PART SEVEN: GLASS-MADE CLUES
“C.C, please don’t insult the elixir like that. Down it like the pro you are. You know we’re headed home tomorrow thanks to your little stunt,” Acwulf grunted.
Leal sighed and slowly sipped the elixir he had purchased from Wes Tavern but unlike every other time he had purchased and drank alcoholic beverages there, he did not enjoy his last drink at the Tavern as much as he should have.
“What has you so miserable? Thought you’d be happy to go back to your girl tomorrow,”
“I’ve failed her, Acwulf. I couldn’t save Mariposa and because of me, she is going to die,”
“What are you talking about? The Agency and the Blues are still investigating her disappearance. It ain’t over till its over,”
Leal sighed. “They aren’t going to get to her in time,”
“That is surprisingly pessimistic coming from you, C.C. What happened to your optimism?”
“It died in Vermont Novelty Bar and Restaurant,”
“Oh come now, we wouldn’t have been in this situation had you not incorrectly guessed that pompous owner had something to do with Mariposa’s disappearance. Besides, you haven’t yet come clean as to how you arrived at that assumption at all,”
“I know he is guilty somehow and I know there is something more than meets the eyes about him but I just can’t figure out what it is. Something down in that cellar could lead us to finding Mariposa, I just know it,”
“Okay but how do you know this for a fact?”
Leal sighed and clasped his glass tumbler tightly.
“C.C, come on and spill the details already,”
Leal observed his tumbler closely and remembered the glass elixir jars at Vermont. He then suddenly stood up and walked up to the bar where the bartender was mixing up drinks for other patrons.
“Oi, C.C, are you drunk or what?” Acwulf called after him.
“Excuse me sir, do you mind if I asked you a question?” Leal stated to the bartender.
“Sure, sir, ask away,” responded the bartender.
“Is there anything special about the glass elixir jars you guys use?” Leal asked. At that point he was desperate enough to grasp at whatever straws there were so he didn’t completely give into despair.
“Sure, sir. These glass elixirs are special in that they are enchanted and therefore have certain effects on the elixirs but I am afraid I cannot give anything else away. Please excuse me-“
“Wait! Um… Could the elixir jars be used for anything other than that?”
“The jars are designed specifically for elixirs so I don’t think they’d be able to contain anything else as successfully,”
“Does that mean that there are other types of enchanted glass jars for other things?”
“I suppose so though I wouldn’t know much about that. Now please allow me to serve other patrons,”
“Leal, I think it is about time we headed back. You are clearly drunk to be asking about elixir jars of all things,”
Leal would not let go of it, however, because he knew the butterfly had hovered over the glass elixir jars back at Vermont for a reason. However, what would the suspicion of the enchanted jars being used for any other reason mean? He pondered over the matter all night and fell asleep hoping he could once more jump consciousness to a doppelganger that had worked the same case but he ended up sleeping straight through to the morning. As he got ready to return to D-1 however, there was an unexpected delay and their return was scheduled for later on in the day.
During their wait, Leal had the idea to call in a favor with an old friend who had graduated from the Protectors’ Agency in the same year. After pleasantries had been exchanged, Leal made an unusual request of his old buddy. However, despite the odd request Leal had made, his friend did as Leal bid him and wished him the best of luck in his case.
Leal frowned when he saw the records his friend had pulled up of the Vermont’s supplier of enchanted jars. Nothing really struck him as odd but he continued to push with that line of reasoning hoping it would yield something he couldn’t see yet. Perhaps the reason he could not consciously jump into the mind of his doppelganger was because this was uncharted territory with his doppelgangers not having reached this far.
“Leal, what are you getting at with this? You want me to look deeper into the inner workings of Glare Glass? They’ve been in operation for centuries and have been audited multiple times. Nothing seems out of place. What exactly are you looking for?”
“I can’t explain it but there must be some special kind of glass elixir jars they produce or something that could somehow be connected to kidnapping- I don’t know,”
“Leal, do you have any idea how crazy that sounds? There is no way-“
“Please, Tyrell, look further into this. Look at its history, its current dealings… There is something, I assure you,” Leal desperately pleaded.
“Alright, if you insist,” stated his friend before he disconnected the call. Leal looked up to his partner approaching him rather wearily.
“Looks like there has been a malfunction with the Teleport system, Leal. We may have to stay here until tomorrow,” Acwulf informed him.
“It’s fine then, I guess,”
“Are you okay, C.C? You’ve been really weird ever since that meeting with the owner of the Vermont,”
“It’s nothing, I promise,” Leal stated before leaving Acwulf to his own devices. He stared at his phone all day waiting for his friend to respond until late that night when Tyrell finally got back in touch with him.
“Hey Leal, sorry if I woke you up but I found something… um… kind of. So anyway, you know like way back in the days when there was still war between the magical races and all? Well, it turns out there was this type of forbidden magic old sorcerers used to imprison fairies,”
“Essentially they would force fairies into their diminutive figures and trap them in enchanted glass jars. They ‘colorfully’ referred to them as fairy jars. Of course, when the world finally achieved peace, production of such dark objects was banned and anyone who was found using such dark, forbidden magic was essentially given the death sentence. The information was, of course, made to go away but oh well, you know Protectors’ HQ has its hands on all kinds of dark secrets of that nature…”
“Glare Glass was in operation at the time but of course they denied having produced dark objects of that nature. However, it is a well known fact that glass companies owned by witches at the time would specialize in that sort of thing, you know, kind of like how some pest control companies secretly made fairy swatting paper, a cruel invention that sort of worked like sand paper to trap fairies in their diminutive forms,”
“Tyrell, do you think that Glare Glass could still be involved in such a thing?”
“I don’t think so. Like I told you before, Glare Glass has been audited and inspected several times and nothing of that nature has been found,”
“I see… Well, thank you so much for looking into this,”
“Leal, do you have a reason to suspect that Glare Glass could be involved in such dubious operations?”
“I believe that anything is possible. Ty, I want you to look into any possible connections between Herman Hallman and the owners of Glare Glass,”
“What? This is getting crazier by the second, Leal. What are you on about?”
“Please, Ty. I promise it will all make sense, just please look further into it,”
“Alright, I trust you, Leal. I’ll look into it,”
“I appreciate it, Ty,”
Tyrell disconnected from the call while Leal pondered the information his friend had revealed to him about Glare Glass. Tyrell, however, did not connect with him for several days afterwards even after Leal went back to D-1 and upon following up about what happened to his friend, he was informed by another colleague that he had gone missing several days prior and no one had seen or heard from him since.
Later in the month of May, Tyrell’s body had been found in B-3, Terra Sapienta where he had been posted, allegedly mulled nearly beyond recognition by a werewolf on the night of a Full Moon. Leal knew then that he had led his colleague to his death and the burden of responsibility weighed heavily on his conscience. He knew then that the case had grown into something larger than he had once anticipated and he needed to resolve it in memory of his colleague; the late Protector Tyrell Farrow.
Knowing that he only had up until June to find Mariposa before her supposed death day, Leal turned to his daughter, Avery, to investigate further into the matter of Glare Glass, openly letting her know that he believed that they were behind Protector Tyrell Farrow’s sudden demise. He swore her to secrecy for the time being and promised he would make everything clearer in due course.
TO BE CONTINUED…
Will Avery’s assistance in the investigation of Glare Glass finally yield the answers that Leal seeks? Stay tuned to find out! Links to previous parts are listed below: