Brenda saved and printed her report of her early morning visit, and glared at the printer. There was the satisfying sound of a working machine. It hadn't been that long since her printer had been fixed. Not that the assholes in Maintenance would have gotten up to Homicide for the job. Nope, Mewtwo had done something with a screwdriver and telekinesis, and after that, the thing hadn't broken again.
It saved her bruised knuckles, anyways.
"You! Aitken! Run this up to Peabody for me." Brenda held up her report, and grinned as the officer walked over. The expression on Aitken's face was priceless when he glanced over the report.
"You mean there's someone stupid enough to try and break into a cop's home?"
"Someone has to be that idiotic. Get going. I've a trainer to run back to the league." Brenda stood up and stretched, until she was standing on her toes with her back arched. Several satisfying cracks later, she relaxed and saw Aitken was still standing by her desk.
"What are you still doing here?"
Aitken turned beat red. "Sorry sir. Going now sir."
Brenda frowned after Aitken, and then shook her head. Aitken wasn't her problem. Romilly, Aitken's senior partner, was in charge of teaching the boy.
Brenda didn't hurry as she walked towards the elevator. The cages- where the suspects were kept, right next to the detox tanks- were in the basement. Sane people didn't want to see the cages in anything approaching real light.
The elevator ride was dull. Brenda leaned in the corner, doing her best to keep her weight off her bad leg. A muscle by her knee was starting to twitch in a really irritating way.
The elevator doors opened, and Brenda stepped out into the basement.
It wasn't a cheery place. There was a great deal of concrete; what wasn't concrete was iron. The officer in charge of admissions to the cages had a metal desk, and the one good light hung right over his head. It highlighted every scar in the metal desk and every scratch on the concrete floor, and shone off the officer's bald head.
"Morning, Larry," she said. "I'm here for a trainer."
Larry looked up and grinned. "He's not been any trouble. Put the dampeners on him, he quieted right down. So did everything else."
"You know, I didn't think the desk used to be that dented. He picked it up?"
"It was a real strain, too. I could see it. That's when we managed to get close enough for the dampeners."
Brenda frowned. "Maybe I shouldn't have just dumped him on you."
"Nah, it's fine. He would've tossed you like he did the rest of us." Larry stood up, and picked up a ring of keys. "Come on."
Brenda followed along behind Larry, nodding to one of the other cage guards on duty. She noted five guys with dampeners in one cage, three in another.
"We have a lot of psychics in today?" she asked.
"When don't we?" Larry stopped in front of one of the tamer cages- no one was reaching through the bars in this one, or howling like some demented pokemon- and unlocked the door. "Alright, Mr. Tristan, come along now."
Samuel looked like a whole other person, compared to how Brenda had last seen him. The dampeners were clamped about his wrists like matte black parodies of bracelets, the kind that cover half of the lower arm. His clothes were damp in spots, water instead of anything viler. His confidence had shattered.
Brenda smiled, and stepped forward. Samuel stopped, and stared at her. She waited for the anger, and resentment.
What surprised her was the hatred.
"You've ruined me," Samuel hissed.
"Like I care?" Brenda asked, and reached forward. Before Samuel could react, she'd grabbed him by the scruff of the neck and was hauling him down between the cages.
"See you later, Brenda," Larry called after her.
"Later, Larry." Brenda forced Samuel to move a little faster. "I'll bring the dampeners back."
"Bitch," Samuel hissed. Brenda pretended to stumble, and slammed into him. He nearly fell to the ground, to the laughter and catcalls of the criminals in the cages.
"Do you want to get out in one piece?" Brenda asked. "Because I have no problem tossing you to them." She jerked her head at one of the rougher cages. Not one of the people there was lacking in piercings or tattoos.
Samuel paled, and shook his head. Brenda smiled, and tugged him forward again.
The elevator ride was silent. Stepping out into the brightly lit hall of the police station was obviously a surprise for Samuel. He blinked at the windows, and then looked up at Brenda.
"I thought I'd been down there a lot longer," he whispered.
For a moment, Brenda saw the fourteen year old kid Samuel really was. Scared, looking for someone, anyone who'd help him out, give him a little guidance.
And then reality snapped back into place, and Samuel scowled at her. "Tell me, have I missed my tournament?"
"Not yet," Brenda said, "but it's pretty tempting to drive slowly."
"Come on." She'd arrested him; she'd get him back in time. And then later she'd ferry him to his court date, for the B and E.
For the second time in a day, Brenda found herself chauffeuring a sulky psychic teenager back to the league. He'd lost his challenge, and the court had ruled that, for breaking and entering, he'd get to keep his nifty dampeners a little longer. For three months, which was shorter then Brenda would have given him.
