A tall, dark-skinned woman walked into the precinct. She looked around until she spotted the duty desk. The woman walked up to the officer on duty. He acknowledged her presence but continued to write something down on a report sheet.
"Hello, ma'am. How may I be of...," began the officer when he finally looked up and took a good look at the visitor. "Oh, I'm sorry. You're a bit early, but the lieutenant's expecting you. I'll go tell him you're here."
Before the woman could protest, the officer stood up and headed toward a desk near the back of the precinct.
Ok, thought the woman, that was odd. No one should know that I'm even here. How could a police officer be expecting me?
A rather dashing looking Black man in a two piece suit came walking up to her. He had a broad smile on his face as if he was happy to see her.
"You're a tad early, babe, but that's okay. I just have to finish up a couple of reports, and we'll be on our way."
Then, much to the woman's shock, the man grabbed her hands, pulled her close and proceeded to kiss her full on the lips. She pulled one hand free from his grasp, hauled back and punched him across the jaw.
* * *
Lisa Harrigan was on her way in from morning patrol. It had been pretty quiet. The only thing of note was a minor fender bender in the downtown area. As she stepped into the precinct proper from the foyer, Lisa caught site of Lieutenant Kevin Brown giving a passionate kiss to Trisha Fate. She sighed with admiration and a little envy at their relationship. That was why she was completely unprepared for what happened next. Trisha had, for some odd reason pulled, back and punched Kevin in the jaw. The lieutenant was laying halfway across the duty station with an utterly shocked look on his face. Lisa wasn't surprised about that. She herself was thrown by this uncharacteristic behavior. Lisa ran up and interposed herself between Trisha and the lieutenant. On later reflection, Lisa realized just what an insane notion that was considering who Trisha was.
"What the hell did you do that for?" yelled Lisa.
"That man sexually assaulted me!" yelled Trisha.
Lisa felt like sanity had taken a vacation, and she hadn't gotten the memo. "You...you spoke," stammered Lisa.
"Of course I spoke," said Trisha angrily. "You think I'm going to keep silent when some masher grabs me out of the blue and locks lips with me?"
Kevin was still in shock. His hand absently rubbed his jaw where he received the punch, but his vacant look meant that he was quite numb.
"And let me tell you," continued Trisha in a vicious tirade, "you may be able to get away with that kind of thing around here, but I'm filing a sexual harassment suit. You'll be hearing from my solicitor, mark my words!"
There was something odd about they way she spoke. Lisa couldn't quite put her finger on it until certain key words came up. Trisha pronounced harassment with an emphasis on the first syllable. She also said solicitor instead of lawyer. Trisha was speaking with a British dialect.
"Look, Trish," began Lisa, "I don't know why you're mad at Kevin, but making a scene like this isn't the way to straighten things out."
Trisha blinked at Lisa. "Who's Trish? My name is Kay. Kay Prime. InterPol."
The woman, who now identified herself as Kay, pulled out her identification. Lisa studied it for a moment.
"Okay, now I am officially ready for a padded cell," said Lisa bewildered.
Kevin cleared his throat catch the attention of both women. "Uhm, Lisa, it gets better. Look."
Kevin pointed toward the precinct entrance where Trisha Fate had just stepped through the large wooden double doors.
Kay Prime took one look at the newcomer and froze in her tracks. "Bloody hell," she whispered.
* * *
Trisha sat in Kevin's office with Lisa, Kevin and, in a most interesting twist of fate, a woman who looked so much like Trisha that they could have been twins.
"I must say I sincerely apologize, Ms. Prime," said Kevin in his most humble tone of voice.
"Nonsense," said Kay, "it was a perfectly honest mistake. I have to say, I'm still reeling over it myself." She looked carefully at Trisha. "It's absolutely astonishing." Suddenly, she sat up. "Oh, uhm, how's the jaw?"
