But, just as she arrives, ready to turn to the knob, a group of officers step out. The room clears. The meeting is over. But that doesn’t stop her from entering, eying the Captain still at the head of the room, organizing the files and reports. It looks like a school room, with four rows of chairs for the students, a big desk for the teacher, and a rectangular table in front of the white board.
Captain Johnson is one of her favorite people to bug because he caves in so easily. He’s kinda cute too, in an older handsome type of way. She especially likes to embarrass him as red faced as possible. The way his dimples show and his nervous smile cracks her up. As an opposite to Bates, she could almost get anything she wanted from him.
April playfully jumps into one of the school chairs in the front middle row. Johnson looks up to see her cheerful demeanor staring at him.
“Hiiee!!” She waves enthusiastically.
“Oh, uh, ahem.” He shuffles his papers. “Hi, uh, April. How were you days off?”
“Fine, just fine! But I missed being here.” She wants to say she missed him, but thinks it’s too early to embarrass him. “What’s the update with the Tan Gang?”
“Huh? Oh, well... We’re still going through processing and evidence. Almost a hundred suspects and a whole lab of junk will take all month to process. Not to mention the Pokemon recovered still need to find their Trainers and homes. We can use some help in processing.”
Bleh. Again? A historic event happens in Blackthorn, and he wants her to help in processing? “What about finding the members that escaped? I want to do some detective work.” She flicks her blonde hair away, looking at him with pouty lips
He flusters a bit, “You’d... ahem. You’d only get in the way. This is a serious crime and we need experienced officers on the job.”
She whines. “Awww, all right. Fine. But what about all those Pokemon? Can I have one?”
Johnson finishes organizing the last of the folders. “You know I can’t do that.”
“Come on. You can say it was mine, nobody would know. Plleeeeeaaaseee...!!” She leans her chest forward over the desk, trying to tunnel his vision.
His face peaks pigmentation. Swallowing hard, he quickly turns his head away not to look. His voice stutters nervously. “I- I- I- can’t... it’s against regulations, you know that....” The silent response forces him to look back at her. “Ahem...” He steps back to the desk, sitting down for the moment. “Look, uh... April. The only way I can do that, is to, uh, is if a Pokemon isn’t picked up after a month on hold.” He opens a drawer, pretending to look for stuff to keep his eyes occupied. “But even then, uhm, we donate those Pokemon to organizations or special kids on our lists. I- I just don’t know....
The door knocks, as an older gentleman steps in the room. It’s Commander Nickels, the lead officer of the Blackthorn City Police. His grey mustache tweaks in interest. “Johnson!”
The Officer stands tensely, regaining composure in front of the Commander. “Sir.”
The teens’ smile lessens across her face. She almost had him. “Hi Commander Nickels!” As an older gentleman, with a serious nature, her charms are also ineffective. Although, she has never tried. As the highest ranking officer within the department, she holds a lot of respect for him and his decisions. Like a father. Trying to take advantage of someone in that position is against her own code of trust.
As usual, Nickels isn’t in uniform except for his hat, utility belt, and boots. A casual green jacket and corduroy brown shorts consist of his attire. “Junior Deputy April, hello. Johnson! Hurry up.”
“Sir, I am. April came in after we finished, asking what she can do to help.”
“Put her on evidence processing. We have a lot to go through.”
She interrupts, “Sir, if it’s okay, I want to help with the investigation.”
The Commander scratches his belly. “That won’t be necessary. Our top officers, along with cooperation from other departments, will be enough. Let’s go, Johnson.”
“Please, sir.” She stands tall, as an officer would do. “I’ve been here five years and I still can’t go out on my own. How am I supposed to learn how to be a police officer if all I do is the same thing every week?”
Nickels sighs heavily, as an old man with experience does. He removes his hat, revealing his receding black and grey hair line. “Repetition is what makes us excel at what we do. Not every day is going to be chasing the bad guy with explosions and such. But... maybe I can think of something you may be able to help with. Would you mind a little detective work?”
