Mia Pavelec was leaning against a Victoria PD patrol car outside the Mertons’ home, talking on her phone. “Uh huh. I trust you. Well, I trust your track record, anyways. I know. Yep, invoice the SU, as usual. Okay, I think he’s here. Thanks, Ian.”
Pavelec tucked her phone into her pocket as a yellow hybrid Prius pulled into the cul-de-sac, its “In Service” taxi sign lit up. “You’re Roy Sweet?” she said to the driver, a slightly overweight South American man.
“I’m told you’ll be able to help me restrain a man with super strength and the ability to fly.”
“Yes, I think so,” said Sweet.
“If you don’t mind, could you tell me how you intend to do that?”
Sweet looked embarrassed, but said, “I… will sit on him.”
Pavelec raised an eyebrow.
“I can manipulate my mass at will,” added Sweet. “If he tries to escape I will make myself too heavy for him to lift.”
“Uh huh,” said Pavelec. “Well you’ll only have to do it until sunrise, so I guess that’ll work. Come on in.” She waited for Sweet to get out of his taxi, then led him past the police tape, up the driveway, and into the Mertons’ living room.
Caleb was sprawled on the floor, surrounded by four nervous-looking officers with their guns drawn.
“He’s still out,” reported one.
“Good,” said Pavelec. “I brought some help, in case the sedative doesn’t last. Go to it, Mr. Sweet.”
Sweet hesitantly approached Caleb, looking from officer to officer apprehensively. He looked back over his shoulder at Pavelec.
“Well?” said Pavelec.
Sweet shrugged, stepped over Caleb so he was standing with one foot on either side of Caleb’s waist, and settled himself down in the middle of Caleb’s back.
“Okay, Mr. Sweet. This man can lift a car over his head, so if you feel any movement I want you to swell yourself up into an elephant and hang on tight.”
“I don’t actually change size at all,” Sweet said, “it’s just my density that–”
“Whatever.” Pavelec headed back outside.
Detective Sullivan was in his car doing paperwork. “Esther and Max are at the hospital getting checked over,” he said. “She’s got some decent whiplash, sounds like. Probably going to need a good chiropractor for a while. We’ve got their friends down at the station to try to get a better picture of exactly what happened. No way we can move Caleb until the morning, I guess?”
“No, this is safest, I think.”
“If it were up to me, I’d just hit the guy with some general anesthetic, and he’s lights out until long after sunrise.”
“I’ve tried that before, in similar situations,” said Pavelec. “Anesthesiologists don’t really like doing non-medical work. Besides, Caleb’s pretty messed up, after what he’s been through the past few days. It might not be safe, especially because we don’t fully understand the possible biological side-effects of the powers he received.”
“I see.” Sullivan looked thoughtful. “I guess the death of Walter Carton will be a bit of a blow to your research, eh?”
“We had a lot to learn about him,” agreed Pavelec, “but it’s okay.” Her eyes gleamed coldly. “There are others.”
THE END of KING OF THE DARK
The Story Continues in: Who Killed Walter Carton?