Kevin grimaced and touched his jaw. It had started to swell a little. "I'll live." he said. "I've been punched before, but I'm not sure quite that hard."
"So, now what?" asked Lisa. "Are you and Trisha related or something?"
"I don't know," said Kay. "I never knew my parents. I was kind of raised by the state. Eventually, I was taken in by InterPol and trained as an operative."
"You must be related to look so, well, identical," said Kevin.
Kay glanced at Trisha, "Perhaps we are." Trisha sat quietly in her chair watching Kay's every movement. "She doesn't say much, does she?"
"She can't speak," offered Lisa.
"A mute?" asked Kay. "How interesting."
"You're less than twenty years old, aren't you?" asked Trisha in American Sign Language.
Kay was startled since it was the first movement Trisha had made since entering Kevin's office. "What do you know about me?" signed Kay to Trisha.
"They know sign language, too," signed Trisha.
"If you'd like some privacy, you're welcome to use my office," said Kevin getting out of his chair.
"Yes, thank you," said Kay.
After Lisa and Kevin left the office and shut the door behind them, Kay turned to Trisha. "Ok, how did you know I'm less than twenty years old?"
"You're a clone," signed Trisha. "Your look is too close to mine. You even have some of the more unique characteristics that I have. Something which would not show up even in identical twins."
Kay was silent for a while. "You're right," she said. "I was cultivated and raised by a secret society working for British parliament. They wanted a special operative who could go above and beyond what any ordinary operative could do. My DNA was purchased from an unknown source along with the detailed instructions on how to...well, grow me."
"I'm pretty sure I know where your DNA came from," signed Trisha.
Kay nodded. "So are you like me too? You know. You can do really wild things?"
Trisha glanced out the office door window to make sure no one was watching them. Then, she reached down and placed a hand beneath Kevin's desk. Without any hint of strain, Trisha hefted the desk off of the floor, held it for a moment and placed it gently back on the floor.
Kay let out a breath she had been holding. "I honestly don't know what to say."
"I'd say, I've got a new sister," signed Trisha.
Kay laughed. "Of course, leave it to me to overlook the obvious."
"So, how come I've never heard of you before?" asked Trisha.
"I certainly hope you haven't," said Kay. "I'm supposed to be hush-hush. You've no idea how many rules I've broken telling you."
"You can trust me," signed Trisha.
"Well, I don't doubt that," admitted Kay, "but what about those two police officers."
"Well, the gentlemen who kissed you is my boyfriend," signed Kismet with a smirk.
Kay chuckled. "Yeah, I kind of gathered that. What about the red head?"
"She's a close personal friend," signed Trisha. "They both know all about me and what I am. They're very trustworthy."
"Alright," said Kay, "I'll take your word for it."
"So what is an InterPol agent doing in Monument City, U.S.A.?" asked Trisha.
Kay nearly leapt out of her seat. "Bloody hell! I almost completely forgot! I'm on important business here. I can't sit around gabbing all day." She immediately went to the door. "Lieutenant, I need to see your captain right away."
* * *
"She goes by the name Fleur de Lis," said Kay. "She's an extremely dangerous thief wanted in ten countries. Eleven if she gets away with whatever she has planned here."
"What's her M.O.?" asked Captain William O'Donnell.
"She specializes on obtaining priceless jewels and rare artifacts for wealthy buyers," said Kay. So far, InterPol hasn't been able to capture her. That's why they put me on the case. I'm something of a specialist."
"And you need our cooperation," guessed O'Donnell.
"Just as a precautionary measure," cautioned Kay. "If things get rough, I may need backup."
"Well, if it's special ops you're looking for, I've got just the officer," said O'Donnell. He touched a button on the intercom on his desk. "Harrigan. My office. Now."
Moments later, Lisa Harrigan stepped into Captain O'Donnell's office.
"You're Harrigan?" asked Kay a bit surprised.
"Just Lisa, thanks," said Lisa.
