Psychic Detective is the first story in the fictional third saga taking place six months after the events of Unwound Future. There are only two stories in this saga.
Dear Professor Layton,
I know you, but you've never met me. And not just from the papers, either. I've been with you on nearly every case you've ever had. I'm Detective Brittney Earnhardt, and I was assigned to keep you safe and out of harm's way. Well, technically, I assigned myself to the post, but that's beside the point. The truth is that I need your help with something. I believe that Jean Descole, your supposed rival, is out to get me. Why? I have no idea. I think that you're the only one that can figure this out. But, I'm sure you don't need any further persuasion. After all, a true gentleman never refuses the request of a lady. Well, if you consider me a lady. I didn't exactly go to finishing school. Anyway, if we could meet at the pre-arranged address and time, that would be great.
Detective Brittney Earnhardt
P.S. Don't tell Luke that I work for Scotland Yard. I want to see if he can figure it out on his own. After all, I love puzzles as much as you do, professor!
"There, that should do it," I said, licking the envelope. "Ugh, that tastes terrible." Now all I had to do was wait and see.
My eyes were glued to the door. I couldn't wait for the professor to walk in so gracefully, slightly ducking to make sure his distinguished top hat cleared. I wasn't sure what Luke would look like; he was a growing boy. I had picked up the latest paper from the front door of the café, flipped my way to the crossword, and sat down at the corner booth in the back on the left side: my favourite table.
"Prestigious university," I read aloud. "Gressenheller, it fits."
In the moment that I was penciling in my answer, the bell on the front door rang, signaling the restaraunt that there was a customer. I immediately looked up and there he was. Hershel tipped his hat slightly to the greeter and proceded to scan the back of the café. Using the information I gave him in my letter, he found his way to my table. I stood up and shook his hand. I couldn't surpress a smile from spreading across my face.
"Professor Hershel Layton. How nice it is to see you again. I'm Detective Earnhardt," I said, extracting my identification from my back pocket. I pointed to my badge, which was hung around my neck. "Purely for precautionary reasons."
He nodded in satisfaction. "That's proof enough for me," Hershel said, sitting down. "But, before we get to the main topic of conversation, how long have you been following Luke and I?"
"All the way back to the Crown Petone with Janice Quatlane," I said. "Although, I wasn't there for the entire journey. I was called away on another case that needed my attention, so I had to 'abandon ship', so to speak. I'm also a good friend of Emmy Altava's."
"Wow," Hershel breathed. "All that time, and I never once suspected that someone was trailing us."
"It's not my job to play a main character," I explained. "Never is. I keep you out of trouble. That's what I do. I'm not saying you can't defend yourself, but I'm backup, just in case."
"Well," Hershel changed the subject. "Please elaborate on why you called for me."
"Because there are so many prying eyes here," I said, surveying my surroundings. "I'd rather not tell you everything right now. But, I do believe that a certain someone is after me, as I mentioned earlier."
"Descole, correct?" asked the professor.
"Yes. I've seen his men follow me around on more than one occasion. They've been trailing me almost everyday for the last week."
"They, strangely enough, don't follow me on Wednesdays. I haven't the foggiest idea why not," I said.
"And, just to clarify," said Hershel. "How do you know that these men actually work for Descole?"
"Do you recall the Family goons who worked for Clive and Dimitri?" I asked.
"Yes," said Hershel. "I recall that case rather vividly."
"Well, they're like that. They all wear the same uniform, including masks, as you can imagine. Though, I've observed these men to be very capable and intelligent."
Just then, our waitor walked up and asked for our orders.
"I'll have a cup of Earl Grey," Hershel said.
"And a cup of Star Anise for me, thank you." I asked.
"So, tell me about yourself," said Hershel, once our tea had arrived.
"Where should I start?" I asked myself, sipping my tea. "Well, I'm thirty-five, and not only am I a detective, but I love boxing."
"Well, one should always have a hobby," said Hershel, smiling.
"I'm also single," I said, winking.
"Ha! I can't imagine why. You're intelligent, pretty, and have a good sense of humour."
