch of grocery stuff and a black file in her hands. She looked at the both of them with raised eyebrows.
"I thought I heard your dulcet tones, love," Melrose said to Lucretia. "I have news, whether it's good or bad is up to you to decide."
"Tell me," Lucretia said eagerly.
"Ryler was seen at the hill nearby your house," Melrose told her. "A neighbour observed him coming up there every night at midnight before calling the police. We'll assemble a squad to look out for him then catch him at the opportune time. We'll finally be able to get him!"
"Rosie, I've always wondered why you're always so determined on catching him," Hunter said.
"It's because the sadistic bastard killed my best friend years ago the same way he killed all his other victims," Melrose said heatedly. "It was the last thing I promised her."
"Whoa… gee, I feel so left out, everyone else in the room has been some kind of victim of Ryler," Hunter said. "I can just imagine the two of you getting all buddy-buddy and excluding me out. I feel so sad all of the sudden."
"How can you find that a bad thing?" Melrose looked at him in disbelief.
"Yeah, yeah, and stop saying his name, it hurts my ears," Lucretia said.
"Alright, alright, sheesh…" Hunter shook his head and went to get more coffee for his poor nerves.
That night, while the other two agents were fast asleep, Lucretia sneaked out of the room. She hailed a cab outside the hotel and it drove her to her destination. As she got out of her car and looked up to the house where the murder took place, she shuddered. She made her way across the front yard, stepping over all the police tape. She then reached the threshold and fumbled around with her keys before managing to unlock the door. She swung it open and walked in. The house was eerily quiet and the shadows in the corners made it look even more alarming. She started at all the little noises. She then sat down in the armchair, the armchair her father always sat in during the winters in front of the fire. She bit her lip as tears began to form in her eyes as she remembered her parents. She didn't even spend their last Christmas with them…
There was a loud grating sound from behind and she jumped back just as a heavy metal baseball bat landed on the armchair, splintering it, exactly where her head had been seconds before. The manic cold blue eyes of her enemy bored into hers. He bared his teeth at her angrily, while panting heavily. Lucretia swallowed and reached into her coat pocket to procure a gun. She aimed it at his head, preparing to shoot. The man paused and grinned at her.
"Alright, love, you really think you can kill me?" he laughed mockingly.
"Damn right I'll kill you," she breathed, gripping the gun tightly.
"You've never held a gun in your entire life, much less know how to use it," he mocked her. "Oh, don't think I don't know about you. In fact, I know everything about you, even about your little detective friend."
"You followed me to Japan?!" her eyes widened.
"Waddya expect, eh?" he said.
"Why did you kill my parents?! What have they ever done to you?!" she yelled at him.
"Ionno," he shrugged. "With the damn police hounding my back and keeping tabs on you, not to mention you being monitored by that detective…. Just thought that I'll finally be able to get my hands on you if I did kill 'em. Work, didn't?"
"You slimy bastard…" she hissed venomously.
"Tut tut, love, is that any way for a young lady to speak?" he laughed and lunged at her.
Lucretia squeezed the trigger and fired but the bullet missed him by inches. He managed to knock her onto the ground and throw the gun out of her hand. He sat on top of, leering down at her face. Lucretia started kicking and screaming in an effort to get him off her but to no avail.
"Got you exactly where I want you too, haven't I?" he grinned.
"Why you…!" she rasped and felt his hands tightened around her throat.
"Finally got you where I want!" he said, suffocating the life out of her.
"Ah! Help…!" Lucretia chocked, clawing at his hands that held her throat in an iron-like grip.
Suddenly he jerked his head upwards and his hands loosed around her neck. Lucretia stared up at him, confused as to what was happening. He clutched his chest and fell backwards onto the ground. Lucretia gasped and scrambled quickly away from him. Ryler's body convulsed violently as his hands tore away at his chest, as if trying to pry his heart out. Suddenly, with a rasping breath, he dropped back onto the ground, dead, his eyes staring blankly up at the ceiling.
"A-A heart attack?" Lucretia whispered fearfully as she panted for breath. "Was it… Kira? Kira… is… my saviour?"
The car pulled up outside the hospital entrance. The moonlight shone against the windows of the car, giving it a reflective gleam. Two figures could be seen walking towards the car, one taller than the other who was hunched at the back.
"Ryuuka…" Light called. "Isn't there something I can do to convince you that I am not Kira?"
