A Sailor Moon fan fiction by
Thomas Sewell (firstname.lastname@example.org)
"GOOD MORNING. We have some extraordinary developments to report in the so-called Ghost Killer investigation. First, some very good news. Police have confirmed that thirteen-year-old Kimberly Jean Johanson, reported missing yesterday evening, has been found alive. Apparently she fled her foster care home. She was located by friends and taken to the home of a family which is declining to surrender her back into foster care. A temporary injunction was issued by Judge Bernice Yamamoto just over an hour ago awarding temporary custody of Kimberly to this family, who wish to remain anonymous. A gag order has also been issued which prohibits concerned parties from talking about the case before the formal hearing, set for nine days from now."
"The second breaking story related to the Ghost Killer investigation is that this station, along with other radio and television stations around the southbay, and newspaper offices, has been deluged with calls and e-mail messages alleging that the police have had a suspect in this case for some time. Since demonstrators are already appearing in front of the Hall of Justice demanding his arrest, we are going to reveal that name. Let me make it clear, these are completely unconfirmed reports; police have yet to release an official statement. But the person reported to be the suspect is Dr. Harold Wanatabe, one of the most well-respected psychiatrists in in the Southbay and, indeed, in the California mental health community. Dr. Wanatabe has worked with police and the courts on many occasions, often offering expert testimony to the prosecution to refute insanity defenses. Now, there has been absolutely no official word from any police department about this yet, but as you can see here, demonstrators are in front of the Hall of Justice, demanding the arrest of Dr. Wanatabe."
"And here is yet another strange story related to the hunt for this serial killer. Last night police searching for Kimberly Johanson came upon what they thought was a murder scene. But they have since issued a statement that what they found seems to be a bizarre ritual conducted by a woman who has worked with the police in the past. The woman is identified as Dr. Argent Goodman, a paleontologist who also is noted for her reconstructions of faces from the skeletal remains of murder victims. Dr. Goodman had been consulted in this case to re-examine older remains to see if the victims could be connected with the Ghost Killer. However, several Southbay police departments have issued official statements that she is not currently in their employ or being consulted. Dr. Goodman is being held for observation at an undisclosed mental ward somewhere in the Southbay. We also have a confirmed report from the ASPCA that Dr. Goodman is being investigated for possible animal cruelty charges. Apparently some dead dogs were found near the site of whatever it was the police found . . . and I just have here a statement from Stanford University that Dr. Goodman is not a member of the teaching staff there and never has been. She did deliver some guest lectures, but not as part of any accredited course . . ."
Nancy had expected everything to blow up in the morning, so she hardly slept a wink, but Sarah slept as soundly as Sue once she had put the baby to sleep—she just put it in with Nancy's little half-brother, after changing her and feeding her. In the morning, when Nancy came down, Sarah had fixed pancakes and waffles. Her mother fussed over the new baby as much as she did her own, and it dawned on Nancy about halfway through the leisurely breakfast that her mother thought the baby was hers. Nobody went to school because of all the excitement; her stepfather took the day off from work as well.
She also noticed that Sarah and Sue ate enormous amounts, and she wondered if they had to do that to replenish all the magical energy they had used. She actually asked Sue about that when she thought no one else could hear. Sue shrugged and said, "Maybe. I just like to eat a lot now."
Nancy wished she could talk with Jimmy, but Jimmy wouldn't wake up for more than a minute or two, and he was very grumpy and groggy in those times. He'd been out until five looking for Sue and Sarah, not knowing they had returned. He'd called back several times, but it wasn't until five that Nancy had got to the phone first. Before he'd gone to bed himself, he'd taken a long look at Sue asleep. It wasn't the sort of look Nancy had thought he would give her, and she began to wonder just exactly what was really going on between her brother and this strange girl, with her wierd powers and secrets.
Kimberly remained asleep most of the time, too. Police wanted to talk with her, but every time any came in, Sue and Sarah would get close to them, and they would leave without talking to Kimberly.
Kimberly's creepy foster parents showed up early in the afternoon, shortly after Nancy's stepfather chased away the first reporter. They were loud and indignant, and they intimidated their way past her stepfather and her mother. Linda thought they even scared Sarah, but Sue stood at the foot of the stairs and said, "You are not taking Kimberly-chan. She needs to stay here and rest." She did not speak very loudly, but by the time she finished, the only sound downstairs came from the babies crawling around. Her mother glided past her to scoop up both of the babies, and she carried them upstairs, without explanation.