"Professor! You're making me blush," I said. "I don't normally do that. Well, I'm also trigger-happy and can lose my temper very easily, unfortunately. I probably scare bachelors more than I attract them."
"We all have our imperfections," said Hershel.
Just as he said that, an attractive man of about my age approached the table, unaware of the professor. The man opened his mouth to say something, but I didn't give him a chance.
"Back off, buddy!" I hissed. Apparently I intimidated him, because he turned around, made a bee-line for the door, and never looked back once.
"See?" I asked. "That's one of my imperfections."
"Oh," I said. "I almost forgot to ask, where's Luke?"
"He's at a 'detective puzzle-solving' camp, as he told me," said Hershel, paying for our tea. "He should be back tonight."
"Good. So, where should we meet tomorrow?" I asked.
"I must admit I hadn't given it much thought," the professor confessed.
"Well, since my office is a mess, how about my house?" I suggested. I produced a pen and paper from my bag and jotted down my personal information. "Tomorrow morning, nine A.M. sharp. Bring Luke with you."
"Of course," Hershel said, and with that, he was off.
I stepped outside and dropped change into the pay-phone, dialed up an acquaintance.
"Hello? Yes, I'd like to speak to Inspector Chelmey. This is Detective Earnhardt."
A voice crackled through the other end of the line. "Hello?"
"This is Earnhardt. I just called to say that I've got Layton on my side now, and he's helping me with my case. I may also need your help in locating Descole in the near future."
"As much as I don't want any part in this Descole business, it has to be done. Call if you need back-up."
"Yes, sir," I said, hanging up.
What to do with myself? I thought. I should probably go pick up those files at my office on Jean.
And that's exactly what I did. My office was small, but tidy, as I lied to Hershel about earlier, and held everything I needed for all my cases. On my desk were small puzzles to keep me busy and, of course, a teapot.
I unlocked the file cabinet with my 'ring of many keys', and wavered my hand above the alphabetically organized papers.
"'D' for Descole," I said, picking up the manila envelope. It was very thin, unfortunately. Other than crimes committed and possible witness sightings, there wasn't much to go on.
"This'll have to do, I suppose." I said, and headed for home.
The professor pressed the doorbell and stepped back.
"What's she like?" Luke asked.
"You'll find out soon enough," said Hershel. "Remember, a gentleman has plenty of patience."
I opened the door. "Hi professor, hello Luke," I greeted. "Please, come in."
Like my office, my house was very clean and neat. I could tell that Luke was impressed, mainly by the living room, what with its cream-coloured walls, chandelier, and grand staircase. It certainly wasn't a townhouse.
"Please, make yourself at home," I said, sitting down and opening the folder. "Unfortunately, this is about all the information I have on Descole."
"Well, let's start from the beginning," said the professor. "You believe that he's after you, but why?"
"Again, I have no clue."
"In what way are you and Descole related?" Luke asked.
"Well, I know him because he's a wanted criminal by the police, but now that you say that, I think my mother knew him," I said.
"Why are you unclear on this?" asked Hershel.
"My mother died shortly after I was born, my parents were divorced, and I was raised by my grandmother. I never got to know my mother. I barely heard any stories about her."
"I am sorry for your loss," the professor sympathisized. "Tell me, what was her name?"
"Star Anise Earnhardt," I said.
"Like the tea?" Luke asked.
I smiled. "Yes, like the tea. But anyway, I don't know how well my mother knew him."
"Maybe she wrote about it. A diary, perhaps?" Luke suggested.
"I do remember her having some sort of journal that I kept, but I never could bring myself to read it. Let me see if I can find it."
I disappeared into the storage room and returned a few moments later with an old, leather bound book.
"Would you like me to read it for you?" Hershel offered.
"No. I can handle it," I said, and opened to the first page.
"'Dear Diary,'" I read aloud. "'Today was my first day on the job at the Telepathic Research Institute. My employer, 'Boss,' as he calls himself, sometimes seems a bit shady, and doesn't seem all that respectable, but I'm willing to overlook that. Besides, I need this job.'"