Kay smiled, "Well, I'm glad I'll be working with someone with whom I'm familiar."
"You two know each other?" asked the captain.
"We...bumped into each other earlier," explained Kay.
"Good," said the captain, "anything you need, Harrigan here will take care of it."
"I'm on it, Captain," said Lisa.
The two women were about to leave when the captain interjected. "Oh, one more thing."
"Yes?" said Kay.
"You may or may not know that Monument City is riddled with psychotic costumed types. They may try to stick their noses where they're not wanted."
"Yes, I've heard of them," said Kay. "I'll keep an eye out. Thanks for the warning."
As Kay stepped out of O'Donnell's office, she searched the precinct for Trisha. "Where's Trisha?"
"Oh, she and the lieutenant had a lunch date," said Lisa. "That's the reason why he greeted you the way he did."
"I was kind of hoping we could talk more," said Kay.
"I can give you her address," said Lisa, "I'm sure she won't mind."
* * *
Trisha drove her car through the heavy lunchtime traffic. Taking a sidelong glance at Kevin in the passenger seat, she wondered if he'd be able to eat after that sock to the jaw. Trisha reached over and tapped a button below the dash. Just above the gear box a small keyboard folded outward. Without taking her eyes from the road, Trisha deftly typed out a question which was spoken by text-to-speech software built into the stereo system.
[Are you going to be okay?]
Kevin was nursing his injury with a chemical cold pack that Trisha had in the trunk of her car. With her dangerous night life, Trisha kept a fully equipped triage kit in the trunk of her car.
"It throbs a bit," said Kevin. "Thankfully nothing was broken."
Trisha had x-rayed Kevin's jaw with a handheld scanner device that was given to her by her highly advanced extra-terrestrial friend Star Child. Both the jaw bone and the mandibular joint were fine. The flesh was merely bruised as was evident by the hematoma that had spread over much of Kevin's left cheek.
"Remind me never to tick you off," said Kevin.
[I would never hit you like that. I'm more of a psychological fighter. I'd give you the cold shoulder for a week.]
"In that case, I'd rather you hit me," chuckled Kevin.
[Are you going to be able to eat?]
"I'll order the soup." Kevin was beginning to relax. The cold pack was deadening the throbbing in his jaw, and the pain killers Trisha had given him were starting to kick in. "So, what do you make of the mysterious Kay Prime?"
[Sounds like Soho needed some ready cash and sold my DNA to the highest bidder. Let's be thankful that the buyer was reasonably well intentioned.]
"I'm not sure I like the idea of two of you around," said Kevin. "I've always thought of you as being superbly unique."
Trisha couldn't help but smile at that. [I'm still unique. Our Kay Prime is more of a flash and sparkle kind of person than I am. We've had different backgrounds. That's sure to produce some interesting differences.]
Trisha and Kevin sat silently for a while as the traffic began to move at a more even pace.
[So, how was it?]
Trisha smiled. [How was Kay at kissing?]
Trisha's grin grew wider as Kevin tried to sputter a diplomatic reply.
"I couldn't say," said Kevin finally. "It was kind of one sided. I doubt she could top you, though."
* * *
Kay lay flat on her stomach on the roof of the office building directly across the street from the Monument State University Museum of Antiquities. Beside her lay Lisa Harrigan taking a view of the museum through a pair of binoculars.
"It must be nice having telescopic vision," said Lisa.
Kay blinked to readjust her sight to normal and turned toward Lisa. "Exactly how much do you know about Trisha?"
"Quite a bit," replied Lisa still looking through the binoculars. "We've worked on a few cases together."
Kay looked pensive. "She's a plain clotheswoman?"
Lisa pulled back a little from the binoculars and shook her head. "Remember what the captain said about psychotic costume types?"
"You're kidding," said Kay. She turned back toward the museum, but at normal sight. "I guess we really are a lot alike. Think she'd be willing to help me with this case?"
Lisa turned toward Kay with a wide grin. "I think she'd leap at the chance."
