Written By: bikkothewriter
Pairings: Main 1x2, others may show up
Warnings: Yaoi, Language, blood, gore, lemon, lime, angst
Disclaimer: I own nothing! Splicing idea borrowed from Batman Beyond.
Rating: NC 17

Preventors' Case #84309: Splicers + Chapter Ten

Heero appreciated that no one ever tried to make stakeouts glamorous on television. Of course, there were the few romance movies where the detective who'd enlisted the aid of a civilian would have a romantic and most times unrealistic moment in the car; more often than not, the tedious and agonizing wait was showed. Sitting in the same spot for over six hours with Trowa and a dozen energy drinks for company, watching the same building for signs of Dr. Murai's movements was not action-packed or an edge-of-your-seat adventure.

For two days, the team stalked the veterinarian, a tall blonde-haired man with bright blue eyes. He was in his late fifties though his open, smiling face took years off his age. He reminded Heero of Treize Kushrenada, with the ease and grace he carried himself. It was easy to see why so many with would trust him with their lives, even with so many reports to the contrary.

He ran a small animal clinic in one of the poorer districts of L1, no doubt preying on college students and teenagers alike. So far, he'd done nothing out of the ordinary for a vet. He'd taken a few house calls, which the team was quick to follow up on, gone to work, to the grocery store and home. As of day three, Heero was more than ready for the man to try to splice someone.

Worry and stress had kept the man up the few times he'd tried to lay down to sleep. Kitten had now been missing for over three days and the situation had only gotten worse as the shuttle port had called to confirm that someone on the staff had indeed seen him. The flight attendants for a commercial shuttle to L2 had supposedly had a very nice time keeping the toddler company on the flight after finding him walking up and down the aisles looking for food. The consensus was to call the authorities once they docked on L2. Unfortunately, Kitten was very obviously trained in stealth and had managed to slip away from them.

Now the three year old was somewhere on L2, roaming the streets and Heero couldn't help but wonder if the boy even realized that he had left the colony at all. The Preventors Branch of L2 were now in charge of finding the boy and an Amber Alert had been administered to help in his recovery, but so far no one had anything to report.

On top of the distressing news in regards to Kitten, Lanie had died the night before from organ failure. The machines for life support had only been able to do so much in keeping her alive and in the end Dr. Murai's twisted DNA had won out corrupting her system far beyond the machine's capabilities. It was only a matter of time before Emmett died as well, as he now was connected to machines that worked day and night to keep him alive.

He popped the top on yet another can of energy drink, chugging the foul tasting mix. It was close to four p.m., Dr. Murai would be closing shop soon, and with any luck, shedding his lacquered exterior of a well-meaning vet to become the mad scientist Heero and his team had come to hate.

"If you drink anymore of those your heart will stop."

Heero grunted in response.

"You need sleep."

"I can't. I'm worried about Kitten."

"If he's anything like Duo, he's probably having the time of his life."

"He's somewhere lost on L2 where we can't look for him ourselves."

"The agents there are just as capable as we are."

"No they're not," Heero said irritably, "And once they find him, what will stop him from sneaking away again."

"Nothing, if he's truly determined but I think they can convince him to stay put."

"By lying. Saying we know where his father is or that his Nana is out of jail."

"Ye," Trowa agreed before adding, "His safety is our first concern, his feelings second."

"I know that," he said scrubbing his face with his hands, "It's just... "

"You need sleep."

"How can you sleep with him missing?"

"I know that everything that can be done to find him is being done. I've done everything I can to help. We'll find him."

"I don't feel like I'm doing enough. I should have insisted that he stay at headquarters. I should have fought the judge's decision. I should be on L2 right now looking for him." He sighed, pressing his face against the cool glass of the window.

"You can only do so much and right now our priority is finding out if Dr. Murai is our Dr. M and stopping him from killing more people."

"Do you think he's our guy?"

"The physical description matches from what the others told us and Gemmell brought us good linking evidence."

"The phone records and the DNA."

