Mistakes Were Made
Loom General Hospital
Robert quietly left the cafeteria as he moved through the hallways, his eyes flickered along the individual room numbers. Silently he repeated the two targeted room numbers in his head over and over. His pace slowed down when he neared JP’s room, his hand reached out for the door knob just when it opened up. That’s when he came face to face with the first target of interest causing him to snap his head from left to right, then gestured for the patient to back into the room fast.
When they both inside, his hand clicked the door shut behind them. Robert didn’t want the nurses or doctors entering at a critical point in the conversation.
“Detective Norton, I’m here to investigate your case. Authorities believe it was a burglary gone wrong and you were involved. May I ask you some questions?” He skipped right to the point rather than waste time easing into the subject, his time was already ticking down thanks to his delay earlier.
“Uh...sure, but may I see some identification first, monsieur
JP was backed into his room by this mysterious detective, someone he didn’t recognise. He instinctively moved up against one of the walls, keeping himself as far away from this man as he could. Something was off about him; no presenting of identification, such a quick introduction and he was right to the point.
Robert sighed then reached into his back pocket. HIs hand wrapped about the identification used for his cover then presented to JP, letting the man get a good look. It appeared all in order, through the man would get a off vibe to it that he couldn’t place. Feeling that JP had seen enough of it, Robert placed it back into his coat before continuing.
“I understand you’re likely still rattled from your experience so I’ll make this as brief and non stressful as possible, monsieur. I still have to question your friend before returning to the station,” Robert explained.
“Y-you’re… Okay then, whatever.”
JP, inwardly, was balking at the fact that this man was not who he claimed to be. He was certain of it. The way he held his identification card so that it concealed...something, the way he was quick and to-the-point, almost as if he was rushing for time. It made every single one of his work senses scream at him that something was wrong, but he had to continue trusting the man if he wanted to get to the heart of the problem.
“Well, uh, detective Norton, what sort of questions are you going to ask me?”
“The most obvious question is: do you recall what happened this morning? At least, what you can recall clearly,” Robert began, his hand dipped into his pocket and held there.
He followed JP back inside the room.
“I...well I… I remember hearing a commotion in my neighbour’s apartment, it woke me up. So I went to investigate and I found this...weird looking animal in her apartment, biting into her shoulder.”
“Do you recall what this animal looked like? Any notable features or markings? You friend was found without any injuries according to the medical report,” He pointed out.
His hand silently clicked the door behind him, ensuring no one would interrupt their conversation. Robert paced around JP then indicated he might want to take a seat while they talked, his arm reached and pulled up another chair nearby.
JP, still wary of the stranger’s approach, sat in the chair opposite Robert as he rubbed his chin in thought.
“It was, uh...very pale, emaciated. Humanoid looking. No hair.”
“That doesn’t sound like any known animal…” Robert stated, his right leg crossed over his left while he studied JP.
“Are you sure it was an animal? It sounds like a home invasion like in the reports.”
“It was... It definitely sounded like an animal. My neighbour, she was bitten by it. And, uh, it was like some sort of...feral thing? I’m not too sure.”
“What happened to her wound if you were sure she was bitten?”
“I...I don’t know. All I remember now is bringing her back to my apartment, keeping her wound covered with cloth and then...I passed out.”
Robert leaned in, his eyes fixed on Jean-Phillip. His hand pulled out of his pocket with something clutched in the fist. He targeted the last bit carefully.
“Was there any sensation before you passed out? You have to be very specific. It’s important.”
“I… It felt like my stamina was leaving me? Or something along those lines? My memory of that point is very fuzzy- w-what’s the purpose of these questions, monsieur
“One last thing before I answer that… catch this,” Robert gently tossed as small orb to him, an easy enough throw to catch.
With a short yelp JP barely reacted and grabbed the sphere out of the air.
The orb abruptly glowed at the man’s touch. A dim, but steady light poured across the skin and darkness.