"Oh, here's another one," I said. "'Dear Diary, Today, Boss asked me the strangest question. He asked me if I would be willing to be used as a test subject for one of his own experiments. He seemed desperate, but I'm not sure as to why. I agreed, but I'm starting to second guess my decision. I feel like I'm going against my better judgement here. I'm sure he won't hurt me, but science is a very unpredictable study."
"So, who do you suppose 'Boss' is?" asked Luke.
"I can't be sure, but it appears that he was testing something on her," said the professor, deep in thought.
"Wait," I interupted. "There's one more entry here. It's dated four days before I was born, and a week before she passed..." I took a deep breath and started to read. "'Dear Diary, I've tested all of Boss' experiments again, and they work fine. On another note, I feel so blessed to be having a child. Oh, how I hope it is a girl! I hope she'll be safe, as I haven't been feeling well lately."
"That was the last entry she ever wrote...." I said in a barely audible tone.
"Perhaps we should leave," suggested Hershel.
"No. Actually, there's some things I'd like to show you. Plus," I said, wiping my eyes. "It'll get my mind off of this. Follow me please."
As I led them upstairs, I couldn't help but wonder what my mother was thinking.
"Why are we in your library?" Luke asked.
"Library-slash-office. Actually, it's neither of those," I said. I walked over to the bookcase in the centre of the back of the room, and started taking books off of the middle shelf, putting them in a different order.
"So we came up here to watch you rearrange books?" Luke asked.
The professor smiled. He knew exactly what I was doing.
"No, you came up here to watch me do this," I said, putting in the last volume with a satisfactory "click". Then, I gracefully pushed the case aside.
Luke's eyes widened. "A secret room?"
"Oh, not like you've never seen that one before," I said. "Think of it as a puzzle, Luke."
I led them into the adjoining space, which was actually my refurbished attic, spanning the whole of the house, even across the garage.
"Ok, so why are we in here? There's nothing in here but chairs!" said Luke as I was locking the door.
"You're probably staring at it right now, aren't you, Professor?" I asked. Following his line of sight, I walked over to the painting on the wall and took it off.
"Ah, the old 'safe-behind-the-painting' trick. Classic," the professor beamed.
"Not only is there a combination lock on the safe," I said. "But the item I wanted to show you is in a briefcase, guarded by a twelve-digit number lock."
I opened the stainless-steel briefcase.
"Hey, isn't that-"
"Dimitri Allen's memory recorder? Yes," I said.
"How did you get your hands on this?" asked Hershel.
"Well, since the case was closed, and the police didn't need a memory recorder, I got to keep it. I've restored it so that it really is just a puzzle that only the wearer can solve. It won't steal your thoughts anymore," I explained, locking the device back up. "There's one more thing that I'd love to show you, and then we can go have lunch."
"Alright!" Luke exclaimed as we headed to the garage.
"Watch your step," I warned as we stepped into the room. "There’s tools on the floor so be careful."
"Why do you need a garage this size?" asked Luke. "Your car isn’t even that big! And what is that?!" He pointed to a large heap of oddly shaped metal concealed under a tarp.
"Just a little pet project of mine," I said, peeling off the sheet.
I think even the professor was amazed. "The Detragan," was all I heard him say.
"We recovered most of it when the Ambrosian ruins were opened to the public," I explained. "It should work, and I'm intending to return it to the Ambrosia Historical Site once I'm finished fine-tuning it."
He walked over to it and pressed a key. No sound.
"Here," I said, waving a pair of pliers in the air. Once I had fixed the piece, I gently tapped on the key and out came a rich, clear note.
Hershel started to play a song that neither Luke nor I recognized, but we listened anyway. Once he was finished, I said, "That was beautiful, Professor. When did you learn to play?"
"My parents paid for lessons when I was young. They thought it would be good for my hand-eye coordination."
"I hate to break up the concert here," Luke interuppted. "But I'm starving!"
I laughed. "You have quite the appetite, don't you? Yes, let's go eat."
"Oh, I'm stuffed!" said Luke, leaning back in his chair at the café.