Both Pepper and Francis had made phone calls to the vet to schedule their appointments and both had later received phone calls from the vet's office and a disposable cell phone number, all prior to the original splicing. Pepper had been part of the group whose splicing lasted for three months before killing them while Francis was a part of the newer three-week group. Francis had also had several envelopes full of money in common with Pepper as well. It helped to establish both a timeline and pattern for how some of the liaisons were acquired.

Along with the phone records, they'd been able to match the DNA of dog hairs taken from Pepper's apartment to the DNA she'd been spliced with. A perfect match along with Francis and his pet cockatoo. The doctor seemed to be playing on the emotions of people's love for their pets to convince them to try splicing and to work for him and towards his goal.

"Yes and all we need now is to catch him in the act and we can put him away."

+

An hour later Dr. Murai left the clinic, locking the doors behind him, making his way to his sedan with Heero and Trowa as his shadow as he drove home.

The doctor had been very careful about his spending and activities. Not one disposable cell phone was found on any of his credit card statements as well as there being no splicing equipment charged to his account. He didn't make contact with anyone who was spliced and was never seen talking to anyone suspicious or entering an establishment that would seem uncommon for a vet. Therefore, it was of the utmost importance that they caught the man in the act of splicing. They needed both him and the contents of his current lab if they were going to save lives.

Parked outside of his home for less than thirty minutes, the two agents were surprised to note that the doctor wouldn't be staying in for the night, as he reemerged still dressed in the same chocolate brown suit with his lab coat thrown over his arm.

Heero alerted the team that the man was on the move as Trowa pulled away from the street to follow him at a safe distance with Heero giving directions to the team. Within twenty minutes, they were downtown parked across the street of a windowed storefront with a 'For Rent' sign taped into the inside of the window. None of Dr. Murai's holdings included a downtown store yet the key he carried easily opened the door on the side of the building.

"This is it," Heero said already feeling the adrenaline pumping through his veins.

"Not yet. We need to wait until a customer shows up," Trowa said to Heero.

Heero nodded, "Tell the team to be on the look out for anyone approaching the building."

Trowa did as he was told relaying the team's locations back to Heero. Gemmell and Weber were watching the building from a side street in view of the building while Hayers and Price were on the opposite street behind the building keeping watch.

They waited. For almost an hour, there were no signs of life in or around the building, just the usual passersby, walking to their intended destination. Heero was dying to make a move but if they didn't catch him in the act, the entire case would fall through. It wasn't enough for Heero to charge the man with unlicensed possession of splicing equipment; he wanted to, needed to charge him with the murders of the sixty-two people he'd killed to date.

"Look," Trowa said drawing his attention to a dark-haired girl. Dressed in a black and red plaid skirt, black tee and clunky, studded boots, reading something on a yellow post-it note. She raised her head every now and then to the street numbers embossed into the storefronts until she came to the building Dr. Murai had disappeared into. Moving down the alley she stopped outside the door, knocking.

Trowa was already on the radio telling Gemmell and Weber that it was time to move in as the door swung open admitting the girl. Heero, himself, informed Hayers and Price of the development, instructing them to cover the building from the outside in case one of them tried to run.

Heero and Trowa moved as one out of the car and quickly across the street. They stood flat against the wall on opposite sides of the door, guns drawn and pointed up. Heero looked over to Trowa who nodded, reaching out to take the handle of the door. Pulling it open, Heero slipped in quickly staying low while Trowa followed behind him closing the door quietly. They were in the back of the building in a dark hallway. The only light that suffused the dark space came from underneath a door directly ahead of them where the quiet hum of machinery could be heard.

Taking the hall in three quick strides the came upon the door, pushing it open to reveal what must have been the break room. Several vending machines lined one wall, covered in dust, powered down and out of use. Two walls were lined with lockers, their doors hanging open, empty. In the center sat four tables filled with equipment. Computers and glassware in all shapes filled with different colored liquids. The girl sat in a steel chair that had leather straps on the arms and legs ready to restrain as she leaned over to look at whatever the doctor was showing her on one of the screens of his computers.