Then Mrs. Gant broke the silence. "You little—You don't tell me what to do. Do you know what trouble—"
"Don't speak so loudly. Don't wake up Kimberly-chan."
The woman remained angry, but when she spoke again, Nancy noticed it was not as loud. "Thanks to Kimberly-chan," she said, mocking Sue's Japanese-tinged phrase, "they've pulled our accreditation. They've taken away all the other kids."
"If you had not bullied Kimberly-chan so much, she would not have run away from you."
The foster mother paused for a long time. No one else spoke. Finally she said in a small voice Nancy wouldn't have imagined was hers, "Don't you think I care at all?"
"You care some, but you are a bully. That is why you are so angry now. You know Kimberly-chan run away because you bully her. You always want everything to be other people's fault. But this is your fault. I think it is better you not see Kimberly-chan, ever. You go now. Go now."
The woman and her husband left without saying another word. Nancy trailed along behind Sue and Sarah as they followed behind the foster parents, watching them get into their car, slam the doors, and peel away in a foul-smelling cloud of burnt rubber. Nancy heard them speak in Japanese. Sue then turned around and walked back in, past Nancy. Sarah stood still, looking at Sue walking back inside, and out at the street, and back, and then at Nancy, catching her eyes. She came a little closer and whispered, "Okasan says they are going back to throw all of our things in the garbage."
"How does she know that?"
"She heard what they are thinking."
<More weirdness.>"Can't you stop them?"
"I asked if Jimmy-chan could go get our things, but okasan says we should let him sleep. And your mother and father have to stay here." Then Sarah went back into the house.
Nancy just stood where she was, trying to absorb yet another revelation about the strange girls: They were giving up everything to help Kimberly and the mysterious baby, without being very broken up about it. That seemed to Nancy even stranger than being able to fly or to fool with other people's minds.
"Nancy, come inside!"
It was her stepfather. Nancy now noticed a woman with a microphone and a man with a camera approaching. She ran back inside before they could get any closer to her.
About an hour after the foster parents left, another policeman came to the house. He was a short man, but he looked very tough to Nancy. He spoke with an accent, maybe Russian, but not very thick. He introduced himself to Nancy's father and stepfather as Sergeant Arteminski. "I remember—" said Nancy's mother. "Sue Kino said you thought that Dr. Watanabe was the killer."
"She told you that?"
"Yes." Her mother shuddered, and held her baby closer. "Why have you let him run around loose?"
The detective got a sour look before he answered. "I'm afraid we can't just arrest a suspect."
"He was here. I let him see my Nancy here alone . . . why didn't you let us know?"
"People certainly know now . . . Is Sue Kino still here?"
"Yes, upstairs with Kimberly . . . I don't think Kimberly is really ready to talk."
"If I had my wish, I wouldn't talk to her now. But I need to. If she was attacked by our killer, she is the only living witness. She will be able to remember things now she won't tomorrow. I must speak with her."
Nancy spoke up. "This is wrong."
The policeman, who had only glanced at her earlier, now fixed his eyes on Nancy and seemed to look inside her. He repeated, "I must speak with her . . . and with you, but with her first."
Nancy backed up as he came forward toward the stairs, but finally stepped aside. She followed the man up. She heard her mother and her stepfather speaking, probably to her, but did not pay attention. She called out, "Sue, Sarah, Arteminski is here!"
One of the odd things about their house was that the hallway upstairs was narrow. A determined person could block the way. Perhaps not against a tough policeman, but Nancy saw Sue step out into the hall to try.
"You will not talk to her today."
"I will talk to her now, Miss Kino. Please step back," said the policeman patiently. Yet, there was the barest hint of uncertainty in his voice.
"She does not remember."
"You can't know that . . . I must speak with her. She is our best chance to catch the killer."
"She does not remember, and you will do great harm if you talk with her. I will not allow."
"You won't allow? What will you do to stop me? Fight me? Step back, and let me speak with the Johanson girl. Don't make this worse."
"I will protect Kimberly-chan. I do not want to fight you, but I will fight to protect Kimberly-chan."
"You go ask Wanatabe-sama about how I protect Chibi-Usa! He remembers now! Ask about social worker lady!"
