Chapter One (continued)
“Uh…right…um…Hello Schmidt and Jones, Private Investigators among the stars…how can we be of service?” Adelaide held the button as the screen flickered up in front of her; the caller’s face slowly coming into view on the screen.
“Lox…?... ‘Jonathan looked over wearily to Adelaide, as the face of one of the few human police Inspectors on Earth blared on the screen in front of them. He was one of the best, and the couple had had the pleasure of working with him on a couple of cases.
Adelaide more than Jonathan seeing as she had used to work in the police force, before she had become bored by the lack of interesting things to do, she had mostly been less on field work; and on neighbourhood watch stopping children from destroying AI machinery. Or indeed tampering with them so they would only shout rude words to passers-by instead of giving helpful information.
It had been Lox mostly that had put her on these jobs feeling she was too young and inexperienced to do real field work, but that hadn’t stopped her from ever trying to sneak onto all the best cases, all the murders and thefts all the ones that made her mind alert and awake, trying to find out who was behind it, and what was the motive. Of course when she had then solved most of them and taken it to Lox, he wasn’t always grateful that she undermined him or showed a lack of respect and the inability to follow orders, but it was impossible to deter her skills and her good eye especially when he found out she was right.
Lox had been partially right that Adelaide was far too young when she had started out in his team, even acknowledging that she was probably better than most of his team anyway, and would do better starting on her own terms. She had by rights only just finished her studies wanting to do well in her life after her past, but that hadn’t meant Lox would just push her right to the top of his team just because she could do her job well.
He had felt slightly bad that he was wasting a good officer’s skills to some degree, and had put her on desk duty which she felt was slightly worse, and so she had made the decision to listen to Lox’s words and indeed start a fresh on her own terms. 5 years ago she had left the police force, and started her own private business, had somehow became great friends with the Chief Inspector; and had to admit that her success and her partnership with Schmidt had been all down to Lox. Lox knew her deepest secret and he had saved her life, something she hadn’t been able to tell Jonathan and never would…the life that she had left behind…well it wasn’t worth thinking.
Ok so in the end, Lox was a bit of an idiot sometimes, but at least he was better than some hot headed pig faced Boargon shouting, and arresting people without any evidence. This was probably why Lox came to the two of them sometimes, even though he wasn’t strictly supposed to but he knew Adelaide and it’s not like she wasn’t completely ignorant of how that side of the line worked.
Inspector Lox though, hadn’t called them for well over 8 months, usually reserving his calls for emergencies that resulted in Earth’s safety, there was never a good time coming when Lox called.
“Yes, yes…enough with the formalities, look…have either of you been watching the news on the Spaceports for the last week or two, the fact that everyone’s grounded and no one’s allowed out …’ The heavily moustached, slightly greying human impatiently asked the two of them, tugging at his tie nervously as though something was bothering his mind.
“We ….I just assumed it was some sort of disease coming from a nearby planet, like the one the Martians accidentally brought with them’ Adelaide looked almost sheepish as she took in the Inspectors heavy eagled eyed glare at her. ‘And…Jonathan doesn't really keep up with the news….or any holographic TV unless…it’s his favourite cartoon”
A light smile tugged at her lips as she stared across to Jonathan, who was sitting back in his usual seat, out of the way of Lox’s steely glare, though he could see Lox’s face reflected backwards to him through the screen.
Lox tutted impatiently “This isn't a time for one of your childish antics Jones, we were still looking into that thought at Scotland Yard, right up until the point we got calls coming from ruddy Arthur Green telling us half of his staff are dying. Plus now some of his guests staying in the Spaceport rooms, he reckons that someone or something is targeting them to get to him. We’ve got a massive case of hysteria sweeping not only through London but the rest of Europe because all of the Spaceports are closed, and not even the Government will let the police departments in on what is actually happening. We better have a bloody virus outbreak that will be easier to contain then a ruddy terrorist threat murdering passengers or whatever, and it better not be one of those god damn Geraja beetles…’
“Gerajii” Murmured Adelaide as Lox carried on.
“Bless you” Whispered Jonathan as he winked across the room towards her, leaving her to bite the inside of her mouth to stop her laughing.
“ ….we had a hard enough time tackling one of them, by the looks of things going this could be connected and could spread out over the 5 main Spaceports on Earth or worse the population, there could be more deaths on the way.” Lox finished straightening his tie as if to make a point to them.
“So…what type of deaths are we talking about Lox…I’m assuming not strictly normal..?” Adelaide drummed her fingers against the desk as Lox nodded stiffly head looking down for a moment as if he was reading something.
“According to Green, his secretary Denise was found by her desk, no trace of anything unusual on her skin, no sign of a struggle and the scanners my team used showed that her body didn’t die of natural causes and the others are exactly the same…except…’ He trailed off looking up at Adelaide with an odd look in his eyes, sadness maybe. Adelaide couldn't tell.
“Except what…? Lox…tell us…’’ She persisted as Lox nodded and carried on.
“Well I let my research team scan every possible race we know, not one of them is capable of doing such a thing, well unless any race down here has suddenly come up with something that is capable….but we opened her eyes and for the brief few seconds we managed to look at them, they were glowing…purple…static as if she had electricity behind her eyes…It wasn’t pleasant to look at I have to admit, especially not afterwards when the glowing stopped and her eyes sort of…dissolved…and then...the rest of the body went downhill with it....’’
Lox had finished and was patting his handkerchief on his forehead, the look in his eyes lingered and Adelaide realised what it was.
Adelaide smiled thinly suppressing the urge to shudder and continue acting professionally for Lox’s approval (hating the fact that she still wanted to earn it from him), she respected Lox and she knew he held the same respect for the pair of them, god knows he owned them his life at least twice “Don’t worry Inspector, we’re on our way, we‘ll find out who is responsible.’’