Robert smiled when his instincts were dead on. He leaned back in his chair as he began to explain, “Your friend was bitten, but it seems you did something to mend or reverse the effects. You’re not exactly normal so why don’t we cut the shit and be fully honest with each other? It’s much easier for both of us.”
As soon as the orb started glowing, JP dropped it, like he’d grabbed onto something unbearably hot. He stared with mouth agape at first the orb, then the man he definitely knew wasn’t a Loom PD detective.
“What the hell is this?! I-I I am perfectly normal! I don’t even know what you’re saying right now!”
“That orb says otherwise. It only glows in the grip of someone’s who is magically talented,” Robert gestured for the orb back.
“Calm down. I figured you might be relieved you’re not crazy after all, especially after you see your friend is perfectly fine and safe. So now trust your memory and describe everything that happened.”
“A-as long as you’re not going to kill me. Do I have your word?”
Robert busted out laughing. He appeared unable to resist it as his arm wrapped about his side, the cuts threatening to rupture from the hard movements. After a few moments, he calmed down.
“I’m actually here to recruit you or prevent you from revealing the truth, not hurt you. In fact, the Bureau rarely kills unless it’s unavoidable. Both supernatural and normal people.”
“Then you should understand my apprehension, monsieur
. It is no laughing matter.”
JP sat back down in his chair and sighed, resting his head in his hands as he tried to recall everything that happened.
“Okay….okay. I… I went to check on my neighbour. And I saw this...creature. Humanoid, pale skin, long claws, looked like a vampire out of a novel or something. It had its mouth on her shoulder… I dragged her back into my apartment after this other young man appeared out of nowhere and attacked the thing. Then after I got my friend into my living room, I pressed my shirt against her shoulder, made a little prayer to heal her, and then I passed out.”
“I suspect that was healing magic. From your words, I take it you never learned how to properly cast a spell?”
“N-no? I...magic exists?”
“Yeah, you did see what attacked your friend right? If that thing exists, why can’t magic?” Robert pointed out.
“There’s things that go bump in the night that you’re not suppose to be aware of. Things that Angels and Bureau want to keep hidden from the light of day. So, believe when I say I can relate to how you’re likely feeling right now,” Robert admitted in a more gentle tone, his voice softened in empathy.
“I was a graveyard custodian before I was attacked by a ghoul scavenging for some sort of meat. I didn’t know what hit me before it took a chunk out of my arm and tried to pin me down. I managed to get to my car before driving off. The Bureau contacted me later then recruited me.”
“Who is…the Bureau?”
“It’s not who, but what. An organization designed to keep the supernatural hidden and humanity safe. They aren’t exactly a paragon of pure intentions, but they are much better than what’s actually out there.”
JP steepled his fingers in thought. Many, many things crossed his mind as he contemplated the man’s words. After a few moments, he spoke.
“What about my friend?”
“It depends on how cooperative she is. I was sent to determine how much you two have seen, evaluate the best course of action and possibly follow through with it,” Robert stated bluntly, seeing little reason to lie.
“If she remembers as much as you do and unable to be convinced it was her mind playing tricks on her, then I have little choice but to recruit her too. Even if she refuses it.”
“I… I hope she is okay. I… I have a lot to think about, monsieur
. This is a lot to process all at once.”
“It is. However, I’m afraid once you peer past the veil of what goes bump in the night, it won’t leave you alone. It’s like these creatures have a sixth sense for this. Everywhere you look or go, the paranoia will eat away at you.”
“I am good with paranoia. Those thoughts rarely cross my mind anyway. It is the sheer...incredulity of it that is boggling me right now. Is this even real? Or am I dreaming?”
“You’re not the only one to question your sanity after an experience like this. Let me reassure you, you’re very much sane. The fact you’re questioning it proves it.”
“Okay...well, are you going to talk to my friend now?”
“Yes, I’m afraid so. From what the woman at the register told me, she’s doing well for someone that was attacked. Now if you will be excuse me,” Robert lifted up from his chair and turned to the door, pausing long enough to add one last thing.
“We’ll stay in contact. Good day, monsieur.”