Chapter 7: Envy Part 7

In the apartment of Christopher Pike, the door flung open revealing Joshua Collins. Joshua roamed the darkened apartment, but there was no sign of his ex-assistant, but he did discover the computer on the small table. Joshua knelt in front of it and turned it on. It asked for a password making Joshua curse under his breath. Thoughts of breaking the computer crossed his mind, but he abandoned the idea. He left the computer and began to enter Christopher’s bedroom.

The moment he was inside, he heard footsteps approaching from behind. He turned around quickly doing a spinning kick. His leg was caught and was surprised to see a policeman, but he was more shocked at the Machina patch on the uniform. Joshua pulled his leg free from the grip of the Machina employee.

“Who are you?”

The Machina employee pulled out his badge and stated, “Officer Moore, employee of Machina Hospital and who are you?”

“Detective Joshua Collins,” stated Joshua and then asked, “Why is a Machina Hospital Employee in my ex-assistant’s room.”

“I am doing an investigation…Detective Joshua Collins was it?”

“That’s right.”

“I spoke with the tenant of this apartment room and he did mention that he worked under you, but why do you call him EX-ASSISTANT?”

“…He quit.”

Officer Moore rubbed his chin in thought. He then looked at Joshua and asked, “If he quit on you then why are you here?”

“To find out the reason why he quit, of course, but what does your investigation have to do with him?”

Officer Moore and Joshua stared at each other as if they were trying to look for answers in the other’s eyes. This stand still was broken when Joshua smirked and stated, “How about this? You obviously want information for this investigation you are doing, so allow me to assist on that and in return you can help me find clues why Mr. Pike quit on me.”

Officer Moore frowned, but he knew how famous this detective was and that he had yet to falter in a case. He also recently heard that this detective solved a stack of cases within hours just that day. Officer Moore groaned also realizing that this detective might realize what he did to the escape patient…Patient 6000. This was a risky gamble, but he needed to find Patient 6000 as soon as possible.

“All right, but you have to promise not to reveal this to the public.”

“I promise, now how about telling me why you are in Christopher Pike’s apartment and how it relates to your investigation?”

“Not many people know, but the news should come out sooner or later. A patient from Machina Hospital has escaped just yesterday.”

“An escaped patient?” exclaimed Joshua, but then asked, “What does this patient have to do with my ex-assistant?”

“This apartment complex is considered close to the hospital, so I was questioning the residents with the description of the patient. Many residents mentioned seeing a girl that matched that description leaving this apartment room with your ex-assistant.”

“…Do you believe he was housing the patient that escaped?”

“I did speak with him and he admitted to having a girl with that description, except that the birthmark didn’t match.”

“Birthmark?”

“A heart shaped birthmark on her hip.”

“If the birthmark was wrong then why did you return here?”

“…No other girl matched the description this closely when I spoke with other people close by and a patient can’t just vanish without a trace.”

Joshua frowned coming to a realization. Officer Moore had a point. If a patient escaped they would stick out like a sore thumb because of the patient clothing and because of the barcode that was placed behind their necks. The only way for them to hide would be to change their clothing and for someone to house them. In other words: outside help. He didn’t want to believe that Christopher would knowingly house a Machina Hospital Patient, but it would explain why he would quit, since Joshua would have figured it out eventually.

“So you came back here wanting to see the girl that my ex-assistant housed to see if she was the patient you were looking for?”

Officer Moore nodded and added, “I won’t return until I find her.”

Joshua nodded and stated, “We can’t have a patient on the loose and I don’t want this to hurt Mr. Pike’s reputation, so how about this: let’s catch this patient together and in return you make it that Mr. Pike was never involved. Do we have a deal?”

Officer Moore didn’t like this, especially since he planned to beat Christopher if it turned out that he had Patient 6000, but he needed to find her…he needed to find her to vent out his anger. Officer Moore gave a reluctant nod and then grabbed hold of Joshua’s hand in a handshake saying, “You have my word.”

Joshua nodded with a smile and stated, “Now let’s comb this apartment for any clues.” Officer Moore nodded and headed toward the kitchen, while Joshua went into Christopher’s room.

The first thing Joshua noticed were the shopping bags with women clothes at the corner of the room. With those he realized that Christopher is indeed involved with a girl, but if this girl is the patient is still the mystery. He searched the room for any indication of a hospital gown, but there were no traces, so the likely hood of Christopher harboring a patient from Machina Hospital greatly decreased.

Joshua was about to step out of the room until he noticed the indentation in the bed. There were two indentations one bigger than the other. Joshua ran his fingers across the smaller indentation and then noticed a strand of long chestnut brown hair. He grabbed a handkerchief from his pocket and took the strand of hair gently before folding it into the handkerchief. As a detective he did have access to the labs, so finding DNA and matching it with a name wasn’t too hard for him.

Meanwhile, Officer Moore searched the kitchen and noticed two plates in the sink. He examined the plates, but saw no indication of a female, but when he looked at the fridge he noticed a receipt for women’s clothing. He tore it from the fridge and saw a note on it: compare prices with this.

“Compare?”

Officer Moore looked at the name of the store on the receipt and then stuffed the receipt into his pocket. If this Christopher really had Patient 6000 then the security cameras of this place will reveal the truth.

The two men had their clues and after reporting where they would be headed to, the decision was to first check the clothes store and then head to the lab. After all, two definite facts are better than one.

Meanwhile, Christopher had hung up from the phone after reporting the new findings of the attacker being a man instead of a woman. Christopher sighed after hanging up and returned to Avalon’s side asking, “So what made you realize that your server was a man?”

Avalon wrote her answer to Christopher in the notebook.

“I noticed an Adam’s apple and I could also hear his husky voice when he spoke to us. If a woman really sounded like that I would be worried.”

Christopher nodded in understanding, but felt utter shock when Avalon wrote another revelation.

“The woman who served James and me in the cute shop where we got the stuffed animals and hair pin was also a man. Is it common for men to dress up as women in stores?”

“No…it’s not common at all, but the man in the café is the one who served you that tooth, so the man in the cute shop has nothing to do with it.”

“I guess.”

Avalon picked up the stuffed animals and held the fairy panda stuffed animal to Christopher. Christopher saw the hopefulness in her eyes and realized that she wanted him to take the stuffed animal. Christopher smiled and took the stuffed animal and used his index finger to make the fairy panda wave at Avalon and said, in a high pitched voice, “Hello, do you want to be my friend?” Avalon nodded and made the princess cat wave at Christopher. Christopher chuckled and stated, in the same high pitched voice, “You are very pretty.” Avalon smiled with a blush and made the princess cat cover its eyes with its paws.

Christopher had fun with this game of pretend that he hadn’t experienced in a long time and he knew that this game was a good distraction for Avalon from the case.

“That voice is annoying, please stop.”

Christopher flinched at the familiar voice of James, who had entered the room with crossed arms. Christopher hid the panda behind him as he faced James.

“So is dinner ready?”

James nodded and completely ignored Christopher as he walked to Avalon and held her hand saying, “Let’s get you something to eat.” Avalon nodded with a smile, while Christopher frowned with a shaking fist. It was obvious to Christopher that James was ignoring him and his closeness to Avalon made him uncomfortable. If he wasn’t trying to save James from being murdered, he would have pushed him in front of a train.

Christopher’s murderous thoughts were put on halt when he felt the soft hand of Avalon grab his hand. Avalon smiled at him and began to pull him along. Just Avalon’s smile alone soothed his heart, but he didn’t notice the dissatisfaction in James’s face as they left the dance hall.

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