Of course, reviewing what he'd broken in to her home to do, she would've given him a lobotomy.
She'd been very carefully not thinking about it.
She glanced in the rearview mirror, and scowled at Samuel. He didn't look nearly sick enough to her mind.
She made a few quasi-legal driving moves, which left her tires squealing and at least seven, maybe eight horns blaring behind her. Samuel had been tossed against the side door.
"What are you trying to do, kill us?"
"Relax." Brenda took one hand off the wheel, waved it in the air. She also did a lane change without obviously checking her blind spot. "I'm a professional."
There was a muffled yelp in the backseat, and then silence.
She pulled up in front of the league gates. "Alright. You, out."
Samuel stumbled out of her car, and slammed the door. It popped back open. He stared at it, and then looked at her.
"Kick it," she suggested. "Or I'll kick you."
He winced, and kicked the door. It stayed closed that time.
Brenda didn't stick around for any parting words. Sammy-boy had a parole officer and one of his main senses taken away. It wasn't nearly as satisfying as kicking his ass, but it would have to do.
And if he ever came near Mewtwo ever again… justifiable homicide.
Brenda calmed down when she nearly rear-ended a truck. Driving mad was dangerous. Driving home to be mad was, currently, nearly as dangerous. Sheryl was observant, and would pry. Mewtwo- Brenda didn't know what Mewtwo would do. Fight back? Cower? He was all over the damn place. Hopefully Sheryl would be able to sort him out.
There was a small city park just across the street. Brenda found a parking space, and got out. She just needed to fucking deal.
She sat down on the grass, and stared at the toes of her boots. Samuel Tristan, psychic and asshole, had broken into her home to catch Mewtwo, in all probability. He probably thought she had a pokeball somewhere, hidden, and if he had that…
The next thing Brenda knew, her hand hurt and she was facing a tree.
She'd punched the tree?
She looked down at her hand. Her palms were bleeding, her knuckles were scraped. She'd punched the tree, so hard her nails had drawn blood.
Brenda closed her eyes and reminded herself that Samuel was obviously the spawn of something slimy and amoral. People like Samuel judged everyone by what they themselves would do. It wouldn't occur to Samuel that Brenda hadn't caught Mewtwo.
It didn't really help.
Still, how could someone as fucked in the head as Samuel understand how much Brenda hated pokeballs? Hell, she didn't just hate pokeballs, she hated everything about pokemon training.
She wondered if Mewtwo had ever picked that up. Probably not. He didn't like prying, and it wasn't something she liked to think about.
It wasn't much of a stretch to think of pokemon training as slavery. Not for Brenda, at least, and not for people who'd managed to escape the League brainwashing when they'd been younger. Sheryl, for example, or Leon, or Alison.
It was a bit disturbing that the only other people Brenda could say disliked training nearly as much as she did happened to be related to her, but…
Anyone who found that level of violence fun was just a serial killer waiting to happen, in Brenda's mind.
"I'd never do that to him," she said, jumping a little at the sound of her voice. She scowled. She hadn't meant to speak out loud.
It was time to get back. Sheryl would notice the bloody hand. Brenda tried to think up a good excuse for punching a tree, and shrugged.
Having to deal with Samuel Tristan for most of the morning was a good excuse for nearly anything.
Brenda kicked her door closed, and scanned her street. She lifted one eyebrow at the sight of a pedestrian. He looked familiar.
It was the casual clothes that threw her. Brenda had to walk a little towards him to recognize George Demonte, security chief for the League. She thought she recognized him from a neighborhood barbeque earlier in the year, too. She'd stuck around long enough to be seen, and then left when the beer was brought out.
"Hey! Demonte!" Why she spoke to him, Brenda didn't know. Something was wrong with how he was walking. It was too stiff to be comfortable. He was in casual clothes, but the League was open. Shouldn't he have been in uniform, at his job? He didn't look sick.
"Johnson." Demonte looked up, and Brenda froze.
It was the expression in his eyes.
Shit. She'd fucked up.
"Demonte…" She said, shifting her weight.
"You made him lose."
Brenda just managed to duck a punch that would have broken her jaw.
Mewtwo looked up from his book, and blinked. He could hear it too. Fighting. Brenda's mind, her mental shields up and spiky. She wasn't swearing.
It was serious.
(Sheryl, there is a problem. Stay here, I'll deal with it. Call the police.) Mewtwo didn't wait to see if she'd follow his directions. He got up and followed Rhonwen to the door, and outside.
He recognized the man attacking Brenda, but couldn't remember from where. Not that it mattered. Brenda wasn't managing the fight very well.
Her leg was sore. He saw it, and knew her attacker saw it. What he couldn't understand, though, was why Brenda flinched every time she threw a punch.