Her eyes bulge behind her sunglasses. “Yes, please.”
“Good. We need to find this Trainer that helped us catch the Tan Gang. The lead we have is only guesswork. Maybe you can find something else we didn’t.”
“Where do I start?”
“Talk with Uriel Dawson; he was with him at the time. Uriel is also our newest recruit. You can find him in office G9 right now. Remember what we taught you and you’ll do fine. The only information we have on the Trainer is his first name: Jack.”
“Thank you, thanks you very much sir. I won’t let you down.” She shakes his firm hand with a smile. Then, she says in a teasing voice, “We’ll talk more later, Captain Johnson.” Before stepping out of the room, she notices the Captain shyly looking away.
As soon as she leaves, Johnson throws a big sigh of relief. “Sir, you do know we’ve exhausted that lead numerous times, each one leading no where.”
“I know that. If I knew it would lead somewhere, I wouldn’t have given it to her. This will be good practice to see if she is able to find what we found out.”
“Uh, yea. At least it keeps her out of my hair for a while.”
Finally. The moment she has been waiting for has arrived. Detective work. All her learning has led up to this point, meaning now she has to prove to Commander Nickels that she can do it well.
She wonders who this Uriel character is, and what kind reaction she can get out of him. And what about her target, Jack? She imagines a gorgeous looking, well built body with long locks of hair. A hero that could lust after any women he desires. A top Trainer, along with his elite Pokemon team, that won’t let evil stand in his way.
She licks her lips in thought, pressing her hand on the door to Office G6. Wait! The files. I have to read the reports first.
Looking back, she doesn’t see the Commander watching her anywhere. Good. Last thing she needs is for him to know she almost made a mistake in the first five minutes. Before the first interview, the detective needs information so they know what kind of questions to ask. And the more she knew, the more she can take advantage of the other person.
With permission from Attendant Bates, though scornful, she sits at a computer to read initial reports. 911 Calls. Responding Officers. Suspects. Ah, there it is: Tan Gang Incident Report. She let out a small moan, noticing the 40 page length. Reluctantly, she reads it all, from top to bottom, not missing a single detail. She takes notes of important information regarding her assignment in a small flip notebook. By the time she finishes reading, four hours have passed by.
Jack. A teenager. Taller than me. Brown hair. Eye color undetermined. Has at least 10 Pokemon. Possibly an experienced Pokemon Trainer. No known background. Heading for Indigo Plateau?
Back. Back. Back. As she presses the ‘back’ button, she momentarily stops when a file name catches her interest. Stolen Pokemon Recovered. The file opens, listing all the Pokemon ever recovered by the Police. She scrolls the bar to the last pages, where the Tan Gang incident is located. 97 Pokemon are listed as recovered from the base: 64 Pokemon have been returned to their owner thus far, 15 Pokemon are in process. This leaves 18 Pokemon unclaimed. It’s also the first week of the month duration until any left over Pokemon are donated to the needy. According to the statistics, in the first two days, half of the Pokemon were claimed, and it has steadily dropped since then.
She quickly removes her sunglasses, revealing her sleep deprived and weakened bloodshot eyes, as if surprised and unbelieving her sight. Lickilicky. Ralts. Linoone. Plusle. Dunsparce. Croconaw. Venomoth. Tangrowth. Buneary. Spinda. Roselia. Feraligatr. Gorebyss. Kricketune. Makuhita. Oddish. Wartortle. Zigzagoon. A Roselia, and, even more important, an Oddish are still unclaimed. A Grass Pokemon! Her head lightly falls back, making her dizzy with euphoria. Her chance at owning an Oddish, which evolves into the lovely Bellossom, just became reality. Is this a dream? No, it’s better than that... she must be dead.
After lunch, flirting with the other officers on break, she’s ready for the first interview. Uriel Dawson: age 27 African-American. Male. 6'8", 211 pounds. For years he worked as a bouncer at the only night club in the city, before it closed down. Then he was hired by the Tang Gang to guard the bowling alley, Dragon’s Pin
. The day before the incident, there was a battle at said bowling alley by that Trainer, Jack, where Uriel decided to help him in beating the Tan Gang at their base the next day. He has one Pokemon, a Kecleon. He also has a speech impediment.
