CASCADE OF BLOOD
A Highlander/Sentinel Crossover
by Henry Wyckoff



Chapter 2

Captain Simon Banks frowned. In all this time as a police captain, he'd been thrown into a lot of scenes. Twice in the line of his work, he had encountered immortals. He snickered, to himself, remembering the immortal boy who was no longer going by the name of Kenny. He wondered what Ellison and Sandberg would have thought if they'd known that child prodigy was actually an 800 year-old immortal who had gained a reputation for taking the heads of immortals who took him in... he'd benn pleasantly surprised to find that Kenny had actually turned a new leaf, but that was another story...

What was important was the fact that never once had an immortal walked into his department, until now. Actually, she wasn't walking: she was being forced to walk. Someone beyond the status of 'suspect'. What shocked him so much was not that she was immortal, but rather, that she was someone that he recognized by reputation.

Amanda.

That in itself said that she was guilty as sin. Sin might even be a pale word. What made him start to worry was the fact that she had gotten caught. Professionals like Amanda don't just get caught. Something else was going on, but first, he figured he should check the official story.

Amanda looked around, but didn't find the immortal who stood only ten feet away. She gave up.

Banks kept in his office, lighting a cigar. That's when an idea came into his head. He opened the door again, "Oh, Jiiiim!"

It didn't take too long for Detective Ellison to come inside the office, with the 'observer' Sandberg in toe. For some reason, Banks had the image of a Golden Retriever puppy. Would anything ever make that kid appear... flustered? Or was it the other way around -- did Sandberg have Ellison tied by a chain? In any event, they were here.

"Shut the door, Jim."

"Sure, boss."

"Sit down."

"Sure, boss."

By now, both Ellison and Sandberg were looking at each other nervously. They knew something was not quite right.

Banks got to the point, "Did you see that woman who was led in by five cops?" They nodded. "That's your new case."

"But Captain --" Ellison was about to protest.

Banks held up his hands placatingly, "I know... you're already on one. But this one is more important."

He knew when to keep his mouth shut, "What's so important about this one?"

"I hope you'll find out on your own. Let's just say that this is a case for which you are... uniquely... qualified. You understand?" He cringed on seeing Sandberg's immediate excitement.

"What's the case?" asked Sandberg.

"That's what I'd like you to find out."

Ellison and Sandberg raised their eyebrows.

* * * *

It only took a few more moments to get the story from the initial reports, hot of the press. The name was Amanda -- no last name given -- and her fingerprints were currently being run through the database for matches. She was found at the Cascade Museum next to a brutally-killed security guard, with a sword in her possession. The sword was not from the Museum. Also in her possession were some very expensive jewels, which were part of the latest exhibit. Very expensive. Enough to kill for.

That's not what intrigued Ellison. What intrigued him was her ingenious means of obtaining the jewels without triggering the alarm. In fact, the alarm wasn't set. It was a frantic call from a dying security guard, babbling about a woman with a sword.

"I don't understand," Sandberg muttered aloud. "It looks like an open-and-shut case!"

Ellison nodded, "It just might be that. But the cases that look like that rarely are. Let's see what Amanda has to say."

* * * *

The 'discussion room' was a plain white room, as immaculate as any hospital room could be. There was a rectangular table in the center, where the individual who did the talking faced those who asked the questions. There were no headlights that would shine into the face of those who talked, but the lights did shine more in that direction. There were no one-way mirrors, but there were a few hidden cameras and microphones that recorded in cinema-quality. There would be no question of inadmissible evidence because of poor recordings.

Amanda looked very unconcerned. In fact, she felt quite at home. That's the first thing that Ellison noted to himself. No fast pulse, no sweating. He didn't even smell the fear or nervousness -- but he did smell some overpowering perfume. Not in the manner that would kill even plastic plants, but rather in the manner that threatened to distract him. Funny thing... he found her physically unattractive, especially with her punk hairdo. He didn't like punk appearances. She'd been through the system before, and she knew how to use it. That was the sign of someone with a shady past, and it was confirmed by Amanda's records. Not much, except for a few international thefts. All in Europe. All high-profile crimes which were dismissed either because of lack of evidence or undisclosed reasons.

A glance over at Sandberg showed that he was openly overpowered by Amanda, in one sense or another. Maybe Sandberg went for the punk look...?

"So, Amanda." Ellison forced his smile. "What do you have to say for yourself?"

She surprised him. "I stole the jewels, but I didn't kill those guards. Why else would I have gone through all that trouble to sneak in through the security room without them noticing me, if I could have killed them in the first place?"

He sighed, "You have a point there, but then again, I could think of a million reasons to argue both sides. The basic facts are that you were caught in the security room, next to a dead guard and the stolen items in your possession, with a sword in easy reach. You admit to the theft, so that leads me to ask... who else was working with you? If you didn't kill them, somebody had to, and frankly, I don't see you working alone on this."

"I would have loved to have some company, but I didn't have any takers."

"Do you realize that you're committing legal suicide? The statements you've made have been on the record, and that's all the court needs to put you away for a long time."

She dropped her smile and looked intently at Ellison, "Detective. There is a murderer out there, and if you insist on believing that the murderer isn't out there, you'll find more people dead."

He nodded, "I believe you. I really do. But I need some help here!" He held out his hands helplessly.

Amanda sighed, "There's nothing I can give you."

"Then I'll have to look at the scene of the crime myself..."

Amanda shook her head as the detective and the observer left the room, smiling to herself. The detective looked like he knew more than he was letting on, and the observer seemed... to be very happy to see her. "Good luck."

* * * *

She was led back to her cell by two female guards with really short hair and steroid physiques. They both scowled, "Come on!" Amanda was handled pretty roughly, and shoved back in her cell.

It was a little bit later when Amanda woke up from a nap that snuck up on her. An immortal was coming by, and it turned out to be none other than a very smug Marisa with a press pass hanging around her neck.

"You're taking a big risk."

Marisa smiled. "You're right. An unarmed, helpless investigative reporter taking a big risk to see the thief who killed all the security guards around the museum with a sword, of all things. Do you have any idea what kind of people are going to jump to attention by that one detail alone? The acronym people... police detectives who can't rest because of the fish that got away... maybe even a few Interpol agents..."

Marisa got a blank look in her eyes, then smiled once more, "There's another immortal around here, did you know that? I didn't get a look in his face, but he just might be the kind to headhunt and hide the body." Her grin became vicious. "He might try to hide more than that..."

"You're not just insane... you're sick!"

"Come now," she leaned back in her chair, propping her feet on the table, "you'd accuse me of being sick based on that? Trust me. By the time I'm done with you, you'll be praying to God just to have the words to describe your experience!"

"Oh yeah? How are you going to do that? I'm in here, and you're out there!"

"You won't be in jail forever. Sooner or later, you're going to leave, and when you do..." she let it hang there.


* * * *


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