Mewtwo moved forward when Brenda's attacker landed a hit, right on her ribs.
One foot braced against the ground, tail held for balance- he kicked the man in the chest with as much strength as he dared use.
The man stumbled back three steps, and looked over. Mewtwo recognized him from the league, but no name came to mind.
"Stay out of this," the man snarled.
"Idiot!" Brenda backed away a few steps, until she was behind Mewtwo. One hand was pressed against her side. "Don't hold back. Pound the fucker into the ground, would you!"
Mewtwo glanced over his shoulder at her- and was hit in the face.
Something cracked. He stumbled, and fell to his knees, one paw going to his cheek and the other going to the sidewalk. It felt like his face was on fire.
Rhonwen snarled and jumped over Mewtwo. The man bellowed, and then there was a bark.
"Get up!" Brenda pulled at Mewtwo's arm. "Hate to say this, but he's high on something. He's gotta be. Don't hold back, break bones if you have to. I don't have my gun."
She didn't have her gun? Mewtwo turned his head to stare at her.
"It's in the car. Can you hold him long enough for me to grab it?"
It wouldn't take her long. A minute, tops. Rhonwen couldn't handle the human on her own. Brenda was keeping Mewtwo between her and the man.
Mewtwo nodded. He could. He just couldn't promise the human would be unharmed once he was finished.
He turned back, just in time to see the man kick Rhonwen. Rhonwen snarled and spat fire, but it was poorly aimed.
The man turned towards Mewtwo and Brenda. Mewtwo made sure not to hold back when he kicked him- in the abdomen, that time.
The man doubled over, groaning, but he didn't fall. Mewtwo kicked him again, in the shoulder, and heard something crack.
He bared his teeth, and spread his feet as he gathered psychic energy in the palm of one hand. The man looked up, and scowled.
"Freeze." Brenda stepped forward, gun pointed at the man's head. "Demonte, you're under arrest for assault and I don't know what else. You have the right to remain silent."
"You made him lose." If Demonte noticed the gun, he didn't show it. "I'll kill you, bitch."
"I'm sure that'll make a lot of sense once you're in interview. Down on the ground, hands behind your head. There's a good boy."
Brenda looked up at Mewtwo, and scowled. "That's the last time I leave my cuffs on my desk," she said.
Mewtwo just nodded, and pulled on his illusion when he heard police sirens. "It's going to get very busy," he murmured, edging closer to her.
Brenda opened the door, and held it for Mewtwo. He stumbled through, and went right for the couch. Rhonwen saw him coming, growled, and jumped down. He didn't notice. Brenda watched; he was asleep in a minute.
"You were out late."
"I was out all day and night," Brenda corrected. "You were right. Impulsive killer."
Sheryl folded her arms, and frowned. "Do you care to explain that for those of us who haven't been on the investigation lately?"
"Sorry." Brenda rubbed one hand over her face. "Coffee?"
"Sit down, I'll make it. You look like you'd forget to put a pot under the filter."
Only once the two of them both had mugs of coffee in front of them did Brenda start to talk.
"We went to Demonte's- George Demonte, head of the league security- to his house. Just down the street, did you notice?"
"Right, well, most of his house is even worse then mine. Dusty, except for the bedroom, the kitchen, and the bathroom. The bedroom is like a shrine to Samuel Tristan."
"Ah." Sheryl took a sip of coffee. "I think I see where this is going."
"Demonte snapped, somewhere along the line. I think his lawyer's going to plead insanity. I sure wouldn't disagree."
"So, he's the killer?"
"He admitted to it right off." Brenda gulped half her coffee, and stared into the remaining liquid. "They were in the way. He got rid of them so his hero could… I don't know, by that point I was just looking over at Mara-anni and wondering what could drive a guy so bonkers."
"You weren't interviewing him?" Sheryl lifted one eyebrow.
"I tried. He went spastic. Apparently I was in the way, too. Hounding his hero."
"So you and Mara-anni were watching?"
"Mara was in the station, checking on one of her cases." Brenda shrugged. "She was curious, the observation room was open."
"So it's case closed?"
"Not quite." Brenda finished her coffee. "We still have to gather the evidence, and his confession's mostly bull because of the psycho factor, and I still need a good night's sleep, but other then that? Yeah."
"Good. Go to bed, I'll take care of things here." Sheryl sat back in her chair and watched Brenda stumble to her bedroom.
It seemed like a closed case to her.
Yes, that's a 'complete' you see up there in the corner at the top. Jokulhaups is finished. Complete. Of course there will be another story after Jokulhaups, and hopefully there won't be the same gaps in updating in that one as there was in this one.
This chapter is dedicated to RabulaTasa, as a very late Christmas present.