Sarah's head emerged from the doorway to Kimberly's room. She said something in Japanese which included "okasan" twice. Nancy saw the policeman take out something—a phone. By now most of her family was crowded behind her, and her stepfather reached down to put a hand on her shoulder, but she brushed it away. A tussle began behind her, which she barely noticed. What she was watching was the policeman turning aside from Sue and away from Sarah to use his phone. She saw Sarah's forehead flash for an instant, and the phone flew out of his hands to crash against the wall. He bent down to pick it up—and stopped, because it crumbled away into dust before he could reach it.
Hands were pawing at Nancy, but she slapped them away. She kept the others from seeing, without thinking about it, even as she took in what happened next.
The policeman stood up and faced the strange girls, glancing from one to the other, again and again, and finally fixing on Sue, who took a couple of steps forward, allowing Sarah to slip out behind her. Sue spoke very quietly, and yet Nancy heard her through all the noise from behind her. She said to the policeman:
"Your heart is good, Arteminski-sama. But I will protect Kimberly-chan. Go now. Go now."
The policeman backed away. Then the crowd behind Nancy scattered to let him out.
Watching the police detective leave, Nancy heard her mother ask her, "What got into you, Nancy? You were very rude."
"Sorry, Mom, Dad . . . I didn't want any of you to get into trouble."
Jimmy's bleary-eyed form appeared through another door. "Did I miss something?"
Sue kissed him on the cheek and went back into Kimberly's room. More or less everyone followed her. She sat down next to Kimberly, took up the bowl of broth she had put down a few moments before, and gave Kimberly another spoonful. Kimberly swallowed and asked, "What was that?"
"Another man who wanted to ask you questions. I sent him away."
"Thank you, Sailor Moon."
Sue gave Kimberly another spoonful of broth. "I am Sue Kino, Kimberly-chan. Sailor Moon is just a pretty cartoon."
"Oh . . . Yeah . . . are the Gants really mad?"
"You don't have to worry about that, dear," said Nancy's mom. "You're staying with us now."
"Yes, Kimberly-chan," said Sue, giving Kimberly another spoonful. "And I will be here for a little while to help."
"Sarah will be here to help too. Remember, use her American name."
"Oh . . . yeah . . . " She fell asleep again. Sue got up carefully, spilling a lot of the broth but not waking Kimberly. Everyone left the room except for Sarah, who said she'd watch Kimberly for awhile.
Nancy found her mother bent over the pile of dust in the hall. "What's this?"
"Uh, I must have tracked it in, mom. I'll clean it up."
"I will help," said Sue.
As they were dumping the dust into the garbage, Nancy asked Sue, "What did you mean about the 'social worker lady?' What you said to that Arteminski guy?"
"Social worker lady was selling girls. She sold Chibi-Usa to old man for five thousand dollars."
"I did not let her take Chibi-Usa away—you know, Chibi-Usa, we call her Sarah?"
"Yes . . . the cop knew about that?"
"He know she sell children, but he could not prove. Then social worker lady disappear. He think Watanabe-sama is lady's partner, kill her to keep her quiet."
"Then the doctor is innocent?"
"I do not know. I only know Arteminski-sama is wrong about social worker lady."
"How do you know—you killed her?"
"Yes. Watanabe-sama saw, but Chibi-Usa make him forget. Until yesterday."
"You just told a cop you killed someone?"
"What he do? Even if he believe me, who believe him?"
"Why? All they have to do is find the body. They . . ."
"There is no body. Just dust like phone."
"Why did you tell the cop?"
"I tell him because I did not want to kill him to protect Kimberly. But now he know Watanabe-sama did not kill social-worker-lady. So he will not try to prove it. If Wanatabe-sama kill other girls, Arteminski-sama may have to let him go, if he say he kill social worker lady but cannot prove."
"Do you think the doctor killed the girls? Did Kimberly tell you?"
"Kimberly-chan does not know. And I cannot see all of Watanabe-sama's heart. Jimmy-chan said he might not know what he does."
"That's what you meant yesterday? You would have killed him if you were sure he was the killer?"
"To stop him, yes. If he was going to take you or Chibi-Usa away. But better police catch him, get him to tell him all of what he did. Families should know what he did . . . Oh."
"I think of my family. I have been gone for many months now. They may think I have been killed like these girls."
Nancy didn't really understand much of anything that was going on, but she hugged Sue.