‘’That’s what I was hoping …I want you down to see Steph first before going on and doing your own thing. You two more than half my team of specialists combined know more about these sorts of things, and perhaps seeing…the victims would put us on the right track’‘
Jones looked to Jonathan who gave her a nod in response ‘We’ll be down there soon’
She went to say more but Lox had already signed off from the holographic messenger, leaving Adelaide to stare up to her work mate.
“He seems worried, but it’s probably nothing and after we see Steph we can head straight to Jarvis III …and no doubt Green will offer a hefty reward if he’s anything like the last time, meaning we could get this place done up as well as sort out our bills, but your pregnant lady may have to wait until later so….Ready Schmidt for another adventure…?”
She tried to sound confident, but the earlier conversation still played heavy on her mind, ‘what the hell had caused the poor girls death as well as that to scare Lox the second toughest man she knew’ and ‘what if Jonathan didn't want to go with her, what if he had already decided to leave her to figure this herself’ The thought however tumbled from her mind as Jonathan pulled off his tie and jacket, beaming his wide impish smile.
“I’ll meet you down at the car… I wouldn't miss this for the world’ Jonathan ran out the door fast, leaving Adelaide to kick off her dress and reach under her desk for her spare clothes she kept for field work. She’d only just stripped off down to her underwear when Jonathan’s voice came back in
’ Forgot to say….Oh…right sorry” Adelaide looked up in embarrassment and tried to cover herself up though she knew it was too late as he stood still, hesitating with his hands held over his eyes as he still stood there.
“Jonathan….go…Now!” She urged her voice squeaked, as she quickly put on tight blue jeggings and her shirt that really didn’t leave much to the imagination. Jonathan apologised again before closing the door behind him, leaving Adelaide to sigh more annoyed with herself as she finished getting ready into her casual clothes, the clothes she felt more comfortable in.
“Can I just say, you look remarkable either way” Jonathan’s voice yet again cheekily said behind her as he'd come back in, Adelaide turned mouth open to say something as an amused smirk rose on her lips.
“I told you to go…..if you don’t I will chuck my heels at your face” She didn't mean it, and at least the stupid alien had the decency to still cover his eyes up in case she was still not dressed. Quietly she tiptoed her way across the room, plunging her fingers into his side as she walked up to him. Jonathan jumped lowering his hands in surprise letting out a shocked gasp.
“Hey… oh you cheeky little…”He smiled widely rubbing his side whilst Adelaide stared at him triumphant.
“Care to finish that sentence…it might be the last thing you do mind” She smiled sweetly pushing her way past him as she ran her way quickly down the stairs, comfortable in her wedged trainers now, and with her gun in her holster at her side. “Coming Johnny boy?. I won’t wait up” She teased him as she made her way to the bottom hearing his voice call lightly from the top as he hurriedly made to follow her.
“Oh no you don’t…’
Adelaide paused at the bottom of the stairs as Jonathan went quiet, waiting a couple of minutes until his dorky face peered round the last of the corners, beaming widely as he jumped on the banister and slid the rest of the way down. Adelaide had only just managed to step back before he jumped agilely next to her, ruffling his hair back looking pleased with himself as he winked to her.
“Show off...” She mumbled lightly as they strode out the doors to his usual heart-warming chuckle, as he jumped into the parked speeder that was his pride and joy.
“And don’t you just love that eh Jonesy’’ He chuckled to her as she sat in the passenger seat beside him, letting the doors lower back down before turning to him.
“At the minute…no, I’m still annoyed about earlier, and now….now we have to look at some dead bodies before contending with ruddy Arthur Green to listen to…you know how much I hate him. Last time he tried to get me to do his personal bidding, and then thinking he had some sort of chance with me….eurghh Yuck!” The slim brunette stared ahead, as Jonathan raised the speeder into the air, settling it into the fast lane of the traffic before driving on, dodging past the slow hover vehicles which earned them a lot of colourful language their way.
The green eyed humanoid turned his head briefly towards his work partner smiling sympathetically. “You know I’d never just leave you …I’m sorry if I upset you, you know how much you mean to me AJ...’ He stared on ahead smiling lightly before continuing ‘All these years…and you think I could just leave you, I think more of my best friend then just some easily replaceable girl in heels…”
“That sounded better in your head didn’t it…?” Adelaide smiled shaking her brown curls before sighing lightly, his words had touched her and she felt safe now that he would stick around now if only for her.
He grimaced and nodded. “Just a tiny bit, and don’t worry about that moaning gold digger Green, if he comes onto you...I’ll sort him out”
Adelaide laughed at that, a high musical laugh that she hadn’t done in ages “What give him the ‘ol’ one two eh…? Jon…you would never bring yourself to punch him”
Schmidt looked round grinning and rolling his eyes “Oh shut up Jones…” She looked over to him daringly as they put on a faster pace through the grey clouded skies, rushing over towns and cities at a pace that hundreds of years ago, had never been possible.
“Or what….’Adelaide daringly asked raising her feet to rest them on the dashboard, as Jonathan moved his hand to slap at them.
“Hey ...for one get your feet off my speeder and two, maybe I’d have to kiss you to silence you” He beamed cheekily as Adelaide sat up in surprise, eyes wide and heart beating fast.
“W-what…” Her heart caught in her throat, as her mind replayed what he had just said to her.
“Relax kid…although that did just make you almost speechless…So Jones 0- Schmidt 1” Schmidt chuckled as Adelaide blushed heavily looking out of the window, now she couldn’t wait until they reached their destination.
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- Wylie Forrester
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