They both jumped at Heero and Trowa's entrance the girl dashing out of the chair towards the only other door only to be pushed back by Gemmell and Weber's entrance.

"Don't move," Heero ordered. "You're under arrest."

His gun, trained on Dr. Murai's face, never wavered as the small man looked at him with hate and contempt.

"You don't know what you're doing," he hissed.

"Put your hands where I can see them."

The doctor stood in the middle of the four tables looking between Heero and Trowa to where Gemmell and Weber were forcing the girl down on the ground.

"Don't move," Trowa said too late as the doctor lifted a rack of test tubes throwing them in their direction. They dodged and the vials burst against the wall the liquid hissing and popping as it evaporated into colored smoke.

The doctor ducked behind the table tossing test tubes and beakers as if they were grenades sending everyone scrambling around the room. Heero found himself nearly belted in the face twice by the strange chemicals as he tried to move closer to the tables. The room was quickly filling with rainbow colored smoke, making it impossible to see who was where.

"He's at the door," he heard Trowa yell from the other side of the room and took that to mean that the doctor was trying to leave through the other exit. He braved the colored smoke making a run for the exit. This door led directly into another alley and Heero had to back pedal taking cover behind the door as a vial broke only inches from his face against the side of the brick wall of the opposite building.

Using the door as cover, he peeked around its frame just as another vial came hurling towards him. Moving back against the open door he waited until he heard the bottle splash harmlessly against the door before looking back again. The alley was empty but he was headed in the direction of Hayers and Price. He moved into the alley to follow when the sounds of a woman shrieking and Trowa calling his name, pulled him back.

He reentered the break room now cleared of smoke to find Trowa and Weber pinning Gemmell to the ground where she screamed and writhed in pain. Her arms were growing longer, not just growing but changing before his eyes. As he watched, they became boneless moving fluidly as her fingers and thumb formed together into a curling tip.

"One of the vials hit her full on," Weber said through clenched teeth, losing control of the arm he held. He reached for the failing limb hissing as instead it wrapped around his arms, the newly grown suction cups attaching to his bare skin.

Trowa fought to keep his place by Gemmell's side as the appendage slid him back and forth across the linoleum as Gemmell flailed in pain. Heero dropped to his knees holding down her legs as she continued to buck and scream. He shouted at the dark-haired woman to call an ambulance as he and the two other men attempted to keep Gemmell still.

"Shit," Trowa said and Heero followed his gave looking down in horror as first one shoe then the other fell off of Gemmell's feet, revealing worm-like appendages that were pointed and squirming inside of her socks. From where Heero held her, he could feel the bones melting away to tight muscles that twitched and wriggled under his hands.

"She's changing color," Weber said frantically and Heero looked back up to where blue-purple tentacles wrapped around Trowa and Weber.

Her chest heaved once, twice as she gulped down air her screaming cut short by a strange gurgling sound rising in her chest. She opened her mouth wide coughing, forcing a dark liquid up and out of her lungs like a geyser.

"Oh my God! Is that ink?" Weber asked as twice more she expelled the dark substance.

"She's choking," Heero said, "We need to turn her on her side."

He straddled her legs shifting her hips towards Weber has Trowa followed his lead, moving his hands under her back to help roll her over. She coughed again, forcing more and more liquid up, to pool around her head staining her red hair. She wheezed, the sound painful to listen to as she tried to breathe.

"Should we move her? Get her into some water?" Weber asked.

"It's the ink; her lungs are filled with it. If you don't get her to a hospital soon, she'll drown."

"Can't you just poke a hole in her lung so the ink can get out?"

All the three men turned to glare at the woman huddled in the corner watching them all with wide-eyes.

"That could collapse her lung and do more harm than good," Trowa said.

"Did you call the ambulance?" Heero asked.

"Yes they're on their way."

The next ten minutes were agony as they waited quietly, the three agents holding Gemmell down as her limbs continued to flail and jerk as she struggled to draw breath around the ink filling her lungs and throat. They watched the paramedics rush in with unmeasured relief, pulling a stretcher piled with equipment with them.

