Hilde sat in her office. She had been trying to get caught up on Star Twinkle PreCure, but she was having trouble paying attention.
It wasn’t the show’s fault. Really, she had a great fondness for the franchise and had seen all of them, only dropping one series without finishing it.
No, the problem was personal. Tonight she was supposed to go to Bianca’s house and meet her sisters. On one hand, fair was fair. Bianca had met her father and step-mother. She’d also already met Beatrix, albeit very briefly. But she couldn’t help but be nervous.
She’d actually never met one of her girlfriends’ families properly like this before. Not that she’d had all that many girlfriends, but still…
She was interrupted when someone entered her office. She hurriedly switched the episode off.
She was very petite, only around a hundred thirty centimetres tall and with a slight build. Her eyes were darting around nervously as she came in.
“Detective Müller?” she asked, still looking around nervously.
“Yes, what can I do for you Miss?” Hilde asked. She gestured for her guest to take a seat.
Reluctantly, the woman sat down. “My name is Demetria,” she said. “I’ve heard that you can solve even the strangest cases. That’s why I’m here.”
“What kind of case do you have?” Hilde inquired.
“What do you know about Warehouse 501?” Demetria asked.
“Everyone’s seen it in the news lately,” Hildegard said. “Police keep finding mutilated bodies hidden in containers there. To make things even more complicated, they’re all people with criminal records. Right now the theory is that there’s either a vigilante taking things into their own hands or there’s some kind of gang war going.”
“I’ve heard that too,” Demetria said. “But it’s not true. I saw it. Heaven help me, I was just walking past on my way home and I saw it.”
Hilde noticed the panic in her face. She spoke as gently as she could. “No one’s going to hurt you. It’s going to be okay. Tell me, what did you see?”
“A monster!” Demetria explained. “It came out of nowhere. It just… it just touched the man and he… he was torn apart.”
“Shouldn’t you tell the police about this?” Hilde asked.
“The police,” Demetria scoffed. “They won’t believe me. They just think I’m a complete nutter. But there was a monster! And it saw me. I… I think it’s going to kill me.”
“What did this monster look like?” Hilde asked. “Just tell me everything you remember.”
“It… It didn’t seem to be one size,” Demetria said. “I know it sounds crazy, but it… it shifted. It was like a shadowy blob. All I could make out were these beady, pure white eyes.”
Hilde nodded. It didn’t sound like any creature she had heard of, but she’d learned better than to discount this kind of story. “I’ll go down there and deal with this creature of yours,” Hilde said. “I charge a hundred euros a day, plus expenses. In the meantime, I suggest you find somewhere safe to hide out. Just in case.”
“You… you believe me, don’t you?” Demetria asked. She seemed confused by that revelation. Like she’d expected the detective to laugh in her face. Hilde didn’t blame her.
She gave her a reassuring smile. “I’ve seen strange things in my career that even you, having seen this shadow thing, would still find hard to believe.”
Demetria looked visibly relieved. She hurriedly wrote an address onto a business card. “I’ll be hiding out here. Come find me when it’s safe. I’ll pay whatever you want at that time.”
Hilde saw her out and looked up at where Sakura had been floating around. “So, do you know what kind of creature that was?”
“I’m not sure,” Sakura answered. “She seemed to be describing a kind of glamour spell. Not designed to hide you from ordinary human sight like mine, but designed to disguise the features thoroughly. And there are many creatures capable of pulling that off.”
“Then I’ll just have to see what it is for myself,” Hilde said. “After I have my get together with Bianca’s family, of course.”
“Should I go scout ahead?” Sakura asked.
Hilde shook her head. “No, it sounds like a dangerous situation. I’d prefer it if you waited here. Don’t worry, Bianca and I can handle things.”
“But I want to help,” Sakura protested.
“And I need your help,” Hilde said. “But not at the Warehouse. I need you to look into that young woman. I don’t think she was being entirely honest with us.”
“You think she lied about the creature?” Sakura asked.
Hilde shook her head. “Not about that part, no. But I think she’s hiding some major details. Like why she was down there and what her real name is. You do remember how to check my database, right?”
“Of course!” Sakura declared. “I’ll see what I can find out and let you know.”
“Good girl,” Hilde said. “Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have a date with my girlfriend’s family.”