Chapter 19:

Crime Scenes and Detective Work


The high-class corridor was now tinted in deep red by the two headless soldiers lying a few steps away from the entrance to the president`s office.

“Lilianna...” called Richard in an attempt to find out what he should do now.

“He managed to take them both down… Damn! We move on, Richard. We’ll take that bastard down and finish this.”

“I do not think… Forget it. Go on, you two.”

“Got it.” Agreed Richard as he moved towards the body and then started to approach the entrance to his boss’ office.

He walked slowly with a focused detective a few steps behind and a silent idol ready to jump at any danger close by.

After a few moments of suspense, the security chief got close enough to the entrance to peek inside the room, invading it right after.

He seemed very displeased while doing so, but the other two members of the group still followed the only of the three who had power armor.

“This is…!” Reacted Amy, almost forgetting that they were to stay silent, which gained her a shush right away.

“Shh. The other room first...” Lilianna whispered while pointing to the medical room by the side.

Her pink friend nodded in agreement and they both joined the last member of the trio, who was already leaning on the wall close to the entrance.

The man at the vanguard once more peeked inside the room, but his weapon almost dropped like his expression when he did so.

“He’s gone…”

And, as they entered the not-so-white room, no murderous thin man entered their sight and all they could see was its now dead occupant.

Parts of the room were dyed in red as the only occupant was still where he stood before, although missing some parts.

There was a hole on the president’s chest and a good chunk of his head was missing too, but the assailant was nowhere in sight.

“C’mon! Why can’t this case be closed already, dammit?! I wanted to avoid this option so bad...”

“I’ll...” Richard started saying, but changed his mind and instead turned away from the destroyed medical chamber. “I’ll take some medicine to the men outside…”

The president’s pupil walked away from the dead body and instead started to grab supplies from one of the cabinets on the farthest wall.

Lily was still focused on the case though, in special, she was very focused on looking for clues around the area.

The cause of death wasn’t that hard to discern, it was overkill even, but it was still too little.

The room lacked any other clues other than the body itself though.

For starters, this place was a room made solely to keep the facilities for medical emergencies.

There wasn't much here other than the two medical chambers, both of which were damaged beyond repair, and the cabinets for supplies.

It had very little to investigate, which made it all much worse.

Lily was also unable to see any footprints or any other hints, but she still hoped for something that would point in another direction.


“What you need?” asked the idol who was just watching the whole scene unfold until now.

“Can you find any secret passages or something that could be used to leave this floor?”

“I can check, but...” she said while already opening the building’s blueprint she had collected before. “This whole floor can only be accessed with the safe elevator or the emergency stairs. The only hidden features are a single embedded safe in each office.”

“I see…”

This much was expected considering the whole situation, but it wasn’t helpful.

Since she couldn’t do much here though, Lily soon gave up on the room and headed back to the office, noticing Richard leaving with a number of syringes and emergency prosthetics as she did so.

“There’s nothing in that room, but this one isn’t that different, eh?”

The office had very little changed since the last visit, it was still a bunch of ruins with some few functional pieces of furniture, but it had a dead body now.

Dr. Shia, the only person they missed track in the cameras, was lying on the floor with a pool of blood beneath her.

Differently from the other four, though, she had no bullet wounds on her body.

“I wonder why the doctor was not shot…”

“Her cause of death should be an untreated impact to the head or something of the kind... It is different from everyone else’s, but more than that, she was the only one that was moved around.”

This much wasn't hard to deduce due to the trail of blood coming from the debris of the computer desk and ending where the body currently was.

What mattered more was the few weak footprints surrounding them.

“Probably because she wasn’t killed by the same person.” The detective said without showing much surprise. “We didn’t see her after my brother was left in Richard’s office, but we saw a bloodied lawyer running away, so...”

“The lawyer killed her?!”

“I believe so. It should’ve been an accident, I guess, but he's the most likely culprit. Either that, or she tripped and fell by herself while our good lawyer panicked for no reason.”

“But this much…”

“Is very circumstantial, I know, but this is my first theory. It would make more sense than she coincidently tripping during the time both her and Herman were missing, so that’s my reasoning for now. We can ask the barricaded man later to his side of the story...”