Kay also smiled. "Good. I just can't let my superiors find out about this. If they knew that I was a clone of an American vigilante, they might decomission me."
"They won't learn anything from me," said Lisa.
"So, what part of Ireland do you hail from," ask Kay conversationally.
"Dublin," said Lisa, "though I hardly remember the place. I mostly grew up here in Monument City. My mother was an actress in off-Broadway productions."
"Anything I'd be familiar with?"
"I doubt it," said Lisa. "She was more involved in supporting roles. I think she felt more comfortable there than in any lead roles."
"Something I can do for you two?" asked a voice from behind them.
Lightning quick reflexes brought Kay spinning about and training her weapon on a slightly heavy built woman with auburn hair. She wore a fancy dresssuit and had her arms folded below an ample bust line.
"Trish? Lisa? What are you guys doing up here?" asked the woman.
Lisa, who had struggled to get her service revolver out, relaxed when she recognized the woman immediately behind her. "Jesus, Shaunyce!" she cried. "You should know better than to sneak up on a cop like that."
Kay still held her gun trained on Shaunyce. "Friend of yours, I take it."
"Uhm, why is Trish holding a gun?" asked Shaunyce. "And since when did Trish start talking?"
"This isn't Trish," said Lisa. "What are you doing up here?"
"I saw you two hiding over here," said Shaunyce, "so, I thought I'd find out what was going on."
"Wait," said Kay, "how could you have possibly seen us? We were well hidden!"
"Shaunyce, doesn't 'see' things in the traditional sense, Kay," offered Lisa.
"Kay? Who's Kay?" asked Shaunyce.
"I'm Kay," said Kay.
Shaunyce held up both hands. "Whoa, whoa, whoa. Back up a bit, here."
Lisa couldn't help smiling. "Shaunyce Brooks, this is Agent Kay Prime, Interpol," said Lisa indicating the woman with the gun. "Kay Prime, this is Shaunyce Brooks, curator of the Monument State University Museum of Antiquities."
"A curator," said Kay suspiciously. "How the hell did a bloody curator sneak up on an Interpol agent and a police officer?"
"Remember what the captain said about psychotic costume types?" repeated Lisa.
"Her too?" said Kay. Finally, she lowered her weapon. "Are you one?"
Lisa laughed. "I wish!"
Shaunyce thought that standing over these two women might be construed as threatening, so she decided to sit on the roof with them. "So what all is going on around here?"
"What's it look like?" asked Lisa. "We're casing the joint."
"I don't find that funny, Lisa," said Shaunyce with a frown. The woman who looked uncannily like Trisha disturbed her. Still, she couldn't help but stare.
Kay smiled. "It's alright, Ms. Brooks. I have a feeling that I'm going to have that effect on a lot of people in this town."
"Is there anything I can do to help?" asked Shaunyce.
"Thanks," said Kay, "but I think we have enough civilians involved in this."
"It is my museum," said Shaunyce defensively.
"Don't worry, Shaunyce," said Lisa. "We're here to prevent a crime. Trish will be here, too."
"Well," said Shaunyce hesitantly, "okay, but if anything happens to any of the exhibits in there, I'm holding you two responsible."
"No promises," said Kay. "Now, off you go."
With one last look at Kay, Shaunyce got up and walked toward the far edge of the roof. Then, without warning, leapt over side.
"Bloody...!" Kay began to run after Shaunyce, but Lisa held her down with a restraining hand.
"It's okay," said Lisa calmly. "She's fine."
"She just leapt off the bloody building!" cried Kay.
"How do you think she was able to sneak up on us without making the slightest noise?" asked Lisa.
Kay stopped and thought for a moment. "There were no footfalls."
Lisa nodded. "Who needs to walk when you can fly," said Lisa.
Kay looked back at the spot where Shaunyce had jumped off of the roof. Bloody hell! she thought. What have I gotten myself into?