CHIBI-USA AND USAGI woke up to more terrible news. During the night, the police had found the bodies of the two girls who had disappeared after leaving their Halloween party. They did not tell very much more than that to the reporters. Looking at the face of the officer who made the announcement—none other than Mr. Arteminski—they thought they must have died very terrible deaths, to move a man as cold as this one.
Usagi wore her ring to school. She thought about it first, knowing what questions it would bring. But this plain ring with its tiny stone was the most precious thing she had. If she had still had it, she would rather give up the ginzuishouthan this, the ring Chibi-Usa remembered her wearing a thousand years from now. Even if that future had forever unraveled, with only Chibi-Usa and her memories left, that meant everything. Even if they never returned to their world, never saw Mamo-chan again . . . Especially if that was to be, pray that she might.
No one asked her, actually, even the girls she was fairly friendly with. Boys had stopped approaching her quite awhile ago, except to tease, and usually not when Jimmy was around. There were only three boys left who ever teased her, all short, slight persons that Jimmy or even Usagi would feel guilty about beating up. All freshmen, and usually together.
They sat at the table she was sharing with Jimmy at lunch, and made kissy-noises and worse. One of them stage-whispered, "She must be knocked up. That's why she won't talk. She's not sure who did it!"
Jimmy started to jump up, but Usagi grabbed his leg under the table and pinched until he sat down again. But she did say something. "You should suck each other's penises now. No girl ever will." She did not whisper. Everyone around laughed except the three annoying boys, who went off to the other side of the cafeteria.
But when they were gone, she realized that everyone else assumed that Jimmy had given her the ring. She went on eating, and thought at the same time, seeing that people around were looking at them, and saying things to each other. She thought rather idly that if she tried, she could probably hear some of their thoughts . . . but she didn't want to. Really, she didn't need to. Let them think she had promised herself to Jimmy-chan. <If it were not for Mamo-chan> . . . let them think what they thought.
At Chibi-Usa's middle school, where the girls had been students, classes were cancelled for the last two periods to hold an assembly for the girls.Mr. Artiminski was also there, giving a talk about how to guard against a killer like the man who had done this thing. It was good advice, heartfelt—but while he was giving that speech, he kept looking at Chibi-Usa, who was sitting in the first row. She felt he knew something about her, and she did not try to use her power to make herself unnoticed, as she had many times—she thought if she did, it would make him notice her more.
Two ministers, a priest, and a rabbi-one of the girls had been Jewish—gave their various prayers and blessings. And then they did something disturbing—they asked if some of the children of other faiths would care to add their prayers. It was as if they called out to right to her. So she went up along with a boy who wore a turban all the time and a girl who said her family was "wiccan," whatever that was. They did their ceremonies first, leaving Chibi-Usa to go last. She did not know exactly what to do, so while they all waited for her to do something, she put her hands over her eyes and thought of what was in her heart. She thought of the man, somewhere, who could do this terrible thing, and what she wanted to do. So, she put her palms together like Hino-san or Ikuko-mama would do at a shrine, touched them to her forehead and and bowed down, and whispered, "Goddess of the Moon, find this man quickly." She rose back up, and bent down again, lower. Then she whispered, loud enough for the people near her to hear, "If I find you, killer-man, in the name of the Moon, I'll punish you!"
She was still short enough so that, bowed, she was hidden from the crowd by the lectern. As she opened her eyes, after a short silence that seemed correct, she saw a tiny glow in the polished tile below her—for a moment. Her sigil had lit up. Chibi-Usa rose slowly and looked about her. The people below were puzzled. The men and women and fellow students close to her on the stage seemed to be looking at her more closely. She did not feel they knew; they hadn't seen. Perhaps only people with the gift could see the sigils.
But Mr. Arteminski the policeman looked at her like he knew something he hadn't a moment ago.
Chibi-Usa started speaking to him in Japanese. "Do you think you will catch the man soon?" But she could see that he didn't understand, so she asked again in English.
"I hope so. But I won't lie. Sometimes we never catch these people."
"I prayed that he will be caught soon."
Driving over to pick up Chibi-Usa, Jimmy asked Usagi, "How do you want me to act? They're going to notice we never kiss."
