The Sword That Thirsts

War. War never changes.

It started small. A few people were having a bad day. It was normal. People had bad days. Sometimes you just rolled out of the wrong side of the bed! It was also normal when a fist fight broke out in the Starducks store at Corner and Right, after all, most people weren't themselves without their caffeine supplement.

It was also perfectly normal to occasionally imagine the death of an individual. Perhaps sometimes you just had a violent thought. You wanted to kill your boss. Strangle your teacher. Drown the playground bully who kept pushing you off the swings. It's only natural to be angry. However, acting on it... was not. 

So it was probably very difficult to explain the sudden string of violent deaths one fine St Canard morning. At first, a boy in St Canard Elementary had stabbed his best friend. Maybe he had a long history of mental illness. Maybe the pressure of poor little Thomas constantly taking advantage of him or hitting him made him crack. But it certainly did not explain how, almost immediately afterwards, a schoolteacher had slit the principal's throat, or how a policeman massacred his entire team and disappeared. By midday, twelve people were dead, three were gravely injured, and there were at least five suspects who were still at large. 

"Agent Gemini?" J. Gander knocked gently on the open door of the paranormal office before letting himself in. "I have a case for you. Normally I will not give cases out to agents who have not undergone their mental evaluation, but this is an emergency, and as Agent Sans is in Dogburg and Agents Trevor and Dimitri are on another mission, and Sans had spoken well of you during the demon seige on St Canard, I am assigning you to this morning's murder cases, as they are of seemingly unusual causes."

He placed the file on her desk, then stepped back and eyed her firmly.

"Just promise me you'll schedule a psychiatric appointment with either Dr Mallard or Dr Rousseau as soon as this is over."

    • Agent Gemini
      Agent Gemini

      Gemini looked eager to take the mission. She was happy to hear Sans had given great feedback about her, “Yes of course. I'm glad to have this opportunity. I will make an appointment with Dr. Rousseau as soon as possible.”

       

      She flipped through the file as she stood at her desk. As she read she walked over to where her coat hung, “I'll investigate the school first and see what may have started this. If it is paranormal there is quite a few relics that can cause such things. And I'll see if the officer is one that reported to the school incident. Maybe it is all something they've all come in contact with. And I will make that appointment. Is there anything else I should know?”

       

      Gemini put on her coat and grabbed her keys from the pocket.

      • Harmonizer
        Harmonizer

        "Yes, I did suspect as much," Hooter said, pleased that she had come to the same conclusion he did. "I have ordered the police and my agents to back away from the case for now so they will not interfere while you work on the investigation. You will have the usual backup should you need immediate rescue, but it still begs the question: would you like an assistant? Or an agent to accompany you in investigating?" 

        At the school, true to Hooter's word, it was cordoned off with yellow tape, with police working on crowd control, but the crime scenes were free of police. Eyewitnesses, which included teachers, a janitor and a few students, were ordered to remain at the scene until Gemini showed up, and several anxious parents would have gotten in already if it wasn't for the crowd control.  

        The police let the agent in and pointed her to where she needed to go. 

        Bloody footprints trailed from the hallway that led to the cafeteria to up the stairs. The cafeteria looked like a murder scene from a movie. Blood was splattered everywhere. The boy's body had long since been cleaned up and taken to a coroner but there was still signs of violence and puddles of blood... and bits of pink like bubblegum thingy on the floor. 

        'Stabbed' was just a watered down version the news reported, as Gemini would find in the murder photos of the boy, his eyes still wide open with pain and terror as his head exploded open on the ground, his body disemboweled. 

        Upstairs, the blood trail led to the principal's office where his throat was slit. All that was left was the pool of blood on the table, all over the keyboard and paperwork. The computer had been taken by the police for investigation too. 

        Gemini would be given access to the surveillance tapes too. There were many blind spots, but the thing was pretty straightforward. Boy pulls out sword from his trousers just as his friend is hitting him over the head, attacks him violently and disembowels him. Teacher wrestles student to the ground and grabs sword, and suddenly, she stands stiff and lets the boy run off as she slowly walks up to the principal's office and slits the man's throat. She then just stands there, staring at the sword, until the police bursts in and surrounds her. The knife was taken from her by one of the officers and the police take her to the station. 

        Most importantly, the eyewitnesses were all in the great hall where Gemini could interview them and send them on their way before a riot out front broke out. 

        • Agent Gemini
          Agent Gemini

           

          Gemini requested for Harmonizer to help. She needed someone to go through the large amount of witnesses and filter through the ones that actually saw or heard anything. Gemini made it clear she would look at the scene first and meet her partner outside.

           

          She came to the scene with a brass metal suitcase. The agent did not show shock at the devastation she saw. Gemini gave a sigh as she noticed what particulars were left from the killed child. Death of children was something that still bothered her. Though, she did decide on her own to come here first since it was the first sight of attack.