"What happened here?"

"She was hit with splicer recombinant. She can't breath. Ink is filling her lungs," Heero told the paramedics as they moved in around them.

"She won't let go," Weber said, "The cups are stuck to my arms."

"She has me, too," Trowa said trying to pull the tentacle wrapped around his chest away from him.

"We'll have to try sedating them," one of the paramedics said opening his kit to pull out two syringes. Passing one to his partner they injected the limbs and within moments they fell away limp, but the suction cups still latched to Weber's skin and had to pulled off taking pieces of skin with it.

Once free, the paramedics loaded her onto the gurney and into the back of the ambulance along with Weber to treat his arms. Heero and Trowa waited at the scene long enough for other agents to show up, take the dark-haired woman away, and secure the scene before making their way to the hospital

+

"Her chances aren't very good, Commander. Unless we can find an antidote, she has three days and that's being optimistic."

Heero stood in the corner of the hospital room far removed from the bed where nurses were gently sponging the tentacles that had grown in place of Lucy's arms and legs. There were tubes running in and out of her chest, one supplying air while another pumped the ink from inside her body.

"Is she in pain?"

"Yes, but we've put her into a drug-induced coma so that she won't suffer."

"How severe is her condition?"

"She was hit with a concentrated dose of octopus recombinant. She has a second heart growing along side the first that could put too much stress on the rest of her body if it continues to grow."

"Can you remove it?"

"Yes but there is the off chance that another heart will begin to form. Her body isn't up to having one surgery let alone two."

"Three days?"

"At the most."

+

Leaving Lucy's room, Heero made his way back to the waiting room where Hayers and Price waited looking somber. After Weber had had his wounds treated he refused to sit waiting for the doctors to break the bad news to him and had gone back to process the scene. Trowa had gone along with him, leaving Heero to hear the news alone.

"Did you catch him?"

"I'm sorry, Commander," Hayers said, bowing his head.

"Hayers managed to take him high in the shoulder but once the shot went off people panicked. We lost him in the crowd."

"I want his face on every channel, every billboard, and every newspaper on L1. I don't want to be able to walk down the street without seeing his face somewhere. Do you understand?"

"Yes, Commander."

"Then why are you still standing here?"

Hayers and Price looked between each other before Hayers spoke, "How is she?"

"She's dying," Heero told them.

"Oh no," Price said letting out a heavy breath. She blinked back the tears forming in her eyes, pulling herself together with a stern face reigning in her emotions. She grabbed the wide-eyed Hayers by his collar dragging him from the room.

+

Rage. Blinding, seething, hot rage was coursing through Heero's veins as he sat alone in the team's conference room. His nails dug into the palms of his hand as he shook with anger. His nerves were frayed and on edge.

Duo was missing.

Kitten was missing.

Lanie was dead.

Emmett was dead.

Lucy was dying.

Dr. Murai was on the loose.

He wanted answers.

Shoving the chair away, he stormed out of the room and down to the hold. The agent on duty spoke to him but Heero ignored the man ripping the cardkeys from his hip. Moving past him, down the hall to Hughes cell where forced the card through the reader. Fisting her shirt, he forced her upright on the bed.

"You're going to tell me everything I want to know or I'll make you regret it."

The old woman gripped his hand staring at him with wide frightened eyes, shaking her head. He shook her, hard, making her gasp. He felt no pity for the woman. She wouldn't even tell them what park she took Kitten to play at when he'd gone missing. She was more willing to protect the man behind his splicing than be worried about his whereabouts.

"How do you know Dr. M? Tell me!"

When she didn't answer, he twisted his hand in her top drawing her closer, yelling in her face, "Where is Duo?"

"No," she breathed in fear.

"Tell me!"

"Heero, that's enough," said a voice to his right as restraining hand clamped down on his arm.

He pulled away long enough to look up at the man holding him. Black hair pulled tight into a low ponytail, dark, piercing eyes, and a stern expression greeted him.

"Wu Fei."

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