“That is true indeed.”

“Either way, I don’t think it had much to do with our current problem, so we’ll leave it for later.”

As Lily was saying, proving that Mr. Herman was innocent or not wasn’t important for the time being.

Their focus should be on finding the probable culprit and where he was hiding.

“The hardest part is that I can’t even understand what’s the point of all this. Why did my brother become so competent just now and why would he do all this? More than that, how did he manage to do all this to begin with?! And if he isn't the main culprit here, then...”

Her words stopped by this point and the detective didn't go further, for now, leaving the cue to her assistant.

“I believe I can get a why if you need to, a why I wanted to not mention, but... Let us say that the focal point should be the will your grandfather left, you see?”

“Gramps’ will…?”

The black-haired girl stopped to think for a moment, what Amy hoped would be enough for her to link the dots, even if the idol was ignoring the fact that she herself wasn’t sure if the will changed or not.

“Let me think... This whole ordeal is happening because someone had to trap me here, right? That much we could get from the call threatening the hostages if I didn't enter the building, which is weird for someone like my stupid brother.”

“I thought you would keep this much hidden…”

“As if you hadn’t heard the whole call when I received it.”

“You believe what you want to.”

The idol had an expression that was very infuriating just like whenever she told an obvious lie like this one, but it was beyond the point now.

And her next phrase was relevant though, so Lily ignored the wish to punch her face.

“What if the culprit was not your brother?” Amy asked, bringing a very displeased reaction to Lily's face.

“And who else was here to do all this?"

“We only saw he grab a gun, you see? Maybe he received a call just like yours and all of it was done by a hidden robot.”

“Already thought as much, but it seems way too far-fetched...”

A robot had entered this floor once and escaped through the window before it was sealed, but it would be a lot to say that another one was hidden for this long.

“I actually think so too…”

“To be fair, I had already suspected everyone else before entering this place, so it’s either my brother or a ghost.”

“What do you mean?” asked the idol slightly unsure of what her friend was saying.

“Well... My first guess was the lawyer being a rat from another company because he was suspicious, but it wouldn’t explain why bothering to lure me. I dropped this one very fast.”

Amy could help to drop this one by pointing out that this one lawyer was also filthy rich and had no reason to risk his position too.

She had no reason to disclose this much without a real reason like this, so she only said the more obvious points.

“He also lacks the closure to access the inner systems and without time to compromise the whole system, there was no way someone would keep me outside.”

“There’s this whole whatever you said too...” She agreed without understanding fully what was said and then changed the subject. “Moving on, the next one was the scientist. She had this access you mentioned and could probably fight you off for a while if she wanted, but she has no reason to do all this at all.”

“I am a better cracker than her, but you are not wrong that it would be time-consuming.” Commented the idol with wounded pride.

Someone who could deal with the nanomachines from that lab, even if unsuccessfully, would be too much of a genius for a cheater to deal with.

The difference in hardware was still big enough for it to be doable, but it would end as a long battle either way.

“And the next is…?” The idol asked with real curiosity this time.

“Yes, I also suspect Richard himself too, ok?” Sas the answer she received. “He can be simply pretending to be stuck as the only person with access to the safe elevator and he could use his men to do most things. I still believe he’s innocent though...”

“Due to the attack at the labs?”

“Not that. It’s because he could easily deal with us if he wanted to, or at least he had no reason to think otherwise. The difference in weaponry and numbers is big and we were pretty much defenseless after the labs.”

“It was seven against two for a good while indeed…”

Once more, it would be a doable fight for Amy too, but it would mean fighting seriously in front of Lily and risking her being wounded.

The better was if he had no reason to attack them for sure, but maybe there was something more here.

“All that remained was my brother stopping with his stupid ways and taking things seriously to assure his inheritance. He would probably with some outside influence for sure and help from traitors, but it would be reasonable. His reasoning would have something to do with the announcement during the party, but…”

Lily stopped as she said this much, having a realization that distorted her expression in a bad way.

“Scratch all that..." She said while approaching the computer on the broken desk. "Amy! I need everything you can get from the will and the ballroom. I’m almost sure I have the answer for everything now.”

Steward McOy
Dalion Alteri