           

          She was quick to upload the video of the attacks onto her phone. She watched it as she walked through the same places the video showed. For a moment she paused and stood as exactly as she could where the attacking child had lifted up the sword. Though, she had to avoid the blood splattered areas on the floor. If anyone was watching the agent, it was eerie how still she stood in that spot for several silent minutes. She broke the stillness by mumbling to herself, “at minimum a category three.”

           

          After her first walkthrough she went back out to meet with Harmonizer. Gemini hoped she came in a reasonable time to filter the crowd. She was hoping it would ease the group more if it look like some progress was being done to get them all home eventually.

           

          Once back outside she did not see a familiar face. She glanced around a moment before she found an officer, “Has another agent reported in? Also, the sword that was used in the attack, can you find out for me where it was taken? If it is in evidence I will need to see it. Thank you.”

          • Harmonizer
            Harmonizer

            "Harmonizer could not call in because she's currently in Japan," the police explained. "But she sent someone in her place. Agent Phaedra Octave is in the great hall sorting out witnesses. And yeah, we have the sword in the evidence room. It's, uh..." he frowned, then turned to his partner. "You know where the guys put the murder weapon?" 

            "What?" he looked up from his donut box. 

            "Never mind. Yeah it's probably in the evidence room. You wanna come with us?" 

            Except, however, they would soon find that they were wrong. The sword never even entered evidence. 

            And the policeman who had wrestled the sword from the teacher was still at large. 

            *** 

            "Left! THOSE WHO SAW JEREMY on ze left! What's zat? I said right earlier? RIGHT, EYEWITNESSES ON THE RIGHT, MERCI, AND NO MA CHERI YOU CAN'T GO 'OME YET BUT WE'LL BE QUICK AN- you need to use ze bathroom? 'Old eet een, we'll interview you first- 'EY I SAID NO PUSHING, STAND EEN LINE! YES GOOD! Now everyone SIT DOWN! What were we doing again...?" 

            When Gemini entered the hall, she would find a young, pretty blond agent who had managed to narrow the crowd down to ten eyewitnesses, the rest leaving to go home. 

            "Are you an eyewitness too??" she shouted to Gemini. For some reason she had a microphone in her left hand, plugged in, but she was not using it. 

            • Agent Gemini
              Agent Gemini

              Gemini wasn't familiar with that agent. She made a disappointed face, and hoped this agent had at least worked on paranormal cases before.

               

              “Make sure no one touches the sword with bare hands. Please call that into your station now so they know. I will go to the station after I talk to the witnesses,” Gemini explained to the officer, "Thank you for your help."

               

              Gemini went to the hall and glanced over the witnesses left. She then realized Phaedra was speaking to her, “Ah, no. I'm Agent Gemini. Pleased to meet you. Thank you for pre- screening the witnesses… and what is your specialty? I could use someone else giving a second walkthrough of the crime scene while I speak to the witnesses.”

               

              Gemini would have to speak to those closest to the first attack. She would specifically ask if the attacker had said anything unusual, or had spoken a different language they would have not known during the attack.

               

              • Harmonizer
                Harmonizer

                 "Oh, nice to meet you!!" Phaedra shouted. "Ah, Gemini. I knew eet was a zodiac symbol, my sis- ah, computer... s-system... informed me earlier." 

                She pushed over a bewildered boy. "Zis kid wants to go to ze bathroom, so interview 'im first!" she beamed. 

                "No! It was me!!" a little girl shouted, hopping from foot to foot and waving her hands. 

                "Ah, sorry, Starley-" 

                "BRIDGETT!" 

                "...Bridgett, let's get you on ze interview. Oh, and I specialise een forensics, crime analytics, robotics, uh, maths, chemistry... I can walk through ze crime scene again for you! Good luck, Aquaris!" 

                With that, she walked off, pulling out a notepad. 

                Bridgett gave a pretty rushed interview, stating she saw him staring at the grass in the playground (which really needed a trim, she added) before school started, then she quickly ran off to the bathroom. 

                Others gave statements that, while they didn't hear him speak nonsense or foreign languages, he had started to act weird before morning break. Ignoring teachers (one of them remembered making him stand outside and he moved almost lifelessly), mumbling to himself over and over "I'm not a softie, I can do this", glaring intensely at everyone around him, sweating really, really badly. It got worse and worse, and then the 'murderning' happened. 

                A closer friend reported that Thomas usually liked to hurt Jeremy and steal his lunch money. 

                "Maybe he finally got mad an' that's why he stabbed him. It's like if my big brother keeps takin' my toys even when I said no, and my parents didn't try to stop him. Is Thomas gunna be okay?" 

                Perhaps the oddest thing was that none of them had seen the sword on his person until he pulled it out at morning break to murder his friend. 

                Gemini would soon get a call from the police. 

