Elusia was watching the scenery of the labyrinthine cityscape fly pass her, hard not to do as the car was missing a large chunk of its exterior.
She leaned in from the back seat to talk to the detective.
“Hey, are you sure it’s ok to be driving this thing? It looks like we just came out of a scrapyard.”
The car was making some weird noises as it scraped across the highway.
“It’s fine. Probably.”
Elusia was skeptical.
“Maybe we should stop and walk the rest of the way?”
“Hell no. It’s going to take forever to get there on foot.”
Elusia still had some reservations about their vehicle, but decided to just leave it at that.
“Hmm…then how about we talk for a bit. Ya know, to kill some time. You heard my life story, how about yours.”
“Oh come on!”
Elusia felt a bit annoyed by his response. She kicked the seat in front of her.
“I don’t wanna talk about it and it doesn’t matter. Just sit back and shut up.”
“Is it that bad!? Now I kinda really wanna know!”
“It’s none of your business. If you wanna talk about something so badly, then let’s talk more about this case.”
Elusia felt reluctant to let go of the topic, but decided that it wasn’t worth risking the detective’s ire.
“Fine, fine. From what you told me about it, the culprit is probably some kind of blade type apparition that appears under select conditions, and kills whoever’s nearby. I’m guessing that if we ask around we’ll probably find out some more details that’ll help us figure out what it is.
“Will that help us get rid of it?”
Elusia crossed her arms and tilted her head, as if in thought.
“Well it depends. Usually these kinds of things have some kind of weak point built into their core, their ‘story’. For example things like werewolves are weak to silver. If we can figure it out, we could figure out what we need to kill it.”
“Sounds cumbersome. Can’t we just shoot it until it’s Swiss cheese? I mean I’m ready to accept that this stuff and magic exist, I mean that’s not the weirdest thing I’ve ever seen, but realistically destroying the body would kill pretty much anything right? Well, these days there are some people who enhance their bodies with so much tech and genetic enhancements, they’ll survive literal dismemberment though.”
The detective remembered a case from his early career where he had learned this the hard way. There was a breakout at the rehabilitation facility. A mentally unstable man was making a break for it and he had to shoot him. However the man completely ignored the large chunks missing from his torso and kept running towards him. The detective broke the emergency glass next to him and took out a fire axe. In the end the man was still somehow crawling towards him while missing three limbs and bleeding profusely.
The sight was incredibly disturbing.
“Don’t ask me. I’m not some kind of super-expert on this. This is just what I learned about it from my ‘teachers’. Worse case scenario, we’ll just have to get creative. Decapitation or fire is probably a safe bet.”
Elusia made a slice gesture with her thumb over her neck. The detective groaned.
“Ugh…so we’ll just have to hope we can hurt it if we don’t find a weakness, huh? Wait…you can use magic right? I saw you use some kind of flame thing earlier. Can’t you just shoot it with some magic spells that’ll take care of it?”
“Uh, well…no. I don’t have any spells that can do that sort of thing. Plus I can’t really use it all too well. I need to use this brush thing to draw a magic circle pattern and then carefully activate it to use my spells. It’s not really the kind of thing that I have time to do while fighting, ya know. That’s why I’m using these spell cards.”
She took out a light card and handed it to the detective. He examined it carefully.
“With these, all I have to do is pick out the right one and use it. They disappear afterwards though”
“Hmm…how many do you have left? What spells can you use?”
Elusia didn’t feel the need to hide it from him, so she gave him the specifics.
“Well, I can use 5 variety spells and the basic elemental ones. As for how many…I have about 37 left I think. I used a bunch for that biker-thing fight. Which reminds me…”
She took out 5 of her blank cards and used the brush to draw blast spells on them.
The detective finished looking at the card in her hand and handed it back to her.
Elusia looked outside the car. They were now on a rather large street. The stalls that were lining the road were filled with a large variety of goods and a large crowd of people were hustling around, browsing for wares.
“Get your artificial pork hotdogs here!”
“Cyber parts for sale! Upgrades cost extra.”
“Weapons, equipment, stylish clothes, we got it all!”
Elusia was in a very strange new place, and that made her feel like she had to examine everything.
The detective pulled over the car and it sputtered as he turn off the engines. The two of them got out of the car.
Elusia frenetically looked around at all of the various goods for sale.
“Hey look! They have candy filled apples!”
“Hey! Don’t move too far. We’re here to look at the crime scene, not go shopping. Also I’m NOT paying for anything.”
Elusia pouted and crossed her arms as the detective pulled her by her collar away from the stand.
She made a mental note to knick some later.
The detective gestured at one of the cybernetic parts salesmen.
“If this car isn’t still here when we get back, I’m gonna shoot you, got it?”
“Come on Elusia. Oh…wait. I almost forgot.”
The detective circled around to the trunk of the car and popped it open. Elusia followed him and took a look. The only thing in the trunk was a medium sized black rectangular object.
“What’s that? A suitcase or something?”
“No, …well I guess it could be.”
Elusia felt confused by his response. She tried to get a closer look, but the detective pulled out the object and slammed the trunk. She quickly jumped back before it slammed onto her head.
“Sorry, sorry. Watch your head next time”
“Say that before you almost decapitate me!”
The detective ignored her angry retort and started walking towards the nearby alleyway.
“Wait for me!”
Elusia quickly followed him.
They arrived in front of the alleyway where the murders had taken place.
The area had a wall of holographic police tape that blocked off any regular civilians from passing through.
The detective placed the black rectangle on the floor.
“Wake up TOX.”
The black rectangle started to shake a bit. Red lines shifted across its surface and pieces of the object broke off and started to shift around.
Elusia watched with intrepid curiosity as the former black rectangle started to float into the air while constantly shifting and rearranging itself like a visual waveform. Eventually it seemed to stabilize as a circular orb like object, similar to a morningstar ball, but constantly shifting. The triangular pieces of the object broke off and started orbiting the sphere.
Finally a circular opening shifted onto its surface creating a large red lens.
“It’s nice to see you again sir. I thought they were going to scrap me after you were demoted. You got really old.”
“It’s only been a couple months! Anyway I convinced the chief to leave you alone in case of an emergency. We have a case to solve”
“Yes sir. Your wish is my command. Not that I really have a choice, or you know, free will.”
“Wait,wait,wait! What the heck is that thing geezer?”
“For the last time, I’m not an old man! I’m still 29! …(grumble)…this is TOX. He’s a M.A.D unit. A multipurpose assistant device. They’re basically transforming robots that can turn into any type of tool we need or scan the environment to collect data and quickly use that to find out some info. They made them for use by the police department.”
“Whoah. So why is yours called TOX?”
“No reason. I just named it that because it’s serial code is T-010.”
“Yes, detective Smith is quite unimaginative.”
“Oi. This is why I left you in the trunk for so long. Tone it down or your going back in.”
The detective pulled out his badge and placed it in front of the holographic tape.
The tape disappeared and the pair (and the robot) walked into the crime scene.