"Then why did you eat so much?" I asked. Once I had paid for our meals, I stepped outside, ahead of the professor and Luke. One of Descole's subordinates had snuck up behind me, and I knew it, though I pretended to have no clue, just minding my own business. I turned around and punched him hard in the jaw. He fell to the ground, out cold. Hershel and Luke, having witnessed this from the window, rushed outside just in time to hear me say, "And that was for trailing me for the last week and getting too close, just FYI."
Luke looked shocked. "Professor! Did Brittney really just do that?"
"Yes," said Hershel, scowling at the man sprawled out on the sidewalk. "She had a perfectly good reason to. That man has been following her for quite some time now."
"He's lucky I didn't shoot him," I said through gritted teeth, lowering my arm that I'd just punched with.
Luke jumped in front of Hershel, "Professor, watch out! She's armed!"
"Really, Luke, really?" I said placing my hands on my hips. "What would I possibly gain from hurting the professor?"
Luke lowered his guard because I served him a good point.
"We need to talk to Inspector Chelmey about this," said the professor.
"Why? To make sure I don't get hurt?" I asked. "I'm not the delicate rose that you think I am!"
"Descole can be very dangerous. You can't take him on alone!"
"I agree!" Luke said.
"I suppose I'm outnumbered. Ok, fine. On one condition."
"If Inspector Chelmey helps us, great. If he doesn't, I can bring in whoever I feel neccessary into this to catch Jean," I said.
"Fair enough," said the professor.
"Well, what are we waiting for? Let's go!" Luke said, sprinting off to the Laytonmobile.
"Hey Luke!" I called to the back seat of Hershel's car.
"I've got a puzzle for you before we reach the Yard," I said. "What do I do for a living? There are hints for this one."
He pondered and then asked for a hint.
"That'll be one hint coin, please."
"I charge. Pay up," I said, holding out my hand.
Luke handed me a shiny gold coin about the size of my thumbnail.
"How do you suppose I got my hands on Dimitri's memory recorder?" I asked.
"Hmmm.... you're a spy?"
I burst out laughing. "I'm sorry, but you've got to admit, that was pretty funny, and no, I'm not a spy."
He handed me another hint coin.
"Ok, but this is your last hint. I have a pair of handcuffs and a fingerprinting kit, both of which I use frequently."
I could see a lightbulb go off in his head. "Oh! I've got it! You're an inspector! Just like Inspector Chelmey!"
I nodded. "I'll accept that answer. I'm actually a detective, and I prefer to be called that."
Luke wasn't happy that he'd answered incorrectly. "Inspector, detective, same thing. Either way, I got it right," he said, crossing his arms.
"We're here, you two," Hershel announced, almost laughing at Luke's attitude.
I showed my badge to Colby, who was behind the desk. "I'd like to see Inspector Chelmey. Is he in today?" I asked.
"Yes, he should be in his office," the constable replied.
"You're welcome, Detective."
I walked into the inspector's office where I found him enjoying a cup of coffee behind his desk.
"Ah, Brittney," he said. "I see you've brought the entire lot with you."
"We need to talk about Descole," I said, sitting across from Chelmey.
"Alright, go ahead."
"I believe we need to find his base of operations," Hershel suggested.
"Do you have any wild guesses?" asked the inspector.
"First, a question. Brittney," the professor turned towards me. "Do you think that Descole's cronies who have been following you walk to the café or drive?"
"Well," I began. "The café only has a few parking spots, and those are for the employees only, so given that information, I would guess they walk."
"So, that means, their base is nearby," the professor deduced.
"Ok, so how do you suppose we find this 'base'?" Chelmey asked.
"I've got a few small surveillance cameras that I could set up at various places around town," I suggested. "That way, we can pinpoint where Descole's cronies are coming from."
"Cool!" Luke exclaimed.
"I can set them up tonight and give you the footage tomorrow morning."
It was cool for a mid-August night. Not to the point of snowflakes falling from the sky, but not quite tropical, either.
