“H-Hey, you guys?” Valeria called for her juniors and they turned to face her. She exhaled, prepping herself for secondhand embarrassment. “You, see…those kids? They um…just so happen to be friends of my little cousin John.”
“Oh.” Officer Collins put a hand to his chin. “I see. So they’re John’s buddies, eh?”
She nodded. “Yes. Well…three of them, at least. As for the other girl, I haven’t a clue who that could be.”
“Hmm, if that’s the case, then what now?” wondered Officer Lane.
“Hey, so, um…we told you guys everything we know,” Collin interjected. “Would it be too much trouble for you folks to...y’know…let us go?”
“Ooh, that rhymed!” Xilla praised.
“You should really w-w-w-w-w-w…” Phil began his sentence, but as usual, his words sputtered for a moment. After a brief pause… “...write that down, Collin.”
The patrol officers all looked at the beastkin for a moment. Officer Lane blinked at him for speaking up. “Um, sir? You and your comrades chased a teenage girl into an alley and tried to mug her in broad daylight.”
“B-But we didn't even get to steal anything!” Collin whined.
“Attempted theft is still a crime,” Officer Lane reminded.
“Do we even have proof?” asked Officer Collins.
Officer Lane narrowed her eyes as she gawked at her senior officer. “You're worried about proof? You of all people?”
“Do we have proof or not?” he snapped.
“Well, if you insist…” She put her notepad into her bag and then fished out her mana phone. “Phil, the automaton over there, told me about six minutes ago. He recorded the entire exchange, and with his consent, I managed to download it onto my phone.”
She held up her phone. Its screen showed a recorded video file. The thumbnail showed the mint-haired lad getting shocked by the blue-haired girl the gangsters mentioned before.
“Ah, nice going, Hildy!” praised Valeria.
“Wait a minute.” Officer Collins eyed the younger officer. “Who in the hell is Phil?”
“Ugh, that’s what you’re worried about?” Officer Lane crossed her arms, fed up with her senior officer.
“Phil did what?!” the beastkin exploded.
“Yeah, he likes to do that,” Xilla revealed casually, “It helps him remember things.”
“You knew about this?!” The half-oni raged as a vein popped out in his neck. “You’re tellin’ me he’s able to record videos for over ten minutes, but can barely get a friggin’ word out?!”
“Actually, the video is only eight minutes and forty-se-se-se-se-se…”
“Shut up, Phil!” Collins snarled at his comrade.
“Yeah, shut up, Phil!” The green-haired lad chimed in.
““Shut up, Craig!!”” Collin and the half-oni shut him down simultaneously.
The lad sighed. “Okay…”
“Gods damn it, Phil!” Collin groaned. “You’ve screwed us all over!”
“Lane, Collins. Detain them.”
At Valeria’s command, the young officers took the five gangsters and began moving them toward the MPF squad cars, loading three of them in their paddy wagon while putting the automaton and the wrinkled large man in Valeria’s.
“Alrighty.” Valeria tapped on the window of her patrol car. The window lowered. A younger male officer with a brown buzzcut was in the driver’s seat.
“Hey Hopkins, you're coming with me. We’re heading over to Requiem.”
Officer Hopkins nodded. “Yes, Sergeant.”
Exasperated, Valeria let out a sigh and looked up into the morning sky. Those damned kids, she thought, what have they gotten themselves into this time?”
“Um… Sergeant?” Officer Lane walked over to her. “Where's Inspector Gamma? He’s not in his car.”
Valeria’s mind went blank. She looked over to the empty squad car. Just as Lane, said, the man in question was nowhere in sight.
W-What? Don’t tell me he… She mussed up her hair in frustration. If he goes around causing trouble, Lieutenant MacQuack will have my hide!
Valeria clenched her teeth, looked up, and shouted to the heavens.
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