Currently, he’s undergoing training in the Police Academy for bodyguard training. His Kecleon is also receiving classes for the special Pokemon Police branch. In the report, it said he likes James Bond films, as evident in their silent entry into the Tang Gang building.
Unfortunately, Uriel has gone home for the day. When asking Attendant Bates, she says he’ll be back tomorrow for a pre-examination exam from nine to around eleven in the morning. April didn’t mind at all, because it allows her to exact her more important plan.
“Can I borrow your key for the supply room? I left mine at home.”
Bates sighs. “All right, but bring them right back.” She hands over her ring of multiple keys to various doors.
April thanks her and skips down the halls. She passes by the Pokemon Storage room, where her precious Oddish awaits. She has the key to the room in her hand and fights the desire to step in. Continuing on, she enters the Storage room, which holds any and all equipment. But she is only interesting in grabbing some modeling clay.
Well into the afternoon, her time at the Police Station is over. With her interviewee gone for the day, and not wanting to bother him at home, she embarks on a secret mission. Her red razor scooter slides to a stop in front of a key making store.
She laughs within her head. The male cashier will make this too easy. “Hiiee! Can you make me a key?” She places a clay mold of a key on the counter.
The guy looks at it curiously, shaking his head. “What is this? I can’t make keys without the original.”
“Ohh... but pleeaasee! I made this mold in case I ever lost the original, which I did. It’s the key to my safe where I keep all my money. Please sir.” April gently caresses the guys’ hand on the counter.
He slowly recedes his hand, though enjoying the touch. “Well, ok. But I’ll have to charge extra.”
She pouts in an innocent voice, “But I can’t pay you until the safe is open. Will that be fine with you?”
A bead of sweat drops from his face. “Yea, sure. I’ll have this ready in an hour.”
Next day. Junior Deputy April has been sitting in the waiting room next to the front desk, waiting for Uriel to show up. It’s after eleven, so the exam is over by now. She is anxious and nervous about her first step as a detective.
The tall dark skinned man steps up to the front desk, exchanging conversation with Bates. He wears a dark teal suit and pant combo with a black tie. A skinny pair of sunglasses sits atop his dark, short hair. His suit covers his body nicely, except for the thick neck muscles indicating just how strong he is.
April takes a deep breath, putting on her game face. “Uriel Dawson?” She questions, getting a confirmation response stance from him. She quickly wraps her arms around his body, barely able to touch her hands together on his back. She thrusts her face into his chest and whines, “Thank you so much for all you did.” She sobs, not really crying behind her sunglasses.
The bouncer strokes her hat, responding in a deep voice, “Your welcome young lady now.”
She releases her grip, taking a step back to see the damage. Normally, when her cute self hugs a guy, the guy becomes a bit nervous about it. But here, nothing. No skin change, no change in emotion, no avoiding eye contact.
“I hear you were the one with Jack. See, I’m his sister and I’ve been looking for him for a long time. His Meowth is very sick at home and we want him to come back. When I saw on the news, I knew it must have been him.” She brushes her hair back, then holds her hands together in front. “I talked to the police, but they don’t know anything. But you were the last person to see him, so you must know.”
“Sorry, I don’t know where he went now.”
“But... pleeasee! Uriel, I’ll do anything for you. A-n-y-t-h-i-n-g,” she finishes off with a whisper.
His face is like a brick wall, unchanging and unmoving from anything she throws at him. “What’s your name now?”
“April,” she says, trying to be cute.
“And how old are you, April, now?”
He crosses his arms. “It appears Jack got all the honorable qualities of the family. I’m sorry for your loss and hope Meowth gets better, but I don’t know where he went. The last place I saw him was at the Pokemon Center now.”