"Damn," I said, rubbing my arms, but I couldn't let the temperature get in the way. Putting these cameras up was my first priority. I had already placed one on the pay-telephone outside the restaraunt, one on the lightpost across from the restaraunt, and I had one left. I decided I would go search around the abandoned Hotel d'or la Masion down the street for a hiding place there.
I had placed one in the brick wall where the mortar had been removed, when I spotted a shadow. It had piqued my curiosity, and I decided to investigate. After all, that's what I do best.
I peered around the corner of the hotel, and I spotted someone lurking in the shadows.
"Oh!" I gasped. "Descole? What are you doing here?" He scared the wits out of me!
He turned around and stared. He appeared stunned and confused. "No. My eyes must be decieving me. Is it really you...Star?"
I smiled and took out a photo from my wallet and handed it to him.
"Yeeaah, no. See the resemblance?" I asked. "That's my mother."
He seemed relieved. I hadn't met Descole before, but from stories I heard that he wasn't exactly the most caring person in the world, but this. This was different. I could tell that there was a softness in his eyes, even if they were hidden by his mask.
"So, you're the daughter of Star," he said, handing the photo back.
"Yes," I said. "Say, you didn't happen to know my mother, did you?"
"Why, I actually did," said Descole. "Why are you asking?"
"Because she passed shortly after I was born, I never got to know her. I was wondering if you could possibly tell me about her."
"Star was kind, intelligent, and always up for anything. She also had a warm sense of humour. Now, I have a question for you. What do you really want?" he asked.
"You've already given me the information I want, about my mother," I said.
"You don't think I'm that stupid, do you?" asked Descole, snapping at me immediately. "I know you work for the police."
"Honestly, I'm here to find out about my mother!" I said, starting to get irritated.
"Sure," he said, smirking. "But, one little piece of advice to you."
"Oh? and what's that?"
"You know what I'm capable of," and with that, Descole turned and vanished into the darkness. Where he went, I didn't know. Probably up onto the rooftops, parkour style.
I ran down the street and hopped into my car. "I can't believe I met Jean Descole," I breathed. "I'll have to check that one off my bucket list."
I burst into Inspector Chelmey's office to find him, Luke, and Hershel waiting for me.
"Sorry I'm late," I said, preparing the television with the footage tape. "Here's the first video."
All you could see were the passing cars and a few pedestrians strolling along the sidewalk.
"Video number two," I said, placing the next tape in the cassette player.
This time, it was darker outside and every few moments, you could watch one of Descole's employees duck around the corner of the café.
"And now, number three."
It was nighttime now, and it was hard to make out details, but you could distinguish myself darting around the corner of the hotel and start to talk to someone. That person was concealed mostly behind the corner of the building, but you could tell that it was someone.
"I know it's hard to tell, but do you see that white thing right there?" I said, pointing to the screen. "That is a mask. Who do we know who wears one like that?"
"Descole!" shouted Luke. "Why were you talking to him?"
"I stumbled across him while I was placing the cameras," I said. "Although, he thought I was Star until I set him straight."
"Then, do you know for a fact that this is his base of operations?" asked the inspector.
"I'm positive. I must capture him once and for all."
"Not on your own, you're not," Hershel intervened. "It was too dangerous for you to confront him alone, so I'm going to request help for you. Do you not agree, Inspector?"
"I agree completely," said Chelmey.
"You too? Oh, fine," I huffed. "But, since we've got back-up officers, I want you to come, Professor. I want you to be there for this."
"Oh, I suppose..."
"Then I'm going too!" said Luke. "And you can't keep me away."
"Fine. You'd best get ready, because we're going in tonight," I said.
"Ah, Descole, just the man I wanted to see," I said.
"Why? Did your little friend Layton send you here?" he asked. He had the slightest bitterness in his tone of voice, like he was irritated that I had located him. On second thought, of course he was irritated.
"No, I came here on my own terms," That was a complete lie and I knew it. I love lying to criminals. "You know, I've seen your employees follow me around on more than one occasion, and I have to wonder: Descole, why are you after me?"
He smirked. "I knew it would only be a matter of time before you started asking questions."
"I don't want to hurt you," I warned. "but I will if you don't spit it out."
He held up his hand. "No need to get violent."