                "Hey, uh, remember the sword you wanted? Well... it SEEMS... it never entered the evidence room..." the policeman from earlier said in a small voice. 

                • Agent Gemini
                  Agent Gemini

                  Gemini looked a little confused by Phaedra's behavior. If it wasn't a gruesome murder case whe was on she would have been amused. She would have also pointed out she assumed Phaedra had some sort of relation to Harmonizer. The ‘zodiac symbol’ agent decided not to say anything about that either.

                   

                  “Thank you!” Gemini called out to Phaedra before she completely disappeared towards the crime scene.

                   

                  Gemini typed notes from the interviews into her phone. Everything went smoothly until one child asked about Thomas. She didn't answer them directly, “Ah, is Thomas a friend of yours?”

                   

                  When Gemini got the message about the sword not being in custody she would head to where her temporary partner for the case was, “I need you to examine the body of both victims that happened here. I’ll be following up with the incident that happened with the officer after this. Let's exchange numbers to keep each other updated.”

                  • Harmonizer
                    Harmonizer

                    "Not really," the child looked down at his shoelaces. "I'm only friends because Jeremy's friends with him. But mommy said people will like me more if I show other people I care by worrying about them. But I have a secret... I don't feel anything," he whispered the last words in Gemini's ear tiptoeing to reach her ear. He flashed her a grin and wink, then walked off to follow the departing kids. 

                    It was probably a good thing he didn't get contaminated by... whatever was causing all the violent stabby stabby anger. Or maybe he would be unaffected? 

                    When Gemini ventured out to meet Phaedra, she would first be greeted by a loud and enthusiastic "GEMINI! HIIIIII!! OVER HERE! I'M PICKING UP MY TINY NORMAL NEIGHBOUR, FRISK! FRISK, LOOK, THE COOL FRIEND I TOLD YOU ABOUT! ARE YOU PICKING UP YOUR TINY NORMAL, TOO? OH, WHAT'S THAT, SHARPLY DRESSED BLUE HUMAN? I NEED TO LEAVE? AWW... ALRIGHT... I'LL SEE YOU ANOTHER DAY GEMINI!" out by the yellow tape. 

                    Phaedra had gotten lost, somehow, but she eventually found her way back with a few clues Gemma might have missed due to surveillance cameras' blind spots or failures, with an expression akin to a proud puppy who had just accomplished her latest trick. Also- why were her knees muddy? 

                    "Took me a while to find where ze sword landed. Eet's strange, there's an indent but no disturbance. Someone dropped eet from a great height before ze kid picked eet up. I'm also picking up sulfuric chemicals. Looked like eet could 'ave been on fire. I don't know why there ees no sword until break time, but I sketched out what eet looked like," she said, holding up a piece of paper with a drawing of a sword. The hilt was a lizard with its maw open like it was regurgitating the blade, its body curled to make a handle. 

                    "I also found zis," she held up a crumpled up large evidence bag. "Eet was shoved under a car at ze parking lot where I was told ze police was parking out at. Did one of them decide to keep eet or...?" 

                    She made a confused hand gesture, but soon lit up happily. Gemini had her at forensics. And phone numbers. But what was her number again...? 

                    "Yes! Let me just find my phone..." she hummed, almost song-like, as she first flipped through her notepad, then her shirt pocket, hair, skirt pocket, and stockings- ooh! There it is, on her leg strap! 

                    Now, what was the agent's name? It was a zodiac sign... a zodiac sign... 

                    "Hare... right? I'm Phaedra! Nice to meet you. I'll put your contact down." 

                    Wrong ethnicity, date, and even leporaidae! 

                    • Agent Gemini
                      Agent Gemini

                       

                      Gemini refrained from giving a negative reaction to the child until he left, “Alright then. That Rosemary's baby is a can of worms for another day.”

                       

                      She checked on her phone if any of her mapped leylines went under this school. One did run near the school but it was one marked with her signal at the subway eventually, “Welp, that's something to check on  later too.”

                       

                      “Oh… oh!” it took her a moment to realize it was Papyrus. How could you not recognize one of the few skeleducks in the city, “Oh no, I'm here for work. I'll call you later!”

                       

                      Gemini gave a little wave as Papyrus was shooed off by an officer.

                       

                      When meeting with Phaedra she listened intensely. Gemini realized the gal was scatterbrained but also knew her field well. She was impressed with the sketch, “This is a good step in the right direction. Thank you. And yeah, I'm certain an officer took it and I'm going to track him while you look at the victims for me. And its Gemini, like the twins.”

                       

                      She took a moment to exchange the numbers, “I'm sending you an app to download. You can input the description of the weapon and the sizes of the damage the blade did to the victims and it will give you options of artifact swords it could be. Your picture narrows it down a lot.”