"If you aren't Kira, that won't be necessary," L replied.
"That's enough! Try to imagine what it feels like to be suspected of being a mass murderer!" Light exclaimed.
"…" L looked up in thought. "It must feel rather terrible."
"Yeah, okay, how's this?" Light asked. "Lock me up in a place with no TV or media access for a month and see what happens."
"…I guess anyone would desperately want to prove their innocence," L said. "No, we can't do something so immoral, and arresting someone who is a mere suspect is ridiculous."
"Not to mention illegal, right?" Lucretia opened the car door.
She removed her glasses and pocketed them into her white coat that she seemed to wear everywhere nowadays. L looked at her in shock.
"Lucretia…. You're back?"" L stared at her. "Everything has been done, I suppose?"
Lucretia gave him a small smile. "It has. And… this must be Yagami Light. It's nice to meet you. I am Lucretia Laurent, a psychologist that is also investigating on the Kira Case."
"A psychologist? That's interesting. You're one of the members of the team?" Light asked.
"Yes, I am, though recently I had to be called away due to personal reasons…" Lucretia told him. "I have heard a lot about you from your father. I heard you recently got into Touou, that is remarkable of you, if I am not mistaken, only the top students are admitted there."
"Yes… thank you," Light nodded.
"By the way, how is your father now?" she asked, looking up at the hospital.
"He's alright, it was only fatigue," Light told her.
"I thought so, poor man," Lucretia nodded.
"Yes, he is under quite a lot of stress," Light said.
"If my information is accurate, I will be seeing you on the team very soon?" Lucretia glanced to L then back to him with a smile fixed on her lips.
"Yes, hopefully," L agreed.
"Well, it is getting late, shall we head back now?" Lucretia asked, getting back into the car. "Oh, and it was a pleasure to see you, Light."
"The pleasure is mine," Light smiled to her. Who exactly is she?
"Yes, let's go," L said. "And don't worry, Light, if you are not Kira we will know soon. By the way, after watching your conversation with your father, I am beginning to think that you are not Kira. Anyways, please take care."
"Ah, one more thing," Light said as L shut the door and rolled down the window. "Even though I said that I would assist you in the investigation, I don't think I will be able to do anything before my father recovers."
"I understand," L said. "Good night."
L rolled the window back up and Watari drove them off back to their hotel room. L sat in relative silence for a while, deep in thought. Lucretia pondered on her thoughts about Light in the meanwhile. Somehow, his look scared her. When she had seen photographs of Light in the past, he looked so young, energetic and innocent. Now… there was a cold gleam in his eyes, his face was pale and his manner was so suppressed.
"So what happened in London?" L asked, jerking her out of her thoughts.
"…Kira got to him first," Lucretia told him. "Anyway, what happened in London is no longer important. Tell me everything that happened during my absence."
L nodded, even though he was fairly interested on what happened in London that made her not want to talk about in detail. In any case, L told her everything that happened while she was away and Lucretia listened carefully to his conversation with Light earlier on.
"I see…" Lucretia said. "So you are making your move…"
"Do you think Light is Kira?" L asked.
"…Yes," Lucretia said. "Everything about his manner makes me suspicious of him."
"So my instincts are right," L told her. "I will now be conducting a thorough investigation on Yagami Light."
"Kira…" Lucretia said, looking out the window. "Is he really evil?"
L looked at her curiously. Lucretia stared up at the full moon that hung in the velvety starry sky. She had just remembered something that connected Light to everything. Light was on that hijacked bus with Penber. Naomi said Kira was trying to get info from the hijacking. It must be to get Raye's name. He planned Raye to give him the list of agents. Then Light must have been the one that killed Naomi since her 'disappearance' was exactly after her meeting him. She had told him her name. And Naomi was not the type of person to kill herself on her own accord, even L said so.
Kira is playing God, but he is still a human. And by being a human, he had limits. He was only preserving himself by killing the agents. He was preserving himself to make the world a better place, a place without criminals. And didn't God flood the world once to purify it because there were too many criminals? He only rescued one family from meeting their doom, but what about the other sinless families? He let them die too… In a way, Kira is doing God's work.
The car stopped outside the hotel and Lucretia stepped out. She sighed and rubbed the bridge of her nose.
She took in a shaky breath. "What am I thinking?"
Lucretia is having doubts about Kira's guilt! What other thoughts are swimming in her mind?
End of Chapter 9.