Sunday, 7 September 2008

The Helix Assignment [Part 8]

Joye was already seated at the table when Jen walked in, yawning. Hiro had buried his nose in a large glass of milk, while Aqua was flipping the newspaper pages idly.

'Morning?' Jen asked tentively. Aqua looked up and smiled. 'Hey. Thanks for letting us crash, by the way. This is a beautiful home.'

Jen smiled over her mug. 'Thank you. How did you guys get involved with the whole--' she waved her hand, and Aqua knew she was talking about their mutant issue.

Aqua shrugged. 'I'm not that sure. I guess it started when I was a really young kid. I was at summer camp, and they had this swimming competition.'

Joye cut in. 'And long story short, she found out she was hydrokinetic. As for me, I was born in Boston. My mum and dad got divorced when I turned six. Since then, I've been living with mum and her new boyfriend, Walter.' Joye gave a snort of disgust. 'And now they want to have a baby! Can you imagine that?'

Jen shook her head laughingly. Joye was a dramatic, that much she knew. She turned to the sole remaning member who hadn't spoken. 'And you, Hiro?'

The boy looked up at her blankly, and returned to his milk without a word. Hiro loved his milk. Besides, he couldn't speak and the only person who could act as translator wasn't up yet.

Just then, the door to the dining room opened and Elsa walked in, followed by Pierce who was already dressed in her customary redingote coat, with a red scarf wrapped around her neck, which made her look so much older than her real age. She looked around the dining table. 'Hello,' she said politely, more than anything out of habit instead of actually wanting to make conversation.

Sitting down, she refilled Hiro's glass of milk, much to his delight, and started buttering toast for both Elsa and her. Everyone raised their eyebrows at this. Had Pierce and Elsa reconciled in the middle of the night?

Aqua had continued reading the papers when she stopped on a page. '"Mystery Murder: Authorities Baffled."' The headlines caught everyone's attention as Aqua continued reading. '"Last night, a young woman was found dead several blocks from Backstone Park, near a housing area. The woman, identified as Caroline Victor, 27, from Houston, Texas, was an accountant for Wilcox Pharmaseuticals. After the post mortem, Medical Examiner D.G. Horth discovered something strange.

No one noticed the way Jen paled. Pierce inhaled sharply, sensing something from Jen, but kept silent.

'"Horth said in his report that the victim "was found with no injuries on her body, except for two small marks on her arm that appeared to be teeth marks." He also remarked that the victim did not suffer from any other cuts or bruises, and no evidence of trauma was found. However, when Victor was cut open, it was revealed that she was "totally devoid of blood", bringing forth the theory that the killer is a New-Age vampire."'

Elsa grabbed the papers and glanced through it quickly, Pierce reading it over her shoulder calmly while taking a bite of buttery toast. Everyone else was staring in stunned disbelief as Elsa picked up where Aqua had left off.

'"The mystery thickens when the body, which was left on the autopsy table in the morgue, was stolen in the middle of the night despite the presence of guard patrols. Authorities assume the body was taken away by the killer when it reappeared in a duffel bag. Upon unzipping the duffel bag, police and medical examiner alike were shocked by the contents. Sources say that Caroline Victor's body was a mass of flesh and skin. The bones, however, were missing. And again, there was no sign or evidence of a cut or tear to show how the bones were removed."'

'Yep,' Joye gave a quick, oh-yeah nod. 'Sounds like something more super than natural going on to me.'

'It is,' Pierce spoke up. 'Caroline Victor was a mutant. And Jen knows something about her,' she looked up. 'Doesn't she?'

Jen swallowed as four pairs of eyes looked at her expectantly. Then, she knew she had to tell the truth. 'Caroline Victor,' she began haltingly. 'She's my sister.'

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