"Don't make me."
"It's your powers."
I was truly shocked. "What?! I haven't even told the professor! How did you know about that?"
"I know things." He smiled, like he was actually amused by my reaction. "Brittney, you have abilities that no one else on Earth has. Do you still want your powers?"
"Why are you asking?"
"Well," said Descole, "It's only natural that, since I gave you your powers, I can also take them away."
"Wh-what?" I stammered.
"Yes, I gave you your unique abilities, indirectly of course."
"How is that even possible?" I asked.
"I believe I can answer that."
"Professor!" I said, as he was emerging from the shadows.
"Ah, Layton. We meet again. Yes, do share your thoughts."
"Star Anise Earnhardt," Hershel began. "worked under your father's employment as a lab assistant. He asked her if he could use her as a test subject for his own experiments."
Descole took a step closer to the professor.
"Take one more step and I'll rearrange that masked face of yours!" I hissed.
Descole took a step back.
"Please," I said. "Continue."
"Yes. As I was saying, Star agreed. He tested numerous concoctions on her. Unbeknownst to your father, she was carrying a baby girl, Brittney, here," Hershel gestured towards me, then started pacing slowly back and forth. "He perfected the results right before she had Brittney, and sadly, before her untimely death."
"He over-loaded her body with so many chemicals...." My voice trailed off. "I suppose crime runs in the family?" I asked, cocked and pointed my gun straight at Descole.
As soon as I did that, the back-up officers that Chelmey had sent, including himself and Barton, readied their weapons. Most of them focused on Descole, while the others aimed at me! They knew I was mad, and with a gun, they considered me temporarily unstable.
"Now, Brittney, lower the gun," said Hershel calmly.
"I will right after I shoot him!" I exclaimed, tears of anger streaming down my face. "My mother didn't deserve for your father to treat her like that. You'll pay for this!"
"Stand down and lower your weapon!" an officer called. As much as I hated it, I reluctantly did as I was told. It's never a good idea to aim a gun at someone when, in my case, you could shoot the person and not feel guilty.
"You know, there is one detail that you've left out," said Descole. He seemed unusually calm for having loaded weapons aimed at him, still.
"Oh? And what would that be?" I asked.
"Why my subordinates didn't follow you on a particular day of the week."
"I assumed you had them working on another project. What project, I didn't know," I said.
"Correct. You see, my father was rather fond of Star," he confessed. "and he was devastated when he'd learned that she had passed."
"But he caused it!" I exclaimed.
"I'm fully aware of that," said Descole, beginning to lose his patience. "My father's dying wish was for me to follow in his footsteps, and as soon as I was old enough, I performed my newly found sciences on my father's love."
"Surely you don't mean-"
"Yes," said Descole. "I believe I've finally brought your mother back to life."
"Impossible!" I shouted, beginning to tear up again. It's not that I was a crybaby, but this was a very important issue. "I took so long getting over the fact that my mother was dead, and now you have the audacity to play God and bring her back?!"
"Would you like proof?" he offered.
After some consideration, I nodded. How could I resist an offer like that? I started to follow Descole into the building, and the officers proceded to follow. I motioned for them to stop. "No," I said. "You stay by the door. I can handle it." I think they all got the notion that I was playing him, and that's exactly what I was doing.
Descole let me into the abandoned hotel, which ironically looked a lot less abandoned on the inside. In the middle of the dark room, illuminated by a single light, was a table. And on that table, was my mother.
I approached her, not knowing what to say. "Is...she..." No other words would come out of my mouth.
"She's alive, but obviously unconcious," said Descole. I could see him stirring in the corner of the room behind me, but to keep the act up, I didn't turn around to see what he was doing.
"Star..." I whispered. I clutched her right hand and squeezed it, but when I looked at her wrist, I noticed something odd. My mother had a heart-shaped birthmark on her right wrist. I'd only seen it in pictures of her.
"Descole, this isn't my mother!" I exclaimed. "Star had a birthmark on her wrist. This poor woman doesn't."
He didn't show any emotion (he does have a good poker face, I'll give him that), but I could tell he didn't like what I just said.
