It was easy enough for Hildegard to get inside the station to see the evidence. She still had some pull with the police. More importantly, she had their trust. Getting them to let her into the morgue was a simple matter. Sakura waited until their escort left to look over some paperwork before emerging from Hilde’s bag.
The bodies were pale, though they still clearly had blood. Their cheeks were sunken in and they had a frozen look of ecstasy on their faces.
Hilde looked over the death reports. They’d all died of mysterious heart attacks and every single one had had an unidentified foreign substance in their bodies. Investigators were assuming a new designer drug. Hildegard was so busy pouring over the reports that she didn’t notice Sakura trying to get her attention.
Finally, Sakura had enough & pulled down on Hilde’s newsie cap. “Hilde!”
“What is it?” Hilde asked, returning her cap to its normal position.
“Something feels wrong,” Sakura said. “I don’t think this was a succubus or incubus. I know you may not believe me but…”
“Sakura,” Hilde interrupted. “You’re far more of an expert on supernatural beings than I am. Just tell me why you think so.”
“The missing energy,” Sakura said. “Sex demons steal energy related to sex and libido. This feels more… general. Like something just yanked out all their life force at once.”
“If that’s the case, why didn’t Vincento and his people notice?” Hilde asked.
“They don’t really sense these things like a fairy does,” Sakura declared, sounding quite pleased with herself.”
Hilde looked around at the bodies and checked the reports. “Then this substance may be unrelated or…”
“Thinking of something?” Sakura wondered.
“Maybe we’re confusing the cause with the motive,” Hilde said. “Maybe whoever’s… whatever’s responsible for this is trying to hide the truth behind this substance.”
She paced a little, muttering to herself. “Would have to be someone who knows about the supernatural. Both method and attempt to make it seem like the sex demons proves that. Question is, how do we find him?”
“Maybe they’ll figure out what’s in the thing and we can find out where they make it,” Sakura suggested.
“No,” Hilde said. “The ingredients are probably common enough and wherever it is sure as hell isn’t going to be advertising. Still…” she snapped her fingers. “If they were all taking the same stuff, and died for it, they had to have the same source. We just need to go find out where they were all visiting and we’ve got it.”
“We could call Bianca and have her scry the past,” Sakura suggested. “You could also tell her you love and miss her.”
Hilde shook her head. ” I still need to use my good old fashioned human skills. If I rely on you and Bianca to do everything, I might as well toss my training & experience in the bin. You and I will do this the old-fashioned way, by visiting their old flats and the people who knew them.”
“Won’t they be upset that you’re bothering them?” Sakura wondered. “I mean, they are going to be in mourning, right?”
Hilde nodded. “And that’s why we use our sense of delicacy. Trust me on this. First thing in the morning, we start checking.”
Hilde booked a room for the night and got some take out before calling Bianca. She tried to ignore the fact that Sakura was watching her from above with great interest.
“Hey, Honey,” she said. “How’s the convention? Having a good time?”
“It’s pretty usual stuff,” Bianca answered. “We’re catching up. Talking about spell ideas. The council’s having noteworthy witches make grandiose speeches. Oh, I did see an old friend. She’s always had a crush on me.”
“I trust you told her you’re spoken for,” Hilde said.
“She knows,” Bianca stated. “She’s having a kid any way.”
“Far enough along to show?” Hilde asked.
“Oh, witches do things a bit differently,” Bianca said. “We basically combine genetics magically and carry the baby in a protective orb. The donor usually doesn’t even know. We also manipulate things a bit so she’ll be a girl. Assuming the donor we pick is a man. A lot of witches will just pick a woman to make things easier.”
“I wasn’t aware of that,” Hilde said. “That explains the rumour that your family has never shown signs of pregnancy.”
“I could have your baby if you’d like,”Bianca said.
“I’ll pass for now,” Hilde said. “We’re both busy people.”
“That is true,” Bianca agreed. Hilde thought she detected relief in her voice. “You on a case?”
“Yeah,” Hilde answered. “I’m in Berlin right now.”
“Be careful,” Bianca said. “And if you need me just call.”
“I’ll be fine,” Hilde reassured her. “I have my enchanted luger, protective pendant and Sakura’s with me.”
“If you’re sure,” Bianca said. “Just keep the option open, okay?”
“I will. Promise.”
“I’ll be fine. You’re worrying too much.”
“I love you too.”