"Ne-e-eh. Do not worry. Mamo-chan never wants to kiss me around people. Unless I am dying."
Jimmy laughed, then tried to stop himself, saw that Usagi was laughing too, and laughed again.
But while they were waiting for a stop light, they saw newspapers in vending machines, and the biggest headlines were about the murdered girls. They did not laugh any more after that.
When they got to Chibi-Usa's middle school, they found her waiting with three others: a boy in a turban, a girl with a dry wreath of some kind on her head, and a man in a well-worn suit: Arteminski, the policeman. He came over to the car along with the others. Jimmy had never met him, but he knew him for a cop. He wondered what to say or not to say, but the cop was there before he could do much thinking. Usagi got out of the car, pushed the seat forward for Chibi-Usa, and then spoke.
"Arteminski-san, I saw you on the television. You are looking for the man who killed the girls now."
"Yes, along with every other policeman. I haven't met your friend."
"This is my sempai, Jimmy-chan," Usagi said, holding up her left hand to be sure he saw the ring.
"Well, that's new."
"Jimmy-chan was not here last summer. He was in—how you say?"
"Boot camp," said Jimmy. "Marines. I go back after I graduate."
Arteminski held out his hand. "I was in Marines."
"You were in the USMC?" Jimmy shook the hand uncertainly.
"Soviet Marines! Before I went to Israel. Then I came here."
"Wow!" Jimmy admired the cop, at least for the moment.
Chibi-Usa got into climbed into the car and pulled Usagi's seat back. Usagi got back in. But just before they were about to leave, Chibi-Usa leaned forward and spoke to the cop. "So, you will catch this killer-man, and leave Watanabe-sama alone?"
The cop smiled strangely and said nothing; he just waved. But he was quite close to Usagi, and she heard something. She pretended she had dropped something and bent down, so that the policeman could not see her face. She did not get up until Jimmy had driven away. She wondered whether she should tell the others, but they had to wait in a queue of cars to leave the school area, and Jimmy had time to look at her. "What's wrong?"
"The policeman. He thinks Watanabe-sama is the man."
"What? The psychiatrist? That's apples and oranges."
"Apples and oranges?"
"Doesn't go together. Serial killers kill strangers for some sick thrill. But the cop thinks Watanabe killed the woman to shut her up."
"No, I know what he was thinking . . . One of the murdered girls, and the one who is still missing, they were his patients. He thinks that he killed the social worker, found he liked it, and started killing young girls."
"We have to warn Watanabe-sama," said Chibi-Usa.
"No!" said Jimmy.
"No? Why do you say that?" said Usagi, shocked and beginning to get angry.
"You don't know . . . The cop is wrong about the social worker, but he might not be wrong about the girls. Think about it. They would trust him."
"I did not see that in his heart."
"I did not," said Chibi-Usa. "I cannot read as well as okasan, but—"
"If the cop is right this guy might not even know he is the guy. Maybe he can keep himself from remembering what he does . . . you've told me some pretty scary stuff, and I believe it. Can you believe what I tell you?"
Usagi thought for a second, and then put her hand on Chibi-Usa's. "Jimmy-chan is right. We don't know. You shouldn't be alone with him . . ." She wrinkled her forehead, thinking. "If he did do this, he may not be punished for it, because the police will not be able to prove he killed the social worker."
"What are you talking about?" said an unfamiliar voice. It was a woman from the van that had just come up along Usagi's side of the car.
"TV show!" said Usagi, after a few seconds.
"Well, roll up your windows. I don't let my kids watch that crap and I don't want them to hear you talking about it."
She noticed that the woman had all the teasing boys in the back, along with some smaller girls of elementary-school age. <One of them must be her son,> she thought. None of them looked like they had really heard all of what they had been talking about . . . but she had to be careful.
But as she looked at the other car, she saw some people walking past it on the other side. Police, and a woman.
"What's she doing here?" asked Jimmy.
It was Dr. Goodman, the lady in gray. She spoke with Arteminski for a long time while Jimmy's car moved ever-so-slowly toward the street exit. Try as she could, Usagi didn't hear a word or a thought. But before the long wait was over, Arteminski and some of the other police hurried out of the schoolyard. The gray lady did not go with them. In fact, Usagi had no idea where she had gone.