"Now I know why you were following me," I said. "Because my mother's powers were passed down through her genes to me, you wanted to kidnap me, didn't you? You lured me all the way here, just so you could take me and disect me to see how I worked, like I'm some kind of sick, twisted science class experiment? I've had enough of you, to say the least, and I will not be the second generation of your test subjects!"
And with that he lunged at me, but I was too quick for him. Just like Broneph Reinel, I grabbed him by his boa, slammed him into the wall, and then slid him across the concrete floor.
Descole hit the wall on the other side of the room with a thud loud enough to send the officers in. I briefly explained to Inspector Chelmey and Barton what had happened, and then the professor and Luke walked in.
I ran up to Hershel and hugged him. And I didn't let go. "I'm sorry," I said in between tears.
"It's alright, dear," he said comfortingly. "We've got him now. You don't ever have to interact with Descole ever again."
"I sure hope so," I said, calming down. "I should've told you earlier."
"My powers," I said, letting go of his embrace. Just then, Luke walked up holding what appeared to be a long white feather.
"I got this from Descole's boa!" said Luke, rather pleased with himself.
"Hey, that's evidence!" I said, and then we started busting up laughing. Even the professor! Once we had sobered up, I said, "Let's go back to my house. There I can answer all your questions."
"So, you want to know about my powers, eh?" I asked once I was home.
"Yes, please!" said Luke.
"Well, let's see," I began. "I can read minds, and I can also time travel at will to whenever I want, as long as I don't mess with the fabric of time, of course."
Luke nearly choked on his tea, and he was so pale you'd think he'd just seen a ghost.
"Oh, and I can communicate with you via telepathy without ever having to say anything out loud," I added.
"Can you show me something?" asked Luke.
"Well, since time travel is very energy-draining, think of something, anything."
He was thinking: What is your favourite song?
"Well, I love 'A Song of the Sun', the one used to raise Ambrosia, but I also love 'The Eternal Diva', the one that Janice used to sing."
"How did you-"
"That's why they don't call me an Inspector, Luke," I said. "Because I'm a Psychic Detective. Literally."
After taking a sip of his tea, Luke asked, "Another question: Why were you playing Descole back at the hotel? Why did you not want the police to go in there with you?"
"When he thought I was Star, but he said that he'd brought my mum back to life, I knew something was up. Why would he be surprised to see me as Star, if he'd already ressurected her?" I explained. "I knew that if I went in there alone, at just the right moment, I would foil his plans to kidnap me and eventually capture him."
"Well, why did he want to kidnap you in the first place?" Luke asked.
"He wanted to run tests on me to figure out how my special abilities work."
"Professor? Did you know about this?" asked Luke.
"Brittney shared with me her inkling, so, yes, I did know."
"See, that's the problem!" said Luke. "You never tell me about these things."
A few weeks later, I sent the professor a letter:
That was certainly an interesting case, wasn't it? I hope you and Luke had a good time solving it with me. You two are such good friends, aren't you? At any rate, a Descole update: unfortunately, he escaped from prison. He's probably off committing some other crime, and I need to catch him, again. That makes twice now that he's escaped. There is something else that I'd like to tell you, though. It's just, well, you see, I'm quite fond of you, professor. I'm not very good at stating my feelings, am I? It's perfectly fine if you don't feel the same way, but if in the slightest chance that you do, please, don't hesitate to let me know. How have you been?
P.S. Say hi to Luke for me!
Hershel sent a letter back almost immediately:
I'm doing well and so has Luke. I've been busy with my classes here at Gressenheller, and Luke's been busy with his other summer camp. Rumour has it that he has a birthday coming up. He will officially be a young man; he's turning fourteen. He's on his way to being a true gentleman. About the update, that is rather unfortunate, isn't it? Well, if you need help catching him again, I'm always available. I don't have any new cases currently, but I don't think it'will be too long.
P.S. I'm not too good at this whole feelings thing, either, but I will try my best. The truth is, that yes, I reciprocate the interest.
We've been together ever since then. Now, I'm off to try and catch Descole...again!