A strike of lighting thought hits her brain. He was a bouncer... at a club... he’s resistant and fully capable at ignoring advances from women. She’s never serious about any of it, but the thought of rejection hurts her.
“You’re a 16 year old girl. You shouldn’t act like this. What would your parents think?”
Suddenly, the entire room froze at the mention of the ‘p’ word. The staff at the front desk stands up cautiously, watching for her reaction.
“My... p... ....parents?”
She awakens in a daze of confusion and a throbbing headache, pounding like a rigorous drum beat. Her dry eyes try to focus around the room she sits in. A lamp in the far corner tries to light the room, but the dark shadows remain to hide and blur anything she sees. She doesn’t know what happened after the bathroom, nor where she is currently residing. She lay on the ground, focusing on the queen sized bed in front of her, recognizing she must be in her parents master bedroom.
She can hear a muffling scream somewhere around the bed, probably on the top. She weakly stands up, her legs feeling like jello after being squeezed tightly like a tube of toothpaste. On the bed is her mother in a ripped nightgown, with her arms bound together by rope to one end of the bed frame. Her wrists are red with bruising and dried blood, forcefully trying to escape. Duct tape is repeatedly wound around her mouth and her face is warped with tear lines and a couple scratches by her ear. Her feet are also red from bruising and scars, as if she too was dragged and beaten.
“Momm...” Before the little girl can scream and run to her, the burly man grabs her from behind, tightly, like an Ursaring bear hug. He carries her off the ground, receiving a couple kicks to his legs as she struggles. She bites, but misses the arm where she had bitten earlier. The man grunts, tossing her across the carpet, rolling into one of the wooden dressers in the room.
“Ha. Ha. Ha... We can tie you up too, little girl.” His face is still hidden by shadows, but his evil grin and fixed beady eyes seem to glow in the dark, impressing their expression into her mind.
The whining returns, warning the man to show some sympathy. Her need to go to mom for protection is natural, but the fear of the intruders keeps her away. She looks for the door, only to see it blocked by the other, taller someone. His face isn’t as menacing, but his posture is overbearing, as if he wanted to eat her up. Her tear ducts find the energy to cry again, facing her mother on the bed. “Mommy...”
The burly man staggers in front of her, raising his arm warning her he would hit her again. She flinches, curling into a sniveling ball by the dresser. The man continues by, standing angrily by the mother.
“Your husband owes us some money. A lot of money. He’s past the deadline. We tried sending him messages but he never called back. We warned him that if we don’t get any money, we’ll take something from him.” The burly man reaches down, stroking the mothers’ dark hair. “It’s not your fault, but we have to take what’s most precious in his life. We have to send him a message that he’ll never forget.” He unpockets a five inch switchblade, also glowing brightly with that evil face of his. The mother squirms her body, exhaustingly yelling behind the tape.
“No no, shhh shh. If you’re that nervous, we’ll start with your daughter.”
Her eyes widen, focusing on the glaring knife reflecting fear into her eyes. The other man grabs her from behind in a holding position, locking her legs and arms behind her back and holding her mouth closed. The burly man takes a knee to the carpet, grabbing one of the arms. He squeezes the wrist, opening the hand and fully extended fingers devoid of color.
Behind him, the bed squeaks and cracks with louder muffling sounds. Not being able to see what they are doing to her daughter frightens her enough that she doesn’t care if she breaks her hands to be free. The childish suppressed screams pour rage filled tears onto the bed.
The little girls’ hazel eyes suck into her head, trying to escape the look. Those devil eyes. That grin of satisfaction. The knife, gleaming with power to ruin lives. Which is soon forgotten when the blade is carefully carved into the palm of her hand and only the thought of terrible pain encompasses her.
April looks at her fingerless leather gloves, flipping them over to her palm. She drops them at her side, quickly running off.
Uriel stares, dumbfounded. “What... what did I say now?”
Attendant Bates walks around the front desk. “That’s right, you’re new here so you don’t know. That’s April, she a Junior Deputy here. You might want to sit down for what I’m about to tell you.”