                       

                      The link for the download was in a strange language. It said: Aleksāṇṭriyā āyuṭ ṭēṭṭāpēs

                       

                      “Text me once you find out anything. Even small details, please. Also keep the bodies secured in our custody. Specially the child,” Gemini looked over the bag Phaedra had found, “Thanks again. Having someone forensics is going to be a great help.”

                       

                      She was going to ask officers if any certain squad car that reported in earlier was now missing from the parking lot. She hoped that would narrow it down to a car she could track.

                      • Harmonizer
                        Harmonizer

                        Phaedra was a little dubious, but her sister told her Gemini was trustworthy, so she just shrugged and then downloaded whatever the agent wanted her to. Still, she was tempted to duplicate and then pick apart the copy just to see what the app was. It wasn't like anything she'd ever seen! 

                        "Will do! Bye, uh..." she spaced out, then continued waving. "Yeah, bye! Good luck!" 

                        She was definitely going to need to stick a name tag on her! What was she supposed to do again...? Oh, morgue! 

                        The officers, meanwhile, were just a little bit more helpful letting Gemini know that, yes, that squad that was murdered was actually the one that dispatched to the school this morning. It was then they connected the dots and realised they were the ones who never turned in the sword. 

                        And as Gemini headed to the small street where the police car was crashed when one of them apparently went rogue, Phaedra would text her with something interesting. The teacher's corpse was in the morgue as well, and she was going to check her body first for signs of insanity or hallucinogens that had been active before she died. 

                        The car was literally washed in blood. It seemed that the officer who held the sword had been very violent, evident by the broken glass and dented metal where he tossed his partners into. Spots of blood, which may indicate he had been shot, dotted a trail towards the forest, where the third crime scene between a couple had occurred. 

                        • Agent Gemini
                          Agent Gemini

                          Gemini texted Phaedra: Thank you for that info. Please text me anything else you learn. Police do not have the sword. Following to see where is may have gone.

                           

                          She made a face at the blood splattered car. Gemini had the stomach to not get sick of the sight. However, she still could assess that this situation kept getting worse. She assumed it was a possession but it was highly odd that with all its rapid jumping it was not weakening but getting more powerful and destructive. The possessions she knew would get weaker each rapid jump they made from one mortal to another.

                           

                          The Agent then made sure to turn off ring and vibrate on her phone in case she had to stay silent to pursue what was in the forest. When out of view of the officers she pulled out her caster gun. She kept the weapon in one hand as she followed the trail of blood.

                          • Harmonizer
                            Harmonizer

                            It was almost like a scavenger hunt. The blood trail would lead her to a dead female in the woods. Then to three more bodies by the roadside on the other side of the woods. Then below the cliff where Gemini would find the last body. And, bingo! The sword, clutched tightly in the dead man's hand. Except the handle wasn't... a lizard. It was a dragon. 

                            Phaedra continued to provide more answers. The teacher actually had a spike in brain activity with a certain emotion an hour before her death. Anger. It matched up with the time she slit the principal's throat. 

                            She also mentioned the policeman who had escaped with the sword had been admitted to a hospital, severely injured, and with no recollection of anything that had happened. Two others were able to provide some information of how their attackers had hurt them in a rage. It would perhaps be interesting to Gemini to know that the victims were connected to the murderers somehow. They had wronged them one eay or another. 

                            • Agent Gemini
                              Agent Gemini

                              Gemini called in the first four bodies properly as she found them to the authorities. Giving location and not disturbing them. However, when she got to the last one holding the sword she did not do so just yet.

                               

                              She text Phaedra as she looked at the body holding the sword below: Thank you! All this information is really helpful. Is there anything else you can tell me about the sword wounds that may be unusual? I just found it.

                               

                              Gemini then searched the dragon handle sword on her mystical weapons app. As it was doing that she put the phone in her pocket so her hands were free to climb down ro where thr body was.

                               

                              With her last step down she slipped, only to be a short tumble. A tumble that had her almost touching the sword the body held. She quickly backed away from it. Even though she knew she was immune to magical mind control, delirium as it was called in her school of learning, she wasn't going to take any chances.

                               

                              She stood up and pulled out gloves from her pocket. She put on the black leather items before touching a finger to the blade where it wasn't splattered in blood. She seemed pretty confident with her actions that the sword would not effect her. 

                              • Harmonizer
                                Harmonizer

                                Nope, just regular sword wounds. Although they do seem to be... mildly cauterized? Like the blade was just hot enough to burn someone slightly. Oops, gotta go, coroner says I can't lick the wounds. 

                                The sword did not affect Gemini, but she would certainly feel some kind of... anger, radiating from the sword. This was the sword that started wars and ended them. And even then, the thirst for blood will never be quenched. 

                                Her app would not come up with an exact result, only pulling up similar looking images of weapons. 

                                Either the sword could change its shape, was enchanted to look new, or it just wasn't of this world.